Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Right Or Wrong - 2011 by Morris E. Ruddick

"I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life." 1 Kings 19: 10,14

Years ago, as senior partner in a consulting firm I founded, I had an issue that needed to be addressed.  It was a recurring situation with one my partners. It was a matter I had broached politely and gently on more than a couple of occasions.  This time I came down hard on my partner.  He deserved it; and I was right. 

Afterwards the Lord very simply said to me, "Morris, do you know you can be wrong when you're right and right when you're wrong?"  Immediately I knew what the Lord meant.  Although I had been right, my approach had sown the wrong kind of seeds.

The Issue of Being Right or Wrong
Being right when you're wrong and wrong when you're right. 

The matter of being right can involve operating according the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law.  It may involve an idolatry tied with a position you consider as right, but with an overriding condition of the heart that negates the premise on which you stand.  It may also relate to what 1 Corinthians 13 has to say about love or the lack of it; which potentially can reduce our gifts and positions of "rightness" to nothing more than a hollow, unharmonious clang.

Right or wrong?  The stance of those of us who operate prophetically deserves a closer look as we genuinely strive to be right about things.  Nothing wrong with that!  Precision accuracy!  Watching our words.  Like Samuel, "letting none of our words fall to the ground."

Right or wrong?  Or is this bi-polar perspective always the issue?  There are times when one with a keen sensitivity to the Spirit says something that simply may not seem to fit.  It may not, seemingly, line up with the facts.  But there comes that gentle witness of the Spirit, which prompts the need for more clarity. Then with the simplicity of inquiring of the Lord, it is found to lead to another insight, which in turn leads to another, which then opens up a truth we would not have arrived at otherwise.  Were they right?  Maybe or maybe not! The issue may have been beyond our grasp of what might be right or wrong. 

There are some who seem to worship at the altar of right and wrong.  There are predispositions that have long passed the issue of righteousness, and have almost become obsessive.  Sometimes it's arrogance.  Sometimes it's a mask and the NEED to be right.  It can be a need resulting in not seeing the forest for the trees.  It may be a deception that has perverted the otherwise genuine operation of the gifts of the Spirit.  It can be an illusion of "rightness" that shoots itself in the foot.  Right or wrong may not always be the issue.

Walking by Faith and Not by Sight
What is at issue is a dimension of walking by FAITH and not by sight.  Walking by faith involves FLOWING in the Spirit.  It involves connecting the dots, when the dots aren't that recognizable or readily connected.  It is not about forcing issues; but rather, a flow of the Spirit that involves bypassing our linear approach to the way we process cognitive information and being willing to make inferential leaps.  Inferential leaps that bypass the obvious, which are prompted by the Spirit of God that show us something or get us to a place that has no context or bearing with our current frame of reference or perspective.

We KNOW that God is not limited by the parameters of our minds.  The issue is whether we are, if it reflects where we dwell or becomes our modus operandi?

"Being right" can indeed be turned into a form of idolatry. The illusion of "rightness" can cast a blindness into prophetic gifts or create a brittleness of self-righteousness. It can digress into a perverted sense of holiness. Prophetic words without wisdom and prophetic words without love are empty. Very possibly right, but also wrong.

The Maturity Factor
All of which brings us to that fine line of maturity.  Maturity is marked by the dividing asunder between soul and spirit.  It is genuinely walking by faith and not by sight; with a commitment to being a God-pleaser rather than a man-pleaser, but not as with any hint of arrogance or self-righteousness.  That would be wrong. 

The fine line of maturity involves the way we handle the truths entrusted to us. It reflects hungering and thirsting after Him to such a degree that there is not one vestige of variation between His will and our will.  It is guided by humility and a love that operate with wisdom.  In Romans 14:21 and I Corinthians 8:13, Paul makes the point although he had the right and liberty, that he would do nothing; illustrating with the example of eating meat or drinking wine, that might cause his brethren to stumble.  Paul is making the point that that which was right could be wrong.

Elijah the prophet lived his life and was an example to us all in the level in which he walked by faith and not by sight.  Yet there was an awesome cost for the life he led. 

Elijah and the Real Issue
Elijah was a man of incredible faith.  Elijah, stood against the idolatry and sorcery that ran rampant in the seats of power of his day.  He raised the dead.  By his word, the heavens were closed.  Angelic interactions were common in his life.  Then in one culminating event, Elijah came forth into the midst of those who hated and despised him when he confronted the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah. 

The drama of that situation must have been off the charts.  By his word, fire came from heaven.  The courage and faith it took for Elijah to stride into that situation must have been akin to marching into the heart of darkness.  Was Elijah right in what he was doing?  Of course he was.  Still he sure needed to be MORE than right in that situation.  He needed to be walking by faith.  He needed to be operating in the Spirit. 

In years past, I spent over two years in combat, some of which was deep within enemy territory.  Sometimes I think the glamour of the outcome of Elijah's encounter with the prophets of Baal tends to mask what it took for him to come forth into the presence of King Ahab, the prophets of Baal and Asherah, and the gathering of the people of Israel for this encounter.  Yet Elijah KNEW Who was with him.  He knew the timing.  He knew what he was supposed to do and he was walking by faith.  His was a faith that superseded any fear or doubt.  His was a faith far beyond reason.  It was a faith operating beyond whether Elijah was right or wrong.

A very seasoned man of God who was a mentor to me early in my walk with God, once shared with me that nine-tenths of faith is patience.  That is where faithfulness comes in to play.  It's also where the rubber meets the road in a walk of faith.  There is something in the waiting process that begins to birth the promises.  Along with the promises this process of waiting yields an authority and power. 

It is an authority and power that has no need to be right. It is an authority that operates in a realm beyond human reason. 

It's not an authority that demands.  It's an authority the very presence of which commands.  Somehow, it seems to work more for those who have been through unusual fires; whose dedication to the Lord is such that their dreams, desires, hopes and the like have become submerged in His. It marks those who flow in Him.  Not just occasionally, but in the manner they normally operate.

It's more than a territorial authority.  It's the type of authority that makes demons tremble.  It's the type of authority that serves to usher in the presence of the Lord.  The type of authority that Joseph flowed in at the time he was first brought into the presence of Pharaoh.  It has nothing to do with position or status.  It has everything to do with our walk of faith; in the genuineness of our relationship with Him.

The Fine Line
Those who operate in this realm with this authority, walk a fine line. Paul noted that it was in his weakness that God's strength was manifested. There indeed is a fine line between the time we spend alone in God's presence and the balance that's needed from our connection to community.

It is in this balance that the strength that paves the way into this type of walk and authority is manifested. Spending time alone in His presence is foundational to shape and bring into fullness our calling and destiny. Yet, we need one another and the God-ordained diversity and perspectives of those the Lord has put within our sphere.  It is in community that the higher levels of our callings will be manifested.  It is within a community who walk by faith; who are called to make a difference, that God's supernatural power is multiplied.

Elijah's confrontation addressed each side of power in this equation; the political, spiritual and community: with Ahab, the priests of Baal and Asherah and the people all present. His remarkable encounter against the seats of power and forces of darkness carried a cost. Operating far beyond the realm of human effort, he pierced the veil to turn the tide spiritually.

Afterwards, in what seems comparatively as a minor encounter, yet in his depleted spiritual condition was his tipping point, he crawled into a cave and asked God to let him die.  God had to twice speak to him in that cave; and ask him what he was doing there. 

Elijah twice recounted his fixated perception leading to his awesome victory against the prophets of Baal. 
"I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life." 1 Kings 19: 10,14

"I alone am left." 

Elijah's response to the Lord did not have any basis in fact. Yet, he believed it! It was the perception he was operating from. The recent event was so over the top that Elijah was over the edge and became wrong when he was right. He did want to die. At that juncture, Elijah needed something more.  Despite the fire from heaven, with the people falling on their faces, proclaiming that "the Lord He is God, the Lord He is God," Elijah needed something more. 

So after this momentous face-off with the powers of darkness and the achievement of this astounding victory on the Lord's behalf; when Jezebel sent a message threatening his life, Elijah fled. Even though the job was done, he fled in terror. Later, Jezebel, without much to-do, was disposed of by an army commander.  But at that point, Elijah fled and when God asked what he was doing in that cave, his response might be summed up that "he alone was left."  Not even that was correct, as the Lord advised him that He still had 7000, a remnant, who had not bowed the knee to Baal.

"I alone am left."  Elijah's greatest strength had become his Achilles' heel.  That strength was his solitude with the Lord.  From that low point, the Lord reoriented Elijah and tasked him with anointing new kings over Israel and Judah, as well as preparing the man who God selected as Elijah's replacement.  Then God honored Elijah by sending angels and the chariots of fire to take him to heaven.

