July 14, 2021 6:00 am
Do you want God’s best for your life? Do you want to experience peace and power in your life like never before? You can - and it begins by understanding and applying a simple “yes and no” proposition. Chip shares what that “yes-no” proposition is.
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Let me ask you, do you want God's best for your life? Are you longing for peace, for power, for vivid answers to prayer and direction that God would give you personally? If that's what you're looking for, we're going to learn how to get that today, right here on Living on the Edge.
I'm Dave Druey. I'm glad you're with us as Chip continues his look at the life of Daniel and how Daniel, in the midst of an incredibly wicked culture, was able to get God's best for his life. You know, the wicked culture part may feel pretty close to home, so what Chip has to say is going to provide the fresh insight and energy you may be needing right about now.
If you missed the first part of this message, Chip laid out a solid foundation for what you'll hear today, so you can catch up any time with the Chip Ingram app. Okay, let's join him now for part two of his message, Learning to Get God's Best for Your Life, from Daniel chapter one. There was a reason these 15 and 16-year-old boys in Babylon's wicked, immoral, sexual culture were pure.
They had parents who taught them, this is true, this is false. This is the true God, these are temptations and false gods. This will allow you to experience grace and the good life and blessing of God and this will bring destruction. This will be real attractive on the front end and will bring death. This will be hard on the front end and it'll bring life.
Choose this day who you'll serve. And I tell you what, that happens with intentionality. That happens by modeling it. That happenings by saying, what's going to go into the mind of my life, my kid's life? What kind of person am I? Because here's the deal that's scary. Parents, you know, we read all these books, all these techniques. You want to know what your kids are going to really be like?
Just go home and look in the mirror for about 20 minutes. They're going to be like me. They're going to think like me. They're going to drive like me. They're going to be a people pleasing workaholic like me. They're going to drink, start out with just one glass of wine before I went to bed like me into three or four glass of wines.
I'm trying to hide it like me. They're going to be a secret porn addict like me. They're going to be just like you. They're going to be just like me. The greatest parenting advice I can give you is be a great godly person. Walk with Christ. And you know, you can mess up a bunch.
Your kids will end up probably a lot like you. Which really takes a lot of pressure off. So second, God then positions godly people in places of influence. The reason they ended up in Babylon was God.
But it wasn't like He didn't put them in this like holy huddle. Okay, we're going to be a small group. Daniel, what should we do now? We're going to just hide out in the corner of the castle. They ended up the top students.
They ended up the people that led the nation. Daniel at one point in his life for like tons, decades ends up the number two guy calling the shots in the pagan world. Why? Because he's getting God's best.
Why? Because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And Daniel said it's really hard.
It's really upstream. But by my convictions and the courage and I know what's true, I'm going to do life God's way. And so God placed some of you. He's put you in neighborhoods. He's put you as coaches on teams. He's put you as vice presidents and key managers and places all over the place.
Why? He doesn't want to take you out. He wants to place you there. But He wants the kind of people that are holy and winsome. Not the kind of people who hold up placards and say that God hates people. Have you ever been to church? I didn't grow up in church.
I remember I went to church one time and it was like wow the music was really good and I think that guy really loves God. And then I tried to get out of the parking lot and everyone was a jerk. Beep beep beep beep beep.
I'm thinking were they in the same room I was in? You understand what I'm saying? And see that's the dichotomy.
The world looks at us and goes, man I hear that Jesus stuff and a little bible on your desk and you've invited me to go to church. Well how come you don't tell the truth and how come you took part of the credit for my business deal and how come they don't want you to be perfect? They know you're not. Believe me. And they know I'm not.
But they're looking for you to be real. And so he then prospers those who follow his ways over the ways of the world. Isn't that interesting? There are a lot of really smart guys.
A lot of really smart people. But each time if you read chapter one God gave favor to Daniel and his friends with the official. God gives favor to Daniel before the king. God gives favor. And the chapter one ends with a very interesting little line.
You almost miss it. But the very end of chapter one ends with verse 21. And Daniel remained there until the first year of king Cyrus. The timeline 539 BC. Translation, for a very very long time a very very godly man got all of God's best and he changed his world. Well how does that play out for us?
Daniel's confidence in God's promises and God's character with a secret to his convictions and courage. See everyone is betting their life on a truth proposition. The world has a truth proposition. Cosmo says if you look like this then you'll be successful and happy.
And entertainment tonight and E whatever will tell you this. And Forbes will say if you can get enough of this and that and enough zeros and enough power then that's what's going to happen. And then people will tell you if you can just be famous and you know be your own little American Idol and you can create Facebook and have a whole world around you and you can tell people I just burped. And then I'm going for coffee and my dog. You know we're creating.
