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Levi Lusko - Getting Back To Neverland

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We are in a series of messages, a collection of talks that we've called "Once a Man, Twice a Child". And the series, if you're just jumping in now, is all about the seasons of life and what to do about them. If the series was a meme, it would be this one. This is the series in meme form, right here. And we're talking about the way that, by the end, you kind of come full circle and you end up back where you started. Shout out to Logan and our Great Falls campus for discovering this beautiful gem here. But this week, we're going to talk about how to have a childlike faith. That's the talk today. We talked last week about how, in many ways, we're not supposed to be like a child. 1 Corinthians 13, I'm prefacing this so you don't hear my sermon and go, wait, you're conflicting yourself. You're contradicting yourself. No, there's tension in Scripture. There's tension in our lives. And so many of us are trying to navigate tension. More and more, I realize that we're not trying to get rid of tension. Tension can be your best friend. How are you going to get stronger without tension?

So tension is good. We can't get rid of tension this side of heaven, we just need to learn how to leverage that tension. So here's the tension that everyone will acknowledge. We're not supposed to be like a child, but we are supposed to be like a child. OK. OK. Clear as mud, right? Yeah. We're not supposed to be like a child in the childishness of foolish living. It's foolish to be like a child in some ways, but now we're looking at the other side of that coin, and we're seeing and we're going to discover that God wants us to be childlike in our faith, childlike in a lot of ways, in the best possible sense of the word. Title of my message is "Getting Back to Neverland". Come on. Shove your neighbor. Say, you're doing it, Peter. You're doing it, Peter. That's such a flashback right there, Rufio, all that. "Getting Back to Neverland," Mark, chapter 10, "Once a Man, Twice a Child," part four. I hope you come back next week, because it's going to be really good as we talk a little bit about the twilight years, about being in that season of life where your kids are out of the house and that season of life where resources open up and time opens up and really how to have a strong fourth quarter, right? That's what we want to believe God for.

And so I hope you'll come back next week as we talk about what to do when you're seasoned and how important that time is and how pivotal that time is and how much God wants to do in your life in those days. Mark, chapter 10, here's what it says. Do you guys like the Bible? Just making sure I'm at the church. Everybody excited about the Scripture? Are we good? All right. Because I'm so excited about this Scripture, and I just want to make sure that I shouldn't just leave now and go find a church of people who are excited, because I'm fired up, level 10. OK. major. "Then they brought little children to Him that He might touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased, and He said to them, let the little children come to me and do not forbid them for of such is the Kingdom of God". That's important. "Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it. And He took them up in Him arms, laid His hands on them and blessed them".

Jesus loves children, and He loves the childlike faith when He finds it in a person of any ages. And that's why, when in the middle of His Bible study, He was interrupted by a bunch of parents who wanted to ask a favor of Him, and the favor was, will you bless my kids? And when that happened, His disciples rushed in, well-intentioned as they were, to stop this. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Get those nasty kids out of here. Get those stinky kids out of here. He's get more important things, that's why when that happened, Jesus was not pleased. Now side note, parenthetically speaking, parents, you should bring your kids to Jesus. If you do anything, at the top of the list of parenting goals, put in all caps, font 16, italicized, underlined, highlighted, bring my kids to Jesus. That your heart, if it beats for anything, should inform how you strategize, how you spend your time, how you spend resources, how you spend your life. It should be a goal to seek the blessings of God for your kids. Like, what do you want for your kids? I want them to be successful. That's great. I want them to go to school. OK. I want them to, I want them, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, but just let, above all of that, be you want them to walk in the blessings of God in their life.

That you want your kids to be brought to Jesus. That you would hope your kids would, not religious kids, not a certain political bend, above anything else, that you would say, I want my kids to be brought to Jesus. I want my kids to know Him. I want my kids to love Him. I want my kids to walk in His plan for them. I want my kids to seek first the Kingdom of God, knowing that these things would be added unto them. Bring your kids to Jesus. I think, honestly, and this isn't a condemnation thing for you older kids, because you don't have a time machine. I don't have a time machine. Can we agree on that? I'm not here to bash you for your past. I'm here to fight for your future, OK? But if you have a young child, baby who's born into your life, what should you do? I'm telling you, you should get up on the Fresh Life stage with your campus pastor and you should dedicate that child to God. I'm telling you, if you're a single mom, get up here as a single mom. We'll be your family. If you're a single dad, get up here. We'll be your family. You're an adoptive parent? Get up here. We'll honor you. We'll love you as you seek to love that child and say, I'm going to raise that child. Is it weird circumstances? I don't care. We'll be the people of God in your weirdness. You're not weirder than us, trust me. We're all just be weird together, but we're going to say, as for me in my house, come on, somebody. We are going to serve the Lord. There's gotta be that in you.

It's so important that you dedicate your children to God, but it's not just lip service of the dedication, that it's a day-in and day-out struggle that you're going to fight. It's fighting the good fight. And you know what? The thing is about a fight, its not like you just win in the first round. Well, I dedicated them. Well, they were consecrated to the Lord at birth. OK, what about Tuesday. You know what I'm saying like? How does this work it's way into your life? You go down in the second. You get up in the third. You get back up. You get back up. You get back up. And I'm going to tell you something, when that's a priority, because there's a lot of things pulling at our time, soccer and this thing and the ballet and the football and all of that, but when we make that decision, no, no, we're going to be planted in God's house. We're going to gather together.

The average Fresh Life family attends one to two times per month, but I'm telling you, if you worked out one to two times a month, you would not see gains, and that's why some of us are not seeing spiritual gains. And if you're not in a small group, you're not going to see that difference. If you're not tithing, you're not going to see your heart in God's hands like He wants it to. He said, where your money goes, your heart goes. You're like, I'm trying the religious thing, but my heart's not going. Is your money going? You se what I'm saying? When you make the decision, as for me in my house, how we spend our time, how we spend our money, I'm going to make it happen for my student to be at student group. I'm going to make it happen for my student to be at the student events. I'm going to make it happen. Camp is not easy. I have to move some stuff around, but I want revival in my generation. I want to see God move. I want to see this happen. I got saved at camp. I believe so much in stuff like that. And I just wonder, is God a priority in your family or an afterthought? Because your kids know based on how life actually works. Do they see you reading your Bible? Do they see you praying? Are you praying together?

These things are so essential. And let me speak from my pain for a minute. Jennie and I, in the reality and the brutality of life, having to walk through the burial of one of our children and have to go through loss like that, in that moment when our daughter Lenya went to heaven, the first thing that came into my mind, that popped into my head was standing on this platform in front of our church family and holding Lenya up, and saying to God, she's Yours. And in front of the people of God, we promised to raise her in God's house and to know Jesus. And we said, she's Yours all the days of her life. Now, we thought those were going to be a lot more days than they were, but it gave us such great comfort to come full circle when she went to heaven and say, all the days of her life, we did our best to raise her in God's house. And we promised she was Yours, and now that she's gone back to You, our race has been run here as her mom and dad. And that gives such a tremendous sense of peace. So be like the parents in this story. Bring your kids to Jesus. Because what did Jesus do when the parents brought them? He blessed them. He blessed them.

Look at verse 16 more time. What does it say in verse 16? This is the last verse of the text we read. It says, "He took them up in His arms. He laid His hands on them, and He blessed them". Gave them a big, old bear hug and said, may God bless you. May God keep you. May God make His faith to shine upon you and give you peace. How many parents lived in Capernaum? How many parents lived in the surrounding villages whose kids did not get blessed that day? All the ones that didn't ask for it. Let me tell you something. You can have as much of God as you want. Your children, they can have as much of God's blessing on them as you are willing to seek God for them to have and to make it a priority to see those things. We can position ourselves under God's blessing that is always pouring out to receive it and walk in it. Do you receive that? That's not even my sermon. That's just bonus material, all right? This is the mixed tape, all right. The sermon continues now. All right, so Jesus, when the disciples tried to get in the way of Him blessing some of these kids, the text says He was greatly displeased. Did you catch that? Greatly displeased, that's not strong enough. Another translation shed some light on his true reaction when it says "Jesus was irate and let them know about it".

