I am so pumped for this episode of the “Whoa That’s Good Podcast”!
Before I have a guest come on, I always make sure to read their book listen to their sermons so that I can bring you guys an amazing conversation!
And let me tell you, I got on a rabbit trail of Levi Lusko’s sermons and it made me SO pumped because he has so much advice for our generation and really any age!
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
My question to every guest and one that I was especially excited to ask Levi was “What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?”
“When you said it, the first thing that came to my mind was Dave Ramsey. When Jen and I got married, we went through Financial Peace University not too long afterwards and it changed our marriage. Finances are such a factor in so many divorces and we wanted to get that stuff right. I had brought some debt into our marriage…so one of the great blessings has been getting our finances in order and then being positioned to be generous. When you’re tied up in debt, it’s impossible to do the things God’s called you to do.
On a spiritual note, I would say meeting with Jesus every day. There we go, I’ve punched the card on both sides now.”
WHAT I WANT AND WHAT GOD WANTS
Levi and I then shift the conversation to some of the wisdom that I have heard from his sermons. Since we just covered marriage, I asked him about a quote from his book and sermon series, “Swipe Right”: “I can do what I want and have what God wants.” I asked him where that came from and what he has seen in his own life about how those two things come together.
“I think one of the big things we have to do to walk in God truth is learn how to expose the enemies lies. I’m convinced one of the big lies the enemy wants us to believe is, “Hey look, because there’s grace, because there’s forgiveness, I can do whatever I want now but then down the road say I’m sorry and still get what God wants for me.
We forget that you don’t get things out of your system by doing them, you actually put them into your system.
Of course there’s forgiveness…but there’s a difference between consequences and God’s forgiveness. When it comes to sex and all these things, stay eyes wide open that what you do now is going to affect you down the road for good and for evil so make wise decisions that the future you will thank you for.”
The next question I had was something I get asked a lot and one that Levi addresses in his sermon. The question is: “What is actually God’s good design for sex in marriage?”
“In the book “Swipe Right” I compare what’s happening with sex today in our culture. It used to be to have sex with someone you had to meet them and now it’s all in the palm of our hand. It’s a very different world were living in. Sexuality is becoming raw and powerful and everywhere and temporary.
I compare that to pineapples in the book. When they were first discovered in the new world by Columbus, they were brought back to Europe and people were obsessed with them. They became a hot commodity. One pineapple would be 8k on average.
It continued like this until pineapple plantations popped up to bring them to Europe in mass quantities. The funniest thing happened, when they finally showed up, no one wanted them anymore because everyone could have one.
And now what do they cost? $1.99 for a can of pineapple chunks at the grocery store?
In sex, what God intended was one man one woman. Naked, unashamed, one lifetime. That’s rare, special, and beautiful. That’s how sex should be.
But now with sex, It’s like pineapple chunks in the can. There’s almost a fatigue and a despair that comes from turning away from God’s masterpiece plan for something that’s so temporary.”
WHOA THAT’S GOOD.
HOW DID IT ALL START?
We make a shift to Levi’s personal life. Because so many people know Levi for his books, his church, and so many other things, I wanted to know: How did it all start?
“I gave my life to Jesus as a freshman in high school and then came the up and down or the right and wrong choices, but all throughout that I felt a call to ministry. I went from Bible college, to a volunteer intern, to a student pastor, and eventually my wife and I were in a position where I was an interim teaching pastor at a large church in California. It was perfect on paper. But we felt a restlessness on the inside. And we feel that maybe that restlessness was the Holy Spirit.
We weren’t rash or quick but eventually we began to feel like God wanted us to step out into the wild and unknown to do something that didn’t make sense to anybody. We just felt like it didn’t have to make sense to people, it just has to make sense to God.
So 13 years ago, we moved here (Montana) and started telling people about Jesus. We started the church the Sunday after we arrived in an empty room above a bar. And now flash forward 13 years we’ve seen God use it in great way. But it started with that small seed.
God’s method seldom make sense, but His purposes can never be stopped.”
I DECLARE WAR
Moving right along, I wanted to ask Levi about something he said from his book, “I Declare War”: “You can’t reach a world that you’ve abandoned.” I’ve seen Levi and his wife, Jennie, love the world and the church so well which is a hot topic for a lot of Christians right now. I asked him what his thoughts are on loving the church and extending love to the world.
“The template is given for us very clearly in the life of Jesus. Of course, he would go to synagogue on Saturday, and he set that example at a young age. Even when he got lost, he went to church. Jesus loved church. He was always there. But at the same time, he would be at birthday parties so often he got called a drunk, even though he wasn’t. So Jesus was a good time. Kids loved him. That’s why he got invited everywhere.
It’s not abandoning church for sake of cool, but we’re trying to love people. If all we ever do is love people who are already Jesus followers, were not doing anything to build heaven.
I don’t expect you to live a clean life if you don’t know Christ. Because Jesus always cleans his fish after he catches them.
Sometimes we expect the world to act like the church but here’s the irony: half of the time the church doesn’t even act like the church.
We have to be in the world and not of the world and that means being in people’s lives in the journey and watching them being changed by God’s grace.
Also, in this book, Levi talks a lot about our moods and how much we are dictated by them. I wanted him to explain a little more for our moody generation J
“Our culture places a huge emphasis on our truth. On one hand that’s good. We don’t want fake. But on the other hand we’ve been given God’s spirit. We’ve been given tools to live right.
Sometimes there’s a tension between authentic and obedient. If we’re going to be obedient, we have to take control of our spirit.
Worship is not a feeling expressed through actions, it’s an active obedience that sometimes develops the right feelings.
When it comes to moods, if I have a pity party or things aren’t going my way, and I feel the storm clouds roll in, that’s when it’s critical that we take drastic action.
You’ll feel better when you get your eyes off yourself.”
THROUGH THE EYES OF THE LION
This book (my mom’s favorite!) has impacted so many lives. Levi said something I’ve never heard before. He said that he’s “going to lean into God’s anger instead of leaning away from God’s anger”.
“Jesus was angry at death, but he was angry enough to do something about it. So the times I’m tempted to be mad at God, I remember it’s his anger instead of mine and I trust that he’s going to work it out.”
I am SO thankful for Levi and Jenni to share their life and their story with us. This conversation is so helpful for our generation in the navigation of our lives!
For more of our conversation and even more details from Levi and his journey, listen to the whole episode!