If you are reading this, I am assuming most of you are coming from my post on the Prophet. If you have not read that post, then I would strongly recommend going here. If you are unsure what a Redemptive Gift is, then go here.
Death Grips, Destroying Rough Drafts, and Writing Better Works
I had a thought of updating what I had written, but I understand that frequently, the best work we can do frequently comes from doing work afresh, with no previous frame. Dr. Witek, my Poetry teacher from college once said, that sometimes you have to be willing to destroy your most precious work of writing in order to bring out an even better work. And that thing which you grasp so much with a death-grip can keep you from doing the thing you were meant to write that pulls from a deeper place.
In the last post, I updated my post on the Redemptive Gift of Prophet and said I was going to do one post on each of the seven gifts of Romans 12:6-8 in sequence in order to give you some ideas. In the next to the last post, on my introduction, I covered the Servant as an example of how the fractal (repeating pattern) of Seven works in Scripture, and I covered the Servant’s capacity to cleanse things above all the other gifts.
Well, between posts, I decided that I was going to cover not only the attributes of the gifts, but some of the fractals as they come and are important to highlighting each of the gifts. And writing, as it is for my friend, the Man From California, is cathartic for me. I have experienced a massive trauma, which was partly my fault this past weekend, and, sitting here in this espresso bar in the mountains of Western North Carolina, or rather, standing here, at 9:47, writing is a salve to me. So, with one remaining non-sequiter, the Servant.
Oh Yeah. About that Non-Sequiter
And that non-sequiter is that I am planning on writing a longer piece on the Redemptive Gifts, given there is much more to consider and mine that has not been mined, as it pertains to relationships, marriage, family, and parenting, and it is quite possible that I am going to partner with some peeps in writing these works.
The Patterns of the Gifts
Because the gifts are tied to a fractal, and fractals repeat in nature, we see the patterns of the gifts, from research, repeat in nature and reality. Just as every person has a Redemptive Gift, so we also believe, thus far, that every organization, grouping, and other entities parallel these gifts. One example of the parallel. Look at the Teacher and the Digestive System. Or the Servant and the Excretory System (including the Integumentary System, that is, the Skin).
Just like the Digestive System helps us to digest the solid meat and food to derive nutrition, so also the Teacher helps us digest all manner of truth in order to derive nourishment.
Just as the Excretory System cleanses us of garbage and waste from our bodies to keep up clean, and the Integumentary System cleanses us through sweat, and also helps protect and regulate body temperature and the organs, so also the Servant helps protect and cleanse the body, people in all manner of walks of life.
Before I jump into the Servant, I would like to reiterate the value Yeshua put on His words testifying and His works. When the Pharisees, who represent the very worst of the Teacher tribe, wanted him to justify His lawbreaking, He presented them with the statement and exhortation that the believe the works, if they could not believe the words He spoke. That is, He was putting the works He did on a par with the words he spoke as valid evidence His testimony was true.
I said that because we might be tempted to ask, “where is this found in the Bible”. And not everything we say about these gifts is found explicitly in the text of Scripture with three references so you can have enough Scripture passages to back up this teaching. The reality of these gifts are found in the analogies, types, and shadows of Scripture and in over 30 years of many of us working with and observing these gifts not just in Scripture, but also in real life and experience. The principles work, and the patterns work. This explanation might seem sacrilegious to some, but it is the best explanation we have. We will do our best to cover as much as we can from Scripture, but sometimes, the best we are going to find will be limited to the works of G-d in nature and real life. And after all, Paul did say that men who have never heard the gospel preached would be held accountable and without excuse due to the proofs of G-d in nature. The patterns are found throughout the design in creation and nature. So men, whether or not they have the written Word, are still without excuse. They are accountable for the revelation they have, and the law of G-d is indeed written on their hearts and in their design (Romans 1:19).
About the Servant In Particular
- The Servant is, above every gift, probably the most overlooked, the most unseen, and probably the most dishonored (Joseph in the New Testament, the Servant, evidenced because he took in stride, without contesting it, that his reputation would be destroyed. Why this is is not universally known. My theory is because they allow it, and the enemy is only so willing to oblige the body in its own systematic destruction. And without the Oceans and the Atmostphere, we cannot breathe and cannot survive, as both are critical for temperature regulation, cleansing, and overall life. Indeed, very few regularly think about air until their airway isn’t patent and functional.
