Hello #5: What Do I Bring?

Gifts from those who are coming into a new season or place are legendary in Scripture.

Best known are the gifts of the Magi.

God specifically instructed the tribes in the desert to bring gifts for the dedication of the Tabernacle.  David invested hugely in bringing the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem.  Jacob sent an unnecessary gift to Esau when he was on his way back from Paddan Aram.  The Queen of Sheba tried to one-up Solomon with her gifts.  And the list goes on and on.

There are three gifts that stand out to me.  The first is David at his accession to the throne.  After the successful assault on the Amalekites, he did the traditional thing and sent tangible assets from the booty to the elders of Judah as a token of goodwill.

But the real treasure that he brought with him to the throne, was his men.  Saul had a spirit of slavery and slaves reproduce after their own kind.  So the national government lacked sons in the administration.

By contrast, David significantly upgraded the intellectual and social capital of the national government with the men who came out of the desert with him.

1 Chronicles 11:10  says, “These were the chiefs of David’s mighty men —  they, together with all Israel, gave his kingship strong support to extend it over the whole land, as the LORD had promised —”  NIV

The second picture that I find quite compelling is the Apostles being sent out as representative of the King of Kings with no gift in hand.

I pondered that a lot for years.  Why would the King want his ambassadors to be branded as paupers?

My conclusion is that his objective was just the opposite.  Far from branding them as paupers, Jesus wanted to define the “currency” of the new Kingdom.

The treasure that they brought to the home of the leading citizen of each community was their virtue, their wisdom and their spiritual power.

I see this in Matthew 10:11ff.  “Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave.  As you enter the home, give it your greeting.  If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.”  NIV

So the gift that they brought was themselves — who they had become while walking with Jesus, and this was a bigger, better gift than all the trinkets they could have purchased in the marketplace with the currency of the culture.

Peter crystallized this issue of alternative currencies with his laser sharp statement.

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”  Acts 3:6  NIV

So, circling back to David, we see the hand of God preparing him through hardship.  The time as a kid caring for the sheep, prepared him.  The time in the court, prepared him.  The time in the wilderness with his messy warriors, prepared him.  The time as a double agent with the Philistines, prepared him.

It is a fascinating study of God’s technique in grooming a man for kingship.

Now let’s come down from such lofty heights and explore what the last 12 years here in Anaheim have done to me.  My life has not been easy here, but it has been good.  God has met me so many different ways.  And this second season of SLG has been a very overt preparation for the third season — in Spartanburg.

For those of you who have known me for 12 years or so, I would be curious to hear your perspective on what God has done in me here (not through me).  What changes have you seen, or to put it in specific terms, what am I bringing to Spartanburg above and beyond the business?

Copyright August 2018 by Arthur Burk

This entry was posted in Hello to South Carolina. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Hello #5: What Do I Bring?

  1. Rebekah Scott says:

    I’ve been following you for a little over a decade and have observed in that time an enlargement in one thing more than any other.

    Power.

    Power to hear and transmit God’s heart for nations. Power to worship cataclysmically. Power to transform corporately. Power to heal and grow yourself and others in all five levels of holiness: Time, Land, Community, Birthright, Office

    I believe the Ruler land turbo charged your growth in power because of your skillful execution of the principle of freedom. You’ve grown in power, but you’ve used that power to bring freedom not bondage. As your hand has grown heavier in power, your touch has grown lighter in leadership.

    I look forward with great anticipation to watching the Teacher land of Spartanburg unfurl your next season of growth!!

  2. aoifezion says:

    I haven’t known you for very many years, but in listening to a lot of your teaching both new and old, I see some dropped breadcrumbs: I think you bring something to the black community. Maybe an activation of some sort.

  3. Cathie Sheldon says:

    I see a great softening or relaxing in you in the last 5 years. The passion, fervancy and intensity is still effectively advancing, but the timbre of your voice, the inflections in your diction has led me to think that you have become more approachable.
    I can hear it.in your audio, but I’ve also sensed it in your written words, just can’t find the nuances to describe the difference I see.
    You”ve softened? Become aware of things about yourself or future wherein you have relaxed? Whatever, it adds a plus 10 to your scale!

  4. Terri Dutton Blanchett says:

    Kathe Kollwitz said, “I do not want to die…. until I have faithfully made the most of my talent and cultivated the seed that was placed in me until the last small twig has grown.”
    This reminds me of you Arthur. You are taking your culture; your way of doing life into a season and land that will produce the harvest you have planted for.

  5. Colleen Brissenden says:

    A challenger.

    You are a challenger Arthur. In the short time that I have had access to your material, I have been challanged. Challanged to dig deeper, look higher, go further. To press on, to take hold of that for which Jesus Christ took hold of me.

    Against great odds and many and diverse trials, at this point in my path I take the challanged to be effective in this generation.

