If God the Father created you for a purpose, and that purpose is within your redemptive gift, can we know what the purpose is?
That sounds like a riddle. But isn't "What is my purpose?" the great riddle of life?
Have you ever wondered about Solomon and why he lamented all of the time and whined about how meaningless life was. What did he do with all that wisdom if that was his conclusion? Are we meant to think life is nothing more than frustration and
futility because Solomon arrived at that conclusion?
I know we all have days where Solomon expresses us in a way. We all feel we have "chased after the wind, " or there is nothing better than a good meal, since the rest feels unexplainable.
But even on the worst of days, we don't believe that is what it is meant to be or could be.
So what about Solomon? Didn't he figure it out?
No, he did not. As a ruler of renoun and respect, with every
available resource at this fingertips, Solomon could have easily have introduced the whole world to His God, expanding God's kingdom, rather than his own. Of course his life seemed meaningless, because all the building that he did was for his own
kingdowm. When he said "All is vanity and vexation of spirit, " he confessed the way he was living and feeling, which is how we all feel when we fall short of the glory of finding our birthright, not just stopping and parking at the threshold
Although his achievements were great, his satisfaction and feeling of fulfillment were not.
That is heartbreaking, really. We want life that makes us feel we
are living with purpose. As Christians, we want that desperately because we have already discovered a major piece of the puzzle and our desire to walk in the fulness of our purpose feels close to us.
There are people, who have never
heard of redemptive gifts, who succeed in life and achieve their purposes and claim their inheritances. And there are some who live broadly within their gifting with large, significant lives, but who don't have the satisfaction and contentment that securing
their birthright offers.
So what is a birthright?
Every one of the gifts has one, but they are not easily achieved. They really come to us by grace, through hardship at times, dedication, and desire. As
we overcome the obstacles in our own gifting that arise along the way, we walk into the birthright inheritance.
So we have a gift and yet within that gift are obstacles to our getting our birthright?
There many paths we can take. How do we continue to move toward securing all of the blessings of the birthright,
For instance, Jesus came to earth fully equipped and on a mission to save the
World. But he didn't charm the world, or win the world over with his teaching or declaration of who he was, or demonstrate power in order to win others, or any egocentric thing at all. He didn't show His credentials. He went about His father's
business, and for a long time under a veil of secrecy. He looked to Heaven for instructions and He did His father's will.
What was His birthright? Redemption of the world.
Did He redeem it?
How? By dying to fame, glory, acceptance, privilege, comfort, and embracing the hardship, rejection, and the Cross. He did the Father's will.
Was there another way?
I think not. He
looked for one at one point, but surrendered to the only way.
So be encouraged, if you are in trials and hardship and don't know if you are making progress, you probably are.
A prophet's birthright is to see
design, to weave principles together that will help others undo the works of the enemy whatever they might stand, and to understand God's intent and purpose for His kindgom.
A prophet may look successful without walking
in the fullness of his birthright.
He is a visionary and he can succeed an produce an excellent product. He can be ruthless, dogmatic, driven, self seeking, and successful. He may look like Andrew Jackson, a man who used the
Cherokee's to fight the Creeks and then packed them up and sent them to Oklahoma. He was bitter and angry, and his decisions were harsh and cruel. Of course, that is the dark end of the spectrum.
Or it may be a prophet who
knows God and who sees all manner of wrong in this world. He may see accurately. His black and white is clear to him on all matters, and he can't be compromised by other's points of views. There is truth in what he says, but it doesn't
change things because he hasn't matured in love or grown to where he doesn't just point out wrong, but steps up with ways to change it, backed by principles he has found in scripture and has come to understand in his life.
The birthright has to do with our decreasing and His increasing and by our willingness to grow, endure our training, and press forward. It has to do with our recognizing that our best, even within our gifting, when it is about us, our
accomplishments, our glory, our credibility, our respect, our position, or our authority, that we are on Solomon's journey.
As we come to see that and we accept the hard path that Jesus walked, we walk toward the birthright of taking the things we see
in others and either helping them become free or encouraging their walks toward their destinites. That is a life giving flow that is our birthright.
For the servant, the birthright is to cleanse, especially leaders.
One of the only high profile servants that I know is Mother Teresa. She cleansed lepers, in the most practical way. I suppose it doesn't get more real and more obvious. She gave dignity to the dying and the unclean
in Calcutta, India, and the world took note of her. But she didn't do it for glory or fame. She did it for her God. And although many flocked to her to do her work, if they too were not servants by redemptive gift, I wonder if they
found the level of satisfaction that she experienced. She never encouraged people to follow her, but to go home and love their families, because she wasn't starting a movement, just seizing her own destiny and her own birthright in the place where God
To me, that is what Paul meant by we can become martyrs and miss the point. There is a world of difference in finding our birthright and sacrificing ourselves as a token of our love. Jesus pushed through three hard
years of doing what needed to be done to show what redemption looked like before He ultimately made His greatest sacrifice, but it was intentional surrender every step of the way. According to scripture, "Although he was the very nature of God, he did
not see equality as something to be grasped, but emptied himself and took on the nature of a bond servant."
