This week in Tillman, Glenn Batson from Greenville, SC shared with us about how we view ourselves versus God’s view of us. His main questions was, “How does God view you?”
Glenn started out by describing what our narrative is. The dictionary defines narrative as an account of connected events. This means that ‘we are our experiences’ and if we are not careful, we will let our past experiences narrate our story. If we focus on the negative events in our life, communing with God will become exhausting because all we will feel is failure. However, if we have the right narrative, which is through Jesus, then our question of “How does God view you?” will be answered.
Glenn described 6 narratives through Jesus that allows us to answer this big question:
1. New Creation
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Jesus came to the earth so that whoever believes in him could become a new creation. This means that your old sin, shame, identity is gone and is replaced by new grace, mercy, love, and identity through the name of Jesus.
2. Loved Like Jesus
“I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:23)
God loves you the same way that he loves Jesus. You are his son or daughter just like Jesus. Therefore, you are loved just as equally as his perfect son. God says that he loves you not because you dress a certain way, are a certain major, or act a certain way, but rather because he is love. God sees you and sees the righteousness of his son. God loves you whether you are the church kid that does everything right or the person that goes out every night.
Glenn brought up the point that we ‘phileo love’ people. This is the type of love we use most commonly. This love is companionable and relational. It’s brotherly and friendship love. However, Jesus ‘agape loves’ us. This type of love is an unchanging, unconditional, and pursuing. This is the love Jesus gives when we are undeserving and unworthy.
3. Chosen, Holy, special possession
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
God is all knowing, he knows your every thought and move before you do. Whether it is good or bad, God loves you anyway. We always imagine that it is us standing next to a pile of our sin and Jesus is on the other side, but in reality, Jesus is standing on top of our sin saying that he died to defeat our sin and if we follow him, we can defeat sin too. God is not up in heaven ready to punish us everytime we sin because he is disappointed that we are so easy to give into sin. Instead, he wants us to follow him so that we can learn how to avoid sin and giving into sinful activities.
4. Well pleased
“And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”” (Mark 1:11)
God wants you to know that before you feel like you have to prove your worth, you need to know that you are his son or daughter and he is well pleased with that. You have a perfect father looking at you and telling you that you are HIS kid and nothing can ever change that. God wants you to know your identity in him because you will never know what you are called to do until you know who you are.
5. Delights and Rejoices
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
God is singing over you and rejoicing that you are his son or daughter. God wants so desperately to be your best friend and have fellowship with you. Apostle John always referred to himself as the “one whom Jesus loved.” God wants to have this deep relationship with you where you constantly refer to yourself as the one whom Jesus loved because you believe it to be true. Jesus didn’t die so that we would try harder to get better grades or work harder to make more money, but rather so that he could be our best friend.
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
As a believer in Christ we are promised to be accompanied by the Holy Spirit. This allows us to have direct contact with God and his truth rather than the evil and lies associated with Satan. The enemy will make us do anything to believe his lies, but with the Holy Spirit, we are able to ignore the lies and listen to God’s truth.
To summarize, we should not let brokenness, disappointment, failure, or the idea of not being good enough dictate our narrative of who we are, but rather let Jesus’ narratives guide our life and who we are in the eyes of God.