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March 19, 2024

SEEING YOURSELF AS GOD SEES YOU

 

We’re tackling a new subject this week.  We’ve talked about this subject in other teachings - but the Lord told me to center in on this subject because it is HINDERING AND LIMITING MANY CHRISTIANS FROM ALL THAT GOD WANTS TO DO IN THEIR LIVES - BOTH FOR THEMSELVES AND FOR OTHERS.  So - get ready!!!!!!!  

 

There’s lots and lots of Scriptures dealing with this subject.  But before we start digging into them - I want to talk about why this is so important.  We are all just human beings who are 3-part beings.  We have a spirit, a soul, and a body.  We are very used to living in our physical body, with the stuff the body likes, and stuff the body dislikes - the way the body looks - the way the body feels - and on and on.  We are used to our souls, which is where our mind, will, and emotions are.  We are sure used to our will (which is what we want and what we don’t want).  We are also used to our personal emotions.  Some things touch our emotions deeply - and we are all uniquely different in this realm.  Some people are deeply emotional and cry easily.  Others laugh  very easily - I am one of those because I grew up in a home where we laughed a lot.  My Daddy and Mommy laughed a lot and, therefore, it became our way of life in our home.  Daddy told funny stories - and it was just our norm!!!!

 

I want to tell you a funny story about that.  When I was out of my second year of college, and still lived at home with my parents, an aunt of my dad’s passed away.  My mom couldn’t take off work at her job to go with Daddy to the funeral, so I did.  It was a little country town several miles out of Kansas City.  It was a little tiny funeral home - the only one there - and Daddy and I were sitting there together.  This really old lady got up to sing a song, and it was the most terrible singing voice ever!  My Daddy started laughing - but he was covering his face, so no one would know - and, of course, it was making me laugh also.  Daddy reached over to me and whispered, “Play like you’re crying!”  So I did!  That was my Daddy!

 

Another time, when our whole family was in the car - my sister was 9 years younger than me and my brother was 11 years younger than me.  We were all in the back seat - my brother was about 4 years old.  We were out on a country road (we had lots of relatives who lived on farms out in the country) - and my brother said, “Daddy, when a horse takes a step, which foot does he use first?”  My Daddy started laughing (and so did the rest of us) and, as Daddy could actually get himself so he could talk, he said, “Son, I don’t know for sure, but it’s probably the right foot.”  It was a hilarious moment and I will never forget it.  My brother lives in K. C. and, when we talk on the phone, we often laugh together about that moment.  

 

Well, I got off on those stories about laughing because it is an example of how our upbringing affected our emotional realm - in our souls.

 

Now - we all had a spirit when we were born, but it was dead - in the sense of a relationship with God, because of man’s sin.  However, when we got born again, we received a new spirit.  We’ve talked about this quite a bit in this class.   However, I have discovered that we all need to talk about this more and more because so many Christians just haven’t gotten ahold of this TRUTH down in their hearts. AND THAT IS THE REASON THAT THEY KEEP LIVING THEIR LIVES NOT SEEING THEMSELVES THE WAY GOD SEES THEM.

 

I’m going to read Colossians 1:24-27 - This is Paul, the Apostle, speaking - “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to his saints.  To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

 

What a beautiful portion of Scripture.  The Apostle Paul, who was chief among the ones trying to get rid of Christianity, and then he had an encounter with the Lord - and he was born again - was being used by the Lord to tell us that CHRIST IS IN US - AND HE IS OUR HOPE OF GLORY!!!!!  

 

Now - listen to these verses - Romans 8:9-ll - “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed, the Spirit of God dwells in you.  Now if anyone does not have the Sirit of Christ, he is not His.  And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

 

Now remember - the man, who was killing Christians and trying to get rid of Christianity, is the one who the Lord used to write this and it is the TRUTH!  That means that Paul, of course, knew about his past - BUT HE HAD NOW SUCH A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD THAT HE DIDN’T LET HIS PAST MISTAKES HINDER HIM FROM ‘SEEING HIMSELF LIKE GOD SAW HIM. NOW.  THEREFORE, HE COULD BE USED TO WRITE A HUGE PORTION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT!!!!!!  

 

Brothers and sisters - we need to see ourselves the way God sees us.  He, of course, knows what our past was like - but He has paid the price for our sins - through the SINLESS SON OF GOD dying on a cross for us.  Therefore, He sees us as His beloved children.  

 

BUT IF WE KEEP LETTING THE PAST DOMINATE OUR THINKING, WE WILL NOT BE USABLE TO HIM, AND IT WILL STAND IN OUR WAY OF HAVING THE LIFE HE WANTS US TO HAVE!!!

