I hope you are all well and for those who are facing difficult challenges I pray that God causes obvious good to come from any bad situation you may be facing. May God give you wisdom inspired by faith and peace that surpasses your own understanding. I pray for God’s manifest presence to be clearly evident in the life of each of you. I also pray that God brings a huge testimony of grace for dependence upon Him in everything.
I am going to continue today with a blog on church government. As I have stated earlier, the government of God is the life of the Holy Spirit in the church and in the life of each believer. The governing of that government is facilitated by the Holy Spirit’s voice in each of us as believers and through God-sent authority in our lives. The Holy Spirit is the true voice of life, but He uses God-sent authority to witness with His voice in our lives. The government is the power of God, while the governing is the direction of God to facilitate that increasing power of grace and life. Every individual believer has a responsibility to hear God. New Covenant governors cannot rob God’s people of carrying the responsibility of the covenant nor the presence of God in their individual lives. If you have been given a governing responsibility to others you cannot rob them of their personal connection with the true government of God. That government is Christ in them and He alone is the hope of glory!
There is a great story that depicts a testimony of New Covenant leadership found in the life of King David. When he became the king of Israel he knew that he needed the presence of God in Jerusalem in order to rule as God’s sent king. He understood that the direction of God’s government is by God and not by men alone. In the history of David’s life the Ark of the Covenant had been missing from the Tabernacle of Witness for twenty years. The Ark of the Covenant was representative of the presence of God and was filled with the presence of God. In the beginning days of David’s rule there was a form of godliness in the Tabernacle, but God was not there. David understood that godly ritual is not a substitute for the presence of God. We must know this as well. No form of godliness is enough to accomplish God’s purposes in the earth. Only God’s presence can bring about His kingdom will upon the earth. King David, as the governor of the government of God in the earth, recognized that in order to lead God’s house he had to have the presence of God (2 Sam. 6:1-15).
There are many hidden secrets in this story of King David. A profound secret is revealed in the death of a man who’s name meant “strength” (Uzzah). He was struck dead for trying to steady the ark while it was being transported to a prepared place known as Nachon’s threshing floor (Nachon means “prepared”). David was attempting to move God’s presence without the instruction of how to carry it. It didn’t matter how spiritual of a procession he orchestrated or how much he had prepared to succeed. His means of transport was a human method or form for moving it, not a relational response to God’s instructions. The stumbling of an ox and the death of the man who tried to control the presence of God in the task interrupted David’s means of transport. God expects us to do things His way. Human strength and preparation is not a substitute for the way of God. In all the form that we have of God, we have to be willing for God to interrupt us.
Somehow David figured it out. In his second attempt to transport the ark he put it on the shoulders of the priests. Continual sacrifices were made to God as the procession took place. God was the center of the movement of the ark and God was the purpose for its movement. The prophetic sound of life was heard with trumpets and shouts of praise. There was a great celebration by David and he was not afraid to become undignified in his own way to honor the presence of God as he went.
2 Samuel 6: 13-15
And so it was, that when the bearers of the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. And David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the trumpet.
2 Samuel 6:17-19
So they brought in the ark of the LORD and set it in its place inside the tent which David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. When David had finished offering the burnt offering and the peace offering, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts. Further, he distributed to all the people, to all the multitude of Israel, both to men and women, a cake of bread and one of dates and one of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed each to his house.
Uzzah’s death was symbolic of the death of strength. We have to be willing to allow God to change our form of operation if our form of operation is absent God’s presence. The blessing of God is found in the presence of God. To get the presence of God we have to desire Him more than any work we may think we are doing for Him.
If we want the government of God we must have a willing heart for the government of God. This is the key to the life of the kingdom. The government of God is made known through His manifest presence and it is going to be expressed in all of the members of the house of God. We must receive every member of the Body of Christ for who they are and recognize the grace of God that is upon their lives. To have a willing heart for God’s presence doesn’t mean we just have a willing heart to receive the blessings that come from His presence. God’s presence leads us, anoints us, and allows us to be expressions of His kingdom. His Spirit doesn’t bring liberty. The Spirit of the Lord brings liberty (2 Cor. 3:17). Flowing water without direction or boundaries is a flood. An entrenched boundary without flowing water is a rut. Flowing water within the boundaries of direction is a powerful life-giving river leading to purpose and destiny. This is the testimony of the government of God. Liberty without boundaries is a flood and it can bring great destruction. Boundaries without the liberty of the Spirit is a rut and can lead to death and even end up being a grave for ministry in the long haul. Only proper boundaries with the life-flow of God’s Spirit can bring about God’s kingdom purposes in the earth.
As leaders we must lead to inspire people to take a personal responsibility for the personal testimony of Christ in their lives. An equipper in the Body of Christ must be willing to be misunderstood, yet keep his or her attitude right at all times. We must lead as those who bring life giving blessing, not organizational control. In the New Covenant we are each made responsible to carry the presence of God. The blessing of God’s kingdom is in God’s presence. In taking the responsibility for the personal testimony of Christ, we must lead to see the manifest presence of God in all that we do.
I am posting an audio teaching with this blog that is on the topic of this past month’s teaching. I don’t expect you to copy the methods of my subject material, but I do hope that the principles of my life inspire you to discover God’s personal convictions in your own life as leaders to the body of Christ.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
Attached Leadership Audio#2:
PDF file of Teaching: Leader2