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Perspective - Week 4

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Well, welcome today to all of our LifeChurches, all of our Network Churches all over the world, and those of you who are joining us on Church Online. Today we are wrapping up our series called Perspective on the Book of Philippians, and the title of today's message is, A Different Perspective on Worry. In fact, could I get participation from all of you at all of our different churches? How many of you often worry? Would you be honest and raise your hands up in the air, raise them up. How many of you didn't raise your hands because you were worried about what somebody would think? You didn't raise your hands because you were worried? In my book Soul Detox, I talked about this principle which I liked a lot and that is: Whatever you fear the most reveals what you value the most. What you fear the most reveals what you value the most. In other words, if you're worried about your kid's safety, it's because you value your kids. If you're worried about not getting married one day, it's because you actually value relationships and marriage. What you fear the most reveals what you value the most. The second thing though is: What you fear the most reveals where you trust God the least. And I think that's the really important part about this, what you fear the most, what you worry about the most, it's really a window into a spiritual issue. And that is, what you worry the most about is really where you trust God the least. In fact, someone defined worry this way, I like it; they defined worry as the sin of distrusting the promises and power of God. Worry is the sin of distrusting the promises and the power of God. And let's be honest, all of us at one point or another, we worry. Some worry about the economy; some worry about their finances; some worry about the stability of their jobs; some are consumed with worry about not getting left behind; I want to keep up with others. Some worry about their health; some worry about relationships; most people with kids at one time or another they worry about their own children, and the list goes on and on and on. In fact, I used to kind of be a chronic worrier and I really took on my heart to make this a prayerful journey to ask God to help me overcome the sin of worry. And I made so much progress, I mean I'm talking miles and miles of progress, to the point where I would almost say, "Hey, I don't worry about hardly anything!" And then I woke up and I had two teenage girls driving and all of a sudden man, I found my prayer life increasing! You know like, 11:30 at night, they're just at a friend's but I'm waiting for them to come home and I'm praying and praying harder and praying harder! "Well, where are they!" And all of a sudden I found myself worrying again! Some people I know, even when there's nothing to worry about they worry that there's nothing to worry about! It's like, if there's nothing going wrong now, there must be one day! What I want to do today is show from the Book of Philippians this key thought if you're taking notes that: Worry is a matter of perspective. Worry is really a matter of perspective. For example, I live in Oklahoma where tornadoes are rather common, so when there's a tornado coming we kind of know what to do. We don't get real freaked out about it, we just know the drill and it's not a worry. But I don't know a lot about earthquakes, at least for a while I didn't, and so earthquakes worried me. In fact, I went to visit a friend in California who knew, his name is Dietmar. Dietmar knew I was afraid of earthquakes, and so we were actually stuck on the highway underneath an overpass in traffic and we weren't moving. We were just stuck there under this huge massive concrete overpass. And he said, "Did you know they're predicting an earthquake today?" I was like, "I'm not stupid, they don't predict earthquakes!" He goes, "Oh no, they used to not be able to, but with this new seismographic measure...they can actually predict with somewhat accuracy." And I'm like, "He's pulling my leg, I know he is!" The next thing you know I'm praying to God for safety because we're stuck under this thing and I was scared to death! I'm like, "Can they predict earthquakes?" And of course he was messing with me, so when he came to visit me in Oklahoma, I found out he was equally afraid of tornadoes! And it was a beautiful day outside and I looked outside and I go, "Oh man, whenever it looks like this there's a tornado coming every time!" He's like, "No, no, no!" So we when inside to watch the football game and God is so good, I'm telling you, He's so good! There was a little picture of our state of Oklahoma and up in the Panhandle, that's up in the corner, that's like way, way from us, there was a tornado warning. And I looked at that and I said, "Oh no! When it starts there it gets to us in 30 minutes or less!" And he's like, "Really?" And now he's panicking! And we had a basement at the time and I said, "Quick! Get in our basement! I'm going to go get the supplies, because we may have to live down there for a while!" And I went down there and he