Kingdom Challege

What I’m about to share this time will probably challenge you to the very core of how you are doing ministry and view success. The kingdom of God is advancing but because of a religious mindset we are sometimes are missing its impact. We probably believe that success is determined by the number of salvations occurring. But the mandate we really have is to build the Kingdom of God and as we do that salvations will occur. The message of the Kingdom is: The gospel is the good news that a king exists with a kingdom to bring Royal power and sovereign rule to regenerate the earth and all within it through a people called the Ecclesia. The regeneration that the kingdom releases is what causes salvation to come. Now to the challenge. It is found in this verse.

Romans 15:19 (KJV 1900) — 19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

The context of this verse is about a geographical region and the gospel of the kingdom within that region. Digging into this we find the area was relatively large and circular in nature. It also contained one of the major Roman roads which many used traveling. This road was lined with occult statutes and as people passed, they were expected to lay offerings down. It was an area with a lot of mixed beliefs, and with many traveling through it. But what Paul was talking about is not about preaching everything about the kingdom. But he was talking of a region that Paul worked in. Now did Paul get everyone saved in this area? No. Our mindset of success is conversions and Gods mindset is kingdom influences being felt. Not everyone was saved but everyone in the area knew about the kingdom. Are we in a strategy that everyone will know about the Kingdom in what I call my assigned territory? Now that is a real challenge!
He said the reason he impacted this geographical area was mighty signs, wonders and the power (dunimas) the nature of Christ within him. The word mighty is also the word dunimas. The signs and wonders contained the nature of God as they came and were performed. Looking at the previous verse he also states that he did things in word and deed and that everything he did was Christ working through him and he did nothing on his own accord. He trusted the Christ within him was enough to speak though him and perform his word by the Holy Spirit.

Now just how much did Paul allow Christ to work through him? We see verses in his writings of “I die daily” “My life is hid in Christ” “to die is gain” and a host of other verses. We use these in attempt to let go of sin and things that seem to distract us. But Paul’s process of dying was not to overcome shortcomings but to advance the kingdom of Christ. Christ was so formed in him was at a whole different level, a greater fullness of yieldedness, obedience and death even. The answer is also seen in this section of Romans.

Romans 15:21–22 (KJV 1900) — 21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand. 22 For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you.

Paul is quoting a verse found in Isaiah 52:21. This verse like so many was a prophesy concerning Christ coming. But now look at the context, Paul claims this verse for himself! It seems we hold certain prophet verse to only be Christ, but Paul claims this and others as his. He knows this verse in Isiah was focused towards Christ so why would he claim it as his own? Paul had so died, Christ was so formed in, He was so alive in Paul, that he saw that what was spoke pertaining and pointing towards Christ, that if Christ was really working through him, then those things were Paul’s as well! Now that is the root of the challenge we see here.

Romans 15:23 (KJV 1900) — 23 But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you;

Paul concludes a couple verses later stating with such confidence that he no longer had a place of effectiveness in that region. Imagine he was so well known and made the kingdom so well known, in his perspective he no longer was needed there. Instead of moving on out of frustration which so many do, he was ready to move on because of completion. To reach our regions we need signs and wonders. To see them in our regions we need Christ formed in us. But we need Him so real in our lives that not only do we take on the nature of Christ, but we take on what was said over him and prophesied about him is ours as well as we become his extension, his ambassadors upon the earth.

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The Journey Has A Cause

As I sit at my office tonight and listen to the BASE worship team practice, it brings me to reflect on the goodness of God. His goodness to give us a worship team willing to lead others. The goodness of God to make a way that there is childcare for our team to practice. The faithfulness of God as we have moved and relocated the ministry many times to finally move to our capital. The impact in state government we have had. The connecting of others of like faith. The birthing of more centers like ours. The expansion social media has brought. The many books written now read around the world, which was never my intention. My intention was they would be a legacy after I’m gone to be discovered and read.

I look around my office and see the reminders of the nations I have traveled to, some repeatedly with teams I was training as we did conferences to train leaders. Sitting on my shelves are the memories and the gifts that only I understand, each with its own story, like my small green bible. A pastor in the bush had saved for 3 years to buy it and gave it to me as a gift after only having it for 3 weeks. His only Bible.

