Closing the Divide

by Morris Ruddick on September 29, 2017

Closing the Divide

 

A serious divide between key factions of the Church has been evident for at least half a century. It has been the trigger for unpleasant, heated doctrinally-based name-calling, outright disdain between major groups and the reason for the clickish fragmentation, obvious to the world, that prevails among the brethren.

Yet, at its core, this divide has tapped issues surrounding today’s move of God in the marketplace.

Central to these seemingly volatile matters of division, have been issues even closer to God’s heart, issues impacting maturity within the Body, affecting the mobilization and unity of the Body, matters impeding the Body being able to strategically respond to the times upon us.

Early in my walk with the Lord, I was exposed to foundational biblical truths that some considered simplistic. Yet, they were Bible and they were foundational. The messages that resulted had great appeal to everyday people. Many were drawn from poor sectors of society. with words of hope that raised the bar for them not only spiritually, but offering the prospect of improving their socio-economic status and purpose in their community.

Simultaneously, among the many being drawn to these messages of hope and purpose were professionals and people of business and leaders. Across the board, from every strata of society, were those who were finding deep relevance in these basic biblical truths and putting their faith into action, while meeting with others to pray about  these purposeful dimensions in God that were deeply stirring their hearts.

In the process, God was raising the bar with the prospect of something more than a cookie-cutter slice of what most accepted as standard Christianity.

Challenging the Status Quo
So it was that the Charismatic revival and the zeal and fervor it engendered, also seemed to provoke the ire of some within more traditional sectors of the Body. That is what happens when the status quo is challenged. Yet, great fruitfulness came with the change as new believers were being attracted to the household of faith. For example, since 1967, more Jews have become acquainted with their Jewish Messiah than have since the time of Jesus’ resurrection and this time in 1967.

Unfortunately, there were abuses and misfires, resulting from those who stepped over boundaries they shouldn’t have, as there were also those who operated as charlatans and deceivers.

Yet, from those foundations has come a maturing of the Body and a burgeoning, global move of God in the marketplace that is currently underway. Dry, stubborn tradition is slowly being swept away by the restoration of biblical thinking and the power of the Spirit that is being witnessed on every corner of the globe. The result is closing the divide which has impeded the unity and strategic response being required by the volatility of the times.

Foundational Issues
There are few who question the importance of addressing the needs of the poor. The shift underway reflects the mobilization of marketplace leaders who are now taking their positions as spiritual and entrepreneurial mentors, giving hope to not just a next generation but to the lower socio-economic levels who still are reaching to break the bondages of poverty and in so doing, reaching for that purposeful “something more” in their destinies. A dear and long-term friend of mine from the early 1960s, a very accomplished and successful business leader and member of a traditional segment of the Body, now spends meaningful hours each week mentoring new Christians from his city’s barrios and inner city.

The shift underway also reflects the fact that publishing today is no longer just print, but combines online, offline, social media and events.  With that has come an upgrade of the messages trickling down from the current genre of the Christian publishing world into the messages of the pulpit and the world of live-streaming and videos. Historically, since the days of the 1960s and the advent of the para-church movement, the majority of Christian publishing messages have targeted a sixth grade level. That is changing.

As the Body has matured, so has the level of the messages being given. In a juncture in time to when people are driven by the simplicity of twitter messages, talking points and sound bytes, there is a depth emerging among the mature and among people of influence that genuinely gives focus to the big picture and transcends the over-simplified sound bytes.

With this depth has come the restoration of even deeper foundational issues and the enduring strategies that are wrapped up in what the Lord is mobilizing within the Body today globally.

Moses wrote, reflecting the heart of God: “There should be no poor among you.” There is an obligation among the community of believers. That obligation is one that raises the bar. Feeding the poor is a real, but temporary fix. At issue is what those who are able can do to eliminate the problem.

Since the fall of man the struggle has been between idolatry and the resulting poverty and corruption — and God and a tz’dakim, righteous people who engender the opportunity for others to prosper. That is what was meant when Moses outlined premises of the faithful in Deuteronomy 28: of being the head and not the tail. Then Jesus came and unlocked the truths that were there all the time. This reflected a different way of thinking, the way of the Kingdom, of being a culture within the surrounding cultures, that really had its foundations in the words of Moses, David and the prophets.

