Scheduling Margins

How Can I As A Christian Create More Margin In My Life?

Tim Lundy
Jan 12, 2020    41m
Now that we understand what margins are and why they're so important in our lives, this week we'll explore how you can create more margin your life. By embracing the limitations God has given us, we actually free ourselves to live the life God is calling us to. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy (00:01):
Well, I hope everyone is well today. If you are a fan of local Bay Area teams, you're probably feeling very well today. It's always good to get cheap, you know, clapping right at the beginning of the sermon with it. But we're in the middle of this series. We just launched it on margins and looking at margins in our life. And just as we dive into it, just to give you a little bit of review, I would encourage you if you weren't here last weekend or you haven't caught the first one, it'd be a good one to catch up on. I think this one is so important because we're dealing with it on so many different levels. And just to remind you, when I use that term margin, here's what I'm talking about in it. Margin is the space between my life and my limits. We talked about it like the space on a page where you have the margin around it.

Tim Lundy (01:01):
And so all of the center of it is my life. It's all the things I'm dealing with, my work and my activities and my family and my home and kids, finances and everything that I carry in that. And then the edge of the page is my limits that I really can't go beyond that. Once I get there, I'm depleted, especially if I live in that space all the time. And as we talked about it, you know, it's interesting. Sometimes you preach on a certain topic or a message and you get some segment of people, they kind of go, yeah, that hit me right where I was living. I'm telling you, after last week's message, everybody ran across was like, whoa, I am so dealing with this. And I think part of what we're saying is the second point that you see, living without margin is taking a toll on all of us. We are feeling it today and we're feeling it in here in the church as much as anybody out there. And a lot of times we don't know we've hit those limits until it's too late or we've carried it too long.

Tim Lundy (02:12):
It'd be great if we had some kind of indicator. And I don't know if you've ever heard of the plimsoll line. The plimsoll line on a ship. Years ago in the 1800s, when insurance became a new thing, a lot of ship owners, especially if they had old boats realized that it was much more profitable to overload their boat, send them out and know that they were going to sink. They were overloaded. And then they could collect the insurance. They had a term for it actually. Coffin ships. And there was a gentlemen named Samuel Plimsoll who was a Christian and the injustice of this, especially because it was taking the lives of so many merchant seaman that he said something needed to be done. And so he went to Parliament, it was in England, and he fought in Parliament.

Tim Lundy (03:01):
And finally in 1873, the Parliament passed the Merchant Shipping Act. And the key feature of the Merchant Shipping Act is that every ship that went out had to have a line on it, a marking on it. In fact, you see it on every ship today. If you look on a ship, you always see that color and the change in color and the line. That's the plimsoll line. And then you'll a lot of times see markings like this that it gives the exact measurement. What this is showing is when the ship is too loaded. And if it's loaded down too much, there's fines or they're not allowed to go to sea, that you can clearly come up to it and go, whoa, that is too much. And wouldn't it be great if we all had a plimsoll line? You could walk up to somebody and you kind of go, whoa, she's loaded. Some people, they're loaded a different way. Or you could tell looking at them or you could go look in the mirror and realize, whoa, this is dangerous. I can't keep going like this.

Tim Lundy (04:12):
And yet I think the indicators, and we talked about them last week, the indicators of what we're dealing with with anxiety, the indicators of what we're dealing with in our relationships, the indicators are all around us that we're overloaded and it's taking a toll. And the reality is I don't see it getting better for our culture. That's why I think it's so important as Christians, we step back and we go, how do we live counter culturally? How do we apply what Paul told us? And we looked last week in Romans 12. In Romans 12:2, when he says, do not be conformed to the world. Don't let the world shape you. Don't live like everyone else, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that by testing, you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Now here's the great news about this. I think we have an opportunity as a church, I think we have an opportunity as Christians, that if we start patterning our lives the way God designed it, if we start living and flourishing in the way that He's called all of us to as humans, I think it's going to give us an opportunity to be a greater witness to a world that is getting so overloaded that they're going under.

