UNDERSTANDING KINGDOM ASSIGNMENTS
As of late, I feel that I am in the Holy Spirit Advanced School of Learning. It seems that each day God is teaching me things that I did not know the day before. In our local congregation, God has been having me teach a series called “Foundations of Biblical Prosperity.” From the title, you may think you already know what I am teaching. I can assure you that you don’t. I have been waking up in the morning teaching things out of my spirit in ways I could not have imagined. In this series on Biblical Prosperity, the very last thing you will hear about is giving. Giving is only one component. Without adding all the rest, giving can be in vain. This is why many have gone bankrupt while they were tithing! These powerful messages are now available on MP3 CD along with a professionally printed study guide through Biblical Life Publishing (www.biblical-life.net).
God has also been teaching me about Kingdom Assignments. This is really something that I have never heard of before. I have heard about Kingdom Destiny, Kingdom Authority, Kingdom Power, etc., but assignments were not in the mix. So when God began speaking to me about them, He had my attention.
Kingdom Assignments come in all sizes. Some can be completed within one event, such as praying for someone. Others can take years, but will include daily sub-assignments. (We will go into more detail about sub-assignments in a moment.) One of the things that we need to understand is that when we accept the assignment, the Kingdom begins to go into operation to provide the resources, time and anointing to accomplish that task. That sounds reasonable, but our paradigms can keep us from those resources to fulfill a given assignment. Let me give you an example:
For a pastor, each service is a Kingdom Assignment to accomplish something in the Kingdom of God — usually within the lives of those attending. When a pastor realizes each service can become a specific Kingdom Assignment, he will seek the face of God for instructions. Once he receives those instructions, he accepts that assignment. Immediately the Kingdom will begin realigning things within his spirit, his congregation and even the atmosphere to accomplish that assignment. Without this mindset, weekly services become a routine. The pastor and staff will find themselves going through the motions with little devotion. (I have been there and can speak from personal experience.) The sermons become “what the people want to hear.” The songs become “what the people want to sing.” We move from “divine visitation” to “Christian entertainment and motivational speaking.”
With a change in the pastor’s mindset, he will begin seeking the face of God for his assignment. He may turn the services upside down. One service may be all singing and prayer. Another service he may teach for the full two hours. In the next service, he may teach for twenty minutes and then begin moving prophetically in the congregation. No one will know what to expect each service, to include the devil! It will add a new excitement and expectancy within himself and his congregation.
I believe we do not experience many powerful things in God because we are not sensitive to Kingdom Assignments. Over the past week, God has been giving me one specific assignment a day. Yesterday, it was to design a new follow-up letter for those that had requested catalogs. The interesting thing is that the letter had little to do with the catalog and yet the anointing of God was all over it! At the beginning of the year, God instructed me to include a complete seminar on MP3 CD along with the catalog. It is our “Next Level Living” seminar that has already blessed so many of you. The letter was about a litmus test to see if Biblical Life was right for them. If God spoke into their lives through the free CD, Biblical Life was most likely the place God was calling them to study. If they received nothing from the CD, they needed to look elsewhere. I would have never thought of such a thing by myself. Once I accepted the assignment, the Holy Spirit began moving: the anointing, ability to write and understanding flowed. It was almost effortless, and the presence of God filled our office!
This morning God woke me up at 4:30am. (And I mean wide awake, not roll over and go back to sleep kind of awake.) I asked the LORD, “What is up? Do I need to do something?” He told me to eat breakfast and go into the office to write this article in the quiet before our normal work day. I am sitting here with a fine cup of coffee and enjoying writing more than I have in quite some time. It was a Kingdom Assignment, and the Kingdom is flowing in it.
If you are a pastor, you need to change your mindset to the one I have already described in this article. I promise you that if you do, you are going to shake some things up! If you are a student at Biblical Life or praying about enrolling, I want to speak a new mindset into your thinking. Attending Biblical Life College and Seminary is not like attending your average bible college or seminary. Most schools are about imparting information – in their case, biblical/theological information. At Biblical Life there is a lot of information, but also a Kingdom anointing for transformation. You cannot approach Biblical Life like you were going to a business college. There is an overload of spiritual truth, altering mindsets, pulling down of strongholds, kicking over sacred cows and anything else God needs to do to transform you. Attending Biblical Life is a Kingdom Assignment, a divine calling to prepare you for the future. If you approach it any other way, you will either get nothing out of it (because it is spiritually discerned) or your head will explode (figuratively speaking). BUT, if God has given you a Kingdom Assignment to study with Biblical Life and you accept that assignment, the King will release an anointing of a prophetic bible student into your spirit. You will receive a spiritual hunger for truth and the presence of God will surround you every time you sit down to your studies! I have hundreds of students that can testify to this very fact as well as hundreds that can testify the reverse, if you do not accept the assignment! Your mindset can either make you like the pastor going through the weekly routine or like the pastor that turns the services upside down!
