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5 Easy Steps to Wreck Your Life - Week 1

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Well you're feeling broken hearted and your marriage is in strife, ♫ 'cause you could not keep your promise to not cheat on your wife. ♫ And your eyes began to wander and your heart began to stray ♫ and you wouldn't heed the voices that were telling you to stay. ♫ It's really a very simple affair, but it cuts you just like a knife... ♫ It's five easy steps to wreck your life. ♫ Yeehaw! Alright, let's dive in. All of our locations; could I get you to participate? Could I get a show of hands? How many of you are married? Raise your hands high, raise your hands high! Excellent. How many of you are not married, but you would love to be married one day? Would you lift your hands high? Lift them up; leave them up if you will. Leave them up, leave them up. Look around the room right now, just scan the room. Leave them up, look around; your eyes may meet someone. This could be your lucky day! One more question, whether you are married or not; how many of you honestly plan on one day committing the sin of adultery? Raise your hands high, all over the place. Do you plan on committing adultery? Raise your, raise your, everybody... I'm glad to see that nobody plans on committing adultery, because obviously you agree with God's truth in one of the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20:14 when God said what? Help me out, God said, 'You shall not commit adultery,' which is really interesting to me that none of you plan on committing adultery and God says not to commit adultery, but if you are taking notes, according to the Journal of Psychology and Christianity, up to 65% of husbands and 55% of wives will commit adultery by the age of 40. Could we just pause for a moment and sigh a collective groan? Those numbers are staggering, staggering. Why is that? Why is it that none of you say, 'I plan on committing adultery' but yet, according to the statistics, a lot of you will? Well, a simple answer is that we have a spiritual enemy whose mission is to steal, kill and destroy everything that matters to the heart of God, and unquestionably one of the things that matters to God about His children, is the covenant of marriage. And, we have an enemy who is going to try to seduce and lure many of us into the sin of adultery. We don't plan on it happening; but, how does it happen? Well, Satan seductively draws you in step by little step. For example, it could start very simply with just something we are watching on TV. So, we rationalize that when we watch, no big deal. Maybe you watch something that glorifies extramarital sex. Just a popular show; Sex in the City, or Desperate Housewives, or whatever and you ask yourself, is it really a sin to watch this? I mean everyone else does. I mean is it really that bad to watch this? It couldn't be that bad. Step. Then one day you wake up and you think, my spouse is not really all that I hoped for and I am a little bit dissatisfied. Is it really a sin to be true to who I am and say I am dissatisfied? It is not really a sin, is it? I meet someone that I like and oh, I mean their fun and this person makes me happy and I enjoy being with this person. It is really not really a sin to enjoy. I can't wait to be with this person, this person makes me feel good and I am looking forward to talking; it's not really a sin to look forward to being with someone. And, step by step, we move and somewhere we cross a line. But the steps were so small and we were able to rationalize each one that we are not even really sure when or where we crossed the line. Let's make it easy. Since none of you plan on committing adultery, just in case one day you do, I want to make it so easy for you, I am going to give you 5 very easy and practical steps to commit adultery. Years from now, you may wake up and go, hey, I'm in the mood and you can just pull out your old sermon notes and look in here and follow these steps exactly, and I am going to show you 5 easy steps to wreck your life with the sin of adultery. Are you ready? Take good notes, you never know, you might need these. Step number 1, if you are taking notes, is this: I advise you to neglect your marriage. There's all sorts of ways to do this. You can start by neglecting yourself and let your body go, and take your marriage for granted. Never bring your best. I also recommend you find something, anything; anything outside of your marriage that you can give the majority of your energy to. It could be your business; it could be your second job. It could be something really good, your hobby; it could be your children. It doesn't matter what it is, just find something else and invest the majority of your energy into anything but your marriage. Also, as you're neglecting your marriage, you are going to want to avoid all intimacy. No relational intimacy, don't talk openly, don't share your heart, don't listen, just kind of become roommates. And, if you can, avoid sexual intimacy as well, no sex if at all possible. If you have to have sex, just make sure it is boring and predictable. Okay, that is all I ask; same way, same approach, boring and predictable. And then, if that is not satisfying and hopefully it is not, you could introduce a little pornography and that way you can objectify