Matters of Faith: From the Inside Out

Rev. J_Loren RussellFrom the Inside Out

by Rev. Dr. J. Loren Russell


There is a book that I read periodically called, Leadership from the Inside Out by Kevin Cashman. I re-read it when I think I’m getting distracted, or when a change is pending in my life that potentially will alter my present reality. In the dedication he writes; “This book is dedicated to those rare leaders who have the courage to commit to authentic personal transformation in order to enrich the world around them.” From experience, I can say that this is an ambitious and powerful objective, one that requires the very best one has to offer. You can’t enrich or bless others, let alone the world, if you are not first courageous, committed, and completely transformed.


The truth of the matter is that we are all striving to be our best. In one way or another, everyone wants the best from themselves and those in and around us. The fact that you’re reading this column indicates your desire to be better. If you’ve read any article in this column before, you already know that every article provides encouragement. Your anticipation is that there will be something in this article that will enhance your life spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, and/or personally.


The thing that keeps us from being the best we can be, from being who God created us to be, to be our authentic selves, is our bondage to sin. Bondage to sin in the flesh, sin in the spirit, sin in the heart, sin in our thoughts, and sin in our deeds. We desire freedom from this prison. But that liberating freedom only comes through transformation. Paul wrote, “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NLT).


Paul says that the only lasting and meaningful transformation occurs from the inside, when the Holy Spirit of the living God lives within us. With this transformation comes freedom, freedom for all those things that prevent us from being the best we can be. When He dwells within us, He brings out the best in us because He made us. He knows who lives deep within the recess of our heart; the one who dreamed of changing the world; the one who hopes all things, believes all things, and is willing to attempt great things for a great God.


That’s why the Bible says that the Holy Spirit in us “makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.” The changes He makes are not superficial! They are not for show! His changes are for real! They are permanent! They are unchangeable! They are Irrevocable! They are from the inside out!


Be blessed +++


Rev. J. Loren Russell, BS, M.Div., is an associate minister at both Goodwill Baptist and Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx.

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