Tim Lundy (05:32):
I think if Christians in their workplace, in their marriages, in their homes, in their church, if we start embracing that we're not going to be conformed like everybody else, we actually let God transform these areas of our life, I think it can be one our greatest witnesses. And that's why it's so important. It's not just so we can live better lives and so that we can be the people and the witness God's called us to be in that. But to do that, we do have to be transformed. And frankly, I think if most people looked at the church, this margin would not be the first word that they say. And so I think there's an area of conviction for all of us of how do we embrace this? How do we create this in our lives?

Tim Lundy (06:23):
And this weekend, we want to look at just thinking about our schedule, thinking about our lives in general terms. Over the next several weeks, we'll look at specific categories in it. But this week, I want to think about creating margin. How do I create margin in my life? Number of things, first, we got to step back. Here's the first thing I would say. You need to evaluate what is driving you to live like this. If you look at your life and you go, yeah, I'm overloaded, I struggle with margin, I'm always going, it's too much with it, at some point, instead of just diving in the how to, stepping back again and going, what is driving me? Why do I keep finding myself in this place? What are the patterns that are going on there? I think a core thing that drives a lot of us, comparison. I mean I look at other people's lives. I look at what they're doing. I look at what they're able to do. I look at what they have. We even have a term for it. FOMO, fear of missing out.

Tim Lundy (07:24):
I'm fearful that my life is missing out. And especially in the age of social media, especially when you have so many tools, when you can see other people's lives. Now the reality is you're not seeing their actual life. You're seeing their curated life. It's like a museum. You walk through and you get to see the best pieces of their life that they put online. They didn't show actual life. But our brains don't have a way of sifting that out. So I'm looking at all these other people and I feel like, oh man, I'm missing out. And in that comparison, we can drive ourselves that much more. I think part of what we're feeling is the American dream. The American dream that we tell ourselves. And what do we say? Man, you got to go to good schools. Why do you have to go to good school? So you can get good grades. So that you get into a good college. And then you can get out of college and maybe go to a good graduate school. And if you go to the right graduate school, then you can get a good job. And then if you get a good job, you can make enough money and get a good house. And then get a good house to do that. Why? So that one day you might retire.

Tim Lundy (08:28):
And we're like those little rats on that wheel, and we run, run, run, run, run. And why are we running? Well, somebody told me this is the wheel we're supposed to run on. And here's the problem with it. One, the American dream isn't necessarily God's dream for us. And where see it impacting the most is it's getting younger and younger. I mean you have children now who are having to build a resume from preschool and parents that are panicked all the time their kids are behind. And I always want to, behind what? I mean all the way down to potty training. It's like, well, they got to potty training. We have to do it. And then like other than the just pain of diapers which believe me, we lived there with all the kids we had, who said? I remember we had a friend once and we had one of ours and late, late in potty training. And he looked at us and he goes, I doubt they go to college like that. Why are you so stressed?

Tim Lundy (09:37):
It's like, well, yeah, somebody told us that it was supposed to be now. Somebody told us that they have to be here and they have to do that. And guys, the standards here in the Bay Area, they get higher and they start earlier than any place I've ever lived. And we live in fear of it all the time. The fear of failing, just that sense of am I failing in life if I don't keep up. Years ago, the first time I ever had a conversation with Chip Ingram, I had met Chip once when I was in seminary. He was hosting a leadership conference we were doing. But it was few years later and I was at a church and we used to do a national conference every year. And we had Chip come to open the conference as a keynote speaker. And it was a point in my life, I was about 34, 35 and I was just taking over as lead pastor for this church. I was following a guy who'd been there for about 25 years, larger than life guy. So I'm feeling all the pressure of that. Really big church. And as I stepped into the role and I'm trying to keep up with it and that, and I don't know why, that night, when Chip was about to speak, we're sitting on the front row and I was hosting and introducing. And we're just sitting there and Chip kind of leans over and he goes, hey, how's your transition going?

Tim Lundy (10:56):
And he didn't really know me. And I said, yeah, okay I guess. He goes, hey, afterwards, let's talk. So he spoke. And then after the conference was over, that night was over, we went to this cafe there on our campus. And I remember sitting in a booth for about an hour and a half with Chip and me and Lea, my wife. And Chip just is asking these probing questions. How's it going with that? If you've ever had these kinds of conversations with him. And finally at one point, he goes, man, do you always feel like you're not quite keeping up? And I was like, yes. Do you feel like it's too much? He said, does it feel like someone is holding a gun to your head and telling you have to do more? I said, that's exactly how it feels. He goes, who's holding the gun? I said, well, I mean there's these demands and the church. He goes, no, no, no, no. Look down. Who's holding the gun? Force yourself to look. Who's holding the gun. And finally he looked at me. He goes, you know, who's holding the gun? You are.

