Emotional Monsters | From a Cave to a Grave
From a prison to a grave. Joshua 10:26-28
If you don’t come out of the place of past hurt, it will become a prison; if you stay there long enough it will become a grave. If you carry an unforgiving spirit, it will become a grave to God’s plan, purpose, relationships, dreams, and the call of God on your life.
Hiding in caves.
A silent preacher is no better than a dead one. When a nation is in crisis, we can’t afford to be so diplomatic that we don’t’ disturb our generation by preaching the truth in a dark and dying world. A cave can be an attitude and intimidation due to being afraid of and fearful. God is calling us to come out of that cave before the cave becomes a prison and that prison becomes a grave.
A cave is not a home.
Christians can’t afford to be in the cave of contentment. Come out of that cave of failure, that cave of sadness, that cave of sorrow, that cave of past hurts, fear, intimidation, and the cave of unforgiving spirit. God has called you to greater things; He has plans for your life. Jesus came out of the cave; He has the keys of death and life. Jesus has the keys to unlock the prison doors and roll the stones away!
In the cave, we can hear God’s whisper.
God does not wait until we get strong to whisper dreams in our ears. God does not speak to present pain He speaks to future potential. (Judges 7:2) When we are in the darkest emotional monster cave, we must claimGod’s promises–“We are more than conquerors through Christ.”
Put the cave in the past.
God’s will for us is not to live in the pain of the past. Don’t make that cave a prison because sooner or later that cave will become a grave. Come out of the cave, and every time you catch yourself going back you have God’s promises that will get you out. Today Jesus can set you free, and when He does you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)
Sermon Video Transcription
Darrell Ingram (00:00):
Amen. Father right now, Lord, we know when, Oh, we know when you’re not working when we’re not seeing, when we’re not hearing, when we’re not feeling you’re at work father, we know that you’re in work with us, for us through us. Father right now that you would use me a broken vessel to glorify you to honor. You hide me behind the cross Lord that your grace would have bound that your glory would abound father right now, work on our hearts, work on our lives. Father. We just ask you right now in Jesus name. Amen. Amen. Amen.
Darrell Ingram (00:49):
Hey, I just want to honor pastor James, you know, it’s an honor to be up here and pray in his, I mean preaching his place and I want to thank him. It’s always an honor. When he asks me to do it, if you didn’t listen to the last series, the bad boy series, man, you missed something. Because in that series, every one of those sermons that pastor preach, they touched my life. I’m 55 years old. I been preaching 30 years and they touched me and they changed me. They did something to my life, but, but God used him. And I thank God for Pastor James, allowing God to work through him. And so you need to go back and listen to them in their entirety and, and allow God to touch you and amaze you and lift you up through his word. And through those messages that Pastor just got through preaching, we are starting a new series and that series is emotional monsters, emotional monsters.
Darrell Ingram (01:42):
I’m going to encourage you to listen to every one of those messages as they’re preached through this series. I know we’ve all had some emotional monsters in our lives. And you know, in one time or another, it has jumped on our back in one time or another. Those emotional monsters have attacked us have tried to knock us down, but I want us to learn how we can overcome those emotional monsters that tear us down those emotional monsters that drive us into a prison. And that prison turns into a cave. And that cave turns in to a grave. I want us to learn how to work ourselves out of that by the grace of God. So, in Joshua 10, it says so after Joshua was struck them and put them to death, he had hanged them on five trees and they hung on the trees until evening. It came about at sunset that Joshua gave a command and they took them down from the trees and threw them into the caves, that they hidden themselves in, and put a large stone over the mouth of the cave to this very day.
Darrell Ingram (02:38):
I want you to know that I know what it is hurt. I know what it is to go through pain. I know what it means to go through the hard times, the times of rejection, as well as you do. We’ve all been there at one time or another. But what happens is the enemy wants to take those emotions to take those pains, to take those hurt. And he wants to drug you into a hiding place. And if you don’t get over it, if you stay offended, if you stay hurt, then that hiding place, we come more than, than a hiding place for emotions.
Darrell Ingram (03:34):
It will become a prison, and that prison will turn into a cave. And pretty soon that cave turns in to a grave. There came a time when Joshua called them out and he hung those five Kings. Those five Kings that ran from Joshua and the children of Israel who were afraid. They hid themselves. When they shouldn’t have been out in the front of their armies, they wouldn’t hit themselves in the cave. So he hung them and he did something strange. I thought he took those five kids and he threw them in the cave that they were hidden in. And he rolled a stone. You see that cave became a grave. And if you don’t come out of a place of past hurt of past shame, or past humiliation, feelings of hurt, feelings of anger, feelings of disappointment, that cave will soon become a grave in your life.