 

Now - listen to two more verses - Galatians 2:19-20 - (Again this is brother, Paul, writing this.) “For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

 

Now - think of it this way!  When Jesus died on that cross, even though you weren’t even born yet, the sinful you, who was going to be born, died on that cross in Him.  Therefore, you can say to yourself, “I have been crucified with Christ - the old me is gone - and the Lord of  Heaven and Earth now lives in me.”

 

THAT’S THE WAY THE LORD WANTS US TO SEE OURSELVES.  NOW LISTEN TO THESE NEXT WORDS - THE MORE YOU SEE YOURSELF THAT WAY, THE LESS YOU WILL BE THINKING OF ALL THE MESSES AND PROBLEMS OF THE PAST!!!!!

 

Yes - the memories of the past are in your mind - which is in your soul.  But, the more you renew your mind, which I have mentioned many times, the less the messes from the past have any control over you.  (Can I just say that, as you get older and older, sometimes you can’t even remember some of that old stuff - and that’s a good thing!!!!  Laughing.)

 

Here’s another verse - which I love and quote a lot - it’s 2 Corinthians 5:17 - “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”

 

Boy, you just can’t get down to the simple-to-understand TRUTH more than that!!!!!  OLD THINGS HAVE PASSED AWAY - ALL THINGS ARE NEW!!!!

 

Now - the Lord has had me read all these verses (and there are many more, by the way) because He really, really wants us all to think of ourselves the way He sees us.  When you were born again, ALL YOUR SIN - PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE - WAS PASSED AWAY.  YOU ARE A NEW CREATION.

 

It’s not a fairy tale.  It’s not just for those who are in ministry.  It’s for every single person who accepts Christ as their Lord and Savior.  

 

Now, there’s something that a lot of Christians have not realized.  If you let the past, dominate your thinking of who you are, the enemy (whose name is Satan) will use it to keep you from having success in your life.  He is a deceiver - and that is the way he works to keep you from seeing yourself the way God sees you.  A lot of Christians have not been taught about that and, then they read the promises, and wonder why it isn’t working out in their lives.  WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN AUTHORITY OVER THE DECEIVER - IN THE NAME OF JESUS!  You mean I am supposed to talk to the devil???? Yes - the Bible says to.  

 

God sees you as His Precious Child, who is going to be with Him for eternity.  He sees you, free from the bonds of sin because He placed it all on His Son, Jesus.  He sees you as clean - washed in the blood of the Lamb of God.  He sees you as His ONE that He delights in and wants to use, share with, enlighten, guide, help, reveal to, heal, and so many other things.  But, if you see yourself limited by your flesh life in any way, it hinders His ability to do these things.  

 

Now - listen to this next sentence - IT TAKES LETTING GO OF ALL THE PAST - AND TOTALLY SURRENDERING TO HIM.

 

Now I want to deal with another part of the past that has a huge influence on our lives and hinders us if we keep it alive in our memory.  That part of the past is ALL THOSE THINGS WHICH PEOPLE HAVE SAID AND DONE TO US WHICH HAVE HURT US DEEPLY.  A huge percentage of it came from family members and, of course, much from others.  Those times of emotional pain and suffering still have an influence on our lives unless we let go of it and learn how to see ourselves in a whole different way.

 

Now, I am one of the grateful ones who grew up in a family where LOVE ABOUNDED.  I honestly can say that neither of my parents ever hurt my feelings with their words or actions.  I want to share a memory with you that shows what I mean.  I had to start wearing glasses when I was 3.  I had that crossed eye and my vision was affected by it.  I hated to have to put those glasses on - but I had to, so I could see better.

 

My mom liked to sew and sometimes had sewing stuff on the dining room table.  She had gotten new curtains for the windows there in the dining room.  A few weeks after I had to have the glasses on, I hated wearing them so bad - that I just felt angry.  I grabbed Mom’s scissors from the table and went over and started cutting Mom’s new curtains.  She came into the room and was just shocked.  She didn’t yell at me - instead, she started crying - and, through her tears, she said, “Honey, why would you do something like this - you’ve cut up Mommy’s new curtains?”  As I heard her tears, and her words, I just felt so bad that I had hurt my Mommy.  As a little 3-year-old, I ran to her put my arms around her neck and started crying.  

 

I wanted to share this to make the point that I didn’t get yelled at, screamed at, or talked bad to, even when I had done something bad.  (By the way, she got new curtains.)

 

I was treated kindly and lovingly even in situations where I had done badly.  

 

But, I know that lots and lots of people have been treated badly and been yelled at - and talked hatefully to - by parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others - and it had a deep impact on the lives of children.  I also know that many people have suffered very bad treatment in their teen years and as young adults - not just by family but by lots of others.

