There are so many things fighting for our attention. As we're hustling through life, we can feel drained and in need of self-care, but how do we recharge in a way that actually works? In this message, we talk about the things that drain us and how to overcome them.
What's up, friends in the room? Friends in Fort Worth, El Paso, Phoenix, Arkansas, wherever you are joining us from, glad you are tuning in as we wrap up this Self Care series. Let's go. We have a treadmill onstage, joggers on. Game time. Hey, any iPhone fans in this room? Love it. Any Android people? You guys are dismissed right now. That's how we're going to start. You're ruining text message groups everywhere, and we're all upset about it. So when this is done, you are putting your phone on this stage and getting an iPhone, because we want to be able to name our group texts. It's really frustrating.
I love this thing. I've never actually used an Android, so I'm just going to speak as though they work kind of like an iPhone. This thing is amazing. I mean, the fact that we live in 2019 has some serious perks to it. You think about days when you had the Razr, that huge car phone that you drove around that was like a huge brick that people would answer and talk on, Zack Morris style, and how the smartphone has so changed the game. I was just thinking through…
The things I can do while I'm standing in line at Walgreens are unbelievable compared to when you would have to log on to the Internet… Remember dial-up Internet? Anybody old enough to remember that? Where you would wait for all of the… I can't even emulate the sounds to come online. America Online and AIM. But today, you can be standing in line at CVS and be like, "Man, I think I'm out of soap at home, and this soap is more expensive here. I'm going to order it from Amazon Prime Now, and it'll be there in two hours."
You could pull your phone out right now and have groceries waiting for you when you get home. Think about that. The fact that you get home and there's no food. No problem. You have Uber Eats. You have Favor. You have options. The fact that you have Waze app. Any Waze fans in the house? We are excited about Waze. Let's go. No traffic for you. You can wonder, "Hey, what are the symptoms of measles?" I don't have to wonder. I can look them up. WebMD. It's on my phone. I have access.
I can find out, "What position did Ryan Gosling play in Remember the Titans?" I don't have to wonder anymore. I can immediately… It's all right here. Wherever you are sitting right now, you have access to that type of information. Do you want to know how to cook crawfish? Just YouTube it. Do you want to know what the best sushi place in town is? Yelp. Just all of the different things that are at your fingertips, from "What's the population of Vermont?" to "Who invented the Oreo?" It's only a couple of clicks away.
I do know I am not the only one who loves this thing, because if you pay any attention… Next time you're at a restaurant, look around. If you see a group of friends, what are they all doing? The same thing. Everyone is sitting there like this, either talking to people around them or just looking up, "What's the best thing that the tips on Yelp are telling me to eat here right now?" The scariest thing is next time you're in the car during the day, look around. Everyone is driving and texting all the time. Everyone is on their phone. It's terrifying.
We're all constantly like, "Oh man, I'm looking this up" or "I'm checking my Instagram 'likes'" or "I'm checking on what's a faster way to get there" or just looking up random information on Wikipedia and the vortex you get sucked into there, click after click. The crazy thing is as much as you're able to get done and as much as this has added benefit to our lives, I know, at least for me, it comes at a real cost. If I'm not careful, this thing will distract me from the people I'm around. It'll distract you from…
Ever been at a place, at a concert, maybe, or at an amazing, beautiful place, a beautiful environment, and instead of focusing on the music and the concert you're just trying to take a video to make sure you can upload it to your Insta Stories? Or you're at some beautiful… "Here's the Grand Canyon," and instead of taking it in, "Man, God, this is amazing," you're over there trying to choose what filter to put on it.
As much as this thing adds to our lives, it also comes at a cost. I know, for me, it comes at a cost of some pretty important arenas in life. Relationally, it can distract you from the people you're around. For me, wife, children, from you, friends, relationships, family members. How much of your time, when you go home for family on vacation, is spent just checking out what there is to do around you and what everyone else is doing?
