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April 2, 2024

SEEING YOURSELF AS GOD SEES YOU - PART 3

 

We’re still talking about this subject.  Unfortunately, many Christians do not see themselves the way God sees them and, therefore, they really don’t live the life that the Lord planned for them to live.  They believe that they’re going to Heaven when they die, because they accepted Jesus as their Savior - AND THEY WILL -  but they have not been taught  about the life that the Lord wants them to live and they certainly aren’t experiencing the victory that the Lord wants for them or the answered prayers  or the communication with the Lord that is available to them.  

 

We started, last week, digging into the book of Ephesians, because it has so much for us to learn about what God has done for us and wants for us.  Each of the books of the Bible are unique and have a specific purpose to help us.  I believe that the book of Ephesians really helps us see what our new life in Christ is supposed to be like.  The key to that becoming real to us is really getting ahold of the truth that Christ is in us and we can live life with HIS WISDOM, HIS POWER, HIS LOVE, HIS WORDS, HIS ACTIONS……………..!

That is the reason we are called CHRISTIANS (WHICH MEANS ‘LITTLE CHRISTS’!}  But - we have to ‘SEE OURSELVES THE WAY GOD SEES US!!!

 

So - we’re going to begin with these verses - Ephesians 1:13-14 - “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

 

Now - this is saying that the moment you believed (from your heart - the part of you that is the real you - that Jesus died for your sins and you were receiving Him as YOUR SAVIOR - and you said so with your mouth - your old dead spirit was gone and you had a brand new pure spirit - AND THE HOLY SPIRIT SEALED IT.  That’s like vacuum-sealing of canned goods for the purpose of preservation.  No sin can get into that new spirit.  Even when a true Christian commits a sin, that sin cannot get into that NEW SPIRIT.  Think of it this way, THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS VACUUM PACKED YOUR NEW SPIRIT TO KEEP IT HOLY AND PURE.

My - My!!!!!  DID OUR FATHER GOD PLAN EVERYTHING AND WORK EVERYTHING OUT   - OR WHAT!!!!!!!!  THIS IS THE WAY WE NEED TO SEE OURSELVES.  He loves us so much that He had a plan to protect your new born again spirit before you were ever born on this earth!!  

 

Now that doesn’t mean that He thinks it’s okay if you mess up - No - He wants us to walk the walk of Jesus.  Your soul, where your mind, will, and emotions are, is not sealed - and you can ruin the rest of your life here on earth by sin - and never really have the life that the Father wants you to have.  So - down to the nitty gritty about that - if you desire to know and walk in the plan that God has for you (which all true Christians have that desire down deep in them) it is really good to develop a  daily communication and relationship with the Lord and avoid the enemy who wants to lead you into sin.  If you really are born again, he can’t keep you from going to Heaven but he can keep you from living a Christ-like life here on earth and being used by God.  

 

Brothers and sisters, there is nothing so thrilling in this life here on earth than doing what God actually planned for you to do and seeing the effect it has on others.  Can you imagine the Apostle Paul, after what his former life had been, now a born again Christian, and millions and millions of people’s lives being changed by  his words and actions!!!!!

 

When we begin to see ourselves the way the Lord sees us, it has a huge effect on the life we live here on this earth.  GOD WANTS US TO GET AHOLD OF THIS TRUTH AND BEGIN TO LIVE EVERY DAY THE WAY HE HAS PLANNED FOR US TO LIVE.

 

Now - we’re going to read a portion of Scripture from here in Ephesians - and I have to say that this portion that I’m going to read has had  a huge impact on my life.  You have heard me quote  several of these verses many times.  They are just a part of my life.  It’s Ephesians 1:15-21 - (15) “Therefore, I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, (16) do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: (17) that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, (18) the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, (19) and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power (20) which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, (21) far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in that which is to come.”

 

I have prayed this prayer for myself and for most everybody in my life.  I have prayed it for all of you.  When we truly get ahold of what this prayer is praying for us to get ahold of, it really does change the way we see ourselves - the way we see God - the way we live - the way we act - the way we deal with people - the way we live out our lives here on this earth!!!!!!!

 

So let’s take a look at this prayer bit by bit.  In this prayer, Paul wasn’t praying for these Ephesians because their lives were a mess.  He was praying this prayer for them because there is more in being saved than just going to heaven.  There is a life available to us of receiving from the Father understanding of how all this works - in other words, there is so much that the Lord wants to reveal to each and every one of us - but He will not overwhelm our free will.  We must be willing and desirous of receiving what He has for us.  It’s kinda’ like experiencing part of heaven while we’re still here on earth.  

 

Now - before I go into more of this prayer that Paul prayed - the Lord told me to share this story with you.  I shared it another time (I think about a year ago) but the Lord wants to show you something from this story about what we’re talking about.

