The Good Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Comfort zones are…comfortable. That’s about the only good thing about them. If we want to grow we have to be willing to get pushed out of what’s comfortable. It’s hard, it’s difficult, but it’s GOOD. And with the right help, we can break out of our cozy, comfort zones and experience good things God has for us.

  • 00:00:01
    Well, welcome to Crossroads.
  • 00:00:02
    My name's Lena Schuler.
  • 00:00:03
    I'm the Crossroads Anywhere Community Pastor and it's so good
  • 00:00:06
    to have you from anywhere you might be joining us from today.
  • 00:00:10
    You know, we're one church with lots of communities all over
  • 00:00:13
    the country and a thriving community online.
  • 00:00:16
    And so I'm so excited to be with you today.
  • 00:00:18
    And we get to have my good friend Matt Castleman with us, too.
  • 00:00:21
    >> Hey, thanks for having me.
  • 00:00:22
    >> Yeah, I get to be the Community Pastor of Crossroads West
  • 00:00:25
    Side of Cincinnati.
  • 00:00:27
    So I grew up there.
  • 00:00:28
    It's my church home.
  • 00:00:29
    And I actually found God through this place called Crossroads.
  • 00:00:32
    One of the things we're actually getting a chance to do right
  • 00:00:34
    now that I grew in an understanding of was worship, why we sing
  • 00:00:39
    songs out loud to God.
  • 00:00:41
    >> And, you know, today we're gonna sing a new song, a
  • 00:00:43
    Crossroads original song.
  • 00:00:45
    And this is important because all throughout scripture, we get
  • 00:00:48
    to see people singing new songs to God.
  • 00:00:50
    I was in the Crossroads App this week in Psalm 144, and in
  • 00:00:54
    verse 9 it says, "I will sing a new song to you, oh, God.".
  • 00:00:57
    And so we're going to do that.
  • 00:00:58
    We're gonna sing a new song to God today.
  • 00:01:00
    And I want you to hear a little bit about this song from my
  • 00:01:03
    friend Austin.
  • 00:01:04
    wherever you lead us...
  • 00:01:15
    >> The song Laying It All Down came from a spot that I was in,
  • 00:01:19
    where I was in my office and I wrote the music front to back.
  • 00:01:25
    And as I listened to it, I was keeping our church Crossroads in
  • 00:01:28
    mind of what are songs that we need?
  • 00:01:32
    And one was we need -- We need upbeat songs, just frankly.
  • 00:01:36
    And two, I was looking at the character of our church and I
  • 00:01:40
    noticed that one thing that we are is we are obedient.
  • 00:01:45
    And when there is a disaster, we move towards that.
  • 00:01:49
    There's something we want to raise funds for, we move towards
  • 00:01:52
    it because we believe that God calls us to certain things.
  • 00:01:56
    This is what the Bible says about obedience.
  • 00:01:59
    It says in 1 Samuel 15:22: Samuel replied, "What is more
  • 00:02:04
    pleasing to the Lord, your burnt offerings and sacrifices, or
  • 00:02:08
    your obedience to his voice?
  • 00:02:10
    Listen, obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is
  • 00:02:14
    better than offering the fat of rams.".
  • 00:02:17
    Now, I don't know a ton about the fat of rams, but I do know
  • 00:02:22
    that in my life it has been so beneficial to be obedient to
  • 00:02:27
    God.
  • 00:02:28
    And what this song is essentially saying is that, hey, my
  • 00:02:33
    money, You can have that.
  • 00:02:36
    My car, my technology, whatever it is, You can have it all.
  • 00:02:41
    I'm laying it all down because I want to show You, God, that
  • 00:02:45
    You are worth it and I want my obedience to reflect that.
  • 00:02:48
    So if You call me to something, I'll go.
  • 00:02:51
    And ultimately, I hope that's not just something that impacts
  • 00:02:57
    my life, not just our church, but the church at large.
  • 00:03:01
    I want us to be obedient and I want us to show God that we love
  • 00:03:04
    Him by when He calls us out, we go ahead.
  • 00:03:08
    (music) We're laying it all, we're laying it all down
  • 00:12:39
    >> Well, I'm so excited for College Camp.
  • 00:12:41
    I got the joy of being there and speaking at it last year and
  • 00:12:46
    will once again be there this year and be speaking at it.
  • 00:12:48
    And I care about College Camp because my life was transformed
  • 00:12:52
    by Jesus in college and I saw my friends' lives totally change
  • 00:12:56
    when they came into relationship with God in college.
  • 00:12:58
    And I want that for you. I want that for your friends.
  • 00:13:01
    Regardless, if you go to UC, go Bearcats or if you're at
  • 00:13:05
    Pepperdine or you're at University of Texas or anywhere else,
  • 00:13:09
    this is worth traveling in for and experiencing.
  • 00:13:13
    >> It's college camp?
  • 00:13:14
    >> I actually thought it was Collage Camp.
  • 00:13:16
    >> Nope. You clearly didn't watch the video.
  • 00:13:18
    >> It's going to be awkward for the people I sent.
  • 00:13:19
    >> Yeah, no.
  • 00:13:21
    >> One of the things about College Camp, but camps in general
  • 00:13:25
    is that something happens when we get outside of our comfort
  • 00:13:28
    zones, we get outside of our zip codes where God speaks to us
  • 00:13:32
    in a new and unique way.
  • 00:13:34
    Whether that's collage camp -- College Camp, Man Camp, Woman
  • 00:13:38
    Camp, Couples Camp, all kinds of camps that we get to
  • 00:13:41
    experience God.
  • 00:13:43
    There's people coming in from all over the country and it's
  • 00:13:45
    Make it a priority in your life.
  • 00:13:47
    You go to Crossroads.net/collegecamp
  • 00:13:50
    to find out more.
  • 00:13:51
    >> College Camp is not until October.
  • 00:13:53
    Lots of the camps aren't still further away.
  • 00:13:55
    What's happening now?
  • 00:13:56
    > Oh, right now, let me think if I can think of -- The Journey
  • 00:13:59
    >> The Journey!
  • 00:14:00
    >> Yeah, the Play & Purpose Journey is coming up next weekend.
  • 00:14:05
    I'm excited about this because my first experience at
  • 00:14:10
    Crossroads was in a group of people that were processing this
  • 00:14:13
    Journey together.
  • 00:14:14
    If you're going to prioritize one thing all year long, let this
  • 00:14:19
    be the thing because your growth is guaranteed to skyrocket if
  • 00:14:23
    >> Journey groups are just fun.
  • 00:14:25
    >> They're fun. You make new friends or you get to do something
  • 00:14:28
    new with old friends. Either way, it's a win.
  • 00:14:30
    >> Yeah, I used to think they're like the kumbayah Bible study,
  • 00:14:33
    hold hands, sit around in a circle and make collage work of
  • 00:14:37
    But they're more like just hanging out with your friends over
  • 00:14:41
    some food, which is what my first Journey group was like.
  • 00:14:43
    >> So you can sign up to be in a Journey group today by heading
  • 00:14:46
    to Crossroads.net/journey.
  • 00:14:49
    And there are groups happening all over the country, groups
  • 00:14:51
    that are happening online, groups that are happening in sites.
  • 00:14:54
    There is a group for you out there and this might just be the
  • 00:14:58
    catalyst for total life change or a whole new trajectory for
  • 00:15:02
    your life that's more fun and more meaningful with Play &
  • 00:15:07
    Crossroads.net/journey is where you can do that.
  • 00:15:10
    You know, one of the ways that we can have a little bit more
  • 00:15:13
    purpose in our life is by deciding where we want our money to
  • 00:15:17
    go.
  • 00:15:18
    >> One of the reasons my family gives isn't just because we get
  • 00:15:21
    to see the amazing things that God does through our generosity,
  • 00:15:23
    like the Journey that's coming up,
  • 00:15:25
    but because we see it in God's character as well, we see in the
  • 00:15:29
    Bible where it says: where your treasure lies there, your heart
  • 00:15:31
    lies also.
  • 00:15:32
    For my wife and I, we give because we see treasure, not just in
  • 00:15:38
    the things around us, like the stool I'm sitting in or the
  • 00:15:41
    clothing that we wear or this cool backdrop, but in lives
  • 00:15:43
    Our treasure is where our hearts are and my heart is helping
  • 00:15:48
    others experience that same freedom that is through Jesus,
  • 00:15:50
    which is found in this church community.
  • 00:15:51
    So you go to Crossroads.net/give
  • 00:15:54
    to be a part of the team, set up a recurring electronic gift
  • 00:15:56
    that way like my wife and I do, and be a part of transforming
  • 00:15:59
    lives.
  • 00:16:00
    >> That's right. And you know, we're just really excited for
  • 00:16:04
    you to experience what God has for you in The Journey.
  • 00:16:06
    And it's because of generous givers that we even get to go on
  • 00:16:10
    this Play & Purpose Journey.
  • 00:16:11
    Speaking of Journey, what the heck is a Journey anyways?
  • 00:16:21
    >> So Crossroads is doing a Journey.
  • 00:16:25
    What does that even mean?
  • 00:16:26
    >> Allow me every so often Crossroads does a Journey.
  • 00:16:31
    Basically a Journey is a five week series where everyone from
  • 00:16:35
    kids to adults follow on the same topic.
  • 00:16:38
    This year's topic Purpose & Play all about why having restful
  • 00:16:43
    play and meaningful purpose are critical to a life that
  • 00:16:45
    thrives.
  • 00:16:46
    Here's how to do a Journey.
  • 00:16:48
    Step 1: Go to the weekend message.
  • 00:16:52
    Kickoff weekend will be September 14th and 15th.
  • 00:16:54
    Be here.
  • 00:16:58
    Can't make it to a site? Just download the Crossroads Anywhere
  • 00:17:00
    app and watch the weekend message there.
  • 00:17:02
    Step 2: get in a group.
  • 00:17:05
    If getting in a group sounds weird relax.
  • 00:17:08
    This is not your Aunt Betth's knitting circle.
  • 00:17:10
    It's not that.
  • 00:17:11
    It's more like a dinner party with people in similar life
  • 00:17:14
    stages asking similar questions.
  • 00:17:17
    Step 3: do some challenges.
  • 00:17:21
    No, not the dumb Internet kind.
  • 00:17:22
    Challenges in the Crossroads App.
  • 00:17:24
    There's a brand new feature this year and you're gonna love it.
  • 00:17:25
    Connect your group in the app like a text thread.
  • 00:17:29
    Select Play & Purpose.
  • 00:17:30
    It will prompt your group with fun challenges and questions.
  • 00:17:33
    No homework.
  • 00:17:34
    Just fun ways to get engaged.
  • 00:17:42
    So to recap: (rewind EFX)
  • 00:17:46
    do the journey.
  • 00:17:49
    >> Is he making fun of my air quotes?
  • 00:17:50
    Dude!
  • 00:17:55
    >> Man, that's gonna be great.
  • 00:17:56
    I'm telling you right now it's going to be one of the best five
  • 00:17:59
    week blocks you ever had around Crossroads.
  • 00:18:00
    I hope you're getting ready for it cause, man, I'm really
  • 00:18:03
    looking forward.
  • 00:18:04
    Before I get into into what I'm going to talk about today, I
  • 00:18:06
    just want to just remind us, those of us who got emails because
  • 00:18:09
    you're really engaged around here financially and we're
  • 00:18:12
    I just want to remind you that we have a family meeting this
  • 00:18:14
    Wednesday night.
  • 00:18:15
    And I look forward to sharing some stuff with you and seeing
  • 00:18:17
    you then.
  • 00:18:18
    I think there's just really good stuff for us to see and be
  • 00:18:21
    aware of and we're on a good, good Journey right now.
  • 00:18:24
    And I want to pray before I do anything else and talk about the
  • 00:18:28
    things that I'm pretty fired up about today.
  • 00:18:31
    God, thank you for this time right now.
  • 00:18:36
    We could be other places doing other things, but we're here
  • 00:18:38
    right now.
  • 00:18:39
    I think everyone is here and listening because we want more of
  • 00:18:43
    We want to feel more life.
  • 00:18:45
    And we're wondering what that means for You to be more in our
  • 00:18:48
    life.
  • 00:18:49
    So help me to be clear today, to be helpful and most
  • 00:18:51
    importantly, to be in alignment with Your truth.
  • 00:18:54
    And I pray these things, according to the character and
  • 00:18:56
    identity of Jesus.
  • 00:18:58
    Amen.
  • 00:19:01
    Well, today I want to get you to a new place.
  • 00:19:04
    Who wants to go to a new place today?
  • 00:19:05
    Anybody? Anybody?
  • 00:19:06
    Yes. Okay.
  • 00:19:07
    Today, I want to get you to a new place in your spiritual
  • 00:19:11
    growth.
  • 00:19:12
    And we have to wonder -- notice that all of us have two
  • 00:19:17
    competing desires.
  • 00:19:19
    As Carl Sandburg said, the great American writer, he said some
  • 00:19:22
    days I want to soar like an eagle and other days I just want to
  • 00:19:25
    lie in the mud like a hippopotamus.
  • 00:19:28
    And this is the way we are.
  • 00:19:30
    We just kind of want to sit around.
  • 00:19:31
    And oftentimes spiritual growth gets pawned off as something
  • 00:19:34
    where you sit and you meditate and you reflect and you think.
  • 00:19:39
    And I'm all for sitting, reflecting, meditating and thinking.
  • 00:19:42
    I am. I'm all for that.
  • 00:19:43
    I'm all for those hippopotamus behaviors.
  • 00:19:46
    But I'm also all for understanding that this often happens
  • 00:19:50
    right after we've pushed and we've soared.
  • 00:19:54
    This often happens right before we push and we soar.
  • 00:19:59
    To get to a new place, this is going to be a dream message from
  • 00:20:03
    me today, classic preacher message.
  • 00:20:05
    I've got four points. They all start with the same letter.
  • 00:20:08
    Yeah. The letter V.
  • 00:20:10
    That's some good stuff right there.
  • 00:20:12
    All start with the letter V.
  • 00:20:14
    This is gonna be about pushing to enable us to spiritually
  • 00:20:19
    grow.
  • 00:20:20
    In the book of 2 Timothy chapter 2, I want you to listen to
  • 00:20:25
    what the metaphors are for spiritual growth.
  • 00:20:28
    I'm not going to unpack this verse entirely, but just look at
  • 00:20:31
    what the metaphors are?
  • 00:20:32
    . No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits since his aim
  • 00:20:37
    is to please the one enlisted who enlisted him.
  • 00:20:52
    Soldier, athlete, farmer, these are very rigorous, engaged
  • 00:21:00
    metaphors.
  • 00:21:01
    It's not poet, philosopher, thinker.
  • 00:21:05
    While I love poets, philosophers and thinkers, there's a place
  • 00:21:08
    But the dominant metaphor for getting ahead spiritually in a
  • 00:21:13
    new place in the Bible are things like athletes who train,
  • 00:21:18
    soldiers who kill, hardworking farmers who sweat and cut and
  • 00:21:26
    bleed.
  • 00:21:28
    These are very rigorous metaphors and I really think that maybe
  • 00:21:33
    the reason why many of us are a bit frustrated with why I don't
  • 00:21:37
    feel God
  • 00:21:38
    or why my faith has challenges
  • 00:21:40
