Spiritual fathering measures success by a revelation of what God wants for spiritual children: “I will train up this child in his way he should go.” A child has something built into this destiny that is design and defined by God before his birth, and fathering God’s way will involve God’s intentions in the results. Spiritual fathers are not asked to stamp out children on a spiritual assembly line, boxed clones of a personality-centric model. Spiritual fathers are asked to discover and uncover the “what-God-wants” for every child and prepare them to be what God created them to be.
As we father nations we are not called to Americanize them as if we are the one true culture. We are not called to destroy and replace cultures with our own. Every culture was given purpose by God who designed and defined the nations. The cultural purpose is mostly hidden within the nations much like the environmental clutter of personal experiences may obscure individual destiny. Some clues may be available, and we can strictly and completely rule out some things as obviously “foreign,” but the fullness of what-God-wants for individual destinies and cultural purposes can only be known by revelation.
While a spiritual child matures, he will experience a season of “destiny identity crisis,” and he needs a spiritual father to interpret his experiences and lead him into trans-form-ation of the valid “what-God-wants” of his life. A child—whether 4 or 44—does not know who he is until God tells him who he is; and when God does tell him, he will need a spiritual father more than at any other time. Perhaps this alone is enough to motivate the ecclesia toward restoration, to the spirit and power of Elijah that rejoins the spiritual generations, turning hearts of children and fathers toward one another.
As the ecclesia matures in function, the authority and power they possess to influence and impact cultures with fathering leadership must inevitably focus upon the what-God-wants for nations. In the same way that individuals cannot discern the personal destiny without revelation, hidden redemptive purposes for each culture require revelation discovery and uncovering. We may be able to outline God’s purposes for a culture through some rather obvious clues, but a full “body of work” about any culture remains hidden, preserved and reserved for a faithful generation to arise that can bring that purpose to fulfillment. Fathering nations involves both the discovery of God’s purposes in cities, regions, and nations, and the interplay of these purposes with the greater what-God-wants internationally. God hides what He is doing in nations from the masses but reveals them to “fathers of nations.”
Cultural Avoidance Behaviors
Spiritual children may run away from fathers when they think they know more about their destinies than the grown ups; and cultures may engage in generations of destructive cultural chaos avoiding the what-God-wants of their nations. Avoidance behaviors present themselves in rebelling against a leader who recognizes that your “dreams” are really fantasies distracting you from pursuing the proper path of preparation. Children run to someone who is willing to entertain the ridiculous in them to avoid the process necessary for reaching God’s goals. No less is the avoidance behavior of a nation, cultural conduct culture driven by spiritual forces of entitlement.
Sometimes when redemption begins to take hold, the maturing process stalls because the inheritors continue to demand that God fulfilled their previous expectations. They wish to avoid the more difficult season of “destiny identity crisis.” They want to use God’s great power to get the what-they-want. They will erroneously conclude that God wouldn’t let them have their dreams while they were sinners because they were behaving so poorly. “But now, I know God will help me reach my goals and fulfill my dreams,” they assume. Maybe not!
I have had stubborn spiritual children. I have some prodigals wandering around who simply refused to let go of their childish fantasies. They are saved and anointed but still attempting to be someone they weren’t created to be and do things they were not called to do. They are like spiritual teenagers with something to prove.
Cultures can exhibit something like this. They will struggle against “cultural identity crisis” that is necessary to transformation. Once revival produces a born-again population segment, they are content to win moral victories and put Scripture on their landmarks and monuments while ignoring the true call of God for their nation. They fall victim to Constantine’s idea of redemptive restoration, to christianize the appearance of the culture with little thought about fulfilling the what-God-wants of the nation and take their place in the international strategy of heaven. This results in a whole nation giving God what-they-want-God-to-have instead of giving Him what-God-wants.
A nation begins to experience a great harvest. Fathers rise to prepare inheritors. But the people think they have God’s favor so they can finally get what they want with God’s authority and power. For some who have dreamed of America, they want to turn their nation into another America. “Now it’s our turn!” they celebrate. They are ready to use the increase to establish the ascendancy of their own culture and make the rest of the world envious. This can happen very easily when they see their nation as the only one, like Israel was God’s only one; yet, God is not making redeemed nations into another Israel in the sense that He rejects other nations and makes one nation His one and only. God is restoring the redemptive purposes of nations, and when any nation experiences an increase of kingdom people in their population, the next step is to discovery God’s purpose for that culture and bring it to full restoration and function.
Whether a nation or an individual, giving God what we want God to have results in a painful and bitter disappointment. God simply ignores it. He is focused on the what-God-wants of eternity. People become confused by God’s posture toward what they consider to be awesome devotion and worship because they expect God to be really passionate about what they want God to have. But God’s heart is burning with consuming fire for what-God-wants. God is investing authority and power in getting what-God-wants, not helping us get what we want, or helping us get God what we want God to have.
The destiny identity crisis is a difficult season for maturing kingdom leaders. Walking with spiritual children through these days will feel like the loss of a loved one or their worst spiritual battle. They will wrestle with God like Jacob did in his season of destiny identity crisis. When God touches their thigh, they will need a spiritual father to lean on. When God speaks strong words of destiny and purpose, they will need to experience a father’s love just as they need to hear a father’s rebuke when they insist upon their own way.
The same is true of maturing Christian nations in identity crisis. They will struggle when God insists upon what He wants instead of what they want. They will wail that God doesn’t appreciate their offerings and their beautiful substitutes of “excellence” for His eternal purposes. They will demand that their relationship with other nations be defined by their greater value rather than God’s international design.
Fathering leaders will be more vital in these “days of ultimates” than at any other time. Fathering leaders will be needed now more than at other season. God is moving us toward the end points of fulfillment. Fathers must be able to recognize what-God-wants by revelation. They must possess this revelation with deep enough conviction to withstand the disgust and disappointment of spiritual children and nations reluctant to pursue their highest purposes. Seeing millions or billions born again is a beginning, not an end.