Unsung Heroes

by Morris Ruddick on January 19, 2018

Unsung Heroes


In mid-1996 in South Africa, I gave a talk at a global conference (GCOWE) of missionary practitioners. The topic addressed the Joseph calling, a unique mantle merging leadership, the prophetic and alliances within the sphere of economic communities. It was the first talk I ever gave on this subject. It preceded the books I have written about the various dynamics and dimensions of this calling.

A dear friend, named Jill, a world-class intercessor, told me before that talk that the Lord had spoken to her to get away alone and intercede, to stand in the gap for me during the time of my talk.

When I gave the talk, the anointing was beyond anything I had ever before experienced. It was so strong, it was almost like I was a spectator, viewing myself as I gave the talk. But Jill wound up getting deathly ill afterward. She clearly “stood in the gap.” Although she fully recovered, she clearly diverted the enemy’s hit designed to undermine the impact of my talk.

That talk became the foundation that played a key role in setting in motion the SIGN ministry, the books, and then the God’s economy program, all of which are still unfolding and taking me into deeper spiritual depths.

Without Jill’s sacrifice and valiant role in standing in the gap during that talk, I have no doubt that I’d be seeing but a fraction of what is now unfolding in this ministry. Jill’s focus, along with the authority and anointing, which she has long disciplined herself in and has paid a high cost for, are a reflection of a unique breed of Kingdom practitioners serving as unsung heroes, whose primary thrust takes place largely unseen.

Grasping God’s Heart
This unseen role, at its core, is really a connection with and response to the Father’s heart. Within that context, a grasp of the function versus the calling of the intercessor provides a glimpse into the hearts of those who rise to the stature of serving as unsung heroes.

Within standard acceptable practices within ministry circles is a tendency to confuse the function with the calling of intercession — to stereotype its practitioners in this role. Yet, key to the prophetic gifts, intercession was a vital part of the lives most of the heroes of faith.

The leadership calling of Joseph the Patriarch’s mantle, for example, merged leadership, the prophetic and an anointing to create high-level, Kingdom purposeful relational bridges and alliances. Dramatic change resulted. The ministry of intercession may be a significant calling in itself or it may prove to be the catalyst, pathway and even the core to either assignments or a calling of strategic leadership mantles designed to bring shifts to His Kingdom.

In my own case, I regard the ministry of intercession and of leading intercessors to be the very basic function to everything else that I do. Everything else is the fruit of the time and priority I give to the Lord. What I’m describing has been a process.

I never quite fit the stereotype. Yet, within this function is a holiness and yearning for the heart of God, that cannot begin to be approached by the methods and traditions of men. As a young believer, I was clearly a prayer warrior and one with a strong grasp of God’s truth and the authority that went with it. Then during a unique experience with the Lord, the Lord imparted a very strong word to me. This word outlined His blueprint for what would become so central in my mantle in the days that were before me.

It came from Jeremiah 51. There is a sequence that begins in the 20th verse that says, very pointedly: “You are my battleaxe and weapon of war. Through you I will break nations in pieces. Through you, I will destroy kingdoms and strongholds.” As if THAT were not enough, a couple of verses further it reveals the essential side of the equation of what God will do when we pay the cost for that first part. It says: “And I [the Lord] will repay Babylon and Chaldea.

No doubt that this word found deep resonance in my spirit due to my 25 months of hard combat experiences. The Marines made me into a warrior in the natural. Then the Lord guided me into a role of becoming a warrior in the spirit. This word also unveiled the spiritual realities those serving in this function can expect to manifest around us. It provided a glimpse into the cost the path of my calling would take.

Additionally, this word set the stage for key parameters that would define my ministry. It came almost two decades before the birth of the SIGN ministry and the talk that I gave on the Joseph calling in South Africa, which came within months of one another. At the heart of each was that of warriors for change and the behind-the-scenes role of unsung heroes.

The SIGN ministry was designed to mobilize a remnant and impart to them glimmers I was receiving in my prayer closet that gave focus to understanding the times with nuggets of strategies, the knowing of what to do. Now more than two decades later, I’m beginning to realize that God had a remnant of intercessors and prophetic leaders prepared and being prepared for the impact and role these messages would impart.

From its beginnings the SIGN ministry has sought the heart of God and given focus to three key topics central to the priorities of God: Israel and the Jewish people; the planting of God’s economy and the mobilizing of modern-day Josephs; along with strategies designed to enable those persecuted for their faith to be the head and not the tail. The bar for these is high. At the foundation of the mantles of these influential remnants, as they navigate these unique agendas, is the behind-the-scenes function of being unsung heroes.

The books I have authored have been the compilation of a progression of messages I have sent out on SIGN. The God’s economy program in turn has put into action, in a number of very challenging spiritual environments around the world, the strategies I was gleaning from the time I was spending in His presence. Now, with more than two decades since the birth of SIGN, we are experiencing unusual fruit from ones employing these messages. Most share the same distinguishing characteristics.

