Pursuing Spiritual Fathers And Mothers
We pursue relationship with spiritual fathers and mothers and desire them to speak into our lives.
Scripture Reading: Acts 16:13-15 (Also 2 Kings 2:9-13;1 Corinthians 4:15; Titus 2:1-15)
When my first son was born there was a heightened intensity of the purpose of life! Every event took on new meaning: smiling, laughing, eating, speaking, walking, learning, playing, celebrating. It was as if everything was discovered again for the first time. My purpose in life somehow included his purpose in life. I was determined to give him the best of life; he seemed determined to receive it from me. What made it special was his eagerness to learn from us. I can’t claim that all that we experienced together was perfect, but it was right– and very godly!
The last promise of the Old Testament concerning the forerunner’s preparation for the Kingdom of God was that “he would turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6). God’s plan had always been family. To prepare us for life in the physical realm, God ordained parents to model and instruct the children in basic life skills to successfully fulfill their destiny. This was marred by man’s fall into sin and we find that many, even Biblical heroes of faith (e.g. Aaron, Eli, Samuel, David, etc.), failed in this important responsibility, and the impact touched not only the family heritage, but also the whole of society.
God’s plan for our success in the spiritual realm also involves family. Spiritual fathers and mothers are to train in life skills that build not only individuals, but also the whole family of God contained in each congregation (Titus 2:1-15). Success is not based on the children surviving, but on their fulfilling their Kingdom destiny. The occasionally needed correction involved is not easy, but often painful (Hebrews 12:11); which is the reason many have not pursued this kind of relationship. Nevertheless, it should be earnestly sought.
In the same sense that parents are to be honored in the physical realm, spiritual progress coincides with ones honoring of spiritual fathers and mothers within the church. No doubt, the physical parents were intended to have a spiritual impact along with impacting the physical realm. Often circumstances did not permit this spiritual transfer, but God usually had spiritual surrogates who fulfilled that role in anyone who would seek it (e.g. Paul’s spiritual adoption of Timothy and Titus). Though God will become a “father to the fatherless,” he desires for fathers to give their children a tangible picture of what a loving, caring father is like.
That’s why Elisha sought the spiritual privilege of a first-born son among the prophets, to receive the double portion of a spiritual inheritance. When Elijah was taken up to heaven, Elisha cried, “my father, my father!” Elisha had a spiritual impact upon Joash so that when he died the king cried out the same words, “my father, my father!” From the other spectrum we find Paul lamenting the Corinthians disregard of his authority by reminding them “you have many teachers, but only one father!”
If this was God’s intention, I have a question, “Who’s your daddy? Who’s your mama? How intently have you sought them out– gleaned from their wisdom and experience? Who have you given permission to speak into your life? Who can correct you, and even though it’s painful, you can receive it with gratitude? Who do you know that is committed to your success spiritually?” As Lydia pursued Paul, identify and pursue relationship with your spiritual parent today!
- Do you have a spiritual father or mother who knows they have permission to speak into your life? Have you earnestly pursued their input or passively waited
for them to broach your life issues?
- What are practical ways you can think of to honor your spiritual father or mother?
- Have you considered that God’s intention is for you to accept the responsibility of becoming a spiritual father or mother to the young or immature within the church? Are you ready?
Declaration: As you pray today, make the following declaration…
I embrace God’s intention for my effectiveness and success. I also embrace the spiritual fathers and mothers He is placing in my life to bring about this intended outcome. I choose to pursue relationship, council and even correction when needed. I will fight every natural impulse to resist and rebel when it hurts. I will walk in the peaceable fruit of righteousness.