Abby helps clean the house with them. She eats dinner with them. She listens during family devotionals. She participates in family game night. Abby is busy in the life of her new adopted family but despite her busyness she still hasn’t settled into her family. Regardless of her adoptive family’s invitation to belong, to be cared for, provided for and led, Abby says no. And in her refusal to belong she continues to walk as though she is still an orphan, just a busy one. This can be said of so many of us, today. God saved us, but when He saved us He didn’t stop there. He could have but for His glory and our joy He did something even greater….even kinder. He adopted us into His family. He gave us a place to belong. This family of believers is one of the primary ways He plans to grow us, care for us, lead us and provide for us. There is an invitation to belong. And like Abby, many of us say no. Sure, we might be really involved in these bible studies or those ministries but we only end up busy…not belonging. It is a tiring, lonely life to choose when abundance is offered.
If this resonates with you then let me say to you, beloved, belong. Stop busying yourself with these tasks or activities that never give way to belonging. Yes, they might be good things but even Bible studies and service opportunities can distract you from the life that is offered when you belong. So, seek to belong. He has provided this through the local church bodies that surround you. Belonging to a gospel centered church body frees you to grow, give, serve and receive. It is there you get to come under the care and leadership of an elder board who hopefully seeks the Lord on your behalf. It is there you get to grow in your gifts and be lovingly engaged in your weakness and sin. It is there you get to serve others with your gifts and resources. It is there that you get to receive in your need—encouragement, direction, teaching and physical provisions. It is the place you can rest and belong. So, if I may, might I exhort you to find a gospel preaching, Jesus loving, God fearing, people caring local church to commit to. And through that local body may you be busy in your belonging as a dearly loved daughter of God who has found her place within the family of God.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has 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 an heir through God.” Galatians 4:4-7