Creflo Dollar - How To Mature Through Pressure
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1 Peter chapter 1 verse 6 through 7. We're gonna talk about mentality... maturity, excuse me, "Maturity through pressure," "Maturity through pressure". Now, there's probably no one in here who would say to me, "Oh, but brother Dollar, I really enjoy pressure". Wow, it's like, to me it's like there's just really no such thing as life without it, there's nobody on the planet that is void of pressure which causes me to think there has to be some type of something that comes from it you know. And a lot of you who are here, you don't mind me talking to you just for a moment so you can get where I'm going, but a lot of you who are here today, you are operating in anointing's, and gifts, and callings, that you know about right now.
But the Spirit of God's been dealing with me for several months that there are anointing's, and gifts, and callings in you right now, that have yet to manifest. There's stuff in you that you can do, that you don't even know you can do yet. There are surprises in you that are gonna be revealed from you that you're gonna start doing and you thought, "I didn't even know I could do this". And yet it's gonna require something to bring it out. It's going to require something that'll be responsible for pulling out those gifting's, and those callings, and those things you have in you. I don't know how theologically correct it is that I'm about to say but, having gone through this for 41 years in my ministry and life, I wonder if we would one day come to the place of maybe just wondering if pressure might be a gift.
'Cause we all have it, some kinda way, some kinda form, some kinda shape. You kinda go from one place of pressure to another place of pressure, and I realize in athletics, it's a must. Not only in high school but when I was fortunate to play college ball, one guy said, "I've got to put you under an enormous amount of pressure, so that the game won't be the time where you receive the most pressure, I gotta give it to you now". And sure enough, we all felt like we were well, well prepared to do things above our ability, because of the pressure. There was mental pressure that was applied all the time, physically there was pressure applied all the time.
And for me, I had to maintain a certain weight because I was doing some, some unbelievable thing on every team there's got to be just in case something goes wrong and the first string gets hurt, second string gets hurt, third string gets hurt, somebody on the team got to be responsible for a fourth string. And my fourth string was center. And I'm thinking I'm never gonna play center in no college ball that's not gonna happen, but just in case three centers got hurt, I would have to be prepared to do it which means I had to eat dinner with the centers, and they would make me eat more, and they would wait till I got full, and then you gotta eat more and I'm like, "I don't want no more". "Well, you gotta eat more I'm gonna tell the coach whatever". But you know what happened? Three centers got injured.
I remember calling my dad and I was like, you ain't gonna believe what happened today. And I got the call and I played center for the whole game. I thought, "Well, at least I got my hands on the ball". But there was preparation to bring out of you, something else that you didn't know you could do. Wonder what's in you, wonder what's been kept outta sight in you, that maybe some pressure that you might wanna run from, is gonna be responsible for bringing it out. And I am saying today we got to stop running from pressure because listen, Satan wants to use pressure for your destruction, but God will allow pressure to give birth to some stuff that's on the inside of you. I realize in developing muscle, in body building, it required pressure to develop muscle tissue.
And you can get up there and get a little lightweight, get a 20 pound and put the dumbbell here and do this and then bite and do that but you're just wasting your time ain't nothing gonna happen, just wasting your time. There's pressure to eat the right thing, pressure go to sleep the right way, and pressure applied to that physical body causes development. Growth is one thing you can grow up, but to develop a bicep muscle requires pressure. Now think to yourself, maybe some other things that require pressure, going into the armed services, it requires pressure. I mean, time you get off the bus, somebody is in your face, they're on purpose, make sure that you are up, make sure that you don't go to bed, they know you're tired, they know you're sleeping, but you got to perform under pressure and it's there in and out every day.
How many of you been in the military before? Over, and over, and over, and over, and then all of a sudden it's just our norm. You come home on vacation, you're up at 4:30 wanting to go run somewhere. Brings out into you something you didn't know you have. And then we got saved and born again as Christian people and thought, "Oh, we don't need any pressure," and yet life is full of them. Mental pressure, pressure when people hurt you, and pressure when people leave you, and pressure when people betray you, and pressure to get this job, and pressure to maintain that job, and pressure to change, and pressure to change what you don't wanna change, and pressure to either yield to the flesh and pressure or to choose to yield to the Spirit.
