What are you seeking?
What you seek first, organizes everything else in your life? Jesus said it this way, seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these other things will be added to you.
- If I seek first freedom from pain, pain will be in control of my life.
- If I seek first freedom from poverty, poverty will be in control of my life.
- If I seek first freedom from addiction, addiction will be in control of my life.
- Are you seeking freedom FROM xxx (pain, addiction, hurts, behaviors...)?
When you seek first the Kingdom of God, then the Kingdom has power over your life to deal with the things you need to deal with.
Don't adjust the machine, until you've plugged it in. It needs a power source before you can adjust the settings.
Seeking first the KOG is about plugging into the power source.
How do we think about the things we think about?*3:40
How you perceive the world around you, and what you do with what you perceive.
As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Not WHAT a man thinks in his heart, but AS a man thinks in his heart. The way that we think, is the way we are.
Three levels of thinking differently
- Bad Definitions - *5:40 We were made for Freedom. Our soul pushes toward it.
- If our definition of Freedom is wrong, we'll labor for the wrong version of Freedom.
- If our definition of marriage is wrong, we'll labor toward the wrong version of marriage.
- The truth that sets people free is not having our facts and doctrine right.
We have a definition of freedom that is inaccurate, as the absence of something. If a prisoner thinks of freedom as the absence of bars, he's mistaken... because the bars got there for a reason.
If we think of freedom as the absence of something, we're already stuck. We don't define absence as the freedom of something, but the presence of someone.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. However far you allow the Lord in, your freedom increases. He'll go as deep as you let him.
It's now what you know, it's how you know it.
We're not looking to replace one thought for another, we're looking to replace the way you think.
Freedom is not when we have our facts or doctrine right, it's when we have our facts from the perspective of God himself.
Have you noticed that when God shows you something, it didn't change the circumstances, it changed you, and your perspective?
God always gives us what we need, but not always what we think we want. Often times our problem is that we don't see what we need and want from his perspective.
Kingdom Parable - The Parable of the Acrobat *5:30The kingdom of heaven is like an acrobat that fell off a wagon. A long time ago there was a troupe of acrobats, who was so phenomenal that they seemed to defy gravity itself. In this troupe of the greatest acrobats, there were the two acrobats greater than the rest, a man and woman. They fell in love, married, and had a child.
The troupe and parents began to think about the genetics of this child, and what he would be capable.
As they traveled, somewhere in the night, the baby fell out of the wagon... but no one noticed. The next morning, the mother reaches back to find touch him and finds him missing. She panics, the troupe panics, and they go back to find him. But after much searching, they cannot find him. Fear. Dread. Anxiety. Nothing, they cannot find him. They eventually had to move on, in great sadness.
They did not know that a farmer and his wife were traveling behind on the road. They were far enough behind they did not know about the wagon train. They were close enough to find the baby before wolves or bears found him.
Then fear set in the woman's heart, because she had given up hope of ever having a child. The farmer became a hard man, he would till the ground, do his duty, and that was all he needed to do. The woman would do her duty, but the home was cold. She filled with fear and anxiety, and he filled with anger and bitterness.
They couldn't find the parents of this child, so they took him home. The mother is fearful, trying to make the best of it. The father is frustrated, but accepts the child, or her need for the child. He's not happy to have the child.
- At the point the child fell from the wagon, was still an acrobat?
- Yes. Why? Because his DNA and Birthright determine who he is, not the trauma of his birth circumstances.
- When the farmer's wife lays him down in the farm house, is he still an acrobat?
- Yes. Why? Because his DNA and Birthright determine who he is, not the trauma of his birth circumstances.
The child becomes a toddler, his heart burns to climb to the heights of the furniture or curtains, he is fulfilling his DNA. But the mother is filled with uncertainty and fear. By age two he learns that if he lives out who he is, his mother pays a price. The father wanting to counter act his wife's fear, he gets angry at the child. He is now caught between the mother's fear and father anger.
As he grows he finds new ways to defy gravity, but gets wiser about when/where he tries it.
One day, he has found a way to counter balance and climb to the highest point in the house, the refrigerator. Just then, the mother and father both walk in. Mother in fear, snatches him down. Father in angry response to her fear, swats him. At the crescendo of their emotions, something happens in his little heart.
"I cannot be me, it's too high of a price."
- At that moment, was he still an acrobat?
- Yes. Why? Because his DNA and Birthright determine who he is, not the turnings of his heart, or leanings of his soul.
At ten, the farmer father takes him out to the field. His heart leaps at the new heights, trees, ropes from the barn, etc. The father redirects his eyes to the ground, "we've got work to do". The farmer also shows pride as he does good work.
He learns that he can not only avoid pain by not being who he is, but reward by being a different version of himself.
