Humans are sinful. And we are removed from God. Unlike the prodigal son who was born a son before he left father’s house, we humans were never in the house in the first place. Born into poverty, like beggars, we stagger through life seeking, grasping, wishing. We spend every waking moment trying to prove to others, to God, to ourselves of our worth, because subconsciously we always knew the truth; we are worthless. This raises a question for Christians; if we are so insignificant in the grand scheme of things, are we perhaps still beggars to some extent, even though God has called us his children?
The short answer is no. We are no longer beggars. In fact, we are also no longer worthless. When we dedicate our lives to God. When we trust and follow in Jesus, we take on the image of the Christ as he becomes our mediator. When God the father looks at us, he will see only Jesus, his beloved son. And in the love of God, we will find blessings, purposes and all his promises.
That is not to say God will suddenly become our personal genie. For a start, we should never forget where we were before we were found by God. Sure, we are now his children, but it was not by any effort on our part but entirely by the grace of God. While we are now ‘accepted’ in his presence, it does not make us his equal.
More importantly is the idea of being children. A child does not have the right to command his/her parents. A child does not have the right to demand service. And a child certainly does not have the right to condemn his/her parents because they failed to fulfil the child’s wishes. Instead, we a taught that a child must honour his/her parents, to be subservient to their needs, and to obey their wishes.
It’s the same with God. While we have been adopted as his children. We need to understand he is still the one in control. While we can expect blessings, and given the permission to ask, the blessing may or may not come in the form we expect. Furthermore, as his children, we must also expect to be disciplined as a child would. For the bible tells us, whoever spares the rod hates their children.
Jesus is the best example of this. Despite the fact that he is the rightful son of God (instead of an adopted child like us), and despite that in some sense, he is the equal of God (which we are absolutely not), Jesus submitted himself to the father in all things.
So as christians, while we may not feel it, we are no longer beggars but children of God. And as such, we have the duty to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ to serve God, and obey him.