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True Spirituality - How to Get God's Best for Your Life, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
June 9, 2023 6:00 am

True Spirituality - How to Get God's Best for Your Life, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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June 9, 2023 6:00 am

Do you want to get God’s best but don’t know how? Chip unpacks how you can get God’s very best for your life.


Are you getting God's best? I mean, the God of the universe, who created all there is and loves you, wants the highest, the best for you in every area of your life. Is that what you're experiencing? Well, if not, stick around. You're going to learn how to get God's best today.

Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. We are a discipleship-driven ministry on a mission to encourage Christians everywhere to live like Christians. Now, you may be asking, what does that mean? How can I be a faithful follower of Jesus? Well, in this series, True Spirituality, Chip's been identifying the characteristics of a genuine Christian laid out for us in Romans Chapter 12. And today, as he just teased, he'll describe how we can access the joy-filled and fulfilling life God desires for us. But before he gets going, let me encourage you to use Chip's message notes while you listen. They'll help you get the most out of what you're about to hear.

Download them under the broadcasts tab at App listeners, tap fill in notes. Well, if you're ready, here's Chip for today's talk. Have you ever wondered why there are so many decisions and so few disciples? Here's what I mean by that. I mean, what I know historically right now in the next 24 hours, tens of thousands of people all across the world will make decisions to follow Christ. They'll get it where you realize I've sinned before a holy God. Christ died in my place. He rose from the dead. And you place your faith in Him and He takes you from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.

But I'm guessing that we all have either a short or long list of friends, and for many of us, I've certainly been there myself, where that's a reality. His Spirit came into your life. You begin to make some progress. You started to grow.

But then things kind of got not so good. And the great majority, at least statistically of people that genuinely know and love God, who are followers of Christ, their life isn't quite matching up. I got an email from a lady.

It's a picture of this, and it's interesting. She said, thank you for your message this morning on Romans 12.1. And then now listen to her story and see how much you can identify with. I came to Christ when I was 13, but I've gone through a lot of hard times throughout my college, and my relationship with God has been up and down ever since. Today I've been feeling lethargic and distant from God. I woke up this morning, and I asked myself this question. If I died today, would people say that I was a Christian, that I was a messenger of God, or would they even say or know that I followed God at all? Well, I happened to turn on your program, and as I, in my inner life, have struggled both with alcoholism and immorality, I heard what it meant to go all in.

Bold letters. I decided to give all myself to God and completely surrender to Him. So thank you, and God bless. Now that email is sort of, there's some really wonderful, neat parts, but isn't it kind of sad that someone would come to a saving knowledge at 13 and have the next plus or minus 20 years described by up and down, distant, lethargic, looking for the satisfaction that only God can give, and for reasons maybe she didn't understand, finds herself relying on alcohol and then multiple sexual relationships, only to discover, oh, God has a good plan. God wants to give me the best.

And for many people, they didn't know it does require the moment where you say to Him, I'm going to trust You. And here's what Romans 12.1 said, Therefore I urge you, my brothers, in view of God's mercy, remember 11 chapters, of His love for you, offer your body a living and holy sacrifice, well pleasing to God. This is your spiritual service. In other words, that's what God really wants.

But here's the question. It's one thing to give God what He really wants. Second question is, how do you get the very best from God? And it's interesting, that's verse two. He's going to say, And do not be conformed any longer to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that your life, in other words, your lifestyle, what you actually experience, would be the good, well pleasing and perfect will of God. So I'm going to ask you to open your teaching handout. And what I want you to do is know that we're going to ask and answer the question that I think is one of the most important for any Christian.

How do you get the very best from God? What you're going to see, the structure of this passage, there's a negative command. Stop literally allowing the world to conform you to its mold. Then there's a positive command. But be transformed by the renewing of your mind. And then there's this purpose clause.

There's a reason why. So that you personally, not someone out there, so you could experience the good, well pleasing, perfect will of God. So you got your study out. Let me do a little Bible study.

It's a bit more technical than normal, but I think it's worthwhile. The negative command is do not be conformed to the pattern of this world. And the main verb is do not be conformed. It's grammatically in what's called the passive voice.

And I'll be technical just for a minute. The passive voice means, in Greek, it means that the subject is being acted upon. The active voice would be the subject is doing something.

The subject is being acted upon. The imperative simply means that it's a command. And the present tense means the subject that is being acted upon, it's happening continuously.

And so what I did is I took that and gave you sort of the Chip Ingram translation from that grammar to just fill it out a bit. Literally the Apostle Paul is saying stop allowing yourselves to be molded by the influence and pressures of this present world system. It's really what he's saying. Now by the way, when he says world system or the values of this world, he's not talking about the world, the geographical world. He's talking about a system of values, a mindset, a worldview that's energized by the enemy of your soul whose goal is to kill and to steal and destroy, to mess your life up, to ruin your relationships, to separate you from God, to make you be emotionally depressed, to cause you to physically go into areas that will ruin your life.

I mean the whole goal of the world system is to destroy you. And so the Apostle Paul says stop allowing this system, this set of values that's antithetical to everything God wants for your life, stop allowing it to squeeze you into its mold. So grammatically he's telling us this is currently happening in the church at Rome. And we know it's happening right in our lives.

I mean imagine a little boy or a little girl or a young woman or an older man. You hear about Jesus the Messiah, you come to Christ, you live in Rome, there's an emperor, there's a gladiators, there's idols everywhere, there's brothels everywhere, you can have any kind of sex with any person, anytime, anywhere. It's a violent culture. 80% of the entire people group are slaves that are treated as less than human beings.

Women don't even make it. They're just a piece of property. Babies are killed because of gender with no thought. He says stop allowing the values of this present world in Rome and now today in America or wherever you are in the world to squeeze you into its mold. Now sometimes, this is really exciting for me, sometimes there will be a phrase in scripture and some place else in scripture it will define it very clearly. So the application very clearly is that we are to be separate from the world's values. If you want to understand how to give God what he wants the most, we need to be surrendered to God. But when you want to understand how to get God's best, we need to be separate from the world's values. And then in 1 John 2, 15-17, I put the text right in your notes, he will literally define and explain what are the world's values and how does it work.

Follow along as I read. Do not love the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. And now he's going to define, so what's the world? For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father but it's from the world.

And then notice this commentary. The world is passing away and it's lusts or passions. But the one who does the will of God lives forever.

Now if you have a pen, I'd like you to pull it out and every time you see the word love, why don't you circle it. He who loves the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father.

Because what I want you to understand is sometimes at least historically in the church when people talk about the world's system or the world's values or worldliness, it somehow gets translated into here's a list of things you can't do or here's another list you can't do or it's all these external things. I want you to understand the values that he describes and the powers that pull at your flesh and mind are far deeper. It's about relationship. It's about where is your love? Where are your affections? And he says the world's system has three components.

You notice I put it in bold. There's the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. The lust of the flesh is merely the passion to feel. It's this desire we have for pleasure and that pleasure can come out in sex, it can come out in food and by the way, all these desires are legitimate. But what the enemy wants to do is create a world's system to deliver legitimate needs and illegitimate ways to destroy your life. The lust of the eyes is the passion to have or to possess.

I gotta have that. The boastful pride of life is the passion to be. It has to do with position.

I gotta be a somebody. And so in summary, the world's system seeks to seduce us from our love for Christ by pleasure, possessions and position. Some people put it this way, the world is really about sex, salary and status. Or I heard an older missionary, this is like, you know, I was in another country and it said young men, we were all young men playing basketball in South America and he says guys, it's all about girls, gold and glory. And he said those are the things, you know, girls, you can flip that around and figure it out.

Here's what I want you to get. There is a system that comes on almost every commercial, every billboard, in every magazine, where you work that tells you that if you could possess that, if you get this position, if your kids get in this school, if you can have these things, that security and significance and meaning and happiness and purpose, it's all for you. In fact, every time you walk out of the checkout stand, it screams the world's system. Because here you are, you got your little groceries and you're at the local grocery store and, you know, they got all the magazines and this magazine number one is either Cosmo or Men's Health. And if you're a guy, you look more at Cosmo than you do Men's Health. And all the girls, literally, they're all the same from the neck down when you look at the cover of Cosmo.

Some of you will get that a little bit later. And it just says, sex, man, if you have that. Or part of us look at Men's Health and say, man, if I had abs, if I had abs like that, man, the women would love me. And the girls don't know whether I should look at Cosmo and I'm supposed to look like that and I wonder how many surgeries that would require and, or how many time in the work, in the workout room. And so we're just told, I mean, we're just told, your body, you gotta be attractive and sexual and beautiful and there's whole industries, multi-billion dollar industries. I mean, all you're trying to do is buy some groceries. And it says, you don't look like this.

You oughta look like this. And some of us look at all that and realize, you know, I may never get there. And so then it's People Magazine, that's the next one on the rack. And if I could be famous like them. I mean, it's just like, how in the world did we go from actors and scripts and drama and thinking and entertainment to 80% of everything reality shows? Everyone wants their own reality shows. We've got people who do illegal things to create false stories to try and create their own reality school.

Why? If people knew me, fame, glory, then I'd be a somebody. And as you kinda get the yogurt and the bread and the milk across and, you know, you've been to Cosmo and Men's Health and now here you are and you're thinking, my, Lance, you know, I don't, People Magazine, those sure are pretty people. And if you check the pictures and she's with so and so, she used to be so and so, now she's with so and so and she's pregnant.

Oh, she's got the baby bump and the names and faces change and you know, right? And as you get a little older, some of you are going, oh, you forget that. And it's, well, there's Forbes and there's Fortune, if you had that, man, right? And here's, and so, money, sex, power, position, and then we create worlds so that our kids can get money, power, sex, and position. So we work like crazy, don't see one another, spend most of our time staring at screens, have relationships that don't work, work hours that are insane, be in the gym for long hours to become and look like someone so someone will love us, and all the while, the people that have the most money, with the sexiest bodies, with the largest houses, who've won the lotto or are the celebrities, when we look carefully at their life, we see the highest percentage of depression, divorce, suicide, and emptiness. It's like this crazy picture of everyone following the great rainbow for the pot of gold with possessions and power and position, and those that have it would come out and say, it's empty.

It's empty. And I can tell you, whether it's in South Africa or Korea or Hong Kong or Indonesia or the Silicon Valley or Nebraska, the great majority of Christians are not experiencing God's best. And they're not experiencing God's best because their heart has been seduced away from their Savior and we've bought the lies that these things will fulfill and they don't.

And God brought you into this room on this day to say to you, I want to give you the best. So negative, stop allowing yourself to be molded by the world. So get aware.

But that's not enough. Turn the page. Second, he's going to say, start allowing yourself to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Notice the positive community. He says, be transformed. Remember, I think it's about ninth grade biology, metamorphosis, right? The Greek word wef, morph is to change. Remember, and I know there's a very technical word because people always correct me, but I call them green caterpillars and I know it's technically not a caterpillar. But you know the little caterpillar that puts it in its cocoon and then this beautiful butterfly comes out?

What do we call that process, ninth grade biology? Metamorphosis. It's change from the inside out. This is what God's saying. Don't allow the world, the externals to squeeze you and their values into this false belief and system of lies that lead to death, but allow yourself by the transformation of your mind to be changed from the inside out. Then notice the grammar.

It's exactly the same. It's in the passive voice. Well, what's that mean? It means, so in other words, God has to, you can't change yourself, but it's a command. So God says, there's a part that you have that you cooperate with me, but I'm the one who does the changing.

And then notice it's in the present tense. So notice a translation here of this command is, but allow God to completely change your inward thinking and outward behavior, how? By cooperating wholeheartedly moment by moment with the Spirit's renewing process. It's supernatural. It's not self-effort and trying hard. Here's a model and a picture like Jesus.

I'm going to try and be kind, try and be loving. No, no, it's internal. It's supernatural. It's the Spirit of God taking the Word of God, renewing your mind in the context of community, of real life relationships where the very personality of Jesus and His character where you're loving and kind and peaceful and gentle and generous and other-centered and of self-discipline. And the fruit of the Spirit, which is really the life of Christ, progressively becomes more how you think and how you act.

It's not trying hard to be like Jesus. It's allowing the Jesus living in you by the Holy Spirit to transform you from the inside out. And so the application is really, I put it in the form of a question. Are you shaped more by the world or by the Word? I think I know the answer for most of us, but I thought, why don't we, let's let this one just rest for a second, ready?

So before we just go on, let me just ask you, okay, ready? If I just put a little stick man on a line and an arrow this direction, an arrow this direction, and on this side would be the Word's influence in my life, truth, God's Word, God's people. You're the little stick man or stick woman, and this is the world.

Which one is having the most influence? The world is saying get, get, get, accumulate, accumulate, impress, impress. The Word is saying give, give, give, be authentic, love, care. The world is saying it's how you look. The Word is saying it's who you are. The world is saying you don't measure up unless you have. The Word is saying you already measure up and your value is in how you care. The Word comes to you in the beauty of nature, primarily the Bible, the Word of God, and out of the relationships of other believers where Jesus lives inside of them, all those things wooing you and drawing you to allow Christ be formed in you. And the world comes at you in smart phones, computer, TV, Netflix, billboards, romance novels, relationships where people kind of look at you and say unless you have this, unless you look like that, unless you can do this, unless you can form that, you don't really measure up.

And you're in the battle of your life. External forces like this saying to you conform, conform, conform. And an internal supernatural power saying be transformed, be transformed. And I don't say this, this is not like oh I want everyone to feel guilty for like 30 seconds.

I just want you to look at the little stick man in your mind and say is the input of God's Word and God's people and those things influencing your time, your priorities, and your focus or is it more the world? Now nationwide it's pretty obvious about 8 to 9 out of 10 Christians it's more this. Can you imagine in heaven how God must feel about that lady and about us as a 13 year old girl that comes to know Jesus and is loved and he's got this amazing plan for her.

But she hears that unless you sleep with your boyfriend you don't measure up and so she does. And she feels guilty because when the Spirit lives in you there's this battle and she did it to be loved and well then she feels bad about it and so to get it sleep at night she starts you know drinking a little bit and she wants to be a part of things so she hangs with the crowd and down deep inside of her soul she has this lack of peace and then finally she just realizes I've spent 20 years with the Spirit of God living inside me and I've never gotten God's best. I wonder how many Christians sitting in this room today are living right there today because boy I'll tell you I've been there. This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram and you've been listening to part one of his message How to Get God's Best for Your Life from our series True Spirituality.

Chip will be back shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about. Did you know that the word Christian means little Christ? So when we decide to follow Jesus we're to act as he did with love grace and mercy. Unfortunately that's not how people would describe Christians today so how can we live more authentically and better represent Jesus to others? Well through this study in Romans chapter 12 Chip's going to highlight a clear blueprint for what it means to be a genuine follower of Christ. Learn about our value as men and women our need for authentic community and how we can biblically respond to the evil and injustice we encounter.

Now if you've missed any part of this series catch up anytime on the Chip Ingram app or at Well Chip's with me in studio now with an encouraging word that he'd like to share so Chip why don't you take a minute and do that. Absolutely Dave what I want to share today is something really important. You are one of a kind unique physical and spiritual DNA. You were created by God to fulfill a purpose that no one else can. Maybe it's to be a safe sounding board when people are wrestling with their faith or maybe it's funding big ideas into big realities. I don't know what your purpose is but God has a strategic vision to use your skills to use you in ways that you never dreamed but what has God designed for you?

Not sure? Well here at Living on the Edge we've created a brand new resource called The Real You. It's an online questionnaire designed to provide insight into how God wired you. This is more than spiritual gift test. You identify the patterns in which you think, what motivates you, and why teams need someone just like you.

It'll take about 20 minutes to complete and it won't cost you a thing. Then based on your responses The Real You will offer suggestions about how you can practically live out God's purpose for your life, whether that's at home, in the office, at church, or in your community. As a Living on the Edge partner we want you to be the first to access this resource. Head over to to learn more. That's

Most Christians don't know how to leverage their God-given wiring and experiences for the kingdom. We want to change that. Thanks, Chip. As you can tell we are really excited about this resource. We hope The Real You will help you discover who God made you to be and how He created you to think, act, and live.

Sign up for this free assessment by going to Or if it's easier text real to 74141. That's the word real, T-A-L to 74141. App listeners tap The Real You. With that, here again is Chip with a few final thoughts. As you listen to today's message, what went through your mind? I mean, it's a no yes proposition and to get God's best, what we talked about is you have to say no to the influences of the world system that is taking you out of receiving God's best. What came to your mind? What people, what practices, you know, what's going into your mind, your heart that you realize as I was talking? In fact, you realized it because the Spirit of God did that thing. You know how He does where He just sort of pokes and you go, ooh, it sort of hurts but I know it's true.

Where did He poke you? I mean, what movie, what Netflix, what relationships, what websites, what books, what magazines do you just say? And some of them, they aren't even wrong. They're just not helpful. They're not healthy.

They're distracting. You know, how much time in front of a screen or a video game did God just whisper to your spirit and say, you can keep doing that but you'll never get my best. You need to make room for me so I can do in you and through you what I long to do so you get the very, very best, the best relationships, the best future, the best work. And so what I want you to do is just identify that and then make a commitment to be with me at our next broadcast and we're going to talk about how to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Thanks, Chip.

Looking forward to that. As we wrap up today's program, if you've been blessed by Chip's teaching and you'd like to bless others in the same way, let me encourage you to partner with us financially. And right now is a great time because every dollar we receive between now and midnight on July 7th will be matched dollar for dollar. To join the team, go to or call us at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003 or visit App listeners, tap donate. We'll listen to next time as Chip continues his series, True Spirituality. Until then, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-09 05:37:24 / 2023-06-09 05:47:54 / 11

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