How God sees us: An important key to faith!
This is another big key to positioning ourselves to trust God with the issues of our life. It is very important to know how God sees us, what He thinks about us, and what His desires for us are. How can you trust somebody who you aren't really sure is looking out for your best interest? How can you freely put your life in the hands of somebody who you perceive may use you and not be trustworthy? That is one of the fundamental reasons why Christians today have a hard time trusting God. They know little about Him and how He sees and has good things in mind for them! Therefore, studying up how God sees us, and getting it down into our spirits that He really does love us, desires good things for us, and cares for us, is vital to our ability to trust Him.
The fact is that until you know in your heart that God really does love and care for you, it's going to be difficult to believe His promises for you... they just won't make much sense! I like how Benny Hinn once said that when you believe in God's power, "God can"... but when you believe in His love, "God will." I felt the Holy Spirit saying to me, "Believe in me, believe in my love for you." Then a verse came to me, saying, "The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love." (Psalms 147:11 NIV)
Far too many times, sincere followers of Christ are seeing their heavenly Father in a terrible, and twisted way. Satan has many believing that their cancer is something that God's given them so that they can become a better person. Yet when you look at the fruit of cancer, the fruit is hospital bills, dangerous treatment, and ultimately the grave! Besides, cancer is known to be a spiritually rooted disease, and involves infirmity spirits (demons). Why on earth would a loving and caring Father, give His child an evil spirit to make them a better person? Do you see the terrible picture that is painted of God when we think this way... all due to lack of knowledge on our behalf? Just because your prayer for healing doesn't work, does not mean that it's God's will... there are a lot of factors that can be involved in the healing process. Many times, there are spiritual roots to sicknesses and diseases, other times there's faith required, and if Jesus told His own disciples that they lacked faith, then how much more does the average Christian today!
The truth is that there are a lot of things which take place on this earth which are not the will of God. Just because something happens here on earth, does not mean that it was God's will that it happened that way. If it were, then it means that every time a woman is raped, or a child is molested, or a father is murdered... then it would have to be the will of God. That kind of thinking is absolutely absurd! If God willed such things, it would make Him out to be a terrible god who has no love in his heart! The Bible tells us to pray that God's will will take place here on earth, as it does in heaven:
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
What happens in heaven? Is there sickness, disease, and poverty in heaven? Then what makes us think that those things are God's will here on earth then? I could preach an entire teaching on the Will of God, and it would shock many Christians today to read of what God's true desires are for us right here on earth!
One of the biggest keys to Christian faith, is to get it down into your spirit that God truly loves and cares for you. I believe that God's Word makes it clear that unless we know the height and depth of the love of God, we cannot be filled with His fullness:
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
Did you know that God thinks about you a lot?
The Holy Spirit spoke to me the other day, and showed me that it is vital for us to realize how God really feels about us - how He sees us. I am going to cover some of the verses which gives us some great clues into the thoughts, desires, and concerns of God towards us. The Bible tells us that His thoughts towards us are not only precious, but numerous as the sands of the seashore. God thinks about you and I all the time!
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
God's Word also tells us He loved us not because of anything we've done, but because of who we were. Christ was not sent to die for the saint, but the filthy sinner (which includes all of us at some point in our lives!).
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
God doesn't just want to recruit servants, but to call us as Sons and therefore heirs of Christ. He wants us to be a part of His own family. This in itself is a big clue as to God's great love for us!
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
God desires to have a loving and genuine father and son relationship with us. Not a father and son relationship that many today have came to know, but a loving, caring, and wonderful relationship. Many times, when a person has an abusive relationship with their earthly father, they tend to perceive their relationship with their heavenly Father the same way. That causes a lot of people to have an unhealthy fear of God, which drives them away instead of closer to Him. This is exactly what the devil wants us to do, and it grieves the heart of God. Our heavenly Father is the most loving and caring Father that anybody could ever ask for!
Your Father wants to give you good things!
Jesus tells us that if our earthly father (referring to a good and loving earthly father) would desire to give his children good gifts, how much more does our heavenly Father desire to give good things to them that ask.
Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Jesus actually tells us to ask our heavenly Father for things, so that we may receive from Him, and that we might be filled with joy. A heavenly Father that wasn't interested in giving us good things, or interested in seeing us filled with joy, would never say such a thing! These are only the words from a loving and caring heavenly Father.
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
The Holy Spirit spoke to Paul, and made it clear that if the Father spared not His own son for our sakes, how much He desires to freely give us all things. Can you say, ALL things?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Talk about giving us all things, look at how God's Word tells us that we're heirs of God through Christ. Do you know what a heir is? It is an inheritor... just like when a rich parent dies, an inheritance is left to the children. We are heirs of God through Christ!
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Anybody who reads verses like this and still thinks that God is all about poverty and is not eager to give us good things (health, finances, wisdom, deliverance - you name it!). All of these things are provided for us in the Word of God and through the work of Christ on the cross.
God wants us to seek FIRST His kingdom (which most Christians today fail to do), and then He promises to meet our needs financially.
If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
God is a good God who takes pleasure in blessing! The Bible is clear in story after story, passage after passage, that God takes pleasure in blessing and being good to His people who love Him.
I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance [or wealth]; and I will fill their treasures.
God's Word tells us that if we put Him first in our lives, he wants to give us the desires of our hearts and fill our barns (or financial blessings) to overflowing.
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
This lines up with how He blessed Abraham (and we have the blessings of Abraham available to us through the cross - what are the blessings of Abraham? Financial blessings were definitely a part of those blessings!), and also how God blessed Job. The Holy Spirit spoke to me about Job and how after the devil was done with him, God blessed Job with TWICE as much as before... and the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, "I WANTED HIM BLESSED!" God's Word also tells us that He has stored up great goodness for those who trust Him before the sons of men:
Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
If you want to know about the good, loving, and merciful nature of God, then just study the Israelites in the Bible. They were filled with rebellion to the point of sacrificing their our children to demons! They were very stiff-necked, and would kill the prophets that God sent them. Just look at how their religious leaders made Jesus out to be a criminal and killed him! But over and over again, God would keep calling them back to Him, promising to forgive their sins and bless them. So many times, believers will read their Bibles, and think to themselves, "That is terrible what God brought upon His people when they disobeyed Him!" But we also need to consider what led up to that point. Often, God would wait many years and put up with them before bringing judgment against them. Anyways, just look at a few (of many) passages which gives us a glimpse into God's eagerness to bless His people:
For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee. He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.
And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.
And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.
If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.
For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass. When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.
Many today in the church might be saying, "But that was just for those people back then... today we are called to poverty." God's Word tells me that He is no respecter of persons (see Acts 10:34), and that He's the same yesterday, today, and forever (see Hebrews 13:8)!
The depths of our Father's love is beyond what our puny little minds can comprehend (see Ephesians 3:19). He takes delight in giving us His kingdom:
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Is this a heavenly kingdom that we will only be table to enjoy after we die or are raptured up? No, for Jesus told us that the kingdom of heaven is upon us RIGHT NOW!
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
What is the kingdom of God? I believe it is where God's will is done. Jesus prayed and asked that the Father's kingdom comes, and that His will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus said that if He casts out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon them (see Luke 11:20). The kingdom of God, therefore, is where the will of God is carried out here on earth! It involves doing the things that Jesus went about doing... liberating the captives (casting out demons), healing the sick, and raising the dead! Jesus directly connected healing the sick in with the kingdom of God coming upon the people:
And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
In another passage, Jesus sent forth the disciples to preach the kingdom of God. I believe you could safely replace kingdom with the words, "The will of God here on earth." Yes it is God's will for man to be saved, but the kingdom of God, as we can see in the passage above, is more than just forgiveness of sins, but also physical healing, and also deliverance! Therefore, I believe that the kingdom of God refers to where the will of God is being done on earth as it is in heaven!
And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Now this is going to shake up some religious minds, but did you know that the Father loves us, as much as He loved Jesus? While Jesus was praying to the Father, He revealed this life-changing truth. This is something that we need to mediate on, as it will change your whole outlook on life and your relationship with God.