    or why I feel stagnant is we're too hippopotamus like.
  • 00:21:44
    We're too thinking like.
  • 00:21:46
    We even call it: Are you a believer?
  • 00:21:48
    Like a believer, like thinking, philosophizing.
  • 00:21:51
    No, it's about doing, it's about pushing, it's about getting to
  • 00:21:55
    a new place.
  • 00:21:56
    To ascend to a new place, to elevate, to fly to a new place
  • 00:22:01
    means that you will have to go through excruciating difficulty.
  • 00:22:07
    It means that you will have to sweat.
  • 00:22:10
    It means that you will have things that are rough and just
  • 00:22:14
    cause you to hang on.
  • 00:22:18
    A key moment my life where this came to fruition for me was in
  • 00:22:22
    2013.
  • 00:22:25
    I shared this story way back when.
  • 00:22:27
    Many of us haven't heard or we've forgotten.
  • 00:22:29
    I'll give you a little briefer synopsis of it.
  • 00:22:31
    I was on a bike trip with some friends of mine.
  • 00:22:34
    We went for the bottom of Colorado to the top of Colorado all
  • 00:22:37
    on dirt and we camped the whole way.
  • 00:22:39
    And we made better time than we thought we would.
  • 00:22:41
    We get to the very end of Colorado we realized, "My gosh, we've
  • 00:22:45
    still got another day left.
  • 00:22:46
    Let's just keep going, let's go up into Wyoming.".
  • 00:22:48
    So we head up into Wyoming.
  • 00:22:50
    We get on this this dirt path in this national forest.
  • 00:22:54
    And we look at this at the map, we see a little little blue dot
  • 00:22:57
    that means there's a body of water there, which is a great
  • 00:22:59
    place to camp wherever there's water.
  • 00:23:02
    And we said, "Let's go there.".
  • 00:23:04
    Well, we didn't know was from where we were to where that was,
  • 00:23:07
    even though it was just like this much space on a map and was
  • 00:23:12
    only a few miles, I think six miles or something like that.
  • 00:23:15
    It was the most difficult riding that we had done that entire
  • 00:23:18
    trip.
  • 00:23:19
    In fact, this would be the most difficult riding I would have
  • 00:23:23
    done in my entire life up to that point.
  • 00:23:26
    Now everyone has a different opinion and interpretation and
  • 00:23:29
    memory of what happened next.
  • 00:23:30
    But I have the microphone, so I"m going to give you my opinion
  • 00:23:34
    and my memory.
  • 00:23:35
    As we went to Phantom Lake, the very end of it was a very, very
  • 00:23:40
    steep, rocky incline.
  • 00:23:42
    I found this all the time.
  • 00:23:43
    The best views always come after the roughest inclines.
  • 00:23:49
    The best most fulfilling campsites oftentimes come when you ask
  • 00:23:54
    them, "What in the heck are we doing here?
  • 00:23:57
    We can't be doing this here."
  • 00:23:59
    And we got in this last stretch, it was very steep, it was very
  • 00:24:02
    rocky.
  • 00:24:03
    These loose rocks and I'm bouncing around me and I'm trying to
  • 00:24:07
    I get up there and and I turn around.
  • 00:24:09
    There's virtually no one there.
  • 00:24:12
    And we basically chose to stay down at the bottom of this pass
  • 00:24:18
    and we camped there.
  • 00:24:19
    And it was a very tumultuous, very, very tense time.
  • 00:24:21
    My memory of it, my memory and my application of it as I was
  • 00:24:25
    coming down that pass, I thought, "You know, this is really
  • 00:24:28
    symbolic for my life right now.
  • 00:24:32
    There's some things that I want to do that are new.
  • 00:24:35
    There's some things that I feel, God, that You're asking me to
  • 00:24:37
    do.
  • 00:24:38
    And many people who I'm doing life with right now don't want to
  • 00:24:41
    do the climb.
  • 00:24:43
    Many people I'm doing it with would rather be hippopotamuses"
  • 00:24:45
    I didn't think this because I didn't that quote until I was
  • 00:24:47
    preparing for this message --
  • 00:24:48
    would rather be hippopotamus is than eagles.
  • 00:24:52
    And I sensed God promised me saying, "Hey, man, if you want to
  • 00:24:55
    climb you just need to tell people who you're with you need
  • 00:24:58
    --you're going to climb whether they're with you or not."
  • 00:25:01
    All right, I'll do that.
  • 00:25:02
    So I came back and I started having a conversation with people
  • 00:25:05
    and casting a vision.
  • 00:25:07
    There was a lot of people who just like, "Yeah, I'm not -- I'm
  • 00:25:12
    not interested in that.".
  • 00:25:14
    And really, really good people, love God, and just really good.
  • 00:25:18
    And I still have a relation with many of them.
  • 00:25:19
    But I just like, hey, we're going to go on a push here, because
  • 00:25:22
    up to that point, like 2011, 2012, 2013, Crossroads really
  • 00:25:28
    hadn't grown at all.
  • 00:25:29
    We had some good stuff going on, but we were stagnant.
  • 00:25:32
    We were like on a plane for multiple years, which means no new
  • 00:25:35
    people were experiencing God, which means we were having a lot
  • 00:25:38
    of discussion about how to just keep things sane, how to keep
  • 00:25:40
    things okay and how to have staff be happy and all these kind
  • 00:25:45
    This is not why we started doing what we're doing here.
  • 00:25:47
    So I just kind of came back and like said, "Hey, I'm going to
  • 00:25:50
    Phantom Lake, whether you're coming or not, I'm going."
  • 00:25:52
    And what do you know, my goodness.
  • 00:25:54
    What I looked at things in the last several years, what's
  • 00:25:58
    happened from 2013 when we as a church were stagnant for three
  • 00:26:02
    years, what happened from there to here?
  • 00:26:05
    I had to write them down.
  • 00:26:06
    I'll just read some to you really quickly.
  • 00:26:08
    Crossroads West Side has opened since then.
  • 00:26:10
    Mason moved into a new building.
  • 00:26:12
    Crossroads Uptown happened.
  • 00:26:14
    Crossroads Central Kentucky, our merger acquisition -- our
  • 00:26:16
    merger adoption rather happened, took place.
  • 00:26:19
    Crossroads Oxford took place.
  • 00:26:21
    Crossroads East Side opened.
  • 00:26:23
    We had a Compassion International weekend and took 6000 kids.
  • 00:26:27
    Every kid that Compassion International had in Nicaragua, not
  • 00:26:30
    just our central of Kentucky churches and Bolivia, but every
  • 00:26:33
    kid in Nicaragua that was available, we scooped them all up in
  • 00:26:35
    one weekend.
  • 00:26:36
    And we're still feeding and educating those kids, just that --
  • 00:26:39
    You can clap and be happy at any one of these things, if you
  • 00:26:41
    want, by the way.
  • 00:26:42
    [applause]
  • 00:26:43
    600,000 meals shipped to South Africa.
  • 00:26:45
    We had a 600,000 meals shipped to South Africa.
  • 00:26:48
    We had a campaign called I'm In, 83 percent fulfilled.
  • 00:26:51
    Good job.
  • 00:26:52
    We had others, folks who are still engaging in the and
  • 00:26:54
    fulfilling your Obsessed Journey at 23% still pushing.
  • 00:26:58
    Crazy stuff that's happened there.
  • 00:27:00
    We took Awaited, a church show, a nice show and leaders in the
  • 00:27:04
    arts in Cincinnati said, "Hey, we'd like to play that in the
  • 00:27:07
    Aronoff. Would you use that at the Aronoff?"
  • 00:27:09
    My gosh, to be able to have the elite, elite performance center
  • 00:27:13
    in the entire tri-state area saying we want your thing here,
  • 00:27:16
    because we --
