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2021 online sermons » Creflo Dollar » Creflo Dollar - Breaking Mentalities of Failure

Creflo Dollar - Breaking Mentalities of Failure


Creflo Dollar - Breaking Mentalities of Failure


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You can find yourself avoiding failure because you are addressing the way you think, you're addressing those mentalities that have been established over time. And so I wanna begin in Genesis chapter 12, verse 1, because Abraham had a mentality that he had to get away from. Notice in verse 1, he says, "Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, and go unto a land that I will show thee". And then in verse 2, he says, "And I will make of thee a great nation, I'll bless thee, I'll make your name great; and thou shalt be a blessing".

Now, all of that was going to be based on if you will leave your kindred, and if you'll leave your father's house. Now, what was he actually asking Abraham to leave? He said, "I want you to get away from the mentality of your father's house. I want you to get away from the mentality of your kinfolks". He says, "I got some things I wanna do. I wanna make your name great, I wanna bless you, but in order for that to happen, I've got to break you away and get you away from the mentalities that are obviously available in your father's house and amongst your kindred".

You know, some of you are just a change of mentality away from success in your life. Abraham being blessed and God doing this great thing with Abraham was based on, can he break away from the mentality of his father's house and from the mentality of the kindred, of his family? And so the first area I wanna deal with, and this is a very, very important mentality that we all need to break away from. It is called "the self-preservation mentality". Self-preservation, now, self-preservation usually occurs when somehow there's some kinda fear that's come in that makes you think that what God promises in his Word won't come to pass. So now you revert back to, instead of believing God to preserve you, now you go back to believing that you need to preserve yourself.

Now, there's one thing about self-preservation mentality you need to know of: it denies Jesus as our source. Self-preservation mentality denies Jesus as our source. We now look to ourself to be our source, and it denies Jesus as the source of our lives. So when you rely more on your self-effort to be your source, to supply your needs instead of relying on God to supply your need as your only source, and then you trust in self to preserve you and not God, then you've entered into self-preservation. And there's just a lot of areas where people have this self-preservation mentality, that "I don't need God and I don't need others, and so I'm gonna be my own source". And that usually ends up in failure, because fear is what moves you to the temptation of self-preservation, especially for a Christian. If you're in the Word of God and the Word of God promises you this or that, and it just doesn't seem like it's gonna come to pass, you have to be able to avoid the temptation of self-preservation.

Now, let me share some Scriptures with you. 1 Peter chapter 5 and 10 in the ES version, ESV. One of the things he says here, take note, he says, "And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, comfort, and strengthen, and establish you". So here is God, making a promise that, "I will restore you, I will confirm, I will strengthen, I will establish you". But something along the line comes in, and it's fear, that says, "Well, how do I know if I can believe God to be able to restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish me"? And so what happens? You move into self-preservation because you are afraid that what God promised won't come to pass.

Now, you've heard me say in times past that the number one fear that Satan puts on Christian people is the fear that what God promised won't come to pass. But in addition to that, it moves you into self-preservation where you deny Jesus as source in your life. Look at Romans chapter 8 and verse 6 through 7 in the ESV. Romans chapter 8, verse 6 through 7, he says, "For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and it's peace". So where's your mentality? If you have your mind set on the wrong thing, it's going to produce the wrong thing in your life. Romans chapter 8 and 7 says, "For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot be".

You know, the Bible, in Jeremiah, talks about, "Don't lean on the arm of the flesh". It curses he that leans on the arm of the flesh versus walking in the Spirit. And self-preservation is, without a doubt, leaning on the arm of the flesh. It is depending on what you can do about the situation. It is depending on your abilities to handling it and seeing it as a source of your life, and that's gonna lead to failure. You know, you're depending more on your education than you are the wisdom of God, that's gonna lead to failure. The promise in Jeremiah is that when you lean on the arm of the flesh, the curse, that word "curse" means "empowered to fail," so you'll be empowered to fail when you decide to remove Jesus as the source of your life and then you wanna take that place.

And I told you, the number one sin in the garden of Eden was the fact that they were trying to be like God without God. And that still exists today, that people are still trying to be like God without God, depending on their own self as a source. Look at Ephesians chapter 2 and 8 and look at the promise here, and the warning about you bragging about what you can do. Ephesians chapter 2 and 8, he says, "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves". You can't do that of yourselves. So even when you look to yourself as a source, there's certain things you won't be able to accomplish yourself. He says, "For by grace are you saved, and you did that through faith; that not of yourselves," he said, "it's a gift of God". And so, when something's a gift of God, there's nothing you can do to try to earn something that's a gift, you have to receive it, you see?

