"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws." (Ezekiel 36:26-27 NIV)
Many of you who've heard my story, will know of the time when someone said one simple sentence to me: "Mark, you've learned to be a servant, but God wants you to be a son".
For me, that was one of those moments of deep revelation which became a heart experience of knowing who God really is. In that moment I knew he was my Father and that I was his son. It was a moment of transformation, one that continues to resonate in my heart today.
It was the beginning of a journey. A journey that I didn't fully understand for many years; in fact, it was twenty years later that I began to understand the significance of that simple sentence. It was, and still is, undoubtedly a prophetic statement. It pointed me to the consequence, or fulfilment, of what it means to be a Christian. Sonship. Even today, that sentence propels me deeper into the depth of the Father's love for me.
Too many of us are stuck in servant-hearted Christianity, which is more about what I can do for God rather than what he can do (or has already done) for me. Yes, serving can be good but we serve as sons not as servants. Jesus served, but it came from a heart of sonship.
Recently I have been asking myself what it means for us to walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6). For many people the answer becomes "what do I have to do?" Do I have to write a list of all the things Jesus did and then try and work my way through them? That's hard work. And it's impossible. This is what I have concluded: for us to walk as Jesus walked means to have the same heart as he had, the heart of sonship.
As we start the new year can I encourage you to look at your hearts. Are you more motivated by what you can do for him rather than resting in what he has done for you? As we live in the flow of life from Heaven into our hearts it will automatically flow through us and out of us. It will cause us to walk in his ways. It will cause us to live like Jesus.
A Father to YOU is a signpost to the heart of the Perfect Father. When we became Christians we were given the right to become children of God (John 1:12). Sadly, many of us fail to take up that right and instead continue to live as slaves or orphans. But our true destiny is being sons and daughters who have a permanent place in the Father's family. This blog is an encouragement to help you know who God really is and who you really are.