Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Forerunner Generation (Part 3)

We can talk about spiritual fathers forever but unless there are willing spiritual sons there cannot be a RECIPROCATION.  In my last blog "The Forerunner Generation (Part 2)" I spoke of the characteristics and duties of a Spiritual Father.  

Now lets focus a little bit on spiritual sons.  Spiritual sons should respect and honor their spiritual fathers by serving the father's vision and taking his advice concerning them.

The term spiritual father shouldn't be used or taken lightly.  If we claim someone as a spiritual father then we are attentive to their needs.  For example, how can I claim someone as a spiritual father but I'm too busy to pick them up at the airport?  In essence, the relationship of father and son carries a with it the function of serving or receiving the spiritual insight and authority the father has to offer.

Today we live in an a culture of independence rather than interdependence.  An independent spirit often causes would-be sons to resist sonship, most notably the correction that comes with the relationship.  However, fathers who refuse to correct their sons will lose their sons as Eli lost his (1 Samuel 2:34; 4:11).  And the Bible clearly states that those who will not receive correction will become bastards. (Hebrews 12:8).

Sonship isn't visible by how someone receives encouragement;
it's visible by how a son receives

A true son doesn't make his father adjust the way he leads; a true son adjusts the way he follows.  While ultimate accountability is surely before the Lord, spiritual sonship goes beyond accountability to a willingness to submit yourself to a father who can speak to the blind spots in your life so you can grow.

Perhaps another reason some resist spiritual fathers is because they don't want to have to get permission from anybody to do what they want to do.  It's not about permission-giving.  It's about maturity.  It's about wisdom.  You can enforce compliance, but submission can never be forced.  Submission is an attitude of the heart.  There are a lot of people out there who are keeping the rules but who are not submitting.  They may call you a father until there is something they don't agree with.

Perhaps another reason some resist a father / son relationship is because they have seen too many "rent-a-fathers."  We see this a lot on TV... "Send me your tithes and I will be your father."  That tactic is not RELATIONAL and does not fit God's pattern for fathers - spiritual or natural.  When a child is born, the father doesn't tell him, "pay me and I'll take care of you."  There is nothing wrong with honoring spiritual fathers with gifts, but HONOR is far more than sending a check.

A true father will CUT AWAY THE FLESH - and that's exactly what circumcision is!  When a father takes his knife to shape the character of a son, it's not to harm him.  It's to RELEASE a greater flow of life.  That's the reason we must tell our sons and daughters "If your spiritual father doesn't have a knife, go and buy them one!"  A father will carry a knife and will deal with the areas of their sons life that are cutting off their productivity.

Discipline isn't something you do to your children, it's something you do for them.

More to come...