“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in the heavenly realms
with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”
Thoughts… What amazing spiritual wealth we possess! Paul says that since we have come to know Christ, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing that heaven has to offer—right now! Not someday; not when we get to heaven; but right here and now.
What are those blessings? Paul enumerates them here in the first chapter of Ephesians:
- I am a saint
- I am in Christ
- I am faithful
- I have every spiritual blessing
- I have been chosen by God
- I am holy and without blame
- I have been adopted by God
- I am accepted by God
- I am been redeemed and forgiven
- I abound in God’s grace
- I have knowledge of God’s will
- I have an eternal inheritance
- I have been sealed with the Holy Spirit
- I am guaranteed my eternal inheritance
Do you see yourself that way? Do you see yourself as a saint or as a sinner? Do you see yourself as holy and blameless or unclean and guilty? Do you see yourself as God’s chosen, adopted and accepted child or as a spiritual outsider? Do you see yourself as faithful or are you uncertain about your spiritual standing? Are you experiencing all of those spiritual blessings in your life right now or settling for so much less?
I think most of us, in truth, settle for so much less than what God has already made available to us in Christ. C. S. Lewis said it this way:
“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
Fortunately, we can change the way we think and how we perceive ourselves and begin to act according to our new identity. How? By learning to see ourselves as God sees us.
According to these verses in chapter one, this list of 14—what I’d call spiritual birthmarks—is how God identifies you, and how you must begin to see yourself.
I want to give you an assignment. Copy the list of 14 to a 3×5 card and tape it to your mirror, your dashboard or computer terminal and read it aloud to yourself, at least once a day, for 21 days.
When you look into a mirror, you see yourself as you see you. When you look into your mirror and see yourself along with these 14 identifying characteristics, you will see yourself as God sees you. And I think you will like what you begin to see—God certainly does.
But you say, “I don’t really feel like any of those!” So what! Who said it was based on how you feel? You say, “But I don’t deserve any of those things!” You’re absolutely right! You don’t deserve a one of them. All those wonderful things GOD declares to be true of you are the result of GOD’S doing, not yours. You are a saint by HIS will. HE chose, adopted and accepted you. It was because of HIS good pleasure and purpose and by HIS power. It was HIS calling, inheritance, love. HE predestined, redeemed and forgave you.
If you were to take a sneak peak at chapter 2, you would see that all this was done by HIS grace, because you are HIS workmanship. In chapter 3, you will find it is GOD who is able to do more than you ask or imagine according to HIS power working in you.
Do you see the pattern? All of these spiritual blessings are up to God, not you.
So the question now is, will you begin to believe what God has declared to be true of you?
I hope you will, because if you will, it will change your life for the better!
Prayer… Thank you God, for the spiritual blessings that are now mine in Jesus Christ. These are my new spiritual birthmarks. You identify me by them, and when you look at me, they are what you see. Now, Lord, give me the vision to see myself as you see me.
One More Thing… “If we could see ourselves as God does, we would be tempted to fall down and worship ourselves.”