Kingdom Leadership and Maturity

Prophetic Stewardship

August 19, 2013

Prophetic stewardship bears an even higher standard. Kingdom leadership pivots on stewardship that seeks the community good. That may require a decisiveness that is neither popular nor comfortable. It demands a basis that understands the true heart of God and the long-term prophetic implications. Joseph’s service to Pharaoh began with a time of preparation. Scripture indicates that these years of preparation were a fruitful time, a time of abundance. Yet, what was required to gather and store the grain demanded discipline. It no doubt involved some belt-tightening for everyone. The tough standards and decisions required were not for the feint of heart or those with the need to be accepted. Yet, when the years of abundance were over and famine came, then both the decisions and the discipline became even harder. Joseph’s stewardship involved a balance between maintaining order, adjusting to the widespread famine, while establishing Egypt as solution-provider. It required a level of administration that not only was gifted, but drew from God’s wisdom for the decisions being made.

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The Princely Anointing

August 7, 2013

The princely anointing defines the standard. Regardless of the context, it maps out, it builds up and it brings increase. It enables others and nurtures community. The princely anointing is always God-centered, raising the bar, establishing righteous influence in the culture around it. It was the anointing that established Daniel’s influence in the King’s court despite the prevailing culture of sorcery. Likewise, despite his lowly position, Joseph’s regal anointing gained the recognition and trust of those in authority over him: from Potiphar to the jailer to Pharaoh. Psalm 15 highlights the criteria for the operation of the princely anointing: walks with integrity, works righteousness, speaks truth in his own heart, does not slander, does no evil to his neighbor nor takes up a reproach against a friend, despises reprobates, but honors those who fear the Lord, abides by commitments and does not take advantage of others. The princely anointing attracts and engenders trust. The princely anointing exudes an authority, a humble authority that very naturally bestows God’s blessings and wisdom. It is a regal leadership conveying a confidence that evokes trust for stewarding responsibility.

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The Leadership Maturity Key

August 7, 2013

God’s standard for leadership carries an awe necessitating an ongoing poise of the spirit before Him. It cannot emulate the world nor reflect a blended approach. It is a standard that roots out the precepts of men and the cleverness of the clever. It gives no place to deceit or the lust for power. It is the standard that eliminates the need for striving and ambition, because of being immersed in the flow of the Spirit. This standard applied opens the gates for a safe place where the gifts flow naturally, in unison and harmony to the benefit of all. When this norm is met, it offers the potential described by the Church at Philadelphia in Revelations: keys to open doors that no one can shut and shuts doors that no one can open. Operating with this standard requires an understanding of what distinguishes the function of leading from the gift of leadership. A lack of understanding and misapplication of the gifts creates confusion and dissatisfaction; with disorder and discord following. The requirements of leadership vary according to the uniqueness of the gifts of its leaders. Similarly, managing resources and projects is very different from leading people. The Romans 12 leadership gift flows with both influence and authority, without the need of position. On the other hand, the gift of administration in 1 Cor 12:28 specializes in the management of resources. Joseph the Patriarch operated in both. Within the function of leading are diversities of applications, again based on the gifts of those serving as the leaders. The bottom line is the issue between soul and spirit. This is the cause of much confusion within the ranks of believers. Those who try to employ the spirit to nurture their soul-longings are out of God’s order. The priorities are upside down. The standard for leadership requires raising the bar.
“The Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matt 20:28

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The Culture Challenge

July 19, 2013

The premise from Deuteronomy to teach these things to your children, when you lie down, when you rise up and when you walk by the way, addresses the issue that from the days of Moses, that Jews have put their biblical, cultural heritage on the front burner. This fervency has resulted, for the most part, in the Jewish community being a culture of discipline, as well as a culture within a culture with their identity in God, as a people. On the other hand, for many who have come to faith in Christendom, the biblical standard represents the need for a cultural transformation. This transformation, alluded to by Paul as “renewing your minds” takes discipline and it takes time. The challenge is constant and even when spiritual maturity comes, it takes on new levels. The Phillips translation of the New Testament captures this reality with its rendering of Romans 12:2: “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.” Within Christian organizations, this reality and the times demand reaching for the pure standard. Jesus summed up this higher standard in Matthew 28 as “these things I have taught you.” His reference was to the mandate of implanting righteous power into corrupt settings. It’s a spiritual challenge with subtle cultural hurdles. Even within secular settings, the culture war in organizations is seen in the difference between institutional approaches to leadership, versus entrepreneurial styles.

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Spiritual Capital

June 25, 2013

Spiritual capital is a hidden reserve of righteous power that operates in parallel in the natural and spiritual realms. It represents the God-reserve needed by spiritual leaders and advisors to righteous worldly leaders, when orchestrating God-ordained change involving confrontations with evil. It is the overriding advantage when God’s people are faced with bringing a shift to the prevailing spiritual climate. The series of faceoffs that Moses had in Pharaoh’s court demonstrated the manifestation of this advantage. Joseph demonstrated the reality of God in Potiphar’s house, while in prison, and then with Pharaoh with a targeted deployment of his spiritual capital. David cashed in on it with his confrontation against Goliath. Elijah drew from it in his encounter with the prophets of Baal and Asherah; yet soon thereafter found his spiritual capital exhausted when challenged by Jezebel. Capital is something that is accumulated as a reserve that can be withdrawn when an unusual need arises. While different from income, it can be passed down through generations. The dynamic of spiritual capital operates in a comparable fashion.

