27. Speed Prayer: Social Capital


I have shared before, but Rich Marshall’s maxim is worth repeating.  “The hardest changes are from God’s order to God’s new order.”

One of the reasons for this is the loss of social capital when we make dramatic changes.

What is social capital?  Is is the intangible value of a period of stability in a community with the resulting ability to function collectively.

Take sports.  You have a championship team.  You replace two of those players with new players who are more talented.  You have a net increase in TALENT on the team, but a dramatic decrease in the social capital of the team.  The guys or gals who left had played with the team for years and had a huge conscious and subconscious data file about how the other people would act on the field or the court.  This is social capital.

The longer a community is together, functioning in some level of teamwork, whether voluntary or involuntary, the more social capital you have.

In market terms, this is part of the value of your brand.  Suppose you own a dry cleaning business.  You have been there for 20 years and have a presence in the community.  The “teamwork” is primitive.  They drop off dirty clothes. You clean them on schedule.  They pick them up.

Primitive or not, there is a huge piece of social capital there.  Thousands of people know you, trust you, can build their schedule around your dependability, so they value you.  I have gone through five dry cleaners in eight years before finding someone who is dependable.  I can schedule a pick up at 8:00 a.m. on a day I am headed to the airport at 9:00 a.m. and know that the clothes will be done.

For you to close your business and move to a new town 100 miles away where no one knows you would represent a huge loss of social capital.  In the new town, your skill would be just as good, your location might be better, but you would have to start all over again building relationships with the community.

And it is the value of that social capital that causes us to remain in a functional but marginal situation instead of stepping up to a new expression of God’s order.  That is one reason why it is so hard to move from God’s order to God’s new order.  Our social capital which is supposed to be an asset becomes a set of golden handcuffs.

Take SLG.  I have a lot of social capital.  People know me and come to our sundry sites for a variety of purposes.  I have distributorships and employees and products and buildings, but most of all, favor.

Suppose God were to call me to shut this down and to move to an unpopulated mountain range where the land has huge spiritual significance.  Suppose I was to assemble a small team of self-funded people with an anointing for land and to contend for that range until it was brought into alignment with the design of God.

And then, suppose God sent me back out to start another business similar to what I have now.

The modern mindset would howl in protest at abandoning the social capital we have now in order to start a new ministry for a couple of years and then start yet another new work when the land was in order.  A thousand plans would leap to the front to preserve the social capital I have worked hard to accrue over 21 years.

But . . . that is simply another expression of the poverty spirit.  God is quite able to resource us for as many start ups as He wants.  We don’t have to frantically protect the social capital we have accrued over time.

I see this in the life of Joseph.  He had some serious social capital.  On the one hand, he was a poor carpenter.  On the other hand, God Almighty called him a righteous man.  Quite the stunning compliment from Someone who should know!!!

If the construction trade was as unholy back then as it is now, then Joseph’s brand in town as a righteous contractor would have been a huge part of his social capital.  Whether people needed to use him at any given time or not, they trusted him and would use him sometime in the future because they would get a fair shake from him.

God calmly destroyed his social capital.  The righteous man was deemed to have gotten his bride pregnant, so after all that, he wasn’t so righteous after all.  Just another ordinary guy.  At least that would have been the conclusion of the community.

God took him to Bethlehem next where he had less than no social capital!  Couldn’t beg, borrow or finagle a room for a birth.  That is hard.

He developed enough of a business there that he eventually had a house to live in.  We don’t know whether it was all theirs or whether someone kindly allowed them to use a room in the back.  But, that level of social capital was more than he came to town with.  God opened some sort of door somewhere for him to rebuild.

And God calmly abandoned all that social capital in the middle of the night.  Who knows how many people were offended because he did not finish their projects or show up to start one when promised.  My guess is that his reputation took a big hit, and it would not have been viable to go back to Bethlehem for another business run because God trashed his reputation AGAIN.

God helped him restart in Egypt.  Then pulled him out of Egypt.

