1 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
During the 9 am worship service this Sunday, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “I AM giving you permission to see me in a new light.” As I heard it, I noticed something I hadn’t ever seen before Sunday. On the back of the stage, on the second light screen, there was a shadow of a cross that shone through the light.
There was no rumbling sound, no grand fireworks display, no goosebumps, I didn’t even get knocked to the floor (though all of those things are awesome). It was just a simple word with a simple confirmation.
For the last 18 months, I have been on a journey with Yahweh that has changed me… forever! I have been on “THE Adventure” which Pastor Manny invited us into the first week he was here when he said, “We’re about to go on a wild and crazy adventure.”
On this journey, the most valuable thing that I discovered about Yahweh is how he sees me. Beloved. It was this discovery that I believe is necessary in all our lives to be able to engage rightly in the adventure he has in store.
How did this discovery come about?
I was setting up the lights one Sunday morning with the tech team. We were goofing off like we do every Sunday (it’s a blast, you should come), and Pastor Andy shared this encouragement, which he often says, that I love — “We GET to do this.” Simple. Profound. I dig it.
However, this particular Sunday it impacted me in a far greater way. A sense of honor came over me. I authentically sensed that what I was working on was really bringing glory to God, THE King of Kings and THE Lord or Lords. I’ll never forget that moment. I was standing right in front of the stage simply pulling lights and cords out of the bin when the thought moved me. “He allowed me the honor to serve him this way.”
The thought brought a picture to my mind. I was in a great banquet hall with chandeliers, tables covered in fine white linens, and the napkins folded up like little teepees. There were long stem crystal champagne glasses and fancy chairs covered with dark red cloth. I’d never seen a place so elegant or beautiful.
I was setting the table for royalty! Sure, in actuality, I was plugging in some slightly abused, badly-needing-updating lights and a smoke machine, but in that moment I was preparing an atmosphere of worship for the entrance of the King, my King. The One who created everything.
I thought of His attributes; names like Morning Star, the Fairest of Ten Thousand, the Lily of the Valley, the Rose of Sharon, the Great I AM! I was overcome with the feeling of awe and wonder and honor. I thought everything has got to be just right for Him. The word excellence played over and over in my mind. I whispered a prayer; “Thank you, Father, that I get to do this for You.”
Suddenly, my mind went quiet, and something so profound happened. I heard Him whisper to me again, “No, son, I’m preparing all of this for you. This great hall that you imagined is being prepared for Royalty; I’m preparing it for you. All its beauty, all the pomp you thought you were preparing for me, I am preparing for you.”
Even now, recalling what He said to me those months ago, I can’t help but sit here and weep. Not because He was preparing this great banquet with all of the extravagance, but because he called me “son”. Over the years, I have called Him Father, Abba, Daddy God, Yahweh, and Lord, but until that moment I never saw Him look back at me as His son.
That day, My Father taught me that until I see Him in that light, until by grace I receive the revelation that He sees me as His son, I would never appropriately see him as Father. Until I appropriately see him as Father, I would keep trying to serve my way into His affection. It was then that the Scriptures in Galatians 4 and Romans 8 seeded themselves in my heart. He loves me too much to allow me to stay comfortable by coming to him as a servant, when He called me son. I saw Him most of my life as my Savior, I saw him as Lord, and I even called Him Father, but the sound of Him speaking that simple three letter word into me, has marked me forever.
Did you catch it? He didn’t call me by my name. He didn’t say “Brian”, for that was too formal a greeting for the intimacy he called me into. He said “son”. Do you know what he’s saying, calling me son instead of my name? He’s saying YOU BELONG TO ME. And He’s saying the same thing to you right now. Listen to His heart for you, “You are my son (daughter). You are my baby.” He’s saying, “I know you, I know what you’ve done, and I know what you haven’t done, and you are mine. I know the thoughts you have; I know the things you’ve looked at, the lies you’ve told. You are mine, son (daughter). Always and forever, you are mine.”
We GET to do this!
Abba Father, thank You for the grace to see You in a new light. Conform my mind to see myself the way You see me. Deposit Your thoughts and Your heart inside me that I no longer serve my way into Your affection, but as an adopted son or daughter, embrace the joy of the “Family Business”. Anoint me with Your love and power to lead others into Your Royal Banquet.