“From within” (A reflection by Fr. Ogoe based on Mark 7:21-23)

What is man? From the earliest times, man has posed this important question. Attempts have been made up to the present day (with significant success) to define man – to study his being and behavior. Whatever the outcome of anthropological studies and their different schools of thought, all would agree that there is a certain “mystery” about man – especially man considered as a person. There seems to be a whole mysterious world within man himself. There is a rich, vast world within him which only he can and should explore. In this sense, therefore, the individual person knows himself better than anyone else. That is how special every person is, and God the creator intended it this way. Only God and the individual person are witnesses to this mysterious inner world of man (cf. Ps 139:1-16; John 2:25).

Originally, the inner world of man was under the complete control of God and his righteousness. As a result Adam was in complete control of himself. But when Satan appeared, a lot changed. From the time he deceived our first parents every man has experienced a tension within, a certain battle of opposing forces. The inner (inside) world of every person has since become a battle field, because Satan has found a way to invade our very private world (our conscience, our heart, our mind, our consciousness and so forth). The battle within is beyond man’s strength. If he is going to win the war within, he ought to surrender his “inner castle” to Jesus Christ. Anyone who is willing to regain control of his inner world must be willing to “change the settings.” He must be willing to invite Christ to restructure his world. Simply put, he must surrender to Christ for interior renewal – renewal from within (cf. Rom 12:1-2).

In concrete terms, how does this renewal of the inner man take place? Simple. By letting God plant his Law in their hearts. God renews us from within by gifting us with his Holy Spirit who bends our wills to God and enables us to keep his commandments (cf. Ezekiel 36:26-27). What you sow in your heart will determine the outcome of the interior battle. If you let the Holy Spirit govern your conscience with God’s commandments, you are on the winning side. If, instead, you let your ego govern your inner self, you are headed for ruin.

Numerous times in the Scriptures you hear that the secret to man’s victory is by keeping God’s commandments (like a treasure in one’s heart; cf. Ps 19: 8-12; 119:10-16). Yes, if you let the Law of the Lord govern your interior kingdom (your thinking, your decisions, and your conscience) you will become a winner. Goodness, truth, nobility, beauty and righteousness will flow from within you. People will see your wisdom. They will see the godly in you. It is from within people that evil is conceived. Equally, it is from within people that goodness is born. As Scripture says: “The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil man, out of his evil treasure brings forth evil (Matt 12:35).

Dear friend, the truth here is that winners are born from within by the Spirit of God. You are born to succeed from within. You are destined to bring forth goodness. Today, as you take a look inside yourself, I invite you to surrender your inner life to Christ the King that your beauty and goodness will shine forth. Please say the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, you know me from within. You want me to be beautiful within. Forgive the sins by which I have profaned my inner sanctuary. I acknowledge you as my Lord and Savior. Let the Law of your Spirit shine within me, now and forever. Amen.

 

Published by

Stephen

Motivationa speaker and spiritual teacher.

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