Game Changers

by Morris Ruddick on January 22, 2016


© Morris E. Ruddick

“Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons and concerning the work of My hands, you command Me.” Isaiah 45:11

Isaiah prophesied this amazing word for Cyrus centuries before Cyrus’ birth. The time of Cyrus was critical for God’s people. Cyrus was raised up by God as a champion-warrior-leader. He would serve as God’s chosen vessel to bring about a paradigm shift. His mantle would radically change the game plan to release a new day for God’s people.

This prophecy indicates that although Cyrus had not known the Lord that he would. When that happened, his destiny as a game-changer through God would manifest.

In this context, the Lord instructs Cyrus to ask Him about His people and His purpose for them. With those bases covered, God indicates that Cyrus would then be given an authority from heaven to accomplish these things. So it came to pass.

We have come through a time in which we’ve been instructed in faith. We’ve learned about the gifts. We’ve become acquainted with the prophetic and the importance of hearing from God to get His instructions. Yet, God’s purposes are always progressive and focused on the big-picture fullness of His plan for His people.

Not unlike the days of Cyrus, God today is again raising up game-changers to accomplish His purposes. Like Cyrus some will come from outside the community of faith. It portends a time of restoration.

For some, it will be as water on parched ground. For others, they won’t get it and will even resist it, being so entrenched in their own ways. For them it will be like the generation that Moses led out of Egypt, who failed to flow with His purposes resulting in them neither understanding the shift nor seeing what was promised.

Giant Mistake4David was a game-changer, as was Moses and Joseph. Each were called, anointed and prepared for times in which God was restoring the forward momentum of His ancient plan for His people.

Prior to the cross, Jesus told His inner circle, that they had not chosen Him, but that He had selected them. So it will be for today’s game changers. The modern-day game changers God is raising up will bring restoration the Lord covets for His people. This mantle will be endued with unusual authority. But the pathway is not an easy one.

Power and Blindness
David went against the grain. He was misunderstood. He was chosen by God when the desires of the people to be like everyone else had hit a peak. That was and continues as the trap. It is an identity thing, but it is more than the community’s identity with God. “Being like everyone else” masks and erodes God’s power among His people, emasculating the purity of its application.

With Saul, Israel had the king they wanted, yet they and Saul remained blind to the heart of God. This was the community context, the spiritual climate and the uphill challenge faced by David on his path to becoming a game-changing champion of God.

David wrote over half the psalms. Many described those from Saul’s armies who were tracking down and attempting to destroy him as “wicked.” Such responses from the household of faith are not unusual for ones who bear a game-changing mantle.

Game changers are pathfinders, ones who illuminate the path for others to follow. Joseph triggered the ire of his brothers who resented his spiritual sensitivity and betrayed him. Those blind to God’s direction and purposes tend to become enraged and seek to destroy those anointed to take things beyond their ensnared view of things.

There’s a cost to operating outside the box. Jesus did and was quick to expose hypocrisy. He clearly said the litmus test would be evident by one’s fruits. True fruits are derived from those whose mantles have undergone the rigors of a baptism of fire.

That means challenging prevailing mind-sets. It means a higher standard for the ones sent to restore the pathway of human efforts fallen short. Despite having the opportunity for retribution against Saul, David refused to touch God’s anointed. Joseph’s prescient prophetic gift enabled him to perceive and act on opportunity that would bring results beyond the realm of time. God’s perspective in the deliverance of his brothers went toward the future fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham.

The Distinctive of Game-Changers
The distinctive of the game-changer is the honor of the warrior. It is the bond that is willing to die (John 15:13) for the cause of those and the One served. It is the distinctive marked by a wide gap between true warriors and those wearing masks.

Jesus despised the phonies, but lauded those without pretense who bore the honor of warriors. Discerning the destinies in those he selected for His inner circle, he chose ones with warrior hearts. He told the religious phonies that prostitutes and tax-collectors would grasp the truth he unveiled and enter the Kingdom before them.

Jesus led by example. He stated that He had a baptism to be baptized with and how distressed He was until it was accomplished (Luke 12:50). While game-changers will be misunderstood, they cannot respond personally. When Jesus said His followers would lead by serving, He was describing the heart of a warrior, ones not swayed by the approval of men, but rather impelled by the quest to do the right thing and go to the wall for the truth they served. That distinctive involves the employment of power, righteous power in corrupt settings. These are the ones who will make a difference.

Western Christendom is plagued with wannabes and zealots, ones who have never experienced a baptism of fire. Without the baptism of fire, the zeal is without knowledge. Warriors in the natural are quick to identify those they want along side them in battle. While sound training is paramount, it is those who have transcended the ranks of the phonies, wannabes and zealots and emerged from their baptism of fire with the bond of the warrior, willing to face the ultimate test for their brethren.

They are ones who can be counted on when the going gets tough. It is why God chose Cyrus long before he was born. It is why Jesus was amazed at the heart of the Centurion and his grasp of the essentials bearing on the spiritual.

Spiritually, the cost for game-changers is where faith and the realities of the unseen world collide. Before his martyrdom, Dietrich Bonhoeffer made frequent mention of cheap grace. He lived by what he believed. He was a catalyst in the remnant German church that stood behind the Jewish people and withdrew from the acquiescing church aligned with Hitler. For hypocritical phonies and wannabes, words are cheap and their goals short-sighted. They misdirect and mask the realities. Deceit is driven by evil (Prov 12:20) and undermines otherwise upright intentions. Idle words and deceit fuel this blindness and tend to proliferate to take on a life of their own.

Spiritual Myopia and Idle Words
This is why Jesus made it clear that we would be held responsible for every idle word. This issue involves the misuse of power, the inclination of those untested under real fire, to misdirect their authority to condemn and find fault. Protecting their turf, they stamp out anything contrary to their own limited perspectives. Claiming their actions to be of God and succumbing to a Judas spirit, they indulge themselves in self righteously responding blindly to God’s blueprint in others.

The idle words referred to by Jesus are evidence of spiritual myopia, whether knowingly or unknowingly, that opposes God’s plan and purpose. Idle words not only are defined by and mask deceit and falsehood, but operate within a regular practice of gossip, compromise, self-serving exaggeration and hearsay. Such practices are at the core of what empowers the wicked and dilutes the efforts of the truly righteous.

Saul and most of his subjects suffered extreme cases of spiritual myopia. It was the same with Joseph’s brothers. Jesus discerned the myopia and phony destructiveness in the idle words of the religious rulers against the righteous, whose destinies Jesus affirmed against their condemnations.

Idle words are aligned with those David describes as “bringing down and slaying those whose ways are upright.” They hinder and reflect deceit. They are critical and seek destruction. Misuse of the prophetic that overlooks mercy and is predisposed to only discern judgment and calamity can fall into the stronghold marked by idle words.

The truly righteous are called to a path of honor. They bring about restoration, not being ensnared and defined by those who misunderstand and are intent on their destruction. They are first-responders taking up the mantle that brings restoration to God’s people.
“Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Matthew 5:44-45

It is the application of such Kingdom principles, to overcome evil with good that ensures vengeance remains with the Lord which opens the gates into the supernatural power required when the game is to be changed, when a line against evil is to be drawn in the sand.

It is revealing that during the rise of Hitler, that although Hitler’s inner circle was strongly occult and anti-Christian, that he publicly gave church leaders just enough to harness and then align the German church with his evil purposes. In this he embedded a new level of the wedge of replacement theology. The righteous standard is never to be compromised. Hitler knew he couldn’t stand against the church without a major infiltration of its ranks. Hitler’s intent was for a non-dissenting church standing behind his Third Reich. He understood the power to be gleaned from usurping the anointing.

So it has been over the centuries that unrighteous power and wickedness from within the community of faith have fueled unrighteous power and wickedness outside the household of faith. The playbook for this scheme is the passion of God’s people for acceptance, to be like everyone else.

Yet, when the cosmic struggle that has plagued creation since Adam and Eve reaches this stage, we learn that like in the case of Cyrus, God has already foreordained and prepared the game changers. From the time God has had a people the game changers have been those who have embraced a process.

This process discerns the heart of God and maps out the path to release His authority into the steps toward His plan of restoration.

The Heart, Authority and Sphere
Having discerned and embraced the heart of God, game changes face an alignment with the authority of God. This alignment holds to a critically fine line. It is where the costs are paid and the challenges faced.

The sphere, described in 2 Corinthians 10, is the boundary of the calling, which in turn denotes the boundary of the authority. The sons of Heth in answering Abraham recognized him as one with the authority of a prince. So it was that Joseph, Daniel and Moses were each groomed by God as His righteous representatives with an authority that was at the court level of the rulers of their days.

Jesus stated that those who loved their lives would lose it. David breeched this threshold. In facing Goliath, he risked everything. His face-off with Goliath wasn’t a game. It was mortal combat in which only one victor would emerge alive. Against all odds in the natural, David assumed the cost for the sphere and then proceeded with his heart aligned with the heart and authority of God. Then for all to hear and then witness he proclaimed: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine to defy the Armies of God?” When God is defied and His champions arise, everything changes.

Game changers pay the cost for the sphere and mantle in which they are called to operate. It is not a superstar thing, as dependence must be solely and completely on God.

For Joseph, the cost was 13 years as a slave and prison inmate with an unblemished identity in God. For Daniel, it was the unwavering public honor that he ascribed to God in the court of a king surrounded by the best of the best of the sorcerers of that day. For Moses, it was his face-off as God’s ambassador with the idolatrous Pharaoh who unrighteously was repressing God’s people. For David, it was years of abusive rejection despite his unquestioned loyalty and service.

The Paradigm Shift
With the game changers in motion, the paradigm is going to shift. This is the groundswell of what is described in Isaiah 60 when it says the wealth of the seas will be turned to Israel and God’s covenant people. With the shift, God’s authority and power operating through the game changers will bridge into the supernatural.

With the mounting pressures, accurately grasping the heart and timing of God is vital. The models and strategies acceptable a generation ago will be superseded by the new, as the power and impact from the Lord multiplies exponentially. Unlike the corrupt power manifesting, God’s righteous power and strategies have always masterfully anticipated the plans and intents of the evil one.

What is pertinent for this hour is the role of the Josephs and Daniels in setting the stage for the alliances with the Pharaohs and Cyruses of today. Joseph was deeply embedded and trusted within the world’s system. Daniel, also operated within the courts of a pagan ruler who gave honor to Daniel’s faith and the God of Israel.

However, for each, before the game could be changed, the spiritual climate had to shift. Although scripture doesn’t say so specifically, I am convinced that the dreams Pharaoh had were the result of Joseph’s prayers. I likewise believe that Daniel’s intercessions were the catalysts for the progressive climate changes in Babylon preceding the game change that took place through Cyrus.

Both Joseph and Daniel were instrumental in the game change to the benefit of God’s people. Their roles and the authority with which they operated supernaturally were the actuators for the paradigm shifts that took place. Both spiritually and in the natural, they embodied God’s heart and became His ambassadors of restoration.

The Dividing Asunder
The matrix, the pure matrix of the game changer is embracing His heart and purpose for His sons, for those who face the fire to bear His identity. It will be as Isaiah spoke through the dimension of time to Cyrus: “Ask of Me of things to come concerning My sons and concerning the work of My hands, command you Me.” It is a day in which the words of David will manifest prophetically as the paradigm shifts.
“Although the wicked may draw their swords and bend their bows, to bring down and slay those whose ways are upright, their bows will be broken and their swords will pierce their own hearts.” Psalm 37:14

Proverbs 3 notes that the root of the righteous cannot be moved. One translation expresses that the truly righteous will never be uprooted. A sequence of scripture from Proverbs 12 then unveils the intense drama underway and the role of words in this struggle, and with it, the outcome for the righteous.

It states the plans of the righteous are just but the advice of the wicked is treacherous. It further reveals that the words of the wicked entrap, but the words of the upright will deliver them. It concludes by stating that the wicked will be ensnared by their own words, but the righteous will escape from trouble, so that the wicked are overthrown and are no more, but that the house of the righteous will stand.

Jesus changed the game. He raised the bar and brought perspective and understanding to those who yearned for the Kingdom, for the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham. He bridged the natural with the spiritual and unveiled God’s heart. He went against the grain and told his followers to do the same and more, and to do it with love and with truth at the helm. He defined love as He demonstrated it, by giving up His life for His friends.

So it is for the times upon us. Jesus said many are called but few are chosen. The crucible has been applied in the preparation. The days are now here when the visions will be fulfilled.
“Oh God, do not remain silent and do not be still. For your enemies make an uproar and those who hate you have exalted themselves. They make shrewd plans against your people. They conspire together against your treasured ones. They have said, ‘Come and let us wipe them out that the name of Israel be remembered no more.’ They conspire together with one mind. Against You they make a covenant. Make them like the whirling dust. Like the fire in the forest, so pursue with your tempest and terrify them with Your storm. Fill their faces with dishonor, that they may know that You alone, whose Name is the Lord are the Most High over all the Earth.”
Psalm 83:1-5, 13-16, 18

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