It is safe to assume that most of our thoughts about God are centered around how we see Him. We search the Scriptures to know how we can rightly know Him and worship Him in a pleasing way. However, how often do we take a moment to meditate on how He sees us?
For me, those moments come when I read two particular verses. The first being Genesis 6:6, “The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.” Ouch. That tends to give me a broader perspective on how man is seen by God, a deeper understanding beyond how He sees us through our justification provided by Christ. It is a loaded statement, that brings up several questions when really fleshed out.
He was grieved. His heart filled with pain. Although those words are emotionally charged, it sheds light on the God we worship. I am careful to check myself when applying human emotions to a Holy God, but nevertheless, this verse was included for our eyes and can assist our minds in developing a proper view of our God. He must’ve intended for us to apply our understanding of grieving and hearts filled with pain, given only in our limited human sense, when He authored these words. These are two emotions we’ve all experienced, towards whatever circumstances brought them on. Here, we see that we brought them on. We, in all our wickedness and wretched sinful states, played into the grief and pain of our Creator. Once again, I can only say “ouch.”
The other verse that gives me pause is in Luke. Chapter 22, verse 61 reads, “The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” The insight this gives us, again of the overwhelming pain of disappointment and unexplainable grief, into how our Lord sees us is enough to send us into a pit of despair when we really chew on it.
Over and over again, throughout the Word, we see how we bring this pain unto God as we continue to live our lives in perpetual sin. Whether that sin is denying Him in our hearts and minds, by turning to other idols, or, perhaps more so, denying Him in every moment that we choose to engage in the myriad of action sins that He so clearly guided us against. Either route, we bring on that pain and grief spelled out in these two verses.
So, if we are given the opportunity to make choices that are pleasing to Him instead of grievous and painful, shouldn’t we try to please Him? When we are faced with the option to sin against Him by looking at pornography, by committing adultery against our spouse in body or mind, by aborting our baby after making the initial sin choice to engage in premarital sex, by perpetuating gossip, by feeling self righteous when comparing your deeds to that of another, by throwing a fit of rage to those around you when things aren’t going your way, by withholding your forgiveness of another due to your stubborn sense of pride, or by whatever sin you know is grieving God right now as you continue in it. The list is endless. And, unfortunately, it will never end. That is, until the end.
Yes, we are washed clean in the blood of Jesus. Justified. But that is not the end of the story. That’s only the beginning. Now we enter into being sanctified. A long and arduous trail with the goal being as holy and pleasing towards God as humanly possible. The Bible tells us that this process of sanctification is ongoing, but doesn’t offer us a simple timeline to follow. A guideline to follow it does offer us, graciously, through the continual learning and knowledge of what God desires. All 66 books of the Bible have important lessons that we can glean from and use to form the basis of how we can glorify Him.
The God we worship hasn’t left us clueless as to what pleases Him. He’s also been clear in sharing with us, through the sacrificial cross, that we cannot attain this righteousness on our own. Surely, we can turn our hard heartedness against Him, but claiming ignorance when confronted will not suffice.
He sees everything we do, hears all of our thoughts, interprets our every intention according to His statutes. Turning the tables now, do we look for Him in everything we do, hear His written Words playing in our minds, and interpret our intentions in accordance with His desires? It’s a daunting task to attempt to incorporate all that we think and do as if it could bring pleasure, instead of pain, to Him. A lifelong task, nonetheless, that is worthy of pursuit. He pursues us without pause, so to pursue Him is the very least we can offer up.