The mandated assignment of the Ecclesia always and fully functions as part of the kingdom of God, under His power, protocols, and Personal involvement. This is the way the King rules and the Head governs, a seamless symmetry of His rule. “The way things work” in the kingdom and “the way things work” in the spirit are never in contradiction or confusion.
We are learning how to do things in the kingdom and Ecclesia that are consistent with what God is doing and how God is doing it. We are seeking to operate and function SpiritFirst.
The question eventually comes to “are grace, gifts, authority, and power add-on’s that make our natural ability better?” Or, “are grace, gifts, authority and power the highest or even the only source and resource?” Neither question adequately addresses the real issues, of course, because there is another way of looking it that avoid the gnostic trap that all things physical are evil while all things spiritual are good.
The real question is, “As I mature spiritually, do I continue to mature personally?” If I make the grace, gifts, authority and power utensils we can pick up and use at will, I tend toward witchcraft even when my motives are to help people. If I surrender myself to God’s way of doing things as His partner in the kingdom, I tend to release and establish His rule through my ministry assignments.
So, what does this mean for FreedomRooms? It means that we start with SpiritFirst operation and function, grow and mature in our function through our growth and maturity in their function, and we grow and mature as kingdom representatives and leaders. God is always doing something in us and through that causes us to grow and mature while the operations He does in and through us make our function more consistent with “how things work in the spirit.”
Look at gifts as capacities. Look at how they are used as operations, or ways of working. Look at ministry as function. See then, according to 1 Corinthians 12, that these are all something Holy Spirit is doing, immediately involved in them all the time as we respond to our assignments.
Notice that I didn’t say, “as we respond to needs.” It seems like that but it isn’t that. Beware the tendency to think that God is always responding to need when God is responding to purpose. God is healing someone more because the need for healing is blocking, limiting, frustrating, or stealing purpose than because of need. Again, the idea of responding to need, especially when it is coupled with grace, gifts, authority and power as utensils, tends toward witchcraft while the idea of responding to purpose, utilizing enabling grace and gifts, representative authority and operational power, tends toward releasing and establishing the reign of Jesus Christ.
I know that’s heavy! But it is fundamental, and foundations are supposed to be heavy! What we build upon will have much to say about the integrity of the structure.
Let’s Get Practical
You might be saying, “Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” That might work if you have pure motives, but it will also mean that you see the FreedomRooms with natural eyes: needy people in, less needy people out. Some people would measure success or “fruit” in this way, and they inevitably become enemies of FreedomMinistry because they are simply looking for a usable spiritual utensils they think works the same way, all the time, as long as we use it. That is never the case, of course, but they really, really want to believe that anyway. They end up with “any believer, at any time, in any situation, can pray for anything, and it will happen!” Nope.
Beware the idea of becoming a miracle-worker because that tends toward witchcraft. God isn’t running a heavenly Harry Potter school so you can learn how to use a magic wand, memorize secret coded formulas and “abracadabras.” Laying hands on someone isn’t magic. Saying “in Jesus’ Name” isn’t magic.
We learn this principle from the story of Sceva’s sons in Acts 19. They were engaged in kicking demons out of people, so having observed Paul’s success in the enterprise, thought that mimicking Paul would produce the same result. They were skilled in formulae. They didn’t understand how things work in the kingdom of God. They used “in Jesus’ Name” as a formula but they didn’t represent the kingdom: that is, they didn’t have representative authority. They were functioning in pretense which is a form of rebellion which is witchcraft!
The demon responded with “You don’t know how things work in the spirit, do you?” He said, “I know Jesus. I’m acquainted with Paul (he’s introduced himself to us). But who are you?” Then, the demon attacked them, ripped off their clothes, and beat them up!
Beware the use of kingdom authority and power to prove your own capacities. This is the difference between FreedomRooms and the effort of some to establish the need for themselves. The end result is greater than the meeting of a need. All redemptive ministry is part of a process of restoration. All restoration is transformation.
