As believers in Christ and members of the Body of Christ we are commissioned by the Lord to shepherd His sheep, the saints in the church, according to God (1 Pet. 5:2). To shepherd according to God requires that we are one with God, we are filled with God, we are reconstituted with God, we live God, we represent God, and we minister God; in other words, we need to become God in life, nature, expression, and function so that we may shepherd others according to God. The only way we can shepherd God’s sheep according to God is by becoming the same as God in life and nature.
We have seen what it means for us to be one with God, be reconstituted with God, live God, and express God, and today we need to see what it means to represent God. As those who would shepherd according to God, we need to represent God and function as the acting God. We were created in God’s image and according to His likeness so that we may express God and represent God.
When man fell, he didn’t just fail to express God but also to represent God. In His economy, however, God is dispensing Himself into us as life, and we have not only the ability to express Him and also represent Him. We need to become God in life, nature, expression, and function, so that we may become the acting God, God in action. We may look at ourselves and not see that we are the acting God, but God’s desire and His work is to make us the same as He is in life and nature, expression and function!
There are a few such examples in the Bible of people who were “the acting God”, one with God in His authority to represent Him on earth.
We need to Represent God and Function as the Acting God to Shepherd According to God
In Moses God had one to Represent Him and Execute His will
In Exodus we see how Moses was one with God to represent God and execute His will on earth (see Exo. 7:1; 3:16-18; 5:1). Pharaoh was stubborn and he didn’t believe or know God, but Moses came to represent God, manifest Him, and execute His will.
By the end of Moses’ encounter with Pharaoh, the latter believed in God because he saw Moses representing Him and executing His will. We need to be one with the Lord wherever we go and whatever we do so that we may go with Him, represent Him, and execute His will on earth.
Samuel Represented God and he was the Acting God
In 1 Samuel we see how Samuel was the acting God; he knew not only God’s plan but also His heart, and his whole being and God’s heart were one (see 1 Sam. 1:11; 2:35; 7:3; 8:22). By the end of his ministry, Samuel reached the highest position on earth – he was directly under God, representing God on earth as a prophet, a priest, and a judge.
He had God’s oracle and God’s administration, and he was the acting God on earth. Samuel cared for and was faithful to do what God desired and what was on God’s mind; Samuel’s being and God’s heart were fully one.
Samuel was a priest not by birth but by God raising him up particularly. As a priest Samuel replaced and, in a sense, terminated the stale Aaronic priesthood. He did not rebel against the house of Aaron, and he did not usurp anything of the house of Aaron. As Samuel was growing, God arranged the environment to perfect him and to build up his capacity to do everything that was needed for God to change the age. God used Samuel to change the age not through rebellion but through the way of divine revelation. Samuel was a man of revelation (3:21), and he did everything according to what he saw. Furthermore, he was a man according to God’s heart — a copy, a duplicate, of God’s heart. As such a person, he would never do anything rebellious. (1 Sam. 2:35, footnote 1, Recovery Version Bible)
We need to see God’s revelation, be one with His heart, care for His interest, and be one with Him so that we may be the acting God on earth. Our living and our working need to be for the carrying out whatever is in God’s heart.
Lord, make our heart a duplication of Your heart. We want to be one with You for the carrying out of whatever is in Your heart. May we see a revelation of Your heart’s desire, be one with You, and be the acting God on earth because our being and Your heart are one! Oh Lord, saturate us and permeate us to the point that we live You and express You, and our heart becomes a duplication of Your heart to shepherd others according to You by representing You!
Elisha behaved as God’s Representative, the Acting God – We today can be the same!
Elisha the prophet, as the man of God, behaved himself as God’s representative, as the acting God (see 2 Kings 4:9). He went to stay in the home of a wealthy woman in Sunam, and she told her husband, This person is a holy man of God! She saw that she gave God hospitality in her house. In his ministry Elisha the prophet, as the man of God, behaved as God’s representative, and he was the acting God.
Today we as believers in Christ can be the same – the Lord breathed Himself into His disciples in John 20:22, and He commissioned them with His authority saying, Whoever sins you forgive are forgiven, and whoever sins you retain will be retained! The Lord Himself has the authority to forgive sins, and He has been dispensed in us with His authority.
When we preach the gospel to others and a sinner repents and prays and the pneumatic Christ enters into him, we can tell him, Your sins are forgiven! – and the Lord will back up our words, because we are the acting God! All authority was given to the Lord in heavens and on earth, and we have to go and preach the gospel and be God in function to shepherd people according to God!
Paul was an Ambassador of Christ – he Represented God and he was the Acting God
Paul was an ambassador of Christ, one who represented God, and he was the acting God (see 2 Cor. 1:3-4, 12, 15-16; 2:10; 10:11; 11:2). In Corinth there was a brother who committed incest, and the brothers there didn’t do anything about it; Paul, however, as one who was one with God, being God in function, said, Remove this evil man from among you – purge out this leaven (see 1 Cor. 5). But then in 2 Cor. 2, Paul was again one with the Lord to forgive this repenting brother in the person of Christ. Paul was one with God, constituted with God, living God, and expressing God, so he was God in function to forgive this sinning brother in the person of Christ.
The highest authority in this universe is God, and God has given all authority to Christ (Matt. 28:18), who is now the King of kings and the Lord of lords (1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14). This Christ is the Head of the Body, and all the members of the Body are authorized with the heavenly authority to represent God! We need to be not only the captives of Christ but also the ambassadors of Christ representing Him on earth with His interests.
We shouldn’t think that this is too high for us – we are members of the Body of Christ, and we are all representatives of the Head. Hallelujah, we are ambassadors of Christ, those who are one with Him to be the acting God on earth, representing His interests on earth and exercising His authority.
Lord Jesus, thank You for making us Your ambassadors, Your representatives on the earth. We want to be one with You as the Head of the Body to exercise Your authority and represent You with Your interests on earth. Lord, reconstitute us with Yourself, live in us, and be expressed in us, so that we may represent You with Your authority and shepherd others according to God. Oh Lord, may we be one with You to represent You on earth as members of Your Body taking You as our Head!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, brother Bill Lawson’s sharing in the message for this week, and Life-study of 1 Thessalonians, p. 84 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Need for a New Revival, week 6 / msg 6, Shepherding according to God (2) Becoming One with God, Being Constituted with God, Living God, Expressing God, Representing God, and Ministering God to Shepherd according to God.
- All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
- Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
# Lord, I love You, I’m charmed by You. / I open my whole being to be infused by You. / Lord, do whatever You have to do in me / To make me what You need. / Lord, make my heart a duplication of / Your heart in every possible way. / O Lord, do something in me for You, / And keep my heart single for You. / Lord, I love You. (Song on becoming Christ’s reproduction)
# Oh, what a name to me is given— / A son of God, by second birth! / I represent Him on the earth, / He represents me now in heaven. (Hymns #485)
# The new covenant ministers are ambassadors of Christ / Carrying out the ministry of reconciliation / To bring us into God and to make us one with God. (Songs on being ambassadors of Christ)