Well, now let’s talk about some “take home” stuff here at Ed Young Ministries. There are two quick things I want to talk to you about. Here’s what we can do today to begin to walk in purity. Number one — “mobil-eyes”. Some of us have heat seeking missiles in our eyes. We are just looking for the next voluptuous babe, the next hard body, and we just lock on. We are going to see people who are attractive. We are going to be drawn to certain people. That’s part of life. Our eyes should be mobile, though. We should not linger on a person. We can look. We can go, “Wow.” But, we should not linger. The lingering leads to lust. Ed Young Blog said that it segues from that attraction into the illicit action.
What we need to do what Job did in Job 31:1. Check him out: “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” Maybe the women here could say, “I made a covenant with my eyes. I’m making a covenant now, God, with my eyes, not to look lustfully at a guy.”
Starve What You Want To Kill
That we need to starve, friends, what we want to kill and feed what we want to build. Do you really want to walk in purity? I mean, do you really want the best? If you don’t, then just drown me out. But if you do, starve it. Starve what you want to kill. Make the choice. Feed what you want to build. Maybe you’re saying, “Man, how do I do that?”
Let’s just talk for a second. Take, for instance, television. Why do you have the movie channels?
Some argue, “Well, man, there are some good movies on there, you know?”
I know. But, you are going to expose yourself not only to good movies, but also to the garbage that is on there. That can feed lust for months and years and lead you down this path? I’m not telling you to do this, but if you are serious about starving what you want to kill, why don’t you cancel the movie channels?
They never really give to people in need, to the poor, to the downtrodden, even to the local church. It has been amazing. I didn’t say all.
Number one: I laugh because it makes me feel good. You’re saying, “A reason why you laugh because it makes you feel good?” Yes. It sounds shallow and superficial, I know, to a lot of people here. But there is a real depth to it as I unpack it.
What happens when we laugh? New research says that our T-cells are all ramped up and our endorphins really explode and our entire muscular system relaxes. That’s what happens. That’s the health benefits, they say, of laughter. I want to laugh at the new research, because the Bible tells me in Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine.”
Laughter is God’s tranquilizer. Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 4 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: …a time to laugh.”
One of the things that kept me from going into the ministry for a while was the fact that so many pastors were so serious and boring and monotonous. I thought to myself, “I don’t want any of that.” As I read God’s word, as I began to pray, I discovered that God is our creative creator. Ed Young Ministries states that God wants us to laugh. God being God could have decided that the prevailing attitude of his children could be one of boredom and solemn-ness and seriousness. But God didn’t say that. Throughout his word God has told us that the earmark of a Christian, the sign that we know Jesus Christ, is outrageous, contagious joy. And a by product of joy is what? Laughter. So it’s good to laugh.
I experience life in the raw every day being in the ministry. I deal with some tough stuff in people’s lives and I need to laugh. I need to laugh and to feel good. And that’s a lot of fun. We have a fun time laughing around our staff.
Jesus rose again. Have you appropriated that into your life? That is God’s vision, a trust pact with His Son.
Yesterday, I was in the office studying. Believe it or not, I was praying. Anytime you speak to a few thousand people, you just pray a lot. It just happens. Ed does. I do. Anybody who speaks up here, we pray. But I did something different that I normally don’t do. I was reading this passage about Joshua and, in my office, I lay on the floor face down to pray to God. I can’t tell you how amazing it was to have the perspective of my face down before God. Because as I lay there, you know, it’s hard to be proud when you are lying on the floor. It’s hard for pride to overtake you when you are lying before God. That is why most of us, when we talk to God, love to stand or sit. Very few of us ever lie down because it is a pride issue. I’m not saying that, every time you pray, you have to throw yourself on the floor. But I am telling you, when you are dealing with a serious crisis in your life, when you are asking God to bless you in some way, I would recommend that you recognize who you are talking to and throw yourself on the floor and pray face down.
He will nod to St. Peter, St. Peter will jump out of the garbage truck, he will take whatever you have placed in the trash can and he will dump it. Jesus will kind of give you the thumb’s up sign and roar away. And you say to yourself, “That’s it. I’m done with that.” No, you aren’t done. You have to take the trash out regularly. We take the trash out every Tuesday and every Friday. You do have to keep on doing it, God is not going to do this for you. God is not going to say, “OK, get up and walk to the trash can, take pride and anger and throw it in and take it out to the curb.” We pray and ask God to help us cooperate with Him promptings.