These are ones who are willing to pay the cost of standing in the gap as prophetic intercessors. Yet they are sacrificially walking out strategic leadership functions tapping the office gifts. They conform to the pattern of being His weapons of war that I noted portrayed by Jeremiah and those described by the words of Jesus in Matthew, as the ones prepared for tough, toxic spiritual environments, who take the Kingdom by force.

The Function: Distinguishing Characteristics
Whether called as intercessors or leaders exercising a prophetic intercessory function, unsung heroes share certain distinguishing characteristics. They include choosing the “better portion,” consistently operating in the supernatural, and observing reality with a perspective gleaned from knowing Him and His ways. They exhibit a predisposition that reaches for God’s heart and serve as keepers of the “mysteries” and keys of the Kingdom, who have been granted access to the secret counsel of God. Many have sorrowed due to assignments, ones they have nurtured or mentored, who have fallen. They are ones who navigate with an outlook reflecting progressively expanding borders. And more.

The Better Portion. When Martha was annoyed because Mary was not helping her, but simply sitting at the feet of Jesus, Jesus commented that Martha was worried, anxious and distracted and that Mary had chosen the better portion. While unsung heroes are doers and ones who bring change, they also are ones who give priority to carving out time to spend one-on-one with the Lord. It’s an insatiable hunger. Waiting on the Lord is never an issue because of the passion to spend time in His presence.

The Supernatural. Operating in the supernatural does not come naturally. It requires spiritual vision that is both sought and put into practice. It includes an awareness that spirit controls matter, that the unseen world unlocks the outcome for the seen world. When applied it yields a potent spiritual authority for the one operating in the supernatural.

Perspective from Knowing Him and His Ways. Giving priority to spending time with Him, of choosing the better portion, will yield the fruit of knowing Him and His ways. Time in His Word and time one-on-one with Him, just sitting with Him, will change the way we view things, along with the way we think. It evokes a listening heart. People will know when we’ve spent time with Jesus. It is the fruit that comes from being exposed to His presence. It is an aura that cannot be achieved any other way.

Response to Spiritual Realities. Quality time with the Lord impacts our response to the spiritual realities taking place all around us. While it engenders a mind-set of humility, it nurtures the way we listen and strategically process the uncertainties triggered by the unseen world. Joseph is an apt example in the way he held his peace as a faithful, prophetic steward under Potiphar. He did not lose heart when he experienced spiritual backlash and unrighteously wound up in prison. He continually proved faithful to God and those in authority over him. It was then in prison that he processed the dreams of the baker and the wine-taster, before being brought out to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh. Joseph had the listening heart needed to discern the spiritual realities taking place and the God-perspective that unveiled not only what God was doing, but the supernaturally-wise responses to it.

Keeper of the Mysteries and Keys. Jesus told His disciples that it had been given to them to know the mysteries of the Kingdom, but to most from the crowd He was teaching, it had not been granted. God reveals mysteries from the darkness and brings deep darkness into light. When dealing with the mysteries of God there comes a responsibility of being a keeper of those mysteries. That responsibility bears on what is shared with whom and when. Very shrewdly, Jesus advised that we are not to put our pearls before swine, lest they trample them and then turn and tear us to pieces. I’ve seen that happen with leaders driven by ambition or fear. Joseph, having been burned by his brothers for doing just that, years later scrutinized their intentions before even revealing himself and his role to them.

The Secret Counsels of God. Being a keeper of the mysteries and the keys gives entrance into the secret counsels of God. Within the mysteries that are beyond normal human grasp is this dynamic that the One who created the heavens and the earth yearns to engage ones, with an unquenchable hunger for Him, in His divine purposes. Again and again throughout history, this dynamic has operated outside the realm of time, as both a glimpse into and a catalyst to the unseen shifts that will restore it all to His domain. With the prophecy of Magog, Ezekiel entered the secret counsel of God with a glimpse into the yet-to-come shift of the culmination of the conflict with those who have been the sons of God, to those representing the ones to be revealed, who are destined in this role to release the shifts.

The Sorrow of Fallen Assignments. Sadly, there are ones, who having been exposed to the truth, who stumble and fall short in their assignments. King Saul’s fall brought sorrow to Samuel, who had nurtured him from the time of anointing him King, to the time when God rejected him. Unsung heroes have those they have invested in who stumble and fail to meet their task’s standard. Most, like Saul, experience a mix of deception and misaligned motivations before triggering the response from God to the mentor, to disengage. The grief of Samuel reflects the potential of what could have been for the fallen one.

Expanding Borders. God’s nature is not only to create, but to bring increase. Think of the parable of the talents. Unsung heroes operate in a reality far beyond human capacities, because of the supernatural, due largely to their awareness of and flow in the God-factor. It is an alignment with the heart of God, a mind-set and way of thinking that is beyond human perception. It is the maturity of it no longer being about us. We employ the term “out-of-the-box.” While humanly speaking, we tend to gravitate toward the status quo and static, comfort zones, God’s reality is constantly in motion, outside the realm of time and increasing.

