The Good Life: Happiness and the Work-Life Balance – Pastor's Corner
In today’s message, I want to do two things. First, I’d like to reinforce your understanding of when a child of God is placed (or adopted) and second I’d like to show how this placing reflects the coming kingdom of our God. As we go through this lesson remember to pause, study, and write down any questions that come to your mind.
I’d like to take them in early December if the Lord tarries.
What we learned so far
Last week I focused on what adoption is and we showed that a son of God is adopted when the Holy Spirit places him into service within the body. Now, I’d like to drill that point home.
First, the spiritual is often like our natural relationships. We all at times wanted things from our parents. Maybe we couldn’t wait to drive their car or to do something independently. Well, most parents won’t hand you the keys to their car when you turn 10. If they’re thinking parents, they’ll wait until you reach legal age, then make you go through a driver’s Ed course or teach you how to drive themselves.
Then, when they’re convinced that you can handle the responsibility, and after you’ve passed your licensing test, your parents will probably let you drive their car or get you your own.
My point is that, while you were always their child, they will only give you the responsibility once you’ve demonstrated that you’re worthy of it.
God does the same thing.
After we are born of His Holy Spirit, He tests us to see if we’re responsible, zealous for His kingdom, and if we’ll live in a way that glorifies Him. When He sees that continuous faithfulness, He gives you responsibility within His body. It might be a gift of prophecy, placing you as a model single man or woman, using you to serve as a help within His church or moving you into the ministry etc.
The point is, that God has a place for everyone and, if the church pulls together in that great unity of the Spirit, letting Christ position us as He desires, we will have a spiritual Body that cannot be defeated.
Let me pause to say that God’s placing is not only spiritual. Your natural job can also be God’s positioning within the body—a farmer, a housewife etc. Do you understand? It’s not just preachers or those with spiritual gifts.
Alright, let’s move on.
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.Galatians 4:5
Paul shows us that God’s purpose was to place us within Christ’s body. Compare this to Ephesians 1, where he tells us that God predestinated our purpose in Christ’s body from before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1: 5). Then you can see that the adoption of a believer is when he or she is placed within the Body of Christ by the Spirit to do a certain work or hold a certain office.
Doesn’t every part of your natural body serve a function? Or is it there only to say, “I’m a part of the body?” We may be tempted to think that adoption’s purpose is to exercise God’s power but that would lead to pride. Adoption is not only to rule—it is also here to serve the entire spiritual Body of Jesus Christ.
Did not the Lord Jesus show us by His words and example that the one that truly rules is the one that serves?
Now, here is a good time to pause and think about how your natural body functions while keeping in mind what Paul taught the church at Corinth.
For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.1 Corinthians 12:12
When you’re ready, pick back up here.
Okay, so now that you’ve thought on that, let’s look at this parallel of the natural body a little more closely.
Every part of the body has a specific place and a specific purpose. The kidney cannot move over to the lung’s grounds and say, “this is where I belong, I’ll do my job better here.”
No. Body parts that don’t function as they ought to—or leave their original position—lead to dysfunction and disease. The same is true in the spiritual body.
God has a place for each of His own and He leads us to it as we show our zeal, love, and faithfulness to His Word.
How does this work in our daily life?
When God places you in the Body, or gives you a spiritual gift, you are responsible for its use. You rule that spiritual territory. Now this might sound strange, but it shouldn’t. The Bible says “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” (1 Corinthians 14:32). You therefore, rule over the portion of the Holy Ghost that is given to you. Now by you I don’t mean the human element, I mean that aspect of God that’s on the inside of your soul.
Just like in biblical Israel, each Isaraelite inherited or ruled over a certain part of the possession that served to benefit the whole tribe (and ultimately the nation of Israel), so each member of Christ’s body rules a portion of God’s spiritual kingdom. Through good stewardship of what God has given to you, the entire body benefits.
Now this is true for pastors but it’s also true for the laity who have been gifted with various gifts (see 1 Corinthians 12) or have been called to serve. You are responsible to give God a good spiritual return on what He has given to you and use it as He would for He has given you authority because He trusts you.
