Light Prayers: 21. Light on the Word


Esther 8:16  AV  “The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.”

Exodus 25:37 NIV  “Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it.”

Humor me while I review the back story.

We are continuing our focus on the picture of Mordecai receiving all that God INTENDED him to have.  It was initially delayed, but when it came it was larger than it would have been initially.

As a result of the justice of God in enlarging and releasing the gift, BECAUSE the devil dared to delay it, there was joy in the house.

Then last week we looked at the Ammonite Curse and the reasons why we would tend to push away the gifts God wants to give us.  It is fun and easy to blame the devil for blocking the life of God from flowing to us on time, but sometimes we are to blame.

In the midst of my coming to terms with my own blind spot in pushing away gifts of God because I didn’t like the human messengers, and repenting for that, God also highlighted a situation in the past where a forefather listened to the human messengers and received something he should not have.

So now I am facing a conundrum.  On the one hand, I broadly tend to sit in judgment on God and to push away the gifts of God that people bring to me, because I think I don’t need them.  Very bad.

On the other hand, in this particular season of life, I am at great risk of receiving a “gift” that is not from God but claims to be and will massively compromise my birthright if I make that mistake.

So everyone coming to me with a gift needs to be wholeheartedly embraced so I don’t empower the Ammonite Curse and everyone coming to me with a gift needs to be treated with relentless suspicion lest they be a Trojan horse.

Can’t do both, God!

Grrr . . .

This apparently is not just about me.  I had another leader share about an offer on the table that required a significant change in direction from where he had been headed for a long time.  He summed it up, “This is either the biggest gift from God or the biggest trap from the enemy.”

Yup.

Then add to that the fact that God has been saying (OK, I think it has been God!!!) for months that I need to be prepared for a massive change in the company.  This will not be a small adjustment but a major redirection and restructuring.

So I say, “Yes and amen!”  And I walk around looking intently at every far out option that crosses my path, wondering if this is IT.

I am now perfectly positioned for the greatest faith step of my entire life, moving seamlessly from one season to another, bucking all conventional wisdom, effortlessly shrugging off the howls of protest when I dismantle whatever program needs to be dismantled to make way for the new.  This is the stuff that changes history.

I am also now perfectly positioned to buy the biggest bottle of snake oil the devil has on his shelf, single handedly destroying the work God has built, shrugging off all the wise counsel of all the godly people around me as I dismantle what is of God and throw all my efforts into the devil’s counterfeit which will never have life.

In the midst of THIS pressure, God warns me one week against rejecting gifts from people and warns me the next week against receiving gifts from people.

Note to God:  You are not making this easy for me!

Note to son:  And your point is?

In light of that, I chose the passage related to the placement of the golden lamp stand in the Tabernacle.  There are a couple of analogies that stand out to me.

The place where the priests met God had no windows.  No natural light was allowed in.  I would love to get all human wisdom out of the picture here.

The lamp stand was not placed with consideration for the well being of the few people who came in.  Rather it was specifically to light the space in front of it which is where the Table of Shewbread was.  This I believe is a symbol of shining light on the Word to bring revelation.

Bringing it all together, my prayer for this week is that God would shine His light on a specific picture in Scripture that would effectively frame for me how I am to go forward.

We have frequently been helped by the question, “Where are we in Scripture today?”  While the devil can certainly deceive through Scripture as easily as through people and circumstances, it is still a very good tool in times of indecision.

So this week, please make this one prayer your focus on a daily basis.  Every time you have an irritation or obstacle in your life, lift up a short petition that God would shine His light on His Word to identify the nature of my battle at this moment.

Thanking you in advance for the prayer you invest for me, when you have plenty of your own dynamics to pray over.

Copyright June 2014 by Arthur Burk

From my Mercy retreat, with joy

 

 

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17 Responses to Light Prayers: 21. Light on the Word

  1. Narola Grady says:

    Arthur, I went to the piano and played out my prayers for you last evening…..lots of songs about light, about God’s character and how His light changes us. Blessings to you this week.

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  2. Rosana says:

    What is the blessing that comes when the Ammonite curse is broken?

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  3. nita7932014 says:

    Yes, the Light, seven fold in strength, perfectly revealing every principle, and presenting us at the Table of the Presence of God Himself, can reveal both the internal struggles, and the external pressures. Light reveals. Wisdom comes in threes, knowledge, experience and revelation.
    I was reading from James 1 this morning. I will be praying for you.

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  4. Nicolette Engelbrecht says:

    And another one, Noble Subject:
    1John 3:19-21. Been praying for you!!!

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  5. Rich says:

    I have often heard you say that the Father subcontracts His best work to the enemy and it seems to me that He has set you up to succeed, no matter which choice you make. You could probably go right or left and still end up on top of the mountain because God is good, all the time! Just a thought.

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    • lila wagner says:

      When we swerve to the right or the left, we will hear the voice of our Teacher saying: “This is the way, walk in it.”

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    • Paul says:

      As a newbie, I’ve never heard Arthur make that comment, but I LOVE it…really powerful and so very true!!! Thanks, Rich, for sharing!

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  6. Anthony Sutherland says:

    Two incidents in Davids life come to mind. The first was when God told him to number the people but then God brought a consequence when David did what he was told. The next was when God gave Davids enemy into his hand, even putting Saul to sleep to make it easier to carry out his killing. So how did David resolve it. With the plague David chose to not question what God said but carried out the instructions. What if he had obeyed Gods earlier instructions not to count the people instead. He then chose to trust God (in spite of the apparent betrayal by God) and trust himself and Israel to Gods mercy. The second instance with Saul – David despite Gods permission reverted back to Gods standard mentioned earlier in the bible and held back his hand from killing Saul. Why did God send a prophet to give warning of judgement and tell the prophet to not eat until he returned from his mission and then tell another prophet to invite the messenger in for a meal, for which God punished the messenger.
    ” There is a way that seems right” points to our need to look at What, Why, and How God treated this or any other issue in His word. One other factor seems to centre around us honouring the person but weighing the issue.
    I think Arthur that this whole issue has not been looked at. Perhaps Father is raising this now for a specific purpose.
    Bless you for stepping into danger so willingly and inviting us to share in it in a small way.

