A lot of times, Christians get too focused on the outward demonstration of someone else’s expression of their heart for God. Just because someone can preach well, prophesy, teach, worship, give words of knowledge or write books is not an indicator of their love and devotion to the Lord. These are only outward expressions that matter more to people than to God. God is more attentive to what is taking priority in our lives on the inside, not the outside. Yes, the outward expressions of our heart should mirror our inward heart for God, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. God looks at the heart. Father loves who you are more than what you do.
1 Samuel 16:7, “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
The Lord showed me the other day that though there are major differences between Queen Esther and Mary of Bethany as in the way they expressed their lives on earth, they had hearts that were similar. They both desired to love and follow God’s heart, no matter the cost.
First, you have the beautiful and bold Queen Esther declaring, “…if I perish, I perish”. She counted the cost, risked it all and found favor with God and man. She was the Queen. She had beauty, wealth and power. But those are all the things we read about on the outside. How many people in history have had beauty, wealth and power, only to lose their hearts? I am talking about Believers. They were admired while on earth but they never really knew the Lord. Queen Esther had it all before God. Why? Not only was she beautiful, wealthy, bold and powerful, her heart was devoted to the God of Israel. And that’s what matters.
Then you have the Beloved Mary of Bethany. She loved to sit at the feet of Jesus more than anything else in the world. She even had a deeper understanding of what was taking place with Jesus than the disciples. She loved Jesus from the very depths of her heart and Jesus loved her for that. Like Esther, she counted the cost, risked it all and found favor with God. She is the one who poured the alabaster box of perfume on Jesus. What worship, abandonment and devotion she had to the One that she loved. Here’s what Jesus said about it:
Luke 10:42, “Only a few things are important, even just one. Mary has chosen the good thing. It will not be taken away from her”
I am speaking to all Believers, men and women. Because yes, as a man, I want a heart like these women had before God.
So you may be like Queen Esther. On the outside you may have a lot of things going for you. You are very vocal with your walk with God. You are bold and strong in the things of God. You have influence with the people that God has entrusted to you. And on the inside? Your heart is truly on fire for God. You are devoted to the call on your life. You love the Lord with all of your heart and you like to express your heart boldly to anyone who will listen.
Or you may be like Mary of Bethany. You may not be as outgoing as someone with a heart like Esther. But you are no less devoted to the One you love. More than anything else in the world, you would just rather sit at the feet of Jesus. And when it comes down to it, you have counted the cost and are willing to risk it all just to give your extravagant love, devotion and adoration to Jesus.
Either outward expressions bring glory to God because it’s what is taking place on the inside of you heart that matters before Heaven.
So guard your heart against trying to be like someone else. Jesus loves it when you are just being you. He loves YOUR expression of love towards Him. He doesn’t want you to mirror someone else’s walk with God. He wants you. Your heart. Your love. Your devotion. No one else can love Him the way you do. However you choose to express you heart to God, He loves it. You may be bold like Esther or intimate like Mary. Both matter before God because He is looking at the heart.
He loves you deeply my friend!
Ryan Bruss, Director