It seems I have gone to places others did not want to go. Places off the path to the least of these. Places with no money, but wealthy with hunger. And yes, great faith. I am not called to large crowds but to large hearts, hearts with capacity for all the truth God has. Much of what I have done has been in stealth, hidden to many but not to Gods eyes. I would rather sit in a room and pour into a son or daughter than preach to a crowd who may or may not receive.

I reflect on the sons and daughters, those who left for no reason and walked away not just from me but from kingdom faith. Others who went out and birthed churches, networks of churches, schools, orphanages and put themselves both in harms way and great difficulty but have seen God come through. Ones scattered around the globe. For every one that left God gave back and replaced with ones who had more passion, were more solid and were established in faith and ministry, producing their own sons and daughters. The intentions of God will never be stopped by man’s rebellion or decisions.

I am thankful for all the unique places I have been. Under the tree Stanley and Livingstone preached the Gospel in Zambia. To meet with Benson Idahosa’s family. Once an entire government closed in recess, so I could pray over the speaker of the house. I have been before kings, who requested me to come. I have prophesied to entertainment people, and people of all kinds. I have been on the United States senate floor and pray over the seats and desk. Unique things, odd things, strange things, but non the less I ended up there, in stealth, just doing the work. Not some super spiritual hyped thing, or something I tried to make happen to have bragging rights or feather in my cap, but true God ordained and orchestrated things. Things the voice of God led me to do. To drive hours to home in a strange town, led turn by turn to deliver a message to a couple about to divorce. To see my gas tank supernaturally filled with gas. Or a pot of chili supernaturally feed 30 people every Sunday for 3 months.

I’m thankful for the stealth assignments of breaking witchcraft and demonic forces. For bring down the T.M. leader and its structure in my home town. I’m thankful for Gods faithfulness and his power, and grace and mercy to choose this Iowa unlearned farm boy and take him around the global. To teach me when I begged many to father me and no one would father me. That God himself fathered me! To open doors that others thought were to small but lead to the large thing.

I’m thankful for the leaders who look to me for guidance, encouragement, direction, and revelation. The families they have that have become my family. Not just locations to preach at but families to spend time with and pour into. True sons and daughters emerging, co-laboring, experiencing the same sacrifices, and joy and struggles but overcoming and maturing in faith and seeing victory.

I’m thankful for my own family and a wife who has supported me, my son who has came along on the journey and his family and kids. My 2 other sons who are a great blessing to me as well along with my adopted daughters who God has placed into my life. My life is full and complete is so many ways.

At times I wonder what would it be like if I did not go on the journey? What would it be like if I had skipped assignments or led my own path. I wish many could experience this kingdom life I have had. This reality. I think how sad to miss so much. To fall short of the glory of God. To waste time and energy on what is not eternal. I’m looking for those who want to journey together. To hear the spirits voice and come aside and see this great thing. As David said is there not a cause. I can say with all certainty, “oh yes there is a great cause, a cause that will form you as you fulfill the intentions of God in the earth. “

 

 

“The ACTS of the Apostles”

The Lord recently spoke to me about the book of Acts, specifically the title. He said “You’re about to see the acts of the apostles.”This had my attention and He said “True apostles are going to do true acts.” As I thought on it, I was reminded of how we define the apostolic and affirm many who are not true apostles. Looking at our current definition and comparing it to the early apostles, there is very little real similarity, at least in America. We have little suffering for the Gospel, or if there is, it is just life. No confrontations of government leaders. No imprisonment. No giving away of abundant finances. Few confrontations with demonic strongholds, or moral issues, or occultism, no teaching all night, or travailing in prayer with no agenda but for Christ to be formed, etc. We seem to do things from a distance within an arm’s length environment. I was just at a conference and the statement was given in a teaching setting that perhaps in America, we are living in a pre-Christian era as we have not seen true apostolic Kingdom Christianity fully formed in our nation and it is yet to come.

The Lord recently sent me on a journey. It was not a prophetic act but a redemptive act to close a gate of hades and open a new era over a region in the United States. He told me this is the acts of the apostles coming. They will be bringing forth the new that God desires and paying little attention to the past and even the controlling forces. I am not going to get into the significance of what I did but God told me He would give me a sign that the cleansing of the land has begun. I saw a green tarnished brass marker become polished clean and like new before my eyes. A real sign and wonder! Where are the signs and the wonders of the acts of the apostles? I tell you it is not running a ‘church’ like a pastor would and calling yourself an apostle.

