New Wine for New Wineskins November 2016

By , November 1, 2016 2:27 am

CoLeisAThaThuLogoCuimhnich Cò Leis a Tha Thu (Part One)

Who do you belong to? There is an old Gaelic proverb, “Cuimhnich cò leis a tha thu.” It means, “remember who you belong to,” or “remember from whom you come.” When I was young and our island culture was still the way it had been for hundreds of years it was very common to be asked this question, “Cò leis a tha thu?”  It seemed like people were more interested in your parentage than who you were yourself. That is because they believed that who you came from could tell them a lot more about you than what you could tell them about yourself!

You may be very proud of your natural heritage and be happy to share with others all the details of your family lineage, or it may be a source of shame to you and you would rather that nobody probed into your family history.

But whether you are proud or ashamed of the family you were born into naturally it is more important that you are born again into the family of God and that you understand your new identity as a child of God.

Jesus said that we must be born again (born from above) of the Spirit.  When we were born the first time we inherited our parents’ sin nature, but when we are born again we inherit the nature of our heavenly Father’s DNA – the Divine Nature of the Almighty!

Romans 8: 14 – 17

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

No matter how much our natural parents loved us, caring for our physical needs and building up and investing in the health of our souls their love could never reach that part of us that was created to live in relationship with our heavenly Father, receiving and living in the power of his love.

John 14: 18

18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Every one of us was born with an orphan spirit because our spirit was cut off from relationship with our heavenly Father.  But when we are born again we no longer have orphan status because we are adopted into the family of God, and the first thing that happens is that our spirit is restored to a place of intimate relationship, so intimate in fact that the Holy Spirit leads us to cry out “Daddy ”!

Jesus knew this intimacy with the Father and he wants us to share in that same level of intimacy. In his darkest hour before the cross he used the language of intimacy.

Mark 14: 35 – 36

35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. 36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

Later on, when he was on the cross taking our place and punishment he began to experience the separation that is caused by sin and he uses language that he has never before used in addressing his Father.

Mark 15: 34

34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Too often, we who have been adopted into the family of our heavenly Father still use the dysfunctional language of disconnectedness.

The problem is that if you have lived for even a part of your life as an orphan you don’t really know how to live in a family or how to relate to your new environment.  We have to continually remember who we now belong to.

“Cuimhnich cò leis a tha thu”!  Remember who you belong to!

When Jesus told us to remember his death he was telling us to remember that through his death we were adopted into God’s family where there is no weakness, no sickness and no more death! He was telling us to remember his love!

1 John 3: 1

1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!

Orphans have to fight feelings of being abandoned, of nobody wanting them, etc.  And so when a child is adopted into a family they have to learn how to live life in a brand new way.  It is the same spiritually.  Before we were born again we simply existed and were cut off from experiencing real life as God intended it to be lived!

The awesome thing about adoption is that the child has exactly the same status in the family as a natural born child and, in fact, that status is even better protected legally.

Galatians 4: 4 – 7

4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the child always takes to its new life like a duck to water, especially if the child has lived for a time as an orphan.

The child has to learn that it now belongs and that they have new rights and privileges, that they have a new identity.  The child has to remember who he or she now belongs to!

John 1: 12 – 13

12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

It is the same for us when we are born again.  We are given the right to be called the children of God.  We are reminded of the love that the Father has bestowed upon that we are called the children of God!

“Cuimhnich cò leis a tha thu”!  Remember who you belong to!

Imagine how difficult it is for an orphan to be adopted into a family and have the right to call their new parents mummy and daddy.  Do you think that comes easy?  They might be Mr and Mrs So-and-so’s newly adopted child but the child isn’t expected to refer to them in these terms.  They are now the child’s parents and should be addressed and related to as such.  It is the same for us!  God – the creator of the heavens and the earth is our new Father and we can call him Daddy!  When someone asks us who we belong to we can say Almighty God but that is not how we are supposed to address him in our new relationship.  He is our Daddy!

“Cuimhnich cò leis a tha thu”!  Remember who you belong to!

When you begin to catch this it radically changes your life forever!

