Hurry, probably more than anything else, keeps us from following Jesus. Jesus gives us His peace as we live a restful life by remembering what He has done and by following God’s ways.
Alright, everybody. Welcome to Valley Creek. We are so glad that you are here with us today. Come on, whatever campus you’re at, Denton, Flower Mound, Lewisville, The Venue, watching online somewhere in the world, come on, let’s just go and welcome each other together.
Come on, whether you are here with us every single week, whether you haven’t been here in a while, and maybe this is your first time, we are so glad that you are here with us today. We believe God has something great for you and it is officially back to school week.
Ooh. A whole different response based on who you are and what’s going on in your life for that reality and what I love about Back-to-School Week is it reminds us what an incredible opportunity we have for the next generation.
You see, one of the things that I love the most about our church is that we have a heart for the next generation. We believe that our ceiling is their floor, that our summit becomes their base camp, that the ground we take by faith today becomes the ground they get to enjoy by sight tomorrow.
And so, we’re all about doing everything we can for the next generation. And when Back-to-School comes around, it brings it back to our forefront to remind us that we have the opportunity to help them, Generation Hope, become everything God has called them to be.
So parents, as school kicks back off, let me remind you, you have an invitation from God to bring the hope of Jesus into your home.
Teachers, you have the opportunity to bring hope into the classroom. Coaches, you have opportunity to bring hope to the field or to the courts. Administrators, you have opportunity to bring hope to the school, to the system, to the operation. We believe there is hope for our homes, that there is hope for the classroom, that there is hope for the fields, and that there is hope for all of the schools in our area in Jesus’ name.
And he’s invited us to be the ones to carry that hope into that space. So maybe a simple prayer you could pray for Back-to-School is just simply, “Lord, would you give me an opportunity to bring hope to the next generation this semester?” Whether you’re 80-years-old or you’re just getting started as a young adult. “God, would you use me to bring some hope to the next generation this semester? Because they are Generation Hope and I want to pour my life into what you want to do through their generation in Jesus’ name.” Okay?
So Back-to-School is here. And next week, we’re going to start a new series called The Ascent. You got one of these invite cards when you came in. I’m super excited for this series. We’re going to talk all about going to new places with God because I don’t know if you’re anything like me. Like I want more of God.
Like I’m not content where I’m at. I want to go further and farther. And maybe you just kind of feel stuck in your relationship with God. Maybe you feel a little like disappointed or lonely. Maybe you feel bored and disillusioned and maybe you feel like your life doesn’t really matter. You’re just tired of the way everything is. This is going to be a great series for you to go to a new place with God and it’s going to be a great series for you to invite somebody who needs Jesus to this series.
You see, the reason we wanted to give you one of these invite cards is for that person in your life that needs Jesus, that they got a lot of stuff going on, this is the series to get them to because we believe that Jesus is going to do some profound things. We’re going to really make it super easy for people to move from where they are to the next place on their journey with Jesus regardless of what they believe. And so, I just want to challenge you. Will you consider inviting one person this week?
Not ten, just one. Just one person in your life who needs Jesus because one invitation can change everything in people’s lives. And so, I’m believing that God is going to do something great and He’s going to bring some big breakthrough.
This is what it means to be a movement of hope.
It means we actually have to move and give hope to other people.
And sometimes, a single invitation to say, “Hey, my church is doing a new series on going to new places with God. Will you just come with me for a couple of weeks? I’ll pick you up. I’ll buy you coffee. I’ll meet you in the atrium or whatever it is because I think God has something great for you. You’d be shocked at how many people say, ‘Yes’.” Okay?
So that’s the challenge for you this week. It’s going to be great series next week. And today, as it’s Back-to-School Week, we’re going to finish up our series called UnHurried. You see, we started this last week and we’ve talked about how to have a summer life in the midst of the fall calendar because, I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready for summer to be over.
I’m ready for the heat to be over in Jesus’ name, but I am not ready for the summer to be over because we love the summer. We love the relationships, and the rest, and the refreshment, and the barbecues, that we’re present we’re connected, we enjoy life.
And we talked about last week how, in a sense, all the things we love about summer are really just a reflection of the Kingdom of God. All the things that your heart loves about summer, the rest, the enjoyment, the relationships, it’s really just a reflection of the goodness of the Kingdom of God.