had an old mattress and was covering his head in my basement! And I was like God is so good, you know! Worry is just a matter of perspective. Now in Oklahoma we also have earthquakes, and so I don't know what's coming next; frogs, locusts, you know, whatever! But what we worry about really is a matter of perspective and if there's anyone that had a reason to worry it was the Apostle Paul as he was penning, writing the fourth chapter of Philippians. If you've missed the previous weeks, Paul was actually in prison for preaching the Gospel. But he wasn't just in prison, he was in house arrest chained 24-hours a day to Roman soldiers and he was waiting what could be the sentence that would condemn him to death. And so at any moment he could find out, they're going to behead you, your time is up; he wanted to take the Gospel forward, but he was awaiting what could be the worst news of his life. If anyone could have worried it would have been Paul. But Paul had a different perspective on God than a lot of other people did. He was the one who said: Nothing can separate you from the love of God; Nothing. Shall trouble? No: Hardship? No: Persecution? No: Famine? No: Nakedness? No: Peril? No: Sword? No; nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing can separate you from God, because He had a different perspective. He had seen the faithfulness of God through more life tragedies than you could ever imagine. He had seen God be faithful to him when he was shipwrecked and should have died. He had seen the faithfulness of God when he had been bitten again and again by poisonous snakes. He had seen the faithfulness of God when he was persecuted and whipped and left for dead; they thought he was going to die in a ditch, and he'd seen the faithfulness of God. He had seen the faithfulness of God when they stoned him, when they imprisoned him again and again and again, he saw the faithfulness of God and because of what he experienced; he said, 'Hey, you really don't have to worry'. And so, from a Roman prison he writes in verse four and five of Philippians four: Rejoice... And he said this word again and again and again: Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice; I'll say it to you again; rejoice. And this time he says something, and this will be a key phrase for us today, he says: Rejoice... In what everybody, he said: Rejoice in the Lord... Now, I don't want to put God in a box okay, but this is the best picture I have to help walk us through this message. Let's say it again, he said: Rejoice in the... What? Rejoice in the Lord... He says: ...I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all... Because who is near? He said because: The Lord is near. When you see the Lord as Paul has, he's going to show you that you don't have to worry, that you don't have to worry. So many of us think worry is just a way of life. Christians, we soften the word worry, we baptize it; we say, "I'm not worried, I'm just concerned!" You don't have to be worried when you know the Lord the way he knew the Lord. And he's going to teach us two things. If you're taking notes the first is this: 1. We don't have to worry about what will happen when we know who is in charge! That's pretty good preaching! Let me say it again: We don't have to worry about what will happen when we know who is in charge. In other words, we don't have to worry about the how when we have the who, right? We don't have to worry about the how when we have the who. If we have a who that knows...I'm starting to sound like a Dr. Seuss show, but work with me! We don't have to worry about the how when we have the who. For example, Pastor Jerry has been with me for about 15 years on our staff as a directional leader. He used to actually be a District Manager and more for a big group known as Target. And he came on staff with us, so he took a massive salary cut. And so he had to move out of his nice house into a house that Pastor Sam, you know Shrek, the donkey, Pastor Sam, Pastor Brian Bruss, who has been with me for 16 years, and Pastor Jerry, we all built by hand. Now, if you notice, we're all pastors okay. I didn't say builder Jerry, or builder Sam. And so, we had never built a house before. In fact, I had never even like built like a Lego set before, but we built a 1,000 square foot metal building from the ground up and we didn't know what we were doing. So when it came time to turn the electrical switch on, we all tried to assess who should take this risk and there was no question, I wasn't going to do it because I was the Senior Pastor, and Jerry was pretty important, and Pastor Sam had a big role, and so Pastor Brian Bruss who is now a Campus Pastor, we felt like he was the one that we could afford to lose! And so, we all prayed as Brian bravely took a broomstick handle and flipped the switch up and we like rejoiced and worshipped God that we're all still here to tell about this years later! But we didn't know what we were doing! Well years later, we actually built another house with Pastor Kevin, who actually used to be an architect and a builder. Well, with Kevin on this team we had the who that knew, so we didn't have to worry about the how