My good friend, Clay Nash, says, “If you honor me, honor my values.” Powerful words! When I heard him say them the first time, I felt them as much as I heard them.
At that moment, I was listening to Clay Nash as a representative of Jesus of Nazareth, not only as my good friend. While I listen to Clay Nash as my good friend, and our friendship communication nourishes my life, I was submitting to Clay Nash as more than my good friend at the moment he released this revelation. My submission opened my soul to experience Truth that came through Clay Nash from the Source of All Truth.
Jesus wanted me to hear and experience that Truth from and through His representative.
I experienced Truth as I heard that Truth communicated.
Honor My Voice
I begin with “honor my voice.” If you do not follow, you cannot be fathered. If you do not follow, you are not listening to me enough to know my values. You cannot honor my values until you come to recognize my values.
The word “disciple” does not mean “follow.” It means “trained in thinking, living, and function.”
However, Jesus begins discipling with a call: “Follow Me.”
Many assume that discipling means following because of this initiating call, but the following is not the discipling. But, following is the submission posture required to be discipled. You cannot be discipled if you are not following. Of course, you can follow without being submitted, but you cannot be discipled without being submitted. You cannot submit without following.
Judas followed. Judas never honored Jesus voice deep enough to experience Truth at the transformational level. Judas never valued the values of Jesus. He never heard what Jesus said in a way that he experienced it.
If you follow, you can submit. Part of the following is the positioning – I am present when the voice communicates the values. The following can be motivated by many things unrelated to the more profound significance of submission. Many follow for all the wrong reasons, never posture themselves in submission, and receive nothing more than perceptions and appearances of “being with Jesus.”
Train Disciples to Honor Your Voice
Jesus often used the commands “lo, behold, truly, truly, verily, verily.” He was calling those He called to honor His voice so they could honor His values.
You can obey without submitting. We might reach the conclusion that many people obey without submission: “many are called, but few are chosen.” Following should lead to representing. It does not always work out that way.
Many parents frustrate themselves and their children because they do not begin at the beginning.
Train your children to honor you. Begin by training them to honor your voice. If they honor your voice, they surrender their attention. If they surrender their attention to you, they are valuing your voice so they can hear your words. If they hear your voice, they will learn your values.
Jay and Fay are playing. Mother calls them. Nothing happens. Mother calls again. And, yet again. Nothing happens.
This situation reveals that their mother has never taken the time to create a crisis about honoring her voice. The attention of the toddler is intense. Without training, the intensity of that focus will override the required honor that child should extend toward parents.
They honor themselves when they honor, or value, their attention to what interests them more than their mother. They are valuing what has their attention and their innate curiosity more than they are honoring their mother.
As she is training them to honor her voice, she should not allow them to ignore her voice at all. She should begin with the expectation that her voice will penetrate the intense focus of natural interests and the pleasure a young mind finds in discovery. She should insist that this become the norm, that her children stop what they are doing, turn and come to her, where she is when she calls them.
(Nothing she does to instill honor will limit the capacity of her children for discovery! Curiosity should honor a mother’s voice more than the draw of new things.)
Honor my voice.
Fathering Spiritual Children
Can you imagine that I would have spiritual children who didn’t even read my books? Can you imagine that I would have a spiritual inheritor who valued listening to someone else or something else more than listening to my voice? Can you believe that a child who values my values would avoid hearing my voice?
You can measure honor with this plumbline. When a spiritual inheritor substitutes his own voice, his personal selection of input, or begins to avoid your voice, that inheritor has already started to dishonor or devalue – despise and undervalue – your values.
A leader you are maturing arrives for an event in which you are teaching, training, preaching, or leading but stays in the foyer talking, finds a comfortable place in the lounge to text, or even uses the smartphone to watch someone else preaching. Wow! They are avoiding your leadership, setting their level of value for your guidance by self-determining the value of your voice.
Prepare yourself for betrayal if this trend continues since they are already treating you with less honor than they would give their favorite TV show when you represent God’s strategy of preparation and positioning for them to realize their ultimate.
They will initiate a change in their responses to your voice in private meetings, and they will find it appropriate to treat you as if you are an equal or even a consultant they control – “I hired you, and I can fire you if I do not like your input.” These are entirely inconsistent with the fathering with inheritor relationship since the roles are reversed.
Imagine one of the Twelve saying, “Hey Jesus, I know we are scheduled to teach in the desert, but Tiger is leading at the Master’s, and this is the final round. He’s making such a great comeback, You know, and this is history in the making, Jesus!”
Jesus answers, “Yeah. Sure! You got ahead. I am just talking about My favorite couscous and lamb dish today, working through a brief pep talk on tithing mint. No big deal here. Just the Creator of the Universe Incarnate in the flesh leading you to the fullness and fulfillment of your entire destiny. You want Me to help Tiger get a hole-in-one for you to watch?”
Of course, you will find that people assume, as you may be doing right now, that “my spiritual father’s voice isn’t the voice of Jesus and if Jesus were here I would never-” And, you would be so wrong in your basic conclusion that you would reveal the entire point I am making.
Jesus Is Not Here
You will not get a “makeup work” from Holy Spirit when you devalue what Jesus makes available through His strategically designed kingdom leadership dynamics.
Jesus will not say, “Well, I see that you dishonored your spiritual father, but that’s cool. Holy Spirit will make all that you would have received from him available automatically without a spiritual father. Get out there and cheer on Tiger, and Holy Spirit will emit magic rays into your character without following, submission, and honoring your assigned leaders.”
If Holy Spirit operated in that way, none of us would need any of the leadership the Bible tells us Jesus bestowed upon the kingdom for our preparation and positioning. None of the believers would birth children who needed natural parenting. None of the believers would require a government to protect them from evil people. Holy Spirit would do it all, automatically, and we would all know everything we need to know and acquire all the strength of will that discipline, correction, guidance, and leadership provide.
We would need no Bible, books, teaching, preaching, and leadership. We would need no prayer, prophecy, spiritual language, or any other spiritual capacity that requires us to surrender to the strategy of Jesus for our personal edification.