How to Hear God | Week 3: Submission

We can all hear from God, but sometimes it’s confusing. But when we take what we hear and bring it to community, we can gain clarity on what God is saying to us. More importantly, we get the accountability we need to actually act on what God is saying. You’ll never receive the full benefits of God speaking to you if you try to go it alone.

  • 00:00:51
    How's it going, Crossroads Anywhere?
  • 00:00:53
    My name is Malcolm.
  • 00:00:54
    I'm the community pastor here at our Florence, Kentucky
  • 00:00:57
    We're actually in the building right now about to start
  • 00:01:00
    And there's other locations like this and groups meeting all
  • 00:01:04
    around the country.
  • 00:01:05
    You've can go to Crossroads.net/locations
  • 00:01:08
    to find one near you.
  • 00:01:09
    Right now we're about to get service start or we're about to
  • 00:01:11
    actually have a time to worship.
  • 00:01:13
    So I'd love it if everyone would stand, turn up the volume, and
  • 00:01:16
    let's sing these songs together.
  • 00:04:01
    This is my story of being broken and lost and encountering a
  • 00:04:06
    And if it's yours, sing along like this.
  • 00:10:38
    God, we thank you for the way that you brought us to you, that
  • 00:10:43
    you bring us to you.
  • 00:10:47
    God, we're here because we want to experience hearing from you.
  • 00:10:52
    Maybe we didn't say it with our words, but we said it with our
  • 00:10:55
    steps into this place, with our clicks to watch this on our
  • 00:10:59
    phone or on our computer.
  • 00:11:03
    In silent ways we're saying,
  • 00:11:05
    God, speak. We need to hear you speak, that's why we're here. It's in Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
  • 00:11:17
    Man, you guys, it's just great worshiping with
  • 00:11:19
    you, it really is.
  • 00:11:23
    And you know, we do this every day at 8:30 on Facebook.
  • 00:11:29
    Did you know that?
  • 00:11:30
    A few of you did. Yeah.
  • 00:11:32
    My people.
  • 00:11:33
    Hey, if you want to join us, we'd love to have you join us at
  • 00:11:36
    8:30 in the morning.
  • 00:11:37
    Just go to Oakley's Facebook page and there's a bunch of people
  • 00:11:40
    hanging out there and I'll see you there leading worship in the
  • 00:11:42
    morning time.
  • 00:11:44
    Another way this big place feels small is when you introduce
  • 00:11:47
    yourself to somebody.
  • 00:11:48
    So, say hi to somebody that you don't know yet and then have a
  • 00:11:50
    quick seat.
  • 00:11:51
    All right.
  • 00:12:06
    One thing you may not know is that hundreds of students from all
  • 00:12:11
    of our Crossroads sites went to summer camp this weekend and
  • 00:12:15
    had -- not this weekend, this summer.
  • 00:12:17
    It's just one big weekend called the summer for my kids.
  • 00:12:22
    They went to camp and they had an amazing time.
  • 00:12:24
    Would you like to see it?
  • 00:12:26
    Here you go.
  • 00:12:49
    >> I think camp was a great way to connect with others and God.
  • 00:12:54
    >> It definitely has something special here because I know, but
  • 00:12:58
    it definitely changed my life for the better and I would highly
  • 00:13:01
    recommend it to anyone.
  • 00:13:03
    >> It's just a good experience. There's like
  • 00:13:06
    everything to help you push through all your problems and then
  • 00:13:09
    just like have fun.
  • 00:13:10
    >> It's open to everyone, which means there's diverse people,
  • 00:13:12
    there's diverse friend groups.
  • 00:13:14
    And just interacting with so many different kinds of people
  • 00:13:17
    means you get better connection than I think you'd find
  • 00:13:19
    anywhere else.
  • 00:13:20
    >> When I heard no phone I was scared.
  • 00:13:22
    But when I came here.
  • 00:13:23
    [music]
  • 00:14:08
    Man, wasn't that incredible.
  • 00:14:10
    I love student camps.
  • 00:14:12
    Hi, my name is Malcolm, if we haven't met, I'm the Florence
  • 00:14:14
    community pastor.
  • 00:14:15
    We're actually in the building right now.
  • 00:14:17
    And if you thought that was amazing, it's because it was.
  • 00:14:21
    I actually got a chance to go to camps this year.
  • 00:14:24
    And I walked in and saw an environment for students and it was
  • 00:14:27
    designed specifically for them.
  • 00:14:30
    And I got to watch over 40 students raise their hand and say, "I
  • 00:14:33
    want to follow Jesus.
  • 00:14:34
    I want to start doing that for the rest of my life.".
  • 00:14:36
    And it was incredible.
  • 00:14:37
    And students aren't the only group of people that have an
  • 00:14:41
    environment like that designed specifically for them.
  • 00:14:43
    We actually have adult camps.
  • 00:14:45
    And this fall we have Man Camp, Couples Camp and College Camp.
  • 00:14:49
    And ladies, don't worry, we have Woman Camp coming this spring.
  • 00:14:53
    Camps are all about just getting out of your comfort zone,
  • 00:14:56
    detaching from the every day grind.
  • 00:14:58
    And when we do that, we typically realize that we get connected
  • 00:15:01
    into community and we grow spiritually.
  • 00:15:04
    And if that's interesting to you and you want more information
  • 00:15:06
    about that, you go to Crossroads.net/camps
  • 00:15:09
    and all the info is there.
  • 00:15:10
    What do I need to bring?
  • 00:15:11
    How much does it cost?
  • 00:15:13
    All of that is there right for you, you can sign up on the spot.
  • 00:15:17
    Like I said, we're in the Florence building right now.
  • 00:15:20
    And if you live in Florence or if you live somewhere close in
  • 00:15:22
    Northern Kentucky and you haven't physically made it to the
  • 00:15:25
    building in person on a weekend, you've got to get here.
  • 00:15:28
    It's just good to, like I said, be connected into community.
  • 00:15:31
    We have found that people want to be known and they want to know
  • 00:15:34
    others.
  • 00:15:35
    And I'm assuming that that is your case, too.
  • 00:15:37
    And if you want to rub elbows with a few people, enjoy some free
  • 00:15:40
    Wi-Fi, some hot coffee, come in the building and enjoy a
  • 00:15:44
    weekend experience.
  • 00:15:45
    I would love to meet you.
  • 00:15:46
    I would love to hear your story.
  • 00:15:47
    And I got a little gift like this cup.
  • 00:15:49
    There's gonna be some good stuff inside the cup as well.
  • 00:15:51
    But I would love to meet you and hear your story.
  • 00:15:55
    Camps are happening this fall.
  • 00:15:56
    What else is happening this fall is our all church Journey.
  • 00:16:00
    It's a time when we take about five weeks to hone in on a
  • 00:16:02
    specific topic.
  • 00:16:04
    And this year, we're talking about play and purpose.
  • 00:16:06
    Our senior pastor, Brian Tome, that said that when you want a
  • 00:16:09
    life of prosperity, you need both play and purpose.
  • 00:16:12
    And that's what we're focusing on.
  • 00:16:14
    There's three components of a Journey.
  • 00:16:15
    The first one is the weekend message.
  • 00:16:17
    You'll want to make sure that you're watching that.
  • 00:16:19
    The second is some individual work that you'll take the concepts
  • 00:16:23
    from the weekend message and just apply them and kind of work
  • 00:16:25
    through those things.
  • 00:16:26
    And the third is that you're going to process those same
  • 00:16:28
    concepts in a group setting and we're looking for people to
  • 00:16:32
    lead those groups.
  • 00:16:33
    It's not rocket science.
  • 00:16:34
    You don't have to be an expert on the Bible.
  • 00:16:36
    But we would love for you to lead a Journey group.
  • 00:16:38
    And if you want more information on what that looks
  • 00:16:41
    like, you can go to Crossroads.net/journey,
  • 00:16:44
    read about it and sign up to lead a group.
  • 00:16:47
