As we restore fathering and inheritance motifs to kingdom culture, more than merely mentioning them, relabeling the present relational dynamics, and putting a trendy name on the worn-out structures of church growthism, we continuously discover thematic meaning in the Message that we cause us to rethink our conclusions.
That is, revaluing fathering opens our minds to the theme in the Bible where we have missed that inflection or presupposition in the past. Instead, we have hammered the Bible into our subculture instead of shaping our world by Truth. When we restore and experience fathering, we recognize it in the Message of the kingdom.
Jesus mentions what first appears to contradict the created order of lineage and Oikos as a foundation for clarifying how spiritual inheritance challenges natural relationships. He created family but says it will be the source of our enemies if we obey His kingdom’s principles, processes, and protocols.
The words that Jesus uses presuppose cultural conditions based upon kingdom designs for lineage, inheritance, and fathering leadership. Unfortunately, these are nearly absent from church-growthism and modern churchism, so we read the words of Jesus into our own cultures at the expense of hearing the mind of Christ.
You need a kingdom leader to overcome that. A fathering leader will run head-on into this limitation and provide you both strength of will to endure the process of overcoming and validate the inaccurate claims that you are dishonoring parents and family by obeying the King.
Overcome Your Limitations through Fathering
Honor resistance comes from familiarity. The family aspect of familiarity focuses upon inheritance because the terms Jesus uses speak to a culture based upon inheritance and Oikos. As a result, we lack estate planning and thinking in our spiritual generations.
Since expanding fathering is a kingdom fundamental, limiting fathering is a fundamental work of hell. Jesus says, “Let the dead bury the dead” to a man who asks to return home and assist his natural father until his death. He was saying he could not follow Jesus until his natural father died. Jesus disagrees with that priority.
“He answered, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’ Then He pointed to his disciples and said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. My authentic brother and sister and mother are those who do what My Father in heaven wants'” (Matthew 12:48-50).
Jesus speaks directly to the tension between familiarity and His involvement in inheritance and fathering:
- The people who think they know you may not know what God knows about your destiny. A fathering leader has a blueprint and battle plan revelation from God no one else, including you, possesses.
- The people nearest you locate you within the scope of revelation and kingdom schematic available to them and insist your respond to that location. A fathering leader locates you in God’s revelation with a scope of oversight broader than you or others.
- The people nearest you value you by your contribution to what is happening in their defined environment. A fathering leader values you for your destiny, calling, and commissioning in the kingdom estate to which you are assigned.
- The people of that home base environment have an agenda of their own for you and your leadership that limits your calling, gifts, and leadership. No matter how good or noble the vision of natural lineage for you, a spiritual father sees Father’s original intentions for your kingdom calling, gifts, and leadership as an oversight representative of Jesus.
This human condition in kingdom culture is distinctly, specifically, and personally an inheritance limitation. Therefore, Jesus designs the kingdom leadership to help overcome this condition.
These are principles Jesus brings into one statement by expressing one outcome of a set of presuppositions. We can hear the presuppositions in each phrase.
A young woman in her early twenties enters ministry training to prepare to go to the nations. She weeps as she shares the gut-wrenching separation process with her daddy that led to this life plan. She says her daddy always wanted to hand the family business over to her, so he pushed her to attend university to study business. She waited until her early twenties to honor him, but she finally convinced him that Jesus called her to something other than the natural estate.
Dad finally agreed but did so without a clear vision of his little girl living thousands of miles away. Dad had to work through resentment against God, his daughter, and her spiritual leaders, who received a revelation of her calling, gifts, and commissioning. Dad saw these people as enemies of the natural lineage, but Jesus said this young woman would need to choose to obey Him or dad.
In direct comparison, another work of art hanging in the same section of the gallery, a young man without calling gifting, or commissioning from Christ, is pressed into a mold of ministry because his family ministry needs a successor. By mixing up some Jewish cultural ideas with a few natural estate considerations, his father preaches a false message of inheritance that requires the son and the people to embrace something foreign to the will of the Father. As a result, everyone flounders through a situation emptied of grace.
Natural Estate Culture vs. Kingdom Estate Culture
“And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, ‘A prophet is honored everywhere except in his father’s land (origins) and among his own Oikos” (Matthew 13:57).
The natural estate runs on natural relationships. The kingdom estate runs on spiritual relationships. Therefore, spiritual kingdom relationships trump all natural relationships.
“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace but a sword.
‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own Oikos!’ [Micah 7:6]
“If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.
“Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me. So if you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God,m you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be rewarded like theirs. And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded” (Matthew 10:34-42).
