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The 7 Resolutions

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
August 6, 2022 1:00 am

The 7 Resolutions

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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August 6, 2022 1:00 am

If you’re frustrated that the self-help you’ve tried isn't getting you anywhere, maybe it's time for a change! On this summer best-of Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author and pastor Karl Clauson says many have grown accustomed to bad habits. Your lifelong battles feel unwinnable. Hear liberating truth about 7 resolutions that can change your outlook. Don’t miss this edition of Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Featured resource: The 7 Resolutions: Where Self-Help Ends and God’s Power Begins

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Joining God is about joining God in His power. Does it mean we don't do anything?

No. Dependence plus diligence equals all of God's promises, and I truly believe that 100 percent. Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The New York Times bestseller "The 5 Love Languages" . Today, author, pastor, and radio host Carl Klassen will help us overthrow old patterns, create new life systems, and take hold of God's promises.

This is a best of broadcast from January of this year. We actually started 2022 with this conversation. Our featured resource is Carl Klassen's book, The Seven Resolutions, where self-help ends and God's power begins.

Find out more at And Gary, I'm excited about the conversation. I know Carl, I know his heart, and what I like most about his message is that the answer to getting out of the rut is not a new program or a mantra. It's something you've talked about for decades, and that is the power of God's love to help change our hearts. Well, I think you're exactly right, Chris. Certainly we have a part to play. We have to respond to God. Our hearts have to be open to God.

But ultimately, it's the power of God that changes our lives. And so I really like the emphasis of this book, and I'm excited about this conversation with Carl. Let's meet him. Carl Klassen, C-L-A-U-S-O-N, is a husband, pastor, author, conference speaker, adventurer. His passion for spiritual awakening runs through all that he does. He's had diverse life experiences, like completing the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race when he was 18, coaching a track team in South Africa, and pastoring churches in Chicago and Alaska. Some of our listeners know him from his morning radio program on Moody Radio Chicago. A featured resource is his book, The Seven Resolutions, Where Self-Help Ends and God's Power Begins.

You can find out more at Well, Carl, welcome to Building Relationships. Fantastic to be here, gentlemen. Good to be with you.

Now, before we get to the resolutions, we want to talk about those for sure. But tell us a little bit about some of your journey. It sounds to me like God grabbed hold of your heart at some point and wouldn't let you go, but you've been through a lot. Tell us about it.

Oh, yeah, I have. You know, in many ways I was raised with a silver spiritual spoon in my mouth in that I had great parents, phenomenal mom and dad. And my dad's 93 and still champion in the grace of God as we speak.

I mean, he is an amazing man of God. And yet I was raised in a church culture that gave me some mixed signaling, and I actually never really surrendered to Jesus Christ until in my young 20s, even though raised in church, walked down aisles. That means put forward a sign that I was giving my life to Jesus. Baptized, even involved heavily in a youth ministry. It wasn't until February 11th of 84, in my late year of 23, that God brought me to the end of myself, displayed his power in my life to transform my soul. So I became no longer Christian in name only.

God transformed me from the inside out. And that's my story, Gary. And that's what makes the power of the gospel so powerful is when God takes over when we're absolutely done. It's finished. It's over for us. And sometimes we have to get to the end of the road, right? Before we reach out and accept what he's had for us all along.

Yeah. You know, this is interesting, but my greatest concern for the West and westernized Christianity is that we've got this grand illusion of salvation. And this is when we find in Matthew 7, Jesus says, Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord. And he said, I'm going to say to you, I never knew you.

We might wish that those people were bellied up to the bar at happy hour, knocking down Jack Daniels. But the truth is that was a very religious audience. They had done mighty works in his name. They were prophesying his name. They're casting out demons in his name. And he says, I didn't know you. And my story is I had this illusion of salvation. I was powerless to live the victorious life and all the promises of God. And I didn't know it, Gary, until the Holy Spirit pulled down the blinders of darkness from my eyes and whoom, called me out of darkness and into the light. Yeah. Would it be fair to say that what you write about in the seven resolutions comes straight from what God has done in your own life through the years?

Not only straight from it. I think, you know, somebody asked me the other day why I'd write this book. And I said, it's my personal guidebook.

If someone else wants to read it, great. But this is how I roll with Jesus. This is how I close the gap between where I live and the promises of God.

I'm getting choked up right now. This is my story. This is my life.

This is my wrestling through the emptiness of bootstrapping my faith and trying to grow up in my power versus tapping into God's power. Yeah. Yeah. Now, most people are familiar with making, and also breaking, New Year's resolutions.