We always seek more than the meeting of need because we are part of the kingdom of God! So, laying on hands is a kingdom posture for leaders sent to represent the authority of the King. If you have representative authority, laying on hands will be a release of kingdom authority! If you are using laying on hands, even as a believer, like a magic want formula, you are tending toward witchcraft, using spiritual power to get what you want.
We don’t do guarantees. We don’t build faith by obligating God. We don’t make statements like: I guarantee if you do what we ask you to, you will get free, healed, restored, or fixed. We don’t say, “Come to FreedomRooms cause it works every time!” We don’t need that kind of marketing, and that kind of statement infers that we ministry to needs.
People come because of need, for sure! But, when they come, the need doesn’t set the agenda. When we are responding to need, we will tend toward using spiritual power to meet human expectations irregardless of destiny and purpose. We will tend toward a “remove my wart” definition of success: “Is the wart gone or not?” This kind of assembly line ministry will leave you burnt out, unhappy, unfulfilled, and cynical while hundreds of people are getting their need met! Seems impossible until you do it and realize that you aren’t really engaged in the ministry of Jesus, and people are talking more about your ministry than they are the kingdom of God. You will end up emotional bankrupt and wonder why.
We don’t want an outcome that says, “Wow, Abraham and Sarah are so anointed! Wow, they really know how to do it over there at FreedomHouse! Go to FreedomHouse and get your boo-boo healed!” We want an outcome that moves people into restoration of destiny and purpose, not allows them go home and be more worldly. Will that happen? Yes, of course it will happen! That’s not my point. My point is that our ministry will not be designed nor will it function with that as our definition of success, and I will step into the process when we do become like that and bring correction. If you don’t understand what I’m correcting, you will be upset that I’m not thrilled with people’s boo-boo’s getting fixed. Fixing boo-boo’s is the easy part. Trust me.
How to Minister SpiritFirst
Jesus never minister in response to need but always out of compassion that He shared with Father so that He ministered in Father’s passion, not His own. In this way, He always ministered by the power of Holy Spirit, not His own power. I’m not saying He didn’t have power, only that He ministered as Father’s representative, not to represent Himself.
The fact that Jesus functioned in this way should be like a master key unlocking revelation understanding of SpiritFirst ministry and leadership. He never did what He wanted to do or said what He wanted to say, and that mode of ministry should blow our minds! That Jesus could have been the greatest but allowed His Father to glorify Him is what made Him the Greatest. “Not My will but Yours” isn’t about the Cross as much as it is the ultimate of carrying a Cross until you lay down on it.
Ministering SpiritFirst requires you to move some other stuff into second, third, fourth, and “never.” Somebody is ready to ask me, “But people are getting healed, so it must be God, right? It isn’t the devil.” There you have it in a nutshell! The immediately available overlay about results that defines success by needs met will ask you to “forget all that leadership stuff and just go out there and do the stuff!” There you have it: people do that and it doesn’t produce kingdom results, just natural results.
Then, you get the “you don’t love people” and “you don’t have compassion” people coming into ministry with their own agendas of what love and compassion look like. They demand an unbalanced ministry response based upon need that will actually work contrary to kingdom. Why? Because of rebellion which is witchcraft motivating their ministries.
To minister SpiritFirst, Holy Spirit must be completely in charge of the ministry, and you must be completely surrendered to His leadership, agenda, prognosis, prescription, timing, emphasis, and operation. He is Perfect in FreedomRooms!
If you were to choose a FreedomTeam for any aspect of our ministry, and Holy Spirit was available to be chosen, who would you choose first? Then, you would ask, “If we have Holy Spirit, why do we need anyone else?” And, then I would answer, “Because this is about kingdom, not about need.” In truth, God could eliminate need in the twinkling of an eye at any moment. Since we can observe that He isn’t doing this, we can then seek understanding of how He has decided to meet need. We are ready to receive training in order to represent the authority of the kingdom.