the gift of structure
Everyone has a story, something they were meant to give to the world, everyone carries promise, significance and purpose (1) yet there is still the gift organisation and structure that brings cohesion. If everyone is encouraged to dream and run with their assignment without structure, there would be chaos. Individualism robs God's church of the potential momentum giving capacity placed in each individual dream.
The gift of leadership, in particular apostles and prophets is the key provision of God to lead His society towards His shared vision. The apostle and prophet protect the church from the consumer mentality of seeing the church culture as a restaurant serving meals to be consumed.
Governmental gifts (Ephesians 4) don't rule God's society through control, but rather connect and draw the church together through love. In particular the apostolic gift, sees what's going on in Heaven, and carries the abundance of heaven to the target, the church. "Apostles are locked on the blueprint of heaven, and saying what needs to change on earth. The prophets open the eyes of the people to see the invisible. See the realm that is foolishness to the natural mind. Apostles and prophets bring new priorities. Manifest presence of God, dreams and visions flowing from the realm of heaven. Bringing supernatural reality".(2)
The apostle, prophet, pastor teacher, activates and propels each person to discover and contribute their dream, and colour to the great heavenly 'firework' display (Ephesians 3:10). For this display to be spectacular there must be structure, and this requires submission to government. Submission is one of the most abused area's of church life, because controlling leadership will only promote people who have less gifting than themselves. Conversely Godly government sees greater gifts as an invitation for their world to be expanded, for the display to be more beautiful. This makes submission one of the most beautiful and glorious subjects too. In submission each contribution becomes more spectacular than lots of unsynchronised rockets, and individual flashes of colour.
God's government is not about limiting and capping people off, but neither is it a round table (Luke 14:10) where every dream is automatically equal. Yes there is equality based on adoption, but there are still different measures of faith and grace (Romans 12:6, Ephesians 4:7). In the church there is great wisdom in taking the lowest seat, waiting to be invited up. Freedom still embraces submission. The love and freedom expressed by the governmental gifts encourages each person to surrender their contribution, dream and assignment to the shared vision. This big picture started with God Himself, He is the ultimate entrepreneurial spark. Everything began in His imagination.
"In submission you don't get to do all that you want to do, but you do get to do more than you are capable of doing". In submission you step into drawing upon somebody else's grace, that enables you to function above your level, and when that happens you get drawn into an expression of Christ, that you wouldn't have access to otherwise." (3)
Friendship with God sits on the foundation of being a servant of God. Submission means I become a servant of His house, I recognise and valued the structure and organisation of His society, and in submission I give the best I carry to serve the shared vision. There is surrender of your own individual story that the great story might be told. It's resisting presumption, entitlement, irritation, and frustration, and instead stewarding today well. Investing intentionally, trusting that the good Father didn't awaken dreams to frustrate you, rather in the experience of submission to somebody else's gift and grace you begin to develop a grace of your own. Submission of your dream is crucial to the vigorous exploration of your own unique expression and dream.
(1) Defining Moments, Season One, Episode One, Tedd Dekker Story, January 2016
(2) Living in an apostolic age, Danny Silk.
(3) Bill Johnson, iBethel TV, Sunday January 31 2016
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