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Levi Lusko - The Gentle Nudge That Could Save Your Life

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Before we jump in, I do want to say hello to podcast audience. Let me segment that. Let me segment that off. I always greet locations and church online. But someone told me this week, they said, you always say hello to people watching church online, which is during worship experiences where we have worship on there, and hosts on there chatting, and all that. That happens at And there's a schedule that's always on there, when those are happening. And they said, you always greet those. And you always greet the locations. They go, but you don't very regularly greet the podcast audience. And I always take a walk and listen. And so you know what I want to say, hi. If you're listening to this on the podcast or watching this — hi from us at Fresh Life. We're glad. We don't always remember to say hi specifically, but hi. And we're glad that you're here.

One of the most traumatic moments of my childhood, it's a long list. How long do you have? One of the most traumatic moments of my childhood was on a vacation, where I was sleeping in the basement on a bunk bed. I'm one of five kids. And so it was like always the big deal if, you know, top bunk's a big deal. And this vacation house, you know, there's different rooms, and kind of scary, and picked your spots. Well, on this particular night, I had got that top bunk. I had that. And it was a basement. And it was high, and it was dangerous. And I was in fifth grade, and I was ready for it, maybe fourth grade. I might even have been a little younger than that. But I remember vividly everything about that night, because I fell out of that bunk bed in my sleep, breaking my arm and my nose. There was no guardrail. And like I said, it was in the basement. And so all that was protecting me from hitting a slab of concrete that this structure was built on was a very thin layer of carpeting. And at some point in the night, I rolled over as I do, usually 60 to 70 times per night.

Some people are saying, are you sleeping on your side, do you sleep on your back, do you sleep on your stomach? My answer is yes, but none of them for very long. But always with my arm under my wife's pillow right as I'm falling asleep, which she loves. She knows when I'm really falling asleep, when my arm goes under her pillow. And she's like, oh, my head got lifted. Any married people feel the struggle of any of that that I'm talking about? No? OK, all right. We're weird. It's OK. So TMI, my wife says. So I rolled over at some point and crashed to the ground, breaking my nose, breaking my arm and woke up crying. And no one heard me, because I was in the basement. And so well, I remember, when my family finally found me, I was halfway up the stairs in a pool of blood, sleeping, as they tell the story. Because apparently, when they didn't hear me crying out to them in the dark from the basement, I began crawling as best as you can crawl with a broken arm, and a broken nose, and blood streaming down your face, up the stairs with a trail of blood. We checked out that thing. Whoever came in probably thought someone had been murdered in that basement. That's where they died. This is where the body was dragged. But it stopped halfway up the stairs, so they probably assumed that's where they zipped the body into a duffel bag.

So we did not get the deposit back, is the moral, no, I'm joking. But the point is that there wasn't anything to wake me up. There was no guardrail. So there was nothing to stop me from falling. But there was nothing there to wake me up in those crucial, critical moments as I was turning towards the edge, moving towards the edge, and then eventually hitting that point of no return, where I fell. Sadly, for me, and my broken arm and broken nose, there was nothing to help me on that night, wake me up. No alarm to go off. But fortunately for us, there is, when it comes to our souls. And that's exactly what we find in Ephesians chapter 5. We're making our home the book of Ephesians as a church.

If you're just coming in now, we've encouraged everybody to read some portion of Ephesians throughout every day of the four weeks of this series. And if you're watching this down the road later on, four messages in a row, you could get some people together and read a little bit of Ephesians every day and join the fun. In the first half, we said he talks all about how amazing it is to follow Jesus. And then in the second half of the book, he talks about what that looks like, when you understand how amazing it is, all that's happened as a follower of Christ, then you begin to change things in your life as a natural outflow of the blessings. It's the blessings that changes the behavior. It's not the behavior that gets the blessings. God gives his best. And then we go, what, you're going to give me all this? What have I got to do? Nothing. And that makes you want to change, the fact that you don't have to do anything to have God love you. His love comes with no conditions. And it's really that good.

