I recently flipped through my Bible-reading/prayer journal and found some things over the years that God had spoken to me. It's neat to look back and see what God was dealing with me about at certain times in my life. Now I can read those entries and appreciate them even more because they apply just as much, if not more, now as they did then.
Here's one from February 19, 2002 (seems like forever ago!):
"I could strive to be the best, to fulfill my dreams. I could fret about not being good enough in man's eyes. But when it's all said and done, all the attention will be on God. When I stand before Him in the end, the question won't be how good I was, but how effective I was in doing His will. Man's expectations pale in comparison to His will and opinion."
It is so easy to get your focus on doing in order to please people. People - if you haven't noticed - are very fickle. Their emotions and wishes flunctuate like ocean waves. You can never 100% please them. So what's the point in trying to fulfill their wishes all the time? The result is only stress and frustration on your part. But with God, there is no frustration. Or, at least, there shouldn't be.
I say shouldn't be because sometimes we work just as hard at pleasing God as we do people. We think that we have to earn His favor and acceptance by our actions. Yeah, our actions prove our faith and love for God, but they don't earn us anything. God's Word says that "it's not by works of righteousness that we have done," but it's according to His grace that He has saved us. If we can't earn our salvation, how could we possibly earn anything else? Your heart is what He wants first. As you give it to Him, the joy of serving Him - without the striving and stress - will follow. The life of a Christian was meant to be a joy, not a drudgery! Out of your love for Him will come the fulfillment of His will for you. You'll do the things He's called you to do and minister to the people He's assigned you to. You won't miss a step when your heart is set on Him!
As for the rest of the world, remember this: When you please God, you'll please the people who's opinion really matters. After all, in the end, you won't answer to them. You'll answer to God.
Beauty's defined in so many ways,
Sparkling gems and a pretty face,
But what God loves the most is the inward charm,
Of a gentle and quiet heart,
Of a gentle and quiet heart.
Dreams do come true when held by grace,
A heart fulfilled in the secret place,
Nothing to fear when love steps in,
For His glory's deep within,
For His glory's deep within.
You're beautiful, designed by the Father for this time and place,
You're beautiful, beauty on the outside is only a trace,
Of what He sees in You.
Faithful and gentle and good, your heart He knows so well,
Loving and patient and pure, treasures no soul could sell,
Make you lovely, make you His.
(c) 2007 Words and Music by Christa A. Heider
I wrote this song for my Canadian Bible School roomie as a wedding gift in June. Though it was meant for her specifically, it's true of all God's girls. We've talked about it before - the beauty on the inside is what's most important and most valuable. In fact, it's what determines the beauty on the outside - how you live. God told me the other day: "You're not truly beautiful until you're beautiful on the inside." Everything else is just temporary and superficial. REAL, genuine beauty can only be found on the inside of a person - a heart that desires the things of God.
at 3:14 PM