As I read David Alves’ book, a thought came to me… and roll with me on this. I wonder if…
a) our current unwillingness to claim and live out of our status as sons and daughters of God is, in part, an overreaction to the advent of Eastern and/or New Age religions and their emphases on self-actualization—as if to claim that our own sonship to God would somehow seem like guilt by association. (After reading this, I noticed a related comment on the back cover, so maybe I’m on the right track. :)) And thus, I also wonder if…
b) the recent (and welcome) resurgence of books on the matter of our sonship and/or identity in Christ is, just maybe, the Spirit’s move to restore things (and us) to their (and our) proper perspective.
Regardless, I think both a) and b) are addressed by this simple truth: Our sonship to God is not contingent upon our accomplishments, but rather upon God’s willingness to adopt us. And as we live out of that truth, things change. And that, I believe, is the crux of the book I’m holding here.
Thus, the book is both an encouragement and a challenge. “We are the Father’s legitimate heirs of this world. But it comes at a cost to us,” Alves says. “We must desire our inheritance. We must love what God loves and want what God wants. We must have an arena where we demonstrate the Father’s intense love for his creation. That intense love can only be verified as we stand in our authority and take back this world, wherever we set the soles of our feet.”
In fact, the chapter on spiritual authority here is one of the most helpful in the book, as is the chapter on believing God, which takes up close to a quarter of the book. As Alves points out, “[H]umility is not thinking and speaking less of yourself than is true…. Dr. Livingston said, ‘True humility is not to think low of oneself but to think rightly, truthfully of oneself.’ ” The call, then, is to believe about both who we are, and more importantly, who we are in Christ. As we see ourselves properly in relation to Christ, humility will attend to itself. And when we do this, and walk in it, not only do we change but our world changes as well.
Another thought that occurred later on near the end of my reading: There is no question about whether God wants revival. The question is: Are we committed to seeing the Spirit bring it? Are we willing to be obedient to what God has called us to, and to who God has called us to be? Are we willing to set aside our own self-image, good or bad, and believe that God has something better for us, no matter what package it might initially come in?
I believe you’ll be similarly challenged as you take on this book. David Alves reminds us who we were called to be, even while reminding us, “God’s sons want to move down to know him better.” After all, that was the way The Son of God himself chose.