Heaven Changing Earth event

Justin

Exeter, UK
Saturday 2nd December 2017

Exploring how the sons of God can administrate heavenly government to transform our areas, regions, nations and cosmos.

We are excited to have Justin Paul Abraham with us for this exciting opportunity to engage the heavenly realms together to effect transformation. This will be an interactive gathering for those hungry to engage God in a deeper level of intimacy as His sons that will lead to being positioned where we are seated in heavenly places to administrate kingdom government.

There is a limit of 170 places for this whole-day event, which is being held in Woodbury, about 7 minutes southeast of M5 Jct. 30 (Exeter). They are filling fast, so please click here to book now!

226. Nothing Can Stop Us

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

“Overcomers, prevailing over every obstacle in our way.”

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jer 29:11).

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! (Psa 139:17)

Do you know what God thinks about you?
Not what you think, or what the world thinks, but what God thinks?

Not Mission Impossible

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will (Eph 1:3-4).

He has chosen us to be sons, to be part of His family, to be those who will engage with the earthly and the heavenly, the natural and the supernatural, in order to fulfil His commission to restore creation to original purpose and design. This is not Mission Impossible, but “Your mission, should you choose to accept it…”

Sorry, Frank

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this
(Isa 9:6-7).

God’s intention is that Jesus’ kingdom will have no end. It will bring peace and wholeness, not just here, or in this time, but through everything else that is out there and through all eternity. And God is going to get His way: all He asks of us is whether we will be part of that or not. That is our choice: the pathway to eternal life or the pathway of humanism. The pathway of the tree of life, or the DIY pathway of the knowledge of good and evil.

His way, or My Way (sorry, Frank).

Don’t miss your destiny

Many biblical figures lost their birthright or only partially outworked their destinies. Here are just a few from the Old Testament (I am sure you can think of others):

  • Adam and Eve
  • Cain
  • Esau
  • Jacob
  • Reuben
  • Simeon and Levi
  • Judah
  • Moses
  • Solomon
  • Jeroboam

Let’s check our hearts: have we become cynical, sceptical, critical or judgmental because of past experience, disappointment and disillusionment? That is what can happen when we allow life’s circumstances to affect how we see ourselves and our future, rather than what God says about us. The same is true if we have become earthbound rather than heavenly, settlers rather than pioneers, apathetic, passive, lazy, selfish, fearful, rebellious, comfortable, safe or materialistic; none of those will help us fulfil our destiny.

When Jesus looks at the destiny written on our scroll, is that what He sees in our lives? Does He recognise the person He created us to be? Or, like the bridegroom in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Matt 25), does He say ‘I do not know you’? That chapter continues with the story of the talents, representing the destiny God has given us. Let’s be like those who took a risk and gained more as a result, rather than the one who dug a hole in the ground and hid the money.

‘Throw out the worthless servant into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (Matt 25:30). This is not ‘hell’ by the way. The weeping and gnashing of teeth is an expression of anger and frustration when those who have wasted their destiny realise that they have missed out on God’s best for them.

Choose

We can choose to serve God or we can make ourselves god; but we can’t do both.
We can choose to follow what God says or we can choose to follow the philosophies of men; but we can’t do both.
We can choose to worship in spirit in truth or we can choose the worship that pleases us; but we can’t do both.
We can choose the lifestyle of holiness or we can choose the lifestyle of the world; but we can’t do both.

“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve… but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Our destiny is designed for us to make an eternal difference. Choose it, and nothing can stop us; we will not allow our past to rob us of our future. We are intended to be overcomers, prevailing over every obstacle that is placed in our way.

So will you choose your eternal destiny?

Today I choose to accept my mission.
Today I choose to accept my calling.
Today I choose to accept my destiny.
Today I choose to accept my commission as a son of God.
Today I choose to surrender my will and my ways to You.
Today I choose to serve the Lord.

Related resources from Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC
Support Freedom ARC

If our free or paid resources are a blessing to you, please consider making a donation to sow into and support this ministry. Thank you!

SoundTrack: We Are The Free – Matt Redman

“Nothing can stop us, we’ll be running through the night
And our passion will not die…”

The image of Frank Sinatra, taken from the trailer for Pal Joey (1957), is in the Public Domain.

225. God Chooses You

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Our destiny was formed and fashioned in eternity. It continues on into eternity beyond this lifetime, but it is available for us to find here and now.

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book (scroll) were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
(Ps 139:16-17).

One day we will have to give an account for whether the scroll of our actual life matches up with the scroll of what was God’s plan for us. God has provided all we need for our lives to produce the gold, silver and precious stones which make up our destiny. Wood, hay and stubble will not survive the testing fire.

Here is a definition I found: destiny – the treasure that God has set aside for you, designed you to possess (but it requires a battle and maturity to attain). It will enrich your life and bring you fulfilment based on your unique design and will advance the kingdom of God.

Our design matched with our destiny will bring fulfilment, rather than the futility and frustration we often experience when we are trying to do our own thing.

God chooses you

In biblical culture, the firstborn son had the right to a double inheritance. But God was never bound by that culture. He chose Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, David and Solomon, none of them firstborn; he chose Deborah and Esther, though the culture dictated that they could not inherit at all! Everyone has a destiny, regardless of gender, position or any other worldly measurement, and none of those considerations can hinder us if we pursue it.

Wisdom does not hinder us, but it is not why we are chosen. Strength does not hinder us, but it is not why we are chosen. Position does not hinder us, but it is not why we are chosen.

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption (1 Cor 1:25-30).

It is ‘by His doing’. We will not find and fulfil our destiny by intellectual understanding, physical strength or willpower, nor by anything of our own doing, but only by His doing: He has brought us into intimate relationship with Him. And in that intimacy of relationship we are able to see, hear, sense and feel His vision, His voice, His heart. We will never find our destiny if we miss our eternal relationship with our Creator.

To know God is our highest calling and the central focus of our destiny. The first step in our destiny quest is for intimacy with the Lord: getting to know Him – Who He is, what He does, how He thinks, and what He desires; His character, His nature, and His ways. All that can only come by the spirit of revelation.

Close relationship

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words (I Cor 2:12-13).

Even though God is often invisible and inaudible to our physical senses we can still get to know Him by developing our spirit and soul senses. Close relationship with Him is cultivated in exactly the same way human friendships are, through spending time together, communication, vulnerability and sharing our lives.

We have access to the thoughts of God, and the tangible spiritual experience of His emotions, by the spirit of revelation. And when we agree together, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words, there is power in that agreement.

Is that the kind – and the depth – of relationship with Him that we are pursuing? He has opened up the door of access to Himself and is asking us “do you want Me?”

Our invitation

Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity (2 Tim 1:9).

Because of His purpose and His grace, all this was ours long before we ever existed.

He has saved us. ‘Saved’ comes from the Greek word ‘sozo’: to save, to deliver or protect (literally or figuratively), to heal, preserve, to do well, to make whole. Bringing us back into our eternal purpose is what our salvation is all about.

He has called us. ‘Kaleo’ means to call, to bid or to invite. He has invited us to participate with Him in our eternal purpose and destiny.

With a holy calling. Holy is ‘hagios’ – sacred, divine, pure, morally blameless, or consecrated. It is something uniquely designed for us by God. And calling is ‘klesis’, which shares the same root as ‘kaleo’ and means destiny, vocation, invitation.

God saves us, restores us to wholeness and invites us to participate in the pure and holy destiny that was established for us in eternity.

How will we answer that invitation?

Related resources from Freedom ARC

Are you part of the Joshua Generation?

We developed this just for you:

Engaging God on the Heavenly Pathways of Relationship and Responsibility
Equipping a Joshua Generation of supernatural sons of God to live according to the order of Melchizedek

Get started today!*

To find out more about the Engaging God programme, click here…

*Technology permitting: automated process on payment arrangement setup and completion of online registration form. Terms and conditions apply.

Other resources from Freedom ARC
Support Freedom ARC

If our free or paid resources are a blessing to you, please consider making a donation to sow into and support this ministry. Thank you!

224. Called According to His Purpose

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott 

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).

Do you know His purpose for your life? That is what we mean when we speak about destiny. Destiny is not ‘fate’, not ‘que sera sera’, predetermined without any choice or pursuit on our part. It is God’s pre-agreed plan for our lives – and we can choose to pursue it or not. That choice has consequences for us, not only in this life but beyond.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jer 1:5).

We are not all called to be a prophet to the nations like Jeremiah. But each of us is called according to God’s particular purpose for us.

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book (scroll) were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

(Psa 139:16-17).

Supernatural record of God’s intention

At conception there is a flash of light. Our natural DNA carries the natural record of our genetic ancestry, but when our spirit enters at that point, it carries our destiny, the supernatural record of God’s intention for our life. It is deposited within us for us to discover. It is like a letter of decree, a commission for us. We can access our scroll of destiny in the heavenly record room, or have it revealed around the arc in the heavenly tabernacle, but God also wants us to seek out and pursue the promptings within us which draw us towards His purposes for us.

And along with the destiny comes all the provision necessary to fulfil it. If we stay on the path we will find the provision, but there is no provision for pursuing our own agenda if we get off the pathway.

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule” (Gen 1:28).

Adam forfeited his destiny through rebellion and disobedience, choosing the pathway of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but Jesus came to restore and unlock our destiny for us so that we can follow the pathway of the Tree of Life. Creation itself is longing for the day we step up and fulfil our destiny to rule both in the earth and in the heavens (see Rom 8:19-20).

Maturity

Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father (Gal 4:1-2).

We do not want to remain as immature children. Our heavenly Father assigns angels, the seven spirits of God and the cloud of witnesses as those managers and guardians who will help us come into maturity so that we don’t miss out on our destiny.

Thus says the Lord of hosts, “If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free access among these who are standing here” (Zech 3:7).

There is a process revealed here which leads to maturity, following the pathways of relationship and responsibility; a progression from the earthly (servant, bondservant, steward, friend) to engaging in the heavenly (lords, kings and sons). Both heavenly and earthly pathways are necessary for us to fulfil our destiny. When we hear the heart of God, it will lead us to fulfil the call of God: everything we do will come from relationship with God, not for a relationship with God (which only leads to religion and bondage). And God really wants us to hear His heart.

Walking in the garden

Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden… Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden east of Eden to cultivate it and keep it (Gen 2:7-8,15).

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day (Gen 3:8).

Our destiny is both heavenly and earthly, so we can access both the heavenly and earthly gardens (which originally overlapped). We too can hear ‘the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden’ – and that sound is a frequency, a harmony, a song, a fragrance. The Tree of Life is available to us once more, and the River of Life is flowing out of heaven to water the earth. It is our destiny to engage in this overflowing river: we are its channel as it flows through the garden of our own hearts and out into the world around us. It is a well in us springing up to eternal life (John 4:10) and becoming rivers of living water from which those who are thirsty can come and drink (John 7:37).

Our natural DNA vibrates with the chaos it was created in, but our destiny scroll vibrates with God’s eternal purposes. That frequency, vibration, sound, is being released from heaven right now. Are we hearing it, feeling it or sensing it? Let’s choose to resonate with it; it is calling us back into alignment with our heavenly destiny. If we are not yet tuned in to it, let’s be willing to train our senses through practice to recognise it (Heb 5:14). It is wooing us into relationship, into knowing God by experience and encounterrestoring our identity and authority as sons.

The eyes of your heart

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened (opened), so that you will know what is the hope of His calling (destiny), what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Eph 1:18).

We can engage the river and engage our destiny through the eyes of our heart, our imagination. Our reason is limited, but not so our imagination. As Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited; imagination encircles the world.”

Open the door

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev 3:20).

In the centre of our spirit is the door of first love. Behind it is a river of life waiting to burst through.

Open the door and let the source of life flow from heaven into your spirit.

Picture a river flowing by a green pasture
Lie down in the pasture
With Jesus, the Shepherd of your soul, beside you.

Enjoy His presence
Feel His love, His joy, His peace.
He restores your soul
Touching the deep areas of your life

to bring wholeness, healing and blessing.

Stay there for a while…
Step into the river 
Feel its energy
Touching every atom, every fibre of your being
Flowing through you.

You can breathe in that water
You can drink that water,
Receive life in abundance.

The river flows on
Through the garden of your heart
Watering that garden with life
And out into the world.

Turn, and follow it back upstream
Through the door, back into heaven.
Breathe in the atmosphere of heaven.
Sense its energy, its life, its purity.

Look at the riverbed.
See the scrolls and the gems that are there for you
To provide for you, to bless you, to be your source.

Stand under the waterfall cascading down from the garden of God
Feel it pulsating down, energising you
Let deep call to deep
Revealing the deposit of your destiny within you.

Go up the waterfall (you can do that in heaven)
At the top, walk towards the garden of God.
Jesus is waiting on the bridge ahead of you
Look into His eyes
Feel His love

He is inviting you to hand over every burden
Every weight of responsibility you are carrying
You don’t want to be carrying all that when you go in and meet the Father.

Hand it all over.

Walk through the archway into the garden of God
Experience what it is to be in the presence of your Father who loves you
The One who destines you to rule in the heavens and on the earth.

Just learn to be.

Related resources from Freedom ARC

Are you part of the Joshua Generation?

We developed this just for you:

Engaging God on the Heavenly Pathways of Relationship and Responsibility
Equipping a Joshua Generation of supernatural sons of God to live according to the order of Melchizedek

Get started today!*

To find out more about the Engaging God programme, click here…

*Technology permitting: automated process on payment arrangement setup and completion of online registration form. Terms and conditions apply.

Other resources from Freedom ARC
Support Freedom ARC

If our free or paid resources are a blessing to you, please consider making a donation to sow into and support this ministry. Thank you!

 

 

 

223. Frequencies of Heaven – Redemptive Gifts (7)

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Each of the redemptive gifts resonates with a colour and has a particular affinity with one of the seven spirits of God. He is opening up the realms of heaven for us to engage with those seven spirits who are there to tutor us and train us into sonship. [Please click the image to view it as a full-size PDF.]

Prophet – Red – Spirit of the Lord
Servant – Orange – Spirit of Wisdom
Teacher – Yellow – Spirit of Understanding
Exhorter – Green – Spirit of Counsel
Giver – Blue – Spirit of Might
Ruler – Indigo – Spirit of Knowledge
Mercy – Violet – Spirit of the Fear of the Lord

Harmony of the senses

The colours, frequencies and fragrances of heaven can be picked up by our spirits, and affect things here on earth. There is an amazing harmony of all the senses in heaven that brings everything together into a oneness, enabling our whole being to engage with the realm of heaven as we begin to resonate with it. The song of our human DNA can be transformed so that it comes into agreement with the song of God’s original purpose for us, our spiritual identity. In the very essence of our being there is something battling for us to come into our eternal alignment with who we are as spiritual beings of light, as sons of God on the earth.

The revelation is being released to the body of Christ today that colour, sound and fragrance are related and that certain frequencies can bring healing, that essential oils can bring healing. The New Age has hijacked this revelation, using sound and light and frequency with the wrong heart motive and in the power of the soul, so that it leaves a tainted stain on the soul of those who get involved in such things. However, when God uses those same means to touch us, it brings righteousness, justice, holiness, peace and joy into our lives, because it is bringing us back into alignment with who we really are. We need to embrace this, not reject it just because a particular group of people are misusing it.

Frequencies

Quantum physics 1.01: we would not exist unless something observed us (and there are various suggestions about who does the observing, but I think we can agree Who that is). This earthly realm is connected to the spiritual realm and the sound of God’s voice which brought it all into being is still vibrating throughout the whole of creation.

Our eyes and ears can only recognise a very tiny portion of the frequencies that exist all around us, but we know from experience that frequencies outside that range can affect us. If you are exposed to ultra-violet light, you will get sunburn. If you were exposed to gamma radiation, you might not exactly go green and turn into the Incredible Hulk, but it could change you at a genetic level. That is absolute scientific fact. What about all the other frequencies which will also affect us, change us and transform us if we are exposed to them? Our spirits can respond to frequencies that our physical eyes and ears cannot: we call it the voice of God.

When our musicians start playing, they are not just making sound. There is a connection with light and frequency and fragrance that God wants us to experience and come into. Our musicians here at Freedom have retuned to A=432Hz (elsewhere others have chosen A=444Hz) and the difference from the standard tuning of A=440Hz, though unnoticeable to the natural ear for most of us, can be picked up in our spirit. We immediately saw a whole shift in our level of spiritual engagement, in fact the band noticed the difference even on the first practice night with the new tuning.

