15 You did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!”
My good friend scored some stellar tickets to a concert where her favorite band was playing. Not only did she get great tickets, but because she had connections and knew some people who had the right “hook-ups” to get backstage, she scored the royal treatment with a true VIP experience. They explained to her some guidelines for safety and security purposes, and then off she went backstage to meet, eat, laugh and chat in the green room with the band. She also was given a tour and other perks, which made this what she calls a “bucket list” experience.
Although we might not all be concert people, there is an analogy to this experience in Romans 8. Paul mentions the things God offers us, things like life and peace. He describes the Holy Spirit as the “connector” who has the “hook-up,” and then lays out guidelines to follow so we can experience life to the fullest degree. It is our responsibility to receive the invitation and respect the boundaries God has placed for us so we can experience life the way He intended it to be lived.
Not only does God want us to have these gifts, He also wants us to experience them to the highest levels by offering us the fullness of His Spirit. He speaks in verse 15 about living freely versus living like a slave. Although “boundaries” might be a kinder word than “law,” it can still seem like restrictive living: don’t do this…don’t do that…don’t mess up here.
However, Romans 8:15 doesn’t speak of these boundaries as laws, but as truths to guide us into receiving and experiencing all God has offered us. His intent isn’t to be legalistic, in the sense that we are slaves who “have to” do certain things. Rather, He calls us to the posture and mindset of realizing we “get to” experience life in its fullness!
Maybe in your life you don’t have the “hook-ups,” or you don’t know the right people to get into a concert for a VIP experience. That’s okay. You know the ultimate connector, and He’s got all the best “hook-ups” in the world. God is not twisting your arm behind your back and hovering over you in shame. Rather, He offers you the VIP experience of fullness of life through His Spirit.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What next step can you take to live fully and freely in Christ?
- How are you living in the fullness of Christ?
- What fingerprints of the Spirit do you see your life?
Pray for perseverance for our church family’s global workers. Pray they would hope in Christ daily before a task that can seem insurmountable. Pray they will continue to deeply trust that God is working in the people they are committed to reach.