Recently, I heard someone tell me the story of a missionary in Africa who takes in orphaned children and gives them a home.
When this missionary first introduces a child to her home, she says, “everything in this house is yours. Everything, even all the food in the fridge.”
Because the missionary took these orphans in and gave them an identity as her child, they had every opportunity to walk up to the fridge in the middle of the day and ask for a snack.
Instead—and quite often—the missionary would find that children new to her home would sneak to the fridge in the middle of the night to eat, acting as if they were a thief or a robber rather than a son or daughter.
In the Bible, we know God calls us his sons and daughters. But, how many times do we find ourselves acting like an orphaned child who still doesn’t realize they have a Good Father taking care of them?
We act like orphaned children when we:
-rely on ourselves rather than God.
-live as though we have to earn God’s love and grace.
-see religious activities (praying, reading the Bible) as a duty rather than a pleasure or delight.
-strive for the acceptance and approval of other people.
God loves us, and He wants us to live out of the confidence that comes from belonging to Him.
He gives us freedom by calling us into dependence.
When you’re dependent on God and see Him as Father, you don’t have to worry about figuring out things on your own. You couldn’t do it on your own anyways.
Instead, surrender your control to Him. Realize you don’t have to sneak around at night and fight for whatever food you can get because the whole refrigerator is already yours. And He’s going to give you exactly what you need when you ask.
I love the way Peter describes his surrender to God at the beginning of 2 Peter. He uses a single, but jam-packed word—bondservant.
The word bondservant in Greek refers to a person who after seven years had no more debt, but chose to stay with a master because being surrendered was far better than being out on his own.
This is our opportunity with God—He himself has paid our debt (because there’s no way we can earn that!), and He allows us the opportunity to be in relationship with Him, to stay dependent on him and let him provide for our needs.
But God isn’t going to force this on us, He will wait potentially forever for his kids to come home.
Much like the prodigal son, who returns to his father after years of struggling on his own, when we “come home” to God, He forgives and no longer sees all the ways we’ve hurt or sinned against Him by not trusting Him. He also gives us full access to Him and the inheritance that belongs to his son Jesus.
Although we receive all these things from God, like the prodigal son who was given a ring and a robe, in the end, we find out that the greatest treasure in all the household is the Father Himself.
Author | Lindsey Conway