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Holy Ambition - Grow a Courageous Soul, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Cross Radio
May 16, 2022 6:00 am

Holy Ambition - Grow a Courageous Soul, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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May 16, 2022 6:00 am

Ever notice that when you take a step of faith and you’re committed to being the person God wants you to be, that life suddenly gets really tough? Why is that? Chip explains why it gets worse before it gets better and he’ll give you some practical ways to make it through the bumpy ride that you may be enduring right now.

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Ever notice that we need to complete step of faith. Maybe it's addressing an addiction. Starting a ministry or maybe saying I started reading the Bible on a regular basis. Everything falls apart seems seems like when really committed to take that step would exactly what God wants us to do worse. If you want to understand why and learn how to stay with. Welcome to this additional living on the mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disable Christians nearing the end of our series holy ambition God shaped dreams into a reality. Just highlight growing regions sold before we begin, let me encourage you to use trips message notes will really help you get the most out of what you're about to hear the little broadcasts LivingontheEdge.org listeners Fill in notes that puts torture for stock from chapter 4 God wants to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things. It's not about being smarter than you are.

It's not about knowing more than you probably know, but it's about having a dislocated heart write a broken spirit. It's about having a time we take a radical step of faith. It's developing a strategic plan. You need to discover where on the wall of God's kingdom. You make a personal commitment, not intellectual commitment, not emotional commitment, not a when it's nice not raining commitment but a commitment that says God I will do what you show me to do and I know it might get hard. But when it gets hard. I will be faithful by your grace and I have a concern because I'm having conversations and emails from people that God is beginning to germinate. Multiple holy ambitions, and for some it's for kids and I talked to the guy this talk about some things overseas and some people others it's in business and others as with women, and here's what I know. If you don't understand what the last step is having a courageous soul. You might take some very bright steps and I mean get crushed. This is a serious one, you need to listen very carefully. This is a word for those of you that are stepping out and you might actually find that your little discouraged. Might've struggle with little depression rightly or maybe just kind of disillusion like you don't quite get it got I really and I thought I was on the right track but boy oh boy just seems like things are harder and everything is uphill.

I had made the deepest personal commitment of my life I had done it God's way and I was discourage depressed dissolution of the biggest ministry decision was a coach, a schoolteacher. I like the coach I like to teach and through a number of events everyone seem to know it but me that God said ship.

I want you to shift gears out already going to college I went to graduate school. I thought I was going to get to be a coach someday against you know you know Duke or Indiana or somewhere, and that was my dream and it was like all know now I've got to go back to school and so put everything I had in a car and we gave a car way and we took this little car and everything in a Ryder truck and arrived in Dallas Texas to go to seminary is like starting all over was a four-year graduate program. I too little kids. I had a total of I think $750 total between us Patrice and myself a missionary. Let me stay in his house for two months as we got ready and we found a little government-subsidized apartment with a bunch of other people and then I went to school with a carpool every day about 7 o'clock I got up at 430 in degree from five until seven and spend little time with God.

I went straight through. Got home cut the carpool. Got home about five or 538 supper play with my kids for about 1/2 hour. Then I went to work from about six until 11 at night got up and did it again and I did that, year after year after year and they did that three years and money was tight and the only way I could do it workwise is do a straight commission job and to the straight commission job and people wouldn't pass her physical and how to how many months it was like God you not I get $240 rent and I got $11 in the bank. What's the deal, and I did that and I did that I we would go to the grocery store exit was a co-op you put in 10 bucks and you get all these fruits and vegetables.

We go for two or three weeks not eat any meat or any carbohydrates, just fruits and vegetables of what we got the farmers market and I remember one day sitting in class and I was tired and discouraged and depressed and disillusioned and I thought you know this was not my idea on the and of all the things that I've wanted to be. It certainly was not a pastor or minister, and so you and I stepped out I had this quote I didn't call it a holy ambition but was a holy ambition. I said I would do what you want me to do and I'll tell you what this stinks.

I mean I'm tired I'm broke, I'm discouraged get like four and five hours of sleep. Is this how they'll treat us like servants.

God sometimes when I'm struggling.

I pray King James. Here's what I want to know I had a common pitfall. Here's the thesis. Here's what you need understand we unconsciously believe a myth and the myth is if I do what God wants me to do. If I take a step if I make a sacrifice they can be with my time, my energy, my money, my future relationship is like oh I know this is a bad relationship I obey God and I broke up with him or I broke up with her right and my priorities are out of whack. I start meeting with God and given the first portion my income or get out of my comfort zone and a lot of people go on missions trip when we do that kind of thing. Unconsciously we think God is good be so pleased what he is, but we think is can be so pleased that life's going to be great. Ice can be or should it be right, you're obeying right he should EM if you just can't get high-fives from the Lord, and way to go is can answer all your prayers and relationship issues and get better overnight.

