Do we really understand the love of God? There are times of self-reflection when I have a difficult time wrapping my arms around just how much He loves me.
It’s easy to say that God loves me because when He looks at me He sees me through Jesus. I accept that fact because that is the Word of God tells me. What I have trouble with, especially in the times when I am failing Him, is looking at myself. It’s like standing in front of a mirror. The “me” that is looking back is “backwards.” What is left appears to be right and what is right is left, no matter how long or how hard I look at the reflection. That’s how I sometimes see myself… not the true image the One who is looking at me from the other side of the mirror sees.
It’s hard to see myself as a sinner saved by grace… the enemy makes sure of that! It is much easier to see myself as a sinner that somehow God loved enough to save. I think Paul must have felt that way, even after His moment on the road to Damascus for he gave us the answer.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
It is so easy for me to forget the profound truth in that statement. How easy it is to fall back on the view my old nature holds of who and what I am. When I allow my old nature, the nature that was crucified with Jesus, to control my “view,” I cannot get to the other side of the mirror. My view distorts my impression of who I am. As I stay focused on my sins and keep struggling with them, the view I continue to see keeps me from remembering “whose I am.”
This morning, as I was looking pretty hard at the mirror, the Lord reminded me of what Paul said. My view can only be changed if I remember that there is another side to the mirror, the side the Holy Spirit wants me to focus on. And I can only do that if I continue to renew my mind with the Word of God. I know that, but when I get down on myself for the reflection I see it’s difficult. That’s when I need to remember…
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
How easy it is to confess our sins and yet hang onto the guilt that comes along with them. It’s the guilt that the enemy uses to keep us on the wrong side of the mirror. “Oh yeah, you think God is just going to forget what you just did?” No, God is not going to forget. He doesn’t remember the sin because from His side of the mirror He doesn’t see the sin… He sees Jesus. And since we have been forgiven and cleansed we are also no longer burdened by guilt.
The bottom line for me is to remember that God has made every provision for me to see myself as He sees me. It is my allowing my old nature, my old dead nature, to rise up that distorts my view. But in those moments, God’s Word and His Spirit are there to remind me that there is another side of the mirror and there is a pathway the leads to that side. The question is, will I continue to let my old nature rise up and condemn me or I will I allow the Holy Spirit to convict me and restore me?
Sin feeds the old man… Grace reminds us that he’s dead. Who I see in the mirror is my choice.