"And because we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, 'Abba, Father.' Now you are no longer a slave but God's own child. And since you are His child, God has made you His heir." -Galatians 4:21-31
Have you ever felt like a servant or a slave, instead of a son or daughter? I worked as a server for a while in high school and also in college in order to make ends meet. It is gruesome work! Working in the restaurant industry requires working nights and weekends, and doing heavy manual labor. During the time I worked as a server I was also working through an issue of unworthiness I had in my life. I had never felt worthy of anything good.
It was during this time that God was showing me that I had been adopted by Him. There was nothing I could do to prove myself to Him or make Him love me any more than He already did. My working and toiling and striving didn't amount to anything more than sweat rolling off my brow. What did matter was an acceptance of the love that God already had for me. I had to re-train my brain to accept this love and live in "a spirit of adoption" versus living in the rejection I experienced in my home life growing up.
The writer of Galatians describes this transition from slave to son. He talks about the difference between Abraham's two sons - the illegitimate one born out of selfish ambition (Ishmael) and the one born of promise, Isaac. "And you, dear brothers and sisters, are children of the promise, just like Isaac." -Galatians 4:28
We can never become sons or daughters of God by acting like "Ishmael", always trying to prove ourselves. Instead, we need to have the attitude that we have been adopted by Him, and therefore He will withhold "no good thing" from us. (Matthew 7:11) We just receive His love, blessings, and grace, instead of trying to fend for ourselves.
Have you let God adopt you as His precious son or daughter today?