For Such a Time as This
For those called for this season, to bring change beyond the ordinary, the message is this.  This is a time in which we will see increasingly greater manifestations of God's power.  The nine-tenths of faith being patience and its tie to faithfulness plays out in a very intense one-tenth of the times the Lord has prepared us for.  During those times, we need to recognize our need for one another.  We also need to recognize when to stand alongside those within our sphere who are entering the times they have been prepared for. 

We will always need those times alone in His presence.  Always!  But we are entering a time in which we are going to have to stand alongside one another.  THAT is not only wisdom for us individually, but as a community.  We need to be connected.

Our victories will be side-by-side with others within the Body.  These victories will be beautifully orchestrated by the hand of the Lord as he prepares and leads us individually, but side-by-side connected in community, in a way that fits with the big picture of His purposes and agendas.

We walk by faith and not by sight.  That means we can be right when we are wrong and wrong when we are right.  We need to discern that fine line.  We need to be tough with ourselves in discerning the dividing asunder between soul and spirit. We need to stand alongside one another.  Above all, we can never take ourselves so seriously that we conclude, that "I alone am left."
"A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go, work today in my vineyard.'  He answered and said, 'I will not,' but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second son and said likewise. He answered him, 'I go, sir,' but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father? They said to Him, 'The first.' So Jesus said to the Scribes and Pharisees, 'Surely tax collectors and harlots will enter the kingdom of God before you.'" Matt 21: 28-31

The Prayer
Father God, in the mighty Name of Jesus, enable us to recognize when we are wrong when we are right and right when we are wrong.  Lord, deliver us from getting stuck by the parameters of our own thinking.  Keep us from the idols of our own minds.  Lord, keep us in balance so that we can be genuine God-pleasers while maintaining the love and wisdom needed to build up and strengthen one another.  Keep us far from the NEED to right, O Lord. 

And Lord God, keep us connected.  Keep us from allowing ourselves to become isolated, in either thought or deed.  Give us right attitudes in our relationships, as well as toward ourselves.  Lord, give us the wisdom to appreciate and embrace the diversity and perspectives of those around us.  As we cry out to You to be more sensitive to Your Spirit, grant us that same increase in our sensitivity to those within our sphere.

We want to walk by faith and not in any way slip into the religious mode reflected by what your Word describes as "what we began in the Spirit, is now being worked out in the flesh."  Lord, equip us to operate beyond the wrong or right dimensions; beyond the limitations of our sensory levels.  Forgive us where we've stumbled.  Anoint us afresh and give us wisdom and love so that our words will bring Life.  May we be genuine ministers of Yours, as Your Word say: "not of the letter but of the Spirit." 

Indeed, let us walk in Your Truth.  But, give us the balance between Spirit and Truth.  Make us able ministers of Spirit and Life.  Keep us far from the deceptions and the arrogance and the fear.  God, grant us the grace to be able to speak truth in our own hearts.  Within ourselves, as well as with You.

Keep us from deviating from that fine line.  Enable us to handle aright the authority that You're entrusting us with.  Give us the steadfastness to operate faithfully and effectively in that realm where the only thing we have to go on is Your direction to us.

Lord God, we indeed want to hear You more clearly than ever before. We do want to operate with precision accuracy.  But Lord, let us not obsess on it.  Keep us sensitive and caring for one another.  Give us listening hearts. Oh Lord, we want to be ones who consistently flow in You.  We want to be making a difference, for You, in our own spheres.  We're crying out to You for balance Lord, as we proceed and press more deeply into that place of Your presence.  Help us in abiding in You, dear Lord. 

And Lord, we want to truly walk by faith, always being sensitive and obedient to your Spirit.  Always rightly discerning the input we are constantly getting, always operating with a right perspective in that dividing asunder between soul and spirit, always being a blessing to those around us.

Thank You Father for equipping us for the days we are entering.  Thank You for calling us.  Thank You for being with us.  Thank You for hearing this cry of our hearts.

Morris Ruddick has been a forerunner and spokesman for the call of God in the marketplace. He is author of "The Joseph-Daniel Calling;" "Gods Economy, Israel and the Nations;" "The Heart of a King;" and "Something More," which address the mobilization of business and governmental leaders called to impact their communities with God's blessings. They are available from, and other popular outlets.

Mr. Ruddick is also the founder of the Global Equippers Entrepreneurial Program, which imparts hope and equips economic community builders where God's light is dim in both the Western and non-Western world. To schedule a speaking engagement, sponsor a workshop, make a donation or to get more information on how you can help, contact Global Initiatives at 303.741.9000.

2011 Copyright Morris Ruddick -

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1 comment:

  1. very very very well said.thank you so much


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