What truth do you keep telling yourself?
How do you know it is ‘the truth’?
Pastor Steven Furtick is ready to release you to the true truth.
Romans 1:25, Your trust was supposed to be where your help comes from. Lift your eyes to him.
What truth do you keep telling yourself?
How do you know it is ‘the truth’?
Pastor Steven Furtick is ready to release you to the true truth.
Romans 1:25, Your trust was supposed to be where your help comes from. Lift your eyes to him.
Dr. Caroline Leaf introduces herself as a follower of Jesus, a follower of love. She is a neuroscientist who specializes in how the human brain works. She recommends how to use your brain to awaken the Goliath inside you.
Our thoughts create our reality. We are designed to be intentional.
Self-regulation is needed.
Jesus modelled what we are supposed to do. We make bad decisions. We face the consequences. What are we going to do from there? How are we going to manage the outcome?
You gotta remind yourself you are facing Gethsemane.
Using scriptures for dealing with an issue can be toxic. It makes the scriptures toxic. You gotta deal with the issue first. Bring yourself to meaning. What we can do is freaking out in the love zone. (Not in the fear zone.) In the love zone, you are safe. God is with you.
Turn what looks like a dead-end into your biggest opportunity, wisdom, and strength. Life’s biggest opportunities, greatest opportunities, aren’t always obvious. David’s biggest wisdom was born after his greatest mistake; read 1 Kings in the Old Testament.
Mark 2:1-12 NIV; Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man
2 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
John 11. Sometimes God lets things die first in order to resurrect them for you. Our biggest opportunities aren’t always obvious. Jesus even taught wisdom in parables. He hid them, making it not obvious.
Disappointment; The door is closed. It’s not God’s will for our friend to be healed today. If it was, we would have gotten through the door. But they’ve come this far. They didn’t come this far to go home. Sometimes the reason you got rejected was because it was not your door. It was the wrong level of relationship for you. Go higher. When they go low, we go high! Sometimes the greatest thing that can happen in your life is to be turned away at the front door. Because you discover another door. This is not for normal people. This is not for people who wanna quit church because it was 97 degrees. This is for people who are determined. Mark mentions faith four times. And he writes about actions you can take. Faith is something you can see. It’s something you can see; actions, in response to something you cannot see; hope. I’m gonna find a way to get through.
Obedience; Trust God in impossible situations. It is the grace that we are saved. By faith.
This is the second one of Pastor Steven Furtick’s new year sermon series. For the first sermon of the series go to .
This one’s not your typical worship song, but a beautiful declaration of the powerful conviction God gifted us.
Steven Furtick from Elevation Church is bringing evolution to how we worship. My first thought was this is going to make an awesome alarm clock.
Define ‘faith.’ 1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something. 2. strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
Sometimes we don’t need to prove it to someone to believe it is true. Sometimes we just know. Sometimes we just believe. Faith.
I was lucky to find Pastor Steven Furtick’s sermon; When anxiety attacks, when I was deeply struggling and felt the weakest I have ever felt. His sermons touch us in new and profounding ways. Sometimes we feel like why only me? Everyone else seems to have it all figured out. And why not me?
Transcript: Steven Furtick, Elevation Church.
Now I know this message is for somebody because the devil was fighting me to be able to deliver it. So let’s go forward together now into the word of God. Peter has an instruction here. He says, “In the same way, you who are younger submit yourselves to your elders.” Everybody over fifty, say, “Amen.” All the parents, say, “Amen.”
This is your verse. Peter’s gotten a little older now. He’s got that senior citizen discount swag going on. He’s got that AARP swag. Amen.
And all of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another. (1 Peter 5:5-8) ‘Cause God opposes the proud. But he shows favor to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand. And he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him ’cause he cares, for you.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. But resist him. Standing firm on the faith. ‘Cause you know that you are not the only one going through something. And the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of suffering. Touch somebody and say “You are not alone. You are not the only one. You’re not crazy.” It’s a battle we all must fight. Some fears we all must face. Things we all must go through. And we are in this together.
Amen. And the God of all grace will call you to his eternal glory in Christ after you have suffered a little while.
Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. Well, that suffering may restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast to him. Be the power forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever. And let the church say, “Amen.”