We need to resonate with God. When He comes and starts to manifest His presence, we are supposed to come into agreement with Him. The Bible calls it unity, the power of agreement. We come together with Him, and it goes deeper than just the mind or the emotions, it goes right down to a genetic level, so that we are conformed to the image of Jesus.

Heavenly places

This may frazzle our natural understanding, but it all begins to make sense when we realise that God wants to reveal Himself to us, and that He wants our spirit to engage with Him spirit to spirit. In fact He is releasing revelation to enable us to engage with Him in every way, spirit, soul and body, so that we can be transformed and come into agreement with our destiny, with our true identity, with who He created us to be.

As we begin to do so, we will find we can be seated in the heavenly places, not just in theory but in reality. We can go to the heavenly courts and see righteousness and justice administered on earth as it is in heaven. It was always God’s intention that we would have access, in our spirit, to the realms of heaven, and manifest heaven on the earth. Those manifestations can come in various ways: justice bringing a change to circumstances, healing, deliverance, wholeness. There are sounds and frequencies that can bring healing and deliverance, setting people free from the bondages that hold them captive, and bringing them back into alignment with God’s purpose for their lives.

The brain

Arthur Burk, whose work on redemptive gifts has informed much of this series, has found that the 7 redemptive gifts relate to 7 particular areas of the brain:

The colours on this image do NOT correspond to the colours associated with the redemptive gifts.

Prophet: Frontal Lobe
Servant: Parietal Lobe
Teacher: Temporal Lobe
Exhorter: Occipital Lobe
Giver: Cerebellum
Ruler: Brain Stem
Mercy: Basal Ganglia

He also carried out scientific studies using EEG and EAV machines on how the brain responds when spiritual events occur, including angelic and demonic activity. He literally watched (and recorded) as spiritual healing took place. He says:

“Try this experiment. Have someone call each portion of your spirit to the front and ask that portion if it is willing to go to the area of the brain that matches its design.

Ask it to visit both the right and the left hemisphere if that is appropriate (the first five areas)…

In the work we have done in the lab, we can identify with electronic equipment where there is an unclean presence in the brain (demon, AHS or stronghold) and the human spirit confirms the presence of defilement by being unwilling to go there” (Arthur Burk).

There is much more information about this in his Brain Renewal Blog.

More sevens

There are more relationships of sevens to the redemptive gifts, including warfare strategies (insight, platform, planning, initiating, mobilizing, completing, fulfilment), and basic instincts (contemplative, kingdom, student, experiential, aesthetic, activist, relational). You can pursue this whole topic on Arthur Burk’s YouTube channel and on his Sapphire Leadership Group website.

Jesus demonstrated all the gifts

All the redemptive gifts were present in Jesus’ life and ministry.

He showed us the heart of the prophet, He did not mince His words. He was the servant who washed His disciples’ feet. He was the one who taught from His life and unpacked His teachings with His disciples. He was the one who gave words of encouragement… “I will send a comforter in My place”. He showed us the greatest act of giving in laying down His life. He led by His example. He had mercy to heal the sick and deliver captives.

And we are being conformed to His image, transformed by the renewing of our minds. As we allow Him to change us, as maturity in the faith comes, we become conversant with all the redemptive gifts and appreciative of the way different people express them, because that is how Jesus was. Diversity is essential in the body of Christ, and particularly so now that we are beginning to glimpse the relational, organic nature of what church (ekklesia) is intended to be.

Conclusion

So let’s identify, honour, value and appreciate our own primary and secondary gifts. We can use the surveys (understanding that they are indicators, with flaws and limitations). We can look at the lists of characteristics and see which best describe us (and ask those who know us well what they see in us, too). We can look at what motivates our heart, what gifting matches our natural tendencies, and what the enemy has sought to deny us. Where do we come alive? Conversely (as an indication of what our gift is not), what kinds of things leave us feeling drained? Most important, what does our heavenly Father have to say about us? We can ask Him!

And equally, let’s identify, honour, value and appreciate the gifting of others so that we can operate together more effectively as God intends:

He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love (Eph 4:16 NLT).

Related resources from Freedom ARC
The 3 different Redemptive Gifts Surveys
Recommended resources from Arthur Burk

Are you part of the Joshua Generation?

We developed this just for you:

Engaging God on the Heavenly Pathways of Relationship and Responsibility
Equipping a Joshua Generation of supernatural sons of God to live according to the order of Melchizedek

Get started today!*

To find out more about the Engaging God programme, click here…

*Technology permitting: automated process on receipt of payment and completion of online registration form. Terms and conditions apply.

Other resources from Freedom ARC
Support Freedom ARC

If our free or paid resources are a blessing to you, please consider making a donation to sow into and support this ministry. Thank you!

222. Complementary Gifts – Redemptive Gifts (6)

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

When we first began looking at the different redemptive gifts that Paul lists in Romans 12:6-8, we saw that each had a colour associated with it. The colours have frequency and vibration that we resonate with in the spiritual realm. And we recognise that when the different coloured flags and banners are waving in our meetings, they open up particular spiritual connections.

But also associated with each gift are different primary areas of the soul:

  • Prophet – Red – Mind
  • Servant – Orange – Will
  • Teacher – Yellow – Mind
  • Exhorter – Green – Emotions
  • Giver – Blue – Mind
  • Ruler – Indigo – Will
  • Mercy – Violet – Emotions

The spirit/soul wheel

In this diagram the colours represent the gifts and are linked to the soul areas associated with them.

spirit-soul-wheel

If we are looking to overcome the stronghold areas in our gift, we can use the complementary areas of the soul to do that. These are the areas next to our own gift, both clockwise and counter-clockwise on the wheel. So, for example, red is the prophet gift which operates primarily in the mind. To overcome the weaknesses in the prophet gift you need the servant gift’s soul area, the will, and the mercy gift’s soul area, the emotions.

