There has been something growing in me over the last year or so. Maybe longer. Possibly since the beginning of time. I have known the scripture in my head where Paul writes to the Romans stating that we are no longer slaves, but sons. But there is a difference between knowing something in your mind and having it applied to your heart. And when something passes from your head to your heart it can really impact your whole existence.
"Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
- Romans 8:14-15
I used to be unsure about all the different analogies of who we are to God. Was it better to call Him Lord or God or King or Master or Father? I couldn't quite figure out what my ultimate relationship with God was? But it seems really clear now, we have been called to a Father/son relationship. Look at the example Jesus showed us while He was on earth. He never did anything except for which He saw His Father doing. (John 5:19) And I think that was the perfect example for us to take hold of. Please don't misunderstand me though, God is all things from King to Master to Lord over all (that's what makes Him so wonderful), and I respect Him as such, but I think all roads lead to us becoming sons of God.
"And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."
- Galatians 4:6-7
I have really been digging this podcast called churchthink, by Ben Pasley. You may recognize his name from his music with Enter The Worship Circle. And if you haven't heard of either one of them then I highly recommend you check them out. l have been really blessed to listen to Ben talk about the truth of God's heart for His children. It amazes me how God meets us where we are in life and gives us the tools we need to dig deeper in to Him. And that's what I feel has been happening these past few months. And even within the last week I have been building a new relationship with Ben while he's asked me to do some design work.
Growing in to sonship from slavery is both easy and hard at the same time. On the one hand it's easy because it's true. We don't have to work harder to be any more of a son than we already are, and we don't have to try and impress God with what we do because His love for us is unconditional. But on the flip-side of this, we (well I say we, but am really talking about those of us who grew up inside the organized church) have grown up believing that being a slave to Christ is the closest we're gonna get to the Father. And while being a slave to Christ is far better than not, it still doesn't hold the fullness of who we are meant to be.
"just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will"
I was talking with my friend Charles over a burger and some beers on Wednesday night and was sharing with him about this wonderful journey we're on, being sons of God. And when I brought up the verse in Romans that talks about us receiving the Spirit of adoption, he told me something I had never heard before. According to the present time in Rome when Paul wrote his letter, children were able to separate themselves from their parents, but when you were adopted in to a family that was a bond that could not be broken. So for Paul to tell the people in Rome at that time they had received a "Spirit of Adoption" must have been really powerful. This act of adoption is what Jesus was talking about when He compared us to branches and He the vine, and how we must be "grafted" in to the vine.
God's Spirit is stronger than any human emotion, physical strength or religious theology. It can never be broken, bound or forgotten. And it is this same Spirit that comes in to our hearts and cries "Daddy, God". It is the same Spirit that prays what we don't know how, and the same Spirit that never fears, but believes, hopes and endures all things. Without the Holy Spirit of God we are just orphans.