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Do you know of anybody who loves and cares for you, enough to count the very hairs on your head, and give each one a number? I assure you that your heavenly Father has done just that! Jesus made it clear that our heavenly Father is concerned over even the smallest details in our lives. If it concerns us, it concerns Him:
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
There are other things in the Word of God that many Christians have no clue even exists! Did you know that God rejoices over His children, sings over them, and even considers them the apple of His eye?
For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.
God longs for an intimate relationship with His beloved bride! I have a whole teaching on A Love Relationship With Jesus that I highly recommend reading.
God is concerned about our safety. Jesus considered Himself the good shepherd. Nowadays, most of us are not acquainted with the idea of shepherding, but the job of a shepherd is to protect and guide the sheep. Bears, lions, and other predators will come along, and it is up to the shepherd to protect the sheep from their harm.
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is a hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
Speaking of laying down His life for us, Jesus spoke with the disciples and said that there is no greater way to show your love for somebody, than to give your life for them. He laid down His life for us, and by doing so, proved that He deeply loved and cared for us.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
This kind of love is in the hearts of the Father and the Holy Spirit as well! If the Son (Jesus), the Father, and the Holy Spirit are all of one mind, then that means that all three of them have the same kind of love for us. This lines up with what Jesus told the Father in John 17, in that He loves us with the same love that He loves His own son! After all, the Holy Spirit is the one who pours out the love of Christ upon our hearts, and the Father is the one who sent His son Jesus to die! You can't say that Jesus is the only member of the Godhead that loves you so dearly. I love how the Bible can be cross references like that.
Our heavenly Father takes no pleasure in our failures! Unlike many religious folks believe, God is not rejoicing up in heaven when we mess up, so that he can hold it against us. The heart of our Father is grieved when we wander from His good path for us. When we look through the Bible, we find account after account, where He is pleading with His people to return to Him so that He can cleanse them and make things right again...
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet [or stained with blood... in other words, murder!], they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
God doesn't want a barrier between Him and His people. That's the reason that He sent His son to die for us, so that we may be reconciled with Him. The Bible refers to this as the ministry of reconciliation:
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
When His children make mistakes, He pities us as a loving Father, and His mercy is abundant towards them, as much as the heavens are above the earth! God's Word also tells us that He is ready to abundantly pardon.
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Did you know that God has chosen to forget our sins, not for our sakes, but for His? It grieves Him so much to see our failures, that He's chosen to forget them so that He can look upon us and not see those mistakes that we've made:
I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
It sure goes against the belief that God's up stairs with a clipboard, keeping track of our every failure... doesn't it?
Then there's the parables that Jesus gave us in Luke 15 to demonstrate the heart of the Father towards those who have made mistakes and walked off the path, but came back to Him in repentance. My favorite is the story of the prodigal son...
And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
That father didn't just wait until the son walked up to him, that father was filled will overflowing love and compassion for his returning son... he took of running towards him and kissed him! That father was probably thinking about His son the whole time, and when He saw him coming at a distance, that father was filled with joy because of the return of his son! As I mentioned earlier, He thinks about us often, and deeply desires to have relationship and fellowship with Him. God tells us that we are engraved on the palms of His hands:
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
If you really want to feel the heartbeat of God, and His desire to have the lost return to Him, then grab your Bible and read Jeremiah 3:11-22. My favorite translation for this passage is the NLT. That passage is so powerful, and shows us a picture of God pouring out His heart towards His people, pleading with them to return to Him!
Whatever is done to us, God takes it personally! Did you know that whenever somebody blesses or wrongs us, God takes it personally, as if they were doing those very things unto Him? Jesus made this very clear in the following passage:
And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
Did you know that your heavenly Father considers it a serious offense if somebody causes you to stumble? Talk about a protective and caring Father who is very much involved in protecting His family!
And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
God's Word tells us that He makes it His personal job to watch over His children who fear Him:
Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy.
He also sends His angels to protect us. I believe that each of us are assigned at least one angel!
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
He even sends us His angels as ministering spirits unto the children of God:
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
I'm telling you, God not only loves us, but He wants to make sure that we're provided for, looked after, and blessed with everything that we need! And that's not all, as if Jesus didn't pay such a terrible and steep price for our salvation, healing, forgiveness, and deliverance, He is busy in heaven preparing us a mansion to live in when He returns for us!
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.