Tim Lundy (11:54):
And I still remember, Lea kind of looked over at me like, well, put the gun down, idiot. You know? Why are you doing this to yourself? Do you feel that way? You feel like you all the time have to deliver and there's more? And sometimes it feels like there's a gun to your head? The reality is you're probably the one holding the gun. And if we don't come to grips with what's driving us and hear me, I'm an ambitious person. Maybe you're sitting here, you go, yeah, Tim, I'm ambitious and I want to have drive. There's a difference between having drive and something's driving you. And if you ever find yourself in a case where something is driving, something is always pushing all the time, it's good to stop and go, what is that? Is it fear? Is it expectations that I'm trying to live up to? Is it comparison? Here's what I can promise you. It's not God. Look how Jesus described Himself. What did Jesus say? I'm the good shepherd. I know my sheep. They know me. Guys, shepherds don't drive their sheep. They lead them. They lead them. And part of the beauty of being a follower of Jesus is we actually have a shepherd. We don't have to be driven like everyone else by all the forces of life.

Tim Lundy (13:27):
When you actually have a shepherd who's chosen to do life with us, among us and lead us. Have you ever stopped long enough to just even ask yourself, what's driving me in this? Here's the second thing I'd say in that is embrace your limitations and live the life God designed for you. Embrace your limitations. Now again, we live in a world that says, basically you can do anything you set your mind to. You can be anybody you want to be. That's not true. It really isn't. I mean I would love to be starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ain't going to happen. I'd love to do what I see some of you do. You're artists and you can do things. And I go, man, I don't have that. The same way in every area of life, we have limitations. And one of the most freeing things in life is actually embracing the limitations God's given you.

Tim Lundy (14:33):
All of us have some. Your time limitations. Isn't it great, the most fair thing that God does is He gives us all the exact same amount of time every week? Nobody can buy anymore. Nobody gets anymore. Now we live in the West. And so we live in a culture that we have so many time-saving devices in that. And yet the people that struggle with this the most are the people in the West. So obviously, the devices aren't doing it for us. What are your time limitations? What are your physical limitations? The older I get, the more I like to sleep. I really do. I used to could go man, days with very little sleep. Can't do that anymore. You know what? I kind of like it. Sleep used to be a bother. It got in the way of life.

Tim Lundy (15:19):
You know what? It's actually a gift, isn't it? But you have to embrace that at some point. Now you're sitting there looking at me like I'm sleeping all day. I can't sleep past about seven. But that's good on a late day. If I want to sleep in, that's good. But it's a good thing with that. What are your mental limitations? You're not gifted like everyone else. Financial limitations. Emotional limitations. There's only so much you can carry. See, you're not designed like anyone else and the quicker that we would step back and instead of letting our insecurities drive us to try to be someone else, I think it's part of the reason that we struggle with this as much as we do. You know, one of the Psalms I've always loved is Psalm 139. I love the beauty of how David describes his life.

Tim Lundy (16:10):
Listen to these words. He said for you formed my inward parts. You knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you for I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works. My soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Do you believe this about yourself? Now go back to the first slide real quick. Do you believe this is true about you? That you were fearfully, wonderfully made, that God actually knew what He was doing when He made you? And all your strength and all your weaknesses and all your limitations and all of that, He actually had something in mind when He made you. And He calls it wonderful. What would it do if we actually embraced that instead of trying to earn it, instead of trying to become something that a lot of times we're not?

Tim Lundy (17:19):
Notice how David continues on though. Because he's fearfully and wonderfully made, your eyes saw my unformed substance. In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me when there were none of them. Do you hear what he's saying here? God not only designed you, He designed your life as well. And so the Designer had a purpose in your life. And I think the more we spend trying to be something we're not, trying to overcome something we're not, instead of resting in who He made us to be, the more we find ourselves living without margin because we're not living the life He's called us to live. I think one of the most powerful verses, if you struggle with this at all, I'd really encourage you, spend some time just reading through Psalm 139, the whole psalm. And just say, God, make this true in my heart. Not just on this page, but in my heart. Be still and know that He's actually God. Let Him be out of your life.

