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How to Change for the Better - The Secret of Lasting Change: Building Below the "Water Line", Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
May 14, 2020 6:00 am

How to Change for the Better - The Secret of Lasting Change: Building Below the "Water Line", Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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May 14, 2020 6:00 am

Imagine an iceberg. Chip says life is like that. What you see above the water line is only about 10 percent of what's really there. The part below the water line, the part people cannot see, is where the real action is. And if you want to make significant changes in your life, you’ve got to dive in, below the water line.

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Have you ever seen one of those war movies battleship is about to attack the and then all of a sudden a torpedo from a submarine that they didn't see closing out the water.

What are the torpedoes your life. How do you prepare for need help is on the way state welcome to this edition of on the trip and Living on the Edges of international discipleship in the Bible teaching of nature continues a series how to change for the better.

Sharing how to discover and then conquer the underlying problem trying to improve certain areas of your life yourself for this program teaching trip will be with us here in studio to share some additional thoughts about these topics, so be sure to stay with us for that of you have a Bible open it. James chapter 2 story ship for his message.

The secret of lasting change building, below the waterline to start today with some of the most profound and I'd say sobering words that Jesus ever spoke on was on the planet found in Matthew chapter 7. You can follow the longer you can lean back and listen their brief but powerful. Jesus spoke finishing up one of the greatest sermons ever written any said anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise like a person who built his house on the rock though the rain comes in torrents in the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against the house will collapse because it's built on the rock.

But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on the sand when the rain and the floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall, but the mighty crash profound because in very very simple fashion. He gives us the key life. He tells us how to be successful, stable, and make an impact. You hear his words, and you put them into practice. Little by little in your life.

It's the key it's wisdom, but there sobering because I love thinking I thought you know those two houses. They look exactly the same. I mean if you can't see underground same roof same Windows same porch until they're tested until the wind until the storms until the rain comes, both those houses they look identical but one built on sand will be destroyed and the other built on rock will stand is basically Telesis to Conway's to build your life in a sobering part is that you can look Christian sound Christian go to church work and ministry care for the poor and give money, say prayers even read the Bible, but the fundamental question is are you building your life on the rock are you building your life in the sand.

Is your life really changing for the better from the inside out or is it sort of a religious show even that you are unaware of and denial, where you think you're doing the right stuff then it's revealed when the pressure comes when the storm comes into your life. See all that stuff is above the waterline. It's it's mostly observable external behavior. There was a group of people that had external behavior that was matchless in Jesus, take the Pharisees and he would say all of them. With few exceptions were built on sand changes can open it up and he's can ask and answer the question how you know if your life is built on sand the rock.

How do you know if your life is really changing for the better. Down underneath were lysed. Life transformation occurs, James is going to jump right in his heel. He gives the test. It's pretty easy test is only one question here is as question verse 13 of chapter 3. Who among you is wise and understanding couple technical words, there is using words differently than I so let me just fill you in. The theme of this book is integrity.

The theme is that your life matches you your words your life matches your beliefs that your relationship with God is in something that you do in corners and pockets, but it's integrated. It comes from the inside out, and now he stops and says who among you is wise. He doesn't mean wise, as in smart or have intellectual capacity is in the Old Testament concept of wisdom. Who is it that understands what God's will is has the skill, the discernment to place the word of God. The knowledge of God in the person of God in a way where you organize your life in trust and dependency.

So how you actually live reveals what God's will is a winsome beautiful Christlike like that's what he said basically who's got together who has spiritual maturity and then he adds a slow word and understanding he's Playing with them only used here in the New Testament, it has the idea of an expert.

It has the air of superiority is basically saying okay. A lot of you step forward and you want to be teachers and you want to be visible on your the hot shots in the church who among you, are the spiritual giants who are the real experts when it comes to authentic walking with God. That's the test question the notice he gives us the answer very he says let him show it by his good behavior.

