Typical Exhorter…..that our President should refer to impeachment resolutions as not just a witch-hunt, on Halloween, no less, but as the greatest witch-hunt in American History.
You know, the American political discourse has become little more than a caricature of itself.
Each and every election cycle, the Christian magazines laud this election as the most important in American History, and this Democratic candidate as the most liberal candidate in history.
And we have seen flurries of superlatives erupting from both parties’ camps.
But, gang, and this is my perspective, the sensationalism with which people speak comes at the cost of their credibility.
That is, in fact what “incredible” means. Not credible, not believable,
Incredible Talking Head Prophets
And the prophets that like to jump on board and say “this is what the Lord showed me” and they go to detail how corrupt the corruption is…..
And the talking heads with their talking points….
Meanwhile, I will be quite frank; there is a cohort of my generation that is not interested in what the right or the left have to say. And many of my people who have left the church do not care what the incredible church has to say, precisely because the church has grown to speak without credibility or earned authority in arena after arena.
When you present talking points from a pulpit, instead of teaching deep truth on the deep things of God….. When you put your agenda above the deep zephyrs of rightly dividing the truth of Scripture by the Spirit of God, then you are not handing a cup of cold water to these little ones,
And, by deep truth, I am not talking about rehashing trite sermons on the old interpretation of the fivefold ministry…..
Or the anointing on this or that politician…..
Rather, I am talking about us really huntI got, not for a prooftext to support our case for an over-argued issue, but hunting for principles, and look for answers to problems that have not been solved yet…
When we leave our birthrights for the verbal self-gratification of speaking to current events, we hand to the enemy our credibility, in exchange for our annual, biennial, or quadrennial right to a verbal ejaculation detailing what our soulish nature thinks it has heard from the throneroom, and we look for either devils in every bush or angels behind every rock. “This is what this sequence of numbers means, or this sequence of Hebrew letters, and Isaiah 45 ad infinitum.“
And the enemy knows he can provoke us to speak to the circus he is producing for us, because we have refused to insist on the Lord setting the agenda for warfare.
“demons are like the Kardashians….Good press, bad press, weird press….
We are so fixated on that the idea that Kardashians are incredible, that when the Kardashians DO get saved, we are still likely going to criticize them.
Wait a minute, we are already doing that now.
Because our verbal climaxes are more important than our capacity to slow down and be still in order to know that He is I AM, and to really listen.
The way Kanye is evidently so doing in this pic.
And we react instead of respond to every number 5, 7, 22, 5:55, 2:22, 10:31. And, and, and……
And, meanwhile, we let the DC Twostep mesmerize us away from the dance we are supposed to be learning.
The Waltz between son, bride, and family.
Screwing Up The Courts Of Heaven
And we have let Themis tell us what seems right. And we go after what seems right instead of what is right,
And our courtroom obsession with protocols and the fivefold ministry has blocked our ability to develop a relationship with and know our true King, the Judge.
Gang, protocol is no longer of any worth in this season. God is sick of your protocol, especially when it comes at the expense of your intimacy.
Protocol no longer is the priority. And I realize I am slaughtering a sacred cow in both the Pentecostal and the black churches. But we have allowed protocol to supercede intimacy.
And, in the Courts of Heaven, we have taught ourselves to observe protocols for eighty-five different items,
And that doesn’t fix the problem.
Let me show you the three priorities in the COH teaching as.
Your intimacy and relationship with the Judge.
Where, if anywhere, have you screwed up.
What, following your taking responsibility and ownership for your garbage, is going to be the Judge’s ruling, and you get into line with that.
Intimacy, not protocol, is the new spiritual authority. Intimacy leads, flows throughout, and finishes the work of a court case in the Mercy Season, period.
One More Sacred Cow: The Five Fold Ministry And the Pseudoapostolic
We are in the Mercy season, where the Fivefold ministry (check that, what we have popularly labelled the Fivefold ministry) is getting dismantled, so God can show us what the Fivefold really is supposed to look like.
And if you refer to “apostolic oversight” or “apostolic authority”, then you are part of the problem. Because the apostolic is not about authority, oversight, or governance. That is not the heart of the apostolic.
The apostolic is specifically about foundations, and it is about death. Period. Not your title for an office at the top of a pyramid.
Apostles are those who will die first.
The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church
Sadly, contrary to this reality. we are so caught up in seeing a new apostolic generation, that we did not realize that the old apostolic generation was really a false apostolic generation.
Who will reform the apostolic reformation that has run amok?
Few real apostles are.
That last sentence was a complete thought. Go back and re-read it. The verb in that statement is the being verb “are”.
I certainly have met none that are really vested with that office of apostle.
And apostolic functions have NOTHING to do with oversight, which is only the purview of the overseers, which we call bishops. It has to do with the grubby work of death and service out of love. The only people I know that fit that description work in Mozambique,
Gang, there is way more for us to learn and pick up.
Like maybe the last third of Revelation 12:11.
And we are responsible to carry that authority, and steward it well.
Those who are following an “apostolic ministry”, really stop and think about what they all have in common, and very few of them have the capacity to really call out the true from the false, and they have very little earned authority.
This is something we need to develop. And I realize this post will not make me a lot of friends.
But I am tired to seeing apostolic being blasphemed as synonymous with oversight.
If you call yourself and apostle, die to yourself. And quit calling it a consulting role that oversees a network of churches.
The Life After Church crowd, those of us who are spiritual family tracking with Sapphire Leadership Group, is already continuously vomiting on your crappy exposition of the same tired interpretation,
And I am one of their pastors, and many of them are divided in soul, because of abuse perpetrated on them by the institutional church.
And we are coming for those sacred cows.
And we will indeed slaughter them, because the sacred cow of the fivefold ministry makes the absolute best hamburger.
My name is David Michael MacNelley. My surname is spelled that way because there is no computerized way to reproduce the following:
Now, that that is out of the way, and you can understand the why of this, I would like to get one point across as it pertains to this blog.
For those of you that know me, you are aware that I want to walk a fine line between two realities.
There is a critical need, among those who follow Jesus Christ, to move towards solving problems that are not being solved, at the sometime cost of not incessantly defending truth, especially WHEN that truth defense (that apologetic) squanders your time that ought to be devoted to solving the problem you were made to do. When truth defense hinders your possessing your birthright, you are not following what Jesus made you to do.
There is a desire for me to rightly and precisely articulate the whole counsel of Scripture, as part of the whole counsel of God (which is not comprehensively embodied in the 66 books of Scripture).
Concerning that second point, we have a relationship with God where He actively speaks to us about all sorts of things, including the grass, the animals, the appointment we have at 3:00 with the dentist, the camping trip we go on with our sons, our garden in the backyard, the row of holly shrubs we are thinking about replacing with blueberry shrubs in the winter, and that vacation we are taking to Nepal next year. The direct answers or insight that comes to us about each of those topics is not found in the canon of Scripture. Rather, it is found in a living and breathing relationship with the Lord Himself, who has given us He spirit and speaks to us with His own voice. He sets apart our spirits, our souls, and our bodies, and connects with us about an innumerable number of topics. He doesn’t leave us in a stale and dry relationship with a book with no warmth in our hearts, minds, or reins. Rather, He leaves us with our “hearts strangely warmed”.
He further does not leave us solely with cold, propositional truth.
Rather, the words of the Lord are frequently warm, sometimes emotion-filled counsel.
And He does not mean for us to interact with the spirit realm in the arena of only our hearts, or only our minds, but with both of those assets together with the asset of our human spirits. Indeed God is spirit, and He deals with us on the level of the spirit first, and then our emotions, mind, body, and other areas.
