Kingdom Starts Here
Kingdom leadership begins with a revelation of Father’s original intended purposes. Kingdom is leadership. Kingdom leadership has a designed structure and order. Kingdom fits you into that leadership design, so you function in that structure.
You cannot see your spiritual experience as “what God has done for me” if you want what God wants. God wants you fitted into a kingdom, not standing alone in overt individualism. Your identity cannot be available to you outside your position within the domain. Your identity in Christ is your identity from the King.
John saw this eternal concept metaphorically depicted in his vision. John saw the Father holding a scroll in His right hand of power and authority.
John writes the vision quote in these words:
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory, honor, and power, for you created all things, and by your intention they existed and were created.”The Revelation 4:11
Holy Spirit communicates these outcomes as finished products, including the strategic process and procedures in revealed blueprints and battleplans.
“We continually speak of this wonder-filled wisdom that comes from God, hidden before now as a mystery. It is his secret plan, destined before the ages, to bring us into glory. Not one of this present cosmic order’s rulers understood it, for if they had, the last thing they would have done would have been to crucify the Lord of shining glory.
This is why the Scriptures say:
‘Things never discovered or heard of before, things beyond our ability to imagine—these are the many things God has in store for all who love Him.’
But God now reveals these profound realities to us by the Spirit. Yes, he has revealed to us his inmost heart and deepest mysteries through the Holy Spirit, who constantly explores all things.”1 Corinthians 2:7-10
Jesus accepts responsibility to become the First Fruit, the initial success, the ultimate prototype, proving and guaranteeing by His Life and Obedience that Father’s original intentions.
The worthy Lamb steps up to receive the scroll. Father hands it to him. All heaven and Earth metaphorically burst forth in ancient, present, and future anthems of worship only God and Christ could be worthy of receiving.
The Lamb is worthy because he did something. He is the sacrificed Lamb. He is worthy because he creates, redeems, and restores all that is recorded in the scroll. He is worthy because he follows Holy Spirit’s strategy, who searches the deep places from which Father communicates what He wants.
- Notice that the origination of All is Father’s heart.
- Notice that the strategy of leadership for All reaching fullness is fathers.
- Notice that Jesus originates as a father.
- Notice that natural life is a fathering origination
- Notice that spiritual life is a fathering partnership process.
The obedience of Christ remains in process. Christ has not finished His obedience to the Father. That is why our partnership with Christ can be discussed a “filling up the sufferings of Christ” in the context of representing Him as equal inheritors.
Identity from Christ
Your ultimate identity is written on the scroll Father handed Jesus.
- Father is the Source of Intention Reality – by His intention, All that that was created exists
- Holy Spirit is the Source of Intentional Revelation – by His intentional, All revelation arrives with a strategic intention for eternal reconciliation
- Jesus is the Souce of Intentional Restoration – by His reconstitution, All was created, exists, and remains in order.
Father did not hand the scroll to you. He gave it to the only One who could do what the scroll describes. No one in Heaven, Earth, or under the Earth could do it.
You cannot make a sacrifice that makes you worthy of All. You cannot create what Father wants. You cannot redeem what Father wants. You cannot restore what Father wants.
Your identity in Christ cannot lead you to your identity from Christ without trust, passion, submission, and obedience to the designed process. Identity begins with bonding with Christ, then bonding with the kingdom leadership design.
You start with kingdom fathering.
Father is the Source
Unconditional love means original intention was Father’s passionate choice. He knew that choosing you would require the sacrifice of Christ. He wrote the scroll.
Nothing but what Father wrote on that scroll interests Holy Spirit who reveals it, and Jesus, who creates, redeems, and restores it.
Holy Spirit is the Source
Revelation is intentional, strategic, redemptive, and filled with God’s expectations. He knows that revealing makes people accountable. He reveals only as the course of redemptive restoration requires.
In fathering, we ask this question: To whom will Holy Spirit reveal process, pathos, and pathway that leads to ultimate destiny strategies?
