Friday, September 5, 2008

Beautiful Reflection - shaping the outward lifestyle

Authentic Beauty - Chapter 5

"I eagerly give up all my prized possessions, I unhesitatingly forgo the pleasure of my most intimate friendships, and, without reservation, I void all my greatest achievements for the amazing and priceless opportunity to intimately know, love, and serve my heavenly Prince, Jesus Christ." - Philippians 3:8, Paraphrase

This chapter was about shaping your life around your time with Christ, instead of your life shaping your time with Christ. Young ladies in this day and have schedules filled to the brim with friends, school, boys and extra-curricular activities. Often, we find ourselves squeezing in some Bible time before bed, or saying a quick prayer as we rush out the door.

"Friends, guys, and career pursuits completely dominated my time. I had been trying to fit Him in here and there, whenever I had a spare moment. Though a lot of my time was spent with Christian friends doing Christian things, He was not the center of my world. My life was not built around my Prince."

As God's lily-white princess, we should never expect to live a "normal life". God has so much more for you than "normal".
"He had so much more in mind for me than the expected pattern for today's typical young woman. And He wanted to teach me to think outside the assumptions I had never questioned - assumptions that controlled the way I lived my life."

Looking Beyond Assumptions:

Assumption #1: To be well adjusted and healthy, a young woman must have plenty of friends her own age and must spend a large amount of her time and energy maintaining that energy.
In her book, Leslie says that when she gave up her old shallow friendships, God replaced them with true friends, friends who were pursuing Christ the same way she was. They weren't all "typical" friends either. She became friends with godly adults, much older and wiser then she was. And God blessed her abundantly more through those friendships then she could have ever imagined.

Assumption #2: To have a successful future, a young woman must carefully follow society's pattern for success.

Trust God with your life! When a decision needs to be made about your future, go to God, not to the culture around you, when deciding which road to take. Don't you think the Creator of the Universe and the Orchestrator of all Creation knows what He's doing?

Assumption #3: To find true love, a young woman must put a huge amount of effort into the pursuit of romantic relationships.
"He wanted me to stop building my life around the pursuit of the opposite sex and instead build my life completely around the pursuit of Him. I was to concern myself not with finding human love but with falling more deeply in love with Jesus Christ. In His won perfect way, when He was ready, He would write my love story for me."
I can't imagine a better hand to write my love story than the Hand of God Almighty!

Practical Steps for Pursuing Intimacy with Christ

Leslie gives this analogy as an encouragement to really pursue Christ:

"A young figure skater with the dream of winning and Olympic gold medal does not just read about skating, watch videos about skating, sing songs about skating, listen to advice about skating, and hang out with other skaters. She devotes her heart, soul, mind, body, energy, and time to skating. She gets up before dawn, practices tirelessly for countless hours, and spends every spare moment of her days, nights, and weekends on the ice. That kind of passionate, unyielding dedication is a picture of what it means to build our lives around intimacy with our Prince in the inner sanctuary of our hearts. Don't settle for hearing about intimacy with Him, singing about intimacy with Him, or reading about intimacy with Him; really discover true intimacy with Him by building your entire life around Him. A life built around our Prince is the essence of what it means to be His lily-white princess."

Chapter 6 - Coming Soon!

Leslie's Web site

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Mary said...

thank you for sharing your thoughts - I really like how you applied it to real life

Kimberly said...

Sounds like a very relevant book. I like the reference to the verse "does her husband good ALL the days of her life. How encouraging.