He ended up in Nazareth restarting one more time, in a fairly tough place.

Some of you know this story because you have lived it.  You have had to walk away from social capital so many times.  At times it was clear that it was God, but some times, like fleeing from Bethlehem, it sure seemed as though it was the enemy who was robbing you of what you had built.

And it may have been.

The punch line is that God never runs out of capital to restart.  Never.

When Jacob and family moved to Egypt, to the land of Goshen, it was a God-speed restart, in keeping with the Blessing of Egypt.  Joseph sent a moving company to help his dad, and Pharaoh gave them a choice section of land thanks to some lobbying and coaching on the part of Joseph.  A turbocharged restart.

Some of you are in a protracted season of restarts.  Instead of grieving over the losses, start focusing on the treasures from the hand of God.  If this season is graced with a God-speed flow of social capital from the hand of God, then overtly celebrate all of the dramatic ways in which He has given you the Blessing of Egypt to restart fast and successfully.

If you are having to restart without resources, then war against the Egyptian Curse which is slow walking the needed social capital you must have in order to restart with intensity.  DON’T spend your days weeping over the lost social capital from yesterday.  Look for the new stuff.

This was the first lesson God taught the Hebrews when they were released from the brickyards of Egypt.  There they had stability and social capital.  They were poor and had a lot of pain involved in their work, but they had social capital and knew where lunch and dinner were coming from each day.

In the wilderness there was no social structure of stores, and they couldn’t cook ahead except on Friday!  Each woman had to restart her kitchen every morning, gathering food and water.

And the men had to restart the grazing and watering process for their cattle each day.

For years!

But the grace was there.  The Hebrews appropriated the grace most of the time, but occasionally self-pity took over and they longed for Egypt where they had accumulated social capital and had the stability to build on it.

Once they had learned how to restart rapidly and smoothly (without the whinola) God eventually put them in a place where they could accrue more social capital, but they HAD to learn that lesson first.

So let us set our faces like flint.  Instead of looking at the past and mourning what was taken away from us, let’s contend violently for the Blessing of Egypt in our lives for the current or future restart.

Here is the punch line.  There are huge opportunities for people who are completely unfettered by their possessions. When a Noble Subject is nimble and can walk away from his assets in a heartbeat, God can use him or her in places others cannot go.  These are precious, prized Subjects in the eyes of the King.

That is why Matthew’s story is such a stupendous lesson for us.  He was a Giver, and Givers are designed by God to steward (and hold onto) their assets magnificently.  Christ called him in a way that challenged the core of his design.  “Literally walk away from your social capital and throw your lot in with me even though it means a total restart.”

The Giver did.  And thereby proved himself to be a VERY Noble Subject.  He was given the consummate honor of writing the first gospel and was THE apostle chosen to portray the Kingship of Jesus Christ.

So lean in with me.  Let’s become a very nimble tribe, absolutely marinated in the Blessing of Egypt for rapid restarts as many times as God wants to discard our accrued social capital.  Let us become a fantastically nimble tribe, available to do great exploits because we can count on the Blessing of Egypt to fund us in the moment, as we are racing after His agenda.

27. Speed Prayer: Social Capital

Copyright August 2015 by Arthur Burk

From LHR, Terminal 5

Comments

  1. says

    God has done this for me in the last 5 years and to read and listen to the prayer was confirmation of His goodness in my life. Thank you for these prayers!!!

    Janet Kay Pierce 918.770.2189 jkpfree@gmail.com High school math teacher

    “Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.” Helen Keller

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  2. says

    Thank you, Arthur. I found this very comforting, particularly regarding social capital. My husband and I have recently moved to Nigeria. As I find my feet in this new land I have gone through times of feeling overwhelmed at the magnitude of the sacrifice we have made; sacrifice to the point where there is nothing left to sacrifice. We have literally left behind everything we love and all that is comfortable and familiar to embrace something new we don’t yet know. But most importantly, the Lord has carried us. He has protected and provided for us in such an intricate way and I feel so honoured to have Him walk so richly with me! I would not have it any other way. As I wake up each morning and go to work, the only person of my race, and He fills my heart with His love for the people of this land, I feel the warmth of His smile upon my back and I know we are where He wants us. Thank you once again. 🙂

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  3. Narola Grady says

    Thanks, Arthur. I’ve spent many hours praying this morning, and this is another piece of wisdom that complements what I’ve already heard. Courage and provision for the next step.

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  4. Soo Fee says

    Thank you Arthur, for bringing your courage, experience and faith for us to bear against the fear that the enemy have put in us towards restarting.

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  5. Geoffrey Whitehead says

    Wow, this really speaks to me having moved so very often, partially because of Military Service; then hospital service, marriage breakups and remarriage.

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  6. nita7932014 says

    This is God’s perfect fit at this exact time. I have asked the Lord to affirm his word in unexpected places, with the qualification being that those places be ones I can fully trust and recognize as being His word. Yesterday I was looking back and feeling sadness for the loss of social capital as well as sadness over loss in many other arenas.
    This Word from the Lord puts joy, anticipation and successfulness in life’s endeavors back into our hearts and hands.
    Thanks

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  7. Sonia says

    WOW This is where my thoughts have been. I release and release and release. I choose to receive the blessing of Egypt and the faith of God to flow in this area. Yes this is where there has been much pain. Thank you Arthur. I receive your faith to bear. I go to war with this prayer for our King. I choose to be courageous!
    I choose to believe and trust in Him in providing everything needed for the restarts.

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  8. JuliaA says

    This one means a lot to us! We have moved quite a bit over the past fourteen years, but our last move made us a bit nervous as we knew not a soul in this new city and in addition to that it is not known to be very welcoming to newcomers, to say the least. In less than a year after the move we had a wonderful community of people that we care about, spend a lot of time with and keep meeting new people of high caliber. Some of these people went out of their way to build a platform under our family. God has an abundance of resources to start anyone up in a new place!

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  9. Roxanne says

    Arthur,
    Thanks so much for continuing to write, I’m inspired by the way you press in and model life-giving for us. This blog is timely, may the Blessings of the Lord be extreme. ..al through out your life.
    ♡ y’all

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  10. martha123law says

    I have lived and breathed the Egyptian blessing, and am still continuing to do so. It was about 3 years ago I noticed a supernatural desire for literally strangers on the street to give things to me. Goods, services, large sums of cash, a car, a limo. Even stranger is how my enemies would give some of the biggest gifts. (because they later didn’t understand why they had given they labeled me a con artist etc) The struggle was like leaving Egypt to move her to South Arica, a tremendous story I will only share the fine details when in heaven. It genuinely appears that all heaven and all earth worked together. Now that I am out of Egypt strange phenomena of favour continue. Thousands of rands, instant social capital, new items purchased for us, used items The body of Christ seems is alert and seems to have been expecting our arrival. Something really great is about to happen. We bring His judgment to the nations, we bring good news of the rule and reign of His kingdom including all its fullness and splendour to earth. I wrote an African Pastor in a text message last night, I am so excited I feel pregnant. Please read my blog at kingdomeconomics101.wordpress.com
    Many blessings be to your Spirit of His peace and Joy from His Presence,
    from the woman in the green shirt

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  11. Margaret Tubb says

    Thank you. I am immensely encouraged, having ‘retired’ at the end of last year, on the Lord’s say so, very unexpectedly. Thanks too for delivering it … I’m Only 30 mins from LHR T5. God Speed! Margaret

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  12. Nicolette says

    Seems like I could never thank you enough. Standing at the crossroad of yet another RESTART, this prayer has God-timing, more than words can say. Excited to forge forward AGAIN, KNOWING by our own experience our Father’s ability to resource ALL He deems necessary and partnering with your EC/EB prayers every step of the way. Looking forward to meet you someday!!

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  13. Beth says

    This has Spirit all over it–tailored perfectly. Beautiful to be understood even without being known by you. He knows.

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