1 Sam 13:14
“But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”
What a tragic moment in the history of Israel! Though Saul continued to rule as King for many more years, at this moment, he lost the support of God and thereby His delegated authority. Without authority, there is no power to lead. These same leadership failings exhibited by Saul are evident in many of our leaders today. Yet, God “appointed” another man and through the prophet Samuel, listed one of His key qualifications for leadership – “…a man after His own heart…”.
We are experiencing a vacuum of effective, dynamic, innovative leadership in government and commerce in our day. Yet, this is one of the signs of these Last Days we live in. When you focus on this vacuum, it will sap your hope for the future. We are about to see a new generation of leaders come to the fore in the days ahead, and it is incumbent upon us to recognize them, as they are God’s gift to our generation. In order to recognize them, we must understand how God’s leadership process works, and the life of David is one of the many examples we have been given in Scripture.
It is clear in this verse that God has certain qualifications for men and women who will represent His interests to our generation as leaders. Samuel said in this text that God had searched for “…a man after His own heart”. He sought after a man like this to place His anointing and authority on and then He “…appointed him…”. It is important to recognize God’s protocol for leadership of this nature. God first evaluates character; second, He appoints; then third, He anoints.
David met God’s qualification because he was a seeker of God. He was a worshipper who would write songs of praise that later became the Psalms. He was not “bored” with the solitary nature of the shepherd’s occupation, but used this time to position himself for divine visitations. His relationship with the God of Israel produced a fearless character that enabled him to kill a lion and a bear as a teenager. Though David was viewed as insignificant, the least in his father Jessie’s house, he did not strive for attention and position. It is likely that when God delivered this chilling message to King Saul, David had no knowledge that he had been evaluated and appointed.
The implications for you and I as leaders are obvious. Private times of worship and praise, prayer and study are not optional. It was out of these intimate times of solitude and relative insignificance as the youngest that David began to develop the nature of a man of honor, courage and wisdom that would eventually make him the one of the greatest kings in history. We will gain God’s wisdom and insight to navigate the perilous days ahead as we spend time alone with Him. He will give you what is needed, not only for your family, but for those you lead.
David’s family did not consider him a young man with the nature of a king, or he would not have been overlooked when Samuel called for Jessie’s sons to meet with him in their house. Many times, those closest to you will not understand your calling, your destiny or God’s protocol for leadership development. When you are experiencing that protocol for development, it is important for you to realize that you do not have to prove anything, nor do you have to defend yourself to anyone. If God has given you an assignment, He has the responsibility to put you in a position to fulfill it, as long as you do your part. Like David, you do not have to convince anyone of the validity of your assignment. Put yourself in the position for God to use you, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem – serve God and give all you have to Him.
The appointment is often visible to others before it is to us; but the appointment comes after God’s evaluation process. Samuel said “…the Lord has appointed him as ruler…” David had to first go through the evaluation process to receive the appointment of God. David was first appointed in Heaven, before there was evidence on earth. He was appointed because he had first been evaluated to be “a man after God’s own heart.” This seems to be God’s protocol and it is important for us to understand this process.
When God appoints, He instructs others to validate His appointment. Samuel was instructed to go to Jessie’s house and God would show Samuel who He had appointed. Samuel did not know who this man was, because even Godly old Samuel was deceived by appearances of those sons who “looked” like a king. God reminded this man of God once again, that He promotes leaders based on their heart for Him and not appearance. With the appointment comes the authority to influence events and decisions on God’s behalf. When you exercise God given authority selfishly, or represent your own interests over God’s, you jeopardize your destiny.
Samuel anointed the new King of Israel in Jessie’s house at the direction of the Lord. This anointing is also an important element of Kingdom leadership. The anointing follows the appointment. The anointing is usually a public recognition of God’s prior approval and authority. You cannot reverse this protocol.
All over the world, I see this call to leadership in commerce and government. Do not be confused by what may appear to you as isolation, insignificance, and being overlooked. God’s protocol is always the same. David was evaluated, appointed, anointed; then he was misunderstood, falsely accused, hid in caves, and was the focus of a manhunt for 10 years, before he sat on the throne that was given to him in Jessie’s house, in front of Samuel years earlier.
You may be one who is experiencing this protocol. Depending on what stage you are in, the journey can either be full of disappointment, or exhilarating fulfillment. Tribulation or failure does not disqualify you from your destiny as long as you continue seeking God.
David did not have a great job resume when He was appointed. God evaluates resumes differently than we do. Make sure your resume is filled with worship, praise, prayer, faithfulness, and study, then your promotion will await you! God is searching for men and women in our day “… after His own heart.” Are you willing to pay the price to receive your crown?
Exodus 6:2-5 God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they lived as aliens. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered My covenant.
There was a day when commerce seemed so much easier. Opportunities abounded and you and I were in a constant state of gratitude as we all raced to keep pace with the world’s flourishing economies. The formulas for success and prosperity we all embraced seemed to be working because everything was working. Yet, something was out of God’s order and we knew it, but we were all running so fast that what was actually abnormal had become “normal” to us. Whether we recognize it or not, we have experienced a change of seasons. Make no mistake about it, God changes the seasons. He doesn’t bring change because He thinks we need something new to keep us engaged; He changes things for His strategic purposes.