I wanna speak to you for a few moments today on the subject, ‘When anxiety attacks.’ What are you going to do when anxiety attacks? Amen. You may be seated in the presence of God. Thank you worship team. We have the best musicians on the planet at Elevation Church. The best volunteers on the planet who do the technical stuff. The best cameraman on the planet. Watch these cameramans. Switch back and forth real quick. Just go back and forth a bunch of times. Just watch this. Isn’t that crazy? Isn’t that cool? They do all these stuff that you don’t even know about behind the scenes to bless you so you can hear the word of God. I appreciate all our volunteers. Ushering with the excellence and the glory of God. Amen. Just so grateful today for everybody.
Hey, my mom and I were texting this morning. We were talking about my memory. How I remember weird little things from my childhood. And she says I remember some of them incorrectly, but one thing I know I remember was when I was around age 16 at Moncks Corner United Methodist Church. When aunt Jackie, she wasn’t really my aunt, but I called her aunt Jackie. ‘Cause when I was a little boy, I used to go to her house all the time. And she let me watch ‘Dukes of Hazzard.’
She put me aside because I had made the commitment to Jesus Christ as a 16-year-old boy. And she could see the passion and the enthusiasm from my eyes. She had changed my diapers and she was at that age where you can say whatever you wanna say. Kinda like Peter was when he was telling the church there. The people of God were under persecution and under attack at the hands of Emperor Nero. Aunt Jackie pulled me aside and she was telling me some words of wisdom. She said she believed that God had a plan for me and that God was gonna use me to do something special for him. She said, “I even told my our committee.” Methodist church has a lot of committees. They have committees on committees. God so loved the world that he did not send the committee. But aunt Jackie was on all the committees and the flower committee and the chair committee.
She said, “I told the committee that you wouldn’t be here much longer. This was the church you were raised in but God was gonna use you for other things and we’re gonna let you go when God calls you ’cause he’s gonna use you and you’re gonna speak.” And she was saying all these things to me. Again, I had only been a Christian for a short time. So I was encouraged by it. Then she shifted the gears and she went into this real serious mode. And she was like, “But the devil. The devil doesn’t like you. And he wants to use you as a target practice. Bring you down as God is raising you up.” So she said, “Don’t.”
This is the southern way of verse Peter 5:6; “Humble yourself under God’s mighty hand.”
“Don’t get too big for your britches.” This is a Charlotte thing. You know, we are not a regional, national church now. So I have to tellém”Don’t get too big for your britches.” And keep yourself low so that God can raise you up high. And she told me “The devil is after you. He does not like the passion you have for God. And he’s after you.” And I’m glad that she told me the second part. ‘Cause I don’t know if a lot of Christians get told that second part.
So I thought I would join in with Peter who said, “Your enemy the devil, roars like a lion.”
(Aunt Jackie)”Looking for someone he can eat alive. Looking for a family he can tear apart. Looking for a future he can ruin before it even has a chance to get started. Looking for a church he can divide. Looking for a nation he can divide. Looking to plant an addiction in the heart of a 14-year-old so that they would never live a normal adult life. The devil is busy. The devil is active”, she told me. The interesting thing was that I think she was saying that to me because she thought God was calling me to preach. But you don’t have to be a preacher, to have a bull’s eye on your back.
In fact, I want you to write something down for me if you care anything at all about your future or your family or your fate. Write that down.
The birthmark of a believer is the bull’s eye.
Peter is here to teach us that we are born again into a living hope. But as you are born into a living hope, you are also born into an eternal struggle. And a very real battle.
The day you become one with Christ, the enemy… I wanna be careful here because sometimes we get way too carried away about all the stuff that the devil does. Like let me get my wife’s voice on.
(Steven speaking like his wife)”I’ve just been under attack lately. So lately I just feel like the devil’s been attacking me so much. It’s just so bad. It’s like my mom, my dad, the teachers, and everything. And my iPhone. I know I charged it overnight but when I woke up it was dead. I just know it’s the devil.” (Steven said) “No, it’s your charger. It’s not the devil”
(Steven impersonating)”People on my job, they just hate me ’cause I’m a Christian. I’m under attack. My boss doesn’t like me. I’m just under attack right now.” Nope, you’re not under attack. You’re underperforming. Your boss doesn’t like you because you are not doing a very good job. Convince them with the paycheck that they have entrusted to you.