  • 00:27:17
    that is amazing. Amazing.
  • 00:27:19
    That is new rocky territory.
  • 00:27:21
    We've had probably about, as best I can estimate, 5000 people
  • 00:27:25
    baptized since 2013.
  • 00:27:27
    We're bought 435 acres of camps.
  • 00:27:29
    We had 15,000 people go through Man Camp, 10,000 do Women Camp.
  • 00:27:32
    We have Couples Camp, College Camp, Veterans Camp, Father/Son
  • 00:27:36
    Camp,
  • 00:27:37
    disabled dog camp. I mean just all of them.
  • 00:27:40
    [laughter]
  • 00:27:41
    I'm kidding there. No, we don't have a -- "Disabled dog camp?
  • 00:27:44
    No, we don't.
  • 00:27:45
    Not that one. We don't have that one.
  • 00:27:46
    By the way, camps for this fall, registration closes soon.
  • 00:27:51
    So if you want to get in on Couples Camp, College Camp, Man
  • 00:27:54
    Camp registration shuts down in a week or so.
  • 00:27:57
    So get on it now.
  • 00:27:58
    That's just -- that's just some of it.
  • 00:28:00
    All that represents great stuff, mountaintops.
  • 00:28:02
    I tell you what, grueling, backbreaking work.
  • 00:28:07
    Utterly grueling, backbreaking.
  • 00:28:11
    And that's just for me on my professional side.
  • 00:28:13
    That's not my personal side.
  • 00:28:15
    My goodness, the things God has done in the last few years on
  • 00:28:19
    my personal side is nuts-o.
  • 00:28:21
    We've had 32 years of marriage.
  • 00:28:25
    And this last year, it was the hardest year of marriage we've
  • 00:28:29
    ever had.
  • 00:28:30
    First year marriage was awful.
  • 00:28:32
    Seventh year of marriage, there is a seven year itch.
  • 00:28:34
    It was difficult.
  • 00:28:35
    Those things pale in comparison to how tough our 32 year was.
  • 00:28:41
    I can't go into all of it, I'm just telling you, man, it has
  • 00:28:43
    been a steep, rocky climb and we are greater now, Lib and I,
  • 00:28:48
    than we have ever been.
  • 00:28:50
    The view is fantastic, but it's only because we said, "Oh my
  • 00:28:53
    gosh, marriage is supposed to be hard, isn't it?
  • 00:28:56
    Oh, my gosh. Maybe God is using marriage to spiritually form us
  • 00:29:01
    more than He is wanting to give us a beautiful hallmark card.
  • 00:29:04
    Maybe the difficulty God wants you to go after is purely
  • 00:29:10
    because He's going to grow you in the midst of that difficulty.
  • 00:29:14
    We've had in the last few years we had two kids married off,
  • 00:29:18
    two amazing spouses come into our life, new in law, son in law,
  • 00:29:23
    daughter in law thing.
  • 00:29:24
    Amazing. Amazing.
  • 00:29:25
    I've become a grandparent.
  • 00:29:27
    I'm not even taking Metamucil yet, but I'm a grandparent.
  • 00:29:30
    My goodness.
  • 00:29:32
    Geeze, wrote Five Marks of a Man that's taken off as a good --
  • 00:29:35
    I got another devotional that's coming out this next -- in a
  • 00:29:39
    couple of months.
  • 00:29:40
    And all of this to say these things sound really good, like,
  • 00:29:43
    woo, great.
  • 00:29:45
    But man, it is a slog.
  • 00:29:47
    It is an utterly difficult climb up a rocky mountain.
  • 00:29:53
    They've been:
  • 00:30:04
    That's what spiritual growth is like.
  • 00:30:07
    That's what it's like.
  • 00:30:09
    Now in a little bit I'm going to give you a little snippet of
  • 00:30:12
    another upward climb that we've had.
  • 00:30:16
    And I'm going to give you a little snippet of a video project
  • 00:30:19
    that we asked all of you about a year and half ago,.
  • 00:30:21
    "Hey, we're gonna do like motorcycle bike trip thing and we're
  • 00:30:24
    If you like to come, apply.
  • 00:30:26
    We had a bunch of people apply.
  • 00:30:27
    I'm going to show you a little short snippet of it today.
  • 00:30:29
    It's going to be 11 minutes long.
  • 00:30:31
    It's actually going to be a seven part series.
  • 00:30:35
    We're trying to get it on a streaming platform in January.
  • 00:30:38
    But for the purposes of today, I want to use eleven minutes of
  • 00:30:42
    because it's going to really articulate and highlight some of
  • 00:30:48
    the four things I'm going to give you today.
  • 00:30:50
    Number one. Number one.
  • 00:30:52
    Number one is vision.
  • 00:30:54
    If you want to get to a new place, you need to have vision.
  • 00:31:00
    Jesus gives us a vision of what spiritual growth is going to
  • 00:31:04
    look like and in Matthew 7:13, he says this:
  • 00:31:26
    Jesus says if you want to be like the masses, if you want to
  • 00:31:29
    have a spirituality like the masses, which is entirely comfort
  • 00:31:33
    based, you are on the wide highway.
  • 00:31:38
    Why is a highway wide and smooth?
  • 00:31:40
    It's because the masses go there and because it needs to be
  • 00:31:44
    simple and it needs to be comfortable for the masses.
  • 00:31:47
    I mean, think about that when you're in a car, it's like it's a
  • 00:31:50
    pretty road. it's just, you know.
  • 00:31:53
    But you get off on dirt, on rock especially if you get off on
  • 00:31:56
    two wheels, you start bouncing all over the place and you start
  • 00:32:01
    modeling the life of Jesus.
  • 00:32:03
    Because Jesus, if you want to be where Jesus is, He's on the
  • 00:32:06
    narrow, difficult path.
  • 00:32:09
    He's not on the wide path that everyone loves that's easy.
  • 00:32:13
    He's on the narrow, difficult path.
  • 00:32:16
    It's the path that leads to true life.
  • 00:32:19
    We need to have vision.
  • 00:32:20
    What kind of vision do you have?
  • 00:32:22
    Is there a place that you're going that requires difficulty?
  • 00:32:25
    If not, it's not vision.
  • 00:32:26
    It's a daydream.
  • 00:32:28
    Is there a place where you can see in your mind that you can't
  • 00:32:33
    be there right now, you can't handle it right now, you don't
  • 00:32:36
    have it right now, but you want it and you're working at it?
  • 00:32:40
    If so, that's vision.
  • 00:32:43
    The Book of Proverbs 29:18 says:.
  • 00:32:48
    When we don't have vision, a picture, knowledge of where we're
  • 00:32:52
    going we end up having lifeless lives stuck in the mud, not
  • 00:32:58
    feeling the rigour, the rigor of a full walk with Jesus.
  • 00:33:06
    Forbes.com some time ago it said this:.
  • 00:33:16
    That's all he is, invest -- he or she invests the time to
  • 00:33:21
    create a forward shared meaning.
  • 00:33:23
    It's not this amazing idea no one's ever thought of, "Whoa,
  • 00:33:26
    she's a visionary."
  • 00:33:27
    No, it's I see where I want to go and I'm trying to collect the
  • 00:33:33
    energy of others to go in that place.
  • 00:33:36
    And when we have that vision, it's always going to take vigor.
  • 00:33:39
    That's point 2: vigor.
  • 00:33:40
    Starts with vision.
  • 00:33:41
    The fact that we don't have it and we haven't seen it with our
  • 00:33:46
    own eyeballs.
  • 00:33:47
    The reason why we haven't seen it with our own eyeballs is
  • 00:33:49
    because it's gonna be difficult.
  • 00:33:51
    If it was gonna be easy and be handed to us, then we'd have it
  • 00:33:53
    right now.
  • 00:33:55
    Vision always requires vigor.
  • 00:33:58
    It requires sweat.
  • 00:34:00
    It requires sacrifice.
  • 00:34:02
    It requires pain.
  • 00:34:04
    I don't know where we ever got this idea the closer I get with
  • 00:34:06
    God, the easier my life is going to be.
  • 00:34:08
    Not true.
  • 00:34:10
    The closer I get with God, the more vision He gives me.