    Thank you Arthur
    Colleen

  6. I praise the Lord you were willing to “walk with” people with almost insurmountable issues. You were mellowed and the Lord has developed you as a mighty weapon for his destroying all the works of the evil one. Your contacts around the world are incredible and, as you share, the rest of us gain from what you are learning. All of the tools you have been given are useful to me and our ministry setting people free and seeing Jesus heal broken-hearted people. Thank you many times.

  7. Megan Caldecourt says:

    I have seen two things that go hand in hand. The determination to move the ball and the 100K right choices. If you can’t get five dollars out of the day, figure out how to leverage a nickel. Keep making the small right choices and they will add up. Over the last decade I have seen you incarnating these concepts over and over and over again, in every kind of situation God has filtered into your life. I know that they are not glamorous, and sometimes not even visible. People may not know what you COULD have gotten out of a day or they may not see you quietly and persistently making the choices you do. So many times people wait for the magic moment when the shaft of light shines from heaven and everything falls into place. You know better than most that the overnight successes take decades to build.

    Just the other day I was thinking about everything you have produced – audio for sale, audio for free download, videos, live streams, podcasts, prayers, posts, blogs, and more. And that’s not counting all the custom-made teaching moments, or the stuff that never got recorded, or isn’t available anymore! It is mind boggling. Your impact on the world is immense.

    You bring to South Carolina a tremendous wealth of unpacked, incarnated, power-infused treasures. I suspect that you also bring a treasure or two that you don’t know you have yet! But I believe that the greater treasure and honor to the state is that you, as a leader in the community, bring a lifestyle that ensures that the expansion will continue.

    • Yes, Megan! I join the many who are thrilled to see SLG come to the south. God has had mercy on us once again. Let us not waste this season. From a grateful heart in North Carolina!

  8. Sandra says:

    Transparency Humility Meekness and Melchizedek

  9. ghaggerty says:

    Juxtaposition.

    That’s the one word ‘nutshell’ answer that came to me in response to your closing question.

    Your well-honed ability to bring various nuggets from the Word into juxtaposition, that jogs my spirit to see alignments that I had not seen before. This is an aspect of fathering that I believe God has developed in you, to present principles that act as catalysts in other’s spirits to provoke unique responses, based on the other persons’ respective design and level of spiritual development.

    From what I know of your story, God has used your journey to develop this skill, that as far as I can tell, is partly intentional, and [mostly?] His spirit guiding your words and pictures into exactly the right spot, where they can take root and grow into Holy Spirit-customized revelation and direction. At least that’s what they do for me…time and again. And this piece was particularly relevant.

    For a number of years I worked in administration in a growing independent mercy ministry in Southeast Africa. One of my responsibilities was organizing the logistics for getting relief aid shipped, imported and distributed to areas of need, along with doing advance work, preparing for crusades and conferences. While all of that was good and needed, I harbored this nagging feeling that God wanted to do something much different and much BIGGER in unlocking the hidden treasures of the land and its people, and releasing indigenous resources that make outside inputs unnecessary, and eliminate external dependencies.

    This piece – “What do I Bring?” – has reignited that germ of passion in me to re-visit the ‘empty handed’ approach to mercy ministry, like what Elisha did when he asked the widow: “What do you have in your house?” Her answer led to her becoming self-supported in the oil business. I think there are a LOT of hidden ‘oil fields’ out there, waiting to be tapped.

    It’s my belief that we ‘Westerners’ find it easy to meet needs out of our natural surplusses rather than doing the more difficult work of dealing with the intangible, invisible barriers that keep people in bondage…which doesn’t solve the real problems at all. But it makes us feel good. For awhile….

    Juxtaposition.

    • SLG says:

      Fascinating, Gordon. Thanks.

      Elijah is a story that lands deeply with me. He KNEW he was designed to be a breaker. He killed 950 people in his day and prophesied the death of others. But God knew he was a maker, not just a breaker. And there is a delicious irony in God’s statement: “I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food.” So He had, but only after Elijah had discovered some stuff within him that he did not know was there.

      And by the way, there is an excellent book entitled “Toxic Charity” that explores what you were discussing — non-sustainable mercy ministries.

      I like your observation that the widow’s oil was a sustainable proposition.

      • ghaggerty says:

        Just ordered the book. Thanks. I deeply appreciate your investment in fathering during your CA season, and looking forward to how it expresses in new SC soil. Going deep….

  10. Snow Griggs says:

    A mature Spiritual Father.

  11. Jim Alseth says:

    What I think of Arthur, is blessing of presence and authority. In verse 30 of Exodus 23 there is the phrase “until you have increased enough to take possession of the land”, and in your 12 years on Ruler land you certainly bring to Spartanburg an increased portion of presence and authority…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.