 

My husband and I were both committed to following the Lord and we were going to church and Bible studies.  We had our two children - and, by the time that they were 5 and 6, my husband felt like God was telling him to go to Bible School and prepare to serve the Lord.  We started looking into where to go - our finances were very limited - and we found a school in Alberta, Canada,  Prairie Bible Institute, which was like what we believed, and he felt like this was where we were to go.  So - o - we contacted them, and he was accepted as a student.

 

We took off for Canada.  We arrived in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada - found a house to rent and we really felt like we were doing what God wanted us to do. We had our son in first grade and our daughter in kindergarten.  We prayed together and separately A LOT!!!!!!!!!  After a few months, our finances were getting in bad shape and we just didn’t know what to do.  We didn’t discuss it with anyone - not even family back home.  We were praying and praying.  Our food got down to the point that we had NOTHING  but potatoes left - and I do mean NOTHING - not even salt.  We had a huge big bag of potatoes - and that was it.  We didn’t know what to do.  I was boiling potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner - and we and our little ones had nothing but potatoes - and water.

 

We were talking to the Lord about what to do - but we weren’t getting any answers - and we both had this feeling on the inside of us that God had an answer and that WE JUST HAD TO KEEP BELIEVING AND TRUSTING IN HIM, BECAUSE ALL HIS PROMISES ARE YES AND AMEN!

 

It had been about a week - and we were getting worried about our children.  But - we were praying with them and telling them that God would never let us down.  This one night, we put them both to bed at the normal time, After about 15 to 20 minutes, there was a knock on our door, and my husband went to the door.  There were several men standing there with lots and lots of boxes of food - all kinds - meat - vegetables - fruit - bread - milk - coffee - even sugar and sweetener and salt - cookies - and lots of other stuff.  They just kept bringing in the boxes - and the whole room was filled with boxes of food.  The men never talked to us - they were kind and smiley but quiet!  As quickly as they got the boxes in, they all headed out the door.  They never told us where the food was from or anything!!!!!!!!

 

Jerry and I stood there in that room just looking at one another with our mouths open!  It was so miraculous and it happened so fast, we didn’t know, at first, quite what to do.  Then my husband said, “I’m going to go get the kids up - we’re going to have a party - with cookies and milk!!!!!!!!”

 

Then, he ran up the stairs and got the kids up and  I could hear him saying to them - “God sent some men to bring us some food!!  Get up, we’re going to have some cookies and milk and have a party!!”  Then he and both of our little ones came hurrying - and, when the kids saw all those boxes of food, they just stood there with their mouths open - looking at the food, then at us, then at the food.

 

Boy oh Boy - did we have a celebration!!!!  As we told that story to friends and family, almost everyone believed that God sent angels who brought us that food.  I feel like that’s what happened also.

 

After that encounter, there were little changes here and there and we had money to get us through that year - my husband found a little job at a farm close by, for the afternoons when he wasn’t in classes.  By the way, we always called it, “OUR POTATO STORY.”

 

Now, the reason I believe the Lord wanted me to share this today is that THIS POTATO STORY would not have happened if we had just gotten so frustrated that we would have given up - called both our families, and begged for some money and probably left the Bible School.  We both just had made up our minds that the Bible was filled with promises from God and we just had to believe them.  The Lord told us that He wanted us to remember THE POTATO STORY because He wanted to use it to help others understand how faith works.  He told us to let people know that He can be trusted - that all His promises are yes and amen.  He told us all those years ago that people learn from the stories from other people - of how God had kept His promises.

 

Now - I want to share a couple of other things which were miraculous after the Potato Story!  We decided to leave Canada - go back to Kansas City for the summer - and find another Bible School closer to home.  So - when that year of school was done, we headed back to K. C.  When we go there, some friends of ours told us that they had a friend that owned a mansion there in K. C. and needed to away for the summer and wanted someone they could trust to live there for the summer - rent free - and just take care of their place.  We said, “Yes,” and we were accepted!  Then we found Western Bible Institute, just outside of Denver, Colorado.  Jerry was accepted as a student.  We moved there, and, when we were in the office, after we arrived, we discovered that they needed someone immediately in the office.  A lady had had to quit suddenly, and they were looking for a person to take her place.  I had been an executive  secretary to a Vice President of Employers Reinsurance Corporation (an insurance company for insurance companies) and immediately they offered me the job and, if I would take it, there was a house there on campus that we could live in - RENT FREE.  YOU TALK ABOUT GOD TAKING CARE OF HIS CHILDREN!!!!!!!  It reminds me of that song - “Trust and obey - for there’s no other way - to be happy in Jesus - but to trust and obey!”  SO OUR NEED WAS MET!

