Life Without Margins

Are You A Christian Living A Life Without Margins?

Tim Lundy
Jan 4, 2020    40m
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In our culture, one of the biggest problems we face today is a living a life without margins, one that doesn't make room for what really matters. In the first message of this series, we will learn how to lay the groundwork to live a life with margins. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

Transcription
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 (00:00):
I am excited that we're launching this new series, Margins. The more I keep studying, the more I keep extending it because I think it is so timely to what we need to face and what we need to deal with as a culture. One of the things I do want to highlight though, we're going to take a break in a month in the series, right in the middle of the series. First weekend of February, it's Super Bowl Weekend. Now we're not taking a break from church. So even if the Niners are in the Super Bowl, we're still having church folks. So, okay. But we are going to celebrate that weekend. It'd be a great weekend to celebrate all that God's doing, all He's doing in our church. And one of the ways that we celebrate that we have from the New Testament is the celebration of baptism. And if you've never been baptized, if you're a follower of Jesus, it's the command of all of us as a follower of Christ to be baptized, to show the world what He has done already in our lives.

Tim Lundy (00:52):
And so part of that service will be built around different baptisms that we'll have. And I would just encourage you because I talked to a number of people that either have never been baptized or they're a little nervous about it or just different things that keep us from that. If you've never been baptized as a follower of Christ, it's a great opportunity. We'll have baptism class later in the month or you can connect with us as a staff. Let us know with it. Let us at least answer questions you might have. There might be something that's keeping you from it that really shouldn't. But that's going to be a great weekend that we have the opportunity to not only celebrate baptism, just all the different ways that we can celebrate as a church.

Tim Lundy (01:27):
You know, I love football. If you know me, I love football, love pro football. I love the Super Bowl. I love all with it. But surely as a church, we've got as much to celebrate as anything that goes on in the stadium. And so part of it is we just take those times and make sure that we do that well as a church. As we look at this coming series, and I don't know about you, it's hard to believe it's 2020. It's 2020. We're a fifth of the way through this century. I mean it was just 20 years ago that we were panicked about Y2K for those of us who were here. Hoarding water and all the different things that were going to happen with it. And you look at all and how quickly it's gone with it. And as I look at where we are today, I'm reminded of the lines from Dickens' novel, A Tale of Two Cities. When he starts it out, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Tim Lundy (02:21):
In a lot of ways I look at 2020 and go, man, it is the best of times. And it really is. We live in an amazing age, guys. We have opportunities, we have travel, we have medicine, we have food, we have choices. We have things that previous generations dreamed about. You know, when I was a little kid, one of my favorite cartoons was the Jetsons. It's kind of like the space age version of the Flintstones. And remember, they'd have these things on the Jetsons. I remember the Jetsons, they'd have video calls where you could see someone's face. And I remember as a kid going, no way. And now we carry that technology around in our pockets all the time. Self-driving cars, I mean travel and speed and information. You don't have to remember anything anymore. You never got to bed going, what was the name of the actor in that movie? You just pull out your phone, Google. It's just, it's the best of times.

Tim Lundy (03:20):
It's also the worst of times. We look at our culture. We look at the impact of all this progress. And you see it in your notes. I describe it. There's pain that comes with the progress too. There's pain that we experience today. We experience the pain of time crunch which is ironic because if you look at all the progress of technology, so much of it is in time-saving devices. I mean when you look at a household, the time saving devices that a hundred years ago, 200 years ago, things they didn't have to deal with of just doing laundry, of cleaning the house, technology of food preparation, all those things that are time-saving devices, time-saving devices in our travel in our communication with that. And yet, if you ask anyone today, what's the one thing people feel the most? We don't have enough time.

Tim Lundy (04:13):
Back in the 70s, a lot of futurists, when they were talking about this century and especially the age we live in, one of the things they declared the most is people are going to struggle around 2020 or so knowing what to do with all this free time they're going to have. Work weeks will be reduced to two or three days a week. Anybody feeling that? No, if anything, we feel the opposite of it. There's not enough time. Stress levels are at all time high across the board. Previous generations, you'd see spikes of certain stress levels if you were building a career or parenting or caught in different. But now we're seeing stress level, older generation, stress level's gone up. College student, stress level's way up. Children, stress level is up. Which to me is the most telling. If there's ever a time in life that you would go should not be stressed filled.

