Thinking Like God
Several years ago, a man whose thinking I greatly admired, postulated an amazing premise: that the reason Jews were so exceptional as a people, was because they thought like God. Peter Wagner was no small thinker himself.
In meeting him for the first time, at the recommendation of one of his board members, he had just completed reading my first Christian marketplace book, “The Joseph-Daniel Calling.” Duly impressed with the book’s unique original message he asked how I had come up with it. I told him very frankly that the primary source was my grasp of the biblical story and the time I spent with the Lord in prayer. It being the first time we had met, his initial response was an undisguised and very skeptical look, with no further comment.
Yet, my new friend did come to recognize the reality of my response. Indeed, the substance of that book and those that followed has reflected the out-of-the-box guidance I’ve received from the Holy Spirit. Thinking like God will always be beyond our scope as individuals, while simultaneously drawing out depths not normally seen by our unique spirit-beings. Thinking like God, likewise operates beyond the realm of time, while again serving to illuminate the space of time we’re currently occupying and navigating. It’s trans-generational. Thinking like God releases at the same time, the anointing and resources tied to our identity, purpose and destiny and to those who are to follow in its wake.
From the time I committed my life-journey to the Lord, God has proactively guided me in mapping out my steps. My being led into the marketplace was totally unexpected. Knowing I’ve been reaching far over my head in this quest, I’ve given keen priority to maintaining the connection to the Source of the direction I’ve been following.
So, over the course of this life-venture with Him, I have maintained the discipline of regular, focused times spent with Him, immersing myself in His Presence and Truth. In doing so, I have sought to understand first the priorities of His heart and then, what my response should be in terms of my identity and the priorities given to my life-purpose.
Recognizing that there indeed is a difference with the way Jews think, I’ve penned a couple of pieces and conducted a YouTube video in an attempt to better define and grasp the dynamic it reflects. It certainly is the foundation of those that the Bible describes as the heroes of faith, not to overlook the substantive depth reflected by what God’s Messiah imparted to His followers about the dynamics of the Kingdom.
Yet, after more than 50 adult years of pursuing this pathway, I still find myself challenged to dig even deeper regarding the wisdom that underlies what we call our faith; with what we might find through scripture and the lives and destinies of those who the Word of God recognizes as ones having found favor with God.
Conformity and Raising the Bar for God-Thinking
The times now upon us challenge us to conform. Thinking that is aligned with God’s thinking requires an independent stance, for the most part from the thinking of society and even the mainstream from within the household of faith. Being human, we naturally resist change. Yet the times are in constant change with God’s ways anticipating and being a step ahead of the adjustments. It is ample reason to better understand and align with His thinking.
Thinking aligned with God’s priorities requires embracing positions that are outside the box. It was operating on this plane that resulted in Jesus’ crucifixion and the observation in Revelation about those who stood by their testimony because they refused to fear the loss of their lives, even in the face of death. Doing so requires tapping a dimension beyond the natural.
John Milton, author of Paradise Lost, being blind when he authored this classic, observed that “the mind is its own place.” Milton touched on what Jesus had imparted about the potency of our imaginations, it being the seedbed for the faith of game-changers. Jesus admonished the harnessing of its potential, as uncontrolled negative thinking also has its impact, such as thoughts of anger and lust holding the potential of the guilt of murder and adultery. I strongly suspect that sightless Milton, who having buried a wife and a daughter, had discovered a place in his mind, a dimension in God, beyond his natural senses.
Discovering this dimension in God, as believers, requires getting past the trivia of standard religious thinking. It is the very essence of Jesus’ substantive message of faith and the Kingdom: two vital components our Lord imparted to align our thinking with God’s.
Simplistic, Lazy Thinking
Solomon distinguishes between simplistic and prudent thinking. His words observe that: “The simple believe every word, but the prudent considers well his steps.”
The authors of the “Freakonomics” books would agree. Dubner and Levitt suggest that most thinking is predisposed and determined by societal biases in one form or another. They maintain that thinking outside these parameters is considered by the mainstream as thinking like a freak. They note that a growing body of evidence supports the premise that even those considered the smartest tend seek input that confirms what they already think, rather than expand their perception of reality. Solomon’s insights include an extensive commentary on those he described as fools, a preponderance of whom come from the ranks of the smart and heady, whose tendencies fit into being lazy, simplistic, parroting thinkers.
Dubner and Levitt illustrate their point of lazy thinking and tendency to run with the herd with the observation that few people actually think more than two or three times a year, while ones distinguishing themselves can do so by merely thinking once or twice a week.
