Light Prayers: 24. Light Rejected


Job 3:20-23  NIV   “Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure, who are filled with gladness and rejoice when they reach the grave?  Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in?”

Have you ever heard a sermon preached about Job’s suicide wishes?  I have not either.  It isn’t politically correct.  We preach on the great transformation at the end of his life and ignore the fact that a man who sought after God with holy hands and intense commitment could end up with his life imploding and death becoming his deepest desire.

So today, let’s explore it.

Last week’s light prayer was about God taking me to places that were defiled so I could cleanse them.  IF I would let Him mess with me.

I agree in principle, asked you to pray and walked into the trap/opportunity utterly unsuspectingly.

I wrote a newsletter this week asking for volunteers for a strike force for the blessing projects we are looking at in the fall regarding suicide.  The response was overwhelming – larger than the response to any other query I have ever put out there.  I now know the following things about our SLG tribe.

-The daily battle against the desire to commit suicide is far more widespread in our tribe than I knew.

-It affects a large number of leaders and healers whose followers have no idea they have to fight this personal battle while they are trying to be life giving to others.

-There are a remarkable number of people in our tribe who have fought the battle successfully and have been free from the desire or temptation for many years.

-There is a deep desire to talk about the topic in a safe context, but a context that does not strip you of your dignity for having suicidal desires is hard to come by.  I have read some very transparent e-mails this week, loaded with savage pain.

-Almost no one in SLG has a single clue what fulfillment means!  We need to do some remedial work there since this is the earned authority needed to come against a large part of the spirit of suicide.

There you have it.  An abrupt shift.  A tangential project in SLG is suddenly front and center, enormous, complex and dripping with anguish.  Not something that was in our business plan.  But . . . I gave God permission to be random by my standards, and asked you to pray that He would lead me into places where His glory would sanctify defilement and here we are.

Boy howdy, here we are!!!  Defilement abounds.

The other side of the equation from last week I already shared in the Scorecard.  Namely, God has been very busy flushing out the pockets of fear in my life.  Well, exposing them anyway.  I wouldn’t say any of them are flushed clean yet!

MY plan (not to be confused with HIS plan) was to go to a number of places around the world where suicide is prevalent and to record blessings there, drawing from the treasure in the land that God placed there first.

I have received a large number of reports of places where there is a lot of suicide, but most of them are far too vague – half a state, for example.  So I politely wrote back and asked people to do a little more digging and see if they could narrow it down to a single spot so I could keep this project right-sized.

In the midst of answering that pile of e-mails I came across one from a vet talking about the suicide issue among vets.  I am certainly aware of the enormity of the problem but had not moved toward it at all.

As I was preparing my e-mail with an explanation that I need a place, not a people group, God interrupted with a pointed question. “What are you afraid of HERE?”

I beat a hasty retreat to the couch and explored the question.  The punch line was, “Being overwhelmed.”  And I realize it is a fear-battle I fight all the time.  Pick your pain.  There are more hurting people out there than there are life givers.  Always.  So if any life giver sticks his head above the crowd, he gets mobbed.

Asked me how I know.

We certainly have vets with suicide issues.  And not enough life givers.  A mismatch so massive even our secular press is having to acknowledge it.

So yes, God, I am very much of the opinion that if I tried to wrap my arms around this pile of pain, it could overwhelm our staff.

God was fairly unimpressed with my logic.  His succinct response, “Not mine.”

I wrote the vet back and accepted the offer to teach me about the problem of suicide among the veterans.  I am awaiting a response.

I pondered the close parallels between me and Job in the subject line of this blog.  He was rejecting the gift of life TO HIM because he was in so much pain, he would have rather not ever been born.

I was rejecting the gift of life THROUGH ME because . . . well, I am not sure why.  It just doesn’t seem right that enough life could flow through me to solve this big a problem.

Who knows where this road will take me?  I sure don’t.  I have simply acknowledged the fact that there is a monstrous desert out there, among civilians and vets.  And I have acknowledged the fact that God seems to want to release some light and cleansing in this desert through me.

