Radical change came for the generation following Solomon. It involved revolt and a time of chaos against the House of David. Its dynamics punctuate the role issues of spiritual short-sightedness can have on God’s best for His people during serious times of change. In the role served by the government of God, it points to the critical need for maturity and a big-picture perspective for those with mantles for both the prophetic and for leading God’s people.
Solomon’s son Rehoboam had ascended to the throne. When he did, across the land the various factions David had brought together sought affirmation after suffering hardship during Solomon’s reign. Jeroboam had been overseer of the labor force from the house of Joseph. Amidst dissatisfaction verging on an uprising, Jeroboam had fled for his life from Solomon to Egypt.
Change and the Prophetic
On the way to Egypt, Jeroboam encountered Ahijah the prophet and was given a prophecy that he would be king over the ten tribes of Israel. Yet, upon learning of Solomon’s death, Jeroboam wasn’t seeking position for himself. Instead he came with an assembly of leaders to appeal to Rehoboam for more equitable conditions. Against the advice of his father’s advisors, King Rehoboam took a hard stand against their offer.
With that response, the smoldering division in Israel finally manifested. Then, in keeping with Ahijah’s word, a “congregation of the people” made Jeroboam king. This caused Rehoboam to muster an army against the rebellion.
However, when Shemaiah the prophet brought a word from the Lord not to do so, Judah laid down their arms and stood down. Yet, despite the incredible affirmation from two high-ranking prophets and this reprieve, 1 Kings 12:26 reveals fear in the heart of Jeroboam. He built false altars so that his people would not have to go to Jerusalem to worship.
However, these were altars set up in places God had not chosen. The people also heeded to Jeroboam’s substitution for the Feast of Tabernacles. At that juncture, another prophet from Judah came to King Jeroboam and cried out against the altars and prophesied that the altar would be split (1 Kings 13:3). Dramatically, it happened as he spoke. Yet, within the overall process were flaws, an amassing of blind-spots in what had been playing out.
“When King Jeroboam heard the man of God, he stretched out his hand, saying, ‘Seize him!’ Then his hand withered and the altar was split apart. Then the king cried, ‘Please entreat the Lord’s favor and pray for me, that my hand may be restored.’ So the man of God prayed for him and his hand was restored. Then the king said, ‘Come home with me and I will give you a reward.’ But the man of God said to the king, the Lord commanded me not eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the same way. So he left by another route from the way he came to Bethel. On the way, an old prophet came to him and said, ‘Come home with me and eat bread, for I too am a prophet and an angel spoke to me to bring you back to my house.’ So, as they sat at the table, the word of the Lord came to the old prophet and he cried out, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: Because you have disobeyed the word of the Lord, ate bread, and drank water, your corpse shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.’” 1 Kings 13:4-22
The Setting’s Dynamics
This setting describes a time in which the government of God fell short. Intervening action was taken by the hand of the Lord through a series of prophets. It underscores the significance of the genuine prophetic word and the boundaries of responsibility tied to those administering and receiving it. It points to the perils resulting from spiritual myopia.
Ripples of Spiritual Short-Sightedness
Solomon’s digression into spiritual short-sightedness was a prime catalyst for the discontent brewing during his reign. It was the tripping point over which Solomon went from being the man whom God anointed with the wisdom to rule and judge His people; to having that wisdom undermined and blindsided by the seductive influence brought into Israel by his hoard of idolatrous and transgressing wives.
In short, both Kingdom leadership and the prophetic word bear an awesome requirement of accuracy within big-picture settings that has no place for half-cocked presumption or short-sightedness. The young prophet sent to Jeroboam delivered his prophecy with great power, but lacked the wisdom and maturity to impart the big-picture restoration God intended in that encounter; and he paid with his life.
These are serious times. One of the major challenges within the Church today is talented people operating on their own abilities, with a bit of wisdom and anointing thrown in. It’s the cart before the horse. In today’s spiritual environment, it’s not enough. On matters concerning the Kingdom: it’s not what you can do for God; it’s what you allow Him to do through you. (2 Cor 12:9; Heb 11:34)
The intensity and developments of this season has unleashed a host of issues of internal confusion and distractions manifesting as division. This division has undermined the authority tied to the leadership and the prophetic needed to implement the focus of God’s strategies for the season.
This manifestation of high-level demonic activity targets the fertile soil of arrogance and spiritual self-satisfaction among leaders of God’s people riding the crest of past exploits. For key segments of the household of faith facing times of change, the shifts and intensities of the times call for the clarity given to Daniel in navigating great transitions, with an eye on the steps that will manifest in the end. For other key elements of God’s people subject to unexpected reversals in the surrounding environments, is the refuge and protection overseen by Joseph.
The great challenge for leaders wielding the mantles with these anticipatory stratagems for today’s spiritual environments is the spiritual myopia such as was evidenced in the lives of Solomon, Rehoboam, Jeroboam and the young prophet. When the response to the times is allowed to mushroom into spiritual myopia, as it did then, the result is ugly and tarnished with manifestations of community/ organizational-level division undermining God’s best for His people.
More of the same harder will not work. It is a new season with new responses to its developments. Along with maturity and a big-picture outlook, the cloak of humility represents a vital counter-response for those with mantles of the prophetic and leadership of God’s people. Moses, whose wisdom to lead came from learning to wait upon and depend solely on the Lord, whose impact extends to this day, was known as the most humble man on the earth (Num 12:3).
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30
Variations of Spiritual Myopia
When spiritual maturity for the task falls short, spiritual short-sightedness can gain entrance in seemingly innocent ways.
