The Great Distinction of Kings

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Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength. —1 Chronicles 29:11–12, NLT

Kings That Trouble or Oppress

The very first king that we see in the Bible is the Pharaoh of Egypt during the time of Abram. Furthermore, the first time that the people of God encounter an official king with authority over them, it is once again, the Pharaoh of Egypt.  Unfortunately, the title, Pharaoh of Egypt, means “king that troubles or oppresses.”1 For four hundred years the Israelites lived in Egyptian bondage to the Pharaoh and were subject to the curse of his ruthless oppression of their gifts and talents for his own purposes.

To state the obvious, the slavery of God’s people to build a kingdom of oppression under the authority of an oppressive ruler was never God’s original intent or purpose for His people. To the contrary, God’s desire and original intent for His people has been and always will be to rule and reign with Him on earth and in heaven, now, and forever more. In Genesis 1:28, the Word of God states, “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” From this passage it is clear that from the beginning God never intended for His people to be in bondage to an oppressive ruler of any kind but rather to rule and reign on the earth in His blessing.

Kings That Prevail with God

In stark contrast to the Pharaoh of Egypt, the very first official king that we see in the Bible with legitimate authority over God’s people is King Saul, the king of Israel anointed by God to lead His people in a land of freedom and blessing. It is important to note that the title, King of Israel, means “king that prevails with God.”2

The distinction between a king that troubles or oppresses and a king that prevails with God is an important distinction because modern-day kings in the marketplace—business leaders—whether they know it or not, are leading with a prevalent tendency toward one or the other of these two distinctly different leadership expressions. The business leader who leads as a king that troubles or oppresses leads with a spirit of taskmaster and possesses defining taskmaster leadership character traits. And likewise, the business leader who leads as a king that prevails with God leads with a spirit of servant leadership and possesses defining servant leadership character traits. In the pages ahead I will illustrate the pertinent differences in taskmaster leadership and servant leadership by specifically identifying the character traits of each leadership expression as well as providing a biblical illustration of each type of leader from the Word of God.

The business leader who leads as a king that troubles or oppresses is a proud arrogant leader with a selfish heart and possesses the following taskmaster leadership character traits to a certain degree:

Taskmaster Leadership Character Traits

• Internal motivation driven by power

• Ego-centric perspective focused on self

• Decisions grounded in fear and insecurity

• Tasks people without the proper tools and resources

• Takes from people more than gives to them

• Recognizes self accomplishments at the expense of others

• Tears people down physically, spiritually, and emotionally

The biblical account in Exodus 1:8–14 provides an excellent picture of a classic taskmaster leader that troubles or oppresses:

Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we [internal motivation driven by power]; come, let us deal shrewdly with them [egocentric perspective focused on self], lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us [decisions grounded in fear and insecurity], and so go up out of the land.” Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens [tasks people without the proper tools and resources]. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses [recognizes self accomplishments at the expense of others]. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage—in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field [takes from people more than gives]. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor [tears people down physically, spiritually, and emotionally].

On the other hand, the business leader who leads as a king that prevails with God is a humble, confident leader with an unselfish heart and possesses the following servant leadership character traits to a certain degree:

Servant Leadership Character Traits

• Internal motivation driven by influence

• People-centric perspective focused on others

• Decisions grounded in faith and security

• Equips people with the proper tools and resources

• Gives to people more than takes from them

• Recognizes the accomplishments of others at the expense of self

• Builds people up physically, spiritually, and emotionally

The biblical account in the Book of Nehemiah provides an excellent picture of a classic servant leader that prevails with God.

It came to pass in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I [Nehemiah] was in Shushan the citadel that Hanani one of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.” So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven [people-centric perspective focused on others]. —Nehemiah 1:1–4

Then the king said to me [Nehemiah], “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” Then the king said to me (the queen also sitting beside him), “How long will your journey be? And when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. Furthermore I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the region beyond the River that they must permit me to pass through till I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he must give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel which pertains to the temple, for the city wall, and for the house that I will occupy.” And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me [internal motivation driven by influence]. —Nehemiah 2:4–8

Then Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.” And our adversaries said, “They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease.” So it was, when the Jews who dwelt near them came, that they told us ten times, “From whatever place you turn, they will be upon us.  Therefore I [Nehemiah] positioned men behind the lower parts of the wall, at the openings; and I set the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows [equips people with the proper tools and resources]. And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses [decisions grounded in faith and security].” —Nehemiah 4:10–14