He was irate and let them have it. Man, they got an earful on that day. What did he tell him? He said don't push these kids away. Don't you ever get between me and them. Dang. Don't you ever get between them and me. Someone say, mama bear, right? Don't you get between me and these kids, because the disciples thought, get the youth out of here so we can get back on track with this movement that you're trying to get going here because that's powerful. What they didn't know is what Jesus was building was a youth-led movement, and that is at the very heart of the Kingdom of God, both youth and those with a youthful spirit. It's a childlike faith. It's a youth-led movement. It's the heart of a child. This sermon in just one sentence is the most grown up thing you can do is not act so grown up. The most grown up thing you can possibly do is to not act grown up. Why is that? Don't miss this, because the height of maturity is the heart of infancy. You want to be mature? I want to be mature. The height of maturity is to have the heart of a baby, you see?

GK Chesterton once said something that kind of shows us why God likes kids. Here's why, because maybe they remind Him of Him. They remind Him of Him. Look what he said. He said, "God has the eternal appetite of infancy, for we have sinned and grown old and our Father is younger than we". That's heavy. You mull that over for a second. The moment we sinned, we invited death in. We began to age. So we were timeless. We were eternal. We were always going to live, but sin brought death, and so we immediately began to get old. But God has remained like we were meant to be, forever young. So you could say, so far as aging goes, our Father is younger than we. And the gospel invitation is to become babies again, to start a brand new life that has no end and to be young at heart like He is. It's beautiful. I jotted down five things that we should admire in the heart of a child and aspire to live out in our day-to-day lives. I hope you'll jot them down, take them to heart. The first is creativity. Kids are, would you agree with me, endlessly creative. Did you ever look at a kid and just go, man, you're so creative.

I came home the other day, drove home the other day. And when I pulled up to our house, my daughter, Daisy, she's eight. She was in the front yard and she was wrapping yarn around one of our trees. And I said, Daisy, what are you doing wrapping that yarn around the tree? She goes, no. I'm taking it off. I'm like, OK. OK. Why do you want the yarn in the tree? She goes, so many reasons. And I sat there for a second, and I tried to see anything. And I was so disappointed in myself for my inability to see anything that she saw. She saw not just one thing, she saw so many things. There were so many. I felt so dumb. But then I got to thinking about how if seven-year-old Levi was there, he would join right in with her, and he would see so many things, because I used to be creative like that. Now I have to work hard at it to even get there.

Pablo Picasso, he explained it well when he said, look at it, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain one once we grow up". Creativity is quintessentially childlike. Children, they see the world this way. For us, it's a muscle we have to flex. It's a muscle we have to flex, and it's going to get better the more you use it. But for a child, it's intuitive. That's their worldview. Creativity is how they see the world. I can prove it to you. The child's heart sees the entire world as a blank page that needs to be marked on, and that's why all kids write on walls. I'm not saying you should support that. OK, Johnny, do you want to do. But I am saying, the next time you see it happening, it should help you understand why. And there's things within that activity that should be tweaked but not cut off, because what they're doing is something creative. What they're doing is something beautiful. What they're expressing is the heart of God put within them that looks at the world as a blank page and that needs to be marked on. Because every child is an artist.

And we, when we tap into that creativity, though we are older than our Father, when we act young at heart by choosing creativity, listen to me, we become like God. We become like God. For to return to creativity is to become like the One who made us. In fact, the fifth word of the Bible, the fifth word of the entire Bible is the word "create". "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth". so you can't make it five words into the Scriptures without finding that our God's heart bristles with creativity. He sees everything as a giant canvas that He needs to paint on, wants to draw on, wants to create, wants to improve. And that's within you, by the way. It may be small, like the Grinch's heart, three sizes too small, like his shoes or whatever, but let me just tell you something. It's there. It's there in all of us, and I can prove it to you.

The Scripture says God formed us of the dust of the Earth and then breathed His own spirit into us. And then after the fact, it says, so we were made in His image, and we were made in His likeness. And who is He? He's the one who always creates in the beginning, God, what did He do? Created. Jesus, first miracle, what did He do? He shows up. Very first thing He does, He creates wine out of water. He takes water, turns it into wine, not just any wine. The Bible says this wasn't win out of a box guys, right? The Bible says when the master of the feast tasted it, he said it was the best wine he had ever had, and he was surprised they would be serving it at the end of the feast. Serve that at the beginning, then when the evening flows on and people aren't quite so discerning, then you could slip a little bit of the cheaper stuff. They won't even care, right? He was surprised, Jesus can't help Himself. He always creates, and He always creates the best art.

And I think that we have to choose this. We have to choose this, to choose the heart of an artist, to believe that we were created by a creator in order to create. You are a work of art I don't know if anybody every told you that. The Bible says you're God's handiwork. You're His masterpiece. You are a work of art, but what you must choose to do is to view your work as art. Now, you might reject that. I'm not one of those artistic people who don't pay their bills, who have bad sense of cleanliness and hygiene and don't ever sleep. I'm not an artist. No, you are, because you were created in the image and likeness of an artist. But what you need to do is accept a less narrow, rigid view of art for you can paint with business tools. You can paint with spreadsheets. You can paint with organization. It's to look at something and see something that's never been done before.

What are the founders of Warby Parker if not artists, who took the experience of going to an eye doctor and paying hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a limited option set of frames and having to make a decision right there on the spot to how about at-home try-on? How about five pairs that you get to keep for a couple days, show all your friends, post some selfies with. For free, send the rest back and only keep, for $100, the ones you want to have. That's art. What's Casper Mattress? The mattress store experience, wow, that's like right up there with root canal, right? I'm going to lie on this bed in front of random people watching me pretend to be comfortable. Or how about 100 nights for free in your house? If you don't like it, it's gone. Gross, gross, you're saying. I don't want to buy one that, no, no, no, no. If you don't like it, they send someone to pick it up, to take it to a thrift store, and they pay for it. 100 nights free. Comes out of this little box. You cut these zip ties. This thing comes out like a transformer. That's art.

What's Tesla? It's art. Someone looking at what has traditionally been a terrible experience, buying a car. No offense to auto salesmen, but repent, right? Because you all make us have so much anxiety, and we know you're tricking us from the moment we step on the lot. And it's all this thing, and let's go sit in a terrible office, because that will make you die, right? And what are they doing? What is Mercedes-Benz doing when, if you have a loved one die, they are willing to take the lease and terminate it? When almost any auto manufacturer in the country will not do that. Someone dies, the bereaved has to pay for the lease till it's done. Mercedes-Benz says, they've died, we're going to let you out of this commitment here. That's art. I'm telling you, you can paint with paint, you can paint with numbers, you can paint with words, you can paint with music. It's choosing to view what you do as art. Showing up as a PE teacher and say, this is going to be a masterpiece. I'm going to show up as a scientist. This is going to be art.

What's happening with CRISPR, it's art. I'm telling you, it's choosing to view whatever you do as art, because you were created in the image and likeness of a creator so you could create. And you're at your best when, like a child, you have that heart of an infant, and you look at the entire world and you go wrap some yarn around some trees. Creativity. Secondly, curiosity. How are we going to be like kids? You've got to start asking some questions, because if there is one thing that little kids know how to do it is ask you some questions. Can I get an amen in the house of God? Amen. OK. All the questions, all the questions, having a kid is, no one ever told me this. Basically, having a kid is like being interrogated all the time. All the time, what's that? Why do you do that? Why is that happening? Why would they do that? Why would they wear that? Why would she need that like? Like, loudly. Like someone walks by with a cane. Well, that's weird. Why would they, they're broken. Their body's broken. Quiet, quiet, quiet, right?

So all the time, they're questioning. But think about it, they're trying to learn everything. What are they trying to learn? Approximately all the things. Just drop a human being in the midst of everything. Of course, they have to ask questions. Let's go to bed. Why do you I have to go to bed? They don't understand what sleep does for their body. Why can't I stand on the counter holding a knife? They don't understand the implications of falling and stabbing. And when you're a really little kid, you have to ask questions, because you don't know the name of anything. What's that? What's that? My oldest daughter, Alivia, when she was really little, she called all horses cows. She stopped asking questions, because she thought she knew. So we had to let her know. No, that's not a cow. Cow. That's not a cow. Cow. That's not a cow, right?

But think about how brilliant, they're trying to learn an entire language, meanwhile, balancing the craziness of trying to walk and stuff, right? But curiosity is what gets them to do everything. If a child's is not curious, why would they need to walk? They could just sit right there. Well, everything I'm seeing right here is all I ever need. The need to crawl is I'm curious about what's over there. I'm curious about that. I see you guys walking around on those two legs. How do you do that? So when I see my son, he's just a little bit over one now, and he stands there. And it's impressive, because the child doesn't have any ankles. His calves connect to his feet.

