But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. James 1:22-25

Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. Matthew 11:11-13

The challenges Marketplace Leaders face are very real. Most Christians spend most of their waking hours in the Marketplace. It should not be surprising that God has begun a movement there – strategically placing His people in positions of authority and influence. But, as Jesus warned, “the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” Satan has ruled the Marketplace for far too long.

The Lord has been given the necessary authority and He has promised to be with His disciples. No challenge is too great for Him. But He will not do it without those He is training to reign with Him. As leaders in the Marketplace, we must become “doers of the word”.

Being “doers of the word” requires commitment and reckoning; and it assumes a beginning – taking that first obedient step. As a concluding word for the Marketplace Challenges series, I would like to share a few truths the Lord has blessed me with over the last few months.

Begin here and you will avoid deceiving yourself; you will not forget what kind of man (or woman) you are; and you will be blessed in the work you do. In the process, you will become a violent one that takes the Kingdom by force.

Commitment and Reckoning

Every soldier – everyone drafted into the King’s army – must determine who they will serve. It will either be the evil alliance – yourself, the world, and Satan – or it will be the King of kings. You simply cannot serve both sides with any success. Double agents are inevitably confused about their allegiance and traitors are quickly exposed. Conversely, commitment to the King brings the hope of victory, faith in the resources of the Kingdom, and the love of the King and His followers.

As you prepare for the days ahead, I encourage you to reckon the truths of the Kingdom into your life. Reckoning is an accounting term, meaning to record something in a journal. Reckoning then is the process of making true for me what God says is true – balancing my journal with His. It is laying hold of that for which Christ Jesus laid hold of me (Philippians 3:12).

Try this simple exercise. On a 3×5 card, write three or four things God would have you reckon to be true about you, for this season of your life. This must be done prayerfully, so you will hear the specific truths that He has for you. You will likely have a different set than I, but let me share them with you as an example and to make the point of their importance:

  1. I am a bondservant and steward. I volunteered for this assignment and I will be found faithful to it.
  2. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ Who lives in me. I am a dead man. The only life others should see is His. I have no rights, but those He assigns for me.
  3. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. There is nothing for me to fear (except the One Who is Greater). I am a fearless overcomer and Kingdom taker.

Let me encourage you again to seek the Lord for your reckonings. Whatever they are, reckon them every morning. Keep them close to you – some place where you will be reminded of them throughout the day. They will keep your mind on the things of Heaven. They will renew your mind. In a supernatural way, they will make you into faithful, obedient followers of the King… violent Kingdom takers.

Find Your Platoon

God’s ways are above our ways, as the heavens are above the earth (Isaiah 55: 9). In other words, they are infinitely better. They are also less threatening and stressful than those created by mankind. So why not begin to be the church in the Marketplace in the same way God led the early church:

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Acts 2:42-43

As you can see, it was only after they continued steadfastly in the disciplines of Bible study, fellowship, communion and prayer that God showed up – and showed up BIG! The fear of the Lord came upon every soul (not just those in the church); and work only God could do was done through His leaders in the Marketplace.

So, begin with the basics; but do them all. Follow the prescription. Do them in the way God intends that they be done. Let me say that again: Do them in the way God has prescribed!!! This will take some study on the Leader’s part:

  • What does God want us to study?
  • What does God’s kind of “fellowship” look like? (Let me help you here: Be careful not to assume that it is accountability, sharing everything, etc.)
  • What is the reality of communion? Is it symbol, or sacrament? What does it have to do with abiding?
  • And how are we to pray?

I cannot express here how important this small beginning will be for the church in the Marketplace. It may seem too simple, too easy. But this is God’s grace for His children. So, find a few brothers and sisters in Christ and meet with them weekly. Commit this time to the four disciplines and to determining what the King wants you to do for the church in your part of the Marketplace.

Establish and Protect Your Connection with Strategic Command

Cutting off communication, between forces in the field and their strategic command, is simple military tactics. It is not so different with the enemies that are allied against the children of God. Directed by satan, they have continually attempted to disable and confuse our prayer life. Regrettably, they have been quite successful. Why else would it be so hard to consistently communicate with our Heavenly Father? What else explains the weakness of prayer meetings in our fellowships? Where is the power of prayer we hear so much about?

I suggest that we need to learn again how to pray. And I offer the following texts as those that have had the most impact on my prayer life:

  1. The PAPA Prayer, by Larry Crabb – We must stop treating God has some form of Santa Claus that supplies the vending machine of our desires. The Father, our Heavenly Papa, wants a relationship with His children. Larry Crabb guides the reader into relational prayer.
  2. Destined for the Throne, by Paul Billheimer – We have lost sight of our destiny. We are to be, as the Bride of Christ, co-sovereigns with Him. This life, and prayer in particular, is the training ground for the life we are destined to live with Him. Paul Billheimer shares the truth of Scripture regarding our destiny and explains how it is connected to our prayer life.
  3. With Jesus in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray – This is one of the prayer classics. Thirty-one small chapters; each a different teaching from Christ on the power of faithful prayer. I have found the depth of each chapter transformation to my devotional life in Christ.

In my estimation, this is the place to start for any individual and group. We must reestablish our connection with the Master, so we can move with the greatest efficiency and impact in our stewardship of the resources and relationships He has invested in every Marketplace Leader.

In closing, I encourage and invite you to contact me about any of these topics. It is my heart’s desire to encourage, edify and equip as many Marketplace Leaders as I possibly can – in Christ.

Your servant and His,