In fact, this is why Romans 14 says, “For the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy.” That’s the summer, isn’t it?
Things are right. We have a lot of peace and we’re full of joy and then the fall shows up. And all the righteousness, peace, and joy goes out the window and in comes the anxiety, and the stress, and the worry because we got sports, and activities, and commitments, and travel, and life, and work. And we started last week by just saying Jesus offers us a summer life all year long, that it’s always within reach. It’s always at hand. And so, if you want, you can go back and listen to it.
We talked about how do you do that. We said you just have to simply seek God first, that if we make Jesus our one thing, he’ll give us the grace for the many things we have to do in our lives.
We said that we need to start learning to worship when we’re tempted to worry because you can’t do both of those things at the same time. We said we need to learn to honor the Sabbath. In other words, honor, gathering together an hour a week as the people of God around the presence of God and then we said, “We just got to invite God into our calendar and give Him some administrative rights of what it is that we’re actually doing and how we’re doing it.”
And the reason — this is just a little two-weeks series that we just kind of snuck in here and the reason it’s such a big deal is because hurry may be, more than anything else, keeps us from following Jesus.
I want you to think about this; hurry, busyness, being overwhelmed maybe, more than anything else in our lives, keeps us from following Jesus. We get so in a hurry, we get so busy in our lives, we become disconnected, we become distracted. And I think you’re here today because in your heart, I think you actually want to follow Jesus.
I think there’s a desire within you from the spirit of the living God. Like you actually crave it. You want to follow God. But our life gets so busy and so full that we don’t have room for anything else and we end up with what I call Calendar Dread where you have all of these things on your calendar and you wake up every day and you dread pretty much every single one of them.
And all the honest people admit it.
Yes, that’s how — pretty much how it is. You see, we forget that it is impossible to live a kingdom life if we’re in a hurry. We forget it’s impossible to live a healthy, flourishing whole life if we’re always in a hurry. We forget it’s actually impossible to follow Jesus when we’re always in a hurry. And the paradox is that we think we’re living life. All these busyness, all these hurry, all these — we think we’re living life, but we forget that life is found in the space. Life is found in the margins, it’s found in the quiet.
In fact if you think through your own life, I would challenge you to think about this. The greatest moments, the greatest discoveries, the greatest experiences of your life didn’t come when you were in a hurry, they came in the midst of the space. They came when things were quiet, when there was a little bit of margin, because it’s in the margin that we get to think and pray and dream and create and talk and connect and be present. It’s in the space where we live. It’s in the space where you hear God’s whisper and discover new revelation and find new breakthroughs.
In fact that’s why this famous verse, Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” “Be still and know that I am God.” Isn’t it interesting that a world that tells us to hurry up and be busy and get moving on, we have a God who tells us to slow down and be still? And if you ever thought God was driving, that He was moving you, that He was the one who wanted you to be in a hurry, this verse blows that out of the water.
“Be still,” he says. And it’s in stillness you’ll know that I am God. It’s in the quiet that you’ll know and discover that I am good and gracious and kind and in control. “Be still, that’s when you’ll know that I am God.” Which means reverse it. If I’m always in a hurry, can I actually ever know God? Is it possible based on this verse alone to know God if I’m always in a hurry?
You see one of the things that I think we have to come to grips with and just be honest and aware of, is that we live in an insanely busy area. This region, it’s just like full of busyness, it’s full of hurry, we talked to people all the time, they move here from other states and places and they’re like, “Man, it’s so fast-paced here.”
And then about two years go by and they acclimatized and all of a sudden hurry becomes the normal way that they live as well.
And what we have to understand is John 10:10, and Jesus says, “Satan, the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.” All he wants to do is steal, kill and destroy your life, he doesn’t care how he does it. And one of the primary ways he does it is by making you live this hurried, busy, overwhelmed life, because if Satan can’t stop you, he’ll get behind you and he’ll start pushing. He’ll get you to go faster and faster and faster until you become completely overwhelmed, you’ve completely lost sight of God, you’ve completely lost sight of life. And here’s what I want to say to you, just because the world is handing now free tickets to the crazy train doesn’t mean you have to take one.
Come on. Just because the world is giving them out like candy and people are just blindly taking them and jumping on their train, you can stand there and be like, “Oh, that’s not for me.”
You don’t have to do it. You’re like, “Well, everyone else is.” When was the last time that became the wisdom you wanted to live your life by? Come on. Okay. But here’s the question, did you ever wonder why? Did you ever wonder why we always seem to be in a hurry and why busyness has become so normal? Like why? Like I get it, like, we all can have busy seasons. But when did it become normal to live that way and why do we live that way?
It’s amazing how we just do things and we never stop long enough to actually ask ourselves why. See, I would submit to you that the reason is just we live in a hurry because we think we’re in control. We think we have to make it happen. We think we’re responsible for the realities of all of the circumstances of our lives. See, I think at the end of the day, we still believe that we have something to earn, something to prove or something to achieve.
I think we believe we have to spend our lives becoming significant. That at the end of the day, we really believe we are what we do. And if I believe I am what I do, then I’m going to do as many things as possible so I can become someone. And we start to buy into this lie that a busy life is a significant life and that hurried life is an influential life. And so we get really fast, doing all these things and we kind of rip through life trying to become significant. And I think part of what we’re doing is we’re trying to pay for our past or secure our future.
In fact as we get busy and all these hurriedness and all these happen, you know what we honestly think? We think it’s irresponsible to rest. Oh, we don’t say that but somewhere in here, we think it’s irresponsible to rest or slur. Think back, we flip it, we think it’s responsible to worry, it’s responsible to carry all these burdens, it’s responsible to be stressed out all the time because if we don’t do it, who else will?
Maybe no one because maybe it’s not supposed to happen.
Like come on, Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “You have been saved by grace through faith.” What — and I said — I read it wrong, “It is by grace you have been saved through faith.” And this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by work so that no man can boast. You have been saved by grace, so why do you want to live by your effort?
If you got saved by resting in the finished work of Jesus, why do you want to spend the rest of your life in a hurry trying to prove something? Come on. See, here’s the problem, we have forgotten what Jesus has done. We’ve forgotten that everything that ever has been or ever will be required from us has been paid in full.
I want you to listen to this, “We have forgotten that Jesus has already earned for us the favor of God.”
We have forgotten that Jesus has already achieved unending victory for us. We have forgotten that Jesus has already proved everything that needs to be proved for you, that Jesus has already made us significant, that he’s our source, our unending supply. We have forgotten that Jesus has established our identity, reconciled our relationship with God and declared our destiny once and for all. We’ve forgotten that.
You see, when Jesus went to the cross, it says he sweat drops of blood. And when his righteous blood mingled with the sweat of humanity, in that moment, Jesus broke the curse of a hurry, busy, overwhelming, self-righteous life and he broke it once and for all to set us free. Which means a hurried life comes from an unsettled soul is what I’m trying to tell you.
If you’re hurried out here, it’s probably because you’re not settled in here.
Because somewhere in here you don’t really believe that you’re forgiven or free, or that your past is taken care of, or your future is secure, that you already are significant, or that your identity is already been declared, or everything that ever has been required of you has been paid in full, or maybe there’s just such a storm in here, you add so much hurry to your life because you just want to numb it and not have to face it.
Which means the opposite is also true, an unhurried life comes from a settled soul. So what then does your calendar tell you about what’s going on in here? Because if you have an unsettled soul, you’ll always live a hurried life, because you’re still trying to become who Jesus says you already are. Come on, Ephesians 2 says this, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” This says that if you believe in Jesus, you are already seated with Christ. If you are seated with Christ, that means the work is –
Come on. When you go out and mow the lot yard or you go out and you have busy day of work, or you go out and you have a busy day of school, when you come home when it’s all done, you sit down because the work is done. So what this is telling us is that if we’re sitting with Jesus, then the work is done and there’s nothing left that’s required from us. We don’t have to live our life in a hurry. Rest is not the finish line, it’s our starting point in Jesus name. Come on, heavenly places is not the finish line, it’s the starting place in Jesus name. So if we’re seated in Jesus, now take this and combine it with the next verse, Roman 16 says, “The God of Peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” If I’m seated with Christ and he says, “The God of Peace, the God of Rests is going to crush Satan, and the anxiety, and the stress, and the worry, and the cares, and the overwhelming reality.” It means that I am sit down, I have nothing to do.
