Facing inward, these ingrown spirits feed on their own glory—a glory that is toxic. Our own glory may be sweet in our mouths, but it grows sour in the stomach. It never nourishes us, and it always is bitter and fatal in the end.
If you have ever read this haunting poem by Stephen Crane, you probably have never forgotten it:
In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter—bitter,” he answered;
“But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart.”
It is the beautiful and miraculous work of God’s Spirit to invert our ingrown spirits and to turn us right-side-out. Having been opened up into outward-facing spirits, like flowers whose faces are fully turned to the sun, we now feed on His radiant Glory, a Glory which is life and health and forever-sweetness to us.