Romans 8:14-16 (The Passion Translation)
“The mature children of God are those who are moved by the impulses of the Holy Spirit. And you did not receive the ‘spirit of religious duty’, leading you back into the fear of never being good enough. But you have received the ‘Spirit of full acceptance’, enfolding you into the family of God. And you will never feel orphaned, for as He rises up within us, our spirits join Him in saying the words of tender affection, ‘Beloved Father!’ For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as He whispers into our innermost being, ‘You are God’s beloved child!'”
There is something about the need for belonging and acceptance that is deep in the hearts of all mankind. I love this translation’s description where it contrasts “the spirit of religious duty leading us back into the fear of never being good enough” with a “Spirit of acceptance that enfolds us into the family of God”. How quickly do we find ourselves operating from a deep fear of not being good enough, both towards God and one another? All too often I discover I have somehow strayed and crept back to this place of distortion. It is often marked by feelings of isolation and non-belonging. But the truth is that if we have received the Spirit of God we have been adopted into His family, the ultimate place of belonging.
Take a moment to reflect on this truth. The challenge here is two-fold – firstly, am I living in the joy of this truth that I belong and am accepted? Secondly, as a part of God’s family, am I playing my part in embracing others and welcoming them in the same way Father God welcomes me?
Dear Abba Father, I pray today that I will know afresh your Spirit affirm to me that I am your child. Let this fatherhood become real to me as you whisper into my innermost being that I belong to You, and help me, from this place, extend my reach to invite others into your family of belonging too. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.