Preparing: First Priority


For this series on preparing for the future, I am envisioning concentric circles.  If I were a wonderful graphic artist, you would be SEEING concentric circles on this page, but since all my graphic artists are already seriously backlogged, due to my overactive imagination, you will just have to invent your own series of concentric circles on this page.

At the center of the picture, the bull’s-eye if you wish, is my highest priority for the present, in preparation for the various futures.  It is developing resources that are totally portable.

Let’s review my grid — I want to be prepared for extreme prison, for business as usual and for a radical world-changing move of God.  I want one strategy that fits all three.  Further, my objective is neither survival nor comfort, but it is to be of maximum service to the King, dead or alive.

What assets are totally portable?  Only those things that are part of our spirit, soul and body.  These are the most important things to accrue.

My Body

Let’s start at the bottom and work up.  My physical health and my endurance matter on all three counts.  If I end up in extreme hardship, my physical capacity to endure pain and still be spiritually productive matters.  I have no delusions that I am an iron man who could survive severe torture, but I don’t want to turn into a puddle of mush just because I miss a few hours sleep on a hard prison bed.

I do not make a huge priority of my body, but I have done some meticulous detox protocols, lost some weight and changed my diet to retain the gains.  I do some short, focused strength training and some Pilates type exercises to strengthen the core.

That is about it.  In all actuality, I spend only a small amount of time in the course of a week on my health, but it is thought out, and the cumulative effect of raising the bar a little bit each month does add up over the long run.  I am actually in vastly better physical condition today, than when I turned 45.

So let’s test that strategy.  Is it portable?  Does it apply to all three?  Is it beneficial for all three?

Prison:  yes.  Even though I am strip searched going in, my health goes in with me.  It it totally portable.  Will it help me there?  It would not be a major asset, but it certainly would not diminish my effectiveness there, and if per chance I were asked by the King to do something that required endurance, like 36 hours of warfare, or worship, or intercession, then good health could be useful.

Business as usual:  yes.  Again, it is totally portable, but only mildly beneficial at work.

A God explosion:  YES.  Totally portable, anywhere in the world, in any kind of spiritual move.  And if God needed someone who could do marathon ministry of any sort, whether it is peeling potatoes or preaching the Word, it would be hugely beneficial to be in superb health.

My soul

Everything I know intellectually is totally portable, short of a brain injury or something of that nature.  My knowledge of the Word, of three languages, of all of the Plumbline principles, how to read, think, write and speak, how to be a learner in all situations, my social skills, my deeply embedded disciplines and even my sense of humor are soul assets that are portable.

As I pondered the three futures, I decided that I should strengthen my assets by getting a global view of some of the disciplines I know the least about so I can understand current and future trends a little better.  I have purchased some audio courses which I listen to passively during time slots that are not otherwise productive.  It is a small investment, since the ROI will be modest.

So let’s test that strategy.  Is it portable?  Does it apply to all three?  Is it beneficial for all three?

Prison:  not so much.  The objective of solitary confinement is to neutralize the prisoner’s soul so I don’t see these things significantly impacting my time there, although I would not have a shortage of ideas from the egg heads and wonks to ponder and weave into my own unusual world view.

Business:  mildly, yes.  A bigger perspective of the global dynamics can help me make better decisions, not that I am overly involved in things of a global nature.

A God explosion:  YES.  I think the next move of God will be global not local, and I believe it will affect the commercial and governmental structures of the world more than the religious structures.  I think if I were to understand the dynamics, I could help new believers in those fields see God’s original design for those structures, so as to accelerate the rebuilding they would need to do.

Will God use me that way?  I have no clue, but I want to bring that resource to the table in case He wants to.

So far, my body and soul strategies are consuming small amounts of time, money and energy, and their payoff is modest, which is in alignment with the investment.

Now the biggie.

My spirit

First is the issue of healing.  The more completely I deal with all areas of woundedness and defilement in my spirit, the fewer landing pads the enemy will have whatever the future holds.

