Monthly Archives: September 2021

Your Personal Domain Authorized

One of our favorite preachers used 2 Chronicles 7:14 for text and content recently.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, seek my face, turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

My reaction surprised me. “I don’t want to hear it!”

I spent a lot of time examining that verse months ago, and applying it. Most of my friends did humble, pray, seek, turn. I take God at His word, we are forgiven. However, two-years later our land is not healed. It is hard to detect any movement in that direction. In fact, it appears that corruption has expanded, and we are witnessing more of an unhealed land than at any time in this generation’s history.

I asked myself if I blamed God for that. No. I want to know what we did not do or did not obey adequately that kept God from doing the healing and renovation.

I’ve been reading about spiritual authority and pursuing “What you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; what you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 18:18). One translation uses the word, “What you prevent or prohibit on earth; what you permit on earth….”

Wow! Since Matthew puts it that way, we have a larger role in things than we thought.

During the night two days ago, the U.S. House of Reps passed a bill that would make abortion a Federal issue guaranteeing abortions until the birth moment. The most expansive abortion bill in history. Why? What motivates female political stars say, “We will fight for abortion!” They are unwilling to fight for traditional Constitutional Rights, why abortion?

The inscription on the Statue of Liberty says, in part,

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We can add another line: “The land of abortion.” Land of the free to abort at will.”

Is that what neutralized God’s hand? The pagan world was doing what they do. 2 Chronicles 7:14 is about “My people.” When 26% of Christians vote, are we intentionally or by neglect permitting it? 2 Chronicles 7:14 is about God’s People—what should we have done to correct and change this—the one “right” that D.C. is willing to fight for?

I don’t have an answer, but the “permit” and “prohibit-prevent ”principle seems close. The Old Testament worship of Baal kept Israel in trouble with God. It included the offering of children as sacrifices to Baal and Molech. Has God gotten soft? If He would nuke Sodom, what gives Western Culture a pass?

One of the most important elements of the Spirit-filled walk is the Believer’s authority. From Luke 9:

“When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick” (9:1-2; see also Luke 10:1 & 17)).

In The Intercessors HandbookHow to Pray with Boldness, Authority & Supernatural Power, (Chosen Books, 2016) Jennifer Eivaz  teaches,

“Spiritual authority was delegated first to the disciples and then to every believer in Christ. We have all authority in His name and the capacity to subdue anything that hinders His Kingdom from expanding. And while this is powerful truth, it is something we need to learn how to live” (page 50).

Ms. Eivaz lists where our authority is restricted and where it is empowered.

  1. Authority where we have overcome.
  2. Authority for tasks to which we are assigned or gifted.
  3. Authority to ask for more.
  4. Authority for serving spiritual leaders

I call your attention to number 2—”Authority for tasks to which we are assigned.” This includes territorial authority. When we minister as guests in a church, we are careful to work under the authority of the pastor. If we are invited, there is an implied delegated authority. There were times when that delegated authority was rescinded due to me overstepping or the resident minister disagreeing with our message.

One of the territory issues I figured out: If a nationally or internationally-known speaker says, “The church needs to—should…,” listeners know he or she is talking about the Universal Church. If I get lathered up and say, “The church needs to…,” listeners think I’m talking about their church. It is the only one they know about and probably the one they care most about.

Territorial authority is crucial because there are territorial dark spirits who will guard their control of the spiritual areas to which Satan appointed them or which they have clawed themselves into control.

Some men and women are given larger regions and given adequate anointing of authority for say, New Mexico or Omaha or influencers in the education sphere. Acting on that authority is foundationed by knowing the will of God. His kingdom and will are inseparable. Some assignments are too large for one person. Prophet Dutch Sheets has authority in the realm of government. He has associates and teams who participate and plan strategies based on what they hear from Holy Spirit. Lance Wallnau is another teacher to whom I pay attention. There are many others who have earned credibility. We drove past a church today once pastored by Tommy Barnette who has authority and favor for leading people to Christ in vast numbers.

The Kenneth Copeland ministries has felt authorized to pray against Covid-19. I think there is a disease & pandemic named Covid and there is a spirit named Covid. Brother Copeland is a spiritual frontiersman—occasionally, he gets “way out there.” There is a hit piece in the papers this morning about him asking for money to buy an airplane. He has airplanes and was a commercial pilot before he was called to ministry. One or more of those planes was used to fly 5000-10,000 refugees out of Afghanistan. I read and hear Christians and secularists making fun of Copeland. That is not a wise behavior! He is not equipped to fight the disease named Covid that is not his “territory.” He is praying against the spirit of Covid. This pandemic has been from the beginning or has become a spiritual battle. What “principality, power, wicked spirits in heavenly places” are leading the spread and damage and collateral damage? Taking orders from? For what purpose?

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against a spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

I’m wondering who has Kingdom spiritual authority, therefore, responsibility over the USA Southern Border. What about Afghanistan? Minneapolis? Washington, D.C.?

Authority is not just a national, region, international imperative. Each person, family, home has sovereign rights which you are viewed as a trespasser without authority. Honoring personal boundaries is the right thing. A spouse can give the authorization to minister to a mate. Most of the people I hear testifying about witnessing to a stranger speak of receiving a question or asking if they have permission. Being careful not to intrude or invade, we can expect Holy Spirit to open an on-ramp to those whom we are to tell about Jesus.

Nations have sovereignty which comes under question when widows, orphans, strangers, pilgrims are abused or harassed. I’m not talking about westernizing or colonizing, but proclaiming the Kingdom Gospel–telling and showing God’s love and desire that people live in freedom.

Kingdom authority neglected may be the reason our land has not been healed. Although I have asked, Holy Spirit has me on a need-to-know basis. At least to this moment. He certainly has alerted me to the regions and areas I do have authority.

A few of the resources that have influenced me:

I Give You Authority, Charles H. Kraft (Chosen Books, 1997).

The Intercessors Handbook, Jennifer Eivaz (Chosen Books, 2016).

Power Evangelism, John Wimber & Kevin Springer, (Regal Books, 2009).

The Purpose and Power of AUTHORITY, Dr. Myles Munroe, (Whitaker House, 2011).

©2021 D. Dean Benton

Does “Trauma” Apply?

Listening to a Wild at Heart podcast series.* John Eldridge, a legitimate counselor and therapist, talked about the trauma we have been in and are affected and afflicted by. I have not thought of that description—trauma. What else could better describe the past 18 months?

When I turned off the treadmill and paused the podcast, I got a phone call from Susan to talk about my automobile’s manufacturers warranty. Best laugh I’ve had since July. She must be my friend because she calls more often that my grandkids. Does Susan and her company think I’m worrying about that warranty while I’m praying about Afghanistan, Southern Border invasion, hurricanes, a government gone rogue and Covid? And! Real friends who are long-haulers, and those who are not well. They are using up my prayer bandwidth!

Eldridge and team talked about the necessity of healing, recovery and restoration. In what aisle at Walmart or Target is that to be found? In what terrain is that spiritual power found? Where is the blessing released? “The Kingdom is righteousness, peace and joy” (Romans 14:17) Not words or yesterday or tomorrow, but today!  I have vision to see that dimension of Kingdom breaking out in healings, fellowship and Holy Spirit activity in the presence of Jesus.

In the third session, Eldredge talks about “Apostacy” that accompanies the Last Days. My thinking has been that apostacy was about abandoning orthodox beliefs and doctrines. Eldredge says apostacy may be faithful people just giving up on God because of too many disappointments and weariness of the conflict.

Chapter 7 of my Mining Rhyme, Reason, Reality book is about digging into my own faith worldview to uncover my beliefs and paradigms concerning the Spirit Filled Walk and living the Kingdom life.

A paragraph from Chapter 7:

“My most used phrases these days are, ‘God, what are you doing? Where am I to fit?’ And ‘What in the hell is going on?’ I have heard of behavior today in universities, medicine and government that could only have been thought up in a satanic think tank.

“In what setting would you feel comfortable to any degree to say, ‘I’m finished. I can’t do this anymore!’? What are your resources speaking to and praying for you to recover and edifying you to renew your strength?

I believe that The Kingdom offers resources through “all kinds of healings,” and that recovery and soul restoration to manufacturer’s settings is available.

The five-fold ministry has a work load these days. When your worldview includes the contemporary ministries of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers (Ephesians 4:11-13), you wonder where the prayer lines for depleted souls are forming.

Your Kingdom come! Today! Now!

© D. Dean Benton

*Wild at Heart Podcast with John Eldredge– The September series will pop up beginning with September 6 episode.

Christian-Biblical Worldview

“But the salvation of the consistently righteous is of the Lord; He is their Refuge and secure Stronghold in a time of trouble. And the Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they trust and take refuse in Him” (Psalm 37:39-40).

There is no one-worldview-fits-all. Even trying to find a consensus a biblical worldview is difficult. The Old Testament is the historical and spiritual story of the Hebrew nation with their preferences and paradigms. The New Testament has at least two dominant worldviews which are Hebrew and Greek. The Gospels outline Jesus’ worldview. The Epistles speak to Greeks rather than Jews, so when Paul especially writes to the non-Hebrew audiences, he has Greeks in mind. Jesus’ worldview according to Charles H. Kraft:

“As a human being he (Jesus) had a set of perspectives on life, most of which he shared with the rest of his society—including his enemies. But there were certain distinctives—in Jesus’ understandings that did not originate in the society in which he lived his early life. These came directly from God the Father and are normative for us, his followers.” (Page 103)

Dr. Charles Kraft goes on to tell us why there is not one “approved” worldview.

“If then, Christian principles and values can operate within any given worldview, it is misleading to use a term as ‘Christian worldview’. For if God were advocating a totally Christian worldview, the implications would be that there is one divinely endorsed set of assumptions, values and commitments designed to compete with those of every cultural worldview.” (Page 81)

Okay, then! What is a Christian worldview?

Dr. David S. Dockery has helped me understand the complex meanings.

“Christians everywhere recognize there is a great spiritual battle raging for the hearts and minds of men and women around the globe. We now find ourselves in a cosmic struggle between a morally indifferent culture and Christian truth. Thus, we need to shape a Christian world and life view that will help us to think Christianly and live out the truth of Christian faith.”

“A Christian worldview is not just one’s personal faith expression, not just a theory. It is an all encompassing way of life, applicable to all spheres of life.”

As I studied this subject, I increasingly felt that the Apostle’s Creed was a one-page description of a generic Christian worldview.

Google Apostle’s Creed and you’ll find differing versions depending on denomination and even version of the source being quoted—whether traditional, reformed or modern. That makes me smile.

The way the world really is

Who God is

Who we are

How God genuinely feels about us and what He intends for us

What life is about.

Let’s again look at the definition of Worldview:

“…the culturally structured assumptions, values, and commitments underlying a people’s perception of reality. Worldview is the major influence how we perceive REALITY. In terms of worldview assumptions, values and commitments, a society structures such things as what its people are to believe, how they are to picture reality, and how and what they are to analyze. People interpret and react on this basis reflexively without thinking.” (Page 20)

What do we mean when we say or think “Christian Worldview?” How does our faith in Jesus Christ become a standard for behavior? A psychologist says accepting Christ and inviting him into our life, “replaces self (ego) on the throne of our life and installs Jesus.” Jesus becomes the central element and reference of our life.

Here are some changes that happen in our personal throne room when we make Him Lord:

A New View of God.

A New View of Self

A New View of God’s Present Activity

A New View of God’s Love

A Kingdom Family

My worldview is a Christian view—this Christian’s operational assumptions, but not the Christian worldview. There is no guarantee that this (the author) Christian’s worldview is accurate or holy. Worldviews are extremely personal tools we use to figure out what is real—from our perspective. The more of God’s Word we involve in our presumptions, meshed with an intimate relationship with Jesus, the closer we will be to God’s REALITY.

To dig through, contemplate, define and freshen our presumptions, gives us a way to determine who we assume we are in Christ. Are we thinking, acting, feeling like He does?

David Dockery says a worldview must seek to answer questions like:

Where did we come from?

Who are we?

What has gone wrong with the world?

What solution can be offered to fix it?

Do I Have A Biblical Worldview?

Ask George! It used to be George Gallup. Now it is George Barna if you are wondering about church or religious beliefs and practices. Barna feels to me like a member of our extended family who may show up for Thanksgiving. His American Culture and Faith Institute conducted a nationwide survey about what is and who has a biblical worldview. They used 50 questions. Fifty-one percent of American adults believe they have a biblical worldview. Research shows based on specific questions that only 6% have a biblical worldview.

Barna also observed that about 70% of U.S. adults claim to be Christians. “Of those, 84% claim to have a biblical worldview. However, the American Worldview Inventory reports only 19% of self-professed Christians actually hold a biblical worldview.”

Barna suggests we think about our own presumptions, perceptions, assumptions and beliefs. You may want to write your thoughts down.

  • The existence, nature, character, and purposes of God.
  • The nature, character, and purpose of human beings.
  • The existence, source and application of absolute moral truth.
  • The reliability, relevancy, and validity of the Bible.
  • Whether or not people need to be saved from their sins, and if so, how.
  • The existence of life after death, and the dynamics of that experience.
  • Any existing spiritual or supernatural authorities, and define their powers and domains of influence.
  • The definition of success for your life on earth.

Hey, George! We are not all theologians! I find David Dockery’s four questions above easier. Barna’s are more complex and more comprehensive. Neither give you a complete view of your worldview but will give you data upon which you can compare to biblical teachings and principles.

“A biblical worldview enables you to think like Jesus so that you can live like Jesus. Because your worldview is the filter through which you make all of your decisions, developing a biblical worldview is one of the foundations of a truly Christian life.” (George Barna)

Is that helpful? The purpose of this chapter was to answer “what is it?” I also wanted to think through if all things were changed by becoming a Jesus Follower. Yes, everything is changed in our relationship with God. We are new creatures before Him. It feels right to me that our ultimate filter is “I believe in God, maker of heaven and earth.”

I like Barna’s use of the words “developing a biblical worldview.” It fits with “by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). Making God Primary sets us on a lifetime of inviting Him to restore and heal us totally and completely. Active and participatory.

“The secret is this: Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

©2021 D. Dean Benton

Excerpted from Mining Rhyme, Reason, Reality (©2021 D. Dean Benton Publish Fall, 2021)

Please be in touch with questions or comments. I dig reality.