The pressure is going to produce some kinda fruit. That's what it's designed to do, produce some kinda fruit, pressure. I knew before I could preach the gospel of grace, I used to ask why I can't even wake up and open my eyes without something going viral. Why am I always under scrutiny and pressure? And I used to think that people and preachers who are always going through, something must be going wrong in their life. Boy, I had a chance to rethink that. Every time I see somebody, anybody just constantly going through, I'm like it, "Ooh, what kind of anointing God working in 'em". I don't look at it anymore is something wrong, I'm looking at, "Ooh my God, wonder what they are about to do? What is God getting them ready for"?
And so if you're under an enormous amount of pressure that's going on, God is getting you ready for something. Maybe there's something getting ready to come on the earth, maybe there's something getting ready to happen in your life, on your job, I don't know what it is, but honey, I believe that if God allows pressure to work against you, he is trying to develop you and work something out of you, and the devil is upset because what the devil wants you to do, is allow that pressure to keep you where you are and stand the flesh. The devil wants you under pressure, "Let's cut somebody out," under the pressures, "Let's do something devilish, let's yield to the flesh," but you've decided, "I'm gonna yield to the spirit under pressure, and no matter what happens, I'm still believe God, I'm gonna still believe God, I'm gonna still believe God, I'm gonna still believe God".
Two years from now all that believing God under pressure, just makes it norm. Something happens and you're like, "I believe God," 'cause he knew you needed to have that kinda stuff, that right stuff being pulled out of you. But we cannot neglect the calls, anointing's and gifts that God has on the inside of you that he wants to bring out of you and you can't be afraid of the pressure of the devil, you can't be afraid of lack, you can't be afraid of any of those things, 'cause remember, it is he that's working in you. He's bringing something out. And when all of this world goes nuts and goes crazy, you will be equipped to stay in Jesus, and be used by Jesus to do a magnificent work in these last days.
Now, that I got that outta me, let's go ahead and get started. Someone say, "I thought that was for us," nah, that was for me too. Let's Look at this in the NLT. "So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead". I said, "There's wonderful joy ahead". I don't know what most of you are going through, but there's wonderful joy ahead, and the joy of the Lord is your strength, right? "There's wonderful joy ahead even though you must endure many trials for a little while". Did you see that? "There's wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while".
So whatever God has ahead of you and for you, requires for you to endure, and endure means to outlast. Outlast the trial, outlast the pressure, outlast the trouble. Trouble will come, but you will outlast it. Trials will come, you will outlast it, for a little while. And you know when God says, "A little while," that could be three years you know what I'm saying? But whatever the time is, you will endure many trials and the joy will come if you'll endure it. You have endurance ladies and gentlemen. There's nothing that you're going through you cannot outlast. "Yeah, but you don't know how bad it hurts," you'll outlast it. "Yeah, but I just got a divorce," you'll outlast it. "I just lost my job," you'll outlast it. "Oh, I just been so hurt," you'll outlast it.
I like the way my mother said this to me, she said, "You know, you'll get up one morning and it'll be a gone". I'm like, is that true, but you gotta outlast it. Think about the enemies fighting you and you will outlast it. That's frustrating to him 'cause he's like, "You just won't die, will you? You just won't crumble, will you? You just won't go back to that old crazy life, will you? You just keep on standing up saying, 'My God will supply all my needs according to his riches and glory,'" and then something else come. Oh, they gonna take your car, "My God shall supply all my needs according," and then they actually come take your car. "My God, shall supply all of my needs according to thy riches in glory. Help me Lord, help me Jesus". Didn't they turn your lights out? "My God".
What are you doing? You're outlasting it, you're outlasting it, you're outlasting it because the morning is coming. The morning is coming. All right, watch this, verse 7. "These trials will show that your faith is, not phony, your faith is genuine". See, there's some people that just talk it, but they don't really believe it. The trial will let you know when somebody, is just not real. We'll see how much you stand. The trial will let you know. Some people, as soon as trouble hit them, you don't see 'em no more. They quit God, quit you, and quit the church. It'll test to see if your faith is genuine. I believe that your faith is genuine. Honey, you have come through it all, you came through a pandemic, you came through all kinds of weird shutdowns, you came through and here... why are you here? Here you are again, here you are again and the devil like, "Why are you here"?
See, he was just giving himself a big hand clap, because being able to keep most people just stuck and you're here. You just keep coming through you came through just like that woman, "If I perish," Esther, "If I perish, let me perish," what was she talking about? She says, "God gave me a word, I gotta take it to the king and he might kill me, 'cause most folks that ever did what I'm getting ready to do, he killed 'em, but if I perish, then let me perish. I'm going to see the king and I'm gonna do what God tell me to do". You keep showing up and I'm telling you if you keep showing up, God's getting ready to show out for those that keep showing up. See if your faith is genuine that it's being tested as fire tests and purifies gold, though "Your faith is far more precious than mere gold, so when your faith remains strong through many trials".