The reason I start there is because tonight we're going to talk about things in life that drain the life out of you. I'm convinced after studying it how much this is draining the life out of you. It allows us to get sometimes the most out of life while sacrificing the most important things. So what I want to do right now is have everyone in the room take their phone out, even the Android people, and I want to challenge you to do something we've never done at The Porch.
I want you to turn your phone off. Not put it on airplane. I know. Just gasps went out everywhere. It's like, "What? Oh my gosh! Are you kidding me? What kind of church is this?" Turn off the phone. It's going to be a short message, like 30 minutes. I know what you're thinking. I'm being serious. Take your phone out right now and turn it off. You are thinking, as you're nervously moving around… There's even a phobia. Here's what's crazy.
We all are panicked about, "Oh my gosh! What am I going to do without my phone?" There's even a phobia been named: nomophobia. "No mobile" phobia. Turn it off. You're wondering, "What if he texts me back?" That text message is going to wait for you when you turn it back on. What if your mom calls? There's going to be a voicemail waiting for you. You can call her back whenever. Those things don't get lost. Jason Mraz, "Did You Get My Message?" is not a thing. They stay around and stay on the phone.
You're probably even more likely thinking, "What if you're boring, David? What am I going to do here for the next…?" That's fair. That may be a real challenge, but at least it's going to be a shorter time. Or maybe you're like, "Well, what if there's a national emergency?" We've thought through everything, folks, because Billy, our tech director, is going to keep his phone on so you don't have to.
We have friends outside of the room who are committed to letting us know… If there's a national emergency, if the US decides to go to war, he's going to let us know, and we'll make sure to pass that on to you. For the next 30 minutes, I just want you to tune in as we talk about things that drain the life out of us. The good news is you won't be draining the life out of your phone while you're doing that because it'll be off.
Just like it is possible for a battery in your phone to get drained, many of us walked into the room tonight, and there are things, in addition to the phone and our constant distractions that come from it, that are draining the life out of you. They're draining the joy out of you, the peace out of you, and it is not the way God wants you to live. So we wanted to wrap up this series by covering some of the most key arenas where your life is being sucked out of you, because there is a solution, and God's Word discusses how you and I can experience not being drained of life but being filled with it.
So, tonight, we're going to cover two drains, and then one thing that if you and I commit to it is the thing that ultimately fills and sustains us in life. It's going to come from a story that is found in Luke, chapter 10. If you grew up in church, you may be familiar with this story. It's a story that involves two sisters. Inside of this story, one of the sisters gives us two examples of some of the things that still today drain the life out of you and me.
Then the other sister gives us the thing… All throughout the Bible, really, it's indicated that if you and I commit to this one thing, you will consistently experience being charged, energized in life, no matter the circumstances you face, no matter what you walk through. So we're going to look at these two things that drain us and then one thing that helps sustain us in the midst of that. Found in Luke, chapter 10. We'll be in verse 38.
"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, 'Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself [while she's sitting there at your feet] ? Tell her to help me!' 'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'"
If you grew up in church, you may have heard this story. Jesus goes through town, shows up, and Martha, who has this house, invites Jesus and all of his disciples into the home. Jesus begins teaching the disciples, and Mary, her sister, is not helping her put together, like, "What are we going to serve Jesus and his boys? Do we have some pita bread, some hummus? What are we going to give these guys?"
Mary is in there just sitting at the feet of Jesus while Martha, who, again, owns the home, is the one preparing and going through all the different preparations that need to take place. She comes to Jesus and says, "Hey, what's the deal? My sister in here is basically being a hippie, sitting at your feet, and I need some help in the kitchen sweeping things up. Will you tell her to help me?" She begins bossing Jesus around. Jesus says, "She has chosen something better than all of the things that are weighing you down and distracting you."
When I read that story, initially, there's something about Martha I resonate with. Probably a lot of us do, partly because we live in a world where everyone celebrates Martha. Not Martha in this story but kind of Marthas in general. What do I mean by a "Martha"? I mean a go-getter. Martha is the girl you want on your staff. She's the girl you want to work with, work alongside. She's getting after it. She owns the home. She has the mortgage. She's paying the bills. Mary is a freeloader, sitting in there.
