Least Among You – BT12
The Lord has shown me many other reasons to be like a little child to ‘see’ God’s kingdom
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Who are they that will inwardly horao observe/perceive-know/discern the kingdom of God? Those who are born again from above (a)! For more about discernment – see New Covenant Ways – BT16. But to “come into the kingdom” this way, you must become like a paidion little child (b). I find it strange that more people in ministry want to teach/preach to adults, and strive to do so as the “wise and learned,” but few are eager to minister to children nor do they find it amazing to ‘see’ what goes on in children ministries. At Christ United Methodist they sort of made fun of the quirky youth pastor the few times he took over for the regular pastor on vacation, but each time he did, his Spirit-led, spontaneous sermons about what the youth were experiencing absolutely plowed me! One time I thought I was going to fall to the floor and start balling because the Spirit was so strong! None of the polished, read-from-an-Ipad, entertaining sermons from the main pastor had any such effect! <Notes> a) John 3:3, b) Matthew 18:3; Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17.
We are invited to approach God in enteuxis prayer, which is an “an attitude of child-like confidence, trust, boldness, and freedom in approaching to God, especially to intercede for others” (a). Once again, we are to be like a little child in approaching God! The Law and Oral Traditions had many food laws to be holy, but Paul explains that “everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the logos [gospel] message of God and [also] by child-like confident enteuxis prayer” (b). After all, we really are dearly, unconditionally-loved children of the God (c) who rules the universe! We are the king’s kids! <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 2:1-2, b) 1 Timothy 4:4-5, c) John 1:12, 11:52, 1 John 3:2, 10, 5:2, Romans 8:17, 21, Philippians 2:15; Dearly unconditionally-loved by God: Ephesians 5:1, 1 John 3:1.
Little children are free to praise and worship! The adults stood back as Jesus entered Jerusalem as the King of kings, but it was the crowds of nepios little children and even thelazo breast-feeding infants that had perfected praise, shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (a). Of course, a multitude were also His disciples (b). Little children aren’t looking around wondering what people will think about them if they raise their hands, dance, skip, or even run with joy in the presence of the Lord. They aren’t blocked by their own pride! They are free to respond to the move of the Spirit on their heart. God gives grace to the humble!
I will never forget my old roommate Robert Block! I caught him regularly kneeling in prayer in his room more than anybody I’ve known. Every time he drove into the driveway He would be praising God to the radio. I went a few times to his Pentecostal church and he would get so fired up in worship that he would run like a mad-man in the Spirit along the wall to the front and back around the other side. He did not care what people thought! He was compelled by the Spirit. He drove a city bus and would lead one person after another to the Lord and divine healings would regularly happen. He didn’t care when City of Tucson told him he couldn’t do it. He found a more discrete way to do it. I think he just had the favor of God and Tucson was afraid of a religious discrimination lawsuit! <Notes> a) Matthew 21:16 citing Psalms 8:2, b) Luke 19:37-39.
Little children are free to dance before the Lord! In 2 Samuel 6:14, that’s exactly what King David did “with all his might.” Psalms 149:1-9 says: “Shine forth clamorous, foolish-looking, boastful, adoring praise to Yahweh (a)! Sing to the praise of (b) Yahweh a New Praise Song (c), His hymn of thanks-offering, honor, or praise (d) in the assembly of the godly! Let Israel brighten/cheer up/rejoice (e) in their Maker; let the children of Zion spin around with joy/rejoicing (f) or in the LXX: jump with exceeding joy (g) IN their King! Shine forth clamorous, foolish-looking, boastful, adoring praise to (h) or LXX: sing praises of thanksgiving to honor (o) His name with dancing, psalming (i) to Him with tambourine and harp/lyre! . . . Let the pious/saints to jump for joy/rejoice (j) in glory; let them shout and jump with exceeding joy (k) [even] on their sleeping beds. Let the lifted up praises (l) or height/high things (m) of God be in their throats . . . Shine forth clamorous, foolish-looking, boastful, adoring praise to Yahweh (n)!” Will we be like inhibited little children to shout and dance to the Lord like King David did without caring if we look foolish? <Notes> a) halal YHWH, allelouia, b) shiyr, ado, c) chadash shiyr, kainos atos – see Spontaneous Music d) t’hillah, ainesis, e) samach, euphraino, f) giyl, g) agalliao, h) halal, i) zamar, psallo, j) ‘alaz, k) ranan, agalliao, l) rowmam, m) LXX: uqwseiv, n) halal YHWH, allelouia, o) aineo.
Little children love to stay in joy! Joy is the most common “flavor” or “facet” of the singular fruit/essence of unconditional-love of the Spirit (a) and the kingdom (b) mentioned in the NT. It’s no coincidence that in the Greek joy is chara, grace is charis, and God’s gifts are charisma! They are all integrally related because they are from One God! The first thing I felt in all my Spirit-baptisms after overwhelming unconditional-love was overwhelming grateful tears of joy! Sometimes I’ve been so happy I had to jump around like a crazy man, shout praises into the desert, drum like a mad-man, or ride my bike to tell all my bible-study friends at the University of Arizona! The one thing kids love to do is play, play, and play! They love having fun! This is where God wants to take us! I’ve really felt this in my Spirit-practice-drumming – see this video. <Notes> a) Galatians 5:22; Acts 13:52; Romans 15:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:6, b) Matthew 13:44; Romans 14:17.
I once had a vision of a kid building a sand castle on the beach, his father watching with a smile as his son was lost in the joy and curious fascination of his project. When I looked back it was me playing my drums all those years as a kid and I saw The Father’s smile of pride and pleasure that there was no better place He would rather have me be as I was “lost in the zone of creativity.” However, throughout much of my childhood, even though I could feel intense joy and success in my drumming through so many bands from the time I was in 7th grade, I didn’t know it was God’s joy and success but claimed it for myself. It’s only been the last few years that I became aware that it was actually God’s joy He was sharing with me and that He was calling me into deeper fellowship through this.
