What do you do when God designed you to crave being in the office of son or daughter but you cannot achieve that with your parents?
What do you do when you understand that all the substitute structures of heroes and peers are simply being tribal?
How do you proceed when you can’t really excel in subsequent offices unless you’ve been well anchored as a son or daughter?
The answer is exciting. You will fit in the office of son or daughter with God.
My dad could outperform anybody else. He had tools and he knew God. Dad had it all together. If I could be like dad, I too would be special. I realized by the age of two, that pats on the back didn’t happen very often. I wasn’t commoditized, just the family embarrassment. I left home with a marginal chance of making dad proud having gotten some strokes from some people. I demonstrated that I would make a reasonably good commodity using my knowledge of the word of God.
Because of a lack of personhood, I developed a savior mentality. I have legitimacy when I fix other people’s problems. I also had a victim spirit which translated into very few boundaries. I pastored a church. A hard life with little fruit. The church closed and I conceded defeat. In that hole I learned about the redemptive gifts which redefined my idea of a commodity as the best hard core prophet there ever was! After this I soon learned about the spirit of slavery.
When Israel came out of Egypt they left the physical state of slavery but still carried the spirit of slavery.
This equates to being a commodity. I was sure God was happy with me as a son because I could obey the way he wanted me to obey. A violent restructuring took place by God when I had a brutal choice to make an with a classic case of extreme slavery I said, ‘Whatever you want me to do, that I will do, A or B? And the voice of God answered, “YES.”
I was infuriated and felt betrayed with no clear metric to pursue as this decision would define the rest of my life. I felt no equipping to make this decision, yet he forced me to choose my own way.
These are the questions I learned to ask:
1. Has God spoken?
2. In the silences of God, is there a biblical principle?
3. What is the most ME thing to do?
This, my friends, sounded like heresy to me and was completely life changing as a decision might be based on what I would enjoy doing. This was beyond a paradigm shift.
Here is another picture:
The King goes out to war. He gathers up his subjects, they defeat the enemy and divide up the spoils and the land. The subjects now upgraded to Earls, are put in charge of a piece of land and the King leaves.
Each Earl must now decide what to do, where to invest according to their own tastes. One is passionate about farming, another education, another marketing oriented. Each ones work is legitimate and permissible.
The King doesn’t care about the priority, he just wants you to build. And he savors the different expressions and tastes as each one builds according to their design. The King can give orders, but broadly speaking his preference is to allow you to express yourself in the context of the projects given you.
I hope this story is rearranging your framework. You are designed as a son or daughter and he puts you in a context to allow you to discover who you are and to unpack who you are. God so believes in his imprint of you is a radical change in thinking.
Every time I see myself as an extension of the nature of God it places me in the office of sonship.
Were you also raised believing that anything that came close to validating yourself as an individual was pride?
Did you have a profound aversion to articulating excellence in yourself?
Was pride an ever present danger, a virus even?
Say anything good about yourself in public made you a flagrant criminal?
Pride, avoid it at all costs.
Joy and pride are not the same thing. For you to enjoy something is not the same as falling into pride. To experience joy separate from pride is immense. You can enjoy doing a good job at something without it being pride.
Like a master horseman, that moves a horse with a slight touch of his knee, our Father takes great pleasure in our synchronizing with him. When you can feel his heart, you know you are so like him.
My excellence does not come from my hard work nor my competence. They both come from being just like my dad.
Look at the specifics in your walk, the kinds of things God brings into your life and ask, ‘Do I see my Father in this? Where can you say, ‘ He put those desires in me and I know that he enjoys them too.’
The examples are numerous. Look through your ever growing list of personhood. Is it your love of mountains, motion, food..
Doing what I know God put in me puts me in the office of sonship. Some things we will not get from our parents. For Arthur it was his love of land. That he got from God.
‘I felt so established in the office of sonship because the healing of land matters to God. When I see it from the office of personhood, I can recognize it in the office of sonship. When I am cleansing land, the Father is enjoying my joy.’
As we built out our list from personhood we can reframe it in the light of where do we see God enjoying this? We can then come into agreement saying, ‘I got that from God. He put that in me. My love of__.
Go through life looking for the me in scripture even in the emotions of God. The more you build out the office of personhood in your life, the more you can absorb when you ask, ‘Is that God?’ Does God enjoy me enjoying my joy in that area? Can I find that in scripture? Ah yes, God enjoys my joy there. This is what firmly establishes me in the office of sonship.
As we savor that bond together we can see ourselves as a son or daughter and God as our Father.
Your fundamental question in life needs to be replaced. From ‘did it work?’ to ‘was I like my Father here? The first is a question a commodity asks in many different variations.
Those two issues as competence as a commodity and intimacy as a son fit together beautifully as long as they are in the right sequence.
Peter on the day of Pentecost. He spoke first in the gospels before anyone. God enjoyed that about Peter. Because Peter was reconciled and no longer a commodity God could use this excellence. The same peter. Yet when the foundation of his relationship had been established, when he understood he was loved because he was loved, God could then use the immensity of his skill set without commoditizing him.
God is waiting for you to recognize the office of sonship. When you can see how you are like him, that you have already been like him for a long time, then you can step into that office. You can enjoy the relationship with him of his enjoying your joy rather than his rewarding you for your productivity.
Continual productivity is essential for a commodity.
Joy is essential when in the office of sonship.
Look back on each day asking, ‘What mattered to you today, Father?’ You might be genuinely surprised at the answers. The thing he may enjoy about your day may seem like some simple bit of trivia. The shift is in God not affirming you for the commodity or competence but God enjoying you enjoying your joy.
Join him where he already is. You are a son or daughter of the Most High designed by him.
Wherever you stand with your parents is a secondary question because God likes the way he made you. He enjoys you enjoying the things HE made you to enjoy.
No question of how God feels about you. The only question is if you stepped into the office of personhood with enough detail so that you can clearly see how you are already in the office of sonship. You are a person. Do you feel like a person is the question. You are a son or daughter whether you are in that office or not. Can you feel it? You are not in the office until you have a profound clear understanding of how much Father enjoys you enjoying your joy. Without a scrap of doubt clarifying your relationship is a feeling not just a fact. That feeling puts you in the office of sonship in a profound way.
Find your Father enjoying you enjoying yourself, then you know you are in the office of sonship.
What brings him pleasure? His greatest enjoyment comes when you don’t need detailed instructions from him but when you can follow the clues he gave you and arrive at a right conclusion and that will be your anchor in the office of sonship. He enjoys me enjoying my design and that makes you a son/daughter.
I highlighted a few things that stood out to me that I want to ponder deeply. What might life look like as this revelation unfolds?
What stood out to you? Can you envision your life unfolding because of this study in such a way that your joy increases?
Sequence is so important. The very things that make us a commodity, that we may be jolly well good at are most probably something God wants to restore. What may those things be in your life? Can you forsee yourself walking in them from a position of sonship?
Joy vs productivity. WOW. I like that. What a great marker for our sonship. What do you think?
I like the affirmation that we already are.. this isn't something we are doing in order that we.. I am a daughter/son and so are you!
Look back on each day asking, ‘What mattered to you today, Father?’ Were you genuinely surprised at the answer?
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sons and daughters
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i appreciate Arthur's candidness in his journey. i so can relate with the slave vs son and his feeling of being betrayed by God when the answer to his …
Ahhh... another feast to chew on. Thanks Lois for taking the time and making amazing notes. I grazed tonight but I'll be back to dine later in the week!! …