Moreover, from the time that I [Nehemiah] was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year until the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes, twelve years, neither I nor my brothers ate the governor’s provisions. But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people, and took from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God. Indeed, I also continued the work on this wall, and we did not buy any land. All my servants were gathered there for the work. And at my table were one hundred and fifty Jews and rulers, besides those who came to us from the nations around us. Now that which was prepared daily was one ox and six choice sheep. Also fowl were prepared for me, and once every ten days an abundance of all kinds of wine. Yet in spite of this I did not demand the governor’s provisions, because the bondage was heavy on this people. Remember me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people [gives to people more than takes from them]. —Nehemiah 5:14–19

Then it was, when the wall was built and I had hung the doors, when the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed, that I gave the charge of Jerusalem to my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the leader of the citadel, for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many [recognizes the accomplishments of others at the expense of self]. —Nehemiah 7:1

Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings and singing, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps [builds people up physically, spiritually, and emotionally]. —Nehemiah 12:27

From these two very different biblical accounts of leadership, the spirit of taskmaster and the spirit of servant leadership are clearly identified and exposed for our learning, benefit, and practical application as business leaders in the current day marketplace. And if the examples of Pharaoh and Nehemiah don’t make it clear enough that servant leadership is the superior leadership practice, the Lord Himself clarifies it for us. In Matthew 23:11–12, He states: But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

The humble servant leader is the leader that God can use mightily in His kingdom business.

A King’s Legitimate Calling by God

For God to mightily use a business leader as a vessel of honor in His kingdom, a business leader must be legitimately called by God to lead as a king in the kingdom. Since the Word of God says in Acts 10:34 (WEY), “God makes no distinctions between one man and another,” we can believe that He also doesn’t make any distinctions between one business leader and another that He legitimately calls and appoints to lead in His kingdom. However, this should not be confused with the different gifts and talents that God does indeed give to different leaders in their respective leadership roles in the kingdom. The point I am clarifying is that God is no respecter of persons when it comes to His calling, but He does in fact give different gifts and talents to people for His use in the kingdom. From the biblical account found in 1 Samuel 9:15–19 regarding the calling of King Saul, the very first commander-in-chief of God’s people, we can learn seven significant spiritual principles that apply to every business leader’s calling in God:

Now the Lord had told Samuel [the prophet of God] in his ear the day before Saul came, saying, “Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man [sent by God] from the land of Benjamin [belongs to the family of God], and you shall anoint him commander over My people Israel [anointed by God to lead], that he may save My people from the hand of the Philistines [assigned purpose from God]; for I have looked upon My people, because their cry has come to Me.” So when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, “There he is, the man of whom I spoke to you. This one shall reign over My people.” Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, [seeks godly relationships] and said, “Please tell me, where is the seer’s house?” Samuel answered Saul and said, “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today; and tomorrow I will let you go [destiny is released through godly relationships] and will tell you all that is in your heart [open to the Word of God].”

Seven Spiritual Principles Relevant for Every Godly Business Leader

1. A godly business leader is sent by God.

2. A godly business leader belongs to the family of God.

3. A godly business leader is anointed by God to lead.

4. A godly business leader has an assigned purpose from God.

5. A godly business leader seeks godly relationships.

6. A godly business leader has a destiny released through godly relationships.

7. A godly business leader has a heart open to the Word of God.

A godly business leader is sent by God.

So let’s look at the first spiritual principle relevant to current day godly business leaders. What does it mean to be sent by God as a business leader in the marketplace? I believe it is by no accident that business leaders find themselves leading in business. That’s simply because God is our Creator and He knows every hair on our head—He does nothing in our lives by accident. In Matthew 10:29–31, the Word of God states:

Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Therefore, if God cares so much about even the sparrows such that none of them fall to the ground outside of His will, how much more should we believe that He cares about us and His will for our lives? As the omniscient (all knowing) heavenly Father, God knows everything about our lives, including the vocation that He specifically made for each one of us. So, if you enjoy leading in business, exercising your gifts and talents in the marketplace to make a difference in the lives of others, you can rest assured that God has purposefully sent you to the marketplace as a business leader—it’s not by accident!

A godly business leader belongs to the family of God.

Secondly, godly business leaders belong to the family of God. Now if you’re not 100 percent certain at this moment whether or not you are legitimately part of God’s family, then we can easily take care of that with a simple prayer of faith. However, before I share the prayer of faith with you, I think it is important that you understand our godly heritage of faith. In Genesis 17:1–7, the Word of God says:

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.”