The purpose of The Paraclete’s Hammer, therefore, is in the execution of rightly dividing the written Scriptures in their context, folded with the principles of natural law (A/K/A the laws of science), the principles governing human relationships, and the principles governing the spiritual realm. We take those principles, in the frame of our fences (theology) and we seek to construct and build solutions to complex problems.
Consequently, there are going to be times in this blog where you are going to read something that may not make sense, because we have in the church trained people to only always ever have overly-simplifed solutions to massively complex problems.
“Just stay in love with Jesus”, is not the solution to every problem. It is a sweet sentiment, and enjoying the affection of a love relationship with Jesus is indeed central.
However, the love interaction with Jesus is just the beginning of on adventure that builds in complexity over time.
It is one thing to acknowledge the presence of the wind.
It is wholly another thing to take the reality of the wind and use that, together with a host of other dynamics, and build something that moves using the wind: an airplane.
I would rather fly that merely feel the breeze….
And if you are here, I imagine you intend to do the same.
So welcome, and may you be blessed in your search and in your adventure.
Principles Vs. Correct Thinking/Philosophy/Doctrine
For a biblical studies blog, it might seem unusual to y’all for me to post a video that deals with kinesiology. But, if you will look at the category of this post, you will see it listed under “Principles”.
A principle is a universal, non-optional, cause-and-effect relationship.
So, let’s explode your thinking that your prime job is to correct false theology and bad doctrine. Your job is to build the right thing, and fight the right enemy. True, exposing false teaching is a part of the Christian/Jewish experience. But it is only a part. And many of us have come to believe that it makes up most or all of our job description as Jesus’ followers.
The Bible teaches a principle-based faith that executes beyond mere doctrine, what we believe. We move past expounding on what we think, and we move into expounding on how we respond, act, grow, and build, in response to what we believe.
We move into the arena of cause-and-effect.
Stacy is countering a lot of bad thinking. She is verbally warring, and in her life, practically meleeing, against improperly-executed principles: widely-held, cause-and-effect relationships that are completely unrelated (message to women: eat soy and engage in low-impact cardiovascular activity in response to not losing weight during perimenopause). And she combats it with real execution of real principles that have brought real results.
And principles are what we are followers of Jesus Christ build with. Not theology. Not doctrine.
Protecting Fences Vs. Using Them and Building Other Things…
Do we erect fences at times? Yes.
But do we build everything in our lives using the materials that are designed only for fences? Absolutely not!
Theology and doctrine are a fences. They are not a comprehensive set of building materials.
And fences make a great boundary marker, but a lousy airplane.
As Christians, we need to move merely beyond protecting theology and defending theology. We need to move into using principles to build with.
If we are so interested in how false everybody else’s theology is, but we are not interested in doing anything that is of practical value, we cut out about 90% of what we were designed to do with Scripture, which is FULL of principles, and all of Reality, which is also FULL of principles, and we reduce the life Christ purchased for us into an anemic shadow of merely erecting a dead edifice that is only constructed of the propositions we agree to, and we don’t bother scaling the mountain the culture has placed before us by using the principles to build the ladder, rope bridge, or carved staircase.
And how do we use the principles (ALL of the principles) to effect and produce change.
We need to desperately understand the principles Scripture teaches, such as:
how women teach and preach, vs. how men teach and preach,
how men parent vs. how women parent,
how singles parent vs. how marrieds parent,
how we connect with one another differently based on sexual differences,
how we connect based on our varied designs from man to man and woman to women,
how we weave the principles together to build: an auto, an airplane, a ship, and a shoe,
how we each connect with various aspects of creation,
those who connect with animals or plants vs. humans,
those who connect with individuals vs. groups,
how different people lead their companies, churches, countries, families, and schools differently, based on their unpacked design (Saul’s leadership vs. David’s Leadership, vs Solomon’s Leadership),
how woundedness stunts our growth vs. how sin affects our growth vs. how demons, Leviathan, Nephilim, unclean spirits, or alien human spirits affect us (NEWS FLASH: it is not one or the other, but it frequently is facets of a couple of things. Your over simplification of a problem to only all sin, or only all demons does not help matters,
and why a man’s body responds differently than a woman’s body when exposed to identical activities.
How Change Comes
If we want to produce change, we do not accomplish it by building more fences in order to show others how we are different from or better than them.
If we want to produce change, we do that by building cities, buildings, roads, professions, vehicles, communities.
Take the analogy, listen to. this video, and consider where you have been erecting fences instead of building homes, gang.
We Preach What Jesus Is Preparing…And It Ain’t Merely Fences
To finish, consider the following. Jesus never said, “I go to erect a fence in heaven to protect my very vulnerable kingdom”, nor did he say “when you preach, make your primary focus showing others their fences are in the wrong place and showing them how your fence is superior to their fence”.
And, before you shout at me, yes, I know there is a wall in heaven, and a fence, and a gate to keep undesirables out.
But that was not the sole focus of Jesus discourse on the kingdom.
Kingdoms are all about building, building blocks, and other masculine-type work.
They are not merely or only or primarily about fences.
Rather, the focus is:
What does that wall protect?
Instead, Jesus said:
I go to prepare a PLACE for you…
That place, though protected by a boundary, is, in fact, a home not built with fences, but a whole host of raw materials.
Gang, are you only erecting fences, or are you making a difference? For the focus has been on building fences. And it has needed to always be, instead of fenses (see what I did there?).
Are you driving others and impacting them to focus on returning home, or to merely obsess over whether or not they are engaging with the fence the way they are supposed to be?
Are you building with fence pickets, or are you using EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOU?
Are you incorporating both the fence and the building blocks.
It is time to grow the whole property, and the whole of what he has given you.
Not just the fence, which is a fraction of what Father has given you, but also the home he has given you the raw materials to build.
DISCLAIMER: Using this post as a springboard to launch into a diatribe that remotely has any hating of one sex or the other, one person or another, or one preacher or another, will not be tolerated.
That said, I can already see peeps sharpening their doctrinal torches and pitchforks. So, at the outset, let me say this.
I already know this is going to stir up a lot of strong and entrenched feelings from a lot of quarters, so, as you read this, consider and measure your response, then go back an measure it again, and post about 10 percent of what you want to say in response. And do what you can to limit flippant accusations of sexism and chauvanism from your response. If you are going to say someone responds in a sexist/chauvanistic fashion, make sure your thoughts, and your mind, heart, and kidneys/adrenals have been deliberately weighed before the Lord before you speak. For I have spoken without discernment, as I am sure many of you have.
To be sure, we rarely regret saying too little in a matter, and then adding to the little with which we started, but if we say too much, the hasty word becomes exceptionally difficult to reel that word back in.
Several thoughts come up all at once.
Item 1: THE PURPOSE OF 1 TIMOTHY 2:11-12 AND WHAT IT REALLY SAYS
The text up above, from Paul, reads “I do not permit a woman to teach”. It does not read “Goddoes not permit a woman to teach.” This was Paul’s judgment to the Ephesian church, given a crazy amount of fracas occurring among the church leadership there. It was not necessarily something that the Lord told Paul. Usually when God means to communicate something directly, “Thus saith the Lord” will preface the message.
And while the counsel to men and women might have been wise, it does not appear to me necessary to say this applies to all church situations in all cases everywhere.
Taking the case a little farther, it is not my POV or interpretation that this was a code for church leadership, on the whole. Taken with Colossians 3:18-19, Titus 2:1-5, Ephesians 5:22-33, and a couple of others, this most consistently seems to be a Domestic Code. It is the counsel of home life.
