PM4 Session 3 Stories

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For the next two sessions, we flipped the script and looked at it from the perspective of an intercessor.

Supposed you have a friend who is a quitter.  That habit is destroying their life.  They know they have issues but keep doing it.  You know there are soul issues that they have to own, but you assume that there are also critters who are playing them.

Your job as an intercessor is to find people who have the authority to push back the critters.  This is a different facet of the V.  You have to think differently.  You start at the bottom of the V and language the authority that is the opposite of the problem.  That would be “endurance.”

You look around you and try to think of all the different groups of people who have high authority in endurance because of their making a lot of CHOICES to push through the pain.

Some of those groups are “noble” in their journey.  Take midwives.  They are on the job, in charge, for three to 33 hours.  High endurance.  A place of honor in society.  And they chose that career.

But consider the parent of a special needs child.  There is NO finish line.  The situation is forced on you.  And our society, tragically, does not honor the heroic journey of the parents of special needs kids.

BUT, they have high authority over the spirit of quitting because of their millions of choices to get up and do what needs to be done one more day.

One more: a drug addict in a recovery program.  Certainly more disdain than honor from the culture.  Certainly a good dose of personal responsibility for having self-medicated his pain, instead of facing it.  But every recovery program has an out.  It may be a legitimate out, or it may be sneaking out the back door when no one is looking.

And everyone in a recovery program has felt the burn of detoxing a whole body, and changing a whole lifestyle.  And they have thought “This is too hard; I will never make it.”  And those who have chosen (1,000 times) to stay in the program one more day, have high authority in the area of endurance.

This is the mindset we need to develop.  How can we look past the playing field and see the spiritual dynamics of a “secular” choice.  The midwife, the parent and the drug addict look wildly different in terms of playing fields.

But they each had to make a lot of choices to endure, and if they understood their treasure, they could leverage the asset gained (involuntarily) in their hardest season.

OUR job is to learn to see the people who God has placed in our midst as treasures for the Kingdom.

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Click here to download Session 3 Stories as a PDF file.

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Story 1: Vision

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Jack grew up in the ‘hood and can’t wait to finish high school and get a full-time job at McDonald’s.

Jimmy grew up in the ‘hood and can’t wait to finish high school and get a full-ride basketball scholarship to a Division 1 school.

Most people have a vision no more than 15% larger than the socio-economic world they grew up in.

But God at times designs people to be far larger than that.  Noah, David and Ezekiel all VASTLY transcended the world they grew up in.

For this exercise, you will create a fictitious person (who resembles someone you know!) who you profoundly believe was designed by God for big things.  He or she is currently pursuing comfort and security, and is not even dreaming of greatness in any form, spirit or soul.

You will then scour your circles of friendship, looking for people who have responded graciously or ungraciously to God’s call for them to step up.  Moses and both Sauls would be in the ungracious category, while Mary had a gracious response.

Build a highly complex strike force to pray for your non-visionary friend, to light a fire under them to see who they are called to be.

Think of the parents of a special needs kid.  Learning to communicate spirit to spirit with their child would require some major choices and investment of effort, but they would eventually have a level of fulfillment that other parents don’t have.  An involuntary vision forced on them, but one they stepped into.

Add to your strike force someone who found their design when no one believed in them.

And someone who lost everything late in life and started over.

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Story 2: Denial

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Another barrier to growth in SLG is denial.

Magic Wand Christianity is a pernicious virus that causes people to think that they have a personal shortcut to growth.  Some believe God is going to do a miracle for their character or spiritual authority or skill.  Others simply believe that sincere love of God is a substitute for “going to the gym” spiritually.

They have essentially no spiritual authority and a life in constant turmoil.  They expect people around them to rescue them from “the demonic” when what they really need is a reality check about their expectations.  They can’t invest spiritually $5 and get a $50 return on investment in two weeks.

You are tired of rescuing them, so are going after the denial.  You know from past experience that anyone who speaks to them about their choices runs into a buzz saw.  So you will ask God to attack their mindset structures.

Your team assignment:

Create a fictitious scenario about someone who is blatantly in denial about the cost of growth.

You are going to intervene by putting a team together that has authority with God to invade their minds and reveal truth.

You need to look at your real friends, with their real journeys, and pull together some people who have earned authority over the spirit of denial.

