Think about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry on earth when he’s in the wilderness and he is being tempted. Jesus is being tested, we are now to the (Meeting Notes point A), who or what are we worshiping and serving?
Purpose Who/What are we worshipping/serving. (Jesus Tempted by Satan in Wilderness)
As you recall, in Matthew (4: 8-10) Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and their splendors. But if you also look at Luke’s description, it even says that “all the kingdoms of the world are mine. They’ve been given to me”. Satan said he owns all the kingdoms of the world because man has given them to Satan. So when Jesus shows up on the scene, as I read through this, Satan understood what Jesus was here to do. One of the main testing’s is the Satan showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. And he said, “All of this I will give you if you bow down and worship me. All the kingdoms of the world.” So, the kingdoms of the world are here now.
One of the biggest revelations the Lord has ever showed me, and it applies throughout all of life. I’ve shared it before is when I was newly on fire for the Lord, just brand new thinking of the kingdom and pursuing God every day with great joy. I’m walking, hiking on “my Mountain” near my home, I’ve been reading scripture with passion and it’s like; well, wait a minute, you have all power, dominion, authority.
We have that through you. Then things should be good on earth, Lord. I read it should be good, but it’s not good. I ask in prayer, why is it not good? And he spoke, I heard his words in my mind and he said, “Squatters.”
Giving up, surrendering of Kingdom Authority and Representation to Squatters
And I’ve taught on that before. It’s like, squatters? One, I don’t even necessarily fully understand what that means. I’m going to have to go look that up. And I know it wasn’t me because I’ve never even used that word before, but there’s so much meaning in that because what happens is that squatters are there taking possession without the legal authority to be there. They’re there out of negligence of the owner from occupying, managing and protecting it.
That’s why the kingdoms of the world could operate on earth as they don’t have the ultimate heavenly legal basis to possess because God owns the earth He created, and God’s given it over to man to occupy, possess and manage. The problem is that man neglects using his God given abilities and his Kingdom assignment authority which is obtained through relationship with Him. He doesn’t pursue the things of God, seeking first his Kingdom and bring that forth. He doesn’t manifest or bring forth the kingdom of God, ignoring and not applying Jesus’ teachings on the ways of the Kingdom which is what Jesus uses the parables to teach and instruct about. What fills in its place? The squatters occupy the empty space, intended to be filled by Gods presence, character, nature and purpose through his chosen children, you and me.
What you just said, Parker, is so right on is that this battle of bringing forth the kingdom and his righteousness, it’s not that there’s a void that’s there. There’s already something in place. Either God’s Kingdom and presence or the opposite, Kingdom’s of this world. You have to drive that out. That means it’s a battle for restoration.
Kevins Comments: And that’s defining purpose. If your purpose in life is Kingdom and serving God, if you’re a successful businessperson and it’s not hard for you to go make money, it’s one of those things where now your purpose has to shift. If your purpose is not clear in advancing kingdom, then that’s when you start heading in the wrong direction.
Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only
James Barthel: That’s where the horizons of maturity and faith come in, and we’re going to keep talking about that. You’re right. There’s a trapping there. Here’s a huge revelation, and this is really what drove me and in our business to the higher horizon, is that Jesus is full of mercy and grace. Right? Okay. However, the revelation is who, and this is what Jesus is saying in Mat 4:10. Jesus said, “Away from me, Satan. For its written, worship the Lord, your God, and serve him only.”
Worship the Lord your God, serve him only, which is from Deuteronomy 6:13. Here’s the revelation for us:
Who or what we serve is actually what we are worshiping. What we give ourselves to is actually who or what we’re serving
If I give myself only to God, serve only God then I am worshiping only God. However, we may not intentionally seek to serve, to give ourselves to something or someone and worship it or them. We could after consideration find that we are just not aware or have even been deceived. An example of this in the negative could be a harmful addiction we experience in life. Jesus demonstrated for us above the commandment to worship and serve God alone. He is asking us to consider what we’re actually doing in life, day-to-day, actually what I’m serving which is actually what/who we’re worshiping.
