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Purpose FULL - Redefining Success, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
September 22, 2021 6:00 am

Purpose FULL - Redefining Success, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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September 22, 2021 6:00 am

What is it about your current circumstances that you want to change? It's that thing you think about and wish for almost every day. In this program, our guest teacher, Ryan Ingram, points out the flaw in that line of thinking. He explains that when we get so focused on our dream scenarios we miss out on God's best right in front of us. Wanna discover God's purpose for you?

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What is it about your current circumstances that you want to change the most? I mean it's something you think about, you wish for almost every day. Now is it possible that you're missing out on God's best today because you so want a different tomorrow?

Think about that. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry focused on intentionally discipling Christians. I'm Dave Druey, and as many of you know, Chip's our regular Bible teacher, but for the past few programs, he's turned the mic over to his son, Ryan, for his series, Purposeful, Discovering God's Calling on Your Life. Now before we get started, I want to remind you of a great way to stay engaged with Living on the Edge, the Chip Ingram app. There you can access all of Chip's series, download the message notes, sign up for daily discipleship, and much more. Let us support you in your walk with God, no matter where you are.

I hope you'll take a moment today and get connected with us through the Chip Ingram app. With that said, let's join Ryan now for part two of his talk, Redefining Success, from Acts chapter 17. I want to highlight three incredibly important areas for us if we're going to really live a purpose-filled life where we need to redefine success in our lives.

The first is simply here. Here's what we learned from the Apostle Paul in redefining success. Be present where God has placed you.

Be present where God has placed you. The Apostle Paul had no intentions of going to Athens. It was not part of the plan. He had a plan, and it got completely messed up. He had a plan to follow this road and actually work his way all the way to Rome. Eventually Rome got closed off. I don't know if you know, but Nero expelled all the Christians at one point, and he wasn't able to go to Rome even that way. But because of persecution, because of what was happening, his plans got changed. He finds himself. He's not even with his team anymore.

Silas and Timothy are still in Berea. Here's what he didn't do. He didn't go, well, you know, throw himself a pity party. This sucks. This is terrible. I'm stuck in Athens.

Look at all these idols. I don't even have my team. He didn't go, well, whatever. You know what? I'm just going to take a vacation. It's been long. It's been hard.

I'm just going to vacation for a while. What did he do? He did what he did everywhere else. He did what God had called him to do, and everywhere he went, he began to speak with people about this Jesus who changed his life. He couldn't help it. He just went to, you know, first to the synagogue, then to the God-fearing Greeks, and then into the marketplace.

Anyone who would hear him, he just did what he always did. Wherever he went, he was fully present where God had him placed. He didn't choose that place. He wasn't intending to go to that place. That wasn't the place he really ever wanted to go, but he said, since I'm here, I'm going to be present and do what God has called me to do in this place.

I think some of us are missing out on what God has for us because we're complaining about the place we're in. We're complaining about, I want to be in a different place. I want to live in a different place. I want to work at a different place. I want to have a different spouse. Oh wait, did I just say that loud? Some of you thought it. And you're complaining about your place.

And redefining success is actually, no, no, no. Here is the place. My work. I may be looking for another job, but as long as I'm here, I'm going to be present where God has me placed.

Your location. How about as a parent? I think so often, you know, especially you have kids and then you realize there's so many things you can't do anymore. You're like, oh my gosh, it's so fun to watch everyone else live their best life on social media on Insta and we can't go anywhere because we go anywhere. It's just a hot mess and nap time and all those other things.

God says, be present in that place. You know, one of my biggest regrets, my kids, I have three kids. One of my biggest regrets is I was so focused on what I thought was success of being a somebody in my younger years that I was not present in my home with my kids. I look on my phone all the time.

I love those like highlights that they have, you know, of pictures on the iPhone where it just shows you, oh, there's a beautiful picture of my daughter who has like four. And I go, I wish I would have been present of what I missed. I don't take it for granted now. Be present where God has you placed, students. We're always wanting to be, you know, in the next thing ahead. See, many of us, our version of success goes something like this. When I get blank, then I'll be.

When I get then. And we live in the wind then, and we're never present because we never arrive. See, what happened for the apostle Paul was his circumstances changed, but his calling didn't.

His purpose, his plans changed, but his purpose didn't. See, you go, okay, God, you have me placed here. I'm here for a purpose in this season. And so I'm going to be present to it.

