We extend our rule from the center of our territory.

We extend our rule from the center of our territory. The Lord said to Joshua; ‘I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west.’ There are two elements to ruling territory; people and geography. This statement defined the outer boundaries of the geography that the people of God were supposed to rule. It was a large area comprised of what are now parts of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and the Arabian Peninsula. However, the central point of rule would be the land west of the Jordan River, a very productive land controlled by Canaanite people. This was the center of the land assigned to Israel. They had to cross the Jordan River, moving from east to west to take this land. Their influence spiritually, morally, and economically would begin and radiate from there. The Messiah was to come from this people and this land to fulfill the promise given to Abraham that ‘all peoples on earth would be blessed through you’. (Gen. 12:3)

Every leader has a point from which they radiate outward to influence other peoples and lands. Their ‘home turf’ is that central point from which they lead. Business, government, and churches organize from this premise; radiating influence and ruling territory from some central point. Every leader has a few close associates, then a larger group of supporters that undergird his/her ruling. Jesus had 3 very close disciples, 9 others that were part of the original 12, and 120 devoted supporters that waited in the upper room for the Holy Spirit after His ascension. It is from this hub that He radiated rule and influence after He ascended to heaven.
As pastors and apostles, Deborah and I have a central point, called Crossfire Church and Deborah Ministries International in Colorado, from which we radiate influence to our assigned territory. It is our center point. From this small area in the U.S. we have close supporters who partner in leadership to influence nations. We have influenced 21 nations from this central point. We are having the greatest national influence in Kenya and Uganda with emerging influence in North Dakota and Bhutan.

Where is the central point from which you lead and influence others? Who are your closest supporters, your inner circle of partners for the cause? It is from there that you exert your rule over your assigned territory.


Ruling Like The King - Stay Within Your Territory

Every king must stick to his assigned territory. The apostle Paul gave us a hint of the meaning of divine territory when he wrote his second letter to the Corinthian church. In regard to being commended for work done in the church he said, ‘We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you.’ Every leader in the kingdom of God has an assigned field to rule and reign. In my last post I said that people, the human dimension, are the primary representation of that assignment of territory. Paul was an apostle to some but not to all. He was a leader of many but not of all. To the believers in Corinth he was their ‘ruler’, not in a dictatorial sense, but in the sense of his relationship with them as a father, one who cared for, nurtured and loved them. He said in 1 Cor. 4:15 ‘even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.’ He ruled as a father would his adult children, from a distance, knowing he could encourage and edify, but he could not enforce. They would have to figure it out and walk it out. The church in Corinth was part of Paul’s assigned territory. He was part of the foundation of that church, part of the structural integrity that would serve to build them into a mighty dwelling place for the Lord.

For many years I worked in land conservation in the U.S. government. I had an assigned human, geographic and financial territory where I had authority, dominion, and accountability. If I intentionally strayed into another’s territory, e.g. conserving land in a state outside my region, directing a work group supervised by another, making a financial decision over which I had no accountability, then I was outside my assignment and infringing upon God’s order and plan for that organization. However, on occasion I was invited in to help another with an assignment. A leader saw value in my expertise and invited my involvement to help him or her work in that area. I became a temporary guardian within their assignment. But it was always for a moment, a season, as a temporary guardian. My long term authority, responsibility, and accountability were in my assigned territory. It was the place I had relationship with the people. It was the place I functioned as a father rather than guardian.

The kingdom we rule with a good and noble heart will be the territory assigned by the Lord. Everyone in leadership has an assigned territory. Evaluate your territory. Do you understand the boundaries of, the authority over and the accountability for that territory? There is your assignment.


Know Your Territory

You must know your territory before you can rule your kingdom. As a ‘king’ in the Kingdom, you will never rule your God-ordained territory unless you know the content and boundaries of that territory. Throughout history, kings have ruled territories. Saul, David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Josiah, and many others each ruled a territory; a human and geographic territory. People are the first expression of God-ordained territory. Without people, there is no need for land, no need for order, no need for God’s love, no need for redemption and no need for visible expression of His redemptive glory on earth. People, specifically those who believe in the Lord Jesus, are the Father’s expression of His glory (2 Cor. 3:18) today. Every Christian leader must rule from this perspective, from a position of love and mercy, power and authority. That expression is the heart of the Father for a son. The Son knew the Father. He knew the Father in a very personal, intimate way. And the Son became a reflection of Him.

The Bible says that ‘the son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by his powerful word’ (Heb. 1:3). You rule as a reflection of the Father’s heart, specifically as a reflection of Jesus. You are called to rule your territory as Jesus would rule. Jesus had a territory while on earth. It was most intimately defined by the 12 apostles whom he ruled. After his resurrection and ascension it was defined as only 120 people in the upper room; those who fully accepted his message and his authority. Those were the people he knew best and that knew him best. You must know the people within your territory.

While Saul, David, Hezekiah, and the other kings had aspects of great leadership, none ruled in the fullness of the Father’s glory. None of them had Jesus. They had authority of leadership, but without a born-again spirit, without the filling of the Holy Spirit, and without the power of the New Covenant they could only rule as natural men limited in ability to love and rule as a reflection of the Father’s glory. They had limited ability to truly know and rule the people.
Leaders today must know their people, whether they comprise a local church, an internet ministry, a business, or a civil government. Who is it that comprises your territory? Who is it that comprises the 12 and the 120? It is there you find your territory. It is there you rule. It is there that you can reflect the glory of the Father to His people. It is there you can truly reflect the heart of the good and noble king.