In 2002, I was a new father spinning plates while working 3 jobs.
Until that time, I felt really good about how I handled my life and my walk with God (key word ‘I’). I was pretty sure that I was Super Man and didn’t understand how I could be dropping so many plates at one time. I thought I was just stressed and overwhelmed but God was trying to set me free from relying on my own performance to be at peace. In 2017, I heard a teaching from Sonny Misar called ‘Journey to Authenticity‘ and I now realize that season was my fall from the “warrior” stage of life. I had run out of gas and was thoroughly unimpressed with myself (finally and thankfully).
It turned out that Father God was determined to get the message through to me. It was the most transformational message He ever taught me – that I was not serving to be loved, I serve because I am already completely loved.
I share some of the things I learned and my story from the season in a session I shared called “Slavery to Sonship”at the link below. I have included the notes below to follow along if you would like or if you are short on time or attention span get the condensed version HERE.
Slavery vs. Sonship Notes
Where do I stand with the Father? Have you ever been to an amusement park and you find the map of the park at the front entrance as you walk in with the YOU ARE HERE arrow?
Well, sonship and inheritance are already yours! ** You are here! On the map. This is where you are right now if you are in Christ!
- I am clean.
John 13:10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you (speaking of Judas who would betray Him).”
2. Without fault.
Colossians 1: 22 NLT Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. 23 But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News.
This is great news! You are not perfect and Father is still working on your rough edges, but when He looks at you as His child He sees you holy – made right and blameless – through because you have been given the righteousness of Jesus instead of your own! And, then He says in v. 23, you must continue to stay in this truth and don’t drift away.
3. I have a home, my address is love.
John 15:9-10 MSG “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love. 11-15 “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.
We all have an address in the natural, but did you know you have a spiritual address as well? Colossians says you have been made perfect and His own and now Jesus says He chose to remain in Father’s love for Him. You get to choose where you will live spiritually. You can live as an outsider and believe you are unloved but Jesus not only gave us an invitation but instructions to remain at this address! I love how He says, “That’s what I’ve done, made myself at home in His love!” He is telling us His secret to joy and telling us we can and should do the same!
4. I am a co-heir with Christ.
Galatians 4:4 NIV But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
The lens with which you see the Father and yourself with will determine how fully you walk in it. “It’s not what I know, it is what I believe.”
The Process of Sonship
1. Hireling – Need Based. What can I get? Rescue me, do something for me.
Luke 9:38 A man in the crowd shouted to him, “Teacher, please come and look at my son, because he is my only child. 39 An evil spirit seizes my son
Luke 15 – Prodigal Son did not understand or value relationship, not at home in love. Watch out for number ‘1’.
2. Servant – Performance Based. What can I do? I do something for you.
Luke 22:33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
Luke 15 – Older Brother only understood performance, not at home in love. Always grasping, never reaching. Did not dream he could be loved apart from what he did.
3. Son – Love Based. Let’s do it together! I am yours and you are mine.
John 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
Father – Luke 15 “It’s all yours, let’s be and build together!” Motivated by love not for love.
**** MY STORY FROM 2002. This story is in the audio link. The notes below are just a very abbreviated synopsis.
I wanted to be and do great things for God. I was surrounded by amazing people who were ahead of me in the journey and some who had literally risked their lives for the Kingdom of God.
I had in my mind that great looks like _________. I had a definition of what great was and it involved doing a list of impressive things. The truth is, in many ways, I wasn’t tryint to impress God, I was trying to impress myself. For a season, I was impressed by my “performance” for God until it crashed in 2002. I was too busy to keep up all the good work between 3 jobs and being a husband and new father. I was not getting my work done and I was no longer impressed with myself or my great “spirituality”. That fall I went to a conference and in the middle of it Father said “Don’t ever perform for my love again! I don’t want your stuff (your spiritual acts, service, devotion), I want your heart”
I was undone. I realized that He was never impressed by what I was doing anyways. He was pleased because I was His child and His love was not conditional based on my performance. What I do does matter and it makes a difference but His love toward me was not contingent upon those things.
I found that when I am not at rest and home in Father’s love I will either find fulfillment by seeking pleasure (medicate or numb the pain and frustration and disappointment) or performance (be a good person, get the promotion, make more money, make people happy, look good to everyone).
Father says, “I don’t want your stuff (performance, service, devotions, prayer, study time, good works, etc), I want your heart. If I have your heart, all of the “stuff” is a by-product of being loved, not to earn love.”
Slavery/Orphan Mindset vs. Sonship Mindset (Chart Link you can download)
1. Slave Thinking: Victim – “whoa is me”, I am powerless, helpless
Son Thinking: Overcomer – more than conquerors, I can do all things
2. Slave Thinking: Poverty mindset – expectation of lack, take what you can get because you don’t have a Father looking out for you
Son Thinking: Abundance – I have the riches of Christ, a wealthy and generous Father and His Spirit inside with unlimited wisdom and resource in every situation
3. Slave Thinking: Comparison – my value is based on being more or less than someone else, leads to pride “I am awesome or I am a loser”
Son Thinking: Family – Father gives me value and affirmation therefore I can celebrate you
4. Slave Thinking: Competition – I need to be the best to be blessed or have more value
Son Thinking: Team – I am with you and for you win or lose because we are in this together, your success is my success
5. Slave Thinking: Performance – striving because my worth is based on how well I do, the pressure is on me but right works don’t produce a right heart, relationships performance driven
Son Thinking: Rest – “It is finished”, you have been made righteous and enough in Christ, his yoke is easy, just say ‘yes’ and obey and let Him handle the results, a right heart produces right works, relationships driven by love
6. Slave Thinking: God is distant – He tolerates me in my weakness and imperfection
Son Thinking: God is near – Father loves being with me and I bring delight to Him as His child
7. Slave Thinking: Always Fall Short – I don’t measure up and deserve punishment
Son Thinking: Always In Line for Blessing – Christ fully measured up and gave His right standing to me – by His merit, Father wants to bless me, trained and disciplined not punished
8. Slave Thinking: Condemnation – I am bad and I need to keep a distance until you improve
Son Thinking: Conviction – “I am always drawing you closer and am committed to removing everything in your life that hinders love!”
9. Slave Thinking: Work to be someone – slave is accepted by his performance
Son Thinking: Work because I am someone – I am a son with favor, resources and influence and I make a difference
10. Slave Thinking: Fear – I am alone and without help or protection. I am tolerated at best.
Son Thinking: Confidence – You are with me and for me and will see me through, at home in Father’s love. I am celebrated by the Father!
- The Gift of Weakness
- The Journey to Authenticity – book and resources from Sonny Misar
- Conquer – Daily Post