Are you concerned about the future, your future, our nation's future? Are you confused about how to process all the chaos and all the division and the challenges that we're facing?
Well, stay with me. We're going to learn to face the future with confidence. On a scale of one to ten, how worried are you about what's going to happen in your life in the coming months and years? Well, if you're like most people who are flooded by anxiety and uncertainty, you may be a seven or eight.
But what if I told you there's a way to get that number down to zero? Well, today Chip's going to share how as he continues our series, Facing the Future with Confidence. Now, in this program, he'll ask two pivotal questions we have to answer to handle the confusing and sometimes devastating circumstances that come our way. But before he does, let me encourage you to use Chip's message notes while you listen. They contain his outline, scripture references, and some meaningful fillings to help you remember and apply what you're hearing.
Download these message notes by going to the broadcasts tab at livingontheedge.org, app listeners tap fill in notes. Well, if your Bible is handy, go to Psalm chapter 90 as we join Chip for his talk, How to Face the Future in Times of Confusion. We put a little teaching hand out if you'll go ahead and pull that out. We're in a series called Facing the Future with Confidence.
And if you have a pen, you can pull that out too because we're doing a little work together. As we get there, I'd like to try and help you think back of when the first time you felt that emotion of confusion. You know, when you got paralyzed, when so many things were coming into your mind and you just didn't know what to do. I prayed this week and thought about the most vivid time I can remember was late elementary school, maybe it was junior high, I'm not sure, but I really was struggling in math and I worked and worked and worked. Remember this? Remember in school?
And the teacher back then, they would come and they would give your papers to you and she'd graded them in the, you know, big red letters that are right there. And I had worked and worked and worked and I got my paper and I thought I really nailed it this time. I mean, I really worked hard.
And it was placed on my desk and you know, you don't want anybody to see it, especially mine. D minus. Have you ever thought for sure I've really got it down? I mean, I thought I got either a high A or a low A.
You been there? And I mean, you know, I know it was old enough that it's not a good time for a boy to cry in school. That's how I felt. You know, and then I covered the grade and I just looked. Everything was marked off wrong. And another student or my teacher, I can't remember who it was because I did all the work and I reworked them and I still thought I got them right. And then someone came from the outside with a second set of eyes and said, watch very carefully on all these problems.
You have to invert before you multiply. I was confused because I needed one person to give me one piece of information that would bring perspective to my situation because as I sat, I was convinced I was the dumbest kid in that class. And I was convinced I would never do math again. Little did I know later in high school be one of my favorite subjects.
Now that's sort of a light way to start off, isn't it? I remember another time I was confused because I love my wife very much and she loved me very much and she was making me crazy and I was making her crazy and we were very confused. And what we needed was another set of eyes. And it was a very humbling thing during seminary to go to a marriage counselor and say, you know what? I don't know what background she came from or what I came from, but I know she loves God. I love God. I love her. She loves me.
But we do this all the time. And we spent about $90 a session for 12 sessions for a second set of eyes to help us get clear and to remove the barriers. And what I want to suggest is you need another set of eyes. You need a wise counselor. You need a mentor.
You need a teacher. You need a coach to take the confusion that you have in your life. And whether it's spiritual or emotional or financial or the world situation or God's will or a big decision, we're going to get to a counselor who will help you see, maybe like never before, perspective in your situation. Notice that the problem with being confused is it immobilizes, it paralyzes and it demotivates. If you have some of those feelings, it might be because you literally are confused. And to be confused means that intellectually or emotionally, you feel mixed up. Things are jumbled together.
They're in a sense of disorder or chaos. And you can't think in an orderly, coherent way in the midst of complex problems, relationships or decisions. Now, what I've learned is the cure for confusion is twofold.
Whether you go to consultants or great coaches or a counselor, two things you have to do to eliminate confusion. Number one, you have to reduce complexity, right men? When the Falcons quarterback goes down, the first thing the coach does is do what to the playbook?
Make it thin. Because this quarterback doesn't know all the plays. A few simple plays executed well is the best chance towards success. When your life is getting confusing, you've got to get your playbook and make it thin. You've got to get all the extraneous things and get the old business adage, right?
KISS, keep it simple, stupid. That's what you've got to do. The second thing, however, is another acronym that I don't know if I made up, but I'll take credit for it. GBTTB.
You won't find that in the business review at Harvard, but you've got to reduce complexity and then you've got to increase clarity. You've got to get clear. Where am I? What's the situation?
