Abusive spiritual authority is epidemic. Reactionary responses to abusive authority are also epidemic. In this four-part series, my friends Don Atkin, Greg Austin, and myself address what genuine kingdom authority looks like: a serving nation of priests, not chief executives and “visionaries” of an organization.
We agree that mountains are to be climbed and cities are to be gained. The method and manner is so very important. We must radiate the glory of God in all that we say and do. It begins by Jesus ruling in our own hearts.
He who rules his spirit (is better than) he who takes a city.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus said to His disciples: “He who has seen Me, has seen the Father.” Do you want to know how God would do it? Well, how did Jesus do it?
Even a cursory look into the way that Jesus led should reveal the inappropriateness of operating the church by worldly, corporate business models, or to believe that He endorses “takeover” means and mentalities.
“If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”
Learning Jesus, being taught by Him, quickly reveals that the church is not an entity to be operated, but a body for His present-day incarnate life—a body connected to and under the authority of the Head.
Jesus’ model was and is: leading by serving those who willingly follow. He is a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
You are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference He made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.
It is a privilege to be chosen for the high calling of priestly work—in every generation, culture, and realm of life. We are to have the mind of Christ:
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Jesus is both Triumphant King and Eternal Priest—living out His will in the earth. He is the treasure in earthen vessels.
Presumption, clothed in uncrucified flesh, causes many to pursue kingship rather than settling into eternal priesthood. There is such an appetite for self-importance, self-aggrandizement, authority, power, position, titles and prestige. There are others whose hearts are right. But, the only pattern they have seen has been the pedestal and the pulpit.
In the kingdom of God, kingship is a seed that grows within the context of priesthood, and only functions within that context. It develops as governing grace that is measured according to our present-day purpose. But, it would be a travesty for us to misunderstand and misapply this, and to conduct ourselves in any manner other than as priests. Jesus’ incarnational life demonstrated this, and His continuing life in us does not differ. We are priests—a kingdom of priests—as we, the church, encounter the marketplaces of life.
We are to seek our priestly purpose, not a protracted position. Our positions may change from time to time. But, our purpose does not change. We are called to eternal priesthood.
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.
The Pattern Son, the Prototype of many sons, now lives in His sons to willingly embrace priestly duties. Paul went to the core of priestly duties, that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles (unbelievers), ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Tragically, multitudes of precious people who call upon the name of the Lord in their need, do not don their priestly garments and pursue their God-given work. They are sidetracked by wrong information and lack of formation.
This blog is an excerpt by Don Atkin from our book: Royal Priesthood: The Pathway to Kingdom Authority, available at www.stevecrosby.com#www.badchurchexperience.com
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