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Staying Connected to God: A 60-Day Challenge (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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June 22, 2022 6:00 am

Staying Connected to God: A 60-Day Challenge (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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June 22, 2022 6:00 am

John Burke reminds us that God is the source of life and of our contentment and joy. He gives us a clear picture of what it looks like to do life with God and how you can trust Him with your strongest and deepest desires. (Part 2 of 2)

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A branch doesn't have to work hard to produce for all it has to do is stay connected to the trunk vine and fruit happens naturally on the vine near the branches stay connected to me, and you will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing.

That's the whole point that I'm trying to get across and saw revolution that actually all we have to do is learn to stay connected, moment by moment to God's spirit and the rest of the things take care of themselves. That's John Burke can use with us once again today on Focus on the Family your hostess focus Pres. and Dr. Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller, John. I'm so excited to have John Burke back with us.

He's been here at number times. Last time we talked about how we can trust God with our hopes and our dreams and really our deepest longings are found in Jesus. And when we can understand that it changes our life and John gave us some ideas on reorienting our minds and connecting with God so that we can be in tune with the things that he desires for us.

The good gift giver.

If I can say it that way if you missed any part of it and get to the website.

Downloaded that get the smart phone app you can listen that way but today were going to dive a little deeper into that content based on his book so revolution in John Burke is the pastor and founder of Gateway church in Austin Texas. He and his wife Kathy have an adult son and an adult daughter. In his book, so revolution imperfect people became all God intended is indeed the foundation for conversation colonists to get your copy 800 the letter a in the word family or check the program notes for further details.

John welcome back.

How great it's good to see.

Let's pick up from last time you talk about the 6060 experiment. So for those that didn't hear it.

Give us a quick briefing on what the 6060 experiments all about. Yes, so the context like we talked about last time is that we all have deep longings. We have hopes we have dreams that are not bad but often times we settle for too little and God actually wants to give us the deepest longings of our hearts. The love and the joy in the peace and patience and kind and all these things that things from out there can't give us.

But it only comes from intimate relationship with God and in fact that's what we are created for were created to do life apart from the very source of life and love and goodness he created us for that. So the Christian walk really is simple. It's incredibly simple, and Jesus said this is last night on earth. John 15 five he said look, I'm the vine like on the trunk of the tree you know the vine.

You're the branches stay connected to me, and you will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing. So the 6060 experiment is trying to help us re-orient from the habit we all naturally fall into, which is that we go throughout our days forgetting that God is with us. He is with us and he loves us and he promised his Holy Spirit to be with us to guide us into all truth to guide us into the purpose he has us here for, and the result is the dreams and longings of our heart we look back and I am personally I can say I'm amazed yeah and I would never choose any other path. Now that doesn't mean it's not challenging sometimes along the way that mean there's not disappointments back many times he uses the disappointments to rip away the things were using as props.

Apart from God is not try to harm us exactly trying to help us right so that's so the 6060 is every 60 minutes for 60 days you. It takes time to set a new habit for so 60 days is a good time. To change a habit. So for 60 days you set a beeper to go off your alarm on your smart phone or we have an app that that doesn't that'll ding your phone and bring up a verse reminding you of how to stay connected or what God wants in this relationship.

Maybe just put sticky notes in your car and on your computer. Just as a reminder and what you're trying to do is change your habit from going through the hours of the day, the moments of the day forgetting about God.

Who's there with you or distracted or distracted, or not listening right and responding generally issue this is a pastor I'm sure you have counseled many many people that fit this description. But I want to really speak to that person that this is true of and that is the person that's trying to satisfy longings that are artificial, it might be success, money, houses, cars relationship, you know, beautiful wife, whatever and how when they reach it, how it doesn't meet the need and speak to that individual and even in the church and of someone who's made a commitment to Christ, it's sometimes hard to shake those habits of what you're actually going after and how to get better oriented around exactly what you're saying. Opening your heart so the Lord can help meet the deeper longings of your life. I mean, some people might not even know what those longings are. That's how distracted they can be yeah and I think the other part is we don't stay connected to the Lord because we fear that if I do.

He's going to fill in the black so this is my old fear right.

I was an engineer.

I had a dream and a goal to start my own get an MBA start my own company be rich and successful because that was what I was trained is success. Sure okay will then my dad did that but it killed, he died, he died from cancer, but he also struggled with alcoholism is over will struggle with stress.

He had ulcers he and on his deathbed, he said to me Donna give it all back. If I could just have my health and my family. He knew the Lord, but he didn't know how to walk with the Lord, abide in him.

