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How to Walk in the Dark - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2021 2:00 am

How to Walk in the Dark - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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April 19, 2021 2:00 am

Many believers don't want to appear holier-than-thou, so how can we live holy lives around unholy people? In the message "How to Walk in the Dark," Skip shares how you can live as a child of light while walking in a dark world.

This teaching is from the series Rock Solid.

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Peter is saying, picking up on this, if you're going to walk in the dark, if you're going to punch holes in the darkness, you've got to cut off the past. You have to say no to the old life. Those were the days you lived in ignorance, Peter would say. You didn't know what you were doing. You didn't know any better.

Now you do. Simply put, there are things you used to do, you are not to do. A theologian once said, be killing sin or it will be killing you. Today on Connect with Skip Hitek, Skip shares how you can walk in Jesus' light even while living in a dark world. But before we begin, here's a great resource that will help you lock into the peace that Jesus offers you.

Christians can be ambushed by surprise struggles. You know how that feels. Listen to Skip Hitek. Anxiety is the problem.

It's a problem all human beings at some point have to deal with. Understanding and overcoming anxiety is possible, and we want to help you move from feeling paralyzed by anxiety to finding lasting peace with three powerful resources, Overcoming an Anxious Mind, a new booklet by Skip Hitek, his teaching, Worship in the Uncertainty on CD, plus the War is Over worship CD. The cure for worry is to redirect your energy and replace your anxiety. This resource bundle is our thanks for your gift of $35 or more today to help connect more people to the Prince of Peace.

Visit connectwithskip.com slash offer to give online securely or call 800-922-1888. Okay, we're in 1 Peter Chapter 1 today as we get into the teaching with Skip Hitek. You know that a distraction can be disastrous? That was shown in 2004 at the Olympic Games in Athens when an American by the name of Matt Emmons was so close to the gold medal he could taste it. He was in first place. His competition was the men's three position 50 meter rifle competition. All he needed for his final shot was something near the bullseye.

Didn't even have to be spot on, just somewhere near. So in that final round, Matt Emmons in first place takes his rifle, aims it, pulls the trigger, but the shot did not register on his target. Matt Emmons was standing in line number three, lane number three. The target that he just shot was in lane number two. He aimed at the wrong target. Something distracted him and it was the kind of mistake that was unheard of at that level of competition.

The judges gave him a zero and suddenly Matt Emmons went from first place to eighth place, all because of a distraction. You're going to live in a dark world. You're going to punch holes in the darkness. Prepare your mind. Live in the light of the coming of Christ.

Let that be a real hope. Second, shape your conduct. Now we go from the mind to the actions. And Peter writes, verse 14, as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts is in your ignorance when you didn't know any better.

But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct. There are a couple of things that Peter writes about. He moves from what we think to what we do. And he says, when you're in the realm of action, conduct, there's a negative part and there's a positive part.

There's a part that you don't do and there's a part that you do. The negative is, simply put, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts. Do you ever stop to remember who you used to be before you came to Christ and you were all holy like you are now? You ever just stopped to think about your past life, your BC days before Christ's days?

I was a moron. I think of the things I said, the people I hung with, the things I did, how cool I thought I was. And sometimes, sometimes I'll hear Christians almost reminiscing about their past life, like it were the, remember the good old days?

Oh, what are you talking about? Yeah, remember the good old days when you went to all those parties and you felt so alone when you went there? Remember all the fake friends that used to surround you because they wanted something from you? Remember feeling more alienated and more isolated? Good old days.

Let me tell you about the good old days. According to Paul the Apostle, here's an honest look back. This is Ephesians chapter 2. Once you were dead, you were doomed forever because of your many sins. You used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passions and desires of our evil nature. We were born with an evil nature and we were under God's anger just like everyone else. Now that is an honest look back.

Dead, doomed, a prisoner to our own loss, and in the bull's eye of God's anger. That's where you came from. So Peter is saying, picking up on this, if you're going to walk in the dark, if you're going to punch holes in the darkness, you've got to cut off the past. You have to say no to the old life. Those were the days you lived in ignorance, Peter would say. You didn't know what you were doing. You didn't know any better.

Now you do. Simply put, there are things you used to do, you are not to do. There are people you used to hang out with that are just not good for you to hang with anymore. There are internet sites you used to visit that you have no business looking at.