At this point, you might be asking what does the story of Abraham have to do with my being part of the family of God. Well, it has everything to do with it because in order to become part of the family of God, you must have the same kind of faith in God that Abraham had as the father of our faith. In fact, Galatians 3:6–7 (KJV) says:

Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

Based on these verses, faith is clearly established as a key characteristic of the family of God. And to be even more direct, it is only by faith—believing God like Abraham—that you and I can be born into the family of God.

However, it is also very important for us to understand that faith in God alone does not make us legitimate children of the living God. In fact, the Word of God states in James 2:20 that “even the demons believe [in God]—and tremble!” This statement makes it clear that just believing in God doesn’t make us legitimate members of His family. Well then, what does? Have you ever heard the saying that “blood is thicker than water,” meaning that blood relatives carry a deeper relationship? Well, it’s actually the same way in the family of God.

You see, while God is our heavenly Father who created each one of us, your sin and my sin causes us to fall short of His glory as well as separates us from Him. And it really doesn’t matter who we are or how good we think we are. Sin is sin and it separates me and you from God. The Word of God states in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” And furthermore, the Word of God soberly states in Romans 6:23 that “the wages of sin is death.” As you can imagine, this is not good! Because God is a righteous judge, His justice demands payment for our sin. Unfortunately, there is no way around the death penalty for the consequences of our sin. This means that your sin debt and mine will eternally separate us from God unless the debt is paid. This is where the good news begins!

Because God is also an unconditionally loving Father, He did something extraordinary for you and me so that we wouldn’t have to pay the death penalty for our sin. The Word of God states in John 3:16 that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” In a totally outrageous act of love, God chose to pay the wages of our sin with the blood of His own dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ. In Romans 5:8–9, the Word of God clearly states that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” Now do you see what I mean when I say that “blood is thicker than water” in the family of God? It is the shed blood of Jesus that totally sets us free from sin and death and makes the difference in our eternal relationship with God.

With all of that said, if you want to be born into the family of God with right standing as a legitimate, blood-bought, child of the living God, all you have to do is believe and pray a simple prayer of faith in brokenness and repentance to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible states in Romans 10:9–10 “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Therefore, it is vitally important that you read and pray out loud the following simple prayer to Jesus if you desire to be saved by His grace through faith.

A Simple Prayer of Faith

Dear Lord Jesus,

I confess to You that I am a sinner in need of Your forgiveness. I thank You for dying on the cross for me and shedding Your blood as payment for the penalty of my sin. In faith, I repent and turn from my sin, believing that You died and rose from the dead so that I will not perish, but have everlasting life with You as my Lord and Savior. With thanksgiving in my heart, I receive the free gift of new life in You forevermore. All praise, glory, and honor be to You, forever and ever! In Jesus name I pray. Amen and amen!

Signature:  _________________________________

        Date:  _________________________________

My friend, if you have just prayed this simple prayer of faith, then you are now born into the family of God as a new creation in Christ. In fact, 2 Corinthians 5:17 18 states the good news, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Therefore, let me be the first to welcome you into the family of God and your new life in Christ. I encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church in your community where you can find other believers in Christ and begin learning how to do kingdom life with them as a disciple of the Lord. As you will soon discover, kingdom life is a journey never meant for us to do alone.

And let me tell you some even more good news! As a child of God through faith in Jesus, you have been born into royalty as a joint heir with Christ to the kingdom of God. Is it too hard to believe? Well then let the Word of God settle it for you. In Romans 8:16–17, the Word of God says that “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Wow! There you have it, the truth of God affirming that we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus. This means that you and I are royalty in the kingdom of God fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 17:6 that kings would in fact come from him. Praise be to God!

A godly business leader is anointed by God to lead.

Webster’s Dictionary defines anointed as: “consecrated [set apart or dedicated for a sacred use.]”3 Therefore, to be a leader anointed by God is to be set apart by God for His noble use as a leader in His kingdom and believe it or not, His kingdom reaches into every sphere of influence, including the marketplace.

Ed Silvoso writes in his book, Anointed for Business, what it feels like to be anointed for business: “I thoroughly enjoyed dealing, buying, selling, and hiring. The pressure was always on, but each time it approached the boiling point, I reached for what I called the Jesus chair. This was a chair I had purposely placed in my office. When things became unmanageable, I would close the door, kneel by the chair and ask for divine guidance. Repeatedly God provided it. Sometimes He did it in a quiet way. At other times He gave me specific directions. More than once He performed business miracles in answer to those prayers. It was so reassuring to know that Jesus was there and that He anointed me for the job I had.”4

As a business leader in the marketplace, God wants you to be reassured that He is there with you and that He has anointed you for the job you have. In fact, one of the names of God is Jehovah Shammah, The Lord Is There, which means that wherever you go, the Lord is already there available to assist you whenever you call upon Him.5 As you and I both know, the marketplace can be a treacherous place for the man or woman of God seeking to do His will; however, we have no reason to fear because the Lord promises to be there with us in every situation. In 2 Chronicles 16:9, the Word of God says that “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” This promise from God is good news for anyone in the marketplace whose heart is loyal to God because no matter what situation you may encounter, God has promised to have your back. Furthermore, God sweetens His promise by stating in Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Simply put, God is for us, my friend, and He has specifically anointed us to be His kingdom ambassadors in the marketplace.

A godly business leader has an assigned purpose from God.

As God’s kingdom ambassadors to the marketplace, you and I each have a unique and specifically assigned purpose from God that will help build His kingdom on earth. Jesse Duplantis states in his book, The Everyday Visionary, that the kingdom of God is a method of doing things God’s way.6 Therefore, regardless of what God has called each of us to distinctly do for Him on earth in building His kingdom and fulfilling the plans that He has for us in the marketplace, we must all learn to do things His way. And when we do, He gives us a future and a hope as stated in Jeremiah 29:11–12 (NLT), “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”

It doesn’t matter the profession—plumber, accountant, hair stylist, contractor doctor, nurse, bus driver, or any other profession— we are all created by God with value and purpose in the kingdom of God. Ephesians 2:10 states, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” It doesn’t get any plainer than that. We are God’s workmanship created for good works. But it’s up to you and me whether or not we will choose to walk in them and fulfill our assigned purpose.

Now if you’re thinking that you really don’t know your assigned purpose from God, let me share with you a wisdom principle that I learned from Dr. Mike Murdock about discovering your God ordained purpose. Dr. Murdock teaches that the problem which infuriates you the most can actually be the problem that God intends for you to help solve.7 As you ponder this wisdom principle, be attentive in your spirit to those things that tend to upset you the most because they could just be a clue to the specific assignment that God wants you to help solve as His kingdom ambassador on the earth.

An example of this from the Bible can be seen in the call of God on Moses to be a deliverer of the Israelites from the oppression of Pharaoh. The actual biblical account of this example is recorded in Exodus 2:11–15. When Moses witnessed an Egyptian taskmaster beating one of his fellow Israelites, he became enraged by the injustice. Unfortunately, though, Moses took matters into his own hands and actually killed the Egyptian taskmaster, which was not the way God intended for Moses to deliver His people. As a result, Moses had to flee into the desert for forty years until God developed the character necessary for Moses to return to Egypt in the power of God’s might and deliver the Israelites from the hand of Pharaoh in the manner that God intended. Moses’ call never changed from that day he became enraged and killed an Egyptian taskmaster; however, the character of Moses most definitely did change as God prepared him in the desert to fulfill his God ordained purpose on earth to be a deliverer of the Israelite people.

A godly business leader seeks godly relationships.

I’ve heard it said that in life, there are very few successful lone rangers—why even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. You see, the point is that to do life successfully, everyone needs someone who will stand by their side and be a real friend to them in the good times and even the bad times. This truth is found in Proverbs 17:17 which states that “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

As a godly leader in the marketplace, I know all too well how lonely it can sometimes be to stand in the gap for righteousness, loving your enemies, blessing those that curse you, and giving until it hurts. Without other godly people to do life with me, speak life over me, believe in me the way that God believes in me, and love me enough to tell me the truth even when it hurts, I seriously shudder to think about what kind of leader and person I could easily become. I thank God every day for the wonderful spiritual family that He has supernaturally chosen for me and my family.

From my own personal experiences, I intimately know the pain and misery created for myself and others resulting from poor personal choices made in an environment of separation, isolation, and loneliness away from the family of God. Having been at the bottom of the pit of life with nothing but myself and the results of my poor personal choices, trust me when I say that I don’t ever want to be in that situation again. Because the Lord of my salvation is a strong tower and a very present help in time of need, He delivered me from the hand of the enemy to my soul. Because God has a tremendous destiny for me, I now realize that the devil was working double time to take me out, destroy my family, and steal my destiny in God.

