Living as adopted children of God

Today I am reminded that many of us struggle with being caught between two identities. Spiritually speaking, we used to be destitute street beggars -- grimy, emaciated children with tattered clothing and a chip on our shoulders. We have been hardened by life without God and are starved for love and grace.

In his infinite love, God takes us as we are and adopts us as his own children. When we are adopted, we acquire the full rights of sonship. Psalm 2:7 paints the picture. God says, "You are my Son; today I have become your father." Normally this verse is interpreted to refer to the moment when the heavenly Father begat the eternal Son. However, there is more to find in this verse. We can also think of it as portraying the moment we are adopted by God the Father. I have enjoyed the privilege of being in the court room for civil adoptions. At the critical juncture of the ceremony, the judge pronounces the adoption, and it becomes a legal reality. With the judge's words, the adoption happens. I imagine God saying the words of Ps 2:7 to us: "You are my son (or daughter); today I have become your father." He pronounces the adoption, and it is so. It is permanent, and it carries with it the full rights of sonship including the rights of inheritance.

For us, this is the most joyous occasion imaginable. We have been adopted by "the Father of the heavenly lights"! The question is what identity we will live with in our Father's house. We have been street beggars; now we are royalty -- sons and daughters of the Most High. Still, I find that all too often, we fall back into that street beggar mentality. This shows up in ways of the heart that include lack of confidence in God, insecurity, overexaggerated humility, weakened faith, and an inability to receive the Father's love. These are the symptoms of someone who has been adopted by God but can't quite live in that new identity. Can you relate? If so, spend a day -- or as many days as it takes -- meditating on Ps 2:7, hearing God pronounce those words over you. There is great healing in fully accepting our adoption by God as his sons and daughters.

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