The Life You've Always Wanted

Follow along with the latest message series from SAF.


Emotions of Life

Matthew 6:25-26 (NIV) “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Worry is the silent killer of __________.

I. Worry holds on to the _______things. 

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

A.   Worry causes us to be ____________.  

Psalm 77:3 I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I muse, and my spirit grew faint.

1.Being in the right ____________doesn’t mean we have the right heart.

2. Knowing a truth and ____________it are not the same thing.

B. Align our ____________with our head.

1. In the heart we ____________, in our mind we will _______ _____ of the problem.

2.People pray about problems but then won’t ____________the problem.

C. Complaining means we are not _______ _____ of the issue. 

D. The adversary wants to ____________our soul. 

Psalm 143:3 The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in darkness like those long dead.

II. Don’t hold on to the wrong things. 

A. What you carry moves you to ____________or ____________

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

B. Letting go of worry is a ____________action. 

Psalm 55:23b But as for me, I trust in you.

C. Think on God’s ____________

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

D. Once you cast your cares, act as though they are ____________

James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

E. God’s power flows when you leave things at His ____________

Matthew 15:29-31 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down.30Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them.31The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.


The Life You've Always Wanted

Being With God

1 John 5:20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

John 14:9 Jesus replied, "Philip, I have been with you all this time, and still, you do not know Me? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?

How do we do it? How do we have a deep authentic relationship with God?

1. _________________________ is key.

He says he is always with me, but am I always with him?

2. Know the ____________________.

Hebrews 4:11-12 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following the same pattern of disobedience. 12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints, and marrow. It judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Pray about what he hasn’t spoken about and do what he has.

3. Give Him________________________.

Psalm 71:8 My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day.

John 4:21-24 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

God is seeking ___________________worshipers.

4. ________________________.

1 Kings 19:11-13 11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

I wonder how many of us are simply not silent enough for long enough to hear the voice of God.

Have you become distracted?

Luke 10:38-42 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.39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 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? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

The life you've always wanted - week 4


A Heart Touched by God


  •  A heart touched by God ___________ generously and starts with the _____________.


2 Corinthians 9:7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.


Tithe = Tenth


Record for charitable giving in 2020 - $471 Billion, a 5.1% increase

Those making less than $50k/yr. gave a greater % of their income

7 of our 10 top giving states were from the south

Giving still lower % than during The Great Depression

80% of charitable giving in the US comes from individuals

Americans are 7 times more generous than Europeans

The avg family gives $2,514

27% of any church give nothing

5% give regularly – 2.5% of their income

75-90% of church attenders do not tithe

Those that start to tithe usually don’t stop there, keep giving until they get to 20%

If everyone in America tithed, we would have $165 Billion more for the Kingdom of God



1.  Tithing was ______________ in the New Testament.


Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

2 Corinthians 8:3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.


2 Corinthians 9:7-8 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.


2.  The tithe was clearly _________________ in the Law.


Leviticus 27:30 “‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.


Deuteronomy 26:13 Then say to the Lord your God: “I have removed from my house the sacred portion and have given it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, according to all you commanded. I have not turned aside from your commands nor have I forgotten any of them.


Malachi 3:10-12 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.


“If you can’t live on 90%, you can’t live on 100%. It doesn’t require a miracle for you to get through the month!” – Dave Ramsey


“Give to God what is right – not what is left.” – Pastor Adrian Rogers


3.  The tithe _________________ the Law.


Genesis 14:19-20 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,

    Creator of heaven and earth.

20 And praise be to God Most High,

    who delivered your enemies into your hand.”

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.


‘Who Am I Becoming?’

The Life You’ve Always Wanted - Week 3

“Do you want to _____ weeds, or ______ good grass?”

I can focus on the weeds in my life, or I can focus on growing good grass, and eventually the weeds will be snuffed out.

God is trying to mold us and form us each into a particular image and we have to decide what’s going to drive our lives.

The __________ weeds grow in the ________ soil.

Who am I becoming by the things that I am doing?

Doing a lot of ______ things, it doesn't guarantee _________ results.

‘Spiritual disciplines’, ‘habits’, or ‘formations’ are the rhythms that make up our day-to-day life and form us into a particular image.

Every ________ is a spiritual discipline.

All of these are spiritual disciplines, intentional or unintentional, that all are doing something to form my spirit, my inner man, from the inside out.

“The things that we do, do something to us.”

You ___________ whatever you face.

Rules of Life

Whatever season of life you're in is no barrier to having Christ formed in us.

“Whatever our season of life, it offers items own opportunity and challenges for spiritual growth. Instead of wishing we were in another season, we ought to find out what this one offers….Life counts - all of it. Every moment is potentially an opportunity to be guided by God into His way of living. Every moment is a chance to learn form Jesus how to live in the kingdom of God. - John Ortberg

What would you say is the #1 thing coming against your spiritual growth or formation?


“I’m just in a busy season”

“I don't have time for that”

“I wish there were more hours in a day”

“I'll sleep when I’m dead”

“I feel like time is just speeding up”

“Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day, you must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” - Dallas Willard

“There is nothing else, you must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

Hurry literally prevents us from enjoying the presence of Jesus and producing the fruit Jesus said the world would know us by

2 Types of Sins:

1. Sins of Commission - Doing the things we ought to avoid.

2. Sins of Omission - Not doing the things we ought to do.

2 Types of Spiritual Disciplines:

1. Disciplines of Engagement: intentionally doing certain things. (Worship, fellowship, or giving)

2. Disciplines of abstinence: intentionally refraining from doing certain things. (Like fasting, silence and solitude, sabbath).

What spiritual discipline can help me when it comes to ruthlessly eliminating hurry from my life?


But what is Sabbath and why should we practice it?

The Sabbath is a 24hr time period that is a practice, spiritual discipline or formation in our life by which we cultivate a spirit of restfulness all 7 days of the week.

Cease and Celebrate.

Cease: __________ and __________.

Celebrate: __________ and __________

Who are my ______ becoming by the things ____ are doing?

Is your families enjoyment of life and spiritual growth greater because of it?

Its not __________, Its life ______!

How to Sabbath:

  1. Make it the peak moment of the week.
  2. Set it apart as something special and unique.
  3. Pleasure stacking
  4. Cease and celebrate.
  5. Individual time & family time. Remember the _______ keeps it from becoming legalistic. It's a delight to submit into this rhythm.
  6. Turn the phones off.

Whitford Family Tech Rules:

  1. Elevate creation over consumption: we were primary made to create not to consume.
  2. Resist the speed and connected points of our culture.
  3. Shape our space to point in a particular direction.
  4. 1 - 1 - 1 rule. Phone off 1 hour per day, one day per week, one week per year.
  5. No phones anywhere there are other humans I should be talking to. (Dinner table, living room, restaurants, etc)
  6. Phones off at 6pm
  7. Phone off for sabbath
  8. No email on phone
  9. No phones by bed. - get an old fashion alarm clock. (Especially for kids).
  10. Refuse to start/end your day with social media. Don’t let that set your emotional equilibrium for the day. And then don’t turn it back on until after you’ve had your quiet time. It’s actually weirdly intimate to let your phone be the last thing you look at and first thing you look at.
  11. Turn off all the alerts - eliminate anything that distracts or takes away from the present moment.

What’s your ideal 24 hours?

Stop trying to kill the weeds in your life and start focusing on growing good grass.

Ruthlessly eliminate Hurry from your life by implementing the spiritual discipline of sabbath and start experiencing and producing the choice fruit of the spirit that Jesus said would mark his followers.

The life you've always wanted - Week 2


We and Jesus





1.  Life _________________.


Acts 2:44-45 Now all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they sold their possessions and goods and divided them among all as anyone had need.


Koinónia - fellowship (communion, partnership) and was used to describe the early church


Koinónia principle: God's people take care of each other



Romans 1:6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,


Ekklésia literally means to call out and to be called to; gathering


Matthew 16:18 "I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."


John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”


Acts 20:28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.



2.  In ______ _________


Acts 2:46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple…


Hebrews 10:25 (MSG) Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.


Psalm 122:1 says I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.


Galatians 3:26 …you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who are baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 


3.  In ________ _____________.


Acts 2:46 … so continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.



"The holiest moment of the church service is the moment when God's people—strengthened by preaching and sacrament—go out of the church door into the world to be the church. We don't go to church; we are the church" —Ernest Southcott



The life you've always wanted - Week 1




  • God wants us to engage him, holistically. Specifically, with our __________, our ____________ and our ____________.



Discipline – doing what we don’t necessarily want to do now so we can experience what we want most later. – John Ortberg


  • When we say no in spiritual discipline we are saying _____ ____ ____________ _______________.



Spiritual Maturity – living as Jesus would in our place: to think what He would think, to feel what He would feel, to do what He would do. – John Ortberg



Head. Heart. Hands.



1 Timothy 4:6 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.


Good servant.



1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.


Good doctrine.


1 Timothy 4:6 being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.



One ditch: Hyper-mysticism


Other ditch: Hyper-legalism


1 Timothy 4:7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;



Train yourselves.



  • Shortcut spirituality is ____________ spiritual offerings without being ________________ for more spiritual engagement.



Training – arranging your life around certain practices that will enable you to do what you cannot do now by willpower alone. – John Ortberg



1 Timothy 4:8 for while bodily training is of some value, for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.






Pursuing spiritual disciplines must be ___________________.


1 Timothy 4:6 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.



Pursuing spiritual discipline must be ___________________.


1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.



1 Timothy 4:10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.



  • You have 3 enemies that want to keep you from this: Your _________ the _______________ and the ______________.






Where am I _____________ time?


What’s _____________ (thinking, feeling or doing)?


Who’s _______________ me grow?