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When this country was first founded, some in the church believed it to be the New Promised Land. They soon discovered that it was a wilderness – a place of exploration, challenge and training in the ways of God. By His grace, many remained true to the call of God – to make disciples, as transformation agents of their true King. And this country became, for a time, a light on a hill.

These believers, in the world but not of the world, participated in the creation of a government – “We the people… ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Why? Because they were led “to form a more perfect Union”. It is important to note here that, based on the history we have, they never confused their earthly government with the kingdom of their God – the One True King.

Furthermore, they realized – as we must – that this government was not intended to replace God’s government on this earth. God’s government on this earth is a kingdom, reigned over by a King – the Son of God. However, and this is important, the government of the United States was created by God for the people of God. It was to be His hedge of protection for the work He had determined they should walk in.

Later, on November 19, 1863, this government was prophetically characterized, by the 16th President of the United States, as “… that government of the people, by the people, for the people…” Why not “of God, by God, for God”? Because it had become something else; something had subtly – and dangerously – changed. The poison of the independent spirit had begun to take effect.

Not coincidentally, the church in America grew tired of God’s wilderness experience and provision. They looked around, saw the life offered in Egypt, and began longing to return there; and Satan was ready – he is ever ready – to deceive God’s people.

Now we can see, looking back from the 21st century, that the church in America, confusing the government of America for the “Promised Land”, got turned around (to put it lightly), and began the slow march back to Egypt. The consequences have been astounding (let me know if you care to see the statistics; but I warn you, they are disheartening). What is clear to the naked eye is that something has gone wrong – very wrong.

The hedge God established for the church in America has now become her god.

Read the rest of this entry »

ClocksMany Marketplace Leaders are suffering from lives that are way out of balance. My experience has been that companies, even the ones we own, will allow us to work as hard and as long as we want. And there is more than a few human natures that encourage us in that direction (e.g., ego, wealth, power). This has become so common, we seem to have accepted it as normative behavior.

You might be thinking, “Tell me something I haven’t already heard.” I know. This is nothing new; and I do not want to load your already chaotic lives with guilt. That is not the point here. The point is that unbalanced living is not normal, and it is not necessary. There is something you can do to begin the journey back to joyful, abundant living.

Let’s start with a motivational reality check (the truth will make you free):

Marketplace Leaders have been given authority and influence for a purpose greater than their profession and position. Our value to God, family and community is inhibited when we allow our vocation to become our self-defining purpose. As important as our companies and careers are, we are equally responsible to the other areas of our lives. When we allow one area to dominate the rest, all of them will eventually suffer.

Now that you are rightly motivated, it is time to seek God for vision; for where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18). Our lives have become far too complicated for us to find our way by stumbling around in the dark. What difficult thing have you ever done successfully without a vision of success?

Marketplace Ministry Tip: To find the balanced life we must be balanced in our vision. Begin by asking God to give you a vision for health in every area of your life. At a minimum, you should have a vision statement for each of the following areas: your family life, your personal life, your spiritual life, and your community life. Do this prayerfully, asking the Lord for direction, wisdom and the strength to press into the abundant (and balanced) life He has promised. Let me know how I can help.

Your servant and His forever,

Rob

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.    1Thesselonians 5:16-18

Until recently, to “pray without ceasing” has seemed an impossible task. Though I am not there yet, God has given me a practice in prayer that is moving me closer to that wonderful state of being that Brother Lawrence called “Practicing the Presence of God”. Here is how it works for me.

As I am sure it is with you, much of my time in prayer has been spent fighting off the interrupting and distracting thoughts. Most of these come from my flesh, the world and the devil. However, I am convinced that some are from God and from my good heart. So, how do I know which ones deserve my attention and which ones don’t?

In the past, I have presumed that anything that doesn’t sound like God must be pushed out of my mind. There are two problems here. First, this line of thinking exposes a naiveté (or arrogance) that I can always tell them apart. Worse, and more likely still, what are the chances that I am only considering the ones I am interested in? Who’s in charge here, anyway?

Second, the battle to push out what I perceive to be the wrong thoughts is regularly the biggest distraction of all. One thought is forced out to be replaced by three others. Before long, I’m only thinking about what I’m thinking about.

Been there? Frustrated? You bet!

