Fresh Hope – 29th May 2019

Have you ever bitten into a chocolate that was bland and boring on the outside, but rich, textured, and layered on the inside? Or maybe gone to a restaurant that looked really average from the outside, but served incredible food inside? Or maybe finished a book that was so much better than it looked?

I want what is on the inside, to be better than what is seen on the outside. I want a private life that is even better than my public life. I want what happens behind the closed doors of my home, to be even better than what others see on the outside. I want the inner state of my soul, to be more beautiful than any outward attraction. I want the health of what is unseen to overflow to what is seen.

I want to have a powerful private life. By “private life” I mean the inner parts of our lives that no one else sees. This may be your home, your heart, your mind, your relationships with those close to you, and above all, God.

The thing with what we eat is that at some point it will show on your body. What is consumed in private will certainly show in public one day. We can secretly consume our snacks and have our private binges, but at some point, it will show.

Equally, if we eat with discipline and exercise consistently, our bodies will manifest what has taken place in private. My point is that whatever we cultivate in inner world flows into our outer world.

Unfortunately today we have the order reversed. Many focus on outer appearances and projects first, paying little attention to the inner workings of their lives. Things like their home, mind, emotions, heart condition, and their close relationships are placed secondary to things of outward importance.

God is a God who works from the inside out. Like a tree that bares outward fruit only by the tree digging its hidden roots deep down, to nourish our private life we must be established in the springs of the Spirit of God, the Word of God, and in a life of prayer – things that aren’t seen and hardly celebrated. We may not get a public praise for these things, but by extending our roots deep in these things privately, we can become productive and authentic people in public.

As Isaiah would say, as the remnant would take root downward that they might bear fruit upward, so believers today need to do the same in their person lives (Isaiah 37:31).

Our public life consists of various works, service, labour, ministry, and personal activities, but it is our private world which becomes the fountain of supply and foundation of support (Psalm 36:9, Proverbs 4:23). It is our private time alone with God and his word that nourishes the inner world of our spiritual lives, which then governs the outer world.

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.