Posts Tagged ‘children of God’

Go ahead. I dare you. What criteria will you use? There are lots to choose from: kindness, selflessness, sacrifice, humility, and so on. Who do you know? Who’s on the list? Am I? Are you?

I John 3:10
This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

All right, I admit it, I’m being cantankerous. I keep thinking about all the times people say, “Remember who you are, remember that you are a Child of God.” And I wonder, am I only this child positionally (that is, as a result of my belief in the Christ) or is there evidence of my family affiliation? Is there a family resemblance?

Standing in a line-up, do I look any different than I did before Christ?

I am a follower of Christ but have I embraced being a child of God, or as the Amplified translation states, “…by this it is made clear who take their nature from God and are His children. . .”? Am I assimilating the very nature of God?

Or, am I still in the “terrible two’s,”? Investigative three’s? Adventuresome school years? Rebellious teens?

A child, in a happy and secure family, trusts the parent, looks up to the parent, finds comfort in those arms, and is encouraged by the looks and words from the parent. But a child must also grow up. A child must learn to walk in the world and become a parent as well. What is the relationship of an adult child to a healthy parent: respect, appreciation, admiration even, and thankfulness for the gifts of life, love, and wisdom.

I want to grow up.

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I don’t know. There are days I think I should be making an effort to engage angels; they are, after all, part of the other “realm,” the timeless place, the God environment. And I wonder, do they have a hierarchy in such a place? Can a timeless, spiritual entity be spatial?

Hebrews 1:4; 6b
So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. . . . “Let all God’s angels worship him.”

The angels and the saints worship God. And when the Messiah completed the task laid out reuniting human with God, Christ was recognized as worthy of worship, and sat, as they say, at the right hand of God. (Surely this is figurative . . . or is it?)

Based on scriptures, angels act in a great many roles throughout the telling of the Messiah story and his people (in both Testaments). Angels are created beings who worship, yes, but they also carry verbal messages to humans (and nations), they intervene and do battle against evil, and they serve God in a variety of ways from carrying out judgments to manifesting answers to prayer. Are they still doing these tasks?

But my real question is whether there is, anywhere in scripture (or perhaps in experience), an indication that I can have a relationship with an angel?

There is even (academic and not so academic) disagreement as to whether or not there exist Guardian Angels, that is angels which are “assigned” to protect or guard individual souls, particularly children. I know there are personal stories of people sensing or seeing such an angel in times of trouble or sorrow. There are also a few mystics who described interactions with their personal angels and wrote about it.

Can I be like George in It’s a Wonderful Life and chat up my angel? Ask questions, argue, complain, thank? I don’t think so.

But, before anyone gets indignant with me; I’m not saying angels don’t exist. On the contrary, I actually believe they are still among us, still doing the work of God in a variety of ways, still protecting, and still singing love songs to God. But I don’t believe they have relationships with humans. They are too different, too outside our human realm of understanding and perception. It would be like trying to have a relationship with the wind, even though we can see its effects and even predict its behavior, we cannot “know” it.

It is for this very reason that God manifested Jesus in human form, so that we could “get it,” or at least observe and hopefully follow. It’s specifically because Jesus offers a relationship that our experience with God is transformed. He is not the wind but a baby in a manger, a boy in the temple, a teacher on a hill, and a martyr on a cross. And after all this 3-D work, Christ passes along to us the Holy Spirit who dwells within, to guide us some more, to teach us some more and to ultimately heal us.

The realm of God is undoubtedly more diverse and expansive than anything here on earth. And yet, just as humans were made in God’s image, I wonder, is Earth (natural Earth) created after an image as well? And who knows, maybe angels are the creative spark. Something to think about.

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Tree outlined by the sunSt. Augustine wrote, “The New Testament lies hidden in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament.” There are so many symbols, motifs and archetypes that were intended to prepare the people for the coming Messiah. I wonder if this isn’t true for every life?

