Inside Out

A song called “From the Inside Out” came into existence back in 2006 by a band called Hillsong United. What songs such as the Helser’s “No Longer Slaves” or Housefires’ “Good, Good Father” are to us millenials today was “From the Inside Out” to the young twenty somethings of the mid 2000’s. This banner anthem became famous for a few reasons, but here’s a highlighted verse that seemed to ring throughout the church back in those days:

“Let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out”

This song got me thinking today how far we’ve progressed as a church; we’ve progressed in some really great ways and, at the same time, probably have digressed in other ways. I think something our generation is desperately in need of is this prayer Hillsong United turned into a song:

“Let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out”

In other words: let the things of God become so embedded in my heart, that I would love, obey, and follow God from the inside of my heart to the outer interactions of my daily life.

Nowadays we sure have a lot of solutions for the problems of our church, society, and communities. There seems to be a numerous amount of experts and experiential gurus for any given problem whether it be relationships or something as cerebral as church development.

We get inundated with all this fantastic information, yet our bodies intrinsically fail us. We can only take in so much information.

This information we attempt to receive in the form of sermons, conferences, and gatherings hit the outside of our lives and attempts to penetrate into the inner workings of our hearts, yet if we are all honest, rarely does this ever occur.

For so many of us this has become a frequent experience, especially in our younger days. This phenomenon has become known as the camp high. Some of us never escape this vicious, perpetual cycle that entraps us in a spiritual euphoria only to be bogged down by the worries of life, sin, and brokenness.

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

Psalm 119:11

This psalm speaks powerfully to an issue that millenials, you and I, immensely struggle with. We take good, pure theology from the Word and ultimately allow it to pass from one ear to the other. But if we follow this psalm we protect ourselves from a life of inconsistent volatility, sin, and rebellion. The camp high moves from an emotional euphoric experience to a diligent, brilliant journey of walking with Jesus.

An image that stirs me is two contrasting pictures of fire. In one we have an absolutely immense burning bonfire; this type of fire is raging in nature and the whole world is in awe of its display. While the fire is powerful in nature not only is it borderline uncomfortable to be in its presence, but the fire fades because it cannot be realistically fed. Ultimately, it fizzles and becomes a pile of ash; it’s burnt out.

The second image of fire is a modest sized furnace, similar to what you would find in a 1920’s grandmother’s basement. While it looks small in stature, you open the door and the fire is piercing. It’s not sexy, but the furnace warms the entire house. This type of fire, in furnace form, gathers and invites people in to share it’s warmth; this type of fire is sustainable and brilliant.

The Bible talks a lot about the value diligence and faithfulness bring to the table; Paul exhorted his churches to be consistent with a solid foundation of theology and faith intertwined together.

Often times millenials opt for the fire formerly mentioned; we are passionate folk that will change the world. Rather than wearing my theology on my sleeve I want to bury my theology in my heart so that it would touch every portion of my life.

Perhaps our churches might become more known for what immense faith, diligence, and surrender we carry out on behalf of our benevolent God rather than the critical beliefs of condemnation and legalism we have become so infamous for today.



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