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God's Boundaries for Abundant Living - Why We Have So Much and Enjoy it So Little, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
July 27, 2023 6:00 am

God's Boundaries for Abundant Living - Why We Have So Much and Enjoy it So Little, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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July 27, 2023 6:00 am

Have you ever noticed: If you get a raise, a bigger one would be better; if you have a car, a newer one would be better. Right? Join Chip as he uncovers the secret to having what you want and wanting what you have.


Have you ever noticed that whenever you get something new, that the new wears off? You get a new car and then someone gets a nicer one. You get a new computer and someone gets an updated one. You get a new phone and then we're never content.

How do you break the power of discontent in your heart? That's today. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. And we're nearing the end of his series, God's Boundaries for Abundant Living, based in Exodus chapter 20. With these last couple of programs, Chip will focus on the tenth and final commandment, you shall not covet. He'll expose how the love of stuff has polluted our hearts and minds and then share the simple steps we can take to find true contentment.

So if you're ready, here's Chip with today's message, why we have so much and enjoy it so little. The Proverbs say, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. And if you haven't discovered this yet, there's a multi, multi-million dollar self-help industry that's built on this. You are the product of your thought life, period. You are the product of your thought life. People are listening to things in their sleep and going to self-help seminars based on this one thing. You are the product of your thought life.

If you tell yourself you are lousy, if you tell yourself you are lazy, if you tell yourself you'll never amount to anything, chances are that's probably what will happen. And we all have private thoughts. We all have conversations, the psychologists call it self-talk. You have little conversations while you're driving. You talk to yourself and some of you have very, very negative self-talk.

You say all kind of unbiblical misbeliefs about yourself over and over and over and over all day. And it produces things. And they're not good things. For other people, you have trained yourself and you have renewed your mind. The mindset on the spirit is life and peace. The mindset on the flesh is death. Set your mind on the things that are above, Colossians 3, not on the things that are on earth.

And so the Bible over and over and says the key to much of our life in Christ is the renewing of your mind. And so as we start, I want to talk about private thoughts and consuming passions. There are certain private thoughts that you have and I have and most everyone has. And if they're the wrong private thoughts, they lead to consuming passions. Let me give you three quick examples. First private thought is that more is never enough.

This is built in more to the American culture than others. But no matter how much you have, it's not enough. If you have 10, you want 12. You get 12, you want 14.

You got 14, you want 100. I mean, who was it? One of John Paul Getty. They ask him, how much money?

How much money do you really need to be satisfied? And his sort of sly answer was, about one more million. Elvis had three jets, two Cadillacs, a Rolls, a Lincoln Continental, a Jeep, a custom touring bus, and three motorcycles.

Elvis could get around anytime he wanted anyway. His favorite car, however, was a 1960 Cadillac limousine. The top was covered with pearl white gnawhide and the body was sprayed with 40 coats of a specially prepared paint that included crushed diamonds.

Nearly all the metal trim was plated with 18 karat gold. There were two gold flake telephones. Now, why you need even more than one telephone? This is 1960.

I mean, it was before cell phones. He's got a limousine and he's got a phone on one end of the limousine and another phone on the other end of the limousine and they're completely covered in gold. There was a gold vanity case containing a gold electric razor, gold hair clippers, an electric shoe buffer, a gold plated television, a record player.

Imagine back in 1960. This is in his car. I mean, this is in his car. A record player, an amplifier, an air conditioner, an electric system for operating every household appliance that he had inside.

He had a refrigerator inside the limousine that could make ice in two minutes. But he died a very unfulfilled, unhappy man. More is never enough. If you have this size house unconsciously, you're born in America, what's the next step? Bigger house.

Whatever kind of car you have, there's an unconscious pressure. Get the next car, the bigger one, the nicer one, right? If you have this job, you want this promotion. More is never enough. If you have X amount of money, X amount of fame, X amount of this, X amount of that, more is never enough. And if you believe unconsciously that more is never enough, it produces a drivenness and a push in your lifestyle.