All of the finished work of Jesus, all of the dysfunction, and the brokenness is under my feet which means when I rest in God, he starts to fight for me. When we rest in him, he starts to fight for us and will take care of the anxiety, and the stress, and the frustration, and all of that stuff in Jesus name. Are with me on that?
See, with the next verse. Here’s just a fascinating verse. Hebrews 4, “Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest.” Isn’t that a funny verse? It says work really hard to get into the rest of Jesus. Do everything you can to get into the rest of Jesus. Do all that you can possibly do to believe in the rest of Jesus. Is there anything you have to do? Believe it and receive it. He says do everything you can to believe that Jesus not only offers you rest but that he is your rest. Come on, that’s a good verse, because it’s done.
And I get it, some of you are looking at me, and you’re sitting here, and you’re like, “Oh, this is good. This is faith stuff. This is church talk. Didn’t really understand any of that. My life is crazy.”
Okay. I hear you, so let’s make it really practical. Because life is coming at us so fast that sometimes it doesn’t really mean all that much that the God of Peace is going to crush Satan under my feet. I’m like, “I feel crushed right now.” So I don’t know what’s that really doing for me, and it’s building your faith, is what it is and giving you some freedom, but let’s make it really practical and let me see if I can give you an illustration that’s really helping me right now in my season.
Over the summer, one night it was probably 9, 10 o’clock at night. I went and sat down at my kitchen table and Coleen must have bought that day an Avengers puzzle for my kids. And all of the pieces of the puzzle were all over that table. Like they had opened the box, it’s like a thousand-piece puzzle, and they put all the pieces all over, and obviously they didn’t get very far because no piece were connected to another piece. And I sat down and I looked at it. It was like 9, 10 o’clock, and I told you last week, I like the summer me a lot better than the fall me.
The summer me builds puzzles, the fall me never would. So I sat and I started playing with these puzzle pieces, kids are in bed, Coleen’s doing something, and I go like 30 minutes, and I get like three or four pieces, and I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to figure this thing out.” So I grab the box top because that what you do, and I started looking at it, and I’m staring at the picture of all the Avengers. It’s got all the Avengers over there, this thousand-piece puzzle, and I’m taking it all in. Now pause for a second.
Did you ever wonder why the world is fascinated with the Avengers? Did you ever wonder why it seems like they can make a new movie every month and it becomes the new best-selling movie of all time? Did you ever like wonder that? Like what’s with the whole, like, drawn to the superhero thing? Well the draw to the superhero thing for humanity is because it speaks to our destiny. See, if you think about this, it’s fascinating. Think what superheroes do. They have superpower and they go around defeating evil. In Jesus name, you’re supposed to be empowered with supernatural power from the spirit of the Living God destroying the works of the devil.
Come on. Jesus was empowered by the spirit to do supernatural works to destroy the devil and he sent us to go do the same thing. So we’re created to move mountains, walk on water, defeat giants, so when the whole world goes to superhero movies, they don’t even understand that it is the purposes of God in their spirit that’s making them even enjoy that movie and want to go. Come on, and it’s because Black Panther and Thor are just awesome, okay? So now you understand, when you see a superhero, say, “Guess what, I’m supposed to move in supernatural power with the spirit of God.”
Okay. So I’m looking at all those guys and I get the box, and I get it, and set it down, so I’ve got the picture of it, and then what’s the very next thing I do for all you puzzle builders? Build the edges. You pull out all the pieces that are for the edges, you put all the edges together, you build the whole square, and then all of a sudden, you got the borders, you got the boundaries, and then all of a sudden, it’s amazing how the all other pieces start coming together and all of a sudden, a few hours later, I finished this puzzle, went to bed, woke up the next morning, my kids saw it, and I became a superhero because the thousand-piece puzzle was done.
And a few weeks later, I just felt like the Lord kind of dropped it back in my heart and he brought it back to my mind. He said, “Hey, that’s actually how you build your life.” I said, “What?” He said, “That’s how you build your life in the midst of a hurried and crazy world,” and I thought about it for a second. I thought, “Oh my goodness, he’s right.” See, you have to start it with a vision. Before you can build your life in the midst of all of these puzzle pieces of life coming at you, you have to have a vision, you have to have the box top. You got to know what it is that you’re actually trying to build.