His direction to us is to seek and serve Gods Kingdom first in everything we do. The revelation to me was that in my daily living, I was inconsistently seeking first the kingdom and sometimes seeking and serving the kingdoms of the world, albeit usually not intentionally. I was doing both. And when I got that revelation… Remember Jesus said, “Worship the Lord, your God, and serve him only.” I was sometimes in reality serving the kingdoms of the world. That freaked me out because my heart is, and I’m sure our hearts here are not to serve the kingdoms of the world. Our hearts here are that when we worship and we worship God, we worship God through time with him and using our skills and talents and resources.
We worship him listening to his music and coming into his presence. It’s not that we’re not worshiping or serving God. The question is how much of our life is diluted in serving the kingdoms of the world versus the kingdom of God? The objective, of course, is to seek first the kingdom and apply it in our lives. This is the essence of why the kingdom and why it matters in our lives, and why it matters in how we go about living our life’s and doing our business his way.
Would everybody here agree? For me, there are seasons where it’s really easy to go seek the kingdom first, and then it feels like you just get pulled away from that time and time again. And then you work your way back and get pulled and pulled away gradually. So how do you defend against the stuff that’s pulling you away?
Part of what we want to be teaching and sharing about serving Gods Kingdom is to be more intentional about it, to manage it, to plan it, to think through it, to seek first the kingdom, because it’s part of your life’s plan and journey.
I doubt, maybe in a day, I don’t know. Maybe in the best of all days I can seek first the kingdom in everything I do. Maybe. I don’t know. I don’t know that I’ve ever done that yet. But maybe that could be possible. But as part of the journey, I want to make those days more than the days where I don’t. And I think that’s part of our aspiration here is to do it better.
That’s where, as I was teaching about specific business planning and tracking and monitoring activities to assist you and the entire organization, grow in serving and worshiping God by actually bringing forth His Kingdom by today’s activities. You can measure, you can if you take the time and this is getting off the topic, that’s a different topic. We can put together an awareness, a strategy, objectives, and mission to seek first the kingdom. And again, in a business setting, remember is that we can’t do business by ourselves. We have to rely on other people, and we want to rely on other people.
Not only do we ourselves have to seek first the kingdom, we have to get the people, the key people around us to also seek first the kingdom, whether they have their own revelation of the kingdom or not. I’m giving you the secret. That’s part of the third horizon. That’s how you bring forth the kingdom and build the kingdom. You can build the kingdom yourself, or you can also create a structure and organization where you’re building first the kingdom with a group of people. Good comment. I’m glad you guys get this because this has been my passion for over 15 years.
Kevin’s Comments: Well, I think an interesting way of looking at it, too, is to see well, what is the opposition? Seek first the kingdom, that’s great. That’s great. Whatever hinges on that goal. But what is the thing pulling us away? It would be other kingdoms. I think you put those in two simple categories: your own that you would prefer to, or inclined to build, or intend to build. Right? Your own kingdom that you would like to enjoy. But you are the leader. You set the boundaries.
You make it the way you want to be, or someone else’s in other kingdom that you’ve aligned to their values and their boundaries, and you would enjoy the benefits of another kingdom.
Your father and you’d fall under his rule, and that becomes the way in which you operate. You seek first what will make him happy. And whatever the case may be, it’s either your own or someone else’s kingdom.
And so, if we recognize that where our tendencies are we pull into one of those two categories, then we can properly defend against that by setting up the ownership or that this is the kingdom that I’m a citizen of. I will operate by these rules. And these are the principles.
Mike’s comments: That’s how we can recognize that. I think Jim had mentioned a second ago, well, our intent is we want to follow the Kingdom of God. If we don’t look at our outlook calendar, calendar, phone calendar for the past month, if we use calendars. But if we look at every month from then up to today. And then if we relate that with what do we do on our personal time? Like, “Oh, well we went with the family. And Saturday we…”
But if we look and see what we have been doing and then look at behind the reason of that like, “Okay, well I have this meeting. Well, why did I have that meeting to make this money so that I could do what?” Well, then we can see the intent behind where our power focus is. And that doesn’t mean we’re 24/7 kingdom only because we have to put food on the table. But I think that too many times people think, “Oh, I’m kingdom focused because I went to church twice this month.”
