1. Courage in 2015

There are three human conditions that hamper my work with people more than any other:  denial, laziness and cowardice.

I have no tools for denial.  I simply walk away when someone with high levels of denial won’t engage in reality.

I have very few tools for laziness.  I won’t carry someone who is lazy, nor will I own the responsibility to invent a life strategy that allows them to go far without breaking a sweat.  I will put some opportunities in front of them and let them move toward them if they wish.

I have some success with cowardice.  The problem is, I am not sure how it happens.  I just know that a modest number of people, who a few years ago were opting out of almost all ministry because of their fear of man, the devil, God and almost anything else, eventually began to show a modicum of courage.

It is intriguing to see a few grow into a place of courage.  It is irritating that I don’t know what I have accidentally done right to help them along.  Wish I could distill it, bottle it and juice a few more people, a lot faster than I am doing it now.

That said, courage is a topic I will be visiting repeatedly this year.  It won’t be a weekly theme, but it will appear as often as I tease out a new thread.

I grieve over the consequences of lack of courage in the Body of Christ.  Lack of courage keeps people tied to the Blessing your Spirit book instead of crafting custom blessings for their family.

Lack of courage keeps people talking at another person’s spirit, instead of engaging in productive dialog.

Lack of courage keeps parents from asking their young kids if there is another spirit in them – an AHS.

Lack of courage keeps people in a dysfunctional relationship since speaking out about it will cost them a lot.

Lack of courage keeps people from exploring their design and walking in it.

All of that is sad.

But what really cuts deeply is the loss of dignity that people feel when they know they have choked and not done what they could have.  Shame is a cruel companion.

So the question on the table for the immediate future is “How can we get to a place of courage?”

I don’t know of anyone who set their heart on being a coward as their life goal.  We end up there accidentally.  What would it look like to chart a course toward courage and to grow it incrementally in our life, like any other discipline?

I have no clue.

But I will be gnawing on this big bone in the months to come.  Welcome to my focus for 2015.

Copyright January 2015 by Arthur Burk

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24 Responses to 1. Courage in 2015

  1. Sonia says:

    I look at my journey and courage has been a constant companion. Yes these three were there at different times but courage most of all. I grew in courage even more this year facing some great fears and walking with God in different situations. I am pleased at where I grew in courage in this year. I am pleased that cowardice shrank tremendously in several specific areas of my life. I am pleased that one area is going to be further addressed in this year. One of your tools have helped me tremendously and that is to ask God what His perspective is on a given situation or problem or crossroad. I also love your question to ask Father what He was pleased with in this day. I too look forward to this year and to courage growing even more in me and my journey 🙂 A beautiful adventure awaits!

  2. Nicole says:

    I have, over the past year, had to make some very courageous decisions and the question in my heart when i was deciding to go for it or not was “If i don’t do it, what does that say about who I believe God is?”. The closer I get to God the more courage I have, knowing Him and growing that knowledge has allowed me to become more courageous.

  3. Dianne says:

    I must admit that I “fear” not having courage and often pray that I will not fail for lack of courage .is courage not build on …like a muscle?.

    • SLG says:

      Intuitively, it would seem something you build, Dianne, but Scripturally, that is not how it is presented. An interesting riddle to solve.

  4. Noeleen says:

    One place where I have encountered denial is in the grieving process. Distressing to be with a child who was still at a stage of the process where he was unable to accept that his mum really wasn’t coming back. I think it was part of the process. Staying with him in that place and not being able (or allowed?) to move him beyond it until he was ready was hard and uncomfortable. Having the courage to move towards life – fuller life – would help move through and beyond denial I think.

  5. Asdvgi Ama says:

    For me leaving at least some of the fear behind was when I realized that HaShem really was protecting me in spite of what things looked like in the physical. I was an unwanted pregnancy and drifted between neglect and abuse while I lived with my parents. Ended up with an autoimmune terminal illness, given 7 months to live at the age of 31. Survived more than 14 potentially fatal vascular events the last being in 2004. Unfortunately not until 2008, did I finally realize that the kingdom of darkness did not have the authority to kill me. But that realization was a huge game changer. I am not on the defense but on the offense. It hasn’t been easy, but we aren’t promised easy just the opposite. HaShem has allowed me to live against all odds, there must be a purpose. Then in 2013 I was introduced to Arthur – now I am learning more about who I am in Yeshua and now I am dangerous. For me, courage was all about perspective and most churches do not teach it. Thank you Arthur and SLG.

  6. Rebekah says:

    One way in which you’ve helped me grow in courage is through the gift of your perspectives. For example, on facebook a while back you wrote the following.

