209. The Right to Become Children of God

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

God the Father sent Jesus to ‘redeem those who were in bondage to sin’, to buy us back from slavery. He set us free, but it does not stop there – we are adopted into His royal family, and become His heirs. In this family relationship, we find and enjoy acceptance, affection, affirmation, approval – and unlimited access to our Father, to Jesus, and to the Holy Spirit.

The right to become children of God

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12).

Everyone reading this has the right to become a child of God. That is astonishing! Everything we have done in our past has been overcome because of Jesus’ death on the cross.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God (1 John 3:1)

We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him (1 John 4:16).

That word ‘know’ means ‘experience’. If God is love, and God is in us, then love is in us, and we can experience it for ourselves. In fact, we can live in it, every moment of every day.

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children (Rom 8:14).

Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God (Gal 4:7).

An inheritance for you

You are the son of a Father who has an inheritance for you. Not only that, but He has released that inheritance to you so that you can experience the fullness of that relationship. That relationship of intimacy in sonship is something He has always wanted and planned for each of us:

He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will (Eph 1:5).

Slaves and orphans struggle with the fear of trusting, and therefore live a life of independence. If we cannot trust anyone else, we will feel we are on their own. God does not want us to feel alone. If, because of that fear, we fail to fully grasp that we are sons, then there is no way we will act like sons either.

We may find it hard to trust because of past experience. We have all been hurt, all been damaged, all been let down by people. We may be afraid of being hurt, rejected, or disappointed.  We may suffer from fear of failure, or fear of losing control.

But losing control is the very thing we need to do. We need to surrender control to God, and trust Him to have our best interests at heart. We have to stop being independent and learn to trust Him as our Father. When we do, we embrace everything He has for us, because he will cause our destiny to be outworked in our lives.

A loving, affectionate Father

You see, the completed work of salvation does not make us slaves (servile followers of a tyrannical God). That is what religion presents, and it is the lie which leads astray so many people who would otherwise turn to God. No, this great salvation makes us sons (grateful children of a loving, affectionate Father). That is the difference between religion and relationship. Religion will always put us into bondage (the word ‘religion’ even comes from a Latin word meaning ‘bound up’), but relationship will bring us freedom.

To be liberated from slavery is wonderful. But to find that we have been adopted as a son and made a co-heir of the Father’s entire estate is absolutely astounding! If we were to fully understand what it is to have access to the wealth of our Father (and I’m really not talking about money), it would totally transform our lives. Because of our adoption, the nature of our whole relationship with God has radically changed. We are set free from that religious perception of God as a hard taskmaster just looking for every opportunity to punish us, a God we have to somehow try to appease by doing our good works (only to find that nothing we can do is ever quite good enough).

There is no punishment in store for us as His children, just love and acceptance, forgiveness, grace and mercy.

Reserved in heaven for you

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3-5).

I hope we all understand by now that ‘reserved in heaven for you’ does not mean that you have to wait until you die to go and enjoy it. Jesus has opened up heaven for us and we are seated there with Him: everything there is for us to discover, and we can walk in that inheritance as sons right now. And God is looking to reveal more and more of what it means to be sons, what it means to be part of His family, what it means to have a relationship with Him.

In the past, I have ministered to people who had been adopted, and they can struggle, in a natural sense. In spite of much love from their adoptive parents, they can still have a feeling of not belonging, of not fitting in (and especially if they come from a different country, race or colour). But when we experience adoption by God it is like we have found our eternal home, as if we have come back to how things should always have been. Because that is the reality of it.

Steal and kill and destroy

But (and it is a big ‘but’)…

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy… (John 10:10a AMP).

The accuser, the father of lies, wants to remind us of our past and our history in order to rob us of our present and our future. He wants to rob us of our adoptive inheritance and destroy our relationship with God. Yet Jesus said,

I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows) (John 10:10b AMP).

Who are we going to listen to? If we are smart, we will listen to Jesus and embrace the fullness of what the Father has destined and provided for us.

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208. Whose Slave Are You?

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

We are on a quest, and in a battle, to lay hold of and possess all that God destined for us (and destined us to be). That quest and that battle will lead us into deeper intimacy with God.

Jesus is the firstborn Son, but the Father always desired a larger family.

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers (Rom 8:29).

