1 You learn to process information and feelings in ways consistent with your created disposition.
Your spiritual father is not attempting to make you someone else but responding to you in ways consistent with his or her discernment of the person God created you to be. He or she confronts your tendency to mold yourself by some image of yourself foreign to that created disposition because a spiritual father has a broader and better understanding of your destiny. So, healthy, fathering tension accompanies acceptance and adjustment.
God creates you with detailed precision and purpose. God never tries to make you someone else; He restores you to the person He created you to be.
A spiritual father, even more spiritually attuned to your destiny than a natural father, discerns God’s blueprint. Since most spiritual fathers exhibit strong leadership and personality, some are guilty of impressing strong personality traits as a “style” upon others, even to the point of assuming, with pervasive pride, that “style” sets a standard for leadership or excellence. Properly functioning fathers influence and even shape children with spiritual dynamics, not natural styles.
God intends that your spiritual father develop the disposition He created, not impose a disposition. On the other hand, a spiritual father will walk you through an inevitable identity crisis necessary to the development of your destiny. You must fully embrace that transformational process that restores God’s original blueprint. So, a father will help you confront what God is confronting in your personality that runs counter what God created.
Leaders who hammer on you for being who you are, ignore the intentions of the Creator. In turn, using your dispositional tendencies or strengths as excuses leaves you dismally unprepared to do what God calls you to do.
Expect no grace flow in your life to help you become someone else. Expect a flow of grace from God, applied by your father to the areas of maturity, strength, and calling that reveals the person God created you to be.
2 You embrace your calling with the highest devotion, doing what God called you to do with measurable, sustainable expansion and excellence.
Spiritual fathers discern God’s calling upon your life as a means of understanding how your blueprint fits into the greater kingdom blueprint your spiritual father has been assigned. Spiritual fathers don’t select a calling or life’s work for you so that you can be fitted into their agendas or hammered into their legacies. Your calling and assignment to a father do not conflict when both you and your father embrace God’s strategy.
You do not select your own calling or life’s work either! Your father cannot make the person you wish to be or prepare you to do what you wish to do. The empowering, encouraging, and enlightening of a spiritual father must be a direct reflection of the Heavenly Father’s. So, a tension will exist between your projection of what a father should be or do, completely furnished with fathering faithfulness and personal perplexities, and what God knows you need to become the person He created you to be so you can what He called you to do.
So, your spiritual father helps you identify, clarify, and prioritize your personal calling as it fits into a greater purpose for the Ecclesia. A spiritual father prepares and positions, understanding that your blueprint fits another blueprint.
No contradiction between your calling and your assigned place of function in the Ecclesia can possibly exist in God’s blueprint.
A spiritual father discerns God’s blueprint at the “chosen, selection, established, assigned, and positioned” level with a sense of what you look like fully functioning in your calling. A spiritual father can see that end result when you cannot envision it, during the seasons of your immaturity or development, and he or she can see it more fully that you can at any stage of your maturity. As much as you desire to prove you can do it without help, your destiny always demands a level of submission to others.
A spiritual father may prophesy your calling, and to your surprise and shock, that calling may require you to adjust your understanding of yourself and your destiny.
As well, a spiritual father may say little or nothing about what he or she discerns of your calling during your development simply because you would jump to conclusions. He or she will also challenge the faulty conclusions that form in your mind as you pass through spiritual childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood. You tend to measure yourself by what you can understand at any given moment instead of trusting God and your leaders who can see a fuller blueprint.
You cannot call yourself. You will acquire an understanding your calling progressively, not all in one setting. You will cherish the fathering leadership God provides once the mature seasons arrive, more than you do during the seasons of development and maturity.
3 While Holy Spirit determines what charismatic gifts you possess, you learn to operate in greater maturity and proper context.
Spiritual fathers can be instrumental in activating or imparting gifts in strategic ways, at strategic times.
