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November 13, 2020 5:00 am
When you need answers when you need direction. How do you know God's will in these difficult days.
Have you know whether it should be school online or school. How do you know what the auto relocate or stay where you are, you know whether you stay in this job look for different how do you know what to do when it looks like everything is falling apart. God has the answer next today with thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram Living on the Edge of the Bible to this international discipleship program. This program Chip continues a series called the art of survival were studying chapter 1, James was the half-brother of Jesus, who became the leader of the Christian church in Jerusalem, but circumstances those believers in their world was turned upside down when Jim said to encourage them as the same relevance for anyone today world is turned upside down. You brought God's answer then have it now, so let's listen in your brings us the second half of this message from his series. The art of survival you serve a God who is kind good loving and understanding.
That's why Jesus when he taught the disciples to pray. He introduced a foreign concept in in the Old Testament.
There's not a lot of references to God is our father and Jesus would say when you pray, pray it's a term of endearment of a small child connected to his popovers father and I just want to remind you when we go through difficult times. Some of us blame other people may complain the government can blame circumstances but down deep. Many of us blame ourselves.
God would want you to know that I want you to come and I want to help you but did you notice there's a condition here. He says I want you to ask, but let him ask in faith without any doubting there's there's two conditions.
It assumes that you lack wisdom because of the construction, the grammar here, but then he says we only receive God's wisdom. If we one ask in faith into without any doubting. So what's that mean let's figure out what it means to ask in faith what it means to ask in faith is trusting and believing and having confidence in God's character in his word that you'll do whatever he shows you right ask in faith, in other words, it's not all Lord I would kinda like to know your opinion on what I ought to do in this devastating situation. This is Lord I'm believing you're the all-knowing, all-powerful God, you're the sovereign God of the universe. I can trust your word. I can trust your character. I'm asking in faith in the notice without any doubting. Some people get tripped up on this this word for doubting means without judgment or wavering.
This is not that feeling that we all have at times like God.
Are you really there or do I doubt that you might show up or are you really going to take care of me. God knows where human emails will have struggles at times and have some intellectual doubts this passage is not saying that this passage is talking about the kind of doubt that has disloyalty because notice what he says he explains it. Later he says come to him without any doubt for the one who comes without like that is unstable in all his ways. In fact, is double minded to sold we get our word schizophrenia. It's a picture of someone who says God I really want to know what you want me to do, but I'm not really committed to doing it.
I just want to know what your will is so I can evaluate whether I will obey or not obey in the notice. He says let not that person expecting to get anything from the Lord. So here's what I want you to get. I know some of you are going through really really difficult times and I know that God wants to work in us before he works through us and so come to God and ask and then here's what you need to do. You need to come to God.
Think of it as it is a contract door or a blank check and what God wants you to do is sign the bottom of the contract and say Lord, will you show me what to do.
This pandemic, what should I do about where I should live. What should I do about this problem relationship. What should I do about the business that is lost.
What should I do about the ministry. The churches are close. What should I do because I can't travel what should I do to make it through today and God says if you will come to me and ask in faith and then say Lord what ever you show me before I know what it is I'll do it. He says 100% of the time I'll show you what to do. Let me picture this for you because these are great concepts. Let me personalize early in our marriage.
I married my wife and we shortly went away to repair for ministry and my father was an alcoholic and her father was an alcoholic. We came from very dysfunctional families. But we love Jesus we love each other we thought everything will be great within six months of being married while I'm preparing in seminary to be a pastor.
Our marriage is not working at all.
I mean we can't resolve conflict. We have anger. The person I love makes me crazy. I'm making her crazy. You all understand what that's like and I'm feeling this guilt because I'm preparing for ministry in my marriage is not working at all and I'm trying hard trying to be good no matter what I do. It doesn't work and I came to this passage and I said Lord we you show me what to do. I can't fix this valve, my head lifted my hands and I heard the Spirit say ship go to a good Christian counselor and I thought oh no no no that's for people with real needs and how I walk into one of those counselors offices to be embarrassing. People will know we have a problem and heard the Holy Spirit whisper so what's the problem is that your pride and I realized it was see sometimes when you say Lord show me your wisdom, we unconsciously have a box that says as long as it fits inside of this in another time. I need to God's wisdom, he said I want you to relocate from this side of United States. To that side of United States and it was all Lord know my wife doesn't want to go this won't work is gonna cost a lot of I had all these reasons. But when you want God's wisdom, he says, come, and you sign up and say I will do, Lord, whatever you want me to do, and here's what he promises he will do it one hundred percent of the time. I can't tell you how many times what it was a big decision financial decision. There was a time we literally and some of you are there. We had no food. I had worked our money was taken away. We had no food and we sat in the middle of the living room and we prayed and we ask God.
