After pondering the concepts of the sons of Belial, I have come down to a simple descriptor: these are people who are profoundly unable to hear and come into agreement with the heart of God.
This definition is broad enough to take in people who are committed to encouraging occult activities (Deut. 13:13), those who are sexually perverse (1 Sam. 2:12), those who are social predators (1 Sam. 25), those who will intentionally pervert justice in the culture (1 Kings 21:13) and those who are involved in cutting edge ministries of God but do not share His heart (1 Sam. 30:22).
It is easy to spot some of them because they are openly debauched or are vociferously touting a blatantly anti-God agenda.
Of more concern to me, however, is the demonic spirit that works through other people to get to me. Let me build a bridge from the theology in “Trauma Bonds to Time.”
The question there is, “What makes a trauma sticky?” Suppose you and I are in separate car accidents during the same week. Two years later you are completely over it, and 20 years later I am still emotionally affected by it. That would be an example of a trauma being sticky. It is clearly not an issue of the nature or size of the trauma. Something else defines whether it sticks to me or not.
A trauma becomes sticky when we sit in judgment on God and arrive at a wrong conclusion. But the real problem was deciding to decide whether God is good.
Think of Eve. She had abundant evidence of the goodness of God. When the devil invited her to decide whether God was really all that good, she should have said, “Snake, this conversation is SOOOO over. I do not have to think about whether God is good. This subject is not open to discussion.”
Instead, she decided to decide. And her conclusions were lamentable.
I believe we are looking at the same issue in terms of whether we have heard God or not, and our choices are right or wrong.
When people who do not know God’s heart sit in judgment on our choices, it is one thing. BUT, when we decide to revisit those choices because someone does not agree or approve, it is dangerous. When we decide to decide whether what we heard is right, we might be under the influence of the spirit of the sons of Belial.
Let’s walk through two scenarios. With my friends who brought the subject up, they had a huge victory — turning back a storm that was half a nation in size. They walked in formidable dominion because they had a history of dealing with weather issues and knew that they were called and authorized to do it.
However, they were in transition at the time. After a number of years of fairly “proper” economic strategies, they felt they heard from God to ditch the asset protection path their culture accepts as normative and go do something really “crazy.”
This was unrelated to the storm, merely happening at the same time.
The people around them resisted vigorously. Family members protested investing their capital in a non-sustainable way. Religious people protested their going a non-traditional path in their pursuit of God.
And the noise level got so high from the human sons of Belial (some of who follow God but could not hear His heart in this situation), they decided to decide whether or not they had REALLY heard from God. When they began to revisit what they had heard from God the spirit of the sons of Belial took over their journey, and they had a miserable two years.
We marveled at how dramatic the change was. They were at an extraordinary level of dominion one day. Two weeks later they had fallen off the edge of the table. All because of deciding to decide whether they had heard God.
After two years of profound failure to get traction, the wife noticed these rascals in the story of Jezebel and began to work with the issue. The day she began to repent for deciding to decide whether they had actually heard, there was such a violent demonic reaction around her she called her husband (who was at work) and me in a panic for some backup prayer.
After the initial reaction settled out, she realized that this was a big deal. She and her husband set out to walk through their life and identify every place where they heard from God, people rejected it, they walked it out and were proven right.
As they retroactively rejected the wrong advice from many sectors, and repented for where they decided to revisit what had already been settled, and celebrated their vindication in many areas, the cloud has lifted. Their intimacy with God has returned, their financial situation has changed and their health has improved.
In a single sentence, the spirit of the sons of Belial will control you when you allow other people to vote on what you have heard from God. Conversely you break free when you appropriately celebrate the rightness of your choices.
Look at a Biblical example. Elijah spent three years alone with the Lord and was pretty dialed into the heart of God. He was at the top of his game on Mount Carmel. A day later, he was in suicidal depression under the juniper tree. Why?
Based on his discussion with God at Mount Horeb, it was because he had decided he was not good enough for the game. Something about the spirit of Belial partnering with Jezebel managed to get him to decide to decide whether he had heard from God. And when he did, he fell off the edge of the table, as abruptly as my friends did.
But notice God’s approach to the problem. Elijah resigned, with an attitude and extreme finality. He had examined the evidence and He was definitely not the man for the job. Period.
Notice that God did not bother to discuss much of that nonsense. He did, in passing, ding Elijah for his pitiful accounting skills, but the main point of the discussion was that Elijah needed a cheerleader to keep him out of the grips of Belial.
Elisha the Giver was assigned to walk alongside the wild prophet Elijah and to buffer his mood swings, keeping him from unhealthy self-talk. Givers can make some impressive cheerleaders for people they believe in. Furthermore, that Giver with his formidable birthing anointing, soon produced a cluster of schools of prophets who would celebrate their great and awesome prophet with a high degree of regularity and fervor.
Elijah never had another round with the sons of Belial, or Jezebel either, once he had a cheerleader.
Now another word for a cheerleader is community. It is faithless community that kills us with their sitting in judgment on us, and I think when community can look at the vindication of our choices, it is an even more powerful thing.
Now I know I am on wobbly ground here. I get so many e-mails from people saying “Thus sayeth the Lord” about their life and it is a mess. I look at their preposterous stories and really doubt whether it was my Lord who told them to do this or that. So in the heat of the moment, it is tough to know whether God has spoken or not. I know that I know that I have felt strongly that I heard from the Lord, at certain times, and in fact, had not.
