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The ART of Survival - A Resource to Ask for, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
March 10, 2022 5:00 am

The ART of Survival - A Resource to Ask for, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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March 10, 2022 5:00 am

In this program, Chip continues his study of Chapter 1 of the book of James. James was the half-brother of Jesus, who became the leader of the Christian church in Jerusalem. But circumstances turned ugly for those believers, and their world was turned upside down. What James said to encourage them, has the same relevance for anyone today, whose world is turned upside down. He brought God’s answer then, and we have it now. When you need answers, God offers a resource you don’t want to miss.

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When you face a hard decision, what do you do? Who do you turn to? And let's face it, the decisions get more difficult when they impact your job, your family, your future.

If that's you, stay with me. Let's discover how we can tackle the toughest decisions that life throws at us. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry featuring the daily Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Drouie, and in just a minute, Chip will continue his series, The Art of Survival, based in James chapter 1. Now James was the half-brother of Jesus who became the leader of the early Christian church in Jerusalem.

But when circumstances turned ugly for those believers and their world was turned upside down, James provided an encouraging message of perseverance. And the truth he shared then still has relevance to us today. Before we begin, let me encourage you to use Chip's message notes while you listen. They include his brief outline and all the supporting scripture he references.

To download these message notes, just go to the broadcasts tab at livingontheedge.org, app listeners tap fill in notes. Well, now here's Chip with the second half of his talk, a resource to ask for. You serve a God who is kind and good and loving and understanding. It's why Jesus, when he taught the disciples to pray, he introduced a foreign concept. In the Old Testament, there's not a lot of references to God as our Father. And Jesus would say, when you pray, pray Abba.

It's a term of endearment of a small child connected to his Papa or his father. And I just want to remind you, when we go through difficult times, some of us blame other people. Maybe we can blame the government. We can blame circumstances.

But down deep, many of us blame ourselves. And 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 two conditions. It assumes that you lack wisdom because of the construction and the grammar here. But then he says, we only receive God's wisdom if we, one, ask in faith, and two, 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 and his Word that you'll do whatever he shows you.

Right? Ask in faith. In other words, it's not, oh Lord, I would kind of 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. And then 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 we're human. He knows that we'll 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 with doubt like that is unstable in all his ways. In fact, is double-minded, two-souled.

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. And then notice he says, let not that person expect that he'll 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 a contract 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 in 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 closed. 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, whatever you show me before I know what it is, I'll do it. He says, 100 percent 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 prepare for ministry. And my father was an alcoholic and her father was an alcoholic. We came from very dysfunctional families, but we love Jesus and we loved each other and 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 and 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. When I came to this passage and I said, Lord, will you show me what to do?

I can't fix this. I bowed my head, lifted my hands, and I heard the Spirit say, Chip, go to a good Christian counselor. And I thought, oh no, no, no, that's for people with real needs.

And if I walk into one of those counselor's offices, it would be embarrassing and people will know we have a problem. And I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, so what's the problem? Is it 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 needed God's wisdom. And he said, I want you to relocate from this side of the United States to that side of the United States. And then it was, oh Lord, no, my wife doesn't want to go. This won't work.

It's going to cost a lot of money. 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 100% of the time. I can't tell you how many times, whether it was a big decision, a 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 asked God, we need food. We ate fruits and vegetables that 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 I'll never forget asking God for wisdom.

I told him I would do whatever he wanted me to do. And I was working unloading trucks and doing odd jobs and wondered how we're ever going to make enough money. And I'll never forget the day my wife had dropped her children off to school and she came back and there were five bags of groceries on our front porch filled with meat and cheese and a type of flour to make bread.

We never told one person, not one person that we had any needs. We had $10, 10 US dollars. 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.

We had not eaten meat in about 15 or 20 days and it was filled with meat and cheese and things that we longed for. And my only explanation is when we're really desperate, God shows up in supernatural ways. I've 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 and 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, a check from a man I met six or seven years earlier who later played sports in college, later on a professional team and 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 a thousand dollars. I could tell you story after story after story after story after story of God's miraculous provision.

And it's 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 enemy, forgive your enemy.

If he says apologize to your wife, apologize to your wife. If he says this is your job but your new job needs to be this, you come to God with no expectation other than Lord, whatever 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 we're at the very end of our rope, when we have nothing, we're at the bottom, we're in absolute desperation. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted 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's his invitation. I will give you supernatural 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 show you. These are the times where God's people see great power, where there's great testimony. I look back now with my older children and they remember sitting around in the circle. A circle at a time when we didn't have a car that would fit our family and we prayed and God delivered. A 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 and 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 and God's greatest favor apart from a crisis like this that caused you to re-examine your life, your role, your relationships, and that God redirects us through times like this. The early church was doing very, very well. I mean, just read Acts chapter 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, thousands of people.

There's favor. There's miracles happening. I mean, they're exploding. Acts chapter 8, and then a great persecution came upon the church. Well, Jesus told the church to go into all the world and make disciples, right? Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, to the uttermost parts of the world.

