No More Business as UsualJuly 10, 2023
Luke 2:49, “Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business — literally, “in” or “at My Fathers,” that is, either “about My Father’s affairs,” or “in My Father’s house” - where He dwells and is to be found - about His hand, so to speak. This latter shade of meaning, which includes the former, is perhaps the true one. At the Temple, He felt Himself at home, breathing His own proper air, recognizing that the ultimate business plan of His Father’s was foreshowed by the Temple and that He was the fulfilling of the Father’s affairs.
Matt 13:51-52; “Jesus asked, "Are you starting to get a handle on all this?" They answered, "Yes." He said, "Then you see how every student well-trained in God's kingdom is like the owner of a general store who can put his hands on anything you need, old or new, exactly when you need it." (The Message)
Luke 19:13, “Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, 'Engage in business until I come.'” KJV reads, “Occupy until I come.” The word in the Greek, used only here in the NT, is “pragmateuomai” (prag-mat-yoo'-om-ahee) It means to “busy oneself with”, that is, to trade or occupy. To occupy is to have an occupation in which we are occupied or employed, and are busy in business. Every man should be occupied, or should occupy himself, in some useful labor.
After several bad years of crop failures, a farmer made an appointment with his banker. Upon being ushered into the banker’s office, the farmer said to his banker, “I have some bad news and some good news. I will give you the bad news first. Remember the loan for the seed? I can’t pay it and will have to default on it. Remember the big loan for the new tractor? I can’t make the payments on it and will have to default on it too. Also, I am sure you remember the huge mortgage on the farm? Well, I must default on that one too.”
After hearing such bad news, the banker asked the farmer, “What’s the good news?” With a broad smile, the farmer replied, “The good news is I’m still going to do business with you!”
For the church in America, as a whole, I have some bad news. Father God is saying to His people, no more business as usual! No more operating by an unbiblical, modified business plan that makes our churches look like a shopping mall for religious consumers. No more status quo, maintenance-of-a-few-good paying members type ministries. (One black pastor was asked what the term “status quo” meant. He said, “It’s Latin for the mess we is in.”) No more consumer-driven, on your seat coming to hear, rather than on your feet going to tell type church. No more going out of business by an any moment rapture instead of going out on Father’s business until disciples have been made of all nations and all of King Jesus’ enemies have become His footstool, and the knowledge of the glory of the Lord fills the earth as the waters fill the seas. NO MORE BUSINESS AS USUAL!
Then I have some good news. Business Recovery is well under way in the church everywhere except in America and Europe. Father’s Family Firm of Almighty and Sons in Kingdom Enterprises Universal is still active, available, accessible and successful! More Muslims have converted to Christ in the last 75 years than in all of the centuries from the 7th until the 20th. Father’s Business is in a bull market all over Africa, India, and Asia. The underground, persecuted church in China is multiplying exponentially and I prophecy that it will someday result in the nation flying the blood red flag of the Cross of Christ rather than the bloody red flag of communism! Why? Because they are about their Heavenly Father’s Business.
We must recover Father’s Business Plan and began to order all our steps by it. This begins by recognizing that:
Father’s Business Must Be Clearly Understood
Everything Jesus did was based on knowing His true identity and destiny. It is evident from his declaration to his earthly parents at the tender age of twelve that he already knew that his purpose was to be “about My Father's business” (Luke 2:49). His Father's business was officially opened for business when He heard his Father say from heaven, "You are My beloved Son, and I am very pleased with you" (Luke 3:22).
After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, Heaven opened and the Holy Spirit came and rested on Him. It was then that the Father endowed Him with the anointing for opening the biggest business ever opened, the Kingdom of God.
Soon in His own home town synagogue in Nazerth, He declared, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor, heal the broken hearted, preach deliverance to the captives, recover sight for the blind, grant liberty to the wounded and proclaim the year of the Lord's provisions.” (Luke 4:18-19).
When Jesus stood up with those words, He was declaring, "No more business as usual. Today we are opening for business, and this is our inventory. There is good news for those who are too poor to pay, healing for broken hearts, deliverance for those in spiritual bondage, sight for blindness, recovery for the decimated and addicted, and a warehouse of provisions for every need to be met out of the unlimited supply."
Jesus knew the business purpose and plan of His Father. He knew value of everything and the inventory available because when He came to earth He brought His world with Him – the kingdom of Heaven. It was His business to do the Father's business, and that was announced in His grand opening statement, "The kingdom is at hand" (see Matt. 4:17).