Let me offer a different perspective to you. We are never simply victims of the economic downturns in our respective nations, because we are citizens of a Kingdom government and its economy. You have the privilege of being a participant in a new season of the economics of the Kingdom. The principles of Kingdom Economics were laid out clearly in scripture and they are timeless – no upgrades are needed. Our understanding of their relevance and functionality is new. This is a day for piercing evaluations of our business conduct, our personal lives, and our sense of security. However, God is not a passive spectator in the economic challenges the world is facing. We are in a historical moment of transition to a new season. You and I must understand what is taking place and how we can fulfill our role and Exodus 6 will give us a key.
A New Revelation of God’s Character
Moses had nothing on his job resume that would indicate he had specific qualifications for the role as deliverer of a nation. Nonetheless, God sent him back to Egypt as His representative to declare there was a new season coming for His people. For the first time in generations the people embraced a glimmer of hope because of the words of Moses. You know the story; Moses went before Pharaoh to declare what God had spoken and Pharaoh promptly added more burdens. Under the crushing weight of those burdens, their hope disappeared, and the 80 year old man with a shepherd’s staff and a message of freedom was now scorned as the culprit. They had learned to cope with the abnormal life of oppression and it had become “normal” to them. In Moses frustration at what appeared to be an aborted attempt at the mission of his life, God spoke the following: ‘I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty (El Shaddai), but by my name the LORD(Yahweh-the redemptive name of God) I did not make myself known to them.’ God went on to say, He heard their groanings and He remembered His covenant. Change was coming.
The Hebrew names of God reflect various elements of His nature and character. God was telling Moses that to the patriarchs He revealed one element of His nature, El Shaddai – God Almighty. However, by the name He was about to reveal to Moses’ generation, He was not yet known – Yahweh, Redeemer. When God wants to change things, He reveals more of who He is to His people. No generation yet born, has known the full revelation of the “I AM”. We think we have known Him, but we continually underestimate Him. Moses’ generation was no different.
Consider that the Jews had lived in Egypt for over 400 years; for generations their lives had been filled with oppression and slavery. Fathers and grandfathers lived under that yoke of bondage, and it must have seemed that there was no hope for their sons and daughters to expect anything different. Yes, there was some vague expectation of deliverance and a promised land, but for a family in survival mode, that was a dream for another day.
Survival Mode and Short Term Thinking
People in survival mode can only think short term. I’m sure praying people were saying “God, where are You? Have You forgotten us?” Imagine the heartbreak of a father watching his young children in forced labor doing the work of grown men. Yet, this was life as a Jew in Egypt in those days. These conditions still exist in many nations today. Oppression and slavery have always been a byproduct of the world’s system that Jesus spoke about, no matter what the generation. The prevailing system of that day was one of enslavement and oppression and it is still the same today. Yet the system that God had prepared for His people was one of freedom.
It is revealing that in Moses’ frustration over his apparent failure, God spoke to him again. Allow me to paraphrase; “It doesn’t matter what Pharaoh says; it doesn’t matter if the people believe you; I am going to display My sovereignty because of My compassion for My people and My covenant with them!” Moses must have been emboldened by these words, so he tried again. Yet Exodus 6:9 says the following, “So Moses spoke thus to the sons of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage.”
The Hebrew word for despondency means “shortness of breath”. These people were working so hard under the bondage of this system of slavery and oppression, they simply could not hear the message of freedom and deliverance that Moses was bringing. They were laboring to keep pace with the demands of an unforgiving system and were locked into meeting their daily quotas. God’s people were in survival mode, and survival mode forced them to think short term. Yet in spite of their survival mode, God displayed His sovereignty, the Passover took place and a new season of history began.
How does this apply to us today? We would all agree that seismic shifts are taking place economically, governmentally and politically. Power bases appear to be shifting and believers seem to have less influence in world affairs. Have we become irrelevant, as some are saying? I think not! Many of these changes are disruptive and troubling, but you can be assured that God is at work. You and I live in one of the most exciting times in history. We need to recognize God’s hand and understand what takes place when He changes seasons.
Marketplace leaders tend to be productive people, yet we have continually underestimated God’s sovereignty. We are in the beginning of a season when God is about to display a new dimension of His sovereignty. That display will produce tangible results in economies and governments around the world. Economies and governments function for people and people are at God’s heart. You have not been forgotten or overlooked, but you are being positioned. To flourish in good economic times is not supernatural, because anyone can do that. Flourishing in challenging economic times is supernatural. We become more acutely aware of the reality of His sovereignty in challenging times. If you are a leader in any capacity, you have to understand the times, stay flexible and respond to what God is doing. We are in a season of change and it is important that you and I listen to His voice and move accordingly.
The Undeniable Realities
In my view, the undeniable reality is that we are in challenging economic times around the globe. Some may feel the economic pressure more than others, but these are difficult times for many in the world. There is also another undeniable reality that is functioning simultaneously, and that is the reality of the Kingdom of God that Jesus spoke about over 150 times in the New Testament.
