What is it that makes a difference and manifests transformation in our environment? And in me? Is it the vision, is it the word, is it my talent?
Success within the vision is not based on knowing how to carry out the parts of the friendship encounter, on the quality of the structure nor in having an extremely busy ministry schedule. Complying or doing is not enough.
It is important to understand that behind a vision there is something that makes a difference and it has to do with the culture in the heart of each leader. Culture sustains and impacts the life, the skills of each member of the spiritual family and it has to do with values, principles, and priorities. In order to understand what it means to enjoy the kingdom culture, we must enjoy reading about our Lord’s leadership.
When Jesus began to walk the Earth, His message to the world was “the kingdom first”. That means that it was a universal message, not only for Jews but for Christians, Muslims, believers, and non-believers. It was not a religious message full of structures and prohibitions but a lifestyle that leads us to live and fulfill our purpose here on Earth.
At that moment, the culture among those who called themselves followers of the word was only norms, doctrines, restrictions, and judgment. All this was the result of their desire to replace, fill and alleviate the absence of the unconditional love of the Father. A love they hadn’t known since Adam and Eve’s original sin. A kingdom’s leader foundation, base, and essence is the love of the Father. He understands that it doesn’t have to do with skills or a personal virtue learned in this world, but with being love.
Efficacy begins with acceptance, with knowing how to lead our own life, with governing our surrounding square meter. They know that the only way to transform their environment begins with transforming their life in intimacy. The more I want to reach outside through my leadership, the deeper and inwards I have to go in my experience with the Father.
Love establishes your identity and reveals the gift in you to provide solutions and answers to society. We can be leaders of influence, with active service, with qualities that show our generosity for others, with great oratory and disposition but none of this is effective if there is no love manifested in each of our decisions and thoughts (1 Corinthians 13). Therefore, if we are the love of God, we are leaders who love unconditionally. Those who do not understand this principle do not understand what they can do and what they can give.
That love from a different sphere shows who God the Father is and who I am in Him. So, we can establish that an effective leadership is born out of the right identity, out of a life from another sphere. His heart is filled with kingdom values and he is connected to the tree of life and not to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. His service is a consequence of being in a correct position before God the Father, and from a humble and positioned heart, his service grows and transforms environments.
The questions we may ask ourselves: Is it enough with just teaching values at home from an early age? Is the country where I live important? and my family’s reputation? Does my social position influence me? My finances? Do we believe that all of these answers are vital to living as a citizen of the kingdom?
All of these factors influence the development of a person’s culture, but they are neither determining nor essential for developing the kingdom environment in our hearts. Knowing what happens in the heart of each leader is a priority. What culture is the one that reigns in your interior? I ask you: What is the culture that reigns in your heart?
Kingdom culture is imprinted on a person’s character, it is the essence and determines how you will face difficulties and adversities. It has to do with his way of responding, of bearing fruit. [It directly affects the results). There must be a personal transformation in each citizen to change the reigning culture, and an understanding that changing does not mean mixing a natural culture with God’s kingdom culture.
Change is a decision and it is the first step to the transformation of our lives (permanent changes). The key to transforming my culture is to understand that we were born into a fallen system, designed by the man, under his values and opinions in order to justify the absence of the Father’s love, so we must be radical in our decision: it’s good does not mean is correct, today I decide not to defend the values of this world (principles, values, beliefs, habits). By making this decision it is revealed in my heart that the Father did not come to save me from this world, but to move us to live in his world (world: system made up of values, principles, priorities) Colossians 1:13.
A leader who lives in and from the kingdom is a leader who has an advantage over the world and it makes him influential with the people. In short, he is the answer to the questions of his environment. The reason is that the foundation for our exercise of God’s authority is to be in relationship with Him under his rule.
We can say that this leader is:
- In submission to the king (correct position, so the king is obliged to protect him, supply him, watch over his interests).
- His position and submission establish authority over the spiritual environment bringing the manifestation of God’s reality.
Kingdom is above strategies and forms. I want to give you an example:
If we take the best strategy, the best plans, the best ways and put it in a team where a culture of mistrust and discontent governs, what is the result? What could have been a wonderful fruit turns into an idea with no results. Now, a kind of good strategy but we put it on the table of a team where the culture is the culture of the kingdom, a culture of trust, commitment, honor, service, effort; for the essence of the members, that idea multiplies and they empower it to impact the world.
Another example: Culture is like a breeding ground: in a study that was carried out it was observed that, according to what is in the environment, humidity, acids, food, some animals grew and others did not. The environment of your heart is what allows you to give life or death to your environment. We see it in the passage of Matthew 5: 8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, because they will see God” so we can agree that purity in the leader’s heart is essential to the abundant life of the kingdom and its expansion. What values, principles, are giving birth in my family, in my friendship encounter, in my leadership? What culture is emerging from our decisions? Can I see and hear the value of respecting, establishing healthy conversations, honor as my currency of exchange with the world?
Virtues and habits to lead:
– There is presence of God.
– A relationship with the Father.
– Communion with God and
– Freedom to obey the truth,
-Faith, forgiveness, and obedience are the necessary ingredients for an ideal environment.
The responsibility to demonstrate the values of the kingdom belongs to each of the leaders, each of the children of the family, and it is not inside a “church” building, but wherever we are. That is, the mandate to manifest heaven on Earth belongs to everyone. It is not about talking about “the culture of the kingdom” or wanting the culture of the kingdom because it is the right thing to do or because it is a culture of honor and service. We must see it as the opportunity to establish the life of the Father on earth. It is the way that manifests HIS world in this world.
We could ask ourselves: What fruit do I want? But the answer with an instruction to that, lies in the next question: What culture do I need? We don’t need to ask people what values they have, just look at how they act, how they treat others and how they love themselves. Culture is our behavior, values in action. It is not what I say I have, but how I live and act. What are the values that I have to set? What do I have to change?
Culture is neither managed nor controlled. Culture is led because people lead themself, that is, my decisions make the expansion of the kingdom possible. Resources are managed, but children are the culture of the kingdom. We must keep the word on my lips to create a suitable atmosphere for the manifestation of heaven. A wrong environment is born out of a poor way of speaking so it destroys the potential.
Today is the time to leave the wrong environment, values, norms, and priorities. Today is the day to take responsibility for the privilege we have of expanding his Kingdom, our kingdom, first in us and then through us. You are the leader in your world. Do I see myself as a leader? am I a leader? The leaders are not only those who are seen, those with a title or those appointed. All the children who are part of the family are leaders, they are all those who govern their inner environment and impart kingdom to their environment.
The leaders of the kingdom have broadened their hearts to the point of giving their lives to serve others, shedding everything that may be a limit for them. They understand that there are no people above, no people below; more important or less important people; no big problems or small problems, but only a horizon of opportunities. They can see the gold in each life and the best in each situation or circumstance and it is because they are not lead by their natural eyes but rather, they are lead by hearts overflowing with love. Anything is possible when we lead from our hearts and kingdom values.
Translation by Carlos de Jesus Cruz Martinez, Edited by Ema Vega