Commissioning a “Name-Giver”

In your calling to see gifts in others, call it out and then send them, I believe God has a name for you.  That name is “Name-Giver”.

Now read this for context:

The Great Conductor

You are to look for the gifts God has placed in people.  These are the instruments they play in the orchestra.  Many people will have more than one instrument.

Some people will have never picked up one of their instruments.  You are to identify the instrument and then encourage them to practice on their own, with appropriate music (bible, studies, various materials etc) spending time with the composer and conductor himself and maybe someone who knows how to teach the instrument* (probably not you, though it could be).  As they improve look for opportunities for them to serve in small ways and then as they further improve continually encourage them to take the next step.  After a while they will be ready to serve in bigger ways, sometimes simply in a local setting but other times they will go on tour.  They will need to be sent.

*Don’t forget to look for teachers – people who already have a gifting but would be able to bring others on in that gifting.  Teaching would be an additional instrument (gifting).

Some people will have learned an instrument when they were younger and then given up.  They may well have let the busyness of life drive it out, or been bored by the music given to them or never had the opportunity to be taught well and play with others.  They may have lost belief in their ability and they may not think it worth while.  You are to ask the Lord what can unlock this latent gifting to give it a new lease of life.

Some people will have borrowed someone else’s instrument.  They are not bad, but really they were meant to be playing something else.  However, they cannot pick up their own instrument until they put this one down.  You are to gently encourage them asking the Lord how to help them put down one instrument so that they can pick up another.

Some people (maybe even pastors) will be a one-man band.  They have picked up all the instruments and try their best to produce a full sound but in the end they keep making mistakes and drop some instruments, however, they keep going because they believe the music will stop if they don’t – and they will have failed.  They are also tired and weary for all these instruments are too heavy.  You are to ask God how to help them take off some of the instruments, even allowing some of the musical arrangements to disappear for a while until those very same instruments can be given to others – or others can be allowed to fill the gap with their own instrument introducing new arrangements.  The music will go on.  It may just be quieter or simpler for a time, however, the possibilities for the future will be great as these people will be able to focus on the few instruments God has given them and their ability will greatly improve once they can focus their efforts.

Call out people’s gifting, name them, release where needed and then send.

A call for “see-ers”, aka “Name Givers”

As God calls us to greater unity and to see the latent gifts within the church brought to life and into full expression I believe He wants to raise up “See-ers” or “Name Givers”.

These are people who have the ability to see the gifts God has placed in people and to call them out, in other words, to “name” then.  Their ability to see these gifts in others will be fueled by their love for them.  To fulfill that love once a gift has been called out (named) the next step is to “send”.  I believe there is a single gift to “see, call and send”.

Gideon was called a mighty warrior before he had done anything.  Simon was called Peter (the rock) right at the start of his journey with Jesus.  God names people to commission them.  In the same way the church should work towards “sending” gifted people to do the works God has prepared in advanced for them to do.

As a church we ought to seek out the gifts God has placed in every one of us and send one another in that gift.  Is it time to identify and commission “Name Givers” as leaders in this task?

In the context of the Great Conductor (see below) these people will identify the instruments (gifts) God wants us to play in the orchestra.

The Great Conductor

Let us look for, call out and commission “Name-Givers” that we will see even more of the latent gifts in the church released.

The Beauty of a Liberated Spirit

It doesn’t matter what we look like, but there is so much beauty in a liberated spirit.

A liberated spirit is:

Full of joy

Free in the presence of God

Free from condemnation

Free from accusation

Cut-off from the lies of the enemy

Free to come before the throne

Free to express their heart

Living in the promises of God

Free to be their true self

Justified before a Holy God

Wholeheartedly grateful for deliverance

The Great Conductor

Live orchestral music has a majesty.  The conductor stands with his back to the audience, yet facing the orchestra.  He leads the way pulling together the individuals to make a collective beautiful sound.  Music that speaks to the heart.

