1. All people are created by God (Ps. 139) and given to families as an act of grace (Gen. 33: 5).
There is a common misconception that pregnancies are the result or consequence of having sex. This then leads to another misconception that pregnancies can be a kind of punishment if the people have engaged in sex outside of marriage. But the truth is that children are the result of God's effort and not man's. (e.g., Ps. 127) While God uses our behavior as a means of getting children to the earth, having sex does not guarantee pregnancy (ask any couple who is trying to have a child). God authors us. We do not create life. We only receive it from the One who does.
2. Consequently, people are never an accident, but always planned by God (Ps. 139: 13-16). They might be a surprise to their parents, but are never a surprise to God. By extension, this also means that your gender is not an accident, nor a curse. Girls are sometimes made to feel less than. This happens in subtle and not so subtle ways. (E.g., some cultures endorse aborting girl babies or abandoning them after birth.) But the truth is that God made you the gender He wanted for you.
3. You were foreknown by God before the foundation of the world (Jer. 1: 4-5; Eph. 1: 4; Eph. 2: 10)
4. God always wanted and planned for you to be His child thru adoption. (Eph. 1: 4-6) He wants no one to perish or to remain an orphan. (2 Peter 3: 9; Matt. 18: 14)
5. You were born to be a blessing (Ps. 127)
6. There is a grace that has been individually and uniquely apportioned to you (Eph. 4: 1, 7, 11; I Cor. 12: 4 - 31)
7. You were born at the right time, in the fullness of time (Esther 4: 14), and in the right place. (Acts 17: 26)
Your value to God and the Kingdom
(Gal. 1: 15; I Chron. 12: 31, Esther 4: 14; Eph. 2: 10; Exod. 31: 1-5)
1. It is vital that you see your abilities thru the eyes of heaven. Consider the story of Bezalel (Exod. 31: 2-6). I love this story because it blows away the crazy thinking that has plagued the church wherein we divide the world into natural abilities and spiritual gifts. They are one and the same. Bezalel was an artist, a carpenter, a stone mason. Good blue collar work. But he was those things only through the Spirit of God. These natural abilities were supernatural in origin - as all natural abilities are - because they were imparted by God and intended for lofty, God-sized purposes.
Whatever your talents and abilities are, you can be assured that heaven has plans for them. The emphasis isn't merely on the carpentry or the artistry, but on their use by Father to accomplish His purposes on earth. It's time we understood that all of our lives - not just our church lives - are part of the Kingdom of God.
Maybe you're wondering how your life and abilities fit into this picture. Perhaps you don't yet have a vision for how Father intends to use the gifts and abilities He has given you by His Spirit. Ask Him. Let Him speak over the bigness of your life and your calling. Ask Him to show you how your work as a secretary or plumber or lawyer is part of the Kingdom. Ask Father for instructions on how to do what you do unto the Lord, and expect Him to respond with specific strategies and timing.
2. You were created to reflect God's nature and His glory. You received a grace uniquely apportioned to you. (Eph. 4: 1, 7, 11; I Cor. 12: 4 - 31) This means that you reflect God to the world in a way that no one else can.
3. God ordained your praise to silence His enemy Ps. 8: 2
4. You are to walk in the ministry of life.
"Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?" … Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4: 11, 13-14)
Here is the promise for the sons of God: Life will well up in you and will flow from within you. Flow where? Out. Life will flow out of you and onto those you meet. It will flow out of you onto the ground on which you step. Life will flow from your words and from your hands. It will ooze out between your toes. Living water, which represents theSpirit of God, will pour out of you washing over the lost and weary who have lived in a land where there has been no water. And drinking it, they too will live.
Being a son of God means that you possess the words of life, for that is the nature of the Son after Whom we are patterned. We stand on the earth holding the only words by which men can live. There is nowhere else for the lost to go. They must come into the words of life which light men's darkness. Philippians 2: 14-16 puts it this way,
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life
You, who have become the righteousness of God, have words in your mouth that will sustain the weary, be a fountain of life and a source of healing and wisdom. (Is. 50: 4, Prov. 10: 11 & 12: 18) The words have been written on your heart by the Son of Love, by Life incarnate. And the Spirit of the Son will bring them to your lips. Your only part in this is a faithfulness to utter the words.