So that's what Paul is talking about. But we're camping out in just a small section, verses 14 to 21, of chapter 5. Why? Well, because we're talking about sleeping, and we're talking about in our sleep doing something dangerous. We're talking about the need to be wakened, the need to be shook, the need to have someone say, no! The need to have someone say, there's no barrier here. You're going to fall. This is going to be terrible. Someone needs to say, you're going to have a crooked nose the rest of your life if you fall and pray for me. This is cheaper than counseling. OK, so here's what we find. This is Ephesians 5. It says this, awake. Look at it. Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light. See then that you walk or as we're kind of comparing to, see that you drive. Walking was the driving of the ancient world. That's how they got around. We get around in cars most of the time.

See then that you walk circumspectly. That means super carefully. That means pay attention to where you're going. Not as fools. Fools just go wherever they want to go. They don't think about it. They don't play out what's going to happen if I do this. But be wise, redeeming the time. Why? Because man, the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And don't be drunk with wine, we're going to talk about that in the series, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit. What does that look like? Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.

Jesus, please speak to us. Thank you so much for the blessing it is to know you, and how that changes our lives, and how we're all in that process. We ask that what needs to be fixed, what needs to be tweaked, what needs to be shifted, we would have ears to hear you speaking to us. And we also ask that if anyone listening to this has never experienced your love in a powerful way, they would send to you, even right now, just showering your love upon them. We are asking for the impossible and the miraculous, for dead people to rise up in faith by your grace and have everything changed in their life. We ask this in Jesus' name.

The series is called Rumble Strip. And we're talking about those little lines on the highway that go, de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de when you drive over them. And they're there to do one thing. They have one function. They have one job in life, why they get up in the morning, their mission statement, their purpose statement. It's this. It's to tell you, yo, you are moving in the wrong direction. When you drive over rumble strips and you hear that, and when you feel that, and that's how they work. They both work through a tactile and an audible cue. You can hear it, and you can feel it. They're telling you, you're moving in the wrong direction. Don't keep going this way. I've experienced them, you've experienced them, on the outside of roads, on the shoulder of roads. But we've also experienced them on the internal side of the road, in the median, in the center of a road.

There's a need for them in both occasions. It's probably more common to experiencing them on the shoulder. But we also need them in the center, inside and outside, internal rumble strips, external rumble strips. Why are they so important? Because the best protection is early detection. It's awesome that the doctor set my bone, put me in a cast. It's amazing they stuffed gauze up my nose. That's fantastic. But how much better would it have been if I could have just been shook and told, you know, maybe you need the bottom bunk, pal. You know what I'm saying? You're a wild sleeper. What was I doing on the top bunk with no guardrail? That is no place for me. I was in a place where I was moving towards danger. It's far better to have that early detection than it is to fix the damage afterwards. What do we need? We need advanced notification of imminent devastation. Why is that so important, we would say.

Well, look back in your life. Think about the things that you regret. Don't you wish you could have had notification? Don't you wish you would have known to not do those things? Well, now play that out in the future. We're going to ask God to put those rumble strips in place and ask ourselves to listen to him when he speaks, so we can do that. Next week, we're going to be talking about the external rumble strips, the ones on the outside. But this week, we're going to talk about the internal ones. And trust me when I say this, you're going to want to come back next week. And then in the final week of the series, we're going to talk about what's going to help us, what's going to guide us, to stay in between those lines. We're going to lay out one, we're going to lay out the other. And we're going to talk about what's going to help us keep going straight in the middle towards where we want to go. That's a little outline there. I want to talk to you about the internal rumble strip this week. And I'm speaking specifically about your conscience. Your conscience. The title from my message, if you'd like to jot things down, is this, "The Gentle Nudge That Could Save Your Life".

So there's that. The gentle nudge, internal, your conscience, that could save your life. When we talk about a conscience, what are we talking about? Well, we're talking about, first of all, something that's built into all of us, built into all of us. You've felt it. I've felt it. We've all at some point felt just the unmistakable sensation that what I'm about to do, I shouldn't do that. You should not do that. You feel it right there. You feel it, you feel it. Deep down, you feel it. It's no, no, no, no, no. It's ehn, ehn, ehn, ehn. It's brh, brh, brh, brh, brh. It's anh, anh, anh, anh anh, anh, anh, anh, anh. You feel it. You feel it. And you're looking around, does anybody else here that? Does anybody else hear that? Yes, we all do, but different ways at different times. What is your conscience? Your conscience is something hardwired into you that is built into all of us.

