Late last night, very late last night, after a long Presbytery meeting and far too much coffee, I lay in bed reading Galatians. In chapter 4 Paul writes:
4-7But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance. (The Message)
What caught my eye and stimulated my already overactive mind, was the phrase complete access to the inheritance.
The last time I was in Holland, my daughter and I stopped by a castle. Unfortunately the castle was completely fenced off, but that was okay because we had really come to see the cemetery. The castle grounds included a small cemetery and every headstone that we could see had the dates of birth and death of people who had the same surname as my father. The family joke is, of course, that we are descended from royalty.
So last night I got to thinking. After a long late Presbytery meeting and too much coffee, never a good idea…..I got to thinking, what if I went up to that castle, birth certificate in hand and demanded that I be given complete access to my inheritance. What’s the worst they could do, laugh in my face and say NO. Then I started wondering if there could be something worse than that, what if they said yes, and I found myself in possession of the keys to the castle, which was large, drafty and expensive to upkeep, and the responsibility to maintain (at great expense) a centuries old cemetery. To make matters worse there was probably a nasty old caretaker with a wooden leg who would kill us all in our sleep. (Give me a break, folks this was a fantasy fueled by an overtired brain, after a long Presbytery meeting and too much coffee.)
Fortunately the Spirit intervened in my musings and I started to reflect on the inheritance that I have in Christ Jesus. No expensive buildings. No sinking cemeteries. No evil, nasty caretakers. Just the love and grace of God who says to us: “In Christ Jesus I have made you whole. In Christ Jesus I have made you my child, and if you are my child, you have the inheritance of all of the riches of heaven.” Every thing that is Christ’s is also mine.
Faith allows me to say with confidence, everything that God has, is mine. Therefore I lack nothing, unless I fail to ask for it, or neglect to use it for my own edification and the building up of the church. All I have to do is go up to the door with my birth certificate in hand and ask for what I need and God will willingly give it to me from the rich treasure store of heaven.
What holds us back from asking?
- We are held back because we don’t know, or don’t believe that what is God’s is ours.
- We are held back because we don’t know what is in the store room.
- We are held back because we don’t have the confidence or the boldness to ask.
In order to know what God has for us, we need to spend time with God. We need to search his word, we need to pray, we need to worship with other believers who have learned what God wants to give them and will gladly share with us from God’s riches. And then we need to trust that God is a loving father, who will give us everything we need whenever we ask for it.
What about you? What’s holding you back.