 

Some have had their feelings hurt so bad that it has caused an attitude of self hate, of self-centeredness, of hate toward others - and it has followed the person into adulthood.  In many situations, it has become a hindrance in really receiving from the Lord.  It’s like a big dark wall that the person has built around themselves to protect them from being hurt.  Some have been treated horribly in all kinds of ways and an attitude has become part of their daily life.  It’s an attitude of, “People are bad - if anybody acts like they’re nice - don’t trust them” - and that has kinda’ become their way of life.

 

Now I’m not saying that it wasn’t horrible - but I am saying that no matter what it was, you can’t let it rule you for the rest of your life.  You are a child of God and you can put your complete confidence in Him.

 

Some have said, “Why did God let that happen to me?”  Remember, I’ve said before, that God gave mankind free will and He will not whoosh down from heaven and change things.  

 

I have known people in my life who have allowed those awful things that happened many years ago to dominate their lives and it has hindered them from living the life that is available to them - THROUGH JESUS!!!!!

 

As a Christian - a believer in Jesus Christ - a part of the BODY OF CHRIST - a person can lay all that garbage from the past (either the bad stuff that we have done - or the bad stuff that others have done to us) and walk away from it.

 

Now - you’ve heard me talk about imagination, and how powerful it is.  It is closely related to hope and it is something that God has given us to live here on this earth in these physical bodies.

 

Well - if you have held on to bad stuff in your past, either stuff you have done that you shouldn’t have - or stuff that has been done to you that shouldn’t have been done - you can sit by yourself with the Lord - the King of the Universe - and talk to Him.  Tell Him that you want to pile up the stuff from the past - and then imagine yourself laying down all those bad things in a pile all together.  Then - tell the Lord  that you want to throw it all in the trash and not have it in your life anymore.  See yourself, on the inside, throwing it out and walking away.  Talk to your wonderful, loving Lord and Savior - and tell Him you are free from the bad of the past and you’re not going  to let it have any effect on your life anymore.

 

That doesn’t mean that you have no memory of it anymore - BUT IT DOES MEAN THAT IT WILL NOT HAVE ANY EFFECT ON YOU OR CONTROL ON YOUR LIFE ANYMORE - BECAUSE YOU ARE A CHILD OF THE MOST HIGH GOD!

 

Now - maybe that’s not a problem you have - but, if you know someone who is dealing with that kind of thing, the Lord may want to use you to help that person.

 

Brothers and sisters - God sees you as His precious child.  So let’s talk about that for a bit.  The moment you believed in your heart, and said with your mouth, that Jesus Christ was your Lord and Savior, your dead, sinful life was gone.  It was washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ.  YOU WERE BORN AGAIN!  Therefore, He treasures you as HIS.  

 

Now - think about how we see our children.  We have a unique relationship with each one of them.  No matter how many children we have, our relationship with each one of them is personal.  They all have their own personalities and we relate to them individually.  Everyone with more than one child can relate to that.  It’s the same way with our FATHER GOD.  We are each special to Him - no matter how many there are.

 

He doesn’t look at us, thinking about all the bad from the past.  He looks at us as His special, individual, unique  child and His love for each of us is personal.  He is the only One in the universe, who truly knows you inside and out - like no other can - and who cares so deeply about you that He will never leave you or forsake you.  Part of HIM has come to live inside you.

 

That’s the way He wants you to see yourself - as His prized possession!  That doesn’t mean that you begin to have a personal pride in yourself - IT’S NOT BECAUSE OF YOUR DOING - IT’S BECAUSE OF HIM AND WHAT HE HAS DONE!  That’s the reason that we can live a life grateful to Him for what He has done for us.  For that reason, we can constantly live a life of thankfulness, gratitude, and, as Pastor Rick was saying last Wed. Night, a life of magnifying HIM.  

 

When we live a life like that, we become more and more and more GOD-AWARE, than we are self-centered!

 

When you sit by yourself, with the Lord, and just ponder on what He has done for you and made available to you, and how much He loves you, how can you not magnify Him????!!!

 

Now - I want to throw something in here, as we talk about thanking Him and praising Him.  This kind of an attitude, centering on what He has done for you, will also help you forgive the ones who have hurt you in your life - no matter what they have done.  After all, isn’t that what God did for you!!!!!!!!  Now I know that is a very delicate subject - but the Lord wanted me to mention it - BECAUSE HE LOVES US ALL SO MUCH AND HE WANTS US ALL TO BE FREE FROM THE UNFORGIVENESS WHICH WILL HINDER US IN OUR LIVES.  Look at it this way - ISN’T THAT WHAT HE DID FOR YOU - AND NOW A PART OF HIM LIVES IN YOU - SO YOU HAVE THE POWER AVAILABLE TO DO WHAT GOD DOES!

