I spend a lot of time in my work with people on helping them walk in their identity as sons and not slaves. Despite what God has made available to us, masses of people continue to live with a slave identity. Their mindset, choices and lifestyle reflect that of settling for less that what they were designed for.
During the civil war, Abraham Lincoln made an Emancipation Proclamation, declaring freedom for slaves and a movement to ending slavery. Yet it took decades for the declaration to have its effect in the actual practice of the nation. I would argue that we are still dealing with the repercussions of slavery in many aspects of modern culture.
Israel left the pressure of slavery in Egypt, yet they never let go of the slave mindset. It kept them from entering into promise, because they did not make the exchange of identity into what God called them to be. Their complaining and wandering in the wilderness revealed they were still living as slaves.
Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4:7 NKJV)
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Romans 8:14 NKJVS)
People who live as sons can be easily identified, because they carry mindsets that help them to overcome. We cannot experience breakthrough while still holding on to a slave posture. Those who live in sonship possess a confidence and overcoming lifestyle that helps them break through the mediocre mold that the masses of spiritual slaves still have.
Over the years, I have found there to be ten key mindsets that sons have, which help them overcome in all situations. Based on Romans 8, these traits cause them to rise up while those who continue to tolerate slave thinking, remain stuck in status quo.
1. Sons possess a reliance on the love and goodness of God.
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded (convinced) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39 NKJV)
The greatest way you know that you live in sonship, is in your ability to receive and live in the love of God. Sons do not have to work up their love relationship, they have learned to receive and rest in that love. The undying love of Father God has been imbedded in their hearts and its the greatest power they possess.
Slaves feel loved in good times but question God’s love in hard times. They have a “he loves me, he loves me not” kind of life. When money is good and life seems to be working, then slaves feel God loves them. But when tough times arrive, slaves question God’s love and goodness constantly. It becomes an up and down relationship.
Sons know the goodness of God will be tested in their life, so they have built a strong foundation of intimacy, where love becomes their core value in life. Therefore, sons use adversity to grow deeper in their love relationship, while slaves get easily taken out.
2. Sons live confidently in who they are.
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. (Romans 8:16 NKJV)
Living true to who you are is the key to everything in life. Sons know who they are and don’t have to prove it. They are able to rest in who God made them to be, therefore their greatest impact is in simply being themselves.
Slaves do not know who they are, so they often attempt to be like someone else. They’re hung up on comparison and getting wrapped up in what others think. Slaves spend most of their energy hiding their insecurities, rather than simply resting in God’s identity for them and walking effectively in it.
3. Sons have a “big God” mindset.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31 NKJV)
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32 KJV)
Slaves serve a very little God and their choices show it. They live from a posture of survival–where they just get by and never flourish. Their view of God is boxed in and limited, therefore their life manifests a lot of limitations. Everything they do has scarcity and lack as a guiding force.
Sons reveal their big-God mindset in their thinking, speaking and decisions. They are never limited by circumstances or resources. They find a way to breakthrough. They never quit and position themselves to find solutions in the most impossible situations.
Instead of living from scarcity, they live from an abundance mindset. When provision comes, slaves panic, hoard and do everything they can to protect out of fear. This is because slaves feel like their is never enough. That is why they often think only of themselves. Sons always believe “there is more where that came from,” therefore, they live very generously and are happy to share.
Sons life with a wealthy mindset in all circumstances. They could have an empty bank account but are wealthy inside, because of the mindset they possess. This leverages them to overcome any crisis or trial.
With a big-God mindset, sons are happy to give. Slaves are always takers.
4. Sons are more willing to trust in relationship.
If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31 NKJV)
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)
One of the greatest patterns I have found is that people who walk in sonship are more inclined to trust at the jump. They don’t have a million hoops they need to jump through before they can land in relationship. Therefore, sons are able to build repport and grow in relationships quickly. They have developed a deep love and trust relationship with God they they are not overly concerned about people hurting them.
Slaves on the other hand are suspicious about everything. In fact, this distrusting mindset permeates our modern culture.
Now its important that we exercise wisdom in how we trust people. This is not to encourage people to blindly trust others. It’s an honest invitation to remove the major hang-ups we have that keep us suspicious all the time. It keeps us from finding new relationships and connecting with those who can enhance our calling.
