Hello again friends. In part one of this article I addressed the subject of spiritual covering and gave a bit history. I also explored the two schools of thought and shared a perspective from each about the place of spiritual covering in the church. Now I want to give you a biblical perspective about covering that I hope will bring understanding of God’s heart for covering His people.
God’s Model for Spiritual Covering and Submission
The perfect model for covering is illustrated in the relationship between God the Father His only Begotten Son Jesus. In the gospels you see Jesus’ complete submission to His Father; fully covered in “only doing what He sees the Father do”. However, long before that statement was made, in Matthew we see Jesus in a situation where His parents after losing track of him, found Him in the temple teaching and imparting wisdom way beyond his years:
48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” 49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. 51 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Consider, Jesus at a very young age was already teaching the teachers. Although Jesus was more gifted than all those in authority over him, he still subjected himself to his parents. What a mystery and what humility. Nowadays, natural children and spiritual children alike, may view their covering as “less gifted” than they are and out of this perception despise and rebel against their covering thinking they are being “held back”. Unfortunately they are making mistake of thinking maturity is synonymous with gifting. But please again refer to the scripture above. Jesus, who was superior to His covering in many ways still, “grew in wisdom and in stature and favor with God and men”, while under this seemingly flawed covering. If you missed Part One of this article, please click here to read.
Imperfections in Spiritual Covering and Maturity Process
Was Jesus covered by God outside of the authority he was placed under? That answer is yes. However, God set up certain protocols to help assist Jesus (and us) in the process of maturity. Jesus entered into and subjected himself to the guidance of his parents AND the religious leaders of that day (yes, Pharisees and Saducees), but in that place of submission there was blessing and impartation that prepared Jesus to carry out in the flesh His ultimate assignment of the cross.
Even as I write this, I know many of you have been or are currently in challenging situations of submission to authority. Believe me, I have been in them myself, but consider the following. Not one of us can say we have ever experienced the extremities of living under the old law system; having to be so mindful of sin, witnessing the harsh payment of killing animals or even another human being in order to maintain protection. Jesus grew up in this system, having to be compliant with those laws yet nothing hindered Him from His calling. His “covering” and means of maturity were less than perfect and so shall ours be. We were never promised ease in the maturing process.
Remember, even when those in authority over us act in less than perfect ways if we place our trust in God and continue to grow in relationship and intimacy with Him, then there is nothing that will keep us from our calling. (Proverbs 21:1) Also, we can learn a great deal from the imperfections of others and our own imperfect responses. Once we understand, what it means to be submissive or what it means to be “Fathered” in a Father to son relationship, we can then go on to Father others. This is a process that cannot be bypassed or we will lead as orphans out of rebellious hearts and we will breed orphans and rebels that don’t understand that there is blessing and impartation in submission. When no one knows how or is willing to submit to a proposed authority then NOTHING ADVANCES AND NO ONE MATURES. Where there is no maturity; as much as there is an inheritance released for you, you will never be able to fully enjoy it (Galatians 4:1-3). Why, because the process of operating by the heart has not come to fruition in you. When you don’t understand how to honor the earthly protocols no matter how imperfect, your life will be built by reaction to the external and governed by what you can see.
1 John 4: 18-21
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him[b] because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can[c] he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
It clearly says here you cannot say you love (honor or are covered by) God if you cannot love your brother, in other words, the leaders who protocols set forth for you in the natural. This is not limited to church, but your entire life (family, job etc.)(Ephesians 6:1-3, 5-7). True maturity shows that you can submit to leaders within the protocols set forth with a humble heart because you know and understand that you are ultimately covered by God no matter what and that God will use this process to grow you “in wisdom and stature”, for when you go on your own to Father others.
You see friends the two schools of thought work hand in hand. The covering of God is and always will be there but he uses the covering of the other to propel you to greater things. The picture of the Father and His Son Jesus is beautiful, full of love and grace. Submission to a covering cannot be forced but freely given. This sort of relationship CAN and does exist within earthly relationships. We are each given the choice to seek out where we can submit our heart in humility in a father son relationship, so that we will mature into true sons that live in the fullness of our inheritance this side of time. So when you choose a covering my friend, choose wisely. Seek always a greater and more intimate relationship with God and seek honor in all things. You were called to the great privilege of modeling the Father to Son relationship here on earth, now do so with joy, hope and peace no matter what position you are in. Bless you all.