No White Flag

We are children of God. But what does that mean? I am not sure we really think about it much or comprehend the depths of its meaning.

I have four children. They were born physically to me. I love them with every fiber of my being. I would willingly die for any of them. We understand that God gave His own Son to die for us. We know what a great sacrifice that was. While I would die for my own children I would not let one of my children die for someone else, not even someone I love let alone a sinful person I do not even know.

We know that through Christ's death we were able to become children of God. But Christ's death was a one-time event. What does it mean in our daily lives that we are children of God?

Sometimes I think we view God as a hard taskmaster, watching every move we make, ready to grab us by the hair of the head and fling us off to hell at the first minor infraction. But is that how we feel toward our children?

We teach our children. We discipline them. We watch over them to make sure they do not hurt themselves. When they are little we kiss their boo-boos to make them feel better. We take care of their physical needs. But what happens when they fail to obey us? And are we watching just to catch them disobeying or do we hope they will not mess up and even sometimes turn our heads and pretend not to notice some of their shenanigans?

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Our children are in our family, generally obeying us although they probably fail in that endeavor every day and sometimes more than once a day. But they are walking with us, doing their best (most of the time), and we continue to love them even at their worst. We certainly do not disown them and push them out the door every time they make a mistake.

And, yes, the mistake might be willful and it might be horrible. Our children might deliberately go against our will, even for a long period of time, and we still consider them our children and love them as much as we ever did. Most likely, in some ways, once they are grown, they will always go against our wishes. And yet we still love them and still claim them, and even brag on them to others. We hold out hope for them. We never give up on them. Sometimes we even say to them, "No matter what you do, I will always love you."

We are in the family of God. Do we think we love our children more than God loves us? Do we think we have more patience with our children than God has with us? Do we think we believe in our children more than God believes in us? Do we think we offer our inheritance to our children under more dire circumstances than God offers His to us?

I heard a song a few years ago that reminds me of how I feel toward my children.

I will go down with this ship,
And I won't put my hands up and surrender.
There will be no white flag above my door.
I'm in love and always will be.
("White Flag," by Dido)

I think God feels the same way about us. He will not give up on us. We do not need to spend our days in fear of Him, at least not in the kind of fear we sometimes have. We should always honor, revere, respect, and obey Him to the best of our abilities, but we do not need to live in fear that He is looking down in anger at us when we sin. He is our Father. We are His children. He loves us. When we are weak and stumble, I am sure that God's heart looks even more tenderly upon us, just as we look more tenderly upon our own children when they are caught up in wrongdoing. How many times have we ourselves "left the ninety and nine" to go after the one that is falling by the wayside?

God, like earthly parents, does not take our wrongdoing into account when we are walking in the light. He covers our sins with the blood of Christ.

1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

This does not, of course, mean that we do not commit any sin once we become children of God. We sin just like everybody else does. But we are children of God and "his seed remaineth" in us.

What a blessed thought! God is our Father and we cannot sin! He will keep us and help us stand before Him just as we keep our own children. As long as we walk in the light and have our hearts turned toward God, seeking to do His will and not turning our backs on Him, He will love us, own us, and claim us.

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

If we are children of God we can boldly proclaim:  "No fear!" God is our Father, and we are home and safe. We may leave Him but He will never leave us. And even if we leave, He will be waiting and watching for us, as the father of the prodigal son did, ready at a moment's notice to welcome us back home, no questions asked and with no change in our status with Him.

Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God is our Father. He is in love with us, and always will be. Abba, Father!

Tina Rae Collins

August 15, 2006