A. Discipline
B. In Secret
C. Faithfulness
D. Sulha


• idolatry of good
• focus on positional power
• self effort
• low understanding of grace
• rushing to fix
• misunderstanding unity as control and agreement

Each person is gifted by the power of the Holy Spirit to become part of the solution for a specific people, time, and place. This, in its simplest definition, is spiritual authority.

Not only are we wired towards this but every piece of our lives, the good, the bad, and the ugly, is to be harnessed by the Lord for the specific authority and solution you are to be a part of. This requires that we stop playing the victim in regards to what has gone wrong for us, and that we surrender every single aspect of our life unto the Lords good plans.

The bad stuff that has happened to you is to be used for the good of others around you. This too, in it’s simplest sense, is part of how spiritual authority works. What the enemy means for evil, God means for good. Our lives surrendered, in this way, become the foundation and the seed-bed for the growth of the Kingdom of God on this earth.

In Luke 10, when Jesus sent out the seventy-two, he sent out common people. Though these ones had been around him for some time they had not yet experienced the power of the kingdom of God through their own beings. And everything about their upbringing and the culture into which they were born, would have told them that they were not equipped or prepared, or allowed even, to usher in miracles of the Lord. But of course they were — not by their might, but by God’s.

Spiritual authority then, is a process of realizing that our might will never accomplish the things of God. Kingdom of God work is not by our intelligence, our business savvy, our mastery of this or that, rather, Kingdom of God work is by the power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We therefore have no reason to hold ourselves apart from this work, no reason to maintain our disqualifications, for none of it is by us even though it may be through us. We enter into the work of our Lord boldly and confidently. For it is not about us. It is about Him.

Spiritual Authority is the balm of the Lord poured through us, it is the salt that makes the entire pot of soup (our world at large) taste good. Life is restored in all manner of fulness as we bring the fulness of God with us everywhere we go. As He inhabits us He inhabits the world, Ephesians5:8. Wearemerely conduits of His great love and grace and in Him all people are made more glad and hope is restored Matthew 5:14, darkness is pushed back merely by the presence of God in us, John 1:5.

God’s light and life makes all things new.



“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the
peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11 ESV

Constriction, limitations, the timing of God, in obedience and able to be living sacrifices, all of this demands discipline in our inner person. A disciplined life is the ability to come under the constriction of the Spirit and it is the practice of this which leads to maturity.

Proverbs 3:11-12 “Do not despise the Lord’s discipline … 

Proverbs 12:1 “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge …

Hebrews 12:11 “… it yields a peaceful fruit of righteousness 

Romans 12:16 “Let them be a living and holy sacrifice …

2 Peter 1:3 “Add to your faith …

Jeremiah 10:24 “Correct me Lord, but only with Justice ….

NOTE: Take the time to look up these verses.


• acting in much zeal but little wisdom
• often young in the Lord and with too much teaching and not enough experience
• rushing forward into what we see
• not waiting on the Lord’s explicit instruction
• speaking all things too soon
• must download all knowledge at once so it seems (or pretend we have knowledge when we do not) 
• refusing limitation and constraint
• unbalance – does not ask,“is the decision good for all of life?”

The biggest marker of ministry without discipline is the use of ministry to make up for a poor self esteem, make up for past failures, or pave our way to our preferred future. Ministry can be an addiction in our lives. Without discipline we are never fully moved into our spiritual authority and our gifts are ruined in haste and zeal.

How we get from one to the other:


Poor Results Due to Haste & ZealTime of TrainingSober Strength
– difficulty that grows our discipline
– failure to sustain our sloppy promises
–  many tests to see if we are trustworthy and responsive to God
–  coming under the Lord’s checks
–  surrendering heart zeal to the Lord’s discretion
–  difficulty propels us forward
–  challenge makes us stronger
–  every trial teaches us something
–  we give up our rights


• we have knowledge plus wisdom
• we are moved slowly yet surely into spiritual authority 
• we have been tested and tried by the Lord
• our character is matured / maturing
• pressure does not throw us off
• we learn faithfulness
• motives are purified
• we test the spirits
• fruit is multiplied
• plans are given time to consider
• ability to wait on the right timing
• able to wait for the Lord’s direction
• able to bear the weight of waiting
• lives as a living sacrifice

STORY: The Lord first began telling me at Capturing Courage International Ministries when I was about twenty-years old. And then, he began preparing me for this work in the year 2000. From that time until we began as an organization was nine years. There was then another three years before we launched overseas. All-told, from first vision to beginning was thirty years! Needless to say, I have learned not to rush anything. I learned to wait on God. I learned that to have a good idea and try to make it happen on my own is a waste of my time and energy. I learned that to hold back, to enter into discipline of thought and action is absolutely necessary as we seek to walk with God. I learned that unless God is in the plan I don’t want the plan. Now, Capturing Courage has ministered in hundreds of villages. This was God’s doing, not mine. On my part, I had to learn to hold back, to wait, to trust, to keep myself in check, to follow, to lead as he instructed, but most of all to submit my best ideas to the oversight of God. All of this has grown much discipline and strength of waiting and of trusting. Very important lessons to learn, very important habits of self and life.



“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:5-6 ESV

We must spend time with God, personally, one on one, day by today. It is only out of relationship, intimacy, conversation with our Lord that we have strength, wisdom, clarity, direction to go forward to lead, to serve and to bless others.

At the time of Jesus the church leaders would pray long prayers to impress people. Jesus strongly rebuked them and taught the importance of prayers in secret.

Matthew 6:6 “Go into your room and shut the door …

John 14:1 “Let not your hearts be troubled …

John 15:7 “If you abide in me …

Luke 18:1 “… ought always to pray and not lose heart

Matthew 6:1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before others …

NOTE: Take the time to look up these verses.


• speaking / sharing too soon – motivation and momentum become lost 
• rushing ahead with our own best ideas
• forcing things
• focussed only on the outward
• intent on drama and the praise of men
• we miss the subtleties and compromise discretion 
• we give away the secrets of the Spirit
• we talk and brag and ruin the work of the Lord
• unable to sit quietly with God
• the mind races and cannot relax in the Lord

The biggest marker of someone who refuses to keep prayer in secret with God is a flippancy with words and choices and actions, a refusal of sorts to engage the deep birthing work of all spiritual advances in the Kingdom. Without a secret prayer life with God we focus on action, programs, directives — these coming from self and not from the Spirit.

How we get from one to the other:


Tired of Breadth without DepthStop Living for OthersWe are Solid in God
–  we long for depth with the Lord
–  we begin to see that relationship with God is the top priority
–  we may be busy but we feel empty
–  we live for God
–  self is resolved in thepresence of the Lord
–  ego needs are filled byGod — self condemnation is gone
–  we are able to be quietwith God
–  ease flows from us for self and others
–  God’s heart has voice in our lives
–  influence naturally and easily grows for God is the author of it


• work is carried on in secret in the hearts and minds of God’s people 
• we learn to do work alongside God in the secret place
• our core motives are tested
• our ego, with all it’s needs, is laid down at the cross of Christ
• we wait on the Lord for words, choices, and action 
• we move with explicit direction of the Lord
• we take time with God in secret
• the work we do becomes multiplied
• able to move slowly and then powerfully with the Lord
• we allow God’s work to unfold rather than trying to make it happen 
• God multiplies our efforts — it is about him and not us

STORY: One of my ministry trips had me in a small rural village. The pastors that I was alongside were hosting a pastor’s conference. Before I had arrived the Lord had begun pressing upon me a weakness within my inner person.

Much like where Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:9, “For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for.” I found myself weak in all ways and yet I was vaguely understanding that this was a work of the Lord through me.

Once the pastors conference was over the Lord gave me a picture of what had been taking place in the spirit realm. I was the covering over the gathering, I was the one receiving the arrows and spears of the enemy, I was the one taking the hits, so that the pastors could find their new strength in the Lord.

This was a work experienced in the secret place with the Lord. It was very hard, and yet I was glad to be of service in this way, to be part of the Lord’s work for those who had gathered.



“Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this
we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.” 1 John 3:24 ESV

Faithfulness is the result of years lived unto God even in the face of much difficulty. When we make Godly choices time after time, as we seek the spirits direction in all things, as we wait on the Lord, faithfulness grows as a good habit deep within our lives. Out of this many good things come. Faithfulness waits on the Spirit. Faithfulness rests in quiet with the Lord.

Proverbs 28:20 “A faithful man will abound with blessings …

Luke 16:10-12 “One who is faithful in a very little …

Deuteronomy 28:1-14 “If you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God … 

1 Corinthians 4:2 “Moreover, it is required of stewards …

Psalm 91:4 “He will cover you …

NOTE: Take the time to look up these verses.


• little long-term favor or fruit
• busy but with little lasting impact
• easily swept toward the next big project
• building one’s own kingdom
• rest on pedigree and resume
• take ownership of other’s obedience issues • rush ahead
• blames the enemy for all our trouble

The biggest markers of a life that is not faithful to God is a running from this to that in impulses that do not come from God but from a frantic inner self. Busy with many ‘good’ things there is not follow-through or long-term faithfulness, with an inability to abide in Christ.

How we get from one to the other:


Realize the Futility of our Own PlansConvicted to Release Ministry and Gifting Back to GodStewards of God’s Work (not owners)
–  growing awareness that life requires the Lord’s favor upon it or it doesn’t go well
–  ‘grinding sacrificial obedience’ that is not of God
–  complete surrendering of these things at a heart level
–  lets go of disqualifications
–  turned toward God
–  listening for Him
–  responsiveness
–  aligned with God
–  celebrates little bits brought to God


  • walking in obedience to their King
  • holding back a lot of the time as we wait on the Spirit’s direction
  • going forward with things the Lord is compelling us towards (even if we don’t think we have what ittakes)
  • walk in sync with the Lord and His work
  • lay down ‘our’ ministry to the Lord
  • motives, intentions, desires, and daily work are given over 100% to the Lord
  • in the timing of God where great fruit results
  • we have learned to pray first and respond later
  • we move in the timing of God

STORY: Many years ago I and my family were living in a small space.There were seven of us and we were outgrowing the space we had. I began looking for another home so we could move. Atthe same time my sons had become friends of a boy their age who lived nearby. This boy had been rejected by his mom and was living with his grandparents. He easily played with my boys and we became a part of his support system in life.

