When Change Doesn’t Happen

There is an old joke:  “How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?”

Answer:  “Only one.  But the light bulb has to want to change.”

This is the standard safety net for the therapeutic community.  “My tools work, so it has to be your fault when they don’t work.”

In that light, I was discussing a “Sally” today with someone who is trying to help her.  Sally has been stuck for years over a push/pull regarding enabling.  There is a person she enables regularly.  She knows she does it.  She knows there are alternatives.  She has had sundry people who have exhorted her, scolded her or even been angry at her.

Sally does not defend her enabling at all.  It is just that when push comes to shove, she is not able to make the decision to allow the reproofs of life to be visited on the other person.

My suggestion to Sally’s coach was that this might be the result of an AHS in Sally.

My logic was this.  Most soul issues are malleable.  AHS generally are quite resistant to any sort of counseling.  So the mere fact that Sally did not like what she did (clearly not in denial here) but kept on doing it anyway, relentlessly, suggested that it might be an AHS controlling the decision making process.

She will explore that option with Sally.

My main point here is that when something doesn’t work that you think should, don’t default to blaming the person.  Sure, there are lots of times when the client doesn’t want to change and going to therapy is just a smoke screen to pretend they are working on the issue.  I know that situation DOES exist.

However, when they want to change and don’t, at least check and see if you are dealing with an AHS in the decision making center, not their own soul.

Copyright June 2015 by Arthur Burk

From home, clobbered with jet lag

Reframing Deceptions

Sally is pretty far along in her healing journey.  The pressing issue now is to identify the lies that are hardwired into her thought processes and establish truth instead.

I find that it is critical to use word pictures from that person’s world, rather than use abstract concepts.  Somehow, seeing the abstract played out in real life allows the truth to be legitimized more profoundly and quickly.  Here is an example of the kind of conversation I have with people at this point in their journey.

Recently we explored the issue of deference.  On the one hand, it sounds quite noble to defer to others – it feels like courtesy.  However, in practice it can become the basis for victimization.

I started by pointing out that deference is not an absolute quality that anyone should walk in all the time.  I used the illustration of a wedding.  On the wedding day, everyone is expected to defer to the bride.  Talking on the phone with your stock broker during the wedding ceremony would be considered rude.  You should defer to her importance on that day and put all your desires and agendas aside for her.

She could see that.  The picture of someone loudly arguing about whether to buy or sell this or that was quite compelling and ludicrous.

Then I flipped it.  Suppose it is her wedding coming up.  Imagine sending an email to the 100 invited guests asking them what time a day would be best for them for the wedding, since the bride wants to defer to their schedule and not inconvenience anyone on her big day.

She could immediately see that even with her level of woundedness, she would be willing to inconvenience people for her own wedding.

Again, the picture was personal enough yet ludicrous enough for her to grasp.  Deference is not a 100% issue.  There is a continuum between absolutely giving and absolutely receiving.

It was necessary to establish the legitimacy of her receiving deference since in the cult there is the opposite message pounded in.  You have no rights.  Attention should never be on you.  No one cares about synchronizing to you.  You have an absolute requirement to be alert to everyone else and to synchronize to them in all things.

Against a message that has been pounded in a thousand times, with huge pain-driven reinforcement, it takes an extreme picture to put a small crack in the old message.  But the wedding picture worked.

Once we had established the fact that there are a couple of options, the burning question was what determines when other people defer to her and when she should defer to them.

I took her to two recent issues in her life where she had stood up to someone and overtly confronted them, rather than embracing the injustice and deferring to their view of things so as not to hurt their feelings.  We compared that to walking at the mall.  She knows that out of the blanket internal wiring, when someone is coming toward her at the mall, she will step aside instead of them.  So on most small areas, she defers to others.  But on these two big areas, she stood her ground with no difficulty.

She was not able to see it, so I gave her the word:  mission.  When it is her comfort vs. someone else’s comfort, and both are on the scale of simple, personal wants and wishes, she invariably defers to others, and this is not necessarily a bad thing.

However, when she is doing something for her boss, she had no difficulty standing up for justice and fighting for him to get what he needed for his project.  When I phrased it that way, she could see it.

Then I worked through some areas in her personal life where she already could move out of blanket deference into some level of non-damaging dominion.  I compared her shopping for something specific vs. something general.  When she has a clear objective of getting a specific thing, she approaches the mall like a Major bent on conquest.  She is not rude, but people move out of her way.

When she is drifting through the mall, wanting to do some retail therapy but not able to find anything compelling, she defaults to deference.

At the end of the day, she realized that the issue was not her past, it was her future.

She lived for a long time with a focus on survival.  More recently, her focus has been on healing.  She essentially has little sense of mission.

I proposed that as she becomes less focused on herself and more focused on Kingdom themes, the issue of when to show deference and when to graciously move toward achieving an objective would resolve itself.

