"Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all." (1 Corinthians 12:1, 7)
The most pivotal and strategic initiatives facing the Church, the Messianic Jewish community and Israel can probably be accurately described in the natural as "against all odds."
They are situations bound for failure - unless God shows up. Historically, the way the Lord has "shown" up in instance after instance described in His Word has been through His people - who have learned to hear His voice. The role of God's economy in the course of world events today involves a particular group of leaders whose callings follow after that of the patriarchs.
Throughout Scripture are examples of economic-based communities founded on faith in God and the principles of His Word. Economic-based covenant communities led by prophetically-gifted entrepreneur-leaders.
Entrepreneur-leaders who reflect a merging of the creative wisdom needed to harness opportunity, with the leadership required to make it happen and the ability to discern the Lord's leading in its planning and execution.
The Lord has always had as His intention to be central to the goals, plans and everyday lives of those who are called by His Name. That necessitates the practical dimensions comprising the dynamics of community and economics. It necessitates the spiritual, which not only rightly interprets the Word of truth, but provides the contemporaneous relevance of hearing His voice. Hearing and discerning the voice of the Lord is encompassed in what has become known as the prophetic.
The Practicalities of the Prophetic
Most dictionary definitions of "prophetic" target two dimensions. One is the prediction of future events. The other is that which is revelatory. While the prediction of future events is a central role of those who hold the office of the prophet, revelation and guidance from the Holy Spirit is much broader and should be central to those called according to His purposes.
God's people have always been guided by His voice. While Scripture has recorded the Lord thundering before God's enemies, in most instances His guidance has been through that "still, small voice." Before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit described in Acts 4, the voice of the Lord was recorded through numerous gifted and anointed leaders. God spoke to Abraham. Abraham believed God and acted on the guidance he received from the Lord. This interaction between hearing the truths and direction God gives is foundational to what we refer to as biblical faith. It is the aligning of the human heart with God's heart: and the reason King David was referred to as a man after God's own heart.
Many of the patriarchs possessed gifts that when combined with the dimension of being Spirit-led, resulted in them being astute business leaders. They built small kingdoms that were economic, God-centered communities. The examples of Abraham, Isaac and David are rich examples of God's Kingdom intentions for His people. Each were in
God spoke. They responded. These interactions unleashed the blessings of God not only for His chosen, but those they would align themselves with.
But let's look at the dynamic operating in God's prophetic entrepreneur-leaders with the example of Joseph the patriarch. Joseph is significant to us because of the parallel of our times to the times he lived in. They were times of uncertainty, crisis and reversals.
Joseph is also significant because of the unique way God used him. God used him to harness the resources of a pagan nation and bless that nation in the process; as he accomplished God's redemptive purpose for His covenant people.
Joseph was clearly prophetic. While Joseph heard God's voice, this wasn't just a casual matter. Joseph's orientation was always centrally focused on being about God's business. That fervency defined the depth at which he discerned the voice of the Lord. It encompassed a righteousness that was reflected in the excellence and caliber of work he did regardless of the position he held during his tenure in
Joseph's prophetic role merged the practical with the eternal. As he facilitated the survival needs for the nation he served and his own people, Joseph was put in a position to establish the continuity that ensured God's covenant purposes being accomplished for and through His people
Joseph's role was also as a nation-changer. He created an economic bypass strategy to avert the disaster faced by the world of that day. But the Word of the Lord - the prophetic Words of wisdom spoken by Joseph - were embraced by the people of the world around him as being from God AND they were acted on. That's the basis of faith and that is the basis on which nations are changed.
Joseph was an entrepreneur-leader whose prophetic gift positioned him to be a nation-changer. He was an entrepreneur-leader whose gifts merged the creative wisdom needed to harness opportunity, with the leadership required to make it happen and the ability to discern the Lord's leading in its planning and execution. Let's take a closer look at these elements marking Kingdom entrepreneur-leaders - creative wisdom, leadership and the prophetic - as they operated in Joseph.
"The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph's hand." Genesis 39: 2-6
In each phase of Joseph's tenure in
Entrepreneurs are those who spot opportunity and then are able to organize, promote and manage the risk and hurdles to create something new in a way that it becomes self-sustaining and makes a profit. It is a creative gift that sees that which is not and knows how to make it happen. Joseph's wisdom and creative gift as an entrepreneur operated in such a way that it had to be exceptional - because at whatever level he operated in, his excellence and results-orientation gained him the favor, trust and promotion.
"And Joseph was there in the prison. But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph's authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper." Genesis 39:20-23
Joseph's creative, problem-solving wisdom was coupled with a gift of leadership. True leadership inspires confidence as it accomplishes results and creates order out of disorder and chaos. True leadership exercises authority and dominion without being either controlling or dominating. True leaders trust, delegate and supervise, whereas micro-managers and those who crave control tend to operate on the premise that their own abilities are second to none. Joseph's leadership was of the type that motivated, inspired, nurtured and trusted. Joseph's leadership abilities gained him recognition - then the confidence, trust and promotion first from Potipher, then the keeper of the prison and then Pharaoh.
"And Pharaoh said to his servants, 'Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?' Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.'" Genesis 41:38-41
First Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dreams; but then he gave Pharaoh a clear plan of action to take. Pharaoh recognized the importance of Joseph's gifts in the area of problem-solving wisdom and leadership, but saw his real value in his prophetic gift with his statement: "Can we find such a man as this in whom is the Spirit of God." Joseph's promotion hinged not on the wise plan of action he outlined, but on his ability to hear from God. Otherwise, Pharaoh could have simply taken the plan and dismissed Joseph.
Joseph was a clear witness to the Egyptians of how the Lord desired to operate through His people. God was with Joseph. His interactions with the Lord filled him with prophetic wisdom. And the blessings of God followed Joseph. But these blessings were extended to his Egyptian masters because of Joseph; and his Egyptian masters clearly recognized the blessing of God they received because of Joseph.
With His promotion to sit alongside Pharaoh, an alliance was created that served to redeem God's people from the coming disaster and to bless their hosts in the process.
The Significance of These Gifts
So why is this so significant? It is because over the centuries, Kingdom entrepreneur-leaders with the ability to discern the voice of the Lord have been at the forefront of the change brought about by the Spirit of the Lord. It is very clear in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Joseph and David. But let's view how this has been operating since World War II.
Priestly entrepreneur-leaders were at the forefront of the parachurch movement that began emerging in the late '60s. These priestly entrepreneur-leaders both heard from God and recognized the Kingdom opportunity reflected by the mass media. Their efforts changed the thrust and role of the traditional church. Their efforts have impacted countless millions with the relevance of putting God at the center of our lives.
Many of these Kingdom innovators began paving the way for a current emerging move of God, which is penetrating the infrastructures and seats of power in business and government.
So, today as the parachurch leadership of the late '60s is transitioning from the entrepreneurial to the corporate, still another group of Kingdom entrepreneur-leaders is emerging. This new group will advance the Kingdom into the fabric of society - into the spheres of business and government.
There are some interesting steps leading up to this present move of God.
We've previously noted that at the conclusion of World War II and the defeat of
Four showed up. Western society had just emerged from the death throes of everyday people praying their way through the horrors of the potential of losing their freedom - and yet the traditional church simply wasn't prepared for MacArthur's call to help change a nation.
Then in the late 40s, two very significant things unfolded. The first was the birth of the state of
In the late '60s, 1967 to be exact, two more very significant things took place. First, the Jews regained control over
Two Paradigm Shifts
Now these events represent two paradigm shifts - paradigm shifts impacting the order and thrust of the traditional church. The first paradigm shift was the rise of miracle-working ministries in the late '40s. The second, in the late '60s, was the Charismatic Renewal and rise of the Messianic Jewish movement - with a massive change happening as people became hungry for more of God and His Word - and people began getting acquainted with the ministry of the Holy Spirit on a very large scale. Along with that, people began realizing that the God of all creation spoke to people and not only had a plan and purpose for their lives, but was intimately involved in directing the course of world events - through His people.
Within each of these two paradigm shifts are the operation of three elements. First, something significant was happening in the restoration of
So, in 1948: the nation of
As the Jews regained control of
That brings us to the present - as we are facing another paradigm shift. My book, "The Joseph-Daniel Calling," targets this paradigm shift - the penetration of the business and governmental arenas with God's anointed and chosen. These will be God's anointed and chosen who hear His voice.
Like the other two paradigm shifts, this current move of God is going to involve CHANGE in the way the church has operated. It will challenge the "traditions of men" and outdated modes of operation.
The dynamic of what is happening regarding the restoration of
What has been happening behind the scenes since 1967, is that more Jews have come to embrace Jesus as their Messiah than in all the years since our Lord walked the face of the earth. This behind-the-scenes revival will be the catalyst for REVIVAL in
The penetration of the seats of power and infrastructures of the world today is being led by Kingdom entrepreneur-leaders. Entrepreneur-leaders who reflect a merging of the creative, faith-oriented wisdom needed to harness opportunity, with the leadership required to make it happen and the ability to discern the Lord's leading in its planning and execution. Kingdom entrepreneur-leaders who, like Joseph the patriarch, will be seen as bearing the blessings and wisdom of God. Men and women of God with the calling and gifts to build communities and change nations.
Jill Mitchell of Kingdom Connections International is a clear example of a Kingdom leader, whose keen prophetic gift discerns strategic opportunity long before others recognize it. Then by a combination of her creative, faith-oriented wisdom and a gift of leadership again and again, she has mobilized others to seize opportunities that release God's purposes to impact nations.
Jill is a modern-day Josephina. Her response to the invitation from the President of a developing African nation was to organize a unique business-ministry team that would bring release to God's purposes for this nation. She has served a role as a catalyst to not only those in seats of power, but her efforts have also resulted in fueling indigenous believing business communities with vision and direction from Israel to the nations. Her prophetic foresight and wisdom has influenced the roles and callings of many, many Christian business, governmental and ministry leaders over the years, while changing the course of nations.
Barbara Wentroble is another prophetic entrepreneur-leader called to speak into the lives of governmental kings and leaders and in so doing to impact the course of nations. I recall in early 2002, when Carol and I were a part of a Christian disaster response team in
The parachurch movement, which began penetrating the sphere of the mass media in the late '60s, has set the stage for today's penetration of the marketplace and seats of government. The leaders who initiated the parachurch movement as a rule were entrepreneur-leaders with a priestly anointing. The leaders of the marketplace movement will be those who combine a kingly and prophetic anointing. A kingly anointing like that of Abraham, Joseph and David. When the traditional church and the leadership in the parachurch movement begin collaborating with the leaders of the marketplace movement, the result will be a mighty impact for the
The Worldly Point of View and the Prophetic
"So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors." 2 Cor 5:16, 20 NIV
Kingdom entrepreneur-leaders view both opportunity and their relationships from God's point of view, which is a Kingdom perspective. Kingdom entrepreneur-leaders are Kingdom ambassadors. Jesus outlined the principles to operate from a Kingdom perspective. With His resurrection, He sent the Holy Spirit and made available the gifts needed to mobilize those who would advance His Kingdom.
With today's advancements in technology and communications, we have entered an era unlike any the past has ever held.
With the Internet we live in a world of instantaneous communications. It is a world that has begun operating outside the box - a "box" previously constrained by the infrastructures of national and regional economies and the power of the governments that controlled them. But we have entered an era with economies without borders. It is an era where 53 of the largest economies in the world are corporations. It is an era in which the "world's view" of seats of power falls far short.
It is a time in which the developments in technology, communications and the changes emerging in the world of commerce are coinciding with a vibrantly potent infrastructure tied to the
As already noted, the Church at the end of WWII was in essence largely disconnected and anemic. Largely disconnected and anemic, at least in terms of being able to answer General McArthur's prescient call to the Church to change a nation. But since that time, we have experienced strategically sovereign moves of God. Moves of God that in essence have begun awakening and preparing the Body, while simultaneously preparing God's covenant people for such a time as this.
So, as we endeavor to respond as the sons of Issachar to understand the times and know what to do, we can no longer regard our roles from a worldly point of view. We are no longer a part of an anemic, disjointed Body. We are entering a season in which those with eyes to see and ears to hear are recognizing the signs of the times and the significance of the roles reflected by this emerging move of God. The roles of those called as ambassadors and entrepreneur-leaders who see that which is not as though it were - and then do something about it.
Ambassadors and entrepreneur-leaders who hear God's voice and will embrace opportunity and their relationships from God's point of view. Ambassadors and entrepreneur-leaders who possess the gifts, anointing and calling to penetrate the fabric of society in business and government and speak God's Words of wisdom into the dilemmas and crises in order to build God's Kingdom. Ambassadors and entrepreneur-leaders who will be marked by the creative wisdom, leadership and prophetic gifting needed to build communities and change nations.
Morris Ruddick is the author of two books that address the issues of the call of God for business people. "The Joseph-Daniel Calling" and "God's
2004 Copyright Morris Ruddick - firstname.lastname@example.org
For more resources by Morris Ruddick, visit Faith and Work Resources.com link to the right of this page.
For more resources by Morris Ruddick, visit Faith and Work Resources.com link to the right of this page.