    Right now, we're going to have an opportunity to be generous as
  • 00:16:49
    a community.
  • 00:16:50
    And for me, I give because when I give, I'm just practicing
  • 00:16:53
    being obedient.
  • 00:16:54
    I'm putting myself beneath God and saying, "God, I want to put
  • 00:16:58
    you first.".
  • 00:16:59
    And we do that, one easy way around here, you can go to
  • 00:17:01
    Crossroads.net/give and give that way.
  • 00:17:04
    And while we do that, we're gonna take a look at a story from
  • 00:17:07
    someone in our community about how they're hearing from God.
  • 00:17:10
    Check it out.
  • 00:17:13
    >> I'm Lori and God speaks to me through community.
  • 00:17:17
    So the first time I think I ever really heard God speak to me
  • 00:17:20
    was when I was working full time.
  • 00:17:23
    I loved my job.
  • 00:17:24
    I love my career.
  • 00:17:26
    I started to see that I was not spending as much time with my
  • 00:17:29
    kids and focusing on my family as I wished I would.
  • 00:17:33
    I had this dream one weekend and all night long I just kept
  • 00:17:37
    hearing kind of just like a song that you cannot get out of
  • 00:17:40
    your head.
  • 00:17:41
    And it was just like everything you do, do it for your family
  • 00:17:44
    So I just woke up the next day and I was like, "David, I think
  • 00:17:47
    we need to talk.".
  • 00:17:48
    That just kind of launched in this whole conversation that ended
  • 00:17:51
    me sort of in a new path away from the corporate journey that I
  • 00:17:55
    had been on.
  • 00:17:56
    After I had been kind of at home raising kids for a couple of
  • 00:18:01
    years, I was walking down the street and I looked at a shop.
  • 00:18:07
    It was like time stopped and I saw a picture of what this place
  • 00:18:11
    I saw a picture of a community coffee shop.
  • 00:18:15
    And after I talked to my husband about it, we decided that we
  • 00:18:18
    should take it to our group.
  • 00:18:20
    We should ask them if they could take this to God on our behalf.
  • 00:18:25
    Everyone sort of had these private moments that they had, but
  • 00:18:28
    then we got back together in a group and we shared all of it.
  • 00:18:30
    It was encouraging to hear that God had spoken so similarly
  • 00:18:35
    between different people enough so that we felt a good amount
  • 00:18:40
    of confidence that this is something that we were being called
  • 00:18:42
    to.
  • 00:18:43
    So we opened it with lots of help from lots of people.
  • 00:18:48
    And it was really fun.
  • 00:18:50
    And we had some really, really great times and great moments in
  • 00:18:55
    Last year, I just started to feel like maybe it was time for the
  • 00:18:59
    torch to be passed.
  • 00:19:00
    And I thought, huh, this is interesting.
  • 00:19:03
    Maybe I ought to, you know, continue to pray about this or talk
  • 00:19:07
    to my husband about this.
  • 00:19:09
    So I did.
  • 00:19:11
    What he prayed was that we would just get a real really clear
  • 00:19:15
    sign over the next couple days about just a next step.
  • 00:19:19
    In the morning, one of my regular customers came in and he said,
  • 00:19:24
    "OK, this is really weird, but I had this dream last night.
  • 00:19:29
    And in my dream, you guys were selling this coffee shop."
  • 00:19:32
    And I was like, wow, that's really weird.
  • 00:19:37
    Then Friday, another person in our community came forward and
  • 00:19:40
    said that they had had another dream that we were going to be
  • 00:19:45
    selling the coffee shop.
  • 00:19:46
    I'm feeling like this is time to pass it on to someone who will
  • 00:19:50
    take care of it.
  • 00:19:51
    In January, I think we wrote sort of a letter to the community
  • 00:19:55
    and we just said that we were thinking about looking for the
  • 00:19:58
    next right owners.
  • 00:20:00
    And very quickly the perfect family came along.
  • 00:20:04
    Definitely could not have done any of this without community.
  • 00:20:09
    From building the space to how to sell a business, community has
  • 00:20:16
    been such a huge part.
  • 00:20:20
    I hope they know that.
  • 00:20:23
    Sorry.
  • 00:20:25
    This whole process has just been one gigantic hug from God.
  • 00:20:31
    >> I love it.
  • 00:20:32
    It's amazing.
  • 00:20:34
    By the way, just on behalf of sleep deprived parents everywhere
  • 00:20:39
    who struggled to get out of bed in the morning and have to deal
  • 00:20:43
    with their kids yet again,
  • 00:20:44
    if you ever feel like God is telling you to open a coffee shop,
  • 00:20:48
    he absolutely is.
  • 00:20:50
    We need your coffee.
  • 00:20:52
    Also, this may be prophetic, I think God's telling somebody in
  • 00:20:55
    this room to start a coffee delivery service.
  • 00:20:58
    That's what I think.
  • 00:21:00
    I will leave my window open and you can just put it on my
  • 00:21:02
    That will be magical.
  • 00:21:04
    Maybe God's saying it to you, I don't know.
  • 00:21:06
    Hey, my name is Kyle, if you've never met before.
  • 00:21:08
    I'm part of the staff here, been on staff about 14 years, part
  • 00:21:11
    of our leadership team.
  • 00:21:12
    And I get to talk to you today.
  • 00:21:13
    And I want you to know right up front, I have an agenda, a very
  • 00:21:17
    unapologetic agenda.
  • 00:21:18
    And my agenda is this: I hope to motivate you to do a Journey
  • 00:21:22
    group today.
  • 00:21:24
    And the reason I do is because joining a Journey group has
  • 00:21:27
    changed my life.
  • 00:21:29
    Completely changed my life.
  • 00:21:30
    About 15 years ago I did a Journey group.
  • 00:21:33
    It was called the Life Journey.
  • 00:21:34
    Any Life Journey veterans out there?
  • 00:21:36
    A long time ago and I met two guys, I met Greg and Jason who are
  • 00:21:42
    still in my life to this day.
  • 00:21:43
    I would consider them something called a wise counselor in my
  • 00:21:46
    Eight years ago, I met two more guys who have stuck with me.
  • 00:21:49
    Guys named Matt and Walker in the Strong Challenging.
  • 00:21:52
    Anybody do the Strong Challenge out there?
  • 00:21:54
    Strong challenge, great journey.
  • 00:21:57
    And so I hope to convince you to experience what I have
  • 00:22:00
    experienced, to find people who can change your life.
  • 00:22:04
    These guys haven't just changed my life, they've helped me Hear
  • 00:22:07
    from God, that's the series that we're in, by the way, How to
  • 00:22:10
    Hear God.
  • 00:22:11
    It's a radical series.
  • 00:22:12
    It's a controversial series.
  • 00:22:13
    I don't know if you're feeling that yet, but I would propose to
  • 00:22:16
    you, there's nothing more controversial we could possibly say
  • 00:22:19
    to you than this claim that we're making in this series, which
  • 00:22:21
    is no matter who you are, you can hear God.
  • 00:22:27
    Now, it's controversial, it's radical on a couple of different
  • 00:22:29
    fronts.
  • 00:22:30
    One, compared to other world religions.
  • 00:22:32
    If you've done any research on world religions, you'll know that
  • 00:22:34
    this notion that all religions are the same does not hold up at
  • 00:22:38
    all.
  • 00:22:39
    Just look at hearing from God and you'll see that Gods and the
  • 00:22:43
    God figures in different religions are wildly different on this
  • 00:22:46
    In fact, almost all of them don't talk to anybody, not even a
  • 00:22:50
    person.
  • 00:22:51
    And the ones that do only talk to either people who lived a very
  • 00:22:54
    long time ago and no longer talk, or only talk to the special
  • 00:22:57
    people, which is very convenient for those people, isn't it?
  • 00:23:02
    It's also controversial inside the church world because when it
  • 00:23:04
    comes to the church world, you see, we interpret this
  • 00:23:06