Further, if we took “I do not permit a woman to teach” to its logical end after this mode of interpretation, then nurseries, Sunday School classes, Education systems, and other areas where women teach would be in wholesale disobedience to the express writ of God.
In another vein, namely church vs. family dynamics, I don’t necessarily say this counsel applies everywhere to all women, but there are some useful principles here.
Item 2: The Problem With Johnny Mac and Beth Moore…
The problem in the exchange where Dr. MacArthur said “Go Home” in response to Beth Moore was only exacerbated by the fact of his predictable response.
That people were shocked by his response shows they were not paying attention.
Similarly, the response of people toward Chick-Fil-A’s Dan Cathy on the issue of homosex and gay marriage came in TWHO THOUSAND TWELVE, SIXTY-SIX FREAKING YEARS AFTER TRUETT CATHY FOUNDED HIS RESTAURANT ON CONSERVATIVE EVANGELICAL, CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES!
Why someone did not get the memo or could not see the implications of CFA’s stances on the Bible, and the implications for how they might respond to the issue of gay marriage shows an incredible presence of myopia.
The thing that started this problem is that the conference platform group decided to play a little game at this conference where MacArthur was present, where the speaker was asked to give a two word response to a two word statement. They had prepped “Beth Moore” as the phrase posed to John MacArthur, KNOWING full-well he was going to respond in some variation with a snarky response, and now that he did, we feigned outrage.
John MacArthur has a long track record of glib remarks and humor for his detractors. Two words: Strange Fire.
Good-old-boy backslapping aside, this gave us a new reason to respond the way we responded.
The problem was not solely John’s fault (which, we knew his views anyway). Rather, the problem was also the fault of whomever decided this would be a good discussion (it turned out to be a radically-defiling conversation for a whole segment of the church to have).
We have not figured out that there are certain conversations that are going to devolve into foolish and stupid arguments that increase the ungodliness, that we simply should not be asking of other preachers with a proven track record of complementarianism (the theological idea that men should lead in both pulpit and home).
Paul warned Timothy later to avoid profane and vain babbling, or foolish and stupid conversations.
Yet, because we want to act like this is good discernment, we insist on asking the same questions or having the same conversations a second, fourth, or eighty-fifth time just to be sure that we know where someone stands. It is as if we looked at someone as with a mirror, and then turned away and decided we had to look again (an OCD reaction) just because we forgot what they looked like.
Guys, and gals, MacArthur is in his 70’s or 80’s; he is not reevaluating his position, heretical as it is, on women in ministry, any time soon.
And when we look at the life of Christ, there are a couple of things we should recognized.
He operated within the matrix the culture provided him. Meaning, he did not choose official female apostles, likely because he knew that the then-current First Century Jewish society would not have received the package. The way the Eleven responded to the women throws this into sharp relief.
He still honored women, and commanded them to share the good news anyway. He will give a woman of God a message (Acts 2, or Joel 2, take your pick) and appoint them as a messenger, with regularity. Some of my women readers are designed to pastor. My co-editor walks in that office of Pastor.
He transformed everyone, both male and female, and used both male and female, to reach all sorts of people.
The church that puts either its men or its women into some sort of prepackaged box is the church that begins to die. Our job as the body is to equip and release. Loose those men and those women in accordance with their unique design, and let them go.
Evidently, the lives of Huldah, Deborah, Phoebe, Priscilla, et al. are not enough evidence for these biblicists. If he has called you to preach and you are female, then do not let that hinder you from doing what you were made to do.
Some people act like God anoints a person to preach just because they have b***s and a d**k. This is ludicrous.
Richard A. Nussel
The above quote is from my pastor from Florida, who was an ORU grad and pastors in the Methodist Church. He is one of the few men of God that I completely respect for his desire for people to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and follow that leading.
It is crass, but the point is established without exception. God is no respecter of sexual equipment. If He is calling you, he is calling you. Get over yourself, your wounding, your lack of appropriate anatomy, and your excuses, and….
GET INTO THE CAR AND DRIVE OFF INTO ALL GOD HAS FOR YOU!!!
Your capacity to preach is not limited to your anatomy or any other physical designations.
And no, Deborah was not scared and she did not say what she said in order to yield to a man just because he was a man. Deborah was the one who initiated with Barak.
And Martha, the Giver, who likely owned the home she lived in, had a whole lot to say to Jesus. As did a whole lot of women.
And let us not forget that it was the Giver Lydia that was Paul’s first convert after the Lord showed him the vision of a MAN to provoke him into coming to Laodecia.
So, this thing with John MacArthur, is not solely his fault, nor should it surprise us. Rather, we should be provoked by this ludicrous exchange to be transformed in the way we think about how God accomplishes what He wants to accomplish.
And recall that, in response to Joyce Meyer when she asked God why He called her, God said, “the last two MEN said no to my calling.”
The calling God ultimately gave to Joyce was a calling that He intended to give to two men, who both said “no”.
So, think about it, ladies. God might be calling you because some dude rejected his calling.
The above image shows a parallel between these three items. Not to rule over, but to LEAD well into the things of Christ. And now, look at for each of you, what that looks like, and increase the understanding of what that love looks like.
Husbands, what does it look like to lead wives with love without demanding submission, but rather with a tenderness and affection that nonverbally commands their respect? There is a massive difference between demanding respect and commanding respect. One difference is in your earned authority. Think deeply about what it looks like to earn authority and walk in your office of husband properly.
I understand that abuse of spouses has led to lack of basic trust. I was the victim of spousal abuse.
Before we launch into a diatribe of how one side or the other of this equation is missing the boat, let’s handle our own issues, woundedness, trauma, parts, and sin, rebellion, iniquity, and abomination. We have to grow into all things in Him, which means, we speak to the fullness of these dynamics.
So, our responsibility is to flesh out the hard questions.
Indeed, we will have to eventually look at the concept of submission. Wives, once trust has been actually restored, beyond mutual respect, what does that ugly S-word a look like in the context of a husband’s affection? Affirming the design of your husband or wife (the building and warrior dynamics of your spouse) and affirming the where of their design for leadership, what does that complex thing look like?
Fathers, what kind of method includes instruction and training that does not exasperate or provoke to wrath or exasperation?
Masters, what does it look like to lead those who serve you without threats?
Believers, what does it look like to supply/making supplication for your household of fellows in Christ?
Ponder this with me, builders and warriors.
Not, “what has John MacArthur or Beth Moore or Arthur Burk said?”, but what are the Lord and your spirit saying about these items?
“Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command.”
1 Chronicles 12:32
If you understand time, timing, and seasons, then there is something else that will fall into place. Naturally, these three items can be critical when it comes to handling money, resources, relationships, and your personal and professional life.
However, we may not have an understanding between the three, and not knowing that distinction can hurt us, especially if we are just going to yell “semantics”!
Granted, semantic differences do need to legit be called out, but if there is an important distinction we are missing in calling something semantic, it can hurt us.
So, without further adieu, let’s dive in.
Time is the natural progression of existence. It is tied to the flow of events that make up the past, the present, and the future. It is measured with clocks or chronometers, and it is constantly moving. It can feel relative to our age, which is why time seems to flow faster as we age, because a proportionally smaller segment or percentage of our lives are moving into the past.
Timing is the moment in which an act occurs relative to some question of whether or not that act was supposed to happen or not. When something was supposed to happen in a given moment, we call it good timing. When something was not supposed to happen in a giving moment, we call it bad timing.
