In today’s culture beauty is huge. It is the number one thing on many minds every single day. It is the reason that drives some people to do what they do. You may think this is just something women struggle with, but really, it’s something we all struggle with- male or female, young or old, short or tall, large or small. Beauty is a real thing in our society.
We are told that to be “beautiful” we have to be super skinny. Women think they have to be a size 0, coated in makeup, tall, and tan to even be seen as beautiful. Men think they have to be tall, dark, and handsome. We are told by this culture that if we do not fall into these categories then we are not considered beautiful.
Sometimes we long to just be told that we are beautiful. We desire this affirmation. We want to be accepted and we want to feel true beauty. Sometimes it holds us back and controls the way we act and the things we do. For example, when you get up each day you spend hours trying to figure out what to wear, how to do your hair, how to do your makeup. Men, you may not be willing to admit it, but you may spend hours trying to get that perfect hair flip, getting all the acne to go away, and even trying to find the perfect shirt to match your eyes. When we can’t find anything to wear we get this impulse that we need to go buy something. That if we bought a new top, those new pair of shoes that are in style, or a new hat, that we would somehow magically complete our beauty.
This is something that is dear to my heart. I am a college student, yes at a Christian University, but this culture still surrounds me daily. I am constantly hearing: “you have to be super skinny to be beautiful”, “you have to wear these specific clothes to be beautiful”. These lies are not just being expressed on college campuses. No, they are everywhere: social media, magazines, television, music, and yes, they even exist within the Church.
But friends, that is exactly what they are. They are LIES.
These are things that the enemy tries to put into our heads. He tries to tell us that we need this worldly “beauty” in order to be accepted. He tells us that we need to be of this world while we are in it or we are truly not beautiful. The enemy is the “Father of Lies”.
John 8.44: “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
The enemy is so caught up in his lies that he cannot even speak truth. Isn’t that just awful? And he is trying to pour these lies into your head. It’s impossible for him to ever see or affirm true beauty as God sees it.
Friends, we are told in 1 Peter 3.3-4, “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
We are straight up told to not let ourselves get caught up in the things this world would classify as beautiful. We need to not let these standards of “beauty” define us, because they are the world’s standards, not God’s! And we live by the standards of Christ and no one else!
Where is our beauty found then? Our true beauty is found in the heart. Our true beauty is when we allow ourselves to adorn our hearts, our inner disposition.
Brothers and Sisters, we need breakthrough. We need to be set free from these lies that say our beauty is set by the world’s standards. These lies hold us back from truly being who God has created us to be because we are too focused on measuring up to the standards of the world. It distracts us from keeping our eyes above on the eternal things Jesus offers us through His death on the cross. It is a hurdle in our way and sometimes it is just too hard to jump over.
Joshua needed breakthrough. Joshua just wanted to go to Jericho. But there was this wall in his way. How could he get to Jericho with a giant wall? He took his men, as commanded by the Lord, and marched around the walls of Jericho seven times. On the seventh time, the walls came tumbling down and at last, there was breakthrough.
Friends, Joshua didn’t give up at trying to find this breakthrough. He kept going, he kept marching. Trying to be set free from these lies is not going to be easy. Trying to finally live the life Christ has marked for each of us, based on the inward beauty in our hearts instead of the external adorning the world puts so much emphasis on, is going to be hard. But we cannot give up. We have to fight the good fight!
Listen to Pastor Aaron’s sermon, “Courage Unleashed: Principles of Breakthrough” on PAG’s podcast to discover more about how Joshua experienced breakthrough in the Old Testament.
Friends, are you struggling with something today? Do you just need breakthrough? Do you need to be set free from something that is holding you back from being what God has created you to be? Do you need to get over that hurdle in your life? What is your Jericho?
Tell the devil to take his lies, schemes, and accusations and to get out in Jesus’ name!
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”- James 4.7
It’s time we started believing God’s truth about us and who He says we are!
PAG College Student, Blogger, Writer