Second is unpacking the treasures that are there.  God knows which scenario I will be in, so He embedded wisdom in the light of my spirit when He designed me, so I can be fully equipped for what He will send me in to.  (At the end of the day, it is vital to remember that any gift we give the King actually came from His hand first).

Third is growing in spiritual authority in all areas relative to my design.

Fourth is embedding more Scripture into my subconscious memory so that my spirit can draw truths my soul has not been able to process yet.

Fifth is learning to be one with Christ more completely.  I am currently wrestling with Ephesians 3:16ff.  The punch line is being filled with the fullness of Christ.  This is an awesome objective. Before that can happen, I have to experience the four dimensions of His love.  Before that can happen, I have to be rooted and grounded in love.  Before that can happen, I must have Christ dwell in my heart.  And for that to happen, His spirit has to strengthen my inner man with divine power.

Bad news.  I am still stuck trying to wrap my mind and spirit around “strengthened with power.”  What does that look like and how do I participate in this work of the Spirit?

So those five areas are my prime investment in the future.  I give my best time there, my first dollar, my highest energy level, and I seek the input from my wisest counselors.  We are currently on a prayer fast for 40 days, ignoring almost all other personal issues, so we can press in on this one issue of understanding the human heart and how Christ dwells in our literal physical heart.

This has been my priority.  That is why there have been fewer articles for this blog and for Balmoral. That is why the new project has lagged at times.  I am investing heavily in my spirit at this time.

So let’s test that strategy.  Is it portable?  Does it apply to all three?  Is it beneficial for all three?

Prison:  YES.  The Kingdom of God is portable!  When that steel door slams closed with me in my little bitty cell, 100% of my spiritual authority will be in there with me, and Almighty God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, Righteous Judge of the Universe will have a brand spanking new branch office in that maximum security prison.

My first words will be:  “Reporting for duty, Your Majesty!”

I can cleanse time while there, cleanse land and cleanse any furniture that is in there.  If the King has nothing else for me to do, I can spend the first forty days worshipping by recounting all of the glory stories I can remember from my life on the outside.  I would pause between each act of worship and summon up from my soul my best story telling skills to weave each glory story into a gripping tale. I would speak these out loud with passion, and gestures and maximum drama to imprint on the walls of that cell a deposit of the joy of the Lord in case the next resident doesn’t walk in the door with quite so many resources.

Then there is the whole area of going on the offense.  I wonder what the King would have me do?  I could probably clean out all the rats, lice and bedbugs from the entire prison if He wanted me to.

I think through all of the heads of Leviathan and wonder whether someone who has high authority in the positive side would be authorized to invoke the negative side.  I do pretty well with the 5th head which covers electronics.  I wonder what it would be like in these modern electronically controlled prisons, if God were to unleash the negative fifth head in their control computers and doors started popping open randomly all over the place.

Sheer chaos comes to mind.

I think of the Exodus and the fact that God didn’t really need the drama to get Israel out, He just wanted Pharaoh to know that he was in over his head!  Wonder if God would have me do anything along those lines.

Lacking any clear directions from the King, I would hunker down on pushing back against the perversion of the Trinity.  That means I would pound on the spirit of jealousy, the victim spirit and the mesmerizing spirit.  I wonder how much pleasure it would bring the King to have the worst prison in the nation become a reasonably holy patch of land.

It sure would make a public spectacle of the enemy if a bunch of guards got saved, and we got some group dynamics going there.  What if every director of the prison got gloriously born again the first week he was assigned there?

Oh, well.  The permutations are endless.  I just know that my spiritual authority is 100% portable and I could give a gift of a lot of resources to His Majesty from solitary confinement, so strengthening my spirit in all those ways appears to be a spectacularly valuable investment of my time right now.

Business:  Yes.  We are getting ready to record the first section of a major new tool designed to grow people’s spirits.  Clearly the quality of the teaching will be limited by the vitality of my spirit.  The closer I get to the goal of having all the fullness of Christ dwelling in me, the more powerful the training will be.

