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Wizard or Father?

Watching my six-year-old watch, the Wizard of Oz movie for the first time was so much fun. In the beginning she was bored because everything was in black and white, right when she asked me if this movie had any color, the door to OZ opened and from that moment on she was hooked. I enjoyed watching her face as the different scenes unfolded. She smiled, laughed, and even covered her eyes on the scary parts.

There is one part of the movie that really caught my attention for the first time. It's when the group entered the Great Oz chamber for the second time. They were trembling in fear, but their needs made them overcome those fear because they needed what only the Wizard could give. Then you see the little dog, Toto, pull back the curtain to reveal that the Wizard was just a man from Kansas and the group had nothing to be afraid of after all.

It's a classic movie. My daughter loved it so much that she has been begging for a pair of ruby slippers. I love the film too, but this time I came away with a thought that I hope will encourage you.

God is NOT a wizard to fear or to beg for gifts. God is our Father. We treat Him like the Wizard of OZ when we come to Him, afraid and hoping that He will grant our requests. But God is not hidden away in a great hall that's filled with flames and smoke. He's our Father who's gifted us a position in His family and given us His Spirit to live in us.

15 God's Spirit doesn't make us slaves who are afraid of him. Instead, we become his children and call him our Father.

16 God's Spirit makes us sure that we are his children.

17 His Spirit lets us know that together with Christ we will be given what God has promised. We will also share in the glory of Christ, because we have suffered with him.

Romans 8:15–17 (CEV)

Just as Toto pulled the curtain back to reveal the truth, these verses tell the truth about who God is and our relationship with Him. Paul wrote these verses to a people who would have been shocked to hear someone calling God "our Father." The Jewish people didn't have an intimate relationship with God. They viewed Him as a distant, powerful God who required them to live by the strictest rules. They didn't understand God was their Father.

Christ's sacrifice made our intimate relationship possible. Because of His work and because we share in His Spirit, we also share in His relationship with the Father. We can call out to God, just as Jesus did. And the Father cares for us, just as He cares for His Son.

We can experience this intimate relationship with God when we read His Word and spend time in worship and prayer. His Spirit will minister to you. And instead of always viewing God as a distant ruler to please or beg our requests, we can understand that He cares deeply for us just as we care for our closest family.


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