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!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. Rom. 8:15-16
Gracious Father, on any given day, in any given hour, a number of voices contend for our attention. There are the voices of from the past, sometimes yammering loudly, sometimes just nickel-and-diming our peace away with the refrain “You still don’t have a clue, do you? You haven’t changed one bit. Why would God ever love someone like you? Didn’t I tell you you’d never amount to much? If people really knew who you are . . .”
Then there are the voices of the present, often hijacked by our defeated enemy, Satan. His incessant scheme is to tempt, seduce, then accuse us—doing everything possible to rob us of our enjoyment of the gospel. Sometimes he shouts; more often he whispers; always he’s conniving and always he’s condemning.
Then there are the voices from the future, usually fueling our fears and shame with suggestions like “You’re not as sharp as you used to be, are you? You’ll probably be forgotten, won’t you? You’ll eventually end up alone, right? Why do you think God will welcome someone like you into heaven?”
But then, hallelujah, there’s the voice of the Holy Spirit. Oh, how we praise you for that one voice which transcends and trumps every other voice—the gossiper of the gospel, the herald of our healing, the bearer of beauty, the messenger of mercy, the singer of sanity, the cantor of Christ—God the Holy Spirit testifying with our spirits that we are your bought, belonging, and beloved children. How we praise you for the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Abba, Father, by the Spirit of sonship, continue to free us from all of our slavish fears—past, present, and future. May the Spirit speak so loudly that every dark voice is muted. May he speak so clearly that every deceiving lie is silenced. May he speak so convincingly that every paralyzing doubt is routed. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.