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Addicted to Beauty and Perfection

beauty

By Barry Hall

Feeding Ourselves with Beauty and Perfection is Evidence of our Desire and Need for God’s Presence!

Beauty Is Evidence

Still another place we see our thirst for God to be here with us is in our desire for physical beauty, in ourselves and in others.

You can find freedom from having to feed yourself with physical beauty by learning to direct your heart to feed yourself with God’s presence. This site shows how. The first thing is that you need to learn to better recognize your desire for God.

In order to avoid being misunderstood, let me say that appearance is important. We live in a world that values these things. As Christians we have a responsibility to dress nicely and keep ourselves well groomed. We are representing our Lord. But on the other hand, we can’t let ourselves drink from what we see in the mirror. We can’t keep trying to quench our thirst for God by pride resulting from daydreams of how we think other people view us.

Quenching our thirst with how we look is a product of comparison. When we feed ourselves with how good we appear, invariably we feed ourselves with how much better we look than others. It only exalts us as much as it puts others down. But the Bible says, “The Lord of hosts has planned it, to defile the pride of all beauty” (Isa. 23:9). We need God in a way that reassures and soothes us.

Age is catching up to all of us: For, ‘All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off,’” (1 Pet. 1:24). Someday, you will wake up and realize your body just doesn’t look attractive anymore. Rather than your own beauty, trust that you are before the Lord: “Around God is awesome majesty” (Job 37:22). Use praise and thanks to get your heart to believe the beauty and the majesty of God. Let Him cover you with His light. Enjoy His majesty. Thrill your heart by directing praise toward His beauty all around and close to you. “Walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light” (1 John 1:7).

Paul said, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 13:14). Rather than your identity being tied to your human appearance, enjoy wearing God’s beauty as your identity. Then, if you keep in mind that “God is Spirit” (John 4:24; see also 2 Cor. 3:17), you won’t be afraid to praise His presence when He is close to you.

The Bible says we should “ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in holy array” (Ps. 29:2). Put on holy array by trusting God to draw near when you draw near to Him (James 4:8). Ascribe glory to the Lord by using thanks and praise to nurture believing the attractiveness of God’s beauty and majesty over your own. Depending on God this way is far more enjoyable and far less stressful than having to depend on yourself. Doing so will awaken love and delight for the Lord.

Try to remember that beauty is important to us because of our thirsty desire for the nearness of God. However, we were designed to glory in God as our God, not in how well we compare to the other people around us. Your desire to look attractive is the reason you can trust God to give you the majesty of His presence. He doesn’t want us to feed ourselves with ourselves. He wants us to feed on Him as our God, not ourselves as a god.

Wanting Perfection is Evidence

What about perfection? How hard do you work to do something well? Then, when you do something well, how do you react? Most of the time, we drink from it as a substitution for our deeper desire, the presence of a perfect God.

As with addictions to beauty, you can find freedom from having to feed yourself with human perfection by directing your heart to feed yourself with God’s presence. This site shows how. The first thing is recognize that your driving desire for perfection is because of your unfilled longing for the presence of God.

Even as Christians, we sometimes work ourselves into a frenzy. We try to find evidence in our lives that justifies us before God. We wonder how well we measure up.

When you go to bed at night, and you think back over the day, what justifies you before God? Did you pray enough? Did you read your Bible? Did you share your faith with someone? Or, did you blow it? Did you fall to temptation? If any of these are questions you are asking yourself, then you may be trusting your actions to justify you before God.

Think of the pressure you feel to ‘perform’ sometimes. There is glory in a good performance, especially when other people are watching. But there is stress also. When there is a possibility we might not achieve, it scares us. That is where fear enters the picture. True, some stress makes us work harder. But, what happens when we feel pressure to perform, and we loose our hope of glory, humanly speaking? Often, the stress gets so great, it affects our performance to where we can’t function as well. Why is this? I think it is because, apart from God, we feel like we have to achieve glory equal to God’s. Then, in a moment of honesty we loose hope. We also loose ability to function well. Rather than glory in Christ, achieving has become our best hope of something to drink from. We were never intended to live this way.

Why is it difficult for us to listen to someone telling us something we already know? Why is it hard to let someone else tell us what to do? Why do we struggle with fear when we might not achieve? Why do we resort to so many harmful ways to try and sooth ourselves? All of these things are feeble attempts to quench our thirst for God, apart from Him.

Rather than your whole basis of motivation being to achieve perfection so you can pride yourself with it, humble yourself. Let God draw near and praise Him rather than yourself.

There is hope for those who want out of the battle to work themselves up to perfection. Get your heart to believe that only God is perfect. Rest into trusting God as your perfection. Be finished with trading the glory of God for the glory of what you think you have to achieve. Drink the Spirit and glory in His perfection.

“(for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.” (Hebrews 7:19)

Wanting to Hurt Ourselves is Evidence

Sometimes our desperate and unmet need for God reveals itself in our wanting to hurt ourselves.

Causing ourselves to feel pain is a complicated mix of wanting to glory in perfection, realizing that we aren’t, and then settling for a twisted kind of control and power instead. We want to glory in the closeness of a loving, perfect, and sovereign God, but instead we have settled for priding ourselves by the power we feel in how much we can make ourselves hurt. Face the truth about yourself. You want power! But, the truth is also that you were never intended to glory in a power of your own.

But don’t get me wrong. You want to enjoy lots of power. God’s presence is readily and abundantly available. You just have to set your heart to make God your power and not to feed yourself with your own. Get your heart to hear and believe that you can stand before the Lord. Let Him radiate the Holy Spirit inside and all around you. Then, thrill yourself with the power of God as your God—not yourself.

©2009 Barry Hall. All rights reserved.

Article from Taste Heaven Ministries at http://www.tasteheavennow.net/index.htm. More excellent articles available here.