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Creflo Dollar - Exercising Your Authority in Spiritual Battle

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God has given you power and authority to choose what your life will be like. Do you know that? You have been given power and authority to choose what your life will be like. You can control your life. God doesn't just, you know, just control your life. He's given you the power and the authority to do that. Now, follow me very carefully here. This is important. You have the power and the authority to control your life. God's not controllin' your life. If God were to control your life, what need would it be to be a free ball agent? Why did he give you the freedom to choose and to make choices if he's gonna control your life? God does not control your life. You have the authority to control your life.

See, the reason why people don't experience God's best is because of this notion that "whatever happens must be God's will for me". That's not true. You can't experience God's best because somehow, you let the circumstances and the situations dictate to you that you must be in God's will. I mean, you know, you know, "I've only made, like, $40,000 in my life. That just must be God's will, and I just need to be satisfied with it". No, that's not right. That's not right. God's will for your life is good. "It must be God's will for my life to be broke, busted, and disgusted". No, it's not. "It must be God's will for my life, you know, to carry this sickness all of my life as a testimony". No, it's not. "It must be God's will for my life to stay in this miserable dog of a marriage all my life". No, it's not. "It must be God's will for my life to be overweight, and sickly, and just, you know, have a...". No, it's not. Don't you blame on God what he gave you the authority to control yourself.

But see, here's the deal. Here's the deal. See, there are lots of people, they settle that where they are, "That must be God's will for me". You know, "I was born. I've been drinkin' since I was five, so it just must be God's will for me to be a alcoholic". No, it's not. "Well, I'm addicted to this, and I'm addicted to that, and it just must be God's will". No, it is not. God's will is plain: good. His will is good. His will is good. As soon as you settle for somethin' and say, "It's God's will," you will prevent yourself from receiving and experiencing God's best. You better know what his will is, and his will is good. I said, "It's good". Now, here's another thing about God's will. God's will doesn't automatically come to pass. See, Jeremiah 29:11, that's not gonna automatically come to pass. Why? 'Cause you got a devil fighting you, number one, and number two, ultimately, you've gotta make a choice. His will doesn't automatically come to pass. You have to choose that. But it ain't no luck.

It's a choice. And it's stickin' with God's will, even though nobody else knows it and nobody else agrees with it, and even when they tell you, "Just go ahead and say you're sick. Just go ahead and admit you're sick". And you keep sayin', "No, it's God's will for me to be healed. It's God's will. No, I'm stickin' with God's will". They say, "It can't be. That guy died last week". I don't care who died. It's God's will for me to be healed. But we don't do that. We let other people, other situations, other circumstances, and comparing ourselves among ourself limit God in our lives, and we don't experience his best, because now we are convinced that where we are is God's will. And we think that his will, you know, "And it'll change whenever God want it to change". His will does not automatically come to pass without your involvement and your choice.

2 Peter chapter 3:9 said this about God's will. He said: "It is God's will that none should perish, but that all should come unto repentance". That's his will. That's his will, and yet you got a lot of people who are perishing and they have not yet come unto repentance. But that's God's will. That's his will. His will is that the whole world should not perish. He don't want nobody on the planet to perish, and he wants everybody on the planet to come to the place of repentance, but they won't do it. Why? It's their choice. It's their choice. God has a plan to bless you. Satan has a plan to destroy you. You are the one to make the choice. Look at Deuteronomy chapter 30:19, Deuteronomy chapter 30, and verse 19.

Here's the thing that religion's taught ya. Religion says, "Accept no accountability and responsibility for your life. Blame it on the devil. Blame it on God. Blame it on somebody else. Blame it on the government. Blame it on your circumstances and situations, but please do not accept responsibility for your life". Verse 19 says: "'I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, I've set before you a blessin' and a cursings,'" he said, "therefore choose life". When I first read that, man, I heard brother Copeland say, he says, you know, "God said it kinda like this: 'If you too dumb to know what to choose,' he said, 'let me give you a hint, choose life.'" "That both you and your seed shall prosper and live". It's a choice. We're not choosin'. We're not even recognizin' that we're not choosin'. Sometimes we become so apathetic, and have such a bad attitude about things, we forget we have never made the choice.

And then, when you can't understand why it's workin' for somebody else, it's real clear. You don't believe that's the will of God. Therefore, you won't ever choose it, 'cause you don't think it's God's will. Hmm, you're the one that destroys your life, not God, not Satan, unless you're yielding things to him to help you to destroy your life. But ultimately, your choice is what destroys your life. You can choose what you want in your life. You can choose what you want your life to be. You can choose what you want your life to be for the rest of this year. And when you choose wrong, God has a perfect plan for you, Jeremiah 29:11. When you choose wrong, he has a perfect plan for you that still is in place. It's still in place, a perfect plan for you that doesn't change. I think that's awesome. I think that's amazing, that even though we make the wrong choices, his plan is still available for you to choose. You can make a thousand wrong choices, and his plan'll still be there and say, "I'm still here".

Boy, that's powerful. "I'm still here. I've made the wrong choices and wrong choices and wrong choices". And when you done got yourself in a ditch, facedown, his good plan for you is still here. It's not like other plans. "Well, if I don't hurry and choose, I'll lose the other one". You'll never lose the opportunity to choose the good plan that God has for your life. It'll never be too late, praise God. It'll never be too late. A thief on a cross made a decision when he was dying, "I'mma choose your plan". And God says, "I'mma see you in paradise, baby," mmm. When you choose to do contrary to what the Word of God says, then you're choosing death. When you choose to do what the Word says, then you're choosin' life. If you choose not to understand what the Word says, then you'll, by default, choose death. And I'm tellin' you right now, I am tired of powerless religion. It ends today. Powerless religion is over for us. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of hearin' one guy articulate his belief, and somebody else articulate his belief, and somebody else sayin', "This what I believe, and this what I feel like God said, and this is my opinion".

Nobody cares about that. I wanna see the power of God. I wanna see the dead raised. I wanna see the blind eyes opened. You follow what I'm sayin'? Who cares about your new revelation on the Greek word? That ain't puttin' no money in my pocket. That ain't takin' no cancer out of my body. That ain't deliverin' me from some type of traumatic bondage. Please forgive me for getting loud with you this morning, but when I realized that for a better part of my life that I had been empowering the devil to influence and cause things to happen to me, I made my mind up, "I will not supply you with any more of my God-given authority. You're not gettin' any more of my God-given authority". You got a problem with me? I'mma love you. I see what Jesus tryin' to do. Don't give him no authority. You hate me? I'mma forgive you. I see what he tryin' to do. Don't give him none of that authority. If you talk about me, I'mma bless you. I see what he doin'. Don't give that devil no authority.

So, when I wanna cut ya, I'mma hug ya. When I wanna cuss ya, I'mma bless ya. Because that's the only way I can whip the devil, by letting him know, "You will no longer be empowered by my hand and authority for you to destroy my life," amen. So, Jeremiah 29:11 is always available. Romans chapter 11, verse 29 says this: "The gifts and the callings of God are given without repentance". Let me show you how awesome God is. God said, "Once I give it to ya, I won't take it back". He says, "I'mma give you a gift, and I'm not gonna change my mind about it. I'mma give you a callin', and I'm not gonna change my mind about it". He says, "When I give you a gift to sing, you might use it in the clubs, you might use it in the jig jaunts, or jug jaunts, or all them jaunts," he said, "but I gave it to ya. I'm not gonna change my mind". Because when you get sick and tired of bein' sick and tired, when you get in a ditch that's so deep, you'll remember I gave you a gift, and as soon as you use it for me, I'll dust it off, and it'll work exactly like I gave it to ya to work.

God said, "When I called you to the ministry, or when I called you to do this, or when I called you to that," and you might not wanna do it. Instead of preachin', you might wanna go to the bar and get drunk. He says, "That's all right. I gave it to ya. I ain't changin' my mind. You get drunk, start preachin'. Put an anointing for you to preach. You go have adultery, start preachin'". Why? 'Cause he said, "I ain't changin' my mind about it. See, you just lookin' at where you are right now. I have seen where you're gonna arrive. I have seen how this thing is gonna work out. I will not change my mind. I know what I'm doin'". Turn to your neighbor and say, "God know what he's doin'". But God doesn't do anything independently of you. A friend of mine told me a story about how he was goin' to this church, and this church had a problem really believing that the Word of God was true, that God was a Healer all the time, that he was a Deliverer all the time, that he would prosper you all the time.