This is why Proverbs 29 says, “Where there is no vision the people cast off restraint.” It all starts with the vision of like, “What do I want my life to be like? Who do I want to become? Where do I want to go? What can be in the midst of what is, in the midst of the realities of my life,” and when you have a vision, you now know the direction that you’re going.
And it’s real easy to sit there and say, “Oh my goodness, people with a vision, they live a hurried life.” No. Only people with a vision don’t live a hurried life because they know what they’re going to say yes and no to, because they have a clear picture of what the future of their life is supposed to look like. So it’s easy for them to say no to the crazy train because they know where they’re going. So the question is do you have a vision for your life? That may be so big. How about just this, do you a vision for the fall, of what you want to do this fall?
Like, don’t let the world just throw a bunch of pieces into your life and say, “Now build this thing,” say, “No, no, it’s — I’m out. I got a vision.” And if you don’t have one, ask God. Acts chapter 2 says, “In the last days, I will pour out my spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesize, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” In other words, sons and daughters, young and old will be given a dream and a vision from God if they simply will ask him.
So do you have a vision? Because how do you build without one? And then once you have a vision, you have to build the borders, you have to build the boundaries of your life. This is why Psalm 16 tells us, “The boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places for me.” We all have borders, we all have boundaries in our lives, and if you actually read through the Bible, you’ll discover that whether it’s creation, the Old Testament, Jesus, the New Testament, the First Century Church, it’s the same four borders for all of humanity for all time. If you actually want to build an unhurried life, you got to have these four borders and they’re simply this. The first one, the foundation is my relationship with God. And as you start to build that one, you can build this side, that’s my relationship with others. And as you build that edge, you can build this one called my engagement with the mission of God, and then you can build the last one which is called my unique calling.
If you actually want to live an unhurried life, you have to build the borders of your life because you can’t take every puzzle piece that the world wants to give you. You have to have a boundary, a border, guardrails to say, “This is what my life is going to be or not be about,” and I’ve already decide it. So as the world comes at you and a thousand puzzle pieces are being dumped into your lap and you’re not even sure what to do with it, you can simple ask yourself this one simple question, “Will this help?” and then go through each one of these. As the things come at you, you can simply ask, “Will this help my relationship with God?” because all of life is about your relationship with God. Jesus says the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. In other words, all of life is to know him, enjoy him, walk with him, be with him. This is why John 17, Jesus says, “Now this is eternal life. This is life that they may know you.” It says all of life is about knowing God.
And so you can ask yourself, “Should I do this? Should I take this on? Should I go here? Well, will this help me in my relationship with God?” And isn’t it amazing how so many of the things we bring into our life actually take us away from God? And if Jesus is the Prince of Peace, then there is no rest apart from him. And then as you start that, you can ask the second question, “Will this help my relationship with others?” Jesus says the greatest commandment, the greatest border is to love God and to your love neighbor as yourself. He says life is about relationships. Jesus says people are not an interruption to your life, they are your life. This is why 1 Peter 4 says, “Above all, love each other deeply.” Above all, have a really great job. Above all, do a lot of activities in life. Above all, make sure you become really significant and really influential. That’s what it says, right. Above all, love each other.
So is this going to take me closer me to the people in my life or move me further away from them. The third question you ask yourself is, will this help my engagement with the mission of God. See, like it or not, you are created to move in supernatural power on this earth as part of seeking and saving the lost, as going out and making disciples, and being part of the movement of God. This is why Matthew 28, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” That’s not just for me or for church staff or for your grandma who you think is really religious, that’s for you. You’re called to — you’re used by God to ask yourself this question, “Is this helping me engage the mission of God? Am I using my gifts, and my passions, and my talents to strengthen the body to build up one another, to be a part of what God is doing on this earth to redeem mankind and to redeem all of the world?” That’s a question you have to ask yourself.
And then the fourth one is you just say, “Will this help my unique calling?” Because you got a unique calling. You’re not a robot and there’s unique things that God has called and created you to do and you have to discover what that is.