One day, he was distracted by the sights of things he could be climbing, his foot gets caught in a whole and he twists his knee. The farmer yells, "what's wrong boy?!", and he tries to pretend his isn't injured.
Over the years, he gets older. He meets other kids, but the frustration expresses itself through his muscles in fights. He gets a reputation of being a violent young man.
He's down at the feed store one day is a poster of an acrobat troupe. Something long forgotten leaps up within him, and he heads home to start the campaign to go see the acrobats. He wins the campaign, and they go.
Afterward, he's interviewing the acrobats, asking questions. The farmer and his wife stand to the side. They notice an older couple their age, dressed like acrobats, but they didn't see them perform. They strike up a conversation.... and over the course of the conversation, they each discover the boy belongs to this older acrobat couple.
As he comes back to the two couples, he finds out who he is the first time. All the struggles he's had all his life starts to take on whole new meaning. He's looking at the same things, but he's seeing them all with new eyes.
Then it dawns on him, what had already dawned on the adults. He has a choice. He could go home and stay a farmer. Or he could go and pack and go with the acrobats. He realizes there is something about the acrobats that resonates in him as true.
Jesus came to his own creation, but why? Did he come to educate, inform, correct? He came to his Father's sons and daughters, and to tell them they were not who they thought they were. I came that you might have LIFE, Your Life Abundantly. The LIFE he gave us in the beginning.
So what happened next? *41:23
He decides to go with them, and he's now lived with them a year, but he stinks at being an acrobat. He'd spent 17 years learning to farm, and kill his insides. He's starting to think he's not an acrobat after all. He doesn't know how to be like these other's who know how.
Maybe I'm a farmer after all. Maybe I should just go back to the farm.
Meanwhile, the other acrobat kids grew up in the shadow of the legend of the lost greatest acrobat. They want to see him fail, and they tease him.
The father kept looking him in the eyes, telling him he loved him, and saying "if you fall, just get back up, no problem".
Eventually, he found that he could hide and escape at the historians tent. He would go there and read. He discovers who his family is.
Eventually, his mother treats his ankle, it's painful to move in those ways, but he is eventually healed from it. But once the pain/limp is gone, his excuse to not produce is gone.
The stories in the historian's tent continued to entertain and distract until one day, he found himself in the story. The child of promise.
One day he over hears the parents talking. The parents were so glad to have him home, they don't care if he ever swings a trapeze. Their just glad to have him back/restored to them.
The acrobat child cannot believe they love him so much. He runs in and asks, how can you love me when I can't do what you want me to do? Why do you always send me to practice if you don't need me to be that?
"Son, I don't send you to practice for me. I send you for you, so you can be what you are. I love you if you ever perform or not."
He sees himself in his father's love for the first time. It makes him dizzy, confused... he wonders to the practice tent.
For the first time since he was two years old, the feeling in his chest explodes in him. He goes inside the tent, everyone else is gone. He's not working or striving, he not working to learn what he should know, he just starts to play and have fun. He is just being who he is.
A few months later, a crowd in watching as he is capable of greatness never before seen - because he learned to play and express who he is, instead of what he thinks he should be learning to do.
What hurts did you experience in life, and what lies did you believe as a result? What relationships or circumstances were you involved in that caused you to suppress your heart and true self, and what lies did you believe?
- Deaconess: Set a better example for the other (older) boys!
- Lie: I learned that I have to do the right thing, be responsible, even when nobody else does, even when I'm the younger one or under authority. I have to set the example for my under-reports, peers, AND, bosses. I always do the right thing, expected thing, publically.
- I'm the oldest, Devin (middle) is my middle brother. He was a screw up who didn't try to live right or do right, I was always the responsible one. We were three years apart. We were at McDonald's on vacation and walked up to a counter, he gets offered free stuff by the lady at the counter, while I (standing there with him) have to pay full price.
- Lie: It doesn't matter what I do or don't do, I will always pay full price, always have to work for my share.
- Starting very young, I learned that girls would pay attention to me and make me feel good physically and emotionally.
- Lie: I would seek women's attention and approval, and reject any that didn't give it, or gave it but I didn't believe them. It became a need. They needed to validate me, constantly to keep up. When they eventually tired of the constant need to reassure my fragile self, they'd eventually reject me. Or, if I felt I wasn't do well in their presence, that I couldn't get that validation from them, I'd reject them. Or, if I got that validation, but didn't believe or trust it, I'd reject them.
- Event(s) - Unknown: I learned that I'm not OK. There is something wrong with me, and I don't know what it is. I can't place it. I'm an outcast, odd, not normal. Maybe it was the spiritual visions and dreams, maybe my "nerd" side, but I always felt like a round peg in a square hole.
- Lie: You are NOT OK, be what they need you to be, but don't be you.