And then pastor started gettin' in the Word, started preaching the Word, preachin' the truth, showin' it to him in the Scripture that he knew where it was. Man, they were believers. They were ready to go. And then he got a word that a teenager was in the hospital in a coma, and the whole church went on a fast, and they began to fast, and they began to pray, but then he died. Immediately, doubt filled that church because - I don't know what it is about us. We love to question the laws of God, but we don't question the laws of the physical world. We don't ever question gravity. You know what would happen if I climbed on top of the balcony or the dome and stepped off the side. Everybody knows what's gonna happen because we don't ever question the law of gravity. Gravity will work all the time, anywhere, with anybody, we know that. And yet, when it comes to spiritual laws, we question them. "It must be somethin' wrong with the law. Why did the boy die? You said he heals all the time. Why didn't he heal this little boy? Well, you know there's got to be a reason".

But the thing we haven't come to understand is that you don't know all of the stuff. You don't go home with people. You don't know what's goin' on. You don't know what they sayin'. You don't what they're activating. You just wanna question God. And so he got there, and he was determined, "Let's find out what really happened". So he met with the parents, and the parents told him, he says, "You know, we were in the process of divorce, and strife has been in our house for months". Now, what does the Bible say? In James 3:16, he says: "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion," and watch this, "and every evil work". Evil can work here. Where strife is, it's like a open wound that draws flies. It's like garbage that draws rats. Wherever there's strife, it's like a lightnin' bolt, man. It'll draw demons and activity. And you don't recognize it, because you're just thinkin' it's just natural. "Well, you know, we're just supposed to be mad at each other. We're goin' through a divorce. We're supposed to be full of strife and not recognizes you're openin' an inroad for the enemy to come in and destroy. You won't consider that. You just keep it surface level. You just keep it naturally.

"I don't like how I'm bein' treated. He talkin' to me like this. I don't like that stuff". It's strife, somethin' bigger on the line now more than what you like and what you don't like. Now we've invited the devil in, and he's workin' on somethin' to destroy somebody who's in the midst of that strife. So, the mother began to talk about it. She said, "Well, the son and I", He said, "We got in an argument, and I told him, I said, 'I hate you. Get out of my house, and I don't ever wanna see you again.'" Whew, boy, that's authorized power for the other side. The boy goes to school. He decides, "Well, I'm not feelin' too good anyway". Takes the invitation of one of his friends, "Let's go home and eat lunch there". They start playin' around with a gun. The gun went off and shot him in the head. That's why he was in a coma. Then the boy died, and the mother's statement, "And I never wanna see you again," Satan said, "Thank you, I'll use that one, and you never will". It happened because you authorized it.

Man by the name of John G. Lake, his whole family, everybody in the family died of some sickness and disease. Can you imagine? Everybody died, and he's sittin' there with his surviving relative, his sister, and she's on the deathbed. And he's pleading with God, "God, God, do somethin'. Why is this happenin'? Why is this happenin'"? And I guess somehow God got the word in to him. He says, "It's happenin' because you're letting it happen". He said, "Throughout your whole family, you let it happen". He said, "You're praying to me to do somethin', and I can't do nothin', 'cause I've authorized you to do it. I said to you in the book of Matthew chapter 10, 'Heal the sick, cure of all manner of disease and sickness.'" Boy, John G. Lake got ahold of that and called somebody to pray with him and agree with him, and he started walkin' in his authority. You know what happened to his sister? Hmm? She died. He sat there and he said, "Lord, you've given me authority. You gave me authority to cure the sick, but you also gave me the authority to raise the dead". He said, "In the name of Jesus, I now release that authority. I'll not lose another family member, get up". His sister got up.

