March 18, 2021
"And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last …" Revelation 1:17
"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." – Romans 8:15
It is not enough to learn to fear. Once we have learned the hard lesson of reverence, grace relieves our fears and comforts our troubled, weary souls.
First, we fall as dead before His magnificence; then He touches us in compassion and commands us to fear not.
First, we go down into Egypt and experience bondage. There we learn to know Him, and, in the wilderness, we learn His Name. We are slaves to sin and then to the law, but we are redeemed and released. And we are adopted. And in that adoption, we learn to cry, “Abba.”
Bondage brings fear and God uses the bondage of the law as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. Bondage informs us of what we are missing because our longings become the pangs of want. Somewhere in the process of learning fear, we come to grips with the deepest desire of our hearts. If we are honest and open, we realize that our desire is for God who alone can meet our needs and grant us redemption and freedom.
Grace taught my heart to fear, and my fears relieved many years ago. Yet, I must return to that turning point again and again, sometimes in the singing of the song of Amazing Grace. There I remember. In that moment, I give thanks. In those chords I am realigned with his purposes communicated through His loving kindness which is better than life.
Grace, my fears relieved. I cannot begin to describe the relief, the pure, sure calm that has come over my soul. That can be yours as well.
"... ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."-Romans 8:15
Little Sarah was only three years old. All day long, she had been home doing what little girls do. But as the sun began to go down and the smell of hot rolls filled the house, her tiny heart began to sing with anticipation. She knew that evening meant one thing. He daddy would soon walk through the door. The love of her life would come home from a hard day at work, and she would run to meet him, jump in his arms, and be embraced with joy and love.
"Daddy, I missed you," she would exclaim. "You’re finally home! I'm so glad you are here."
At that, her father's heart would melt.
The Spirit of God invites us to pray as Jesus prayed, Abba, or Daddy. We are drawn into a relationship of warmth, acceptance, and love with our Heavenly Father. Those of us who have enjoyed such relationships with our earthly fathers have a glimpse of what our relationship with God can be. Those of us who have not had such relationships can take comfort in the knowledge of His absolute love and unbridled joy when we call out to Him and jump into His arms.