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December 14, 2021 5:00 am
If you found yourself in a dark place sometime through this pandemic. Can you really wonder what does it look like to trust God.
How does that actually work. Stay with me.
I'm going to share my journey in a journey that I shared with the group of people who are going to even worse times and you don't want to miss today's broadcast. Welcome to this edition of living only with Chip Ingram.
The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians, the Bible teaching of an event will conclude our new series, what now, what next in this program you will hear a message Chip originally assured with a group of pastors struggling during one of the toughest parts of the pandemic. But the truth you're focused on them is still relevant for all of us when we experience hardship before we begin. If you've been encouraged by this series would you make time after this program assured with a friend, either through the chipping roadmap by downloading the free MP3 set LivingontheEdge.org. Here's Chip with his message trust technology Jesus said I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. And contrary to what a lot of people might think he's moving he's building he's refining his church right now and he's taking the circumstances in the world, even the ones that seems so negative so antibiotic he's orchestrating a world where he's going to cause his church to triumph. But here's the question. Will you be a part of it. Will you be one of those that the Holy Spirit whispers interior where you be one of those who say all lard all done at the wall all stand in the gap.
Will you be one whose heart is fully his as his eyes are going to and fro throughout the whole earth so he could support you right where you're at and my wife let's not get confused. This isn't about you being the pastor or church leader or Shepherd of some big mega church were you becoming famous or any is no no no it's you doing your part in the body of Christ. You being fully surrendered. If you fixing your eyes on that which is not seen the eternal instead of fixing your eyes on that which is seen the temporal it's you saying in me saying what the apostle Paul that these momentary light afflictions that we go through as were surrendered as we sacrifice as we follow what ever Jesus calls us to do there nothing compared to the glory this going to follow but I just don't want you to get any kind of idea that boy.
I just went to the mountaintop and God spoke to me and this is what he calls all of us to do this series was grown out of deep deep weakness. In fact, I attracted and as I prayed about what to share with you.
The Lord said, I want you to share with them that actually it came in three stages and each one was a moment of deep deep weakness and then I want you to remind them what I told the apostle Paul and is able what did he tell the apostle Paul when the apostle Paul thought he couldn't take it anymore and he had an affliction and he asked once he has twice yes three times what did God say to him, Paul. I'm not taking away the affliction, my grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness, and that's what I want you to know it's not about having it all together. It's actually recognizing that we don't and that we have a desperate level of need. Desperate people pray desperate prayers. Desperate people are dependent and the Holy Spirit takes his word and he works in us when were desperate and there is the sense that we need you desperately, so this all started back in July and to make a very long story short in the middle of the pandemic. I got very discouraged and then I had a couple days where I went from discouragement to getting depressed three hours two days in a row and I knew enough that this is a dark place. I don't want to go there.
I sort of slap myself. And then this thought came to me because not done a lot of pastoral counseling and when I meet with people that are super self focused. I said look, what did you get your mind off yourself and find someone that needs help more than you and it's amazing when we do that helps. So I thought well that's what all do and I have a friend who's in charge of the all the Protestant churches in Egypt and we had done a number of things together and I been there couple three times and I thought while the Middle East is going to be 10 times more difficult than what's happening in California and so we got a zoom call. We got on the call together and he just made this little phrase he said you know the government's been so helpful. I'm doing fine and my family.
But the pastors are barely surviving.
He said is so difficult. Markets are closed. People can come to church the pandemic. It is just crushing the church and I just have them say well I been thinking about you know in my mind.
He didn't get that part of it, a series about the art of survival and to make a very long story short he says will send it to me and and I went from this depressed discourage focused on me weak person to seeing a need of someone I think that was like on a Thursday and I met a couple phone calls and got a film crew in my office. I studied all weekend I've been praying and thinking, and I created little three-part series and then God did something we did it for all the churches in Egypt and then Tim, who heads up our international said you I think there's a need for this, and pretty soon there's 300 cities in India and then right now media you version and other partners in one hope, and pretty soon it's in Africa and in that series about the artist survival begin to go around the world and then pastor in India said you know we are we are hurting is there any way just once a month. Could you just do a teaching seminar for us church leaders and shepherds and so simple. Sure, and I will what what should that be and we been to go to the Psalms. It was mostly us, saying, oh God, we need you.
So we did a series during that time and as we were coming to the end of that they said have you thought about doing something else and I was exhausted. To be candid and I shared a little bit this earlier about the middle of December and late November and during that time was asking myself. God, what are you doing this pandemic where we go.
What's next and I was reading just book after book and listening to books in futurist and being the word in that time I began to dig in at a very deep level, and I just still remember the day were the Lord said okay here's the basics. This is nothing fancy. I want my church to get back to Jesus not just Jesus, the God man but Jesus the anointed one, Jesus the Messiah. The Messiah is the deliverer the Messiah is the hope of nations. And as I have all had this experience in different ways, and as I as I pray in a simple Lord, what does that look like and I don't mean to be too mystical here.
God speaks to us different ways but literally it was the word CHR IST came into my mind's eye, and then literal by little of the Holy Spirit was chip I want my church to focus on Christ, not causes their important but he's first, I want my church out of this pandemic to be an agent of healing not respond in hostility chip. I want my church to come back to relationships from the heart, not real estate and building and all the rest chip I want in the midst of this, as the world is going to change. I long for them to be innovative and not respond with indignation and chip. I want them to focus on substance. I want them to come back to my word instead of being focused on success and chip.
I want my church to focus on trust on faith believing me not technology you know if you know watch the news go on the Internet. Listen to all the pundits hold experts all the scientists, the world would say technology as our Savior technologies going to solve everything, and I think in some ways we in the church have drifted a bit in thinking that well yeah and now we can use technology in our services and now are using zoom and doing all kind of different things and here's what I heard and I believe is so true without faith it's impossible to please God, for those who come to God must believe that he exists and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek me and then I had a handful of days where many of you understand this, I mean I got dark in my mind, dark thoughts. I wasn't down. I was really depressed. I tried to break out.
I tried to break out. I just couldn't remember doing two things I remember that was the point where I called a mentor and I've just found when their spots in your mind and you getting discouraged and not you would owe got I would never quit. I would never not you know when you get there if you don't get it out in the light bad things happen.
One of trying to express to you is this is been the journey and so I called a mentor. He's 86 years old is a godly man is been Leica and dad to me since I was 28 and I said I need to just get out of my head thoughts are going through my mind. I'm stuck. I've been deeply depressed and I can't get out of it and there's dark dark thoughts on the oppressive and I no holds barred. I shared every thought, every struggle that I had and he prayed with Lisa call me tomorrow on the track with you and he did than the second thing I did on that wave is. I took hold of some key passages that I memorized and I met. I re-memorize them and I reviewed them sometimes. Eight 1012 times a day and I turned off media and I said no to the influences and you know what I wasn't doing anything wrong. I wasn't in some big sin, but as I walk through this process. God started to show me some idols here some flapping us here some things that need to be addressed there any begin to work in my heart and and then begin to restore the joy of my salvation.
Here's what I want you to hear the journey were talking about has a very high price but has a much higher reward, but I want you to get that each step along the way that allowed me a very ordinary guy to have this privilege. To get to talk to you in this series.
It grew out of weakness in July, it grew out of even more weakness in the fall and then even a darker weakness.
At the very end of the year and each aspect is I was more broken, more week more in need and is power. I I was desperate I fasted in ways that I haven't in years I memorized in ways like I haven't in years. I recognize that because of Copan I used to have a band of brothers that I met with all the time and I haven't had that I got that reignited even if I can't do it the way I want to know social distancing and masking that I went through and I said Lord whatever I need to do out of my weakness and as I did that is power out. I did it is joy. God has made you his servant to his Shepherd, you're his church leader, you might be in a remote part of a distant country you might be in a big city, you might speak Chinese or Spanish or French.
Ursula Healy or English you might be the head of the denomination you might be a solo pastor that has maybe 20 or 30 people and maybe even gather around a tree.
Here's what I know our God is going to build his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
I know our God is searching for a man or woman whose heart is fully his until strongly support you. I know that he wants you to stand in the gap where you are in your world to be that person that would hear his whisper and it would say Lord I'm all in.
