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True Spirituality - God's Dream for Your Life, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
September 28, 2021 6:00 am

True Spirituality - God's Dream for Your Life, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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September 28, 2021 6:00 am

What does living like a Christian really mean? How do the day-to-day, rubber meets the road, "what am I supposed to do now?" questions get answered when circumstances leave an honest person really struggling?  Chip shares that God has a dream for you - yes, you - and as incredible as that idea sounds, Chip explains what that means.

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As parents we all have a dream for our kids and yet there's times when they make decisions and they get on the wrong path and it breaks our heart.

I want you to know that that happens to us as Christians as well and you have a Heavenly Father that wants to stop you, help you turn around, point you in the right direction, put His arm around you and help you experience the life that's really life. Don't miss this message. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Chip serves as our Bible teacher on this daily international discipleship program. I'm Dave Druey and in just a minute Chip continues his series, True Spirituality, becoming a Romans 12 Christian. His focus in this message is to remind you that God actually has a dream for your life. But before we get to this teaching, let me encourage you to use Chip's message notes while you listen. They include his brief outline and all the supporting scriptural references. To download these message notes, just go to the broadcasts tab at livingontheedge.org.

Have listeners tap fill in notes. Well if you have a Bible, turn now to Romans chapter 12 for part two of Chip's talk, God's dream for your life. There are few positions I think in all the world that are more miserable than a legitimate born again follower of Jesus in whom the Spirit of God lives who lives with one foot in walking with God and the other foot in the world system. I happen to be an expert on this.

I've done extensive personal research. I know what it's like to be at Bible study on Thursday night and hit every bar on Friday night. I have been over here where I have Bible study and talking about sexual purity and lusted like crazy over here and telling God I'll never do this, this, this or that again. And I will tell you, I was the most miserable Christian in the world for the first three years. That is the place the great majority of believers live. We forfeit God's peace.

The guilt and the shame of logging on, the guilt and the shame of flirting over here, the guilt and the shame of all the kind of stuff that you're lured into as the world conforms your thinking to a bankrupt system that never delivers. See, God loves us too much for that. We're going to learn.

Are you ready? We're going to learn how to break that cycle, how God's Spirit and God's power can help you live the kind of life that you long to and that He wants for you. And we'll learn that's how you get His best. Beginning in verse 3 and through 8, we learn that in our relationship to ourselves, God desires a sober self-assessment. Notice a little phrase, for by the grace of God. What I want you to hear in all where He sort of sets the bar of holiness and righteousness and what it means to have true spirituality, I want you to hear behind it this compassionate heart of love. For by the grace of God, I say to every man among you, don't think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but think as to have sound or sober judgment as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. He talks about how you get that and how you're a part of a body and we'll discover that He's deposited a supernatural gift if you look at verses 6 through 8, we'll cover all those later. But He wants you in your relationship to yourself to look in the physical mirror and to look in the spiritual and the relational mirror and say, I like that person. God made them, that personality, that gifts, that height, that eye color, those struggles, that family background. In the sovereignty of God, He wants you to have an accurate, sober view of yourself. In that one verse, that word sober, think, think, think, four different times, God wants you to see yourself the way He sees you, dearly loved, valuable, precious, forgiven.

And you know the big question this answers? How do you come to grips with the real you? I mean, do you realize how much time and energy and money and posing and image management we do, just as normal human beings, even as Christians, to try and project to all these different people that I'm like this and I'm like this and I'm dressed like that and I'm cool like that and I know this and did you know I know so and so.

And this is how many people report to me or my son or my daughter, they got this on their SAT scores and he hit two home runs and I want you to know I went to an Ivy League school and this purse, it's not a knockoff, it's really real. And this watch it really is and I got promoted and yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And then you spiritualize it all and you get in a Bible study. Well, according to so-and-so's commentary, when I was reading the Greek text a little bit earlier in preparation for this.