Darrell Ingram (04:41):
Oh, don’t let it happen. Don’t just stay in the grave. Come out of the grave. Come out of the grave. Come out of that unforgiving spirit, that unforgiving attitude, that unforgiving mouth, because we know that’s where it shows up garbage in, garbage out. God has a purpose for you. It is to come out of this grave. It’s to come out of this cave, the cave if you stay in there it becomes a bad relationship and it takes away your dreams. The dreams that God has given you for your life. And in 1 Kings 18:3-4 it says, Ahab sent for Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace. Obadiah was a devout worshiper of the Lord. When Jezebel was killing the Lord’s prophet, Obadiah hid a hundred prophets in the cave. He put 50 prophets in each cave and he kept them alive by providing bread and water. The Bible says that Obadiah feared the Lord. He served the Lord, but the Bible also tells us that Jezebel was going around killing all the prophets. So, they hid themselves in a cave.
Darrell Ingram (06:04):
Along comes Elijah. He shows up and he says, what are you doing in a cave? Elijah had a different attitude. He had a different perspective. He says, we’re all the preachers in a time where sin is rapid in our nation, where are the prophets? And they said, shhhh, we’re in the caves. Don’t get too loud. We don’t want Jezebel to hear. Elijah understood that a silent prophet, that a silent preacher is no better than a dead one. When a nation is in crisis, we can’t afford to be diplomatic. We don’t disturb our generation or the generations after us by preaching the truth in a dark and dying world.
Darrell Ingram (06:35):
Elijah says, you all can stay in the cave, but God didn’t put that in my heart. I’m not going into a cave. I’m going to get out and matter of fact, I’m going to confront Ahab. He says, I’m going to call him out. He said, I’m going to tell him to meet me at the OK corral. And so he strapped his guns on and he went to the OK corral. All the prophets of Baal, the 450 of them, met him on Mount Carmel. And as they were on Mount Carmel, there were each to do a sacrifice, all those prophets and Elijah. Let me tell you something with you and God, you have more than a majority. With you and God, you have more than majority. And Elijah was just standing back, he was watching them, and they started to do all this jumping and cutting and hollering and screaming. And Elijah started taunting them. He said, why just scream a little bit louder? Why don’t you jump up a little bit more? Come on your God can’t hear you yet. Scream.
Darrell Ingram (07:51):
Nothing happened. Then it came to Elijah’s turn, Elijah said, what I want you to do is go get 12 jars of water, 12 jars of water. Fill him up. Not once, not twice but three times. And he said, I want you to pour those jars of water on the offering that I’m going to give my God, until it just flows over the trenches. You see Elijah was fixing to show them who the true and living God was. Elijah prays and God answers by fire. And he sent fire that consumed all that altar, and it slew all the false prophets. And started a revival in that nation. You see a cave can be an attitude. A cave can be intimidation. Those prophets were afraid. They were fearful of the name Jezebel.
Darrell Ingram (08:07):
It reminds me of a movie that I took my boys to when they were young. And we watched a few years back. It’s the Lion King. You all know those two hyenas. You know what I’m talking about? The two hyenas, the reason why I liked those characters, because one of them is a Mexican. So, I really like them and every time it comes up, I just go rewind so I can get it again. But what they were saying was they say Mufasa. Ooh, say it again. Say it again. Say it again. Mufasa. Ooh, say it again. Say it again. Say it again. It reminded me of that because here are those prophets, here they are hiding in a cave. And they hear the very name of Jezebel, and they say, Ooh, don’t say it again. Don’t say it again.
Darrell Ingram (09:33):
The fear of man breathes a snare. God is calling us to live, not in caves, but to be free from caves of fear, caves of worry, caves of dark depression. He wants us to come out before those cave, that cave becomes a grave. He doesn’t want us to live there and make that cave. A home we can’t afford to live in a cave. Moses was called to bring God’s people out of Egypt. He felt the stirring in the call of God. And he saw an Egyptian beating on an Israelite and Moses stepped in. And he tried to protect that Israelite. And in the process, he killed that Egyptian. And he was literally shoved out into the wilderness, into the desert. He got involved accidentally. He lived in a cave as a shepherd.
Darrell Ingram (10:39):
And there’s a scripture in the Bible that says this in these very words. After 40 years. After 40 years. I don’t know if I can live 40 years without hearing God. I don’t know if I can live that long without hearing the word of God. But he says after 40 years, after 40 years, the Lord appeared to him. I could imagine what was going through his head. As we all sit back and we see in his head, those 40 years, I tried, but I failed. I’m not going to try anymore. God. He was content after 40 years of shepherding, he gave, he gave up on his call. He gave up on his dream. He gave up on his purpose that God had called him for. He became content.
Darrell Ingram (11:36):
Christians should never be content. We should always want that one more. God, bring that one more. That one more, so I could tell them about Jesus. One more, God, one more. We should never be content. Contentment should be a cuss word to Christians. Then we need to stand firm and we need to preach God’s word. And we need to tell people about Jesus. Just one more. Don’t get caught up in that cave of contentment. God, God don’t want any, any, any one of us to stay in that cave. God, I don’t want it. Just leave me alone. I’ve been doing it. I’ve been doing it for so long. Let somebody else do it.
Darrell Ingram (12:27):
I’m fine to come to church. Well, I’m fine to come to church and sit in the pews and get up and, and even sing the songs. You know they had one, one hymnal, but they kind of twisted it up a little bit. You know, God, maybe they need to have more hymns, but God I’m content to come in and I’ll sit down and that’ll be enough God. That’ll be enough. I’m tired. I’ve been trying to bring unity and peace and nothing happened. But while Moses is in that cave, just before that cave became a grave to his purpose and to his destiny, God lit up a bush, God lit up a bush. God sent a fire and that fire purged his spirit and he was ready to do God’s bidding. Again. What I’m saying to you today is it’s time to come out of that cave of failure, that cave of sadness, that cave of sorrow, that cave of unforgiving spirit. Come out.
Darrell Ingram (13:27):
It’s time. You’re called to greater and higher things. God has planned for you in your life. The plan, the plan that God has for you doesn’t have emotional monsters in it. The plan is free from those emotional monsters. God is saying, I want you to come out of the cave. The cave is where the enemy wants you to come. He wants it to become a prison. And that cave will soon become a grave to all that God has for you. We’re not called to live in caves. Caves are damp and dreary and dark. And they’re horrible, they’re hopeless.
Darrell Ingram (14:14):
Just imagine, just imagine we’re not called to live in that cave and caves. They get emptied of their occupants. When Jesus shows up. You know, when Jesus shows up things come to life. When Jesus shows up that, which was dead is now alive. Don’t be like Martha and start with the, if onlys in life. God, if only you had showed up a little sooner, if only you would’ve answered that prayer a little bit sooner. If only you would have given me that job, if only I could have done, if only I didn’t mess up and make a mistake. Don’t get caught up in the, if onlys of life. Don’t get caught up like Martha, trust Jesus. In John 11, Lazarus was bound hand and foot, dead three days and put into a cave. And they had a stone in front of that cave. And Jesus walked up. He walked up And he called Lazarus. He had to call Lazarus by name, because if you didn’t call Lazarus by name, if he said, come out, they’d all come. That’s how powerful our savior is. But he called him by name. He says, Lazarus, come forth. Lazarus came out, all bundled up just saying, I’m ready to do it God. I’m ready to go again.
Darrell Ingram (15:20):
I believe God put you here at Journey Church, whether it’s in the sanctuary, whether it’s online, whether it’s on the radio, whether it’s on TV, because God is telling you to come out of that past hurt to come out of the time of that cave or fear and intimidation ruled your life. It’s time to do what God has called you to do. It’s time to be free. God is saying, come out of that cave because I’ve got life for you. I’ve got freedom for you.
Darrell Ingram (16:14):
What gives you and me the power, the power to come out of the cave. They tried to put Jesus in the cave. They tried to put Jesus in the cave. Jesus came out of that cave and he owns the keys to death and the life. So, you no longer. That’s why you that’s why addiction can’t hold you because he has the keys to unlock the prison doors. He rolls away stones and he calls the dead back to life. Your marriage doesn’t have to stay in a cave of past hurts. Maybe somebody made a stupid mistake. Maybe somebody did something dumb and somebody messed up at journey. We know that I mess up. You mess up. We all mess up. But here’s the amazing thing. Pastor James tells it to us all the time. Let God take that mess up and turn it into a miracle. Why haven’t you? Why haven’t you?
Darrell Ingram (17:15):
Because we want to stay locked up in a cave and the cave becomes a grave. It’s time to come out. It’s time to come out and let God performed a miracle in your life. The enemy wants you to live in a cave of hurt, cave of anger, the cave of bitterness. Jesus is calling you to come out of the cave. It’s over. You can be healed. You can be healed from past pains. God can heal you today. It’s time. It’s time we stop and listen because my God speaks in still small voices. So, if you stop and listen, you can hear the whisper of God. Even when you’re in the cave.
Darrell Ingram (18:05):
I like the story, that the story or the sermon that Pastor preached on Gideon. God called him when he was in a cave when he was hiding. And I love, love that about God, he doesn’t wait until we get strong to whisper dreams in our ears. He doesn’t wait until we have tons of money and power. When he says it, he’s going to do something. He’s going to use you. And you’re going to do something for him. He whispered in Gideon’s ear. He said, you are a mighty man of valor. You know what you need? When you get a word from hell, you needed a word from heaven. You need a word from God. You need a word from God. Gideon was in a cave. He was afraid and God calls him. And he says, you are a mighty man of valor. God doesn’t speak to present pain. He speaks to future potential. He speaks to your future potential, to my future potential. That’s why I love Jeremiah 29:11. Because in that it says that he has a plan, a purpose, and a hope and a future for each and every one of us.
Darrell Ingram (18:40):
Man, I noticed this in Judges 7:2, about this story, as pastor James was preaching. You know, I was also looking at the verses there and going hum, I need to look at this a little bit more. The bible said that Gideon sent home all those that were afraid. He sent all those home that were afraid. And now he stands with 300 men. And God said to him, you take the lamp, you take a glass pitcher, a torch and a trumpet. And I’ll tell you when to break them. I’ll tell you when to break them. I’ll tell you when to go forward. I’ll tell you to do what I want you to do. But when you do it, I want you to shout. I want you to shout. I want you to shout.
Darrell Ingram (20:09):
The sword of the Lord and Gideon. What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with that? He didn’t say that Gideon had a sword. He said that Gideon had a pitcher. He had a light and he had a trumpet. He didn’t say anything about a war, a sword, but let me tell you something that Gideon knew that we should know every day of our lives. He knew that God’s word was stronger than anything in the world. You see, God’s word is sharper than a two edged sword. When it goes in, it cuts deep. When it goes in it’s powerful.
Darrell Ingram (20:48):
God says there’s going to be a victory and it’s going to happen. If you come out of that grave, what do you say? When you come out of, when you need to come out of a grave, you claim God’s promises. We’re more than conquerors in Christ. Jesus. If you’re in a darkest cave, when you’re in the emote, when that emotional monster is eating you up, claim God’s promises. Then we just sang Way maker. We just sang Way maker. But did you really listen to the words? Did you let the words speak to you? Did you let God use those words to speak to you? Here’s what you saying, you are the way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper, light in the darkness. My God, that is who you are. That is who Jesus is. He is the way maker, the miracle worker. I’m coming out of the cave because God is not calling me to live in a spirit of fear. He’s called me to a higher ground and a higher calling. He is the way maker.
Darrell Ingram (21:48):
I’m delivered. I’m clean. I’m a child of the most high God. You’re a child of the King and nothing can hold you down because Jesus paid it all to him you owe. So, why don’t you start living for Jesus today. It’s time, it’s time. And it’s time to put that cave in the past. It’s time to remove it. Those of us have been held captive in the caves of past hurt isolation, mistrust, deceit, and lies. God God’s will for you is to not live in the pain of the past. Don’t take that cave and make it a prison because sooner or later, that prison will turn into a grave for your hopes, for your dreams, for your joy.
Darrell Ingram (22:50):
If you are in a cave, if you’re in a cave and that cave is starting to become a grave, the Lord is calling you to come out of that grave. I remember the day that God called me out of that grave. That grave of hurt, that grave of pain, that grave of anger, that grave of hopelessness. I’m not telling you that that grave will never come back. That grave may come back, but God has given you the tools that when you notice that you’re fixing to fall in that cave, you can claim God’s promises that he is the way maker and he promises to never leave you nor forsake you. He is there to get you out of that cave. If you don’t have if you don’t know how to do it, how to come out of that grave, it all starts. Jesus. It all starts with him. Jesus has to be your Lord and savior, bar none. He’s got to be number one in your life. He’s got to be number one in your everyday walk. He’s got to be number one in your family. Jesus is the only way he is the only way maker. Everyone stand with me and please bow your heads right now. Nobody’s looking everybody’s eyes are closed. If you’ve never asked whether you’re here in the sanctuary, you’re online. If you’re driving and listening to the radio, pull over. But if you’ve never given your life to Jesus, I want you to say this prayer with me.
Darrell Ingram (24:27):
Say, dear Jesus, come into my life. Forgive me of my sins. And I trust you to take me to heaven when I die. Thank you for saving me. Amen. Keep your heads down. Eyes closed. Those of you that are caught in a cave right now, that are caught in a cave of hurt of anger of hopelessness. I want you to pray this prayer with me. Jesus, you paid it all. You are the way maker. You gave me life, not death. I claim that I’m a child of the living God, Jesus. I know that greater is he. That is in me than he, that is in the world and father, I know you have more for me and my faith. I am a child of the King and I claim John 8:36, and the sun sets me free, I am free indeed. Jesus. I am free. Jesus. I am free. Thank you for free me. Amen.
Darrell Ingram (25:42):
Hey, on behalf of Pastor James, thank you for joining us this morning in worship service. If you still want someone to pray with you, we have people on standby, click the link below and they are going to pray with you and for you. If you are interested in our VBS, go to jcvbs.com and register your children for our one day VBS on July 25th, 25th from nine to two o’clock. We’re going to love having you there at our VBS. And join us next Sunday. As pastor James continues his series on emotional monsters, we’ll see you next Sunday.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.