Creflo Dollar - How To Know If You Are Being Controlled By Fear - Part 2
All right, now, now, let's go just a little bit deeper here. Look at Psalms 11. Man, and with just this point of view I saw Psalms 11 a whole differently. I'm thinking, "Oh, my goodness. I thought this was something to use to celebrate Jesus and I found out it was nothing but the voice of fear". Look at Psalms 11, verses 1 through 3 in the New Living Translation. Psalms 11, verses 1 through 3 in the New Living Translation. And you've got to understand in this atmosphere of fear, Satan is trying to take as much opportunity as he can. He wants to talk to you and preach to you, and I'm tellin' you, we sittin' back and lettin' him do it. You wake up some mornings and stay in the bed for a hour, beating yourself up about how bad you are, about your regrets, about what you didn't do right, all that stuff. You gotta get out of bed. You got to just get up and say, "I am not laying in the bed beating myself up".
Some of y'all go all the way back to the beginning of your life. "See how dirty and nasty I was. I ain't never"... You... stop. You're listening to the wrong voice. God does not condemn. So it's not God. Don't be talking about what God showed you this. No, no, no. God does not condemn you. God's gonna talk about who you are in Christ Jesus, not who you were in yourself. You understand? Look at this: Psalms 11 and verse 1. This is so shocking. He says: "I trust in the LORD for protection. So why do you say to me, 'Fly like a bird to the mountains for safety!'" Verse 2: "Why do you say to me, 'The wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings. Thy shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right.'" Verse 3: "'The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?'"
Would you guys agree with me that this is the voice of fear? From verse 1 to 3, it's the voice of fear. And you know that voice of fear is trying to communicate to David, he's trying to say, "David, you're gonna get hurt if you stick around. You better get out of here. You're gonna be hurt, boy. You better move. If you stick around, you're gonna get hurt". That's the voice of fear. What has the voice of fear been telling you to do? You completely ignore the voice of God, but the voice of fear keeps telling you to do stuff. "Get out of here, or you're gonna get hurt". See, we spend too much time listening to ourselves and not enough time talking to ourselves. All right, what does that mean? What does that mean? We spend too much time listening to the voice of fear when we should be preaching the gospel to ourselves. Are you all listening to what I'm saying?
How much time are you spending listening to the voice of fear? You need to start preaching to yourself. When you hear something that's not God, when you hear something that only concerns the outside world, you need to open yourself and preach to yourself. You need to get that Bible. Just find you two or three Scriptures and preach it back to you. You sit there all day long listening to the voice of fear. That cannot be spiritually healthy. You have much more voice of fear going in you than the gospel and the promises of God. Listen, the number one fear that Satan wants to put on Christians is the fear that what God said won't come to pass.
So you spend all your time listening to words that contradict the Word of God. And then before you know it, you come to church, "Yeah, I understand that, but"... So now But says, "Zero out what the Word says and only listen to what the world says". You gotta listen to what the Word, you gotta preach to yourself in psalms, you gotta preach to yourself in hymns. That means you might have to sing a hymn in Psalms, in hymn, in spiritual Psalms, but you are listening and giving too much time to the voice of fear and not enough time preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to yourself. Get a place in your house where you can preach to yourself. You ain't gotta wait 'til you come to church and hear me preach. Preach to yourself: "I am healed". Preach to yourself: "The blood of Jesus protects me". Preach to yourself.
See, what we're finding out is the light is shining on a lot of folks who said they believe only to discover they don't believe as much as they thought they did. Somebody shout, "I believe God. Help my unbelief". See, you gotta acknowledge, okay. Don't go to God pretending like you ain't got no issues. You gotta go to God, say, "Lord, I believe you, but sometimes, Lord, I wonder. Help me with my wondering". I've been wondering in all the wrong places. I believe but sometimes I wonder. I tell you what you wonder. You wonder if that's true. I tell you what you wonder. You wonder if that's gonna come to pass 'cause you've been listening too much to the voice of fear, and whatever you spend your time doing the most, that's what you're gonna activate in your life. That's what's gonna show up in your life, oh yeah.
