How Do You Prepare for What’s Next?

Jonathan Pokluda // Sep 4, 2018

Young adulthood is hard. It’s a time where some of the most important decisions we will ever make take place. How we spend these years lays the foundation for the rest of our lives. How can we set ourselves up to experience God’s best for us? How are we supposed to prepare for what comes next when we don't know what's coming? In this message, we learn about 10 pieces of wisdom from Proverbs to train us up for what tomorrow may hold.

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How are we doing, Porch? Come on! Come on! Come on! It's so great to be back with you this evening. Recently, I took my family to Waco. My wife is from Waco, and some of you are, too. There's this thing there called the BSR Cable Park. If you have ever been wakeboarding, there are these things called cable parks where they pull you around on a wakeboard with a cable.

There's also this thing there called the Royal Flush. You probably have no idea what I'm talking about, but it's these crazy slides that should be illegal because they shoot you up and launch you. It's like some college kid is running it. I remember getting to the top of it looking down this really steep slide. Somebody had just gone, and I looked at him, and I go, "Can I go?" He was like, "I don't care when you go." I'm like, "Good. So it's safe."

It was the craziest thing. You go down this slide at like 600 miles an hour and it shoots you up like 50 feet in the air. Here's a picture. That's the slide, and that's me. The second you're going down, it's like, "What did I just do?" Then, it just launches you uncontrollably in the air, and you're like, "Oh, no!"

I thought I would take my 5-year-old, my 9-year-old, and my 7-year old. "This is going to be fun!" I was so proud of them because they all went down it. You know a proud dad. My daughter hit the water and was like, "I was not ready for that." I was like, "I understand." My son goes down the slide, and he's headed down, and he spreads his legs, and he grabs the side and stops right in the middle of it. He's like, "No! I can't!" I'm like, "Buddy, there's no turning back now. You have no options. There is no way off the slide, so you have to go down it."

This idea that we were talking about afterward was, "I wasn't ready for that." It reminded me of the meme. Have you seen this meme? It says, "This is me sliding into adulthood." I think that's like some of us. There's kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, junior high, then high school, and then college. Then, all of a sudden, we're just flying and flailing through the air. "I wasn't ready for this!"

What do you do? You're like, "Is this the real world? I think I'm going to go back to college. Maybe I'll go back. Maybe grad school sounds pretty good right now." Then, you're like, "I don't know about this job. I think I got the wrong job, and I need to go find the right job." You begin to jump around. Then, you start thinking, "Maybe I need to move." You get really philosophical. Have you ever done this? You're like, "What if I had a hut on the beach, and I just surfed?"

"Have you ever surfed?"

"No, but I bet I could. I bet I'd be good."

Maybe you're philanthropic or benevolent, and you're like, "Maybe I'll move to a third-world country and start an orphanage." That's awesome! Good for you! "Is this the real world? I wasn't ready for this." We're wrapping up our series, Asking For a Friend, and the question I want to answer is…How do I get ready for what's next?

How do I get ready for the real world? I was going to call it How Do I Adult Like a Boss? I thought, "No, don't do that." Then, it was How to Crush Adulting. No. How to Get Ready for Whatever is Next. I think for so many of us what we need is to gain wisdom. The Bible talks a lot about getting wisdom. Get it at all costs.

In fact, Proverbs 4:7 says, "The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding." I think so many of us want a mentor. I've talked to some of you. I'm like, "Who do you want to mentor you? A godly man?"

"Yeah, a godly man. It would be cool if he was rich and really successful and could tell me how to find a great woman." It's like we want someone who is wise, so tonight you're going to learn from someone who is very wise. It's not me but the wisest man who has ever lived, King Solomon. In 1 Kings, it says that Solomon had an opportunity to ask God for something, and he said, "Who am I? Just a boy?" Because God had favor on his father, who was King David.

