The video is here.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. John 15:15-16 NIV
Obedience is a deeply rooted religious tradition in our understanding of how to relate to Jesus. Most of us are actually more comfortable in a servant relational model. However, the concept of “friend” doesn’t fit the model. Servants obey; friends collaborate. Instead of asking for our assignment, God is asking us to talk to Him about the desires of our hearts and, in turn, sharing the desires of His heart. It’s a different level of relationship.
The genius of remaining a servant is that after fulfilling my daily obligation, the rest of the time is my own and I can do what I want. The attitude of heart is that I deserve a break from my duties… and it leads somewhere. If I see myself as a servant, I’m pretending to be connected with the Father whom I perceive as distant and aloof, but I’m never aligned with my own heart. Obedience belongs in one side of my brain and the things I want to do belong in the other. I proudly serve up my sacrificial offering and then retreat into my dual lifestyle. That’s why “religion” can produce hypocrisy. What I naturally want to do and what God wants to do are two separate paths, an unhealthy division in my own heart. We call it “disconnected.”
The idea of being Kingly and entering the Kingdom has this theological and practical distinction. God has pre-wired us to collaborate, communicate and co-labor with him, from the heart. There really is a calling on my life that is thrilling to my heart, something I enjoy, am good at, and thrills the heart of my Father. Servants, with an obedience mindset, don’t even know such a place exists, and few of us have set foot on this new land. It seems too good to be true. To make it even better, when we step into our own heart’s desire, the level of motivation and the quality of our work goes up so much that our finances multiply as well. Approaching God with a servant mentality will always result in “unprofitable servants.” Obedience doesn’t describe spiritual maturity. It may be where we begin, but we are not designed to serve outside of our hearts over a lifetime. It doesn’t work! Pretending that we are spiritual and have hearts to serve others with no ambition of our own is a shipwreck in the making… a religious lie that disconnects us from our own hearts! God wants your cup to overflow.
The transition from servant to King is a foundational part of the gospel of the Kingdom. Hearts aligned with the Father is the theme of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and obedience is an incidental byproduct of a relational friendship with God. Collaboration better describes the nature of our conversation with the Father: men and women whose hearts are aligned internally and with the Father’s heart. This alignment with the Father is better described by integrity of heart, honest and transparent communication, collaboration and co-laboring with the father, rather than compliance with His orders.
I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do. Acts 13:22 NIV
And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them. Ps 78:72 NIV
The question – There is a question that comes up in conversations with God that servant’s cannot hear. It is a question that God asks each one of us, “What would you have me do for you?” Servants are always asking God what they can do for Him. But God starts the conversation with friends by asking what He can do for us. The relationship doesn’t proceed until we answer.
In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask what you wish me to give you.” 1 Kings 3:5 NASU
The answer – We all have many desires, needs and wants. The key to our collaboration with the Father is that our priority is something that is in our heart and also in His heart. God does care about the “all” of our desires, but if we find the common ground and put that first, everything else follows very naturally. It’s called putting the Kingdom first.
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt 6:31-34 NIV
The result – the consequence of a collaborative relationship with God is entrance to the Kingdom. We think differently. We are freed to create new ideas and implement new initiatives with the Father’s blessing. In the integrity of our hearts, we are more responsible, more courageous, more entrepreneurial and have more fun. Connecting with the desires of our hearts aligns with God’s purpose for our lives – we love and respect ourselves more. The most amazing ramification is that the curtain is pulled back so that we can see the talents and calling in others and help them to connect with their Father and their purpose. We naturally respect them and love them as well… which is where friendship with Jesus leads.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other. John 15:16-17 NIV
There are a thousand other ramifications from this collaboration with Jesus. Here is a short secular article on 21 ways our thinking changes, from a book by Steve Siebold which has 100 more differences between middle class thinking and world class thinking. These links focus on how our thinking changes, but the well spring of this thinking in from our heart… when we become Jesus’ friend and collaborate with the Father. It’s amazing! Give your heart permission to make your dream come true. We use the Heart Plan Professional Development Program to align your vocation with the values and calling in your heart… the result? Have fun, make money and love people.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe