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  • I shared a teaching with our staff about two months ago.

  • I came in and taught this teaching called Three Habits of a Healthy Heart.

  • Several of them said, "You need to share that with the church," and I couldn't find a good

  • weekend to share it because of all of the scheduling.

  • Well, when I realized we would have to postpone our series for a week, I thought, "This is

  • the time."

  • This is the window for me to share this with you.

  • So I want to teach you a little bit today.

  • This teaching is going to require your full attention,

  • and I don't just mean with your mind.

  • I mean your emotional attention.

  • While I get set up here to teach you today Three Habits of a Healthy Heart, how many

  • know real lasting change has to happen in your heart?

  • It can't just be in your behavior.

  • You really have to fundamentally change your belief.

  • That's what the psalmist is talking about in Psalm 119:112.

  • There aren't many chapters in the Bible that have 112 verses.

  • I think Psalm 119 is on record as the longest chapter in the Bible.

  • It's constructed grammatically in a specific way that we won't go into in this class.

  • I want to teach a little bit today, if that's all right.

  • Is it all right if I don't even shout or holler or anything?

  • If you wanted to hear me holler, you should have come to the praise party.

  • We had an amazing time saying, "Good morning, midnight."

  • We welcomed not only a new year but we also welcomed our challenges this year, knowing

  • that often our calling is contained in our challenges, if we learn how to see it correctly.

  • Everything begins with perspective.

  • The perspective of the psalmist in Psalm 119 is kind of all over the place.

  • I think he's dealing with some inner issues.

  • Getting beyond the grammar of the psalm, we can know a little bit of the intention of

  • it.

  • The psalmist says in verse 112, "I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever,

  • to the end."

  • I want this to last.

  • I don't just want to see some changes in my life for a few weeks in January.

  • I didn't hand them my gym membership and sign up for a year just to be eating chocolate

  • by Valentine's Day.

  • I want to see some lasting change in my life this year.

  • The psalmist said, "I incline my heart."

  • It has to happen within.

  • Not just the behavior, but the belief that drives the behavior has to change or the change

  • won't stay.

  • We've found this out over and over again.

  • Every new year we learn it again.

  • Lasting change is what I'm after, and I incline my heart.

  • That's an interesting choice of words.

  • If you incline something, that means it was naturally not in that position.

  • That means you had to act upon it in order to orient it in a different direction.

  • Right?

  • We don't incline something that's already upright.

  • It must have meant his heart was declined.

  • The problem with a lot of us is we go through life reclined.

  • However we wake up, that's how we stay.

  • However we feel, that's how we act.

  • The psalmist said, "I act upon my attitude, and I incline my heart."

  • Did you know you're in charge of your heart?

  • Quit saying people broke your heart.

  • They can't break it if you don't give it to them.

  • He said, "I'm setting my heart in the direction of heaven."

  • I wonder, is your heart set in a divine direction today?

  • Incline my heart.

  • I don't think this is something you do one time.

  • You just inclined your heart to God when you were 12 at summer Bible camp and you never

  • were tempted again.

  • I think we want it to be that way.

  • I want it to be like the infomercial.

  • Do you remember the infomercial with the Showtime rotisserie oven?

  • The man said, "Set it and forget it."

  • That's how I want my heart to be, like that infomercial.

  • Set it and forget it.

  • I want my heart to just stay there, you know.

  • "Hey, I went to church the first Sunday in January.

  • That ought to get me by.

  • I set it."

  • The psalmist said it's not enough to set it and forget it.

  • He said it's more like you set it, you check it, you reset it, you check it, because all

  • through your day and all through your year, your heart is going to be tempted to decline

  • to a default position.

  • Maybe it's a default position of discouragement or despair or dysfunction, but when you take

  • charge of your heart...

  • That's what the writer of Proverbs said.

  • It's not just the psalmist who did it.

  • The writer of Proverbs said, "Guard your heart."

  • It's your heart, and that's where the issues of life flow from.

  • Before we can get the windows working, we have to get our hearts open.

  • Hey man, the doctor was fussing at me a couple of months ago about my cholesterol.

  • It lets me know I'm getting on up there in age.

  • I've never had a conversation like this with a doctor before.

  • He's just talking and talking.

  • Blah, blah, blah.

  • LDL, HDL, triglycerides, all this stuff.

  • I know he could tell he wasn't getting through to me, because he took a really drastic turn.

  • He said, "Hey!

  • I don't want you to be one of those guys who looks really fit on the outside," which made

  • me feel happy that he said that about me, "but then one day you're just outside running

  • and you just fall over of a heart attack.

  • You need to listen to me."

  • I corrected him.

  • I said, "Doctor, I know you have some degrees that I don't have and all that, but you're

  • wrong about that.

  • I don't run.

  • So if I fall over, it's not going to be on cardio."

  • He said, "You can be blocked on the inside and look good on the outside."

  • You can be successful and fall over, be sexy and fall over, be married and fall over, get

  • a promotion and fall over, be religious and fall over.

  • It has to happen in the heart.

  • But it doesn't start with the heart; it starts with the habits.

  • Your habits create the condition of your heart.

  • I feel like God is going to help somebody set your heart on things above, get your heart

  • set in the right direction, but it's going to require some habits.

  • They're all right there in the psalm.

  • I want to read you the next two verses, because my three habits are right there in the verses.

  • "I set my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.

  • I hate..."

  • What's that word doing in the Bible?

  • I thought we were supposed to love everything.

  • "I hate the double-minded, but I love your law."

  • I don't think we should go on until we talk about that.

  • He said, "I hate this.

  • I hate the double-minded."

  • That's not a person I hate; it's I hate the condition of double-mindedness.

  • I hate it.

  • See, the thing about hate is hate is the most powerful motivation to change, not love.

  • Before you start with wanting to reach your goals, maybe the first thing for you to do

  • is to make a decision about some things you hate.

  • It's going to be complicated, because for me, I have a love/hate relationship with some

  • of the things.

  • I feel kind of like David.

  • One time David's son Absalom died, and Joab came to him and said, "Your son is dead,"

  • and David started weeping.

  • Joab was mad, because Absalom was trying to take the throne from David.

  • Absalom had become David's enemy, but David's heart was connected to Absalom, so he was

  • crying.

  • Joab said, "You need to get it together.

  • You hate those who love you, and you love those who hate you.

  • You hate what's trying to deliver you, and you love what's trying to destroy you."

  • I feel that way about certain things in my life, certain actions, certain behaviors in

  • my life.

  • I love how they feel for a minute, but I hate the crash.

  • Certain things in my life, I hate how they feel when I'm doing them.

  • I hate the plank.

  • Exhibit A. For years, I was one of these people...

  • I would tell you to your face, "I hate to exercise."

  • You can go back and watch my sermon videos from three years ago.

  • I would stand on the stage and say, "I hate to exercise."

  • Do you know why I hated it?

  • Because it wasn't a habit.

  • I didn't do it enough to love it.

  • I hated it.

  • But you don't have to accept your default attitude toward anything.

  • I incline my heart.

  • The moment of realization for me was when I was paying my tailor $450 to come over to

  • my house and let my pants out.

  • I hated it.

  • I looked at him and said, "I hate this, man.

  • I could be using this money to buy new clothes, and I'm paying it to you to make my clothes

  • bigger.

  • I hate this."

  • He said, "Hey, keep eating.

  • It's job security for me."

  • That's what my tailor said.

  • I said, "No, man.

  • I hate this.

  • I hate this feeling."

  • Sometimes before you can make a change you have to be motivated by...

  • I know it's a strong word.

  • It's not very pastoral.

  • You have to hate it.

  • You have to hate self-pity.

  • The problem with hating self-pity is it feels good like a bag of Doritos on your tongue.

  • See, it's not that I hate the taste of Doritos.

  • I just hated what it did to my waist.

  • He said, "I hate the double-minded.

  • I love your law."

  • Before I can do what I love, I have to know what to hate.

  • I hate this.

  • I love what it does for me, but I hate what it does to me.

  • It's a complicated relationship.

  • A bag of Doritos does something for me.

  • It might not do anything for you.

  • It does something for me.

  • I have a long-standing relationship with carbohydrates.

  • They have been there for me.

  • In the midnight hour, when I couldn't call on anybody else, I could call on chocolate.

  • So I love it.

  • I love what it does for me, but I hate what it does to me.

  • I hate all this.

  • I hate anger.

  • It makes me feel good.

  • It even gets me some results.

  • I have a complicated relationship with anger.

  • If you get mad enough, you can get people to do what you want, but then you're all alone

  • after they do it.

  • Nobody wants to be with you.

  • I hate being angry, because I hate being alone.

  • I hate the outcome of this and that.

  • I hate what it does to my marriage.

  • I hate what it does to my relationships.

  • I hate how it disturbs my inner peace and puts me in a state of turmoil.

  • It's complicated.

  • It's a complicated relationship that I have with complaining.

  • I love to complain.

  • Ooh, I love to tell somebody.

  • You can look at me.

  • "Well, the Bible says don't do it."

  • The Bible says don't do it, but it doesn't say it doesn't feel good.

  • It feels really good to complain.

  • It feels like a choice morsel going down as it's coming out of your mouth.

  • Just to unload on them.

  • When somebody says, "How are you doing?" just let them know for five minutes every ache,

  • every pain, every disappointment, every struggle.

  • But guess what?

  • The next time they see you coming, they're going the other way.

  • It's the law of diminishing returns.

  • It gets you high for a minute.

  • I love to talk bad about people.

  • I do.

  • I shouldn't say these things.

  • I tell myself every week after I finish on Sunday when I'm watching back my sermon, "Furtick,

  • don't say stuff like that.

  • People put it on YouTube and use it against you as a weapon."

  • I just have to tell you I love...

  • It makes me feel really good about my dysfunction to spend a little time discussing yours.

  • I love to talk about other people's dumb decisions.

  • I love it.

  • It's a natural high, because if I can get you down here, then I feel like I'm right

  • here.

  • The only problem is I'm setting myself up for decline.

  • Now the next time I see you I can't treat you better than I talk about you, so it ruins

  • my relationships.

  • I love what it does for me.

  • It does something for me.

  • Come on, how many will admit it does something for you to talk about what Henry did and what

  • Suzie wore and what they should have done and what their kids are like?

  • But by the same measure you judge you will be judged.

  • I love the taste, but I hate the outcome.

  • I hate it.

  • The problem with a lot of our resolutions for change is that they are not motivated

  • by a healthy kind of hate.

  • There is a healthy way to hate.

  • I hate racism.

  • I hate poverty.

  • That's the only thing that will motivate me to do anything about it.

  • I have to hate it.

  • I hate bullying.

  • I was bullied.

  • Tony Wigfall jacked me up against the wall.

  • I still remember my head cracking against the wall and my friend Hamilton looking at

  • me, saying, "Don't look at me, man."