Many times, the same is true for our spiritual lives. We ask God to provide for us things that will make us seem healthier, happier or more Christ-like on the outside instead of asking Him to help us work on who we are on the inside—which will then affect who we are on the outside. We ask for temporary outward things like new cars, more money, more friends or fame instead of asking for things that will strengthen our relationship with Christ like wisdom, discernment, contentedness, or the passion to seek Him and to do His will.
Luke 16:15 says, “Then He said to [the Pharisees], ‘You like to look good in public, but God knows your evil hearts. What this world honors is an abomination in the sight of God.’” In this verse, Jesus is telling the Pharisees that, although they seem to be good on the outside, God knows who they are on the inside and that the approval of the world is an outrage to God.
Because we live in a world where the way someone looks, dresses, talks, and who they hang out with come across as being the methods for hapiness, I’d argue that this generation has grown up believing that, in order to achieve happiness, one must appease the outside in order for the inside to be satisfied. However, just the opposite is true. In order for us to have a true and meaningful relationship with Christ, we can’t just look like we have that relationship (although, living the life is important), we must also allow God to work on us from the inside.
Do you find yourself asking God to provide for you things that only affect who you are on the outside? While God does definitely provide things for us that are temporary, if we really want to put up a defense against temptation and strengthen our relationship with Christ, we must allow Him to fix who we are on the inside. Sadly, just like the popular kids were trying to use an external solution for an internal problem, many of us focus our energy on satisfying our outward self with temporary solutions. When the outward solution wares off, we wonder and complain to God because we are left feeling empty and misled by the world’s promises. Throughout your day, ask God to help purify who you are on the inside and you will find that the outside will become satisfied.