In doing so, He challenged what He referred to as the traditions and precepts of men.

In other words, the traditionalists had gotten stuck. It was in their way of thinking and viewing God and the issues at hand: poverty and corruption. In the 1960s one of the popular books of the day was titled “The Organization Man.” It described a corporate culture of the blind leading the blind, a dutiful follower mind-set. The message was just follow your leaders and success will come to the faithful. That thinking has influenced many in the Church. There is nothing new under the sun.

So, Jesus raised the bar. He warned the people to go ahead and do what they heard the religious hypocrites say, just don’t do what they do, because they have become a part of the problem rather than the solution. That raises the question of our response to authority.

Renewed Thinking and Authority
I often ask myself about ones I’m working with: “Would I take this person with me into combat?” With over two years of hard combat under my belt, I know it is not blind obedience, but rather the cost paid for the discipline to have the right thinking at the right time that understands how to flow within the context of group authority.

At its heart, this type of response to authority involves discipline and bonding and getting beyond yourself. It takes maturity and it involves trust.

God is the ultimate source of authority. True leadership is not about being in charge, but rather in giving of yourself to the benefit of the group. So it requires getting beyond yourself and what Jesus described as leading by serving. In combat, this involves the group operating in oneness or unity, which is vital for survival in combat. The independence and heroics of Rambo is a Hollywood fiction. The “Rambo illusion” applauds the role of second guessers during times of crisis.

Second guessers are ones who have problems with authority. In the reality of combat, they tend to get people they serve with killed.

Spiritually, second guessers are always learning and never coming to the knowledge of the truth. I once had an interpreter who was intellectually quite smart but still very young and naïve in the faith. This person epitomized the words of Jesus when He said: “Why do you call me Lord and do not do what I say?” Jesus was describing second guessers, skeptics among His followers who liked their ears tickled intellectually, but never took the steps to get to making the changes needed that would be foundational to walk out their destinies.

Jesus then illustrated His point with the example of those who came to him and failed in the discipline of putting His words into action. They were like a house built without a foundation, which would then collapse when the least of floods came through. What is on the surface may look good, but without the foundation, it won’t have a chance against the tough challenges of life.

A New Brand of Leadership
On issues of leadership within the Body, we don’t need to be led by eggheads who can’t see the forest for the trees. Nor do we need leaders who operate with egos bigger than themselves. Jesus unveiled the brand of leadership that marked the true heroes of faith: servant leadership that truly operates in oneness with God. Jesus punctuated this point with the words: “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask whatever you will and it will be done.” This is the cost. The condition for such answers to prayer is our oneness with His Spirit and His truth.

Coming back to these foundations will change our thinking. When Jesus said we would be in the world, but not of the world, He was making a very Jewish statement. It involves our place in the world as a culture within a culture. Our cultural identity is to be as a people of God. That results in a shift in our thinking.

As a people of God, God has gifted us and anointed us for a purpose. That purpose conforms to the calling God gave Abraham, to be blessed in order to be a blessing. God had something more for Abraham. After telling Abraham to leave the familiarity of his surroundings, God then promised him that through Abraham and his descendants through Isaac, all the families of the earth would be blessed. That is not only BIG thinking, it is a responsibility we as believers now share in being grafted into Abraham’s down-line. (Romans 15).

This BIG thinking begins by understanding that as a people, we are not only a culture within a culture, but as such, we should not be dependent on our surrounding culture, but rather be self sufficient within the community of God’s people.

Self-Sufficiency
Self-sufficiency is the strategy necessary for the community of God’s people to survive as a culture within a culture. The temptation over the years has been to “be like everyone else” and to assimilate. Self sufficiency within the household of faith is what protects us from being like everyone else and as a people of God, losing our identity by being absorbed and assimilated.

To accomplish this goal requires big thinking and unity and maturity within the community of believers.  It calls for the full biblical practice of righteousness, of tz’dakah, which is operational community generosity and responsibility. It goes back to the practice of not just feeding the poor, but giving a helping hand to the poor — teaching them to fish so to speak rather than just feeding them and making them dependent on you. That is why independent businesses among God’s people is so important.

