Disruptive Discipleship | Week One

Welcome everyone to a new year, I know you’re ready for it, I hope you had a great Christmas and a great new year. This past year 2020, we have been introduced to a lot of new words and phrases and our vocabularies have been greatly expanded. One year ago, it would have been very odd to hear someone use the word or the term social distancing or shelter in place. I mean, how many of you had to look that one up? Or how about contact tracing or essential workers? First of all, I thought all of them were essential but … or the phrase flatten the curve. I would have assumed that was the fitness center, trying to sell memberships. Flatten this curve. Or how about super spreader? Sounds like a tool I would use to kill the weeds in my lawn. Or the name Rona. How about Zoom Rooms? That was new for a lot of people.Yeah.Or maybe asymptomatic. I mean, you may have looked that up, we’ve learned a lot. And you know, early in the pandemic during the lockdowns, we started hearing this phrase, a new normal. A new normal, which meant life as we then knew it, it was just going to be different, and it has been.Yeah.It has been a very, very different time. Yet today, I sense God is leading us into a new day, a new day in the spirit, and he’s desiring us to step into a new normal with him. A new day of expectation, a new day of revelation and wisdom and manifestations of God’s presence, a new day of answered prayer. Does anyone besides me, sense something here?Yeah.A couple of weeks before Christmas, I sat with some of our pastors to talk about where God is leading us and as a church, and as we approach this new year, and where we’re going, and we recounted the different themes that we’ve preached and series that we’ve taught from January [inaudible 00:01:46] and some of the great topics. And we talked about some of the great spiritual things, but the more we talked, the more urgency that seemed to form in us for this time, this time we’re living in as the church today, right now in 2021. See, a lot’s going on around us, and I want you to be spiritually equipped for this hour in history. I posed a question to the team that seemed to just strike a chord with them, and I want to pose it to you as well. If Jesus is coming back, and I believe that he is very soon, are we urgently calling people to a deeper discipleship?Yeah. Amen.This question lays really at the groundwork for where we’re headed. Not just for a series in January, but this is more like a mindset or a heart posture for this year at Chapelhill. And here it is, here’s this idea, disruptive discipleship. That’s going to be our theme, disruptive disruption. I hope you’ll not miss a single week of this series. I know some of you have been following Jesus, you’ve been following him for many years and you’re so faithful, but I wonder, I wonder how Jesus might just want to disrupt the norm for you in your year ahead, and call you to a deeper and more intensified life of biblical discipleship that you’ve ever had or ever experienced before.Yeah.Some of you maybe are brand new to the faith, or maybe you’re even exploring some questions or doubts you have about God. We’re here for you, and we want to walk with you on your new journey of faith, but I don’t wonder how different your life would be in just one year, if you don’t just come halfway into a walk with God, but that you really disrupt your old way of living by becoming a fully devoted disciple of Jesus Christ. I’m simply saying we’re pressing the pedal to the metal in our mission. We exist to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. We have an agenda and it’s not political, it’s biblical. His agenda is our agenda. Now, we must make disciples.Yes.Hear me. Clearly, we are all being discipled by someone or something. Stay with me right here. You can be discipled by default or by design. You can let the world and the culture around you mold you and shape you, or you can be shaped and discipled by design by a God who desperately loves you.Right. Yeah.What might it look like to follow the way of Jesus like never before? Listen, I’m praying that our church family, that thousands of people in our family of churches and everyone who joins us online, all of you will begin to position yourself for it, even today. Here’s the truth, and here’s the reality. Spiritual growth will be disruptive. It disrupts our old sinful me first life, as we’ve known it. It disrupts previously held mindsets. It disrupts enemy held territory and breaks previous strongholds. It’s disruptive, because it requires repentance, it requires change. It requires stepping into new things and relinquishing the comfort of the old. And I can stay here all day and I can talk to you about it, but here’s the challenge we all face, we tend to like the old, comfortable ways. We grew accustomed to the old normal, even though it’s a less than kind of life.Yeah. Right.We like the normal flow of the life that we’ve designed. We tend to like the status