2 Parts | By: Ed Young
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This message opener was created to promote Ed Young’s series “Push Me, Pull Me.”
Push Me, Pull Me
“On the Fence”
August 21, 2016
By Ed Young
ILLUS: A mom looked at her daughter’s best friend and noticed an Asian tattoo on her back. And the girl said, “Well, yes. It’s brand new. But please don’t tell my parents.” The mom said, “I’m not going to tell your parents. But I’ve got to ask you. What does this Asian symbol mean on your back?” The girl replied, “Honesty.”
Push me, pull me. The back and forth life. It’s so popular these days. We’re convicted about not being convicted. On one hand we want a great marriage, but we’re not really willing to do the hard yards of the date night, of those conversations, of the forgiveness work, of the marriage counseling that needs to take place. Push me, pull me. “I want a great family and great kids who love God and who are obedient.” Yet, you come to church once every six weeks, now and then. You kind of do what you have to do. You don’t really want to do the tough stuff of drawing lines in the sand and dealing with discipline on the family front.
You’re a single parent and you’re say, “Hey,” as you look at your teenage daughter. “Remain pure until you get married.” Yet, you have numerous sexual liaisons in front of your kids, and they see how you live your life.
It’s a life of duplicity. It’s saying one thing and doing another. It’s being double-minded.
“God, I want you to bless my finances. I want just to do that and to be generous.” Yet, you don’t tithe and you don’t bring what is God’s to his House.
It’s amazing, isn’t it? One foot in, one foot out.
ILLUS: I had this idea for this sermon several months ago. I was speaking at a venue and back in the green room there was an NFL all-pro with his girlfriend. And I had met them before, and we talked a little bit. Then they left the green room and I was talking to a gentlemen who knows them and I said, “How are they doing?” He said, “Oh, it’s typical.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “Well, this guy is just riding the fence. One foot in the NFL lifestyle – the weed, the women, the parties; and one foot in the church.” I thought, “I’m going to a series on that, because that is a popular way to live.”
The Bible talks a lot about being double-minded; the dangers of being double-minded. In fact, God would rather you live like hell and follow the devil than have one foot in the church and one foot out. Remember the book of Revelation when we studied that? We talked about the church of Laodicea. They were lukewarm, push me pull me people. One foot in, one foot out. What did God say? “You make me sick. You make me want to throw up. You make me want to vomit.”
From Victor to Victim and Back
August 28, 2016
I want to talk to you today about something that is depressing… depression. I want to talk to you about the very depressing subject called depression. What is depression? Depression is an intense feeling of helplessness and hopelessness that leads to sadness. That’s what depression is. And I know in a crowd this size with thousands of people we have people going through depression. There’s no doubt about it. Some are in the midst of it. Maybe you don’t look like it, you don’t smell like it, you don’t act like it, but down deep you’re depressed. Others might be on the edge and the ledge of depression. You’re about to go into it and there are some trigger points that you must realize that will lead you into this. Depression, though, is real. It’s not something phony and fake. It’s not something that just the hyperemotional people deal with, it’s real. And it’s so real it’s talked about in Scripture a lot. Isn't that interesting? Some of the great people in Scripture went through depression.
If you’re going through depression you have something in common with Moses. He’s a pretty major player. If you’re going through depression you have something in common with Jonah. If you’re going through depression you have something in common with the Apostle Paul, Simon Peter. If you’re going through depression you have something in common with today’s character we’re going to look at again, Elijah. Elijah. We’ve been talking about Elijah because I’m in a series called Push Me, Pull Me. It’s the double-minded life. Dr. Doolittle introduces the Push Me, Pull Me creature. A llama’s body with two heads, one head going one way and another head going the other. Push Me, Pull Me. Push Me, Pull Me. Push Me, Pull Me. The back and forth life.
James, the half-brother of Jesus, talked about being double-minded. He said watch out if you’re double-minded. If you’re double-minded you’re unstable in all of your ways. The word double-minded comes from the Greek term dipsuchos, which means you’re twice sold. You’re sitting on the fence. You’re back and forth. And it’s so sexy these days to just sit on the fence, isn't it? Just to… that thing was falling. Let’s see if I can use my incredible balance to sit on the fence without it falling. If I do I want a standing ovation, OK? I’m 55 years old. Gimme some love! If I can do it without falling over. If I don’t just go, whoa, he’s 55, honey. Yes!!! I did it! Whoa!!! Wow. I work out with a friend of mine named Ryan. Do not show him that video, please. He will be embarrassed. Hope he’s not here. He could be here.
Anyway, too many people in our culture today sit on the fence. We straddle the fence. We go back and forth. Our boy, Elijah, you won't believe this. Elijah, he was on an absolute roll. Secured one of the greatest victories ever, yet after that he goes into depression. I’m like, what? We need to watch out for the after. The after. What do you mean the after? After the windfall. After the honeymoon. After the spiritual high point. After the victory. What happens after? You remember our Savior, Jesus? Jesus, after his baptism, was driven out into the wilderness and faced the temptation. So the Bible not only paints the strong parts of characters, it also paints the tough parts. The Bible not only paints the dynamic aspect of people but also the depressing aspects of people. I have dealt with depression. And if you’re honest, so have you. Whenever I meet someone who goes, “Oh, no. I’ve never dealt with depression.” I know I’m talking to someone who’s probably dealing with it right now. They’re just totally self-unaware.
Have you ever noticed the push and pull of life? Too often were tossed back and forth in a forever frenzy of differing views, opinions, and directions. But God wants us to have a sound, peaceful mind; not one that is tossed and turned every which way. This Series by Pastor Ed will help you replace the dilemma of double-mindedness with the clear cut confidence that following Christ offers!