“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”1 John 2:15-17
Yesterday I was rereading a testimony about someone who truly came to Christ. It was a beautiful example of God’s grace! While reading it, I became convicted. I knew that I needed to reevaluate some things.
Perhaps one day I will share the entirety of my testimony with you. Looking back, I can see how the Lord had His hand on my life through it all. I don’t deserve His mercy and grace.
As a believer, I think that my duty is to love the Lord more than anything else on this earth. Christ (who is the image of the Father…Col 1:15) came to reconcile us to the Father. Once my blinders were removed and I began to follow Him, I needed to die to self and stop loving the things in the world.
For the most part, I have. I have seen so many changes in my life that there is no way I could have made on my own! But I still struggle with some things. For example, the desire to be beautiful. This is a deep rooted sin that I think many women struggle with. To combat this sin, I stopped coloring my hair, wearing most make up, and nail polish. I started to dress more plainly.
While these things helped, what I needed was an absolute heart change. I knew that my worth was found in God, and that it was foolish to spend time worrying about beauty. But when my focus wasn’t wholly on Him, I could tell that I again spent time worrying about worldly things.
Last year was kind of rough for me, and I decided to finally lose the baby weight that needed to come off after having nine children. This was needful in order to be a good steward of the body the Lord had given me. But I could tell that as the weight came off, I was happier in general and taking pictures wasn’t so bad anymore. While I didn’t see it at the time, this was proof that I was still concerned with worldly beauty.
Then Covid hit our family late last year. My fine hair has always been prone to fall out after having a baby, and after having Covid it fell out with a vengeance! Clumps of hair would fall out each time I showered.
I felt sick. After finally losing weight and “feeling good about myself,” now my hair had to go.
The Lord was teaching me something in this. I was putting value in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life instead of fully focusing on God’s will for me.
Becoming a follower of God is radical. It involves dying to yourself. Actually dying! The only will that matters anymore is that of our Father.
Up until about eleven years ago, I was involved in a cultural Christianity where it was fine to think about and to put a lot of effort into outward beauty. It was great to spend a lot of time cheering on sports teams while celebrating consumer driven Christmas. As long as you “loved Jesus” you were good to go.
But this isn’t what God’s Word says, friends. Scripture says that these things are of the world, and if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
““Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”Matthew 7:21-23
We can do so many things in Christ’s name, but if we don’t do the will of the Father, they are meaningless. The will of the Father is to not put value in earthly beauty, and instead spend our time concerning ourselves with how to further His kingdom.
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.Proverbs 31:30
Beauty is vain. And so is any other worldly pursuit. The Lord wants our whole heart, without any worldly influences taking our eyes off of the magnitude of His holiness. He alone is worthy.
Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I hope you leave encouraged to love the Lord with your whole heart.