On “Looking Within”

I’ve heard a lot of talk from the chat shows, magazines, and self-help gurus about how we are supposed to “look within ourselves” for answers to all of life’s problems.It sounds really nice, and because we want to believe such a thing a true, it is easy to accept such a statement without thinking on it too much.However, next time you hear of or consider such a philosophy, check it against the Word of God:”O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). According to the Bible, we are incapable of directing our own steps. The Bible admonishes us that:”There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov 14:12, Prov 16:25)Since we cannot lead ourselves, we follow after whatever has the greatest influence over us. The only real choice we have is to chose what influences us — we are able to choose what we are most exposed to.Whatever we choose to spend the most time doing, watching, listening to, and thinking about will have sway over our hearts.As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Prov 23:7Stay aware of what you are spending time on. Is it something that builds up the spirit or builds up the flesh.What is the biggest influence in your life? Is it God’s Word or the world?The world is blinded and does not have the answer:Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him (John 14:17)If our primary influence is the world, then we are under satan’s influence:In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:4)Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44)God has given us the capability to choose, the alternative to choose, and the strength to choose. Paul explains in Romans the two natures:Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. (Romans 8:5-15)The truth is not found by looking within ourselves or looking to the world.The truth is in continually and repeatedly feeding ourselves on God’s Word. The more Word we have in our hearts, the more our minds will be set on what the Spirit desires. This makes us more sensitive to being led by His Spirit. Then we are His children in Christ and He is our Father.