It's the craziest thing I've ever seen. Everything we put on him is a skinny jean, right? No, these are actually baggy sweat pants. Nope. Spandex, right? And him standing, you just see these giant pillars just quaking. Because he's curious. Like, what's that over there? Da. Ah. I'm trying to get him to howl like a wolf. That's my biggest goal right now. He'll go ooh. You're warping the young child. I know. But he's going to learn. He's in the process of learning English. It's not really looking real good right now. But how hard do we have of learning a new language? You learned one, and had you grown up in Russia, you would speak perfect, flawless Russian right now. Think about it. Whatever language you've ever tried to speak, if you had just been born there, you would speak it flawlessly. You had to, as a child, figure out, learning zero languages to learning one. That's crazy.

So to go back to a child is to be curious and to ask more questions. You know what's crazy? I've discovered, having, by God's grace, been allowed to be in some crazy situations and around some people that there's no reason I should be around them. I've been around some really successful people. And what I've discovered, the common trait, if there is one, is that the more successful the person, the more questions they ask. The more inquisitive their spirit. And I've gone into some of these situations and settings, leadership summits, and events. And I've gone into backrooms, knowing who was going to be there, knowing I've read their books, and I have memorized their talks, and I have watched them on Ted Talks. And I go in there, and I'll be like, I am going to ask 100,000 questions. And I leave, and I realize, oh, my gosh. I didn't get to ask one, because they spent the entire time asking me questions. Why? Because they're hungry. That's why they're successful, because they're never satisfied with what they know.

Have you stopped asking questions? Have you stopped bombarding the world and your craft and your art and your trade and your life and parenting? Are you wanting to learn? Those who want to learn, do. Those who don't have any questions to ask, guess what? They don't get any answers. The same is true spiritually. In fact, didn't Jesus say, this is in Matthew's gospel, I think, the 11th chapter. He said "at that time, Jesus answered and said, I thank You Father, Lord of heaven and Earth", look at this, "for you have hidden these things from the wise and the prudent", those who think they know everything, you've hidden the best stuff from them, "but You've revealed them to babes". The height of maturity, the heart of infancy. Those who are like a babe goes what's that? What's that? What's that? Someone asked me one time, how do you write sermons? You know what I do? I open the Bible, and I go what's that? What's that? What's that? I'm a cow. The guy's like, no. What's that? I just ask, you should see my notes when I start a sermon. It's going to happen again tomorrow. When this one's done, it's a new one.

And you know what? There's going to be 1,000 questions at the new talk. 1,000 questions, questions, questions. God, why? God, why? I'll read books to go, why, why, why? I'm going to call friends, I'm going to text friends, why, why, why? I'm asking questions, because I want to know. I'm not preaching two years ago sermon notes. I'm asking God new questions for new seasons for new truths, because He hides things from those who think they're wise, but He reveals His best stuff to those who stay curious. OK, flip side of it, the parent side of it, you being asked questions by your kids is a heavy responsibility, because it points them to a direction of should they ask more or should they ask less? Didn't John Lennon one time say, it's always a good, casual quote in church, right, John Lennon, he said, "every child is an artist until he's told he's not one".

What do your kids pick up on when they bombard you with questions, nuisance or necessity? That they should keep questioning, keep questioning. Are you annoyed by their questioning, or are you fueling it? Are you given them pat answers, or are you at times, here's some of the best stuff to every say to your kids. I have no idea. Let's ask Alexa. That's 94% of the conversations in our house, right? Now the kids do an end run. They don't even ask me. They just go straight to her. Little bit offended. But the truth is, is say, I don't know. Let's pray about that. Let's try and look at the Bible. I mean, we should call someone. Let's google it together. Let's figure this out. I don't know everything, but I love the question. I love that spirit. There is not a stupid question. Let me tell you something, curiosity kills cats but it helps people a lot. To stay curious and to always, like North Face says, never stop exploring.

There's a third thing, and the third thing is empathy. Jot that down. We need to, if we're going to be like kids, be empathetic. Have you noticed that kids are brilliant at reading people. Have you noticed that kids can instantly sense, that person's sad. Mommy, why are you crying? Why are you sad? They're really good at reading people, like Jesus, who is a master of being around someone and sizing them up and knowing where they were at and knowing how to best engage with them. And you see empathy in kids, even from almost infancy. I was reading about a study that was done this week. I was reading this week about a study that was done, and it was about babies. And basically, they found that, they didn't think this was true, but babies have empathy almost immediately from birth. They would take an infant and they would expose it to the crying sounds of another baby, and often times, the baby would join in, crying out of empathy. That was their only way to say, I feel your pain, bro. This is cray, cray. It's so bright.

