We’re kicking off a new series today about detoxing. And you may have heard of a detox for your body, where you have to run to the bathroom every 20 minutes.
In this new series, we are going to touch on detoxing in every area of your life.
Detox – Removal of toxic substances from a living organism.
As you probably know, toxins have a way of coming in to more than just your body. Your emotions can get toxic. Your attitude can get toxic. So, this month, we are going to spend each week detoxing a specific part of who we are.
Now, some of you, when you think of detox, your mind goes straight to detoxing alcohol, or detoxing drugs. So let me tell you a redneck joke.
Buck had a little too much to drink and he was swerving all over the road. A police officer pulled him over and asked, “Have you been drinking?” Buck said, “Just water.”
The police officer replied, “Well, I smell wine!” And Buck said, “Oh my, the Lord’s done it again.”
So the police officer asked him to get out of the car and do a breathalyzer test. And Buck said, “I can’t do that. I have asthma and could die right here on the highway.”
The police officer said, “Okay, well we will just take you into the police station and do a blood test.” Buck said, “You can’t do that either. I’m a hemophiliac and could bleed to death.”
So he said, “Well you are just going to have to walk this straight line.” And Buck said, “I can’t do that.” The police officer asked, “Why?” Buck said, “Because I’m drunk.”
The truth is, most people only think of drugs, alcohol, or maybe even a nutritional detox when it comes to detoxing. And these are definitely important things to detox. But, we need to think much more broadly.
Here’s the theme verse for this new series:
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 NLT – Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?
You may have thought this verse means you are supposed to stay far away from all unbelievers and position yourself in a little church bubble. But, that’s not what it says at all.
After all, how are we going to reach those who don’t know Jesus if we aren’t ever there to reach them? That’s a whole nother message, but what is this verse actually saying?
Well, Paul is simply saying, “Don’t get too close to unbelievers. Keep a healthy separation between you and the world.”
You will need to be around them, yes. After all, we do live in the world. But, don’t team up with them. Don’t partner with them. Don’t live with them.
Because, what do the world and the Bible have in common? Nothing. They are on two different pages.
What is common between you and an unbeliever? Nothing. The way you see life is completely different.
Let’s keep reading:
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 NLT – What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.
Here’s the deal: God does not hang out in buildings. The church building is not holy – it is not God’s sanctuary. You are. You are holy. You are God’s sanctuary.
God doesn’t want to live in a building. He wants to live in you.
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 NLT – As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord.
God wants to be a major part of your life. But in order to experience a life where God is fully present, you have to separate from the ways of the world. You have to detox worldly ways.
So the question throughout this Detox series is:
What is in your life that shouldn’t be there?
We aren’t talking about whether you are going to heaven or not. You can’t earn salvation by what you do. It is a free gift by accepting and believing that Jesus died to pay for your sins past, present and future.
But the level that God is present in your life is up to you, based on how close you are to the world or how close you are to God.
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 NLT – Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
God has this deep desire to be your dad. Like a legit dad. The kind that supports you, loves you unconditionally and is always there for you regardless of your mistakes.
And to experience this kind of closeness with God is not complicated, it’s actually really simple. You turn away from the world and all its nonsense and you turn towards God.
Now watch how this continues into the next chapter:
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 NLT – Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.
So, this is what we are going to look at this month: how to purify ourselves from the things that contaminate who God has truly created us to be.
How do I know that you need this message? Because I need it too.
Today we are going to focus on a mind detox. You may have noticed the enemy likes to attack our mind because it is like the middle man between our spirit and this world.
And the enemy doesn’t want us to live according to the spirit because it is the part of that becomes clean and righteous when we accept what Jesus did for us.
The enemy can’t make your spirit dirty. Your spirit has been born again and is completely clean because of Jesus. So the only thing the enemy can do is try to block all that goodness from coming out by messing with your thought life.
How do you know when you need a mind detox? Let me show you:
Psalm 13:2 NIV – How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
If this is what your life looks like, if you are just sad on the inside, right in your gut, because of the way your life is going, it is the sign that a mind detox is in order. In other words, you need to come closer to God.
How many of you are struggling with, “I need to do this, but I want to do this. I shouldn’t do this, but I do it anyway.” No need to raise your hands, but just know that if you are in this wrestling match, today’s message is for you.
And if you feel bad about this wrestling match going on in your head, go read about the apostle Paul struggling with this very thing in Romans 7.
There we have the guy who wrote most of the New Testament and started all kinds of churches having this same wrestling match in his head.
So, you are not alone. The apostle Paul and even king David from the Psalm we read earlier struggled with this very thing. Actually, every person in this room has had a battle going on in their head at one point or another.
You can read about Paul’s struggle in Romans 7. But he doesn’t leave you hanging. He lets you in on how to solve the problem in Romans 8. Let’s take a look:
Romans 8:5-13 NLT – Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things,
Here’s the problem right here. They are thinking about the wrong stuff! They have their mind set on the things the sinful nature desires.
Romans 8:5-13 NLT – but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.
That’s exactly what I am going to help you with today.
Romans 8:5-13 NLT – So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
This is what I want all of you to have: life and peace.
Romans 8:5-13 NLT – Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.
I love the strong language here, how it says to put to death the deeds of your sinful nature. It makes it really clear, doesn’t it? No beating around that bush.
But what happens whenever something dies? Let’s say your pet dies. It’s hard to let them go, isn’t it? How about when someone close to you dies? It’s really hard to say goodbye.
When we choose to put our sinful nature to death, it seems crazy, but you are going to grieve the things you are letting go. You’re going to want to hold on to them.
So if you came to Jesus years ago and you’re wondering why that sinful nature is still around, well it’s not because Jesus didn’t take care of it. That sucker is dead. The problem is, you haven’t let go. You haven’t moved on.
So, I am going to help you. You don’t have to be a slave to sin. Jesus paid the price so that you could be free. Now it’s time to detox.
The most effective way to detox is to get rid of the contaminates and then replace them with proper nourishment. So, let me give you three things to take out and three things to put in.
And here’s the deal. I want you to test it and see if it works. You know why? Because you can see results in as little as 6 days.
By the time you get back next week, if you do these things, you’ll be able to share the difference it’s already made in your life.
So over the next 6 days, I want you to take out these three things and then replace them with three things. And when you do, you are going to experience such a difference in your life, you won’t want to go back.
A few times a year, I participate in a 14 day detox. You basically replace two meals with these special protein shakes and then you eat one meal per day from this small list of approved foods.
The first time I did this, as all the toxins were leaving my body, my back hurt, I had no energy and my head hurt from my slight addiction to caffeine.
By the third day, I was a bear. My attitude was in the tank, just ask Beth. All those toxins were making their way out of my body, and let me tell you, I was feeling it.
But on about day 6, my energy was coming back. And by the end of the 14 days, I felt like I could go climb mount Everest in my underwear.
And we are bringing in Dr. Mark Sherwood in a couple of weeks to talk about body detox, but today we are talking mind detox. So, let’s get into the three things you need to take out.
Starve It: Doubt
You may not even realize how much doubt has come into your life. You know what doubt is? When you believe what the world says instead of what God says.
You believe that you will always struggle financially when God’s Word clearly says you are called to prosper. You settle into your illness when God’s plan for you is to live whole and healthy.
And here’s how it plays out for me. Occasionally a thought pops into my mind that someone is going to break into my house and hurt my family. This could very well be a reality in this world – you hear all about it on the news!
But the truth in God’s Word is that He is protecting us. He wants us so protected that we don’t even stub our toe! And that is the truth that I remind myself to detox those contaminating thoughts.
Stop giving doubt the upper hand! Shake it off and dare to believe that what God says in His Word is true.
It may not look like it is true right now because of what is going on in your life. But shake off the doubt and choose to believe God’s Word. Because God’s reality is different than the world’s reality.
The reason your life looks different than what God has planned for you is because you’ve been living in the world’s reality!
Make a decision today to detox the doubt. Get that contamination out of your life. Here’s how you starve doubt:
I will trust what God says.
