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Holy Ambition - Practice a Radical Faith, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
May 6, 2022 6:00 am

Holy Ambition - Practice a Radical Faith, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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May 6, 2022 6:00 am

Would you like to look back in six months and see the hand of God in your relationships? Your work? Your family? Chip's teaching in this message explores how God ignites radical, life-changing faith in everyday, ordinary people.

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If you found yourself struggling with all the evil that is in watching the news and getting so discouraged and wondering God, why don't you do something today is a day that you don't want to miss statement welcome to this edition of living in the vision of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians, the Bible, when the village of serious holy ambition, turning God shaped dreams into reality is a quick reminder after teaching something for application here, so be sure to stick around for that is a lot to get this program start. You know this message. Practice radical faith God always in history is carrying out a plan to do great things through ordinary people who assume it could only happen through others and the qualifications are very very simple. He's looking for a man, a woman whose heart is fully his and when he finds a man a woman or a student regardless of education regardless of background, regardless of race, regardless of gender. If he finds that person in the midst of great need. He will shake and move all of heaven to resource them to stand in the gap and build up the wall and make a difference and were on the multi thousand year history of God doing that there's a searchlight with the spirit of the living God who created all that there is is looking for one man one woman, one student who would be willing to forsake all and probably trepidation and fear step out and say God. All I am in all I have is yours in my sphere of influence the way you made me, I will do whatever you want me to do, to stand in the gap and be representative and we learned as you open your notes that there's three conditions. We looked at so far.

The first one is do you have a dislocated heart and it really answers the question. I mean, do you care I mean can you get beyond your own world and your own needs to really care.

The second was a broken spirit and I got a lot of text a lot of emails of people said that hit me right between the eyes. Are you are you desperately dependent, as evidenced by the behavior of talking to God and praying God centered prayers that lead to got wrenchingly honest prayers that then have promised centered prayers were you say God I can't do this.

I'm only one person, but I'm can ask you to do what only you can do in our model Nehemiah this businessman who's in Persia, who God has placed in this city at this time.

With this platform. With this intelligence.

With this influence and this affluence is to take a radical step of faith.

We pick up the story.

Nehemiah 1 and I put it in your notes so you can follow along the it's at the end where he is, answers prayer, and he says, oh Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayers of your servants who delight in revering your name and here's his request. After four months of praying, God has revealed to Nehemiah. It's not an accident that I gave you this prestige. In this position and his intelligence and his leadership in the city at this time in history.

I want you to be my man and go over there to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall and God has given them a plan as he sprayed many stalked and you find his prayer starts out where he asked God personally and as you read this prayer carefully says the prayer of your servant so we got a small group together is not in it alone and will you learn just a minute he's gonna walk into the king's presence and do something that if the kings in a bad mood. It will cost him his life. He will take a radical step of faith you put his life on the line to come out of his comfort zone and align with God's agenda and so he asked God to give us success. Give me favor in the presence of this man. I was the cupbearer to the king. It was the month of Nissan that's about April and the 20th year of King Artaxerxes of Persia, when wine was brought before them and I took the wine and I gave it to the king and had not been sad in his present before so the king asked me why does your face look so sad when you're not ill. This can be nothing but sadness of heart.

I was very much afraid, but you understand what he did in the culture of this time. If you're sad before the king.

If he's having a bad day.

It's your last day getting out here get me someone knew everyone's life revolved around making the king happy but Nehemiah realized I will get his attention. I build a relationship. This is what God led me to do and he's can ask me a question and I hope you have a really good day God, I want you to just notice in your notes you circle the word, but I was very much afraid, but I want to suggest that the greatest thing that ever happened on the face of the earth by God's people are by people who are absolutely terrified and afraid of what they're about to do, but they don't let the fear stop.

Then on the fear finances. They don't let the fear of rejection. They don't let the fear of the physical life, and they do what God shows him even though they're afraid. So as we go through this message.

If it brings up things in your heart to make you feel afraid you're in very good company that I said to the king. The king live forever little PR never hurts. Why should not my face look sad when the city were my fathers are buried lies in ruins and its gates have been destroyed by fire, and the king respects him and he gets his attention, and the king says will what is it that you want and then I prayed to the God of heaven. I think this is one of those real quick ones in his heart, and I answer the king if it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city and Judah were my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it than the king with the Queen sitting beside and asked me what how long will your journey taken when we you get back in it please the king to send me so I set a time. He had a dislocated heart he cared.

He didn't have a knee-jerk reaction of just launching into something for four months.

