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Helter-Skelter :: Morning, Noon and Night pt. 1

Helter-Skelter :: Morning, Noon and Night pt. 1

We’re starting up a new series
of messages this weekend. We’d like to do what
we call a series which is a collection of talks. It’s really one sermon broken
up over multiple weeks. And so we invite you back as
we just continue this dialogue. This collection is called
Morning, Noon, and Night. And if you have a copy
of the scriptures, make your way to
Luke chapter 10. That’s where we’re going to be. We’re talking in this
series about the rhythms of a healthy soul. Morning, Noon, and Night, the
rhythms of a healthy soul. And we’re going to
begin with a talk that I’m giving this title today
for my message, Helter-Skelter. Shout out to the Beatles for a
little help for my sermon title this week, Helter-Skelter. Rhythms of a healthy soul,
Morning, Noon, and Night. Luke 10 says in verse 38, now
as they went on their way– this is Jesus and
His disciples– Jesus entered a village. It’s called Bethany, by the way. And a woman named Martha
welcomed Him into her house. Whose house was it? Martha’s house. And she, Martha,
had a sister called Mary who sat at the Lord’s feet
and listened to His teaching. But Martha was distracted
with much serving. And she went up to Him and
said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has
left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered
her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled
about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good
portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Would you pray with
me just for a moment? Father, we thank you for
this time and your words. Thank you even just for
the reading of your word and how we feel
that settle us, how we feel that just sweep
over us like a comforter, like an ocean wave. It’s so different
from any other words, we will hear, or
words we will read, words we will digest
and process today. Because your words give us life. We care and think a lot about
the kind of things we eat. We’re worried about
how much avocado we can get our hands on if
we’re trying to stay in ketosis. And we think about whether
our 16-hour time-frame. Has been met when we’re
trying to fast intermittently. We give thought to
whether we’re eating paleo or whether our carbs
are too low or too high, but we forget so often that
the kind of words that we need are the words that
come from above, the words that come
from your mouth. Help us to be at least as
aware of our spiritual needs as we give thought to
our physical needs. We pray, God, that you
would help us to care more about having a healthy soul. And we ask that if anyone
has come into our gathering as it plays out
across these four states and different
locations and devices. We pray that you would, if
anyone listening has come in who’s hurting, who
is without God, who’s without hope in
this world, we pray you would draw them to
yourself through your spirit and we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen. Amen. Now what exactly is
happening here in Luke chapter 10 that has caused
Jesus to celebrate one sister and to sort of publicly
shame another one, right? I mean, He was
really shaming her but she got a tsk,
tsk for sure, right? “Martha, Martha.” Two Marthas? Any child knows, mom rolls
out the middle name, not a good sign. You get your last name involved
in it, it’s a real bad day. But the doubling of your
name is no compliment. It’s, “Martha, Martha. Whomp, whomp, whomp.” This is not a good day. So what is it that has
Jesus so happy about what one sister contributes and so
disappointed with the other? Well, let’s be clear. He’s not highlighting one
personality type above another. This isn’t an enneagram issue
because there are Mary people and there are Martha
people by design, as God has put within us. That’s why one of the things we
do when you want to volunteer and join one of our teams is, as
we go through the crash course journey with you, we take you
through a personality test. We want you to figure
out who you are. [PHONE RINGING] Tell them you’re busy. We want you to figure out
who God built you to be. We’re going to give
you a spiritual gifts test to sort of figure out what
God packed into your heart. The Bible talks about
different gifts and the Bible says that God is given
every single person at least one spiritual gift– in many cases, several of them–
and to try and navigate that. Sometimes it’s process
of elimination. You travel around
and go, you know, that wasn’t really
my sweet spot. We want want to
figure that out and we want that to be on a journey
that we’re going on with you. So we’re not saying one
makeup is better than another. Because Mary people
notice the colors. Martha people have the compass. God bless Martha people. You want to go on a hike with
someone who is a Martha person. “Isn’t it beautiful,” Mary says. And Martha says, “We’re
a long way from the road. We need to get back. The sunset is coming. We don’t want to be out here.” The Mary person is like,
“Did you see the flowers?” And the Martha person
says, “This way’s north.” You know what I’m saying? You want a Martha