    verse, this verse that Chuck laid out in Week One, Jeremiah
  • 00:23:10
    33:3 to the extreme.
  • 00:23:11
    It says:
  • 00:23:18
    That's God speaking.
  • 00:23:19
    Call to me and I will answer you.
  • 00:23:21
    And see here at Crossroads, we don't think this was a promise
  • 00:23:24
    made a long time ago to people way back when or only to the
  • 00:23:27
    special people.
  • 00:23:28
    We think this is a promise made to all of us and that makes us
  • 00:23:32
    very different.
  • 00:23:33
    And I hope that that's wildly exciting and encouraging to you.
  • 00:23:37
    That what we're talking about today, How to Hear God.
  • 00:23:40
    And specifically what I'm going to do today I'm going to poke
  • 00:23:42
    you in the chest.
  • 00:23:44
    I'm just gonna do this, just (sound effect).
  • 00:23:46
    If it starts to feel that way, good, that's what I'm going for.
  • 00:23:49
    Because I'm going to go after what I think is a lie that sits at
  • 00:23:53
    the very center of what it means to be an American.
  • 00:23:57
    And I believe that lie may be holding you back from clearly
  • 00:24:01
    hearing God's direction for your life.
  • 00:24:05
    Before we talk about that or go any further, let's pray.
  • 00:24:09
    God, I just ask for you to say what You want to say.
  • 00:24:12
    And I ask for all of us to clearly hear You.
  • 00:24:14
    I don't want my words to be heard.
  • 00:24:16
    I want Your words to be heard.
  • 00:24:17
    So please do that.
  • 00:24:19
    Please talk to us.
  • 00:24:20
    Please instruct us and we'll listen.
  • 00:24:22
    Amen.
  • 00:24:24
    Well, today is about how to hear God's direction for your life.
  • 00:24:30
    How do you hear God's direction for your life?
  • 00:24:33
    And by direction, I don't mean small things, little things.
  • 00:24:36
    And I don't mean things like encouragements.
  • 00:24:38
    You know, God can talk to you and give you an encouragement or
  • 00:24:40
    He can give you a little instruction.
  • 00:24:41
    I mean direction, like big direction, decisions that can
  • 00:24:45
    determine the course of your life.
  • 00:24:47
    How do you hear God on those?
  • 00:24:49
    Things like, do you go to college or not go to college?
  • 00:24:52
    And which major do you pick once you get to college?
  • 00:24:54
    And if you don't like the major, do you switch majors?
  • 00:24:56
    And should you date that girl?
  • 00:24:57
    Should you date that guy?
  • 00:24:58
    What about marrying them?
  • 00:24:59
    Should you move into the apartment?
  • 00:25:01
    Should you take the job?
  • 00:25:02
    Should you quit the job?
  • 00:25:03
    Should you move?
  • 00:25:04
    Should you stay?
  • 00:25:05
    Should you not retire?
  • 00:25:07
    Should you drink beer before liquor or vice versa?
  • 00:25:08
    I can't remember the riddle.
  • 00:25:09
    It's been a long time since college.
  • 00:25:11
    Big decisions, you know.
  • 00:25:13
    How do you make them?
  • 00:25:15
    How do you hear God on those things in your life?
  • 00:25:18
    And maybe, just maybe you're making one of those right now.
  • 00:25:21
    Maybe you're in that spot.
  • 00:25:23
    I made a decision, a major decision a while ago, actually.
  • 00:25:28
    But it's time for me to tell you about it.
  • 00:25:31
    And that is that I decided a while ago to leave my job at
  • 00:25:34
    Crossroads.
  • 00:25:36
    And I would love to walk you through why, because what's most
  • 00:25:39
    important to me is I want you to see and understand that in
  • 00:25:43
    making this decision, I did my very best to hear from God.
  • 00:25:48
    And in fact, I'll walk you through it.
  • 00:25:50
    But I would say based on what I could see, based on what I could
  • 00:25:54
    hear, I made a great decision, made a great decision.
  • 00:25:57
    For context, when I just made this decision, I'd been in my job
  • 00:26:02
    for seven straight years.
  • 00:26:04
    Same job.
  • 00:26:05
    Same job.
  • 00:26:06
    And I liked my job, but it was monotonous.
  • 00:26:08
    It was like the same thing just over and over and over and over
  • 00:26:12
    and over again.
  • 00:26:13
    It was monotony, I didn't feel like I was getting anywhere.
  • 00:26:16
    I had heard from God years before through some people who would
  • 00:26:19
    say these sorts of things to me and that God had other plans
  • 00:26:23
    That in my early thirties I'd be part of leading a church.
  • 00:26:27
    And when this -- I made this decision, I wasn't -- that wasn't
  • 00:26:30
    And it wasn't on the horizon for me.
  • 00:26:32
    And I also heard things like one day I would be teaching like on
  • 00:26:35
    a stage, and that wasn't happening.
  • 00:26:38
    And then this word came to me.
  • 00:26:40
    It was -- I say God said it, but -- and this series, we're not
  • 00:26:43
    talking about an audible voice from heaven that
  • 00:26:45
    goes, (character voice) "Thou shalt do," you know, whatever?
  • 00:26:49
    No, it's not that, it's like a thought that kind of plops in
  • 00:26:53
    your head and it feels like it came from somewhere else.
  • 00:26:55
    And I had one of those and it was this phrase, "I'm taking you
  • 00:26:59
    to green pastures," which means like prosperity and freshness
  • 00:27:05
    and newness, certainly not monotony.
  • 00:27:07
    And right about the time that I heard that this unexpected job
  • 00:27:10
    offer came my way.
  • 00:27:11
    And I'm telling you, it felt like green pastures.
  • 00:27:14
    I'll take you through my pro/con list that I kind of wrote
  • 00:27:17
    together as I was making this decision so you'll see, because I
  • 00:27:20
    really want you to see I think I made the best decision based
  • 00:27:23
    on what I could hear.
  • 00:27:24
    God say green pastures.
  • 00:27:25
    I saw green pastures everywhere.
  • 00:27:28
    First, it was a great job.
  • 00:27:29
    A really great job.
  • 00:27:31
    Director of Marketing for a half billion dollar company.
  • 00:27:34
    And my very first project would be rebranding the entire
  • 00:27:38
    company, which I was so excited about.
  • 00:27:40
    That's like my sweet spot, messaging and how you craft a message
  • 00:27:42
    to connect to an audience and look, tone, feel, and experience
  • 00:27:45
    and all of these things that are core to me, core to how God
  • 00:27:47
    wired me.
  • 00:27:48
    I felt like this is green pastures.
  • 00:27:50
    That would be so much fun to work on, it would be amazing.
  • 00:27:53
    Second, I could literally see green pastures from the office,
  • 00:27:57
    literally.
  • 00:27:58
    When I went there, they showed me where my office would
  • 00:28:00
    be and it's like floor to ceiling glass and I could look out
  • 00:28:02
    and I could see the Ohio River and beyond the green pastures
  • 00:28:05
    and rolling hills of Kentucky.
  • 00:28:07
    Oh, beautiful.
  • 00:28:08
    If you've ever seen my desk at Crossroads, I have not seen the
  • 00:28:10
    sun in 12 years.
  • 00:28:13
    My wife's like, "Did you see the rain today?".
  • 00:28:16
    I'm like, "No, I had no idea." It could have hailed, you
  • 00:28:18
    know, like little fire from heaven.
  • 00:28:20
    I wouldn't -- I would've miss it.
  • 00:28:21
    I have no idea.
  • 00:28:23
    Oh, and the last thing, this is important, the job offer was for
  • 00:28:26
    triple my income.
  • 00:28:29
    Triple.
  • 00:28:30
    Green pastures, indeed.
  • 00:28:31
    Right?
  • 00:28:33
    And it wasn't -- the money wasn't about buying nicer stuff.
  • 00:28:35
    See, the money for me meant I could do important things, like I
  • 00:28:39
    could send my kids to college.
  • 00:28:40
    Like maybe it wasn't just green pastures for me, but maybe this
  • 00:28:42
    would have a ripple effect in my family because at that time I
  • 00:28:45
    had no idea how that was going to happen.
