I’ve been slowly working my way through an amazing book written by Jack Frost called “Spiritual Slavery to Spiritual Sonship“. The main focus of his book is to identify the orphan heart and thinking that mankind has had since the fall of Adam and then guide the reader toward the true spirit of sonship that God has called us to by his son Jesus. I highly recommend this book it’s definitely one of those perspective (even life) changing books.
Midway through the book Frost contrasts the spirit of an orphan with the spirit of sonship. Below are the three the impacted me the most.
Orphans are independent and self-reliant. They depend upon their gifts, talents, intellect, and anointing. They are convinced that they cannot trust anyone else. If they want anything, they must get it for themselves. “If anything is going to get done right, I’ll just have to do it myself.”
Sons are interdependent; they know they need the community of love that God and the Body of Christ offer. This interdependency allows them to be open for Father’s love to flow through them to others. Sons also know they are completely dependent on their heavenly Father, just as Jesus was. “The Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner” (John 5:19b)
This contrast hit me on two fronts the first was that in the definition of Sonship, I see everything that I want from “Church” or the Body of Christ, and then second in the definition of the orphan I see everything that I am.
Need for Approval
The need for approval is universal; we all desire acceptance. Orphans, however, are addicted to and strive for the praise, approval, and acceptance of man, But these counterfeit affections will not satisfy and instead lead to the fear of failure and rejection, which pulls an orphan hear farther away from God.
Sons are not influenced by this turmoil and fear because they know that they are totally accepted in God’s love and justified by His grace. They don’t have to strive for approval because in Christ they already have it.
I see myself here a lot in how I relate to my boss, my wife, and even my Pastor. I feel great when they affirm me, they tell me how good a job I’m doing (pat me on the head in a sense), but I feel fearful or insecure when they don’t. It can be one horrible roller coaster of emotions to ride. But there’s a much better way in the spirit of sonship.
Sense of God’s Presence
For orphans, God’s presence, if they sense it at all, is conditional and distant. If everything goes all right, if they have a good day, if they feel they’ve appeased the Master, if they Tthink they have dotted all their i’s and crossed all their t’s, then they man sense God’s presence. But even then, He often seems far away because their hearts are closed to intimacy.
Sons enjoy the close and intimate presence of God because they know that His presence and nearness do not depend on their behavior. They have discovered that He is with them all the time, no matter how much they get off center of His love. All they have to do is stop, return to the center of their heart where God’s love dwells, and He is always right there. Sons know from personal experience the truth of the scripture that says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb 13:5b). Orphans question whether God loves them; sons know that God is crazy about them.
For more on Jack Frost and his ministry see Shiloh Place Ministries.