These are the days of the preparation of the Bride of Christ. As such, we are being awakened to our identity in Christ. A core truth of our identity is our beauty. Although most women struggle with the issue of beauty, in the deepest part of her soul, a woman secretly longs to be beautiful, especially to her Beloved God. This longing is by divine design. However, rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal how beautiful we are, we stifle this desire, convinced we have no right to reckon ourselves as being the lovely creature God declares us to be.
In the early 1970Â’s I was teaching a class for young girls, and as I was preparing a lesson on The KingÂ’s Daughter, the Lord spoke to my heart from Psalms 45:13: Â“The KingÂ’s daughter is all glorious withinÂ”. He then said to me, Â“She is beautiful on the insideÂ”. This word from the Lord became my life goal. Little did I know at the time, that to My God, I was already beautiful. I was His unique, special creation; His beautiful handiwork. For sure, I had a lot of spiritual maturing to do, yet in spite of all my flaws, insecurities, weaknesses, inadequacies, and an unawareness of this beauty, to my Beloved I was beautiful. The threads of this wonderful word from the Lord have been woven into my heart through the years and continue to propel me forward in my pursuit to stand before His face glorious when I cross over into eternity. (This is my ultimate quest.)
I dearly love the Song of Solomon. I am fascinated with the prophetic allegory of Christ and His Bride, who are found within its pages. I have come to believe that this Song reveals and unveils the heart of my Heavenly Bridegroom and gives to me an astonishing glimpse of myself, as He sees me. For example, in chapter 4, verse 7, the Bridegroom exclaims, Â“O my love, how beautiful you are!Â” There is no flaw in you!Â” What an image this declaration creates for me, His treasured Bride!
Even though our God given beauty is an unalterable truth, far too many of us have fallen captive to the devils lie that Â“beautifulÂ” could never be said of Â“meÂ”. Why do we do this? Why do we accept his lie instead of believing the truth? After all, what woman would choose not to be beautiful? I will tell you why we accept his lies: We see who we are in the flesh, and therefore, our focus is on our flaws, failures, struggles, inadequacies, and everything else that we consider unlovely concerning ourselves. We then define ourselves by our natural identity. Always be aware that it is who you are on the inside (your spiritual identity) that matters, not who you are through your physical birth.
A few years ago, as I was teaching on the topic of our God bestowed beauty, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the story of the Â“Ugly DucklingÂ”, written by Hans Christian Anderson. As you may recall, the story begins with a mother duck sitting on six eggs. Five of the eggs were small and one egg was very large. As each of the five smaller eggs hatched, a little duckling emerged. However, when the large egg hatched, out came a big, awkward duckling; one that was dull in color with a very long neck. Immediately, the other animals made fun of him and called him ugly. What a time he had! It looked like Â“uglyÂ” was who he was, and that Â“uglyÂ” would forever be his lot in life. Nevertheless, a wonderful thing happened to him. In the process of time, he became who he was created to be, a beautiful swan. In truth, he was always a swan, but he just didnÂ’t know it. We could say that he was Â“asleepÂ” to his true identity. Just like so many of us. We are beautiful and donÂ’t know it; asleep to who we are and the radiant beauty we possess. ItÂ’s time for GodÂ’s Â“Sleeping BeautyÂ” to wake up and discover her true identity!
Our destiny hinges on this awakening. It is vital for the Bride of Christ to know who she truly is if she is to fulfill her role in GodÂ’s end-time plan.
CRAFTED IN HIS IMAGE
We are not common, ordinary women! We are of divine origin, having come right out of God Himself. In 1 John 4:4 (KJV), we find this statement: Â“Ye are of GodÂ”. The Greek word used in this passage translated of is Â“ekÂ” meaning, origin, from, out of. We see a good rendering of this meaning in Kenneth WuestÂ’s translation of this verse: Â“As for you, out of God you are, little born onesÂ…Â” (The New Testament An Expanded Translation). Because we are born of God, we come right out of God Himself. As such, we have been created after His pattern, His image, His likeness. The creation of our inner man is according to what God is in Himself. We are GodÂ’s Own handiwork. His workmanship created Â“in Christ JesusÂ”. (Ephesians 2:10) From start to finish, we are His design. You might say that we are a Â“designer originalÂ”! This implies that we have the capacity to become something far greater than what we could ever aspire to become in and of our natural self.
