God gives us a new clarity when we come to Him. We begin to see life a whole lot better. We see ourselves. We see our problems. We see our past, our present, our future. Everything gets a little clearer the closer you get to God.
This morning I want to talk about seeing ourselves through God’s Eyes or seeing life from God’s point of view.
In Matthew 6:22 the (Message) Bible says this
“Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light.”
God is not talking about physical eyes and physical light. He’s talking about spiritual insight. He’s talking about seeing in a new way spiritually. The Apostle Paul calls it seeing with the eyes of your heart. Seeing from God’s perspective. In fact, Paul prays this prayer for us in Ephesians “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened [This is where the song “Open the Eyes of My Heart” comes from.] in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints and His incomparable great power for us who believe.”
This morning as we talk about seeing from God’s point of view we’re going to look at seeing yourself as God sees you. That’s so important because the Bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) If you see yourself as a loser you’re going lose a lot in life. If you see yourself as a victim, you’re going to let other people victimize during your life. If you see yourself as not too creative, you’ll never create anything. If you see yourself as a failure in life, you’re going to fail often. What you see is what you get.
The Bible says our beliefs determine our behavior.
Jesus says in Matthew 12:35, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.”
The way we think determines the way we act. And what we see comes out in our lifestyle. Our beliefs determine our behavior. The problem is a lot of stuff you believe is just false. It’s just not true. Often we’re acting on false or inaccurate information about ourselves.
Do you remember growing up and going to the fair and in the fun house they have these crazy wavy mirrors. When you look at those funhouse mirrors as you look at the image of yourself, is the image clear or distorted? It’s distorted because it’s not perfect mirror, it’s an imperfect mirror.
When you were growing up the adults around you were the mirrors of your life. They reflected back to you how you began to see yourself. The problem is there are no perfect adults so as a result all the images that you got of yourself, even from people who loved you, were distorted. We all grow up with an inaccurate picture of ourselves because some adult tells you something as a kid and you think, “This is an adult, he/she must know.” And you tend to believe it whether it was right or wrong, said in anger, said in jest, or said in hurtfulness. You internalized that and put it in your memory bank and you’ve operated on that false information for years and years. It’s not true or accurate but we’ve allowed it to shape who we believe we are.
We have to start seeing from God’s point of view. We have to look with God’s binoculars because we all grow up with these distorted images that we get from our parents, our teachers, from other people and our problems. Some of you can remember things that were said to you twenty or thirty years ago. “You’re never going to amount to anything…” and you just filed that. You’ve been acting on that information for a long, long time.
Everybody has wounds. Everybody has emotional scars. Everybody in this room. So how do you get rid of them? How do you deal with the past?
The antidote is to learn to see your life, learn to see yourself, from God’s point of view.
The truth in this message is one of the most important truths you can learn in your entire life. If you really grasp what it means to see yourself as God sees you, it will change your life. Jesus said, “You know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). So when we learn to see ourselves the way God sees us it makes all the difference in the world.
Today we’re going to look at God’s view of you. Five things that God says about you because of His grace. If you have accepted Jesus Christ into your life, you’ve accepted His grace, God says I see you very, very differently than the way you see yourself and that’s our prayer, Lord, that today we’ll not only see You but that we’ll begin to see ourselves through Your eyes.
So, how does God view you? Because of His Grace . . .
1. God says I see you as acceptable.
Titus 3:7 (CEV) says this
“Jesus treated us much better than we deserve. He made us acceptable to God and He gave us the hope of eternal life.”
One of the most hurtful things in life is rejection. When you’re rejected by a parent, a spouse, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a teacher, when you’re rejected nothing hurts you more. So as a result we spend most of our lives doing everything we can to avoid rejection. We want acceptance more than anything else in life. We want acceptance from our parents. We want acceptance from our peers. We want acceptance from our neighbors. We want acceptance from people we respect, people we envy. Sometimes we even want acceptance from people we don’t even like! We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t even know. Why? Because this need to be accepted is so profound it drives most everything in your life. It drives the kind of clothes you wear, the kind of car you drive, the kind of house you buy, the career you choose. So many of our decisions in life are really based on this desire for approval, the desire to be accepted. To be recognized, to be significant.
People will do the craziest things just to be accepted. Do you remember when you were a kid and somebody would dare you? “I dare you to do …” and you did it because you wanted to be accepted in the crowd. You wanted to be accepted as cool, as hip, ‘Steve’s a really rad dude!’ And you wanted everybody to like you so you did some really stupid stuff – just in order to be accepted.
There’s a myth about acceptance and it’s this: if I can just get everybody to think I’m perfect they will all accept me. So we put on this mask and we walk around like we’ve got it all together, that everything’s in fine condition and we’re really totally balanced, that we are perfect and we think everybody’s going to accept us. Three things: One, nobody believes it. Two, you aren’t ever going to be perfect. And three, even if you were they still wouldn’t accept you. Because acceptance is not based on how perfect you are. It’s based on the other person’s maturity and love. The Bible says Jesus was perfect and yet it says He was despised and rejected by men. Even Jesus was not accepted by everybody. And He was perfect. So even if you were perfect, and you’re never going to be, you would not ever be accepted by everybody. The one-minute you get Crowd A happy with you Crowd B gets upset with you. You just can’t please everybody. Even God can’t please everybody. Somebody’s praying for rain. Somebody else is praying for sunshine. Who’s He going to listen to? Only a fool would try to do what even God can’t do.
But we want to be accepted and we want to be loved, we want people to see our value. God says I settled this a long time ago.
Titus 3:5-7 (LB) “God saved us, not because we were good enough to be saved but because of His kindness and grace by washing away our sins. All because of what Jesus Christ our savior did [not because of what we did but because of what Jesus did] so that He could declare us good in God’s eyes.”
I don’t care what you’ve done. I don’t care how many times you’ve done it or where you’ve done it. I don’t care how many things you’ve done wrong in your life if you have invited Jesus Christ in your life God says you are a good person. He says He declares us good in His’ eyes. I don’t care how much bad you’ve done in life, if you’ve accepted the grace of God, God says, “I look at you and I say she’s a good person, he’s a good person. He is acceptable to Me.” Not because of my own merit but because of His grace. You may have accepted God, you may have accepted Christ. But do you realize Christ has accepted you?
Many of you are like me in that even though I have been a Christian for a long time sometimes I forget that God has accepted me. In our minds we are still trying to earn God’s favor. We treat Him like an unpleasable parent. “I’m just never good enough for God. I’ve got to do more. I’ve got to rush more. I’ve got to hurry more because I’m never good enough.” God says, “You are good in My eyes because of Jesus. You are acceptable to Me.” God has already accepted you. He won’t accept you any more than today or any less than today because it’s based on His grace.
You know as a kid you loved to be chosen. It’s good to be chosen for an award, to be chosen for recognition. It’s fun to be chosen for a promotion. It’s fun to be chosen and singled out. You remember when you’d go out at P.E. or recess and they’d have two captains choosing teams and they’re choosing the people. If you got chosen first you felt really good. And you were praying, “Oh, God, please don’t let me be chosen last.” Because everybody knows the last person chosen is the dufus. And nobody wants to be the dufus. You were just going, “Don’t let me be chosen last!” because it hurts to be rejected. We all want to be chosen. We all want to be selected. Because it gives you a lot of confidence. Being chosen does a lot for your self-esteem.
You know why I have great self-esteem, a lot of confidence? I was chosen by Rebecca Isaac. You may not think that’s a big deal but I know I had some tough competition that I beat out. There were many different guys that I was in competition with! It’s true! And I beat them all out. Rebecca Isaac chose me out of all the men in the universe. I feel good about myself because my wife chose me. It feels good to be chosen.
Look who’s chosen you.
1 Peter 2:9 (LB) “You have been chosen by God Himself.”
There is not higher authority than that one, folks! God chose you to be His child, to love you and to live with Him for eternity. Not everybody’s going to get to do that. You’ve been chosen. You’ve accepted Christ into your heart. You’ve accepted the grace of God. You have been chosen to spend eternity with God and that’s better than anything else in the universe. You talk about something to build your self-esteem!
Some of you grew up with unpleasable parents. No matter what you did you just couldn’t get their approval. You just knew it. You saw it in your dad’s eyes, your mom’s eyes and by what they said to you. If you got C’s on your report card they expected B’s. If you got B’s they expected A’s. No matter how hard you tried you just couldn’t do it right. It always just felt like this little bit of shame, this little bit of put down – never measuring up to my mom or dad. Today, even still, subconsciously you’re trying to earn your parents’ approval. “I’m going to prove that I’m worth something!” Some of you, your parents are dead and you’re still trying to earn their approval subconsciously. You’re working really hard, you’re trying to earn it. It drives you. You wonder why you’re a workaholic? You’re trying to earn that acceptance, that approval.
If you had unpleasable parents (or anyone who you tried to please) growing up, let me tell you two very important truths.
One, if you didn’t get their approval growing up you’re probably never going to get it. Because it’s not about you, it’s about them. It’s their lack of self worth that’s causing them to not accept you. Hurt people hurt people. So it’s not really about you, so if they didn’t give you acceptance growing up you’re probably not going to get it. You’ve got to let it go. Just let it go.
The second thing I need to tell you that’s even more important is this: You don’t need their approval to be happy. You don’t need it! You don’t need the approval of other people in order to be happy. There are over seven billion people in the world. Is it ok that some people don’t like you? I would think so. Especially if it’s their hang-up. It’s not about you. So let it go. Quit trying to live for the approval of somebody who’s never going to give it. Start living for God who says, I already accept you.
This should be your attitude: God likes me and I like me. If you don’t like me, what’s your problem? If God likes me and He knows everything about me – the good, the bad, and the ugly and still likes me then I’m ok. Stop trying to be a people pleaser. Live for the love and approval of God. Psalm 27:10 “Even if my mother and father forsake me the Lord will receive me.”
God not only sees you as acceptable,
2. God sees you as valuable.
If you’re going to learn to see yourself the way God sees you, you’re going to have to see your value. You’re not just acceptable. You’re worth something. You’re worth a lot.
The Bible says this in Luke 12:24 “Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to Him than any birds.”
If God takes care of little-bitty birds He’s certainly going to take care of you because you are more valuable.
So let me ask you a question. How much do you think you’re worth? I’m not talking about your net worth. I’m talking about your self worth. Your values have nothing to do with your value, whether you’re rich or not. Your net worth and your self worth are not tied together. If they were you could lose your self worth in an instant.
What is it that creates value? What makes something valuable?
Two things: one, who owns it? The owner creates value. If somebody’s famous and they own something, something very common can be worth a whole lot. You go to these auctions and they offer stuff that celebrities have had and it’s worth a lot. Which is more valuable your tennis shoes or Michael Jordan’s tennis shoes? No question. Your car or the Queen of England’s car? No question. Who owns it determines its value.
I don’t know if you saw this a while back. They arrested some journalists who were trying to smuggle out some of Saddam Hussein’s art from some of his palaces. Did you see that art? It was the most goofy looking, stupid stuff… It was like Elvis on velvet, or the dogs playing poker or pool. (If you’ve got that in your home, I’m sorry!) It was really horrible. But it was Saddam’s so people thought it had value.
Whatever your value is depends on whom you belong to. So who do you belong to?
1 John 4:4 (NIV) says, “You belong to God.”
It doesn’t get any bigger than that. You belong to God! He made you. He created you. He died for you. He saved you. You belong to God. Imagine your worth.
A couple of years ago there was a famous Kuwaiti oil sheik whose daughter was kidnapped. He put an announcement over the Internet that said he’d pay any price. She’s the daughter of the king.
You are a daughter or son of the King. You are a child of God. And He will pay anything including going to the cross to get you back. Jesus loves you so much that He was willing to die than to live without you.” He not only owns you but the second thing that creates value is…
what is somebody willing to pay for it? How much is your house worth? Probably not what you think. It’s really worth whatever somebody’s willing to pay for it. Let’s say I’ve got a rare baseball card. How much is it worth? It’s worth whatever somebody’s willing to pay for it. If you’ve got a piece of art in your house, how much is it worth? Whatever somebody’s willing to pay for it.
Look at how much was paid for you.
1 Cor. 7:23 (LB) - “You have been bought and paid for by Christ, [with His life.] so you belong to Him.”