Beware the tendency to assume that a revelation from God positions you to be the source and resource of leadership for a movement, or that His revealing this to you means you are the only one who has this message from God. The revelation itself does not establish an assignment beyond your responsibility to communicate it, and God determines how and to whom you should communicate the message.

Your position in the dream, the perspective of your awareness, may position you as the voice or the one doing the action and activity in the dream, but that doesn’t in and of itself mean that you are the one to speak and act in the application and implementation of the revelation.

Intercessors will have dreams that reveal how to pray for their leaders for whose assignments they pray. They may dream about miracles, preaching, crowds of people, outbreaks of healing so that they anticipate what God is going to do through someone and their intercession birth the reality of what their prophetic dream or vision anticipates. It does not mean they should expect to have an international healing ministry so they can take the mic and do the stuff. They may see a Kathryn Kulhman scenario but it doesn’t mean they are the next healing evangelist.

Prophetic people share assignments through alignments. Their revelation awareness of what God wishes to do directs their function within these alignments and assignments. The scope of the revelation doesn’t expand the scope of their function as much as it directs their function within a scope of assignment in which God has positioned them. They pray or prophesy at a regional or national level without being part the regional or national leadership team.

So, it is normal for a leadership team composed of the fivefold ministry, intercessors, warriors, worshippers, and many other types of kingdom leaders to experience revelation that produces spiritual consensus: they come into oneness by sharing God’s mind through revelation.

When the enemy whispers, “This revelation will finally give you the attention, recognition, and value you know you deserve, the temptation tests your ambitions.” This test of revelation presses you toward distraction and a dead end detour. You stop functioning in your assigned place because you await the recognition and honor that your presumption presupposes should be yours. A sudden discontent with other people’s lack of recognition for your importance becomes a settled disgust or discouragement about what God has called you to do. And, you stop that assigned function awaiting the arrival of a fantasy.

Such an immature approach to prophetic revelation fragments the kingdom because people extrapolate their revelations through assumptions of ambition. In the midst of great revelation and revival, some really spiritual people become offended by the very thing they spent years praying and anticipating because the subtle  suggestion that they would sit one on the right and one on the left fails to come to pass.

The example of Jesus questioning Simon Peter speaks to this issue. The true intent of Jesus’ questions about Simon Peter’s love for him is best seen at the point of the story in which Simon Peter asks Jesus about John’s future. This is the real moment of uncovering for Simon’s weakness in devotion and passion.

“What is that to you, Simon?” Jesus asks. “I’ve assigned you your place in the kingdom. Please fulfill that and stop worrying about comparison and contrast as a measurement of My love for you.”

Simon harbored feelings about John from a history of favoritism he perceived between John and Jesus. John is given responsibility for Mary, not Simon. John rests his head on His chest, not Simon. John and his brother asked for the right and left without a thought of Simon – or so he assumes. The history hasn’t settled for Simon, and Jesus touches this raw nerve with His questions, “Do you love Me more than these?”

Apply this scenario to revelation: revelation isn’t God’s way of giving you identity or promotion. Revelation rhythms prioritize your passion, position your performance, and prepare us for oneness when they are worked out in the place of your assignment, part of a greater assignment that produces God’s purpose.

Hearing someone share a revelation dream, I realized the person assumed the dream was God indicating they would do the things they saw in the dream when their position as intercessor and prophetically aware leader did not accommodate that application of the dream. No interpretation of the dream could properly position them to do what they dreamed because it was a revelation of intercession to produce an awareness of what God would do through the greater assignment of which they were part. Passing the dream on to their leaders and praying in concert with them and other intercessors would be powerful! Communicating the dream as a basis for expecting to be promoted to a platform position would be a dead end detour.

Five Important Contrasts Between Revival and Awakening

Definitions of revival differ as greatly as definitions of church because the definitions conform to consequences expected and desired by various distinctives. People wish to assume that any move of God will be characterized by more of the emphasis to which they ascribe. These definitions of revival feed exaggerations and excesses, assuming “if God sends revival, it will come through us to prove we are the ones who are right.”

More likely, revival will demand immediate reset of the priorities and emphases of everyone’s distinctives because revival is about restoring God’s purposes, not man’s distinctives.

In any case, revival cannot move into awakening if it becomes a validation of the very thing that separates God’s people into doctrinal idolatries. Revival isn’t about any one of the flavors and formations justified by “we are the ones carrying this torch.” Revival revives God’s purposes for a people and place by restoring what God has always wanted for them, and He begins by restoring what He has always wanted His Ecclesia to be.

When that happens, the Ecclesia Jesus builds displaces the strategically positioned authority of Hades, and the general population of a region experiences greater kingdom influence.

  • Revival restores kingdom leadership in a way that God’s purpose for any people or place dominates the region.

The phrase in Acts 19 that describes what the events of Paul’s apostolic work produced – the “ in this way” or “this is what happened because of this” – speaks of dominating the arena of spirit with “the word of the Lord.”

“In this way, the word of the Lord gained momentum through supernatural power and took dominion.” (Acts 19:20)

That is restoration of God’s purpose, the best definition of revival, through the development of kingdom leadership.

What people say of a people or place, what hell says of a people or place, or even what church says of a people or place cannot determine its purpose. What God says of a people and place alone can reveal the redemptive purpose. “The word of the Lord” reveals God’s heart and intentions for a people or place, and the adversary works to replace that purpose with an “anything but that” methodology.

False gods serve to create false purposes, practices, and principles to blind people about what is true about God, kingdom culture, and “the word of the Lord.” The spiritual condition that dominates a region must be changed, and the kingdom of God alone can shift a spiritual atmosphere.

Paul spends his time developing kingdom leaders, persuading and training them about “the kingdom of God” from his apostolic center, and during that time of kingdom establishing and expansion, authentic Ecclesia happens. The “in this way” story describes how kingdom confrontation with the prevailing spiritual conditions of Ephesus shift people into kingdom by evangelism, but the “in this way” undeniably describes more than “when we get everybody born anew our work is done” scenarios of simplistic evangelicalism. (We cannot really say that God revived the Ecclesia at Ephesus since there was no Ecclesia until Paul established the kingdom.)

When people are born anew, they can see and enter the kingdom of God. When kingdom expands and establishes the what-God-wants for a people and place, God’s purpose becomes a pervasive and persuasive spiritual force. The general population becomes increasingly more aware of God, and the push back against hellish authorities unveils their spiritual eyes.

Revival of God’s purposes through kingdom establishing leadership shifts the dominant spiritual condition so the general population becomes increasing more aware of God.

I like to ask leaders in a region, “What would your city look like fully transformed and restored to God’s redemptive purpose?” I have yet to discover four or five kingdom leaders anywhere with such revelation as the blueprint for advancing God’s purposes. Little wonder that revival seldom becomes awakening when our definitions of revival shift from revelations of God’s purposes to our experiences and distinctives.

  • Revival of God’s purposes confronts embedded and sacred cultural behaviors.

Revival produces riot. As people embrace kingdom culture, they alter their personal behaviors and beliefs in ways that threaten the existing culture. They offend and challenge the prevailing, embedded and sacred culture. They become a threat. They are persecuted. They remain faithful. Their commitment intensifies the confrontation. They become an affront to “a way of life.” They gain influence through their confrontation because they represent the God of heaven.

Revivals of existing emphases and doctrinal distinctives seldom become Awakenings because they actually exacerbate what separates the people of God. Revivals of any flavor or aspect of christianism, orthodox or not, Biblical or not, evangelical or not, seldom produce awakening because they fail to confront the prevailing spiritual condition that dominates the existing culture. Instead, they establish subcultures. They develop their own language and give meaning to terms that explain their shared behaviors and experiences; they value certain emphases or manifestations as markers of authenticity.

God’s analysis of authenticity differs from subcultural distinctives that drive mini-movements. He is pleased when a mini-movement produces a kingdom movement, but a kingdom movement immediately the mini-movement into a greater expansion of the kingdom culture instead of annexing a specific neighborhood for its memorials.

No mini-movement alone can confront the cultural norms in a way that advances revival into awakening. No human unity can produce this wave of restoration. Only a kingdom culture can confront the existing substitute of hell for the purpose of God. That kingdom culture has oneness with the King. It has no political agendas to promote intercession, prophetic, apostolic, or one flavor of revival over another. Any mini-movement that fails to become an offering to the King, purified by sacrificing it to His kingdom movement, becomes a source of false distinction, confusion to the spiritual purposes of the King.

The mini-movement began as an authentic assignment, but the assignment became an exaggeration when leaders determine to establish it as a distinctly different message or emphasis. Exalting it to a necessity, it became a distraction. Any kingdom subculture serves to distract from “the word of the Lord” as much as the sacred beliefs and values of the work of hell that usurps God’s purpose. Instead of confronting that pervasive spiritual condition, the mini-movement becomes an alternative, but the only valid alternative to existing culture is kingdom culture.

When the culture of the kingdom meets the culture of a region, revival and riot ensue. It is naïve to assume anything less can produce Awakening. While our history of revival and Awakening usually recounts the aspects of the move of God that confirm our viewpoints of how God does stuff and His priorities, moving revival into awakening has always required all the authentic aspects of kingdom we tend to separate into mini-movements. Defending the necessity of our mini-movements markets exaggerations of the original assignments until the “if only’s” produce mini-movement wars. The “if only’s” syndrome simply says, “If only everyone would do what we are doing, then…”

Only when kingdom culture expands does “the word of the Lord” gained momentum through supernatural power and dominate.

  • Revival redefines “church” as an aspect of kingdom, so kingdom Ecclesia can confront the prevailing spiritual condition.

Purpose produces strategy. God has both a “what I want” and “a way to get it God what He wants.” Both aspects of this advancement come by revelation. Revival has so many definitions and false expectations because there are so many definitions and false expectations of “church.” Immediately revival comes, every one of the definitions will be challenged, church leaders begin an analysis aimed at maintaining something God mostly ignores as incidental, and people divide along the lines of their substitutes for authentic kingdom.

Mere unity cannot fix this dysfunction because unity requires a common commitment to something other than the purpose of God, else unity does not occur. In order to unify, some agreeable definition for God’s purpose that presents opportunity for agreement must be offered, but the agreeable definition is not “the word of the Lord.” It is whatever compromise of commonality that produces unity.

Only when revival of God’s purpose shatters the structures of distinction can a revelation of “the word of the Lord” for a people and place become dominate. Without it, miracles, signs, and wonders, would confirm something “other than,” promote a person, principle, or a purpose other than His.

Revival cannot become Awakening without altering the dominating spiritual condition that removes the veil of blindness. Making more and more people aware of a mini-movement does not produce kingdom momentum, and the confrontation it creates between mini-movements constructs defenses for their differences, and the people of God spend their time the superiority of their distinctives by exaggerating them. As a result, God’s people confront one another instead of the prevailing spiritual condition. They wish to change other mini-movements instead of changing the existing culture.

In this way, a veil blinds the church as much as it blinds the culture it is assigned to transform.

  • Revival produces leaders whose success is measured by the kingdom norms.

Early on, the apostles discovered the necessity and validity of having leaders who could maintain ministry of a shepherding nature. “Protect and provide at a personal level” was obviously important, and the leaders who would be assigned to this would be leaders with wisdom and power. (Most people have come to assume these leaders were deacons, but the word is not used in the context at all.) They set these leaders in place because they knew they could not make this valid aspect of kingdom the priority of kingdom. They did not call it a distraction to the Ecclesia, but they did see it as a distraction to their priorities. In other words, they met the need with the leadership dynamics Jesus bestows upon the Ecclesia. Caring for people is a valid kingdom norm but a long way from the totality of the kingdom!

The apostles made kingdom norms the priority of the Ecclesia. They measured success with a standard of “what the King wants” in order to sustain the momentum of kingdom advancement. In this way, revival of God’s purpose for Israel grew, confronted the existing culture (that killed Jesus), and revival and riot marked the moments of its maturity. The resulting persecution dispersed them into other cities.

When Paul arrives in Ephesus, his efforts entail training, activation, fathering, and expanded assignment. Paul defines kingdom leadership development for Awakening Revival. The Ecclesia assembled kingdom leaders to expand and establish kingdom culture. (When I say, “leaders,” I assume that because kingdom is God’s leadership in the earth, every citizen is a leader in this sense.)

Revival without kingdom norms cannot produce Awakening. Awakening comes from spiritual momentum, not mini-movement momentum. That is, Paul did not invest himself in a subculture. He trained leaders who could confront the existing culture through spiritual authority and power. While taking care of God’s people remained a valid consideration, it was never the success standard of leadership. That is, maintaining something was not what created momentum.

Suddenly set into modern situations, this focus upon leadership development would quickly morph into a different enterprise because the momentum gained by Paul’s ministry would be shifted to administrative bureaucracy and kingdom leadership immediately minimized or redefined by that structure.