We do it, we do it, we do it, we do it. This section will teach you how to come to grips with the real you and then it supplies the missing ingredient. Verse one supplies the power when you understand it. Verse two supplies the peace. And verse three supplies your purpose. Because see, God made you specifically. You are his workmanship, you're created in Christ Jesus unto a good work which before the foundations of the earth. So guess what, he's gifted you to do something specific. In his sovereignty, he has you in relationships that have been difficult in some ways and empowering in others. But God has a purpose for your life. When you're always pretending to be someone else or comparing yourself with someone else and not accepting, these are my strengths, these are my weaknesses, these are my gifts, this is my background, this produces some difficulty and dependency, this produces some great things. Until you get a sober self-assessment, you end up playing games your whole life. You try to fulfill your mom's purpose or your dad's purpose or the culture's purpose or the company's purpose or what other people think.

Do you know how freeing it is to understand this is why I'm here, my purpose is this and this is what I'm good at and this is what I'm not good at, this is where I need help and this is where I need to step out and let God use me. It's revolutionary. It's absolutely revolutionary. I have a good friend over in Santa Cruz and he was a fellow entrepreneur. He ran half of the United States of one of those really, really giant companies and saw that he was kind of losing touch with his family and the travel and so he decided that he would start a business of his own. So he developed about 26 of these stores around kind of like Joanne's or Michael's but he called it by his wife's name which I thought was very nice. And he became a mentor of mine.

I spent a lot of time and he would help me and I was teaching through sort of an infant stages of my journey about a sober self-assessment and a part of that understanding what your primary spiritual gift is and he went through that. And you know what, just people are people and in his world, okay, he was a good business guy. He became very successful when you're very successful in business. He made a lot of money so there he was a good leader and ba ba ba ba ba ba ba because you know what his whole like 25 years of church experience was? Sitting on committees in meetings where everyone wanted to talk about money and then counting money afterwards.

And if there was ever a capital campaign, Dick, you do it. And he said, I hated it all. And we went through a journey and he discovered his spiritual gift. And he discovered what he likes to do is launch things. And what he likes to do is equip people and what he likes to do is bring together networks. And so he said, you know what, I just decided I'm not going to be on any more boards.

This was a spiritual decision. He said, this is what I'm going to do. And he actually was the one that launched Living on the Edge. It was his idea. He's the guy who got it going and I can now tell you four, five, six, seven, eight different ministries. He's launched and he just says there's such joy when you figure out how God made you and you fulfill your purpose.

Do you know yours? Do you kind of start to get what I'm talking about is so different than, all right, it's Sunday morning or Saturday night. We better go to church. Oh, yeah, this is great. Now we're going to hear about what we ought to do and I'm not doing very much of it. I'm going to try really hard. It's not really going so I better fake it a little bit better than I'm faking it right now.

I was really convicted. Oh, boy, more to do, more to do. They want you to do this. Do you realize how so much of Christendom is like people got like another job and often a job you don't like and often a job you don't like and you're actually not doing very well at? That's not true spirituality. True spirituality is relational. It's practical.

It's measurable. It's normal people like us that are surrendered to God on a day where we actually cross that line and then progressively we're separate from the world's values and then we develop a sober self-assessment and we start to discover our purpose and why we're here and it actually gets downright exciting. The fourth thing you see is that relationship with believers is it's serving in love. True spiritual maturity is love must be sincere and the word literally is without a mask or without hypocrisy. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good, be devoted to one another in brotherly love. And then the rest of that passage, we'll unpack it and it'll talk about honoring one another and giving preference to one another and it's really about people that actually know each other and like each other and sacrifice for one another and pray for one another and do whatever it takes to help one another and it's like doing life in community.

But you serve in love but it's real love. It's not a meeting I go to. It's not, okay, you know, we made it three out of four times this month.

I'm feeling really good about that checkbox. I read the Bible four times this week. It's so different when it's a relationship with this God who loves you so much and you open his word with a sense of holy trembling that he would so love and want to speak to you today and he would love to hear what's on your mind and on your heart and actually his spirit lives inside of these other people called other fellow Christians and he's deposited gifts in them and he wants to hug you through them and he wants to love you through them and he wants to hold you accountable through them. He wants to encourage you through them and are you ready?

He wants you to do that right back. And there's this amazing thing in the early church, remember what Jesus said? A new commandment I've given to you, to the early disciples, John 13, that you love one another, how?

Just as I've loved you. By this, not by buildings, not by external morality, by this the world will know that the Father has sent me by how you love one another. And this section of true spirituality from Romans 12 answers the question that we all struggle with is how do I experience authentic community where there's so many lonely people? I don't mean just being in a group. I don't mean just being a member of something. I mean how do I experience where there's someone or two or three in my life that I can unzip my heart and I can risk putting it out there and I can tell them things and I won't be condemned and they'll support me and love me and when I'm going through a horrendous time they'll be there for me and they know I'd be there for them.

You ready? Having some friends who would literally, not figuratively, not metaphorically, friends who would die for you. That's authentic community. And I'll tell you what, when you get around people that love each other like that, it's powerful. You know what's missing in most Christians' lives? It's not just power.

It's not just purpose. You know what's missing in most Christians' lives? Experiencing God's presence. Somehow it's like we do these things and we hope God will do this and like He's out there somewhere, somehow, someway. Do you know God's primary plan apart from when you read His word or you're talking to Him or meditating? Do you know His primary way to manifest His presence?

It's through other Christians. I mean, if an angel comes at the middle of the night at the foot of your bed tonight, go for it. Tell me about it later. And if he hugs you and fixes you a meal and says, you know, tell me what's really going on inside because I really want to hear it because I really care. God bless you. But for 99.9% of all the rest of us, you know how Jesus is going to show up in your life? He's going to show up in the body of another person.

A man or a woman or a fellow student where there's kind of this chemistry and this safety and this love and you're devoted to one another in brotherly love and you give preference to one another in honor and you do life together. The final portion of becoming a Romans 12 Christian isn't just your relationship with God or your relationship with the world or yourself or believers but the evil in the world. Relationships with non-believers that are hostile to the gospel and unfortunately sometimes relationships with believers that are evil and hostile toward you. But it's supernaturally responding to evil with good.

Hear the apostle Paul, you can hear him just reaching into the Sermon on the Mount by the Spirit of God. Bless those who persecute you, bless and curse not. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God.

Vengeance is mine, I will repay. If your enemy's hungry, what do you do? Feed him, if your enemy's thirsty, what do you do?

Give him a drink. Do not be overcome with evil. See, we're humans. Evil is going to come into all of our lives on your little journey on this earth.

Some of you had more than others. You're going to get ripped off, you're going to get betrayed, you're going to have mates walk out on you. You're going to have kids say terrible things to you. You're going to tell people you've loaned them money and they promise to pay it back, and guess what?

They're not going to. And there's evil that's sort of systemic. You can love God with all your heart, guess what? Christians that love God with all their heart get cancer. They get hit by drunk drivers. They get swooped into down economies and lose their homes.

And they've been faithful with their finances. Evil is coming your way. So what's true spirituality? What I love about what God says, true spirituality is how the Spirit of God lives the life of Christ out in relationship with my heavenly Father, with the world, with myself, with believers, and then with unbelievers when the raw deals are coming my way. The question it answers is how do you overcome the evil aimed at you? And the thing that most Christians, listen carefully, most Christians have missing in their life is perspective. We all could probably take out a three by five card or get out your mobile device and press the little app where it says notes and we could probably all list four or five people that used to walk with God that don't walk with God now after their mate walked out on them. After the car wreck.

After they got ripped off at work, right? See there's a reason that almost 25% of the book of Genesis is dedicated to the life of Joseph. Because Joseph is a picture of true spirituality of how do you respond at the evil aimed at you.

