For the last few months I have been on an adventure that is changing and transforming my thought process. I am still not sure of the final outcome but I know where it has brought me as of today. I have shared little bits and pieces of it before but would like to share a little more today. This change is beginning to alter the course that I thought I was on and I believe, in the end, will alter it more.
A few months ago I changed my blog name to Papa Jorge. That name grew out of a conversation that I had with a leader in Life Church St Charles. He was sharing what he saw as a God given identity for me. It took a while to use this as a name but a few months ago, my pastor in Morris, Jonathan Horsfall asked me what my identity was. Those were not his exact words but that was his question. Who is it that God has called me to be? This reminded me of the words from the leader in St Charles and so I changed my blog name even though I did not have a clear answer at that time.
Over the last few months, I have prayed about this question and many other things. As I have begun to frequently pray the prayers I shared with you previously in Eph 1-3 God started speaking to me and giving clarity to the answer. I want to encourage you to reread that blog "A Challenge" and start praying these things for yourself and your community of believers. I believe that it is life transforming and eye opening. God has been speaking to me almost daily about some aspect of these verses and as He does, it opens a new understanding of identity.
I shared that God spoke to me about the orphans but this week, he took me deeper into that. He spoke to me about my identity as an orphan and His desire for me to be a son. In Jesus, He has already made me a son but Rom 12:1+2 speaks of our transformation coming as our minds are renewed. There are a lot of wrong ways of thinking that I had incorporated into my life. I had believed a lot of lies and reacted at in a wrong manner to most authority figures in my life. I had adopted a general mistrust of authority and in many ways had lived as the orphan myself. I am so grateful to Jonathan for walking me through some of these issues in prayer. Through confession and repentance, I started to long for intimacy with the Father that I had often run away from. I mistrusted His motives towards me and felt valued by Him only when I performed to a certain, artificial standard that existed only in my mind and moved frequently. I began to realize His desire for fellowship with me in new and exciting ways.
What I am starting to realize is that to be Papa Jorge is to stand in the place of Father to lost and hurting people. In order to do that, I have to have the identity of son. That does not come from my will or and act of choosing to become. It only comes from being lost in Father. Jesus came to bring us into family. Through the cross, He gave us identity. We had a wrong identity from birth, given us by a fallen world. When we are brought into the family of God, He changes our understanding of who we are but he also changes our relationship to authority. (John 17:20-21 ESV - 20 "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.) When we know our Father, we know that we can trust Him and that His plans are good. As a son, I no longer have to make my own way. I walk with the Father and His authority surrounds me. His provision is enough for me and His purposes are enough for me. I am not on my own. I am in a family and under the authority of a Father. I do not have to make things happen, only walk with Him and obey. All the rest is a result of His goodness. I get to enjoy the full benefits of sonship.
One of my favorite verses is Rom 8:19 ESV - 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. This verse has a now and not yet aspect to it. Creation suffers when we are not living out the relationship that we are created for. We were made to live as sons and creation is longing for that to be revealed. While we know that we do not see the fullness of the Kingdom of God here on the earth, we also know that we are being transformed from glory o glory. In this transformation process, God is revealing a little more of Himself to the world moment by moment and answering more of the longing of creation. The restoration of creation is happening little by little as sons are being revealed in the earth.
I believe that the crisis we see of orphaned, abused and neglected kids, along with the rampant use of abortion as birth control are things God wants to end because every child is created as an image bearer of His. To allow the destruction of these children, either in or out of the womb is to destroy what God has created with innate and immeasurable value. The Father has a plan for ending this destruction and restoring the dignity of all life. It starts with the Church learning their identity and to stop living as servant, slaves, sinners and orphans. It will happen when we realize the authority of the Father, vested in sons and daughters. When we know who we are, we gain our voice and speak to the injustice of the fallen world that we live in. We can begin to manifest the Kingdom, as Jesus prayer on earth as it is in Heaven. It is not our work that will do this but rather it is the Father revealing His identity through the body, His children.
I do want to begin to work more with the neglected, abused, abandoned and orphaned. Even more, I believe that the father is calling me to this work. I am planning and praying about how this is going to look. I will start where I am, in San Lucas and ask God to lead me where He wants me to be. I believe that He desires to end this pain and suffering through the Church. I do not know my role in it all yet but will be talking to some friends and people that work in these areas after I get back. I believe that He is saying aim high and trust. He does not want to help a few children but to change the way that we all deal with the need and to show us that His abundant provision is enough to meet the needs foe all.
I am asking that you would join me in praying for wisdom and direction. Talk to me if God gives you insight and wisdom. Consider partnering in the future to see children delivered into the arms of a loving Father, orphans set in families and the Church walking in the power and authority that God has for us.
Col 1:9-13 ESV - 9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,