"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." ~ Proverbs 31:30
God is the essence of beauty, and He longs to share His beauty with us. When we accept Jesus, His beauty resides within us. And if we revere Him, we will mirror His beauty from the inside out. This is God's desire.
Consider Esther. Although she was physically beautiful, Esther also glowed with an inner beauty that was established and purposed by God before she ever entered the king's palace (Es. 2:7, 15). She won the king's favor and approval because she was on a mission from God to save His and her people. And God's hand of favor and protection was upon her as she consistently made right choices, yielding to the Father's will.
Esther understood wisdom as is evident by how she followed her uncle Mordecai's counsel to not reveal her identity and the eunich Hegai's suggestion to not ask for anything when she came before the king (Es. 2:10-11, 15). Esther understood the wisdom of 1Peter 3:4, ". . . the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." And she also understood the power of revering God through fasting (Es. 4:16).
Esther had substance, and her beauty was a power tool used by God to accomplish His will to save a nation.
How is God using your beauty? Likewise, how are you using your beauty?
Contrary to the nobleness of Esther, the once perfect (Ps. 50:2) but fast fleeting beauty of Jerusalem is described in Ezekiel 16 as prostitution. When we "trust in our beauty and use our fame to become a prostitute" (vs. 15), our beauty becomes pillaged by the enemies of destruction and death. Our own disobedience and idolatry to ungodly pleasures opens the door, giving the devil a legal right to "pimp" us out, leaving us depleted, defiled and disgusted.
As we journey through life, what will we choose? Perfect beauty or prostitution?
If the latter has been your choice (even if not in the literal sense), there is freedom through repentance and restoration.
The beauty of God is everlasting. It doesn't fade. It is perfect. In this, we have hope.
Lamentations 3:22-26 says, "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.' The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."
May we choose to honor God by living in the nobility of a yielded heart, mind and body and therefore embrace His full measure of reigning beauty for His glory.
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ. This devotional was adapted from Margaret's forthcoming book, Enduring Grace. All rights reserved.
Originally published Sunday, 10 March 2019.