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Get Out of Your Head - The Antidote for Noise and Isolation

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
May 20, 2022 6:00 am

Get Out of Your Head - The Antidote for Noise and Isolation

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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May 20, 2022 6:00 am

If there are two words that would best describe this society, they’d be “noisy,” and “isolated.” In this program, guest teacher Jennie Allen continues her series “Get Out of Your Head.” She explains that like never before we’re flooded by sounds and distractions… and yet we’re more and more disconnected. So how can we survive? Join us to learn more...

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If I could use two words to describe our current society, they would be noisy and isolated.

Now those words may seem like opposites, but hear me out. Like never before, we're inundated by the sounds and distractions of everyday life. And at the same time, we're becoming more and more distanced from one another. So how can we survive?

That's today. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Drew, and Chip's our Bible teacher for this international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. Well, in this program, we'll continue our new series, Get Out of Your Head, taught by our guest teacher, Jenny Allen. For those of you who don't know, Jenny's a best-selling author, experienced Bible teacher, and the founder of the If Gathering events. In this series, Jenny's identifying seven toxic thoughts that pollute our minds and seven remedies that can stop them in their tracks. Now for more insight into this important topic, let me encourage you to get Jenny's book, which was the basis for this series.

You can go to or the Chip Ingram app to learn more. Okay, let's join Jenny now for her talk, The Antidote for Noise and Isolation. We live in the noisiest generation that has ever been.

No generation has had to deal with more inputs than ours. So what does it look like to shift the spiral? And I want to define the spiral. So throughout the book, the idea of a spiral is how we have actually built out all of these chapters. So when you look at this chapter on stillness, you're going to see this spiral that says, discontent is this emotion I feel. And then the thought that you have is I'll feel better if I stay distracted. And we're watching the spiral of an emotion hitting a thought, a thought hitting a behavior, a behavior hitting a relationship. And those spirals are going through our minds all the time. And what God wants to do is He wants to shift the spiral from a negative spiral that's spiraling down, He wants to shift it to one that's going up, one that is going toward Him. But that interruption and that distraction that constantly has you pulling away from God, that distraction is our responsibility. We have a choice to change the way we think.

But we have to choose it. I tell my kids this all the time, but I think sometimes we need a parent telling us the same thing, bossing us around just a little bit. And so when we were thinking about a title I said, you know, the thing that I want to happen is I want to be able to grab everybody by their shoulders and speak as clearly and boldly as I can to them. Because in the midst of a spiral that's been constant in your life, you need somebody to just grab you by the shoulders and say, Hey, stop.

Like you don't have to do this anymore. And so that's going to be a lot of how I speak to you. So bear with me.

I'm a really nice person in real life. But I care about you. And I want you to be free.

And so I want you to picture me right now grabbing you by the shoulders and saying to you, looking you in the eyes and saying, you have a choice. You don't have to spiral out. We can set up things that can limit our time on Instagram. We can set up things that limit the noise in our lives, but we have to choose it. We have to choose it. And ultimately, we have to choose the truth, the truth that is going to cut through the noise that is going to cut through the lies because all that noise isn't ambient random noise. That noise is feeding us lies. It's feeding us ideas about our worth ideas about what we need to be happy ideas about our relationships. It's not like that noise is just subtle background noise, elevator music that noise is telling us things and most of what it's telling us is lies. And so we have to see it that way.

We've got to do a better job of surveying our lives, noticing our inputs, and noticing the things that we're believing because of those inputs. My daughter Kate, she's 18. And she is so zealous about this. She's better than me about this. She will take social media, Instagram, everything off of her phone and leave it off unless she wants to share something, a post or something. She'll put it on and she'll scroll and see what her friends are up to.

But she generally has it off of her phone. And I think of it, both my older kids are good at this. I think of it like old money and new money. You know, the idea of new money is that you just blow it all at once. And that's kind of how our generation has been with our phones and with technology.

We have just overdone it. And I think this generation coming has watched their parents do that. And they've watched themselves and the temptation that this is. And they are aware this is toxic and dangerous.

