Today’s blog post is a guest post from my friend Nadine Krill.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’” 1 Samuel 16:7 ESV
As I was painting my nails this morning, I thought about how truly terrible I am at it. Really, it’s tragic. I’ve tried just about everything – Kiss fake nails, OPI, Essie, dip, acrylic, gel, polygel.
When I make the effort to go to a nail salon that consistently does a good job, my nails always look incredible and I love the experience. But then inevitably, I decide that I can’t spend the money or I don’t have the time. I come up with all of these excuses.
Nothing measures up to the overall experience of an incredible salon. That’s because the nail tech knows what she’s doing and she puts so much care into the short time I’m with her. Their experience far outweighs anything I could know. The total time of getting my nails done might take longer and be a little more expensive, but I always know it’s worth it.
And yet, I take the easy route and end up wasting a lot of my own time and money on shortcuts (this involves these gimmicky things from TikTok and Amazon that leave me feeling frustrated and defeated). After failed attempts, I always end up going to the salon and feel satisfied for the next week or so. But then I get lazy with it and try to talk myself out of going the next time.
It’s this pattern of doubt and wanting to stray from what I know works for me.
We can never do anything nearly as well as when we invite God into it.
I think sometimes we can treat God like this, too. For one, I can never do anything nearly as well on my own as I can when I invite God into it. When I am not consistent with my upkeep, I fall into excuses.
God is intentional. God cares so deeply for us and He takes the time necessary to get it right. His plan for me is always better than my own. Kind of like when my nail tech always knows what will look best on me, God knows what’s best for me. And the same goes for you.
He demands our discipline. But discipline is not a bad word – it simply requires obedience and consistency with God over anything else, which is overall better for us in the long haul.
No matter how many times I try to figure something out on my own, I know it will be better for me to go to the One who knows it all.
God already HAS all of the solutions. With Him, there are no gimmicks. God requires no shortcuts. With God, there is true satisfaction.
But we have to keep going back to Him. Having a relationship with God has nothing to do with going to church on Sundays, scripture on my lock screen, or the highlighters I use with my Bible. My relationship with God has everything to do with consistency and humility. I know that God is always better, just like with my nail tech. Ultimately, my nails always look better when I go to the salon because I have an expert who cares for me.
God cares about the upkeep of our souls.
The same goes for God. When we want our hearts to look as good (or better) than our outward appearance, we need to spend time with Him. Forget manicures, God is the true expert on every single thing. It doesn’t matter to God how polished our lives look on the outside, but how we take care of our souls. Only one of those is eternal.
Sometimes spending time with God will cost you a little. Maybe you’ll need to say no to a nice dinner with friends or those twenty extra minutes in bed. But consistency breeds the results. You get to decide the outcome. God is a God who gave us the free will to enter into His presence. Just like we have the free will to take care of our outward appearance, we also have the choice to take care of our inward appearance. And one of these is far more necessary.
So my question for you today is this, are you done making excuses and taking shortcuts?
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