We need food we ate fruits and vegetables we got for just five US dollars and we combined with some other couples and we could eat fruits and vegetables for a week and never forget asking God for wisdom told him I would do whatever he wanted me to do I but I was working unloading trucks doing odd jobs and wonder, however, can make enough money and I'll never forget the day my wife and drop their children off to school and she came back and there were five bags of groceries on our front porch filled with meat and cheese in a type of flour to make bread. We never told one person not one person that we had any needs we had $10 US$10. That's how much money we had and as she opened those bags. It was the kind of flour she used to make bread for our family every day would not eat meat in about 15 or 20 days, and it was filled with meat and cheese and things that we long for and my only explanation is when were really desperate. God shows up in supernatural ways. I'm not met a lot of angels personally, but the only explanation because we told no one and no one in the world knew how she baked what we had. I mean, we whispered to no one in God provided on another occasion, like many of you we were completely out of money and Lord, we can't pay our rent. I went to the mailbox and there was a check check from a man I met six or seven years earlier, who later played sports in college later on a professional team. God woke him up in the middle of the night with my name on it. I taught him when he was in high school.
One time for one hour and he sent me a check. He was a quarterback in the NFL for thousand dollars. I can tell you story after story after story after story after story of God's miraculous provision and is not for special people. It's for needy desperate people. I'm telling you come to God if he says relocate relocate. If he says forgive your enemies and forgive your enemy faces apologized. Your wife apologize to your wife. If he says this is your job at your new job needs to be this you come to God with no expectation other than Lord what ever you show me I will do. He may show you through a book through his Spirit through his word, through counsel, through a friend through a prompting of the Holy Spirit. But here's what you need to know if you're 100% willing to get God's wisdom, he will show you what to do, will it be easy probably not. Will you be comfortable. Probably not. God directs our steps directs our paths and reveals his power when were at the very end of our rope when we have nothing were at the bottom where an absolute desperation. The Lord is near the broken hearted and he saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34 God's for you. He loves you. If you're stuck and you don't know what to do. Here is his invitation. I will give you super natural wisdom.
I will show you exactly what to do how to do it when to do it with whom, if you will come to me with open handedness and commit to do whatever I should these are the times were God's people see great power where there is great testimony. I look back now with my older children. They remember sitting around in the circle circle at a time when we didn't have a car that would fit our family and we prayed and God delivered time when we didn't have food and we prayed a time when we didn't know what to do and we were asked to relocate most of the things that were difficult to do what I can now look back on and realize it was the good hand in the kindness of God. Some of you will never change. Some of you will never get on the path that has your highest and your best. God's greatest favor apart from a crisis like this to cause you to re-examine your life.
Your role relationships in the God redirects us through times like this you know the early church was doing very very well. I mean just read acts chapter 123-4567. Thousands of people there's favor. There's miracles happening.
I'm either exploding acts chapter 8 and then a great persecution came upon the church. Well, Jesus told the church to go to all the world and make disciples right Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, to the uttermost parts of the world will for about the first 15 years.
They didn't go anywhere and God allowed persecution and now James is writing to them and as they are going all across the world. God uses this crisis to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. God in his wisdom. Who knows what's happening. Who didn't cause, but has allowed this pandemic to occur is going to show you and show me at every single person exactly what to do when to do it and how to do it in the midst of all the special details it would be different for you than for me. That's why this is the art of survival. It creates a dependency like never before. Creates a desire and a thirst for his word like never before. Means we have to depend on each other.
Forgive one another look through new eyes are circumstance and say Lord show me what to do. I need your wisdom, and he says I love to give it to you. Just ask and no double mindedness, ask without any doubt. Let me fill in the top of the check. Let me fill in the top of the contract.
Let me say this is what to do.
This is where to go. This is how you just sign your name on the bottom it says I am willing you know it reminds me of our Savior in the greatest moment that occurred in his life and ours.
Yes Jesus was fully God, but he was fully human, and there was a moment where he said Lord if there's any other way.
Let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will but yours, and he endured excruciating suffering and pain and he actually took on your sin and my sin. And in that cataclysmic moment.
The father would turn away my God, my God, why have you forsaken me in your sin and my sin were placed on Jesus for our forgiveness because he said to the father, not my will, not my way. And that's how you get God's wisdom in these moments of absolute surrender its at a level like never before because of what's happening in the world where we say Lord I offer my body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to you. This is my spiritual service. I will do whatever you want. I will go where you want the money in my bank account little or much is yours.
My future is yours. My family is yours.
Show me what to do and I want you to know holy father. I will do it. That's how you survived the crisis. That's the greatest most important resource in all the world's the wisdom of God. Lord I pray for my brothers and sisters because it is a journey to come to the point where we can fully completely surrender and be willing to do whatever you want us to do. But Lord, you have told us very clearly the condition to get this kind of supernatural wisdom is our absolute and complete willingness to do whatever you show us so I pray for a movement in people's hearts.
I pray that they could believe how good, how kind how all-knowing that you want to give us the best even when some of the first steps are very that's our prayer, lead us give a short list Jesus listening to part two chip series. The art of survival arts is inaccurate. A artsy as Chip walks us through the book of James chapter 1, we realize that the uncertainty and fear of the believers dreams originally wrote to her similar to the growing pressures we face today.
Chip explains there's an art to survival skills honed by practice that lead to joyful endurance. No matter what a is the attitude that helps us navigate adversity are is the resource God offers in adversity and T is the theology that guides our perspective in adversity. If you think this message to help others. Why not share or send it to them, email, text, or on social media.
You think would be most helpful. For more information and access to all the series discounts just go to LivingontheEdge.org or give us a call at 8883336003 that's 8883336003 that's AAA 333-6003 Listeners tap current offers will chip before we come back and you talk about today's message. There are a lot of our brothers and sisters in Christ were very discouraged right now your latest book based on the series. The art of survival has the potential to bring a lot of hope and healing know if someone asked what would you tell them about Dave.
What I would say is I think were all struggling regardless of our background or perspective of discouragement to some degree and discouragement is really rooted in something called perspective and reader have God's perspective, we see life through his perspective or receipt through our own lens, and when our problems are very up close to RI the whole world looks pretty dark and winter problems get pushed back and we see things from a large and big perspective, then we can overcome our discouragement and the very last chapter in that tiny little book is how to slay the dragon discouragement of all the things I've shared people told me over and over and over.
One guy said you know the first chapter was good. I really really like the second chapter but the last chapter that was awesome.
That's what got me over the hump so I would pray that that little book and especially that chapter I can help our brothers and sisters that are really struggling with discouragement. It's called the art of survival toilet ship gives you a clear outline directly from the book of James chapter 1 of not only how to survive, but how to thrive even in the most difficult circumstances. If you're looking for a path to perspective and peace. You need to read Chip's new book, the art of survival. Get your discovered copy of LivingontheEdge.org with the chipping roadmap or by calling us at AAA 83336003 that's AAA 333-6003.
I hope you'll do it today. In today's program.
We talked a lot about getting God's wisdom.
We talked about that. He promises that he will give it 100% of the time, but there are two conditions.
The first condition is we ask in faith. Another words, we have to believe that is good that he has our best and mine. And so I would ask you, are you asking in faith, do you believe that you go ahead and risk it because whatever he would show you is going to be for your good.
The second is without any doubting, and literally it's with this one condition that you are willing to do whatever he says that's really about Lordship it's about surrender. It's about with an open hand with everything in your life in that hand, saying, Lord, you have absolute freedom to do whatever I meet so many people and I don't mean this critically, who long to know what God wants and the do, but are unwilling to fully surrender and fulfill this condition.
It is true today. It was true in Jesus day there was a group of people that the question whether Jesus was really God was he the Messiah and he said you'll know the teaching. Here's how.
If any man is willing to do my will will know the teaching weathers from God, or whether I speak for myself. In other words, the condition this a prerequisite to get God's wisdom is being willing to obey it in advance and what I've realized is that we pray, but we have some unconscious assumptions like Lord yes I really want to know exactly what you want me to do as long as it doesn't change my lifestyle.
I don't change jobs. I don't have to be in a different location away from family or friends and doesn't require any great sacrifice or any downward mobility. I know that just sounds like Chip you are just come in after me today know I'm trying to help you get God's will and what I know is that we have unconsciously bought into those things are nonnegotiable. Now God show me what to do if he wants to change any one of those things it's because you are so special so loved in his plan is so much better than what you're experiencing, that he would ask you to make a temporary sacrifice give you something better won't always be better financially to me. What's the price tag of love and peace connection affirmation in the favor of God upon your life. Let me encourage you to pray in faith without any doubting, asking for wisdom and you telling Lord you right on the top of the paper.
What I'm supposed to do on the bottom of already signed my name I will do whatever God chose me. Here's the promise he will show you do it today as we wrap up this program. Just a quick but important thought Living on the Edge depends on listeners like you to help us continue broadcasting right here in your area that would you consider partnering with us on a monthly basis so people around you can benefit from the Ministry of chip and Living on the Edge of a set up a recurring donation, call us at AAA 83336003. Tap the donate button or go to LivingontheEdge.org and thanks in advance for doing whatever God leads you to do list on chip continues is seriously art of survival plans to join us there for everyone. This is very saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge