Not Really Hers?

My son Charles heard the following story from Pastor Mawan in Sudan. It's a bit unclear if it was a parable, but he believed it to be the true story of a Sudanese woman who gave birth to a biological son. Some time afterwards, she also took in a child off the street. Years passed. One day while playing, the elder boy began mocking the younger adopted son. 'You're not really mama's boy. You're just adopted!” In tears, the little tike ran to his mother. 'Mommy, mommy, is it true? I'm not really your son? My brother says I'm adopted and I'm not really your son!” Taking the little boy by the hand, the mother stormed into the room where her biological son played. 'Boy, you see this one here?” she said indicating his crying brother. 'Of all the children in the world, I went out looking for him. I chose him. I picked him. He's my son.” 'You?' she asked pointing at her elder son. ' You, I had no choice. You just”¦ came out!”

Ouch! Have you ever felt like a second-class child? In church you fake it pretty well but if someone could look under your skin into your heart, you just don't feel like you are as good as those around you. It's the same in life. Outside you function and everything seems all right, but inside there is a voice that says, 'If they only knew me! Why can't I be like others? I try so hard but I can't seem to measure up.” The devil taunts, 'You're not really God's child. Look at how weak you are! Just give up. God couldn't love someone like you!”

Why don't you run to the Lord to see what He says about it? Are you really his child, his 'first-class” child just like all believers in Jesus Christ? The enemy once tried to discourage one of God's leaders. It was a time when God's people had recently come back from captivity and He gave a vision to a prophet. Zechariah the prophet saw this leader/priest, Joshua, standing before the Lord in dirty clothes and the devil accused him before God. Maybe there was a bit of truth in what Satan was saying ”¦ Before Joshua could speak in his defense, Another spoke for him”"the Lord Himself!

”The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

There was a little problem though. He was clothed in dirty garments.

'Take off his filthy clothes." Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you." Then I said, "Put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by.” (Zechariah 13, NIV)

God went on to make some powerful promises to this man who had been dressed in dirty clothes. He does the same for us. When Satan accuses us God rebukes him and tells us,

'”¦ I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” (Jer. 31:3, NIV). He doesn't leave it there though. Listen as He hammers home his point: 'Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death ”¦” He just can't stop Himself. Listen ”¦ 'No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

These last verses are from Romans chapter 8 (NIV). I suggest that you read them this morning if the devil has been mocking you lately. When our enemy attacks us, it's not 'mama” who comes running to defend us; it is God Himself. _____________________________________

Think about it”"'Doubt and fear are hindrances to faith. Doubt questions if God can, fear questions if God will.” Maurice Lednicky in 'The DNA of Faith.”