THE RESET AND REPENTANCE
In a time of rapidly-evolving change, a need has arisen to be more discerning: a time to be alert to embrace the factors of significance tied to the new season. For those called by His Name, one of those key factors is repentance. Not to be confused with obsessing over trivial do’s and don’ts, but rather a pathway into a higher lifestyle.
At the core of its meaning, repentance involves a change of mind-set, of the need to hit the spiritual default button triggering one’s thinking, priorities and commonly held outlook on things.
We are emerging from a time of soft-values and responses to reality in which, in far too many cases, black has been called white and white, black. Far too frequently, the crafty application of deceit, seduction and deception have permeated the path of leadership, success, not to speak of the filters of information. A subtle spin of factors eroding the process of mature thinking and behavior. An undermining of reality and truth. A pandemic of questionable integrity and values rife in some of the most basic levels within the cultures defining the peoples of the earth.
Truly, there is nothing new under the sun. Yet, when the impact of these eroding factors has become this pervasive in governing the thinking of God’s people, historically it has triggered a reset.
A Reset to Reality
From the beginning, the Lord has always maintained that the cost of being a people of God would be demonstrated in the distinctiveness seen through the lives of His people. Unfortunately over the centuries, this truth has gone through hurdles of becoming seriously watered-down with evolutions of distortion.
Paul the apostle observed that the world did not know God through wisdom, but to those who are called, that is both Jewish and Gentile believers, that the reality of God to the world would be demonstrated through the power and wisdom of Messiah flowing through their lives.
A Respected Identity
My wife of almost 50 years is retired as a licensed psychotherapist. She was the best I ever knew in this field in terms of results. And I’ve known several in this line of work. In a profession marked by nurtured dependencies, game-playing, telling people what they want to hear and prolonging treatment, Carol sought healing. For both her Christian and non-Christian clients, without pushing any religious agendas, she brought God into the equation. As the Healer. She majored in helping those with trauma and serious issues, such as chronic depression, suicidal tendencies and other self-destructive behavior. Typically those who became her clients were out on their own, stable and functioning within weeks and at the most within months.
She worked at a unique facility called People’s House. A huge, three-story, very charming, older home restored and converted into meeting rooms and private offices. Run by a board of New-Age professionals within her field. They even had their own periodical. She was the only Christian on staff, yet she was loved and respected by all, because she was real and she was really good at what she did. There was never anything superficial in her relationships. So it was that she likewise loved and respected those she served and those she worked alongside. I attended several of the periodic functions at People House, enjoying the company of these with whom she worked.
A Baseline to One’s Thinking
In working with her clients, Carol employed an almost ancient psychological construct known as an Enneagram as a baseline to address the issues and challenges that can assault one’s thinking, and with that the course of a person’s life. There are many such good constructs, but the Enneagram was her choice. For the Enneagram there are nine personality types.
Carol would describe the construct she considered to be her modus operandi, a One: “I work to do everything in the right way, so shouldn’t everyone else.” The Two is very close to the One, in that for the most part they too work on doing everything right, but for a different reason than the One. They are the Performers, who do what they do because of the expectations of those they surround themselves with.
Carol’s assessment of me was a mix of a One, with a Five ….the Thinker, viewing my primary way of operating as the Five. I used to tease her over that ….trying to convince her that I was really a Ten (with only nine personality types): Off-the-Charts. But I digress.
Our Thinking and Undefiled Identities
I share all that about my wife because there are several instructive points that can be drawn for the reset, the season we are entering. The instructive points being tied to the issue of our thinking and how we present ourselves to the world around us.
The difference between the One and the Performer illustrates. Unfortunately, over the years, God’s people have fallen into the trap of wanting to be like everyone else. While Abraham was viewed for His distinctiveness and the way God uniquely blessed Him, His older great-grandchildren bypassed their heritage by beguiling their local neighbors over the issue of the honor of their sister. Their deceit and beguilement removed God’s protection, brought judgment, which in turn triggered the role of Joseph, clearly a One in the Enneagram personality profile, who created a path, for both his host culture, Egypt, and the surviving remnant of his family, through the ensuing days of reset.
