with Jeremy Westcott –
We saw in the last post that every redemptive gift has a particular principle that operates with it, and a blessing or birthright that goes with it as well.
The ‘principle’ is simply how things are designed to work, or (if you are looking for something more technical) it can be defined as a universal, non-optional, cause-and-effect relationship. The ‘birthright’ or ‘blessing’ is how creation and people are supposed to benefit from our gifts.
Let’s look at the principles and birthrights of each gift in more detail:
- Principle: Design – the art of weaving principles together in order to produce change.
God speaks to prophets before He does anything (Amos 3:7), because prophets are wired to bring about change. The principle of design is foundational to all the other principles. God has called the prophet to study principles (to look at problems and opportunities) and assemble them into sets that produce results.
The passion of the prophet is to take themselves and others to the outer limits of excellence with God, to explore the boundaries of what is possible (and nothing is impossible with God). The prophet wants to demolish barriers and expand our understanding so that we can go further.
The prophet will display a picture of God so dynamic and real that it moves people out of their comfort zones (which can become prisons) and into a journey that will bring them to fulfilment of all God created them to be.
- Principle: Authority.
God gives more spiritual authority to servants than to other gifts precisely because they will not use it for their own ends. They are not infected with the empire-building germ like the other gifts. The servant’s prayers for leaders carry more weight than other gifts.
The servant has the highest level of authority over the Death Spirit in spiritual warfare because God desires to set people free and servants serve the needs of others. God trusts the servant to do only what He has asked them to do.
Authority over land (restoration of ecology) comes naturally to those with a servant gift.
The servant walks in holiness in their own life. They are willing to embrace a high calling of holiness and bring a sense of purity and cleanliness.
When the servant hears truth spoken it resonates deeply.
The servant has the tenacity to reach out to the wounded and hurting (not limited to, but especially in, family situations).
The servant finds fulfilment in being a life-giver to enable others to do their work.
They provide cleansing and authority to others.
There is a deep desire to empower others to achieve their best.
- Principle: Responsibility
The teacher is to walk in responsibility in every area of their life.
Their highest responsibility is to worship God. They must make worship a lifestyle, that they would anticipate and enjoy being with God.
If the teacher is carnal they will be selectively responsible and unwilling to impose responsibility on others.
The teacher would prefer to work hard at persuading people to change, rather than confronting them (or their behaviour) head-on.
A teacher must realise that their relationship with God is of primary importance, because otherwise they will just be bringing theory. There is no value in expounding theoretical principles to others without having worked them out yourself.
- Birthright/Blessing: Intimacy
The teacher must know who they are as they walk out God’s will and then reveal the manifest presence of God to the rest of the body of Christ. Again, this must come out of personal experience and not just study. The Lord wants to be present in the life of the teacher, having them experience and celebrate Him.
- Principle: Sowing and Reaping
Exhorters will use their life experiences to help others: therefore they must embrace pain and suffering. The most difficult area for the exhorter is to suffer rejection. But they must confront sin and be willing to face rejection from within the community without becoming disheartened or taking it personally.
Exhorters must incarnate truth, must live it out, through the authority they receive via their own personal experience. An exhorter who has gone through pain and suffering is well placed to use their own testimony to help others who are experiencing the same.
Know God personally and experientially, which involves taking some time away from people in order to truly know God and have His authority.
The body of Christ is dependent upon the exhorter becoming all God created them to be; God has called the exhorter to be a world changer!
- Principle: Stewardship
The giver knows that God doesn’t want 10% of their finance/assets; He wants everything the giver is and has. This is about establishing relationship so that they are able to release blessing. Money is not the issue, it’s about their relationship with God.
Example: in Job 31:16, Job had an incredible relationship with God, and was a good steward of his money and assets. He walked in high justice, holiness and ethical behaviour in all that he did.
The blessing for the giver is to release a generational anointing. The giver has the authority to release a generational blessing into their family line and community and be a life-giver through blessing (and again, this is not just about money). Givers have a desire to see others succeed and prosper in fulfilling their destiny; they give to enable others.
The giver is to have a generational worldview – to think long-term.
Example: Abraham received authority from God and passed it on. He changed the world and was considered a friend of God.
- Principle: Freedom
The ruler is to go from bondage to obedience to freedom. But rulers have the tendency to be focused on task and do what’s required – and not walk in freedom. The ruler must learn to walk in spiritual freedom.
Like the giver, they are good at making things happen in the natural, but God wants this to be in the context of total dependence upon Him. The ruler is to be first of all righteous.
Generational freedom from sin.
The ruler is to release generational blessings into the world and the spiritual realm. The ruler who honours God and goes beyond obedience will possess a high level of spiritual authority. The ruler is called to express that immense authority in the heavens and release it to the generations.
Examples: David, a man after God’s own heart, and Noah.
The ruler must seek God to find out what He has called them to do and then honour Him in walking it out.
No other gift has the spiritual dominion that the ruler has.
- Principle: Fulfilment
By design, the mercy is able to engage spirit to Spirit with God. This is the highest fulfilment for the mercy, who loves intimacy with God. In Hebrew thought, every end is a new beginning, so the mercy needs to find fulfilment – if things are partially done, they struggle.
The mercy finds fulfilment in God and imparts blessing to others.
As the mercy is sanctified they sanctify their environment (time, people, place) and are able to transform the sinful into the holy.
Where do I fit?
In going through these characteristics, I encourage you to ask ‘Where do I fit?’, ‘What is it that I resonate with when I read these things?’ so that you begin to see how God has made you to be. Some of us may need to stop fighting against these characteristics and embrace them, especially if the way we have been brought up, or other people’s opinions, have caused us to undervalue or even reject them.
Please note that Arthur Burk, an acknowledged expert in the field, says that even the best tests he has seen are only about 60% accurate and he declines to use them! So do bear in mind that all of these are only indicators and may give different results. We will look at some of the reasons for this inaccuracy next time.
Appreciate the other gifts
Let’s learn to appreciate our own gifting. And the reciprocal argument is also valid: let’s acknowledge that people with different gifts to us will think and operate in ways we just don’t understand. We need to learn not to be frustrated, but to appreciate them too! This is part of a culture of honour. We will more readily live in harmony if we recognise that God has hard-wired each one of us to respond to Him in a unique fashion. In music, harmony is created when a number of different but related notes are played together to create a really pleasing sound. We are not all the same, but God has called us to relate together.
Getting a handle on this can be really helpful if we are working in a team on any kind of project because we can assign tasks to individuals in line with their gifting – and avoid asking people to carry out tasks for which their gift is not suited. Let’s learn to honour the different gifts in one another and receive the blessing and benefits which those gifts confer.
Yet how many of our churches function in ways that reward those who conform and marginalise those who don’t? How would it be if we were to learn instead to prize distinctiveness rather than uniformity, as God does, and to see how beautiful diversity can be in making us a ‘whole church’?
Related articles from Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC
- Engaging God subscription, for the Joshua Generation.
- Destiny: Redemptive Gifts mp3 audio teaching series by Mike Parsons.
- Exercises: How To Enter The Spiritual Realm and Interact with God (YouTube video)
- Freedom Apostolic Resources website and Freedom ARC Facebook page
Recommended resources from Arthur Burk
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Header meme created using background image ‘Ever Present’ by JD Hancock. Used under Creative Commons licence.
Original image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdhancock/5545810212