Today, there is a great need for spiritual fathers and mothers—mature disciples who know the “deep things of God” (1 Cor. 2:10). And there is no other book like Genesis to ground us in the depths of God’s ways. In Genesis we see the rise of the fathers—Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (along with the matriarchs: Sarah, Rebecca and Rachel). This makes Genesis very apostolic: it bears the DNA of the biblical apostles that were yet to come. Genesis is the book of beginnings, just as apostles are men of new beginnings—fathers who break new ground and reproduce Christ in others. Much of what is called the apostolic movement today is just froth, it lacks roots and foundations. Many men who call themselves apostles have not entered into the same experiences as our biblical forefathers. Have they, like Abraham, offered up what is dearest to their hearts? Have they with Isaac sowed in a time of famine? Do they know what it is to wrestle with God like Jacob? Do they know the pain of obscurity and suffering like Joseph? These are the very things that make a person and a church apostolic, but are sorely lacking today.
Apostles and apostolic people are like Abraham: they seek a city with foundations. They are not satisfied with merely big churches, the seeming appearance of success and so-called decisions for Christ—instead, they are searching for something that will last. They are willing to withstand long periods of barrenness until what is birthed comes from the Spirit, rather than natural means. Like Ishmael, that which is born of our own abilities may be blessed (Gen. 17:18-20). Yet it does not reflect the apostolic reality that is God’s ultimate intention.
The words “in the beginning” challenge the immature, but also confront legalists who possess pseudo-maturity. It is possible to have a form of maturity, but lack the apostolic quality of a true spiritual father or mother. This is because what may be legally advocated in Scripture may be entirely different than God’s original purposes. For example, the Pharisees endorsed divorce because Moses gave them permission to send away a wife. However, Jesus challenges them saying, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way” (Matt. 19:8, NASB). In other words, this was never God’s intent in the beginning!
Could it be that we are settling for something less than God’s ultimate desire because we do not know him who is from the beginning? If we do not know the eternal purposes of him who is from the beginning, we will have a tendency to embrace something legally permissible rather than apostolic. This is the condition of many that settle for the easy way rather than pursuing God’s heart.
Prayer: Father, your very DNA––your apostolic nature––is locked up in Genesis. May that DNA become a part of me and the church. You’re searching for apostolic men and women, men and women with foundations, people who are rooted in their origins. Make us into what you ultimately intended from the beginning. I don’t want to settle for anything less.