And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:6 ESV)
To be a child of God is to be unassuming and accepting of him as our Father. As young children, we once carried an innocent curiosity about the world and the people around us. We were easily fascinated by new experiences, laughing, giggling, and not having a care in the world. We were fully dependent and trusted that someone would love and protect us.
As we got older, we were exposed to sin and picked up bad behaviors. We got discouraged and began to protecting ourselves from getting hurt. We also learned the differences between good and bad people, becoming shrewd with whom we spend our time. Self-sufficiency eventually became our mindset as we tried to figure out how to survive through joys and disappointments at the same time. All of this can be exhausting, especially when the letdowns exceed happiness.
So when God takes notice of us, he begins to soften our hearts by allowing us to call him Father. He assures us that he is approachable and understanding, and that he will care for us as a loving parent. When Jesus says we should have a childlike faith, he’s saying that we need to unlearn everything we think we know about God and cling to our identity as his children. This is our chance to have a clean slate and begin our days with a fresh start, to be refreshed and renewed in our relationship with him.
When we ask Jesus to take up residence in our hearts, our adoption is sealed and we become royal heirs. And as an heir, God the Father allows us to call him Abba (Daddy), an endearing name that only family members can use. I imagine that his ears perk up when he hears our voices calling him. There must be tremendous joy that wells up inside his heart when he turns his attention towards us:
“There’s my boy! There’s my girl! Oh, how much I love you because you are precious to me!”
Yes, that is how God sees you and me. We are the apple of his eye and we get to call him Abba!