SEEING YOURSELF AS GOD SEES YOU
Well, we’re tackling a whole new subject today!!! A lot of Christians in their day-to-day lives see their lives through the attitude of:
I’m just an old sinner saved by grace.
I know I’m going to heaven when I die - but while I’m here on the
earth, I’m just hoping that God will answer some of my prayers
and help me through.
All that stuff in the Bible just seems so hard to do - how can I
possibly do all that?
I hope I can put on a good front on the outside (where everybody sees me) but I kinda’ just want this stuff to all be over.
I just don’t think I have it in me to be this powerful, loving, Christian that some of these others are.
Now - first of all - let’s talk about where the heart is. We’re not talking about the physical heart that you can feel pounding on the left side of your chest. We’re talking about the HEART that the Scripture mentions over and over and over. This is what I’ve learned. Remember - you are a spirit - you have a soul - and you live in a body. Your spirit is what gives life to your being. It’s the part of you that was dead to God because of Adam’s sin. Your soul is where your mind, your will, and your emotions are. AND - I think you know about your body!!! It constantly reminds you when it’s tired, hungry, in pain, thirsty, and on and on. So --- when you believed that Jesus was the Son of God and had died for you, paying for your sins - and you said with your mouth that you believed deep within you, and received Him as your own personal Savior - at that moment, you got a new spirit - one alive and in a relationship with the God of the Universe - the One and Only Triune God!
Now - only your spirit was changed - your soul and your body did not. You change your soul as you renew your mind, as it says in the Word - and we’ll talk about that at another time.
However, there is a place on the inside of you where your spirit and soul meet. THAT’S WHERE YOUR HEART IS. Now, the more you grow in the Lord, understanding His Word, having communication with Him, etc., the more your soul begins to line up with your spirit. Your heart is really where you live your life from. A person who is not born again does not have an alive spirit and, therefore, cannot live the kind of life that the Bible says that the Christian can.
Now - when you were born again, not only did you get a new spirit - alive to God - but along with your new spirit, many, many other wonderful things were given to you because YOU ARE A CHILD OF ALMIGHTY GOD!!!!!!!!! That’s what we’re going to talk about for a bit - the things that came into your spirit - along with LIFE - THE THINGS THAT ARE IN YOU NOW - AND THE WAY GOD SEES YOU!!!
Now the reason God wants us to talk about this today is that often older Christians, as they can tell that their body declines from the strength it used to have, begin to think (ON THE INSIDE OF THEMSELVES) like - “Well, I just can’t do all the stuff I used to - I’m just not worth much anymore - I get tired more than I used to - I think I’m just done with it all - I’M JUST GETTING OLD!!!!!!!!!!
THEN - THAT’S THE WAY THEY SEE THEMSELVES - DAY IN AND DAY OUT! But - God still considers you valuable and precious! AND - that’s the reason we’re talking about this - so you can continue to see yourself as God sees you. There are so many scriptures about this.
They’re all the way through the New Testament - so I’m just going to cover some of them one by one. There are many of them but it would take hours and hours to go through all of them. So we’re just covering
some of them. Now remember - This is the way God sees you and He desires that you see yourself this way.
JUSTIFIED - Just as if you had never sinned - Rom. 3:24 - “Being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” God sees you with no sin on your record. Jesus took it all and paid for it - ALL OF THEM - BEFORE YOU WERE EVER BORN - They were all future when He took them and paid the price. He’s not remembering them. So neither should you fix your attention on them. You have to see yourself washed clean!!! He does!!! Now ponder on that for a minute - THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE SEES YOU AS IF YOU HAD NEVER SINNED IN YOUR LIFE - CLEAN AND PURE - FULL OF THE LIFE OF GOD. HE SEES YOU FREE - COMPLETELY FREE FROM ALL THE SIN AND THE PENALTIES OF ALL THAT SIN.
Now - many of these ways in which the Lord sees you are closely related together but it’s important to get ahold of each of them because they are all unique.
So let’s look at some more.
RIGHTEOUSNESS - Made clean and perfect - Rom. 3:21 - 22 - ”But now the righteousness of God apart from the Law is revealed being witnessed by the law and the prophets” - “Even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference.”
Now - not only did He take away all the bad in you, but He gave you HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. You have the ability in your new born-again spirit to live pure and holy like Jesus. BUT - if you keep alive in your mind the memories and the guilt of all the things bad you’ve ever done, it will hinder you walking in that righteousness that He has provided for you in your new spirit.