There are books you used to read that you ought to leave alone. Did you know the word no, N-O, is a spiritual word? Try it sometime. Just say no.

It feels so good. No. I don't mean live a negative life, but when that temptation, well, I don't know, should I compromise?

Should I negotiate? No, just say no and walk away. Cut it off. So say no to your past.

But that's not enough. Peter would say, if you're going to shape your conduct, you have to say yes to your father. You have to say yes to your father.

You have to say yes to your father. Verse 14, look at it. Look at it. As obedient children, you see what he's doing? He's connecting you with your heavenly father. You are to be children that are obedient. And verse 15, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct. Holy, be holy, holiness. We hear that word a lot. Can I just say, frankly, that's a very churchy word. And it's a word we use and we sing and we pray for and we toss around. And frankly, I just wonder if we really understand what it means, quite frankly.

Holiness. Ask 10 people. Ask 10 people.

I don't know if you ever actually want to try this when you're in Starbucks. Say, hey, you 10 people. I'm going to try a word association. What first comes to your mind when I say this word, ready?

Holy. You might stump a few. Somebody might say, I don't know, candlelit cathedral.

Maybe they'll sing for you. Or thin monks with long beards like the guys on Duck Dynasty who live out in the deserts in some monastery somewhere. Our mind does funny things with the word holy. The Bible tells us God is holy. It's the essential part of His character. When the angels were worshiping God and Isaiah saw a vision of it, they said, holy, holy, holy, three times for emphasis.

Interesting. They didn't say loving, loving, loving, merciful, merciful, merciful, just, just, just. Even though God has all those things, the primary attribute noted was His holiness. What does it mean? It means unique. It means different.

It means other, other. God's otherness is God's holiness. Listen to this verse in a translation called The Message by Eugene Peterson. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God's life. A life energetic and blazing with holiness. I love that.

A life shaped by God's life. You know, if you're a Christian, if I'm a Christian, there ought to be a family resemblance. I remember as a boy, I'd go places and you know what I heard people say? That's Lou Heitzig's son. I heard that a lot.

I'm not just Skip, I'm Lou Heitzig's son. Wherever I went, I carried my dad's reputation around with me and it put pressure on me. It was a good pressure to have that I had to not tarnish his good name. I had to conform to some kind of a standard.

Yes, I individuated. I was my own person, but I was also Lou Heitzig's son. I bear another name, as do you, the name of Christ. We are children of our Heavenly Father. To live a holy life simply means that people look at your life and they go, you must somehow be connected to God, somehow related to Him. And live in such a way that God would, so to speak, look down from heaven and say, that's my boy.

That's my girl. In the days of Alexander the Great, one of his soldiers was caught deserting in a battle. That soldier was brought before Alexander the emperor. He heard the charges and he said to the young soldier, young man, what is your name? He looked up and said, my name is Alexander, sir. The emperor was taken aback and then he became angry and he said, soldier, you either change your behavior or change your name.

If you're going to bear my name, Alexander, I want you to be brave, in other words. Holiness, a reflection, a family resemblance. As he is holy, who called you? You be holy. You be other.

Let me throw something else out at you. Why don't you start looking at holiness, defined by the word wholeness, w-h-o-l-e-ness. When you are holy, you become whole, you become complete, you become well-rounded. The closer you follow God and pursue God and become more like God, it's the whole, complete package of life.

And when you pursue him and you start emulating his traits and become more and more like him, there's a power in that, unlike anything else. I heard of a native who went to a large city for the first time and had never seen electric lights and he was so dazzled by them and he was given some extra spending money, so he bought a sack full of light bulbs and light switches and sockets. Took him back home to his village and started stringing him up, took him back home to his village and started stringing him up on the outside of his house and in the trees by his house. All his neighbors were looking at him, what are you doing? And he said, just wait, just wait, just watch, just wait. A nightfall came in the neighborhood, the whole city, the village was gathered out.

He said, now just wait, watch this. And he flipped the switch and nothing happened because nobody told him about electricity. It's not enough to just turn from the darkness to live in the light, you got to plug in to God. You say no to the old past, you say yes to your father and that shapes your conduct. So how do you walk in the dark? It begins in the mind, you prepare your mind, you think clearly, hopefully.

