Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Have you ever woke up at night from a bad dream in which you felt lonely, not knowing who you were or where? Then in a few moments as your mental faculties were re-activated, you began to remember good things about yourself. It was like turning your computer on, and in a few moments the software in the "lifeless" machine restores itself to what it was when you went to sleep that night. It regains its identity.
The Holy Spirit permits us to have these fleeting moments of being "orphans," a taste of what it means to "perish." Then He reminds us of John 3:16: the heavenly Father loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you. He did it; it's been done, "that whoever [that's you] believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." He has redeemed you from being an orphan; by election you are a member of His family, a child of God. As you recover from your bad dream, all this glorious Reality is conveyed to you by the renewing of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8 was being demonstrated before your eyes: "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.' The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ ... " (vss. 15-17).
The Holy Spirit convicts you that you can call the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ your Father! You can pray the 23rd Psalm--He is your Shepherd. Do you remember when you were a child how secure you felt if your father was with you? He never threatened to disown you with curses if you should make a mistake! You never got the idea he was planning for you to fail. You never had a sense that he had you on probation. No, you were his beloved child.
That's how Abraham "believed in the Lord" when his faith was counted for righteousness. God had no plans for him to fail! That's why He never threatened him with curses, never asked him to promise anything. It was Father-Son business, "heart religion," not "under law."
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 15, 2003.
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