I don’t know if you know it or not, but the devil has a mission statement in the Word of God directed at you and me. In John 10:10 the Word states that “the thief [satan] does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” This means that the devil hates God so much that his greatest desire is to steal, kill, and destroy that which God loves the most—and that is you and me! The most effective way that satan can steal, kill, and destroy people is by separating them from the family of God, isolating them into a life of loneliness, and then going in for the kill. When we are isolated and separated from the body of Christ, we become easy prey for satan to kill our entire destiny: physically, mentally, socially financially, and—the most deadly killing of all—spiritually. But thank God that the Lord Jesus Christ also has a mission statement found in the Word of God. In the same verse of John 10:10, the Word says, “I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Praise God for His ultimate promise of life and life more abundantly for all believers in Him!

Another reason why it is so important for believers in the marketplace to seek godly relationships with other believers is because God created us to not only need Him, but to also need each other. Even the cross illustrates this principle with a vertical beam reaching up to heaven signifying our dependence on God and a horizontal beam reaching out side-to-side signifying our dependence on one another.

The wisest man who ever lived, King Solomon, states in Proverbs 24:5–6, “A wise man is strong, Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, And in a multitude of counselors there is safety.” Without doubt, godly business leaders find strength, knowledge, wise counsel, and safety when we seek relationships with other godly business leaders and commit to do life with them as a real friend in God. Trust me, the Lord cares deeply about our relationships in the family of God; so much so that I believe He personally chooses our spiritual family in the kingdom of God.

In fact, by a divine miracle appointment in my own life, the Lord supernaturally directed my steps to my spiritual family at Church of the King in Mandeville, Louisiana. It’s a long story, but my wife and I were actually attending two different churches for a time. She was attending a new church in our community led by an anointed senior pastor named Steve Robinson whom she had heard on a local Christian radio station. I was attending a new satellite church in our community of the home church where I was saved many years prior. While attending church each week, my wife developed a relationship with one of Pastor Steve’s long-time faithful friends—an authentic woman of God who began to very effectively disciple her. Through the process, they were praying that I would accept an invitation from Pastor Steve to personally meet with him; however, I was not free in my conscience to accept his open offer and declined it many times. So my wife just kept telling me that Pastor Steve was praying for me and that he would be glad to meet with me anytime. With Pastor Steve’s open invitation, my wife continued to believe that God would somehow find a way for me and Pastor Steve to meet with one another.

Well, months had gone by and we were still attending different churches when Christmas came around. So my wife asked me if I would please go to church with her and the family on Christmas Eve to celebrate Christmas together as a family. Of course I agreed. It was at that one and only service where I saw Pastor Steve for the first time and learned a little bit about him including what he looked like. If not for that service, I wouldn’t have known Pastor Steve if he was standing next to me because I had never seen him before in my life. After that service, my wife and I resumed our attendance at our two separate churches—the one she called home and the one I had called home for many years. But little did I know that God had a new home in mind for me.

One weekend a couple of months after that Christmas Eve service, my wife’s friend invited her to attend a women’s weekend retreat with her and Pastor Steve’s wife. As a result, I was left with my five kids for the weekend for the very first time. Not knowing what I should do with them on that Saturday morning, I decided that I would take them to the park and let them play while I reflected upon the condition of my life. I was feeling alone, confused, and desperate for the right changes in my life, but couldn’t seem to find a way out of the pit that surrounded me.

But then, as I was standing in the park, I looked over to my right and saw Pastor Steve playing with his kids not more than ten feet away from me. At first I was shocked to see him standing there, but then the Lord spoke to me in a small, soft, but firm voice, and said, “You better go talk to him. I put him here just for you to meet him.” With a reverence for the Lord, I stepped out of my comfort zone and went over to introduce myself. “Excuse me, are you Pastor Steve? You don’t really know me, but my name is Gary Borgstede. My wife is actually on the weekend retreat with your wife and has in fact driven over there with her in the same car. So I thought I should come over and introduce myself.”

After thinking for a moment, in total surprise, Pastor Steve responded, “Wait a minute, you’re the ‘Ochsner’ guy! I’ve been praying for you. What are you doing here? Have you had lunch yet? Would you like to join me and the kids to get something to eat?” With a little uneasiness, I accepted his invitation immediately knowing that he must be a mighty man of God if he was brave enough to go to lunch with me and a combined total of eight kids between his three and my five. What a sight we must have been, having lunch together with eight kids in a country club restaurant. Anyhow, while driving in separate cars to the country club, Pastor Steve excitedly called his wife to let her know about the miracle encounter in the park as well as our lunch appointment together. As you can imagine, my wife and her friends were utterly amazed at the awesomeness of God when Pastor Steve’s wife told them what God was doing with him and me.

