Train-Develop-Care: from the Inside Out

What if each of us lived life inside out, from an understanding that what lies deep within is what fuels our work to advance the gospel?

Before David was king of Israel, he was just a boy with a heart for God. From the outside, he appeared too weak, small, and insignificant to be considered king-worthy. But Samuel’s words spoke prophetic conviction and hope when he anointed David as king: “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7, NIV).”   

We all tend to prize shiny external things that make life simpler, more comfortable, or more fun. The bright flash of control, protection, accomplishment, and comfort lures our hearts away from intimate abiding in God and into ruinous self-sufficiency—like a trout that can’t help striking a shiny lure. 

Samuel’s words also speak prophetic conviction for God’s people. Because God looks at the heart, not the exterior, the pressure for performance is off. In Jesus, we are safe and free to be vulnerable and honest. He is right there, working beside us in the middle of difficulty, for our good. As Larry Crabb says, “We cannot always make life work, but we can always draw near to God. There is a new way to live.” It’s living from the inside out.  

David wrote many heart-songs of how God trained his hands (Psalm 144), developed his character and leadership (Psalm 25), and cared for his person (Psalm 23). In each instance, God was also using David’s training, development, and care as context for drawing David’s heart into deeper abiding intimacy with him, igniting David’s passion for Him alone. David grew to walk from the inside out with deepening humility and vulnerability before God, right in the midst of his daily life and responsibilities. 

We in TDC desire Navigator Training, Developing, and Caring to be spaces not for growing self-sufficiency or even making us more efficient or competent performers for God. We want to see God use our training, developing, and care giving as three pathways to the same goal of deepening our heart’s intimacy with, and passion for, Jesus above all else. We want our life and ministry together to be grounded and set free in the confident hope of Christ alive in each of us from the inside out. 

(originally published 07-06-2020 in NavWeekly)

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