Spiritual gifts have spiritual dynamics as spiritual capacities of enabling grace. Grace flows and charismata operate in tandem: that is, God gives grace for your calling. A spiritual capacity originates outside and independent of natural capacities. So, a spiritual father receives grace that rests upon and flows that becomes available to you, and your preparation and positioning for the work of serving within the Ecclesia appropriates greater grace.
God’s blueprint for your created disposition and calling includes a blueprint page for charismatic gifts as enabling grace capacities.
Spiritual fathers help you develop your SpiritFirst function so the strategy of God for your life. God designed and created you to function SpiritFirst, so a spiritual father engages your life from a spiritual point of view. You may confuse this spiritual function with other leadership roles if you are an employee, friend, or natural family member. A spiritual father will certainly help you develop as a person, mature character, and learn “the way things work” on a practical level, but his or her primary focus must be spiritual.
Your natural man tendencies project natural priorities upon the development of your created disposition and calling. You may limit the development and maturity of your highest destiny by demanding a misplaced focus upon your talents or natural genius. At the times you least recognize the influence these tendencies, a spiritual father helps you prioritize spiritual capacities as means of accomplishing your calling and helps you make natural talents and ability servants of Divine strategy.
Spiritual fathers do not see charismatic gifts like Boy Scout badges that mark your progress by “I can do this now” or “I’m a charismatic now.” They see these charismatic gifts as strategic to your created disposition and calling, part of your blueprint. They also impart gifts by revelatory means, those impartations being consistent by God’s revealing and timing, with God’s will.
4 You learn to interpret the providential pathway through which Father directs and disciplines your life.
Spiritual fathers help you learn both obedience and submission, so you will have the strength of will to surrender to God’s involvement in your personal history. They strengthen your will by pressing you into the process when you attempt to short circuit your connection to your providential pathway.
Interpreting your tests matures you so you can move on to the next test. Cursing the test means that even though you pass it you have to repeat it, passing it over and over again. You may curse the tests simply because you wish to avoid them, to be exempted from them, and this weariness of soul short-circuits the very purpose of the tests.
Spiritual fathers helps you interpret the tests, not avoid them. As part of a providential pathway, your tests provide essential preparation and positioning to your progress. Instead of developing heart murmurs about your experiences, fathers insist upon maturity. They help you see how that test fits the blueprints, how God works together these experiences and events in ways that produce good, though He didn’t originate them. Some of your greatest opportunities emerge through your greatest tests.
You will tend toward building an identity with your past. A spiritual father, discerning from a blueprint perspective, will confront that tendency so you can learn to interpret your life experiences within a broader spiritual context of Father’s loving direction and discipline. Instead of allowing your history and environment to mold you, or standing as you mold yourself in them, spiritual fathers impel you toward transformation.
Your greatest battles prophesy your greatest destiny.
The battle lines of your life most often appear at the most important tension points between God and your adversary. To interpret your tests properly, you need guidance from a blueprint leader. Your spiritual father frame the attacks in ways that help you because you tend to internalize them.
Your adversary’s methodology remains pretty much the same as it has always been: “Anything but that.” While the enemy cannot fully discern your blueprint, he observes God’s favor, so his work to limit your fullness and fulfillment will most often be to offer you distraction with a larger objective to provide you with substitution. If hell cannot keep you from destiny, hell will work to limit the fullness and fulfillment of purpose in your life.
Fathers discern in the distractions that you labor to justify the potential substitutes that appeal to your pride. Fathers discern the “anything but what God wants” methods of hell and confront them with blueprint reality.
If you have a leader who only helps you become more of what you wish to be or develop more along the lines of living at your best within the context of your environment, you have a coach or mentor, not a spiritual father.
5 You are challenged to accept nothing but ultimate will of God by a leader who discerns who God created you to be and prepares and positions you to do what God called you to do.
Jesus creates, redeems, and restores. Jesus does in each of these activities to fulfill what Father wants. He creates what Father wants. He redeems what Father wants. And, He restores to what Father wants.