But yeah, there are these times and all those seasons where you just can sense that you’re under attack. And it’s only something Christians say. It’s not something you would say if you don’t believe in God. If you don’t think it’s the devil, you would just say everything is falling apart.
Do you remember when President Bush was reading to an elementary school class? And there was a famous picture of his chief of staff having to go up to him while he was reading and say to the president that the second plane had hit the second tower on 9/11. And he said, “America is under attack.” He told the president according to his account and his record after the fact. He said, “America is under attack.”
Now Peter is walking up to a church under attack and speaking to them on a personal level. “I want you to know that you are under attack.” Not just the preacher. Because people would come up to me all the time and say, “I’m praying for you preacher. I know that the devil wants to take you out.” And I look right back atém and say, “Well, Ima pray for you too. Write your name down ’cause he will take whoever he can get.” He’s after construction workers and sophomores in high school, and stay-at-home moms, and attornies. Prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. And I wonder “Is it you?”
I wonder “Is it you? That he’s been after.” With thoughts that repeat themselves over and over again in your mind. Thoughts of worthlessness or thoughts of anxiety. This seems to be Peter’s primary focus; the attack of the enemy often manifests itself in an overwhelming sense of anxiety.
I know this is the manifestation of the attack forth we are not the manifestation of the attack. Petter would singularly lift it in verse 7 as the focal point of his ammunition of the church under attack.
I feel like teaching today. Are you ready to learn?
Gimme about 30 mins because you are under attack. And there are some things you need to know about his attack. The good news is it is not an ambush. Peter says that the devil is like a roaring lion. That means he gives you a warning before the warfare begins. And so sometimes we act really surprised, but things that we go through or ways that we struggle. We come into situations that are harder than we expected them to be in. And we ask God to do great things in our lives. But the battle begins and we act like we weren’t warned.
Peter said this lying devil is not silent. He roars.
I’ve never done this before. I’ve done a lot of “Touch your neighbor.” But turn to your neighbor and say,”Roar!” Devil’s all up in your face. He will let you know he’s coming. And what you need to know if you are under attack and I will not have you raise your hand because the very people who need this message now are the most reluctant to admit that this is for them.
But when you find yourself in a season of attack, that roaring lion is in your face. Now I’m thinking right here Peter’s gonna say, “Run!” To me, that’s the only reasonable advice when you’re faced with a roaring lion. Hello? I don’t even like dogs very much. Holly(his wife) is scared of rats. Can you imagine if she saw a lion? But it doesn’t say “Run.”
Instead, he challenges us to – “Resist.”
1 Peter 5:9, NIV; Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And it’s a certain type of resist. He says when you are under attack, you need to come under the mighty hand of God. I want you to see that phrase because it touched me so deeply in my study. I was hoping to explain it to you for a moment today the three things the hand of God represents. This is verse 6.
1 Peter 5:6, NIV; Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
An image that would have been familiar to a Jewish audience, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm that God has brought his people out of the Egyptian slavery. Peter wanted something though. That same hand of God has been actively fulfilling his purpose throughout human history is still reigning over your life.
“Humble yourself under that mighty hand” represents his plan.
I don’t know about you but I am thankful that God’s plan for my life has prevailed even against my own plan that I thought was better sometimes. How many are grateful for the hand of God? If you are grateful for God, just wave your hand at me. God’s hand is not like your hand. It’s an invisible hand. You can’t see it but you definitely know the effects of it when it moves. Because after you’ve lived a little while. Peter said, I saw what happens in the hand of God, the plan of God, saw what happens. See, Peter is not writing this as advice unsolicited. And he’s not writing this as advice uninformed. Peter is a grown man now. Peter is a grown Christian man now. Getting a little bolder about laying his advice and experiences. Who better to tell us about the hand of God than the man who walked with Jesus Christ in the flesh? Who better to describe the function of the hand of God than the one who saw his face? Jesus said if you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the father. Peter didn’t just trace the hand of God. He saw the face of God.
Now he says to those who are under attack, under oppression, under the disappointment, dealing with failure, hitting rock bottom, don’t know what’s next, freaking out, crying yourself to sleep at night, feeling all alone. He says to every believer, “You’ve got the upper hand. The hand of God is mighty. The hand of God is strong. The hand of God is over your life.”
It will prevail as the purpose will come to pass. Right? I know the plans I have for you have to declare the Lord. Bless to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you hope for your future. When you find yourself under attack, you need to know that the hand of God is leading you, saving you. That same hand that split the sea open so his people could walk right through. The hand of God will make a way where there is no way the hand of God will bring a rock. Watering out of a rock in a dry place. The hand of God is over your life.
And he has a plan. The plan of God. The hand of God represents the plan. The hand of God represents the provision of God. These all start with the letter ‘P’. ‘Cause that’s what I do.
The provision of God. Who better to remind a church that is under attack or a believer who is under attack that the hand of God is where bread multiplies than the one who saw 500 fed with just a few loaves and a few fish?
Any time you’ve seen kids’snack packed from Captain B’s multiplied into a buffet, you know something about the provision in the hand of God and Peter was right there. And he saw what happened when they put the bread in Jesus’hand. So he knew that at times when you feel like you’re in a place of lack or your provision is never dependent on your own ability to provide for yourself or your own ability to create resource for yourself, but anything you put in the hand of God will multiply. Anything you put in the hand of God will multiply. anything you put in the hand of God, it just keeps coming. It just keeps coming.
To have some witnesses, you keep having a hard time in your life, but hope kept coming. You’ve been in some tight places. You felt like you were running out. You didn’t feel like you could make it to the next day. But somehow blatantly, strength kept coming. Joy kept coming. And tomorrow kept coming in spite of your past. ‘Cause the hand of God is the hand of provision.
And it’s a hand of protection. God has me in his grip.
Who better to see that the hand of God will protect me than the one who tried to walk on water? Do you know the Bible? Go study the story in Matthew Chapter 14 where Peter got out there. He’s trying to make his way to Jesus. He’s coming toward him and by the time he gets there, ’cause sometimes right when you are on the verge, you start to sink.
I never saw it before. Can I take a moment? OK. Ima take a moment. You said I could. In Matthew Chapter 14, I was just gonna mention it but you act like you came to preaching today. I don’t know what happened University City, but there are some hungry people for the bread of life. It says that Peter in the storm got out of the boat and when he walked out on the water, he did pretty good. He came toward Jesus.. Yáll got the scripture? Mathew Chapter 14.
Matthew 14:30, NIV; But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
He cries out before he goes completely under. So he’s sinking but he’s not sunk. He’s going down but he’s not out. The lion is prowling but he has not prevailed. You follow me? Watch this. Verse 31 says,
Matthew 14:31, NIV; Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Jesus is not walking toward Peter. Peter is walking toward Jesus.
When Jesus sees Peter falling and hears him crying, he reaches out his hand and Peter is close enough for Jesus to reach.
The problem with some of us isn’t that we are sinking. It’s that we won’t stay close enough for God to get us in his grip. But I came to announce to that lion today that the liar, the devil, that I am in his grip even when I am going down, even though the winds and the waves are roaring and raging in my life, I am in his grip.
Somebody shout out loud, “I am in his grip!”
Now he’s got me in his grip. He’s got me in his grip. He’s got me in the hand of his protection. He might let me suffer a little while but he won’t let me stay there. He is my God and I am in his hand.
Doesn’t matter how well you can walk on water. Doesn’t matter how close you are to his hand. Doesn’t matter about your intelligence. It matters about your surrender. It doesn’t matter about your ability. It matters about your surrender. Humble yourself.
I am preaching to somebody. I’m trying to preach to somebody so straight, you can’t even nod.
You’re trying to hold back tears. But God sent a preacher with a message you might as well go ahead and cry out, “Lord, save me. I can’t do this on my own.”
I am not enough by myself. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. He’ll lift you up in due time. He’ll get you up. He’ll lift you up in due time. He’ll let you go low enough that you’ll need him and bring you up high enough to let the world know that he’s with you.
Verse 7 is what I’ve been trying to practice. That I can be under attack and not anxious.
1 Peter 5:7, NIV; Cast all your anxiety on the lord, because God cares for you.
I’m trying to do that because I felt like Code Orange Revival, I felt like I went under an emotional attack and I don’t even know if I’m still out of it yet.
Part of it is probably because of adrenaline and physiological factors that have to do with getting up 10 nights in a row. And all of the hosting of trying to put of with guests for 10 nights in a row making ’em feel special. Part of it though had to be spiritual. It was like for 10 nights if you weren’t here in our church, you know, you basically missed out on life by not coming to Code Orange Revival.
