I previously have written on The Seven Longings of the Human Heart, a book we read for class. I wanted to write again on a second chapter that I found equally intriguing. The second point that really struck me was 'the longing for beauty'. Although I have tried to compose paragraphs, these are like mini sound bites of my thoughts mixed with quotes from the book. I hope you hear my heart, or more importantly I pray you hear God's heart.
The heart is a God-designed void created to be filled with the beauty of God and to reflect this beauty. The beautiful God made His favorite creations to be beautiful. Wow! We are to reflect God’s own beauty. Also, we were created to long to possess beauty and to gaze upon it. I so see this part of the God given longing filled in so many illegitimate ways in our society.
In His ultimate design, revelation of God’s beauty has two dimensions: the beauty of Jesus as our Bridegroom, and the beauty of His Bride.(Us!)
God Himself is the source of all beauty. He is a beautiful God. This is not something that is often taught from our pulpits. He is absolutely radiant in appearance. And what is often times more foreign to us is the fact that He wants to impart this same magnificent beauty to us. A key element of redemption is the fact that His radiant and perfect beauty has been transferred to us through His Son. Isaiah 61:1-3 tells of the promise of exchange of His beauty for our Ashes. When we became a believer we weren’t merely saved from Hell, but we were made to be beautiful and to show forth God’s beauty to the rest of creation forever. It is part of the process. “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.” (Psalm 149:4)
There are actually manifestations of this spiritual or inner beauty. He changes our very countenance by lighting it up and changing our personality. We begin to have a bright spirit. In our first days at Intro our family commented during our ‘Price evening debriefings’ at the common physical characteristics of the IHOP Intro staff. We had noticed how bright their faces and eyes were. Their eyes were shiny and their expressions were full of life unlike the masses we typically encountered in day to day life.
As mentioned in an earlier post, God takes pleasure in us. That is a hard statement to digest on many levels. Most of us do not feel attractive when we stand before God. Our many wrong actions and attitudes run rampant through our minds. All we see is the contrast between His holiness and our sin. Beloved, if He thinks we are beautiful (and He does) it doesn’t matter whether we or others agree or not. The King gazes upon us and likes what He sees!! “The King will greatly desire your beauty; because He is your Lord, worship Him”. (Psalm 45:11) “I am my Beloved’s, and His desire is toward me.” (Song 7:10) God only surrounds Himself with beauty! Being desired by God mandates that we are, in reality, truly beautiful!!! This is a powerful revelation. His desire dictates our worth.
There is temporal beauty in this age and eternal beauty in the age to come. In regards to our eternal beauty, we will possess physical beauty beyond the angels. We will have a beautiful face, body, mind, and heart. We will be stunningly beautiful forever. Our resurrected bodies will be made to express the glory and beauty of God in the New Heaven and the New Earth. Remember, a bride walks in a newly-acquired level of ownership in relation to everything her bridegroom possesses. We will be crowned with God’s glory and honor…”(Hebrews 2:7,10) We, as the Church, will be the Bride and we know that all of the Bride's beauty is a reflection of His.
But what about this present age? The Word tells us that His very beauty or glory can be placed within us. Humanity itself was made for the very indwelling of God. (Ephesians 2:22) “This indwelling of God is how God, the Consuming Fire, chooses to express His glory, His grandeur, His love and His beauty to the rest of creation for all time.” It affects how we think, speak, and feel.
Bottom line is who are we listening to? What are we believing? Do we value the opinions of others over that of our heavenly Father's? What is our standard of beauty? Do we hold to the harsh reality of imperfection and self imposed condemnation? There is only one opinion that carries any weight. It belongs to the only One who has any rights of ownership to us as created beings. It is God’s thoughts that matter. God is the one who created us and gave us the deep desires regarding beauty. He has called us unto Himself to fulfill them. He is faithful and true. He cannot lie. He is beautiful. He has made us beautiful. I challenge each of us to walk in the revelation of our beauty as identified by our King!