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March 26, 2024

SEEING YOURSELF AS GOD SEES YOU - PART 2

 

Well - we started on this topic last week and we’re going to continue on it today.  However, we’re going to deal with some things, which are right there in the Word of God, but so many Christians just read them and really don’t pay any attention to them.  BUT THEY’RE RIGHT THERE IN THE BIBLE!  

 

We’re going to start out with 4 verses which are in the beginning of the book of Ephesians.  I’m going to read them all together and then we’re going to go back over them one by one.  It’s a truth that can change your life when you really get ahold of what this portion of Scripture is saying.  Remember - GOD WANTS US TO SEE OURSELVES THE WAY HE SEES US.  It’s very important that we do - because, if we don’t, we will never live the life that God wants for us.

 

So let’s start off with Ephesians 1:3-6 - (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, (6) to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”

So-o-o-o-o - Verse 3 - “He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”  It doesn’t say that He will bless us - it says that He HAS BLESSED US.  He’s already blessed us!!!  We don’t have to beg and plead with Him to do things for us - instead - we have to see ourselves as already blessed and our communication with the Lord should be praising and thanking Him for what He has already done.  Now - when it says, “in the heavenly places in Christ”, it is talking about the SPIRITUAL REALM.  So what this is saying, and how we should  get ahold of this, is this - God has already blessed us with everything that was in Christ Jesus, as He walked this earth in a human body - it is already ours - but unless we believe it and receive it, we won’t experience it.  It is in the spiritual realm and we must, by faith, reach into the spiritual realm, and receive what has already been given us.  This is absolutely unknown to a huge portion of Christians.  They are begging and pleading with God to do what He has already done.  WE MUST BRING IT OUT OF THE SPIRITUAL REALM INTO OUR LIVING BEING.  Getting ahold of this truth is the only way that we can live the life that Jesus wants us to live.

 

Now - verse 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,” - Now let’s talk for a minute on what this verse DOES NOT MEAN.  Before He made the world, He did not go through all the people who would be born on this earth, and say, “Oh I love this one - I’ll choose him - but I don’t like that one - I will not choose him.”  That’s not who God is.  Many places in the Word talk about God doing things before the foundation of the world.  God has FOREKNOWLEDGE - and, therefore, knew what was going to happen on this earth, before He even created it.  He knew that man would sin - and, therefore had a plan to redeem mankind.  HE ALSO KNEW WHO WOULD ACCEPT THE SAVIOR THAT HE WOULD SEND.  THEREFORE, HE CHOSE FOR HIMSELF THOSE WHO WOULD GO ALONG WITH HIS PLAN AND ACCEPT JESUS’ DEATH AND RESURRECTION.  Now - ponder on that for a minute.  God Almighty knew about you and me before He spoke the world into existence.  He knew that we would accept Jesus and He ACCEPTED US AS HIS OWN - BEFORE WE WERE EVER BORN.  BECAUSE HE KNOWS ALL THINGS!  

 

Look at it this way - we, individually as human beings weren’t chosen - Christ was chosen - and we are considered “IN HIM”.  So, we are chosen because we chose God’s chosen - Christ!  God would not reject us any more than He would reject Christ.

 

Now - isn’t it just amazing that God already had the whole plan of salvation planned and worked out before He created the world.  HE KNOWS ALL THINGS.

 

Now - verse 5 - “having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”  Wowie - Wow - Wow!!!!  Now listen to this - PREDESTINATION AND FOREKNOWLEDGE GO HAND IN HAND!!!!  God had to have foreknowledge before He could predestine.   So many people have misunderstood this whole topic of predestination.  It certainly isn’t based on how good we are, or how we have done things, or anything else in our lives - except one thing - and that is the foreknowledge that  we would accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior!!!  AND LET ME SAY THIS - GOD IS THE ONLY ONE WHO HAD (AND HAS) THE FOREKNOWLEDGE!  In other words, you can’t just give up praying for someone because you never have seen a change in someone’s life.  I have learned that we have to keep seeing that person we’re praying for as a person that God loves and wants to have in His family.

 

Now - think about the fact that each one of us born-again Christians has been ADOPTED  by God into His family.  That means the ties to the old life have been broken and WE HAVE A NEW LIFE IN CHRIST!!  THAT’S WHY WE ARE CALLED ‘NEW CREATIONS’.  I have known some people in my life who have adopted children - one couple, in particular, has adopted 9 children.  They are all very close in that family and love one another.  They are all so grateful for one another - and there is a bond and love for one another that is obvious to all who know them.

