If you’ve never seen someone adopt from a third world country, let me give you an all-too-common story: Very loving adopting parents bring a child home from a third world country. When they arrive home they give the child all the food he or she needs. But despite the generosity of the parent, the adopted child instantly begins to hide and store food. Food will be stored in the craziest of places for later use. Why? Because all of his or her life, that child has had to live in circumstances where he was the only one to look out for himself.
There’s no sense in trying to convince the child to stop, either. Even though the adoption is complete and the food (at least from the child’s perspective) is never-ending, it takes months and many times years before a child understands that the situation has changed and he no longer needs to hoard. Realities have changed but fundamental ideas about their identity as sons or daughters take time to shift.
Much of this is the same in the realm of the Spirit, as well. If you’re a Christian, you are an adopted son or daughter of God. However, it can be many years (and unfortunately, many decades) before some believers experience that same shift in relationship to God. They have all the rights and responsibilities of a true son, but they go on acting like they have no father. This orphan-like thinkings has dramatic practical applications for us as believers, applications many of us might not be aware of.
Over the next couple of weeks my hope is to look at the topic of sonship. For the time being, let me ask a question and get your thoughts in the comment section: How have you seen someone’s understanding of sonship affect their understanding of their walk with God?