It has been said that true love is less a feeling and more a decision–less emotion—more deliberate action. Said another way, work is “love in motion.”
God is love,
…but does He make people love?
Could joy be similar?
What if God does not “give” people joy?
What if it is the right and even the responsibility of the sons of God to “create” joy?
This kind of creating could be in keeping with the culture of Genesis, the culture of the Kingdom of Heaven, the culture of the household of God.
In Genesis 1 creation was conceived.
In Genesis 2 creation was birthed. (For more on this see Young’s Literal translation.)
What if, like the rest of creation, joy is to be conceived and birthed deliberately, intentionally, maybe even painfully (… for the joy set before him he endured the cross…?)
Could it be that the process of conception and birthing is the way that joy comes into the realm of time?
Think on that for a moment. THE way joy comes in to the realm of time is by the will and deliberate actions of the sons of God.
As an example, Consider how Jesus came into the realm of time.
God the Father was capable of creating Jesus and placing him in the earth as a full grown, mature man. He chose, instead, for Mary to conceive and give birth to the infant Jesus. I think that He did this to provide us a model of how the Kingdom comes, how His will is done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Here is the model:
- Mary decided with her free will
- …to “fellowship” with the Holy Spirit of God and to conceive the King,
- …and to birth the King into the realm of time.
Mary’s example manifested at least two attributes from the Generative King Archetype. (The Generative King Archetype is an archetypal frame work for understanding how we are made in the image of God, the goals, ideals, values and attitudes of the kingdom of God.) Two of those attributes are: Genius and Generation.
Genius – late 14c., “tutelary god (classical or pagan),” from L. genius “guardian deity or spirit which watches over each person from birth; spirit, incarnation, wit, talent;” also “prophetic skill,” originally “generative power,” from root of gignere “beget, produce” (see kin), from PIE base *gen- “produce.” Sense of “characteristic disposition” is from 1580s. Meaning “person of natural intelligence or talent” and that of “natural ability” are first recorded 1640s.
Synthesizing the etymology above, I define Genius as: The incarnation of the Generative spirit, or the Spirit of Genesis in the flesh.
Genius describes the conception. Mary exercised her free will to fellowship with the Spirit of God and conceived life from Heaven.
The second attribute:
Generation – early 14c., “body of individuals born about the same period” (usually 30 years), from O.Fr. generacion (12c.) and directly from L. generationem (nom. generatio) “generating, generation,” noun of action from pp. stem of generare “bring forth” (see genus). Meanings “act or process of procreation,” “process of being formed,” “offspring of the same parent” are late 14c.
Generation: To bring forth.
Generation describes the birth. This is when the culture of Heaven, the Word of God actually, physically came into the realm of time…through Mary.
Similarly, the Kingdom comes on earth when the sons of God conceive the Kingdom’s culture (the ideals, values, goals, attitudes and strategies) from the Spirit of the King, and births that culture, physically into the realm of time. This is how the Kingdom comes…on earth as it is in Heaven. The Kingdom is of course Righteousness, Peace & Joy.
Can we wait for God to “give” us joy?
Must we wait for God to situate things in the realm of time until we are comfortable, or satisfied or content?
Does He do that?
Can we pray and ask God to “give” us joy and then expect Him to arrange things to that end?
I think that the sons of God are to generate joy. They are to conceive of it and birth it into the realm of time. This is their right and their responsibility. THIS IS HOW JOY COMES!
Further, I suggest that it is in this same manner that the entirety of the Kingdom comes on earth.
Please consider another attribute from the Generative King Archetype:
Agent – late 15c., “one who acts,” from L. agentem (nom. agens) “effective, powerful,” prp. of agere “to set in motion, drive, lead, conduct” (see act). Meaning “any natural force or substance which produces a phenomenon” is first recorded 1570s. Meaning “deputy, representative” is from 1590s. Sense of “spy, secret agent” is attested by 1916. As an adjective, from 1610s.
Given the etymology of the word agent, I synthesize the following definition: a deputy representative who acts, sets in motion, drives, leads, conducts forces which produce a phenomenon.
In Genesis 1, God delegated to Adam (man) the right to rule over the whole earth. To be sure, God made man his agent in the earth. Out of respect for this delegated authority, Jesus referred to himself as the “son of man” (about 80 times in the New Testament) and he never referred to himself as the “Son of God.” His status as the “son of man” emphasized his legal right to act as an agent of God, under the original delegation that was conferred upon Adam, in the earth.
Certainly Jesus functioned as agent for the Father. In fact, Jesus is quoted as saying: “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.”
It is important to note that Jesus was legally authorized to act as agent in the earth due to his status as a “son of man.” His status as “son of man” being legally different than his status as “son of God.” His status as the “son of man” gave him the right to exercise dominion in the earth. His status as the “son of God” gave him access to the Spirit of Genesis, the Spirit of Life, the Spirit of God, which facilitated coherence with the Father, and empowered him to rule his human soul in alignment with the culture of the Kingdom. This established a prototypical model that holds true for all of the sons of man who have been born “of the Spirit.”
“…but as many as did receive him to them he gave authority to become sons of God — to those believing in his name,” (John 1:12 Young’s Literal Translation)
(As an aside, the legal claims “filed” against Jesus by the religious authorities, the crime for which he was crucified, was their accusation that Jesus claimed to be the “Son of God.”
The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.” John 19:7)
What can the joint heirs with Christ learn from his example as the first born among many brothers?
- Jesus did not wait for God to act upon the world’s governments’ systems or agents of the world’s governments. Instead, he used genius to generate the Kingdom culture in the earth as he interacted with the governmental systems of this world.