That is a myth. The common pitfall job if you will, false expectations, false expectations I was. I mean literally. I had three years in and I was having private conversations with myself which is not good when you're talking yourself a lot and it was undone. If this is what it means to follow you if this is what you get for really obeying for having a holy ambition, I am done, you can have this I'm out here. What I didn't understand was our greatest personal commitments and spiritual victories are almost always followed by periods of intense opposition. Underline the word intense opposition. Moses takes a big step of faith.

Intense opposition. Elijah you know as the big confrontation and then later intense opposition. Jesus sets his face and says okay he's baptized is commission for ministry and what happens 40 days in the desert with intense opposition. You can take it to the bank or least you could.

You still think when you step out and take a step of faith. It is a clearly defined will of God. It will usually get more difficult, before it gets easier.

And if you don't know that that I watched this happen you know what I thought this was God's will, but not must not be because look how hard it is and how difficult it isn't and on all these things of gone wrong.

When I moved to Atlanta. It was probably that was a second hardest ministry decision. We were in Santa Cruz's pastor local church. I loved what I was doing my family loved it. My boys all found Santa Cruz girls married them and God made it clear you're supposed to go to Atlanta so make this decision.

We go my car on the ways in an ice storm. You know if I sent it.

There was big tractor-trailer thing so it it gets ruined. But I don't know it because her snow when it comes and gasoline had poured through it so I had this car in the winter that I can only drive with the windows down, my wife had two surgeries on her jaw that didn't work so she was in intense pain. I will going through but at one point when he got to number 11. We started keeping track in the first 10 days we had 23 things happen to the house that broke down one guy said is never have in my life.

We cut through that line that line that line so you don't have any water you have electricity and and then are you ready I take over the job in 2002. It has a huge international component to it and it takes millions and millions of dollars, so does anybody remember what happened, like in January 2003 the.bust so all the major donors didn't have any money so all of a sudden it's like okay now I'm waking up in the middle of the night and my wife is crying and sobbing into a pillow because she's not real happy part physical part emotional everything that could go wrong around me has the move is just an absolute nightmare. My daughter is been taken out of the school in the middle of high school. We don't have any money, and other than that things are going well. Here's the difference you know what my reaction this timeless while I think God is really up to some. I think God must really have something significant beyond my wildest dreams for little old me, who doesn't mean very much to get this level of opposition and I would look back seven years later and see 100 countries, 90,000 teachers, eight videos and five books written in a season of time that I never drink happen to an ordinary person like me because opposition told me I was on the right track that I like it. Not part of the opposition that's meant to pull you down. God uses to develop some character and some trust and some issues in you so that when he blesses you, you understand. It's him instead of you.

So with that look at Nehemiah the he's our model. So he's holy ambition right member. It made in the shade. These cupbearer to the king, and we gone through three chapters to learn about his dislocated heart.

We've learned that many had this intense prayer time of looking up looking and looking out. He took the radical step of faith.

He risked his life he finds his personal commitment.

He says I'm supposed to rebuild the wall and gathers the people cast the vision is that the gift of leadership in any nexus this personal commitment develops out of the strategic plan and then you would think right things are gonna go great. This is a great man of God. All of history. Literally the entire history of Israel is completely changed by this man. Now what happens. I begin to give you an overview of the next three chapters in chapter 3, there's an external opposition. It's very frontal. It's in his face. The goal is to discourage him and the means is ridicule or fear and were to look at this one very carefully in chapter 5, we won't get to this one.

I want to give you an overview because as you some of you launch out unifying yourself back in Nehemiah lot reading this over and realizing you're not crazy. This is God's will, but it is hard in chapter 5. The opposition is in out there it's internal and and all the sudden you find that they're fighting among themselves. The goal of the enemy is to divide and the way he does. It is by selfishness and greed within the family of God. Here, then in chapter 6 it goes from this corporate opposition to individual. It's very, very subtle. They attempt to destroy him. They there's a there's literally a contract out on his life and people he thought he could trust a priest and a prophetess come together and telling you really need to do this and the goal is to get them into certain place so they could assassinate deception and intimidation will open your notes and I want to dig in chapter 4, because I think this issue of discouragement is so so critical to put it in the metaphor of boxing. My dad was a boxer.

He was in World War II and because of that when he came back he went 16 he came back he can play any sports he really like sports, so he learned to box and back.

I guess you can brag on your dad when he is dead, but that he's in heaven right now.

He won the Golden gloves when I was little unit hee hee would you know, and unachieved unit shipment and again.

Keep it in years. He taught me how to box. I don't ever got any good, but I learned the terminology in the metaphor of opposition hero want to give you an boxing ring look at the enemy's first punch to Thorton God's program in our lives.

And it's the jab of ridicule and criticism.

When Sambol heard that we were rebuilding the wall. He became angry was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews in the presence of his associates an army of Samaria. He said what are those feeble Jews doing will they restore the wall. You can hear the sarcasm in his voice, will they offer sacrifices fully finish in a day can they bring stones back to life, from those heaps of rubble burned as they are told via another one of the bad guys, the Ammonite was at his side, said what are they building if even a fox climbed on it. He would break down the wall of their stones in the Nehemiah. You can find just a minute is can respond and respond the way that we need to respond but I want you to see here ridicule and criticism notice. The aim is at their worth it.

Sarcasm really taken the step of faith. God can use someone like you it's it's casting doubt God has shown you, you start to take a step and all of a sudden you feel like while many this in such a good idea. Maybe I don't measure up. This probably really won't work for politics someone a lot smarter than they are here. Maybe I should do it next year. All that kind of stuff. I had this can paralyze you. I was a high school teacher. It was Grafton high school and this is in West Virginia and I was a junior varsity coach, and I knew the varsity coach and it was my very first year very first job and and so I was a pretty zealous Christian and I found myself walking to the teachers lounge one day and it sort of cleared out just before the bell rang and there is three guys all fairly young teachers. One middle-aged guy and they were making all I can call it is extraordinarily lewd comments about a very attractive coed that was like a 17 girl in the school and I walked in, and I'm here in this conversation going. McManus is wrong and so you know I'm listening just a little bit was very lewd and just like as excuse me guys I that's very unprofessional and they kinda looked to me like your new teacher you think you are and then you know I got on a roll. So I said guys that is so disrespectful of me ask you, how would you like someone talking about your daughter that way those sexual innuendos, comments, there's no place for that Nessus teachers and the bell rang, I kinda got rescued was great. You know, and I thought well enough that overlord and then I will never forget. Next outcome in the teachers lounge and all, here comes the preacher and I mean people, then the conversation Mr. O let's not talk about that chips in the room. We all have to be very careful and I mean it was just piled on, ridicule, ridicule, sarcasm ridicule, so guess what I had solution to that I stop going teachers left I got intimidated I got my feelings are life, I felt like I did measure up. I started doubting that Megan should have said something, but in my mind think that's the right thing to do. That was the right but then how come I feel so bad and I felt like it. I'm like a chump. And then I found myself a prisoner I would get into like the teachers lounge is where the good coffee was so hear what you do and I remember just coming to grips with you are you can allow labels and names and ridicule and sarcasm to define you, or God jot down to verse Proverbs 29, 25, the fear of man is a snare, but blessed to see you trust in the Lord at some point in time in your life you need to figure out who you want to be afraid of.

You can fear people and their opinions or fear God, but you can't fear both and one will free you and the other will imprison you so Nehemiah.

How did he respond, he says, hear us, O God, for we are despised turn their insults back on their own heads give them over as plunder in the land of captivity do not cover their guild or blot out their sins from your site, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders so we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart, he prayed jot that down. He prayed he gets ridiculed. He struggling key prayed we been talking about that he comes before God faces God.

This is what they're doing. He didn't talk back to him.

He didn't Torino exchange were skull working to build the key didn't defend himself. He prayed and then notice he persisted. He didn't. He didn't let him sidetrack did you know that little phrase half of the wall is built. I was reading.

Actually this morning. It's a it's a little book I read. It's a devotional on prayer called magnificent prayer by Nick Harrison and it tells the story of a man named Crane Heidi was a Presbyterian missionary to the pungent people in India and and a fellow he was a ship captain who was a Christian and he was coming to Abuja and they were having a big conference may ask him to speak and so he comes to this conference and he comes in. They have a little TV.

I guess they had tea in those days, and then he says I was to take up to a cup of tea with the delegates with others and I was introduce across the table to Mr. Hyde.

He was a missionary there and he was a missionary. If you know his life story who went there and was not very successful and decided that he was going to make prayer the priority of his mission and begin to intercede to tell stories now.

I think this is a real calling. Sometimes he prayed for like 40 hours in a row and and then all of a sudden this revival begin to break out in among the pungent people here in India and in so that the captain comes he has tea and as he walks out from the T is the stories told this man they called in praying high sick. He reached out his hand and he says I want to see you. He says I shall wait for you at the door and there he was, after tea, waiting, this first words were come with me to the prayer room. We want you to be there.

