How To Keep Your Tank Filled Up Instead of Running On Empty with Rick Warren

– Today I want us to conclude
the Living on a Margin series. I read this this week, a pet store delivery truck was making its rounds. And each time it came to a stop light, the driver would get out, take a two by four and start banging on the side of his truck. (congregation laughs) After seeing it happen a couple of times another man stopped and asked
him, “What are you doing?” He explained, “Well this
is only a two ton truck. “And I’m carrying four tons of canaries. “So I have to keep two tons of them “in the air all the time.” (congregation laughs) Some of you are like that truck driver. You need to lighten your load. And that’s why we’ve
been doing this series on living on a margin,
that I’ve been having our pastors teach you. I gave them the material to teach, I gave them the principles and I said, “I want you to deliver this to our family, “because we all need it.” Now I want to begin a little survey. Okay, my first question is, how low do you let your gas tank typically get before your refill it? (congregation laughs)
Okay? How many of you would say,
“I only let mine get down “to about a quarter empty
and then I refill it?” Can I see your hands? Oh you’re just so
spiritual, okay, all right. (congregation laughs)
(spits) Ba, ba, ba to you. Okay, all right, how many say, “When it hits half full, then I refill?” Okay, all right, good. How many of you’d say, “I
wait until it’s 3/4 empty “and then I refill?” All right. Some of you are just lying. (congregation laughs)
Okay, okay. And how about the rest
of you who would say, “Well then I wait ’til it gets “five miles past empty?” Can I see your hands? (laughs) Look at this!
(congregation laughs) All right, okay, next
question, next question. How many of you have ever run out of gas? Okay, if you’ve run out of gas I want you to stand up right now. I want you to just see, if you’ve ever run out of gas.
(congregation laughs) Look at all these people! (congregation laughs)
All these people have run out of gas. All right, (chuckles)
thank you, thank you. You can be seated. (congregation chattering) Now I would like to ask, third question. Would any of you like to tell
us why you ran out of gas? (congregation laughs) I want to give you 10 reasons we run out of gas, I want
you to write these down. Because everyone of them parallel your spiritual life, your emotional life, your relational life,
you’re financial life. Everyone of them parallel situations in your life. 10 reasons why we run out of gas. Can you run out gas emotionally? – Yes.
– Of course you can. Spiritually, of course you can. Can you run out of gas in a relationship? Yup. Can you run out of gas financially? Yup. So every one of these 10
reasons why cars run out of gas, actually parallel why you run out of gas in your life and why you need to live on a margin. So write these down, number one. The first reason you run out of gas is not starting out with a full tank. Now we talked in this series one session, Pastor Buddy, we talked about how you start your day sets your day. And if you don’t start
your day with a full tank you’re gonna be running on empty by the end of the day. You have to start your
day with a full tank, emotionally, spiritually, and that’s why you need time with the Lord. Okay, number two. Second reason we run out of gas, being too busy to pause and refuel. Now we’ve all done this. You’re in a hurry, you’re busy and you know you need to
get gas but you think, “I’ll just push it a little bit further, “because I don’t have time to pause. “I’m already late for this appointment. “I don’t have time to stop and get gas.” And when you’re too busy
to pause and refuel, you’re gonna run out of gas. Now that’s true in your life. If you don’t have a
regular period of refueling spiritually, refueling emotionally, refueling, renewing your relationships, you’re gonna run out of gas. Okay, number three. Unaware of hidden leaks
that are draining me. You can run out of gas if you don’t know there’s some leaks in your gas tank. And that certainly has
parallels to your life. That there are often
hidden leaks in your life that are draining you all the time. And that’s why you’re running on empty. Now there are two big
categories of hidden leaks, relationships and responsibilities. Everybody here could
give an example of how a relationship has drained you. Sometimes they’re not hidden, but sometimes they are. And you don’t realize what
a drain this particular relationship is having on
you, how it’s sapping you of your energy, your
creativity, your strength, your walk with the Lord
and all these things. Relationships can be
hidden leaks in your life. And so can responsibilities. And the more you’ve got,
the more possible leaks. So the more responsibilities you’ve got, the more, is likely
you’re gonna spring a leak in one of those. And that’s gonna drain our tank and you’re gonna be running on empty. Okay, here’s a fourth one. Ignoring the owner’s manual, (congregation members laugh) and pushing my car farther
than it was created to go. If you pick up that owner’s manual, which you have never
read, it’s still there in your glove compartment. (congregation laughs) And you’ve never, ever looked at it and you’ve owned your car for five years. It’ll tell you how far
your tank will take you. And it will tell you how far
that car was designed to go even on regular, or supreme or whatever gas
you’re putting in your car. And they’ve tested it
over and over and over. And the creators, the manufacturers, the designers know exactly
how far your car will go given how many miles per
gallon it’s gonna get and how many gallons
you’ve got in your tank. And I don’t care how much faith you’ve got your tank isn’t gonna get any bigger. “I believe I have a bigger tank. (congregation laughs) “I know it says it’ll
only go this many miles, “but I believe it will,” all the faith in the
world isn’t gonna give you a bigger tank. It’s got the tank that
the creator gave it. Now. This is your owner’s
manual for life, the bible. And the bible tells you what you can and can’t do with your life. If you ignore the owner’s manual, you’re gonna run out of gas. And all over the world, in every culture, people are emotionally running out of gas, relationships are dying,
careers are dying, dreams are dying. Because they’re not paying
attention to the owner’s manual. God gave you a certain size tank. And you just have to live with that fact. And if you ignore it,
well you just ignore it to your own detriment. But ignoring the owner’s manual. Pushing my car further
than it’s created to go, pushing your body further
than it’s created to go, pushing your mind further
than it’s created to go. Pushing your emotions, further
than God created them to go. You’re gonna run out of energy. For instance, in this book it says, every seven days you take a day off. That’s so important, God put
it right there in the big 10. It’s in The 10 Commandments. Right along with don’t murder
and don’t commit adultery, it says every seventh
day you take a day off. Are you breaking The 10 Commandments? Now it’s not a day off, it’s not a sabbath if on your sabbath you’ve
got your honey do list and you’re trying to catch
up with all the stuff you didn’t get done the other six days. A sabbath is for rest, rest your body, refresh your soul and worship. Renew your relationships. Revitalize your life. That’s what a sabbath is for. All that’s a part of it, recreation can be a part of your sabbath. Worship is a part of your sabbath. Rest is a part of your sabbath. Sometimes the most
spiritual thing you can do is go home and take a nap. Because God says, you’re wired, did you know that every seven days your heart beats just
a little bit different? Studies have shown that. Did you know that during
the French Revolution they outlawed the sabbath in France, ’cause they were trying to get
rid of everything Christian. And within a few years
they had to restore it because of the health
of the nation plummeted. It literally fell apart. So they had to restore the day of rest. That’s in the owner’s manual. If you ignore it, your tank
isn’t gonna get any bigger, it’s not gonna go any further. And if you’re burning
the candle at both ends you’re not as bright as you think you are. (congregation laughs lightly) All right, number five. A fifth reason we run out
of gas is hurry, hurry. Because the faster I drive, you know this, the faster you run out of gas. If you’re driving 80 miles an hour, you’re gonna use up a whole lot more gas than if you’re driving 40 miles an hour. Driving fast wastes gas. Hurry in your life depletes
your emotions, your spirit, your energy, your body. What’s the speed of your life right now? What’s the speed of your life right now? If you’re going at record
speed you’re like a speedboat or a race car, you’re
burning fuel, emotional fuel, spiritual fuel, mental fuel, much, much faster than if your pace was a little bit slower. That’s why in the very
first message in this we talked about, I did that message on slowing the pace to make the space for margin in your life. Hurry, it can cause you
to run out of gas faster. Okay, number six. A sixth reason we run out
of gas is being distracted and not watching my gauges. Now they’re right there in front of you and you can see the
gauges on oil and on water and radiator and on your gas tank. And they’re there, maybe either
you’re not watching them, because you’re distracted, or maybe you don’t believe them. And you look at it and
it says empty, you go, “I don’t really believe that. “It’s not really empty. “You know maybe it’s broken.” And wishful thinking. When you don’t watch
the gauges in your life that are the warning signs that you’re going too fast, or going too far, or you’re not recharging,
you’re not renewing, you’re not. You’re going to end up in the ditch. So what are the gauges you need to watch? Oh there are lots of them. Sleep is a gauge. Are you getting enough sleep? That’s a gauge. And if you’re not getting enough sleep, that’s a warning light
and your line saying, “Danger Will Robinson,
you need to watch out. “You’re not getting enough sleep.” You know for me, I’ve
notice weight is a gauge. And that when I’m over stressed or I’m trying to do too
much, I put on weight. It’s a clear thing. Now right now I happen to be, they’ve been testing a bunch of medicines on my brain and some of them are, they said, “You’re gonna
gain a bunch of weight.” Oh great that gives me a
great excuse, good thanks. (congregation laughs) But at the moment I’m off
them, I have no more excuse. But weight can be. Irritability is a gauge. That you’re going too fast. Or you’re trying to go too far. Or you’re trying to do too much. If you’re irritable and
the people closest to you, your friends, your spouse, kids, co-workers, say,
“Man you’re really touchy, “you’re really irritable.” That is a warning light, that’s a gauge you should be watching. That if you’re overly irritable you’re not getting enough input. You know in Israel there are two great lakes. In the northern part of
Israel is the Sea of Galilee and in the southern part
of Israel is the Dead Sea. And between those two lakes is a river called the Jordan River. And it runs out of the Sea
of Galilee in the north and empties into the
Dead Sea in the south. The Sea of Galilee is a beautiful lake. They still do professional fishing on it. It’s vibrant, it’s alive,
it has a lot of life in it. There’s farming around it and there’s fish in the sea, in the ocean, I mean in the lake. And it’s a beautiful lake. But the Dead Sea literally is dead. There’s nothing living in it. And it’s full of salt and full of all kinds of minerals and chemicals. And it’s so dense it’s buoyant. You can’t actually sink in the Dead Sea. I’ve gone swimming in the Dead Sea. And you get out there and
you’re just so buoyant because there’s so much salt. It’s more briny than the ocean. What’s the difference between
a living Sea of Galilee and a Dead Sea? The Sea of Galilee takes in and it gives out. The Dead Sea just takes in. You have to have a balance in your life of taking in and giving out, taking in and giving out. But when you have more giving
out than you are taking in that’s called stress. And when your personal life is outpaced by your professional
life on the balance, that’s called stress. And you’re setting
yourself up for burn out and overload and lot of other things. So being distracted not
watching your gauges. Relationships can be a good gauge. On am I trying to do too
much, too fast, too soon? As I said impatience, how patient are you? Things like that. Number seven. A seventh cause of running on empty is
simply being overloaded. You’re carrying too much weight. Like that story of the guys who’s carrying four tons of canaries in a two ton truck. The more I carry, the sooner
I’m gonna run out of gas. The heavier load you are carrying the more the dial is gonna go down faster. And you’re lying to yourself when you say, “Well I can handle this. “I just took on another project, “I just took on another relationship. “I just took on another commitment.” And you can’t keep, you can
get so many irons in the fire you put out the fire. So you can be overloaded. And the more overloaded you are, the more your gas tank’s
gonna be depleted faster. I remember years ago, I
wanted to take my kids when they were real young,
to Tahoe on a vacation. And we had a staff member
in church who had a trailer. And it just so happened
that my truck had a trailer hitch on it. So he offered to loan me his trailer. And so we loaded up the kids
and we headed off to Tahoe. And I didn’t remember that the more weight that I was pulling with
that trailer behind me, the fewer miles per
gallon I was gonna get. Because it takes more
gas to pull more weight. And I’m heading up the
Grapevine, Highway 5, north of L.A., up that steep, steep climb. And there’s a strong wind gust coming the other way, pushing. And I can see the gauge
going, vroom, about that fast. And I’m going, it’s a long way to Gorman. (congregation laughs) If you’ve ever been up there. And sure enough I just watched it go and there was nothing I could do. And I ran out of gas on the freeway. And I had to hike up you know the Grapevine
Mountains to get up the Gorman and then get back. By the time I got there, I was the one who was depleted. Because of all that and
carrying the gas back. So when you’re overloaded you’re gonna run out of gas sooner, okay? Number eight. pressure to do it now. Pressure to do it now. In other words, rapid
acceleration wastes gas. You know that. You know the guy when
you’re at the stop light and the hot rider over
next you to you he’s going vroom, vroom, vroom. And as soon as the light tuns green he puts the pedal to the metal. He just wasted a whole lot of gas. Rapid acceleration wastes gas. This happens in your life. When you got something to do and you’re trying to do it too fast, your gauge, your emotional gauge, your spiritual gauge, your mental gauge, your relational gauge, it just goes whoo, like this real quick. They’re all going there,
’cause you’re trying to do it too fast. You’re putting the pedal to the metal, you’re pushing it. You’re trying to do it faster than you
should normally do it. So, rapid acceleration wastes gas. Number nine. This one hits close to home, pride. Pride can cause my tank to get empty, why? Because I’m assuming the limits of my tank don’t apply to me. And some of you, you
think you’re Superman. “I can do it, I can handle it.” And you think that none
of the laws of nature, none of the laws of God, none of the ways that God
wired us with our bodies, and our minds, emotions, really apply to you. And it’s really arrogance. Ego, will cause you to get
an empty tank real quick. Nothing will drain you
faster than arrogance and ego and pride. Because you think, “I
can do it, I can go,” and you’re pushing, pushing, pushing. And then you’re eventually
gonna hit the wall, because you didn’t stop to refill. And then finally number 10. Number 10 is when you have no margin. In other words, not
allowing time to fill up. And that’s what we were
talking about in this series. Where you don’t have any time. You didn’t make enough
time, you knew you were low on gas, but you
didn’t leave early enough for that appointment that you could actually stop and refill. And so you rush out the door
in a car with an empty tank, or near empty tank. And that lack of margin
you didn’t plan a buffer, you didn’t plan a little extra time, so you could get gas. And so you’re gonna run out of gas. Now. In looking at those 10 things, many of you I know you’re running on empty. You’re running on empty ’cause
I can see it in your faces. And I can see it the way you
walk into a church service. “How you doing?” “I’m okay, Pastor Rick.” Yeah, right. Liar, liar, pants on fire. (congregation laughs) And people say, “How you doing?” “Oh great! “Under the circumstances.” Well what are you doing under them? (congregation laughs) Circumstances are like a mattress. You get on top you rest
easy, you get underneath them you’re gonna suffocate. So. The reason I wanted to
do this whole series, and if you missed any in the
series, the nine messages, you need to go online and watch them. I did it last week. I listened to every
message, of course I taught several of them. But, the ones in the middle, I
listened to every week, I came and listened to them. And then last Sunday I actually sat down and watched the entire
series back to back. And I took about 35 pages of notes. Just sat down and watched it online. It would be a good
thing for you to review, the eight principles that we taught, in this series. Now during this series, remember we taught that margin is the space
between my load and my limits. And margin is having some
breathing room in your life. It’s not cramming every moment with activity, it’s not
cramming your budget and not having any spare
margin in your budget. It’s creating some reserve
so you aren’t running on empty all the time. And we talked about how you need margin in your physical, emotional and financial and all time and everything. And in this series, as in this last message, I
just want to again review the eight principles, because they’re all important. Remember we talked about making space, making space and time to refuel. We talked about slowing down. And so you don’t waste energy. If you’re going too fast, you’re wasting a lot of energy. We talked about starting your day right. Make sure your tank’s full
at the start of your day. And have a time with God. We talked about learning contentment and knowing your limits, we talked about relationships matter most. And love is a priority. We talked about worrying
less and trusting God more. Because more people burn out
from worry than from work. It’s worry that causes burn out far more, anxiety causes more
burn out than work does. And we talked about expecting
the best, which is faith, while planning for the
worst, which is wisdom. And the bible says it’s wise to plan, expect things to go wrong. And then last week I did
that message on video on how to prune your life
for greater fruitfulness. Now today, what I want us to do is look at how you keep your tank full. And in Matthew chapter 11, verses 28 to 30, Jesus says this. “If you are tired,” all right we can just stop right there. That’s most people. “If you are tired from
carrying heavy burdens,” that’s overload, that’s no margin. “Come to me. “and I will give you rest. “Take my yoke upon you, “and then learn from me, for I am gentle “and I’m humble in spirit. “And you will find rest for your soul.” Now, “For the yoke I share
with you is easy to wear, “so the load is light.” Now. I’m gonna give you five
or six steps on how to keep your tank full, today. The first four are all in
that section of scripture right there, the first
four are all right there. So why don’t you write these down. Number one. First step, if you want to
have a full tank, keep it full, get fed up. Get fed up! And I’m talking about get fed
up with how I’ve been living. You got to get dissatisfied. Nothing happens in your life
until you get dissatisfied with the way your life is. As long as you’re
willing to live in a rut, as long as you’re willing
to live stressed out, as long as you’re willing
to live overextended, as long as you’re willing
to live sick and tired of being sick and tired,
nothing’s gonna happen. You could go through this
entire series of nine incredible messages on
how to live a more sane, peaceful, rather then pressured, significant, rather than stressed life. And do nothing about it. And a year from today you’ll
be just as stressed out. And you would be just as tired. And you would be just as overloaded, why? Because you didn’t get fed up. Nothing happens until you
just get dissatisfied and go, “I’m not gonna live this way anymore.” And I don’t know what it’s
gonna take in your life to decide, “I’m not gonna
live this way anymore.” You might have heard nine messages and go, “Yeah that was all good,”
but you’re still gonna live the same way. Stressed out, overextended,
running on empty, pressured, tired as a dog. And all these things. Because you never
intended to make a change. You didn’t get fed up. Now what causes us to get dissatisfied? What causes us to, to finally make a change in our lives? Pain. Pain. We don’t change when we see the light. We change when we feel the heat. And when the heat gets hot enough, and you end up in the hospital and you’re flat on your back,
sometimes God has to lay you flat on your back to
make you look up to Him. In Psalm 23 it says, he makes
me lay down in green pastures. Has God ever had to make you lay down because you weren’t smart
enough to lay down on your own? He makes, sometimes, the shepherd has to
make the sheep lay down. You’ve done too much, you’ve done enough. You need to recharge, you need to refuel. Nothing happens. Now the first part of the
verse says this, Matthew 11:28. If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens. Well you got to recognize you’re tired, you got to recognize you’re
carrying heavy burdens. Are you tired of running on empty? Are you fed up with the pace of your life? Are you willing to do something
about it when you say, “I’m gonna change somehow? “I refuse to live this way any more. “Something’s gonna break “if I don’t change.” Yeah well if you make that decision you won’t break, you’re
gonna have break through. Now if don’t get fed up with the pace that this culture teaches you to live, you only have two choices,
break down, or break through. Because nobody can live the pace of the American Dream,
the way it’s professed. This last week we had
two very famous Americans take their lives through suicide. Successful, but worn out. Successful, but stressed. Famous, but not fulfilled. Having a lot of money,
but not a lot of meaning. A lot to live on, but
not a lot to live for. And we see this is increasing. We know suicide is
increasing in our society. It’s even hitting kids. And the stress on those
kids is coming from those little cell phones. Which are comparison tools, to compare yourself to
everybody else on social media. And so either break down or break through. You got to get fed up. If you’re tired from
carrying heavy burdens. Now if you say, “Okay Rick I’m in.” Then this might be one of
the most significant messages you’ve every heard. So let’s go to the next
step, step number two. Get fed up is one. Step number two is come to Jesus. Come to Jesus. In fact Jesus in this
passage uses three verbs, come, take and learn. Come, take and learn. That’s these next three steps. First he says, “Come to me.” Now he says, “Come to me. “And bring me the good in your life, “the bad in your life, the
frustrating in your life, “the painful in your life,
the shameful in your life, “the exhausting in your life, everything. “Come to me and I will give you a sermon.” (congregation laughs) Oh no, that’s not what it says. Come to me and I will give you what? – [Congregation] Rest. – Rest. Now. I want you to notice, come
to me and I’ll give you rest. That’s the second phrase,
here’s the second step, to refilling your tank,
is to come to Jesus. I want you to notice
who you’re to come to, and I want you to notice
what He promises to give you. First, who are you coming to? He doesn’t say come to church. He doesn’t say come to religion. He doesn’t say come to rules. He doesn’t say come to rituals. He doesn’t say come to regulations. The antidote for the
stress and the overload that you feel in your life, is not a plan for time management. That’s not a bad thing, but
it’s just not the antidote for your soul. A plan for time manage, it’s not a program for stress relief. It’s not a philosophy, it’s not a pill. It’s not a plan, program,
philosophy, pill, it’s a person. It’s a person, come to me. Me. What you need is not a religion. What you need is a relationship. The answer to the stress
in your life is not a plan, program, pill, it’s a person,
“Come to me,” Jesus says. “I’m the one who made you. “I know everything about you.” He’s God, come to me. Now in the bible, people came to Jesus
for all kinds of things. Some came for forgiveness,
some came for healing, some came for advice, some
came for eternal life, some came for food,
some came to criticize, some came to question,
some came as skeptics. You know what the thing
is, Jesus didn’t care why people came to Him,
as long as they came. – Amen!
– Jesus doesn’t care why you come to Him, as long as you come. And you can come to say,
“God I’m just wiped out. “I’m tired, I’m worn out,
I’m stressed, I’m depressed. “I’m lonely, I’m guilty, I’m ashamed, “I’m angry, I’m bitter, I’m
unfulfilled, I’m worried.” Jesus doesn’t care why
you come, just come! He says, “Come to me! “Come to me,” the answer is a person, come to me. And I will give you rest. Now, look at this verse on the screen. In John 6:47 Jesus says this. “Whoever comes to me “I will never reject.” So you don’t have to worry. Well you don’t know all
the stuff I’ve done, it doesn’t matter, Jesus
says, “Come to me.” But you don’t know my
background, “Come to me.” But you don’t know what I’m
doing right now, “Come to me.” But you don’t know the
stuff I plan to do tomorrow. “Come to me.” It doesn’t matter your past,
your present, your future, you just come! Jesus says, “Come to me! “I’m the answer.” Not a seminar, not a therapy, not a book. Not a tape, not all this other stuff. “Come to me.” And He says, “I will never reject you.” Now notice what he gives
when we come to Him. He says, “Whoever comes to me. “Come to me and I will give you rest.” Now later in the verse
He says, “I will give you “rest for your soul.” Now that’s a much deeper
need than physical rest. Because honestly friends, your
problem isn’t tired muscles. Your problem is a tired mind. Your problem is a tired emotions. Your problem is a tired spirit. It’s a spiritual problem,
it’s a soul problem. You need rest for your soul. Not in your muscles, no,
some of you need rest for your muscles, but most of us need more exercise for our muscles. It’s not that, that’s not the problem. But we need rest from tension,
we need rest from anxiety, from hurry, from worry, from stress, from the expectations of
others, from comparison and all these things. How do you unwind when
you’re exhausted emotionally? How do you unwind when you’re
overloaded emotionally? How do you get rest for your soul? Well a lot people first
choice is entertainment, turn on the TV. You know watch a movie. Maybe exercise, do a hobby, got a sport. Listen, all those things are fine, and they’ll rest your body,
but they won’t rest your soul. None of those things can rest your soul. You got to come to me, Jesus, to rest your soul. None of these can restore your
soul, only God can do that. The next verse Isaiah 40:29, 31, He gives power to those
who are tired and worn out. And He offers strength to the weak. You weak, He’ll give you strength. You tired and worn out,
He’ll give you strength. Those who wait on the Lord
will find new strength. Circle the word wait. Those who wait on the Lord
will find new strength. Now do you realize that this is the exact
opposite of what American or any of our other
cultures, Chinese culture, you know for our Saddleback Buenos Aries, you know Argentine
culture, or German culture, Saddleback Berlin, all of our campuses. When we’re empty inside,
all around the world culture says, go. When you’re empty, fill it with activity. When you’re feeling empty on the inside you need to have more,
you need to be more, you need to do more, you need to go more. And that’ll fill you up. How’s that working for you? It doesn’t fill the emptiness. It doesn’t, it just
doesn’t fill the emptiness. So culture says, go, Jesus says, “Come. “Come to me. “Come just as you are.” And what you really need is time with God. That’s what it means to wait on God and Buddy did a whole message on that. Matthew 6:6 says this, find
a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted
to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and
honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace. If you don’t know how to
do that I encourage you to take class 201 on discovering the habits
for spiritual growth. Take that class on how to have a time with God. Or go back and review the
message that we did on this. Okay, so first I got to get fed up and second, I got to come to Jesus. Okay here’s the third thing. Give up control. Oh boy. Here we go. Now we’re talking about
what the real issue is with the stress in your life. Give up control. The reason for overload is we’re trying to control everything. The reason we do too much is we’re trying to control everything. And we go around with,
“It all depends on me, “and I’ve got to hold it all together.” And listen, the greater
your need to control the more overloaded the more stressed you’re gonna be in life. Sooner or later you’re gonna realize most of the things that matter in life are beyond your control. Pastor Sam Yoon, our pastor who shared in one of the messages, he said something
brilliant and I loved it. He said, “The only thing God
wants you to control is you, “self control, you can’t
control anything else.” In scripture, you can’t
control your parents, you can’t control your kids, you can’t control your spouse, you can’t control your future, you can’t control your past, you can’t control the economy. You can’t control your co-workers. The only thing you can
control is self control. That one’s a good thing. That’s one of the fruit of spirit. But the rest of it we
got to give up control. And here’s what Jesus says, this is what this verse means,
I need to explain it to you. He says, “First come to me.” And then He says, “Take my yoke upon you.” Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you.” Now He’s not talking about a chicken yolk, an egg yolk. (chuckles) He’s talking about a yoke
which is, as you know a piece of wood, where you put two cattle
together to pull a cart. Instead of one cow pulling the cart you yoke two cattle, or
four, or six, or eight. Or you can yoke horses. But you yoke animals together to pull the cart. And that way, what it does, is it’s a wooden frame that
joins two animals together, it actually lightens the load. Because you’re not pulling
it all by yourself. Now let me explain this. You say, “Wait a minute,
this doesn’t sound “very relaxing to me,
take my yoke upon you. “It sounds like more of a burden. “I’m already carrying too much. “And Jesus says take my yoke upon you.” I want you to write this down. The purpose of a yoke is to
share and lighten the load. It’s not to put more on you,
it’s to take it off you. The purpose of the yoke
is so you’re not pulling the cart all by yourself. Jesus says, “Yoke up with me
and I’ll help you pull it.” When two animals team up
together, it’s a whole lot easier than one animal. The reason you’re so
stressed out and overloaded, you’re trying to carry
everything by yourself. God never intended for
you to carry everything in this life by yourself. So he says, “Take my yoke
upon you, yoke up with me.” And in verse 30, Matthew 11:30 He says, “My yoke is easy “and my burden is light.” Why is my burden light? ‘Cause He gonna carry it with you. He’s gonna take the load
that you’ve been carrying and He’s gonna share it with you. And the New Living Translation says, “My yoke fits perfectly.” In other words it fits your shape. Now I need to explain to
you, a yoke is a symbol of two things in the bible. First, it’s symbol of partnership. And what you have here is
an offer from Jesus Christ, offering to be your life partner. He says, “Yoke up with me.” You weren’t meant to carry
all of the load by yourself. Jesus says, “I’ll take part of it.” Jesus isn’t gonna add to your load, He doesn’t have any load. There’s nothing that He needs to carry. He has no load. So if you yoke up with Jesus,
it’s not like He’s putting it on you, it’s taking it off you. He has no load. Psalm 55:22, “Pile your
troubles on God’s shoulders.” That’s yoking up with him. “He’ll carry your load and help you out.” And the message, I love that
translation on that verse. Now who do you think
has got stronger back, you or God? Obviously God does. So if you’re yoked, unyoked then nobody’s pulling your load with you. Jesus says, “Join up with
me I’ll help you pull “the load with you.” Now the fact is if you’re overloaded listen. Right now if you’re
overloaded it means one thing. At this very second,
you’re not yoked to Jesus. ‘Cause His yoke is easy,
His burden is light. If those two words don’t
describe your life, easy and light, easy and light, it means
you are not yoked to Jesus at this particular moment. Oh you can know Him, but you’re
carrying the load yourself. You may know the Lord, but you’re carrying the load yourself. If you’re life right now
is not easy and light it means one thing, you at this moment are not yoked to Jesus Christ. You’re not in partnership! You’re not letting Him carry the load. Every time you get detached from Jesus, every time you get disconnected from Jesus you’re gonna get stressed. ‘Cause you weren’t meant to
live that way on your own. So yoke is a symbol of partnership. Second, a yoke is a symbol of control. Because you use a yolk
to guide the animals. And when you guide the
animals, you keep them from going off in a ditch. And you keep them going at
a pace that they can manage. Now I want you to write this down. When I’m yoked with
Jesus, we move together, in the same direction and the same pace. You can’t go faster with, than Jesus goes if you’re yoked to him. You can’t go in a different
direction than Jesus goes if you’re yoked to Him. When I’m yoked to Christ I’m
going in the same direction that God wants me to go
and I’m going at the pace God wants me to go. And I’m not gonna be able
to go off in a ditch, because He’s not gonna
let me go off in a ditch, ’cause I’m yoked to Him. A yoke keeps us from going off on our own getting into trouble. Look at these verses, Galatians 5:25. “Since we live by the
Spirit, let us keep in step “with the Spirit.” I can’t go faster than God. Now sometimes that’s frustrating, ’cause sometimes you’re
in a hurry and God’s not. (congregation members chuckle) The most difficult room
to be in in a house is God’s waiting room. When you’re waiting on God. And God says, “I’m gonna do it. “We’re gonna do it at my pace.” Keep in step with the Spirit. Romans 3:23 and the
message paraphrase says, “Our lives get in step,”
here’s how we get in step. “Our lives get in step with God “by letting Him set the pace.” Who’s setting the pace
in your life right now? If Christ is setting the pace
your life is light and easy. If you’re setting the pace it’s probably overloaded and stressed. You see what you need,
I’m telling you friends, I love you, I’m your pastor. I pray for you, I love you. I pray for you all the time. You need more than direction friends. You need a pace setter. You need a pace setter. And it is a pace setter who can tell you how to speed up and
slow down in your life. Jesus, you know it’s
interesting that in scripture we never have any record
of Jesus running anywhere. He was never in a hurry. And you won’t be either if
you’re connected to Christ. A long time ago I read
this poem and I’ve kept it, kept it on a mirror for a long time. The Lord is my pace
setter, I shall not rush. He makes me stop and
rest for quiet intervals. He provides me with images of stillness which restore my serenity. He leads me in the way of efficiency through calmness of mind. And His guidance is peace. And even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day, I will not fret. For His presence is here. His timeliness, His all importance, will keep me in balance. He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of all my activity. By anointing my mind with
His oils of tranquility my cup of joyous energy overflows. Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours. For I shall walk in the pace of my Lord and dwell in His house forever. Now let me let you in on a little secret. You’re gonna be yoked
to something in life. If it’s not Jesus, it’s
gonna be something else that’ll drive you and
push you and pull you. It might be the
expectations of other people that you’re yoked to, what
do other people think? It might be the expectation of your boss, or your spouse, or a friend. You’re gonna be yoked to something. Years ago Bob Dylan wrote that song, you’re gonna have to serve somebody. It may be the devil, it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna serve somebody. So He says, “Take my yoke.” If you’re gonna be yoked to something why not choose the easiest yoke? Why not choose the yoke that’s light and easy, rather than the
one that the world offers you which is stressed out and over extended? He says it’s easy. By the way that word easy
also means perfectly shaped, it fits your shape. It fits you, it’s easy,
it rests easy on you. And by the way take my
yoke is an exchange. I exchange my heavy yoke
for Jesus’ light yoke. That’s a good deal. That’s a big, take a deep
breath and go (sniffs in) okay. Now here’s the problem. The fact is most of you, you don’t have one yoke on you, you’ve got a dozen! On you right now. You’ve got yokes that other
people have put on you and put on you, and put on you, and expectations of others, and on you. And you’ve got so many yokes, you’re crushing under the weight! The yoke’s on you. (congregation laughs) I apologize for that very bad pun. (congregation laughs) The other day I asked one
of my grandkids, Cole, who’s 10 years old, I
said, “Cole, do you know “what a pun is?” He says, “Yeah, Pappa.” He goes, “It’s a joke
that’s not funny.” (laughs) (congregation laughs) Out of the mouth of a 10 year old, man. The fact is most of us don’t have one yoke around our necks, you’ve got a dozen, ’cause you’re trying to please everybody. And the yokes pile on top of each other. And we think the answer is to escape and go on vacation. But the problem is when you
go on vacation, guess what? You take you. (congregation laughs) And the problem is up here in your mind. Now. He says, “Take my yoke.” What is He saying? Give up control. You’re not gonna be at
peace until you do that. Until you give up control
of your life to God. And every time I give up control, God gives me peace. I come to Christ, no matter what I’ve done wrong He will accept me, not reject me. And then I give up control,
I take up His yoke. So now He’s gonna pick the pace, and He’s gonna pick the
direction of my life. And it gets light. And it gets easy. And every time I take that yoke off I’m gonna put another
heavy one back on me. Then the next thing He
says is, learn to trust. Number four, learn to trust. This is how you keep your
tank filled, learn to trust. And we did an entire message on this. Pastor Kurt led this, and it was learn, worry less and trust more. In Matthew 9:29 the second
part of the verse says this. “Learn from me,” remember He says come, and then He says take,
and now He says learn. “Learn from me. “For I am gentle and humble in heart. “And you will find rest for your souls.” I have to admit, friends, I was a Christian for 30 something years and never understand how in
the world does gentleness and humility lower my stress? I just never got it. He goes, “Learn from me, ’cause
I’m gentle and I’m humble.” And I’m going, “I don’t get it. “I don’t see how that
would make me less stressed “and fill my tank.” But He says, “You’ll
find rest for your soul.” Jesus modeled how to live
with purpose and peace, that’s why He says learn. And this fourth step to reducing overload is to follow Jesus’ model. He says, “Watch how I do
it, watch how I live.” That means you’ve got to read the bible. Watch how I live watch
and then do the same. It says if you want to be
healthy you want to be balanced learn from Jesus. Now learning is a process. Which means it takes time. You didn’t get overloaded overnight. And you’re not gonna get
un-overloaded overnight. And an overloaded lifestyle, you took a long time to
get in this bad situation. But you can, whatever
you learn you can unlearn and you can learn from Jesus. And you say, “What can
I learn from Jesus?” Well he says here, how
to be gentle and humble. And why is that important? I mean why didn’t he say, “Learn from me, “because I have endurance and stamina!” That’s what I would want him to say. Learn from me, watch me do
it, because I have endurance and I have stamina. I have strength and I have stability. No He says, “Learn from me,
’cause I’m gentle and humble.” What gives? Why are those things so
important in stress relief? Well it’s because of the antidote to the biggest causes, two
biggest causes of overload. The two greatest causes of
overload in our lives are aggression and arrogance. What do you mean by that? Aggression is we don’t want to wait, we don’t want to pause,
we don’t want to consider, we want to jump into things right away, we want to get over committed, we get aggressive and
we do it now, now, now, now, now, and that aggression
we don’t want to wait. And then arrogance is, we want to control everything. I not only know what’s best for me, I know what’s best for you? And I want to control you. And that causes a lot
of marriage problems. And your ego is more
responsible for stress in your life than you realize. That aggression and the arrogance. You’re trying to do it all,
you’re trying to have it all, you’re trying to please everyone and trying to act like Superman. And Jesus says the antidote
is gentleness and humility. I need to remind myself, and
you need to remind yourself, “I’m not the savior of everybody. “I can’t save everybody.” This last week I flew
to New York City at the invitation of the
archbishop, or the cardinal of the Catholic Church of New York. Cardinal Tim Dolan, he’s a dear friend. I’ve stayed in his home a couple times. And he asked me, he had
heard that I do a message to our staff called, Maintaining the Moral
Integrity of Your Ministry. And I wrote a Saddleback
staff 10 commandments that all of our staff
sign and I’ve taught this for years to our staff. How to maintain the moral
integrity of your ministry, when so many others fall. He had me come back, he
said, “I want you to teach it “to about 1,500 priests.” And I went on a two day
retreat with these guys. And while they needed that
what they also needed was so many looked burned out. They looked over stressed. Now what was Jesus’ secret of peace? Well he only does what the
Father tells Him to do. So He’s gentle and He’s humble. He’s not trying to be aggressive, He’s not trying to be arrogant. He did what God told him to do and He didn’t worry about the rest. 12 times in the book of John He says, “I only do what my Father tells me to do.” He says, “I just do
what God tells me to do, “what the Father tells me.” Why don’t you try trusting
God instead of worrying and see if that doesn’t lower the overload, the stress, give you a little bit
more margin in your life? Look at these verses. Psalm 20:24. “Since the Lord is directing our steps, “why try to understand
everything that happens “along the way?” If God’s directing your
steps, you’re yoked with Him, I don’t have to understand
I know he’s taking me in the right direction. And I know He’s not gonna
take me into a ditch. Psalm 142:3. When I’m ready to give up, hang on. Some of you, I just described you. You’re ready to give up. You’re ready to give up on your marriage, you’re ready to give up on your life. You’re ready to give up on your dream, your health, your career. Your education, your boyfriend. I don’t know what are
you ready to give up on? It says that, “When I am ready to give up, “He knows what I should do.” And if I’m yoked up to
Him, he’s gonna lead me in the right direction. How do I learn to trust more? Look here on the screen. “Faith comes for hearing the Word of God.” It goes back to that making time with God every day in the bible,
reading the owner’s manual. All right, learn to trust. Come to Christ, give up control, learn to trust. All right let me give you
two more and these are fast. We’ll just quick. Number five, start every
day by filling my tank. Start every day by filling my tank and I don’t have to go over this, ’cause we did a whole message on it. But start every day by filling my tank. Get alone with God and
get alone with His word, faith comes from the word of God. And that’s where you get
the trust, and number six. Stay connected to my church family. Stay connected to my church family. We were not meant to
go through life alone. The very first thing God
said about human kind is He said it’s not good
for man to be alone. God hates loneliness. It’s not good for your soul. Being alone and being lonely
are two different things. Being alone with God, that’s a good thing. Being lonely, that’s not a good thing. Now whether you ever get married or not, you need relationships, you
need people in your life. In Corinthians the bible
says women need men and men need women, in the Lord. In the Lord, women need
men and men need women. We need each other. That’s why we emphasize small groups. If you’re not in a small group, you could get picked off real easy, you don’t have a stress safety net. Look at these two verses. Hebrews 11:25, “Let us
not give up the habit “of meeting together, as some are doing. “Instead let us encourage
one another all the more.” Next week we’re gonna start a new series I’m calling the purpose driven family. I’ve never taught on this
before, never taught on it. How do you have the
purposes with your kids, with your spouse, or anybody else? And if you’re not married, doesn’t matter, these are how you have the
purpose of God in relationship. And we’re gonna look at that. And I hope you won’t
miss any in that series. And I’m gonna be teaching
every one of those in that message. Now the next verse, Ephesians 1:23. “The church is Christ’s body and,” notice, “it is filled with Christ, who completely “fills everything else.” So what do you call a
spiritual fueling station? The church. I’m filling you up right now. (congregation laughs lightly) I’m filling you up right now. Christ fills the church and Christ fills everything else. The church is filled with Christ and He fills everything else. You know why I wanted to do this series? Two reasons. First. I really want our church
to be the healthiest church in America. I don’t care if we’re
the biggest, never have. I don’t care if we’re the best known, what I am concerned about is your health. I want us to be the healthiest church. I want people to say, “Wow
those people over there “they’re different,
they’re not stressed out. “They’re living on a margin. “They’re living at peace.” And for your health and
the health of your kids. And we’re raising in
America and around the world another generation of
kids who are gonna take the stress to another level with all the technologies that’s come. And I don’t want that,
I want us to be healthy. And the next generation
is dying for models of balanced living. And they don’t see it
in our society at all. The second reason is,
it’s just a good witness to the rest of the world. How can we tell other people about Christ? Well the best way we can tell
other people about Christ is live unstressed lives. I can’t think of a better witness then living an unstressed life in a world where everybody else around you is totally stressed out. How different would that be? If Christians are just as
stressed as everybody else, they go, “Well the only difference I see “between my life and your life is you have “a few extra meetings to go to every week. “No thank you.” (congregation laughs) Don’t blame them, I don’t blame them. But if you could learn to live on a margin you might want to go home and listen to this series again. If you could learn to
live to come to Christ to give up control, to learn to trust, to start each day with God. To start each day with God. And then to sty connected
through your church family. It’s that old worn out,
but it’s still true, if you’ve got a fire in a
big fire pit, camp fire, and you got a coal and it’s red hot. You take that coal and
you set it out over here it’ll lose it’s fire quickly. And it’ll go from red to
dark and then to cold. But if you take that coal
and put it back in the fire it’ll get red hot again. The more connected you stay to this group the more red hot you’re gonna be for God. The more you get away from it and go, “Well I’m not gonna come all the time, “I’m not gonna do that.” You’re gonna get cold. And then you’re gonna get stressed. What’s weighing you down? I don’t know. Problems, finance, aging parents. Health issues. Finances. God brought you here to day, no matter which campus you’re at, God brought you here today
so He could say this to you. “Come to me. “Come to me. “Come to me!” Look at this verse on the screen. “Come to me, all you who labor,” in other words you’re a workaholic. And you’re heavy-laden
and you’re overburdened. I love this from the
Amplified Translation, “And I will cause you to rest. “I will ease and relieve
and refresh your souls. “Take my yoke,” team up with me. “Take my yoke upon you and learn.” Learn from me, for I’m gentle
and I’m humble in heart. And you will find rest, relief, and ease and refreshment, and recreation, all those words
are in that one Greek word. You’ll find rest, relief,
and ease and refreshment, recreation and blessed quiet for your souls. My family, our church family, this is the most important invitation you will ever receive in your life. In the spring and in the
summer we get all these wedding invitations and
graduation invitations and birthday invitations. This is the most important
invitation you’ll ever get. Jesus is saying to you, “Come to me.” Have you done that? You may have been in church all your life, but you’ve never done that. Or maybe you’re here
for the very first time, but you’ve never done that. You come to Christ. You turn to Jesus, you give up control, you learn to trust. Let’s bow our heads. Have you ever come to Jesus? The starting point in unloading and the starting point in refilling an empty tank
is to talk to Jesus about it. Tell Him exactly how you feel, tell Him what’s frustrating you. You know sometimes even your best friends don’t want to listen to your burdens. Jesus will never ignore you. And He wants to be your partner. And He wants to be your pace setter. What an offer. So pray this prayer right now. Dear God, just say it
in your heart, dear God. I’m tired of being tired all the time. I’m tired of trying to control everything. I’m tired of a life without
rest and peace and margin. Forgive me, forgive me dear God for all of the ways I’ve tried to be God. And I’ve tried to control everything. And for the things that
