Choose Your Own Adventure

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Are you enjoying God in this season? Because He’s enjoying you. In this video, Pastor John lays out three simple ways we can enjoy God today. It’s time to choose your own adventure, and enjoy God again!

Hey everybody. Welcome to Valley Creek online. Wherever you are in the world today, I am so glad that you are here with us. And today is a little bit different. Because of the forecasted weather, we have closed all of our physical campuses and moved everything online. And so if you’re a part of the online community and you’re somewhere outside of North Texas and it’s sunny and 80 degrees where you are, we all wish we were with you today because in North Texas, it is really cold and they have been forecasting a mega storm for days and days. And so yesterday, we made the hard choice to go ahead and move everything online, close down our campuses because we wanted to make sure that everyone was able to stay safe. We wanted you, and our serve teams, and our leaders to be safe because our campuses are all over the region.

And regardless of what you think about the weather this morning or how it feels today, we really had to make this decision yesterday to be able to effectively communicate to our whole church because you’ve heard me say this a long the way, we don’t want you to have calendar whiplash. One of the hardest things in this season is the calendar whiplash of everything changing on us last minute and having to adjust or scramble or move forward. And so we wanted to give us much notice as we could. So through text and social media and website, we sent all that out yesterday because we wanted to make sure that you, our serve teams, and our leaders were all able to stay healthy. And it’s one of those seasons that — let me just speak to this for a moment. It’s really hard to be a leader in this season. Every leader that I’ve talked to at every area of life, they’re really tired from all of the decisions that have had to be made.

From all of the unknowns and the constant change and the variation. And if you’re a leader, like you get this. If you’re a mom or a dad, if you’re a teacher, an administrator, a supervisor, a boss, a manager, a business owner, whatever it may be. Like leaders in this season have been so tired because of all the changing variables and having to adjust. And so as we’ve even had to navigate this for today, I just even thought I’d speak for a moment just to leaders, like for those of us that have to make these kinds of decisions, like here’s how I make them in my life, really three simple things. First thing is I just ask God for wisdom. James 1:5 tells us that if we need wisdom, we should ask God who will generously give us wisdom. All we have to do is ask Him when we’re not sure what to do, and He’s going to give us that wisdom. The second thing is I process with godly council, with the other leaders, who are leading with me because I know my perspective is not always right.

And I need them to speak into what they see and what they’re hearing and what they understand. And then the third question that I always ask is what’s best for the people I’m leading. What’s best for the church is a question I ask. You have to ask what’s best for your son or daughter, or for your team, or for your business, or for your students, or whatever it might be. And then when you have the answer to those three things, you can have the confidence and the courage to move forward. You then find clarity and you bring communication to people. And the reason I say all that to you is because we tell you that as a church, we want to be a training center and a standard bearer for the kingdom of God. So even the way we try to lead things like this on a day like this, I hope that it reminds and encourages you as a leader in your space, what leadership can look like in your place.

And so I know today is a little bit different. And we’ve been in this series called Again. And it’s been a big series. We’ve been talking about breathing again, believing again, beginning again. And God’s been doing a deep work. He’s been moving in our hearts and in our lives. And so what I want to do today is basically we’re going to take everything we were going to do today, and we’re going to shift it to next week. And I know some of you are like, well, if everything’s online, can’t you just do like the service and stream it all to us where we are? Well, the same reason that we’re not asking any of you to come to the physical campuses, we don’t want to ask all of our production teams and our worship teams and our behind the scenes teams — it takes — you see a few people on this side of the camera, but it takes a whole lot of people to put this service together. So we’re going to do all of that next week.

And what I kind of want to even bring to your attention today is that as we’ve been in this Again series, talking about getting energy and movement and momentum and taking next steps, today is a test. Today is a test. You see, I’ve told you that this is probably the most important year in your spiritual life. That last year, a whole lot of habits and behaviors and patterns and habits got created that we need to break and move forward. And as we feel like we’ve just started to get some spiritual momentum, just started to get some movement, here we are, this is an obstacle, kind of trips us up a little bit. And so today is a test. Today is a test to choose to lean in and seek God and move forward even though it feels uncomfortable, inconvenient or maybe like a little bit of the win just got kind of knocked out of your sails. You see, this whole series for me could really be summed up into this one simple invitation.

