Here’s what we’ve been doing for four weeks now:
Detox – Removal of toxic substances from a living organism.
When it comes to detoxing, our minds tend to go towards detoxing drugs or detoxing our bodies by going on a juice cleanse. But we actually need more than just a physical detox.
That’s why in week one we talked about detoxing your mind. And I gave you three things that you need to eliminate: Doubt, Negativity and Sin.
And then we talked about three things to put back in: God’s Word, worship and prayer. Because an effective detox isn’t just about taking the wrong things out, but you also have to put the right things in.
In week two, we talked about detoxing your soul. And there were four things that we need to eliminate for a soul detox: unforgiveness, comparison, anger and worry.
The four things you need to feed your soul are: right relationships, a God-defined identity, a crucified life and eternal perspective.
And then last week, Dr. Mark Sherwood was here with us and gave us great perspective on what it means to cleanse our bodies from all the things God never intended for us to eat anyways.
But here’s the deal, you can’t stay on a detox forever. Even the body detox that Dr. Mark leads several times a year only lasts for 14 days. And then you go into maintenance mode.
I’m not saying that you are now free to welcome all those toxins back into your life. What I am saying is that staying in an intense state of detox is not a sustainable plan.
That’s why I’ve named today’s message Maintaining Momentum. Because many of y’all are really starting to feel good after detoxing. So how do we maintain this momentum after the detox?
That’s the question I am going to answer today. Let’s start by reading a verse that I believe sets the tone for today’s message:
1 Thessalonians 5:23 NLT – Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.
So, that’s the goal. Now that we have closeness with God and we’ve cleansed ourselves from these toxins, how do we keep it?
Like, how many of you have made spiritual progress in the past only for it to be followed by a little backtrack later on? Or, if you are not willing to admit it, have you ever known someone who did this? Yeah, we all have.
So, that’s what I want to help you with today. How to keep the progress you’ve made in your spiritual journey. For how long? Well, until Jesus comes again.
It would be real easy for me to give you a nice, motivational talk where we all get pumped up and excited. But then you’d just get to your car after service and wonder, “Well, that was fun! Now what do I do?”
So, in true Kade-fashion, I’m going to give you some steps to take. And when you take them, you are going to find yourself maintaining momentum in your spiritual journey.
I want to start by teaching you a leadership principle that was originally taught by John Maxwell called:
The Rule of Five
Here’s how it works. Imagine there was a tree you needed to cut down. So, you get up every morning, grab your axe and hit the tree five times. It takes less than a minute, and you put the axe down.
The next day, you pick up the same axe and go to the same tree and hit it five times, just like you did the day before.
And then the next day, you pick up the axe and you hit the tree five times. How many of you know that, eventually, the tree is going to fall down?
So, that’s what the rule of five is. You need to discover five things that you do every day that will move you closer and closer to God.
We’re not talking about things that you do all day. We’re talking about things you do every day, even if they only take a minute. And this is actually a Biblical principle:
Proverbs 17:24 NLT – An intelligent person aims at wise action, but a fool starts off in many directions.
So, a wise person focuses on the right actions, over and over again. A fool, on the other hand, does one thing today, another thing tomorrow and then another thing the next day. He doesn’t even know why he’s doing the things.
If you are wondering, “Why is my life not really changing much?” Well, this is really going to help you.
And let me preface by letting you know that this is going to be really simple. Like, it’s the stuff you’ve known all along, you just haven’t applied it yet.
But this time is different. You are going to take today’s message and apply it to your life. And as a result, you’re going to make progress, one day at a time, towards the amazing life that God has planned for you.
When choosing these things you are going to do every day, there are four guidelines you need to keep in mind:
In other words, life doesn’t happen to you; you happen to life. You’re not going to take the backseat. You aren’t going to bow down to circumstances and all the other things that try to take over your life.
You are going to zero in and focus on what matters. You are going to be like the snow plow going down the road and pushing all that nonsense, all those circumstances and all those roadblocks, out of the way.
Now you have to take all those intentions and get practical. Like, you need to pick up the axe to chop down the tree, not a baseball bat.
Some of you are out there working hard at trying to knock down your problem, but you’re using the wrong tool. You ain’t doing it right. And you keep doing it!
So, being practical is all about finding what works and then doing it every single day. Speaking of, the next guideline is:
This is like a love word to me. It’s one of my personal core values because it has positive effects is so many areas of life.
Be consistent in your parenting and your kids will know what to expect. When they know what to expect, they feel safe and they have better behavior because they know exactly what’s going to happen when they lie.
Be consistent in business and you become an overnight success. Or at least that’s how people see it because they didn’t see you working on your business every day for the two years leading up to your overnight success.
The thing about consistency is, it’s not hard. We can all do it. You just take something that only takes you a few minutes every day and you do it every day. You don’t have to do it all day, you just need to do it every day.
This one is important. Because many of you are going to be tempted to go home and implement this, but in the back of your mind you are going to be thinking, “Well, I hope this works.”
Hoping ain’t gonna cut it. You need to be convinced that you are going to see results. Because if you only hope this works, you’re going to give up about one week in when your life isn’t perfect yet.
Listen to me. This will work. But you have to expect it to work and decide today that you’re not going to give up, even if you have to be consistent for years before you see results.
I know, I just said years. But, don’t be discouraged because you will see quick results in many of the things we talk about today. But, some things do take time, and you have to be willing to take the journey.
The Rule of Five can apply to any area of your life. You can have five things that you do at work every day, five things you do for your health every day, or even five things that you do for your marriage every day.
I recommend picking an area of your life where you are struggling, whether it be in your health, your marriage, at work or with your kids, and write down five things that you are going to do every day to turn things around.
That’s something you can do when you go home today. But right now, I want to give you five things you can do in your spiritual journey.
You’d probably agree that the most important part of you is your spirit and it’s the best place to start when implementing the Rule of Five. But, in case you’re not convinced your spirit is the place to start, check this out:
Matthew 6:33 NKJV – But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
This is a popular verse, so you may have heard it before. But take a moment to really let it sink in.
Seek God first and everything else will come together. If you need more income to meet your family’s needs, before you get another job, seek God first. If you need healing in your marriage, seek God first instead of trying to fix your spouse.
So today, I want to give you five things you can do every day that will ensure you are seeking God first. Let’s get the first and most important thing taken care of and trust that God will take care of all the other stuff.
Here’s the first thing to do every day:
#1 Acknowledge and thank God.
See, here’s how simple and easy this is going to be for you. Simply wake up every morning and let your first thought be, “God, you’re awesome. Thank you that I don’t have to live this day without you.”
We like to make this stuff complicated, but it’s really not. How many of you can dedicate just a few seconds every day to acknowledge and thank God?
This one, simple action repeated every day will have an amazing impact on your life. It’s a great way to remind yourself that the whole reason you’re here is because God created you.
Here’s how David, who wrote the Psalms, did this:
Psalms 145:1-3 NLT – I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever. I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness.
Every day, before you pick up your phone, before you even get out of bed, let your first thought be, “Good morning Lord. I know you’re with me today and I thank you for saving me and giving me purpose.”
I recently heard a story about an African king who had a friend who, regardless of what happened, good or bad, always responded with the phrase, “This is good.”
So, one day, the king and his friend went hunting. The friend loaded the kings gun, but somehow did it incorrectly. So, when the king fired, the gun backfired and blew off his thumb. And his friend said, “This is good.”
Of course, the king didn’t like that too much, so he had his friend thrown in jail.
About a year later, the king went hunting in an area he knew was dangerous and ended up getting captured by a group of cannibals. There he was, tied to a tree with the cannibals about to eat him and they noticed his thumb was missing.
Because of superstition, the cannibals were afraid to eat anything that wasn’t whole, so they let the king go. And the king’s mind immediately went to his friend who had now been in jail for a year.
He went to let him out and apologize. And when he told his friend what happened, his friend said, “This is good.”
The King asked how he could always say that, even after being in jail for a year, and the friend responded, “Because if you hadn’t put me in jail, I would have been with you.”
Come on, let’s all say it together, “This is good!”
And it’s just an attitude. The secret to having everything is believing you already do. You don’t have to have it all, you just have to believe that you do.
Because of what Jesus did for you, the Kingdom of God is yours. Like all of who God is, all that God has, is yours. You just have to believe you have everything you need, because you do.
The only thing trying to convince you otherwise is the world and the devil. And we know they are both full of lies.
So, every day, acknowledge God and be thankful. And here’s the second one:
#2 Talk to God.
I intentionally made this one “talk to God” instead of prayer because many people struggle with this one.
You think you have to be formal, or use fancy words, or never struggle to find the right words. But prayer has nothing to do with impressing God. It is a simple, authentic conversation with God.
This verse really brings it into perspective:
Psalm 68:19 NIV – Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.