  • 00:28:47
    Right?
  • 00:28:48
    Green pastures.
  • 00:28:49
    And someday I could think about not needing an income.
  • 00:28:51
    Some day I could think about actually retiring.
  • 00:28:53
    I could do things like travel
  • 00:28:55
    God's hardwired a love of travel and new experience in me,
  • 00:28:58
    that's green pastures for me.
  • 00:28:59
    I saw green pastures everywhere.
  • 00:29:01
    And so I went for it.
  • 00:29:03
    Now the con list.
  • 00:29:04
    We've got to talk with con list too, I suppose.
  • 00:29:05
    The con list was leaving a job I love.
  • 00:29:09
    And more specifically, leaving people that I love
  • 00:29:10
    here, co-workers that I love, people that I love, and in the
  • 00:29:14
    comfort of all of that.
  • 00:29:16
    But I quickly realized something that, see, when you leave a job
  • 00:29:19
    at a church, you don't leave the people because you don't leave
  • 00:29:22
    Right?
  • 00:29:23
    This is great.
  • 00:29:25
    I can keep these relationships in my life.
  • 00:29:27
    This is wonderful.
  • 00:29:29
    And by the way, I noticed this other thing that at Crossroads we
  • 00:29:32
    have this habit of hiring people who've had corporate
  • 00:29:34
    leadership experience into jobs at Crossroads.
  • 00:29:37
    So I figured, you know what?
  • 00:29:38
    I can leave, have new fresh experiences, make a lot of money and
  • 00:29:42
    come back someday anyway.
  • 00:29:45
    Perfect.
  • 00:29:46
    Right decision, right?
  • 00:29:49
    Based on everything I could see, based everything I could hear,
  • 00:29:52
    I made the right decision.
  • 00:29:55
    What about you?
  • 00:29:56
    Let's talk about you.
  • 00:29:57
    Enough about me, what about you?
  • 00:29:59
    How do you make those decisions, do you have a pro/con list?
  • 00:30:03
    Do you seek out good advice from people?
  • 00:30:05
    "What do you think about this?
  • 00:30:06
    You know, what about this?".
  • 00:30:08
    Do you do that?
  • 00:30:09
    I don't know your exact steps and how they order, but I know how
  • 00:30:11
    the end.
  • 00:30:13
    They end in the same way that mine end probably, you make the
  • 00:30:17
    decision.
  • 00:30:19
    You do, because this is America and in America we are
  • 00:30:23
    independent.
  • 00:30:24
    We are the land of the free and the home of we make our own
  • 00:30:27
    decisions, aren't we?
  • 00:30:30
    It's the core of what it means to be an American is
  • 00:30:32
    And listen, caveat, I am pro freedom.
  • 00:30:36
    I am pro justice.
  • 00:30:37
    I am pro democracy.
  • 00:30:39
    I'm grateful for those things.
  • 00:30:41
    I'm grateful for the men and the women who have given up their
  • 00:30:43
    lives so I can enjoy those things.
  • 00:30:45
    I am, I love them.
  • 00:30:46
    But I want you to see this: independence -- independence is a
  • 00:30:51
    bias that we all have.
  • 00:30:55
    And it doesn't just bias us and color our view on some things.
  • 00:31:02
    It's a bias on everything, including how we see God, including
  • 00:31:07
    how we view hearing God.
  • 00:31:10
    It's a bias of independence.
  • 00:31:12
    And the thing is, God seems very much less interested in
  • 00:31:18
    independent living than you and I are.
  • 00:31:22
    If anything, he wants the opposite, it seems like.
  • 00:31:26
    So, listen, while it's true, I'm telling you this today, you can
  • 00:31:31
    no matter who you are, good news, you can hear God's direction
  • 00:31:37
    for your life.
  • 00:31:38
    But you can't do it alone.
  • 00:31:43
    You can't.
  • 00:31:44
    You can't do it alone.
  • 00:31:45
    Now, this flies in the face of culture as well
  • 00:31:48
    Culture when it comes to decisions about direction, culture has
  • 00:31:51
    one piece of advice, it's three words, it's awesome, right?
  • 00:31:54
    Follow your... heart. Follow
  • 00:31:59
    your heart.
  • 00:32:00
    It's every Disney movie, it's Moana, follow your heart to the
  • 00:32:03
    sea, Moana?
  • 00:32:05
    It's a good movie, by the way. I like that movie.
  • 00:32:07
    Follow your heart.
  • 00:32:09
    There's a problem with that, your heart and my heart is a big
  • 00:32:16
    freaking liar.
  • 00:32:18
    Do you know that? It's
  • 00:32:20
    a liar?
  • 00:32:22
    Sixteen chapters before the book of Jeremiah says, "Call to me
  • 00:32:27
    and I will answer you."
  • 00:32:29
    Jeremiah writes this about our hearts.
  • 00:32:33
    It says:.
  • 00:32:40
    This is your heart.
  • 00:32:42
    See, your heart is a liar because your heart sees what it wants
  • 00:32:45
    to see and hears what it wants to hear.
  • 00:32:48
    That's it.
  • 00:32:50
    If it wants to see green pastures, it'll see it everywhere.
  • 00:32:53
    We were on vacation, my family and I just got back like a week
  • 00:32:56
    ago.
  • 00:32:57
    We were on a two week vacation at the beach.
  • 00:32:59
    It was amazing.
  • 00:33:00
    We were on this little island and about a week into vacation.
  • 00:33:03
    So I don't know, day seven, day eight, it's low tide and we're
  • 00:33:06
    wading in the water with our kids.
  • 00:33:08
    And we start to step on sand dollars.
  • 00:33:11
    Has this ever happened to you? It's super fun.
  • 00:33:13
    You kind of -- you can use your feet, or if the water is shallow
  • 00:33:15
    enough you can feel with your hands.
  • 00:33:17
    And what you're trying to do is you feel for something hard and
  • 00:33:19
    then you just reach down into the water and you pick the thing
  • 00:33:22
    up and you hope it doesn't have claws or teeth.
  • 00:33:24
    That's going to how you find sand dollars.
  • 00:33:26
    And if you're envisioning the white circle kind of bone, white
  • 00:33:31
    smooth circle, that's a that's a dead, murdered, scalped sand
  • 00:33:35
    dollar.
  • 00:33:37
    That's not what live sand dollars look like.
  • 00:33:38
    They come out of the water kind of green and brown and slimy
  • 00:33:42
    with all these little hairs on them like (sound effect) just
  • 00:33:46
    kind of looking at you weird, you know?
  • 00:33:49
    They don't have eyes, I don't know why I said that, they can't
  • 00:33:51
    look at you.
  • 00:33:52
    I hope they don't have eyes. I have to apologize
  • 00:33:54
    to lots of them if they do, because we killed a lot of them.
  • 00:33:56
    Our kids want to keep them and so we decide, okay, you can keep
  • 00:33:59
    like 10, right?
  • 00:34:00
    So they pick up these sand dollars, they put them in a bucket
  • 00:34:03
    and we decide we're gonna go home and bleach them and whatever.
  • 00:34:06
    So we put the bucket in the minivan.
  • 00:34:07
    We drive back to the place where we're staying.
  • 00:34:10
    And somewhere on the ride, and I'm -- probably this is like I'm
  • 00:34:12
    speculating at this point, because I don't know.
  • 00:34:15
    Because here's what I think happens, one of the sand dollars
  • 00:34:18
    said to the other sand dollars, he's like, "Guys, this is not
  • 00:34:21
    how it ends for me.
  • 00:34:23
    I do not die in this bucket.
  • 00:34:25
    I'm getting out here.".
  • 00:34:27
    And he makes a break for it, you know, climbs up the side of the
  • 00:34:29
    bucket and then falls down.
  • 00:34:31
    Unfortunately, he falls into a deep crevice of my minivan where
  • 00:34:34
    he will never be discovered to this day.
  • 00:34:37
    Fact.
  • 00:34:38
    The next morning I go open the van, the door of the minivan, and
  • 00:34:41
    it's like -- it's like just death himself has slept in my van,
  • 00:34:46
    you know?
  • 00:34:47
    [laughter]
  • 00:34:48
    It's this real (sound effect) burnt hair and dead fish.
  • 00:34:51
    (sound effect)
  • 00:34:52
    It was like (sound effect).
  • 00:34:55
    Who wants to go to the beach?
  • 00:34:56