But we have to move our muscles to deal with these issues. Number four. Associate with people who help you, not hinder you. One of the most amazing things in life is to look back and to see children, junior high students, high school students, college students, graduate students, those who have PhDs and everything else, those who are middle age and old age, they always, always, always are like the people that they associate with, their friends. And too many of us in this room are hanging out with people who keep dragging us down. We hang out with people who have the same defects we do and they cause us to stumble, they cause us to trip, they cause us to be on the side of the road in a ditch amongst all that wreckage. The Bible says in Proverbs 27:17, “People learn from one another, just as iron sharpens iron.” That is why we have the church.
So my taking out the trash is really dangerous.
Mentally, now, when you deal with a character defect, when you deal with a sin, think about a trash can. Let’s look in this trash can here. Here, in this particular trash can, are some signs listing some of the problems you may be dealing with, overeating, the need to control, fear, gambling, overspending, anger, perfectionism, overworking, etc. Whatever you are dealing with, those seven deadly sins or one of these specific things, you think about the trash can. Think that you are having a problem with, I want to release this defect to God.
Then mentally take it and put it in the trash can. Now here is the tough part. You have got to take the trash out to the street. The evil one, Satan, the father of lies, who is like a prowling Rotweiller, is behind that fence and as you begin to drag that trash out, he will tell you again and again, “Don’t do it. Man, you don’t have to take the trash out. Everything will be OK. You have enough willpower to take care of this problem.” And if you don’t take the trash out, what is going to happen? It will stink your life up. It will rot you away.
As you take the trash out and evade the evil one, you put it on the street, run back in your house or apartment or condominium or dorm and look outside. Suddenly you should see, in your mind, a giant, white, pristine garbage truck pull up and on the side of the truck will be this legend. God and Son. Dealing With Trash in Believer’s Lives For The Last 2000 Years. And then you will see Jesus Christ driving this machine.
Needless to say he was inebriated, intoxicated. Not only did he steal the guy’s bottle of rum, he also stole the guy’s kayak. He began to try to paddle this kayak away from this island, out in the middle of the ocean, fell out of the kayak, crawled back onto the kayak and began to paddle toward land. Now, on a motorized craft, it’s an hour trip from where we were to the mainland. By kayak, it’s seven hours.
I thought about poor Gabriel, drunk in the high seas, subject to sharks and even – there are pirates in this area of the world. I thought, “What happened to Gabriel? Did he lose it? Yes, he did. I can’t believe he did this. This guy is nuts!”
And then throughout our trip, because I went with a couple of friends here at church, we would always say, when something crazy would happen, we’d say, “Hey, man, have you gone Gabriel? Have you gone Gabriel?”
And that’s the question I want to ask you today. Have you gone Gabriel? I know I have before. I have jumped in the kayak, done the pushback and I have become intoxicated with my own independence, inebriated with rebellion and I paddled away from where I should be. I paddled away, and so have you, from authority. Have you gone Gabriel? Yes, you have.
Well, the mantra these days goes something like this: “I want to call my own shots. I want to run the show. I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do. It’s all about me. Who gives a flying flip about you? I’ve got to do what makes me feel good, what makes me look good. I am my boss. I am my own man. I am my own woman. I’m it.”
What does he do? I would probably say, “Hey, brothers. In your face. Look at me up here. I’m the man, now. I told you you’d bow down to me. That is for you. Too bad. I’m going to charge you five times what I’m charging everyone else.” Is that what Joseph said? Joseph didn’t say a word.
But, the Bible says he disguised himself and he began to talk to his brothers through an interpreter. You see, Joseph spoke Hebrew, but also he spoke the Egyptian dialect. So, he used an interpreter. He was clean-shaven; he looked different. And, in fact, the Bible says he disguised himself. He was a Biblical Artemus Gordon. You remember Wild, Wild West? The master of disguises, Artemus Gordon. Well, that’s the way Joseph was here.
So here’s what he tells his brothers. He replays the same scenario that occurred in his life twenty-five years ago. Check this out. Look at verse 9. See, this is what he tells them through an interpreter. “You are spies. You’ve come to see where our land is unprotected.” You remember 25 years ago? Here’s Joseph coming to his brothers, to check on his brothers, to spy on his brothers for his father.
Look at verse 14. He says, “I’m going to test you.” Now skip down to verse 18. He puts them in custody for three days, and I believe, now, they’re starting to hear the “beep, beep, beep” alarm clock. Don’t you think so? I think their consciences are beginning to be a little bit activated, now. Verse 18, “On the third day, Joseph said to them, ‘Do this and you will live, for I fear God’”~see, Joseph is still talking about God.
