Leader of the Pack

May 5, 2014

Leader of the Pack

1 Samuel 22:1-2
David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard [it], they went down thither to him. And every one [that was] in distress, and every one that [was] in debt, and every one [that was] discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

It is interesting that when David became an outcast, rejected and hunted by the King, he became identified with a different group of people. David was the anointed of the Lord and even though he was anointed to become king of Israel, David never presumptuously pursued to gain that by his own means and with his own hands. He was submitted to the Lord’s work in his life and the Lord’s timing. He had his chance to do it his way. He was tested, he was given opportunity and encouragement, he could have justified it, but David never raised his hand against Saul, whom he also regarded as the Lord’s anointed.
David became the outcast of the traditional and proper Israel. It was through no rebellion or disobedience of his that now he is running and hiding for his life. When the anointing is operating in our life it can create some interesting dynamics. Those you think would accept you and embrace you, may well become your greatest persecutors. They may be the leadership of the church, the ones regarded of men to be spiritual pillars of the community. So why would they reject you if you carry the anointing of God? The same reason they persecuted Jesus and the prophets. This is one way to discern between those operating under a religious spirit and those who are operating out of the truth and spirit of God. A religious spirit will have the pretense and the appearance of the real, but its interest is in control and domination, not in developing the anointing and calling of God in other people’s lives. Especially when their spiritual stature and abilities exceed those of the present administration.
One thing that is interesting about this anointing is that while it causes rejection and persecution from the religious spirits, it will attract the sinner, the distressed, the debtor, the discontented and the needy. There is something in their spirits that is drawn by this anointing. They have already experienced the disappointments of the world, they are hoping and looking for something and someone not of this world, someone who has touched God and carries in themselves the reality of His presence and life. We can readily see these qualities in both David and Jesus. Look at the people that both David and Jesus were surrounded with. They were not exactly the socialites or the happening crowd by the world’s standards. They were often the outcasts, the hurting, the needy and the discontents. They are often people that would take you out of your comfort zone and not necessarily those you would choose in the natural for friends. That anointing in you is like the smell of water to a thirsty animal. They will be drawn to it, because it offers life, hope and salvation in their time of need. Their spirits are the poor, broken, humble and meek. Their heart is in a condition to receive the life of the Spirit.
Those that are drawing near to Christ in relationship, prayer, praise and worship are becoming like the David’s of their generation. In that place of fellowship with the Father and the Son they are being anointed of the Holy Spirit. There will be a day when the Holy Spirit will lead you into the wilderness and there you will begin to live out of this Anointing and Spirit life. It is not for you alone, it is for those whom the Lord will attract to you and place you with.
Father is not looking for the rich, the famous and the social up and coming. 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 says, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where [is] the wise? Where [is] the scribe? where [is] the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” Many of us know that we are nothing by the world’s standards. We may not be exceptional, outstanding or distinguishable as someone of any significance in the world’s eyes. But God is not the world and He sees something valuable and significant in you and I, because we see that He needs to be everything in us for us to be anything. Paul goes on in this passage to say, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are That no flesh should glory in his presence But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:27-31).” If Christ is bringing forth His anointing in you and I today, then we mustn’t despise those of low estate, just as Christ did not despise us. All that He places in us and however He uses us is for none other than for His glory alone. God is in the business of making somebodies out of nobodies. Aren’t we His examples? Take those Christ brings to you and nurture them as He has nurtured you.

Blessings,
#kent

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Farsighted

December 7, 2012

1 Chronicles 16:43
Then all the people left, each for his own home, and David returned home to bless his family.

Farsighted

Farsighted is when you can see things well at a distance, but things up close are much harder to bring into focus and clarity. When I look at the life of David I see a powerful, humble and anointed leader that was like a king among kings. David probably stands out in the Bible more than any other leader in the Old Testament. He truly operated in more than the office of king, he actually operated as prophet, priest and king. God had taught him and anointed him to be a leader among men and to reveal God’s heart for His people.
God is faithful to show us both the strengths and weaknesses of His chosen. From that honesty we can glean wisdom and correction for our own lives as we make application to them. We also are made up of strengths and weaknesses. Some, I guess, are inherent in our character, but that doesn’t give them permission to stay there if it doesn’t line up with the character of God which we should desire to be conformed too.
When I look at David’s life, one of the areas I see him have the most struggles with, is his own family. Of course, he had multiple wives, which probably only compounded his problems. I figure if I can keep one woman happy I am doing exceptionally well. One of the things that happens to so many of us, maybe more to men than women, is that we, like David, can be farsighted. We can be good at what we do out in the world or with ministry, but perhaps our greatest struggles are at home. We lose focus sometimes of our first and foremost priority, our spouse and children. Often in our sacrifice to help and meet the needs of others we are sacrificing them as well, because they may have lack in order that others might benefit. David, in leading his nation, didn’t always lead his family with the same diligence, love and correction. Some of his greatest advisories, like Absolam, were those of his own household. I am sure he probably blamed himself for that and maybe all that led up to it.
We can’t change the past mistakes that we have made, but we can ask God to correct our vision through the Holy Spirit to see more clearly how to address the needs within our own homes and families. With both husband and wives working and many children growing up in single parent homes, children today often get neglected. It is most often not intentional or deliberate. Parents come home tired and exhausted from their day. They have probably been pouring out in their jobs and then their is the home to maintain along with all of the chores of a household. Often our wives, husbands and children only get the leftovers of what we have left to give, if anything. Ironically, they are the ones we are supposedly killing ourselves to provide for and make a better life. Their life can’t be better unless we are in it, no matter how rich we are. Often this balance of our giving to our family and spouse is a hard one to navigate. Many demands and responsibilities are upon our lives, but I know that there is no more valuable investment that we can make than what we put into our families with our personal time and attention. We can’t lose sight of the reason why we got married and had a family. They are our first priority, because they are the ones that will carry our faith and values to the next generations. They will most likely model before their children the example you modeled before them.
The scripture I chose is one where David had just brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and it had been an intense time of activity and ministry, but I loved what I read when he had finished, “and David returned home to bless his family.”
I pray God will help you and me not to be too farsighted that we lose focus of the importance and priority our family needs to be to us. May He give us spiritual vision that is in focus, balanced and complete.

Blessings,
kent

Acts 6:1-7
In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
5This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
7So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

The Equipping of the Body

We have had a typical paradigm of the church that seems to be modeled in most denominations and services.  It is not that it is a bad thing, but I believe God is wanting to bring something fresh and new to energize His “ekklēsia”, what we have called the church.  Which is simply an assembly of “called out ones” to be the legislative and governmental body of Christ.  This assembly is currently most often administering two primary functions in its gatherings.  Acknowledging and worshipping God and the dispensation or oration of the Word of God through a pastor or clergy title.  Through this model the general assembly participates in worship and singing and then sits through the dispensation of the Word.  What seems to be lacking is the activation of the body at large.  If we are an assembly of the government of God then that government needs training and expression beyond the walls of a building.
I believe what God was showing me when He dropped Acts 6 in my heart today is another piece of what needs to be happening within and beyond the Ekklesia.  The catalyst for this new dimension in the early church was the complaining of how there was an inequality in how the food was being distributed to the widows.  The twelve apostles saw that their function and station wasn’t to handle all of the practical affairs of the ekklesia, because they were called to establish the church through giving themselves to the Word.  They did what Moses finally did.  They delegated responsibility to others.  They put it in the people’s hands to choose out from among them seven men full of the Spirit and wisdom.  This pleased the whole group.  One of the reason it might have pleased them is not just for the widow’s sake, but now spiritual responsibility was delegated to the body to express who they were in Christ.  The apostles approved these men through prayer and the laying on of hands and they were released into their commission and now someone besides just the apostles are released into ministry and expression of their purpose in the kingdom of God.
What was the result?
“So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.”  Notice it doesn’t say believers increased rapidly, but disciples increased.  Disciples are those who don’t just hear and believe, but hear, believe and do the will of God.  When the body was activated initially through these seven men, it was an empowerment of the Ekklesia to carry out the government and dispensation of the kingdom of God.
Could it be that God is wanting to greater activate His whole body and what they need is men, in addition to the clergy, full of the Spirit and wisdom that can, in turn, help various aspects of the body develop and become the expression of who God has called them to be.
Yes, we need the word of God taught and shared, but to complete that we need the Ekklesia activated in the knowledge of the Word and revelation that they are receiving.  These are not waters to be stored in our own cisterns and holding tanks, it is a word to be shared through lives that are living it and dispensing that living water into the lives of others, making disciples of all men.  The body may truly be in need of men and women that are able to work more personally with the people to help them and develop them into what a true disciple looks and acts like.  The apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelist and teachers can’t do all of that, but they do need to be equipping those who can.
I believe the Lord is through with the days of “One men shows”.  He is wanting to equip and empower the entire Ekklesia to administrate His kingdom in the earth.  We need to get out of our old paradigms and begin to understand what that looks like for all of us in the body of Christ.  Perhaps it may be most difficult for the leadership that has been raised and steeped in these traditions.  We have to get a revelation that it is going to take that whole body to accomplish God’s kingdom in the earth, not just a select few.  It is more like God has anointed the select few for what Ephesians 4:11-13 says they are to do: “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” There function is not to try and do all of the works of service, but they are the equippers, the coaches, if you will, that help the rest of the body to come into who they are in the functionality and purpose of God’s kingdom.  There needs to be an equipping, commissioning and releasing of more of these leaders that are full of the Spirit and wisdom to further speak into and help equip the body in a more personal way than we have seen thus far.  Through a ladder of leadership at all levels we all help bring the ones, less mature than ourselves up to where we are, as those more mature than us, help us to progress to greater level and thus the body is growing into maturity through the functionality of the whole body.

Blessings,
kent

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