HONOURING FATHERS_SPIRITUAL AND NATURAL FATHERS
Father’s Day, to many is just a tradition, however it is also a good thing to honour your father and mother. It is a good time to reflect on the truth and concept of fatherhood. Fathers are men on the earth that God has put responsibility upon. Just as we have biological fathers, those that give birth to physical children, we also have spiritual fathers who may not necessarily have physical children, but give birth to spiritual ones. An excellent example of a spiritual father is the apostle Paul. He did not marry, so had no biological children, but certainly had thousands of spiritual children! He wrote such in an epistle that was stamped and approved by God the Holy Spirit:
1Corinthians 4:15 KJV: 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.
Spiritual fathers are those whose spirits God uses to birth unbelievers into the kingdom on one hand and on the other hand, to grow you up in the kingdom. It is wonderful to observe this phenomenon. This spiritual transformation takes place over many years: just as physical children look like their fathers through the biological seed and the DNA, so also spiritual children resemble their fathers spiritually because of the Word they have been hearing over years! People who stay under a pastor over many years begin to preach like that pastor! We can see and hear the effect of the Word of God that is being imbibed by somebody who has followed another person like Elisha followed Elijah. The same characteristics and mannerisms will be evident: they will talk the same way, sometimes make even the same gestures! Generally speaking, it is true that those who faithfully serve under a particular anointed preacher or pastor will, over the years, imbibe some of the pastor’s or preacher’s characteristics. So fathers are those whom God has set to exercise responsibility, spiritually or physically, or sometimes both, over others in order to develop them.
What does it mean to be a father?
To be a spiritual father means much more than physically giving birth to children, though that is important in its place. From a biblical standpoint, a father is one who provides spiritual covering over his spiritual children and spiritual nutrition for them so they can be protected on one hand and, secondly, grow spiritually. Now because of the strategic position that fathers occupy, they are targeted by Satan and many times instead of Satan fighting 1000 people, he fights one person: the father! If Satan can overcome that one person, the father, he gets the whole 1000 people under the father’s authority. This makes a lot of sense. Why fight 1000 when you can fight and defeat only one and win the others. That is what we see in the book of Zechariah:
Zechariah 3:1 KJV: And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.
This Word came at the time of Israel’s return from Babylon to build the temple in Jerusalem. God gave Zechariah this vision. He saw the high priest. This is not the Lord Jesus, even though there is a prophetic application to Jesus. This message has a prophetic application to you and I, where Dr. Sarah Johnson, my wife, picked it from by the Spirit of God.
What happened historically is when Israel wanted to build the temple; it was to be done through the prophesying and the leadership of Zerubbabel (Hag. 1.1,12,14) who was the physical governor, and Joshua who was the spiritual governor, or, the high priest. Satan came to try and hinder the renovation and building by standing to resist Joshua. God gave Zechariah a revelation of what was happening to Joshua.
There is a very big problem that exists today in the Church of Jesus Christ, not only in Nigeria, but also in America, England and all over the world! The problem is: Good spiritual fathers are few and also good natural fathers are few. This is because Satan attacks all fathers as symbolized and typified in Zech.3.1: here we see Satan standing at the right hand of Joshua the high priest to resist him.
In the book of Genesis, we see the original plan of God for mankind:
Genesis 1:27-28 KJV: So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Husband and wife are supposed to have children who are godly like their parents and that godly seed is to produce another godly generation: for the seed will reproduce after its kind (Gen.. The family unit is divinely-designed to be a self-perpetuating, continuous line producing godly seed.
Genesis 1:11 KJV: And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
Malachi 2:14-16 KJV: Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet [is] she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for [one] covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.