By Isaiah-Phillips Akintola
When a relationship that ought to effectively drive our corporate, assigned prophetic activity is merely built on the peripherals of some humanistic, civil, politically correct ideology, we can be rest assured that we are not ready to confluence as Christ regents in matters of kingdom civilization and engagement for the redemption of creation.
If Church leaders are afraid to speak truth to themselves, how can we corporately speak truth to the powers that be? While it is highly critical that we learn to be respectful and civil with each other, it is, however, more critical we learn of truth and to speak the truth openly and cautiously to each other so we can corporately grow in the unity of the faith according to sound, biblical injunction. The fear of being rejected for speaking truth to each other is a clear sign that our understanding of the input of the ministry of the Saints to each other is still very shallow and immature to say the least.
I am afraid to declare that such kind of relationship will never produce the in-depth, intended objective of the Spirit, regardless of how powerful we may individually move in our ministry gifts. Ministry gift is not what perfects the saints; it is of rather the experiential life and nature that shapes the wineskin that houses the gifts and their various functional capacities in the community. Gifts without the maturing of wineskin will do more damage to the construction and perfection of the ecclesia.
Jesus, at the age of 12 was already super gifted but had to submit to the life-process of maturing and perfecting the wineskin that will ultimately house and effectively express his gift. I have met many gifted folks who are yet to be matured in the quality of life that can carry and dispense what they’ve been gifted with.
To build a ministry or relationship from the standpoint of a powerful gift without the essential character quality lifestyle to regulate and dispense such a gift is a setup for the manifestation of the spirit of pride that will ultimately lead to destruction.
This is one of the reasons Paul warned Timothy not to commit spiritual things to [immature] novice. Being gifted without a refined character to carry and represent such gift is one of the most dangerous things than can happen to you as a Christian.
The need to go through seasons of spiritual development, coupled with real-life challenges is indeed helpful in shaping and imprinting the right character qualities needed in operating our gifts. I was a highly gifted person that was so obvious to many around me, but the Lord brought me to a place where he paralyzed that gift for a season because he needed to work on certain blind spots of my life that I could not see not accept even when I was shown by others.
A significant hindrance to our corporation as gifted leaders in the Body of Christ is center around pride and insecurity. When we are yet to learn, as ministers of the gospel the significance of the ministry of the Saints, we cannot effectively function in our individual ministries to the world and creation.
Our definition of ministry is entirely out of biblical order and priority. We judge and approve each other based on gifts, influence and material acquisition and not on the level of spiritual experience and maturity.
There are people I have met on my journey of spiritual apostolic transition, including young Millennials who are still in the thirty-fold reality of the understanding of spiritual things, who have tried to undermine my prophetic assignment because they cannot find around me those material things they’ve been asked to look for when a so-called ‘seasoned apostle or prophet’ stand to speak. In most cases when I feel like giving them a piece of my heart in rebuke, the Lord often correct me not to do so, because that would mean that I am subjecting myself to their ungodly, carnal opinion.
Our measuring standard and values of spiritual matters need to be drastically readjusted if we are ever going to enter the prophetic scope of divine engagement; the correction of sight must be a major priority for many of us particularly here in Africa. The condition of poverty propelled through the false gospel of mammon and materialism has almost destroyed the right footing and template of sound spiritual relationship and leadership in the Body of Christ.
There’s a company of individual’s heaven has prepared and sent that will help us embrace the process of the maturation of our gifts and wineskin, but we need humility and the spirit of mutual submission to awaken our hearts to see and embrace them. Regardless of how gifted you are in this season, you need to come to terms with the current emphasis of the Lord, which is, all gifts must be collapsed into the character lifestyle of the Spirit of Sonship.
This means that the Lord desires a corporate man in the earth that will function in the ascended power of the ascended Christ. Gifts were only given to the Body of Christ when Christ ascended on high. Therefore, only those with the ascended character lifestyle of Christ can function in the full potential of their callings and gifts. The emphasis of the Lord for this hour is a lifestyle that is correctly configured to house not just our gifts but to understand the humanity of others even as we seek to connect with their spirituality for effective ministry.
This lesson will assist us to discern others, particularly leaders beyond just the operation of their gifts. The anointing is a seal of our calling and assignment, but to effectively function in the anointing, we also need to be developed in the Spirit of wisdom and understanding such that our insight and knowledge regarding other folks can tamper with matured ministry of mercy and grace. The ministry of mercy and grace are the trophies of our victory through the journey of accurate transition of our gift and callings. When we are able to finally see people the way the Lord sees them, then, we are able to relate and flow in the spirit of mercy and grace as we corporately share hearts and gifts together for the kingdom advancement.
To engage with a well matured, apostolic [value system] ministry on this third day, the church, especially, its leaders and the elders must learn the routine of handling necked truth with wisdom, mercy and grace without being ashamed of each other’s weakness of failure. One of the principal characters of truth is that it exposes the very core of our being, and when we are truly open to others and their gifts, we will not only see their ability, but we shall also see and share in their disabilities, and this is highly critical in the principle of relationship in administering our ascended ministry gifts.
If we are unable to effectively manage the weaknesses and exposures of each other’s blind spots and spiritual defects, we are merely playing church and peddling with things meant for mature elders, seers, prophets, and watchmen at the gate. It’s about time the church and its leadership leaves behind childish ways and thinking.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Corinthians 13: 11-12