    You know, it was awful.
  • 00:34:58
    I couldn't find it.
  • 00:34:59
    Literally still haven't found it.
  • 00:35:01
    And I'm mad, I'm gag driving to the beach.
  • 00:35:03
    (sound effect) We almost crashed again.
  • 00:35:06
    And at some point I make this conclusion, I decide the problem
  • 00:35:10
    is not the sand dollar we can't find.
  • 00:35:14
    The problems is this stupid van.
  • 00:35:15
    I hate this van.
  • 00:35:16
    I'm so sick of mini vans.
  • 00:35:17
    It's like destroyed, disgusting, a hundred and whatever thousand
  • 00:35:20
    miles.
  • 00:35:21
    And I'm sick of this van.
  • 00:35:22
    The problem is this van.
  • 00:35:23
    I need something different.
  • 00:35:24
    And then I look up across the way, there it is.
  • 00:35:29
    Big, shining, beautiful, the skies, partly angels sing.
  • 00:35:33
    It's a Nissan Armada.
  • 00:35:36
    I took this photo of it so you can enjoy the moment with me.
  • 00:35:40
    This is exactly what I look like.
  • 00:35:42
    It's glorious.
  • 00:35:43
    It's not a minivan.
  • 00:35:45
    It's got three rows of seats, big, powerful, you know, just like
  • 00:35:49
    me. [laughter]
  • 00:35:52
    Except the three -- I don't have a third row seat, though.
  • 00:35:55
    Like I need this thing.
  • 00:35:56
    I need it.
  • 00:35:57
    And from that moment on, I saw Nissan Armadas everywhere on this
  • 00:36:02
    island.
  • 00:36:04
    Now, I don't think Nissan suddenly shipped in a hundred Armadas
  • 00:36:08
    right?
  • 00:36:09
    I didn't see any the first week.
  • 00:36:10
    And that's all I saw the second week.
  • 00:36:13
    This is your heart, your heart will see what it wants to see.
  • 00:36:19
    You want an Armada?
  • 00:36:20
    You'll see them everywhere.
  • 00:36:21
    I'm going to curse you, look for Jeep Wranglers.
  • 00:36:23
    You'll see them everywhere, stupid Jeep Wrangler drivers.
  • 00:36:27
    Not that I'm jealous, but whatever.
  • 00:36:29
    This is how your heart works.
  • 00:36:32
    Follow your heart is the worst advice you could possibly take.
  • 00:36:35
    But it's the advice being thrown at you every second of every
  • 00:36:38
    day from nearly every source of media you consume.
  • 00:36:41
    Follow your heart.
  • 00:36:43
    You know what happens when you follow your heart?
  • 00:36:45
    I'll tell you what I've seen.
  • 00:36:47
    I've seen people follow their heart right into addiction.
  • 00:36:50
    I've seen people follow their heart right in the divorce.
  • 00:36:53
    I've seen people follow their heart right into debt.
  • 00:36:55
    That's what I've seen, because the heart is deceptive.
  • 00:37:00
    Deceptive above all things.
  • 00:37:04
    So how do you hear God's voice?
  • 00:37:06
    How would you ever hear God's direction if your heart is
  • 00:37:09
    untrustworthy?
  • 00:37:11
    How would you do it?
  • 00:37:13
    Well, there's one way.
  • 00:37:15
    In the Bible, there is one way, one source of God's direction.
  • 00:37:23
    Do you know what the one source of God's direction is?
  • 00:37:26
    It's Brian Tome,
  • 00:37:28
    Just kidding. [laughter].
  • 00:37:31
    It's Chuck Mingo.
  • 00:37:34
    No, the one source is wise counsellors.
  • 00:37:40
    Wise counselors in the Bible, something sacred.
  • 00:37:44
    Now a wise counselor, the quickest definition I could give you
  • 00:37:48
    is a wise counselor is not just anybody.
  • 00:37:50
    This isn't just any friend.
  • 00:37:53
    Because we're not talking about good advice.
  • 00:37:55
    We're talking about God's direction.
  • 00:37:57
    Different, very different.
  • 00:38:00
    And so to be a wise counselor, someone must meet two criteria.
  • 00:38:03
    One, they must know and love God, that's most important.
  • 00:38:09
    Two, they ideally know and love you.
  • 00:38:14
    That's a wise counselor, they know and love God and they know
  • 00:38:17
    And the benefits of them are enormous.
  • 00:38:20
    Google wise counselors Bible and you'll find dozens and dozens
  • 00:38:24
    of verses.
  • 00:38:25
    Here's one of them I'll read to ya.
  • 00:38:27
    This comes out of the Book of Proverbs.
  • 00:38:29
    Proverbs 11:14:
  • 00:38:42
    Wise counselors are who gives God's direction.
  • 00:38:47
    Period. That's it.
  • 00:38:49
    That's the only source.
  • 00:38:51
    If you want to hear God's direction for your life, you're gonna
  • 00:38:55
    need some wise counselors and you're gonna need to do what they
  • 00:38:58
    say
  • 00:38:59
    You're going to have to throw off the American independence that
  • 00:39:02
    says God surely if He had direction for my life, He would tell
  • 00:39:05
    it to me.
  • 00:39:06
    I would hear it.
  • 00:39:08
    Would He?
  • 00:39:10
    What do you think is the most important direction God has ever
  • 00:39:13
    given somebody?
  • 00:39:15
    What do you think it is?
  • 00:39:16
    In the history of the world, what's the most important time God
  • 00:39:19
    ever gave someone direction?
  • 00:39:22
    You could probably make a case for a few different people.
  • 00:39:25
    I'll tell you mine, I'll tell you mine in my case.
  • 00:39:28
    I think the person is Paul, like the apostle Paul, St.
  • 00:39:33
    I think it's Paul.
  • 00:39:34
    And by the way, Jesus should be excluded from this contest.
  • 00:39:38
    He is God, that feels like cheating to me.
  • 00:39:40
    I'm sorry.
  • 00:39:41
    Jesus. Just a rule I made up.
  • 00:39:43
    Paul, I'm going to go with Paul.
  • 00:39:46
    And I'll prove this point to you by this.
  • 00:39:48
    Raise your hand if you can hear my voice and you're not Jewish.
  • 00:39:53
    Ok, great.
  • 00:39:54
    Just about everybody.
  • 00:39:55
    What do you know?
  • 00:39:57
    Well, the only reason you're here and listening is because of
  • 00:40:01
    Paul. Really.
  • 00:40:02
    I don't mean that -- that's not hyperbole, really.
  • 00:40:05
    Paul is the one guy God said, "Hey, your mission is to take the
  • 00:40:10
    gospel of Jesus, the message of Jesus to people who aren't
  • 00:40:13
    And that's what Paul did.
  • 00:40:15
    Critical. It's changed the course of world history.
  • 00:40:19
    Critical moment of someone clearly hearing God's direction for
  • 00:40:23
    their life, if you ask me.
  • 00:40:24
    Maybe the most important ever.
  • 00:40:28
    Something to know about Paul.
  • 00:40:30
    Paul knew how to hear God's voice like on his own.
  • 00:40:33
    He was pretty good at it.
  • 00:40:34
    He wrote most of the New Testament.
  • 00:40:35
    In one of those books he even talks about how close him and God,
  • 00:40:38
    where he's kind of bragging about it.
  • 00:40:39
    And he's like, "Yeah, this one time I was caught up to the third
  • 00:40:42
    level of heaven.
  • 00:40:43
    So, you know?"
  • 00:40:45
    What's the third level of heaven? I
  • 00:40:47
    have no idea.
  • 00:40:48
    I've never been there, neither have you or anybody else.
  • 00:40:50
    Just Paul.
  • 00:40:51
    And so if God wants, God could just talk to Paul and Paul'd be
  • 00:40:55
    like, "Yeah, what's up, God?
  • 00:40:57
    Hey, I thought we can meet, Paul, maybe like on the second level
  • 00:41:00
    I have some direction for you.".
  • 00:41:01
    "Cool. I'll meet you there.".
  • 00:41:02
    You know, go like that.
  • 00:41:04
    But that's not how God chooses to direct Paul's life at all.
  • 00:41:09
    At all.
  • 00:41:10
    We're gonna dive into Paul's story here for the next few
  • 00:41:12
    I want you to hang with me through his story, because I want you
  • 00:41:16
    to see every moment of significant direction in Paul's life and
  • 00:41:20
    how God chose to talk to him.
  • 00:41:22
    Because maybe, just maybe, it's how he'll talk to you, too.
  • 00:41:25
    The story starts on the road to Damascus, and at this point,
  • 00:41:30