Jesus knows that a commitment to kingdom culture–the kind of surrender the King deserves–drives a wedge, inserts a sharp edge of division, and creates an entirely new foundation for honor in terms of how a person builds the kingdom Oikos and estate.
We understand that the Message turns the existing culture upside down while redeeming and restoring its Creation-order foundations to achieve its kingdom purposes. We know that the natural order cannot produce kingdom purposes–Creation groans to birth purpose but cannot because it must await the manifestation of kingdom inheritors.
Creation does not groan to birth the manifestation of natural inheritance because only through kingdom inheritance can its purposes be redeemed and restored. Therefore, we must live with kingdom inheritance priorities in mind and spiritual fathering as our guide.
Jesus starts His public ministry, sending out His representatives, with a clear statement of prophetic vision: “it is bad now, and it will get much worse if we are successful. I am here to make a mess of what is to reorder and reconstitute the whole of it.”
These Jesus Gospel ideas so offend the modern church-growthism premise of homogenous units that the trend away from kingdom culture removed it from modern churchism.
- We now believe in solid marriages that serve the seeker-friendly whole and accommodate the deterioration of marriage when it suits that outcome.
- We now think mentioning the norms of kingdom cultures would offend people that we want to attend an event when our entire business as kingdom leaders is kingdom culture.
- We now find kingdom estate planning something better left to Jesus when He returns when all Jesus is doing is birthing purpose through spiritual inheritors because He has no alternate strategy.
We do err exceedingly! We contradict Jesus and dismiss His Gospel as “kingdom gospel” to pursue our version of churchism. We become the enemies of the Jesus Gospel at some level when we do.
Jesus clarifies that the Message of the kingdom first shatters honor based upon existing culture because it seeks to establish, expand, and enforce kingdom culture.
We say, “Well if it ever comes to that–you know, like–if your family doesn’t accept you being a believer, you personally realize this painful rejection. So you must choose Jesus, of course, if that were to happen.” We intend to imply that this might occur more in Iran or Japan than in America, of course, because all think a seeker-friendly christianism will be honored.
Jesus Offends You and Your Family
That means our a Gospel ain’t a Jesus kingdom Gospel because He Gospel offends everybody at the first mention of His Kingship. So here’s what we don’t get: Jesus intends to offend people with His Gospel.
“Jesus wasn’t trying to offend anyone with kingdom gospel.”
That is like saying, “I’m going to thrust the sharpest knife known to human history at your vitals with all my might, but I’m not trying to stab you.”
The Gospel message offends those nearest to a representative of Jesus because they expect special consideration. When they demand to be an exception, they treat the representative as a family member or friend instead of a representative of the King.
The very people representing Jesus, the leaders Jesus says you need in your life, will offend you as much as He does. Offending your mind to reveal your heart is necessary when fully preaching the kingdom Gospel.
So, honoring someone you know well when they offend you as Jesus would often require something family and friends do not possess.
The value or honor due comes from King, calling, and commission, not from intrinsic personal value. Any person is equally and intrinsically valuable as a human being, so we are not discussing the unequal importance of life.
We are talking honor based upon the King’s authorizations, assignments, and alignments.
If a person is an apostle or prophet, for example, with oversight authorization, his friends and family cannot dismiss his message or ask to be made exceptions. He is treating the King’s representative as a friend or family instead of an apostle or prophet.
The point must be made clearly: the commissioning or authorizing of a representative charges us to treat any person so designated as we would the King within the scope of that person’s authorization.
It does not mean the person representing is the King, worthy of worship. However, it does mean we treat the person representing the King as if the King speaks, decides, and commands in his representation’s extraordinary and articulated scope.
The answer to why we do this is simple: the King decided that he is His presentative, what authority he carries, and what message he speaks.
Kingdom Honor Resistance
A built-in spasm in the soul towards kingdom leaders answers the errant demand for equal treatment in authority and representation.
We can read it any day on social media. I have heard it for decades within kingdom discussions. The idea is as ancient as Jesus on Earth. The rebellion this attitude represents is as evil as satan trying to usurp God in Heaven.
If you do not believe that Jesus has leaders who represent Him, you deny the Bible. If you reject innate honor for the King’s representatives or define honor on your terms, you reject Jesus as King at some level. You devalue Jesus when you devalue His representatives.
Family honor resistance is as common as green grass in a meadow. Kingdom honor challenges family honor, so family fights back, or family honor seeks to usurp kingdom honor at the expense of the King’s authority. In both cases, with terrible consequences, the kingdom norms are violated. As a result, both personal destinies and kingdom purposes suffer.
