Through God's Eyes
Last spring the ladies of our church did a Bible study about identity and freedom in Christ and a friend gave us a task:
Learn the name that God calls us and begin learning to value that name above all others.
The next time we were alone with God, she wanted us to ask Him how He sees us, the name that He speaks over us. Following through with this was not easy for me. I honestly put it off for a while, but when I finally did it a few weeks later, it became a defining moment in my relationship with God and learning to base my identity in Him. So I want to encourage you to try this for yourself.
Before you even have a chance to hear it, can I silence shame’s voice in your mind? You may have read that first paragraph and automatically thought that you can’t hear God so you shouldn’t even try. Here’s the thing, any of us can hear God but sometimes it’s really hard to know how. That’s okay.
Don’t put pressure on yourself to hear God at a certain time or in a certain way, just tell Him that you want to hear from Him and ask Him to help you be more aware of when He is speaking. God doesn’t speak in just one way, He speaks in ways that are specific to each of us. I know it can be discouraging if you want to hear God and feel like you can’t, but please don’t give up. If you try something and don’t seem to hear Him, give it some time and then try something else. Just like anything else that matters in life, it takes time and practice.
Now, my friend encouraged us to look in the mirror and ask God what He sees. I woke up early one morning, turned on some worship music and spent some quality time with God, getting comfortable in His presence. For me this looks like Bible reading, journaling, and sitting quietly.
After some time, I looked in the mirror and asked God, “What do You see when you look at me?” I closed my eyes and almost immediately the word Beauty came into my mind. I hesitated and then I heard it again. Beauty. I opened my eyes and immediately became frustrated. Yes, you read that right. I was not happy with this answer and I told God so. “Beauty? Really? That’s it?” So much of my life has been about my appearance, about looking the part of good little Christian girl. God and I have done a lot of work in my adult life tearing down those lies, so to hear God say that when He looked at me He saw Beauty was disheartening for me.
After all this work to teach me that my outer appearance doesn’t define me, that’s all You see?
I stewed on this for at least 20 minutes. I was not happy with this experiment. I was upset at my friend for telling me to do this and I was definitely annoyed with God for the way He decided to answer.
Eventually I sat down and said, “Okay God, explain Yourself.” As I sat with Him and wrote the words I believed He was saying to me, He showed me that my initial understanding couldn’t have been further from the truth.
He wasn’t talking about my outward appearance, He was talking about the beauty from the ashes of things I have lost and chosen to trust Him with. The beauty of running to Him over and over again. The beauty of following Him when it’s really difficult. And the beauty of trying to reflect His image to everyone I meet.
I would never define myself this way or even think it would apply to me. But when God looks at me, He doesn’t see my mistakes or regrets, He sees beauty. On days when I’ve been really disappointed in myself or regretting things in my past, God has reminded me, I see beauty. This practice and God’s truth have opened my eyes to a deeper level of God’s love for me than I knew before. I know God would love to give you the same gift.
So here’s what I want you to do. Get in your place, where you’re most comfortable and open with God. Wherever that is. Simply ask God, “What do you see when You look at me?” Then listen. Maybe you’ll immediately hear a word bouncing around in your mind. Maybe a song will come to your mind or on the radio that whispers God’s words to you. Maybe you’ll be drawn to a certain Bible verse or scripture. Or maybe it will be days or weeks before you have any clue what God is saying. All of that is okay.
God knows what you’re ready for and when. The point isn’t where you are or how quickly you hear God, the point is that you want to hear Him, and He will honor that in some form.
God sees you more clearly and with more purity than you can possibly imagine. When He looks at you, He doesn’t see mistakes, shame, sin, regret, or disappointment - He sees His daughter that He loves deeply. When God looks at you, He sees you washed in the cleansing blood of Jesus, forgiven and free because of His sacrifice. Be open to what God has to say. Trust that He knows you even better than you know yourself. Let God tell you who you really are and see how much it changes how you live your life.