Instead of revival restoring purpose, it would be consumed by subculture called “church-anity.” The training would be shifted to maintaining a good Sunday morning show and showing. Spiritual babysitting would dominate the expenditures of energy and resources. Spiritual entertainment would replace the training school discipline that produces personal transformation and maturity. Some odd form of “its our turn now” would take over the move of God as people assumed revival had arrived to validate their agendas. (I mean this is the prevailing spiritual condition of the modern form of church.)

Paul produced radical people. People burned their darkness in public. Extraordinary miracles marked Paul’s leadership. (Inferring ordinary, every day miracles marked the movement?) Holy Spirit set elders with expertise and experience in place with specific counsel and warning about the effort of hell to destroy the Ecclesia, but the kingdom expanding and establishing enterprise continued even after Paul left the area. Ephesus became the center of Christianity for more than 200 years when John visited the city later on.

Paul produced leaders unafraid of persecution and intent upon living the culture of the kingdom when doing so challenged the fabric of their city’s economic, political, and religious ways. Paul did not produce leaders adept at accommodating cultural trends, because he trained them to establish kingdom culture. He produced leaders bent upon testing the prevailing spiritual conditions at the expense of their own wellbeing, to do the right thing to their own hurt.

Ecclesia assembles to establish, expand, explain, and energize the kingdom of God on earth. Within that kingdom culture – defined by love – kingdom remains the focus. Kingdom leaders must have the strength of will to maintain God’s definition of “church” and perpetuate the development of kingdom leaders in every area of society. When Awakening arrives, the temptation to turn apostles into shepherds and warriors into health club workers must be overcome.

By the time John enters the Revelation vision, all of Asia Minor has experienced the dominating spiritual condition of “the word of the Lord.” When Jesus walks among the cities, His focus remains upon the Ecclesias responsible to expand and establish His purposes for those city-states. When you hear the words of Jesus to the seven Ecclesias, you can also hear His presuppositions about their kingdom purposes: that is, Jesus views the norms of the kingdom as the measuring stick of success for the Ecclesia.

  • Revival and awakening differ in leadership dynamics, so revival shifts the leadership development mode to preparing for Awakening.

A shallow, simplistic naiveté accompanies discussions of revival where definitions of “church” do not include kingdom. I remain in shock at the level of immaturity about elementary concerns in our forums that resemble discussions about thumb sucking and bed-wetting among first-time mothers. I hate diaper rash too but it isn’t the concern of revival!

Revival becomes about winning souls, Glory, power, miracles, and an end to our pet peeves. Period. The accumulation of believers, as a definition for church growth, leads to such a definition. Oddly, the very Gospel preached for winning souls calls people to enter the kingdom of God, but the definition of revival seldom includes kingdom purpose. When “being born anew” brings people into “church,” the definition of success alters to fit that conclusion, and the leadership dynamics necessary to the accumulation of believers becomes the higher standard of excellence. Souls come into the kingdom and are prepared and positioned to function in the Ecclesia.

Revival has no such accumulation assumption, and Awakening simply blows the assumptions into obscurity! They leadership dynamics of revival prepare people for a leadership in an Awakening, not for maintaining accumulations of believers.

Nothing of the present infrastructure accommodates Awakening when that infrastructure assumes the accumulation of believers as the highest understanding of “church.” Preparing leaders to expand kingdom by confronting the existing culture says something to new converts seldom voiced by evangelicals. Paul’s leadership development strategy produced an Ecclesia dominated by leaders with influence, both spiritual and cultural, to spark a riot. I’m not saying riot is the sign of good leadership! I’m saying Awakening threatens the prevailing spiritual condition in ways that produce riot.

I’m not saying God saved people with cultural influence in Ephesus as much as I’m saying Paul produced leaders with kingdom influence that made an impact upon the culture. Big difference! If you don’t have leaders with kingdom influence, it is your job to make some!

I’m saying that kingdom leadership with regional influence marked the Awakening in Asia Minor, that it was more than a revival of God’s purposes when the general population became more aware of God, and that Paul’s leadership preparation took the greatest advantage of that change of spiritual climate. How many such leaders can the kingdom hold? How many such leaders should the kingdom want?

The argument that this measure of success will bring neglect to hurting people holds little water because the kingdom leadership dynamics Paul produced provided shepherding oversight. Kingdom leadership includes shepherding leadership. An Awakening will not do away with shepherding leadership but will redefine Ecclesia and leadership in ways that reset priorities beyond “the protect and provide” parameters of shepherding.

Neglect of people isn’t our biggest concern. Neglect of kingdom expansion is! Many of the issues to which we ascribed faulty or weak shepherding have more to do with a pandemic dearth of leadership development: we are treating leaders like sheep and neglecting to mature leaders in their functions. The modern church has false expectations for Ecclesia that produce mobility akin to vagabonding. People wander about looking for something other than the kingdom of God.

When the King’s agenda becomes ours, we operate in a revelation of His blueprint for His people and develop the leaders He has called and gifted so they can represent Him. Jesus calls and gifts His people. The dynamics of kingdom leadership necessary to Awakening come when we reset our leadership development to that blueprint revelation. Jesus always has the most appropriate ideas about kingdom. He is the King! That is, the King has a strategy for every person that fits perfectly into His strategy to restore His purposes to a region. So, our leadership development must respond completely to that strategy.

Modern leadership development seldom answers to this revelation blueprint to prepare and position members of the Body for function. So, it seldom has a design for developing leaders who can influence a region.

The infrastructure of leadership development will shift dramatically when revival focuses upon God’s purposes for a people or place. That shift in leadership development moves revival into Awakening, not the expansion of care and comfort modules. In fact, revival can never become Awakening by defining the ministry of Jesus with shepherding dynamics alone.

The metaphor of “God’s people as sheep” is a metaphor explaining a behavior for which Jesus provides a leadership dynamic. It is not to be taken as the working model for leadership development. Instead of thinking, “a few professional leaders for a massive flock,” we should be thinking “more leaders who require little shepherding because they have matured into cultural warriors.” (The sense of “warrior” here is spiritual in that positively pressing for God’s purposes produces confrontation with entrenched spiritual forces that oppose Him.)

Kingdom culture provides for the needy. Period. So does pagan culture. The distinction between these cultures begins with the motivation for care and comfort. Since culture is shared beliefs and values, kingdom influence enlarges and enhances the care of the needy by preparing for a response at a personal level. It always has and always will. Pagan cultures build upon the neediness of the needy as a means of controlling them and further establishing the power of their leaders at the expense of the needy. Kingdom cares for those truly needy while developing people capable of maturity to care for themselves, to mature in personal leadership.