    Paul's name is Saul, so you're not confused when we read the
  • 00:41:33
    His name is Saul.
  • 00:41:34
    That's his Jewish name.
  • 00:41:35
    Paul is his non-Jewish name, that's how that works out.
  • 00:41:39
    So, Saul is on the road to Damascus because at this point he
  • 00:41:42
    thinks God's direction is to kill Christians.
  • 00:41:45
    That's how he's helping God, so he's going to Damascus to kill
  • 00:41:47
    some Christians.
  • 00:41:48
    Bright light shines out of heaven and knocks him to the ground.
  • 00:41:52
    It's Jesus and He starts talking to him and he says this:
  • 00:42:26
    Two very important things to note here.
  • 00:42:29
    One, Jesus does not give Paul the direction for his life.
  • 00:42:33
    He says, go to the city and somebody tell him the
  • 00:42:36
    direction for his life.
  • 00:42:37
    Did you catch that?
  • 00:42:39
    Get there and then you'll be told what to do.
  • 00:42:41
    Two, Jesus takes away his eyesight so that Paul can't even get
  • 00:42:46
    to the city without the help of other people.
  • 00:42:48
    And like that, in a moment, the only way Paul can hear God's
  • 00:42:53
    direction for his life is with the help of other people.
  • 00:42:58
    He gets to Damascus and God's prepared this guy named Ananais to
  • 00:43:02
    know something about Paul, who he is, who he's to become.
  • 00:43:06
    And he gives Ananais the direction for Paul's life.
  • 00:43:10
    He says "This is my guy who not only will preach to the Jews,
  • 00:43:14
    but is going to get to take my message to all of the non-Jews,
  • 00:43:18
    he'll appear in front of kings and rulers, and he'll suffer for
  • 00:43:23
    my sake, for my name's sake.
  • 00:43:24
    He's my chosen vessel.".
  • 00:43:26
    He says this to Ananais.
  • 00:43:27
    Ananais says it to Saul.
  • 00:43:30
    There is no record anywhere in Scripture of God ever saying it
  • 00:43:34
    to Saul, just an Ananais.
  • 00:43:37
    And in this moment, see, Paul makes this amazing, amazing,
  • 00:43:43
    humble move and he says, "If wise counsel says it, if Ananais
  • 00:43:48
    says it, it's not good advice, it's God's direction."
  • 00:43:53
    and he immediately acts on it.
  • 00:43:55
    Act 9:20 is where the story picks up.
  • 00:44:02
    He took Ananais's words as God's direction.
  • 00:44:06
    From there, people tried to kill Paul, they're mad
  • 00:44:09
    at him and they try to stone him and it goes really bad.
  • 00:44:11
    And so then more direction comes for Paul's life, and it comes
  • 00:44:14
    in the form of more wise counselors, the disciples, like
  • 00:44:17
    Jesus' disciples get Paul.
  • 00:44:19
    And they're like, "Hey, man, this isn't going so well.
  • 00:44:22
    And so we think God's direction for you is actually to go back
  • 00:44:24
    home to Tarsus."
  • 00:44:26
    Imagine a burrito in your head, that's Turkey, the country of
  • 00:44:30
    Turkey. In the middle of the burrito at the bottom is Tarsus,
  • 00:44:34
    kind of near the Mediterranean Sea.
  • 00:44:35
    So he sails up from where he is in Jerusalem up to
  • 00:44:39
    Tarsus and they just kind of exile him almost.
  • 00:44:43
    But Paul again takes it as God's direction, because he just gets
  • 00:44:45
    on a boat and goes.
  • 00:44:47
    And I had the privilege of spending time with one of the world's
  • 00:44:50
    leading experts on Paul last summer.
  • 00:44:53
    And he brought this time of Paul's life to light in a way that
  • 00:44:57
    I'd never understood it before.
  • 00:44:58
    First of all, he said Paul was there in Tarsus for eight years.
  • 00:45:03
    Eight years and he wasn't preaching, he wasn't teaching, he
  • 00:45:07
    wasn't being a chosen vessel.
  • 00:45:08
    He wasn't fulfilling the promise that God had spoken even
  • 00:45:11
    through Ananais to him, he was just doing nothing.
  • 00:45:16
    It's monotony day after day after day after day in Tarsus.
  • 00:45:23
    And more than that this guy said, you know, Paul likely would
  • 00:45:27
    have been married, likely would have had kids.
  • 00:45:29
    When he showed up as a Christian, his family would have shunned
  • 00:45:31
    him, he would have been an outcast, unable to see them.
  • 00:45:34
    And so he would have been not allowed to live in the city.
  • 00:45:37
    He would have been cast out into the hills where he most likely
  • 00:45:40
    lived alone in a cave.
  • 00:45:44
    Alone in a cave for eight years.
  • 00:45:49
    What I find most remarkable is that he never left.
  • 00:45:53
    He didn't decide, "Surely I heard God wrong or this can't be
  • 00:45:56
    right and so I'm gonna go.".
  • 00:45:58
    Can you imagine how emotionally and physically grueling eight
  • 00:46:02
    years in the cave would be?
  • 00:46:04
    And I think: why? This
  • 00:46:05
    can't be God's direction or part of his plan, this makes no
  • 00:46:08
    sense.
  • 00:46:09
    What a waste of time.
  • 00:46:11
    It makes no sense.
  • 00:46:13
    Most challenging to me, I think about what I would do.
  • 00:46:16
    So I want you to think about what what would you do?
  • 00:46:19
    Would you be so confident that was God's direction, not just
  • 00:46:22
    good advice, that you would, you'd stay in the cave?
  • 00:46:24
    Would you stay or would you leave?
  • 00:46:28
    You know what I would do, I would leave.
  • 00:46:30
    I already told you that.
  • 00:46:32
    I decided to quit my job.
  • 00:46:33
    I decided to leave when the monotony set in for me,
  • 00:46:36
    it can't be God's direction.
  • 00:46:38
    it's not green pastures, I'm out here.
  • 00:46:40
    What would you do?
  • 00:46:41
    Would you stay or would you leave?
  • 00:46:42
    Well, miraculously for Paul, he stayed.
  • 00:46:45
    And eight years in more direction comes, again in the form of a
  • 00:46:49
    person, a wise counselor shows up, this time Paul's friend
  • 00:46:52
    Barnabas.
  • 00:46:53
    And Barnabas shows up and Barnabas says, "Paul, it's time to
  • 00:46:55
    come back.
  • 00:46:56
    Get in the boat with me. We
  • 00:46:58
    think it's time to come back, we think God's saying to come
  • 00:47:00
    We're going to go to the city of Antioch.".
  • 00:47:02
    They sailed down on a boat to Antioch.
  • 00:47:04
    They spend a year there.
  • 00:47:06
    And after a year, the church leaders there, they're praying and
  • 00:47:10
    they're worshipping and more direction comes through them to
  • 00:47:14
    Paul.
  • 00:47:16
    We pick up the story here and Acts 13.
  • 00:47:25
    That's the reach the non-Jewish people part.
  • 00:47:33
    What happens next?
  • 00:47:35
    Well, I'll tell you what doesn't happen
  • 00:47:36
    next, Paul doesn't go, "Guys, super interesting, but I'm going
  • 00:47:40
    to need God to confirm it inside my heart. You
  • 00:47:44
    It doesn't say that, "It's super interesting.
  • 00:47:47
    I'm going to need a sign.".
  • 00:47:48
    It doesn't say that.
  • 00:47:50
    It doesn't say, "super interesting, but I'm not sure it matches
  • 00:47:53
    my Instagram number, you know?
  • 00:47:55
    I'm more like, I'm kind of a seven and this feels like a job for
  • 00:47:59
    a two, so..."
  • 00:48:02
    No, he just goes, immediately, he goes.
  • 00:48:07
    And that would be the last major direction of Paul's life.
  • 00:48:09
    He gets small instructions, this city versus that city, that
  • 00:48:12
    kind of thing.
  • 00:48:13
    But holistically, this is the last major direction that God
  • 00:48:16
    gives him for his life because for the next several decades,
  • 00:48:19
    roaming around the known earth spreading the Good News of
  • 00:48:23
    Jesus.
  • 00:48:24
    And can I tell you, it was hard for him.
  • 00:48:27
    He was shipwrecked.
  • 00:48:28
    He was whipped.
  • 00:48:29
    He was jailed.
  • 00:48:31
    He spent nights out alone, sleeping outside.
  • 00:48:35
    He was in danger.
