WELLSPRING OF AUTHORITY
From the beginning, Christians have had a tendency to be spiritually blindsided. Of notable consequence has been majoring in minors, while minoring in the essentials. In addressing this issue, Paul insightfully encouraged applying an essential foundation: to bear one another’s burdens.
Applied as it should, this foundation nurtures the wellspring of authority needed to grow spiritually and mature; to find one’s identity, purpose and destiny; as well as being the glue that differentiates Christian community from any other type of belonging group.
For more than two decades, SIGN has served a remnant audience of believers: intercessors and leaders. The goal is to highlight truths that engender spiritual maturity gleaned from knowing the Lord and walking in His ways. The intent has been to unveil the dynamics of issues important to God’s heart for the pathway navigated by intercessors and leaders.
In practical terms, the result has been mapping out direction for intercessors and leaders, evidenced by fruit-producing spiritual authority. Again and again, in the gospel accounts, what Jesus said and did stood out to the people because of His authority.
In describing a recent dream, one of the friends of SIGN raised the question of what may be evolving for the season ahead with what most consider standard practices for the role of intercessors. As I read through his note, it triggered the realization of another blind-spot the Body has long struggled with: confusing the process with events, a dynamic that stymies the full potential of many intercessors.
What I realized is that the idea of intercessors being the force of potent prayer behind their leaders may have valid precedence, but not necessarily as an end-goal. Its latent potential is in being a step in the process that shapes the destinies for a great many, drawn to this prophetic function of intercession. A potential that needs to be better understood and actuated.
The model from the heroes of faith, again and again, points to a path based on a prayerful reach for and application of God’s heart priorities. This focus is accompanied with spiritual authority that fosters opportunity as a prophetic voice, or service in leadership, or both. It is a wellspring of authority that is developed as one makes a practice of discerning God’s heart and then bearing the burdens that build others — and the community.
Those who have prevailed and haven’t fallen into pride or falsehood or compromise bring this vital practice into what is being defined by the exercise of their calling. Bearing one another’s burdens is not just, as Paul described it, “fulfilling the law of Christ,” it advances the dynamic that enhances understanding the priorities of God’s heart and the leadership that releases the Kingdom into being that light that is recognized by those entrapped in the surrounding darkness. So as we bear one another’s burdens, we jointly participate in the practice of the Spirit in helping in the weaknesses of the brethren, as Scripture describes Him making intercession for us according to the will of God.
The Path to Wisdom, Power and the Presence
Paul punctuates this point in another of his epistles. He observed that the world did not know God through wisdom. Yet, he notes those who respond to the call, keeping their hands to the plow for the range of practices releasing this wellspring of authority, results in Christ becoming to them both the power of God and the wisdom of God.
There was a time following the Exodus that Scripture describes the Presence of the Lord coming into the camp. It says that when the Pillar of Cloud stood at the entrance of the tent, the people would rise up and worship, each at his own tent door. THEN came one of those wonderful nuggets of which the Word of God is packed. It notes that when Moses turned again into the camp that his assistant Joshua would not depart from the tent.
Joshua’s priorities embody the heart of the intercessor, which is that of a builder of the tasks gleaned from his time with the Lord. His role was defined not just by his assignment as Moses’ assistant but in what he drew from spending time in God’s presence. Being Moses’ assistant was the result of that priority of his heart, of the alignment of his heart with God’s.
That priority was what set him and Caleb apart from the other spies, whose mindfulness instead of seeing what God intended when first encountering the Land of Promise, were overwhelmed with what they saw in the natural. Such is the chink in the armor, the blind spot, of those whose path is defined by the approval of men rather than the approval of God.
Such is the “mindfulness” of men, reflecting what is perceived through that prism, rather than God’s. The focus then becomes about them, the approval they seek, blinding them to the full authority they might have had in their encounters with the forces they were destined to face. Authority grows from the challenges it takes on. It begs the question of the loss of power in the Body today, from what was so evident in the early church.
In short, the path of the intercessor is a process toward a higher goal, for those who have ears to hear. It targets the narrow gate spoken of by Jesus, the path into a life, the gifts and the mantle defined by the supernatural. Not unlike the role served by Moses in grooming Joshua, the role of the leader is to recognize and nurture these gifts and mantles.
The Reality of God’s Perspective
The process releasing Isaiah’s incredible mantle began as he encountered the reality of his human condition, recognizing the gap only God could fill: “Woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts.” Two distinct separations: his own and that of his culture.
Yet, with that recognition, from the throne room came the angelic seraphim with the pure burning coal from the altar to touch his lips and remove both the individual sin and the cultural iniquity. Such was what it took to open the gate to the perspective from God’s heart that became the foundation driving Isaiah’s prophetic intercessory passion:
“Justice is turned back and righteousness stands afar off, for truth is fallen in the street and equity cannot enter. So truth fails and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The LORD saw it and it displeased Him. He wondered that there was no intercessor.” Is 59:14
The Significance for the Community
What Isaiah was recounting in this passage was the observation, within the leadership of God’s community, of the lack of and need to raise up true Joshuas needed to be the voice and leadership to keep the community whole and moving in the direction guided by the Lord. “All we like sheep have gone astray and turned each one to his own way.” The lack was in the process needed to mobilize the intercessors and the heart of the leadership required to bear the burdens needed for the community to serve its function as God intended. Jeremiah observed much the same thing: “My people have become lost sheep, their shepherds have led them astray.”
Ezekiel discerned this same lack. His proclamation to mark the foreheads of those who groan and intercede for the abominations in Jerusalem (Ezek 9:4) echoed deep recesses of God’s heart. This parallels Paul’s point in his epistle to the Romans poignantly noting that the “Spirit makes intercession for the saints, according to the will of God.”