You shape your actions negatively, don't be like you used to be, you didn't know any better then, you know better now, say yes to your father, pursue him closely. Third, finally, focus your will, focus your will. Verse 16, because it is written, be holy for I am holy. Now, before I jump into that, there's something in the previous verse, in verse 15, that just sort of jumped out at me this week. I want you to notice it. It's this little phrase that just made my breath go, it actually said that? Notice what it says at the end of verse 15, he who called you was holy, be holy in some of your conduct.

Do you see that? In some of your conduct. Did I misread it? I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I did misread it. You also be holy in most of your conduct.

Yeah, I misread it again. It says what? All your conduct. It says that I'm to be holy in all my conduct. What does it say in the Greek? I want to know what it says in the Greek. It might mean something different if I know what it says in the Greek. It means all. In fact, the Phillips translation renders it in every department of your life. When you bring Jesus into your life, he comes in to live as a resident, not a tourist.

He wants the key to every room. I was in North Carolina this week. I visited not only the Billy Graham Training Center where I spoke, but I had an afternoon free. I went to the Biltmore Estate. I took my son. I'd been there before. I wanted to see it again.

I wanted to show him. Biltmore Estate is the largest home in America. 250 rooms. 250 rooms in a single home of many stories of the castle. Central heating in the late 1800s and 65 supplemental fireplaces.

Huge. Took a tour room to room. But there were sections of the Biltmore Estate that are off limits or roped off. Can't go in that hallway. Can't see in that room.

And I come up to that rope and it's my tendency. I want to see what's in that room because it says I can't see what's in that room. So why can't I see what's in that room?

Oh, well, she said, you don't want to see it. It's sort of like this room. And if you take the special tour, we could show you into some of these other rooms. So there were certain rooms off limits for me. Okay, I'm a tourist. I'm not a resident. I get that.

But when you receive Christ into your heart and you give him the key to your life, he lives there. He is not a tourist and he wants access to every single room in the house. All your conduct. All your conduct.

I'll spell it out. God when I wake up. God in the shower. God at the breakfast table. God in the car. God at the office. God at the factory. God in the classroom. God in the boardroom. God in the bedroom. All your conduct. All your conduct. Holiness is letting God conquer inner space. And when he conquers inner space, your outer space will be fine.

C.S. Lewis wrote, how little people know who think holiness is dull. When one meets the real thing, it's irresistible. Even if 10% of the world's population had it, would not the whole world be converted before the years end?

You know, he's right. The world doesn't understand holiness, which is why we have to show them. Those 10 people at Starbucks, when you mention holiness, they don't get it. They have to see it. We have to show them. You want to know what God's like?

Let me show you. Years ago, there was a lighthouse in Florida. One of the glass panes broke out.

They ordered a new one, but temporarily they had to close it up, so they put a piece of tin over where the glass was on one side. Problem is, is when a ship was trying to get into the harbor and looked at the lighthouse, it didn't see a light. It saw a dark spot.

Couldn't navigate. One of the things we discover as we grow in Christ is that we have a few dark spots. A few.

A lot. And part of our Christian growth is to identify and remove those dark spots and put in its place holiness. That's what God wants in that room, in that area, with this relationship, all your conduct. Now, I did promise a third, and I started, and I stopped, and I go back to focus your will. Verse 16, because it is written, be holy, for I am holy. And if you call on the Father who, without partiality, judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves through the time of your stay here in fear.

Now, please just read the first word of verse 18. We're going to get to that next time, but look at the first word of that, because it's all part of the same sentence. Knowing. Knowing.

He talks about, this is what God said, there's going to be a judgment, and we know something. Now, that's important. Knowing goes beyond just thinking. In fact, knowing goes beyond just doing certain things. When you were in the realm of knowing something, you're in the realm of deeply held, firmly held convictions. Convictions are beliefs firmly held. They are ideas and beliefs you're firmly convinced of, you're firmly committed to. Any wishy-washy person can have a belief. A stable believer is somebody who has convictions. And your inner space will get conquered when you're in the realm of knowing something. And that's what God said. And your inner space will get conquered when you move from belief system to convictions. I'm convinced one of the reasons people fall away from the faith, as they say, or as Jesus put it, get choked up by the cares of this world, is they have never formulated deep held convictions. I know this to be true. So we go from thinking to action, but really we end up with the firm basis of deeply held convictions. Focus your will.