In Romans chapter 2, an amazing passage, the early part of Romans, another letter that Paul wrote as well, he talks about conscience. And he actually points to conscience, the fact that it's universally felt by people as evidence for the existence of God. He makes a case that there is a God based on conscience. You think about what we can know of God. We can, of course, know that there is a God because of the fact that this creation is beautiful. He makes that case. He makes the case that we all feel when we look at the sunset. We all feel when we watch clouds in the distance dump out rain and lightning bolts shoot out of them. If you've ever experienced that, even on a computer screen, even on a Nat Geo program, the way you feel inside when you see it, the way you get swept away. And right there in your soul, God says, that was me.

And Paul makes the case that there's proof for the existence of God based on that, that in our hearts, we have to lie to ourselves to say that there is not something that made that, there's not Intentionality to that, there's not beauty to that. Right there in our hearts, we're like, that's not an accident. That is not a fluke. That is beautiful. That is a painting. There's a painter. There's brush strokes. There's fingerprints. There's little hair left from where the brush went by. And we sense God's brush strokes on our soul when we look at the beauty of creation. But then he also says, we also know there is a God deep down in our guts, when we come to an impasse between right and wrong. Animals don't equivocate like that. Animals don't go back and forth. You're not going to catch your dog with his paws, it's like, ah, in turmoil, I know I shouldn't do that, but I did. I feel terrible about it.

My wife made me the most amazing breakfast the other day, avocado toast with the sea salt on it, oh my, the big flakes of the salt, you can't just put table salt on it. I'm just speaking to any restaurants out there that are offering avocado toast, but it's a bad one. It's a false avocado toast. Because, like, avocado toast, and just avocados on bread. No, no, no. There's an art to it. There's a science to it. And it has to definitely involve the big salt. Anyhow, she made me this avocado toast with scrambled eggs. And she comes in, I'm making myself hungry preaching this message, she sets it down. I'm like, thank you, give her a kiss, look her in the eyes for a minute, went to do something else. Tabasco gets on, that's not the seasoning, it's my dog. When Tabasco gets on your breakfast, it's usually good. In my case, it was a problem. Tabasco ate the entire thing. All that was left was the bread. The eggs were gone. The avocado was gone. The sea salt was gone. And so I killed him. No, I'm joking. I'm joking. But I did think about it, just really briefly. I offended all the dog lovers. I offended all the dog lovers.

But we feel what animals don't feel. A lion takes over a pride of lions, what's the first thing they do? They eat all the lion cubs, every single one, on the spot. And we're appalled by that, but lions aren't. Lions aren't. I mean, animals don't have that conscience thing that God gave to us. So Paul says, you know there is a God, because look at beauty. You know there's a God because look how you feel. You feel, anh, anh, anh, anh, anh. You feel anh, anh, anh, anh, anh. You feel de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de, de. So Romans 2, as he makes his case, look at one of the things he says. I love this. He talks about the baked-in sensation of conscience. He talks about how it's not something alien imposed on us from without, meaning you don't have it pushed into you from the outside. But this is woven into the very fabric of our creation.

Look at that. There's something deep within, echoing God's yes and his no, his right and his wrong. God is to be worshiped above all other things. People are to be treated with the same value and love you'd want to show yourself. We sense right. We sense wrong. Taking life, taking something that doesn't belong to us, telling a lie, there's something inside of our souls that goes mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, mm. It's built into us all. It's the first thing that we need to understand about the conscience. The second thing is that it's, generally speaking, a quiet voice that's the conscience. This rumble strip of the internal conscience, it's a quiet one.