I often thank God for personally inviting me into a relationship with Pastor Steve as my senior pastor whom I greatly respect and dearly love as a mighty man of God. Additionally, I am grateful to God for personally choosing my new church home and at the same time restoring me as the spiritual head of my family as a long-term result of this miracle encounter with Pastor Steve in the park. I am so amazed at the faithfulness of God to complete the good work that He begins in us and to work all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

By my own personal testimony, I know that God cares as much about your spiritual family as He cares about mine. I know that He will go to great lengths to direct your steps to the right spiritual family in the family of God; therefore, be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit and expect Him to setup special divine appointments that will fulfill the good plan of God for you and your family.

A godly business leader has a destiny released through godly relationships.

In Proverbs 13:20, the Word of God states, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed”; therefore, we can conclude from the wisdom of God that if a godly business leader wants to see his God-given destiny and legacy completely fulfilled in God, it is vitally important that he or she seek and find a small group of wise, godly counselors to faithfully do life with them on a consistent daily, weekly, and annual basis. To do otherwise could indeed have tragic consequences to a business leader’s destiny and legacy as can be learned from the history of the life of King Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon.

Unfortunately, in the history of Israel, because of poor personal choices and weak leadership character, not all of the kings of Israel fulfilled their destiny and legacy to be kings that prevailed with God. One such king of Israel who failed to fulfill his God-ordained destiny to reign over the entire nation of Israel is King Rehoboam. Instead of being remembered in history as the king of Israel who successfully succeeded his father, King Solomon, in building the nation of Israel, King Rehoboam is instead remembered in the pages of history as the king that split the nation of Israel because he rejected the wisdom of his father’s elder council.

In the Bible, 2 Chronicles 10:1–19 records the tragic consequences of King Rehoboam’s rejection of wise godly counsel and the resulting historic split of the nation of Israel into two kingdoms.

And Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king. So it happened, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard it (he was in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon), that Jeroboam returned from Egypt. Then they sent for him and called him. And Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, “Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensome service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” So he said to them, “Come back to me after three days.” And the people departed. Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who stood before his father Solomon while he still lived, saying, “How do you advise me to answer these people?” And they spoke to him, saying, “If you are kind to these people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be your servants forever.” But he rejected the advice which the elders had given him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him. And he said to them, “What advice do you give? How should we answer this people who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us’?” Then the young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you should speak to the people who have spoken to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter on us’—thus you shall say to them: ‘My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s waist! And now, whereas my father put a heavy yoke on you, I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!’” So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king had directed, saying, “Come back to me the third day.” Then the king answered them roughly. King Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders, and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!” So the king did not listen to the people; for the turn of events was from God, that the Lord might fulfill His word, which He had spoken by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Now when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying: “What share have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Every man to your tents, O Israel! Now see to your own house, O David!” So all Israel departed to their tents. But Rehoboam reigned over the children of Israel who dwelt in the cities of Judah. Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was in charge of revenue; but the children of Israel stoned him with stones, and he died. Therefore King Rehoboam mounted his chariot in haste to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day [with the kingdom split in two].

Because the Word of God emphasizes the fact that King Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders by recording it twice in the same story of Scripture, it is imperative that godly business leaders in the marketplace take special heed to learn from his insolent leadership mistake. If King Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, can make such a big mistake, why should we be so bold as to think that we could be immune from making the same kind of tragic mistake? The only way to potentially inoculate ourselves from making this kind of mistake is to diligently seek, invite, and welcome godly advice and counsel into our lives. Great leaders are extremely effective because they listen well to the advice and guidance of wise godly counsel.

According to Bible wisdom, a real friend is someone whom is willing to risk your approval and tell you truth that will help you learn, grow, and develop into the person that God has created you to be. Proverbs 27:17 (NIV) states, “As iron sharpens iron, so does one man sharpen another.” This means that as real friends do life together, they will sharpen one another with truth spoken in love. And as we all know, sometimes the truth about ourselves can hurt; however, if we stay open to receiving truth into our lives and remain teachable in spirit, our character will flourish and grow through the process. Much like a plant pruned in the spring time of its dead, life-sucking branches so that it can flourish with new life-producing buds, we too must have people willing to help prune the dead things in our lives so that we can grow and flourish in God. Hebrews 12:11 speaks of the pruning process of God through chastening by stating, “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Therefore, as we embrace the pruning shears of life through the chastening truth of God’s Word, we can trust God that our lives will begin to flourish in even new and greater ways. Praise God for the flourishing life found in Him and the truth of His Word!