But not only did our city go through a shaking after revival, I went through a shaking and I don’t wanna get up here and use you for a counseling appointment cause I don’t wanna have to pay you an hourly fee or anything like that. And I don’t want you to worry about me because I promise you I’m good and I love my wife and my kids. We are good and everything like that.
Don’t send emails like that; “We’re praying, pastor.” Or anything like that. That’s not the point I’m telling you all this. It’ll make me feel like you missed the point if you send an email. I don’t want a card or anything like that. Flowers. Cookies. Trying to make me fat on carbohydrates because you think I’m struggling. I don’t need any of that. I just wanna tell you something.
While we were in here talking about 10 nights, 10 years, I felt overwhelmed by “Do I have what it takes for the next 10?” And it’s like once you’ve gone real high with God as a leader, I think you feel the pressure to go higher. But then it’s kinda hard because you feel like maybe you’ve gone as high as you can go. And maybe you feel that way as a parent, not as a preacher. Maybe you feel that way in your business.
I don’t know who I am preaching to but Ima open myself up here a little bit for you today if it’ll be helpful because anxiety attacked me and it hit me kinda hard. I wouldn’t stay in the bed or anything like that. I didn’t go get addicted to something, some kinda pills or anything like that. But it was a thing on my mind; You don’t have what it takes. I don’t have what it takes. I don’t know if I’m the one to do it. And all these stuff was going through my mind.
That’s how I got over to the 1 Peter chapter 5, ’cause I know that scripture. I love that scripture. That scripture has helped me before and sometimes when you are up against the fight, you gotta go back to the weapon that you know. I can’t fight the lion disarmed. I gotta get a slingshot. So it was just like a well-known verse. And I went back in there and considered the context of Peter.
Fell asleep in the garden of Gethsemane while he was supposed to be watching Jesus’ back. Jesus came over and gave him two wake-up calls but he hit the snooze button three times. “Are you still sleeping? I looked at how Peter was telling the church to be alert. Which is translated else where in the New Testament ‘prayerful.’ The enemy eats Christians who sleep in times of battle.
Be alert to what’s going on. Realize that a birthmark of a believer is a bulls eye. Devil doesn’t like it one bit. And you’re moving forward in your relationship with God.
I started taking the verse apart ’cause the word of God really is what I live by not just what I make my living off of. So I went into verse 7 real hard like I needed an answer. When anxiety attacks, it’ll drive you – to seek God, to seek his hand.
And I was looking for him because it said “Cast all your anxiety.” While I was reading it since I knew Peter wrote it and he was a fisherman, I wondered if he was picturing like casting the nets from one side of the boat to the other. Just because Jesus told him to.
Sometimes our anxiety in our life is a result of our unwillingness to be obedient. And when he did cast the net to the other side, maybe that’s a word for somebody. He said, “Cast all your anxiety on him.” Do it his way now.
“We fished all night and caught nothing” Peter said. But because you say so, Ima cast all my net on the other side. I’ve been trying to do this my way. I’ve been trying to handle it on my own. But Ima cast my net on the other side.
However, it was in verse 5 and 6 that I found my answer. For in verse 5 he says,
1 Peter 5:5, NIV;
In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another,
Greek word, tie on. Tie on that’s not the Greek. That’s the translation of the Greek word. Tie it on like a towel. Like Jesus did. When he took on the role of serving. And he got a towel of a servant’s towel and he put it around his waist. When Peter saw him tying on that towel, he said “No. You don’t tie on the towel, Jesus. You sit on the throne.”But Jesus tied on the towel. I wonder as Peter is saying clothe themselves in humility as he has a flashback of the savior who laid his riches and glory aside and made himself nothing finding the appearance of sinful man who became a servant, humbling himself even to death on a cross as tied onto a towel and watch Peter sleep.
Peter’s response, “No, lord. You can’t watch my feet.”
Jesus said, “Ah. Peter, shut up.”
That’s not the exact conversation but it’s the essence of it. And he did what he came to do to. This other man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life to a ransom many.
But maybe my biggest problem was the fact that I always thought that verse 7, the instruction where he said, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Your anxiety’s on him cause he cares for you.