Sounds a lot like one of our core values, huh? We have six core values and one is, “We take God at His Word.” If it’s in the Bible, we don’t argue with it or try to dismiss it, we trust what God says. Check out this quote:
“If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.” -Augustine
Proverbs 3:5 NLT – Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
In other words, you aren’t as smart as you think you are. So, you better spend some time in the Word because you need it.
So, I am giving you three things to get out of your life for a mind detox. Doubt is the first thing to eliminate. Here’s the second:
Starve It: Negativity
When I say negativity, I’m talking about all those times we gripe about the weather. Or, we gripe about traffic or the long lines at the grocery store.
Or, we gather up in groups to gossip about everything that Kade is doing wrong at the church, or how you don’t like the songs Dillon picks for worship, or you don’t like how the coffee tastes today.
We can gripe about anything. But the problem is, every ounce of negativity moves you closer to the world and further from God. It may seem harmless, but imagine how much better your life would be without negativity.
I get emails from people telling my how stupid I am and how I am leading people astray through my online blog about running sound. And I’ll be honest, it hurts. And I will even start to believe it.
I start thinking things like, “Maybe I don’t know anything. Maybe I should just take the website down.”
And then I will get emails from people all over the world thanking me for making the resources available and how much it has helped their church have a better worship experience.
So, I could live my life according to the negativity of others. I could sit over in my corner and never do anything in fear of being criticized by others. But instead, I am going to choose to be confident in the things God has called me to do.
God has gifted and anointed me to teach others how to run sound. He has gifted and anointed me to lead this church.
You know how I know? Ephesians tells us that He gives us gifts to equip the church to do the good things He planned for us long ago.
So, like we just talked about, I remove the doubt with God’s Word and at the same time dismiss the negativity.
So how do we get the toxin of negativity out of our lives?
I will think what God thinks.
Isaiah 26:3 NLT – You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Who wants to live in perfect peace? I know I do. And for that to happen, you have to think what God thinks. But there’s one more step beyond that:
I will say what God says.
Ephesians 4:29 NLT – Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
If it’s not good or helpful, don’t say it! If God wouldn’t say it, don’t say it! Trust me, this will make your life more peaceful than you could ever imagine.
It may seem impossible. I get it. But can you give it a shot for the next 6 days to find out if it is worth it or not? Every time you start to say something negative, stop mid-sentence and say something positive instead.
Ask your spouse, ask your friends to call you on it. If you say something negative, tell them to pop you in the mouth like your mom used to.
Seriously, stop the negative thoughts and negative words for the next 6 days and come back next Sunday to let me know how much peace it’s brought into your life.
Starve It: Sin
When most of us hear the word sin, we immediately start to feel guilty. We get the idea that God is in the business of pointing His finger at you and pointing out all your faults.
What’s interesting is that if you dig into the original word translated to sin in the Bible, you find out that it means, “to miss the mark.”
So I want you to imagine you are at our annual guns and bows event. You pull out your awesome gun and walk up confidently for your turn to shoot. Not only is your gun impressive, but you are impressive and everyone should take notice.
You take your stance and glance back to make sure everyone is watching and then take your shot at the target… only you miss the mark.
You’re bummed because you know you can do better, so this time you spend a little more time aiming. And the next time you shoot, you hit the bulls eye.
This should be how we look at sin. When we discover sin in our life through revelation by God’s Word, we should simply see it as an opportunity to adjust our aim. We were just aiming at the wrong thing.
There’s no reason to be condemned. There’s no reason to waste time in regret. Simply take responsibility for the fact that you were wrong, turn your focus away from the sin and to the target and hit the bulls eye.
This is exactly why God’s solution for sin is to repent, which is another word that people don’t like because it makes them feel condemned. But get this, the word repent simply means to change your direction. Go the other way.
Is anyone having an a-ha moment about this?
The next time you are at church or reading God’s Word and you find out that something you’ve been doing is not God’s best for your life, don’t waste time in regret. Don’t waste time trying to talk yourself into thinking that you are right.
Simply say, “Thank you Lord for revealing this to me. I thank you for your forgiveness. I’m going to adjust my aim.”
And sometimes after you adjust your aim, you find yourself aimed at the wrong thing again. How many of you, this summer, have found yourself aimed at the wrong thing?
You’re not alone. And here is the antidote:
I will turn to what God wants.
It’s really that simple. You don’t have to do anything to make yourself right with God, Jesus did that. You don’t have to roll on the floor and bawl and cry to let God know that you’re sorry.
All He wants you to do is adjust your aim. Turn away from sin and turn to God.
Romans 6:13 NLT – Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God.
We just talked about three things you need to take out: doubt, negativity and sin. But a real detox isn’t just about taking the wrong things out, but it’s about putting the right things in.
So let me give you three things to feed your mind.
Feed It: God’s Word
One of our core values here at NoLimits, like we touched on earlier, is “We take God at His Word.” In other words, if we read something in the Bible that goes against our personal belief system or goes against our culture, we adjust our aim to what the Word says.
It doesn’t matter how strong of an argument you can make. And you will probably even have the world to back you up in your argument. But if it doesn’t line up with God’s Word, it’s not truth. Period. End of story.
This is why we have to feed our spirit God’s Word. Because the Bible is not a book written by men, it’s a book written by God. The men we give credit for writing the actual words on paper were simply the pen holders.
When you read the Bible, you better know that it is God speaking to you. And there is life and power in every single chapter and verse of the Bible.
And when our culture is screaming what they believe is the truth, yet it doesn’t line up with the Bible, guess who’s right? The one who’s the loudest? The one who comes up with the most clever argument? Or, God?
Now, I want you to set aside that part of you that likes to be offended and listen to me for a minute. I am about to talk to you about something that most churches right now won’t even acknowledge.
Right now, the world around us is screaming that it’s okay to sleep with who you want. It doesn’t matter if its a man or a woman, your spouse or someone else’s spouse. It doesn’t matter if you do it before you get married. Just do what makes you happy.
Can I tell you something? This is the biggest bunch of bull we’ve believed in a long time. Hear me out on this.
There’s not one sin greater than the other in God’s eyes. It’s all the same and Jesus has forgiven all of it. As a matter of fact, if you’ve accepted Jesus as your savior, you’re forgiven. And you can’t earn His forgiveness. It’s a gift!
But after you receive Jesus, He has a deep desire for you to follow God’s Word. Not to earn or keep your salvation, but so that you can have the amazing life God planned for you before you were even born.
And although all sin is the same and all of it is under the blood of Jesus, there is some sin that has worse consequences than others on this earth. Sexual sin is right there at the top when it comes to the severity of consequences.
What’s interesting about everything that is going on right now is that I don’t even have to pull the Bible into this discussion to show you that men having sexual relationships with men, and women with women is not right.
All we have to do is look at our physical bodies to see that it doesn’t work. It’s incompatible!
Yet, our culture, especially the media, is really good at making lies sound like the truth. Somehow they get us all to believe that it’s a human right to do what you want to do with your body.
And that’s why we need the Word of God. Without it, we will believe these lies. Take a look at this:
Ephesians 4:17-19 NLT – With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
When you agree with the world, this is what you are agreeing with. People who are confused. People whose minds are full of darkness. People who have taken a strong stance against God.
As God’s people, we are given further clarification in the very next chapter:
Ephesians 5:3 NLT – Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.
If you are wondering what is considered “sexual immorality”, you can study it in the Old Testament and the New Testament. But in a nutshell, sex is designed to be between one man and one woman who have committed themselves to each other in marriage.
As soon as you step outside of those boundaries, you open yourself to the consequences of that sin.
You don’t lose your forgiveness. Jesus isn’t mad at you. I’m not mad at you. But it is extremely beneficial for you re-aim and live your life according to God’s Word. Because that is the only way to live your best life.
Psalm 1:1-2 GNT – Happy are those who reject the advice of evil people… Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord, and they study it day and night.
Here’s what this means to me. I don’t watch the news because I don’t know one network that’s taking the world’s problems and giving us advice from God’s Word. I’m very careful about what I watch on TV and what movies I watch.
So, that’s how I reject the advice of evil people. And then I welcome in God’s Word by preparing messages for church, listening to other pastors online, and reading God’s Word on a regular basis.
