How to Push Through Difficulty to Achieve Your Vision 

When you attempt something new or difficult, pushback will come. Internally, externally, and from the team. You have to be prepared to PUSH against it.

  • 00:00:02
    - Well, hey, welcome to Crossroads.
  • 00:00:04
    We are so glad that you're here.
  • 00:00:05
    Now Crossroads is one church with multiple sites
  • 00:00:08
    around the country, but we also know that
  • 00:00:10
    churches are people, not buildings.
  • 00:00:13
    We also have our Crossroads Anywhere community
  • 00:00:15
    of people meeting online in homes, coffee shops,
  • 00:00:17
    bars, dorm rooms, all over the place,
  • 00:00:19
    running after Jesus together across the globe.
  • 00:00:22
    It actually reminds me of people like Joan,
  • 00:00:24
    who first found Crossroads through music
  • 00:00:26
    that our band recorded and posted online.
  • 00:00:28
    But then she experienced not just content to watch
  • 00:00:31
    or to listen to, but a growing community.
  • 00:00:34
    And she since then has traveled the world with us,
  • 00:00:36
    going on Go Trips, made great friends,
  • 00:00:38
    and even started volunteering,
  • 00:00:40
    helping other people get connected and find community.
  • 00:00:43
    I just love that picture of a church
  • 00:00:45
    that can't fit into a single place on the map
  • 00:00:47
    or slot on the calendar.
  • 00:00:49
    Now we start off our time together each week
  • 00:00:51
    by singing songs that are directly rooted in Scripture.
  • 00:00:54
    Now, this might be your favorite part,
  • 00:00:57
    or it might feel a little awkward
  • 00:00:58
    singing to your computer screen or your TV or whatever.
  • 00:01:01
    But hey, whatever you're feeling,
  • 00:01:03
    I just encourage you to stay tuned in
  • 00:01:05
    to make the most of this time to connect with God.
  • 00:01:08
    So turn up the volume, go full screen,
  • 00:01:10
    and let's get started.
  • 00:20:30
    - God, those aren't easy words to say.
  • 00:20:32
    It's not an easy prayer, but I pray them honestly.
  • 00:20:36
    I believe those words.
  • 00:20:39
    You're a good Father, you're a good friend,
  • 00:20:40
    and you're a good King.
  • 00:20:42
    We pray this all in Your Son's name. Amen.
  • 00:20:46
    - You need more fun in your life.
  • 00:20:48
    Don't worry, we've got you covered.
  • 00:20:50
    The 22nd annual Super Bowl of Preaching
  • 00:20:55
    is right around the corner.
  • 00:20:58
    Don't let the word preaching fool you.
  • 00:21:00
    This isn't for your grandparents,
  • 00:21:02
    unless your grandparents are into pyrotechnics.
  • 00:21:05
    No idea what the Super Bowl of preaching is,
  • 00:21:08
    no problem.
  • 00:21:09
    Amazing tailgating experience? Check.
  • 00:21:12
    Incredible event energy? Check.
  • 00:21:15
    Spectacular halftime show? Check.
  • 00:21:18
    Hilarious Super Bowl commercials? Check.
  • 00:21:21
    Questionable officiating? Check.
  • 00:21:24
    This is the most fun you'll ever have in a church.
  • 00:21:29
    Join us for the Super Bowl of Preaching.
  • 00:21:31
    Service times and locations at crossroads.net.
  • 00:21:38
    - Man, I love the Super Bowl of Preaching.
  • 00:21:40
    It's one of my favorite weekends of the year
  • 00:21:42
    and it is just around the corner.
  • 00:21:44
    Now at Crossroads it basically
  • 00:21:46
    has nothing to do with football,
  • 00:21:48
    but the Super Bowl of Preaching is all about
  • 00:21:50
    throwing a party for what has historically been
  • 00:21:53
    one of the least attended church weekends of the entire year.
  • 00:21:57
    Now, if you live near one of our physical sites,
  • 00:21:59
    Columbus, Lexington, Dayton, or Cincinnati,
  • 00:22:01
    we'd love your help to make this a great experience.
  • 00:22:04
    You can sign up to volunteer at Crossroads.net/SuperBowl.
  • 00:22:08
    If you are not near one of our physical locations
  • 00:22:10
    and consider yourself part of our Anywhere community,
  • 00:22:12
    hey, there's going to be a great experience for you
  • 00:22:15
    beyond just watching this crazy thing online.
  • 00:22:17
    You can actually sign up to receive a free kit from us
  • 00:22:20
    that will help you host your own experience at home.
  • 00:22:23
    So whether you want to host a watch party
  • 00:22:25
    for the Super Bowl of Preaching,
  • 00:22:26
    or get together with your friends
  • 00:22:28
    and throw a party for the real football thing,
  • 00:22:30
    we'd love to help make it happen.
  • 00:22:32
    Head to Crossroads.net/anywhere to sign up
  • 00:22:34
    for a Super Bowl kit, and we'll mail it to you
  • 00:22:36
    wherever you are.
  • 00:22:38
    Now, Crossroads is a movement of people
  • 00:22:40
    meeting in person and digitally, all over the country
  • 00:22:43
    and all over the world.
  • 00:22:44
    This is people who have experienced life change
  • 00:22:46
    through Jesus and His teachings and His way of life.
  • 00:22:50
    I want you to hear a story from a real person
  • 00:22:52
    in our community who's experienced that life change,
  • 00:22:55
    specifically from the practice of giving.
  • 00:23:00
    - I walked across the country in my early 30s
  • 00:23:03
    seeking God in Spain.
  • 00:23:04
    I ended up finding Him probably in
  • 00:23:07
    the most unlikeliest of places that I would have ever thought,
  • 00:23:09
    which was was here at Crossroads.
  • 00:23:11
    My name is Erica.
  • 00:23:13
    Four days after leaving an abusive
  • 00:23:16
    and dishonorable marriage,
  • 00:23:18
    I heard His voice very clearly on July 31st, 2019,
  • 00:23:23
    saying that I needed to follow Him
  • 00:23:25
    or that would be -- That would be it for me.
  • 00:23:28
    And I was, I was dying at that point.
  • 00:23:30
    I actually looked up and I knew that
  • 00:23:32
    He had been calling me for a long time.
  • 00:23:35
    I happened to have to go to Kroger for some reason,
  • 00:23:38
    and I had seen service was starting.
  • 00:23:40
    I looked up, I told Him, I said, "Just so you know,
  • 00:23:42
    I'm going to need you to show me every step of the way here.
  • 00:23:46
    I don't know what I'm doing.
  • 00:23:47
    I don't know how to do any of this."
  • 00:23:49
    I had been struggling with alcohol
  • 00:23:51
    and substance for a while,
  • 00:23:52
    but that day He said,
  • 00:23:54
    "Alcohol will not be part of this equation.
  • 00:23:56
    You will follow Me."
  • 00:23:57
    I had already seen such great growth
  • 00:23:59
    in the few short months that I had been here.
  • 00:24:02
    We were challenged to give 10% of our income
  • 00:24:07
    back to God, which is a biblical principle,
  • 00:24:09
    and it's not something that I was super familiar with.
  • 00:24:12
    I had always considered myself a generous person,
  • 00:24:15
    but I always had my own generosity agenda.
  • 00:24:18
    I mean, it was -- it was what I wanted to give
  • 00:24:21
    when I wanted to give,
  • 00:24:22
    but I had no disciplined record of giving.
  • 00:24:26
    I had never looked at what I was bringing in
  • 00:24:29
    or what God was giving me through my work.
  • 00:24:32
    I had never looked at that and looked at
  • 00:24:34
    the portion that He was due back.
  • 00:24:37
    I work in the beauty industry,
  • 00:24:39
    so I did have a lot of tip income.
  • 00:24:40
    I then started setting aside a cash envelope too.
  • 00:24:45
    Throughout that time God really covered me
  • 00:24:47
    through the divorce process and moving,
  • 00:24:50
    you know, moving away from my marriage.
  • 00:24:51
    He covered me. He covered my children.
  • 00:24:54
    And it was scary for me. I was a single mom.
  • 00:24:56
    I mean, at that point, really trying to figure out
  • 00:24:58
    what is all of this going to look like.
  • 00:25:01
    But I had a sense of peace knowing that I was really --
  • 00:25:05
    I was orienting my life to Him.
  • 00:25:08
    I was putting my money where my mouth and my heart was,
  • 00:25:11
    for all intents and purposes.
  • 00:25:13
    I was giving Him everything of me because
  • 00:25:16
    this was one of the rockiest times of my life.
  • 00:25:18
    And I was basically saying, "You can have it.
  • 00:25:23
    The pandemic happened, and so I was --
