Good morning and welcome to our new series, Living As Royalty!
When I was praying about 2012 in late December of last year, God spoke to me about this year being a year of growing in two things: worship and identity. In fulfillment of that promise, God has been speaking to me very directly about my identity – specifically about being His child.
Now, I don’t want this to come across as too silly, because it really is a profound truth – we call God “Father” because that is exactly who and what He is to us.
This is no better illustrated than when Jesus teaches his disciples to pray in Matthew 6:9. He taught them to say “Our Father” (emphasis mine). Our father, the father of us all – of you and me and Jesus. I think we have a tendency to over-spiritualize this Truth. After all, people can “father” us in all sorts of ways through mentoring, Big Brothers, coaching and other types of relationships. In an age where absentee fatherhood is so common, children find all sorts of people to fill in the gap their dads were supposed to fill. However, Jesus is not saying that God is just our spiritual Father. Jesus is saying that God is our actual, physical, tangible Father. Take Jesus’ words to Nicodemus in John 3.
“I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again… I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but spirit gives birth to spirit,” John 3:3,5-6. God is spirit (John 4:24), thus we have been born of God. Then there is also this verse “everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God,” 1 John 5:1.
We have been born again, born into the family of God and God is our Father in the truest and most literal sense. We have crossed over from death into life, we died to our former selves through the waters of baptism and were raised to new life through the Holy Spirit.
It is only a short step, then, to realize that if were are sons, then were are also heirs. Heirs of what? Heirs of the Kingdom! Our Father is the King, what does that make us? It doesn’t make us slaves, or servants or peasants – it makes us royalty, princes and princesses, kings and queens of the Kingdom of God. We so shy away from this language in the Church today because we think that by acknowledging who we truly are, we diminish Christ’s glory. In fact, this is quite the opposite. We aren’t kings by our own doing, we are kings because of who our Father is (He is the King of kings remember).
Lastly, if it is true that were are God’s children and that His Holy Spirit lives inside of us, then we can pray with confidence the same prayer that Jesus prayed in John 17:1, “Father… Glorify your son, that your son may glorify you.” Glorified sons glorify their Father. Furthermore, if I am in God and He is in me, then any glory I receive glorifies Him (John 13:31-32). Glory is a topic we will return to at a later date, for now I want to focus on the Reality that we are, right now, the children of God. And if we are children of the King, then we are heirs of the Kingdom – those who will grow up, mature and be trained to rule. Amen, let it indeed be so.