For years I taught what had been taught to me- “When God looks at you, He doesn’t see you, He only sees Jesus.” That may sound sweet in some religious way but it is just plain wrong. And what it really says is that if God did see you, as you really are, He wouldn’t like you at all! The good news is the Bible actually teaches the exact opposite.
This mistaken belief is often coupled with the statement that God is so holy He cannot “look” upon any unholiness. Of course, this is not true. If it was true, God could not see any human being on earth nor the very creation itself which has been plunged into a fallen state, groaning in travail, until the “restoration of all things”. (Acts 3)
But what does the scripture actually tell us? (Remember, this is in the New Covenant)
Heb 4:12-13- “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” NASB
This passage, and many others, tells us that God sees everything!
This should be tremendous news to us because it also says that He sees our thoughts and hearts! This means we are not judged by our actions but the intent, or faith, of our heart. Jesus paid for our sins, all of them, and God sees the faith of our hearts as we trust in His free gift of righteousness based on the actions of Christ.
This is why the very next verse says…
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” (Heb 4:14) NASB
Our confession must be that we are made righteous through the action of our high priest, Jesus, the Son of God. God sees us, everything about us. He understands our present weaknesses and loves us completely because He also sees us completed in eternity through the work of Christ.
So what must we be doing now?Listen to the final statement of this passage in Hebrews…
“Therefore, let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16 NASB)
What should we be doing now?Drawing near to Him with confidence because He sees us and loves us; AND He is completing the work of sanctification in us. He who has justified us is the One who is presently sanctifying us from the inside out. This is the work of true grace!
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6-7) NASB
For much more on this subject see Mark’s book, “God’s Brilliant Cure…for fear, shame and condemnation”.
“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, I will hear from heaven and heal their land.”
2 Chron. 7:14 is used so freely today without even asking ourselves, “Who was God speaking to, what was He referring to and how should it effect us now?"
Huge prayer gatherings are based on the idea that if we will just pray hard enough, long enough and with enough people, God will “heal” America and somehow the Kingdom of God will come here (or into whatever country the praying believers currently live in). But we must ask if this is actually a New Covenant concept or if we have missed the point completely.
Why Is This Important?
This is an important question because it deals with the very foundation of understanding the shift from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. What actually makes the New Covenant, new? In the Old Covenant, the land was literal and the kingdom was visible. In the New Covenant, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world” and “The Kingdom of God is within you“; not matter what nation you live in.
So this question deals with how the Old Testament “shadow” of the natural Kingdom of God through the literal people of Israel, has changed to the “substance” of the spiritual Kingdom of God within everyone who has made Jesus King of their lives…no matter what country they live in.
We are told in passages such as Col. 2:17, and Heb. 10:1, that the Old Covenant, and everything pertaining to it, are shadows of what would be fulfilled in Christ. The Word says He is the substance of all Old Testament shadows. This truth is what makes the New Covenant actually NEW.
How Should We Read The Old Testament?
Whenever we read the Old Testament we must always ask ourselves, “How is this fulfilled in Christ?” Remember, Heb. 1:1 tells that in the Old Testament, God spoke His words and gave revelation of His will through the prophets; but now He has spoken through His Son.
2 Chronicles 7 talks about the temple, the land and the throne of David. So what does this mean in the New Covenant? Why didn’t any of the New Testament writers, all Jewish men, instruct the believers to follow the command of 2 Chron. 7:14? My suggestion is that they knew it was already fulfilled.
The New Testament clearly tells us that Jesus is the true temple; and because He lives in us, we are the temple of God on the earth. The land is a shadow of what Jesus clearly defined as His kingdom within the hearts of people from every nation, tongue and tribe. And one of the most important truths about the Christ is that He is the heir to the throne and kingship foreshadowed in David. This is why the New Testament writers called us strangers and pilgrims in this present world.
The Promise Has Already Been Fulfilled!
The promise of 2 Chron. 7:14 has already been fulfilled in Christ. God has fulfilled His own promise through His own Son by bringing His Kingdom into human hearts; and promising that His Kingdom will one day rule over all the earth. Now, anyone who receives Him as king, receives the healing of 2 Chron. 7:14. We are His Kingdom, we are His land.
God shows no respect to genetics, racial heritage or geography. In Christ, He has made one new man out of every Jew and Gentile who believe. And one day He will return and establish a literal kingdom that will cover the earth by making all things new. (2 Peter 3:13)
Isn’t it good for people to come together and pray? It is, if we come together and pray according to the will of God. There is no model in the New Testament of praying for the healing of individual nations or individual lands. But there are several models for praying for “doors to open for the declaration of the mystery of Christ” (Col.4:3). 1 Tim 2:1-4 gives us an excellent model.
“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Who Was This Written To?
This was written to people who were being severely persecuted by the Roman government; in many cases, they were being hunted down like animals. And this was not a call for some large gathering but instruction for each believer as part of their everyday life.
Rather than pray for some kind of “healing of the literal land“ now, we are told to pray for His Kingdom to come into the hearts of more and more people, now. And the King wants to use us to fulfill that prayer every time we share the Gospel, which is “the power of God for salvation to all who will believe, the Jew first and also to the Gentile” (Rom. 1:16).
So, What Do We Do Instead?
We will be far, far more fruitful if we spend more time with people, sharing the Gospel of Grace (Christ wants to live in you) and demonstrating His goodness, since it is His goodness that causes people to repent and brings healing into the “land” of human hearts. (Rom. 2:24)
Instead of spending so much time, effort and money in so many large prayer gatherings, perhaps we would be better served if we spent far more time, effort and money to “Go into all the world and make disciples in every nation…”
Mark Drake is an internationally known author, teacher and leader. He focuses on equipping leaders around the world in New Covenant Grace.