  • 00:25:26
    Basically a work stoppage for me,
  • 00:25:29
    again in the middle of a divorce,
  • 00:25:30
    two young children, work stoppage.
  • 00:25:33
    I knew that God would take care of me.
  • 00:25:35
    I was continuing to pray throughout this whole time,
  • 00:25:37
    "God, what's my next direction?
  • 00:25:39
    What do You want me to do?"
  • 00:25:40
    Throughout my generosity journey,
  • 00:25:43
    I have just noticed that when I pray,
  • 00:25:45
    my answers from God seem to come very clear
  • 00:25:50
    and very quick, which is important for me
  • 00:25:52
    because I'm not great at waiting.
  • 00:25:54
    And through that prayer, very quickly the answer came
  • 00:25:57
    that, you know, I was going to go out on my own,
  • 00:25:59
    which seemed crazy to me. I didn't have a plan.
  • 00:26:02
    However, I knew I had to obey Him.
  • 00:26:04
    I gave notice at my job.
  • 00:26:06
    I decided I'm going to go out on my own
  • 00:26:09
    on the heels of a pandemic.
  • 00:26:10
    I was able to build my clientele
  • 00:26:13
    and I am busier now than ever.
  • 00:26:16
    Also, throughout that time, I started immersing myself
  • 00:26:21
    in the Crossroads community
  • 00:26:22
    and to various healing groups
  • 00:26:24
    and serving opportunities.
  • 00:26:25
    I was then introduced to my now husband, Russell,
  • 00:26:29
    and we then started an amazing journey together.
  • 00:26:33
    I've also remained alcohol free
  • 00:26:35
    going on over four and a half years now.
  • 00:26:38
    My husband Russell and I laugh all the time
  • 00:26:40
    on how many -- how many nevers I'm now doing.
  • 00:26:43
    I mean all the never, I'll never do this, and I'm now doing.
  • 00:26:47
    The Erica five years ago wouldn't recognize this Erica.
  • 00:26:58
    - At Crossroads we give because God asks us to.
  • 00:27:01
    We believe that God owns everything,
  • 00:27:03
    that He created the earth and everything in it,
  • 00:27:06
    including you and me.
  • 00:27:07
    So we use what God gives us in ways that honor Him.
  • 00:27:11
    In doing so, we just operate more in line
  • 00:27:14
    with how we were created, and we experience
  • 00:27:16
    rewards in our lives that reflect that.
  • 00:27:18
    Now, this isn't like a prosperity gospel thing,
  • 00:27:21
    but it's just operating how we were created.
  • 00:27:24
    Scripture is really clear, and it says that
  • 00:27:26
    every good and perfect gift is from above.
  • 00:27:29
    That's James 1:17.
  • 00:27:31
    Now Crossroads is a tithing church, which just means
  • 00:27:34
    that we give the first 10% of our income
  • 00:27:37
    to our local church, and you might just immediately
  • 00:27:41
    have all kinds of red flags and you just need to hear,
  • 00:27:43
    we are not about your money, we are about people
  • 00:27:48
    and the money that I give every paycheck
  • 00:27:51
    and that lots of other people give, man,
  • 00:27:53
    goes to helping people around the country,
  • 00:27:55
    around the world,
  • 00:27:56
    and directly to this church and its ministries.
  • 00:27:59
    Whether it's investing in technology like this
  • 00:28:02
    so that people can access content about Jesus
  • 00:28:04
    in a language they can understand,
  • 00:28:05
    or how we partner with on the ground organizations
  • 00:28:09
    across the globe and provide support
  • 00:28:12
    and manpower to lift up our mission of being
  • 00:28:14
    a community of growing Christ followers
  • 00:28:16
    who are changing the world.
  • 00:28:17
    Those things, or 100 other that
  • 00:28:19
    I just don't have time to tell you about.
  • 00:28:20
    Man, I believe in what we're doing as a church,
  • 00:28:23
    and I joyfully, gladly give 10% every, every paycheck
  • 00:28:27
    because I know God can do more with 10%
  • 00:28:30
    than I can do with 100.
  • 00:28:33
    We believe that God recognizes and blesses people
  • 00:28:36
    who are good stewards, people who are faithful.
  • 00:28:38
    And if you've heard anything I've said,
  • 00:28:40
    and maybe you're like, "I have questions."
  • 00:28:43
    Okay, that's good, that's a good place to be.
  • 00:28:45
    Head to Crossroads.net/give for information
  • 00:28:48
    on what kind of decisions or practices we have around money.
  • 00:28:52
    Or maybe you're like, you know what?
  • 00:28:53
    I think I need to take a step in the direction
  • 00:28:57
    of trusting God with my finances.
  • 00:28:59
    We actually have a thing called The Tithe Test.
  • 00:29:01
    It's a 90 day experiment where, risk free,
  • 00:29:05
    we just say, "Hey, try it for 90 days and see,
  • 00:29:08
    see how God shows up over that time.
  • 00:29:11
    And if He doesn't, hey, we'll make it right.
  • 00:29:14
    We'll give it all back."
  • 00:29:15
    And if you've maybe been on this journey
  • 00:29:17
    for a long time, you just need to know
  • 00:29:18
    we have a thing around here called the Blue Team.
  • 00:29:21
    This is for self-proclaimed people who are tithing,
  • 00:29:24
    who are in that spiritual discipline and practice.
  • 00:29:27
    Man, we'd love for you to sign up
  • 00:29:29
    at crossroads.net/give for The Tithe Test,
  • 00:29:32
    for more information on giving or to join the Blue Team.
  • 00:29:36
    Man, I just know from personal experience
  • 00:29:38
    interacting with tons of people in our community
  • 00:29:40
    that anyone who willingly gives up 10% of their income
  • 00:29:44
    wants to build something, build something that lasts.
  • 00:29:47
    Over the last three weeks,
  • 00:29:49
    we've been looking at the book of Nehemiah
  • 00:29:50
    and how we can build something that lasts,
  • 00:29:53
    how we can make a vision a reality.
  • 00:29:55
    This week, we're specifically diving into
  • 00:29:58
    how we can push back when there's pushback.
  • 00:30:22
    - This is week number four of Nehemiah is what
  • 00:30:27
    we're looking at week by week, by week by week.
  • 00:30:29
    Uh, here's a little recap,
  • 00:30:30
    and then we'll pray and we'll get going.
  • 00:30:32
    First, we noticed in the very first week
  • 00:30:34
    that the walls were down in Jerusalem.
  • 00:30:37
    The walls were the sign of national identity
  • 00:30:40
    for the nation of Israel.
  • 00:30:42
    But they had been attacked and they were defeated.
  • 00:30:45
    And they were separated in exile
  • 00:30:46
    all over the place under Persian rule.
  • 00:30:49
    Nehemiah is at the top of his game
  • 00:30:51
    in the Persian household of Artaxerxes.
  • 00:30:53
    He's a Jew, and he hears about the walls being down,
  • 00:30:57
    and he grips his heart and he weeps
  • 00:30:59
    and he's broken about it.
  • 00:31:01
    That's what happens with a vision.
  • 00:31:03
    When you feel something that's the sign of vision
  • 00:31:07
    or a resolution or a goal needs to be made.
  • 00:31:09
    I'm using those three things interchangeably,
  • 00:31:11
    though there are definitely are differences in those,
  • 00:31:13
    but I'm using them synonymously
  • 00:31:15
    in the midst of this whole Nehemiah thing.
  • 00:31:17
    Then he plans about it, right?
  • 00:31:19
    And then they work about it and he uses it
  • 00:31:22
    because it's about people.
  • 00:31:23
    It's not about just the tactical thing of the wall.
  • 00:31:26
    It as we looked at last week,
  • 00:31:28
    it's the wall is for the people.
  • 00:31:30
    God cares vision about people.
  • 00:31:32
    Now, the thing about people, the thing
  • 00:31:34
    about people is that people are annoying.
  • 00:31:36
    That's the problem.
  • 00:31:37
    The thing about people is that people hurt you.
  • 00:31:40
    People hurt you more than the weather patterns
  • 00:31:42
    are going to hurt you,
  • 00:31:43
    more than the government's going to hurt you,
  • 00:31:45
    more than anybody can. People suck sometimes, right?
  • 00:31:51
    Because we say hurtful words to each other,
  • 00:31:53
    we criticize one another, we devalue one another,
  • 00:31:56
    we are negative.
  • 00:31:58
    And this is what will happen whenever you decide
  • 00:32:01
    you're going to do something, do something different,
  • 00:32:04
    a vision, a resolution, a goal.
  • 00:32:06