No are you kidding me? We're creating worlds where we're the star of our own show. There's a way that seems right to men but the way therein is death. The truth proposition will either be that and that's called the world system. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
That's the Babylonian of our world. Or you will say to yourself you know something? History, personal experience all dictate that you know God has come in the person of Jesus. He lived a perfect life. He died upon a cross for me to demonstrate his love. He rose from the dead not in some mysterious I need some angel here or there or some wise person who claims to have some experience.
For over 40 days to 500 eye witnesses in a resurrected body he told us what would happen, when would it happen and how it's going to happen and he says I love you and I have your best now. Take up your cross and follow me. Swim upstream and I'll put my blessing upon your life and a blessing upon your relationships and blessing upon your finances and you know what? It will be hard, it will be difficult but you'll be the kind of Daniel that people say you know how did you guys stay married after all you've been through? How did you ever forgive him after he did that?
I'm not sure what's going on but you know your kids they seem like they actually like you and how did they turn out like that? And you know what? One group of people will say I believe in the character of God that he is good and that he is just and indeed is holy and I believe the promises in his word are the key to the fear of God and walking in a path that produces the outcomes that he promised. And you'll either do that or you'll believe something else. I mean that's life.
You either do that or you believe something else. But the key is people of conviction and people of courage and people that make God's word and the character of God the core of their life it births convictions and courage so you ask well what is that? Notice conviction is refusing to compromise in spite of the cost. I mean there was a big cost it could have costed his life but Daniel didn't compromise. His three friends in the fiery furnace they didn't compromise.
When he gets to be 80 years old and it's illegal to pray first thing he does he opens the windows three times a day he starts praying and he ends up in a lion's den. It doesn't mean it won't be hard and difficult and painful. Conviction is refusing to compromise in spite of the cost and by the way well how do you get convictions?
I'm back. They're more caught than taught. You rub up against people that have them. Proverbs 13 20 he who dwells with wise men will be wise but the companion of a fool will suffer harm. Your kids catch convictions from you. My kids still tell the story I can't even remember the movie it was like a PG movie and they still tell the story I just remember it was real popular I took all my family we're sitting in the row and in the first 10 minutes they use God's name in vain three times. And I just thought I remember sitting there in the spirit of God said now and it was a cute little movie I can't remember what it was and I won't tell you because then you'll email me well I watched that and I thought it was okay all that so we'll skip that. But but I remember watching this movie they use God's name and I just thought to myself if they used God if they use my mother's name what I get up and say wait a second. What do you mean damn Martha that's with my mom's name I'd fight over that and so here I am sitting in this cutesy little movie where my kids and so I remember going hey guys what we're leaving what do you mean really we're leaving. Dad you're an idiot but okay yeah probably get up we're going and I remember we marched out of there we went out there and I just told the people you know I'm real sorry but that was very offensive to me that God died me love for me and my boys said what are you doing dad. I said well did you hear what they said well yeah but everyone says it I know that's not it's not how we're gonna live guys. Okay he loves me he told me never take his name in vain how can I passively just sit here and let people say that and call it entertainment. I mean think of how small that was well they're in college and co-ed dorms they had lots of people offer him drugs they had much opportunities where they were attracted to someone that they knew really wasn't following the Lord and had to make tough decisions about their sexuality.
Convictions are caught parents will get caught from you single people who you hang around with will determine you show me your friends I'll show you your future period. The second way of convictions it's by personal discovery and we have come to the day where we have become I just call them pablum Christians. I don't know if you've done this but my wife I don't really get this when my kids are real small you know women you sort of heat stuff and then you taste it before you give it to the baby. I never really like that but it's all ground up and I mean really really really ground up so it's real real smooth so it's kind of pre-digested for the little babies.
It tastes terrible. Most believers in our day are not eating spiritual steak and potatoes and serving themselves their own meal. They listen to the radio or they read a little bit of a Christian book and this teacher thinks that this teacher thinks that and I always feel really warm and gooey when I read that guy and and you know what I don't feel very good so I think I'll put on a Christian song. God loves me I love me I'm okay you're okay okay and you know what there's a place for that but I got news for you. When you're really tempted some little song or what some person thinks on the radio does not have the power to give you the sheer guts and courage to swim upstream and say thus says the Lord I have courage and convictions. It comes when your nose is in this book and you're reading it little by little and saying God please speak to me. I know I'm not earning any favor I want to know you and when his word comes off the page and the Holy Spirit codifies it in your heart it gives you the power to do what you want to do. The psalmist said if your word had not been my delight I would have perished in my affliction.
See this is this is your diet. Jesus will tell us just a little bit later that transformation doesn't come by going to religious activities or trying harder. Transformation convictions come when the Word of God by the Spirit of God in the human heart in the context of community of other people gives birth in your soul where your life changes. And so you do what's right not because you ought or should but because God says it and it's a conviction you have.