person in every team. You want a couple Martha
people, all right? And so Jesus isn’t shaming her
because of how she was built. He built her ENTJ, y’all. He knows her Myers-Briggs. He’s got her number
and He loves that. In fact, regardless of whether
you’re a Mary type or Martha type, every single one of
us should have the heart to serve like a Martha. In fact, Jesus put that very
clearly and very explicitly, didn’t He, when He
said in Mark 10, “But among you it
will be different.” Because in the world,
it’s all about power. But, “Whoever wants to
be a leader among you must be a servant.” You want to be first? Be the slave of everybody. For even the son of
man came not to be served but to pull a Martha
and to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. So Mary is not
better than Martha because she wasn’t serving and
Martha is not worse than Mary because she was serving. Martha’s problem was not what
she did but how she did it and what she missed
out on because of that. What am I trying to say? I’m trying to say Martha
didn’t do a bad thing. She did a good thing
in the wrong way because she lost her center. She lost her heart. She lost her why. Eugene Peterson
puts it this way. When he says in a message
he gave on this text, he said, “Martha was
distracted with much serving. Distracted means not
paying attention. It means not having a
center or an anchor, being pulled this way
and pulled that way by whoever and by whatever.” If you’re a leader
in a business setting or if you’re a leader in an
educational setting, whatever way you find yourself seeking
to motivate a group of people, it’s incredibly important
that you don’t just focus on the what
but you also focus at least as much amount
of time on the why. When you gather the unit,
when you gather your company, when you gather the staff,
when you gather the people– we just this summer not only
had an amazing Movement Camp but we also had what we
call our staff advance. This is where we pull in
every single person who works for the church, and
we take a couple days, and we really just
talk about the why. We try and get our heart
beat synced up again. We try and get our core strong. We try and get focused in. We’re not just going to
talk about the program. Here’s what we’re
going to do this year, and here’s the things
that are happening, and you need to hear
some things that– why are we doing this? Why should we sacrifice? Why does this matter? It’s all about that why. When you lose your why,
you always lose your way. And Martha, it’s clear,
has lost the why. Now if she hadn’t
been the way she was, there would be no gathering
for Mary to sit at Jesus’ feet, right? It’s like, “Oh, Mary, how great. We should all just
be more like Mary.” OK, well, I’m thankful that
Martha got the guacamole. So Mary with all of her
how beautiful everything is didn’t buy any food, OK? So it’s good that
Martha did this. She just lost the why. She got so wrapped up in
the party being perfect, she forgot about
the guest of honor. This is the dad who’s so
good to plan a vacation and get the family
to Disneyland, but they’re like,
“You didn’t have fun? Do you know how
much this costs?” It’s like, “Well, yeah, great. We’re having the best
time of our lives. Thanks a lot.” It’s like, if you lose
the why, you lose the way. Why are we here? She got so wrapped
up in her party she was planning for Jesus,
she forgot about Jesus. She forgot about just simply
being present with Jesus. And when we do that, when
we lose the anchor, when we lose the center, when we lose
the heart, when we get wrapped up with the distractions that
easily set in, what happens? Well, you’re headed for burnout. You’re headed for
resentment eventually. You’re headed then, strangely
enough, for jealousy. And finally, you can end up
in the dangerous position of trying to correct God. Because not only
did Martha now start to feel a sense of
what’s Mary doing and how Mary should be
living– which is easy to do. When you’ve burnt out,
when you’ve lost your core, you then look at other people
and begin to critique them. Well, they’re not doing
what they should be doing because you’re not right. Things aren’t right for you. You’ve got things
not good in here. And so what you do is you
project out your issues on other people
and you start to be an expert in how other people
should be living their lives. She knew perfectly
how Mary should be Mary, which was to try
and become a little bit more like Martha. Yeah, because that’s going
so well for Martha, right? But after that, she
makes the audacious step to begin to chastise
Jesus and to tell Jesus how Jesus should be Jesus. Because notice, they’re
sitting at the table. She invited Him into the house. She threw a lavish
party for Him, but she’s gotten so
wrapped up in the what and forgotten about the why and
the who that she not only is angry at Mary but she actually
interrupts Jesus’ message. Can you imagine? “Excuse me. I’mma let you
finish in a second.” But she says, “Jesus, tell my
sister she needs to help me. Why do you not care?” She’s accusing
Jesus of not caring. “Don’t you care about my party
that I’m throwing for you? Don’t you feel honored? Are you not entertained,”
