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Last week, we kicked off a new series called Detox. This series is very intentional because we are currently in a season where it’s time to get things back on track.
Summer tends to get us all in the place where we’ve kind of lost our focus because we’re out of routine and we’re traveling. And none of this is bad, but how many of you are ready to refocus now that summer is almost over?
Detox – Removal of toxic substances from a living organism.
When it comes to a detox, you might only think of your body. But the thing is, you are more than just a body. You are a spirit, soul and body.
Your spirit is the part of you that is born again when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. There’s no detoxing that needs to happen there, because your spirit was made perfect because of what Jesus did on the cross.
When it comes to your body, I probably don’t have to convince you that a detox would do it some good. We live in a toxic environment already and then we compound it by eating things that are toxic to our bodies.
Dr. Mark Sherwood will actually be here with us next week to talk about detoxing your body. This guy has an amazing calling on his life from God to help us take care of our bodies.
And I’ll be honest. You may not like what he has to say, but you will be thankful for it. So, don’t skip out next week. Put on your big boy undies and show up expecting to hear from God.
Today, I am going to show you how to detox your soul. We’re talking about your mind, your emotions and your attitudes. We talked about detoxing your mind last week. If you missed it, you can listen to it here.
Today, we are going to stay in that soul part of your being and dial in on the emotional and relational side of things.
Let’s start by revisiting the theme verse for this 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’re never 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 the world. 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.
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.
It’s funny. We all get that you shouldn’t bring unholy things into the church, like statues of other god’s, or foul language, or sexual immorality. But, if we’re outside of the church building, it’s okay.
Well, this verse blows that mindset to smithereens. God doesn’t live in this building. He lives in you. You are the temple of God.
So, the way you honor and respect a church building, you should have the same (if not more) honor and respect for your own body.
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.
In other words, God wants to be close to you. But in order for Him to be close, you have to give up your closeness with the world and its way of doing things.
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. 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.
This entire series is all about how to cleanse ourselves from the things that contaminate who God has created us to be.
Last week we talked about detoxing your mind. Today we are talking about detoxing your soul. How do you know if you need a soul detox?
Psalm 42:5 MSG – Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues?
Have you ever noticed how when the emotional part of you gets all messed up, it kind of messes up your whole life?
Well, I’m here to tell you that you can get your emotions lined up with your spirit, the part of you that is perfect and like God. And when you do, your life will be completely different. It will be so much better.
A true detox isn’t just about taking the wrong things out. You also need to put the right things in. So today, I am going to give you four things to take out and four things to put in for a soul detox. Here’s the first thing to take out:
Eliminate It: Unforgiveness
At the end of an awesome sermon about forgiveness, Pastor Rick asked all those who had forgiven their enemies to stand up. Everyone stood except a sweet and petite 98-year-old lady.
Shocked, the pastor asked the lady, “Are you refusing to forgive your enemies?”
“Oh no, dear,” the silver-haired woman replied, “I don’t have any enemies.”
The pastor was impressed and asked the lady to come up and share how she was able to live almost 100 years without having a single enemy.
She walked to the front with a big smile, picked up the mic and said, “It’s easy. I outlived all those suckers!”
The thing about this joke is it’s true for so many people. They live their entire lives in unforgiveness because someone said the wrong thing. Or, someone mistreated them when they were young.
Then you fall into the belief that holding on to the bitterness and rage is going to hurt the other person and get revenge. The only problem is, the other person has moved on and you are the only one polluted with unforgiveness.
“Unforgiveness is like setting yourself on fire and hoping the other person dies of smoke inhalation.” -Unknown
The Bible says it this way:
Hebrews 12:15 NLT – Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
Bitterness starts out as a toxic seed. And if you don’t get it taken care of, it grows up and causes you all kinds of problems.
Some of you have corruption in your life because you’ve allowed unforgiveness and bitterness to grow into full maturity. Yet, you don’t think it’s the problem.
Just like with our health, we often run to treat the symptoms and never take time to find the root of the problem.
You may think your life sucks because of your job, or because you don’t have enough money, or because your kids are driving you crazy. But the real problem is, you’ve held on to unforgiveness and it’s causing you all kinds of trouble.
You may remember a story last week I told you about Buck and how he got pulled over because he was drunk. Well, there was another time Buck was headed to hang out with the fellas.
When he got there, his friend noticed a big lump under his shirt and asked, “What’s going on with you man? What’s up with that lump?”
Buck said, “Well, I got dynamite under my shirt.” His friend said, “Why you got dynamite under your shirt?”
“Well, you know Frank? Well, every time he comes by he slaps my chest and breaks my cigar. This time, I’m going to blow his hand off.”
That’s exactly what you are doing when you carry around unforgiveness. You need to let it go!
And I know, it’s not fair. But trust me, we don’t even want to get into the discussion about what is fair and what we deserve. If we are going to live fair, we would be responsible for paying for our own sins. Anybody?
Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT – Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
The next time you think you can’t forgive someone, take a minute to remember everything that Jesus has forgiven you. I promise, just this one little thought process will give you the power you need to forgive.
So, do yourself a favor and forgive. Let them off the hook, and in the process, you’ll bring freedom and peace into your own life.
Eliminate It: Comparison
I find it interesting that we live in a culture that is me-focused and at the same time is overly concerned with what other people think.
We post pictures of ourselves on social media and then get our feelings hurt if no one leaves a nice comment.
Or, we blaze through the grocery story unaware of what is going on around us. We stand in the aisle not even realizing someone is trying to get by. But then we hide certain items in our cart because we’re afraid that other people will see it and make fun of us.
So, because we only care about ourselves, we want to make sure everyone likes us and approves of us. And this is toxic! Comparing yourself to those around you, especially on social media, will get you off track so fast you won’t even realize it.
James 3:14-16 NLT – But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.
Don’t you love how passive the Bible is about this subject? I just wish there were a little more clarity…
James 3:14-16 NLT – For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
Well, my goodness. Nobody ever told me that looking around and wondering what other people think and then being jealous of someone else’s life would be so detrimental to my life.
But I hope now you see how big of a deal this really is. We need to be intentional about stopping the comparison trap, which is exactly why one of our six core values is:
The comparison trap stops with me.
Instead of worrying about what other people think of you, find out what God thinks of you in His Word. Because that’s the only thing that matters!
It doesn’t matter if people like you, or agree with you, or think that you’re pretty. What matters is that you were given new life in Christ. He’s anointed you and gifted you for a specific purpose.
God loves you unconditionally. You are right with God, not because of what you did, but because of what Jesus did. You have been healed, set free, and God has a good plan for you life.
If social media has you in a constant state of comparison, get off of it! Delete the app on your phone and free yourself from the agony that comes as a result of falling into the comparison trap.
Eliminate It: Anger
Have you noticed that people out there are just angry. If you don’t believe me, go drive down highway 169 and pay attention to the looks on people’s faces.
Just a few months ago, I was driving down 169 headed north around the 21st street area. I hopped in the empty left lane to get around someone and pulled back into the middle lane after I got around them.
When I moved into the left lane, there was nobody in it. But in the ten seconds it took for me to get around other person, this car flew up behind me probably going 90 miles per hour.
I was already making my way back to the middle lane, so I may have been in their way for 2 seconds. And as they were flying by me, they were passionately waving thank you with just their middle finger.
The funniest part about this story is, they took the next exit. They were flying around me and everyone else to exit. Can someone explain that to me?
People with outward, loud anger are easy to spot. But, there’s another type of anger. Some people have turtle anger where they just stuff everything in. And you know what? This is just as dangerous as loud anger.
You may not be spewing out on people, but there are explosions going on inside of you. Even though you aren’t saying anything, we all know because we can feel it when you walk in the room.
If you look at the overall mindset of Americans, one of the top things is that everyone is upset. They’re upset about the economy. They’re upset about the government. They’re upset about schools. They’re upset that the waitress didn’t get their order right. Everyone is just upset.
The problem is, every time you allow yourself to get upset, you pollute not only your own life, but those around you as well.
James 4:1-2 NLT – What is causing the quarrels and fights among you?
Well, that’s an easy question. It’s him. It’s my wife. It’s my kids. It’s my boss.
Seriously though, if I asked you this question for real, your mind would immediately go to the people you think are responsible for making you upset. It’s never us, it’s always someone else.
Well, I’m a little nervous to tell you guys that the Bible actually answers this question with another question. Think you can handle the truth?
James 4:1-2 NLT – Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?
I hate to tell you, but it’s you. All the anger you deal with has nothing to do with what the other person did to you. It has everything to do with what is going on inside of you.
You know what I’ve noticed is the common denominator in all the fights I’ve been in? I was there.
So, what does this look like? What is going on inside of us that causes us to get angry? It’s spelled out in the very next verse:
James 4:1-2 NLT – You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.
In other words, you want something you don’t have. That’s where anger comes from!
You want your boss’s job, or at least their salary, so you get angry over nothing. You want some peace and quiet, so you get angry at your kids. You want your emotional needs fulfilled, so you get angry at your spouse.
So, what do we do when we want something but can’t get it? If we can’t blame someone else, what’s the answer?
James 4:1-2 NLT – Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.
Did you know that turmoil on the inside of you is not your spouse? It’s not the person who cut you off in traffic. It’s not even Washington D.C. Go figure that.
Your soul is toxic because of all those situations you didn’t take to God. Instead you tried to change the other person.
I’m going to help you with this. But first, let me give you one more toxin that we need to eliminate from our soul:
Eliminate It: Worry
How many of y’all find yourself worried? You’re worried about the economy, the weather, your kids, your job.
This is something I struggled with for a long time. I worried that I would die prematurely. I worried that there was something wrong with my heart. I worried that I would lose my job and wouldn’t be able to support my family.
And because I was so worried, I was always stressed out. So I did have health problems. It affected my ability to work because I had no energy left after all the worrying.
Isn’t it interesting that the things we worry about end up coming true? We think that worry is going to keep it from coming true, but turns out, worry just welcomes in all the things we are trying to keep out.
Jesus actually had something to say about worry:
Matthew 6:27 NLT – Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
This is a rhetorical question. Jesus is basically reminding us that worry adds absolutely nothing to our lives. It actually takes away.
You know what it takes to get rid of worry? A simple perspective shift.
If you think that this is the only life we get, then you have a reason to worry. But, if you change to an eternal perspective where you remind yourself that this life is a blip in the light of eternity, everything changes.
You don’t have to worry about death, because it’s not the end. It’s simply a transition to eternity. You don’t have to worry about financial provision, because you know the One who created the earth and owns eternity.
Shift your perspective from this life to eternity and all those worries are just going to melt away.
So, we’ve just talked about four toxins to eliminate: unforgiveness, comparison, anger and worry. And like I explained last week, detox is not just about getting the wrong things out but about putting the right things in.
So, let me give you four things to feed your soul.
When you hear a message like today, you may envision the solution being more quiet time with God. Like, you and God just need to sit down and talk about everything and talk about it some more.
And yes, you need to go directly to God with everything in your life: the good, the bad and the ugly. At the same time, God’s plan is for us to connect with each other and support each other along this journey to limitless life in Jesus.
You need people you can go to when you are about to blow up at someone. You need that person that will remind you why you don’t do that and will pray that God gives you peace and wisdom.
This is exactly why we have small groups, so you can find and develop those right relationships. We don’t have small groups because you need another church service, because you don’t. You need relationships.
And that’s why we don’t care if you gather because you all like cars, or you are all entrepreneurs, or because you all want to study the book of Romans. The topic isn’t why we gather, it’s simple a reason to get you to gather.
We gather in small groups because we need each other. We need close relationships with others so we can be open and honest when things aren’t going quite right in our lives. And we need someone to stand with us as we find freedom.
Do you have people in your life who you can be open and honest with? Do you have people who will talk you off the edge and encourage you to do the right thing? Do you have people who support you no matter what?
Well, this is exactly what you’ll find in our small groups. We just wrapped up our summer semester of small groups this week, but the fall semester will kick off in just a few weeks.
So when we start announcing the groups that are going to be available, you owe it to yourself to pick a group and commit yourself to it. Because you need these right relationships in your life.