It was hugely freeing to see that deference is not the one size fits all standard for all interaction.  It was shocking how self-preservation dominated her world.  She will be pondering what living with a mission looks like.

Copyright June 2015 by Arthur Burk

From the Admiral’s Club at SNA

Dealing with Blood Issues

I was doing some deliverance work with a survivor and making no progress with the demon.  Suddenly a part came to the front and cried that “they” had injected blood into her neck.

I have heard rumors of this from time to time but had never considered any strategy other than to supersede it with the blood of Christ.

This time, the Holy Spirit directed me to the Ten Plagues and the fact that God turned the water into blood.  I took the hint, referred to the passage in my prayer to the Righteous Judge and asked Him to turn the blood of that evil covenant into water which has no covenantal value.

Based on the speed with which the demon left after that, I would surmise that God did so, and it had no further hook into the survivor.

Love the Holy Spirit’s endless treasure trove of legal maneuvers and power principles.

Copyright June 2015 by Arthur Burk

From the Hub


Sixth Head of Leviathan

Jerry abruptly developed a strange inner conflict the other day.  He could not tolerate the thought of going to the gym.

He had been an athlete in his youth and dabbled at staying in shape as an adult.  He had wandered through the neighborhood gym a few times and had good experiences, both in the natural and in the spiritual.  Suddenly the thought of going there produced an emotion of absolute, rock solid refusal to even consider it.

Odd to say the least.

I had no clue what to do, which is quite common, so I stalled and said we would watch it for a few days.  We did and nothing softened at all while Jerry was getting aggravated with my stonewalling and stalling.

So to keep from looking like I was stalling, even though I was, I subjected the poor guy to my usual 20 questions and in the process discovered that he was losing momentum in several areas of his life.

I postulated that this might be in some way related to the Sixth Head of Leviathan which has to do with motion and flow and getting traction in life.  Clearly the gym was overt motion, but his life in general was not flowing as it normally did.

We found no landing pad for the Sixth Head that was at all convincing, but for lack of a better idea, I decided to take a swipe at this critter to see if anything changed.

I spoke directly to it (assuming something was there) and got no response.  I have found Leviathan to be rather challenging to deal with because it rarely speaks back, and rarely manifests, so I am totally dependent on my discernment to know whether I have done a decent job or not.  I depend on discernment when I have to, but am not one of those who believes he has x-ray vision about everything spiritual.

Nothing moved in the natural or within my range of discernment.  That could mean there was nothing there, and if you think casting out a demon is hard, let me tell you, casting out a critter that isn’t there is a lot harder!  Ask me how I know.

The other option is that it was there, but was laying low, trying not to flinch in hopes of making me believe it wasn’t there.  And since I wasn’t very convinced to begin with, it would certainly be a worthwhile scam to try to run.

At that juncture, when I was somewhat less than motivated to pursue a strategy that I was only mildly convinced was worth anything, the Holy Spirit stepped up and suggested I “consider” using Habakkuk 3 on the critter.

First of all, I love Habakkuk 3.  It is one of the best motion passages in Scripture.  Second, the Holy Spirit’s suggestions don’t need to be prayed over.  Third, this was proof positive from God that we were dealing with a motion related critter, whether sixth head or otherwise, and it WAS in there.

Now my juices were flowing.  We have a cornered varmint.  God is coaching me on strategy.  I am supposed to use one of my favorite weapons.  Know what?  I was beginning to feel like I would win this one.

I grabbed my Bible off the shelf, commanded the critter to listen up and began to read while I watched Jerry’s face on Skype to see if there were any flickers of movement that would give me a clue that Leviathan was being inconvenienced by this Scripture.

Forget the flickers.  There was an eruption by the second verse.  And the manifestations continued while I read slowly, firmly and at times repetitively through the passage.  Leviathan repeatedly had Jerry put his hands over his ears to block my voice, and I had to tell Jerry to put his hands down in his lap.

The manifestations were getting more and more violent, and I was about out of verses.  I knew the thing to do was just to roll back to the beginning and fire a second round.  However, one verse before the end of the passage about God’s intense motion, the critter fled as indicated by Jerry stopping the contortions.

For Jerry it was just plain horrible.  For me, it was a learning experience.

I have a hunch God has enrolled me in the school of Leviathan, and I will be encountering this critter for some time to come (until I get a handle on this).

The motion passage for the sixth head was simple.  I relish the sections of Scripture that speak of God in motion, and I had enough material to do a Senate filibuster if necessary.  BUT, I realized that if I know what is good for me, I had better develop a portfolio of passages for the other six heads as well.

Just in case this was the beginning of a training, not the end of it!

I checked back with Jerry a couple of days later.  He still has no desire to go to THAT gym, but motion over all is flowing again.  So, we wonder if something there got him infected.  Don’t know.  All I know is something really messy and wonderful happened with Habakkuk 3, and I won’t forget that one at all.

Copyright June 2015 by Arthur Burk

From home

After a five-week, six nation marathon that intruded in my writing schedule horribly.