An emerging leadership style which is becoming more and more popular in our region is Leadership by Manipulation.

The word Manipulation means – (transitive) to handle or use, esp with some skill, in a process or action:

-to negotiate, control, or influence (something or someone) cleverly, skilfully, or deviously
-to falsify (a bill, accounts, info.etc) for one’s own advantage
-to manage or influence skillfully, especially in an unfair manner

The word of God declares in Jerimiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

A very profound question indeed from the word of God. This word helps us understand that man without God, has the potential to do inconceivable
things. It also helps us to understand that it is very difficult to know what is the intent of men’s heart.

In Proverbs 23:1-3, the word declares: “When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: vs.2 “And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.” Vs 3 “Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.”

Very serious instructions from the word of God, be careful when you seat to eat with rulers. A ruler in this context is someone who has dominion or
reigns. A governor, a King, a head of state etc. A couple of questions flows through my mind as I read this word, are we trusting men much more than we should? Are we giving them much more credit than they deserve? Are our leaders sincere at all in the things they say? Or are they just saying the things they know we would love to hear? And much more questions are still hanging, what are the motives behind a lot of the things they do? Are they very genuine? Or are they hoping as the word calls it, their “ deceitful meat” will sufficiently manipulate the thoughts, decisions and independence of many, so that those they have manipulated will defend the evil activities that they get into.

That phrase “deceitful Meat” means a lie, untruth, falsehood, deceptive thing. So God in his wisdom inspired king Solomon to warn his people, less they be deceived by the rulers danties (attractive food) or their deceitful meats.

So it means what appears to be attractive, great food, could very well be false, or deceptive meant to mislead and trap you. It also means that what you consider to be a privilege or an honour from the king or a leader, might have a diabolical agenda, a hidden motive. Its intention could be to muzzle
you or control what you say because I am feeding you or because I invited you into my chambers and served you delicious or kingly foods,
or because I am your provider providing a basic need for you.

And as the word continues to say in verse 6 and 7, as he thinks in his heart so is he. Eat and drink he saith but his heart is not with thee. Which means his heart is not saying what his lips are saying.

His motives and will is that you are hurt from what you eat, or that he can sway you by what he has given you which equates to bribery and witchcraft.

This has become a norm in leadership and for some individuals, it is their mode of leading. Today many leaders have gone into the act of giving many seemingly good things which according to the word seems to be “ the kings danties” but the intent is to deceive the persons receiving or partaking from it. Verse 8, gives us the end results of those who partake.

It states, “The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.”

By explanation it means the little bit you have taken in you will vomit, but it didn’t stop there it continued to say that you shall loose your sweet words.
That means that whatever about you that was pleasant, delightful, agreeable or beautiful. Which includes your speech, your sayings your acts or
actions your manner, characteristics or way of behaving, will become corrupt, perverted, spoilt or ruined.

That if not anything else underscores the need for this warning from the word of God, because time and time again we have seen servants of
God, Pastors and other believers have formed unholy alliances with political leaders and we have seen the results of them as expressed by
this word. And not just religious persons but we have seen many good, right thinking citizens share from the Danties of the rulers deceitful
meat and have suddenly lost all sense of good judgement and integrity they ever possessed.

So my challenge to Godly men and women, citizens and all members of society, let us begin to re-evaluate what we consider to be Danties
from our leaders table or treasury and let us begin to heed the admonition of the word of God, and set in place an obstruction, a standard or something that will hinder you from getting corrupted. If the wisest man who ever lived could give us such an admonition it means he is warning that this will happen so be on guard.

And since we have not been on guard it has already happened and is still happening but the word comes to give light and life. So let the eyes of your
understanding be opened and allow entrance to the revelations from the word, that change will come not just to you, but to friends and love ones and our communities and territories alike.

So in the name of Jesus, I speak the opening of blind eyes and freedom to everyone who has been held captive by the spirit of manipulation
operating in our lands.

Be delivered in Jesus name, Amen and Amen.