A father doesn’t make you someone else but stubbornly challenges you to become the person Jesus created you to be. You experience the Heavenly Father as the person Father wants. He discerns what Father wants and works to strengthen your will to surrender to redemptive, restorative transformation.
You resist this process at the point and to the extent you accept distractions and substitutions for what Father wants. You exhibit a strong tendency to provide a “what-I-want” that leaves you wide open to spiritual deceptions, especially during immaturity and transition. So, learning to submit to a spiritual father establishes the powerful preparation you require for ultimate submission to your heavenly Father.
(Submission isn’t control but surrender that embraces confirmed strategies.)
“Be all you can be” and “you can be anything you want” are so obviously non-Biblical that a discussion of their illegitimacy should be unnecessary. Nothing would be more contrary to the Scripture than the idea that God exists to get you what you want or God provides spiritual fathers for that reason. While you can find a multitude of leaders to counsel, assist, coach, and mentor you, God’s design for your destiny requires kingdom leaders with discernment of His blueprints. Leaders who father provide a source of leadership outside your conceptualization of your purpose, someone with a more comprehensive set of blueprints.
6 You have someone who provides a source of purpose for you life outside of and different from yourself.
Without diminishing the role of numerous guides available to you “in Christ,” Paul’s emphasis upon “few fathers” reveals his understanding that a father provides something of a transformational nature that arises from a source different from yourself. Leadership that is given wholly in response to you as the source of understanding destiny will nearly always produce a substitute for God’s blueprint.
“If you have, in Christ, 10,000 guides (unlimited access to tutors to mentor your
natural life), still few fathers (access to a leader whose life and lifestyle provide power to produce purpose.)” [1 Corinthian 4:15]
The next statement says, “Therefore, be imitators of me.”
Paul says, “I have shown you a fathering model so you can respond to me as a spiritual father, to follow my fathering leadership instead of making the more readily available guides your highest leadership perception. You’d never seen anything like what kingdom leadership dynamics provide.”
The Gospel Paul delivered reveals a leadership process of SpiritFirst power that conventional, natural, and humanistic models know nothing about, and a fathering leader alone can make available. Paul’s fathering leadership as revealed in his leadership for Timothy broke the mold on leadership!
Without diminishing the value of “readily available guides in Christ,” Paul distinguishes fathering leadership from other leadership available to the Ecclesia.
Not all fathering occurs personally. Some fathering occurs corporately. The same basics apply to both personal and corporate applications of fathering. Fathering leadership dynamics run so contrary to more readily available and valued mentoring dynamics, however, that many modern believers reject fathering dynamics and rush to hear something about how they can be what they want to be.
The kingdom Ecclesia suffers – as characterized by the Ecclesia at Corinth – from overt individualism and a syndrome of spiritual entitlement as a result.
7 You experience a spirit of leadership that prepares you to inherit kingdom purpose, fulfill it in your own personal destiny, and bring kingdom purpose to greater fullness in your spiritual generation.
Spiritual fathering implies spiritual generations, and fathering spiritually prepares leaders for spiritual inheritance. The kingdom is spiritual, and the dynamics of the kingdom are SpiritFirst. Spiritual fathering differs uniquely from natural fathering.
Each spiritual generation inherits and passes on to subsequent generations the condition of the kingdom and the fulfillment of kingdom purposes for which it becomes responsible. Spiritual fathering best prepares and positions you to receive an inheritance, connecting you to kingdom assignments that require several spiritual generations to complete.
When God makes a spiritual father available, God is connecting you to an unfinished kingdom purpose filled with unfulfilled kingdom promise, calling, gifting, and guiding you toward a place of preparation and positioning you to inherit.
You connect to previous and future spiritual generations through spiritual fathering.
Look for a major shift between now and 2020 AD, a reset of kingdom leadership has already begun! Continue to value the 10,000 guides but prepare your heart for a turning of children to fathers and fathers to children!