By Marc A. Dupont
Over the last 3 months I have sensed the Lord saying that 09 is a time for pioneering new visions, strategies, and Holy Spirit endeavors. In the face of everything being shaken that can be shaken, including the worlds economies, the Lord is saying He is giving us fresh initiatives to invest in. Hopefully, this article entitled Pioneering in 09 will be up on our web site soon. (www.marcdupontministries.org)
The last few weeks, however, I have been experiencing a tremendous sense of urgency for leaders today to know the seriousness of both Gods intentions for the new season AND the importance of walking in His ways. King David, one of the greatest of Israels Kings shepherded Israel not only by the skill of his hands, but in the integrity of his heart!
Just as the Israelites did, indeed, face giants, impenetrable armed fortresses, and fierce enemies with chariots, so are those who respond to the leading of God going to go into some fierce battles of faith this year. I do not say to be either ominous or fear mongering. Quite the contrary- I believe the Lord wants us to be recaptured by a sense of adventure in the faith department. But, I do believe the Lord is giving a real warning that if due to either hidden sin, and/or a lack of maturity in our hearts we will not be able to stand against the warfare thats coming. Jeremiah stated, If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, Then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? (Jeremiah 12.5)
I wish I could state this with more prophetic clarity, or specifics, but.. God is both calling His leaders into fresh initiatives in extending the Kingdom AND He will allow the enemy to attempt to intimidate and/or cause problems in order to derail us from obeying the Lord. Sin is satans legal territory. If there is any wiggle room in our lives which give him access to manipulate us- he will take advantage of it. Jesus stated the ruler of the world is coming, (but) he has nothing in Me. (John 14.30b)
Some of the warfare will be preemptive strikes even as the Israelites on occasion experienced in the Promised Land. And while God is always serious about the increase of His kingdom, I believe the next 3 years are an appointed time of serious breakthroughs of the gospel in the western world nations.
It will not be enough that we have made it thus far. As with Isaiah receiving his calling, anointing, and commissioning before the Presence of the Lord so God will be calling us to truly know the fear of the Lord in our lives. Jesus, Himself, according to Isaiah would delight in the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11.3) - wanting to please the Father in all aspects of His heart, mind, and actions.
There will be giants that God will call us to battle by faith in the face of impossibilities. What that means is God is willing that we be surrounded by impossibilities in order for us to be forced into trusting Him for the miraculous of heaven to come more regularly on earth as it is in heaven. There will absolutely be no substitutes for Romans 10.17. We will be forced to operate out of the faith of God, that comes about by hearing the directions of God. There will be a sharp distinction between those who serve Him as sons, (Romans 8.14) as opposed to those who do not know the difference between good ideas and God ideas.
Without wanting to get into any methodology here, I have listed 5 basic, but absolutely vital, characteristics leaders must embrace in order to take the new lands for God.
1) Leaders must know their authority, but must also know how to exercise that authority in humility not pride, or arrogance. God is against the proud, but gives a greater grace to the humble. Basically, that humility is simply realizing what they have achieved and can achieve is always due to the grace of God. A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven!
2) Leaders must emulate Christ Jesus who, while being the only begotten Son of God, came to serve rather than being served.
3) Leaders must begin to operate as fathers, as opposed to mere teachers. A teacher is only interested in correcting. A father wants to train and encourage his sons and daughters to successfully enter into their destinies.
The highly hyped and in many ways un Christ like CEO model which some church leaders have bought into smacks of this worlds hierarchies, as opposed to the servant/leader model of Jesus. The callus insistence of many CEOs today of receiving obscene bonuses in a time of economic chaos is indicative of the inherent problems of hierarchal type structures (wine skins, Biblically speaking).
4) Leaders must hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God in our lives. The writer of Hebrews said that apart from sanctification no one would see the Lord! Jesus stated that it would be the pure of heart that would see God. I am not speaking of sinless perfection, but rather of daily realizing dependence on the empowering of the Word and the Spirit to walk in a way pleasing to God. (An added bonus is this will help facilitate a relationship based relationship with God instead of a task based relationship)
Any ongoing practicing of sin in the heart, mind, or body will prevent us from really running this race before us. A revelation of the holiness of the Holy Spirit is not an option, but rather an absolute prerequisite for these years ahead.
Leaders today must learn to embrace life-giving relationships with peers. It will not be lone pastors, prophets, evangelists, or apostles who will prevail. Rather it will be prophetic and apostolic teams and congregations that will take the land. It is only out of a genuine Christ like regard of considering each other as important as self that we can know that place of commanded blessing in our communities.
Faith to enter in to the battle is vitally important but, in and of itself, not enough. Because of just one mans sin- Achan, having taken and hidden things under the ban, Israel was unable to stand against their enemy. Righteousness of heart, mind, and body is the freedom we can choose to walk in. It is a prerequisite to picking up our weapons of warfare. Otherwise, according to Hebrews 12.1, we will end up feebly trying to attack the Goliaths.
Mantle of Praise Ministries, Inc