You know, you go to the Word of God sometimes and try to pluck up these little promises. You try to do stuff. And just “But I like that verse. That verse.” But back up and catch the essence of the text. Verse 6,
1 Peter 5:6, NIV; Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Cast all your anxiety. He cares for you.
To really understand the essence and profundity of the connection, you need to see a more literal translation of verses 6 and 7. Because Peter is writing this letter in Koine Greek. In the Greek language, as Peter is writing this letter, as you will see demonstrated in verses 6 and 7. These are not two separate sentences.
What happens next is predicated on whether or not what happens in verse 6 is applied.
In Greek, it’s one sentence.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time, cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
See, I’ve been trying to cast my anxieties and keep my pride. But the thing about it is that you need to know the pride and the anxiety come in the same package. So if you insist on doing it your way, then expect to feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, because it is.
You can’t just do verse 7 because you decide to.
God take it off me. God take it off me. I’m so worried, God. Make me not worried anymore. “Don’t you care if we perish?” That’s what Peter said one time in the boat. “Don’t you care that we’re drowning?” “God, you said cast all my anxieties on you. I’m casting them. Casting them. This isn’t working.”
Look at the word, ‘anxiety.’
As I’m telling the Lord in my prayers, “I don’t know if I can do it.” And I just need you to give me a sign that I can take the church forward the next 10 years. Take this anxiety. I’m casting it on you, Lord. I am casting it on you. After I prayed this way for a little while, the Lord spoke to me in my heart. Now this is not an out-loud conversation. I don’t want you to think I’m really really crazy, but this is the impression I got. The Lord said, “Are you done now? Shut up, Peter. Done now?”
Look at the word, ‘anxiety.’ Look at how it’s spelled in English. Look at what is in the center of the word. Do you see it?
Show them on the screen.
At the center of your anxiety, if you really trace it. I’m not talking about a medical condition. I am not a pharmacist. I am not a neurologist. I’m saying, spiritually speaking, the Lord told me at the center of your anxiety is your pride.
The reason you’re so anxious is because you have you at the center, and you can’t sustain it’s not your throne.
I mean, “Even listen to your language,” the Lord said.
“I don’t know if I have what it takes. I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t know if I can make it. If I, if I, if I, if I, if I, if I, I, I, I…”
You can’t spell anxiety without an ‘I’. It’s right in the middle.
And you know what other word ‘I is in the middle of?
And maybe the reason you’ve been carrying anxiety that you can’t get rid of is because you’ve been bearing weight that you weren’t meant to bear.
You’d better humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, because if you stay weighed down with pride, you’re gonna be weighed down with anxiety, and God can’t lift you up.
I don’t know if I have what it takes to make it through the next 10 years. God said to me, “Did you have what it took to get through the first 10, boy?”
You’d better cast your net on the other side. You’d be tier call out to me in the time of the storm and humble yourself. Casting all your anxiety on him.
It’s not a command to cast your anxiety on him, it’s a result. The command is to humble yourself under his mighty hand, and when you do, the anxiety goes with the pride.
If you would get yourself out of the center and God get on the throne and lift your hands to him and say, “I need you, Lord. I’m a sinful man. Can’t step without you. Can’t breathe without you. Can’t eat without you. Can’t pray without you. Can’t parent without you. Can’t preach without you. Can’t work without you. No peace without you. No joy without you.”
God said, “Now I’m read to lift you up above the wind, above the waves, above your pride.”
My mom lost 80 pounds over the course of two years. 80 pounds. That’s like an Elijah and one-fourth of Abbey. 80 pounds. That’s about how much you curl with one arm. But you know what’s weird is she didn’t just lose weight. See my mom had bad knees and a bad back.
In fact, I wanted to give my mom the house we lived in when we moved into another house but she couldn’t take it because it had stairs. She said, “I would love to take that house but the bedroom is upstairs and I can’t climb the stairs.”
You know what’s a weird thing though? She would go to the doctor about her knees and about her back. I got bad knees and a bad back.” When the weight came off, the pain went with it. I wish you could see her today. She is like an Olympic rower.
Do you remember The Social Network, the Winklevoss brothers? How much does she row? 15 thousand meters a day. I don’t know. I’m making this up. But she rows a lot. And she can climb the stairs and she can dance and she’s lively. It wasn’t her knees. I was the weight.
Is the reason you’re so anxious because of your pride? Maybe the anxiety is the fruit and the pride is the root. If you would pluck it up by the root, the fruit couldn’t grow.
Get yourself out of the center.
Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God.