Solomon says, "Who am I? Just a boy? How can I rule all of these people? Lord, would you give me wisdom? Would you give me discernment? Help me to know right from wrong. Help me to lead your people." It says, "The Lord was pleased with him," and because he had asked for wisdom to lead the people, God also gave him riches, and he gave him honor, and he gave him fame.

This is who Solomon is. I want you to understand, as we think about how to get ready for whatever is next, Solomon wrote a book called Wisdom. In fact, when I was younger before I was a Christian, I said, "My dream job would be to have an advice line like 1-800-ASK-4ADVICE. I would just sit there and give people advice all day." I remember telling my friend this in college. "This would be my dream job, just to give advice."

I kind of have my dream job. What happens is you guys email in all of the time. "I'm dating this boy. What would you do?" I just kind of give advice all day, but you don't want my advice. When you can get wisdom from the Creator of the heavens and the earth, that's a much better place to get advice.

What's funny about that slide I showed you up front is on YouTube there are all of these fail compilations like people who have gone off of that slide and landed on their heads or their backs or their stomachs. My family is probably on some of them! None of us want to get to the end of this life and our lives to be one big fail compilation.

None of you here tonight say, "When I grow up, I really hope I'm an alcoholic," but some of you will be. You're not like, "I really hope to give marriage a try a couple of times and have a few divorces under my belt. That's what I'm dreaming for," but statistically that will be about half of your stories and some of your stories already.

I'm not trying to make you feel bad or give you shame. I'm just saying the natural drift down the slide is toward ruin and destruction. That's where we go if we don't gain wisdom. We drift toward negative outcomes no one wants. No one is like, "I really hope one day I'm a couple hundred thousand dollars in debt." Yet, it happens all of the time, and it happens because of choices you make in your 20s and in your 30s, so I want to talk with you about how to get ready for what's next.

We get to gain wisdom from the wisest man in the world. I'll tell you just a little bit about this guy. He lived from 970 to 931 BC. He was a king, and not just a man of power. He was a king who other kings came to and paid for consulting. He was a rich man. When I say rich man, he earned the modern-day equivalent of $1 billion a year. That's not net worth. That's income.

He would throw parties like the most epic parties you could imagine. There were 22,000 heads of cattle on the menu for one of his parties and in addition to that 150,000 sheep and goats. These are the kinds of parties this man threw, and he had women (700 wives and 300 concubines or prostitutes). Some of the guys say, "He didn't sound very wise because that's a lot of presents and roses and whatnot."

Here's what you need to know. That was actually his downfall. It was a step in the wrong direction to his disobedience, and that's what brought him to ruin at some point in his life (that poor choice). He's a man of power. He's famous. Everyone knew who he was. Everyone still does. His palace where he lived… Talk about cribs. Where he lived took 13 years to build. He had over 30,000 employees, 30,000 personal assistants. These are people who did not work for his company but worked for him personally.

You can go on secular websites and search the richest man who has ever lived and you will see people who reject the Bible as truth and acknowledge Solomon, who everyone would agree was a king in history. In fact, you can go to Bethlehem right now, and about five kilometers southwest of Bethlehem, you're going to see what are called Solomon's Pools. They're still there. They were used to water his garden. Don't think garden; think more amazing than any arboretum you've ever been to. Think a forest with flowers. That's this guy.

We're going to get to learn from him because he wrote a book called Proverbs. It's mostly his writings or things he captured from other kings and collected and put in a book of wisdom in the Scriptures. My preference would always be to teach a passage of the Bible to highlight Jesus and present the gospel to you, but tonight's going to be a little different.

Tonight, I'm going to teach through a book…verses. I usually teach how many points? Three points. Tonight, I'm going to teach 10. We're going to fly. It's going to feel kind of like a Chris Pratt speech, so stay with me, drinking from a fire hydrant as we look at 10 pieces of wisdom that will help you get ready for whatever is next.

1._ Pay attention to what you pay attention to_. That is, give careful thought to your thoughts. It says this in Proverbs, chapter 14, verse 15, "The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps." It says in chapter 14, verse 12, "There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death."

You think it's the right way, but if you go that way, it's going to kill you. This is why I say this here. This is why this is important and it's first on the list, because thoughts take you places. Just by thinking, you can bring yourself to a place of panic and anxiety and unrest, just from your thoughts. A thought can get lodged in your head that will impact the direction you go.

In fact, somebody said it like this. "Sow a thought and you reap an act; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny." They're connecting your destiny to your thought in a moment. Let me show you how this plays out. What I'd love for you to do for just a few seconds… Campuses, you can do this, too, wherever you are.

I'd love for everyone to close their eyes for just a minute. Close your eyes for just a minute. Let's just presume every way would lead to death. Any way you could go would lead to death except north. If you go north, you'll live. I want everyone to point north. Everyone point north. Now, I want you to open your eyes and look around. Campuses…

Here's what you need to know. None of you really pointed north. You may have pointed in the direction of north. Wherever you are on whatever campus, you may have pointed in the general direction, but none of you pointed due north. Some of you pointed straight up in the air, which is confusing to me. I don't know what to do with that, but let's talk afterward.

What I want you to know is what you think matters, because it takes you places. Right about now you think, "Yeah, but that's not a big deal because I have a compass on my phone. I can pull out the compass, and it will tell me which way north is." That's exactly right. What you use as a source of wisdom really matters because it takes you places. Consider carefully what you pay attention to.

2._ Get out of debt and stay out_. Proverbs 22, verse 7, says, "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender." Monica and I often get to do premarital counseling where we meet with a couple who is about to get married. A lot of times what happens in that conversation is we'll learn that one of them or both of them have debt and sometimes a lot of debt.

Maybe it's student loans and a car loan and it has just compiled. Maybe credit cards they haven't paid off. They get to this place, and they start to feel shame and guilt because their debt is about to be their debt collective. The other person, when you think about sharing all things in marriage, a lot of times you don't think, "Yeah, I'm going to start off $100,000 in the hole," like, "That's really the choice I'm making."

I don't say that to make you feel shame. I say that so you might consider now is the time for you to get out of debt. You think, "There's no way I can," and I would say, "I've seen people do it." Here's how you do it. You live below your means, you give as much as you can, and you use all of the rest to pay bar tabs. No! Debt. Cell phone bills. No. Debt.

Consider your car. Can you drive a cheaper car? Can you get out of that debt? Can you drive a cash car? It never fails to surprise me when someone has $100,000 in debt and a brand new 4Runner. It's always confusing to me as well. Consider how you might get out of that debt. That's going to prepare you well for later. The third point I want to give you is…

3._ Deal with addictions now_. Now is the time for you to deal with addictions. Proverbs 11, verse 6, says, "The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires." It's Proverbs 11, verse 6. Let me explain to you what addictions are like. Does anybody have a pet puppy or a kitten or anything? Any bird owners? We're a bird family. I see you. We have birds.

It's like you have a pet lion. You love it, and it's cuddly, and it purrs when you pet it, and it comes with its nose and nestles up against you. He's really cute and makes this cute sound. You feed your lion. You love your lion. He grows up and gets bigger and bigger and bigger. All of a sudden, Simba is king of the jungle.

He has the sharp teeth and everything. You were the master of the lion, but now the lion is the master of you. At its will it can devour you, but you can't kill the lion because it's your pet. You love him. You've grown to cohabitate with him. He has kind of become a part of you, and you don't realize at any minute he's going to eat you for lunch.

Here's my question: What are you addicted to? The people who are really bad off don't think they are addicted. It's the ones who say, "I know exactly what I'm addicted to." Those I have hope for. They're probably going to get well. It's the ones who don't realize they are addicted to alcohol. They are addicted to money, to drugs, to pornography, to shopping. Those are the ones I am concerned about, and the problem is, with the analogy of the lion, when you feed something it grows. It gets bigger.