There's a lot to respect about Martha. Martha is somebody who has drive and ambition. She's getting after it, and Mary is just over there like a wallflower, sitting around doing nothing. I look at Martha and I'm like, "Man, I feel for Martha." The tragedy is that in trying to get all of these different things done she was distracted from the one who's most important, and it ended up costing her. The same thing is relevant for you and me.
Although there are some things that are qualities… The point of the story is not that you shouldn't ever get things done and have drive and have ambition for things. The point of the story is to not max out your life and miss out on what is most important. The first adjective used to describe Martha is she was distracted by many things. The word distracted is the first thing I want to talk about. The first drain that is going to come for you in your life, the first thing that's sucking energy out of you right now, is the idea of you being distracted.
What does distracted mean? It literally is a word that means pulled in many different directions. There's a French word for torture… If they really wanted to torture someone, they would distract them. They would tie ropes to each of their limbs, their legs and their arms, and they would have horses run in every direction and pull them apart. It was called distraction. It means pulled in different directions. The first thing that is going to drain and suck the life out of you is being pulled in a million different directions at the expense of the things that are most important in your life.
The first thing I want to talk about is being drained from distractions. For Martha, what a tragedy that the Son of God, the most important person in all of human history, comes into her house, and instead of focusing on him, she's distracted by "I need to make sure I'm cleaning the floors in here, I'm getting something to eat," all the different preparations, and misses out on being around Jesus, the one that all of human history would restart the calendar around, because of distractions, distractions that were draining and pulling at her.
Here's why this is so relevant and more relevant than ever before. You are constantly being distracted and are going to be tempted to be distracted away from focusing on Jesus, focusing on your faith, focusing on the things that really matter. Not only did you walk in here and social media is pulling at you, and there are a million different things you should be checking right now, a million different things you should be focusing on. Some of you have already turned your phone back on. You're like, "Oh, it has been a minute and a half. Can't take it anymore." They're pulling for all of your attention.
If that wasn't enough, there are just things in life that are going to constantly be pulling for your attention. They're not even bad things. They're realities. All of us came into the room, and whether it's our job, whether it's where we work, they're going to pull for our attention. If you are not careful to focus your life, in the midst of distraction, on the things that matter most, you may max out your life, but you will miss out on the things that are most important, because you can only handle so much.
The key, the remedy, the solution for being drained from distraction is focusing, focusing your life not on the things you need to get done, not on your to-do list, but focusing your life every single day… "What are the things Jesus wants me to do?" At the end of the day, I'm not responsible for getting done every single thing I need to get done on my to-do list…my car registration and my taxes and all the different million things that are fighting for my attention…if it comes at the expense of doing what Jesus wants me to do. I'm going to talk in a second about what those are going to be.
I just had Graham jump on here. This is a treadmill. Let's say this treadmill is moving all at the same pace, or life in general. It's going to move at five miles an hour, six miles an hour. Graham is going to pick up different things, but he's limited in what he can carry. Life is going to run at the same pace for all of us. All of us have 24 hours a day, every single person in this room, including Graham, including Beyoncé. Everybody has 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, so you have to decide, "What are the things I'm going to carry, the things I can handle?"
Graham has his Bible. He has a commitment to God's Word. He's going to put attention toward a job. There's his work represented. Here's a relationship, maybe, where he has a box of chocolates and he's dating. Hopefully he has a girl. Then he needs to be involved in church, and he's carrying that. (The relationship is falling apart already.) He has his side hustle job here. Then you need to have some sort of health, life, and fitness, and maybe a social life over here.
Then you have Topo Chico. Not sure why that's in there. Then we have a dog we have to care for, and a million different things. On top of all of that, he has social media that has to get his attention. Graham, if you could run a little harder and try a little harder, maybe that dating relationship would work out a little more in your favor. Wow. And you saved the phone. Way to go. Isn't that life? Everything falls apart, but you hold on to the phone. Man! That illustration went perfectly.
