Where is the Beauty that Brings Rest?
Lie #3 – “Pampering/indulging my body will bring true rest to my life.”
As women I feel we are especially prone to believing the above lie, especially since our media is filled with images of products and services alongside restful women which sustain this lie. I have to admit that even in the sheltered environment in which I live in on our hobby farm, I can still be bombarded by images that reinforce the lie that indulging the outside of my body will bring rest to my soul – even images seen years ago in my past have the habit of creeping in and disquieting me.
Listen to what 1 Peter 3:3-4 states about self-adornment/indulgence:
Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
What 1 Peter 3 teaches is that the beauty on the inside - not the outside - is to be refined. Whether we like it or not, each of our outward veneers keep on decaying while our inward spiritual make ups cannot be corrupted, because they are hidden in our hearts.
It is this inward beauty that God considers the most precious and of highest value; specifically, as stated in 1 Peter 3, a gentle and quiet spirit. Look at what the Greek definition of these three key words translate into:
“gentle” = meek/humble
“quiet” = peaceable
“spirit” = reasoning
Therefore, all you perceive, feel, & desire (your reasoning) should done in a humble & peaceable state.
Additionally, 1 Corinthians 6:19 states:
“…your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own.”
Yesterday I was reading through Exodus and the building of the tabernacle and the Spirit struck me with the following thought: God was doing something new. Up until the time of the building of the tabernacle God did not dwell, except in heaven (I use that term loosely as not in a specific place, but in the broader sense that defines where God and the heavenly realm are dwelling) and wherever He chose to reveal Himself. Also, at that same time all of the other nations had replacements or idols that personified their gods as an object or substitution for worship. Never before had a nation conceived of the indwelling of God Himself in their midst, but God was up to something new. In the same way, after Jesus died and the Holy Spirit was given as a gift to all who believe on Jesus Christ and His work on the cross, God was again at work in something new relating to His dwelling place. As 1 Corinthians 6 states, God’s new “temple” or “dwelling place” is in each of us who believe and trust in Jesus as our Savior.
If you can hang in here with me a couple more steps I promise to bring this full circle. Did you also know that the Greek word used for “abide” can also be translated into “to dwell”? And to take that a step further, reading John 15 where Jesus talks about the vine and the branches and our need to abide in Him and Him to abide in us He says: “These things I have spoken to you that My joy may remain in you and that you may be full/complete.”
So here we are, having taken the long way around the block, we finally come to the point that of dispelling the lie I stated above. It is not the outward improvements to our bodies that will bring us the feeling of completeness/fullness/joy/restfulness. Rather, it is the internal improvements we make efforts to imbed in our spiritual relationship with God, those which can never perish if they are hidden in our hearts, improvements that bring joy and rest.
I bet you are wondering how this all fits in with my house story, well here is the story. During the final days of our selling process, I was on the phone with our realtor and she said to me. “I just want you to know something my assistant said about you. She told me you were the most agreeable client we have ever had.”
Now I am not telling you about this conversation to brag. What my realtor’s assistant saw was not me, but rather the inner peace and beauty of God shining through me. God saw the ugly parts of me that I brought to Him every time I did not feel agreeable about how the situation was going, yet each time I submitted to Him and allowed Him to dwell and work from within me as He worked out the situation for His glory. If I had believed the today's lie and at those times instead made and appointment to get my nails done or go out and buy a new outfit, I would have avoided pursuing the inner reconstructive surgery God needed to do on my heart. It was only through His removing and refilling that I was able to not only find the rest I was looking for, but also become more beautiful in the process.
Don’t let the enemy steal away your real beauty today. Pursue God and an inner beauty that will always bring you joy, that will never decay, and that will be pleasing to God.