Desire Determines our Destiny
Desire is awesome. Desire determines our destiny and our destiny determines our desire. But next time we’regoing to talk about the resort. We’re going to talk about the woman. We’re going to talk about the sunglasses. We’re going to talk about the fact that Lisa couldn’t see my eyes, nor could anybody else. What did I do? What would you do? What should we do to take our sexuality to a ‘hole notha’ level?
There’s another man, a poor man in the story. His name was Lazarus. Not the guy that Jesus brought back from the dead, a different Lazarus. This Lazarus had sores all over his body. This rich man just kind of dissed this poor man, Lazarus. And Lazarus, Jesus said, would eat the scraps off the rich man’s table. His best friends, Jesus said, were the dogs that licked his sores.
One day both guys clocked out, they died. The rich man, the unrighteous man, the Bible said, ended up in hell. The poor man, the humble man, a man of faith ended up in heaven, right there by father Abraham. So Jesus tells this story about the conversation going on between hell and heaven. But most of the story is about hell. And we can learn from this story. Because as you continue to read, this rich man begins to talk to Abraham in heaven. And the rich man says “Abraham, I’m in torment here. This stuff is horrible. Send Lazarus back from heaven to hell; have him dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my tongue.” That’s how bad it is here in hell.
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Building a positive self-esteem in someone’s life means moving beyond the foundation of supporting their uniqueness into the second phase of construction: inspiring others with responsibility. You may be thinking, “I don’t understand the connection. How will inspiring responsibility in someone result in a healthy sense of worth?”
It is very simple. Responsibility is a self-esteem steroid. When you give someone any amount of responsibility, whether that person is a child, a co-worker, a friend or a spouse, you can almost watch their self-esteem grow.
The Bible says in Proverbs 11:13, “You can put confidence in someone who is trustworthy” (GNB). Nothing builds a self-esteem faster than giving someone responsibility. Parents, it’s allowing your child to borrow the car, to use Dad’s tools, to help in the kitchen, or to go to summer camp. In the marketplace it’s giving your employees the responsibility of putting together a sales presentation without your supervision, running a staff meeting on their own, or writing the report for the president of the company.
After I graduated from seminary I went to work in a fairly large church. I remember the first time my boss walked into my office and said, “Ed, this Sunday we want you to give the opening prayer in front of the congregation.” For me, that was a self-esteem steroid. I had been handed a huge amount of responsibility and had the chance to display my trustworthiness. And my self-esteem in the workplace improved exponentially because of that opportunity.
Are you doing that for your people? Are you inspiring your employees with responsibility? Or are you hovering over them and always looking over their shoulders? Overprotection is a form of rejection – at work and at home.
I was raised in Columbia, South Carolina. Four houses down the street lived the Blackstone family; and my brother and I always played with the three boys: Rip, Fred, and Lawton. The Blackstones were a unique bunch of kids – we always had to play in their yard because their parents would not allow them to play anywhere else. Games with the Blackstones were never played at a neutral site. But they were our friends, so nearly every day, my brother and I would ride our bikes down to the Blackstones’ house to play.
You can do it. So go out there and implement creative communication. Your marriage and your life will never be the same.
Have you responded to it? Have you said I do to it? If you’re married are you mirroring that in your relationship? ILLUS: One more story from Anguilla. Two days ago I was with this woman who brought us down there and she walked up to a guy, a very successful man in this island, and she said, “I want you to meet Ed Young and his family. Ed is a pastor of a church called Fellowship.”
And this guy goes, “Man that is a bunch of bull (bleep!)” Those were the first words out of this guy’s mouth. I thought about walking up to him and beating the fool out of him. That’s what I thought about when I heard him say that. I really did. That was my first knee jerk reaction. It wasn’t, “Okay I’m going to pray for him right now.” It wasn’t that.
But quickly the Holy Spirit spoke to me, calmed me down, and I started feeling sorry for this guy. Because here is a guy who has totally rejected the love and grace of God. Here is a guy who’s totally turned his back on the things of God. And I knew that I was only going to have just a short window to be with him. And so I walked up to him and engaged him in conversation and tried to be as Christ-like as possible. But that guy is facing a Christ less eternity.
