“Intimacy”. As I read today’s Scripture verses, I am going to try to apply this week’s theme at Point of Grace of “Intimacy” as I read them. I am going to try to think of the perfect image of “Father” – not my own experiences of my earthly father, nor what I have heard about of other people’s earthly fathers. I am going to imagine the relationship of a father that God dreamed of for families. I am going to imagine the relationship God yearns to have with me on a daily basis. I am going to allow the Holy Spirit to talk to me through these verses, and ask Him to paint a picture of God the Father loving me. That is the filter. I am going to mix the NIV with the Message version. Let’s see what the Holy Spirit does this morning! Let's imagine an intimate conversation with a very Good Father!
Romans 8:15-17 & 11
“Dawn, (fill in your name) _________, you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship (adoption)! This Resurrection Life you received from Me – God, is not a timid, grave-tending life! It’s adventurously expectant, greeting Me - God, with a childlike, ‘Abba, Father’ or ‘What’s next, Papa?’ My Spirit touches your spirit and confirms who you really are. You know Who I am, and you know who you are: Father and child. And if you are My child – then you are an heir – heir of Mine and co-heir of Christ! And you can know that you are going to receive an unbelievable inheritance! If you go through the hard times with Christ, then you will certainly go through the good times with Him!”
“Dawn, ______, when I, God your Father, live and breathe in you, you are delivered from that old, dead life!”
We all have our own childhood story of what kind of father we had. For some, it is a story of security, trust, and confident that we would be loved and cared for forever, with an appropriate kind of intimacy from our father. For some, it was a time of insecurity, a lack of trust, fearful if anyone really loved us, unsure of daily love, or future love from our father.
Whatever kind of childhood we all experienced is why I love verse 11 that says we are delivered from that old, dead life. No matter what our earthly fathers may have been like – and none of them were perfect – we are delivered from that and are adopted by God as our perfect Father.
While there is a comfort knowing that in Heaven we will “finally” have the perfect Father, these verses tell me that I don’t have to continue walking around here on earth, cloaked in whatever dysfunctional family junk I had strapped to my back, hunched over, like I am tending a grave. I no longer have to carry the burdens or consequences around, as if I am still that child. It says “I am delivered from that old, dead life”. The enemy would like to keep me trapped inside those memories and scars as if I were still that child – but I NO LONGER HAVE TO! I am turning 53 this week! Why in the world do I still walk around like that old child? No more! And I encourage you to say, “No More!” No more grave tending!
Instead of waiting around to die and go to heaven to finally be free – what if we truly believe we have been delivered now, and start living that free life HERE on earth now? Of course, we will continue to have trials and problems, but we don’t have to walk around timid, or hunched over like we are tending a grave!
“This Resurrection Life you received from Me - God, is not a timid, grave-tending life! It’s adventurously expectant, greeting Me, God, with a childlike, ‘Abba, Father’ or ‘What’s next, Papa?’”
Nearly every morning I keep a journal as part of my special time with God. After I have written down a list of thanks, worries, struggles, prayers for others, etc. before I look up the Scripture for that day, I write out the words in the margin, “What today, Papa?” I am not sure how I got started doing that – but perhaps it was from this verse in Romans. Then I pause, and say it out loud, “What today, Papa?” And as I begin to read that day’s Scripture, my mind is already expecting my Good, Heavenly Father to show up and talk to me about whatever He wants to bring to my attention this day. I expect Him to be there! He always shows up! He’s a Good Father – He always shows up to spend time visiting with me!
So, using today’s Scripture from Romans 8 as my daily conversation piece from Him to me, what did He share with me today? A reminder that “Today, Dawn, ______I don’t want you to walk around trapped by any junk from your childhood. Don’t walk around hunched over like you are timidly tending a grave. Stand up! No fear today! All in your past is in your past! It no longer holds you down! I adopted you! I am your Father, and I have an adventurous day planned for us today – together!”
Give it a try! Expect Him to show up every day as He spends time visiting with you.What adventures will you have today with your Heavenly Father?
No more grave-tending today!