I have a confession to make. As unorthodox as it might seem, I LOVE my grandmother’s wardrobe. And I’m not even embarrassed to say it. The woman has style! I kid you not, the other day I loved the shirt she was wearing, asked her immediately where she got it, and bought it in three different colors the next day. I’ve even gone as far as to shamefully covet her pink Converse shoes that she wore like the boss that she is. So I always joke with her that I want to be put in her will to get dibs on her closet. The truth is I’ve already inherited PLENTY from her already. My mannerisms and characteristics can only be described as her in mini-form. Even down to my little bit of sass. Ok, a lot of sass. Many would call my grandmother, my mom, and me “three generations of the same woman.” I love what I have inherited from those two and love who I am because of them.
Let’s flip the coin here. In a very similar way, I also know that my identity is in Jesus because I have inherited His kingdom and so much more. In the book of Romans, Paul gives a very detailed description of our identity after the Old Testament laws are now sifted through salvation and grace. I’ve heard chapter eight called “The Great Eight” and for a very good reason. It is basically our guide that lays out for us how to allow the law to play into our lives and how we are to live based on faith. Then Romans 8:14-17 specifically confirms that our identity as believers is in adoption as children of God.
Verses 14 and 16 say, “For all who are being led by the Spirit, these are sons of God…the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.” A child of God is led by the Holy Spirit. It is an automatic part of us as soon as we choose to follow Jesus. And what a great gift the Spirit is! He leads, guides, and directs us, and our decision to follow that direction is the clear evidence that we are children of God. The Spirit even testifies on our behalf! It claims us as belonging to God! I think of it as a proud parent at a ball game yelling out to everyone who can hear, “Did you see that catch?! That’s my kid!” And the Spirit is powerful. Back up from our passage in Romans to verse 11 and you’ll see it described as the power that raised Jesus from the dead. This is the Spirit that is leading you sister! It’s time to stop neglecting the Spirit and the power it holds for you.
There have been many moments in my life when I felt the Spirit leading me to do something that either didn’t make sense to me or was way out of my comfort zone. These are moments that can test us to see if we really believe the Spirit leads with purpose and power. Recently, the Lord led me to move from the city I was living in and from a job that I loved because He was doing a new thing in me. I didn’t know what that was. I just knew the Spirit was prompting me to follow. Looking back, I can see the Lord’s plan was good for me all along. It makes sense now. All it took was for me to allow the Spirit to lead and follow His prompting.
Verses 15-16 say, “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.” Think about this theme of adoption for a second. There is an orphan boy with no knowledge of his parents or what it even feels like to have them. He lives his days in the care of complete strangers who do their best but can never fill the hole inside him. Then all of the sudden a couple comes to visit, takes him home with them, and says “This is your home now. We love you unconditionally. You can call us Mom and Dad. Forever.” Can you imagine the joy, security, and confidence that would fill his little heart? This is exactly what the Father does for us! He takes us as hopeless sinners destined for an ugly future and says “I’m going to change all that. I’m going to make you mine, and you will be my child forever. Your future is secure. And you can call me Daddy!” I can’t think of a greater gift than to be able to call my God my Father as well. Knowing we have received this beautiful gift of adoption, it’s so important to realize the inheritance that comes with it.
Verse 17 says, “and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.” As children of God, we are heirs. When I think of the word “heir”, I literally think of an heir to a throne. I picture little Prince George who even at his age of two, still out ranks his uncle, Prince Harry, who has been alive a whole lot longer (and don’t pretend like you don’t keep up with the Royals, and what Princess Kate is wearing this week, and who Prince Harry is dating currently). But like every royal, from the moment we are born again, we receive an inheritance. John 3:36 says “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.” This inheritance is far more than any earthly kingdom. Ours is an eternal Kingdom. Do you realize the power and majesty of what is at your fingertips? The Lord promises that we are fellow heirs with Christ! That’s some powerful stuff to inherit! You have the access and ability to seek the Lord easily for anything you need. Don’t underestimate the inheritance that you’ve received.
Have you heard the parable that Jesus told of the man who was looking for pearls? When he found one of great value, he sold all that he had to buy it. The Kingdom of God is that pearl of great price in the story. It is the prize that the man gave up all his other possessions to keep. It was that important. And even more importantly, it is your inheritance! It is worth more than any earthly possession or inheritance you could ever receive.
As a believer you are adopted as a child of the unconditionally loving God and led by the Holy Spirit in all His power. I can’t think of a better way to spend forever. IF that’s the case, then just like I love to look like my grandmother, I want to look like all that my inheritance gives me. I want to look like Jesus in all that I do, and I want that for you too, friend. Does your life embody the beautiful inheritance you’ve received? I urge you to embrace your identity in Christ and let Him shine through you.
Thank You Lord for the sweet gift of Your eternal inheritance. I pray the we would live in sync with the power that Your inheritance grants us. Show us how to live with an eternal perspective while here on earth. We love You and praise You for the opportunity to look like You and live like You.