And, the better the training, the more people will be transformed, so when they go into prison, business or a God explosion, they can be dangerous too.  This would be a lovely gift for the King.

A God explosion:  YES!!  Here is my deep conviction.  When God moves again in our midst in the oft promised new thing, the majority of the people who name His Name, will not recognize His coming, and will vigorously oppose it.

My reason for that belief?  History.  “He came unto His own, and . . . ”  Most of the great moves of God of the last 2,000 years have been rejected and reviled by the established church of the day.  Look just at the turmoil in the last 50 years surrounding Calvary Chapel, Vineyard, the Toronto Blessing and IHOP.  Each had to war for its own existence and their religious peers were the biggest obstacle!

So I hope and pray that I am big spirited enough that I will at least recognize that it IS God and not revile His move just because it is totally different from anything that has ever happened in church history (it will be).

Secondly, I hope I don’t show up with a mitt and bat at a water polo competition.  I simply don’t know what the King will want and need when He moves with power in our midst.  However, He does, and He designed me to contribute to that move (. . . remember that any gift we give the King actually came from His hand first)!

Hence, if I want to be of value to the King, I need to discover and unpack those portions of my design which no one is asking for now, no one needs, no one thinks are there.  The single most powerful thing I can do for the coming work of the King is to be the very best ME I can possibly be.

He designed me well!

There you have it.  Of the five different concentric circle, the one that matters the most, the inner circle, is the totally portable things — our spirit, soul and body.  If those are in great shape, we should be able to step into any point on the number line between the extremes of prison or a God explosion.

My daily schedule reflects an action plan — not a vague desire to do better.  I invest in all three futures with our legendary fierce intentionality!

Copyright April 2011 by Arthur Burk

From the Quarterdeck, in Anaheim

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9 Responses to Preparing: First Priority

  1. Irina Rivera says:

    I want to share this because it came from Jesus speaking to my spirit. I’ve taken time to write my resources down, did an initial list and then took an hour last weekend to do a more thorough list and repent for not using them or even seeing them. Today as I was reading Numbers where the Lord has each tribe’s gift (looks like the same gift) recorded separately I thought about how honoring God was because He does record it individually.
    Then in the back of my mind I’m thinking about an event I’m co-chairing at my son’s school and how I still need to write an email, though I did the “easy” thing and talk to the Principal. Jesus said that the “easy” thing (that I downplay because it’s easy for me) is a gift to Him. I bring that as a resource.
    I share this because even if we’ve made a thorough list, I think we can still not see our resources as He does. He really appreciates them!
    So I bless you, my fellow “list makers” as we examine what He’s put into our spirits, to see these as gifts we, like leaders of the tribes of Israel, these are gifts we bring Him. He loves them!

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  2. JULIAN FLETCHER says:

    stunned that someone is [actually] dealing with this- thank you.

    for years, I’ve been praying, ‘Lord, spare NO expense in preparing us for your work.’

    that prayer has been the source of the good, the bad and the absolutely horrifying testing of the Lord. But always, his faithfulness remains as the smoke settles in and out of each season. I am SO encouraged that you are stepping up in such huge ways to be such a source of life, light and inspiration to the Bride : ]

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  3. Bill Welch says:

    Being Prepared is something I learned as a Boy Scout! I carried this out a little further with Bo Gritz and his SPIKE Training in the early 90’s. The most important part of Bo’s training was using Unconventional Warfare. I love the concept of this, throwing a big wrench in the enemies works, as you implied with the 5th head of Leviathan! We can accomplish a lot with a little. We will be using both our physical & spiritual resources to battle what comes down in the future. Keep being on the offense, even if you only take a inch of ground. Find like minded people to work with. Some may be non believers at first, they will believe when they are exposed to the truth and set free. Maintain a sense of humor & keep laughing. When the battles are over we will have our peace & rest with our King! We are truly blessed to be living in these times!

