with Jeremy Westcott –
Seated in heavenly places
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus… (Eph 2:4-6).
When a king is ruling, he sits on a throne. That is where he has authority. Ultimately, God wants to enable us to be seated in authority in heavenly places so that we can then bring His kingdom into the earth:
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
God’s kingdom is concerned with heaven being manifested on earth. Heaven and earth were originally in complete alignment, but no longer. The earth is fallen from that place and therefore needs to be restored. That is God’s desire, so restoration is about bringing His will and purpose from heaven into the earth; to manifest it, to see His will at work. He does not want to control everything Himself, He encourages us as His sons to participate with Him in the process.
When we are seated, we are in a place of rest within His will and heart. Then we are able to release His will, His governmental perspective, to everything on earth. That is why it is important for us to understand heavenly government.
In heaven first
If we are going to see something established on earth, it needs to be established in heaven first. How do we do that? By exercising our role in heavenly government.
‘Kingdom’ is not just an empty word, there is a reality to government in heaven. There is a whole governmental structure of angels, archangels and other beings (including the men in white linen) operating in the courts and councils of heaven to fulfil God’s will and purpose. And there is a place for us there too.
Government is relational
Heavenly and earthly government are designed to work together. Most of us are familiar with some form of earthly government in our nation, region or city. Whatever we think about political earthly governments, the reality is that God establishes government. And if we see that any earthly government is actually opposing heaven, then we can ask Him whether He mandates us to use our position in heaven to bring about change and transformation in that earthly government.
All government begins in the relationship that is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, because that is where everything starts. It is all coming out of His heart of love, out of His desire for restoration. All of it is based in who He is. Government is an expression of the intimacy that exists within God Himself. It is all about love because God is love.
He really is. You may have been taught that God brings judgment on nations through earthquakes and floods and so on. He does not: none of that is Him. Maybe those things are spiritual consequences, or maybe we just live in a fallen world which needs restoration and those adverse weather patterns and movements of the tectonic plates are creation groaning under the weight of our lack of sonship. In that case we need to get our act together and begin to bring order and government into it all as sons of God – but in love, not in frustration or anger or with any sense of retribution or vengeance.
The wrath of God is not poured out on people, because Jesus already dealt with death (the wages of sin). There is no need for God’s wrath to be directed towards anyone, because everyone is already forgiven. But there are things which restrict us from knowing who God is and who we are. The wrath of God is poured out on whatever hinders people from knowing and responding to Him and stepping into their inheritance as His sons.
The sons of the kingdom carry government and all of us are sons of the kingdom. We all have a governmental position, whether we like it or not. Whether we understand it or know it, we have authority because we are sons.
Relationship, not a formula
Governments operate according to various principles and protocols, but in heavenly government (and in earthly government where it is a true reflection of heaven) everything is outworked relationally with God and with each other. We do not want to get tied down to formulas. Once you formularise something, you remove relationship from the equation and everything becomes legalistic. For example, sowing and reaping is a principle, not a formula. As soon as you make it a formula, ‘I sow this and I automatically reap that’ then you have excluded God and suddenly it does not bring blessing anymore. God wants us to be involved with Him relationally in the sowing and the reaping so that we receive all that is on His heart for us, and enjoy it with Him.
So there are protocols for operating in the courts of heaven and it helps if you know how each court functions. But if we engage with God and with His heart, everything we need to know and everything we need to do will come from that relationship. And then we need to work those things out in relationship with one another. The government that we have in heaven and the government we need to have on earth as a foundation to all our ekklesias (and anything else we set up) must be relational because God is relational.
Agreement, cooperation and unity
We need to be relational not functional. Things do need to function, of course; but when you do business of any kind it has to be relational, otherwise it is not going to be a true reflection of God.
Agreement, cooperation and unity are all necessary in government: between God and us and between one another. If the relationship between us and God can be problematic, our relationship with one another is even more so. We are all imperfect and we are all in the process of change and transformation, therefore we rub each other up the wrong way. We will have relational conflicts which come up to the surface and we will have to work them through. Most people do not work them through, they sweep them under the carpet and the lump under the carpet gets bigger and bigger until everyone starts stumbling over it and they cannot ignore it any longer.
We have to work everything through relationally if we are going to see government work according to God’s original intent and purpose, so that what we build here is sustainable and effective, continually full of light and life, a reflection of heaven on earth.
Related ‘Sons Arise!’ posts
- 277. On Earth as in Heaven
- 276. Living In Dual Realms
- 275. Separating and reintegrating soul and spirit (2)
- 274. Separating and reintegrating soul and spirit (1)
- 273. Sons Invested and Enthroned
- 272. One Conclusion: God Is Love
- 269. Into the Heavenly Realms
- 267. Engaging the Father
This post is based upon Mike’s slides and teaching from our Sons Arise! – On Earth As In Heaven conference (September 2018).