I Corinthians 10:1b, 3-4
. . . our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. . . . They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

I am not a theologian or an academic and I haven’t actually studied all the correlations between the Old Testament and the New. But Paul alludes to these relationships directly in this passage from I Corinthians 10 with his clouds and water and food and rocks. These words are powerful representations of presence, power, eternity, strength, and much more.

But what is the application of this passage for me? Were there clouds and water in my own short history before I came to the revelation knowledge of the Christ in my life? Did I eat God-food before I recognized it for what it was? Did I lean on a rock that was higher [Psalm 61:2]?

There are so many people and experiences that pass through a life outside of our control. Oh sure, I chose to go to New York to acting school, but I had no control over the makeup of the student body. Tom, who introduced me to the Bible as a living, breathing document, was part of that group. And maybe New Age stuff or fantasy reading may not be the best influence on an impressionable young woman, but it did set my mind on the “other world,” the world of Spirit where truer battles are waged, won and lost. In high school, I chose my friends, but how could I have known that it would be some of their parents who would impact my beliefs for a lifetime. I attended a predominately black public high school during some of the most tumultuous years of black history, led by Martin Luther King, Jr. As a result, I became much more sensitized and aware of cruelties and disparities between people, race to race, poor to rich, old to young. Later, in New York, I would go to school with his daughter, Yolanda, and my circle of understanding grew richer.

Symbols of meaning for me today that grew out of my past: small white lights on a Christmas tree, flowing waters of a stream, winter trees outlined by a setting sun, the purring of a cat, the smell of pine, unending circles like wreaths of fresh flowers or dancers or people holding hands, candles lighting a dark place, rain, stuffed bears, smooth stones, . . .

All of these have come to have much greater meaning to me as an adult. They can take me quickly into the secret place where I can commune. If I feel or hear or touch any of these things, I am with God. And I can only believe, back then, somewhere, somehow, God was with me before I even knew there was a God.

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We each have what is needed to become what God intends. Our destiny is fueled by our giftings, environment, genealogy, and circumstances. Do I like that idea? Not much. I keep trying to run away from my past, my trials, and my circumstances.

I Corinthians 3:21-23
So let no one exult proudly concerning men [boasting of having this or that man as a leader], for all things are yours, Whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas (Peter), or the universe or life or death, or the immediate and [a] threatening present or the [subsequent and uncertain] future–all are yours, And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

For years, I kept searching for the right church, the right leader/teacher, the right community, the right books. I’d hear about incredible anointings upon this church or that church, this leader or that leader and ask God why I didn’t have access to these experiences. I’d read about miracles and outpourings, but always from afar. And with the advent of lightspeed communications, I could hear and see all of these things happening elsewhere.

It’s like daydreaming about winning the lottery. Oh, if only I had a million bucks, then I could really do something good. Why, Lord, I’d even tithe 10% of that million. There’s generosity. And I’ll send another 10% overseas to the missions our church supports in Africa. And then I’ll pay off my debts. I know you want me to do that, it’s scriptural. And then I’ll sock some away for my kids’ education. But once I get past these obligations, I can rub my hands together and really have some spending fun.

When will I get it?

Look in the mirror. This is what I have: my health (for today), my age, my family, my knowledge, my work, my friends, my church, my neighborhood, my pets, my “stuff,” my faith. . . ah, my Redeemer, who really owns all of these things. Remember, I surrendered myself to God. That included the whole package, what it was then and what it became through the years and ultimately, what it will be.

This day, I have everything I need to serve God. It’s up to me to accept all the challenges and circumstances and to live, really live this day fully and to apply all I know to it. I am not a president or a preacher. I am not world renown. I am not a celebrity. I am me and I am called to live this day completely in the name of the One God. That’s all. That’s enough.

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John 1:12, 13b
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God … born of God.

This is the gift of Christ Jesus, to have the flame within ignited by the Spirit of God. We are born… or reborn… this is the root of the saying, “born again.”

As I mentioned before, we all have the light, but our personal light needs to be linked to the Source.

And once that happens, as Paul tells Timothy (2 Timothy 1:6), “… I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you…” We do this through the personal devotion, koinonia [community], and connecting with the flame of others.

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