So how to pray this week?  Job prayed the “why” prayer which is, I think, one of the most useless prayers out there.  It is simply sitting in judgment on God, implying that He isn’t running the universe very well.

The “how” prayer is also pretty low impact.  “Follow me” is the most common answer.

I am taken back to the encounter between God and the Israelites at Mt. Sinai.  God spoke to the people directly.  They felt overwhelmed.  They asked Him to back off and speak only to Moses and let Moses deliver a softer, gentler version of the will of the Lord to them.

As I look at this project, recording blessings on land with a musician seems doable.  A stretch, but I could grow into it.  Dealing with the amount of pain that is in the SLG tribe on the issue of suicide seems utterly overwhelming.  I could not even answer the e-mails individually this week.  There were too many.  I will send out a group response tomorrow.  I hate that.

Dealing with the veterans’ suicide issue?  Utterly, completely, totally beyond any realm of possibility.  For me.

Oh, I have no doubt that God can.  He has the goods.  Simple.  But it feels like we are trying to get 440 volts, three phase and 300 amps to flow through my #18 wire!  A mismatch of extreme proportions.

So there are only two choices.  I can do like the Hebrews did and ask God to back off since it would overwhelm me.  Or I can do like Moses did and walk up the mountain, into the thick darkness and experience a transformation of his spirit, soul and body unlike any other human has ever had.

Oh, by the way – it involved Moses becoming a light bearer in a remarkable way.

Let’s go there.  I choose not to reject the light God is offering.  He has LIGHT, and He apparently wants to address my fear of being overwhelmed by darkness.

This week, ask God to pour His light into my fear and equip me for whatever it is HE has in mind for the defiled desert of suicide – including the vets.

Copyright June 2014 by Arthur Burk

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31 Responses to Light Prayers: 24. Light Rejected

  1. lovinliberal says:

    Can you tell me, how young the messages of suicide appear in a person’s life.
    I remember at a very young age two verses that seemed to play over and over in my head.
    The first about Esau and the fact that God hated Esau while in the womb! Romans 9:10-13
    The second verse is the one which says many are called but few are chosen. Mathew 22:14
    Much of my visuals of suicide attempts appeared most likely at puberty and lessened at menopause but have come back in full force, bearing witness to the idea that I’m caught in a double bind situation, where I have no clear idea what is o.k. to do to walk in a calling or giftings or forward.
    Thanks,
    Rebecca

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    • SLG says:

      Rebecca, I wonder if you are looking at a cycle of defiled time. Have you listened to “Trauma Bonds to Time?”

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      • Ted says:

        Is it possible for thoughts of suicide to be associated with an AHS? I started sensing them quite suddenly after the divorce was finalized and all my 35 yrs as a christian could not stop or prevent the continuation of such thought. I am surviving only by taking them captive and bringing them to the cross. Which happens many, many times a day. I can’t call it triumphing.

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  2. Frank Williamson says:

    Having suffered from suicidal thoughts on and off for thirty years, I have found out eventually that thanksgiving is the key to over coming it and actually I think that is what Job found out too. Romans 1 :21 ff talks about the results of not thanking God even if we know God. I want to use this analogy; in Tasmania there is a tourist destination called Dismal Swamp. When you first enter the place you can buy tickets to go down to Dismal Swamp on an helter-skelter, when you get down there you have to walk back out. This is exactly what Romans says; we spiral down in our thoughts till they are futile and empty, into dismal swamp ! So what will thanking God bring? it will bring mind renewal and thoughts that are full.
    If we are not thankful for the gifts God gives us they do not function properly, yes we have them but we are not using them as God desires because we are not thankful, so even our prayers can be prayers of complaint. In everything God is teaching us some thing and we should be thankful in it.

    So even if we are in dismal swamp God is teaching us something, and the way out is the ladder of thankfulness. Why is it a ladder? because it takes effort to give thanks in the swamp but has Job found out God was teaching him! Job’s revelation of God brought him a double blessing.

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    • SLG says:

      And sometimes, Frank, it takes more than that. Please don’t diminish the battle of the people who have done every single spiritual exercise the church has ever taught and still come up short of the victory.

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      • Frank Williamson says:

        Oh no I was not diminishing all the other things ! I have found that thanks opens the doors to all the things that need doing, revelation of what to do and how to do it. We have had marvelous results from some of your half baked potatoes Its about giving thanks in the lesson to find out the answer.

        I really was trying to keep my post simple ! I could have written reams !

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  3. Sally Sugrue says:

    I’m another one that first read ‘animal doctors’ for ‘vets’! – Am continuing to follow and pray – the reference to God’s dark Glory cloud and His Light is awesome, I’m watching with anticipation.

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  4. Ruth Allison says:

    Dear Arthur,

    Do you know about the curses spoken over all the soldiers who went to fight in Vietnam? They were powerful and are still affecting the Vets. I can send you a website if you need it.

    I really enjoy your blogs,and pray for you, and thanks you for your honesty.

    God bless,

    RUTH Allison

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  5. Narola Grady says:

    I was thinking about you as a flashlight, Arthur. Allowing Jesus to shine His light through you….and He is doing that. Throwing His spotlight on the next people group to reach. Thank you for constantly refusing to be identified as the ultimate source of life and instead, correctly pointing people to Christ. Yes, that light always illuminates the critters in us first before it goes to others.

    This simple chorus sums it up for me. “Shine, Jesus, shine, fill this land with the Father’s glory; blaze, Spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire. Flow, river, flow, flood the nations with grace and mercy; send forth Your Word, Lord, and let there be light.” Blessings to you in your mountain climbing.

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  6. Cal Johnson says:

    Arthur,

    You go. You go on this destruction of death. You go on this, Arthur. It is a huge part of your life’s destiny. You are approaching the age where negative consequences to fighting the Alien One and his minions do not matter anymore. Press the fight to the end. Victory awaits the bold and courageous. The glory of God awaits.

    Cal

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  7. Ev Cowan says:

    As I read your post, I was at first puzzled why animal doctors, as a group, would be so vulnerable to suicidal thoughts. THEN I read ‘veterans’, not a term we are so familiar with in the UK! How amazing that the Lord should capture you in this way and invite you to go up the mountain into the darkness of His presence. Praying that you will receive ALL that He wants to download into you at this time. I know that the Body of Christ will have much to thank you for.

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    • SLG says:

      I smiled, Ev. Yes, we Americans are notorious for our shorthand and often are not understood. Considering our 200 year history of being the world’s warmongers, we have a permanent class of veterans of foreign wars with all of the resulting social complexities. We can track the spiritual authority of each nation we invade by the consequences to our troops. In Vietnam, the monks cursed our guys with rootlessness, and those curses took. Since the monks were from a nomadic tradition and had renounced roots, they were able to curse that generation very effectively with a tumbleweed curse.

      With our wars in the sandbox, the curses of death are spoken overtly, constantly by the radical clergy. And you have to admit that that religion has massive authority over the spirit of death, especially suicide. They have killed massive numbers of their own countrymen through suicide bombings, so when they speak death over our guys, it manifests strongly as suicide.

      A second cornerstone of their religion is the degradation of women. We see the negative implications of that in the marriages of our veterans at a pretty staggering rate.

      These are the stupendous costs of war that don’t get mentioned when a president sends a request to Congress for money to go to war.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Irina Rivera says:

    There are beautiful precedents when Jesus stopped his mission, and turned to the one. His heart of compassion and his wisdom seemed to know when to take pause. For me, I am always so touched by those moments, they speak volumes. I pray that as you stop and pause for this brave soul, there will be an eternal significance. Bless you!

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  9. Debbie G. says:

    You have been there for me, I will be there for you, praying this week. Last couple weeks wasn’t able to, but am back in the saddle again!

