when Love sees you

Much of the happiness you experience in life depends on how you think God sees you. It’s true.

…For the Lord does not see what man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16.7

Sadly, most of us have the wrong idea of God’s opinion of us. We view Him as if He was a bully…the angry kid with the magnifying glass standing over an ant hill and we’re the ants. Poor Bob got hit again… We base these thoughts and assumptions on what we’ve been taught, our bad experiences in life and many other things. Satan doesn’t help matters much either as he enjoys twisting the truth of who God really is. We may think that God is disappointed in us or that we’ll never measure up. We may even believe that He is angry with us because try as we might, we can’t stop sinning. We tend to think that we deserve our lot in life as punishment for choices we’ve made. We deserve to suffer. We make excuses just so we can stay in that pit because we think we deserve it. If we continue to choose to see Him as the type of God who punishes us based upon our actions and sins, we lead a miserable existence.

“…some of us have so much defeat in our past that we feel we lost the race before we knew it started.”  – Beth Moore

As a woman, I’ve often struggled with basing my self-worth on how others saw me and my accomplishments. I’ve felt shame when it comes to my past. I’m guilty of finding my value based on how I look on any particular day. I’ve also set unrealistic standards for myself. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

If we embrace the truth of who He really is, we can be set free from that life of bondage.

Where can we go for this truth? Directly to the Source: God Himself.

God tells us how He sees each of us through the personal message He’s written over time to His followers: the Bible (His Word). He also continues to tell us how He sees you and me through the lives of His followers today. What you can learn by digging into His Word, witnessing others live out His testimony and through your own personal relationship with Him is nothing short of amazing. Walk with me through a couple of the examples God gives:

Picture Moses after he had settled down comfortably in Midian with his beautiful wife, children and new family. He might have seen himself happily retiring there, but God had bigger plans for him. In spite of his past and his weaknesses (being a murderer and not very good at speaking), God used him beyond his biggest dreams and placed him as a leader before Israel.

Picture King David when he was just a shepherd boy. Many would not have seen him as more than just an ordinary youth, but God calls him a man after His own heart. In spite of the sin that infiltrated David’s life, God still saved him through the blood of His Son, Jesus…a man who was born of David’s own family line. Talk about redemption!

Or how about the rich young ruler who came to Jesus years later? He was brash and proud and demanded to know what he needed to do to enter God’s kingdom. Before Jesus answered him, we read, “Jesus felt genuine love for this man as he looked at him” (Mark 10.21 NLT).

There aren’t even words for my own experience.

He’s been wooing me since I was four years old and I never want it to end. Granted, there have been periods of doubt, self-centeredness, and times where I’ve swapped seats with Him so I could try to control things again. Picture a young girl, standing alone on the outskirts of the ball field watching the other kids kick that red rubber ball around. Nobody would pick her, probably more due to the fact that she was clumsy and overweight. But, since then and especially throughout the last ten years of my life (since my faith officially became my own and I started to learn how to live it), He’s been teaching me what He thinks of me and, often times, has to remind me, over and over again, until I get it; until my heart accepts it as truth.

One such moment came through song (as they often do). Many songs have been written regarding the love of God and how He views us. Two come to my mind and I’d like to share this one with you first:

When Love Sees You – Mac Powell
-Music Inspired by “The Story”-

 

Blessed are you as you weep on your knees
With perfume and tears washing over My feet
And blessed are you, beggar, hopeless and blind
Calling for mercy when I’m passing by

Blessed are you, shaking your head
At two tiny fish and some bread
And blessed are you as your tremble and wait
For the first stone thrown at your sinful disgrace

Tell Me your story
Show Me your wounds
And I’ll show you what Love sees when Love looks at you
Hand Me the pieces
Broken and bruised
And I’ll show you what Love sees when Love sees you

Blessed are you, walking on waves
To find yourself sinking when you look away
Blessed are you, leper, standing alone
The fear on their faces is all that you’ve known

Blessed are you, lonely widow who gave
Your last shiny coin to Yahweh
Blessed are you with your silver and lies
Kissing the One who is saving your life

Tell Me your story
Show Me your wounds
And I’ll show you what Love sees when Love looks at you
Hand me the pieces
Broken and bruised
And I’ll show you what Loves sees when Love sees you

I see what I made in your mother’s womb
I see the day I fell in love with you
I see your tomorrows, nothing left to chance
I see My Father’s fingerprints
I see your story, I see My name
Written on every beautiful page
You see the struggle, you see the shame
I see the reason I came.