quo. We really long for business as usual, more than we realize. In part that’s why 2020 was so hard. Things changed, and we had to adjust. We are creatures of habit. Most of you are watching this from the same sit, in the same place as you were last week, and the week before. We’re creatures of habit, and sometimes yes, they’re bad habits. I admit. Bad food habits, bad health habits, come on, bad TV habits, or bad habits with our devices. Come on, bad work habits. I’ll keep going until I hit yours. Or until you say, ame, or until you type in the chat, ouch. Bad spiritual habits.Yeah.Bad habits are ongoing actions or activities that perpetuates the status quo. And they often lead us into paths of life that are outside of God’s best, and outside of his rest that he wants to give us. But what if? What if this year would be so different because God has something new for his church? Because he’s moving in us, and he’s calling us out of the old and into the new, into a deeper place of following him? What if? What if the moral condition of our nation and our leaders and the politics and the global climate and the in-time prophetic time clock is all converging in God’s providential timing and plan for such a moment as this? And what if we discerned it? What if we perceived it and we decided to go deeper? Can I keep going here? What if? What if we as one church, a family of churches would humble ourselves and pray and seek God’s face and turn from our sinful ways?Amen.What if God in his great mercy and his great compassion would move once again and graciously and lovely call us to biblical discipleship, prepare us for his soon return? What if we began to perceive new things that God wants to do? I love the promise of Isaiah 43:18. Remember not the former things nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing. Say new thing. Now it Springs forth. Do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Listen, I want in, on that. It’s happening, but do we perceive it? If we perceive it, let’s get ready for a new day, a new day of personal, spiritual growth and spiritual life and a new expectancy for the miraculous.Now, for you and I to expect and experience this kind of spiritual life, what should we do? I want to challenge you to a biblical threefold prayer. Here it is. Search me, grow me, and lead me. Let me say it again. Search me, grow me, and lead me. Say that with me, search me, grow me, lead me. The Psalmist David prayed a lengthy prayer in Psalm 139, and in this prayer, he beautifully describes the attributes of God. And he’s praising God for his omnipresence, and his omniscience, and his omnipotence. He’s declaring that God is all present, and that he’s all knowing, and that he’s all powerful.Yes.I love this Psalm. Here, David is praising God for how God created him and how God personally and wonderfully designed his life from the moment of his conception. Did you hear what I said? From the moment of David’s conception. Now, I just want to give you a little sidebar right here. You can not look at Psalm 139, and ignore this. Maybe this is for someone watching today. Maybe you just found out you’re pregnant or it’s your wife or your daughter, or your friend or your girlfriend, and it’s unexpected, maybe even unwanted. Here me, ending that baby’s life is not the answer, it’s never the answer.Yes.God spoke specifically about the wonder of life in this Psalm, the wonder of life in the mother’s womb. Psalm 139, you made all the delicate, look at this, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex. Your workmanship is marvelous. How well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark place of the womb, you saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. David under the inspiration of the Holy spirit says God is creatively and actively involved in the development of every human life, and God has a purpose for that baby. Even a baby that was an oops or was unwanted in your mind, God is involved in that life and he makes no mistakes.Yeah.God’s workmanship is marvelous. He saw you before you were ever born, and every day of your life he knows. It’s recorded in his book. This is an important word for someone right now. If you’re scared about your situation, or someone has caused you to feel unwanted or has caused you to feel like God has forgotten you, listen to me right now, he has not. God sees you. God knows you. He knows your name. He knows your story. He has a plan for you. He loves you.That’s right.Let’s keep going. And then a bit later in chapter 139, David gets to verse 23 and he prays these faith filled and courageous words in verse 23. Look at what he says. Search me O God and know my heart. Search me. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me. Test me, point out, that speaks to growing. Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of ever lasting life. What do we see here? We see search me. We see grow me. We see lead me. And as we begin, 21 days of prayer that begins tomorrow, January 4th, I’m going to ask you to pray these three things every day for 21 days. Search me, grow me, lead me. Pray each prayer, pray each one and wait and listen, listen to God.Hey, I get it. The fact is these prayers require courage because when God answers them life could look very different for you. Because really when you say search me, what might God find? Grow me, how might God tests me? Lead me, where might God take me? Craig Rochelle wrote a book called Dangerous Prayers. These are dangerous prayers. Search me, speaks to repentance. Repentance means to turn, to go a different direction. That takes courage. Grow me, speaks to tests and stretching and exploring new things and being used of God. We all need that. Lead me speaks to being led into God’s will not my will, but God’s will, even if it’s outside of my comfort zone, but it leads us into the blessings of God and into paths of life as we’ve never known them before.I am praying, and I have prayed dangerous prayers. I remember in 1996, I prayed a prayer I said, Lord wherever, however, whenever, whatever, and I’m in it. And I stand here today because God answered my prayer. And I said, wherever, whatever you want me to do. In 2001, I began to pray the prayer of Jabez. Oh, that you would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory that your hand would be with me, that you would keep me from evil. That I might not cause pain. And God granted him, his request. And you know what? God granted me my request. And it’s been unbelievable. God’s vision for enlarging my territory was even larger than mine, but I prayed the word of God.The Psalmist David prayed, lead me on the path of life everlasting, because the reality for all of us is this, our paths of life are leading somewhere, and the question is, where will your paths lead you in 2021? So I’m asking you to commit to pray these three things. Pray these three things for 21 days, search me, grow me, lead me, start tomorrow. Let’s do it together. 21 days of prayer, but I’m going to challenge you. Are you ready for a challenge? I challenge you to spend no less than 21 minutes each day for 21 days of prayer. Okay, it’s sort of cheesy, but you can do this. No less than 21 minutes for 21 days to start 2021.And you know what experts say about doing anything for 21 days, right? It creates a habit, a great habit. So set a timer if you need to, you can do this. Lord for these next 21 days, search me, grow me, lead me. Some of you may want to grow through fasting and prayer during these 21 days. And I can just tell you this fasting is an accelerator. It accelerates spiritual growth and it heightens our sense of the presence of God. I think it also says something to God. It says, God, I’m serious.Yeah.God I mean business with you. God, I’m sacrificing something I love for something I love more. I love you more. If you choose to fast during these 21 days, determine when you’ll fast and what you’re going to sacrifice. Maybe it’s fasting food for one a week or maybe one meal a day, or maybe a water only fast for three days or seven days. Maybe you choose what is known as a Daniel Fast. Typically that’s no meat, no wheat, no sweets for an entire 21 days. But I want to encourage you to identify the duration, identify the purpose of your fast before you start. And as you enter these 21 days, ask yourself, what am I asking God to do? What am I believing God to do? What’s one thing I need that only God can do. Pray for that. Belief for that.And let me encourage you to also focus on spiritual growth, asked Jesus to fill you with his Holy spirit. And if you already have your prayer language, pray in the Holy spirit, pray in the spirit for extended periods of time during these 21 days. Let this be a time of spiritual refreshing, and experience renewed power. Finally, commit to pray, commit to pray regularly. If you fast, pray also. Somebody said fasting without prayer is just a really bad diet. And listen, I believe that. Prayer and fasting always go hand in hand. And I don’t say this lightly, be prepared for resistance, because fasting is a spiritual exercise and it should not be entered into lightly. The enemy will try to hinder you, but he’s already defeated so press on, and pray, and pray with expectation. Write this down. Say it out loud expectation.Expectation.When you pray, pray with expectation for God to respond. Put it in the chat, expectation. I expect. I expect for God to search me, to grow me and to lead me. Have expectations for new things for you and your family and your church. Have expectation that God will raise the spiritual temperature in your life during this time. I have great expectation for God to answer prayer in 2021.Now, there’s another prayer that I want to bring your attention to, and it’s found in Colossians chapter one, and I have huge expectation for this. This would be a great prayer for everyone to pray for 21 days. Look with me. Paul prayed this prayer for the church in Colos. In Colossians 1:9. And so