Your alarm goes off. It’s 5:45 am. The to-do list of the day flashes through your mind, and you remember, “Dang it! I told my prayer group that I’d start working out every day,” and why did you tell them this? At this point, you think it’s because you’re crazy, but no, you told them about your new-founded resolve to work out because you believe God is “calling you” to do so. You dread what you perceive the voice of God to be saying, “Go. Work out.”

In your half-awakened state, you find yourself in a lose-lose scenario. If you don’t work out, you’re going to feel like a failure and a disappointment to your Christian friends. If you do work out, you’re going to resent this “call” of God, and let’s face it, you just don’t want to work out.

Have you ever found yourself in a similar struggle? Have you ever wrestled with what you perceived as a very black-and-white directive from God? A directive you did *not* want to follow through with? If you have, I’d like to offer you an alternative way of connecting with God that, in my experience, produces joy and peace.

Let me ask you…are you God’s slave or are you His child? What you believe you are is a critical factor to how you view God, and from that, what messages you perceive to be from God.

In March of 2013, I had a transformative experience with God that forever changed the way I connect with Him. After a short hiatus from church life, I succumbed to what I perceived as an act of “surrendering my life to God.” In hindsight, I see that I wasn’t losing anything. I was given a great gift: Sonship. That night, as I lay on the floor of my downtown apartment sobbing, I cried out to God, “I can’t do this anymore.”

I couldn’t keep running from God, or rather, what I perceived God to be: a distant, harsh taskmaster that was ordering me to obey or else I was doomed to be lost in a world of pain…a being that was “calling” me to desert the life I wanted.

As I lay on the floor in a puddle of my tears, God began to reveal His Father nature to me. Through scripture, heavenly-influenced conversation, and (most transforming of all) personal experience, I started to hear a new voice: the “Abba Father” described in Romans 8:15, “… you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you, in the bliss of which we cry ‘Abba, Father.’”

It was the start of a five-year journey of discovery of this nature.

… a journey from slavery to sonship.

> Read part II and part III of this series