I like how it's put in the book of 1 Kings when we read this, when Elijah encountered the voice of God, it was a gentle quiet whisper, as distinct from thunder, as distinct from a volcano erupting, as distinct from a wind blasting by, or an earthquake. No, no. This is something within. We all feel it, and it often comes in a still, small voice, or as I put it, as this gentle nudge that could save your life. What is the conscience? It's something we all have. It's something that is quiet. Thirdly, it's something trying to hold you back from danger. Now don't miss the last two words, because that changes everything. Because how it feels in the moment, can we be honest, is my conscience feels like it's holding me back. Holding me back. I want to do that business deal. I don't care that every alarm bell is going off in my head. I don't care that I realize these people are not the kind of people you should be in business with. But it feels like I could make money in this.

It feels so good. I feel the pressure of this party. I feel the pressure of this moment, of what everyone's doing. I feel myself surging towards this. But when I feel that anh, anh, anh, anh, anh, and you want to say shut up to Jiminy Cricket, what is that? That is you feeling like your conscience is trying to hold you back, and it is, but finish it, from danger. It's trying to hold you back from danger. It's trying to hold you back from danger. It's trying to hold me, you don't want me to have any fun, you're so restrictive, God, he's trying to hold you back. Yes, yes, he is. He has no shame in that. And that's why he put that conscience in you. It's not a cricket or a grasshopper. It's the signature of God on your soul. And he does want to hold you back: from danger, from an early grave, from a prison cell. He wants to hold you back from just doing whatever feels good in your diet and ending up struggling with obesity, doing whatever you feel like with your finances, which leads to insolvency. We do whatever it feels like when it comes to drinking, which looks like cirrhosis of the liver. Doing whatever it feels like when it comes to who you roll with, which leads to what? Problems and difficulties down the road.

So here's the thing. When we feel that, it's like, but that's just trying to keep me from danger. It's trying to keep me back, even if I don't see it, even if I don't feel it, even if there's consequences from honoring the conscience and not honoring how I feel in the moment, I believe, God, that you have my best good in mind. What's the conscience? It's something we all have. It's something that's quiet. It's something that is trying to keep us back and is trying to keep us back from danger. And that's why it's foolish to silence your conscience, foolish. And that's what the text says in verse 15, walk circumspectly, heed the wake up calls, not as fools. What do foolish people do? What I do sometimes when I'm in the passenger seat of a car, and I know it's a really short drive, and I hear bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, and I'm irritated and frustrated because I know I'm going a short distance and I don't want to put my seatbelt on.

And so I go, you stupid car, just shut up. Oh, this thing's so stupid. Oh, it's so stupid. And I'm thinking to myself, I go, this car is trying to save my life. And I'm so dumb that I'm irritated by something that's trying to help me. Am I the only one? Am I the only one? And I just wonder how many of us have been so foolish that we are attacking our own bodyguard. We're attacking someone who's been sent to help us. Your conscience is in your corner. God put that inside of you to further you, to bless you, to cause you to prosper. So we would fight against that our own detriment. And that's what we see in these verses. We see the loving hand of God trying to help us. Whenever he says don't, what does he mean? Don't hurt yourself. Finish his sentence for him, don't, aw, killjoy. No, no. Not killjoy. Real joy. He's bringing you to real joy. He's not a killjoy. He's trying to get you to real joy, not just happiness for a minute, not just a couple good years, not just a lot of fun on a Friday night after you swipe right. No, he's got real joy in my life and life everlasting.

You don't trust Him? He died on the cross to save you. I think the matter of his love is settled. Can't we go with him? Can't we believe that he sees something we don't see? Why did he light your conscience up? Because he wants to hold you back from danger. I like what one modern translation says in Romans 2. It says, if you go against the grain, you're going to get splinters. God's put a grain into this universe. And we all think we know better. And when we go against that grain, we end up with splinters. Why? Because we went against the grain. And we are here, well, it's not my truth. You can have whatever truth you want. That's fine. But the truth is whatever God put into this universe, the grain that he put in. And when we go against that, He's given us permission to live whatever we want to live. But when we do that and we end up with splinters, it's for a reason, we went against the grain that God put in.

So now that we have that foundation laid, like, what is a conscience? A conscience is something we all have. It's something that's quiet. And it's something that's trying to keep us back from danger. Let's now take this a little bit further and talk about three reasons why we should listen to that conscience. Sound good? Number one, because the more you ignore it, the harder it is to hear it. Whooh. That's intense. The more you ignore it, the quieter it gets. I was in a dentist's office one time. All my stories involve broken bones and broken teeth. I don't know what to say. But I was in a dentist's office, and they were putting a, I have a fake tooth, this one right here, and it's made out of porcelain, and at this point, I was getting some other version of that tooth on there. If you're like, how did you lose your tooth?