You need to be around people who love God and love you unconditionally. This one thing alone will bring so much healing and peace to your life.
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. -Jim Rohn
The Bible says it this way:
Proverbs 13:20 NLT – Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.
Let me tell you, God made you. So, He is really the only one who can help you understand who you really are.
Your momma can’t tell you, your friends can’t tell you, Hollywood can’t tell you and the comments you receive on social media definitely can’t tell you. Only God can reveal who you really are and the great plan He has for your life.
Galatians 6:4 MSG – Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others.
Please don’t waste any more time trying to be something your not because someone else expects it of you.
Please stop trying to fit in to culture. And divert your energy into finding out who God created you to be and the work He has given you to do.
Because here’s the deal. If you don’t define yourself, there’s plenty of people that will do it for you. And you can’t let that happen because you’ll be unfulfilled and frustrated until you become who God created you to be.
You may be sitting there thinking, “Kade, all this sounds great. The problem is, I have no idea who God has created me to be and what He has called me to do.”
And you know what, you are not alone. We all start there. Which is why I am so excited to announce that in October we are going to be launching something we call the Growth Track.
It’s a four-week journey to discovering your purpose and learning how you can make a difference. Seriously, it just takes four weeks for that God-given purpose to come alive in you. And we’re going to guide you through the whole process.
Raise your hand if that is something you’re interested in. We’re preparing everything as we speak and you’ll have an opportunity to start the Growth Track in October. It’ll be here before you know it.
This is kind of a churchy word, so let me explain it to you. I’m not saying that you have to torture yourself every day. I’m not saying that you have to hang on a cross for an hour every day.
Living a crucified life is simply taking time every day to examine the things that are in your life that shouldn’t be there and putting them to death.
That’s what this whole series is about. We are examining the things that shouldn’t be in our lives and detoxing them, eliminating them, putting them to death.
Can I let you in on a little secret? There’s always going to be something. Like, don’t look at me and think I have it all together and never have to eliminate a toxin out of my life. You better know that I do.
Just last week, I was trying to be funny and ended up saying something hurtful to our small groups leader, Chris Wills. Afterwards, the Holy Spirit revealed it to me and I quickly put that fault to death and turned it around by encouraging Chris.
This stuff happens to me all the time. That’s why we have to live a crucified life, always looking for those contaminates and being sensitive to when the Holy Spirit reveals them to us, and eliminating them as quickly as possible.
Galatians 2:20 NLT – My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.
Alright, let me give you the last one. Before I give it to you, let me tell you something. This Earth does not have what it takes to make you happy.
As Americans, we live with an unrealistic expectation that as soon as we have more money or as soon as we can retire, we’ll be happy. But can I tell you something? The air conditioner will break down at your lake house too.
Your dream car will have the same problems as the car you have right now. And when you make more money, chances are, you’ll still be living paycheck-to-paycheck because you’ll just increase your expenses.
That perfect life that you’ve envisioned in your head, it will make you unhappy too. You could have the perfect marriage, the perfect kids, the perfect house and there would still be something that would make you unhappy.
And that’s why you need to nourish your soul with the last thing we are going to talk about. Because without it, you’ll never find yourself free from discontentment. Here it is:
You can’t make earth your home. You have to live with eternal perspective.
You don’t live once. You live twice. You have this life and then eternity. So don’t put everything you have into this life.
And never get stuck with the idea that this life doesn’t matter. Because what you do in this life will impact your eternity. Everything you do should be looked at through the lens of eternity.
So don’t be discouraged with what happens on this earth, because this isn’t your home. You are just passing through.
And while you are passing through, you have one responsibility. Live your earthly life in such a way that those around you find Jesus.
And when you’re focused on this because you have an eternal perspective, everything you need while on this earth will be provided for you supernaturally.
It’s God’s promise. Live your life for others, and God will take care of you. Live your life for others and you’ll find an unthinkable amount of joy and peace.
Colossians 3:1-2 NLT – Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
Right where you sit, I want you to ask the Holy Spirit to give you an eternal perspective. Ask Him to fill you with power and courage to live your life with an eternal perspective, focused on leading others to Jesus.
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.