‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ Romans 12:2
I’m sure many have seen a business or organization weaken itself from the inside. I’ve experienced first-hand places of employment where there was a lot of bickering about management, gossip against one another, exploitation of some for the benefit of others. The result lowered morale and decreased productivity. All the while management hide their heads in the sand and pretended all was fine.
I was in seminary and saw red flags waving all over the place! There was inequality in the treatment of students. Favouritism that promoted students into stations that were beyond their training and experience. Privileges and freedom were both given or revoked in leadership and responsibilities. This happened in a place we would not expect these types of actions to happen. The sad thing was, that when it emerges among God’s people, it is even more discouraging and frustrating. It can also have lasting effects on how pastors respond to their own flock when given the responsibility. Many times, what has been taught in seminary is reflected in the way churches are led. Many a saint has be destroyed by “friendly fire” from inside the church.
Sadly, we have all had situations where we were blessed in the worship service, and before we could get to the door; we heard something negative said about it. The enemy has people on the inside for the sole purpose of putting out the fire. When the people of God start to praise Him, there is always somebody trying to quiet the praise. We must stay alert, because the enemy wants to shut us down. Every year there are churches that are shutting their doors, because the fire has been put out.
Even sadder is when we as Christians stand up for what we believe in as children of God. It may be for a fellow Christian or a situation that needs to be addressed and because of a raised voice and an unwillingness to listen we find our very Christianity challenged. We are left to lament what might have been, Certainly, there was no resolution or outcome.
All of the situations mentioned above are “An Inside Job” because the opposition came from within.
People on the inside of something know things, and have access to places, that others do not. And that’s a principle of life: What, or who, is on the inside is one of the most important determinants or detriments to living our lives in Christ.
For me the most shocking and numbing inside job was when the rulers of God’s people Israel set out to commit or “decide” – the murder of their own God! The religious leaders of the day were bothered that Jesus and decided that He did not follow the practice of the Law, as they interpreted it. The Pharisees got hung up on the surface issues while not noticing that standing in front of them condemned by their interpretation of God’s Law was the Saviour who had come to fulfil the law and often them salvation.
Who would have figured that the murder of Jesus Christ would be an “inside job?” How could it be that the nation specially chosen by God would conspire to kill God’s Son, the Saviour of the world?
Here’s a thought, perhaps the return of Christ is an inside job, then? But this inside job is different. Our salvation experience transforms within our very heart and soul and we change looking always to spending eternity with Christ in His kingdom. It’s an inside job and it has happened within us.
To be honest, I’m relieved. I would much rather it be about a change that happens on the inside since that’s the only place lasting fulfilment can truly manifest. We must bear in mind that a change within the soul has far more meaning than any external event. Deep within the word of God has penetrated our soul and we have made the choice to follow God.
Why is there a need for us to change on the inside? It is because this journey of faith and life is meant to be transformative, and it begins within – we will become ever more like Christ.
We therefore need to understand that it is an inside job, yet at the same time there are people that are trying to pour water on our fire. As long as we don’t give up, they will not be successful, and the fire will spread! The Holy Spirit is working in us to transform us, while at the same time working through us to transform the world.
It’s an inside job—but it doesn’t stay there.