They are aware that they are filling their minds with lies and that it is affecting their generation. My other daughter, who wanted Instagram so badly, was begging me for it, begging me for it, begging me for it. Finally, I sent her an article and I said, I'm going to tell you really clearly why I'm not giving this to you. When she read the article about mental illness and Instagram and comparison in this younger generation, she quit asking. She didn't want it. Now, years later, she has it, but she wasn't as eager to have it when she realized that's the reason her friends are depressed.

That's the reason her friends are anxious. And we've got to be better surveyors of our life. But we also have to be better fighters for the truth. All of us have a choice when we wake up in the morning. In fact, I told the story in the book about waking up in the morning and immediately spiraling out because I had the thought, I need to spend time with Jesus. And instead I picked up my phone. That is all of our realities every single morning.

We always have a choice. And the reason it's urgent that we spend time with Jesus is not because there's some angel in heaven like checking off. Did she spend time with Jesus today?

Did she spend time with Jesus today? It is because we are at war and we need the truth in our minds first. We need to know who we are in Christ. We need to know who God is. We need to have truth so clearly before us that when we see other inputs coming our way and when we're onslaughted by all this noise, we can sort out the lies and the truth.

When the truth is set before our minds completely clearly, this is who God is. This is what is true. Then when a lie comes, we notice it's a lie. We know how to fight it.

We know what's true. That is why God wants time with us. It's not so that we know more and more and more about God. It's that we can fight better, that we can actually live the things that we know about God better, but we have to know them first. We can't just expect God to fight for us when the main way He is fighting for us is through His Word. It says that His Word is a two-edged sword, that it cuts through marrow, that it cuts through bone, that it pierces our soul, that there's nothing else that has the power to do that. The Word of God can change us.

It says it will never return void, that it will always enter us and change us. Connection with God is the foundation for every other God-given tool we're going to talk about that we have to fight with. We cannot know God. We cannot give God. We cannot rest in God.

We cannot find hope without time with Him. That is how we get God. We need stillness with God. We don't just need mindfulness. I mean, that was the lack I saw in the self-help world.

I read a lot of those books, and they were so interesting and fascinating, but I always wondered, like, how do they actually think this works when the answer in their book was how awesome we are? I'm like, yeah, I'm not that awesome. Like, that falls apart pretty quickly. Or when the answer is just be still and think about your thoughts.

I'm like, well, that falls short if you don't have hope. Y'all, that's why I love Jesus. That's why I preach the gospel. That's why I shouldn't be found in the self-help section because my books aren't that much about self-help. They're about God help. They're about how He has helped us and the tools and the power that He's given us.

Yes, to make our own choice, but with His power, with His weapons, with His truth. Yes, there are methods in psychology that are truly helpful, but almost every one that's actually helpful is rooted somewhere in the Bible because God built our brains because He designed them. Our minds are actually physically built for silence the way God designed us. Your brain actually physiologically alters. Studies have found that brains of the people who spend hours in prayer and meditation alone are different. Your imagination gets rewired. When you're relaxed, anxiety and depression actually decrease. Several studies that demonstrated that subjects who meditated for a short time showed increased alpha waves, the relaxed brain waves, and decreased anxiety and depression. You guys, this changes our brains.

And so yes, what scientists discover about them happen to reflect the brilliance and power of that design that God built. So you ready? I'm going to mama bear you. I want you every single day. I want you to put your Bible by your bed. And I want it to be what you read before you grab your phone. I want you to read it every single day, because it matters that much. Because this is how we go to war.

This is how we fight better. In the middle of the night, I told you about that season of doubt. And in the middle of the night, one thing I did was I bought this little light that could clip on my Bible. And I put my Bible by my bed.

And I put that little light on it because I didn't want to wake up my husband. But I just had to start reading truth. And so what I would do is I would go to a Psalm that I love that my kids had memorized when they were young at their school.

And I wanted to memorize as well. And so I would open it up to Psalm 139. And it talks about if you go down to the pit, if you go down to Sheol, he is there. And if you ascend to the heavens, he is there, but there is nowhere you can go away from God. And that comforted me because my fear was in the middle of my doubt was that he wouldn't be in death, that he wouldn't be in the grave, that it would just fade to black.

And guys, I had to fight that with truth. And so fast forward, I'm in Uganda with some dear friends. And I'm sitting, because I'm fixated on that scripture, I'm sitting in a staff devotional with Food for the Hungry.

Their entire team was in there, all local Ugandans and South Sudanese refugees that serve up there in northern Uganda. And I'm sitting in this office, I mean, way off the beaten path of life. I mean, we're talking like took a little small little plane to get out there and a bus after that.

And we were just in the middle of nowhere. And guess what they open to in the middle of my war with my mind. He opens to Psalm 139. And he reads specifically that part of the passage. And guys, I start weeping, because I know that God is fighting for me. How did he fight for me with his word?

He fought for me with his word. That is how God is fighting for you right now. That book that you are you feel burdened by that you think, oh, it's an obligation, I have to do that.

No, you know, I've got too much to do. That book is God fighting for you, fighting for you to be more free, fighting for you to know him more and his love for you more, fighting for you to understand how much he has done and how much he wants to do for you. That's, that's what this is. And so when we receive that, there is a relationship that's built.

It's not about us checking something off a list. It's like, gosh, my God is there. I want to be with him.

I want to know him. Psalm 8410 says for a day in your courts is better than 1000 elsewhere. Do we believe that? Do we believe that time with God is better than any other place we could be? It is the only place I have ever felt true peace. It is with God and especially peace in the midst of difficulty, but even peace in the midst of a morning or anxious thoughts or worry, y'all pulling out. When I say get out of your head, I don't mean get out of your head into nothingness.

I mean, get out of your head into a relationship with God. And when we put God and fixate him in the center of our mind, then there is this accountability because guess what? God knows every thought we think before we think it.

That's all it says. So we have a God that knows our thoughts already. He's in them with us and we have to realize that that should bring some accountability and it should also bring some companionship, right? Like we are not alone in our own thoughts.

God is with us in them and he's not angry at us about them. He just desperately wants us to be free of the lies that we are choosing to believe. Some of you don't know this, but God really likes you. Like he likes you.

I think about my son in the morning when he has been a brat the day before, but he comes down and he's going to ask for breakfast and he's 11 years old and he's just hard and I love him so much, but you know, he's just, he gets in trouble. And so he's coming down for breakfast and he turns the corner and you know what I feel almost every time he turns that corner is how much I like him. I like him. I like him. I don't just love him. I don't just need him to do something for me. I don't. I like him.

And I think that's the thing we miss about God is that he likes us. Yes. He's fighting for us. Yes. He loves us.

Yes. He sent his son to die for us, but he also delights over us. And I think as we fixate on that, all of a sudden we want to be with that God. We want to enjoy him.

We want to experience his delight over us and we want to be with him. My daughter is so great. And the reason she's so great is because she has walked through a season of doubt and realize that God is true too.

And I just want to tell you that this isn't like some great parenting skillset that got Kate where she is. This is her own faith journey that she had to go through with God. And what Kate will do when she's going through a dark season is she won't watch Netflix. She won't listen to podcasts. She will just turn on sermons and she lets these pastors, there's about a handful of them, fight for her. And she listens to them and she listens to truth because she knows if I watch Netflix right now, I'm going to fill my head with more lies.

And so a 17 year old, I mean, you can imagine how convicted I am. I walk in at nine o'clock at night and she's in her bed and I think she's watching Netflix and I look and she's watching sermons. Like this is how Kate is who she is, is because she will not settle to be stuck in bondage. She allows people to fight for her. She allows God to fight for her because she puts truth in. She doesn't just listen to lies all day long.

She knows the value of inputs. We have to realize the value of our inputs and we have to realize that whether or not we're choosing them, they're coming for us in the form of lies all day, every day. And guys, this also applies to our kids.

We got to fight for them. They're getting inputs every single day, all day long. My sweet 11 year old boy goes to a public school and you cannot believe he's such a talker. He comes home and tells me everything that he's heard that day.

And I'm like, this is worse than an x-ray movie. Like this is fifth grade at public school. My kid is being bullied on certain days.

