THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION
In 1988, my wife and I adopted a child right out of the hospital. I remember walking up to the nurses’ station to sign the adoption papers, and I wondered, Will I be able to love this child as much as I love my natural son? My mind said, “Yes,” while my heart said, “I don’t know . . .” I was uncertain.
But then something happened. I was standing there at the nurses’ station, the adoption papers before me. It seemed like there were 50 different things I needed to sign. But as I picked up the pen, something came over me. The best way I can describe it is that a blanket dropped on me. I felt the weight of it, and right there in front of the nurses and administrative team, I just began to weep. I loved this little baby I was taking into my household. I loved him as much as I loved my firstborn son.
I don’t know how to convey what happens with the Spirit of Adoption. Those of you who are foster parents or have adopted children know exactly what I am talking about. The Spirit of Adoption is real. It is not a “make-believe” feeling. It is not something that says, “Well, you start to feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and that’s how you know.” No, it is a fierce attitude of heart that declares, “I would give my life for this child. I will do everything in my power to protect this child.” It is so much more than a feeling. It is the understanding that your life is not as important as the life of your child.
THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE
While He walked the earth, Jesus just oozed the Spirit of Adoption. Essentially, He declared to the world, “I love you more than I love My own life. I am here to give My life for you and keep you from death.”
The Holy Spirit is known as the Spirit of Adoption. He is also known as the Spirit of Life, which is a similar concept. Romans 8:2 says that “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
The lesser law, the law of sin and death, existed until Jesus died and rose again. When He took the keys of death, hell and the grave, the law of sin and death was abolished — but all of us know what that law feels like. We know what it feels like to be alone, to be children without parents. We are familiar with the shame and weight of sin. When God signs our adoption papers and makes us His own, something happens in the spiritual realm, and our adoption is literally fulfilled. It isn’t just pleasant words but something that actually happens. We are no longer alone. We become flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone (Ephesians 5:30) — we become His natural-born children.
THE STRENGTH OF THE ADOPTION SPIRIT
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
~ Romans 8:15 (NASB)
God is your Father. You have been reconceived in Him, and because He is your Father, He will not give you a stone when you ask for bread (Luke 11:11–13). He will father you. He will be there for you. He will hold you up. He will comfort you.
Many of us live in fear, not understanding the relentless strength of this Spirit of Adoption. We think we could somehow discourage His love. But that is not true. He has picked up the pen and signed the papers with His blood. The deed is done. The Spirit of Adoption has come upon us, and it is an intense love.
On a personal note, my younger son recently returned home for a short visit. A soldier in the Army, he spent the last year in Korea, and today he left for Fort Bliss. My wife and I were given a son to raise, and the Lord is taking him where He wants him to go. Though he is now as strong as an ox and almost as big, I wept as I hugged him and saw him off. I suppose the Spirit of Adoption never leaves the heart of a father.