your spouse and all that is really helpful to step number 1, say it with me, is what, to neglect your marriage; very good. Step number 2, if you want to commit the sin of adultery, is: Enjoy common interests and form an emotional bond with someone else. Neglect your marriage then find someone else that, it is really helpful to have an activity you do together, maybe you are on a project at work together, or you are playing together on a coed softball team or quite honestly your life group can be fine, you can find a person there. When you do something you enjoy together, and then you start opening up and you can, it's a good thing to talk a little bit bad about your marriage. If the other person is a Christian, you can say, would you pray for me, my marriage isn't doing well; that really works. It is a good step to where you start to open up emotionally and then she will start to understand you and he will listen to you and maybe this person will respect you and you just form an emotional bond with someone besides your spouse. Neglect your marriage, form an emotional bond. Then, step number 3 is: Anticipate your time together. Now, earlier I told you to neglect your body; now, you want to pay attention to it again. When you have found someone, you want to get back into the gym, do your hair, and put your make-up on, not for your husband. Don't you dare let him see you look good. But, when you are going out and you are going to be around this other guy, look good. Ladies, if you've got some stuff show it! Pull the [neck] down. Just go out and show it, extra cologne, perfume; whatever it would be. Anticipate the time with them and if there is no reason to get together, invent a reason. Make up an excuse, so you can be with this person. The fourth thing that I encourage you to do is to flirt whenever possible. Get creative. Ladies, the hair flip thing, I don't know why, but that is really good, just flip it back, flip it often; I mean that is a good thing. Guys, you think flex the muscles, that doesn't work, that's old school; sensitive, leave little notes, little post-it notes, 'I was thinking about you, how you doing?' E-mail works great, although it can be detected. I highly recommend texting, but just make sure you delete the text, if you delete the little encouraging message on the text, then you are in good shape. Whatever you do, flirt, flirt, flirt, flirt, flirt; little touch, little back rub, a little inappropriate joke, whatever works, just do that. Finally, step number 5 is: Make excuses and rationalize your actions. Make all sorts of excuses. Tell yourself, well if my wife was meeting my needs, you know, huh, huh, huh, well then I wouldn't have to be looking elsewhere. Well, if my husband had a sensitive bone in his body, then I wouldn't have to be, you know, this... Well, if my spouse was making me happy and this other person makes me happy; and God, above all else wants me happy. Rationalize and lie to yourself. But, the most important thing you have got to tell yourself if this: Over and over again, you have to say adultery, adultery... that would never happen to me. I have got this totally under control. I am in complete control. Adultery: that would never happen to me. If you are new with us, I hope that you understand I was being rather sarcastic. You might be leaning over going honey, I have heard about these liberal churches where they do this kind of thing. I hope you understand that I am being incredibly sarcastic. But, on a much more serious note, I have just got to say that having been a pastor for as long as I have, I cannot tell you the countless number of times I've seen people just like you, who never intended to ever commit the sin of adultery, get hooked and lured into something like a lamb taken before the slaughter as your spiritual enemy step-by-step leads you into something that could be incredibly, incredibly destructive and painful. So, what I would like to do in the rest of our time together is I want us to look in Proverbs chapter 5. If you are ever feeling sexually vulnerable, just turn to Proverbs 5, read the whole chapter a couple of times and I promise you, it will beat the temptation out of you. Proverbs 5 is a father; it is Solomon speaking to his son and he is giving this real strong fatherly advice, son you have to stay away from the temptation of the adulterous woman. I have broken it into 3 sections to make it easy and practical as we talk about God's Word. Basically the father is saying, son you have got to do whatever it takes, because at some point in your life this temptation is going to be real, you better be ready and do whatever it takes to get out of it. Thought number 1, if you are taking notes: The father basically says, 'Son, do whatever it takes to radically reduce the risks. Whatever to stay far away from anything that would be tempting.' Verse 8, 9 and 10 of Proverbs 5, the father says, speaking of the adulterous woman, he says, 'Keep to a path far from her, don't flirt with it, don't get close, don't pretend like it is okay, don't even go near the door of her house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel. Lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man's house. Do whatever it takes to radically reduce the risk.' The father says, 'Keep a path far from her.' See, here is the problem, too many of