I received a daily devotion by email from World Challenge and it got my mind thinking. Thank you Gary Wilkerson for your insight. I want to share parts of it in the following.
One thing that every person wants is to be whole. We want to feel confident in who we are and the purpose for our lives. Christians and people of all ages ask the questions: Who am I? What is my purpose in life? What am I called to?
It may seem strange, but part of the answers can be found in a very harsh statement Jesus made just before His death:
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.” (Matthew 23:25-26 NLT)
Many of us only live in the area of our mind, but there are things that are deep in our heart that need to be cleansed. We can quote scriptures that God loves and accepts us, and we’re forgiven and cleansed in the blood. We can believe these things in our minds, but our heart is telling us a different story.
If we don’t see God correctly or trust Him, we won’t allow Him into the deepest parts of our hearts that need healing and cleansing. Very simply, just like the above Scripture points to, we don’t let God clean the inside of our cup.
Someone who has allowed Jesus to start working on the inside of their cup can go through horrible external situations and still be unmoved in their faith because their identity is truly in God. Let’s start allowing Jesus to examine the inside of our cup. Let’s trust Him enough to allow Him to start lifting painful, broken things out of us and restoring us so that we have room for the peace and power He’s longing to put inside us. We all want that, right?
Let’s move on from the above message and look at how to pursue having the inside of our cup cleansed. It starts with looking at another unlikely portion of Scripture for the first part of the answer:
“As it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.” (Philippians 1:20-24 ESV)
This is the litmus test to see if you are truly a sincere Christian. We are all afraid of possibly dying a horrible, painful death. But that is not what this is about. The process of dying and death are two entirely different things. Can you honestly say, like Paul, that your desire is to depart from this world and be with Christ and what lies beyond dying is gain? Or are you so attached to this world and the temporary riches it offers? Paul left it in the Lord’s hands to determine if his work on earth was finished or not. He would glorify and honor Christ until it was determined by God.
If you passed that litmus test, it now comes down to prayer,fasting, and relinquishing YOUR WILL:
And going a little farther He fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Again, for the second time, He went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Your will be done.” (Matthew 26:39, 42 ESV)
Is your cup being cleansed and healed with God’s peace and power?