Saturday: One of my specialties is overkill. When I muddle along for years eating the pain and finally get clarity on a strategy, I USE it. Big time.
So Friday the team worked hard on clearing the decks so I could hammer down with my new tools over the weekend. It definitely felt as though it is time for big war.
I came to the office early on Saturday. I had some technology issues with the switch from one computer to another, had a bit of paperwork to do and a phone call to make. By late morning, I was emotionally clear and headed to my prayer room with my new big guns.
I covered the walls with huge Post-it-Note paper, brought in my two cups of markers and got out my Bible. This year, I am going to go through the Bible page by page, beginning in Genesis 1:1, tracking the new theme God has given me. I am sure it will show up in a teaching someday, somewhere, but right now, this needs to be intimate and open ended, between me and God.
There were immediate applications in the familiar stories of Genesis. And I don’t despise the small things. I was forever marked by a story of a missionary to the Philippines who was frustrated over the lack of the power of God in his ministry. He decided to preach on nothing but the miracles of Christ until something changed. He started in Matthew in January, and by July, things were happening in his church.
So I was prepared to go through the entire Bible, collecting and savoring the small stories, knowing that 100,000 exposures to a topic will make a deep imprint on me.
However, I got blindsided by a familiar story and saw it like I have never seen it before. God was speaking my language, using my illustrations. It captured multiple themes that are so dear to my heart. I was overwhelmed with the power of the truth and knew it made it all the way past my mind, deep into my spirit.
We have a deep appreciation for sleep as a tool for spiritual growth. There are some things that God can do in us when we are asleep that He can’t do so easily when my chatty little soul is running around being hyperactive. Therefore, I have no compunctions about sleeping in the middle of the day after a God-encounter in order to get the most out of it.
I felt that wave of spirit-compelled sleep coming on, and lay down before noon on Saturday, on the couch in my prayer room. I came vaguely back to consciousness around 2:00. My spirit was standing on the platform of the newly apprehended truth and was warring for the issues that have been identified as our strategy going forward through the Red Sea and beyond. It was cheerfully violent.
It was an hour before my soul got back in the picture and my body had enough life in it to recover from the supine position.
I will be sizzling from this new insight for a long time to come and plan to spend Sunday in the prayer room as well. Wonder if I will be able to move on through Scripture or whether this truth will still be utterly compelling? I know I will still be warring in my spirit all night tonight. So much has changed in my worldview with one revelation.
You guys rock. I know I would not be here if it were not for you.
Sunday: For some reason, there was immense authority that day, and I ministered deliverance on the chronometer issue over the phone all morning to a handful of people. This is very unusual for me. There was some substantial movement in many people’s lives.
The rest of the week: There was too much going on to do a blow by blow. In addition to all the warfare stuff, we had the release of Blessing your Soul, Part 1. So here is a summary of the punch line.
The whole issue with the Exodus and the window of time is quite complex. I am going to share my perspective in typical Sapphire fashion: with ruthless honesty.
My read of the spiritual realm goes back to the dynamics that began in December. I felt that there was a sequence of events going to happen culminating with something large in mid-March that would be a massive change point for some. The picture was of the ten virgins who were ready and able to seize the moment.
So we prepped hard, in every way we could. There was discernment from outside the camp as well as more things I felt the Lord showed me. We focused for weeks on the Exodus motif culminating with the death of “Pharaoh” – the Egyptian spirit that has popped up with monotonous regularity over the years.
The week has come and gone with no visible drama. Now we have to process that – with ruthless honesty!
1) Obviously one option on the table is that I was flat out wrong about the spiritual climate. Beyond any question of a shadow of a doubt, I have been flat out wrong in the past about things I was very sure of. So my capacity to be deceived by the enemy or my own imagination is proven.
So if that was the case, I have created a lot of hype for nothing and generated a lot of prayer, some of which was on target and a lot of which God’s spam filter is going to have to deal with.
2) The second option is that it is still to come. In the Exodus story, the departure on the night of the Passover was just phase one. It was a couple of days, or maybe even a week later before they crossed the Red Sea and Pharaoh died. So possibly THE big event is next week.