I don' made my mind up one, I sat down and there's a list. I said, "Well, I'm not gonna have no conventions and no citizen 'til everything kind of clear up". I don't know when stuff gonna clear up. I don' change my mind. I'm like, listen, whoever can get there, can get there. I ain't stopping my preaching. See, what's gonna happen? If I can preach whoever show up, and if I can get them to get in an understanding, then they can get on the telephone and on the Internet and they can spread. See, God know how to spread it. God know how to spread it. Glory be to God. Listen, a charge to keep ahead. A God to glorify. You got to understand what's happening. I'm spending my time preaching to myself, getting Taffi to preach to me, preach to myself. Man, she had a revelation just blew my mind. She said, "It is important to build boundaries against those wrong negative fearful words". And she said, "If you fail to build those boundaries, you're just leaving the driveway open for it to just come anytime it wanna come". I said, "Let's talk in precision".
Oh yeah, when you're with somebody and they bring up something fear-based, or wanna talk about somebody or dog somebody out, you're like, "Ah, we're not doing that, uh-uh, no, don't wanna hear that. Don't wanna hear that". And then they're like, "Well, who are you, Mr. Perfect"? Not yet. I don't wanna hear that. I got a boundary right there. I don't want that going in my system 'cause I been working on something before I got with you. Now, if all you wanna do is talk fear-filled words, I'm not gonna spend no two hours with you, listening to that when I've been working on preaching to myself. Now, I love you, I thank God for you, but it might be time for us to separate like Paul and Barnabas. You might need to go your way and go your way 'cause I'm working on something. 'Cause if I go your way, I'm gonna end up dead somewhere because I let this thing get too deep on the inside of me.
I got to preach to myself that's he's a healer. I got to preach to myself that I'm the righteousness of God. I got to preach to myself that the blood of Jesus did not fail. I ain't got time to be talking about who did what, who posted what on Instagram, how they did that on Facebook, and what's going on elsewhere. I ain't got time for all that stuff. Jesus is coming back. People are dying and going to hell and I ain't got time to be listening to no outside influences. I gotta pay attention to what the Word promises me, praise God. When fear knocks on the door, I gotta answer with, "God loves me and I know it". When fear knocks on the door, I gotta answer, "I believe I receive what is said". When fear knocks on the door, I gotta respond with what I believe. I ain't doing it. You do what you need to do. I know, "Oh, Creflo, that taking it too far". Do what you need to do.
There's probably a church somewhere that will preach what you believe, but I don't believe in giving my life to fear. I don't believe in turning over my life to the spirit of fear. I walk by faith and not be sight, hallelujah. And I'm gonna believe my God. He loves me, glory to God. He loves me when I'm good and he loves me when I'm bad. He loves me when I'm doing it right, he loves me when I'm doing it wrong. My God died for me. She shed his blood for me, he got up from the grave for me. He's alive, seated on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, and I am not gonna let him go and turn over to the influences of the world. Not gonna do it. I'm not gonna do it.
So where do you need to challenge your voice of fear? What area of your life? Where in your life do you need to challenge that voice of fear? 'Cause if you are tempted with those outside influences and voices, you're being controlled by fear. I'm not gonna be controlled by anything. I made my mind up I wasn't gonna even be controlled by a Whole Foods oatmeal cookie with raisins in it and brown sugar. Yes, amen. I was over at my mom's house the other day and I turned to the left and I saw some cookies on the counter and I said... The Cookie Monster in me wanted to resurrect from the dead and repossess me. I'm talking about, I can put away some cookies. I don't know what it is. I could put, I probably, yeah, I have. It's so sad, I have, I have, I really have. I'm making confession. I'm in the booth. I'm making a confession right now, all right?
I don' sat down and ate 20 big oatmeal cookies, 20, 20, 20. In fact, I ate ten and didn't even know I had eaten ten 'cause I was eating while I was moving, eating while I was doing stuff, and I looked back, like, "What happened to my cookies"? God say, "How you gonna lead people? How you gonna lead people to me and you are enslaved by a cookie? You're trying to cast out devil. Cast that Cookie Monster out of you, Creflo". And I said, "Okay, Lord, go". That Cookie Monster said, "Ain't nothing wrong with these cookies. It's brown sugar, Creflo. That's healthy". You know how we do, we find the healthy stuff. "That's brown sugar. It's maple syrup from the maple tree". And I'm like, "Praise the Lord, that's right. From the maple tree. That's a tree, that's plant-based".