In recent years, we have all become more aware of the move of God in the marketplaces of the world. Clearly, it is the Kingdom being established in the world of commerce and government. We are seeing banks are being established on Kingdom principles; businesses and investors are functioning more with prophetic insight than ever before. Leaders in commerce and government are standing unashamed for biblical principles of integrity and honor. We are on the cutting edge of something way beyond a Sunday School class on Marketplace Ministry. Battle lines are being drawn for those who stand for righteousness and justice in commerce and those who live by the systems of the world. Leaders, both young and old, are coming out of the shadows and into a new realization of God’s age old plan economics. He is restoring the ancient paths of the Kingdom economy that were so clearly established in the Torah. We are part of a worldwide movement that is in the beginning of a shift into a new season.
The Implementation Stage
Whenever there is a move of God, He will first raise up the apologists who begin to define and clarify the validity of what is taking place. The next phase produces new leaders who bring a deepening of the original principles and the implementation phase begins. In my view, we are entering that implementation point of history. It sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Yet, it requires that you and I respond to the hunger that God creates in us to move into a new season of liberty.
You have undoubtedly heard leaders refer to this new season as the Kingdom Age. When He changes seasons, He creates a hunger for more of Him in the hearts of people. Sometimes that hunger begins when we become discontented with the status quo. You and I begin to ask questions like “Is there more to this life in Christ?” When you respond to this stirring, you move forward into the new things God is doing. Your hunger is replaced with the joy of discovery, life takes on new purpose, and we are renewed. The hunger is what moves us to a deeper relationship and the new season.
The Cost of Choosing Predictability
You also are free to say, “Thanks God, but I’m comfortable. This has always worked before and it is predictable.” The byproduct of this decision is that life gets stagnant and difficult, routine sets in, and we begin the paralyzing process of short term thinking and living ordinary lives. We continue doing what we have always done because it is familiar and we never move into what God has for us. We may dream about how things could be different, but different is unknown, so we cling to the routine. Breaking the short term thinking cycle takes leadership; Moses proved this. This is not only true with individuals, but with organizations, governments and entire nations.
Crisis and chaos have always been an incubator for new leadership with fresh ideas. It is clear that we are in a season of global economic chaos. Could it be that you are the new kind of leader who has been formed and nurtured in this incubator?
In this new season, you and I may need to choose to feed our hunger for the things of the Master, rather than our desire for predictibility. This is a day be close to Him, but the benefits of doing so, far outweigh the cost of choosing what is comfortable. Join us as we serve God in this new season of change!
Daniel 11:32 “…but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” NKJV
Christian leaders around the world are asking some penetrating questions in our day. How did we loose the ability to influence the cultures of our respective nations? Did we fall asleep? Have we lost our national cultural relevance? There is a perception that we no longer carry the authority, or have the ability to influence the way business is conducted, or the way public policy is determined. There are a few voices today shouting out this message of cultural transformation, yet the message seems like a dissonant chord to the ears of many. Why?
In every nation, the serious believer has become resigned to carefully navigating the way through a challenging work week in a world that seems unfriendly to our core beliefs. We don’t really seem to fit in that world, yet we spend most of our life there. Finally, we stumble into our Sunday morning services where we can feel “comfortable”. Maybe it is the presence of God, or the fellowship of like minded people, but church has become a haven that is a generally encouraging and positive atmosphere. If only we could “feel” that way Monday through Saturday!
The Tipping Point
It has become increasing clear, whether you live in the Ukraine, Brazil, Chile, China or the U.S., we are at a tipping point in world history. There is serious, open dialogue among global leaders about developing regional currencies (much like the Euro) which would be a prelude to one global currency. It appears as though the influence of the believer in the key elements of our respective cultures, such as business and government, has been diminished. We don’t know how it happened or how to fix it.
In many nations the churches are full. We still have our Bible studies at work, yet we remain in the shadows of the kind of influence that transforms culture, concerned about offending or being “too religious” for our colleagues. The message of the Kingdom resonates in our hearts, yet we can’t seem to define that Kingdom in our lives Monday through Saturday. This hardly sounds like the Kingdom that Jesus spoke about when He said in Matthew 11:12 “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.” NIV
Daniel The Counselor
The prophet Daniel whispered the counsels of Heaven in the ears of 3 heathen kings. It was evident to all that Daniel unashamedly carried those counsels on his lips, in his heart, and in his actions. He was anointed with wisdom and the power to influence the most powerful kings of his day. He did it by a daily display of what we would call today, the gifts of the Spirit. It was God’s wisdom and prophetic insight through Daniel, that set him apart from all the other counselors of the court and made him a sought after advisor. It was Daniel’s commitment to the same God we serve today, his life of prayer and his determination to resist the pressure to “fit in” to one of the most corrupt cultures in history, which made him a man God could trust with this influence. Daniel carried an anointing from heaven to influence his generation and the history of a people. What is this kind of anointing? Is this anointing for us today? Is it only for ministry leaders and not for the CEO the CFO or the entrepreneur? Certainly, that is what we are taught, but is that truth?