    Get ready for the critics.
  • 00:32:08
    That's what Nehemiah dealt with.
  • 00:32:10
    And we're going to look at that today.
  • 00:32:13
    So let's pray about that right now.
  • 00:32:14
    God, I'm thankful for our time together.
  • 00:32:17
    And I'm asking that You would help us to see You,
  • 00:32:21
    understand You, embrace You and, God,
  • 00:32:23
    to see a vision that You may have for us,
  • 00:32:26
    a goal that we need to hold on to,
  • 00:32:29
    a resolution we need to make.
  • 00:32:32
    I just want to be helpful for your people, God.
  • 00:32:34
    And I'm asking You help me be clear, clear,
  • 00:32:37
    and most importantly, in alignment with Your truth.
  • 00:32:40
    I pray these things according to the character
  • 00:32:41
    and identity of Jesus. Amen.
  • 00:32:47
    Man, I don't know if you've ever had anything happen
  • 00:32:51
    in your life that you never thought would happen.
  • 00:32:54
    We saw with Erica just a little bit ago, yeah,
  • 00:32:56
    never saw a bunch of those things happening.
  • 00:32:59
    When that happens, it's probably a sign
  • 00:33:01
    of two things have happened.
  • 00:33:03
    One, God is at work in your life,
  • 00:33:06
    and you may have a vision to do something different.
  • 00:33:10
    And when someone does something different, it, um,
  • 00:33:13
    it always erupts with sparks because
  • 00:33:17
    different things bring different feelings.
  • 00:33:19
    When my friend I mentioned before
  • 00:33:22
    said he was going to go on an eating plan,
  • 00:33:23
    I was a bit threatened by that.
  • 00:33:25
    Like, oh, I'm not going on an eating plan.
  • 00:33:27
    I was tempted to discourage him.
  • 00:33:30
    If you're going to go on an eating plan,
  • 00:33:31
    if you're going to say, set a goal
  • 00:33:33
    to be whatever it is, under 200 pounds,
  • 00:33:35
    under 300, under whatever it is, you're going to find
  • 00:33:38
    people around you who weigh about your weight right now
  • 00:33:41
    are not going to like it.
  • 00:33:44
    They're going to want you to keep keep eating.
  • 00:33:47
    It's a vision that's going to bring some sparks.
  • 00:33:51
    If you come from a family that actually
  • 00:33:54
    has not been married, divorce is a normal thing.
  • 00:33:57
    When you choose to get married,
  • 00:33:59
    if you choose to get married,
  • 00:34:00
    there's going to be a lot of eye rolls,
  • 00:34:02
    because that's going to be a vision, a goal
  • 00:34:04
    that a lot of people and some families
  • 00:34:06
    just don't understand.
  • 00:34:08
    When you start having an idea and doing something
  • 00:34:12
    like a menu and a food truck, other people are going to,
  • 00:34:15
    "You're going to -- You're going to do what?"
  • 00:34:17
    And they'll do all they can to try to be encouraging,
  • 00:34:19
    but it's going to be really hard.
  • 00:34:22
    When the walls are down, no one is discouraging anybody.
  • 00:34:28
    But as the walls start to go up,
  • 00:34:30
    as things start to get built, the crazies come out
  • 00:34:35
    and they are not happy.
  • 00:34:36
    Let's let's read about it right now.
  • 00:34:38
    Nehemiah 4:1, here's where we go as they're making progress.
  • 00:34:41
    Here's what it says:
  • 00:35:10
    Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said,
  • 00:35:12
    "Yeah, yeah, yeah, what they're building --
  • 00:35:16
    If the fox goes on it he will break it down their stone wall."
  • 00:35:19
    He-he-he! It's like Myron and Spike
  • 00:35:23
    or Skut Farkus, Grover Dill. You know?
  • 00:35:27
    That's a Christmas Story. I know it's past Christmas.
  • 00:35:29
    Come on, Scut Farcus. How can you not know him?
  • 00:35:32
    Oh, yeah. Yeah, him.
  • 00:35:33
    There's always, like, a big protagonist
  • 00:35:35
    and then a little guy is like, yeah, yeah, yeah.
  • 00:35:38
    It's always -- that's the way it is on that,
  • 00:35:40
    a guy is taking charge on criticism.
  • 00:35:42
    And the next guy says, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's right.
  • 00:35:45
    You you can't do this."
  • 00:35:46
    Look how discouraging he is to them
  • 00:35:49
    saying "You're building the wall?'
  • 00:35:51
    What he says things like, "What, are you going to sacrifice?
  • 00:35:55
    You're not going to sacrifice.
  • 00:35:57
    You're not going to be able to push yourself out.
  • 00:36:00
    That's going to be a lot of work.
  • 00:36:01
    You think you have that?
  • 00:36:02
    You're not going to be able to do that."
  • 00:36:04
    He also says, "You're going to finish up in a day?
  • 00:36:06
    What, because you don't have the stick-to-itiveness
  • 00:36:08
    to go past a day, you're going to do it in a day?"
  • 00:36:11
    That's what your critics will say to you,
  • 00:36:14
    "Oh, maybe start it real fast, but what,
  • 00:36:17
    you really think you're going to do that?
  • 00:36:19
    You really think you're going to follow through?"
  • 00:36:21
    Here's another one, "Will they restored for themselves?"
  • 00:36:24
    Inferring motive.
  • 00:36:25
    You're not doing this for the good of anybody.
  • 00:36:28
    This isn't honorable. You're getting something weird
  • 00:36:30
    and sick out of it for yourself.
  • 00:36:32
    Man, anybody who doesn't like something you're doing
  • 00:36:36
    is going to find some good reason
  • 00:36:38
    why you should be discouraged.
  • 00:36:40
    It's the human way.
  • 00:36:43
    As I mentioned with my friend who is going on an eating plan,
  • 00:36:46
    I had to check myself. Stop, stop.
  • 00:36:48
    I got to encourage him because I was actually
  • 00:36:50
    starting to discourage him because I thought,
  • 00:36:52
    "Well, I'm not going on an eating plan.
  • 00:36:55
    Am I a loser? I'm not going on an eating plan."
  • 00:36:58
    We're threatened when people have visions that we don't have.
  • 00:37:01
    We're threatened when people
  • 00:37:02
    make resolutions we don't want to make.
  • 00:37:04
    We're threatened when people are doing things
  • 00:37:06
    that we don't want to do, we shouldn't be.
  • 00:37:07
    It's what they're doing. Doesn't mean you have to do it.
  • 00:37:10
    But we don't have to be negative about it.
  • 00:37:12
    Some of us don't understand someone
  • 00:37:15
    who decides not to drink all of January,
  • 00:37:17
    or have sober October or stop drinking altogether.
  • 00:37:22
    Like there's some of us like, "You'll stop drinking. What?"
  • 00:37:25
    Like, [explosion FX]
  • 00:37:27
    "Whoa, how would you possibly have fun?
  • 00:37:30
    You're going to go to a sporting event and not drink. What?"
  • 00:37:35
    A lot of people discourage people
  • 00:37:38
    who make drinking elimination goals
  • 00:37:41
    because they themselves are threatened,
  • 00:37:43
    and they can't imagine that vision for themselves.
  • 00:37:46
    Well, fine, you don't have to do that.
  • 00:37:47
    But why do we have to be so negative on people
  • 00:37:50
    doing something that we don't do?
  • 00:37:52
    Many people in the corporate environment look at
  • 00:37:55
    somebody who's going to start their own business
  • 00:37:57
    and they're like, "What are you talking --"
  • 00:37:59
    Can't imagine, like, needing the structure of everything.
  • 00:38:01
    What? And inversely, many people who come from
  • 00:38:05
    a family where you're eat what you kill,
  • 00:38:07
    start your own business when you maybe see
  • 00:38:09
    a family member has a vision to go into corporate America.
  • 00:38:11
    Like, "What? What are you doing? Why?"
  • 00:38:13
    We're all threatened by something we don't know.
  • 00:38:16
    We're all threatened by something we don't like.
  • 00:38:19
    We're all threatened by somebody else's decision.
  • 00:38:21
    And I don't know why that is. Well, I do know why it is.
  • 00:38:23
    It's called sin. That's why it is.
  • 00:38:25
    But it's really sinister when it gets in the way
  • 00:38:28
    of somebody doing something that would be good for people,
  • 00:38:32
    that is themselves and that is other people.
  • 00:38:36
    There's these things in the Bible
  • 00:38:38
    called spiritual Gifts, and there's a bunch of them
  • 00:38:40
    that are freaky, really freaky, like gifts of tongues,