The most effective way of achieving this in community is to get alongside people with complementary gifting/soul areas, because you will be able to provide a perspective that each of them needs as well as drawing on them yourself. You may even find yourselves naturally drawn together in relationship because you instinctively know that you need one another’s support and help. This is why it is so important for us to overcome any mutual suspicion or distrust of our differences and to honour God’s gifts in one another.

Follow the wheel around and you will see that each gifts needs the strengths of two other gifts.

How does this work? There are connections between the human spirit and the human soul. Each portion of the human spirit is connected to a portion of the human soul. So we need our spirit to engage with our soul to enable it to be led and directed into the things that God wants. A culture of honour and a dependence on each other (in a right sense) will enable each of us to be a fully functioning individual – and together to become a fully functioning body.

Calling forth

God wants to call forth our spirit, and to call forth those gifts in us, so that we will be able to function in the things He has called us to. Just as the Father spoke over Jesus He wants to speak over us as His children today. He wants to speak truth, to call forth His desires for us.

So now, I encourage you to be open to the Holy Spirit. Let’s open up our spirit to hear what He says over us. The gathering angels come as He speaks, to help us remove some of the things He does not want in us. Seraphim angels come with fiery coals from the altar to bring healing and wholeness as they touch areas of our lives. He does not want to just speak to our minds, He wants to engage our emotions, our will, our imagination, our conscience, our choice. He wants to engage through our spirit: through reverence, fear of the Lord, faith, hope, prayer, intuition, revelation, worship – He wants to engage us fully as a person.

Let’s take a few moments to sense His presence: Father, Son and Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts, speaking to our spirits, calling forth those redemptive gifts of sonship which He has placed within us. Hear what God is speaking over us:

I call forth your identity as My child.
I call forth your redemptive gifts.
I call forth your identity as an overcomer and a conqueror.
I call forth your ability to subdue and to rule your soul.
I call you to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
I release the gathering angels to expose and remove stumbling blocks and lawlessness from your life, to expose and remove demonic strongholds, to expose and remove iniquitous roots, to expose and remove birthright curses.
I call you to surrender and trust Me.
I call you to know your true identity, gift and destiny as My child.

cosmosGod intends us to be part of bringing all creation back into His original intention and purpose, that of redeeming not only this planet but the whole cosmos. True, we are imperfect people, but if we are willing to surrender to Him then He can do that through us.

He is looking for the response of our hearts: for us to say ‘yes’, to draw closer to Him, to allow Him deeper into our hearts, to let the barriers down so that He can bring healing to some of those deep areas of hurt and pain which we have been carefully protecting. Let’s allow our spirits to worship Him in freedom, and to open up our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit, the angels and the presence of God to bring healing, wholeness and restoration.

Let’s come into agreement with Him, let’s realign ourselves back into who we really are, so that we can come into wholeness, into peace, into that place of rest. Not striving or struggling but enjoying the relationship with God that He designed us to have, walking with Him in the cool of the day in the garden of our hearts and in the garden of heaven, we can bring heaven to earth and see His kingdom come, manifested here on earth as it is in heaven.

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221. “Does This Apply To Me?” – Redemptive Gifts (5)

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

We are going to look at some of the behavioural characteristics again in each of the redemptive gifts found in Romans 12:6-8. However, just because you have a particular gift that does not necessarily mean you will have all of the strengths and weaknesses associated with it. As we saw a couple of posts ago, there are all kinds of reasons why the way each of us expresses a particular gift will be different from how others express it. And if you are more mature in the faith, you may well be developing some of the strengths and overcoming some of the weaknesses already.

So as you consider these things, I suggest you just ask God ‘does this apply to me?’

Prophet – black and white

The prophet sees things in terms of black and white, right and wrong: a simplistic worldview in which it is imperative to make sense of everything. As a result, the prophet is able to assess situations quickly and discern whether they are good or bad. Prophets will seize the initiative quickly, and like new things, especially those that threaten the status quo. They are quick to form an opinion, and have no qualms about expressing it without reservation.

But prophets are likely to be moody and to experience emotional highs and lows. They may tend to be impatient or find difficulty with timing in other ways. They are quite hard on themselves, so may struggle to forgive themselves. If an organisation is running well, don’t ask a prophet to maintain it – he or she will try to change it, ‘improve’ it, or quit. Because they don’t do ‘maintaining’ or the ‘status quo’, they can find it hard to maintain excellence, and need vision to see the next ‘new thing’. They can also be poor at maintaining relationships with others.

Servant – meeting needs

Servants are very practical, adept at seeing needs and meeting them. They are committed to the present moment, to meet present needs. They are disposed towards saving things that they or others might need in the future, but not always in an organised way. They have very few enemies, and are considered ‘safe’ people. They extend honour readily to others, because they always see the best (or the potential) in them. They rarely get angry, but when they do it usually revolves around questions of loyalty, and then watch out! They have a purity of motive like no other gift, never counting up what’s owed to them or holding a grudge.

The servant is a team player, relatively free from the desire to build his own kingdom.

But in thinking the best of others, servants may make excuses for them (especially their own children) and conversely struggle with their own self-worth, apologising for themselves while serving others. They struggle to see their innate value and don’t readily believe God’s truth about themselves or their calling. They may be unable to affirm themselves or accept affirmation from other people, especially around excellence in work.

Their desire to help may draw them into enabling others’ neediness by doing things for them instead of teaching them and empowering them to act for themselves. They will often become anxious by taking on other people’s problems and worries, and be disproportionately affected by disappointment. Because they have a strong desire to please, they can find it hard to say ‘no’ (even to mutually exclusive demands), so are often both overcommitted and taken for granted. They risk being easily victimised and exploited and may attract dishonour (especially at home) which they fail to resist even as they honour others.

