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A Thoughtful Heart
Fred and Sally are builders who have been tracking with us for many years.
Some time back, we had a series of prayers for bringing peace to land. The way I structured the package was to invite people to pray those prayers for their own land, but to also extend those blessings to a piece of land code named “Balmoral” where I go occasionally to meet with the Lord and be refreshed.
Fred and Sally were among the many Noble Subjects who ran with those prayers in their own Kingdom projects and saw wonderful results in transforming the spiritual dynamics of a piece of land.
They apparently aced that assignment since the King has graduated them to the next level, which means dealing with a new piece of land that needs a lot of help. They are starting over, which is pretty normal for a new assignment.
They naturally reached back for the peace prayers and prepared to lean into their new assignment.
BUT, Sally also wrote me and asked if my Balmoral project was still in play or whether I had left that land.
She offered to include my patch of land – if I am still involved with it – in their ongoing prayers for their own new project.
And THAT is a thoughtful heart.
I replied, “Balmoral is alive and well. The spiritual presence there is remarkable and hugely life giving to me when I can go there.
“So on the surface, no problem.
“Looking deeper, I am wonderfully greedy and if you wanted to add additional layers to the blessings already there, I would be delighted to receive.
“Thanks for asking.”
I don’t get to Balmoral as often as I like, but when I can get away and spend some quiet time there, it is magnificently restorative and creativity flows like a river. I am sure this is the result of many factors, not the least of which is the torrent of prayers years ago.
Now consider their gift through the backdrop of the people giving it, not my desire for more and more blessings in my own life and on the land that is life giving to me.
Most of the time we are running flat out in life. Our Kingdom assignments are designed to stretch us, using everything we have already unpacked, and then forcing us to look for more treasures in us. We have to unpack those internal resources before we can impact the external world we have been charged with changing.
In other words, if we are working on our Kingdom assignment, we have left our consumer comfort far behind. We are almost invariably living on the edge of inadequacy. The most common reaction to inadequacy, is to begin to look outward, scanning the resources others have, to see if there is any way we can draw outside resources to our project.
That is not wrong, and God has designed our need for Kingdom resources to be met, at times, through the shared specialties of the Body.
That said, God’s intent is that we look inward first, because the long-term impact of unpacking our treasures is far greater than the impact of building community around shared resources.
Community is not wrong.
But the good is the eternal enemy of the best, and a community of small people, cheerfully enabling each other, so they don’t have to grow into the full expression of Christ in their own persona, is definitely the less wise choice.
A community of small people is the most common response to the challenge of having a Kingdom project too big to handle.
A better option is looking for the treasures inside you and unpacking them so as to reflect more dramatically the beauty of Christ.
As Irenaeus is credited with saying, “The glory of God is man fully alive.”
An even more noble posture is to give to others from a place of personal deficit.
Elijah called the widow to that level.
Jesus called the apostles to that when they returned bruised and battered from their first missionary trip, and shell shocked from the beheading of John the Baptist. They did the natural thing which was to get away from the crowds so He could minister to them, because, after all, they were needy.
Things shifted and alternatively, He forced them to do the biggest miracle they had ever done in feeding the 5,000 while they were hungry, shell shocked and still bruised and battered.
Jesus modeled it Himself during one brutal ministry marathon.
On the day Israel’s leaders committed the unpardonable sin and lost the option of the Kingdom manifesting in a political manner at that time (Matthew 12) Jesus did an about face, embraced the new reality and began to teach in parables.
At the end of that day, He was so exhausted He told the guys they needed to split town, so they got in the sailboat and left for the east side of the Sea of Galilee. He slept in the bottom of the sailboat in a savage Galilean storm. That translates into some serious adrenal fatigue from the spiritual and emotional drama of the day.
He calmed the storm (when they finally got Him awake) and on arrival at the other side, they headed for Starbucks looking for a double shot of expresso, only to run into the Gadarene demoniac before Starbucks.
He put out energy again, and then got Persona Non Grata stamped in His passport as they ran Him out of town.
Back across the Sea of Galilee, this time during the day, arriving in Capernaum more depleted than He had left it the night before. There He encountered His arch-rival in town, the head of the local synagogue, begging for His help.
On the way to Jairus’ home, the woman with the issue of blood stole some healing and He felt the energy being drained from His already depleted tank.
Thus, He arrived at Jairus’ house, aching from lack of sleep, physical privation, a series of emotionally and spiritually intense, draining events, and with an empty tank, He raise his enemy’s daughter back to life.
He set the bar high.
But today, people in ministry have “boundaries.” Far be it that we should suffer adrenal fatigue in doing our Kingdom work.
But then there are the Fred and Sallys of the Kingdom.
Starting over again on a big land project, they are looking outward, instead of carefully hoarding their resources.
That in itself is remarkable, extremely Christlike, but to remember a project from years ago that was very special to me is the epitome of a thoughtful heart.
Generosity – offering to invest their spiritual authority in my corner of the Kingdom – is a lovely thing, but not that rare.
A thoughtful heart?
Our Tribe of Noble Subjects is honored to count Fred and Sally among our number. They set the bar high also.
Copyright January 2019 by Arthur Burk
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learning from others, when you are feeling overwhelmed.By : Cyndi Shanklin On February 15th 2019
Precious friends are the ones who stretch, learn and grow, and remember both where they started, and those who guided them on the path, and give back.
Prayers for landBy : Elizabeth Wallace On January 28th 2019
This is a lovely article on many levels and speaks to our situation at present. Where might I find the prayers for peace over land that Mr. Burk mentions here?
Replied by : Arthur Burk
Fred and SallyBy : Becky Dymond On January 28th 2019
Well done, Fred and Sally!!