Mark Ellwood, our beloved pastor at Heights Community Church, has been preaching up a storm on the gospel of grace. To sum up the inherent grace we can all enjoy through Jesus Christ, with strong South African gusto, Mark boldly announced, “You see, My Father has dibs on me!”
Like the pelican in Nemo, throughout Scripture, God shouts His dibs over us. Like an Almighty shout out, God says, “Hey, I know who you are and I want you to come with Me. It’s the only way you can be blessed. Trust Me” to our air-sucking, fin-flapping attempts to reach a worthy destination. “My Father has dibs on me” is an unbudging anchor when the enemy of our souls attempts to devour our faith with accusations and back us into lonely corners of shame and guilt. “My Father has dibs on me!” shouts down the cries of “Mine!” as we, like Marlin and Dorie in Nemo, are swooped up to safety in the surety of belonging to God Almighty, our loving Father whose love is endless and whose faithfulness reaches the skies.
In ancient times, Micah shouts to his nation, “God Almighty has dibs on you!”. To war-weary, idol-contaminated Judah, Micah paints their future with word-pictures of Zion. Micah speaks resilience over his people, promising “the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it.(Mic 4:1). Zion is God’s dream of His people living 100% their God-design, in the highest of all kingdoms, where God’s love flows down and the word of the Lord reigns. To a nation called to cling to truth and love peace, Micah prophesies that living in Zion is within reach for everyone:
But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree,
And no one shall make them afraid;
For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
For all people walk each in the name of his god,
But we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
Forever and ever (Mic.4:4)
Security comes to God’s people when we walk as His own. Like a coach at the finals, Micah shouts identity over Judah to live as God’s Zion, a holy nation, chosen by God to reign over the kingdoms of this world, regardless of personal strengths or weakness or circumstance:
I will make the lame a remnant,
And the outcast a strong nation;
So the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion
From now on, even forever.
8 And you, O tower of the flock,
The stronghold of the daughter of Zion,
To you shall it come,
Even the former dominion shall come,
The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.(Mic.4: 7,8)
Discipled, Identified, Belonging, Secure. This is reality for God’s kids regardless of the conflicts, stresses and sorrows we presently face. It all starts and ends with Jesus. Micah prophesied hundreds of years earlier of Christ coming from Israel:
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,Yet out of you shall come forth to MeThe One to be Ruler in Israel,Whose goings forth are from of old,From everlasting.…And He shall stand and feed His flockIn the strength of the Lord,In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God;And they shall abide,For now He shall be greatTo the ends of the earth;5 And this One shall be peace.
When life’s seagulls clammer, let God swoop you up into His embrace, and as you shift away from your present pain, shout back, “My Father has dibs on me!” to every accusation, every failure, every sorrow. By Jesus’ astounding blood sacrifice, every sin has been atoned for and now by grace, we enter into adoption by God Almighty.
We are loved, blessed, secure as God’s Kids.
Hear Paul’s cry for the church, that we would each know our identity as beloved:
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.(Eph. 3:14-21)
May you know the Father’s dibs on your life today. May we each live free, in expectation of God’s outpouring of love and grace as we practice being His, with an applied love walkuntil His Kingdom comes and His will is done on earth as it is in heaven.