Image result for orchestra

Now imagine the conductor is also the greatest composer.  That his music is the best the world has known.  That being invited into the orchestra is the greatest privilege for each musician.

Image result for orchestra cartoon

What a concert!

We are called to be part of that orchestra.  The name of the orchestra is Church.  The music is God’s calling, purpose and destiny for the Church.  The audience is the world.  The composer has some wonderful solo work as seen in creation and yet some of His greatest work is being played out before us right now.

But how is this Church a great orchestra?  Surely it often sounds like we are just tuning up?

Outside of the performance in quiet rooms behind closed doors the composer/conductor spends time with each musician, honing their skill and teaching them how to express their heart in the music.  When he brings them together their eyes are on Him, not the audience, and as they step into their identity, each playing their different instruments, expressing their heart, so the assembly comes together into a beautiful masterpiece.  The composer will at times bring out individuals for solos, or duets or specific arrangements, but all the time he pulls together everyone into a collective whole.  It is astounding, captivating and wonderful.  The orchestra is seen by the world and when that orchestra come together, keeping their eyes on the conductor/composer, then the world begins to see how wonderful He is.

There is such a great ALIGNMENT in the orchestra it is as though they are one.

His back is to the audience, but the audience wants to see His face.

Members of the audience start to say, can I join the orchestra?

A Wounded God, Healed Yet Scarred

When those of us who have put our faith in Christ have died and resurrected I believe that although it will be the end of death and suffering and every tear will have been wiped away, that somehow we will still be scarred.  Our bodies will be fully healed but there will remain scars of some sort – marks of past wounds.  The exact representation of those past wounds I don’t know, but I do know that the risen Christ carried signs of his wounds in his resurrected body.  Indeed, Thomas needed sight of those wounds to believe.  However, Jesus did not limp or hobble when he appeared to the disciples.  So Jesus was somehow scarred and yet fully healed.  He had the marks of death and yet was fully alive.

In Isaiah it is written – by his wounds we are healed.  I don’t claim to fully understand all the meaning hidden in those words.  But I do know that as I have received a greater revelation of the love of God so my heart has been healed and His peace has taken up greater residence increasingly overcoming past and present fear and anxiety.   I pray for even greater revelation of that love and choose to submit my heart that the peace of Christ will rule in full residence in my heart (Col 3:15).

The marks of death, nailed hands and feet, are there now on Jesus.  In our future close fellowship with the Lord there will be a constant visible reminder of the depth and passion of His love.

I believe in the same way that somehow our acts of love for one another that have lead to suffering of some sort will be represented in some way in our bodies.  Somehow, we too will be visibly scarred and yet fully healed.

These scars will be badges of honour. A record of the depth of our love.

 

Many Beautiful Things

Last Tuesday’s ODB entry is worth reading, but it made me ask what does God find beautiful.  It’s whole new area to explore ….

Some questions:

  • What is beauty?
  • How does cultural bias impact?
  • What speaks to our souls/hearts?

Mark 14:1-9

Many Beautiful Things

 

Is seeking justice for ourselves really seeking revenge in disguise?

I do believe we should seek justice for others ……

However …

Last night I met with my friend who is going through such a difficult time.  He is now divorced from his ex wife but over the last two years he has been falsely accused of child abuse and when he turned to the courts to see his children he discovered how inadequate our legal system is when it comes to parent alienation.  He saw his children twice during the summer holiday which runs against an existing court order and now his ex wife (and boyfriend) do not allow him to come to the house to pick up the children which flies in the face of one of the court orders.  But we discovered court orders actually have little power in these situations.  It has cost him (and his mother) a fortune and so much pain.  He also sees the pain inflicted on his children.  Last night he reaffirmed his conviction to pull out the white flag fully accepting the consequence that his children may be turned against him even more over the coming years.

