Hello, though we originally wrote this for the sisters, it is obviously important for all of us to have a deepening awareness of what Jesus values. We ALL need each other to see and feel what Jesus sees and feels, as TOGETHER we walk and Live the Jesus Life! So we offer this to all of you, humbly and in Love, m and d
Dear Lovely Sisters…
It has recently come up and seems like a Good time to talk about our appearance—how we view it, how God views it and what it takes to make our thoughts One with His.
First and foremost, anything that comes from sin must be eradicated. It is totally unacceptable as a disciple of Jesus to “pretty yourself” with make-up, jewelry, perms, hairstyles, hair-coloring or certain clothing for the WRONG reasons. Why do we have this “need” to look a certain way, anyway? Are we vain? Are we insecure without it? Does it make us feel better about ourselves? Do you have a desire for people to look at you, notice you and admire you? Or maybe you have some need to be accepted, and that’s how you go about it. Or you’re afraid of looking old, being gray, or getting wrinkles or bags. Or maybe you’re afraid of what others will say and you don’t want to face the comments and jokes that might come up (which is a whole other side of it, worthy of a few words. How dare any of us draw attention to external junk in a way that tears down or puts doubts or fear in people’s heads?? Ribbing ladies about gray hair, or wrinkles…. Women don’t need that, men don’t need that. Be sensitive and covering-minded. Nobody needs off-handed, non-Jesus centered, inappropriate comments—good OR bad, about anything—PLEASE)
Or maybe you’re holding onto your own self-life—you don’t want to lose control and your “rights” about when, how and what you do to yourself. Maybe you are just plain ol’ comfortable with habits and patterns that were formed by worldly opinions that you grew up with. Whatever the reasons are that you do what you do, there is no place for sin, in this area of your life. If you’ve never allowed your motivations for wearing make-up, plucking your eyebrows, getting perms, wearing jewelry, or coloring your hair (and any other thing we’re not thinking of at the moment) to be sifted through the thoughts of the Spirit, it’s time. You’ve got to ask yourself and Jesus about why you are doing what you are doing.
Secondly, anything born of flesh is flesh. If you’re attracted to someone due to the flesh (or you attract others through the means of your own flesh) and you have respect for them or value them or listen to them based on WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE IN THE FLESH, then that’s exactly what you’ll get in your own life. If you build with them and think about people FOR REASONS OF THE FLESH, then that’s what you’ll get—flesh. Whatever door you walk through is the kind of house you’ll get. On the flip side, the Spirit gives birth to spirit. If you’re attracted for Father, Son and Holy Spirit-centered reasons, you’ll get more of Jesus as a result. Walk through His door for His reasons and you’ll get His Life. Walk through the flesh door for fleshly reasons, and you’ll have more of the flesh in your life.
Of course, there are possibilities for “doing” certain things that are motivated by the Spirit for Right reasons. For example, if you “stand out” in a crowd because you have a tumor the size of a baseball growing off the side of your head, you may need to have it removed. It just may be a real distraction to others to the extent that it makes them unable to hear what you are saying. They walk away remembering the unusual knob sticking off your head. Or maybe you’re white as a sheet—practically albino, so you wear color on your skin to help others relate with you without being so distracted. Maybe a terrible case of acne needs help, so as not to draw attention. Or an unusual skin problem needs extra cosmetics of some sort. There may be specific legitimate needs—but don’t use reasons like that as an excuse for self-indulgence. You can always use the tool of others to help you discern.