I’ve turned to for relief instead of turning to you. Today Jesus Christ, I come back to you. Say this, I want you to be
the pace setter of my life. I want to stop trying to
control all the things I never could control in the first place. Forgive me for my arrogance. Forgive me for allowing my insecurities and my ego to take on more activities I could possibly imagine, manage. Forgive me for pridefully
overloading my schedule. And filling my life with
less important things that I, I really had no time
for what matters most. I want to learn from your model, Jesus. I want to be gentle and humble like you, so that I can have the
peace that you offer. With your head still bowed, if you prayed that prayer
and really meant it, this is turning point in your life. And I want you to let me know
about it in just a minute. I want you to take the
card that’s in front of you and check the box I
gave my life to Christ. And I want you to write your name on it and drop it in the basket in just a minute when we give our offering so that I can send you some material
and I can pray for you. Father I want to thank you for the liberation, the freedom
that’s going to come to many, many people this day. In many, many places, as
they hear this message. Because we’re coming to you. And we’re giving up control. And we’re learning to trust. I pray your blessing of peace on everyone in Jesus’s name, Amen. – Thanks for checking out
this message on YouTube. My name is Jay and I’m
Saddleback’s Online Campus pastor and I would love to invite you
to join our online community. Here are three ways you
can take a next step. First, learn more about
belonging to our church family by completing class 101 online. Second, don’t do life alone anymore. By getting into an online only small group that meets on platforms like Skype, or learn more about hosting a group with your friends in your home. Third, join our global Facebook community to connect with others
with the online community and be more engaged in the day to day. To take any of those next steps, visit or email [email protected] Hope to hear from you soon. (bright digital music)

23 thoughts on “How To Keep Your Tank Filled Up Instead of Running On Empty with Rick Warren

  1. I like watching your videos " Mr Rick I was driving to work one day and was listing to the radio changing the channels. And the moment I heard what u where saying I left it to listen and it Felt like God had sent it to me . Because I was just not having a great day .I stopped and kept listing and started crying .. I am dealing with olot with my life but I know God is going to help me get threw everything and I just wanted to let u know that just listing to u makes a big difference and helps me . Thank u "

  2. this is a dung hill of a ministry. if you can read read the bible for yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to show what he wants you to know and you will see this man is rebuked of the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles. he claims to promote Christ as He gets more and more popular. instead of creating true disciples to go and tell the whole truth of Gods word he creates spectators with all eyes on him to depend on his weekly "weakley" sermons building his own kingdom on this earth ignoring what Christ wants which is all eyes on him. to God and the Lord Jesus Christ be All the praise glory and honor forever and ever amen.

  3. Great teaching Pastor Rick. How is it possible though, in real corporate life to yoke up with Jesus? I have worked for eight corporations in America and UK over 20 years of my life to state the fact that in today’s world, if one wants to survive and has no choice but to survive because suicide is not a godly option, then this easy and light yoke of Jesus is either not designed for the 21st century or he has abandoned this sin-filled century. It is not just big corporations that are evil, startups exploitations can be worse, and often are deceitful and creates a false economy for all stakeholders. What do you suggest that we do? Pray, yes, but it is not enough. No one want to run on empty, and getting on top of circumstances in the western world requires more than just spiritual strength.

  4. God Bless you Pastor Rick Warren, I and my wife learned so many thing which made our life over stressed and Like you said (out of gas) thank you so much for you teaching us. May Load Jesus fill you more and more with His words. God Bless you and Saddleback Church.

  5. I feel like I tried my best to do whatever I felt God was asking me but I ended up living kinda like a slave. Always do this, do that, give up this, give up that. Yes there are things that God calls us to change or work on, things Hes gonna ask me to sacrifice i guess, but I constantly felt convicted over things all day everyday and it confuses me. I haven't been spending much time with God this past week, which I know I need to, but I know I need to give myself more grace because I somehow know this is not how God has wanted me to live.

  6. Hey Rick! thanks for that lovely prayer you shared with us, I said that prayer with you. when I heard what you said at the end about giving one's life to Jesus! I realized that giving one's life to Jesus is not a one-shot affair, each time we give our lives to Jesus! he refills our tank metaphorically, he fills us with Love, when we give! we can give a lot of things; if we give the love of Jesus though we can be sure we are giving the best there is to give!

  7. 2 times I nearly ran out of petrol. The first, I lived far away from the petrol stations and thought I'd be OK as I set off in opposite direction to nearest one, knowing there was one on the way to my destination, but a little further off. I hadn't been that way for months. I got caught in traffic, noticing the needle go back. As I approached the petrol station, to my horror, it had been closed down. I decided to keep going rather than turn back towards the other place past my house. There was no petrol station for another 10 miles! I just made it.
    I ran out of gas because of unforseen circumstances and lack of planning for that. It's like what Rick said from 42 mins – go in same direction as Jesus and wait, be patient. I should've gone to the petrol station nearer my house instead of setting off in opposite direction on an empty tank. Pray first and fill up before you make fast decisions.

    Second reason was sharing my mother's car, filling right up, then she uses it more than the other car because it has more petrol than her other one and is cheaper on fuel, then she doesn't fill up before I rush in and use it for what I need. Remember not to let others' lack of preparation drain your resources. Stay with Jesus.

  8. I love every message from Ptr RW. I even save them so that I can watch them over and over again even offline. I also share these messages with my sisters. Thank you Ptr for very timely messages, God bless you more each day.

  9. I got some good stuff from Rick Warren, sincerely…just very disappointing to have watched his sermons for almost a year and never learned anything regarding ETERNAL SECURITY, Once Saved, Always Saved, which IS THE GOSPEL for crying out loud. Sad I had to go to Ralph Yankee Arnold, Hank L indstrom to learn the truth about the Gospel.

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