But there is a better way. Read the rest of this entry »

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. James 1:22-25

Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. Matthew 11:11-13

The challenges Marketplace Leaders face are very real. Most Christians spend most of their waking hours in the Marketplace. It should not be surprising that God has begun a movement there – strategically placing His people in positions of authority and influence. But, as Jesus warned, “the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” Satan has ruled the Marketplace for far too long.

The Lord has been given the necessary authority and He has promised to be with His disciples. No challenge is too great for Him. But He will not do it without those He is training to reign with Him. As leaders in the Marketplace, we must become “doers of the word”.

Being “doers of the word” requires commitment and reckoning; and it assumes a beginning – taking that first obedient step. As a concluding word for the Marketplace Challenges series, I would like to share a few truths the Lord has blessed me with over the last few months.

Begin here and you will avoid deceiving yourself; you will not forget what kind of man (or woman) you are; and you will be blessed in the work you do. In the process, you will become a violent one that takes the Kingdom by force. Read the rest of this entry »

Living a life of righteousness in the Marketplace is a challenge for most every child of God; and particularly so for those that God has placed in positions of leadership. In my last post, we learned that our enemy, the world, is run on systems that are increasingly used to shut out the Christian worldview and ministry. I hope that the suggestions you’ve read so far have encouraged you to greater dependency on God, His word, and the community of believers in your Marketplace arena.

Regrettably, the world is not the only enemy of God and His children. Satan and our flesh are allied with it to deter Christian leaders from their purpose in the Marketplace. Two of their greatest weapons are deception and oppression. It is oppression – created and supported by deception – that keeps the Marketplace Leader from walking out on “Faith’s Edge”, fearful of crossing the “World’s Boundary”.

To illustrate, I offer my own story. Yours will be different in some respects. My prayer is that the Lord will use my story to make you more aware of our enemies’ tactics, and God’s counter measures for righteousness. I hope you will learn from my mistakes. Read the rest of this entry »

468004097_56ada21d4a_mWe know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. 1John 5:19

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1John 4:4

Every manmade system – every system of government, business, education, and, yes, religion – operates contrary to the ways and thoughts of God. It is impossible for anyone to live a godly life and not be persecuted (2Timothy 3:12). Why? Because the holiness of God stands in stark contrast to the ways, thoughts and philosophies of carnal man (Romans 8:5-8). This is the environment to which Marketplace Leaders are called to let their light – the life of Christ – shine before men.

Approximately 2000 years ago, Christ came to establish His Kingdom. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15) He commissioned His followers to make disciples – taking the Kingdom by force. In opposition, the world has sought to prevent the restoration of the creation to its Creator. More than any other time in our history, the systems of man are doing their utmost to shut out the voice of truth – and the Life that is the Truth.

In the midst of opposition, God does not retreat. In fact, He has raised up an expeditionary force to meet the enemies of His Kingdom head on. This is the promise of Marketplace Ministry. God is raising up an army of Marketplace Leaders as transformation agents and disciple makers that will impact their communities in many incredible ways. Marketplace Leaders are, after all, the most influential members for the church of our Lord Jesus Christ in this season of desperate need.

So what is a Marketplace Leader to do? How can they stand up against the policies and procedures, the rules and laws, which are being used to choke out their light? I want to suggest a few things:

  1. Allow the Lord to make you (Mark 1:17); and the Spirit of God to transform you (2Corinthians 3:18).
  2. Consider Matthew 10:16-34. This is the truth of our day.
  3. Deal with your fears. Behind every fear, there is a lie. Deal with the lie, and the fear will fly. (2Timothy 1:7)
  4. Begin each day with commitment to live it for Eternity – and its hope of glory. (Romans 8:18)
  5. Love the LORD with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. (Luke 10:27)
  6. Regularly reckon in your heart that God is sovereign, He loves you, and He has a plan for you. (Psalm 139)
  7. Be of good courage (Joshua 1:9); fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith (2Timothy 4:7).
  8. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might; put on the whole armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-11)
  9. Encourage one another. (Colossians 2:1-3)

I could go on, but you get the idea. The Word of God is a great encouragement; and we should use it to encourage one another. Christian Leaders in the Marketplace will not survive without taking a heavy dose of truth each and every day. An early morning meeting with God is more important than any meeting you will have all day. Take the truth you receive into the Marketplace. With it, you will be a force for the Kingdom of God!

God bless you with power and grace as witnesses of His Son’s sacrifice and resurrection.

Have a strong day in the Lord,

Rob

The children of God in America are experiencing the beginnings of a “double chaos”; a chaos of society and a chaos of the church.  This “two-fold chaos” will test our faith and shake our foundations.  The following are notes from the 16th meeting of the Berean Marketplace Leaders Forum, where the dialogue topic was “The Chaos of Country and Church (Part 2) – Response”.  Follow this link to the notes from Part 1.  And then…

Read the rest of this entry »

american-flag1I wrote the following post almost six years ago.  I don’t think anything has changed; the times have just gotten more urgent (in my opinion).  What brought this to mind was a verse from Romans:

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever.  Romans 11:36

This verse strikes quite a contrast to Lincoln’s famous quote about our Democratic Republic, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”  Let me know what you think.  More importantly, determine what you believe in your heart and do something about it.

I have been struggling to write this post for three weeks; for two basic reasons:  First, I have been concerned about the strong warning in it; and how it might offend my Christian brethren. Second, I don’t want Homeland Security knocking at my door. That’s right; the first edition (written in my head) left me worried that the wrong people would think that I am a crazed religious weirdo with terrorist leanings. Silly, huh? We’re not suppose to worry – about offense or being thought weird.

But, just in case, let me say right out of the gate that I love all that God loves, I appreciate my freedoms, and I do not believe in wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers (you’re not going to believe this, but as I was writing this thought – right at this point – my word processor failed, and asked me if I wanted to send an error report; and I admit hesitating before I chose “yes”; but let’s continue), against the rulers of the darkness of this age, and against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (that’s Ephesians 6:12 for you Homeland Security guys).

As a last word of introduction:  This is a strong and encouraging word for Marketplace Leaders.  Please read it carefully, and guard against it being stolen from you by the enemy.

So, what’s this all about? Read the rest of this entry »

frowning-baby1Well, it’s over and our team didn’t win (no, I’m not talking about the Georgia/Florida game). Barack Obama and Joe Biden have been elected to serve as the next President and Vice President of these United States. For many, this will be a day of shock and sadness, fear and dread. I woke up this morning with a threatening spirit (i.e., demon) trying to push me to fear. My wife suggested that it might be the appropriate response, given the position these two men have on the moral issues (e.g., abortion, gay rights). I think she is right. Feeling threatened might be just what we need; the proverbial wake-up call. Perhaps it was a spirit of fear trying to drawing me in – using the threat to its advantage. Fortunately, I have the word of God to guide and encourage me.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”     2Timothy 1:7

With this verse in mind, I would like to offer a few constructive responses. Read the rest of this entry »

Brethren,

I have spoken here before about the authority we have been given.  It is authority “for”, not “over”.  When Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, He was not just giving a lesson in good fellowship, but defining the very character of authority in the Kingdom of God.  He said that He did not come to be served, but to serve.  Authority is not about making, or convincing, people to do what you want.  It is about serving them without thought for our own lives.  Even secular corporations are recognizing the power of “authority for”, though for different reasons (e.g., productivity).

But there is another purpose of authority; a purpose the secular world will never understand – because it is a purpose played out only in the supernatural realm.  The authority purpose I am speaking of is authority “against”.  Go with me to Ephesians 6:10-12:

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this dark age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.

The “power” mentioned in the first sentence of this passage is the “power to rule”, or “Kingdom authority”, of God.  It is the same authority that Jesus gave the 12 disciples when He sent them out – the authority over demons and diseases.  He sent them out to teach them authority against.  It is this authority that we are to be strong in.  NOTE:  This is not a request or an invitation; it is an imperative statement – a command.  

I recently had the opportunity to pray backstage at an evangelistic outreach to teenagers.  It was exciting to be part of a little band of intercessors being strong in the power of His might.  We were praying in authority “for” the children gathered, and in authority “against” the evil forces that would distract and discourage them from hearing the Good News.  In essence, we were praying for the dominion of Christ, our King, to be established in that location.  And it happened!!!!  Over 500 children and adults made decision for Christ.

So, I encourage you, brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might; for He is exceedingly mightier than we can imagine.

Having a strong day in the Lord,

Rob

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