We are adopted by God

“…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will…” Ephesians 1:4-5 (NKJV)

The very foundation of who we are as Christians is the fact that we were chosen by God. The idea that we are adopted into His family is profound to me.

Shortly after my salvation I stumbled upon a verse in Psalms. Chapter 27, verse 10 says, “When my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take care of me.” I clung to that verse like a lifeline. I thought of it at my wedding, at the birth of my children, when my youngest son fell gravely ill. I’ve considered it every time I have had a challenge or trial; the kind that my parents should have been there to see me through.

It wasn’t until fairly recently when I identified my pity-parties for what they really were. 1. Resentment and 2. a failure on my part to put God in His proper spot as my Father. Humans are just that – human (in addition to being sinners). Looking back on those events in my life – the happy ones, the horrible ones and ones that would change me to my core – I can so clearly see God, my Father, at work.

God whispers to us, screams at us, holds our hands. He carries us and sustains us. Provides for us and knows us. He knows before we do what we’ll need. He is the ultimate parent because he knows every detail, every sinew, every nuance of our very beings. There isn’t another parent on the planet who knows that of their child.

We are adopted by God. Whether we come from happy homes or broken ones. Whether we talk to our parents every day or haven’t spoken to them for years doesn’t matter. We’re in God’s family. He’s blessed many people with amazing earthly parents, but I for one can’t wait to stand before Him and say, “Abba, Father, thank you for taking care of me when no one else would.”

Identity

Our identities are interesting.  As Christians, should we really have identities that resemble anything of the world? On the contrary, shouldn’t our identities be solely found in our relationships with Christ?

As opposed to “the one with the newest fashions” or “the emo one” or “the artist” shouldn’t we simply be “the one who loves Christ?” Isn’t that what we should want?

Don’t get me wrong, there’s isn’t anything terrible about expressing ourselves. Some people do that through their clothes, some through poetry or music, some through how they decorate their home, etc. A problem arises when we display an identity that isn’t sincere or one that emulates popular worldly images and ideals.

I’ve recently started to realize that I spend a lot of time trying to fit in by being different. A contradiction you say? Not really. Think back to high school – the trendiest thing to be was “different.”

I often watch teenagers walk out of a popular store in the mall and can’t help but think they’re in costume. They’re donning black and white striped tights, black combat boots with half their hair shaved and the other half pointing toward the ceiling. How many people in their 40’s and 50’s do you see walking around like that? You don’t. That’s because it’s a phase. A form of self-expression.

Peel away the phases and forms of self-expression and what’s left? That’s the important question.

We’re not how we dress. We’re not what type of car we drive, what our hobbies are or what we do for a living. Christians shouldn’t have to copy trends to feel good about themselves. I completely understand the need most have to feel a little set apart from the crowd. Isn’t that Christianity in and of itself? Isn’t Christianity the greatest rebellion possible?

I Samuel 16:7  says “Do  not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For God does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

God’s not impressed with our identities as they relate to the world. God is impressed with what’s in our hearts – whether we follow Him, seek Him, have compassion and show love and kindness to all people.

Ask yourself not “Who am I?” but rather “Who am I in Christ?” I’m taking a journey of self-discovery to learn that about myself. Come with me. There will be laughs, maybe tears, I will undoubtably learn more about who I am in Him…perhaps you will too.