The rightness of an act with respect to time. For example, the timing for a bird migration, or the timing for a whale gestation and subsequently calving. Those things must occur in the right moment in order for the birds and the fish to grow properly.
A season is a temporary period of time. It can be regular, or irregular. Vegetables, fruit, plants, and other things must be grown or done according to WHEN they will grow best. You do not plant corn in November hoping for a March harvest, because corn was designed to largely be planted in March through June for an August through October harvest, depending on where in the world you live. And that is just the Northern Hemisphere.
If I were to make a distinction between each of the three items of time, timing, and seasons, I would say the following.
Think of seasons as the chapters in a book.
Think of time is both the pages in the book, and the flow of conversation and description: all of the words in the story.
Think of timing much like you would think of a particular comment made within a given chapter, at a given moment.
Put to sports analogy, a football game lasts 60 minutes of regulation (3-4 hours depending on timeouts, penalties, commercial breaks, etc. That is the time.
Each quarter is a segment of interactions. That is the season. Also, the general speed of a player, which enables Antonio Brown to receive the ball and engage in any of his massive plays.
Each particular play in a quarter relies heavily on a confluence of well-timed factors (timing). And what sets apart a good running back or receiver from a great running back or receiver is quickness as opposed to speed: movement and reaction time. Herschel Walker, Barry Sanders, and Calvin Johnson each had an uncanny ability to maneuver and sidestep all sorts of defensive measures, which gave the film of their work a sort of grace and fluidity to it, as with a dance. They each had, what we would call, an anointing for timing.
A failure to embrace seasons, means attempting to enjoy things when they were not designed to be enjoyed. Seasons also bring a regular rhythm, and a regulation that should be present in us.
A SIDEBAR FOR THE EXHORTERS IN MY TRIBE AND AUDIENCE
For those of you that read my post on the Redemptive Gift of Exhorter, I neglected a massive part of the Exhorter’s design, and I am correcting it. Look at this following passage from the Fourth Day of Creation.
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,
The Exhorters who are flamboyant, like Tony Stark…
and the Exhorters who have flair, like Tony Stark…
and the Exhorters who engage with pizzazz, like Tony Stark…
and the Exhorters with all of their presentation, social butterfly, and brilliancy skills, like Tony Stark, in order to move a crowd to act…
are also the Exhorters who are designed to be the most rhythmic and regulated and predictable of the gifts when it comes to keeping seasons. There is a seasonal component of their design that functions as a timepiece for the body of Christ.
Do not pass over this massive piece (which is noticeably absent from most of the teachings on the Exhorter), because they are so butterfly, and socially maneuvering, and because all you see is their capacity to win a crowd and move people to their way of thinking, and because of their manipulations, or their new revelations. They were designed, from the outset to be normalizers for seasons.
Seasons, time, and timing: Exhorters, this is your arena. Strike while the iron is hot and provide the rest of your tribe with some massive regularity of these three things. You have the capacity to win big and lose big with your mastery of these three items.
My friend in South Africa who is a master chef, I am going to say this one for you specifically. I think this is for you specifically. Deep in the wells of your spirit is a capacity to walk in high numbers in this area. Take hold of all that God has for you, and help regulate your fellows around you by taking hold of the excellence in these three areas.
Bobby Fischer, chess grandmaster, excelled in the area of timing in his game, which was how he was able to execute well for the brief period he played professionally.
I have a friend who spoke to me in the broad scope of my calling recently, and she asked me, “what time is it?”
In other words, am I capable to discerning what is the appropriate grace to this season?
Some of you in my audience have this thing for timing (right place, right time, right moment in time). And some of you have this thing for time (making sure that time is stewarded well). And some of your have this thing for seasons, and all three of you get hammered and labeled with OCD by a culture that doesn’t value these three things, because many times, and this is a weakness for the Prophet culture, we argue, “if it is right it will be right 5 minutes or 5 years from now, and thus it is right to to now”, and some of you are designed to engage with creating the response “it might be good and right now, but in a few days, the iron will be hotter and your timing will be better. Some of you belivers are hardwired to differentiate between good time, timing, and season, and BEST time, timing, season. And those of you that can read those market reports, we would do well to listen to your counsel so that we can reap the better return on investment.
So, my exhortation to each of you is to ask “are you paying attention to these three elements?” And if so,
And these sayings parallel the Seven Redemptive Gifts.
The key here in each statement is that each of these seven statements are the statement that each respective gift has to wrestle with in the process of earning authority. That is, each statement reflects one of the two largest tests of each gift.
The other of the two largest tests of each of the gifts is the Fruit of the Spirit, but that is a post for another time.
THE PROPHET SAYING
“Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
This saying parallels the Prophet, and the major dynamic, and one of the key indicators that you are dealing with a Prophet is the struggle they have with forgiving others. Prophets do black and white, right and wrong, injustice really easily, and as a result, bitterness, offense, and unforgivness are things against which they must struggle. In this statement, Jesus was handling the Prophet test, which in the midst of intense pain, he still had to walk in extreme character and release those who had betrayed and denied him, falsely accused him, rejected him, abandoned him, despised him, handed him over, tortured him, interrogated him, and executed him.
Those who are Prophets, because Prophets are usually on the bleeding edge of whatever Father is doing, in terms of new paradigms and new truth and new understanding, because they are really good at analyzing problem solving, and seeing many steps out ahead, MUST give grace to those who will inevitably brand them as heretics.
They will have to not only enjoy their road, and frequently that road alone, they will have to execute their road and quickly release those who will not walk with them.
If they do not, the result will be a trail of fractured relationships, and a hot and judgmental volcano of acerbic lava that flows onto any unwitting passers-by.
THE SERVANT SAYING
Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.
This statement hits the Servant in their place of vulnerability: powerlessness and the victim spirit. Servants are really good at providing, doing, meeting felt needs, and taking care of people’ and building platforms underneath people for their success.
The problem is that Servants who do not focus on their greatest expression’ but allow their schedules to be dictated for them, will both inherit and pass on a curse.
A Servant’s greatest calling is not to help others and provide a comfortable atmosphere where others will feel welcome, but to provide a comfortable atmosphere and place where God will feel welcome.
Because of their lack of guile, Servants are not usually known for hiding from the truth or lying. As a result of this refusal to finesse in your basic Servant, they are very easy for the rest of us to take advantage.
All this has to do with the above saying of Christ for the specific following reason: powerlessness. When a Servant’s decisions are made for them, and a place is carved out for them to fit, and when they are made to fit in that place, then in the blindness of those who created that space for the Servant, the Servant can be forced to fit into a place that will not permit them to execute their full package of gifts.
Jesus was powerless on that cross by choice and by design in so many ways. And one would have thought that, because he emptied himself and made himself of no reputation (Philippians 2:6-7) that he was incapable of doing and being. But he knew his authority was in that movement not to be used for miraculous signs and wonders. And he was also aware of what his authority was to be used for. He used his authority to rescue a powerless man who called him out as the Son of God and innocent, and saw him, beaten and bloodied, for who he was. No guile on the part of both parties. And just the execution of full authority in the area where it was meant to flow.
THE TEACHER SAYING
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
As with most other items when we come to the third item in the fractal of seven, this one has two parts, a binary to it. With the Teacher statements in Scripture, there is usually some illustration of two parts in it, and this piece, where the Teacher Mary and the Mercy John take care one of another is no exception. As a matter of fact, in the Mercy cradle of Benjamin is found the Teacher city of Jerusalem, and those two provide a high degree of safety and care one for another.