God is the Giver of anointing. He determines who it goes to, what it will effect, and if we meet the requirements to receive this precious commodity. Anointing is given to individuals who are authorized by the Lord and set apart for a particular work or service. In a special sense, someone who carries an anointing belongs to the Lord and is authorized to represent Him. We see this in the religious world when ministers have hands laid on them and they are set apart or sanctified for the work of the ministry. Usually, this includes anointing with oil. It is a valid, significant, biblical ceremony represented by an actual impartation of the Lord through those who are laying on hands, to the individual receiving it. This is a common practice most of us have witnessed many times.
Yet, how many times have you seen a Godly man or woman, who is starting a new business, or one who receives a big promotion, or someone who has been elected to a political office receive this same impartation? It begs the question could this be part of the missing link? In my travels to Latin America and Africa, I have discovered the very people God is placing in society to effect Kingdom change are hearing the subtle and sometimes not so subtle message “Men and women who want to serve God should not go into business or government because those elements of culture are corrupt.” They are certainly corrupt, but they are corrupt because the light stays out of the darkness. What would Daniel have to say about these subtle messages? How would this man of influence be viewed by the religious leadership of our day?
Anointing To Influence
I don’t think any of us would argue the point that Daniel carried the anointing to influence. He is still influencing us today! Daniel was a government worker all his life, yet he wrote a book of the Bible. It was his character, his love of God and his desire to be faithful to the Lord at all costs, that qualified him to carry this anointing to influence. As I read the Book of Daniel, I don’t see a man who was angry at his conquerors, yet they must have been filled with decadence, occult worship and corruption. I do see a man of God full of compassion, who cared for the kings he served, yet one who was willing to speak God’s oracles, when doing so challenged the most powerful leaders on earth and put his own life at risk. This was why God could trust him with the anointing to represent Him. It is with this anointing that history is made and the course of nations changed.
Daniel would not be trusted to influence these 3 kings if he was angry, constantly complaining about their leadership, sin and ineptitude. It would be safe to say Daniel was a man of prayer who interceded for those he served. In the Kingdom, the anointing to influence and represent the Lord in matters of business and government has to start with prayer. There is no other way to begin this journey. Our hearts and attitudes about those we hope to influence have to reflect the way God thinks about them, or we are not worthy to represent Him. We are constantly reminded in scripture to pray for those in authority over us. However, it is not enough just to pray. We must see with God’s eyes, think with God’s thoughts and feel with God’s heart, to carry this kind of anointing.
How Does This Anointing Work Today?
When a culture needs a Kingdom transformation, it is biblically appropriate for our religious leaders to recognize this kind of anointing on people in their congregations. My observation is that people in professional ministry usually understand this anointing much better than people in the workplace. Often our pastors are able to recognize this anointing on our lives before we know it is there. Most of them realize they need to have the kind of authorization the anointing brings to perform a work and they will seek God for it. It is appropriate and necessary for these religious leaders to lay hands on these culture changers for impartation.
The truth is, nothing will be accomplished for the Lord unless we have His anointing. You can preach a great sermon on Sunday morning that is nothing but empty words without God’s anointing on it. When God anoints, there is a tangible transfer of His wisdom, understanding and authority to accomplish a task or influence on God’s behalf, whether it is a Sunday morning message or a challenging board meeting at a Fortune 500 company. It is the same anointing from the same Source, but with different purposes and effects.
“The Lower Life – The Lesser Thing”
Recently, during one of my early morning times of prayer, the Lord spoke the following phrase to me: “Lower Life”. I was surprised by this and pondered it for some time, when He spoke again. “Living in the marketplace is not an excuse to live the ‘lower life’. Men and women with a passion for business and government are confused by the passion they feel and the anointing to serve Me. In their minds they say “I have to make a choice. What should I choose?” When they choose their passion they believe they have to leave that anointing and choose the ‘lower life’ or the ‘lesser thing’. This is a religious mindset that has paralyzed culture and allowed for the evil one to assume positions of power and influence largely uncontested. You are not choosing the ‘lower life’ or the ‘lesser thing’. The same anointing, the same power to influence and transform is available. Walk in this anointing!”
The Fullness of The Anointing
Just as that anointing is important for your pastor’s sermons, it is also essential for you to realize you need that same anointing. You cannot operate in the Kingdom without using Kingdom instruments. The anointing is one of God’s instruments of empowerment. We mistakenly think we are not entitled to this anointing, or entitled to just a small portion of it because we are in the marketplace. In fact, the fullness of this anointing is available for you in the board room, as a teacher, a banker, an economist, or an entrepreneur. It is the same anointing, but it has different effects. The same anointing that Daniel experienced is available to us today. God determines how much He gives, to whom He gives it and what its effects will be, but it is available for us when we position our lives to receive it.
Practical Steps to the Anointing
Here are a few suggestions and comments regarding this anointing.
· Ask for it! Luke 11:9 says, “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Seek Him for the anointing every day over every aspect of your leadership and your life because it is too hard and fruitless to try to effect change without it.
· The anointing spoken about in Isaiah 10:27 destroys yokes. Understand it is a powerful force with tangible effects.
