“We are wired for connection and worthy of love and belonging” Brené Brown
Seeing God’s image in everyone is very important. God came to earth because tasting and seeing Him was, and is, very important to Him! Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him! Did you know the metabolic process of breakdown food begins when you taste the food? Prior to that even, when you salivate from the smell of food, the beginning process of digestion has begun.
Did you know that it is chemically proven that gazing into my dog’s eyes makes him feel loved? The same goes for humans. When you gaze into someone’s eyes, see them coming from across the room, watch their car pull into the restaurant as you wait for them, your body lights up with chemicals.
Why would He use this very human experience to describe His desire for our experience of Him? Because it matters. He has given us community as a means for this very experience! When we taste and experience God’s good attributes in humanity, we get an important aspect of who God is.
There has been an unfortunate separation, since the Age of Enlightenment, of the sacred and the secular. In the Bible it did not leave a separation like that possible. Let’s look at God coming down into humanity and the disciples’ experience of Him:
Believer or not. Recognize it or not. He’s holding it all together. If His Word (Logos-Jesus) is holding it all together (Col 1:17). HE is holding ALL things, believers and unbelievers alike, together.
“God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9)
We are absolutely nothing without others and their wisdom and leadership. And how do we get to see that their wisdom is null and void because they are unbelievers? Are they really unbelievers? When I was in pastoral training, I was studying Wayne Grudem’s book, Systematic Theology, particularly the chapter on salvation. This mystery (that remains a mystery to me) got resolved in my heart through this concept. To be saved, do you have to come in contact with Jesus and know it? Or do you just have to come in contact with Jesus?
All agree, you just have to come in contact with Jesus; you don’t have to know it was Him.
John 14:1-15 makes it clear that if you have encountered Jesus, you have encountered God. He is God.
What if a person who has encountered Jesus and does not know it is Jesus, yet is in total agreement with His character and the Word?
Now, the Bible is clear that we must believe it with our hearts and say it with our mouths. There is a great mystery in this, and I’ll always err on the side of the salvation prayer as it is in the Word.
What I am saying is, we do not get to judge whether someone has come in contact with God or not based solely on their behavior or political/social beliefs.
Loving God has justified a lot of Christian’s placing conditions on their love and intimacy with others.
There are very few more painful things to experience than to be fully known and told God does not love you for who you are. Jesus tells us in the beatitudes that the pure in heart are blessed because they see God in everything! (Matthew 5:8)
“The royal flush of the Bible is love, and love is a person, Jesus. So when you watch the gospels of this God, that is the creator of everything, you have to watch how love operates. Being very specific, it has eyes, it has hands. It touches. It listens and it hears. Watch the details of how much he sees this woman. If anyone ever thinks love does not have to deal with truth, calling a spade a spade, you’re wrong. Watching love personified in this passage, Jesus had to tell Simon how wrong he is. He had to turn his back on Simon, which is in every culture disrespectful, to talk to her. He’s loving Simon by being honest and taking his attention away from him. He’s moving toward the women and Simon here, you must see that. He’s afflicting a self-righteous jerk, not to punch him in the face, but to call him into greater love. You think you are sinless, your self-righteous. You have much to be forgiven but here is a woman who recognizes it. He turns to the woman, speaking to Simon, and he says, “do you see this woman?” He forces Simon, slows down enough to say, look at her. He humanizes the woman. Seeing humanity in a person will draw humanity out of yourself” (Tyler Johnson, of his teaching on Luke 7).
God uses the modes of communication that His people do because He is in His people. He doesn’t communicate Old Testament style, or if He does, He also communicates in today’s modes because that’s what we do, and He is in His people.
And if He does, then so does the enemy. The evil that the enemy uses is used through Facebook comments, phone calls, all the modes of communication that we use both God and the enemy use today as well. And we have to remember that we have the power to respond to the evil or not because “greater is He who is in us than He who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
Applying intent to someone’s words or behavior leads to misunderstanding. If I see God and His holiness in all people, and I am applying good intent, then my filter does not come in and breed a root of bitterness or anger towards that person. It becomes a default setting to trust the intent in others and trust the Holy Spirit if their intent is not right. Not to trust them fully with your heart; this is a whole different concept.
It is important not to:
2 Corinthians 5:17 tells me I am a new creature in Christ.
Mark 14:38 tells me my flesh is weak.
But God’s Word and spirit tells me I am good! The enemy is trying hard to keep the false gospel of how bad we are out there because it keeps us divided. Division is the enemy’s goal. God’s goal is the exact opposite, unity.
John 17 contains Jesus’ priestly prayer — the last prayer He prayed as a human on this earth was for unity among us. It could have been for anything: lack of poverty, forgiveness, humanity to turn to God. It was for unity. His highest prayer for us.
God warns us in the Message not to evaluate someone’s worth in Him on looks or outside appearance. He compares that with what we did to Jesus, and we got it all wrong. It says later in the chapter He put a little bit of heaven in our hearts (2 Corinthians 5). It does not say only in believers’ hearts, it says in “our” hearts.
“There is no such thing as a secular job once you know Jesus, everything becomes sacred.” – Bill Johnson.
Once Jesus is intimate on the scene of things it becomes sacred. He makes you holy, right? He makes everything holy! He makes Holy Yoga holy!
The enemy loves the false gospel of “I’m bad.” The religious view that supports that we love! It joins the voice in us. Then, we can let a false humility in that say, “Yes, I’m bad but saved by grace”. Then, we can begin to focus on others’ sins and it gets our attention off our own. If we view all others as having God in them (and they do; He breathed all humanity to life), it levels the playing field and we begin to treat all as God’s children.
Did this message speak to you? We cover this topic and much more in both our 300 Hour Masters and 300 Hour Therapy Trainings! Learn more about these programs here: