Misguided Tounges and Swirls
The following are two articles by Morris Ruddick that are very important for our times; please read both. The enemy is opening “swirls” and God is opening “portals” of influence over the cities and nations of the world and WE can impact these access points both positively or negatively with our tongues – especially those who are in spiritual authority such as believers anointed for service.
In case you haven’t noticed the amount of spiritual warfare over our lives and especially over our children – the next generation, has increased my friends and the margin for error amongst those anointed for service in the Body of Christ and in the Marketplace has decreased. Every Christian needs to read this.
© Morris Ruddick
Next month will mark the anniversary of a day our family will never forget.
On October 24, 1996, our 30 year old daughter Trisha Stemple was brutally murdered. Trish, a beautiful young mother of two, was the administrator for an overseas disaster response ministry and loved the Lord with all her heart.
This post was originally written days after her funeral and with minor adjustments, it is being re-sent because of the significance of the truth it contains for the time we have entered.
During the time of shock and pain at her death, we had many questions. But the Lord clearly let us know that there are some issues, in terms of our need for answers that you simply don’t touch. The only recourse is in turning to the Lord and in trusting Him. Some answers in this life will only be understood when we meet the Lord face to face. In a tragedy like this, those include the ‘whys’ and the ‘if onlys.’
However, as a prophetic intercessor, the morning before Trish’s funeral I asked the Lord for the context of what had been taking place in the heavenlies. The answers I received have become even more applicable today than they did at the time we originally faced this tragedy. They reflect a truth foundational not only for those called as intercessors, but for any operating in ministry during the perilous times we have entered.
The Increase in the Intensity of the Battle
My first impression after asking the Lord for an understanding of the broad context of what was taking place in the heavenlies, was a strong sense of an incredible increase in spiritual activity — much, much warfare. The type of warfare reflected by what Scripture refers to as a time in which “the very elect might be deceived.” At the time, I had a distinct sense that this warfare had been building to new heights and levels; and since that time, it has definitely continued escalating.
But then, shortly after the funeral with my heart aching but on the alert for answers, a family member shared a vision a friend with a prophetic gifting had had, just prior to Trish’s death. The vision was of a heavenly being’s hand pointing and saying — “YOU TALK TOO MUCH.”
I believe that Word was directed to a broad spectrum of anointed members of the Body; a broad group of those anointed for service.
Keep in mind, what I had already been asking the Lord for was to identify strategic issues that could be dealt with in intercession. Specifically, stratagems the enemy is attempting to throw against us as a Body. At the time, I frankly didn’t get all the details of the “you talk too much” vision, other than knowing in my heart that it was part of the answer I had been seeking. I then was told of a similar dream two intercessors had had, that related to this vision. In each dream, there was a fire raging — a fire set in motion due to loose, misguided tongues.
The Fire Released by Loose, Misguided Tongues
Then, the morning after these things were shared with me, as I was praying, additional revelation began coming forth. First, I realized that these clues pointed to the broader context by which loose tongues create open doors of vulnerability within the Body to attacks from the enemy. And indeed, a fire has been set in motion and is raging.
With that insight, I also recognized a critical need for the saints to bond together in intercession to put out this fire.
And there likewise is the need for loose tongues …. and the soulish nature that guides them …. to become completely subject to the Lord, together with the ‘thoughts’ referred to in 2 Corinthians 10:5 which refers to casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God; bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
The Enemy’s Target: Believers Anointed for Service
But there was more. It became very clear to me that the misguided tongues of primary concern were among those ‘called’ to and anointed for ministry service; and believers close to those who are called …. in most cases, well meaning believers.
But nonetheless, it involves soulishly-driven tongues that lack adequate spiritual understanding of specific situations and circumstances … who backbite, accuse, criticize and pass judgments on persons and matters on which they at best don’t understand …. who simply talk too much …. and in so doing have become dupes of the devil.
The Word comments on the prophet Samuel, that “the Lord let none of his words fall to the ground.” The words of those anointed for service have potency. A potency the enemy wants to harness.
The Enemy’s Goal: Harnessing the Anointing
Unfortunately, these loose, misguided tongues from within the Body are being used by the enemy to harness the potency of the anointing to come against initiatives, pathways and even movements the Lord has been setting in motion.
