Thursday, July 11, 2013

Looking Good From a Distance

Sunday morning I came out of the house, ready for church and saw one of our neighbours  washing/polishing his truck .. It was gleaming  white in the morning sun.

I greeted him and asked...   "Didn't you just wash your truck yesterday?"
He replied, "Yes, but I wasn't quite finished and missed a few spots !"
I called back .. "It looks perfect to me !"
His response... "Yes, it looks good from a distance!"
I quipped , "That's how most people see it !"
He smiled. "True!"

I immediately realized what a great analogy this was.  A sermon in a short  spontaneous conversation.

I thought of how we are so careful in how we present the part of us that others see. We fuss with our hair, our clothes, keeping  our words and facial expressions kind and friendly.   We try to please those around us, doing the things expected of us, performing the good deeds that will be favourably received and duly admired.

At a distance ... we look good !

But what about if someone looks closer ...  all the way into the heart that is carefully concealed from other people who are impressed with their view of us.   But there is One who is not distracted by the outward, nor does He judge by how we look at a distance.  He examines our heart - close up!

God is not concerned with how we look at a distance - in fact the outward isn't His concern at all  - He desires our 'heart' beauty!  
  Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel.... but let it be the hidden person of the heart... 
1Pe 3:3,4  

God is the examiner of the heart ... the One who desires to 'clean' what others may not see -- what we ourselves may ignore or justify!  
  Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart. 
Ps. 26:2 

There really isn't anything God misses ... we have no 'heart spots' we can hide from Him. 
  For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Heb 4:12 
What does God require of us ? 
"And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart...." 
Duet. 10:12
What is the best spot remover for our hearts ?  
  How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.
   Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. 
Ps. 119:9,11

May we allow our heart to be  'cleaned/polished'  in such a way that we can say to the Lord , 
as did  King David .. 
 You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.  
Ps. 17:3


ellen b. said...

Encouraging and convicting all wrapped up in this post! Blessings...

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Living in a hard water area means water spots plague me a lot. Anything cleaned with tap water will have spots. An extra step must be taken to remove sediment; which isn't really unclean but just visually distracting.
Not sure how that fact fits in with this post...which I read and was quite blessed by!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

What a good analogy! There's a reason we like to keep people at arm's length...we look better from further away. But God sees it all.

Lovella ♥ said...

Great lesson Julie and so true!

Kathy said...

Julie, thank you for those scriptures today.....they speak to my heart.

Anneliese said...

I thought of the secular song "From a Distance, God is watching" ... and reading your words here reminded me why that song is not quite right on.

James Janzen said...

I like that. That is such a simple truth.