 

We have all been adopted into the family of God.  How can we not love Him, our God and Father, as well as one another!!!!!!  How can we not surrender our lives to this wonderful Savior and Father of ours - and also love and serve one another as brothers and sisters!!!!!!  We have been wanted and accepted!!!!

 

Now - verse 6 - “to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”  To get right down to the nitty-gritty - when we really get ahold of what God has done for us, because He loves us so much, how can we not  PRAISE HIM EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES!!!  His wonderful grace, which we have talked about before in this class, has provided for us anything and everything that we will ever need while we are here on this earth, and then for eternity in Heaven with Him!  It’s His GRACE, and we access it by FAITH, which He shows us about all through His Word.  

 

Right here, I’m going to quote a verse that I’ve used before  many times - but it really helps us to understand how all this works.  It’s Hebrews 11:1 - “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  The Lord has provided a way for we human beings to access all that He has provided for us - to bring it out of the spiritual world into the physical world.  God has already provided for us - it’s in the spiritual world - we have to believe that so much that we, with our words, reach into the spiritual world (BY FAITH) and receive the thing that we are HOPING FOR (we can see it in our imagination) - and that, which could not be seen, with your eyes before, will become seen in the physical world.

  

It is available through His GRACE - we have to HOPE (see it on the inside)  and use FAITH - and we will see it on the outside!  Think of it this way - FAITH ACTUALLY GIVES PHYSICAL SUBSTANCE TO THINGS YOU CAN SEE ON THE INSIDE AND BRINGS IT TO THE OUTSIDE!  But it must be that which God has provided for you already.  It doesn’t work unless God has provided it for you through His promises!

 

Can you see how important it is for us to see ourselves the way God sees us?  So many people have an image of God being a mean ogre up in Heaven and you have to plead and beg with Him to get Him to do nice things for you.  THAT IS A LIE FROM THE ENEMY!!!  You’ve heard me say this before - I BELIEVE THAT THE LOVE OF GOD IS THE STRONGEST FORCE IN THE UNIVERSE.  He loves mankind so much that before we were even born, He had a plan (because of His great love) to have us in His family.  He had a plan to communicate with us, help us, heal us, lead us, enlighten us, provide for us, protect us, and on and on and on.  HOW CAN WE NOT SURRENDER TO HIM AND TURN EVERYTHING OVER TO HIM - AND TRUST HIM TO HELP US THROUGH ANY AND EVERY THING!!!!!!!

 

Now - listen to these next two verses - by the way - I love, love, love the book of Ephesians.  What a glimpse it gives us of the relationship that God created between Himself and mankind, who will believe.  It’s Ephesians 1:7-8 - “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace, which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence.”  Now, close your eyes for just a moment, and imagine that you can see the Lord God - the Creator of the Universe, sitting on His throne in Heaven - and see yourself there in front of Him, and how it’s going to feel when all of that AGAPE (THE GOD KIND OF) LOVE IS POURING OUT TO YOU - BECAUSE HE SEES YOU FREE OF ALL SIN - HE TOOK IT ALL AWAY!!!!!!!!!  You can open your eyes.  That’s the way He wants us to see ourselves as we live our lives here on earth.  Now listen to this truth - WHEN WE SEE OURSELVES THE WAY HE SEES US, AND RID OURSELVES OF THE PAST, IT OPENS THE DOOR FOR THE WISDOM AND PRUDENCE TO COME IN.   Often, we are limiting what God can do in our lives because we don’t see ourselves like He sees us!!!!  The redemption has already taken place.

 

Now - ‘Wisdom’ is defined as ‘the broad and full intelligence of things both human and divine.’  ‘Prudence’ is defined as ‘knowledge and holy love of the will of God.  ‘Knowledge’ is ‘information’ and ‘wisdom’ is the ‘application of knowledge’.   You could say it this way - knowledge is knowing and wisdom is doing.  

 

Now think of it from this point of view.  God has not left us here on earth to try to make it  on our own.  He has provided a way, through communication with Him, for us to have His knowledge and the way to use that knowledge to walk through our daily lives here on this earth - and to live out the plan that He has for every single one of us, His children.