How was our inheritance given to us, through what? Predestination. Predestination is foreknowledge. How did God know He could trust you to be a preacher? His foreknowledge. “Not he that willeth or he that runneth, or he…It’s God that sheweth mercy.” That’s right, predestination. He knew what was in you. He knowed what was in you before you even come on the earth. He knowed what was in you before there was an earth for you to come on. That’s—that’s Him. That’s the infinite God, the infinite.Rev. William Marrion Branham, 60-0522E – Adoption #4
What authority is given to God’s adopted children?
Now this, to me, is where things really get rich. Just as God brings us individually to a place that He can use us and work through us, so He has been building His Bride for 2,000 years to get her to a place of adoption—a time where the Word that leaves Her lips is backed up by God Himself.
Now this has happened as individuals. We see and know that when you are correctly placed by God in your ministry or role in life, God will honor your words to minister to those He has given to you.
If you’ll permit me to say so, that’s one of the secrets that I have held before God constantly as a pastor these may years. When I have a dire need or situation to face that involves the people (not myself), I am confident that I can use my status before God as a minister to intercede. You may have heard me in prayer say things like “I claim this one” etc. That is what I mean.
Because this is my office, or my place in the Body, by His Grace there are times when He will honor that faith that I hold over this spiritual ground. Now I do not often talk about this but, I believe it’s a time for things to be said plainly so we can understand. To quote Paul, “I magnify my office (Romans 11:13).”
Now, we are in a time where the Bride of Christ is pulling into shape to operate collectively as representatives of the Lord Jesus—what we call adopted sons of God.
Forgive me for what I am about to say. Adoption is not something to look to like a Hindu/Buddhist Nirvana. I do not mean to be disrespectful but that is the clearest way I can make my point.
It is not something that we can be “good enough” to attain. As the individuals within the spiritual Body of Jesus Christ take their place, the Body collectively will take its place. Israel as a nation settled Canaan land under Joshua as each individual family possessed the land.
In the days of Nehemiah, the entire land was resettled as each family group repaired their own inheritance.
We are now in the season of adoption, where the entire family of God moves under the Spirit’s anointing to speak creative Words, but that moves as individuals take their place in the Body.
You remember I taught that adoption means to stand in the place of Jesus Christ? Frankly that was the whole point of adoption in the ancient world. A son could represent his father in any business deal. His word was just as powerful as his father’s word.
That is what the Bride of Christ is to be doing today. Throughout the ages, we had portions of Christ representing Himself in the church but now we are here to speak and act on His behalf.
“Go right back to Genesis, to the original, what is it? Now the world and nature is groaning, crying, everything’s moving. What? For the manifestation of the sons of God, when true sons, born sons, filled sons speak and their word is backed. I believe we’re on the border of it right now. Yes, sir. Say to this mountain, let it be so.
81 “Brother, I—I desire so-and-so, a certain thing done. I’m a believer in Jesus Christ.”
82 “I give it to you in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Amen. There’s a manifestation.
83 “Oh, brother, my crops are burning up out yonder. I haven’t had any rain.”
84 “I’ll send you a raining, in the Name of the Lord.” There she’ll come. Oh, waiting, groaning, all nature waiting for the manifestations of the sons of God. God ordained it at the beginning.”60-0522E – Adoption #4 Rev. William Marrion Branham
This couldn’t happen in any other day because now the End-Time Word has been revealed. Now, the Seals have been opened. Now, the antichrist is enthroning himself in the church and now Christ is enthroning Himself in His Bride.
Let’s pause here for today and next week, if the Lord tarries, I’d like to look at what this means for the Millennial rule. You’ll understand why our adoption as a Bride is necessary for the Millennium to take place, what adoption has to do with our change of body and why Satan will be bound for 1,000 years.
- Adoption is being placed positionally in the Body
- The entire Body must be placed correctly and carry out its functions
- God demonstrates His trust in you by giving you a work to do
- The adoption that happens as individuals is also happening in the Bride collective