by Asher Intrater, Director, Tikkun International & Revive Israel
God is Father. A father is a combination of love and authority. Love without authority is a friend not a father. Authority without love is a boss not a father. Since God our Father is both love and authority, we are drawn into alignment with Him ...
When we have a tender heart and a sensitive conscience, we look for this alignment of intimacy and submission in every situation. In any group or organization, most people seek only what is good for themselves. That self-centered attitude limits and frustrates what could come out of the group if there were more cooperation and unity. A greater good can always be achieved.
Alignment is an order that allows for everyone to have his or her own place - for everyone to function, for everyone to bear fruit. Alignment is an order based on intimacy and submission. It starts with Yeshua and the Father and extends into every possible group when two or more people are gathered together for a common purpose. For the sake of the greater good of the group, one must be willing to submit to the authority of that group ...
A sports team needs to be aligned with the coach's plan. A successful business needs to be aligned with the boss, a church with its pastor, a family with the dad, a government with its prime minister, an army with its commander. How much more so when we talk about God's plans for mankind and for His creation!
The reason there are assigned and numbered seats at a ball game, airplane or theater is to make sure that everyone has a place. The order is to protect the weak. Without it, every bully would push the weaker people out of the way. God's plan has order because He wants everyone to have a place.
A good-hearted person will seek the greater good. The greater good demands cooperation. Cooperation needs alignment and submission with the plans of the leader. A good-hearted person will seek to be aligned with the purposes of the group and its leadership.
Whenever we come into a group, we look to cooperate for the common goal. We immediately seek to understand what that goal is and who is in leadership. We submit both to the authority and the purpose. We are team players with a cooperative attitude ...
If there were an Olympic competition for complaining and arguing, no doubt we in Israel would win the gold. In an embarrassing way, it is part of our culture and identity that no one wants to cooperate with anyone. A cooperative, submissive attitude is seen as weakness. The attitude is: "Only weak people cooperate and submit." How tragic and how frustrating!
Spiritual strength and self-discipline are needed to see someone else's perspective. Anyone can see his own perspective. That is natural. Extra spiritual effort to rise above one's own instincts is needed to see someone else's ... It is human tendency to see what we do as enormously important and what someone else does as insignificant. To come into right alignment, we have to deflate our own self-importance and inflate the importance of someone else's perspective. It is a worthy spiritual exercise to hear and understand another person's heart.
When we want to be aligned with God's plan, we have to pray again and again, as Yeshua did in Gethsemane, "Not my will but Yours be done" (Matthew 26:39). We change our will to be aligned with His. We are to seek the right order that God has set up. We seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then the other things will fall into place (Matthew 6:33).
Since God's order includes everyone and everything, we have to learn to respect other people, their gifts, their purposes, and their history. We respect the precedence of what has happened before us. We respect history and honor people. That helps to bring us into alignment with God's purposes.
I see an example of that in Yeshua's baptism in water by John. Yeshua was greater than John, and Yeshua had not sinned. So why did He need to be immersed in water? One reason is that in the first century, baptism in water meant not only repentance of sin, but dedication to holiness, cleansing from the influences of the world and submission to the spiritual leader at the time.
Yeshua said He would be baptized by John in "order to fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15). He submitted to God's right order. What a beautiful example of righteousness we see at Yeshua's baptism! John was the anointed prophet of his generation. Yeshua submitted to him, just as He submitted to Miriam (Mary) and Joseph as His parents (Luke 2:51).
Yeshua submitted to someone lesser than Himself to be aligned to God's plan and order. Being baptized by John was part of that alignment. When the other religious leaders refused to submit to John through baptism, they rejected that alignment, that righteous order (Luke 7:29) and, in fact, showed themselves to be unworthy of God's plan for their own lives (Luke 7:30).
Yeshua submitted first to His heavenly Father, then to His earthly parents and then to John the Baptist as a prophet. He set Himself in right order and right alignment with God's purposes for His own life. Let us follow in His footsteps as we seek to align ourselves with God's purposes as well.
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