Beyond Ourselves

by Morris Ruddick on July 12, 2017

BEYOND OURSELVES

The Body has been through an intense preparation for what is now on the horizon. In the last generation, the Church that began with a largely disjointed, localized, in-bred, myopic influence is in the struggle to emerge as far more mature, connected and mobilized. For those staying the course and paying the cost and not without serious challenges, it is now closing the gap to a time of making a transforming impact on society.

The Messianic passage in Isaiah 61 describes a dimension that operates beyond self. It encompasses a focus uniquely capturing God’s heart, with components that pierce the darkness with His Light. They combine to actuate this dimension and catalyst of “something more,” that ignites the power needed for societal change.
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God.” Isaiah 61: 1-2

Driven by the Spirit and operating within the spiritual veil, again beyond ourselves, this dynamic employs the authority and anointing of dominion to bring restoration and transformation. It is where the turning begins.

The Reality Beyond Ourselves
The context is a world whereby the perception is considered the reality. During the last few months, the deceptions targeting even the elite have been off the charts. It has almost become a tenet of faith that marketing rules the world. Success has become measured by the glitter of the press release, the achievement expectation and the names being dropped.

Yet, from the Torah to the prophets, to the teachings of Jesus is the plumb line for reality. The fullness in this Isaiah 61 passage points to a gate that is narrow, a pathway that is difficult and is focused on the type of service that brings change that carries a cost. It is the “something more” needed in hopelessly dark situations. It is the path that triggers the power to transform when confronting unmasked darkness and embedded evil. It is the pathway of the committed and mature.

True reality will be defined by those Kingdom paradoxes that challenge the wide gate with its self-promotional and manipulative mantras adopted by those enticed by the wide path.

Jesus spent His earthly ministry focused on training up a remnant to get beyond themselves, to enable them to live in that dimension — beyond themselves — and to impart it to others. He admonished us with the words: “He who loves his life will lose it.” He went on to call for humility and service as the true indicators of leadership: “Let he who is greatest among you become the least and the leader as a servant.”  Paul likewise addressed the need to overcome the short-sided worldview through which we process reality: “Whoever thinks he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.”

Expounding on the Torah, Jesus reconnected people to God and mapped out the path that drew a most unlikely band of followers. Under the mantle of the Isaiah 61 prophecy, He established the foundations of reclaiming dominion to bring the change for establishing God’s Kingdom. The cut for the called was and is to those who maintain a pure heart to operate in this sphere beyond ourselves and for whom bearing meaningful fruit is the byproduct.

Collateral Fruit
The dynamic of bearing fruit, of living a life with purpose that makes a difference has long been a mark of the Jewish community. As the forerunner to Jesus’ earthly ministry, John the Baptist exhorted his listeners to “bear fruit worthy of repentance.’ Jesus imparted to his followers the Kingdom dynamic that “unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”  (John 12:24) In that same vein, Jesus noted that He is the vine and we are the branches. The one who abides in Him will bear much fruit. (John 15:5)

In the early 1970s, when I set my heart to align with His, there began a change, a reshaping of priorities with an unfolding of God-opportunities in my life. While the practice became more and more natural, it always involved choices and a cost.

Then in late 1995 steps began which resulted in the onset of my Internet ministry of prayer and writing (SIGN). Already embracing maturity and leadership in the Lord, this heart-priority had become a process taking me beyond myself.

What has resulted has been an amassing of a dimension of “something more,” far exceeding my expectations. This “something more” can only be described as collateral fruit birthed from the priority of the alignment with His heart.

Our God’s Economy entrepreneurial program, for example, is part of this collateral fruit. It is driven by the leadership dynamic and anointing that flows from the Joseph-Daniel calling, a game-changer mantle wielded by a remnant of aligned ones willing to pay the cost.

With an impact spanning five continents, these joint efforts have mobilized the hopeless with purpose. We equip and establish leaders in their own nations to become catalysts of influence to their communities. The combined thrust between a bottom-up entrepreneurial program and the top-down influence of those being mobilized as modern-day Josephs and Daniels is opening gateways and bringing change to nations.

Specific agendas have varied, but have included entrepreneurial startup programs, spiritual business leadership training and mentoring, along with community building strategies for lands of persecution and oppression.

These initiatives build on and release the dimension of “something more,” that through God is activated even in the face of what may seem impossible in the natural. Lest such exploits sound as boastful, the Apostle Paul captured the dynamic with his words that it no longer was he who lived, but Christ operating within him. Which is the true path to bearing fruit.

The Path Bearing Fruit
The people of the world are looking for something more. In the West, there is an emptiness and discontent brought by the seducing illusions of reality and empty trappings of success.

