Pastor Jim Sanderbeck
January 11, 2024
As I recently sent in a vision email to our Antioch International Ministries, as we began 2024, I believe God Is challenging us to now pursue doors of opportunity that clearly lie within our own personal and corporate spheres of influence. To expand the Kingdom in the earth, we must now engage fully. We can not be just hearers or readers of the Word but we must be doers also. We must take full opportunity to engage with the world around us. If we want to truly be part of the church Jesus is building, we must apply and appropriate the instructions of His Word. No more lethargy or complacency. The word is ENGAGE!
For some time I have been quoting and sharing two scripture passages that clearly teach us that we are not located in the times we live by accident and that we have very clear authority to enact and legislate on behalf of God and His Kingdom.
- Acts 17:26-27
Act 17:26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,
Act 17:27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
- Matthew 16:18-19
Mat 16:18 “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; [ekklesia – a legislative body within a territory with the authority of rulership to enact laws and make legal decisions] and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
Mat 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”
I use the passage in Acts to communicate that we are not located in a place or in a time by accident. It tells us that no matter our position or timeframe, God is not far from us but we have to search for and find Him. (This is not strange because many places in Scripture we are told our job is to seek and find Him. One example is Jerimiah 29:13 as well as many others.)
I use the scripture in Matthew to communicate that as sons of God we have been given authority by Jesus to legally legislate what goes on in the places and seasons where He has positioned us. (This is also not strange because Jesus tells us in multiple Scriptures that He has given us who follow Him authority over evil and unrighteous things. One example is Luke 10:19-20.)
As we began our AIM Book Review series this month, one point of discussion led us to the word metron as a descriptive of “sphere of influence.” This word is used scripturally in the context of “metering out” a measured portion of something. In this context, Paul was speaking of the authority metered out to him, the measure he had been given by God at Corinth.
“For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding. But we will not boast beyond our measure, but within the measure of the sphere which God apportioned to us as a measure, to reach even as far as you. For we are not overextending ourselves, as if we did not reach to you, for we were the first to come even as far as you in the gospel of Christ; not boasting beyond our measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but with the hope that as your faith grows, we will be, within our sphere, enlarged even more by you, so as to preach the gospel even to the regions beyond you, and not to boast in what has been accomplished in the sphere of another. But he who boasts is to boast in the Lord. For it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends.” (2 Corinthians 10:12-18 NASB)
“Sphere” is from the Greek word kanon, which means “a sphere of rule or activity; a boundary.” Paul recognized not only his measure of authority, but also the places where he had been assigned this authority. He knew there were boundaries or limits to it, but he was also very aware that he absolutely did possess God-given authority in his God-given spheres.
THE VERY NEXT DAY after our discussion, Dutch Sheets spoke about metron and spheres of influence in his devotional on Give Him 15. Here is the link to that devotional:
The explanation and the vision for 2024 could not be more clear. It is time for Awakening, Revival and Transformation. It is time for Exposure, Accountability and Justice.
God is clearly telling us that our assignment is at least two-fold in 2024. We are assigned to pray like our world, nation and lives depend on it because it does. Prayer that is not weak nor loosely general. Rather, prayer that is filled with the power and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Prayer with legislative authority and declarations of what is permitted and not permitted in OUR SPHERES OF INFLUENCE. Truly, things have moved now to the “tipping point.” The days of spectatorship for those who truly are of the Ekklesia is over. Secondly, we are assigned to engage by taking every opportunity to touch the world around us by impacting our spheres of influence. Believers and unbelievers alike are struggling to make sense of an inside-out and upside-down world. Only one person can straighten that out—His name is Jesus. Let’s join together with one another and the Angelic Host of heaven and win our world to the King and His Kingdom. If you win your world and I win mine and if that pattern extends across the nation and around the world, 2024 will tip creation back on balance. TOGETHER, WE CAN!!