· Cherish God’s anointing. If it comes from Him, we need to hold it in the highest regard. His anointing comes to us for His purposes. It is a trust He places in us. If you cherish it, you will do nothing to cause God to lift His anointing from you. You don’t break this trust because the price you will pay is too high.
· Don’t take credit for the positive effects of God’s anointing. Proverbs 3:6 says “…In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” This requires that we understand this reality and thereby walk in humility. It is about Him, not us. The Lord told me one time “Son, don’t believe your own press clippings.” I have learned to take that to heart. When others try to elevate you, step off the pedestal they want you to stand on and lift Him up. Pedestals are too unstable.
God is establishing His leaders in every nation who will produce this cultural change we all seek. It is imperative we begin to operate in the fullness of God’s anointing in our governments and business. In speaking of our day, God told Malachi in Malachi 3:18, “And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” NIV There is a mark of distinction for those who desire to produce a change in culture. It is God’s anointing and it will empower you to influence culture as His representative.
Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers
Reprint by permission. To learn more about Paul Cuny go to www.marketplaceleadership.com
Copyright © 2009
Many of us in the marketplace, who live in the world of silver and gold, the world of commerce, trade and government, have quoted Haggai 2:8 countless times; “The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the LORD of hosts.” It has become a rallying cry for those who consider the issue of ownership to be the benchmark of the Kingdom Constitution. However, the preceding verse, in my view, is a definitive statement of what is taking place in our world today – Haggai 2:7 “I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts.” NASU
Our inter-connected world seems to be shaking and many of God’s people are asking questions. Changes are happening rapidly to the governing structures of the nations of the world. World leaders recently convened at the G-20 Summit in response to the “global financial crisis”. (The G-20 nations economies comprise 90% of global gross national product and 80% of world trade.) Our government leaders are aggressively trying to find solutions to overwhelming problems that seem to be affecting the economics of every nation in every continent. The people of God all over the world are asking “What is going on?” and “What is God saying to His people?” We can rest assured that during this time of worldwide economic turmoil, He would not leave us, nor will He forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). God has always been our Provider and our Comfort in times of trouble and He will not change His character even if He changes the seasons.
Is The Lord Speaking?
The Lord is speaking to many of His leaders around the world. When God speaks in times like this, He often says the same or similar things to His ambassadors and leaders. If you listen, you will hear a re-occurring theme. His words will bring encouragement, exhortation, comfort, direction and will prepare us for the things to come (Amos 3:7). This is how Godly fathers speak to their sons and daughters and God the Father is our Model. He is speaking today!
The G-20 Summit
Four days before the G-20 Summit in Washington DC, during a powerful worship service on Sunday morning, the Lord began speaking to me. I was vaguely aware of the upcoming summit, but had not kept up with the details. The Lord spoke two words during that worship time that resonated loud and clear, “Seismic Change!” He then began speaking so fast, I had to sit down and write in bullet points to keep up. Suddenly the Lord stopped. It seemed to me the Lord had more to say, so I prayed for a few weeks about the rest. On November 20, I woke at 4:30 am to pray and worship, when the Lord began speaking the rest of the word, just like there was no pause in-between.
In the past, when I received words like this, I never made them public without submitting them first to my pastor who is a national religious leader and other men and women of God around the world who are God’s ambassadors and understand the gravity of things like this. If they disagree, I go back before the Lord and ask again for clarification. All have weighed this before the Lord and are in agreement. It has been strongly suggested that I post this word, as it is a word for the Body of Christ. After seeking the Lord over this for some time, I submit this word to you to edify and encourage the Body.
“SEISMIC CHANGE! I am bringing seismic change to the earth. This is the day I am shaking the nations. I am marking the nations of the earth in this day! I am tearing down before I build up. Leaders of the nations are conspiring and collaborating against you. They will tell you what they have to offer is best for you. They will smile and say “We have fixed it.” But there will be no fix! For in order to build up I will first tear down. Do not look to what has been or what is now, but set your eyes on Me in this hour. This is the day to draw near to Me. I will extend My hand to cover those who draw near and there will be NO CASUALTIES! This is a day of repentance and humility before Me.”
Do not cower in unbelief and fear over the things which are taking place. For there is an order to the systems of this world, but I am tearing down that order and establishing a new order. I will tear down before I build up. I am causing a hunger for My Kingdom around the world. I am raising up a new generation of leaders. I am calling forth men and women to take up positions of leadership. I am placing a mantle of leadership upon them and that mantle will cause them to think and act differently. I am placing a zeal in the hearts of my people in this day, for My ways. They will no longer look to fit in, but they will be agents of change around the earth. They will establish My order in government and business. They are coming! They are coming!
I will tune their hearts to My voice. This is not the day to endure, this is the day to establish! I will give a new meaning to the word “suddenly”. For I am raising up an army of warriors in this day who will advance My cause, My Kingdom. I am raising them up and awakening them and they will establish My cause in every facet of culture. For there is a new wind blowing through the nations and it is the wind of war. I am calling My people out of the shadows and into positions of power and influence. They will not stand in wonder and amazement. The will stand as agents of change; they will stand in the confidence of knowing their God, their purpose and their destiny. They will not stand to control and dominate, but to liberate and release.