I want you to think about the Apostle Paul for a minute. He absolutely was out to STOP CHRISTIANITY because he did not believe it. He thought it was all wrong and he was doing everything possible to rid the world of it. He was responsible for many Christians being imprisoned and dying. It was his goal to shut up all the preachers and rid the world of any knowledge about Jesus. AND LOOK WHAT HAPPENED!!! God had a miraculous encounter with him and he turned out to be probably the strongest tool in the hands of God in the world. He was changed from a bad, bad, bad person to a righteous person. That’s what He does!!!
You have to see yourself as He sees you. You must teach yourself to let go of your past and see yourself with HIS righteousness in you. Clean and pure in your spirit! I personally have found that the way this has become alive to me - real - and clear - is reading these verses over and over - and making them personal. I’ve read them in every translation available to me. I say them outloud to myself - so that my own ears can hear my voice speaking the truth from the Word TO ME. That is the only way I have begun to see myself as He sees me.
LOVE - Agape (the God kind of love) - Rom. 5:5 - “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit Who was given to us.” Boy oh Boy - this is another biggie to soak into our minds. Think about this! THE SAME LOVE THAT SENT HIS ONLY SON TO LIVE IN AN EARTHLY BODY ON THIS EARTH AND THEN TAKE ALL THE SIN OF HUMANITY INTO HIM - AS HE WAS KILLED AND HUNG ON A CROSS - THAT LOVE HAS BEEN POURED OUT INTO YOU. THE SAME LOVE THAT MADE YOU A NEW CREATION WITH A NEW BORN AGAIN SPIRIT HAS BEEN POURED OUT INTO YOU.
Brothers and Sisters, God has given His Agape Love to us, His Children, so that we can go through our lives here on this earth and love EVERYBODY the way Jesus did. It isn’t just about in the sweet bye and bye - but in the here and now. We have the ability in our new born again spirit to LOVE the unlovely, to LOVE those who hurt us, to LOVE those who have troubled us, spoken bad about us, hurt our children and grandchildren, to LOVE the enemies who have lied to us, to LOVE our family members, divorced mothers and fathers, children who have made a mess of their lives, and children who have treated us very badly. I often say that God’s Agape Love is the most powerful force in the universe. His LOVE is the motivation for all He has done so that we will be with Him forever. His LOVE can change bad people into good people. NOW HERE’S THE BIGGIE!!! HE’S PUT THAT SAME LOVE INTO OUR NEW BORN AGAIN SPIRIT - SO WE CAN LOVE ON THIS EARTH THE WAY GOD LOVES. That’s the way He sees us! We have to see ourselves that way.
NO CONDEMNATION - Your slate is wiped clean - all the bad you ever did is wiped away and remembered no more - Rom. 8:1 - “There is, therefore, now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Now - a lot of Christians don’t have a clue about this. They only see salvation as getting a ticket to get into heaven. So let me use this little story to help us all understand what this means. Think about a man who did a lot of bad stuff, and therefore making life very uncomfortable for a lot of people. He was caught and taken into custody. He had to stand trial and therefore had a lawyer pleading his case before the judge and jury. Even though he knew that he had only done what some people had told him to do, and that, in reality, he hadn’t planned or organized the stuff, and that that the ones who had, hadn’t been caught, he still felt terrible guilt. He was convicted of these crimes and sent to prison for 25 years. After he had been in prison for a year, he got to be friends with one of the men there who was a Christian and he talked him into attending their little group of Christians once a week there at the prison. The man who came to the prison to preach and teach them usually spent some time after their little gathering talking to individuals - and thereby began to talk to this new guy. After several weeks, this new guy believed in his heart and said with his mouth that Jesus was the Son of God - and he received Him into his life. Therefore, he was born again. The man really loved God and gave his life to Him - BUT HE HATED HIMSELF FOR ALL THE BAD THINGS HE HAD DONE. After a year had gone by, his lawyer came to see him and told him that some new information had been presented to the Judge and that it was possible that he was going to be released because they had discovered the truth and he was likely to be set free. The man could hardly believe it. Then - one day he was FREE. BUT ----- he lived the rest of his life, even though he was a Christian, wallowing in his guilt, living a very lonely and guilt ridden existence for the rest of his life - FEELING CONDEMED!!!!!!!!!!! CONDEMNATION!!!!!!
That’s the way many Christians live! They carry with them condemnation - remembering and living those old bad things over and over again - instead of accepting (by believing and receiving) God’s forgiveness. WE HAVE BEEN SET FREE!!!!! God sees us free from all the bad we’ve ever done - He wants us to see ourselves that way. We have to take His truth, which is in His Word, and take those promises and truths into our being. We have to ponder on them. The more we ponder on the truth of what he has done, the more we see ourselves like He sees us.
