Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
My dad went to renew his driver’s license at the age of 96. Yes, 96 years old and he’s going to renew his driver’s license for another eight years. Do the math, if he gets his license renewed, he can drive till he’s 104!
He shuffled into the DMV with his cane and sat down with a groan. First came the eye exam. He showed them a letter from his eye doctor that his eyesight was good. Check that box off. No eye exam needed.
They then asked him a series of questions to see if there were any physical or mental limitations that would prevent him from driving safely. He lied through his teeth and said no to all of them. Check that box off.
And that was it. No driving test. No verifying if he could even turn his head to see someone walking. No testing his reaction time between seeing a dangerous situation and hitting the break.
They took his picture, paid with his credit card, and walked out with a freshly minted driver’s license. He was good to go for driving another eight years. He was verified as a licensed driver in good standing.
When we become God’s children, we’re also verified but God as belonging to him. Not with a license, ID card, or even a chip. No, God gives us something else. Or, should I say, someone else. God puts his Holy Spirit inside us, never to be removed. We become his child once and for all.
God did all the heavy lifting. It was he who came for us. Suffered for us. Died for us. Raised from the dead for us.
And what’s the result of all that? You and I weren’t just made his children. No, we were made his adult children. We’re no longer infants or small children who are a lot of work and are always underfoot. No, we’re grown-up children capable of a loving, mature, transparent relationship with our heavenly Father.
We’re also no longer slaves to religion or any set of rules. We used to think that following some code, some checklist could somehow earn us a seat at the table with God. But it can’t and never will be able to. Rules never restore relationships.
Now, with all this restoration going on, what’s supposed to happen next. With us being made his adult children, how is our relationship with God to change? What kind of people does he want us to become?
Are we to just sit back, relax, and play a golden harp? Are we to lounge around, just hangin out in heaven? Just chillin? Reclining, sitting around, drinking our favorite beverage, munching on our favorite sweet or salty snack? What are we to do? Who are we to become? What are we to say?
God’s next step for us isn’t to memorize some longwinded speech. Or to write a poem, compose a song. It isn’t to go on some quest, to achieve some great thing in his name. It isn’t even to go on some long trip to prove our commitment to him.
None of these are what God is looking for. He’s looking for us to come to him and say one word. Abba. Father. Daddy. That’s the goal. That’s the endgame. God wants to establish an Abba, Father kind of relationship with each and every one of us.
But there’s more. God’s not looking for us to cry out Abba, Father, Daddy once. He’s not interested in a momentary change where we cry out to him once and then we move on.
Oh no. God wants a continual chorus of crying Abba, Father, Daddy to come from us. He wants us to say it over, and over, and over again. And when we’re calling out to Abba, we’re not just mouthing some words we heard someone else say. Or dully reading a prayer with all the emotion of a boiled egg.
God is looking for a childlike innocence and insistence that their Abba, Father, Daddy will listen and turn to them. A child doesn’t just call out once and that’s it. A child cries out over and over and over again. They keep it up until their Abba, Father, Daddy picks them up and holds them close for a while.
You might think of yourself as smart and sophisticated. When you look in the mirror, you might see a well dress, confident, powerful person that’s able to handle anything. With your phone at your side, you can take on any problem, answer any question.
But deep down inside, we all know exactly who we are. A scared little child who desperately wants and needs their Abba Father to come to them. In our weakness, in his arms, is exactly where we were made to be.
We need his presence to fill and surround us. To confirm us as his child. To verify once and for all that we are his, and he is ours.