The global economy has produced many benefits for the nations of the world. Through the internet, people in Africa can market products that can be purchased in Chile with the click of a mouse. On a global scale, commerce is conducted and money changes hands instantaneously between continents. We live in a world where travel between continents is common and commerce is the key. People all over the world are inter-connected and inter-dependent. Yet as we have seen in recent weeks, the economies of all nations are inter-connected, as well. Could it be that God was actually speaking of our day when he spoke to the prophet Daniel 2500 years ago? Dan 12:4 But you Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end. Many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase. NLT
However, the catastrophic events on Wall Street of recent weeks have revealed a darker side of this inter-connectedness. These recent events have produced great anxiety among people in every nation, whether they are believers or not. When the catastrophe of Wall Street happened a few weeks ago, it produced turmoil of similar proportions in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. What does the future hold for people of an inter-connected world? Where is God is all this? Does He even involve Himself in something so “secular” as the economics of nations? Is He leaving us to experience the fruit of the greed and corruption that is so pervasive in our world? Will His servants, who are in the middle of all this like everyone else, go down with the rest of the world? These are serious questions for serious times. Allow me to submit to you some answers for your consideration.
Two Economic Realities
It is important for those of us who are to be the salt and light of the world, to understand that we live by a different system of economics. I am not denying the economic reality of what took place and its effect on people around the world. I do wish to point out the existence of another economic reality.
Many of us tend to think of the Kingdom of God as our eventual destination. Yet over and over in the scripture, Jesus told us that the Kingdom of God has come among us. That means that it is a fully functioning reality in our world today. I suggest to you that it is a system of government on the earth today with the scripture as its constitution. This Kingdom is not influenced by any other government or institution because it is ruled by a Sovereign King. This Kingdom is the most dominant spiritual and moral force in the earth. Like all governmental systems, the Kingdom of God has a system of economics. As citizens of this Kingdom, we have the opportunity to function under its economic principles and guidelines.
Let me assure you, the Sovereign Ruler of this Kingdom is not nervous about how the Asian markets will react to this current crisis. He is not anxiously hoping that the leaders who set the monetary policies of Europe and the U.S. get in sync with one another and come up with a strategy to solve the crisis. He has a strategic plan for mankind and He is on plan. God knows where we are going and He knows how we are going to get there. For us, as citizens of the Kingdom of God, it is important to recognize that though these two economic systems are present day realities, our hope, our future and our destiny is in our citizenship in the Kingdom of God. I do not wish to minimize the role of the economist in all this, but in this Kingdom, it is the apostles and prophets God has placed in our midst who will help us navigate the crises of our day. Amos 3:7 makes a declarative statement about this matter; “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets” NASU
I believe we are living in the days of Revelation Chapter 18. The Apostle John heard a voice from heaven say, “3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury. 4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying ,”Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. NKJV
These verses speak of kings, or government leaders and merchants, or leaders of commerce. Are these verses calling us to leave our jobs and start a church? No! These verses are telling us there is a system that is in direct opposition to the Kingdom of God. They are calling us to no longer participate in this system by conducting ourselves with the principles of a system that oppresses, enslaves with debt and manipulates people and markets. These verses are calling us out of this system that Chapter 18 calls Babylon but they also suggests we must move into the system God has established in His Kingdom. It is in this system of economics where you will find peace, joy, liberty and righteousness in the midst of the current economic turmoil. These are the characteristics and by-products of this Kingdom and they are yours as citizens of the Kingdom of God.
No matter what happens to the economy of your nation in the days ahead, you can rest assured that the Lord is on His throne and He has not forgotten about any of us. His concern is not only for the religious activity you may be involved in, but also for the economics of every nation. He cares about the businesses and the governments; He cares about the people. He expects us to influence policy as His representatives in each of these spheres of culture. Yet, we are in a period of history when the things we have long relied upon are being shaken and broken and the Kingdom of God is moving to center stage.
Revelation Chapter 18 is not saying that this system will be sanitized and cleaned up to be made more presentable, because this is impossible. You cannot sanitize something that is rotten at the core. This system is the polar opposite of everything the Kingdom stands for. Much of the corruption we see all over the world is a by-product of this system.
Where Is God In The Economic Chaos?
There is a growing awareness among the people of God around the world about the importance the Feasts of the Lord in Leviticus 23. A study of the history of nations and in particular the nation of Israel, reveals that dramatic events often happen during these feasts. Leviticus does not say these are the feasts of the Jews, but rather the feasts of the Lord. If they are His feasts, then we are to take heed. One such feast began at 6 pm Monday, September 29. This feast is known as Rosh Hashanah (The Feast of Trumpets), which is the beginning of a New Year on the Jewish Calendar.
Rosh Hashanah signals the beginning of the 10 Days of Awe where God’s people are to examine themselves to see if there is any sin or blockage between us and God. We are to examine ourselves and repent. If there is any broken relationship that needs to be made right, this is the time. Rosh Hashanah begins with the blast of a ram’s horn or the shofar known as “The Awakening Blast”. This blast intended to awaken the listener from his or her “slumber” and alert them to the coming judgment. The conclusion of this season of self examination is Yom Kippur or “The Day of Atonement”. On this day, the sins of the past year are confessed to the Lord and forgiveness is sought from the Lord. This season I have described sets the tone for the entire coming year. It is known as the high holy days.