Did you see that? "When your faith remains strong through many trials". I think the last three years the things that have happened to me has to test the genuineness of my faith. The genuineness of my faith. Man, I had shingles at one point, it was the point where the boils appeared, and I put a big shirt on, got on the plane and went preached. My wife said, "What are you doing"? I said I'm going to preach. And she just didn't say nothing. And I went and the pain was excruciating. And I stood up and I talked the Word of the Lord and I kept preaching, and as I finished, I said, "Take that devil". Now I don't wanna pick some kinda fable to you. Shingles is the devil. Ain't no other way to say that. These shingles ain't like the devil, it's the devil, DNA incarnate in shingles. I felt it was the time for me to know what Paul knew, when there was, it was actually the devil but it was sent to buffet him and he prayed three times, "God take this off". And God didn't move until he realized, "In my weakness, that's when I'm strong".
I had anointing's come out of me with boils on me, that I didn't even know was there. Glory be to God. "In my weakness then am I made strong". Easy to quote those scriptures and you will all have the time to see how genuine your faith is, everyone. There's a separation from the sheep and the goat, you understand? There's a lot of goats that go to church and all they do is baa, baa. But the trials will test the genuineness of your faith. And he says, "Strong" it says, "Through many trials, it will bring you much praise," if you do this, "It will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world".
See, my eyes are set on that day, which I feel is very close, I feel it's very close. I don't know what the rest of the world's thinking. Maybe they thinking, "Well this is not real, this is not true. Creflo and them just saying all that, this ain't gonna happen. You know, there'll be three different stories told about Jesus. I mean, who really know him in the first place," and all that kinda stuff, whatever, you may say what you wanna say, but when all this stuff come down, I know I'm gonna have to stand in front of a God. And I've already just played it. There's certain things I don't want to have when that day comes and one of those things is regret. I don't wanna stand up there, regretting, "Oh, I wish I would've just stood a little longer. Oh, I wish I would've kept, I wish I would've not run from pressure every time it showed up," and then God shows me what he was trying to do, but I kept running away from it.
Those three Hebrew boys who were put in the fiery furnace, they had just made their mind up, "Whatever, you can put us and do whatever you wanna do, but our God," talk about depending on God, "But our God will deliver us from this too. My God's gonna deliver me from this too". And whatever you're going through right now, your God is delivering you from this too. This stuff right now that you're facing, God's already working out a magnificent plan for you to have full of... and you gonna be full of praise, and glory, and honor, praise God, because you refuse to let pressure dictate your next move. Turn to somebody and tell 'em, "You gonna be all right". Turn to the other side and say, "We're all in development," and those that remain in training, you will see the end of your faith, amen.
Now, I gave this to you before, but in another series, let me give you the definition of the trial of faith. What is the definition of the trial of faith? I'm gonna tell you what it is by first of all telling you what it's not. The trial of faith is not a testing as to whether or not there is faith. So the trial is not trying to test whether or not you have faith or not. Nor is it a test to see if your faith is sufficient. So when God's taking you through things, or allowing things to happen to you, it's not to test whether you have faith and neither is it to test whether or not your faith is sufficient, but rather, it is purifying, it's the purifying of faith. It's a removal of all impurities of dependence upon self.
A purifying of faith, a removal of all of the impurities of dependence upon yourself. Here's the main issue, these pressures will be allowed to show up in your life, to get you to the point where you are no longer depending on you, that you now will depend on him. I had a chance to look at that and every pressure cook situation I was in, I remember trying to depend on me first, and that wasn't working well. And now once I woke up and I could see, wait a minute, the impurities of dependence on myself, oh, that's changing because now when stuff happened, I ain't even trying to dip into my intellect to see how I'm gonna handle it. Now when stuff happens, the first thing I do, my first move, "God, I need you, God I need you".
So are you still being impacted by the impurities of dependence on yourself? Because God knows wherever you go, you're gonna have to be able to depend on him when you get there because you are a branch, he is the vine, and you gotta stop thinking you're the vine, you are a branch all we will ever be is branches. Well, you went through that trial, that pressure, you still depending on you. Well, I know such and so I call I do that you went through that pressure. Oh well, such and such he'll, let me borrow this, then you went through that pressure and you keep going through pressures with the impurity of self-dependence. But one day, there's gonna be a trial that shows up in your life, and ain't nobody or nothing gonna be able to help you except God.