  • 00:38:43
    gift of interpreting tongues, prophecy,
  • 00:38:46
    these kind of things.
  • 00:38:47
    And I went to a cemetery, or I mean, seminary
  • 00:38:49
    when I was in -- when I was in seminary,
  • 00:38:52
    I was taught and I believed in seminary
  • 00:38:54
    that all those crazy, freaky things,
  • 00:38:56
    when the apostles died, all those things went away.
  • 00:39:00
    And they had their reasons for that,
  • 00:39:02
    and I did way back when.
  • 00:39:03
    But I realized the reason why many people
  • 00:39:05
    don't believe that those things exist is because
  • 00:39:08
    we're threatened by something we don't understand.
  • 00:39:10
    We're freaked out that you can do something
  • 00:39:12
    that I can't. Well, there's things that everyone does
  • 00:39:15
    that somebody else doesn't do.
  • 00:39:16
    It's not that different gifts are more important than others.
  • 00:39:19
    But when we see somebody that has something
  • 00:39:22
    or is doing something that we're not doing,
  • 00:39:24
    all of us are threatened and we discourage
  • 00:39:27
    or we create a whole theology that comes down on it.
  • 00:39:29
    Here's the thing.
  • 00:39:31
    It's easier to crack on someone who has a vision
  • 00:39:34
    than it is to actually have a vision yourself.
  • 00:39:37
    It's easier to crack on somebody who has a vision
  • 00:39:40
    than to have a vision yourself.
  • 00:39:44
    I got some burn here on this.
  • 00:39:46
    I've made a lot of mistakes.
  • 00:39:47
    I've deserved a lot of criticism, a lot.
  • 00:39:51
    I deserve a lot of criticism, I have in my history.
  • 00:39:54
    But I've also been blessed by God to be very faithful
  • 00:39:58
    in going after a number of visions He's had for me.
  • 00:40:00
    And I want to share with you some of them today,
  • 00:40:02
    not because I'm trying to pump myself up,
  • 00:40:04
    just to go, because I want to say,
  • 00:40:05
    if you're feeling this, I get it,
  • 00:40:07
    I get it, I've been there.
  • 00:40:08
    When we first started Crossroads 1996 or so,
  • 00:40:13
    about '98, '99, 1999, something like that,
  • 00:40:17
    I went to a wedding, and at that wedding there was some --
  • 00:40:21
    A bunch of people I didn't know at that wedding.
  • 00:40:23
    And Crossroads in Cincinnati at that point
  • 00:40:26
    was this like bright light, it was just taking off.
  • 00:40:29
    It was everyone's talking about.
  • 00:40:31
    We're getting front, literally front page headlines
  • 00:40:33
    or news stories, all this stuff.
  • 00:40:35
    Because it was like, this church is doing
  • 00:40:36
    so many weird things, unusual things,
  • 00:40:38
    there's a bunch of young people coming.
  • 00:40:40
    Really, really crazy.
  • 00:40:41
    And so I went to this wedding and someone I knew was there
  • 00:40:47
    and knew someone else who I didn't know and said,
  • 00:40:49
    "Oh, hey. So and so is at Brian who started Crossroads."
  • 00:40:52
    And this guy went to another church.
  • 00:40:54
    He didn't think very highly of our church.
  • 00:40:56
    And he said, he just said this, I'll never forget.
  • 00:40:59
    He said he said, he said it just like this too.
  • 00:41:01
    He said, "I hope God's in it," is what he said.
  • 00:41:06
    And me and my very godly manner,
  • 00:41:09
    the way I always operate, [laughter] I said --
  • 00:41:13
    I said, "You know, He's not. He's not.
  • 00:41:17
    We're just really hard workers and it's all by our own might."
  • 00:41:23
    End of conversation. [laughter]
  • 00:41:26
    I didn't even know what to say.
  • 00:41:27
    It was just, like, he was discouraging. He was.
  • 00:41:30
    I don't know why he was discouraged, I don't know,
  • 00:41:32
    did he think we were a threat to whatever his church?
  • 00:41:34
    Do he think we were a threat? I don't know.
  • 00:41:36
    But that's the way we all are
  • 00:41:38
    when someone's doing something we don't understand,
  • 00:41:40
    we're negative and critical,
  • 00:41:42
    and we get them off their game.
  • 00:41:43
    And woe to us, woe to us who get somebody off their game
  • 00:41:47
    when God's giving them a vision or a goal
  • 00:41:49
    or a resolution.
  • 00:41:51
    At any point, you can say Amen to that,
  • 00:41:53
    at any point you can. Yeah, good.
  • 00:41:56
    We've all been on both sides of this.
  • 00:41:58
    Now, let's go down to Nehemiah 4:11
  • 00:42:01
    to see how this continues to unfold.
  • 00:42:04
    Let's do 14, verse 14.
  • 00:42:18
    He says, "Don't be afraid of them. Don't do it.
  • 00:42:22
    When someone's coming down on you,
  • 00:42:23
    there's no reason to be afraid of them.
  • 00:42:28
    They are not understanding what God is asking you to do.
  • 00:42:32
    That's between you and God.
  • 00:42:33
    It's not between them and God.
  • 00:42:35
    And don't allow them to get between you and God."
  • 00:42:38
    D.L. Moody, who's one of the most respected preachers
  • 00:42:41
    in Christian history from a century or so ago, he said this:
  • 00:42:52
    There will be bitter enemies.
  • 00:42:56
    And this is why Nehemiah actually has to divide up
  • 00:42:59
    his forces with spears and arrows and swords
  • 00:43:02
    just to protect them, because these guys
  • 00:43:05
    aren't just giving physical taunts or verbal taunts,
  • 00:43:08
    they're actually threatening physical harm.
  • 00:43:11
    Now, Sanballat, Sanballat is a Samaritan official,
  • 00:43:15
    and he's negative because he's got
  • 00:43:17
    a certain piece of authority pie, and he's afraid
  • 00:43:21
    that Nehemiah is doing all of this because
  • 00:43:25
    Nehemiah is trying to worm in on his authority,
  • 00:43:28
    worm in on his action, take maybe taxes away from him,
  • 00:43:32
    take glory away from him.
  • 00:43:33
    He's not -- He's not liking it at all, not at all.
  • 00:43:37
    So let's see what it says in 6:2.
  • 00:43:47
    Which is where Yoko was born. [laughter]
  • 00:44:04
    They're trying to get him to come
  • 00:44:06
    and they're sending messages and he's not having it.
  • 00:44:10
    They're sending messages.
  • 00:44:11
    They want to get him off his game.
  • 00:44:12
    They want to take his life.
  • 00:44:14
    They want to stop this whole thing.
  • 00:44:15
    I love what Nehemiah says, "Why should I get off the wall?
  • 00:44:19
    I'm on the wall. I'm on vision here.
  • 00:44:22
    I've got a plan. I'm working.
  • 00:44:24
    You're not going to get me to get off my wall."
  • 00:44:26
    Hey, friends, let me tell you something.
  • 00:44:28
    There are people in here, you're on a wall right now,
  • 00:44:30
    and there's a bunch of people in a cultural rift
  • 00:44:32
    in society that wants to get you off your wall,
  • 00:44:35
    wants to get you off your game.
  • 00:44:37
    And your game, your wall is anything that you're feeling.
  • 00:44:42
    It's anything that you think causes God to smile.
  • 00:44:46
    It's anything that you think needs to get done
  • 00:44:48
    and you see it in your mind and others don't just see it,
  • 00:44:52
    but when they see you, they're threatened.
  • 00:44:54
    Don't get off your wall. Don't get off your wall.
  • 00:44:58
    Stay your points.
  • 00:45:00
    There's very few people who are faithful
  • 00:45:04
    who can stay at the task until it's done
  • 00:45:06
    when nobody likes what they believe
  • 00:45:09
    and nobody likes what they say, let alone do.
  • 00:45:13
    But you, if you want to walk close with God
  • 00:45:15
    and you want to have a full heart towards people
  • 00:45:17
    and life that's unusually powerful in 2024,
  • 00:45:21
    you have to learn to stay on the wall.
  • 00:45:25
    Stay where you are, keep pushing, keep going.
  • 00:45:33
    The reason why there is so much criticism
  • 00:45:36
    around visions is because they mean
  • 00:45:40
    there's a new move, something's moving,
  • 00:45:42
    someone is doing something new,
  • 00:45:44
    and new moves create chaos
  • 00:45:47
    because they haven't been experienced before.
  • 00:45:51
    It's a vision in your mind,
  • 00:45:53
    but it hasn't been experienced before.
  • 00:45:57
    It's a first of a kind thing, maybe for you and your circle.
  • 00:46:00
    And whenever something is a first of a kind thing,
  • 00:46:03
    this is friction.
  • 00:46:05
    You know that automobile right now, no big deal.
  • 00:46:08
    We whiz around with automobiles 90 miles an hour,
  • 00:46:10
    going opposite ways, passing each other.
  • 00:46:12
    No stress at all, right?
  • 00:46:14
    Well, that's because we're used to it.
  • 00:46:15
    When the car first came out, it was utter chaos.
  • 00:46:17
    Everybody with horses and carriages like, "What are you?"
  • 00:46:20
    This is stress, like wars. It was -- It was horrible.
  • 00:46:22
    It was awful. How do we get this whole thing?"
  • 00:46:24
    It was chaos.
  • 00:46:25
    It was a vision that people didn't understand.
  • 00:46:28
    Now we understand it and it's really simple.
  • 00:46:29
    There's things that you will be shocked that
  • 00:46:32
    at some point you're going to become very proficient
  • 00:46:35
    and there will be no stress.
  • 00:46:36
    But right now it's chaos because
  • 00:46:38
    you're doing something you've never done before.
  • 00:46:40
    And to make it worse, you're doing something
  • 00:46:42
    maybe your inner circle has never seen you do before
  • 00:46:45
    and they're threatened
  • 00:46:47
    and they're not going to support you.
  • 00:46:50
    Don't take it personally.
  • 00:46:52
    It's part of the human condition.
  • 00:46:55
    It's part of just who we are and what we do.
  • 00:46:58
    I think part of it is because it's something
  • 00:47:01
    that we haven't experienced
  • 00:47:03
    and things that we haven't experienced freak us out.
  • 00:47:08
    Like snakes. How many of us love snakes?
  • 00:47:13
    Raise your hand. How many? How many love snakes?
  • 00:47:15
    A few sickos in here. Just a few sickos. [laughter]
  • 00:47:20
    Most of us are freaked about snakes.
  • 00:47:22
    We don't like snakes.
  • 00:47:24
    I've got two theories for that.
  • 00:47:25
    One reason is because it was a curse
  • 00:47:29
    that we're all living under,
  • 00:47:31
    so says the Bible in the book of Genesis,
  • 00:47:32
    that when God takes the evil one
  • 00:47:34
    who comes in the form of a serpent,
  • 00:47:36
    and he causes or enables Adam and Eve to sin,
  • 00:47:39
    He knocks his legs out from under him
  • 00:47:41
    and has him squirm on the ground.
  • 00:47:42
    There's this natural animosity with most of us and snakes.
  • 00:47:46
    We don't process it this way,
  • 00:47:48
    but it's actually happening on a spiritual level.
  • 00:47:50
    That's one theory,
  • 00:47:51
    and that's definitely part of what's happening.
  • 00:47:53
    The second thing is, and I've thought a lot about this,
  • 00:47:55
    I don't have a great, great love for snakes.
  • 00:47:57
    The second is when you're seeing a snake,
  • 00:48:00
    you haven't experienced it before
  • 00:48:02
    so it creates chaos in your emotions.
  • 00:48:04
    Like, it's the only thing that moves that way.
  • 00:48:07
    It's just weird, right?
  • 00:48:09
    I mean, worms don't, they have --
  • 00:48:10
    They don't have any legs either,
  • 00:48:12
    but worms don't move in such a way that's strange.
  • 00:48:14
    It's it's odd. It's it's really, really.
  • 00:48:16
    And so that's why I think a lot of us just freak out,
  • 00:48:19
    like, "I don't, I don't understand, I don't know."
  • 00:48:21
    And so we don't understand it
  • 00:48:22
    and it creates chaos and it freaks us out.
  • 00:48:25
    This is the way it is with any vision,
  • 00:48:27
    anything that God is doing, anything He wants you to do.
  • 00:48:31
    And when this happens, there's always going to be
  • 00:48:33
    some room for misunderstanding.
  • 00:48:36
    In Nehemiah 6:6 it says:
  • 00:48:51
    This is the chaos and the criticism.
  • 00:48:53
    They think the criticism is justified.
  • 00:48:55
    "Oh, I know what happened. No. Yeah.
  • 00:48:56
    You don't really care about rebuilding the wall.
  • 00:48:59
    You're worried about getting your own kingdom.
  • 00:49:01
    It's really all about you.
  • 00:49:03
    You don't -- you're not altruistic in the goal here.
  • 00:49:06
    You're just trying to exalt yourself."
  • 00:49:11
    This is why on week one of this I talked about
  • 00:49:15
    when you have a vision, you have to crockpot it.
  • 00:49:18
    You have to keep it inside for a while, because
  • 00:49:21
    you need to allow a right amount of time
  • 00:49:24
    to think about it, pray about it, plan about it,
  • 00:49:28
    and you need to be really solidified because
  • 00:49:30
    as soon as you bring it out in the light of day,
  • 00:49:33
    get ready, the freaks will come out.
  • 00:49:36
    And if you're not settled in your spirit
  • 00:49:38
    what it is you're supposed to do,
  • 00:49:40
    you will crumble immediately.
  • 00:49:42
    It needs time to crockpot.
  • 00:49:45
    One of the things we'll talk about at some point,
  • 00:49:48
    not ready yet because it's still crockpotting.
  • 00:49:49
    I'll give you a little, little hint on this
  • 00:49:51
    or a little, little snippet on this is
  • 00:49:53
    we're going to make
  • 00:49:55
    a major, massive, massive, massive investment in tech.
  • 00:50:00
    We are going to elevate our game and our sites
  • 00:50:02
    and especially our online community with a --
  • 00:50:05
    With -- I don't even want --
  • 00:50:07
    I was going to show you pictures of renderings.
  • 00:50:09
    It wouldn't make sense. It's not worth it.
  • 00:50:11
    It's the only thing like it in the world.
  • 00:50:13
    The only thing close is the sphere in Vegas.
  • 00:50:17
    The same computing power, actually,
  • 00:50:19
    as the sphere in Vegas has.
  • 00:50:20
    And it's a lot of money, a lot, a lot, a lot.
  • 00:50:23
    I'll tell you eventually, as soon as we figure it all out.
  • 00:50:26
    But I'll tell you right now it's creating massive chaos
  • 00:50:28
    because there's only like six people
  • 00:50:30
    in the world who understand it.
  • 00:50:31
    And we've gone through about three of them
  • 00:50:33
    who can't figure out to do what we want to do,
  • 00:50:35
    or two of them, rather.
  • 00:50:36
    And it's chaos and staff and everybody.
  • 00:50:38
    It's really hard. It's really, really --
  • 00:50:40
    And I'm not going to tell you anything more
  • 00:50:42
    because I can't afford any more blowback.
  • 00:50:44
    Just trust me, we've prayed a lot about this,
  • 00:50:47
    and this is the direction that we're going.
  • 00:50:48
    But as I was wrestling with this, I thought,
  • 00:50:50
    "Well, I don't know, maybe this is -- maybe.
  • 00:50:53
    Maybe there's a sign here from God.
  • 00:50:54
    Maybe that is because we prayed a lot about it before,
  • 00:50:56
    and these are some of the things we were concerned.
  • 00:50:58
    Is it too complicated?
  • 00:50:59
    Do we have the right infrastructure?" All this stuff.
  • 00:51:02
    And now we're seeing after we pulled the trigger,
  • 00:51:06
    maybe that's true.
  • 00:51:08
    And I love what Kyle said.
  • 00:51:11
    Kyle said, who's our new Lead Pastor, by the way,
  • 00:51:13
    who reports to me as Senior Pastor.
  • 00:51:20
    We have the best story, it demands the best tools.
  • 00:51:22
    The story of Jesus's love for you,
  • 00:51:26
    God has a purpose for you.
  • 00:51:28
    The story of redemption, the story of forgiveness,
  • 00:51:31
    the story of a vision and how God uses you and I.
  • 00:51:35
    And all the stories that move us in Hollywood,
  • 00:51:37
    they're all, whether they tried to or not,
  • 00:51:39
    they're all based on the story that's in the Bible.
  • 00:51:42
    It is the story. It's the quintessential story.
  • 00:51:44
    It's the best story, and that's who we are.
  • 00:51:47
    We get people into the story of God.
  • 00:51:49
    We need the best tools for that.
  • 00:51:52
    You guys have been very supportive, by the way,
  • 00:51:54
    since we announced that Kyle is going to be Lead Pastor,
  • 00:51:57
    doing a lot of things I was doing before reporting to me.
  • 00:51:59
    For most people, it's going to look the same,
  • 00:52:01
    but you've been very, very supportive.
  • 00:52:06
    Also not quite right about some things, like,
  • 00:52:09
    some of you have congratulated me because I'm semi-retired.