I wrote about it in my books, so you can check it out, product placement. So they're available at every Fresh Life location. So when that tooth got knocked out, they were putting this new one on. And I remember seeing a sign on the wall that I'll never be able to stop seeing. And it said this, ignore your teeth and they'll go away. Man, I just found a new desire to floss, just right then and there. I just found it. I was like, I hate flossing. I was like, I will floss every day. I will floss every day. Ignore your teeth, they'll go away. It's kind of like that when it comes to the conviction. The better you get at ignoring it, the quieter, it already starts out as a whisper. It just gets fainter, and fainter, and fainter. Look, I'm going to need a verse for that. Here you go. It says in 1 Timothy that through hypocrisy, what's that? Pretending like you're not what you are or you are what you aren't.

And so when we clearly hear God's voice but we choose to act and live as though we don't realize that, we're living a lie. And the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared. Your conscience can get seared. We all have one, but it can get cauterized, is the point. Cauterized, meaning you don't have feeling anymore. You don't feel it anymore. So we can live in such a way where one thing leads to another. And that's the story of rumble strips. The problem with rumble strips isn't, oh, you drove on a rumble strip, naughty you. The rumble strip leads to the shoulder, the shoulder leads to the guardrail, the guardrail leads to the cliff. The rumble strip leads to the double yellow, which leads to head-on collision, which leads to cross on the side of the freeway.

The problem with ignoring the voice is that one thing leads to another thing, leads to another thing, leads to another thing. And when we think in a moment, I can handle this, yes, you can. You can handle this. But the devil doesn't play checkers, he plays chess. He's thinking six moves down the road. He's thinking, I can get him here, I can get him there, I can get him over here. I'm going to get him there, to checkmate, to in the casket, to the jail door slamming shut, to the gavel slamming down. He's thinking bigger picture, like you should be, like I should be. So that's the first thing that I think is reason enough for us all to want to listen to our consciences. Now listen. Just pause right here. You don't have to be a Jesus follower for this to make your life better.

So I'm telling you, if you haven't made the decision to follow, put some of this stuff into practice, and you'll see the positive impact in your life just from this right here. There's reasons to follow Jesus, and I think on the journey as you keep leaning into that, you'll watch God move in your life in ways you can't imagine. But this is stuff you can apply right now, even if you're not on that journey yet of following Jesus. Second thing you need to know is this. The more you respond to it, the more you'll anticipate it. The more you respond when you do, so you don't ignore it, and leads to another thing, leads to another thing, leads to another thing. Instead you say, OK, this sucks. And I want to do this thing, but I'm not going to do it, God's rumble in me. And by the way, a lot of times he rumbles us through an absence of peace. As you're walking with Jesus, you'll sense peace. You'll sense that Shalom. You'll sense that. And what happens is you start to move somewhere and you feel that peace drifting out.

That's why Paul, in the book of Colossians, he said this, let the peace of God be the umpire of your heart, calling fair from foul. So as we make decisions and do things, we can sense, if we're walking with him, peace. And when we sense that lack of peace, we know we're moving, not hotter, we're moving colder, colder, colder, colder. And so as we're doing that and we do respond and it doesn't matter how it feels because he's God, and he made the whole universe, and I'm not in charge. And so he put the rumble in, he put the world in, he breathed the stars out. So I'm just going to jump when he says jump and trust that he sees what I don't see. So as we live that way, the more you do it, the better you're going to get at responding to it. Why? Because you'll start to recognize patterns. And that's wisdom. A lot of wisdom is patterns.