Here's the point: you can only carry so many things. The choice is "What am I going to prioritize? What are the things I'm not going to let go of?" Because if you try to carry too many things, you're going to drop something, and often you either don't have a choice over the things you drop or you end up dropping things that are most important.
The first thing to go is your relationship with God or maybe the connection to church or other believers, your relationship to people around you. You have to focus not on all of the things you need to get done, but every day asking the question, "Lord, what does Jesus want me to do today?" What does it look like to live out or to fulfill not all that's on my to-do list and everything hanging over my head, but just today, what does God want from me?
Here are some of the things God wants from you today: for you to walk in relationship with him, for you to know him, for you to spend time in his Word. Here's something else. We all came into the room, and we have all of these different things we need to get done, and our side hustles, and we need to make sure we're posting and keeping up with all the people around us, but what does Jesus want from you today? Not those things. He wants a relationship with you. He wants you focused on caring for people around you.
Another thing Jesus wants is he wants you to sleep. He wants you to rest. Psalm 127:2 says it is in vain to stay up late into the night and rise early, toiling for food to eat, because he, God (some of you guys should memorize this verse; some of you maybe already have), gives to his beloved even in their sleep, or he grants sleep to those who he loves. At the end of the day, you have a million things that are going to fight for your attention, and the question before you and me is, "Jesus, what do you want from me right now?"
My mind is racing with all of the different distractions that are fighting for my attention constantly, and I have the choice. Here's where I'm empowered and have the choice. What am I going to give my attention toward? Where am I going to prioritize my attention? Am I going to choose to prioritize…? I'm not letting go of my relationship with God. I'm not letting go of my relationship with other believers. I'm going to prioritize those things, even if it costs me, even if that means changing jobs.
Week after week, I talk with many of you who come down and share about, "Hey, this is where I'm at in life," and you're working 80 to 90 hours a week, and you're like, "I can't really serve. I can't get plugged in to a church." I'm confident that the God who's there does not want you to live that life. You don't have to drive a certain car. You don't have to live in a certain house. There are things God wants from you.
The way you and I can have focus from distraction is by focusing not on all that needs to be done, not on everything around me, but "What does Jesus want from me today? What does Jesus call me to today?" It's not dissimilar to this. My wife will at times say, "Hey, will you go to the store? We need you to go get diapers and wipes or food," or whatever it is. She'll give me a list. "Hey, here are the things." I have to go to Target. Here I go. I step in. I'm looking around.
If I was to take my list and go to Target, and all of a sudden I'm bombarded by "Oh, look at these. They have a whole new Magnolia line, and these pants are on sale, and those are pretty cool. Merona. Never heard of that…" I just begin to go through the store, and I fill up my basket, and I use my time not to get the things on the list but things that I was like, "I do need some more of that. I need some more socks, and we need trash bags."
I fill up my basket with things I think I need but things that are not on the list my wife has given me. I failed. I missed out on the purpose, the reason I'm at Target in the first place. In the same way, how many of us go through life and fulfill all kinds of different things…? You have an amazing car. You have a great job. You may have a great relationship, a dating relationship. Maybe you're listening online, and you have a sweet pad you're living in right now.
You are experiencing everything the world thinks you need and everything that maybe you're like, "This is awesome; this is where life is found," and you're not reading and doing the things on the list. You are failing, and you are missing out on everything God wants from you. You are missing out on the peace that comes when you will simply say, "I'm not going to focus on everything else that needs to be done. Jesus, what do you want me to do?"
I promise if you will begin to ask that question, focus your attention on that, you will experience peace. I didn't get done everything there was to get done. My car registration is still in need of being changed, but I was faithful today in this conversation, in this moment. One of the things that's going to drain and suck the life out of you is a constant distraction from the things that matter most. You will max out your life, but you will also miss out in life on the things that matter most.