The flipside of that is if you “stand out” for the WRONG reasons—if you stand out as noticeably pretty, because of your make-up or clothing or jewelry—if people would easily pick you out of a crowd because of the way you have altered your appearance—then you are building with flesh in your life. Not to mention risking drawing attention from pagan men. There’s a scene in the “Postman” which illustrates the danger of that point. At one point in the movie, the disgusting “bad guys”, the thugs come into town to bully the people and rob them. In the process, the townspeople are wandering around. One is a young, married woman who was STUPID enough to wander across the village square WHILE THE THUGS WERE STANDING ACROSS THE WAY!! As a result, OF COURSE, the bad guy notices her youth and beauty and “wants her” and ends up murdering her husband. So WHO was responsible for that?? It was HER. She was obviously very unwise about the perverted nature of pagan men and their insanity of sin. Sure, it was just a movie, but it demonstrates the point, clearly. Don’t think stuff can’t happen to you or people you love—it is satan’s world at the moment. Just please watch out, dear sisters, in how and where and why you do certain things—especially out in public. How you “appear” has everything to do with that as well. And be sure and look out for any young ladies you know and care for. They NEED your Eyes to be sharp FOR them. Their naiveté may just get somebody seriously hurt or killed, like in that movie. The point can’t be emphasized enough. We ought to be very careful to protect the beauty we have—like Rebekah who “took her veil and covered herself” (Genesis 24:65). Our beauty is for our man and for the Body of Christ—ONLY! (See the last part of the “Modesty” booklet, for more on that. )
Here are some of the historical roots of cosmetics, specifically…
The use of cosmetics is worldwide and dates from the remotest antiquity. Although it is generally believed that cosmetics as they are now known originated in the Far East, the study of simple cultures indicates that forms of cosmetic beautification have been practiced in every part of the world. The war paint of the Native American, the tattooing and scarification practiced by many peoples (the Maori of New Zealand and numerous African cultures), and the use of woad (a blue dye used by ancient Britons to paint their bodies) are all forms of cosmetic adornment.
The earliest historical record of cosmetics comes from the 1st Dynasty of Egypt (circa 3100-2907BC). Tombs of this era have yielded unguent jars, and from remains of later periods it is evident that the unguents were scented. Such preparations, as well as perfumed oils, were extensively used by both men and women to keep the skin supple and unwrinkled in the dry heat of Egypt. The women of Egypt also developed the art of decorating the eyes by applying dark green color to the under lid and by blackening the lashes and the upper lid with kohl, a preparation made from antimony or soot. It is likely that the Jews adopted the use of cosmetics from the Egyptians, since references to the painting of faces appear in the Old Testament.
By the middle of the 1st century AD, cosmetics were widely used by the Romans, who employed kohl for darkening eyelashes and eyelids, chalk for whitening the complexion, rouge and depilatories, and pumice for cleaning the teeth. The Crusaders found cosmetics widely used in the Middle East and spread their use throughout Europe. The almost universal use of cosmetics in modern times has grown with the scientific study of the ingredients employed. This research was begun by the French in the 19th century and led to the development of more and better cosmetics at low cost.
“Cosmetics,” Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2000. © 1993-1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
So what about the “beautifying” of ourselves with cosmetics? It is an invention of the world, that finds its roots in Egypt, of all places, is it not?? And don’t forget that your ideas today about make-up were most likely birthed in the world—movies, TV, advertising, billboards, magazines, Clairol and the Avon lady. It was never taught you from the scriptures to do the makeup thing. It was taught you by the world…your high school peers, the magazines, the movies, the models…. Most women have some way or another that they have an unhealthy affection or priority about something in their appearance, whether of body, or face or hair or ears or knees or whatever (it’s just built in to the female’s sinful nature, so watch out). Satan and the world knows that and has simply capitalized on it—quite successfully. But we are none of his, so we don’t need to buy into the garbage of the world. If you wear make-up, know clearly why you are doing it. If your reasons have no basis in the Scriptures or in the Spirit, (driven by GOD reasons, rather than the world, or our own desires to look a certain way) then quit doing it. Which brings up the point that you will just plain ol’ look different if you drop or change any physical habits/routines/rituals. And when you “look” different, it will sometimes cause carnal people to make stupid comments. When you set yourself up to look or be a certain way, it takes some work to get out of it sometimes—including dealing with what others think and do as a result. Don’t sweat it—it’s a short season and people forget about it long before you will.
What is so great about your “beauty” anyway? Here’s a pretty clear “reality check” from another e-mail…
“I’m beautiful! Look at me!”
Oh, okay! Yes. Amazing protrusion of cartilage off the front of your skull. You’re RIGHT! No question that your fatty deposits are in slightly different places and shapes than those of some other ugly bags of mostly water. And there might not be but 1 or 2 million others that have better eye balls, superior skull and skeletal shapes, and higher quality lips than you. Although you still can’t lift a tree, you have an extra 10 pounds of muscle tissue that your neighbor DOESN’T HAVE! And your wardrobe? You drape some VERY special cloth over yourself, all cut and colored JUST RIGHT. Your stringy dead protein cells that push out of the top of your head are the absolute best. No denying it. You are RIGHT up there. And, since you’re so smart and talented too, and you are so good at running on the hamster wheel and pushing salt water out of the little holes in your flesh suit, you’ll probably be able to make your skin fit a few more months than most. Yippee. Everyone will surely notice. And care a lot.
