I’m astounded by the idea that I am a daughter of the Most High God – that I am a full partaker of His Covenant faithfulness (and its responsibilities). Does your son or daughter-ship take your breath away, too? You and I are brought into God’s family through His choice, not as natural sons and daughters but as chosen ones.
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!”
Because God is the one who chooses to adopt, the process depends solely on Him. We do not have to earn “sonship” or “daughtership”. Even in our imperfections, He chooses us.
There is much freedom in experiencing this truth.
This is truth. What makes it particularly hard for you to take hold of that truth? We all can experience times of uncertainty or when we just forget. What happens when you default to your former status? For me, I act like a spiritual orphan again. I go around looking for love and acceptance in the eyes of humans who just aren’t designed to give me what only God can. I shrink back from my Covenant responsibilities and act like a slave to sin again. I ‘act up’ and do not obey my Heavenly Father. I mistrust Him. Sound familiar?
It is not just me, we all do this when we take our thoughts off of the wonderful truth that we are sons and daughters of God. And what is God’s response when we stray? He invites us again to come to Him and remember our identity in Him. In fact, He even created activities for us so that we can remember our identity in Him and that we are family. More on that later.
Sometimes, if we stop to think about it, we can catch ourselves walking out an old identity. We can pause to realize that in that moment we’re not feeling as secure in our place in God’s family as we felt before. What are your desert places? Maybe then we forget our identity in God’s family; that’s when we think we need to earn a way in. “If I am just better at (insert an activity, a way of being, a way of looking) then I will be accepted.” In these moments it feels like you are on the outside, looking in. And you don’t know how to get there. Can you relate? There is an antidote to “un-belonging.”
In my professional life, when I work with fostered and adopted children who have come from trauma backgrounds, I tell the parents that the child often acts out because they are unsure of to whom they belong. I encourage parents to offer
family activities they can do with their child that connect one to the other, that build attachment. This is what helps him or her know by experience that they belong.
We learn by doing.
Rituals of connection and belonging repeated over and again create new neural pathways in the brain so that we actually get re-wired toward a greater sense of family. I often suggest regular ‘family time’ that includes rituals everyone can participate in together; things that provide experiences that we are family. This works very well in these families because it is at the core of humans as a social species to want to be together; to celebrate together, as a way to experience belonging.
Just look at how many man-made celebrations we have here in the west. And isn’t it true that children (and children at heart) love to participate in them especially when parents put their own family ‘spin’ on them? Of course! Maybe you haven’t heard it explained this way before when talking about God’s Feast days, but you know that God has His own ‘family rituals’ too. Through them, He invites His children to participate with Him and each other. We’re family! We belong.
God has family rituals and celebrations that mark us as His!
You remember that God spoke His divine calendar on the fourth day of creation, to teach us about His plan of redemption through Jesus/Yeshua the Messiah.
“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years”. Gen.1:14)
The word seasons is the Hebrew word moed, (moedim in the plural form). This isn’t seasons like we think of the words for spring, summer, fall, and winter. Moed means “an appointed time, a festival.” In Psalm 104:9 it says “God appointed the moon for seasons.” The word seasons is “moedim”. God appointed the moon to determine the appointed times and festivals. In ancient times the prophets and the apostles looked to the moon to determine God’s calendar, knowing that the new moon marks the beginning of a month, and a full moon the middle of a month. His set apart days were determined by the moon phase. These are His “family time rituals,” aren’t they?
It is amazing to realize that these “moadim-appointed times” were set in the earth prior to the creation of any living being. Before man was ever created, before any sin was committed, God had already created a timetable for His children to meet with Him as a sign of belonging. In the Amplified Bible Genesis 1:14 says, “Let them be signs, and tokens (these lights) of God’s provident care”. Provident care points to our son (daughter)ship in Him. These appointed times are signs of God’s agreement with us, that He is our God and we are His people. When we celebrate them together with Him and others, we are saying to the world that WE ARE FAMILY. This is true of His seventh-day Sabbath, too.
We are in the fourth biblical month, called “TAMMUZ” (of Sumerian origin) which encompasses part of the long summer stretch of waiting before the fall Biblical Holy Days of Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and the Feast of Sukkot. This period can be a good time to look with fresh eyes at the big picture of God’s “Family Time.” The best antidote to isolation, loneliness, and feelings of not belonging is to partake of these special family invitations, extended by our Heavenly Father. There is such depth of meaning to each Holy Day, and each speaks of His plan of redemption. But also, on a very personal level, they are rituals of belonging, lovingly extended to children unsteady in knowing they are fully in His family.