But Wait! There’s MORE! My devotional today started with Romans
8:14-17 TPT 14 The mature children of God are those who are moved by the impulses of the Holy Spirit. 15 And you did not receive the “spirit of religious duty,” leading you back into the fear of never being good enough. But you have received the “Spirit of full acceptance,” enfolding you into the family of God. And you will never feel orphaned, for as he rises up within us, our spirits join him in saying the words of tender affection, “Beloved Father!” 16 For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as he whispers into our innermost being, “You are God’s beloved child!” 17 And since we are his true children, we qualify to share all his treasures, for indeed, we are heirs of God himself. And since we are joined to Christ, we also inherit all that he is and all that he has. We will experience being co-glorified with him provided that we accept his sufferings as our own.
I saw first a balance between choices/results, cause/effect, if/then. IF we are led by the spirit, THEN by default we become children of God. It's a package deal. We don’t get one without the other. We can’t truly let the Holy Spirit be our guide and stay safely on the sidelines or in the outer courts. When we surrender our life, plan, future to the call of God’s purpose for our life, we are immediately rushed into the inner courts. We are no longer innocent bystanders, watching life pass us by. We are actively in it, children of the King. God doesn’t want to use us as pawns, but do life with us.
But like with all package deals, cue the announcer, "But wait! There's more!"
We are not slaves, we are His children. If we are His children, that makes us heirs to the kingdom. As heirs to the kingdom, we become co-heirs with Christ.
With great power comes great responsibility, and being an heir to the kingdom means that we will share in His glory BUT we can't take the good and ignore the bad. This isn’t a pick-and-choose, build your own bundle. It is all or nothing. We live in a fallen world, the same fallen world where Jesus walked. If we are going to be co-heirs with Him, we will also share in His suffering. Here’s the thing though; we live in a fallen world whether we are led by the Holy Spirit or think we can handle it all on our own. We will have trials, suffering. Bad things will happen to good people regardless, because we have free will and so do all the people around us. Consequences of the choices we make and others make will affect us, with or without God. Why?
Because we are not slaves. We can freely choose, and so can everyone else. Freedom is neutral, it is not good or evil. What we choose to do with our freedom results in the life we live and the lives of everyone we meet (and even many that we will never will). Our choices cause a ripple effect that reaches farther than we could ever see, and so does everyone else’s. Eventually, those ripples will run into one another, for better or for worse. When the ripples collide, I don’t want to be in the boat by myself. I want to be firmly seated next to the one who created the waters.
Romans 8:31-33 TPT 31 So, what does all this mean? If God has determined to stand with us, tell me, who then could ever stand against us? 32 For God has proved his love by giving us his greatest treasure, the gift of his Son. And since God freely offered him up as the sacrifice for us all, he certainly won’t withhold from us anything else he has to give. 33 Who then would dare to accuse those whom God has chosen in love to be his? God himself is the judge who has issued his final verdict over them—“Not guilty!”
BUT WAIT there is still more...
Jump back a little to Romans 8:28 TPT 28 So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.
In other translations, this reads, “God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose."
We may share in His suffering because we live in a fallen world, but God looks at our storms and says "I can work with that, if you will just give it to me.” And like he multiplied Job's prosperity beyond what he ever had before his trials, he takes our suffering and uses it to bring us to the abundant life He came to give us (John 10:10) Nothing is wasted in the kingdom.
Romans 8:28 said, He works these things out for those who love him (choice) and are called according to His purpose (plan).When we choose to let the Holy Spirit lead us into our calling and through our trials according to that plan, we become children of God (Romans 8:14-17). We are invited to ride out the storm safely snuggled in Papa God’s lap. As children of God we will have trials, but we stay firmly seated in the boat with the creator, confident that we will not capsize as the next wave crashes, anxiously waiting to see what goodness the tide will bring in.
John 16:33 TPT 33 And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!”