This is why Ephesians 2 says, “You are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which he prepared in advance for you to do.” In other words, you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and there are unique things on your life that no one else was created to do and you say, “How do I know what it is?” Ask him. That’s another message series for another day, but you have a unique calling.
And as a part of you being the hope carrier to whatever space, whether it’s a stay-at-home parent or maybe you’re an artist, maybe you’re a coach, maybe you’re currently a student, I don’t know, but you’ve been created by God to do something unique. And so you look at this puzzle and you say, “As all these things come into my life, how do I do it?” You have to ask yourself, “Will this help me do these things?” If the answer is no, it’s outside the borders. You throw it off the table and you don’t try to shove it in there, in Jesus name. Come on. I’m helping you big time here with this thing because this will change your life if you’ll use it.
Think about it like this, should I take this new job? Okay, well just ask yourself, will this help my — no, go back, just — Chris. Will this help? Apparently the answer is no. That was like for somebody, that’s like, “You want to sign in a wonder?” You just go one right there. Will this help? And you have to yourself this question, “Is this going to help my relationship with God?”
And you start looking at it, you start saying, “Well, I’m going to have to travel eight days a week, work 950 hours,” and then you start realizing, “Well, if I work 8 days a week, I probably can never be around God and you know what, I’m probably never going to be able to be with my family because I’m going to be so busy, and I’ll have to quit any though of engaging in the mission God, and I actually don’t even like this job. I have no passion for it, but man, I’m going to make a lot of money.” And we’re like, “Yeah, let’s do it.”
And then we wonder. How about this, “Should my kid play this sport?” Or students, you can ask it for yourself, “Should I play this sport?” Well, a healthy parent would look at us and say, “Will this help?” A healthy parent would say, “You know what, my kid has a unique calling on his life. I want him to learn teamwork, and I think he’s going to make a lot of great friends by being on this team, so you know what, I think we can do this. This is going to be good.”
And then because your kid is good at that sport, all of the sudden, other people show up and say, “They should be on nine other select teams at the same time.” And then you say, “Will this help those other eight teams that they should join,” and you say, “Well, we’ll never be able to go to church and we’ll spend no time together as a family, and they’ll never be able to be a part of hub. So the answer is probably, no, in Jesus name.” That’s healthy, come on, hear me.
Should I join the serve team or should I get in this group, you’re like, “I don’t really have time for that, don’t really want to, but it’s amazing. Will this help my relationship with God?” Probably. And my relationship with others, yeah. And I’ll actually be a part of the mission of God, because I really am no, if I’m honest, and I’ll probably discover more of my unique calling.
So even though I don’t want puzzle piece, I probably need it to complete the picture. Does that make sense? It’s a really simply way to do this, and all of a sudden, it’s amazing how it’s not so crazy and chaotic anymore, because these are the boundary lines God has given all of us in Jesus’ name, to have the best possible picture of our lives. And if you’re going to do this, you’re going to have to do some things like that that you’re going to have to just say no. You’re going to have to get good at saying no to things, because you don’t have time for everything, you always have time for the right things.
And here me, at the end of your life, you will give an account to God and he’s not going to want to talk about all the pieces off the borders. He’s going to want to talk about, did you build the puzzle I asked you to build? You’re also going to have to go to the next one for me, you’re going to have to turn off your tech a bit. Because I’m convinced we’re super busy and hurried because we lose hours a day in tech. And here’s what happens man, let me just encourage you.
I challenge our staff this week, to limit all social media time to less than 30 minutes a day, as if there’s little apps and settings and all kinds of stuff that you can do and it tells you, and it’s like, oh, your time is over. And you’re like, oh. But then actually, you start living, because we go on tech and we look at everyone else’s life, and we’re like, I need that puzzle piece, I need that puzzle piece, and then we say things like this, how do they do it all? They don’t. And there’s somebody who sees the carnage of people all the time behind the scenes, they make their Instagram look awesome, but their life is a disaster.
So turn off the tech and ask God what you should do, not what Suzie posted, and now you got to do it too. Come on, go to the next one, remember, less is more. In the Kingdom of God, God can do a lot with our little. And you have to remember, more is not better, better is better. We think more is better, so we go and get a bunch of more, and it’s actually worse. Better is better.