If a natural family lineage applies its claims to ministry–“apostle puts his natural son in his apostolic place because he is his biological son–this breaches the spiritual kingdom norms because it ignores the way the King runs His kingdom. While inheritance operates in the kingdom of God, it works by spiritual inheritance and the will of God, not by natural succession.
In turn, when people devalue a called apostle or prophet because he grew up running around their ankles and playing with their children, they dishonor the spiritual kingdom by applying natural experiences to make honor judgments.
They think, “That is just Brother Jack’s boy. I know him. He ain’t telling me what to do.”
The subtle “who does he think he is” comes from a “God didn’t ask me first” conclusion.
Consider the natural inclination in tension with the spiritual revelation: prophet Ananias knows Saul as a terrorist to the ekklesia. So when God tells him to prophesy to him, Ananias stupidly asks God, “Do you know who he is?” Ananias is questioning God’s authority to honor someone for who God knows them to be by viewing that person with the eyes of history or experience.
Overcoming these dishonor issues begins with honor for spiritual fathers. Dealing with honor resistance is one of a spiritual father’s primary concerns. When a spiritual father clarifies what the King wants, that father immediately gets in trouble with family members of spiritual inheritors demanding their children be treated as exceptions.
I once was called to a meeting at a person’s home. I almost didn’t go because of the attitude that they could summon me. I knew this was going to be a moment of dishonor. It was.
A person writes a check for a large amount of money, then demands that their son become the worship leader. This slap in the face of the King seems perfectly reasonable to a person who has no belief system for God’s kingdom. Only by assuming we are part of a manufactured structure could we presume we have a voice in deciding things related to the kingdom because we deserve to be heard.
We know this:
- The kingdom belongs to the King.
- The King actively rules His kingdom here and now.
- The King chooses representatives and gives them authority to use His Name in assignments defined and designed scopes of authority.
- These leaders train every kingdom citizen to obey the King by training them to obey these authorizations.
- The King plainly says that honoring them is honoring the King, and honoring the King is honoring the Father.
- So, the kingdom leaders are also responsible for dealing with dishonor within the kingdom. That dishonoring shows us first where leaders train people we consider ordinary to represent the King as extraordinary.
Oswald Chambers said,
“I must learn that the purpose of my life belongs to God, not me. God is using me from His great personal perspective, and all He asks of me is that I trust Him. I should never say, “Lord, this causes me such heartache.” To talk that way makes me a stumbling block. When I stop telling God what I want, He can freely work His will in me without any hindrance. He can crush me, exalt me, or do anything else He chooses. He simply asks me to have absolute faith in Him and His goodness. Self-pity is of the devil, and if I wallow in it, I cannot be used by God for His purpose in the world. Doing this creates for me my own cozy “world within the world,” and God will not be allowed to move me from it because of my fear of being “frost-bitten.”
And the purposes of my life do not belong to natural lineage and Oikos either. As a natural inheritor, I stand to receive something from my heritage that is welcome, but once the King codes me into His inheritance, I realize a higher calling in life. This priority offends the natural order because it prioritizes the spiritual.
So, kingdom leaders also temper the prideful false claims to authorization where they have no authorization from the King. Dealing with the spiritual frauds or those who make claims to authority without authorization from the King is of paramount importance to the King’s honor system.
The fact there are frauds does nothing to diminish the authentic. The King is clear that wolves are the frauds, but the existence of wolves does not lead us to dismiss the design of the kingdom. On the contrary, the confrontation of wolves comes at the point of dishonor for those God chooses to represent Him.
If a person self-commissions demands authority where the King grants none or misappropriates positional authority by family or friendship commissioning, we know the King is not the King of that domain.
Much of the honor resistance comes from believers who wish to ignore the kingdom altogether, devise ways of “having church” that overlook the kingdom entirely, and use these designs to create leadership that has no authorization from the King.
Step Back and Down to Step Up and Over
You do not get much accomplished confronting family and friends about honor limitations. If you do attempt to force-feed them, you will fail.
“I’m not being properly honored. No one hears my voice when I offer opinions at the level I think I deserve,” you say.
Well, die a thousand more deaths because that is not your bailiwick of authority. You are not the one to deal with that rejection of the King’s intentions. You are signing up for frustration, not transformation. You are one step from redefining hour authority when you pursue a demand, request, or complaint to be honored.
Someone else will validate you, or someone else will decide how to allow the lack of honor to play out. Not you.
If fathers do anything well, they should clarify what honor is due so that a proper honor for the King becomes the norm.
Overcoming kingdom family honor resistance becomes the most crucial training exercise of your leadership development. When you step up to represent the King of kings, prepared to step back and down to be validated as His representative by someone other than yourself, you immediately start overcoming honor resistance.