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Blind Guides

May 29, 2013

The tempo of the times has picked up. Knowledge has increased. The availability of instantaneous information has become global. There’s been a shift of power. Simultaneously, control of the spiritual and moral climate of nations has had the criterion reset by political, entertainment and media moguls. The standard represented by the ancient paths of God’s truth has been challenged and lowered. Still, through a remnant, God’s order will overcome. James indicated that teachers would be judged more strictly. The standard for those wielding influence with truth and authority demands more. Overcompensation is required by leaders and those reaching for spiritual maturity in these times. It carries a great need to be wary of pervasive, subtle, seducing influences. Yet, just as in the days of Jesus, the seduction has infiltrated the ranks of the religious elite; those who ought to know better. Jesus judged them. He said they were blind guides.

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Milestone Words

April 29, 2013

The heroes of faith operated in oneness with the priorities and issues of God’s heart, without any vestige of variation between Truth and what they heard from the Spirit. Their impact on history was defined by their view of things from a big-picture God perspective. They heard from God and they embraced His word, regardless the cost. That’s commitment that requires discipline. It’s also the foundation for maturity. While intimately concerned with the details impacting the lives of individuals, the Lord’s priorities are strategic. He orchestrates things from the stance of generations and the community of His people within a generation. Those at the forefront need to overcompensate for the seductive traps, whether personal, cultural or doctrinal. The bar has been raised. Imparting righteous power in corrupt, defiled settings is not possible without God. We’ve entered a season in which the Western hop-skip-halleluiah model will fall short.

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The Precepts of Men

February 19, 2013

God never intended nor does He intend for us to live our lives passively. We’ve been chosen to make a difference; that each of us in our own spheres would wisely grasp His heart, avoid the snares and precepts of men, and bring about realignment and His order. “You are My witnesses and My servant whom I have chosen, to understand that I am God.” Isaiah 43:10 The high road on this narrow corridor we are navigating between life and death is not about us. That’s why Jesus said “He who finds his life will lose it and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.” That’s a hard word, but one that should be bedrock for those who are chosen to align with His heart. In a world where political correctness likes to erase and deny the existence of the sin factor, we’re called to face that sin and establish His will. The issue we’ve been tackling has been how we can avoid the subtle deceptions of the enemy that keep us majoring in minors and minoring in the essential things? How can we avoid the snares and entrapments that Jesus warned us were incorporated in the precepts of men? The strategy, in a word, is as it has been for ages past: in confronting sin; not foolishly, recklessly or impetuously, but with wisdom and God’s order. This strategy begins by growing up. It begins by maturing with the discipline to deny ourselves and then refusing the snares from within enticed by the precepts of men.

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Beyond Your Sphere

November 13, 2012

There is a distinct connection between individuals operating within the boundaries of their sphere of authority and the spiritual climate of the Body. Body maturity and the spiritual climate surrounding the household of faith will draw the attention of the observing world. Whenever the boundaries of authority within the Body are ignored it leads to a distinct symptom of Body immaturity: disorder. When the world sees disorder and division within the Body, it will scoff and turn aside. The world is looking for a people who will demonstrate the reality of God. In short, the bar for those called to lead the way is set much higher than that for the world because the goal is higher: to change the spiritual climate in the midst of the world. That’s the wisdom behind Jesus telling us that the path is narrow and difficult. It gives insight into why the sons of the world can be shrewder than the sons of light (Luke 16:8). We tend to be short-sighted as we major in minors. Reaching for a goal of changing the spiritual climate in the world has to begin within the spheres

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Society of Leaders

August 5, 2012

There’s something more that involves a leadership strategy that defies the wisdom of the world; indeed, the wisdom of the ages. Driven by the spiritual, it joins together community to operate as one with the economic. It is a strategy that merges an identity, a spiritual maturity driven by trust and discipline, along with a unique power to form a leadership; all of which is demonstrated “as a people.” It is a strategy of righteous power in a corrupt world. Righteous power builds and brings increase; it wields influence, and is a catalyst for opportunity that brings blessing to those in its sphere. This leadership strategy begins with a grasp of God’s purpose for His own (Genesis 1): to exercise dominion and subdue the earth. Then with an identity and faith in God, as demonstrated by Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David and many other heroes of faith, the mantle is gleaned from Abraham, to be blessed to be a blessing. The model also is from Abraham: of the God-centered, entrepreneurial community. Within the community of God’s people will operate the progressive stewardship of the gifts of its members. Proverbs 31 describes this community-focused entrepreneurial dynamic. The process was outlined by Moses: with a focus on order, ownership and increase.

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