The second lie that we believe is what I call win-then-thinking. When I'm out of school, then I'll be happy. When I'm married, then I'll be happy. When my marriage gets better, then I'll be happy. When I'm stronger and sexier, then I'll be happy. When I lose 25 pounds, then I'll be happy. When I make the starting team, then I'll be happy. When I get a good job, then I'll be happy. When I make X amount of dollars and live in this part of town, then I'll be happy. When I can finally drive this kind of car, then I'll be happy. When I can finally get a place up in the woods or down by the beach along with my main house, then I'll be happy.

Win-then-win-then. When my spouse becomes a Christian, then I'll be happy. When I'm famous and more spiritual, then I'll be happy. It produces disillusionment. Because thinking people realize that whatever you're asking God for today, whatever you're working for, whatever you're driven to get, the moment you get it, what happens?

It's a moving horizon. It has to be the next thing, the bigger thing, the better thing. And you know something?

It is amazing, though. We are so shot through with win-then-thinking in our culture. And you know what leads to? Disillusionment. Disillusionment. Because you think, it's almost like grasping oil. I've got it, and then it's gone.

And you know what? This happens to, you know, I've met two or three of us pastors. I remember when it was, if we ever get to be 100 people, then I'll be happy. If we ever get from 100 to 300 people, then I'll be happy. In this town of 4,500, if we would ever become a church of 500 people, then I'd be happy.

Then someday, someway, if I could ever pastor a church of 1,000 people, and you know what? We can make it spiritual, and it's the same sick disease. And you just have all the struggles and all the pain and all the ups and all the downs. The more is never enough produces drivenness. The win-then-thinking produces disillusionment. And then the final misbelief in thinking is that success is how I'm doing compared to others. The way I measure success, I compare how I'm doing compared to other people.

The standard of whether I'm doing well is I look around and find out what other people are doing, and I measure myself with them. And it's inbred. I remember, I can still remember probably five, six years old, right in the front of my yard going, my dad's bigger than your dad. My dad could beat up your dad. Why didn't I just say my dad's big?

Or why didn't I say my dad's strong? But I learned five or six by the time my dad's bigger than your dad. And then I learned when I went to school. And they would give me this little thing every six weeks that told me how I was evaluated. I never got a report card and said, oh my, I think I'm starting to fulfill my divine potential. I'm measuring myself with me.

I think I'm gifted in certain areas, and I'm making progress, and I'm doing well compared to me and what God has given me. Is that what you all did when you got your report card? What'd you do? You went to your sister. What'd you get? I got an A. Well, I got a C. I got a B. And then if you had a real smart sister, you realized, don't go there. What'd you do? You found someone.

Hey, what'd you get in math? And we compare one another, and sometimes our parents played into it unknowingly. Why can't you be smart like Bobby? Because I'm not Bobby.

I never said that back to my parents. And then we graduate from report cards. And so People Magazine says, what? The top 10 dressed people in America are, right? And so you look at what you've got on and say, wow, I measure success by, hold it, the top 10 sexiest people in America are, and they're on the front, and you look at them and go, well, and then, well, no, no, no, no. Then Forbes is going to say the top 500 companies are, well, how's my business doing with the top Fortune 500? And then the Wall Street Journal's going to come out, or Money Magazine, with the top hundred richest people in the world are, and then you look at their names and look at, and you know what?

How I'm doing compared to others is a dead end street. We said how a man or woman thinks in their heart, so you become. You are the product of your thinking.

Here's what I want you to hear. When you have more is never enough thinking, it produces drivenness. When you have when then thinking, it produces disillusionment. And when you measure success by how I'm doing compared to other people, it produces dissatisfaction because I'll guarantee, I don't care where you get, there is someone smarter. Wherever you get, there's someone richer.

However sexy you think you are, there's someone sexier. So you're always dissatisfied. And it's behind these types of thinking that produces passions and drives that the Bible calls, write the word in, coveting. It's these passions and drives that the Bible calls coveting.

The word in Hebrew is hamad. It's an inner desire. It's to delight in something. It's an urge. It's a passion. It's to be highly motivated.

It's to be driven. It's to be compelled. It's lust for.

It's I can't live without impulse. And by the way, the word is neutral. Roughly half the time in the Old Testament, it's used of something good, and about half the time, it's used of something evil. But the idea is a consuming passion, desire, drive for something. And this word actually is used of God for his love for Israel. He has a hamad for the people of Israel. He has a hamad or a love, a desire for you, an intimacy with you. But it's also used of this passionate desire that Achan had for what? A bar of silver. It describes the passion and desire that David had.

One more. Bathsheba. In fact, you know, what I haven't given you is some psychology. David is the more and enough. Achan is the when, then thinking. And Ananias and Sapphira are success compared to how I'm doing to others, aren't they? Well, Barnabas gave a lot of money, so I'll try and fake that.

Achan is when I had more money, then I'll be happy even though it's under the ban. And what happened to him? David is one more. And behind each of the sin of David and Achan and Ananias and Sapphira is coveting. Some coveted another's wife. Some coveted another's reputation. Some coveted material wealth. And what the ninth commandment prohibits is coveting.

If you want a definition, it's an inordinate, ungoverned, selfish desire that leads you away from God and corrupts your relationship with others. I can hear you. Please go slower and say that again. Okay. I will.

Slower. It is an inordinate, ungoverned, selfish desire. And if you don't want all those adjectives, say an unselfish desire, that leads you away from God and corrupts your relationship with others, the command is you shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor. Don't covet his house. Don't covet his wife. Don't covet his manservant, his maidservant, his donkey, his oxen. Don't have this passionate, inner, inordinate, selfish, greedy desire to have what they have. Don't believe that you need more to be satisfied, and the way to get more is get some of theirs. Don't do that. Don't believe when I have what they have, then I'll be satisfied.

Don't believe that what real success is is driving a car like them and having a family like them and knows many Bibles versus him or have a body like hers. Don't do it. That's what it says. That's the command. The tenth commandment is a command of the heart. I mean, you don't do this with your hands. You don't do this with your feet. You don't kill anybody.

You don't lie with your tongue. The tenth command is a command of the heart. The command makes clear that the law is not simply a legal code to relegate men and women's actions, but it's a divine axiom to govern the innermost being of men and women's hearts. The tenth command is a command concerning your desires and your drives and your wants and your goals. The tenth command prohibits, are you ready? It prohibits wrong thinking. And finally, the tenth command is a direct attack on envy, jealousy, and passion.

And you know, just before you feel like, oh my lands, I thought the first nine were tough and I'm getting killed, let me tell you why. Why would God give this command? Why would your heavenly father? Why would the one who sent his son to die for you on a cross? Why would the God who cares so deeply for you make such a difficult and high command to say, don't envy, don't be jealous, don't think more is better, don't compare with others.

Why? Because he wants to put a boundary around your personal contentment and your private joy. He loves you. He wants you to experience joy. He wants you to experience contentment in him with who you are, where you are, with what you have. Is this a violation of healthy, good, what I would call holy ambition? No. But this is a prohibition against coveting, desiring, being driven to get, attain, capture, manipulate something of someone else's with the private belief, then I'll be happy.

And since God knows that you'll be disillusioned, since God knows that you're going to just live a driven life, and since he knows it's going to be pain, what's he do? Don't do it. Don't do it. How do you think you're doing on this issue of coveting? I mean, just if you're a scale of one to ten, don't tell anybody, don't raise your hand, don't put up like how many fingers, but I mean, just sort of how do you think you're doing? I want you to put the number in your mind, because then I'm going to give you a test. And then I want you to take that number and evaluate it with sort of how the test comes out.

Because this one I think is so important is this reason. If you keep the tenth command, you'll do pretty well on all the other nine. If you don't covet, if you're satisfied with who God made you, doing what you're supposed to do with him and him alone, what you'll find is an awful lot of those other commands involve hurting, stealing, lying, manipulating, being driven so you don't take a Sabbath.

It all revolves around things with the belief system that it'll deliver for you. And you know what? If you learn not to covet, you'll find that most of these other commands you'll do pretty well on.

So turn the page if you already have it. Let me give you five symptoms that tell us consuming passions are robbing our joy. See, that's the issue. God does not want your joy to be robbed.

I mean, it was Nehemiah in the thick of it. What did he say was his strength? The blank of the Lord is my strength.

