To have authority we must embrace the path of authority in our lives. That path is not for us. It is for the life of others. We must be content to be who we are in every step of the journey, but we must also be diligent to become all that God has called us to be. Authority starts from the place that we are and progresses forward in the journey of life.
Genesis 13:14,15 And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are–northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.”
The MUNDANE is ours! Our EVERYDAY WORLD is the path of our destiny. Abraham had to see God in his everyday world and he had to see that his everyday world was the land of God’s promise. If we can’t bring heaven into the place we live we won’t bring it anywhere else. Authority is not based upon who we aren’t; it is based upon who we are today!
A number of years ago I was living in the reality of many ministry responsibilities. I was the senior pastor of a church, the administrator of a preschool, the leader of a ministry training process beyond the local church, and a minister to the body of Christ both nationally and internationally. My responsibilities in all of these areas were increasing and it was becoming difficult to manage everything. In the midst of it there were challenges arising in my church leadership team and there seemed to be a constant struggle in my local responsibilities. The finances of the church were also being challenged with a decrease in contributions in the church and funding cutbacks to the preschool. God’s calling upon my life to serve the body of Christ internationally was increasing and His favor was becoming very obvious in that call. The finances of my outreach ministry were being blessed, but then being drained by the local ministry. I was holding the responsibility of being the senior leader of the church God had entrusted to me as a spiritual inheritance, a spiritual mandate, and spiritual letter. There was an obvious transition needed in my present situation. I had several ministry friends and even apostolic connections that were encouraging me to release the church pastorate to someone else and to pursue the calling that was becoming very obvious upon my life. I had a big dilemma. The ministry that I was leading was given to me by God as a spiritual inheritance and I knew that I could not give it to a servant. If I released it to merely a gifted pastor, then the spiritual inheritance, spiritual mandate, and the spiritual letter entrusted to me by God would die. Not just anyone could be the pastor. It had to be a spiritual son and inheritor. I had already learned this lesson in a few situations in my ministry journey. I was not only in a time of practical stretching, but I was also in a time of spiritual warfare as well. Everything in me wanted to leave the church and pursue my destiny, but in my spirit I knew that my present situation didn’t allow me to transition into my yet to come destiny. I had to come to faith in finding the inheritor of the spiritual letter being written by God. As I prayed God made it known to me that the inheritor would be my natural son, Jonathan. There was a problem, however. Jonathan was not yet in the place of being a spiritual son. He had not heard the call to destiny and he had not discovered the birthright of leading the local church. His wife appeared to be even farther away from coming to faith in the call. My apostolic connections didn’t see the call upon my son either. I knew what I had heard from God, so I had to just remain patient and diligent in my present responsibilities. Although I was receiving godly wisdom by good friends and even friends in authority, I knew that their advice was not yet the word of the Lord. I had to stand in my situation and battle the elements of my present circumstances. This continued for several months. The pressure was great. The demand to go to the body of Christ was increasing, but the present duties of leading the local church were still obviously in my hands. I did the best that I could in the situation and did not tell the congregation, my leaders, or my son about the full details of my dilemma. Several months went by and then a prophet friend of mine visited our church and was staying in my home. He was scheduled to preach at our church on the Sunday morning, but on the Saturday night before the Sunday service he had a dream. God revealed to him what situation I was in and that I was on the edge of dusting my feet and leaving the city. That Sunday morning he challenged the church to rally behind me in calling for all that was necessary to break the assignments of the enemy that were against the destiny of the church and of my unfolding apostolic ministry. The members of the church responded with a thirty-day season of prayer and fasting. During that time God revealed to me that I was in a place of decision that was not like a “T” in the road, but rather a “Y”. I was not facing an “either/or” decision, but rather a path that could create two parallel journeys. Those parallel journeys were contingent upon me accepting the now reality of both options. I came to faith in my spirit and I made a new commitment to God to stay in my city and believe for both paths of inheritance to move forward. I sold my house and built a new house in the city. It was a smaller house, but a bigger piece of property. I thought perhaps it was an economic necessity, but it proved to be a prophetic statement as to my decreasing responsibility in the church (house), but my greater responsibility for the nations and the generations. The spiritual reality of a smaller role in the local house, but bigger role in the earth was beginning to prophetically unfold before me. These things were not separate, but were to be birthed from the same city. Faith was rising in me; the frustration and difficulty of handling all of my responsibilities became easier. I had to even make a commitment to God that I was willing to drive a couple of hour drive to the airport for the rest of my life if necessary. This all happened in May of the year and by June and July things were looking hopeful. One morning in August the Holy Spirit told me to do a Google search on my name. When I did, a web page came up entitled, “Persons of Alert”. In the page was a list of bank robbers, sex offenders, kidnappers, pedophiles, and many other categories of criminal offences. Names were listed with associated identifiers of tattoos and scars on their bodies revealing their identity. In the midst of the list was, “Pastor Ted Hanson, Abundant Life Church”, and my home phone number. The site had been posted in April of the year, when the spiritual assault upon me was the strongest. On the site there was a government phone number. I immediately called the number and was told that the site was an experiment of how they might track these kinds of people if they needed to. I asked why my name was on the list and I was told that it was a random experiment and my name was on the list in error. My name had ended up on the list because I was registered as an authorized visitor to the jail. Needless to say, there was a bit of scrambling by government officials, a personal call from my State representative, and a sweep of the Internet to remove all of the evidence of this huge error. They knew that I had grounds for a fairly sure lawsuit should I pursue it. Even in that I had friends who advised I should sue them, but God told me to make a decision for them based upon who I am, not based upon what they deserved. The error was dealt with and I now do a Google search every now and then to prevent such situations. There are more details, but my point in the story is to say that circumstances, including spiritual realities, were trying to move me out of the place of authority in pursuit of that which was not yet mine to walk in. In the next months my son heard the calling of his birthright. In the following year he began an intern process in the church. He came on staff in the next year and his wife came to faith in the journey. It was about five more years before the church transitioned to my son and I stepped into that which many thought was to happen five years earlier. The testimony is now one of two paths of inheritance that are both being blessed by God and bringing great life to many people. Even our local airport has tripled in size and my often-long drive to catch an airplane has increasingly become a fifteen-minute drive to the local airport.
The enemy was trying to get me to move out from the place that I was and into the place that was not. Like Abram, I had to lift up my eyes in the “now place” of my life and move forward while embracing the mundane, everyday path of destiny. I had to bring heaven into my present world of responsibilities and then move forward in my heavenly destiny. By doing so, my son Jonathan was able to embrace his journey as well. It has become obvious to those who could not see the journey that this was the ‘for sure” will of God in life.
Authority is progressive and we must be quick to move our tent, but there are many stages of pitching that tent in the journey. God has called us to progress in our callings to have dominion. We start from where we are, but we must be quick to respond to the progressive changes of God in our lives. We must desire more responsibility to please the one we are responsible to, but we must prove to be responsible at every stage of the process. We don’t desire more responsibility because we think God is not pleased with us now. We know that He is pleased with us, so we seek to please Him more. Authority is a path of responsibility and we must be responsible in every phase of our journey! It is for the life of others, not for the success of us. Our path of destiny is one of significance, not merely one of personal success!
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson