Author | Speaker | Encourager


How Does Being Adopted Change Our Relationship With God?

sad-623848_640Do we truly see ourselves as God’s adored kids?

I recently had the privilege of visiting Expression58 and hearing Jennifer Toledo speak.

She shared how she had been lamenting to the Lord her lack of a testimony. Having been raised with an intimate relationship with the Lord, there was no riveting dark alley conversion.

He then gave her His view of her testimony. In a vision of black and white, He showed her walking a path along with a multitude of people. As she walked, she noticed a castle with a beautiful king, all in brilliant color. Her little girl heart wished that somehow the king would rescue her and take her into his castle.

The king left his castle and started walking, pressing through the crowd of people until he came to her. He knelt down, looked into her eyes and said, “You. I choose you! I want to be your Daddy. Will you be my little girl?”

He took her into the castle where she lived. Then one day he gently explained, “Living in the castle is so different from how you lived out there. In the castle you get beautiful clothes, but out there you got dirty. But in here I wash you and clean you up.”

He continued, “You need to understand that you’re really adopted. I am really your father and you are really my daughter. You need to learn how to talk, how to think and how to live as royalty and stop thinking like a slave.”

Jennifer paused and looked at the congregation, “That’s all of our testimonies.”

In The Message, Eph. 1:3-8 says, “…Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ… Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—–free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free!”

That, my friend, is good news!

As Jennifer said, “He wants to make us holy by His love, not by a whip.”

Why is it that we anticipate punishment instead of goodness from His hand and judgment instead of loving kindness from His heart?

I think it is because we let a legalistic spirit talk to us about what we perceive as our lack—–our lack of time spent with Him, our lack of praise worthy motives, our lack of goodness.

But that thinking makes us the source of our own goodness. What if we dug deeper and truly understood what it means to be forgiven, to be given robes of righteousness, to be called His children instead of slaves.

Are children expected to have the maturity of adults? To be mistake and sin free?

I think we tend to believe that if we “know” the Bible, we are held to more exacting standards of behavior? But I wonder if that just proves that we may know the letter of the law but don’t understand the law of love.

102072222_8078f7e27b_zAs Jennifer said, we try so hard to grow fruit, but it’s not our job to grow fruit. It’s our job to remain as the branch. Fruit is the byproduct of abiding in Him.

Just as blood takes nutrition to every cell in our body, it also takes away all the waste. Spending time with God is like blood flowing through your spirit. All His goodness comes to us, and He gently works with us to remove all that causes harm.

He showers you with His love where you are, with no condemning glances at whatever sin you find yourself in.

He so wants you to know how dearly loved you are, how delighted He is with you. How He longs to take you deeper into His heart and His nature.


Father, please show us how to live in You, in Your nature. How to abide and what that looks like. Break off all that comes from a condemning spirit that lies about who we are. Give us a vision of how you see us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Lonely Girl photo via Pixabay

Girl & Dad photos by James Chew via Flickr


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