And there's a big difference between convictions and beliefs. I was in college and I just made I just kind of I didn't actually fill out one of those surrender cards but a few months earlier I told God I'm all in and I really want to walk with you. And I was sincere as I could be and and I was an RA I wanted to make a little extra money resident assistant you know where you sort of counsel people on the floors and sit in the little box with the window and people sign in and out and all that. And so we had training they had the psychologist come from Western University and there was 80 of us and one of the exercises we all got against a long wall and they said the middle of the room is zero and to the far right is 100 points. I highly agree with this statement and then way way over here after they made it was I totally disagree with this statement. So they asked all kind we were doing values clarification and sensitivity training some of you remember that. And so they asked this question do you believe that premarital sex is okay. There's 80 people in the room.
75 of the people are huddled around the plus 100 over here okay. I mean this is the 70s co-ed dorms like this crazy sex is available. And two people are over here they're Christians I know them they're in this Bible study and they're holding hands and they're like at 100 points we don't believe in that. Now they didn't have all the research to know that people who live together and have sex before marriage have a much higher rate of divorce have a much higher incidence infidelity have a much higher you know actual sexual dysfunction. But theirs was just a conviction kind of like Daniel was just you know this is wrong because God says it and he has first rate sex not second rate sex for us. Now so you've got two people here and you got 75 or 76 whatever it is and we have one person right where it's zero.
I can't imagine who this person might be and he was at the one yard line. Because you know if you would have asked me before Chip do you believe premarital sex is okay no I don't believe that. But now you put all these good-looking girls that are all going saying I think it's okay and two people in a Bible study think I really think it's wrong.
I want it to be I believe but I don't want those girls thinking I'm you know not available right. You know you understand what I'm saying. Do you understand the average Christian in our day is filled with beliefs that you think you believe and they're not convictions and under pressure and test you cave. And when you cave then you have marriages that don't work and debt that consumes you and loneliness that haunts you and jobs that are boring because you took it for the money instead of for how God made you. And what we're talking about is God wants you to get the best but he says there's a pathway to get his best and that pathway involves his word his character his truth the community of God's people. But it requires convictions not just beliefs but Daniel doesn't have convictions and he had courage and so we miss what courage is courage is refusing to conform even when you're afraid they grow out of convictions. I mean Daniel was afraid I've never met anyone who's taken a stand who's confronted their boss who's confronted someone in a relationship who said you know what I love you you love me.
But we got to have first best and I know there's economic issues but we can't keep living together let's spend some time apart let's go through some counseling and then let's get married in six months. But what if I lose him well what if you lose him then he probably wasn't worth having. You got to get real with yourself we got people that love God with all their heart and the truth is you know they're sincere and you know what without the prescription drugs they're a mess. We got people that started out with you know I wind down it's just one glass of wine fact is you've never had one glass of wine before you go to bed. You know one and done is not a part of you. And so these addictions occur and there's this pool and there's this so many Christians that was such killed and it breaks God's heart.
They live with this oh I know I'm not quite I'm supposed to be and I've got these unresolved anger issues and you know I know shouldn't be doing this and I got this and I got that. And God says how about you are you ready here's the word how about you repent. Meta the word is noia change noia mind it's just it's just coming to a day like today and realizing you live in a in a Babylonian culture even inside the church.
That is filled with the messages of the people and Cosmo and Fortune and media that says this is really going to deliver and it's not. And it's saying you know I'm on the wrong road I'm going to go off the exit ramp. I'm going to do a U-turn okay God I'm really afraid but I want to be on your road I really want your best and I'm scared.
Courage is doing what you know is right even when you're afraid it grows out of convictions and notice it's it's sustained by comrades. Jesus summed up really all of what Daniel was teaching us in John 8 and Paul does it in Romans 12. Basically what we've heard if we wanted to summarize all that we've said Daniel's life reveals that getting God's best is a no yes proposition. No longer be conformed to this present world system no yes allow myself to be transformed by the renewing of my mind that's getting truth and you heard about written truth and right people and music. Why so that I can end up religious and weird is that what I mean look at the verse what is that what it says so I can never have any fun anymore. Stop allowing yourself to be conformed to this world but be literally allow yourself to be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you might prove test experience what God's will is. This is the good part that which is good acceptable and perfect and just plug in relationships that are good acceptable and perfect. Finances that are good acceptable and perfect a future that's good acceptable and perfect that's God's will and Jesus says it's not about trying hard it's embracing truth and you can't do it alone that brings transformation you'll know the truth and the truth will set you free. Two very simple things on paper very difficult in real time is I want you to ask an answer the no and the yes question. The no question is what or who do you need to say no to to experience God's best as I've been talking as you've been listening and some of you been trying to push it down that little fluttering that Spirit of God that keeps saying you need to let go of that you need to make that step. What is it? And could you please hear if you if you could see Jesus right now the arms will be on open please please please please what I have for you is so much better. But they have to be embraced by the eyes of faith. And it means you have to let go of maybe some friends or some people or some issues.
What or who is that for you? The next recommendation is sort of like an opportunity to spiritually dry out. Consider a three five or 10 day media fast. Even after three days you'll be completely shocked of how different you looked at life you go you go 10 days and don't turn on the radio in the car don't watch any TV and don't surf the net. First of all you'll get bored and angry and irritable and you'll wonder why because you're stuffing stuff.
I mean there's a reason we eat when we're not hungry there's a reason we have to turn on stuff all the time. Most of us don't like who we are or uncomfortable but you got once you see that think God's grace can deal with it. Second what do you need to say yes to in order to renew your mind and experience God's good acceptable and perfect will. What if you said you know something I'm going to take this little bookmark and 20 minutes at lunch or 20 minutes before I get out the door or 20 minutes before I go to bed. And if I've sort of been in the faith for a while but not in the Bible I'd start in the book of James and I would just read a paragraph to Max but a paragraph or two. And you know just you know I'm gonna pray God please speak to me and then read the paragraph quickly that's the preview and then I'm gonna read it slowly and out loud and then you know just it's real simple. But it'll take it from I read a little bit to letting you meditate and the truth sink into your heart.
And if you're brand new I encourage you maybe start in the book of Mark or the book of John one of the big ones just read a couple paragraphs to renew your mind. Chip will be back in a minute but let me just remind you that his message today is from his series Momentum how to ignite your faith. In Momentum Chip develops his outline for Romans chapter 12 and shows you how to live out a life of real faith no matter what's going on. Learning how to overcome the evil aimed at you and understanding how to give God what he wants the most is guaranteed to make a difference in your life starting today. Access Chip's entire series Momentum how to ignite your faith with the Chip Ingram app or download the free mp3s from our website livingontheedge.org.
Now here's Chip with a quick update. Well for those who listen regularly Dave they've heard a lot about the mid-year match and they've heard about our vision they've heard about our mission and I just want to pause today to say thank you. It'll be a little while before we pull all the numbers together but I have to tell you it's very encouraging and what fills my heart today is thank you.
Your partnership is so encouraging and I believe that every financial decision is a spiritual decision because Jesus said that wherever our money goes that's where our heart goes. So God directed you to partner with us and I want to just stop today and I want to say thank you for your commitment for your love for partnering with Living on the Edge as we help Christians live like Christians. You know one of the ways we help Christians live like Christians is by providing free resources so either on the Chip Ingram app or on our website you can get these messages absolutely free. Now if you found a particular message helpful maybe tap share on the app or get the mp3 from our website livingontheedge.org and share it with a friend and maybe include a note about how it made a difference in your life.
Now here's Chip with a final thought. Daniel's life is an exciting amazing story of how ordinary regular people like us even without parental support even in a hostile environment can get God's best. And we learned the answer is really embedded in Romans chapter 12 verse 2. Don't be or stop allowing the world to conform you to its mold but allow yourself to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Now I went through this with a group of 20 young professionals in California and we got to talk about all of this and so let me give you sort of what I learned the most. What I learned the most was they told me the media fast had the biggest impact on them. I mean these are people that are I mean they're on their iPhones they're on the computer they're on TV you know the whole bit video games and they just said we stopped some for three days some for seven and we had no idea how much that was influencing our thinking. The second thing they told me was and I watched him I happened to be traveling and so one of the other guys led part of the group and they actually made each other make commitments of what they were going to memorize out of the Bible and how much they were going to read. I mean they pushed it way more than me and then when I came back they were telling me hey Chip excuse me but we did this thing last week it wasn't like in the booklet or something. But we all realized we needed to push each other to really make it a priority to memorize some key passages and to really read a lot more than we were. So they do a media fast and they push each other to get in God's Word and then I heard the stories of life change. I heard the stories of you know that problem with lust I had you know that problem of materialism you know that conflict I had with my girlfriend.
Do you get the picture? Now what do you need to do? What do you need to say no to and what do you need to say yes to in terms of renewing your mind? Here's what I can tell you. Go do it. It worked for Daniel and God will have it work for you. You know a great way to stay engaged and connected to Chip and Living on the Edge is with the Chip Ingram app. You'll be getting all of these Momentum messages, Chip's free message notes and much more and not only that but it couldn't be easier to order resources or give us a call right from the app. Well I hope you'll join us again next time when Chip continues our current series Momentum, How to Ignite Your Faith. Until then this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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