Tag Archives: Wild at Heart

Spiritual Fathers, Boldly Go…

16 May

What am I supposed to do?  What do I have to offer?  And who’s interested in what I have to offer?  Familiar questions?  Here are some ideas to inspire and guide you.  Of course, the following presupposes that you are ‘alive’ in God and that you are hungry and eager to grow and activate in your calling as ‘father’.

So… You’ve matured enough to be a spiritual father and yet you wonder where to ‘ply your trade’.  It’s plain for all to see, the body of Christ (and the world) truly needs fathers.  That means you are desperately needed!  The scripture says that we “have 10,000 teachers but not many fathers” (I Cor 4:15).  But you ask, “So which ministry do I join and when are they going to ask me; when are they going to give me some marching orders and tell me where to fit into their flowchart?”

May I suggest that arrangement would not really satisfy you in the long run?  O, in the short term you may feel some temporary inspiration.  But most likely, your fatherhood won’t be truly fulfilled as long as you are ‘under’ someone’s rules and constrained to fit into their DNA.  Generally speaking, fathers must be themselves and function in the uniqueness they are ‘tooled’ for.  Apostle Paul restricted his fathering to areas where he would not: “build on someone else’s foundation” (Roms 15:20).

Now you say, “Are you suggesting that I go start my own church?”  No, way (unless the Lord has commissioned you).  “Are you suggesting that I drop out of church and be a loner?”  No way.  Your ‘father mantle’ will continue to bless your present group in limited ways.

But I am suggesting that your fathering must find a unique niche that only you can fulfill.  This answers the primal and God-given need of every man to conquer and possess his own promised land.  O you’ll help others win their battles from time to time, but conquering a challenge that is uniquely yours will give you the biggest rush and greatest satisfaction you’ve ever experienced.  God has designed it so that there is greater grace for taking territories that are waiting just for us.  In John Eldredge’s epic book, Wild At Heart, he states that all males have three primal needs: “a battle to fight, a beauty to rescue, and an adventure to live.”  We must find our own battles, beauty and adventure!

Don’t find your joy or identity solely in your attendance and being identified with somebody else’s ‘big thing’.  You’re too mature to need that.  You’ve been weaned from the ‘nuk’ and ‘milk’.  You’re ready for meat.  Meat is when you’ve searched the heart of God and found your own insights and rhema from God.  Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of the Father” (Jn 4:34).  In other words, when you find and do the unique will of the Father for you, it will sustained you in every way.  This is awesome news!

So how can I find my territory?  Simple!

“Be about my Father’s business!” – (Lk 2:49)  Ask the Lord to help you be who you are.  Start fathering (blessing, encouraging and mentoring) everything that breathes.  You may find your territory where you least expect it… or it may come looking for you.  It may even already be in your life.

Suggestion: Start with the ‘least’ – the marginalized young person, the neighbor kids, a single parent family, a struggling group, jail inmates, a convalescent home, etc.  Take them under your wing.  Pour your wealth into them.  You are a gold mine to them.  You will give them hope and tracks to run on as you call them forth into their own identity.  Your attention and care will likely be a phenomenon in their life–as most people have no one to encourage and affirm them.

Let compassion motivate and guide you.  Find your joy in letting Father’s heart of compassion flow through you.  You may even cry over them.  This ‘conduit’ of compassion will transform and energize you.  Really!   And they will thank you forever… and it will bring joy to your Father’s heart.  As you follow compassion and the resulting joy of fruitfulness, it will lead you to finding and possessing your own territory.

Don’t sweat or strive at this.  It will come easily because… it IS you!  You were made for this.  Don’t make a ‘machine’ out of it… because then you’d have to serve the machine.  Keep your heart free.  Follow compassion vs rules and methods.  When you feel compassion for someone, this will be your signal and litmus test to validate the Lord’s will for you?  You will likely discover that compassion is your primary tool to help you find and open each new door.  Have fun ‘researching’ how compassion functions best through you.

You wonder if they’ll want what you have to offer?  Here’s a tip:  Make sure that you conduct yourself within the nine fruits of the Spirit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.” – Gal 5:22-23

Notice in the last phrase that if you practice these fruits that there is no law prohibiting you.  These fruits are ALWAYS IN SEASON.  Everyone loves; being loved, being around happy, peaceful, patient, kind and gentle people, and someone who is self-controlled.  Be a giver of these… and all that you have!  No strings attached.  Give away like there is no tomorrow.  You’ll experience the greatest reception as you function in this mode.

Now that you’ve survived all the life qualifying experiences necessary to mature you into a father, why not enjoy the rest of your life just BEING a father?  No need to prove your worth, ability or importance anymore.  That’s behind you.  Just be you.  Go ahead, make up for the lack of fathers.  See how many sons you can father.  Watching them mature into their own fatherhood… and feeling the smile from Heaven, will be your GREAT reward.

You go, Bro!

— MLH

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