A godly business leader has a heart open to the Word of God.

Because marketplace leaders are geared for action, it is important that they be fully grounded in the Word of God to ensure that they become effective leaders “in” the world and not effective leaders “of ” the world. Although subtle, there is a huge difference that godly business leaders must possess as kingdom ambassadors of the Most High God in the marketplace. I believe that the major distinction of being an effective leader in the world versus an effective leader of the world is where our faith and strength come from.

Godly business leaders effective “in” the world receive their strength from having faith in God to help them get the job done; whereas, business leaders “of ” the world receive their strength  from having faith in themselves only to get the job done, which by the way is a faulty strength—it can easily fail when tested under stress and pressure.  On the other hand, authentic strength received from the Spirit of God living on the inside of a godly believer becomes even stronger when tested under stress and pressure. My senior pastor likes to illustrate this point in his teachings with the two following questions and answers. “What do you get when you squeeze oranges? Orange juice, right? Well then, what do you get when you squeeze Christians? Christ-likeness!” This simply means that when believers are tested through the trials and tribulations of this world, they don’t get bitter; they just get better, as the character of Christ is developed in them through each test and trial of life.

The apostle John specifically elaborates on the distinction of being “in” the world versus “of ” the world in 1 John 4:4–6, stating:

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

According to the apostle John, we have strength to overcome the world even though we are in it because the Spirit of the living God in us is greater than the spirit of antichrist living in the world. I know this may be heavy; however, a godly business leader must know the difference and demonstrate it by the power of the Holy Spirit living and working in him as he effectively leads and walks by faith in the marketplace.

I’ve heard it said, “faith is Forward Action Inspired Through Him.” This statement helps define the kind of action-oriented faith that godly business leaders must possess to be an effective leader “in” the marketplace rather than an effective leader “of ” the marketplace. And the Bible says that this kind of faith actually comes by hearing the Word of God. By the way, do you know how doubt, the opposite of faith, comes? It also comes by hearing, but instead of hearing by the faith-inspiring words from the Word of God, doubt comes by hearing the faithless words from the negative dimensions of worldly culture around us. Romans 10:17 (KJV) is clear, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”; therefore, godly business leaders must become rooted in the Word of God to be faith-filled effective leaders “in” the world, but not “of ” the world.

If perhaps you’re challenged by this responsibility as a godly business leader, then let the example of Joshua be an encouragement to you. The Bible says in Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success.” This verse offers us a wonderful promise from God—if you and I make the Word of God a priority in our life and do what it says to do, we can expect God to help us to make our way prosperous and have good success, despite the trials and tribulations of life that we may face along the way. Amen!

The Dead Sea Revelation

Because the Lord Himself emphasized and demonstrated the significant distinction between leaders of the world and leaders in the kingdom, it wouldn’t be fitting for me to end this chapter without closing on the importance of dying to self in becoming a genuine servant leader in the kingdom of God. Mark 10:42–45 tells us:

Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

So then the question becomes, how do we practically become a servant to others in the realm of the marketplace? And the answer is the same way Jesus did—by dying to self. Let me explain further with the revelation of the Dead Sea that I received one Christmas season when God revealed to me something very special about the Dead Sea.

During this particular Christmas season, I was teaching about the Dead Sea to the men in my small group. I shared with them that the Dead Sea is dead because it receives a river inflow, but has no river outflow, which causes it to stagnate and die. Therefore, I was explaining how important it is for us to be people that not only receive from others, but also give out to others. In so doing, we would be like a growing flourishing river of life and blessing rather than a dead and stagnant sea.

Because this fact of the Dead Sea had always been a powerful illustration to me of the spiritual principles of giving and receiving, I was bewildered when that very same week in which I was teaching about the Dead Sea to my small group, I heard Grant Jeffries on TBN state that the Dead Sea is actually the richest place on earth. Evidently, because of the actual dying process of the Dead Sea, rich deposits of minerals have been continually deposited layer upon layer on the bottom of the Dead Sea over thousands of years.