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  10. Henrietta Izard Carriere says:

    I’ve been praying for you this last month or so Ps 43:3; I see you are taking the plunge; didn’t you know that when we pray – remember Prayer Lights 5- God has a tendency to ask :”Whom shall I send?” Macte animo, generose puer (doesn’t it look appropriate? I’m lucky) These are the things He has prepared for us to enter (Eph. 2:10 if I’m not mistaken) if we want to.
    Très cordialement
    Henrietta

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  11. Claudette says:

    Arthur, You are a Moses man if ever anyone was. but you have a lot of us praying to back you up or support you. I don’t know anyone who is so transparent which gives the rest of us hope. It did cross my mind the other day how one person and group would be able to help so many that are out there who need it. The answer is God can do anything way bigger than our minds can conceive and it just takes a willing person to release it. Blessings, Blessings, Blessings to you and your group for doing what you do.

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    • SLG says:

      Thanks much Claudette. I have a very different configuration than Moses did. His peeps switched on him instead of backing him!

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  12. Carol Brown says:

    My first thought was “loaves and fishes”. Just be the loaf; be the fish and allow Him to break you (not the fun part) and bless you and multiply you. The need is so great, the field so big that it would overwhelm anyone so don’t look at the enormity. If you look at the immense need you will sink, like Peter but keeping your eyes on Jesus you will accomplish the task. Just do it for one, and let Him multiply it. Carol

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  13. Kristine Graybill says:

    Ps.92:5-6- Depths of purpose and layers of meaning saturate everything You do , Such amazing mysteries found within every miracle, That nearly everyone seems to miss. Those with no discernment can never really discover the deep and glorious secrets hidden in Your ways! ( May we as the body of Christ find and walk in true discernment of HIS ways! ) Arthur – may you be strengthen as you go up the mountain , but unlike Moses who did it by himself , may you feel the bunch of us who are praying going with you and the angels who are assigned for this task. Shalom, Kris

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  14. Deborah says:

    Arthur, THANK YOU for being vulnerable. THANK YOU for being transparent. And, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for not asking God to back off and for walking up the mountain for transformation. Praying! Standing! The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His Face to Shine on you.

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  15. Paul says:

    It’s so amazing how how God’s agenda often differs from ours…and when the scope of what He is asking us to do exceeds the limits of what we think we are capable of; we’re reminded of His promise in Eph. 3:20 “Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.” (Living Bible)

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  16. Rosa says:

    So, from your perspective, what DOES fulfillment mean?

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  17. Katie says:

    I wanted to write but couldn’t grasp what I was feeling. Then today, I saw something. When I read your last email on how you had intended to make yourself available for healing land, but God shined His light on you, my first though was you are land, and in order to be used without being attacked, God was preparing you. Then today I saw it from a Romans 8 perspective “manifested”(light makes manifest- mount of transfiguration experience) son of God used to set the earth free.lately I have been being made more aware of man and the earths connection / parallel .both cursed at the fall, and both are baptized in water and fire. The scripture also says the earth was cursed ” for ” man.Moses face shone with His light. May you also experience the Glory of the Lord , being transformed and transfigured.

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  18. dorisann says:

    Wow wow wow. God obviously knows something you don’t. Just knowing you have been there makes you a safe place to explore this. Puts productive pain in a whole new focus. Bless you for your willingness to enter in. This is a very personal journey. I sense you are in it with the rest. My prayer is that you will find God in your fear while turning that fear into live.

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  19. nancy says:

    Arthur, you have such a heart of compassion for the veterans, as evidenced in your PTSD album. That album is transformational to people in any venue of life, not just the veterans. I know, that is who it is primarily recorded for, but not limited to. If God is calling you there first, do it! Suicide is no respecter of title, everyone will benefit. Everybody probably even knows a veteran who needs this.
    I read an article this week about the Golden Gate Bridge being one of the highest ranked places of people jumping to their death. They just approved almost a billion dollars to renovate it to make it impossible to jump from. The work is ready to begin. How tragic. It is but a roadblock with no redemption or resolution for the hurting.
    I will be praying with you and for your team.

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  20. Bunmi says:

    This is sooooo spot on. Was just talking to God about this not quite 15mins ago. I love Daddy!!! I am in with you Bro!!

    Bunmi

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