January 3, 2017
What words come to mind when you’re asked to describe yourself? Funny, cute, talkative, athletic, active, tall, caring, hardworking, friendly, spontaneous, smart? Sometimes we define ourselves by listing our failures and our negative traits. Shy, can’t catch a break, short, bald, poor, not so smart, average. But God has a different perspective!
When we are followers of Christ, here is the contrast between our view and God’s.
We say: I’m a failure. I can’t do anything right.
God says: You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
We say: I still feel guilty about things I’ve done in the past, even though I’ve confessed it all as sin and don’t do those things anymore.
God says: If you confess your sins, I am faithful and just and will forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
We say: Sometimes I feel so unlovable. How can God possibly keep on loving me?
God says: Nothing can separate you from My love.
We say: I always seem to be worrying or fearful of losing my health, money, security, control.
God says: The righteous are as bold as a lion.
So, why is there such a difference between God’s perspective and ours? It’s all between our ears. The good news, God gave us a powerful mind. The bad news, God gave us a powerful mind. Unfortunately, Satan prowls like a lion, and his aim is to steal, kill, and destroy. No, we don’t need to guard against just physical danger and harm. It’s much worse. Satan is executing a psychological assault to brainwash you so he can win the more important, powerful spiritual war. And if you let Satan in, you will lose that day’s battles. You’ll be devoured. Don’t let him in. Don’t take part in his activities. You know what is sinful most of the time. Don’t buy into his lies. Only God’s truth will set you free.
If we follow God’s leading, our mind can engage in powerfully positive activities. Our minds will go to very negative places if we follow the world’s or Satan’s guidance. Most of us are a mixed bag, wallowing in negativity way more than we want or need to. The problem really is this simple.
The Solution: As people who have accepted Christ as our Savior and have made a commitment to follow Christ, God sees us as righteous and forgiven. He sees us as His treasures, as His children, as the heirs to His kingdom. We have the mind of Christ. The Holy Spirit is in us. We have to learn to submit to and use these valuable resources, not set them on a back shelf, squander them, and use ineffective imitations instead. Christ bought the redeemed life for us through his death and resurrection. The least we can do is pursue it on a daily basis.
Today, plan to assess your situation a couple times, especially when you are struggling (little struggles or big ones – makes no difference). Look at how you are viewing yourself. Ask what steps you would have taken next on that former path to self-destruction, and why. Now contrast that with God’s picture of you and the reality of your circumstances. Often there’s a big difference. Search the scriptures to learn more about how God sees you. Ask Him to help you see yourself through His eyes. Only then will you understand your God-given identity. Then you can truly be all you were created to be. Stepping Stones wants to help you live the abundant life. Whether you view yourself through God’s lenses or you use your own smudged and near-sighted lenses, is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, Thank You for clothing me in the righteousness of Christ. Help me not to think too lowly … or too highly of myself, but to see myself as You do … and for the reasons You do … and to be grateful everyday for all the blessings of amazing grace You extend to me. I know l allow Satan and the world to trick me. Help me to be more diligent with how I direct my thoughts. Help me to begin directing my worship to You. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who teaches me how to see myself, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels. Isaiah 61:19
But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:1-3