she’s saying. “So stop your preaching and
tell Mary to get in the kitchen because I’m burning the
potatoes at present.” Sermon in a sentence time. If the things we
are doing for God aren’t fueled by the time
we’re spending with God, we will eventually begin
to think that we’re God. We’re going to act
like we’re God. We’ll begin to,
in the situation, forget that there is a
King and it’s not us, that there’s someone
on the throne. It’s not meant to be me and
it’s not meant to be you. Martha has gone helter-skelter. She is a hot mess
in this moment. But the point of this message
isn’t to shame Martha. It’s to learn from Mary so
that we can rise up and serve with a heart like Martha,
served with the skills that God’s given to us. But when we miss
that moment, when we missed that purpose, when we
miss that beating heart, what ends up happening? We get distracted
with many things and then inevitably we end
up, from the mouth of Jesus, anxious and troubled. Anxious and troubled
when we’re not getting that time with Jesus
like we’re supposed to, we end up giving ourselves
over to anxiety and trouble. Now it’s not just the dinner
party that fuels this. I think in our day,
it’s also the device that we’re trying to look at
while we’re planning the dinner party. Because we’re on
Pinterest, looking at the epic thing that’s
got to be the thing, and then we get to
get for the thing. But we also have to have the
YouTube running because that’s the video we were
watching, telling us how to cook the stupid thing. And YouTube Red allows us
to be able to minimize it, so the video can be
in the background now if we pay for
that subscription. So now we can have the
YouTube video continuing to narrate while we
look back to Pinterest to see how much better that
picture was than actually what we’ve thrown together. Meanwhile, we’re on Instagram. Oh my gosh, my friend
successfully pulled it off. And look who’s there,
but I didn’t get invited to that thing. And now we’re not
even liking our thing because we couldn’t
be at the thing because we were having
a thing, but we’re mad because we’re
not at their thing. Oh, and there’s something
I need to buy on Amazon because it’s not here. So now I’m on that app too. You ever get to that
point you’re like, I need another device. Siri, where’s my other device? And so now you’ve got the
iPad propped up over here and you get this over here. Luckily, the iPad, when
you minimize the video, it actually shows
a little box there. So you got that over here. Where can I put my laptop? Could I have that over here? And then we get to a
place where, what happens? We end up distracted. We’re not in the moment. We’re not engaged. And then inevitably, distraction
leads to anxiety and trouble. And soon, we’ve lost our way
because we’re so divided. We’re so pulled in
every direction, we’re not giving
much of ourselves to any of the
multitude of things that we’re trying to
do on any given moment. Not just the dinner
but the devices. 1,617 is the number right now. On average, Americans
touch the screens of their phones
1,617 times per day. There are only 1,440
minutes per day. Just so you know, we
are touching our phones on the average day
more times in the day than there are
minutes in that day. Four hours per day
of phone usage. Now some of you have apps that
monitor it and you’re like, “I beat that all the time.” That’s not a good thing. Four hours is average. But that’s not including
TV consumption, which is another four hours. So what does that mean? That means in the
day that we’re living in, distraction is a
full-time job, as many of us spend 40 hours per week
given over to a pull, a compulsive pull,
a distracted pull. Apps here, watching
this, but then thinking, “Oh, I need to go over here.” And frustrated at
Netflix because it won’t continue playing
in the background so we can quickly jump over
here and do something else. And what does it lead to? Anxiety and trouble. Did you know a 2014 study
found that the rates of anxiety people feel can be directly
correlated to the amount of TV news they consume? When the Boston Marathon
bombing happened in 2013, they actually did a
sampling and they found out that if people watched six
hours of coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing
that they found out that they exhibited more PTSD
symptoms than the people that were actually present in the
crowd for the bomb that day, actually feeling
a sense of trauma from watching nonstop coverage
of these never ending crises that take place in our day. Americans were asked
last year, “Do you feel more anxiety than you
did at this time last year?” And 39% of Americans say, I
feel more anxious right now than I did a year ago. Isn’t it interesting that our
attention span is shrinking, our time on these devices is
increasing, but so with it, so level of our
distraction, comes what Jesus called
anxiety and trouble. Now why is it so hard not
to open these apps back up? Because I think deep down,
we know in our heads, “I need less screen time. I need more fresh air. I need more time talking
to people face to face.” Because they’ve proven that
social media is actually not social and that we actually
need that time with other people face to face. So I think, deep
down, we know that. So why is it so easy to
just pull it back out again? Even though it diminishes
our productivity. They actually have found it
takes exactly 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back full-force
into whatever you are working on after a distraction. So every time you
pull that back out– I’m just going to, for one
quick second, refresh this. One quick second,
check the images. One quick second,
I got that ping. Just one quick
second,” they actually found it’s about 23 minutes and
15 seconds before your mind can fully get back to whatever
you were working on before. So there’s a cost
for that distraction, not of the actual
time that was spent consuming the thing, but
actually now the time that your brain has to
slowly but surely get back into the deep place of work. But some of us never
get back to that because we’ll never go a full
23 minutes without refreshing. Oh, are you kidding me? There’s only 1,440 minutes. I’ve got to get my
16, 17 swipes in. I can stop at anytime I want it. Just one more time
and then I’ll be done. Anxiety and trouble. How is it so easy to spend
so much time on these devices and how is it so hard to stop? Because some of the
smartest people in the world have designed these
apps to exploit psychological vulnerabilities
to make it as easy as possible for you to go back into it. A study was done with
pigeons and in this study, they had a lever that if
the pigeons pecked it, they got a pellet. And they found that the pigeons,
once they discovered this, were happy about it. And they would push the
lever and get the pellet. And then they would
sometimes come back to it and sometimes not. And the novelty soon wore
off and eventually they didn’t care too much
about the pellet. They would just get a pellet
whenever they needed it. They saw this as a delivery
vehicle for pellets. But then they toyed
with the system and they designed it to
where if they push the lever, sometimes they got a pellet
and sometimes they did not. And Cal Newport in his
book Digital Minimalism, he uses this study to
talk about how once they made the system irregular– spontaneously, it would work. Sometimes it would not. They’d push it for a little bit. He talks about in his book
how once that change was made, the pigeons became
full-fledged addicts to this. And they would sit
there, pushing it, not knowing if they were going
to get it or if they weren’t. And they would actually
sit there and pecking it until it destroyed their health. They couldn’t be convinced
to leave the lever because there was a
novelty to whether they were going to get a pellet or
not, much like a slot machine– which by the way, more money
is put into slot machines than is spent on the
entire film industry and Major League
Baseball added together. And people sit
there like pigeons because they don’t know if
they’re going to get a reward. Sometimes I get a reward,
sometimes I don’t. And your brain
just keeps saying, will this be the time,
will this be the time, will this be the time? Which is the same technology
in place in many apps. If you have an app on
your phone that you didn’t have to pay to install,
they’re getting money somehow. And the money they’re
getting is, in many cases, from advertisers who– they
need to show to the advertisers if you buy these ads, here’s
what value you’re going to get. And what value is it? You and me, little pieces
of our souls at a time. So it’s in their best
interest to make us open. They are tracking
every time you open it. They’re tracking how
long you stay on there. They’re tracking how
many times you swipe and they’re doing everything
they can to make it as probable that you’ll spend as much
time and open that app as frequently as possible. And one of the things that
whistle-blowers have admitted that they do is
they withhold likes and they cluster them so
that not every time you open up that app and refresh
it, you’ll get a couple likes. If you get it every time,
your brain will eventually go, don’t care about it anymore. But if sometimes you
get likes and sometimes you don’t, and sometimes
you get told you got tagged and sometimes you don’t,
your brain is going to go, I wonder if this is the time. And you’ll have to compulsively
refresh it like the pigeon pushing the lever to see if this
time is going to be the time. Now, now, hearing all this,
this isn’t the anti-Instagram, destroy your technology,
let’s all build butter churns. That’s not the message. We’re preaching a
sermon on the technology that God’s given to us, and
we’re happy to be doing so. This is the sermon saying,
let’s use technology and not be used by technology. Let’s realize the system is
rigged and not in our favor. Let’s get our souls back. Let’s not be given over to
what is leading us to higher levels of anxiety and trouble. This sermon series,
Morning, Noon, and Night is my response to things that
God’s been whispering to me. Every summer when we bring
guests in for a season, I’m able to take
a preaching break and just really give some
time over to hearing from God. And this is the result
of things that God has been speaking
to me and things that I’ve been putting