There is a nagging awareness of there being a “something more” to it all. In the non-Western world that “something more” too often involves the necessities of life. In both instances people are looking for the reality of God operating in their midst. The narrow path that bears fruit that remains addresses our response to reality, the need for new mind-sets, awareness of the cost of power and the priority of fruitful stewardship.

Wisdom provides a beyond-the-superficial response to reality. It reflects a long-term perspective that transcends the blindness of the self-orientation and its consequent dependence on a worldly grasp of things. It recognizes that the standard to make a difference comes only from dynamic, prophetic guidance from on high.

The sons of Issachar understood the times and knew what to do. “Knowing what to do,” is not based on conforming to the standards of the age, but rather on hearing God and leveraging realistic steps toward the restoration long seen deep in the heart of God.
“Whoever thinks he is wise in the age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.” 1 Cor 3:18

Elijah discovered that path beyond himself in the cave. Having wielded the most astonishing power of God since the parting of the Red Sea, Elijah not only became overwhelmed, but lost sight of the big-picture of what God had in motion. While that time in the cave may have begun as a retreat, it unveiled to Elijah a dimension in God beyond even the astounding miracles that had come at his hand. That fresh revelation set the course and pathway for the fruit that would be released from his legacy.

Nehemiah 13 punctuates the truths that impede the flow of the Spirit in traversing this path. It is tied to Genesis 12 and the story of the defilement strategy implemented by Balaam, which also ties to Galatians 2:4 where Paul wrote the Galatians that “this occurred by means of false brethren who came in by stealth to bring you into bondage.”
I then discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, preparing for him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. And I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the chamber. Then I gave orders, and they cleansed the chambers, and I brought back there the vessels of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.” Nehemiah 13:7-9

Unholy alliances that defile and dishonor are impediments to the path bearing fruit. Not to be confused with holy alliances, like Joseph and Pharaoh, initiated by God, breaches being established which misuse power and benefit individuals to the detriment of others in the Body are a stench before God and must be cleansed or eradicated.

The gates establishing these paths must be guarded and God’s means of sanctification restored, removing the watered-down whiplashing of the brethren by unsanctioned, unholy and counterfeit authorities. Such stances only operate in a place beyond ourselves.

Jesus’ earthly ministry challenged the mind-sets of His followers to respond to the world with the heart of a king. God intended his people to be the head and not the tail. We were never meant to be like everyone else. The Kingdom-minded response is a paradox to the natural way of thinking. The departure of the Kingdom response to persecution, oppression and adversity is captured with the following words:
“Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes the sun rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and the unjust.”  Matt 5:44, 45 

In his second letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote about the exchange required to release the power of God. He spoke of the treasure of our faith and the conflicts that would result from the confrontations of Light and darkness. He simultaneously noted that the cost and impact of imparting Life by the power of the Spirit would result in walking a narrow pathway that would constantly be skirting death.
“We have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed, always carrying about the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus might be manifested.”  2 Cor 4:7-10

Since reaching for that “something more,” based on the priorities of God’s heart, my perceptions of reality have changed. The response to the changes have progressively reshaped my pathway. The wonderful opportunities we’ve embraced across the world are simply the fruit of the choices. The path has become a lifestyle of arising in the middle of the night to pray and write. It incorporates an annual time alone with the Lord to re-consecrate, to memorize and rehearse scripture and lay the foundation spiritually in prayer for “next steps.” It reflects a heart alignment that is continuous and progressive.

True leadership serves. True service is the stewardship of our gifts, each according to his own ability, to the benefit of the community, based on the priorities of God’s heart. Tz’dakah, charitable-righteousness, is foundational to this dynamic. True service blesses the community. “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many. Enter into the joy of your lord.” Matt 25:21-22

True service bears its own collateral fruit and a type of increase activated only by God.  This increase is best described by the word exponential. “Exponential” is an increase of not just adding to something, but doubling, quadrupling or raising a quantity to a multiple of what it was originally. Investing the “combined deposit” of spiritual assets of our individual calling, anointing and gifts properly aligned with His heart, brings results bearing an exponential increase. It is evidence of the process of becoming one with Him. It is the fruit of the obedience to persevere described in Revelation 3:10.

The Lord has called us as agents of change in a time of change. As ambassadors of change, Jesus indicated we would be as sheep among wolves. Within this pressure cooker environment, amid adversity and backlash, is a catalyst to the change. It is the catalyst for the “something more” that only God could bring about. Noted by the Isaiah 61 passage, it releases the authority for favor.

The Path to Something More
Favor operates at different levels, ranging from the individual to the community, but then at a level that is beyond any human effort.

