Friday, January 23, 2009

Beautiful in God's Eyes

Let me give you an example of a person who, through changing her worldview, was set free from the power of the devil and given the joy of serving God in freedom and power. She was an extremely attractive young woman I'll call Jill, who came into my office weeping. After ten minutes of her sobbing and me trying to comfort her and find out what was wrong, Jill confessed she believed she was ugly. The very notion made me want to laugh. Her, ugly? If she was ugly, I must have been a hyena. And yet. it's such a common feeling, especially among women in today's world. Everyone wants to be Barbie or Cindy Crawford. As she wept, I said to Jill, trying to move her in the direction of the truth, "Are you willing to accept yourself as God-loving, wise, compassionate, all-knowing God-made you, or do you think He made a mistake? As a Christian, she didn't believe God made mistakes, but this was a completely new concept to her. When she stammered out "no" to my query about accepting herself, I read the passage in Psalms 139:14, reminding her about being "fearfully and wonderfully made." I explained God had made each of us beautiful and amazing creations in our own right, a perfect creature of His love and wisdom. While yes, the world might look on and criticize, the truth was God had made Jill exactly as He'd wanted, and what He'd wanted was to fashion her "fearfully"-someone to respect and reverence-and "wonderfully"-someone amazing and perfect and beautiful in the eyes of Perfect Love and Wisdom. As we talked, the Holy Spirit opened her heart. For the first time, she saw that a good, wise, and loving God had created her as He had wanted to all along. She realized He had given her traits, abilities, and even physical characteristics that He considered beautiful and immeasurably attractive. As I shared these things, an astonishing transformation came over her face, a radiance that proved she had accepted herself in a healing, freedom-giving way because of God's truth. Months later she told me that she could not only enjoy the way she looked, but she saw that all of herself-her mind, her personality, her heart and soul-was "fearfully and wonderfully made" by the God who knows all! This was not arrogance, nor even conceit. The fact was she no longer compared her looks to others or to billboards. God had set her free. At a later time she told me, "I have peace about how I look because I know the Lord made me exactly the way He wanted." Had Jill been under spiritual attack? Had Satan engage her in spiritual warfare? Definitely. Jill had believed lies hammered into her by the devil through the world and the flesh and probably other sources as well. These lies had debilitated her, made her doubt herself at every turn, and even made her hate herself? What could this be but Satan's plan to destroy the good thing God created? What about you? If you've read this article and still believe spiritual warfare is a type of baloney, I implore you: Recognize the spiritual battle around you. Realize Satan has power on earth (Luke 22:53; Ephesians 6:12). But also realize God has greater power (I John 4:4). You need not fear (that is, hold in awe) Satan. No, the one to truly fear in a reverential sense is God. He loves you and will guide you through any warfare you will face today, this week, and all the way to the end of your life. Rejoice that He is with you every step of the path. Take this warfare seriously, but at the same time keep your heart set on the things above where Christ is at the right hand of God. That will still your soul when you hear that lion roar. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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