Creflo Dollar - Taking Authority Over Your Emotions
The flesh is a mindset. The flesh is a mindset that goes against the Word of God. The flesh is a way of thinking that goes against the Word of God. And what he says is, ladies and gentlemen, you gotta understand, you know, when you walk in the Spirit, walking in the Spirit is a mindset as well. Walking in the Spirit is a mindset that lines up with the Word of God. Walking in the flesh is a mindset that goes against the Word of God. Now, look at what he says in verse 4, 2 Corinthians 10 and 4. "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal". The word "carnal" means, I mean, it means of the five senses. You know, I thank God for our senses, the sense to smell, and to taste, and all those things. Those things were given to us for our enjoyment, but they were never given to us to govern our lives. Our lives should be governed by the Word of God and by the Holy Spirit. That's taking things farther than its original intent, okay? And so, he says, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty through God," watch this, "To the pulling down of strongholds".
So, God's Word, and God's way, his Word in our thinking will help us to pull down strongholds. Strongholds is a fortified fortress in a man's mind, a fortified place in your mind. You know, one thought comes in, you didn't deal with it, it just stayed there, another thought came in, you didn't deal with it, it just stays there. It's just kind of like the material to build this fortified place kept showing up and you didn't do anything about it, you just kind of let it come in, and before you know it, you have a stronghold in your mind. Strongholds exist in your mind. It's a stronghold, it's a way of thinking that has become so traditional in your thinking, it becomes how things are in your thinking. It's just a way things are in your head, it's a stronghold. And when somebody tries to tell you anything different, it bumps into your stronghold and you say, "No, no, no, no, no," why? Because you've built a stronghold in your mind. Houses of thoughts that have been constructed in your mind becomes a stronghold.
And the Bible says you can pull down every stronghold. A stronghold that may tell you there is no way for your to be free from this drug addiction. A stronghold that may tell you there's no way for you to be free from this anger situation. The strongholds in your mind, they convince you that you can't change. They convince you that you're stuck, but what's stuck is that stronghold in your mind, and this Scripture says you can pull it down. Now, look at verse 5. He says in verse 5, "Casting down imaginations," those things that you see in your head that have not existed yet, casting down imaginations, "And every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, bringing into captivity," watch this, "Every thought to the obedience of Christ," that's powerful. Here he says you can bring into captivity every thought, you can catch every thought. You can catch every thought. You now become, you now, according to this Scripture, you can be a maintenance person over every thought. Now, for the benefit of those of you who have done this illustration, just work with me. For those who have not done this illustration, show you practically how to catch a thought. You don't catch thoughts with thoughts, you catch thoughts with words.
Now, I want you to count from one to ten to yourself, that means don't open your mouth. Count from one to ten to yourself. Ready, go. Now shout your name. What happened to your counting? It stopped, why? Because the thought had to stop, because it was being captured by what was coming out of your mouth to present a new thought, my God. So, in your mind, when the devil is telling you you're gonna be broke all your life, you gotta open your mouth up and say what the Word says about you, "My God supplies all my needs according to his riches in glory," and you're pulling that thought down. When there's a thought going through your mind saying, "Oh, my God, you're gonna die of this sickness and disease," you don't sit there and just be quiet, you open your mouth up, catch that thought, and say, "By his stripes, I am healed. I will live and not die". See, in this system, to catch a thought, you gotta open your mouth, but when you open your mouth, you gotta say the right thing to pull down that wrong thought. And if you can get hold of your thoughts, you can get hold of your emotions, because if you can pull that thought down with the Word of God, it won't influence your emotions, but the Word of God spoke in creating that new thought will influence your emotion and take you to the place where you need to go.
So, now you see how important and valuable it is to open your mouth and speak the Word of God. So, if you can catch hold of your thoughts, you catch hold of your emotions, catch hold of your emotions, you now are secure and in peace, and you don't feel the need, you don't feel the need to try to control somebody else. So, if I can control my emotions, then I can do absolutely anything. If you can control your emotions, you can do absolutely anything. It's good to be here this morning. If you can control your emotions, you can do absolutely anything. Glory be to God. Now, go to Proverbs chapter 16 and verse 32. It says here in Proverbs 16:32, it says if you can control your emotions, you're stronger than an army. But the opposite is also true, if you cannot control your emotions, you'll be overtaken by that army. The Bible says in verse 32, he says, "He that is slow to anger," now that's important because anger is an emotion, but it's more than emotion.