Tim Lundy (05:12):
High levels of depression, anxiety. Prescriptions at an all time high. Now, part of that's a good thing. Let's declare that because we're understanding more about mental health. We're understanding and reducing some of the stigma around it and we have medications now that help in a way that man, generations needed before in that. And so I'm thankful for that. If you've ever had a family member or someone that's needed medication and the help that brings, there's a part that you go, thank you. I'm thankful. That's part of the progress of this age. But when you look at how many people all the way across the board are requiring it more and more levels, at a certain point, you go, what what's causing this? The rate of change. Life changes quickly. And I know it's easy to go, yeah, but every generation has had to deal with change. And it is funny if you read back. I mean look at different generations when cars were introduced on the scene. How many people wrote it was the end of society?

Tim Lundy (06:09):
People were not meant to move that fast. And there's a part that we don't want to be this alarmist about all of it. But if you look through human history, almost all of human history, you can see on the slide here, the linear growth in history. This is how change has happened through most of history till about the mid-point of the 20th century. And then in the 20th century, it was not linear growth. It changed to exponential growth. This is what the chart looks like. And you can plug in all different variables in this. This is the exact same picture that when you want to put in what happened with the population. About 1970, 80s, it started an exponential growth with it. What happened with mail, just mail in the U.S.? Exponentially in that time. What happened with information? Exponentially went up. Healthcare costs? This exact graph. Housing costs? Now in the Bay Area, the graph actually would look like this. It'd just go straight up. I mean that's what we feel with it.

Tim Lundy (07:12):
And so when you put that much change coming at us all the time and especially the exponential growth with it, and then add on top of that information overload. That was a term that was introduced by Alvin Toffler in the 70s. He's a futurist. He wrote the book Future Shock. And he said, one of the things of future shock is going to be information overload. And people were like, right. The reality is we have at our access every day information that previous generations would not face in a lifetime. And the terminology around it, listen to some of the terms people have coined with this information overload. Data asphyxiation. Anybody ever feel that? Or we're caught in data smog. Information fatigue syndrome, cognitive overload, time famine. And I love one journalist noted the word wired means both connected to the internet and also, high frantic unable to concentrate.

Tim Lundy (08:19):
You think there's a link between the two in that? Now I can look at all of this. There's the pain of the progress and all that's going on in the culture. And there's a certain part of it that maybe you're like me, we're just getting older with it that you can kind of go, it's just too much. Or we wish the world would slow down. Or we kind of pray, Jesus, just come back. Or you can get frustrated with everything out there and wish you lived in a different world or wish you could just go off the grid at some point. But here's the reality. This is our world. This is where God's placed us. And you don't get another one until Jesus either does come back or you go to Heaven. This is the world we're going to live in. And part of what I think we have to come to grips with, it's so easy to blame what's going on out there and not take a really good, hard look in the mirror and going, how am I contributing to this? What am I doing about this? If this is the world God's placed me in. And remember, Jesus said, He's called us to live in the world. Not of the world, but we're in it.

Tim Lundy (09:31):
So we don't have the option of just detaching and going living somewhere else. This is where He's placed us. And if we're going to do that, I think we have to look at the source of this pain. The source of the pain. And I would say that the key source of our pain in this kind of world is we lack margin in the key areas of our lives. We lack margin. We lack key areas. I'm talking about physically, financially, emotionally, digitally. And that term margin in that, a number of people, probably the definitive work on this is by Dr. Richard Swenson. Swenson wrote the book, Margins. Great book with it. And in it, he describes what he saw coming. He wrote it over 20 years ago. He saw this coming. I think it's even more pertinent now. Different people define margin in different ways. Andy Stanley calls it margin is the amount available beyond what is necessary. Someone else has said, it's between what you have and what you need, that difference between the two.

Tim Lundy (10:36):
So if I'm going somewhere and I've got 30 minutes and it takes 20 minutes to get there, I've got 10 minutes of margin. If I need to buy something, that's $80 and I have a hundred dollars, I got $20 of margin. Now, when we talk about it comprehensively, here's how I would define it. Margin is the space between my life and my limits. It's that space between where I'm living my life and my actual limits in my life. And probably the easiest way to picture it is you think about a page. In school, you have an 8.5 by 11 piece of paper that you wrote your papers on. And your teachers asked you to turn in any paper, anything you did with a one inch margin all the way around. Remember that? That piece of paper is about 93.5 square inches. What percentage of the page do you think that margin was? When you take a one inch margin around that page, how much of the page was it taking up to have that margin? I mean you kind of look at and you go, 15%, 20%. It was actually 37.5% is the margin. And you kind of look at it and you go, oh, that's a lot of space.

Tim Lundy (11:47):
But why do publishers format that way? Why do we turn it in that way? Because that margin provides healthy response, a healthy space as you're reading it for eye fatigue, gives you some space to write notes in, other things that you can do with it. Now take that exact same picture and let's apply it to our lives now. And so if you were to take a picture of our life, here's a life here. And I just added some things in it. Work, meals, email, church, bills, sleep, driving, appointments, exercise, laundry, children's activity, TV, social media. And then it kind of repeats again. And you may have different categories in it, but everybody's got your life. And here's a pretty healthy life. You got some margin. So here's my life and here's my limits. And this space here is the margin in life. It gives me space to respond if I need to. But if you're like me and I think all of us, we kind of look at this here and we go, oh, that's a lot of space though. You could do a lot with that space.

Tim Lundy (12:52):
Maybe work's ramping up a little bit more. Maybe the kids' activities, different parts of it. And so the temptation is, well, let me go ahead and just push it out a little bit. Now I still got some margin. It's there. But it's not feeling as good as it was a minute ago, does it? You already can kind of feel like that's a lot. But then life and culture and we live in a world that's connected all the time. So I not only go to work, I take work home with me. And I can do things all the time and I'm connected to people all the time. [Inaudible] response all the time. And then you look up and suddenly you've pushed from your life, your life matches your limits. And you start living a marginless life.

Tim Lundy (13:42):
Even as you look at that, I don't know about you, does that exhaust you a little bit just looking at it? What about living it? And the hard part is once you go to this limit, this can work for a while as long as nothing goes wrong, as long as nothing changes, as long as there's not anything unexpected, new project, new pressure, somebody that needs you, a child that's going through something. ,oy have an illness. Anything in life that happens when you're marginless, the only thing left now is I got to start taking parts of my life and kicking them out. And so, you know, maybe won't exercise anymore. And oh, the kids, I'm cutting back on it. Sleep, I've struggled with this in my life. So I've told you that this is an area that as I look at it, and previously, not at this church, over a decade ago, I was working at a church, leading it. And it was just a tough season. And we were doing a capital campaign. We're doing all these projects. I was doing a video project and all that was going on with it. And so, you know what my solution to it was? Because I was limiting marginless, I started just getting up earlier and earlier. And finally, at some point, I was going to bed and I realized I'm setting my alarm now on a consistent basis for 2:30 in the morning.

Tim Lundy (15:09):
This is not healthy. This isn't how God designed life. And yet, if we're honest, many of us are living a marginless life. This is the normal, not the exceptional anymore. And it pays a toll. It has an impact. What's the impact of this kind of life? Three things in particular. First, it depletes physical and emotional energy. It depletes physical and emotional energy on both levels. On a personal level, you can't live marginless life with no recovery like that without feeling it. Now, as I say that, let me be real clear because some of you here, you go, yeah, but Tim, I'm pretty driven person. I'm pretty type A. I'm pretty. And I get that. We're wired different ways. Some people can push. Their limits are more. They can do more. They can physically do more. They emotionally are more resilient. I get that. We're not trying to turn everybody into the same person. But you've got to understand you. You've got to understand what it means. And some of the things that we may pride ourselves in, they may not be as good as we think.

Tim Lundy (16:20):
It's interesting, even that term, Type A. You know, we kind of wear Type A as a badge. I'm a Type A person. You know who came up with the term? It was actually cardiologists, two guys. They had a partnership. Meyer Friedman who's a cardiologist here in the Bay Area by the way. You know how they came up with it? They noticed something strange in their waiting room. That the upholstery on the chairs in the waiting room were wearing out, but they didn't wear out the normal way. The normal way upholstery wears out is in the back of the chair where someone puts their rear end and they're sitting on the back of the chair. They noticed on their chairs, it was all the front of the chair and the front of the handles. And so they started looking at their patients. Who were these people, these Bay Area people that were stressed with heart problems? They all sat on the edge of their seat all the time. They're all ready to go. They'd always get up and they'd go, hey, is it my time yet? And then they'd sit back down and they never relaxed at all. So they started classifying with it and they go, yeah, these people that are stressed with these heart issues, we call them Type A.

Tim Lundy (17:26):
And isn't it interesting? We've kind of turned the term into a thing where yeah, I'm Type A, that's a good thing. They didn't see it as a good thing as much. As we look at that, no matter how you're wired, no matter how driven you are and we are different levels with that, all of us have our limits. And when you hit your limits, Swenson has a great chart on human function. This is true of everyone. Now your curve may look different levels on it, but you follow the same curve. Here's your productivity. Here's your stress level. As stress continues, there's a good level of stress. Not all stress is bad. Our body responds to it, but you're under that. Maybe it's the stress of work, things you need to get done. But you reach a point where we all grow to a pinnacle of our productivity. And once you hit this point, you're not going further. In fact, if you stay under it longer, look what the first phase that kicks in here is exhaustion. And notice your productivity, no matter how hard you're trying or working, it goes down in this phase of exhaustion no matter what.

Tim Lundy (18:33):
And in that sense of exhaustion, when you get so tired, it's tired to do it. It's tired to think. You just want some way to disconnect. You know, it's interesting. In South Korea, their culture very much like ours, very driven culture. There was a couple that they've come up with a prison that you can go to. You get to check in for a night. I'm not lying. In the prison, you have to show up. You give them your phone. You're disconnected from everyone. You go to a 54 square foot cell. They give you a yoga mat, some prison clothes, a tea set, a pen and a journal. There's a toilet in there and no bed. And for dinner, you get a steamed sweet potato, a banana shake in the morning, you get some rice porridge. And in it, you're just totally disconnected. Pay $90 a night for this experience. Some people stay more than one night And you know how they came up with it? The woman who launched it, her husband was a prosecuting attorney and he was working these hundred-hour weeks. And finally, he said to her, he goes, I'm finding myself jealous of the people I'm sending to prison. I would love a week in solitary confinement. And she kind of went ding, ding, ding. There's an opportunity here. It stays booked by the way. The people who just would love to disconnect like that.

Tim Lundy (20:05):
Now some of you are going, that is crazy. Some of you are going, what's the website, where do I sign up? Because if you reach this point of exhaustion, at some point, exhaustion leads to fatigue. And notice this term here, burnout is very real. And when you hit burnout, notice how the cycle now is dropping off that much more. Listen to some of the symptoms of burnout. Physical and emotional exhaustion, feelings of cynicism and detachment. Do you find yourself cynical more than you used to be? Where everything you look at, you go, yeah, right, whatever. A sense of ineffectiveness, lack of accomplishment. I'm not able to get done what I was hoping to get done. I don't know that I'm accomplishing it. When you reach a point emotionally, you don't know what your emotions are anymore because you literally don't have the time to feel anymore. You just have to do. And the people around you are asking you what is going on inside? What do you feel? And you look at them. You don't know what to say because it's been a long time since you felt anything because you're doing so much.

Tim Lundy (21:28):
And when you hit that point of burnout, let me tell you, it's a dangerous, one, because you can start that slide and it's that much harder to get out of it. And then two, you're very vulnerable in that phase. I have counseled many people over the years who made some really, really poor life-changing decisions that they never would have made if they weren't in this stage of burnout or exhaustion. It's just their vulnerability, their decision-making, their guard just gets so low in that. And that's why if we don't look at it, if we don't allow ourselves to stop, we're setting ourselves up for some real consequences. Second thing that it impacts, it damages our personal relationships. It can't help but damage your relationships. The people in your life, spouses who look up and are doing, you know, the daily functions, you've settled into routines. You live together, but you don't do life together. You don't experience. And in that, it's just so easy that you both and let's look at it now. It's both. It's husbands wives, no matter what stage you're in. And it's easy when you have kids, especially because the kids take that attention as well that you have to stop. A lot of times when people hit empty nest for the first time, they look at each other and they go, we got to get to know each other again.

Tim Lundy (23:02):
It's interesting though. Some of the same things that couples in the empty nest stage struggle with, newlyweds now are struggling with because they don't have enough time together to even establish that companionship. And as you go through that, you can feel it. And you ask yourself, man, when's the last time we just had fun? When's the last time we laughed together and had a real conversation about us? The kids feel it. The kids feel it. You're working so hard for them. And then a lot of times we want to make sure that we've set them up in the best life. So we take them to activity after activity. One person described it as the outsourcing of parenting. That we hire as many experts as we can to impact their lives, but they need us. They want to do life with us. Friendship. Do you have friends? Do you spend time with friends? You know, friendship is one of the greatest gifts in life. And it's usually one of the first things that we jettison in a marginless life. You just don't have time to be with your friends.

Tim Lundy (24:11):
Ultimately, it damages our intimacy with our relationships and then it decreases our intimacy with God. It decreases our intimacy with God. It really impacts this relationship. I want to be close to God. I want to know God. But it's amazing in a marginless life how quickly when you get up and you need to be connected and you need to get going and you need to do things that you don't have that time. And when you don't have that time, it just impacts who we are. You know, someone has said, I think it really is true, Satan, if he cannot make us really, really bad, then he wants to make us really, really busy so that we don't have an intimate relationship with God. And that's the key word there is intimacy. It's not just knowing about God. It's not just doing another study. It's not just knowing more information. But to actually know Him. You know, there's a term, you don't hear it as much anymore, but we used to describe your daily time with God. It was described as quiet time. Time literally just to get quiet with God, to be able to hear Him, to be able to hear what He's saying through His Word, to be able to have Him lead and guide in life.

Tim Lundy (25:31):
And when you lose that intimacy, I think it's the first domino of everything else that we're feeling. It shapes all of life in this. And I would just say on all these things, and there's several points, it happened last night, it happens as well in it when he talked several points in this message where people get real quiet. And I think it's because we're dealing with this more than we like to admit. It's impacting us more. That we have to change. So how do we change? How's 2020 going to be any different than previous years? And as we finish out this message, I want to walk you through some groundwork things. Because hear me, I don't have a quick fix. Like here's three application points. You do that, go, it'll knock this out. This is so culturally embedded, change is going to be hard. We're going to feel that in it. And I think if we don't step back and really think through and pray through and think about this differently and lay the groundwork, we're not ready to actually apply with it.

Tim Lundy (26:42):
So that's all I want to finish out is just some groundwork things. And in your notes, you'll notice on the backside, there's some questions for you to be able to process on your own this week. Because it's going to take some time with that. Here's the groundwork things that I would say. One, we need to create a compelling picture of the kind of life you want. Create a compelling picture of the kind of life you want. We often jump into what I should do. I need to do this. I need to do that. And we never stop and ask ourselves, why do I want to do it? What is it that I want to live? What is it that God's called me to do? What is my life supposed to be? What's it look like? There's that great proverb, Proverbs 29:18. Where there is no vision, the people perish. But he that keeps the law, happy is he. Where there is no vision. And the vision here is not just, oh, something I came up with. What he's talking about in Proverbs is actually prophetic visions. God speaking. It's God leading in that. When you don't have a vision of the life God wants you to have, when you don't see what he's doing in your life, people perish. You die. And everything that we've been describing in this message is just slow death. It's just living in a way where you go, I'm not fully alive and God doesn't want us to live that way.

Tim Lundy (27:59):
I love how the message puts it. Same verse with it. If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves. You become responsive if you can't see how God's working in that. But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed. So as you think about 2020 this year, as you think about your life, maybe even beyond that, but you think about it personally. When's the last time you just stepped back and you go, what is the picture of the kind of life I think God's called me to lead? It's not gonna look like anybody else's. You're not wired like anyone else. So quit comparing. Quit trying to do something with someone else's doing. Quit using the markers of that. And stop and go, God, I need you give me a picture. What are you calling me to live? Talk together as a couple. What do you calling? What do we want our home to look like? Man, as we're launching these kids out in the life, what is it that we want them to be shaped by and remember here? What is it that in my personal life that I see, that I start getting a picture? If you don't have that picture, it just becomes drudgery trying to do this stuff. It's true on anything else.

Tim Lundy (29:11):
Part of what we'll talk about is financial margin. And if you don't have a picture of what you want to do financially, just putting a budget in place just becomes drudgery. Anybody that's ever, if you've gone through a diet, if you don't have a reason, a picture of what you want to be either health wise or what you're doing, it just becomes hard to do it. Same is true with schedule. All these different aspects of it. When's the last time you stopped and you go, yeah, I want a picture of the life I think God's calling me to live. Why I'm here? What do I want to experience in it? And start allowing that picture to then shape the decisions that will lead there.

Tim Lundy (29:53):
Secondly, though, we've got to recognize that the culture's shaping us. So you've got to choose to stop allowing the culture to shape your life. We live in a culture that doesn't handle this well. We live in a marginless culture that's only getting faster. And so if we just go with the flow on that, we're going to look up and our lives have just been shaped like everyone else. That's what Romans, Romans 12:2. Do not be conformed to this world. That word conform literally means shaped, molded. It's an outside in process. And so Paul says, you got to make a break that you're not going to let the world, the culture, everything shape your life. How do you do that? Well, you have to be transformed. It's got to be something that God does, transformation process, that happens from the inside out. How? By the renewal of your mind. That by testing, you may discern what the will of God, what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Tim Lundy (31:01):
How do I live this out in a way that I'm not being shaped by what the world says, I'm not conforming to everything around me? And if we're honest, the church really isn't doing very well in this area. In some ways, I think we're worse because we add church busy-ness on top of everything else that everybody else is doing in life. And if we don't make a choice to step back and go, wait, God's called us to live counter culturally. God's called us to live differently. In fact, you read it all the way through the Bible over and over again. God comes to people and He says, hey, here's a choice. Choose life, choose death. If you trust me and listen to me and look to me, it's life. It's life. Jesus came. Why? So that they may have life abundantly. If there was ever a time, and this is what's exciting about this, the church always stands out and does well when it lives counter culturally.

Tim Lundy (31:59):
Because then the rest of the culture looks at it and they go, whoa, they have life I don't have. What is it about those people? What is it about those families? What is it about those homes? They're not as exhausted. Their relationships aren't as frayed. They're not living life like the rest of it. What is happening with those people? And it gives us the opportunity to go, it's not us actually. It's this God inside of us and He's transforming us. It really is a miracle. It really is radical. We don't know how to do it any better than you do, but He's doing it through us. But to do that, I think we have to stop and confess. God, we're not being transformed. We need you to do this work in us and through us.

Tim Lundy (32:47):
And then the third part of this is ask God to give you wisdom to make intentional choices. It really is going to come down to wisdom. More than just any practical application of things, it's wisdom more than willpower. Because a lot of times we go through a message like this and we go through different parts of it and we go, man, you got to have better willpower. If we just apply yeah, I'm going to go home and I'm going to fix it. Here's the problem. It's got to be wisdom, not willpower. You know what I say that? Because people with the strongest willpower are the ones who struggle with margin the most. You go, oh, snap, that hits a lot of us, doesn't it? It was just a matter of applying our willpower. Our thing that is our strength actually becomes a point of weakness in this area. But the great news about our God is He loves meeting us in our weakness. He loves bringing strength where we're weak.

Tim Lundy (33:54):
And so to do that, we got to go, God, I need wisdom. Here's wisdom. Wisdom is the operating system to live in God's will. That's all it is because He's wisdom. And so this is why it's so important that you have intimacy with Him. If I'm not connected with Him, then I am not connected to the one who is wisdom so that He can shake the way I think so that I'm making wise choices. Look how Ephesians puts it. Paul writes it in Ephesians. Look carefully then how you walk, how you live your life. Not as unwise, but as wise. Making the best use of the time because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is. It's that place of going, okay, God, I don't want to live like everyone else. I don't want to just get caught up in it like everyone else, but I can't help myself in ways. So I need you to give me your wisdom. God loves to give wisdom by the way. James says as much. If you ask Him for it, He loves to give it. But I think it takes a certain humility to stop and recognize how desperately we need it. That we can't just figure our way out of this. We can't just gut our way out of this. Willpower's not going to get us there. We need wisdom. And to have wisdom, we need God and we need a relationship with Him.

Tim Lundy (35:29):
Did you see why Satan's strategy so much is that he wants to attack our intimacy with God? Because if we get disconnected from the one person who actually can do this through us, we can't help but get caught up like everyone else. So as we finish out, I'm going to ask you to take some time. We're going to take just a few minutes here just to be still and let you think a little bit. But I'm also going to ask you to take some time this week that we would just lay this groundwork in place because we're going to get real practical in certain ways. But you can't get into the practical wisdom if we don't start at a heart level with it. So I just take a minute and walk you through and just ask you to, you might want to close your eyes, you may want to keep them open, whatever you do. I want you to be able to think and think with God for just a minute. It may be the last time that you've really stopped and thought on this level. And just ask yourself honestly right now, would you say you have healthy margin in your life? You go, yeah, I've got healthy margin.

Tim Lundy (36:39):
Now, before you answer too quickly, would your friends and family agree with you? What would they say? Because they're a good indicator. Maybe be honest. Where do you feel the most pain right now? Is it with your schedule? Sleep, stress, relationships, finances? Just going ahead and recognizing, yeah, there's pain in my life over that. What do you want your life to look like? When's the last time you asked God, God, would you give me a picture of the life you've called me to live? And that may take some time, just sitting with Him, dreaming with Him, believing He's a good father and He has good for you. And then finally, when's the last time you just asked Him for wisdom? Literally, just wisdom, God. Wisdom that you would intervene in my thinking when I'm making decisions. Wisdom that you would help me pause where I need to. Wisdom to ask myself, is this a wise decision? Just in humility, ask Him for wisdom. Ask for His help in it. Let's take a moment. And I just want to pray for you. Pray for all of us in this.

Tim Lundy (38:35):
Father, we come before you and we recognize we struggle with this. I know I do more than I like to admit. But I am so thankful that instead of being a God who judges us in our weakness, you meet us in our way. Lord, I pray for each of us. There's people all around this room. There's some who their work stresses them to a level that it's just hard to fathom. They live under constant pressure there. There's some who financially right now, they are so stressed. Some who are working so hard to be good moms and good workers and trying to carry so much on so many different levels, and they always feel like they're not quite measuring up. Lord, for all of us, we want the life that only you can bring. So we just stop today and we cry out to you as a people in need. We cry out to you as people who look to you. Lord, I pray that if nothing else, that you would break through in our hearts the intimacy that we need so desperately with you. We would find ourselves in a quiet place with a God who loves us, who cares for us, who's promised to meet us. Lord, I thank you that we can face this. We don't have to be afraid. We can face this because we have a God who's overcome all things. And I believe we're on the edge that you want your church to lead the way. You want your church to model what life looks like. Could we be that church here? Could we do that in a way that introduces people to you because you are the source of life? And we pray this in Christ's name. Amen.

Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032
408.997.4600