 

We can love like God does - forgive like God does - heal like God does - help like God does - and on and on and on.

 

I have personally learned in my life that all those things in the New Testament that we are to live out in our lives can only be done if we begin to see ourselves as God sees us.  It’s not a fairy tale.  We’ve talked about the leaders in the Body of Christ 2,000 years ago.  Some of them had made some very bad mistakes before they were Christians.  Can you imagine how Peter had to see himself differently - how Paul had to see himself differently - and many others!  If they had to - so do we!!!!

 

God has a plan for every single one of us, HIS CHILDREN, while we are living here on this earth.  I have found it very sad to know Christians who have lived for years and years and haven’t had a clue about how God wanted to use them.

 

God has ways to work things out that just blow our minds.  But you know what?????  We don’t know what it is unless we totally surrender to Him.  We have to really get ahold of WHO HE REALLY IS AND HOW MUCH HE PAID TO HAVE US IN HIS FAMILY AND HOW MUCH HE LOVES US.  You know what happens, when we really get ahold of that?  It causes us to fall in love with Him like never before - and THEN WE YIELD THE RIGHT-OF-WAY TO HIM.  Then He begins to show us bit by bit what He wants us to do, say, think, and on and on.

 

I remember, all those years ago, when I had been living my life as an extreme introvert - when God told me He wanted me to teach His Word.  It was scary to the N’th degree!!  He told me that people were taught a lot of doctrine but He wanted me to get down to the nitty gritty!  He wanted me to teach - “How to live the Christian life.”  It terrified me  BUT - I KNEW IT WAS GOD AND I DETERMINED THAT I WOULD DO WHAT HE SAID - AND YOU KNOW WHAT?  THE MOMENT I OPENED MY MOUTH, ALL THE FEAR LEFT!!!!!!!!!

 

It takes surrender to the Lord.  It takes spending  personal time with Him and seeing Him as your BEST FRIEND.  He has to be more important to you than anyone else, or anything else.  When that becomes your way of life, you will begin to get answers to questions that you have been wanting for a long time.  And you know what?  YOU WILL BEGIN TO SEE AND UNDERSTAND HIM - AND YOU WILL BEGIN TO SEE YOURSELF THE WAY HE SEES YOU.

 

That is His desire for your life, more than it is yours!!!

He has things He desires to show you, reveal to you, and ways that He wants to enlighten you.  But it takes total surrender.

 

Brothers and sisters, God wants to reveal things to us more than we want Him to.  It is His desire to help us see things from His point of view - but He won’t overwhelm us and make us do things.  That’s not who He is.  It takes us yielding to Him - using our free will to bring into into our lives the things that He has always wanted for us.

 

I want to mention something here that I have already referred to - but it is so important.

 

How do you get to know someone so well that you think of him or her as your friend?  Of course, you spend time with them.  That’s the way you get to know them!  It’s the same way with the Lord.  It’s so sad -  but I have known Christians through the years who just have a 15 minute time reading a devotional or something, or a few Bible verses every day - and think they’re doing their spiritual duty.  YOU REALLY GET TO KNOW THE LORD DEEPLY AND SEEING HIM AS YOUR BEST FRIEND BY SPENDING TIME TALKING WITH HIM - WORSHIPPING HIM - PRAISING HIM - AND READING ABOUT HIM IN THE WORD OF GOD.  There’s no specific way that you have to follow - we’re all unique and our lives are unique.  But time with the Lord has to be extremely important to us - or we won’t really get to KNOW HIM.

 

Therefore, TO SEE YOURSELF AS GOD SEES YOU, MUST MAKE A DECISION INSIDE YOURSELF TO GET TO KNOW HIM BETTER AND BETTER BY SPENDING SOME QUALITY TIME WITH HIM.  HE LOVES YOU SO MUCH AND  WANTS YOU TO KNOW HIM  DEEPLY - HOW HE SEES YOU - AND HE DESIRES THAT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOU AND HIM GETS STRONGER THAN IT’S EVER BEEN.

 

IF THOSE NEW CHRISTIANS, 2,000 YEARS AGO COULD BE FREE FROM THEIR PAST AND ACTUALLY BEGIN TO CHANGE THE WORLD, SO CAN ALL OF US.

 

LET’S BEGIN TO SEE OURSELVES THE WAY HE SEES US!!!!!!

 

Scriptures for this lesson

Colossians 1:24-27

Romans 8:9-11

Galatians 2:19-20

2 Corinthians 5:17

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