And it’s just simply this. It’s time to enjoy God again. It’s time to enjoy God again. Like can I ask you, like even today, are you enjoying God? Do you enjoy His presence? Do you enjoy His grace? Do you enjoy your relationship with Him and His goodness and His love? Like are you enjoying God? Because I think if we’re honest in this last season, we kind of lost sight of that, and the whole harping at this whole Again series is bringing us back to this place where we just enjoy God. I mean do you remember the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10? Two sisters and Jesus goes to their house.

And Mary sits down at Jesus’ feet and she just enjoys Him. She enjoys His presence, she enjoys His teaching, she is focused on Jesus, not all the other things that have to happen. And while she’s enjoying God, her sister Martha is doing all the preparations. She’s working on the meal and making the home and doing all the stuff that gets the — has to be done. And as time’s going by, she’s getting frustrated and edgy and angry. And eventually, she burst into the room and kind of yells at Jesus. Like come on, I’m doing all the work and Mary is just sitting here, tell her to help me. Jesus looks at her, and he says, Martha, Martha, you’re worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. And Mary has chosen that thing. In other words, Jesus says, Martha, you’re worried and troubled and stressed about all kinds of stuff, but it’s time to enjoy me again. Come on Martha, come sit down and enjoy me again.

So can I ask you, are you enjoying God in this season? Because He’s enjoying you. And so on a day like today where maybe the experience isn’t what we were expecting or we’re maybe a little bit disappointed because we’re looking forward to come into our campus, or this is a little bit out of the norm of what we do. That’s okay. The question is, right now in this moment, can you enjoy God? Can you enjoy God even when things don’t look like you want them to look like or feel like you want them to feel like or are moving in the direction that you want them to? Can you just enjoy God again? And so instead of doing an entire service today, I want to give you the opportunity to enjoy God.

And basically, here’s what we’re going to do. I kind of want to end this part of the experience and I want to give you the option to just kind of have like a choose your own adventure. Do you remember those books maybe when you were a kid? And as you read through, you get to the end and you get to make a choice. Like if you want Billy to climb a mountain, turn to chapter 5, but if you want him to swim the river, turn to chapter 9. Well, I kind of want to give you the option to choose your own adventure, to enjoy God. And there’s three things, three options that I want to invite you to just pick one and do for kind of the rest of this experience time together. The first would be simply to grab the reading plan, grab your Bible and a journal and jump in and just start engaging the scriptures. We’ve been reading through the Book of Acts as a church together. And so you can jump on our website and see where those chapters are. If you’re not sure, just start in Acts 2. Grab a Bible, grab a journal and just say, God, would you speak to me and engage His word.

The second choice that you could decide is to go back and watch any of the Again series messages that you’ve missed. It’s been a really big series and we’ve talked about some really big stuff over the last few weeks. And so maybe you’ve missed one of those. And the cool part is because it’s on-demand, you can start wherever you want in that service experience. You can fast forward it all way to the message if you want. Or maybe there’s one that you listened to and God was moving, and you need to listen to it again. Let me encourage you, maybe that’s the choice you need to make, that’s the second option.

Or the third option would be to go to our new resource site, resources.valleycreek.org, and go ahead and look on the resource site and find something that feels relevant or appealing or of interest to you today and engage one of those resources, and activate your faith wherever you are and just enjoy God. So come on. I know today doesn’t look like any of us thought it would, but let’s pass the test.

Let’s not let this be a momentum hindrance. Let this actually be something that adds to the momentum of your journey. Let this be a moment where we pass the test and say, I am devoted to the Lord, I am moving forward, I am beginning again in Jesus’ name, and I’m going to choose part of my own adventure today with some authority and some responsibility and some ownership. Come on, let me invite you, grab the reading plan and just start engaging the scriptures, pick a chapter to read, go back and watch one of the Again messages or go to the resource site and pick anything on there to engage and activate your faith in Jesus’ name, and then next week we’ll keep moving forward together in all that God has for us. Come on, guys, it’s time to just enjoy God again. So all that stuff is here and available for you on this site. You can click any of the links. For those of you that want to give, you can give right here online. And I would encourage you to set up giving that’s automated and recurrent so you don’t ever have to worry about are we at campuses, are you online, did you forget that week.

That’s how I do it in my life because I want my first and best ten percent to always go to God no matter what’s happening. And then may you go this week knowing that God is good, that Jesus has forgiven, that you are loved, and everything is possible in Jesus’ name.

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