  • 00:34:12
    The closer I get to God, the more I see I want to be where He's
  • 00:34:16
    going and He's going in the narrow path.
  • 00:34:17
    He's going to a difficult place.
  • 00:34:19
    It is fulfilling. There is joy.
  • 00:34:21
    There can be a sense of peace and joy.
  • 00:34:24
    But coming to Jesus to escape difficulty never works.
  • 00:34:30
    Never works. Never has worked.
  • 00:34:32
    Never will work.
  • 00:34:33
    Every biblical hero that we know of in the Bible is a hero
  • 00:34:39
    because of the difficulty they went through.
  • 00:34:42
    Every inspirational story that's in the Bible and recorded in
  • 00:34:46
    the Bible is there because it was difficult.
  • 00:34:48
    That's why it's inspirational.
  • 00:34:51
    A guy building a boat out of his own hands, Noah.
  • 00:34:55
    Prophets standing against the tide and saying things no one
  • 00:34:58
    wanted to hear.
  • 00:34:59
    Jesus doing things that no one's seen before.
  • 00:35:01
    His followers getting on boats and getting shipwrecked, going
  • 00:35:04
    all over the place, going on massive, massive adventures to let
  • 00:35:07
    people know who He was.
  • 00:35:08
    That was crazy and amazing.
  • 00:35:13
    I believe -- I believe that there are things that we do
  • 00:35:16
    physically that prepare us for things spiritually.
  • 00:35:21
    I believe if you don't want to do difficult things physically,
  • 00:35:26
    you won't do difficult things spiritually.
  • 00:35:30
    I believe if you don't get to a new place physically, it's
  • 00:35:34
    because you haven't been doing difficult things physically.
  • 00:35:37
    And if you can't get to a new place spiritually, it's because
  • 00:35:40
    you haven't been doing difficult things spiritually.
  • 00:35:44
    They mesh up.
  • 00:35:46
    So we took this trip of a bunch of new riders because the idea
  • 00:35:50
    was just that: if we can get people to do something that's very
  • 00:35:53
    difficult and physical,
  • 00:35:54
    this might prepare them for the real adventure in their life.
  • 00:35:56
    The real adventures in our life is not the mountain climbing
  • 00:35:58
    trip.
  • 00:35:59
    It's not the motorcycle trip.
  • 00:36:00
    It's not the rafting trip.
  • 00:36:01
    Those were great. Those are wonderful moments of play that
  • 00:36:03
    we'll talk about in the next series.
  • 00:36:05
    But what really happens are those things enable me to be about
  • 00:36:09
    the real adventure of my life, which might be starting a
  • 00:36:11
    business, kicking an addiction, getting married, having a kid,
  • 00:36:14
    keeping a marriage together, losing 50 pounds, whatever.
  • 00:36:19
    Those are the real adventures, the ones that really matter,
  • 00:36:22
    understanding how God wants to take over my life.
  • 00:36:26
    So I want you to watch and in this little 11 minute snippet,
  • 00:36:31
    watch for just here where you see the first two points of
  • 00:36:34
    vision and vigor.
  • 00:36:42
    >> Across the rugged terrain of Colorado and Wyoming
  • 00:36:47
    ten unlikely riders pursue an elusive mountain top destination
  • 00:36:53
    called Phantom Lake.
  • 00:36:57
    Among them were a single grad student.
  • 00:37:00
    >> It's just me and Alexa.
  • 00:37:01
    Alexa can't give me a hug.
  • 00:37:02
    >> A photographer and tinkerer.
  • 00:37:04
    >> This is very sweet.
  • 00:37:05
    If you know how pair of these, you need to get 'em.
  • 00:37:07
    >> An adventure starved accountant.
  • 00:37:09
    >> I'm domesticated.
  • 00:37:11
    I need an adventure please.
  • 00:37:12
    >> A second career jazz singer.
  • 00:37:14
    >> This really is real.
  • 00:37:15
    This is really happening.
  • 00:37:16
    >> A college student.
  • 00:37:17
    >> This is my valid motorcycle license, in case you were
  • 00:37:19
    >> A multi-business entrepreneur.
  • 00:37:22
    >> As far as my off roading experience, there's first time for
  • 00:37:24
    everything. Take that, Rockies.
  • 00:37:26
    >> A semi retired lobbyist.
  • 00:37:28
    >> You gotta keep that smile.
  • 00:37:30
    Oh, yeah.
  • 00:37:31
    >> A quiet engineer.
  • 00:37:33
    >> Hopefully I make some more close friends on this trip coming
  • 00:37:36
    >> And a diligent young father.
  • 00:37:38
    >> I have a fear of heights, and I've overcome that fear.
  • 00:37:40
    A long time pastor, adventurer and father figure Brian Tome
  • 00:37:45
    will lead the way.
  • 00:37:46
    >> Jesus tells a story about God.
  • 00:37:47
    He says what God does is He gives --
  • 00:37:50
    >> To make it to the end they must overcome mental fatigue,
  • 00:37:55
    physical fatigue, and even the landscape itself.
  • 00:38:02
    Will these riders have the determination, stamina and courage
  • 00:38:06
    to make it to the end?
  • 00:38:09
    >> I wake up every day and I say to God, "God, whatever you've
  • 00:38:11
    got going on today, I want to be a part of it."
  • 00:38:15
    We're going to do something really unorthodox: taking
  • 00:38:18
    inexperienced riders on this trip.
  • 00:38:20
    You've gotta be in a situation that's foreign to what you're
  • 00:38:23
    New riders are going to be challenged.
  • 00:38:27
    I have this feeling that everyone has an adventure that they're
  • 00:38:30
    I want to see real people in the real world with real life
  • 00:38:33
    adventures learn how to conquer them.
  • 00:38:34
    That's why I want to do this trip with people that need it.
  • 00:38:39
    If we're not in a difficult position we don't grow the way we
  • 00:38:42
    could grow.
  • 00:38:43
    I learn when things are difficult.
  • 00:38:45
    I learn when I get smacked in the mouth.
  • 00:38:47
    I learn when I fall down.
  • 00:38:48
    I don't want to fail because I didn't try hard enough.
  • 00:38:52
    Some people would say, "Well, you're a pastor, shouldn't you
  • 00:38:54
    just be doing Bible studies?".
  • 00:38:55
    I'm about making real men and women stronger and this in a way
  • 00:39:00
    that I found that does it.
  • 00:39:16
    If there's anything that you can do to help yourself, it's to
  • 00:39:22
    teach yourself not to be freaked when your bike bounces.
  • 00:39:25
    There's a lot of rocks called baby heads.
  • 00:39:28
    A lot of baby heads up there.
  • 00:39:30
    Your bike is going to be jumping around.
  • 00:39:33
    That feeling that you feel on pavement where everything's
  • 00:39:36
    planted or even on gravel, that feeling is gone.
  • 00:39:39
    You and your bike will go where you look.
  • 00:39:42
    It's the weirdest thing.
  • 00:39:44
    You need to make sure you are looking 30 feet in front of where
  • 00:39:48
    you're going. 30 feet.
  • 00:39:50
    You are never this. Never.
  • 00:39:52
    This never helps you.
  • 00:39:53
    Momentum is your friend.
  • 00:39:57
    You start to go, throttle helps you.
  • 00:40:00
    Throttle helps, if you start to spin, throttle.
  • 00:40:02
    If you go down. You go down, you're not going to get hurt going
  • 00:40:07
    10 miles an hour, you're not going to get hurt, you're not.
  • 00:40:10
    But if you can get up this somehow, some way, it's a good omen
  • 00:40:13
    for the rest of your trip.
  • 00:40:18
    It's important to point out here that we're about to do our
  • 00:40:20
    first big pass and these guys haven't even had a chance to ride
  • 00:40:24
    on basic flat dirt.
  • 00:40:25
    >> We don't have any off road experience at all.
  • 00:40:29
    What I do have and what I do have to offer is a willingness to
  • 00:40:34
    learn.
  • 00:40:39
    (grunting) I'm down.
  • 00:40:40
    I'm down but okay.
  • 00:40:42
    >> All right, Thomas, I'm going to keep going.
  • 00:40:45
    >> Tommy's down.
  • 00:40:46
    >> You passed him? You didn't stop and help him?
  • 00:40:51
    Do I have any off road experience?
  • 00:40:53
    Yes, I do, actually.
  • 00:40:54
    You know, with a non-motorized cycle.
  • 00:40:58
    >> Oh, shoot, oh, shoot.
  • 00:40:59
    >> Good, Randy. Good, Randy. Whoo!
  • 00:41:04
    >> I was stopping for Tommy.
  • 00:41:07
    >> I thought you were about to die right there, man.
  • 00:41:09
    >> I almost went over that edge.
  • 00:41:11
    >> Zach doesn't have a lot of skill, but he's got the
  • 00:41:14
    confidence to just stay behind me and get to the top.
  • 00:41:18
    >> Oh, get up back up on this beast.
  • 00:41:27
    >> Darn it, I'm down.
  • 00:41:28
    >> The worst part was when I when I was a little afraid of the
  • 00:41:32
    right hand lane just because it was closer to the cliff, but it
  • 00:41:35
    was a clearer path for sure.
  • 00:41:37
    >> Zach was really a pleasant surprise here.
  • 00:41:41
    Zach has had very little motorcycle experience, very little off
  • 00:41:45
    road experience.
  • 00:41:47
    And what do you know? He got up the hill.
  • 00:41:53
    >> Oh, here's the baby heads. (grunting)
  • 00:42:03
    >> To get people up a mountain, you have to push.
  • 00:42:07
    Don't give up. Let's go.
  • 00:42:08
    You've got to be that stern and have an attitude of believing
  • 00:42:13
    in that person and calling them to a place where they might not
  • 00:42:15
    even want to go themselves.
  • 00:42:16
    But you can only challenge them as far as you previously
  • 00:42:19
    encouraged them and built into them.
  • 00:42:21
    You need to tell those guys when they get to those guys who are
  • 00:42:24
    down, the calvary is not coming for 'em.
  • 00:42:26
    They've got a freaking figure it out.
  • 00:42:28
    We've had some difficulties on this trip, but this is where it
  • 00:42:31
    gets genuinely difficult.
  • 00:42:34
    Like something's going to take care of itself.
  • 00:42:36
    No, it's not. They've got to push their freaking bikes.
  • 00:42:39
    Those guys just sit in the ground defeated, they're not --
  • 00:42:42
    This is not a luxury trip.
  • 00:42:45
    >> You got it.
  • 00:42:46
    >> This pass stands at 11,700 feet above sea level.
  • 00:42:49
    There's not much oxygen out here and the bikes weigh between
  • 00:42:52
    450 and 650 pounds fully loaded.
  • 00:42:56
    You're on a slippery terrain and an incredibly steep grade.
  • 00:42:59
    You're in protective riding gear, which is hot and limits
  • 00:43:03
    mobility.
  • 00:43:04
    This is way more difficult than it looks on video.
  • 00:43:09
    Picking up a motorcycle on a trail like this is like trying to
  • 00:43:12
    pick up a piano in a space suit on the side of a mountain after
  • 00:43:17
    sprinting a mile.
  • 00:43:23
    >> I have Chuck's bike down, Dave's bike down.
  • 00:43:26
    Randy just stopped and John went down.
  • 00:43:31
    Tommy went down.
  • 00:43:32
    So they're working on getting everybody up.
  • 00:43:36
    >> Okay. Am I need it down there?
  • 00:43:38
    Do you need me to come down there?
  • 00:43:42
    >> I think -- I think these guys could use your challenge and
  • 00:43:45
    your coaching.
  • 00:43:47
    >> Okay. All right.
  • 00:43:48
    I'll keep my chew in and come down there.
  • 00:44:00
    Give it more gas. That's it, you're not getting a lot of gas.
  • 00:44:03
    More and more, there you go.
  • 00:44:08
    >> Are you all right?
  • 00:44:09
    >> Yeah.
  • 00:44:12
    I had to make a decision to turn around.
  • 00:44:13
    The guys were just not able to keep going and sometimes retreat
  • 00:44:18
    is the best option.
  • 00:44:20
    >> How much gas I'm giving that so it doesn't stall?
  • 00:44:24
    I'm kind of being looked at as a villain right now with some of
  • 00:44:26
    these guys.
  • 00:44:27
    I'm looked at as maybe a little heartless or something like
  • 00:44:31
    that with some of them.
  • 00:44:32
    That's what looks like to lead, you're taking people where they
  • 00:44:35
    don't want to go.
  • 00:44:36
    You have to go.
  • 00:44:37
    You cannot creep.
  • 00:44:38
    You've got to get speed.
  • 00:44:40
    You've got to get down.
  • 00:44:41
    It's not fun being seen as, I don' know, somewhat heartless.
  • 00:44:46
    You got up this far.
  • 00:44:47
    Going down is twice as easy as coming up.
  • 00:44:50
    >> Gotcha.
  • 00:44:51
    >> Twice as easy.
  • 00:44:52
    >> I heard that before.
  • 00:44:56
    >> Thanks, man. It's a lot of work.
  • 00:44:57
    >> Yeah, it is.
  • 00:44:58
    >> It's all worth it.
  • 00:45:03
    >> Okay? I'm ready when you are.
  • 00:45:04
    >> I'm ready. Okay.
  • 00:45:07
    >> That's it, pump those brakes. That's it.
  • 00:45:15
    Okay, here he comes.
  • 00:45:16
    It's that fast. There you go.
  • 00:45:18
    You're good. Perfect. Perfect.
  • 00:45:20
    That's exactly right.
  • 00:45:21
    Sometimes you've got to get a little kick in the ass.
  • 00:45:23
    You can't -- you cannot take everything conservative in life.
  • 00:45:26
    You can't just like I'm going to creep it, you've got to go.
  • 00:45:29
    That's it. Brakes, brakes, good, good.
  • 00:45:34
    That's a man right there who just grew his confidence.
  • 00:45:37
    You grow in your confidence on this stuff, man, when you're in
  • 00:45:39
    the real world you've just got something extra.
  • 00:45:41
    The guy who's not as good a rider as you who has more fear than
  • 00:45:45
    you. And he got over it.
  • 00:45:48
    >> I'm good.
  • 00:45:49
    >> Okay?
  • 00:46:03
    >> I"m pretty certain at the end they'll be thankful for the
  • 00:46:05
    push and I want them to get to a new place.
  • 00:46:09
    Brakes, brakes. Good, good, good, good.
  • 00:46:11
    Very good.
  • 00:46:19
    Pretty interesting, huh?
  • 00:46:21
    Well, you can just see from my face, I have more bags under my
  • 00:46:25
    eyes than Kroger has bags at the checkout.
  • 00:46:28
    I mean, it was -- it was incredibly grueling.
  • 00:46:31
    It was -- It was the hardest bike thing I've ever done.
  • 00:46:34
    But I'm really thankful for how the folks came to new places,
  • 00:46:37
    it was really neat.
  • 00:46:38
    By the way, like I said, we'll have the full thing being
  • 00:46:42
    someplace in January.
  • 00:46:44
    Meanwhile, I have a thing called briantome.com
  • 00:46:46
    where I give teachings that don't make it on stage and article
  • 00:46:48
    and stuff like that I've got.
  • 00:46:50
    If you want to subscribe to that, you can go to briantome.com.
  • 00:46:52
    I'm going to release another episode of that on Monday.
  • 00:46:56
    So if you're interested in that and want to see that kind of
  • 00:46:57
    stuff, go ahead and check that out.
  • 00:46:59
    But if Ephesians 6:10 says this:
  • 00:47:07
    Be strong.
  • 00:47:09
    Why? Why would you have to be strong unless things are going to
  • 00:47:13
    be hard?
  • 00:47:15
    No one has to be strong bingeing Netflix.
  • 00:47:19
    You have to be strong because there is a narrow path that's
  • 00:47:23
    going to elevation, which is where Jesus is, and it's going to
  • 00:47:28
    be difficult.
  • 00:47:30
    And we're surprised when things are different.
