For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba,’ Father.” Romans 8:15
Romans 8:15 declares we do not need to be afraid. That’s easy to read, difficult to practice. A few weeks after our first daughter was born almost 16 years ago, I awoke from a terrible nightmare. I had dreamed that our baby girl had drowned. I have no idea why I dreamt such a dream. We certainly didn’t live near large bodies of water, practice any water sport on a regular basis, or even have much at all to do with swimming. But I did dream it. And with that dream held in my memory, a seed of fear was planted. By the time that daughter was three, I sought out swimming lessons for her. By the time she was five, she swam like the proverbial fish.
The same swimming lesson scenario played out with daughter number two with the same reassuring results. But things were different for daughter number three. Before I had a chance to enroll her, we learned she was already a fish.
We left for vacation and arrived at our destination, realizing we had forgotten her swim vest. We had arrived late at the hotel, and all the shops were closed. We had promised the kids they could get in the pool “as soon as we get there” so we instructed her to stay with us in areas where she could touch bottom. In just a few minutes we learned we were wrong: that girl could also swim like a proverbial fish.
My husband thought I was silly asking him if I thought this daughter needed lessons. Somehow, I just felt that I was a better parent if I sent her to official instruction.
But I understood what drove that question: fear.
Maybe the fear of water isn’t realized in you. But maybe you are afraid of driving in a foreign place. Maybe you are afraid of failure. Whatever your fear, you can bet the enemy will try to play it for all it’s worth, paralyzing you in the process.
Romans 8:15 tells us we don’t need to be slaves to fear. Why? When Christ died on that cross, and when each of us accepts His precious act of love, we then receive sonship through Christ. Sonship, a heritage to God, just as Christ himself possesses. Just as Jesus has the right to call Abba, Father, so do we.
Whenever we need any assistance battling fear, or anything else, we simply call out to God, and He will supply our needs.
I once heard a pastor translate “Abba” in terms we might understand today. “Abba” means Daddy.
If your reverence of who God is causes you to stop and remain formal with Him in prayer, and in the process keeping your requests formalized, think about calling Him Daddy.
He wants to have a close, familiar relationship with each one of His children, just like a good father to his child.
Monday: What fears paralyze me?
Tuesday: Am I convinced God cares about my moments and how I feel about them?
Wednesday: How can I practically apply Romans 8:15 to those moments of fear?
Thursday: Read 2Timothy 1:7. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” What are we promised to receive from God? How do those qualities measure against the fear?
Friday: Prayer: Dear Abba Father, Daddy, thank you for pursuing me, for desiring a personal relationship with each one of your children. Thank you for conquering fear, and offering me the tools to free myself from fear. Thank You for all you have done, and for who You are. In Jesus’ anme, Amen.