Romans 8 has a very….triumphant tone. It’s easily one of the most popular chapters of the Bible. Quite a few faves are found here. Some of my faves aren’t really “traditional” faves though (I’m a little different lol). For example….
Verse 11 (NKJV) says “but if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” meaning that nothing can hold you down. I don’t think you understand. See, once you accept Christ as your savior, the very Spirit that raised him from the dead (3 days dead) lives in you. If it can raise Him from the dead it can raise you out of poverty, depression, low self-esteem, insecurity, lack, desperation, oppression, heartache, pain, sickness, disease, etc. How do I know that this Spirit is in you? How do I know that we have that kind of power? Well, if we slide down to verse 15, it says “for you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father,” THEN verse 16 says “the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” Did. You. Catch. That?! Let me help you out a bit….
As a church kid, I often heard of this “adoption into the royal family”, but I don’t think I truly understood it until I started trying to put this post together (and got a little help from law school). See, when we accept Christ, we don’t continue to walk under the hold of fear. There may still be fear concerning certain things, but it’s not a fear that holds us captive; it’s a fear that we can defeat through Christ (trust me, I know). Instead, we receive what Paul called the ‘Spirit of adoption’ that allows us to call God “Abba, Father”. Now, I don’t really have time to dig into the ‘Abba, Father’ piece, but I can pause for the cause about adoption. In one of my classes, we’re learning about adoption & how it impacts the various parties involved. To avoid taking all of you to law school (because nobody really wants that lol), I’ll give you the headliner: (in most states) once you’re adopted, your birth parents have no legal right to you. Adoption separates the adopted person from the family they were born into, & connects them into the family that is taking them in. Once somebody is adopted, they get all of the rights, privileges, and burdens of the average birth children. I believe that the same thing is true is the spirit realm. Once you accept Christ, what you born into (sin) has no true claim to you; you’ve been adopted into God’s ‘family’, and receive the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. So when you pray, that Spirit verifies you, & says “oh yeah, they’re one of us”. Now, I don’t think that this means that God doesn’t hear people who haven’t said the prayer of salvation, but I do think that it gives us access to what the saints of old called a ‘holy boldness’ when we go to Him. I have more confidence asking for something from my mom than I do a random stranger on the street. Why? She’s my mom. We have a relationship 20 something years strong. I know her. She knows me. I can’t say the same for the average person walking down the street right now.
Because we have this amazing spirit inside of us, the things that may try to take us out only enhance the victory that we get in the end. This may be why in verse 18, Paul says “for I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Your present pain isn’t even comparable to the impact of your purpose. In fact, I believe that your present pain prepares you for your purpose. The sufferings of today have a way of guiding us and molding us for the glory that will be revealed in us. How do we know that a glory will ever be revealed? What actually gives any hope that God isn’t just picking on me for the sake of picking on me? Well, verse 28 reminds us that “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (here’s a post for that) All. Like….everything that’s ever happen, is currently happening, and will ever happen to you….is going to come together for your good. This includes mistakes, slip ups, downfalls, & anything else you feel you’ve done that has ruined God’s plan for your life (random tip: you aren’t that powerful, boo). So it may not feel good, but it’s working for your good. It may not look good, but it’s working for your good. You feel like everybody’s left? His plan is still good. You don’t know how you’re going to survive this? His plan is still good. You now realize that you made the worst decision possible? His plan is still good. He can still raise you up (remember, that Spirit defeated death), use you & use every mistake to enhance the glory. I’m certain of this because in verse 30, he says that “whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified,” which tells me that God has already done the work, you just have to say yes & let Him guide you (honesty moment: it’s harder than it sounds, but it’s soooooo worth it). He took your mistakes, your decisions, and every downfall into account…and He still called you, justified you, and plans to use you for HIs glory. Nothing you’ve done can destroy God’s plan. Nothing that comes against you can shake His plan or HIs authority in the slightest of ways.
This may be why, in verse 31, Paul says “what then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Now, I found a lot of deep deep stuff about ‘these things’, but to me, it’s a little more expansive. In my mind, ‘these things’ include whatever is facing you. Bills, emotional issues, self esteem, insecurities, stress, deadlines, not feeling good enough, etc. are all included in “these things”, and none of them are a match for the God we serve. What would happen if you woke up every morning & said “if God be for me, who can actually stop me?” Well, we may actually live in our highest potential, BUT that’d require us to have a solid grasp of who God is. If you don’t truly recognize or believe that God is undefeated, that He’s brought people out of pits (ever heard of old testament Joseph?), provided power that brought an army’s worth of dead bones to life (Ezekiel 37), walked on water (John 6), made ways (Valencia - 23 years strong), opened doors (me again lol), became “flesh” for the simple sake of dying & getting up 3 days later (Matthew - John)…..you don’t recognize how much power is in that question. Why serve a God that you put in a box? You put yourself in a box. The least you could do is take God out of His.
So just before we part ways for a few days, I want to know, who is God to you? To me, He’s the everlasting one. He’s the one thing in my life that’ll never leave. He’s my refuge. The ultimate creator. The undefeated King. He can’t lie. He hears all, sees all, & heals all. He literally runs the world…and He cares about me. 7 billion people on the planet, and the King of Kings takes delight in making sure that I’m ok. He’s my comforter. The very source of my identity, my peace, my strength, & my joy. He’s my best friend. He knows all that there is to know about me & He loves me anyway. He’s my provider. He’s such a gentleman, because He’s opening doors all over the place. He’s my leader and my protector. He can sit me at tables with people in high places and give me favor with them. He can sustain and elevate me into places I can’t even imagine. His plans for me are higher than my own (and I’ve got big plans). He’s the worker of miracles. He the God that heals, the God that restores, the God that delivers, and the God that set me free. He’s a yoke breaker, a chain destroyer, and the ultimate breaker of strongholds. He’s parted seas, instantly healed sickness, and defeated death….just so I could know that He’s able. It’s in Him that I live, I move, & I have my being, and because I’m living through Him, He’s for me….and if this God be for me….who can actually stop me? Don’t worry…I’ll wait….
Background music: Make God Big - Davarius Crowder & No Condemnation - Ricky Dillard
Words from the Author
At the end of the day, these posts are the thoughts that run through my mind. These are the lessons I've learned. The doors that I've walked through. The path I've chosen. This is part of what it means to be me. Hopefully, it'll help you be...you. Let's grow together, kay?
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