Teacher – validating truth

The teacher typically has a need to validate truth. Teachers usually do not normally receive or reject new ideas – or people – right away. They tend not to overreact or jump the gun but make new decisions slowly and carefully. They like to save things.

Teachers are highly relational, with a great sense of humour, and may have a reputation as emotionally safe individuals because they can listen to someone’s brokenness and sin without rejecting them. Very patient and slow-tempered, they will usually be the last to speak in a group.

They are unwilling to begin a process until they can see how it’s going to turn out, and can be indecisive, impractical and theoretical. They are self or ministry focused and often unwilling to confront or challenge others. They find it hard to return phone calls and are typically late, not good with handling money and poor at returning borrowed items. They usually resist using human illustrations.

Exhorter – a party waiting to happen

Highly relational, the exhorter has the ability to understand and relate well to others, often forming an instant rapport with strangers. The exhorter is able to avoid alienation and maintain relationship even though solidly disagreeing (and even arguing loudly) with the other party. Family is very important, and the exhorter will always seek to nurture and facilitate family members.

A high energy person, natural leader, dramatic (often melodramatic), an obsessive-compulsive verbal expressive master communicator who governs (and is governed) by persuasion rather than principle. May have a tendency to seek the approval of others, and their flexibility allows them to abandon a plan easily.

The exhorter is finely attuned to feelings, which may lead them into prioritising people over God. In fact, exhorters can struggle to spend time with God, partly because of their time management issues. They do not always prioritise their best abilities and may spend (waste) their time doing things which would be better left to others.

They can seek to rule by relationship, leading them to be manipulative and controlling (though with the best possible intentions). Non-confrontational by nature, they will wait for an opportunity to get the best out of any situation rather than knocking down hurdles and making things happen. Exhorters often have an immense heart for evangelism but stop short of actually sharing the gospel overtly.

Giver – flexible, adaptable

This is the most diverse, adaptable and flexible of all gifts.

The giver is designed not to be needy, so is very independent, not looking to others for help. Insightful and intuitive, the giver can look at a problem and see a solution without anyone else’s input. A good listener, for the other person’s sake not their own.

The giver is not a big risk-taker, cannot be hustled and accepts the need to accrue money before giving. Givers tend to be cautious and concerned about safety and can look at themselves objectively, without shame.

But their independence can include independence from God. Faith, being a risk issue, is hard for a giver who needs a sure thing and whose security is likely in money or family. Caution can lead to overprotective behaviour and to giving mental assent rather than heart agreement.

The giver may lack holiness, and find it hard to receive from God and others.

Ruler – thriving under pressure

The ruler is skilled at time management, thrives under pressure, and expects the same of others!

Rulers readily own their problems, but will be their own solution and do not have a welfare mentality. They are not interested in apportioning blame, only in how to fix a problem and move on. Empire builders, they are designed to look at things and want to make them bigger, so are really not into details. But they are implementors, who will take a vision, break it down into pieces, and make it happen. If necessary, rulers are able to stand alone on an issue of principle or integrity.

It is difficult for a ruler to partner with others unless loyalty is built. They are big on loyalty, which they see as far more important than competence in their colleagues and co-workers, and will draw the best out of imperfect people. They are expert in dealing with people in projects, but will not choose to place themselves on a team unless they know they are really wanted and have the loyalty of others.

Rulers have an innate ability to measure character. They don’t micro-manage, and hate to be micro-managed themselves, but do tend to be task oriented and neglect to nurture team members.

Empire building can quickly turn into self-aggrandisement. They may overlook the faults of others, lack moral authority and exhibit casual ethics: ‘the end justifies the means’. They can be overly independent and unwilling to volunteer.

Mercy – non-confrontational

The mercy gift finds common ground with just about everyone, so has few enemies (or none at all). Conversely, the mercy may have only 1 or 2 close intimate friends but many acquaintances with whom they are on friendly terms.

Easily confided in, non-judgmental, the mercy provides a safe place for wounded people and is able to pick out those who are troubled and to see through facades.

Mercies connect readily with the heart of God, very intuitive when it comes to following God’s leading, but may have difficulty explaining why they feel God is directing in a certain way. Their fierce anger usually only surfaces around issues of loyalty, and they have been known to take up offence on behalf of others. They can be drawn into spiritual warfare when someone they care for is being spiritually attacked.

They find it easy to blame themselves but difficult to express their own feelings. Stubborn in the nicest sort of way, they can be slow in making life transitions because it takes a while to disengage emotionally and move on.

The mercy gift loves beauty, and has a strong predisposition to worship, moving more easily into the presence of God than the other gifts.

The mercy hates confrontation, avoids issues, is indecisive on matters of right and wrong and unwilling to step on other people’s toes, so may allow injustice to continue and tolerate abuse and exploitation. The mercy may even have a tendency to be exploited and become a victim because of unwillingness to confront even a predator.

Being non-confrontational can lead into compromise, accepting a mixture of holy and unholy without calling people to do what is right. The mercy can be enabling rather than empowering, wanting to nurture and protect others from pain, but needs to learn that expressing love alone will not suffice. Seeing all pain as bad, mercies will tend to flee their own pain and unwittingly keep themselves and others from the discipline of God when God intends to use that discipline to build maturity and wholeness. This can be because of unresolved fathering issues in their own lives.

Mercies can choose to be life-giving when they want to, how they want to, and where they want to, but can stubbornly resist doing all the other things that God has called them to do.

