Child of God

5x7_i_am_a_child_of_god_bluegreen_olrzSo….apparently I’m a child of God. A daughter of the Lord. I mean, I know that, but what God says about it is giving me problems. Our ex-pastor came back & preached today. God basically forced him into a sabbatical 18 months ago because he had been emotionally & spiritually bruised, beaten & exhausted after 21 years in the same place. He left our church thinking he’d just be moving on to another ministry pretty quickly. After about 5 months, he realized that God was going to insist on him resting. So he’s just been thinking & reading & praying & listening. And God’s showing him some pretty amazing stuff.

Y’know, we all hear in church about how our sins are on the cross and we are a new creation in Christ and how God doesn’t see us like we see ourselves. If y’all are anything like me, your reaction is kind of like, ‘oh, that’s nice.’ Yay – our sins are far away & we have been made new by the power of Christ’s blood. Totally awesome. But, I’m still a total loser. Just a loser who’s been saved by grace. Apparently, that’s not even close to what God means. Apparently, God wants us to see ourselves the way He sees us. Which ain’t nothing like the way WE see ourselves.

According to Romans 5:17, God gave us not only the gift of abundant grace, but also the gift of righteousness – meaning that when we accept Christ, God now see us as righteous.

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. – Romans 5:17 NIV

Here’s another example of what he was talking about. If you died at this moment, where would you go? Probably all y’all who have placed your faith in Christ would answer “heaven” with no hesitation. Yeah. Heaven. We’ve been promised that, so that’s what we believe. “But I thought only sinless people go to heaven.” Yes. “But I thought only the righteous are in heaven.” Uh-huh. “But I thought only holy people are in heaven.” That’s right.

He then talked about seeing old truth through new eyes. In John 3, Jesus talks about being born again – when you’re born of the flesh, you’re in the flesh, but when you’re born of the Spirit, you’re in the Spirit. That means when you’re “born again”, you’re a different person that you were before. So, before we were born again, we were a person walking around “in Adam” or in the flesh. After being born again, we are a completely different person, but we’re still walking around in Adam’s old suit. As Pastor put it, “a spiritual creation walking around in a flesh suit”. (And I’m probably the only one in my church who had a Silence of the Lambs moment after he said that) So, the point is that the sin is gone. ALL of our sin is on the cross & it is now totally taken away. As Hebrews says, “I will remember their sin NO MORE.” So our heavenly Father no longer has anything against us. He sees us as righteous. As holy. As sinless. There is nothing between us & God.

In 2 Corinthians 5, it says, “He has reconciled Himself, therefore be ye reconciled unto Him.” 1 John 3 says, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (NKJV) Like Jesus. God loves us as much as He loves Jesus. Apparently. (I’m saying that a lot) He loves us with an everlasting love. Whoa. So when we WALK in this truth – not just see it, but WALK in it, the Pastor says it will explode in our lives. It will change everything. And I tell ya, I want that. But Satan sure don’t want it for me.

See, I’ve talked about this before, but I cannot communicate the depth & sincerity of what I mean. Most of us have problems with our self-image, but for me it’s way more than that. My self-loathing is thick, penetrating, and immovable. I hate being me. I hate the way I look. I hate the things I do. I hate my lack of patience, my selfishness, my neediness. I look at myself & all I can think is that I’m repulsive and an eyesore. I’m fat & have no motivation to do what it takes to change that. I’m slovenly, but I’m too tired to take care in my appearance. I feel ugly & worthless most of the time. So to hear this sermon was like hearing about a beautiful place where I could actually blossom into what I dream of being – where I’m beautiful & pleased with who I am and I can really be who God meant me to be. But I’m not allowed to go. Like a dream that’s just out of reach. Because as much as I know in my head that God loves me like He says, I can’t love myself enough to let Him love me. I don’t deserve it. I’m just a plodding ploughhorse that has to keep her head down and plow through it all while the fancy horses get to rest in the shade. Pastor kept saying that it doesn’t matter how we feel, we just have to know this truth & walk in it. I believe that he’s right, but I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to be the person God sees. I don’t even know who she is.