"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!' So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God."
// Galatians 4:4-7
As sons and daughters of the King, we have the right to live the life of Christ. Exercising this right will always be a choice, and we must daily choose to deny our old self and to live above it, living the ascended life of Christ. We must remember that God buried our old self in the ground, under our feet, and raised us to sit in heavenly places with Christ, who Himself waits on God to make His enemies His footstool. Our old self was an enemy of God and was buried beneath our feet, and serves now only as Jesus’ footstool. Let’s keep it the way that God made things to be - let’s not exhume our old self and let a zombie loose in our lives.
Let’s keep our lives aligned to God’s design: we are sons, living life by the Spirit of God. Let’s live like the Gospel is true, like our old self is dead and buried, like we are raised up and sat with Christ above every enemy of God, including our old selves, which were at enmity with God. Let’s lean into the voice of the Holy Spirit who cries out “Abba! Father!”
Through this cry in our hearts, the Holy Spirit constantly reminds us of two things: we are children, and we are sons. “Abba” means “Papa” or “Daddy” and, with this phrase, the Holy Spirit reminds us that, like children, we can ask anything of God and He will give it to us. “Abba” encapsulates the part of our heart that will always be childlike to its Papa. We always get to call Him Daddy or Papa, no matter how mature we become in the Lord.
“Father” indicates that we are growing into fully mature sons. The Holy Spirit, by crying out “Father!” in our hearts, reminds us of His job to mature us, just like “Abba!” indicates His willingness to comfort us. “Father!” and the maturity that goes with that name, speaks of the rights we can exercise as sons, and the responsibilities we can assume in our walk with God as our Father—that is what Paul means by being heirs of God.
The ascended life in Christ lives the paradox between what “Abba!” means and what “Father!” prophesies. We will always be children to God, ever maturing in our faith in who He is. We don’t have to choose between either, but get to have both, because the Holy Spirit will cry out forever that God will always be both “Abba!” and “Father!” to us. That is some good news!