28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God. (Romans 2:28-29 NKJV)
This passage is from our Concert of Prayer Daily Bible reading (if you would like to receive this weekly – please e-mail me with a request). I believe it is most timely in our present age. We are NOT what we display on the outside (in the flesh) but rather what we are on the inside (the spirit). Make no mistake though! If we truly are HIS on the inside then that will show forth on the outside!!! I like to say that we MUST BE before WE CAN DO. Our actions must flow (naturally) outwardly from who we are inwardly.
Therein lies the struggle. Even though I am saved and belong to JESUS, I still have this carnal nature. Believe me it wars against my spiritual nature on a daily basis (shades of Paul’s words, O wretched man that I am) and sometimes the carnal side wins out – those times when I rely on my own strength or when I am looking at self or situation rather than GOD. I am certain that any Christian reading this can also relate.
I believe the key to victory is found in living in and with CHRIST on a daily basis. We must surrender to HIM and then we must practice (read that, live daily) spiritual disciplines. This is how we become men and women of valor – you see, GOD deals with me about what HE calls me to preach. HE is usually dealing with me before anyone in the church hears the message.
Thank YOU, LORD, for teaching me these things. Help me to live them out before all men – to teach others YOUR will and way. In JESUS name, Amen.