But you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15). With adoption comes the freedom to be the real you. You were designed a specific way, which includes your God-given personality. While in the world, your true personality was hidden or obstructed by sin. The real you was desperate to bust out of the snare in which you found yourself. Perhaps, you discovered yourself doing things which didn’t match the real you while thinking to yourself, this is not the real me! Fear uses rejection as part of its arsenal to hold you hostage. “If they only knew the real you, they’d run far away from you!” Even motives can be tainted. While it’s true you wanted to selflessly bless others, you may have found yourself trying to please them in order to gain their love and affection. This is known as “people-pleasing.” In short, you weren’t giving as freely as you thought. Performance for love is not true giving, and love requiring performance is not true love. Even today, there are numerous self-help books available to aid us in becoming a better version of ourselves. The question is: are those versions the best version? The best version being who God created you to be. After reading those books, how many find themselves trying to emulate the authors or the ideals they are trying to convey? Are those perceptions they write about the real them? Maybe, it would be best to seek out the Author and Finisher of our faith and let Him reveal the real you.
Romans 8:14-17 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
As stated in the previous blog (“Sabotage and Adoption”), adoption is intentional. God adopted us as sons and daughters because He already loved us. It’s the type of love that is hard for some to wrap their heads around; nonetheless, when they begin to grasp it, they find themselves in a new place of freedom. Not just freedom from sin, but freedom from dead works. Knowing that God is your Father by virtue of His love, means never having to perform for love again! Now you can do things to please Him because you love Him; not because you’re not sure about His love for you. There’s a massive difference between them. Have you ever wondered if what you did for someone would ever be “good enough?” When you do something for God out of obedience because of love, He knows it, and that pleases Him. Maybe in your mind the performance wasn’t perfect in spite of your best efforts; but, love made it perfect!
When someone leaves an inheritance for another, does that person have to earn it? Granted, in some cases there may be some conditions attached, but for the most part it’s a gift. Our spiritual inheritance is predicated on being in Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:20 For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore, also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. He rewards our obedience; we earn nothing. We know that faith pleases God, but the interesting thing about faith is that it is based on love and relationship (see Hebrews 11:6 and Galatians 5:6). Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Matthew 4:4 But He (Jesus) answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” A life of faith requires a relationship that includes having a dialogue with God. If you are going to obey God, how will you know what you’re obeying unless He tells you? Jesus set the example in that He did what he saw Father doing, and said what He heard Him speak. Everything He did was done in obedience out of love for Abba. That love extended to us as well.
If you’re a well-loved child of God, do you really need man’s approval, or appreciation for that matter? Sure, it’s nice if someone loves and appreciates you. That’s part of having relationship with others. If your aim is pleasing God, the fear of man cannot hold you captive anymore. We know that perfect love casts out fear (see 1 John 4:18). Doing all things as onto the Lord places you in a better position to serve others well. Instead of trying to gain respect or approval, your concern is more about them experiencing the love of God through you. It is wonderful way to live: it’s a life of freedom!