Thursday, April 18, 2013

Becoming Beautiful on the Inside ~ by Sophia


If you were to have asked me a few years ago if I loved Jesus and wanted to glorify Him, I would have immediately said, “Yes!” Although this is what I said I wanted, my life played out a different allegiance.

It started with one of Satan’s craftiest and most effective lies for girls, “You aren’t beautiful.” Listening to Satan is one thing, but I began to wholeheartedly believe him. “It’s true,” I thought, “I’m not beautiful.”

I was ashamed of how ugly I thought I was, and I was set out to change myself and the way I looked in order to be the most beautiful and outwardly adored girl on the planet. The skinnier I became, the more beautiful I thought I was. For months I pursued my passion to become beautiful, only to discover I couldn’t attain it, no praise was enough praise, and no one cared enough. Outward beauty became my idol. And because it became that, Jesus was shoved to the side…I would go to church and all, but I had no love for Him, no passion for His glory; I was miserable, depressed and lonely.

Jesus tells us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Matthew 22:37)

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at (the) appearance or at the height of stature…for the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Jesus wants our hearts to be beautiful before Him. It doesn’t mean much to be beautiful on the outside, but it takes His help for a heart transformation to occur and for us to be beautiful girls on the inside; girls that radiate Him.

A truly beautiful girl is one who is grounded on Jesus, whose relationship with Him changes every aspect of her life; whose passion is for Him alone, and one whose heart cares for the things that He cares about.

 “But on this one will I look (says the Lord): on him who is poor (humble) and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.”
Isaiah 66:2b

“He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.” John 7:18

 “Do not let your beauty be that outward adorning of arranging the hair, of wearing gold, or of putting on fine apparel; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

After many months of living my precious idol, there came a point where I was so sick, so downtrodden, so incredibly depressed, that life didn’t seem to matter anymore. And it was in that time when there was no one else to turn to but Jesus, that He showed me exactly what I had done. I had put something temporal before Him, Who was supposed to be my Everything. I truly saw that the world cannot satisfy you, only Jesus can. It was a long journey after that of His grace leading me to repentance, Him breaking my prideful and selfish attitude, and destroying my idol; but to this day, I see it as one of the best things that could have happened to me. Jesus showed me that my quest for beauty should belong on the inside. He showed me that He is SO worthy to be sought after and that His promise to reward those who seek Him is true. And He has set me free from that bondage I was in.

 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

It takes faith to throw off all else and cling to Jesus; to forsake the world’s outward quest for
beauty (which doesn’t fulfill you) and pursue the creation of inward beauty. But this beauty lasts! And it pleases and brings God glory!
  
One of my favorite sentences in Psalms is found in Psalm 66:12, where it says, “…But you brought us out to rich fulfillment.” That has been so true in my life! When my passion is Jesus and my heart is longing to become beautiful for Him, He honors that desire; He brings me to a place of rich fulfillment in Him!

 “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”
Psalm 9:10

“Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.”
Matthew 5:8

God lead me through some very tearful, hard times of surrender that were necessary because my heart was dirty with all the idols and sin that I had allowed to grow there. A beautiful heart doesn’t come overnight; I have to daily ask for God’s grace to help in developing it.

Even lately, I’ve discovered that even though sometimes I think I have it…God shows me just how needy I am, and just how sinful my heart it; He leads me back to the place where I realize that in my own flesh I can’t be beautiful on the inside. It is an everyday work of God, a work that continues on thorough my life.  

What is your heart passion? Are you striving to be beautiful on the outside, while ignoring God’s pleading for a heart that is beautiful?

“Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you…and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”  1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20

He has given us His precious Son that we might be reconciled to Him. He has given everything that we might be found to have His righteousness, experience the joy that He brings and be filled with His power and presence! He is so worthy!

3 comments:

  1. Praise God for the wonderful and beautiful things He is doing in you, my friend, it is so encouraging to read. Thanks so much for sharing this! Love you Sophia! <3

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  2. This is beautiful Sophia! Thank you ever so much for sharing! Jesus is SO good! I love you sweet friend!

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  3. What an encouraging post, Sophia! Thank you so much for sharing your heart...I know beauty is something I've really struggled with, so this was such a huge encouragment. Thanks! Love you!

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