Who knows? That guy might not ever have another chance to bow the knee to Christ. I don’t know. God does, but I don’t. Are you like that guy? Could you have been drug here by maybe a family member or a friend? And when someone invited you to Fellowship Church did you say, or maybe think, “That’s bull (bleep)!” Ed Young
Have you ever heard of this company Chic-fil-A? I love Chic-fil-A because you can order very healthy there. I remember when Chic-fil-A started when I was a little kid. It was a bunch of little stores selling chicken sandwiches. It was doing pretty well. Now it is doing real, real well. It is about a $700 million company. I think that is pretty good. It is privately owned by the Cathy family. The Cathys are great Christian people. In fact, when they began this company they decided to make it a Biblically-driven corporation. They made the choice to be closed on Sunday. They applied what the Bible said, to stop working and start worshipping on Sunday. Now I am sure they were and are and will be tempted to be open on Sunday. There are millions of reasons for them to do so. But they will not do it. And I will say this. I do not believe that God would have blessed their company the way He has if they had sold out and taken the bait of this temptation.
A lot of people here, because we are a very young church, will have situations and opportunities to compromise in our various fields of labor. A little gray area, a little conversation that might press the envelope now and then, a little trap is set, the bait is sweetened, financially speaking and it is going to look so good. What are you going to do? Recognize the power and the strategy of Satan. Go God’s way and He is going to bless your life.
Second, resolve to play out the pain and the horror of getting hit. Play it out. James 1:15. “Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”
Why do we play out the pain and the horror of getting hit? We have got to look past the trap of temptation, past the sweetened bait. Think about the people who have taken the bait, the same way, who are reaping the same results.
Ed: No, sir, I don’t remember that.
TRUETT: Well, I thought to myself that if I had six empty bottles and a quarter, I could buy those, peddle them around to my neighbors for a nickel a piece and recognize a five cent profit. People told me that they would buy more of them if I iced them down. So I set my stand out there in the front yard, iced down the cokes and when I accumulated the resources, I would flag down the coke truck and buy a full case. I would get 24 cokes for $.80. Then I would recognize a $.40 profit if I didn’t break any bottles or buy any ice. Surely you remember the iceman coming down the street in a horse-drawn wagon?
Ed: You know, I am trying to bring that back, but I am having a hard time.
TRUITT: Well you have a memory problem, don’t you? But, nevertheless, that was the beginning of my business life. Then I sold magazines during the off-season time. I had a paper route for seven straight years. During that period of time I determined that some day I would have a business of my own. I never really liked school, but I enjoyed my work. I see no reason why you can’t enjoy your work. The day that I work the hardest is the most rewarding for me.
Ed: Mr. Cathy, I have talked in this series about work and about finding fulfillment in work. I know that you have said many times that God calls us into different fields of labor; perhaps as a pastor, perhaps in the restaurant business, or maybe a doctor, an attorney, a home builder, a construction worker, a teacher or whatever.
TRUITT: I believe that. I believe that God called me into the restaurant business as surely as you were called into the ministry.
When I get in my automobile and head toward the office, I can hardly wait to get there, knowing there are going to be problems when I get there.
Yes, we need to take regular relational risks but also we need to make hospitality happen. I Peter 4:9. “Offer hospitality to one another…” I like this part. “…without grumbling.” I am talking about that initiative-taking, hand-shaking, house-warming, guest-comforting mentality that says, “Come on over with us to Wendy’s.” or “Pour some more water in the soup. Let’s have a good time.” That’s hospitality. Are you being hospitable?
The Lord hit me with a bolo punch a few years ago about hospitality. I was on a mission trip with Lisa. We were in Korea and a missionary invited us over to her two-room house to spend the night. She served us Spam and Saltines with Kool-Aid. She threw a mat on the floor. She didn’t say, “Well, I’m sorry. This is all I can serve. This is all I have.” She was hospitable. Hospitality is having what you have and using it for the glory of God.
