TitleNote:1)“Father” is used throughout this paper in a spiritual and so non-gendered way.
01. Our problemThe presenting problem is siloing i.e. pastors, business people, artists, scientists, lawyers, media folk etc. are isolated from one another. The seeds of the kingdom are shut up in the individual silos.
These need to be broken open so the wind of the Spirit can carry them to their assigned destination in the call of God to bring forth fruit for the Lord everywhere. The pressing problem today is, “What is God’s strategy to break down the silos to release his glorious presence into our cities?”
A biblically based reply requires going back to the beginning of the story and moving on from there.
02. The Original Plan
Like an eastern potentate the LORD arranged all the trees of the Garden of Eden i.e. Delight, in an aesthetically pleasing arrangement without competition or crowding to maximise the revelation of his beauty and glory.
The trees were, after all, “pleasant to the site” (Gen 2:9). They were not only lovely to look at but “good for food” bringing health and vitality to humanity (Gen 2:9). Similarly, all the natural resources of Eden, such as its rivers, gold and precious stones, were arranged to be a storehouse of supply enabling the dominion of God to spread across the earth for the divine glory (Gen 2:10-14).
This was the original vocation of humanity in the image of God, a calling and assignment that has never changed (Gen 1:26-28). Siloing in Eden was inconceivable, but Satan intervened to frustrate God’s glorious purposes (Rom 3:23).
03. A Brilliant Diversion
The spirit which became the devil was exceedingly beautiful and glorious, but fell from God’s presence through self-intoxication (Ezek 28:17). Ever since that time “the deceiver of the whole world” has sought to lead astray the saints by tempting them to become enamoured with their own good gifts from God (Rev 12:9).
Unwittingly seduced away from the wisdom of “the Father of lights” the giver of “every good and perfect gift” groups of believers become intoxicated with the expression and validation of their own gift set to the exclusion (James 1:17).
This inevitably led to an inability to see the equal glory and the beauty in the call and gifts of other brothers and sisters (Ex 28:2; 1 Pet 2:9). Ashamedly, pastors have often been blinded by focusing on the splendour and the beauty of their own high calling and have been spirituality incapacitated from seeing and releasing the manifold forms of beautiful gifts across the Body of Christ.
Being a minister of the gospel in the Church has often been elevated, following the form of the Fall of the devil, above the call and gifts of Christians in the marketplaces of the world. The common result has been a “siloing” that has serious impeded the progress of the kingdom of God.
Ultimately, the healing of these deep disorders in the Church can only come through a restoration of fatherhood in the Church.
04. A Beautiful Seeing
In eternity the Father always beheld the glory and beauty of his Son predestined to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29, 17:5). As the universal Father his was a splendour that he willed to share with all his children, by creation and recreation (Acts 17:28; Eph 1:18).
Similarly, genuine spiritual fathers without partiality see not only the beauty of the calling of those who are like them, such as other business people, but the beauty of the call and gifts of God in all his children (Gal 2:6).
Fathers are excited in seeing all the colours of God in all the people of God (Eph 3:10). And being thrilled by the gifts and call of God in people in all the spheres/mountains/domains of culture these fathering ministers are powerfully motivated to break down the walls of partition between every silo so that the plans for the Garden of God and the architecture of the Garden City of eternity may once more be made visible for human flourishing (Rev 22:1-2).
Such seeing and unconditional releasing has been rare in time for one crucial reason; we avoid the way of the cross.
05. Seeing Through the Cross
If “siloing” is the sin needs to be dealt with we need the revelation that this has already been dealt with in the cross. When the dying Jesus cries out in his forsakenness it is because he feels totally “siloed” from God as his Father (Mark 15:34).
Bearing our sin he is cut off from the Fatherly appreciation of the beauty and glory of being recognised and validated as the only Son. By his sacrifice Jesus has put to death the individualising of our worth and identity as the children of God.
06. Entering the Pain of the City
When Adam and Eve substituted the “fatherhood” of the devil for the Fatherhood of God they set in train a source of pain that is at the root of all the agonies of the city (Luke 3:38; John 8:44).
True spiritual fathers recognise that the absence of fatherly love and recognition, fatherlessness, is the primary problem in Church and culture. The primal pain of fathers comes from seeing others inhibited from flourishing and growing in the validation of their calling and gifting from God through Jesus Christ (Gal 4:19).
The way forward for God’s kingdom in our time must come through a rediscovery and release of the beauty of being a father.
07. A Re-F/fathered City
The reF/fathering of the city begins with the reF/fathering of the Church. Contained in the restoration of authentic fathering is the promised end-time “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21).
This requires practical strategies of working with God; in brief, an intentionally networked fathering movement touching on all the spheres of life and culture (2 Cor 6:1). The raising up of fathers in church, arts, politics, education, law, media, science etc. is the priority of our time.
This will require linking together believers and leaders within and across all the spheres/mountains/domains through one on one mentoring, online resourcing, conferences etc. expanding, articulating and crystallising what God is already doing in his plan to reach and heal cities.
MESSAGE DELIVERED: 05th May, 2017 | a short spiritual meditation from the National Gathering I attended in Sydney
Author: Dr. John Yates
MESSAGE PODCAST: 05th May. 2017 |
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|1.||↑||“Father” is used throughout this paper in a spiritual and so non-gendered way.|