  • 00:47:32
    I'm surprised that we're surprised.
  • 00:47:34
    It's called spiritual growth.
  • 00:47:37
    That's why we're to be strong.
  • 00:47:42
    I've been doing less motorcycling recently, and one of my
  • 00:47:44
    elements of play has been camping with my wife.
  • 00:47:47
    We've been doing a little what's called over landing, which
  • 00:47:50
    basically means you put a tent up on top of your truck.
  • 00:47:53
    And so we went out to Colorado last week with some friends of
  • 00:47:56
    ours, did a little couples thing.
  • 00:47:58
    And it was great.
  • 00:48:00
    It was just great being with them.
  • 00:48:01
    Beautiful scenes, beautiful stuff.
  • 00:48:04
    And, you know what we keep talking about?
  • 00:48:06
    We keep talking about this thing called Imogene Pass.
  • 00:48:09
    It's the hardest pass that I've ever been on, whether on a
  • 00:48:11
    motorcycle or on a vehicle.
  • 00:48:14
    I did not get good intel on this at all.
  • 00:48:16
    It was terrifying.
  • 00:48:18
    Terrifying and death defying.
  • 00:48:20
    Pictures can't even show it.
  • 00:48:23
    We were -- we were shocked that we got through the thing.
  • 00:48:25
    We got through the thing and we were -- two things were said.
  • 00:48:29
    One is, "I'll never do that again.
  • 00:48:31
    That was really stupid.
  • 00:48:32
    I'll never do that again.".
  • 00:48:34
    And the second thing is that's all we talked about since.
  • 00:48:37
    People say, "Hey, how was your trip out Colorado with couples?"
  • 00:48:40
    "We did Imogene Pass.
  • 00:48:41
    OH, it was awful.
  • 00:48:42
    OH, it was awesome.".
  • 00:48:44
    All we talk about was the difficulty.
  • 00:48:46
    All we talk about was the challenge.
  • 00:48:49
    We never sit around, we never say, "Hey, remember that one day
  • 00:48:52
    we just sat around the pool and hung out?
  • 00:48:54
    You remember that?".
  • 00:48:55
    No, no, no.
  • 00:48:56
    We don't remember those days.
  • 00:48:58
    "Hey, do you remember that time when everything went according
  • 00:49:00
    to plan? You remember that?".
  • 00:49:02
    No, we don't remember that.
  • 00:49:04
    There's nothing memorable.
  • 00:49:05
    It's the difficult things that we remember.
  • 00:49:10
    We came back from that trip and I'm in the airport getting
  • 00:49:14
    ready to come back and I flew a buddy out that was going to
  • 00:49:17
    drive my truck back so I could do some other stuff back with my
  • 00:49:19
    normal work life.
  • 00:49:20
    And I get in the airport, I'm looking at my -- look at my
  • 00:49:23
    phone, my email.
  • 00:49:24
    I'm like, "Oh my gosh, that family is in deep, deep doo doo."
  • 00:49:29
    And the email that I'm on says, "Hey, we're going to fast and
  • 00:49:33
    pray for this family.
  • 00:49:35
    We're going to not have food all day and whenever we're going
  • 00:49:38
    to pray and not have food to tell God that we're serious about
  • 00:49:41
    this."
  • 00:49:42
    Whenever I get like a challenge like that, I'm never like,
  • 00:49:45
    "Great, I love to fast.
  • 00:49:48
    I love not having food and praying instead.
  • 00:49:50
    I love -- "
  • 00:49:51
    I never, never, never, never, ever.
  • 00:49:53
    I never am excited about that ever.
  • 00:49:55
    I'm never excited when I get a check like, "Great, the first
  • 00:49:59
    10% goes to my local church, goes to God because that's
  • 00:50:02
    tithing. Woo! I love it.".
  • 00:50:04
    I never, I never feel that way.
  • 00:50:06
    I never do.
  • 00:50:07
    In fact, anything that grows me on the front end I'm never
  • 00:50:10
    excited about it.
  • 00:50:12
    And this was like, "Oh, my gosh, really?
  • 00:50:14
    Like, Oh, I love this family too much.
  • 00:50:17
    I'm in. I'm in."
  • 00:50:18
    And what do you know?
  • 00:50:20
    I fast the next day and felt closer to God than I would have
  • 00:50:24
    had I done normal eating as normal.
  • 00:50:27
    It's always the way it is, friends.
  • 00:50:29
    The narrow path, that's steep, it's rocky is where Jesus is.
  • 00:50:34
    And why we think that we can have comfortable lives avoiding
  • 00:50:38
    any difficulty and have Jesus blows my mind.
  • 00:50:41
    Because nowhere is that said in the Bible and nowhere is that
  • 00:50:44
    modeled anywhere in anybody's life.
  • 00:50:47
    What I want to be like the people who inspire us are the people
  • 00:50:51
    who are inspiring because of what they pressed through, what
  • 00:50:54
    they climbed, what they overcame.
  • 00:50:56
    This is how spiritual growth works.
  • 00:50:58
    Third thing is velocity, velocity.
  • 00:51:01
    Once we have a vision of where we want to go and we summon the
  • 00:51:07
    vigor to fight through it, we've got to get some speed.
  • 00:51:12
    If you notice from that clip, folks were having a hard time
  • 00:51:17
    because the dynamics of riding a motorcycle on dirt and stone
  • 00:51:21
    is really different than the dynamics of riding it on pavement.
  • 00:51:24
    Same with a car.
  • 00:51:26
    You know, you're on pavement, everything is just planted.
  • 00:51:29
    If it swerves at all, you're freaked out because it's very,
  • 00:51:32
    very rare.
  • 00:51:33
    Well, when you're on dirt or when you're on rock, things are
  • 00:51:35
    bouncing around and you're swerving, you're feeling immobile or
  • 00:51:40
    whatever the right word is all the time going back and forth.
  • 00:51:43
    And the temptation is to just slow down.
  • 00:51:45
    Let's just slow down and put my tiptoes out and just like creep
  • 00:51:50
    down this mountain.
  • 00:51:51
    And when that happens, you never win because the rocks are in
  • 00:51:54
    control and you can't get over the rocks and rocks will force
  • 00:51:57
    you to go some way you can't recover.
  • 00:51:59
    You have to get speed to plow through the rocks or even maybe
  • 00:52:03
    be riding on top of the rocks.
  • 00:52:05
    That's a physical metaphor for the way that the spiritual life
  • 00:52:08
    We can't just sit around and philosophize.
  • 00:52:11
    We can't sit around and just hone our beliefs.
  • 00:52:15
    We can't sit around and have planning sessions.
  • 00:52:18
    We can't sit around and just have endless discussions over
  • 00:52:22
    whatever theology you might have or not have.
  • 00:52:26
    There's a place for theology and sitting around for sure.
  • 00:52:29
    But you have to get velocity.
  • 00:52:32
    You have to get moving.
  • 00:52:34
    You can't just sit and think and ponder and listen.
  • 00:52:37
    If the highlight of your week spiritually is sitting on your
  • 00:52:41
    rear end and listening to me, you have a crappy week ahead of
  • 00:52:44
    you.
  • 00:52:45
    Not just because I might have given you a crappy week, but
  • 00:52:47
    because this isn't spiritual growth right here.
  • 00:52:50
    This is -- this is getting stuff that might get you moving.
  • 00:52:54
    Until you get moving and changing things in life, getting some
  • 00:52:57
    speed with things that you don't want to do or you think that
  • 00:53:00
    are weird.
  • 00:53:01
    Until that happens, you're not on the narrow path where Jesus
  • 00:53:06
    is.
  • 00:53:07
    You're with the masses that are addicted to comfort, that are
  • 00:53:11
    addicted to predictability.
  • 00:53:14
    James 1:2 says:.
  • 00:53:37
    Doing, we get ahead by doing, not by hearing, not by thinking
