” … I will be fully satisfied … “
David knew Whom and what to look to in order to see who he truly was: the One Who made him, and His Word. Click To Tweet
Identity always has been and always will be a huge factor in the life of every single human being. Furthermore, most people are never fully satisfied with who they perceive themselves to be. Why? Because (1) they listen to, heed, act upon what strangers’ voices say regarding who they are; and (2) they look at themselves in the wrong “mirror” and take its reflection as factual – i.e., this is really who I am! King David knew Whom and what to look to in order to see who he truly was: the One Who made him, and His Word. “As for me, I will continue beholding Your face in Righteousness; I will be fully satisfied, when I awake [to find myself] beholding Your form [and having sweet communion with You].” (Psalm 17:15) Likewise, the Apostle Paul teaches us about the one true Mirror which alone will tell us the Truth about who we are: “And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another … ” (II Cor.3:18), and becoming ever-increasingly satisfied with who we really are! But without this Mirror, we will see only the reflection of an old creation who, in God’s eyes, has been crucified, buried, and is passed away forever, and in His estimation, has nothing to do with who we are now! And we will undoubtedly be dissatisfied.
What we are NOT …
Those of us in Greater Grace have been blessed with very sound teaching as to what we are not. For example, we are NOT our sin or failures (Rom.7:19-25); we are NOT our performance, how well or how poorly we do something; we are NOT who the natural mind, whether ours or that of others, perceives us to be; we are NOT what the devil accuses us of or projects at us; we are NOT what we do (e.g. our vocation, our jobs); we are NOT what glass mirrors on walls reflect back to us! Of course, we have physical appearance, strengths and weaknesses, particular personalities; but none of these should become our identity. In Romans 7 Paul said in verse 25, after the peak of his identity crisis in verse 24, “O thank God! [He will release and deliver me from this body of death] through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” What did Paul seem to suddenly “get”? What did he finally understand?
” … the Lord looks on the heart.”
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Even the Godly, faithful, wise prophet Samuel slipped into natural perception when seeking the one whom God had chosen to become Israel’s next king. He kept looking at the outward appearance of David’s brothers, evaluating their fitness to be king according to what he saw. But the Lord gently corrected him: “But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his appearance or at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees, for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Oh, that we, too, would “get” this! When we received the Lord Jesus Christ, we were given instantly a brand new heart and spirit (Ezekiel 36:26). The old stony heart was replaced by a heart of flesh which now had the capacity to receive the Incorruptible Seed of the Word of God and to let it be hidden there richly (Col.3:16). And the more abundantly the Word of God dwells in our hearts, the more clearly we see our true identity; because the Word is precisely how God thinks of us and is His way of revealing to us who we really are!” Even young Ezra, as a teenager, understood this: “Your Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin [or “self”] against You.” (Psalm 119:11).
” … He … cleansed their hearts by faith … ” (Acts 15:9)
Putting some Scriptures together, we actually see that not believing who God says we are – against sight, reason, and feelings – is sin. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Rom.10:17) “… whatever is not of faith is sin.” (Rom.14:23) Furthermore, if we don’t act in faith, which comes from thinking in faith, it is impossible to be pleasing to God (Heb.11:6) Now, is it difficult or complicated to act in faith? For the unregenerate, yes, because only with the new heart can we act and live by faith; only the righteous have been given the mandate-promise that they will indeed live by faith (Hab.2:4; Rom.1:17; Gal.3:11; Heb.10:38) But the Lord Jesus promises to all who will hear Him that we are clean through the Word which He has spoken to us (John 15:3) and that if we do sin, and confess it to Him, He will cleanse us of ALL unrighteousness (I John 1:9).
Look at yourself in His flawless Mirror, full of faith, and you will be satisfied with the faultless person you find there.
James tells us in chapter 1, verses 21-25 to receive and welcome the Word of God into our hearts but to be careful to mix faith with it and be doers of it. “For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who who looks carefully at his … natural face in a mirror; For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like. But he who looks carefully into the faultless law … of liberty, and … perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer who obeys, he shall be blessed in his doing … ” Such a one will be like those mentioned in Psalm 34:5 – “They looked to Him and were radiant; their faces shall never blush for shame … .”, because they are satisfied with what they see: Who He is, who they are in Him.
“God’s belief in you is even stronger than your belief in Him”!
When we gaze into the Mirror of the Word of God we find precise description of who we are as God sees us, who He knows us to be. Click To Tweet
A rabbi asked Ann Voskamp the following question as they sat next to each other on an airplane and were speaking together of God: “Why do you people always say it’s about having a strong belief in God? Who sits with the knowing that God’s belief in you is even stronger than yours in Him?” He went on to say: “He believes in you as a gift that the world needs.” ( from The Way of Abundance, by Ann Voskamp) Piercing words. When we gaze into the Mirror of the Word of God we find precise description of who we are as God sees us, who He knows us to be. Here are a just a few examples that have changed my life – and identity – forever:
Jer.33:3 – “I have loved you with an everlasting Love, and with lovingkindness have I drawn you … ”
Hab.3:19 – “The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk, [not to stand still in terror, but to walk], and make spiritual progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering or responsibility]!”
Isa.43:4 – “Because you are precious in My sight and honored, and because I love you, I will give men in return for you and peoples in exchange for your life.”
John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7,20 – I am the disciple whom Jesus is loving!
John 15:9a; John 17:23b – “I have loved you just as the Father has loved Me … ”
Phil.4:13 – “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency.”
“… when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (I John 3:2)
When the Lord Jesus comes for us, we will indeed see Him and know Him exactly as He is, and we will be completely like Him in every way, because we will have no sin nature. But we also have the promise in I John 4:17, that we will have boldness and confidence in the day of judgment because “as He is, so ARE we in this present evil world”, right now! That’s not a contradiction of I John 3:2 but it is just as much a “faith fact”. “Faith perceives as fact that which is not revealed to the senses” (Heb.11:1b) With the very “faith of the Son of God” in us (Ga.2:20), we simply believe that we have indeed exchanged our lives for His at the Cross, and we were indeed buried and raised together with Him in resurrection Life, and therefore it is indeed “no longer I but Christ” Who lives in me and I in Him. We are, by faith, the substance of Who He is on earth – “Faith IS the substance of things hoped for , the evidence of things not yet seen”, (Heb.11:1a) although what we will be hereafter, once we leave this earth, has not been totally disclosed (I John 3:2).
“It is finished!” and He is satisfied.
Let's simply receive Grace to believe what He believes and be fully satisfied with who He says we are in Him. Click To TweetWe enter into and remain in the “satisfied life” (1) by doing what David did: continually beholding His Face in Righteousness, reckoning that “He Who knew no sin became sin that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Christ.” (II Cor.5:21) and therefore can and must live by faith (Hab.2:4); (2) by continually reckoning ourselves dead to sin and self but alive unto God as a totally new creation in Him (v.17); and (3) by receiving Grace to reverently and worshipfully fear Him, so that we can have “the secret of sweet, satisfying communion with Him” (Psalm 25:14).
“God can’t help but believe in me, because Christ is in me!” (Ann Voskamp) Let’s simply receive Grace, then, to believe what He believes and be fully satisfied with who He says we are in Him.