Raising the Bar On Fatherhood

To raise the bar on fatherhood you must find God's purpose for your life.

Darrell Ingram
Jun 17, 2018    30m
For his Father's day service Pastor Ingram talks about key ways that men can raise the bar on fatherhood. He discusses that the key to being both a better dad, and a better person, involves knowing who you really are inside. Knowing who you really are allows you to open yourself to God's purpose for your life. It is all tied together that by knowing yourself, and finding your God given purpose, you can raise your children to recognize Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Darrell Ingram: 00:00 I do want to give honor to pastor James, you know, for allowing me to come here. He's sick, so you all continue to pray for him. Also this is something different for all of us today. Say hello to Alexandria this morning, because they're being streamed. You all say hello, say hello Alexandria. There you go. Hello Alexandra. Hey, it's good that everybody's here, and I want to wish everybody a happy father's day. I want to look back real fast, because Trey reminded me something about my dad. My Dad has always been there, and I always tell Beverly bear you're just like your dad. Well I have to say, now I realize, I'm proud that I'm just like my dad. So happy father's day Dad, as you were in the hospital, he's been struggling so I'm going to continue to lift him in prayer.

Darrell Ingram: 00:52 But this morning I want to talk about raising the bar on fatherhood. And I want to talk about how God can lead us, and how God can get us in position as dads, but not only dads, as human beings, as people, as Christians, how we can get in God's position. So the first thing that I'm going to ask you is who are you? Who are you? I don't mean just your name, but who you really are as a person, as a father. You know, what do you think about more? What do you think about, and what do you think about who you are? I don't mean as a male or female, black or white, or Paco, Mexicans. Okay? You know I don't want us to think like that. But what consumes you the most? What consumes your thinking the most? What do you focus on the most? Where you are in your life, and in your marriage? Where are you? Where are you right now in your life? Where are you in your marriage? Where are you or wherever you are, but I want you to begin to think about that.
Darrell Ingram: 02:04 But most of us need to think, where are we spiritually? Where is my spiritual life at? Where am I spiritually? Where am I with God? You see, in this day and age, nobody wants to take responsibility for the mess ups that they do, they don't want to take responsibilities for the actions that they have done, they don't want to take responsibilities for where they are. But let me give you the cold, hard, truth. You are who you are, and what you are, and where you are, because of a few things. Choices and decisions that you have made. They can to be good or bad, and every one of us without exception would love to take some decisions back. Would love to take some choices back. I know as a dad, I'd love to take some choices back, some decisions that I made. I'd love to just have some things that I had to do over, and just start all over again.

Darrell Ingram: 03:11 But one of my favorite words, next to Jesus, in all of the Bible is mulligan. I like that word, mulligan. For those of you all that don't play golf, a mulligan is simply what you call a do over. And I know in life, I have to take a lot of do overs. Especially if you asked me to go golf with you. You don't give me one mulligan, you need to give me about 15 to 20 mulligans, because I'm going to do over that many times. You're not supposed to, not even supposed to have one, but in life I need mulligans. I need to have do overs in my life, I need to just have a shot that I could take over. There have been some decisions that I made in life, and I sure wish I could have some mulligans. And I know, like, some of you are like me. And some of the decisions that you've made, the pain, the agony that comes from having made bad decisions. Kind of outweigh the ones that are good, and that have brought you joy. Kind of weighs you down, and it would be wonderful if we could always make the right decisions in our life, make the wise choices in our lives, and always do the right things. You see, dads, men, women, moms, you see God wants to help us to raise the level of the choices that we make in life, the choices that we make for our families, the decisions that we make for our lives. He does this by revealing his will and his purpose for our lives. You can never make a wrong choice or decision, as long as that choice or decision, follows in line with God's perfect will in your life. But that raises a question to me. How do I know God's will, and how do I find my purpose in life?

Darrell Ingram: 05:14 That's been one of the top questions that had been asked me, and probably a lot of pastors around the area, around the world. Hey, how do I find God's will in my life? How do I find my purpose in life? I've always said it was just as simple as saying, go look in the Bible and you'll find it. I heard of a man, a dad, trying to find God's will for his life. Trying to find God's will, and the decisions that he will make for his family. So he said, I'm going to go pick up the bible. He said, I'm going to open it up, and going to put my finger on a verse, and I'm going to do whatever it says. So he opened the Bible, and he put his finger on the verse, and it says, "Judas went out and hung himself." That kind of really got him shook up. So he says, I need to do over, I've got to do this again. So he opened the Bible again, and he put his finger back on the Bible, on a verse, and it said, "Go and do likewise."

Darrell Ingram: 06:11 Man, if you're struggling to know God's will, if you're struggling to to know God's purpose in your life, if you're struggling just to hear from God to give you a direction for the choices. And the choices have been hammered on you all your life. I'm glad you're here this morning. I'm glad you're here because God wants to guide you, God wants to lead you, God wants you to know his will, and your purpose for your life. God wants to help us, Journey here in Pineville and Journey in Alexandria, to raise our lives to a whole other level. In other words, he wants to raise the bar, in what we're doing. Whether it be fatherhood, whether it be motherhood, God wants to help us to raise the bar. So that we can get to the next level, and that we can give him honor and glory in all that we do.

Darrell Ingram: 07:10 So Ephesians 5:17, "Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is." Listen in the Bible, every time you read the Lord's will, God's will, the will of God, you'll find basically three different types of wills that he speaks about.

Darrell Ingram: 07:27 First of all, he speaks about God's providential will. It's referred to in many different ways. God's sovereign will, God's determined will, his immutable will, his unchangeable will. And there are certain things that God is determined to do, and nobody can stop him. Like the virgin birth of Jesus, he said that's what's going to happen, and that happened. Like Jesus dying on the cross, and without him shedding our blood, we wouldn't have remission of sins. That was his purpose, he's going to die, he's going to die for all mankind. But the amazing thing is God said also he is going to rise, so the resurrection happened. Which shows us, you and I, have life even after death. And then his second coming. In other words, you can mark it down, it is God's providential will. You can mark it down, it's going to happen.

Darrell Ingram: 08:23 Then you have God's a practical will. And some people may say, this is God's moral will. And we find a lot of this in the 10 commandments, it's what God speaks clearly in his word, of the do's and don'ts of our lives. And 95% of the do's and don'ts in our lives, morally are in God's word, 95% in every area of our life is in God's word. But that's not what we struggle with. We don't struggle with His providential will, we don't struggle with His practical will.

Darrell Ingram: 08:59 We struggle with God's personal will, or our personal will, or our purpose. This is the part of will that many of us struggle. Even I struggled with it as a dad, I struggled with it as a preacher, as a teacher, and now a librarian. Because sometimes I want to strangle some of them kids, and throw them out. But God says your will is to be gracious to them. So I struggle with it day in and day out. Men, women, we all struggle with the will of God. Should I take that job, should I take this job? Should I go to this college, or that college? Should I teach here? So should I work here? Should I invest my money with this person, or that person? Should I make this purchase, or not? Should I make that person go here, or that and go there? And what we need to understand, we can't make anybody do anything. We can only make the choice for ourselves. And you know, as a father, I struggled with this, because I'd always say, I need to make my sons do this, I need to make my sons do this. I can't make them do anything, I couldn't even wake him up on time. But when I released them, then I found out what my purpose as a dad was, it is to live the light of Jesus Christ. That they will see it in me, and eventually they will come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. So you know, the question is, how do we know the will or purpose of God? Whether we're here in Pineville, or in Alexandra, how do we know?

Darrell Ingram: 10:44 I wish, I wish, God would just come with a deep bass voice was like, Darrell I need you to go over there, I need you to go over here. But as a general rule, God does not speak audibly today, as a general rule. But you know what? God still speaks. He still speaks in his word. You know, but what the problem is, there's so many of us get caught up in life. We get caught up in the hustle and bustle, and we get busy, and we can't hear from God because there are so many things drowning it out. When God just says stop, because I'm going to speak to you and that voice is going to be in a still small voice. Sometimes we need to slow down and listen to what God has to say, rather than be in a rush and hurry on, and then he can't communicate to us. I believe, I believe without a shadow of a doubt, God wants us to know his and his purpose for our lives. Whether we're a father, whether we're on mother, whether we're a child, whether we're a son or daughter, whatever it may be, God wants us to know his will and purpose. We just got to learn how to get in position. You can't be out of position to get fed from a position. You got to be willing to step up, so that you can learn to step out.

Darrell Ingram: 12:23 He said, we find this in Proverbs 3:5-6, and I'm going to hit on them real fast and raising the bar on fatherhood means we need to trust God as our mentor. It says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart." That's in verse five, this is the first step and knowing God's will, it is to completely trust Him with every area of your life. Now listen, if you're here today, and you don't have a relationship with God through his son Jesus Christ, I have to be honest with you. You can't know God's will for the rest of your life. until you know God's will for your life right now. And that's to come to his son, and accept him as Lord and Savior of your life. And it's so amazing that, you know, we all sin and come short of the glory of God. And that's what that black represents, and the worst thing about that black that we represent right there, is the separation that we have between us and God. But it's so amazing that God loved us, no matter what, it says, "By his blood, by his stripes, we are healed." Without the shedding of blood, there's no remission of sin. "And that's what that red represents, the blood of Jesus Christ. And if you accept him as your Lord and Savior, God no longer sees that black, that sin in your life. What he sees is a clean slate, you are as white as snow. He no longer sees that black, but through the blood of Jesus Christ, he sees you as forgiven, Fully bought, and fully paid for through his son Jesus Christ. And if I die, I know where I'm going. I don't know where you're going, but I know without a doubt where I'm going. I'm going to heaven, and that's what that goal represents. And one day I'm going to be there, and I'm going to be shouting for joy and shouting for whatever, because I'm going to be not in the presence just my family. I'm going to be in the presence of God. And I'll be able to speak to him face to face, and praise him face to face.

Darrell Ingram: 14:29 But while I'm here on earth, I need to continue to grow. I need to continue to learn God's word, and when I learn God's word, then I can truly be the church. You see we come to church. Do we leave as the church? I come to church, and I get filled, But I'm not filled all the way to the top. And God's word says it's filled, it's full, it's pressed down, shaken together, and it's overflowing. And if it's overflowing, then it needs to touch somebody else. I got to go out and be the church. I got to go out and be the church. so that I can touch somebody else for Jesus. I got to go out and let them know what Christ has done for me.

Darrell Ingram: 15:11 Listen, one of the most exciting times as a father was when my two boys were...man, I cried like a little baby. May have been big, I was thinner than I am now, but I was still big. My grandmother used to say I was husky, so this husky young man, when we had our baby boy's cried like a little baby. That was the most excited and most at peace I felt, until both my boys accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. And I know now what it feels to have peace to know, that my children if they are gone, I'll see them one day. That's what it's all about to be a dad. That's raising the bar on fatherhood, is to know that our children come to know the Lord as their Lord and Savior. You got to trust him, you got to hope on Him, and you got to depend on him and he'll lead you.

Darrell Ingram: 16:09 Do you see there are two parts of knowing God's will? There is your part, and there's God's part. Your part is simply to trust God totally, completely, just trust Him. The word trust literally means to lie down or to stretch out. Hey, when you sat down, you trusted that chair was going to hold you up. Am I right? Yes. Oh me or No. Well they're holding you up, so apparently your trust worked. But to lay down or to stretch out it simply means when we go to bed at night, we simply lay down and we trust that, that bed is going to hold us up. I know no one, well, some people may do it, puts one foot on the floor. Or hold the {inaudible], and hope that the bed is going to hold them up. No, that's why we call it jumping into bed. We're going to jump into it, because we trust that it's going to hold us up. You see the first key to understanding God's will for your life, is you got to completely trust him. You've got to give your heart to him, wholeheartedly. In other words, you have to let go, to live. Let me say that again. You've got to be willing to let go your choices, for his choices so that you can live. So you've got to let go, to live. This is more difficult than it sounds. Let me give you the definition of trust. Trust is whenever you say yes, yes to whatever God wants you to do before, before he even shows you. That's tough.

Darrell Ingram: 17:52 I remember when Pastor James asked me and Beverly to go and Pastor Alexandra campus at Journey Church. I remember that day he asked me. He kept on shooting me texts. Man, I'm just happy about the God moving. I didn't even know God was talking to me, but pastor James, God was talking to him. I'm so glad where God's moving you and your new ministry. And I'm at school and he's texting me all this. I'm in the middle of testing, and he's texting me all this. I'm going Oh God, what am I into now? So then I get back, and he said, "Hey Darrell, God is kind of leading us in the direction of opening another campus, and he's laid on my heart for you to be that pastor."

Darrell Ingram: 18:34 Oh, now me, "Oh yeah, let's do it." But my rock over there, said we got pray about it. We prayed, and we prayed.

Darrell Ingram: 18:49 And Pastor James said, "Now if you decide not to go, that's all right, we'll keep you here." He wasn't going to fire me or tell me you can't go. I mean you can't do anything. You can stay here, and God will still use you here, and I'll still use you in part of this ministry, But there came a point in my life, and Beverly's life, that we needed to stop praying and trust. And so we took that step, and since we took that step, God has blessed us phenomenally. We have a great group of leaders. What excites me more, is to see all the leaders that are growing in Alexandria campus. I got people like Kurt and Claudia [inaudible]. Man she is one of my right hands. She is so loving, and so gracious, that people are just attracted to her. I got all kinds of people. I got a Jessica and Mike Christie. I got Steven and Miranda. Steven is my right hand. But I see people growing by leaps and bounds. But here is what is exciting, over two hundred people have entered as visitors at the Alexandria campus. Ten people, ten people have joined, and this is like ten weeks. Ten people have joined the Alexandria campus, and this morning they are going to go and baptize the sixth and the seventh person at Alexandria campus. Let me tell you what that is from, it's not from me and Beverly taking that step, but it's from Journey Church taking that step. Saying we're going to trust God, that we're going to be the church, and we're going to start reaching out to those that are in need. You see we don't get the power, just like pastor James told us, except we do like in Acts 1:8. We get the power when we go. So if you want the power, then you need to go. You need to go out, quit staying in the church, and be the church. You need to go out, 100,000 people, we can meet it. We can meet 200,000 people, will can meet 12 million people, but we just got to do it. We just got to do it. We just got to take that step. God wants us to go, but the real problem in finding God's purpose, or God's will is really just doing it. That's the real problem, it's just doing it.

Darrell Ingram: 21:18 There are two questions that come up, in just doing it. When you're starting to do the God will dance. And we all do it. Oh, we can dance, but we started doing the God will dance. God, what do you want me to do? And then God is simply asking the question, will you do what I want you to do. You see it's all about, hey, are you willing to do what God wants you to? Well, God, you go first, God, you go first, so I can take all these choices and place them in a basket and I'll pick out the good ones that I need, that I know I can do. God's not going to go first, God said you go first. In other words, what God wants you to do is, you know what? But I messed up, God. I mess up. you mess up. we all mess up. But listen, God wants to take that mess up, and he wants to turn it into a message.

Darrell Ingram: 22:22 You know it reminds me of Isaiah chapter 6, where Isaiah was standing in front of the Lord. He said, "I saw the Lord high and lifted up." He said, "The train of his robe filled the whole temple. I saw God and he said, God, I'm a man of unclean lips, and then God, after he was cleansed, God simply asked the question, who can I send? Isaiah says, Here I am, send me, here I am, send me." It's after then, that God told him what he wanted him to do. You've got to be willing to step out, and to step up, to get to God speak up. You got to be willing to do what God wants you to do, and then it says, lean on in your own understanding. The word lean literally means to support yourself, by leaning on something or someone else. We need to lean on someone, we need to quit trying to do it on our own and lean on that someone, and that someone is God. You see men try to logically think it out, we do. Man that's why women and guys are Mars and Venus. They are totally separate. Women they go on their feeling, does this feel good? Yes it does, let's do it. Men, we got to figure this out now. We don't need to do it either way. We don't need to think about, we don't need to logically try to build it. We don't need to go off of our emotions. We just need to trust. Trust in God. You see in Jeremiah 10:23 says, "I know that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course." There is no way you and I can trust our own self. We've got to trust the mentor. And then finally, you know, raising the bar and fatherhood means following God as your model. You need to follow him as your model, in all your ways acknowledge him. To acknowledge, is simply more than just giving lip service. It's simply more than us, how we say hello, how are you doing, what's up? It's more than that. To acknowledge, is translated to focus and to follow. So we need to focus and follow God in all our ways, and when we do that, God will begin to show us his will. God will only reveal his heart to someone who is clean and committed, clean and committed.

Darrell Ingram: 25:19 I remember in my knucklehead days, I think I got coach [inaudible] right there, he used to coach me. He knew I was a knucklehead at times, he to whoop me a couple of times with the board. You know, as a teacher, that's what I wanted to do. As a teacher I wanted to go in and paddle people, because you all paddled me all the time. I can't do it anymore. But anyways, I remember coming as a knucklehead here. I came here, because I did some things that weren't very good in California. You know, kind of sold things that I wasn't supposed to sell, things that are illegal. And they caught me, and they sit me, that was a mess up in my life. But God took that mess up, and he turned it into a miracle. You see, that miracle was that I met the love of my life, Beverly. And then I had two boys that are phenomenal and amazing, and that I will do anything in the world for. But I needed to come to the conclusion that I needed to get it out of my will, and in God's will. I needed to say the same thing that Isaiah said, I am ruined. And when I went down that aisle, slobbering and crying, and saying I need to know Jesus. He completely changed me. I am here today as a result of not trusting in my own way, but trusting in God's way.

Darrell Ingram: 26:53 You see fatherhood means also, we need to obey God as our master. Simply, we need to follow him. He give us guidance and directions and we need to know, how do I know? I trust him. I trust him as my mentor, I trust him as my master, and I move forward. I need to lean on him, and allow him to guide me. And he says, I'll promise to never leave you nor forsake you.

Darrell Ingram: 27:13 There was a Russian cosmonaut in the sixties, that went up in space, and he went around the earth. After he went around the earth, he came down and he had a press conference. And in this press conference he said that I searched the earth or the heavens, and I looked for God, and I did not see him anywhere. Therefore there is no God. And the Communist, the communist, which were an atheist regime. Said we now have scientific proof that there is no God. Six weeks later, John Glenn went up into space and he circled the earth three times in the Gemini. And he came back down, and he held a press conference. And he said, "I saw God everywhere, I saw his glory in the galaxy, I saw his splendor in the universe, I saw His majesty in the stars." Which one of these were correct? They both were. Because Jesus said, "Unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God." You see before there's spiritual transformation in your life, you are narrow minded, you are narrow minded, to see any possibility that God wants to do in your life. So what you need to do is let go, so you can live.

Darrell Ingram: 28:46 Let's stand and let's pray to our Lord. Father, I thank you. Father, I thank you for the opportunity to come, Lord. And for fathers. Father, our father's here are tremendous, and they're phenomenal. Father, let you right now would impress upon our heart, Lord, that we would continue to follow your guidance and direction. That we would simply let go, and live. Father, right now, I know in a crowd this big there is somebody struggling with decisions that they have made. Bad choices, bad directions, they need to let go and live. They need to come to you, and if they haven't given their life to you as lord and Savior, today is the day of salvation. It's today, they are here, you are here for a purpose and a reason. And that purpose and reason may be that you need to come lay down all the hurts, hang-ups, and whatever it is at the altar, and let God take care of them. But you'll never do it, you'll never know the freedom. until you let go and live. Won't you come, won't you come, in Jesus' name, Amen.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360