Weekly Wisdoms for the week of October 3, 2022
In Acts 4, Peter and John were brought to the rulers and elders of the people (v. 8) to be questioned by them. But when Peter and John came to those people, who were Jews, they were astonished [by Peter and John] and they took note that these men had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). In other words, the Jews could tell that Peter and John had spent time with Jesus simply by the way they lived.
Indeed, Jesus had so changed their lives that an "aroma" of God was coming from them. Having that "aroma" requires being like Christ, and the only way that we can become Christ-like is if we abide and dwell in God's presence--and doing that requires a conscious decision. You must decide to practice His presence!
Also, by being in God's presence, we will bear good spiritual fruit. In John 15:5, Jesus promises, "If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit." In other words, by spending time with God you will develop valuable spiritual fruit. Then, the world will see your fruit and recognize that you have been with Jesus.
In addition, when you spend time in God's presence, you will experience an increase in your joy, contentment, peace, and satisfaction. Specifically, David told the Lord, in Your presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11, AMP). Clearly, God will pour joy into your life when you spend time in His presence. Then, you can take that joy and show it to those around you.
There are great changes that can occur when you spend time with God. In God's presence is the only place where you can become more like Christ. Then, once God has changed you, the world will be astonished and see that you have been with Jesus.
In Psalm 24:3, David ponders, "Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place?" Then, he answers: "He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior" (Psalm 24:4-5).
Here, David tells us that in order to stand before the Lord, you must have "clean hands and a pure heart." Such inner purity results in a "blessing from the Lord and vindication from God." What an excellent reward for keeping a pure heart!
Intuitively, to have God's power flowing through you requires a clear "path" through which it can flow. In other words, if you want God's power to be working in your life, you must keep a clean conscience and a pure heart. It's no surprise, then, that Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God" (Matthew 5:8).
Having outer, visible power requires having a developed, mature inner life. A believer who tries to have a powerful outer life but lacks that pure inner life is like a tree with lots of branches that lacks roots. When the storm comes and the winds blow, the tree topples, because it has no roots. Likewise, you must develop solid "roots" in your inner life, if you ever want to bear strong, stable fruit in your outer life.
Similarly, in Colossians 2:6-7, Paul instructed the early Christians to be "rooted and built up in [Christ], strengthened in the faith as you were taught." We too, need to be rooted and grounded in God.
King David also knew the importance of inner purity. After he had ordered the murder of Uriah and committed adultery with Bathsheba (see 2 Samuel 11), he obviously lacked inner purity. However, in Psalm 51:10, David asked God to cleanse him: "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." His desire for inner purity was necessary before he could "receive blessing from the Lord."
Since inner purity results in outer power, I challenge you to take David's prayer and make it your own.
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All scripture quotations are in italics. Some portions of scripture have been placed in bold by the author for emphasis.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION©. NIV©. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (AMP) are taken from the Amplified Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.