in place in my life. And this is now my chance to
share with you some things that have been helping me. I’m on journey just like
you, but God’s growing me and I’m excited about
what He’s sharing with me. And one of the things
that He’s really just been speaking in my heart
is rejecting the idea of, I have to be busy– rejecting it. I cannot tell you how many times
in casual conversations with friends and people I’ve just
met alike the word busy is used in conversation. How you doing? Super good just crazy busy. Doing great. Summer’s awesome. Just super busy. And even people ask me too. They go how you been? Doing good. You’ve been busy? Just been crazy busy,
like the rest of us? Summer been busy, just mad busy? And so I just started
going, no, I’m not speaking that over my life. I’m not busy. You want to know why? I’m just standing right here,
talking to you right now. And then I’m going to
go do something else. Do I got responsibility
I got to carry? Absolutely. Do I got a lot on my plate? Uh-huh. But I also got the Holy Spirit
who’s giving me strength. I’m not busy. I’m just right here, right now. I got stuff to do
but I’m not busy. You see, being busy is a choice. Being busy is a state of mind. Being busy is a lie that
you can get trapped into, where you’ve got
to jump over here, and then you got to go over
here, and you got to be here, but be secretly thinking
about the other things you need to do. But we’ve got to
learn from Jesus who said, “Take my yoke
upon you and learn from me.” Jesus wasn’t crazy busy. Weight of the world
bearing down on Him? Uh-huh. Came to save all of humanity? For sure. But He was going to
weddings and stuff. You just see Him
cruising around. What are you doing? I got invited to this wedding. It’s awesome. Oh, they ran out of wine. I’ll be right back. Cabernet. It’s like, wait. What are you even talking about? Don’t you need to
go die on the cross? Yeah, probably. But God will let me
know when it’s time. My time’s not yet come. You can’t be pushing
me to make me a king. You can’t be pushing
me into being busy. You can’t be pushing
me to being stressed. Someone tapped me. I got to heal him real quick. I’m present where I am. I’m choosing to be
here in this moment. I’m going to look
you in the eyes. Here, look, there’s other
stuff happening in the world, but we’re right here right now. This is all we get, this
moment, this instance. God is here. You are here. We’re never getting
this moment again. I’m not going to be here
and simultaneously be there. I’m not going to be trying to
live my life while secretly being jealous of your life or
what God’s doing through you. I’m going to be present. I’m going to be focused. I’m going to be
right here right now. I reject the notion and the
push and the pull to be busy. I’m going to breathe. I’m going to drink
deeply of this life that Jesus died for me to live. Where do you want to be? Who do you want to become? What do you want life to
look like in 10 years? Came across a Chinese
proverb a while ago. Ancient Chinese proverb is
probably worth reading, right? It’s like, Chinese
proverb– all right then. Any young, aspiring
preachers in the room, just throw a Chinese
proverb every once in a while in,
every third sermon, and you’ll just– wow,
that Chinese proverb, huh? Yeah. Chinese proverb. I must read it to you
exactly like it occurred. “If you don’t change
your direction, you’ll end up exactly
where you’re going.” If you don’t change
your direction, you’ll end up exactly
where you’re going. So my question to
you is, with the life you’re living right now, where
is that going to take you? Where will you be in five years? Where will you be in 10 years? Will you be full
of peace or will you have higher rates
of anxiety and trouble? The single most valuable
currency you have to spend is your attention. So what are you
paying attention to? “It is no measure of
health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society,”
one philosopher said. So as we look at what we’re
doing and we go, I’m not happy and I’m not peace filled, but
that’s OK because it’s normal. It’s normal to live that way. It’s normal to live this way. We should reject the idea
and the notion of normal if what’s normal isn’t
healthy, if what’s normal isn’t what God’s called us to. Let’s live a life based
on calling and conviction, not normalcy and addiction. Let’s do what God’s
called us to do. Let’s hear the voice
of our shepherd, leading us to the still
waters, leading us to the green pastures,
leading us to the table He’s prepared for us in
the table of our enemies. It’s possible to gain
the whole world wide web and lose your soul, but God
wants our souls to be healthy. If we want to have
a healthy soul, we have to learn to
do what David did. David said in Psalm
131, “Surely I have calmed and quieted my
soul like a weaned child with his mother. Like a weaned child
is my soul within me.” You have to learn
to calm and quiet your soul if you’re
to have a soul that’s like a weaned child. And what’s a child
that’s not weaned? That’s a child that’s
still being breastfed. You ever seen a child
that’s ready to get breastfed trying to tear
his mother’s clothing off? He can’t enjoy being with her