Bob Hamp, a biblical scholar, man of the Spirit and author of “Think Differently, Live Differently” expands on this premise, commenting that most believers tend to be myopic in their thinking, giving sharp focus to issues of content, while failing to recognize the fluctuations of the process. In other words, they miss the forest for the trees. He suggests the problem Jesus came to solve, our disconnectedness and self-perpetuated sourcing of input demands the process that resulted in the early-Church becoming known as the Way, rather than the What. Doing so, requires big-picture, God-thinking.
It was following all the miracles of the Exodus and the parting of the Red Sea when Moses cried out to God to be able to tap the Truths needed to truly know Him and His ways. The exchange that followed gave focus to issues of God’s favor, presence and rest. Yet, in pointing to these issues, the typical response fails to recognize the potential beyond what is already “known.” In other words, as Hamp points out, most believers are stuck in their focus being on content, rather than in the process. Moses was reaching to grasp the process.
So it was, that having already experienced the dramatic Red Sea crossing and being delivered from the bondage and threats of the Egyptians, that Moses made a serious appeal to the Lord:
“Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to [continue to] find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.”
The Lord’s response was “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.” Yet Moses pressed for even more: “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
Once again, the Lord affirmed the relationship with: “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”
Knowing there was still more, Moses persisted in his appeal for that dimension of “more” with: “Please show me Your glory.” At which point, the Lord responded with: “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘Adonai.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But, you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.’”
Likewise, David sought that “something more” as expressed in Psalm 86:11: “Show me your ways that I might walk in your truth. Unite my heart to fear Your Name.”
The Glimmers of God’s Thinking
Years ago one of my mentors commented that if we can simply get the door open sufficiently to get a glimmer of His presence, it will be enough. Far too many play it safe in standing at the door. Yet for ones like Moses and David, the request was to intimately understand God’s ways, His heart and His thinking. Their quest pleased the Lord. Each walked in a dimension and alignment with God’s ways and thinking that distinguished them for eternity.
Jesus then came to unwrap this dimension to those willing to pay the cost as His followers in this world. He spent three years imparting the way of the Kingdom to His closest followers, who in turn devoted their lives to modeling and imparting this dimension to their generation. Doing so tapped the great equalization of grasping and aligning themselves with God’s thoughts and priorities, releasing that dynamic of God’s favor, presence and power, in defining the journey for followers reaching to make their life-journey together with Him.
The cost for walking in this dimension that Jesus referred to as the Kingdom, was everything: an exchange of life for Life. It triggers thinking aligned with God’s priorities. It changes the perspectives and thinking of those willing to truly get beyond the door and tap the glimmers that will come from His presence and these Truths. It involves being in the world, yet not of it; embracing positions and perceptions that are outside the box. The very conception of God’s perspective will trigger real thinking and change our preconceived parameters, not to speak of what we consider as our concept and goals of “success.”
Walking this pathway releases a testimony, a witness in being carriers or reflectors of this Way; of His presence and the requirement and ultimate priority of an identity of being one with the Way, even when threatened with death. It is a narrow corridor that integrates, but overrides the natural with the spiritual.
The Responsibility of Influence
Thinking like God entails the responsibility of influence, in imparting these discoveries to those who will steward them to the next generation. As Paul admonished the Philippians in keeping their minds in check: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself; looking out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
In pondering this responsibility of influence in my own life, over the years, I’ve been honored to be mentored by, trained by; but then to work alongside and serve with my gift as a consultant a number of giants of faith from my generation.
However, aside from this direct exposure in combining my anointing with theirs, in serving these spiritual game-changers; the ones who have most profoundly influenced me have been those whose callings have reflected a behind-the-scenes profile. So it was as I was praying recently, that I was reminded of a particular man whose life and whose personal words to me were not only timely, but profoundly influential. This man was Harald Bredesen.
Some consider him a major catalyst in the Charismatic revival of the late 60s and early 70s. His role of influence in the birthing of a number of ministries, including CBN, is beyond impressive. Yet, in terms of his own ambitions, he was one of the most unassuming men I’ve ever met; while simultaneously and uniquely being one of the most influential in terms of those whose lives he significantly impacted for the Kingdom.
The spirit of this man was captured with his words: “If God were to take you to His treasure house and give you your choice, what would it be? Mine would be an ear to hear His voice, being able to know that every moment of my life that ‘I am where He wants me to be, doing what He wants me to do.’”
Maturity and Recognizing the Higher Dimensions
I’ve observed in a recent SIGN post that this season is giving evidence to becoming a time when the wheat is separated from the chaff. It extends to include a separation of those who serve God and those who do not and more. That dimension of “more” will be subtle in terms of the thinking and perspective for what is being reached for from among those who serve God: the game-changers versus so who were simply there. It represents that dimension of spiritual maturity pointed to by Paul that operates beyond the arena of personal ambition with the higher dimensions of God’s thinking evidenced by the choices of action.
