Spiritual Inoculation

by Morris Ruddick on March 17, 2013

SPIRITUAL INOCULATION

© Morris E. Ruddick

Note: The primary audience of SIGN is a mature one; one that draws those in leadership and those who are reaching for that “something more” in the Lord. The Spiritual Inoculation message below is one I sent out less than three years ago. It’s being resent as we see far too many reports and indications of ones considered the “elect” encountering entrapments of the snares of the evil one. For the mature, this is not a time to be spiritually coasting or to allow anything resembling soul issues to blind us or in any other way influence us in this season we’ve entered. The bar has been raised, necessitating the practice of the basics to be consistently augmented by repentance and the cloak of humility. It’s a sign of the times. Be alert and on guard against the subtle inroads and influences of the enemy of our souls.

Morris
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“The foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of Him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, ‘Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.'”
Isaiah 6:4-4 NASU

In the mid-seventies, I experienced a touch from God that released what I can only describe as a gift of repentance. It involved an intensity of the Lord’s presence marked by the contrast between His holiness and, despite my sold-out commitment, what was the reality of my human short-comings. For three days I did not speak, as there was an awareness that anything I might have said would have polluted the awesome sense of His presence.

This encounter preceded my entering a path of major change. God’s call on my life was beyond my conception of His purpose for what lay ahead. What the Lord had done through this encounter was to prepare me for the passage into a journey beyond my grasp of its long-term ramifications and my natural abilities. He provided a spiritual inoculation to override the limitations of my human perspectives, as He afterward began showing me the steps for the out-of-the-box path before me.

Those called to pave new ground, to serve as pioneers, bear a unique mantle defined by the timely execution of the Lord’s purposes. It involves moving beyond ourselves; which is more than just yielding to and moving in a flow of the Spirit. It requires a oneness with His heart transcending any human point of view.

For those with this mantle, the changes in seasons are pivotal. They also can be abrupt. The steps demand a resolute intimacy with Him. They require steadfastness when facing severe pressures that will accelerate the normal process of maturing. For that reason, God provides inoculations to immunize uniquely chosen pioneers against digressions of human effort and religious trappings that would cause them to misfire in executing the higher levels of His purpose.

There are many measures, both individual and community-wise, that the Lord applies when preparing His forerunners for change reflecting strategic significance. Visitations of His Spirit accompanied by deep repentance, as Isaiah had in the above passage, is one. Visions, like Joseph the Patriarch experienced as a young man, is another. Angelic visitations such as Gideon had is another form of preparatory inoculation. Suffering, as in those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, is still another. Certain types of judgment to bring back straying individuals or communities is yet another. Each serve to prepare key individuals and communities for a change in season and the need for “something beyond” themselves.

The Change of Season
A recent news item described the bankruptcy of a respected ministry, as they attempt to navigate through a generational leadership vacuum after the retirement of their founder (WSJ, 10/23/10, Markets). In another instance, with parallel conditions, a ministry leader confided that their ongoing decline in revenues was due to the need for a new business model. Both are addressing changes in the times and seasons. Both are grappling with the reality for the “something more” needed for the season.

Cycles in seasons are defined by change. The Body is maturing. The venues that two, three and four decades ago served to bring about the next step in Body maturity are transitioning into purpose-driven initiatives that mobilize the brethren.

There’s a process involved. However, using the wrong model based on anything short of the Kingdom path will undermine fruitfulness, producing stagnation. Missing the transitions will diminish into stumbling blocks and strongholds.

In short, initiatives begun in the spirit that begin declining into an imbalance of human effort initially will face erosion and then an undermining of the spiritual impact the effort might have once achieved. Snares and entanglements will produce a framework from which, apart from deep repentance, judgment will fall.
“Woe to world because of stumbling blocks [offenses], for stumbling blocks [offenses] must come; but woe to those by whom they come.”
Matt 18:7

The change in season is linked to the process of maturing. Serving as His good stewards, achievement produced by means of the anointing must be matched by a comparable mix of maturity and wisdom in the Spirit. The maturing process advances with the distinction of emerging from our limited human perspectives and grasping God’s priorities and heart. It is the foundation for initiatives and movements that endure.
“From now on we regard no one from a human point of view.”
2 Cor 5:16 NRSV

The Gateway
The gateway into this path begins through serving as agents of blessing. It is the mantle God gave to Abraham: “Through you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Isaiah 58 provides a glimpse into the Abrahamic mantle that mirrors the heart of God.
“If you extend your soul to the hungry and reach out to the oppressed, then your light shall dawn in the darkness and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Those from among you shall rebuild the old ruins; you shall raise up the foundations from many generations; and you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.”
Isaiah 58:10-12

The mantle given to Abraham is uniquely linked to the DNA of the Jewish people, as repairers of the breach. It is why Israel and its calling are so strategic and close to God’s heart. From them has come the true Light that brings light to every man coming into the world (John 1:9).
“I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?”
Romans 11:11-15

Preparing for the Passage
God’s spiritual inoculations prepare us for the passage into new seasons and for a path that is beyond ourselves. God’s inoculations bypass the natural process to give release to the intentions of His purpose.

Each of the feasts or sacred assemblies outlined in the Torah, such as Pesach, Succoth, Yom Kippur, Shavuot, and Rosh Hashanna are given as annual spiritual inoculations against the forces of darkness. Yet, for passages into new seasons there is something more.

Changes in seasons are typically characterized by turbulence. When God begins doing a new thing it involves dominion and the taking of new ground for the Kingdom. There are shifts in seasons directed by the Father’s authority alone. This is one of them. For this reason, when that which was begun in the spirit begins to be worked out by human effort, the authority for results will short-circuit.

Previously successful spiritual efforts will run into a juncture described in Hebrews as the dividing asunder between soul and spirit. It is the sad characteristic of every cooled-down revival. It is the demarcation giving entrance to the seedbed by which corruption gains traction.

Short-Circuits
When the enemy is unable to entice into temptation, his alternative is to divert the flow of the Spirit by the misguided application of human effort. The right thing done the wrong way may have its own season, but eventually will undermine the anointed purpose for being. It’s in these perversions of well-intended practices and behaviors that strongholds that eventually evoke judgment are nurtured.

Bypassing the heart of God will always be a trap leading to a path of destruction.
“Behold, one shall fly like an eagle, and spread his wings over Moab. The strongholds are surprised; mighty men’s hearts will be like the heart of a woman in birth pangs. They shall be destroyed as a people, because they exalted themselves against the Lord. Fear and the pit and the snare shall be upon you. He who flees from the fear shall fall into the pit, and he who gets out of the pit shall be caught in the snare.”
Jeremiah 48: 40-44

Paul wrote Timothy (2 Tim 4:3) that a time would come when there would be those who shunned sound doctrine and instead be driven by their own desires and feelings, as they are drawn to that which “tickles their ears.” Arrogance and self-centered ambition create the blindness that fuels the process.

Yet, there are warning signs when that which was begun in the spirit begins to short-circuit and take on a life of its own. Extended declines in spiritual impact is one sign, as described above by the ministries with generational transition issues. Another sign is evidenced by the thinking and decisions influenced by loose, misguided tongues, especially by those in leadership (https://strategicintercession.org/2012/05/312/). Still another is a failure to wait on God as with King Saul, leading to premature acts and the forcing of issues. Likewise, Jesus frequently made reference to activating seeing eyes and hearing ears; to go beyond the hindrances of the blind spots, to reach for true spiritual clarity.

Passage in seasons pivots on the issue of maturity and getting beyond the traps of our limited human points of view. The bar has been raised and the threshold narrowed.

Spiritual Inoculations
Yet, Jesus imparted everything that we need to pass the threshold and not be consumed. Key to responding to the heart of God is a purity of heart. The pure in heart, the meek and the humble have hearts bearing a clear passage between them and God. Jesus said that it would be the pure in heart who would see God. He blasted those who had reduced and distorted this simple truth into the precepts of men.

Repentance is at the core of a pure heart. It was not doctrine that gave rise to Jesus’ judgment of the Pharisees. It was their array of stumbling blocks flowing from human responses to eternal truths. They missed the heart of God through their misuse of the power of God for their own elitism and self-righteousness. It was for most of them their short-sided blindness that convinced them of their lack of a need of repentance, which by itself, was enough to defile their hearts.
“Then I will take away those who rejoice in pride and will leave in your midst a meek and humble people, and they will trust in the name of the LORD.”
Zeph 3:11-12

As God moves the Body into purposeful maturity, into the mode that demonstrates the reality of God to the world around it, it will involve more than just character or doctrine. The pathway will be built on trust. It will be a trust based on a pure heart. You can’t have trust, individual or community, without a vital connection to God’s heart. The right trust with a pure heart will be the catalyst for inoculations that release the supernatural for navigating the pathway of change such as followed Isaiah’s encounter, Gideon’s visitation and Joseph’s visions. For those called as forerunners, these inoculations will be a jolt to the status quo, but an indelible catalyst for the new thing God is entrusting them to steward.
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery ordeal, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings ….that the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”
1 Peter 4:12-14

The New Thing
The threshold of distinction for the “new thing” is the Body emerging into one that is mobilized and purpose-driven, according to God’s heart. It bears a stamp of holiness and is a distinction that will separate the sheep and goats; as the Body moves toward a role of greater influence in the midst of society.
“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'”
Matt 25: 34-36

The distinction reflects God’s original mandate for His people: the dominion that comes from those known by His Name ruling over the work of His hands. From dominion will flow the mantle of Abraham: to be blessed to be a blessing.

The process of maturing has made a turn from primary efforts that feed the Body to a mobilization of remnants initiating purposeful agendas serving society around them. From this point, the process of maturing will grow into an influence of not just the few; but a mobilized, anointed movement of those bearing His identity with a mantle of being blessed to be a blessing.

God gives gifts to those bearing His identity to wield His nature to create, innovate, build and multiply. The result will be fruitfulness designed to impart life and blessing recognized by the world as coming from God.
“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.” Gen 39:3

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