What do I need to do and why? And this acronym stands for get back to the basics. My college coach was a great friend of John Wooten who won the 10 national championships and John Wooten started every year the same way with the greatest athletes. And he would take a white sock into the locker room, bring the UCLA team, take his shoe off, take a white sock and show them how to put on a white sock.
Go back to the basics. Vince Lombardi would take a football and say what? Gentlemen, this is a pigskin.
This is a football. And what John Wooten would do, he said, look, men, if you put your sock on wrong down to the little things, it might wrinkle. If it wrinkles, you might get a blister. If you get a blister, you might miss a game. If you miss a game, we might lose a game.
If we lose one game, we may not win another national championship. His point was you go back to the basics. One of my heroes is Peter Drucker, read most all of his stuff. The first two questions he asked of any business, regardless of what they're in or their problems is what business are you in and who are your customers?
His point, get back to the basics. Now turn the page, if you will, because we're going to get back to the basics spiritually. We're going to get one of the greatest counselors, the best teachers, a better consultant than anyone else. He lived 120 years. His name is Moses.
And he comes well qualified to give us all the information that we need. He lived for 40 years in the lap of luxury and the greatest wisdom of Egypt. He lived 40 years in silence and solitude. Ecclesiastes says great wisdom comes from the house of mourning.
That group that he led was not real cooperative. And so I figure just the math in general, he did about 1.2 to 1.8 million funerals in 40 years. Remember the last time you were in a funeral or you went to the ICU with one of your kids or a close friend?
Do you remember how the peripheral stuff didn't make any difference and you got real clear about life? Imagine doing about 1.2 million funerals and what you have in your hand. It's in your Bible in Psalm 90. And I put the text there. What you have in your hand is the only Psalm written by Moses. And if we wanted to take the collective wisdom of all that Moses learned in that 120 years, I believe he's giving us the cliff notes right here about how to live, how to get back to the basics.
And as I've studied it, I saw very clearly there are at least six basics when Moses looks at all of life and complexity. If Moses was here and he could put him in this chair and, you know, he's probably pretty old by now and, you know, we let him sit down. And we could do Q&A and give him a microphone. I think Moses would tell us the truth of Psalm 90.
And we would say, well, what about the down economy? And what about one of my kids that's having a struggle? And, you know, my marriage, I'm really struggling in that one right now.
And I think Moses would say, you know what? Life can be very complex. You can really get your ball lost in the weeds. So let me put my arm around you. Let's step back together and let me paint the big picture about what life is all about. Let's get back to the basics. And when you see the basics, you'll be able to come out of your confusion and make wise decisions.
Are you ready? Basic number one comes right out of the first verse of Psalm 90. Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world.
From everlasting to everlasting, you are God. Basic number one, God is great. We need to remember that God is great. He's greater than the United States. He's greater than military operations. He's greater than economies. God is great.
You say, where do you get that? Look at the text. Lord, the word is Adonai. It's a title for God. It's his sovereign creatorship, ruler of the universe. He is above and beyond. He's transcendent.
He's great. But notice also, he's eminent. You are our dwelling place. If you have that pen jot down above that, Deuteronomy 33, 26 to 29.
I can't develop it, but the exact same words used for dwelling place here is used when God tells the children of Israel, I will protect you. I will carry you. I will be your refuge. My loving arms will be around you. And in the midst of all the storms, I will take care of you. Moses is saying after 120 years on the planet, after living in the lap of luxury, after seeing all the false gods, after being the instrument that crushed the pagan religions, I want you to know, number one, God is creator. And number two, he is a close, intimate, loving father.
And if that's not enough, it's not just for now, it's through all generations. And before the mountain, the word literally, before the mountains were birthed, before God brought forth the earth and the world from everlasting to everlasting, that means all eternity. He is, the word is El, he is God. That doesn't mean a lot to us, but there is a huge God in the promised land that people believed in, Beel, and the Canaanite religion believed that there was a God named El somewhere, and the son had a coup or rebellion, and he was stronger and deposed El. And what he's saying is there is only one God, and he's calling God by this name and saying to a people, there is one God superior to all other gods because he is creator, sovereign, ruler, holy of the entire universe.
The very first basic in life is remembering who God is. He's big. He's powerful. He's real.
He's personal. And what I'm going to give you is six diagnostic questions to help you work through your confusion. Number one, am I rightly related to God? Am I rightly related to God? If God is great, if he is the center or the infinite reference point of all of life in the universe, here's the question stated another way. Does God hold the same place in your heart and your life that he holds in the universe? If so, everything else will come into order. If the infinite, all-knowing, all-powerful, loving, eternal reference point who has revealed himself personally through Christ is at the center and the vortex of your life, then everything else falls into order and not in confusion. If a person, if money, if a job, if a child, if a future, if anxiety is at the core of your life, then your life will be confused.