because he wants something from her. That’s Martha in this moment. So you’re with Jesus. But I want something from Jesus. I want you to tell
her what to do. What are you doing
through this person? With Jesus but
missing it because all you want from Jesus. Mary is like a weaned child. She now can just simply, having
been well-fed and given a meal, now she can just snuggle up to
her mom, snuggle up to her dad. I don’t want anything from you. I just see the benefit and
calm of being with you. If you want to be like a weaned
child, so your soul within you able to just find pleasure
in being with God, not needing anything from
God, not striving but just appreciating His grace,
appreciating His presence, and learning the art and
cultivation of that practice, of those deep, beautiful, sweet
things that lead to the life that we want. Because that’s what I want. As I look into
the future, I want to be healthy and your
pastor 20 years from now. I want to be the husband of
my bride 20 years from now. I want to be in meaningful
relationship with all of my children 20
years from now. I want to be looking
into the next season. I’m looking into the
future and I want to steer. And I see some things in
me that I see taking me away from where I want
to go, and I declare war on those things that
would cause me to not have a calm and quiet soul. So I’m like, David? Where are you, David? How’d you do that? Great, I’ve calmed
and quited myself. That’s amazing. I need that. I would love that. I got itchy fingers right now. It’s been 20 minutes since
I’ve touched my phone. How did you do that? Because David was up
against some stuff. You want to talk about
anxiety and trouble? Lions be attacking him. His father-in-law attacking him. His crazy life. One time he had a crazy wife who
was mad at him for worshipping. I mean, just
David’s life, right? So how did he do it? Actually we’re in luck
because David told us how he put in place a
trellis for the vines he wanted to grow. It takes a framework, you see. Vines can’t grow up
without something to attach themselves to. So the life he wanted to grow– y’all, you could say the Fresh
Life he wanted to see inside of his heart, he knew
what you need to know. There needed to be a trellis
so that vine could climb. And he tells us
exactly what he did. He was something
quite rigid, in fact. He said in Psalm 55, verse
16, “I will call on God and the Lord will rescue me
morning, noon, and night. I will cry out in my distress
and the Lord hears my voice.” That’s what David did. David didn’t just say, well,
I’m going to have my quiet time. I’m not just going to have my
time that I set aside with God. I like to call it a pregame. You have your game,
which is your day. You have a pregame,
where you prep for the day, where you train
for the trial you’re not yet in, where you learn to
put your war paint on. You choose to speak some
things over yourself. You choose to get
ready to go out there. You’re not ready to face the
game without your game face on, y’all. [INAUDIBLE] you’re
basically the equivalent of being in that
locker room with Rudy and the rest of the Notre Dame. [SCREAMING] Whatever that
is, we are essentially saying to yourself, I’ve
got a lot on my plate today. I want to love
some people today. I want to be present today. We call that quiet time. That’s great. I think it’s so important. But I’ve found that that’s not
enough because a couple hours into my day, I
start to get crazy. Couple hours into my day,
I start to get restless. I start to be squirming
like that unweaned child. I start clamoring
and getting cranky. I start getting
fussy and selfish. So I realized that
David was smart because he realized that
wore off, that quiet time. So he said, I’m going to need
me some morning, and some noon, and some night. And it doesn’t mean you’re
going to go take an hour. It could be as simple as a quiet
two-minute break for water, a couple deep breaths in. It could be just saying
the Lord’s Prayer or saying Psalm 23, quoting
back to yourself a verse that you remember from that
morning time with Jesus. It could be a
simple worship song. Just throw those ear buds in. Throw your phone
on airplane mode. It could be getting
up from your desk and just taking a
walk around the block and really being conscious
of a deep breath. It could just be as simple
as just a quiet moment where you shut your eyes
just for a minute, and you just say the name
Jesus, and you thank Him for His presence, and you see
yourself quieting and calming your soul. These have been some
things that I’ve really been finding in my own heart
combating anxiety, combating the strife, and the
stress, and the desperation that sometimes we feel,
and letting Jesus give you that strength. Now no one of these prayers
is the breakthrough. No one of these powerful
moments is the one. At Movement Camp, I was talking
to the students about Daniel and the lion’s den. And we’d all love to think that
if Christianity were outlawed– stop praying or you’re
going in the pit– that we would all have the
fortitude to pray anyway. We’d all love to have
faith when it counts. And I told the
students, if you want to have faith when it