  • 00:48:36
    It was he was emotionally and physically just grueling, you
  • 00:48:41
    know.
  • 00:48:43
    I wonder like how do you endure that?
  • 00:48:45
    How do you endure decades of that direction for his life?
  • 00:48:48
    How would he ever do that?
  • 00:48:49
    You'd have to be like trained, like super intentionally trained
  • 00:48:52
    and prepared for this moment.
  • 00:48:53
    Something, I don't know, something super extreme, something like
  • 00:48:57
    living in a cave for eight years.
  • 00:49:03
    Paul endures, he fulfills God's direction for his life and the
  • 00:49:06
    world is changed because of it.
  • 00:49:10
    The world is utterly changed because of it, all because he
  • 00:49:14
    decided it's not good advice, it's God's direction when it
  • 00:49:18
    comes from my wise counselors.
  • 00:49:20
    And he went for it.
  • 00:49:21
    He went for it.
  • 00:49:23
    Listen, here's the thing.
  • 00:49:26
    If the most important moment in human history of God giving his
  • 00:49:32
    direction was given by God to others to Paul, it'll be the same
  • 00:49:37
    in your life.
  • 00:49:38
    It won't be any different.
  • 00:49:40
    It'll come the same way.
  • 00:49:41
    If you want to hear God clearly on the direction for your
  • 00:49:44
    life, it will only come through wise counsel.
  • 00:49:47
    You can hear it, you just can't do it alone. It will only
  • 00:49:50
    come through wise counsel.
  • 00:49:51
    I wonder who are your wise counselors?
  • 00:49:56
    Do you have them?
  • 00:49:58
    Thankfully, in my life, I do.
  • 00:50:00
    It's one of the biggest blessings, maybe the biggest in my life.
  • 00:50:02
    I have a great collection of wise counselors: I have my parents,
  • 00:50:05
    I have my wife, I have the friends who I mentioned
  • 00:50:08
    earlier, guys like Matt and Greg and Jason and Walker, who I
  • 00:50:13
    met in these things called Crossroads Journey Groups.
  • 00:50:17
    I have our senior pastor, Brian.
  • 00:50:21
    You know, when I quit my job, I did everything I could to hear
  • 00:50:25
    God and then I quit.
  • 00:50:26
    And I was most nervous about telling Brian.
  • 00:50:28
    And I went to his office to tell him, I was hoping he wasn't
  • 00:50:30
    there, but he was, I was like, "Crap.
  • 00:50:32
    This sucks, gotta tell him, you know.".
  • 00:50:35
    And so I tell him, he's very gracious, he's bummed, he's very
  • 00:50:37
    gracious.
  • 00:50:38
    He asked me a few questions and then he actually even just prays
  • 00:50:40
    a blessing that I'd be successful where I was going and have
  • 00:50:43
    God's favor and all kinds of cool things.
  • 00:50:45
    He left to go to the gym.
  • 00:50:46
    I left to go to my desk, started doing e-mails.
  • 00:50:48
    I was like, the hard part is over.
  • 00:50:50
    Whoo, smooth sailing, green pastures here I come.
  • 00:50:54
    You know?
  • 00:50:56
    And 15 minutes later, he showed up at my desk in his workout
  • 00:51:01
    clothes.
  • 00:51:02
    And he said, "Hey.
  • 00:51:05
    I went to the gym and I think God talked to me and I'm back
  • 00:51:10
    because I think I have some things from him you need to hear."
  • 00:51:13
    He said, "Listen, I think you are a pastor and you are a leader.
  • 00:51:18
    I think you are called to ministry and I think it is a mistake
  • 00:51:21
    for you to go.
  • 00:51:22
    I think you should stay."
  • 00:51:24
    And when he said that I was relieved.
  • 00:51:25
    No, of course not.
  • 00:51:28
    It's like crap, I already made a decision. Ugh.
  • 00:51:34
    I wanted so badly to be like, "Thank you so much.
  • 00:51:36
    That's so kind.
  • 00:51:38
    Oh man, I'm gonna miss you too, bud. You
  • 00:51:40
    Thankfully, I didn't.
  • 00:51:43
    I respected him enough and I had enough humility to reconsider.
  • 00:51:48
    So I went home about 1:00 in the afternoon and I tried talking
  • 00:51:52
    to God first.
  • 00:51:53
    "God, what do you want me to do?
  • 00:51:54
    And he gave me no direction.
  • 00:51:57
    I just kept thinking about these people in my life and that
  • 00:52:00
    maybe I should talk to them.
  • 00:52:02
    So I talked to my wife and I heard her for the very first time.
  • 00:52:06
    I stopped just seeing green pastures painted over all of her
  • 00:52:08
    words and instead I heard her.
  • 00:52:11
    She said, "Honey, you'd like this job for like a year and
  • 00:52:15
    then you'd be bored out of your mind.
  • 00:52:18
    And I don't care about the money, I like our stupid minivan and
  • 00:52:21
    our small house, it's fine.
  • 00:52:23
    God, I'll take care of us.
  • 00:52:24
    He always has."
  • 00:52:27
    I talked to my friends, those guys I met in Crossroads Journey
  • 00:52:30
    Groups who said the same thing.
  • 00:52:32
    "Oh, man, we think -- we think you're made for this.
  • 00:52:34
    We don't understand why you would leave.
  • 00:52:37
    You'er a pastor, you're a leader, you're a teacher for the
  • 00:52:39
    church. What are you doing?"
  • 00:52:42
    I heard them the very first time.
  • 00:52:45
    And so the next day I came into work and I un-quit.
  • 00:52:50
    I said -- [applause]
  • 00:52:52
    Yeah. That was eight years ago, by the way.
  • 00:53:00
    I left that part out.
  • 00:53:02
    It was eight years ago.
  • 00:53:05
    A few years after that, the guy who had offered me that job,
  • 00:53:07
    who's actually a part of Crossroads, I saw him.
  • 00:53:09
    I was pumping gas at a Kroger and I ran into him.
  • 00:53:12
    And he goes, "Oh, man, hey, listen, I just want you to know,
  • 00:53:15
    right after you said no and you chose to stay at Crossroads, we
  • 00:53:18
    got a new CEO who came in and he like changed everything.
  • 00:53:21
    We wouldn't have even gotten to do the stuff we had talked
  • 00:53:23
    about.
  • 00:53:24
    You really heard God right on that one."
  • 00:53:27
    [applause]
  • 00:53:34
    No, I didn't.
  • 00:53:36
    No, I didn't.
  • 00:53:37
    I didn't hear God right.
  • 00:53:38
    I heard him wrong.
  • 00:53:39
    We heard him right and I chose to take it as God's direction,
  • 00:53:44
    not just good advice.
  • 00:53:45
    And I'm so thankful I have because can tell you about the last
  • 00:53:49
    Can I tell you about how I've gotten to baptize both of my
  • 00:53:52
    boys with those friends from Crossroads Journey Groups at my
  • 00:53:55
    side?
  • 00:53:56
    Can I tell you that right now I'm working on a project to help
  • 00:53:59
    rebrand Crossroads?
  • 00:54:00
    Can I tell you right now that I've gotten to travel all over the
  • 00:54:03
    world to help unlock the story of God and share how he is
  • 00:54:06
    changing the world through our community?
  • 00:54:08
    Can I tell you how I've gotten to teach hundreds of thousands of
  • 00:54:11
    people the message of Jesus in a language they can understand?
  • 00:54:13
    Can I tell you that I've got to help lead a church in my early
  • 00:54:16
    30s.
  • 00:54:17
    Can I tell you I've got to teach?
  • 00:54:19
    It's unbelievable.
  • 00:54:20
    [cheers and applause]
  • 00:54:25
    Now, listen, some of you have wise counsellors.
  • 00:54:30
    Some of you have wise counsellors.
  • 00:54:32
    I's time to listen to them.
  • 00:54:35
    You already know what to do, do it. Do
  • 00:54:39
    it.
  • 00:54:40
    God, can you direct my life?
  • 00:54:41
    He's like, "I did.
  • 00:54:42
    I am.
  • 00:54:44
    They're telling you, do it."
  • 00:54:48
    You need wise counselors and I get that, I'm going to give you
  • 00:54:52
    all the same advice.
  • 00:54:53
    Ready? This is the closing advice.
  • 00:54:54
    If you want to hear God's direction for your
  • 00:54:56
    life, I'm going to tell you what I tell all the millennials
  • 00:54:59
    because I'm the godfather of millennials and they all come to
