THE SHROUD OF CLUTTER
A firestorm, with its roots in the spiritual realm, is raging. No longer at the subtle stage, it is reaching a climax. The clamor impacts our thinking
The claims of the world challenge the ways of God, distorting reality. Sensory bombardments and clutter add fuel to the confusion, overload, deception and oppression.
While proactively walking in God’s presence and peace is the remedy, spiritual maintenance and discernment of the issues is requiring more, both in focus and in power.
As evil releases greater hostility toward God’s people, the intensity demands stepping outside the box. It calls for careful assessment before mapping out strategies of “next steps.” Discerning the response demands a greater grasp of the big picture, with a focus constantly aware of the realities in the spiritual realm.
The time has passed when setting our course based on a “glimmer” of God’s truth and revelation of His Spirit is enough. We need something more. We need to be operating above the shroud of clutter.
In understanding the times, the Body is transitioning from the milk to the meat. As the Body moves into maturity, the realities of the times have begun reflecting an urgency to penetrate more deeply the depths of the Spirit and embrace what the Apostle Paul referred to as the “full knowledge of the Lord.”
The words Jesus used to announce His earthly ministry: “The Kingdom of God is at hand” have never had greater pertinence. As it was in the days of Jesus, so it is today. The Kingdom represents a radical cultural shift. It is a major departure of outlook. It is the thinking required to effectively respond to the realities framing the presentation of the world around us. It incorporates an unconventional path that seemingly goes against the grain of culturally acceptable standards.
As the Lord sent Joseph ahead into Egypt, strategically it was God’s anticipatory response to the spiritual realities that began amassing when Joseph’s brothers brought dishonor to their heritage with the deceit and guile they employed against Hamor and his sons (Gen 34).
Prior to that time scripture says that the fear and terror of God was upon the cities surrounding the sons of Jacob. It was an aura of the presence of God that accompanied God’s chosen. In dishonoring their heritage, the sons of Jacob undermined that protective power, which subjected them to spiritual confusion and clutter in their thinking.
Joseph’s role, in God sending him to Egypt, represented the avoidance of judgment and steps toward aligning the descendents of Abraham to again walk in the power of the covenant that God had made with Abraham. It was a role that defied the watered down ways and actions of his brothers. It was a challenge to his brother’s thinking. It was beyond their limited scope of reality.
So it is today. There is a similar alignment, pushing back against anemic, watered down iniquitous behavior. It is emerging from a remnant of modern-day Josephs who are penetrating and taking their positions in arenas many may consider as somewhere between being unorthodox and perhaps skirting too close to the heart of darkness.
Restoring the Power
The time upon us is no longer business-as-usual in the Church. The models and traditions of men have left a breach calling for the power to be restored. The need incorporates raising the bar of the standard, as well as the strategies.
Joseph’s role as a forerunner was to mobilize a strategic-alliance with Egypt. So it is today that the Lord has been preparing a modern-day remnant to work alongside kings, rulers and leaders in select seats of power of this world in steps of restoration.
So, in the midst of the shifts taking place globally today, the response to the “glimmer” is no longer enough. The path through today’s times demands more. It suggests reaching for that “full knowledge of the Lord” described by Paul.
It requires more than a 20th century, western, Anglo-Saxon, Gentile worldview. The amassing of spiritual clutter and the resulting religious spirit, desensitizes the creative process, while minimizing key functions needed to operate according to Kingdom standards. The response calls for out-of-the-box thinking.
Separate from His Brothers
It was God’s anticipatory strategy of restoration that separated Joseph from his brothers. The shroud of clutter and spiritual pollution within their community had distorted their grasp of reality. It rendered them spiritually impotent and at-risk for what was required of the times before them.
From the times in which Abimilech saw the reality of God through Abraham and Isaac, together with the son’s of Heth offering Abraham whatever he wanted, because they viewed him as a prince among them, the brothers of Joseph had lost the power. Instead of being protected by the fear of God, they simply were known among those around them by their deceit and dishonor.
Instead of being viewed as men of honor and trust as the representatives of the God of Israel, they had aligned their course with the level of the iniquities of those around them. It carried a high cost impacting future generations. As foreseen by God at the time of the Abrahamic covenant, it inferred the prompting of judgment, the captivity of their descendents for the generations that followed.
Yet Joseph, being separated by God from his brothers, paved a pathway that delivered his generation of the descendents of Abraham from the impact of the coming judgment, the famine that had been triggered by the iniquities of deceit and dishonor sowed by his brothers.
From the time of their actions against Hamor and his sons, the sons of Jacob became the slaves to this type of thinking. It was the religious spirit that distorted their response to spiritual things. It was the reason for their jealousy of Joseph and his spirituality. It prompted the same type of actions toward Joseph that only barely brought Joseph out of the pit alive.
Sadly, they had become prey to the very transgression used by their father Jacob to obtain the prized generational blessing of his father Isaac. Even though scripture says Esau despised his birthright, Jacob’s deceit came at a cost.
It was an iniquity that took root not only for what lay ahead for Jacob, but for the generations that followed. It watered down the power of protection that had surrounded Abraham and Isaac, and it marked the struggle of the generations to come to retain what had originally been promised by God.
Despite Joseph breaking this pattern and redeeming the heritage for the sons of Jacob, deceit had and has become a self-justified iniquity, a cultural predisposition in Jacob’s bloodline. It sadly has been the catalyst for division and the loss of God’s power among believers since the early days of the church.
