The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7 (NASB)
I met Don Nori Sr. on Facebook years ago. I sought him out. I had been listening to a friend of mine, Mary Glazier, the founder of Anchorage Intercessors at a Windwalkers conference in Anchorage Alaska when I heard her say something that stuck out to me. She said, “if you want to be the best at something find out who the best is and endear yourself to them.” At the time I was inspired to be an author and I took that to mean that if I wanted to be an amazing author that I should find out who the founder of Destiny Image was. I knew authors such as Rick Joyner, Bill Johnson and TD Jakes were being published by Destiny Image and thought whoever was publishing them had to be the best. The authors and the content of what Destiny Image was producing had captured my imagination. As I looked into Destiny Image, I saw on the website their history and how they had come to be. There was the story of how Don Nori Sr and Cathy stepped out on the waters of uncertainty and trusted the Lord to meet them right there where their faith was at. They had gone all in on a word from the Lord. The word was in a nutshell that “if they would publish the prophets the Father would prosper them.” I tried to imagine what kind of people would be so bold and courageous! I had to reach out to them. Little did I know that it wasn’t authoring that I would come to love and appreciate most about Don Nori Sr. Not that there wasn’t so much more to love. But it was his understanding of the revelation of our identity as sons who are about our Father’s business that captivated me.
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord” Romans 12:10-11 (NASB)
I reached out to Don Nori Sr when he was in need of some prayer because of his health condition and began to pray for him on a regular basis. As time went on, we became friends. Don became interested in some of my artwork and began inquiring into Alaska. After a few years of getting to know each other Don trusted me enough to come to Alaska and allow me to host him and his precious wife Cathy. Their first trip here was a success and we were now fast friends. I travelled to Shippensburg to see him and Cathy where I learned a little more about horses then I needed to know. Cathy loves and trains horses and there was one in particular that was large enough for me to ride. Don was concerned though and almost made me sign a waiver. When I was younger, I could ride well and thought I still had it, however, while riding, I fell off and found out that I don’t bounce like I used to. Thank God I didn’t break anything. Eventually Don and Cathy came back to Alaska again to finish his last book “I Am a Son.” I was grateful to be one of the first to acquire and read that book. It was if I was looking into the crystal sea where all that I had been hoping to see my whole life became evident and clear. Don’s gift was to put into words what we had all been experiencing in the spirit realm. Don realized that his identity was simply that he was a son who was about his Father’s business. This is where the narrow path had led him to. It is here that the Father has been leading us, just as He had been leading Don Nori Sr., all along. This book “I Am a Son” defines the journey he had been on his whole life. The journey we have been on our whole life. He had found himself in Christ, a son, with all the favor and accolades and benefits that that brings. It’s as if his whole life had been leading up to the writing of this one book for the benefit of all of us. This incredible understanding that he didn’t need to curry favor from the Father. He didn’t have to do anything but believe this one thing, then live and move and have his being from within this absolute knowing. He was his Fathers son with all the benefits and inheritance that is afforded through his faith in the Son of God. Because of this, he was about his Father’s business.
2 Peter 1:19 So we have the prophetic word made surer, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. (NASB)
Every line of this book confirms everything the Lord had been trying to showing us since we first confessed Jesus as our Risen Savior. We all need confirmation of these things the Lord has been teaching us by His Spirit and none of us have gotten it right away. We have all desired to have that blessed assurance sealed indelibly on the fleshly tablets of our hearts. It seems so far removed from us that the Father would give us everlasting life through the Son and then allow us to share in His inheritance and glory, so even the most seasoned believer will find themselves questioning the validity of these truths. It is beyond comprehension except that His illumination allows us to comprehend such an amazing and incredible reality. Life for all of us is culminated in the knowledge of sonship found within the Son and only the Holy Spirit has the power to convince us.
“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:14 (NASB)
The truth that we are ‘sons’ has been right there in front of us the whole time. Because of lack of understanding we don’t seem to want to acknowledge it until the journey has brought us full circle to where, now, it all makes sense. The narrow way leads to our identity. Our identity in Christ Jesus releases us into the freedom of abundant life. It is the Son whose baptism of fire removes all doubt from our minds. Those who choose not to run from the refiners fire will come to the knowledge of His glory that He is the Firstborn of many brethren.
For years I walked with Jesus struggling with just what was it that He was trying to get me to “understand.” Hungry and thirsty for righteousness I struggled to find the narrow way. Then there was the day it all came clear. I understood. While writing the song “He’s Making a Way” I heard the Lord say “stop son and listen to Me.” I stopped immediately so I could do just that. I had an immediate sensation of something being dropped into my spirit. It was tangible like I could feel something had literally been deposited within me. I began to hear these words. “He’s always with me. I’m never alone. Never forsakes me. I’m one of His own.” I began to write this verse down and soon all the other verses followed. In a matter of minutes, I had written the song “I Am a Son.” As I meditated on what I had just written I began to pray in the spirit for the chords and the melody. I picked up my guitar and as soon as it was in position, I heard the music. I knew the arrangement and could play it as if I had played it my whole life. This song was more than just another download from Heaven to me. I knew that this song was, and is, a culmination of all that the Lord has been revealing in me since I first entered in. Not only had the Lord been confirming things He had been showing me in the spirit realm through Don’s book, He was also showing me that this revelation was here to stay and was sealed in my spirit forever. I am His son!