Francis Chan, who's going to be joining us at Awaken… He's a good friend. If you've been hanging around The Porch, he has been with us before. He said, "Our greatest fear should not be failure but succeeding at things in life that don't really matter."When I look around Dallas, the thing I fear for most, the thing that, candidly, I fear for most of my life, or is at the top of my list of the things I fear the most, is spending my life focused on things that don't matter…where I live, what house I live in, the amount of money I make, where my kids go to college.
How many of us are going to spend our lives being successful at everything except for what actually matters? What a tragedy. Am I saying that maybe some of you should change jobs? Yes. Am I saying that some of you need to get off dating apps because that's all you think about? Yes. Am I saying that some of you may need to stop your side hustle, your Etsy business, your side job, whatever it is? Yes, if it is costing you on the things that matter most, so you can focus your attention. Not get the most done but focus on the things that matter most.
The second principle we see from Martha, who was being drained because she was distracted, pulled in all of these different directions, is that she was anxious and overwhelmed. Jesus said in verse 41, "Martha, Martha…you are worried and upset about many things…" The same word upset there is troubled. The second way that, like Martha, we can be drained is from distress, from carrying stresses and burdens we were never meant to carry.
All of us came into this room tonight carrying stress, things that are weighing us down, and the God who's there is saying those things are going to drain… Just like certain apps are going to drain your battery more than other ones, carrying those things is something you were never meant to carry, and they will drain the life out of you. The God who's there doesn't want you to experience that.
They will drain you to a point where it just feels like "I have no joy. I'm depressed. I don't even like where I am. I don't like who I am as a person." The God who's there is inviting you. You're not meant to carry those things. For her, she was drained by all the stress of stuff to get done. For us, I think it looks like getting anxious and distressed by a few things. Here are the three that I think of.
First is comparison. Have you ever had that moment where you can feel anxiety over what you don't have but others do have and you didn't even know they had it until five seconds ago? You're like, "Oh, I pulled up Instagram. They have this new car. I need a new car right now." All of a sudden, I'm distressed and anxious over the fact that they have this car. Or they're always on vacation. "I feel like I need a vacation."
I can, through comparison about what others have, about what I don't, about how much he's making and where I should be in life right now, about how they have children and I should have those or they're married already and I wish I was or they're in a dating relationship and I wish I was… By comparison, all of a sudden, you can experience stress.
The other way you can be drained and take on burdens you weren't meant to carry is through sin. A lot of the most stressful situations that are weighing many of us down inside of the room are related to sin. It's a stressful thing to hide pornography. It's a stressful thing to have an addiction, because you have to feed that constantly. It's a stressful thing to have an STD. It's a stressful thing to live in a relationship or to be living with someone and know they're not who God has for you. That is a stressful thing, and it kind of gnaws at you. You're carrying a burden you were never meant to carry.
The third arena of the burdens we can feel in this life is just circumstances. This is one that if it's not affecting you right now is going to affect all of us at some point, if you live long enough. That's just a fact of living in a broken world. Somebody is going to get cancer. Parents' marriages don't go the way we hoped they would. The company has a layoff and you lose your job, and you can feel burdened from carrying on these circumstances and the stress that comes from living in a broken world.
Here's the good news: Whatever burdens you are carrying, they all have the same solution. Surrender those burdens to Jesus, to God. First Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." How chill could Martha have been had she gone to Jesus and been like, "Hey, look. I'm a little worried about the food scenario. You guys just showed up. I don't want to be that person, but I have nothing in the pantry. But I do know that a week ago you took bread and fish and fed 15,000 people, so I'm pretty sure you can handle it."
How different would her emotional experience have been, saying, "I'm not going to carry this weight. Jesus doesn't want me to carry this. I'm just going to bring it to him. That's what he wants." It would have been a totally different story. Jesus doesn't need her to make him food any more than he needs you to reach that coworker. Jesus says, "Will you cast all of your cares, bring everything that's a burden…?"
I love that verse. It doesn't say, "Cast all of your big worries on me. Cast everything that's really big in your life on me." It says, "Cast all of the things you care about, because I care about them, because I care about you." Think about that. If you're inside of this room and you're like, "Man, I'm just worried; I need to switch from an Android to an iPhone," God is like, "I care about that because you care about it. I care about you."
"Hey, my dog is sick." Fill in the blank. Things that we don't even think God… "He's up there. He's holding the whole world together, and there are still starving children in Africa. I'm sure he doesn't care about that." He cares about it because he cares about you. That's what the verse just said. Everything you feel anxious about? Bring it to God. Everything that weighs you down, pray to God. Everything you're holding on to as a burden you were not meant to hold on to, and he says, "Will you bring those things to me?"
The solution to every burden, all of the things that are going to drain you and weigh you down, is surrendering those to him, bringing those to him through prayer. Do you know who the least stressed person in my life is? My 3-year-old son. He's not worried about anything. We have to force him to take a nap. It's like, "Man, you don't know how much you're going to want this someday, buddy. This is really unfortunate."
He wakes up. He knows, "I'm going to get provided for. They have apple juice in there, some applesauce." Our cup overflows here. We have anything you need. The only thing he ever worries about is "Am I going to get chocolate or not today?" That's it. Last night we went to the store to get M&M's because we were out of M&M's. Even then it was like, "All right. Let's go to the store and get some M&M's."
Why is he not stressed about anything? He's not walking around being like, "Are we sure we're getting the best deal on this electric bill we have over here? Is TXU Energy really best for us or should we switch to Verizon? Is there something we should be doing different? How are we going to pay for college, Dad? I've been really thinking about my portfolio."
He's not stressed about any of that stuff. He's just like, "My parents provide." Why does he think that way? Because he's around us all the time and sees that anytime he has a need…not necessarily a want…anytime there is a need his parents provide for him. The Bible over and over again says God wants you to see him as a heavenly Father, that he wants you to come to him.
He promises, "I will provide for all of your needs. Not necessarily all of your wants, but even bring all of those anxieties, all of the things that are weighing you down. I want you to see me like a toddler sees his father. I'm a provider for you. I'm crazy about you. Cast everything you care about… Don't hold on to it. Give it to me. Bring it to me. It's too heavy for you to hold. It will drain you as long as you're holding on to it." The God who's there says, "Cast everything that's weighing you down on me. I'm strong enough to hold it."
The final thing that is not a drain but is the positive example that we see from Mary is that it is a devotion to Christ that brings life. This feels like such a church, Christian answer. Like, "Yeah, of course he's going to say devotion to Christ is what brings life. I get it. Okay." Whatever you are facing right now… Do you know what will allow you to walk through the valley of the shadow of cancer, the valley of the shadow of job loss, the valley of the shadow of breakup, whatever you're walking through? It will be a devotion to Jesus.
Out of everything in my life, he is my fixed focus, my first importance. I am committed to walking daily in a relationship with him like Mary. Look at the language Jesus says. "Mary has chosen the better portion." That phrase better portion was essentially a food analogy. "She has chosen the filet mignon, and I'm not taking it away from her. She has chosen the better thing."
What is the better portion? Being with Jesus, knowing Jesus, sitting and learning from him, walking in a relationship with him. Do you want to know what will allow you to sustain, to endure, to face whatever is ahead for you, whatever you're facing right now? It will be you walking in devotion to Christ.
This is the only thing that continually gives life in a world that is broken, in a world that is fighting for your attention and fighting to drain you: every day saying, "God, first and foremost, you are my commitment. I am devoted to you, and I'm going to walk in relationship with you." Think about what Martha missed out on because she was not devoted first to Jesus but devoted to her task list.
Think about it. She has the Son of God in her living room. Is there a more important person on the planet, then and now? Is there a more important person in all of human history who has come over to her house? Think about the limited number of people who ever even met Jesus. How small was the number of people who had Jesus in their house? And what did Martha do? Did she spend time with him? No. She's in the kitchen trying to sweep things up. Think about that.
Think about what you're missing out on. You're afraid of missing out on all of the different things you need to get done, Martha, and the reality is you are missing out on the thing that is most important in life. So many of you are afraid. That's what drives us to fill our lives with so many things we need to get done and so many distractions all the time. You are afraid of missing out, and you are missing out on the thing that matters most in life.
The choice like Martha had is yours. "Am I going to be devoted first to Jesus or am I going to choose to miss out?" I don't know who your favorite famous person is. You're like, "If I could have anyone over to my house, it would be them. That would be amazing." Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Martin Luther, Moses, Cardi B. You do you. Fill in the blank. Who would you be like, "That would be awesome if they came over to my house and I got to hang out with them"?
Think about it. That person comes over to your house, and you spend the whole time upstairs vacuuming and cleaning. That's what Martha is doing. In her drive to get things done, she missed out on the Son of God and being in his presence. She was devoted more to a task list than to Jesus, devoted more to the things she wanted to get done than to him. In the same way, what is going to fight for you every single day is for you to focus on things that are fleeting, on things that are meaningless. You are going to sacrifice your 20s.
Some of you listening right now, some of you in this room right now… Are you going to give your 20s to things that are pointless, things that are meaningless, things you won't even remember not in 15 years…next week? Think about the last week you had. Think about all the stuff you got done. You can't even remember most of it. You're like, "What did I do last week?" It's hard to remember yesterday, especially when all of life is jam-packed with stuff that at the end of the day really doesn't matter.
I have the choice. Am I going to fill my life with the things that have eternal significance or am I going to give my 20s…? Which is one of the most significant decades you have. Every major revolution in world history had at its epicenter the young adult, people like you, with passion and energy and youth on their side. There is no limit to what God can use you to do.
Are you going to decide, "I'm going to give myself to the purpose I was created for" or "I'm going to give myself to pursuing pleasure, and I'm going to go to the bar scene and the club scene"? You are wasting your 20s. You may think, "This is so fun." Think about how dull and monotonous the life you live is. That's one of the things we talk about all the time here. Sin robs you of creativity. You're not out living an adventurous life. You do the same thing every week.
"What are we going to do? It's Thursday. We're going to go to happy hour, and then we're going to go to this next bar. We're going to get buzzed. Hopefully I'll not be so drunk I can't wake up Friday morning and be able to put it together at work. Then Friday night, I'm a weekend warrior, so I'm going to again go out to the bar. I'm hoping I'm going to find somebody I can hook up and go home with or bring them home to my house."
You're going to do the same thing Saturday, and you hit repeat. You hit repeat. You hit repeat. You are wasting your life. I want to say that again. You're wasting your life, and you're missing out. You're missing out on the things that breathe peace into you. You're missing out on the purpose you were created for.
Let me say it like this. This is a glove, in case you're not familiar with it. What is this glove made for? It's made to go on your hand. In other words, it's not made to go on your head. It's not made to go on your feet, not made to go on your toes, not made to sit by itself. What was it created for? It was made to go on your hand.
Well, how do you know? It's made in the image of a hand. This thing only fulfills its purpose when it's connected to the thing it's made in the image of. When it's not connected to the thing it's made in the image of, it fails to fulfill its purpose. It is empty. It is hollow. It may look pretty on the outside. It may be something that someone goes, "Oh, I know what that's for," but it is failing to fulfill its purpose.
So are so many of you, because unless you are connected to the thing you are made in the image of, which is God, just like this thing is made in the image of a hand… That's how you know what it is for, what it is to fulfill, what its purpose is. So many of you are failing to live out and experience your purpose because you are failing to connect and be connected to the thing that gives you purpose, the thing in whose image you were made.
You have a choice. How are you going to spend your 20s? How are you going to spend your life? Are you going to wake up tomorrow and just focus on the American dream and the Dallas message of "Get more money," or wherever you live, move on to the next relationship, try to find your value in how many "likes" you get on a post or what a guy says about you or what some girl says about you or what amount you have in your bank account or are you going to experience your purpose?