Since that is a possibility – although it does not feel like a probability – I will continue to press in hard in the heavenlies. I really hate leaving the game winning ball on the one yard line.
3) The third option is that we were right on target and nailed “it” but our soulish, human expectations have defined “it” differently than God meant it. This happens throughout Scripture with monotonous regularity. Ask Mary in the stable about the crazy confusing “it” she was dealing with!
That one generates a lot of emotions. First of all is revulsion over the religious malarkey of spiritualizing failures to keep them from looking like failures. I want nothing to do with that game at all. When we fail, we fail, and I have no problems saying I failed. I don’t do spin.
Second, there is the fact that there HAVE been sparks of life in about six significant areas that matter a lot to me. I could argue that we DID hit the window and there are signs of life all over. The only problem is, over the years I have seen so many signs of life that never produced a crop of fruit. I would be inclined to hold this argument for a year and then look back and see whether there are any quantum changes in the company that trace back to this season.
I am very familiar with small beginnings to big issues. God met me in China two years ago in a gentle, subjective experience. However, looking back, over the last 30 months, there is no doubt in the world that this was a turning point that will define the whole rest of my life.
Any of the six things that showed life this week could be game changers in the year ahead, redefining the rest of my life. They could also fade away gently in two weeks. I am hesitant to claim those as markers of a move of God.
Third there is a very strong emotional draw I had to the verses in the Exodus story where God said He was making things harder than needed because He wanted to give them some stories to tell their grandkids.
God did not promise me such an event in this window. But with the size of the buildup, I emotionally expected A Story that my grandkids would enjoy hearing me retell ten years from now. As I said with the China event, God can do some monumental change without a lot of drama, but I expected, or at least dearly wished for, some drama and there simply is not any “measurable, verifiable, sustained change” in this week.
So now what?
Well, several things.
-I am being very careful not to curse the treasure. While I am disappointed in the way things did not occur in the measurable range, I am very open to the possibility that there was a big shift in the heavenlies, so I am blessing everything that is of God that took place whether I can see it or not.
-Like David at Ziklag, I am going to very bluntly grieve my disappointment in the lack of A Story. I have learned that ungrieved grief is a real mess later on, so tomorrow I will face this and feel it and find a way to get closure.
-Somewhere on the edges of that process is the whole tangled mess of hope and faith. When I hope deeply, I run the risk of being deeply disappointed. Disappointment hurts. I know. And the natural reaction is to make an inner vow that I am not going to hope anymore. I will just accept whatever comes from the hand of God. But that passive posture is tantamount to refusing to walk by faith. But “faith” brings with it the risk of having faith in the wrong thing. Here I clearly was wrong somewhere. Either I was wrong about the whole thing (Option 1), or I was wrong about the timing (Option 2), or I was wrong about the delivery mechanism – it was quiet, not dramatic (Option 3). And my “faith” didn’t make a wrong thing materialize!
But, there is such a thing as faith in the right thing, and I need to clear the detritus out of my soul over this issue, so that I can stand and fight with holy boldness again in the future.
-This weekend I will be with some people who are on a journey. I will invest extra effort to be life giving to others all weekend. I have learned that giving out what I have helps put the kibosh on self-pity. I believe in grieving, but not in putting down roots there!
-Come Monday, we will lean into the projects we already had on the table, several of which have fallen behind schedule. We will go back to doing what we know how to do, which has stood us in good stead for two decades, while watching the six points of light closely, blessing them every day. If any one of them shows signs of becoming explosive, we will shift resources rapidly from “business as usual” to wherever the grace of God is flowing.
-And going forward in the spiritual realm, the main focus will be on having a profound encounter with God. Worship needs to be redefined both in quality and intensity. The light prayers of the coming weeks will major on that theme. Whatever happens outside us in the human community is secondary to what happens internally in our worship walk with the King. That will be our focus and passion regardless of whether the six points of light fizzle or sizzle.
Thanks for walking with me in this process.
Copyright March 2014 by Arthur Burk
From the Hub