THE PRINCELY LEADERSHIP MANTLE
True leadership is not about being in charge or wielding power. Historically, the heroes of faith operated with a much higher leadership standard. True leadership pivots on serving. It is a regal mantle found in righteous hearts with the priorities flowing from God’s heart.
The princely leadership mantle is recognized and acknowledged even by the world. Abraham was referred to by a Hittite leader as being “a mighty prince among us” (Gen 23:6). The NASU version translates God’s instruction to Samuel to anoint David as a “prince over His people” (1 Sam 9:16).
The anointing for leadership established by God’s standard resets the course of things spiritually. It cannot be assumed. It accompanies a calling aligned with God’s heart. It encompasses a mantle, a stewardship, a prophetic sensitivity and an impact on destiny that can only be described as princely.
The prophet Isaiah described this mantle from God’s perspective. In short, it is the mantle that began with Abraham and has operated through his descendents over the centuries to be blessed to be a blessing. Isaiah’s prophetic description captures this perspective and standard, with the result that can be expected: “I will lift up My hand to the nations and set up My standard to the peoples. They will bring your sons in their bosoms, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders. Kings will be your guardians, and their princesses your nurses and you will know that I am the Lord.”
Throughout the history of God’s people are stories of ones who occupied positions of leadership, yet who fell short. Then, there are those we typically refer to as the heroes of faith, who often, without position, demonstrated remarkable leadership. The authority they wielded carried a standard recognized as being regal.
The difference starts with the poise of the soul to serve in undefiled oneness with God’s Spirit. Those who failed generally had preoccupations with their souls or were short-sighted in their focus or both. They lacked the discipline and spiritual vision needed to stand and operate against the challenges confronting them as people of the Spirit. Saul, who had everything going for him, in the final analysis yielded to his myopic, overriding need for the approval of men. He had position and power. Yet, his attempts to do things spiritually fell flat due to the stumbling shaped by the narrow-minded priorities of heart.
“Under three things the earth quakes, and under four, it cannot bear up: Under a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is satisfied with food, under an unloved woman when she gets a husband, and a maidservant when she replaces her mistress.” Prov 30:21-23
True leadership grasps and operates uniquely within its own sphere (2 Cor 10:13). Wielding authority coincides with a discipline that recognizes and is under authority. Leadership can never be an issue of popularity. That was Saul’s blind spot. Those in leadership positions who yearn to be liked will only find themselves deceived and surrounded by yes-people whose mode blocks the wisdom they need to fulfill their mission and their destinies.
Likewise, leadership cannot be driven by self-righteousness. The Pharisees in Jesus’ day knew the Scriptures, but failed in the humility, service and others-directed priorities required by those operating with a princely anointing.
“There is a generation that curses its father, and does not bless its mother. There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filthiness. There is a generation — whose eyes are raised in arrogance. There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, and whose jaw teeth are like knives, to devour the afflicted from the earth, and the needy from among men.” Prov 30:11-14
True leaders operate devoid of ego. They’re neither touchy, driven to overcome rejection nor easily offended. They’ve paid the cost needed to rule their own spirits (Prov 16:32).
It incorporates a level of knowing God that results in it no longer being their own lives being lived, but them flowing as Daniel did in a strength bearing results described as being exploits (Dan 11:32). Leadership reflecting the princely mantle is always “other” directed. There are no personal agendas, nor a need to be in charge.
The Princely Anointing
The princely leadership mantle issues an anointing that defines the standard. Regardless of the context, it maps out, it builds up and it brings increase. It enables others and nurtures community.
The princely anointing is always God-centered, raising the bar, establishing righteous influence in the culture around it. It was the anointing that established Daniel’s influence in the King’s court despite the prevailing culture of sorcery. Likewise, despite his lowly position, Joseph’s regal anointing gained the recognition and trust of those in authority over him: from Potiphar to the jailer to Pharaoh.
Psalm 15 highlights the criteria for the operation of the princely anointing: walks with integrity, works righteousness, speaks truth in his own heart, does not slander, does no evil to his neighbor nor takes up a reproach against a friend, despises reprobates, but honors those who fear the Lord, abides by commitments and does not take advantage of others. The princely anointing attracts and engenders trust.
The princely anointing exudes an authority, a humble authority that very naturally bestows God’s blessings and wisdom. It is a regal leadership conveying a confidence that evokes trust for stewarding responsibility.
Princely Mantle Attributes
Service. Those with a princely mantle have nothing to prove. Yet, their modus operandi is a unique authoritative humility, as they lead by serving. They bring change without being contentious. They are “other” directed and flow from one level to another in the manner in which the excellence of their capabilities sets the standard in the way they bless those around them. Their manner of service results in a confidence that attracts focus. They are neither overly ambitious nor looking for credit. Their zeal is fueled by the satisfaction of seeing God’s purposes advanced.
Sacrifice. The princely mantle demands discipline. It is a discipline that sacrifices. It incorporates a standard of stewardship that sets things in order; God’s order. It corrects by building up and nurturing, by bestowing the benefit of the doubt. It is an anointing that embraces its mantle to the point of biblical “suffering.” Biblical suffering is not the result of the messes we get ourselves into but rather the pressures and backlash that result from paving new ground spiritually for God’s purposes. It is a mantle only for the mature who genuinely rule their own spirits.
Honor. A princely mantle embraces a cause, a high cause conforming to God’s priorities, usually for a generation, sometimes beyond that. Many within the Body operate with a lot of vision, zeal and ambition, but it is the few who have embraced a cause. People will live for a vision, but will die for a cause. Honor embraces the cost of the cause. Integrity faces the realities to see it through. Holding the focus of a calling bearing a princely anointing will pivot on whether the goal is through human effort, or by yielding to that divine energy that works so mightily. Honor is the glue that fulfills commitments and stays the course regardless the cost. Honor is the regal dynamic that differentiates the many called from the few who are chosen.
The Standard. With the bar being raised in tz’dakah righteousness, the princely mantle is big-picture. It is always God-focused. It employs a high-level of stewardship that is strategic and carries a long-term impact. It is always prophetic with its influence crossing the boundaries of cultures and generations. It operates in mercy, but with a mantle that triggers judgment when God’s initiatives are intentionally and sometimes blindly, but stubbornly impeded. Remember the sad result from the overly ambitious and presumptuous Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5).
Elijah’s remarkable encounter with the prophets of Baal and Asherah illustrates the dynamics of the princely mantle in action. The outcome broke the spiritual stronghold over those held in its grip. It changed the spiritual climate. It delivered God’s people. Yet, it required Elijah to lay everything on the line. This confrontation had no middle ground or way out for Elijah. He took the risk and he paid the cost. The exploits for his regal faceoff will be remembered throughout eternity.
I have people I have worked with in the nations who have been imprisoned for their faith. Some have faced the ultimate test. Their response was death was better than denying the Lord. Those who survived such ordeals now serve as a true princes of the Kingdom.
“Thus says the LORD: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns aside from the LORD. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; and shall not see when prosperity comes. But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the waters that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when the heat comes; its leaves stay green. It has no worries in the year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.’” Jer 17:5‑8
Mercy and Gentleness. King David recognized that at the core of genuine godly power is the operation of mercy and gentleness. It is the subtle foundation of righteous power that enables evil to be overcome with good. It is the basis of bestowing blessing in the face of adversity. It is the anointing by which one’s natural weakness is transformed into strength.
“Your gentleness has made me great.” 2 Sam 22:36 and Ps 18:35
Paul’s famous love chapter in his letter to the Corinthians describes this dynamic. It is foundational to the princely mantle. It is patient and kind. It is not puffed up nor does it parade itself. It does not behave rudely nor seek its own benefit. It is not provoked. It does not take into account wrongs suffered nor does it entertain evil of any level. It rejoices in truth but has no personal need in being right. It bears all things, believes in the good—in God’s outcome, is constant in all things and endures all things. The princely mantle releases a wisdom that is beyond human capacities. It resets the spiritual climate at a cultural level.
Jesus came in humility and without any natural trappings of power, He wielded all authority. He admonished the self-righteous Pharisees that God prefers mercy to sacrifice. The ripples of His influence have reshaped cultures and civilizations to this day.
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion …. to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of gladness for mourning, and a garment of praise for the spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.” Is 61:1-3
Maturity for the Times
Since the days of Abraham, those descendents of Abraham’s son Isaac, the Jews, have been a people defined as a people of God. They have mastered the principles and attributes of God that combine creativity, building and bringing increase. They have imparted the oracles of God and wielded a leadership mantle that has advised Kings and power brokers through service and influence. Employing the model that combines community, business and God’s ways, they have reshaped the course of civilizations and societies, economically, judicially, governmentally and morally.
Jesus raised the bar for this model. He admonished His followers to understand the times and the seasons. With that big-picture context, He established the standard for leadership and the use of prophetic power at the level characterizing those outlined in the Hebrew’s “hall of fame of faith.” These are the ones who by reaching beyond themselves, tapped into that regal mantle by which, in their vulnerabilities and weaknesses, they were made strong and accomplished exploits (Hebrews 11:34).
Daniel 2 reveals that it is the Lord who changes the times and seasons. He removes and He raises up kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. We are in the midst of a change of seasons. For those in leadership, maturity and humility are the bywords. Those prepared as enablers, whose hearts are neither pharisaical nor short-sighted will be thrust into positions of authority and influence. Those seduced by idols in their minds will fall short.
For those prepared for the challenges, what they face will be at the level and in keeping with those regarded as the heroes of faith. The demonic nature of the intent of darkness evidenced a generation ago is simply manifesting in another form today. This reality was unveiled by a courageous historian in his 1974 study of the occult and the Third Reich.
“Those who induced Germany to embrace the swastika are not dead. They are still among us, just as they have been in every era, and doubtless will continue to be until the Apocalypse. National Socialism was for them but a means, and Hitler was but an instrument. The undertaking failed. What they are now trying to do is to revive the myth using other means. The purpose of this book is to raise the veil of history and to reveal some of the great currents running through it–secret, underground currents, to be sure, but very real and exceedingly powerful, particularly when they are manipulated by men imbued with a fanatical belief in their mission. The occult forces confront one another in the shadows, while on stage, impassive performers quietly act out an immutable drama under the very eyes of an unseeing public.” Jean-Michel Angebert, The Occult and the Third Reich, 1974, MacMillan Publishing, New York
The masking of underlying occult quests for power marks the critical nature of those called and anointed for destiny-defining leadership. Inbred, religious social and “bless-me” clubs are not enough. The seriousness of the realities is calling for those whose mantle has been tested by fire, who genuinely hear God and whose regal anointing is in keeping with the seats of power to which they are called.
We’re entering a threshold of time in which freedom as we know it is at risk. Yet, God has always had those He has prepared. Those who know their God will be strong and will do exploits. They will have the spiritual vision that discerns the key issues and gives focus to majoring in matters that make a difference. It is not about pharisaical hair-splitting in the land of milk and money. The issue involves the cost of the mantle. The distinctive defining those assuming these strategic mantles, who are equipped for these perilous times, will be the princely anointing.
“If you have run with footmen and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? If in the land of peace in which you trusted, they wearied you then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?” Jer 12:5
This post was adapted with permission from Morris Ruddick’s 2014 book “Leadership by Anointing.”
Morris Ruddick has been a forerunner and spokesman for the higher dimensions of business leadership since the mid-90s. As founder of Global Initiatives Foundation and designer of the God’s Economy Entrepreneurial Equippers Program, Mr. Ruddick imparts hope and equips economic community builders to be blessed to be a blessing where God’s light is dim in diverse regions around the globe.
He is author of “The Joseph-Daniel Calling;” “Gods Economy, Israel and the Nations;” “The Heart of a King;” “Something More;” “Righteous Power in a Corrupt World;” “Leadership by Anointing;” and “Mantle of Fire,” which address the mobilization of business and governmental leaders with destinies to impact their communities. They are available in print and e-versions from www.Amazon.com, www.apple.com/ibooks and www.BarnesandNoble.com.
Global Initiatives Foundation (www.strategic-initiatives.org) is a tax-exempt 501 (c) 3 non-profit whose efforts are enabled by the generosity of a remnant of faithful friends and contributors whose vision aligns with God’s heart to mobilize economic community builders imparting influence and the blessings of God. Checks on US banks should be made out to Global Initiatives and mailed to PO Box 370291, Denver CO 80237 or by credit card at http://strategicintercession.org/support/
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