He’s got to be number one. For our spouse, number two. And for our kids, number three. But if we’re blowing and going and over stimulated and overcommitted and overdone and over the top, how can we study our kids? And how can we know how to see the bend in the bow?
Parents, lets don’t feed our kids this junk—caramel and cheese and buttered popcorn. Let’s don’t do that. Let’s don’t limit ourselves in this popcorn tin. Let’s do it God’s way. It’s amazing what will happen in our families when we use God’s recipe, because that is when our kids will truly discover phenomenal trajectory.
The Bible says when Christ comes back, many who have made bad decisions on this earth will run to the mountains and they will want the mountains to fall on them because they see what’s going to happen to them. It’s God’s desire that we all spend eternity with Him. Don’t ever say, “How can a good and holy, righteous God send someone to hell? If God’s going to send someone to hell, I don’t want any part of that”. How many times have you heard that?
Let me settle that issue right now. Take your Bibles and turn to 2 Peter 3:9. God doesn’t send anyone to hell. We have freedom of choice. We have an option and I want to place the responsibility of this message squarely on your lap today and let you deal with it. 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise as some understand slowness.
He is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone (not some) to come to repentance”. 1 Timothy 2: 4, “God our Savior wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth”. John 3:16, a verse we’ll study next week, “God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not what? perish”.
If you know me pretty well, you will realize right up front that I am not the handyman type. I am not the kind of guy that you will see perusing the aisles of Home Depot or watching “This Old House.” You are more likely to see me at Bass Pro Shop looking around or watching “Fly-Fishing the World.” However, several days ago, I stepped out of my comfort zone into my backyard. If you have seen my backyard, you will know what I am talking about. I decided to build a path. We had some pavestone left over from a project, and I picked up those heavy pavestones and tried to place and space them strategically so people could walk on the stones. After I finished, I tested this whole path thing and had to tweak it a little bit. It kind of fired me up. I felt good. I felt like I had accomplished something.
While I was doing that, I began to think about stones and steps and paths and all that. I thought about Fellowship, because over the last ten years, God has placed and spaced strategically the steps of Fellowship. We have stepped in sync with Him. Psalm 37:23, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord and he delights in His way. When he falls he shall not be hurled headlong because the Lord is the one who holds his hand.”
We serve an awesome God, a path paving God. Just take a step and think of what the Lord has done over the last several years. Thousands upon thousands of men and women anchored into corporate worship.
Fellowship Church Grapevine – Many others involved in small group bible studies, connection classes. People hooked into age-appropriate teaching for children, students, singles. When I was trying to come up with a title for this talk, I was thinking about all this stuff: 20-20 vision, or this or that, and then it hit me. God has done it all; it has been about a decade, so why not “A God-Made Decade.”
El Shaddai is another name of God. Elohim and El Shaddai. “El” means great or mighty. “Shaddai” means to pour forth. The picture behind this name of God, El Shaddai, is the picture of a nursing mother. If you talk to nursing mother’s they’ll tell you a phenomenon takes place. They’ll say their milk comes in before the baby is actually hungry. Before the baby actually realizes that they need milk. The Mom’s milk comes in. El Shaddai, God Almighty, the great one who pours forth. God’s milk comes in before we even realize our need. God’s milk comes in before I even know the situation that I’m gonna deal with and I need to take to him. That is the sovereignty of God. The omniscience of God. So meet El Shaddai.
Also wanna meet, I want you to meet Adhonai. Adhonai. This word Adhonai has to do with dominion. Its much easier for us to call God El Shaddai to pour forth than it is to call him Adhonai, dominion. The implications of, of this name, Adhonai, has to do with, with, ugh, dominion. It has to do with stewardship; it has to do with management. In other words, this name carries forth with it that God owns it all, thus I’m not an owner. I am a manager. Now let that settle in. I’m not an owner; I’m a manager. Some of you walked in here today thinking you have stuff. You don’t have jack! You don’t own anything. I’ve done a lot of funerals and I’ve never seen a U-Haul trailer behind a hearse. It’s not gonna happen. (audience laughter) When you clock out, it’s just you, baby. Ed Young Sermons yeah, but how about this or that? You don’t have a thing. Now here’s what’s so funny. People spend all this time trying to stack up all the stuff. And that’s cool if you have stuff, but, but what’s the meaning of life? To do deals and die? Is that it? I recreate, propriate, and then clock out? That’s, that’s the meaning of life?
Maybe you would like to show your children that materialism is a joke, a wasted effort, and that pursuing materialism puts one on treadmill.