He was equal, and yet He never claimed the advantage of an equal, but submitted, even to the cross.
The teacher delights in knowledge and information and is a storehouse of it.
And many a teacher has parked at a university or in academia and lived out his life celebrating his design as learner and teacher. He may be credentialed
and admired, even sought after. He may live in an ivory tower of learning, but his birthright is more than his view from his tower.
What is the birthright of the teacher? It is to know God through intimacy and to know
Him experientially. The thing that is often the hardest for him, intimacy, is what will satisfy him.
When the world is no longer understood by the ways of formulas, suppositions, anaylisis, and intellect, he is moving forward. When
he surrenders to the spirit instead of the mind, he will begin to see the deep things.
But how does he get beyond his insatiable appetite for knowledge and see his need for intimacy? By recognizing that his gift can follow the path of Solomon:
vanity and vexation of spirit, if he does not choose intimacy. Thankfully, we are usually frustrated when we fall short of what we know must be available, even if we just feel there has to be "more."
though usually well loved and influential, also has a choice. Will he use his charm and inluence for God? Will he settle for his place, or will he choose the path that will give him his birthright of influencing the world to choose God and to do
William Wilberforce battled for 38 years in the House of Commons to see slavery abolished. But in the end, he won the battle.
He started at a time when the world accepted slavery as a necessary evil, and he brought
God's will upon the House of Commons, England, the slave trade, and the slaves were emancipated without an English war. He did it because he believed it and because God gave him the strength for the long battle. He fought through ill health, threats,
and ill will until he convinced a nation that slavery was a hideous practice. He argued until they agreed.
The exhorter must face down the giants of comfort and the good life. Paul was a privileged Pharisee when he became a missionary for
the gospel and he suffered greatly along the way. But in the end he knew he had fought the good fight and he finished the course. He influenced the world to do the will of God and many were turned toward salvation.
Hitler was an exhorter.
So was Churchill. Their influence was immense. Bill Clinton was also an exhorter. They may create change, be popular and dynamic, but their path to greatness can be hard and daunting.
The giver is meant
to secure life giving generational blessings.
Without the generational component, the giver is merely amassing things and wealth that don't matter because they don't bless the generations to come. He may choose to spend it
on himself, but most givers reach a point where he realizes that there is something more, and that is investing where God directs him. From Andrew Carnegie to Bill Gates, we have seen givers amass money and then want to steward it properly. Stewardship
is the test and the glory for the giver.
The giver works hard and is frugal, investing and saving throughout his life. But he longs for a legacy. Abraham fathered a nation. He was a wealthy man, but in the end, it was
the generations who followed that meant the most to him.
Job was also a wealthy man who lost his family and suffered intensely, but in the end, it was the family restored and leaving them blessed, which Job most wanted and received.
Next is ruler. The ruler is task driven. He is able to see the task that lies before him and devise a way to accomplish it. It would seem he looks about, grabs the available workers, and proceeds to accomplish the mission.
He may seem uncaring and ruthless to the workers, but in another way, he will lead them to success and accomplishment. He can be respected and even feared, but he usually doesn't want to be bothered with the "human crisis" that surrounds
his deadlines and speed. Remember Nehemiah and how it pained him to have to referree the Jews who were rebuilding the wall, but he was forced to stop and do it anyway. When a ruler is able to realize that fathering from his place of authority to
build is also part of his legacy, he will be remarkable.
What about the mercy?
It is not easy feeling to the extent that a mercy feels; more specifically, it is not easy to
remain vulnerable if pain is felt intensely over and over. If the mercy's birthright is to be a conduit for the presence of God that others can experience, he must remain open to God and to others. He must not choose to escape or to live his life
There is a path the mercy must learn to walk, where he goes to God with the pain and leaves it with Him, trusting that his Father will not leave or forsake him, and not have him walk through more pain than he can
For the mercy to walk through the valley of the shadow of death without fear is the path to his birthright. He will avoid the valley, if possible, because of fear. Trusting God with his pain is the answer. Jesus
struggled with the weight of wanting to bear the world's pain, and it was an incomprehensibly staggering amount of pain that he faced. I love that God showed us that struggle in his humanity, so that we would recognize ourselves. Pain is not a
means to an end, but avoiding it can seriously derail us.
David, the mercy, at some point, no longer feared it. He quit trying to run from it.
He didn't regard it as evil.
There is a place where
the mercy takes the path God presents, and commits his heart and his well being to God. He realizes that he cannot protect himself, not righteously, and whatever God chooses for him, whatever pain he must suffer, he trusts that God has him close and
that He cares deeply and the outcome is good.