And that's why I look in the text one more time. We're not supposed to be fools. What are we supposed to be? Wise. We're supposed to be wise. Wise people spot patterns, so as in the stock market, patterns. Being good at surfing, it's patterns of the swell, patterns on the tennis court, patterns, pattern. Patterns on the basketball court. Patterns. We're noticing patterns. We're noticing trends. Wise people spot patterns. What are the patterns of the things that rumble? If you respond to it, and then you go, oh, I'm glad I responded to that. And eventually you see why. Eventually you realize why. Eventually you go, oh, man, I'm so glad I didn't do that. I really thought that she was the one. I really thought that was supposed to be. That was the jam, right? I really thought that that Abercrombie and Fitch tattoo would be a good decision. Down the road, you're like, thank you, Jesus.

Someone asked me, why did you start getting tattoos only in your 30s? I said, because I didn't know what the heck I was doing. By the time you're in your '30s, at least you figured some stuff out a little bit. I shudder to think of what I would have tattooed onto my body at 17. You know what I mean? And so we grow into ourselves a little bit. And so as you look back and you have some of those moments where you go, wow, I'm glad I didn't do that. Whoo, I'f I'd have burned through that light, man, there was a semi coming. Man, you have those Back to the Future moments, where you, oh, wow. Some of you have no idea what I'm talking about. Ask your parents. And then what happens? Now you're starting to anticipate them. And listen, the more you respond to the rumbling, here's what's going to happen, eventually, the less you're going to experience rumbling. Because you're anticipating things before you get to them. You're moving. You're leaning into curves of roads. You're sensing the flow. And what happens is as you anticipate these things, you do what the book of Proverbs says.

Look at this, the prudent person foresees, he sees in advance, danger and takes the proper precautions. The simpleton, dum, dum, dum, dum dum, just goes on blindly and suffers the consequences. So that's what Paul talked about, about not falling for the devil's tricks, like as though we could figure out his playbook. Yeah. He's got a couple, and he doesn't mix it up very often. Why? Well, when the fish are biting, you don't switch your bait out. He would come up with new tricks to mess us all up if we didn't keep just going, that's a shiny hook. I think I'll eat that. There not even bait on it. It's just shiny. Huh, money? Oh, sex? Oh, power? And the demons are like, why don't you put a worm on it? He's like, because these idiot fish just keep biting on the hook. Maybe that'll make me happy. We should be spotting patterns.

I think about when I was a little kid and we had Super Mario Bros. It was the only video game in our life was this one video game. And so when we came home from school, we played Super Mario Bros. You know, and you think about just all the overwhelming options today, so many things. But now we're more bored than ever, you know. But it was like one game system. How many hundreds of hours I spent playing Super Mario Bros., right? Eventually we would walk to Circle K, which was a gas station where I lived, and we would play Mortal Kombat with quarters. But "your soul is mine". That eventually would come. Get over here. I liked being Raiden. I liked being Scorpion. I liked being Sub-Zero. I could think about the combinations right now, how to freeze people. The reptile guy would spit at... who am I preaching to? You guys aren't giving me nothing. But I wish you would come alive a little bit.

I'm talking Mortal Kombat. But I played Super Mario Bros. 1 the other day and I found myself, without even thinking about it, flying through it. Because I recognized the patterns. This is where I need to jump. This is where I need to wait for the flower to come up. This is where I'm going to get the mushroom. This is where I'm going to break through the ceiling, run across the top, and get to the super warp level where I can get to 6, 7, 8, right? You know what I'm talking about? So there's patterns. There's patterns to life. And the better we are responding to God's voice, the less he's going to have to rumble us because we're spotting the patterns. We're knowing the danger zones. We're going to get into a groove with it. We're going to see it coming. And we're not going to put ourselves in places where we shouldn't be, where he's going to have to come in with the rumbling because I know myself. I'm not going to put myself there.

I think about this great advice given in the book of Proverbs. You know, this young man is being told, hey, you're going to want to date this girl. She's a loose girl. You're friends are going to want to hook up with her. And same could be said: girls, you could go with that guy, but don't do it. And don't date her, because it's going to end this way. Here's what's going to happen. She's going to be amazing. Here's what's going to happen. You're going to give yourself away, give you heart away. He's going to be, you're going to, and let me just play it out for you. Here's how it ends up, with regret. Here's how it ends up, with heartache with that decision. And then he says, so don't date that girl. Spiritful advice, right? So don't data that guy. Some of you are like, you just heard the message God brought you to church to hear this week.