And then the last one, do whatever you do with excellence. Before you start adding in all these other teams and activities and travel and work and the commitments, and all these stuff, just stop and say, am I doing what I’m already doing, with excellence? Because if it’s all half-hearted, I probably should stop anyways. Hear me. It’s better to have a hundred piece puzzle, with righteousness, peace and joy, than a thousand piece puzzle with anxiety and stress and worry.
I would rather have boundaries and borders and a vision that’s actually coming to pass, and so many pieces that I can’t even keep up with. And if these are not your boundaries, if these are not your borders, get rid of that one for me in the middle. Here’s my question, what are they? Because you got some, like, how do you make the decisions in your life? Will this make me happy? Is this what I feel like today? Is this why I’m going to make the most money? Is this what my kids tell me we have to do?
I mean honestly, like they’re probably subconscious, you don’t even know what they are, but you got some, because you say yes and no to things all the time. But if it’s not these boundaries, then what kind of puzzle are you building? See, what happens to us, it’s amazing how this life gets faster, and more puzzle pieces come in, we start getting rid of the things that matter the most. When your life gets really hurried and really busy, you start getting rid of conversation with God, and prayer and reading his word, you start getting rid of time with your family, and loved ones in your life. You start quitting, serve teams and inviting people, and like, even thinking about what God is trying to do in this earth.
And all of a sudden, you start forgetting that you have a unique calling that God has created you to discover, and we forget about that all together, and we think we’re a slave to our own life.
It’s amazing how what’s most important drifts away when we’re not willing to just stop and protect it and say, I got to do some things different in Jesus’ name. And the problem is, is our lives are so busy and so full with all these random puzzle pieces that we take from the world, we have no border, no boundary, no vision, we start putting them all together, they don’t even really fit, we kind of slap them and pound them down, you know, so they like get in there, there are these big wonky thing, there’s no shape or order to it, and that is why we live in this constant sense of chaos that we feel like we can’t get out of. That’s why every year, ever season feels like it’s the same thing, because there’s no structure, there’s no order, there’s no boundaries, there’s no guardrails. So over the years, puzzle piece after puzzle piece, after puzzle piece, it’s from all different puzzles, are what your life is made up of, and you wonder why it’s chaotic, and then we wonder why God isn’t moving in our lives.
Listen, God can’t give you more if you’re already overwhelmed, if you’re already overflowing in life, he can’t even give you more, because he’s a good God and doesn’t want to hurt you. Like here’s maybe the most amazing thing about this is, this is how Jesus lived, we said this last week that Jesus did more in three years, than anyone or all of us could do together in our lifetime, and he was never in a hurry. He was never busy, why? Because these were the boundaries of his life.
Everything that came at him, went through this filter, if it didn’t fit it, he popped it out. This is why for 30 years, he could be hidden as a carpenter. He’s good, he had nothing to prove. This is why when the crowd comes to him and tries to force him to be king, it was easy for him to say, no, that’s not in my puzzle piece, goes off.
This is why when Satan shows up, and tempts Jesus to prove himself, it was easy for Jesus to say, no, it doesn’t fit within the boundaries.
This is why when the Pharisees demanded Jesus to do miracles, to prove himself, he was like, no, sorry guys, that doesn’t fit within the boundary, this is why when he was on the cross, and they said, come down, if you really are the son of God, he’s like, no, sorry, this is part of my unique calling, I’m the savior of the world, I got to stay up here. He was able to say, “No,” to all of it coming at him, without being busy, or hurried, or overwhelmed, and it’s amazing how Jesus, three years to change the world, and somehow, he has time to pull away and pray, to hang out with his bros, the disciples, to always be on mission, and to accomplish his unique calling.
Fascinating. And if you can take one more thing, what’s the most amazing part to me, is, most of Jesus’ miracles happen when everyone else is in a hurry, and he’s in his posture of rest. When the disciples were trying to run the crowd away because they’re hungry and they want to be done with it, Jesus was peaceful and he’s like, hey guys, let’s do something about it, let’s feed them, 5,000 people, 5 loaves, 2 fish.
Or he’s going from one place to another, and a guy comes up and interrupts him, “My daughter is dying, will you please come?”
