We advance in our kingdom assignment to the degree that we bear and reveal the facets of Jesus.
Process is essential to our growth and maturity in life. It is process that brings out the true potential and value of a person or a thing. Diamonds are a much-celebrated gem around the world. A pound of coal and an ounce of diamond may have similar carbon molecular make-up but they immensely differ in value. Diamonds are extremely valuable because of the process it takes to form it which includes intense heat and pressure. Furthermore, it takes the skillful hands of a master artisan to turn it into a priceless jewel.
The Word of God says that He is the Potter and we are the clay (Isaiah 64:8). He is forming us into unique vessels for His glory and purpose. How we respond to His dealings and seasons determine the kind of attitude, mentality, leadership, and the measure of our influence, authority and power that we are able to carry. Nobody is exempted from this. We will all go through the process of growth.
I had the privilege of visiting giant sequoia trees in the US. These trees are said to be death-defying as they can grow to up to 3,000 years old. The General Sherman, one of these giant sequoias, is said to be the largest living organism by volume today. It stands at 275 feet, the base at 100 feet wide and weighs a staggering 2.7 million pounds. One of the abilities of the sequoia is that they can withstand fire. It has been said that fire affects sequoias at every stage in life. The mineral soil which sequoia needs for germination should be bare, meaning it is free from forest litter like dried leaves, twigs, bark and needles, which the fire burns as well as the undergrowth and other trees that will compete for the ample sunlight sequoias need. The sequoia bark which can grow up to three feet thick protects the tree from significant damage. And should the fire penetrate against the thick bark, a new growth of about half an inch thick of new wood and bark can heal the scar. This scar in fact gives beauty to the tree’s annual ring pattern. Fire brings out the best in sequoia trees – ability to heal, accelerated growth, and grandeur.
This is an apt picture of our journey with God. When we allow God to deal with us, even through or with fire, and when we respond in total obedience and trust, we become like the sequoias – we can stand strong, withstand the adversity or trial, and give glory to our Maker.
Jesus went through the process of growth. In Hebrews 5:8-9 it says, “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience through the things He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey.” His sonship did not exempt Him from the process. The prophet Isaiah declared a prophetic description on the nature and the ministry of the coming Messiah. This is an accurate picture of Jesus and the process of growth He went through towards the fullness of His Kingdom Assignment. Let us take a look at this prophetic profile.
‘For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government (the Kingdom) shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. And of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward and forever. The zeal of the LORD of host will perform this.’ Isaiah 9:6-7
There are several important details to this prophecy.
A child is born. Jesus was born in a manger as a babe. This is our entry point as well. And as children, we lack maturity and wisdom, and without maturity we cannot fully access our inheritance and step into our glory as sons of God. The child needs to be trained in the ways of the Father before he can be entrusted with authority, power, influence and the fullness of his inheritance (Galatians 4:1-2).
A son is given. During His baptism at the River Jordan Jesus was launched, affirmed and blessed by the Father as He declared, “This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased”. This moment came in the fullness of time. From the time Jesus was a young boy in the temple talking to the teachers, saying “…I must be about My Father’s business” (Luke 2:49) to this exact moment He “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 5:52). It takes a process to progress from a child into becoming a matured son.
The Father commissioned Jesus into His divine assignment as a matured Son, not when he was still a baby on a manger. Jesus revealed the nature, the intent and the purposes of the Father. And as Jesus is, so are we in this world. There is an appointed time that the Father launches us in our kingdom assignment. We advance in our kingdom assignment to the degree that we bear and reveal these facets of Jesus, the matured son. Sons best RE-PRESENT the Father to the world.