And it wasn't easy and I mean he was betrayed, falsely accused, forgotten, sold. But that little phrase the Lord was with Joseph and you know Joseph had perspective. Joseph kind of took, even though they didn't have him in those days, follow it. Joseph took the helicopter of spiritual perspective and in those days in prison or falsely accused, he just kept taking that helicopter up really, really, really high and looking at all of it and saying, you know something, there's a sovereign God that either decreed or allowed this and he loves me and I don't know how it's going to work out but if I don't bail out and trust him, he'll work it for my good and he'll do in me and through me what could never happen. And so I refuse to be bitter, I refuse to not forgive, I refuse to become a victim, I refuse to let the world shape me, I will trust my God because I have perspective. And he would say to his brothers at the very end of the book, you meant it for evil but God meant it for good.

If all those difficult things wouldn't have happened, he would have not been the second most powerful person in all the world and he would have not saved the Jewish nation. And God has a game plan and you have a Joseph story to live out. It will be a big one for some, a smaller one for others. Are you starting to catch what true spirituality is all about? It's about relationships.

It's measurable, I mean you can measure, am I surrendered, am I separate from the world's values, do I have a sober self-assessment, am I serving in love, am I supernaturally responding to evil with good? And then it helps you ask and answer those questions. And little by little as we walk through this together, you will begin to experience as you trust and obey by faith God's power, God's peace, God's purpose, God's presence and God's perspective.

And that's why I'm so excited. And you know what I love about this? Guess whose book we got this out of? This text?

It's just the Bible, it's true. What Jesus said to them, he said to us, if you abide in my word, and that word just means if you take it in for the purpose of applying it by faith, then you'll know the truth and the truth will set you free. As you turn over the notes, I want to close with this one very important perspective. There is a danger on our journey, like every journey there's dangers. But there's a danger on our journey to begin to very subtly begin to think that sort of the R12 journey or the Romans 12 journey is like a moral code and a set of bars to live up to. Okay, I'm going to be surrendered, I'm going to be separate, sober, self-assessment, I think I got that down. I'm going to serve in love and let's see, I can't remember the last one, supernaturally respond to something with something.

And you can turn it into the very thing we're trying to avoid. And so I want to remind you that true spirituality has nothing to do with living a good life so that God will love you. True spirituality has everything to do with beginning to grasp the height and depth and length and breadth of how much God has already loved you, has demonstrated that love, and you living out of the freedom of that love. And so I just put the little chart of the entire book of Romans, what did he do? Chapters one through three, all of us fall short of the glory of God. We sugarcoat this, this isn't just being not a nice person, we have sinned, we betrayed God. We're people that have committed treason and he's holy. And his just wrath is upon us for what we have done.

And that's the problem. In chapters four and five there's a solution, the solution to sin is salvation. Jesus, fully man, fully God, lived a perfect life, died upon the cross to pay for your sin and rose from the dead and offers a free gift to whosoever would believe and receive it. Chapters six through eight goes on to talk about how this new life has lived and he didn't leave us alone, it wasn't a moral code, try hard. He said the spirit of the living God in the new covenant will take up residence inside your mortal body. After he takes you out of the kingdom of darkness he places you in the kingdom of light and his spirit takes up residence in the living presence of Christ and the power of Christ by the word of God and the community of God's people births. Literally Paul talks about until Christ is formed in you. That's called sanctification.

And it's a journey and often it's two steps forward and three back and then four steps forward but you grow. And then finally he reminded them that God always keeps his promises. So chapters nine through eleven his promises to the Jews will be fulfilled that they fumbled the ball in terms of their responsibility as a blesser and an instrument of God and so he says I'm going to take them out of the game and I will fulfill everything I made, promises to Abraham and to David. But the church is going to be my age and a blessing until I call time out and bring the very final days of history to a close. And after eleven chapters of regardless of where you've been God loves you, died for you, puts his spirit inside of you and will keep every promise. Therefore I urge you brothers to what?

Offer your bodies a living sacrifice. Have you ever placed your faith in Christ personally to forgive your sin? Because what I've seen over and over is people just unconsciously think I'm trying hard to be this good person and it's interesting and they begin to experience some change but what sometimes they never realize is you need on a certain day at a certain time to be born from above or to be born again. And that's back in chapter three and the beginning of chapter four and where you come to God on a day like today and you just honestly admit God I need your help. I've violated a holy God today. I believe your blood paid for my sin and your resurrection proved it's true and on this day I want to ask you to come into my life forever to forgive me and to be my father.

And if you've never done that, that's the smartest, wisest, best thing you'll ever do. Chip will be right back with his application for this message God's Dream for Your Life from his series True Spirituality, Becoming a Romans 12 Christian. This six-part series sheds light on how to move your relationship with God from a performance-oriented existence to a loving grace-filled life. In these messages Chip describes the profile of an authentic follower of Jesus and provides practical steps for how we can get there. Now for those who don't know, True Spirituality is the core discipleship teaching here at Living on the Edge and because of that we have a ton of great resources to help you get plugged in with this series whether that's the study guides, the DVDs or CDs of Chip's teaching, the book or our free MP3s. For a limited time all of these helpful resources are discounted so order your True Spirituality resources today by going to LivingOnTheEdge.org That's LivingOnTheEdge.org App listeners tap special offers.

Chip, this series True Spirituality is one of the core series of Living on the Edge. Now you originally taught it years ago so it's possible that people have already heard it or read the book or done the small group study and now you've just used this material to create your newest daily discipleship. Now what would you say to someone who's familiar with True Spirituality and thinks they've already gotten all they're going to get out of it?

Well Dave, that's a really good question because this is very, very different. You know, I've listened to great messages and I've actually read a handful of books but I've never sat down with the author and said, hey, do you think we could spend, you know, two and a half, almost three weeks together and would you walk with me individually and apply this to my life and could we sort of walk through this in a way where I learn not just what it says but how to put this into practice in my life with my issues and that's what daily discipleship is. And it's not a Bible study, it's not me teaching at people, it's me meeting one-on-one individually and mentoring people.

I speak never more than 10 minutes and then I give them 10 minutes with a very clear outline to do some digging on their own and it's just for 17 days. At the end of it, what I see is people develop a habit, people walk with God on their own and what I have seen is people learn to go from in to all in because their view of God gets bigger. They can trust Him more. Life changed, things that were barriers for years, whether addictions or struggles or relationship issues, over and over and over, I watch God melt those away. Dave, maybe you could take a minute and why don't you tell them how they can get connected. 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. You can sign up for this study right now and when you do, 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 livingontheedge.org or by calling 888-333-6003.

That's 888-333-6003 or go to livingontheedge.org. App listeners, just tap discipleship. Now, here's Chip to share some deeper application from this message, God's Dream for Your Life. What we've described, this dream, is really normal Christianity. I mean, if you had a video camera and you could, in the first 30 years of the Church, sort of just walk around, you know, like Peter and then later the Apostle Paul and James and John and the boys, what you would have seen as, you know, thousands of people came to Christ in the midst of a very, very difficult culture and opposition and persecution, what you would have seen as them, by the power of God, living surrendered lives, combating the idols of the world and being separate from the world and, you know, accurately discovering who God made them to be, radically serving one another. It's just amazing what happened in the early Church. And if we could take that camera through the centuries of Church history, what we've described in the last two days is simply what it means to be a genuine follower of Jesus. And so can I ask you, where are you at? Which of these five relationships do you need to say, Lord, I need your help here. I want to be a follower of Jesus. I want your dream to be a reality in my heart, my life, my relationships. Let me ask you, will you ask God to give you clear direction and then join me in our next broadcast as we continue this journey together. And let me thank you in advance for whatever the Lord leads you to do. Well, until next time, for everyone here, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-19 02:23:41 / 2023-08-19 02:35:23 / 12

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