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God's Boundaries for Abundant Living - A Word to the Overworked, Overwhelmed, and Overcommitted, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
July 12, 2023 6:00 am

God's Boundaries for Abundant Living - A Word to the Overworked, Overwhelmed, and Overcommitted, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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July 12, 2023 6:00 am

Do you feel guilty when you relax? Has life become a blur of activity, deadlines, and to-do lists? God wants you to get off that treadmill and begin enjoying life again. In fact, He has promised you a blessing if you’ll trust Him with your time and work. That’s the focus of Chip's teaching on the fourth commandment.


Do you feel guilty when you relax?

Has life become a blur of activity, deadlines, and to-do lists? You know, God wants you to get off the treadmill. And are you ready for this?

Start enjoying life again. In fact, He promises a blessing and gives a command about how to refresh and renew your life. You know, stick around. God wants to bless you today. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Chip's our Bible teacher for this international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. Well, in just a minute, he'll continue his series, God's Boundaries for Abundant Living. Now, last time, he unpacked why God gave us a day of rest. In this program, Chip will identify the common traps that keep us from fully enjoying our Sabbath and how we can avoid them. Well, if you have your Bible handy, go to Exodus chapter 20 for the remainder of Chip's talk, A Word to the Overworked, Overwhelmed, and Overcommitted. The church in the Sabbath is where most of the controversy comes in. This is not an issue to argue over.

Let me just tell you that, but people do. For the Jewish nation, the Sabbath was a law, and it was a test, and it was a sign. For the church, which is distinct and separate from the Jewish nation, the Sabbath was a law that was fulfilled by Christ. Remember Jesus said in Matthew 5, 17, 18, I didn't come to destroy the law, not even a jot or a tittle, but to fulfill it.

And he did. And so what the early church did is Jesus fulfilled the law. In fact, 2 Corinthians 3, the Apostle Paul will say, those things that were etched in stone, they're a thing of the past.

They were fulfilled by Christ. And so in the early church, contrary to many Christians in our day, the Sabbath did not change from Saturday to Sunday. Sunday became the Lord's day to worship, celebrate the resurrection, but was never a substitute for the Sabbath. The ceremonial aspects of the Sabbath, things that pertain to dietary laws and special plans and festivals were fulfilled, and the church, early church, made no attempt to continue observance of the Sabbath.

Not the festivals, the dietary laws, or sacrificial offerings. And the church fathers all made it clear, Sunday is the day of worship, and the Sabbath as a law was not binding on New Testament believers. The evidence here is Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday.

Jesus appeared on Sunday, the Emmaus road. Pentecost occurred on Sunday. The early church worshiped on Sunday. And by the way, about 80% of the early church were all slaves. They got up early, and they worshiped, and they went to work. It was not a Sabbath day. The Jerusalem council in Acts 15, when they tried to figure out this early church going to the Gentiles, what is cultural and what is moral?

What part has to stay as the gospel moves forward? There's no mention whatsoever of the Sabbath. There's not one New Testament mention or command in the epistles concerning following a Saturday Sabbath. In fact, you'll notice on your notes, Colossians 2, 16, and 17, and Romans 14, 5, and 6 make it clear, the Sabbath principle is to be honored, but there is no specific day that's set. It's a matter of personal faith and conviction. Let me read for you Romans 14.

Follow along on your handout. One person thinks that a certain day is more important than others, while someone else thinks that all days are the same. Each one should firmly make up his mind, whoever thinks highly of a certain day does so in honor of the Lord.

And you know what I have? I have great friends that are Seventh Day Adventists or Seventh Day Baptists who have very strong convictions that they should worship on Saturday. You know what the New Testament teaches? Praise the Lord, press ahead, brother. Do it on Saturday.

Great. For some, Monday, man, that's the day. We had a Saturday night service at our church. We didn't do it because we were trying to be innovative or cool. We just did it because we ran out of room. We were doing four services on Sunday.

We did one on Saturday. I don't think God cares. In fact, this passage says God doesn't care. The issue is the timeless principle that one out of seven days is to be honored. It wasn't until 300 years later under the Emperor Constantine that Sunday was made an official day to be observed.

And you ready for this? It wasn't until the eighth century that a theology grew up in the church that identified with the state came together that Sunday was viewed as a Sabbath. I mean, we're in the eighth century before Sunday and the Sabbath was ever put together.