Anger is an expression of fear. God said to me one time, I got angry about something, and he said, "What are you afraid of"? and I said, "Don't you mean to ask me why am I angry"? He says, "No, you're expressing your fear through your anger". So, ladies and gentlemen, next time you find yourself angry, ask yourself, "What am I afraid of"? You know, you give your wife your credit card, no seriously, you give your wife your credit card and she goes shopping, she says, "I'll be back in a minute," and she's gone for, like, half a day. All right, now watch this, she walks in the room, and you go off on her. So, why are you angry? Because you are afraid that she has spent more than what she needed to spend and it's gonna put y'all in a situation. Anger is an expression of fear, so every time that emotion comes up, you gotta ask yourself, "What am I afraid of? What am I afraid of? What am I afraid of"? Because you don't want that anger, which is an emotion, to lead you to a place where you do or you say something that you will later on regret. You don't want that to happen.
So, "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit," now here he's talking about your soul. If you rule your spirit, your soul, then, you know, he can take a whole city. Can you take authority over your soul? Can you take authority over your emotions? Now, before I go on and get to preaching what I want to preach to you today, that's to bring us all on one page. Everything I just said is trying to get us on one page. Let's have a three-point review. What is it that I want you to get out of all of the stuff I just said here and then we'll go to the Scripture. Well, number one, you can take control of your emotions. You can take control of your emotions. Say out loud, "I can take control of my emotions".
All right, number two, I don't know if I made this clear, but I'll make it clear right now, but number two, here's what I want you to get so far, is that self-control is a godly force. Self-control is a godly force designed by God to direct our lives where he has designed them to go. God has a place where he wants our life to go, and he's given us self-control, or temperance. It's a force that God uses, temperance or self-control. Self-control is a force that God uses to direct our lives in the place where he designs for it to go. Now, this is very, very important. So, now you can see why the enemy doesn't want you to control your emotions, because if you're walking in self-control, and if you're walking by the fruit of the Spirit of self-control, then God says I'm gonna use that to get your life in the place where I've designed it to be.
So, now watch this. When your emotions are out of control, when mess takes place in your life, that's the enemy trying to stop you from getting to the place where God designed your life to go. Why is it that there are certain times in your life where it appears and it seems like all hell just broke loose? I'll tell you why, because the enemy knows you're about to get real close to that place where God designed for you to be, so it's time for him, it's time for him to create a circumstance, a bad circumstance that will hopefully create a negative thought, and then you go with that negative thought and it creates negative emotions, and now, all of a sudden, it moves you in a place away from the designed will of God for your life.
Why is it that, I mean, some of you know what I'm talking about. There are certain times in your life, it's like, "God dog, what did I do to make God mad today"? And it's not that at all, it is the recognition by those other spiritual forces that you're about to step into destiny. And the only way, the only way Satan can stop it is to try to get in your emotions to get you to step away from your destiny, so the next time all hell seems to be breaking loose, you need to go shoutin' and say to the devil, "Oh, no, no, no, I'm gonna stay in control here, praise God, because I'm about to walk in my wealthy place. I'm about to get to my designed place that God wants me to be in". So, it's not all right for you to just lose it when you wanna lose it.
I'll use an illustration of a guy, he just purchased a new car, but he's driving down old National, and somebody rammed him and hit is new car, and he got out, got into his emotions real quick, and got out the car, and slammed the door, and he approached the guy, and the guy was trying to defend himself, and he hit the guy. The police came up and saw them when he hit the guy, and they arrested him for assault, and they put him in jail, and it was a Friday, but before he left to work, his boss said, "Don't you miss or be late, because if you do one more time, I'm gonna fire you". And the wife, the wife just said, "And if you lose your job and have to get another one, I'm gonna leave you".