I want to go back to the giant hot tub my life used to be. We were all eating out of our bellybutton. We had no pants on. Now it's cold. It's bright. We've got pants on. My food line's been severed, unceremoniously, at best, right? The dad's cranking down it. They didn't tell me it was like thick beef jerky. You know what I'm saying? That sucker, I was like, oh, I'm gonna snip it. You know, like in the movie, like a ribbon cutting. And it was like, oh, my gosh. I should've brought my Leatherman. You know what I'm saying? This is crazy. Some wire snips or something, I mean, this is like the skin of a gar fish. And so anyhow, anyhow, the baby commiserates out of empathy with the other baby. But get this, it wasn't the same if they played other loud sounds for the baby or even if they played to the baby recordings of himself crying. He wasn't fazed by that nearly as much as knowing there's a baby in distress.

The University of Chicago did studies on older kids, found the same thing. They even put the older kids in MRIs and exposed them to sounds of other children in distress. And they saw in the brains resonating distress over another child being uncomfortable. What does that tell you? That tells you that this empathy is not just nurture. It comes from nature. In fact, the one study I read said it seems to be hard-wired into us. And in fact, that was from God, who put that into us so we would care about how other people are doing. Kids are really good at cheering you up and coming into your arms and knowing when you need a hug and knowing when you need, and listen, we as parents should foster that in our own hearts but also in our families. So let me ask you this? What are you doing? What is on the schedule, what's on the radar to expose your kids to those who are in distress and to be a part of the solution?

When there's opportunities that are abundant to bring your kids around homeless shelters, to bring your kids around food banks, or bring your kids, let me tell you something. If you go to this church, opportunities like that are abundant every single month. Every single month, our Fresh Life groups are going to serve our outreach partners and those who are underprivileged and those who are in need. And there are opportunities all around us for our families to be exposed to need. Now, I understand that I'm not preaching to everybody in the same exact space, and so I am preaching right now to some families who are in need. And so I want to acknowledge that, but let me also say some of us are living a life of God's blessing, and there's not a single thing wrong with that because that allows us to be positioned and postured to make a difference for those who are in need, all right? But to those who are walking in God's blessings, if the worst thing your kid goes through in the last couple of weeks is the internet's slow, you know what I'm saying, it can be bougie and this kind of first world problems, but when you're exposing them to things that will trigger natural empathy, and you're actually ramping up together as a family what you can do about that, I believe that is so tapped into the heart of our Father in Heaven.

So empathy, be like a child. There's a fourth and it's simplicity. Simplicity, I wrote this down, because it's a synonym of simplicity, it's unpretentious. I mean, little kids are not pretentious. They're not putting on a show. They're not trying to, they just call it like it is. WYSIWYG, software developers would say, what you see is what you get. Kids aren't great at filtering everything they say. Well, the other day, it was like nine years ago, one of my daughters said to Jennie, what are you doing? She said, I'm putting makeup on. And she goes, you should put more on. She's all, like, what? She wasn't filtering what she said. It just came to her, so she said it. There's a beauty to that. Of course, we have to direct that into the appropriate channels and all of that, but at the same time, there is a way in which that's good, that there's not guile. It's good that they're not trying to keep up appearances. And that is why kids are so comfortable being naked.

Have you noticed that? Little kids, man, they are very comfortable in their own skin, and they don't care. I feel like being naked, quite frankly. And of course, I'm not supporting public indecency, but what I am saying is that when we were kids in the Garden of Eden, before we started to get old, there was a high level of comfort being naked. In fact, one of the first things that happened when we sinned was we started to cover up our nakedness, and we started to be ashamed. And we started to try and put up a front in how things were going on the inside, which was bad. We started to hide from the world with this Facebook post that makes our life look like we have it all together, fig leaves. And I think God wants us to get back to a sense of being transparent, of being real with Him and with others about how things are really going.