I'm sure my kid is bullying on certain days, but I'm just saying the inputs in his life are legit. They're dark and they're legit and all of our kids are fighting more darkness than we can understand. And we've got to fight for them. How do we fight for them? We give them the same truth that we have to have. We sit over them.

We read scripture over them. Yesterday morning, Cooper had had a bad day at school and I pulled him on my lap. I said, I want to tell you, I've been praying for you. And I know we talk about Jesus a lot, but I want to tell you about grace again, because grace has changed my life. And I think it is the greatest gift that God's given us. And it just started talking him through it. And I said, today, when you feel frustrated with people and you feel bullied, I want you to think about grace.

Like, I just want you to think how much God likes you and that that's enough. And you know, I think he was distracted, but I'm fighting for him anyway. I mean, that's what we've got to do.

We've got to fight for ourselves and we've got to fight for our people. You're listening to insightful words from Jenny Allen. She's our guest speaker for this series, Get Out of Your Head.

And this is Chipping, German. You're listening to Living on the Edge. And I pray that Jenny's words have encouraged you to protect your minds from the noise that were bombarded by day in and day out in our society. For the rest of our time, Jenny will explain why it's important that we find meaningful connections with others in a world that's becoming increasingly isolated.

So here's Jenny. Have you ever heard of something called mirror neurons? So this is when you're sitting across from somebody else, a friend over coffee, let's say, and your mirror neurons are all firing. And what that looks like is they share something with you and they have a very sad face. And all of a sudden you mirror their face. You are sad with them. That's coming from something in your brain that is telling you physiologically to empathize with them. And you guys were built for this. God put that in us because he knew that we had to do life together, that we couldn't just live on these isolated islands going through our junk and not connect with others.

We are physically hard wired for connection. When I look back at those 18 months that I was struggling with doubt and I mean, it really turned into a crisis of my faith, but where I gave into that attack and where I gave the enemy way too much power is that I was completely isolated, that I never brought anybody into it. I never said out loud the thoughts I was thinking. I never told my husband. I never told my small group who I met with weekly y'all.

I was in deep relationship with people. I could have said it out loud. I could have even texted out friends that they wouldn't be mad if I texted them in the middle of the night when I was under attack. But evil is subtle and it comes for us and we barely notice. In fact, evil loves to not be noticed. It wants to sneak up on us and it wants to tell us things and it doesn't want to be noticed. And so for 18 months, I didn't notice it.

I just sat there in it. But as we notice our thoughts and as we notice the lies that we've been believing, we need to say those things out loud. Now, some of you are thinking, it's not a lie.

It's true. Well, you don't know. Let me just say, as someone who lived in my brain for 18 months with the devil telling me lies, I didn't know what was true and what was a lie. All I knew was my thoughts were, you know, all over the place. And I was having a lot of discouraging, doubtful thoughts, but I didn't even think about it.

I didn't think that this was attack. And if a second I said it out loud, chains begin to fall because the second I said it out loud, I realized one, how stupid it sounded that I really do believe in God. I don't believe the lies.

I don't. And then two, it was so clear I was under spiritual attack the second I said it out loud. And the other thing that happened, if you've read the book, you know, I had some pretty incredible friends that began to fight for me. And they begin to fight for me as if my life and faith depended on it.

They did not take it lightly. And you guys have to know how vulnerable that was for me. For me to receive these dear friends, Esther and Anne, praying and fasting, like not eating for 24 hours for me, like that just felt so hard to receive.

But I was so desperate that I said, Okay, and I need this. And so for 24 hours, all of us, we fasted and we prayed and I look back and I don't know that I'd be free without those friends fighting for me without my small group fighting for me. As I shared with them what I was going through, I had a small little bitty army that fought for me, my husband at the top of the list, once he realized what was happening, oh my gosh, he would wake up and pray for me, he would pray before we go to sleep.