because we had the who that knew! We're like, "Hey, wire this!" Kevin could have said, "Hey, flip the electrical switch with your tongue!" I'm like, "Is that safe?" If he said, "Yes!" I'd be like, "Arf!" You know, because we had the who that knew okay! You don't have to worry about the how if you have the who. I know that's cheesy, but I do this every week and I like to entertain myself...when we do! Let's look at it from a Scriptural standpoint. Verse six and seven; here's the way Paul said it a million times better. He says this: You don't have to worry about what will happen when you know who is in charge. Therefore, don't be anxious about what? Paul said: Don't be anxious about... Let me say that again: Don't be anxious about anything, but in... How much? He said: ...but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Now, let's pause here for a minute. Don't be anxious about a thang, nothing, but in how much? He said: ...but in everything. What does everything include? Everything, God said everything, but in everything, in everything; even something you would consider small, present your request to God... And here's the amazing promise: ...and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Don't be anxious about anything. Some of you, that's all you need, that's why God brought you here today because you're just a wound up ball of worry! And God's going to say to you, you don't have to worry about the how when you've got the who; you've got God. Don't be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer, don't worry about anything, pray about everything. So, what we're going to learn to do is we're going to learn to trust in the Lord. If you're worried about your finances, we just do what God tells us to do; we trust God with the tithe, we return it to Him, we live beneath our mean. We're worried about the economy; we take our finances and we say, "I trust my money to the Lord," and we give it to Him. The problem for me is for years I would give it to Him I'd go okay, "God I trust you with this, okay God, in Jesus' name, I pray that you would do something and it is taking you a long time! God, I'm taking it back!" Okay, don't do that! Pray about everything. You're worried about your finances, you're worried about your relationships; "Oh God, I don't know what I'm going to do, I'm worried about my kids, I'm worried about my spouse, I'm worried about..." you know, "It's Christmas and we've got to go to the psycho relatives' house!" No, give your psycho relatives to the Lord! Don't take them back, give them to the Lord! You're worried about your job, "Oh God, what if I lose my job, what if I lose my job?" Who is the creator of jobs? Who is your provider? I give this to the Lord. You're worried about your health, you know, "Oh my gosh!" you're worried about the health of someone you love, "Oh God, oh God, oh God!" You trust that person; you trust them to the Lord. You pray about everything and when you give it to Him you don't worry. Why, because He's got it. If you want to worry you've got to take it back from God and say, "God, I don't trust you, you can't handle it, I take this back from you." Some of you, you need to make you a God box and just take your worries and give it to God; don't worry about anything, pray about everything. Now, that doesn't mean that you don't do anything, it doesn't mean that. If you can do something about it, you do something about it. I like to say it this way, I like to say: "I will do what I can do and trust God to do what I cannot do." If I can do something about it, I'm going to do something about it. If I can't do something about it I'm not going to worry about it. I'm going to do what I can do and trust God to do what I cannot do. And so, when there's something you cannot do you don't worry about it, you give it to the Lord. And so, let me just give you a little pop quiz. I'm going to ask you if you can do something about some different things and you tell me what you can do. If you can't do it, who are we going to give it to? We're going to give it to the...come on work with me; we're going to give it to the Lord. Okay so, can you heal your sick loved ones? Yes or no, can you heal your sick loved ones? The answer So what do you do with it? You give them to the Lord. Okay, can you fix your struggling marriage? Can you change your spouse? Okay, no. Ladies, let me say it again; okay let me just say it again just to the ladies, I need to hear your voices! Ladies, can you change your husband? No, you think you can, you can't; so what do you do? You trust your spouse to the Lord. Can you protect your kids from all of the dangers in the world, can you do that? The answer! So, what do you do with your children? You do what you can do, you do what you can do; but you trust God to do what you cannot do. Can you ensure that you're never going to get laid off and never have a financial hiccup? Can you do that? The answer is no! So what do you do? You do what you do. You live beneath your means, you honor God with the tithe, and then you take what you cannot do and you trust it to God. You do what you can do. Can you control your future? The answer is, can you control your