Outer Activity vs. Inner Activity

As believers, each of us has been given a unique calling by God. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Oftentimes, we get so focused on these external works that we neglect a very important part of God’s calling on our lives—our heart.

When we’re only fixated on seeing the external parts of God’s purposes come to pass, we can get impatient quickly. We complain, “God, I don’t see anything happening! What are You doing?” We tend to get discouraged when our dreams don’t manifest themselves overnight. After all, if there isn’t any evidence of purpose on the outside, are we truly walking out the calling God has given us?

The answer, of course, is yes. What God wants us to see is that, even when there’s nothing seemingly happening on the outside, He is always working on the inside. In fact, He’s more concerned with what’s happening on the inside. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’” God is more concerned with what He sees—or, perhaps, doesn’t see—in our hearts.

Why is this more important to Him? Because without character, we can’t step into the external purposes He’s created us for. Even if we try, we won’t be able to maintain those purposes for very long if our hearts aren’t healthy and holy. God knows character is what we need for where we’re going. That’s why it’s first on His priority list, above anything you and I can do.

Are external works still important to God? Of course! Reread Ephesians 2:10: God literally had all of your days planned out before you were ever created. He loves the plans He has for you. And yet, His main concern—even more than you fulfilling that dream that He’s called you to carry out—is that your heart is centered on Him first and foremost.

So…is there internal activity happening in your life? Is the Holy Spirit free to convict, redeem, and transform your heart?

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