Ecclesia should be dominated by kingdom leadership development! Producing kingdom leaders should be our measurement of success more than the accumulation of believers. We are called to confront existing cultures and prevailing spiritual conditions so that “the word of the Lord” for that people and place gains momentum through supernatural power and dominates.

Revival should produce leadership development structures so revival can both produce and feed the momentum of Awakening. Revival is always about the restoration of God’s purposes more than the revitalization of mini-movements, doctrinal distinctives, or spiritual emphases. Continuing to assume that mini-movements, with subcultures of exaggerated emphases, will produce a kingdom movement ignores the reality that all these mini-movements must become sacrifices. The greater kingdom movement suffers when mini-movements become recruitment distractions that parallel the restoration of God’s purposes.

Maturing the Prophetic, March 14-16, 2015, Sao Paulo

As we mature in recognizing the voice of God, we may mature prophetically, including intercession, worship, preaching, discipling, and leadership. This concept applies to all the kingdom leadership dynamics Jesus bestows upon His Ecclesia – apostle, prophet, teacher, evangel, and shepherd.

To recognize the voice of God maturely, we should mature our relationship with Holy Spirit so that better recognition of Him produces better recognition of His voice. To mature in our relationship, we must know Him as a Person, as God, as God with and within us. To mature in that relationship is to mature spiritually.

God speaks today! Holy Spirit has a voice. He communicates by spiritual means. He reveals what God makes available to us. “The things freely given to us by God.”

“No man knows the things of God except by the Spirit of God.”

Consider how you may be substituting for this process in ways that maintains spiritual immaturity.

1) You wish God would reveal the things of man to you more than the things of God. You have a selfish motivation for revelation that tends toward using God for secrets or advantages that serve your own interests.

This leaves your spiritual immature because you are not functioning SpiritFirst with respect to your relationship with God, but you are maintaining a level of selfishness more in keeping with a child. God’s secrets are not the same as the secrets you desire to know in order to get an advantage, to avoid trusting Him and obeying without fuller exposures to His infinite knowledge.

You do not use Holy Spirit to get revelation. You surrender to Holy Spirit who reveals what He knows you should see and hear.

When God says, “We don’t know what God has prepared for us through seeing, hearing, or imagination, but God has revealed them to us by His Spirit,” we shouldn’t assume or presume that this is an invitation to a candy store. Revelation opens the treasure chest of heaven, for sure, but not for trinkets and trifles but strategies of kingdom purpose!

In other words, do not read “what God has prepared for us” in terms of “the things of man” when Paul says they are “the things of God.”

2) You expect Holy Spirit to change to fit your communication style instead of surrendering to His transformation process that prepares you to respond to God as the person He created you to be and do what He has called you to do.

You are going to experience frustration hearing and seeing in the spirit, by the Spirit, if you insist upon God ordering His style by your estimate of things, comfort level with how things are done, or in a way of receiving that doesn’t disrupt your lifestyle.

Babies become insecure when the feeding schedule gets off ten or fifteen minutes, the formula isn’t just right, or too much moving around upsets their tummies. Yet, the Apostle John saw The Revelation on Patmos exiled from his lifestyle completely! In between those extremes, you will discover that God may disrupt your sleep, eating, schedule, and priorities because Holy Spirit reveals to you with God’s purposes in mind.

Some people seem to say, “God needs to learn to speak my language.” They should be saying, “God, what You have to reveal is so important to me that I will set my heart and life to the rhythms of your heart. I will sacrifice myself as an offering upon the altar. I will reject the molding of the world, my history and identity, to become the person You are speaking and revealing to.”

You must change to mature, not God! God isn’t changing. He is transforming you!

How to Recognize That You Have a Spiritual Father

1 You learn to process information and feelings in ways consistent with your created disposition.

Your spiritual father is not attempting to make you someone else but responding to you in ways consistent with his or her discernment of the person God created you to be. He or she confronts your tendency to mold yourself by some image of yourself foreign to that created disposition because a spiritual father has a broader and better understanding of your destiny. So, healthy, fathering tension accompanies acceptance and adjustment.

God creates you with detailed precision and purpose. God never tries to make you someone else; He restores you to the person He created you to be.

A spiritual father, even more spiritually attuned to your destiny than a natural father, discerns God’s blueprint. Since most spiritual fathers exhibit strong leadership and personality, some are guilty of impressing strong personality traits as a “style” upon others, even to the point of assuming, with pervasive pride, that “style” sets a standard for leadership or excellence. Properly functioning fathers influence and even shape children with spiritual dynamics, not natural styles.

God intends that your spiritual father develop the disposition He created, not impose a disposition. On the other hand, a spiritual father will walk you through an inevitable identity crisis necessary to the development of your destiny. You must fully embrace that transformational process that restores God’s original blueprint. So, a father will help you confront what God is confronting in your personality that runs counter what God created.

Leaders who hammer on you for being who you are, ignore the intentions of the Creator. In turn, using your dispositional tendencies or strengths as excuses leaves you dismally unprepared to do what God calls you to do.

Expect no grace flow in your life to help you become someone else. Expect a flow of grace from God, applied by your father to the areas of maturity, strength, and calling that reveals the person God created you to be.

2 You embrace your calling with the highest devotion, doing what God called you to do with measurable, sustainable expansion and excellence.

Spiritual fathers discern God’s calling upon your life as a means of understanding how your blueprint fits into the greater kingdom blueprint your spiritual father has been assigned. Spiritual fathers don’t select a calling or life’s work for you so that you can be fitted into their agendas or hammered into their legacies. Your calling and assignment to a father do not conflict when both you and your father embrace God’s strategy.

You do not select your own calling or life’s work either! Your father cannot make the person you wish to be or prepare you to do what you wish to do. The empowering, encouraging, and enlightening of a spiritual father must be a direct reflection of the Heavenly Father’s. So, a tension will exist between your projection of what a father should be or do, completely furnished with fathering faithfulness and personal perplexities, and what God knows you need to become the person He created you to be so you can what He called you to do.

So, your spiritual father helps you identify, clarify, and prioritize your personal calling as it fits into a greater purpose for the Ecclesia. A spiritual father prepares and positions, understanding that your blueprint fits another blueprint.

No contradiction between your calling and your assigned place of function in the Ecclesia can possibly exist in God’s blueprint.

A spiritual father discerns God’s blueprint at the “chosen, selection, established, assigned, and positioned” level with a sense of what you look like fully functioning in your calling. A spiritual father can see that end result when you cannot envision it, during the seasons of your immaturity or development, and he or she can see it more fully that you can at any stage of your maturity. As much as you desire to prove you can do it without help, your destiny always demands a level of submission to others.