And you have the freedom to work through me in this moment. You've made me a mom. You've made me a dad. I'm going to be present with my kids and work through that. You've put me at this job. I'm going to be present here with what you have for me to do. And here's what's amazing.

This is so cool. The apostle Paul had the great opportunity to preach the gospel to the world renowned Supreme Council of Athens. Had he not been present in that moment, he would have missed out on one of the greatest opportunities of his entire life.

I would just wonder. I just wonder if few of us are missing out on incredible opportunities because we're just looking and living in the when, thens of life. First, in redefining success, be present where God has placed you. Second, only a holy God can wholly satisfy. Only a holy God can wholly satisfy. I want you to notice Paul's sermon. And remember, the city is filled with idols, and he finds one, and he talks about to the unknown God. All of us are searching for someone or something to fully satisfy our soul.

We are pursuing. It's that if I have this, then I'll have meaning. If I have this, then I'll finally feel valuable or significant. Only a holy God can wholly satisfy. You know, holiness. He begins to talk about the holiness of God, not using that word, but his creator, sustainer, ruler, father. And he says God did this so that they would seek him and reach out for him and find him, though he's not far from any one of us, for in him we live and move and have our being. Like there is something set inside of you that longs, that has this longing and searching, will you satisfy me, and is put inside your soul and my soul so that we'll actually reach out and discover that no thing and no person will ever fully satisfy. We were created for a God who can only satisfy our soul. I like how John Stott talked about Paul's sermon. He says he proclaimed God and his fullness as creator, sustainer, ruler, father, and judge. Only a holy, that means completely other, set apart, fully good, all-powerful God that is intimate, personal, relational, can fully satisfy your soul.

I like how C.S. Lewis said it. He said, if I find in myself a desire which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world. You know, we kind of tend to think that idols are the thing that way back then, right? We don't have graven images.

Oh wait, we have bank accounts. We don't have graven images. Oh wait, it's that plaque on the wall. For some, it's your fantasy football trophy. See, an idol for us is anything that we're pursuing that we hope will actually fully satisfy our soul other than God. I like how Tim McKellar in his book Counterfeit Gods defines an idol.

It says, an idol is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give, anything that is so central and essential to your life that should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living. I mean, isn't that why, when we're talking about those definitions of success, success was so fragile? Success didn't lack its substance. Because once that thing got pulled away, for many, you felt like your purpose was on pause or you lost it altogether. See, only God, only God, only God can fully satisfy. Only Jesus can satisfy the deep longing of our soul. And for some, you get that intellectually, but you gotta get it practically in your bones. I've sat with someone that I love dearly who would say over and over again, oh, my values, Ryan, it's faith first, it's God, it's family and friends.

I've had this conversation, but you know what? We live in such a driven, success-oriented culture. Practically, you know what it is? Upward mobility. Practically, you know what it is?

It shows by how you spend your time, your energy, where you give your best effort. For this person, he sacrificed it on the altar of his work. And so many of us are sacrificing our lives on the altar of something, hoping that it'll satisfy us. And I've just had the vantage point of being a pastor and talking to so many people who are quote, successful, yet empty. And where you get to the spot, okay, God, okay, I have been searching.

That search reveals something in my heart. Those things aren't necessarily bad. They just can't be ultimate things. In fact, God, you're the only one who will fully satisfy when redefining success. First, be present where God has placed you. Second, recognize only God can wholly satisfy. And then finally, abandon outcomes to God. Abandon outcomes. Dallas Willard in his book, Renovation of the Heart, I like, he says this, we are not meant to live under the burden of outcomes.

Oh, that our lives would be so different if we didn't live under the burden of outcomes. I think, I don't think the apostle Paul walked away from Athens and Mars Hill. I don't think he walked away discouraged. I don't think he walked away disappointed. We have no indication that he somehow thought this was a failure, though other people looked at it and just said, hey, by the numbers, you just didn't quite meet your quota. You didn't just quite hit what you had in Berea. I mean, man, you were cooking there, but over here. I mean, you had your chance in front of the big hotshot philosophical council. Missed it.

There's gonna be recorded for all of time, just some of the people became followers. He left the outcome and results in God's hands. See, we have to be clear on our responsibility. This is not saying don't work hard, don't do your best.

Here's what this is saying. I can't live under the weight of what the outcomes. I can't live under, if I'm trying to raise my kids, here's what I do.