All authority, all beauty, all meaning, all Life that is TRULY Life are wrapped up in the sparkling eyes, the delightful voice, and the warmly penetrating wisdom of JESUS, the Son of GOD—the Deliverer from sin and darkness! Fall on your knees and WORSHIP HIM! Don’t be afraid. You can do it now, no matter WHAT mere humans might think!!
What Does GOD say?
Here are a few things from the scriptures to think about…
“When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, ‘Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ Aaron answered them, ‘Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.’ So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out to Egypt.’” (Exodus 32:1-4) And where else did all the gold jewelry come from, but from Egypt? The new gods they were worshipping, were fashioned from Egypt’s gold. Very interesting.
“All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewelry of all kinds: brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments. They all presented their gold as a wave offering to the Lord.” (Exodus 35:22) They gave over their gold of the earth, to God, as a precious gift and sacrifice.
“They were proud of their beautiful jewelry and used it to make their detestable idols and vile images. Therefore I will turn these into an unclean thing for them. I will hand it all over as plunder to foreigners and as loot to the wicked of the earth, and they will defile it.” (Ezekiel 7:20-21) It can become a detestable idol if we’re not careful.
And then there’s Jezebel… (Her doings are found in 1 and 2 Kings) Do you know what kind of woman she was?? Are you familiar with her sin, manipulation, control of the men in her life and hatred for God’s men?? It’s got to be one of the most despicable pictures to God to have women who “rule over” the men. Women who don’t know who they were created to be. Women who rebel against God and His order. Women who crave attention and DEMAND attention from men. Who manipulate and contrive and plot and punish and torture men. Who “hold things” against the men and then “pay them back” what they think the men deserve. Do you know what kind of a woman Jezebel is? Have you not felt it in your own bones to resent and accuse and manipulate the men in your life? Be honest, now…. It’s downright disgusting. And Heartbreaking and totally destructive to God’s purposes. Jezebel was a criminal pagan, no doubt, and out to KILL God’s prophets—God’s Holy Men. A woman out to undo and tear down the Voice and Power and Presence of God on the earth at that time. We are NO LESS GUILTY—and even more so—if we tear down and destroy and attempt to undermine and wreck God’s work through His men by means of our own petty selfishness, and attention-craving self-life, jealousies, comparisons and strivings for attention (whether negative or positive attention—we don’t care, as long as they are giving ME attention). It’s downright despicable and will lead to your own undoing and harm to everyone around you. That might sound like a tangent, but really, it’s all related to this vanity deal. If we crave attention and manipulate to “have our way” in our emotions and inner stuff, then perhaps it’s the SAME THING when we put on the outward adornment—we’re craving some kind of attention.
Back to Jezebel… what can we possibly learn from that whole scenario? Well, for starters, a serious, serious crushing of any of the sins just mentioned above. But the original reason we brought her up was because the end of her life was this… Jehu (son of Jehoshaphat) was anointed by Elisha to be the King of Israel. When Jehu was anointed, Elisha said to him, “You are to destroy the family of Ahab, your master. In this way, I will avenge the murder of my prophets and all the Lord’s servants who were killed by Jezebel. The entire family of Ahab must be wiped out…. Dogs will eat Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, at the plot of land in Jezreel, and no one will bury her…” (2 Kings 9). So Jehu went after the kings of Judah and Israel and killed them both on the way to Jezreel, where Jezebel was. And this is what happened….
“When Jezebel, the queen mother, heard that Jehu had come to Jezreel, she painted her eyelids and fixed her hair and sat at a window.” (2 Kings 9:30) Who knows what she sought to accomplish by doing that, whether pure vanity or manipulation of some sort, but she obviously was attempting to “appear” a certain way. To beautify her outsides was all she could do for her wicked insides. Then… “When Jehu entered the gate of the palace, she shouted at him, ‘Have you come in peace, you murderer?’” (Look who’s talking!!!) Then Jehu shouted, “Throw her down!” “So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered the wall and the horses as they trampled her underfoot.” Gruesome death for a gruesome woman.
