On the Outside Looking in
“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”- Romans 8:15
Word has gotten around the neighborhood that our back door is a cat hangout. My family and I can’t help but feel compassion for the hungry and homeless neighborhood kitties. Because we have adopted several cats of our own, we have extra food to spare and willingly put out a handful for those who come looking for it. Most of the time, the cats treat us like a soup kitchen, not as a permanent residence. They are skittish when we open the door and they don’t come to eat until the door is properly shut.
There are a few who have come for a closer look into the life of a family cat. One particular kitten stood peering through the glass door, daily watching as our adopted cats played, received cuddles, were given a warm lap to sleep on and had all the food they could eat. We saw it looking in and invited it to join our family. But it just couldn’t overcome its fear. We tried to coax it, show gentleness, offer our hand, but it just wouldn’t trust us. So day after day, it stood in the cold looking into our warm, loving home.
On another occasion, after an evening meeting, a kitten who had the exact same coloring as one of our own cats, walked in the front door as people were leaving and began helping herself to a bowl of cat food. Because of how comfortable she felt in our home, we did not realize it was a stray for quite some time. When it dawned on us that this kitten was considerably smaller than our cat and was considerably dirtier, we were shocked! This kitten had no fear of us at all! She felt as if this was her home all along. When we picked her up, she purred. When we put her down, she couldn’t stand to be separated from us, so we picked her up again for an additional cuddle. As you can imagine, we felt no choice in the matter than to adopt yet another kitty. We felt as though WE were the ones being adopted!
Through these two experiences, I felt the Lord was speaking to me. You see, it takes faith and trust to be a part of the Lord’s family. Through the sacrifice of His Son, we are offered adoption into God’s kingdom. We are told we have nothing to fear because He cares for us. We are offered love, peace, eternal security, food, shelter, clothing, and all that we need! But fear keeps us on the outside looking in.
Friend, don’t let fear rule your heart. God has so much in store for you if you will only trust Him. He is a good, loving, heavenly Father who knows your needs before you ever ask. He is trustworthy, faithful, and always available to you. He is slow to anger, abounding in mercy and is the greatest caretaker you will ever know. Even if you walk through the most difficult time in life, His grace will most certainly be sufficient for you. He promises to never leave you, never forsake you, and never let you go. Today, if fear has had you in bondage and has kept you on the outside looking in, I encourage you to confess it to the Lord, ask Him for the courage to face your fears and then trust Him that you won’t face those fears alone. He will be with you and will empower you to overcome.
Father, I pray that You would set Your people free from torment and slavery to fear in the name of Yeshua. Help us Lord, to trust You, to know You, and to walk in the abundant life You offer. Do this for Your glory, Lord, and for the joy of Your people! Amen.
God bless you!