A. Father’s Business Plan has been Faultily Rewritten
Alas, the Father’s Business plan has been tampered with. How long the present business plan has been in use is an interesting study. It is not a plan that goes back to Jesus, Peter or Paul, or the New Testament and the early church. After comparing this plan to Father’s Business plan, I have concluded that over the centuries the plan has been radically amended and has had the substitution of a sort of crisis solving, going out of business, plan put in its place.
The Typical Plan involves Two Parts:
1. Going Out of Business Any Moment!
Although Jesus said do business until I come, we have rewritten this to mean the faster we plan on going out of business the quicker Jesus will come back to earth and do for us what we failed to do. The fact of the matter is you can’t do business when you’re planning on going out of business any day. You can’t be successful for a new day if you think these are the last of the last days! We can’t occupy by running because runners don’t rule or possess, and rulers don’t run but are occupied in the occupation of seeing His Kingdom come, his will done, and His name hallowed on earth as it is in Heaven. The question of this generation to Christians is, “Does this outfit you are in have a future?” If our only answer is, “Yes, in the sweet bye and bye.” Yes, just a few more weary days and then, we’ll fly away.” Their response is, “But what does it have to offer in the “nasty now and now?” Is there a vision for victory? Does the devil win in history until Jesus returns?
Jim Hylton identifies one of the major rewriting amendments to Father’s Business plan as he writes, “Instead of declaring the Gospel of the Kingdom, we have been declaring the "Gospel of salvation," which offers the right for people to go to Heaven. That message is "How to let Jesus in." Letting Him in gives the receiver the right to go to Heaven. An insurance policy is offered, with the dues already paid. Going to Heaven is the goal. The Gospel of the Kingdom includes going to Heaven, but offers a relationship with the living God as a member of His family doing the business of the family on earth.
The Gospel of the Kingdom, in contrast to a "Gospel of salvation," not only includes letting Christ in but also letting Him out. Going to Heaven is benefit, but the greater reality is Heaven coming to us here—now! Kingdom coming realities were the offer of Jesus. When the Kingdom of God's plan for all of time and eternity is enacted, the will of God is done on earth as it is in Heaven. Jesus made being born again a necessity, not an option. But His emphasis was not on going to Heaven, but on "entering" and "seeing" the Kingdom (John 3:3,5).
The second part of the faultily rewritten business plan is:
2. Praying Down Revival Instead of Receiving a Kingdom!
Again to quote Jim Hylton, “Everyone is praying for revival. That’s like asking God for a bailout. What we need is to recognize and receive the fullness and power of His Kingdom now.” Speaking of his experiences as a pastor, Jim went on to say, “I was seeing the kingdom coming but calling it something else. Revival or awakening was not the best description of what Jesus was doing. It was His doing, and He had the right to give it a proper name. Perhaps, it is not too late to name it properly. At any rate I am asking you to walk with me from that event to others and consider the possibility that we are anticipating “revival” or God "doing it again” when He is seeking to give us far more than what we are asking for. It is my carefully considered conclusion that we are asking for a “narrow-cast” and He is offering a "broad-cast." I have come to the conclusion that receiving a Kingdom is far better than praying down revival Here is what God said about this receiving principal: Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe (Hebrews 12:28 NIV).
Praying down Heaven-sent revival has long been a formula for spiritual breakthrough. But revival is basically an attempt at spiritual bailout. It’s a crisis concept that many seek as a short cut for maturing in the faith. They believe a sudden sap of the Holy Spirit will automatically transform them. Others believe that if we can pray down global revival, we will pray Jesus Second Coming down also. For these reason we hear teachings on and Christians praying on the great end-times revival and harvest. The final big “umph” to get us out of here.
Another word of testimony from Jim Hylton: “What I previously called revival is a smaller agenda than what I currently believe the Lord intends. After going back to re-study and re-think the Scriptures, I have become convinced that Jesus came to create a Kingdom expression rather than revival as we have labeled it. The term revival is not found in the manual of New Testament truth. If we settle for revival, we will settle for too little. Looking back with a new set of lenses, I am convinced that what I saw across three decades was the Kingdom coming.”
B. Father’s Business Plan Must Be Factually Recognized
Our Heavenly Father's Business Plan iinvolves the business of expressing a Kingdom purpose to transform lives, neighborhoods, cities, and nations.
Our need is to factually and actually recognize that the Kingdom of heaven has come, is coming and will come finally.
When Jesus officially and publically announced Father’s Business Plan he declared it this way: Mark 1:14-15, “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." “At hand” means this business is mobile in its operations and doesn’t require coming to a special building called the house of God, because the house is now always on the move as the royal priesthood and holy temples. At hand meant that the kingdom of heaven was now powerfully active, presently available, and personally accessible.
