In the Family of God (Romans 8:11-17)

Look up, child, you are in the Family of God

At the beginning of Romans 8 we learned the value of our thoughts: the mind set on the Spirit versus the mind set on the flesh.

Further Scriptures help us to understand how God takes our thoughts seriously.

Psalm 94:11a reads: “The Lord knows the thoughts of mankind… and Psalm 139:2 reads: You know when I sit down and when I stand up; you understand my thoughts from afar.

Children – Like Family Loved

This “familiar knowledge” that God knows us so intimately is a good place to start learning how all believers are in the family of God: Romans 8:11-17.

My daughter is adopted. Cheri Dawn came into our family a stranger at six months, knowing nothing of our language, our ways, or our family. Cheri Dawn was born in Turkey and lived almost her entire known life, up to that point, in an orphanage. She was thrown away by here birth mother.

When I brought her home, they had clothed her in three layers of clothes, as if I wouldn’t be able to provide for her. She neither cried nor fused or moved in any way. I removed the layers of clothes to inspect her health. Nothing on the surface revealed the problem. I passed my finger over her eyes and she did not follow them. I clapped my hands loudly, and she did not respond.

Was she deaf? Was she blind?

I immediately took her to the nearest English-speaking doctor. He informed me that she was physically fine, but in the final phases of willing herself to die. His solution? “Place her comfortably in a corner of the house and let her die.

My husband and I couldn’t do this because we believed his diagnosis. Love her we did. For days on end we held her, talked to her, and showed her love. A month later, we returned to the doctor for another examination. He responded in disbelief, “Are you certain this is the same child I examined before?

Love conquers all.

Her Turkish name was Seher which means “breaking of the early morning.” That was in the past when she was unloved. We changed her name to Cheri Dawn – my beloved in the breaking of the early morning.

Once we were named death and now as beloved children of God we are named life – children of the Light.

Children, Like Family Intimately Known

We are adopted into the family of God.

He sees us, but we can’t see Him. He knows us intimately and cares enough to adopt us. With joy in our hearts let’s cry, “Abba! Father!” The indwelling spirit brings Him to our mind, and this is a good thing.

For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons.

Romans 8:14

The Lord does not place us comfortably in a corner to let us die. No, He died to give us eternal life because of His great love for us. The Holy Spirit assures us we are daughters of the Most High God.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to lead, guide, help, instruct, correct, and so much more, the children of God. The Father cares about our thoughts, our ways, and future just like any good Father.

Children, Like Family of the Same Mind.

We are His children, mindful of Him. Without the Holy Spirit, the truths of God are foreign to us. They cannot be received nor understood. Without the Spirit and His transforming power at work in us, we would be ignorant, unlearned children of the world dying a singular death.

This is not what Father God wants for His children. He wants us led by the Spirit, keeping our minds dependent on Him.

You will keep the mind that is dependent on you in perfect peace, for it is trusting you. Trust in the LORD forever because in the LORD, the LORD Himself, is an everlasting rock.

Isaiah 26:3-4

The Holy Spirit is real.

We need to trust Him – His mind is set on us. He gives wisdom, knowledge, and understanding the world cannot grasp. As we embrace the ways of God, we discover joy in relationship. Our minds are satisfied, our souls refreshed because we are in the family of God and led by the Holy Spirit.

Children, Like Family Instructed and Corrected to Maturity

I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with My eye on you, I will counsel you… Many pains come to the wicked, but the one who trusts the LORD will have faithful love surround him.

Psalm 32:8 and 10)

Because of the Spirit of life, we can live as sons and daughters of God. Like my daughter who lived in fear before we adopted her, we no longer need to live in fear or will ourselves to die. God knows our past, cares for us today, and has our good future planned out.

Our relationship with Him is personal, intimate, and real. We need only be led by the Spirit—live the “with God” life in the family of God.

The Holy Spirit is our witness.

His testimony is true. He testifies to our spirit that we are truly God’s children. This is not a figment of our imagination or hopeful thinking. We’re heirs, joint heirs with Christ.

Children, Like Family, Never Forsaken.

Granted, we live in a fallen world with sorrow, grief, and sickness. We are not immune to them, either. But the difference is that we, as children of God, do not need to walk alone. The Holy Spirit is with us. Where the Spirit is there is Christ and where Christ is so there is the Father.

Take comfort in knowing you are in the family of God – His beloved child.

The Holy Spirit, we received indwelling in our soul, is not silent nor dormant. He moves to lead and teach us rightly.

He is here, Abba Father. As near as the breath you breathe and as close as the beating of your heart. He walks with you and talks with you in the power of the Spirit of life. Accept your place at the family table and you will never regret it.

Our relationship is secure in Him—not as children of darkness, but children of Light. Praise God for the move of the Holy Spirit on your soul to lead you into His blessed will – the will of the Father for His child.

So great is His love for us that He calls us His children.

Safe and secure, we are in Him—in the family of God.

Now, let us, together as family, breathe the breath of God and cry, “Abba! Father!

Commit your path to the Eternal, let Him direct you. Put your confidence in Him, and He will follow through with you… Be still. Be patient. Expect the Eternal to arrive and set things right… If you are right with God, He strengthens you for the journey; the Eternal will be pleased with your life. And even though you trip up, you will not fall on your face because He holds you by the hand… The Eternal cherishes justice and will not abandon those loyal to Him. He will guard and care for them forever.

Psalm 37:5, 7a, 23-24, and 25a (The Voice)

Call to Action

Take heart, O Sister Disciples, the Lord your God is Abba Father, and He is with you.

As children of the Most High, set your mind to wait for Him, stay close to the path He’s set for you and trust Him as you walk in the Spirit.

You can do this! You’re a child of the Most High God and you (yes you) are His child. Welcome to the Family of God.


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Christine Malkemes, Founder of Words Whispered. Used with permission.

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