From Jeremiah, about God’s people—again, some kind of attempt to pretty up the outside through the use of jewelry and makeup…
“What are you doing, O devastated one? Why dress yourself in scarlet and put on jewels of gold? Why shade your eyes with paint? You adorn yourself in vain. Your lovers despise you; they seek your life.” (Jeremiah 4:30)
Another is in Ezekiel 23—a very graphic picture of the lewdness and promiscuity of Jerusalem and Samaria. God brought judgment upon them through Ezekiel, and this is the end of God’s words about it (to get the full impact, read all of chapter 23)… “They even sent messengers for men who came from far away, and when they arrived you bathed yourself for them, painted your eyes and put on your jewelry. You sat on an elegant couch, with a table spread before it on which you had placed the incense and oil that belonged to me….” (Eze 23:40-41) “So I will put an end to lewdness in the land, that all women may take warning and not imitate you. You will suffer the penalty for your lewdness and bear the consequences of your sin of idolatry. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.” (Eze 23:48-49)
When we searched it out, those are the kinds of women, as recorded in the history of God’s people, that sought to dress themselves up with makeup and jewelry. We just didn’t find that kind of thing happening with the Sarah’s, the Ruth’s, the Abigail’s… It wasn’t because it wasn’t available in that day and age… it was available to them if they wanted it! But it was so clearly a product and custom of Egypt, that only prostitutes and adulteresses ventured into that world. In light of all that, maybe Peter’s words will ring a little clearer…
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.” (1 Peter 3:3-6)
And Paul said…
“I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.” (1Tim 2:9-10) NLT
Do we believe what Peter and Paul both said, and is it reflected in the choices you make about how and why you “adorn ourselves” with this or that little jewel or makeup, braids or perm? Why oh why, do we do what we do?? Have you ever asked yourself?? Have you ever asked others who know Jesus more deeply than you do? And who would be objective for you?? WHY?? Why do I want this perm? You just need a “change of pace” to tickle your senses? You’re trying to “spruce yourself up”? You see others doing it, so why not you? If you “like a look” on someone, or because “someone else is doing it” does not give us a license to do the same. “TRENDS” are of the world because “trends” are based on what people think and like and value and do—NOT on what GOD is currently saying FOR YOU!! We’re led by GOD’S SPIRIT LIVING WITHIN, not by what’s popular or “pretty” or what “others” are doing, or what is “cool” or what others my age are doing. Of course, it’s not that you’d never wear an Adidas shirt or certain kind of shoes, but take note of why you buy and do what you do. What is your motivation? A tip-off in this area is if you’re very acquainted with other people’s wardrobes, and you remember what they were wearing yesterday, and they always have things you “admire” and you covet them—there’s a very real problem there. That’s a tip-off that your thoughts aren’t in the right place, and your motives and decisions may be off as well.
Why the hair coloring?? Are you afraid of a gray head? Do you color your hair because that’s the “normal” accepted practice that everyone else does, so you jump on that bandwagon too? Just know WHY you are doing what you are doing. It MAY be in the plan, but not if it’s driven by the “accepted thing to do” in a general way, and of course not because of your own vanity or pride or fear. It could be because it seems good to others and they’ve suggested it as something you might consider doing, maybe. Maybe we need to ask ourselves, just how terrrriiiiibllle would it be to go gray??? Maybe it’s okay to color your hair if you’re graying at age 20 and it would bring attention to you to have all gray hair at age 25. Okay, that’s a consideration, maybe. But what about when you’re 40??? When is it “acceptable” to be going gray?? WHO determines for us what is “acceptable”? The world? Our vanity? Everyone else’s expectations and convictions and preferences? Our dislike of growing old? Our husbands who don’t like gray? Who? Can we let it go, easily, if asked to?? How important is it to us??
Another good test in sifting our motives is this: “Can I leave home without it? Without having______” (fill in the blank with make-up, hairstyle, jewelry, hair coloring, etc) If not having it causes me to panic, there’s a problem in my heart—there’s some kind of idolatry going on. Something has become my god, other than God.
“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.” Proverbs 11:22
“My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.” (Isaiah 53:2) External appearance even for the Son of man, was not something God wanted, to draw the attraction of men or women.