    “To the degree you play it safe, you will avoid bumps, bruises and growth. To the degree you show up to every session with the freedom to go wild, if your spirit or the Holy Spirit leads, to that degree you will fail often, grow immensely and become dangerous.
    At the end of the day, safe, neat ministries grow in neat little steps. It is not wrong. But my style is much more on the side of gambling with the big steps. I lose often. I win sometimes. I grow whether I lose or win. So I never really lose.”

    My spirit resonated to this perspective. My soul agreed and new courage was born in me.

  7. Jude Mogyordy says:

    Courage : spirit of breakthrough! so glad you are going to be sharing your explorations, Arthur!

  8. jane62 says:

    Excellent! Yes, I’ve been in denial, born out out vows, which resulted in deception and involved the mesmerising spirit. Ongoing work. Laziness, also a yes, especially before I discovered that pain can actually be productive and neither short cuts nor formulas are God’s way. Laziness can come dressed as procrastination any day of the week. So I’m aware and working on both. Now for the kicker. Well, I think so at least…
    Recently I realised that I belong to the Exhorter Tribe. Yes, really, an Exhorter who didn’t (wouldn’t/couldn’t at that time?) know she was one! And it took years!! But I’m laughing because the shame in my spirit has lifted. It took a spectacular Peter type of mess up for me to face up and deal with it. Weird how God works like that. Now I feel like I can really get beyond the ‘who am I’ and into the unpacking of my Calling and Birthright, having established my playing field at least. And my spirit is soaring and my soul is glad.
    I’ve been working with my own spirit for some time, and I think my spirit grew big enough to get to the place I am now. I don’t know how, but the broken bits in my soul were helped and healed, at least to get me beyond stuck. Brain deliverance in two areas, one of them Exhorter, the other Prophet, left me feeling much more me, and therefore courageous.
    So during a short retreat this weekend, when me and God sorted out some focus areas, guess what came up, but Courage! I’ve previously felt very much of a Gideon, only the bad bits, and many things kept me from speaking out. But now I’m ready to dig in and discover the challenge and unpack the good, having climbed out of my hidey hole in the wine press.
    Because I know who I am (which RG Soul Tribe I belong to). Shame in my spirit is lifted off (oh yes, I meant to say it …again!). That is such a biggie! So I think my essence is good and I know, know, know I’m OF the King of Kings, so I know I’m going to be dangerous. God said to me that He loves me even when my best isn’t good enough. That did it, big time. I can try and fail and not feel shame.
    I started by dealing with fear (because that’s what I could identify), but it was shame that tied me down, like Gulliver.
    So this year, Courage is a theme for me too, and in fact it’s a ‘continue with’ rather than a ‘start with’. Nowadays, more and more, I just say things, just because they need to be said, and if I do it wrong the first time, or more, it’s OK, because it’s OK with my BIG Dad.
    Having managed to spill this huge thing in my life, out of my spirit, to get it to flow into words, I am utterly thankful and full of worship to the Only Wise God My Saviour, Glory and Majesty, to Him who sits in the Throne. Thanks Arthur for being a nudge, and for your huge work in the body of Christ.
    Glory, Glory, Glory to God

  9. Serina says:

    It is sad to think and also experience what lack of courage does. Thank you for this focus in 2015 and challenging me/us to grow into that.

    I honor you Arthur for all your courage!

  10. Pamela says:

    I loathe my own denial, laziness and cowardice-all three of which have been a battle. My spirit gets excited when something of those is offended by truth. There’s a streak of fearlessness powering its way through my fear based everything and I’m blaming it on G-d and you.
    Here’s why –
    I’ve drawn strength from your confidence that there’s a better way, a hope, another perspective. It’s become viral in my life by enlarging my views where those 3 uglies have lived safely for so many years. Instead of my narrowed thinking, your belief in a different perspective has forced my eyes open a little wider ti look for G-d and WHAM! there He is! It’s a life changer in the courage dept.
    Freedom to fail is another thing – I’ve blown it a few times and instead of allowing myself to wallow in the stinky mess, I’ve owned it, taken notes and decided to move forward. Another thing you taught me. You’re fearlessness spurs fearlessness.
    Another reason has been your kindness and honesty in areas where I was groomed to be fearful and mistrusting. Because of that human kindness, I haven’t been as fearful in my dealings with G-d nor His dealings with me. Hosea 11:4 talks about G-d doing that through humans.
    Does that make sense? I hope to grow into the investment of kindness. I’ve still a ways to go of course, but much further than I was when this wild trip commenced!

