One of the things that I feel like God has been talking to me about is the image vs lifestyle, perception vs reality. That is to say, the difference between external projection and internal truth, and consistency between the outside and the inside. The funny thing is, God has been showing me things about this the same topic for years, but I just caught on and started making the connection. I think this is a point of my life where God is showing me what He truly desires: a pure heart, and what that really means. It sounds like a call from Him to pay attention. I think God has given me the ability to discern the true truth, but sometimes I'm too busy (or too lazy!) to pay attention to it.
Over my next few blog posts you'll find this is a recurring theme in my writing: getting past the fluff and into the heart of the matter, in everything. In fact, this is really the point of my entire blog. I've observed that we put too much stock in appearances and external things and we are missing the brokenness and the cries for help that are all around us.
We are missing the true desire of God, and the opportunity to really know him and please him. We think that dealing with this stuff is too hard, and we end up giving potato chips to people who are starving! Part of this walk with God is to do the things that are hard for us. Nothing is too hard for God, and we too often lack the faith to let him use us to do the work.
There's a reason why Paul said: " immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us "! [Eph 3:20]. There's a reason why God's most precious treasure is stored in a clay jar! [2 Cor 4:7] There's a reason why the Holy Spirit is also called The Advocate and the Comforter! That reason is our very purpose for being here: to show God's sovereign power which is mightier than our fragile bodies, despite persecution, despite pain.
We're so afraid of getting our own hearts broken that we break God's heart by ignoring what He has called us for, by ignoring his people that are desperately waiting to hear His words through our voices, through our lives!!
We have spent too much time looking like we have it all together when brokenness of spirit is what God wants. We spend stop much time trying to hide our sin when exposing it is the only way to get rid of it! We spend so much time doing things for God, those things others can see, when God is more concerned about us being things for him.
Because we have been tricked into believing one of the oldest lies there is: that anything on this Earth can matter more than our relationship with and our obedience to our Father in heaven. We have been deceived into thinking that our individual lives are so insignificant that the "little" things that we do don't have huge Kingdom consequences. God has been showing us for centuries -- literally hundreds, even thousands of years -- that he doesn't use us despite our imperfections and unsuitability, he uses us because of them!
How does this all relate? Here it is: the devil is a distorter. He confuses and confounds us by twisting the truth. When we ourselves project an image that is different from the reality of our hearts, we give him the opportunity to twist the connection between the image and the reality so much that the connection is severed. The devil twists the truth until it breaks, until what is real has become separated. What we need to do now is to focus on projecting not what we think others want (or need) to see, but what is actually in our hearts. If you look at your heart and you don't like what you see, then you and God need to work on changing your heart. The contrite heart is the one that is willing to be changed. The purity of heart that God desires is where the live feed from your heart is something that pleases him. Forget the external image, it's what's inside of you that matters in the end anyway.
Be blessed and shine truly & truthfully