How To Fight Well | The Adventurous Life Week 3

When you’re on an adventure, you’re going to face some fights along the way. This week, get equipped with what you need to fight well.

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    There's a reason you aren't satisfied with the ordinary;
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    You were made for adventure.
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    A life with God doesn't have to be boring.
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    It could be a pulse pumping, heart pounding life of purpose
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    and we can guide you there.
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    The adventure awaiting you is bigger
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    and more life giving than you could ever imagine.
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    Join us every weekend for 30 minutes of challenge, hope,
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    and encouragement to guide you on your spiritual adventure.
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    - Welcome to Crossroads Church.
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    Hey, everybody, I'm Alli,
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    and I'm one of the teaching pastors here at Crossroads.\
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    I'm so glad you came this weekend because
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    we are in a series called The Adventurists Life
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    and it's all about discovering
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    the full life that God has uniquely for you.
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    When you're on an adventure,
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    you are going to face some fights along the way.
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    And today, Chuck is going to equip us
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    with what we need to fight those fights well.
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    You know, I was thinking about some fights I've had in my own life.
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    Some I didn't even see coming
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    like the one I had with a friend who got super angry with me
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    that I made some comment that her wine glasses smelled like potpourri.
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    For weeks I didn't even know why she was mad at me.
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    I definitely didn't see that one coming.
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    But seriously, I do know that we're in some real fights
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    with some real pain in some of our real lives right now.
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    And Chuck's going to show us how to get through those fights today.
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    So let's get started.
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    - Dr. Vernon Johns was a civil rights leader.
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    He was an African-American pastor.
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    And actually he was Martin Luther King's pastor.
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    And Martin Luther King tells a story about
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    going to Dr. Vernon Johns and asking for some fatherly advice,
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    some pastorally advice from his mentor.
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    And what Dr. Johns told him is, "Martin,
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    when you see a good fight, get in it."
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    I'm Chuck Mingo.
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    I'm one of the teaching pastors at Crossroads.
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    And we're in this series talking about the adventurous life.
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    And what I want you to see today is that
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    the adventurous life is about picking good fights
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    and getting in them.
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    We're in a boxing gym. I love boxing.
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    I've been doing it for the last couple of years.
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    And let me be clear, I'm not boxing other people.
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    No one's hitting me in the face.
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    I'm not at that point yet.
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    But I love being a part of the class,
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    whether it's hitting heavy bags
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    or doing a boxing class with other people.
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    It just -- it invigorates me.
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    There's something in all of us that's wired for a fight.
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    The Bible actually calls us to good fights.
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    One of the places we see this is in Romans 12:21 where it says:
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    You know, I'd be willing to bet that some of you,
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    you've been avoiding some good fights in your life
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    because you've been avoiding the pain.
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    You know, there's gonna be pain.
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    And I want to tell you today, I want to coach you up,
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    I want to encourage you to not let pain be the thing
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    that keeps you from finding good fights in your life and getting them.
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    The way to get the confidence to fight the good fights
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    in your life is to train.
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    One of the things I had to learn
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    when I first started boxing was how to wrap my hands.
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    There's an art to it.
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    There's also kind of a science to it.
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    But it makes a big difference when you're training
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    that your hands are wrapped appropriately.
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    You know, I think about this a lot.
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    The Bible talks about training in many places.
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    One of the place is in 1 Corinthians 9:25 where it says this:
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    This versus saying life is about training.
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    The adventurous life is about training.
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    You know, I never aspired to be a pastor.
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    Actually, I ran from that calling for years.
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    But as I think about the path that I was on in my life,
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    it was training me to be a pastor.
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    A pastor is a leader.
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    And I had 10 years of experience leading in a corporate context,
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    leading sales teams, leading and influencing people
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    who were both above me, beside me, and below me in the org chart.
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    And I learned a lot about people.
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    I learned a lot about how to influence how to lead well,
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    and those are skills that I use all the time in leading people.
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    You know, we're talking about boxing.