“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)
It’s not the outward that pleases Jesus, but the inner beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit before God and man. These are what makes a woman truly beautiful. Do you believe that?? Do you walk in it? Do you believe that you are made beautiful from the inside out? Do you believe that your face can shine like Stephen’s as you behold the Son of Man standing at the right Hand of the Father? Do you believe that you can shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the Word of Life? Do you believe that you reflect the Lord’s Glory by His Spirit? Do you believe that the eye is the lamp of the body and when your insides dance and rejoice, so do your eyes?? If you’re dark inside, no amount of makeup will make you truly vibrant. If your body is full of Light, ohhhhhh, how full of Light your eyes will be! They’ll be no denying that kind of beauty—for those who have Eyes to see!! Do you believe it?? Or have they just been poetic thoughts?
We’ll not experience the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, if we’re clogged with unbelief, pride, striving, bitterness, jealousy, competition, fears and insecurities about what others think. Why would we need to take matters into our own hands and make ourselves beautiful? Do we take other matters “into our own hands”? Do we work to make ourselves “happy”? Do we try and “make ourselves wise”? Or do we strive to make ourselves holy or friendly or loving or patient or caring or self-controlled? The point is, if we know better than to function from our own knowledge, opinions and strength in other areas, why do we or would we want to make ourselves attractive? Sure, there’s a place for being well kept, groomed and pleasant in appearance—but KNOW the lines that can be crossed in your own heart!
Do we not remember where our True, Pure and lasting beauty comes from?? From the Beautiful ONE!!! Jesus has become our attractiveness! He lives within to make us beautiful!!! Hallelujah!! Set free from this world and expectations, pressures, value systems, peer pressure, worries, fears, judgments and opinions. God is so Good. How He tests us and tries our hearts that we let EVERY last thing go at His feet. NOTHING controlling or ruling or swaying us. NOTHING that has a hold, nothing that’s too important… that “matters” too much to us. This is just another chance in our lives to lay something at His Feet with freedom, peace and Life. Jesus has a face that shines like the sun! Don’t you worry… you just yield yourself to Him, fall more deeply in love with Him and you’ll become more radiant, more brilliant and more beautiful. How can His Beauty possibly be contained when Jesus, the Only Beautiful One, Lives within? He is our all—even our beauty!! “Those who look to HIM are radiant…” (Psalm 34:5)
Others DO Notice What You Do
What kind of heritage are we passing on to the young ladies and girls among us? What kinds of priorities do they see in us? Do they see us valuing things and people after the flesh and appearances? They notice… do you KNOW THAT?? They ALL notice what we do, how we dress, how we pretty ourselves—ALL the choices we make. WE are a LIVING JESUS in their midst. Whatever and whoever we are, is what they get of God and His priorities. It really matters, the example we set… we need to be JEALOUS for their souls and for their futures, that we’d not be sloppy, lazy or selfish in how we point and direct and love by example and by holding up God’s truths. Every girl will want to look in the mirror to one degree or another, noticing her youth and loveliness (that GOD has given) and appearance. So what we say to them and even more, what we DO really matters. ALL the more reason why our convictions must be crystal clear about the matter.
The young ladies and other women will measure their own decisions by what you do, really, in everything. Mistakenly or not, knowingly or unknowingly, they validate their own choices by your behavior. So make sure your choices are birthed from His heart and desire for YOUR very personal life. And also, if we see others “doing” certain things, be careful to not jump on the bandwagon, because “so and so” has a perm, so it must be okay for me too. Please don’t make the decisions in a HORIZONTAL, SHALLOW way: “They do it, so I can too.” Rather, Live FREE, between you and Jesus, finding His will for you, dialoguing about these things, and meshed and joined to other’s lives in some of these practical decisions!