When I heard this and began to meditate upon it, I started to wonder why God would put the richest place on earth in a place called “dead.” I couldn’t understand why God would do this, so I asked Him about it in my prayer time; however, as each day passed, He wasn’t answering my question. After about a week, I stopped seeking God for the answer. Then a strange thing happened to me later that week as I was shopping for Christmas presents in the local mall.

As I was walking down the mall, a young lady called out to me and asked if I had ever heard of the Dead Sea. A little startled and curious, I stopped to answer her question. At my affirmative response, she told me the story of how she was from Israel and that she was in the mall selling lotions specially made from the rich minerals of the Dead Sea. When she found out that I was married, she grabbed my hands to demonstrate the value of her product by rubbing the lotion on my hands and persuading me that it was the perfect gift for my wife. In fact, once she knew she had me sold, she inquired if my mother was alive and began to persuade me that a double purchase for my wife and my mom would be even more special.

I asked how much the mineral lotion was. Seeing I was concerned about price, the young sales lady told me that if I purchased two of the bottles, she would give me a third bottle free. So again, I asked her the price of the lotion. And as you might have guessed, those two little bottles of mineral lotions from the Dead Sea, the richest place on earth, were quite expensive. And the whole time I was being engaged with this little Jewish sales woman, I was internally asking the Lord what was this all about and why was this happening. I was wondering if I should buy the two bottles and get the third one free, but I didn’t want to spend that much money. Plus I was thinking about the giving and receiving spiritual principle of the Dead Sea and wondering if God was trying to test me or teach me something about it.

Seeing that I was tormented in my decision, the little Jewish sales lady backed off and said, “How about you buy one and I give you the other one half price.” That did it for me. I could buy one for my wife as a gift and then give her the other one so that she could give it to anyone else she wanted as a gift. This way the spiritual principle of giving and receiving that I have taught and illustrated by the reality of the Dead Sea would not be violated in my conscience, despite the fact that I was buying gifts that were made from the stagnant Dead Sea. Anyhow, when it was all said and done, I received an internal peace about the gifts I had bought straight from the Dead Sea.

Then later that day, as I was running on the treadmill at the gym, the Lord spoke to me in a small soft internal voice and said, “Do you still want to know why I put the richest place on earth in a place called dead?” Surprised at His question, I answered, “Yes, Lord, I really would like to know why You put the richest place on earth in a place called dead.” Then He showed me a picture in my mind of Lazarus stepping out of a dead tomb when Jesus called him forth. With that as a backdrop, He then told me that the reason He put the richest place on earth in a place called dead is because what man calls dead, He calls alive! And that man is likened unto the Dead Sea, in that when man dies to himself, the riches that He, the Lord, buries inside us through the process, can come alive to bless others in very rich ways. This is why the richest place on earth is in a place called dead.

And with that answer, I was awestruck by what the Lord had just shared with me. After completing my run at the gym, I went immediately home to record the revelation in my personal faith journal so that I would not easily forget its meaning and impact to me. How awesome and great is the majesty of our living God that He would share such rich revelation with ordinary people like you and me!

In fact, this revelation from God that He personally shared with me about the Dead Sea became part of the inspiration for the title of this book, Kings Come Forth! It is my sincere desire that as you read the rest of this book, God will use it as an instrument to inspire you and other godly business leaders to accept His open invitation to come alive from dead spiritual places in your life and begin building the Lord’s kingdom in the marketplace for His glory and His honor. Then, as you continually die to your flesh and become a genuine servant leader in the kingdom of God, I pray that the Lord will richly bless you and use you to do His kingdom bidding in the business community as His faithful kingdom ambassador for Christ.

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Kings Come Forth! by Gary Borgstede

Published by Excel Books, A Strang Company

600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, Florida 32746

This book or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise—without prior written permission of the publisher, except as provided by United States of America copyright law. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are from the New King James Version of the Bible. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc., publishers. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations marked NLT are from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL 60189. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, International Bible Society. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations marked KJV are from the King James Version of the Bible.

Scripture quotations marked The Message are from The Message: The Bible in Contemporary English, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture quotations marked WEY are from the Weymouth Bible, The New Testament in Modern Speech, by Richard Francis Weymouth. Copyright © 1939 by James Clarke Co., publishers.

Cover design by Justin Evans

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Copyright © 2010 by Gary Borgstede. All rights reserved

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Library of Congress Control Number: 2010940915

International Standard Book Number: 978-1-61638-440-1

First Edition 11 12 13 14 15 — 987654321

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