What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. A.W. Tozer – Knowledge of the Holy
Who God is to us is one of the most important things about us, because it reveals the transformation that the Lord has done in our lives and our understanding of who He is. There is one major important step however that needs to come before we can clearly see who God is and subsequently what we think of Him.
I read in a periodical the other day that the most fundamental thing is how we think of God. By God Himself, it is not! How God thinks of us is not only more important, but infinitely more important. Indeed, how we think of Him is of no importance except in so far as it relates to how He thinks of us. C.S. Lewis – Weight of Glory
While Tozer is right and I still agree with him, Lewis presents another very important side. We must first see ourselves as God sees us, before we can truly see God.
Why is that you might ask? Well, if Jesus is truth > truth, is what really is (reality) > then Jesus is reality. The reality we live in is that sin has distorted our perceptions. We were created in God’s image, but with the entrance of sin into the world, our perceptions of our selves (our self image) fell. We no longer see ourselves as God made us – in His image. Christ came to redeem that image – to restore us to the place where we can once again see ourselves as He sees us – made in His image.
When Christ returns for us, and our redemption is made complete, we will see Him as He is, because we will be like Him. 1 John 3:2 says, “we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” What a glorious day that will be!
Our perception of ourselves must be changed to the Lord’s perspective of us before we can see ourselves, or Him, clearly. It’s our eyes that we will be seeing Him with, so it’s our sight and perception that needs to change, so in a way, seeing ourselves as God sees us, is like getting an opinion from an optometrist about our vision. When we think of standing before the Lord naked and bare, with nothing hidden from Him, our first emotions are usually fear or shame. However, when we are naked before Him and understand who God is, and what He has done, our reactions and feelings are the exact opposite.
When we see what the Lord sees about us (all of it – the good, the bad, and the ugly) for the first time we feel understood. At this moment of complete vulnerability something incredible happens – intimacy with our Creator. Intimacy is often explained as “into me you see”.
The Lord sees us all the time – nothing is hidden from Him. However – the only way for Him to have intimacy with us, is for us to see what He sees in us. (A tongue twister, I know!)
Picture a house with windows set directly across the room from each other. The Lord looks through the windows of the house and sees us as we go about our lives. For us to know that He is there watching us, and to catch a glimpse of ourselves, we must allow the Lord to guide us over to the window to see our reflection. In gazing out the window at our reflection, we see ourselves, but that is not the only thing we see. In the clear reflection we see Him too and intimacy is birthed with sight.
We are always asking The Lord to reveal Himself to us, which is ok, but we should also be asking Him to reveal ourselves to us, so that we can see what He sees. This way we will know . . . what He thinks of us right now. Enabling us to see the things He’s pleased with as well as the things He desires to change or eliminate. – K. Shepard
Intimacy brings an understanding that sets us free. The Lord never reveals our faults to us, without first revealing His love for us. The Lord never corrects us without first reminding us of our position as sons or daughters. Our flesh wants to take correction from the Lord and twist it into guilt and shame. We can agree with Him that the sin He revealed is wrong, but not agreeing with Him that we are forgiven and free is the surest way to destroy intimacy.
Refusing forgiveness (or to forgive ourselves) is a form of pride. It says what Jesus did on the cross was not sufficient. It is sufficient! In order for us to start accepting grace, we must begin to see ourselves as the Lord sees us. Not just in the ways we are separated from Him – but in the full completeness of how sees us – redeemed. Paid for by His blood, His children, heirs, loved, forgiven and free.
We all know what a half truth is – it’s a lie. So picking and choosing to only see some of the things the Lord sees about us, is living in a lie. To live in the truth, we must embrace seeing and understating all of what God sees about us. This is intimacy.
You may find yourself only wanting to see the good things about yourself and ignoring the Holy Spirit’s conviction. Or on the other hand, you may want to dwell on your sin and how far you have yet to go. Both positions meet with balance in true intimacy – seeing ourselves as God sees us.
A right perception of our self-image (made and redeemed in the image of God) gives us the ability in our lives to start “fighting from victory, rather then for victory” (B. McCarthy). Redemption of our identity (self image) means, “We can once again know who we are because we know whose we are” – T. Irwin -Steward Leader.
(1). You would see your self as the Father see you.
(2). That you would see the Lord as He is.
What does God think of you right now?
If we were created for a relationship with our self, our purpose is to have absolute certainty of who we are, why we are here and what we are to do. This self-understanding was a part of God’s loving intent for us when he created humanity in his image. His purpose for us is found in the balance in our self-perception between the beloved child of God and the sinner saved by grace. It is humility and courage; it is the simplicity of the clay vessel and the complexity of being the workmanship of God. It is the amazingly powerful place between our recognition that apart from Christ we can do nothing and our recognition that in Christ we can do all things. Purpose at this level is measured by balance in our self-image and the extent of our reliance on God. T. Irwin – The Steward Leader
In our redeemed relationship with ourselves we are now creatures of our understanding of who we are as children of the kingdom of God. This is delicate balance; we are precious and beloved by God but also humbled, thankful and obedient to His word. As we maintain that balance with the help of the Holy Spirit, we are stewards of our self- image. T. Irwin – The Steward Leader
You were made in God’s image! Sin entered and that image was distorted, but in Christ that image is being redeemed and restored. If the Lord is the Owner of our image (it came from Him), then while we are here on earth, we are the stewards of that image. You are a steward of your identity (self image or self perception)!!
How are you stewarding your image?