Robert Ricciardelli: “Our Identity As Sons”

Much of the body of Christ is caught up in an identity crisis. A worldview of God, absent of the full revelation of who we are. Without the full revelation of who we are, we live our lives as spiritual orphans, rather then manifesting the presence of God in our lives. Do we see God as a loving and just Father, or do we see Him as only a master of an earthly orphanage, ready to crack the whip when we mess up? A loving and just Father will discipline us, because of His love and tremendous plans for us. A true son knows that they are dependent on the Lord, and goes throughout the day acknowledging need and direction from their Heavenly Father. Those that have an orphaned mentality, rely on their own ways and only seem to turn to Him when condemnation overwhelms them.

Living By the Love of Law

Living by loving the law as a foundation of theology, produces orphans. By following the rules, they strive for praise, approval, and the acceptance of man, which breeds insecurity and lack of peace. An orphan will have a selfish desire for personal achievement as they seek to impress God and others. Many times they will have no motivation at all to live a life of service in His Kingdom.

Orphans feel that they must be holy in order to earn God's love and acceptance, which mostly produces feelings of shame and guilt. Their self-image is in their own value, and perceived comparisons with others. This is the foundation that the enemy uses to birth false comforts. They will often find comfort in addictions, counterfeit affections, compulsions, escapism, business, and the tremendously popular "hyper-religious activities".

Living By the Law of Love

A son will live a word-principled life, while loving God and loving those around them. They find great joy and peace in the approval of their Heavenly Father. They are secure in God's love and justified by grace. Sons will live a life of service, that is motivated by a deep love and gratitude for being unconditionally loved and accepted by their Heavenly Father. They desire to be holy and do not want anything to hinder their intimate relationship with God.

A son feels loved and affirmed, because they know they are of tremendous value to their Father. Not because of what they do, but because of who they are in Him. Their desire for obedience in a word-principled lifestyle, is out of pleasure and delight in their Savior, rather then a sense of duty or trying to earn God's favor.

A son finds comfort in knowing the Father–being known and loved by Him and resting in His presence and love. They will seek out intimate moments and a time of divine downloads from the Father, so that all activity is God-ordained and all steps are ordered by Him.

Peer Relationships

As a son, you learn to value others, even those who think differently then you or follow a different stream.

Mark 9:38-40: "Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in Your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us." "Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in My name can in the next moment say anything bad about Me, for whoever is not against us is for us."

The body of Christ has had more competition than unity, especially in the western culture. We have made rivalries, or as leaders, we have been jealous of another leader's success. In our worldview, we see others who may think differently then we do as opposition. We may even find Scriptural references and spend a tremendous amount of energy to accuse and bring down the very people the Lord told us were our brothers. If Jesus is exalted as King, and the ministry of reconciliation through the blood of Jesus Christ is their doctrine, then they are with us and NOT THE ENEMY. We can go on and find faults or we can proceed as sons and find unity, working together in winning our cities.

We must embrace humility and unity, as well as submitting ourselves to one another in the bond of peace. As we learn to value one another, we can then rejoice together in our blessings and successes in life and ministry. If someone has lost their way, we are to pray for and restore them in the spirit of love and gentleness. Some will not want to receive admonition in love, so we continue to pray and be about the Father's business.

Godly Authority

The Lord has put natural and spiritual parents in our lives for nurturing, equipping, and walking beside us as we follow after Jesus. A son will see these people that are placed in relationship with us, as ministers of God, for the good in our lives. We will embrace them, and their Godly admonition, as a need in our lives. In relationships, they will also learn from us as we submit ourselves one-to-another, and fix our eyes towards Him.

We all must be willing to lay down our lives for one another. We must be open, patient, and affectionate as we lay our lives and agendas down to meet the needs of others. We must help others with the vision and purposes the Lord has planned, and in return, we will see our plans and purposes unfold. We must trust the Lord for the work in others lives, and create freedom for them as they walk out their Spirit-led assignments.

We can all agree that ungodly authority can create pain and distrust. We are to remember to please God and not man, as many times He will call us to go through some relational injustice to test and strengthen us. We must not run from offenses, but ask the Lord if we should go, or what He desires for us as we go through it. Orphans will have a skewed view of Godly leadership regardless; maybe because of past pain. They will have a tough time receiving Godly counsel. It is hard for orphans to admit their faults, so their spirit is closed to Godly correction and discipline. They will often run from adversity and look for comfort.

Orphaned hearts will be guarded and conditional, based on someone else's performance. Instead of being open and understanding that even leaders will fail, they continue to be disappointed as their needs continue to be left unmet. This continues to cycle in their lives until healing, wholeness, and Sonship take place. They will go from church to church, looking for the leader that will either tell them what they want to hear or find fellowships where relational accountability is void.

My Prayer for God's People

I pray that His people will continue to grow into Sonship where God's love is close and intimate, rather than continue in bondage as slaves engaged in religious activities. I pray for all, to experience daily, the Father's unconditional love and acceptance. May the foundation of His love rest upon us as we engage with others in bringing His relevant Kingdom upon the earth.

Robert Ricciardelli
Visionary Advancement Strategies

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