“Then 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 birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”” (Genesis 1:26, ESV)
God formed Mankind for two things—Sonship and Inheritance.
In our image, after our likeness is an idiom that speaks of a parent/child relationship. Let them have dominion gives all of the earth to Mankind as an inheritance of God’s good creation. We were made to know whose we are, who we are and what has been given to us as a result. Sonship and Inheritance. Identity and Abundance. This is God’s design for who we are to be and how we are to live.
Sin turns us into orphans, disconnected from our Father, disconnected from our inheritance.
Jesus came to restore both.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10, ESV)
In giving us life, Jesus restores our connection to God as Father. In giving us abundant life, he restores our access to inheritance. Much of discipleship is about overcoming an orphan spirit and a poverty spirit. The thief comes specifically to remove life, to disconnect us from the Father. The thief comes to steal and destroy, to block our access to inheritance. This has been Satan’s strategy since Genesis 3 and this is what Jesus came to save us from. Jesus came as a man and lived life fully as a Son and as an heir. He died and rose again to give us all, in Christ, access to the same.
Many believers have accepted Jesus’ provision of forgiveness, but are still living as orphans, disconnected from inheritance.
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:14–17, ESV)
The role of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to lead us into Sonship. He works within us to restore our relationship with the Father. He speaks to us about who we are, whose we are, and the inheritance we have access to as a result of our identity as sons. The path of discipleship is essentially this path—following the leadership of the Spirit toward discovering identity and inheritance. It’s not an easy path, for the journey to resurrection always includes the cross. It is as we embrace the fellowship of his sufferings that we find the glory of God’s original design for Sonship and Inheritance.
I suspect that many who might read this are going through great difficulties and challenges in this season. Don’t let the enemy convince you that these difficulties are proof that you’re an orphan. Rather, embrace them as an opportunity to ask the Spirit to bear witness with your spirit. Ask God to speak to you about Sonship and Inheritance. Allow the cry “Abba” to rise up within you. You were made for it.