Nehemiah's Call

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Eyes to See and Ears to Hear

Eyes to See and Ears to Hear

August 24 , 2007

Growing Awareness

I invite you to re-read 1 Corinthians chapter 4, preferably in a translation other than NRSV or paraphrases. As you read through this, prayerfully consider what you are reading and if my notes confirm what the Spirit is burning in you then great follow through in prayer.

1 Corinthians 3, 4:

3:23 you are Christ’s

This is a supreme declaration of loyalty to Jesus Christ alone!

4:5 judge nothing before its time

4:6 do not think beyond what is written

Our secular views of grasping for more and more information impede us toward not being able to receive the Biblical teaching we really need. Our spirit man does not need more knowledge, experience or information but Deep calling to deep.

4:7 What makes you differ from another?

  • Skin color
  • Age
  • Societal rank and class
  • White privilege
  • Education
  • Financial means
  • Family system
  • Club membership or sports team affiliation

You reign as kings why?

  • Maybe it is just plain white privilege
  • Education
  • Financial means

4:14 I warn you

4:15 too many instructors (actually paidagogos, not too many fathers)

Paidagogos are supervisors of well being. The immense door of access to others in our free society provides for the emergence of “spiritual guides”. These guides have a general supervision over them and responsibility for moral and physical well being. There is nothing seriously wrong with this approach (if it is a Christian approach) and in many instances this is a good evangelizing first step but we must know that it is not ideal or  more effective than a congregational model where true fathering is one of authority and  spiritual food.

What does this lack of fathering look like practically?

  • Failure to discipline
  • Failure to teach with the Word of God as the primary text
  • Introduction of “knowledge and ideas” rather than Hebrew style training
  • All over the place with no real discipline themselves

What do fathers do?

  • Provide the seed for life
  • Represent Jesus in His maleness
  • Discipline
  • Impart something of themselves (of what others see in Jesus)
  • Multiply and release

Growth on the spiritual level is much deeper and different. Fathers have authority to train and discipline their children. We buy into our cultural lies and it leads to an invalid approach toward evangelism. Everyone needs to be taught as with fathering authority that is earned from relationship and mutual submission in love.

So what is missing today in the gathered churches?

  • We are not participating in the “begotten through the Gospel”.

We must be evangelistic in our purpose. Our great passion and purpose for eternity is in our hearts to beget spiritual sons and daughters and release them.

4:19 I will know the power of those puffed up

4:20 says, “For the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power.”

Comments and conclusion

One of the growing hindrances in today’s church planting landscape is a leadership problem that persists from an overabundance of the “instructor” and “administrator” position and not from the father/church planter mold. An equally contributing factor is the underestimation of the spiritual battle at hand fed from an invalid mission experience. This human experience then teaches others from this misguided information. We then end up training our young people and the new believers with more humanistic/secular patterns than centering our teaching from the Bible and true Kingdom power.

Also could it be that the lack of fathering we see in Denominational males is because that the sons and daughters are not produced by direct evangelistic effort or sharing of the life but wrought in the traditions and rituals of a religious heritage. This is an inevitable effect of generational heritage that we need to re-examine for our real purpose. Is it building a heritage and memorial to ourselves or seeing the Kingdom manifest and more sons and daughters brought to glory.

An emerging conclusion to examine in the culture found in the United States:

  • Participation in the nation’s ideals can lead to invalid experience of Kingdom life.
  • Whites reign because of the foundational ratified Constitution.
  • Financial prosperity has more to do with the foundation and its sacrifice then with the true purposes and principles of the Kingdom of God.
  • If we are not careful the Christian church will be seen as the victor over society.

If our purpose in going forth is not evangelism and signs and wonders do not accompany us, then I am afraid our experience is not wrought in Gospel power but in human experience. Now this is power against the hosts of wickedness by the Spirit that tears down strongholds in the mind. In this Kingdom power you will see evidence in changed lives and actions; hence changed society. Christians will be seen as servants as they lay aside certain privileges afforded them by secular culture. We need to keep preaching to the people in this land the Gospel message by living it under not over.

Written by

Lawrence R. Yoder - Director
Harrisonburg, VA

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