In Philippians 3:12, we find the Apostle Paul declaring: Â“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ JesusÂ”. (KJV) Jesus took hold of us, and made us His own. With His laying hold of us, He apprehended us with divine purpose. Jesus passionately desires for us to become all that He has created us to be, which, by the way, is far more and much greater, than what we presently are. Romans 8:29 tells us that we have been destined to be conformed to the image of GodÂ’s Son. The Amplified Bible adds that we are to Â“share inwardly His likenessÂ”. To be like Jesus is our BelovedÂ’s heartbeat for His cherished Bride.
Since we have been made partakers of GodÂ’s divine life and nature (2 Peter 1:4), we can rest assured that there is a greater, larger life within our being and that our life is patterned after God. Our life is not nearly so much about who we are through our natural birth, but it is all about who we have been made through our spiritual birth. By physical conception our parents gave us a natural, Â“fleshÂ” birth. This birth involved a lot more than getting a body with eyes, ears, legs, hands, a heart, etc. At birth, we became Â“someoneÂ”. We became a person that would develop and become identified with certain personality traits. Similarly, through regeneration, we become a new creation (Â“someoneÂ”) with a new identity, which has been designed and destined to develop into Christ likeness.
A NEW IDENTITY
It is essential that we live in the consciousness of who God made us. He sees us Â“in ChristÂ”, and this is precisely how we are to see ourselves. To be Â“in HimÂ” means that we are in union with Him, joined to Him; one spirit with Him. We are forever linked with Christ. Being Â“in ChristÂ” establishes a wonderful new identity for us. We so often get caught up in who we are in the natural, and feel our spiritual identity is oceans apart from whom we seem to be in the flesh. We must constantly remind ourselves, that through regeneration, we have become a new creation with a brand new identity. 2 Corinthians 5:17 states: Â“Therefore if any person is (ingrafted) in Christ, the Messiah, he is ( a new creature altogether,) a new creation; the old (previous moral and spiritual condition) has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!Â”
What a miracle has taken place in us through the new birth! Through regeneration, we died to our old spiritual condition. Our identity of sin, shame and guilt was dealt a death blow, and we became a brand new person with a whole new identity; one that is connected to God and rooted in His life which has been infused into our very being. We became partakers of the divine nature of God. In essence, we received into our born again spirit the glorious attributes of God. We still remained the same person outwardly, but inwardly everything changed. Always remember, it is who you are on the inside that really matters. As it is often stated concerning our triune make-up: Â“I am a spirit, I have a soul, and I (the real person) live in a bodyÂ”. The more weight you give to the truth that you are a spirit; the greater will be your ascendancy in giving place to your spiritual identity.
How marvelous it would be if we could only see the dramatic change that transpires in us the instant we are recreated. In that matchless moment, our spirit man is raised up from spiritual death through the power of the Holy Spirit and then infused with the very life of God. We are translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of GodÂ’s very Own Dear Son. We become a new species of being; a beautiful and glorious creation of God!
In Psalms 45:11 (NIV) we discover that God is enthralled with our beauty. He is captivated with who He has made us! Yes, even in the midst of our immaturity, brokenness, and failure God perceives in us more beauty than we can envision. God sees each of us as beautiful because of what He accomplished in our salvation and transformation. We are His glorious, beautiful masterpiece. Not only are we beautiful in the here and now, but we are destined for an eternal beauty yet to be unveiled. Can you even begin to perceive what the Bride of Christ will look like in eternity?
I trust you now recognize that the subject of beauty is vital. You see, there is more to our love story than only what is transpiring in our life here on this earth. We are destined to become the Bride and eternal companion of our Beloved Jesus. Because of His own beauty and gloriousness, our God has designed for His Bride to become just as awesome and beautiful as He. And so, as we are journeying through our lifetime, we carry, not only the promise of bestowed beauty for this life, but also the hope of a greater beauty yet to be revealed and realized throughout all eternity. We are and forever will be stunningly beautiful to our Heavenly Bridegroom.