And then let's look at Matthew chapter 16. I wanna look at this in The Message, verses 24 through 26. Matthew 16, verse 24 and 26 in The Message: "Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. 'Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead,'" wow, look at that. He says, "You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering," he said, "embrace it". Next verse: "Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for"? I mean, this verse of Scripture makes it very, very clear that, you know, although our world is inundated with self-help protocols, he makes it very clear that there are just some things you're not gonna be able to accomplish on your own. And this fear of preservation, you're gonna have to get rid of it, you're gonna have to get rid of this self-preservation mentality because it leads to failure.

So don't be a Christian that operates in self-preservation, and everything is about, you know, what you can do. That moves into humanism, "I feel like I can do everything myself and I don't need God". The whole thing is an attempt to just silence God, cancel him out, deny him the opportunity to be, you know, who he wants to be in your life. And ultimately, you go down this road, you end up in failure, and it becomes a sad testament of the fact that, listen, man's goings are of the Lord. He doesn't even know where he's going. And so self-preservation mentality must be destroyed, leave that place of self-preservation mentality.

The second mentality that must be destroyed, and I'll spend a lot of time on this today, because it's very prevalent in the body of Christ, it's very prevalent in the world, and that is the poverty mentality. Poverty is a mentality. Poverty mentality has to be broken in your life, or you're gonna find yourself going down a path that leads to failure. Let me say it like this: poor people have poor thinking. "A mentality of dependence and having more so you can feel secure," that's this poverty mentality, a mentality of dependence and having more so you can feel secure. Real security doesn't come from having more, but believe it or not, that's a poverty mentality. It's thinking that I never have enough.

this mentality that just always is thinking, "I just don't have enough". Well, depending on man, and then at the same time declaring that they're not doing enough for you, that is a poverty mentality. This poverty mentality has a built-in system for failure. It's a built-in system for failure, always thinking there's not enough, depending on other people while declaring that they are not doing enough for you.

Let me give you some quotes that you may be familiar with, when you hear these kind of things, to show you that that's a poverty mentality. First of all, have you ever heard somebody say something like this: "I work so hard, but still can't make ends meet. It's not enough," that's a poverty mentality. "I work so hard, but I still can't make ends meet," that's a poverty mentality. Or, "If the economy would turn around, I might have a chance," that quote is coming from a poverty mentality. "If things turn around, I might have a chance". Or what about this one: "You don't understand what it's like to struggle. It's the story of my life".

You know, as if there's nothing that can be done about it. That's a poverty mentality, it's keeping you in that place. And one more: "If," and I put a big emphasis on "if," "If I ever have any extra, I'll be the first to give back and to live generously, if I ever have any extra". You know, the poverty mentality always, you know, leaves you with one message: it's just not enough, it's not enough, there's not enough this, there's not enough that, people are not doing enough for me, it's not enough, the church is not doing enough, you know, the government's not doing enough. That is a poverty mentality. So now let's deal with this some now.

The poverty mindset is actually an identity issue defined by your resources and your possessions. The poverty mindset is actually an identity issue that is defined by your resources and your possessions. But now, listen: according to the Bible, our identity is not in what we possess, but who possesses us. Our identity is not in what we possess, but who possesses us, and the whole poverty mentality is an identity issue, that mentality is determined by your resources and your possessions. And yet, the Word of God makes it clear to us that our identity is not based on what we possess, our identity is based on who possesses us. And so I am saying the first thing you have to do to deal and to get rid of the poverty mentality is you have got to understand your identity is not based in your possessions or your resources, your identity is based in who possesses you, and you've got to know who you are in order to understand who possesses you.

You know, the Bible, in Jeremiah, talks about, "Don't lean on the arm of the flesh". It curses he that leans on the arm of the flesh versus walking in the Spirit. And self-preservation is, without a doubt, leaning on the arm of the flesh. It is depending on what you can do about the situation. It is depending on your abilities to handling it and seeing it as a source of your life, and that's gonna lead to failure. You know, you're depending more on your education than you are the wisdom of God, that's gonna lead to failure. The promise in Jeremiah is that when you lean on the arm of the flesh, the curse, that word "curse" means "empowered to fail," so you'll be empowered to fail when you decide to remove Jesus as the source of your life and then you wanna take that place.