Tim Lundy (18:22):
And then as you do that, the third thing, learn the power of healthy habits. Learn the power of healthy habits. Again, I don't want to reduce this whole thing to habits because that's easy to do. Sometimes we talk about margin if we have just the right habits and all we do is if we can go and apply enough willpower, we can overcome this. It won't work. But habits can be a piece of the equation. And here's what I mean in that. Habits help you put some parts of your life on autopilot. The more things you can get on autopilot, it frees you up then for the things that you are going to have to wrestle with. In her book, Gretchen Rubin, she wrote a book Better Than Before: What I Learned about Making and Breaking Habits. She calls habits the invisible architecture of our lives. About 40% of our behavior is repeated daily. 40% of your day is the same, no matter what in that. And the other thing that social scientists have studied about our brain as well, you only have so much willpower. And when you get tired, when you face different things, that goes down as well. And so the beauty of good habits, it allows you to conserve your willpower for when you do need to make decisions.

Tim Lundy (19:34):
If you can put healthy habits in place, listen to how she describes it. She says the habits reduce the need for self-control. With habits, we conserve our self-control. Because we're in the habit of putting a dirty coffee cup in the office dishwasher, we don't need self-control to perform that action. We do it without thinking. See, the more things you can put in your life that you go, yeah, I just do that, then it saves the self-control for the things I'm going to have to wrestle with that we all wrestle with in life. So what about you? Where can you put some parts of your life on autopilot? That's where having physical habits of when I go to bed and when I get up. The more you have that as a habit, then I don't have to think about anymore. I don't have to spend any part of my day going, oh, I'm going to decide. I'm going to save that self-control for something else. The more you have exercise habits or different things that are in place, all they do is they save the other parts of your life. Financial habits. That's all a budget is is just financial habits. The more of that I can put on autopilot, it saves decision-making. When I have digital habits and we're going to spend a week talking about digital margin, and here's what I mean, all with computers and all, do I have habits in that protect me in that? Or am I constantly invaded by it?

Tim Lundy (20:51):
Family habits, family habits, the more you just set things as a family that you go, hey, you know what? We eat dinner at this time. And then everybody knows it and everybody adjusts to it. It gets a lot harder when you have teenagers and they can drive. I promise you. When you have little kids, some of those things that were simpler then, there's challenges in every season. But having some of those family habits. This is what we do. At this time, we turn that off. At this, we don't. This night of the week, we never do that. And the more everybody just knows, then it's not a decision anymore. Then it's not an argument anymore. Then it's not every day we're deciding are we going to do that or not. We just have some rhythms that we've placed into our home and it brings energy and clarity for everyone. Some of the habits, they're not all bad things. Some of it can be fun things. You know, when the kids were little in particular, I mean we just marked off Friday night. We just called it Friday night is family fun night. And they were little enough that you could do anything and call it fun and they believed you. I mean, you know, most of the time it was just like, we're driving to McDonald's and then we're going to go and watch a movie. It didn't have to be blow it out all the time. But it was just it's family fun night and they'd get excited. Oh, it's Friday. Family fun night. And just even the habit of that, it marked that space that everybody knew to look forward to it. It also protected it because I can't tell you as a pastor how many times somebody would come up and they'd go, hey, are you free on Friday? And I could look them in the eye and go, oh no, I'm not. I already having engagement. Family fun night. I don't have to tell them to the engagement. We're going to, you know, sit in our pajamas and watch a movie. But it's marked off.

Tim Lundy (22:32):
See, in all those things, this is all I'm saying on habits, it gives some clarity that I'm not wrestling everyday whether I'm going to do that. I want to save that part of my self-control for those things I'm going to have to wrestle with in life. This just gets those parts in place. One of the key areas is spiritual habits, and we're going to spend a week talking about this. How do I have spiritual margin in my life? How do I develop disciplines that it's not everything of life, but by doing it and having it in place, I do what Paul says in 1 Timothy. He tells Timothy, rather, train yourself. This word is actually gymnasium. Go to the gym spiritually in godliness. He says, bodily training is of some value. If you exercise, man, he says, great. That's some value. But godliness has value in every way as it holds to the promise of the present life and also the life to come. So where do I have the discipline or the habit that I've put in place that you know what? The same time every day, that's when I meet with God. Same place. Same amount of time. And then I don't have to get up today and decide, oh, should I have a quiet time? Should I read? I've just developed that. See, I'm not wasting any self-control on that.