No more business as usual means that we must redefine, realign, and refine our business plan so that it is kingdom-based, kingdom-extending, and King Jesus exalting.
1. The Kingdom of Heaven Demands a Choice as to Who or What will have the Exclusive Priority of Our Lives. Mt. 6:24, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Whatever we prize the most we will prioritize and pursue the greatest! The master of our heart may be properly termed the love that reigns in it. We serve exclusively that which we love supremely.
The Kingdom of God is the Starting Point for all Right Living and Long Term Prosperity and Productivity! Mt. 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” The word seek is in the present tense, which means that we are to go on continuously seeking first the kingdom of God – making it always the priority of our lives and labors.
"Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness" is the large, overarching command – be passionate about experiencing the saving, purifying, empowering, love-producing, joy-filling- peace-providing reign of God in your life and over all the world. "Thy kingdom come!" – in my life, my family, our church, our country, and over the nations.
What is the meaning of the term kingdom of God? Simply -- King Jesus in action by the Holy Spirit. Our English word is made up of two words – King and Dome. The kingdom of God is the domain of the King. It is living under the dome, the covering, the authority of the King’s rule.
What are the defining characteristics of life in the kingdom of God? The essential nature of the kingdom of God is divine power, wrapped in love, directed toward recovering the glory of God, and the reconciliation of man to God in a relationship of righteousness, peace and joy. Kingdom first living is to confidently be expecting the continually coming kingdom to be displacing the rule and ruin of the demonic, and reversing the curse of sin by the power of the resurrection life of King Jesus! (The kingdom of God does not consist in talk, but in dunamis, or power – 1 Cors 4:20).
The kingdom of heaven is about a Right or Righteous relationship that involves three things:
A Relationship with the King – A life of Love;
A Rulership under the King – A life of Law;
A Partnership with the King – A life of Labor.
C. Father’s Business Plan Must Be Fully Received
Heb 12:28-29, “Wherefore we receiving (present tense - a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.”
My dear friend Jack Taylor said, “The Kingdom of God is everything, not a part of something else. It fits nothing, but everything of value fits into it. The Kingdom way is God’s way for you! It is His answer to all that the kingdom of darkness hurls at believers, and which tragically blinds the eyes of unbelievers.”
1. The Kingdom is Received by Inviting King Jesus to Reign Over Us. The Church is Built by Allowing King Jesus to Work Through Us.
As I am going on receiving the King and His kingdom, He as the King of Glory comes in a declarative, manifest manner. When He shows up, He brings all that He has with Him – His love, His life, His laws, His luxuries – grace, mercy, peace, joy, grace gifts, etc.
The reason the Kingdom coming is greater than revival is that revivals never last. The Kingdom is unshakeable and never-ending. All great "revivals" come and go. His Kingdom is His life performed in every sphere. His Church is His Body expressing Him to others. The enactment of His life in Kingdom expressions may include His Body both declaring and manifesting His power, but is not limited to His authority in the Church. His Kingdom touches justice, government, economics, education, medicine, art, entertainment, or any realm that influences people and culture.
Father’s Business Must Be Consistently Undertaken
D. Father’s Business Plan Must Be Freely Released
When the kingdom comes, where does it go? It is always going outward and onward until all of Christ’ enemies have been made his footstool.
The kingdom coming follows this progression:
1. The King Secures Us as His People. In Christ every Christian is a king and a priest unto God… Just as Jesus was a priest who ministered with compassion and in humility, we are to humbly become debtors to all in need of His grace.
2. The King Sends Us Out as His Partners -- When Jesus described the remarkable operation called the Kingdom of God, He said, Then you see how every student well-trained in God's kingdom is like the owner of a general store who can put his hands on anything you need, old or new, exactly when you need it (Matthew 13:52 MSG).
Our neighbors have needs. We have supplies. We have supplies because Jesus made us joint heirs in this family business of Kingdom life. As managers of the Kingdom business on this earth, we operate out of the "General Store." Some of our shelves may not carry the inventory needed, but we have access to it in the warehouse of Heaven. That is why it is necessary to keep Heaven and earth interactive. Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
From our General Store of Kingdom Enterprise, we may offer love, friendship, advice, healing, help, and hope. From the shelves we may be placing goods in people's hands to assist with items for their home, for their food, or for their clothing. Or we may get on the phone to Heaven's warehouse calling for physical healing, mental healing, or spiritual healing. This general store is the biggest store on this earth. It far exceeds Wal-Mart in its size and number of locations. It is the General Store of Kingdom enterprises.
3. The King Sustains Us With His Provisions -- When God’s Rule is the Force behind My Life then God’s Resources will Flow into and through my life! God’s kingdom is one of plenty and He wants to share it with His Kingdom Partners! The Right Priority of Kingdom Purpose Provides Access to the Might of Kingdom Power and Resources! When, by faith, the people of God live by continually seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, they should expect to prosper and have all the things needed added to them so that they can see His kingdom come more extensively, irrespective of the political and economic conditions (Mt. 6:33, Seek first …).
2 Corinthians 9:8 (Amp), “And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need, be self-sufficient – possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation.”
God’s kingdom economics works anywhere, anytime, and in any economic status – depression, recession or progression. It knows no shortages and views scarcity as a call for kingdom wisdom and work. If we become Kingdom co-partners with God we will expect the promises of 2Cors 9:8 to be our ongoing experience.
As a Son in the kingdom of heaven, about our Father’s Business, I am never responsible for resources, only for my assignment! Therefore I do not have to live in constant fear and worry of shortages, lack, scarcity, of running out of resources before the job is finished. We must be transformed from the, “we’re-going-to-run-out” mindset to, a “we’re-going-to-run-over-in-plenty” view! We must believe that it is God’s will for us to prosper and be in health, provided our definition of prosperity agrees with His.
4. The King Strengthens Us with His Presence – And Lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age. The question of Kingship or Lordship is the hinge upon which the door to the whole of the Christian life swings. We can never do the preeminent thing without continually being submitted to the Preeminent One. May I tell you beloved, that God wants no part of solving our problems or padding our pocketbooks, our meeting our needs without a relationship with us, total rulership over us, and kingdom partnership with us!
Father’s Business Must Not Be Carnally Undermined
We must never forget that life is not about us. The kingdom mindset is always mindful that the pond we are in is much bigger than the lily pad we are sitting on. We must remember that Father God is not in the business of pampering and spoiling saints with goodies, but in preparing sons for ever-increasing levels of growth and glory.
Our role as members of Almighty and Sons Kingdom Business is one in which the King is experienced in our lives and His Kingdom is expressed through our lives. We are the material He uses to build the Kingdom.
There are some basic realities that must be remembered:
(1) Though we reign as join heirs with the King, we never rule as joint Lord! There is only room for one King to reign in the kingdom and it ain’t you baby! Our crowns must be placed at His feet daily. Though we reign as join heirs, we never rule as joint Lord. He is Lord of lords.
(2) Though we were born again into royalty, we are always in training for reigning. There are no quick shortcuts to maturity. There are not instant successes in the Kingdom of King Jesus. Instead, a childlike heart and a lifetime of training and trails await us. The higher the task the harder the training.
(3) Though we win in the kingdom, we are willing to lose all for the King’s sake! They will lose all and count it as waste to gain the excellence of the knowledge of God. No defense is needed because the willingness to lose is the means by which they win.
(4) Though we have royal crowns on our heads as sons, we are to be known for the towels of the servant in our hands. Those who rule in this Kingdom are those who serve the most. Towels for washing feet as a servant are standard equipment.
(5) Though we are strong in our warfare, we are best judged by how much we weep for others and with others! The strength of these leaders may be best judged by how much they cry. They cry as Jesus did over cities that need to come to safe shelter. They cry as Jesus did…for others and with others.
(6) Though our weapons are mighty gifts through God for destroying the works of the Devil, we use them to display the Giver, not the gifts. Spiritual gifts lift up Jesus so that others may see the incomparable one we are seeing.
No more business as usual means we begin now to invite the King to come in so we can be about our Father’s Business. That invitation is described in Psalm 24:7: "Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors; And the King of glory shall come in."
A king cannot come without bringing His Kingdom. If we will factually recognize the kingdom and fully receive it, we will become gates and doors permitting Him access. He will come and go as He chooses. With His coming as King of glory, His kingdom will be in enacted and enforced, and freely released through us. This was His own description of His coming to His people, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 4:17). With Kingdom experience and expansion in our hearts, we can have Kingdom expression from our lives.
We will be about our Father’s Business when each one of us yields fully to Him crying out openly and unashamedly, “The doors are open, the gates are up --Come, King Jesus! Rule and reign in me now! ‘Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!
Rate your priorities as regards the kingdom of heaven
What about your Actions? – Kingdom Motivated or World System Molded?
What about your Anxieties? – Kingdom Settled or World System Shaken?
What about your Ambitions? – Kingdom Goals or World System Greed?
Who is the King in your Life? What is your most prized possession?
What is it you are pursuing the hardest? Are you a Kingdom First Person?
You can never get the next thing from God until you are pursuing the First Thing – The Kingdom of God and His Righteousness!