It is my destiny and yours to be His son (this is not about male or female but about our relationship with our Father and our position as heir). Now, it is all very well knowing as a piece of factual information that we are sons, and even knowing in our head that God sees it that way, but the question we must ask ourselves is, do I feel, think, and act like His son? Am I experiencing that, and living it out? And if not why not? If I am not fully embracing everything God says about me and thinks about me, then I need to know what is preventing me so that I can overcome it, and enter in.

A heritage of slavery

We all started out as slaves. Mankind was in slavery because of what our ancestors, Adam and Eve, did in the Garden. Therefore we are all born into slavery, and we are all spiritual orphans, with a sense of separation from God. Adam and Eve became spiritual orphans because they chose to follow the DIY pathway of the knowledge of good and evil, rather than the pathway of the tree of life that God had designed for them. God wants us to turn away from following the pathway of the knowledge of good and evil, to come back and embrace the tree of life. Even good things, if we do not get them from God, can still lead us into slavery.

So because of Adam and Eve’s sin (that is, loss of identity), naturally speaking slavery is our heritage. It affects how we feel and think about ourselves and about God. Keep going that way and we end up with a wounded soul as a result of trying to meet our own needs in the only way we know how – from the world – and our spirit is disengaged from God and dead to Him. That is what is in our natural family line, and ‘sons of disobedience’ carry on the family tradition.

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest (Eph 2:1-3).

People who do not know God as Father, and do not have a relationship with Him, will carry on in the pattern set up by Adam and Eve. All of us either have lived or do live like that. Yet He never intended any of us to be ‘children of wrath’, and that is why He has made a way for us to live differently.

Whose slave are you?

Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? (Rom 6:16).

Adam and Eve chose to present themselves as slaves to sin, and the result was death, both physical and spiritual. But Jesus has given us a choice now: we can present ourselves to God.

So, whose slave are you? Who is your master?

One master brings life; the other brings death. We have a choice about who we serve, and it is a choice offered to every one of us. I choose to serve the perfect God of love rather than a fallen being who wants only to destroy me.

God so loved

This is how God made that choice possible for us:.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Take out ‘the world’ and substitute ‘me’. It is too easy to read the words ‘the world’ and think it means other people, everybody else, but not ourselves. No, it means ‘God so loved me’. It means that by believing in Jesus I can enter into life rather than continuing in death.

The Amplified version says that ‘God so dearly loved and prized…’ You are a prize, to God. He deeply desires intimacy and relationship with you. As a result of that, He was willing to give His Son so that you could become His child.

Paul puts it this way:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) (Eph 2:4-5).

And,

God sent him [Jesus] to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children (Gal 4:4).

It is by God’s grace and God’s power, through the victory of Jesus on the cross, that we were saved from the path we were going down and brought into this relationship with Him: from death to life, from slavery into freedom, from separation to intimacy.

We are royalty

God has paid the price, and bought us back so that he could adopt us as His own children, just like Jesus. Awesome! How would we feel if the Queen of England adopted us, gave us the run of the palace and access to all the people she has advising her and looking after her? If she said to us, ‘I want you to inherit all that I have’? How special would we feel? That is what the God who made the whole universe and keeps it all together has done for us!

We have been redeemed, bought back from slavery by Jesus, given a new home and a family. We are adopted as sons into the family of the King. We are royalty: princes and princesses, regardless of our history or background. What we have done, what has been done to us, none of that has any effect whatsoever on how God sees us. We look just like Jesus to Him, holy and perfect and righteous. God does not hold our past against us, unlike the devil who constantly accuses us and tries to cause us to remember our past. Since God chooses not to remember it, neither should we!

We have been born again into a new family with a new identity. We have a new heavenly home (which we can engage with now, not only when we die) and are ourselves a home of God. We have a new, heavenly citizenship, and a new (yet eternal) identity and purpose. We have come into sonship, into a relationship with our Father.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you (John 14:18-20).

…and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom 5:5).

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:35-39).

So let’s fully embrace all that God has done for us in His love, so that nothing, nothing, nothing will ever remove us or separate us from the fullness of all that He has for us as His dearly loved children.

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Soundtrack: Jake Hamilton – The Anthem

207. Restored to Original Condition

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favourable year of the Lord
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes, 
The oil of gladness instead of mourning, 
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness.
(Isaiah 61:1-3).

Every 50 years in the Jewish calendar there was to be a Year of Jubilee (or freedom), when everyone had their inheritance restored to them. That is the ‘favourable year of the Lord’ that we are called to proclaim. God wants all his people to have everything restored to them.

