Summary: Show the importance of looking on the inside.
An Inside Job
Theme: Show the importance of looking on the inside.
Text: Romans 12:2
with help from "Ordering Your Private World" by Gordon McDonald
Rom 12:2 NKJV And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
In other words Paul is saying, If we, “Fix our attention on God we will be changed from the inside out."
Spray paint won’t fix rust.
A Band-Aid won’t remove a tumor.
Wax on the hood won’t cure the cough of a motor.
If it is an inside job it is an inside job.
It didn’t take us long to learn this lesson when we got the new alarm system at the parsonage. It was close to a week that we had had the alarm. We were sleeping cozy late one night. I was probably getting the best sleep of my life. Then suddenly, out of the blue, I heard this loud siren. Over and over again. Talking about getting scared out of your wits. I hate being woke up in the middle of the night. Even more I hate it being to a loud noise.
So quickly I got out of bed and went to the alarm to disarm it. If the alarm wasn’t enough noise the phone rings. Just to make sure that that last child who was still sound asleep woke up. On the other end was the operator asking if there was problem and for my pass code.
To be honest I didn’t know. As far as I knew there was a thief in the house. Downstairs we have a motion detector that automatically sounds the alarm when it senses and intruder. Thoughts rushed through my mind. Someone had came into the basement door. Someone had broken a window and was coming up stairs.
The lady on the phone called the police. The police arrived. I let them know that someone could be downstairs. They searched the basement to no avail. This was not the only time either. It happened at least twice more. Have you ever been woken to the deafening sound of a siren. Boy it is a sound you won’t quickly forget.
Finally after three startled nights and one with no alarm on. It is amazing how peaceful you slept with no alarm before. Yet when you get a system and have to turn it off for one night then you have these terrible thoughts.
Well come to find out when the technician came it was a simple wiring problem. One of the contacts downstairs was loose. He replaced it and went on.
There was not intruder. It was an inside problem. At the times many things crossed my mind as I listen to the blaring alarm expect that it could be an inside problem.
Inside problem blamed on outside source
Yet am I the only one who has been mistaken by this? Am I the only one who blames the inside problem on an outside source?
Alarms has probably sounded in your world as well. Maybe not the blaring sirens or the calling operator, but problems and pain. The purpose is to signal imminent danger. As a warning sign warning of the bridge out, so in the alarms in our lives that signal danger up ahead.
A fit of anger is a red flare. Uncontrolled debt is a flashing light. A guilty conscience is a warning signs indicating trouble within. Icy relationships are posted notices announcing anything from neglect to abuse.
Do you know where I am coming from? Those pesky alarms. When they do go off, what do you do? Let us be honest today, hasn’t there been a time when you heard the alarm and went outside for an inside solution?
Maybe we blame the government for our financial problems. Our family because we are so lonely. You maybe have even called God to account for your problems. (If he is God, why doesn’t he heal my marriage, take away this pain, fix this problem.) How about the church, how many has blamed the church the pastor?
Illustration of Golfer
Maybe you have heard the story of the golfer who was about to hit his first shot on the first hole. He swung and missed the ball. Swung again and whiffed again. Tried a third time and still hit nothing but air. In frustration he looked at his buddies and judged, “Man, this is a tough course.”
He may have been right. The course may have been tough. But that wasn’t his problem. Your circumstances may be a great challenge but blaming them is not the solution. Nor is neglecting them. You can’t silence alarms in your life by pretending that they are not screaming at you.