It is unjust.  But we came to realize last night that our seeking justice is often simply our seeking revenge in disguise.  Another look at Matt 5:38-42 and we have come to see Jesus was not joking when he said, “Do not resist an evil person.”  The very act actually pulls you on to the battleground they have chosen.  Our battle is not in the physical world, but the spiritual.  Jesus even says, “And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.”  That last sentence is so directly relevant.  So, it seems my friend is right to pull out the white flag and then he literally has to choose to trust the God who says, “I will fight your battles for you” and “Vengeance belongs to me.”

We did however have an amazing prayer time together along with another friend of mine.

It is so hard, and it is so painful.  However, as I sat on the train this morning some words came to me.  I have shared them with my friend, and I share them with you now.

http://thoughtsfromastranger.org/2018/10/03/sitting/

Sitting …

Sitting in the presence of God

Feeling His touch upon my life

Breathing in the breathe of God

His Healing Hand upon my heart

Knowing His eyes watch over me

His compassion and love surround

The gentle whisper guides the way

“I am” is with me His very name continuous

The promise of abiding love

His footsteps go before me

His Spirit lives within me, resting on me

His strength stands behind me

Overwhelming grace carries me

His pleasure bringing joy to my heart

His face lit in Holiness and Glory

He calls me Beloved and draws me in

 

I know, I know, I know

I am with you in every step

I see the pain and I feel it too

Beloved, I weep as I see the damage done

My heart cries out, it won’t be long

My tears bring healing, refreshing water on each wound

My voice brings peace to calm the fear

I am the way, the truth and the life

Follow me to find your way

Listen to the words I say

Watch as my presence brings life

I speak creation bringing light to darkness,

Healing to suffering and Life to Death

I am the Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End

There from the start with my finger prints on all that is good

Trust in me and know I will not stop until it is done

 

Rest in me

 

Rest my little one

 

Rest, Rest, Rest

 

Be still and KNOW that I am God

 

Be still …

It’s Not About the Fish

Wednesday’s ODB looks at Jonah.

Jon 3:10-4:4

What struck me is the following quote from the ODB reading:

“The story of Jonah isn’t about the fish. It’s about our human nature and the nature of the God who pursues us.”

This reminded me of one of the quests of the Discipleship Framework – looking for God’s true identity.  Jonah himself says,

“I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.”

And he resents God for it!  He must have hated the Ninevites.  It so struck me because people so often talk about the God of judgement in the Old Testament. We really do need to look for the detail that is actually written in the Old Testament!

I started to ask, how was it Jonah knew what God was like.  I wondered when all this happened and discovered that Jonah was a prophet during the time of the Kings – so after David and most definitely after the escape from Egypt.  He would have been aware of how God had delivered an undeserving Israel.

It made me think about the way we so often judge God – unfairly.  We so often want mercy shown to us but judgement on others that we determine “deserve” it. Jonah was no different.

When I first started working (1989) I joined a big consultancy firm which proudly asserted the “meritocracy” it had formed – rewarding those who deliver more.  It seemed to be a very fair system.  Indeed, in a commercial, capitalistic world, we generally view “meritocracy” as a good thing.  However, it leaves no room for mercy.  And in the end, we all need mercy.  The Gospel seems so unwise to our modern day and age because it showers grace and mercy on those that don’t deserve it. Earning our own way is so ingrained.  We are taught to be independent.  To work towards self determination (freedom to make your own decisions) and self elevation (money and power).  But earning our own way means that even though we might understand the doctrine of “salvation through grace” we still strive to do the right thing and can be easily condemned by our own failures.  Our behaviours betray what we really believe.  Are we trying to earn favour (as in a meritocracy) or freely accept the grace of God poured out upon us?

The Bible teaches us that God chooses who He will reveal Himself to.  In John 15:16 Jesus says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last…”.  But Jesus also says that God will reveal Himself to those who are looking for Him.  In Matt 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

In effect it could be said:

We are chosen to choose.

I am not getting into a debate on predestination.  Simply accepting that there are some things I may never understand but I will always choose to trust God.

It’s Not About the Fish