Hang tight… I’ll get there in a minute. But, let me first ask you a question:
Are you living under a spirit of tutelage and correction? Don’t misunderstand: teaching and discipline are both excellent and necessary.
But is that all you’ve got?
Living most of my life in the Protestant world of the Baptists (specifically, the SBC) and under the preaching and teaching of their pastors and leaders, one learns very quickly that there are only a few things worth one’s time:
- Soul Winning.
- Going to Church & Sunday School.
- Reading the Bible so one can learn stuff.
- Doing programs that bring people to the church.
- Begging God – because prayer and worship are necessary things.
After I left the SBC for greener pastures, I began to learn how to hear God for myself instead of through the mouthpiece of a preacher. I became aware of how God would highlight a passage in my spirit during that process. Many times, it was something I needed to learn and understand. Other times, I was clueless because it didn’t seem to match anything that was happening or anything I was thinking at the time.
At which point, like any Good Baptist in a similar situation, I assumed that there was indeed something I needed to learn, but I just wasn’t able to discern what it was. Because, as we all know: God works in mysterious ways.
A Different Way to Pray
But things began to change many years ago. First, I realized that there was some scripture that I needed to declare.
For example, I became burdened for those in human trafficking at one point. So I began declaring certain Psalms over those involved in that practice. Lo-n-behold, not too long afterward, sex trafficking rings began falling left and right. Not that I’m claiming sole responsibility for such a thing – I’m just one of many involved in the process.
But, I wasn’t out of the woods yet: the vast majority of the time, when there was a scripture I felt prompted to read, I ALWAYS approached it from the point of view of tutelage or correction. It was usually frustrating since the passages seemed to be repeating. I began doubting whether I heard from our Holy Father correctly or at all.
Then it occurred to me: am I under the influence of a spirit of condemnation that manifests itself as tutelage and correction? My first clue was obvious: I was falling into discouragement and feeling like I did not measure up because I never learned the lesson – having to read the same scripture repeatedly.
Then I remembered the other lesson that Father has gently taught me recently: “test everything.”
but examine everything; hold firmly to that which is good 1 Thessalonians 5:21
So… I tested it, and by that examination, I confirmed what I was suspecting: I’ve been under a spirit of condemnation. The scripture I’m being directed to isn’t always something I need to learn, rather something to be declared for a given situation in the world or my life. Or perhaps it’s just something I need to use in praise or worship.
But then I was made aware of a truth we’ve all missed:
The Government on His Shoulders
... for by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. Colossians 1:16-18
For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
How did we miss this? If Jesus is The Head, and we are the body, then some are the shoulders.
I know how we missed this. I blame myself and others like me: those who came before. Those who changed the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matt: 4:23) into the Gospel of Salvation (web search) and changed “make disciples of all nations” into “make disciples of all people” (Jesus Film Project).
A New Direction
What does it look like to disciple nations? What does it look like for a Child of God to carry a Government on their shoulders?
We don’t know – it’s nothing we’ve ever been taught.
But I suspect we are destined to soon learn those fundamental truths we so quickly abandoned – or perhaps, never understood or knew they existed.