I have been addressing the first stage of authority. Authority begins with a birthright. We were all born with destiny in our very beings. We were born to exercise the authority of God in this life. That authority is the substance of life given to us to influence others with life.
The starting point of authority is birthright. We are who we are. There are certain things that are formed in us from our natural birth. Some of us have had to learn to give, while others have a birthright to give. Some of us have had to learn to serve, while others have a birthright to serve. Some of us have had to lean mercy, while others have a birthright of mercy. We all have motivation gifts given to us by our heavenly Father that determine how we see and do things in life (Rom. 12:6-8). The motivational giftings of our lives are not enough to reveal God’s authority in our lives. The motivations of our lives also require the spiritual realities of the ministry of Christ in our lives. They also require the anointing of the Holy Spirit that compliment and advance the purposes of who we were meant to be. We need the power of the Spirit, the ministry of Christ, and the works of the Father in order to reveal the glory of God’s authority in our lives. These things begin with birthright.
The second step toward authority is training. The training process in our lives is also natural and spirit. You cannot separate the two; they are divinely joined in our lives. The training of Jesus was both earthly and heavenly. Jesus grew in the process of authority.
Luke 2:40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
When Jesus was twelve years old His parents, Joseph and Mary, took Him to the Feast of Passover in Jerusalem. When they had finished the days of celebration, Jesus remained in the temple, while Joseph and Mary began their return trip home.
Luke 2:41-49 His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him. “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
Age twelve was the age of manhood. Jesus was found in His Father’s house, the temple, because in Him was a burning desire to bring His Father’s life to His Father’s house. He had a longing for the destiny within Him, but He was not at the age of inheritance. He was merely at the age of manhood. This was not the age of maturity and eldership. It wasn’t the age of inheritance. Jesus was being identified as a man. He was a spirit-natural man. He was both a man of natural flesh, but also a son of His heavenly Father in the Spirit. His journey as a man had caused Him to become strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. For certain there was a sense of destiny within Him. I don’t know that He fully knew who He was. For sure He had a strong sense of who He was. Although the passion of His heart was to be who He was destined to be, He had to go through the training process that was both natural and of the Spirit. He had to both a natural man and a man of the Spirit.
Let me share a story from my own destiny into ministry. I came to Christ as a young man and I was fully involved in a strong relationship with God and a strong connection in the church. I felt that I had a role of influencing the earth with the kingdom of God, but my sense was that it was in the area of business. I pursued the construction trade and even became a general contractor with a business of my own. As the years progressed I found that God spoke to me many times in very practical ways. He would tell me how to bid jobs. He would tell me how to run crews. He would even give me instructions in the practical skills of construction. I heard Him quite clearly, but something in me was calling out for more. God told me many practical things, but I never received what I considered to be any revelation in the Spirit. One day I was heading up a crew on a construction site and I expressed my frustration to God. I sat down at lunch and I said to God, “Why don’t you ever give me any revelation?” God then told me to go get my Bible. I sat and opened my Bible and God told me to look up the beatitudes. I turned to the book of Matthew and as I began to read, “Blessed are the poor in spirit”, for theirs is the kingdom of God.” God stopped me and told me to look at that same verse in the book of Luke. As I looked at the account of Luke I found it to say, “Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of God.” God stopped me again and said, “Which is it?” “Is it poor in spirit or poor?” I didn’t know what to say. Then God instructed me to look of the story of the Centurion in the book of Matthew. As I read the story I saw that the Centurion went to Jesus to request healing for his servant. God told me to read the same story in the book of Luke. As I read the story in Luke, I found that the Centurion never talked to Jesus. Luke wrote that the Centurion sent elders and servants to Jesus on behalf of his sick servant. God then proposed a question to me. He said, “Who’s telling the truth?” I didn’t know what to think. Then God proceeded to say to me. “Matthew was a government man. He was a tax collector. He wasn’t a government man because he was a tax collector. He became a tax collector because he thought like a government man. I made him to be who he was. He would never tell you that the poor are blessed, if in fact the poor in spirit were blessed. He would understand the root of the matter. He would never tell you that he had come to collect taxes, but rather the government was there to get your taxes. Matthew would not bother to mention elders and servants, because they came in the name of the Centurion. In his mind, the Centurion came.” God then talked to me about Luke. He said, “Luke was a people person. He wasn’t a people person because he was a physician; he became a physician because he was a people person. I made him that way. He would not tell you that the poor in spirit are blessed if poor people were also blessed. He would never tell you that the Centurion had come if there were elders and servants involved as well. Luke would mention the people involved because his heart was for people.” Then God said to me, “Now, you’re a builder. Now build!”
One of my greatest strengths in ministry is ‘revelation’, but my anointing for revelation is the same as it was for construction. I am a builder. I am no longer building structures of wood, stone, iron, or some natural material for material dwellings. I am a builder in the body of Christ. My process of authority included learning how to run a construction crew, bid a construction job, be successful in construction areas, be a failure in construction areas, hear God for practical instructions in construction so that I could be a builder in the spiritual realities of the church. The two were not different. They came from whom I am. I am a builder. I think like a builder.
Who you are today is not disconnected from who you will be tomorrow. What you do doesn’t determine who you are, but who you are will determine what you do in life.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson