From my book, We’re the ‘sons of God’: So What?
“Disciples of Jesus Christ have had a profound life-altering experience. They have encountered a supernatural personality, revealed in history as Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Messiah. And they have discovered the meaning and purpose of their lives in the subsequent revelation of his continuing presence to them. The experience demands a faithful, reliable witness.
What would public opinion say of a person who discovered the absolute cure for AIDS, but was unwilling to share that cure with a world that so desperately needs it? What if the antidote were kept hidden and made use of by only the discoverer and his family? We would consider it an moral outrage and he or she would be infamous. Why? We expect the cure to be shared, not only shared, but made available to all as soon as possible!”
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book can be extremely helpful for leaders who know that “something is missing” in their leadership or lives. Perhaps you’ve come to that place where everything has lost its luster. You may have been in a really good place, but things have slipped. Or perhaps you’re looking great on the outside, but in your heart of hearts, you KNOW that something’s missing. Something’s not quite right.
Pay attention to that feeling!
The sense of that void or lack is God’s tap on the shoulder to draw near to Him to see what He will say and do. In my case, He did (and continues to do) great things. I am journeying with Him in a new freedom because of His grace to suggest to my spirit that something was missing. I really went through a “dark night of the soul.” On the other side, I see that it was a season of spiritual breakthrough and growth necessary to go on to the next level of sonship or into the next season of life with Abba.
For me, that something is majored on in this book. And really laid out clearly in Ruth Barton’s other book Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God’s Transforming Presence.
For your sake, your church’s sake, and to His glory, read her books and take what is good. Those nuggets that the Lord uses as you journey with Him will make all the difference in your leadership and sonship (for more on “sonship” for both men & women, see my book: We’re The “sons Of God”. . .So What?: Believe God About Who You Really Are!).
I understand that more than 2.8 million people from 180 countries tuned in to view the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Have you any curiosity over what drew us? Perhaps something deeper–than the surface reasons we give–sparked our curiosity to participate–albeit vicariously.
Let’s review possible reasons this wedding drew so many viewers:
- Romance is high on the list
- Pomp and circumstance. The majesty of it all.
- Star gazing
- History in the making
Here’s one most people would not list, but, in my opinion, was the unconscious draw in the hearts of most of us who took an interest: eternity in our hearts.
Let me explain.
All human beings–whether they like it or not, whether they believe it or not–are made in the image of God. A metaphor may help to make this theological concept more simple. A divine seed has been planted in each soul. This seed has the potential to become a living spirit in relationship to God the Father. According to the God’s Word, the Scriptures, Jesus called this resurrection of the spirit an experience of being “born-from-above.” God actually awakens the seed-spirit as we consider the claims of the Beautiful News about his Son–Jesus–and turn toward him from our self-directed lives. We glimpse his love, his sacrifice to bring us into relationship with Father and respond by giving ourselves to that Love [for God is Love]. At that point where we begin to walk in newness of life, we become his sons and daughters–his household–royalty. Anyone can see why images of royalty draw our hearts. That’s why movies such as Cinderella, Snow White, Everafter, Aladdin, and fables and fairy tales which include transformation into royalty draw children [and the young at heart] supraculturally–worldwide. We KNOW in our hearts that we should be part of this.
We have this sense of belonging to Father lying unconsciously deep in our hearts–eternity in our hearts. Without knowing what drives us, we are drawn to common themes:
- Romance–the God who is LOVE
- Pomp & magesty–the God who is King of Kings, Lord of Lords
- Prince rescues a commoner and seats her with him on his throne–Jesus has done exactly that!
- Fatherless child finds that he/she is no longer an orphan, but was all along the child of royalty. Exactly what God’s Word says.
All of us are a part of history and want to be at the center of history in some sense. A great truth is that history is HIS-STORY–the story of God the Father–in His Son–redeeming his future children from a fallen world. We may not ever give it a conscious moment of thought, but WE are at the center of that story. “For God so LOVED THE WORLD [people], that He gave His Unique Son, that whoever [this includes YOU] believed in HIM would not perish but would instead receive eternal life [His Life into them](my translation).
Men and women are mortal. Immortality is a gift, not an inheritance. Immortality comes from the life of the indwelling Messiah alone. No one has immortality apart from HIM. “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:12) Cultural ideas of what comes after this life are just that . . . cultural ideas–most have no reality to them. But the TRUTH is that IF we respond to the LOVE of God and move toward Him, it is a reflection of His move toward us. And if we believe that Jesus is the Unique Son who can give us His life, we will never remain in death, though we will pass through the valley of the shadow of death.
Marriage itself is the very picture of two individuals joining together to be one. And–for most–in that union of love, life comes forth either spiritual or physical as the case may be. Jesus has joined with those who willingly received Him into their lives. He has become their Life. From that union, more life springs into being.
Much more could be said on this topic and better than I can say it. But I put it out here as my own reflection today. I am personally grateful that God, the Father and His Unique Son–Jesus–have given life to my spirit so that I can forever enjoy them as a son in the household of God. [If you have read this far, you may be interested in exploring this sonship[daugthership] theme more closely in my book: We’re the ‘sons of God’ . . . So What?]
I believe that the human capacity for a relationship with God is a large part of the reason so many were drawn by this royal wedding. What do you think?
© 2011 David C Alves
While writing my book, We’re the “sons of God” . . . So What?, several motivators kept me going through the years. Some of those I share in the “Preface” of the book. But I wanted to go beyond the preface to share additional inspirations for persevering in the work.
First, I sincerely believe what I’ve written. At the core of my being, I am convinced of these biblical truths. I really believe that the Father has illumined these truths for just this season of history for the body of Christ worldwide. Thus, I am being faithful to my conscience. I believe that the truths unveiled or examined in the book are powerful and have the potential to transform our earth-bound thinking in such a way as to promote spiritual maturity and formation to a significantly higher degree than we have settled for in many churches and fellowship groups. I have lived and taught these truths to the best of my ability. I have learned much about my shortcomings and God’s ways of transforming us by the renewing of our minds. Everything we need is there in scripture, but we don’t always see it clearly. Or we see it the way we’ve been taught to see it–through someone else’s theological prism. Not that I couldn’t be doing the same thing–offering my own prism; but, given the signs of the times, what’s happening in the Middle East, and the desperate decline of the traditional church in the West, I’ll let the body decide. Father wants us to understand and believe Him about what he did in Jesus and who we are as a result. Then we will be a life effective for the final season of history.
Let’s look together and see if God’s revelation in Christ teaches us that we are something more than merely forgiven sinners or beggars sharing bread. Though we all truly were beggars. And are forgiven sinners. But what else are we? Does God intend to keep us in an Old Covenant identity as we are being conformed to the image of Christ?
Second, I wanted to honor and obey my Father by sharing the insights he had given me. Over and over He taught me lessons about his fathering and my sonship. These lessons helped me grow in character and practical holiness. They also stretched me and matured my character. They prepared me for responsibility in the body of Christ. But most important of all, His love of his children compelled me to give Him the best work I was capable of with His empowering. We’re the “sons of God” . . . So What? is an offering back to my Father. I won’t go farther here because I elaborate in the book.
Finally, I had sincere hopes for my future readers. I believe that, though very imperfect, this book is going to powerfully impact those who read it with open hearts and a willingness to take a fresh look at what scripture may be saying to us. I am convinced that it will be challenging, encouraging and edifying. I prayed for my readers years before any of them knew I was writing. I wanted to give them something more than information. We have enough informational books and materials on the internet. For them, I wanted genuine transformation. Change that would bring them great joy.
I loved how books impacted me in that way. When I came to Christ, as a brand new believer, I was not a reader. I spent very little time reading. But when I came to know Him, I wanted to learn EVERYTHING about him. So I devoured the Bible, then books about the bible and spiritual growth, the gifts, the lives of important models of the faith, and so on. Those books jump-started my spiritual formation and launched me much farther than I could have gone on my own without them. They helped me to form my new identity as a believer in Christ. They were also important to me when I fell along the way. When ensnared by past sin, they showed me not only a way out, but a way that could change my propensity to continue in the old nature (and under the performance-based Old Covenant).
So many of us know the pain of sin and failure. We understand rejection and want acceptance. We are all recovering from the fallenness of this sin-sick world. On the path to any spiritual recovery, we must encounter a godly view of WHO we really are. Our identities have suffered the stain of sin and shame. But the Beautiful News of the Royal Reign of God, is that we are something more than redeemed sinners (as wonderful and true as that is). We who have come to Him . . . on HIS terms, have taken on a new identity. The title of my book gives away that identity. And many would shake their heads in affirmation . . . “that’s right, we’re the sons of God.” But then comes the inevitable question: “So what?” How does that help me in my day tomorrow at work? How does that help me know what to do with my aging parents? What difference can believing the right things make at my job or in my classroom? How can being a “son” improve my relationships? And as a woman, who cares that we’re “sons?”
We have been given supernatural weapons–weapons that are not of this world–to tear down mental and spiritual strongholds that have become pretenses to, not only knowing God more deeply, but to knowing ourselves. Even on this side of the cross and resurrection, on this side of being “born again” or “Spirit-filled, we still suffer an identity crisis. We really don’t know who we are! As a pastor, I hear it so often. God’s children believing that they are less than they are in Christ. They often go through life with either an entitlement or a victim mentality. They insist that they should be first in line or that the government needs to take care of them. Or they whine that they feel powerless. But we are more than victims. God wants us to stand up and to walk in the authority of our callings. He wants us to have HIS view of who and what we are. That’s why I believe that this book has the potential to truly bless the reader who is willing to face what is found in the book, to meet with the Father in the reading, and to be willing to be transformed by a renewing of the mind into a greater Christlikeness.
The hope I hold for my readers is that they will find an oasis of refreshment and life-giving fruit that can sustain them along the spiritual journey to our Father’s Kingdom and to their inheritance.
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We’re the “sons of God” . . . So What? is also available on Kindle and Nook:
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May the Lord bless your reading of my book and grant you His Spirit of wisdom and revelation that you might know Him and his deep love for you better.