Strategic Holiness (Part 1)

by Morris Ruddick on February 1, 2013


(c) Morris Ruddick


Note: Touching God’s heart with a pure heart is a catalyst, an igniter for something significant. It realigns things. When this happens within a community, it begins releasing radical change. It lifts the spiritual gateway into a path with no parallel in this world. It is a pathway marked by the fire of His presence, as those navigating it are purified by fire.

God, as He always does, has something more before us than what even the best from our limited vision can grasp. Leadership on the pathway of fire requires the experience of ones who have been prepared by fire; together with this issue of a pure heart.

We can no longer trust in man’s wisdom, even when anointed. The times DEMAND that we be led by the Spirit. That’s where we are poised in this “turning of the corner” underway around us. It is not a contraction, but rather an expansion, an unveiling of opportunity, a release of His power, as a growing remnant reach for something beyond the best of our natural abilities. It is a time that demands walking into maturity.

It is a time where Jesus’ message of the Kingdom is not an option. The employment of righteous power in corrupt settings without the purity and wisdom of applying the Kingdom message will result in one or two things: 1) progress will be stymied and fall short and/or 2) there will be a tendency to be seduced by cultural and doctrinal formulas driven by religious spirits. When that happens the manifestation will be elitism or critical, divisive responses (i.e. the Isaiah 58 dynamic described as “pointing the finger in scorn) toward those whose spiritual maturity is perceived as “less.”

The point is that the pathway “purified by fire” is not just designed to make an impact, but to be a model that will draw others to the higher standard of the mantle/commission ….and for still others outside our spiritual boundaries to see the demonstration of the reality of God.



“In the time of the end, many shall be purified and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”
“Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3, 10-12

The spiritual turning underway is redefining the times. On one level it might be summed up with the phrase that “the dark is getting darker and the light is getting lighter.” Yet, that doesn’t even begin to describe it. It will be a day of His power; a time of great shifts when the goals are broadened to levels of “discipling nations.” It likewise will also be a time of disruptions and uncertainty; a time in which to straddle the fence will mean being shot at from both sides. It will be a time of miracles, as it will be a time of judgment.

The Deuteronomy 30 dividing line that “God has set before us life and death, blessing and cursing….” carries a sobering mandate to make the right choices. That means no double-mindedness. It means your eye must be single. It is a time that carries the need for something more. It is a time in which we must understand the times, His agendas and be about His business. Being about His business will necessitate walking in strategic holiness.

The Holiness Dimension
The middle ground is disappearing. The book of Hebrews admonishes us to leave behind the focus on the elementary things and reach for the higher goals of maturity (Heb 5:13-6:3). Paul similarly urged Timothy (1 Tim 1:9) not to held back by heady doctrinal side-trips, but rather to adhere to foundational truths as the basis for APPLYING our faith through community.

So it is that many are called, but few are chosen. Walking in God’s call will mean walking in His will. Walking in God’s will means walking in His timing. Remember Saul. Saul was anointed king, but was ruled by the fear of man. He was driven by his passions and he compromised. He never quite grasped God’s purposes for him being king. At one juncture, Samuel summed up Saul’s actions by saying that “rebellion is of the sin of witchcraft.” Beware of the sin of Saul — of forcing issues — of being unwilling to wait on God’s timing.

Walking in fear will undermine being about His business. Proverbs tells us that the fear of man brings a snare. Compromise, competition, self-righteousness, the approval of man and expediency to accomplish even RIGHT things will result in failed efforts. Forcing issues will backfire. Unless it is the result of flowing in His Spirit, more of the same harder will fail.

Holiness and Abiding in Oneness
Holiness results from a oneness with the Holy Spirit. It is about His righteousness being manifested in our thoughts, words, decisions and actions. It’s about operating with a sense of honor and a consistency that begins by speaking truth in our own hearts, as described in Psalm 15. It’s about giving first priority to spending time in His presence.

Holiness is a life and poise of the soul summed up by the Psalmist when he said, “let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord.” Holiness comes from a heart so tender toward the Lord and His Word that when it recognizes a truth and realizes something is out of alignment, it immediately changes. It is a heart attitude with no grudges or bitterness. Soul-issues and holiness cannot co-exist.

Holiness results from a pure heart. It comes from a heart free from the constraints of the soul and unholy dependencies and is fixed on His Spirit. Holiness is a strength and unwavering trust in the Lord in the face of adversity. It is walking through the fire without the smell of smoke. It is a righteous heart that operates in oneness with the Lord and His power.

There came a time in Jesus’ earthly ministry when He told His disciples that He no longer considered them disciples, but friends (John 15). This time of demarcation was marked by Jesus imparting the truth of “abiding.” Just as Jesus described Himself as being in oneness with the Father, so this truth marked those He had prepared to lead the pathway, as they became uniquely aligned together in Him. This transition took those prepared into the realities of maturity, just as the forerunners of today are emerging into the realities of maturity. When that transition takes place, an amazing dynamic of His power is released.
“The works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”
John 14:12

The Strategic Dimension
The “strategic” dimension of “strategic holiness” isn’t designed to create a buzz word. It is a key part of this corner we’ve just turned. It pivots on the Issachar context, but with the twist that the BODY needs to understand the times in order to know what to do. Strategic holiness goes beyond the individual dimension of holiness and moves in a community-harmony that conforms to God’s heart and agendas. It is the light set on a hill that cannot be hidden; the catalyst that will ignite transformation (Matt 5:14).

Joseph and Daniel operated uniquely and consistently in strategic holiness. It didn’t matter whether they were in prison, the lion’s den or in the king’s palace. Their priorities, goals and responses to circumstances were consistent regardless of their position. They knew Who they belonged to and they were about His business. They were stable, steadfast and faithful at each juncture. They knew who they were in the Lord and how to operate in the sphere and authority they had been entrusted with.

Joseph and Daniel each disciplined their hearts to give single-minded focus to the big picture of the Lord’s purposes and their part in it. This focus released authority; an authority that changed the spiritual climate around them. They faced the realities and paid the cost. They were not swayed by threats, pressures or what appeared as the outlook of things in the natural. Their orientation came from their time with the Lord. Their hearts were fixed, abiding and trusting in the Lord, as they fearlessly took the initiative, when they knew the timing was right, to accomplish God’s purposes in their spheres.

For these uncertain times, this strategic dimension will mean being connected. Lone rangers and the fear of authority that goes with it will experience undue hardships. Rebellion, as in Saul’s misfires will result in sad, untimely forfeitures of what may have been significant callings.

We have moved from the tactical to the strategic. The Body has long been fragmented. Yet, from this point, unity will no longer be something nice to talk about and strive toward. It is going to be the foundation for survival.

There will be alliances and coalitions that connect the alliances and coalitions, as the Body seeks the Lord in reaching for the anticipatory responses to the changes unfolding in the world around us. In being connected for His purposes, it will also mean strategic alliances with modern-day Cyruses: chosen, anointed non-believers with a heart for God and His people who are gatekeepers into the seats of power in this world.

In line with this, a new wave of leadership is emerging. It extends beyond “them and us” and playing church. It is a mature, seasoned leadership that operates beyond the soul issues, that incorporates the balance needed between the operation of the kings and the priests, of the prophetic and apostolic, as well as in the full operation of all the ministry gifts
“The household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Eph 2:20-22

The Psalmist wrote: “Lord, You make me wiser than my enemies; I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your Words are my meditations. I understand more than the ancients, because of Your Word.” (Ps 119: 98-100) It was said of Daniel and the Israelites who served as advisors to King Nebuchadnezzar that they were ten times wiser than their occult counterparts. These are times in which a new level of wisdom will be seen operating from among God’s people.

Strategic holiness springs from a deep-seated knowing that God is in control. It is a level of humility that acknowledges that we are called, gifted and anointed in His power, but simultaneously, like King David, recognizes that we are “weak though anointed king” and cannot operate with any success in our own power. It is knowing that “we can’t, but He can” and that “through Him, all things are possible.”

Strategic holiness is the purity of heart and personal discipline, that results in “he who rules his own spirit being mightier than he who takes a city.” (Proverbs 16:32) It is emptying ourselves to actuate the dynamic described by Daniel of “they that KNOW their God will be strong and will do exploits.” This “strength and accomplishment of exploits” is not a matter of a finesse, moxie or bluster that provokes an anointing, but rather the other way around. It will result in a FULL anointing that is an outgrowth of the steadfastness of giving first priority to the time spent with Him; and the maturity of paying the cost of obedience as we consistently operate together in oneness with Him.

Radical Holy Change
The significance of the turning recognizes that we have entered a time in which the world is ruled by its passions.

Being ruled by one’s passions is both a blindness and a power. It was this seductive passion and blindness that Hitler manipulated in his rise to power. It is this passion and blindness that distorts truth among so many within the media. It is this passion and blindness that propels the anti-Semitism growing around the globe. It is this passion and blindness that results in events such as September 11, 2001; Israel’s intifadas and a culture that promotes and exploits its young into giving their lives as homicide bombers. It is this passion and blindness that is at the core of the operation of the occult today.

The distinguishing characteristic of God’s people, those described by Daniel as “those who are strong and do exploits” is that their passions do not dominate them. They are yielded to and ruled by the Spirit of God.

We are facing a time of radical holy change. The wicked are revolting against God, while from within God’s people a holy revolution is being ignited. Just as in the days of Hitler, the unsuspecting and wicked are putting an “acceptable spin” to their wickedness and covert occult activities. It is a seduction that comes from a world “blindly” ruled by its passions. Strategic holiness is a proactive Spirit-led expression of God’s dominion in the face of the world’s rebellion. It is a holy revolution that operates in the authority that produces miracles, change and revival.

Numbers 11:25 reflects this type of radical holy change. At the core of spiritual leadership is replicating yourself; of engendering incubator-community ….community that nurtures opportunity.

The leadership of Moses was multiplied in a day in time when the Spirit of the Lord that had been solely upon Moses, came upon the 70 elders. For Israel at the time, this was a major paradigm shift. From the Lord’s standpoint, it was a strategic change tied to multiplying the holiness in the camp of Israel, as the Lord prepared His people for His purposes and agendas. Movements of God in recent years, such as the Jesus movement and the renewal movement are only precursors of the multiplication of God’s power that can be expected for these days we have entered.

Judgment and Fulfillment
“Yet now I take courage. For once again, in a little while the Lord will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land, and he will shake the nations, so that the treasurers of all the nations will come in and fill this house with the splendor of the Lord.”
Haggai 2:4

The corner turned will result in a major clash between good and evil. Facing this time will require courage. Yet, as the Body progressively rises up in strategic holiness, judgment will be released. For the righteous, judgment is not to be feared. Judgment is sent to purify. When it is resisted, it destroys. When yielded to, it becomes a facilitator, an igniter. The coming judgment will be the flip-side of an awesome outpouring of God’s Spirit.

Judgment always reasserts God’s authority. From it the Lord’s dominion will be reasserted as the world is further seduced by its passions; as principalities attempt to harness the power of those passions and those seduced by them in their agendas to revolt against the Lord and His people.

Yet, in the middle of the power struggles and resulting disruptions, those who know their God will be strong and will do exploits. It will be in the midst of economic disruptions that God’s people will enable opportunity and shine like the brightness of the sky. In the process, many will be led to righteousness and the Lord. So, with the judgment will come fulfillment.

We can expect parallels to God’s hand on His own in the midst of adversity like that described in Issaac’s life: “And there was famine in the land and the LORD appeared to Isaac and said: ‘Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you and perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.’ Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the LORD blessed him. So he began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous.”
Genesis 26:1-3, 12, 13

These are days prophesied by Ezekiel when he said: “The days are near when every vision will be fulfilled. For I the Lord will speak what I will and it will be fulfilled without delay. For the rebellious shall see that I will fulfill whatever I say, declares the Lord. When the people say the visions he sees are for many years from now say, this is what the Lord says, ‘none of My Words will be delayed any longer, whatever I say will be fulfilled.'” Ezekiel 12:22

These will be like the days of Joseph described by the Psalmist, “And He sent a man before them; Joseph; who was sold as a slave. They hurt his feet with fetters, he was laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him.” (Psalm 105:17-19) Joseph trusted God as he paid the cost required for Him to walk into the fulfillment of the prophetic vision he received at a much younger age. There are many who have been called today as modern-day Josephs, who have been tested by the word of the Lord. The time of fulfillment is at hand.

In Part 2, we will touch on “The Watch over Israel,” “Spiritual Vision, Faith and Authority,” “Greater Victories in the Face of Impossibilities,” “Honor in the Midst of Our Enemies,” “Restoration of Everything the Enemy Has Stolen,” and a prayer for those serious about their role in these times.

Previous post:

Next post: