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Craig Cooney: "Hearing the Voice of a King"

Craig Cooney
Aug 28, 2022

From the Desks of Steve Shultz and Julie A. Smith:

Steve Shultz This recent article from Craig Cooney is an extremely well-written word, with wisdom key after wisdom key being poured out, which will benefit you greatly!

God is always calling us to greatness, AND He uses kings in our lives to do this as well.

Not only will you find out who 'kings' are, but you will also discover the benefits of listening to them. Craig opens up with this incredible statement:

Most of us are better at identifying our moments of failure than our places of favor. We are more acquainted with our weaknesses and wounds than our gifts and greatness. The voice of a king awakens you to the wealth God has deposited inside you.

Steve were made for greatness, and you'll find out much more about this in Craig Cooney's word from God's heart to yours. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)

In Christ,

Steve Shultz and Julie A. Smith, Co-Editors
Elijah List Publications

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Most of us are better at identifying our moments of failure than our places of favor. We are more acquainted with our weaknesses and wounds than our gifts and greatness. The voice of a king awakens you to the wealth God has deposited inside you.

Certain cultures are more comfortable with greatness than others. In my experience, the USA is a nation that generally celebrates success, achievement, prosperity and promotion. Here in the UK and Ireland, we are more reluctant to acknowledge achievements and accomplishments. We assume that someone who does well is probably arrogant and getting "above their station." So, we make it our mission to bring them down to size. It seems we're not the only country that displays this mentality. In his powerful book, The Wild Ones, my friend Nate Johnston writes:

In Australia, we have a social stigma we call "the tall poppy syndrome," where if someone rises up, speaks up, seems to be overly confident, or stands taller than others, they are cut down and ostracized until they back down and accept defeat...

I grew up in this culture, and it was very difficult to break out of because it creates a guilt and shame that seem to shroud every person who steps out or stands up.

In such an environment, the voice of a king is vital. He will speak to your desires, affirm your ambition and give you permission to step into your greatness. (Note: A 'king' in your world could be male or female.) The voice of a king awakens us to our royal identity and Kingdom authority. It is a sound of freedom that speaks to the wiring in our souls, calling us to step out from the sidelines and embrace our divine design.

Kings Remind Us of Our True Identity

David left the voice of the priest and moved into the territory of King Achish. We read:

"That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. But the servants of Achish said to him, 'Isn't this David, the king of the land? Isn't he the one they sing about in their dances: "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands"?'" (1 Samuel 21:10-11)

Notice what immediately happens. In the environment of King Achish, David's own royal identity and authority are declared by the people. Look at how they describe him: "Isn't this David, the king of the land?" Was David the king of Israel at this stage? No, but royalty recognizes royalty. And everyone in the king's domain could see that David wasn't ordinary. His reputation went before him. They even remind him of the song that had been sung about him: "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands."

Can you imagine what these words did for David's soul? It had been a considerable time since he had been anointed by Samuel. For a while, things had looked so promising...then they took a deadly turn. His anointing was provoking an attack. Saul was relentlessly hunting him like an animal. He was a fugitive, isolated from his family and all that was familiar. I'm sure he began to doubt God's call. Maybe he wondered if Samuel had gotten it wrong, or if the prophetic promise had somehow been nullified.

Then, in a foreign place, he heard the familiar song describing his greatness. It reminded him of his identity. It spoke to his destiny. It affirmed his authority. It gave him fuel to press on into the future.

At times when we are feeling low or a bit lost, or maybe unsure or insecure about the future, God will often send a significant voice into our lives to remind us of past victories and help us to reimagine our destinies. It can be a face-to-face conversation, or it may be a phone call, a text or an email; but a voice that you respect will bring encouragement, reassurance and strength.

In my own life, this has happened through other people telling me what certain 'kings' have said about me. For example, some years ago, I was unaware that an older, highly-respected preacher had slipped into an Easter service where I was preaching. Months later, at a time when I had experienced some rejection and was feeling discouraged, another older preacher, whom I deeply admire, said, "I was talking to _______. He heard you preach on Easter Sunday. He told me you were outstanding." (Photo via Unsplash)

That comment was like fresh water to my weary soul. I was reinvigorated to press forward into my destiny.

A King Will Discern Your 'Difference'

Notice again what they said about David: "Isn't he the one they sing about in their dances: 'Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands'?" They were essentially saying that Saul may have been good in battle, but David was on a whole different level.

I believe that Kings aren't threatened by your greatness; they are secure in their position and status. Therefore, they have no fear of recognizing your royalty and calling out the wealth within you. They will encourage you to explore the desires and ambitions that God has placed within you so that you can express your divine DNA and experience freedom and fulfillment.

In the Church, often we don't like speaking about desires or ambition. They are seen as self-focused and carnal. And, of course, an unsurrendered heart cannot be trusted to pursue God's best. But for those of us whose deepest desires are to please the Father, we should give careful attention to the things, people and places to which our hearts are consistently drawn. This can help awaken God's dreams inside us and bring clarity around our calling.

In the Old Testament, we read that the Lord said to Solomon, "...'Ask for whatever you want Me to give you'" (1 Kings 3:5).

Then, Jesus asked a blind man: "'What do you want Me to do for you?'..." (Mark 10:51).

Just imagine if an angel appeared in your bedroom tonight and asked this question: "What do you really want?" How would you answer?

I think many of us wouldn't have a clue. We may not know what our deepest desires and ambitions are. The rest of us would probably edit them or be afraid to say them out loud because they don't sound "holy" enough. Maybe that's why so few Christians experience the fullness of life that Jesus offers us (John 10:10).