What is it? The joy. The joy of the Lord. It's a byproduct of the Spirit. It's the Spirit of God doing something in your heart and your life and it flows out of your emotions that give you energy and drive and excitement. And you can go against all kind of adversity. And when you do not have the joy of the Lord, you're often just driven by your passions, by goals. And with a mindset, more is better. Stress means getting, achieving, having.

And so let's do a little evaluation. I think there's kind of five symptoms that let you know where you're at with regard to this issue of coveting. Symptom number one is fatigue.

F-A-T-I-G-U-E. Fatigue. Fatigue from high speed lives, long hours, lives of high stress, nonstop lives, get ahead, keep it up, go for it.

Work, work, work, push, push, push. It can be in sports. It can be in music.

It can be in school. It can be I've got to do this in school and this in music and this over here and this over here and this in ministry. It can be work. It can be job. It can be I've got to be a perfect mom.

It can be better than any other mom. I can have the cleanest house on the block and on top of that have a Bible study and lead a Bible study with some other women and, and, and, and. It's I've got to be promoted by this age. I've got to make X amount of dollars by I'm 35. By 45, I have to own outright my house.

By 50, I've got to have X amount of dollars in my 401k, you name it. But it is push, push, push, push, push, go, go, go, go, go fast. And what you are most of the time is tired. Tired and beat.

And the symptoms are coming home and the lazy boy looks good and the remote looks appealing and it's just like the old remote and a bag of chips, you know, spiritual refreshment like never before. Proverbs 23, 4 says, do not wear yourself out to be rich. Have the wisdom to show restraint. And I would, I would say don't wear yourself out to be a perfect parent. Don't wear yourself out to have a perfect body.

Don't wear yourself out to have the greatest job. Now godly ambition, goals, spirit directed, absolutely. Consuming desires that cause you to mis-prioritize and not have time with god, time with your family, time for yourself and appropriate rest, absolutely not. Second indicator that coveting may be a bigger issue than you think is debt. And what I mean here, debt that is not relegated to long term appreciable items is a symptom of coveting.

Ecclesiastes 5-11 says, the more money you make, the more money you spend. They did a survey of high school girls. You know what the number one occupation or pre-occupation of high school girls is in America? Recreational shopping.

93% of girls, this is above being with their boyfriend, 93% of teenage girls in America said, of all the things I could do, what I like to do most is go to the mall and shop. At least six or eight years ago for the average American family, it's probably gone up, for the average American family, for every thousand dollars that they make, they spend $13-1500. You know what it tells you is that I am buying stuff I can't afford that I don't need to fulfill needs that don't get met. And I spend more than I have. Why? Because I'm not content. Why? Because more is better.

And if I measure my success by you, if you get a new SUV and I don't have one, I got to have one. I never say that because Christians would never say that. It would sound too ungodly. So what we do is we talk about we really need more room and we're doing a lot of Bible studies and because we're doing Bible studies, our friends' kids are coming and we got to have their room in the back and we go to camp like once every two years and we need because of that and we need to add on to the house because we really want to serve people and the reason for the pool is baptisms. We don't need a pool. It's baptisms. We have a calling of God to spend $35,000 that we don't have because someday, someway, somehow we might want to do a baptism in the back.

Can I tell you something? If your priorities are in line and God gives you the money and you're giving off the top and you're generous and if you want a pool, buy a pool and enjoy the pool. If you don't have the money for a pool and you put in a pool, you're in debt because you're believing a bunch of lies. If you can't afford a nice car and you're driving a nice car and you're leveraged up to your nose and working obscene hours and living with unbelievable pressure, you have bought in to the coveting model.

You are a prisoner. How much joy is there in should we pay Visa this month or MasterCard and then you got these people on TV, oh wait, I can take all the equity out of your house, put you on another level of debt and we can really help you get sunk deeper than you ever dreamed. Debt, recreational shopping, you do understand and this is why, you know, what goes into your mind may be the most important decision you make every day.

You do understand that I think some of the smartest, some of the most creative people in the entire world live in New York and I'm sure there's some in Chicago but I think of New York and LA and you know what their goal is? Their goal is to build discontent in your heart and what they want you to know is if you don't drink this beer you're not with it. If you don't wear this shirt, you're really out of it. Unless you wear these kind of shoes, drive this kind of car and have this kind of watch, what kind of a wimp dumpy person are you?

I mean, what's your problem? Message after message after message after message, whatever you have, isn't it amazing? You can get a new shirt and it feels really good for about two weeks and then it's an old shirt and then you see a new shirt and this new shirt that was really new two weeks ago feels like an old shirt and who wants an old shirt? Well who says it's new? Well the guy who says it's new says well they put in a little collar on it and they changed the colors for this season and now you got a last year shirt? You want to be walking around with a last year shirt? Their goal is to tell you who you are doesn't measure up, what you have doesn't measure up but if you buy what we have, if you buy this timeshare, you'll have quality family time like never before.

If you buy this car, people will look at you different. Once you finally get this watch, people will know you have arrived and it is driving us into debt because we believe a lie and behind it is coveting. This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. You've been listening to part one of his message Why We Have So Much and Enjoy It So Little from our series God's Boundaries for Abundant Living.

Chip will be back shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about. Many people today look at the Ten Commandments as an outdated and oppressive list of rules so are they still necessary today? Does it matter if Christians follow them or not? Well Chip addresses these tough questions through his detailed study in Exodus chapter 20.

Discover, rather than a rigid set of don'ts, how the Ten Commandments act as guidelines for a loving and caring Heavenly Father. I hope you can join us for every message in this series. To learn more about Living on the Edge or our many insightful resources, visit That's Before we go any further, here's Chip with a quick word.

Thanks so much Dave. I want to take just a moment to talk directly to those of you that are seeking a way to be more connected to the ministry of Living on the Edge. We're in need of partners who will take a step of faith and make a monthly financial commitment to the ministry. You may be thinking that because we reach millions of people through radio and broadcast and online and ministry resources that we probably don't need the money or that we're supported by all these people. The fact is it's a very small percentage of all the people who listen or do small group resources that actually give to the ministry. We depend on and we deeply appreciate those partners who make the decision to walk with us especially with a monthly commitment.

It doesn't have to be a large amount. So let me ask you, would you please pray about becoming a monthly partner? Thanks so much in advance for whatever God leads you to do.

Thanks Chip. Well if joining the Living on the Edge team is an idea that makes sense to you, let me encourage you to become a monthly partner. Now you can do that today at or via the Chip Ingram app and tap the donate button. With just a few clicks you can set up a recurring donation and help others benefit from this ministry. Or if it's easier text the word donate to 74141. That's donate to 74141.

And thanks in advance for supporting us any way you can. Well here again is Chip to share some application for this message. As we close out today's program, I don't know that I need to say a whole lot because we are inundated with materialism. And I have yet, maybe one instance of someone coming up to me and saying, Chip please help me. I am struggling with materialism.

The fact of the matter is this one is just everywhere. It impacts me, it impacts you, and it will take some ruthless evaluation to really admit that we have allowed stuff to crowd out a relationship with God. This is an issue of the heart. And right now I just want you to say, now wait a second, would I be willing to kind of face some of this and realize I'm missing out on God's best? And say, Lord, you know something? I don't want to covet.

I know I am. I need help. And today I'm going to take specific steps to becoming that fully devoted follower that you call me to be. I'd go to our website and we've got a section on small group resources and realize which of these areas do you struggle with? You know, get a small group resource, get a group of people together at work, your neighborhood or your church, and say, you know what? I want to become a Romans 12 Christian. These issues of my heart need to change, but it's going to be about a process of God's truth in the community with believers around his word, loving and holding each other accountable.

That's a great reminder, Chip. And let me say here at Living on the Edge, we really believe in the power of community. And one of the best ways we encourage that is by providing small group resources. Go to and click the store button to learn more. And whether you want to build a stronger marriage, better understand God's character, or biblically respond to our changing culture, we have something for you. Again, to learn more about any of our small group studies, go to and click the store button or call us at 888-333-6003. Let us help you build some life-changing community today. We'll listen next time as Chip wraps up our series, God's Boundaries for Abundant Living. Until then, this is Dave Drewy saying thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-27 05:28:37 / 2023-07-27 05:40:04 / 11

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