If you will also notice, it was the Third Day when God created biological sex and reproduction. Male and female. The plants have male parts and female parts, and as a result of the interaction of the two parts, fruit is formed. And in the nature of the plant kingdom this binary structure is repeatedly seen. Just compare and contrast:
Angiosperms and Gymnosperms.
Monocots and Dicots.
Conifers and Deciduous Trees.
Woody Stems and Herbacious Stems.
Xylem and Phloem.
Taproots and Fibrous Roots.
Trees and Shrubs.
Redwoods and Sequoias.
Sunshine and Water.
Dirt and Plant.
Roots and Shoots.
Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide.
Humid and Arid.
Daytime and Nighttime (both are necessary for certain plants).
And so forth.
The principle of male and female, birthed on the third day coveys a truth of nature that we need to grasp: male represents the act of giving, and female represents the act of receiving. Freely you have received, freely give (from Matthew 10:8).
John took on Mary in relationship as a result of Jesus words, and today, there is still that initiation of deep, covenant relationship between people that Jesus connects. The preacher preaches and gives and the lost receives and is transformed. The old passes away, and the new has come.
Teachers are known for deftly handling with skill, patience, and methodology, the text of Scripture, both Old and New Testaments. They must be able to not only divide the Scriptures, but also to handle the people with love and skill.
That is the Teacher’s responsiblity. Handle the people and handle the text.
Handle the Scriptures, and encounter the Spirit.
The words and the works.
A Teacher’s professional life must be on-point, and also his private, home, family life must without exception be cared for.
Attending to the one, and neglecting the other compromises the Teacher’s capacity to work at full effectiveness.
Jesus took care of wrapping up two emotional loose ends in putting Mary and John together. The Teacher mother’s loss of a flamboyant son to whom she had unswerving loyalty those many years, and the Affectionate Mercy’s loss of his dear and precious friend. When Teachers and Mercies both loose someone dear to them to whom they were supremely loyal, the loss can be immense, because of the greatness of their individual hearts.
Teachers, your test is in the responsibility you have to both parts, the giving and the receiving. The personal and the professional. The capacity to do both without neglecting either.
THE EXHORTER SAYING
“My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?!”
The suffering of Jesus, the Exhorter, is the fight of the Exhorter. The Son, quoting Psalm 22:1, is expressing the fullness of human bewilderment as only an innocent can. The weight of the false accusation here is the crucible every Exhorter must bear as the weight of pain and suffering, and naked reality hits them full force.
And the honest question getting to suck the marrow out of all that is and what must be is the Exhorter’s portion. This is the life that moves from the Skeletal System, from the marrow and arterial system of the Femurs which supply the strength to the Muscular System (which parallels the Gift of Exhorter).
The Exhorter, if he or she is to be fully effective, MUST suck the marrow out of reality and expect a proportional realistic harvest and crop from a proportional amount of work. And they cannot just farm their work out to others. They who instruct others what to do, must lead in shouldering the work.
The Exhorter, in their core, was designed to embrace the fullness of the pain of reality, which will break the hypnosis of non-reality and denial to which so many Exhorters are prone. AND THEY MUST SQUARELY HANDLE THE FORSAKING OF OTHERS AND PRESS ON FOLLOWING THOSE FORSAKINGS!
Further, in the midst of strong pain, the Exhorter must be the most viciously consistent of all seven gifts, because frequently, given they have the capacity to move LARGE CROWDS, they must lead them into reality.
Two things here must be emphasized: LEAD. The Exhorter must set the tone by bearing the burden. He cannot just send people to conquer a task, while he sits back and sips on a cool one. He needs to bear everything he is calling others to pick up. And REALITY: not just whip people up into a frenzy with their words, but give them a realistic goal to obtain and pick up the shovel themselves or put their own shoulder to the plow and lead the rest in picking up the burden. They must be in it for the long haul, as William Wilberforce was with his single agenda of ending slavery.
This will require the Exhorter to embrace the pain, even if it means they ask God the hard questions that would make some question whether or not they are still following Him.
The Exhorter’s test is hard reality and pain embracement. Sowing and reaping.
The Exhorter cannot pawn off the hard work on others to fix their mess. They must fix their own mess, and move into it.
THE GIVER SAYING
To quote my friends Arthur Burk and Sandy Landry:
Self-sufficiency will not bring you water on the cross.
The Giver is capable of radical independence, and the Giver must learn how to depend on others to help them, to bring to them, to bless them, and to provide for them. The Giver frequently wants control of a situation, or, at the very least, to impact through negotiation to get a better deal. They like to have options, choices, information, and questions answered.
They do not like to be dependent or to have a lack of information.
And for them to depend on someone to meet their needs is difficult. This test of Vulnerability is their most serious test. It is frequently hard for a Giver, unless they have been tested on this point and walk in high numbers, to rely on others, and to be vulnerable. But, as Jesus showed, it can be done.
Givers, your test is the one of sheer dependency, and that is the gateway to an explosion of your gifting and resources.
THE RULER/JUDGE/DELIVERER SAYING
Τετέλεσται (It has been finished)
from John 19:30
Perfect tense. Completed action as seen in the present. We see the idea of a completed action that has perennial and ongoing results.
Deliverance from slavery and bondage into sonship through the application of fathering is the perfect example. The Ruler (a/k/a Judge or Deliverer) is repeatedly to be seen and designed as the ultimate father, working with imperfect people to accomplish extraordinary (perfect) results, and a lot of them. A father is one by identity, and as a result, the ongoing actions of their interactions with those who are their sons yield ongoing results and transformation.
Jesus here is declaring, at his most vulnerable, even though it does not look like he has worked at something on the cross to the casual observer, that He has done something, completed something, owned something that was not His to own. He has fixed the sin problem and accomplished redemption, and now He will die and await his vindication. This push-through to the goal is the execution of the Ruler’s fruit of the spirit test, namely the test of faithfulness. Will the Ruler see through the test to the end and prove himself faithful, when so many carnal Rulers accomplish whatever soulish empire-building aims their hearts desire? Or will the Ruler father and do his best work in raising up sons who know how to build and how to fight.
The Ruler’s best work is not in the empire they build. Rather, it is in the sons they build who know how to build and fight.
The quality of sons in the kingdom is contingent, in large part, on the Rulers stepping into the FULLNESS OF THEIR ROLES AS FAITHFUL FATHERS WHO WILL RAISE UP THOSE SONS.
Rulers, your test will be one of fathering sons, whatever that looks like, and completing what has been given you in faithfulness, even though you have seen no fruit for a long time. In short, the test of vindication, and your capacity to confess that you have finished what you know you were given to do.
THE MERCY SAYING
Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.
Jesus experienced the fullness of abandonment and rejection as the object of God’s wrath in order that we might be transformed into new creations. He felt that sting. And beyond that sting, gang, he uttered, out of sheer trust and knowing and intimacy “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14) that He was still trusting the Father, from who he had hours earlier experienced palpable rejection, to steward his spirit well. He committed his spirit into the hands of One who poured out his wrath upon him.
Pardon me for saying it this way as a Mercy, but I cannot think of another way to baldly say it.
There was a stupid level of trust here on the part of Jesus. From seemingly out of a mysterious nowhere, no matter how much of an object of wrath Jesus had become, He still trusted this One who allowed him to be slain. That is Mercy commitment, and Mercy passing of the test of just intimately knowing, even in death, that Father would make good on the love deposit that existed between them.
Mercies, your test is trusting in God when your very will and humanity are being ground into powder. When you are given one fight after another after another, and it seems like your world has caved in around you, where will be the final resting place for your trust and the committing of your life?