The mercy gift craves intimacy and needs physical touch – the danger is that this can lead to sexual impurity.

Kingdom benefit

Please remember, this is not about looking at anyone else and pointing the finger. Our aim in all of this is to look at ourselves and see what God wants to do in us. And let’s look not only at the gift we think we have – if we show some of the tendencies of other gifts, not only can we embrace transformation there too, but also it may indicate that we have been given a portion of those gifts in addition to any we had previously recognised. So if you skipped over any of the sections above, thinking ‘I don’t have that gift’, I would encourage you to go back and read them again!

Above all, let’s seek first His kingdom, pursuing understanding of how God has made us and looking to mature and develop in our gifting, for the benefit of His kingdom purposes.

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Attribution of main image at the head of this post: Flickr image ‘Golden Spiral’ by Ian Muttoo, used as a background under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licence. The original photograph is of the underneath of the staircase in the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. We used a mirror image.

220. Sacrifice, Transformation, Destiny – Redemptive Gifts (4)

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

rg4My redemptive gift (Romans 12:6-8) is how am I wired up or made that enables me to engage in the process of restoring creation (Rom 8:19-21).

We have seen that there are both positive and negative potential characteristics that go with each gift. Like me, perhaps you have been wondering why the negatives are there. So I asked God about it. I mean, from our point of view it would be much nicer if everything was just positive, wouldn’t it?

But He reminded me that it is through overcoming things that we mature and grow. That process teaches us to develop and maintain our dependence on Him, as we learn to trust Him and engage with Him. He is with us on that journey which brings us into the image of Christ. Adam was sinless when he was created, but he was not perfected – even if he had not sinned, he would still have needed to mature into the fullness of the stature of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

We need each other’s gifts, so that we learn not to act independently. Other people outworking their gift contribute to helping us outwork our gift, and in a culture of honour we allow one another to speak into our lives, to encourage and to challenge. That helps us maintain our humility, and stops us being arrogant, or full of ourselves. When we are aware of our weaknesses it becomes very clear that it is not all about who we are, but rather about who God is in us.

Do not focus on the negative

We have looked at the principles and blessings associated with each gift, and at some of the other factors that can influence how our gift works in us. In this post and the next we are going to look at some of the negatives but it is important to realise from the outset that we can overcome all these things with the virtues that God puts in us and with the blessings inherent in the gifts. Do not focus on the negative but take any issues to God and allow Him to transform you into the image of Jesus. Our series on ‘Transformation’ can help with this process.

Associated with each redemptive gift are:

  1. a demonic stronghold where the enemy looks to engage,
  2. a root of iniquity, and
  3. curses associated with the birthright.

Below is a table which sets those things out for you, and you may recognise some of them outworking in your life. I am not going to go into detail here, but as I said, please take any issues to God and ask Him to show you how you can be transformed so that they can be overcome.

rg4-table
Click on the image to download this table as a PDF

Note: Arthur Burk has gained a great deal of revelation on this and taught on it much more fully. If you want to go into this more, I would encourage you to seek out his treatment of Redemptive Gifts on YouTube and elsewhere.

Let our spirit rule

We must learn to let our spirit rule over our soul. For years, before we became Christians, our soul ruled (it was the only thing that could rule). Often it still tries to do so, and gets into a mess by trying to use things of the world to meet the needs that God placed in us.

Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden, a picture of intimate relationship. And so in the process of our journey with God, coming into our identity and destiny, we must walk it out relationally with God. He is with us in this process: we are not on our own. We don’t have to do it in our own strength: we do it by surrender.

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). We can allow God to lead and direct us, through the power and victory of the cross, so that we can be like Jesus and outwork all that He has for us.

Sacrifice and surrender

We cannot get around the fact that maturity and transformation come through sacrifice and surrender. We might wish for an easier way, but there isn’t one. If we choose not to sacrifice and surrender to God and allow Him to work it out, then we continually fight against Him and we continually have problems with our soul.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me (Gal 2:20).

Jesus was our example. He loved us and He gave Himself up for us, so that we can enter a relationship with Him. And He wants us to do the same – to give ourselves up for Him.

Let’s apply the victory of the cross to our lives, stop living independently, and stop living selfishly. God wants us to be in relationship with Him, which is why we have to go through a process in which our soul gets transformed and changed. This scripture was the basis for the ‘Transformation’ series, so we should know it really well by now:

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:1).

Right there, that is your destiny; that is your redemptive gift; that is your identity. It comes as you are transformed from the ways of nurture, nature and trauma that the world has imposed on you to coming into what God says about you, and having your life operating in the good of that.

So the process is this: Sacrifice > Transformation > Destiny.

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219. Redemptive Gifts (3) and Other Influences

Mike Parsons – 

giftsSince we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who rules, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness (Rom 12:6-8).

We are continuing to look at the seven redemptive gifts mentioned in these verses: Prophet, Servant, Teacher, Exhorter, Giver, Ruler and Mercy. We receive those gifts at conception, and they affect the course of our lives. But there are other contributing factors that will also influence how the redemptive gifts are expressed in a person’s life.

Parenting

Every child’s parents have their own redemptive gifts, which impact how they view the world and how they raise their children. So the parents’ gifts will leave a very significant imprint on the children, independent of what the child’s own gifts are. Any potential character weaknesses of a parent’s gifting can shape the child as well.

If a child’s parents are servant and exhorter, for example, the child may grow up in a home where the exhorter is financially irresponsible and is living in denial. The servant parent will try to help meet the child’s need, and the child may grow up lacking the knowledge needed to be financially responsible and a good steward of resources, which will be a particular problem if their own gifting is giver!

