Comanche leadership lesson

I was reading about the Comanche people and these points about their social culture (war leadership) were interesting to me: the emphasis is mine.

Comanche groups did not have a single acknowledged leader.
Instead, a small number of generally recognized leaders acted as counsel and advisors to the group as a whole. These included the "peace chief," the members of the council, and the "war chief."
The peace chief was usually an older individual, who could bring his experience to the task of advising. There was no formal installment to the position, it being one of general consensus. The council made decisions about where the band should hunt, whether they should war against their enemies, and whether to ally themselves with other bands. Any member could speak at council meetings, but the older men usually did most of the talking.
In times of war, the band selected a war chief. To be chosen for this position, a man had to prove he was a brave fighter. He also had to have the respect of all the other warriors in the band. While the band was at war, the war chief was in charge, and all the warriors had to obey him. After the conflict was over, however, the war chief's authority ended.

nobody, nowhere, nothing: no problem

Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;
break forth into singing and cry aloud,
you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.

Isaiah 54:1

If you're a nobody, if you seem to be going nowhere, if nothing seems to work; then celebrate.
Human nature celebrates human ingenuity, born winners. But God likes to take "failures" and make then fruitful.

This verse is spoken to the people of God in transition. God is saying, be encouraged, it's a new beginning time and I've got great plans for you. This word is spoken to people who want God's best for themselves and it hasn't worked out. They are discouraged. Did you know that God not only has plan B when plan A doesn't work out, but he also has plan C, D, E, F; and on and on. God is not a perfectionist. God is not discouraged when we fail or when others fail us. God doesn't pack up and go home when the enemy wins a round in our lives. So, worship God!

This is the day

I grew up in the Jesus People revival influenced era and a simple song, This Is The day, was popular at the time. Here it is:

This is the day, (echo) This is the day,
That the Lord has made, (echo) That the Lord has made.
We will rejoice (echo) We will rejoice,
And be glad in it (echo) And be glad in it!
This is the day that the Lord has made,
We will rejoice and be glad in it!
This is the day (echo) This is the day,
That the Lord has made.

The reference is Psalm 118:24. What's Psalm 118 all about? Psalm 118 is all about breakthrough. That's what the song is about. Any day and every day can be breakthrough day, because of God. Every day is God's day. Every day is a new day. It's true that we have bad days that sure don't seem like breakthrough days. That's true. But the greater truth is that every day is God's day and with God, breakthrough can occur. I didn't say breakthrough occurs every day for everyone, but that with God, breakthrough can occur... and our focus is on God: "we will rejoice and be glad in it". Perhaps there is a day appointed for breakthrough. The worshiper rejoices when others get their breakthrough, focusing on God, believing God sees them, and knows their need. And for those in great pain, remember that lament is the highest form of worship. Keep your heart open, giving Him access, no matter what your state

A word to slave owners

Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
Colossians 4:1

You might read this verse and ask, why Paul didn't say, "free your slaves right now, if you want to be a Christ follower". That's my first reaction. But he didn't say that. This is God inspired scripture.

In the New Covenant, God changes people from the inside out. The whole law is valid, but now God changes people from the inside. Slave owners, in a slave culture, were joining the church in droves. People "came as they were" when Christ called them and their transformation began. It doesn't take long for a slave owner to see that God is calling slaves to Christ and we are all the same. In Christian community, the slave owner is going to be changed and eventually free his slaves or let them stay on as real workers, but it starts with treating them justly and fairly. We know that slavery is not just or fair. Treating slaves justly will ultimately result in the slaves freedom, because that is the ultimate justice. If you look elsewhere in Paul, you see this (1 Cor. 7., 1 Tim. 6, Acts 17). See Albert Barnes Colossians Commentary for good notes on this here. Within 200 years, the Roman Empire no longer had slavery.

You could make the argument that things did not go right when Christians in America realized how evil slavery was. Half of the states did not agree and decided to go to war and die and kill those trying to impose their law on them. Could the civil war have been avoided if the church had instead kept being transformed from within finally working Christ into the hearts of the majority of slave owners, thereby transforming society? I think so and that is still God's way. The people in the church today need radical transformation and then need to go into society and transform it, rather than an untransformed church imposing Christian law on a rebellious society, causing a culture war.

Recovery church

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”

Luke 4:16-19

Are you in recovery? What's that, you might ask. Have you lost anything? The bigger question is are you lost? Maybe you aren't lost, but you've been found. If you've been found, have you recovered what was lost? What about what was lost before you were born? What about what was lost before your great, great, great, great, great grandparents were born?

My point is, did Jesus come to help you have a better day, get a better job, a better spouse, better health, better kids, better in-laws, a better political situation? Jesus laid out what he was about, quoting from the Prophet Isaiah, at his local meeting place.

Jesus is about what God is about. Jesus is the model for the church, what the church is to be about. Jesus and his church are all about recovery. Recovery is about getting back what was lost. We lose things in our lives, but we were also born in to lost-ness that goes back to the beginning of man and woman. Recovery is far more than being a 12 step member, although there's nothing wrong with that and 12 step fellowships are a good thing. It's bigger than that.

Jesus describes his mission here to people described four ways: poor, captive, blind, and oppressed. Jesus mission is the church's mission. Jesus was anointed by the same Holy Spirit that anoints Jesus followers to do Jesus mission today! The church has or is recovering the good news that brings recovery that it is also meant to walk in. We might have the message, but we need the anointing to proclaim it and for it to have affect. We might have the anointing, but we don't realize it until we take the risk to speak out the good news we have. So, go for it, and see what happens.

No discrimination or haves and have nots

For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

1 Corinthians 4:7

Paul here is addressing people who were filled with pride because of their spiritual gifts. His message is that whatever you have, you received as a gift. So, humbly receive it. The idea of superiority here is the idea of separating yourself from those, above those who don't have what you have. Giftedness makes you gifted. Because you are gifted, you might get to stand, to be "up front" or on a stage. You might even be called to represent the group or speak for God because of your gift. It seems like a no-brainer that this does not make you superior. But, humanity tends to think this way and needs to be course corrected.

Commando

(Websters)
Etymology: Afrikaans kommando, from Dutch commando command, from Spanish comando, from comandar to command, from Late Latin commandare
Date:1839

1South African a: a military unit or command of the Boers b: a raiding expedition2 a: a military unit trained and organized as shock troops especially for hit-and-run raids into enemy territory b: a member of such a unit


What if God has people who are commandos? Would you like to be one? Think figurative, spiritual. I believe God is right now calling people to this.

The tribe of Gad were fierce warriors:
Raiders shall raid Gad, but he shall raid at their heels.
Genesis 49:19

These Gadites were officers of the army; the least was a match for a hundred men and the greatest for a thousand.
1 Chronicles 12:14







Recollection

Recollection

1 a
: tranquillity of mind b: religious contemplation
2 a
: the action or power of recalling to mind b: something recalled to the mind

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:21-23

Call to mind. Remember. Meditate. Turn your thoughts. You have a grocery list of problems. Horrible stuff. You can read the first 20 verses of Jeremiah reciting his list of woes and they were real. However long a list or bad the problems, they are followed by a BUT. Don't forget the BUT. Recall it, remember it, turn to it... recollection. No matter what, God is good. No matter what, there's hope. God does not forget his covenant. These aren't things you just say to encourage yourself, but they are truth and truth is encouraging. Never give up on God, because he never gives up on you.

Carry on, pilgrim

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
Psalm 84:5

You are a pilgrim, if you're a person of Judeo-Christian faith. A pilgrim is a person on a pilgrimage. A pilgrimage is a journey to a holy place. Perhaps, the people who came to America from England were called pilgrims because their holy place they were seeking was a place of religious freedom.

Your pilgrimage is not an event or events, but it is your life, your whole life.
So, where is the journey to?
The question is, "what is happening in your journey?", or, "how is the path changing you?", or, "what do you see ahead?", and many other questions. Who asks these questions? Fellow pilgrims ask these of each other, then encourage each other, and have communion with each other. Then you see that the church is a traveling road show, covering ground and taking territory, attracting new Christ followers to His light.

Eventide

Eventide is an older English word that means, "the time of the evening". Various times of day are symbolic of particular things. You need to know what time it is, figuratively, to position yourself and to flow. A good farmer obviously needs to know his seasons or he's in trouble. A person walking in the spirit also needs to know what time it is and what season it is, figuratively.

Chuck Pierce published a book in 2006 called "Reordering Your Day", in which he describes the different prayer watch times. here are notes from pages 81-81 on the evening watch:

1. The First Watch; (Evening Watch) 6:00 pm- 9:00 pm
•During this hour we regroup
•Be still before the Lord away from the world
•Psalm 46: 10
•Time for meditation
•Find 30 minutes to meditate before going to bed
•From your meditation, release your anxieties to the Lord in prayer
•Isaac went out to meditate in the field of the evening (Gen. 24: 63)
•In the place of meditation, Isaac saw his future
•The evening watch is your time of focus, which allows you to start your day with a mentality of success
•The Lord will use the evening watch to purge you of fears and anxieties that would keep you from advancing into His perfect plan
•Try to do this every day

If you are in a eventide, time of the evening, prayer watch time: where you're at in your journey time; then there is some good insight on what to do in this time, from Chuck Pierce, noted above.

You're regrouping. You're getting centered. You're seeing your future. You're getting purged of fears.

Tortoise prayers

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
Colossians 4:2

Have you ever been inspired to pray for something and it didn't happen? It seemed that God didn't answer, and so you went through a time of frowns and then went on, maybe a little bitter, getting the idea that prayer doesn't work. You have experience with prayer not working.

Well, if that's you, you're the one I'm writing to. I'm in that boat too. Prayer is, more often than not, a marathon. Think tortoise, not hare. It's not that God isn't answering or not hearing or that your prayers don't matter. What it is oftentimes is that prayer is a process and much or most of it you do not see, so it seems like nothing is happening when it really is.

Don't forget the admonishment to be thankful. Let your thankfulness be added to whatever your requests are. You might be asking for things only God can do. The way is to throw in, speak in, the things you are thankful for with what you are asking for. Bill Yount gave a great word on this. Click HERE to read Bill's word on thanksgiving in prayers.

Prayer is also organic in nature. You have to tend to it. Water, weed, fertilize, shade issues, frost issues, wind issues, little fox issues... tending. You may have been big time inspired to pray for something to happen and it didn't or maybe partially. You can't get the attitude that it's totally out of your hands. God is a covenant God and needs us to partner with him on the earth to bring heaven to earth. We've got to keep up the prayers. Slow, steady, no short cuts, the long way leads home.

How people get bored with revival

He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
Psalm 103:7

I was listening to Byron Wicker talk about the Argentine revivals of the 80's and 90's and how large numbers of people who were involved in the revival became bored after some time. Bored with God. How could this be? People who saw many people come from darkness to light and change, people who saw miracles and deliverance's, people who were there in meetings when God's presence was palpable. These same people became bored.

I think that being in the meetings, being a member, being a ministry person, being a leader; none of these things will induce you to walk with God for the long term. They're all good and fine, but something else is way more required. It might be called your secret history with God, intimacy with God, or your real openness in your heart; your prayer closet times. Remember when Jesus said to the ministers, "I never knew you"? You have to know him and let him know you. He already knows you, being God, but what Jesus is talking about here is a relationship. Jesus is saying that these ministry people did these (good) things outside of a working relationship with him. He obviously wants that and it's dangerous to not have it or not nurture it.

Knowing him and desiring to know him is what sustains you to go on. Not the works- seeing mighty works or even doing them. God's acts are awesome, but getting to know his ways is real personal and vulnerable and life changing and ultimately valuable. You'll never get bored.

Useful

Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.
Philemon 11

Are you useful or useless?

The gospel changes people. You are still in the same situation, but you've changed. Many people are just taking up space. They just consume. You can get without giving, but it's very small and you stay small and become vulnerable. You actually become weaker. In the kingdom, you really only go forwards or backwards. It you think you are standing still or being neutral or passive, you really are going backwards.