Choose. That's based upon a couple of things. It's based, first of all, upon Scripture, written Scripture. Verse 16, because it is written, be holy. He's quoting Leviticus, because it is written. So Peter is anticipating his audience saying, well, why should I be holy, Peter? Good question, Peter would say, because God said so in his book.

It is written. A phrase found 80 times in the Bible, usually in the New Testament pointing back to the Old Testament. A person who has conviction has somebody who has wrestled with the Scripture and come out the other end of the wrestling saying, I believe this to be the word of God. If you've ever listened to vintage classic Billy Graham Crusades, there's one phrase he always says over and over again. It's the word phrase, the Bible says. The Bible says, for God so loved the world.

The Bible says all of sin, the Bible. It's a string of Scripture. You know why he says that? Because many years ago as a youth, when he was at Forest Home in California, a youth camp, he was struggling with Scripture. I can't put my mind around it intellectually.

I don't understand it all. And he went out and he prayed. He got on his knees. He said, God, there's a lot of this book I do not get, but I believe it to be your word and I will proclaim it as your word. I've come to an end of my intellect. And all I know is, is that when I wield this sword, it's like a fire that melts the ice off the hearts of unbelievers. And from that moment on, it was the Bible says, the Bible says, because he saw the power and the strength of written Scripture.

Peter couldn't have said what he said. It is written unless he believed that to be so. Second, you focus your will based upon future judgment. Don't miss it in verse 17. If you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves through the time of your stay here in fear. A person who lives with convictions like this has those convictions because he believes there will one day be a final reckoning, a final accounting. The Scripture is your flashlight in the dark world. God's judgment is the light at the end of the tunnel. There will never be a brighter day in your whole life than the day of judgment. According to Paul, 1 Corinthians 4, therefore judge nothing before the appointed time. Wait until the Lord comes.

He will bring to light what is hidden in the darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time, each one will receive his praise from God. That day is coming.

There's a day of judgment coming. I heard about a family that was going on vacation. There was a thief across the street in a car waiting to watch the family go. They left. He waited for nightfall. He picked the lock. He opened the door to the kitchen. It was completely dark and he heard a voice.

Jesus sees you and so do I. He was scared. He turned on his flashlight, looked around, saw nothing.

He continued his work. Again the voice said, Jesus sees you and so do I. Okay, he's freaked out. He looks around, looks around, can't see anybody.

Third time, Jesus sees you and so do I. At this moment, he turns on the overhead lights and he looks across the kitchen and there on the counter was in a cage a parrot. And he said, oh, it's just a bird in a cage. Then he saw the Doberman Pinscher with glistening teeth on the other side of the kitchen in a crouching position. And just then the parrot said, attack, Jesus, attack. It was the day of judgment for that thief. First of all, it's just weird that some owner called his dog Jesus.

I don't know. It works in the story. If you want to walk firmly and confidently in a dark world, if you want to see in the dark, if you want to punch holes in the darkness, think clearly. Live holy and choose decisively.

And you will be, you will be, contrary to what the world says, the most enlightened person in the bunch. That wraps up Skip Heitzig's message from the series Rock Solid. Right now, here's Skip with an important message. There are lots of people who feel lonely and rejected in this world, but we want them to know that there is a savior who loves them so much.

He died for them. And you can be a vessel that God works through to bring those people out of darkness into his glorious light. By giving a gift today to keep this program going strong for you and others, you'll help share the saving message of Jesus Christ with a lost world.

Here's how you can do that. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give your gift today. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate, or call 800-922-1888.

Again, that's 800-922-1888. Coming up tomorrow, Skip Heitzig shares how you can find your true and lasting worth in the God who loves you unconditionally. You are precious to God.

The old house is worth saving. God redeemed you. The love of God. What's the most famous verse in the Bible? John 3, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. Does not say for God was so kicked off at the world. He sent his son to punch everybody out. He loved the world. The essence of God's character besides holiness is love. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-30 10:53:08 / 2023-11-30 11:02:56 / 10

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