Romans 8:14-17 has some helpful insights into how God listens to those who have put their faith in Jesus. He hears us as sons!
Even the ladies
14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God,
Some ladies may feel uncomfortable being called “sons”, you shouldn’t. Because sonship is about inheritance. The first born son inherited the father’s property, belongings and perpetuated the family name. Woman in Christ are sons in that they too receive the inheritance and status of the sons of God. Besides guys have to be the bride of Christ, I’m in a spiritual wedding dress right now:)
God is your Father…exclusively.
God is not Father to all. God is your Father, creator of all but only Father to you. You have been adopted into his family. Holy Spirit does many things but do you know he is the Spirit of adoption. He takes you in, he cleans you up and brings you into your Father’s presence. Holy Spirit is not an ‘it’, he is a person, with a personality, and right at the beginning of your walk with God he takes you in like little orphan Annie, cleans you up, puts a song in your heart and seals your adoption into the family of God.
Let your Father fight for you
15For you did not receive a Spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a Spirit of adoption.
Paul was a Jew and he understood slavery. The Israelites were slaves in Egypt. They lived in fear. They were oppressed. They had a master. A master they did not want. A master that did not love them. A master that used and abused them. So, they cried out to their Father. And the bible says “He heard their cry”. So their Father said unto Pharaoh
“Israel is my first born son… (You better check yourself before you wreck yourself Pharaoh) Let my son go that he may worship me. But you refused to let him go; now I will kill your firstborn son.” Ex 4:22-23.
See, I grew up in Mitchells Plain. And I had these kids in my class who were like my dad’s age, that’s how many time they had failed. They bullied everyone. And because my family was quite poor my parents had to budget. They would buy my school shoes 3 sizes too big for me. They said I would grow into it. I had big feet as it was and I was very thin and tall and my school pants fitted like a three-quarter manga. I looked like Michael Jackson during puberty. My mom would say to me, “oh you’re built to be a swimmer my boy…the perfect feet”. That’s how I grew up. So, the bullies noticed me, because it was hard not to notice me and when they walked passed me they would step on my feet and shout “lang foete, his got flippers”.
So, one day I eventually broke down and came home crying. The next day my dad came into the school. He went with me and asked me who was bulling me. I pointed out the group of young adults and my dad went over to them and told them to leave me alone or else he would come back and give them such a hiding that they would pee in their pants. True story! That was the last time they bullied me. Then I joined their group and bullied other children. Because only Jesus changes hearts. But I remember feeling so safe because my dad was jealous for me. Don’t mess with me, or I’ll tell my dad.
This is so ingrained in us. You ever watch little children get into the ‘my dad is better than yours debate’? When you’re a kid you just trust in your Father’s strength. Jesus says you are a kid, and you have a good dad, and he wants to fight for you, so pray. Life may have told you that God doesn’t answer prayer, but give it a shot…Ask and it will be given, because your Father is good and loves you.
Reminding you who you are
When we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
Before any epic battle scene you will have the main character reminding his opponent who he is.
“My name is Maximus Desmus Arilius, commander of armies of the North, General of the Pheolix allegiance, loyal servant of the true emperor Marcus Aralius, Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife, and I will have my vengeance in this life or the next”
Or if you are a local you’ve heard…
“Hallo ken jy vir my? Do you know who I am?”
Similarly we need constant reminders who we are, because this produces security and confidence. In prayer we are reminded who we are, in prayer the Father holds you close and tells you “I’m your Father, you are my son, I will defend you, its going to be ok”, “suck it up, I’m with you” in prayer the heart is comforted through the Holy Spirit by the love of God. He said when you “cry out” or “shout aloud” Abba Father, daddy, papa, it is the Spirit reminding your spirit, it the Spirit speaking into the deepest, innermost, private part of you saying you are a little child and I am your Father.
You may say “Oh God they say I am worthless” “Oh God they said I will never be able to do it” “Oh God I feel like I will never be forgiven..”
But as you pray the Spirit comes into the deepest part of your hurt, and says “you are my son, you are my daughter, I’m going to fight for you and it’s going to be ok”. That’s what happens when you pray like a son. This is balm for the soul. Prayer in the Holy Spirit is the most satisfying spiritual discipline.
Nothing else will satisfy your soul. The last verse is all about suffering for glory.
Headed for Glory
17 And if children, then heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ- if in fact we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
It’s not necessarily going to be easy though. Our Father has not promised to take us out of this sinful, broken, evil age. He has not promised to make us happy. Some of you where happier before you got saved. You had a man (In fact you may have had a few men). Now, you’re sitting around, high and dry, all dressed up… So you stopped praying, because it’s not going the way you wanted it. You were happy when you were unsaved. Now, God has messed up your plans. And if you don’t know that he is good, that he is your Father, you are going to think your life is going nowhere.
Your Father will change the bearing and direction of your life and despite what it may look like you are headed for glory. It’s around the corner! That’s where this roads leads. Next stop Gloryville! He promised you that your suffering will lead to glory.
He has not withheld anything from you, he has given Jesus, he has given Holy Spirit and all this even though most of us don’t pray very much. Yes we thank him for his provision, yes we thank him for his grace, yes we thank him for his patience, but God we lift up a shout of praise for you have given us yourself! Because when we are down and out, he has never left us, even when we grow cold and complacent he remains faithful, even though we turn to ‘him or her’ instead of you, you keep pursuing us.
You are my Father, you love me and I will worship you, get out of my way bitterness, get out of my way depression, get out of my way anxiety, this son has been set free, this daughter has been set free indeed.