Most people are concerned about their outer appearance (outer glory) instead of their inner appearance (inner glory). Many people think they are unattractive, overweight, or not fashionable according to the world's standards. The world has become narcissistic and they have been influenced by Satan. The Bible says that Satan (aka Lucifer) was the model of perfection and beauty (Lucifer was adorned with all sorts of precious stones- refer to Ezekiel 28:12-19). Yet, he became proud because of his beauty and wisdom. Satan failed to maintain his righteous character as he became fixated on his outer glory and wisdom. Pride and envy were the cause of his downfall.
Compare Satan with Jesus Christ in His human form (you'll see a major contrast)- the Bible says that there was nothing majestic about the outer appearance of Jesus Christ while He was on earth. He took on a lowly and humble form. What set Him apart from Satan was His character. This is what God wants from us also. God doesn't care how we look on the outside, He looks at the state of our heart/character. What is the point of having outer glory but being nasty on the inside like Satan? Hence, we need to pursue the true spiritual stones/gems that need to adorn our inner selves. Galatians 5:22-23 teaches what these precious stones are (the fruit of the Spirit). Also refer to 1 Peter 3:3-4. These spiritual jewels (characteristics) are far more majestic than physical jewels (ex. diamonds, sapphire, etc.) and metals (ex. gold, silver, platinum). When we develop these fruits in our lives, we start shining brighter than any precious stone or metal in existence. We shine in a spiritual manner which is much more majestic than the beauty or brightness of the above things. They can't outdo the glory of the fruit of the Spirit- the fruit of the Spirit are the very characteristics of God. God has created glorious things (ex. precious stones, metals, etc.) with physical beauty, however, He wants us to outshine those things in a spiritual manner by changing our fallen character and instead conforming to God's character (being godly). Refer to Philippians 2:14-16. Instead of clothing ourselves in narcissism and sociopathy (which are mental disorders that negatively affects our minds), we need to clothe ourselves in tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, love, peace, and thankfulness (refer to Colossians 3:12-15 and 1 Peter 5:5-6). Remember, it doesn't take strength to exalt yourself. Rather, it takes strength to humble yourself. We can learn from Christ how humility is the true basis of strength and power and also how it is the path for God lifting you up and exalting you in due time. This is what Satan failed to realize. He thought he deserved more because He was the seal of perfection. His narcissism clouded his judgment and subsequently led to his fall, as he forgot what true righteousness and godliness is about (which is much more than having power and dominion). As a human, it's a struggle for us to humble ourselves especially when we feel like we deserve to be exalted always. That's why you have to keep reminding yourself that true power/strength is about humbling yourself so that you won't be destroyed by your own narcissistic ego. Narcissism is truly a cancer to your spiritual well-being. A narcissistic ego blinds you into making foolish decisions. Learn to stay humble for your own safety and well-being. Have a survival mentality instead of a narcissistic mentality.
I’ve learned that when you face problems and trials at the hands of evil people (like sociopaths), to let yourself see it as an opportunity to become more and more like God. When we are shaken and troubled by things in this world, He wants us to develop our character to become unshakable in our faith, needing and desiring nothing from this world and also develop the fruit of the Spirit in our lives to overcome every problem we face. In this way, I think we become like a spiritual and godly type of fire. I’ve always been fascinated by fire (I’m not a pyromaniac) as it’s one of the most powerful elements. It can destroy, melt, and alter things. Even though water can extinguish fire, heat (from fire) can cause water to boil and evaporate. The Bible says that God is a devouring fire. I’ve always felt inferior because of the fact that God and His angels have indestructible bodies while we are made of flesh which is so fragile. Of course, God promises that He will give us new bodies just like His Son, Jesus Christ has, which will be incorruptible and indestructible (immune to sin and death).
The Bible has revealed how Christ’s new body looks like and it also states that we will be transformed to be like Him.
Revelation 1:14-16 (NLT):
"His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. 15 His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. 16 He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance."
When you suffer in this world, realize that your feet are also being transformed to resemble the feet of Christ (like polished bronze refined in a furnace) in His glorified body. Hence, keep an unshakable faith in God so that you will receive true praise and glory from God on the Day of the Lord in the future. Whenever I hear the UEFA Champion's League anthem, it brings goosebumps to me. It's a beautiful and inspiring song. However, it glorifies sports stars/teams who are the best in Europe. In the future, God will exalt those who patiently endure suffering/injustices on earth and remain faithful in obedience to Him. Hence, when I hear songs like the Champion's League anthem, it reminds me that some day I too will be exalted along with others who were the masters, the best and the champions who overcame sin like Christ did.
1 Peter 1:6-7 (NLT):
"So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world."
"His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself."
1 John 3:2 (NLT):
"Dear friends, we are already God's children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is."
2 Cor. 3:18 (NLT):
"So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord--who is the Spirit--makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image."
1 Cor. 15:50-55 (NLT):
"What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.
51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
Hebrews 12:26-29 (NLT):
"When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” 27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.
28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.29 For our God is a devouring fire."
Daniel 11:35 (NLT):
"And some of the wise will fall victim to persecution. In this way, they will be refined and cleansed and made pure until the time of the end, for the appointed time is still to come."
Daniel 12:10 (NLT):
"Many will be purified, cleansed, and refined by these trials. But the wicked will continue in their wickedness, and none of them will understand. Only those who are wise will know what it means."
Luke 12:49-50 (NLT):
“I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning! 50 I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished."
Romans 8:17 (NLT):
"And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering."
James 1:2-4 (NLT):
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."
Needing nothing (especially having no worldly desires) is a trait of God which He wants us to develop. I wish I had learned and developed that much earlier in my life especially when I desired female companionship. So many times, I’ve been brought down because of the way I’ve been mistreated by sociopathic women. Now I realize, God allowed that to happen in order to refine me in order to make me into a godly fire (women may not find things appealing about me on the outside, however, my inner character is becoming more glorious than anyone’s physical beauty as I go through mistreatment from people and trials in this world). Proverbs 27:17 states, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Since God is an all-consuming fire, when He sharpens/refines us, I think we become like a godly fire just like Him. It’s not our bodies which are transforming currently, rather our spirits/character are transforming to become like God (who is an all-consuming fire)-becoming refined and more glorious. Of course, in the future, God will transform our bodies also into an incorruptible form which is free of sin and death.
Acts 17:25 (NLT):
"and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need."
2 Peter 1:3-11 (NLT):
"By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
The divine nature of God (which guides us and empowers us to live a godly life) is also mentioned in Galatians 5.
Galatians 5:22-26 (NLT):
"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another."
Many carnal Christians today don't realize they have become like the rocky soil and thorns mentioned in Matthew 13 (the different groups of people who are exposed/presented with the Gospel) who fail to develop into genuine Christians.
Matthew 13:18-23 (NLT):
“Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: 19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”