Now Dealing with Sub-Assignments
I am going to handle this on two levels. First, when you enroll into BLCS using Plan B or C, we will ship you a volume with five complete courses in it. Do not just start with the first one and work your way through it. That is the way of traditional, secular schooling. Ask the Holy Spirit which one you are to start with. There may be something in a particular course He needs to speak into your life now. Let’s say the Holy Spirit instructs you to go through the course “Biblical Life Prayer Dynamics.” Accept that assignment and have the mindset that you are going to receive everything God has for you in that course, even if it turns your life inside out! I promise you that the course will take on a life of its own! God will speak to you through the lessons and will begin taking you deeper than you ever dreamed possible! You will learn more, experience more and change more! If you don’t, you are limiting yourself and the Holy Spirit.
Each day ask God for your daily Kingdom Assignments. Your long term assignment is to complete the program He called you to take at Biblical Life. But is today’s assignment to do the next lesson or will it be to go into intercession or minister to Jim down the road? What is your assignment today? Today’s assignment will have today’s anointing, insights, revelation and transformation. Miss the assignment, and you will miss out on all the resources of that assignment! Once you miss it, it is very hard to regain the same level. Obedience is ALWAYS better than sacrifice. Satan wants to keep you in “routine” mode. The routine may get it done, but it will be without the anointing, insights, revelation and transformation your assignment brings. Routine only accomplishes things through hard effort, but will have little spiritual value. Kingdom Assignments require less physical effort, but require higher levels of anointing, insights, revelation and transformation – which the King will release into the lives of those who accept His assignments.
Change your mindset from routine to assignment and watch the Kingdom of God go into operation in ways you never dreamed of. It will change your life!
Copyright 2009 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E. All Rights Reserved.
Profile on Author
Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.
Chancellor and Founder
Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s “Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans,” Sterling’s “Who’s Who Executive Edition,” and the “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” for his accomplishments in ministry.
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As a person who has been preaching and attempting to implement strategies, I have come up with the following essentials necessary for effectiveness in kingdom ministry:
1. High-level intercession. In Daniel 10-12 and Ephesians 6, we find that there are high-level demonic entities called principalities that rule whole nations or empires. These are the highest-ranking demons under Satan that control the political, economic and social systems of the world through ideology and worldview.
Consequently, I found that when I started preaching the kingdom with a goal of shifting culture toward biblical standards that I walked into the highest level of warfare! This is why God led me to spend much time in deep travail and illicit the prayers of high-level intercessors. If we do not combine kingdom implementation with commensurate effective prayer, we will be defeated! When you preach the kingdom of God you are dealing with demonic systems not just individual demons and sinners! Without a proper prayer plan in place, our goals of kingdom implementation will be doomed to fail.
2. Spouse on the same page. Before you make a public shift from preaching merely an individualistic gospel of salvation to the gospel of the kingdom, make sure your spouse understands the spiritual and social implications it will have on your life! If your spouse is not on the same page with you theologically or teleologically (objective and goals), then the enemy can use this as a wedge that can divide your marriage!
3. Humility in the marketplace. When leaders start making headway implementing successful strategies for the kingdom in their communities, key marketplace leaders in politics and business will latch onto you. You will start moving in circles outside the religious walls of the church and will be in proximity to power, influence and celebrity like never before. Never forget your original vision and what got you there to begin with! Always walk in humility. I have seen countless Christian leaders fall into pride when they started hobnobbing with the rich, influential and famous, resulting in them being transformed by the world instead of vice versa.
