I find that my life is full of folk tales. Not the kind with faeries in them- that would be kinda weird, even for me, and I’m weird enough as it is, thanks so much! The kind I’m talking about are the ones with morals built in, or lessons that I have to learn from looking at a particular situation in retrospect. That saying “hindsight has 20/20 vision” is very true, and it’s important to look at our history and the history of other people to learn things, so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every few days…
Once upon a time, God told a bunch of my friends and I that His plan for us was to be Generals in His Army. We were trundling along merrily enjoying each others’ company, when; all of a sudden, God started taking us in different directions. Well, it certainly felt like all of a sudden.
It’s funny how Gods’ kind of promotions don’t come with a little bit of theoretical training followed by a classy little ceremony.
Gods’ plan for everyone is to move us forward from where we began. He wants to promote everyone into a position of appropriate Spiritual authority. The only difference is that your area of influence will end up completely unique to mine. That’s even if it looks kinda like the same field. No two people are the same, and no two peoples’ training experiences are the same.
When we chose the Narrow Way, we became Baby Generals. You can’t have the resurrected life of Christ in you, and not automatically have access to all of Heavens resources.
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:13-14 (NIV)
What we do need to do, is train to understand that authority and how to steward all that it means.
Just like the physical world we live in, when we train for a promotion- particularly when we are going to be in charge of vulnerable people, people whose lives depend on our ability to follow through, to keep a clear head in the middle of crises; God really wants to make sure that we can be responsible, and actually do those things for ourselves first.
Sometimes it becomes painful in order to become good. Unfortunately, we need to learn things in order to be able to manage a whole range of situations in the future.
There comes a time when we can’t do that with people. Alongside them; yes. In fellowship with others; necessary. But at the same rate as, on the same journey as, having the same experiences as: not always.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:19-20 (NIV)
Those guys (the disciples) were called as a group of 12 people, and walked a similar journey, but even within that group they had different experiences. They recognized that themselves. Three of them were mentored slightly differently than the others. History tells us that as they walked out their journeys post Jesus’ ascension, they had very different calls, and fulfilled very different roles in the growth of the early church.
Some were focused locally, some wider afield, and some went really far into Asia, Europe and Africa. This is from the very first “fellowship group” the first group of ‘Generals’ that Jesus trained.
When we consider the world, God would love to have every single person ever, to become His General. Currently that would be over 7 Billion people actually alive right now. Not counting those who have been, or will be; God alone knows all of us… So what I’m trying to get at, is that there is a task He has for you, a Generals task that no-one else will be able to do with the same style, panache, grace, power, authority, understanding of who God is, that you have.
Not every General has a role in the spotlight, which is great for us introverts! I think I’ve said before that some of the most powerful people I have met, have been people that the world would not necessarily consider “powerful”. [Authority & Responsibility 22/7/2015]
What God considers important, and what the world considers important are measured by two very, very different sticks.
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35 (NIV)
As we grow up in Jesus, we are actually growing down. Down and under and outwards. Like roots and foundations and earthquakes and lava and water…we may be able to take a mountain more easily by drilling underneath and undermining it, than by fighting the elements over the top of it every step of the way.
“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.” Isaiah 54:2-3 (NIV)
This is the dichotomy of the life of a General. To be both a servant and an overcomer, one who lives in the absolute knowledge of who they are in Christ. To live in the background and the foreground at the same time, to know that they have all the power of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit available to them and in them, and to be only a conduit, to be used as He chooses.
You are a General. You can be a General.
Allow Him to lead you into the life of a General.
God Bless You Very Much