And I told you, the number one sin in the garden of Eden was the fact that they were trying to be like God without God. And that still exists today, that people are still trying to be like God without God, depending on their own self as a source. Look at Ephesians chapter 2 and 8 and look at the promise here, and the warning about you bragging about what you can do. Ephesians chapter 2 and 8, he says, "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves". You can't do that of yourselves. So even when you look to yourself as a source, there's certain things you won't be able to accomplish yourself. He says, "For by grace are you saved, and you did that through faith; that not of yourselves," he said, "it's a gift of God". And so, when something's a gift of God, there's nothing you can do to try to earn something that's a gift, you have to receive it, you see?

And then let's look at Matthew chapter 16. I wanna look at this in The Message, verses 24 through 26. Matthew 16, verse 24 and 26 in The Message: "Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. 'Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead,'" wow, look at that. He says, "You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering," he said, "embrace it". Next verse: "Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for"? I mean, this verse of Scripture makes it very, very clear that, you know, although our world is inundated with self-help protocols, he makes it very clear that there are just some things you're not gonna be able to accomplish on your own. And this fear of preservation, you're gonna have to get rid of it, you're gonna have to get rid of this self-preservation mentality because it leads to failure.

So don't be a Christian that operates in self-preservation, and everything is about, you know, what you can do. That moves into humanism, "I feel like I can do everything myself and I don't need God". The whole thing is an attempt to just silence God, cancel him out, deny him the opportunity to be, you know, who he wants to be in your life. And ultimately, you go down this road, you end up in failure, and it becomes a sad testament of the fact that, listen, man's goings are of the Lord. He doesn't even know where he's going. And so self-preservation mentality must be destroyed, leave that place of self-preservation mentality.

The second mentality that must be destroyed, and I'll spend a lot of time on this today, because it's very prevalent in the body of Christ, it's very prevalent in the world, and that is the poverty mentality. Poverty is a mentality. Poverty mentality has to be broken in your life, or you're gonna find yourself going down a path that leads to failure. Let me say it like this: poor people have poor thinking. "A mentality of dependence and having more so you can feel secure," that's this poverty mentality, a mentality of dependence and having more so you can feel secure. Real security doesn't come from having more, but believe it or not, that's a poverty mentality. It's thinking that I never have enough.

Poverty mentality is thinking that, "I never have enough. I never have enough time, I never have enough people, I don't have enough money". It's this mentality that just always is thinking, "I just don't have enough". Well, depending on man, and then at the same time declaring that they're not doing enough for you, that is a poverty mentality. This poverty mentality has a built-in system for failure. It's a built-in system for failure, always thinking there's not enough, depending on other people while declaring that they are not doing enough for you.

Let me give you some quotes that you may be familiar with, when you hear these kind of things, to show you that that's a poverty mentality. First of all, have you ever heard somebody say something like this: "I work so hard, but still can't make ends meet. It's not enough," that's a poverty mentality. "I work so hard, but I still can't make ends meet," that's a poverty mentality. Or, "If the economy would turn around, I might have a chance," that quote is coming from a poverty mentality. "If things turn around, I might have a chance". Or what about this one: "You don't understand what it's like to struggle. It's the story of my life".

You know, as if there's nothing that can be done about it. That's a poverty mentality, it's keeping you in that place. And one more: "If," and I put a big emphasis on "if," "If I ever have any extra, I'll be the first to give back and to live generously, if I ever have any extra". You know, the poverty mentality always, you know, leaves you with one message: it's just not enough, it's not enough, there's not enough this, there's not enough that, people are not doing enough for me, it's not enough, the church is not doing enough, you know, the government's not doing enough. That is a poverty mentality. So now let's deal with this some now.

The poverty mindset is actually an identity issue defined by your resources and your possessions. The poverty mindset is actually an identity issue that is defined by your resources and your possessions. But now, listen: according to the Bible, our identity is not in what we possess, but who possesses us. Our identity is not in what we possess, but who possesses us, and the whole poverty mentality is an identity issue, that mentality is determined by your resources and your possessions. And yet, the Word of God makes it clear to us that our identity is not based on what we possess, our identity is based on who possesses us. And so I am saying the first thing you have to do to deal and to get rid of the poverty mentality is you have got to understand your identity is not based in your possessions or your resources, your identity is based in who possesses you, and you've got to know who you are in order to understand who possesses you.

