Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Welcome Home

It's hard to walk on eggshells - tiptoeing around certain people for fear of how they will react. It could be the irritable boss or coworker, the customer who can't be pleased, or the neighbor who is upset because you trimmed your hedge too low. At the end of the day, you can leave these people behind when you go home and lock the door.

But eggshell-walking takes on a whole new dimension when it is someone you love. You would do anything to please him/her, but somehow it is never enough. So you brace yourself not knowing whether you will receive commendation or a reprimand, affection or rejection.

Do we act this way towards God? Walking on eggshells because we're afraid we might do something to jeopardize our relationship with Him?

From God's Word:
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!”  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:4-7
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!” Romans 8:15
From Grudem's Systematic Theology:
God could have given us justification without the privilege of adoption into his family, for he could have forgiven our sins and given us right legal standing before him without making us his children. It is important to realize this because it helps us recognize how great are our privileges in adoption. Regeneration has to do with our spiritual life within. Justification has to do with our standing before God's law. But adoption has to do with our relationship with God as our Father, and in adoption we are given many of the greatest blessings that we will know for all eternity. When we begin to realize the excellence of these blessings, and when we appreciate that God has no obligation to give us any of them, then we will be able to exclaim with the apostle John, "See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God, and so we are." (1 John 3:1).1
The doctrine of adoption is something I've been wrestling with. I know it in my head, but I've been reluctant to embrace it with my heart. Perhaps it's because past rejection has made me afraid to receive love in case it will be taken away. Perhaps it's because I see my unworthiness and wonder whether God will think I'm worth keeping in the long run. But doubts and experience, however painful, aren't the arbiter of what is true. God's Word determines that, and verse after verse confirms that He is my Father. Not because Ive earned it or deserved it. Not because I'm securing it's continuance with my good behavior but because He chose to set His love upon me and make me His child.

This is something worth remembering. This is comfort for the lonely soul. God isn't just a kind benefactor to a group of refugees. He did not open an orphanage. Because of the cross, God opens His arms and says, "Welcome home."
What is indisputable is that when the Spirit comes to make His home in us, He comes with grace in both hands. He comes to point to the Son and the extravagance of what has been accomplished for us. He introduces us to the Father in heaven and says: "Meet the Father. He is your Father, too."  
How do you view your present relationship to God? Do you see it as one of slavery, a never-ending attempt to win some favor from an otherwise reluctant Father, or one in which you are a son, knowing that your Father in heaven has always loved you and always will?2  
1. Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem, Zondervan, 2000, pg. 739.
2.  How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home, Derek W. H. Thomas, Reformation Trust Publishing, 2011, pg. 61.


  1. Persis,
    This is a great post. I deal and have dealt with this question, repeatedly. The enemy wants to tell me I have some merit for God's love - sometimes it sticks and I end up in the doldrums. It is however, getting easier to peg his lies and send him packing. Reading this is an another arrow in my arsenal, thanks so much and the Lord bless you, today.
    Grace, Peace and Joy,

    1. Thanks for your comment, Jojo. I agree that recognizing the lie makes it easier to resist.

  2. I really like the Grudem quote.

    "doubts and experience, however painful, aren't the arbiter of what is true. "

    Well said.

    1. Thanks, Kim.

      Grudem nailed it which makes me wonder if I need to read Systematic Theology from cover to cover. :)

  3. Good thoughts Persis - Without sounding too "psycho-babble-ish" I think women who were abandoned by either a father or a spouse, can struggle with their views of God's unconditional love. At least that was the case with me as a new believer. Praise God that His Word sets us straight.

    1. I agree, Diane. We suffer from the effects of sin, our own of course, but also the sin of others. A friend said that even though we know something is true it takes time to "walk it out." I'm thankful God is patient.