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!
When the prodigal son came to himself, he decided to leave the bondage of slavery in a far country, and go back to his father to negotiate the position of a servant. He reasoned that servant-hood in his father’s house was better than slavery in a foreign, hostile land. So he headed home, “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him… and ran and embraced him, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).
If you have strayed, the devil will aim to convince you that the most you deserve, and should ever get is servant-hood in your father’s house. He will try to cloak you with the spirit of bondage, “but God who is rich in mercy” (Ephesians 2:4) is lavish in his welcome. He doesn’t welcome us with shackles, but with a signet ring. Like the prodigal who returned, God welcomes us with an embrace, and princely robes.
It is “in the bliss of this which we cry, Abba! Father!” When we think of the love of God who throws a party for someone who just threw away his inheritance. It is then that we realize that we have “known (experienced) the love of Christ which passeth knowledge (is incomprehensible)” – Eph 3:19.
Tragically, many of us sons have not known the father’s embrace. The father’s lavish mercy triggers our anger. Like the older brother, we complain about our servant-hood; “These many years I have served thee yet you have not thrown me a party” (Luke 15:29).
When like the older brother of the prodigal son or Martha, we are preoccupied with ‘service’, we run the risk of missing out on the good part, which the lord declares as “the one thing that is needful” (Luke 10:42).
The one thing that God wants us to prioritize is time in His presence. The bigger problem with the prodigal son was not having things; it was going away into a far country. For, the father said to his older brother, “son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours” (Luke 15:31).
Dear father, help me to learn to dwell in your embrace. Help me overcome the initial awkwardness of enjoying you.