SONS OF GOD - There are many, many verses that talk about this, but let me say first, that when it says SONS, it is not leaving out the women, or girls, or daughters, or females. When it says, “son,” it is referring to mankind. To God, we are all His children. We are MANKIND. We are people who are living our lives in human bodies - some male and some female. This isn’t putting men more important than women - it is just a reference to mankind. Listen to this verse - Rom. 8:14 - “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Then - Rom. 8:16-17 - (16)“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,” (17) “and if children, then “heirs - heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
Then Rom. 8:19 - “ For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.”
Now - those verses use the words, ‘children’ and ‘sons’ interchangeablely because they are referring to the heirs of God. There are many, many scriptures that refer to this. You and I must see ourselves as being in the family of God - greatly loved and cherished by the magnificent Creator of the universe - our Heavenly FATHER. Let me ask you this question. Do you see yourself as a Son of God, a Child of God, an Heir of God? Think about it for a minute. God doesn’t love some of us more than others. The same blood of Jesus that was shed on that cross for Billy Graham, and others like him who have been greatly used by God, was shed for you and me. He doesn’t have favorites. WE ALL need to see ourselves the way God sees us - HIS PRECIOUS SONS - OR CHILDREN - HEIRS!
MORE THAN CONQUERORS - Rom. 8:37 - “Yet, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Now, let me say that a lot of Christians have struggled with many of these things we are talking about - and certainly with this one, “More Than Conquerors,” because they feel like they are supposed to be humble - and walk in humility - and this doesn’t sound humble.
So - think of it this way - being humble (or walking in humility) is not thinking of yourself as better and more important than others - but seeing yourself this way. I didn’t deserve anything that God has done for me - but He has given me a new life because of His love. It’s not because I was so good or better than others - I wasn’t - but, even though I didn’t deserve it, He paid the price for me to set me free from suffering for eternity. He paid the price for me to be with Him forever - and He has provided glorious and wonderful things for me here on this earth. I didn’t earn a life with Him - He paid for me to have it - Therefore, I can say that I am MORE THAN A CONQUEROR! I didn’t conquer anything. He did - for me! So in my humility, I can honestly and sincerely say, that He has paid for me to be MORE THAN A CONQUEROR!
Truly, there was a time in my life that I struggled with really understanding what I just said. I grew up as a very introverted girl. When I was 18 months old, I had a bad fever, and the result was that my left eye was crossed. By the time I was 3, I had to wear glasses. Now, you know how 3 year-olds do and say things bad because they don’t really know any better. I got made fun of - I even have a picture of a birthday party and all the little 3, 4, and 5 year olds were sitting at a table with me - and one of them was using his hands to try to make his eye look crossed.
I was extremely shy and embarrassed. I came out of it a little bit when I was born again at 13. Tell story of class - reading - old lady -getting an A.
Then, I had 2 surgeries just after my 2nd year of college.
I actually felt like a normal girl for the first time in my life.
I certainly didn’t feel like “More Than A Conqueror,” in that first 20 years of my life - and I really didn’t ever hear it mentioned in my Baptist church. However, as I have grown in the Lord, His Word has changed my life in many areas - this being one of them.
Let me tell you another little story. Started church in K.C. - still meeting in community center - women’s Bible study - circle.
God wants you to see yourself as ‘More Than A Conqueror’ because that’s the way He sees you. You didn’t do the conquering - He did it for you - therefore, it’s a free gift from the Lord God Almighty. So - YOU ARE MORE THAN A CONQUEROR.
BLESSED AND CHOSEN - Ephesians 1:3 - 5 - (3) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” (4) “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,” (5) “having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”
My - my - my - What a portion of scripture. Now this is what I have learned about this very powerful truth, in as simple way as possible to understand it. He has already blessed us with all those promises and blessings and they are in the spiritual realm. Our spirits belong to Him, and, therefore, all these blessings and promises are ours - but we have to really believe it and receive them from the spiritual realm out to the physical realm. We don’t have to beg God to bless us - He already has - but we have to believe! I have gotten to understand it better than I understood it before. I don’t have it down perfectly but I have it more than I used to. All those promises of God that are in the Bible for believers are already available and there for us. “Heavenly places” is referring to the spiritual realm, which includes our own spirits. We have to learn how to get it from the spirit out into the physical world. That works by faith. Now, lots and lots of Christians have not understood this and feel like they have to say it just right and persuade God to answer their prayers. The answers are already available to us in the spiritual realm. But so many Christians feel like they have to say it just right, or do something just right and on and on. BUT, God has made the promises and God cannot and will not lie. The answers are YES, IT’S YOURS, but we have to receive them, rather than try to get God to do it.
