The Power of Belonging

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” - Romans 8:15

So there you are: your day is going awesome. You woke up in a great mood, energy at 11. You started your day with a delicious cup of coffee and a sweet quiet time with the Lord. You listened to K-Love on the radio during your commute and the playlist was selected just for you—every song spoke straight to your heart.

You get to work and a co-worker who has always been antagonistic any time you mention church asks you to pray for them. Everything seems to be going so well. Even at lunch, the server comps the queso for the table, and we all know that free queso just tastes better.

It’s the perfect day.

Then it hits you. Like a nuclear bomb. Crippling anxiety out of nowhere. A memory of something dumb you said or did in high school or somewhere buried in your younger years jumps into your mind and all the sudden you’re kicking yourself.

You feel worthless. The collective weight of your sin just pours out of the woodwork and piles on. Fear takes over. Anxiety tightens your chest. What would your friends today do if they heard what you said back then? What would they do if they knew you thought something like that? What about that thing you told so-and-so?

How could anyone trust someone like me?

You may have heard the song that says, “I’m no longer a slave to fear,” and suddenly that phrase has a new meaning. In that moment, you are a slave to your fear. The anxiety owns you. It’s such a vivid and raw picture.

How can God redeem someone like me?

The Thief

You see, the enemy wants to see you stuck. He can’t take your eternal security, no matter how hard he tries. He can’t have it. When you belong to Jesus, you belong. And nothing can separate you from Him.

The enemy knows that. So what does he try to do? He tries to steal your joy. He tries to make you feel worthless and useless.

He tries to steal your fire.

The enemy tries to bury you in the crippling doubt and anxiety that you’ll never be able to dig your way out of the pile of filth you’ve built up.

He wants you to dwell in your weakness. He wants you to be distant from God—to make your bed in the depths of Sheol.

Are you ready for the good news yet?

The Good News

There’s nowhere we can go that God won’t pursue us. Jesus has set us free. Jesus proclaims his victory and his promise of liberty in Luke 4:18-19.

When we received Jesus, we didn’t receive a spirit of fear. The good news is that we’re no longer slaves. No longer slaves to our past. No longer slaves to the sins we hold over ourselves. No longer slaves to the temptations the enemy flings our way. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” - Romans 8:1.

If we’re in Christ, the old things can’t keep us captive any longer. Sin has no power over us.

Child of God, hear this today: “Neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” - Romans 8:38-39

So you know what? When the enemy tries to steal your fire—when the weight of all you’ve done tries to collapse in on you—say no. He can’t have it. You’re a child of God. And there is no condemnation left for you.

So go on, keep having that perfect day.

As further encouragement, read Psalm 139:7-12.