On Monday, September 29, this inter-connected world knew the U.S. economy was in chaos. The economic systems of the entire world were in turmoil because of the chaos of the United States. Our government leaders were wrestling with a $700 billion dollar bailout that was supposed to temporarily solve this crisis and the U.S. Congress failed to approve the measure. The eyes of this entire, inter-connected world were focused on Wall Street’s closing numbers at the end of that day, when the largest numerical drop in Wall Street history occurred, 777 points. In Scripture, the number seven is the number of perfection and holiness. Triple sevens (777) symbolize Yahweh, the Father of the Messiah. One hour later, the “Awakening Blast” was sounded to begin Rosh Hashanah.
As I write this article, we are in the Days of Awe, with the Day of Atonement coming on Wednesday, October 8. To all who are anxious about the events of our day, I want to assure you that your hope is in God. His names represent His character. One of His names is Jehovah Jireh (Lord Provider). Jehovah Jireh has not and will not change because of the turmoil of this season.
We are living in exciting times when everything is being shaken. Yet God’s strategic overview for everything that is taking place is the establishment of His Kingdom. To live in the Kingdom of God, it is essential to live a King centered life. You can rest assured that no matter what happens in our world, the King has not forgotten His most precious possession, His people. Keep looking above!
Ex 33:15-16 Then he said to Him, ” If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. 16 “For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?” NASU
One morning the Lord woke me very early to pray. This has been a regular occurrence for me over the years and the part of my day that I cherish. I had been struggling, however, with what I perceived as a decreased activity level in my life. For over 20 years, I had run a demanding business, and at God’s direction, I began a process of re-structuring my life to spend more time in prayer, study, writing, and fulfilling the two assignments He gave me in the mid-90′s. In many ways, this was my time of activation, so to speak.
It took me over a year to make this transition. I no longer had the same level of business activity and the demands on my time that I had lived with for a long time. There were fewer cell phone calls, emails, decisions, deadlines, and the demanding schedule and daily pressures. However, this was a more difficult transition than I had expected. Though I still had a busy schedule, because I was spending more time praying and studying, I had the mistaken perception that less business activity of this kind equated to less value, less significance.
That morning, the Lord said two words, “Activity” and “Presence.” I pondered those words for some time and finally I asked the Lord if He would explain what they meant. (Over the years, I have discovered that it has been much more fruitful for me to ask questions of the Lord, rather than make statements to Him). He said something that has profoundly impacted my life. “Activity will never produce My presence. My presence will always produce focused, productive activity.”
Time in His Presence
I hear one statement consistently from busy leaders, no matter what nation, no matter what level of responsibility or leadership. It is said in many different ways and for many different reasons, but always it is the same phrase: “I don’t have time to be alone with God every day.” “I’m too busy!” “You don’t know my schedule.” I have heard all the reasons, and I have even tried to convince myself with a few of them in years past. But Moses said it best in Exodus 33:15 …If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.
It was too dangerous for Moses and the Jews to be left to their own wisdom and insight on their journey, and it is too dangerous for us as well. Time in His presence every day is not an option for us — it is a necessity. You need the wisdom and insight God has for you and you will find it in the greatest measure is when you set aside time to be alone with Him on a daily basis. God doesn’t need time with you; you need time with Him. Not having a time alone with Him on a daily basis won’t make Him love you any less. However, it will prevent you from gaining a deeper level of sanctified judgment or decision-making capacity that will enable you to be distinguished from your peers.
Exerpts taken from Secrets of the Kingdom Economy
This book and other resources are available at www.kingdombusinessresources.com
Deuteronomy 11:10-15 For the land into which you are entering to possess it, is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you used to sow your seed and water it with your foot like a vegetable garden. But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of Heaven, a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year. It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. He will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied….
These powerful verses describe the beginnings of an entirely new culture for God’s people. They were finally going to the land that was promised after 400 years of bondage in Egypt. They were being led by the manifest presence of God (the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire), to a land He had reserved for His people. In fact, a heathen people were already tilling their land, building their cities, and cultivating their vineyards. No start-up capital was necessary for their small businesses in this new land. Their agricultural businesses were waiting for them. What is unique about this moment in history is that the Lord was also promising His people an unprecedented level of involvement in the economics of this nation. These verses represent the beginning of a second economic system. Before this moment, God’s economic blessing was given to individuals. Now, for the first time, we see God’s economic system being established on a national scale. We are living in the days when God is restoring His system of economics to the marketplace in every nation on earth. It is a system that will enable families, businesses, governments and nations to flourish because of God’s unprecedented involvement in all aspects of culture.