Recognizing the Risks and the Costs
No soldier enters combat without preparing their will. The risks tied to facing and cheating death recognize the realities and the costs associated to the function. I was a part of an all-volunteer Marine unit in high-risk arenas of combat. It was the unassuming quiet ones who were the remnant of those fitting the type: unsung heroes. The realities were too sobering, creating something of a sacred, unspoken bond between those experiencing it, that served to hold one another up. These are the ones described with the words: uncommon valor was a common virtue. Those referred to as glory-hounds never seemed to last long.

So it is in the spiritual realm. After highlighting some of those we refer to as the heroes of faith, the book of Hebrews gives honor to the unsung heroes, ones who having counted the costs, then faced and endured torture, affliction and death in serving their function. My friend Jill, who served with uncommon valor in her unselfish role of setting in motion the blueprint for my mantle, has also ministered to heads of states, as well as being a catalyst for revival. She will be among those facilitating the expectations for what many have been referring to as the transfer of wealth, a shift of great significance bearing on the times.

Alliances: Seen and Unseen Roles
Such shifts will come from alliances that actuate the dynamics between the seen and unseen worlds.

One of the key characteristics of unsung heroes is their sacrificial willingness to give and to give of themselves without the need for credit. It underscores the confidence and maturity in knowing that: the Lord knows. It is one of those dimensions that Jesus referred to when describing the way of the Kingdom as incorporating a narrow, difficult path.

The same task, driven by ambition will flounder, whereas abiding service will flourish. When the alliance operates the way it should, it precludes the burden-bearer from the Elijah burn-out. It bears on the mix of the critical nature of the task, abiding in the Lord and the reciprocity of the alliance. Elijah’s pinnacle faceoff with death was largely without this alliance.

Joseph on the other hand was a prophetic steward who wisely served those in authority over him. So, when even the non-believers over him saw the reality and authority of God that operated through Joseph’s prophetic stewardship, they in turn trusted Joseph with their authority. The subtle thing operating is the cooperative effort that merges the roles, the authority and resources in bridging the seen and the unseen realms to trigger change.

Change and the Disruptive Factor
Such symbiotic relationships hold the potential to reset the spiritual atmosphere. This can range from the simple change necessary to give access to opportunity, to the disruptive factor releasing major paradigm shifts.

In understanding the times, we have entered the gates of thresholds that bear on when the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, tied to the assignments of the sons of God. These are those we tend to refer to as principalities and powers. This is no small thing nor matters on which to presume. The dynamics are sacred and sovereign to God’s authority and timing with special assignments for those prepared ones whose mantles conform to the standards required of unsung heroes. This is why the model of the Joseph-Pharaoh alliance is so appropriate for this hour.

Kingdoms in Conflict
Those with the hearts to take the Kingdom by force, like my friend Jill who operate in the Jeremiah 51 cooperative realm with the Lord, are ones likewise who have disciplined themselves with the balance between spirit and truth in addressing the kingdoms in conflict.

There are extremes on both sides of this equation. The extremes come from the imbalance, rather than the functioning together of spirit and truth, of giving precedent to one over the other.

The Apostle James said to be doers of the word and not hearers only. I could not agree more. Yet, I have seen ones who will do, who will pray, but then neglect time in God’s word and in doing so become subject to subtle deceptions. The word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword. It represents the guideposts in the pathways that are narrow and sometimes harrowing. On the other hand, there are those whose faith is based on so many intellectual precepts that their quest to know the will and power of God tends to operate like a parlor game, constrained by the parameters of their own minds.

I’ve had many over the years who I have mentored in their mantles in God’s economy and as modern day Josephs and Daniels. Those who have profited most have been the ones who have retained the hearts and priority of true intercessors. There have been ones, who have morphed into success, whose works are unquestionable, who sadly have lost that priority.

Those of my generation who experienced genuine revival, hold the potential of reactivating that dynamic. Those who are addicted to God’s presence, who passionately hunger for and give priority to that time with Him, are carriers of revival. Releasing God’s presence is not hard. It is in the simple things that the cleverness of the clever is confounded.

For example, my wife and I periodically have small gatherings of friends from multiple congregations to pray and simply follow the premise and spontaneity I recall from our days of revival: an informal time together where each gets prayed for and each has a chance to pray. It is drawn from the Apostle Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians of when you come together, that each has a psalm, a teaching, a revelation. All things are done for edification. Two or three prophets speak and the others judge. All can prophecy and pray, one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.

When that passionate hunger is operating, it will trigger: “The works that I do, you will do also and greater works than these will you do because I’m going to the Father.” The first time Jesus mentioned these “greater works” in John 5, it was the result of Jesus being in total alignment with Father. THAT alignment represents the heart of the intercessor. While the prayer warrior operates in great authority because of their faith in being aligned with truth, the intercessor does marvels due to being aligned with the heart of the Father.

The premise is not unlike the Church of Ephesus in the book of Revelation who had lost their first love. The correction was to remember from where you have fallen and recover those priorities. It taps the stuff of unsung heroes. It is as Jesus spoke to Martha that she was worried, concerned and distracted by many things — and that Mary had chosen the better portion. May the Lord grant us each the priority, the focus and the passion for the better portion. The days upon us cry out the for unsung heroes called to trigger the shifts and to encourage, refresh and open the gates for the many waiting and prepared for their destinies.


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.

2018 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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