I have started another book to address all of these things. The apostolic is not about list fulfillment but about living life in apostolic grace. It is seeing, living, and approaching things so differently it may seem odd to everyone. If we are in a type of pre- New Testament Christianity, then doesn’t that mean the apostles will be more on the outside of the status quo instead of being grafted into what is currently happening through our Christian ‘productions’? Maybe I’m the only one tired of all the confusion and devaluing of this grace over the last twenty years.

True apostles don’t need the accolades of men or men’s approval. They do demand order. They do expect action. They desire oneness. They refuse false doctrine. They speak truth that redefines. They will risk everything to advance. They are sought after for affirmation but many times their voice is not welcome. They are rejected for revelation. They are more prophetic than most prophets and they are always seeing a larger vision, working with greater clarity and perceiving with accuracy. They don’t have time for foolish things as these things are childish to them. They don’t build networks but build Christ. They don’t manage ‘churches’ but raise sons. They are pioneers more than revivalists.

The “Acts of the Apostles” is not a history book but a lifestyle book. Read it and see the interaction of the five fold grace gifts. See how the apostles advanced The Church by the endangerment of their reputation risking all as they died to gain Christ. It’s a book of how the character and nature of Christ was formed in the apostles to be formed in the Body to release the Ecclesia. It is a book of sending not gathering and hoarding. It is about infiltration into culture to change pockets of people, not gathering masses to convince them. They are Master builders of God’s expression through His Son. Isn’t it time for the “Acts of the Apostles” again?

