“So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir.” Galatians 4:7
Do you ever read through the bible and get so irritated at the Israelites? I do! I find myself saying comments like, “Come on people, get your act together!!” or “Could you be any more hard headed?!” On Sunday morning I was listening to the Daily Audio Bible as the host was reading through Numbers. The host was reading the different laws that Moses was teaching the Israelites. While I was listening it occurred to me that Moses was not only teaching the Israelites how to worship God and not act like barbarians, but he was also teaching the Israelites how to live as heirs of God and not like slaves.
The Israelites had lived in slavery for 400 years so slavery was all these wilderness walkers ever knew! Slavery was so ingrained in them that their old identity had to be stripped away from them and their new identity as a child of God had to be taught to them. They had to learn how to live as royalty. You know I am sure many of the slaves dreamed of what it would be like to live in the palace, but I doubt they ever thought about how they would actually conduct themselves in the palace. They had no idea how to live as an heir. The crazy thing is the Israelites didn’t just finally understand their position once they entered the promise land, throughout the entire bible we read about God’s people learning this same principle; You are no longer a slave but God’s child.
As I was thinking about the Israelites I realized how much me and the Israelites have had in common. For years after I got saved I still lived as a slave. I was a slave to shame. For years I felt unqualified and unworthy of the blessings of a child of God. I knew I was saved but I didn’t feel free. I was constantly trying to earn my worthiness. The sad part was that I didn’t even realize I was in slavery, I just knew I was miserable. During that time I was desperately searching for relief from these feelings of unworthiness and shame and then I read Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” My break through came! It was like the darkness broke off of me, for the first time I realized that Jesus’s work on the cross was for my freedom! I was finally able to see the feelings of shame were the shackles that kept me from living my identity as an heir.
That day I realized that when Jesus died on the cross, He died not only to atone for my sins but to set me free. You and I were never meant to live in bondage! When Jesus said, “He came to set the captives free…” he was not just taking about the captives in prison. He was talking about everyone who is in bondage to anything that keeps them from living as an heir! God wants you and I to become all that He has for us to be, that means walking away from the lifestyle of a slave and stepping into the life of royalty. You are no longer a slave, you are God’s child! You are an heir.
So as we begin this Easter weekend, not only do we thank Jesus for the blood He shed that washed us clean, but also for His blood that sets us free! Thank Him for the blood that changed your identity! Thank Him for the blood that made you a child of God! Then ask Him if there is any area where you are still living like a slave. If there is, let Him show you how to live as an heir. It was for freedom that He set you free, don’t let yourself be burdened again by slavery! You are no longer a slave, you are God’s child!