Vision

Being Action Minded

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Man-Planning-Diagram

Biblical Life Power Tip for June 2011

By Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Over the years, I have studied many productivity methods: from Dave Lakhani’s, “Power of an Hour,” to David Allen’s, “Getting Things Done” (and several dozen books in between). My mountain to climb has always been that I could think up more in an hour than I could do in a year, so I need all the help that I can get! The book, “Making Ideas Happen,” by Scott Belsky has been a real help recently. Scott has studied those with creative personalities. Creative people always have more ideas than time and find it hard to (1) keep track of all their ideas and (2) bring any of those ideas to fruition.

In all of these works, I have found one constant: you must formulate a plan of action and then work the plan! “Hope to,” “someday,” or “under the circumstances” are never phrases used by the movers and shakers in the world or in the Kingdom! Failing to plan is planning to fail.

The concept of developing a plan of action (which includes action steps) is essential to anything that you want to do in life: from completing your education to developing or expanding a ministry. The skills you must develop to successfully complete your studies at Biblical Life are the exact same skills you must use to build any ministerial endeavor. Avoid or ignore them at your own expense and the expense of the ministry God has called you to.

Counting the Cost

Luke 14:27-33 (KJV)
27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

1. Being 100% Sold Out to Jesus: This is not a popular message in the twenty-first century church, but it is the only way to really be a part of His church! True discipleship is giving our all to the One who gave His life for us. Too many Christians today are not Believers because they are riding the spiritual fence – half in the world and half in the Kingdom. The truth is that they are not even in the Kingdom; rather they are only half way through the door that gets you into the Kingdom.

2. Jesus also uses important words in this teaching:

  • Disciple (one who disciplines his life)
  • Counting the Cost (project management)
  • Building (must have a blueprint)
  • Making War (strategic planning)

Counting the cost to complete your education or build a ministry is more than just reviewing your financial situation. It means so much more. You must:

Develop a Plan of Action (having a blueprint for success): How much time, energy, and finances will it take to complete this project? Just enrolling or just vision-casting is not enough. What daily, weekly, and monthly actions must be taken to successfully accomplish the project? Are your family and associates on board to provide encouragement and accountability?

Being a Disciple: In other words, are you disciplining yourself to successfully accomplish your daily, weekly, and monthly actions? Are you letting the enemy entice you with other things that take you away from your goals? Stop waiting for someday. A thousand “somedays” lead to nowhere. A thousand action days lead to the fulfillment of a dream! Discipline is required for anything worthwhile in life: especially the Kingdom of God!

Plan for Setbacks: This may be a shock to most, but there will be resistance to completing things in the Kingdom! Do you think that the enemy will allow you to complete something vital in life or the Kingdom without coming against it?

God told Adam something in the Garden that we all miss somehow:

Genesis 3:17 (KJV)
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

When Adam had no resistance to the things he needed to do in the earth, he fell into temptation. Pushing through the resistance produces personal growth: emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Individuals that will not plan and push through seldom grow in any area of their lives! The Word even tells us that Jesus was made more perfect by the things He had to suffer (or push) through. (Hebrews 5:8-10)

When You Stumble, Get Back Up: Pity parties have no place in the lives of doers! We all stumble and fall at times. Champions look at what made them stumble, develop a plan to overcome it, and THEN GET BACK UP!

Proverbs 24:16 (KJV)
16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

Seven is an interesting number; it refers to the plan of God. God will allow you to fall at the right times to learn what you need to know in life. Those lessons learned will prepare you for something ahead in your life that you really need to overcome. Here is God’s formula: falling down + learning + GETTING BACK UP = victory!

Jesus – the Man of Action

Each of the Gospels has a particular focus. The Gospel of Mark was written for the Romans and Jesus was portrayed as a man of action. You will find Mark constantly using the words, “immediately and straightway.” Mark wonderfully displayed the discipline, decisiveness, and authority of Jesus. On every front Jesus overcame resistance, schemes, arguments, and even plans for His demise. In every instance, Jesus took command of the situation and gained the victory. He is our example! What you do not take command over will take command over you and stop you from completing your mission, vision, or task.

Isn’t It Time to Work Out Your Plan of Action?

“Hope to” and “someday” are not going to cut it in your studies, in ministry, or in the days ahead. Develop a strategic plan of ACTION. A plan of action includes daily, weekly, and monthly steps of action that systematically move you forward. Make the plan and work the plan. When you stumble, learn from it and start moving again. God is calling you to be like Jesus – a person of action!