from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you asking that you may be … watch this, filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the father who’s qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.What is that? That is definitely disruptive discipleship. That kind of life, and kind of church will disrupt the status quo. That church will stand out in this evil day. That church lives differently. Can I just tell you what I see? I see a faith filled church with faith-filled families, filled with the knowledge of God’s will in wisdom and understanding. I see people of faith living holy and godly lives, pleasing the Lord. And it’s a people who don’t live in fear, but are strengthened with all power, walking in endurance, and patience and joy, while expanding the kingdom of God. I see people having great spiritual endurance, whose hearts will be set on fire by the presence of God. I want that for you. I want that for your kids and my kids and my grandkids and for our family of churches. This is a new day that we can step in and experience God together in a new way.Amen.But for us to have that, I sense in my spirit, we must have this. And this is going to feel kind of heavy in just a moment, but I’m talking about a new day. Look at Psalm 25:14 it says, the friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him. Somebody say fear him.Fear him.We need to fear him. Fear the Lord. Let’s pause a moment with that phrase, fear him. We need a new revelation of the fear of the Lord. Fear him. Now fear him doesn’t mean to be afraid of God. No. God loves us and wants us to draw near to him. The Bible says when we do, he will draw near to us. We are not to be afraid of him. He wants us walking closely with him, but to fear God means to revere him. To live in all of his righteousness and his holiness and his power. Practically speaking, having the fear of God means not ignoring God by just living life your own way, and then justifying sin. Practically speaking, having the fear of the Lord means it’s hard to worship passionately on Sunday and to watch porn on Monday, because I fear God. Having the fear of God means it’s going to be increasingly difficult in these last days to be a friend of God and a friend of the world at the same time.That’s right.God is calling his church to stand up and stand out, and to fear him. Having the fear of God means I choose to be a faithful steward of all that he’s given me to manage for him because it’s all his anyway. And he can remove it from me just as quickly as he gave it to me. I fear God with all that I have. I fear God with my money and that’s a good thing. And having the fear means if we want to raise the power level, then we need to raise the intimacy level.Right.And if we’re going to raise the intimacy level, we need to raise the reverence level and fear God. Jesus said in Matthew 24:12, and because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold, but the one who endures to the end will be saved. We need a disruptive kind of discipleship to stand for the Lord in this day. In fact, if we’re not strong in the Lord, Ephesians six says, we won’t be able to stand, because the pull of the world is so strong, but the power of the Holy Spirit … listen, it is stronger.Ephesians 6:10 says, finally, brethren be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might and put on the whole armor of God that you might be able to stand against the wilds or the schemes of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities against powers against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Therefore, he says, take on the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day. And having done all to stand. Stand. Is this resonating with anyone?Yeah.When we live in the fear of God, we position ourselves for the power of God, and the wisdom of God, and the confidence that we can have with God. Psalm 111:10. Let me share some verses, it says, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. All those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever. Look at Proverbs 14, in the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence and his children will have a refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life that one may turn away from the snares of death. Look at Psalm 128:1, blessed is everyone who fears the Lord and who walks in his ways. This is all over scripture. Listen to this pastor today. Look, what’s happening around us. This is a time for the church to reject familiarity and complacency with God. It has been said, listen to this. The church is far too familiar with a God we barely know. God help us. The humility and prayer can change all of that.Right.Search me, grow me, God lead me. As we prepare to begin a new year together with great expectation, I think it would do us well to hear the words from the great pastor and theologian A. W. Tozer, as he once approached a new year and he wrote this. He said, I do not advise that we end the