I mean, we have to have those people that that love us that know us that we can call it any hour that we can tell anything to, we've got to have the people that fight for us. I remember one of my friends from Austin, she confessed one time to me that she had been having feelings for another man. And she told me that when the first time she confessed it, that she never had feelings for him again, he was married, and she was married. And she said, the second I said it out loud, it was like it lost all its power. Guys, that is what we're talking about. We're talking about an enemy who knows that if he has us alone in the dark, then he has us. But if we bring people into it, we bring and invite people that love Jesus into it. All of a sudden, we have invited the truth and the light into it. And no longer are we alone with the devil.

We have people fighting for us. First, John one seven says this, but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus, his son cleanses us from all sin. If we walk in the light, Christ is in the light. We have fellowship with one another.

It's where life happens in the light. It happens in community. It happens in local churches. It happens in small groups.

It happens in small Bible studies. This is what we have to do. But the truth is most of us, even if we have some of those things in place, we aren't actually confessing our sin.

And that's a part of this is we have to say it. When John's talking here about the light, he's talking about confession. He's saying you bring things to the light.

Don't hide them in the dark. And why do we bring him to the light? First, John one seven says because the blood of Jesus, his son, it cleanses us from all sin because he has power over the sin and we experience that freedom. Now, I believe my sin would have been forgiven if I'd never brought it into confession and into the light. But I don't believe I'd experience freedom on earth.

I don't believe I'd be reminded of that forgiveness. I don't believe I'd be reminded of the truth of God unless I brought people in. And that's why we move to the light, not because our salvation depends on it, but because our freedom on this earth depends on it.

That's how it goes. We need people to fight for us. We need people that are fierce and that are warriors and that'll just get their hands dirty like fighting for us.

When we say the lies that are in our heads, they'll fight for us with the truth. But we also have to be those friends. And if any of you are wondering why you don't have those people in your life, there's a lot of reasons for that.

There's a lot. Relationships are hard and we usually quit them as soon as they get hard. And the best ones have been through a lot of hard. So we can't quit when it gets hard because that's actually building the depth and the maturity of a relationship.

There's a lot of reasons that we don't have deep close friendships, but we can always shift that and the best way to do it is to be that person first. So who can you fight for today? I want you to call a friend, to text a friend and say, let's go to coffee. And I want you, rather than bringing your needs to the table, even though some days that's obedience and vulnerable and what needs to happen, I want you to fight for them. I want you to tell them, make them listen to this and say, listen, we're going to do this. I'm doing this for you. We're going to go to coffee for an hour. And for an hour, you're going to talk about your mind and your anxious thoughts and your worries. Now, let me tell you, certain percentage of the time, it won't go well.

It won't. Like you'll tell that friend and they'll be, they won't know what to do with it. Maybe they've never confessed in themselves. Maybe they have their own issues. Who knows?

And they'll backpedal and they'll change the subject. Not your friend. Okay.

Guess what? I know this is hard, but you go try again. You don't give up.

Why? Because we cannot live without each other. And as you fight for them, they're going to see a new way to be a friend. They're going to see a new way for freedom to unfold in their lives. And you know what's cool is when someone does that for you, you start to do it for them.

So go first. You are listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Jenny Allen has been our guest teacher for this program, The Antidote for Noise and Isolation, which is from her series, Get Out of Your Head.

Chip will join us in just a minute to share his application for this message. Let me ask you a question. What drives your thought life? Is it anxiety, loneliness, feeling like the world's out to get you?

Perhaps you're really pessimistic or obsessed with being recognized. Well, in this series, Jenny identifies seven common thoughts that are actually toxic to our lives and can derail our connection with God. Don't miss how we can break free from these dangerous mindsets by wielding the power God's already given us. If you're wanting to learn more about this topic, let me encourage you to get Jenny's book, Get Out of Your Head. For complete details, go to or call us at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003 or

App listeners tap special offers. Chip's joined me in studio now, and Chip, Jenny ended her message today by talking about fighting for those people in our lives who are important to us. As you engage with people around the country, who and what are people fighting for in these challenging times? As I travel around the United States and speak at churches, college campuses, pastors conferences, military personnel, there is one theme that just keeps coming out. It doesn't matter where I speak or who I'm with. It's the family, it's communication, and it's relationships.

Now, here's the thing. There's a lot that goes into building a strong family, great communication, and doing that for different groups is certainly a challenge. But that's why we're committed to continuing to teach the Bible regularly, practically, and relevantly. We're committed to develop group resources and online courses that help people personally apply the truth to their life. And we're committed to having fun with families and creating tools that allow families to get together and enjoy one another and share their hearts.

Each one of those has their place. And here's what I would ask you. Would you be willing to help us create these and then get them in the hands of families all across America?

It takes resources. And I'm so grateful for those of you that pray and partner with us financially, and I want to thank you first. And second, if you don't partner with us financially now, would you consider partnering financially and helping us do what families desperately need? Thanks so much for praying about it and then doing whatever God chose you to do.

Thanks, Chip. Well, as you prayerfully consider your role with this ministry, I want to remind you that every gift is significant. When you partner with Living on the Edge, you multiply our efforts and resources in ways that only God can do. To send a gift, call us at 888-333-6003 or go to

That's 888-333-6003 or App listeners, tap donate. Well, with that, Chip, let's get to that application we promised. As we close today's program, let's pause for a moment.

I heard Jenny, as she wrapped up her teaching, literally plea with us. I mean, plea with us to say, fight for that person. Care for that person.

Interject your life. Ask them to go for coffee. Text them today.

Give them a call today. I mean, who is that person that you know that needs a friend? Or who is that person that you know you've had a relationship, but you both got busy.

You both got sidetracked, and you really need to be together. As she was speaking, I just thought of how easy it is to let work or distractions or discouragement or binging on a Netflix series or to fill our lives with so many other things win what I heard. And what's so true is we need each other. For me personally, I've had to structure that in my life. Left to myself, I love to work. I've got four grown kids.

I've got 12 grandkids. I can end up doing a lot of really good things. I can feel responsible. I do this. I do that right. But I need some people in my life that are just for me. I've got a couple friends like that.

Sometimes they initiate, and in more recent times, I've initiated. I had one friend who was a friend of friends. He would text me at 6 a.m. and say, let's get coffee because I could tell, man, you were sort of funky, and you really need to sit down and talk to someone. This is the way he talked to me.

He was a quarterback at Boise years ago. He'd say, come on, bro, let's get together. They'd say, you're working too much, let's go play golf. Other times it would be, man, I'm so sorry. I know you had to bury that guy that died early and counseled his family.

You must be really struggling. All I want you to know is who is that person in your life? And are you that person in someone else's life? What I heard Jenny saying is this is more than I'm in a Bible study or I meet with some people now and then, or I have some light conversation.

This is about getting connected from the heart, being real, being honest, speaking the truth and love, bearing one another's burdens. Proverbs 13, 20, I shared over and over with my kids growing up. He who dwells with wise men will be wise, but the companion of a fool will suffer harm. And if you really want to know what your life is going to look like in three to five to seven years, all I have to ask you is show me your friends.

I'll show you your future. And sometimes our friends end up being ones we just play with, or sometimes they're ones we just work with. And of all the things that you need to make sure you do is for those of us that are married, we need to make sure that we're making deep friendship, a big part of the connection.

And that means you go on dates and that means you take walks. And you know, my wife just said, you know, we haven't read out loud together in a long time. Why don't we do that? We just started working out together a couple of times a week and I'm, you know, I'm on my own doing my thing and she's on her own doing her thing. And you know, out of all the last few years of all this isolation, we decided, why don't we do this together? And it's been fun.

It's been great. Now let me ask you, who needs a text from you today? Who needs a call that says this week, not later, not someday, we're going to get coffee or a dinner or a lunch?

Okay, you ready? Go connect with someone. They'll love it and you and me need it. Great word, Chip. Thanks. As we close, I want you to know that as a staff, we ask the Lord to help you take whatever your next faith step is. Now, if there's a way we can help, we'd love to do that. Maybe give us a call at 888-333-6003 or connect with us at And while you're there, take a moment and look through our resources on a variety of topics, many of them absolutely free. Well, thanks for being with us. Until next time, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-16 05:30:57 / 2023-04-16 05:44:34 / 14

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