  11. Me like. Courage is doing what you know you have to do ,not what you want to. It’s not really a choice when your character is dictating the course of your life. It merely reveals the next steps however hard ,unpleasant or unpalatable they may be.It’s like choosing between good and evil.Not really a choice now is it? Neither is a courageous act,it is always in the presence of fears,dangers , risks,shame,failure and an immutable core trust that the vast audience can’t seem to grasp. It is in essence THE WORD that holds our world together .Fear nothing for I am with you . PURE LOVE has no other name in the face of danger than COURAGE… HURAAAH

  12. “Be strong and of good courage.” We’re going to need a lot of both this year.

  13. Carol Brown says:

    Courage? Joshua and Gideon come to mind as examples of courage. It is being obedient, making that choice to do the next right thing despite how fearsome the future, despite how the body screams at you to not go there, and despite the emotions that try to distract. Just doing it because Father said to do/go, etc. Carol Brown

    From: Noble Subjects Reply-To: Noble Subjects Date: Sunday, January 4, 2015 at 8:20 PM To: Macbook Pro Subject: [New post] 1. Courage in 2015

    WordPress.com SLG posted: “There are three human conditions that hamper my work with people more than any other: denial, laziness and cowardice. I have no tools for denial. I simply walk away when someone with high levels of denial won’t engage in reality. I have very few t”

  14. I think courage is an act of obedient abandonment, motivated by love, where you throw yourself into the arms of Jesus and believe that He will be there to catch you.

  15. Roxanns says:

    I applaud your move to gnaw on the bone of courage. It resonates with my spirit. Therefore, I will be paying close attention as you unfold what the Spirit reveals to you. Blessed hunting as you go forth.

  16. Lavonne says:

    Thanks for going with this Arthur. May his light shine on it. And shine on me in any area, bring the necessary change.

  17. elise says:

    On first thought, I would define courage as: the complete, passionate freedom and loving abandonment to trusting God with the outcome of every decision or opportunity of my life. The barrier between me and courage is fear. Fear because I don’t trust God with the outcome and have powerful motivators to protect myself. The challenge question I struggle with is why don’t I trust God to protect me, to be there, to support me, etc. The reasons and excuses are myriad. I suspect the answer lies in getting to know who God really is – not who the church has taught that he is – and abandoning all the lies that I have been taught and have held onto about him.

    • SLG says:

      Well, I thought that way Elise, but not at the moment. My logic was cowardice is the result of fear and perfect love casts out fear, so we need to address the root issue of not receiving God’s love. But that is not a tenable position considering how many times God commands someone to step up their courage right now — not after some profound encounter with God. So there has to be another dynamic here beyond fear and not experiencing the love of God.

      • elise says:

        In some small way, I suspect I agree with you. One question I have is WHOSE perfect love casts out fear? Is it Gods perfect love, coming from outside of me, that will cast out the fear that is inside of me? Or is it that somehow, if I am able to release the lies I believe about God and developed perfect love (love that is not corrupted by or mixed with lies) inside of me, then as I have more and more perfect love for God inside of me, then the fear will be cast out exponentially? So, do I need someone to bring perfect love to me and cast out the fear? Or do I need to address, investigate, and confront what is currently in me to find the Truth and throw out the fear? I suspect it’s the second option. The first option sounds too easy and not anywhere near something that would lead to maturity.

        • jane62 says:

          I think it may have more to do with legitimacy and essence, which gets a lurch forward when shame lifts, then fear can lift and an essence statement can penetrate. (But that might just be my story).
          Is being whole in spirit & soul in particular, and maybe something to do with our heart, be part of the definition of perfect love, which can then cast out fear? When I’m sure of who I am (as in made by the most High God and having His Light in me and my Essence is good), then I effortlessly step up, it doesn’t feel so scary anymore. Because my Daddy has my back. So I also think it’s a Father God and perhaps even a fathering thing.
          These comments are very tentative and not fully thought through, but I’d rather post them anyway and hope (as in be sure of in faith), that there’s a small morsel here.

  18. This is a gritty topic that is going to cause all of us to face something of the other two you listed – will we embrace denial so we don’t have to embrace courage and will we choose the easier road because the road to fulfillment has too many cliffs and ravines? And there might be a theme or two more too along the way. Thank you for taking us to task on the topic. We all have areas where we suffer a bad case of nerves. I look forward to exploring the tools with you in the coming year.

  19. hellen meade says:

    i was curious and looked up the definition.”Courage is the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation”. I believe courage is the passionate declaration of an unwillingness to yet again be the recipient of the listed items, The statement that I WILL NOT endure that one more time! just a thought

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