Archive for February 2013

The Mountain of Religion in God’s Seven Mountains Strategy for Harvest

February 8, 2013

For those who might not be aware of the Seven Mountain Prophecy it pertains to a strategy that God gave Bill Bright , founder of Campus Crusade, and Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth with a Mission in the mid 1970s along with Francis Schaeffer to see God’s Kingdom touch and reclaim the seven spheres of society, namely economy, government, family, education, arts, media and religion or spirituality. Contemporary exponents of it including Lance Wallnau and Johnny Enlow have received additional revelation and understanding from God concerning it, and I highly recommend getting hold of excellent DVDs and books by those two if you would like further information about the subject. 

In this article though I would like to focus on the mountain of religion and how it should be considered to be pivotal in the context of God’s seven mountain strategy of seeing the world reached for Jesus Christ, and not separate.

We live in times that are both exciting and challenging. I believe that the mandate of Isaiah 60: 1-3 for The Church to carry the glory of God to into the world is very timely, and we must position ourselves accordingly. What has been concealed in darkness in the UK has come to the light, now it’s time for God’s glory to be concealed no more, and not just in my nation. His glory is touching all seven mountains, and we are called to impact our spheres of influence.

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It is imperative that the body of Christ learn the lessons from history so that they can embrace the new awakening, and see the maximum impact in terms of transformed lives and eternal destinies.

WHAT IS THE MOUNTAIN OF RELIGION?

The word religion is not the most popular word amongst believers and unbelievers. Its negative connotations of man’s control, and sterile lifeless tradition and ritual are the very antithesis of a vibrant Spirit-filled relationship with a loving Father through Jesus. The word “religion” found in Acts 26:5 and James 1 26-27 is the Greek word “thrēskeia” which means both that related to external ceremonies but also worship. So the key is that there is nothing wrong with “religion” providing that it is the expression of a community of believers worshiping God and seeking Him corporately with Holy Spirit orchestrating and infusing all the activity helping us to be “unspotted from the world”. Those called into full time ministry are clearly called to the mountain of religion, but that does not mean that they are not called to other mountains. Similarly I believe that the mountain of religion is not the exclusive domain of those in full time paid Ephesians 4: 11 ministry either.

LEARNING FROM THE PAST

Historically churches shut themselves off from the other six mountains for either selfish reasons, ignorance, or both. As we can see in the book of Acts this was never God’s intention. The hallmarks of a genuine revival should be that it goes outside the four walls of the church to touch the marketplace, and indeed all sectors of society. There has been a danger of separating this mountain from the other mountains though because of the failures of the past in seeing it as effective as God’s primary agent to bring in the harvest. It must be remembered though that a program rather than a presence based approach to taking these other mountains will not only fall flat, but continue to alienate the world from going into a church setting. Pursuing professionalism and a spirit of excellence to touch the seven mountains is not without merit, but woefully insufficient in itself to see the the full emergence of a Kingdom culture that draws men and women to God.

We need The Spirit Himself flowing in and out of the Church uncontained to all the seven mountains in society.

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park /Lac Moraine, parc national Banff, Alberta

A wrong way to embrace the seven mountain strategy is to assume that the best strategy for evangelism is just to infiltrate the non-church six mountains because the mountain of religion hasn’t worked well enough in doing this. The consequence is a lukewarm church that loses faith in seeing the sick healed, the dead raised, and the belief in visitations and Heavenly encounters to touch the unsaved such as are reported increasingly more in nations of The Middle East and Third World. “Well let’s be relevant to our culture” you might hear people say. I agree with that, but

when people get desperate for God and they experience His manifest presence and power bringing genuine repentance that trumps any culturally relevant program.

THE MANDATE FOR ALL THE CHURCH

It is important to see all seven mountains reclaimed with the corresponding cultural shifts through people excelling in their sphere of influence in the workplace, but only Holy Spirit can save people and draw them into an environment with other believers where they can be nurtured and discipled. First, people need to know more than Christians being successful professionally as important as that is.

Everyone should have a personal encounter with Jesus.

That is why there are more people in the workplace taking a risk in praying for the sick and speaking a word of knowledge over a colleague. Many believers have believed the lie that if they just do their job they can avoid “stepping above their station.” They have forgotten who they are in Christ, and their Heavenly citizenship being relevant NOW to fulfil the Great Commission of Matthew 28: 18-20

The mountain of religion must do more than inform the other six mountains but be inextricably linked and not separate. In Spirit-filled worship there is a divine exchange where God draws near to us (James 4: 8) and as a consequence we can do more than just go out and do our jobs better. Worship is surely the most important part of the mountain of religion. Psalm 22: 3 tell us that God inhabits the praises of His people, and spirit-filled worship is not just the responsibility of the worship team but the whole congregation. When people are worshiping together it can shift the atmosphere not just in the church but in the city, even an entire region! We are changed in worship as we encounter Him helping us to fulfil the two greatest commandments of loving God and loving people (Matthew 22 37-39). From the mountain of religion we can now go to the other mountains with His love, power, and glory.

If all people see is just professional excellence without the reality of God’s love it counts for nothing.

Around 95% of the church are not in full time ministry but called to touch the world through the market place, and there are a variety of ways that God is already doing this. We need films, TV shows, professional sports, novels, schools, wealth creation, and civil laws that glorify God in communicating Jesus. However, I contend from God’s Word that 100% of born again believers are called to another mandate as well which transcends all eras and cultures:

“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” Matthew 10: 8

We no longer live in an age where this ministry is exclusive to the preacher at the front nor should it ever have been. The mandate of the fivefold minister of Ephesians 4: 11 is found in the next two verses and this involves equipping the saints for the work of ministry! Many revivals stopped because they became too focused on the preacher at the front.

It was always God’s plan to find a dwelling place in a body of believers who could take out His DNA, His love, His Kingdom power and all that He is to a lost and dying world  because the body of Christ must be full of Him to overflowing. (Ephesians 2: 21-22)

Unlike the other six mountains that have ministers such as evangelists, prophets, and pastors as the significant displacing authorities, the mountain of religion has Holy Spirit fulfilling this role! That is not to say that there cannot be strong leadership and the right structure of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher within the church so there is safety, true alignment to Heaven and order that brings a revelation of His mandates, but the believer that is called to the mountain of media for example cannot claim exemption from the mountain of religion, and no believer can, because the church is not about a building or an institution but a close community of believers who meet together but also go out into the marketplace. This is why it is essential that there is unity in the Church to bring God’s commanded blessing (Psalm 133) and why Jesus told his disciples that the world would know that they belong to Him by their love for each other (John 13: 35).

It is no surprise that the enemy wants to attack the mountain of religion more than any other.

If we want to see all seven mountains reclaimed then I contend we need to cry out individually but especially corporately for more than just a temporary revival. Often after people have sought God and He has shown up in a powerful visitation or revival, they have forgotten to cry out to ask Him to stay and not leave!

There is a convergence of divine strategies past and present to reach people for Christ in these days, and a need to accommodate this fulness. Above all though, we need a sustained awakening that is so powerful, so supernatural, and so sovereign that there will be an ease in reclaiming the seven mountains represented in Deuteronomy 7:1 and then glorifying Him in them through Revelation 5: 12 We must repent of being critical of the mountain of religion and the missed opportunities through bygone ages, but reclaim this mountain in pursuing God with passion and purpose together. As we do so we will see God infiltrate all spheres of society to bring in the greatest possible end time harvest of souls for His glory.

 

 

 

 

 

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