James 3:6 addresses believers, and in the Amplified version reads: “And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is a world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole Body and setting on fire the wheel of birth — the cycle of man’s nature — being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna).”
Similarly, the truth outlined at the end of Proverbs 4 and beginning of Proverbs 5 presents the sequence by which the unsuspecting are seduced. Proverbs 4:23 begins the admonition to “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” But then without even getting to the doorway to seduction, the 24th verse deals with the role of the tongue: “Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you.” Likewise, in Proverbs 5:3 it is clear that the pathway to seduction involves “words” that are smooth, attractive — and beguiling: “For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil…”
This passage of Proverbs clearly outlines the dynamics in sexual seduction; but the truth it reflects is equally applicable to the seduction of our actions to benefit the enemy; or a seduction in which the enemy deceives us into agreeing with his role of accuser against the brethren by harnessing the potency in the anointing of those called to serve the Lord through loose, misguided tongues. The result is the same as seen in verses 9 and 10: “Lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel one; lest aliens be filled with your wealth, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner.”
We live in critical, pivotal and perilous times. The margin for error among those anointed for service is far less today than what it may have been a decade ago. And the intensity of the battle is increasing, while the margin for error decreasing.
The Lord is setting in motion critical pathways, strategic alliances and moves of His Spirit — that do not need to be diverted from their course — or to have inroads of attacks opened by misguided, loose tongues from the camp of those anointed for service. This is what the enemy would like.
Countering the Enemy’s Strategy with Intercession
Addressing this issue begins by becoming aware of and guarding against this deception of the enemy.
But, there is also a distinct need among intercessors to pray against this diabolic strategy — a strategy designed to deceive and gain ‘agreement power’ according to the principle in Matthew 18:19. A strategy to seduce saints into agreeing with the enemies intentions and as a result harnesses the anointing (Proverbs 4:23 to 5:10) to serve his purposes as accuser of the brethren.
We each need to bring our thoughts and tongues captive to the Lord, and to be increasing the time spent in prayer. Similarly, we have entered a time when there needs to be an escalation of and increase in the potency of the intercession supporting those serving the Lord as pioneers.
What the Lord was showing me, is a major stratagem of the enemy operating against the Body — in harnessing the power and anointing operating in believers who fall prey to the enemy’s deceptions to trigger their soulish nature, which in effect then become subject to the enemy’s purposes. In far too many instances, this begins by yielding to him (the enemy) our ‘most unruly members, our tongues.’
The “fire” released by the misguided tongues of those called and anointed of the Lord has significantly undermined and impeded moves of God and initiatives the Lord has entrusted to the Body. A strategy of the evil one, representing uncontrolled, fleshly and misguided actions of well intentioned saints who simply do not have a good grasp of a given situation; or of the potential negative impact that their loose words can have spiritually on the Body corporate.
Countering the Enemy’s Strategy by Crucifying the Flesh
It is a time for those who hear the voice of the Lord — those who are genuinely called and anointed for service to press in more closely to the Holy Spirit. It is a time to genuinely examine and crucify fleshly desires. Jealousy, anger, selfish ambition, dissension, competition, and the like, have no place among those called to service. The flesh is a luxury that intercessors or any in ministry cannot afford.
It is a time to double-, triple- and quadruple-check key leadings and guidance we get from the Lord — before acting on them. There is a need to recognize that once the revelation is received, that we need to avoid haste and impulse, and continue waiting before the Lord for the illumination and the release.
Countering the Enemy’s Strategy through Unity
It is a time when those who hear the voice of the Lord — those called as intercessors and those anointed for service need to be coming together — for strengthening, for unity and for the purpose of getting a greater grasp on the broader picture being orchestrated by the Holy Spirit.
It is a time when every member of the Body needs to be fervent in prayer, pressing in and staying very close to the Lord — and standing in the gap for those representing the leaders within their spheres. There is no question that the enemy has targeted those who are anointed for service and has them in the cross-hairs of the scope of his schemes.
Being Alert to Avoid Deception, Diversion and Division
Because of that, special attention needs to be given to avoiding the enemy’s traps relative to deception, diversions and division. Special attention needs to be given to guarding our tongues — of bringing every thought captive to the obedience of the Lord — and of praying fervently for the wisdom, maturity and self-control needed to genuinely operate as living sacrifices to the Lord.
Gap-Standers versus the Accuser
Ezekiel 22:30 calls us to stand in the gap against the accuser of the brethren. Yet, far too many — even within intercessory circles; sometimes because of impulsive responses to preliminary revelations; sometimes unfortunately in a perverted sense of self-righteousness; sometimes simply due to frustrations — wind up functioning in alignment with Satan as gap-finders, rather than in their God-given role of standing in the gap. A tragic blindness resulting from misguided tongues.
Proverbs 10:18,19 provides the wisdom we need to face and embrace: “Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool. In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” This will involve dying daily to self. It will involve diligently working toward bringing about the unity of the Body spoken of in Ephesians 4 and John 17. It will involve the steps toward the fullness outlined in Isaiah 58:9,10 (Amplified):
“If you take away from your midst the yokes of oppression, the finger pointed in scorn (toward the oppressed or the godly); and every form of false, harsh, unjust and wicked speaking; then shall your light rise in darkness and your obscurity and gloom become as the noonday.”
Moving Onto the Offensive
Spiritual warfare involves a dedication and obedience. It involves an ongoing intimacy with the Lord — an intimacy that is not overshadowed or overwhelmed by the activities He may charge us with. It is a genuine focus on the relationship. It involves an ongoing brokenness before the Lord; a humility that refuses to take ourselves or the exploits associated with our callings too seriously; and a genuine servants heart — always ready to forgive and always ready to repent.
Simultaneously, I know of no other time in history that as a believer; and as an intercessor that I would want to be about my Lord’s business. We simply need to be wise in pursuing the opportunities the Lord entrusts us with and avoid the traps set up by the evil one to divert and ensnare us. The words of John the Baptist seem to aptly draw together the wisdom needed for the answers I was seeking during that time of personal grief in late 1996 when, in referring to the rise in Jesus’ ministry, he stated that “He (Jesus) must increase, and I must decrease.”
We need to seek the Lord for the Issachar context — that we might have an accurate understanding of the times we are living in — and know what to do — within the spheres of our callings. The battle out there is very real. But so are His manifold means to equip us for the battle. In terms of being used in the days ahead, we have only begun to scratch the surface in terms of the mighty ways He is going to allow us to be participators in His divine plans and purposes.
Central to avoiding the traps of the enemy and walking in fruitfulness with the Lord in the times we have entered will be the extent to which we embrace the truth in Galatians 2:20 — the exchanged life. It is no longer our lives we our living — but His. It involves what Paul referred to as the necessity of “dying daily to self.” And, as anointed and called servants of the Lord, we cannot underestimate the importance of the control of our tongues and of the corollary of bringing EVERY thought captive to the obedience of Jesus.
Lord God Almighty, in the Name that is above all Names, in the Name of Jesus, we approach your throne boldly on these matters. And as we come into your Presence, we bow our hearts before You in repentance. Lord, we’ve failed in this area and we need Your help. Enable us each to take the moats and the beams out of our own eyes, before we consider noting the splinters in the eyes of others. Lord anoint us afresh as gap-standers for our brethren and deliver us from the trap of becoming gap-finders. And give us a right spirit in these matters.
Lord, we purpose to forgive and to bless those who may have inadvertently, or even intentionally, cursed us by their words. And we ask you to forgive them Lord. We purpose to trust You with these matters Lord, and not to align ourselves with the accuser. Help us Lord; help us to walk through these pathways in faith; and help us to overcome our unbelief. Help us to recognize and avoid what your Word speaks of as idle words and to bring every thought captive to Your obedience.
Deliver us O God, from impulsive and soulish responses — from selfish ambitions and misguided words and actions. Lord, we are nothing without You anyway — so we re-consecrate our callings, our ministries; and those things we have come to protect and consider precious before You — and we put them into your very capable hands. In so doing, we die to our own selfish ideas and ambitions, and simply make ourselves available to you anew and say in deepest humility, “here I am Lord.”
Holy Father, keep us in Your name, the name which You have given to the Lord Jesus, that we may be one, even as You are one. We do not ask that You take us out of the world, but that You make us instruments of Your presence and a deterrent to the evil one’s schemes. Sanctify us in Your truth. Your Word is truth. Make us one, even as You are one, that the world may know that Jesus the Messiah was indeed sent by You as Savior and Lord. The glory You have given to the Lord Jesus, to Yeshua, we receive, as He gives it to us, for the purpose of being one, just as You are one.