- Jesus did not wait for God to act upon the world’s religious systems or agents of religion. Instead, he used genius to generate Kingdom culture in the earth as he interacted with the religious systems of this world.
- Jesus did not wait for God to act upon “the god of this world” (the devil) or his agents. Instead, he used genius to generate Kingdom culture in the earth as he interacted with “the god of this world.” (Matthew 4:3-4)
- Jesus did seek to conceive strategies (genius) from Heaven (through prayer) as to how to act as Heaven’s agent. How to best represent the King. How to bring forth (generate) the Kingdom… on earth as it is in Heaven. This was His prayer.
Like Jesus, we must seek out Heavenly strategies (conception) to bring forth (birth) the Kingdom into the Earth. Like Mary, we must conceive via the Holy Spirit so that we may birth Immanuel — God with us — the Kingdom come — Heaven on Earth!
Said differently, the only way the government of the Kingdom of God comes in the Earth, is when we, His agents, “bring it forth.” That is exactly how we exercise the authority that God delegated to Adam (man.) We have the right and responsibility to generate the Kingdom in the Earth.
To illustrate this point further please consider Jesus’ sermon on the mount. Specifically his words recorded in Matthew 5:9
`Happy the peacemakers — because they shall be called Sons of God. (Matthew 5:9 Young’s Literal Translation)
For me, it is note worthy that he chooses “peacemakers” rather than “peacelovers,” “peacerecievers” or “peacegetters” or even “peacefulones.” Peacemakers implies an active role in “making,” “bringing forth,” or “generating” peace. He seems to be saying “… the sons of God will be known for generating peace…” Given that, it is easy for me to transfer that idea to the other components of the Kingdom. I can imagine Jesus saying “happy the joymakers – they too shall be called sons of God,” or in my translation “…the sons of God will be known for generating joy…”
To complete this thought please consider Matthew 5:10 where Jesus continues the “sermon on the mount” by stating:
`Happy those persecuted for righteousness’ sake — because theirs is the reign of the heavens. (Matthew 5:10 Young’s Literal Translation)
I understand Jesus to be saying, “ …when you generate righteousness in the earth, you are participating in the culture of the Kingdom of Heaven, and for this you may be persecuted.” For me it seems clear, that the sons of God would be known for generating righteousness, generating peace, and generating…joy. The Kingdom of God…on earth. This is how we exercise our rights and responsibilities as sons. This is how we uphold the household culture. We generate it in our own domains.
So how would I suggest we generate joy? The same way Mary generated the infant Jesus. Conception and birth. In my mind, the “conception” of joy (or righteousness or peace) is facilitated in the spirit-to-spirit fellowship with God. I think, too, that it is what Jesus was teaching when he taught us to pray, ”…give us this day our daily bread.”
Could we have misunderstood, or misinterpreted this part of the Lord’s prayer?
Formerly, many (Christians) thought that this was a request for the Father to provide bread for food. I now think this a foolish perspective. What father wouldn’t provide food for his children? In fact, just a few verses after Jesus prays “…give us this day our daily bread…” he teaches the following:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.”
Even the Devil knows that God can easily turn stones into bread for food, but Jesus said “…Man shall not live on bread alone…” (Matthew 4:4)
I now believe that, through the Lord’s prayer, Jesus was encouraging us to request the daily supply of the “Bread of Life,” “The Word of God,” because “Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” I suggest that Jesus was teaching us to petition God for the strategies, the life giving strategies–the strategies from Heaven–for bringing joy (or righteousness or peace) into the earth (in our domains.)
More explicitly, I am suggesting that we pray, making requests, petitioning God, to provide us with the ideals, values, goals, attitudes and SPECIFIC strategies for manifesting righteous, peace and joy in the earth. That is, specific inquiries for specific situations. When the agents of the King begin to operate in this way then the Kingdom will surely come on earth as it is in Heaven, and the prayer of Jesus will be fulfilled.
Please consider the following verses from Matthew 7 (the Lord’s prayer takes place in Matthew 6) in light of the above:
7 `Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you;
8 for every one who is asking doth receive, and he who is seeking doth find, and to him who is knocking it shall be opened.
9 `Or what man is of you, of whom, if his son may ask a loaf — a stone will he present to him?
10 and if a fish he may ask — a serpent will he present to him?
11 if, therefore, ye being evil, have known good gifts to give to your children, how much more shall your Father who [is] in the heavens give good things to those asking him?
This verse now seems to make more sense to me. If fact, when you read Matthew chapters 5, 6 & 7 together it becomes clear that Jesus is not teaching people how to get to Heaven, but instead how to bring Heaven to earth.
With these ideas in mind, please consider James 1:
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Of course, a fruit of the Spirit is joy. As is love, and righteousness and peace. Many have thought that being baptized into the Holy Spirit would result in the manifestation of the fruits of the Spirit. Similar to a magic spell, we expected love, peace, patience, righteousness and joy to simply appear. When they did not, we wondered, if only to ourselves, “What’s gone wrong?” Perhaps, the only thing that’s “wrong” is our expectations, which were set by misunderstanding.
All of this is to suggest a departure from the traditional, religious thinking about how God “works” in the realm of time, and in our individual lives. Further, it is to question the purpose, style, tone and content of our prayers, and to provide an explanation as to why many of our prayers seem to go “unanswered.”
Finally, these ideas are meant to encourage us to take seriously the Kingdom narrative.
That is, the story of:
- God’s desire to have sons (a royal priesthood, a holy nation)
- who are agents that would represent His interests in the earth,
- and take seriously God’s delegation of authority to Adam (man,)
- and Jesus’ admonishment to “seek FIRST the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness.”