A spiritual father may prophesy your calling, and to your surprise and shock, that calling may require you to adjust your understanding of yourself and your destiny.

As well, a spiritual father may say little or nothing about what he or she discerns of your calling during your development simply because you would jump to conclusions. He or she will also challenge the faulty conclusions that form in your mind as you pass through spiritual childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood. You tend to measure yourself by what you can understand at any given moment instead of trusting God and your leaders who can see a fuller blueprint.

You cannot call yourself. You will acquire an understanding your calling progressively, not all in one setting. You will cherish the fathering leadership God provides once the mature seasons arrive, more than you do during the seasons of development and maturity.

3 While Holy Spirit determines what charismatic gifts you possess, you learn to operate in greater maturity and proper context.

Spiritual fathers can be instrumental in activating or imparting gifts in strategic ways, at strategic times.

Spiritual gifts have spiritual dynamics as spiritual capacities of enabling grace. Grace flows and charismata operate in tandem: that is, God gives grace for your calling. A spiritual capacity originates outside and independent of natural capacities. So, a spiritual father receives grace that rests upon and flows that becomes available to you, and your preparation and positioning for the work of serving within the Ecclesia appropriates greater grace.

God’s blueprint for your created disposition and calling includes a blueprint page for charismatic gifts as enabling grace capacities.

Spiritual fathers help you develop your SpiritFirst function so the strategy of God for your life. God designed and created you to function SpiritFirst, so a spiritual father engages your life from a spiritual point of view. You may confuse this spiritual function with other leadership roles if you are an employee, friend, or natural family member. A spiritual father will certainly help you develop as a person, mature character, and learn “the way things work” on a practical level, but his or her primary focus must be spiritual.

 

Your natural man tendencies project natural priorities upon the development of your created disposition and calling. You may limit the development and maturity of your highest destiny by demanding a misplaced focus upon your talents or natural genius. At the times you least recognize the influence these tendencies, a spiritual father helps you prioritize spiritual capacities as means of accomplishing your calling and helps you make natural talents and ability servants of Divine strategy.

Spiritual fathers do not see charismatic gifts like Boy Scout badges that mark your progress by “I can do this now” or “I’m a charismatic now.” They see these charismatic gifts as strategic to your created disposition and calling, part of your blueprint. They also impart gifts by revelatory means, those impartations being consistent by God’s revealing and timing, with God’s will.

4 You learn to interpret the providential pathway through which Father directs and disciplines your life.

Spiritual fathers help you learn both obedience and submission, so you will have the strength of will to surrender to God’s involvement in your personal history. They strengthen your will by pressing you into the process when you attempt to short circuit your connection to your providential pathway.

Interpreting your tests matures you so you can move on to the next test. Cursing the test means that even though you pass it you have to repeat it, passing it over and over again. You may curse the tests simply because you wish to avoid them, to be exempted from them, and this weariness of soul short-circuits the very purpose of the tests.

Spiritual fathers helps you interpret the tests, not avoid them. As part of a providential pathway, your tests provide essential preparation and positioning to your progress. Instead of developing heart murmurs about your experiences, fathers insist upon maturity. They help you see how that test fits the blueprints, how God works together these experiences and events in ways that produce good, though He didn’t originate them. Some of your greatest opportunities emerge through your greatest tests.

You will tend toward building an identity with your past. A spiritual father, discerning from a blueprint perspective, will confront that tendency so you can learn to interpret your life experiences within a broader spiritual context of Father’s loving direction and discipline. Instead of allowing your history and environment to mold you, or standing as you mold yourself in them, spiritual fathers impel you toward transformation.

Your greatest battles prophesy your greatest destiny.

The battle lines of your life most often appear at the most important tension points between God and your adversary. To interpret your tests properly, you need guidance from a blueprint leader. Your spiritual father frame the attacks in ways that help you because you tend to internalize them.

Your adversary’s methodology remains pretty much the same as it has always been: “Anything but that.” While the enemy cannot fully discern your blueprint, he observes God’s favor, so his work to limit your fullness and fulfillment will most often be to offer you distraction with a larger objective to provide you with substitution. If hell cannot keep you from destiny, hell will work to limit the fullness and fulfillment of purpose in your life.

Fathers discern in the distractions that you labor to justify the potential substitutes that appeal to your pride. Fathers discern the “anything but what God wants” methods of hell and confront them with blueprint reality.

If you have a leader who only helps you become more of what you wish to be or develop more along the lines of living at your best within the context of your environment, you have a coach or mentor, not a spiritual father.

5 You are challenged to accept nothing but ultimate will of God by a leader who discerns who God created you to be and prepares and positions you to do what God called you to do.

Jesus creates, redeems, and restores. Jesus does in each of these activities to fulfill what Father wants. He creates what Father wants. He redeems what Father wants. And, He restores to what Father wants.

A father doesn’t make you someone else but stubbornly challenges you to become the person Jesus created you to be. You experience the Heavenly Father as the person Father wants. He discerns what Father wants and works to strengthen your will to surrender to redemptive, restorative transformation.

You resist this process at the point and to the extent you accept distractions and substitutions for what Father wants. You exhibit a strong tendency to provide a “what-I-want” that leaves you wide open to spiritual deceptions, especially during immaturity and transition. So, learning to submit to a spiritual father establishes the powerful preparation you require for ultimate submission to your heavenly Father.

(Submission isn’t control but surrender that embraces confirmed strategies.)

“Be all you can be” and “you can be anything you want” are so obviously non-Biblical that a discussion of their illegitimacy should be unnecessary. Nothing would be more contrary to the Scripture than the idea that God exists to get you what you want or God provides spiritual fathers for that reason. While you can find a multitude of leaders to counsel, assist, coach, and mentor you, God’s design for your destiny requires kingdom leaders with discernment of His blueprints. Leaders who father provide a source of leadership outside your conceptualization of your purpose, someone with a more comprehensive set of blueprints.

6 You have someone who provides a source of purpose for you life outside of and different from yourself.

Without diminishing the role of numerous guides available to you “in Christ,” Paul’s emphasis upon “few fathers” reveals his understanding that a father provides something of a transformational nature that arises from a source different from yourself. Leadership that is given wholly in response to you as the source of understanding destiny will nearly always produce a substitute for God’s blueprint.

“If you have, in Christ, 10,000 guides (unlimited access to tutors to mentor your

natural life), still few fathers (access to a leader whose life and lifestyle provide power to produce purpose.)” [1 Corinthian 4:15]

The next statement says, “Therefore, be imitators of me.”

Paul says, “I have shown you a fathering model so you can respond to me as a spiritual father, to follow my fathering leadership instead of making the more readily available guides your highest leadership perception. You’d never seen anything like what kingdom leadership dynamics provide.”

The Gospel Paul delivered reveals a leadership process of SpiritFirst power that conventional, natural, and humanistic models know nothing about, and a fathering leader alone can make available. Paul’s fathering leadership as revealed in his leadership for Timothy broke the mold on leadership!

Without diminishing the value of “readily available guides in Christ,” Paul distinguishes fathering leadership from other leadership available to the Ecclesia.

Not all fathering occurs personally. Some fathering occurs corporately. The same basics apply to both personal and corporate applications of fathering. Fathering leadership dynamics run so contrary to more readily available and valued mentoring dynamics, however, that many modern believers reject fathering dynamics and rush to hear something about how they can be what they want to be.

The kingdom Ecclesia suffers – as characterized by the Ecclesia at Corinth – from overt individualism and a syndrome of spiritual entitlement as a result.

7 You experience a spirit of leadership that prepares you to inherit kingdom purpose, fulfill it in your own personal destiny, and bring kingdom purpose to greater fullness in your spiritual generation.

Spiritual fathering implies spiritual generations, and fathering spiritually prepares leaders for spiritual inheritance. The kingdom is spiritual, and the dynamics of the kingdom are SpiritFirst. Spiritual fathering differs uniquely from natural fathering.

Each spiritual generation inherits and passes on to subsequent generations the condition of the kingdom and the fulfillment of kingdom purposes for which it becomes responsible. Spiritual fathering best prepares and positions you to receive an inheritance, connecting you to kingdom assignments that require several spiritual generations to complete.

When God makes a spiritual father available, God is connecting you to an unfinished kingdom purpose filled with unfulfilled kingdom promise, calling, gifting, and guiding you toward a place of preparation and positioning you to inherit.

You connect to previous and future spiritual generations through spiritual fathering.

Look for a major shift between now and 2020 AD, a reset of kingdom leadership has already begun! Continue to value the 10,000 guides but prepare your heart for a turning of children to fathers and fathers to children!

Judas Spirit Dynamics

The spiritual condition produced by a demonic influence in one of Jesus’ original disciples continues to manifest against His disciples today, particularly, against His apostolic and prophetic leaders as foundational leaders of kingdom establishing and expansion. The rejection of Jesus in modern American culture exacerbates this spiritual condition, feeding its boldness, and opening doors for it to function within kingdom leaders as much as it operates against them from the outside.

Lord, Is It I?

When Jesus sat down to a last meal with His core leadership team, the progress of the meal introduced two or three important moments of kingdom clarity. Before Jesus washed their feet, however, He made a statement of fact that rippled around the table and altered the posture of every disciple with whom He was sharing the supper.

Jesus says, “One of you will betray Me.”

Imagine how that statement impacted the room for a moment. Picture the awkward atmosphere adjustment, like a dance choreographed by the music of revelation, as twelve apostolic leaders resting on their elbows with pieces of bread heavy with sauce dangling from their fingers, went silent, frozen by the doom of discovery.

Each of them – not just Judas but John, James, and Jude with all the others – gulped with apprehension and asked, “Lord, is it I?”

You see this Judas spirit, a term we use to describe the betrayal actions and activities of an inner circle leader who turns tailcoat on his assignment, worked against every one of them, and at times had revealed identical sentiments in their hearts that drove Iscariot’s son into actions of hellish consequences.

Their collective “Lord, is it I?” reveals the question marks of their individual considerations about obedience and submission, the give and take of internal confusion that becomes a fountainhead for decision-making. They were each wondering still, “What’s in this for me?”

That is the Judas spirit in a nutshell. That issue plagued His disciples, even John who laid his head on His chest. Certainly, Simon Peter knew the influence of this spiritual condition when He rebuked – yes, he rebuked – the Lord’s confession of death and resurrection because it failed Simon own “What’s in this for me?” test of acceptability. The Zealot did not see the scenario producing his desired end of revolution. The Greek did not see how this would alter the social consciousness. The thunder’s sons felt that their left and right positioning staggered. Matthew thought perhaps his initial enthusiasm misplaced.

They had their doubts but one of them would act upon his doubts in a more sinister way.

The Judas Conundrum

Kingdom leaders today face the same spiritual condition, and the manner in which they respond produces strong waves of beachhead erosion once their decisions hit the people involved in their mini-movements. While kingdom leaders receive assignments that press them to develop mini-movements for the kingdom movement, they, too, feel the filter system of “what’s in this for me?” straining and sifting what other leaders and mini-movements are doing. Immediately they sense that another assignment may gain an advantage, like James and John, they seek to secure their left and right positioning. Immediately they see opportunity in the momentum of another move of God they step up to clarify how any move of God serves their own sense of “what we should all be doing to get this thing going.” Immediately they observed a pull back or persecution occurrence that might touch their base or a shift of momentum or bright light of revival that might distract or “pull on” their base, they position themselves with “what’s in this for me?” fully in view.

“If you can’t beat’em, join’em” sums up Judas’ basic motivations very well; Judas Iscariot finally followed the consequences of his long-held and more fully developed sentiments when he considered that Jesus apparently had no good future in which Judas could mine some gold for himself. (“This gig is up, so I’m cashing in.”)

Silly Sentiments and Judas

When the moves of God allow for “bandwagoning” popularity as a mark of momentum, measuring how many registered for the latest of our big show conferences, they play right into this Judas spirit’s hands!

People motivated by “what’s in this for me” will always run to the next big thing to experience the next cool experience. When they have run the table on that parlor game, they look for the next “glory show on tour” and hop around from limb to limb as if kingdom were an arcade. Being silent about this reveals a Judas spirit toleration. Manipulating it and cashing it on it because it seems to give your assignment momentum or validity or a “one-up” is purely and nakedly Judas in action! You are prostituting your nearness to Jesus, your hand in His purse, your heart still your own!

Judas remained attracted by the possibility that Jesus would be the One to bring it all together but became wary when the crowds did not buy into the expectations Judas set for Jesus. Judas operated with political aims and welcomed the kingdom aspect of things as long as helping the poor, sick, demonized, and discouraged seemed to present opportunities for his personal success. Judas was as modern as the “I’m here to see my personal destiny fulfilled” crowd that flocks to the conferences hoping to get the word, the touch, the experience, the moment of breakthrough that will launch their fantasies of fame. When Jesus says, “Die to live,” Judas starts wondering where Jesus is going with this kingdom movement. He begins to posture himself in a way that he has an exit plan.

Judas is only in for what good for him, never to his own hurt.