  • 00:53:42
    and not by listening, by doing.
  • 00:53:46
    And what we want, what all of us want, at least what I want is
  • 00:53:49
    victory.
  • 00:53:50
    You want to get to that place where you've conquered.
  • 00:53:53
    You get to that place where you've gone to the next level.
  • 00:53:55
    Get to that place where you understand God more deeply and in a
  • 00:54:00
    much more fulfilling way.
  • 00:54:01
    You get to that place where you know that you've progressed,
  • 00:54:04
    where you're more like Him, where you're closer to Him, where
  • 00:54:07
    the thing that was the real adventure:
  • 00:54:13
    the divorce, the addiction, the weight loss, the GED, the
  • 00:54:18
    whatever,
  • 00:54:19
    then that thing, when you run over that with some vigor and
  • 00:54:24
    with some velocity, you get going to a new place because you
  • 00:54:27
    know God brought you there and you experienced it with Him.
  • 00:54:30
    In the book of 1 Corinthians 15, it says:.
  • 00:54:38
    So it's Him who's on the path with us, who's drawing us there.
  • 00:54:43
    That's where the victory is.
  • 00:54:48
    Always give yourself fully to the thoughts of the Lord.
  • 00:54:52
    Oh, no, don't say that.
  • 00:54:54
    Always give yourself fully to the values of the -- it doesn't
  • 00:54:57
    Always give yourselves fully to the philosophy of the church.
  • 00:55:01
    Always give yourself fully to the beliefs you learn in Sunday
  • 00:55:04
    School -- no, it doesn't say that.
  • 00:55:05
    Always give yourself fully to the work, the vigorous work
  • 00:55:18
    When you get on a path with a vision that God has given you, it
  • 00:55:23
    never ends in vain, at least ultimately never does.
  • 00:55:28
    Now, I've gone up a lot of stony paths and I've gotten the top
  • 00:55:34
    and it hasn't been worth it.
  • 00:55:37
    Because sometimes you get the top of a mountain and the clouds
  • 00:55:39
    are so thick you can't see.
  • 00:55:41
    Sometimes you get up there and there's bugs all over the place.
  • 00:55:43
    Sometimes you get up there, you're just so tired, you gotta get
  • 00:55:45
    Mountaintop experience, sometimes you get up there, you realize
  • 00:55:49
    it's a false summit.
  • 00:55:50
    It's blocking the next one that's up there.
  • 00:55:53
    And there's a lot of things that we will do where God is that
  • 00:55:58
    when you're done with it, it won't be fulfilling in that
  • 00:56:01
    moment.
  • 00:56:02
    But ultimately, I believe, He's using it to build awareness, to
  • 00:56:07
    build spiritual muscle, to build our reps to get to the next
  • 00:56:11
    place.
  • 00:56:12
    Ultimately we learn to lean into Jesus more.
  • 00:56:16
    Ultimately we got on the path that all the greats in history
  • 00:56:23
    have been on.
  • 00:56:24
    This is victory.
  • 00:56:26
    This is victory.
  • 00:56:28
    Now, the application I want you to do coming out of here today
  • 00:56:32
    is next week one of the greatest things you could ever be a
  • 00:56:34
    part of, and I mean that seriously, is this Play & Purpose
  • 00:56:38
    Journey.
  • 00:56:39
    It's going to be great.
  • 00:56:40
    It's going to I mean -- I mean -- I mean great.
  • 00:56:42
    Three things you might want to think about doing.
  • 00:56:45
    One, asking a friend.
  • 00:56:47
    That is a difficult thing, putting your faith out there and
  • 00:56:50
    saying --
  • 00:56:51
    I'm telling you you can trust us on this, it's going to be
  • 00:56:54
    Even play, many of us, we need to be challenged because you're
  • 00:56:57
    not playing.
  • 00:56:59
    And that will be a huge, huge challenge for you.
  • 00:57:01
    But it's play.
  • 00:57:02
    There's going to be some really playful things.
  • 00:57:03
    It's going to be really, really good.
  • 00:57:04
    Some of us purpose is our thing.
  • 00:57:06
    We're going to help you in that area.
  • 00:57:07
    It's these things need to come together and we're going to help
  • 00:57:08
    you come together in this Journey.
  • 00:57:11
    Join a group, get ready to join a group.
  • 00:57:12
    We need to be around other people doing the Journey or lead a
  • 00:57:15
    group.
  • 00:57:16
    You can go to Crossroads.net
  • 00:57:17
    slash whatever it is, it's on the lower third.
  • 00:57:19
    It's going to be really big and really important.
  • 00:57:21
    You're going to -- you're gonna be thankful for it.
  • 00:57:23
    Let me pray for you right now.
  • 00:57:24
    God, I thank You for this truth You've given us and I thank You
  • 00:57:27
    for the message You have given us and for the things You're
  • 00:57:32
    going to do in our church and everybody else's life who is a
  • 00:57:35
    part of the Play & Purpose Journey.
  • 00:57:37
    Help us to embrace it, to embrace adventure, to embrace
  • 00:57:41
    difficulty and to embrace You and to feel You in the midst of
  • 00:57:46
    I pray these things according to the name of Jesus.
  • 00:57:50
    Amen.
  • 00:57:51
    All right. Have a great week.
  • 00:57:52
    We'll see you next weekend.
  • 00:57:55
    >> Thanks so much for joining us this week.
  • 00:57:57
    Next week starts the Play & Purpose Journey.
  • 00:58:00
    If you're not already in a group, head to the Crossroads
  • 00:58:02
    website and sign up for a group right now.
  • 00:58:05
    And if you live in the greater Louisville, Kentucky area, we
  • 00:58:08
    have a special thing happening to kick off the Play & Purpose
  • 00:58:11
    Journey.
  • 00:58:12
    On Sunday, September 15th, this coming Sunday at 5:30 PM, we'll
  • 00:58:17
    be with you live with live music and a full service at
  • 00:58:21
    Headliners.
  • 00:58:22
    So tell your friends and your family that live in Louisville,
  • 00:58:24
    come see us there.
  • 00:58:26
    You can head to the website on the screen or chat with us to
  • 00:58:29
    get more information.
  • 00:58:30
    And we'll see you next week for the Play & Purpose Journey.
Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

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

  1. Heads up: This is the last Chaser until October 20. The Journey starts next week and it’s all about Play & Purpose. So, question 1. Are you doing the Journey? (hint: the answer is “yes.”)

  2. This week, we talked about growth beyond our comfort zones. Take a few moments and think of a time your grew by going beyond your comfort zone. It could be investing in a relationship, taking on a new project at work, accepting a leadership position, whatever.

    Think of a good one, we’ll be digging into that example.

    When you’re ready, share it with the group. What happened? How did you grow?

  3. To go to new places we need vision. Think back. In your story what was the vision that pushed you to keep going? Did it come from you, or from someone else?

  4. To go to new places we need vigor. Read this part of a letter Paul wrote to a church in Ephesus. What stands out to you? In your story where did you get your strength to keep going?

  5. To go to new places we need velocity - Here’s a section from another letter to read out loud. What sticks out to you? Does any of this relate to your story?

    Be sure to pray for each other before you end the group. See you in October!

More from the Weekend

Download or update the crossroads app, and get to service next week. That’s it. The Journey is starting and you won’t want to miss it.

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.


Sep 7, 2019

Recent Series