But there's only one way to get it, and that is to walk in connection with the one whose image you were made in. Mary knew that lesson. Hopefully Martha learned it that day. The tragedy (it breaks my heart) is so many of you are going to give your life to chasing more money for the rest of your life. "Hopefully I'll get some kids and a white picket fence, and someday I'll be able to retire. Someday I'll be able to kick back and relax a little bit." How crazy is that?
You're going to give some of the best years you have to chasing what everyone else in the world around you says you should chase after and not what Jesus says is where life is found, what ultimately matters. What a waste. It doesn't have to be. In conclusion, the things that are going to drain and suck the life out of you are being distracted by everything except for what matters, being distressed and carrying burdens that God, who's crazy about you, doesn't want you to carry, and the thing that's going to breathe life into you is being devoted first and foremost to him. "I'm going to walk in relationship with him."
If you have a phone, you can take it out and turn it back on. Do you know what you're going to see when you turn it back on? Whatever amount of battery life you had in there you still have. If you had 50 percent, you have 50 percent. It didn't drain any more. But do you know what it didn't do? It also didn't charge up to 100 percent. Whatever you had is what you're still going to have. The only way for it to charge up fully is for it to be connected to a source of energy, a power, for you to plug it in.
Every second that it is away from that source of power… In other words, every second that it's not connected, plugged into the wall to a phone charger, it's going to continue to drain. This is how the Christian life is lived. You, unlike a phone, are not meant to be charged once at night and then go the rest of the day disconnected from the source of energy, which is Christ. You are meant to be constantly connected.
Every second and every moment that you're not living in dependence on him, you will be drained and you will be draining. Every second that I'm not walking in dependence and continually just, "Christ, will you help me to be aware of you in the midst of my circumstances? Will you help me to have peace right now no matter what I'm facing around me? Will you give me courage to face and share my faith with this friend? Will you help me to see the way you see people…?"
It is when I live in a constant state of dependence and walking with him that I experience not being drained but being filled with life. This is what this whole story is about. Let me say it again. In the same way that a phone needs to be connected or else it will constantly drain, as a follower of Jesus, you need to be connected with him, moment by moment, walking in relationship with him, or you will be drained, which is the point of this whole story.
Think about it. The point of this story is not Jesus is against go-getters. That's not what he says at all. The point is he wants a relationship with you above everything else. He wants you to know him and him to know you beyond you serving him and doing things for him. He wants a relationship, a constant connection with him.
He's not against go-getters. Look at the apostle Paul. He was the greatest go-getter the world has ever seen. He's against you serving him and not knowing him. He's for you walking in connection and relationship with him. What will sustain and allow you, no matter what you face, to not be drained but be sustained is that: walking in dependence on him. Let me pray.
Father, would you help us to be still? At a heart level, would we be still and know and be convinced that you are God? You will be exalted among the nations. You are at work in the midst of whatever we're facing. You are sovereign over our lives. We can walk in dependence on you, and you've invited us into relationship. You've invited us to cast everything that's weighing us down…every fear, every hope…everything, you've invited us to cast onto you.
So I pray for friends in the room right now who are walking through painful circumstances in their own life and just surrounded by it, that they would cast everything on you and you would sustain them. Father, would you help us to be devoted first and foremost to you, not distracted from the things that pull our attention in a world that is constantly bombarding us with everything except what actually matters?
Would you unleash from this room the greatest missionaries for your name's sake who have ever existed, that the greatest days of the church would be in front of us because of the men and women inside of this room who go on to do greater things than the church has ever seen before for your name and your sake, God?
Would you save us from living a life that is devoted and successful, even, at everything except for what actually matters in life? Will you protect me, God, because my spirit is willing and flesh is pulled at the distractions of the world around us? Would you help those who are weak like me, and all of us in this room, to be devoted first and foremost to you, our Savior and our King? Amen.