us, we believe the line of sin is way over here with physical adultery. Well, you know sure I am kind of emotionally, and sure I've got this, and we kind of enjoy each other and sure I probably shouldn't; but, we haven't gone all the way. The problem is, for God, the line of sin is not way over here with physical adultery, but it is way, way, way, way, way back over here and it starts right here, right here, and right here. This is what Jesus said. Listen to the power of his statement. Matthew 5:28: 'But I tell you, anyone who does' what, just say it aloud, 'anyone who looks at a woman lustfully' Jesus says, 'has already committed adultery with her in his heart.' Keep a path far from her. Well, I mean, I'm right up here and I haven't already. No, no, no, no the father says, 'Stay way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way over here. Guard your heart, guard your eyes, guard your mind.' So, those of you who are married, here is just a good little test you can do. Ask yourself this, if we kept a video all day long of all of your interactions with other people and we showed that video to your spouse, would you be proud for your spouse to see how you behave? If all of your e-mails, all of your text, if all of that was fair game and your spouse looked at all of it, would you say, hey yes, I am treating other people with integrity and I would be proud of my spouse to see this. Or, would you go, oh, I wouldn't want her to see the way I talk to other guys, would you be proud? Now, those of you that are single, your kicked back today, going free pass, this is easy. Watch all them married folks sweat okay! Now, I am not letting you off either. I would ask you this: If your behavior today recorded on video and shown to your future spouse, would your future spouse say that you were honoring in the way you acted today? Because, let's be honest. I mean there is a lot of people today who are crossing the sexual line of sin with people before they are married. And, I don't know what you would call it, but I would call that premarital adultery. You are cheating on the person you are gonna marry later on today, long before you even met that person because you are living outside of God's standards today. Basically, building your life on a foundation of sin, that if not confessed and changed by God will follow you in to your future marriage. Harsh; or truth? The father says, 'Keep a path far from her, do whatever it takes to radically reduce the risks. Let me give you 5 just kind of bullet points of ways, very practical suggestions of how we can reduce the risk. The first thing and most important is: To keep a growing relationship with Christ. And we will talk about this all next week. The reality is, if you are in God's Word and if you are being led by the Spirit, whenever you start to sin, the Holy Spirit is going to convict you and you will either back away, or if you do cross the line of sin, you are going to repent immediately and say God, forgive me and you are going to back away, because you are walking intimately with Christ. But, when you put Christ aside, when you neglect your relationship with God, it is so easy [humming]... to cross so many lines that you never even noticed. Keep an intimate and growing relationship with Christ. The second thing is: Never be alone with the wrong people. Now, when I used to teach this, I'd say, never be alone with the opposite sex. But, the challenge is some of you have something for the same sex. So, whoever the wrong people would be for you, don't be alone with them, ever, ever. Now, let me just say for a moment; in my world in ministry, it would be unheard of for any of us to spend time alone with the opposite sex. We just would not do that. But, yet, in the business world it is just shocking to me how low the standard of integrity often is. In so many business places, it is totally acceptable for a man or a woman to go to lunch or to have a business dinner together totally alone. I'm looking and going, number 1, just from the appearance of that, how stupid is that? Secondly, you are just putting yourself in a vulnerable place. Keep a path far from her. And then, I know a lot of you, you can't do anything about this, but your business will send you on a trip and you go on a trip alone with a person of the opposite sex to do business for 3 days in some other city, staying in a hotel. I mean basically, what they should just do is give you 2 ropes; you both put them around your neck, hang them over something and just do this [choke] for awhile. Because, that is just stupid on steroids! Do whatever it takes to stay away from those people who would be the wrong people. Another thing is never talk badly about your marriage with the wrong people. And this is so, you know, hey pray for me you know our marriage isn't doing that good and my husband he is not, you know, he just doesn't listen to me like you do. Just don't even go there, that is totally inappropriate, you don't discuss your marriage in a negative light with the opposite sex. Another thing is surround yourself with strong marriages. Now admittedly, if you're in a Christian marriage, you are going to want to have some other couples that you are helping. Some marriages who are struggling that you are encouraging and lifting up. But, if all you have is a bunch of very wild friends as married couples where all the woman trash talk the husbands and all the husbands go out to strip clubs and they are all having affairs with each other, how stupid can you be to surround yourself with that kind of friends? You need the Christian friends who can strengthen your marriage and you do the same for them. And then finally, if you are taking notes, avoid all inappropriate places and situations. And, I don't know what that would be for you, but some come to mind. You are on a business trip and everyone is going out for drinks and they are staying out late and you just don't go, that is just foolish! You just don't go out for drinks; you stay in your room. Or, let me just say this, a lot of you, you know you've got your Facebook page now and then your ex-boyfriend contacts you from high school and you say, oh we are just going to go out for lunch, you say, we are just friends. That is about as foolish, and I am telling you I've seen this so many times. Your ex-flame contacts you, that old person you had a crush on contacts you. You shut that door, you run Forrest run, get out of, don't open that door. You are at work and there is someone that you kind of think is hmm, this could be a little hmm, I like hmm. You are feeling that, you get out of that office. I am telling you that if you are in that relationship where there is a potential, you ask for a transfer into another department or you quit your job. You are going, "man dude, like chill! You're extreme!" Let me tell you, I guarantee you; it's easier to find another job, than it is to find another mother or father to your children. Do whatever it takes to radically reduce the risk. Keep a path far from her the father says to the son. The second thing he does; number 1; he says do whatever it takes to reduce the risk. The second thing the father says is: Do whatever it takes to invest passionately in your marriage. Verse 18, 19 and 20, the father says, 'Son, may your fountain be blessed and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.' This is beautiful to me. 'A loving doe, a graceful deer, may her breasts satisfy you always. May you ever be captivated by her love. Why be captivated my son by an adulterous? Why embrace the bosom of another man's wife?' I could say it this way, whenever the grass starts to look greener somewhere else, it's time to water your own yard! It's time to water your yard! Invest in your marriage! He says, 'Why be captivated?' The Hebrew word that is translated as captivated is the word 'shagah' (shaw-gaw'). Everybody say 'shagah'. In the Hebrew language one word can almost be like a sentence, it's a picture word, they are entire thoughts. And, this is the word that is used when an animal captures kills and eats another animal. 'shagah'. Be captivated. Let me tell you how it can be translated. It can be translated to be ravished. Can you see the lion ravishing the gazelle? To be captivated, to be enraptured, to be intoxicated, to be consumed; that is what you should be with the wife of your youth. Why have that with someone else? Here is what I have got to tell you. I will tell you with all integrity; going on 19 years of marriage with Amy, there is more 'shagah' going on now than there has been ever! I mean I am telling you, it's like we are closer and more intimate and more in love today and let me tell you why; because we have been working at it. We have, we have been working at it; because when we don't work at it, I'll tell you what, here is what happens, when we don't work at it, oooh; and it happens to us. I get busy with [the church], she gets busy with the kids and the next thing you know, we are doing this. When we are working at it, and I am talking working hard at it and we are, there is a lot of 'shagah'. But, it takes a lot of work. Let me give you again 5 ways to invest in your marriage. The first thing is get transparent. You have to open up and share your feelings and your heart. For Amy, this is very natural. She would tell you that her number 1 developmental need in my life is just to continue to bring all of me, the feelings and the communications. Because she's like, share your feelings, not your thoughts; I'm like, okay, what are feelings again? I mean, this is not real natural for me, but when I go there and I have to intentionally go there and make that conversation time. It is amazing the intimacy that we have. Get transparent. Second, thing if you are taking notes, is: Get alone. And, let me define what that is for some of you who do not know that means you are alone; nobody else there. Some of you, you haven't been alone unless you are in your bedroom at night. Let me tell you what to do. Lock the kids up and put them somewhere safe! They will survive an hour without you and it is amazing. Date like you used to do. Why were you were all in love before? Because you dated, you were alone, you had that time. Get alone. Third thing, if you are take notes, is: Get spiritual, pray, read God's Word. I will tell you, probably one of the best things for our marriage has been our LifeGroup. Several years ago, when we started, we were with these 4 marriages and these are 4 of the best marriages I have ever seen today, because of the way we have encouraged one another scripturally over the years. Get spiritual, get in a LifeGroup, develop one another spiritually. Number 4: Get help. If you are in trouble, you need to make an appointment this week. Talk to your campus pastor, find Christian counseling, do whatever it takes to get help. Get transparent, get alone, get spiritual, get help and finally I recommend you get naked! Can I get an amen from anybody in the house? I am not going to explain this to you what I mean by it. If I have to go into detail, you need more help than I can give you in a 30 minute time period. If you want to give more money in the offering today, because I have told you to get naked, feel free to follow the spirit of God! Okay now, seriously do whatever it takes to keep a path far from her to radically reduce the risks. Do whatever it takes to water your own yard. Invest passionately in your marriage. The third thing, this father says to the son, is: Basically, do whatever it takes to visualize the potential destruction if you do go down this road of sin. Do whatever it takes to visualize what it will cost you over the long haul. Proverbs 5:3, 4 and 5, 'For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, her speech is smoother than oil.' This is going to look more appealing to you than anything you have experienced in years; it is going to lure you. You are going to say, I can't control it! We are just in love! This is an illusion, it is not real, it is based on lies. But in the end verse 4 says, 'The adulterous, she is as bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.' Verse 5, help me out; where do her feet lead? The Bible says, 'Her feet go down to death, her steps lead straight to...' where? Visualize it. Gentlemen, picture this, men; picture sitting down with your children and saying, 'Kiddos, you know I love you, but here is why I can't live with you anymore,' and tell them what you did. Ladies, picture going to your mom and dad and say mom and dad, 'here is what I did; kids, here is what I did.' Fast forward and visualize the reality of what your decision means. This is what I have done. In my mind, I have gone all the way with this. If I compromise my integrity and committed the sin of adultery, here is what would happen hands down; I would drag the name of Christ through the mud. It would be a national story. Pastor, mega church, blah, blah, blah, national news unquestionably. I would stand before God and have to give an account one day. I would no longer be your pastor, what I have worked for all of my adult life would be gone, the integrity that I have today I would never gain back ever again. If I were allowed back into ministry years later, I would never have the purity and the anointing of what I have today. That would be gone and chances are I would never be able to recover professionally and everything that I have worked for would be gone. That is the easy part. Here is the hard part, I would devastate and crush the woman who has given me 6 children and has sacrificed more than anyone else in the world will ever know for the call of God on our lives, and has loved me faithfully and sacrificially with more love than any man could ever deserve. And my children who all, and I say humbly, look to me as a sincere man of God, would in a moment lose their respect and admiration for me as one who truly surrenders to the heart of God. I could very easily in a 15-minute time span destroy a lifetime of what I've worked to achieve and honor God with. Visualize it. Now, some of you are going "okay, yeah, whatever. You don't know, I am in love. He is going to leave his wife and we are going to go and we are going to be happy, we are going to be married happily ever after. You just don't know, we are just so in love." Okay, if you don't listen to anything I say, just let me give you the stats. Go put this in your pipe and smoke it, okay? What percentage of people actually marry their forbidden lover? What percentage of people actually marry their forbidden lover? Three percent. What percentage of those marriages end in divorce? Seventy-five percent, three in four. So, what are the odds of you marrying this person that you love so much? Point zero-seven-five percent; less than 1%. Why? Because what you have is based on lies and deception. It feels real, but it is not. What is real is at home and waiting for you. And, sure it may not be all there, but you get back home and you honor the covenant that you made with God and you humbly repent and you do whatever it takes to make it right. Understandably, all this is difficult, but write this one last thought down. In the middle of all of this pain, here is the good news, that even when we are unfaithful, God is always faithful. No matter how bad we blow it, no matter how far we drift, his grace, his power, his goodness and his healing is always available. I was preparing this message and I am in the middle of all these stats and interviewing people and trying to get my mind in it and my phone rang and it was a guy that sort of goes to our church, he said, 'Craig, I just got caught, I committed adultery. I just told my wife.' He was crying, crying, crying, crying and I am like, this is weird, I am working on this and he called. So, I got him with the right people. I followed up later on, I said, 'How are you doing?' He said, 'Craig, unquestionably, this is the worst week of my entire life.' And at the same time he said, 'As odd as it sounds, I think this is the best week of my life.' I said, 'What?' He said, 'All this time, I have been talking the God thing, and I have never really known Christ, and at this moment of brokenness, I think I know Him for the first time in my life.' And, as we talked this through, all of a sudden I looked at him and I said, 'You know what? I think there is more hope for this marriage than there was even before, because Christ is now a very real part of this marriage.' Sure, someone commits adultery, I mean, that is Biblical grounds for divorce, unquestionably. But, don't ever forget this; it is also Biblical grounds for forgiveness, healing and restoration. And what God makes new is often better than anything you ever imagined before. So, no matter what sin you are in, you turn to God and let Him forgive, heal and restore. God, we ask that your Holy Spirit would do a work that only you can do. And God, I just breathe in and out and acknowledge that there is just a lot of emotion right now, hurt and guilt and fear and betrayal and shame and worry and anger and bitterness. God, I pray that as we continue to seek you, that those would be replaced with hope and faith and forgiveness and healing and restoration. God, I ask that wherever there is sin, that your truth would reveal it and that things would be brought to light where they can be dealt with. And God, I pray for grace and I pray for mercy and I pray for restoration. God, I thank you for those today that have not committed adultery, and I pray that whenever they start walking down these seductive steps that your Holy Spirit would stop them immediately. And God, that they would repent and they would get help and they would flee. God, I pray for those who are in the middle of this right now, in the middle of temptation or in the middle of the actual outright sin, I pray God there would be confession and repentance today and that all of these potentially dangerous or outright sinful relationships would be severed immediately. God, for every marriage that is struggling, I ask God that they would submit wholly unto you, 2 people, honoring their covenant vows, and that there would be healing and transformation by the power of the risen Christ and God I ask for it and believe that it is possible. As you keep praying today at all of our campuses, let me just talk to you for a moment, and if right now, there is maybe an awareness of sin in your life. I want you to just embrace that; it is not always a bad thing. Maybe you are going like, 'Dude, I've blown it, I did this, how could God ever forgive me?' Whatever, you are aware of sin in your life. That is not always a bad thing. Maybe it is not this sin, maybe your sin is more in the mind, maybe it is an unforgiveness towards someone, maybe it is a bitterness and anger, maybe it is lust, maybe it is worldliness or jealousy or greed, or it could be any number of things. But, right now, if you are aware of your sin, it is because the Holy Spirit is here and He is convicting you. Our problem is that we are all sinners, and our sin separates us from a Holy God. That is why it was so important that when God sent Jesus, He was born of a virgin, He did not inherit the sin seed from an earthly father. He was able to live a sinless life, completely obedient to God the father, and on the cross 2,000 years ago, He became sin for us. He died, He rose again and He defeated it. Now, scripture says, 'Anyone who calls on His name will be saved.' There are many of you here, like my friend, you've been around the church, you know the language, but you don't know the Savior. Today is the day of your salvation. Others of you, you are aware, you have done so many things wrong; could God ever forgive you? Yes, and He is ready to, even when we are faithless, He is faithful. If you confess your sins to Him, He is faithful and just, scripture says, to forgive your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. There are those of you, you are here to day because today is the day of your salvation. Call on Him; forgive me, change me, I give my whole life to you. In all of our campuses, if that is your prayer today, would you lift your hands high right now and just say, yes, I need you, save me, lift your hands up and say yes. Right back here in this section and right back here as well, others of you who say yes! God bless you! Others just lift up your hands and just say, yes! Count me in, say yes! Others of you who would say, me too! Right back over here; all of you saying yes, and in the middle section. All of our campuses as you lift your hands, reaching out to Him, would you just all pray aloud together, just pray; Heavenly Father, save me from my sins, make me new. I throw myself at your mercy. I can't save myself. I believe Jesus is enough. He is now my savior and He is my Lord. Fill me with your Spirit so I could serve you. Thank you for new life, now you have mine, in Jesus name I pray. If you are grateful for His goodness and grace, would you lift your hands and will you worship Him and would you give Him praise and honor today for new life in Christ Jesus.

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Duration: 36 minutes and 44 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
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Views: 135
Posted by: lifechurchopen on Jul 6, 2010

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