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  4. Rosa says:

    You should see my notebook…once I complete the concentric circles 😉 This series is JUST the link I have been needing for my preparedness plan…I love how you are not about self-preservation,but about service for the King…all the talk these days is getting ‘back to the land’…stock piling…defending whats yours(oh, yes,and BUY GOLD!!)….and while I do believe in being prepared, my prayer has been that I will be ALL that I was created for,no less. And God has been showing me, life is not about my own comfort..(and I do like to be comfortable.)These past few years I have been as much out of my comfort zone as I have ever been, and I have a feeling its just the tip of the iceburg.Its funny,when you mentioned being physically fit,it was sort of a confirmation for me,I was reminded of a conversation I had with a friend of mine..we both feel a need to be physically in shape and strong,and these were her words…”for whats coming”. Thanks, Arthur, this will be more helpful than you know….you’re the kind of person I would want in my camp.

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  5. Kerrie says:

    Hi Arthur,

    Recently, Jesus came in my heart. It was during or after a time of worship/soaking.
    Preceding that experience I had a inner healing session that focused on relatioships. I am not sure if this contributed, but shortly after I had a few encounters where the heavy hand of Gd was on my heart. I had never experienced that before. I had experienced His weighty presence before but not over a specific area like that. I believe He was also doing some inner healing on my heart at that time and probably still.
    Evne after I expwerienced Him come in my heart, he did some more healing which was a sign to me of His great grace, because obviously its still not perfect in there.
    Now most of the time it is easy for me to go straight to my heart to sense His presence and our? heart beat.
    I guess that means I get to look forward to experience being rooted and grounded in His love and the four diminsions of His love, I don’t even know what those are.
    All last year He was reveling His love to me and my Id in him: His beautiful, beloved daughter; He loves me and I am His daughter.
    I feel like this year, He is teaching me my 2nd ID; who He uniquely created me to be.
    Don’t know if this helps…
    Thank you
    Kerrie

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  6. Thank you, Arthur.
    This is the first realistic approach to the birthpangs we are entering that I have read yet. All three scenarios will be in play somewhere. I think of the Book of Ruth, an island of prosperity in the turmoil of the Book of Judges. I think of Daniel bringing the presence of the Lord to three different administrations in the midst of upheavals all around.
    Ephesians 3:16 says His glory is rich to us, so He will give us His might so we can stand His glory as He comes to earth in one form or another.
    God bless your 40 days!

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  7. Irina Rivera says:

    It’s so easy to fantasize about how we would act under these circumstances. This process takes out the fantasy. I like the reality of having to put the time in first to see our resources, then spend time and money to actually grow. It reminds me of the scripture of the 10 virgins and how some had their oil and some were caught unaware.

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  8. Mike Clarke says:

    Hey Arthur, In my view one of your best blogs ever! Suddenly a whole new perspective on fitness. ONLY HE KNOWS WHAT WE ARE BEING PREPARED FOR. But how much sense it makes to do our part to ensure fitness in all areas of life! With reference to your struggle re ‘The fullness of Christ’. Ever since I heard you talk about Jesus walking in dominion over nature, the demonic and man I have been wrestling with the question ‘Why aren’t we walking similarly and I wonder if that isn’t part of the same dynamic?
    Cheers, Mike

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  9. Merry says:

    Dear Arthur, Father is walking with us through a rather detailed healing/restoring time right now. As each day goes by more of His work unfolds along with MORE of Himself being revealed. As this goes by each minute I feel and see the coming together of a beautiful masterpiece. I think of the future and have pondered how to be prepared for whatever comes and of how to take Father’s Kingdom forward. At the moment as I reflect upon where I have come from, where I am and what is ahead I am going to use this message to remind myself that feeling overwhelmed is normal sometimes. Father and our life has been completely unconventional and we know this will continue. Thank you for offering this connection and food for thought.

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