He didn't know how to abide how to stay connected and as a result, there were a lot of wounds you know his father abandoned their family. He was abusive. There's just a lot of wounds from the past.

My dad never worked through and I mean I didn't realize is in this thing our deepest longings are really trying to answer a few questions and my lovable or am I loved and do I have worth to have value purpose and really were trying to get those questions answered. The shallow strategies often times are like were trained or we come up with an idea that if I'm successful.

If I have a husband who looks like this or does this or is this status or if I have a wife who you know.

Looks like this or does her kids or young and you can fill it in with a thousand things. Sure, but those end up suddenly becoming idols. In other words, they become the singular most important thing and they distract us to secure saying from the one thing that Jesus said is necessary right and that is relationship with the Lord walking moment by moment with the Lord.

And so it I think the thing I would say is don't worry about changing all your dreams that are bad are your hopes are bad. They're not necessarily at all focus on walking day by day for 60 days and just see if you don't end up going all my gosh this way of doing life with God is so much better if you had a story in the book about going skiing with your college buddies and you encountered what sounded like you know ski bunnies and what happened in that story and what was the outcome. Yeah so what state were you in Colorado.

Colorado crested Butte is a specific excellent yeah great skis but yet the great ski spot and yes so we were single college met at the three girls in and out. We were trying to show off and Texans yeah and test and if you don't know Coloradans have a love-hate relationship with Texans but they love Texas Lincoln ski really well and so no, but these girls were like leading us into the trap right there, like okay you can ski let's go skiing so they take us up to the backside and it's this big bowl probably 2 feet of powder 3 feet of powder crazy 70.

I mean it was it look like a straight down drop so they said to me you can't fear. You just have to you have to go like you're falling down the mountain plunge and then use the speed to control your speed so I start but am terrified so I leaned back was the worst thing you can do and I know I snowball for 200 yards, she comes back and she's like know if you get into fear, you're not going to build a eunuch ability. This you have to like throw yourself down the mountain and then you'll be able to control your speed. It seemed counterintuitive right I be right with you but I did it. Yeah I did at that time Eileen down. I leaned down the mountain and I didn't fight the speed and I started to then turn and it was the most fun I've ever had was a thrill. This 6060 experiment doing life, moment by moment with Jesus is the same.

So here's what I challenge people to do for 60 days you have to go all out incomplete willingness to do his will. But I'm telling you, after watching thousands of people do this experiment for 60 days. Nobody ever says who who goes all out what was said and done that nobody it's always with a guaranty. Oh my gosh yeah God is real, he loves me and cares about me. I couldn't believe the things I experience the way God showed up the way he led me the joy, the piece and the way he takes care of the little things yeah when I just focus on the one thing Jesus said is most important, abide in me, to bear much fruit. Apart from me. Nothing John that is so good in the book you share how you responded at a crucial time when a friend of yours, Jerry really needed you had a got work in that situation well wasn't it wasn't reconciliation. It's a good the story is a good reminder so we have to learn to listen to these little promptings. So that's what happened with Jerry.

I'm sitting there doing emails one day and no action.

I was working on a message and I was on a deadline and I have this thought going to my head.

I wonder where Jerry is. Jerry was not a Christian. He and his girlfriend had started coming to our church and I hadn't seen them in a while and I don't know why I had that thought, and I thought what I think that Lord. And then I was like I'm busy and I got it so I go back to writing my message and I have the thought again and it was kinda like email Jerry is like I don't know if I had Jerry's email time to do this but I'll email Jerry so I email Jerry Jerry him senior while hope you're okay. Just thinking about you stop and prayed for you. Let me know if I do anything for you shut it off well the next day his girlfriend who Jerry lived with got that as she had just taken him home from the hospital having tried to commit suicide. The day I wrote that email from the day the Lord was 90 day the Lord nudged me amazing. She saw it as an act of God. They came in and he unloaded all the guilt and burden that he's carried because basically he he started dating his brother's girlfriend tore their relationship apart because his brother was 11 and he felt incredible guilt and just drove him and he didn't know the forgiveness of the Lord right so I share the gospel with them. He came to Christ the Lord turned his life around. It was amazing because of one little prompting thought. Think of that and that's the adventure we get to go on with the Lord. John that can be one of the big barriers is moving toward people with the right attitude here in the 60s 60 experiment.

You're asking the Lord every 60 minutes okay Lord, what checking in.

What I need to go and boom, that thought hit you contact so-and-so.

