The primary paradigm that Jesus asks His disciples to adopt and buy into is a ‘father view of the world,’ reminding us that we are not doing this life stuff on our own but there is a Father who is totally for us and not against us.
I like the way John Eldredge puts it –“You are the son of a kind, strong and engaged Father…” *
“yet; there will be times when we think dad is trying to kill us!”
So much of modern Christianity and discipleship portrays a merciful, loving and kind Father, who seeks to bless and prosper us. These truths are correct but incomplete because He is also a Father, who tests, proves and refines us, which are inseparable from the blessing and prospering us stuff and heat is essential for all three!
Hope this doesn’t offend but He is portrayed like a –
“’ Soft drinks swilling fat guy, who wears a red suit and just wants to give you good stuff!
- I believe in a Father who desires to give me the desires of my heart. Ps 37:4 & Prov 10:2
- This includes treasure, which infers adventure, risk, danger, opposition & hot places: heat
I think it’s really cool that Indian Jones’s father is Sean Connery; I wonder who would play Indian’s son. This, like Father like Son dynamic, can be gleaned from a verse in Romans –
“God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. Roms 8:29 The Message
- The Father would shape the lives of His sons by treating them as He treated His Son.
- He would view, lead, expect & equip us as He had Him.
- Father will turn up, bring on and increases the heat!
At twelve Jesus said He had to be about His Father’s business, eighteen years later, give or take, Jesus goes into the wilderness, to be about His Father’s business!
What kind of father is it that sends His son into a place that has:
- Extreme temperatures
- Is a hostile and demanding terrain
- Could be a life and death place
- Where He would be exposed to dangerous creatures & supernatural forces.
What kind of Father does this?
The one Jesus desired us to know and follow, who understands and uses Heat!
“I call Him the ‘bless and stress us dad!’ “
The Bible is full of characters that this Father blessed and stressed and stressed, and then blessed! You may have never thought about God the Father this way before but stay with me.
At its core blessed is about empowerment: divine ability assisting its natural partner. The super meets and equips the natural within the test. Luke records a ‘Before and After’ dynamic regarding Jesus and His wilderness experience: He goes in one way and comes out another –
- And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, & was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, Luke 4:1-2 RSV
- And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, Luke 4:14 RSV
Jesus came out of the wilderness, the place of the stress and the test, with the empowerment to accomplish and finish His Father’s business and His Father deliberately took Him into this wilderness for that purpose.
His Father knew that Jesus had what it took; He told Him so before He entered the wilderness (Mark 1:11). Immediately after His Father’s affirmation He enters the wilderness and within this ‘Father arranged, test and stress place,’ Jesus would release and realise the power that was available to Him and for Him!
“He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son.”
The Father desires to shape our lives along the same lines as His Son, which means He desires to –
- Affirm His love to and for us
- Release Affirmation before performance
- Approval outside of achievement
- To confirm we have what it takes
- Give us His power to ‘get the job done.’
- And to send us into a stress and test environment to understand and utilise that power.
Within the test/heat are problems that will call out to our potential, the Father knows this and so He takes us there and provides us with opportunities and opposition, so we can ‘realise and release,’ what He has called us to be and do!
The test and the heat combo, make demands on the potential our Father has deposited within us!
Father saw –
- Moses’ potential and so He provided a Pharaoh
- David’s and so He provided a Goliath
- Jesus’ and so He provided a satan
- Ours and so He provided …..!
Father knows pressure produces and so in the next part we’ll look at the truth that ‘Exacting places are be Extracting places!
- Heat, correctly used, will strengthen & temper, extract impurities & raise the carat rating.
- Father knows how to use heat and He always test, proves and renews, ALL of His sons.
- He’s not trying to kill us
- He’s intentionally seeking to maiximise the potential He has placed within us!
“The maximisation of the abilities, talents, gifts and untapped potential that lay dormant in the lives of individuals who have impacted their generations, was occasioned by the pressure created by circumstances and situations beyond their control. Preface to Max your potential Myles Munroe”
*The Way of the Wild Heart pg 31