Yeah, immediately breaking, right? But what makes the seven resolutions different, and what is your hope as to how this will actually not just be a resolution, but as something that will change the person's life? You know, I was thinking about this, that self-help in and of itself isn't evil. All it indicates, all the people that gravitate toward the self-help section, all it indicates is a bunch of people are aware, my life needs to change. That's not bad. That's good.

I think that's healthy. But in Christ, we made a fatal flaw. And this gets me on my soapbox here, because this is my story. I was radically altered by the power of God, utter dependence on Him. And then I made this huge shift and leap to, wow, since God's done all this for me, I need to bust my tail, I need to check the box, I need to be a good Christian now. And matter of fact, I even thought this, I need to produce fruit in my life. Jesus never said that.

He never said that. So I thought I need to live this thing in my strength. You know where that got me, Gary? Living back in the squalor of almost, although I'm redeemed, I'm living like I'm a lost guy. I am powerless to get victory over the things that God wants me to get victory over. Why do you think so many believers experience a gap between God's promises and what they experience in their day-to-day life? They don't in Iraq in the underground church.

They don't in China in the underground church. I think that our... Look, I'm a capitalist. I'm a let's go. I'm an adventurer. I commercial fished in west coast of Alaska for eight seasons. I worked in the oil fields in Alaska, north of the Arctic Circle. Run the Iditarod. I love getting stuff done.

I love it. My dad taught me how to work hard at a very young age. But you know what? This western mindset of reach and get it, go make it happen, the American dream, the dream is similar to God's promises, but the means of getting there is totally different. And here's what we've forgotten.

We forgot that. And you said this in the lead-in, and this is what I'm a champion of. Yes, we're to be called to be diligent, but not diligent in our own strength. It's diligent with the grace of God. This is my favorite passage in all the scripture that will... If you're listening right now and you feel like you're out of whack and you feel like, why is there this monster gap between God's promises and where I'm living? This one will irrigate your soul.

Listen to this, Titus 2. For the grace of God, the power of God. I mean, you can call it unmerited favor.

That's just an academic iPad. I filled that out in seminary to pass the test, but that isn't really the best definition. Grace is more than unmerited favor of God. It's the power of God to do in us what we can't do. So for the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, comma, doesn't stop there. Verse 12, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled upright and godly lives in the present age. Here's the answer to your question, Gary.

We're born again in utter dependence on God, and then somewhere along we believe the lie that we gotta get up in our strength and make this sanctification process work. And it doesn't work. It does not work, and I'm gonna be this bold. I think you can go live out "The 5 Love Languages" in your strength. Okay, you can. But you want power in those five love languages? You find the power that is discovered when you are staying at that point where you were when you were born again in utter dependence on Him, and those five love languages, whoom, they come to life. And I often say, the way we need to walk with Jesus is the way we came to Jesus, in utter dependence on Him. And God will come up with creative ways to keep us there if we'll listen.

Absolutely. Powerful. You started a story in your book about your own life of relapsing into drug use shortly after becoming a follower of Jesus Christ. Why is this moment so vital to understanding the rest of your book?

I didn't share it for the longest time, Gary. How embarrassing. Here I am radically transformed by the power of Jesus. God set me free from, here I am a young man, completed the Iditarod, making big money in the oil fields of Alaska, get a horrible cocaine addiction, Crown Royal addiction, and then by God's grace, He set me free. Pardon me, I feel like crying right now. It was that overwhelming.

It was that powerful. Three weeks after I'm born again, I find myself, now I moved immediately to get mentored by my uncle in Central Cal. I find myself with my nail bags on. I was a pretty skilled carpenter at this point, building a big racquetball club, got a job immediately.

And I go out with some guys that I'm working with and they asked me to go to a little watering hole and have a wine cooler. Well, you know what that was like for me at that time? That's like jumping on top of the biggest, slipperiest slide on the planet and thinking I can somehow stay on top without sliding down. And I slid, slid, slid to the point within a matter of a few hours, I found myself on the wrong side of the tracks in this town. And would you believe, oh my goodness, here's Carl Clausen, radically transformed young man.

And I am taking a pipe of crystal meth from a guy sitting across from me I've never met before, and I'm with some of the most hurting, broken people on the planet. And I could almost see demons in that room. And I ran out of that room and I ran home to the home I was staying in, my uncle, he's a golf pro, played in the tour years ago with Arnie and those boys.

He's a golf pro, radically committed to Jesus just a few years prior. But I ran home to my uncle's home, ran into that bedroom, and I knelt beside the bed and I said, kill me, God. He said, kill me. You saved me, now kill me, because I can't win. Some wars can't be won. That's what I told him. I said, well, some wars can't be won.

Some guys you can't change. And he said to me, yes, I can. And on that day, I began to learn what I now know, the art of agreeing with God to let Him permeate every aspect of your life. And when you agree with God, not that you're going to go out and be a good Christian, but that you're going to let Christ in me be the hope of glory, look out.

Now things are going to change. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Our guest today is pastor and author Carl Clausen. Our featured resource is his book, The Seven Resolutions, Where Self-Help Ends and God's Power Begins.

You can find out more at our website, Carl, what you shared before the break was so powerful of, you know, coming after really knowing Christ personally, you know, coming to the end of the road and realizing, you know, I can't do this, God, and you can't, even you can't get me out of this. Yeah. And God, of course, can and did.

Yes. So now let's talk about the book, The Seven Resolutions. Tell us the basis for the Seven Resolutions.

Where do they come from? These are core themes that are found from Genesis to Revelation. And there are certain themes that I think are apropos or best applied to different people at different times in different cultures. And I think in the Western faith, we've created such a man-centered gospel where we've got to make it happen. The goal of these resolutions for me applied to my life and scores hundreds of people that I've had the privilege of discipling and mentoring.

Actually, you know, it's funny, I've been struck on this lately. It's almost like a modern day ordering your private world. This builds a construct for a life that can actually be discipled. And it clears up some of those proverbial messes that we have in our life that we wonder, how in the world are we going to get victory over this?

And it clears that out so that God can begin to move in our life in a fresh way. That's what they're all about. Yeah, yeah. Well, let's look at them. Kind of walk us through these resolutions and give us just a brief explanation of what each of them is.

Love it, love it. The first one is Join God, and this is paramount. It's about you partnering with God and experiencing his power. This is all that I've already said, and it's the crux of everything that follows.

So let me linger with one little illustration. When I first learned how to water ski, and I loved water skiing, by the way, I got a slalom ski for my high school graduation present. But when I first learned how to water ski, it was at a Bible camp in Alaska, cold, cold, cold water.

Even in the middle of summer, it's cold up there. But I got down in there, got a vest on, and the guy on the ski, Natik, a beautiful boat out in front of me, I got my tips up in the air, the ropes between my tips, and he says, you know what you gotta do? He's yelling over the end of the motor, and I said, I got it. And the rope went tight, and I yelled, hit it, and here we go. And I'm beginning to come up out of the water, and then I break the rule of water skiing 101. I tried to help the boat. And what I tried to do is I tried to take my extended arms and pull myself up to the surface.

I thought that 24 inches was going to do a lot for me. Well, guess what it did? All of my self-effort actually just put me into the lake. I felt like I had about three lake trout go through each nostril.

I got a nosewash like you can't believe. And the lesson was this. He came back around. He said, Carl, keep your arms extended.

Let the boat do the work. Joining God is about joining God in His power. Does it mean we don't do anything?

No, no, no. But it means dependence first. I like to say it this way. Dependence plus diligence equals all of God's promises. And I truly believe that, 100 percent. So that's join God.

The second one is think truth. This is about having a mind that is so renewed that we're freed from destructive thinking, those reckless words of parents, the demonic utterances that we hear in our mind that bombard us daily. God's got a plan for that.

The third resolution, Gary, is most surprising and most compelling to people that have read this. It's kill sin. You're finally putting to death those sins that have been killing you. Gary, we've been good at this, brother.

Come on, you've counseled enough people. We're good at managing sin. We're good at denying we have sin. We're good at deflecting sin. We're good at looking at the 95 percent where we're winning, but block out that sin. And what did Jesus say? If your eye calls you to sin, gouge that thing out now.

You know, he was radical on sin. And so this third resolution is all about killing sin. And we've got choosing friends. And that's about having people around you who actually lift you up rather than take you down. And in it, we find that God grants us permission to pick those friends.

Taking risk is the fifth resolution. You know, I was trying to build a theological construct, Gary, for Dreaming Big, because I used to—I've kind of gone there in messages before. Come to find out, I've got no theological foot to stand on. There's no theological basis to dream big.

There's great theological basis to join God and then to take risk, to walk by faith. But this resolution unpacks that. And then focusing effort is the sixth. It gives you—how sweet would it be if you're listening right now and you get such clarity around how God's designed you and the passion you have that you actually know what to say yes to and what to say no to?

That's what that resolution is all about. And then the last one's redeeming your time, because we got these little machines that we carry around in our hip pocket that are an added distraction to what they even had 2,000 years ago, Gary. Yep, absolutely. Those are powerful concepts, and I hope the listeners are thinking what I'm thinking.

