When it comes to a relationship with God, there is nothing worse than insecurity and nothing better than enjoying an ongoing intimacy and confidence in your relationship.
Q1. Honestly describe your relationship with God. Be descriptive - how does your relationship feel, how do you maintain it, and so on?
The incredible truth is that in Christ we have been adopted by God. Whether or not we feel like children of God, this is reality. But God wasn’t satisfied with simply adopting us; He wanted to be sure that we would feel like children of God. Paul says that God gave us the Holy Spirit for that very reason: “Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Gal. 4:6).
That term “Abba” was the most endearing way to address a father. The modern equivalent would be the word “Daddy.” Let the significance of this hit you. It’s incredible enough that we can call almighty God our Father. But then He sends the Holy Spirit into our hearts and prompts us to cry out to Him, “Daddy!”
Q2. What is the significance of Paul’s statement here? How should it affect your relationship with God to know that He sent the Holy Spirit into your heart to cry out “Abba!”?
Read Romans 8:12–17. In this passage, Paul makes basically the same statement. We have it confirmed once again—the Holy Spirit lives within us in order to convince us that we are God’s children: “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).
Q3. Most of us experience situations where our guilt or perfectionism keeps us from enjoying intimacy with God. In times like these, how should the truth of Romans 8:15–17 restore our intimacy with God?