We will receive liberty in exchange for captivity, healing instead of brokenness, beauty for ashes, double honour for shame, the oil of joy instead of mourning. The time for mourning is over. It is time to know the fullness of joy in our salvation. God is looking to restore all things to original condition, including us. He will restore us not to the condition we were born in, but to His original intention for us, all those wonderful plans He has had for us from eternity past.

He wants us to know our identity – who we really are. He wants us to know how He designed us, to know how we were made to be. And He wants us to grasp our destiny, our birthright, all that we are called to do.

Picture yourself

I encourage you to take some time out now.

Imagine that Father God is standing before You.
He is calling you to your destiny.
Picture yourself walking towards Him.

Come in repentance*, with your head bowed, as a servant, because that is how we all come at first.

Now, look up. See the Father waiting with His arms wide open, with love in His eyes for you.
Look into His eyes of love.

Run to Him.

Feel His loving embrace.

Just like in the story of the Prodigal Son,
Feel the ring of sonship He puts on your finger,
A seal, a signet ring you can use as His representative, with His authority.

Feel the clean robes He puts on you
All the dirt of the past has been completely removed
These are robes of righteousness
How clean and fresh they feel!

You have been declared righteous, made right with Him.

Enjoy the joy and celebration of His heart
Feel His acceptance and restoring love
Feel His affirmation.

Listen with your spirit

Just as God opened up the heavens to speak over Jesus, He has opened the heavens over you and is declaring this over you. I would urge you to listen with your spirit to what He is declaring. This is your Father speaking directly to your spirit, calling forth that eternal destiny He has placed within you.

I declare you are my beloved son and I am well pleased with you.

I call you My child
I am your Father
You are mine and I am yours.

I legitimise you as my child
I call forth your spiritual destiny.

I call your spirit to attention
Listen with your spirit to the words that I, your heavenly Father, have for you.

The Spirit of your Father gives witness to your spirit that you are My son
I bless your spirit with the spirit of sonship and the mindset of sonship
I bless you with a deep heart identity as My very own child, securely loved in My family
I bless you with the settled assurance that I have a future and a hope for you
And I have written all your days in My book with love
For your best interest and for My ultimate glory.

I bless you with the deep knowledge that I know what you need
And I have all the resources of the universe to meet that need.

Listen with your spirit to My words for you
My Spirit testifies to your spirit that you are My child
Feel your spirit pulsating with My life, My love, My acceptance.

I bless you with the ears to hear the testimony of the spirit of the Lord,
The spirit of knowledge, wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel, power and fear of the Lord
To hear what they say about you.

I bless you with being tuned into Me
With eyes for seeing, ears for hearing, and a mind for understanding
I bless you with being led by the fullness of My Spirit of Truth
To see things as I see them in the heavenly realms.

I bless you with the deep knowledge that you are an heir with your brother Jesus
To all of My treasuries
I bless you with the confidence that you lack for nothing you need
Spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, and practically.

I bless you with the sure understanding that I want you to have My blessings and My glory
To possess your birthright
I bless you with the desire to press forward to see the glory that I am revealing.

I bless you with a heart that does not rebel or shrink back
From the opportunities which I put before you daily
I bless you with a hunger for the manifestation of My glory day by day
In you and through your life.

I declare that you are no longer a slave, an orphan or a victim
I declare that you are mine and I am yours:
I am your inheritance and you are My inheritance.

I declare that I am your Father and you are My son
And I give you access to your heavenly home
I give you access to the river and tree of life in your heavenly home.

I call you to be a gateway of heaven on the earth
You are my child and I call you to be displayed as a mature son on the earth.

Soak

Let your spirit receive those words. Go over them again and again, day after day if you need to. Receive them as an affirmation of who you are as a son of God, as a child of your heavenly Father, as one who has a destiny in Him. Allow your spirit to just soak in it. Soak in the words of God to you. He approves of you, blesses you.

He wants you to know your identity, and outwork it.

He wants you to know your destiny, and fulfil it.

*’Repentance’ is the Greek word ‘metanoia’: it means changing the way you think about yourself – and everything and everyone else – and instead, thinking as God thinks.

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Equipping a Joshua Generation of supernatural sons of God to live according to the order of Melchizedek

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Soundtrack: Beauty For Ashes – Chris McClarney

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