The self-justification of an iniquity, the unrighteous means used to justify the heritage, is the chink in the spiritual armor, putting at odds the potential of losing the very thing it strives to hang onto.
Generations later within the descendents of Jacob, it was prophesied by Isaiah (Isa 40) that there remained a time, beyond the days of Moses and David, when their compounding iniquities would be removed. It would be a time when she had paid “double for all her sins.” It would converge into a time of great power, described as “making straight in the barren lands, a highway for the Lord.”
As such, iniquities are the hidden, yet accepted triggers to the arenas that beset the full potential for those known by His Name. They cloud the thinking of God’s people and undermine the power of God.
They thrive on the influence of the sensory and distortions of truth. They are the tripping points to the thinking that bottles up the creative and inspirational thoughts from God that should be the mode rather than the exception. Instead the result is being assaulted with clutter, from both within and outside the household of faith.
The Sensory. Today, there has never been a generation so influenced and impacted by the sensory. On one level, there is constant sensory bombardment with the information, social media, entertainment and news that is continually being regurgitated from entertainment sources, broadcasts and the Internet on smart phone, tablet and computer devices in the hands of every age and culture.
Simultaneously, advocacy groups provoke and promote heightened sensory responses to not just the issues of the day, but to a hyper-range of extended values and perceptions related to their causes. The old advertising adage that the perception is the reality has been taken to a level far beyond the sale of product. The result is high dosages of spiritual clutter and confusion, that impact and often desensitize the perception of reality of populations across the earth.
Distortions of Truth. The clutter from distortions of reality and unrestrained sensory bombardments mask spiritual realities and the truths that simultaneously lie at the foundation of our faith and the culture of the Kingdom.
Spiritual “clutter” always appeals to the passions rather than the Spirit. Passion without the Spirit will distort truth. “Clutter” typically will include enough elements of the truth to appear valid, yet more often than not will mask the more excellent way. Clutter has the appearance of usefulness because it includes elements that are valid or may once have been valid. However, in the final analysis, it serves to mask, to distract, to distort and to undermine.
Overcoming: Entering God’s Rest
Overcoming the shroud of clutter begins with entering God’s rest. It assumes disciplined spiritual maintenance. At the foundation of entering the place of God’s rest or Shabbat, as outlined in the book of Hebrews, is the response of humility that acknowledges that “I can’t, but He can.” It is the ongoing means of sanctification that the Lord told Moses to set into practice for the children of Israel and the generations to follow.
God’s rest is the place in His presence where we cease striving and human effort gives way to the ongoing flow of the Spirit. It is the place where the supernatural and the extraordinary become the normal way of life. It prompts the creative release that moves our thinking from the problem to the solution.
The rest of God, God’s Shabbat, is just not a once a week affair. It is our response to the cluttered mode and storms of the world. It engenders a shift from our constrained, outmoded, western, Gentile worldview to be enable responses that make a difference. Much like the “charity” of God, as it was translated in 1 Corinthians 13 in the King James Bible, it reflects the higher-level dynamic of community righteousness so key to the Hebraic roots of our faith.
From the time of creation, the Lord knew man needed a time to recalibrate and realign. God’s rest preceded the Ten Commandments (Genesis 2:3 and Exodus 16:4, 28-30). It brings refreshment and a reinvigoration of our God-ordained creative energies and is a time set-aside to give special communion with and honor to the Lord. It reflects the model of how we need to pace ourselves and integrate all we do in cooperation with Him.
God’s rest also releases protection and the fulfillment of God’s promises (Isaiah 58:13 and Jeremiah 17:19). It will be observed in the new earth (Isaiah 66:23). Scripture also promises blessings to the non-Jewish “foreigner” who keeps the Sabbath (Isaiah 56: 1-8). God’s rest, while outlined in the commandments, is not so much an obligation, as it is a gateway into the refreshing and blessings of God.
In our zeal and tendency toward making-do out of the glimmers of our revelations and worldviews, we have been whiplashed by the shroud of CLUTTER. Paul wrote the Romans that creation itself longs for the revealing of the sons of God that it might be delivered from the bondage of corruption as it gains entrance into this glorious realm.
The times are evil and demand more. The devil has come out of the closet on a scale never before seen, being evidenced by the shroud of clutter, deceit and dishonor operating as and being viewed by far too many as acceptable standards.
The situation needs to be identified for what it is. The pathways of the past are no longer enough. The bar has been raised. There is an urgency tied to the times upon us, that require MORE, much more in terms of the standard, than what has been demonstrated in the past.
Spirit and Truth are the cornerstones to our walk with the Lord. God’s rest replenishes dominion and authority, coupled with faith and righteous charity to provide the gateway into the arena of our God-intended purpose of restoration.
The mix of maturely discerning the voice of the Lord, embracing the foundations of a biblical worldview, and truly applying God’s Kingdom principles in the face of evil, all converge with entering His rest. It is time to lay an axe to the root of selfish ambition, fear, rebellion, manipulation, rejection, materialism, deceit and dishonor and the whole array of fleshly issues that give rise to the impact of clutter and the plague assaulting an otherwise active and well-intentioned Church.
The word to the Church for this hour is to “come up here, above the clutter.” The time of crossing over to living beyond our passions, traditions and clutter—and entering the domain where God reigns is upon us. The choice is both the challenge and the pathway.
This message was adapted from a chapter in “The Heart of a King” by Morris Ruddick.
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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