We try so hard, don’t we? And we can get so worried about so many things. We spend all our life trying to “pave our way” or “making something of ourselves.” We strive from childhood until we’re old and gray, and why? Some seek peace. Some just want to be respected, or acknowledged. Some just want to feel good about themselves. Some people need something in their life they can look at to feel they had a purpose, and their life wasn’t just in vain. A lot of us live like spiritual orphans. You see, an orphan only has himself to depend on. Everybody else is fleeting and can’t really be trusted. An orphan doesn’t belong to anybody. He’s all alone in a cold world, and he has to make his own way. There’s no one to tell him right from wrong. There’s no one to care for or provide for him. There’s no one to tell him who he is. And there’s no one to tell him why any of it matters. Now, I’m in no way trying to pick on people who’ve been orphaned, but rather trying to relate to the mindset of abandonment. I’m sure you can relate to this. Even if you have a father and mother, we’ve all been disconnected from the Father in heaven, trying to find and make our own way, not sure of our identity or purpose, longing for something true, stabilizing, and lasting. But here’s the good news: The only perfect Father is now accepting sons and daughters freely into the only household that lasts forever!
Romans 8:15 says, “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’” God made the heavens and the earth, seas, skies, mountains, plains, beasts, birds, angels, cherubim, seraphim, an everlasting city of light, filled with His own glory, and He looked down from heaven as all creation rejoiced in His handiwork and said, “there’s a place in My heart and house for you,” before you were ever conceived. You were not made for fear. You weren’t made to worry about money, storms, famines, wars or whatever evil thing is in this present world. Why? Because you were made to be a child of the Most High, in a way that no other created thing can relate to. You weren’t made for the dust of this world. And your destiny and identity doesn’t change based on your circumstances. You were made for the glory and splendor of heaven, to be royalty in the only eternal city, a child of the King of kings and Lord of lords.
You see, we judge ourselves far too often by anything other than what God says about us. We let too many other things determine who we are and what we’re capable of. We judge ourselves by how well we perform, how good we feel, what the people around us think about us, and the truth is none of it makes any difference back home. No matter what you’ve done or left undone, no matter how bad you feel, no matter what people say about you, God’s opinion about you hasn’t changed. The Father gave His only begotten Son to death on the cross so that you could become a “co-heir with Christ,” through faith (Rom 8:17). And then, Jesus was raised from the dead. So we can have great confidence in this promise, seeing that death could not stop God’s faithfulness, and hell could not quench the love of God. The gates of heaven were flung wide open, and all heaven rejoiced for every orphan son or daughter, lost in sin and the world, who received God’s redemption. To this day, those gates have not been closed. And heaven hasn’t stopped rejoicing (Luke 15:7).
We spend our whole life working hard,striving for something to make us secure, something that will be able to stand when all else fails. But, guess what? Whatever you can attain in your own power won’t cut it. No matter how much power you get, how much money you have, how influential you are in the world of man, death will take it all away. Why? Because it’s fragile. If you want a house to last, you have to build it with strong, lasting materials , and the things of this world aren’t strong and won’t last. Others are involved the “New Age,” buddhism, witchcraft, and other deceptions that promise you eternal salvation if you try really hard and know enough.
This was the problem with Egypt. The whole world looked up to them at one point. They lived in luxury, and kept a whole lot of slaves working diligently to make sure it stayed that way. They had a whole host of “gods” they turned to to prosper their ways, give them secret knowledge, and guide them safely into the afterlife. They thought nothing could shake them, until the God of Israel sent plagues upon the land of Egypt, condemning it, and chose to save a bunch of slaves. In doing so, He passed judgment on the gods of Egypt, which were really demons the people worshiped (Ex 12:12, Deut 32:17). And why? To prove in the sight of all men that there is no Savior besides Him (Is 43:11). The Egyptians had done everything in their power to control their world and make themselves secure. They grew comfortable and prideful in their high place, thinking none could deliver out of their hand, and they would never be moved. But in the end, the only thing left standing from the turmoil of Egypt was the faith of a group of desperate slaves, faith in the God who saves.
So, the question is, what gods are you trusting in? What speaks louder than God’s Word in your life? Have you ever made plans, not even wondering what God thought about it? Have you ever decided for yourself what you wanted to do, and done everything in your power to see it through, just to see it all amount to nothing but heartache? Maybe you were even mad at God for not doing more to bless your pursuits, or for not stopping whatever happened. Maybe you’ve even blamed Him for whatever happened, like He was up there waiting to smite you while you were just trying to be a good person. That’s a tough place to be. Sometimes we live like all we have to depend on is our self, like we’re the only one who’s willing and able to make things right. Alone. Yet, we can’t even save ourselves, let alone the whole world. We may spend our whole life a slave to our own need, like the orphan that needs to take his own place, purpose, and provision. Yet, God has called us to the glorious liberty of sonship, to walk with Him in God-given destiny, trusting in His provision all along the way. Proverbs 19:21 says, “There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.” That means if you want something firm to stand on, where you won’t be constantly thrown around with every change in your surroundings, you need to walk in His counsel. Many ways seem good to us, but end in destruction and loss. God’s counsel, however, never changes and is always true.
I’ll share a secret with you. My favorite verse in the Bible is probably the last part of Psalm 23: “And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” The rest of the Psalm talks about how God brings peace, victory, and deeper communion with Him in all situations, in every season. Then, the one phrase that brings every other to an end: “I will dwell in His house forever.” It’s as if the author is saying, “In every battle, I fear nothing. In all my paths, I lack nothing. In all things, God prospers me and gives me peace and richness in heart, over-abundantly. Yet, this one thing is the finality of my life, all of my purpose, and all that I have to hope for: God will take me to His house and I’ll never, ever leave.”
If you have all this world’s treasures, and you lack peace with God, you have nothing. All those things you thought could bring you peace and happiness will fail you, but there’s a merciful Father who loves infinitely and adopts every orphan who sincerely cries to Him, “a Father to the fatherless” (Ps 68:5). Stop trying to be something and just be His. Stop trying to do what you can’t in your own strength, and let Him work in your life. Stop trying to make a safe and secure future, and let Him lead you into it. If you’ve been looking for peace, your road ends here. If you’ve been searching for truth, no one else has it. If you’ve been looking for love, He is. This is where every journey, dream, and quest finds its end: In the house of Abba, Father.