God wants you to share you heart. He wants you to be real. And that’s really what prayer is all about. He wants to be the first point of contact when things go wrong in your life. He wants to be there for everything you go through.
We’re even talking about all those things in your life that you hide from everyone else. Maybe you feel guilty because you shouldn’t be struggling with whatever it is. Well, God wants to hear about it.
Every day, go to God and start with acknowledging Him and thanking Him. And then take a few minutes to tell him where your hurting and where you need help and all those areas in your life where you need His healing touch.
Every day, take just a few minutes to be vulnerable before the Lord. Get that stuff off your chest and trust that He can handle it. Talk to God about any and everything because He wants to hear from you every day.
One of the best ways to make sure this happens every day is to follow the example found in the Bible. There, you’ll find three ways to help you structure your prayer time:
Choose a specific time.
Have you ever noticed that the things you do every day happen at the same time? You get up for work at the same time every day. You eat dinner at the same time every day.
This is one of the best ways to make sure you talk to God every day. Put it on your schedule and do it at the same time every day. Make an appointment with God and prioritize it.
Psalms 5:3 NLT – Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
Here we can see that David talked to God every morning. He had a daily appointment to meet with God and it happened every morning.
Here’s the second way to make sure you talk to God every day:
Choose a specific place.
Find a specific place in your house where you can go and talk to God without distractions. Light candles, play music, do what you need to do to make a special place for you and God to meet.
Some people call this their prayer closet and it really is their closet. I like to pray upstairs in my office because it pretty much the only place that my kids don’t wander in and out of at our house.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve snuck off to the bathroom without anyone noticing, hoping that I will be able to potty in peace, and just seconds later here comes one of my kids.
So, there is no safe place in the main floor of our house. To get undistracted time, I have to go to my office upstairs.
Wherever that is for you, find a place that can become special to your prayer time. It’s kind of strange, but once you establish this, it’s so much easier to get in an attitude of prayer. Jesus even did it:
Mark 1:35 NLT – Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.
If Jesus needed an isolated place to pray, I imagine we do too. It could be a room in your house, or it could even be an early morning walk with your dog. Wherever it is, find a place where you talk to God. Here’s the third thing:
Have a specific plan.
This one is going to mess some of y’all up because you hate planning. You want everything to just go with the flow and happen as it happens.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but even Jesus had a prayer plan. Like the Son of God went into His prayer time with a plan. Is anyone here wondering why He didn’t just let His prayer time be led by the Holy Spirit?
Luckily, He didn’t keep His plan to himself, but He shared it with us:
Luke 11:2-4 NKJV – Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
This plan takes you through a journey of connecting with God relationally, worshiping His name, praying His agenda first, depending on Him completely, accepting His forgiveness and extending it to others, engaging in spiritual warfare, and expressing your faith in His ability.
How many think this is a good plan?
And that’s why we give you guys the Pray First Prayer Guides every time we do 21 Days of Prayer. Actually, we always have them available and all you have to do is ask for them.
When you have it on hand, you’ll never find yourself staring at a blank wall when you planned on praying. I use this guide almost daily and it is extremely helpful.
So, we’re talking about developing five things that we are going to do every day for spiritual growth, and here’s the third one:
#3 Read and submit to God’s Word.
Both of these words on important. You need to read God’s Word and you need to submit to it.
Don’t try to make God’s Word fit your life; make your life God’s Word.
Don’t interpret God’s Word through the lens of what you deem to be moral and right; interpret what you believe to be moral and right through God’s Word.
When you find something in the Word that you don’t agree with, don’t try to justify your incorrect thinking. Simply update your mind and submit to God’s Word. Why?
Isaiah 40:8 NLT – The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.
The Word of God doesn’t just apply to this life, it applies to eternity. Like, it is going to be around forever, so you might as well learn to submit to it now.
Joshua 1:8 NLT – Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it.
In case you aren’t convinced that this is a good idea, let’s keep reading this verse because God gives an amazing promise to those who obey everything in the Word:
Joshua 1:8 NLT – Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
This isn’t for God’s benefit, it’s for yours! He wants you to live your best life. I want you to live your best life. And the only way you’ll find yourself living your best life is when you read and submit to God’s Word.
That’s why one of our six core values is:
We take God at His Word.
Without the Word of God being the ultimate truth in your life, you’ll never live your best life. You’ll never find limitless life in Jesus and your life will not have the impact it is supposed to have if you don’t read and submit to God’s Word.
Remember, we’re not talking about things you have to do all day, but you need to do it every day. Every day, read God’s Word. And as you go throughout your day, submit to the things you’ve learned from God’s Word.