Attention to Details
In the preceding verses in the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses said the Lord was sending them to …a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year. In this new land, God would personally attend to one of the most important elements of agriculture, watering the crops. He was not going to give indiscriminate rainfall, but targeted, carefully timed rainfall: the former rain, which gives the germination stage of agriculture the necessary boost, and the latter rain, which is necessary for the crops to reach full potential. He said He would even give grass for the cattle to eat. How could it be that the Lord actually watched over these fields, herds, and vineyards? Why would He attend to every detail necessary for economic success of an entire nation of people? Why would God care whether these businesses succeeded? This must have been an inconceivable paradigm shift to a people who for almost 400 years had been the primary labor force for one of the most powerful nations on earth. God was establishing a new economic system called the Kingdom Economy.
Restoration of the Partnership
Today, there is a growing awareness among marketplace people around the world of this same economic system — the Kingdom Economy. Living productively in this new economic system required a change of thinking for the people of Israel in the days of the Exodus. It was God’s engagement in their economy that shaped their success, not just their human effort and ingenuity. They were required to till and cultivate the ground, plant and harvest the crops, but their labor was in partnership with God. To live productively in this Kingdom Economy today requires a change of thinking on our part, as well. In our day, we are seeing a restoration of these principles taking place. The principles of God’s economic system have always been there. However, because we now live in the Kingdom age, these principles are being restored. It is important to understand that the message of the Kingdom Economy is not a new teaching that is sweeping the earth; it is not a new way of conducting business; it is not a matter of sanitizing what exists; this is a restoration of the principles of God’s Kingdom Economy to the marketplace.
Jesus went about preaching the gospel of the Kingdom everywhere He went. There are over one hundred and fifty references Jesus made to the “Kingdom” in the New Testament. When He taught us how to pray, He included the phrase “…Thy Kingdom come.” He went about preaching the gospel of the Kingdom. In Matthew 6, He told us to seek the Kingdom first. The topic of “The Kingdom” was throughout His parables. Yet it is also clear that Jesus recognized another kingdom, and that these two kingdoms are in conflict with one another. Jesus successfully endured temptation from the devil in Matthew 4:8-9: Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”
Is Satan able to give these kingdoms of the world to Jesus? In John 12:32, Jesus referred to Satan as …the ruler of this world. In II Corinthians 4:4, the apostle Paul refers to him as …the god of this world. The Greek for world is kosmou derived from the word kosmos which means “order, arrangement, ornament, adornment.” 1 There is a system or an order to the things of this world. What are these two opposing “kingdoms,” and what does all this have to do with economics?
Two World Views in Conflict
First, it is important to realize that these two “kingdoms,” the Kingdom of God that Jesus spoke about, and the kingdom of this world, are essentially two completely different realities. Each reality is expressed in our lives by our world view. Our world view determines our behavior, not only in the marketplace, but in our approach to life itself. Just as these kingdoms are in conflict with one another, so these world views are also in conflict. For example, one world view may be represented in business as a drive for success at any cost, corruption, manipulation of clients, greed, selfish ambitions, self promotion, and self-interest as the top priority in dealings with others. We may experience the world view of the Kingdom through integrity in business dealings, generosity, loyalty and faithfulness, honoring our commitments even when it costs us, and loving and blessing those who use us and seek to destroy us. Our behavior always exposes the world view of our kingdom. These kingdoms are direct opposites in their very nature.
Goals and Objectives
These world views are completely different because their goals and objectives are different. One world view is godless and will place man and his achievements at the center of worship (though it will never be defined as worship). The other is a theocracy with God as the sovereign ruler. One is the system of the world and the other is the Kingdom of God that Jesus spoke about. According to the Book of Revelation, one system will eventually lead to the coming of the Antichrist. The second will lead us to the coming of the Messiah. Both world views are realities. Both operate simultaneously in the world. It is up to us to choose which reality we will live in. If we live in the Kingdom of God, then we must come under His Lordship and operate by His principles as they are laid out for us in Scripture.
What does all this have to do with economics? It is impossible to be a participant in either of these kingdoms, with their respective world views, without living by the system of economics required by those kingdoms. Just as the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world are polar opposites, so these economic systems are also polar opposites in their objectives, methods of operation, and impact on the lives of individual participants. Each economic system produces fruit in our lives that reflects the nature of the author of the system.
Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer in his book A Christian Manifesto says it this way: “These two world views stand as totals in complete antithesis to each other in content and also in their natural results — including sociological and governmental results, and specifically including law.”
What was taking place in Deuteronomy 11:10-15 with the people of Israel was a precursor to what is taking place in our world today. We are living in a time when the principles of the Kingdom are being established. God wants His people to be distinguished today by their integrity, humility, and power. There is no question that His people, whether in Africa, South America, the Far East, or Europe, can operate by the same standards of the Kingdom Economy and they will produce consistent results. He causes us to prosper, not for our sake, but for the sake of His Kingdom. Deuteronomy 8:18 says, But you shall remember the LORD your God for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
Again, Francis Schaeffer says, “It is not that these two world views are different only in how they understand the nature of reality and existence. They also inevitably produce totally different results. The operative word here is inevitably. It is not just that they happen to bring forth different results, but it is absolutely inevitable that they will bring forth different results.”
These two systems differ from one another in practical, tangible ways. When we understand how they differ, we will be better able to live in the Economy of the Kingdom.
Exerpts taken from Secrets of the Kingdom Economy, Chapter 1.
This book and other resources are available at www.kingdombusinessresources.com