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Loved Child of God, Don’t Look Back

Loved Child of God, Don’t Look Back

Editor’s note: Join us for our next Online Bible Study! Don’t Look Back starts 1/22/24 and you are invited. It’s for all of us who get stuck sometimes and need to keep moving forward with hope and faith!


The Truth That Keeps Us Moving Forward

Since my girls were small, and to this day, when they go running toward my husband and wrap their arms around him, never once does Nick reject them. Every time, when he sees them coming, he throws open his arms to welcome them. It does my heart so much good to watch him be a father to Catherine and Sophia this way; to see how he looks at them; to see how his whole face lights up. I don’t mean to imply that Nick is perfect, because he can’t be — but he does his best to model for our girls the way our heavenly Father receives us, the way He sees us, knows us, wants us to feel His love, and to feel like we belong to Him.

I know this might be hard to imagine if your relationship with your earthly father wasn’t the best, or was undeniably traumatic, but

  • God is a perfect, loving Father.

It’s impossible for Him to be anything but good. He has no dark side; in fact, Scripture tells us,

This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him.7

And although the Enemy of God and of our souls will try all he can, as long as he can, to get us to doubt and disbelieve God’s love for us, God — who can never lie8 — has gone on record with His love:

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.9

You are not a candidate for God’s love. You are the object of God’s love.

That is who you are. You are loved by God, and you are pursued by God. And when you or I reach out to God, who is reaching out to us, by placing our faith in Christ, what happens? We are adopted into God’s family and made His children.

When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then God has made you an heir.10

I love that adoption is the heart of the gospel — and not just because I’m adopted. Well, maybe a little because I’m adopted. But the truth is, God could have used any metaphor to explain how He saved us or how we became a part of His family, but He used this intimate metaphor of adoption to show us that He actually chose us. He does not simply tolerate us because He has to, but He willingly chose us to be His children because He loves us.

I want you to sit with that for a moment. The King of the universe has adopted us into His family, and that is where our identity lies, that is where our legitimacy lies. We are meant to live securely in the love of God, knowing we are neither illegitimate nor orphans, but His beloved children. The reality is we often outsource the source of our security by making others our authority, by placing their opinions of us above God’s truth about us. If we do this long enough, it can lead us off the course of God’s purposes and onto a personal quest to seek our value, worth, and belonging from those who can’t give it to us — be it our boss, our spouse, our friends, our mentors, our followers, or our kids.

In all of life, the most insecure position to be in is the one in which we have something to prove or something to lose; so anytime and every time we seek to find our security in anyone or anything other than God, we will be plagued with insecurity. Can you think of anyone in your history who has this place of power over you? Who are you still looking back at, desperately longing for them to validate you? To give you their approval? To make you feel secure when only God can?

Maybe you’re looking back

  • at a father who was never satisfied.
  • at a mother who you couldn’t do enough to please.
  • at a teacher who said you’d never amount to anything.
  • at an ex-spouse who said no one could ever love you.
  • to the middle school or high school mean girls who shamed you for your body.
  • to the boss who gave promotions to everyone but you.

Or maybe you’re looking back at what you consider to be your worst mistake, the one by which you’re still defining yourself.

Instead of glancing back to learn, grow, develop, and repent, we’ve grown accustomed to constantly looking back, and that looking back has gotten us stuck — fixated even — on the past. We’ve allowed whatever is back there to define us, limit us, label us, and trap us. But the same Jesus who came to set us free from the past told us to remember Lot’s wife, and when we remember her, we remember the importance of moving beyond our past and into our future.

We are captives when we are on a quest for love but free when we are secure in God’s love. The race of running for love is not the race that God has called us to run as His daughters and sons.11 In Christ, we run from the starting line of acceptance, secure in God’s love. Knowing we are His sons and daughters, His beloved, is what He wants us to be convinced of, because knowing how very much we are loved and wanted is what helps us keep moving forward when everything and everyone is telling us we don’t belong, that we are undeserving of His love, that we are illegitimate.

Knowing that I have been adopted into God’s family is the source of my confidence that I am His child. There is nothing more intimate God could have done than to adopt us, and when we are confident that He sees us, knows us, and loves us, we can live our lives unafraid. We can step out in faith and step into the unknown future fully confident that our God is the children of God is not shame, fear, and guilt, but freedom, life, joy, peace, and hope in Christ. If you are a follower of Christ, I assure you that you are not illegitimate, no matter what anyone else has said to you or about you, no matter what anyone has done to you, no matter what mistakes with us, for us, protecting us, and guiding us. We can face the inevitable ups and downs of life with assurance that God is our heavenly Father, and He is willing to help us — even when we experience the fears that we all have:

  • What if I lose my job?
  • What if someone betrays me?
  • What if this relationship doesn’t work out?
  • What if I outlive my money?
  • What if my kid goes off the rails?

To keep moving forward and stop looking back, we must gain our identity, value, significance, and security from God — and not from other people, possessions, or accomplishments. I know firsthand that this is easier said than done, but it is possible through the strength of the Spirit of His Son who lives in us and leads us to cry out again and again, “Abba, Father!”

Let’s remember that we are His heirs, and our inheritance as or failur

You are His adopted, beloved, chosen child. He’s loved you since before the foundation of the world.

And He will not stop.

Excerpted with permission from Don’t Look Back by Christine Caine, copyright Christine Caine.

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Your Turn

You are I are love by God. When He looks at us, He sees the righteousness of His Son. We’re adopted, fully accepted, deeply loved, and He will never stop feeling that way about us. He can’t! Isn’t that good news? Join us for the Don’t Look Back OBS starting January 22nd! We want to see you there! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full