You think, "I can stop drinking any time. It's not a problem. Just one last time. I'm going to go out one last time." No. What you're doing is you're feeding something, and when you feed something it grows. "I'm going to look at that one last time. I'm going to call him one last time. I'm going to go there one last time. I'm going to watch that one last time." This is the lie of one last time. You just fed it a little food and it got bigger, so the next time is going to be harder and more difficult because you grew an appetite for it.

I've been doing this no sugar thing. Yeah. Pray for me. Ketogenic? Anybody? Paleo? Whole30 people? Pray for them. No sugar. Right off the bat, it's really hard. The cravings are uncontrollable. You walk by the bakery… I just went there for fun. You see the éclair, and it's just calling your name. It's so difficult. I couldn't sleep at night. "I'm so hungry for dessert." We're a dessert family. "I'm so hungry for dessert."

I read about this, and I began to experience this. If you stop eating sugar, you sustain. The cravings go away. I never would have thought that would happen, but the cravings went away. I made a mistake. I ate one cookie, and it was like I was starting all over. They were all right back on me, and it took the same amount of time for them to go away. When you feed something, it grows, and when you starve something, it dies. Starve addictions. Now is the time to starve addictions.

4._ Make friends who make you better_. "Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm." That's Proverbs 13, verse 20. The reality is you are the average of your five closest friends. You are the average of your five closest friends, so be careful who you choose as your favorites in your phone and who your friends are.

Maybe you think, "Yeah, but I can't just leave my friends." No, no, no. You can't just leave your faith. You can leave your friends, but the reality is your friends are going to pull you down, so make friends who make you better. It's so much easier to pull someone down than it is to pull them up. Do you get that? It's so much easier to pull someone down than it is to pull them up.

Come up here for just a second, if I can borrow you for just a minute. My man here. I'm going to prove this point. No! Don't put your foot up there. Help me. Now, you pull me down. Just pull me off of here. Okay. I didn't mean like that! Wow! You didn't have to get violent! Jeez! Get back up here. I'm back, Fort Worth.

Point proven! It's a lot easier to pull someone down than it is to pull them up. Let me recover for a moment. I pulled something. I said this at Launch, but some of you need to hear. Change your playmates and your playground. Change where you go for fun and who you hang out with. "I can't just abandon my friends." You can't just abandon your faith.

5._ Inform your heart before you follow it_. We're talking about how you prepare for what's next in life. "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." That's Proverbs 4:23. This the lie of, "Follow your heart." Jeremiah tells us your heart is wicked and deceitful. It's beyond cure. Who can trust it? Yet, we trust it. Yet, the Holy Spirit gives you a new heart in regeneration. You have God's Spirit at work in your life, so how do we reconcile those ideas? Here's how you reconcile them. Before you follow your heart, you inform your heart.

You tell it where to go. Your heart is like a bloodhound on a scent. Do you understand the metaphor? It's like you have given it a scent, and it's looking for the scent that you gave it. It's searching for more of what you have shown it, what you have listened to, what you have heard, what you have watched on TV, what you like, and what your affections are. Your heart is on that scent, and it's looking for that thing.

Let me change metaphors for a minute. Like a GPS or a navigation system… A navigation system is going to take you somewhere, but you would never follow a navigation system unless you put in the address. You say, "This is where I want to go." Now is the time to tell your heart where you want to go, to feed it, to inform it, and to let it feast on the Word of God so it knows what to look for, because it's looking for what you're showing it.

If you're entertained by drama, it's looking for drama. You're like, "How come I can't find a good guy?" Because you've told your heart to look for a terrible guy! That's why! What if you informed your heart? Better inform your heart before you follow it. I talked to a girl earlier who said, "I just can't get over my ex. I don't know how I'm ever going to get over my ex."