Tim Lundy (23:42):
That's just set. I do that. When do I pray? When do we, the more you put these things in place, the more than it then frees you for the wrestling with the rest of life. Now, what do I do with the rest of life, these decisions with this? Because it can't just be about habits because life is more complicated than that. Number four, I would say, filter your decisions in light of God's leading. Filter your decisions in light of God's leading. And this is where it's so important. Because remember, as Christians, we don't have to do this alone. God actually said He'll lead our lives. He wants to. He actually wants to do life with us. It's not just this belief system. If I believe the right things and I study the right things and I know all the right things and I'm going to study some more and I got my ticket to Heaven one day. God never described it like that. God actually said, I want to adopt you into my family. I want to lead you. I want to be with you. I want to do life with you.

Tim Lundy (24:43):
And so where you're struggling with this, it might be the area where you need to experience God the most. You know, in Psalm 139, that whole passage, when David's talking about how he's fearfully wonderfully made and all that God did, notice how he ends it. What's the result of that? So then he asks God, he says, search me, God. Know my heart. Test me. Know my anxious thoughts. You deal with anxiety? Notice when he says, he says, God helped me know them. I want you to know them. Know me. See if there's any offensive way in me. See if there's anything I'm doing, maybe a sin issue in my life. And then I love this. And lead me in the way of the everlasting. Lead me in life. Lead me your way. Man, what a good prayer for all of us. So how do I do that? How do I have God do that? And if you look in your notes, I kind of, I just put a grid in place. It's like a filter that's there. And what I want you to do is at every level is just kind of, it weeds out stuff so that it helps you make a better decision. So at the first level of the filter, here's what you ask yourself. You ask, is this good or bad?

Tim Lundy (26:04):
So I come along something, I've got an opportunity, I'm trying to decide about it. First, basic question, is this good or bad? Now I know you read that and our first response is duh. I mean that's kind of, you know, of course I don't want to do anything bad. Yet if we're really honest about our lives, one of the reasons our lives are so complicated and so overloaded is we don't filter at this level. And when I say good or bad, it really comes down to there's things that God's lined out in Scripture, there's things that God's lined out in life. And if you read through the whole Bible, the whole Bible really breaks down, choose life or choose death. And all throughout Scripture, whether it was the children of Israel, they were in a set time and place and so there were certain limitations He placed on them, certain laws He placed on them, many of which don't apply to us. But He was doing that for their good and their protection. The same way, if you read through the Bible, there's all these places where God goes, hey, guess what? Here's the limits. Here's the moral limits. Don't go past this. Here's the limits of how you're supposed to treat people. Don't talk like this. Don't do this to other people. Here's the limits of how you do business. Here's what's ethical. Here's what's right in that. Here's sexual limits.

Tim Lundy (27:33):
Then if you get outside, it's going to complicate and mess up your life. See, in all these places, God goes, hey, here's the limits. And there's a word He uses anytime you cross out of that. You know what the word's called? Sin. And by the way, He said, we all sin. And here's why I say that. Guys, nothing will complicate your life more than sin. And some of you, you are overloaded, you are overwhelmed not just because of all the choices in life. It's just you keep repeating the same patterns over and over again. You keep coming to those lines that God lays out and say, I don't want to do it His way. I don't want to do it His way. But then you look up and you go, I feel like I'm dying. And it always will feel that way. That's why Jesus came by the way because he knew. And what does it say to have life in Him? You confess Him as Savior and Lord. He knew we need a savior, someone to forgive me of my sin. Because all of us have gone over the lines and I need someone to take the junk away. And I need someone to take the guilt away. And I need someone to take the judgment away. And I need someone to take all that stuff that I'm trying to carry. That alone will load you down for all of life. And Jesus said, Hey, I came to take that away as your Savior.