Oh man, number four. How do I know if I'm being controlled by fear? Number four, when fear challenges your belief in God. When fear challenges your belief in God. Look at Hebrews chapter 13 and 5 in the New Living Translation. Hebrews 13 and 5, New Living Translation. When I allow myself to get to a place where my belief in God is challenged, I am being controlled by fear. I'm being controlled by fear. It didn't used to be a challenge. Now it's a challenge. Now it's a "yeah, but". Look what he's saying in verse 5. He said, "Don't love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, 'I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.'" "I will never fail you. I will never abandon you".
Now, so you're hearing that right now but you're being challenged with, "Do I really believe that? Do I really believe that God will never fail me? Do I really believe that God will never abandon me"? You know, I recall this prayer in the New Testament where Jesus came to Peter and he said to Peter, "I pray that your faith fail not. I hear that they told you your faith is gonna fail. I pray", Jesus saying, "I'm praying that your faith fail not". How many of you know that when Jesus prays, it happens, right? You can be pretty sure of that, right? He says, "I pray for you, Peter, that your faith fail not". And then we see Peter denying Jesus three times. You've thought it just like I thought it. I said, "Well, obviously his faith failed. He denied you three times. What's up, Lord? Did God not hear your prayer"? Of course he did. But it wasn't his faith fail.
See, when failure takes place, be careful how you put things together. His faith didn't fail. The failure was in his self-effort. There were still some things he was trying to do out of his own power, trying to operate independent from God instead of depending on God to help him that his faith fail not. His faith didn't fail. The failure was in self. Just like most of us. When we think that there are things we can do without God and then it don't work, it's not that your faith failed or it's not that God failed. You failed. And he allowed you to fail so you can get up from that failure and say, "I need you. I need to depend on you. I keep trying to do stuff out of my own ability". And a lot of times, God allows suffering and failure to come your way so he can melt away that self-performance so there's nothing left but depending on him.
Have you ever been put in a situation after you done tried everything you know to do, you finally turn to God and say, "I don't know what else to do. I just gotta trust you," and then it happened right away? See, you in the right position once you... see, he'll let you go through some stuff to burn off that self-performance. You still think that you can be like God without God. You still think you don't need him. But, honey, it's only when you come to the place in your life where every time you turn around, you asking God to bless this, you asking God to bless that, you asking God to bless the supplements you take. You asking to bless the mask you put on. You asking God to bless the clothes you wear. And you're, "Lord, I need you. I'm afraid to go outside. Lord, help me. Be with me, Lord. Don't leave me".
When you start living life like that, you're living in the perfect will of God. Jesus says, "I don't do nothing, except I go to the Father". And he said, "Like I depended on the Father to take care of me, you now can depend on me to take care of you". But that's not gonna happen if you got so religious deep that you don't need God no more. Y'all hear what I'm saying? The devil's trying to get you to declare your independence from God. That's what Lucifer did in the beginning. The whole deal where he got kicked out and a third of the angels followed. You know what happened? Lucifer declared his independence with two words: "I will". "I will". "I will," and the last verse, verse 15, "I will be like the Most High God". You know what he was saying? "I declare my independence from you. I don't need you, I don't need you, I don't need you".
So for the rest of our lives, you can expect a devil to enter into our lives with fear to convince us we don't need God. I'm not gonna let it happen. Yes, I do need him. Satan has a declaration of independence for every Christian. No, God has another declaration of dependence. And the ones who depend on God are about to walk in more glory than you've ever seen before. I don't wanna be apart from it. I don't wanna be apart from it, but there are too many Christians who think they got this great knowledge now, and they talk about all that they can do and they're saying, "I will, I will, I will". Not "God will," but "I can do this and I can do that. Oh, I don't need God, I got money. Oh, I don't need God, I have education. Oh, I don't need God, I have important friends. Oh, I don't need God, I own my own business".