I said, "Here's some advice. Stop looking at his Instagram feed. How is it good for your heart you seeing him with another girl? How is that a good idea? Of course you can't get over your ex! You're intentionally not letting your heart get over your ex. That's what you're doing." Some of you are like, "I hate being single! I can't stand it! If I get invited to another wedding, I'm going to…"

I'm not scared! That's because you're listening to these love ballads with Selena Gomez ("The Heart Wants What it Wants"). Stop doing that! You're watching the Rom-Coms. You're feeding your heart. You're just teaching yourself discontentment. Comparison is the thief of joy. I'm not confused as to why you have no joy. All you do all day every day is compare yourself. Get rid of the Pinterest folder of wedding dresses. That's going to help you! You're like, "Do I have to?" Yes! You have to!

6._ Know what is evil and avoid it. Proverbs 8, verse 13, says, "To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech." There has been something happening in our generation I want to make you aware of. There is a lot of talk around tolerance. Let me read you the definition of _tolerance from the dictionary.

This is now labeled old tolerance because the definition has changed on our watch in our lifetime. The old definition is the ability or willingness to endure the existence of opinions or behavior that one dislikes or disagrees with, the ability to endure someone you disagree with who thinks in a way you disagree with, but new tolerance says accepting different opinions as right.

This is completely crazy! It is impossible for two people who believe opposites of each other and they have to look at each other and say, "We're both right." You can't both be right. This is a terrible definition of tolerance. In fact, we are intolerant to old tolerance. To what has always been tolerance is what we've grown intolerant to. Why tolerate something God hates?

You say, "Because I love." That's right. You should love. You should love, and love is always going to be paired with truth and grace. Don't tolerate evil. Stand up against it courageously. If you see a racial injustice, I hope you speak up. If you see any kind of injustice, I hope you're the loudest voice in the room. Don't tolerate what God doesn't tolerate.

The only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing. That has been well said. The only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing. Likewise, if a brother or sister in the faith is bringing harm to themselves, help them. There's this other part. Let me just read the proverb to you again.

"To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech." Here's what I would say here. Don't be entertained by what Christ died for. Do you hear me on that? I just went on the Billboard Charts yesterday and looked at the top five songs. You wouldn't believe how much I think Satan glories in those songs. What they said is crazy!

I'm talking about Nicki Minaj. I'm talking about Cardi B. I'm talking about Post Malone. I'm talking about 6ix 9ine. Some of you are like, "Not Post Malone. No! That's my boy!" Listen. I love the beat. Can I tell you something crazy? I love the beat. I love it. This brother is gifted, but I'm afraid that's something I'm going to have to explain to Jesus. "Dude, what were you doing?"

"Jesus, did you hear the beat? It was amazing. I know he's talking about killing people and popping pills and calling girls… I know, but the beat, Jesus!" I remember being at a party right after I had become a Christian. I had new ears. I was listening to everything through a new lens. My favorite song back in the day was 50 Cent. I had danced to this song countless times. I was with some friends, and we were dancing, and I just started listening to the words.

I was like, "Oh! Oh! He's talking about raping women for profit and selling them and finding glory in that. That's what I've been bobbing my head to." I never even realized. I can only imagine how Satan just receives that as worship and just glories in that. It brings him so much gladness in his heart.

7._ Identify idols and rid your life of them_. "Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the Lord ?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God." That's Proverbs 30, verses 8 and 9.

This is where Solomon ultimately missed it, where he married women who worshiped other gods who led him to worship other gods. He followed them into worshiping other gods. We think, "Who has an idol?" You think, "I don't have an idol. I don't have a gold statue in my house or a thing I offer sacrifices to," but so many of us tonight are worshiping idols.

You have to hear this. It may be your work. It could be what you do for a living. It could be working out. You love to work out, and you're looking in the mirror, and you're obsessed with your body, and you're constantly trying to figure out where your body fat is. It could be hobbies that you spend too much time doing. It could be a relationship or a phone. It could be marriage.

Like I said, if you have that Pinterest folder, it could be marriage. You say, "How do I know if it's an idol?" Does it control your emotions? Because whatever controls your emotions is what you worship. Whatever makes you happy and sad is an object of worship and may be an idol you need to smash.