I'm going to, I'm called to raise them, help them know Jesus. I can't live under the outcome of raising perfect kids, raising godly kids. That's God's part.

That's their interaction. And for some, how would it change your parenting if you didn't live under that outcome? Because isn't it true that when they act out, then you feel like it's a reflection of you?

And so instead of helping guide them, helping them grow, we often punish them or discipline them in a way because it made us look bad. I know for me, even preaching, my job, I can't be married to outcomes when I am. I'm preaching for your applause instead of God's approval.

I like how Dallas Willard says it. He says, the secret to peace, as great apprentices of Jesus have long known, is being abandoned to God. We accept that we do not have in ourselves, in our own heart, soul, mind, and strength, the wherewithal to make this come out right, whatever this is. Instead, let us entrust our souls to the faithful creator in doing what is right. So redefining success means I'm going to be present where God has placed me. I'm seeking him as my sole satisfaction. And through that, I'm going to entrust to him the outcomes.

I'm going to entrust to him the people that I love in my life. I like how John Ortberg tells the story of Dallas Willard. And Dallas Willard had just got done preaching at Ortberg's church up in Menlo. And I like how John says it. He's like, it wasn't his best.

You know? But he's walking out so light and so free. And he gave this picture, and it's always stuck with me. And he was just humming an old hymn as he's walking to the car. And he said, as if he preached and he did his thing, and it's like a helium balloon, and then he just let go of it and let it float up.

I just wonder what would change in your life instead of living under the weight and under the pressure and feeling like everything rests on your shoulders instead of abandoning it to God and just going, God, I'm becoming who you made me to be. And I'm doing what you called me to do. And I'm going to entrust the outcomes, the results to you. Jesus told us, like the fruitfulness impacts success, if you will. It actually comes, in John chapter 15, he explained, by abiding in him, resting in him, remaining in him, staying deeply connected to Jesus, and he'll take care of the results. He'll take care of the fruit. The fruit will come. The fruit will happen.

You're not tied to the outcome. Let Jesus be tied to it. Go, okay, Jesus, what do you have for me here? Would you speak to my heart and my soul, my mind? Would you lift the burdens that are yours? May we bring the things that we're carrying to you. Would you reorient our lives around you and your ways.

In Jesus' name, amen. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Ryan Ingram has been our guest teacher for this program, Redefining Success, from his series, Purposeful. Chip and Ryan will be here with us in just a minute to share their application for this message. Have you ever thought to yourself, does my life matter, or what am I here for?

If you've wrestled with these tough questions, this series is for you. The lessons we're learning from Ryan really speak to the deep desire inside all of us to know that we matter and that we're here for a unique reason. Our hope is that this series will cause you to live your life centered on Jesus. Let me encourage you to get plugged in with this series and get everything you can out of Ryan's messages. For more information about Purposeful, Discovering God's Calling on Your Life, just go to

And if you have to miss a message, catch up anytime with the Chip Ingram app. Chip at Living on the Edge, we say all the time, we exist to help Christians live like Christians. That's a great line and all, but let me ask you, what does that look like in real life? Well, Dave, I can tell you in a sentence it looks like a Romans 12 Christian. If you study Romans 12, or what we call true spirituality, there's five relationships, five biblical expectations, and it answers the five biggest questions in a person's life. How do you give God what he wants the most? How to get the very best from God? How to come to grips with the real you?

How to get connected and authentic community and how to overcome evil with good? The new daily discipleship with Chip, true spirituality, will walk people through becoming a Christian who lives like a Christian. It's not a Bible study. It's not a teaching time. It's me mentoring individuals who say, I want to be an authentic follower of Christ.

I'm not sure how. Chip, will you meet with me? And my answer is yes, I will.

I'll never talk more than 10 minutes. You're going to learn to study the Bible in Romans 12. You'll learn to hear God's voice.

You'll develop the habit of meeting with him regularly, and you can learn for yourself from God what it means to be a Christian who actually lives like a Christian. Perfect? No. Authentic?

Yes. I hope you join me. Thanks, Chip. Well, we're so excited to share with you this new daily discipleship with Chip, true spirituality, based in Romans chapter 12. Our heart behind this video series is to really help you dive into God's Word and discover how to more intentionally live out your faith. For 17 days, you and Chip will walk through what true spirituality looks like and how you can put these truths into practice. If you're looking for the next step along your faith journey, let me encourage you to be a part of daily discipleship with Chip, true spirituality. Pre-register for this study today and we'll send you our friend Lance Witt's devotional based on Romans 12 called Leave Ordinary Behind at No Cost.

Sign up now while this offer lasts by going to or by calling 888-333-6003 or go to App listeners just tap discipleship. Now let's hear today's application from Ryan and Chip. Well, Ryan, I have to tell you that I'm like everyone else who listens to different messages and I try and apply them to my life. But this particular message is interesting. At the very end, you really develop the thought of leaving the outcomes to God. We can be faithful, we can't tell the future, but you have to release, you have to leave the outcomes to God. And I think I told you this, but your mom and I were having circumstantially, each of us in our own little worlds, some challenges. And she early one morning came in and said, you know what I think Chip, I'm so wanting to control, I so want to fix this, I just have to leave the outcomes to God. And it couldn't have been maybe two days later and I had something come up and then I got really uptight and then I realized all I needed to remember was, Lord, what's my part? And then leave the outcomes to God. And it helped us so much. And in fact, it's been a joke, you know, for the last few weeks, something will come up and we'll look at each other and say, hey, remember Ryan's message, leave the outcomes to God.

Share a little bit about how you've done that and maybe just a little bit more practice for those that have some struggles like me and your mom. Well, this is so counterintuitive in our culture today. In fact, I remember having finished this sermon and a buddy of mine who's a principal at a local junior high school came up to me and he's like, man, this blew my mind. And he wrote down and he made a little screensaver on his, we are not meant to live under the burdens of outcomes. And it's one of those incredibly freeing ideas and realities.

But like you said, it's actually pretty challenging to live out. Like how in the world do we actually live out this abandoning outcomes to God? A number of years ago, I was with a friend, he's a pastor in the Atlanta area now in Nashville, and we're out to coffee. And I don't really even remember the conversation or, you know, the subject matter about what we were talking about. All I remember is on a napkin, he drew this chart and this chart has stuck with me for the last 15 years. And so if you can imagine in your mind three columns and at the top of the left hand side of the column is a question, what is it only I can do? And then if you go to the right hand side and you write in this question, what is it only God can do? And then the column in the middle is the great mystery to us. It's the stuff I don't know.

And literally he wrote this out. So column to the left, what is it only I can do? The middle column stuff I don't know. And the right column, what is it only God can do? See the reason this is so challenging and much of the things that we worry about, we get stressed about, that we are anxious about actually land in the column of what only God can do. And we're trying to accomplish what only God can do.

Just think about it. Only God can change a heart. Only God can heal a marriage.

Only God can restore a friendship. Only God can move in the prodigal to come home. And where you just begin to outline on that side of it, what are the things in your life, the prayers, the dreams, the longings, the hurts, the pains, and you just go, okay, these are yours, God, and I'm going to abandon the outcomes to you. These are in your sovereign hands and these are for you to accomplish. And the reality is I can't do anything to change them anyways.

And then you go over to the left-hand column. What is it only I can do? These are our inputs. These are the things we can do. Well, I can't change a heart, but I can pray diligently, can't I? I, you know, I can't heal a marriage, but I can faithfully love.

I can figure out ways to speak life and not death, to be a blessing. I may not be able to restore a friendship, but I can own my part. I can ask for forgiveness.

I can confess my sins. I may not be able to move the prodigal home, but I can share my concerns and I can always be ready with open arms. And then that middle column, that's just such a profound area where you just begin to go, God, these are the things I don't know. I don't know whether our marriage is going to make it.

I don't know if that friendship's going to be restored. I don't know how long I'm going to be stuck in this season, but where you would take the time and I'd encourage you write these down and work through these. What is it only I can do?

Stuff I don't know. And what is it only God can do to help abandon outcomes to God? Before we wrap up this program, let me take just a second and thank the generous people who make monthly donations to support the Ministry of Living on the Edge. Your faithful gifts help us inspire Christians to live like Christians. Every gift makes a huge difference. Now, if you haven't partnered with us yet, would you prayerfully consider joining the Living on the Edge team, make a one-time gift, or set up a recurring donation by going to or by calling us at 888-333-6003. Our website again is, and our phone number is 888-333-6003. And know we're blessed by whatever the Lord leads you to do. Well, until next time, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-20 10:46:03 / 2023-08-20 10:55:55 / 10

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