But then I love this. And then he says this. And this is the person who's learned a little bit of wisdom and spotted the patterns. He says at the end of it, in verse 8, he says, but don't even go near the door of her house. It's awesome. Don't date that girl. Yep, for sure. But also remove your way from her, meaning if you're not going to date her, don't just be showing up around her to hang out with her. The person who's trying to eat low carb shouldn't just be hanging out at Krispy Kreme because I like their coffee. Like, don't go there and eat the doughnuts. I get it. But how about also, find another place to get your coffee, you see what I'm saying, because we're noticing the patterns, and we know ourselves. And why put yourself in a place, that's what's going to happen as you lean into your conscience, it gets quieter when you, no, it actually gets louder when you're listening to it, responsive to it.

And then here's the beautiful. Here's the payoff. Here's the end. Here's the crescendo. The easier it is to lead you, the more places there are you can be taken to. That's good. The horses that are not surefooted, the horses that are stubborn, the horses that are wild crackers, you never know what they're going to do when you get on them. They stay in the pen. They might get ridden, but they're going to get ridden in very controlled environments, very safe outing. But the horse that you trust and that trusts you can be taken to the mountain. The horse that's the surefooted and can be directed off the trail, even if it's a little bit sketchy, even if there's going to be something that's going to jump out, even if there's going to be something that's wild and unplanned and sketchy, that's the horse that you take to the top of the mountain. That's the horse that gets taken to the wilderness. Why? Because the easier it is to lead you, the more places I can take you. We can go somewhere, because I know if I say go, you're not going to stop and go, no, no, no, here's what I feel.

You're going to say, you say it, that settles it. You put the bit in my mouth, you put the saddle on me, here we go. God wants to take you somewhere. God wants to take you somewhere. The rumble was never about the rumble. He doesn't rumble you just so he can be like, I'm God. I just put rules out there. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. I'll say, watch this, Gabriel. No. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. He says no because he wants to keep you back from danger. He says don't because he knows what could harm you. And that's because he wants to know that you can listen to him, then he can take you places. Another example. The horse one didn't get you? You're like, I don't know about that. You seem like you didn't quite know what you were saying. OK, agreed. Let's switch to an analogy I'm more comfortable with. But I was trying. We were talking to some friends the other day, and they're in the same life zone we are, travel, preach, life, that kind of thing. And we said, did you, when you were young, take the kids out a lot?

You know, we like to bring the kids along the journey as much as we can. And they said, no, because they were terrible on airplanes. Terrible on airplanes. And it was because they found out later it was the ears. It was the ears. They had to have eight different ear surgeries on their different kids over the years. And so, of course, a highly pressurized environment would be murder on that, and you'd feel popping, can't pop, or pain, and all that. And so they said, because we brought kid on plane, take off, scream bloody murder for three hours, made it miserable for everybody on the plane, including me. So we had to limit for that season where we could take them. I wonder where your lack of responsiveness to God is keeping him from being able to take you. I wonder where he wants you to be in your business. I wonder what he wants to trust to you. I'm wondering what he wants your life to look like, what your life could look like, what your life will look like. But first, he has to know, when he says this way, you go, OK. I don't feel it. I'm OK. I'm going to trust you, OK. We're going this way, OK. You say this, I'm going to follow you. I'm going to say, you are God.

Let me tell you something. The world is waiting to watch what God will do with the life that's yielding to him. And God always gives his best to people who let him write the contract. So we got to be in a place where we respond to his rumbling, anticipate the rumbling, and then we will just watch him take us where he wants to take us. And where is it that he wants to take us? To his will for your life. To his will for your life. Look at it. Don't be foolish. Walk circumspectly. Know what the will of God is. That's the payoff. You'll get to see what God's will is for you. You'll get to see what he's been dreaming about for you from the foundation of the world. You were on God's mind when he was creating the heavens and the earth. And there were specific things he was thinking. I can't wait till they get here. I can't wait to see this happen. I can't wait to see that happen. But the truth is a lack of pliability limits his opportunity that he's willing to give to you. Because if you can't be led, how could you lead out in the way that he actually wants you to?

