Supreme Allegiance to the King (The Core – Part 1)
Now we started this discussion talking about the tension between the Legacy and the 0-1 approaches to ministry. To this point you may have felt like this was an Infomercial for the 0-1 expression but that is far far from my intent. Our approach to investing in the kingdom of God should be determined by the highest principle; Supreme Allegiance to the King. If we can learn to do this one thing, we will join God in whatever He is doing. Jesus modeled this principle perfectly.
Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. (John 5.19)
Jesus did exactly what the Father was doing. He joined Him in His work. Normally, we do what we think the Father “might” do and then ask God to bless it. Not Jesus. He made sure that He only did what the Father was doing. Henry Blackaby would say; “Look for what God is doing and then join Him in that work.” I love Henry for shedding light on this principle for millions of modern-day disciples of Jesus. He simply tapped into the highest principle Jesus was practicing. This is what Ying Kai and Steve Smith call “The Father’s Heart.” We teach this in every Four Fields Intensive and expect it to be reproduced downstream. We ought to align our hearts with the Heart of God.
But Jesus went even further than doing what the Father was doing.
So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [He,] and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. (John 8.28)
For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment [as to] what to say and what to speak. (John 12.49)
Jesus only said what the Father wanted Him to say. What?! Now there’s a challenge! Surrendering my actions to God is one thing but surrendering every word, my tongue?! Whoa, that’s a tall order, isn’t it?!
But it went much further for Jesus than just His actions and His words. He gave His very life for the will of Him Who sent Him.
And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26.36)
In the garden just before His death, Jesus offers one more plea to the Father for some other way to satisfy the wrath that our sin demands. There was no other way. Jesus demonstrated His supreme allegiance to the Father by “drinking the cup” and paid the price for our rebellion.
I remember the first time this came into crystal clear focus for me. I knew Jesus was calling me to be a chaplain in the US Army and I didn’t want to. I didn’t respect most of the chaplains I had met and I certainly didn’t want to go to college and cemetery, uh, I mean seminary. I had “ministry” to do. Not only that, I had to tell my mentor, a father figure to me, that I was going to leave his ministry to do something he had little respect for as well. The last thing in the world I wanted to do was disappoint him. The words were coming out of my mouth like molasses; “God has called me to be a chaplain.” He couldn’t argue. I had dropped the Ace of Spades. The words “God told me…” trumped anything he would say so he just stood there silently. But the expression on his face said it all! His disappointment was abundantly evident. Oh, I hated disappointing the man who meant more to me than my biological dad. But I could not allow him to get between me and my spiritual Father. This was my first real test of my Supreme Allegiance to the King, the highest principle. I did become an Army chaplain and enjoyed an incredible 10 years of ministry but the most important event that happened in that season was the first step in the journey. We have to be willing to do what Jesus tells us to do even if people disagree or are disappointed in us. And make no mistake about it, God will test our loyalties.
And that is what must determine your expression of ministry. Has God called you to do a Legacy expression of advancing the kingdom? Then you better get there lickity split and stay there. Settle in, you’re going to be here a while. Has Jesus commanded you to be a pioneer and head for the frontier of loneliness and austerity? Head West young man (or woman), head West! This is what it means to “abide in Christ.” It’s much much more than having a good “quiet time.” It’s Supreme Allegiance to the King.
Is Jesus the King in your life? Is He calling the shots? What are you afraid of losing if you follow Jesus? What price is too high to pay? Are you teaching your Timothys to listen and obey the King? Are you ever disappointed when they do what Jesus told them to do?
SIX CORE PRINCIPLES