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Adoption as Prophesy

by Randy Bohlender Published Aug 6, 2010

Randy Bohlender is the co-director of The Zoe Foundation and blogs regularly at RandyBohlender.com

20,000 people gathered for TheCall Kansas City on December 31, 2007 – a day of repentance on behalf of our nation. During that season, I was giving direction to TheCall’s events, so I stood backstage helping manage stage traffic.

On stage, worship leader Jason Upton led the crowd in a song he’d written that highlights the unique adoptive relationship with have with God. Though there are several verses, it’s the chorus that brought the crowd to a crescendo. For twenty minutes, first with the band, and then no musical accompaniment at all, the 20,000 lifted their voices singing, “Sons and daughters of the living God…Sons and daughters of the living God.”

No matter what is happening onstage during TheCall, the backstage area is a beehive of activity. Radios crackle, equipment is moved, and people mill around waiting to go on stage or having just come off. For most of those twenty minutes, though, almost all activity ceased. It was as if the physical world was tentative of interrupting the Spirit.

As the crowd sang the refrain over and over, ”Sons and daughters of the living God…” I listened through the black fabric stage backdrop. TheCall has known some historic moments with larger crowds in more epic venues, but no moment has ever matched the enthusiasm that seemed to come out of the very depths of those gathered in that crowded event hall. They sang unreservedly the one lyric illustrating all they ever wanted: to be a son or a daughter of the living God.

Romans 8:22-23: “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”

Believers all anxiously await the finalization of their own adoption into the family of God. That’s not to downplay what He’s done in redeeming us thus far. Becoming a child of God is an instantaneous work of grace, but many still struggle with identity, a propensity to sin, and a tendency to reflect the nature with which we were born. We are fully saved and yet there is an element of finalization that we long for. That longing is reflective of an inward knowledge of a coming age.

There is a day coming when our process of adoption comes to a grand finale. The book of Revelation speaks of the great Day of the Lord when all history culminates in the coming of the King. He is coming to bring justice to the earth and in a very real sense, to finalize the adoption He initiated in our hearts. Our adoption finalization is marked by our receiving a new name that only God knows to call us because only God can see what we shall be on that day.

Though we long for this finalization, we still struggling with the dichotomy of knowing we are a son or daughter of God while still legally being a resident of the current age. We know the love of the Father, but we process it through an identity of one who remembers too much pain and sorrow to fully comprehend what has happened to us through adoption. On that day when the King returns, we will no longer be known as lonely, frightened, angry or defeated. Isaiah 25:8 prophecies of a day when He will wipe away every tear and make all things right.

Much has been made of the idea of “going to heaven”. As children, we were never given a lot of details but assumed it involved some harp playing and cloud riding. We smiled and pretended to be excited. Inwardly, we wondered, “Is that all there is?” It’s not. There is more.

This idea of escaping to a cloud sells short the full plan of God, which is not that we all go to heaven, but rather that heaven comes to earth. Ephesians 1:9-10 promises that He’ll make known to us the mystery of His will, which will come into fulfillment as He “brings all things in heaven and on earth together under one head even Christ.” Romans 8:17 goes on to say, “If we are His children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.”

He’s not making a way for us to escape this realm, He’s preparing to reign over the nations and invites us to join Him! He will rule the earth in righteousness and justice and we will serve at His side.

As we all wait for that day, adoption in the natural is an act of Kingdom prophecy. With each movement of the heart, faithfully committing to give a child a home, a family and a future, we prophesy what God has done for us. Adoption prophesies life, love, eternity and the Kingdom of God. The God of all creation is looking for those who will be a part of this movement and prophesy about a good Father to all the world.

  • http://Website Bill

    Randy – well written. I appreciate you giving a theological framework for adoption. It is too easy to get caught up in the heart felt emotion of adoption and forget that human adoption is a tangible expression of a spiritual (unseen) truth. I pray the Lord will continue to give you revelation into adoption and the burning heart to minister this truth to the Church.


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