14 Jan Day 14 – Sign of the Kingdom – Belonging
Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
– Galatians 4:6
Today we continue to meditate on signs of the Kingdom. Let’s focus on belonging. Belonging is the knowledge of being part of God’s family. It is the spirit of adoption, the spirit of sonship. And it is the opposite of an orphan spirit.
Belonging brings safety and security. It allows us to live from love, not for love. In order to bring the Kingdom to a world that is lost and broken, alone and afraid, it is crucial that we have an understanding that we are securely placed in God’s family – that we belong.
Imagine an orphan on the street. They have to look out for themselves. Their goal is to survive. They must stay vigilant at all times, looking for their next meal, their next escape, and their next shelter. They must try to stay on top, above any danger that might come their way. Orphans cannot rest. Slaves cannot rest either. They have no rights. They are only deemed valuable by what they are able to do or how much they can produce. They are only as safe as their ability to perform.
But God’s Kingdom contains rest because God’s Kingdom is rooted in belonging. In God’s Kingdom, there is enough room for everyone. Everyone has a secure seat at the table. It’s a fact. No one can take your place and no one can steal God’s affection or protection from you. And through your adoption into God’s family, you have access to all things that Jesus has. Thus, from a position of belonging, you can make great sacrifices, endure great misunderstandings and humiliations, practice radical generosity, take great leaps of faith and courage, and celebrate and invest in the lives of others. Life in the Kingdom of God does not require you to live by “survival of the fittest”. Instead, you can lay down your life for another and confidently know that God has your back. In fact, Isaiah states “They will neither harm nor destroy on all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” No. God’s kingdom does not have competition between people. It has invitation and security for everybody. It has belonging.
– Anthony and Mary Keith Skinner
- What would our actions and reactions be in our daily lives if we did not live out of fear and self-protection like an orphan or a slave?
- What would the church look like if each member knew that their place at the table was not up for grabs?
- What creative and redemptive solutions might be possible if businesses and governmental leaders walked in a spirit of adoption for their city and state?
- What if competition and self-promotion became invitation and belonging?
- What sort of place would Nashville be?
- What would race relations look like if we saw each other as family and not threatening differences?
“Father, awaken my heart now to the truth that have given me the Spirit of Your Son into my heart, and it is crying, “Abba! Father!”. Thank you that I am not a slave, but I am a son/daughter.”
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