counts, what you have to do is demonstrate that faith
when it doesn’t count. Because it’s the
private discipline that leads to public victory. You want to know how
Daniel got the strength to go into the lion’s den? Well, Daniel 6:10, he knew
the writing was signed. It was now illegal to pray. He went home and he
went to his upper room with his windows open
toward Jerusalem. He knelt down on his knees
three times that day. Y’all, you could say he
prayed morning, noon, night. Just want you to see where
the sermon series came from. Like, where do you come
up with this one from? Just the Bible, y’all. So it’s all I got. I can’t juggle or anything. He knelt down– actually I can
kind of juggle a little bit– and he prayed, and he gave
thanks before his God. But here’s the big part. As was his custom
since his early days– Daniel learned to pray as a
teenager and when he was 16, he developed some
disciplines that were benefiting him all
the way to when he was 70 in the days of King Cyrus. His faith from a
childhood nascent state led him all the way
through three kingdoms in the most powerful,
prolific, prophetic book that we have in
the Old Testament. Daniel’s faith as
a child is what carried him through his entire
life and a powerful ministry. It was these disciplines,
it was these rhythms, it was these small
things done in secret. And over time– it’s
no one prayer session, it’s no one worship song, it’s
no one saying the Lord’s Prayer that’s can do it for you, but
it’s the cumulative, freight train-like effect of when
you do it, and you do it, and you do it, and you
do it, and you do it. Is it working? I don’t know. Are you doing it? I was really blessed. I came across a book written by
a guy named Alan Stein, whose a performance coach who wrote
a book called Raise Your Game. It’s mostly for athletes. But he talks in the
book about a time when he got to meet Kobe
Bryant at the top of his game. And he asked permission of
Kobe to watch him train. They were doing event
together for Nike and he said, can I
watch you practice? And he said, yeah. I’ll be there at 4:00
if you want to watch. And he goes, we have
an event at 3:30. How’s that going to work? He goes, I mean 4:00 AM. He’s like, oh God, you’re
Kobe freaking Bryant. I’m going to work
out at 4:00 AM. So he shows up. He’s got himself some coffee. He’s in the practice gym. And he says, “For 45
minutes, I was shocked. For 45 minutes, I watched
the best player in the world do the most basic drills. I watched the best
player on the planet do basic ball handling drills. I watched the best player on
the planet do basic footwork.” Thinking it was going to be
something sizzling hot, flashy, he says, nope. “I watched the best
player on the planet do basic offensive moves. Granted, he did everything
with surgical precision and superhero intensity,
but the stuff he was doing was so simple. I couldn’t believe it. Later that day, I went over to
him. ‘Thanks again,’ I said. ‘I really enjoyed
watching your workout this morning.’ ‘No
problem,’ Kobe replied. Then I hesitated, not
wanting to sound rude– or worse– condescending. But I asked him this. ‘You’re
the best player in the world. Why do such basic stuff?’ He flashed that
gleaming smile of his and said, ‘Why do you think I’m
the best player in the game? It’s because I never got
bored with the basics.’ He knew that if his footwork
was not razor sharp, then the rest of
the move would never be as good as it could be. He knew that the only
way to do that was through sheer repetition. If someone at Kobe’s level
needs to commit hours to practicing the fundamentals,
then so do all of us. Kobe taught me a pivotal
lesson that morning. The basics are
simple, but not easy. If they were easy,
everyone would do them.” Y’all, I think sometimes we
look at our life and we think of what we would need for us
to get to that next level. We think of what
God would need to do and we think it’s got to be
some breakthrough altar call. It’s going to be some powerful
thing that’s going to happen. We think it couldn’t possibly
be as simple as just reading the Bible and praying. It couldn’t possibly be as
simple as just showing up for church week after week, not
missing the chance to gather together with God’s people. It couldn’t possibly
be as simple as joining a small group. We hear everyone talking
about, you got to be on a team, and you got to tithe,
and you got to pray. And you go, that’s great, but
isn’t there an essential oil that I could find? If I could get the right one
and defuse it in my home, I’d be less stressed. I saw that they actually
just found a new bush in Utah and this one has the
effect on your life of not needing your phone as much. How did you hear about that? On my phone. But if you just pray
for me, Pastor Levi– no. Listen, you just
got to do the reps. It’s about the footwork. It’s not the fancy stuff. It’s another layup. It’s another three-pointer. It’s another wind sprint. It’s watching what you eat. It’s spending less
than you earn. It’s given your first
and best to Jesus. It’s rising while
it’s still day. It’s finding a lonely
mountain to pray on. It’s trusting in God. It’s honoring Him, it’s
integrity, it’s character, it’s compassion, it’s seeking
