“When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God…” vss. 15b-16
Paul was totally dependent on the Holy Spirit for the direction of his mission and for the reformation of his life. On his own he was driven by old traditions and convictions and totally incapable of doing the things that he desired to do. His desires dominated the direction of each day. But the Holy Spirit had made him question his devotion to the law and had gifted him with love, joy, and peace. More than that, the Spirit had connected with his own spirit and given him the confidence to cry out to God as Abba, the Aramaic word for Father, likely the same word that Jesus had used when he taught his disciples to pray. Some people aren’t comfortable with the word Father for God–it really does come out of a patriarchal system–but whatever words we use, it’s important to find some term that expresses the intimacy that exists between us and our Maker. Jesus said that we are one with God, bound together in an endless dance of love. It’s like the relationship of a parent and a child, but parent doesn’t begin to express the loving connection that is ours with God through the Spirit. In the end, maybe it’s not the words that we use, and it’s certainly pointless to argue about such things. What counts is knowing that we are inextricably connected to God–and the connection will never end.
Thought for the Day: Why are people drawn to the word “Abba”?