But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
For the past two weeks I’ve been writing about confession as a form of prayer. As I stated previously, the word confess means to agree, to admit, to acknowledge. When we confess, we are owning up to the truth about ourselves and about God. But confession is not just about admitting our sins; it is also about acknowledging our standing before God.
Our standing before God is this: through faith in Jesus Christ we become heirs, with him, of God’s heavenly kingdom. Our sins are forgiven and we are granted eternal life with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Now, when God sees us, he sees not our sins but the cleansing blood of Jesus upon us. (Hebrews 9:13-14, 22) Death will not have the final say over us because Jesus defeated the power of death by rising from the grave. So nothing can separate us from God’s love, neither sin, death nor evil. (Romans 8:39)
Our standing before God is made possible through no effort of our own. We can’t change it and we can’t take credit for it. We have become daughters and sons of the King of heaven due to his generous, compassionate and forgiving disposition and will.
But there are times when I don’t see myself as God sees me, radiantly robed in his righteousness, washed clean and forgiven by the blood of Jesus. At those moments I see, instead, a legacy of past sins, failures, and lost opportunities. But this is not the lens through which God calls us to view ourselves – or other Christians.
God is not calling us to pretend or to fool ourselves. He knows we sin, but he doesn’t remember our sins. He knows our weaknesses, but he doesn’t see us as weak. God sees us from the point of view of the end of time, when the good work begun in us is brought to completion in the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6) So what God sees is the fullness of himself being poured into us, and he’s given us the gift of the Holy Spirit, so we can see the same. (2 Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 3:19)
When I think about this work that God is doing in me, by the grace of his Son, Jesus, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, I realize the way to show my gratitude for this work is to choose to view myself through God’s eyes and not through my own. My own perceptions can only give me a view of what I was instead of what I am becoming and will be. This is not how God wants me to perceive myself. I’ve reached the conclusion that if I persist in seeing myself this way I’m being ungrateful and stubborn by continuing to look at something false instead of what God knows to be true.
So now I regularly ask God to help me see myself as he sees me. I also I find it helpful to make a point of confessing my standing before God right after I confess my sins. This helps to reinforce God’s truth in my mind and banish my misconceptions. Here is a list of verses from the Bible I’ve come up with that bears out every Christian’s status before God:
I confess that I am:
(Category – loved unconditional by Almighty God)
- Wonderfully made by an awesome God. (Psalm 139:14)
- A rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys… and God’s banner over me is love. (Song of Songs 2:1; 4)
- A daughter (son) of the King. (Ephesians 1:5)
- More than a conqueror…because nothing can separate me from God’s love. (Romans 8:39)
(Category – washed clean by the blood of Jesus)
- Saved by grace, through faith, and it is not my own doing, but a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8)
- Redeemed and forgiven…in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on me with all wisdom and understanding. (Ephesians 1:7-8)
- Clothed with garments of salvation and arrayed in a robe of righteousness… (Isaiah 61:10)
- Chosen, royal and holy, belonging to God. (1 Peter 2:9)
(Category – protected by God)
- Safeguarded because…the Lord will never leave me or forsake me. (Joshua 1:9; Hebrews 15:5)
- Shielded…because God will not let my foot slip. He watches over me and does not slumber. (Psalm 121:7)
- Shepherded by God…therefore, I shall not want. (Psalm 23)
- Secure because…God is my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
This list is not exhaustive, so I’d love to hear from you about passages of Scripture that you turn to for reassurance of your standing before God.
So, if you sometimes struggle, like I do, with seeing yourself through God’s eyes, I suggest you make a habit of admitting the truth about yourself and God.
Next week: Turning to God in prayer about our needs and concerns.