Man, I want to read this book. Now, you say we should never measure God's power to change us by looking at how we are currently living. Explain why this isn't helpful. I always want to point people back to the Word of God. Our standard for living is in God's Word. And if we begin to measure God's impact by where we're living, we can actually believe we've got a powerless God. So there is nothing like receiving, as Proverbs says, where there is no revelation from God, the people become discouraged. It's actually the best way that's translated. So the more we hear from God, the better we get a true north for our life.

And we measure not God's power based on where we are, but we look at where He calls us to be, and amazing things can happen. I've been married 34 years, and I'll tell you what, I stunk as a husband the first two years. I was awful.

I could have written a book and could probably still author. I've got enough memories from that of how not to be a newlywed man. But when God's Word began to call me, I like to say this, if you read the Scriptures, you'll find chivalry ain't dead at all.

My goodness. But if you read the Word, all of a sudden God gave me the standard, and then He showed me, Carl, you're not loving bananas. Christ loved the church, but you can do it. Now get on your face before me and you spend time early in the morning, and you go ahead and shed a few tears over your falling short.

But then I'm going to fill you up by the power of my Holy Spirit. That's the difference. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

That's a high standard, isn't it? Oh, and here's the thing. We can't hit it, Gary.

Yeah, you're right. We can't do it. Only God can in us. Absolutely, absolutely. You talk a lot about the broken systems that most of us live with.

What are some examples of broken systems that you've seen or experienced? You know, it's interesting. I get this from the prophet Jeremiah.

I don't get it out of my own brain here. Jeremiah, what a prophet. Boy, what a job. Everybody thinks you speak for God.

Man, you must have a front row seat. Tradition has it he was stoned to death for being bold for God, so it wasn't a good gig. But Jeremiah spoke to the nation of Israel. He said, ah, you have forsaken these living waters, and you have carved out reservoirs—called them cisterns—that can't even hold water.

You know what we do, Gary? We forsake the power of Christ, even after we're born again sometimes. And then we carve out a life for ourselves that can't hold water. Those are systems. Broken cisterns, broken systems.

I bring that equation all the way through this. These seven resolutions are designed to build systems, cisterns. Carve out a life for yourself that can actually hold water. And broken systems are thinking, I've got to produce fruit in my life. And what I've learned, if you look at John 15, you've got a choice. You can focus on proximity to the vine, because that's what Jesus said branches need to do, or we can focus on producing fruit. And every time I focus on producing fruit, which is a broken system, I lose proximity to the vine.

That's just a reality. So the goal here is to take these broken systems like having friends around us that we didn't choose, they chose us, and they're dragging us down, and learning to take risks and not be sitting in a corner and huddled in fear, but putting yourself out there to God's glory and walking by faith and not by sight. Just taking these broken systems and even the time that we have that's squandered away, if anyone needs a day planner these days, and I mean this, Gary, anyone needs a day planner as a Jesus follower, because there is no possible way we can sort through the menagerie of opportunities that face us every minute on our machines and appointments and things coming at us. And I believe this. I believe calendars can be one of the most holy investments any person, all that Jesus Christ can make.

You know, Carl, you mentioned John 15 and verse 5. It takes me back in my own mind to a real personal experience I had when I finished college and I went to the Navigators out in Colorado Springs at their headquarters for the summer training program. And they assigned you an eight-hour job, and my job was in the print shop, and it was to operate a folder that took huge sheets of paper and made it into a small booklet. Oh my goodness. They gave me instructions on how to do it, and I worked all day long and I couldn't get it to work. And the next morning they gave me more instructions, you know, and I worked all day long.

This went on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Friday morning I was reading my Bible in a dry moat on a rock, and I read John 15 verse 5 where Jesus said what you just said, I'm the vine, you're the branches, you stay connected to me, you're going to bear fruit, and then that line, without me you can do nothing. And I just broke down and wept. I just said, God, I can't even run a dumb folder without you.

But Gary, that was the grace of God. You know what, God allowed that dumb folder not to work because he had a lesson for you. I believe it.

I believe it. And I just said, I'm asking you to show me how to run that folder. I can't do it.

I went in and that folder just ran itself all summer long. By the way, a lot of people listen to that and they might think, come on, is that real? Let me tell you something. When you trade off trying to do something in your strength for living in the power of God, I like this. I don't know where this phrase came from, but I love it. Katie, bar the door. God's coming in.

Absolutely, absolutely. You know, I had that experience just yesterday. I was looking for a particular book that I had read and made notes on that I'm going to revise, and I couldn't find it. I couldn't find the book that I made all these notes in. I looked at my house, looked at my writing house, looked at my office, and I spent several hours a couple days ago. And so yesterday I just said, God, I can't find that book, and I know you know where it is, and I'm just asking you to bring it to my attention. And I was sitting there at my desk at my office, and I looked over there in a stack of books, and right there in the middle of it was the book I was looking for.

I had already looked there one time. You had a shazam moment right there. That's beautiful. That's powerful. That's powerful, Carl. And I think what you're saying then, Gary, is God and Carl, God is interested in every part of our lives, and maybe that is one of the things that we can talk about to allow Him in so that we can join Him, that that is part of the resolution that will transform us, just that awareness. Is that right, Carl? Oh, oh, oh. Guys, let me tell you something. It was several years ago now I was knocked over by what I call in this book the secret, but it's no secret.

I don't know why I titled it that, but not a little section of that, but it sounded good. It's the secret of getting position for this power is this. It's humility. God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.

You humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, and He will lift you up. Andrew Murray wrote a book called Humility, and in it he says this. He says, humility is the birthplace of every other virtue. Gentlemen, I need you to know something, Gary.

It is absolutely true, and here's what's bizarre. Humility is not the fruit of the Spirit, and it's not the result of, oh, if I read enough Bible, I'm going to be more humble. Or if I fast maybe four days instead of three, all of a sudden I'm going to be this humble giant.

Humility is an act of the will prompted by the Holy Spirit to get yourself under God's authority and to let Him infuse His power into you. And I'm convinced of it, man. I live each day saying, each day, oh God, bring me to a point of being so under Your hand, and I'm so filled with Your power that You give me a front row seat to see You at work.

That's all I need, and it's awesome. Thanks for joining us today for Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller "The 5 Love Languages" . Our guest is pastor and author Carl Clausen. We're talking about his book The Seven Resolutions, where self-help ends and God's power begins. You can find out more at

That's You know, Carl, before the break we were talking about the power of God and recognizing that we can't do the goal that's set out there for us to be like Christ. But there's someone listening who's shaking their head and they're saying to themselves, yeah, I hear you talking about God's power to change, but you don't know my life. You don't know where I am. I'm never going to change.

What do you say to that person? You know, I don't know where you are. I don't know your situation. But I do know that God has met me in my situation. I'll give you another very vulnerable story that if this isn't anecdotal, I don't know what is of God's power.

It rocks my world, so I'm already crying here, pardon me, everyone. But you know, my bride and I were married several years. We'd gone to Africa together. We had been there for the apartheid regime being pulled down. And I was coaching a multiracial track and field team.

And we'd come back stateside. I'd gone to Denver Seminary. Actually, Robert Lewis came and headhunted me out of Colorado, a good friend of mine, Robert is, and asked me to come down to Little Rock and lead a singles ministry. Down there a couple of years. Ministry was booming.

Being mentored by Robert was amazing. And walking through my house one day, and I see my wife sitting on the bed in her chin's quiver, and I'm walking past her, and she grabs my arm, and I said, what is wrong? And she said, bub, I'm scared to death. She called me bub. I call her babe. I said, what's wrong, babe?

She said, I don't love you anymore. And it scares me to death. Now, I need to be real honest with you, you, you listening right now. Our ministry is thriving. People are coming to Jesus. I mean, stuff was happening down there that could only be chalked up to the Holy Spirit, but I had a big blind spot in my life.

I was not loving my wife as Christ loved the church. And here was the battle. Here was the battle. It is so easy. And when, when I, when she let loose of my arm and her chin's quiver, and I've always been the answer guy, I can fix it. I can build it. I'll climb it. We'll, we'll swim across it.

We'll get there. I was, I had nothing, Gary. I had no answer.

I had nothing. And I walked around the corner into the bathroom and I looked in the mirror and I had hell screaming in my ear. And I had the Holy Spirit yelling in the other one. And I was in a fight for my future that day. I heard voices of, she ain't got it together.

Look at all these things going on in her life. And you know what? To that very day, and since then, my wife would have ascended to any one of those. But Satan wanted me to pile on with all those things. And God said to me, I want you to be man enough to look in the mirror and own what you can own. And I looked in the mirror and I told God, I said, you're right. I've made an idol out of ministry. I've made a substitute God out of leading people to Jesus. And God began to, I call it saved twice. If you get saved and you're born again and no one's can snatch you from the hand of God, but then you get saved from self-help and oh, baby, nothing could be different, more different than that. And that's the power of God in us.

So it began to change me. And now 34 years of marriage, Janan is truly my best buddy. I mean, I get up to go on radio in the morning. Sometimes she'll say, hey, you got a minute to talk and got a few things on my heart.

And it's 3.15 in the morning. What couples do that? Unless you're in law.

You got to be in law. Oh, that's, that's wonderful. Uh, of these resolutions, uh, what resolution do you see or have seen people connect with the most? And why do you think that's true? Uh, it's kill sin.

It'd be the third resolution. Uh, the reason is, is that we've, we've created, and I say we, and I'm being very, let me be very self implicative here. Is that a word? And let me implicate myself.

That's better. Um, you know, I was the lead pastor of a church that grew and thrived in Alaska. We had 5,000 people on the weekends. It was on fire. I mean, it was on fire. I mean, we were the talk of the town in many ways, but I got to tell you, after all these years of ministering, the thing that is the Achilles heel for the Western church is that we are trying to manage sin rather than get a holy hatred for it and do everything we can to get it out of our life.

In fact, I'm not going to give you a lot of content here of most of these resolutions, but I'll give you three that are right from the word. You got to expose it. We're called to expose sin. Bring it into the light, man.

You want to sanitize your, your blankets in the summertime, get them outdoors, let them flap in the breeze. So you got to expose it. Secondly, you got to attack it. Jesus said, if your sin, I cause you to sin, gouge it out. Your, your arm causes you sin, cut it off.

Now he wasn't being literal, but he was being dramatic. Make no mistake about it. We better get serious about killing what's killing us. And then the third thing is overwhelm it. I love what we find in Galatians. In Galatians 5, Paul says, if you are being filled with the Holy Spirit, you will not fulfill the gratifications of the flesh.

Whoa. You know what we're doing? We're managing gratifications of the flesh. We're doing everything we can to try to keep it down, suppress the flesh, all that. God said, bring it into the light, expose it. God said, do everything you can to attack it. And God said, do everything you can to overwhelm it and overwhelm it by the power of the Holy Spirit. So kill sin. Third resolution is the big boy here for sure.

All of them applied to all of us, but I'd say kill sin for the gen pop, the general population. Yeah. That's a big one. Yeah. Yeah. I can see that.

Hmm. You know, one of the reviews of the book says, and I'm quoting that this book balances a life motivated by grace yet also shows the need for spiritual disciplines. End of quote. So this isn't about trying harder to toe the line. That's legalism, right? Absolutely.

This is not about that. What do we find in Galatians? Doing a lot of this from my heart here.

So here we go. Paul says in Galatians three verse one, who has bewitched you? And he goes on to say, that you began in the spirit.

Why in the world are you trying to work it out in your own strength? He calls it the flesh. It's the self will and self help and self effort is the enemy of God's promises. And Paul knew that we were in a spiritual war.

Galatians is written to deal with the tendency of people to try to work out in their own strength what only God can do. And that's, if I can just, if you cut me right now, that's what I bleed. I bleed the power of God and only his power. Now, does that mean we don't have anything to do?

No. The minute God displays his power in your life and you get in proximity with him, you need to walk in agreement with him. You need to move as he says, move. The problem is we aren't joining God.

We're out on our own. So how do we approach the spiritual disciplines like prayer and reading the Bible without it becoming an obligation or something we do to earn God's approval? I'm so glad you asked that. Gary, I spent years trying to fast my way to proving myself to God. I spent years, wouldn't have said it, preached otherwise, but my Bible reading was to check a list. Did I get good things out of it?

Yeah, sure. God works in spite of us all the time. Just read Philippians one. But here's the problem. And that is that I was trying to do disciplines to prove my love for God.

He doesn't need that. Disciplines are for him to prove his love and power for us. What have we done in the church?

I mean, and I'm, again, implicating myself here. For many years, we've kind of sub—and it isn't overtly, it's a subconscious kind of cultural vibe that says, I owe, I owe, so off to church I go. You know, I got to get in the Bible. Oh, I really should be praying more. No, no, that's a mental assent to a flawed theological premise that somehow we got to prove ourselves to God. No, no. If the posture is, my goodness, I get to open up God's Word and God is going to shower his love on me and his power, that changes everything. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it's the energy with which we approach those disciplines. Totally.

Yeah, approach them, absolutely. But one's coming to a well to drink. The other one's coming to a board to check a box.

I'd rather come to a well to drink. Thanks for joining us today for Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Carl Clausen is our guest today, and our featured resource is his book, The Seven Resolutions, Where Self-Help Ends and God's Power Begins.

You can find out more at Carl, here's a huge light bulb moment in the book. The difference between joining God and working with him versus working for him. Speak to that. Bingo!

You know, we've already touched on this just a skosh, but this is the Achilles heel for someone right now that has got that thing that is just eating their lunch. You know, my goodness, Gary, I love when I get to interview you in Chicago, because there is a holy Christocentricity about you, where you're bringing people back to the cross. Even the way you promote Five Love Languages.

I just love it, man. You're bringing people back to the cross. But we have made a grave error when we have spoken of salvation as an event as opposed to a life to be lived. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, Paul says. Now, is salvation an event?

You better believe it. It was for me, February 11th of 1984, under the influence of cocaine, Crown Royal. God came into my car in Anchorage, Alaska at 23 years of age. I was making, back then, good money.

$2,000 a week after taxes in the early 80s was good money working in the oil fields, and that was my minimum checks. And he tapped me on the shoulder. I'm dabbing up a nosebleed from hitting too much cocaine, and he said, are you done yet? That's what God asked me, Gary. That's what he said to me, are you done yet? And I broke in my car.

And I said, God, I'm done. And you know, the art and the mystery of the power of God is staying positioned before God. You know, it's interesting. Before Christmas, I was looking at the life of Mary. I stumbled on something in Luke 1 that blew my mind.

In the first Christmas song ever written or ever sung, it was written by Mary. Well, in it, she explains why God found favor in her. And this is what she says.

I don't have it open here, but I got it close enough. She says, I found favor in God's eyes because he saw me in a humbled postured estate. And I thought, oh my goodness. You know why God used Mary? He chose her out among them. Not because she had gone to more Bible studies, not because she'd done more Bible study fellowship, or I'll pick on people I know, Kay Arthur, she's a good friend of mine. I've gone through precepts through everything Kay's ever done.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Because she was humble. That's why God visited her.

And you know, that's the commodity that changes everything. Come on, as Scripture indicates, there's guys out there maybe preaching the Word and elders at churches that don't know the power of God one bit. So how do we ascend the hill of the Lord? Clean hands, pure heart, humbled before him, utterly needy.

I said it early in the show, I'll say it now. I got to tell you, the way we come to Jesus is the way we need to walk with Jesus. When I'm preaching on a stage, I'll often say, this is where I found Christ, and I'll get on my knees. And then I'll say, this is how I've learned to walk with Jesus, and I'll stay on my knees, and I'll just shuffle across that stage. Gary, it looks a little crazy, but it's really biblical.

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You know, one of the other resolutions has to do with thinking truth. And you say that many of us have never learned the art of thinking truth. How can we think truth? We have to set our minds on things above, for we died and our life is now hidden with Christ in God. We've got to live the salvation reality.

And here's the problem. It's like my wife and I had a, we had a bathroom in our guest bathroom in the hallway in Little Rock, Arkansas. We walked into that thing, we bought that home, and we loved that home, but that wallpaper, that was bad. Bad wallpaper.

That was bad. And we said, we've got to get that wallpaper about. But over time, we forgot about the wallpaper, and after a while, we became accustomed to it all the way to the point when we moved out five, six years later. Well, I looked at that, and I looked at my bride, I said, we never got this wallpaper out of here. These poor guests of ours have been looking at this wallpaper. It was ugly then, it's ugly now.

You know what? Some of us have grown accustomed to the wallpaper of bad thinking in our mind. And it's time to pull it down. If you got reckless words that were spoken over you by a parent, very often true. Sometimes parents didn't mean poorly, but they did poorly. And those words got to come down.

You can't leave that wallpaper up there. You've had words said by colleagues or kids on the playground, and nobody had your back, and those words stuck to you. I mean, they stuck to you. And I'll tell you what you got to do. You got to go in there, and you got to set your mind on things above.

And very candidly, I'm going to break it to you right now. I don't care where you're at today, until you have a view of you the way God sees you, you are never going to be what God designed you and has called you to be. And I'm begging you, get the wallpaper that's ugly down, and get the truth of God's Word applied to the walls of your mind. If we saw ourselves the way God sees us, I hear you saying it would transform our lives. Oh, and I'm just barely beginning to scratch at how God sees me.

And I've been at this thing too long to count to years, Gary, but it's a beautiful ride. I think most Christians go back to this whole concept of sin. I think most Christians know that sin is anything that goes against God's will. But what is the mistake that many of us make when we're trying to get rid of sin in our lives? We attempt to do it in our own strength. I'm thinking, let me get anecdotal here. I'm thinking of the guy that, and this is very common, so it's going to hit home for some of you right now.

And it's not just guys, it's gals in our culture. The stats are that pornography is ravaging the church. So the question is, what do you do with this stuff? If you try to do it in your strength, it's going to eat your lunch. It's going to come back over and over again. I've had plenty of things that I've tried to sin, that I've tried to get out of my life, and it doesn't work in my own strength. And so when I find that people come forward with sin that needs to be killed in their lives, let's just say we're taking on pornography, okay? Let's just say we're taking that on. There's some proactive things that you can do to take this on.

