Being someone who grew up in a loving family, I cannot even fathom what it must feel like to be an orphan or to grow up without personally knowing and receiving love from my birth parents. However I imagine that the way orphans are often depicted in movies is, more often than not, very close to the truth. We often see how the abandoned child grows up feeling unloved and unlovable, and often very distrusting of people, developing an extreme sense of self-reliance, feeling they are the only person they can count on.
I also know that these feelings are often found on the inside of all people. We all struggle with feelings of inadequacy and lack of self-worth. I think it’s because we cannot know WHO we are until we know WHOSE we are. In a previous article we discussed healthy self-talk as it relates to being “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), but here I want to stress our adoption into God’s family upon salvation.
Jesus explains in Mark 3:35 exactly who is in His family:
For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”
Jesus explains that anyone who does the will of God is His family. I believe that accepting and receiving Jesus Christ involves two distinctly different parts. One is our acceptance of Him as our perfect Savior. The next is our surrender to His Lordship, which involves our obedience to His will. The key to living the abundant life is letting go of our selfish ambitions and worldly desires and aligning our will to Christ’s.
However, the amazing God we serve doesn’t stop there at making us part of His family. He goes on to make us KINGS and QUEENS! God is on the throne and we are His HEIR, we are not His ERROR. We were created to REIGN with God in heaven for all of eternity! We must realize that our acceptance into God’s family upon salvation and surrender to His will with our obedience starts the process of us training on earth to reign with Him in heaven.
“And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).
A misconception people often have is that, when we accept Christ, life is going to be sunshine and rainbows from then on. And unfortunately, many so-called pastors teaching the prosperity gospel and Word of Faith teachings are furthering this false idea. When we leave Satan’s family and join God’s family literally: all hell breaks loose. Satan and his demons want us back, they want to regain the ground they’ve lost and often chaos and turmoil ensue in our lives. When this happens, just remember that the same things Satan uses as temptations, God uses to test us and grow our testimony to be a more effective witness for Him.
We were made in the image of God and we share His likeness. By knowing we belong to Him and are HEIRS to His kingdom, we can have the joy and peace that stems from knowing our true identity is found in Christ alone, not the things of this world. We are not an error or mistake. Upon salvation we become HEIRS and have a rightful inheritance awaiting us:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5).
Every person was made with a plan and purpose in mind, and God doesn’t manufacture junk. We are here on earth to TRAIN to REIGN!
What does it look like to reign in your own life? What are you gaining victory over?