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

by Morris Ruddick on March 31, 2017

The Materialism Antidote

Economics, power and culture operate in tandem. This is the level the risen Jesus addressed to the church segments through John the Revelator.
During His earthly ministry Jesus said that we would be in the world, but not of the world. This was a very Jewish statement. What Jesus was saying was that we, as societies of God’s people, would be cultures within other cultures.
Over the centuries, this has been the chief challenge for the descendants of Abraham, with the point of stumbling again and again being 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.
Yet, around the world today, especially in poor, emerging nations, the society, the culture represented by the Church in America is held in esteem as being the model of success, the model of how the church should operate in the 21st century.
Raising the Standard
The issue points to the standards for success that Jesus outlined to the seven primary church societies that had their beginnings in John the Revelator’s day. The issue relates to economics and money and the connection they have to power and culture.
The issue is one of balancing these factors – economics, culture and power. It is a role for which the Church serves as a forerunner in reshaping the standard around them. Among the most seductive of the societal-economic-power imbalances for success in the Church is materialism.
John D. Rockefeller, early in his career stated: “Make as much money as you can and give away as much money as you can.” Such thinking actually is very Jewish in its origins. Probably without realizing it, John D. had stumbled onto the antidote for materialism.
This antidote is incorporated in the Hebrew word tz’dakah, which best translated means righteous charity. It is the community dynamic, the responsibility of generosity, to help the less fortunate to stand on their own. Jewish tradition holds that the highest form of tz’dakah is to help someone start a business.
There are many who misinterpret the admonition to the Laodiceans as an indictment of wealth. It is not. Rather it addresses the spiritual condition of a society of believers who had become seduced in depending more on their wealth and success than on God.
When in balance, economics, culture and power form the basis for the potential for the enduring qualities of society, which have translated into the momentum of the dominant civilizations of history. On the other hand, when these factors are misaligned and misused they digress into what historically have been the foundations of corruption, lawlessness and the spirit of poverty.
There’s an old adage: money rules. When that is so, then it challenges what Jesus warned about mammon.
Mammon is a powerful spirit that derives its substance from the love and quest for money. Having spent more than a quarter of a century working as a market consultant, I have had the privilege of serving scores of multinationals and a number of respected ministries.
In one of the most short-sighted moves I ever saw within a ministry group a general manager of a small to medium sized ministry got it in his head that his operation would improve if he employed the concept of profit centers.
This construct was employed in for-profit organizations 100 times the size of his to measure and control the diversity of their separate, individual companies. Nevertheless, this man’s brainstorm put form before function. It put money before key aspects of service, foundational to the purpose of this ministry.
First, prayer lines tied to their TV ministry were cut, because they did not meet his misguided profit center standard. Then their Bible school which attracted students from numerous countries around the world was closed. Money ruled and key parts of their function were myopically cut.
Even in the world, there is controversy over the wisdom of being numbers driven rather than customer or market driven.
If mammon cannot create an atmosphere in which money rules, then one of its subtleties is to engender the fear of money or its loss, which was the case in this example. It is the basis of the poverty spirit.
Nevertheless, even today, far too many view the antidote to poverty as the pursuit of money. Then together with a counterfeit illusion of success there is an erosion of the operation of the true power of God and an outlook that in short is the cart before the horse.
The truth in Deuteronomy 28:1 says that when we carefully follow the ways and instructions of the Lord, that the blessings would chase us down and overtake us. Money is the byproduct rather than goal.
The goal is the balance between culture, power and economics, with God’s priorities being exhibited in the way we address these vital issues.
God’s priorities have clearly been outlined in Scripture, both in the Old and New Covenants. When scripture makes reference to heeding the voice of the Lord, the admonition is for both the Truth, outlined in Scripture and the Spirit, revealed by the prophetic through mature leaders with hearts aligned with God’s priorities, whose admonitions in turn conform with the enduring, universal truths outlined by the Creator.
This is the foundation on which the balance resides. Yet, there is more.
The prophet Isaiah gave a major glimpse into God’s focus for His people being a culture that was distinctive, with the admonition of establishing opportunity for the poor and needy, for the widow and orphan. Isaiah’s perspectives were clearly outlined by Moses who wrote that we were not to take advantage of hired help, even those outside the camp of God’s people, because the Lord would hear their cry for justice. Moses gave priority to helping the underprivileged in their community-circle to get themselves established.
Moses wrote if there is a poor man among your brothers, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your poor brother. Rather be open-handed and lend him what is needed. Give generously without a grudging heart so the Lord could bless all the work of your hands.
Such instructions conform with the words of Jesus and His principles of the Kingdom of God. Jesus said give and it will be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will it come back to you.
One of the observations for both the disproportionate success among diaspora Jews, as well as Jews in Israel’s business sector is the refined practice of mentoring and enabling the opportunity dimensions of tz’dakah. Tz’dakah generosity is the lynchpin principle that keeps the model, as well as materialism in right focus. Tz’dakah is fueled by balanced stewardship.
Foundation of Kingdom Stewardship
Tz’dakah is the foundation of stewardship that makes a difference. It is community-benefiting generosity on steroids. It enhances the culture-economic-power balance as it enables opportunity and builds community in a way that benefits all.
This God-designed stewardship has three chief components: generosity, managing and bringing increase.
It begins with the development of a discipline. Generosity is a key part of that discipline. Some mistakenly express the intention that when they get to a certain milestone in their quest for success, they will become generous givers.
However, such thinking is evidence of money ruling over them, rather than them ruling over their finances. Generosity begins in the heart. It is a priority and act of faith that faithfully starts small, even when things are tight.
One of the business leaders we have worked with in Vietnam owns a very successful construction firm. He tells of when he came to faith, he was so poor he couldn’t even afford a bicycle. But from his part-time work, he gave. It was sacrificial giving. He soon had a full-time job and he increased the proportion of his giving. He learned the tools of the business he was in and eventually started his own firm. Today, he helps many through his business and generosity.
Generosity reflects the priority of being a vital part of a community you seek to build. It is a passion that hungrily seeks to be a part of the future of the community. It seeks no recognition, because God knows. Generous people consider God the source of their supply, which in reality, He is.
So when generosity forms the basis of the stewardship, then the second element of this God-type of stewardship, the management focus, takes on a dimension of the supernatural. Such efforts seek to serve with the wisdom that can only come from God. It is a leadership perspective that discerns the strategies and steps that will produce results.
Jesus had a lot to say about stewardship. He made it clear that good stewards operate with diligence. They are prepared and constantly preparing, which translates into the way they organize things. They are prudent and carefully consider the alternatives and steps. Such prudence avoids major missteps and releases creativity. Jesus even chided his followers that sometimes the people of the world can be more insightful in applying their strategies than the people of God.
In that regard, they are shrewd-thinking risk takers while God’s people sometimes can be too cautious and even fearful. Yet with God, this type of faith does not involve recklessness, but trust in God, as God’s stewards carefully consider the steps God would have them take. They operate faithfully under the authority of those they serve. Serving is central to this process. Jesus said serving forms the basis of Kingdom leadership. The result brings increase.
Bringing increase, along with creativity, is God’s nature. Good management, that is righteous management, will bring increase. Jesus taught about the parable of the talents. It was the servant who brought the most increase who received not only the commendation of his master, but promotion and additional assets with which to work. Yet, in this process tz’dakah is the trigger. Generosity is the grease that opens the gates to opportunity.
The Stewardship of Community-Building
The issue for effective community-building is establishing a culture in which God rules. Central to this goal is restoring God to the marketplace. Community-building must be proactive in Kingdom culture. A Kingdom culture provides the gateway in which the natural world and the supernatural can intersect. With God at the center, it is where the exponential factor, the multiplication that only can be explained by God, kicks in.
Community-building enables opportunity for others and reaches for the common good. It is the big picture type of outlook that sees the impact of current trends on future opportunity simultaneously for enterprises, the community and the society around it. It is the measure noted by Isaiah in repairing the breach and rebuilding the foundations designed to benefit the underprivileged and community as a whole.
We have entered a day in which great creativity and innovation are being reflected in the agendas coming from God’s genuinely-called marketplace ambassadors. Yet, we cannot be unaware of the evil one’s devices, especially materialism. Aside from the measure of the overriding impact of serving the community, the litmus test and the antidote resides in evidence of generosity.
In the sight of God, you can be sure that the stingy entrepreneurs are doing their own thing, rather than God’s. On the other hand, a track record of helping the less fortunate establish their own businesses will result in increased opportunity that incorporates trickle-down blessing to all.
Discerning the Challenge
The subtlety of subtleties is in discerning the realities of the challenge. From the beginning the reality has been the enticement of the counterfeit. In the Garden of Eden, at the flood, the Tower of Babel and all during the history of the descendants of Abraham, the forces of darkness have manifested in what the prophet Jeremiah referred to as Babylon and Chaldea. Babylon and Chaldea represent the age-old alliance between the world’s system and sorcery. This is where materialism resides. This is the hidden alliance of lawlessness, corruption and poverty poised to undermine the path of the righteous.
The snares have been heart issues, evil enticements influenced by the lust for power, unrighteous gain and corrupt influence. Each are factors impacting power, economics and culture. At the crux is the misuse of ambition, which ties into the subtle snare of materialism. As with other forms of spiritual counterfeits, it will carry the identifying marks of deceit, guile and dishonor.
Ambition is tied to power. The central message of Jesus’ earthly ministry was focused on how to apply righteous power in a corrupt world. This is the way of the Kingdom. Its employment is radical. Jesus Himself said the gate was narrow and the way hard. It is much more than superficial religious games. It is the righteous way of life, a paradox to the world’s way, that employs righteous power to impact society and culture and economic matters. Its use will stir things up.
Ambition can either operate and create a climate of honor and trust or it will make its way by guile and deceit. Research by the renowned social economist Frances Fukuyama has determined that high trust societies have a much greater potential for prosperity than low-trust societies. The difference is determined by a combination of the controlling spirit and a different way of thinking.
Applications for Righteous Culture-Power-Economics
Tz’dakah and Kingdom stewardship are foundational and require this different way of thinking. Applying this different way of thinking has a solid bedrock of honor and trust. Such thinking produces a different way of operating as a people. Operating as a people in this way is not possible without God.
When in balance, culture, power and economics form God’s economy. In God’s economy self-sufficiency within the community is vital. It is a part of being a culture within a culture. Over the centuries, the Jewish people have been ahead of the power curve in matters of business, finance and brokering. In societies comprised primarily of a nobility and peasants, they have served in roles that have established a middle class. When those around them began rising to roles in this middle class, typically persecution would follow. What has resulted is the wisdom of operating self-sufficiently, as a culture within a culture.
However, this hasn’t happened by chance. There’s a playbook that has been proactively passed on from generation to generation, as the community gives first priority to strengthen itself for the future.
The Jewish community has always proactively invested in the emerging generation and the generations to come. In current terms, it has involved a focus on mentoring. One of the key components being attributed to the rise of the high-tech boom in Israel is a variant of one generation passing on the tools of the trade to the next generation. It is a peer-teaches-peer model in which younger adults teach teens and teens teach grade school children, about the practicalities of life. It has been one of the unique strategies of passing on and enhancing the enduring secrets to their culture.
The minyan strategy likewise is the most basic form of how the Jewish community is designed to operate. It combines the spiritual and business. It is based on the premise that whenever ten Jews lives within walking distance of one another, they form a regular gathering known as a minyan. This gathering serves two primary purposes: first to pray and seek God and second to help each other become successful in business.
In our God’s economy program, these minyans are led by spiritually mature business owners, with between five to fifteen members. These support groups help its members to grow spiritually, provide a mini-business incubator that fosters success in new startups and existing businesses, and provides the means to hold each other accountable in their individual roles in serving the community.
Another practice that strengthens the culture is the rite of passage into adulthood that is such a key part of Jewish heritage. The demarcation into adulthood is accompanied by responsibility. That also explains why the army service in Israel produces responsible, mature adults whose perspective reflects the importance of the community and society around them, giving clarity to their responsibility in its future development.
Each of these applications hold the potential of imparting the secrets of the culture, of holding each other accountable and of inoculating its members against the subtleties of materialism. It underscores the standard of the culture for excellence and the quality of being proactive doers and contributors to the community, rather than passive talkers and takers. It represents the essence of being game-changers and a society of leaders, with God at the helm.

