As leaders in the Body of Christ we must be examples as children of God and testimonies that represent God our Father is a spiritual parent to those we lead. We are not their parents, but we do represent physical expressions of the One who is both Father and Mother to the generations of humanity. God is a life-giver and a life-protector to all men, male and female. He is both masculine and feminine in His nature and we were created to reveal His likeness and image in the earth.
Malachi 4:6 … “And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
Romans 8:20, 21 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
God’s way of filling the earth with His glory is family. It is not ministry. It is not His sovereignty or a demonstration of the greatness of His power. It is simply a family that acts like God’s family. It is a multigenerational expansion of the character, nature, way, power, and authority of God in the diversity of human tongues, tribes, peoples, and nations. I believe that a key to this is found in the attributes of the commandments of God as they were given in the Ten Commandments written upon stone seen only as a shadow of the good thing that existed in heaven. God wants His family to know His love as a Father, thus no other god will do. He wants to give life to every one of His children, thus no other life source will do. He wants His family to know the testimony that can only come through His amazing grace, thus no other name can be sufficient for such a cause. He wants each of us to know the power of His name at work in our lives. God wants His family members to live from rest, knowing that they are a place where He rests and thus His holiness prevails in and through all things in their lives. God wants us to know the longevity of inheritance and destiny as the family name continues to grow and expand in the generations of men. He wants His family to act like Him. They value life and protect life even at the expense of their own. They value relationships and remain true to covenant commitments and covenant testimonies. They value honor and respect the boundaries and appreciate the lives of others while being fully content with all that they are and possess in life. God’s family knows that each one is a one of a kind. They know that each human is a one and only gift of God, thus they seek to protect the integrity of others. Children in God’s house know who God is, thus they know who they are. They never seek to be someone they are not, nor do they seek to cause another to become different than who they are. The children of God love God and they love one another, not because they are commanded to, but because they have a revelation of God’s love. They are children of God.
The 10 Commandments List, Short Form:
- You shall have no other gods before me.
- You shall not make idols.
- You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet.
The fifth Commandment is the bridge of a two-fold testimony to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. In this commandment we see an expression of love for God and a love for people. It is an expression to physical forms of humanity, but a testimony of honor to the One who is the source of life to all people. This is the secret to valuing life and protecting the life of others. It is the key to understanding relationships and living in covenant connections. This commandment is foundational to honoring and respecting the boundaries of others. It offers a foundation to valuing all that has been given to us in life. Honoring our father and mother is the secret to recognizing and protecting the integrity of others. It is in this inheritance that we can rejoice in who we are and offers the substance for accepting others for who they are. This fifth Commandment is the bridge to understanding God’s love so we are empowered to love God and others even as we love ourselves. An honor of our father and mother sets the foundation for being children of God in the earth. In light of this, it is a sure thing that the enemy has targeted this to cause our destiny to be derailed and inheritance to be cut short in the earth.
Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.”
I don’t believe that our days being long in the earth are merely the number of days we are alive in the earth. I believe it is the continued testimony of the destiny of our family. It involves the expansion of the family name. That family is really the family of God with God as our heavenly Father. Jesus said that we should pray to our Father and commission Him for our daily bread and expect Him to cause our character to be even as He is in this world. The family name is the character, nature, way, power, and authority made manifest in our lives. Honoring our father and mother is about expanding the family inheritance in the earth. It is about establishing the substance of life for others in the earth that will further expand beyond our natural days. Honoring our father and mother is about seeing the testimony of the family business transitioned to the generations that follow our lives.
A few years ago I was in an Awake and Arise conference and the Holy Spirit spoke to me about several places in my life that could have been testimonies of bitterness. It was a time where the atmosphere had been created for the Holy Spirit to speak in regard to any judgments those in the room may have made in regard to the lives of others. As I sat there, the Holy Spirit showed me the face of a woman. As I looked at the face of the woman I saw her face changed to that of another woman, and then another, and another. I realized that she was Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Reformed, Baptist, Pentecostal, Non-Denomination – she was the church. The Holy Spirit said, “This is your mom, you need to thank her. She gave you material to work with. She did the best she could do with what she had.” In a moment I felt tremendous love for her. I could thank her for who she was. I don’t have much love for religion, but in that moment I could see past her religious ways into her heart. It was a revelation of her as a person free from the religiosity of her actions. The scene changed and I began to see the face of a man. It was the face of a church leader who in the past had hurt me bad. Then the image changed to another man and it was also the face of another church leader who had hurt me. The picture continued to change to several faces of church leaders who had hurt me in the past. The Holy Spirit said, “This is your dad, you need to thank him. He put a baton in your hand to run with. He did the best he could with what he knew to do.” I felt overwhelming love for him. I was able to thank this corporate expression of church fathers that had hurt me, because I was able to look past the actions of their wounding me to the substance of who they were. I realized that what was now in my hand had a direct connection to what had been in their hand.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson