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The Matthew effect – People who have talent or money or ministries or personality or good looks rise to the top. It’s called the Matthew Effect and this dominance hierarchy has been with us from grade school to the corporate board room. “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer” is a popular version of the same idea.
For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Mt. 25:29-30 NIV (see also Lu. 19:26, Mk. 4:25, Lu. 8:18, and Mt. 13:11-12)
Jordan Peterson says it this way in 12 Rules for Life:
“It’s winner-take-all in the lobster world, just as it is in human societies, where the top 1 percent have as much loot as the bottom 50 percent—and where the richest eighty-five people have as much as the bottom three and a half billion. That same brutal principle of unequal distribution applies outside the financial domain—indeed, anywhere that creative production is required. The majority of scientific papers are published by a very small group of scientists. A tiny proportion of musicians produces almost all the recorded commercial music. Just a handful of authors sell all the books. A million and a half separately titled books sell each year in the US. However, only five hundred of these sell more than a hundred thousand copies. Similarly, just four classical composers (Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky) wrote almost all the music played by modern orchestras.”
Weary of works – Stewardship is one way to interpret all this. If I work as hard as “they” do, I will be great someday as well. In our hearts, most of us deem that as a philosophy for mediocrity. What we really believe is that we’ll never compete at the top no matter what we do. We look at each failure, assume we’re bad stewards and worry that God will regard us as a worthless servant. We resign to accepting our infamous posture and our failed imitations. It makes us feel like sheep. Wherever we look, someone else is far ahead. For better or for worse, we are stuck being ourselves – thankfully! Our stewardship or works is never enough. There is something more. Want to know what it is?
The Lobster effect – Male lobsters compete for the same food and mating opportunities and develop a dominance hierarchy by fighting with one another. The winners grow in stature and boldness and produce a chemical called serotonin that moves them up the dominance ladder. Losers of these battles diminish in confidence and stature and move down the ladder and display a droopy, defeated, skulking sort of posture. Guess what? People are very similar. Success breeds success, but If we experience a defeat in relationships, career or finances our body chemistry, beliefs and stature all move down the ladder. Here is the surprising dilemma, even successful people routinely experience failure and move down the ladder. They just have a means of reversing the chemistry, the beliefs and the results. Want to know what it is?
I do have what it takes! – The anatomy of failure is a heart belief that we don’t have what it takes. Stewardship suggests it’s just trying harder. That’s a partial truth but the willingness to continue comes from a much deeper place in our hearts. If the desire of my heart matches the desire in my Father’s heart, He has made a covenant promise to supply whatever is missing. As a son, I don’t always have what it takes, but my Father does. He gives us all things, so we can do all things. It’s called grace and that’s the magic ingredient that when coupled with our work gets results – partnering with our Father. In Christ, I do have what it takes.
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Rom 8:31-32
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Phil 4:12-13
What it is – When we read, “to him that has shall more be given” realize that you have a Father who will provide all things. That’s how we leverage the Matthew Effect. Stewardship is good and necessary, but not enough. We start with the foundation of experiencing; 1) what’s in our book (our Kingdom “why”), 2) cooperating with our own hearts and 3) an anointing from the Holy Spirit to go beyond our natural abilities. Our hearts want the fellowship and empowerment of doing what the Father is doing . . . all the time. Stewardship’s fruit and outward success is not a confirmation. The voice from heaven that says, “well done” is what our hearts long for. I’m competing for my book out of love for Jesus, but I’m not competing or comparing myself to other people. Rather, I’m cooperating, cheering and collaborating. I’m celebrating their success and encouraging them if they are down.
Knowing when to quit – Wisdom will make mid-course corrections. Our faith is persistent but not stubborn. So how do we decide? “We” don’t! Our initiative isn’t really driven by success or failure; wealth or poverty; acceptance or rejection. It’s never totally about us. If it’s in our book (in our hearts) and in the Father’s heart, and we have an anointing for it, we can keep right on going. Like any other warfare, our tactics must be flexible to adopt to both spiritual and practical realities that aren’t always visible to us. Wisdom may suggest a different route or God may reveal a new path. Either way, we never throw in the towel and give up on God. He always makes a way when there doesn’t seem to be one.
Personal Story – We’ve taken a series of financial setbacks that have moved into the miraculous realm. No one could be that stupid or unlucky. I believe in stewardship, wealth multiplication, financial planning, and cash flow so my present circumstance doesn’t match my theology or my message. Without saying the Lord caused it, He has redeemed something from it. I’m in the favor of having to trust Him and my cup is still running over. He spoke to me and said, “It’s not your fault, it’s your path. You volunteered and said, `Here am I send me.’ You have put the Kingdom first and I will provide everything you need. Keep right on going! Be strong and courageous and proud of your heritage and your Father. I will give you your land and I am proud of you.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Matt 4:4 NIV
Never be ashamed of the Gospel of the Kingdom, your circumstance or yourself. The Gospel (you) are good news in every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
If you’re one of those young lions hungry to birth a reformation in the Netherlands, contact Marcel van den Berg http://opzoeknaarhetkoninkrijk.nl/
Podcast #5 with Tyler McCart
Podcast #3 and #4 Micro-church– The most recent interviews with Shae Bynes
Podcast #1 and Podcast #2 – fun interviews with Steve Reiter and John Ramstead
Books – Releasing Kings and Desire to Destiny
Heart Plan in Europe – HeartPlan.eu
For those of you who own a Business, join us at Building A Kingdom Company.
Releasing Kings is available in French “Libération des Rois pour le ministère dans le monde du travail” ISBN: 978-90-78643-08-1
Releasing Kings is available in Dutch “Moderne Koningen”