year on a somber note. The March, not the dirge has ever been the music of Christian. If we are good students in the school of life, there is much that the years have to teach us, but the Christian is more than a student, more than a philosopher. He is a believer and the object of his faith makes the difference, the mighty difference. Of all persons, the Christian should be best prepared for whatever the new year brings. He has dealt with life at its source, in Christ he has disposed of a thousand enemies that other men must face alone and unprepared. He can face his tomorrow cheerful and unafraid because yesterday he turned his feet into the ways of peace, and today he lives in God. The man who has made God, his dwelling place will always have a safe habitation.Lord, search me, Lord, grow me, Lord lead me. I wonder how many of you have felt the conviction of the Holy spirit today? I wonder how many of you know you need God? You know you need to confess your sin. You know you need to turn to him. You know you need the fear of God. You know you need that restore in your heart. And maybe some of you need to ask Jesus to be your Lord and savior for the very first time, is that you? Let’s take a moment right now, bow your hearts, bow your heads and let’s pray together. Let’s right now, declare Jesus Christ as Lord of all and make a commitment to disruptive discipleship in these days ahead.Father, we come to you right now and the first thing we pray is search me, search me God. And show me, show me how I have failed you God. Show me how I’ve offended you. And Lord I just come before you, and I ask you to forgive me. Just go ahead and ask him right now. Lord, I ask you to forgive me of sin. Cleanse me. Tell him right now. Jesus, I believe that you died for me and I believe your blood washes and cleanses me of sin. Please forgive me Lord. Show me, search me. Search me where I have gone my own way. Searched me where I’ve walked across the boundaries that you’ve set for me. Show me where I’ve broken your commandments. Search me. And today I confess into you, and I believe that you are the son of God, Lord Jesus. And right now I ask you to come into my life.Just ask him right now. Invite him to be the Lord of your life. Jesus I ask you to fill me. Jesus I ask you to free me. I believe today that you are God. You are the son of God. And I believe today, that I am saved. And that you’re beginning a new work in me. I commit myself to you to follow you and follow you closely. Right now, everyone let’s just commit ourselves to follow Jesus closely into these 21 days. Lord search me. Lord I ask you to grow me. Let that be our prayer right now. Lord grow us. Grow us as your followers. Grow us as your people. Lord, I’m willing to have you test me so I can grow. Lord I ask you to point out those areas of my life that are not pleasing to you so that I can grow.Help me. Help me to know you better. Help me to read your word, to study your word. Help me to grow in your word. Help me to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Help me to grow. Help me to pray consistently for these 21 days. Help me to grow and continue with you. And Lord Jesus, I pray right now that you will lead me. Search me, grow me, lead me. Come on, ask him right now. Lead me. Lead me Jesus. Lead me in your paths that lead to everlasting life. I ask you to lead me, in Jesus name. Search me, grow me, lead me. Now I want to pray one more thing for you before we close. I want to pray out of Colossians chapter one. I want us to pray the heart of God, through the words of the Apostle Paul.Lord Jesus, we agree together with Paul’s prayer. We start this new year out with prayer. We call people to pray, to pray the will of God. Lord Jesus we pray that we can encounter you and encounter your heart. Lord I pray that people listening to me today will fall in love with you all over again. That we would take time to listen to you. That we would hear your voice. Lord, I pray that you would answer this prayer of Paul and then answer my prayer today. That you would give me greater wisdom and understanding. Come on, go ahead and pray that right now. God, I pray for wisdom and understanding. God, create a hunger and create a desire in me today as your disciple. God give me a desire to give you full, radical surrender. That you would take my life and take full control.So Lord, right now I commit myself to use a fully devoted disciple. To grow, to follow you, to be filled with your wisdom and fullness and power. So right now, I ask you to help me to grow deeper, help me to grow deeper with you. Lord let our church family, let people who are listening today, grow deeper with you in these days to come. And help us to follow your ways, to follow your ways, and to walk in friendship with you like never before. We thank you for what you’re doing, we step into it, and we step into these 21 days, and we do it together in Jesus name. Amen, amen. God bless you as you begin to fast and pray and seek God.