Change from the inside out requires that we take an unsettling look into ourselves that thoroughly disrupts our complacency. That look begins with an understanding of God’s moral requirements and how far short we fall in our efforts to keep them. (page 235)
In fact, all of the Old Testament is consumed with a man trying to be moral to reach God on his (her) own. Yet, it is not until the New Testament in which the Son of God (Jesus Christ) obeys His Father, and comes down to be born of a virgin and eventually die on a horrible cross only to be raised three days through the power of the God the Father. Under the new covenant (testament), however, people do not need continual sacrifices in order to keep up with God’s moral requirements. Instead, Jesus Christ was the perfect lamb as required in the Old Testament. Let us go on…
Dr. Crabb writes,
Every Sunday morning, churches are filled with aching hearts and resolute wills. Most file out the door with their ache more carefully hidden and their demanding wills better disguised as legitimate. But if Sharon, or any of us, is to experience the healing power of the gospel, we must feel our pain and face our sin. Nothing is more difficult.
But just as smooth skin lies beneath the diseased skin, so the basis for real joy is hidden beneath unbearable suffering. First, the bad skin must be burned. Labor precedes birth. Life after death. That’s always the order since Eden. And pain embraced is proportionate to joy celebrated. People who only feel only a little of their disappointment and face only a little of their sin experience only a little of the joy available to them in Christ. (page 238)
I have met people who say they want to be used of God, and crying out to God at youth seminars, retreats, and summer camps that they would do anything to spread His Word. Often, when they become an adult, they think that God will give them a pass for “foolish” stuff they promised as a teenager, and sadly, that was an emotional calling they put on themselves when emotions were high. Yet, since they did make a promise or vow to God, God remembers it. I remember several promises I made to God that I still struggle with handing it over to Him. But, I do remember being eighteen after my near fatalistic car accident being completely useless and handing my life over to God; for it was shortly after I awoke out of my one-month coma (see The Birth of True Life Christianity under MENU) where I was forced to make a decision to go with God or totally denounce Him. I had quickly ran through the examples from the Bible such as Job and Jonah, and I decided I wanted to be different. I decided I wanted to go with receiving the full blessings whatever disappointments I may go through here in this life to receive the full blessings in Jesus Christ.
Under Releasing the New Life Within on page 241, Dr. Larry Crabb writes this to close out this wonderful book:
Many of us live our lives without ever tapping into the “good stuff,” without ever seeing our weathered, cancerous skin become smooth as a baby’s cheek. Because we refuse to apply the ointment that burns off the diseased crust …
If you long to discover the energy of Christ within you, to change from the inside out by releasing the new life within your soul, then you must do three things: (1) surrender to God, (2) take an inside look in the safety of loving community, and (3) develop the spiritual sensitivity necessary to recognize the promptings of God’s Spirit as He stimulates the Godly desires of your new heart.
Click on these links to gain a fuller understanding of what God’s will is for your life: