In some of my teaching notes, I list several of the misconceptions we have about God and the responses those misconceptions elicit. For example, the God we see as an overzealous policeman keeps us walking on eggshells. The angry, unforgiving judge creates an ongoing guilt as well as making us feel we can never measure up. And misconceptions usually create a distant, impersonal God who is too busy, out of reach, removed from the details of my circumstances. But, what if we saw and believed a more accurate picture of God, and let that picture literally shape our lives? A God who loves, forgives, encourages, longs for fellowship and intimacy, listens, cares deeply, delights in His children, satisfies, rejoices and sings over me, is always present and always involved, expresses His goodness, and still more!
In browsing some other older teaching notes, I was also reminded of the little girl walking in the rain, lightning flashing, and each time it did, the little girl looked up and smiled. Her concerned mom drove up beside her to give her a dry ride home and asked what she was doing. And the child answered, “I am trying to look pretty because God keeps taking my picture!” The story is obviously old, but the little girl had an accurate picture herself of God, and she was letting that picture literally shape her life.
Believers do often struggle with their concept of God and frequently that struggle raises the seeming incongruence of a salvation that offers both forgiveness of all sin and a clothing in the very righteousness of Christ, weighed against a daily struggle with temptation, sin, and failure. We know the certainty that sin separates us from God, therefore, I may only see myself as “hopefully” a believer who is God’s child, because I also see the reality of my daily messes, struggles, and wrong choices. Soooo, who am I??? And, more importantly, how does God see me?
A few basics. Yes, sin separates me from God, and sin cannot be part of a relationship with God. That’s the whole reason Jesus died on the cross. Jesus died to pay the penalty for my sin, and His forgiveness for all of my sin – past, present, and future – is extended when I simply believe on a personal level that Jesus was thinking about me when He died on the cross. Now, the penalty for sin is paid, and in a judicial sense, my sin is erased and I stand in the presence of the Father Jesus wanted me to be in relationship with, totally, completely, without sin – and biblically that means, God sees me as totally and completely righteous. And here’s where God has two eyes. One of God’s eyes sees me positionally as totally righteous, just as if I have never sinned, embraced by Him as His eternally loved and forgiven child. He must see and accept me that way in order for me to be in a relationship with Him. But, God’s other eye is still all-knowing and fully aware of the wrong choices “perfect me” can and does make, even as His child. He doesn’t let that sin dirty up my “positional righteousness” though because I am already forgiven, but He does want something far better for me, so He does want me to confess sin and ask for His enabling grace to think, to do, and to relate more in line with the total righteousness He already sees me with.
Paul explains it to the Romans, We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. And because He sees us as righteous, reach for the far better, give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
(Related Bible reading: Romans 3:22-24, 12:1,2 and maybe hang out in Romans for awhile)
God's Two Eyes
written by Bev Leckie
'Legend of Two Wolves' Found on Internet
I did not write the story.