Thank you Lord, that we will be perfected in unity, so that the world will see that we are Yours and are the objects of Your love. Lord, we ask for the Holy Spirit’s anointing and infilling to go out into the world, to where you are sending us — to minister, to give our lives as a ransom for many, to seek and to save that which is lost and to do Your Holy will.
Lord, let trust and love flow within the Body. We need your supernatural intervention in this area Lord. We cry out to you to cleanse us Lord. Cleanse us individually and as a Body. Help us and enable us to be able to truly stand in the gap for and love our brethren. Bring us as a Body into that place in You, O Lord, that the Scripture refers to as the full knowledge of the Lord. Open the eyes of our understanding and give us the balance we need to operate in spirit and in truth. In spirit and in truth Lord.
And Lord as you bring us together, mobilize the intercessors to stand in the gap for those called to pioneer new pathways and agendas. Lord, put a guard over our tongues and give us a deeper revelation of Your heart on these matters, as well as the tasks before us. And contain us Lord, to operate within the sphere that You have called us to operate in.
Lord, we pray that by Your power; that an army of intercessors would be mobilized; that there would be significant changes of heart within each of us called to serve you; and that an axe might be laid to the root of this insidious strategy of the enemy — of releasing this fire of misguided tongues.
Lord, You are awesome and worthy of our praise. Nothing is too hard for You. Mature us as a Body and bring us to the place that when we, Your people, come on the scene, that the enemy will scatter. Reveal Your heart to us Lord and open the eyes of our understanding; that we may know what is the hope of Your calling; that we may align ourselves with your priorities and initiatives for the era we have entered.
May Your peace and presence be upon Your people Israel as You bring fulfillment to Your promises for Your chosen people. These are indeed incredible times to be about Your work, Lord. Release revival, we pray. Renew us and let revival reign in OUR hearts. We thank You Lord, for choosing us, for anointing us, and entrusting us to be used as instruments of Your purpose in the strategic times before us! Amen.
(c) Morris E. Ruddick
Reprinted with permission from “THE HEART OF A KING” by Morris Ruddick
Note: The significance of the unfolding of this hour demands that the Body be focused on the right things. Globally, the level of spiritual activity, along with the associated distractions and deceptions has never been more severe. There’s been a turning and with it the need to raise up the standard that will overcome and usher the Body into its finest hour.
“Have you entered the treasury of snow or have you seen the storehouse of hail which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war? For the LORD has opened His armory, and brought out the weapons of His indignation; for this is the work of the Lord God of hosts.” Job 38: 22,23; Jer 50:25
On October 24, 1996, our 30 year-old daughter Trisha Stemple was brutally murdered. Trish, a beautiful young mother of two, was the administrator for an overseas disaster response ministry and loved the Lord with all her heart. Then, ten year later, on November 6, 2006, Trish’s 21 year-old son Shane, our grandson, was killed getting out of his car on a freeway.
The “why” and “if only” questions that bear on the unexpected tragedy of losing a child and then a grandchild involve answers that will only be adequately grasped when we reach eternity. The interim requires a bedrock faith and trust in the Lord, knowing that we live in a fallen world and that there is a battle that rages around us.
Yet, beyond that place of pain and grief, as a prophetic intercessor, in both instances I asked the Lord for an understanding of the context of what was taking place in the heavenlies: to understand the times and know what to do. The answers I sought are foundational to the Body entering the maturity Paul wrote about in Ephesians 4.
In both instances as I prayed, I realized that the context involved an incredible level of spiritual activity in the heavenlies. When Trisha was killed, the Lord also clearly showed me a serious flaw operating in the Body that plays into empowering the enemy’s schemes. I wrote a post for SIGN within days following Trisha’s funeral and then reposted it in 2004. It was entitled “Misguided Tongues.” It is still pertinent and can be seen at: http://www.strategicintercession.org/articles/MisguidedTongues.htm
After Shane’s death, the Lord spoke a very clear word to me about “spiritual swirls” in describing the same heightened spiritual activity that was recognized surrounding his mother’s death. Likewise, as the evil one has used the misguided tongues of those called into God’s service, so the enemy has taken great advantage of the blindness that the Church has for the significance of the days the Lord has decreed to corporately compensate for the evil that rages in this world. The times demand that we better understand the elements of this spiritual dynamic that we will refer to as “the swirl.”
Each year the Jewish high holy days precede the counterfeit celebration of Ramadan. The high holy days outlined in the Bible conclude with Yom Kippur, the day-of-atonement. Corporately across the entire Jewish community, Yom Kippur is a time of soul-searching and repentance.
It is no accident that at the time that the great counterfeit religion corporately conjures up a heightened level of spiritual activity at Ramadan, that the Word of God has outlined a sequence of celebrations and cleansing. The Lord has always provided the means by which His people can avoid the spiritual backlash created by the frenetic machinations of God’s enemies. Similarly, it is no coincidence that Halloween falls in this same time frame. Many ancient European traditions hold that Halloween began as one of those liminal times of the year when spirits connect with the physical world and when magic is most potent.
God’s means of making His people to be the head and not the tail has included the provision needed to compensate for the Chaldeans and Jihadists, along with all the sorceries that run rampant in a fallen world. So, as the Church increasingly becomes reacquainted with its Jewish roots, the times call for a reevaluation of the casual way we have regarded seasons the Lord has set aside to corporately realign His people spiritually. In like fashion, we need to recognize the potential and purpose of the spiritual swirls that manifest during seasons marked by the crazed passions of the enemies of the Lord.
Spiritual swirls bring chaos. They are illusive and major on white being called black and black white. They bring forth the premises that misalign perceptions so that evil is called good and good evil. Swirls mask and shift realities and create illusions and distractions. They hover around anything good tied to Israel, can be counted on to show up whenever a move of God is manifesting or when the enemy’s camp is being broached. Swirls can be very subtle and entice on a level that diverts agendas moving toward God’s best into something far less. Yet, God brings order out of chaos, which is the truth by which “swirls” will be defeated.
Dealing with the swirls will mean that the Body will have to take a hard step into maturity. The swirls are not only fed, but greatly empowered by the misguided tongues and myopic goals of far too many who are in leadership among the anointed. They bear significantly on how we define “success.” Confronting the swirls will take us beyond ethics. Ethics and righteousness cannot be overlooked, but ethics are not enough. Dealing with the swirls will take us beyond simple faith. Again, faith is essential and will be a significant part of dealing with this dynamic. But simple faith alone will not be enough.
Addressing the swirls will begin by hearing the voice of the Lord at a level that is combined with the power of His truths. The pivot point to compensating for this force being released against us will be when the Church begins corporately following the pathway that results in the release of the manifest power of God.
Discerning the Swirl
Discerning the swirls might be best illustrated by describing a rite known as whirling dervishes conducted by a Muslim sect. A dervish is a dancer who stands between the material and cosmic worlds. The dance is part of a mystical ceremony in which the dervish rotates in a precise rhythm. The dancer represents the earth revolving on its axis while orbiting the sun. The purpose of the ritual whirling is for the dervish to empty himself of all distracting thoughts, leading into a frenzied trance or ecstasy that conjures up a power that is released into the operations of its adherents.
The key word in this activity is conjure. To “conjure” means to summon a devil or spirit by magical or supernatural power. It is a means of spiritual conveyance that sends ripples of its impact into its enthusiasts. It is a religious rite that coincides with the activities used in black magic and sorceries. It can involve invoking a spell or a power to influence. Yet, the swirls representing the most damage to the purposes of God are ones birthed in the heart of hell that worm their way and attach themselves within ministry circles. When embraced, the fruit will be hypocrisy, Judas-type infiltration, misguided decision-making and alliances with evil from within the ranks of leaders anointed for God’s service.
Understanding the Times and Knowing What To Do
We are entering a time in which closely adhering to the principles and ordinances of God’s Word, as well as conforming to the models outlined in the Bible will not be an option. In some cases, it will be the fine line that determines the difference between life and death. Basic Christianity begins with ethical precepts: doing right and doing good. The first steps in Christian maturity involve learning to operate by exercising our faith. Operating in faith on a basic level requires a grasp of basic principles of God’s Word.
However, moving into the maturity required for these times will involve a transition into a place to where faith is much more than the outcome of our human efforts. The maturity needed for the days upon us will incorporate a convergence between an ongoing clarity in hearing the voice of the Lord; and operating in a flow, directed by the Spirit of the Lord. This level of constant clarity of hearing God’s voice and flowing in His Spirit will be marked and guided by the principles, ordinances and models outlined in God’s Word.