For those of you who are joining us from the post on the Exhorter, welcome. Enjoy what you read here, and feel free to connect with me on improvements that might be made.
DISCLAIMER: The following thoughts, while conversations with Sandy Landry figure deeply herein, are my attempt at original thinking. Understanding this, and understanding that we are not going to get everything there is to say about truth that is nearly-bottomless, feel free to read on and, in so doing, to build further on what I have put here. After all, I am but one diamond-miner of many, and many of you will have more questions than I alone will have ready answers.
Like you, I hunt for the best turn of phrase, the best way to communicate so that you each hear my heart, and the mote juste (the best word, in the words of Hemingway). Communication is central to the DNA of the Giver if they are to walk in high positive numbers of their gifting. They like to know, and like to ask a lot of questions and make observations, and their heart needs to be heard precisely and accurately.
The above images reflect some of the many facets of the Giver. Benedict Arnold, a traitor of the American Revolution. Lyman Stewart of Union Oil (now D/B/A Unocal). Bill Gates of Microsoft. McDonald’s. Microsoft.
Lyman Stewart, who founded Union Oil, as the result of hitting a magnificent gusher in the San Joaquin Valley near Bakersfield, positioned himself for the rest of his life (per Arthur Burk’s Redemptive Gift video teaching: Video 1: see the link above) as someone who would steward the gifts, financial and business acumen, and marshal those aspects of his design to see to it that the Gospel was spread more effectively in a global fashion. His legacy impacted the Bible Institute of Lons Angeles (now known as Biola University), the Philippines, and a number of other corporate and generational endeavors.
Gates, the founder of Microsoft, saw to it that others would have ease of
access to computing (though there might be a contingent of contra-Microsoft
peeps that would claim otherwise).
My grandmother, who was herself a Giver, provided not only a great deal of resources in order to make sure that I was provided for in college, and understood the Technology Revolution that started in the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s that transformed Silicon Valley (San Jose is Giver by Redemptive Gift). She also paved the way for me to both access and easily maintain this blog.
Her husband, my stepgrandfather, also built and brought online the first computer in the state of Florida for the purposes of electronically connecting Florida Gas Transmission, which was at one time a subsidiary of Enron.
It is because of her strong influence in the area of technology that you even have me here in cyber-space, utilizing tech to pastor and teach. I am grateful for the germinating influence that pollinated with my love for Scripture that enables me to connect with each of you in my audience on a regular basis.
Further, she provides some material for this post. She was the first woman from Des Moines to enlist with the WAF (Women in the Air Force), and was an expert in investing, the markets, swimming, gardening, organizing/administration, politics, philosophy, cooking, baking, and providing for her family in scores of practical ways.
In the words of my mother, she pinched pennies to make copper wire and multiplied her husband’s income to an astounding scale.
the one who gave me a deep love of the process that is involved in political
development, and of (GASP!) compromise in order to get some of what I wanted in
any given situation. She also unknowingly
helped me to cultivate much of the capacity I have for biding my time and
waiting for appropriate timing (and the capacity to know WHEN not only to wait,
but also when to move ahead, even when my head is swimming). She took me to Tallahassee during my Junior year
in high school, so that I could page for the Florida Senate under the sponsorship
of Bill Bankhead of Flagler County.
Because of this influence, I have had a lifelong interest in and love
for Tallahassee, the Senate, the political process, and the blessing of
legislation. She had a Giver’s
understanding of the complexity of a particular issue, and ensures I would learn
what it mean to maintain a consistent line of thinking while also understanding
the nuances of a given issue.
Moreover, she demonstrated a strength in negotiation that helped temper and counterbalance my weakness of helping people at great personal cost that was beyond what Father intended me to pay.
I also recognize a much-needed temperance from her of my usual default of giving people what they want in order to avoid pain when dealing with others.
Per one of the lessons I learned in Toronto, it is fascinating the way God will skim from the pool of a person’s talent in order to deposit many facets of that talent with their legacy. I have indeed inherited much from this woman. And only recently has this business sense come to the front, coupled with a strong desire to become completely debt-free and build wealth.
we will have a jumping-off platform to discuss the gift of Giving.
On one hand, with the other gifts, there is a definitive set of characteristics that usually apply to all gifts.
On the other hand, with the Giver, the most definitive thing I can say about them is they are diverse. Without being disparaging, I would say the only consistent thing about them is they do not hold to a one-size-fits-all-or-even-most pattern. Diversity. Diversity. Diversity.
With the Giver, the characteristics here are much more subtle and painted with a lighter stroke.
Due to the diversity, the Giver can become a Jack-of-all-trades and master of many.
Diversity extends to religion, and the Giver and Teacher have massive weaknesses for the religious spirit. It’s the Teacher it is in the one purest way of orthodoxy. With the Giver, it is in the multiplication of divers ways of religious expression. Look at Giver societies, and you will see the magnificent spread of different types of religions and in Christian denominations.
The Giver capacity for subtlety is a frequent feature.
With the Giver, there is an outstanding priority on outward focus, many times to the (sometimes unintended) exclusion of internal focus. Translation: we need to help watch each other’s blind spots,
A frequent inability to navel-gaze (becoming too obsessed with their own problems and their own existence or reason-for-being). Givers do not usually self-obsess. Instead of looking inward, they look outward, and as a result, they can be blind to how they are really feeling about an issue.
I believe the subtlety of #3 and #6 arises from the fact that Givers are (don’t take this word with its negative connotation) often opportunists. They will hunt and dig in on an issue, look for the fine print, see the hidden opportunities that others miss, and engage in a great deal of data mining in order to work a situation to their advantage (think of the person to locates the clauses in contracts and finds ways that are legal around those clauses, or leveraging those clauses to their advantage. They will find any available advantage and leverage it. And while this can be seen as a negative, there can be a great good that can result in the life of a Giver who is devoted to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If they put this quality to work of the kingdom of G-d, much can be accomplished.
Givers are above all, diverse. Did I fail to mention this?
Nimble and flexible thinking.
A capacity to master whatever they are focused on.
As a result of the capacity to master, they can grow bored or disinterested in an activity.
When they grow bored, the Giver will frequently either store the resources that pertain to a particular activity, or deposit those resources with another person.
Strong associations frequently prevail between a Giver and resources.
For a quintessential response of what happens when a Giver is walking in high authority with respect to stuff and being willing to part with that stuff in order to declutter, allow me to say eight words: “Get rid of whatever does not SPARK JOY.”
Depth of research frequently goes into whatever a Giver is investigating, whether it is a financial resource, activity, a purchase, or a relationship. They look constantly for a better ROI or a better deal.
As a result of this drive, if a Giver is not in tune with his or her relationships around them, they can leave others feeling like resources rather than relationships.
Let me say #15 differently: Stewardship is the hallmark of a Giver. They will invest in a project or a person, but they demonstrate a preference for investing in a person or project with a solid return on investment (ROI).
Want to find a Giver? Look for someone who spots deals easily. Find the person that hates fees and hidden surcharges and that which is not out in the open. Givers will bloodhound everything if not everything is on the up-and-up. If there is something wrong, Giver sixth-sense and intuition will activate.
Along with Mercies, Givers are adept at stretching a dollar. They have a way of walking into deals without trying.
Whereas other gifts have to work at stewardship in order to net the ROI, Givers just have a way of attracting resources or stumbling into them or opportunities that is simply supernatural, and that is part of their inherent design.