Now - He has already blessed us, chosen us, and predestined us. Now when the word “predestined” is used, it is not meaning that God picked out among all the people of the earth who He would adopt - It means that He (Who knows all things and all people before they are even on the earth) knew which ones would believe and receive Him. Therefore, because He already knew, He blessed, chose, and predestined those who were going to believe Him. He knows all things. Now, He has not taken away our free will but He knows which ones on the earth are going to exercise their free will to follow after Him. God’s plans and the way He does things is way beyond us being able to figure it all out. I’ve said this before but it needs to be said again - God gave man authority here on earth. Therefore man exercises his free will in his own life. That’s the reason He is so thrilled when individuals in mankind do lots of praying to pray God’s will into the earth. But we hear all the time, “Why doesn’t God just whoosh down and fix things - He’s God - Why doesn’t He just make things better????? BECAUSE HE GAVE MANKIND AUTHORITY ON THIS EARTH!!!!!! That’s why He is so pleased when His precious believers PARTNER with Him, in praying His will into the earth.
Brothers and Sisters - He sees each one of us blessed, chosen, and predestined. We have to see ourselves that way. I can’t look at my life and think, “I’m just a nothing - I’m getting old - I’m not worth much and I don’t have much to give or do - God, I just don’t know what you want me to do - other people say You tell them what you want them to do but, if You told me, I didn’t hear it - Should I just ask you to go ahead and take me to heaven and be done with this life? I just don’t know what to do!!!!!!! Now - if you’ve ever felt that way, I’m here today to tell you this! SINCE YOU ARE STILL IN YOUR BODY HERE ON THIS EARTH, GOD WANTS YOU TO KNOW THAT HE LOVES, LOVES, LOVES YOU - HE HAS BLESSED YOU AND CHOSEN YOU AND INTENDED FOR YOU TO BE HERE TODAY AND HEAR THIS. HE WANTS YOU TO SEE YOURSELF THE WAY HE SEES YOU. YOU ARE PRECIOUS TO HIM.
I believe the Lord wants me to encourage everyone in this room today with this thought! Each one of us is unique. We come from different backgrounds, families, places, and every single one of us is special to the Creator of the Universe. He knows each one of us inside and out. He knows every detail of our lives and He wants you to see yourself as the precious individual person that you are to Him. We’re still here so He’s not done with us yet. As you see yourself as He sees you, you will find your life different than before.
One of the most effective ways is to just begin to spend some time talking to Him every day. Maybe you haven’t been a person that did a lot of praying. If that’s you, I would suggest that you just make a decision to spend 30 minutes talking to God. Then DO IT.
Another effective way is to make sure that you have friends. Sometimes as people get older and life changes so much, being with others becomes difficult. It is really important to have people in your life that you can REALLY talk to. Make up your mind to be friendly and really listen to what they say. YOU ARE PART OF THE BODY OF CHRIST AND GOD DOES NOT WANT YOU TO JUST BE BY YOURSELF, AND FEEL ALONE. In this series of GROWING OLDER GRACEFULLY, we’re going to deal specifically with loneliness and boredom - at another time. But I wanted to mention it today, because GOD SEES YOU AS PART OF HIS PRECIOUS FAMILY - AND HE WANTS YOU TO SEE YOURSELF THAT WAY TOO.
STRENGTH - Eph. 3:16 - Listen to this verse. “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.” Paul was praying for this for the Ephesian Christians. It is God’s desire for you to be strong, and, if you will yield the right of way to the Holy Spirit, He will strengthen you - from the inside out. Now, it’s not necessarily meaning that He wants you to go run a marathon when you’re 90 years old - but He wants you to be strong in His might - and He will lead you in what He wants you to do. The strength begins on the inside - from your spirit - empowered by the Holy Spirit. God won’t lead you to do anything stupid - but He doesn’t want you to just have to lay around all day, or sit in a chair all day while you’re still on this earth.
Now - let me say this - We’re all unique - we’re not all just alike. It may be one way with one person and completely a different way with another person. The truth here is that God sees you as being able to do what HE WANTS YOU TO DO WHILE YOU’RE HERE ON THIS EARTH - NOT WHAT HE WANTS SOMEBODY ELSE TO DO. He loves you personally and He has ways that He wants to use you. As long as you’re here in your body, He will use you. All you have to do is yield the right-of-way to HIM and He’ll show you. He wants you to see yourself like He sees you - able to do what He has for you to do!!!!
Man -oh - Man!!!!! Oh how He loves you and me! (Song)
Oh how He loves you and me; Oh how He loves you and me.
He gave His life - What more could He give? Oh how He loves you, Oh how He loves me, Oh how He loves you and me.
Scriptures used for this lesson