It'll be jumbled. I had a chance to hear a fellow about a year ago now, maybe two, and he works in a ministry. And so he keeps it kind of down low because he works with a lot of people at MIT and in the military. And he had a chance to be invited by the skipper of one of our big nuclear subs. And he said, we had dinner right there in the control room and all the controls were covered except one little area. And the guy let me ask questions about it.
He was sharing the story. And he said, do you know that this sub can only stay down 90 days? And so the fellow who was sharing this said, oh, could you run out of water? He said, oh, no.
Do you run out of food? Oh, we could stay down longer. Why do you have to resurface after 90 days? He said, because on this sub, we have missiles that if they were off even a fraction of a degree, we shoot them out from the sub. They go out and with pinpoint accuracy, they need to land if we ever needed them right where we want them to land. But after 90 days underneath the ocean surface, what we know is the magnetic forces of the earth begin to affect our equipment. So we have to surface, put up an antenna and we lock on to the North Star and then we lock on to the satellite system. And then we recalibrate all of our equipment based on reality. You get it?
You need to recalibrate? Is God the center point of your heart? Is he your North Star?
Does your time and energy and money and decisions all go back and revolve around? God is great. He is personal. He is powerful. Is he your reference point to all of life?
If he's not, if you're even off a few degrees, confusion. Second basic Moses is going to pick up is not only God is great, but he's going to say life is short. He says you turn men back to dust, quoting Genesis 3.
Return to dust those sons of Adam, literally, or Adam, men. And then he gives us three quick pictures of why life is short. He says for a thousand years in your sight or like a day that's just gone by or like a watch in the night, which was four hours. You sweep men away in the sleep of death and the word sweep there is a picture of a torrential flood that it pours down rain and goes right through a valley and just wipes everything out instantaneously. They're like the new grass of the morning. Though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it's dry and withered. And there's places you can go. I've been in Israel.
And it's interesting that it will grow up green in the morning and then these hot winds will come up and by the afternoon at different seasons, brown. But what's his point? His point very simply is the brevity of life. You are mortal.
I am mortal. Life is short. God is great. Life is short. If you wanted to put a key word next to number one where I'm rightly related to God, write the word perspective. When you understand God is great, you'll get perspective instead of perplexity. And if you want to put a key word under number two, because here's the question, am I prepared to die?
Put the word priority. See what Moses is saying? I've done all these funerals, all these funerals, all these funerals. I've done the deal where I had the money. I had the position. I had the power. I was the king of Egypt. But when I look at it all, I understand it all begins with God.
He's great. And then I'm going to live my life, evaluate my relationships and make my priority decisions based on something that I'm going to remember. Life is short.
It's brief. We are all guilty of what? The great P of procrastination. I'm really going to get close to God later. I'm going to get my priorities in order later. You know, I'm going to really get serious about those important things later.
And what Moses would say produces confusion. You better do what you need to do and you better do it now. Can I ask you one of those kind of provocative questions? Let's just pretend next week, exactly at this time, you knew for sure that your heart would have its last beat.
OK, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum. You're done. Is there anything you would do differently this week than you did last week?
You knew for sure. You got seven days. Anybody make any phone calls you need to make? Anybody write a will out? You've been intended to do that.
Anybody think maybe I ought to go ahead and make that call and apologize to so-and-so? If you had seven days to live, would you watch as much TV this coming week as you did last week? See, once you understand life is short, you think differently about how to live.
Moses said it will bring unbelievable clarity to your life. And don't get the I'm not trying to be morbid. Here's what I've learned. Until you face death boldly, you will never live life powerfully. Most of us play a game that we're not going to die. You're going to die. I'm going to die.
And if some of you are thinking, you know, that made me feel very uncomfortable. I can't believe that guy talked about my heart stopping in seven days. I was being generous. I can't guarantee you seven days. You may only have seven minutes. You might check the mail, get hit by a milk truck. I don't know, I could too. I don't have seven days.
I've got today. And when I begin to live like God is great and life is short, not only does it give me perspective, but it totally rearranges my priorities. You've been listening to part one of Chip's message, How to Face the Future in Times of Confusion, which is from our series, Facing the Future with Confidence. Chip will be back with us in studio shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about. In this age of information, it often feels like the more we know, the more anxious we become. So where can we find stability in these uncertain times? What can we put our trust in? Through this six-part study, Chip explains why God is our dependable rock and refuge, no matter the storms that come our way.
Discover how that certainty can motivate us to tackle our most challenging circumstances and propel us to a more joy-filled life, and to help you better understand what that looks like. We have a really special offer I want to tell you about. During this series, we want to give every listener a copy of Chip's well-known book, I Choose Peace at No Cost. This tool will encourage you to lean on God through the highs and lows of life. To get your free copy of I Choose Peace, go to livingontheedge.org or text peace to 74141. That's the word peace, P-E-A-C-E, to 74141. This is a limited-time offer, one book per customer, while supplies last. Well, Chip's in studio with me now to share a quick word.
Thanks so much, Dave. You know, I want to pause today from the teaching and everything else just to say thank you. You just can't imagine how overwhelming, in a really, really good way, it is to have people who pray for the ministry, we get emails and people that have signed up and pray with us, to have people who give financially and generously, to have a whole group of people that every single month they support us. I mean, some it's $25 a month or $15 a month or $50 or $100 or $500. It's people from all spectrums who give monthly. And what that does is we now know kind of what's going to be coming in. It allows us to plan.
It allows us to strategize. And I just want to pause and say thank you very, very much for giving so generously, allowing us to love and serve and help others, to help Christians live like Christians. And if you're one of those people who think, wow, you mean so that's how you're able to reach a million people each week and, you know, create all those small groups and help all those pastors all around the world, if you want to get in on that, could I encourage you, become a monthly partner. Just go to the website LivingOnTheEdge.org and join today. Well, as Chip said, if you're already a financial partner, thank you. With your help, Living on the Edge is ministering to more people than ever. But if you're benefiting from this ministry and haven't yet taken that step, now's a great time to join the team. To become a monthly partner, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org or text donate to 74141. That's the word donate to 74141 or visit LivingOnTheEdge.org.
App listeners, tap donate. Well, before we go, here's Chip to share a few final thoughts. As we close today's program, I've talked to a lot of people. And I want you to know that if you feel fearful, confused, torn, maybe angry and really, really frustrated, that's normal and that's human. Of all times, I literally wish we could sit down across from one another, you know, at your kitchen table or mine, you know, with a cup of coffee, and I would love to hear what's really going on. I mean, what's going on inside?
What are your fears? How are you processing it? How are you taking those things to God?
And what I would say is what we want to do in this series and especially in this message is we want to step back and we want to get the big picture. Likely, the thing we need the most in times like this is perspective. And Psalm 90 is my go-to place when I feel overwhelmed and confused, and I'm not even sure how to process things.
Because as you learn today, this is the only psalm written by Moses. This is written by a man who was God's great deliverer, who saw amazing miracles, and who also attended an awful lot of funerals of people who disobeyed and found himself looking at the depravity of man, the greatness and the power of God, and he brings sort of a summary. And today we learn that two things he says when he looks at the big picture. Number one, God is great.
I can trust him. I mean, the mountains might be moved. Circumstances change. Rulers can change. Economies can change.
The health issues can change. God doesn't change. He's all-knowing. He's all-powerful. And I would remind you, he's for you. You're his child. You're his son.
You're his daughter. And then second, he reminds us that life is short. And so I don't know what you're wrestling with, but I do know at times like this, it's that sense of urgency that can help us really move in directions maybe that we've needed to for a long time. And so what I've done during this time is to say, what are the top three or four things I've been kind of procrastinating that I need to address? You know, maybe it's a person to forgive. Maybe it's something to repair.
Maybe it's an issue that you've been putting off. Now is the time. Life is short. Life is not a rehearsal.
This isn't the pregame. This is the right now. In our next broadcast, he's going to give us four more basics or questions to help you get really, really clear to know what to do and how to do it. I hope you'll join us. Looking forward to that, Chip. But in the meantime, we want to help you better trust God through the highs and lows of life. So right now we're offering Chip's popular book, I Choose Peace at No Cost. With anxiety, stress, and uneasiness at an all-time high, it's important we quiet our hearts and better understand the peace that comes from God. To get your free copy of I Choose Peace, go to livingontheedge.org or text PEACE to 74141. That's the word PEACE, P-E-A-C-E, to 74141. Now this is a limited-time offer, one book per customer, while supplies last. Join us next time as Chip continues his series, Facing the Future with Confidence. Until then, I'm Dave Drury, thanking you for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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