future? Yes or no, the answer is no. Does God control the future? Yes He does. So you take your future and you give it to God. Can you change anything by worrying? Can God change anything by His power? Yes. So if there's something that you're worried about you say, "Hey, I'm going to not worry about anything, but in everything I'm going to present my request to the Lord, and here's the deal, then there's this peace that goes beyond our human ability to understand that will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus when we give it to the Lord. You don't have to worry about what will happen when you know who is in charge. And so, it's really a matter of perspective. Now if you're like me, I tend to go immediately to the worst case scenario. In fact, I was writing this message in an airport and on a plane when we were at another, we were in Albany, our Albany, New York campus; which I happened to have one of the greatest vision night experiences with these massively, on-fire group of people in Albany, New York; 75% of them who had come to Christ in the last year, massive, awesome, I think somebody should give some praise to God for that! And we had been on the road and our plane from New York to Memphis and then to home was delayed and we only had a 50-minute connection. Well our plane ended up being delayed an hour and a half and I was freaking out worried and I was trying to get another flight and all of this kind of stuff. And Amy was like, "Hey don't worry, God's got this!" I'm like, "Hey, don't preach my sermon to me now, I'm freaking out, okay!" And I mean, here in the middle of me doing this thing, I couldn't even live it! And she said, "God will take care of it, God will take care of it!" So we left an hour and a half late and the next flight was on time with a 50-minute connection time. And when we landed we got there and they just hadn't taken off, we walked in right as they shut the door and she was like, "See, God answered my prayer!" And then my kids said, "Yea, God answered our prayers!" I was like, "Shut up all you preachers!" Give it's a matter of perspective! We think worst case scenario, and here my family was thinking best case scenario. And this is what Paul; he basically says that, he says in verse eight and nine: Finally brothers... He says: ...whatever is true and noble and right and pure and lovely and admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy... What does he say to do? Say it aloud, he says: ...think about such things. Think about those things. Don't think, "Hey, if anything's bad and worse and miserable," he didn't say to think about that! He says that it's a matter of perspective, think about these good things, he says: ...Whatever you've learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it in to practice. And the God of peace... Where will He be? The Lord of peace: ...will be with you. You don't have to worry about what's going to happen when you know who is in charge. You give it to the Lord and you let His peace guard your heart, your mind, your soul in Christ Jesus. There's another thing that a lot of people worry about today. A lot of us are really worried about what we have, where we are in life; our status. You know, you can be content with your home until you go and visit show homes right? And then you come back to your little pathetic shack and you're like, what happened? You're like, "I'm not satisfied with what I have!" A lot of people today, they're discontented with the way they look, they're discontented with the way they feel, they're discontented with their status in life: "I wish I had a different house!" "I wish I had a different job!" "I wish I had a better marriage!" "I wish my kids were doing something different!" "I wish I wasn't so busy all of the time!" And all of the sudden we become incredibly dissatisfied with what we have, with where we are in life; I don't like what I have. And Paul's going to say: 2. You don't have to worry; you don't have to worry about what you have when you know who truly satisfies. You just, hey, we don't have to worry about what we have when you know who really satisfies. And then he's going to say basically, 'I'm going to let you in on one of the greatest secrets in the history of the world. I'm going to give you one of the greatest spiritual secrets in the world, and here's what he says: I rejoice greatly... What? Say it with me, he says: I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last... He says to the Philippians...'ve renewed your concern for me. And what he was doing was thanking them for a gift that they had sent him; a financial gift through a guy named Epaphroditus, who risked his life to get this gift to the Apostle Paul. And he's massively moved, they hurt for him, they're concerned for him, they're praying for him, they love him. He says: 'Hey, I rejoice in that, I rejoice in God's goodness.' He said: 'Indeed you have been concerned, but you haven't had an opportunity to show it.' And he says in verse 11: I'm not saying this because I'm in need... Okay, he's in prison, but from his prospective, he's not in need. He says: I have learned to be content... This was something that