For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. (Corinthians 4:15)
As I was reading this scripture the other day I saw the term ‚Äėmany fathers‚Äô in a different light. The word ‚Äėfathers‚Äô implies that there could be many different father type influences that are needed in our development.
In this scripture Paul is making reference to the multitude of schoolmasters, tutors, and governors in Corinth who were instructors. Among them were a great number of doctors, wise men, Scribes and Pharisees who pretended to instruct in Christ, but without a father‚Äôs heart. Paul seems to imply that the instruction can only be complete through the fathers influence.
Paul also seems to show the difference between instructors and fathers. Every father should be an instructor, but every instructor is not necessarily a father.
I believe the qualifier for being a true spiritual father in Christ has to do with ones own personal relationship to Christ. This relationship does not necessarily have anything to do with age or education, but rather depth and purpose.
I remember a man that was not much older than me and yet he had a profound impact on my life. Every time I was around this man I would always leave better than when I came. He seemed to challenge me to be better without saying a word. It has been fifty years since I have seen this man but I still think of some of the things I learned from him. I never told him what a fatherly influence he had on my life. At that time such a thing would not have made any sense to me.
My friend taught me how to be strong and yet not overpowering, meek but not weak, understanding but not compromising. I learned to serve others by watching him masterfully deal with people with a variety of needs. He was humane but never shaken, committed to a full day of work but knew how to enjoy a Sabbath rest. He dearly loved the Lord and expected Him to be with him every where he went. He also had a genuine love for the welfare of people.
These are some of the standards I learned from my young father. I have tried to apply these standards to my life over the last fifty years. I have also tried to pass them on to those who follow me.
After many years I came to the conclusion that there is a father‚Äôs anointing that God Himself puts on us as He would any other anointing. Any man can be fatherly, but that does not necessarily constitute a father‚Äôs anointing. Being around one who is fatherly may be a great comfort when you are in need. However being around one with a father‚Äôs anointing could effectively change your life as did my friend‚Äôs influence changed my life.
One of the purposes of the father‚Äôs anointing is found in Malachi 4:5-6 where it talks about the restoration and purpose of the father‚Äôs anointing. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Even thou Paul did not see many fathers in his day I am confident we will see many men with the father‚Äôs anointing in our day. This may be a good time for all the father candidates to begin to cry out for that very special father‚Äôs anointing.
I thank you for this season and the promise of an anointing that will restore relationships and families. Help us Lord to desire to be a part of the ministry of mending and ‚Äúrestoring the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers.‚ÄĚ
Apostle John Dean Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved
Alliance International Ministries