A seven-year-old orphan has spent his entire life ‘in the system’ and has been shunted from one foster situation to another. There’s been everything from neglect to abuse to shaming. Then ‘it’ happens – he’s been adopted by a loving family! It’s his first ‘happy’ situation ever. While the new ‘mom and dad’ are amazingly friendly and happy, there’s more than a tinge of suspicion that this behavior is temporary, that the smiles and gentleness may soon give way to darker things, things he knows all too well. His guard is up and he doesn’t allow himself to get emotionally attached. However, as time goes by and there’s consistency ‘at home,’ he begins to let himself relax. It’s confusing and frightening to let his defenses down. Don’t go too fast.

I wonder if this fictitious scenario is somewhat akin to our adoption into God’s Kingdom. We all live in a world that operates on a different value system to that of our Heavenly Father. We hear the pastor talking about our radical Kingdom makeover and the glories now ours, but these amazing ‘additions’ to our life seem a bit sci-fi, to be honest. And the power – well, the power seems elusive, too. All the buzz about healings and breakthroughs and miracles is lovely to hear about, but what about ongoing illnesses, painful situations and bad guys getting the upper hand? Maybe it’s important to lower expectations to avoid the certain disappointment to follow.

I sometimes wonder how much of this new life I’ve allowed to be my new normal and how much I play it safe, not giving too much room for Spirit interventions. After all, we are people who are knowledgeable and who pride ourselves on that being the basis for judging all things. Allowing myself to be guided by the Holy Spirit sounds beautiful and assuring – that is, until my ‘common sense’ intervenes and cautions me to reconsider. Stories of miraculous victories and healings and breakthroughs are thrilling and emotional, but looking around me can tempt me to be slightly cynical. Stunning answers to prayer elate my soul, but thoughts of, ‘Why not me?’ can dampen that excitement pretty quickly. 

So, is our New Life following salvation, and the arrival of the Holy Spirit, as fantastic as the pastor says they are? Are the gifts of the Holy Spirit as jaw-dropping as he makes them sound? Are the tales of the miraculous birth of the church to be believed? Should we choose to reject doubts and trust fully what the Word says? Should we invest more richly in worship to experience for ourselves all that the Father has prepared for us? Should we abandon our orphan spirit and allow God to show us how loved and provided for we are? “ . . . since we are his true children, we qualify to share all his treasures, for, indeed, we are heirs of God himself. And since we are joined to Christ, we also inherit all that he is and all that he has.”Romans 7:17, TPT. I do hope the orphan finds his heart’s true home once and for all.  PD

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