Traction or Tradition
September 07, 2009
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How to Start a Small Group – Kings are increasingly getting involved in Bible study or mentoring groups to facilitate their “Release.” Here are some helpful suggestions www.Releasing-Kings.com/Starting-a-Group.html. We’ve also updated our Vision Brochure with graphics to show how to become a King and how you can help Release Kings.
French Translation – Releasing Kings is now available in French thanks to the efforts of Cees Bakker and Support Ministries in the Netherlands. In France, copies can be obtained from Editions Menor or Librairie Chretienne CLC. The Title in French is “Libération des Rois pour le ministère dans le monde du travail”. Cees is also the guy who made the Dutch translation possible – available through his website. He can be contacted for Releasing Kings conferences in France and throughout Europe.
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Traction or Tradition
Harold Eberle – Harold is one of my favorite people because of his insights into traditions that hold back God’s people. At his conference this summer he recited a dozen mistranslations in the King James version of the Bible that were throwing people off – for centuries. Fortunately you can see the same thing on his web site. I recommend taking the hour to watch Why I don’t like the King James Bible. You’ll have to scroll down to the July 30 video.
Sound Doctrine – A Biblically accurate concept of God is very important because it shapes the trajectory of our lives. As a pastor I learned a simple lesson; you can’t ask, preach, tell, or make people do anything contrary to their belief system. We might try to change for a period of time, but eventually we revert back to our prior practice. Our beliefs about God naturally lead to specific attitudes which in turn lead to specific behaviors and actions – for better or for worse. The shortcut is that sound doctrine leads to changed lives. If I’m in a rut as a Christian there is something about my belief in God that needs tweaked.
My biggest “tradition” – What is the most profound change I’ve made from my past traditions to a Kingly mindset? Glad you asked! I’d love to share it with you. Harold wrote a manuscript of Who is God and asked for my review. That book was my first introduction to a partially open view of God. I’m going to refer you to open theism on Wikipedia for a more formal definition of terms. I also recommend chapter 7 in Releasing Kings. My summary explanation follows:
Nearly all of us have a church tradition in Calvinism that comes down to us in phrases like “God has everything under control.” In this tradition we mistakenly understood God’s sovereignty to mean that He controls everything – specifically future events. In truth, God can control any aspect of the future He chooses to, but he generally leaves much of the future open for our management. He can miraculously intervene at any time… for example, in response to our prayer. However, your and my futures are not all neatly prescribed and mapped out in advance. Now I believe God does have plans for the future at some level of detail for our lives, but they change with circumstances and the choices we make.
But, but, but: When I first considered this concept and preached it in my church I found a common reaction. It feels like we’re taking away some of God’s power or majesty. Our tradition is that we like God to be responsible for everything… that is the exact nature of a servant, “I just want to do what I’m told, I don’t want to be held responsible.” I reconciled that feeling with this realization. God is so powerful that he’s decided to wage this war using Kings to manifest His power and implement His plan. In fact, to be more accurate we need to refer to His plan as our plan because major pieces of it are found in our own heart’s desires. That’s the last place a servant would think to find the will of God.
It is the power of God, but it’s at work in us:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Eph 3:20-21 NIV
To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. Col 1:29
Example – When a baby dies, my Calvinist tradition would explain that God took the baby because He had a greater purpose in this tragedy… a tactic that leaves the parents in the position of not really trusting such a cruel God. An open theist would explain the baby’s death in terms of the cause (an accident or a disease). He would then explain that God is grieving with them and will work with them to heal and resurrect their lives from this tragedy. I’ve seen people lose a child and never recover from the grief because the couldn’t forgive God for murder. It’s just bad doctrine.
The entrepreneurial Impact – The most exciting impact of seeing the future partially open is that I will take the initiative to work with God to shape it according to “our” purposes. My will and God’s will start to become the same thing in my area of ministry. I tap into the energy and excitement of working through my own heart’s desires. I’m created in His image and I carry part of Jesus’ own compassion for building the Kingdom and ministering to people.
More practically, that resulting initiative will tap a new level of creativity and prosperity that you never dreamed possible. Waiting for God to hand you your future is an exercise in futility and poverty. My favorite saying is:
“God loves you but He does not have a wonderful plan for your life. He has a thousand of them and He’s waiting for you to choose one.”
Instead of waiting for love to find you, you will now pick up the phone and meet some new people and get a date with the one your heart is drawn to. The will of God begins with your initiative.
Instead of waiting for that promotion or business opportunity, you will create a plan to achieve that goal and put it in action. You’ll adjust it as necessary until you get there. The will of God begins with your initiative.
Instead of praying for finances and waiting for a miracle so you can give to missions or send the kids to college, you make a list of income generating assets and find a mentor that can help you pick several and minimize the risk. Then you sell whatever is necessary to make it a priority and buy that pearl. The will of God beings with your initiative.
When I experience a setback, I know God isn’t working against me… circumstances, other people or the devil may be, but God is not. I just ask God for wisdom, pick up the pieces, find a new angle and get going again. I am “whole hearted” for God because I know He is wholly committed to me. We’re on the same team. I feel the wind of God’s Spirit in my sails.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jer 29:11-13 NIV
Post Script – I may not have convinced you regarding open theism. Just realize no one is really on the other side with Calvin’s predestination. We all take initiatives and make decisions… some of us traditionalists just feel guilty doing it and distance ourselves from God in the process. God really loves to work through your initiative and creativity. He wants you to make decisions and be Kingly. It’s called growing up!
John and Sue www.Releasing-kings.com
PS: I want to recommend some follow-up reading.
Who is God by Harold Eberle provides the best explanation of a more relational view of God. It’s must reading that connects our perception of God with everyday life.
Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace takes that foundation into marketplace ministry and the entrepreneurial nature of Kings. Fruit in the marketplace naturally springs out of sound doctrine.
Desire to Destiny – Takes the foundation and marketplace ministry and puts them in the context of seven practical keys or stages of growth you can apply in your own life.
You’re invited into the vision to release Kings; communicate the message, make the money, and do the mission.
- The Message – Our first goal is to get the Releasing Kings message into the hands of the messengers that will carry it… do it, preach it, teach it, example it.
- The Money – The second goal is to help Kings break out of poverty by networking them with practical opportunities to prosper. We want to introduce them to the right people, the right opportunity, and the right financial approach.
- The Mission – Network Kings with opportunities to mix business and missions. Accomplish the great commission through the marketplace.
You can get your copy of Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace or Desire to Destiny at