first the Kingdom of God, and all these things
will be added onto you. It’s not some magic
silver bullet. It’s not some 1-900 call of-
it’s just trusting in Him. It’s reading His word and
putting it into practice, and then waking up tomorrow
and doing it again. Morning, noon, night,
it’s quiet in my soul. Martha wanted to tell
Jesus what to do. Mary wanted to listen to what
Jesus said He was going to do. Do you see the world
of differences there? It’s as big of a chasm
as my will be done and thy will be done. Mary discovered
that– almost done– when you sit at
Jesus’ feet, you know things other people don’t know. How do they know that? How do they act like
that, such confidence? When you sit at
Jesus’ feet, you know things other people don’t know. When you get to John
chapter 12, there’s a party. And Jesus is sitting
there and Mary comes out. She pours out this precious
anointing oil on His feet. It was worth, like,
two years’ salary. She pours it out. And the people were
like, what the heck? And Jesus is like, stop it. She knows what I’m about to do. No one else knew Jesus was about
to die on that cross, not even His disciples. They were surprised. Mary wasn’t surprised. She saw it coming. He said, she realizes
this is the only anointing my body’s going to get before
I do the work of the cross. How did she know to do that? How was she there
at the right time? How did she know to
invest in that stock just before it went gangbusters? Because she sat at His feet
and she listened to what He had to say. And the Bible promises it
could be that way for you too. Why? Because the secret of the Lord
is with those who fear Him. As you’re sitting at His
feet, you’ll be His confidant. He’ll trust you with things
other people won’t hear. You won’t miss
out on that chance to hear what He wants
to do in the world and you’ll get to
be a part of it. In Jesus’ name. You receive it? Yes. Father, thank you for
this time and your word. Help us to have that Mary heart
and that Martha work ethic. Help us to sit at your feet,
to calm and quiet our souls. We don’t want anything from you. We just want you. As we’re praying and
responding to the Holy Spirit moving in our midst in
this moment, if you’re here and you embrace that life
of quiet, if you’re here and within you, something
says, I need that. I don’t want this anxiety
and trouble of this world. I want the perfect peace
that Jesus promises. Can I just ask that you’d to
raise up a hand in the air? All across the church, God,
quiet and calm our hearts. Give us your spirit. Give us your strength. Give us resolve to not
try it for a couple days and then get weary, for those
thousands upon thousands of reps, those thousands upon
thousands of layups, those 4:00 AM wake-up calls, doing
today what no one else is willing to do so we could do
tomorrow what no one else will be able to do. You can put your hands down. Maybe you’re here
today and you’ve never given your life to Jesus. We want to extend an invitation,
an opportunity, an open door for you to make that decision. We want this to be
a church where you can belong before you believe. But maybe today’s
the day for you where you would cross
over that line and say, hey, I’ve heard enough. I sense God moving in my heart. I want to give my life to Jesus. I want to give my soul to Him. If that’s you I’m describing,
I want to say a simple prayer. I’m going to ask
the church family to say it with us so that we’re
showing you we have your back. We accept you into this party. But I want you to
pray this prayer out loud with your lips,
believing it in your heart, meaning it to God, your Father. And He will hear you
and He will heal you as you make this your
faith declaration. Say this with us. Dear God. Dear God. I know I’m a sinner. I know I’m a sinner. I can’t fix myself. I can’t fix myself. But I believe you can. But I believe you can. Because of what Jesus
did on the cross. Because of what Jesus
did on the cross. And rising from the dead. And rising from the dead. So into your hands. So into your hands. I commit my spirit. I commit my spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray. In Jesus’ name I pray. Now every head bowed,
every eyes still closed. If you just made that
decision, just gave your heart to God, that was your
day of salvation, your moment of rededication. I’m going to count to three. And when I get to three, I
want you to shoot your hand up in the air so you can
have as an act of the will a moment in time where
you nailed this down, where you said, I
am a child of God. I am the new creation. I have been set free. I’ve given my life to Jesus. When I get to three,
just shoot your hand up. Church online, there’s going
to be a link you can click as well to digitally
raise your hand. When I get to three, you
just shoot that hand up. One, two, three. Shoot your hands up. Praise God all
across the church.

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10 thoughts on “Helter-Skelter :: Morning, Noon and Night pt. 1

  1. What a fantastic message. Levi you hit all the points of this generation perfectly. The cell phone usage is an epidemic! It's CRAZY!!

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