People think they’ll find truth and good things by looking within themselves. Jesus said otherwise. This is what you’ll find.

One writer said one step to happiness is to label our negative feelings. Let’s go one further: one step to the joy of being forgiven is to recognize and confess the evil in our hearts and the sinful practices of the flesh.

Focus question: What things lurk in my life that defile me and prevent me from fellowship with God?

O Soul, if your heart is discontent, nowhere will you be content. You can change jobs. You can change your surroundings. You can move to a different location. You might even go to another congregation. But your inner self must discover its God and its gift. Your calling remains, even when you ignore it. Inside, you know, deep down, what it is. Find it again. Hear the call. Let Jesus draw you toward himself. Find again your reason for getting out of bed in the morning. Rediscover your path to purpose. See the glory of God.

O Soul, do not trust in self. You do not have the strength nor wisdom. You cannot know yourself. Your heart is deceitful, even to yourself. From the heart rise evil thoughts. Sin lurks ever near the surface. The father of lies controls this world and the hearts of men. Trust in the Lord. Forsake your self-confidence to seek his power and truth. Call every day upon him. Let him see your tears. Let him hear your pleas. Confess your weakness. Admit your ignorance. Place every need within his hand. He will care for you. Obey the Lord, and he will give you peace and love.

Let the inner person encompass the outer self and the self’s interests and activities. From the heart to the circumference make the direction flow. If the starting point is somewhere other than the inner person — and the inner person, it must be said, controlled by the Spirit of God — there is no chance of unity and integrity of being. There will only be a partial collection of the self, and the mind will feel the self’s disconnectedness. Even many saints of God, by their lack of prayer and meditation upon the Word of God, live a disjointed existence. The presence of God must be poured into the soul by the spiritual means of prayer, Scripture, and the community of disciples. From his presence flow unity which binds all of one’s existence and peace which no jarring threat can disrupt.