Within the wisdom of being a culture within a culture is the strategy of strategic alliances. These are God-ordained, strategic-level, holy alliances. Joseph’s alliance with Pharaoh is a prime example. Alliances such as this are defined by the openness of the Pharaohs to the prophetic word of God and to God’s people. Its basis rests on trust. The expectation for the days upon us are for many such alliances, that in the swirl of turbulence around us, will keep God’s people safe and also be a safe-haven for those with whom the alliances are operating.
From the beginning, God’s people have had the responsibility for being the catalysts and forerunners for establishing the alignment between culture, power and economics with the right priorities. The proactive application of tz’dakah generosity is the antidote to this most devilish strategy of materialism.
To the Laodiceans, the admonition was given to buy gold refined in the fire, discerning the riches that endure, benefiting not themselves but the community and future generations. The word the Laoiceans received also made it clear that they were to acquire “white garments,” that their nakedness not be exposed. Again and again in the word of God, such white garments reference the anointing or aura of the presence of God abiding with them. Adam and Eve lost this aura at the fall and their nakedness was exposed. Finally, the Laodiceans were told to buy eye salve, to anoint their eyes that they might see. The ability to see beyond the natural, into the hidden realm of the supernatural is critical to the mantle of being a culture of God’s people.
From the days of Moses, God’s people have been told that the blessings would come upon them and overtake them when they carefully heeded and obeyed the voice of the Lord. In today’s turbulent world, there are emerging pockets of Light, demonstrators of the reality of God through a people. The world is looking. The world is looking for that reality being demonstrated through a people.

The model for the application of these pockets of Light is the enduring model started by Abraham, elaborated on in the Torah by Moses, demonstrated and built into a Kingdom by David and then had the bar raised with the principles of the Kingdom by Jesus. Indeed, the Kingdom of God is at hand, with the empowerment available to those who will yield ALL with the restoration of all that resides in the path ahead.

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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.

His videos on Jewish Business Secrets can be found at www.strategic-initiatives.org.

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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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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The Joseph Calling #4

July 14, 2016
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Joseph not only fed the people, he kept the economy alive. He orchestrated the restoration that was needed when the crisis was over. The verses to this point deal with the general population under Joseph’s charge. But what is significant is what was happening to God’s people during this same time. The answer is in verse 27. “So Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions there and grew and multiplied exceedingly.”

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