And so, they arrested him on a Friday, and the judge is off on the weekends, but he's not gonna be back until Tuesday, and so he didn't make it to his job on Monday, and they fired him, and the wife found out he got fired because they called, and she packed up and left him, and he's sitting in the jail, and here's what he's saying. "How did I get here"? I'll tell you how he got there, his emotions took him there. And that's the question you ask a lot of times when you find yourself in a situation in life. "How did I get here"? Your emotions took you there. What is it about addiction that at one time you thought that I was over it, and you're back, how did you get there? "Well, I was feeling some kinda way, so I ended up". What is it about debt where you just can't figure out that, you know, quit trying to buy a nice car now. The nice car will come later. Go ahead and do the necessary stuff, get a roof over your head, get some necessary things.
Get a car that works, that can get you back and forth to where you need to be, why? "Why did I get this car that's costing me $1,000? Oh, it was my dream car". Don't seem like you can afford the dream, honey. "It was my dream car". You need to delay your dreams. Your dreams can show up one day, but please, "Why did I do that? How did I get here"? And then that car, you know how it is, is nice the first week, smell good the first, and then when that bill come in, "Oh, I don't like the way it smell. I don't like", what happened? "How did I get there"? Your emotions took you there. Emotional spending is why you're in debt. Your emotions took you there, yeah. You're divorced from the man or the woman you love, but y'all couldn't figure out how to deal with an easy situation, 'cause you're hurt, and the emotions came in, and you couldn't figure out how to work it out, and then when the divorce is all over with, and you're there, alone, by yourself, and you say, "How did I get there"?
Your emotions took you there. Your emotions took you there. Or you feel disrespected, and you felt like, "Well, nobody's gonna disrespect me. I've been disrespected all my life and nobody's gonna disrespect me no more". And the first sign of maybe thinking somebody's gonna disrespect you, you respond as if they've already disrespected you, and you did something that now gets you in jail. How did I get there? Your emotions took you. Your emotions took you. Or you're at work, and you decide I can't take this no more, I wanna do what I wanna do and I'm tired of all of this stuff, and so you lose your temper, and you scream at your boss, and you're fired, and it was a good job. How did I get there? Your emotions took you there. "Well, I'm lonely, nobody don't wanna have nothing to do with me, I ain't go no friends". Your emotions took you there, because, you know, people got tired of you trying to control every situation all the time. You talk too much, and you don't know you talk too much, and you're not a nice person to be around in the first place, and you tryin' to figure out how did I get in a place like that? Your emotions took you there.
Quit blaming the devil for your decisions to allow your emotions to escort you in a place where you don't need to be, 'cause you have authority over the devil just like you have authority over your emotions. Or maybe in the realm that we can't see, you're dead, and you're like, "How did I get here? How did I get here"? And most death, you better believe me, your emotions took you there. Emotional eating. No, you don't need stuff that you keep doing anyway, emotional eating, emotional dieting, that's how you got there. You got type 2 diabetes and you have a piece of cake every day. Four-hundred-and-fifty pounds, and you trying to figure out how you got there. Your emotions took you there. So, why are we blaming the devil? Why are we blaming other people? It's because we don't know how to take charge over our feelings, and that's what this series is about, to give you the power back, so you can say no to those negative emotions, and say no, I don't have to do this. I've been given the authority by the Almighty God to stand up bold, and to stand up strong, and to stand in the power of God's Word, and to say to those negative emotions, "No, no, no, we're gonna operate by the fruit of the Spirit".
Sometimes you get angry, you just probably need to just chill. Every situation doesn't deserve a response right now. You'll live a happier, stress-free life when you know how to pause. Husband says something to you, and the first thing you think about, because your emotions, your emotion is leading you from, "Praise the Lord," to "I'm finna to cuss this joker out". And you gotta stop your emotions from taking you there. You know, it's like, "Keep your mouth closed, keep your mouth closed, keep your mouth closed," and you open your mouth up and say, "Well," and see, that's it, now the words have come out, and it's finna to flow now. It's finna to flow, "Well, you somma, somma", and what you ought to do is just start praying in tongues and walk away, and say, "We will deal with this tomorrow at lunch". And some of it might make you so mad, you might get a machine gun tongue. "I gotta go, I gotta move, I gotta go". Because your emotions will take you a place where you don't wanna be.