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    Did you realize that the average boxer trains for 4-12 months,
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    training 3-5 a day, 5 days a week for a title fight?
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    Guess how much time they actually spend in the ring during the fight?
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    17 minutes. 17 minutes.
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    All of that training. All of that work.
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    All the blood, sweat and tears for 17 minutes of fighting.
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    Why?
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    Because training is what builds their capacity.
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    Training, learning to run those combinations,
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    learning how to move, how to how to duck.
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    Those are the things that actually prepare them
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    to do well in the actual fight.
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    Training also builds their endurance.
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    It's why they run, it's why they do all those things,
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    because it gives them the ability to have the stamina
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    to engage in the fight.
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    And here's the other thing, this is the dirty little secret
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    that we don't want to think about when it comes to training,
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    but it's absolutely true.
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    Training is how you build your pain tolerance.
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    Training hurts. Training is uncomfortable.
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    And that's not just true in boxing.
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    It's true in every area of our life.
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    How about you?
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    Is there a place in your life where you're in a good fight
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    or is there a place in your life
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    where you need to jump into a good fight?
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    Are you training? Do you have a training regimen?
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    Are you thinking about the spiritual training
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    that you need to be ready for that fight?
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    Are you thinking about the relational training
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    that you need to be ready for that fight?
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    Are you thinking about the actual physical training
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    that you need for where God is calling you?
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    Like I said, I never aspired to be a pastor,
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    but I can tell you that training has made such a difference for me.
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    I always tell people one of the most important skills
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    that I've learned as a pastor is the skill of listening well.
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    You'd be amazed at how powerful that tool is
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    when you're trying to guide someone spiritually.
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    What I found is when people come to me,
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    they don't necessarily need me to have all the answers.
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    They need me to be able to reflect back to them where they are
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    and together maybe discern what God might be saying to them.
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    But here's the thing, pastoring isn't only about training,
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    it's also about pain.
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    And I can just tell you, even in those situations,
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    I know that the pain has prepared me for what's next.
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    It's prepared me for things that are even more difficult.
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    I can see things that three years ago
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    I couldn't have handled because of the pain.
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    And now those are places in my life where I'm growing
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    and able to work even in the midst of the pain.
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    I've been bedside when kids are dying
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    without having the right words for their parents.
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    I've been walking with couples through marital reconciliation
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    only to see them ultimately choose divorce.
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    I've been leading publicly in the area of racial tension,
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    a place where it often feels like you can't please everybody
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    and you certainly can't please anybody all the time.
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    But in all of those places, they've been preparing me for what's next.
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    This is what the Bible says is true
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    when we embrace pain in the adventurous life.
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    Places like Romans 5:3-4, which says this:
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    I'll just tell you,
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    it's because of some of the painful situations I've been in
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    that I actually have hope when things can look dire
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    because I've seen God bring me through things.
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    It's because of the pain that I've experienced
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    that there's character formation that has happened in me
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    and I'm better able to fight good fights publicly,
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    personally, in relationships.
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    Where are you avoiding pain?
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    And might it just be that's the very place,
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    walking through that pain that's going
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    to produce the character, the perseverance, the endurance,
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    and the hope you need to fight that good fight?
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    Don't let pain be the thing that keeps you
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    from fighting the fight of your life
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    because God can use that pain to make you stronger
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    and more fruitful in that very place.
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    - Like Chuck said, we need to train for the fight.
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    As a runner, I've actually learned to recognize
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    the difference between pain that I should push through
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    and keep going and pain that means I need to stop
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    and rest or heal.
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    I think too many of us actually stop
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    at pain we're supposed to push through to actually get stronger.
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    That kind of pain is the training for the adventure
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    that God is taking us on.
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    And training makes all the difference.
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    To get training and encouragement every day
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    download the Crossroads app today.
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    I'm actually in there myself most days reading the Bible
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    and journaling with our community.
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    And I hope you will join me there.
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    One way I actually also train regularly is by tithing.
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    And believe me, sometimes giving my money feels like a fight.
