Welcome to Sonship Sundays! This is the first episode of four. I hope you tune in and are equipped and encouraged to recognize your identity in Christ as a beloved child. I know there will be a release of freedom and power in your life. Oh and by the way ladies, SONSHIP ISN’T JUST FOR GUYS! I could say sons and daughters to make it easier but instead I’d rather you realize that sonship is position before the Father that has nothing to do with gender. I hope you are able to claim this position and live in as an amazing daughter of God!
So let the journey into sonship begin!
What does it mean to be a son? What does it mean to know and be known by the Heavenly Father? How do we trade the orphan spirit for the spirit of sonship? I believe these questions are at the core of every heart. I know some have silenced the voice that longs for parental affection and protection; I get that. But maybe this article will remind them. And, you, you recognize that voice, do you not? You long to be free from calculated love and regulated relationship, do you not? Surely you have watched a toddler waddle around the room giggling and squealing with innocence and freedom and wished for even a second that you could switch places.
I have been meditating on spiritual sonship for some time now. Since I discovered the voice and Spirit of Jesus two years ago, he has led me deeper and deeper into my true identity. I remember on DTS that it seemed like everyone who prayed or came to give me a word said the same thing: “Tim, God just wants you to know that you are his son.” It got ridiculously repetitive. I would smile every time and nod. Yes, yes I know that! But even though I heard the words, I write this today and say that I feel as though I’m just beginning to know the truth.
The Lord has been releasing an abundance of revelation over the past few weeks regarding his passion for sonship. It all started when I went to Gateway House of Prayer a few weeks ago. I walked in and began to get gripped by the movement of the Spirit. I felt a stirring and I knew he wanted to release fresh fire and encounters. I wasted no time finding the mic and began to prophesy over our night of prayer and worship; I declared that we were going to encounter the Holy Spirit in a new way, and that the Father wanted to pour out a fresh impartation. We began to get excited and started praying and worshipping with anticipation and fervency!
Suddenly, God interrupted and spoke inside my Spirit very clearly. I will never forget what he said. He said, “I want to pour out my Spirit on sons and daughters.” I was so moved I grabbed the mic again and shared the word. I felt so strongly that we had to remind ourselves of our sonship before the Lord would pour out his Spirit. We did and God wrecked each one of us with fresh zeal and fire. It was a beautiful night. But the Lord was not done. Over the last few weeks he has been revealing why He wants to “pour out his Spirit on sons and daughters”. A few portions of Scripture have begun to sink deep inside of me. I can’t go a day without marveling at the great wonder of adoption. Let me share a few of these written words of Life and then I will begin to explain why this is absolutely crucial to you and me and everyone else who desires a greater outpouring of the Spirit and intimacy with God, etc.
Romans 8:14-17 (ESV) says, “For all of you who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with ours that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may be glorified with him.” And a few verses later in verse 29 Paul writes that “those whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brothers.”
John says in 1 John 3:1 (NLT), “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children and that is what we are!”
Paul says it so clearly in Galatians 4:6 (ESV). He says, “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.”
Meditate on those incredible verses for a few moments. Let the truth sink in your mind. Agree with the Holy Spirit and declare, “I am a son/daughter! I have received the Spirit and I have an inheritance!” I tell you there are few declarations so powerful. Knowing this–actually experiencing this as reality–will literally change everything about your life. Why is this so important? Why must we understand our position as a son in order to receive the power of the Spirit?
I want to share two simple reasons why I am convinced that this is the key to “heaven coming to earth” and the release of the Kingdom of God both in your life and across the globe.
The first thing God showed me is that sonship destroys the stronghold of religion. God began to show me, that night in the house of prayer, why he insisted we first remember our eternal position before we sought the ‘fresh fire’. It’s not complicated. You see, if I do not come before him as a son, I will come before him as a workman (slave). I will stand before him in the spirit of the world that says if I do this for you, you must do this for me. In the context of a cry for revival it sounds like this: if I pray and fast and dance with all my might, then maybe the Lord will release his Holy Spirit! That, my brothers and sisters, is the spirit of the law, religion and death. The Lord showed me that if I come before him in this way and he pours out his Spirit I will begin to associate my action with his pleasure instead of my position. I will find myself once more in a religious mindset. In order to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit each day, I will immediately go through a mental checklist. This is not the glory God has promised those who partake of the new covenant. If you are not convinced, please read the book of Galatians.
If, however, I pause and remember my eternal position that Jesus bought for me, there is much different outcome. If I remind myself that “the Father calls me his child and that is what I am” and then I receive the fresh outpouring of the Spirit, I will destroy every last foothold of religion. I will know that my Father’s pleasure–without which life is not worth living–is an eternal declaration that is not based upon my performance! I cannot explain the freedom I have found in this thought. I have an unshakeable position next to the King of Kings and no human can add or take away from my value.
As if that were not enough to leave us all on our faces asking for the Spirit of adoption to shows us our sonship, there is another reason why we must understand our sonship in order to walk in the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit. It lies in one word: inheritance. Both the passage in Romans and the one in Galatians touch on this by saying we are “co-heirs with Christ”. Paul expands on this in Romans. Starting in verse 19 he says, “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:19-23 ESV)
Exhale. That’s a lot to meditate on and I don’t pretend to understand half of what Paul is saying. I will say this, though. Where there is a groan, there is a response. Where there is an earnest desire, there will be a sure reply. I believe this portion is describing the inheritance of sons. If we are co-heirs with Christ, then our inheritance will be the same as his. And what is Christ’s inheritance? Is it to struggle to make it to the other side? Is to feebly walk in pain and regret and shame? Is it to be overwhelmed by the tactics of the enemy and his demons? Is it anxiety, infirmity, or discouragement? No! It is to sit at the right hand of the Father and receive “a kingdom that cannot be shaken” (Hebrews 12:28 ESV). When the sons and daughters of God stepped into their appointed position alongside of Christ, creation will be set free and we will see the redemption of our bodies. We will receive the Spirit afresh and we will ALL walk in power and in the divine nature of Love. Not because we became fluent in Christianese or lived perfect lives or went on missions trips or had people lay hands on us. Simply because we took God at his word and stepped into sonship.
This is exciting, isn’t it? This means that the wonderful testimonies you hear about in missionary books or maybe even have read on my blog right here aren’t for a “certain type” of Christian. They are actually your inheritance! Do you want to receive your inheritance? First receive your sonship!
The Lord has been showing me a lot about the gifts of the Spirit, specifically their necessity, beauty, and accessibility. I will share about what I have found in my recent study of 1 Corinthians and some of the awesome healings and conversations I have seen recently because of them in Episode 2: Walking in the Spirit. I wanted to wait, however, and share about the root, the core, of all of those things first.
Thank you for reading! Be sure to check out the conversation I had with my friend and mentor, Aaron Patches. Aaron is the youth pastor at Lifeway church and he has some awesome thoughts on sonship that he shares in the video below. There is also a challenge at the end of video if you’re up for it!
Comment or message me if you have any thoughts or questions! Bless you guys and I’ll talk to you next week!
Tim Ornelas