Orphans who are adopted need to learn how to relate to their new parents and to their new environment.  Not all adopted children make that transition successfully.  The ones who do are the ones who are so grateful for their new lives that they abandon all the pain attached to the past and launch wholeheartedly into their new identity.

When we are born again into the family of God we are chosen by him to be adopted into his family.  We are loved into his family.

The biggest failure of God’s adopted children is to accept that they are loved! They can believe that God loves his only begotten Son and that Jesus is his beloved Son in whom he is well pleased, but they struggle to receive the truth that they now have exactly the same status, and that their heavenly Father now thinks about them in the same way.

All unbelief stems from this failure.  We love him because he first loved us, but if we struggle to believe that he loves us we will also struggle to love him in return.  Our acceptance of the revelation of the extent of his love for us is what fuels our faith, and whatever is not of faith is the sin that results from unbelief.  All sin is the result of unbelief and is the fruit of failing to stay in love!

1 John 4: 16

16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

You will always struggle to believe until you know to whom you belong!

“Cuimhnich cò leis a tha thu”!  Remember who you belong to!

Think of the account Jesus gave in Luke 15 of the father and his two sons.  This is a perfect picture of the dysfunction that exists in the family of God because of sons that don’t know that they belong!  The younger son didn’t know that his destiny was to remain with his father because that was where he belonged!  How many people are running from God and end up where they don’t belong among people to whom they can’t relate?  We no longer belong in this world, we are pilgrims and sojourners, aliens!  So why do we try and fit in where we don’t and can’t fit?

belong –  be rightly placed in a specified position; fit in a specified place or environment

There is nobody more miserable than a backslider or somebody who is a son of God and yet chooses to live in as close proximity to the world as he can get and still stay saved.  The Word of God tells us that Lot’s righteous spirit was vexed (disturbed, frustrated) every day by what was taking place in the environment that he had chosen to place himself in.  Somewhere deep on the inside he knew that he didn’t belong there!

“Cuimhnich cò leis a tha thu”!  Remember who you belong to!

The older son remained in the house with his father but he didn’t know that he belonged there. If he did he would have known that because he belonged there everything there belonged to him!

The tragedy of this account that Jesus gave is that the father actually has two sons who don’t know to whom they belong and so he is denied the level of fellowship and relationship that he longs for.  However, the good news is that eventually the younger son comes to his senses and returns home to discover that this is where he really belongs.  Everyone has a longing to be the person that they were created to be and to find the place where they really belong.  All of us were created to live in unbroken relationship with our Father in heaven.

“Cuimhnich cò leis a tha thu”!  Remember who you belong to!

A few years ago as I was standing in line in a shop waiting to be served I heard these words in my spirit, “Remember who you belong to?”  I thought it was referring to my natural heritage which although I am very proud of it didn’t do a lot to make me think or feel any different about myself, but when the LORD started to download this message into my spirit I realised what he had actually been trying to communicate to me back then.

Psalm 16: 5 – 7

5 O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot.
6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;  Yes, I have a good inheritance.
7 I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel;  My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.

“Cuimhnich cò leis a tha thu”!  Remember who you belong to!

When the younger son comes home and discovers that this is where he belongs his father is overjoyed!

Luke 15: 23 – 24

“…let us revel and feast and be happy and make merry,  24Because this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! And they began to revel and feast and make merry.

merrycheerful and lively; an occasion characterised by festivity and rejoicing

Sadly, the father can only plead with the older son to join in the celebration but because he doesn’t know that he belongs there he can’t take ownership of the celebration.  He doesn’t realise that the celebration is as much about him as it is about the father and his younger brother.

Remember, the revelation of love (or being loved) is what makes our faith work, and whatever is not of faith is sin which leads to separation, dysfunction, and disconnectedness.

Sin, the failure or refusal to believe, causes us to fall short of the Father’s glory just like the two sons in the account Jesus gave.

Today, the Father is either waiting for us to turn back to him and be restored to where we belong, or he is pleading with us to wake up to the reality that we already are where we belong and so its time to join the celebration and begin enjoying all of the benefits of knowing who we belong to.

Wherever we are right now let’s respond to him and kneel down in worship and let his presence fall on us as he welcomes us home to where we belong!

“Cuimhnich cò leis a tha thu”!  Remember who you belong to!

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