Combating Leviathan to Bring Light to Iowa

In my last blog, I exposed the Leviathan principality that is working in Iowa. (See past blog) Since the posting, many people have contacted me from other states saying they are combating the same exact things. Many have decided to follow my blog to find answers for their regions. I want to begin to address a strategic plan of spiritual warfare against the demonic forces that we encounter.
How do we fight against an unseen enemy and how do we determine the results? In the past, I have seen many so called prophetic acts that engaged a lot of activity but had little to no results. I do believe in prophetic acts, but only if they are very divinely inspired and prayed into and not a fleeting thought in the moment. I don’t see New Testament apostles doing prophetic acts but actual acts. That’s why the book is called The “Acts” of the Apostles. They were real men sent by God to do real acts of God to display His Kingdom in society. They did not depend on numbers to engage demonic forces but relied strictly on the spiritual authority they had been given. Success was not dependent on everyone agreeing or even understanding. It was based on them hearing God’s voice clearly and obeying. We are to pull down strongholds. You don’t pull strongholds down as an individual but with a group of people. This is an action of a group of people who demolish a fortress brick by brick until there is nothing left that remains. This, to me is the first step in strategy, finding the group of warriors.
We also need to find apostles and prophets. I’m not talking about those who want to be or who might be called, but commissioned apostles appointed by Christ, not men and assumptions. These will only be the ones carrying true authority to deal with deep things in the second heaven. They will know the time and moment to step into the heavens and begin to make the shifts. We also must have Christ appointed prophets as well. Ones who declare the true word of God, speaking what must be said. All apostles require and need prophets and all prophets require and need apostles. I have come to a conclusion over time that unless these divine Christ appointed relationships are in place, the strategy of God will not be fully known. If these relationships do not exist, then there is improper alignment, rebellion, or they are not truly called to operate in the grace of these two callings. These giftings will reveal the true word of God over regions and allow that word to be documented so that the Church can war with it. It becomes the spiritual roadmap that reveals the future and causes hope to arise and faith to be activated. The Biblical pattern in the book of Acts shows that when a principality was operating in a region, then Apostolic/Prophetic teams were sent into an area. They understood the culture and the demonic influences behind the people’s belief systems. They began to confront the principality by confronting what people believed. This is probably the primary way of defeating demonic oppression and deception. This occurs until a divine moment of time, confronting each head of Leviathan and weakening the overall principality. We need apostolic / prophetic teams to not just do meetings but go into regions and occupy for a season until breakthrough begins to happen.
Prayer is a key strategic point. There must be prayer over God’s people and decrees over demons plaguing God’s people. Prayer that seeks the heart of God to cause a person’s own heart to be changed. Prayers that communicate the burden we are carrying so God can adjust that burden. Prayer is what maintains and protects God’s people. But prayer alone will not bring changes so much in culture as tarrying to hear God’s plans and strategies is needed. This is more key than anything. In the past when we confronted principalities, we prayed for God’s people, interceded for the lost, made decrees and did lots and lots of deliverance over the people under the demonic oppression. We taught truth and held a Kingdom standard. The prayer room or prayer time was a key time because it allowed us to move into the spiritual realm as a contending group. It was not so much the act of prayer but what it allowed to be produced in us as a corporate Body. It was not just a few of us on the journey of prayer but all of us together. After all, we ALL were on assignment so everything we did, we did together. This was key because it caused our hearts to be knit in His purpose as all of us experienced and heard the same things. We also could hear each other’s heart and understood each other’s hearts. There was as much said and spoken in the prayer gathering as there was in our main meetings. The prayer meeting would set the stage for what God would then form in our main meetings. Without the time in the prayer gathering, a person would be at a disadvantage in understanding the overall direction as things unfolded.
All things will contribute to the weakening of demonic oppression. Healing, winning souls, deliverance, etc., all weaken evil influences. These things are very important, but if the Church is needing awakened, then these things will be hard to set into motion. People will only change how they function after they change what they value. So we must teach and teach and teach as people are perishing for lack of Kingdom knowledge. This has been and currently is the season of revelatory teachers needed. What they are forming is the people of God activated and functioning in real authority.
Now let me give a warning. What seems to happen when we start talking of principalities is there are a lot of ideas and Godly intentions, but little of it fits into an overall plan and strategy to take demonic opposition out of the way. Also, it seems that people can get very fixated on the demonic and not on the Lord thus even empowering demonic forces with their faith. All the good ideas will contribute to the overall success possibly, but they can also distract the Church as it divides people into different groups and passions with no real overall Kingdom plan or agenda unfolding. It can be said these initiatives are Kingdom but are they strategic, playing into an overall Kingdom plan of God? I have seen this in our state with some things that can appear to be a good initiative but don’t have a long-term goal or plan that continues. People can walk away feeling good about what they accomplished but when all is said and done, there was little to no impact. We must be sure we are hearing God and to know the application of what we hear. We must know how our initiatives fit into a larger plan.
The main thing is that we have grown accustomed to life as it is. Human nature is already non-confrontational. The deception we live with is thinking we have already arrived or that things are not really that bad. This mindset needs addressed first. We can’t have change unless we are discontent with the status quo. But there will come a moment of in time, divinely led and inspired, when a corporate group pf people are gathered and in faith will confront Leviathan head on and cut the heads off it. These people will then stand in faith afterwards not giving any ground in the spiritual realm back. This will literally shift the heavens and the atmosphere over a region. It takes time to defeat Principalities. We see Paul weakening many demonic forces over time. This is like a giant chess match being played out with the ultimate prize being a true sovereign move of God unfolding. It is the removing of what is detrimental to allow the light of God to shine into men’s hearts.
We truly need a divine sovereign move of God. Every meeting becomes another key step. Another step in the unfolding plan of God dominion and alignment of hearts. Every person is seen as a possible key to contributing to Kingdom advancement. The mindset is to advance. Advance in gatherings, advance seeing God in lives, advance seeing Kingdom people touching society and seeing that touch influence culture.

Fathering, the way to form 5- fold leaders

As I have studied spiritual fathering and being a spiritual father for about 20 years, I can quickly see the benefits of this for the sons and daughters being developed. I see the great need in the Body yet so many in need of this are sitting under leaders that have no idea of what spiritual fathering is.

The Lord has led me to start a new school in the fall of this year that is to be both a ministry school and a school of fathering. I oversaw a ministry school for 13 years and I knew this had to look different. As I looked around, I didn’t see a model so I have had to work through many things to put together a school that trains for ministry but has fathering within it. We won’t be charging for fathering but for the training part of the school. I am really excited for the school to begin and I see a more solid Biblical pattern for training leaders than ever before. This is leading me to write this blog.

I don’t want to just turn out students; I want strong and true sons and daughters. I know the approach is relationship based and is not forced. Our current models of training leaders is to send them to school, train and equip them with knowledge and some opportunities, and then send them out to do ministry and establish new works. My heart recently broke when a young girl who was in a school of minsitry I talked with was crying out for a father to speak to her. You guess it I was the one and it was fantastic. I realized for all our training we are still not touching the real heart issues needing to be shifted. Yet, as I look at the early Church, there is no real Biblical pattern showing forth the training of five-fold ministry. There is no pattern on how to form a prophet, apostle or any other grace gift. It appears all the emphasis we place on these graces is not as important in the early church. Perhaps we have missed something.