Okay, I'm not sure if that's the Lord, but in faith to make that happen and you know these could be relationships that have historic conflict in them or something. So kind of bundling those thoughts together. The concept of moving toward people for some can be really intimidating. While it can be passed conflict or could be present conflict or just here yeah and one the things in the book. II talk about using the Lord's prayer as a model yet. Let's talk that will end it leads in because again it's not being formal is just real is the Lord's prayer is really a model our father who art in heaven. Holy is your name.

The words you are greater than I can possibly imagine better than I can possibly imagine. I'm going to trust you, that's that the sentiment in the second.

You know, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Okay, that's a prayer. Jesus taught us to pray that because God's will is not done, mostly on earth. This is what were trying to do in the 6060 experiment is change it from the way we typically will things to be done and allow God's will to actually work in us now here's the thing. Love requires willingness and free will and so God doesn't force himself on us many times he waits for our willingness and so the responding in obedience.

The radical response in those moments throughout the day. It does require humbling ourselves in trust. I think about my own personal expense. When our kids were little, we were in the middle as the church of doing the 66 experiments.

My watch was going off, you know, beeping every every 60 minutes to remind you to stay connected. Each each moment of the day we go down to the beach and the kids are little, we stay up late swimming we get up the next morning and I had this plan in my head of how the day was going to go. We had to get back.

It was Sunday, so we would get up, get ready would be on the beach by 10, we would enjoy. You know the afternoon we hit the road by by two because we had to get back and get ready for school and everything else in its 10 o'clock, 11 o'clock 12 o'clock. You know were all grown because we didn't sleep well were in the cramped little hotel the dog and dogs bark kept us up all night were all getting on each other's nerves, but I was doing a really good job of being patient. Let me tell you how my wife disagree in my she was wrong.

So you get the picture at riotous, but I really felt like I had like we were all get on each others nerves. The kids were crying and upset.

I was trying to be so patient like but now it's noon it's two hours past. Plan right time to go.

I.e. my will be done so anyway, my wife finally confronted me. She said you being so impatient was like, don't you realize how patient I been for two hours notice it yes and and it just, you know. So then we started getting then we were all in there and write as were in the middle of it what you think happened this stinking beeper goes off on my watch. The 6666 and I'm not kidding.

In my mind I said sorry Lord can't connect right now I'm busy this time, and I certainly don't want accountability I not want an end.

That is exactly what happens right and what I realizes in that moment it was like my wound my pride my way.

It was blocking my spirit from even wanting to consider what the Lord wanted his will be done right and I literally had to and and it was only because this verse from Scripture Coming to my mind again, I think, is the Lord's prompting, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under God's mighty hand, and he will lift you up Here and then I was like should never memorize that Scripture that was come back to bite us.

But I went for a walk and I just calm down and and I was able to say and sometimes is what you have to say Lord I can't do it for them.

But I'll do it for you. That's good, that's obedience and that's abide in my love and how you abide in my love. You know how much God loves us a depth that we can't fathom how hi hello how wide, how deep, but we only have one thing to offer him in love are will in any one moment. So I said okay I'll do it as an act of love for you and I went back and I apologized even though one wrong they were wrong gets it went deeper still get to go through forgive you know. But that is the reality so that your kingdom come, your will be done and what were doing in these moments throughout the day in the 6060s were changing our habit of just letting our pride and are will be done and were were actually following his and were seen.

It's better. It was better we will not had a great day.

The rest of the day did have resolution. They apologize to once I lead, but leadership often requires humbling yourself right yet. I think in that 6060 experiment. One of things is just getting to know the voice of the Lord and it doesn't need to be a shameful thing or an embarrassing thing you haven't practiced this that it takes old time to say okay is that just me thinking matters that really the Holy Spirit nudging me. In fact, that you had a story in the book about Kathy you guys. I think were in Russia all yeah and something at a nice restaurant occurred at the ethics of fellow and while we were living in post-communist Russia so it was right after the fall of the Soviet Union. We moved to Leningrad. We left St. Petersburg same city.

We were there when it yeah when a change change names during that time was hyperinflation. Just horrible economic crash. Yeah so anyway we were at a Christmas break out in Switzerland for a conference so we are having this we go to this really nice restaurant steakhouse in Switzerland just love and my wife couldn't eat just a huge mercy gift right that's not my problem. You married Alice and she helps me. She helps me with the Lord's heart for people and and so she couldn't eat like going to eat lunch because I just can't eat this beautiful meal knowing some of our Russian friends of the parents in married student housing can even get milk for their kids we gotta do something to help. And so we stopped and we prayed around the meal we just said, Lord, if this prompting the Kathy ceiling the world feeling we were all like God are we supposed to do something then tell us, show us and we spent the rest of the night brainstorming will. Maybe we could find trucks in Fenlon and we could truck food and from then we can raise money from churches in United States we start to develop this plan will we get back that next week to our flat. We lived in a Russian flat apartment and there was a a phone message waiting for us and we call and it was an organization that had a C1 10 military transport plane flying in a whole cargo load of food, enough to feed 2000 families for three months there contacted turned out to be Mafia. They heard we were Americans living there. Is there any way we could possibly help them distribute the food. It's crazy crazy crazy goodness.

And so we ended up being able to not only you know, meet the needs physically but we were able to share Christ with all of them and tell him about the God who cares about their needs physical and spiritual. It was amazing. But again, this is the adventure God wants to lead us on and sometimes it's amazing like that. Like he wants to do something through us, but we have to be willing to just seek his will and then willing to act sometimes is real simple yeah and I like that through both days you've talked about that keeping things simple, that the gospel is simple.

It's not easy know that it is hard to say as hard as they notice simple. That's why the 6060 experiment is for 60 days were trying to re-orient our habit of not doing this one thing Jesus said is necessary get distracted by everything else. Everything else I think that's where I want to end with this last question that person. Maybe they don't even feel worthy that so much the guilt that the enemy lays on our heart that in a week we could possibly be noticed by God because were so unworthy. Think of the things you've done in the way that you've acted in the thoughts that you've had right. I'm trying to hit all the check or silly or still have struggle with what the Lord is good with all that he just wants that relationship and those things will take care of themselves.

When you stay grafted into the vine that absolutely and so speak to that person that continually has that loop playing in their head and they don't know that they can get out of the rut.

That's a lie from the enemy of your soul trying to keep you in the trapeze got you in, which is if and I know I've struggled with my own sin patterns and even addictions. In my past. As I was coming to faith in Christ and I remember that I remember what would happen as I would I would want to do well and I would try the note fail and then I would hear in my head.

Man your disgusting God is so she so displeasing you want to hear from you until you can clean up your act so you know what I do, I'd stay away from God. The only one who, as I abide can produce the fruit in my life cc the.

The irony is when we try to do it without God we stay stuck right and that is the evil one's intent. He lies to you about that. So if you're feeling that memorize what I memorized Romans 81. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Right. It's pretty straightforward. No condemnation.

So if if you fall, if you do wrong just like in the Lord's prayer. You know he's forgive us our sins as we forgive others. He already has paid for it. Jesus already saw and paid for that sin. 2000 years ago, which means he already knows the ones you haven't even done yet. Many paid for those two. And why did he do that. Not so will keep doing it so that we won't stay disconnected from the very source of love and life in the meeting of our deepest longings and the leading us on this healing journey this adventure of life.

There's nothing better.

And all you have to do is stay focused on one thing. Stay connected to him. The fruit happens naturally and that is so good and John would've placed and that's the challenge. I'd say take it do the 6060 experiment get a copy of the book so revolution get it right here from focus because all the dollars go right back in the ministry. So that's helpful that paying shareholders and that and why not take the challenge. If you want that deeper relationship with the Lord. Or maybe you don't have that relationship with the Lord. Call us talk to a Christian counselor here at Focus on the Family. They will walk you through that and help you better understand what it means to be committed to Christ in John, this is been so good.

I hope literally were probably talking to three 4 million people.

The last couple of days. I hope a lot of them will take the challenge especially if they haven't lived in that a writing that you've talked about Will and I would say if you've never gone all out for 60 days trying it, I can just guarantee at the end of that 60 days ago. This is the best thing I've ever done right and I'd love to hear the stories you know when those things happen, then shoot us a note. Let us know how God is speaking to your heart and that 60 day trial and beyond will.

This is a grand invitation to a great journey and we invite you to get in touch with us to get a copy of John's book sold revolution. Our number is 800 K in the word family 800-232-6459 or look in the show notes for all the details in this reminder that we are a listener supported ministry and your donation will help us become even more effective at reaching literally around the world and encouraging families donate today.

A gift of any amount and will say thank you by sending a copy of John Burke's excellent book sold revolution do that when you call us or stop by the website on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. I was convinced that nothing can change what was going on in our marriage and I want to try anymore but my commitment to God, help me try one more time. We went to a hope restored marriage intensive and it was life-changing. The counselors created the safest environment we can imagine, so that let us really talk much different course now I believe we received a miracle that week received your free consultation. Hope

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