NOT a Law… THAT’S For Sure : )
Believe us, this is not a plea to “conform” to something new, or “quit doing stuff.” This is a plea to get a right perspective. To make a SPIRITUAL decision, we need a SPIRITUAL understanding and foundation beneath our feet. So that’s all this is. An attempt to lay out some spiritually based thinking and Perspective on our “beauty.” Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. No beauty or majesty to attract us to him… nothing in His outward appearance that we should be drawn to Him. His Life in our Life becomes a sweet smelling aroma to all who know us. We are a sweet smelling fragrance, beautiful to all around us who have spiritual eyes to see, when we are walking with a confidence and Trust of Him as our covering, our crown, our Joy, our lasting Promise and Hope for the future. Jesus came and has bestowed on us a “Crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” (Is 61:3)
We love you, sisters. We want the best. We don’t want laws… you don’t want laws. That would mean nothing. External conformity means zero—absolutely nothing. It’s dead. It’s empty. In fact it’s a hindrance to becoming a more Real person with Jesus. We need to find Him and His heart’s desire for us. He’s weaning us, ever so patiently and gently from the thinking and patterns and ways of this world we live in. Being transformed by the renewing of our minds. Shedding the old man, the world, the need for props and externals to make us feel good about ourselves. We just don’t need them, do we… when we have Jesus. This is how a woman beautifies herself… Not by outward adornment of gold jewelry and braided hair, but by the good deeds… Sure, we can be well-groomed and feminine and maybe have special touches from time to time that are for other’s sake, but let’s be wise and discerning about the choices we make in this area. It will only mean more of Jesus and His Glory on the planet, as we reject the world and our flesh and Trust Him to Lead the Way…
Would you talk to Him about it all?? And make this and ones like it, your prayer? Please?
Father, This is so important…. We are Yours…. Your jewels that You’ve cared for and placed together in such a special and protected way. What a lovely thing! We know it’s important for us as Your women, to have a healthy perspective and “treasuring” of Your ways. You, Jesus, have been softening us with your Love, massaging out our brashness and rough edges and exposing our presumption, opinions, walls, fears and barriers. We want Your most Holy thoughts and Dreams and desires for us, Your ladies… please help us feel what you feel about it all… that we’d See with the eyes of our hearts what it is that You desire to make pure and whole within us. Open our eyes to what You value…
We want to make ourselves beautiful for YOU, Jesus. However that works itself out from day to day, we KNOW that it means the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. We know it means being covered by the men in our lives. We know it means clothing ourselves with Your righteousness, Jesus and good works which YOU prepared in advance for us to do. Not clothing ourselves with our own good works, which are filthy rags! And not attempting to “beautify” ourselves through external means. We don’t want to think or live like the world does. We want YOU, Jesus, to be our Beauty, our Strength, our Confidence, our Security, our Foundation, our Hope, and our Trust. We want you to be ALL for us. However that might work itself out in “gifts” that we give others with a pretty bow in our hair or jewelry or a handsome dress… we want it ALL to be bathed in Your life and springing from our love affair with You and our consciousness and purposefulness of heart about the lives around us. We don’t want to do things thoughtlessly, or out of habit and tradition. And CERTAINLY NEVER out of vanity, pride, fear or insecurity. We want to honor You with our actions. And knowing too that all that we do makes a very real impression on others.
We don’t want to follow after the ways of man that have been practiced through the ages by every kind of pagan imaginable, for every reason and purpose imaginable. We don’t want to “beautify ourselves” in an unholy way with outward adornment when You have crowned us with the Beauty of Your Spirit and Your Presence within. Why do we or why would we NEED to beautify ourselves further? Have you not sufficiently covered us, lifted us up, made us whole and free? Have you not stripped us of the stain of sin and are you not continually stripping us of the ugliness of pride and independence and manipulation and detestable female bitternesses, resentments, jealousies and envyings? Are you not making us beautiful, as your women? Show us the way, how to live pleasing lives to you…. We love you, Jesus, and we want what you want… no matter the cost… till our dying day, for You Jesus, and You Alone.
Much Love and Peace….
We have been very thankful for your responses to the recent e-mails that have been sent out helping us to dig a little deeper into God’s heart and our motives. They have revealed, as we already knew, that in all your ways you want to know His will and please Him. We appreciate your eagerness to find your life and affirmation fully in Him and not to compromise in any way. That is very solid ground to start on and build on. Thank you.
Since the e-mails have gone out there have been some questions and conversations that we think have been helpful in continuing to find God’s heart. We’ve tried to capture some nuggets from those conversations to pass on………
In the heart of God, along with order and many other wonderful things, is an appreciation for beauty. How would we know what has beauty or is ugly if there isn’t something within us that recognizes and admires it? Why would one piece of music bring pleasure, peace and enjoyment to us while another grates us? Why do some works of art come to be appreciated as masterpieces while others seem to be only chaos? It is because some have captured the beauty of God’s order, contrasts, design, symmetry, etc….
Somehow in the work of art or symphony they have been able to capture some of God’s mathematical order, or balance symmetrically, or contrast in colors and highlights. It is not some random thing that God has done. As men have seen deeper into things it has become more and more apparent, even to the pagans, that there is definite order and patterns in what has been created.
