I hope to really encourage you today with what the LORD has given me to write about.  Too many of God’s children live a life that falls far short of His glorious plan for them.  We can blame it on many things, such as the economy, or trials and tribulations, or someone else’s actions.  But actually, the problem is more with how we view ourselves in our relationship with God.  You see, the truth is, God is really bigger than any problem we face.  But if we feel OUR problem is the exception, then we are making our God too small. Or else, we feel we are not worthy that He should help us.  Either way, there’s a problem that needs to be fixed.
It is written in Romans 8:1, There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  Now we know God gives us grace by the Blood of Christ Jesus, in that He has forgiven our sins, and taken them out of the way so they no longer like a wall  separate us from Him.  And that fellowship with mankind is what God has always wanted, that’s why He created us in the first place.  But ever since sin first happened in the Garden of Eden, the devil has worked hard to keep us thinking we cannot receive any good thing from God.  After all, it was man’s choice to walk away from God, not the other way around, right?  So what gives us any reason to hope for restoration with God?  He knew there was no way for man to make it right again, so He had to take the initiative, in that He sent Christ Jesus to take the punishment for our sins, in our place.
And yet, even for those who KNOW they are saved by grace, the devil just keeps hammering away with guilt and condemnation, day and night, trying to make us back down from being all the heavenly Father has called us to be.  Think of what is written in 1 John 4:2-4:
1Jn 4:2  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jn 4:3  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
1Jn 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Face it, the devil is NOT going to tell you how much the heavenly Father loves you.  Rather, he is going to tell you how badly you have failed to please God, and that you are about three levels lower than a worm’s belly, and you have no business thinking God will ever do anything nice for you.  And on and on the devil goes until you are ready to back away from laying claim to ANYTHING God says belongs to His children.  Sound familiar?
In Genesis chapter three, after Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, God called out to them in the cool of the day and said Where are you? God knew where they were alright, and Adam and Eve knew something was drastically wrong, too, because now they were hiding from God in fear, something they had never done before.  Without the confidence they previously had to fellowship with God openly as they had done, life quickly lost its joy for them. And it’s been downhill for mankind ever since.  That is, up to the day Christ Jesus went to the cross and died for our sins.  Then God was able to restore mankind to Himself.
The first thing I want you to know is this: God is not mad at you. He took all His anger out on the Lord Jesus as He hung on the cross, taking YOUR punishment and mine.  That’s why the Lord Jesus cried out saying, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Well, as the Lord Jesus said just before He died, IT IS FINISHED! That means, our redemption is bought and paid for, the devil’s fate is sealed, and you and I no longer need to hide ourselves in shame from God as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden after they sinned.
But there’s even MORE good news!  We don’t have to slink away in shame from our place of God-given authority.  No!  We are to TAKE our place as beloved joint-heirs with Christ Jesus in the family of God, as adopted children, whom HE chose to adopt by His own free will.  Not by our own goodness or power or by our own works, but by the power of His endless life, having chosen us in Himself since before the foundation of the world.  Imagine that!  He chose US!
Tell me something, after Jesus did all that for us, suffering more than we could ever comprehend, do you seriously think He would appreciate us playing the WORM?   No, of course not!  He created worms to be fish bait, so you could have a good time talking to Him while you fish.  He created US to be His own, in His own image, even.  How could you think God would place you under the devil’s thumb?  He didn’t!  God gave His children dominion and victory over ALL the work of the devil.  Are YOU one of God’s children?  If not, you can change that right now!  He created you to NEVER BACK DOWN.  After all, does God back down from evil?  Certainly NOT!  And He created mankind in His own image, and gave them dominion over all the earth, and even after they messed up, and gave up their dominion, God got it back for us again. Now THAT’S love!
Imagine the love the heavenly Father has for us, to do that for us, even though we didn’t deserve a second chance, still He never gives up on us.  You who are parents know that if your child went against your will and got in trouble, you’d still do everything in your power to get them out of trouble, because you love them.  But consider this:  God even loves those who were like me, who took pleasure in disobedience and sin, and though I had no desire to turn from sin at all, when I was sick and dying and cried out to Him, He loved me so much He reached out to me through the darkness I lived in, and adopted me and called me His own.
It took more than a little prodding from the LORD to get me to take my rightful place at His table, though, for I still had the old “unworthy” attitude.  In spite of the fact that He dressed me in a clean robe and put me at His own table in front of a feast, I still wanted to crawl under the table and eat crumbs.  More than once He had to crawl under the table and coax me out from under there.  And I imagine He’s done that for YOU a few times, too, knowing how much He loves us.
That love will DO something to you: it will change you from “orphan” to “family” if you let it.  It will change you into one of His children, one who doesn’t let the devil push you around anymore.  His Holy Spirit will give you a knowing of what is right, and what is wrong, and the backbone to stand up for what is right and never back down again. After all, you’re a child of God, a joint-heir with Christ Jesus.  You’re FAMILY!  The only thing YOU are subject to is God’s will.  Everything else must bow the knee.  Of course, the devil will say he’s still your boss. But he’s a liar, y’know.  Tell him to take a hike, and while he’s at it, to take his sickness, poverty, depression and all his other junk with him.  Put him in his place and NEVER BACK DOWN!