- And the Weather patterns, which were created on day two, don’t rouse our ire, until there is a hurricane, or a tornado, or too much humidity, or not enough moisture, or too much rain, or too much snow. And then we rouse our mouths from their slumber, without checking first to see if the L-rd has determined that this or that weather pattern is necessary. Further, we curse the humidity and rain until there is a drought.
- And frequently, Father uses the Weather Patterns to judge areas and regions. In 2004, California, when they signed the multi-billion dollar bond for stem-cell research, then received destruction to the state economy, which liquidated the funds from that bond, through the droughts, then the heavy rains, then the overgrowth, then drought, then forest fires. And no matter how much the church pleads with Him to reverse His judgment and send rain, in spite of the fact that the change in weather patterns was brought on by the iniquity,
- The Servant is usually the one placed in the hardest assignments in terms of dysfunctional people groups, families, and social situations, precisely because the Servant is the one who is equipped above all other gifts with the tenacity to see the good in the garbage. Put a Servant in a family, and watch the rest of the family talk down about the worthless, deadbeat, do-nothing, underachieving black-sheep of the family. When this condescension happens, something in the Servant will rise up, speak to, and make much of the one or two positive traits. They have to hunt for something and make much of it.
- Servants will usually do one of the following two things in most situations. They will push through more than any other gift (yes, Prophets, even more than y’all) for something that they believe in. They will also push through for someone else’s stuff, and insist on helping others to possess their birthrights and inheritances, frequently at the expense of their own. They will also give up on their own stuff.
- Why is this? Because we have taken that passage that says “prefer one another ahead of yourselves” (Philippians 2:3: Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves) and we have twisted it into this perverted thing where we act to take care of others at our own expense, when that is not what the verse is talking about.
- Servants do not need to read Philippians 2:3, because they already have it in their DNA, just like Prophets do not need to be told to have faith. Prophets, likewise, have Hebrews 11:1 written into their DNA.
- Philippians 2:3 and its context is designed for us to put to death the concepts of real selfish ambition and vain conceit. IT IS NOT MEANT TO PUT TO DEATH OUR DREAMS OR THE GOALS THAT FATHER HAS PUT INTO OUR HEARTS, OUR SPIRITS, OR OUR SOULS.
- Servants, you have a nasty habit, because you can go longer and stronger than any of the other gifts without honor, of killing G-d-ordained dreams and purposes that are for you, in the pursuit of helping others achieve their own goals. This is a bastard offshoot of the best of your gift. You are required to pursue and possess your birthright as are the other six gifts. If you do not, your spiritual and physical seed will have a hard problem to fix. Go, find your birthright, and possess it, and in the process help others according to your design, but know that if you neglect your stuff in your pursuit of helping others find and possess theirs, it will destroy a major purpose of your life.
- Read the following very carefully. This helping others at the expense of what G-d gave them to possess is not what Servants were designed to do by G-d, but is rather a perversion and twisting of their design. We have adopted this twisted and satanic mentality in the church, and especially in the American church of feeling like we have to choose between two things in a sick sort of zero-sum win/lose situation. We have not learned how to skillfully play for a win/win scenario. Turning everything into a sordid form of competition where there are winners and losers. We have let the business world, the sports world, and the super-alienating political world (every 4 years we have this cycle of alienation we call the Presidential Election: who can alienate the greatest number of people from the political opponent?). This spirit of alienation twists us into Abimelech and the City of Shechem, and meanwhile, Jotham laughs at us. The Servants among us can teach us how to supplant this nonsense of win/lose, and look for the best in each person in a situation.
- Servants were made to cleanse, above all the other gifts, cleanse leaders, land, time, things, people, birthrights, families, and other defiled junk. This is why Servants are usually placed in close proximity to other dysfunctional people, and other leaders, and other situations that need cleansing. Think of the Bronze Laver and The Brazen Sea (Exodus 30:18-28; 1 Kings 7:23-26).
- Servants at their most twisted can slip into embracing a savior mentality.
- Servants do not usually seek the limelight. They prefer the fringe, and the hidden.
- Servants are usually given to working with the environment in some way, whether animals, or trees, or land, or weather, or the oceans, or the waters, or some dynamic. They usually are treated as a safe place for the non-human creation. It’s like a sixth sense. I know one Servant who had a massive green thumb and is effortless when it comes to planting vegetable gardens.