Well, for about the first 15 years, they didn't go anywhere, and God allowed a 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 and 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 will be different for you than for me.

That's why this is the art of survival. It creates a dependency like never before. It creates a desire and a thirst for His word like never before.

It means we have to depend on each other, forgive one another, look through new eyes at our circumstance, and say, Lord, show me what to do. I need Your wisdom. And He says, I'd love to give it to you. Just ask.

And no double-mindedness. Ask without any doubting. 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 that says, I am willing. You know, it reminds me of our Savior and 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? And 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. It's in these moments of absolute surrender.

It's 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 wherever 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 survive a crisis.

That's the greatest, most important resource in all the world. It'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. And 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, very difficult. That's our prayer, Lord. Now lead us. Give us Your wisdom. In Jesus' name.

Amen. Chip will be right back with his application for this message, a resource to ask for from his series, The Art of Survival. You know, many of the pressing problems we're facing today, injustice, social unrest, religious persecution, moral decay, are not new.

In fact, they've been around for centuries. So how are we as followers of Christ to respond? For that answer, Chip turns to the book of James chapter one. Throughout this series, he explains that the uncertainties and fears that discouraged first century believers are similar to the hardships we're facing right now. By using the word ART as an acronym, Chip highlights three critical truths for how we can endure challenging times. A stands for an attitude that strengthens, R is for a resource God offers, and T is for a theology that guides. This is such a relevant series, so if you've missed any part of it or want to learn more about our resources, get plugged in with our ministry through the Chip Ingram app.

Before we go any further, here's a quick word from Chip. Let me ask you a question. Do you struggle to find time to meet with God each and every day? Does it feel like your life is just too busy, you just can't squeeze that time in, or you decide you're going to do it and you try really hard and then you just keep blowing it time after time?

Well, believe me, I've been there. But let me challenge you to develop a new habit that will produce really life-changing results. I want to show you how to move from what I call simple devotions to experiencing the power of daily discipleship. I invite you to join me as we study the book of James in the brand new Daily Discipleship with Chip. It's called The Art of Survival.

Now, here's how it works. Each day, I'm going to meet with you one-on-one for 10 days, and we're going to discover what James chapter one teaches about the art of survival and life's trials. We'll start our time together where I'll literally get a cup of coffee, open my Bible, and I'll talk directly with you one-on-one, and we'll walk through how to study the Bible.

You'll learn to study the Scriptures for yourself in a way where you hear God's voice and have God speak in such a way that gives you the strength to make it through life's hardest and most difficult times. So here's the challenge. Spend 10 days, 10 minutes a day with me, 10 minutes on your own, and then let me encourage you.

Invite 10 people to join you. Let's be difference makers. Let's learn the art of survival in the age of chaos. You know, those early disciples turned the world upside down, and that's God's plan for you and me.

Won't you join me? Thanks, Chip. Well, we're so excited to share with you our new Daily Discipleship with Chip, The Art of Survival, based in James chapter one. Through this free video series, we'll discover how to handle circumstances out of our control, guard our attitude against discouragement, and trust God and His provision. If you're ready to learn the art of surviving in these challenging times, then register today to take the Daily Discipleship Challenge. And when you sign up, we'll send you a new leather-bound prayer journal as our gift to you. To take this free 10-day Daily Discipleship Challenge, go to livingontheedge.org or call us at 888-333-6003.

That's 888-333-6003, or go to livingontheedge.org. App listeners, tap Discipleship. Now with some final application for this message, here's Chip. 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. In other words, we have to believe that He's good, that He has our best in mind, and so I would ask you, are you asking in faith?

Do you believe that 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 them to do, but are unwilling to fully surrender and fulfill this condition. It's true today. It was true in Jesus' day. There was a group of people that questioned whether Jesus was really God. Was He the Messiah? He said, You'll know of the teaching.

Here's how. If any man is willing to do my will, he'll know the teaching, whether it's from God or whether I speak for myself. In other words, the condition that's the prerequisite to get God's wisdom is being willing to obey it in advance. 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 it doesn't require any great sacrifice or any downward mobility.

I know that just sounds like, Chip, you are just coming after me today. No, I'm trying to help you get God's will. What I know is that we have unconsciously bought into those things are non-negotiable, 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, and His plan is so much better than what you're experiencing, that He would ask you to make a temporary sacrifice to give you something better.

It won't always be better financially, but I mean, what's the price tag of love and peace, connection, affirmation, and the favor of God upon your life? Let me encourage you to pray in faith without any doubting, ask Him for wisdom, and you tell Him, Lord, you write on the top of the paper what I'm supposed to do, on the bottom I've already signed my name, I will do whatever God shows 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 just like you to help us continue to encourage Christians to live like Christians. So would you consider partnering with us on a monthly basis so others can benefit from the ministry of Living on the Edge? To set up a recurring donation, call us at 888-333-6003 or go to livingontheedge.org. App listeners, tap donate. Thanks in advance for doing whatever God 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 / 2023-05-24 15:05:54 / 2023-05-24 15:15:07 / 9

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