You were created to be, not to do. In our Western culture, we focus primarily on our doing with the false assumption that our doing becomes our being. For example, if I asked you to tell me about yourself, you would most likely respond by telling me what your career or career aspirations are. This Western mentality has permeated the sacred paradigms of the Kingdom man and woman who are in pursuit of Christ and becoming more like Him. This mentality has become the limiting factor that has kept us from the depths of the Kingdom reality we are called to.
Genesis 1:1 proclaims “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Examining this verse through a theological lens, we see that the ontological preceded the teleological. In layman’s terms, this means that the existence or being of God (in the beginning, God) came before the designing work of God (created the heavens and earth). Our eternal God birthed out of His existence the creation of all things. Genesis 1:26 tells us that we were created in the image and likeness of God. In Genesis chapter 2, the name of God changes from Elohim, a name meaning “God Almighty,” to Yahweh, which is the most intimate and personal name of God. In the most intimate fashion, the Lord Yahweh formed mankind from the dirt of the earth into His image and likeness and gave mankind the kiss of life, breathing His very breath into Adam. Having such an intimate connection to our Creator, we must follow fully in His image and likeness as we exist in the earth that He has created for Him and us. We must let our existence precede our works and let our doing flow from our being.
When reading the Scriptures, you will discover a multitude of individuals who caught a revelation of the importance of their existence and out of their existence came their works. We can look at the life of David and see that out of his pursuit of God’s heart (his being), he was promoted by way of the providence of God to the king of Israel (his doing). We can examine the life of Jesus and see that out of His being, His ministry naturally flowed, His doing. John 5:19 says “So Jesus said, “I speak to you timeless truth. The Son is not able to do anything from himself or through my own initiative. I only do the works that I see the Father doing, for the Son does the same works as his Father” (The Passion Translation). Jesus spent 30 years developing His being and out of that He was able to minister to the point where He could confidently say I do nothing I haven’t seen the Father do. We can look at the apostles and their inspired writings and find that their focus was not on how to build the church and do ministry well but rather on how to become more like Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote powerful statements like Christ in you is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). It was out of their burning devotion to Jesus that the church exploded and the known world heard the Gospel.
We can also look at church history and find individuals who found the secret of pursuing their being instead of their doing. Saint Irenaeus in the second century A.D. said “the glory of God is man fully alive” meaning the fullness of our being is the glory of God. We can also look at Saint Telemachus in the fifth century and see a man who out of his burning devotion to God was led by the Spirit to the Coliseum games in Rome and jumped into the arena in an attempt to stop the gladiators from killing each other. The gladiators ended up killing him as the crowds chanted for his death but it was Telemachus’ death that brought an end to the gladiator games. We can also examine Mother Teresa in the twentieth century and see a woman who sought to be the most devoted person she could be to the Lord sprung forth a benevolence movement that brought international attention to what was a byproduct of her existence.
In our postmodern age, we must let go of the false assumption that we are to put much emphasis on our purpose, calling, and works and return by way of grace to a place where we seek to be made into the image of Christ. We must let go of our desire to see our prophetic callings and aspirations come to pass and realize Yahweh is more interested in turning your spirit into a garden that He can come walk in with you. Jeremiah 1:12 explains that the Lord is watching over His plans and ensure that they are fulfilled. Let us not be fooled into thinking it is by our own endeavors and accomplishments that we fulfill what we are called to do. We must hold onto the reality that in full surrender and pursuit of Him, Yahweh is faithful to watch over His word over our lives and see that they are fulfilled. As we develop our internal gardens, our purposes, callings, and Spirit-led desires become a natural byproduct with a degree of excellence that can only come through this degree of devotion.
Matthew 7:21-23 says “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the realm of heaven’s kingdom. It is only those who persist in doing the will of my heavenly Father. On the Day of Judgment many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, don’t you remember us? Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we cast out demons and do many miracles for the sake of your name?’ But I will have to say to them, ‘Go away from me, you lawless rebels! I’ve never been joined to you!” I never truly understood the depth of this pericope until I received this revelation of being and doing. These individuals fulfilled great successes and accomplishments in their ministries and by all looks were on the path toward eternal life and reward. However, Jesus turned them away and said that He never knew them. It is my belief these individuals are ones who focused so much on their doing that they neglected their being. They sought to do ministry well with good intentions and neglected the reality that God wanted them more than He wanted their ministry. Again, He is faithful to watch over His word as we are faithful in our pursuit of Him. Could these individuals have been so focused on vision casting and strategizing that they forgot that the radiance of Christ within the apostles and early church Christians is what brought a multitude to God and grew the church? In Acts 14, the people of Lystra confused the apostles as gods. This was not because they did ministry with a degree of relevancy and excellence that caused people to want to attend the next church service but instead they burned with the image of Christ to a degree they moved like the Son of Man. It was out of their devotion to Christ that the early church flipped the culture of the known world in the first century A.D.
In theology, one can study the law of relatable dimensions. I will explain what this law means using an analogy. If I wanted to show my daughter what a horse looked like, I can show her a picture of a horse, which is a 2D representation of a 3D reality. We as humans, made in His image and likeness, are a 3D representation of a multi-dimensional God. Thus, as we align ourselves to God through our devotional lifestyle, we begin to reflect His reality into the earth. Out of this alignment comes the full expression of our calling and purpose. He fulfills His word over our lives to a degree in which we cannot. The Apostle Peter’s alignment was so great, his effervescence brought healing to a crippled man as he walked past him. This is the degree we are born and created to walk in.
I do not believe the miracles and all that the New Testament church accomplished was only for that time. I also do not believe it is for the select few who “do ministry right.” I believe it is for every individual who is willing to become fully surrendered to Christ and submit their purpose-driven callings, goals, and desires at the feet of Jesus. It is the alignment that comes only by seeding your vapor (James 4:14) at the feet of Jesus that the manifestation of on “earth as it is in heaven” comes into fullness through you. Through burning devotion, we will see the promise of John 14:12-14 come into fruition. It is through burning devotion that we begin trading in our pulpits for rocking chairs as we let go of the pursuit of trying to become the next great preacher to become the devoted spiritual father who raises up sons and daughters who follow in our lead. Out of this doesn’t come the next mega church but instead a family that sees a morally corrupt culture find its way back home, which is in the arms of our loving God.