Galatians 4:6 NIV
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
Recently I performed a wedding, in two languages, for my beautiful niece and her new husband. Hundreds of people attended, and the room was animated by family and friends from Mexico and across the United States. As a mariachi band played and the venue buzzed with conversation, my eyes scanned the crowd.
I saw many people I love and others I am coming to love. But I found myself scanning the room for a few particular people. These people were the one I most wanted to look at, to smile at, and to know I was present with them.
I was looking for my children.
To see them dancing, laughing, talking, and glancing my way (on occasion) was the highlight of the gathering for me. My best thoughts are of their good, and my worst thoughts are of them being in pain—especially a pain that would distance us from one another. In fact, to bring the metaphor home, to imagine any of my children ever putting on a front to impress me, performing to secure my love, or forgetting how much I adore them is, to put it bluntly, sickening. But that is exactly what many Christians do when they live unawakened to the love of the Father.
We are sons and daughters, children of God in his great and marvelous world. But a dislocating pain is waiting to oust us from our identity as the Father’s beloved every hour of every day that we live. Today the news will emphasize the darkness all around us, and because the brain craves warnings, and warnings equal more views, clicks, and shares, it will suck us in. Truth be told, today God’s good world will remain disorienting at best, and destructive at worst. The enemy has free reign for a season; but then, there is the Spirit.
The Spirit reminds us that being a child of God means that we belong to Someone, that we are cared for by Someone. We are not alone in our hours or moments, nor are we to be afraid of being unaccepted, unappreciated, or unloved. But we will forget. We will forget we are accepted, appreciated, loved.
We will put on a false self to present to the world, and even those closest to us, so no one will see the disconsolate child crying within. As JD Walt says, “Growing in the grace of the gospel means a long process of emptying ourselves of all this falseness—that we might be filled with true fullness.” The fullness we seek is the Father’s love. There is no supplanting its value and worth to the human heart. All wholeness is predicated upon it.
It’s not until we stop performing, stop overcompensating, stop appearing to have it all together that we can even begin to see the state of our own hearts and to offer them to the Father. I have awakened one day to the love of the Father overwhelming me, and the very next day I am back to my old habits of trying to impress others so they don’t see how broken I really am.
The word for today is simple. The Spirit of Jesus, the beloved son of God, is in our hearts. That Spirit within is settled, and from within us calls out to the Father, simultaneously reminding us, in the process, that we are his child. You are the beloved, the treasured, the prized, the delightful, the precious, the beautiful child of God. The Spirit reminds you of this truth at this moment, just as the Spirit is reminding me as well.
The Father’s eyes are scanning the room with love—and he’s looking for you.
Jesus, I receive the Holy Spirit. It is possible I may never fully comprehend your love for me, but I’d like to die trying. Come, Holy Spirit, keep my awareness high that I have no need to perform for you to love me more than you do right now. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Share, with others, a moment in your life where you felt completely loved for who you are. How did that moment change your life, and how close are you to understanding that kind of love and acceptance that is flowing from the Father to you in this season of your life?
For the awakening,