We all got saved via an experience with Jesus. We came from a very rational, intellectual space disconnected from our hearts and God. Then, we experienced Jesus in a way that doesn’t lend itself to explanation or need to. Yet, surprisingly, many believers who start from a very relational, supernatural experience with the Holy Spirit try to revert to an intellectual explanation for how God speaks. There are rational reasons for spirituality; we are just adding Spiritual Intelligence (SQ) to IQ, EQ (Emotional Intelligence), PQ (Political Intelligence), AQ (Adoptive Intelligence), and ZQ (Visionary Intelligence).
We do believe in sound doctrine and scriptural teaching. However, we never get far from hearing the voice of God daily or experiencing His presence for ourselves. We never outgrow the need to hear His voice. We don’t live by bread alone!
Matt 4:1 – Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” NIV
It is true that 1) God dwells in our hearts, and 2) many carry 5-fold ministry gifts (Apostle, prophet, etc.). However, those self-concepts can cause us to rationally or theologically conclude that everything I need regarding guidance and authority is already inside me. Big mistake, and here is why:
We never outgrow the daily need to see what our Father is doing and do it with Him. He does invest heavily in our authority and our anointing as sons. But all of that favor flows from heaven’s purpose daily. Religion is the sense that I am holy and need nothing beyond my performance. Christianity is an ongoing fellowship with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is much healthier leadership in saying, “I don’t know, we should ask Father,” than pretending we have all the answers – we don’t. Self-sufficiency is a lonely, prideful, religious spirit and always has been. It’s easy to discern.
Hunger in sons – We have good rational and theological reasons for our mystical leanings Biblically and practically. A big part of Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross is sons (Ecclesia in the council). Those sons are Priests in Heaven, Kings on Earth.
John 1:12-13 – but as many as did receive him to them he gave authority to become sons of God
Gal 4:4-5 – But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
- Father is showing how to take issues from earth to the council and grasp purpose (Priestly)
- And how to manifest answers and reign on earth; implement strategy (Kingly)
Rev 5:10 – And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. KJV
Father Values those who seek Him – When God is distant, we rationalize Him as sovereign and all-controlling and we use spiritual language to convey, “Whatever will be will be.” If fate takes us down a painful road, our only rational choice is to attribute (or blame) God for our misfortune. We try to say that we are trusting him through bad times. That may sound noble, but Father would much rather have sons who seek him in the council and bring back an answer and contend for the purpose of His heart. God is not the author of evil, sickness, suffering, and death. He is not glorified by our intellectual/theological excuses for His lousy behavior. It’s the job of sons to bring heaven to earth, and it starts with seeking Him; specifically in the council and then bringing those answers back to earth.
Jer 29:13-14 – You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. NIV
Lam 3:24-25 – I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” 25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; NIV
Rom 4:17-18 – As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed — the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. 18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” NIV
Now What? – It’s time to stop the rationale that I’m spiritual or I have a spiritual office, and I can handle life and counsel others to live by the same principles – self-reliance doesn’t work for believers. We don’t have it all figured out! Yet, we can be more than conquerors, and we can ask whatsoever, but what makes us overcomers and gets those answers is experiencing our Father’s heart in the council and coming away with His purpose. That’s when we can manifest all those whatsoever’s in Jesus’ name.
We are most powerful when we have an accurate picture of our vulnerability. In truth, our frailties are sound intellectual reasons to be humble enough to seek Him in the council! Leaders with inspirational charisma communicate one thing, “I am not better than you; you too can be great being yourself. God can show us how.”
Phil 2:5-8 – Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself …He humbled Himself NASU
Matt 5:3-10 (with John’s notes)
- 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (theirs is the Council)
- 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (Have an advocate in the courts)
- 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth (Sons rule and reign; bless nations)
- 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled (Seeking in sons)
- 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy (Learn that it’s OK to be yourself)
- 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God (Seer gifting activated)
- 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God (Sonship is our identity)
- 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Council is real, even if others don’t see it)
Sons – There is a spiritual shift happening right now that is moving believers from religion into the council. Believers can feel something is missing; things are shaking. The answer is a highway to the Father that Jesus paved for the rest of His brothers (us). There is already a highway in your heart that leads to the council. There is a seat in heaven with your name on it. It feels like home. We sons are here to reign on this earth and bless nations by bringing heaven to earth. Seeking Father is not optional. We are no longer passively waiting for God to visit us and speak to us (religious smugness). We are going to Him. Every son is invited to appear before God in the council (Zion). That’s when we can go from strength to strength and from glory to glory.
Ps 84:5-7 – How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion! 6 Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring; The early rain also covers it with blessings. 7 They go from strength to strength, Every one of them appears before God in Zion. NASU
You may also enjoy Why Mysticism is Good for Business.
Resources – The purpose of heaven for each of us is already written in your heart and can be heard in the Council. Your business can shift from a Christian business full of servants to a Kingdom business full of sons who make a difference. We help people and businesses get their prophetic purpose in writing and then make it happen on earth. Taste and see! Tools to get started are here:
- Intentional Reformation Intro (A free diagnostic you will enjoy along with our purpose & Values)
- Nail your Purpose Field Guide (A place to start clarifying your heart’s desires)
- OnlineHeartPlan.com (Our web site and on-line Courses)
- The USA Book (proof we can get our arms around the books of people, businesses, and nations)
cutting room floor
Clearly, your perspective is that the Council is located in a spiritual realm, apart from us – “heaven.” What if your perception is limited. What if the real location of the council is “in God” who is in you? See John 14:26 “He will teach you all things” John 16:13 “He will guide to you all truth” John 16:15 “All things, as many as the father hath, are mine; because of this I said, that of mine He will take, and will tell you.” The emphasis Jesus was making about the coming indwelling Holy Spirit here was on communication through relationship. He was challenging the disciples that His presence was not one of distance.
Excellent and thoughtful comments which I really appreciate. I also want the conversation to continue. It clarifies the systematic theology around the experience of courts and council. I think it’s true that my larger audience is in your space more than mine.
- The HS does dwell in us and speak to us; Christ is us “and” the council is still a reality.
- For us to be “in Him” we have to get outside ourselves and go – that’s half of the relationship.
- For me, the council is a theologically and strategically significant part of sonship… not just an abstraction of my relationship. I take seated in heaven literally, Paul going to the 3rd heaven literally, Zion as a picture of heaven, etc.
- The formality/holiness of the council honors Father… somehow the council is important to Him; relevant to overcoming principalities, etc. It’s a privilege that is not really optional for sons.
- The stereo effect of 9 voices who reflect the Father’s heart is tangible and worth it.
I helped Rick with a council session on zoom a few days back. It was their first experience, and they welcomed the guidance. We recorded it on Thursday, and Friday I transcribed the shorthand version. There were 7 pages of notes. Neither they nor I get that unless we “go.” The council moves us from unsought for nudges, promptings, confirmations, peace, and words into conversations that we actively seek and show up to engage in. I think it blesses Father’s heart.
I have heard Nancy Coen describe the council as living there all the time; operating from there all the time. That would be close to your position. I wouldn’t argue against it, other than to say it doesn’t translate well for other people to follow in her footsteps.
Rick wondered why going to the council was necessary, “Why do we have to do this?” He hears from God and asks his business sons, “Have you heard from God” all the time. The challenge I see is that we need teach them how. They are trying to milk direction from promptings of the Holy Spirit, and they miss “conversations.” They don’t really have a paradigm for it. They have questions, they can ask them, but they don’t really expect a conversational answer. They expect a nudge and they formulate it into a sort of binary communication system based on peace (red light or green light). The result is that they never expect to get the purpose behind the direction. They miss Father’s heart on the big picture of which they are a part. They miss things beyond their immediate needs (like reformation) because Father can’t use a binary communication system to talk to them about things outside their immediate needs. Hearing from God ends up being mostly about what’s in my heart instead of what’s in Father’s heart. The binary communication system doesn’t get you there.
The biggest thing Father communicates in the council to sons is the purpose in His heart (see the Father doing, Jn 5:19). We are often left with decisions on the implementation. Servants are prone to expect promptings at every juncture, which they often don’t get. Sons bring purpose from the council along with the power and authority to manifest it on earth. They have the context of Father’s heart and are not afraid to run with it. Their promptings from the Holy Spirit make a lot more sense in the context of their Father’s larger purpose. Sons are invited to understand Father’s “why” and add their initiative and creativity to the direction. Sons are co-laboring with Father in the family name to accomplish “His” purpose.
Gen 28:12-16 – He (Jacob) had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. 14 “Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” NASU