  • 00:52:12
    I am not semi-retired, not semi-retired.
  • 00:52:14
    I am not slowing down.
  • 00:52:16
    Believe it or not, I'm speeding up. Okay.
  • 00:52:20
    But it's understandable that, you know,
  • 00:52:23
    there would be misperceptions because
  • 00:52:24
    it's not something that's ever been seen before.
  • 00:52:26
    I know people who've become founding pastor
  • 00:52:29
    and have really cranked down their workload,
  • 00:52:31
    have someone else be senior pastor.
  • 00:52:32
    Other people have done co-senior pastors.
  • 00:52:34
    I've never known anybody to have a senior pastor
  • 00:52:37
    and lead pastor in the same thing.
  • 00:52:38
    It's a new thing we're trying. It's a vision that we have.
  • 00:52:41
    I haven't seen it happen before.
  • 00:52:42
    I've researched, I've been looking at years.
  • 00:52:44
    And so it's understandable that it wouldn't be understandable.
  • 00:52:48
    And to understandable there could be some criticism,
  • 00:52:51
    though there's not.
  • 00:52:52
    And so well done church, thank you so much
  • 00:52:53
    for being so encouraging for us as we try new things
  • 00:52:55
    to keep ourselves sharp and on the edge.
  • 00:52:57
    It's really good.
  • 00:52:59
    Nehemiah 6:15:
  • 00:53:17
    You see that? They fell in their own esteem.
  • 00:53:20
    That's what criticism is about,
  • 00:53:22
    it's about me and my own self esteem
  • 00:53:23
    and I'm going to be threatened
  • 00:53:24
    if you do something I can't do. And what do you know?
  • 00:53:27
    They fell on their own self esteem because
  • 00:53:29
    they realized that it wasn't just that Nehemiah
  • 00:53:31
    was a gifted and just voracious leader
  • 00:53:36
    who just was like a dog with a bone
  • 00:53:37
    with vision and wouldn't let it drop.
  • 00:53:39
    But they realized the God was on their side.
  • 00:53:42
    There was the X factor of the presence of God.
  • 00:53:46
    The vision that God cares about isn't the vision
  • 00:53:48
    that makes you feel like, "Yeah, see,
  • 00:53:50
    when I say something, I get it done."
  • 00:53:52
    He doesn't care about that vision.
  • 00:53:53
    The vision He cares about is not the one
  • 00:53:55
    where you get to add to your accolades and you think about,
  • 00:53:58
    "Oh, they'll be able to say this at my eulogy."
  • 00:54:00
    The vision God cares about is the one
  • 00:54:02
    that He approves of that's about people,
  • 00:54:05
    that's about His Kingdom.
  • 00:54:06
    And you are a person and you are about His Kingdom,
  • 00:54:08
    so something that blesses you personally, that's okay,
  • 00:54:12
    but it's under the direction of God, under the grace of God.
  • 00:54:17
    Pushback is normal.
  • 00:54:19
    I'm going to give you some clues in just a moment
  • 00:54:22
    about when you're getting criticized,
  • 00:54:23
    when someone isn't supporting you, how to deal with it.
  • 00:54:26
    Just recognize it's normal.
  • 00:54:29
    Nehemiah dealt with it.
  • 00:54:30
    You and I are going to deal with it.
  • 00:54:33
    Sometimes, by the way, sometimes by the way
  • 00:54:35
    you get pushback because it's warranted and you're wrong.
  • 00:54:39
    Sometimes I've gotten pushback
  • 00:54:40
    because it's warranted and I was wrong.
  • 00:54:42
    None of us are God. None of us are inerrant.
  • 00:54:44
    None of us are the Bible.
  • 00:54:45
    So we just have to have that on our mind
  • 00:54:48
    while simultaneously saying,
  • 00:54:49
    "No, I'm going to stay on the wall."
  • 00:54:51
    We've also got to have a level of humility
  • 00:54:54
    to receive criticism in the right way
  • 00:54:56
    and at the right time.
  • 00:54:59
    Here's some of the criticism that I've experienced
  • 00:55:02
    in my life and how I've seen it and lived through it.
  • 00:55:05
    When Lib and I left Pittsburgh to come to Cincinnati,
  • 00:55:10
    when we left a football team
  • 00:55:12
    that was in deep in the playoffs every single year
  • 00:55:14
    to come to Cincinnati, and thankful to do so.
  • 00:55:19
    We are Bengals fans above and beyond the Steelers, for sure.
  • 00:55:22
    Friends of mine, lifelong friends said,
  • 00:55:23
    "You're -- wait, you got 11 people
  • 00:55:25
    are going to pay your salary for a year.
  • 00:55:26
    No denominational support, no mother church support.
  • 00:55:28
    They're going to tap into their home equity credit lines,
  • 00:55:31
    their savings or whatever and they're like all 30 year olds?"
  • 00:55:33
    I said, yeah, and they said, "That's a bad idea.
  • 00:55:36
    That's really a bad idea."
  • 00:55:38
    And I know it was a bad idea, but it was God's idea.
  • 00:55:41
    But I had people close to me
  • 00:55:42
    who were very, very discouraging.
  • 00:55:44
    When we in Cincinnati wanted to start the Citylink Center,
  • 00:55:47
    which was to bring the working poor out of poverty,
  • 00:55:49
    to not just give a handout, but give a hand up
  • 00:55:51
    and have services with linked communication
  • 00:55:55
    under the same roof, a lot of people thought
  • 00:55:57
    it was a good idea until they saw where it was.
  • 00:56:00
    And then they got really upset.
  • 00:56:01
    And people couldn't understand it because it was a vision
  • 00:56:03
    that had literally never been seen before.
  • 00:56:06
    Just like 11 people funding a pastor
  • 00:56:09
    of their own thing and scraping, draining all their savings.
  • 00:56:13
    That's just not done very often.
  • 00:56:14
    And people were upset and livid.
  • 00:56:16
    Massive protests outside of our church.
  • 00:56:19
    We had city council members voting against it
  • 00:56:22
    when it wasn't even supposed to be part of the agenda.
  • 00:56:24
    One of the city council members got together
  • 00:56:26
    with Tim Seneff, who was running it on our end.
  • 00:56:28
    He's now the Mason Community Pastor.
  • 00:56:29
    And the city council member said, let me tell you,
  • 00:56:31
    doing everything they can to get it to stop.
  • 00:56:33
    He said, "This is separation of church
  • 00:56:35
    and let me tell you something,
  • 00:56:36
    if I hear so much as a Bible open there,
  • 00:56:39
    we will be after you with all the way of the law."
  • 00:56:42
    Exact quote: So much as a Bible being opened.
  • 00:56:46
    So happy to tell you he got --
  • 00:56:47
    He lost election the next time. It was wonderful.
  • 00:56:51
    In fact, every council member that voted against it,
  • 00:56:53
    they all lost the next election.
  • 00:56:55
    Interesting how those things happen sometimes.
  • 00:56:57
    The first motorcycle that I had,
  • 00:56:59
    the first motorcycle I had that I wanted to rebuild
  • 00:57:02
    and I wanted to customize,
  • 00:57:03
    I had ripped all the wiring out.
  • 00:57:05
    I had it in pieces.
  • 00:57:06
    And a friend of mine comes over and goes, "Ha!"
  • 00:57:08
    He said, he laughs, "Ha!
  • 00:57:10
    You're never going to get that started again."
  • 00:57:13
    And then I won a bike competition with it
  • 00:57:15
    about a half a year later.
  • 00:57:17
    But it was admirable what he said.
  • 00:57:19
    I'd never done anything like that before,
  • 00:57:21
    but it was a goal. It was a goal that I had.
  • 00:57:24
    The idea of we're going to have land
  • 00:57:27
    and people from all over the country and world
  • 00:57:29
    are actually going to come, they'll poop in the woods
  • 00:57:32
    and we're not going to build bathrooms and showers.
  • 00:57:34
    We want to get people primitive off the grid.
  • 00:57:37
    And tens of thousands of people have come
  • 00:57:39
    and had their lives changed and, people,
  • 00:57:41
    it was a vision, it had never been seen.
  • 00:57:42
    It still hasn't been seen before.
  • 00:57:45
    And it's no glory to us, it's glory to God
  • 00:57:47
    for giving us the vision and us just being on the wall.
  • 00:57:50
    So here's the thing, pushback never surprises God.
  • 00:57:54
    When we put it up, because we push back on God all the time.
  • 00:57:58
    God tells us to do something,
  • 00:58:00
    "Oh, I don't know, I don't want to do that."
  • 00:58:03
    It says something in the Bible,
  • 00:58:04
    "Oh, no, that was Old Testament.
  • 00:58:05
    That's not today. No, no no, no."
  • 00:58:07
    You know, we push back on God all the time.
  • 00:58:10
    It's just everything we don't want to do,
  • 00:58:12
    whatever we don't want to do, we push back
  • 00:58:14
    either aggressively or passive aggressive,
  • 00:58:17
    which we just don't do it.
  • 00:58:18
    He can take it. He can, He can take it. And that's okay.
  • 00:58:22
    Nehemiah 4:15 says:
  • 00:58:31
    And there were armed guards that were there.
  • 00:58:33
    God knows you're going to need help
  • 00:58:35
    because pain and difficulty is coming. Jesus told us that.
  • 00:58:38
    In John 16:33 says, "I said these things to you,
  • 00:58:41
    that in Me you may have peace.
  • 00:58:43
    In the world you will have tribulation."
  • 00:58:45
    That's a promise from Jesus:
  • 00:58:54
    I've gotten, I've taken grief and I've overcome the world.
  • 00:58:57
    Now, when you're getting all this problem,
  • 00:59:00
    how do you handle this chaos?
  • 00:59:02
    Let me give you three really easy bank shots.
  • 00:59:04
    Three things to think about if you're getting it right now.
  • 00:59:07
    How do you get through the criticism and the chaos?
  • 00:59:09
    One, walk in higher joy than other people's negativity.
  • 00:59:14
    Nehemiah 8:10 says:
  • 00:59:17
    Getting ready for this talk, I was playing
  • 00:59:19
    an old school song from decades ago
  • 00:59:21
    by a woman named Twila Paris.
  • 00:59:23
    It was [singing] the joy of the Lord
  • 00:59:26
    will be my strength, I will --
  • 00:59:29
    It's wonderful. It's a fantastic song.
  • 00:59:31
    And it's this verse and it says, joy is not happiness.
  • 00:59:35
    Happiness is when everything is happening is good.
  • 00:59:37
    And I love happiness, and I love having things that are good.
  • 00:59:39
    But joy is when you make a decision
  • 00:59:41
    that you're good with God no matter what.
  • 00:59:44
    Joy is when you choose your attitude.
  • 00:59:46
    When Lib and I got married and the banner
  • 00:59:47
    behind our altar and everything was "Choose Joy"
  • 00:59:49
    because we knew there was going to be
  • 00:59:51
    a lot of days that we were unhappy in our marriage.
  • 00:59:53
    And there has been a lot, thanks to me. [laughter]
  • 00:59:56
    But we were going to choose joy.
  • 00:59:58
    So you have to resolve that you're going to have
  • 01:00:01
    more joy than others negativity, that's the strength.
  • 01:00:05
    No, I know I'm doing what God wants me to do,
  • 01:00:07
    I know it, I can sense it.
  • 01:00:09
    I'm going to keep erring on the side of aggression.
  • 01:00:11
    I'm sensing He wants me to do this.
  • 01:00:13
    I'm going to assume He wants me to do this
  • 01:00:15
    because I saw this, since I saw it, I'm the one.
  • 01:00:17
    You've got to keep your joy high, really, really high.
  • 01:00:21
    Number two, process your anger and fear with God.
  • 01:00:27
    Tell Him about it.
  • 01:00:29
    This is really interesting when Nehemiah
  • 01:00:31
    talks with God in Nehemiah 4:4 and following.
  • 01:00:37
    Here's what he says:
  • 01:00:57
    He's like, "Get them! Give them hell, God!
  • 01:00:59
    Come on, go get them!" So he's praying.
  • 01:01:03
    God's good with that.
  • 01:01:04
    There's a lot of things I pray that are wrong,
  • 01:01:06
    but some things I pray, I pray just because
  • 01:01:09
    I need to get off my chest, and God's a safe place.
  • 01:01:11
    The Book of Psalms talks about this,
  • 01:01:13
    has a verse about let their babies heads
  • 01:01:16
    be smashed against the rocks.
  • 01:01:18
    That's a horrible prayer. It's a horrible prayer.
  • 01:01:22
    It's a prayer God will always say no to.
  • 01:01:25
    But it's a beautiful prayer in that that was a person
  • 01:01:27
    who said, "This is what I feel. I just got to get this out, God,
  • 01:01:30
    in a safe place between You and me."
  • 01:01:31
    And this is what Nehemiah is doing.
  • 01:01:33
    He's hurt. Criticism affects us.
  • 01:01:36
    Whenever someone says, "Ah, criticism doesn't affect me,"
  • 01:01:38
    that's a bad thing. One, either you're lying,
  • 01:01:41
    or number two, you got a really hard heart.
  • 01:01:44
    It hurts. It always hurts.
  • 01:01:47
    And when it does, we process our anger with God.
  • 01:01:49
    And then number three,
  • 01:01:50
    keep working while you're being criticized.
  • 01:01:55
    Keep working on it. Keep working on it.
  • 01:01:57
    Keep going while you're being criticized.
  • 01:01:59
    You got to get on your wall.
  • 01:02:01
    You got to get on your wall.
  • 01:02:03
    And while you're being criticized,
  • 01:02:04
    while people are hurling insults, you go,
  • 01:02:06
    "I'm on my wall, baby. I'm not going anywhere.
  • 01:02:09
    I'm on my wall. I've got a vision to get a degree.
  • 01:02:13
    I got a vision to get a degree,
  • 01:02:15
    and I am going to get a degree.
  • 01:02:17
    No matter how much you don't understand that.
  • 01:02:19
    I'm not getting off the wall."
  • 01:02:21
    Stay on the wall.
  • 01:02:23
    You decide to have kids.
  • 01:02:25
    You decide to parent kids differently because
  • 01:02:27
    you're going to have to parent kids
  • 01:02:28
    the way everybody else does. Guess what?
  • 01:02:30
    It doesn't work. It's not working.
  • 01:02:33
    Societal indicators show that.
  • 01:02:34
    So if you're going to be someone who operates
  • 01:02:36
    high in love and high in discipline,
  • 01:02:38
    get ready for people not to understand.
  • 01:02:39
    You got to stay on your wall, if that's your vision.
  • 01:02:42
    You got to stay there.
  • 01:02:43
    It used to be that if you were just a good --
  • 01:02:45
    If you were a Christian, you were just
  • 01:02:48
    a basic, average moral American and everyone like that.
  • 01:02:50
    Not anymore. Not anymore.
  • 01:02:52
    Because if you're a Christian,
  • 01:02:54
    you actually are in Christ, you're following Him.
  • 01:02:56
    You're doing things in the Bible, which people
  • 01:02:58
    in our culture increasingly think are crazy
  • 01:03:00
    and stupid and only haters do.
  • 01:03:03
    You got to choose am I going to stand on my wall,
  • 01:03:06
    sit on my wall? I'm not coming down. I'm not.
  • 01:03:09
    What is it you're on your wall about?
  • 01:03:11
    What is it you're going to God for?
  • 01:03:12
    What is it that you're needing your joy to propel you?
  • 01:03:16
    Let the joy of the Lord keep you at your post.
  • 01:03:18
    God needs you on that wall.
  • 01:03:20
    He gave you a vision because He wants that done,
  • 01:03:23
    and you may be the answer to it and you need it.
  • 01:03:27
    Nehemiah needed this task as much as anybody else did.
  • 01:03:30
    He needed to stay fresh with God.
  • 01:03:32
    And God's looking to see who is fresh,
  • 01:03:35
    who wants to be fresh with Me, who wants to be,
  • 01:03:37
    who wants to stand out from the crowd,
  • 01:03:39
    who wants to create a little chaos accidentally,
  • 01:03:43
    and who wants to cast a vision that people don't get?
  • 01:03:47
    But God says, "But I get it.
  • 01:03:49
    I get it because I'm in it."
  • 01:03:52
    Lord, I thank you for being patient
  • 01:03:55
    and the example of Nehemiah.
  • 01:03:57
    May may we be more like him today.
  • 01:04:01
    Empower us, fill us in a powerful and profound way
  • 01:04:05
    to go about the things You want us to do.
  • 01:04:06
    And we pray these things in the name of Jesus. Amen.
  • 01:04:11
    - Hey, thanks for joining us today, and as always,
  • 01:04:13
    your experience doesn't have to stop here.
  • 01:04:15
    After every weekend there are actually
  • 01:04:17
    follow up questions in the Crossroads app.
  • 01:04:19
    They're designed to help you dive deeper
  • 01:04:21
    into the message and learn how to apply it in your life.
  • 01:04:23
    Now, you can process the service by yourself
  • 01:04:25
    or with other people, and take something into your week
  • 01:04:29
    that will help you and push you in the right direction.
  • 01:04:32
    And as always, if you've missed any week in the series,
  • 01:04:34
    you can catch up at crossroads.net.
  • 01:04:37
    Thanks for watching. We'll see you back next week.

Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Weekend-Follow Up! This is the group part of the Bible Challenge, so your questions are based on specific Bible passages from the weekend message. Each week, your group will discover what God might be saying to you, and how you can respond through a group discussion.

  1. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

  2. What stood out to you most from the message?

  3. Where have you experienced pushback from the people around you recently?

  4. How do you typically handle opposition to or criticism of your visions, plans, or ideas? How does it make you feel?

  5. What’s an area of your life or a relationship where it feels like there’s always pushback?

  6. Where do you see yourself pushing back against the visions of others? How does your pushback impact your relationship with them?

  7. Read Nehemiah 4:19-20. Where have you seen your friends and/or family show up, even in the midst of hardship or opposition? Where have you seen God in those moments?

  8. What’s one step you can take to push through opposition this week?

  9. Let’s end with prayer. You can say something like, “God, thank you for the gift of other people. Thank you for not making us live this life alone. Give us the same humility and love you have, so we can share it with the people around us. Amen.”

More from the Weekend

Bonus Questions! Check these out if you’re on a roll and want to go a little deeper.

  • Think of a time you felt threatened or intimidated by someone else’s vision. How did you respond?
  • What are some angers or fears you can bring to God this week?
  • What is the wall you’re standing on right now?

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.


Jan 27, 2024

Recent Series