There’s no place like home.
Isn’t it great to be one of the family? There is a feeling of security when you know you belong . When you are part of the family, you know where you live…duh. You have a key to the door and you come right on in whenever you want to, because you live there. Right? When you are part of the family, you can help yourself to whatever is in the refrigerator (unless of course, your mom has but an “Eat this and you will Die!” note on the banana pudding. When you are one of the family, you can snuggle up on the couch and put your feet on the coffee table. You can relax because you know you belong. You know you are supposed to live there. You are loved and accepted, even if you are having a bad day and are feeling a little testy.
Have you ever thought about how amazing it is that God, our creator, wants us to know Him as our father? Really…! This is one thing He wants us to be completely clear on. I love the scripture verses that talk about how God is our “Abba, Father.” Abba is a term of endearment, and is often translated as Papa. It is a wondrous thing to be a child of God, which is reflected in the following verses from a recent quiet time:
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!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God… Romans 8:14-16 (NAS)
An outsider no more.
Have you ever spent time in someone’s home where you felt like an outsider? I can remember visiting a relative once when my children were small. I felt nervous because I didn’t want thier cute little toddler fingers to smear peanut butter on the spotless white sofa. I didn’t feel “at home” and could not relax, because I knew I was a guest. Even though they were family members, we weren’t close enough for me to forget that I was a guest. I knew I must mind my manners, and somehow make sure my little people did so as well. What a relief it was to return to my own home, confident that I belong there.
Over time, I have learned that my opportunity to know God as my Heavenly Father includes many wonderful blessings. One of those blessings is to able to come into His presence and talk with Him, knowing that He will listen. In fact, Hebrews 4:16 shows me how God wants His children to approach Him:
Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]. Hebrews 4:16 (AMP)
To come with confidence means to trust that I will be lovingly received.
Reflecting on this instruction, I see that to come to God boldly is to come freely, without fear, with frankness and assurance. To come with confidence means to trust that I will be lovingly received. In these verses, there is no question of being received or heard. I think of them as God’s invitation to intimacy with Him. To believe that God truly wants me to have a close relationship increases my confidence. I begin to enter into the throne room as one of the family who is at home there, rather than a stranger who knocks hesitantly, wondering if anyone will come to the door and invite them in. You know, the spiritual meets the practical when we truly understand that, in Christ, we are one of God’s family–we are welcome and we belong.
God has given me access and invited me into intimacy with Him. I choose to respond to this privilege by returning the invitation. I will invite God and give Him access to my thoughts and plans. If you relate to this thought, join me in this prayer:
Abba, thank You for making it possible for me to come into relationship with You. Thank You for inviting me to come to You with bold confidence. May I come to You before seeking answers, guidance, or comfort elsewhere. I invite You into my thoughts and plans today. I pray that I will grow closer to You as I learn more about coming with boldness and confidence. Lord, You are the One who invites me in.