Your delegated authority
John 14: 12-13; John 17: 18 Matt. 10: 1
The Genesis mandate: we are born to rule with authority in the name of Father (Gen. 1: 26). Creation groans and waits for the sons of God to be revealed - that is to return to their authority so that the earth can be reclaimed and redeemed (Rom. 8)
The Truth of your redeemed heart
God recently prompted me to do a word study of Psalm 23. This is a very familiar psalm and certain of its phrases have always stirred my heart, but I had never really looked closely at the Hebrew words behind our English rendering. I have always loved the phrase "restores my soul", as it seemed to address all the wear and tear on my heart that comes from living in this place. I was surprised, however, to learn the depth of its intent.
The implication in Hebrew is that in restoring my soul, God returns it back to the point of departure. Our soul, our life and identity, our will and desires, are restored or returned back to the place of their beginning before the Fall - back to agreement with God. Our soul is not merely patched up to its status before the most recent wear and tear, but instead receives renewal, restoration, and reconciliation with the plan of God over our lives.
In the church, we frequently struggle with scripture's insistence that we are saints (which means sanctified or holy ones). Much of our struggle is based on the misunderstanding that sainthood exists on the basis of something we do, for example, extraordinary good works. In the Catholic tradition, the term has referred to a select few who are set apart from other Christians by some inherent miraculous power. But in scripture, the term refers to a state of identity conferred upon us by God. It is what He makes us, not what we do.
In the beginning, Father made us in His image, to reflect His glory. We were holy and without blame, set apart and devoted to Him as a wife might set herself apart for her husband and reserve her affections only for him. But then we departed from it. We gave our affection and delight over to other, less worthy things. We divided our hearts and became tarnished mirrors of His image and glory. But then Father came, and adopted us, and restored our souls. He returned us to the place of our beginning. The place of delight and purity and holiness. He restored us to sainthood, to being holy and set apart, reflecting the truth of Him. Father restored our souls to a position of being blameless and untainted by sin.
The truth of our regenerated hearts is that they are not motivated by greed, or lust, or ambition, but by righteousness and the desire to see Father's plan and Kingdom enacted on earth. God puts it in our heart "to will and to work for His good pleasure." (Phil 2: 13, NAS) Because we "have been crucified with Christ" and no longer live, Christ Himself lives in us. He animates us with His own inclinations and desires (Gal. 2: 20) This means that we live our lives with the very mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2: 16)
The truth of parents
To be a parent is to walk in the father/mother heart of God. God uses parental analogies throughout scripture to illustrate His own heart for us. e.g., Is. 49: 15a. In the same way that true love is defined by God, so is true fatherhood/motherhood.
Being a parent creates two kinds of opportunities. You get to receive the heart of God who is a parent. And you get to give away that same heart to your children.
There is a validation that parents are meant to give to their children. Parents are supposed to be an accurate mirror for the truth of the children. We are to treat them according to the truth of them as authored by God. This means affirming their worth, ability, potential, and character. No other person has that kind of power in children's lives. Failure to do that creates deep wounding that cuts to the heart of who we are. Similarly, when parents engage in abusive or neglectful behavior, it creates wrong expectations about fatherhood that we then apply to God (e.g., God is silent, critical, disapproving, evil, capricious, doesn't keep promises, is unavailable, etc.)
God designed for there to be a generational passing of spiritual inheritance and skills. Parents are charged with shepherding the grace that's been given to the family and to its members. Gifting has to be nurtured, faith matured. We have to learn how to walk in salvation and in gifting.
Parents are also supposed to model proper authority and obedience. You can't exercise authority without being people under authority. This means that as parents are properly submitted to the authority of God over their parenting, they can teach submission, obedience and honoring to their children.
Note: several passages in this teaching are taken directly from The Fatherhood of God and the Sonship of Man.