On the positive side, a child who has the redemptive gift of prophet and is raised by an exhorter will most likely be much more relationally oriented than others with the gift of prophet.

Birth Order

Firstborn children tend to be more driven and perfectionist by nature. Second-born can be competitive or very passive, and the baby of the family is often much more relational and horizontally focused. Being firstborn can intensify all the strengths and weaknesses of any gift (perhaps double the benefit, but also double the challenges).

Maturity

A person’s level of maturity will colour how they live out the characteristics of their redemptive gift at different times in their life. Those who are immature (or those who are not seeking to live in the fruit of the Spirit) will exhibit the weaknesses of their gifts more than the strengths. Whilst none of us has reached perfection, we should all be working on our character issues to grow up to maturity. The recognised weaknesses of our gifting are not an excuse for immature behaviour.

Gender

It is easy to stereotype certain gifts such as prophet, ruler and teacher as being more masculine and servant and mercy more feminine, so that men often reject the idea of being a mercy or servant because they perceive it as being weak. In fact the gifts of servant and mercy have some of the strongest spiritual authority.

Women with the gifts of prophet and ruler often find it hard to be accepted, validated, and nurtured in a church setting, since the natural boldness and strength of their gifts can intimidate some men who traditionally occupy those roles.

Both men and women need to see the beauty of God’s design, instead of trying to be something other than who God made them to be.

Woundedness

Everyone has experienced painful situations and relationships that have left them wounded. Wounds can change our perception of ourselves and of God.

For example, someone who grew up with an abusive authority figure may become very self-sufficient and independent because they believe they have to make it through life on their own. If they are an exhorter, servant or mercy gift, this will seriously conflict with how God designed them to function.

How we are broken, the pain in our soul, our wrong response to pain, the coping mechanisms, and how we compensate for those wounds will influence how our gift is expressed. Any walls of self-protection we build as a way of surviving painful circumstances may hinder the proper expression of our gifting.

Left-Brain vs. Right-Brain

Whether a person is right-brained or left-brained is an organic issue.

Right-brained people tend to see the whole picture. They are generally more creative and emotional, because emotional concepts and messages operate in the right half of the brain. Left-brained people see the various parts, process logically and in a linear fashion, and think more strategically.

Some people have a fairly effective blend between the two sides of the brain and can transition between them with ease, whilst others may be dominated by one side or the other.

Each of the gifts will be expressed differently, depending on whether the person is right-brained or left-brained. For example, a left-brained teacher will look different from a right-brained teacher. Left-brained teachers will enjoy spending hours researching in the lab or in the library, whereas right-brained teachers will flourish in the classroom and light up when their students “get it”.

Prophet and ruler tend more toward being left-brained in their basic God-given essence and expression, whilst the servant and mercy gifts are more right-brained and therefore may tend to be more emotional and expressive through actions, rather than vocally.

Culture and Time Frame

The family, community and time in history in which a person lives can have a radical impact on how they perceive themselves and express their gift.

A woman with a gift of ruler who lives in a culture where women are subservient will likely have a large reservoir of untapped potential if she is not given an opportunity to shine.

Your nation and family of origin also have an impact.

Your family and your community or country have influenced you because of what they needed or what was expected. If you were raised in a nation with a redemptive gift of prophet (such as the United States or Germany), you will have natural affinity for more of the characteristics of prophet, because it is what your culture affirms and cultivates. But this does not mean that your redemptive gift is prophet.

While we are on that subject, notice that redemptive gifts are not restricted to individuals. Nations, regions, cities and churches have them too. Here are some more examples of the gifts of nations, as identified by Arthur Burk:

England – Ruler
Wales – Exhorter
Scotland – Prophet
Ireland – Teacher
Brazil – Giver
Canada – Mercy
France – Exhorter
Germany – Prophet
India – Servant
Italy – Exhorter
Netherlands – Giver
Norway – Mercy
Spain – Prophet
USA – Prophet

In summary, then, we may not know a particular individual’s redemptive gift, but we can observe external behavioural characteristics of the seven gifts. We can observe whether someone is quiet or verbally expressive, whether they prefer to work alone or to be in a group, or whether they are task-oriented or relational-oriented. But we need to bear in mind that we cannot always tell just from observation whether what we see is a true expression of their redemptive gift or is being affected by one of more of the influences we have mentioned.

Here again are the links we gave last time, to questionnaires which can help you identify your own primary and secondary redemptive gifts. But before you jump into them, you might like to read what Arthur Burk thinks of tests such as these!

[Please remember that all of these are only indicators which may give different results, and that those results may be skewed because of the ‘other factors’ we have looked at in this post].

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218. Principles and Blessings – Redemptive Gifts (2)

Mike Parsons
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:

Prophet

  • 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.

  • Birthright/Blessing:

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.

Servant

  • 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.

  • Birthright/Blessing:

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.

Teacher

  • 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.

Exhorter

  • 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.

  • Birthright/Blessing:

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!

Giver

  • 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.

  • Birthright/Blessing:

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.

Ruler

  • 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.

  • Birthright/Blessing:

Generational freedom from sin.

The ruler is to release generational blessings into the world and 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.

Mercy

  • 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.

  • Birthright/Blessing:

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.

Here is a link to a PDF ‘Redemptive Gifts Survey‘ which you can use to help you identify your primary and secondary gifts: http://bit.ly/2gOFX8i.

If you would like more detailed questionnaires which open as Excel spreadsheets and do the calculations for you, you can find examples of those here (#1)  and here (#2).

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

We need to 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! 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.

Appreciating 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’?

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Image credit: Meme created using background image ‘Ever Present’  by JD Hancock. Used under Creative Commons licence.
Original image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdhancock/5545810212