When God Sees Me

Young woman looking at herself in the mirror

Young woman looking at herself in the mirror

“She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me’” (Genesis 16:13)

When you look at me through this blog what do you see?  Perhaps a Bible teacher or writer?  When my friends look at me they tell me they see a person who is determined to fulfill God’s call.  They also say they see someone who is friendly and helpful and dependable.

But when I look at myself in a mirror, I see a middle-age woman with graying hair (under the red hair dye), a weight problem, out of date clothes and a tired expression.  When I look at my heart, I see scars—lots of scars—some self-inflicted and some caused by others.  I see anxiety and a sense of unworthiness.  When I look at my spirit, I see hopes and dreams left scattered and unrealized.

But how does God see me?  Does He have the same image of me that I see of myself?  Let’s take a look through the Bible and see how God’s perspective is so vastly different from our own.

Abram whose name meant “exalted father,” saw himself as childless, but God saw Abraham as the “father of many”—in fact God saw him as the father of nations (Genesis 17:5).

Abram’s wife saw herself as a barren woman, but God saw her as the mother of the promise, through whom an entire nation would be born (Romans 9:8-9).

Jacob was known as a deceiver, a name he lived up to for many years; but God saw him as “Israel”—an overcomer (Genesis 32:28).

Joseph’s brothers saw him as arrogant and bratty, Daddy’s favorite son.  The Midianites saw him as a quick sale in the slave market.  Potiphar saw him as his slave, and Potiphar’s wife saw him as a temptation until he spurned her advances, then she saw him as a prisoner.  Pharaoh saw him as a wise and trusted official. But God saw him as the savior of Israel (Genesis 50:20).

Moses saw himself as a stuttering criminal on the lam, but God saw him as the deliverer of His people (Exodus 3:10).

Gideon saw himself as “the least in the weakest clan of Israel,” but God saw him as a “mighty warrior” (Judges 6:15, 12).

Ruth believed herself to be merely the caregiver of her mother-in-law, Naomi, but God saw her as the great-grandmother of the chosen king of Israel.

David’s father Jesse saw his son as the tender of the family’s sheep, but God saw him as the shepherd-king of His people.

Esther thought of herself as the wife of the king of Persia, but God saw her as the instrument through whom He would rescue the Jewish people.

Consider Peter, Andrew, James and John—just fishermen and Matthew—a tax collector and the others Jesus saw as His disciples, men who would turn the world upside down in just a few short years (Matthew 4:18-22, 9:9).

He saw paralyzed people as whole and walking, demonized people as souls at peace, sick people as healthy, dead people as alive.  He saw people once bound in sin as freed from their shackles to live as His followers.

The woman caught in adultery, who was seen through her sin, Jesus saw as forgiven and restored to a life of holiness (John 8:3-11).  Where the woman with issue of blood saw herself as ostracized and unclean, Jesus saw her as a “daughter” (Luke 8:48). Simon the Pharisee saw the woman washing Jesus’ feet as a “sinful woman,” Jesus saw her as a model of love born out of forgiveness (Luke 7:36-50). He saw Mary Magdalene, whom the whole town knew as a demon possessed woman as the first witness to His resurrection (John 20:10-18).

He saw Saul, the persecutor of His church as His “chosen instrument to carry My name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people Israel” (Acts 9:15).

The Roman Emperor Dominican saw the Apostle John as a criminal who deserved banishment, but Jesus saw John as the Revelator, who would receive his divine prophecy for the church (Revelation 1:11, 19).

So, to return to my question—how does God see me?—I believe the answer is found in these examples from His Word.  He sees me as forgiven, redeemed, and whole, set free and set apart.  Yes, He sees me with my scars, but He sees those scars as bridges as I reach out to other wounded souls.  He sees me as His servant and vessel, as His imperfect, but chosen mouthpiece in this generation.  But most precious to my heart, He sees me as His daughter.

My friend, God sees you and me far more clearly that we could ever see ourselves.  Who you are in the sight of others, or even in your own eyes, is not who you are in the sight of the God who created and redeemed you.   For those who are in Christ, He sees us as His children (1 John 3:1), with a purpose and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).  Where others see us through the mistakes we’ve made, God sees us with all the potential He placed in us from before we were born.  When we see ourselves through the worldly standards of beauty and success, God sees us through the beauty of His Son and His victory over death.  When we see ourselves as unworthy, hopeless, useless and unwanted He sees us as valuable, and desired, because He sees us through eyes of love and compassion.

How do others see you?  How do you see yourself?  When you consider those questions, always come back to this truth:  the God who created you sees you as so much more than you can ever imagine.  Ask Him to give you His perspective so you can live as the child of God that you are.

Holy Father, Your perspective is what really matters to me, because Your eyes only see what is true.  Give me a glimpse of who I am in Christ, so that I can cast aside every false image and live as the woman You created me to be. Amen.

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Who Am I God?

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Who do you see when you look in the mirror? Someone who has their life pulled together, or someone who’s life is coming apart at the seams? Do you see a person full of potential, or full of regrets? How do you think others see you? More importantly, how do you think God sees you?

One of my favorite Bible characters is Gideon, a man who saw himself and his people as helpless, hopeless and small before their enemy. I encourage you to grab your Bible and read the account in Judges 6: 11-16 (The whole story of Gideon runs through chapters 6-8). The Israelites were under constant attack by their enemies, the Midianites. For seven years their enemy oppressed them, destroying everything they had and driving them from their homes. The Israelites did the only thing they could – they cried out to the Lord. And He did as He always does – He heard their cries and He responded.

Near a small town, a stranger wandered up to rest in the shade of a tree beside a winepress. (A winepress is a below-ground pool-like structure that used heavy stones to press the juice from the grape sending it through drains to gather the juice.) Gideon is in the winepress threshing wheat. Don’t run past that, because wheat was threshed atop the ground, usually on a high 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 this tells you how fearful Gideon was. He was down there hiding from the Midianites.

The 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.

The enemy of our soul, Satan, tries to convince us that we are so much less than what God declares us to be.   God has called us His children (1 John 3:1), Satan says God has abandoned us. God says we are beloved (Jeremiah 31:3), Satan tries to convince us that we are unlovable. God says we are able to do great things in His name (John 14:12), Satan whispers to us “you can’t…you will fail…you’re too weak.” God has declared that through Jesus Christ we are forgiven and cleansed (1 John 1:9), Satan tells us we wear the banner of our past across our chest. Satan is a liar.

God is in the transformation business, rebuilding and remaking our lives according to His plan and purpose. And Jeremiah 29:11 says that He has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.” God has created you with “a good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2) in mind. 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 mine.”

God, the world and the enemy and my own past cast me as a weak and hopeless loser, but You have said I am Your child, the apple of Your eye, Your beloved. Lord, help me to see myself as You have declared me to be: Your very own. Amen.