What we do see though is the training of sons and daughters. We see spiritual fathering and sons and daughters responding to that fathering. We also see those same sons and daughters being given responsibilities from the fathers and assignments to complete. We see them laboring along with fathers and knowing their hearts. I wonder if the reason Jesus only appointed apostles and spoke of them was because all true apostles are fathers. We know that the apostle’s role is also to father the future leaders. Of course we see the best dynamic unfolding with Paul and Timothy.  Timothy moved from his son ship to be a leader in the Ephesus church. Along the way, Paul’s heart was reproduced within him and Paul’s voice was heard through him to the Corinthian church as he delivered and read the letters to them. Paul was forming a future apostle by forming a son.

Could the recognition of false apostles and prophets that Paul talked of be more about them having no real father than trying to be something they are not? At least, some of them?  True fathering can easily be seen in a leader’s life. Look at David after defeating Goliath. King Saul asked a simple question of Abner, the captain of the host, “Whose son is this youth?” (I Samuel 17:55) He knew it took a certain type of father to form a certain type of leader.

Paul was adamant with Timothy about his lineage. He told Timothy he saw the heritage in Timothy through his mother and grandmother. Then he told him to look for faithful men who can teach others also. He never told Timothy to go train five-fold leaders. Paul actually never gave a single example of training fivefold ministers but all he taught can be applied to sons. He did tell him to find those qualified as faithful and from those, create sons who will teach others! This sounds like a Biblical pattern of raising five-fold ministry gifts.

I have come to a conclusion that we have created five-fold ministry by more of a worldly pattern with the giving of knowledge in schools of ministry. By knowledge, we define giftings and to a large degree, callings. We set people into the place of five-fold. Some make it while many struggle or even fail. Many were never ready but their schooling says ‘you have graduated or are ready’. Then from that foundation of knowledge, we try to form fathers from five-fold leaders who were never really sons. I believe the more Biblical pattern of forming five-fold leaders is to father them first, to pour life experience in with the Biblical knowledge.  Then from the depths of fathering, the gift will be seen and recognized. The father would release the sons and daughters into ministry.  In other words, five-fold giftings, which are really graces, should be coming forth from fathers. By having true sons and daughters doing ministry, I believe we would see a tremendous impact with ministries and the face of Christianity would appear very different.

I know this is a tremendous paradigm shift of the current approaches and way of training. We have defined so much by Greek and Hebrew language instead of the Kingdom language of heaven. Perhaps the real “equipping” needed in the Body is not just the knowledge of Truth but application of Truth coming from fathers who have made that Truth a part of their life. In other words the equipping is really spiritual fathering! If that is the role of the five-fold, then how can the five-fold father equip the Body without them first being true sons and daughters?

So my premise of this blog is to announce my own paradigm shift concerning training leaders and what is really expected from sons and daughters. I, like William Penn as the nation was being formed, am starting a “Holy Experiment” in a new way of raising sons and daughters and five-fold leaders in our school this fall starting in Sept. If you’re interested in this forerunning, pioneering school, you can find more information on our FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1468560813402697/.

