Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dallas Notes: How to Step into the Kingdom and Live There (February 22, 2013)

This was a talk Dallas gave at the February 2013 Dallas Willard Center "Knowing Christ Today" conference in Santa Barbara, California.

IVP has made them available on a DVD called Living in Christ's Presence: Final Words on Heaven and the Kingdom of God and this is talk three.

Seeking is the key to entering and living in the KoG
God wants to be wanted and sought
the promise is never to half-hearted seeking
[whole-hearted seeking takes humility]
we have to want the Kingdom more than anything else
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength
Seeking: looking everywhere [like when I lost my wallet]
Look for it to be present and in action and to identify yourself with that action
[like Experiencing God]
especially in face to face relationship w/ another person
the most important people are the ones closest to us. we can bless them
it's only in seeking that we're pulled out of who we were and into who we can be in the freedom of Christ
we do not change quickly and seeking is designed to pull us as quickly as we can stand it (including allowing those around us time to respond to our change)

2 Chr 15. 4, 15 (context below)
4 but when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them
15 And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around.

God is active in this process and we will not find Him until He is ready to be found of us
Seeking allows us (and those around us) to grow and change
allows us to grow into the kind of people who can receive X into our lives
[and maybe more of X...]
[they thought 'fencing the Torah' would fulfill God's demands for righteousness. but it did not. in fact, it made them less righteous by their legalism and the idolatry thereof. so when Jesus attacked the fence and their legalism and their hearts and said their method didn't work, they became homicidal. They had to kill Him.]
Beyond the righteousness of the scribe and the Pharisee is where we experience the Kingdom
we have to believe in X, and believe X, and believe what He believed

Joshua 1.8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

the Law is designed to line us up with the KoG

Psalm 1
1 Blessed is the man[a]
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law[b] of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
    but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked will perish.

All that is good is God in action
we are called to want the Kingdom more than anything else, like the pearl of great price or the treasure hidden in a field.
--how do i see the Kingdom that way? please help me, Lord.
what is defeating me?


there are so many passages on seeking the Lord, it's crazy
http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=seek&version1=ESV&searchtype=all&limit=none&wholewordsonly=no

Deuteronomy 4:29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.

1 Chronicles 28:9 “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever."

2 Chronicles 7:14  If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Psalm 27:4 One thing have I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
    and to inquire in his temple.

Psalm 63:1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Isaiah 55:6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call upon him while he is near;

Jeremiah 29:12-13 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and [its -- Dallas says] righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Colossians 3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Ps 105 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
    make known his deeds among the peoples!
2 Sing to him, sing praises to him;
    tell of all his wondrous works!
3 Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
4 Seek the Lord and his strength;
    seek his presence continually!
5 Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
    his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
6 O offspring of Abraham, his servant,
    children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

2 Chronicles 15
The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded, 2 and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law, 4 but when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. 5 In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. 6 They were broken in pieces. Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every sort of distress. 7 But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”

8 As soon as Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded, he took courage and put away the detestable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities that he had taken in the hill country of Ephraim, and he repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the vestibule of the house of the Lord.[a] 9 And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were residing with them, for great numbers had deserted to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. 10 They were gathered at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11 They sacrificed to the Lord on that day from the spoil that they had brought 700 oxen and 7,000 sheep. 12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, 13 but that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman. 14 They swore an oath to the Lord with a loud voice and with shouting and with trumpets and with horns. 15 And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around.