Part 2 – Living the Kingdom Culture
Note: This series is adapted from the series being used by FGB Gatekeepers Singapore.
- To live out what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God in our lives
- To walk by faith, not by sight
- To run with endurance the race of faith in your life
- To fight the good fight of faith, laying hold of eternal life to which you were called and
- To confess the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
Holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or laboured in vain. Philippians 2:16
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Psalms 1:3
This is the second of a series on Life, Living and Livelihood, the 3Ls, the blueprint for the Gatekeepers’ Discipling Process.
The first of the series was about our life in Christ, a gift from God, an awesome act of mercy and grace. In this life we have
- Everlasting life
- Reconciled life
- Abundant life and
- Resurrection life
Identity and reputation
The bible has a lot to say about our lifestyle, the way we live out our life, living and livelihood in the Kingdom of God, our relationship with God and people and His creation.
Our identity is based on relationships, our vertical relationship being a Kingdom relationship with God as Sons of God, and our horizontal relationship being a Nations relationship with people, as kings, priests and prophets. The commandment Jesus gave us deals with both vertical and horizontal relationships. ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbour as yourself.’ (Luke 10:27)
Our identity in, and relationship with, His creation is that as good stewards given dominion – “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:27-28)
Living the Kingdom culture is about relationships. Relationship work best when there is unity. Jesus prays for all believers to be one with Him – “That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:21)
As God Himself declares: “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3)
Inheritance and reputation
Jesus asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 13-16).
Sons of God are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. Living out the Kingdom culture requires a good reputation which we by faith inherited, Christ’s reputation. Our old identity with its reputation has died. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20). When selecting the seven chosen amongst the many disciples to serve tables, the apostles specified reputation as a key criteria amongst others: “Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business” (Acts 6:3)
Imperatives and reputation
What do men of good reputation have? What do others say about you?
Fruit of the Spirit
For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth (Ephesians 5:9)
Heart, head, hands aligned to the vision and mission
So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands. Psalms 78:72
Serving God with spiritual gifts from Abba Father, Jesus His Son and the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-8).
Gifts are to be operated corporately, hence teamwork and unity is necessary (Romans 12:3-6).
Gifts and high calling of God are irrevocable (Romans 11:29).
Faithfulness to the high calling and servant leadership mentality.
“ … those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” Revelation 17:14
But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it. Numbers 14:24
But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62
1 EVERLASTING LIFE – OBEDIENCE-BASED DECISIONS
From the moment we made a decision for Christ and throughout our entire journey in life, we are confronted with decision making process at every crossroads and even in our daily living. What paths and steps to take in life? What are our blueprints and footprints for life, living and livelihood?
The Bible tells us: “… the path of the just is like the shining sun that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4:18) and “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.”(Psalm 37:23).
But it also warns us “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil.” Proverbs 4:14 and “Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.” (Isaiah 59:7).
Obedience based decisions are made with the help of God: “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.” (Ezekiel 11:19-20).
And with the help of the Son: “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” John 16:23
And of the Holy Spirit. “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:32
“For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” Luke 12:12
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. John 14:26
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: Acts 4:8
And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:31
As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Acts 13:2
The apostles were totally dependent on God to see His Kingdom come, His will being done.
“And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.’
“For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:23-31.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
Conform to this world – Self-directed will (positive thinking)
Reform – Ask God to bless self-directed will and plans (Presumptive Faith)
Transform – God-directed will for your life (Godly faith)
In the kingdoms of the world, our lives are based on our past experiences and the lives of the past generations, often expressed as generational curses. However, in the Kingdom of God, we are to walk according to what the Bible tells us to – to walk with God.
He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 1 John 2:6
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:6-7
After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. Genesis 5:22
This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. Genesis 6:9
There are many ways we are to walk:
- Walk in Him (Christ) Colossians 2:6
- Walk in love Ephesians 5:2
- Walk in the light 1 John 1:7
- Walk in truth 2 John 1:4; 3 John 1:3
- Walk in the Spirit Galatians 5:16,25
- Walk according to His commandments 2 John 1:6
- Walk in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Acts 9:31
- Walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4
- Walk by faith, not by sight 2 Corinthians 5:7
- Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Colossians 4:5
- Walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; Colossians 1:10
- Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, Ephesians 4:1
- Walk in what God has prepared for us, for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works Ephesians 2:10
In order to do this, we need to pray that our mind be renewed and our thoughts become His will, destiny, purpose and plan for our lives.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
God promised to:
- DIRECT your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- SHOW His ways and TEACH His paths (Psalms 25:4)
- REVEAL His thoughts and ways (Isaiah 55:8-9)
- INSTRUCT you, TEACH you, GUIDE you (Psalms 32:8)
- SPEAK into your ears (Deuteronomy 28:1-4; Isaiah 30:21)
- LEAD you by His Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14)
SEVEN HABITS OF EFFECTIVE CHRISTIAN LIVING
Ever since Steven Covey’s blockbuster bestseller, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, several Christian authors, including FGB Singapore Gatekeepers, have come up with various versions of the seven habits of Christian living.
Editor’s Note: I did a google search to find more about the various authors’ suggestions. The one that really spoke to my heart was the one from Jennifer Le Claire (http://www.jenniferleclaire.org/articles/seven_habits_of_highly_effective_christians).
It is based on the advice given by Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy, from a father to a true son in the faith shortly before Paul went home to be with his beloved Lord and King. Paul’s last words were worth noting. Below is an adaptation of Le Claire’s Seven Habits of Effective Christian Living.
- Stir up the gift and use it boldly.
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:6-7.
The Apostle Paul told Timothy to stir up the gift of God – and keep it stirred up. Paul reminds the young minister that fear does not come from God and encourages him to walk in the power and love of God rather than to cringe and fawn in fright.
Apostolic living requires us to walk by faith because there will be those who seek to quench our faith and the Holy Spirit within us.
- Hold tightly to the truth.
Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. 2 Timothy 1:13-14.
The Apostle Paul poured his life into Timothy. Like a good spiritual father, Paul taught Timothy the doctrines of Christ, modelled the way and kept him in prayer. He expected Timothy to hold on to the sound teaching he had received; to hold tightly to the truth.
Apostle Paul warned Timothy what happens to those who do not hold tightly to the truth, they fall by the wayside, like Phygelus and Hermongenes.
Apostolic living requires us to maintain a healthy balance between new revelation and solid foundations so that we move forward in the progressive truth that God is revealing.
- Raise up Sons and daughters in ministry.
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:1-2.
Next, Apostle Paul tells Timothy to be strong in the grace that is found only in Christ Jesus as he sets out to raise up others in ministry. Here, Paul was calling Timothy to a higher level of leadership. He knew that spreading the unadulterated Gospel to the nations depended on multiplying himself through others. He told him to choose reliable and faithful men.
Apostolic living requires us to pour into those who are pursuing God with their whole hearts.
- Be disciplined and ready to endure hardship.
You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. 2 Timothy 2:3-7.
Apostle Paul told him straight up that he’d need a good habit called discipline as he prepared to endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Paul admonished him not to get entangled by the affairs of life. In other words, don’t let the world complicate your ministry. Stay focused on what you are called to do. Be disciplined to play by the rules that God has laid down; submit your life to the Word of God.
Apostolic living means enduring the pain of discipline even when those around you may seem to be having an easy ride.
- Stay focused on Christ.
Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 2 Timothy 2:8-10.
Paul reminded Timothy the power of Christ’s resurrection in order to handle the persecution that went along with spreading the Gospel in his day.
Apostolic living is thus: “This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, he also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:11-13
- Know the Word.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:15-19
Apostolic living is living in the Word. It is only the firm foundation laid by God that stands in the midst of shakings.
- Live a pure life.
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honour and some for dishonour. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honour, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:20-26
Paul told Timothy to get into the habit of living a pure life. He explained that whoever cleanses himself will be a vessel set apart for God’s use, fit and ready for good works.
Apostolic living forges a habit of
refusing to get involved in trifling controversies over ignorant questions that
2 RECONCILED LIFE – GOD THE OWNER
Many Christian homes have a plaque stating:
God is the HEAD of this house
The unseen GUEST at every meal
And the silent LISTENER at every conversation.
This is unbiblical. He is the Creator, Lord and King of our lives. He is the owner of our lives. We were created for Him, for His good pleasure. He does not need to be an invited head, guest or listener.
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1:16
“You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” Revelation 4:11
Even though we were created for Him, Jesus promised to be with us always.
“And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” Matthew 28:20B.
And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” Acts 18:9-10
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. Genesis 39:2-3.
We did not enter into a relationship with God that is based on the salvation gospel to “die right”, but into a relationship based on the gospel of the Kingdom of God to “live right”. God wants us to experience His Life now as His Sons and Daughters to experience His love, power, presence and purpose all the days of our lives.
He paid a great price to redeem us so that we could have this wonderful privilege we were created for. But we must remember YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN.
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
In the kingdoms of the world, our lives are based on our past experiences and the lives of the past generations. Not anymore. We have a completely new life once we enter the Kingdom of God. God is not simply an honoured guest, a sugar daddy. He is our Abba Father and Jesus is our Lord and King. Although we are His Sons and Daughters, we are also His stewards. He is either the Lord of all our lives or not at all. When we were reconciled with God, we gave Him total ownership and therefore we become His stewards, His faithful servant, His Sons and Daughters, His disciples.
- As sons
and daughters of God, our lives are to be led, directed and empowered by
the Holy Spirit into all Truth.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Romans 8:14
- As His apostles, we are mandated to go
and make disciples of all nations.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen Matthew 28:18-20
- As good
stewards of the Master, we are to multiply talents and resources entrusted
See Matthew 25:14-28 and Luke 19:11-27.
Kingdom Ambassadors, we are to advance His Kingdom on earth as it is in
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20
For which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:20
His disciples, we are sent out to the marketplace to transform the culture
New King James Version (NKJV)
Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. Acts 17:17
- As His peacemakers, we speak blessings because He has blessed us when we shifted ownership of our lives to Him.
3 ABUNDANT LIFE – TREE PLANTED BY THE LORD
- God often refer to trees planted by the Lord.
Joyful trees, grafted trees, trees that bloom, tress from mustard seed, trees full of sap, budding fig trees that foretell future events, the tree of life, trees planted by the well and rivers.
- He desires that all believers should bear good fruits.
If not, we will go through the pruning process to bear more fruit. More importantly, to stay connected to the vine.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the
vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and
every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are
already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I
in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the
vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:1-8
- He sees us as trees planted by the rivers.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3
- No matter the circumstances, with God we will be fruit bearing.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:8
Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labour of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls— Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17-18.
- Trees are important for our well-being.
And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:9
In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22:2
- Grafted olive tree in the House of God.
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever. Psalm 52:8
For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? … And so all Israel will be saved … Romans 11:24, 26
Your reputation and character is predicated on the fruits you bear!
- In nature, a tree is known by the fruits it bears
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. Genesis 1:11
- Trees that do not bear good fruit are axed.
And even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Luke 3:9
“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:43-45
Roots, Shoots and Fruits – the biblical model for the ABC Model of Antecedent, Behaviour and Consequences.
The ABC model, first developed and used during the 1950’s. is commonly used for behaviour analysis by psychologists. This model illustrates how we can review our present behaviour by looking at our past behaviour and its impact on current consequential behaviour.
Antecedent (A) is the root or cause of the behaviour. Our behaviour is influenced by what we believe or think. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)
Behaviour (B) is the shoot that includes attitudes and belief system formed over time. Our behaviour is influenced by what we believe and think and react to people and situations.
Consequences (C) is the fruit we bear, good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, positive or negative to ourselves and/or others.
Inner healing looks at the cause and effects in our life experiences. Antecedents (A) are the key factors affecting our Behaviour (B), our feelings, thinking, attitudes, belief system, decisions and actions resulting in positive or negative Consequences (C) and our difficult relationship with God and people. Inner healing requires a shift from the negative Antecedents to positive Antidotes based on truths as revealed by the Holy Spirit.
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17
I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not
go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to
you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of
righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of
righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment,
because the ruler of this world is judged. “I still have many things to say to
you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has
come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own
authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to
come. John 16:7-13.
- High calling as a fruitful bough in the marketplace
“Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; His branches run over the wall. Genesis 49:22
The trees of the Lord are full of sap, the cedars of Lebanon which He planted, Psalm 104:16
But my horn You have exalted like a wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil. Psalm 92:10
They are expected to bloom where they are planted.
Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. 1 Corinthians 7:20
Like Joseph, called to save Israel, we are to be fruit-bearing branches of trees planted by wells or rivers of living water, called for such a time as this (Esther 4:14), running over the four walls of our home church and scattered into the marketplaces in all seven Gates/spheres of influences. We must take our positions as apostolic disciples sent out daily into the marketplaces (Acts 17:17; Luke 9:1-2; 10:5-9) to transform the culture of the gates, cities and nations. We have been made to function as Kingdom Ambassadors, serving as priests, prophets and kings to our God and Father (Revelation 1:6) to bring the glory and honour of nations into it (Revelation 21:24-26).
- Strategic Gatekeepers are called to have a father’s heart and make disciples of Young Gatekeepers
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing, Psalm 92:13-14.
FGBA operates on a platform that is interdenominational, international, intergenerational and integrational. We are a chosen generation, whether young or old. The elders are called to have a father’s heart to disciple the younger generation for the work of the Kingdom of God.
Like trees planted by the Lord, whether these trees are young or old, we are:
FRESH like new roots, with His anointing oil and everlasting presence
FLOURISHING like new shoots in His purpose and high calling, and
FRUITFUL like new fruits in the work of the advancement of His Kingdom.
4 RESURRECTION LIFE – DYING AND LIVING FOR BELIEVERS
Almost every significant thing God births, He allows to DIE before the vision is fulfilled in His own way. This pertains to individuals and organisations.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it DIES, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24
I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I DIE daily. 1 Corinthians 15:31
Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. 1 Corinthians 15:36
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 14:1-8
For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. Romans 14:9.
The world in general have a fear about dying and avoid talking about it. But not believers and disciples who know that dying to self is a daily walk and is nothing to be afraid of, because of the new life that follows when we abide in Christ. Thus victorious Kingdom Life, Living and Livelihood requires us to know Jesus as more than our Saviour, He is our Lord of both the dead and the living.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20
And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24
For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. Mark 8:35
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:1-11.
Demos Shakarian, the founding father of FGBMFI received confirmation after confirmation that the organisation God intended to birth was of the Lord.
- Prophet Charles Price declared to Demos: “You will witness one of the major events foretold in the bible. Just before Jesus returns to earth, God’s Spirit is going to descend on all flesh. And laymen would be His most important channel … not the clergy or theologians or the great gifted preachers, but men and women with ordinary jobs in the ordinary world.”
- David du Plessie declared to Demos: “You’re really onto something. What a dream! A world-wide fellowship of ordinary businessmen filled with the Holy Spirit! Each man a missionary to the people he works with every day.”
For the first gathering, Demos expected 300 or 400 men. Only 18 came. What followed after that meeting was 12 months of the most incredible frustration. Resistance to the FGBMFI came from unexpected sources. Churches were afraid FGBMFI would drain men and money from their congregation. After 14 months of meetings, ‘000’s of miles of travel, phone calls, letters, free breakfasts, ads to entice men to attend, and 100% of Demos’s energy, the FGBMFI seemed DEAD.
On Friday 26th December 1952, Demos declared: “Tomorrow morning is the last meeting of the FGBMFI.” That evening he went on his knees to hear from the Lord about His decision. Then the Lord spoke: “Demos, will you ever doubt MY POWER?” The Lord revealed to Demos the literal vision on global evangelism and unprecedented move of the Holy Spirit. The very next morning, God confirmed through a cheque contribution of $1000 and an offer of the services of a printing press and editorial and publication of a new magazine.