He prays individually. He gets a small group. He is a broken spirit now takes a radical step of faith. And here's my definition of a radical step of faith. This is the kind that God supports. It's a radical, a radical step of faith is choosing to step out to fulfill God's clearly defined will a great personal risk and sacrifice. This isn't some wild thought you get this is God's clearly defined will Nehemiah new rebuilding Jerusalem the promises of God. The people of God.

It's clearly defined, will we know it's God's will for poor people to get loved for lost people to hear the gospel. We know the Gospels go to all the world we know it's God's will for fathers to love their families. We know it's God's will for moms to be mentored and know how to take care of their kids.

We know it's God's will for single people discover their gifts and live pure lives and be loved.

Encouraged does a lot of things that are clearly defined will of God.

We know it's God's will for the gospel to cross ethnic barriers and people be love to never heard about Christ and a radical step of faith is choosing to take a step that's God's clearly defined will. But here's the deal. A great personal risk. In other words, it might get really dangerous and second, it might really cost, sacrifice, and when you read all through Scripture. And when you read all through church history, what you find is when you get in any church where God is working. You'll find people who've taken a radical step of faith and by the way they usually do it reluctantly. I mean we we get this idea that their superstars and they have more faith and they know so much more than we do coming member Moses like he was really up for the job you send someone else and someone else Esther, it was not me. Please, not me. Please.

I was teaching in Jordan on spiritual warfare and in that season. We brought about 150 leaders from 26 Arab countries and they were the head of whole denominations and campus Crusade in and people that were born again had personal relationship with Christ even from some groups that you would think really yeah and so I was teaching to the invisible war and after each time we teach it. Then we would translated simultaneously and that would have Q&A to contextualize it to Jordan or Iraq or different countries and Pastor Ronnie, who spoke excellent English was a pastor and I Iraq got to become friends, and he needed some resources and I gave him a book and he came back two days later and had the first third of the book translated and said can I use this I said are you kidding me just tell me what you need. I'll send you whatever and then we got to talk one day and talk about what it was like to have the terrorists come and shoot bullets and and how one day in light of that, he and his wife, and all three kids got underneath the bed and sit for 20 minutes was just Bullets Bullets Bullets Bullets and it finally got quiet, waited about 1/2 hour and went to the entrance of the church is connected to a bunch of shops and homes and he said there was six bodies lying in front of my door and we were to shaken me my kids were shaken and we did leave the house about two and half days the Internet would only come up for you know an hour to a day and he talked about how afraid he was and then how what am I going to do my can have the courage to open services for Sunday and he said, so I didn't. You know, no one died in wheat we did that and I thought about what a radical step of faith and then later in the day we got talking.

I said, Ronnie. What's the biggest challenge you had. He said will mimic member of the names of Kari Ives number two guy under Saddam Hussein.

He lived in the town where Pastor Ronnie was a pastor and a couple months earlier.

He ordered all the cross to come down from the church told people between four and six in the afternoon if anyone goes out on the street you be killed and any come just took over the town and he said United want to take on the cross and was willing to die for my Savior.

But he said that they were to shoot a rocket in the church and there's all these people that is not a good testimony for your church and all these innocent people to die so I took the cross down from the church and then early one morning I was just spending time with the Lord and is a spending time with the Lord reading I've had the clearest prompting from God. Ronnie put the cross back up today. Today's the day. I want to do it for 30 he said I really argued with the Lord and I said, but a 430 I took a step ladder because I had to climb up to the on top of the roof and here's Pastor Ronnie with a cross and a stepladder and he leans against the church and he just think in some sniper someone just going to mow me down to set an example, a leans a stepladder up goes to the church puts the cross on top comes down goes home isn't killed in the morning news.

The very next day's a car is taken out by rocket city. When we talk about a radical step of faith. If you're not careful you can start thinking is like oh I'm taken a big step with my 401(k) or if I do this my business or relationships might be changed a little bit or I might not be as near to some of my family or friends are my grandkids work for. If I took this radical step of faith. I might have to change vocations and we start making those things a radical step of faith which they are and our culture but not when you rub up against people that are willing to give their life for the gospel of Christ. I will tell you, it re-calibrates what it means to follow Jesus. That's what Nehemiah did. And when God finds people who are willing fearfully to take that step.

He does revolutions.

He does revolutions in cities that were only 2 to 5% of people even go to church and places where people were hardened and think that Christians are narrow, bigoted, anti-intellectual intolerant people and he can change people in such dramatic revolutionary ways that those farthest from Christ would say what you all have.

Here's the question, how do you get that kind of faith. This isn't mustering it out. This isn't getting on some emotional high and stepping out doing something really stupid, you better do what God tells you to do when he tells you to do it.

How we tells you to do it as he leads you. That's a radical step of faith and has to we please open your Bibles to Luke chapter 9 were to look at some verses that as you look at them. Jesus is going to describe and teach specifically how you ordinary person and me ordinary person can actually develop a radical faith as others for things you need to remember in order to develop a radical faith in the first one is by remembering what faith is. And faith is not Hebrews 11 one says. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see in other words, faith has to do with what you can't see faith isn't just all logic.

It's based on facts, but it's not emotion.

So often we think faith is okay I'm gonna try try try to have this faith may have emotions or no emotions.

Faith is being what assured certain of what you can't see faith is nothing more or nothing less than trusting in the character and the promises of God to the point that you act with. You feel like it or not that's what faith is.

Old Testament example, God takes his people out of bondage right Egypt they go into the wilderness Moses as their leader. They have a lot to learn to get the 10 Commandments, but now they need to learn to trust him. What is the very first thing that God does. What's the very first test is will you provide for me. I mean, they're out of this wilderness, there's desert to 3 million people and are thinking what what we can eat, and so manna comes in the morning right and God tells them very specifically now only take enough for today translation, have faith, trust me that I'll bring some tomorrow so the first few days. What people do you know what he says take one jar one over and so to do some of the people who know they're not looking for put three or four jars aside and they wake up and extended maggots in it and got another unit stand. You don't get faith for next day next month. You don't have to fear if you do this, what will happen 30 days from now you have to fear what's gonna happen in the year you have to take us. He says there is no grace in hypothetical futures. I will give you whatever you need today. Trust me, and then when I got to be the Sabbath. What was it was it was illogical again.

He wanted to show take to because tomorrow you can arrest I'm going to show you that I'm so powerful, so faithful, so good, so sovereign that you can get more done in six days than most people can seven and the whole point of the Sabbath and the whole point of collecting manna was can I trust God to provide for me and my dependent. Do I look to him as my source. The New Testament equivalent is Jesus talking about money.

Jesus talked about money more than heaven and hell combined and Jesus didn't need our money then nor now. So why, why does he talk about money money money because Jesus says there's really only two gods the two gods are not God and Satan.

The two gods are God and money. You will worship either money or God you will either be self dependent and believe that with enough money, it'll create security with enough money you can look a certain way with enough money you could have certain things will make you someone but all your significant security power issues. We think the right job the right money to know Satan will be a part of trying to get you to buy that life and so the whole point of New Testament giving is to recognize every time we come together. I give the first portion of all that God's given me so I realize this is yours.

Manna and then as I grow I start giving proportionately more percentages as God blesses because I understand life's about eternity. So Jesus copped that to free our heart from greed and so that's why, especially in America. A lot of people go to church regularly. A lot of people wish God would intervene and answer their prayers and their disobedient in the most basic things. If God doesn't have your money doesn't have your heart that's Jesus's. What it reveals that you don't trust me you can say I can sing songs, expect enough and you know I'm with you here.

I didn't grow up in the church only when I'm at the church.

It was like like normal days a dollar feeling kinda good. Five. We do a spiritual experience. I just thought I'm really blessed got heaven. There's a 20 I'm serious to me. I didn't know I'm a member beginning to read the Scriptures about this is his money, not yours.

He gave you the brains he gave you the job you want, what percent. I'm not just thought I first saw her that what are you on drugs. I mean when I'm not making it. Now you want me to give the chip.

Here's issue I want you to trust me and so Trish and I learned to do that. And of course you know the rest is history. It's it's it, but for many that's a radical step of faith. And then what you see as you see God supply and you see the supernatural starting to work so the first thing you have to remember about radical step of faith is what faith is and what it's not.

It's not emotional to obey God.

It's just God is good God's promises are true.

He said he will meet all my needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus. He said these kind is loving, so I can trust. The second thing you need to remember is how deeply God values our faith Hebrews 11 six without faith it's impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe.

Notice the two things that he exists and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.

God is not impressed with your morality is not impressed with your knowledge and is not impressed with ministry success. The number one agenda that God has for you and for me is that you trust him that that's the deal.

I mean if you wonder what what's God doing in my life.

See, it's gotten warped and we have sort of change the whole deal to say God will you work my life out got a problem in my marriage. I'm single and I want to be married Scott upon my finances got a new job for him and oh God oh God oh God, I go to church but try this. I do this paper do that while revival of it and there's this works mentality totally missed the point. The whole point of the difficulties and the challenges in your life with the spirit of God is trying to get you to ask is, what would it look like to trust God in the situation that's the question you gonna write them down, what would it look like to trust God in this difficult marriage what it look like to trust God with a great attitude without a job, won't it look like to trust God to deal with this addiction. What would it look like to trust God to say no to this relationship what it look like to trust God to take a step of faith and launch a ministry, what would it look like I can't tell you how many people end up in negative terrible painful ungodly relationships because they want to pick out who they date or after a difficult divorce. They are so desperate. I've got to find someone instead of what would look like to trust God to make me the woman I need to be with a man I need to be and let God bring that person at the right time the right way. What pleases God is not your religious activity without faith it is impossible to please and by the way not jump this under those notes where there is no risk there is no faith. We turn this whole thing into a morality play.

I'm trying to be good. I'm trying to be good. I'm trying to be good when you step out in faith God by his spirit will make you good but the goal is not to be good. The goals to trust practice a radical phase from a series holy ambition, turning God shaped dreams into reality.

Now you may be asking yourself what does it mean to have a holy ambition. Those two words seem to be contradictory as well understand through chips teaching God's called us to be both holy and ambitious through the biblical story of Nehemiah chip on Paxil.

God develops unique passions and desires in us so that he can then work through us. Discover how you can be used by God to accomplish the extraordinary know if you missed any part of our series, holy ambition, the chipping roadmap is a great way to catch up anytime or Bible teacher Chip Ingram is with me now in chip.

This idea of turning our God shaped dreams into her reality is really near and dear to your heart. I'll take a minute and ensure why the series is special to you. Would you and maybe what you're hoping our listeners will learn from this teaching will Dave gets near and dear to my heart because out of this series was the very first book that I ever wrote.

Holy ambition was something I wrestled with a lot of my heart day do not have these these dreams in a hard to reach a whole city in the first one was a little town of about 3000 people and then God moved me to to Santa Cruz.

It was like how can we reach like 200,000 people in and I had this this tension between Lord and my just arrogant or these dreams from you and as I studied the book of Nehemiah. I saw that this very regular person was put in a place where he had this ambition for God and Dave, I just can't tell you, like the lights came on and I realized that's for all of us.

Whether were a pastor or missionary or even more business people with leadership skills. It's not wrong to be ambitious is wrong to be selfishly ambitious, but it's very right to have a holy ambition for God and what I realize that there's some people that feel like you know God could never use me and there's other people who had this idea, all I think God speaking to me.

But oh, that would take a lot of money and a lot of time and probably someone way smarter than me and what came out of this series was a book that for the last 20 years is helped ordinary people dream God inspired dreams and move them from a thought to a reality in working to share some of those stories and I think it's going to be a series that regardless where people were at. We all have this deep desire to be used by God to make a difference especially in the kind of world that were living in today so Dave could you take just a minute and tell people how to get this book be glad to chip to order the newest addition of holy ambition go to or call us at AAA 333-6003.

Through this resource.

Triple walk through a step-by-step process to turn your dreams and good intentions into a God infused reality. Now during this series, we discounted this latest edition of Chip's book so order yours today. Simply go to or give us a call at AAA 333-6003 app listeners Special offers or that triplets get to your application for this message. You know, as you listen to today's program on ask you a question. When's the last time you really thought clearly about how important faith is not just faith but a radical faith.

You know there's certain things you know without a doubt are God's will for you to do, but it takes faith, which involves risk to step out and doing. I just want to ask you what went through your mind as you are today's teaching what did God bring to your mind that you said to yourself within you know I'm not living by faith God values faith what God wants more than anything else is for me to trust him.

Will the next question becomes, wow, how do I do that how I grow my faith.

What's gonna look like. I hope you will be with us for next broadcast because we are to walk through a process where we will learn exactly how Jesus developed faith in his disciples, and you know what, if you're Christian you are a disciple you're a follower and he wants to develop your faith he wants to give you courage and strength to step out in areas that in your heart you know he want you to. You're afraid God can and will work in you don't miss our next broadcast, that's a great reminder chip.

Thanks well before we go.

Let me tell you about an easy way to listen to our extended teaching podcast here chip any time on Amazon's Alexa echo and echo.just say elect so open Living on the Edge you'll hear that these extended teaching anytime you want. Before Chip and everyone here. This is the same. Thanks for joining us for this addition of living on the

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