Kingdom Centers and the Ecclesia

What exactly distinguishes a kingdom center from a typical church or ministry center? There’s talk of revival hubs and places that hold revival type meetings in the general Body of Christ. The kingdom center is much more than a revival center. The dynamics of the kingdom center hold much spiritual life and longevity of life for the Body of Christ. Most of us define success by the sheer number of people that we either ministered to or at least came through our doors. What is happening in the spiritual realm is how God determines the success of what we have put our faith into action for.
A kingdom center has one thing that sets it above all other types of ministries, churches, revival centers, and places of outreach and outpouring. It sets a new standard of Kingdom expression and life flow that causes a disturbance in the spiritual realm. The standard of the kingdom center is grounded in biblically-based doctrine, expression of that doctrine, gift development, and the overall functioning of the Body of Christ. Unlike most places that have a set person who leads a service or has five-fold ministry leaders leading a service, a kingdom center sees the entire Body of Christ as having a place of function and expression each time it gathers, thus raising the standard of Christ’s nature being expressed.
The standard a kingdom center sets brings us a greater understanding of the truth of the Bible and the application of those truths into everyday life. This causes a spiritual life flow that brings fulfillment into the typical believer’s life as they see their self having value and a place of function in the overall Body. The standard a kingdom center brings not only sets a spiritual bar in the atmosphere, but it’s very presence begins to confront the atmosphere and demand a change upon the spiritual climate of the city or region.
Even though we define kingdom centers as a hub of regional activity, or teaching center that has been established within a certain region for a group of people, or even a revival center, the standard that it brings raises the spiritual climate and atmosphere to a new level so all are affected. What a kingdom center is carrying is a certain grace that enables the standard to be established within a city or region. The establishment of that standard of the Kingdom is now placed for others to find and attain through grace. Not everyone will come through a kingdom center and possibly very few will even understand what a kingdom center is, but many will discover the grace within a region it has unlocked for others’ benefit. The recognition of man is not important to those of a kingdom Center but the approval of God is what matters.
If we truly are one Body of Christ, then we must be thinking along those lines concerning all the activities of that Body. Some parts of the Body are revivalist and have revival centers. Other parts of the Body have teaching centers. Still other parts of the Body have care and nurturing centers called churches. Many times we look at a ministry or a church that is struggling and that seems to be small in number and yet other churches and ministries around are growing and expanding. Our disjointed thinking makes us believe there is something wrong or lacking with the smaller church or ministry. What we may not understand is a smaller church or ministry may be combating and doing most of the spiritual warfare for the city or region. That warfare is enabling others to grow supernaturally and expand as they are not involved in the intensity of the battle but can be more involved in the intensity of the outreach. The kingdom center that sets the standard within the city has a vital role to play in the overall Body of Christ.
Though there may not be many who attend a kingdom center, as most are small in number, but most are doing large things in the spiritual realm. They play an important role in the overall spiritual climate of the city that enables others to reap the benefits of it. Without a standard placed, the typical will always remain the standard. Eventually the standard a kingdom center places also becomes a rallying point that the Holy Spirit can use to cause the Body of Christ to come together. It is not necessarily the kingdom center that is the rallying point but what the kingdom center is carrying a certain grace upon, which is a deeper expression of the nature of Christ. This now becomes the sound from heaven that others suddenly hear. The sound was being released months and even years prior to others hearing it. I know this from personal experience in our ministry as we have been a forerunner of many different things at times. In some ways, it was frustrating that 3-5 years later, others would finally hear the sound and grab hold of what we had previously said. We had already received the revelation, processed it and had moved on. We offered it at that time, but they were not yet ready to receive it.
What you will find about a kingdom center is they are both a pioneer and a forerunner. They break open new territory that has never been seen before. They also carry and are modeling that which God is trying to do and bring into the earth. Because this dynamic does not fit all people, the numbers that will participate in a kingdom center will be drastically smaller than normal ministries. But what a kingdom center does carry also has a high privilege and great responsibility for the future of the Body of Christ. Without their tenacity, pioneering and willingness to be misunderstood and struggle to bring forth the intentions of God, perhaps the future that so many desire would not fully come into existence.
We must remember it is what we do in the spiritual realm that is eternal. The buildings and sound equipment that we have are only tools to be used to help facilitate the eternal realm into the earth realm. The number of people that participate in any Christian event or gathering is only a number indicating interest. The real number that God is concerned about is the number of hearts and lives that have been changed. That is why kingdom centers have a vision for the entire Body of Christ and sees that Body mobilized to do the work of the ministry. They see eternally instead of temporally.