I’m just saying, if I got to change the world, I don’t got time for that. But Jesus had margin, he had space, so he said, “Sure.” And while he’s going to that interruption, a woman shows up and interrupts the interruption, and grabs him, the woman with the flow of blood. I’m just telling you, if that’s me, I’m like, “Woman, get off me, I got stuff to do. I’m already interrupted.”
Or how about the blind man? He’s walking right by him and they started crying out, “Jesus, son of David –” if it’s me, I’m just like, “You’re healed in Jesus’ name. Got to keep going. Boom!” You know, just like that. He stops and goes over and looks at them and says, “What is it that you want?”
Here’s what I’m trying to tell you. Because Jesus had a vision and boundaries for his life, he was open to every invitation, interruption, and opportunity that the Father wanted to give Him. He had space to receive those new pieces to make the best possible picture of his life. My question for you is, “Do you?” Do you have space right now that have got off with you with an invitation and interruption or an opportunity? Could you take a new puzzle piece in the game? If the answer is no, you’ve probably lost sight of the borders and the boundaries of your life. Because the greatest miracles and experiences and moments and discoveries with the people you love, with the people you have yet to meet, with the God who wants you to be known and to know Him, and with the unique calling of your life comes when we have margin to receive what God offers us. Are you with me on that?
See, what Jesus proves for us is that it’s possible to have a really big life and be unhurried at the same time. He proves for us that the bigger your life is, the more unhurried you actually are because your soul is settled. You have guard rails to protect you. You have a vision that you’re pursuing. So now you have wisdom on what to say yes to and what to say no to.
See let me close you with this. John 14, if you can go to John 14 for me. At the last supper when He’s going to the cross, he looks at the disciples. He says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.” My peace. I’ve read this verse for years and I always thought that Jesus is just kindly giving us peace, like arbitrary peace in the midst of the storms of our life or the circumstances. That’s not what he is saying here. He’s saying I give you my peace. He’s saying, if I lived in this world, and did more than anybody else would ever do, and yet was never in a hurry, was never busy, was never anxious or stressed or overwhelmed, I’m now giving you that peace.
I’m giving you the peace I had in my mind for your mind so anxiety doesn’t have to rule up here. I’m giving you the peace that I had in my soul so you can have peace in your soul so you don’t have to be worried and depressed. I’m giving you the peace that I had in the midst of the chaotic relationships that were all around me all the time. I’m giving you my peace that I had when the world constantly demanded me to do this, that, and the other thing. I’m giving you my peace so you can be free. The question is, it’s just for you to receive it.
No one else gets to build your life but you. And what we think is that when we — if you go back to the borders for me, we think that when we actually put borders in our life, we think we’re shrinking our life. The truth is, this is expanding your life because you can do more by doing it God’s way then you can by doing the world’s way.
The crazy train is taking you to a place you don’t want to be. The ways of God are taking you to the life that God has for you.
So you close your eyes with me. What do you think the Holy Spirit wants to say to you today? Like I get it, like some of us, we just scrape ourselves to get in here today because it’s so overwhelming and it’s so true. And everything I’m saying doesn’t deny what you feel. It’s not invalidating the circumstances of your life. It’s trying to give you hope in a better way. What if you just started by asking God for a vision?
Just a direction for your life and then maybe you just take some time even this week to write those borders down and just don’t even worries sometimes about even going back and fixing what is — just start today. Like it’s — the things come actually from this day forward, what if you just started saying, “I don’t even know how to do this and I’m not even sure I want those, the borders of my life. But Jesus, the way I’m doing it, it didn’t really working. So would you help me use this as a filter? Would you give me the faith to say no to the chaos?” See when you rest in God, you are inviting him to supernaturally move on your behalf. When you rest in God, he starts to fight for you. That’s why he says, “Be still, rest with me.
I’ll crush that anxiety, and the stress, and the worries, and the chaos, and the doubts, and the depression. I will crush them under your feet when you have the faith to just sit down and rest in what I’ve done. Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know that I am God.” Jesus right now, by faith, I declare your peace of every person in this room, not arbitrary peace, not worldly peace, not circumstantial change, the peace of Jesus to guard our hearts, our minds, our bodies, our lives, our relationships, and our world in Jesus’ name. May today be the day where the hurried stops and the summer life begins. We love you Jesus. In your name we pray, amen.