    Anthony Sutherland

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  7. Paul says:

    While I so well understand the conundrum, (and I don’t mean to minimize it in any way) but I have difficulty believing for one second that you can “blow it”…why would God invest so much into you and work so powerfully through SLG to allow human frailty to destroy it in a moment by a wrong decision? I’ve always been taught (and choose to believe in times like these) that as long as our heart is postured toward wanting His will more than our own; and if we are willing to follow His will at any cost, that He will NOT allow us to stray. I’m reminded of these promises that you so well know: It is God who worketh in you both to WILL and to do of His good pleasure. Faithful is He who calls you who also will do it. If we don’t lean to our own understanding but YADA with God (continue in that intimate relationship with Him); He PROMISES to make straight our paths. Praying for peace of mind and His LIGHT to illumine your path, dear brother!

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    • SLG says:

      Well Paul, I wish it were as simple as that, but my read of Scripture adds some complications.

      Take for example all of the passages which use the word ‘test.’ God repeatedly is recorded as bringing unusual circumstances into our lives to test our hearts. That alone is challenging since I don’t entirely trust my heart!!!

      Then you add the really jolting passage from Hezekiah’s life. 2Ch 32:31 “But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.”

      God left him. That is a seriously unfun piece of theology. And God did it at the worst possible time to find out what he would do when he had to make a critical decision that shaped not only his life, but brought a pretty gnarly curse on the whole nation and on his dynasty. The last thing I want is for God to take the day off when the devil is running me through his best scam!!!!

      I go back to the two foundational rights established in the Garden of Eden. Mankind was given the right to make stupid choices. God reserved the right to love people who made stupid choices anyway and help them rebuild their lives.

      So I do think I have the legal right to self-destruct. And I have far less confidence in the excellence of my inner man than you do! But at the end of the day, even if I get deceived and make a bad call, I am confident that my relationship with the King can always be restored, regardless of what a mess I make of my outside world.

      I have always found great comfort in the principle for the Aaronic priesthood from Leviticus 21:16ff.
      The LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God.
      No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; no man with a crippled foot or hand, or who is hunchbacked or dwarfed, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles. No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the offerings made to the LORD by fire. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God. He may eat the most holy food of his God, as well as the holy food; yet because of his defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary. I am the LORD, who makes them holy.’”

      I find it glorious that even though the crippled priests were barred from duty, they were considered ceremonially clean and had total access to the offerings that had been sanctified. The principle I derive from this is that we can, through our choices or the impact of other people’s choices, be temporarily or permanently diminished in the Kingdom work we are allowed to do, but there is nothing we can do or others can do to us that can permanently block us from reconciliation with God and restoration of intimacy.

      So I look back on my 60 years and shake my head at some of the decisions I have made. How could I not see the right path THERE? And I am sufficiently skeptical about my heart, my eyes and my wisdom that I believe it is possible I could make another dumb decision now. However, I am unshakeable that no matter how badly I play my hand here (if I do) I can rebound with restoration and reconciliation and deep intimacy when I make the course correction.

      I am not terribly worried about the picture before me. There are an awful lot of markers saying I am on the right path and God has a vested interest in coaching me through this process to get me to the right place.

      But while I am not particularly worried, I am most certainly not of the opinion that I am too smart to fail. So I walk boldly, yet carefully, and unashamedly reach out for global prayer support for the decisions that will need to be made in the coming weeks.

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      • This is a huge tension to ponder. I agree that we have the freedom to screw up. Adam and Eve sure did, and they had more direct access to God than all of mankind. Yet, in the midst of failed assignments, defilement, and distortion, there is always the possibility of restored relationship. Wow. Jesus was that promise. I honor your boldness and will be praying this week for your decisions and for you to stretch beyond the 20% human capacity to comprehend and receive.

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      • Paul says:

        Thanks, Arthur, for taking the time to provide such a carefully thought out response. I think our theology probably agrees, we’re just looking at it from different perspectives. I admire your decision for global prayer support; it should only serve to encourage our faith that God will guard and guide you in every decision you make.

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        • Paul says:

          Megan, thanks for acknowledging that there is a tension here…and I too, so agree with you and Arthur, that we definitely have the capacity and freedom to screw up; I guess I would just like to believe that if we’re earnestly seeking the Lord and leaning on Him for direction, He will be faithful to guide us and not allow us to go astray. Although Arthur provides examples of times when God withdraws so that He may test what is on the inside of us. Sobering to say the least!!

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  8. Serina says:

    It is an honor to pray Light on the Word for you this week. I love the conversation between you and God. What a good father/son relationship.

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  9. Dayle Hooker says:

    Your post comes so timely as we are facing a similar situation that we were surprised with yesterday. For us, this could be the most massive payback from God of all time, or a trap from the enemy to milk what funds we have left. So praying in earnest this week for you and for us while we do our due diligence spiritually and naturally of the opportunity we have been offered.

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  10. Nicolette Engelbrecht says:

    When I started reading this post, John 16:13 jumped in my spirit. I pray that the Spirit, whom has brought you this far and has revealed the very heart of the Father through you, will continue to lead you into all Truth – but mostly, that you will trust His leading and goodness towards you. You have descernment, may Peace be your Light.

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  11. Irina Rivera says:

    Will do.

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