Over the last couple of years I’ve had a profound shift in the way I relate to God. I’ve gone from a tradition of focusing on my sinful frailty (and preaching it to others) to a realization that I was created in God’s image and my heart is good. I can trust the desires of my heart with a little discernment. I trust God to intervene on my behalf. We laid that Biblical foundation in Part II of Releasing Kings. I believe it’s the foundation for Marketplace ministry.
Redemption doesn’t stop with forgiveness of repentant sinners like you and I. God goes on and changes our hearts to be conformed into His image. “Create in me a clean heart, O God” is not an empty request. It’s a prayer based on Jeremiah 31.
“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jer 31:33 (NIV)
Here is the shocking reality of relating to God personally instead of bowing to the “force” and living by principles and programs. (Hear me! We’re not referring to going to heaven – that happens with forgiveness – We’re speaking of a level of maturity that bears fruit)
“Personal” relationship with God doesn’t begin until we ask Him for the desires of our heart and He answers. We reveal the desires of our heart to God, and he reveals the desires of His heart to us. Those desires turn out to be the same thing. Let me suggest a step that will hasten your progress toward this stage. Before you’re sure you know exactly what God wants, you have to answer this question from God, “What will you have me to do for you.”
At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” 1 Kings 3:4-5
After answering you have to receive the miraculous answer… just so both you and God agree this whole thing is really based on grace through what Jesus did on the Cross. Want to meet God in the Holy of Holies? You have to go into the desires of your heart. When you find him there, you will have found a brand new dimension of knowing God. When you find God in the desire of your heart you will treat it like the pearl of great price and set aside every program and principle for the adventure of this treasure – pursuing your heart’s desire.
What are Kings in Marketplace Ministry? They are nothing more than Christians that have discovered how to find God by pursuing the desires of their heart. Here’s the engine that fuels everything from intimate worship to the great commission.
1.Your heart is good, the desires or your heart must be pursued
2.You personally (and your desires) are important to God
3.God will fight for your heart …never leave you or forsake you
Define Spiritual Warfare – It is primarily the accuser whispering that your heart is corrupt and your desires are selfish. Here’s the number one mistake God’s people make in this hour. When something goes wrong, they search their hearts for some hidden corruption and assume God is resisting them. Proverbs instructs to “Guard our Hearts.”
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Prov 4:23
Why guard your heart? Satan wants you to give up on those desires “and” to believe that God is resisting you instead of him. The key ingredient of spiritual warfare is guarding your heart, not giving up on those desires, and realizing that God is not going to leave you or forsake you. Here’s an example from my own life.
Restore Your Dream – The first casualty in spiritual warfare is nearly always your heart’s desire or dream. If you want to counter attack, you have to raise the battle up to a new level; you have to restore your dream and see the big picture again. Your biggest assignment from God as a favored son is to go after your heart’s desire. Sit down and make the list of the big things God has laid on your heart and then intercede with prayer, intercession and fasting until you have the wisdom and understanding to take the next step toward that dream. It’s really not that hard once you give yourself permission.
Here’s my big picture dream list. These are the issues the represent my life’s purpose. You’re welcome to share them – They actually came from God’s heart and I’m betting he’s laid them on others as well. However, your heart is more likely unique. Make your list!
1. Rally an army if Kings that are prosperous, generous and adventurous.
2. Develop a strategy for the nations. Micro-businesses to business.
3. Provide the examples resources to pull others up to prosperity and generosity.
4. Viral missions – Make it fun to bless the nations.
Prophecy to the Dream – “Prophecy to these dry bones.” I went back and reread Ezekiel 37. Listen to the tone of Ezekiel’s words:
9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet-a vast army.
11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Ezek 37:9-12 (NIV)
You will not be a King without encountering spiritual warfare. In addition to guarding your heart and your status as a favored son, you must also prophecy “life” back into the dry bones of your heart’s desires. Whatever dreams have died or drifted, you have the Kingly mandate to prophecy life into them. Warfare is not just donning the passive armor of Ephesians 6. You must wield the sword of the Spirit, using the word to prophecy resurrection life.
Every “King” I know is facing some level of warfare. The ones that don’t believe in spiritual warfare are failing. The ones that are doggedly persevering are surviving. The ones that prophecy to their circumstances are overcoming.
Lord, we declare freedom—for your people to pursue the desires You’ve placed within them. We embrace the desires You’ve placed within our own hearts. We claim Your protection over our frailties, and we’re grateful for Jesus’ advocacy in intercession on our behalf.
Thank You, for creating us in Your image with an ability to fulfill all of Your will. We confess our desire to see Your purposes on Earth established. We seek Your Kingdom first and long to be filled with Your Spirit. We admit to ourselves that we’re not consumed with sin but, because of You, we are free from the power of wrong desires and bad habits. We release our hearts from the fear of pursuing dreams—the fear of attempting the goodness and greatness of Your plans in our hearts. We step forth in faith!
As a river flowing from Your Temple, we command a release of boldness. We release dreams and visions for great things in the hearts of all Your people. We command the release of Kings to flow out of Your Church and bless the marketplaces of our cities with passion and creativity. We command an anointing of confidence and prosperity upon Your people that only can be attributed to the movement of Your Spirit. We release a people who are seated at Your right hand, who no longer are content to live in the valleys, but have hearts to live with You on the mountaintops.
We proclaim an era of abundance on Your people that flows through their marriages and families, their businesses, their finances, and their occupations. We declare rivers of living water to flow from Your people to bless our cities, our nation, and the nations of this world. We bless the marketplace with the ministry of Kings. Let Your name be glorified in the arts, in education, in governments, and in businesses throughout this land. Let us pick up the mantle for revival and bring it to our nation. Let the visions and dreams and the resources multiply among Your people in a contagious move of Your Spirit that sweeps over our land. Let Kings arise and enthrone the King of kings.
Life is an adventure. People are a blessing. God is amazing. We’re winning.