Tim Lundy (29:01):
But notice, He also said, I came to be your Lord. I want to lead you. And so as you're doing this relationship with me, it's not just the forgiveness of what's been done. It's how can I lead you into life? How can I lead you into flourishing? How can I lead you in a way that when you come to those lines, you just look to Him and he goes, oh, you don't want to mess with that. You don't want to live like that. And so He's given us His Word. And what does it say? Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path. He gives me actually a path to follow. He's given me the Holy Spirit. New Testament describes it this way. You can either walk according to the flesh, the things that come natural to me or according to the spirit, His leadership, I'm telling you for many of us and many of you hearing this, if you just started filtering here that everything that you came across, every decision, you start asking yourself, is this good or is this bad as God defines it? And if you'd just not let anything that's bad ever make it lower, you'd be amazed how clear your life starts getting. You'd be amazed how much better it starts getting. It's not always easy, but it's always better.

Tim Lundy (30:20):
Now some of you hear this, you go, okay, Tim, I feel overwhelmed, but I don't think it's sin issues I'm dealing with. There's a next level with it. So what's the next level? Is this good or best? See, there's all these good things that come along and these good opportunities and these good ministries and these good projects at work and these good ways that I could make more money, these good things I can get involved with at school or get involved with at my kids' school and this good project that somebody else brought along and this good new small group study that I could be a part of on top of the other three Bible studies that I'm in, on top of that that I'm doing with that. It's all these good, good, good, good. And you know what happens? Too many good things becomes the enemy of the best things. And if we don't learn at this level to say the word no, you'll never discover the best for your life. You'll never discover what God has called your best in that. And when I say that, I'm not describing your best life now, and you're going to get all these great things. I'm just talking about the life that He's called you to, that He's designed you for, the life within your limits. If you're always saying yes to that. And sometimes we say yes because we want to live up to someone else's expectation. Sometimes we say yes because we don't like disappointing people.

Tim Lundy (31:48):
So in the moment, they're the one looking at you and you go, can I do that? Yes, I can do that. Can I take that? Yes, I can take that. I had a mentor once, he said, hey, in that moment, when someone's asking you, before you say yes to them, you need to picture all the people you're going to have to say no to because you're saying this yes. And so before you say yes to add one more thing here, why don't you picture the people in your life, the kids in your life, the family in your life that you're going to go, well, I'm not going to be there because too many yes's means there's a lot of no's out there too. Learning to not let the good rob us from the best. I love the way Tim Sanders with Yahoo, he put it and he described it. He said, you ought to think about your life in the different categories. He said, everything in your life probably can follow one of three categories. This what he did in it. He said, there's things that are either made of rubber, they're made of metal or they're made of glass. The rubber, these are things that can bounce. You can drop them and they'll bounce. There's really no impact. You may love watching a football game, but you don't get to go watch the game. It bounced. Life went on. You may miss a whole season. It bounced. It went on. Any of those things, you go, yep, that's not a big deal.

Tim Lundy (33:11):
The metal. Now, when these things drop, it makes a lot of noise, but there's not real damage. And so you missed a meeting at work. There's probably gonna be some noise over that, but you'll get over it. You bounced a check, you missed it the total. Not a good thing, make some noise. The bank's going to let you know and actually charge you for it which is always interesting to me. The bank tells you, you don't have enough money. So we're going to charge you money. Okay? It's your bank. Your rules. I guess I got to play by them. It bounced, made a lot of noise. But he said, then there's a category of things that are glass. And when they drop, they break. And these are probably people. These are probably relationships. You need to hold them and cherish them and make sure you're balancing well because you never want to break them. And they don't go back together the way you thought they would. If you just said, okay, I got a decision. Is this good or bad? Oh man, Scripture calls it bad. All right, that's out. Then you look at it, and you go, man, these are good things, but are all these good things really keeping me from that best thing God's called me to? And this is where this last category comes in as followers. And this is maybe the best question you can ask yourself. Is this wise?