This will be a multifaceted team.  There are some who as a lifestyle, always just put their head down and walk the long discipline for anything, not just spiritual issues.  Others who have invested heavily in a specific spiritual discipline.  Others who dealt with brain rot with good effect.

Embracing reality is a broad art form.  See how many different flavors of authority you can envision.

For the oral report, you will describe the one area that the make-believe person is in denial, not investing where they must.

Then for the strike force, you will describe the bit of each person’s journey that causes you to say they have authority over the spirit of cowardice.

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Story 3: Abundance

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The poverty spirit was the devil’s first move in human history and it still plays well.

When we become fixated on the lack of the resource WE DESIRE, it keeps us from seeing the alternative resources God has provided.

And when we are fixated on the wrong goal, we probably won’t see the resources God has provided for the right goal.

For example, if your goal is love and peace in the marriage, you won’t be looking for the resources that will allow you to grow in intimacy with God and in emotional groundedness in the face of gaslighting.  But if THAT is what God wants for you in this season, that is where the resources will be.

For this exercise, create a fictional character who has resources they COULD use, but they can’t see them.  Be crystal clear whether it is because of problem #1 or problem #2 (as listed above).

You are going to assemble a strike force to pray for this person’s eyes to be opened, so you need to look through the people you know, to find stories of people who GOT THE JOB done though using non-ideal, but available resources.

Make your strike force as variegated as possible.

For example, someone who has been in prison has had to learn a whole new world of “currencies” to make his way through that season.  He would have authority in terms of being willing to entertain the existence of different kinds of “currencies.”  That isn’t much, but it is something.

The mom of two toddlers who just had a C-section, also can’t use the currency of her vigorous body to do a lot of things for the first six weeks.  What kind of authority would she have against the poverty spirit?

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Story 4: Courage

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One of the biggest barriers to growth in SLG is cowardice.

When someone is deep in unproductive pain, it is counterintuitive to voluntarily embrace productive pain, on top of the unproductive pain, in order to get over the unproductive pain.  But it is usually necessary.

And failure to do that, is cowardice.

Think of someone with a toothache who endures the pain for six months before going to the dentist, since he is afraid of the pain of the root canal.  The productive pain – the root canal – still has to be embraced, and the six months of eating unproductive pain – the tooth ache – did not fix or help anything.

Your team assignment:

Create a fictitious scenario about someone who is paralyzed by cowardice.  They need an infusion of courage to do the right thing.  The devil is spamming them with cowardice, delaying the inevitable choice, one day at a time.

You are going to intervene by putting a team together that has authority in terms of courage to voluntarily embrace productive pain, so they can do spiritual warfare against the critters, so your friend has a decent shot at making the right choices.

You need to look at your real friends, with their real journeys, and pull together some people who have earned authority over the spirit of cowardice.  You will scroll through what you know of their lives to draw out the process they went through to earn that authority.

For the oral report, you will describe the one choice that the make-believe person is not making, that they need to.

Then for the strike force, you will describe the bit of each person’s journey that causes you to say they have authority over the spirit of cowardice.

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Story 5: Intimacy

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Marcus thinks he is the second coming of Elijah.  He is MISTER Alpha Male and approaches all of his Christian walk from an extreme dominion point of view.

He knows the Word of God.  Thoroughly.

He hears from God.  Accurately.

He casts out demons easily and God answers his prayers.

And he is a terror to be around, because he traumatizes the fragile with His harshness.

But, no one has the courage to tell him he needs help.

So, you are going to put together a monster strike force to hack his firewalls and introduce him to the concept of intimacy and dominion flowing together, legitimately.

Obviously, you will want some people on your strike force who walk in intimacy.  But a Mercy who naturally walks in intimacy with no dominion would be a low impact intercessor.

You are looking for those who have moved from being one legged in dominion, to being able to walk in intimacy as well.

So how about a rough and tough college athlete who had a baby daughter and learned a whole lot about loving and protecting her?

Or a brilliant doctor who became very sick and experienced heartless medical systems, and vowed to change the system.

Or the woman married to an NPD who learned to be defiant and suspicious about everything.  If, after that marriage ended, she was able to become trusting and open, to a degree, she would have huge authority.

Who do you know who has GROWN in intimacy from a place of dominion?

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Copyright by Arthur Burk
February 2024

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