Americans today are highly concerned with being taken advantage of. It’s like a badge we wear: no one ever takes advantage of me.
Jesus didn’t worry about that and neither do sons. Sons are able to trust quickly and live in a trustworthy manner.
5. Sons love to better the whole organization.
that we may also be glorified together. (Romans 8:17 NKJV)
Sons always stand out in churches, businesses and families, because they look to better the whole group or organization. They look to better the whole, not just themselves.
In my pastoral work, I would struggle to move slaves forward, because they were always obsessed with themselves. They’re main focus is on “what’s in it for me” “how am I feeling” or “how is this going to affect me?” They were so busy with navel gazing they missed the opportunity to add value to the entire organization.
Want to stand out where you are? Look for ways to better the whole group, not just make it convenient for yourself.
Sons operate in structures really well, because they honor authority and respect those around them. They love to see others rise up, competitive jealousies do not drive their thoughts.
Slaves are always surviving, so they rarely look out for others. Their goal is to self-preserve. They will even betray others in relationship, simply to gain an advantage for themselves.
6. Sons waste little energy listening to accusations.
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. (Romans 8:33 NKJV)
Slaves are insecure, so they are always vulnerable to feeling condemned and accused. Whether its in their own thoughts or the words of others, slaves are deeply influenced by the accusations of others.
Sons are confident in who they are, so they give little time for haters and waste little energy overthinking what the critics think.
7. Sons surpass the common expectations.
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37 NKJV)
I can always identify a slave in the workplace, because they do only what is required of them and nothing more. They only see themselves as someone who is getting a paycheck–nothing more. In fact, I have observed that slaves will try to find ways to give below what is expected and get away with it. This creates a highly entitled generation that does not understand the investment of hard work and faithfulness.
Sons walk in excellence and always seek to give above what is expected. Their hearts are filled with love to bless others, so they often exceed people’s expectations. It’s more than talent or skill, it’s about being extremely generous with who they are.
Sons are not just content with conquering…they are more than that. They were designed to rule.
8. Sons carry a unshakable hope about the future.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NKJV)
Sonship is formed in how we handle discouragement. The most impressive quality of a son is the ability to look at hardship square in the face, weep, grieve, but not be taken out by it.
Slaves carry a doom and gloom lens to everything. Disappointing events have a domino effect on their life. One event trickles into feeling like their whole life is going down the tubes.
Because sons have a solid hope for the future, they make investments for the long haul. Whereas slaves seek for instant quick fixes and fail to invest into the big future ahead of them.
9. Sons rise up and grow in hardship.
But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. (Romans 8:25 NKJV)
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18 NKJV)
You can always identify a slave when you see someone who has allowed hardship to completely take them out. They quit pursuing the passion and dream of God in their hearts.
The overall message of Romans 8 basically involves learning to be victorious in the love of God, despite the hardships and suffering that comes our way.
Sons take adversity as an invitation to grow.
Slaves do nothing but complain in hardship and cultivate negative and pessimistic mindsets.
Slaves do not change in trials, they want the trials to leave. Sons are focused on growing themselves in all situations.
Slaves just want to live comfortably whereas sons have become comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Slaves lived entitled, whereas sons are grateful in hardship.
Sons are teachable and hungry learners, so they always seek to learn and improve during hard times.
Hardship can actually bring out some of the greatest manifestations of power in sons, mainly because they have chosen to grow in the resistance. They possess treasures that slaves would love to have, but don’t receive, because they quit or chose to look for shortcuts in their hard times.
10. Sons are not limited nor condemned by their weaknesses.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26 NKJVS)
I am refreshed when I met a son-minded person who is not hung up on his or her weaknesses. They are honest about them and find ways to gain help from others who are strong in those areas. They don’t carry a shame about their mistakes or flaws. They love themselves enough to rejoice over their strengths and live kindly regarding their weaknesses. Sons grow stronger in weakness, but slaves just despise their weak areas and do everything possible to cover them up.
Question: What overcoming mindset of sonship hit home for you the most? Where do you see the need for people to grow in this the most?