Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Forerunner Generation (Part 2)

Spiritual fatherhood is nothing new to those familiar with the apostolic.  Although the concept may be unfamiliar to some in the body of Christ, fathers have been raising up sons for quite some time.

Dr. Lester Sumrall raised up strong spiritual sons.  Although he passed away in 1996, his ministry lives on, in part, through what he imparted to men like Rod Parsley and Billy Joe Daugherty (now deceased).  Dr. Sumrall, known as a "pastor of pastors" was a spiritual son to Evangelist Howard Carter and received a blessing from Smith Wigglesworth.  In the spirit of Elijah (Malachi 4:5), Dr. Sumrall shared his mantle with the Elisha's in his life.  

When a spiritual father passes on his mantle to his sons they can expect to be...

  • Protected
  • Guided
  • Instructed
  • Corrected
  • Exhorted
  • Encouraged
  • Inspired
  • Increased

The relational dynamic that takes place is very similar to the Elijah / Elisha relationship.  Perhaps if Elisha could describe the relationship today, he might say that Elijah was not only his spiritual mentor and pastor, but also he was his best friend.

Again, the characteristics of a spiritual father include: protection, guidance, instruction, correction, exhortation, encouragement and inspiration. 

  • A spiritual father is always willing to give his life for his sons.  
  • A spiritual father will always anchor his sons to his character and purpose.
  • A spiritual father will always see gifts in his son that other people don't see - and inspire him to put those gifts to work.
In these last days, I believe we're moving into a season where the emphasis of the Kingdom is not in DOING but in BEING.  Sons aren't looking for fathers who are "over the top charismatic" with "bigger than life personalities" - sons simply need fathers who are CONSISTENT in CHARACTER in every day life.  

We will never cease to need fathers in our lives.  I'm reminded of the story of the prodigal son.  He demanded his inheritance and left home to begin his adventure.  Did the father cease to be a father just because the son left home?  No.  The father remained a father.  He never ceased to function in his role.

Regardless of how many accomplishments a son has he will always need a father.  None of us cease to need a father in our lives.  
  • Fathers were there when we had nothing.
  • Fathers understand the assignment on our life.
  • Fathers help forge Godly character in our life.
  • Fathers use their influence to promote us.
  • Fathers keep us grounded to purpose.
  • Fathers check our relationship for rightness.
  • Fathers cover our mistakes and protect us even from ourselves.
I believe that's the heart of a true father.