Outside Clean! Inside, Clean Also?
More and more these days I find myself biting my tongue because of these words running through my mind. “Are you sure you want to say that?”
When I bust through that protective barrier and blurt out what I am thinking I often find that I would have been better off if I had heeded the warning and resisted speaking those words.
It is one thing to resist making comments that could end up causing another pain, words that you could come to regret, judgments made that you may wish you could rescind, opinions offered that may become invalid; it is another thing entirely to let the emotion go that is often associated with those thoughts. Maybe I heed the warning and keep those words to myself, but are my insides tensing, are my hands clenched, is my jaw tight, am I seething under the surface with unspoken resentment, anger, jealousy, bitterness, judgment, cursing, malice, vindictiveness?
My ouside demeanor may remain calm and poised, but what about my inside? Yashua said to the Pharisees, “woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you make clean the outside of the cup and the platter, but within they are full of extortation and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.”
Are we like the little boy who was told by his father to sit down and be quiet when he obviously had an opinion he wanted to share. His response to his father was, “okay, I’ll sit down and be quiet, but I’m standing up on the inside!”
How do we get to the place where our inside and our outside match? Yahsua said the world would know that we are His disciples by the love we have for one another. This kind of love that is a witness to the world of the One we honor and obey is an “inside/outside clean cup love. Another way to say is that our words and our actions match our heart.
James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to YHVH. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
If we heed the warning, “are you sure you want to say that,” and we hold our tongue we are submitting ourself to YHVH; the first part of the admonition of James is accomplished! But there is more, the resisting the devil part. To resist the devil is to let the emotion that is encircling the words running through our heads go with the warning, “are you sure you want to say that?” If we do then the promise of James 4:7 will be ours; and he, the devil, will flee from you.
I know I am not alone in this, as Steve and I travel from place to place visiting fellowships across the country there is a repeated pattern that is becoming all to familiar. We may hold our tongue from Lashon Hara, the outside of our cup may be sparkling clean, but the evidence points to the fact that the inside is under heavy attack. Not being able or not choosing to let our negative emotions come into submission allows the devil to have easy access into our marriage, our children our friends our fellowship. He is not fleeing because we are not resisting the need to nurse our emotions of anger or resentment or hate or jealousy or strife or contentions or rejection or…and the list goes on. If the Father in His love and mercy gives you a warning, “are you sure you want to say that?” and we refrain from verbally saying what is on our mind, but we carry on with the conversation in our inward parts indulging in anger or resentment or any other negative emotion, then we have not won the battle; the enemy has not been resisted and he has not fled from us.
I believe true submission is always to The Father. It is recorded of Yashua in John 5:19 that the Son can do nothing of himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.
Have we beheld Yashua? If the answer to that question is yes then we will be doing the works of Yashua with the fruit of the Ruach haKodesh, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control as evidence of our submitted, victorious life.