“Keep watching the nations around you, and you will be astonished at what you see. I am going to do something that you will not believe when you hear about it.”
– Habakkuk 1:5

What does it look like to disciple nations? And what does a nation look like that’s been discipled properly? Perhaps systemic poverty would be gone. Perhaps people would live peaceful lives and live in abundance, and families would thrive in that culture.

It’s not a dream. It’s not a utopian society. It’s completely possible in a Kingdom culture, and it’s what God desires for the nations.

Often the greed of dictators or other corrupt leaders is predicated upon the lie that there isn’t enough for everyone. If I give you enough, then I won’t be able to live in abundance, and I won’t be happy. It’s one of the great lies of our day. We see it all over the world in politics, among warring tribes… even in the church sometimes.
But what does Kingdom culture look like? It comes from family. We teach others as a family and lead others into encounters with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Whatever your job may be, you live your life and impact your area of influence by bringing Heaven to earth.

Cuba is Changing

One of the greatest examples I’ve seen of discipleship changing culture happened in Cuba. Twenty-one years ago, a group of people in the persecuted church found an old VHS cassette tape of my teachings and reached out. When I first met them, I could feel the darkness of their society. They felt heavy and oppressed, living like orphans in secret under the heavy hand of communism.

Sometimes we feel like we’re living in darkness, and then we go to a truly dark place. It makes us thankful for where we live…

We taught the Cuban church for years about the Kingdom; taught them to adopt a Heavenly vision; see others through the eyes of Christ; and recognize who they are in Jesus. Their entire worldview shifted. It was amazing! Suddenly they’re saying, “Wow, there’s all this darkness; let’s bring in some light!” Suddenly they’re talking about what they’re for rather than what they’re against. Instead of blaming the government because we don’t have this and that, let’s do something about it.
And they did. They cleaned up the streets, gave away basic necessities, and shared the good news of the Gospel. It’s bringing transformation.

Out of their abundance, they even let the communist government borrow their chairs for one of their events. Our worldview used to be us vs. them, but now it’s about loving every area of society. They’re starting to influence the nation rather than being influenced by it. They’re capturing the heart of their good Father. And there’s some of the most extravagant worship in Cuba now. It’s truly amazing.

So How Can You Disciple Nations?

It’s easy to see evil in the world today. From the atrocities of the past in Cuba, Rwanda, and Cambodia, to the current atrocities in Syria, Sudan, and Libya, believers are asking God to do something about it. But He has called US to do something. He said that all authority has been given to you. If that’s true, then how much authority has been given to the devil? He only has what we give him. And if we keep it, then he doesn’t have the authority to destroy nations.

Here’s the key: you only have authority over what you love. If you’re intimate with God and love other people as you love yourself—and as God loves them—then you’re unstoppable. We need a convergence of love, power, and wisdom. This propels us to take action; to do something rather than spending our time protesting and complaining.

We need reformation, because it transforms culture; and you need Kingdom culture to change anything on earth.

Hans Nielsen Hauge is one of Norway’s heroes who created Kingdom culture when it was the poorest country in Europe—such that people would eat tree bark to survive! While many were just surviving under the gospel of salvation, one man had an encounter with the Holy Spirit while plowing his fields. His worldview changed. He started to love his country and the people in it, which brought his authority.
Hans Nielsen Hauge started the concept behind the 7 spheres of influence. Now that his worldview changed, Father God opened his eyes to see solutions in every sphere of society where he only saw problems before. People can’t read and write? No problem, he thought. I can just ski across mountains to start reading plans in remote villages. And sure enough, he did just that, and even started a plan to ensure everyone could receive a Bible.

No marketplace? No problem! The Lord showed him how to start businesses in communities to boost the economy. Hans Nielsen Hauge believed that every Norwegian is valuable, which means you treat them with high value, and it changes them. He even wrote books that influenced the way people were thinking; books about morals, the judicial system, and responding in love. The country was influenced by his actions after he died. A constitution was written, a business school was constructed, and people lived with a new worldview that they mattered and could live in abundance.

Change your Worldview

Everything you’re thinking about comes from an idea, whether good, bad, or neutral. Every idea has a worldview attached to it, which causes you to view things through certain glasses. Worldviews also have spirits attached to them. The killing fields in Cambodia started with a worldview attached to communism. What if we kill all the educated people? Everyone who disagrees with us? So there’s no competition. This led to a horrific genocide.

But there’s nothing God can’t redeem. When people step in to disciple nations, with a love for Cambodia and its people… the environment changes.
God loves both the victims and the victimizers. The people responsible for the world’s greatest atrocities are victims themselves, bound by the devil and brainwashed by his lies. They, too, need to know the truth. If we don’t disciple them, the devil will do it.

I’ve been blessed to witness what happens when victimizers receive forgiveness from their Father and step into their identity. During my last visit to Cambodia, the victims and victimizers came together in worship, miracles broke out, and people were healed!

Step up and get out!

God wants nations to experience how loved they are by Him. Every nation exists for a reason, and has a redemptive gift—one that’s supposed to reflect Heaven on earth. We want nations to look how God intended from the beginning. So what needs to take place to change the future?

What does Kingdom culture look like in arts and media? When we’re dealing with addictions and poverty? It impacts and changes every issue we face today. When you love and disciple others, they start to love their country, and it starts a chain reaction. Do you hate your leaders? Or your country? Practice love so you will have the authority to influence the influencers. Practice love, power, and wisdom and change the nations.

Leif Hetland