I wanted out of there! The awkwardness and tension were thick as molasses in December. I felt out of place. There was a sense of something deeper going on in this family, something toxic. I couldn’t possibly know exactly what it was, but I felt it. I could not get out of that house fast enough. Do you know what I’m talking about? From the outside, the home looks beautiful. The lawn is perfectly manicured. The flowers are in full bloom without any dead foliage (not like my flower bed!). Everything is meticulous. But once you step inside, it all changes. They are spiritual hoarders. It’s a complete mess and the spiritual smell is – well – it’s just nasty. Here are 5 Ways To Make Sure Your Life Is Not All About Curb Appeal.
I’m sure we’ve all been in a home like that. One where we just feel so uncomfortable and we can’t wait to escape. But what about those homes you just love to visit? How are they different? In a spiritual sense, it always smells good. The conversation is always encouraging. It feels like you are a part of the family and you leave feeling nourished. The heart of that house was amazing. This is the goal for my home – when people leave, they want to return. It has become one of my regular prayers that God will bless my home so that when people come over they will feel His peace.
God longs for us to build our lives His way. He wants us to become the amazing women He intended us to be. And this means making our hearts like the home mentioned in the paragraph above – full of His presence. 5 Ways To Make Sure Your Life Is Not All About Curb Appeal will help you understand how to have His presence in your life – resting in His grace and mercy.
#1 ~ Let The Word Change Your Heart
One thing that occurs in a home such as this is that the Word is heard and put into practice. The fleshly tendency is for our hearts to bend away from God if left to themselves. We need to be purposeful in allowing God’s word to be deeply rooted in our hearts. This doesn’t happen simply by reading His word. We have to allow it to penetrate our hearts and change us. I am sure, just like me, you know of your fair share of people who have plenty of scriptures memorized, but their hearts aren’t changed.
If you want more than curb appeal, let God’s word change your heart.
#2 ~ Guard Your Heart
Be careful with what you allow into your life is forst of the 5 Ways To Make Sure Your Life Is Not All About Curb Appeal. I old friend of mine allowed pornography to enter her marriage, into her life, and into her heart. Because she failed to guard her heart, what came out of it was toxic. She grew malicious towards me because she felt my ‘judgment’ (no, she was convicted).
If we keep our hearts (watch, guard, preserve, kept close, be blockaded, guard with fidelity), with all diligence, then our lives will overflow with LIFE. However, the contrary is also true. If we choose to not guard our hearts and we allow evil and sin to reign, death will come out of us. Mark 7:21-23 is clear about this:
#3 ~ Come As You Are
We can come to Jesus with our mess. And believe me, we are all messy! There is this false idea that we must clean up our act before coming to Jesus. Ladies, this is just “curb appeal”. Because we can’t clean up our own stuff. We can’t fix ourselves. Only Jesus can do that. If we could fix ourselves, then the work on the Cross was done in vain.
Jesus longs to breathe life into our hearts. He sees all of our stuff already.
The story of the Samaritan woman (John 4) is a good example of this truth. He makes her uncomfortable with her sin so that she looks to Him for her restoration and redemption. He loved her enough to not let her remain in her sin.
This is truth for us, too. He loves us too much to leave us in our mess. However, if we are too busy trying to clean up our own act, then there isn’t room for Him to do His work. He loves us where we are at – right now – today. He wants to change your heart.
If you want more than curb appeal, come to Him just as you are, in your mess.
#4 ~ Get Honest
If we want change in our lives, then we need to get in touch with what is going on in our hearts. We must be honest with ourselves. We need to admit when our own efforts just aren’t working. Knowing what is LESS will help us to understand what is MORE.
Often, getting honest with yourself means being vulnerable with someone else. Find someone SAFE to open up to. I need to emphasize safe – not everyone is safe. Not everyone is ready to handle the mess, to join you in the journey to heal. Opening up to someone else helps bring our dirt out into the Light of Jesus Christ. We put a voice to what has been holding us captive and the sin starts to lose its power over us.
Opening up to someone else also makes us accountable to change. It is so much easier to fall back into destructive patterns when we try to walk this journey alone. But when we have a Godly friend to walk this path with us, they help to keep us on the straight and narrow.
If you want more than curb appeal, get honest about the condition of your heart.
#5 ~ Remember The Ultimate Goal
Understanding the ultimate goal for the change in your life will help to keep you from maintaining the curb appeal. When we lose sight of the most important goal, we begin to panic in our shame (oh, shame is a familiar
The ultimate goal for God transforming our hearts is to give Jesus all the glory and to let that glory shine from our lives and into a broken world. A broken world that desperately needs Him.
Hearts need to be changed. For when hearts are changed, then the behavior changes to line up with the heart change. We need to rejoice in the truth that our entire life, our entire being, has been covered in a blanket of grace.
Thinking about that Samaritan woman again…reading verse 39, we see that the town wasn’t talking about the woman. They were talking about Jesus. Townspeople had seen His Light shining through the Samaritan woman and they were drawn to Him. People began to seek Him out. It was always about Him.
If you want more than curb appeal, remember the ultimate goal is to bring Him glory.
Stripped Down and Bare
We all have our stuff. All of us. Let’s not question that or pretend that we don’t have stuff.
I have stuff that God is working on. If I want change in my life, I can’t ignore this truth. And I can be ok with it. Especially since we all have stuff. I can be ok with it because of my Savior. He died stripped down and bare so that I could come to Him stripped down and bare. He has the power to change any heart from death to life. But we must let go of maintaining the curb appeal and let Him deal with our stuff.
How about giving God’s grace and mercy a try instead?
What would you add to 5 Ways To Make Sure Your Life Is Not All About Curb Appeal? Share in the comments!
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