No kingdom leader can remain true to his or her calling when he or she refuse to be “in this thing even to my own hurt!”

When little men cast long shadows, you know the sun is setting. When silly sentiments dominate the landscape of mini-movements with promises of bright lights, my own video of masterful miracles, “I’ll be the next recording star they champion,” and “this is where the real move of God is,” the Judas spirit grows heavy with muscled prowess and start mainlining on pride.

Judas and False Unity

“If it keeps getting bigger and bigger” does not describe the move of God that will disciple a culture. The accumulation of anything cannot be the descriptor of our measurement of success. The development of leaders is the only consistent kingdom capacity quantifier. Never allow the enemy to say, “If you had more, you could succeed.” That sentiment never comes from God.

The difference between unity and oneness helps us understand the difference between the accumulation of something and the development of leaders. Accumulating points of light, lists of names, amounts of money, enumerated locations, or signatures of support reflects nothing compared to developing leaders with shared assignments.

Judas had an assignment and left it for his “what’s in this for me?” pursuit of selfishness.

Beware the motivations that measure your commitment to Jesus by measuring what Jesus can do for you and your destiny. Turn your back on it as Jesus did upon Simon Peter and say, “Get behind me, satan! For you savor the things of man more than the things of God!”

Beware the obvious play upon your baser impulses made by organizers. If it is Christianized entertainment, it is not sin. Our goal of kingdom culture should include the diversion of kingdom displays of creativity and art. Go, pay, enjoy, and go home happy! However, never, never, never substitute entertainment for worship that demands All. Never allow yourself to use worship experiences as a source of enjoyment and declare that you are fulfilling the first and great commandment when your heart remains fully set upon “what’s in this for me?” You can measure this easily by “will I remain in this to my own hurt because I am assigned by God?” That is kingdom!

We tried unity for the sake of unity in the 90’s. Did not work out so well because it required a remarkably low level of kingdom commitment to achieve. We ended up selling out the purpose for unity for the sake of unity and bought into accumulation as a signal virtue. “Once we get all the pastors together, then God will move.” God did not move. “Once we get all the intercessors on the same page, we will win.” We did not win. “Once we get all the churches together, we will have unity.” We had more division.

Why? Because the leaders who came together did so with “what’s in this for me?” as a backstop for their coming together. They came together only after being convinced this might serve to make their city, church, or themselves more successful at their definition of success. They would not remain in it to their own hurt because it was right, godly, or consistent with kingdom. They would remain on the fringe, less than fully committed with a “wait and see” posture until they could tell how this would benefit their own assignments and destinies.

These sentiments cannot motivate people to establish kingdom because they oppose the heart of kingdom covenant: “Love the Lord your God will All. Love your neighbor as yourself.” Passion for purpose alone can produce kingdom oneness. Unity is never the goal of God. Judas loves unity. God loves oneness.

Judas Obeys but Never Submits

Jesus hit the heart of this spirit solidly enough in His teaching but crushed its head with His obedience and submission. Judas may obey, but Judas never submits. When Jesus moves to Last Supper statements of intent and the price of “following Him to your own hurt,” He knows that the Judas spirit, the demonic infiltration and influence close to Him and His assignment, will reach its apex of activity. He knows Judas Iscariot represents an activity of this spirit that reveals the influence of this spirit in every reclining around the table.

“Lord, is it I?” They each respond to His confrontation with the spirit operating with Judas’ acquiescence.

Judas volunteers to submit to the spirit while openly obeying Jesus. He is at the table. He is carrying the bag to pay for the meal. While he reclines, however, he remains submitted to another spirit, for another purpose, with another heart.

The other eleven remain submitted to Jesus and His assignment but not fully submitted to His strategy, but that is a subject for another time…

Beware the religious sentiment that uses obedience as a substitute for submission. Remember the total sum of the Covenant is passionate, sacrificial, self-eclipsing love for God that submits All, a passion that properly resets every relationship of life so you can love your neighbor as yourself.

The Judas spirit hates submission and tolerates obedience when it deems obedience might still get “what’s in this for me.”

Ephesians 4: “Prepare and Position”

Jesus ascended back to heaven after His Resurrection to bring All to full consummation, to apply what He had secured by His finished work, and to accomplish what only Kingdom of God on earth could accomplish.

As He ascended to finish what His finished work enabled Him to finish, He bestowed some apostles, prophets, teachers, evangels, and shepherds as gifts to the saints. They prepare and position the saints to do the serving work that constructs Christ’s Ecclesia (Paul uses the metaphor of a body here), produces agreement in faith and knowing Jesus Christ in the fullness of the measure of His stature. This should also stop weakness and wandering, people wavering about because they lack a set foundation of teaching and behavior that keeps them from being blown around by breezes of other teachings inconsistent with the apostolic didache (a body of apostolic teaching that represents what Jesus taught as a “this we believe” for agreement.)

In this way, the leaders and the saints can speak the truth in love, progressing with momentum of maturity and growth in every way and all things, an increase that integrates the Head into the whole body, each member, though each connection.

Diminished by Doctrinalization

This fundamental Scripture has suffered from distressingly delusional and diminishing doctrinal distractions. First, many simply removed all the leadership that Jesus bestowed except the shepherd, with no Biblical reason at all. Second, the term “equipping” suffered from comic efforts to make it fit scenarios of “church members” that strain the imagination. Third, “body life” schematics arose with the concerted effort of fitting the depleted verses into a “this is how we do church” model Paul the apostle would have considered about as appropriate as whip cream on an onion. By the time church-anity finished with Paul’s revelation of kingdom leadership dynamics, Ecclesia construction, “the serving work,” and Christ’s full stature, the original concept that Jesus is bringing All to ultimate fulfillment became an afterthought.

Ask yourself, how many times have you heard anyone connect “ascended to bring All things to their ultimate fulfillment” with the fivefold ministry, the equipped Church, and the full operation of the Body?

So, people get this mushy, surface slush of serene serendipity syrup all over their psyches when they envision “Church” instead of grasping hold of what Jesus is doing and what Paul is describing. The sun is shining through a stained-glass window on a little American family of two children sitting enraptured for twenty-two minutes of choreographed religious litany…anyway. Our Saturday Evening Post cover adaptations of the kingdom weren’t Paul’s morning reading material when he was writing to the Ephesians.

Jesus has set up a spiritual, kingdom leadership process to prepare and positioned every believer as a fully functional part of a kingdom assembly, and when that assembled Ecclesia functions with spiritual, kingdom dynamics, it produces the outcomes Paul describes!

