Steps to Intimacy Part 3


Imagine your emotions in these two scenarios.

Scene one.

You have been at your job for six years and are doing very well.  There is a small irritation lately with the newly graduated bobble head who HR stuck on your team, but all told things are well.  You have exceeded your assigned goals for five quarters in a row which is more than any other department in the company has done.

On Friday afternoon your boss comes in, expresses disappointment in how you have been running the department, fires you and appoints the bobble head to run the team instead of you.

It all happens so fast you can’t even believe it is reality and not some sick prank.  You find yourself starting the car mechanically, backing out of the tight space on autopilot.  Your mind is racing.  What about the money for your daughter’s big wedding in six weeks.  What about your son’s college.  What about . . .

You reach for the cell phone and call ____________.

Scene two.

You were diagnosed with cancer and went through a long treatment.  At the end of the brutal regimen, you were given some statistics about the risk of recurrence.  You have been slowly rebuilding your health and your life for the last year.

You went back to the doctor last week for your first annual checkup after the treatment.  He asked a bunch of questions, poked and prodded and ordered blood work and other tests.  The results were in and his nurse called you at home to tell you that there is absolutely no trace of cancer anywhere in the various exams that were done.  Congratulations.

You hang up the phone suddenly realizing how much dread you have been blocking over the last week.  It is suddenly gone.  There was nothing ambiguous about that report.  You are WELL!

In a daze, you pick up the phone and call _____________.

Hold that thought and let’s look at the seven levels of intimacy in communication.

7.   Dreams and disillusionment

6.   Confession and forgiveness

5.   Affirmation or confrontation

4.   Feelings

3.   Opinions

2.   Facts

1.   clichés

Clearly the deepest intimacy lies in sharing with someone else our greatest dreams and the joy that comes from reaching them, or the deepest disillusionment when our dreams crash and burn.

Yet………………most of you reading this didn’t put God’s name in the blank for who you would call first when you got crushing bad news or the gift of having a life once again.

(For those of you who already do default to sharing the greatest intensity of your life with God, you really have no business reading this blog.  Get out there and write your own, sharing with us the secrets of your pilgrimage in getting to the place we all wish we were at so we could join you!)

Why don’t we default to God?

Well, for the most part, we can lay the blame at the feet of your family or your religion.

For me, it was religion.  Let’s take one piece at a time.

Why did I find it awkward and not natural for a long time to share my dreams with God?

Simple.  I was taught that it was really awful sin to envision myself in any sort of excellence.  After all, Scripture is very, very clear.  Undeniable.

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.”  Isaiah 64:4

“Should you then seek great things for yourself?  Seek them not!”  Jeremiah 45:5

“Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”  Proverbs 16:18

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25

So it was simple, clear and irrefutable.  Worm theology triumphed.  Dreamers were damned and grovelers were holy.  Break out the sack cloth and ashes.  Bring on the fasting.

I had that message on 78 AND 33 rpm vinyl, 1/4″ tape, cassette tape, eight track, 16 mm film, 8 mm home movie, both Beta and VHS video, CD and DVD.  I have been to the workshops, the seminars and the conferences.  I have the tee-shirt, the sweat shirt, the ball cap, the coffee mug, the screen saver and the mouse pad.

And I also have been through deliverance for that rubbish and realize that I grew up with a carefully edited version of the Word, because the same Bible that has all those verses, ALSO broadly celebrates the success of Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, Jochabed, Miriam, Moses, Aaron, Joshua and the judges, and priests and prophets and kings and queens and apostles and ordinary Christians who did great things.

I have had to work to destroy the old messages and to establish a new protocol.  God looked at “without form and void” and envisioned a manifestation of His nature in place of the “darkness over the great deep.”  Having envisioned it, He made it.  And when He made what came from within Him, from His nature, He smiled and said, “This is good stuff!”

So I have both an operating system and a virus operating within me.  The original operating system is good software.  My spirit is made from the same light that God is made of and some of HIS dreams for this tired old world are encoded in my data base which came from HIM.  I also have a virus called the sin nature in my nature, and I don’t think I will ever completely eradicate it, but I can run my virus suppression software with regularity so the original operating system is dominant.