Jesus gave us the principles, the model, the pathway and power for change with His teachings on “the Kingdom,” which within the context of the Jewish world from which He came, merged the spiritual, community and practical principles of business and work. It was the pathway and power that would revolutionize and set in motion the restoration of a fallen world.
Taking this pathway and exercising this power resulted in a handful of His followers releasing the most dramatic societal change ever seen in one generation. It also set in motion a spiritual backlash and “swirls” that resulted in an erosion of both the Kingdom principles and the biblical Jewish foundations so pertinent to this pathway of power.
Understanding the “swirls” will address the feeble condition of the Body of today as a whole, along with our need to face the realities needed to begin moving back into the place of power, that in the days of the early church took only one generation to open the pathway to turning the world upside down.
The quiet of the neighborhoods of the West is an illusion that masks what is currently taking place in spiritual places. The Church in its present condition is largely anemic to deal with the power coming against us. But it doesn’t have to be. The same advancements in communications that have allowed the enemies of the Lord to band together and mobilize is available to the Church: and assuming there is a casting down of our sacred crowns and our illusions of success; this “coming together” of the Body will restore both the pathway and power that set the early church in motion.
Confronting the Swirl
Confronting this force coming against us begins with consecration. It will involve a corporate response to the spiritual big picture. From there will manifest the requirement to recognize God’s favor in the face of overwhelming adversity and the significance of the strategy of suffering. Overcoming the unleashing of the enemy’s corporate power will entail a grass roots focus and genuine servant leadership that has the authority to discern and uphold the Kingdom standard in the face of compromise. It will then come to recognize and begin repossessing the gates of our full inheritance.
Consecration and the Power and Judgment of God. Consecration involves a time before the Lord that revisits and upgrades our priorities and pathways. The significance of what lies before us is such that we as a Body must prepare our hearts in a level of corporate consecration unlike any time before in this generation. The Lord is mobilizing a band of believers across this world, who will strategically turn the tide of the swirls and this force coming against us. More of the same harder will not be enough. This consecration will unleash the power and judgment of God akin to what was operating in the early Church.
“You have not passed this way before. So, consecrate yourself, for the Lord will do wonders among you.” Joshua 3:4-5
The intensity of the battle will require more than our best human efforts and the methods that may have brought results a mere decade or two ago. Again, it is going to take this mobilized band of believers globally to stand as one against the enemy’s assaults. Yet, as in the days of Jehoshaphat, God will again and again intervene with His power and judgment to turn the tide, as we stand as one before Him.
“O Lord God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this force coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You. So all Judah stood before the Lord.” 2 Chron 20:12
The Corporate Response to the Spiritual Big Picture. The transition needed is nothing short of the Body once again operating according to the principles of the Kingdom that Jesus entrusted to those who led the early Church. It is the power of God that operates beyond human effort. David had a glimpse of this Kingdom dynamic when he described the interaction between the “angels” who wield the power of God to carry out God’s plans; with the cooperation of the hosts—those operating now together with that great cloud of witnesses spoken of in Hebrews who are beyond the constraints of time—who are united in orchestrating this divine realignment underway; for the purpose of setting in motion the “works” that will bear on the restoration of the dominion that belongs to the Lord alone.
“Bless the LORD, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, obeying His voice. Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, you ministers of His, who do His pleasure. Bless the LORD, all His works, in all places of His dominion.” Psalm 103: 21,22
We who are called by His Name are ambassadors of Life. It is the Spirit who gives Life; and they that know Him MUST know Him in both Spirit and in Truth. The battle that rages in spiritual places is a battle between the forces of Life and the forces of death. Jesus said we would be known by our fruit. Ushering in God’s Kingdom will not be marked by human effort, but rather the power of God. There will be no room for leaders with baggage or like Judas, those who are secretly enticed with evil alliances and power. The way of the Kingdom will be a new pathway for many; but will be marked by the power and judgment of God. The principles of the Kingdom demand more—which is where real faith begins and the Power of God lies.
God’s Favor in the Face of Adversity. Despite the bondage and oppression of God’s people in Egypt, the preparation for the exodus was characterized by an unusual favor not only among the Egyptian people, but at the level of those who served Pharaoh. So it will be as we transition into drawing the line and taking a stand against the forces coming against us.
