Day 5: Encountering God
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.[Paul’s Concern for the Galatians]
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? – Galatians 4:4-9
Conversation with God leads to an encounter with God. Prayer is not only the way we learn what Jesus has done for us but also is the way we receive the benefits of being with God. In Tim Keller’s book, Prayer, he says, “Prayer turns theology into experience. Through it we sense his presence and receive his joy, his love, his peace and confidence and thereby we are changed in attitude, behavior and character.” When the apostle Paul wrote this to the church in Galatia, he described prayer as knowing God and being known by him, that God can actually BE our happiness.
Questions to ponder:
- Re-read the passage from Galatians above. Paul uses a variety of terms to describe what it means to have a relationship with God (heirs, adopted). How many descriptors can you find?
- In verse 6, the term Abba is Aramaic and it signifies the close relationship of a father and child. It is an expression of deep affection and trust. It was Paul’s hope that we could come to God not seeing him as imperfect, broken earthly father (as all are), but rather a perfect father who is always there to hold you up. Does that feel like a stretch to see God as a perfect father?
Maybe today is the day to see God as the perfect father. Talk to him as someone who cares deeply about you and all the things that concern you. Our prayers are always heard.