  • 00:55:01
    me for advice.
  • 00:55:04
    How do I hear God's direction?
  • 00:55:06
    And they want like a magic formula.
  • 00:55:08
    I'm like, climb up here on my knee, lad.
  • 00:55:11
    I will tell you of technologies, you know, not of, things like
  • 00:55:14
    VCRs and cassette tapes, wonders. [laughter]
  • 00:55:19
    Here's what I tell them: you want to hear God's direction for
  • 00:55:21
    your life?
  • 00:55:22
    Three things, write these down.
  • 00:55:24
    Step one, find three people who know and love God and know and
  • 00:55:29
    love you
  • 00:55:30
    Two, ask them what to do.
  • 00:55:32
    Three. Do it.
  • 00:55:34
    Bye-bye.
  • 00:55:37
    It's that easy.
  • 00:55:39
    You aren't -- you're merely taking good advice in that
  • 00:55:41
    situation, you're getting a direction of God, you are hearing
  • 00:55:44
    God.
  • 00:55:45
    What if this thing that is actually sacred we have profaned and
  • 00:55:49
    made it common?
  • 00:55:51
    I don't think God would like that very much.
  • 00:55:54
    But we can all hear from Him, we can.
  • 00:55:56
    Now, if you're in a spot where you like, "That sounds great.
  • 00:55:58
    Awesome. Good, cool.
  • 00:56:00
    I don't have any wise counsellors.".
  • 00:56:02
    Great news. Oh, my gosh.
  • 00:56:04
    Great news.
  • 00:56:05
    You can find them here.
  • 00:56:06
    Your wise counselors are here, I promise.
  • 00:56:09
    I found them here.
  • 00:56:10
    You can find them here.
  • 00:56:11
    One of the things that bums me out the most is when I hear
  • 00:56:13
    people who come to Crossroads and say, "This place is so big, I
  • 00:56:16
    can never meet anybody."
  • 00:56:19
    I don't mean to insult you, but that's stupid.
  • 00:56:22
    Come on.
  • 00:56:24
    Do you ever walk into Target and go, "Oh, my gosh, this place is
  • 00:56:27
    so big.
  • 00:56:28
    They definitely don't have what I need"?
  • 00:56:31
    No, of course they have what you need.
  • 00:56:34
    It's target.
  • 00:56:36
    Your people are here.
  • 00:56:38
    They are here and the very best thing you can do to find them
  • 00:56:42
    is to join a Crossroads Journey group.
  • 00:56:44
    It's the very best thing.
  • 00:56:46
    You'll meet some people and look, maybe will work this way for
  • 00:56:48
    Maybe the six or eight people will all become your best friends
  • 00:56:51
    for life immediately.
  • 00:56:55
    It happened for me.
  • 00:56:56
    I would set your sights more on this.
  • 00:56:58
    Make your goal to connect with one to two of them, find one to
  • 00:57:01
    two who could become over time wise counselors for you.
  • 00:57:04
    And stick with them, like don't drop out of the group week three
  • 00:57:07
    of the Journey.
  • 00:57:08
    Don't just flake on the whole thing.
  • 00:57:09
    Don't stop after week 4.
  • 00:57:11
    Do the whole experience.
  • 00:57:12
    And when you find these people, stick with them even after the
  • 00:57:15
    Journey.
  • 00:57:16
    And when you do, you will begin to hear God's direction more
  • 00:57:21
    clearly than you ever have before.
  • 00:57:25
    And I think He's got good plans for you and He'll take you
  • 00:57:27
    there.
  • 00:57:28
    And I've got some instructions for you in just a second, but
  • 00:57:30
    before that, I'm going to pray for us.
  • 00:57:34
    God, I thank you that you turned me around, that you corrected
  • 00:57:39
    me, that you caused me to see your voice through other people,
  • 00:57:44
    that you caused me to value them so highly that they could
  • 00:57:48
    carry Your words for me.
  • 00:57:50
    I ask for all of us that we hear Your direction for our lives,
  • 00:57:53
    that we take what people are saying, that You would make it
  • 00:57:57
    clear what You're saying through them.
  • 00:57:59
    And if we don't have those people, God, I'm asking you to give
  • 00:58:02
    them to us.
  • 00:58:03
    Amen.
  • 00:58:04
    Okay.
  • 00:58:07
    Take out your phone.
  • 00:58:08
    I know you've got your phone probably on your knee because
  • 00:58:10
    you're in that like get to the car stance, you know?
  • 00:58:13
    Jut get out your phone and go to open up, you know, Safari or
  • 00:58:17
    Chrome or whatever your web browser is real quick.
  • 00:58:19
    This will only take a second.
  • 00:58:20
    We're almost done, I promise.
  • 00:58:22
    And type in Crossroads.net/journey.
  • 00:58:28
    Crossroads.net/journey.
  • 00:58:33
    Ok. Are you there?
  • 00:58:37
    When you get there, you're gonna find three buttons.
  • 00:58:40
    And I want you to click a button before you turn off this
  • 00:58:42
    video, before you stand up out of your seat, click one of these
  • 00:58:44
    buttons.
  • 00:58:46
    Either sign up to lead a Journey group.
  • 00:58:48
    If you have 1% interest, if there's 1% of you that's like maybe
  • 00:58:52
    I should lead a Journey Group, I'll be wise counselor for
  • 00:58:55
    you, that's God.
  • 00:58:56
    Do it. I'm
  • 00:58:57
    serious. Do it.
  • 00:58:59
    Don't wonder.
  • 00:59:00
    Should I, should I not? Do it.
  • 00:59:05
    If that's not the 1%, click this button: Notify me when Journey
  • 00:59:08
    Group sign ups begin.
  • 00:59:10
    And what will happen is you'll get a text I think in a week or
  • 00:59:12
    so with easy to follow instructions of how to pick a group for
  • 00:59:16
    the Journey.
  • 00:59:17
    Or if you want to do either those, we have this convenient third
  • 00:59:20
    button, "I have no desire to grow spiritually," you click that
  • 00:59:23
    button and we'll see you or not later.
  • 00:59:28
    Thanks for sticking with us today.
  • 00:59:29
    Next week is the conclusion of this series.
  • 00:59:31
    Brian will be back.
  • 00:59:32
    Make sure you don't miss it.
  • 00:59:34
    Have a great week.
  • 00:59:35
    Bye.
  • 00:59:37
    >> I mean, I hope you enjoyed service.
  • 00:59:39
    Thanks for joining us this weekend.
  • 00:59:41
    If you need prayer around anything or if you have a question
  • 00:59:44
    about Crossroads, you can go to Crossroads.net, click
  • 00:59:47
    the chat button.
  • 00:59:48
    We'll see you next week for the last week of How to Hear God.
  • 00:59:51
    Thanks.
Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Chaser—a few questions after the weekend service to start conversations. If this is your first time in a group, or your group has new members, take a few minutes and introduce yourself. Two truths and a lie is always a good place to start.

  1. We’re three weeks into our How to Hear God series. What do you believe about hearing from God? Can we? Why or why not?

  2. “Follow your heart” may be some seriously bad advice. Read Jeremiah 17:9 out loud and discuss it. How has your heart led you astray?

  3. If our heart is a liar, where do we turn? Read Proverbs 11:14 for a possible answer. Has the advice of a friend or counselor ever helped you out of a jam? What happened?

  4. A wise counselor is someone who knows and loves God, and knows and loves you. How would you tell if someone met those criteria? Discuss it as a group.

  5. We’re going to practice hearing from God for each other. Sit in silence as a group for 3 minutes. (Yes, set a timer.) In that time, silently ask God for a word or message for each of your group members. If what comes to mind is strengthening, encouraging, or comforting share it with the person. (And if you don’t hear anything, that’s okay!)

More from the Weekend

Ready for a chance at finding some wise counselors and making some new friends? Head to crossroads.net/journey and sign up. Or better yet, make plans to do the journey together with this group.

0 people are discussing these questions

(This stuff helps us figure out how many fruitcakes to make come December)

You must include at least one person

Got it! Enjoy your discussion.


Aug 17, 2019 1 hr

Recent Series