For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of 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!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Lord, I confess that I live far below my privileges in Christ. Though rich because of grace, I live as a spiritual pauper. Though given a Spirit of adoption, I live as a spiritual orphan. Though a co-heir with Christ of every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms, I live as a slave, begging for scraps at your table. Help me to experience the Spirit of adoption. Help me to feel like – to live like – the cherished son that I am in Christ.
How do I betray my failure to experience a Spirit of adoption?
1. At times I lack of daily, vital intimacy with you. Rather than experiencing, in prayer and through your Word, sweet communion with you, God, my devotion is more duty than delight. Rather than longing to spend time with you, I find myself bedgrudgingly going through the motions of spiritual discipline. Help me, Father, to grow in daily partnership with you. Help me to walk with you as a son walks with a father – confident in his access to his father, sure of his status in the eyes of his father, and delighting in his fellowship with his father.
2. At times I am consumed by personal insecurity. I compare myself to others, and cannot escape profound feelings of inadequacy. I respond to criticism poorly and defensively. As a defense mechanism – to conceal my own vulnerability, I am prone to a critical spirit toward others. When I fail, I am wrecked by self-doubt and enslaved to a “try harder, do better” mentality. Help me, Father, to find my worth and value in Christ alone. I am your son – you could not love me more than you do, nor less. You could not delight in me more than you do, nor less. My worth is based entirely on Christ’s perfection, imputed to me.
3. At times my feelings of discouragement and defeat are overwhelming. I lose sight of the victory Christ has already secured for me. I forget that the thing I needed most, the thing that only Christ could do, has already been done. Help me, Father, to focus on my true and better circumstance in Christ. No matter what worldly circumstances I have to contend with, I have a spiritual reality that is certain, unchanging, and glorious. Help me, Father, to set my eyes on the day when you will welcome me fully and finally at your table because of Christ. Help me, Father, to find wonder and joy in the fact that you call me your son – through the blood of your one, true Son.
Heavenly Father: Because I am prone, every day, to walk in a spirit of slavery and to fall back into fear and doubt, help me to experience more fully the Spirit of adoption.