Broad Catch-all Applications of “the Kingdom.” The Kingdom is not a synonym for church or ministry activities. It is employing righteous power in a corrupt world. Its employment requires spiritual maturity and the supernatural. It short, Kingdom principles operate in the wisdom and power of God. It is the power that releases cultural and societal change. Its principles, as taught by Jesus, are paradoxes to the way the world actuates power. Paul wrote that the world did not know God through wisdom, but to those who are called, both Jews and Gentiles, Jesus is the power and wisdom of God.
What Has Begun in the Spirit Being Worked Out in the Flesh. A subtle seduction comes when results deemed “successful” evoke a self-satisfaction that tends to rely on what has worked in the past. The distinction is a fine line between operating in the Spirit and yielding to the flesh. Paul pointedly advised Timothy to turn away from those having a form of godliness, but who deny the power thereof.
Add-Ons to the Prophetic. It takes maturity and seasoning to recognize the boundaries between a word received and simple embellishments due to the attempt to give “clarity.” Its why in most cases the one giving a prophetic word should not attempt its interpretation.
Jumping to Conclusions with the Prophetic. The other side of the add-on temptation is getting a pure word, then jumping to conclusions or trying to fit it into a limited understanding or mind-set with a teaching or explanation that may undermine its original potency or intention. Whereas the young prophet’s obsession with his fear of death and return became a self-fulfilling prophecy of his demise, Daniel’s fear of God triggered the supernatural, becoming life to him in the lion’s den.
Limitations of Cultural/Doctrinal Mind-Sets. Within the word of God are the principles needed for life and godliness. Then the Bible also has countless real-life examples that demonstrate the models, mandates and wisdom needed for the application of these principles. These principles and models give us a universal wisdom that transcends generations and non-Biblical cultures and mind-sets.
A Void in the Prophetic. Historically, one of the hardest requirements for God’s people has been in waiting on Him when there is a void in our understanding. Sometimes the most spiritual thing that can be done in a storm is to take a nap (Matt 8:24). Prophetic words, as in the case of Joseph’s dreams, often need to mature and await set times. Impulsiveness, embellishing a genuine word and an array of other digressions that short-circuit a maturing word are the causes of more misfires than is prudent to recount.
The Temptations: Provision, Power and Purpose
Navigating accurately with the spiritual begins by recognizing the primary temptations that divert it from its full impact.
Preceding the time Jesus imparted the keys of the Kingdom to a select group of followers, He encountered three temptations. Surmounting each of these areas is essential corporately, for the prophetic and for leaders, in order to avoid short-sighted tendencies in the employment of righteous power in a corrupt world.
These dimensions address the foundation needed to bring change: provision, power and purpose.
When the evil one challenged Jesus with “command that these stones be made bread,” the issue involved authority over provision. When the challenge was “throw yourself down for He has given His angels charge over you,” it was the foundation of power. Finally, when shown all the glory of the Kingdoms of this world and being offered “all these things I will give to you,” the matter addressed the purpose.
These are the dynamics operating with corporate-level spiritual matters. They were in evidence, in a subtle but progressively evolving process that led to Joseph’s and Daniel’s roles in harnessing Egypt and Babylon for God’s purposes in times of great cultural turmoil and change. Provision, power and purpose are at the heart of the issues bearing on cultural change. Each represents pivot points for corporate and prophetic leaders needed to gain full authority when operating as game-changers; as the ones bearing the mantles of modern-day Josephs and Daniels.
The Maturity Factor
Spiritual maturity is not an option for those in leadership. Provision, power and purpose are key factors bearing on the need for corporate-level maturity. They are the dimensions with the leverage for change, for good or for bad. They can be the seedbeds for short-sightedness or the foundations for enduring change.
After being sent by God to King Jeroboam, it wasn’t because the young prophet was beguiled by the old prophet that he was gobbled by a lion. His myopic blindness was his obsession of his return; of confusing the sign of his failure, as being his path to safety. Although scripture doesn’t elaborate, the context and this short-sighted misfire are strong indications that he didn’t get the full word of the original instruction right in the first place. It was a “mindfulness” focus that no doubt triggered God’s warning to him. It bore on the “purpose” factor for which his maturity for the task was lacking, AND he was judged within the framework of his myopia. Jumping to conclusions and presumption not only short-circuits God’s will, it can be deadly for those seduced by them.
Reaching for Spiritual Clarity
The attack against the Body today targets maturity bearing on the prophetic and leaders prepared as game-changers in situations requiring spiritual alignment. It is not a time to act half-cocked or with presumption. Again, the subtlety of the challenge facing the Body is talented people going on their own abilities with an element of the anointing spliced in. The demarcation into maturity will pivot on humility and be Spirit-driven.
Spiritual maturity is not our limited perception of being right or doing right. Nor is it the self-satisfaction of doctrinal purity. It is when those matters, we refer to as ego, unresolved emotional issues and self, have no root from which to manifest. It is the discernment that knows the difference in the close calls between His will and what may be blind-spots or matters kindled by the flesh.
Spiritual maturity on a corporate-level basis is when there is an alignment of the provision, power and purpose among those deemed as leaders.
Spiritual maturity shines Light on the blindness and confusion. It faces fear with the confidence of the purity of faith. It releases the Kingdom power that paradoxically transcends the division and reverses it into opportunity. It is when there is no vestige of variation between His will and our own. Spiritual maturity is a complete oneness that manifests in the path of walking with the Lord.
“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:24-25
“I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matt 10:34-39
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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2019 Copyright Morris Ruddick — firstname.lastname@example.org
Reproduction is prohibited unless permission is given by a SIGN advisor. Since early 1996, the Strategic Intercession Global Network (SIGN) has mobilized prophetic intercessors and leaders committed to targeting strategic-level issues impacting the Body on a global basis. For previous posts or more information on SIGN, check: http://www.strategicintercession.org