However, there are those other times when we are far enough downstream that there is vindication. Here we are safe coming into agreement with someone that what they heard was indeed the Lord.
So our team is going to merge the issue of the sons of Belial with the window of reconciliation. (Ignore the instructions I gave a week ago. They are old manna by now — terribly out of date!!) What we are NOW going to do around our lunch table is to share stories of where we were right and were vindicated by God when others could not see it at the time. This is a celebration of the past.
I will start on Monday with the story of my passion for healing land. It was not celebrated at the time. I was seen as eccentric. I remember a friend of my parents fussing at me for the time and effort I expended in making compost. In a patronizing manner, he explained that chemical fertilizer was the key to excellence and that compost and all that stuff was so yesterday.
Well, at the time I did not know that I had an anointing for healing land spiritually. We had no such theology as we have today. I just “knew” I had to do it. Today I have certainly been vindicated. Compost is cool again, and there is a vibrant global theology of land. I was right in what I heard and acted on back then, even if significant people in my life could not go there with me.
We will take turns around the table sharing stories of where we were right, where we were opposed (minimal info there — just a passing comment on the judgments of others) and where we decided NOT to decide if we were right, but plowed ahead with our original decision.
I think celebrating this in a community of people who CAN hear the heart of God ought to massively inconvenience the spirit of the sons of Belial.
How about a big cheer for Elisha — the cheerleader who was needed to keep Elijah out of the grips of Jezebel’s thugs?!
Why not join me? So many of you have heard from God from time to time and been opposed by those in and out of the church who simply could not come into agreement with God’s heart. Find a buddy and share some stories where you have been vindicated. This is not an exercise in pride. It is an exercise in building a fortress of righteousness using truth as a weapon.
What would this next year be like if you were to form a community of at least one other person who knows God’s heart, and you celebrate those past events where you have been vindicated, as well as repenting for the times you decided to decide whether you had heard or not?
It would be worth carving out some prime time hours every week from now until the end of the window on March 30th.
There is one added component to this story. Gratitude is a scarce commodity in Sapphire. Over the years, I probably average one thank you e-mail a month. So, for the most part, it is a walk of faith for me. I record stuff. It goes out the door. I assume the reason it keeps on selling is because one customer tells a friend that it worked for them, and that person buys it and tells another friend. If the principles were not working, we should not be getting repeat sales.
So, I assume there is value and fruit in what I teach, but it is broadly an assumption. I have little vindication.
Over the years, I have also averaged about ten attack e-mails a month. At least. I respond to most of them and move on, although there are a half a dozen relentless critics I have ceased to acknowledge.
Something changed about six months ago. The e-mails with glory stories began to climb steadily. I am currently receiving an average of around five a day! Quite a shift. But what is remarkable is that God has been bringing people out of every sector of my past to celebrate the fruit of my teachings in their lives.
At first, it was just an interesting shift. Then it became very obvious that God was going to HUGE lengths to bring people out of my past who I had not connected with for a long time, if at all. I knew it was not just about glory stories because there have to be some current ones as well for Him to draw from!
I wondered whether I was supposed to be reconnecting in some ongoing way, building community, but there was no grace for it. People just bipped in, told me I had made a major impact in their lives with this teaching or that, and then kept on going. I have discussed it with my team repeatedly and been mystified. God was investing a LOT of effort to do something, and I felt like I was fumbling the ball badly because I didn’t understand the play.
Now it makes sense.
God has given me a new revelation that is more radical than working with the human spirit. There are so many people out there who have been through every kind of deliverance we know so far and there is still “something” we are missing.
Well, I am sure there are several dozen “somethings” we do not know about yet in the cleansing and repair department of heaven, but I have learned about a new one recently.
I wasn’t happy when God showed it to me. In fact, I was so unhappy with the idea, it took five years for Him to get me to buy into it because it is so far outside my frame of reference. But I have worked with it effectively enough times to know that it is reality and is transformational.
And God knew that when I release this teaching, the boo birds (also known as sons of Belial) would be up and running with gusto. So in preparation for that, He has been working on my spiritual covering.
First of all, He removed the two poison pen websites that have been bashing me for years. Then He ordered a search of heaven’s database for all the people in SLG who have an Elisha anointing for cheerleading. You wonderful people who had your ears on have generated the mass of celebratory e-mails I have been receiving for months now.
Obviously, God is building a huge fortress of righteousness against the sons of Belial so that I don’t do anything dumb like decide to decide whether I have heard the Lord or not, when the boo birds unload on me.
So this is an announcement: I will be teaching on the concept of an “AHS” later this year. I have three albums to record ahead of that one, but it is now officially on the production board as of today.
And when I release it, I will put on my heavenly noise canceling headset and will NOT revisit the decision I have made today. No juniper trees for me. Been there, done that. Don’t need to go there again.
Two last notes: I suggest you celebrate the Elishas in your life who have kept you from deciding to decide at critical moments. And I welcome your prayers for continued revelation regarding the “AHS” topic and the production of the three teachings before that.
Copyright March 2013 by Arthur Burk
From The Hub, in Anaheim