“Moreover Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people, so that the LORD gave His people favor in the sight of the Egyptians.” Exodus 11:3
Suffering as a Strategy. Biblical suffering is not the result of the messes we create for ourselves, but rather the swirls and pressures that confront us when we’re on the right path in terms of God’s purposes. Suffering is a byproduct of the clashes that result when the enemy and his minions attempt to undermine our efforts to build God’s Kingdom. Becoming a believer during the days of the early Church involved risk and suffering due to its impact on the depravity and oppression prevailing across governmental, economic and religious spheres.
Responded to correctly, the way of suffering actuates the power of God that facilitates the role of world-changers. It is the narrow corridor bordered by Life and death, the delicate passage of which can tip the balance toward Life. There is a significant difference in defensively trying to beat off the enemy and that of “taking up the sword of the Lord” and moving onto the offensive. Scripture tells us that God worked unusual miracles at the hands of Paul. That is because he understood this level of spiritual maturity and the power that is released when we face and embrace the dynamic of suffering as a potent strategy.
The Grass Roots Focus and Servant Leadership. Jesus came and reached out to everyday people. He modeled a very unusual form of leadership by the world’s standards: servant leadership. The God-centered entrepreneurial community prototyped by Abraham and outlined in the Torah stood against the oppression and self-serving orientation and corruption that were the typical form of leadership in the world that existed in those days and the world we live in now. God-anointed leadership will always have a grass roots focus, servanthood as its orientation; and be fearless in making a difference in confronting the oppression and evil running rampant in this world.
“Gentile rulers lord over them and their great ones wield their authority. Not so with you. Let him who is the greatest become the least, and the leader as the servant. For I am among you to serve.” Luke 22:25-27
Upholding the Kingdom Standard in the Face of Compromise. The power of the swirls is heightened by corner-cutting and falling short of the standards of God’s Kingdom that were outlined by Jesus. Blind spots, serious soul issues, compromise and stubborn defiance have no place among those at the forefront of the battles before us. Psalm 15 refers to “speaking truth in our own hearts.” The authority and power of God is NOT for those who operate with “issues” or misguided motives. Such are matters to be taken care of in individual prayer closets. As the Body begins confronting the swirls, the Lord will be raising up a generation of leaders who will not fall short of the Kingdom standard. Simultaneously, the Spirit of the Lord will be addressing those leaders who are dead wood, compromising or simply operating according to falsehoods.
Repossessing the Gates and the First Born. Colossians 1:18 refers to Jesus as the “firstborn from the dead.” Death is the enemy of Life. The early Church entered the gateway through which life was restored to the dead. Today’s persecuted church has similar reports. Confronting the swirls will involve recognizing and repossessing the gates of our inheritance. The restoration of His Kingdom begins in this world. Scripture clearly outlines the premise of dominion—which bears on exercising the authority to make a difference as a light in the darkness within the fabric of society. We have entered a time in which nothing less than the standard of “life from the dead” should be acceptable. We stand at those gates.
“This is the generation of those who seek You, who seek Your face – even Jacob. Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The Lord of hosts, You are the King of glory.” Psalm 24:6-10
The swirls will only increase until the Western church begins recognizing the gravity of the battle. Coexistence with the evil running rampant outside the peace of our neighborhoods should be repugnant to our sensibilities.
Two thirds of the world lives under the dominion of some form of oppression or corruption. The swirls are the precursors taking their positions against our unstable foundations. The archenemy of the Lord is raising his head in an attempt to close the gap represented by that part of the world where God’s Light still remains as a beacon in this creeping darkness. In days past, many of us have heard reference given to “cheap grace.” Similarly today, we desperately need the power of God, but because of our “conditions” for embracing the power, it wanes when the sacrifice appears too high. God’s Love is unconditional. Our response can be nothing less. We have the answers. The issue involves the cost and the pathway.
“Lord, You turn my mourning into joy. You comfort me, and make me rejoice from my sorrow.” (Jer 31:13) “By Your word O Lord, I have stayed far from the paths of the destroyer.” (Ps 17:4) “Lord, You equip me with every good thing to do your will, working in me that which is pleasing in Your sight.” (Heb 13:2) “You strengthen me with all power, according to Your glorious might.” (Col 1:29)