“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry ‘Abba, Father’. The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs of Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.”~Romans 8:14-20
Rebekah M’s post yesterday inspired me to go back and read Romans 8 again, and spend some time there. I got to this part, and it really spoke to my heart. For all intents and purposes, on the outside looking in, I have a strong walk with God. But what’s been on my heart so much lately are the imperfections, the parts of me that get in God’s way and bind Him. God has been speaking to me too about my choices and what they mean, and not only the repercussions if I don’t choose God, but the blessings that come when I do. This spirit of submission and sacrifice has taken prevalence in my day-to-day walk. I’ve restarted my fast days, I’ve been submitting my thoughts and actions, I’ve been completely transparent in blogging about my shortcomings. These are all good things – they’re allowing God to move in me and grow in me, and causing my flesh to become marginally smaller every day.
I haven’t lost sight of why I’m submitting. I want God more – it’s as simple as that. But this passage just drove it home again what a merciful, beautiful God we serve. He is so powerful. Think of the powerful kings here on earth, and how they act. So often, they’re tyrants. They use their power and enforce it so they may be revered and even more powerful. God doesn’t do that. He gives us the choice to serve. And beyond that, He doesn’t ask us to serve for the sake of feeding His own power. He doesn’t ask us to submit so that He can feel like a king. Romans tells us we are not slaves. He asks us to submit, so that we can be His children. In that context, sacrifice and fasts become more like chores we have to do. Except they’re chores we choose to do. And instead of earning a weekly allowance, we earn a share in the unfathomable glory of Christ! He gives us that freely, and all we have to do is choose to listen to His spirit!
Think about that. Not only is He all-powerful, all-mighty, and all-knowing, not only is He merciful and loving enough to use that power and knowledge for our good and to guide our steps so we can choose rightly and be on the best path possible….but He doesn’t just stop there. He increases the blessing and gives us a share in Himself. As magnificent as He is, and insignificant as we are, He is giving us a share of Himself. And unlike the ‘gifts’ that we give to Him, temporary fasts, moments of submission…He is giving us Himself for eternity. Anything that we do here on earth, any ‘hardship’ we endure in the name of God, is literally like the blink of an eye, and yet we are rewarded with an ETERNAL share in Christ Himself.
This isn’t my first time hearing this or reading this passage. But God’s had me reflecting today on what exactly I’ve been sacrificing, exactly how hard it’s been, vs what He’s going to give. His promises are amazing.
Jesus, I don’t even know how to begin to thank You for the future you have for me and the promises You’ve made to all who are led by the Spirit. I just know you are worth all I can ever give and more. Jesus I worship You with all that I have and all that I am, and I thank you for giving me this deeper glimpse of how truly amazing you are. My life is in Your hands God; I love and trust You completely.
So today, no matter what you’re going through, take a moment to submit the tough things to Jesus. And feel free to reflect on how fleeting our hardships are….and the permanence of the promises that await you when you do take that step to let God direct you. What an awesome, awesome God we serve! And of course, if God’s doing something in your life I want to hear about it, and if you need an extra boost, I want to be praying for you! So write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org