Of all the Redemptive Gifts, Givers are known for attracting resources, and this is not for just attracting money, but all kinds of capital and material resources. There is usually both a grace on their life to attract resources, as well as the capacity to steward those resources. Their capacity for gift-giving is usually timely and the most serendipitous (I LOVE THAT WORD) of all the gifts. They give gifts that reflect the interests of the recipient. For example, I am a very strong lover of all things avian, and one of my friends, who is Giver, knowing this, even though it wasn’t a main topic of discussion between us, picked up on this. Two or so weeks later, I received a present from her that was a coffee mug during my birthday (I drink a whole lot of coffee and tea as well) and it had the words “Bird Nerd” on it. I don’t know how many people are that good at picking up on the subtle clues, but Givers have a way of knowing things about others that other RG’s just struggle with by design.
Givers are designed for independence. Unlike the other gifts that crave validation or a companion at times, Givers usually don’t need or crave validation from another party. Whereas Prophets like to be treated with respect, Servants like to be appreciated and acknowledged, Teachers like to be known for what they know, Exhorters like to be followed, Mercies like to be embraced, and Rulers like to be vindicated, Givers do not crave someone validating what they are doing.
Givers, like Servants, are known for persevering in the face of adversity in a way other gifts are not. They do not die easily, and with a little encouragement and help, they are very good at surviving. When we had decimated Japan near the end of World War II, we had begun to give them a great deal of financial help, and as a result, their economy took off, and they were able to create a life-giving economic partnership with the United States.
And consider the Southern United States, pre-Civil-War, and even after the Civil War. It took their Servant commander, Robert E. Lee, ordering them to lay down their arms in order to stop the bloodshed, after surrender. They were loyal and capable to the end.
Givers have this quality of “holding their breath” and persevering through adversity.
Givers are known, in the midst of all of their natural activity, have a strong sense of discernment.
In this discernment arena, Givers are often able to determine intuitively when someone who is connecting with them has a hidden or ulterior motive. It is difficult to hide an agenda from a Giver.
In a similar vein, Givers have a way of understanding time and timing when it comes to all sorts of situations. This intuition for time and timing, enables them to know when to get into or out of an investment.
As a result of this knack for understanding time and timing, which Prophets do not often understand, for example, Givers are very good to be sought out for their counsel with respect to time and timing of starting a certain operation or engaging in a certain activity.
Givers can be pinged in their spirit with no context whatsoever with the idea that you should connect with a certain person at a certain time. What Givers often don’t either tell you or recognize themselves is that when they are being pinged, there is usually a time or timing issue at stake. Like the Mercy who gets pinged to give you a small bit of unexplainable counsel, the Giver will get pinged in order to give you the right bit of counsel at the right time, and its like they or their spirit is capable of pointing out the καιρὸς of God so that you can in a timely fashion engage with someone else, and reap a good reward on that small investments. If a healthy Giver gives you advice, or trusts you enough to extend some advice, it really is worth your while to leap on their advice.
Granted, it might be something as simple as having a conversation you do not want to have, but if you will heed their counsel in terms of timing, there can come from that conversation a moment or an opportunity that Father knows you have been looking for in an individual.
If Giver speaks, even if it seems stupid, it may benefit you to look into what they are advising you, because that seemingly random conversation you have with your aunt about your cousin’s job promotion could lead to a spiritually fruitful and timely conversation with your aunt that you have been looking to have because you know there is something missing from your aunt’s life.
On a related point, just as it is good for other gifts to have some trusted Servants surrounding them to help cleanse them from the junk of everyday life, so it is good for other gifts to have one or two trusted Givers who can advise them with regards to timing, time, discernment, and seasons. Giver advice may at times feel intrusive, but there is a component of time, timing, discernment, and seasons that Givers are hardwired to understand intuitively, and if you take up their advice, it can be very rewarding.
In a conversation with a Giver, I also learned that Givers can be very in tune with nature. Some Givers are able to talk to trees, understand the feelings of the land that they are on, and interact with nature in some unusual ways.
Speaking of DIVERSITY AGAIN, Givers are able to operate in a large scale of diverse opinions. That is, in the presence of diversity, diversity of cultures, diversity of viewpoints, diversity of styles, and diversity of belief structures, a Giver leader excels at holding all of the pieces together without the organization blowing apart. Whereas a Prophet has to bring everything to closure by bringing truth to bear on a situation, a Giver can hold diversity in tension and live in the presence of tension. For example, Warren Buffett, of Berkshire Hathaway fame, leads and organization, that he cofounded with Charlie Munger, that oversees an insurance company, real estate ventures, a battery company, an undergarment company, Dairy Queen, a jewelry company, Pampered Chef, BNSF, and are a large stakeholder in American Airlines, Coke, United Airlines, Apple, Bank of America. This dizzying array of diverse interests is typical of Givers. Bill Gates, another example of a Giver, had a first act with Microsoft, and is now involved with all sorts of nonprofit ventures.
Givers can also tolerate an extreme amount of ambiguity in a situation. They do not usually gravitate toward absolutes of right and wrong in a situation so much as they work to keep tension between differing viewpoints from breaking a group apart, though there are certainly exceptions to this rule. This may be due to their vast tolerance for diversity.
Theologically, this tolerance for diversity can be seen in the pastorate led by a Giver when they connect with an evangelical, a Calvinist, and Arminian, a Jew, and a Catholic, all under the same roof. And all as leadership held in tension.
Someone is bound to stone me for that last comment. #bringit #beenstonedbefore #hurts #butigetupaafterjesusdoessurgery. Giggle.
Someone needed a laugh. I may take my blogging seriously, but I need to not take myself so seriously.
As a result of their ability to detect hidden motives and agendas, you cannot swindle or finesse a Giver, especially when it comes to attempting to influence them to giving finances to your operation. Givers will give when they are ready to give, and when there is a demonstration that your operation is reputable and has a good ROI with a proven track record of performance.
Givers tend to be chameleons in that they do not fit a particular stereotype. They often are whatever they need to be.
Givers are easy to forgive others and are able to let go of an offense quite easily. They are often “disconnected from reality” in this sense when it comes to deep trauma that happened to them.
They love to know first, and they love to know a lot when it comes to relationships and information. They especially love to know the answers to all sorts of trivial questions and data about the people around them and they love to ask questions that others would consider unnecessary. They have a desire to know interconnectedness of various peoples, individuals, and groups. Without them knowing about these sorts of facts and trivia, they can reach a point of being destabilized when they do not know or are not in the loop. So, if you have a Giver in your circle of friends, then you have to understand, they may irritate you with their questions and concerns about every little detail, but that need to know is by design.
That need to know also helps them inform their discernment and their intuition. They are usually very good at confirming their discernment by asking questions that to other people may see really stupid (for some reason, I have a friend of Facebook from Texas that just came to mind when I wrote this point out, and I know for a fact, without being able to confirm it, because he won’t see it until I have published it, that this point may pertain to him). Givers put clues together from information that may seem trivial and pointless to other gifts. If you have a Giver friend that is a trusted confidant, provides counsel to you about your other relationships, and this Giver operates at a high level in the area of discernment, it behooves you non-Givers to always answer all the little questions they might have, because they are excellent at figuring out and judging timing and time and others based on a bunch of scraps of information.
I am going to highlight this again for all you non-Givers: ANSWER ALL OF THEIR FREAKING QUESTIONS, NO MATTER HOW SMALL OR INSIGNIFICANT THEY MAY SEEM, BECAUSE THEY MIGHT SEE A DETAIL THAT IS OF TAHT YOU DO NOT, AND THEY MIGHT GIVE YOU A TIMING PRINCIPLE OR CONNECT SOME DOTS THAT YOU DEPERATELY NEED CONNECTED SO YOU CAN FLOW IN AND WITH THINGS MORE SMOOTHLY.
