Make It Real: April 2012
Question: I can not find someone in our church to be a “spiritual father” to me and feel that I will not be able to start my ministry without a “spiritual father”. Should I go to another church or ministry and see if someone feels that the Lord would have them be my “spiritual father”?
The buzz word “spiritual father” is generating a lot of misunderstanding and doctrines of man in the church today. I believe we need to study the Word of God to keep ourselves from error. All doctrine needs to be based on the teachings of Jesus in the gospels. Paul clearly warns us to receive no other gospel than the one he preaches. He states that if he or even an angel preaches another gospel, don’t receive it. So I think we need to know the gospel.
Jesus is the Head of the church. The Word calls Him the Cornerstone. Therefore, I personally check out every wind of doctrine against the actually ministry of Jesus. What Jesus teaches has to be the plumb line of how I understand the letters written by the apostles, the book of Acts, the book of Revelations and the Old Testament. We have the Holy Spirit living in our hearts to teach us and guide us into all truth. We need to stay sensitive to what grieves Him. The Holy Spirit wants us to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and the Heavenly Father. He knows that satan has always wanted to take from God His position with His children.
Based on the teachings of Jesus, one can be assured that the Holy Spirit is not going to give the spiritual position of Father to a person. He states:
Mat 23:5 And they do all their works to be seen by men. And they make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their robes.
Mat 23:6 And they love the first couch in the suppers, and the first seats in the synagogues,
Mat 23:7 and the greetings in the markets, and to be called by men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
Mat 23:8 But do not you be called Rabbi, for One is your Leader, the Christ, and you are all brothers.
Mat 23:9 And call no one your father on earth, for One is your Father, the One in Heaven.
Mat 23:10 Nor be called leaders, for One is your Leader, the Christ.
Mat 23:11 But the greater of you shall be your servant.
Mat 23:12 And whoever will exalt himself shall be humbled, and whoever will humble himself shall be exalted.
In answering your question about leaving your church to seek out a “spiritual father”: Jesus clearly states that only the Heavenly Father has that honor of being your “Father” or “Abba”. People led by the Holy Spirit in mature leadership positions know how to yield to the Lord and minister to those in their sphere of influence. The Holy Spirit will give you compassion and even a father’s heart toward individuals that He wants to touch through your life and ministry. Paul speaks about this:
1Co 4:14 I do not write these things shaming you, but warning you as my beloved children.
1Co 4:15 For if you should have myriads of teachers in Christ, yet not many fathers; for I fathered you in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
It is by the leading of the Holy Spirit that relationships are developed for the maturing of the people of God. No one is to take the place of the Holy Spirit. He will always direct you into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. You then have access to a relationship with the Father through Jesus. Paul is a great example of someone who was not mentored by a pastor or church leader, but was taught by the Holy Spirit. Undoubtedly, he had a powerful ministry.
When we have a need to lift up one ministry or teacher over another we reveal that we are seeking the things of God from a fleshly point of view. Paul goes as far as to comment that this wrong way of thinking keeps us immature and unable to handle the deeper truths of God’s Word.
1Co 1:4 I give thanks to my God always concerning you for the grace of God given to you in Christ Jesus,
1Co 1:5 that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all discourse and all knowledge,
1Co 1:6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you,
1Co 1:7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting the revelation of our Lord, Jesus Christ,
1Co 1:8 who also will confirm you until the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 1:9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
1Co 1:10 Now I exhort you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you all say the same thing, and there be no divisions among you, but you be united in the same mind and in the same judgment.
1Co 1:11 For concerning you, my brothers, it was shown to me by those of Chloe that there are strifes among you.
1Co 1:12 But I say this, that each of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ.
1Co 1:13 Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul?
We need to trust God that He will bring along the teaching and ministry that we need to mature into His Likeness. Our part is to look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. His Spirit will guide and direct us and we need to step out of our comfort zone and watch the way He order our steps. If the Holy Spirit leads you to another church or takes you to many different conferences, then just obey and leave it in His hands. No one can close the doors that He opens for your ministry and, believe me, you don’t want doors to open that His Spirit is not opening.