In the body of Christ every member supports the other. Everyone wants the other to succeed and fulfill their function. If anyone falls short, the other members rally around the weak one to lift him up. This is how the body of Christ grows. It's a collective growth, more than just an individual growth.
"...From whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love." (Ephesians 4:16)
Where love abounds, heaven rules through the edification process.
The Ephesians 4:11 ministries equip the body of Christ, but not all are fathers. Personally, through God's grace I began to function as a ministry gift early in my walk with Christ, called to preach the gospel, but I certainly was not a father. There is something so beautiful about true fathers in the faith. They are lovers of the body. The family is priority for them. They are the key to vibrant, strong, and healthy churches. They build love and maturity into the body of Christ like no other gift can. Their presence alone and Christlike example ministers much love and stability to the churches of Jesus Christ. Many are teachers, but very few are fathers.
" There are a lot of people around who can’t wait to tell you what you’ve done wrong, but there aren’t many fathers willing to take the time and effort to help you grow up." (1 Corinthians 4:15 - Message)
When our miracle son Daniel was born I knew a love I hadn't known before. It's like something was put in my heart that did not even require time or effort to cultivate. All biological fathers have this to a degree. In the Spirit, this happens through deep prayer and travail.
"My little children, over whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you..." (Galatians 4:19)
Paul understood this experientially and compared it to a mother in childbirth.
"My dear children! Once again, just like a mother in childbirth, I feel the same kind of pain for you until Christ's nature is formed in you." (ICB)
There are many things in the Spirit we will never understand or possess except through this kind of praying or intense suffering. God longs for His children to have Christ formed in them. Every true spiritual father possesses this same passion and burden. I am currently pressing into the Lord to gain deeper access to this holy dynamic. I've been touching it and its filled me with an appetite for more.
I cannot maximize the fruit of this fathering phase the Lord has thrust me into without this work being done in me in a deeper dimension.
Thank you for your love, prayers, and support for me. Tomorrow I leave for a 3-week, 3 nation trip to father the works we are birthing in these places.
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