Dreams: Ironman

This was the second dream that I had last week.

In it I’m playing a new video game, unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced,  it’s played on circle platform with a giant I-Max like screen in front of you. The game seemed to be some kind of version of Ironman in it I could fly around and battle enemies. There were several times that I got so into it that the game seemed like real life (which is interesting cause sometimes I get my dreams confused with something that really happened).

After the game was over I met up with Pastor Joe, together we got into the elevator to get to his office. At some point he had given me a book, so when we got to his office I asked him where he’d like me to put it back and he pointed to a small bookcase to the left. His office was small but cool with a warm light in the background behind his desk.

It was after that I woke up.

Are you and orphan or a son?

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.

Dependency

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.

Radical

Here’s a book I’m looking forward to reading: Radical by David Platt

Brent @ Holiday at the Sea summarizes the book like this:

Always pointing to Jesus, Platt reminds us that, what we now call “radical” is simply what Jesus expects of all of His followers. The answer is not to try harder but draw closer to Jesus. The book culminates in what Platt calls the Radical Experiment, calling people to one year of:

  1. Pray for the entire world
  2. Read through the entire Word
  3. Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose
  4. Spend your time in another context
  5. Commit your life to multiplying community

While this list initially seems like quite a bit for most people, closer examination simply reveals it to be biblical living. If that’s what the world now calls “radical,” then so be it. But it’s time that we realize that there is no other way of living if we truly desire to follow Jesus. Here is Platt introducing the book:

Via: Holiday at the Sea

Book Review: Fathered By God

Books seem to have the most profound impact on my life. Especially when it comes to changing my mindset or the way I view the world around me. In recent years books like Driven by Eternity by John Bevere and Wild at Heart by John Eldredge have taken me from the brink of despair to a land full of hope and life. It’s hard not to understate how big of an impact these two books in particular have impacted me. Driven By Eternity helped me through a difficult time after my father’s death. And Wild at Heart helped me navigate the tricky time when a new love was blossoming by helping me to grow as a man, secure that I had what it takes to be a lover and a good husband. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not the books themselves or even the authors that change my life, but the Holy Spirit working through the book to reveal the truth.

I say all that so that when I say that this book rates right up there with these other life changing books, you’ll have a real sense of what that statement means to me. But it wasn’t just the book that had such a big impact it was the mighty men of God that took this journey with me. Every week we would gather to watch the DVD session for that week, and then sit around for a few hours discussing it. It was from these discussions that what we had just learned about became real. It wasn’t just theory anymore it was actively being applied to our daily lives, and that made it powerful.

The book is broken up into 3 parts, the first two chapters establish a foundation for why this type of book is so neeeded today in this mordern world. The next 8 chapters take us through the various stages of masculinity starting with boyhood to the cowboy to the warrior and lover next the king and finally the sage. Along the way each stage gets broken down in how God is trying to father us and then how the masculine heart can be wound. The last chapter is really a challenge, calling men out and given them the driver through which they will take this journey and that is by being intentional.

The book starts off describing itself as a map. A map of the masculine journey and in a world where what it means to be a man and where good fathers are so rare this book couldn’t be more important.

To read more about this book and others by John check out Ransomed Heart ministries.