After Peter Steicke’s rousing ‘And Suddenly’ presentation at the Lutheran Principals Australia conference in Hobart, I purchased a copy of his most recent book ‘Suddenly’ to delve further into a discovery of God’s true heart for each of us. In the first instance, I was drawn to chapter 7 to explore the whole concept of ‘spirit of slavery’ and ‘spirit of adoption’.
Put simply, spirit of slavery binds us as human beings into humans of doings. It has us believing that we somehow earn God’s favour through what we do, how much we know and by adhering to our systems and practices. When we don’t measure up we become fearful. In other words: Performance = Acceptance = Identity. In reality we can never perform sufficiently to gain acceptance and consequently our identity will always be in doubt.
The spirit of adoption is liberating as this enables us to see God as he really is; a loving and gracious God who holds nothing back from us. When living in this spirit we know whose we are, that is, our heavenly Father’s, and we know who we are – his daughters and sons. This knowledge frees us to live out our true identity. We then have the opportunity to reflect this into the lives with whom we relate in our everyday interactions.
In essence, this was the pivotal message of ’And Suddenly’ at the conference. Our identity is given and received. We can do nothing to earn it, it is freely given to by our heavenly Father. In this way our identity gives us assurance and clarity about where we are going. We will never be able to know truly who we are by starting with what we do. Rather our Identity = Security = Destiny.
My prayer is that you find your identity in the embrace of your loving Father and that this relationship provides you with confidence and assurance to venture forward fully confident that your life’s destiny is in God’s control.