The vision God gave Demos in 1952 is being fulfilled, but it is not over.However, Vision Intensifies revealed in 1992 speaks of a new wave of revival in the world. This requires focusing on Jesus and His mandates.
(From the historical recording in “The Happiest People on Earth” and “Vision Intensifies: A New Wave of Revival”.)
Has God given you a dream that is yet unfulfilled? If the vision or dream is born of God, He will raise it up in His own way and time. Do not try to raise the vision or dream in your own strength. Like Demos who realised that “I had acted as if my strength was the Fellowship’s hope. What a fool I had been. Nothing, nothing, nothing man can do, or will ever do, will ever make a second of difference in eternity, unless it is energised by the Power of God.” Only the zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:7; 37:3; 2 Kings 19:31.
Like Moses who tried to fulfil the vision of freeing the Hebrews by killing an Egyptian, it will only fail. But wait on your Heavenly Father to fulfil the vision. Then YOU WILL KNOW THAT IT IS HIS VISION WHEN HE FULFILLS IT IN THE WAY ONLY HE CAN DO IT.
For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. (1 Corinthians 16:9). “Adversaries many times include us trying to help God fulfil the vision. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
ABUNDANT LIFE – BY THE POWER OF GOD, BY THE POWER OF GOD.
FIVE KEY PROCESS leading to victorious Kingdom Life, Living and Livelihood.
All God’s leaders and the called- chosen generations go
through a process that requires them to die to self and self-designed efforts
before they live to fulfil God’s will, purpose and calling upon their lives.
The 5P’s process involve
|PROMISE||Birth of a vision, dream, calling, pathways in life|
|PRINCIPLES||Belief system, faith to believe, understanding of God’s plan and direction in life|
|PROBLEM||Death and hindrances that seem to block the fulfilment of the Promise|
|PROVISION||Confirmation from God. He makes a way that seems to be no way. Miraculous provisions confirms the pathways and steps as ordered by Him|
|POSSESSION||Fulfillment of dreams, visions, high callings and the good, acceptable and perfect will of God when we are faithful and obedient to His mandates.|
|PROMISE||He was given a clear vision of being the father of many nations|
|PRINCIPLES||What he heard and saw, he believed. He walked by faith, not by sight.|
|PROBLEM||He and Sara were barren and became too old to bear children.|
|PROVISION||God miraculously gave Abraham the son of His promise, Isaac. God tested Abraham if he fully trusted in the Lord by instructing him to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. God provided a ram as a replacement.|
|POSSESSION||The generations under Abraham produced peoples, tribes and nations.|
|PROMISE||He had a vision that he would be a great leader and that many would bow down to him, including his siblings.|
|PRINCIPLES||He believed the vision and declared this to his family.|
|PROBLEM||Joseph’s brothers sold into slavery. Later he was falsely condemned by Potiphar’s wife and was imprisoned for several years.|
|PROVISION||God had Joseph interpret the dreams of the butler, baker and later the king.|
|POSSESSION||As a result of his interpretations, he was made ruler over the land and the people, including his family, had to bow before him.|
- DISCIPLES OF JESUS
|PROMISE||They had a mandate to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom and to disciple nations.|
|PRINCIPLES||They followed Him, received His teachings and saw great miracles on earth as in open heavens.|
|PROBLEM||The very ones He came to save killed Jesus and the disciples saw Him buried in the tomb.|
|PROVISION||God raised Jesus from the dead and Jesus sent the Holy Spirit upon all flesh.|
|POSSESSION||The disciples received power when the Holy Spirit descended upon them, performed great miracles. The disciples are now going out into all the world, enlarging and extending the Kingdom of God.|
Do you have a dream and vision for your life?
Have you died to self and self-made efforts and allowed god to fulfil your high calling?
Can you apply the 5P process to yourself?