I hope you are all doing well and are encouraged in all that God is doing in these days. We live in a time where God’s grace is abounding and people are coming alive to the goodness of God in an increasing measure. We have a great responsibility as leaders and influencers of God’s expressions of His church in the ministry of Christ. Today I want to begin to address the topic of being governors (leaders) in the body of Christ.
I believe that much of the church tries to operate with Old Covenant principles. Principles alone cannot change the lives of people. We all need the influence of a greater Prince and we all need to be motivated as princes in Christ in order to express the true life-giving changes that are only testified of in godly principles (Isa. 32:1). The system of the Old Covenant was one of law and conscience, while the New Covenant is an administration of grace and truth. Under an administration of the knowledge of good and evil it was necessary to have a knowledge of good in order to inspire the human desire for the One who is good. That knowledge either came in the form of the administration of the human conscience or in the form of law. The perfect knowledge of good was given through the full expression of law in the Torah Law of God. God had no intention of the Torah Law changing the inherent lives of people, it simply pointed to the perfect knowledge of good in a time of the administration of the knowledge of good and evil. It lacked the fullness of truth, which could only be revealed in and through a human expression of grace, and truth.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth…
…For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
In order to lead the church as New Covenant leaders we must embrace the realities of New Covenant grace and truth. We cannot put New Covenant rule with Old Covenant principles and expect it to work. As church leaders we are governors of the government of God, but the government of God is the life of God within the heart of the church and within the heart of each believer. We must lead in a way that activates, facilitates, and releases the life of God within the church and its members.
Two things have been given to us for obedience to the faith. Those two things are grace and apostleship (Rom. 1:5). Grace is the work of the Holy Spirit within our lives. Every New Covenant expression of Christ’s body is empowered by grace and then manifested as a testimony of God’s truth. The life of the seven-fold perfecting Holy Spirit of God is the power of Christ’s government in the church (Isa. 11:1,2). The grace of the Holy Spirit is the power of the government within the body and He also brings a governing activation, facilitation, and release to the body and its members. We are also governed by “sent ones” in our lives. Those “sent ones” can be categorized in the gift of apostleship sent to us by God in Christ. These sent authorities also represent the force of all sent authority in our lives. They must operate in the same way that the “Sent One”, the Holy Spirit, operates in the life of each believer. I believe that the apostleship of Christ is manifested in the New Covenant authorities of the body of Christ. These New Covenant governors cannot rob God’s people from carrying the responsibility of the covenant nor the presence of God in their individual lives. These are merely governors sent to inspire and direct each body expression to embrace the power of God’s true government. The government must be upon the shoulders of each believer, while the governing is sent to each believer by God to activate, facilitate, and release the power of that life-giving government.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.
1 Chronicles 15:14,15
So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel. And the children of the Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders, by its poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the LORD.
I view a governor like a governor on an engine. The governor on an engine is a regulating device that assures that the supply of fuel to an engine results in uniform motion as well as a limiting of speed in order to make the engine more effective for its workload. That device doesn’t give power to the engine; it merely gives proper focus to the operation of the engine. It is the design of the engine and the fuel supplied to the engine that causes it to be empowered. The governor is simply a directional device to assure the engine accomplishes its greatest purpose.
The government of God is both the body and the head. The headship of the body is seen in the governing of the body, but also in the governing of the heart. Each of us has the headship of Christ in our lives. The human heart is the entrance and the rule of the kingdom of God. As leaders we have to lead in a way that activates, facilitates, and releases the headship of Christ in each individual’s life. If we as leaders rule by simply implanting the principles of God we will not see the full reality of God’s people manifested as princes of God. Governing the body of Christ is more about influencing the focus of who the body is more that what the body should do. When people know who they are they will be empowered to do what they were called to do.
Merely presenting rules, principles, and words of truth cannot fulfill the purpose of New Covenant governing. These alone leave the body confined to the Old Covenant system of law and conscience. As New Covenant leaders we must govern to empower the work of God’s grace and the testimony of His truth within every corporate and individual expression of God entrusted to us. The life of the Holy Spirit, the letter of the Holy Spirit, and the accomplished work of the Holy Spirit is essential to every New Covenant expression of God.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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