- Holy Spirit will never reveal the whole process to the person in the process;
- Holy Spirit will reveal the end from the beginning in greater clarity to a father than the inheritor in the process;
- Holy Spirit will not respond to demands for revelation when inheritors wish to be in charge of their own restorations;
- Holy Spirit will make it clear that the process will include pain that only passion will endure.
“In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverential submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And a reaching ultimate through this submission to the process, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.”
The term “reverential submission” requires an explanation to the American ear. It is not phobos, the word for simple fear. It is a word that points us toward an intentional shunning of an alternative that cannot fit what is appropriate or strategic.
Essentially, Luke, if he is the author of Hebrews, wishes to communicate that Jesus needed to avoid death in Gethsemane so He could finish His assignment on the Cross.
The verses, put together, say that Jesus was praying for the strength to endure the process that led to Calvary when satan was trying to kill Him prematurely. The issue is strength to endure the process to which He was submitted.
- Jesus did not know all that would happen.
- Jesus did not raise Himself from the dead.
- Jesus did not have a Resurrection because He is Divine.
- Jesus did not win the battle without the power and wisdom of Holy Spirit.
Jesus is the Source
Jesus brought the term “disciple” into the kingdom from culture. He brought the terms “apostle, Ekklesia,” and disciple” into the mix of His leadership because He is a King even more than He is a Rescuer.
Jesus is the Source of all Creation, Redemption, and Restoration. Jesus is the King. Jesus is the Source of all leadership. Jesus, the King, is a Fathering leader. Jesus is a Father of fathers.
Church leadership can never approach the level of leadership Jesus designs. Only a radical–which means back to the original–leadership shifts can put that design into function.
We must have kingdom fathering.
Paul makes the prerequisite of spiritual bonding a high priority or operational integrity in the building, body, and bride.
On the fathering level, bonding with the fathering leaders is the first step to bonding with others and the land of your assignment. Bonding may be understood as part of your identity received from God’s design. Bonding is not limited by imperfect fathers.
Paul uses the phrase “the bond of peace.” The bond of peace in Greek means “tied together into a shared ultimate identity.” (The term is sundesmos combined with eiréné – “to join, tie together into a whole.”)
My own translation of Paul would be:
“Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together, so you share the ultimate shalom identity.”
Let’s take the phrases apart to see their meaning from Paul’s pen, put them back together again to hear him say something that makes sense to God, and then pursue that objective with all haste and passion!
“Make every effort to keep yourselves united.”
This pretty much guarantees that we have some work to do between ourselves and other believers. The word translated “make every effort” is spoudázō. It means both “quickly” and “diligently.”
So, Paul gives us a strong push in the direction “get this done!” concerning maintaining something already established. He assumes that challenges will occur. We should recognize them, move quickly to heal them, and continue to make this condition a high priority.
Bonding and Oneness
Natural bonding works because it is submission to the Creator’s design. Spiritual bonding works because it is submission to the King’s design.
All bonding leads to oneness. All kingdom relationships are designed to produce a specific kind of oneness. All kingdom relationships begin with fathering bonds.
Wherever we limit God’s designs for bonding, we experience bondage. We look for love in all the wrong relationships, define love with false expectations, and experience love through faulty filters.
Compare the prodigal’s dishonor for his father with the relationships he sought to fill the empty places.
- Leave father. Join with a stranger.
- Leave father. Elevate peers as leaders.
- Leave father. Waste substance on wasteful living.
The substitutes for authentic fathering waste destiny and inheritance because they tie identity to the wrong sources.
Avoid the extremely poor, humanistically inspired, and shallow definitions of honor and love that dominate worship songs and thinking, leading to erroneous teachings on judgment, criticism, and correction.
Put those books down and listen to Jesus, please.
Honoring leaders as fathers will open your life to the design of Jesus, Father of fathers. He is King of kings, Father of fathers.