“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith..” – Galatians 3:26
“Maddie, you are the daughter of the King.”
I had heard it over and over again in my first couple of weeks of discipleship training in Belize, and as I was standing there face to face with a demon of my past, I realized something dangerous: I didn’t believe it.
I was the youngest child in my family, yet I grew up with a crushing expectation to lead my family spiritually. I carried the weight of my broken family with me throughput my entire childhood, and it caused a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety for me. I genuinely thought that fixing my family was the weight I carried because that would be what Jesus wanted of me. I thought I could simultaneously love Jesus and carry burdens that weren’t mine.
I realized very quickly, here, in a place where everyday is focused on drawing near to the truth of the Lord’s nature and character that I was living in lies.
My broken family was not my fault, and just because I loved Jesus didn’t mean I had to “save” my family.
Of course I prayed for my family, but I did a lot more of feeling the need to lay down my life for them. Don’t get me wrong, Jesus tells us to lay down our life for our friends, but he doesn’t tell us to do it on our own strength. But now that I can freely worship Jesus without expectation, I see how much this misguided assumption I needed to be everyone’s savior weighed me down.
I had never had anyone tell me before “you are God’s daughter”. Sure, I read it in books and I heard it in sermons, but never did I hear it spoken to me. I had heard things more like “you need to do more in the church”, “Jesus would want you to do it this way”, and “try to be better at this and that”. So naturally, I saw myself as God’s servant. I didn’t understand that I was here to be enjoyed by God; I thought I was to be endured by God. I would keep working to be better and He would keep giving me “projects” to work on.
But one day in class we were told to sit down and wait to hear from the Lord. Just sit there and wait to see if He had anything He wanted to say to us.
Immediately, I began going through everything that I had been doing wrong and what I hadn’t done enough of; thus preparing myself to from God how I’d been failing miserably at being His servant.
To my revelation, all I heard from God was Him say, “stop. I love you. You’re my daughter. That’s it.”
God actually said, “that’s it” like He was telling me to stop trying to come up with my own ideas of what needs to be done. He’s God. I’m not. I immediately just began to weep. I am God’s daughter. I am not God’s servant. Of course I will always delight in serving and obeying the Lord. But he asks out of love not out of demand. I have been adopted by God; I have not been employed by him.
But nonetheless, this was such a drastic change to my normal theology. I didn’t know how to live as God’s daughter without feeling as though if I wasn’t giving my whole self to any and every kind of service, I was failing at being a follower of Jesus.
“Lord, please show me how I am your daughter. I know it is true but I need to feel the power of this truth.”
I prayed that prayer throughout the entire day. I couldn’t get that experience off of my mind and I was really desperate to hear from the Lord again.
The next morning as I was doing my quiet time, the Lord came through in the most beautiful way. I turned to Psalm 45, a psalm I’m not sure I had ever read before.The introduction of the Psalm, in the ESV version says, “To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah; a love song.”
For some reason, according to Lilies stuck out to me so much. It was so beautifully odd, and I just had to know what I meant. So I went online to the first commentary that popped up on Google search and the answer it gave brought tears to my eyes.
To the Chief Musician upon Shoshannim. The most probable translation of this word is upon the lilies, and it is either a poetical title given to this noblest of songs after the Oriental manner, or it may relate to the tune to which it was set, or to the instrument which was meant to accompany it. We incline to the first theory, and if it be the true one, it is easy to see the fitness of borrowing a name for so beautiful, so pure, so choice, so matchless a poem from the golden lilies, whose bright array outshone the glory of Solomon.
Daughter, this is what I think of you. A name so beautiful; So pure, so choice, so matchless a poem from the golden lilies. Your bright array outshines the glory of Solomon.
I don’t find it even a little bit ironic that God lead me to reading Psalm 45, a psalm that had never before stuck out to me, on just the day that I would need to hear what it had to say. And it wasn’t even the psalm! It was the introduction! The Psalm itself is a love song, figuratively from Solomon to his bride but hypothetically a foreshadowing of Christ to his church.
But on this day God used it to romanticize me, a woman who has seen herself a lowly servant most of her life. But now God has called me beautiful, a pure and matchless choice, and a golden lily with an incomparably bright array.
Daughters, this is how our father in heaven sees us! He looks at us and sees a princess crowned with such beauty that even Solomon, in all of His majesty, can’t compare. I asked the Lord to show me how I was his daughter, and he responded with such excitement and such passion. He responded in just a way that I needed to hear. And he wants to do the same thing for you.
If you’re struggling to hear from God about how much He adores you, please oh please ask him in faith to show you. He delights in showing His love for us through His glory. We are His daughters, and it is a father’s delight to bless His daughters. I come from such a broken family, but I still believe that wholeheartedly because our Father in heaven is such a good, good father and I feel so special to be called His daughter.
♡ Madison Mohr is a student in San Pedro Belize with the Youth With a Mission organization.
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