 

Brothers and sisters - when we begin to see ourselves the way He sees us, it helps us to trust Him, and that leads to more and more understanding of Him, and the life He wants for us.

 

What we have to remember is that we are all unique and there is only one person in the Universe that truly knows us inside and out - the Lord God Almighty - who gave the best He had to pay for all our sins.  Now, we can be inspired by someone else’s life - but each of our lives is unique and God knows every detail and has a plan individually for each of us.  But remember - God will not make us do something.  He will not violate our free will.  We have to yield the right-of-way to Him - and, when we do, He will show us things and place desires in us and reveal things to us, that we could have never figured out without His knowledge and illumination on the inside of us.

 

We learn a lot from each other’s personal testimonies.  I want to share this with you.  I mentioned it in another teaching some time ago, but the Lord said to tell it again.  After my husband had moved to Heaven in 1999, I was living in a little apartment in Ft. Pierce, fairly close to my daughter and son-in-law in Port St. Lucie.  I was still mourning the loss of my husband.  We had been very close.  This one day, I was laying on the floor in my little living room, and I was praying and crying and praying and crying.  I just didn’t know what to do.  I felt lost and abandoned by my husband, because he couldn’t get his healing.  I didn’t know if I was supposed to stay where I was or if I was to go somewhere else.  I had my Bible in front of me there on the floor and I occasionally read some verses.  As I was saying, “Father, please show me what I am to do,” deep within myself, I heard the Lord say this to me - “IF YOUR HEART HAD A THRONE, WHO WOULD BE SITTING ON IT?”  I sat up and looked up toward Heaven (because I knew it was God talking to me).  I was crying and I said, “Oh Lord, I am so sorry - I see what You mean - I’ve had Jerry on the throne of my heart, and I felt like he had left the throne.  I get it!  Lord - I want YOU on the throne of my heart.  I’ve been wrong.  I forgive him for leaving.  YOU will never leave me or forsake me.”  

 

Pretty much, for the rest of the day, I was thanking and praising the Lord.  A huge change took place on the inside of me.  My husband’s death had hurt me deeply - But in a very short period of time, I was praising the Lord like had been my normal way of living for so long.  I spent quite a bit of time praying in the spirit and I told the Lord I was trusting Him to show me what I was to do.

 

A few weeks after that encounter with the Lord, I got an email from Jim and Kris Yeager - precious friends of mine from back in the Kansas City area.  They had been part of our church back there, and now had started their own church.  They were inviting me to come back to the K. C. area and they wanted to put me on staff there and have me do some teaching in the church, Abundant Life Fellowship!  I was just absolutely amazed and in AWE.  LOOK AT WHAT GOD HAD DONE!  Within weeks, my daughter helped me move back to K. C.  I lived with my sister and her husband for a few weeks until I found a place to live.  Jim and Kris took me under their wing - took me with them practically everywhere they went - and most of the time, even, paid for my food when we were in restaurants.  They had me start teaching and it was a wonderful experience in my life. God used these two people to get me going again - but I had to SURRENDER to the Lord.

 

By the way, I was also able to be around family members a lot - my son and his family, my brother and his family, and lots of others - both family and friends.  Then in 2,007, the Lord placed a desire in my heart to move back down to Florida and be around my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson.  So I did!  The Lord led my daughter and I to Grace Family Church in Port St. Lucie and, within weeks, after being there, we became members, and, until I moved here in 2022, I taught in all kinds of different groups and meetings, as well as leading a Monday morning weekly Women’s Life Group.  

 

I’m telling you this story because God wants us all to understand that we must surrender completely to the Lord - truly from our hearts - if we want to really know what God wants us to do and how He wants to use us.  Oh - and by the way - after I made that move from Florida to K. C., is when I was told by the Lord to start the writing that He had always planned for me to do.  So - at this point, I’ve written and published 6 books! They’re all in the bookstore.  

 

Now - listen to Ephesians 1:9-10 - “Having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to the good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth - in Him.”

 

The Greek word, which was translated, ‘mystery’, means ‘something that could not be known by man except by divine revelation, but that, though once hidden, has now been revealed in Christ, and is to be proclaimed so that all who have ears may hear it’.