You don't like where it's gonna take you. You're laughing because you know I'm telling you the truth. And you keep blaming all of these other things because you've not been trained in how to take authority over your emotions. And the third thing I want you to get so far is that uncontrolled and unyielding emotions will lead to controlling the wrong things, and it will be people. It's wrong to try to control somebody. My God, it took a while for me to learn that. You can't do that. It's only because you're out of control that you're trying to control other people. So, what are emotions? Let's define it. Emotions are feelings on the inside caused by pain or pleasure trying to move you in a certain direction. Emotions are feelings on the inside caused by pain or pleasure trying to move you in a certain direction. That's what they do, they move you in a certain direction.
Now, there are negative emotions that try to move you in negative places, but there are also godly emotions that can take you into great places. Emotions that God has given us to enjoy his presence, and to enjoy his Word, and to enjoy his grace, but those are the ones that are not causing us the problems, it's those negative emotions caused by pain and betrayal and hurt that are designed to move us in a position away from the will of God for our lives. So, emotions are designed to move you, that's why Satan's strategy is let's see if we can dominate you and defeat you in your emotions, because we can then move you in the direction that we want you to go. We can move you in the direction of sickness. We can move you in the direction of debt. We can move you in the direction of violence. We can move you in the direction of addiction. And so, he says how can I get people to the place where I want them to be? I'll do it through their emotions, and I'll allow their emotions to escort them into places, and when they get there, they ask the question how did I get here, amen?
So, now you think, "Well, that's not me," so I'm gonna show you Jesus dealing with emotions. I'm gonna show you what you probably have never seen in church, and the fact that Jesus had emotions. I'm gonna show you where Jesus was depressed, what? This man, ain't no way, no way in the Bible. Jesus was depressed, and so full of stress he made a comment, he says, "I'm so depressed that I feel like I could die". Well, let me show you, first of all. Look at Ephesians, excuse me, Hebrews chapter 4:15. Hebrews 4:15, the reason why I wanna show you Jesus is because Jesus had emotions, but his emotions never had him. He had emotions, but those emotions did not have him. There were times of temptation, but he never allowed the emotion to dominate his life.
Hebrews chapter 4 verse 15, he says, "For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our weaknesses," and so Jesus is like, "Dude, I understand your feelings. I understand your emotions, because I have 'em". He says, "But, was in all of those points tempted as we are," in our emotions, was tempted in our emotions. I believe, first of all, temptation is defined like this. It is pressure applied, watch this now, this is precise now, pressure applied to your emotions to get you to move in the opposite direction of God's design for your life. That's what a temptation is, it's pressure applied to your emotions.
Now, before I said flesh because I did not know the precision of exactly where it was being applied, but it is pressure applied to your emotions. If you could see, you know, a visual picture of those spirits trying to work on your emotions, trying to get you to feel a certain way, then he can move you that way. And so, what happens is, he says, "But he was in all points tempted," he had pressure applied to his emotions to quit. I'm gonna show you in a moment, but he didn't do it. "Yet without sin, "Yet without sin". I'll show you in this series that your emotions are the very... how do I say this? It's the place where sin is found. It's the place where your emotions are, and that's why he says, "Yet without sins," because he didn't allow his emotions to take him there. Now, go to Mark chapter 14 verse 33, let's go to the Amplified immediately. Mark 14:33-35, Mark 14:33-35, so now here is Jesus, here is Jesus, someone who I thought didn't ever deal with emotional issues. Because we made emotions seem to be so bad all the time, to hear that Jesus dealt with emotions was shocking to me.
And look what was going on here. Of course, this was the garden of Gethsemane. To set the stage, Jesus is about to give his life for us, and he's about to take on the sins of the whole world, that's heavy. He's about to take on the sins of the whole world. He's about to go to hell for the whole world, and you wonder why he sweat blood. You know, that's a condition, that is a real condition, where it's caused by an enormous amount of stress that it gets into the sweat glands, and a person can sweat blood. So, it wasn't that Jesus was the only one that done this, there are other humans who have sweat blood because of an enormous amount of stress. I don't know what we thought about when we read the Scripture that Jesus sweat blood, "Oh, wow, you know, what an awesome Man of God," no, he was under serious amounts of stress, which is how that is caused.