It underscores the need we have for one another, in the priority of unselfishly serving one another, which will be determined by the listening and then the speaking, as modeled by Dr. Bredesen. It is assuming the responsibility of being reflectors of God’s thoughts and influence, in maintaining that level of an ear to hear His voice, so that for each moment of our lives that we would have the assurance of maintaining the focus of that alignment of being one with Him. Jesus expressed this profound truth in noting that He always did what the Father prompted Him to do; continuing with the admonishment of getting beyond ourselves in our roles as servant leaders.
Peter in walking alongside Jesus, had a desire and potential that was alive with all his efforts and predispositions. He took longer to recognize this secret of Kingdom thinking, but he finally embraced this “treasure” defined by Dr. Bredesen, because anything less would have short-circuited what Jesus saw for him, like the chaff separated from the wheat in being destined for the fire. As John the Baptist expressed: “He must increase and I must decrease.” Thinking like God involves discerning, but when prompted then unselfishly passing the baton of the glimmers and nuggets without caring who gets the credit. In doing so, it is being acutely sensitive to the Spirit in our interactions of who we spiritually engage with.
Spiritual Chemistry and Thinking Like God
In conclusion, there are different levels in thinking like God. Its basis is the thinking of individuals. It’s where it starts. It entails a person’s spiritual identity and faith; and the alignment of their ways with the scriptural standards which make us reflectors of His presence. In concert with this individual level of thinking like God are a range of spiritual gifts and what might be called the anointing, the overflow and benefits of His accompanying presence that results from spending time with and being in harmony with Him.
However, a much broader level of thinking like God, takes place when the community interacts and shares this identity, faith and alignment with God. It is the restoration of meeting house to house as participants engaging with the Holy Spirit. Doing so is a reflection of the hunger gleaned from God’s admonition to Joshua in being immersed in the Word of Truth.
“Only be strong and very resolute, that you may observe to do according to all which Moses My servant instructed you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. Do not let my Word depart from your mouth, but meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.“ Joshua 1:7-8
Thinking like God entails being exposed to the higher-thinking of God that results as believers gather and the gifts flow, releasing what might be called shared anointings or spiritual chemistry. Embracing and flowing regularly in this spiritual chemistry becomes a catalyst for spiritual maturity and is what can be expected from rightly aligned shared anointings. (http://strategic-initiatives.org/mingled-anointings/)
In a season requiring “something more,” this practice encompasses gatherings where all participate with scripture and their spiritual gifts in becoming a part of the flow of the Spirit in seeking God with one mind:
“Whenever you come together, let everyone be ready with a psalm or a teaching or a revelation, or ready to use his gift of tongues or in giving an interpretation; but let everything be for edification.” 1 Cor 14:26
With these practices as the foundation, everything else available is a bonus. This dynamic evokes His presence flowing freely among ones immersed in His Word. This most generally is the gateway into releasing believers into becoming and empowered to be doers of God’s word. It is this actuating of the combined anointings and the impartation it includes that entails what scripture intends in mobilizing community.
Thinking like God, together, should be our quest as we engage the higher dimensions taking place in the season now upon us. It is the restoration of the dynamic at work from the early Church when, together, the community of God sought AND followed the mind of the Lord. It entails the higher dimensions that Elisha reached for in his bold request for a double-portion of Elijah’s anointing. It is the impartation that went to Joshua in assuming Moses’ mantle, as he fully embraced the spiritual chemistry of his mentor.
We’ve entered a season of opportunity for these higher dimensions as the Lord separates the chaff from the wheat and those who serve God from those who do not. There’s no question that the change being set in motion has resulted in it being a time of turmoil, one in which the lines will be drawn in facing our enemies. It is not unlike the time when Israel came to the aid of the Gibeonites; when in this dramatic act of rescuing ones in whom they were in alliance, that Joshua’s thinking and authority was prompted to bring the Sun and the Moon to a halt, in the process of overcoming deep-seated, long-standing enemies.
It is a season of opportunity in which to muster our resources in standing with those with whom we’re allied in completely overcoming generations-old, embedded sources of evil, like Joshua did to the Amorites. It will be marked by the difference between programs of man and the change that will come from the power of acting on God’s priorities and thinking. It is the opportunity that will be seized by those whose thinking has become aligned with God’s, who will unpack and walk out these higher dimensions drawn from God’s favor, rest, presence and power as they serve and release the required authority in restoring His order and Kingdom.
Morris Ruddick has been a forerunner and voice for the higher dimensions of spiritual game-changers and intercessors since the mid-90s. As founder of Global Initiatives Foundation and designer of the God’s Economy Entrepreneurial Equippers Program and the Jewish Business Secrets YouTube series, Mr. Ruddick equips economic community builders with strategy 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.
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