For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father! The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God. And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory. Romans 8:15-17 [AMP]
One of the things that jumped out at me today (with the topic of Spiritual Warfare on my mind with Romans 8) is this whole aspect that there is so much language around “Spirits” in Romans 8…at least the first 17 verses for sure.
- Spirit of Life
- Spirit of Adoption
- Spirit of God
- Spirit of Jesus
- Spirit Himself
- Holy Spirit
In all of the passages describing these ‘Spirits’, it is all in the context of relationship with ‘our Spirit’. It is the aspect of God that we have direct communion with and is the intercessor between us and the throne room. When we first become saved and the gift of God’s Spirit is given to us, it is like a new friend we must get to know. This friend however is like having the most perfect version of a Dad you can think of with you where ever you go. What is a even more important aspect of this Dad is that He adopted us; and although we knew Him well enough to know that we needed His grace and mercy to save us from our sins, He has so much more wisdom and knowledge (TRUTH) that we must get to know and understand in order to effectively fight these fleshly bodies we live in everyday.
So, not only do we have the Spirit of the Creator of the universe as our adopted Dad Who wants nothing more than for us to know Him has much as possible…but, He also has set aside an inheritance for us as His newly adopted kids. This perfect Dad, Who loves us more than anything we can think of, Whose Spirit lives within us (giving us access to the same power that has already conquered the evil one), and Who has laid up for us an inheritance fit for a king.
Now we get to verse 17b — “only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.” This suffering is nothing to shake a stick it at. This is everything Jesus endured as a man here on earth (grief, sadness, betrayal, sorrow, pain, broken relationships, etc) with the added persecution He said we would all receive if we followed Him.
My biggest learning from today (and the previous days) is that my number one goal should be to connect so closely with the Spirit of God Who lives within me, that several things become normal.
- Being able to discern what He wants me to do moment by moment
- To stop speaking to God in prayer like He is “up there somewhere”…no, He is right here within me
- I should live everyday knowing that I might find suffering right around the corner
- I should also live everyday knowing that my suffering now results in ‘Sharing Jesus’ glory’ in eternity
- Wake up every morning with a heart so close to God that the devil and his demons say, “oh shoot, he’s up!!”