© Copyright by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E. All Rights Reserved.

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Biblical Life Assembly (includes free weekly messages in MP3): www.biblicallifeassembly.org

Biblical Life College and Seminary: www.biblical-life.com

Biblical Life Publishing: www.biblical-life.net

Biblical Life Monthly Teaching Videos: www.youtube.com/biblicallife

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Biblical Life Power Tip

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writing-centerUnderstanding Kingdom Assignments

By Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E. – Founder

As of late, I feel that I am in the Holy Spirit Advanced School of Learning. It seems that each day God is teaching me things that I did not know the day before. In our local congregation, God has been having me teach a series called “Foundations of Biblical Prosperity.” From the title, you may think you already know what I am teaching. I can assure you that you don’t. I have been waking up in the morning teaching things out of my spirit in ways I could not have imagined. In this series on Biblical Prosperity, the very last thing you will hear about is giving. Giving is only one component. Without adding all the rest, giving can be in vain. This is why many have gone bankrupt while they were tithing! These powerful messages are now available on MP3 CD along with a professionally printed study guide through Biblical Life Publishing (www.biblical-life.net).

God has also been teaching me about Kingdom Assignments. This is really something that I have never heard of before. I have heard about Kingdom Destiny, Kingdom Authority, Kingdom Power, etc., but assignments were not in the mix. So when God began speaking to me about them, He had my attention.

Kingdom Assignments come in all sizes. Some can be completed within one event, such as praying for someone. Others can take years, but will include daily sub-assignments. (We will go into more detail about sub-assignments in a moment.) One of the things that we need to understand is that when we accept the assignment, the Kingdom begins to go into operation to provide the resources, time and anointing to accomplish that task. That sounds reasonable, but our paradigms can keep us from those resources to fulfill a given assignment. Let me give you an example:

For a pastor, each service is a Kingdom Assignment to accomplish something in the Kingdom of God — usually within the lives of those attending. When a pastor realizes each service can become a specific Kingdom Assignment, he will seek the face of God for instructions. Once he receives those instructions, he accepts that assignment. Immediately the Kingdom will begin realigning things within his spirit, his congregation and even the atmosphere to accomplish that assignment. Without this mindset, weekly services become a routine. The pastor and staff will find themselves going through the motions with little devotion. (I have been there and can speak from personal experience.) The sermons become “what the people want to hear.” The songs become “what the people want to sing.” We move from “divine visitation” to “Christian entertainment and motivational speaking.”

With a change in the pastor’s mindset, he will begin seeking the face of God for his assignment. He may turn the services upside down. One service may be all singing and prayer. Another service he may teach for the full two hours. In the next service, he may teach for twenty minutes and then begin moving prophetically in the congregation. No one will know what to expect each service, to include the devil! It will add a new excitement and expectancy within himself and his congregation.

I believe we do not experience many powerful things in God because we are not sensitive to Kingdom Assignments. Over the past week, God has been giving me one specific assignment a day. Yesterday, it was to design a new follow-up letter for those that had requested catalogs. The interesting thing is that the letter had little to do with the catalog and yet the anointing of God was all over it! At the beginning of the year, God instructed me to include a complete seminar on MP3 CD along with the catalog. It is our “Next Level Living” seminar that has already blessed so many of you. The letter was about a litmus test to see if Biblical Life was right for them. If God spoke into their lives through the free CD, Biblical Life was most likely the place God was calling them to study. If they received nothing from the CD, they needed to look elsewhere. I would have never thought of such a thing by myself. Once I accepted the assignment, the Holy Spirit began moving: the anointing, ability to write and understanding flowed. It was almost effortless, and the presence of God filled our office!

This morning God woke me up at 4:30am. (And I mean wide awake, not roll over and go back to sleep kind of awake.) I asked the LORD, “What is up? Do I need to do something?” He told me to eat breakfast and go into the office to write this article in the quiet before our normal work day. I am sitting here with a fine cup of coffee and enjoying writing more than I have in quite some time. It was a Kingdom Assignment, and the Kingdom is flowing in it.

