In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will 1:5
Paul would call himself later in his letter a prisoner of Christ Jesus and also a prisoner for the Lord. He is never just a prisoner. Never let your circumstance or situation label you.
God foreknew this prisoner. Maybe some will think this is a stretch too far. That Paul is referring to the Church as a whole. I am sure he is. However, it is a stretch I am prepared to make. So that Paul is saying whether you are free or not, whatever the circumstance of your life, you may be outside living your life or inside a prison like I am, it matters not, God foreknew you not based on the situation around you but for what He has done in you.
What did He know? Paul has already told us that God knew before the creation of the world that we were chosen to be holy and blameless in His sight. He knew He would come and do the work to make that possible through Jesus Christ. But there is more in this verse today. God foreknew He would adopt us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ, to be His sons and daughters, His children, His family.
We nearly ran over her. It looked like just a pile of clothes on the road. But it was a person, a young girl, 15 years of age, she was called Maria meaning ‘sea of sorrow’ or ‘wished-for-child’. Both applied to Maria. She had a traumatic story, a painful ironic story as a rejected child. My mum had only had 2 sons I’d wondered if she ever wanted a daughter, here she was. My parents never adopted her legally but for the next few years they put her back together again and gave her a new start in life. For me, it was strange to have a female peer, who was 1 year older than me, in my space. Now I had 2 older siblings bossing me around! Our family all had to adapt. With adoption there has to be adaption. I look back on my own walk with God who adopted me and I thank Him for the many times He has adapted to my waywardness. When I have gone left or right, He adapted and found me and brought me back to the centre. When you were sinking into a sea of sorrow He adapted, He stopped and picked you up and brought you to Himself again and again, time after time. The adaption of God for your life is as precious as your adoption.
Why does He do all this?
It is in accordance with his pleasure and will.
Meditate on those words, they are so beautiful.
Let me start with His will. He wanted to. He didn’t have to because God is love and He has to do that. It is in His will to have you as His child. Think for a moment with tears in your eyes of the many lost people in this world who don’t feel wanted anymore. We have to let them know that they are wanted by Him. You see when you are sat in a prison as Paul was it is very easy to think you are not wanted.
But as I close I do so with the best bit for me. His pleasure. I am blessed and truly graced to have a beautiful relationship with my son and daughter. As I reflect on our story of life together pleasure has been a central component. I have seen their desire and enthusiasm to please me with not just kindness but with a desire to live their life for God. They are strengthened, inspired and empowered by my pleasure. So I know they are trying to please me and they know they are a pleasure to me. In that place we both thrive. Now how much more with God! As we come closer to Him, as we walk with Him and try and please Him we also feel His pleasure, we know His smile and His applause.
So today we can sit in any prison that may come our way and we say I AM HIS CHILD.