So a little bit of application now. I think it would be helpful for us to say, OK, what are some of the things we need to do to take this message on the conscience and live it out, this gentle nudge that could save my life from ending prematurely or from just being wasted. I define waste. It is not living up to what he sees it could have been. None of us want our life to be a story of what could have been, a story of wasted potential. So the gentle nudge that could save your life, how do we respond to this? Two things. Number one, if it's such a quiet thing, the whisper, let's get quiet this week. Could I encourage you to take five minutes, to take 10 minutes, to take one minute? We fight so hard against silence, TV, right? I was talking to someone the other day. They said, I can't go to sleep without Sports Center on. Just turn it on, go to sleep with it on. I'm just thinking, you should retrain your brain. You should retrain your brain. You have trained yourself to sleep only with that. You should retrain your brain.

And all of us have different versions of I can't sleep without Sports Center on. I can't drive without the radio on. I can't do this without the internet. I can't do, every 10 seconds, just hunch over, pull out Instagram, I'm talking to all of us here. When do we have silence? When do we have just space? Maybe it's just a couple of minutes for you just to ask this question, God, what? What are you trying to say to me that I've been missing because it's been so loud lately? That's number one. And then number two, what was the last thing God told you to do that you didn't do? Or the last thing he told you not to do that you did? Talk to him about it. You're like, didn't he know? Yeah, he did. And that's why it's awkward right now. Because you're acting as though nothing's wrong, but you both know he rumbled that. You shouldn't have done that. And I shouldn't have been there. We were supposed to, but we didn't.

And so what was the last thing God told you to do, and what can you do to move towards that this week? Maybe that overwhelms you. Maybe you feel like Levi, you don't even know. How long do you have? You had a traumatic childhood? I don't even know where to begin. What was the last thing God told me to do that I didn't do? How did you get into this? One step at a time. How are you going to get out of it? One step at a time. An enormous highway, thousands of miles, how did they rumble strip it? One strip at a time. One little line. So make a move towards God this week. Make a move towards obeying. Make a move. Tell him you're sorry. And you'll watch what God will do in your life. Amen? You pray with me? All of us bowing our heads, all of us closing our eyes. If you would say, in every location, church online, podcast, TV, everyone, just all of us praying. If you would say, I respond to that. I respond that I want to live in line with my conscience.

This message, I want that. I sense that for me. Would you just raise your hand up, just to say, I want to live in response to the gentle nudge in my heart? I don't want to fight against it for it's to fight against my best interests. Every location. Thank you, Jesus, for all these hearts and hands. Help us to do that. It's easy to put our hand up, but man, in those moments, it's tough. We feel it, but it's easy just to fly down the road and crank the music up a little louder. Help us to be still, to know that you are God and to trust you. You can put your hands down. I want to give another invitation. And this is one we give every week where we extend an opportunity, a space in time, for anybody who's never made that decision to follow Jesus. And you would say, you know, I want to give my heart to him. Two words come to mind, and I feel like God wants me to tell you. And the words are lost and loved. All of us are lost. All of us are loved. You are lost without Jesus, because there's no way to get to heaven without him. There's no way to be forgiven without him. That's why he died on the cross for you, rose from the dead. But you are also loved by him. That's why he did those things. You were lost. You are loved. Would you like to give your heart to Jesus?

As we're praying, if you sense that nudge in your heart, it's a nudge that could save your life and will forever, if you respond to it. I'm going to say a simple prayer out loud, and if you're ready to give your heart to Jesus, I want you to pray with me. Right after I say each line, say it. But say it to God and mean it in your heart. Now I'm going to ask our church family to pray with you, to show you that we embrace you, are not better than you. We all need Jesus equally. We accept and celebrate your decision to follow Christ and become as we are, sinners saved by grace, lost people who are also loved. And the second fixes the first. So pray this prayer. Mean it in your heart. Dear God, I know that I'm a sinner. I'm broken. I've done bad things. And bad things have happened to me. Thank you for knocking on my heart. Thank you for that nudge. Thank you for the cross. I put my life in your hands. I don't understand all that. But I give myself to you. In Jesus' name I pray.
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