We even hear there is an order and pattern in commodities that runs the whole financial market! : ) These are all things that are part of God’s heart and make things orderly and pleasing. And, it has been placed within each of us to recognize and appreciate those things when we see them.
It is okay to recognize and appreciate beauty. The thing we are to guard our hearts is things after the flesh or finding some kind of value in the beauty on a carnal level. Example: I can look at a rose and appreciate the beauty, fragrance, and intricacy of its design. Its aroma can bring pleasure to my sense of smell and its spectacular color capture my eyes. All that is fine as long as I don’t end up worshipping the rose vs. the Creator of the rose.
How does all this relate to things we have been working through? Beauty is NOT the enemy. Vanity and worldly patterns of thinking are the enemy. A splash of color to contrast or highlight something I am wearing is not a problem. God created colors, hues, contrasts, etc… The danger comes when I am getting some kind of pleasure to my flesh or feeding vanity in some way. A hair ribbon, simple pair of earrings, or touch of some make-up is not the enemy. Again, the danger comes with our motives and finding any kind of identity in those things. As always it does go back to why you are doing what you are doing. If birthed in flesh it will produce fleshly babies. UCK! If birthed in the walking in the life, freedom, and spirit of Jesus it will birth good fruit in the spirit.
That being so you can understand why the exact same scenario can produce much different fruit. Put the exact same clothing, earrings, and bow on two women. Depending on their hearts and motives they can emanate two completely different things. One brings a smile to your spirit and soul as you look on her freshness. The other brings an uncomfortable feeling to your spirit. It wasn’t the externals that were the enemy, but what the spirit within was emanating. Make sense? We can appreciate and find pleasure in the beauty that God has given individuals (it is there). He has placed it within us to appreciate and enjoy it. However we must be aware of the dangers that come with that and avoid those pitfalls. Knowing that beauty is there we do want to be extra careful in enemy territory to protect ourselves and each other from that beauty drawing attention from pagans.
A side note in all this…. As mentioned before there is a definite symmetry and balance in God’s nature. That being so, it is very obvious when things are not symmetrical and they stick out in that way. Wearing only “one” earring as opposed to wearing a “pair” of earrings draws definite attention to itself. It is off balance. It is out of God’s order. Very loud colors of clothing, print, or color contrasts draw attention. Why? They are out of balance with the surroundings. Get where we’re going?? We need to be wise and careful, but not paranoid and fearful. : )
If there’s ANYTHING that would smack of the world, we’d go after that with a vengeance in our lives! Jesus came to “destroy the devil’s work”—that’s power-filled!! Curses on sin!! AWAY with you, satan! UGHHHHH!!! ANYTHING that has the world’s infiltrations into our lives, whether in our attitudes and ideas about appearance, the way we raise and teach our children, the way we treat our husbands, or the way we handle and view our money and possessions… REGARDLESS of the area of life, we go after the throat of the crimes of worldliness. We want NOTHING to do with it…. So we pray and we TRUST and we ask God to make things clear and to rip off the blinders from our eyes and EXPOSE the enemy. Even if we don’t have things all cleared up in our minds, we can ALWAYS be asking with FAITH that He is Good and He WANTS to let us in on what He’s thinking. That helps a lot, to know that we can Rest in trusting in Him… SOOOO… all of that to say, with the right kind of energy and jealousy for the things Jesus loves, we’ll be able to *SEE* more clearly what’s of Him and what’s not. And THEN, that process clears the fogginess in our Vision and allows us to SEE HIM more clearly! Just a reminder that all of this and things like it is UNTO the discovering of God in a deeper and much more spirit-satisfying way in our inner man. It’s part of searching for the Kingdom, that’s like a Great Treasure, hidden away… God is veiled to unholy eyes and unconsecrated hearts. But for those who search, “the Kingdom is like a treasure in a field….” “A pearl, of great price”… there’s great and precious “secrets of the Kingdom”… The more we work to “unveil” our spiritual eyes and consecrate ALL, we’ll discover His Kingdom, that lies within each of us.
“Seek first the Kingdom… and all else will be added.”
Just some encouragement that as God is shaking all that can be shaken, there’s the Very Great Reward, for those who hold fast… of Jesus…
Messiah, Friend, Brother and King!