And if I’m honest, I am not to the “study day and night” place yet. But I want to be. Because I know that the more I focus on the Word of God, the better my life is and the greater impact my life has on those around me.
So, we are going to feed our spirit God’s Word so we can stand on the truth when our culture is trying to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Here’s the second thing to feed your mind:
Feed It: Worship
You guys might think I am crazy for this, but I never listen to secular music. And I haven’t for at least the past 12 years.
And although I don’t listen to music very often these days, because trust me, when you have three kids three and under talking and making noise non-stop, when you get you get in the car by yourself, you sit in the quiet all the way there.
Beth and I actually drove to Dallas a few weeks ago, just me and her. And guess what? We sat in the quiet the whole way there.
But when I do listen to music, I listen to worship music and nothing else. Why? Because I don’t want the influence of the world in my ears.
And I am sure there’s Bible-believing christians out there that write non-worship music that is okay to listen to. I just don’t have time to vet it out.
I’m not trying to make new rule here. I’m not saying that you have to do what I am doing. But I can tell you that this choice is one of the keys to the peace and joy that I experience every day.
And I want to challenge you to just try it for the next six days. Don’t listen to anything but worship music and just see if it works for you.
You’ll probably go through withdrawal not listening to your favorite song, but you can do it for six days. We’re not making a new rule here. I just want you to try it and see if it makes a positive impact in your life.
And actually I can go ahead and prophesy what is going to happen, because I found it in the Bible:
Philippians 4:8-9 NLT – Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise…. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Shutting out the world and bringing God close through worship brings peace. And that is something we all need.
Here’s the third thing to feed your mind:
Feed It: Prayer
Can I be honest with you guys? This one is a struggle for me.
I know people who must have a spiritual gift of prayer. You know who I’m talking about. Like when you are going around a circle and everyone gets to pray, these are the people that just keep going.
Everyone had their eyes closed at first, but now everyone is peeking to see if they are going to finish up.
These are the people that say things like, “Oh, I woke up last night with a burden to pray and prayed for two hours before I was able to go back to sleep.”
My response to these people is, “Wow! That’s awesome.” But in my head I’m thinking, “What you going to say for two hours? I run out words after two minutes!”
Even though prayer is not a natural tendency to me, it’s not something that I gravitate towards, I’m always blown away by what happens when I intentionally choose to dedicate myself to prayer.
This last January we did our first ever 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting together as a church. And it’s not just the first time I’ve done it with a church, it’s the first time I’ve ever woken up early 21 days in a row to pray.
And, oh my gosh. It’s the most treasured time I’ve spent with the Lord throughout my entire Christian walk.
I prayed, of course. The Holy Spirit gave me vision and direction. I cried. I received healing from some things in my past I had been holding on to.
But not every day during the 21 days was dramatic. Some of those were just a casual conversation with God where I didn’t feel anything. But I never regretted getting up early to be a part of this 21 days.
That’s why I’m so excited to tell you guys that today kicks off another round of 21 Days of Prayer. We’re not going to fast this time – we’ll save that for January. But I do what you to join us in 21 Days of Prayer.
This is something we do alongside Church of the Highlands in Alabama. And to help give you just a little bit of structure to your prayer time each day, they live stream a prayer service at 6:00am Mon-Fri throughout the 21 days.
You don’t have to watch it at 6am because they leave the recording up for 24 hours afterwards, but I do recommend picking a specific time that you will watch this service every day.
It starts with a song, they give you some direction for prayer, then they lead us in worship before setting you off in personal prayer time. It’s really a great structure and a great way to keep you going.
I don’t know about you, but I need this structure and accountability to keep me going throughout the 21 days. Otherwise, I might just pray for 2 minutes and count it as good enough.
Now I want you to go ahead and nudge your neighbor and tell them, “We going to do this.”
Now, pull out your phone because I want you to make a commitment to join us in 21 Days of Prayer by texting the word PRAYER to 918-373-9883.
I’ll text you a link to the prayer service every day, starting tomorrow. It will be a great reminder and a great way to help us all stay on track.
Is Jesus tugging on your heart?
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 you are ready to do that, 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.