Positioned to Lead
Pastor Jim Sanderbeck
President, Antioch International Ministries
June 11, 2020
In this hour of chaos, moral, spiritual and social unrest fills the streets of the United States of America and the world at large. Untold numbers live in fear and have questions that the world’s leaders cannot answer. Additionally, we hear the Spirit of God say through current prophetic words that planet earth has entered a new season that will exemplify the Kingdom of God and embrace what has been called by a few, a new Great Awakening. As this season fully manifests, it will produce a revival of many lukewarm and religious believers and a harvest of new believers that exceeds anything experienced to date. Resultant lifestyles that reflect Kingdom truth and principle are going to emerge and capture the hearts of millions.
In the past four months, pandemic disease, murder, vandalism, and disrespect/dishonor for people, places, and things have dominated the media. Media sources have been sources of disunity instead of instruments of unity. Government politicians have shown themselves to be inadequate decision-makers and more interested in promoting useless ideology and self-promotion than workable solutions and justice. This negative dark spirit has fanned the flames of anarchy and incubates just more of the same.
Although there have been a few powerful examples of Christian unity and compassion expressed through this time period, little has been publicized that has had a positive impact on lives. Aside from the liberal and distorted media sources, this is because 1) the spirit of the kingdom of darkness that saturates the atmosphere today is trying to hold back the coming Awakening and 2) The Kingdom of God does not come with fanfare and overtly visible signs that gratifies the flesh. (Luke 17:20-21) I believe that is about to change!
It is time for Christian believers to arise and become active leaders in whatever sphere of influence they touch. I’m not talking about just those Christians who occupy the pulpit or have large followings. I’m talking about those believers who understand who they are as sons of God and ambassadors of the Kingdom. Spirit Warriors who are willing to risk, rise up in demonstrations of faith led by the Holy Spirit, live by the Word of God and model the example of our Savior King Jesus. Nothing held back. Leaders who will visibly represent to today’s world the Ekklesia model of the 1st generation believers. Leaders that all of creation is crying out for. (Romans 8:19). These believers are positioned to lead.
The Kingdom of God comes to change culture and it is time to visibly do that and not just give lip service to it. Jesus Himself said this in Matthew 10:34: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Paraphrased, Jesus was saying I have come to change the culture of the world to the culture of His Father’s Kingdom. For way too long, Christian leaders have talked about fishing, had conferences about fishing, and taught methods about how to fish. However, whenever it comes to reaching humanity aggressively for the sake of establishing the Kingdom, very few leaders are fishing! This is not how God has wanted it. [Didn’t he say “go and take dominion?” (Gen. 1:26).] Likewise, this is not how the founders of this nation referenced it. This is what they wrote in the Constitution at our very outset as a nation:
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Is this statement not reflective of the Kingdom lifestyle we Christians are to model? The Kingdom is within us!
To the church in general, I ask the question, “what in the world has happened here?” Where did this fervor of the founders go? Do we as a nation today even have an inkling of what this constitutional preamble says or means? Do we understand what God meant when He commanded mankind to take dominion? Christian leaders are necessary to advance the spirit of the Kingdom, but, sadly, the atmosphere over which the church hovers has been relatively silent while we built our fortresses, conducted our programs and worked on building our personal kingdoms.
To my question above of, “do we have an inkling…”, from what I have observed—NO, not really! Certainly not as a whole nation. Because the initial motivation of this nation’s founders was to be ruled from the inside out and from the bottom up, literally the culture has been turned outside in and upside down. I realize the pandemic, violence, and governmental chaos is a global worldwide issue, but God has established our boundaries and seasons positioned here in these United States. (Acts 17:26) Let’s start making our way back in Judea first and then go to the uttermost parts of the earth. Liberal thinking combined with our abilities to meet our own needs has flipped the United States into Babylonian behaviors that mirror culture at the tower of Babel. And, as Scripture clearly reflects in Romans 1:18-32, culture in these United States has reversed its original design of justice, domestic tranquility, common defense, general welfare and individual liberty to one that has forsaken dependence upon Him. Therefore, God has given the unsaved and unbelieving society in general “over to a reprobate (deprived) mind.” (vs 28) Reprobate meaning “unapproved, that is, rejected; by implication worthless (literally or morally): – castaway, rejected, reprobate.” (Strong’s Concordance reference G96)
Christian leaders, especially since prayer was removed from schools in 1962, have given some lip service but, face it, very little tangible results have occurred to protest and effectively change spiritual, family and social decline. For true ministry leaders, it seems to me that the conditions that need examined are the conditions of the heart, conditions of the culture, conditions controlling life experience and conditions of responsible leadership that actually produces results. The hearts in this nation have become self-satisfying. The culture of this nation has drastically been eroded from its original intent and design. The life experience of this nation (the wealthiest and most liberated of the world) has become arrogantly entitled and lacking in forgiveness while accepting cultural postures other than the Biblical example.
I’m calling for all of the believers in Jesus Christ to lead—not just the ecclesiastically called. Get out of the bleachers and onto the playing field. We need to lead in every mountain (cultural) sphere. We need to impact our sphere of influence through intercession for the nation, through stepping publicly on to the platforms of every mountain in a way that influences Kingdom life, through the exercise of public worship, through the support of believing and actively practicing Christians in the government and in the marketplace, through service at the point of need, through the demonstration of honor where honor is deserved, and through the modeling of Christ-like attitudes and behaviors in our family and in our neighborhoods. What if we all did this everyday in our own assigned roles and locations? This is our land and it our destiny to influence the world for the Kingdom of God. It is time! It is time to go to work and to work God’s eternal plan.