My mother used to tell me, “Glen, I always love you. But I don’t always like you!”
By this, she meant that nothing could change her affection and devotion for me regarding who I was to her as her son. My attitudes, words, and actions, however, constituted a different matter. I must confess to far too many episodes when my doings did not met the test of likability. I understood my mother’s meaning, and rested safely in her love, while recognizing that she was correct to dislike wayward ways.
It is not a perfect illustration regarding our relationship with God, but my mother’s dual sensibility does reflect His view of us. Our Heavenly Father sees the Christ-inhabited being of born again believers. He knows perfectly who we are, and He knows that He will ultimately finish the working of conforming us to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. He sees our being, and thereby are we “accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). However, He also sees perfectly our doing, accepting those expressions that flow from the presence of Christ in us, and working to change and eliminate the works of the flesh.
God holds a high view of who we are because He is the one who birthed the “new creature” of our innermost being. Again, He sees His Son in us, and He views the working of the Holy Spirit in us to cause our doing to more and more reflect our being. We must join Him in this holy perception by discovering and believing the many New Testament affirmations that speak of His gift to us of our being. Failure to do so involves an unintentional, but highly consequential besmirching of our Lord’s faithfulness, and thus, of His being. Indeed, we did not make ourselves into who we are through the saving grace of the Lord Jesus. God did, and His high view must become our high view.
Such a perspective leads not to pride, but to a most humble wonder, and a most holy worship. While not ignoring our doings, the gaze of God ventures deeply into the part of us that is the very heart of us. He sees who we are, and He loves who we are because He is the Maker of who we are. “It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves” (Psalm 100:3). This “high view,” rightly considered, reveals a grace far greater than the mind can fully ponder, or the heart can completely imagine. It casts us to our knees and faces, especially when we realize the cost of reconstituting our innermost being. We will consider this solemn truth in our next message, venturing to dark Calvary where our Lord became who He is not in order to make us into who we are.
“Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
(II Corinthians 6:16)