I'm surrendered. I'm going to be a healing agent. Lord, I'm going to focus on relationships. I don't know what the church is going to do, but in my future. I'm going to make disciples. I'm going to pass on to faithful men and faithful women, the things even trusted to me and then I'm going to make sure that they pass them on to others. Lord I'm not in a mourn and be upset about what we've lost and I can't do this and I can't do that I'm to be one of your innovators. I'm to look at the opportunities both inside the church and outside the church that could have never happened except for Copan and then Lord, I have confessed and I repented. I will be a man or woman.
First of your word. I will dig into it like I never have before.
I will study it. I will memorize it I will meditate on it.
I will find a small group of people that they will do life with me and then Lord. This may be the biggest one. I'll trust you. I'm always amazed that some of the lines that Jesus gave us that they seem so simple. But in John six. There is a group of people.
It came to him and they saw the miracles they saw was amazing teaching and in an accident Lord so how do we do the work of God, mean what's it really look like and I love the thesis. This is the work of God, that you believe on him who he is sent. Did you know that God's will. There might be all kind of issues in your life.
Here's the number one thing God wants to do in your life in my life. Every Christian, but especially the shepherds want you to trust.
He wants you to believe I'm talking about biblical faith. He wants you to believe, to the point of acting believe, to the point of addressing whatever he shows you believe to the point that you step out, not knowing how it's going to come out.
Faith isn't a feeling Faith is believing that God really exist, but he can still part of Red Sea euros Red Sea might look different.
He can still take five lows and provide supernatural ways he can still cut your body and heal someone he can open doors he can change governments.
This is the God that we worship. This is the God he wants us to come back to the Yahweh, the I am that I am the truth the one and only God of the universe. You know we've been in Romans 12 because it talks so much about will you know how do you return to the substance or how do you develop relationships or each one of those. I gave you little passage in Romans, you realize that the first 11 chapters of Romans are the clearest, most profound, most detailed explanation of the gospel right the first three chapters, the problem of all mankind are lost.
Chapters 4 and five. God's answer. By faith we receive this free gift, the question of how do we live out this new life.
Chapter 6, seven and eight is sanctification. The question of well, God had a plan for Israel and now there's the church. How does it all work together chapters 9, 10, 11, and then we get to chapter 12 and chapter 12 uses. Therefore, I urge you, what he urges us first and foremost to do is to offer our bodies, that's normal. Christianity but you're all in. And then he says there's an ongoing journey to be separate from the world values and then in verses six through eight. He says you need to have an accurate assessment of your gifts and your strengths and fit into my body and that is going to say I want you to serve and love one another authentically and then he'll go on and 14 to the end of the chapter and say this is how you respond to the evil in the world. You bless those who persecute you.
You never take your own revenge. It's a picture of it. All that is based on chapters 1-234-567-8910 11 it's the glorious grace of God and its personal and you know there's a lot of debate sometimes about this issue of what's our responsibility in God is sovereign and what's his pardon.
What's our part will the person that wrote the most on the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man is the apostle Paul and when he deals with it. He sees this mystery and he breaks out in praise. Let me read the very last doxology. This is the God that we serve from Romans chapter 11 verse 33 and on Paul after looking at the problem of mankind, the gracious offer of grace, the spirit living in transforming us his plan for Israel. His plan for the church. Oh, the depth of both the wisdom and the knowledge of God, how unsearchable are his judgments and unfathomable his ways get ever figure out his passes ways is mystery this is for who has known the mind of God or who became his counselor answer no one or who has ever given to God that God should pay him back answer.
No one that I love this for from him and through him and to him are some things in on our all things to him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. I would like to invite you to take very seriously.
This new calling. I like to encourage you to ask and answer the question, what does it mean for you to be one of those people who God will tap on the shoulder and say all strongly support you your AWOL builder.
You're a gap stander. What will it look like for you to focus on the cause of Jesus more than the causes of the world to be a healer and innovator relationship oriented pastor church leader to focus on the substance of God's word rather than just external success to be someone who's willing to trust God no matter what, that's our calling in my encouragement to you is the second Corinthians chapter 12 verses nine and 10. It is in your weakness. God's power will be revealed, and I would encourage you to lean in, like the apostle Paul did most gladly therefore I will delight lean in boast is the word literally in the Greek and my difficulties my persecutions my weaknesses, my struggles for when I am weak, then I am strong, but I'm guessing you can find yourself weak, struggling, having spiritual opposition and in desperate need of that mentor and in desperate need of God's word and a desperate need of other people around you to help you on this journey that I have no idea where the Lord is leading you and what all this will look like our sovereign good, all-knowing, all-powerful God loves you is for you and wants to use you in ways beyond what you could ever think or imagine for his glory for your good father in Jesus name we come week dependent and adequate unable in and of ourselves to do a single thing that we talked about. We thank you that greater are you than the one that is in the world.
We thank you that we are victorious in Christ, Lord, we thank you that we never labor in vain. When we labor in the Lord God, we thank you that you call us sons and daughters and you sing over us with the light and the you want to help us give us courage. Lord, give us faith.
Help us to trust you and help us to persevere because as we move forward, it will be against the stream and we need you desperately, thank you that you answer this prayer because we know it. Your will.
We will be a part of your church forcefully moving forward in this amazing season history you do anything else today, I want you to know that was my prayer with literally 8000 pastors from 60 countries. As we were all grappling and are still grappling with what is it look like to lead the church and I want to ask you what is it look like for you and your world and your weakness in your struggle in your uncertainty to continue to walk with God to make a difference when people are more open than ever before. It will be in our struggle in our weakness that God will use us in the greatest way, which you need to learn is how that actually works in our next broadcast, I'm going to share with you some very, very specific steps that God is leading us not to survive but to actually thrive see next broadcast click strip listing the chips message trust not technology from a series what know what next, when the world gets turned upside down it becomes really obvious how much people need Jesus.
The anger, the hostility, the division it's devastating. So the question is how do we tell people about the piece only Jesus offers word we start in this brand-new teaching from ship challenges us to authentically live out our faith by identifying six biblical mindsets we have to adopt when you invest time in this series, you'll learn what it means to be a genuine Christian in a world that's crumbling all around us to listen to this entire series.
What now what next, making disciples in a disrupted world. The chipping remap is a great way to get plugged in which it was you been teaching this series and I can't help but think that there are people out there who feel maybe a bit helpless, don't lead. Major companies are pastor large churches and many are thinking I'm not in a prominent position to make a major change so what can they do all day. That's really true, but I will tell you there was a lady name Anna about this time of year, who I went into the temple and fasted and prayed and it seemed that God valued her so greatly that she actually got to be one of the first people to see the baby Jesus. For reasons I don't understand. There's something about God finding people that are dependent whose focus is on trusting him evidence by prayer, intercessory prayer prayers from the heart pleading with God. Writing down specific prayers in addressing specific issues and not just saying, Lord, make things better. And right now as people are challenged with that I want to challenge fellow believers. Let's really pray one of the resources that is help me is our prayer journal and I don't mean that you have to write down three or four, five pages. I personally just take the biggest heaviest burdens or concerns and I put a little box in the corner and then I turn it into a request Lord I'm so concerned about, but now I'm asking you, will you please and I'm really specific. And then I write that down and when I get discouraged and we all get discouraged from time to time I open my prayer journal and I see a lot of checkmarks with dates. Now some of them. There's a checkmark got hasn't answered yet but I will tell you the practice of writing. My prayers, in reviewing them has made it more clear and I've seen God's hand, and I would invite our listeners to let's make a difference in God's is the effective prayer of a righteous man or a righteous woman accomplishes much.
Let's do it. Thanks strip we have a great resource designed to help you spend more intentional time with God. It's a beautiful Compaq notebook. This tool is full of meaningful versus popular quotes in song lyrics, with plenty of space for journaling. These notebooks also make perfect gifts, especially with Christmas just around the corner for more great Christmas gift ideas go to LivingontheEdge.org or call us a 8883336003 express shipping is available, so don't wait again that's AAA 333-6003, or LivingontheEdge.org app listeners tap special offers. As we close, let me remind you of an easy way to listen to our extended teaching broadcast your trip anytime on Amazon's Alexa echo and echo.just say Alexa open Living on the Edge and you'll hear that these extended teaching any time you want well for Chip and everyone here, this is Dave Drury saying thanks for joining us for this edition of living on via