Do you carry a pocket mirror in your purse?
As a woman, having a mirror is essential. We use it to apply makeup and make sure we are presentable. At my son’s wedding, my daughters insisted that we have our makeup done by a professional. All kinds of thoughts raced through my mind. I wondered what I would look like by the time the makeup artist was finished. Will she do a good job of representing me? Will I look terrible or artificial? I couldn’t wait to look in the mirror to get a view of myself.
Why? Because I trust the mirror to give me an honest view of what I look like with the makeup.
Speaking of mirrors, lately I have been thinking about God and how I see him.
What is my view of God? What shapes my view and how do I get an honest view of him?
Most times, our view of God and ideas about him are shaped by our childhood experiences and relationship with our dad or authority figures in our lives. If my father was harsh, demanding or distant, I am more likely to view God through the mirror of my earthly attitudes as an impatient and critical judge. When I am around him, I feel anxious, guilty, and condemned, like I can never get anything right.
However, if my father was loving and caring, I am more likely to view God as a loving Father who accepts me. When I am around him, I feel loved, supported and relaxed to be myself. The mirror by which I see God is shaped by my relationship with my parents, particularly my earthly father.
Our view of God affects how we relate to Him.
Why is this important? Because my view of God influences my relationship with Him, myself and others.
Just as we use a physical mirror to check that we are presentable, a spiritual mirror is the secret to having an accurate view of God.
That secret mirror is the Bible.
My small group at church is studying the book of Hebrews in the Bible (Hebrews Chapters 1-13), so I chose it as a mirror to examine my view of God. If I could draw and paint, I would paint a picture of the view that I saw. However, I will do my best to paint a word-picture with some of the attributes I found.
Through the mirror of Hebrews, I found that God is the Eternal Creator, who laid the foundations of the heavens and the earth.
He is a steadfast and loving Father who deeply cares for his children, so much that he sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins and yours.
He is a faithful High Priest. I reflected on this one for a while. In the Old Testament times, folks had to haul animals to the temple for sacrifices to atone for their sins. But thank God for Jesus! Because of his sacrifice on the cross, we don’t need to sacrifice animals. He paid the penalty for my past, present, and future sins, once and for all. This is a sobering thought.
- He is the Author of Eternal Salvation who gives freedom to all who accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
- He is unchanging. He remains the same, yesterday, today and forever. He lives forever, so I do not need to fear abandonment.
- He protects his children and assigns angels to minister to them.
- He understands when I am tempted because he was tempted too.
- He develops my character and helps me grow through suffering and endurance.
- He calls me by name and speaks to me through the Holy Spirit.
- He invites me daily to enter into his rest. If I choose his rest, I can surrender my fears, anxieties, and worries to him.
He forgives me when I mess up by showing me mercy and grace. He sets me free by cleansing me outwardly and inwardly through the blood of Jesus.
- He is aware of everything that concerns me. He teaches me obedience.
- When I go astray and act in ignorance, he deals gently with me. He loves me enough to discipline me when I need it.
- He feeds me the right kind of food at the appropriate time. He feeds us milk as young believers and progressively weans us to eat solid food, meat, and bones as we mature.
- He instructs me daily in the way I should go. He grows me by training me to discern good from evil.
- He is my advocate, righteous judge, and mediator who is always interceding for me.
- He writes his laws on my heart, teaches me to wait patiently and gives me hope to anchor my soul.
- He invites me daily to intimate fellowship with him (Let us come boldly, confidently, draw near).
- He reminds me not to throw away my confidence in Him but to guard it as a treasure.
- He enables me to endure hardship, run the race set before me and keep my eyes on Jesus.
He is a consuming fire who removes the dross from my life so that only the things that cannot be shaken such as godly character, joy, peace, kindness, love, and forgiveness remain.
- He helps me not to shrink back but to remain steadfast. He turns my weaknesses into strength.
- He calls me to stay clear of strange teachings and false prophets.
- He uproots all negativity such as bitterness, anger, and malice when I surrender to Him.
- He showers me with his love and helps me to love others as I live in community with them.
- Through the sacrifice of Jesus, he calls me to praise him daily.
- He has an excellent track record as a Faithful Father who keeps his promises.
His great promise of security and provision to all who believe:
Never will I leave you;
Never will I forsake you.
Therefore, I can say with confidence, the Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid. (Hebrews 13:5-6)
Wow! Getting this picture of God as a loving Father was very refreshing, just the right touch-up I needed.
God loves me.
God loves you.
We need not be afraid to come to God. He is for you. He is for me.
He loves us enough to send his Son to die for our sins, redeem us and declare us free if we put our trust in Him. Having an honest view of God changes us. It empowers us to come boldly to him as our loving Father.
How is this possible, you ask?
Confess your sins, accept him into your heart, and receive him as Lord and Savior.
He wants to spend time with you and give you mercy and grace. He desires to love you through an intimate relationship, his Word, prayer, and in community with fellow believers.
An honest view of God leads to right thinking and will change how I relate to Him, myself and others.
How is your relationship with God? Does your relationship need a touch-up or a fresh view?
I invite you to examine your view of God using the secret mirror by studying your favorite book of the Bible. If you don’t have a favorite, the gospel of John is a good place to start your journey. I’d love to hear about what you discover!