So at the end of the day, if the virus is subdued, and I dream of doing something within the framework of my design, it probably came from God to begin with.  So why wouldn’t God be excited about hearing it?

Let’s go back to you as the cancer patient.  This time it is the lab technician who calls you.  He tells you the good news, then says, “Listen, I really don’t want to get you in trouble with your doctor for getting well.  You and I know you are well, but I am going to lose this blood sample and trash the report.  I won’t even enter it into the computer so there will be no way for your doctor to find out.  He will probably never remember to ask his nurse if the report came back, but if he does, and asks for a retest, just tell him no.  That way he won’t get mad at you for getting well.”

Ludicrous?

Of course.

So is the theology of God getting upset when you come into agreement with His vision for the restoration of your world through you.

That being said, why not risk some intimacy by setting aside some prime time and talking through one of your deepest dreams with the King.  Share what you yearn for, what you think you might be able to do someday, if He would bless your vision and partner with growing you up so you can walk out that vision.

After you do that, I will explore disillusionment in the next article.

Copyright January 2011, by Arthur Burk

From the Quarterdeck, in Anaheim

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12 Responses to Steps to Intimacy Part 3

  1. Zac Maré says:

    The Bigger Picture

    Reading a paragraph in Arthur’s “Steps to Intimacy Part 3” which stated:
    (For those of you who already do default to sharing the greatest intensity of your life with God, you really have no business reading this blog. Get out there and write your own, sharing with us the secrets of your pilgrimage in getting to the place we all wish we were at so we could join you!) prompted me to write this blog.
    From the age of five I fortunately realised I can’t depend on the humans beings close to me. My heavenly Father mercifully nudged me to accept my Redeemer at age ten [30 November 1958] and guided me from there on. Years later I read Jeremiah 17:5 Here is what Jehovah says: “A curse on the person who trusts in humans, who relies on merely human strength, whose heart turns away from Jehovah.
    This confirmed to me it is better to trust in your heavenly Father than any other person even you!

    Call Him first!

    The next thing I learned was to look beyond what seems to be “negative or even a catastrophe” and ask Father what is His purpose behind it – the proverbial BIGGER picture! My grounding for this approach is rooted in Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good, to them that love God, …
    Joseph life story (Gen 39 – 41) clearly illustrates this statement and it is given for us to APPLY!

    We need to re-program our minds that our first reaction, in whatever situation, is to respond first to your spirit! I strongly believe that Father in His mercy downloads each night into your spirit what you need for the next day! That’s why the Biblical day starts with sunset so that while your body and mind is resting Father can prepare your spirit for the next day!

    Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God, becomes a reality when you allow His Spirit to lead your spirit! This morning I saw a juvenile bird, in his earnest to get to the food, clumsily land on the back of a much bigger bird. Without much ado he quickly slid of the back of the bigger bird and grasped a piece of food and flew off! Father led me by His spirit to be there at that precise moment of time to witness this amazing incident. Immediately I rejoiced in my spirit giving glory to my King for enabling me to witness this humorous incident.

    No matter what “Call Him first!”

    Thereby we show that we truly trust in Him and enjoy His Company!
    Put it to test and you will discover a new depth of intimacy with Him!

    Written by Zac Maré
    from Dana Bay, South Africa

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  2. Aulia says:

    aloha from Maui,
    Arthur when you were on Maui about 10 years ago, the impact you had on our lives is still evident. I am very blessed by this forum. I keep digging through your site for more and more nuggets, then take them before the Throne for more illumination.
    thank you

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  3. Roslyn says:

    “For those of you who already do default to sharing the greatest intensity of your life with God …”

    Why Arthur ~ Just be in a place where people either don’t ‘get’ you, misunderstand what you are saying, are more interested in hearing themselves talk than anything you have to say, are jealous of you, just simply have no frame of reference to what you are saying &/or some of your own woundedness needs to be taken care of (possibly keeping some people at bay) ~ the Holy Spirit becomes the Only One to whom you CAN go.

    And it feels bad at first, until Father begins to open your eyes to see that He set it up, or allowed it, to be that way ~ when He wants to be the All in All in a life He will see to it that the opportunities are there ~ it’s still a choice. The choice is to be bummed out and not talk to Him, or worse, listen to the lies of His enemy, or to “humble yourself under the mighty hand of God”. I’ve done them all and of course, the only choice that produces Life is the last one.

    I don’t recommend it getting there this way ~ unless you just want Him so badly you cry ANYTHING You have to do ~ please do it.

    So, thanks again for being the eye salve He used to open the blind mans eye.

    And the funny thing is ~ now He says ~ go do community. And continue to keep ME FIRST.

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  4. jdmanos says:

    I was feeling very encouraged to set aside some time with the Lord to talk with Him about my hopes and dreams until I read the last part of the blog where you said after that you will explore disillusionment in the next article. Wow what a bubble buster.

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  5. Mimi Turner says:

    So I did the little quiz and ‘failed’ both answers ~ both times I said I would go to my husband. Started to feel ‘wrong’ again….

    Then Father gently reminded me of a very upsetting situation I was in just the other day. When I was informed by email of a (truly) stupid thing I had done, my immediate and heartfelt response was to cry out to Him. He so graciously made me very aware that I was NOT to beat myself up, and that if I would process it all the way through with Him I would see a new thing.

    Went to the people I needed to ask forgiveness of. Discovered to them it was no big deal. Wow!
    Forgave myself. Right away! Double wow!!

    And…am sitting here now realizing that OF COURSE I would have gone to God first in the quiz situations ~ I just didn’t even consider that answer because it would be like considering if I take a breath in the next few seconds.

    Thank you, Arthur, for helping us to cut through all the untruths and deceptions that we have believed over the years. Most of us really are much farther along in our ‘time line’ journey than we realize. It is so refreshing, healing, and encouraging to have a better measuring rod to see our progress on than the ones provided by the religious status quo.

    A new thing, indeed! 😀

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  6. Thomas Grunder says:

    Well said, Arthur, the destination of the “first call” does impact the situation we are in. The biggest differnce in my growth was the actual putting into action that I am a son relating to the Eternal Father. AND not giving up when it did not “work” for the 100th time and in this place I dear to express joy over the fact that I am in a very different place today, yet hungry to go further.
    A huge difficulty I am finding is the hard reality that there are only very few places I can rejoyce over amazing things happening to me. Part of my dream is to see people transformed through Gods presence in me. I hesitate to openly celebrate my Father when, like in Togo, a young women testified “Your eyes ministerd to me whan you looked into my eyes during this teaching week. I overcame rejection and bitterness”. Well she was few times visibly angry over the things I said (like harvesting our pain). Just last night I met with 4 people and all testifies “when you entered the room, we felt Gods presence and a deep peace”. In both cases I did not even “feel” a thing. But both are expressions of my dream I carry; it does not happen daily, but is sadens me not being able to openly express my joy. Because when I share this, I have NO desire to enter a discussion or battle with a listener. So I often just express it to my Father ….

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  7. Ron Johnson says:

    Arthur…… You Nailed It !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [AGAIN]

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  8. Erica says:

    Can never hear this enough. Our pastor challenged us with “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” this Sunday. Are we able to look at our selves and celebrate with God that he did a good job, that “we are pretty cool” as the Psalmist did. He mentioned how uncomfortable it made even himself to embrace that, as it flys in the face of those religious tapes. I love that God is moving this theme of embracing my self and desires as good, to the front.

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  9. Rosa says:

    How I can relate to ‘Pride goeth before a fall’- or how about ‘dont think more highly of yourself than you ought to’. Such a refreshing post, Arthur. To quote Graham Cooke..”God releases His dreams to us in desire form….His desires become our dreams. He has come to birth a dream in us, then to fulfill that dream through His own heart and His own intentionality.”

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