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    But when we give to honor God,
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    we actually jump in together as a team
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    to the fights that God is calling us to as a community.
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    And if you want to do that or learn more, you can actually
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    give at Crossroads.net/give or text CROSSROADS to 313131.
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    We don't just want to be a church
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    that watches videos on the weekend.
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    We're a real community of people who are on the move,
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    running where God is calling us.
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    Here's something our Oakley site did just the other week
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    that brought a lot of fun into the lives of our kids.
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    - For you to become a great fighter,
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    you've got to learn the difference between wounds and scars.
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    I've got a lot of wounds over my life. I've accumulated them.
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    Here's one. This was when I was wounded,
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    falling off of a motorcycle and broke my wrist.
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    That was the first time I fell off a motorcycle.
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    I've also got three broken bones now healed in my foot
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    from when I fell off a motorcycle again.
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    That's right. Maybe I should stop riding motorcycles,
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    but I've got other wounds as well.
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    I remember when I was a kid, I got a wound here
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    in my knuckle because my hand went up and hit a ceiling fan
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    in the shard of the glass went through one side to the other.
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    I've got a lot of physical wounds,
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    but I've also got some woundedness as a leader.
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    As a leader I've experienced the wounds of fear,
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    fear of failure or fear of failing again.
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    I also have the wounds of shame for things
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    that I'm not proud of, ways that I've not shown up
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    as a leader in the ways that I should have.
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    I've got wounds of insecurity.
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    I've got wounds of disappointment.
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    I've got wounds of loss.
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    But here's the thing, just like these scars on my body,
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    those wounds have been healed.
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    The places where I've invited God in, He's healed those wounds
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    so I can continue to fight the good fight.
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    I learned that a boxer, before a big fight takes a week off
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    where they don't do any sparring.
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    The reason is because they want their body to recover.
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    They want their body, those wounds, to heal.
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    It's fine to go into the ring with scars.
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    You don't want to go into the ring with open wounds.
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    But I think some of us, the thing that's keeping you
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    from pursuing the good fight in your life
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    is that you're nursing open wounds.
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    You have not allowed those wounds to heal.
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    And maybe others of us, we just try to act like
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    those wounds don't exist, like they're just not there.
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    But they impact every decision we make.
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    They impact areas of our life
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    that they shouldn't have any control over,
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    but because we haven't allowed those wounds to heal,
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    they mess with you, they impact your life.
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    What if I told you what God wants to do with your wounds
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    is actually heal them so you can flaunt your scars?
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    That's right.
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    God wants you to be a fighter who can fight a good fight.
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    And He doesn't expect you to be perfect.
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    He wants you to actually flaunt the scars because
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    those scars are signs and places where God has healed you.
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    We see the ultimate example of this in Jesus.
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    You know, Jesus took scars, He took wounds, I should say,
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    when He hung on a cross.
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    It says He was nailed through His hands and His feet.
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    And afterwards, Jesus beat death, He rose again.
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    But not everybody believed that He won that fight.
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    In fact, there's one man who followed Jesus.,
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    you may have heard his name is Doubting Thomas.
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    His name was Thomas.
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    And he said, "Unless I see it myself, I won't believe it."
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    You know what Jesus did to get Thomas to believe
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    that He had won that fight?
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    Jesus flaunted his scars.
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    He flaunted the scars on His hands.
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    He flaunted the scars on His feet because
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    He wanted Thomas to know, "I have fought the good fight
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    against death and because I live, Thomas, now you can live."
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    Friends, Jesus wants to heal your wounds.
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    He doesn't want you to walk away from them.
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    He doesn't want you to ignore them.
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    He wants to heal your wounds so you can flaunt your scars
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    and be an example to other people that you can win this good fight.
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    You can fight a fight.
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    You can get knocked down, but you can get back up.
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    And the scars are evidence of God's faithfulness
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    and your ability to finish the fight.
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    Man, that was a good fight.
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    Listen, don't let the certainty of pain and wounding
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    keep you out of the fight.
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    You're going to get hit in life.
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    The question is, will you hit back?