 

Brothers and Sisters - it all boils down to just REALLY, REALLY, REALLY TRUSTING THE LORD GOD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH - OUR FATHER, SAVIOR, AND HELPER - THE TRIUNE GOD!  But, you know what?  You can’t really trust Him unless you really, truly surrender to Him.  When you do, you begin to understand what He’s really like and you begin to actually see yourself, bit by bit, the way HE SEES YOU.

 

Now - back in those verses that we just read, it talked about the eyes of our understanding being enlightened - about Him giving you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him - about you knowing what is the hope of  His calling - about the riches of the glory of His inheritance  in the saints - and the greatness of His power to us!!!!!  BUT I HAVE LEARNED THAT, UNLESS WE TRULY GET AHOLD OF THE TRUTHS OF THE WORD OF GOD - AND BELIEVE THEM - AND ACT THEM OUT IN OUR LIVES - WE WON’T SEE THE MIRACLES THAT HE REALLY WANTS US TO SEE IN OUR LIVES.

 

This may sound weird to you - but I call it, “SOAKING IN THE WORD.”  It’s a whole lot more than just reading for 15 minutes and feeling like you’ve done what you’re supposed to do of reading the Bible.  I have sat and read this portion of Scripture over and over and over - and also read it in several other translations - and then just sat there and pondered on, “What does all this really mean - how do I do this - Lord - show me what You want me to see - I need Your wisdom and understanding!”

 

I really believe that this is what He wants for each of us, His children.  He wants us all to experience miracles in our lives.  But - remember - He won’t violate our free will!  We have to be willing!  We also have to REALLY LEARN TO TRUST THE TRUTH OF THE WORD OF GOD!!!!!!!!  Lots and lots of Christian just figure that this just doesn’t work for everybody - only for super saints!  Well - FROM GOD’S POINT OF VIEW, WE ARE ALL HIS SUPER SAINTS!!!!

 

Now I’m going to read two more verses - Ephesians 1:22-23 - “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

 

Now - picture this - All things are under HIS feet - HE, Jesus is the Head - and WE ARE HIS BODY!!!!!  

 

Now - in a physical body, the head dictates and controls the rest of the body!!!  And, also when things are under someone’s feet, then every single part of that body is over them.  

 

Brothers and sisters - what this is portraying to us is that every single person in the BODY OF CHRIST HAS ALL THE POWER TO DO MIRACULOUS THINGS JUST LIKE JESUS DID.  HE’S THE HEAD - WE’RE THE BODY - AND ALL IS UNDER US - OR MUST OBEY - WHEN WE WALK IN HIS POWER!

 

Now think about this!!!!!!!  JESUS CHRIST HAS CHOSEN TO BE INCOMPLETE WITHOUT THE CHURCH - ‘HIS BODY - FILLED WITH HIMSELF!!!!

 

Now - we’re all a work in progress.  None of us have done everything perfectly.  But I really believe that God wants every single one of us - His heirs, His body, His children - to be used by God in all kinds of ways, while we’re here on this earth.  I certainly haven’t done everything perfectly, but I have certainly experienced some miraculous things in my life.  I saw John Taylor raised from the dead, as I stood there with others praying for him.  I have experienced a miraculous healing in my own body, when the doctors said I’d probably be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.  I’ve seen a tornado turn and go another way, as I commanded  it to in Jesus’ name.  I’ve prayed in the Spirit for people and seen miraculous changes in their lives.  I have yielded the right-of-way to the Lord and trusted Him to give me revelation and wisdom and understanding about things that had been hidden to me - and miraculously received what I had asked for.  God has shown me things that I never could have figured out by myself.  I’ve seen the Lord miraculously provide food for my family when there was none.  I’ve been given insight about where He wants me to go and what He wants me to do.  I’ve seen the Lord miraculously change a man’s heart, so that he made a building available to us for our church.  I’ve seen provision for our family through the years in all kinds of ways.  And on and on and on and on!!!!!!  

 

Like I said, I haven’t done it all perfectly - and I don’t want to give the impression that I’m patting myself on the back.  The reason I am saying this is that WE ARE ALL JUST INDIVIDUAL PERSONS IN THE BODY OF CHRIST AND HE WANTS TO USE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US.  

 

When I look back at my life, my early years with the crossed eye - an extreme introvert - it is just absolutely amazing to me that God could work through that little quiet, bashful girl.  He wants to do that with every single one of us.  He has already placed that ‘raising from the dead power’ in all of us, His children - the Body of Christ!

 

I’m going to quote something that Andrew Wommack said in his Living Commentary about this last verse - “Just as a ship is not complete without its crew, just as a king is not complete without his kingdom, Jesus Christ has chosen to be incomplete without His church, His body, filled with Himself.”

