Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
One of my favorite Bible characters is Gideon, a man who saw himself and his people as helpless, hopeless and small before their enemy. We first meet Gideon in a winepress threshing wheat, which is an odd place for such a task. Wheat was threshed on a high, open spot where the breeze could catch the chaff (or waste) and blow it away while the heavier grain falls back to the ground. There’s not much breeze down in a winepress, but Gideon was threshing away, hiding from the marauding Midianites.
A stranger calls out to him “The Lord is with you mighty warrior” (v. 12). I imagine Gideon spun around looking for the person he was addressing. What Gideon doesn’t realize is the stranger is the Angel of the Lord, and he was calling Gideon by the name the Lord had given him. Mighty Warrior. The angel tells Gideon that God is appointing him to deliver the Israelites from their enemy. Gideon isn’t buying it. “How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least in my family” (v. 15). Gideon sees only his weakness and smallness. He compares himself to the enemy and knows he doesn’t measure up. But Jehovah God sees Gideon as the man He will empower to accomplish great things for Israel. God promises Gideon “I will be with you and you will strike down all the Midianites” (v. 16). And that’s the whole point. God isn’t looking at what Gideon is or what Gideon can do; He is looking at what He will do through Gideon, at what He had destined Gideon to become – a mighty warrior.
Who do you see when you look in the mirror? Someone small and insignificant? A person who has been rejected or abandoned? Do you see someone whose life is riddled with bad decisions and wasted years? My friend that is not how God sees you at all. He sees you with eyes of everlasting love and tenderness. He sees you as His beautiful creation, a reflection of His own image. And if you are in Christ, He sees you as redeemed, restored and renewed, ready to fulfill the purpose for which you were created.
Beloved, nothing and no one defines you but God. Whatever your past has been, whatever other voices have said about you, whatever the enemy has tried to tell you about yourself, hear this above anything else: You are who God says you are. And He has said you are His child, the apple of His eye, His beloved. He has declared, “You are mine.”