I do not know whether here's the captain speaking. I do not know whether it was a command or request. I felt I had to go. I told him that I traveled all night that I was tired and had to speak at 4 o'clock but he went but I went with him anyway. We found 1/2 a dozen persons there and hide went down on his face before God. I knelt down in a strange feeling crept over me several prayed and then Hyde began, and I remember very little more. All I knew I was in the presence of God himself, and I had no desire to leave that place. In fact, I don't think that I thought of myself or of my surroundings at all. For I entered into a new world, and I wanted to remain there. There is an incredible incredible power as you learn to come before God and deal with things at a significant level and pray and I will tell you whether it's in Korea or whether it's in the revivals in America or whether you meet people where God is doing something for some people it spent a lot of hours watching a little box that forms their thinking and there's other people that spend a lot of time on their knees or on their face that shapes their character and their view of God an amazing supernatural things are very normal with God, but he always wants to start with this in prayer is one of those avenues of grace. It's not that big not to have to it's the actual privilege of keeping company with God in his presence being transformed by him. Claimant promises about what you're dealing with and then standing on those promises and watching the spirit of God. Take the word of God and change people's hearts are.

That's how God is always one and he received Nehemiah courageous will be right back with his application for this teaching from a series holy ambition during God -shaped dreams into reality. Do you long for your life to make a difference is God's doing something in your soul but you don't know how to get started will through this series trip explains how those deep-seated convictions and promptings can become God -shaped realities stay with her sister plays out a six step process for ordinary people like you and me to follow God's calling and impact our world in unbelievable ways. For more information about holy ambition or are series resources go to LivingontheEdge.org or call AAA to 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003, or LivingontheEdge.org app listeners Special offers one joined now by our Bible teacher driven group and shipping this program you emphasized are called to be courageous, not just in the pursuit of our holy ambition but as believers in our everyday walks to know it's safe to say our society would look completely different followers of Christ lived more authentically. Can you imagine what it would be like to live in a world where Christians really live what Christians mean when you meet a Christian, they would actually be a person of integrity and and lived a holy life.

Not perfect but holy and loved and cared about people, I mean the whole world like that. Well let me back off. Well how about just jerking.

No, not even your community, just everybody in your church and an unknown. How about how about just you and your family and a handful of friends and your really followed Christ with all your heart and even with your struggles and ups and downs. Your authentic life. Can you imagine the impact in your home, your neighborhood, your work, I mean the entire network of just you, your family and handful of friends. Well 20 years ago God put something on my heart to call and to equip Christians to actually live like Christians and you know it started to something really small and then it's grown like crazy and you know what it can start really small with you and then grow like crazy as well.

So if Living on the Edges had impact in your life. If it's blessed you've it's helped you or to help someone else. I'm asking you which you partner with us financially. Would you get on the team and help Christians live like Christians here and all around the world thanks to all of partnering with Living on the Edge is an idea that makes sense to you. We'd love to have you join us helping Christians live like Christians will change the world we live in now to give a gift, call us at AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003, or if you prefer to give online, go to LivingontheEdge.org that's LivingontheEdge.org app listeners top donate. We appreciate your generosity without triplets get your application for this message.

As you listen to today's program what went through your mind, are you like me. Did you listen to the program today and just had the light go on and say to yourself, oh yeah I forgot I'm doing life in a fallen world. I'm walking with God. But there's opposition. Isn't it amazing how we forget that it isn't it amazing that we somehow fall into that myth, that when you obey God when you take steps of faith when your loving your mate and raising your kids right next put your finances in order that unconsciously just unconsciously we think, well, life's gonna turn out great and we look at that first punch. You know that jab of ridicule and and I want to ask you where you getting that you getting it home and getting it at the office.

Are you a student in getting it from people because you carry your Bible or you share your faith. You know something God knows the score. God loves you. Remember the fear of man is a snare, but blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. Let's agree together today to live for an audience of one. That jab of ridicule that making fun of you that little look that you get because you're doing life God's way. Let's draw back and say you know the Lord is smiling and he loves you and I just want to encourage you today how I encourage you to pray and persist like Nehemiah don't give up. Don't give then asked God to make away and please don't quit because quote someone out there is making fun of you in some way. There's too much at stake. Keep pressing ahead just before we close. Would you pray for those who are responding to trips encouragement today, and others.

Always a spiritual battle when we feel prompted to draw near and obey God, thanks for taking a minute to do that and if there's a way we can pray for you. Let us know. Call us at AAA 333-6003 or email chip@livingontheedge.org. We'd love to hear from you well. Until next time for everyone here. This is Dave Drewry say thanks for listening. this Edition of Living on the Edge