And let me just tell you something, if you're going to live out the first point and be creative, you have to have this high level of comfort being naked. Because the first time someone articulated the dream of a business that was going to change the world, it seemed stupid until it wasn't. And the first time someone said, well, here's my idea. Here's this art. When you show a piece of art to somebody, you are putting yourself out there, and the easiest thing is to jump back into the Henry Ford Model T Industrial Revolution kind of new way of living, where you can have any color Model T to you want so long as it's black. And that's unfortunately, what we're living in a little bit. And we're seeing so many examples of people breaking out of this, where art can look like a lot of different things. And a beautiful new idea doesn't have to be exactly like it was done before. And the world is waiting to see people do insurance differently and to see people do real estate differently and the Zillows and the Houses and then all these different things.

There are people saying this has been done before, but let's look and see if there's not something new in this, if there's not a new way to do an old, tired thing. Because the devil wants you to trade the art and the beauty for logic and reasonableness, everything being sensible. And if it hasn't been tried before there's probably a reason, so we shouldn't do it. But the heart of a child see something that hasn't been done before and says, maybe God saved it for me. Maybe God saved it for me. And I'm so passionate about this, because there was a day when what you're right now stepping into, you're 11 in a First Life church. Maybe it wouldn't have ever happened, because just a week and a half into this thing, someone looked me into the eyes, came to our church for the first time, looked me in the eyes after attending a worship experience, we called them services back then, and they said to me this, this will never work. This that you're trying to do, I see what you're trying to do. It's never going, they spoke that to me. And I had to choose to have the defiance of a child and say a little bit of that kind of spiritual, just you wait, because God has a plan. But I had to be comfortable being naked and not fake it and do the dream that everybody else has had before. And let God do something brand new. There has to be that simplicity.

One last thing, we'll end here, I believe there also needs to be a vulnerability. You have to own your vulnerability if you're going to be like a child. Because Jesus chose an analogy, babes, that's at the heart of the kingdom, heart of an infant. What is a baby, a baby human, if not vulnerable? A baby human is about the most vulnerable thing you could possibly imagine. I mean, a baby horse, dude, they're walking, day one. It's clumsy, and they're kind of like walking off. It's unbelievable to see a baby giraffe get up and walk day one. It takes a human the better part of a year to get to where animals start out on day one. Babies are fragile, vulnerable, helpless, in grave danger if not for the parents stepping in and keeping them safe. Lions join the hunting party at 11 months, and at two years, lion males are forced out of the pack to form their own pride.

Now humans, there are some 32-year-olds not ready to leave the pack and join their own pride, and we talked about that. See last week's podcast, right? It's called adulting. But the analogy Jesus chose is not flattering for us, but it is important for us to take to heart. If we're going to own this childlike thing, we also have to come to grips with the sense of humility he wants us to live with. Because a baby is dependent on the mom and the dad for everything, and that's why, as a child begins to grow up, one of the symptoms of adolescence is this growing independence that has autonomy in mind. What do I mean? When you're a little kid, you want mom or dad to help you with everything. You want me to help you with that? Please. They come to you. Brush my teeth. They come to you. Tie my shoes. They come to you. They're saying to you, I'm helpless. That's the heart of a child. The heart of a baby is to say to mom and dad, I am helpless. Do everything for me, OK?

Now, as the child grows, they start to realize, the less I need from you, in their mind at least, the less I need to listen to you. Because if I need you, I also need to listen to you. So kind of, it's like, no, don't help me with that. No, don't help me with that. Because they're growing more and more, coming to a place where they're getting ready to come out on their own. And they're getting ready to be in a place where they don't have to listen to you. So in the analogy, to claim our dependence is to own up to our need for obedience. And I think any reticence in our hearts to acknowledge that we're babies is because we want to hang on to our independence. And if there is a God, and if we do need Him for our next breath, and if we can't get to heaven without Him, and if we can't be whole apart from Him, then we also need to humble ourselves as children and say, Your will be done in my heart as it is in heaven. If I need you, I also need to listen to you.

I wanted to close with a quote from one of my favorite authors, CS Lewis, who wrote the popular books The Chronicles of Narnia, which pro tip parents, reading this through with your kids would just be so fantastic and fabulous and family. I came across this quote that really says everything I was trying to say in this talk, and it also really does a good job of dealing with the balancing of the tension from last week's talk to this one, and we'll close here. He said, "when I was 10, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. But now that I'm 50, I read them openly. When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up". You see, church, the most grown up thing you can do is to not be so grown up. Amen?
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