If you are a pastor, you need to change your mindset to the one I have already described in this article. I promise you that if you do, you are going to shake some things up! If you are a student at Biblical Life or praying about enrolling, I want to speak a new mindset into your thinking. Attending Biblical Life College and Seminary is not like attending your average bible college or seminary. Most schools are about imparting information – in their case, biblical/theological information. At Biblical Life there is a lot of information, but also a Kingdom anointing for transformation. You cannot approach Biblical Life like you were going to a business college. There is an overload of spiritual truth, altering mindsets, pulling down of strongholds; kicking over sacred cows, and anything else God needs to do to transform you. Attending Biblical Life is a Kingdom Assignment, a divine calling to prepare you for the future. If you approach it any other way, you will either get nothing out of it (because it is spiritually discerned) or your head will explode (figuratively speaking). BUT, if God has given you a Kingdom Assignment to study with Biblical Life and you accept that assignment, the King will release an anointing of a prophetic bible student into your spirit. You will receive a spiritual hunger for truth and the presence of God will surround you every time you sit down to your studies! I have hundreds of students that can testify to this very fact as well as hundreds that can testify the reverse, if you do not accept the assignment! Your mindset can either make you like the pastor going through the weekly routine or like the pastor that turns the services upside down!

Now Dealing with Sub-Assignments

I am going to handle this on two levels. First, when you enroll into BLCS using Plan B or C, we will ship you a volume with five complete courses in it. Do not just start with the first one and work your way through it. That is the way of traditional, secular schooling. Ask the Holy Spirit which one you are to start with. There may be something in a particular course He needs to speak into your life now. Let’s say the Holy Spirit instructs you to go through the course “Biblical Life Prayer Dynamics.” Accept that assignment and have the mindset that you are going to receive everything God has for you in that course, even if it turns your life inside out! I promise you that the course will take on a life of its own! God will speak to you through the lessons and will begin taking you deeper than you ever dreamed possible! You will learn more, experience more and change more! If you don’t, you are limiting yourself and the Holy Spirit.

Each day ask God for your daily Kingdom Assignments. Your long term assignment is to complete the program He called you to take at Biblical Life. But is today’s assignment to do the next lesson or will it be to go into intercession or minister to Jim down the road? What is your assignment today? Today’s assignment will have today’s anointing, insights, revelation and transformation. Miss the assignment, and you will miss out on all the resources of that assignment! Once you miss it, it is very hard to regain the same level. Obedience is ALWAYS better than sacrifice. Satan wants to keep you in “routine” mode. The routine may get it done, but it will be without the anointing, insights, revelation and transformation your assignment brings. Routine only accomplishes things through hard effort, but will have little spiritual value. Kingdom Assignments require less physical effort, but require higher levels of anointing, insights, revelation and transformation – which the King will release into the lives of those who accept His assignments.

Change your mindset from routine to assignment and watch the Kingdom of God go into operation in ways you never dreamed of. It will change your life!

© Copyright by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E. All Rights Reserved.

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Profile on Author

Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO and he is the President of Biblical Life Publishing. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s “Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans,” Sterling’s “Who’s Who Executive Edition,” and the “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” for his accomplishments in ministry.

Things You Need to Know Before You Answer the Call to Prepare For Ministry – Part 2

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BLCS StudentThe express purpose of these articles is twofold: (1) to provide additional information for those seeking to begin and/or continue their education for ministry via nontraditional methods; and (2) to provide supportive instruction for our students that are already involved in continuing their education. In the first bulletin, we dealt with many “Prospective Student” issues, such as:

  •   The call to ministry is a call to a lifetime of study.
  • Lack of transformation in the traditional Greco-Roman based educational model.
  • Abuses in nontraditional education:
  • Abuse of issuing unrealistic life experience credits.
  • Abuse of improper course examinations (i.e. open book exams).
  • Abuse of so watering down the educational process that no thesis or dissertation is required
  • at the Master’s and Doctoral levels.
  • How proper education should provide the research & study tools you will use the rest of your life.

In the second issue, we gave solid tips to current students on how to get into the swing of study once again. These tools can be used well after a student graduates. In fact, as ministers they should be using them the rest of their lives.

With all of that said, let’s move on to the subject of this bulletin. We all should be familiar with the call to ministry. If you are not, the first thing I would ask you is: “Why are you looking to study for the ministry?” It is a calling where you know in the very depths of your heart that God has called you to one of the fivefold offices of ministry listed in Ephesians 4. You can run from it, but you can’t hide from it. It is in your heart and in your blood. You know that if you do not follow after the call and prepare for it that you will be miserable and miss God’s best in your life. I have been involved in nontraditional education now for nearly a quarter of a century. Like the country singer used to sing, “I was country when country wasn’t cool.” Well, I was involved in theological education by extension (TEE) when it wasn’t cool either! In the early `80’s, we were pioneering many of the standards that are now common place in TEE. I said all that to say this, I have been around the block in training ministers for effective ministry. You need to realize that not only do you have a call to ministry, but you have a call to a specific school that you are to study with as well!