Addicted to gambling. Living from one pleasure to the next pleasure. And the more I get to know him, the more i figure out about him because he has all this stuff hidden in his life. And sometimes he has so many things hidden, he acts so many different ways around different groups, he doesn’t know how he’s acting. “how should i act now? Oh, let me see. I can’t say that here so I’ll go ahead and hide this with this group and I can talk…
Okay, I’m out with another group. Let me see… I’d better bring the bible now.” Yes, it’s a tough life and Moses dealt with this because Moses didn’t decide overnight, “oh, I’m going to leave the palace and I’m going to step down and go ahead and become a Hebrew totally and I’m going to act like the slaves and I’m going to lead these slaves out of bondage.” He didn’t do that. It was a tough, tough choice.
The other foot in the church. When you are at the marketplace, you talk this way, you’ll do whatever it takes to make a deal. You’ll go to that topless club. You’ll laugh at that particular joke. You come to church, everything is fine, you look so good in your suit and your shirt and the dress and the cologne and perfume and the hair is all nice. One foot in the world and one foot in the church.
I know a gentleman, a very successful young man, who lives on the west coast and he is the epitome of living in two worlds. You’re talking about a dichotomy? When he’s around me, when he’s around some other Christian friends here in this church, you would think he is the greatest guy in the world. So much talent. So much ability. A natural leader. I’ve known him for a couple of years, though, and I’ve seen his other friends and I’ve talked with them and I’ve heard what he’s done and what he does with them.
We want freedom, don’t we? Everyone is talking about freedom. What is freedom? What is freedom? Is it ultimate freedom? No. Ultimate freedom is chaos. True freedom is God-driven freedom. ILLUS: Back to Anguilla. I spoke there this past Tuesday night at a rally. Tuesday morning we went out snorkeling in this beautiful body of water. We were on the Caribbean side. And we were out there in this little boat and the kids were with Lisa and me and we’re looking around.
The water is really clear and we see all these fish and all this stuff and then… (Ed begins the “Jaws” theme song). You’re always thinking that and so am I. Whenever you go swimming in a place like that, we’re thinking about the shark. And so I asked this guy leading the snorkel expedition, “Excuse me, are there any sharks in the area?” He said, “No, man! See the reef right there? The sharks are on the other side of the reef, so we can be free to swim on this side of the reef.”
And I just dove in then. We had a great time snorkeling, looking at these beautiful eagle rays and all the different fish and the eels and all sorts of things. I just love the ocean and love snorkeling. We were free. Why? Because we were inside the reef. We were totally free, because we were inside the guidelines and the guard rails this guy had set up for us to snorkel.
When it comes to marriage God has set up a reef. He has built a reef and he said, “Be free in marriage. Have Eros love, have Phileo love and have agape love. You’re free because of this covenant, this thing that I’ve done for you. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
What did Abraham say? “The chasm is too great. We can’t do that. You can’t get to us and we can’t get to you.” Then the rich man said “Send Lazarus back to Earth, back from the grave and let him warn my family. Please, I have five sons. I beg you father Abraham, would you do that?” And Abraham’s response, Jesus said, was really interesting.
He said “Your family has Moses and the prophets, and if they’re not digging that information, then why do you think they’re going to accept someone who has come back from the grave?” Good question. It’s interesting that Jesus brought that up because where was Jesus going? He was going to Jerusalem to die on the cross and to what? To rise again. He knew that a lot of people would reject him.
The man who has come back from the grave, he knew it. I think it’s fascinating that he brought that up in this story. So we have this heaven and hell scenario going on, we have this rich man in hell. It’s very interesting, Luke chapter 16. What can we learn from hell? Because basically everyone in this room, we’re saying either hell yes or we’re saying hell no.
We have some who are saying hell yes and some saying hell no. Now I’m not trying to scare the hell out of you, I’m trying to scare the hell into a lot of you. Isn’t it funny people use that word hell all the time? What in the hell are you thinking? Hell yes. H E double toothpicks, you know. Gallop says that 71% of us believe in the existence of hell. I find that fascinating. We believe in it but so often we don’t live like it.