Well, “What if I look stupid?”
Some of you are about to try something right now that you’ve never tried before. “What if I look stupid?” I got good news for you.
Everybody else is thinking about themselves, not you, so they won’t even notice.
“What if I, I, I, I, I..?”
Who better to teach us about humility than Peter? He was sitting around a table having dinner with Jesus one time. Jesus said, “All of you are going to fall away.” Look at what Peter said.
Because sometimes the only way for you to find your foundation is to hit rock bottom. Sometimes that’s the best place to build from. Sometimes that’s the best place to lead from. Sometimes that’s the best place to be a better husband from: the place of “Lord, save me.”
Not “Call me to come and I’ll come”but “Lord, save me.”
And then the hand of God gets involved.
Peter didn’t know this. He’s sitting around the table. He says this, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”
Jesus said, “Before the rooster even gets his second crow out of his mouth, you’re gonna be telling people you don’t even know me.”
Mark 14:30, NIV; “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.”
And that’s exactly what happened.
Jesus warned Peter of the attack and sometimes we don’t listen and we don’t hear it, so we’re surprised when it comes. We act like it’s an ambush when it’s really normal. It’s normal to be attacked. It’s normal.
Jesus told Peter, “Satan has asked for all of you, and specifically he has asked for you, to sift you as wheat, to sort out what’s real from what’s not real. But I prayed for you Peter. I prayed for you, Peter. You’re gonna fail, Peter, but I’m not. You are shaky at best, Peter, but I am a solid rock at the bottom of your failure. I prayed for you, Peter.”
And now Peter writes, decades later, to a church under attack. “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, for your enemy, the Devil, is like a a roaring lion.” He’s looking for somebody to devour. He’s looking for somebody he can shred to pieces with doubt and fear and selfishness. He’s looking for somebody he can get to walk away. And as a paster, I’m just sick of having to make phone calls and visits with people every week who are being devoured by the Enemy.
So Peter says, “This is a time for resistance. This is not a time for you to run. This is a time for you to resist.”
“Yeah, but he’s a lion.”
“OK. He is a lion, and he might be licking his lips and his fangs might be sharp and he might have you in his sight and you might have failed and you might have done it and you might be going down, but you need to know one thing about this lion,” Peter says.
“After you have suffered a little while, God himself will step in and restore you and make you strong.”
He’s a lion, but the lion is on a leash.
He can only go so far. He can only do so much. He can’t keep you down forever.
Humble yourself under the hand of God and in due time… Come on! This is somebody’s due time.
This is it.
Anxiety stops here.
Depression stops here.
Fear stops here.
In due time, he will lift you up.
I feel the hand of God reaching down for somebody today.
You’ve been going down. If it’s you, lift your hand. If this message was straight to you, stand up on your feet and lift both your hands in the air. If this message was straight to your heart, straight to what you’ve been dealing with, straight to the battle you’ve been fighting, lift your hands.
God, we thank you for your hand of favor, your hand of provision, your hand of protection, your hand of power, your hand of purpose. We humble ourselves under your hand today. We know that the lion is loud, but we know the suffering won’t last long. It is not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed to us. So we look it in the face today and we declare the name of Jesus is greater. The name of Jesus is higher. You have all power in your hand. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to you. Now lift your people, God. Lift your people. Lift your people as we lift you up in this place. Lift their heads, God. Lift their heads. Dry their tears. Calm their hearts. Speak to the storm and the storm will cease. We declare in the name of Jesus this is our due time.
Trouble won’t last always. And the enemies that we’re afraid of today will be our testimonies in our tomorrow. Ima say that again. The enemies that you fear today will be your testimony of your triumph in your tomorrow.
God said, “It’s just a little while.” The God who has called you into his eternal glory, what lasts forever. After you have suffered a little while, he himself will restore you. Peter said, “I know about it, because I’ve been there. I’ve had me at the center. I failed so bad I didn’t know if I could ever bounce back. I went back to my fishing business because I figured God didn’t have any more use for me. But when I was going down, that’s where I found his hand. When I was going down, that’s when he reached out to me. Just when it looked like the lion had me in his sights, that’s when the God of all grace, the God of all provision, the God of all power.”
Do I have a witness that immediately he’ll reach down and pick you up? Let’s call on his name today. Let’s call on his name, the Savior of the world. Let’s call on his name.