You need to realize that each school is different. God has placed certain emphases within each school. I am not talking about denominational differences either – although that can be a consideration for you. Each school will speak into your life in different ways and will give you different tools and paradigms for ministry. One school will have a set of tools and paradigms that you will need while another will not. This is not a matter of accreditation or cost. It is a matter of what the school speaks into your life. What makes this harder to realize is that you cannot always tell it from just looking at courses listed for a particular program or degree. There is an anointing and a spirit or attitude about each school that is imparted to their students. Unfortunately, in many traditional schools, the only spirit or attitude passed on is one of haughtiness and superiority.

Here are some steps to make the right choice:

1.         PRAY. Ask the Holy Spirit’s guidance as you begin looking at schools and requesting catalogs. Does the Holy Spirit witness to you that you should look further into this school? Does the website information agree with your spirit?

2.         Get the catalogs. If you feel the witnessing of the Holy Spirit about a particular school, request or download the catalog. If you download it, take the time to print it out.

3. Prayerfully read over the catalogs. Look for the Holy Spirit to speak to you as you read over them. He is trying to help you narrow the list of schools. You should have two piles of catalogs now – (1) the “no witness” pile and (2) the “Spirit-felt witness” pile.

4. Go back to the website. See if they have bulletins, articles, newsletters and samples of their courses on-line. See if they have some sample course lectures in MP3 or real audio stream. Read over the articles, sample lessons and listen to the sample lectures.

Now stop right here. What are you looking for: easy courses; something you can complete quickly? If you are, you need to go back to Mark 11 and learn the lesson of why Jesus cursed the fig tree. You need to look for materials that speak to your heart, that add something substantial to your spirit man, and that call for personal transformation. If the Holy Spirit is already speaking to you through the samples, how much more will He speak and transform your life through the complete program!

You will find articles, sample lessons and MP3 lectures at two locations on our website. Those URL is:

http://www.biblical-life.com/library/library.htm

Take the time to download everything you can there. (For the MP3 files, DSL will help.) Read through them, listen to them and seek the face of God while you are doing it.

5.         Pick the right school & count the cost. Once you have found the school that is witnessed most by the Holy Spirit and their literature and samples speak most to your life, you are ready to count the cost. Now I am not just talking about the financial investment you are getting ready to make. That is important, and Jesus warns us to consider this before beginning such an endeavor (Luke 14:28-30). More than the financial investment, I am talking about several other things you must invest just as much of:

  • Time
  • Discipline
  • Determination
  • Prayer

You must be willing to roll up your sleeves and invest these things too. Without them, you will

never graduate. You also need to realize another important truth. Are you ready? The level of determination, discipline, prayer and time you invest in this call of preparation is the same level you will have in actually “doing” the ministry. If you can’t get it right here, you likely will not develop it once you are in full-time ministry! When you are ordained or installed as a Pastor, there is no super anointing that drives these things into your life. They are cultivated from the time you answer the call, and they are matured through the preparation process. So don’t drop the ball once you enroll. Make a schedule for prayer and study. Keep at it day after day – whether it is convenient or not (the devil will make sure it is never convenient). Take the time and do not let anything else steal that time from you. Make every study session count for the Kingdom.

6.     Make application to the school the Holy Spirit has led you to. Don’t sit on it, take action and follow the leading and peace of the Holy Spirit.

7.     Get your materials, make your plan of action, make your schedule and begin growing. Your life and the lives of those you minister to will never be the same!

Biblical Life College and Seminary has an emphasis on “where the rubber meets the road” theology. The Word is meant to be lived, not debated. We also place great emphasis on being Spirit-Filled and a balanced understanding of our Hebraic Heritage. This may or may not be right for you. What you do need to know is unless you have taken the steps I have outlined here, you may pick the wrong school. One thing that you need to lay aside in this journey is the attitude that you are shopping at some super store. It is not how cheap you can get the education or how quickly. Both may in the end lead you down the wrong path. Where is the Holy Spirit leading you? What school will place the most spiritual truths and biblical transformations into your life? These are the right questions to ask that will lead you to the school Almighty God has called you to study with!