 

Now listen to something Andrew Wommack says about this verse in his Living Commentary - “The truths of God are hidden for His children, not from them.  The Holy Spirit has been instructed to teach us all things and has given us an unction so that we know all things.  We only have to appropriate what is ours.”

 

So-o-o-o-o-o what this boils down to is this.  God loves us, His children, so much that He has provided a way for us to understand the mysteries that have been hidden to the human beings on this earth.  That means that He wants us to understand how God thinks, how He works, what He has already done, and on and on - and He does that through revelation from the Holy Spirit - ON THE INSIDE OF US.

 

How can we not see ourselves as the most blessed people on the earth - the children of God - with the ability to understand the mysteries that have been hidden from all the people who have not been born again!!!  How can we not worship and praise and thank Him every day of our lives!!!  HOW CAN WE NOT SURRENDER TO HIM AND TELL HIM THAT WE UNDERSTAND THAT WE HAVE FREE WILL - AND THAT WE CAN CHOOSE WHAT WE DO - BUT THAT WE WANT TO KNOW AND DO WHAT HE WANTS US TO KNOW AND DO!!!!!!!!

 

This portion of Scripture is letting us know that He is looking forward to the day that we will all be gathered together with all the brothers and sisters AND HIM in a day which is coming.  WHAT A DAY THAT WILL BE - BOTH FOR HIM AND FOR US!!!

 

Now - we’re going to look at one more Scripture - Ephesians 1:11 - “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him, who works all things according to the counsel of His will.”

 

Boy oh Boy!!!!  What a verse!!  WE’VE ALREADY OBTAINED AN INHERITANCE - GOD PREDESTINED IT FOR US BECAUSE IT IS HIS WILL!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Brothers and sisters - how can we not spend the rest of our lives here on this earth praising and thanking this wonderful GOD AMIGHTY  who has made us His heirs - because it was what He wanted to do for us.  It’s already ours!!!!!  How can we not see Him as the most important person in our lives!!  How can we not surrender our lives to Him and His way of doing things!!!  

 

Now here in our earthly, everyday lives, one only receives an inheritance when someone dies.  So - Christians have really not put much importance on this because God Almighty isn’t dying!  HOWEVER - HIS SON - THE LORD JESUS CHRIST - PART OF THE TRIUNE GOD (FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT) ALREADY DIED IN A HUMAN BODY HERE ON THIS EARTH - TAKING ALL OUR SIN AND PAYING A PRICE WE COULDN’T PAY - BECAUSE HE WAS SINLESS - THEN WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD - AND LIVES FOREVER!!!!!  HE DID THAT FOR US SO WE COULD BE HEIRS OF GOD!!!!!!

 

Now - from a personal point of view - if God Almighty has made us heirs, how can we not  surrender (or give up our way of doing things and instead let Him guide us to do things His way)?  

 

Now - what this boils down  to is this!  We have to really, really, really get it deep in our hearts how much God Almighty loves us and what He has done for us - WE BEGIN TO SEE OUR LIVES DIFFERENT THAT WE DID BEFORE.  WE SEE HIM - CREATOR GOD - AS THE ABSOLUTE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF WHAT LOVE IS - WHAT LOVE DOES - WHAT LOVE SAYS - HOW LOVE THINKS - HOW LOVE FORGIVES - HOW LOVE IS HUMBLE - HOW LOVE IS KIND - AND ON AND ON AND ON !!!!

 

THEN - WE SEE THAT WE ARE HIS HEIRS - AND, THEREFORE, IF WE ARE HIS HEIRS, WE ARE TO LIVE OUR LIVES LIKE HIM!!!!  THEN WE BEGIN TO GET AHOLD OF THE FACT THAT HE HAS ALREADY PLACED INSIDE US, IN OUR BORN AGAIN SPIRIT, THE POWER TO BE LIKE HIM AND SUBMIT TO HIM AND HIS WAYS.  

 

THEN WE BEGIN TO SEE THE SAME KIND OF MIRACLES AND LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCES THAT WERE SEEN IN THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST WHEN HE WAS HERE ON THIS EARTH!!!!

 

That really helps us SEE OURSELVES AS GOD SEES US.

 

Scriptures for this lesson

Ephesians 1:3-6

Hebrews 11:1

Ephesians 1:7-8

Ephesians 1:9-10

Ephesians 1:11

Ephesians 1:11

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