Let's look at some Scriptures for this. In Psalms 23, Psalms 23 and verse 1, he says, "The Lord is my shepherd", that's who's leading me, that's who's guiding me. My identity is based on the Lord being my leader and my shepherd. And he says, notice, notice, when I recognize who possesses me, watch this: "I shall not want," or I shall not be in want. It's not a poverty mentality you see here. Also, look at Proverbs chapter 3, verses 5 through 6. Proverbs chapter 3, verses 5 through 6, he says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; don't lean unto your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him," and what happens? He begins to direct your path. Verse 6: "In all thy ways acknowledge him, he begins to direct thy paths. Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil".

Don't do it in your own eyes, fear the Lord, and depart from evil. Who are you trusting, who possesses you, who is leading and guiding your life? Galatians chapter 2 and 20, it's not what you possess, it's who possesses you, and this is how you break that poverty mentality. You're focusing on who possesses you. Verse 20: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me". This mentality is a mentality of "Christ is the one who possesses me". And because Christ is the one that possesses me, I don't have to have a poverty mentality. Look who possesses me, praise God.

And then look at Colossians chapter 3 and verse 3. Colossians, just in 3:3, he says, "For you are dead, your life is hid with Christ in God". So none of this is talking about what you possess, it is talking about who possesses you. And when you know who possesses you, then you also know you have enough because of whose you are. So our lives are hidden in him and the actions that we take are actions of faith. My life is hidden in God, and so I'm always acting in faith that I have more than enough to do everything that God wants me to do.

We are not identified by our possessions, we are identified by our Father, who created us, not by our possessions. We are sustained and we rule over all things because of him. We sustain and rule, well, actually, Our Father is the one who sustains and rules over all things, and we're in him, and he possesses us, and so what happens is, my identification is not with my possessions. I'm identified by my Father, and my Father is the one who sustains and he rules over everything. I'm hooked up with him, I'm gon' be all right, as some guys would say, "I'm gon' be all right," because of whose I am, because of my connection with him.

So even Jesus said, in John chapter 5 and 30, let's go over there and look at what he says. In John chapter 5 and 30, he says, "I can of my own self do nothing". Even Jesus says, "I can't do nothing of my own self". Why are we trying to do something of our own? He says, "As I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just. As I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but I seek the will of the Father which has sent me". And so Jesus, our perfect example, said that the only way to find your identity is to lose yourself in the lordship of the Father, and no child of the King is poor. No, you don't have to worry about the issue of "not enough". No child of the King is gonna suffer insufficiency. When you are convinced of the one that possesses you, you don't have to allow your possessions to become the definition of your identity. That does not have to happen.

You know, some people would say it this particular point: Jesus was poor 'cause he had nowhere to lay his head. No, no, Jesus is the Son of the King, are you kidding me? Let's just deal with this, just for a moment. Go to Luke chapter 9, verse 58, I'll show you where people get this from, "Well, Jesus was poor. He had nowhere to lay his head". Well, you know, that's in the Bible, but is that what it means? Look at verse 58: "And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head". So, yes, that's in the Scripture, but, you know, context is key. We gotta let the context define what this Scripture meant, so we're gonna back all the way up to verse 51 to see what was really going on here.

In verse 51, "And it came to pass, that when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And he sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him". Now, you know the Samaritans and Jews were having some issues with one another, all right? "And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem". So he wasn't received in Samaria. "And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elijah did"? 55: "But he turned, and rebuked them, and he says, You know not what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's life, but to save them. And so they went to another village".

So what's happening here? They would not let Jesus have the meeting in Samaria 'cause they had problems with the Jews, rejected them, and so Jesus said, "And so they went to another village". And verse 57: "And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goeth". And Jesus, in the next verse, says, "I don't know about that, you better think about it," because, "Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes in Samaria, the birds of the air have nests in that village; but the Son of man doesn't have anywhere to lay his head," that's why we're in the process of going to the next village.

It didn't mean that Jesus was homeless, it only meant that because they rejected his meeting and wouldn't let him meet in Samaria, Jesus says, "Well, foxes have holes, birds have a nest, but they won't even let me place my head anywhere, so we're going on to the next village". Didn't mean he was poor, didn't mean he was poor at all. And in fact, if you ever thought about it, besides all of this, what does a poor, if you say Jesus is poor, what does a poor man need with a treasurer? Come on, to keep up with his lint in his pocket? No, we've got to understand and just really be over with all that kind of stuff.

And even in Matthew chapter 2 and 11, you know, when Jesus was not even grown yet, there were the kings that came, the magi that came into his house, verse 11, "And they saw the young child with Mary his mother, fell down, worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasury, they presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh". Doesn't sound like poor to me, and yet, today, religion still wants to insist that Jesus was physically poor.
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