My First Time Being Fathered

The next time I saw Pastor we were both early to class.  He asked me about myself while we stretched.  I mentioned I was a graduate student getting my MFA in creative writing, even though I wasn’t confident that I could make it as a writer.

“What are you writing about?”

“It’s a memoir about my past.  I did some things that I am really ashamed of.  I’m trying to figure out why, and hopefully help people in the process.”  

I was going to leave it at that, but I felt the truth getting tugged out of me.

“I cheated on someone.”  

Pastor paused as if the wheels were turning in his head.  I braced myself for judgment as shame and guilt flooded my bloodstream like poison.  

“There’s a story in the Bible about Jesus and an adulterous woman.”  

Set Free: How a Jiu Jitsu World Champion Found Jesus

***

Dr. Joshua Todd was fathering me before I knew what a spiritual father was.  

Malachi 4:5 says: 

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.  And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.”  

Dr. Don Lynch writes some excellent books on the subject including The Spirit and Power of Elijah and Fathering: Transforming Individuals and Nations

But simply put, God has a strategy to disciple people and nations through a spirit of fathering and He orchestrates a covenant between spiritual fathers and their spiritual children.  

Before Dr. Joshua and I made a covenant together as spiritual father and daughter, God was already turning our hearts toward each other through the spirit and power of Elijah.  

In the passage in my book, I was shocked with how transparent I was with a stranger.  It felt like the truth was getting pulled out of me.  My sin of adultery was one of my deepest darkest sins and it was one of the first things my spiritual father learned about me.  

Most people would have responded to that truth with judgment or condemnation, but immediately, Dr. Joshua, as a mature Kingdom leader pointed me to Jesus.  

As we talked, my spiritual father received my transparency and showed me the mercy of Jesus.  Already, without knowing me, he had the heart of the Heavenly Father toward me, because God was orchestrating the interaction.  

Instead of condemning me, he shared with me the story of Jesus and the adulterous woman out of John 8.  

It was my first experience with the gospel!!!  

I had no idea who Jesus was, and my first meaningful interaction with my spiritual father was him confronting the darkness of my past with the Light of Jesus Christ.  He didn’t say that my sin was okay or it didn’t matter, but he did represent Jesus.  

In that moment I feared condemnation, but I received the Father’s mercy for me through one of His representatives.  And Dr. Joshua pointing me to Jesus in that moment was the first step to me being born again.  It was the first stepping stone onto my pathway toward destiny.  

It’s hilarious to me now that this interaction started with discussion of my writing, and he would be the one to lead me and train me and mature me in that gift.  I had liked writing, but he showed me that God has formed and fashioned that into my destiny!  

God sent me to a spiritual father so that my gifting could be developed toward fullness.  

Dr. Joshua and I have been walking the pathway together for around 2 years now and each time we meet, Jesus makes healing, restoration, and maturity available through his leadership.  Jesus has used a spiritual father to speak into my life to shine a light on the dark places that are inconsistent to who God created me to be.  Those places that are inconsistent with my destiny.  Each meeting brings a renewing of my heart and mind as Hebrews 8:10 describes: 

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws into their minds,
and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.

Each meeting brings a grace flow to become the person God created me to be.  I don’t have to try to live by a set of laws in my own human strength.  God writes His laws on my mind and heart and provides grace to be someone I could never be on my own.  

Everything in my life started changing for the better when I connected to my spiritual father.  Holy Spirit orchestrated all of it, even before I was saved.  

When God created me, He already had Dr. Joshua in mind to be my spiritual father.  Dr. Joshua writes about his personal story of meeting his spiritual father Dr. Don Lynch in his series Seasons of Sonship.  

When God created you, He already knew who your spiritual father would be!  If you don’t yet have a spiritual father, start praying that Holy Spirit would orchestrate that meeting.  Spiritual fathers provide the leadership necessary to reach the fullness of our purpose and destiny as children of God!  

***

To read more about my story, check out my book Set Free: How a Jiu Jitsu World Champion found Jesus.

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