Within the work we have been doing in mobilizing God’s economy within Asian settings have been both business and pastoral leaders establishing educational initiatives. One is a self-supporting private school. Another involves an extended home-school program supported by the profits from two independent businesses. A third is an orphanage that has just taken the first steps to acquire a plot of land that will have as its goal to make the orphanage self-supporting. Each of these models have been drawn from Abraham.

Abraham ran a God-centered, entrepreneurial community. A key facet of the book of Deuteronomy are the principles on how to run a God-centered, entrepreneurial community. It is the spiritual, the entrepreneurial and the community all operating in unison.

These are the dynamics that were being birthed and began operating during the early stages of what is today’s move of God in the marketplace. Trust operated at the core of those who were a part of agendas reflecting this model. Renowned social economist Frances Fukuyama has found that in societies with high trust levels, prosperity among the people is higher. In societies with lower trust levels, poverty levels are higher.

Which brings us to the point of the shift that is currently underway. The Jewish dynamic of community generosity (tz’dakah), which lends a helping hand to help its members establish themselves and become self-sufficient is now being seen emerging within true Kingdom practitioners, successful business people in the church with a grasp of these age-old biblical principles. This growing focus employing this model is closing the divide.

The Shift
The shift that began with messages targeting the poor, to give opportunity to raise the socio-economic levels of the less fortunate is now being embraced by almost every segment within the Body. As the Church grows into the maturity reflecting the deepest levels of God’s heart,  those reaching out to the poor and needy from within business circles are setting the pace, enabling opportunity for the spiritually hungry who are embracing the reality of God as fuel is added to the dynamic of mobilizing a people who are blessed to be a blessing.

The Jewish community has long put such things into practice and as a result in most Jewish communities, the standard of living is higher than among those around them. There is a reason for this. Stephen Pease, a Presbyterian, wrote a compelling book titled “The Golden Age of Jewish Achievement” describing the amazing disproportionate achievement of the Jews in business, technology, the media and their positive impact on society as a whole.

That impact is now being embraced across the board as a standard and a priority in the Church as God matures the Body and mobilizes leaders from within the marketplace.

The Apostle Paul wrote: “As their faith grows so you will be enlarged even more.” It is a principle of the Kingdom. The more generous you are, the more you will be enlarged. The more blessing you bestow, the more the blessings will multiply back upon you.

Short-sighted critics indicate that this is a prosperity doctrine. It could be said that if Jesus had wanted us to prosper He would have said: “Give and it will be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will men give back to you. For with the measure you give out, so it will be given back to you.”

Oh, actually He did say that. It is a principle of the Kingdom: generosity triggers enlargement.

Let me illustrate this shift underway with the work we have been doing in Vietnam. Ten years ago our program targeted primarily the poor with the practical and community principles of entrepreneurship.  In our follow-up work we have learned of many who attended these sessions who acted on what we said with successful startups. Step by step those who acted reaped results that exceeded their expectations, raising their socio-economic status along with the leadership roles they have played in being blessed to be a blessing within their communities.

Recently, we conducted three more of our workshops in Vietnam. In each case they were groups organized and led by business and professional people. High ratios of those attending these practical gatherings already operated successful businesses and wanted more on “how to do business the Kingdom way” and “how to use their talents and resources to build the community” and extend the blessings they were receiving to not only other members of the household of faith, but to be a light shining on a hill that would help the less fortunate and attract the world as a result.

Closing the Divide
So, the divide that has blemished the Church for far too long is being narrowed. The unity sought is not a form of doctrinal purity or elitism, but rather touching the deepest parts of God’s heart and putting the words of Jesus into action as doers of His words.

The common ground involves committed believing entrepreneurs and leaders — those with unique callings modeled

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after Joseph and Daniel, who bear positive influence in the secular arenas of the world. These are the people who wield the blessings and authority of God who are reaching out and enabling opportunity for the poor and needy and challenging the thinking of the status quo with innovation and kindness.

These are those who are known as people of God by non-believers because they demonstrate the reality of God by truly making a difference that helps people. They are ones who bring change that is not defined by sound bytes and superficialities but  by the results that everyday people can see.

These are those who are BIG-thinking people whose eyes are on the future and who will be remembered because of their kindness and generosity. They are the ones who provide safe places for those reaching for God and reaching for that something more in God.

They comprise the new breed of believing entrepreneurs and leaders coming to the forefront across the globe during a time marked by just the opposite — distrust and clamor and confusion. They are emerging on every continent, from among every ethnic group. There is a world around them that has been eagerly awaiting their arrival and the reality of God they exhibit.

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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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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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Materialism Antidote

March 31, 2017
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Over the centuries, one of the chief challenges for the descendants of Abraham, with the point of stumbling again and again has been the desire to be like everyone else. So it is today in the Western church. More than one renowned prophet has viewed the Church in America as being a prototype in need of the correction received by the first century Laodicean Church when John was on the Isle of Patmos: “You say you are rich, have become wealthy and have need of nothing. But I say to you that you are miserable, wretched, poor, blind and naked.” This condition describes the dynamics underlying a materialistic society.

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Entanglements

January 26, 2017
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One of the enemy’s most crafty and deadly strategies is that of entanglements. Entanglements are subtle, deceptive, swift in their efforts to infiltrate and calculated to release destruction. Entanglements are designed to confuse, distract and divert the Body. They keep the Body spinning its wheels on minor issues; diverted from the strategic and the essentials; and preoccupied with non-critical priorities programmed in the pit of hell. Entanglements are part of the enemy’s game plan to keep the Body preoccupied with minor concerns, while progressively probing and penetrating vulnerabilities to undermine the true work of the Kingdom. In his quest for power, the enemy gives focus to embedding his minions into seats of power in government, business and religious institutions. Yet, hell recoils when Spirit-led believers who operate in God’s authority penetrate “seats of power.” The enemy’s aim is to deceive believers into diverting, re-directing or even bequeathing God-given power and anointing to his efforts.

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Guard the Gates

January 16, 2017
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In 2017, there are four primary gates that you MUST guard with diligence: The gates of what you see, what you hear, what you feel and what you think. Each of those are strategic portals that the enemy is poised to access upon your permission. In this year, the stakes are high and permission to the enemy must be denied at all costs! Many think that the opposite of faith is fear, but I believe it’s actually sight. (The opposite of fear is trust.) Remember, things aren’t always as they appear and we must walk by faith, not by sight. The voices of the demonic are like the waves of many oceans. The sounds of the demonic are often disguised as reason and logic, as well as counsel and advice from sources that are void of godly roots. In addition to what you see and feel, you must also place a guard on your thoughts and your emotions. Take back the keys of your thought life that you have surrendered in fear. Rise up, bold as a lion, and verbally begin to refute the lies and recite the truth. The enemy will attempt to be your guide down the gallery of fear and dread that is filled with paintings of your past and more importantly of your future. But remember, the canvas of your heart belongs to the Master Creator of the universe and His work in you is a masterpiece. Refuse to take a trip in the enemy’s art gallery, but allow God to paint His vision in you! Scott Reece

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Appointed Authority

December 31, 2016
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Some have become sidelined due to presumption in the use of their spiritual authority. Others, through ignorance or timidity, have been weak in its application. Spiritual authority, like one’s spiritual gifts, has to be applied to be developed. Believers tend toward one extreme or another: either approaching their authority with hesitation, underutilizing the power of God or in overstepping the bounds of their spiritual authority. In overstepping the limits of one’s authority usually involves not understanding their boundaries tied to issues of prayer and action. It can be the result of becoming inebriated and seduced by the illusion of “success” and the employment of presumptive “more of the same harder.” In other words, the divergence from the narrow path begins incorporating prayers and actions outside the realm of the authority God has given. The Apostle Paul wrote: “We do not boast beyond our measure, but within the limits of the sphere that God has appointed us.” There are boundaries God has given to our appointed authority. As we mature spiritually and assume the responsibility of our mantles at each level, that authority, along with our spiritual maturity will change. It will evolve. Within those boundaries, we have an incredible level of authority. Yet, outside those boundaries is the realm in which well-intentioned believers get unnecessarily spiritually nailed.

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The Swirls

November 2, 2016
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Note: This message is adapted from a chapter in my third book, “The Heart of a King.” It is an advanced look at the Joseph calling and a book that I’ve had several testimonies from ones who have read it three, four and five times, indicating the anointing unveils additional dimensions with each reading. It is a message pertinent to this hour. Morris
It is no accident that during the time-frame that the great counterfeit religion corporately conjures up a heightened level of spiritual activity at Ramadan, that the Word of God has outlined a sequence of celebrations and cleansing. The Lord has always provided the means by which His people can avoid the spiritual backlash created by the frenetic machinations of God’s enemies. Similarly, it is no coincidence that Halloween falls in this same time frame. Many ancient European traditions hold that Halloween began as one of those liminal times of the year when spirits connect with the physical world and when magic is most potent. Each year the Jewish high holy days represent a shield against the amassing of the forces of darkness. The high holy days outlined in the Bible conclude with Yom Kippur, the day-of-atonement. Corporately across the entire Jewish community, Yom Kippur is a time of soul-searching and repentance. God’s means of making His people to be the head and not the tail has included the provision needed to compensate for the Chaldeans and Jihadists, along with all the sorceries that run rampant in a fallen world. So, as the Church progressively becomes reacquainted with its Jewish roots, the times call for a reevaluation of the casual way we have regarded seasons the Lord has set aside to corporately realign His people spiritually. In like fashion, we need to recognize the potential and purpose of the spiritual swirls that manifest during seasons marked by the crazed passions of the enemies of the Lord.

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Rising Above the Clutter

October 19, 2016
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Today there is a shout calling for the inordinate requirement to get out of the ruts and reach for those higher dimensions, the “something more,” that only God can provide. Compounding this challenge to our spiritual perceptions is a world attempting to redefine reality. The darkness spoken of by Isaiah not only alludes to the creeping evil manifesting its ugly head, but to the shroud that exacerbates the spiritual blindness by redefining history, Scripture and the perception of the legitimate foundations central to what lies ahead for the descendents of Abraham and of Israel and those who fear the Lord. Far too many leaders are functionally trapped, operating in ruts. Ruts are paths made from days past that often are deep and don’t allow you to easily change course. The ruts are deepened by the approval of men and worldly goals of success. To escape the ruts begins and is sustained by knowing Him, knowing Him interactively. To truly know Him we need to be hearing from Him. That means spending time with Him. To escape the ruts will require meekness and humility. It is a meekness and humility willing to pay the cost to face the truth. It is the meekness and humility that recognizes that His strength is manifested in our weakness. It is the humility that resets priorities by paying the cost of facing the truth in order to be cleansed of the clutter of phoniness and foolhardiness derived from the approval of men and influence of the world’s standard. Rising above the clutter of these factors will then become the foundation for releasing the true authority from on high required for the agendas that lie before us.

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Under the Influence

August 11, 2016
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Where the confusion comes in is when doctrine is used as the basis of the identity, the cultural identity of God’s people. The world is looking for the demonstration of the reality of God through a people. What is observed is in the doing. The correction Jesus gave John the Revelator for the Church was within the context of regional spiritual, cultural environments, not individual gatherings of congregations. It reflected the spiritual environments within key regions of the Church of that day. The prophetic message given through John disclosed the influence and impact being made, along with the Lord’s expectation for the unique efforts of the Church in each area. The struggle among God’s people over the centuries has been in maintaining the focus of their cultural identity in God in their everyday lives. This cultural identity in God represents the foundation for being the people of influence for their cultural region.

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The Joseph Calling #5

July 14, 2016
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We need to develop a new mind-set relative to strategic alliances with the Pharaohs and Cyrus’ of our day. Again, this relates strongly to overcoming the mind-set of exclusiveness. This exclusiveness operating within the church is so engrained that it is not always a conscious thing. And breaking out of this old mind-set, will be foundational to be able to seize the Lord’s opportunities with strategic alliances. And there indeed will be unusual strategic alliances.

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