The Lion King

  • Sorry the recording didn’t start at the beginning of the message, I was having trouble with my microphone – Mike

 

This is what the Lord says— “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19

 

A couple of points about living in the past…

 

  1. People stuck in the past cannot move forward

 

Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!  I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law.  I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.

Philippians 3:4-6 (NLT)

 

  1. People living in the past cannot reach their potential

 

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.  Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. Philippians 3:7-9 (NLT)

 

Leave the past behind through…

 

  1. Confession

 

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. Philippians 3:13

 

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  James 5:16

 

  1. Forgiveness

 

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15

 

 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Creating Positive Change

The behaviours you “let in” become the behaviours you are “set in.”

 

Remember:  Time is not on your side & future you is just an exaggerated version of current you.

 

Two sure ways to kick start change…

 

  1. Learn enough that you want to
  2. Hurt enough that you have to

 

Three Necessary Things to Create Positive Change in Your Life…

 

  1. Take drastic action

 

So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant. 1 Kings 19:21

 

Newton’s First Law of Motion: “Objects will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force.”

 

  1. Plan for a steady progression.

 

An officer of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He used to pour water on the hands of Elijah.” 2 Kings 3:11

 

“Improvement doesn’t happen in a day, but it must be daily.” John Maxwell

 

  1. Enjoy the momentum.

 

Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring.  Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet. 2 Kings 13:20-21

Breaking the Dysfunction Cycle

“And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me, he’d grown up just like me—my boy was just like me.” Cat’s in the Cradle by Harry Chapin

 

God’s solution for dysfunctional families…

 

  1. Examine the problem.

 

We are all members of a dysfunctional family.

 

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. Ephesians 2:1-3

 

 

  1. Understand God’s Solution:

 

Jesus’ intervention broke the cycle of dysfunction.

 

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7

 

 

  1. Move beyond recovery

 

We need to give away what we now possess.

 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:8-10

 

Some of the typical behaviours seen in dysfunctional families:

 

Mind-games

  • Pretending to not hear you; moving the conversation the direction that suits them.
    • Completely ignoring you.
    • Walking out of the room when you walk in.
    • Creating allegiances and scapegoats.

 

Emotional blackmail

  • Guilt-trips.
    • Criticisms, blame.
    • Resentment.
    • Blocking opportunities to express emotion.

 

Verbal attacks

  • Direct Accusations (aimed at you).
    • Indirect Accusations (aimed at you via others).

 

Role shifting

  • Forcing sons and daughters into surrogate parent or sibling roles, such as parents looking for approval off children or passing responsibility to children for their issues.
    • Crossing boundaries such as making inappropriate requests, constantly asking for money or sacrificing personal time to fix their problems.
    • Burdening with worries, especially around health.
    • Sharing too much private information, such as confiding about their relationship with your mother or father.
    • Interfering and trying to control situations for example forcing your hand in decisions surrounding career, relationships or life, etc.

Why Won’t You Change?

The greatest problem of all, when it comes to broken relationships, may be the inability to change.

 

Every relationship you have has three levels:

 

  1. Spirit: is the first thing you “touch” in a relationship with another person.

 

  1. Soul: is made up of the intellect, will and emotions

 

  1. Body: if appropriate, a relationship enters the third level with appropriate touch

 

A general rule of thumb is: whatever dishonours another person usually closes their spirit.

 

Five Attitudes to Open a Person’s Spirit…

 

Attitude #1: Become soft & tender with the person.

Attitude #2: Understand what the other person has gone through

Attitude #3: Acknowledge the hurt and admit any wrongdoing

Attitude #4: Use gentle touch

Attitude #5: Seek forgiveness and wait for a reply

Forgiveness means to “release, set free, to untie.”