Or something like that. And I think that we, the seek first is the keyword is intentional. And how do we know that we’re intentional? Well, we got to look back. I can remember years ago I did a coaching program where the person said to me, “I want you to get a piece of paper, write down in 15 minute block of time what you did in that two weeks.” “Okay, well, this 15 minute, I did this and this.”
And then you look at it and it’s like, you know what? Fluff, fluff, fluff. You could’ve done this differently. You could’ve done… so if we can look back and go, “You know what? What did we do for the last 30 days? How could we have made this a little bit more kingdom focused?”
And it doesn’t mean that in the, before our next business meeting, we go, “Before we talk about this big business deal, why don’t we go ahead and look at John testament?” But maybe we just pray quickly before that meeting to say, “Lord, give me the wisdom to approach this meeting the way that you would want me to.” And-
Kingdom Impact and Influence
James Barthel: I want to come back to how later. We’re talking about why. Next month, we’re going to talk about what is kingdom. Then we want talk about you are perfectly right on, how? That how, there’s a big element of discussion about how to be, not just intentional about it, but how to be effective because if we seek first the kingdom and part of the purpose of seeking first the kingdom is to bring forth impact and influence.
And if we think through in our lives and in our businesses, how is it that I create… Impact is a forceful interaction. That interaction is between the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world. And it’s impact in a practical way in our lives and in society. Influence is more about behavior and character, and how do we change the character and nature and atmosphere of the world around us, including politics and stuff?
But that’s the beauty of the kingdom is that it’s comprehensive, it’s practical, but it’s also macro related. And our role, if we do it well, is we get to have both impact and influence. And if we think through, if we strategize about it, if we plan, if we implement activities and then we monitor what we’re doing, it’s using standard business practice.
If you want something to be consistently performed, let’s… I’ve got 35 years of business experience. You have lots of experience as well. What’s a key to success in business? Consistency. One of the most frustrating things in running the businesses, we have a great week, month, day, and everything looks great. And then the next one, week, month, day, it falls apart. Doesn’t that drive you crazy as a business leader and owner? That’s what used to drive me crazy.
One of my pursuits was, “Lord, I want to be consistent. I want to build in consistency into the system”, which involves business management. We can apply a similar approach to bring in forth the kingdom, so it doesn’t have to be random. It doesn’t have to be inconsistent. But we’re going to talk more about that. This is great. You get it.
Meeting Notes: April 1 2022 Kingdom Business Alliance:
Serving Gods Kingdom on earth
By James Barthel, New Horizons LLC
Significance of the Goodnews of the Kingdom
- Repent for the Kingdom of God has come
- Kingdom of Heaven (where it is from)
- Kingdom of God (who’s is it)
Why Kingdom understanding and application is important to me
- Purpose: Who/What are we worshiping/serving
MAT 4 Jesus testing in the wilderness (NIV):
4.8 Satan showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 4.9 “All this I will give you” he said “if you bow down and worship me”
4.10 Jesus said to him “Away from Satan! For it is written”: “worship the Lord your God, and serve him only” (Dt 6:13)
Revelation: who or what we serve is actually what we are worshiping, what we give ourselves to is what we are serving!
- Advantages of the Kingdom, what are the attributes, characteristics and behaviors
- Discussion on contrasts and overlaps (motive)
- Ephesians 4&5: Unity and Maturity in Body of Christ
Who’s Kingdom are we actually building? If God’s are we Co-Owners and what can stop us???
- Obedience and accountability
MAT 23:13 Woe to you teachers—–you hypocrites, you shut the Kingdom in men’s faces, — you don’t enter nor will you let those enter who are trying. (MK 12:40, LK 20:47)
MAT 6:19 store up treasures in heaven rather than on earth (Kingdom)
MAT 13:52 Instruction about Kingdom allows Owners to bring out new and old treasures from storehouse.
1COR 15:24 end will come, he hands over the kingdom to the Father, after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. (similar to MAT 24:14 Gospel of Kingdom)
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