God taught him. We're not naturally content. We're naturally discontented because of our sinful nature. He says: Because of God's goodness, I've learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Everybody say whatever the circumstances, "Whatever the circumstances". I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances; whether good, bad, whether great or horrible; no matter what's going on, he says: ...I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty... He says: I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want... And then what does he say? Here's the secret, what you need to know. No matter where I am, no matter what's going on, no matter what I have or what I don't have, I don't have to worry, why? He says because: I can do... Everybody say it aloud, because I can do how much? I can do some things? No, he says I can do what? I can do: ...everything... Through my own strength? He says no through whom? Through: ...Christ the Lord who gives me strength. I can do everything... It doesn't matter what I have or don't have. Because of my perspective, because I've seen His goodness, because I've heard His voice, because I've experienced His presence in the greatest trials, because He has never left me and never forsaken me, because His love is better than life. He says, 'Hey, for me to live is Christ, to die is gain because my life is not mine. I am hidden with God in Christ. When you look at me you don't see me, I want you to see the Lord because I am in the Lord. I don't have to worry because it's not about me and it's not about my job and it's not about my money, and it's not about my relationships and it's not about my health; guess what, because I have given this to the Lord. My health is in Him, my life is in Him, my security is in Him, my relationships are for Him, and His provision is in Him; it's not in my ability to control, I don't have to worry. My life is in the Lord. I can rejoice not in my circumstances, but how do I rejoice? I rejoice in the Lord, I rejoice in the Lord. Whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want, whether having everything just the way I want it or being chained up to a Roman guard, I can rejoice in the Lord, because I know that He is working in all things to bring about good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.' You see, it's a different perspective. I don't have to worry because my life is hidden in Christ Jesus. He will meet all of my needs because He is the Lord of all. And suddenly, when you get to that place, you find it's not about you it's about Him. And let me read some verses to you, Psalm 37:4, I'll need a little bit of help with this. We're told to delight ourselves; no, no, no, does it say to delight yourselves in the new thing you just got, or the new raise, or the fact that you didn't have cancer or that your kid won first place and got a trophy, or your kid won last place and still got a trophy, because that's how they do things nowadays? No, what does it say? He says: Delight yourselves in what? Delight yourself in the Lord and... What will He do? He will what? ...He will give you the desires of your heart. Where do we take refuge? Psalm 11:1 says: Our hiding place, our place of safety, the place that we are secure, where is it? the Lord I take refuge. Psalm 118:8 says that it's better, okay it's better, it's better, everybody remember better? It's better to take refuge where? In the Lord than to trust in what? Than to trust in what we tend to always trust in. Okay, I'll do what I can do, but I'm going to give God what I cannot do to trust in Him. Proverbs 3:5-6, tells us to trust in whom? To trust in the Lord and to lean not on our own understandings but to trust in the Lord and He will make our paths straight. And for those of you that wonder, "Where do I stand with God? Have I been too bad for Him? Could He ever forgive me for everything that I've ever done wrong? Is there any grace for someone who has been as bad as I have been?" Acts 16:31 says to believe in whom? Believe in...the Lord Jesus Christ and what happens? You will be saved. Here, I want you to see this; you will be saved not because of what you've done, but because of where you are, because of the one in whom you've believed because ultimately it's not about us, our money, our relationships. When we are hidden in the Lord, guess what? We don't have to worry. We don't have to worry about the how when we have the who. We don't have to worry about what we have when we know who truly satisfies. And so today, whatever you carried in that is a concern to you, who are we going to give it to? We are going to do what we can do and then we are going to trust God with what we cannot do and we are going to give it to the Lord. We are going to pray about everything and we're going to worry about nothing, because when it's in the Lord that's when the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. If you receive that today would you give a clap offering to our God? Father, today I pray that your Spirit would minister deep healing into worried hearts. God, I know that it's so natural for us to be consumed with all the cares and the worries of