The Interior Life – Emotional Maturity – Part 4 (Christ Church; Atlanta, GA)
The Psalmist, in Psalms 1:3-4, describes a person with a fruitful Interior Life: “He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.". Our Interior Life, typically, does not call out for our attention until, usually, it is too late. Our Interior Life does not call for our attention or scream for help. However, if our Interior Life is not maintained or nurtured, our spiritual life can come crashing down.
Our Interior Life can be viewed like a savings account in a bank. Like a savings account when we make deposits, our Interior Life grows, draws interest, and becomes strong, thereby, giving us a balance that can see us through life’s tough times. However, if we are not making Interior Life deposits and our life circumstances need to draw on our “savings”, we may find that life has put us in an untenable situation; and we go spiritually bankrupt. Does the life description, provided by Jesus in John 7:37b-38, describe your life: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”?
Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, describes the characteristics of the Inner Person and the maintenance of the Inner Person: “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.". Paul describes us as being comprised of body, soul, and spirit.
Our Inner Person, or Our Inner Self, is all that relates to our soul and spirit. The Interior Life is critical for our abundant life – the part of us that is private not public; the part of us that no one sees or knows but us and God. Too often, we focus our personal care on our bodies and not our soul or Inner Person. Paul, in Ephesians 3:16-17, addresses or “inner being”: “that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,".
We need to focus, today, on a portion of our Inner Self’s soul that includes “our mind” – “the power of our mind”. What gives us the power to steer our lives in the direction that we want to go and, in a manner, that God expects of us? The mind gives our Inner Self power. Too many of us are wasting our minds – most of us are not exercising the power of our minds.
To exercise our minds, we must: 1) discipline our mind to mind – mental discipline; 2) take charge of what we let our mind dwell upon – what we think, we are; and 3) learn to think from Christ’s perspective – as a Christian, we must intentionally learn to think from God’s point of view.
To intentionally exercise our mind, we can: 1) read; 2) study; 3) memorize; and 4) meditate – reflect upon an issue.
Jesus was asked, in Luke 20:25b-28 to reveal the key to eternal life; and Jesus responded: “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? How do you read it?’ And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ And he said to him, You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.’”. To position our Inner Self to think from God’s point of view, our mind must be exercised through the love of God and others.
The mind, as a Christian, is a terrible thing to be wasted by our Inner Self; therefore, we must endeavor to stop wasting our minds.
We need to develop the power for gaining control over our will and directing our minds toward a spirit-filled life in Jesus. Each of our lives is to be driven by the Holly Spirit through our Inner Person to yield our lives to God’s will. The Holy Spirit enables us to do God’s will in our lives – our Interior Life’s deposit for the future.
NOTE: Also, please view the included one-minute “Clip” for a summary video of this Sermon
SCRIPTURE REFERENCE (ESV): Psalms 1:3-4; John 7:37-38; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Ephesians 2:1-10; John 3:1-8; Ephesians 3:16-20; 1 Peter 3:3; Mark 7:21; Proverbs 23:7; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 2:5; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Romans 12:2; Philippians 4:8; Galatians 2:20; Galatians 5:16-17 (Click the blue below to read the full Bible text for these scripture references in BOLD.).
TODAY’S AFFIRMATION: Today, I affirm that because of what God has done for me in His Son, Jesus, I AM FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:13).
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