THE DAYS NEAR
(c) Morris Ruddick
(c) Morris Ruddick
"The days are near when every vision will be fulfilled. For I the Lord will speak what I will and it will be fulfilled without delay. For the rebellious shall see that I will fulfill whatever I say, declares the Lord. When the people say the visions he sees are for many years from now, say to them, this is what the Lord says, 'none of My Words will be delayed any longer, whatever I say will be fulfilled.'" (Ezekiel 12:22)
A corner has been turned. We've entered times unlike any in recent days.
They might be summed with "the dark is getting darker and the light is getting lighter." Yet that description doesn't suffice. The times will increasingly reflect the "day of His power," while bearing an increase in the disruptions and uncertainty. These are times in which to straddle the fence will mean being shot at from both sides. It will be a time of miracles; as we also enter a time of judgment.
These times will be marked by the truth in Deuteronomy 30: "God has set before us life and death, blessing and cursing." It will be up to us to recognize, discern and make the right choices for life and blessing.
Daniel described these times as ones in which those who know their God will be strong and will do exploits. That means no double-mindedness. Your eye must be single.
"Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever." (Daniel 12:3)
However, it will not be enough to just have your eyes on the Lord. We must understand the times, His agendas and be about His business. Being about His business without compromise begins with walking in strategic holiness.
"In the time of the end, many shall be purified and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand." (Dan 12:10-12)
Passion and Blindness
The middle ground is becoming filled with snares: the love of the world, the pride of life, the lust of the flesh; soul dependencies that blind. Walking in God's calling will mean walking in His will; progressively and consistently. Walking in God's will mean walking in His timing. That will mean walking in His holiness and purpose.
Remember Saul. Saul was anointed king, but was ruled by the pride of life. He was driven by passions that spiritually blinded him. He never quite grasped God's purposes for him being king. At one juncture, Samuel summed up Saul's actions by saying that "rebellion is of the sin of witchcraft." His heart issues became snares that compounded into a misuse of the anointing, that Samuel judged as witchcraft.
Beware of the sin of Saul, of forcing issues and being unwilling to wait on God's timing. Wrong priorities will give rise to fear, anger, jealousy and a loss of control of one's own spirit. Without holiness, God's people will fall into erring in spirit and murmuring (Isaiah 29:24). Erring in spirit is losing touch with the realities. Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24 that the beginning of the time of the end would be accompanied by many being offended, betraying one another and hating one another, with the love of many growing cold.
"Those who know their God doing exploits" demands a walk of holiness. It is about walking in faith, KNOWING that the Lord is faithful in the accomplishment of His purposes and His Word. Holiness is about His righteousness being manifested in our thoughts, attitudes, words, decisions and actions. It's about operating with a sense of honor and a consistency in speaking truth in our own hearts, as described in Psalm 15. It's about entering into His flow and operating in oneness with Him.
Forcing issues will backfire. Unless it is the result of His Spirit, more of the same harder will fail. Holiness is what one seasoned mission practitioner over a century ago called the exchanged life. It is a life and poise of the soul summed up by the Psalmist as, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord."
Holiness will consistently walk in forgiveness and repentance. It is a heart so tender toward the Lord and His Word that when it recognizes a truth and realizes something is out of alignment, it immediately changes. It is a heart attitude with no grudges or bitterness. Bitterness cannot co-exist with holiness. It is the outgrowth of a heart that meditates on God's Word, with a priority expressed by the Psalmist as meditating on God's Word day and night. Holiness is a pure heart, free from the passions of the soul and unholy dependencies.
Holiness is a strength and unwavering trust in the Lord in the face of adversity. It is walking through the fire without the smell of smoke. It is a righteous heart that moves in oneness with the Lord and operates in His power. Operating in holiness stems from getting real while in His presence.
There is a "strategic" dimension to holiness. It is a key part of the corner we've just turned. It pivots on the Issachar context, but with the twist that the BODY needs to understand the times and know what to do. Strategic holiness goes beyond the individual dimension of holiness as communities of believers interact to move in harmony with God's heart and big picture agendas. It is this "big picture" interaction that fuels a movement.
Joseph and Daniel were catalysts for strategic holiness. It didn't matter whether they were in prison, the lion's den or in the king's palace. Regardless of their circumstance or position, they knew Who they belonged to and they were about His business. They were stable, steadfast and faithful at each juncture. They knew their identity in the Lord and the sphere and authority with which they had been entrusted.
Joseph and Daniel each grasped and recognized the big picture of the Lord's purposes, along with their part in it. They operated with authority that only comes from time with Him. They were willing to pay the cost. They were not swayed by threats, pressures or what appeared as the outlook of things in the natural. Their orientation came from their time with the Lord. Their hearts were fixed, trusting in the Lord, as they embraced and followed through on the accomplishment of His "big-picture" agendas. They fearlessly took the initiative when they knew the timing was right to accomplish God's purposes in their spheres.
For the times we have entered, this strategic dimension will mean being connected. Lone rangers will face unnecessary hardships and deceptions. Rebellion, as in Saul's misfires will result in sad, untimely forfeitures of what may have been significant callings. Up until this point, the Body has been fragmented. Unity will no longer be something nice that is just talked about. It is going to be the foundation for survival.
There will be varieties of alliances and coalitions that serve God's purposes and provide anticipatory responses to the changes unfolding in today's world. This will include strategic alliances with modern-day Pharaohs and Cyruses: chosen, anointed non-believers with a heart for God and His people; who serve as gatekeepers of seats of power in this world. These alliances will be accompanied by a new wave of leadership that restores the balance between the operation of the kings and the priests.
Strategic holiness is a deep-seated knowing that God is in control. The Psalmist wrote: "Lord, You make me wiser than my enemies; I have more understanding than my teachers, for Your Words are my meditations. I understand more than the ancients, because of Your Word." (Psalm 119: 98-100) It was said of the Israelites in the king's court during the time of Daniel that they were ten times wiser than all the others in their position. These will be times in which a new level of wisdom will be seen operating among God's people.
Strategic holiness is a level of humility that acknowledges that we are called, gifted and anointed in His power. Yet, simultaneously like King David, it recognizes that we are "weak though anointed king" and cannot operate with any success in our own power. It is in knowing that "we can't, but He can" and that "through Him, all things are possible."
Strategic holiness is the honest emptying of ourselves before Him, that results in "he who rules his own spirit, being mightier than he who takes a city." (Proverbs 16:32) It is an emptying necessary to actuate the dynamic described by Daniel of "they that KNOW their God will be strong and will do exploits." This "strength and accomplishment of exploits" is not a matter of finesse, moxie or bluster. It is an outgrowth of the discipline that comes from giving first priority to time with Him and to genuinely knowing Him.
Strategic holiness is a proactive Spirit-led expression of God's dominion in the face of the world's rebellion. It is a growing holy alignment that flows in the authority that releases the supernatural for change and revival.
Judgment and Fulfillment
The days prophesied by Ezekiel (Ezek 12:22) in the opening scripture describe an incredible time of conflict as prophetic words are fulfilled without delay, despite the misguided passions of the rebellious, many of whom come from within the ranks of God's own.
The corner turned is into a path paved by strategic holiness. The trajectory of strategic holiness will trigger judgment. For the righteous who know their God, judgment is not to be feared. Judgment purifies. When resisted, it destroys. When yielded to, it facilitates. The coming judgment is the flip-side of an awesome outpouring of God's Spirit.
Judgment always reasserts God's authority. These will be times that reassert the Lord's dominion as the world is seduced by its passions; and as principalities work overtime to deceive, entice and harness the power of these passions from within God's elect, with misguided agendas intended to stymie the Lord's initiatives.
