Psalm 68-69 Romans 8:1-21
“The true children of God are those who let God’s Spirit lead them. The Spirit we received does not make us slaves again to fear; it makes us children of God. With that Spirit we cry out, ‘Father.’” (Romans 8:14-15 NCV)
The true follower of Christ is ruled by the Spirit of God. We aren’t under condemnation because while the Law brings judgment and guilt, God’s Spirit brings life. In this section of chapter 8, Paul reminds us that the follower of Christ isn’t ruled by temptations that come from our earthly desires, or even the fear of doing wrong; the true follower of Jesus Christ is ruled by the Spirit. Our goal in life is to please God, not indulge in our earthly passions. The result is that we have a relationship with God that gives life and enjoys freedom. We’re no longer slaves to fear, we’re children of God and we joyously call Him “Father.” The actual term Paul used there was one that showed a close personal relationship with a loving father.
We like to condemn ourselves much more than we condemn others. When my wife hears me call out “Stupid idiot!” she knows me well enough that she wonders what mistake I made. It’s not that she thinks I’m a stupid idiot, it’s that she knows me well enough that, unless I’m driving, I don’t usually call other people that. Then she reminds me that I shouldn’t get down on myself. Perfectionists can be like that. If we aren’t perfect, there’s this nagging voice that reminds us that people will see our mistakes: this is what it means to be a slave to fear. A person who’s a slave to fear will worry about what God thinks about them as well as what other people think about them. They work hard to correct all their mistakes lest others find a way to attack them for their weaknesses and, on a spiritual level, lest God condemn them for their mistakes. When we’re lead by the Spirit of God, our relationship with God becomes so strong that we don’t worry about what we do wrong, we enjoy or relationship no matter what. If my wife wanted to keep a list of what I’ve done wrong as a man, a husband, and a father, she might need a computer with a lot more memory. She loves me, forgives me, and enjoys our relationship. If God kept a list of all my wrongs, the whole world couldn’t contain all the books. He doesn’t condemn me, though, He loves me. He’s my Father who forgives me no matter what and rather than live in fear that God will be mad at me for anything I do wrong, I live in the joy of our relationship. When I do wrong, I know He still loves me and forgives me.
Father, remind me again how much You love me. Remind me that You have forgiven me, You continue to forgive me, and that You’ll always forgive me and show me Your grace. Let my joy in understanding that spill over as I share Your love with others.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved