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Soul Detox - Week 1

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Hey everybody at all of our LifeChurches and Network Churches and our Church Online family today, we are starting a brand new series called Soul Detox. This is actually based on my newest book Soul Detox that I'm very excited about. You may say, "What in the world is a Soul Detox?" Well, let's kind of build a foundational understanding today for what we'll study in the next four weeks. What we are studying on the weekend is different than what's in the book. This is all new content that I prepared for us, so if you read the book this will be different. But let's build a foundation today as we talk about soul detox. If you're taking notes write this down: We need to understand and this is really important in how we do life that we are not a body with a soul, but instead we are a soul with a body. Let's play that back and let that sink in. So many of us, we think we are our bodies but we're not, we are not a body with a soul. Whenever you die, your body dies but your soul lives somewhere forever. We are not a body with a soul, but we are a soul with a body. In fact, whenever God created Adam this is how it was described in Genesis 2:7, Scripture says: And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground... He took the dust and the clay and made that into his body. That was the outer covering for our soul... ...and God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life... And what did man become? All of our churches say it aloud: ...and man became a living soul. We are not a body with a soul; we are a soul with a body. Why does that matter? Let me kind of explain it: When I was growing up my Mom and Dad both smoked cigarettes. That's all they smoked as far as I knew, but I knew they did smoke cigarettes. It seemed like everybody back then smoked cigarettes. And thankfully they overcame that habit, which I was really proud of them. Somebody said, "Will smoking send you to hell?" And the answer is, "No it won't, it will just make you smell like you've already been there and back!" And so, I never really realized that at the time, but I smelled like smoke because I lived in a home where everybody was smoking. It dawned on me when I went away to college and then I came back home after my first break. And when I came into the home I was like, "Man, this place doesn't smell very good!" And there was like this haze in the air and the walls were kind of yellow! Well within a few minutes, I just kind of became accustomed to it and I forgot about the smell. Well, I came back to college and my roommate, his name was John, but I called him "Spiff". Spiff looked at me and he said, "Get out of here, you rank! You stink! Get your bag!" And I smelled my clothes and was like, "That's nasty!" And my bag and everything, it smelt horribly! And it dawned on me, oh my goodness, for the last eighteen years I've lived in this smoke-filled environment and everywhere I went I smelled like smoke, and nobody ever told me. Then it kind of made sense why I couldn't get a date in high school, but in college I was somewhat popular! Not really, but I tell myself that as the years go by, it makes me feel better! I had no idea, I was breathing in this second-hand smoke, this poison, and it was affecting me and I didn't even realize it. And I believe that many of us in our souls today, we are breathing in the second-hand poisons of our culture and they are literally impacting our souls. We talk a lot about detoxing our bodies and taking care of our bodies, what I want to do is I want to talk about detoxing our soul and caring for the essence of who we actually are. So, in this series we are going to cover some different topics of the soul. Next week we are going to talk about The Heavy Soul. So many of us on the outside we're smiling but inwardly we are very, very heavy. We are also going to talk about The Tortured Soul. We are going to look into the final week at The Seduced Soul. Today though, I want to talk about what I call "The Curse of the Restless Soul", The Curse of the Restless Soul. And I know that so many of you will see yourself in this subject. In fact, if you know the story in Genesis about Cain and Abel, they were brothers and Cain got jealous of Abel's sacrifice being accepted and Cain killed his brother Abel. And God actually cursed him in Genesis 4:11-12. Scripture says that God said to Cain: Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand... Okay, you killed your brother and here's the punishment: When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you... And what will you be? Everybody at all of our churches, let's say this phrase aloud. God said: ...You will be a restless wanderer on the earth. A restless wanderer, so many of us we have a restless soul. We are always searching but never finding. We are interested in everything, but satisfied by nothing. Inwardly we're always spun up, our RPM's keep going and we may try to find rest for our bodies, but we never really find rest for our souls. We are anxious, we are tense, we're worried, and we're concerned; our minds just don't know how to shut down. And even when we try to rest at night, internally our soul does not rest; it's a restless soul. I'll be real honest, in this season of my life it's not always this busy, but I added up just in a 30-day period this month, I'll do 20 different talks. Okay, I'll do this one four times this weekend, that's not four that counts as one. I'll do 20 different talks on top of all of the leadership of the church and family and such, which is quite a bit. And the travel is just insane, it seems like all I did this week was sit in airports and hop from city-to-city; here to Atlanta, to Florida and spoke there, interviewed the former Prime Minister Tony Blair, flew to Houston and then to Southern California and spoke there. A leadership event, interview, San Francisco and home here. Next week Charlotte, Atlanta, all of this kind of stuff. And inwardly, it would be so easy to be overwhelmed with all there is to do and at so much in my life that's where I've lived; it's been the restlessness of the soul. And Solomon's words in Ecclesiastes really paint a good picture of where I've lived way too much of my life, and chances are where many of you have or are living as well. Solomon said this, I think it's interesting, Ecclesiastes 2:22-23, he asked a question: "What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night... What happens? Everybody say it aloud: ...even at night his mind does not rest..." I want to pause for a moment and just ask you to be really, really honest. How many of you, you're often wound up on the inside and you find it difficult to calm down in your soul? Sometimes at night you're mind keeps going, you may be even with the family and you can't shut it down and your mind and your soul rarely, rarely finds deep rest? How many of you would say that's you? Be really, really honest, the restless soul. God doesn't want us to live this way. We're all going to acknowledge that our body needs rest. I submit to you that our soul needs to find rest as well. That raises a question okay? Where do we find rest for our souls? Where do we find it? And what I'm going to tell you sounds like the preacher answer, but what I want you to know that this is true through-and-through, true beyond a shadow of a doubt, there is one place and one place only that we find rest for our souls and that is in God. Write that down: Our souls find rest in God alone. David said it this way in Psalm 62:1. Everybody let's read this aloud, I want you to really focus on this, David said: "My soul finds rest..." Now, where does my soul find rest? My soul finds rest: " God alone; my salvation comes from Him." My soul inwardly, internally, who I am in essence only finds rest in God. In other words, there's no person, no thing, no experience, no vacation, no dream home, no amount of money; there is no thing outside of God that can bring rest in the essence of who I am. My soul finds rest in Him alone. In fact, I love the way Saint Augustine said it, he said to God: "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our soul is restless until it finds rest in you." God, you have made us for yourself and our soul, who we are, is restless until we find rest in you. Our soul finds rest in God alone, in God alone does our soul find rest. In fact, Jesus said it this way in Matthew 11:28-29, He said: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened..." Okay think about it, this is some of you; not just in your body but in your soul. You're just stressed out, you find it difficult to show love to those you love most because you're short with those you love most because your soul is revved up, you're overwhelmed, you're tense, you're worried, you're anxious; not only physically, but where it really, really matters in who you are, in your soul. "Come to me" Jesus says, "Come to me", come to Jesus, come to the Son of God: "...all who are weary and burdened..." And He said, what will I give you? Everybody, He said: "...I will give you rest." Come to Him and He'll give you rest. He says: "...Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and... What will you find? Now watch carefully what He says, what will you find? "...You will find rest for your..." What? Not for your bodies, but you'll find rest for your: "...souls." For your souls. "Come to me," Jesus says, "All who are weary, burdened, heavy laden, and you will find rest for your soul." Where do we find true rest for our souls? The answer is in God alone. The next question that I would be asking is, "Okay, so how do I find that? If true rest is in God, how do I rest in God?" And here's what Scripture teaches us, we'll look at three different things that Scripture says. And what I want you to do, I'm giving you a lot of Scripture today because I'm praying that Scripture will land in your soul and that you'll be convicted to live according to the rhythms of God's grace, not according to the pressures in the secondhand toxic smoke of this world that says, "Go, go, go; produce, produce, produce! Do more, more, more, more, more, more, more!" But when we find rest for our souls and seek Him first, then He'll add everything that matters. If you're rested in your soul, I promise you, you'll be far more productive, yet we get it wrong with the toxic lies of this world. Three thoughts, how do we find rest in God? The first thing Scripture teaches us is to: 1. Be still before God. Psalm 46:10, the Psalmist says: Be still... And what? Everybody, let's just say this part aloud: Be still and know that I am God. Be still. Now, let me just go ahead and state the obvious, but I just want to say it. Notice the Psalmist doesn't say be busy and know that I am God, okay? Be productive and know that I am God, be worried and know that I am God, be anxious and know that I am God, be all revved up on the inside and know that I am God; but Scripture says: Be still... Stop, pause, wait and know; know, not just you know, know in your head, but know in your soul that God is on the throne: Be still and know that I am God. Now, I don't know about you but how many of you have ever been around a kid that just won't sit still? How many of you have been around a kid like that? Okay, some of you are saying, "I'm married to that kid and he won't be still!" Okay, for probably 18-years, I've been around multiple kids like that. I mean, they're everywhere at my house! And sometimes you want to just say, "Shut up and be still! Am I going to have to count to three? Don't make me pull this car over!" Or you know, "Be still!" Well, sometimes you have to take control of your soul and just silence your soul. Say, "Soul be still, shut up, quit running; sit down soul and be still!" Look at what Scripture says, David said this in Psalm 131:2, David said: "But I..." Not somebody else, not God but I have done what? He said: "But I have stilled and quieted my soul." I did it, I stilled, soul shut up and be still! I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child with his mother. Like a weaned child is my soul within me. I have stilled and quieted my soul. I have done it. I'm going to tell you something personal. I've talked about this before and I'll probably talk about it again because it's really an important part of my personal journey. I've been to two different seasons of counseling for being a workaholic. The first time it was mandatory, the denomination made me go and I was young and rebellious and didn't listen and thought it was stupid. The second time I willingly went because I realized I needed help. The second time the counselor and I met for quite a while and he gave me these books to read and exercises and tried to figure out why I was trying to prove myself and such. And one of the things he said was, "Here's what I want you to do, this sounds like a really simple exercise and almost offensively easy, but I promise you it's not and I really want you to do this." He said, "I want you to take five minutes a day and still yourself before God and focus on God and nothing else, for just five minutes a day." I'm thinking, "Well that's just like stupid! First of all, who has time for that? Second of all, that's like easy. Third, I'm paying ninety-five bucks for this? I'm getting more frustrated by the minute! You know, give me something good!" And he said, "You know, you just go and be still before God." And so he said, "You get out your little watch and make sure you don't think about anything productive, just focus on being with God." And so I hit the stop watch and I'm like going one second, "Okay God hello...two God, this is boring God! God, why do I have to do this? Oh God, the yard needs mowing and I gotta..." And the bottom line is I couldn't do it, couldn't do it! I could not for five minutes stay still and focused on God. Now, if you are restless in your soul, one of the most important disciplines you can do is daily be still before God, for the sole purposes of knowing Him and nothing else. Be still and know that I am God. Now do it, okay, just do it; five minutes, start there okay. It will be more difficult than you think because you're going to start and you're going to think, "Oh, baby's diaper needs changing and the laundry needs to be done," and "the car needs to be washed," and "we've got to go grocery shopping," and "I've got that project due at work," and "Oh my gosh, somebody's probably posting something on Facebook right now that's really, really good!" Five minutes, be still and know that I am God. And you may say, "But I don't have time to be still before God!" I would say to you, "You don't have time not to be still before God!" Let me just say that again because that was rather good preaching and I'm not sure that you're tuned in and knowing just how good that was! You say, "I don't have time to spend that time with God!" You don't have time not to! You must be at rest in your soul. Be still before God. The second thing that Scripture teaches us to do when we're being still is: 2. Just to wait for Him. Wait for the Lord God. Scripture says in Psalm 37:7: Be still before the Lord and... Do what? Somebody help me: Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him. You don't even like waiting for me to say something do you? You're like, "What's taking so long?" We are such an impatient society! My prayer is, "God, give me patience and give it to me now!" How many of you are like that? You know, we don't want to wait for anything. Be still, open up God's Word and wait for Him. People say all of the time, "How do I hear from God? I don't know what God's saying!" Wait for Him! Stop and wait. My friend Andy Stanley, he's a pastor at North Point Church based out of Atlanta. We do one day leadership events together in different cities for pastors. I always interview him and he interviews me. I asked him one time, "Andy, how do you stay really close to God?" And I love what he said, he said, "I wake up early every day so I don't have to worry about the time. And I just open up God's Word and I start to read His Word and I wait for something to speak to me. And then when it speaks to me I just stop and I meditate on what God said." He said, "Sometimes it might be one verse, I just read one verse and then I'm done and that's it. Sometimes it's a chapter, sometimes it might be five chapters, but I just keep reading and I wait until God speaks to me and then I just let His Word be planted deep within my soul." I love that! Wait on God, seek Him, be still; slow it down and be still. God will take care of the rest of the world while you take five minutes to seek Him. Be still and wait on God. Scripture says this in Psalm 130:5-6, the Psalmist says: I wait for the Lord.. And I love this, what is it that waits? Say it with me, he says: I wait for the Lord, my soul waits for the Lord, and in His Word, in His living Word, I put my hope, I put it there. Say it again with me, my what? My soul waits for the Lord, my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning. My soul waits for the Lord, my soul waits for the Lord. How does a watchmen watch for the morning? Well, in the Old Testament the watchmen would stand on the wall and they would watch for approaching enemies and they would know when the morning comes there shift is over and they can see and they don't have to watch anymore. And they know every day the sun is going to come up, because since the beginning of time the sun comes up and we wait for the God, but the same divine expectation that just as the sun is going to come up, God is going to show up. Just as the sun is going to come up, God is going to show up. We wait on God with that same kind of expectation. Just as the sun is going to come up our God is going to show up. And we just wait for the Lord, as the watchmen waits for the morning. Side story...when I was in seminary, I had a female preaching professor who always said, "Craig, don't leave out the women!" Like, "Wait, if the Bible says brothers, you just say brothers and sisters, and make sure you include the women!" And she'd drill that. I'd always forget, I'd be preaching and she'd like stop me, "Don't forget the women!" And so, I was actually preaching on that text in front of her in seminary and I got to watchmen and I realized I was leaving out the women and so I said, "The watchmen watch women!" And then I started laughing because I thought that was really, really funny! I don't know if there's such thing as watchwomen or not, but I promise you if there are watchwomen, the watchmen will watch the women! And all of the men said, "Amen!" And now you know why I got a bad grade in preaching from my female professor! So, like the watchmen wait for the morning so my soul waits for God. Be still oh my soul before the Lord, wait patiently for Him. Our souls are all riled up; be still before God, be still before Him, my soul waits patiently for Him. Be still, wait for the Lord. And the third thing is, I want to encourage you that as you're waiting and being still: 3. Just take a moment and reflect on God's goodness. Reflect on His goodness. Here's the thing, so often if we're being still, if we're taking a moment, we're so tempted to think about all that has to be done. I want you to take a moment and think about all that God has already done. Don't just think about what has to be done, think about what God has already done. Internalize His goodness. Scripture says in Psalm 116:7-9, the Psalmist says: Be at rest once more, O my soul... Why? ...for the Lord has been good to you. Reflect on what He's done; reflect on His goodness, reflect on His grace, reflect on His answered prayers, reflect on how He's changed lives. Verse eight says: For you, O Lord, have delivered my... What? He says: have delivered my soul from death... I love this: eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling... What has the Lord God done? He has delivered my soul from death: eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living. Be at rest, once my soul, all again, once my soul. Remember what the Lord has done. In this season of busyness for me I still my soul, I wait for the Lord; I purposely and intentionally stop and quiet my soul, sit down and be still. I wait for the Lord and I reflect on what He has done. I think about the names of God and His provision and His goodness. I quote to myself Scripture, whatever Scripture you know just quote it to yourself, let it live within you. I remember all the prayers that God has answered throughout life, I think about His faithfulness. I remember that He's delivered my soul from death. If you are a follower of Jesus you need to understand that He has forgiven you, that you are a new creation in Christ, that the old is gone and the new has come and that should bring rest to your soul, that He will not hold your sins against you, but they forever are cast into the sea of forgetfulness. He will not hold your sins against you, that should calm your soul. You reflect on who He is, that our Lord God is the Alpha and the Omega, He is the Beginning and the End, He is the First and the Last, He is the One who was and is and is to come. We follow Jesus who is the Lamb of God and He is the Lion of Judah. He is the soon returning, conquering King of kings and Lord of lords. We serve a God who is so big that He's working in all things to bring about good for you, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. He says that you will be blessed coming in and blessed going out. He is the one that declares: For I have plans for you, plans to prosper you and bless you; not to harm you but to give you a hope and a future. And when you meditate on Him and you're worried about tomorrow, suddenly you realize He's already in tomorrow. And because He was faithful yesterday, you know He will be faithful tomorrow and your soul can be at rest as you reflect on God. I want you to know God does not want us to live all riled up on the inside. And by the help and the power and the presence of God, I now know that you can live a productive and fruitful and yes, even busy life, and yet be calm in your soul, healthy in your soul, healed in your soul, whole in your soul. Living out of your soul the fruits of the Spirit; Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Because we're not driven by the desires and needs and flesh of our body, but our soul is full of the goodness of God. You are not a body with a soul; you are a soul with a body, that's who you are. I believe our spiritual enemy, Satan, if he can't make us bad, he's going to make us busy. Some of our souls are just busy. Be at rest, be at rest. Be at rest oh my soul, be still before the Lord, wait patiently for Him, reflect on His goodness, be still oh my soul and know that He is God. What I want to do in the next few moments is just give you a moment to be still, because I know in this culture of second-hand toxic busyness, many of us don't even know how to do so. And what I want you to do is just calm your soul, talk to God, and listen to God. The only place you'll find rest is in God alone. So, take a moment and just be still and know that He is God. Father, I know that so many of us are weary, overwhelmed, wound up in our souls. And God, we sit before you in a moment of humility reminding ourselves that you are God and we are not and we trust you. At all of our churches today as you're praying, without looking around I want you just to be real honest and if you would realize that your soul is restless, you're ever searching but never finding, there's a rare supernatural and lasting peace, you find it difficult to shut down, it's always revved up. And you want to make a commitment to really seek God, to know Him. You want to live with a rest in your soul. It is possible, it is what God wants, He wants to give you rest. You'll only find it in Him alone. At all of our churches you'd say, "I am, I'm restless, I'm often overwhelmed, I'm wound up and I want to find rest, I want to find true rest in God." Would you lift up your hands right now? All of our different churches, I'm so thankful for so many. God I do, I pray that we would enter into a spiritual rest on this earth that is beyond what we've ever known before. God, that there is a peace that goes beyond our human ability to understand that guards our hearts and our minds and our souls in Christ Jesus. And God, I pray that as a church we would be people who would seek You first, that we would have the discipline to still ourselves before You, to reflect on your goodness, to open up your Words and to wait. To know God that just like the sun comes up that you will show up. God, to seek You and to wait for You. And God, I pray that as we wait for You that our souls would find rest in You. And when our souls are rested in You, then we can serve You and do what You call us to do. God, I speak rest today, I ask for healing today. God I ask for rest in our souls because of Your goodness, help us to find rest oh God. As you keep praying today at all of our different churches, I want you to listen really carefully, because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are so many of you, that you are like on this eternal quest for that something, that thing that's going to make your life feel more full and not so empty. And you've tried so much, you've tried this person or that person, this job or that job, buying this thing or that thing, going to this place or that place, changing where you live and you've tried and you've tried and you're still empty. And you wonder, "Why am I so empty?" And the reason is because you're trying to fill your life with something that will never satisfy. The only one who will satisfy is God alone through Jesus Christ. Why are we empty? We are empty because we are sinners and our sin has separated us from a Holy God. And God in His goodness sent His Son Jesus, who was without sin to die in our place so that we could be forgiven of our sins. Jesus said, 'Come to me and you will find rest for your souls. Call on me and you will find salvation.' We can never be full with anything in this world, we are only filled by the goodness of God, how do we find that? Well, we don't find it we actually lose our lives. If you want to lose your life, that's the only way, Scripture says, that you can find it. What does that mean? Today I want to encourage you to lose your life in God, to give it to Him so you can find His life in you. To call on Jesus, He will hear your prayer, He will forgive your sins, and He will make you new and that's why you're here. You don't have rest in your souls; find rest in God alone through His Son Jesus. All of our churches, those of you who would say, "That's me, I want to know Him, I want to lose my life in Him so I can find His life in me. Jesus, I turn from my sins and I turn to you. Take my life, all of it, I give it to you." If that's your prayer today at all of our churches, would you lift your hands high right now? Just lift them up all over the place and say, "Yes, that's my prayer!" Right back here, right up here close, here in this middle section, God bless you guys. Way back over here as well, I just want to look at you and acknowledge you. Right up here, both of you right here, bless you sweet heart, God bless you. Way back over here as well, man, praise God for what He's doing! Others of you today, way back over here in this section. Church Online, you all click right below me, others of you today, "I want to lose my life in Him, I want to know Him, I need salvation through Christ!" Would you all just pray aloud together? Pray Heavenly Father, save me from my sins, make me new. I believe Jesus died for me so I could live for You. Today I lose my life in You, so I can find Your life in me. Help me to find your rest to live for Your purposes, to love with Your goodness. Thank you for new life, I give you mine. In Jesus' name I pray! LifeChurch, would somebody cheer, would somebody worship God, would somebody thank God for His goodness and new life in Christ!

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Duration: 36 minutes and 25 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: lifechurchopen on Apr 24, 2012

Soul Detox - Week 1 - Craig Groeschel -

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