Everything changes when we understand that we are sons and daughters of God.
"Wow, what are these?" a baby must wonder the first time he touches his toes. Eventually, he realizes that those toes belong to him. He's in wide-eyed awe, learning more about himself each day. As he continues to grow into adulthood, the wonder of those first moments of self-discovery fades, but he never ceases to learn more and more about the unique person God made him to be.
Similarly, the body of Christ is constantly growing and learning about its own identity. Through much sacrifice and discomfort, it has gained unprecedented influence in the world today.
The church started out teetering with a small band of timid disciples. These 12 men were initially double-minded about coming out of hiding after Jesus' death. Yet they emerged, the gospel was proclaimed, and the church was securely birthed.
In the centuries that followed, powerful traits revealing the church's true identity blossomed. Believers began to walk with increasing confidence with each new revelation. In the 16th century, the body of Christ grew in divine authority with the revelation of salvation by faith and not works.
The church multiplied exponentially when believers realized that tongues and the power gifts had not ceased but were for today. What fire swept the world from Azusa Street and other revivals as they began to use these gifts in just the last few hundred years. And more recent revelation from God has released the prophetic, fivefold leadership, passion for intimacy and the quest for transformation in every area of society.
Yet Jesus and all of creation are still crying out for one of the greatest revelations to the body of Christ: Its identity and authority as sons and daughters of God.
Christians understand what it means to be a friend of Jesus, and they know what it is to be His servant. They have become increasingly secure in believing the Father loves them. But everything changes when they realize they are sons and daughters of God and possess permanent identity in Him. They have all the rights and privileges of an heir.
Sons and daughters of God can really have, according to His will, what they wisely ask for. The Father invites His children to freely come to Him and tell Him what is on their hearts.
He will back them up when they walk, talk and work on His behalf. God has given the body of Christ the kingdom within to transform anything to which they put their hands.
Signs, wonders and miracles really do "run in the family." God will even give His sons and daughters nations if they ask Him, according to Psalm 2:8, which says, "Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession" (NKJV).
He's already opened a joint bank account and is waiting for His people to make withdrawals for healing, salvation for loved ones, peace of mind and whatever else they need for life and godliness.
As 2 Peter 1:3-4 says: "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
Satan's greatest fear is that sons and daughters of God will know who they are and walk in their authority, but it's the Father's greatest longing for them to do so. In fact, sons and daughters are far more than "believers" or "human beings." They are children of God, possessing and using all the full rights of that privilege!
With God's help, Christians will change the world and usher in Christ's return as they seize this truth and divine revelation and walk in it.
Ché Ahn is senior pastor of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California. He leads an apostolic network in more than 36 nations and has authored numerous books, including Fire Evangelism and Close Encounters of the Divine Kind. For more information or resources, log on at cheahn.org.