On 8/5/2016 I had a God-dream: I was enjoying playing my childhood drum-set in my home’s carport. As I was, I saw what looked like a butterfly, colored and shining like the sun, coming into the carport, being attracted to my drumming. It was mesmerizing and I just wanted to watch it. It landed on a cymbal and I was compelled to play on it. Now I had mallets and I felt compelled to roll on it. I felt a kiddish joy! Then it moved to a tom and I felt compelled to play on it. More joy! It just kept moving and I kept chasing it because I was compelled by joy. This is exactly like Paul saying in 2 Corinthians 5:14 “For the unconditional-love compels/constrains/controls us” – see Surrender Control! We were like two children playing a “cat and mouse” game and I started laughing more and more – I didn’t want the game to stop, I was having the best time! Also, I was absolutely amazed at the skill of the drumming – I was watching myself in awe as the Holy Spirit was controlling me. God’s skill was given to me as I was lost I God’s joy!
Kids love to be spontaneous! It’s discouraging to hear what the world says: Christopher Sutton of Musical U says, “Learning to improvise is a long-term mission, one which will push you to your musical limits and then beyond,” and Sabrina Young echoes: “Like any musical skill, improvisation is not a magical gift. It takes practice and simply the art of doing – the more you improvise, the more confident and accurately you will play, and the more confident and accurate, the better you will improvise,” and James Stinton adds: “The ability to improvise music is not some magical prowess bestowed on a select few by a muse above. Rather, it is a skill that can be learned through practice.” However, Eric from “Jazzadvice” says, “Jazz improvisation is hard . . . and why that’s a good thing! . . . They (Jazz greats) had to go into their practice room every day and do their best to improve. And the truth is, you’re no different.” Everybody agrees it requires skill, but some say that little children can learn this early on in their musical experience. But others admit that it can be extremely complicated!
We have to remember that ALL of this is from the world’s viewpoint – their own earned “might and power!” Yet, you can see that some are baffled how little children without much “wise and understanding” skill can “learn this early on in their musical experience.” I’ve taught over 5000 students how to drum and I’ve seen so many young kids just blow your preconceptions out of the water! They can do FAR more than most people have trusting-relying-faith in! After a while I would stop parents from giving me a list of their kid’s deficiencies before their first lesson. It’s a very limiting filter! And if the Holy Spirit gets a hold of them, there is no stopping them, because they are the least inhibited, the humblest, and thus most open to the Spirit taking them wherever He wants to go! When I’ve prayed for them and prayed that God would give me insight on how to reach them, I’ve seen amazing results! Spontaneous playing is a piece of cake to God! Lord, make us free like little children to “Go with Your flow!”
Little children learn so much by just being curious, messing around, experimenting, discovering, and going on adventures. I don’t how many times the Lord has told me to “just let go and let God” to be like a little kid in a candy store again! Remember all the things we created with Lincoln logs, Erector sets, Legos, Hot Wheels, etc.? How about all the sand castles? How about all the bike rides? How about all the art and music we made? We need to go back to this!
Little children are relentless when it comes to Asking, Seeking, and Knocking (A.S.K.) until they receive, find, and have the door opened! I can’t remember how many times I tried everything to get to the cookie jar! There’s a hundred verses about A.S.K. in the NT and persevering in our trusting-relying-faith UNTIL we receive! One night as I was hanging on my inversion table for my back. When I came up each time, I thought I saw the words “Repentance” on the drum poster but I didn’t have my glasses on and things were blurry. I thought how odd! Is there something the Lord wants me to repent of? When I got off the machine and looked closer I saw that it actually said “Relentless.” Then I understood that God wanted me to repent about my defeatist attitude about prayer I was having and instead be relentless in my pursuit of Him. Several nights later I was grumbling to the Lord again, “Why do we need to relentlessly pursue You?” As I was drifting off, I heard Him tell me, “You must be like a little child to ‘see’ the kingdom of God.” So, I asked the Lord, “Why a little child?” Then the Lord showed me a little child pulling relentlessly on their parent’s clothes, persistently calling out UNTIL their request was granted. Then the Lord said, “That’s what I meant when I said, ‘If you, not being ‘good,’ do give grace-gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father, who is ‘Good,’ give you the Holy Spirit (a) to those who routinely ask Him?” (b). Then I understood, this is the Way to pray for “Thy kingdom to come, Thy will to be done on earth as it is already in heaven” (c). This is the Way to “routinely seek the Kingdom of God first” (d) – relentless like a little child! <Notes> a) ‘good grace-gifts’ in Matthew 7:11, b) Luke 11:13, c) Luke 11:2; Matthew 6:10.
Paul in 1 Corinthian 13:5 says that “Unconditional-love does absolutely in fact not add up a list of wrongs.” The one thing I noticed about little children is that they can’t do math, so they aren’t going to add much of anything up. They can also be crying their eyes out about some physical or emotional hurt and in an hour be laughing and playing again! It seems they are really great at forgiving and just “moving on!” There are 59 verses in the NT about forgiveness. It’s so important that we will forfeit our forgiveness from God if we refuse to forgive others (a) and thus is key to Christ’s prayer model (b). Unforgiveness can grieve the Holy Spirit (c)! Lord, make us like little children in keeping the shortest of accounts! <Notes> a) Matthew 6:15, 18:35; James 2:13, b) Matthew 9:12; Mark 11:25, c) Ephesians 4:30-32.