Hi everyone, Rob here. It’s amazing what lies within people. I’m reflecting on the beginning of the book of Acts and how Peter so confidently assumed the mantle of leadership among the disciples after Christ’s ascension. He smoothly facilitates the process for replacing Judas, grounding it in Scripture and sound thinking. When the Spirit comes in power in Chapter 2, he is able to articulate clearly what is going on to the bewildered crowd, explaining the true meaning of some prophetic writings and issuing a clear invitation to repentance and life in Christ. Yet, just a few weeks before, he had denied Jesus three times and was a broken-hearted mess of a man. Jesus’ beautiful act of restoration on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in John 21, turned this stumbling, bumbling fisherman into the Rock of faith that Jesus saw in him right from the beginning.
How do you think Jesus sees you? What is lying within you that Jesus sees and wants to draw out and bring to life? Remember that Jesus sees you as having a vital role to play in the kingdom of God. He also sees you as dead to sin and alive to God (Romans 6:11) and blameless and holy in his sight (Colossians 1:22). You are made in his image and a citizen of heaven. You have a new heart that is good and noble and free. Just as Jesus had a new name for Peter (he was Simon) he may well have a new name for you. Maybe he wants to break the power of the old names you’ve been calling yourself? It is time for you to learn to see yourself the way God sees you.
At our recent Men’s Retreat we gave the guys time to hear from God on this matter of how He sees them. Out of that came some beautiful, noble and redeemed names:
Lancelot – an intimate ally of the King
Richard the Lionheart
These names are not to be analysed and examined under a microscope. They are simply God bringing another level of truth to our hearts and more healing to our wounded perspectives. The new names become part of our armour against the enemy’s accusations. When he tries to tear us down we can point to how God sees us and take refuge in God’s name for us.
Discovering how God truly sees our hearts is not an exercise in puffing ourselves up. It is , instead, an exercise in becoming who we were meant to be for the sake of the kingdom of God. Just as Aragorn embracing the kingship of Gondor was not for his sake, but for the sake of the race of men, and just as Peter stepping into the true meaning of his name was for the future of Christ’s mission, we do this in the name of Christ and for his sake. If we don’t know or embrace how God truly sees us then we are highly vulnerable to how the Accuser sees us.
So, who are you? What’s your true name? How does God see you? Ask him and let him reveal his beautiful and tender heart towards you as well as your vital mission in his kingdom. This is a battleground. Guard your heart as you do this. Stand firm in Christ and in his cross. Don’t give the enemy a foothold. Go well and may the Spirit speak clearly to you and give you a name for you to embrace.