Yet, in the midst of the power struggles are those who will be strong and do exploits. It will be in the midst of the disruptions that God's people will shine like the brightness of the sky and in the process, lead many to righteousness. So, with the judgment will come fulfillment.
We can expect parallels to the situation described in Isaac's life: "And there was famine in the land and the LORD appeared to Isaac and said: 'Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you and perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.' Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the LORD blessed him. So he began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous." (Genesis 26:1-3, 12, 13)
These will be like the days of Joseph described by the Psalmist, "And He sent a man before them; Joseph; who was sold as a slave. They hurt his feet with fetters, he was laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him." (Psalm 105:17-19) Joseph didn't waver at the cost required for Him to walk into the prophetic vision he received at a much younger age. There are many who have been called today as modern-day Josephs, who have been tested by the word of the Lord. For them, the time of fulfillment is at hand.
When the time came, after many years of hardship and faithfulness on Joseph's part, it all happened quickly and was summed up when Pharaoh said, "Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God? 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." (Genesis 41: 38-40) What Pharaoh observed in Joseph was the result of Joseph walking in strategic holiness.
The significance of the corner turned recognizes that we have entered a time in which the world is ruled by its passions.
Being ruled by your passions is a mode reflected by both blindness and power. It was this passion and blindness that Hitler manipulated as he rose to power. It is this blindness and passion that distorts truth and reality. It is this passion and blindness that propels the anti-Semitism growing around the globe. This same passion and blindness births events such as: 9/11, Israel's intifadas and a culture that exploits its young as homicide bombers. It is this passion and blindness that is at the core of the operation of the occult today.
The distinguishing characteristic of God's people, those described by Daniel as "those who are strong and do exploits," is that their passions do not dominate them. They are yielded to and ruled by the Spirit of God. These will be the "chosen," at the heart of God's change and restoration as we move toward the power shift of all ages described in Isaiah 60.
Numbers 11:25 reflects this type of revolutionary change. In a day in time, the leadership of Moses was multiplied when the Spirit of the Lord that had been solely upon Moses, came upon the 70 elders. This was a major paradigm shift for Israel at the time. From the Lord's stance, it was a strategic change tied to multiplying the holiness in the camp of Israel, as the Lord prepared His people for the next step in His purposes and agendas. It defines the nature of a move of God. Yet, moves of God in this last generation were only precursors of the multiplication of God's power than can be expected for the days before us.
We are facing a time of incredible, revolutionary change. The wicked are revolting against God, while God's people are progressively entering a holy alignment. Just as during the rise of Hitler, the blind and wicked are putting an "acceptable spin" to today's emerging, occult-driven activities. It flows from a world seduced and "blindly" ruled by its passions.
However, God is restoring His authority and dominion to those called into the fabric of society as His ambassadors. The anointing will open doors and grant favor in the midst of seats of power; within strange and difficult circumstances. The authority from the anointing will initiate timely events and unusual agendas releasing God's purposes. It is the mantle being entrusted to those with hearts aligned with His, who walk in strategic holiness.
"Have you entered the treasury of snow, or have you seen the storehouse of hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war?" Job 38:22-23
"The LORD has opened His armory, and has brought out the weapons of His indignation; for this is the work of the Lord God of hosts." Jeremiah 50:25
Morris Ruddick has been a forerunner and spokesman for the call of God in the marketplace. He is author of "The Joseph-Daniel Calling;" "Gods Economy, Israel and the Nations;" "The Heart of a King;" and "Something More," which address the mobilization of business and governmental leaders called to impact their communities with God's blessings. They are available from Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and other popular outlets.
Mr. Ruddick is also the founder of the Global Equippers Entrepreneurial Program, which imparts hope and equips economic community builders where God's light is dim in both the Western and non-Western world. To schedule a speaking engagement, sponsor a workshop, make a donation or to get more information on how you can help, contact Global Initiatives at 303.741.9000.
2011 Copyright Morris Ruddick - firstname.lastname@example.org
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