So then, there was history behind Paul’s admonition to “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” It targets the responsibility of leaders to build and release their intercessors into their prophetic and leadership mantles. It yields a higher-level spin to the long-held truth from Ezekiel 22 applied to intercession — of filling the gap in the hedge. In essence, it marks the foundation for building community.
Countering Iniquities and Blind Spots
True intercessors, like Joshua, are ones addicted to God’s presence. This in turn triggers the roots of their thinking, their mindfulness, to be aligned to God’s heart and the awareness of His priorities. This alignment is the result of a balance of being saturated in His Presence and His truth with a progressive seasoned sensitivity to His Spirit. Which raises the question of iniquities and blind spots.
Ezekiel warned both the House of Israel and the House of Judah of the consequences of their iniquities, their cultural practices which went against the grain of God’s protective truths for them. He later proclaimed that their sanctuaries had been profaned by the multitude of their iniquities and dishonest trading. Such are the iniquitous blind spots of majoring in minors and the diversions created by hearts tempered to crave the approval of men, the subtle societal perversions that have come to be considered acceptable practices within the Body today.
This reality bleeds into the need for and purpose of Spirit-led, small group interactions. It was the potent dynamic operating for the twelve in being spiritually groomed in the mysteries of the Kingdom. Paul wrote the Corinthians that when they came together in such small groups, that one would have a psalm, another a teaching, still others revelations, that each would have a role that engendered spiritual growth and the prophetic. Paul also told them to pursue love, but earnestly desire spiritual gifts, especially that of prophesying.
When distanced from the mindfulness of men, such pure interactions serve the purpose of knocking off the rough edges and cooperatively enhancing the reach for the alignment of their hearts with that of the Holy Spirit. Groomed in this way, all would have the opportunity to contribute to promote their mutual spiritual development through these Spirit-led interactions.
The Mysteries and God’s Restoration
These interactions broach the mysteries referred to throughout the Bible. Jesus told the twelve that it had been given to them to know the mysteries of the Kingdom, but to those outside their group these truths remained a mystery. Such are not intellectual propositions or the precepts of men, but the process through which spiritual awareness and growth is nurtured. Throughout the Word of God it speaks of mysteries, of truths that have not been revealed, in some cases having timing factors tied to when they might be revealed.
Mysteries represent gateways, not to be forced, but rather as “doors of truth” to respectfully wait before, as the Spirit aligns our hearts with His. Again according to Paul’s wise insight into the role of the Holy Spirit: “He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is as He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
Small-group interactions of leaders and intercessors seeking the Lord, His heart and His strategies represent the wellspring for the authority needed and tasks unveiled for the season upon us, a season without precedent.
Likewise, cooperative times of genuinely seeking the Lord, must complement strategy sessions and discussions between the leaders of alliances pioneering this season. These simple, but basic activities will be the progressive, relationship-driven seedbed for the steps tied to the God-initiated restoration before us. It is time to major in the interactive times given to seeking the Lord, while minoring in the discussions.
Even the leaders of the early Church came together to confer in prayer to get the mind of the Lord on strategies needed for the hour. Acts 15 describes the unveiling of the mantle of Paul in bringing the Gentiles into the Jewish fold.
It reflects the alignment needed in bearing one another’s burdens triggering the unfolding of mysteries being revealed. Such matters involve God’s timetable as the Body matures and responds to the challenges of the season. These are the dynamics defining the path of the intercessor. Intercession is not a stepping stone, but rather the core element tied to those prepared for this hour. To the degree these dynamics are applied in fulfillment of Paul’s admonition to bear one another’s burdens will be correlated with the authority linked to maturity and the fulfillment of the unstoppable timetable of God’s restoration.
Body Maturity and the Authority of the Sons
Paul prophetically wrote that all creation longs for the revealing of the sons of God. The parable of the vinedresser in Matthew 21 illustrates the realities of the response of the world to God and His people. It marks the need within the Body to be operating in increasingly higher levels of authority. From this authority of the sons will come the time when the shift begins for the change in ownership from the unrighteous stewards. It strongly hints of God’s intervention revealed to Jeremiah (chapter 51), when through those prepared, God breaks nations in pieces to the degree that Babylon and Chaldea, corruption and sorcery, spiritually hit the wall.
What Paul was giving a glimpse of with the revealing of the sons of God was not a synonym of being a believer. It was the highest goal in the process of mature, disciplined spiritual thinking that enables its practitioners to penetrate and decimate the deepest lairs of darkness with their authority. This is as it will be with the coming sons of God. Yet, such mantles of authority cannot and should not be forced or presumed. They will be the result of the process and the patient practice and mark of spiritual maturity of majoring in the essentials, such as truly discerning and bearing one another’s burdens.
Not unlike the response of the Egyptians to Joseph, the sons of God will be recognized first by their authority in producing results in what they do. Yet that authority comes not in the way the world achieves authority, but in the humility born by the fact that they love not their lives to the death.
The coming sons of God will be the ones facing the ultimate sources of evil. These are ones whose lives are hidden in Him and whose authority restores. These are those who serve the role as the triggers of authority, whose combined encounters with evil will set the stage for the restoration that has been in the mind of the Lord since the time of the fall. The process released will witness the coordinated thrust with the balance of power, love and sound minds. With their coming will be strategies and restoration — orchestrated from God’s throne room.
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/
Likewise, email us to schedule a seminar for your group’s gathering on the Joseph-Daniel Calling or on anointing the creative in business.
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