4. Strong connection to local church leadership. The local church is the only entity on earth that the devil cannot destroy (Matt. 16:16-19). Leaders and ministers who bypass the local church run the risk of not having long-term fruit! In some cases, high-level marketplace leaders will be connected more with individual apostolic-type pastors who will mentor them, even if they live too far to attend the local church the pastor oversees. In any case, if you want biblical results, then connect your work to a biblical model of discipleship that involves the family of families called the church. Of course, if at all possible, high-level marketplace leaders should attend an apostolic-type church, which is a local church that equips and releases the saints for the work of the ministry by effectively engaging culture and influencing their region holistically.
5. Have a strong covenantal team for support. I have found that I need to have community with those who understand and partner with me in my kingdom calling. I have been blessed to have several close friends I work with, pray with, travel with and play with! Without this mutually beneficial support group, I would have a difficult time persevering in the kingdom marathon I am called to run in.
6. Avoid mission drift. It is inevitable that, the more successful you become in your kingdom assignment, the more opportunities will come both in the church and marketplace! Many people will want you on their boards, will pull upon you to aid them, and the demands on your time will increase. One of the most important things a leader has to do in order to remain successful is to avoid drifting from their original mission.
For example, I put every invitation and opportunity I get through the grid of my God-given assignment. If it doesn't align, I don't even consider it! If it seems to connect to my mission, I pray and try to get a witness in my spirit before I make a commitment to minister somewhere.
Furthermore, with every new level a person obtains, there will be adjustments they will have to make to ensure they are still on point with their mission. Having a team of folks that help you discern the will of God is also invaluable.
7. Be motivated by the message, not money. The more the demand upon you increases, the more opportunity will come to get involved in church ministry or business deals. God will allow both divine and demonic opportunities to come your way to reveal to you the motivations of your heart! If you are motivated primarily by money, then you will only go after whatever pays the most instead of what will be the most fruitful for the kingdom! This will lead to a watering down of your purpose, resulting in the dissipating of your effectiveness and divine authority.
8. Center the message and ministry on Jesus, not societal transformation. The Word of God teaches us that all things were made by Jesus and for Jesus (Col. 1:16). In all things we do, Jesus alone should have the supremacy (Col. 1:19). I have seen numerous leaders and ministries focus so much on societal influence and transformation they wound up in humanism (humanitarianism without Christ). If we seek first His kingdom and focus on Jesus being the center of our lives and ministries then He will lead us to do things that will enable us to bless both God and humanity.
This does not mean that we have to do every good work overtly in the name of Jesus, but we have to look for every opportunity to let His love be known to our neighbors. Otherwise, the focus is more on quality of life transformation than on Jesus! In my opinion, this violates Colossians 1:16, 19.
9. Balance your life with individual renewal. When we start preaching and implementing the kingdom message in our spheres of influence, we will see more needs and opportunities than ever before, which can result in work overload. There is no end to societal and individual needs.
One of the most important lessons I have learned is that it is essential I consistently do things that build me up spiritually, emotionally and physically. I need to do things that not only strengthen me spiritually (prayer, Bible reading, church), but I need to do things that give me life emotionally (sports, music, art, cultivating a social life and so on). Furthermore, I need to regularly exercise and be strategic in what I eat so I can remain physically functional. Missing it in any of these three areas can mean a premature death either in ministry, family or even our lives.
10. Balance work and play. I have learned not to take myself too seriously. I have learned that I have to work hard but mix play in as well. I need to invest in mutually beneficial friendships that give me and my wife a healthy social life that will strengthen us (emotionally) and inevitably lengthen our lives and ministries.
I have also found that the leaders I have the most fun with are the ones God is bonding me with the most for kingdom ventures. Jesus called His disciples His friends (John 15). He loved the Pharisees but liked His close associates! Jesus loved everyone, but I am convinced He did not like everyone! (Look at how He spoke to the Pharisees in Matthew 23 and compare it to how He spoke to His disciples in John 15.) Consequently, I believe God is going to lead us to work the closest with those we are compatible with emotionally and socially.
In the kingdom, relationship precedes ministry. If you reverse that, your key ministry partnerships may not endure the test of time.
Joseph Matterahas been in full-time church ministry since 1980 and is currently the presiding bishop of Christ Covenant Coalition and overseeing bishop of Resurrection Church in New York. He is also serving as the United States ambassador for the International Coalition of Apostles and as one of the founding presiding bishops of the International Communion of Evangelical Churches.
For the original article, visit josephmattera.org.