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    1 Timothy 6:12 says this:
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    God has a fight for you.
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    He has good fights for you.
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    And he wants you to be victorious.
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    You're going to get hit,
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    but let me tell you what else you're going to get,
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    you're going to get a reward.
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    You're going to get a reward.
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    God is in the business of helping you
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    win the good fights in your life.
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    All the pain, all the difficulty,
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    all the things that I've faced in terms of wounding
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    that have become scars that now I can flaunt,
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    as a pastor, I wouldn't trade that for the world.
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    You know why?
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    Because I get a front row seat of life change.
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    I get to see God show up in people's lives like never before.
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    Yes, I have seen some marriages fall apart,
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    but I have seen some radical transformation
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    and marriages get reformed.
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    I have seen people who have not made it out of the hospital,
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    but I've also seen people who've been healed.
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    I get to see God at work in our world and I wouldn't trade it.
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    It's a good fight and I want to be in it.
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    And I want to encourage you to fight the good fights
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    that God has in your life as well.
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    Maybe you're in the good fight of foster care and adoption.
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    It is difficult to bring a child into your family
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    that is not your own, but you are changing that child's lif.
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    I want to encouraging a fight that good fight.
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    Maybe you're in the good fight to create good, great art.
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    You're a musician or you're an artist
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    and you're finding ways to reflect the beautyand the nature of God
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    in the way that you do what you're created to do.
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    I want to encourage you to fight that good fight.
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    Maybe you're in the good fight of trying to raise good kids
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    who will impact the world or maybe just get out of the house.
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    But either way, I want to encourage you to fight that good fight.
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    Maybe you're in the fight for racial justice
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    and healing in our country.
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    I want to encourage you. We need it now more than ever.
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    Fight the good fight.
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    Maybe you're in the fight to end modern day slavery.
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    There are places around the world people are still slaves.
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    You are in that fight. That's a good fight to be in.
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    Maybe you're in the fight of creating a business
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    that creates jobs and makes an impact.
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    Whatever the fight is that God has called you to,
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    you're gonna get hit, but hit back.
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    Fight the good fight of faith.
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    And one final encouragement for you: You don't fight alone.
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    Hebrews Chapter 12 says this:
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    Let me tell you for a fighter,
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    this right here is a critical place. It's the corner.
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    And we all know because we've seen it in movies
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    and we've also seen it in fights,
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    who you have in your corner matters.
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    And there's one that actually matters even more.
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    He's called the cut man.
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    When I was a kid, my older brother,
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    that's what he used to call me as a nickname,
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    instead of calling me Chuck he said, "Cut man. You're my cut man."
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    And what he meant was, "I love you. I trust you.
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    I know you're in my corner. You mean the world to me."
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    And I always remembered that.
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    A cut man is critical in a boxing match.
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    They're the one that helps put the stuff on your eye
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    if you break into bleeding,
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    they're helping to stop the bleeding
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    so that they don't stop the fight.
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    And here's what I want you to know:
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    you have an amazing cut man.
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    You have a cut man who has gone before you.
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    You have a cut me who has the scars to prove
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    that He can win any fight that you're facing.
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    His name is Jesus and with Him in your corner, you can't lose.
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    In fact, with Him in your corner, let me tell you,
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    when Jesus is in your corner,
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    when you know what it is to have Him as a cut man.
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    I don't care what it looks like,
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    this is where you will ultimately end up.
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    You will end up victorious.
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    You will end up a champion with a belt around your waist
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    that says, "You know what? I fought the good fight.
  • 00:18:20
    I finished the fight. I ran the race and I won it.
  • 00:18:23
    And now I have a prize."
  • 00:18:25
    Hey, listen, there's a prize for you if you don't give up the fight.
  • 00:18:29
    There's a prize for you if you trust that
  • 00:18:31
    Jesus is with you every step of the way.
  • 00:18:33
    There's a prize for you if you're willing to prepare.
  • 00:18:36
    There's a prize for you if you're willing to endure the pain.
  • 00:18:38
    And the prize is eternal life.