this world. And God, today I pray that the presence of Your Spirit and the teaching of Your Word and the goodness God of Your Holy presence would minister to us, set us free, God, and help us to see that we don't have to worry. All of our churches today, as you look at your own life, a lot of you may just acknowledge, "There's a lot going on, a lot I'm concerned about, I'm worried about this, or my kids, or my future, or what I'm going to do, or how we're going to get through it, or can we hang on, can we do this, what are the doctors going to say, there are so many things." And today by faith, you're going to do what God put in front of you that you can do, that you're going to trust God with what you cannot do and you say, "Today, I want to give this worry to God." And I'm going to challenge you to give it to Him and not take it back; to trust Him, to present your request to God and let His peace that goes beyond our ability to understand guard your hearts and your minds. All of our churches today, those of you who would say, "Man, I've got something," or "I've got a lot of things to give to Him," and today by faith, "I want to do that." Would you just lift up your hands right now? All of our different churches, would you just say, "That's me!" Man, there's hands up all over the place! God I do, I pray today and I just hurt with all of those who hurt and God I know there are so many tragedies and so many uncertainties in this world God. We thank you that you are good through and through. We thank you God that even in our pain you're working good. And so, today God I pray would be a life-changing day for so many people who would by faith trust you with all of the things that we cannot control. That God, we would choose not to worry, but to present our requests to you, to hide them in you, to give them to you God and not take them back. And God, no matter what happens, I thank you that we can do all things through your Son who gives us strength, that it's not by our own power, our own ability to understand, but we're going to choose to trust in you God and lean not on our own understanding, but in all of our ways acknowledge you, thanking you, rejoicing in you, that you will make our paths straight. God, we choose to rejoice to you, in the Lord. Again God, we choose to rejoice. And God I thank you today, that there will be spiritual breakthroughs for so many who choose to trust you, to give our burdens to you and God to trust you to work on our behalf. As you keep praying today at all of our different churches there are a lot of you, it's time for you to do something that you've never wholly or completely done before, and that is to give your whole lives to God. And what I'm going to ask you to do today is not something that's really me asking you, but it's something that our Heavenly Father wants. And let me tell you what He wants more than anything else; what He wants is you, what He wants is you. He wants your heart, He wants your life because He made you, He created you and your life should exist for His glory. There's a big problem though and that is we're all sinful human beings. You know you are, you've done things wrong, we're impatient, we're rude, we're angry, we're bitter, we're hateful, we're jealous, we're full of sin. And our sin separates us from God. God though in His mercy, He sent His Son Jesus, His sinless Son who became sin for us on a cross, died and rose again. When we rejoice, we rejoice not in our own religious efforts, but we rejoice in the Lord and what He did for us. We learned last week that the only way we're made right with God is through faith in Christ; that we're saved by grace Paul said in Ephesians through faith, but it's not by works. In fact, all of our churches, many of you at different times in your life you've been worried about where you stand with God. Well guess what? You can settle the issue today; you don't ever have to worry about it again. You're not made right with God by what you do or don't do. You're only made right with God by your faith in God's Son Jesus and you can sense it, that's why you're here today. Today, you're not going to just give your finances or your life or your friends or whatever to God, but you're going to give your whole life to God holding nothing back saying, "I need forgiveness, my life is no longer my own, I give it to you." All of our churches, man, guess what? You know it, that's why you're here! Today is the day of your salvation, the best day of your life, that you're giving your life wholly and completely to God and as you do He'll forgive your sins and He will make you new and He'll fill you with the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead and you will get to do the work of God empowered by His Spirit! All of our churches, you say, "Man that's me, I need Him, I need His grace, I need His forgiveness, today I give my life to Him!" If that's your prayer today, would you lift your hands high right now and just say, "Yes!" today!

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Posted by: lifechurchopen on Jul 2, 2012

Perspective - Week 4 - Craig Groeschel -

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