The words show there's a little prefix means, let him demonstrate it by his good behavior couple words New Testament for good one means moral good and bad. This is a different word. This is a word that means beautiful winsome attractive, he says, in other words, if you are really spiritually mature your life is integrated your building on the rock demonstrated by your daily life and the kind of life that is winsome and godly and loving, and harmonious relationships and morally pure.

But notice he goes on, that's above the water line is that the behavior his deeds done in humility see as you look a little iceberg that we been dealing with that little wavy line is what you see in iceberg little bit above the surface that your behavior in your speech. He's saying if you really spiritually mature. If you're authentically godly building on the rock.

Your behavior will be Christlike with analogies going under done in what's the motivation humility of the word gentleness. There is a couple words or so they can be translated humility. This is the idea of dependency. Taking your God-given power and having it under control. Jesus used it of himself when he said I make it's the exact opposite of arrogance and self assertiveness is a James is you want to answer the test question is if you really want to know whether your spiritual with your really mature building on the rock your outward behavior will demonstrate it. But the motives behind your outward behavior will be humility you want to honor God and serve people, not just get ego strokes and then noticed the final one that flow from her literally, out of wisdom. Wisdom is a set of core beliefs and values went down deep. We believe will make a successful and so in summary, lasting change demands that we examine the source. The core values and beliefs of our attitudes and actions to find out whether were built on the rock for building site need to go down deep and James turn the page with me. James is gonna take us on a journey. It's pretty cool. Jerry actually really interesting is getting use wisdom in a different world way than we do in the functional idea of wisdom here. He's can I say there's two types, and as he grew up he was Jesus brother is in a talk about a life built on sand. A life built on the rock is in a state. Wisdom is the way he's getting use it. Here is there's a set of core values and beliefs both consciously and unconsciously you believe will make you successful and one he's going to call man's wisdom of the other. He's had a call God's wisdom in verses 14, 15 and 16. He's in a described man's wisdom considers characteristics of it. There's a source of it and there's the fruit of the results that it's been a shift in verse 17 essay.

But, by contrast, you can know if your life is building on the rock. If you're living by God's wisdom gives about four characteristics and three results now there's a lot of different words and one to try and do is to be the overview of and then here and there'll stops.

He can just jot down a couple things because the goal is not that we understand all these words as the goal is we have the courage to say Lord.

This is been a pretty tough series, but I know that you love me so much. You're so for me you still care about me. If there are some core values and attitudes if they get played out will damage relationships and hurt me and cause me to be less than who I want to be and you want to be that I surely would like to hear from you today even if it hurts because I know you care about and so with that attitude, let's jump in and look at man's wisdom and ask yourself as I'm talking, ask yourself this question is my life if my life is a bucket in my dipping out of the water. Man's wisdom or my dipping out of the water of God's wisdom and the way you be able to tell is when you see how it gets played out. Man's wisdom is a me centered attempts to achieve and appear righteous to satisfy ego needs and fulfill private agendas is awarded to get that I got that from verses 14, 15 and 16 let me read it by way of overview pieces, but if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.

Such wisdom doesn't come from heaven, but it is a earthly unspiritual it's of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and every evil practice. Let's walk through characteristics of man's wisdom. Verse 14 he says, but if you harbor Circle award.

If literally could translated since or already going on in the life of this church came to say already happening in the life of this church is a couple things there harboring bitter envy and selfish ambition wears a current in their heart. Can you see what's in people's hearts. No, you can't.

He says will they don't boast about it and and deny the truth to see what he saying is he saying there are some people in the church who want to be teachers want to be upfront, who have all kind of things externally look real godly. He said that if you look in their heart. They're really not based on God's wisdom is on sand man's wisdom.

When James is saying is in the church of Jesus Christ there some characteristics of man's wisdom. And even if it has a spiritual front to he saying at the heart is people with me in the center trying fulfill their own personal agenda and using the church in the name of God together.