  • 00:18:40
    The prize is something you can never replace.
  • 00:18:43
    So, friends, I want you in the fight.
  • 00:18:46
    Take the advice of Vernon Johns, find a good fight and get in it.
  • 00:18:56
    - We are at war.
  • 00:18:59
    It may be hard to believe from my comfortable seat
  • 00:19:02
    in our climate controlled world,
  • 00:19:04
    but do not doubt it, we are at war.
  • 00:19:10
    Not on battlefields for nations,
  • 00:19:12
    not with weapons that you can see,
  • 00:19:14
    not for power or for money,
  • 00:19:17
    but for our souls, our freedom.
  • 00:19:21
    Freedom from believing that our lives
  • 00:19:23
    are about finding safety instead of purpose.
  • 00:19:26
    We have an enemy and his weapons are lies
  • 00:19:30
    and we have been lied to, deceived,
  • 00:19:34
    taught to believe that comfort equals happiness,
  • 00:19:37
    that bravery is the absence of fear.
  • 00:19:41
    And we spend our lives chasing the American dream:
  • 00:19:45
    flat screens, Disney vacations, early retirement,
  • 00:19:49
    a life that looks a lot like Pinterest and Instagram.
  • 00:19:53
    But we were not made for this, to be numb, sedated,
  • 00:19:58
    wrapped up so tightly in self protection that we begin to suffocate,
  • 00:20:02
    suffocate in the silence of our big cars, our empty houses,
  • 00:20:08
    our desolate hearts.
  • 00:20:12
    No, we were made to sweat, to feel,
  • 00:20:15
    to run so hard and fast that our hearts burn like fire on our chest,
  • 00:20:19
    made to show the pain on our strong backs
  • 00:20:22
    to where we become uncomfortable enough
  • 00:20:24
    to push past complacency and flip a city,
  • 00:20:27
    made to dirty our hands
  • 00:20:29
    and strain our muscles past the breaking point,
  • 00:20:32
    to lay down our lives,
  • 00:20:34
    to experience the deepest privilege,
  • 00:20:36
    the sweetest pleasure of being the literal
  • 00:20:39
    hands and feet of Jesus in our world,
  • 00:20:46
    to rebel against the idea of a comfort zone,
  • 00:20:49
    to work shoulder to shoulder with other freedom fighters
  • 00:20:52
    from different races, different zip codes
  • 00:20:54
    and different income brackets,
  • 00:20:55
    who are running after the same future,
  • 00:20:58
    to dive headlong into the impossible,
  • 00:21:00
    to see the hand of a Mighty God move mountains out of our path,
  • 00:21:05
    to perform miracles, to create beauty from ashes,
  • 00:21:09
    to groan in our desires, to long for more,
  • 00:21:12
    for more connection, for more miracles,
  • 00:21:15
    to see the glory of His face,
  • 00:21:18
    laid down our lives for our friends and family.
  • 00:21:22
    It's not hyperbole, it's real,
  • 00:21:26
    giving sacrificially of ourselves,
  • 00:21:28
    of our purpose, of our time,
  • 00:21:32
    of our hearts, of our money,
  • 00:21:34
    it hurts, pain that we carry gratefully
  • 00:21:37
    as a reminder of the price that was paid for us
  • 00:21:40
    because He says we are worth it,
  • 00:21:43
    assigned infinite value by the one who sees
  • 00:21:46
    all our shortcomings and still calls us into greatness,
  • 00:21:50
    into a priesthood, into an army.
  • 00:21:53
    We follow a king that will not rest until
  • 00:21:56
    every son or daughter is offered
  • 00:21:58
    what we have been so freely given.
  • 00:22:00
    We are made in His image.
  • 00:22:02
    He is and won for our freedom
  • 00:22:05
    our friends, our family, our world,
  • 00:22:08
    He has the power to set the captives free.
  • 00:22:11
    He is the one who will bind up the broken hearts
  • 00:22:15
    to prepare the way for all to enter.
  • 00:22:17
    He is the Hope and Savior for all creation.