And you keep talking. That's your declaration of independence from God. "I don't need God, I don't need God". This is why trials happen to our lives. This is why suffering, this is why we go through certain things, 'cause God recognize that we gotta burn that stuff off. He loves you, so he not gonna let you get away. You talking about you don't need God. He's gonna show you how much you need him. Ain't nobody live that's ever gotten away with being convinced that they could do it on their own. And sometimes, God's gotta take us before we can get ready for that next area and say, "Now, you gonna need me on this next thing. So before you even get into yourself, let me go ahead and humble you so you can submit yourself to me in the middle of this journey".
See, you think something's wrong when you go through trouble. The Bible says the trial of your faith which is much more precious than pure gold, for when it is tried, you come out with the glory and the praise. How do you get glory and praise out of trouble? 'Cause it burns away that declaration of independence from the devil, and you come out, "God, I gotta have you. God, I gotta have you". And in the middle of this pandemic, "God, I gotta have you. God, I gotta have you. There's so much I don't understand. I wanna believe this person, I wanna believe that, God, I gotta have you". I got a lot of preaching to do and I got a lot of miles to travel. I need God so I don't get stuck in some of these countries for months at a time. You see me on the screen: "Well, I'm still in Liberia, but praise God for technology. Let's stand up and give the Lord a worship". The Bible says: "If need be, certain sufferings and stuff come your way".
I'm trying to take advantage of "If need be". I'm trying to practice every day how I need him and how I need to depend on him so he don't see it real necessary to take me through something to show me that I need to depend on him. I just wanna do that now. Before I started preaching the gospel of grace, I saw more hell than I ever saw and I thought, "This is the most dangerous, appearing to be the most danger. Maybe I need to quit preaching as this, 'cause it seem like all hell broke loose. What the... maybe it's the wrong message". And I see God was just preparing me. He's just preparing me and what I'm gonna do this year with you guys, it takes the grace message to a level that's gonna, the power of God's grace is gonna teach you how to do what you've been trying to do all your life, because the Bible says grace teaches us. Grace can teach you. Glory to God.
You've been trying to do it on your own, but now it's time to depend on God. Grace can teach us. "Well, I got problems with the grace message". Well, amen. I'm sure you can go somewhere and hear something you wanna hear. Whatever happened to sitting there, taking your medicine? How God gonna ever take you through something and get you ready for something if you only want what's sweet? What does it cost Taffi and I to accept this call? You don't even know. You have no idea. 'Cause when it's crazy, we say it's good. When all hell done broke loose in our life, we say, "Hallelujah". You don't know. Last week, tell you, and break down and submit to the pain of it all. How there's times we have to deal with the pain involved but we do that privately. But what does it cost? You have no idea unless you've gone through it yourself. You have no idea. And that's the same way with other people.
There are people you know, you think you know, you don't know what them people went through. You don't know the persons you're seated next to. You have no idea what they have gone through to get to the point where they can say "Hallelujah" in the middle of all hell that's broken loose. You have no idea. And yet, they still keep showing up, "Hallelujah". One Sunday, the "hallelujah" may be a little louder than the other Sunday, but they still, "Lord, help me to say, 'hallelujah.'" Ha, ha, ha, ha. Hey, glory to God. Oh, Lord, just lost my job, glory, hallelujah. Yesterday was Christmas and I was homeless and didn't nobody even know but, glory to God, I got a blanket for Christmas, hallelujah. Oh my. You never will know. Don't ever think you pretend.
And that's why you ought not ever exalt the stuff you going through 'cause there's somebody else, I promise you, there's somebody else that's going through something 20, 100 times worse than what you going through, but they trust God and they believe God. And so when God put 'em in a place, don't get mad at them. Don't get jealous at them, because they decided, "I'm gonna depend on God. I don't know what else to do. I don't know how to get out of this. I feel like I'm trapped, but I know a God who sits high and looks low, and I'm gonna depend on him and he will lift me up and he will bring me out and he will take care of me".
That's what we need to go to. Christianity is not about you going around and bragging about your professionalism in Christianity and about how much you know. How are you living it, baby? And is yourself dead yet? 'Cause being a Christian is another crucifixion. It's a crucifixion of yourself, praise God. It's a crucifixion so you're no longer, you know, trying to get your independence from God. You know what you call independence from God? Just foolish, death. 'Cause you can't do it by yourself. How many more years are you gonna waste thinking and deceiving yourself that you can do this life without God? This life is hard and it is difficult and almost impossible to live without God.