Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Apostolic Mobilisation and Management

Catherine Brown:
Mobilisation and Management: a Study in the Life of Moses

Wherever Jesus ministered, His presence drew crowds and gathered multitudes to the Father, leading to multi-faceted expressions of the Kingdom being manifested on the earth. From this Biblical blueprint we comprehend that the apostolic anointing has an ability to gather. Gathering has the affect of building momentum, which becomes a catalyst under the anointing of God's Holy Spirit, to cause mobilisation that leads to acceleration, multiplication and advancement of God's Kingdom on earth. Hallelujah!

I believe we are in a season of global outpouring of apostolic grace on the Church to enable us to fulfill the Great Commission. As more and more Believers respond to the harvest mandate, there will be worldwide mobilisation of the Church for the glory of God. Whilst this is a wonderful spiritual reality, we must also embrace the more sobering and perhaps difficult aspects of mobilisation, in that there are many potential pitfalls ahead.

The following short study from the life of Moses will give both the servant "leader" and "follower" spiritual food for thought, which I hope will prove to be a Godly plumb-line, blessing, and an encouragement to all.

Management of people is not an easy task; in truth mobilisation often causes complaining, fault finding, carnality, attack on leaders, and downright rebellion against God. In this article we will look at the effects of complaining, craving and compromise by studying three different incidents in Moses' life during the time when the Israelites were being mobilised by the Lord.

Moses – a Thumbnail Sketch of His Life

Moses – Levite – brother of Aaron (Exodus 6:20, 1 Chronicles 6:3).
Put in a basket in the Nile; discovered and raised by Pharaoh's daughter (Exodus 2:1-10).
Fled to Midian after killing an Egyptian (Exodus 2:11-15).
Married Zipporah and fathered Gershom (Exodus 2:16-22).
Called by the Lord to deliver Israel (Exodus 3, 4).
Pharaoh's resistance (Exodus 5).
Ten plagues (Exodus 7-11).
Passover and Exodus (Exodus 12-13).
Led Israel through the Red Sea (Exodus 14).
Song of deliverance (Exodus 15:1-21).
Brought water from the rock (Exodus 17:1-7).
Raised hands to defeat Amalakites (Exodus 17:8-16).
Delegated Judges (Exodus 18, Deuteronomy 1:9-18).
Received Law at Sinai (Exodus 19-23; 25-31; John 1:17).
Broke tables because of the golden calf and Israel's idolatry (Exodus 32; Deuteronomy 9).
Saw the glory of the Lord (Exodus 33, 34).
Set apart Aaron and priest (Leviticus 8-9).
Opposed by Aaron and Miriam (Numbers 12).
Sent spies into Canaan (Numbers 13).
Announced 40 years of wandering for failure to enter land (Numbers 16).
Opposed by Korah (Numbers 16).
Forbidden to enter land for striking rock (Numbers 20:1-13, Deuteronomy 1:37).
Lifted bronze snake for healing (Numbers 21:4-9; Jn 3:14).
Succeeded by Joshua (Numbers 27:12-23; Deuteronomy 34).
Death (Deuteronomy 34:5-12).
"Law of Moses" (1 Kings 2:3; Ezra 3:2; Mark 12:26; Luke 24:44) .
"Book of Moses" (2 Chronicles 25:12; Nehemiah 13:1).
"Song of Moses" (Exodus 15:1-21; Revelation 15:3).
"Prayer of Moses" (Psalm 90).

Moses and the Israelites

"Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted they would set out. At the Lord's command they encamped, and at the Lord's command they set out. They obeyed the Lord's order, in accordance with His command through Moses."—Numbers 9:22-23

On the day the tabernacle was set up, the cloud of God rested above it and it looked like fire. The people of God would set out whenever the cloud lifted at the Lord's command (which they received through His anointed leader Moses), and they would settle again whenever and wherever the cloud settled. Sometimes this was only for a day, at other times it could rest in one place for a whole year; but whatever length of time the cloud remained the Israelites encamped or set out in obedience to the command of the Lord.

The Israelites waited for the Lord's signal before they moved out in mobilisation. They trusted the protection of His presence, evidenced by the holy fire above the tabernacle. Likewise, today it is essential that we are led by the Holy Spirit into the new things of God. A people of God's presence will become a people entrusted with God's power, so long as we remain humble and obedient before Him.

The Israelites were in covenant relationship with God and were being established in His purposes and plans. God was developing strong spiritual foundations in them through their leader Moses. Leaders have the humble privilege of helping to establish strong faith foundations in others.

To be established in God's presence means we have a secure covenant relationship with the Lord that enables us to respond in radical obedience to move into God's purposes for our lives. Such foundations enable us to become resolute in pursuing and embracing God's purposes and plans as we wholly surrender our lives to His will.

Led by the Spirit

The tribes of Israel moved out in a divinely mandated order as the divisions of the camp set out one-by-one. The Ark of the Covenant of God went before them and the cloud of the Lord was over them by day (Numbers 10 and verses 33-34, 15-23). The Israelites also responded to trumpet blasts on silver trumpets blown by Aaron's sons, who were the priests. These gave different instructions such as gathering of the heads of the clans, gathering for assembly at the Tent of Meeting and setting out of the tribes. The Israelites were also reminded to blow the trumpets in times of rejoicing, such as the New Moon festivals as a memorial before the Lord.

The Bible teaches us as New Testament Believers that "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."—Galatians 5:25

God also spoke to the Israelites, "When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the Lord your God and rescued from your enemies."—Numbers 10:9

When the people set out with the Ark of the Covenant Moses prayed, "Rise up, O Lord! May your enemies be scattered! May your foes flee before you." Whenever the cloud came to rest he would pray, "Return, O Lord, to the countless thousands of Israel."—Numbers 10:35-36

Penetrating new territory is part of pioneering, which in turn is an element of mobilisation. Such pioneering activity will often involve head on encounter with enemy opposition. So whether one is at the forefront of leading or following in the footsteps of a servant leader, this is an excellent prayer for every Believer involved in mobilising! Not only did Moses pray for God to arise and scatter his enemies, but Moses was also careful to pray for the Lord's presence to return to the multitudes of Israel.

Shift into Apostolic Paradigm

As they were setting out Moses spoke to Hobab and encouraged him to come with them saying, "Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the desert, and you can be our eyes."—Numbers 10:31

Following on from Moses' request, it's evident that he felt Hobab possessed some reconnaissance skills and had experience of the desert. Perhaps we might liken Hobab to one with "eyes to see" in terms of prophetic insight and interpretation. Moses was an apostolic leader and he chose to welcome the prophetic gift into the camp. Apostolic grace, wisdom and prophetic insight are a powerful combination of gifting in the Lord.

It is time for the global Church to shift into the apostolic paradigm. A paradigm is simply a pattern or a model; in this context it simply means a way to "be" Church and receive Christ's apostolic grace anointing by faith and walk in the blessing of fruitfulness that it releases to the Church. Apostolic grace brings acceleration to the purposes and plans of God. It releases encouragement to and through the Church.

The shift into apostolic paradigm makes room for all the gifts; apostolic and prophetic ministers lay strong foundations upon which the Church can mature and enter into the fullness of God's blessing.

Catherine Brown
Founder, Gatekeepers Global Ministries (GGM) and
Co-founder, Scottish Apostolic Networking Enterprise