I came for your story
I came for your wounds
To show you what Love sees when I see you

If the words from that bridge don’t cause you to tear up just a bit, I don’t know what will. I remember exactly where I was when I first heard that song: I was driving down the freeway, headed home one weekend. I had just downloaded the entire album with music inspired by “The Story” and was enjoying each of those songs (music speaks to me on a level most things can’t…it’s a tie breaker between that and nature when God clearly and tenderly touches my heart) when this one came on. I turned the volume up, just a tidge more so I could really hear the words and by the time the bridge was over, I had to pull over because I couldn’t see.

I sat at that rest stop for the better part of 30 minutes basking in the words of God and feeling His love pour over me in a way I hadn’t experienced before. I was renewed in that moment. Refreshed. Cleansed. Restored. Redeemed. And I fell in love with Him all over again.

You see, friends, the fact is: God looks at you with love.

Remember the man from Mark 10.21 I mentioned earlier? That is also the way God looks at you. With love.

Let that wash over you for a moment.

He sees you for what you can become, not just what you are.

For instance – Jesus gave Simon the fisherman a new name: Peter. Peter means The Rock. Now…if there was anything Simon was not, at that point in his life anyway, it was a rock. He was legendary for his hot-headedness, impulsiveness, and willingness to speak his mind on pretty much everything. However, Jesus saw what he could and would become. Peter went on to become a rock as he made it his life’s mission to spread the gospel and build off the Foundation for the church.

God sees you as His beloved child. If you believe that He is God and that He sent His Son (literally came Himself) to save His children, you are not a stranger to God. You may at times feel alone, but you aren’t. You belong to Him; a protecting and loving Father. And since you’ve been adopted into the family of God, you have the same rights as His Son, Jesus.

See 2 Corinthians 6.17-18, 1 John 3.1, and Romans 8.17 for further reference (and truth).

God sees you as forgiven. Many of us stagger around under a heavy load of guilt and live afraid that we’ve disappointed God somehow. But, if you know Jesus as Savior, God sees you as forgiven. He does not hold your past against you. The blood of Jesus washes that sin from our lives and when God, the Father, looks at us, He sees us as white as snow. The Bible makes that abundantly clear. You don’t have to strive to be holy enough (although there is nothing wrong with pursuing holiness…it’s when that act starts to define you and your actions that it becomes a problem) because Jesus was perfectly holy when He willingly went to the cross on your behalf. You simply have to accept the free gift He offers.

See Psalm 86.5 and Acts 10.43 for further reference (among many more).

God sees you as saved. There may be days when you doubt your salvation. God only knows I’ve had mine, where Satan briefly robs me of the truth I strive to believe with every fiber of my being. God repeatedly reminds us of our true condition all throughout the New Testament. You don’t have to wonder. You don’t have to struggle, believing the lie that only you can save yourself. You need to simply trust in the truth on how salvation works. We cannot be saved by our works. for it is by grace through faith (Ephesians 2.8). To know that God considers you saved is incredibly reassuring. You can live in joy because Jesus paid the penalty for your sins so you can spend eternity with Him in heaven.

Scriptural references: Matthew 10.22, Acts 2.21, 1 Thessalonians 5.9

God sees you as having hope. Life can seem pretty bleak at times, but when you feel life closing in on you, remember that God sees you as a person of hope. Jesus is with you through it all. Hope is not based on what we can muster up. Hope is based on the One we have hope in. When your hope feels weak, remember that your God is strong. And when we keep our focus on Him, we will have that hope.

Scriptural references: Jeremiah 29.11, Lamentations 3.25, Hebrews 10.23

God sees you as loved. In looking at the way Jesus viewed Peter, we can look at our lives and see something completely different from what God sees.

Where we see a lump of clay, God sees a beautiful vase.
Where we see a blank canvas, God sees a finished work of art.
Where we see coal, God sees a refined diamond.
Where we see problems, God sees solutions.
Where we see failures, God sees potential.
Where we see an end, God sees a new beginning.
You can see yourself in His eyes. You simply need to get really close.

Come close to God, and God will come close to you. James 4.8 NLT

Love is not only something God does; love is something God is. God would have to stop being in order to stop loving. Again, our temptation is to humanize God, because we are limited to understanding love as a verb. With God, love is first a noun. It’s what and who He is. – Beth Moore

I’ve discovered that when I see myself as God sees me, my entire perspective on life changes. It’s not tainted by pride or vanity or self-righteousness. It’s the truth, supported by the Bible. It’s hard to believe sometimes; the level to which God truly loves me. Deeply. Unconditionally. Completely.

Thought for the day: Embrace grace. Your past does not define or determine your future.

If you’d like to hear the song mentioned earlier, please check here.

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