Getting back from the retreat in February, the thing that changed the most was how I spent time with God. Early in the morning, I would worship with music, dance, create things, go for walks, paint my nails, sit quietly, read, or write. I would just wake up and say “Holy Spirit, how do You want to spend time together this morning?” I felt a lot more freedom to do different things and not feel like my time with God had to look a specific way or be a formula. God likes to speak to us ALL the time, whatever we are doing!
The theme of what God was speaking to me about in these mornings, especially for March, April, and May, was His love. He was speaking to me (and still is) about His mother-love and His father-love. I would sit with Him and ask Holy Spirit to speak to me about these things, and He did! Isaiah 49 is the primary place where I meditate on the mother-love of God. Romans 8 is the primary place where I meditate on the father-love of God. The Lord was speaking to me about His possession of me, how my primary identity is “His.” Before I am a woman, before I am a sister, daughter, friend, mother, worship leader, pastor, teacher, or even my own, I am His. And if you follow Jesus, You are first His, too!
On my birthday in April, the Lord began speaking to me very clearly about His very literal adoption of me and all of His children. When we become Christians and choose to follow Jesus, our family of origin changes. The verse that He highlighted is John 1:10-13…
“He entered our world, a world he made; yet the world did not recognize Him. Even though He came to His own people, they refused to listen and receive Him. But for all who did receive and trust in Him, He gave them the right to be reborn as children of God; He bestowed this birthright not by human power or will but by God’s will.”
The amazing thing about this change in our family of origin is that it causes love to INCREASE! As we are united more and more with Perfect Love (God), we will love one another rightly, both within our biological family and our spiritual family (and if your parents and siblings are Christians, then they are ALSO a part of your spiritual family!). We no longer “love” just with human sentiment, but with the very love of God (and there really is no other REAL love besides the love of God). We no longer “love” from a place of selfish ambition, fear, or control, but from selflessness, joy, and freedom! When we recognize that every person on the earth was made in the image of God and belongs to Him first, it helps us honor and care for each other differently than if we think that people (even our own children) FIRST belong to us. We all FIRST belong to Him, and THEN one another.
Knowing that we first belong to our Daddy God takes so much pressure off… of everything! It takes the pressure off me to have to feel like I know everything- my Daddy put His Spirit in me to be my perfect teacher and help me know just what to do in every circumstance. It takes the pressure off me to have to fix everyone- my Daddy knows everyone a lot better than I do and He lets me know how to help the people He leads me to. It takes the pressure off me having to have my future perfectly planned- only my Daddy knows exactly what my future holds and His Presence is always with me as my Helper. My only “job” in my relationship with Him is to come to Him and to look to Him- and even then, Psalms says that He is the lifter of my head and my eyes. He is a VERY responsible Papa and He doesn’t overlook a single detail or moment of my life… or yours.
“IT IS YOUR JOB,” SAYS THE LORD, “TO BE LOVED OUTRAGEOUSLY… I WILL LOVE YOU OUTRAGEOUSLY ALL THE DAYS OF YOUR LIFE.”