Maturing Kingdom Leadership
Jesus is establishing kingdom in a broader maturity. In 2011 the maturity of the kingdom will challenge the political spirit operating within the kingdom in an innovative manner.
Although Jesus never operates politically, many kingdom leaders do. The political spirit as a leadership strategy has infiltrated the kingdom, opposing revolutionary revival, wrestling with authentic leadership, and colliding with the agenda of Jesus. Hard to discern because it is similar yet opposite at the same time, the political differs fundamentally with kingdom culture. Jesus has reveals agendas, builds coalitions, offers opinions, and develops alliances, but political agendas, coalitions, alliances, and opinions are contradictory to His, even when they function within His kingdom.
You can be in the kingdom and operate politically; you just don’t produce kingdom fruit! Kingdom fruit is “fruit that remains on the Vine until maturity.”
The political spirit fought Jesus from the beginning: Herod was world-class at it. Herod sent out an army of murderers. (The political spirit fundamentals include “get them before they get you.”) Because the “they get you” assumes someone is out to destroy your political position, “get them before” justifies your destroying them. You justify murder, information being the instrument of death, when you operate politically because you believe you are doing God a favor, protecting His stuff. You are not, but you believe you are because you function politically.
Politics deals in perceptions, not truth or reality, so hell wins massively with politics in the kingdom. Politics works very well in opposition to Jesus because hell thrives on deception, and politics deals with perceptions. When hell gets leaders functioning politically, controlling their perceptions is all that is necessary to controlling their agendas and behaviors – in this way, within the kingdom, hell has influence and control! Politics is the open door.
Last year we entered the prophetic season of “70,” the Jewish year 5770. The “seventy season” will deliver us from dependency upon the wrong economic system, establish us in kingdom order instead of world order leadership, send us apostolically instead of politically, and produce true kingdom counsel and wisdom because of these radical alterations.
Wisdom is strategy. What to do with information and understanding eludes and deludes the political. We have developed revelatory experiences but will mature by learning what to do with revelation we have received.
Wisdom is not academic but strategic. Once we have revelation, we need strategy. If hell cannot keep us from revelation, hell will work to limit the implementation of revelation by substituting errant strategy. This the kingdom leadership battle before us, a battle we will win more often and more decisively in 2011!
Judas Spirit: 11:11
Many prophetic people are experiencing encounters with numbers. Prophetic symbols are so Biblical that we would need to deny the Bible if we deny God uses symbols to communicate with His people.
For several months, I have encountered “11” as a double number: 11:11 as time or in other formats and settings. I would simply find myself looking at my cell phone, a clock, or a time display with “11:11” as well as license plates and signs – so often that it was undeniable that God was speaking to me. Plus, when I’d see 11:11, God would speak to me! Obvious that God is using the setting as part of the revelation.
On my birthday June 20th, a company of prophets washed my feet while prophesying to me, and God spoke to me sitting there recalling Jesus’ example of serving: “This is why I am showing you “11” in double portion: eleven represents the disciples without Judas, and I will remove the Judas spirit from your ministry. In 2011, I will expose and remove the Judas spirit from My kingdom. This is part of your message and assignment.” Wow! That got my attention!
He said it. Then, He did it.
Immediately the process began. God taught Ruthanne and I by experience how to deal with the Judas spirit…by not dealing with it all! Much to my joyful sorrow- If you can understand that I love people who operate in betrayal while at the same time cherish a ‘Judas-free zone’ for kingdom expansion. I learned to surrender to God as He deals with betrayal, so the fullest benefit of His strategy is available (leaving it in place until it is time for revelation.) And I learned, don’t take it personally anymore than Jesus did. It hurt deeply because of apostolic pain, but-
Then, God began to reveal that this personal experience provides me understanding what He is about to do within His “called together assemblies everywhere: I believe the Judas spirit will be uncovered and removed beginning in 2011.
This spirit is functioning within kingdom leaders, a sell-out spirited rooted upon political ambition that moves and motivates leaders who are “in it for what they can get,” operating in and consistent with an infiltration of the spirit of the world that has leavened the whole loaf of the Body. This political spirit operates within and through bureaucracies. That is why we can see it behind the scenes more than in the spotlight. People close to leaders who are administrative or family are more powerful in influence and control because these people are “looking out for the best interests of the leaders.” But the political spirit uses this seemingly honorable motivation at the expense of the kingdom.
The problem is that kingdom leaders belong to Jesus in a special way, and His burning jealousy will deal with those, especially family and friends, who are using these leaders by means of political process to build security and success for those leaders and them at kingdom expense. Kingdom establishing is in a new level of maturity, and as the kingdom matures people attempting to operate in kingdom dynamics with the politics of the spirit of the world, works of flesh, and selfish motivations will have their heart motivations exposed. This will generate produce a new level of differentiation between reality and perception, the first step toward purification. Exposure comes through light or revelation and hidden things can no longer remain hidden.
Judas was exposed at the covenant dinner. When covenant returns to the kingdom, Judas will not be able to remain at the table any longer. When Judas is exposed, it is a “what you’re gonna do, do quickly” episode. A rapid separation of leaven will occur. The painting of Leonardo Da Vinci on the Last Supper is his interpretation of the moment Jesus exposed Judas. Contrary to the hype of modern literature and cinema, for affect and profit (the conspiracy theories about the painting and the artist’s work make better fiction than fact), the artistic moment captures the disciples as characters the artist brought to life on the wall of a convent dining room. He was asking the monks who ate meals there about the Judas in their own hearts. “Lord, is it I?” is the question on each disciple’s lips.
Clarity and Differentiation
This is a season of clarification and differentiation. The political mixture will be revealed. Remember Jesus’ parable in which the boss said to leave the good and evil seed to grow together until harvest separation. We are entering a season of harvest separation.
Some call this a “purifying of the Church,” but I am seeing this as more of a differentiation of good seed. At harvest we want to be certain that we separate out some seed for planting the next crop, so we must differentiate good seed from the evil tare seed sown by the enemy in last season’s crop. We should be concerned about the next seed planting because if we don’t differentiate the good and evil seed before we plant, we will leave a generation with the thought that the mixture is all good seed. Think about it. The next generation accepts the hybrid as normal because someone fails to separate seeds at harvest before they plant the next crop.
We can tell good and evil now because we were there to observe the evil sown into the field, but if we don’t separate at this harvest, we will end up with a hybrid mixture the next generation will assume is normal! Clarity is essential so the revolutionary revival that’s here can maintain the new, reset purity of kingdom purpose. Much of the new wine is already being mixed with old wine to make it universally acceptable and avoid the embarrassment serving new wine brings to the feast. Remember Jesus’ first miracle produced new wine and embarrassed the host at the wedding because it was served “straight up” without being “cut with house wine.”
Clarity is measurably successful when the authentic is released without mixture. The differentiation comes between old and new when we are willing to deal with the embarrassment of having served stale wine for so long.
Leadership and Order
Uncertainty feeds disorder. Order facilitates freedom. Confusion maintains mixture without clarification. Order clarifies the pure when differentiation exposes the mixture, thus order produces consistency and, finally certainty. Jesus’ distinguishable clarifications come to His people, individually and corporately, so a control spirit will no longer be the “solution of choice” for clarity.
We use control and politics now because we hope they will produce clarity of vision and purpose. They actually produce political alliances, political coalitions, political opinions, and political operations. When clarifications come, the purity will unmask the political as the problem behind confusion and uncertainty, and kingdom leaders will abandon the political agendas, opinions, coalitions, and alliances in order to establish kingdom ones!
Jesus didn’t control His disciples. He didn’t even communicate clearly to them on many occasions because they were unable to hear what He was saying. He knew they were functioning in political dynamics, continually seeking to build something for themselves “while the getting is good” at the expense of the kingdom. He appeared to be speaking “over their heads” quite a bit of the time. Yet, they were ordained to receive the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven!
He didn’t do much “seeker friendly” leadership stuff; He didn’t dumb it down to their present level as an excuse to sell out His eternal purpose and redemptive assignment. He wasn’t establishing another, superior politic. The Father had given Him a kingdom, and He was giving the kingdom to them. What He did do was to bring clarity because political control was destroying the Law and Prophets instead of fulfilling them.
Control does not clarify purpose so that it can be fulfilled. Control conceals purpose by making it serve the political. “You don’t need to know why” only applies to God, not man!
Kingdom leadership not only shows the goal but the way to get to the goal. The goal isn’t that people obey the leader for the leader’s sake or even for the team’s sake. Obedience and submission are a means to the goal, a necessary part of the strategy of leadership, but they only function properly in kingdom dynamics when leadership functions without the political spirit. Then, a true kingdom leadership relationship can be built that moves every toward their shared assignment.
Immediately we get revelation, we start looking for strategy. Order walks within the strategy for getting the team into fulfillment. Order reveals rebellion. Order clarifies the purpose. Order assists the strategy. Order positions people to produce.
The Next Decade
This year ends a decade. Ten years have been finished since the turn of the century. January 1, 2001 was the end of a century and decade. January 1, 2002 was the end of the first year of a decade. So, January 1, 2011 is the end of the first decade of this century, and a new decade begins. January 1, 2012 will be the end of the first year of that decade.
I want to clarify that so that you understand the statements I make about end and beginning as they relate to clarity and differentiation. Simply put, we will see more clearly the purpose of God, and we will be able to tell the difference between what contributes to fulfilling that purpose and what detracts or is opposed or mixed. Light and dark will be more clearly contrasted. White and black will be more clearly defined. I am not saying there will be no gray or “morning dawn and evening twilight.” I am not saying we will know it all nor have no lingering questions.
I am saying we will find ourselves emboldened by the clarity of revelation arriving in our spirits, and we will abandon some things we have tolerated because they will be so obviously different from our true purpose. We will reposition, shift, redistribute, and transition. We will do so decisively, with less hesitation. What is obvious to God will become more obvious to us.
We will rediscover our mission as kingdom establishing people. We will recover our assignment to confront and change culture and behavior through transformational discipling instead of propagandizing people into religious subcultures. We will move on to changing our world by changing people’s lives with spiritual power and authority.
Stuff we do that doesn’t accomplish this purpose will be abandoned. Stuff we do that makes this happen will be invested with new passion. Some of our sacred cows will be butchered and eaten at kingdom parties and BBQ’s. Some of our abandoned sacred fixtures will become night clubs-literally, cathedrals no longer fitted to the new strategy. Somebody will make a bunch of money trying to figure out what to do with buildings built specifically for church-anity because they aren’t functional in the new season. Not everything will be new, but even old things will have a new value because they will be available for clarified purpose. When this happens, the values of the Body will be transformed, and we will begin to value what Jesus assesses “priceless.” This will become the basis for a maturing kingdom culture: new values, beliefs, and behaviors.
Excellent article. It is very encouraging to read what a leader has heard from the Lord that confirms what God has likewise shown me in different words. We are to be building His kingdom not ours. His business is the people He died to save and heal and our focus must be on being servant leaders to them. I have been a leader who has been shot by leadership multiple times because I stand against sacrificing sheep for vision. That is a complete twisting of God’s plan and heart. I never called it the political spirit but saw it as you described. Your article helped define it in a clearer way. Thank you.