2. Innsbruck Strategy – Anchor Truths

Target #1 is our most complex project.  It is an Exhorter enterprise with vast, sweeping statements.  “The most loved. . . ”  “The most beautiful . . . ”

The exaggerations are stupendous and drastically disconnected from reality.

At the entrance to this place is a human-sized statue of Lucifer surrounded by a bunch of short phrases, taken out of context.  The appeal is to overtly lay down your prior frame of reference and wander through this enterprise with an “open mind” so you can see things from a “different perspective.”

In other words, the temptation in the Garden of Eden all over again.  This is the primary reality in this place – Lucifer has not changed his approach!!!

This place also has a huge amount of death about it, is on one of the main leylines and has managed to smack our team around pretty well already.  The demonic has spoken vigorously, repeatedly, that we are not “allowed” to take a team there.  It is untouchable.

Clearly the team going there will have to be selected with great care.

My first criteria is someone who has been savagely tested on their anchor truths.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had to come to terms with whether they would still serve God in the face of death.  They passed the test, telling the king they had no guarantee of rescue, but that had no bearing on their refusal to adjust their theology for his ego’s sake.

So I went through the list, looking for people who have had monumental disappointments in life, where they so expected God to intervene and He did not.  In that place, if they stood firm on their anchor truths and did not wobble, they gained significant authority to withstand the Luciferian spirit of “keeping an open mind.”

Some things don’t ever need to be reconsidered!

I was delighted to find nine people who had solid credentials in that category.  I am sure that when they went through their personal season of shock over the way life played out, they had no idea God was grooming them for an intense battle in Innsbruck!

But that is the way it is.  Authority is earned by how we respond to the junk in life.  And God plans ahead, sometimes decades ahead.

It was also disappointing to see how many people on the list have been deeply compromised in this area by their default emotional responses to the junk that God allows to hit them.

After the first pass, I then screened for life.

This is a deadly place.  I need people who have grown – not just survived – in some pretty rocky fields in life, and who are life giving from the abundance within them in hard times, not just when it is convenient.

I still marvel at Jesus comforting the women of Jerusalem on the way to His own crucifixion.  Talk about reaching deep, and extending life to others who were much less wounded than He was.  THIS is our Savior.  Amazing authority.

As I went back over the nine, some were eliminated.  They clearly could stand on a truth, rock solid, not moved, but for some I removed, there was not much life flowing from them, and for others, they could only grow in good circumstances.  Their spiritual roots could not find life in a rocky field.

Fortunately that still left me with a few who I could put on this team – rock solid in their knowledge of God and full of life in good times and bad.

It was interesting as I looked at those people.  No one would want their lives!  You stand back and look at what I know about their journey and it has been simply ugly.  None of them have the elegant, triumphant, iconic Christian walk that others would crave.

Yet in the crucible of injustice, betrayal, long-delayed breakthroughs, and stalked by death in many forms, they were being groomed by God to be dangerous in this place.

I guess it is a lot like the elite military units of the world.  Their preparation is brutal.  The fruit is that they are effective.

Food for thought as the team going to Target #1 will be putting their lives on the line for the sake of the King.

Again.

Nothing new at all for these battle seasoned Noble Subjects.

Copyright March 2018 by Arthur Burk

Posted in Spiritual Warfare | 7 Comments

1. Innsbruck Strategy – Paralysis

We are about a month away from our land dynamics training in Innsbruck, in April 2018.  We have between 40 and 50 people coming from over a dozen nations, most planning to stay for the guided field work.

That means a LOT of shuffling of names around the spreadsheet, trying to match up earned authority that is well placed against the strongholds that will be visited.

This series of blogs are simply my thinking out loud so you can see the logic behind staffing teams and building strategies.

Today Serina went to scout out a spot called Target #8 that we plan to send a team to.  We had reason to believe that it was pretty dark and loaded with critters, since it is anchoring a leyline.

She went, saw, came back and reported that there was no drama, no darkness, she discerned nothing, there was no push back.

Puzzling.

We took a step back to ponder what was really going on.  Lots of odds and ends bubbled up, but nothing convincing.

Then I remembered that the whole time she was gone, I was paralyzed in terms of work.  She had waited to do her reconnaissance until I was in the office this morning, so I could have her back in case anything went sideways.

I got out of bed feeling clear headed, ready for the day.  I checked in with her when I was in the office, and she left on her mission.  The whole time she was gone, I was unable to do anything of significance.  I would piddle at this, then that, then something else.

There was no ability to even answer basic emails.

I tried a nap.  I tried a cup of tea.  I tried a bunch of stuff.  No traction.

About an hour after she was back, I was still floundering.  I pinged her and sure enough, she was also not able to get traction on anything.

Now it all made sense.  Target #8 is designed to tamp down initiative in the spiritual realm in the city.  When you go there, you are expected to lay down your connection with the present.  It is like Disneyland or a day spa or a museum — you go there to BE there and to immerse yourself in that ambiance, not to bring your daily life with you.

And all the people who go there and willingly disconnect from their world, and enter into the world of that institution, are empowering the demonic in a far larger way than just the time they are there.  They have come under the spiritual power of that demonic entity.

I was rather stunned that my JUST being on standby for Serina’s exploratory trip would allow them to shut me down so completely.

Not good.

Obviously the team we send there will be militantly pushing against the mesmerizing spirit, but the other issue that shouted was the earned authority in terms of pushing through obstacles in life.

Serina and I ran down the list of people who have applied and been accepted for the training and swiftly picked off a dozen or so who had very little tenacity.  Doesn’t take much in life to stop them.  Clearly they would not be on that team.

Then we flipped it the other way and marked the individuals who have a history of relentlessly doing workarounds whenever there is an obstacle.  They just don’t stop.

Interestingly, most of those were already tagged to be team leaders elsewhere!

So we will be juggling names on teams until the day before the event, but we now have a very different grid for this one.  Target #8 has a huge potential.  If we manage to do some clean up there, it could change the spiritual climate of the whole city to some degree.

BUT, hundreds of thousands of people have been there over the centuries, willingly yielding to the invitation to disconnect from the larger picture and to be emotionally guided by the powers that are there.  That represents a stunningly strong force to be pierced.

We will need some fiercely independent, highly focused, spiritual marathon runners to be able to put a scratch on that bad boy!

Fortunately, we have some!

So . . . when I realized what all was going on, my question was how to get myself (and Serina) out from under the paralysis.

I looked away from the To Do list that forever sits on the corner of my desk and jumps up and down, looking for attention.  I looked inside and asked, “Where is the grace to do SOMETHING right now?”

The answer was to write this blog.  I was surprised because I was not planning to document our vetting process but here we are.

It flowed.

I think that as a result of overtly looking for where God was right then, it hopefully broke the power of the paralysis off me.  I suspect I can walk out the rest of the day with some degree of order.

And that raises another issue for the team − we need people who have their ears on, who can break out of the structure, systems and processes of Target #8 and do the thing God calls them to do at that time.

For now, this will go off to Sandy for proofing, I will surface, check with the team, and then come back to my desk to see what kind of momentum I have now.

Copyright March 2018, by Arthur Burk

Posted in Spiritual Warfare | 7 Comments

Time and Space #19: Waiting in the Present

Was Joseph a good guy or a bad guy?

Or some of both?

I don’t like the fact that he married the daughter of a priest.  One wonders about his father-in-law’s spiritual requirements of him.

He named his first son something about forgetting his father’s house.  Ouch.

He used a silver cup for divination.

And he utterly destroyed a capitalist system and transferred all of the liquid and non-liquid wealth of the nation to the king, reducing the nation to slavery.  I don’t think God sent him to Egypt to destroy the nation, and I think the reason the Egyptians eventually enslaved the Hebrews is because a Hebrew inappropriately enslaved the Egyptians.

On the other hand, he was clearly picked by God for this task, and he interpreted dreams through the power of the One True God, fully giving Him credit for that gifting.

Good guy/bad guy?  You pick.

What I do like about him is the fact that he could live in the present without repudiating his past.

He seemed to be fully engaged in his job as Prime Minister, not pining for justice or going on and on about the issues of the past.  He clearly still had a heart for his dad and his baby brother (not so much for the other ten!).  But he lived in the present and built vigorously.

When God brought the past into the present, by bringing Jacob and Benjamin back to him, he was instantly ready to deal with the past in a productive way – first bringing his brothers to repentance and then restoring his family’s fortunes through his political connections.

That is an art form – living large in the present, while there is huge unfinished business from the past.  He appropriated the grace from this time, while letting God orchestrate the alignment of the past time with the present time in a way that He could engage with.

But at the same time, he could fully engage the unfinished business from the past, when God brought it to him.

As much as I don’t like him, I do appreciate his handling of time.

One frustrated mother of a Prophet cried, “She has eight toes in the future and two in the past.”

Not Joseph.  He had ten toes in the present.

Until God aligned time and space to bring the past into the present.

Then He used the present to heal the past.

Not too shabby as a model for wise living.

Copyright February 2018 

 

Posted in Sanctifying Time | 5 Comments

Time and Space #18: Staying in Sync with God

Try this picture.

You run a medium sized business and are doing quite nicely.  You have a net worth on paper of $25 million and plenty of cash in the bank for any toys you want.

Your product requires a certain mineral that is primarily available from China.  You have a long term contract with them.  All is good.

The US and China get caught in a trade war through no fault of your own.  Suddenly your supply is cut off.  You scramble to find replacement resources, but the cost is sky high.

For years you struggle with rescuing the business.  It is your obsession day and night.  You try a different line of products, and different design, but year after year, your business volume drops and your profit margin vanishes.

You are at retirement age and are looking at bankruptcy.

Suddenly, your scarce mineral is found in a copper mine in Arizona and you are able to purchase it at less than the previous price, with almost no shipping charges, and at the same time, the government approaches you with a ginormous order for your product.

In a day, you are back in business with your core competency, with a premium supply of needed resources, and a government contract to provide one of your widgets to every member of the armed forces, with a new model replacing all those in just three years.

You are rescued and back in the gravy.

Switch the story.  Make it Jacob instead of you.

He goes from wealth in Canaan to poverty in Canaan, to refugee status in Egypt, to wealth and privilege in Egypt.

Those are the FACTS of his external environment.

God changed the environment he was in (space) in a very short period of time, executing with precision a plan that had been envisioned long ago (time).

No flaws on God’s part.

The question is whether Jacob could sync with God emotionally and enter into this new season with robust joy.

It would seem not.  When Jacob met Pharaoh, there was this exchange.

And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty.  My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.”  Genesis 47:9  NIV

There is a certain truth to what he said.  Due to his deplorable choices, he certainly had hit a few bumps in the road along the way.  BUT, to be just given freedom, wealth and privilege by Pharaoh and to focus on the past instead of the future suggests he had a trauma bond to the past.

So back to you.  Are you in the middle of big pain now?  Then this blog is not for you.  Have you come out of the pain in terms of real life circumstances, but you are still mired in yesterday’s pain?

You may wish to take steps to bring your emotions in line with your external reality, so that you are all in one time and space, not fractured.

Copyright February 2018 by Arthur Burk

 

Posted in Sanctifying Time | 4 Comments

Time and Space #17: Behind the Scenes

From our vantage point, we can see the grand design.  Joseph, dreams, Egypt, cougar, prison, cup bearer, Pharaoh, dream, prime minister, Jacob comes down, reconciliation.

There are lots of time/space pieces here that keep the story from being a bunch of unrelated data points.

But while Joseph was doing time in prison for a rape he didn’t commit, it was hard to see the bigger picture.

The morning Pharaoh work up in a tizzy, Joseph woke up bored.  Same old, same old.  He had no way of knowing that God was messing with the weather, the economy, Pharaoh’s sleep, and that God had given all the magicians and wise men a double dose of dumb that day.

But . . . whether he saw it or not, it had happened.

Suddenly there was an out of breath messenger banging on the door and Joseph was catapulted from the prison to the barbershop, through the shower, the haberdashery and into the palace.

Where he stayed.

God had, in reality, been aligning all sorts of things in time and space for decades while it looked like Joseph’s life was going less than nowhere.

How about your life?

It is easy to celebrate the time/space gifts from God when we see them.  It is far more noble worship to celebrate by faith the things God aligned for you today, that won’t impact your life until next year!

Copyright February 2018 by Arthur Burk 

Posted in Sanctifying Time | 9 Comments

Time and Space #16: Multiple Agendas

Joseph presumably just wanted to go home to Daddy (and tattle).

Reuben wanted to rescue Joseph and send him back home (with a vow of silence).

One or more of the brothers wanted to kill him.

Some Midianites “happened” to come by at just the right time and Judah decided to go for the gold instead of the blood.

So Joseph ended up in Egypt.

My opinion is that this was God’s doing.

Joseph was a Ruler redemptive gift, who was pampered by his Daddy.  He needed a couple of intense trainings to be able to run all of Egypt’s bureaucracy.   So God controlled the timing of Reuben being assigned to the flocks, and the Midianites coming by, so that Joseph didn’t die or go home to Daddy.

