1 Corinthians 4:15 “For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you.”
It’s easy to recognize who my children are because they look just like me and in some ways act like me. Their values are similar to mine because I’ve taught them ever since they’ve been in this world. My children are near and dear to my heart because God blessed me with them.
Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. Psalm 127:4
As it is in the natural so it is in the spirit. You can have many teachers that you learn things about God but there will only be one or two spiritual fathers or parents who God uses to birth something in you. There will be plenty of people who have your ear but very few that have your heart. Job 34:3-4 Job said, ‘The ear tests the words it hears just as the mouth distinguishes between foods.’ So let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good. Job 34:3-4.
You have to discern what is bad and good as well as whom you should be submitted to as your spiritual father/leader. In all your getting get understanding. The only way to get understanding is to decide who you will stand under.
What is the purpose of a spiritual father? When Jesus tells the disciples not to call anyone on earth “father” he is making sure that they don’t put anybody in the place of God. In the same chapter he warns them not to call anyone teacher and we all have had plenty of teachers. Again Jesus warns us to give our highest allegiance to God but we still need fathers and teachers.
Paul mentions that Timothy is his son; 1 Corinthians 4:17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.
Timothy is not Paul’s biological son. He is his son in the spirit. He converted Timothy and discipled him. Your spiritual father is the one that:
- Helped you to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
- Laid hands on you to impart God’s Spirit. Paul tells His spiritual son; I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
- He or she is your primary teacher/preacher. They say if you feed somebody long enough they start to look like you. Who’s feeding your soul?
- Your spiritual father deserves a double honor. 1 Timothy 5:17 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.
- A father should be able to correct you when you’re wrong. Hebrews 12:8-9 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?
- Reminds you of who you are and what you are capable of. 2Timothy 1:5 I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.
- Never gives up on you. Luke 15:20New International Version (NIV) 20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
Thank you for the spiritual fathers you placed strategically in my life. Thank you for my daddy who bought me my first bible. Thank you for Rev. Hart Williams who baptized me at age 12. Thank you for Rev. Quinton Yates who ordained me at 20. Thank you to Rev. Chris Battle who challenged me to go to Seminary. Thank you for Dr. Kevin Cosby who taught mentored me in the mega church and officiated my wedding at 23. Thank you for Dr. Alvin O’Neal Jackson who called me to Memphis at 25. Thank you for Dr Frank Thomas who planted me and sent 60 people with me at age 33 in a New Direction. Thank you that I have become what I needed…a Father to many.
In Jesus Name,