Is God the most important thing in your life? The only way I know to kill an idol is to replace it with a greater idol. You learn to love God more than any other thing your heart is chasing. You feed your heart the things of God that your heart would grow a taste for God and love God above everything else.

8._ Become smaller_. Become smaller, or realize you are. Proverbs 16, verse 18, says, "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." This is relevant to you. If you ever walk into a room and you wonder what everything is thinking about you… "Do they like my shirt? Do they like my shoes? What are they thinking about me?"

Can I give you just a tip here? I'm going to tell you what they're thinking. They're wondering what you're thinking about them. That's what they're thinking. That's where their mind is. You can stop worrying about what everybody is thinking about you. Here's the truth about you. You may not like this, but you are unbelievably expendable.

When you're gone, the world is going to miss you for just a moment, and then it's going to move on. That's the truth, but God loves you, and if you've trusted in Christ, he has prepared a place for you. Right now, on this earth you're one of 7.5 billion people, and you're special. Don't get me wrong. You have infinite value. You've been created in the image of God, but you're special just like the other 7.5 billion people are special.

It's just good to become small because when you become big, all of the weight of the world is on your shoulders, and that leads to panic and anxiety disorder and everything else, but when you become small, it's like the pressure release valve. It's like everything is going to be okay. My 5-year-old…

We went out to eat for Mexican food. You know how some Mexican restaurants do it big. They have streamers and bright colors and piñatas and sombreros hanging from the ceiling. That was this Mexican restaurant. Piñatas everywhere. My 5-year-old walks in and is just staring at them. I'm like, "Why are you being weird? What's going on?" He's like, "Dad, how did they know?" I'm like, "How did they know what?"

"How did they know my birthday is in a week?" He said, "They did all of this for me?" It's cute when you're 5 but not when you're 25. You walk into a room and you think everything is about you. It's not! You have a cameo in this movie that is all about Jesus, and you're on the screen for about five seconds. That's the truth, so live for him.

9._ Practice patience_. "The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down." This is Proverbs 21, verse 20. You may have heard that good things come to those who wait. I don't know if good things come to those who wait; I know that most good things come through waiting. Most things that are good are worth waiting for.

It's something called delayed gratification. You need to learn it. You need to know it. You need to live by it. You need to deprive your flesh of instant pleasure in the moment so you can have something greater. There's this story in Genesis, chapter 25, with two brothers, Jacob and Esau. Esau comes home from hunting and he's hungry, and Jacob has a bowl of stew. He says, "Give me that stew. I'm starving to death." Jacob says, "Yeah? Well, I will give you some stew for your birthright."

At this time, a birthright meant an inheritance. It meant rights. It meant you were your father's boy. It comes with a lot of things, but because he's hungry, he says, "What do I care about my birthright? I'm hungry." He trades his birthright for a cup of stew because he can't wait to eat, because he really wants something.

Here's what I draw from that message. Trust yourself the least when you really, really want something. That is when you are the most untrustworthy. Trust yourself the least when you really want to treat yourself. The sad truth of it is that most of you will never experience the intimacy God desires for you because you've traded it for sex, what dogs do on the side of the road, and you will never experience the intimacy as God intended.

You say, "Why would you give us such a hopeless message?" No, it's not hopeless because I'm not saying it's not available to you, but I'm saying it comes through waiting and healing and a long season of patience that a lot of you won't take the time to endure. Now's the time to learn to not follow your flesh or follow your heart or do what feels good in the moment.

10._ Learn to love accountability and ask for it_. This one helps with all of the other ones. Proverbs 12, verse 1, says, "Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid." This one could be, "Don't be stupid." There's this place in the Bible where God says, "This is what stupid people do. They hate correction." You don't want to go at this alone, so here's what you might do. You might look back past one through nine and find the one that's most relevant to you.

