Now sonship is the basis of God’s activity. The position and vocation of sonship has nothing to do with an ‘official’ appointment. God’s dealings with us are not on an official ground; it is not because we have taken up some Christian work, or go by a certain name which represents a special office, that God is interested in us. To be ministers or Christian workers does not imply that God is especially working through us. God’s dealings with us are based upon our relationship with Him as children of God. He is dealing with us as with sons. It is a spiritual thing not an official matter. Ministry, therefore, results from a special relationship to God. The real work of God depends on our spiritual relationship with Him, and the value of our service is in proportion to our union with God.
Only those who are absolutely one with God can take responsibilities for Him. Whatever we may call ourselves, however great may be our activity for the Lord, God does not take account of that. It is no use coming to Him and saying: “Now Lord, You know that I am engaged in this work, and therefore I want You to help me in this.” That is no reason why He should help us. God stands by His children and only works with them on the basis of an inward relationship. Some person who is not in an ‘official’ position may be far more useful to the Lord than many who have an official ministry and position. What matters is not our spiritual knowledge or official ministry, but our secret relationship with God. God fits us spiritually for His service and upholds our sonship, not our office. He will see to our position if we see to our relationship with Him.
God called Israel His firstborn. He stood by His people on the basis of that sonship. Therefore Israel could take an important and significant position among the nations. It was the chosen vessel of God’s testimony in the earth. But the day came when it ceased to go on with God as His firstborn. Its inward relationship to God became merely an outward form and God had to withdraw from His people and send them into captivity. Our position and vocation is in relation to sonship. For that very reason the Lord Jesus put the emphasis upon sonship. He never said that the Father loved the ministry He had come to fulfil on this earth. But He said: “The Father loves the Son”. Position and vocation have to be based upon sonship. Without sonship they are worthless before God.
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