I was reviewing files on my computer and ran across this article from November 2009. I had just returned from a trip to Turkey where I was able to spend a week with some precious people from around the planet. Since the writing of this article, Father has only increased our accessibility to His People as they are breaking free from forms and patterns and pursuing Him! The principle presented in the original writing has only been confirmed and further ingrained in our beings through ongoing relationships with precious brothers and sisters.
Truly, it can be summed up in the words of Jesus,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
Here lately I have had an extraordinary opportunity to go to interesting places, meet new people and hear innovative things.
The assortment of people that I have rubbed elbows with have been, without a doubt, the most fascinating, authentic and powerful assortment of God’s people that I have ever known to roam the planet.
For example, a diminutive Asian woman whom, along with her husband, God has used to birth close to 2 million house churches and lead the Body of Christ to baptize 300 thousand new believers in a single day! Yeah, those numbers are no exaggeration. On earth the little lady stands well beneath 5 feet in stature but in the Spirit, I think she might be slightly elevated.
Oh, here’s one. The German couple who, when called to a particular part of their nation known to be governed by witches and warlock covens, simply invite thousands of witchcraft practitioners to a seminar on “supernatural power and healing”. When over 700 Harry Potters show up, they begin to speak about supernatural power in generic terms and then begin healing them “in Jesus’ name”. Yeah, the details of the aftermath are, shall we say, enchanting!
And what shall I say further? For time would fail me to tell of……………… Wait a minute. I don’t mean for this to turn into Hebrews 11, which we commonly like to call “the faith chapter” here in the U.S. but, that is exactly what it has been like and that is exactly where the Father took me as I began to genuflect to Him and think about my recent experience.
I used the word ‘genuflect’ because as I began to reflect about the depth of what the Father had allowed me to see/hear in and from these people, it caused a deep sense of reverence to envelope me. I suddenly realized that God is truly alive and well and undeniably about His business here on this planet. There was nothing for me to do but humble myself before Him.
Despite the variety of expressions that He is birthing and bringing to pass through these people, in listening to them speak, I began to see the wholeness, unity and Oneness of an awesome God. I realized that what He is doing in one nation, let’s say, millions of house churches, for example, isn’t necessarily what He is doing in other parts of the world. Yet, each “thing” has His distinguishing marks and characteristics; namely, His Christ exalted, the Life of His Spirit and His rule extended in and through His People!
There were numerous common threads that were weaved together in the tapestry of our conversations but they all boiled down to one main point. It is not in the “doing” of anything but rather in the “being” of something. You know, it is the whole John chapter 15 idea, “Apart from Me, you can do NOTHING.” Jesus said it. I just added the emphasis.
So, in my sudden state of revelation that He actually meant what He said and having seen it manifested in the lives of these precious new friends of mine, I began to examine my faith, life, ministry and existence in the God that I claim to know.
So, I started reading Hebrews 11 and purposefully read it with repentance. I fought hard not to read it through the lens of my Western culture and religious traditions. I asked the Holy Spirit to take me beyond what I knew and show me what He wanted me to come to know.
I have to admit. I was not doing very well. That religious stuff is engrained pretty deep; especially when you have the Greek language to back it up, right?
I had read it through a couple of times and then about verse 6, where it starts talking about pleasing God and that you cannot do that without believing that He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him, some bells finally went off.
God exists. He wants to be sought after. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm!?!? Can’t be that simple, can it?
Then a couple verses later it starts talking about Abraham who gets a call from God to leave all that he has ever known, and do you know what he did? He went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go. He could not help it. Faith compelled him.
Continuing, it talks about Abraham and how that he lived in tents with Isaac and Jacob because they were heirs of the SAME promise. I looked it up. When God made the covenant with Abraham, He told him that it was not just for him but for his seed and his children’s children. Three generations and beyond. It wasn’t even in the fine print. It was a major part of the whole deal.
So, as I pondered the fact that THE Father came to Abram and made a covenant with him and through him to two generations and beyond, I realized that a significant event took place between THE Father and the man from Ur of the Chaldees whom He called to be a father of a nation. He changed his name from Abram to Abraham.
Yeah, I know. You’ve heard it before. I had as well. Even preached it!
Abram means ‘exalted father’. Abraham means ‘a father of a multitude’.
Above I alluded to the tapestry of conversations I had with this new, current day Hebrews 11 class. One of the main, consistent themes mentioned by these people from the 18 nations represented was that God is empowering and releasing spiritual fathers.
It was not coerced, rehearsed or premeditated by the attendees. It is simply one of the core essentials that THE Father is speaking into the earth. Through various methods and administrations it is happening and the variety of this expression only strengthens the Oneness of it.
Rather than focusing on a “model” or “form” of “doing” church in a given nation, God is turning the hearts of the fathers to the children. Not to build an individual legacy but rather to advance THE Father’s Kingdom.
So, the question came to me………………….
Do you seek to be exalted or multiplied?
In our own strength, abilities, talents and labor, we can build one generation kingdoms that will cause men to vicariously sing their praises to God through us. We will continue to make others dependent on us and position ourselves as ‘necessary’ between THE Father and His children. Our life’s work will merely delay the purposes of God advancing in the earth. You can call it or name it what you want…..Apostolic…..Emergent…….House Church…….etc………it bears the name of Ishmael. Remember Ishmael? That is what Abraham created when he grew impatient and took matters into his own hands/methods in trying to produce what he thought he had heard Father promise him! In functioning as an orphan, he quite naturally produced an orphan.
However, in Father’s strength, we can die to our fleshly abilities [as Abraham existed] and allow His Life to multiply sons in the earth. In functioning as a son, Abraham quite naturally was able to produce a son….Isaac!
Death to our own ambition and exaltation produces an Isaac who was the epitome of the spirit of Sonship. He willingly laid his life down as a sacrifice according to the word of the father. He did not have to re-learn the lesson of his father and repeat the defeat and delay of the flesh trying to produce what only the Life of God possibly can.
That Life produced a Jacob, who would achieve a spiritual condition and function that permitted him to see the heavens open and also engage God in a wrestling match. The name change in the third generation brought power with God and man into the earth and gave Israel the right to rule as God! Yet, another elevation of function from one generation to the next.
Ultimately, the multiplication of 12 sons birthed by Israel which is the number of Divine Government and the establishment of the Kingdom occurs. I think you get it!
Exalted or multiplied? The answer to that question determines your relevance in what God IS DOING in the earth.