If you are called to study with Biblical Life College and Seminary, it will be my greatest pleasure to welcome you as a new member of our student family. If God is calling you to another school, I ask that God would give you the grace and wisdom to find that school and to enroll.

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Copyright 2008 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D.

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Profile on Author

Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s “Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans,” Sterling’s “Who’s Who Executive Edition,” and the “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” for his accomplishments in ministry.

Biblical Life Victory Briefing BLOG

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blvb-logo We have been receiving reports that with all the videos that we are posting on YouTube that finding all the segments of each individual teaching can be frustrating.  To correct this problem, we have set up a special BLOG that will organize them for you.

We just uploaded April’s edition titled “Taking Down the Giants.”  We pray it will help you gain “Full Spectrum Preparation” for taking down your giants!

Biblical Life Victory Briefing Video BLOG

The Power of Writing in Ministerial Degree Programs

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writing1237253437 It seems like everyone in about every area of life is promoting the power of writing today, except in online degree programs for ministerial education. In fact, the trend seems to be just the opposite. Many online bible colleges and seminaries seem to be in a competition of who can require the least amount of writing. This trend not only concerns me, it actually frightens me.

I would like to point to the long history of exceptional ministers in the Body of Christ that were powerful writers. Many of those ministers still speak to us today. Their writing inspires us, challenges us, and even helps us through the most difficult of times. I could also point to the fact that we have the Bible because men of God were moved by the Holy Spirit to write. Where would we be if they shunned writing the way many aspirants of ministry seemed to be doing today?

Writing helps us connect to what we really believe, who we really are, and to the information we need to convey. In Christian counseling and ministerial mentorship, journaling (another form of writing) helps us to discover our strengths, come face-to-face with strongholds, and begin connecting the dots theologically to move to next level thinking in the Kingdom of God.

William J. Farrell, while president of Colorado State University, provided interesting insights into writing in his article “The Power of Writing.[1]” Let’s look at several of his statements:

“What is the most important skill a college president can have? . . . writing skills . . .”

“Whether in business, politics, or the academic world, most corporate decisions involve complex choices. To understand the complexity of a problem, as well as the available solutions, executives and board members must turn to written communications. The written report can present data and a level of analysis that would be difficult to convey in oral form.”

What Dr. Farrell was expressing is that the power of writing allows us to present and analyze important information that otherwise could not be processed properly. This fact is applicable to both those trying to understand the problem and those working to develop a solution. If writing is so important for analysis and problem solving in the business world, how much more powerful is it in the field of ministry?

Over the years, I have discovered two primary camps in ministry: the deep thinkers with great revelation and the shallow thinkers with pat answers (although there are many somewhere in between). I don’t know about you, but when it comes to walking with God and facing the challenges of life, I prefer depth! We think that there is something unique about those that can dig deeply into God’s Word, connect dots that most never realized existed, and discover powerful truths that enlighten and empower God’s people. That uniqueness is not that God has anointed them to think deeply. I actually believe God calls all of us to that task. What makes them unique is that they are avid readers AND WRITERS. These ministers have developed the discipline of taking notes, journaling, jotting down ideas, and then using the writing process to come to a deeper understanding of truth. I have known many of them over the years. For every one article they publish, there are hundreds of journal entries, pages of notes, brainstorming diagrams, etc. They have learned the fine art of thinking on paper.

You may be asking yourself: “Where did they learn to create such depth in their understanding of spiritual things?” That is an easy answer – in bible college and seminary, but not just any bible college or seminary! It was in schools of higher learning that required extensive reading and writing. They had to write for every class, and they had to write when they felt like it and when they didn’t. They had to write when it came directly against a stronghold that resisted the writing. However, they pressed forward, and (in the light of written analysis) the stronghold fell apart. They wrote until they discovered themselves and, in the process, found the depths of who Jesus really is!

My concern is that we are losing the art of writing, thus losing the art of deep spiritual analysis! Life seldom hands you a multiple choice exam. As an educator, I know you need a proper blending of all types of testing instruments to assess the progress of a student. Multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank questions all have their part in getting the student to focus on significant information in each study. Albeit, every true educator knows that the only way to evaluate where the student is emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and academically is through the process of writing. Until a minister can express the truth of God’s Word in writing, they do not possess sufficient depth in it to withstand the tests of life and ministry!

Without ample writing requirements in online ministerial degree programs, we not only shortchange the educational process, we shortchange the development of the minister. In turn, underdeveloped ministers shortchange ministry. These ministers will spend their days in ministry looking for a quick answer to fill in the blank for every problem. Quick sound bites of preformatted theological positions seldom provide comfort or lasting solutions to the Body of Christ! In the end, we could lose the transformational power of true ministry!

Both ministry and life require deep analysis of God’s Word and every challenge that faces us. Writing will always remain an essential tool of the well-prepared minister.

Copyright 2010 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.


Footnote

[1] Farrell, William J. The Power of Writing. http://wac.colostate.edu/journal/vol3/farrell2.pdf

=================

Profile on Author

Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s “Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans,” Sterling’s “Who’s Who Executive Edition,” and the “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” for his accomplishments in ministry.

Understanding Kingdom Assignments

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Understanding Kingdom Assignments
Understanding Kingdom Assignments

 

As of late, I feel that I am in the Holy Spirit Advanced School of Learning. It seems that each day God is teaching me things that I did not know the day before. In our local congregation, God has been having me teach a series called “Foundations of Biblical Prosperity.” From the title, you may think you already know what I am teaching. I can assure you that you don’t. I have been waking up in the morning teaching things out of my spirit in ways I could not have imagined. In this series on Biblical Prosperity, the very last thing you will hear about is giving. Giving is only one component. Without adding all the rest, giving can be in vain. This is why many have gone bankrupt while they were tithing! These powerful messages are now available on MP3 CD along with a professionally printed study guide through Biblical Life Publishing (www.biblical-life.net).

God has also been teaching me about Kingdom Assignments. This is really something that I have never heard of before. I have heard about Kingdom Destiny, Kingdom Authority, Kingdom Power, etc., but assignments were not in the mix. So when God began speaking to me about them, He had my attention.

Kingdom Assignments come in all sizes. Some can be completed within one event, such as praying for someone. Others can take years, but will include daily sub-assignments. (We will go into more detail about sub-assignments in a moment.) One of the things that we need to understand is that when we accept the assignment, the Kingdom begins to go into operation to provide the resources, time and anointing to accomplish that task. That sounds reasonable, but our paradigms can keep us from those resources to fulfill a given assignment. Let me give you an example:

For a pastor, each service is a Kingdom Assignment to accomplish something in the Kingdom of God — usually within the lives of those attending. When a pastor realizes each service can become a specific Kingdom Assignment, he will seek the face of God for instructions. Once he receives those instructions, he accepts that assignment. Immediately the Kingdom will begin realigning things within his spirit, his congregation and even the atmosphere to accomplish that assignment. Without this mindset, weekly services become a routine. The pastor and staff will find themselves going through the motions with little devotion. (I have been there and can speak from personal experience.) The sermons become “what the people want to hear.” The songs become “what the people want to sing.” We move from “divine visitation” to “Christian entertainment and motivational speaking.”

With a change in the pastor’s mindset, he will begin seeking the face of God for his assignment. He may turn the services upside down. One service may be all singing and prayer. Another service he may teach for the full two hours. In the next service, he may teach for twenty minutes and then begin moving prophetically in the congregation. No one will know what to expect each service, to include the devil! It will add a new excitement and expectancy within himself and his congregation.

I believe we do not experience many powerful things in God because we are not sensitive to Kingdom Assignments. Over the past week, God has been giving me one specific assignment a day. Yesterday, it was to design a new follow-up letter for those that had requested catalogs. The interesting thing is that the letter had little to do with the catalog and yet the anointing of God was all over it! At the beginning of the year, God instructed me to include a complete seminar on MP3 CD along with the catalog. It is our “Next Level Living” seminar that has already blessed so many of you. The letter was about a litmus test to see if Biblical Life was right for them. If God spoke into their lives through the free CD, Biblical Life was most likely the place God was calling them to study. If they received nothing from the CD, they needed to look elsewhere. I would have never thought of such a thing by myself. Once I accepted the assignment, the Holy Spirit began moving: the anointing, ability to write and understanding flowed. It was almost effortless, and the presence of God filled our office!

This morning God woke me up at 4:30am. (And I mean wide awake, not roll over and go back to sleep kind of awake.) I asked the LORD, “What is up? Do I need to do something?” He told me to eat breakfast and go into the office to write this article in the quiet before our normal work day. I am sitting here with a fine cup of coffee and enjoying writing more than I have in quite some time. It was a Kingdom Assignment, and the Kingdom is flowing in it.

If you are a pastor, you need to change your mindset to the one I have already described in this article. I promise you that if you do, you are going to shake some things up! If you are a student at Biblical Life or praying about enrolling, I want to speak a new mindset into your thinking. Attending Biblical Life College and Seminary is not like attending your average bible college or seminary. Most schools are about imparting information – in their case, biblical/theological information. At Biblical Life there is a lot of information, but also a Kingdom anointing for transformation. You cannot approach Biblical Life like you were going to a business college. There is an overload of spiritual truth, altering mindsets, pulling down of strongholds, kicking over sacred cows and anything else God needs to do to transform you. Attending Biblical Life is a Kingdom Assignment, a divine calling to prepare you for the future. If you approach it any other way, you will either get nothing out of it (because it is spiritually discerned) or your head will explode (figuratively speaking). BUT, if God has given you a Kingdom Assignment to study with Biblical Life and you accept that assignment, the King will release an anointing of a prophetic bible student into your spirit. You will receive a spiritual hunger for truth and the presence of God will surround you every time you sit down to your studies! I have hundreds of students that can testify to this very fact as well as hundreds that can testify the reverse, if you do not accept the assignment! Your mindset can either make you like the pastor going through the weekly routine or like the pastor that turns the services upside down!

Now Dealing with Sub-Assignments

 I am going to handle this on two levels. First, when you enroll into BLCS using Plan B or C, we will ship you a volume with five complete courses in it. Do not just start with the first one and work your way through it. That is the way of traditional, secular schooling. Ask the Holy Spirit which one you are to start with. There may be something in a particular course He needs to speak into your life now. Let’s say the Holy Spirit instructs you to go through the course “Biblical Life Prayer Dynamics.” Accept that assignment and have the mindset that you are going to receive everything God has for you in that course, even if it turns your life inside out! I promise you that the course will take on a life of its own! God will speak to you through the lessons and will begin taking you deeper than you ever dreamed possible! You will learn more, experience more and change more! If you don’t, you are limiting yourself and the Holy Spirit.

Each day ask God for your daily Kingdom Assignments. Your long term assignment is to complete the program He called you to take at Biblical Life. But is today’s assignment to do the next lesson or will it be to go into intercession or minister to Jim down the road? What is your assignment today? Today’s assignment will have today’s anointing, insights, revelation and transformation. Miss the assignment, and you will miss out on all the resources of that assignment! Once you miss it, it is very hard to regain the same level. Obedience is ALWAYS better than sacrifice. Satan wants to keep you in “routine” mode. The routine may get it done, but it will be without the anointing, insights, revelation and transformation your assignment brings. Routine only accomplishes things through hard effort, but will have little spiritual value. Kingdom Assignments require less physical effort, but require higher levels of anointing, insights, revelation and transformation – which the King will release into the lives of those who accept His assignments.

Change your mindset from routine to assignment and watch the Kingdom of God go into operation in ways you never dreamed of. It will change your life!

Copyright 2009 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.  All Rights Reserved.

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Profile on Author

Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s “Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans,” Sterling’s “Who’s Who Executive Edition,” and the “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” for his accomplishments in ministry.

Between Vision and Realization

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by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Proverbs 29:18a (KJV)
18 Where there is no vision, the people perish . . .”

Over the past decade, many people have entered the dialogue of the need for vision and vision casting. I remember a time when few spoke of it, even fewer had it and no one realized the power of it. The paradigm has changed greatly within our leadership models; therefore, vision, vision casting, and mission statements are as common place as bibles in our churches.

One of the things that the Holy Spirit has impressed upon on me lately is that there is more to seeing a vision accomplished than having a vision and having faith. To be honest, getting the vision is the easy part. The hard part is the research, study, discipline and diligent effort that must be added to the vision to see it fulfilled. I believe part of the dilemma that many of us face is that we treat a vision for ministry from the LORD the same way we treat true prophetic words. Somehow we have the misconception that if they are from God, they will come to pass . . . almost effortlessly. We think, “Hey God is in it, so everything will go smoothly.” That sounds great until you read the Bible! I cannot find one individual, to include Jesus, for whom everything went smoothly or the vision came to pass easily! Actually the opposite is true. If they heard from God, the enemy was sure to resist their efforts. Faith is not “hoping” something will happen. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and working hard with God to MAKE things happen that are in-line with God’s will and purposes.

The Word tells us:

Ecclesiastes 5:3 (KJV)
3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.

Many times we see truths from God’s Word through the lens of our current focus. As our focus changes, new truths can explode into our hearts. The first time I read this verse (when my mental lens was focused on vision), it was like a slap in the face. Everyone is talking vision, but how many are rolling up their sleeves and making the vision a reality? Are we going to be speaking a lot of words or are we going to get down to business with our visions from the Throne of Grace?

We need to view vision the same way an architect does. He may “see” a beautiful and useful building in his heart, but he never stops there. He will do the research to find the right materials, follow all the proper codes, use the best materials and then begin to draft a step-by-step plan to bring his vision to life. Once the blueprint is completed, the real work begins. The proper foundations must be laid. Every detail, down to the smallest thing, is researched and implemented with great care and determination. Setbacks are expected, as with any great endeavor. The resolve is to place the “sweat-equity” into the project to make it a reality. A great builder will also insure safety and maintenance are clearly defined and enforced.

Any visionary or builder knows that it is the day-to-day operations that can make or break a project. Yet for many in ministry, we have forgotten this truth. Faith cannot replace daily discipline and determination. Faith must FUEL the daily discipline and determination!

Later on this week, I am going to be laying out a detailed plan to bring about a vision that God has given me for Biblical Life. The end result will not only be the expansion of the seminary, but taking the powerful truths that God has placed within my spirit outside the walls of the seminary and into the homes of anyone hungry for more of God and His Word. To do this, the vision must be cast. Not only must the vision be cast, but a detailed plan must be developed. Not only must a detailed plan be developed, but it must be communicated to others that can aid in its fulfillment. Then others can receive a blessing, too.

I also pray that as you read this upcoming “Vision Plan for the Next Level,” you will be able to glean ways to develop your own detailed plan to fulfill what God has called you to do. Here are some things I have learned from the Holy Spirit in regard to bringing a vision to pass:

· You cannot do it alone. I have tried for years – it doesn’t work! Many of you have been greatly blessed by the articles and Mentor’s Tips that I have been publishing this past year and a half. If it was not for the diligent proofreading of my wonderful wife (who was a professional secretary for the government for years), many of you would still be wondering what I was trying to say. Sometimes she files correspondence that I have sent out in a hurry, and she says, “You didn’t have me proof this, did you?” We work best together. It is always a team effort!

· You must become the example of excellence and determination for the vision God has given you. You set the standard for those that will join with you to see it come to pass.

· You must always share the credit for its success. Since you could not do it alone, you cannot receive the credit alone either.

· You must always bear the blame, if it does not succeed. Leadership does not pass the blame; it accepts it and then builds a bridge to success.

· You must daily fight to see each step established. One of the most powerful statements that I have ever read was in a book by Prophet John Mark Poole. He said that many times you will have to be involved in prophetic warfare to see the prophetic word come to pass. If it is that way with prophetic words, it will certainly be that way with bringing your vision to pass! 

· You must seek the face of God for His blessing on those that come along side you to work. We always seem to ask God to bless the vision or project. If we do it right, it will be blessed! Part of doing it right is to seek Heaven’s blessing on those who stood by you.

· Once you arrive, you must work daily to maintain what God has entrusted to you. This truth is important. How can God expand your vision, if you are not maintaining it? It would be like trying to build a new wing onto a building that is falling apart. Stewardship is important in the Kingdom of God!

Do you have your vision? What’s your plan to see it fulfilled? Are you working your plan, and are you maturing as it is developed? Consistency is a vital part of maturing!

If you have let the vision lay dormant because of discouragement, it is time to pick it back up, dust it off, and develop your plan (daily working it with a new fervor and consistency)! You may be like the Jewish people returning from Babylon. They had to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem with a brick in one hand and a sword in the other – but when the walls were built, blessing came!

Don’t give up hope. Your blessing and the fulfillment of your vision are waiting for you. God is waiting to confirm the Word that He has released in your heart with signs, wonders and blessings!

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The proper theological education can be a part of establishing your vision as well.  For more information about the online degree programs at Biblical Life College and Seminary, visit our website at http://www.biblical-life.com

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Profile on Author

Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s “Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans,” Sterling’s “Who’s Who Executive Edition,” and the “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” for his accomplishments in ministry.