Listen, listen, from that point on, this man saw over 500,000 healings, to the point where Washington State gave him medical license to open a hospital up in Washington. He didn't use medicine. They just went around with oil, prayin' for people and gettin' 'em healed. He saw several people raised from the dead. Now, somebody said, "Ooh, I wish I had his anointing". No, what it was was a man who decided to flip the switch. All of us have been given this power. He just decided to use it. He was livin' durin' the time of a bubonic plague, and it was a great outbreak that took place. And the doctor came in and said to him, "Well, have you had your vaccination"? He said, "What vaccination"? He said, "Don't tell me you haven't been vaccinated". He says, "I don't need to be vaccinated. I have the power of God". They said, "You're crazy". He says, "You think I am". They got some of the saliva out of one that had just died, put it on - you remember those little glass thing you just slide in the microscope? Put it under a microscope. They looked at it, and all of it was movin' around. Then he took his finger and he put his hands on top of that thing, and everything died.

What's that? That's a man who's yielded to his authority. You're goin' around here playin' circus tricks, tryin' to do everything you can to be anointed, and I'm tellin' you right now, God's already anointed you. You've got to make a decision to use the power. Turn to your neighbor and say, "Flip the switch". Are you listenin' to me? God flows through your life by invitation, but Satan does it through forcin' his way in. Religion will tell you, "Well, brother Dollar, God had a purpose for that boy dying of a gunshot wound". That's not true. That's not true. And you go to funerals all the time where horrible things have happened to people, and a preacher gets up there and said, "God has a reason to do that". And that's not true. God is not the one destroying you. He is not a destroyer. His plan for you, it is good. It is not a car wreck. It is not you burnin' in the house. It is not you gettin' shot. It is not you dyin' from some sickness and disease.

"Well, it was God's will for the little girl to die in the car". Sop it, man. No, it's not. If you don't know what to say, just don't do the funeral. Dear God, they're hurtin' enough, and they're wide open for deception. "Oh, well, praise the Lord. That's the Lord's will". No, it's not. It wasn't no more God's will for that relative to die of cancer at the age of 35 than anything. But you see, what happens is, when you settle for that, and you buy that, you authorize the devil to do that. Just because you don't know the truth is not immunity from troubles. "Well, I didn't know". That doesn't immune you from trouble. Ignorance isn't an excuse for allowing Satan in. 1 Peter chapter 5, in verse 8, flip over there real quick, 1 Peter chapter 5, in verse 8. You know, we can actually empower the devil and authorize his operations. Do you understand what God did for us? His grace has given us his very power and has authorized to use the power to command the works of his hands, and to command the finished works of Jesus Christ. We have that. We have that. We have the authorization and the authority by God. We have the very power that raised Jesus from the dead. We have resurrection power livin' in us. We have power to heal the sick, power to raise the dead, power to cast out and force out demons, power to speak to the weather.

"God is in control, brother, so just let go and let God". That ain't true. Which explains why you're in the same situation, same mess you've been in for the last ten years. Whew, I'm gettin' some funny stares now, boy. "Don't you have a game to go to"? The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:8: "Be sober, be vigilant; for your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour". So he can't devour everybody. He needs somebody to be ignorant. We can actually empower the devil and authorize his operation. That's what he's lookin' for. He's lookin' for somebody who don't know this, who, through the words of their mouth and their attitudes and their actions actually take their God-given authority and empower their enemy. Nah, man. "Well, Brother Dollar, I'm poor". Well, that's part of your problem. You just told me that. "Death and life's in the power of the tongue". "I'm poor, and I don't know why".

That's easy, it's through your attitudes and your actions you invite the enemy in. Your actions can release the power of God to bless you, or your actions can release the power to the devil for him to destroy you. There's a reason why some succeed and some don't. God moves through faith. Say that, "God moves through". We were saved by grace, but we got it how? God moves through faith. God moves through faith. Not who's in the worst shape at the time, or not through desperation. God doesn't move based on some, "Well, he's in worse shape than this guy". That doesn't move God. "Well, he's more desperate than anybody else". That doesn't move God. Desperation doesn't move God. "Lord, I'm desperate for you". You ain't gonna get him. Desperation don't move God.
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