If there is an interconnectedness somewhere that you are missing, odds are, you will have a Giver friend who can find it.
From one of my Giver friends that gives me input and counsel with regards to time, timing, seasons, and discernment: “In reference to how “outward” we are. That’s the case also for “emotional feelings”. I am really quite an empathetic person, and that benefits you (outward), but when it comes to feeling emotions for myself, I’d rather not. I’m particularly referring to the sad ones and the painful ones. This leads me to my next point about how we Givers persevere through adversity.”
“I pause, & feel powerless, and then when I’m ready to switch gears, I will persevere with severe stamina and push right on through that issue to the point that I actually forget what pained me about it in the first place. We all know it’s not lost, but the “emotional pain” is temporarily forgotten. I loathe the time when I have to sit down and cultivate those emotions to the surface. Fortunately, I know it’s productive and all it takes is asking spirit to unleash. Am I the only Giver who is like this?”
For the Giver in Business, note that the principle for the Giver Business (what we like to term the Emerald Business) is Access.
Let me paint this picture for you with McDonald’s. First with the Drive-thru (ease of Access so you would not have to get your rug rats out of the car in the rain), first to take credit cards (ease of Access so you would not have to pay only with cash), and first to have free babysitting (ease of Access so you could throw your rug rats into the cage (called a PlayPlace) and meet with your girlfriend for coffee without paying for babysitting).
The Giver, above all the Gifts, was designed to have the highest capacity of FRIENDSHIP with God (not talking intimacy here). Abraham, the Giver, was called the “friend of God”.
The Giver is pictured by the Altar of Incense, and this burning of incense enabled the High Priest to ACCESS the Holy of Holies to stand in the presence of God on Yom Kippur (Leviticus 16:12-13). This also shows the friendship through intercession. The Lord reveals His secrets to those who are friends.
Elisha, who was a friend of God as a Giver, was also a friend of Elijah, and had access to Elijah, and because of this friend enablement, he did twice as many miracles as Elijah. The miracles, however twice as many as they were, were not on the same scale as Elijah.
Let me highlight something about Elisha that differs him from Elijah. Elijah (Redemptive Gift of Prophet, card-carrying sandpaper all the way), his miracles were more about the honor of God. Elisha’s miracles, on the other hand, were largely more personal, one-on-one. Some were done for groups, but more of them were single things done for individuals.
Jacob, the good businessman, was the primo Giver. He constantly was negotiating something.
Givers are, above all things, negotiators incessantly. If you want to identify a Giver in Scripture or real life, look for the people who are always negotiating a deal, especially one that favors them.
Instead of ending it here, I would like to delve a little more into some personal thoughts on the Giver. I have watched Givers betray Prophets in the worst ways, I have seen them mistrust people for a number of different reasons, many good, and some really unwise. I have witnessed Givers be conniving as well as trustworthy. I have seen Givers take on a diversity of productive roles that were full of character, and I have seen them engage in some of the most carnal manipulation simple because they wanted the edge in a business deal or to skirt the law in a particular way through “creative interpretation”.
I have been on the receiving end of both the best and the worst of the gift. Givers, if they are confronted on Stewardship vs. Ownership and pass that test, can be some of the greatest assets to the botdy of Christ.
But like the Lord will not usually directly confront the Exhorter in their area of weakness, namely in their capacity to manipulate and move boundary lines in terms of relationships, so also He will not usually confront the Giver stronghold of Ownership without the Giver first seeking out excellence in this area.
Likewise, I have not frequently seen the Lord make an issue out of directly the Prophet’s fracturing of relationships, the Servant’s Victim spirit predilection, the Ruler’s Exploitation, or the Mercy’s self-gratification that masquerades as intimacy or love expression. Not until they are ready and are asking for it with eyes wide open.
Subtly, we have frequently brought the lie that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony.
This is not what the Sripture says, apart from not loving our lives so much that we shrink back from death, we will not overcome by the blood of the Lamb alone or even paired with only the word of our testimony.
This and this alone is the reason I am against us pleading for the release of, or using political maneuvering to secure the release of, anyone who is a pastor overseas.
God will not frequently provoke us to higher areas of growth without us first wrestling with the fact of and embracing the reality that it will cost us dearly to do so.
Givers that do not engage with the body in a Stewardship fashion (recognizing that God owns absolutely everything and He has given us the responsibility to manage a portion of those possessions) will not excel. Givers that do not walk in high character and maintaining consistency with their relationships, Givers that do not let their yes be yes and their no be no, will find themselves creating situations that lead to alienated relationships.
Givers that pump people for info without also being willing to disclose or be vulnerable will remain in their independence without friendships. Friendships of lasting value necessitate a great deal of risk, and no relationship is more risk=filled or painful than that with God.
There is a redemptive time and place for a Giver to work the angles. However, there is also a time for the Giver to lay down the capacity for guile and shrewdness and embrace someone who has no agenda.
How does a Giver know when to do what? Very simply, discernment, which is available to each believer that names the name of Jesus as King.
There are times to execute shrewdly, and wisdom demonstates when this should be done.
May we be possessed of a great understanding of the changing needs from situation to situation.
And may we begin the process of learning the Giver skill in the area of handling resources skillfully and absent a spirit of conning.
May our seed become fruitful and multiply, gang.
And may each of you be blessed.
SECOND DISCLAIMER: Having been exposed to the negatives of the Giver, let me also say the following: of the 20 or so people that hold me accountable in the things of God and my relationship with him, three of my closest friends and people who are charged with asking me the hard questions at anytime are sisters in Christ, and they are Givers. And they have done some profound work in making sure I am walking a tight line with the King on a regular basis.
One lives in Minnesota, one in Louisiana, and one in Kansas.
So, having tasted the hard aspects of connecting with Givers, I have also tasted the greatness of connecting with Givers of STERLING character, approaching the character of Ron Paul.
Oh, and one other aspect of the Giver. The Fifth Day of creation, when God gave us the birds, the fmarine creatures, and the MASSIVE RESOURCES of Leviathan to use, all came on the Fifth Day with its implications for time and Timing. Bird migrations, whale movements, all tied to specific time and Timing issues.
And those Fifth Day creatures, because of the implications for time and Timing and seasonal movement and flow, they all respond heavily to the nature of God as the Ancient of Days, for some reason.
For any of you to post things that tell about your happiness at the death of a man- whether he was a man of YHVH or not- whether he was a good man or not- is despicable. You have missed the entire point of the cross as well as the heart of the Father, and you have brought shame on yourself and the name that you say you are called by. Yeshua taught us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. He taught us that a person is not defined by their decisions but by the fact that they are created in the image of YHVH. He taught us that we are no better than anyone else and to consider that we are is an outright sin. He taught us that YHVH is the one who evaluates the worth of a man’s heart. Not us. (and before you say, “but we are to judge righteously!” understand that I am referring to the final weight of eternity and not rebuking a fellow believer who has erred)
Anything less is unacceptable.
If you don’t learn radical love- RADICAL LOVE- you will not enter the kingdom. This is what Yeshua taught us.
This may not necessarily have been promoted by any one current event, but was written as a matter of principle.
I can only say “AMEN!”.
My take: If God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23; 33:11) and our death is precious in His sight (Psalm 116:15), why would we celebrating someone’s death?
Don’t celebrate death, ever at all. Rather, celebrate liberation. Follow the example of our king.