15 "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Romans 8:15 (NIV)
All of us are subject to fear. It comes with being human. Here are some quick examples:
- Standing over a 5' putt worth $500,000.
- Launching a game-tying free throw with no time on the clock.
- Answering an unexpected, middle-of-the-night phone call.
- Receiving a doctor's report that might carry news you didn't want to hear.
- Realizing your contract or scholarship might not be renewed.
- Wondering if you'll be bypassed for promotion or found inadequate.
- Thinking your past might condemn your future.
But being subject to fear and carrying a spirit of fear are two different things. Holding onto fear paralyzes. Entertaining Fear for very long puts its host at great risk. Falling back into fear enslaves. It holds us hostage to unhealthy possibilities. It makes us dwell there, never offering a way out. It imprisons our spirit and doesn't let us live on. It eclipses God from our lives, leaving us feeling inwardly darkened and alone, isolated in internal, invisible jail cells.
In steps God's Spirit, one of adoption, that offers rescuing, restoring sonship. His presence dispels our fears. He brings confidence and hope. He helps us say, "Daddy, I'm yours! Take me in. Quiet my fears. Settle my anxious heart. Cradle me into your family...just as I am. Accept me as your very own because of Jesus. Tell me I'll be okay."
Athlete, God's adoption cures fear. He kills the spirit of slavery that makes us feel illegitimate and inadequate, and doesn't let us fall back into fear. His Spirit sees to this. He reminds us that we are His...and that who we belong to makes all the difference in the world.