* Ambition is a great follower, but a terrible leader. * When ambition stays in the passenger’s seat, it’s the best co-pilot you could ever have. * But the minute you let it jump into the driver’s seat you’ll certainly head the wrong direction - right toward disaster. * Enter NIMROD! He was the mastermind behind the Tower of Babel (wanted to build a name for himself). * It turned into Babylon, that became representative of the world system of Satan (political, cultural, economic). * Vs 8 - He started out as a great man of his day - a mighty warrior who accomplished great feats. * Vs 9 - He was a warrior turned “hunter.” * The Septuagint says he was a mighty hunter “against” the Lord. * He didn’t just hunt animals, but of men - lording his power over them to build his own kingdom. * His aspiring mind was never at rest - he was resolved to build something bigger and better and to use people to do it. * The spirit of competition was on him - he wanted to build a tower, not so he could live in it, but so that he could rule over others by it - even God. * Vs 10 - He started Babylon - he wanted one world order! * Applications - Nationally and Personally. * Nationally - the spirit of Nimrod is now in control of the US. * Matthew Henry - “He was a mighty hunter, that is, he was a violent invader of his neighbors’ rights and properties, and a persecutor of innocent men, carrying all before him, and endeavoring to make all his own by force and violence.” * Personally - Matthew Henry said that Nimrod represented the “spirit of ambition.” * God will have to confuse their plans (He will do it!). * 1) It is boundless (always wants more). * 2) It is restless (never content). * 3) It is expensive (the spirit of building is the common effect of a spirit of pride”). * 4) It is rebellious. * Nimrod’s ambition opened the door for others to move way from God (in Babylon). * Do NOT let your ambition spin out of control! Keep it at bay - you don’t want to build a tower God has to destroy.
Genesis 10:8-12 (1/21/21)
Ambition in the Wrong Seat
January 21, 2021 • Benham Brothers
Leviticus 25:18-22 (3/4/21)
Make God Your Work Partner • March 4, 2021 • Benham Brothers
* God wants to be your partner at work. * But you have to do things His way. * Backstory - God had given Israel some laws to obey in order to teach them how to trust Him. * Honoring the Sabbath was one of those laws. * They also had to take a a Sabbath year every 7th year - no working the land at all. * On top of that, they were required to take the 50th year off as well, which would be a double-Sabbath year rest (49th & 50th years in a row). Year of Jubilee. * We have no record of Israel ever honoring the 7th year or 50th year Sabbaths (this is one of the reasons the Babylonian captivity was necessary). * The principle is still powerful - honor God and He’ll honor you. * Vs 18-22 - God wants to bless your work!!! * The Israelites were farmers - that would be like telling a stock broker to pull out of the market and no longer trade, but then God says, “I’ll fill your portfolio with so many good stocks you can’t count the money!” * EX: Franchise story - don’t market! * God will provide, but only as you fully trust Him with the results.
Psalms 23:1-3 (3/4/21)
Controlling Your Desires • March 4, 2021 • Benham Brothers
* “Not wanting is as good as having” - Seneca. * When you want something, you can choose one of two things: * 1) Get it. * 2) Stop wanting it. * #1 requires ambition. * #2 requires contentment. * #1 meets the external “felt” need. * #2 meets the internal “true” need. * Contentment is the path that David takes us on in this Psalm. * Vs 1 - He essentially says, “With God as my guide, I am not in a state of continually wanting more and more stuff…” * Famous quote - “Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.” * Vs 2-3 - a picture of contentment. * A professional shepherd, Phillip Keller, wrote a book on Psalms 23. He said that in order for a sheep to lie down four things are requires: * 1) They must be FULL. * 2) They much be UNAFRAID. * 3) They must be CONTENT. * 4) They must be in UNITY (those around him need the first three things). * Problem - if you don’t get vs 1 right, vs 2-3 aren’t possible. * Want is like the magnifying glass on a piece of paper on the sidewalk in the Texas summer heat. * It magnifies the sun’s light and intensifies its heat until the paper is burned up. * What you focus on magnetizes in your mind and your longing for it intensifies until you’re burned up. * EX: Jake w/every new thing - “dad, we need a boat!” * The result is always emptiness - you get the thing but it doesn’t satisfy you like you thought it would. * Here are three ideas on how you can want something less: * 1) Acknowledge the cost - you may want a Ferari, but getting it means you have to pay the bill… and never parking in a normal spot again. * You were free before you had it, but you give up your freedom to get it. * Imagine every time you formed a new want, you drew up a contract detailing what you would give up in exchange for the thing. * “I promise to be unhappy until I get _________.” * Don’t put on the “golden handcuffs.” * 2) Desire stacking - keep your bigger desire the focus, rather than the smaller desire. * EX: I’ve always wanted a lifted truck. But that short-term desire took a backseat to my long-term desire of independent wealth. * Prioritizing your desires helps you remain content. * 3) Delay until expiry - don’t let yourself get something until you’ve delayed for a period of time. * Purposeful delays often times makes the desire go away. * EX: Give yourself a 30 day buffer before you buy your thing… * Not wanting is as good as having.