See, back in the day when I was growing up, you basically either had to have the courage to go into a store and look at bad magazines, which I didn't, thank God, or you had to have a friend whose dad was kind of perverted and that had playboys laying around. Well, now you've got these crazy little machines, and I mean, you've got bad stuff within striking distance, and this is why I'm convinced it's killing so many Christian men. But you can break free, and here's how.

Bring it into the light, take extreme measures. You know what I've learned how to do as a pastor? One of the best tutoring things I've ever done? I am learning how to make smartphones dumb phones, Gary. I'm not kidding you.

And you can do it. I got an iPhone that, by the way, my wife has all my passwords. She has a locator beacon on my phone. I don't know if she uses it.

When I set it up, I just set it up. So she needs to know where I'm at, because she's like, oh, man, maybe you can pick me up something. She'll know if I'm at Whole Foods or if I'm at Costco.

She'll know. But here's what we've got to do. We've got to take extreme measures to bring into the light these things, partner with other Jesus followers to help us do this, and then sit down at the well of the Holy Spirit.

What do we find in Ephesians? Don't be drunk with wine but be filled with the Holy Spirit. And the key to this is, just like alcohol makes you—you can spot a drunk without even a bottle in his hand because he's staggering down the road, so someone who's filled with the Spirit, you can see what was a sinful walk now straightened out by the power of the Spirit. The key to this, though, first and foremost—this is where we fail the war—we try to do it in the shadows.

Every time you try to kill sin in the shadows, it'll out-punch you all day long. Carl, as we come to the end of our time together, you dedicated this book, Seven Resolutions, to your wife, June Ann. The two of you have walked a hard trail recently.

Share that with us, if you will. Yeah, I wrote the dedication before it happened. We came back from a trip, a big party for me, actually, that she had planned was delayed by COVID, to Bermuda. Got back from Bermuda and she felt like she was beginning to run and trained for some running that she was doing. And she said, I'm feeling something here.

And boy, we went on a fast track to something that shocked us. We found out that my bride had ovarian cancer, Gary. And she's healthy.

And we're like, what? And you know, I got to tell you, we've got a great report in that her prognosis is great. If you know anything, if you're a cancer, if you have cancer right now or a cancer survivor, you know what I'm talking about right now.

You know the breath that it takes away when you first hear it. But my wife's been a rock through this thing. I've never seen someone... You can really tell someone what's inside when their cup gets bumped, because when a cup gets bumped, you see what's coming from the inside out. And this thing bumped my wife's cup, but what came out is faith in God and I'll tell you though, what it did for us and what it does for us is we live in a broken world with a lot of pain and we're living in these old tents that one day are going to get traded in for these new glorified bodies.

But right now it's tough sledding sometimes and it hit us out of the blue. Yes, my wife has a great prognosis, 1A, 80. You know, eight out of 10 women will never see ovarian cancer again. And Gary, this is growing to a youth size football and another mass that was a softball.

Would you believe the expert surgeons at University of Chicago got in there, got it all out without it rupturing and there is no sign of any cancer anywhere. That's wonderful. That's wonderful. But here's what it did to us, Gary. God uses the tough things in our life and people come to me all the time... I'm gonna cry this whole interview, Gary. People come to me all the time and go, why? Why this pain?

Why? The only thing I can tell you is this from my experience is that when we go through pain, we are strategically positioned to experience the power of God that we otherwise would never be, if we'll let him. Yeah. Well, I can certainly identify with that because my wife went through that cancer journey 10 years ago and she's free.

But yes, it was a year of tremendous growth. And I'll tell you the other thing, Carl, for us, and I'm sure for you, you come to appreciate each other even more than you ever have. And the little things that used to irritate you, they don't irritate you anymore.

All the impediments to living out "The 5 Love Languages" are now removed. Listen, Carl, it's been so great to have you on today sharing. And I do believe God's going to use this book to help a lot of people turn in the right direction to live the Christian life.

And that's not in our power, but in his power. So thanks for being with us today. Thank you, Gary. What an encouraging and hopeful conversation today. To read more about the kind of change Carl Clausen is talking about, go to There you'll see the title, The Seven Resolutions, Where Self-Help Ends and God's Power Begins.

Again, go to Coming up next week, our Summer Best of broadcasts continue, I said I was sorry. What more do you want? Have you ever heard that?

Have you ever said that? Dr. Jennifer Thomas joins Dr. Gary Chapman to describe the five apology languages in one week. Don't miss it. A big thank you to our production team, Steve Wick and Janice Backing. Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-15 09:50:34 / 2023-03-15 10:10:43 / 20

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