Bill Johnson says this: "Our dreams are not independent from God, but instead exist because of God."

The voice of the king gives us permission to explore our dreams and desires. They speak to where you are going, helping you move beyond previous boundaries and limitations. You can express your longings without fear of judgment or accusations of arrogance.

A king will call out the treasure hidden in the jar of clay (2 Corinthians 4:7). We may not even be aware of it. We're often more focused on our deficiency and inadequacy. They will help us discern our uniqueness and highlight the areas where God has designed us to make the greatest difference.

This is more important than most realize. In life, we are usually rewarded according to our 'difference' and distinctiveness. If everybody can do it, the reward is low. If it's something only you and a few others can do, you are more likely to be highly compensated. That's why a doctor earns more than someone who works at McDonald's. It's also why a heart surgeon earns more than a regular physician. It's not that one is better or superior; they're just different. And often God will use the voice of a king to help us discern how God has made us distinct. The question a king will ask is, "What enters a room when you enter and leaves when you leave?" This is where you make a difference.

In 2016, when I went to work at Causeway Coast Vineyard, one of the first things that Pastor Alan Scott said to me was, "Craig, you can write well. Not many people can do that. I want you to write devotionals for the church."

Honestly, up until that point, I'd hardly written anything. I actually hated writing. But Alan (as a king in my life) saw something I didn't see. So, I started writing. Soon I was writing two devotions each day – one for the church and another for my personal email list. It was hard work, but it developed a discipline of writing, and I even began to enjoy it.

Here I am now writing my fifth book. I'm not sure any of this would have happened if a king had not called out the hidden treasure inside this clay pot.

A king will identify where the old script that you have been living by is no longer serving you. They will help you see the new story that the Father is writing over your life. They will also teach you how to become more kingly. Royalty speaks, thinks and acts differently than others. Their words carry unusual weight to shape worlds. They speak with honor and honesty. They understand their significant authority and use it carefully.

Kings have broken off the poverty mentality and have learned to steward a greater level of wealth and resources. They help to build a new foundation beneath your feet so that you can do life from a different position and perspective.

A king's time is important. They do not waste it on insignificant matters. They have no tolerance for the trivial or trite. They are clear, bold and direct. They are unapologetic in not giving attention to detractors or critics. Like Nehemiah, a king has no problem with telling people, "...'I am doing a great work and I cannot come down...'" (Nehemiah 6:3). (Photo via Unsplash)

In seasons of growing favor, the voice of a king will encourage you to come out of hiddenness and move toward visibility and exposure. Again, in cultures that reward false humility and smallness, it can take great courage to step out and speak up. A king will inspire and resource you to step into places of influence and impact. They will help you to identify the boundary lines of your increasing domain or territory.

The conversation with a king schedules a new season in your life. It moves you from restriction to permission; from containment to enlargement; from hiddenness to visibility.

How to Identify a King in My Life

Kings are people who (in our eyes) are in positions of influence, authority, wealth, status, success or expertise. We look up to them, admire them and respect them. They may even be largely unknown to the rest of the world, but in your eyes, they carry unusual significance and importance. God sends them into our lives for a season to help advance our influence and increase our impact.

I have found that 'king' figures can also be found beyond our immediate environment – through social media, podcasts, etc. These are the voices of influence that call us higher and further. Throughout the years, various church leaders have had a massive influence on my formation through their online teachings. I've only spent time with a few of them in person, but they all have had the voice of a king in different seasons of my life. Who are the two or three influential people whose books you read and whose messages you listen to? Often, if you meet them in person, you are nervous. You have such high regard for their gifting and level of authority. Their words carry unusual weight. There is a gravitas to the conversation.

How Do I Know if I Am Coming Into a Season of Unusual Favor?

We have said that kings recognize kingship in others. Therefore, in seasons of unusual favor or promotion, God will often send a king to speak into your life. They have already experienced some of what you are about to be exposed to. They will prepare you to steward the increase in your influence and release you into a greater level of freedom and fullness.

What are the signs that you are in a season of unusual favor? Here are just a few:

• Doors that have been closed are opening.

• You have more opportunities than you can handle.

• There is a significant increase in your access to resources and wealth.

• You have a greater level of impact in areas where your voice was previously muted or missing.

• People of influence are paying attention to your work or asking for your advice or wisdom.

• You are getting promoted in work beyond your age or experience.

• You are getting a greater level of public visibility or exposure.

• Your reputation as an expert or authority figure is becoming known.

God is not afraid of the greatness that He's put in you. It points to the glory of the One who created you. So, break off false humility, cultural containment and religious restrictions. Live in the fullness and freedom that Christ purchased for you with His own Blood. Recognize that you are the son or daughter of the King of kings – that makes you royalty.

Therefore, take on board the words of Bill Johnson: "Royalty is my identity. Servanthood is my assignment. Intimacy with God is my life source."

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Craig Cooney
HOPE Church | Daily Prophetic


Craig Cooney has been in ordained ministry for 15 years, leading churches in the north and south of Ireland. He is married to Becky and they have a very active nine-year-old son called Elijah, as well as a labradoodle puppy called Henry. Craig is the author of four books: "The Tension of Transition," "SPIRIT SPEAK," "I Hear Yahweh," and "When the Lamb Roars." His passion is to help Believers to hear God's voice for themselves and apply God's wisdom as they navigate through the transitions of life.

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