At the individual level, gateways actuating favor frequently become stepping stones to a higher or a more strategic positioning of those called to bring change. Yet, the more vital function of these gateways of imparting God’s blessing, service, and anointed leadership is marked by the first levels of change that in turn lead to the next levels of favor.

At every stage in Joseph’s tenure in Egypt, he walked in a favor that defied the odds.  As a slave in Potiphar’s house, those around him recognized the hand of God in all Joseph did.
The Lord was with Joseph and he was a successful man and everyone saw that the Lord was with Joseph and made all that he did to prosper.” Genesis 39: 2,4

Jesus spoke of going the extra mile. People who are not seen as being out for themselves begin to be trusted. That trust becomes the spiritual capital for favor. When Joseph was in prison, he served. He mastered his own spirit and aligned it with God. He just didn’t sit in his cell and sulk. When there was a need, he did what he knew to do and he served. That service brought favor and promotion. Like in Potiphar’s house, the jailer extended the trust and promotion for Joseph to be his overseer.
The Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”  Genesis 39: 21

The dynamic of community favor was demonstrated by Moses. When oppression reigns, it is apparent to all. So when Moses returned to Egypt as deliverer, the Egyptians, even those in direct service to Pharaoh, took heart in Moses’ bold steps. The result was that the Israelites began enjoying favor from the Egyptians around them because of Moses.
Moreover Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and of the people, so that the Lord gave His people favor in the sight of the Egyptians.” Ex 11:3

Likewise, the prayer of Jabez contains the elements needed to confront and dispel darkness at the community level: honor, blessing, enlargement and the authority of the hand of the Lord. The scripture says that Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. Honor is the recognition by the people around you to how you rightly respond to the reality around you. Joseph operated as an honorable man, with God always being seen at the forefront in all that he did. Moses, Joseph and Jabez each extended more than just the blessing of God; but the hand of God, which carried the authority to proclaim and bestow those blessings. The result was and will be the driving out of strongholds, accompanied by enlargement.

Establishing Dominion
God created man to rule over the work of His hands. When that endowment of power takes place in cooperation with Him, it releases the blessings of God. Within the “narrow gate,” the cycle is nurtured as the blessings of God are freely given. The blessings of God in turn activate a response of favor to the things of God and people of God. That in turn triggers the power for change.

When those in authority over Joseph recognized God’s authority operating through him, they entrusted him with their authority. It happened with Potiphar. It continued with the jailer and was the means by which Joseph was promoted to sit along side of Pharaoh. Joseph’s promotion then provided the extended influence and authority to bring blessing, not only within Pharaoh’s boundaries, but into God’s purposes for His chosen for all eternity.

The momentum of favor within the narrow gate will build until it produces an overflow of His presence and power. This overflow will be an unstoppable, consuming fire, that cycles from and then back into sparking the elements of the anointing for dominion and the authority required.

This level of favor and divine intervention is infused into impossible and hopelessly dark situations to release results that defy the odds. It is a favor that holds the authority to proclaim God’s dominion in hostile, oppressive environments. It is pivotal to the process of transformation.

This authority will have its foundation in trust and be accompanied with the byproducts of favor: promotion, provision, enlargement, influence and protection. It will be the bread of those paying the cost of embracing His heart. The authority to reverse the stronghold of darkness will see its full release when the people of the world, within the context of their communities, economies and nations, witness the operation of the reality of God; and respond with a favor that unlocks and clears the way. So it will be from the momentum of the bottom-up Isaiah 61 impartations of transformation that the top-down manifestations will ignite.

The Lord’s Favor and Set-Times
Historically, previous times of the Lord’s favor have been seasons that have brought great change without going completely over the top. This is the first generation approaching both a connected, mobilized, mature Body and a reach that is global in its potential.

The time of the Lord’s favor borders on set times: times established by the Father alone (Matt 24:36). As the struggle between the forces of good and evil builds to a climax, the Spirit will release the authority of favor to those traversing the narrow path. It is a place genuinely beyond ourselves. It will draw the response of the world, from the least to the great, not toward those who only talk the talk, but rather to the ones demonstrating the power of the Lord with change where darkness has prevailed.

With that response will be a release of the “something more” beyond ourselves. It is the fire of God that devours corruption, oppression and evil — and brings forth the change that restores His Kingdom.
Now Lord, these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power and strong hand. O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to my prayer and to those who desire to fear Your name; and let us prosper this day and grant us favor...” Nehemiah 1:10-11

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This post has been adapted and updated from a chapter with the same name in Morris Ruddick’s fourth book, “Something More.”

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.

2017 Copyright Morris Ruddick — info@strategic-initiatives.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

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