You may text your Community Group right now and say, "Let's talk about this one. This is my area of struggle. I want you guys or girls praying for me in this area. I want you waging war with me in this area. I want you asking me about this on a weekly basis. Ask me if I'm lying to you. Then, ask me if I'm lying to you about lying to you so I can be free and I can have the life God desires for me so that I'd be ready for whatever is next."

Some of you have jumped in a Community Group, and when it's hard, you jump out. Can I tell you something? Community is not found; it's forged. It's not found; it's fought for. I got in a Community Group 16 years ago. It was a potluck. I didn't choose the guys and didn't like any of them. I didn't have anything in common with any of them. I thought, "I'll never go back," but by the grace of God, the one thing I did right in a season when I did a lot of things wrong was I went back, and I kept going back every Thursday night.

I look back on that, and this is not an exaggeration. I say it all of the time. God used that group of men more than any other thing to devour my life, to make me love him, to sanctify me, to call me into ministry, to heal my marriage, to rid my life of my porn addiction, and to deal with my struggles.

He used those men who I didn't even like, and I still run with the same men. We've added others to the group. Shane B. is in my group. John Elmore is in my group. These guys hold me accountable every single week. I texted them something last night. "Would you pray for me? This is something I accidentally saw on my phone. Would you pray for me?"

Now is the time to get wisdom. Now is the time to train for tomorrow's challenges. None of us want our lives to look like a fail compilation. None of us want that. It's funny. When we were at that cable park, there was this guy who went down in front of me. He went off that slide. He didn't look like I did. He did three flips and then dove. I'm like, "How'd he do that?"

Here's what I know about that guy. That wasn't his first time. That guy trained for that. He had practice. It's different… Think about athletes. Athletes train for an event. You would never just walk on at the Olympics at an event you've never done before, because those guys have trained their whole lives for that. There's this idea that everything adds up, that every moment is training for a future moment.

Here's the reality. You're all becoming something. Write that down. You're all becoming something. You want to be a good mom and a good wife or a good dad and a good husband? Good moms and good wives don't just happen. They don't just choose one day, "I know I've been unfaithful my entire life, and I've been promiscuous in my thoughts and my actions, but now I'm going to be a great wife." Life doesn't work that way!

"I don't like kids. I never babysat. I don't even enjoy being around children, but I'm going to be a great mom." No, you're not. It's something that happens when you're 18, when you're 22, when you're 33, and you begin to pursue wisdom. None of us would just walk on in the Olympics. Every moment is training for a future moment. Everybody is becoming something. Let me show you a video of Louie Vito, a snowboarder, that paints this picture. Would you watch this?

Louie Vito didn't learn to snowboard by walking on at the Olympics or the X Games. He learned to snowboard when he got one for Christmas when he was 3 years old and when he was in martial arts and jumping on the trampoline when he was 16 and when he was skateboarding to school and when he was spending hours and hours and hours and hours on the mountains.

Right now you are preparing for who you will be. That's the truth. That's the reality. Can I tell you something really important? If you don't know Jesus, the dumbest thing you could do is take this advice and try to avoid ruin in your life only to land in a place of eternal destruction. The smartest advice you could take right now is to trust that Christ has died for your sins and that God has raised him from the dead and to live for him.

If you call yourself a Christian, if you say, "I'm a Christian," would you just start living like a Christian? If you say, "I believe in God," would you just start believing in God and trusting in God? Small steps of faithfulness lead to faithful walks. Faithful walks with Jesus start with one foot in front of the other. It's long obedience in the same direction trusting and obeying. Let me pray that you would.

Father, thank you for these friends and for their desires to walk with you in faithfulness. Father, would you heal their hurts? Father, would you heal their addictions? Would you help them to have friends who can hold them accountable? Would you guide them in the path of life? Help them not to go the way that seems right but in the end leads to death. Father, would you help prepare them for whatever is next? Help them to be faithful today. Lord, we love you so much. We're thankful for your Son Jesus. It's in his name we pray, amen.