Definition of Terms
Internalization is a process of assimilating and processing from external sources what will become internal.
My technical definition: In kingdom leaders, internalization involves the integration of thinking, habits of thinking or attitudes, values and beliefs, opinions and revelation from God, demons, and others, or circumstances powerful enough to require processing into one’s own identity or sense of identity as it relates to representing Jesus.
Prophets internalize more than any other function of kingdom leadership.
- Prophets are leaders but submit to leadership.
- Prophets internalize but prioritize external input.
- Prophets assimilate more than messaging.
- Prophets filter and speak from internalizations.
Leaders Submit to Leadership
No one is more submitted than apostles and prophets because of the function of their leadership roles. No other leadership role encounters more demands and tests of submission from the wrong sources.
The outcome is that apostles and prophets face more significant rejection, misunderstanding, and confrontation than other leaders.
Roles define responsibilities, and relationships define roles. Getting the relational dynamics right, fulfilling leadership roles, and exhausting responsibilities mark apostles and prophets.
Internalization and Submission
To represent God in the way Jesus designs and defines apostles and prophets puts demands upon them that exhaust the soul’s demanding desires. The leaders must continually deepen submission to God to be and do what they are assigned.
It is always limiting and distracting to insert one’s identity into the prophetic process without the proper filter, but it is equally impossible to do what apostles do without being what apostles are.
In like manner, the prophetic personality cannot be separated from the prophetic function.
So, the internalization of Jesus Christ rises to its ultimate in apostles and prophets in their submission to assignment, alignment, and authorization. When such a leader internalizes something “other than,” correction is needed to avoid exaggeration of role and responsibility.
Prophets who use the capacity to prophesy in answer to internalization other than God mix the soul’s demanding desires into their function at some level.
They internalize from external sources what should only come from God, His designed and defined relational dynamics, and application and implementation of revelation received as His representatives.
In other words, only the perfected leader could avoid such mixtures, but the mature minimize them, recognize them, and correct them. Internalization that produces adaptation instead of representation become pseudo or false in the same measure of leaven tolerated.
There is a sense in which apostles and prophets, like intercessors, belong to God in a special way. There is also the sense that they must submit to kingdom leaders to maintain accountability: maintaining relational integrity with assigned leaders is essential to mature apostolic and prophetic function.
When a leader blends natural demanding desires into the function, the grotesque monsters of sexual manipulation or greed appear. The internalization of the environmental factors: love of money and the intense power of sexuality gain ground when a leader internalizes the wrong sources. A soul-controlled leader is a false leader.
When a leader blends the soul’s demanding desire into the function, the political mafia of ambition and dominance appears. The obvious internalization of the environmental factors reveals demanding desires, or lusts, that produce division, self-aggrandizement, pride as arrogance, strife, competition, contrast, and comparison.
The leader no longer internalizes Jesus exclusively and exclusive to his marriage, family, and kingdom relationships as defined and designed by Jesus. Deviation will affect these kingdom relational dynamics when they must maintain proper prioritization. The design and definition of kingdom relationships never diminish by healthy function in apostolic and prophetic leadership.
It is never unhealthy to submit to God and His kingdom culture designs and definitions.
A mature leader can encounter any environment and maintain submission to God as His source for internalization. Paul could become all things to all people without throwing away his cross. Paul could maintain his unveiled gaze at the face of Jesus and be transformed while in prison, among idolatrous worshipers, or demonized people.
Internalization tested Paul in his relationship with Barnabas. If the test was one of submission to an assignment, Paul seems to continue where Barnabas quits. Perhaps we could see that Barnabas had internalized his relationship with Mark at some dysfunctional level or in some dysfunctional aspect.
Moses internalized his disgust for the people at a critical moment to the point that he disobeyed a direct order. God released the river in response to the command and rod-of-God authority, but Moses revealed a flaw in his leadership.
Maturing in revelatory trust requires testing experiences with internalization. Passing these tests also presents powerful opportunities for fathering leaders to mention the blending during formative times.
My apostolic fathering assignment in nations has been tested in relationships with natural and spiritual children. My testing reveals grace when I’m humbled in submission to God and others, and it reveals glaring tidbits of bitterness, disgust, or impatience with God and others when I was not.
My oldest son, John Michael, was diagnosed with leukemia while Ruthanne and I were in the Amazon region of Brasil fifteen years ago.
God had promised me very specifically, “Don Lynch, if you do what I’ve asked you to do in Brasil, I will save your three sons and their wives just as I did Noah’s.”
So, when doctors diagnosed John, we stayed and finished the ministry we had scheduled. We stayed three days before flying back to Florida. During those three days, God did wonders before our eyes.
That first night, I called out seven women who could not have children–I was unaware of their inability to conceive at the time, of course–from among a crowd of 1500 people. Each woman was noticeably angry about the prophetic word. None of them could have children.
The first woman: “You will give birth to a boy. Name him Samuel. You will rear a prophet.” The second woman: “You will give birth to twin girls.” And so on.
I train prophets not to prophesy babies, but I heard these words coming out of my spirit. I was beyond internalizing my son’s diagnosis circumstances because I had surrendered at a deeper place to God’s promise.
When I submitted to God’s promise and stayed to preach and minister, my spirit rose above the thoughts of his suffering, pain, fear, and trauma. I rose above my testing moment of trusting Father.
When my son told me, “Dad, they say I have leukemia.” I asked him to repeat it. He did. I asked him to repeat it a third time. He did. It sunk in then.
Immediately satan was whispering in my right ear, “If you cannot trust the Father with your son, what can you trust Him with?” An undeniable satanic attack struck me in one of the most vulnerable moments of my life.
God would never ask that question, and I would never think that thought on my own. My children and ministry do not belong to me. My heart had already surrendered to God’s promise: “If you do what I ask you to do in Brasil, I’ll save your three sons and their wives.”
Imagine how difficult it might be to minister, prophesy, pray for the sick and dying, and see wonders before your eyes while your boy is lying 5,000 miles away facing the worst terror of his life.
If you wish to mature in prophetic representation, you must learn to submit to God as your reality source. You can feel all the things a parent feels when their son is dying but never allow that reality to blend with your trust in the promise of the Father. God’s promise is more significant than any report of natural reality.
So, six years later, I revisited that ministry. After the preaching, six women lined up across the front to introduce their children.
“This is Samuel. I was so angry when you prophesied then, but I am so happy now for my little prophet,” the first woman said.
The next woman had twin girls peeking out from behind her. “I was so angry because I couldn’t have children and thought your word was a cruel, public reminder of my shame, but here are my girls. I am so blessed!”
I met six women with their children. All could not have children. When my son was facing death, God was speaking life.
My son has better health now than before he had leukemia. They call him the miracle boy in Florida. Fifteen years later, what I learned obeying God while overcoming several impossible situations taught me to internalize from one Source.
You can develop that same maturity!