The Expectation for an Identity in God
The wisdom and the power of God. The factors God intended to be demonstrated by the household of faith in a world that does not know Him. Abraham demonstrated it and was considered by the sons of Heth as a mighty prince. Abimilech went to Isaac with the words “we see that the Lord has been with you,” after witnessing God’s blessing during a time when most were being hit by famine. Yet, the fatal flaw for God’s people over the centuries has been the self-absorbed immaturity that digresses from doing the right thing for the right reasons to trying to do the right thing while performing like the world around them.
This was the key difference between the leadership of David and that of Saul. Saul couldn’t operate as both a God-pleaser and a man-pleaser. He lost his mind over it, not to speak of the opportunity he had as the first king of Israel. It was the difference between being Righteous and being a Performer.
The Reset and Defining Spiritual Maturity
Now, this is the point where the maturity factor enters. There’s a world of difference between knowing about God and having that ongoing, transforming relationship that personally knows Him and engages with Him. Repentance, the type that resets one’s thinking to the point of establishing a lifestyle takes humility. It also requires the discipline that reaches for the difference in living a life that aligns with knowing God and His ways. This is the defining factor between those who are religious and those who are spiritual.
During His time on this earth, Jesus spoke about the Kingdom, a path and a mind-set to knowing and walking with God in His wisdom and power. He simultaneously railed against the superficialities of the phony, performance-based approach of the religious leaders, who he labeled as blind-guides.
The world is looking for a people who truly know God, whose lives demonstrate His wisdom and power. Not the pretentiously superficial, as Jesus tagged the phony, religious leaders who in fact were misrepresenting the Lord not only to the world, but to people of faith, those who truly sought to be His followers. Did He not tell these phonies that their grasp of the Kingdom was neither sufficient for them to enter the Kingdom themselves and simultaneously was keeping out those who truly sought it.
So it is that the vital role of repentance in changing our thinking in this process must be addressed. Especially during a time of reset.
Repentance deals with this issue between being righteous and being a performer. With this point, comes one of those fine-line distinctions that has nourished the distortions that fall into the difference between being spiritual and religious. Being righteous does not necessarily mean being right. Being righteous involves knowing the One who is righteous and as a way of thinking and lifestyle, of being open to what is right ….or perhaps more aptly expressed being open to Truth. Then making the adjustments to do it. It’s a process.
The Truth versus the Deception of Being Right
This need to be right has been one of the strongest deceptions dividing people of Truth since the beginning. Which bears on the point of repentance as a lifestyle, of the recognition that spiritual maturity is a process of our growing in Truth as a result of knowing and aligning our lifestyles with the One who is the Truth.
All of which raises the point about the change of seasons, the reset and what we have come to label as the marketplace movement. Those who many describe as modern-day Josephs and Daniels. Not to be confused with those who serve in what we would view as priestly functions, these are ones who are leaders within the worldly realm. Business, government, the professions. People of God who are recognized as prophetic people of influence by worldly leaders. Because of the wisdom and power …or the power-of-result by what their lives demonstrate.
This model and role of marketplace people is not what it was almost 50 years ago when I came to faith as a leader in my late 20s. During those days, parishioners who wielded leadership and influence were harnessed not necessarily because of their spiritual acumen, but rather the access to their means by which support of the church found a stable foundation. Perhaps not always to the degree of being rubber-stamps, although there was that. More than it should have been.
This dynamic reflected those who got behind the priests, as the ones who were expected to have final word on God’s heart and the focus of the ministry. It involved a bottom-line of the final submission being to standing with the one who had the final word on what was right. Not always, but a back-seat role that took place far more than it should have.
