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Getting the Look
by Martha Kinney
6/07/2017 / Christian Living
Fashion is always in the news. Who wore what? What is in? Where to get what is in. It used to be mostly a woman's subject, but not anymore. Men are as fashion conscience as women especially in the social and business worlds.
Isaiah, the prophet, spoke about three looks that never go out of style. These are looks we need to pursue daily regardless of our outer wear. When we get in the habit of using these looks as a part of our living we will find we are always in style.
Though easy to explain, sometimes the cost seems a bit steep for it does cost us. Still they are worth the investment. They are the upward look, the inward look and the outward look.
Isaiah 6: 1-4 The upward look is described in these verses. This requires us to take our eyes off of ourselves. We must look up because God is far above us. He is holy. He is God. It pricks our egos to admit that He is so far above us. We want a god that is more like us. But if that were the case how would he be of benefit to humanity? Because God is holy and omnipotent He sits in the perfect place to help us achieve a winning lifestyle.
God wants us to be winners. He delights in blessing us. But He also knows that in order for those things to happen there needs to be some changes in our lives. Jeremiah 2:13 tells us that we have forsaken God and His living water and have opted for broken cisterns that don't hold water.
We live in an age where we put popular views above God's view. We choose to make our own rules instead of following God's rules. We want a god that dances to our tune, but God is not a pawn or a genie. He is God Almighty and He is holy.
In Jeremiah 29:11 God declares that His plans for us are ones of success. However, if we are not in step with Him, if we are on a different path we miss His blessings for our lives. There is a story about a man who was touring heaven and saw this huge warehouse sitting off to one side. When he asked what was in it he was told he could look inside but he wouldn't like what he saw. Being curious he ventured inside. There he found row upon row of blessings stacked with his name on them. He was told these were the ones he missed because he was out of step with God at times. The upward look should help us keep in step so we do not miss those blessings.
Isaiah 6:5 The inward look naturally follows the upward look. Once we truly recognize who God truly is. We see Him in all His holiness and majesty, we cry, 'woe is me.' We see that we are dressed in the rags of our sin and are truly without hope without God. Isaiah said as much in Isaiah 64:5-7.
It is hard for today's society to accept the inward look. For it calls for honesty and openness. We prefer to put on a false front so that we look good to the world. It calls for us to look at ourselves and not the other guy and see us for who and what we really are.
That ugly picture does not bode well with us. Modern technology allows us to hide behind our computers and create a persona that suits us for many different areas of society. We can be whoever and whatever we want on Twitter, Facebook and email. However, who we really are is the person who sits at the keyboard creating these different looks.
Luckily God has already provided a cure and a covering for our sinful state. The cure was purchased at Calvary and our sins were covered by the blood of Christ shed there. When we accept His gift of salvation we are stripped of sin and we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Although it is simple enough for a child to understand it does have a price for us. We have to acknowledge that we are lost without this gift. We have to desire to become a child of God and to live according to His way.
The inward look will cost us every day of our life for our life now belongs to God. We are His child and as such are expected to live as such. That means we must put away sin and self and seek to know God better every day.
Isaiah 6:8 leads us to the last look, the outward look. This is the most challenging for it calls us to no longer embrace the 'what's in it for me' attitude of the world. We adopt the attitude that seeks to reach out to a lost and hurting world. We become ambassadors for Christ.
We are called to carry the message that says anyone and everyone can have these three looks. We are called to carry this message in the way we live, the way we talk and the way we look at the world now. It is a complete change from our past.
The outward look is what caused thirteen men to turn their world upside down in the early church years. Will you join their ranks with the upward, inward and outward look they displayed?
Martha Kinney, Christian writer. Wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 11.
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