“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:4-6
I wonder how you think about your relationship to God today:
Do you think of God as a Master and yourself as a servant? He has absolute authority and you have no freedom.
Do you think of God as an owner and yourself as his property? He calls all the shots and you are simply a tool, a possession.
Do you think of God as a foster parent and yourself as an orphan in foster care? You are auditioning for the right to become part of his family. You better perform well and keep the rules, or else you will not be welcomed into the family.
Do you think of God as a Judge and yourself as a pardoned criminal? Even though you have been declared “not guilty”, you are never sure that you are trusted, loved, accepted, and enjoyed. Perhaps the Judge is waiting around for another failure or a relapse to see your true colors.
No matter what your view of your relationship to God is, it is easy to fall into the trap of focusing upon Christian salvation as simply the removal of debt, sin, and a status of “not guilty”. While all of those truths are precious, if our focus is upon removal of the “ugly” we will continually miss out on the presence of the “beautiful”.
Salvation is not merely removal of sin; it is also the presence of a warm welcome and deep intimacy with a God who is not just a Master or a Judge but most gloriously a proud, welcoming, kind, and gracious Father.
Galatians 4: 4-6 tells us that we are better than slaves, property, orphans, pardoned criminals! In fact, we are extended the glad welcome into the most intimate family of God as His cherished children because of what Jesus has done to make us right with God in every way.
J.I. Packer writes, “You sum up the whole of the New Testament teaching in a single phrase, if you speak of it as a revelation of the Fatherhood of the Holy Creator. In the same way, you describe it as the knowledge of God as one’s holy Father. If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means the he does not understand Christianity very well at all.” (Knowing God, p. 182)
Today God is your Father. You have his smile, pride, delight, joy, protection, and provision. He longs for you to live in the freedom of your status as a cherished child!