- Servants, as with Queen Esther, are the gifts that are most without guile. Esther repeatedly did not play to see how much booty, gold, and gems she could make off of her one-night stand with the king. Rather, she dressed simply. Servants give a straight-up answer, and don’t usually know how to play the angles with finesse, and work the room the way some of the other polished-up gifts can.
- Servants, as exemplified in Esther, are most gifted in the area of cleansing leaders, and breaking the spirit of premature death. Often, Servants will be paired next to the Giver because of the Giver’s birthing anointing, and the Servant will protect the new thing G-d is doing.
- Servant Organizations will tend toward the color brown a lot (UPS, Birkenstock) and an unassuming or underwhelming presence, as well as a bad utilization of space. Birkenstocks are not the most elegant-looking shoe, but dang they are some of the most comfortable and durable shoes on the market. They were also manufactured in the German Region of Hesse, whence came the Hessians who fought as hired troops for England in the American Revolution, and they were also roundly cursed by the American colonists.
- Let me give some textual bits that speak to the Servant here. “When the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised (Esth. 2:15). Most women got a one-night stand and then got to keep whatever they wanted. Esther wanted none of that ostentatious gold or jewelry. She told Hegai to “take care of it”.
- “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” (Esth 4:16). The Esther Fast, the most severe type of fast, is the one instituted by this Servant, and is used to turn back the spirit of death. It is the Servant who embraces the fasted lifestyle, and the Esther Fast specifically, when someone’s life is on the line and the death is not supposed to happen, that earns the authority to turn back the spirit of premature death.
- The Servant not only becomes the catalyst against the spirit of premature death, but also is the catalyst for G-d’s retribution against the enemies of G-d’s people. “The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark” (Genesis 7:20-23) When G-d wanted to wipe out the depravity of man and rescue his people, it was to the Servant Day, with its weather patterns, that G-d turned in order to cleanse everything and set it back into place.
- Because of their tie-in with the Atmosphere and the Oceans and Weather Patterns, the Servant is G-d’s go-to in order to set everything into array with the environment of a situation in order to make others feel welcome. From hosting company, to taking care of animals, the Servant has this extra boost to run circles around the non-Servants in order to meet the felt needs and to create a living space that is comfortable and well-put-together.
- And most importantly, the Servant is the one above all the gifts that is designed to create the space where G-d feels most comfortable showing up. The Servant, beyond the other gifts, has no ambition or hidden motive for wanting G-d to show up. She or he just wants the King to show up, not so the Servant can have warm fuzzies, or great meetings, or “have church” or “revival” or any of the other legitimacy crutches the other gifts hunt for in the presence of G-d with their ambition. Rather, they want the King to show up simply because the King wants to show up and is comfortable showing up. And they will do whatever they can to get whatever obstacles are in the way that keep the King from being comfortable showing up. Servants, in their highest function, are designed to create an environment where the King would WANT to show up. Our text for this, is illustrated in the Tabernacle, but it is rooted in the Seven Trees of Isaiah 41:19. The Presence of G-d shows up in the tabernacle, but think about the wood which is covered in gold or other metals out of which the furnishings of the Tabernacle are made. It is acacia wood. Now, look at the fractal of the Seven Trees: “I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive. I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together.” And ALL of the 27 other references to this word deal specifically with the putting together of the Tabernacle, and it is the only wood used in the construction of the Tabernacle. This shows the value that G-d puts on this wood, as a picture of what G-d thinks about the Servant.
- The Servant, because they are good at creating a life-giving environment for others, frequently will work well with anything that can be construed as an environment, and they will work well with the ecology, the environment, and animals and plants. My MIL, who is a card-carrying Servant, has a gift for understanding dogs and cats for example, and she has more than a green thumb. Her working with vegetable gardens and bringing them to a place of flourishing is effortless.
- Because of 23, the Servant may prefer to work with animals and ecology more than with humans. And given that we are called as a church to redeem the entire ecosystem and the whole creation, it is good and useful to have people who are willing to work with non-humans and bring the dominion of Our Father to the physical environment. There are other gifts that are capable of working WELL with the ecology, but the Servant has a larger capacity and a greater chance of doing this more frequently with a greater chance of success.
Granted, this is not an exhaustive list, and for another set of attributes, look here. That said, there is always more.
Be blessed, gang.
And from here, please proceed to the Teacher.