The Map of Sonship • Challenge 1
The Map of Sonship
It started in the garden when the Father said Let us Make them in our image. • We receive our treasure at the beginning of the journey. • Jesus gives us the provisions for the journey. • We get to travel light. • And the map always leads to Jesus. He is the beginning and the end.
It Starts in the Garden!
“As a giant oak is hidden in the seed of an acorn, the intention of God is seeded in the heart of man to rule with power and authority from Him and not of ourselves”.
In Genesis, God takes the lid off of his intentions for us and let us in on one of the most outrageous plans. In this plan, and after the creation of all things, He hands it all over to Adam and Eve as a gift that would give them full authority and power to be the rulers of the earth. It is this portion of the map that the true heart of God for mankind is found.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it;
In the “Map to Sonship” (The Scriptures). We learn that God has intended for us to experience the treasures of His heart towards us and that it has been seeded in our hearts to pursue the heart of God.
13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
It should come as no surprise then that we were made in His image and intended to exercise skill over everything that God has given us to do. Also, that we were meant to rule over what God has given to us. As a giant oak is hidden in the seed of an acorn, the intention of God is seeded in the heart of men and women to rule with His power, blessing, and authority.
Now this is not about going on a personal power trip rather it is about accessing the intentions of God for you.
Think through this with me! Desires that are governed by a heart after God will naturally reveal our design. Live in the framework of His design and it will also naturally reveal your destiny. However, you don’t have to look very far into your own story and the story of any man or woman to ask the question; What’s gone wrong in the heart of man. I believe the answer lies with two pertinent questions giving connected answers as to why we don’t live on course with His image.
Do we pursue the heart of God?
Do we understand what Sonship is?
Ultimately if we can’t answer these two questions it destroys our desire for discovery on the paths that are designed by God for us to walk in and enjoy.
I want to take the a moment to correct the business model for success that we have mistakenly embedded into Christianity. I believe that we have deceived people when we tell them that God’s purpose for us is that we become powerful ruler’s, Kingly in our approach to everything, and striving to becoming the “be-all” to everyone, that we so readily embrace in the corporate models of the American Church.
The Christ model for greatness can be found in an idiom that Christianity does not like to talk about. For instance, let’s take a brief look at how Jesus establishes His kingdom. It does not look like you would think and it doesn’t follow the paradigms of a grab for power that we see so commonly emphasized in a corporate culture. In fact, we see many different persuasions coming out of the christian culture today. I firmly believe that the enemy of our soul uses them to keep our focus high centered on building our own kingdom rather than allowing the natural manifestations of His glory, power, and provisions in our lives. It is certainly a contrast to the idiom of “Set your mind on things above.” I have been challenged lately to sort through my Kingdom mindset and ask the question. “Are my priority’s all about building a kingdom here on earth or are they lining up with the examples that Christ set when He unconventionally introduced us to His Kingdom and how to see it realized in our personal lives?”
I have always loved exploring the tensions created by Jesus as He set the examples of how we could do life as a part of His Kingdom. The man who brought freedom to all mankind is seen In Luke 19. His story plays out In the midst of a facade of pomp and glory during His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. But Jesus didn’t position Himself as the one to rule a nation that was oppressed. He wasn’t about prosperity or making things better in the Jews society. He didn’t even put on a display that would affirm Himself as the ruler of the region. So, in that story we see that once again, that the Jews find themselves oppressed, not by the Syrians, but by the Romans. Consequently, what the people were essentially saying when they cried Hosanna and waved palm branches as Jesus rode into Jerusalem, was, `Deliver us from the Romans.' But when they realized Jesus had a different agenda than a political one, a different agenda than a national one, a different agenda than a material one — their cry changed from `Hosanna' to `Crucify him.' The same is still true and has played out over and over again throughout history. In fact, it seems to play out over and over again in well meaning Christians who don’t follow the path Jesus laid out for setting up His Kingdom.
I have watched Christians individually, and churches corporately, mobilize around causes, personalities, and methodologies to unlock the way to victorious christian living. They are all about change or gaining power under the banner of pseudo spirituality and even prophecy but, very few are interested in the path that leads to the foot of a bloody cross, or a navigational path that will require dying to self and living for eternity. You see, it's one thing to shout I’m a son, or to boast of a special inside edge for everyday living, realizing success, power, and the mastery of your domain, and it is altogether something else to take the path of Jesus and follow His navigational path to the Cross in the way that He did.
Back to our story. While the people were in the midst of a hopeful government take over, Jesus rides in on a donkey and begins to weep. He weeps because the city-and, by extension, all Israel were looking for the next great man of power who would bring peace and prosperity, and they failed to recognize Jesus and his lordship. They fail to follow His Map of Sonship! He knew of the impending destruction of Jerusalem. The scene echoed with a previous lament over Jerusalem from (Luke 13:31-35), where Jesus said, "How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!" They were so hung up on their freedom from Roman oppression, the need for a great ruler, someone to fight for them militarily, that they missed the one who could free them in every way and from the burden of sin. His example of a lamb being led to slaughter for the purpose of bringing freedom to all is nowhere taught or found in our "Save Now!" culture and “The Map of Sonship” is being treated as a childhood fantasy that is fun to dream about.
I don’t share this thought to discourage being everything we should be as men and women. I share it for the purpose of posing the most important question you may ever ask yourself in these last moments before Jesus returns in all of His glory. All the mastery of power, success, and authority in the world won’t get you into into Gods Kingdom. Has your search for a little more peace and freedom left you discouraged, dismayed, and hopeless?’ If it has then ask yourself, ‘Has my personal expectations caused me to mis God’s Map from the beginning in the Garden! Has it caused me to avoid what the map says about the path of greatness that The Son of God laid out for me so that all of the power, authority, and success of God could be made manifest through my life. or, have I missed Him all together?
The more I look at things on a world scale, the more I know that things are not getting better. The more I fix my eyes on Jesus the more the pursuit of happiness and power in the kingdom of this world becomes less important and all together insignificant and I am less inclined to let life rattle me at my core. Always remember that we are not hardwired to pursue power; We were however hardwired to manifest His power for His glory and that it has been intent of our Father all along to experience it everyday through His Son! He should be at the core of everything we do and everywhere we go. He is the Treasure!
Stay the coarse!
About the Author
God Justifies the Ungodly!
Romans 3:20-4:5 God justifies the ungodly who trust in him. God acquits the guilty!
While I have frequently stumbled in life, God has been gracious! The ‘Map of Sonship is crucial to the success of folks who desire to walk closely with the Lord and are wanting to enjoy the freedom to be who God created them to be. This is for those who struggle with the navigation of Christianity, defeat, depression, isolation, their own sins, hearing from the Lord, and moving past the mistakes of their past. It is a small part of my personal walk with the Lord and how Jesus has invited me to walk with Him in full on Sonship!
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John is Pastor at The Redeemed Adventure Project and Author of various Adventure Journals, Fireside Challenges, and Blogs excerpts from books he written over the last 12 years.