Resetting the Standard
The modern-day Josephs and Daniels for this season demonstrate lifestyles of the righteous rather than that of the performers. They are recognized as being spiritual rather than religious. They don’t always claim to being right, but rather to being able to draw from the One who indeed is Righteous. It is significant that when Nebuchadnezzar issued his harsh decision concerning his expectation for not only the interpretation of his dream, but the need to accurately tell him what his dream had been, that Daniel went to the ones he prayed with, to seek God for the answers. As scripture states, he did so “in order that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.” Talk about putting your spiritual mantle to the test.
The bridging of this gap in what is emerging as the role of modern-day Josephs and Daniels is what will release unity. Getting past the need to be right and serving as ones who cooperatively join together to seek and get answers from the One who is Righteous. Tapping and releasing the wisdom and power of God. Yet in the interim is the need for this mix of the reset being combined with a lifestyle of repentance ….of a continuous reach that changes one’s thinking and modus operandi.
The marketplace movement, the calling of the Josephs and Daniels represents a top-down strategy for economic change. Economic change with God at the center. It works in harmony with the bottom-up strategy for economic change, that of mobilizing entrepreneurial community builders. Each have influence in the demonstration of walking with God. But for both, the change or reset begins with a change of thinking. As Jesus voiced the words at the inception of His earthly ministry: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”
The Reset, the Kingdom and Our Thinking
I recall a time of ministry in 2013 in India. After speaking about God’s economy and the opportunity as community-building game-changers, I was invited to have dinner at the home of one of the small business owners attending my presentation. As I made my way to their home on foot, I found myself ducking to avoid the sharp edges of the hastily-built tin roofs that I passed in the narrow alleyways. Twice before arriving, big rats scurried across my path.
Then as I was honored to break bread and eat in the home of this humble family, they began telling me of how, when they were not spending time in this community with their business, that they were going to another part of the city and into the ghetto, to assist the “poor.” Going into the ghetto? I thought I was in the ghetto. And the poor? These dear ones were far from being what we would consider well-off.
Indeed I was in a ghetto area, yet these dear brethren didn’t view it that way. Why? Because they didn’t have a poverty mind-set. Rather their thinking saw the opportunity of not only building their own community through entrepreneurship, but also in giving of their efforts to help those even less fortunate than themselves.
All of which reminds me of my wife’s chief motivator: they were doing it because it was the right thing to do. They were not being performers. They were making a choice, both in their thinking and then in what to do. Paul explained the same dynamic operating in the Macedonian churches: “Out of the most severe trial their overflowing joy and extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity, so that they gave beyond their ability.” 2 Cor 8:2,3
As we embrace the change for this season, we need this same kind of mind-set that sees beyond our circumstances to embrace the opportunity. The thinking that sees past our own lack and uses what we have to help foster the Kingdom of God for others.
For more than three years, Jesus taught His followers the principles of the Kingdom, how to live in a broken world and advance the wisdom and power and results that can only come from God. A different way of thinking. A lifestyle that gives of oneself, beyond any natural ability. In fact, a way of doing things that more often than not, is the opposite of the standard used for success by the world: we advance by yielding; we gain through generosity; we pray for our persecutors; we bless those who have cursed us; wisdom comes from simplicity, we lead by serving. In short, we live by dying to ourselves, but instead by giving of ourselves to others.
It is the thinking that applies the wisdom and power of God to create and build.
It has been written: “Stand at the crossroads and look. Then ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies. Then, walk in it and you will find rest for your souls.” Within the reset will be opportunity. Yet, to discern, embrace and advance that opportunity we need to repent and change our thinking-patterns responding to the undistorted realities around us. From this will be the expectation that our routines and modus operandi can find meaning and fruitfulness, unveiling opportunity, if we would but reach beyond ourselves with Kingdom mindsets, to release the blessing that triggers the change in the spiritual atmosphere around us.
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.
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 who have been helped by this ministry and 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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2020 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