“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30 (NIV)
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” Proverbs 31:30 (NLT)
“Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.” Proverbs 31:30 (Message)
Inside of me there is a deep and passionate longing to be beautiful and to experience beauty on this side of heaven. It is a deep craving in my very soul. I have used so many things of this world to satisfy this desire. I have sought to win the acclaim of a man, yet his words were so temporary before the empty feeling returned. I have used food, or the lack of food, to try to fill that desire. I have worked tirelessly to find accolades professionally to fill that void.
Beauty is not on the outside. Beauty is not something that is said. Beauty is not an award that is received. Beauty is not something that is worn. Beauty is not an earthly standard or number on a scale to work towards.
The LORD is beauty. It is His majestic and awe-inspiring wonder that beauty flows from. “From Zion, in perfect beauty, God shines forth.” Psalm 50:2 (NIV) When we come to Him and are filled by Him we receive the blessing of being able to reflect His beauty upon this world. “You are the light of the world,” and “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14, 16)
“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” Psalm 27:4 (NIV)
May we gaze upon God’s beauty. Look at what the Message version says for Psalm 27:4, “I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet.” May we contemplate, study His beauty. Through this may we find ourselves absolutely transformed into the radiantly beautiful beacons of light God has called us to be.
I love this response I once read of a woman who was asked the question, what is the secret to your beautiful complexion? Here is what she said:For my lips, I use truth For my voice, prayer For my eyes, compassion For my hands, charity For my figure, uprightness and For my heart, love
The Proverbs 31 woman I envision is definitely a radiant beauty, shining God’s light here on earth for many to see. She is living a life of love in action, a life with a great fear of the Lord.
What does it mean to fear the Lord? I remember being so confused by this phrase in the youth of my faith. My connotation of fear was to be afraid, to cower, to hide, to face anxiety and worry. Was I to be afraid of the Lord because of His power and mightiness that He would punish me if I did not obey?
Yet, the Bible tells us many times, “do not be afraid” and “do not worry”. It says God loves me. It says that my sins have been forgiven and His mercies are new each morning. It seemed as though I was receiving mixed messages. Then God blessed me with growth, wisdom and revelation.
Fearing God isn’t about being afraid. It’s about having a deep reverence for Him. It is coming before God in awe of who He is, standing in the midst of His perfection. It’s about understanding that He is good, He is faithful and He is constant. God has not changed and He never will. He is the same from the beginning to the end.
Wow, that is too much for my limited mind to take in. I could not possibly absorb it all. God never expects us to. He is the Creator and we are the creation. We must look to God and seek Him out in each of our days.
Look what it says in Hebrews 10:22, “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”
Fear the Lord. Draw near to Him with a sincere heart. Have faith in Him. Look at what He blesses us with in return, a heart cleansed of guilt and a body washed in pure water. That sounds like the perfect recipe for God’s Holy beauty treatment. It’s not easy to be beautiful with a heart burdened with guilt. I don’t know about you, but the filth of my sin is not pretty. Oh to be cleansed by God! Now that leaves me feeling radiant!
The next question that I found, perhaps you are thinking it to, is how? How do I draw near to God? How do I experience the shining light of His glory?
Read the Bible. Pray. Talk to God. Ask Him to speak, sit quietly and listen. Journal. Pray with other believers. Have meals and conversations with people who follow Christ. Go to a Bible study or fellowship group. Read a book about the Bible. Get started, don’t quit.
Some days are easier than others. We all will have times of falling short. I do it all the time. I have really yucky days. I get caught up in my list of things to do and pass by my Bible, leave my journal unopened and then wonder why I am feeling anxious in the middle of it all. But, I also know the sweetness of lingering in the silence, feeling God’s love press into my heart. I have been overwhelmed by the goodness that He causes to pass before me in this life.
God + me = Proverbs 31 I shall be
It is with God’s help that we will become beautiful people who revere Him in all His glory.
Thank you for Your beautiful light radiantly shining as a beacon drawing us to the safety of Your shores. Call us to You in this day, for this is a day that You have made which we can rejoice in.
Lord, please wash over our hearts and souls with Your pure waters. Refresh us, restore us and renew us. Cleanse us of our sins that we, too, may be lights shining for You. May we show deep and lasting reverence to all the attributes of who You are.
Thank You for Your perfect love! In Jesus name, Amen.