  • 00:22:21
    He is and so we are in.
  • 00:22:30
    - That is the kind of fight that I want in on.
  • 00:22:33
    And if you want in on changing the world,
  • 00:22:34
    it only happens when you hook up with a local community.
  • 00:22:38
    Stick around today to find out how.
  • 00:22:41
    But right now, let's respond to God in worship
  • 00:22:44
    by telling Him that we are ready to get in on any fight
  • 00:22:47
    He calls us to no matter where it leads.
  • 00:31:55
    - God, I thank You that you are good.
  • 00:31:59
    And I thank You for never leaving us.
  • 00:32:01
    I thank You for being with us.
  • 00:32:02
    And I thank You for being a God who shows Yourself
  • 00:32:05
    and You showed yourself to us in Jesus.
  • 00:32:08
    And so we sing to You for that, we pray to You for that,
  • 00:32:12
    and are grateful for Your goodness and Your presence with us. Amen.
  • 00:32:19
    - When I sing that song, it always reminds me of the time in my life
  • 00:32:23
    where God asked me to lay down all of my own ideas about my career.
  • 00:32:28
    And that led to a more surprising adventure with God
  • 00:32:31
    than I could ever have imagined.
  • 00:32:34
    We would love to help you train throughout the week.
  • 00:32:36
    If you want that, just text ADVENTURE20 to 313131.
  • 00:32:42
    And another way to get equipped this week is by getting a guide.
  • 00:32:46
    A guide is a real person from our community
  • 00:32:48
    who wants to help you find your next step, answer questions,
  • 00:32:52
    pray for you, challenge you, whatever you need.
  • 00:32:54
    If you want a guide, which you do, or you just want to learn more,
  • 00:32:59
    chat with us at Crossroads.net/adventure.
  • 00:33:03
    To help share this message today that you just experienced
  • 00:33:06
    with as many people as possible,
  • 00:33:08
    you can give at Crossroads.net/give or text CROSSROADS to 313131.
  • 00:33:15
    Next week I'll be here teaching on how adventures
  • 00:33:18
    mean pushing through fear that wants to stop us from moving forward.
  • 00:33:22
    For me, that meant getting on a horse,
  • 00:33:25
    and I have a very sketchy past with horses.
  • 00:33:29
    So stay tuned right now to find out how to get connected
  • 00:33:31
    with people near you who are on the same adventure.
  • 00:33:36
    - Crossroads has communities all across the country
  • 00:33:38
    and I want to help you get connected.
  • 00:33:41
    I'm Greg Aukerman and I lead an online church team
  • 00:33:43
    whose job is to do exactly that.
  • 00:33:46
    I'd love to help you find your people, get support and prayer,
  • 00:33:49
    and take your next step on your spiritual adventure.
  • 00:33:51
    Connect with us at Crossroads.net/onlinecommunity.
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.

  1. This week is all about the good fight, but we’ve probably all been in some fights that were over something that felt serious at the time, but we look back on now and laugh. What’s the most ridiculous fight you’ve been in?

  2. Read Romans 12:21 and then 1 Corinthians 9:25. To fight evil with good we have to train diligently. What are the things you can be training for, and what would it look like to start training now?

  3. Read Romans 5:3-4. We all have wounds and scars, and likely we don’t like talking about them. But we see here that they can be used for good. What’s the one wound or scar that keeps coming up over and over again in your life? How might that be used for good?

  4. Ernest Hemingway said, “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for…” Take a moment to consider what fight God might be asking you to enter into. How can you get started — preparation and training, healing an open wound, or taking a step into the fight? Share both the fight you’re leaning into, and your next step with the group.

  5. Read 1 Timothy 6:12. Take turns praying a simple prayer over each person’s fight and next step. Pray this, or use your own words: “God, thank you for inviting us to engage in the good fight with you. Bless (name) as they step into the ring with you. Train them, heal them, and help them to see a win on the other side. Amen.”

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Jul 11, 2020 34 mins 16 sec

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