I’m giving you five things you can do every day to keep your spiritual journey moving forward. Here’s the fourth one:
#4 Maintain meaningful relationships.
This one might mess you up because when you think of a spiritual journey, you think, “Just me and Jesus.” It doesn’t have to do with anyone else. I just need my quiet time with my Bible and Jesus.
Well, God has another plan:
Hebrews 3:13 NIV – But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Oh man. Turns out we need each other. And God’s plan is for us to have close, meaningful relationships so we always have someone looking out for us, keeping us from getting trapped in sin.
You’ve probably realized that it’s tough to build meaningful relationships when you are only here on Sundays. And that is why we have Small Groups.
You don’t need another church service. You don’t need something else to do. But you do need meaningful relationships with other believers at your church. And you have to do it on purpose.
Small Groups are all about relationships. You may get together because you all like fishing, or you are all entrepreneurs, or you’re all women. But the reason you get together is not what’s important, it’s just an excuse for you to get together.
The reason we prioritize Small Groups here at NoLimits is because we need each other. We can’t live our best life on an island by ourselves! We can’t stay out of trouble when we keep to ourselves. We need meaningful relationships.
I want every single one of us in a small group. And I have no ulterior motive. I simply want every one of you to find and develop meaningful relationships with those around you. Because, we need each other!
Our fall semester of Small Groups kicks off in just two weeks. And hopefully after the little talk we just had, you now feel like it is going to be torture to wait that long. But, it will be here before you know it.
We are actually opening enrollment today. That means you can find and sign up for your Small Group right after the service is over today. We have six groups for you to choose from, all meeting at different days and times.
If the topic you prefer doesn’t work with your schedule, don’t let that stop you from joining a group. Simply find one that does work with your schedule and join it. Because the topic isn’t the purpose, relationships are the purpose.
The leadership team here at church decided at the beginning of the year that Small Groups was our focus for the year. If we can just end the year with thriving small groups, we know we’ve served you well as a leadership team.
By the end of the year, we want Small Groups to be just as important as our Sunday Service, not just to us, but to the entire church. I hope you are starting to catch that vision and see the importance of Small Groups.
Alright, I could talk about Small Groups all day, so we better keep moving forward. I’m giving you a rule of 5 for your spiritual life:
Every day, acknowledge and thank God. Every day, talk to God. Every day, read and submit to God’s Word. Every day, maintain meaningful relationships. And here’s the last one:
#5 Surrender my life to God.
The Apostle Paul said it best:
I Corinthians 15:31 NKJV – …I die daily.
He obviously wasn’t talking about physical death here, because you only get to experience that once. He was talking about dying to himself. He was setting aside his wants, his ambitions, his agenda and surrendering his life to God.
Here’s how Jesus said it:
Luke 9:23 NLT – If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.
How many of you have noticed that there are things that you want to do that don’t line up with the Word of God? How many of you have felt the pull to do things that you know will keep you from living your best life?
That’s why we have to put our own desires to death daily. Our opinions, our attitudes, our ambitions and our agenda must all be surrendered to God every single day.
Not just once. Not just when gave your life to Jesus, but every day. Every day, you must choose to give up your own way and surrender your life to God.
This may sound painful, and sometimes it is. But it’s the one and only path to your best life. If you want to be all that God created you to be, then you have lay down the life you created and pick up the one He created for you.
And you may grieve a little over some of the things you are letting go. But on the other side is freedom. On the other side is joy. And on the other side, you’ll find your purpose, make a difference and be more fulfilled than you could ever imagine.
I imagine we all have something in our lives that we’ve been keeping around that is not part of our best life. I encourage you to take a moment right now and turn your attention towards God and surrender those things to Him.
There may just be a strong pull on the inside of you because it’s time. It’s time for you to surrender your life to God and receive a new life from Jesus.
You know you’re not that good at managing your life anyways. It’s time to give Jesus the control of your life. It’s time to receive forgiveness and get your past washed away.
If that’s you, if you are ready to do that, I want you to say the following prayer out loud. And when you do, Jesus is going to wash you clean and give you new life. He’s going to fill you with joy, peace and purpose.
“Jesus, I’ve been living without you and I don’t want to do that anymore. I’ve done a lot of things wrong and I need your forgiveness. I accept Your love and grace for me and ask that You would be my Lord. Thank you for making me new. Thank you for washing away my past. I hand my life over to you and ask that you’d help me walk out your plan for my life.”