Tim Lundy (34:49):
Is this wise? And again, I would say only Christians really can experience true wisdom because Scripture says, you know where our wisdom starts? The fear of the Lord. Until you bring God into your life, until you recognize, man, I am under Him, it's hard to think of anything truly with real wisdom. The great thing about it though is we have a God who loves to share His wisdom. A God who said, if you lack wisdom, ask me. And so when you come to those places and you go, man, I've got this opportunity and this opportunity, I got to think through it. Okay. Is Scripture in any way against one of these? Okay. No, they're both good. Is one of keeping me from the best in that? And sometimes you find yourself at that place where you go, I can't really tell. And then you go to God and you go, okay, God, is this wise? And seek Him. Pray to Him. If you're a couple, pray together. And then actually believe the Holy Spirit is going to talk to both of you. And sometimes God shuts it down immediately. It's interesting. I've come to this juncture at several times. And sometimes it's big things, sometimes little things. But you ask God and you go, God, I'm seeking. Is this wise in my life right now?

Tim Lundy (36:06):
And sometimes He'll just immediately, it's like, oh, you don't want me to do this even though I want to do this. Sometimes it's Lea and I are not in agreement. And so we know in that place of man, we are in such disagreement that we've got to trust God in this. I don't see His wisdom in it. Sometimes new information comes that we didn't have before because we stopped long enough to ask Him in it. Now, sometimes we reach this point where we're praying between two things, we ask is this wise and it doesn't feel like God leads either way. And I'm like, okay, God, I'm not feeling either way in this. They're both good things in those cases. Here's what I would tell you. If God doesn't lead in that, then in both of them, they're both good things. And He's asking you to exercise the wisdom He's given you.

Tim Lundy (36:54):
You don't always get this across the sky or in that. But by going through the process, by inviting other people in, by asking Him, if we applied this process alone, you'd be amazed how much clarity it gives in life. And I'd encourage you. I don't know if you have a grid for your decision making process, but walking through that with them will help you. The final thing I'd say, even when you applied the best of it, God's designed life in a way that forces us to depend on Him. And so I would encourage you if you're in this and you're walking through it, the final point, I would just call for all of us and you see it in your notes there. If we can get the final point. Humbly embrace your need for Christ. Embrace Christ. He has said that He wants to lead us. He has said that I came to give you life abundantly. And the reason I end with this and all the things that we've been walking through, I think there's wisdom in it, I think it forces us back to it, I think it invites God in it. But even the best of us applying the best of systems with the best of habits with the best of decisions, you're going to find yourself looking up one day and going, I don't think I can do this. And I think part of that is about design because all of life forces us to have to come back to Christ and go, I can't do it. I need you.

Tim Lundy (38:26):
I want you to live in me and live through me and show me. You know, one of the passages I've loved always is Christ's promise in Matthew 11 when He says, come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart. And you will find rest for your souls for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Isn't there part of that just even as you read, it feels life-giving? Yes, I want that kind of rest. Yes, I want that kind of life. Notice He doesn't say it's a carefree life. You still have a yoke, His yoke, the yoke they would take, it's the thing that connected the two oxygen, the yoke that was placed upon them. And when they would often take the older mature oxen and yoke them to a younger one so that together, the younger one would learn how to carry the load. And that's what Jesus is picturing here. He says, hey, come get yoked up to me. Come do life with me.

Tim Lundy (39:32):
What if by design, this propensity we have to get overwhelmed, to live beyond our margin, what if by design God lets us do that because it forces us to have to come back to Him and go, God, I can't do it without you. Teach me how to be yoked with you. I'm tired of trying to carry this my way. And maybe you're there. I remember years ago, I was at home Depot and my son Drew who's almost 18 was about three or four. And I had purchased this weed eater, this, you know, lawn trimmer, this long narrow box and it had a handle on it. I'm carrying it with the handle. But he's at that age, he wants to help dad with everything. And he immediately, as we're walking out of the store, he got in the center of the box and he put his body under it and he kept going, daddy, I got this, I got this. And I kind of would hold it and let him just stumble. Just literally, he's stumbling every step of the way. And we made it about to the curb and then suddenly, I never forget, he goes, Daddy, I don't got this.

Tim Lundy (40:44):
And I go, it's okay, Drew, because I do. So why don't you come down here? Why don't you just grab this part of the box? Right down here. It's about your size and we'll carry it together. Guys, part of the reason this series is so resonating with many of us is we're at that place where we need to humbly before Christ go, I don't got this, I can't do this. And the great news is He's already declared, I got this. So why don't you come and yoke with me? And together let's do this with wisdom. And as we do this and as we live this, guys, I think it's one of the most beautiful invitations to a world who desperately need Him if they see it in us and through us.

Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032