 

I believe that He wants every single one of us in this room to see ourselves as a unique person in the BODY OF CHRIST.  I’m not talking about a prideful attitude of “Look at me - how great I am!”  NO!!  I’M TALKING ABOUT - “HERE I AM, LORD - YOUR CHOSEN ONE, YIELDED TO YOU - I WANT YOUR WAY YAHWEH!  I WANT TO BE USED BY YOU.  I WANT TO BE USABLE - IT’S YOUR POWER, IT’S YOUR WILL!  GUIDE ME, DIRECT ME - SHOW ME YOUR WAY!”

 

I want to tell you about a man I knew years ago, which I learned so much from - the most humble man that I’ve ever known.  We were living in Colorado - my husband got his degree at Western Bible Institute, there, and we pastored 2 churches there.  I met a lady, Nettie Miller, who was leading a women’s group and was pretty well known in that area - I was on her team for quite awhile.  Her husband’s name was Jesse Miller.

 

Jesse had been a prisoner during the 2nd World War, in a Japanese prison.  They were kept there for a long time and they were very badly treated.  They were beaten, and mistreated in many different ways.  Their lives were very, very bad.  Most of the other guys in that part of the prison were Christians.  The guards brought them a small amount of food now and then.  It was absolutely awful.  When the guards were in there, they always had pencils and paper with them.  Sometimes they would drop a piece of paper and sometimes a pencil that was almost done.  When that would happen, the men in there would pick them up.  They would do their best to get the pencil so they could write something on the paper.  One of them would remember a Bible verse, and that’s what they would write!!!  Then all of them would say it over and over again.  Most of the verses were ones to encourage each other.  This was their lives - for months and months and months.  

 

Can you imagine?!!!!  That went on for a long time.  Jesse was a praying man - and also a forgiving man - not holding it against those guards - but praying for them to be born again.

 

By the time, I knew him, he had been out of prison and back home in America for a long time - but I have never met a more humble man than Jesse Miller - and God used him to preach His Word - and lots and lots of peoples’ lives were affected by his ministry.  He wasn’t a fancy man - he was a humble man!!!!!

 

I have sat by myself and imagined what it was like in that jail, with no food, no showers, no way to go get a drink of water, and on and on and on -------- and, yet, keep your attention so focused on the Lord and His Word that you could forgive the ones who were hurting you!  NOW THAT’S PURE HUMILITY!  

 

God worked in Jesse’s life so much and used him so much to teach  people year after year after he had suffered like he had.  Everybody who was ever around him really felt like he had impacted their lives by just being so in love with Jesus that you could do what Jesus did, love like Jesus loved, forgive like Jesus forgave, and on and on and on.  It’s really the absolute reverse of SELF-CENTEREDNESS.  

 

Now - isn’t that a pretty good picture of what a life is that is so dedicated to the Lord - to the point that, no matter what comes your way, you are a true, living follower of Jesus Christ.  OH THAT THE BODY OF CHRIST WOULD GET AHOLD OF WHAT IT REALLY MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN - ‘A LITTLE CHRIST’!!!!

 

Brothers and sisters - Gods wants each one of our lives, in the Body of Christ to be so in tune with Him that He can use us.  One of the major ways that we get in tune with Him is to learn TO SEE OURSELEVES LIKE GOD SEES US.  As I would sit and ponder about Jesse’s life, it was as if I could hear the Lord saying, “Look at my son, Jesse there - he’s so dedicated to Me that nothing else matters.  I’M so proud of him - he’s  really got ahold of what it means to ‘walk the walk’.  I’M going to really be able to use him when he gets back to his family and friends again.  He’s really following the example of JESUS.”

 

So - it really boils down to TRULY SEEING YOURSELF THE WAY GOD SEES YOU.  WHEN YOU DO, IT JUST BECOMES YOUR LIFE TO LIVE THE WAY JESUS LIVED WHILE YOU’RE HERE ON THIS EARTH.

 

Can you imagine what THE FATHER went through in His own Being - with His Son suffering what He did - FOR US???  Can you imagine what the Son went through, not just the fleshly suffering for us - but also knowing the agony it was for HIS FATHER to see Him suffer for us?  

 

Brothers and sisters - the Godhead - the Creator of the Universe - had so much LOVE for us that THEY went through the most awful thing imaginal so that you and I could be in the FAMILY OF GOD!!!!  How can we not give ourselves completely to Him to do things His way, to love like He loves, to act like He does, to look at the world and all the people  in it, the way He does?!!!!!  

 

HE REALLY, REALLY WANTS US TO SEE OURSELVES THE WAY HE SEES US!!!!!!!!!

 

Scriptures for this lesson

Ephesians 1:13-14

Ephesians 1:15-21

Ephesians 1:22-23

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