The dust begins to settle as we take our seats under the shade of an old fig tree. We just witnessed Jesus raise a small girl from the dead, heal a woman with a flow of blood, give sight to two blind men and cast a demon out of another. Even though it is a daily experience, I never get used to it. I look at Jesus. He leans against the tree and closes his eyes. The casual conversations grow quiet as we breathe in the cool evening air. Tears well in my eyes as I replay the events of the day and I shake my head almost imperceptibly.
I close my eyes and remember the words of the crowd when the demon possessed man was set free. He screamed with ecstasy and shouted and whooped and danced and we all laughed with heartfelt joy! I heard many whisper, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel!”
I open my eyes again. Jesus is looking directly at me. Goosebumps run across my face and down my arms. Waves of heat begin to stir in my heart and I try to blink away the liquid filling my eyes. He smiles. Then he looks around at the ragtag brotherhood that he calls his disciples. We are really just mad men who have nothing in the world. Desperate. Maybe foolish. But none of us have an ounce of regret. Jesus leans forward.
“The harvest is plentiful my brothers. Do not say, ‘Four months until harvest!’ No, I say lift up your eyes!” He lifts both of his hands past the horizon and then drops them to his side. “And ask the Lord of the harvest to thrust forth workers, harvesters!” For a brief moment I see fire in his eyes. I know he is zealous for the lost sheep. He lifts his eyes and his lips move in silent conversation with his Father. A few quiet moments pass.
Just when I am tempted to think Jesus is about to dismiss us for the night, he suddenly stands up. Our robes rustle as we rise to stand as well. I push my dirty hair out of my face. Jesus begins to address us each by name. When he says mine, a surge of energy rushes through my veins. After he finishes, the air itself seems heavy. I know something life changing is about to happen.
“I give you all my name. I give you the authority the Father has given me! You will drive out every impure spirit and every sickness and disease, everything that is not part of me. Go and say: the Kingdom of heaven has come near! I’ve given you everything freely, now freely give it to all.” The breeze dies and every hair stands. I can barely hold back the raw excitement.
Shortly after Jesus sent out his twelve disciples, a massive shift in his ministry occurred. The disciples were now apostles. They went out in power and saw amazing signs and wonders. If you read Luke 10, you will find that Jesus then sent out the seventy-two. When these disciples returned they shared their amazement at what they had done. Jesus responded by saying that he saw Satan fall like lightning! He was full of joy and began to praise his Father. Isn’t that wild?!
You see, sons are aware of their Father’s heart. Jesus walked as a perfect son and he did so in order to reveal the Father. That means that the very core of sonship is intimacy with the Father and partnership with his heart. You can’t know your Father and not have a heart for the lost. Our Father is Love and love is not containable. It is always flowing out and reaching the unloved!
The last two weeks, I have shared about sonship and the gifts of the Spirit. Sonship is the foundation for a kingdom mindset. No matter what you want to do in the kingdom, you must do all as a son. If you enter into a workman’s mentality you immediately step out of intimacy and into religion. The gifts of the Spirit have been given to remind us of our sonship and to build others up in theirs. If you are tracking with me, I’m so excited! You are about to see a new path emerge before you, a path of freedom and power!
As you become aware of your sonship and the gifts of the Spirit that are at work this very moment inside of you, you are going to want to share this with others. I had a moment six months ago I will never forget! For over a year and half, Father had been teaching me the beauty of my position before his face. He had been erasing lies and fears that had grown for over a decade in my heart, slowly allowing me to walk in ever-increasing freedom. The more I became aware of my security in him, the less my thoughts were centered around myself. The less I thought of myself, the more I began to think of others.
There was a powerful moment when my heart was awakened to this truth. I suddenly realized: oh my gosh, I’m…good! Like, I don’t have to worry about my problems or weaknesses or fear or try to fix myself! Up until that point I always had some ‘problem’ or issue I was working through with God. But when I recognized my sonship in Jesus, my mind and heart became free to think about how I could serve and impact others. I believe this is the pattern for all who walk the path of sons and so today I want to give you a few practical thoughts for how you can walk in way to draw others to Jesus.
First, make yourself available. Almost every time I walk outside of my house or into another atmosphere, be it the gym or even church, I remind myself that I am available for interruption. It’s challenging and uncomfortable but really isn’t it just agreeing with the truth? Does any child stop being a child when they are not conscious of it? In the same way, is any son of God not a son of God when they aren’t consciously thinking about it? Of course not! That said, only a son who is conscious of his sonship will experience it. And only in the experience of it will you see the fruit of it.
Sometimes just telling yourself that you are available is not enough. It takes a lot to unlearn our culture of fear and self-consciousness. False humility, comfort, and lack of urgency are warring for your inaction! Friends, living a lifestyle of evangelism can be really hard. I’ll be the first to admit, while I find it easy to reach out right after a faith spike or radical encounter, continuing to do so after even just a few days is challenging. Can I give you a key that looks very similar to last week’s key? Hint: it’s actually the same!
Community! Staying in conversation with others who desire to impact the world and obey the commands of Jesus is absolutely crucial to living a kingdom lifestyle of signs and wonders that lead the lost back to Jesus. I can’t stress that enough! As soon as I step out of community, I step out of my desire to grow and be uncomfortable for Jesus. Because many of you who are reading this are might not be directly connected to a community like this, I want to create one here through blog. Would you like to grow in sharing and testifying about the goodness of Jesus this week? Then consider taking the son challenge!
For anyone who wants to learn how to share Jesus, I have a simple challenge: talk to three people this week that you’ve never talked to before. After you have at least one conversation, please email email@example.com with your story! I will put some of the stories into an article next week of all of you to read. My heart is that you will realize this isn’t an optional part of sonship and neither is it something I am doing alone. There are thousands like me and you who are beginning to walk in their God-given power and freedom!
I am going to share one easy way to share Jesus here but remember there are tons of different ways. In the video that is linked to this article, I’ll be chatting with a few friends about those different ways, so please check it out!
Here is one simple approach to sharing Jesus. I’ve gotten to pray for quite a few people and see improvement in their bodies through this.
As you are going about your day, be attentive to the people around you. As you look at people with the Holy Spirit, be sensitive to any ‘random’ thoughts that come into your mind. If you notice someone who seems to be having a hard day or maybe even pain in their body, walk up to them and say hello. You’d be surprised how much joy a simple greeting can bring! People love being noticed! Once you exchange names or some form of greeting, ask them if there is anything going on in their life that has been difficult or anything in their body that is in pain. If you had a thought about a part of the body, ask them if it’s in pain. If you get it wrong, own it and share that you felt God was saying something but you got it wrong. Most people laugh and mention something else that’s in pain. After you have established the issue, ask them if you can pray for it! Nine out of ten people will receive prayer if you have already built a friendly atmosphere.
And there you have it: suddenly you are positioned to express the love of Jesus and introduce them to power of God! The results are not your responsibility, the pathway is. Walk a path of honor, gentleness, and faith and you will have some amazing experiences and see the beautiful manifestation of the kingdom of heaven.
I started this article by painting a picture of being sent out by Jesus as one of the original disciples. I want you to reread that and close your eyes. What if Jesus was sending you out today? What if you could share that ‘the kingdom has come near’ with your coworkers today or the cashier at Walmart? If you had the authority of Jesus, would you use it?
Jesus made it clear that every son is a disciple. He also made it clear the every disciple has been given authority and a responsibility to make other disciples! I hope this encourages you to begin to start awkward conversations and see Jesus encounter his children. Check out the video, take the challenge, and I look forward to hearing the stories of sons next week!