Defined, an “intention” is a course of action that one intends to follow. An aim that guides action; an objective.
It’s always good to know Father’s intention.
If you don’t understand His intention, even though you consider yourself zealous for the things of God, you can spend quite a large portion of your life doing things outside of it and never see the goal of His intention accomplished. Sad to say, this is a large problem in Christendom.
It is clear in the context of Ephesians 4 that the intention of the Ascension Graces of Christ given to the Body of Christ is precise. It is for the full equipping of the saints so that the saints may do the work of ministering toward the building up of Christ’s body. While there has been an extreme amount of emphasis, both good and bad, regarding the restoration, validity and function of these Graces in the Church, very little genuine equipping is getting done.
You see, there is a world of difference between training a believer to function within a religious organization called church and discipling a believer to function IN Christ as the Church.
The line I am drawing is not inconsequential. It is vital that we not only pay attention to Father’s Intention but that we learn to move according to it and nothing else!
Again, even though you are zealous about what you are doing, if it is not according to Father’s intention, you can spend your life spinning your wheels and never get to where you are supposed to be. Father has determined a course of action which He will follow. His Ways accomplish His Purpose and He will have a People who know Him and function according to His Ways in fulfilling His Purposes!
Clearly stated in scripture, we see the following:
- Christ’s Graces given to the Body as gifts – Apostle, Prophet, Pastor, Teacher, Evangelist
- Those Gifts are to perfect/fully equip saints to function in ministry
- Equipped saints function in the ministry and the Body of Christ is built up
However, religious folk come along with biased doctrinal beliefs, seeking to defend both their theological positions and their individual positions within religious organizations and brush aside Father’s intention or course of action He intends to follow. I won’t take the time here to go into all the methods in which they do so. Suffice it to say, there is a broad spectrum from “cessationism” (God doesn’t do that anymore) all the way to the Super Apostle who, because of his “anointing” and revelation, reigns supreme over his subjects. Regardless of their chosen method, the diversion from Father’s purposes occur and the People of God are trained to work within a particular “system” rather than being fully equipped to function as a Body.
Here’s the rub. Just as God has chosen and appointed His Son for the fulfillment of His eternal purposes, He has also chosen and appointed the Church in the same manner. The Church is subject to Christ and is to serve as the vessel of His expression and/or fullness. In God’s Mind, they are one in the matter of intention and purpose. As such, God carries a jealousy for His Church and there can be no ignoring, belittling, denying or injuring of His intention regarding the Church.
Further, spiritual fullness will ONLY come via Father’s Way and Intention; that is THROUGH THE BODY – NOT THROUGH AN ANOINTED MAN AND HIS MINISTRY -or- MAN’S RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS PATTERNED AFTER THIS WORLD’S SYSTEM.
“The church is the fullness of Him.” No individual can achieve that fullness. Therefore spiritual oneness, inter-relatedness, fellowship, mutuality, and interdependence are basic and indispensable to spiritual attainment of full-growth. “Till we all attain unto… a full grown man, unto… the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). (T. Austin Sparks)
It is irrefutable as revealed in scripture and history, God’s chosen course of action, which He fully intends to follow, is the full equipping of His consecrated people so that they might be able to function according to the grace of Christ imparted to them. When we agree with Father and set aside our agendas, we become empowered to do things according to His intention and not the way we have always done it. In submission to His Order and Rule, we discover an overflow of grace and capability extended from Him into the lives of those graced to do the equipping and to those being equipped. It changes everything!