As I was looking for another home I got the sense from the Holy Spirit that we were not to move at that time, because this boy did not need any more loss in his life. And so we stayed. We stayed in the home that was getting too small (as my kids were growing bigger) and we waited. We waited more than a year.It came about that this boy and his grandparents moved, and once they moved we were free to also move. It was hard at the time, waiting to move, wanting to move, yet holding back in obedience to the Holy Spirit.

When I look back I see this as a primary testing of my own faithfulness and trusting that God’s timing is best and that our lives are not about us, but are for others. As we allow God to touch others through us we grow in faithfulness to the voice and timing of our Lord. He is free to work through our lives.



“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9 ESV

Instead of a wronged person waiting for reconciliation, for repentance, for contrition, for admission of guilt by the other person, Sulha puts into the hand of the person wronged, the initiative to go to that person/s and declare peace; Sulha is a recognized tradition and deliberate action that refuses revenge and actively declares forgiveness. We see that the Bible is chock-full of Sulha. In fact the gospel is Sulha. God comes to us and breaks out the fatted calf to eat with us putting our offence behind him. Jesus Christ took the initiative to cover us, to run toward us, to take on the cost of our offence in his own self.

Isaiah 25:6 “… a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine … * read all of Isaiah 25

Luke14:12-14 “…invitethepoor,thecrippled,thelame,theblind…

Luke 15 “The Prodigal Son,The Father,The Older Brother

2 Corinthians 5:19 “In Christ, reconciling the world …

James 2:12 “Speak and act as those judged by freedom … 

NOTE: Take the time to look up these verses.


• blame and excuses
• waiting on others to make it right
• unforgiveness
• bitterness
• no ability to accept or rest in God’s grace for self
• hard hearted
• rationalizations
• refusal to take responsibility
• we focus on other’s short comings and sin
• condemning
• pinched and narrow thinking
• missing the feast of the lamb (not gladness)
• obsessed with right and wrong, good and bad, the letter of the law
• cannot operate in the spirit of the law, the spirit of our Lord
• we become comfortable in God’s saving and do not live out the gospel — selfish christianity

The biggest marker of Sulha missing in a person is the person’s intent on retribution and recompense. Demanding and interrogating, without Sulha we are mean, dispirited victims who are waiting on others to make all things right, unable to celebrate anyone else. We do not understand that all things are reconciled in God.

How we get from one to the other:


Crippled by Failure, Broken by LossExperience with the Futility of Waiting on Others to Make it Right100% Responsibility for what has gone wrong
– great harm done
– irreparable damage
– disillusionment
– shock
– heart is dead
– destroyed by bitterness
–  tired of being angry
–  understands futility ofbeing justified
–  we put down ouragenda for others
–  putting down offence
–  taking leadership inextending Sulha
–  a welcome hand isextended to enemies
–  we advocate for our enemies


  • we have active intention in response to the peace we find in our hearts
  • we take deliberate action with the purpose of bringing restoration and laying to rest all hurt andharm
  • we set wrongs right by coming toward the person who has wronged us
  • we give over our lives for the blessing and benefit of others and to those who will receive
  • we find profound freedom in our own hearts and lives
  • we rise above all violation and extend shalom to perpetrators
  • we die to self, laying down need for retribution, surrendering one’s rights to recompense
  • hurt and harm can be washed away in the presence of forgiveness and reconciliation
  • we live out the gospel of Jesus Christ
  • we run toward the world to take on the stones

STORY: When I first learned about Sulha I began asking the Lord, “What would sulha look like in my life with those who have hurt me the worst?” And I began to actively seek out how to extend sulha to those who had harmed me the most. And God opened a few opportunities for me to extend a spirit of Sulha, a gracious welcome wrapped in forgiveness, to a few people.

And then, about six months into this time I had a dream. In my dream I was standing before the teenager (now a man) who had raped me when I was a child. In my dream I put my hand on his shoulder and declared the deep forgiveness and restoration of the Lord upon him in the name and the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ. And then I woke up.

I woke up from that dream with indescribably joy — a joy like I had never experienced before. This joy lasted with me for weeks. I learned that justice for me was that I would be restored to the original image as God created me to be before rape. And I learned that justice for him was that he would be restored to the original image of God before rape. God gave me this experience and opportunity with Sulha to the worst of those who had harmed me. It was an incredible experience, and even though a dream, one of the most profound privileges of my life.

=>  We continue our learning with Chapter 70: Surrender

Capturing Courage International Ministries :: capturingcourage.org
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Email Us :: college@capturingcourage.org