Often God’s exquisite aligning of time and space we attribute to the devil.  He just enrolled us in a class, without our permission, to unpack something He saw in us, that we were not unpacking.

It just might take a few years to see the beauty of His objective shining larger than the pain of the training.

Copyright February 2018 by Arthur Burk 

 

Posted in Sanctifying Time | 7 Comments

Time and Space #15: Health

Sarah had a baby at 90 years old.

Impressive.

I have always imagined this great grandmotherly looking woman joyously caring for a baby.  Doesn’t seem overly hard for God to juice her endocrine system for a special purpose.

But that is not how it worked.

In Genesis 20, in the three month window before Isaac’s conception, Abraham took her to Philistia.  Before going, he asked her to do the “You are my sister thing” and sure enough, once there, she got picked up by the king himself to be part of his harem.

Now think about it.

You are a king.  You have a harem.  You would presumably be quite picky about who you add to your harem.  Great grandmotherly looking women would not be at risk of your roving eye.

In other words, Sarah did not look 90 years old.  God had not just juiced her endocrine system.  He either kept her from aging, or rolled the clock back about a half a century or so for this occasion.

When Sarah was in Philistia, she had no wrinkles, no curvature of the spine, no grey hair, no creaky joints, no brown spots on her face or hands, no sagging anything, anywhere, no daily fiber pills to improve motility and no high blood pressure meds, ruining her liver.

She was home-coming-queen stunning at 90 years old.

Spry enough to chase a toddler around the yard and toss him in the air.

I think this is another expression of time and space.  God manipulated the speed (time and space combined) of a million facets of her biology in order to keep all of her body systems sparkly.

I suspect part of aging is not only the slowing down of a system, but the desynchronization of various systems in the body.

She was in tune – everything in sync with everything else.

Because God can make any exception He wants to anyone’s time/space alignment.

Copyright February 2018 by Arthur Burk 

Posted in Sanctifying Time | 8 Comments

Time and Space #14: Where was Faith?

Jacob and Esau were duking it out in the womb.  Rebekah fussed at God about the fact that her dream pregnancy was becoming a nightmare, and He just shrugged it off – this was millennia long international conflict in her womb.

Sigh.

Time passed.

The sibling rivalry grew and morphed as circumstances changed.

Then there was that time/space encounter when Esau had a deep need and Jacob had the resources to meet that need.

Jacob knew the prophecy that he would rule over his brother.  He also knew that his brother had been beyond dominant all these years.

He seized the moment to subordinate his brother through force of need.

God had orchestrated time and space to move him one step closer to the fulfillment of the prophetic word.

Or had He?

My father was fond of pointing out that the serendipitous availability of a berth for Jonah on the ship to Joppa was not necessarily from the hand of God.

David was quick to repel the suggestions of his men in the cave that this was God’s time to kill Saul.  They felt time and space were aligned by God for the death of an enemy.  David felt time and space were aligned to give him another opportunity to cultivate trust with Saul.

Two different views of the same precise alignment.

What if the episode with Esau and Jacob’s stew was a test from God, not a gift from God?  What if God wanted Jacob to reach out in a life giving way to the brother who had been crosswise with him from the git-go?

Most of us would concur that God did not need Rebekah’s help to deliver Isaac’s blessing to Jacob.  That one was 100% forced, contrived, manipulated and stolen.

The stew incident involved absolutely no deception.  Jacob was blatant and forthright in his overt, intentional, deliberate exploitation of Esau’s moment of need.

I question whether God needed Jacob’s help there either.

All that is purely speculative.  That was them.  I am a different person in a different world with no such congenital conflict pursuing me!

I am at the opposite extreme from Jacob in my personality.  I tend to avoid my enemies, rather than look for a chance to overcome them.

So what if God has arranged time and space for me to be able to show mercy to an opponent?

And what if I very skillfully avoided being in the same space at the same time with someone who has trashed me in the past?

Is there really any difference between Jacob distorting an opportunity to show mercy to an opponent and my escaping/avoiding an opportunity to show mercy to an opponent?

Perhaps not.

God’s alignment of time and space is not always a fun hug.

Sometimes it is a stunningly painful, strategic event that will color history for millennia.

Copyright February 2018 by Arthur Burk

 

Posted in Sanctifying Time | 6 Comments