The chorus of the song echoes the struggle between Father and son as revealed in the line, “He’s calling to you now, He saying don’t run, I am your Father, and you are My son.” The Father never relents. Even when the “prodigal” squandered his inheritance, the Father never stopped loving him as a son. I had been the “backslider” who had run. In all my running He never left me nor forsook me. Nothing ever separated me from His love. The Holy Spirit never stopped pursuing me with the Father’s love. In many respects I had remained unwilling to come up higher and had been more comfortable in my default setting of carnality and failure. Always going around the mountain.
I had been the “faithful” son as well, jealous for validation from the Father. The story has been played out since time immemorial. The son throughout all of scripture has run away in one form or another from the understanding that as a son there is no other position of favor greater than having the right to be called a son who is about his Father’s business. I have heard many people crying out for ‘favor’ as if God doles it out according to some works-based approval system. I have seen many try to curry favor through their ‘righteous’ acts. I have even seen ‘prophets’ lay hands on men and woman to say that “God is pleased with you and you have come to greater level of favor with Him.” Once you realize you are a son that doctrine is no longer valid. Either these ‘prophets’ are communicating the one they are praying for have come to a greater closeness with Him in a way that they understand their positions as sons, or, they are saying God is dispensing favor as you curry it from Him. I would hope that it is not the latter. Whether we are close to Him or faraway, because we believe, we are in Christ, our faith in Him makes us righteous and we share in His Sonship. As we share in His Sonship and remain in Him the Father leads us by His Spirit to where our identity is. That is to come to the conclusion that, as we have received Him, we have been given the right to be called “sons of God.”
“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren [adelphos].” Romans 8:29 (NASB)
Adelphos is the Greek word for brethren which means ‘directly related to closely and distant.’ I get it. When I first received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I only knew Him distantly and had to walk with him many miles until I could trust Him enough to call Him brother (adelphos) and resign myself to remain in Him on a permanent basis. I have come to believe that the whole purpose of discipleship is to come to the knowledge of His truth that I have been given the right to be called a son of God. How audacious! The freedom received from the knowledge of this glory reveals in me the confidence, in the love the Father has for me, that He would call me a son of God.
And with all your acquiring, get understanding. I am not just in the Son but I am His brother and if I am a brother then it stands to reason that I am positioned and identified by our Father in Heaven as His son if we will choose to remain. Choose not to run. Could we ever have any more favor than that? We share in the inheritance. The promises are yes and amen for us. He is withholding no good thing from us. All things are possible for us within His plan and purpose for us as His sons. He is for His sons and nothing can be against us! Does it ever really get any better than this? Could you ever be positioned for anything more than the favor that being a son of the Father imputes towards you?
The video “I Am a Son” starts out with a homeless man walking the streets of Anchorage. He is alone and destitute. All he has are the clothes on his back and his rain gear. In his mind he cannot let go of his rain gear because all his identity is in his ability to commercial fish. He’s tired and finds a place to lay down in a broke down trolley in the middle of the city. He falls into a fast sleep when the Lord meets him there in his brokenness and ministers to him through a dream.
“In a dream, a vision of the night, when sound sleep falls on men, while they slumber in their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction, that He may turn man aside from his conduct, and keep man from pride;” Job 33:15-17 (NASB)
He wakes up in the dream to find his ‘spirit man’ singing a song over him. As he listens to the song, he rejects the very idea that the Father would be everything he is hearing in the spirit. He doesn’t believe that the Father could ever receive him as he is oppressed and depressed from the guilt and shame that his brokenness has opened the door to. His ‘old man’ is warring with the ‘new.’ But, as he is listening, there is a glory cloud that brings provision upon the words that are being released into his spirit. Faith and hope begin to rise up from within him. The words begin to accomplish that for which they were sent. He gets up and begins to walk. While he is walking, he is met by a messenger, a young evangelist, that gives him direction to a place where he can find forgiveness and freedom from his guilt and shame. He has a vision of the daughter he is estranged from and she is looking for him. He continues on and walks up to a house of worship where he is confronted by a huge cross hanging on the building. He falls to his knees, bows his head and has a divine revelation of the Father’s Perfect Love (Jesus) for him and receives the love, forgiveness, and mercy of the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. It is then that his daughter finds him and he tells her “I am forgiven.” They embrace. The scene cuts back to the trolley where he wakes up from the dream. He walks off from the trolley and finds himself on the same street where the messenger met him, it is the same boy as in the dream. The dream becomes reality.
The story line was inspired by own personal testimony and the knowledge that until we embrace our brokenness, we will never be able to grasp the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the height, depth, width and the length of the Father’s love for His sons. Like myself and many others, we have to come to the end of ourselves so that God can reveal His master plan to reconcile us all to Himself as sons of God in and through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.