Prepared and Positioned

Each member is prepared and positioned to do serving work within the seven systems of the spiritual Body. This is a metaphor, so we need to address the meaning of this statement as Paul does, with metaphoric understanding. The term Paul uses here, katartismon, comes for two words that mean “adjust” and “according to,” when applied in this metaphor, with kingdom leadership dynamics and the end results Paul describes, we see the meaning as “proper adjusted to how that part will fit and operate where it is positioned.” Hence, a translation of “prepare and position.” The kingdom leaders prepare and position the holy ones to do the serving work.

A prepared and positioned woman, with gifts of healing, leadership, administration, and mercy to function in the ministry of Jesus, finished the course of preparation after being positioned to function in her calling and gifts. The pastor assigned her to be a hallway security monitor for Sunday School. Nothing else. Just that. Not as a test of character or faithfulness, mind you. A permanent, “we’ve found your place” in the ministry assignment.

“Thank you, ma’am, for preparing for three years to operate in your spiritual gifts, build your character, represent Jesus to hundreds of people, travel into nations, and do the ministry of Jesus. Now, please come every Sunday and stand here in the hallway for 45 minutes so none of these children run out into the street. That will be all.” Guidelines for her equipping included “don’t pray for anyone!” She finally became the admin assistant to the President of an international missions organization, thank God.

I have no problem with the hallway monitor assignment, but the idea that equipping the saints has something to do with standing in a hallway for 45 minutes once a week is preposterous and down right insulting to God! If it doesn’t make your blood boil that this woman’s experience represents the “equipping vision” of the modern American church, you lack the passion of the Father for His people and His purposes!

Prepared and positioned has to do each member of the Body operating in a way that produces the results Paul discusses so Jesus, through His Body can finished His finished work. His finished work provides what is needed to finish His work, and the finishing work must be done by the saints, by the Body, by the kingdom of God functioning in the earth. If Jesus were going to do it Himself, it would already be done! If we were waiting on Jesus to get it all together, He would already be here!

The finishing work of His finished work must be applied to people! We are His finishing work, finished by His finished work at the Cross and Resurrection!

His Design and Diligence

Paul says that Jesus bestowed kingdom leaders to prepare and position, and that the success, effectiveness, and establishing of that process would produce oneness with the Head.

Consider how many people assume that being in the Body means they don’t need any leader telling them how to act let alone leaders who prepare and position them to function in that Body. Consider that being in the Body doesn’t mean you automatically “increase with respect to the Head.” The point Paul makes here is that Jesus designed kingdom leadership dynamics bestowed upon the Body as apostle, prophet, teacher, evangel, and shepherd that increase each individual and the whole of the Body in its maturity and capacity to increase with respect to the Head.

The process produces a Body that measures up to the Head in stature, and until it measures up to the Head in the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, it remains far too weak to have “increased with respect to the Head.” The Head isn’t going to do this preparation and positioning work. According to the Bible, Jesus bestowed upon the Ecclesia dynamics of kingdom leadership to prepare and position believers so the Body could mature in agreement and understanding, speak truth in love as a communication system, and increase with respect to the Head so that the Head, Jesus Christ, has a Body that can implement what the Head is thinking.

Plowing Prayer and Preaching

There is a difference between speaking Truth and preparing people to receive Truth. We have been called to do both, and Jesus has a strategy for both.

Beware the simplistic perception that all we are called to do is “faithfully” communicate Truth. Of course, we must be faithful to preach even if no one listens, as Noah preached for 120 years to a mocking crowd and Jesus preached to a generation that killed Him for what He said. On the other hand, we must avoid the perception that we are called to hand out Truth like lollipops and hope people like the taste.

Jesus discusses the preparation of soil by differentiating four soil types. I think we could see these are broad illustrations of how people are prepared to receive Truth. “The seed is the Word of God.” We could also discuss what can be done to prepare the field so the Truth is sown in good ground.

Plowing Prayer and Preaching involves us in a process of preparation. In each case, there are accompanying strategies that apply spiritual authority and power to the present conditions.

Walked-on Ground

The first category is “hard ground.” In the field, there is a path upon which people walk through or those working the field move around. This “hardened ground” does not receive the seed because it has been pounded down with feet, rain, sun, and neglect. It hasn’t experienced a plow.

This ground needs a breaker anointing, plowing prayer and preaching. It needs a spiritual violence to turn it upside down. It needs a new identifier that removes the signage, “pathway,” from it so people change their traffic patterns. It needs a new declaration, “Don’t tread on me!” It needs to be set free from this abuse so that it stops lying fallow.

Fallow ground has buried its purpose. It no longer has a sense of its purpose so that it can pursue the potential of its purpose. It just lies there and gets walked on. It attracts demons because the seed sown upon it becomes the demons food. “The birds of the air eat the seed that is sown on hard ground.”

Of course, I’ve heard both extremes on this subject. The preaching people say that we don’t need warfare prayer because there’s power in the Word. The prayer people usually feel unappreciated because their work lacks proper recognition, and they tend to exaggerate their work to gain some appreciation. Truth is that both are strategic to getting harvest from this ground.

While plowing prayer can open the ground’s purpose, plowing preaching still sows the strategic Word of The Lord to the location.

Consider the process in Ephesus and Asia Minor to get a deeper sense of what was going on through plowing prayer and preaching, both of which released “extraordinary miracles” through Paul’s mundane life and living, his work aprons and sweat rags healed and delivered.

“This is the manner by which the Word of the Lord intensified through spiritual might to take dominion. (Acts 19:20)

You want that result? Follow this pattern. Note the use of Greek words in this phrasing. Kratos for dominion. Ischou for spiritual power. Auxano for intensify in expansion.

Consider the spiritual dynamics being communicated by these words at a time there was not copy of the Bible and the communication process wasn’t about handing out the Four Spiritual Laws. [Not that salvation Gospel is not infinitely valuable and part of the strategy of the kingdom, but that this verse doesn’t describe a Billy Graham crusade.]

Paul’s plowing prayer and plowing preaching was apostolic, confrontational, demonstrated with miracles, breaker anointing in authority, atmosphere changing in spiritual might (a term used only for angels and God).

The wording speaks of angelic power, dominion authority, supernatural intensity and expansion of “the Word of The Lord.” The seed to be sown is God’s purpose for that place and people in that time, or that place in that generation (people of a time.)

So, plowing prayer and plowing preaching should occur at the same time accompanied by demonstrations of power and authority that produce miracles and overthrow prevailing thrones of iniquity in that arena of spirit. The writer could have chosen several other words to describe this atmosphere change, but used the ones that Holy Spirit inspired that would describe the manner in which this regional transformation occurred.