To Go or Stay

I want to address a real issue affecting Kingdom works: it is the placement and alignment of people in the Body of Christ. First of all, let me say I am not trying to cause a mass exodus but to look at things through a Biblical perspective. We all have heard such discontentment from a multitude about the current lack at the places they gather for fellowship, worship and spiritual community. Many are waiting and hoping, though not really in true faith believing, for changes to occur so it will be what they desire in their heart for it to be, which is life- giving. But when confronted with leaving that which does not bring life, the answer almost always is “God has not released me”.
A release from God means there is an assignment given that has not been completed. What is the assignment so many seem to be on and what authority do they have to complete it? How were they sent? If no real assignment has been given and a person is just waiting for changes to occur, perhaps it is not God releasing as much as you deciding to move. Perhaps it is a reluctance to leave what is common and comfortable. Perhaps a person thinks they are the catalyst for change instead of the Holy Spirit.
Soul ties and obligations seem to be the real hold, yet Jesus said “There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.” Luke 18:29-30. If we are truly Kingdom minded, we would not allow ourselves to be stuck in frustrations when there might be real options. If we are on a Kingdom assignment, then we would be seeing progress and also be positioned to influence for the sake of the Kingdom. I have seen people wait for years in false hope when there were options they allowed to pass on by. I knew a woman who waited for 17 years faithfully praying for change in one church and nothing occurred. She finally gave up and and moved to another place only to step into a place of similar lack. She prayed for 11 more years and finally gave up. It is hard to move on after investing so much. We don’t want to believe that the things we desire will not come. Perhaps where we have placed ourselves is the real issue. Maybe in that time there were not any options but now in this season with the apostolic and Kingdom government emerging in force and strength, options for true spiritual growth are available.
God has placed you in the Body as He sees fit — to grow you spiritually. If you are not growing, either you are in rebellion, have things in your heart that need to be addressed or you are not in the right faith community. Thinking of it in a practical sense, why would God decide to sacrifice you and stagnate you in spiritual understanding of Him? Why would a loving God frustrate you? Or perhaps you are frustrating the grace of God to bring change. It is just not what you might be thinking of changing, what you are connected with, but changing your perceptions and maybe your alignments to something more life giving. Perhaps you placed yourself in your current faith community and the next location will truly be the place God has placed you.
Even Jesus could not perform miracles or healing even though the anointing was present in some places. Just because a person’s desire is in place to see God move, does not necessarily mean He will. He will not overstep the will of people and specifically the will of a leader. What a leader is currently allowing to occur in a meeting is the most you will see, unless there is a real heart change. You can’t change what you are not in charge of. You might influence but that will be at a price of rejection. So if you are complaining about it, then you are not really in an assignment as any assignment has a specific grace to endure. You can only grow to the degree your leader is growing. That is why it is imperative for leaders to constantly be studying and advancing themselves.
Paul, at times, was not accepted because he could not do anything. But the big, big, difference is that Paul was on assignment and not attending a place to be taught. For the most part, fellowship is what holds people, but it only can produce a certain degree of growth. Think of this: the early Christians left the temple and all the practices for what was life- giving. They left prestige, position, influence, family, obligations and comradery, for a new life-giving flow. There are no examples of people leaving a community of believers in the Bible as all were being taught and growing. The only time we see a departing is when there was doctrinal error and someone was being sent. The commitment to a life- giving community was very evident. That community was formed by God in such a way to grow all the members of that community into deeper relationship with Him.
Now let me say this: the commitment I am talking of, I do not want to be misunderstood. It does not apply to a place that does not produce life and true disciples. That is more a friendship obligation than a pathway to spiritual life. It does apply to a place that is producing disciples and life. This means submitting to real leaders for true spiritual transformation. It means becoming part of a spiritual community that esteems each other and recognizes gifting. It also means becoming involved with the spiritual DNA God has given you. I have seen rashness in young adults coming from the culture around them to abandon if the things being contended for corporately in a Kingdom setting did not come quickly. In this case, the leaving was unjust; they did not have patience to endure to attain the prize. I know of 2 cases in our ministry that they gave God a time limit and said ‘if this does not occur by this length of time, then I’m leaving’ and they did. Imagine the immaturity of that kind of thinking. But this has been caused by an instantaneous culture with rewards and levels attained. It also occurs by not putting your whole heart in play because it shows reluctance and a withholding of full faith.
I had conversations with a man over several months concerning the current body he was attending. He was a prophet living in frustration. Control and secrecy was evident in the body he was in. He would come to me and ask about doctrinal issues that were very skewed. There was a lot of liberty being taken in some areas and in others, things were overlooked. It seemed to be more about money than people. And when it did come to people, it was certain people who got the most attention, the well-to-do people who fit the classification the whole ministry was trying to become. Finally one day I told him, I can no longer meet with you to help you and listen to this. You need to stop attending. He asked ‘why’? I responded with two questions. “Are you attending there?” Obviously the answer was ‘yes’. “Are you tithing there and giving offerings?” The answer was ‘yes’ again. I then said “By attending there, your presence is endorsing it. By giving there, you’re actually supporting it. Both actions are empowering it to remain the way it is. Unless you stop endorsing it and supporting it, no one will stop to take notice of anything wrong.”
Perhaps it is time to shake the dust off your feet. Shaking the dust off is a sign of being on a long journey and the conclusion is before you. You shake the dust off before you enter a house to rest. It is leaving all the excessive baggage you have collected, the dirt, disappointments and weariness and entering into a new place for which you have been destined.