The Reformers, Martin Luther and John Calvin, both refused to identify the Lord's Day and the Sabbath as the same thing. And our common view of Sunday, as you hear people talking about the Christian Sabbath, was not popular until the 17th century under the English Puritan branch of the church and was a strong part of the Westminster Confession. And the Puritans had great theology. And the Puritans did a lot of great things. The Puritans missed it on this one, okay? And guess what they did? Once they said Sunday is the Sabbath, guess what grew up out of that? The same thing as the Pharisees.

They came up with a list of rules as long as your arm. And so you had all these kids growing up, you can't do this on Sunday, can't do this on Sunday, can't do this on Sunday, can't do this on Sunday, can't do this on Sunday, can't do this on Sunday. If you do this on Sunday, you know, you go to hell. Weird stuff grew up.

So guess what happened to the boundary? Instead of being a day, a gift from God to refresh the spirit, renew the soul, rest the body, meet God deeply, have fellowship and get restored so you can walk with Him more powerfully the rest of the week, it became a duty, a burden, and an abuse. The enduring principle, however, of one out of seven days for rest and worship and recreation are moral aspects of the fourth commandment and are binding. The believer can choose which day best allows for that to occur, but to honor God and recognize that we must stop from our work, worship deeply in our heart, and refresh our souls and body is a command of the Lord of the church.

That's what He wants for us. Now with that, if God really wants 24 out of 168 hours designated for Him to give back to you as a gift, what's it look like? And I'm gonna suggest that there are three things that this gift of the Sabbath should protect.

First, the Sabbath is a gift from God to protect our body from wearing out. And I wrote a word here. It's called restoration. But you notice how it's hyphenated? Do you notice the interesting word in restoration, the first part of that, that is called rest?

It's a novel idea for Americans. Rest. Like it's legal to take a nap. It's legal to sleep in. It's legal to say, I'm tired.

My body needs some rest. Ecclesiastes 10.15 says, only someone too stupid to find his way home would wear himself out with work. God knows the power and the reward that work can bring. God knows the more we work, it can give you power, money, success, prestige, and we can get lots of stroke and many strokes and many of us can hide in our work from the intimacy and the leadership and the issues in our marriage and our homes that God wants to address. Many people work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work, not because they want to provide for their family, but they're hiding from their family. And mothers can stay busy all the time and men can be on the go all the time because I'll tell you what, it gets strange and crazy and uncomfortable when people sit and stop and don't have anything to say because no one's been investing in relationships.

Because no one's laying across the bed and just hanging around so that your teenager has someone to talk to. Because I'll tell you what, they don't come in and say, I'm facing a really big issue right now and I think my whole values for the future are probably going to change and I just happen to feel like talking about it right now. Could we sit down and have that really big talk?

I got four of them and they're all grown. It doesn't happen like that. You just got to hang out. You got to be around. And on their timetable as God works, man, they got to be in the car with you where you're driving from here and there. And you got to be, you know, shooting horse out in the driveway and just talking and you got to have at our house, I'll tell you what, you eat together and the TV's off and the music's off and you sit around and you ask, how did your day go and what's going on? And then you push the plates to the middle and say, what's one thing we could pray for you?

Where are you feeling pressure? And often that elicits 45 minutes of a conversation and then you join hands and you pray together. But you got to stop. You got to rest.

You got to recreate. By way of specific application, you know, for some of you, my Sabbath, I sleep in. I like to get up really early so, you know, I sleep in until like 6, 6.30 and, you know, it's great. Here's the deal, I don't have to get up. But that's my Friday and you know what, then I can do whatever I want to do. For some, you know what, it's Sunday, obviously Sunday doesn't work for me. I work on Sunday. So my Sabbath is Friday and it's been Friday for probably 20 years. And I get up when I want to get up. I go out to breakfast with my wife and we have two, three, four hour talk. We can take a walk that day.

We align the day so it's filled with fun, family, time with God, time with each other. I don't take voicemail. I don't check my email.

I'm not trying to solve any. I stop. And I haven't had any of those necks getting locked in and haven't awakened in the middle of the night for the last 20 years, all sweaty and a doctor telling me my liver's not working. And this means you can take a nap Sunday afternoon. It means you keep your briefcase closed.

It means you turn your computer off. You know, it'll be there tomorrow. All those problems, they'll wait for you. They will. They'll just wait. And you worrying about it and jumping in and never stopping, a less competent person will show up to solve them.

You know that laundry? Let it lay. Do it on Monday or whatever day is your non Sabbath. We have a group of people that are intensely running and chasing their own tail like a cat or a dog over and over and over and over and escalating the speed of life because they will not obey the fourth commandment. And the fourth commandment is stop it.

Lighten up. Rest. Give your body a break. And not just your body, give your spirit a recalibration. The Sabbath is a gift from God to protect our body from wearing out, restoration, and our spirit from tuning out.

Notice He said, remember. Hebrews 10, 25 says, let us not give up the habit of meeting together. Psalm 122 one says, I rejoiced with those who said to me, let us go to the house of the Lord. Your spirit. Have you ever been driving through the mountains and you're listening to a radio station and you really like it and it's either a song you really like or someone speaking and it's, you know, happens to be one of those really good messages and God speaking to you and you go around a mountain and then you try and deal and you know, then you get part of it and then you just after a while you just can't get it. And so you just turn the station. Do you understand that when you don't take one day out of seven is that the antenna of God and His spirit that wants to speak and give direction and give you a nudge and say, don't make that business deal.

Do this one. Your daughter needs a little time with you right now. Time to back away and reevaluate what's going on with your family. What happens is you get going so fast, you're going over all these mountains and all these hills and God is beaming down through the Holy Spirit and His word, all this reception, but you get going so fast and you don't stop. You know what happens is you start breaking up and now you're sort of guessing and now you're kind of hunching and pretty soon you don't hear His voice. And we're the only animal that I know of that when we're lost and don't know it, what we do is we go faster. We don't know where we're going and we don't know how to get there, but if we go faster, it makes us feel like at least we're making progress.

And God says, your body needs a rest, but your spirit, you need to remember, you need to recalibrate. It's like barnacles on a boat. It's like a car that needs an oil change. I mean, if you didn't change your oil for like five years and it broke down, would you go, boy, hun, just can't figure out what's wrong with this one. Or if you had a boat and you never took it out of the water once a year and cleaned it off, what happens? You can't see it, but what happens underneath of it? You have all these interactions and you don't have time to deal with all of them.

And so what happens? It's a little attitude here. It's a little pride here. It's a quick moment of lust here. It's a hurry here. It's an insensitivity here and you can't deal with it all. And so that builds up and there's a little layer of guilt in the spirit.

He's saying, hey, we need to deal with this one. I will later, you know, like I'm really in a hurry right now. And then another day, then another day, then another day. If one out of every seven days you stop and you in an unhurried way do a Psalm 139, dear God, test me and know my heart.

Search me. And you know what it's like when you bow your head to pray and you can't quite get through, right? And know where there's just something that's not quite right. And so what's the temptation?

Go to the refrigerator or turn on the TV, correct? Because it's not quite right, but you don't want to deal with it and you have this vague sense that it's not quite right because something's probably not quite right with you. And so we eat or we play or we watch a movie or we, have you noticed, by the way, if every time you get on the car, if you got to push a button and get noise around you all the time, it means you're not comfortable with being alone and you're not comfortable with being alone because when it gets real quiet, God speaks. And that's why one of the things on Friday, I mean, I keep a journal every day, every couple of three, I'm really writing. But on my Friday, I get away, get a cup of coffee and just, I think through and I write out what's going on in the week.

And when I have those unsettled feelings, sometimes I'm not sure where to go, but you know what? I don't have to be anywhere on Friday. I don't have to get anything done.

I don't have to check my email. I don't have to get any, and I can say, Lord, I need my spirit recalibrated with what is on your heart for me. And often he'll bring to mind, better write a note to that guy. And you know, I think I've been, you know, a little insensitive liver. I think, you know, one of my kids, sometimes in those times I'll sense, because now, you know, they're grown and they live.

I think so-and-so needs a call from me. And see, it's just built in. It's a gift from God so your body can get rested and so your spirit can get realigned with the tower and you can get the radio station and the communication with your Heavenly Father beaming in really strong and where you can read some extended time out of the scripture. And the prayer time doesn't have to be just intercession for everyone. It might be taking a walk.

It might be looking at flowers. It might be just rejuvenating your heart and life in the recreation of what God's doing. That's the purpose of the Sabbath, to protect your body from wearing out, your spirit from tuning out, and finally your soul from burning out.

And the way you do that is you recreate. You know, the tragedy of Psalm 23 is we only hear it when people are dying or dead. You know, it's on plaques everywhere but, you know, this is like a psalm.

And what did Jesus say? Given by the Spirit of God to the psalmist David, He leads me besides still waters. He restores my soul. And notice it's re-creation. It's not wreck-reation.

It's re-creation. What we've come to believe is the lie and the lie is hedonism. And the lie is that I'm gonna live and do my work so I can get to the weekend because I'm really gonna have fun because fun refreshes me and pleasure does. So I watch five hours of football and I play as hard as I work. I take no time for my body and I push, push, push, push, push. And then I'm kinda tired so I eat three bags of chips, watch four ball games, and wake up Monday morning going, boy, I'm ready to go.

And the fact of the matter is most people have to recover from their weekend. And God says, no, I wanna restore your soul. I want you to take a walk. I want you to read a good book.

I want you to get some exercise that restores and refreshes. I want you to think. I want you to look at nature. I want you to stop saying someday, someway I'm gonna do those things that really matter to my family, to my heart, and to my life.

And you know what? You get 24 hours. It's a gift once every seven days.

Why don't you start planning in some of those things? Renew your mind. Renew your body. Renew your heart. Isaiah, I love, he says, in quietness and trust is our strength. In quietness and trust. If you find anyone who's growing in the spiritual life, if you find anyone whose life is attractive and you say there's something special and holy and winsome, I will guarantee that solitude, silence, and Sabbath are a part of their rhythm and routine. I've never met a man, I've never met a woman, I've never met a person who there's the fragrance of Christ. There's a sense of love, a sense of affirmation, a sense of direction from God, a family where there's a sense of connectiveness and encouragement. I've never met a man, never met a woman who a part of their rhythm and life is not built in silence, solitude, and Sabbath.

Because we're living in a hostile environment of hurry and rush and information overload and expectations and conflict. And the only way to sort it out is to receive the gift of Sabbath once every seven days. Lord, restore my mind and my heart. Lord, I think I'm just gonna take a nap this afternoon because it just feels illegal and it feels amazingly good. And then I'm gonna take a walk. And I'm gonna observe on my walk.

And I'm not gonna plan in rush. And all those voicemails and all those emails, and I'm gonna choose not to worry for these 24 hours. I'm gonna believe that the jar of manna in my life as I take this day off, when I get up on Monday morning or for me when I get up on Saturday morning, I'm gonna trust that the God who could make it okay for the Israelites is the God who knows all my need. And one of the most precious gifts in the world is the gift of Sabbath.

There's three stealers and I just wanna jot these down. You mentally decide which one of these is stealing the Sabbath in your life. First is workaholism. That's the lie that your value has to do with what you get accomplished. And for some of us, that is deeply inbred. It will take time to learn how to Sabbath.

The second is legalism. Don't get hung up on, well, what can I do? It's a Sabbath.

Should I do this or shouldn't I do that? Tell you what, ask the question, what renews your heart with God? What renews your body and what restores your emotions? And then say, Lord, that's what I wanna...

It's a gift, okay? So if you need to work out, work out. Need to take a nap, take a nap. Need to take a walk, take a walk. Need to read long portions of scripture, read long portions of scripture. But do something that's spiritual, something that's physical, and something that's emotional, that's restorative.

Don't get into a bunch of rules. The spirit gives life. And then third is hedonism. It's the belief that pleasure in play can refresh you. And I don't know about you, and I keep learning this and learning it and learning it, but when I am tired and when I'm worn out and whether it's an evening or whether it's a Friday or at the end of a week, I don't know what it is, but there's something that tells me initially that if I can just turn on that TV and vegetate and if I can get something to eat, I know I'm gonna feel better later. And I've done this experiment, I think, probably several hundred times now. And 100% of the time so far, watching TV for two or three hours to unwind and eating food that I don't really need at a time that as soon as you eat it, I think it just turns to fat cells as you go to bed.

I'm not sure. But it doesn't work. And often the thing you need to do the most is the most counterintuitive.

Sometimes when you're tired, you need to go take a walk or get a workout. Sometime when you feel least like praying, just tell God, I don't want to pray. I don't want to be with you right now. And I understand that's not a good place to be.

So I'm gonna take a long walk around the block and I'm gonna start talking and I'm really praying that you'll show up as I start talking because I need you. And you know what happens is something changes inside. But I'll guarantee that the lie of hedonism, the pleasure, and am I saying it's always wrong to watch TV? Of course not. Am I saying it's wrong to enjoy some food?

No. What I'm saying is we medicate ourselves with food and we medicate our minds with mindless TV. And we pay a very high price for it. And God says I created a boundary. I love you. Would you please honor the boundary of the Sabbath so I can give you the very, very best life possible. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram and the message you just heard, a word to the overworked, overwhelmed, and overcommitted is from our series, God's Boundaries for Abundant Living.

Chip will be back to share some insights from today's talk in just a minute. If you've ever driven through mountains before, you know the roads can narrow and get close to the edge where you can see hundreds of feet down. In those moments, you're really grateful the guard rails are there to keep you safe. In this series, Chip highlights the helpful boundaries God's put in place for us called the Ten Commandments. As he breaks down each one, he'll help us see their importance and relevance for today. Don't miss how these boundaries protect us in our journey through life.

For more information about this series, visit or the Chip Ingram map. Well, Chip's with me here in studio now. And Chip, before we go any further, you wanted to say something about the mid-year match that we've been talking about for the past several weeks? Well, Dave, I just wanted to pause. I mean, to really pause and tell you from the bottom of my heart, thank you. You know, every time a person makes a financial gift, a spiritual transaction occurs.

In other words, something actually happens in a person's heart. And I speak to those of you who gave, you gave, you responded, you invested in Living on the Edge. And I want you to know that as you've invested, we're going to invest in the lives of people here and all around the world.

It really matters. And we are super grateful. Thank you, each one of you who prayed and said, Lord, what do you want me to do?

And then you followed his lead. The final numbers will be on our website as soon as we get all the mail that comes in. But I just want to say thank you. Thank you so very much for hearing from God, responding to God, and for being so generous. Let me add my thanks too.

We truly celebrate every gift we've received and are excited to see how God will use it to motivate Christians to really live like Christians. So thanks again for your support. Well, with that, Chip, let's get to that application we've been talking about. I know today that as you were listening to my voice, you are living where I have lived and occasionally slip back into living. You are overwhelmed. You heard what I said.

You know it's from God's Word. You know that your body needs to be restored. You know that your mind and your soul needs to be recalibrated. But you are on this treadmill and you're thinking to yourself, that sounds really good, but man, I can't get there. I want to get pragmatic.

I want to get so specific because it will take a radical step. Listening to this message is not going to change how you run your life. There are so many issues behind why you're going so hard and so fast and doing so many of the things that we talked about. So will you let me be your spiritual coach here for about the next 90 seconds? You have to figure out when each day to stop. You need a mini Sabbath. For me, it's the first hour or so in the morning. It can be your lunch hour.

You can start with 20 minutes. But you have got to find some time every day for self-awareness, be with God, plan out the day, and say, Lord, you have to do this day with me. Second, you've got to have a weekly Sabbath. You've got to choose a day that you take off. Take a day and let your mind rest.

God knows it's a trust issue, but you've got to find it. You plug it in. For me, it's Friday. It's so hard, but I will tell you that as I have honored that, it has replenished my soul. You will accomplish 10 times the amount that you would if you keep neglecting this. And third, in your calendar, you've got to structure time away for you. And if you're a family man, time away with wife and family.

You know what? Take a day. Take a day and get a calendar of the year out and look at all the demands and all the stuff and the seasons and block off. I'm going away once in the fall and once in the spring or once in the summer. But in the next six months, I'm going to go away for two days with my wife.

Trade babysitters. Do whatever you need to do. And then you're going to find out here's a window of time with my family, if you're a family guy or a family woman. And we are going to build in time, not just visiting relatives, but where we get refreshed. And then finally, I would say for many of you in ministry, you have got to look at your calendar and say every five or six weeks, I'm going to find a retreat center, a cabin, not go into the office. And I am going to get away just with God for all day, a night and part of another day. And this stopping will be the starting of a new life. You'll never, ever regret it.

It takes extraordinary discipline, but it will pay huge benefits. Honor the Sabbath. It's God's gift to you. Thanks, Chip. And if you're looking for an easy, effective way to fill your mind with more biblical content, check out our sets of discipleship cards at slash cards. These began as simple index cards Chip used to daily renew his mind and reconnect with the truth of scripture. So we took them and developed them into beautiful sets for you to learn from too. Discover how to better equip and prepare yourself with God's word through our discipleship card sets. Get all the details by going to slash cards today. Well, from all of us here, I'm Dave Druey, thanking you for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-12 05:35:44 / 2023-07-12 05:47:31 / 12

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