There's people that use the name of God, not because they honestly want to serve him, but it's an ego trip. It self-promotion they serve and they do good things. So people will think better of goal. Where does this come from, how in the world can this happen in the church of Jesus Christ is he saying by the conditional clause here is happening here. What's the source of this. Look at verse 15. He says such wisdom doesn't come down from heaven, but it's a earthly unspiritual and of the devil. Those three words, built in their climax earthly means it views life success and goals from a material point of view, unspiritual literally is the word solely's fleshly temporal versus an eternal perspective and demonic is just kinda the ultimate where does it come from, comes in the pit of hell.

The enemy is working in the church of Jesus Christ to get good people to do the right things for the wrong reason to promote themselves to destroy God's testimony.

Does that sound familiar their kit in Outlook America 40+ million people say I have had a born-again experience with Jesus Christ and then when you look at the morals of America.

The divorce rate of America. I got news there's a lot of this going on. But before we you know, point out there. Let me ask you just between us chickens and hear how much of this is happening your life how much of what you do in the name of God. You know when you're real honest because you really want God to help you.

How much of it is because of what other people think how much energy is spent trying to project that your little more godly. Holy pray little more more generous than you really are. You want to know what the results are when this operates look the very look at verse 16 says for where you have envy and selfish ambition those characteristics.

There you will find disorder and every evil practice is like a cancer in relationships in the church.

Let me give you little definitions on those two words disorder is the idea of confusion, antagonism, lack of unity and stability is the concept of disarray being out of control with regard to one's personal life and relationships says that's what you see. Once you peel the onion look below the surface of people's lives.

What you get in their home. Once they really begin to talk in and you hear what's going on inside and not only is there.

This disorder, there's every evil thing and that phrase just means all manner of evil springs from pride and jealousy. It impacts lives and families and churches and businesses. So I'm asking your life go on a rock find yourself doing outward things to get other people's attention is about ego is really about honoring God. Serving God. God says that not put you down. He says it to reveal to left, think on that one. Nellis look at the contrast James now turns the corner and what he says is there's a different kind wisdom is cited as proof that you can know whether on the rock, whether on the sand. You can know whether below the waterline. You can know for sure when you're building the kind life is changing for the better from the inside out is is there is God's wisdom God's wisdom is Christ centered dependency that seeks to obey God and serve others to fulfill God's agenda is for God's wisdom is notice. It's Christ centered man's wisdom is me centered what everyone think of me and my ministry and my knowledge in my marriage and my singlet and I just went there many think of me and I come off the thinking of me. What are people saying about me me me me me me will go to unbelievable lengths to image cast and project and protect and be hypocrites to get people to think what better of us and we really are. That's man's wisdom, by contrast, God's wisdom is Christ centered dependency dependency. The idea you go for steps up three step backward. It's hard it's in a fallen world that is Christ centered dependency that seeks to what obey God in every area without dichotomy and to serve others, not so that my agenda gets better. Your agenda gets done so that God's agenda. His divine sovereign purposes that he has for you in his great love. It gets done when those are your core values and beliefs. He says your life will be characterized by these things. Look at verse 17 but the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy for characteristics and then when he shifts there, full of mercy and good fruit heat. He starts thinking of this idea of the results of a life built on the rock.

So here's what I'll do.

Their word study on all seven of those little words and phrases I want to give you a quick description and so lean back every obsessive-compulsive person. Here's what you want to back you want to fast you want to factor negative crazy. I don't think God wants you get all the notes in your little handout I think you want to get the truth in your heart and then I'll summarize it with one statement that won't catch it all, but will give you enough to focus on. Okay, so why don't you begin to size Lord. Does this reflect is this the kind life. I have noticed this first phrase, but the wisdom from above is first pure means of primary importance. No words, it's the number one Domino if it doesn't fall. You don't get any of the other dominoes. First and foremost the wisdom from God is pure civil what's that mean what's pure me. If it means clean it's translated in other parts of the Bible for the word solely in ancient Greek. It was pure enough to approach the gods, it means free in your thought from ulterior motives.

Moral cleanliness without contamination. It's the opposite of jealousy, envy and bitterness. It certainly includes sexual purity but is not just isolated today. The wisdom that comes from God is first pure, not perfect but pure God. I want to honor you. God I want to serve you. God I want to do this not what other people think of me that I want to do it on to you and to serve them. So you are agenda gets done and God when it's not there. You show manna you know will correct lots in the course changes what is first pure, you can summarize this by the little phrase if I'm wise, I won't compromise my integrity as I can remember. If you are to be built on the rock.

The wisdom from God you don't compromise your integrity when you know what's right to do. You don't allow your behavior, your relationships, your finances for your speech to tell a different story than what you know is right. That's the first condition of the lifeboat of dots was back in some additional books about teaching, but if you're just joining us your listing to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram's message today is from his series how to change for the better in the series chip uncovers the secrets to lasting life change to learn how to see the real issues beneath what needs to change and then sustain your commitments even when you don't feel like if lasting changes what you really want listening to this teaching again will help you get there to do that in order to share the series with a friend. It's easy on me up if you're a radio or podcast list or just visit us online at or give us a call at 1-888-333-6003.

Would love to get this resource in your hands.

Hey I'll be right back in just a minute to give some specific application to today's message but what were teaching about right now is not only near and dear to my heart.

I realize a lot of people don't know how life change really happens. They don't know how you really grows Christian and become like Jesus in this series literally flows out of the book that I wrote called the miracle of life change.

It's an exposition of Ephesians chapter 4. With all this super practical things that I've learned over the years and so here's what I'd like you to do. I like you to go to our website and buy this book and when you do, we will give you a second one to pass on to someone else.

I have found when people study this passage and this book God really opens their eyes want you to think about someone you love someone in your network may be at work. A family member go to the website at this book we will give you a secondment absolutely free so you can study it and pass it on to someone you care about were excited about this offer because it's a great example of open Christians live like Christians ships book the miracle of life change gives you the practical tools you need to make the changes. Were talking about a long-term reality in your life and in the life of someone you love to take us up on this by one.

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Just go to or tap special offers. Now with his application for today here's chip as we studied this passage today.

There are some biblical words that we don't think in these terms, and so let me put them as we close in a way that you and I tend to talk the fruit or the evidence of a life dominated by us, our ego, our ego needs our ego drive is called earthly wisdom in this passage, and a life that comes out of depending on God being God driven the spirit working in us is called godly wisdom and there is a battle.

Those of us that are in Christ, the Spirit of God dwells in you and the Scripture says there is a battle raging in the spirit is waging war against the flesh now. What are the characteristics what are the evidences that you are a God driven God led God dependent person or whether you're an ego driven person that is exactly what the Holy Spirit gives us to this chapter in the book of James Nye gave you a lot of definitions we looked at a lot of words. Let me give you a litmus test. All right. Just think, ask yourself, God help me be honest as chip reads this little list about whether I'm ego driven, or God driven statement number one to determine whether we are driven by ego or dependent on God. Is this if I'm living out of God's resources. I won't compromise my integrity.

Remember the word. It's pure if I'm living out of God's resources. I won't antagonize your anger that was peaceable. If I'm living out of God's resources. I won't minimize your feelings.

That's gentleness.

If I'm living out of God's resources. I won't criticize your suggestions that's being reasonable if I'm living out of God's resources. I won't emphasize your mistakes that's being full of mercy and good fruit, and if I'm living out of God's resources. I won't disguise my weaknesses. That's unwavering, without hypocrisy, how you doing are you led by the spirit or walking in the flesh is your ego rain is the king in your life or does the spirit of God, have freedom you can know by his James says looking at the evidence in your behavior may be, it would be good to have a private talk with God and do a little honest analysis and let him do in you what he wants to do. I'm praying for you will just before we close. Would you pray for people who heard God's word and are struggling right now we have an enemy who loves to mess with any effort we make to align ourselves with God. So would you take a second and pray, and if you're the one who's being challenged.

Just what you know you have an army of believers were praying for you as you are my voice. You're not alone.

Thanks for being with us have until next time. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge

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