Creflo Dollar - Understanding Modern Day Idolatry - Part 6
I tell you, the greatest freedom I realized is that I am free to be who God called me to be. I will not diminish my calling to try to impress somebody else. What does that mean? I'm not going to call myself a life coach or what do you call them? Motivational speaker. I'm a pastor. I'm a preacher. I'm not going to diminish that so I can appear important to somebody else. That was one of the key things God dealt with me throughout this pandemic. He said, "Be completely free from the pressure of trying to appear important in front of other people". I'm cool. I'm a preacher. I'm a pastor. And I know how much it's despised in the world, but I will not diminish my call. I will not diminish my anointing to try to impress somebody.
That's just one thing; he showed me three things. The second thing, I think I told y'all. I'll tell you again. The second thing is the fact he said, "Don't rehearse your past brokenness". Don't rehearse it by regretting it, by continuing to go, don't rehearse your past brokenness. Don't you dare rehearse it, and don't give somebody power over your life by holding unforgiveness against them. Life goes on. Now, it may not go on with some people, but it goes on. In fact, one of your prayers need to be, "Lord, deliver me from some people and bring me to the ones you want me to be with". But you're not supposed to be with everybody. You can't be everybody's friend. You can't have everybody in your holy of holies. Please understand that.
And then the third thing was, is don't stay attached to your past. Some people visit their past too much. Every day you waking up, spend about 15 minutes in the bed before you get up thinking about the regrets of your past, thinking about your past. "Oh, God, I didn't know no better then, oh, God"... See, this is where God gets the glory. God gets the glory from looking at your nasty past and then looking at you today. Glory to God. And what you ought to say to the devil when he tries to take you back to your little nasty past, what you ought to say to the devil is, "Oh, but look at what God has done. Oh, but look at what... yeah, yeah. I know that's true, but if you want to keep going back there, all you going to do is make me want to praise God the more". Praise God. "You just put me in remembrance of how great God is".
The idolatry of self must be defeated, and we've got to become people who plan on, who intentionally think about other people and put other people in view. "And what can I do with my anointing? How can I serve with my anointing? What can I do for somebody with my call"? Now, I joined Taffi's new club that she established during the pandemic. It was the club called mind your own business club. I'm not getting in the business of some other pastor and what they're doing here and what they're doing there. My business is World Changer. Excuse me. World Changers. That my business right there. Ain't my business who did this, what they did there. That ain't none of my business. I am not going to be searching the net and judging people I don't even know. Ain't none of my business. You need to join that club, the club of mind your own business.
I asked her one morning. I said, "The Lord say anything new this morning"? She said, "Yes, mind your own business". I was like, "Oh, blade, I got that, Lord Jesus, thank you". So humility is what's going to counter idolatry. Look at 1 Peter 5:5 through 8. Humility, submitting and bowing the knee to how God told you to act, that's what it is. Somebody says, "No, he's shy, he humble". Now, really shyness is pride. No, no, no. Because God told you to act a certain way and you decided you want to act shy. That's a form of pride. Look at this. "Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves unto the elder". Likewise, you younger, submit yourself unto... that don't even work no more. You're in a world right now somebody's saying, "I ain't submitting myself to no elder". And you do that based on your talent, and what happens is you know more than what you understand.
You got somebody all... that's what happens. You won't submit yourself to the older because you think you know because you're being deceived by your talent. You're being deceived. There's something about listening to somebody who's been there before you got there. They told you it was a cliff, but you still won't pay no attention. So you going to go on with your little smart self. "I don't believe there's no cliff". And then when you fall down and break yourself up, they're like, "I told you there was a cliff there. Why did I tell you that? 'Cause I've been there. I almost fell off myself". What happened to apprenticeship? Do you know where we could be if people would just submit themselves to elders, sit down and ask somebody that's been there? I had an aunt who lived 120 years, and my mom and daddy made me go and sit with her and I'm like, "I don't know, what am I going to say to her"?
I was scared of her 'cause she was 120 years old, and I'm like, they said, "Just sit there and just learn something". Well, I figured 120 years old and you was alive when Abraham Lincoln was a president, you ought to know something. Man, I'm telling you, "Likewise, younger, submit yourselves to the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another". And he said, "Be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud". So if God resists the proud, then grace will eventually resist the proud. And he gives grace to the humble. He gives grace to the humble. I need the grace of God. He said, "Humble yourself therefore," since he gives grace to the humble, therefore humble yourself. Humble yourself, comply, bow the knee. Be what God told you to be. Do what God told you to do. "Humble yourself therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may," what? "Exalt you in due time".
So it sounds like the way up is down. He wants to exalt you in due time. But look what he says. Go on to the next verse, verse 8. Verse 8 says, "Casting all," he says cast all your care on him because he cares for you. All right, to not cast your care on him, you're in pride. Why? 'Cause he told you to humble yourself. Cast your care on him. "Well, I can't help it, I just worry". You just prideful. See, that's all the reason why. Grace trying to come... see, here's what he's saying. "Cast your care upon me, submit yourself that way, and I got grace that's taking care of it". And you're sitting up there with no grace in your pride worrying. This is how this works. God wants you to want him. God wants you to need him. And when you want him and when you need him, he'll make grace available to show up in your time of need.
Look what he says, verse 8. "Be sober then, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, he's walking around seeking whom he may devour". Satan is seeking, "Can I get you to the altar of self? Can I get you into idolatry"? And I thank God for the World Changers nation, he going to have to go seek somewhere else. We just ain't playing that no more. God is our source. God is the one that is our supply house. We trust him, we need him, we want him, we go to him, we can't do it without him, we can't do it without him, we can't do it without him. I don't understand, folks. Why even want to be a Christian if you ain't got him? He's the one, he's the reason. He's the motivation. Why? What, I'm trying to be a part of a gang or something, I'm trying to be a part of a fraternity or something? I'm a Christian 'cause of Christ. Take him away, I'm not interested. Take God away is... why? Why would I want to do that? He's the whole reason, he's the reason that moves me, and he shows himself real every day.
You're going to get to a point in your life where you're going to ask God to do something, and while you asking - I'm telling you, I experienced this. While you asking, he'll be doing it and it'll blow your mind, and it'll happen like that, and then the devil will come right back to you and say, "That wasn't God, that just happened". But I'm like, "What do you mean it just happened"? I'm talking to him about this. And there's a Scripture that says while you praying, God would be answering your prayer. You remember when they knocked on the door to get Paul's men released; while they were praying, they were at the door knocking. That prayer was already answered. I believe that's what's getting ready to happen to you, World Changers. I believe that the God of heaven and earth is about to move on your behalf. He's going to prove through you so that others can see how real he is. There are going to be people around you. Some of them going to get sick and tired of the goodness that keeps coming on your life.
And every time that goodness comes on your life, you need to tell somebody, "This came from God". Every time something good happen to you... now notice Satan ain't trying to do nothing good for you, and you can't do it by yourself; God wants the praise, God wants the glory, God wants us to begin to lift him up in a way that the world says, "I want your God". So my question is this, my question is this. Who has your attention? Because idolatry is all about who has your attention. Idolatry is about, you know, if the worship of yourself has been given more value than God, then you're going to give more attention to what you value. And if it's not God that you value, then you're not going to get that attention. That don't surprise me, I'm not surprised. I'm not walking around here trying to figure, "Well, I don't know why people don't come to church". 'Cause they don't value God. People don't want to hear the truth.
But when you value God, that's not an issue. When you value God, spending time with him is not an issue. When you value God, logging on to a stream is not an issue. What are you talking about? "Well, I had to do something else". Where is God in your life? Have you appointed value to something greater than God? Quit trying to fool yourself. You know what the deal is. The deal is that you have left your first love. The deal is you've replaced him with something else, and that action by itself has hindered some of the things that God wants to do. It's not a secret. We just want to go acting around like we don't know what's happening. You know what's going on. You know what the Bible says about God, about his character? He's jealous. He's jealous. He's a jealous God.
Man, Taffi will tell you. I have had all kinds of opportunities to be important, and I won't tell you now because some people can't handle it. I wouldn't tell you. I mean, the opportunities I had, one of them was gigantic and I turned it down because God spoke to me. He says, "If you do this, you will appear important but you're going to lose your marriage, you're going to lose your family, and you'll lose your anointing". Well, that ain't rocket science. I'm like, "No, I ain't doing this. I ain't doing this. Are you serious"? Oh, I hope y'all hear me. I hope you hear me. And so who has the attention? I thought about, in honor of what we're celebrating today, go to the Book of Numbers chapter 2:7 through 9.
I want to take you on a little journey here. You don't think it's a big deal that something else has your attention? I'm going to show you that a group of people life and death was based on where their attention was, and I still believe that today. I believe life and death is based on where your attention is, especially if your attention is on an idol. And if you're that idol, the same thing occurs. Numbers chapter 2 and 7. This is something I want to read the whole of this 'cause once you get, I'm going to read 7 through 9. "Then the tribe of Zebulun: and Eliab the son of Helon shall be captain of the children of Zebulun". Verse 8, "And his host, and those that were numbered thereof, were fifty thousand", I don't know if that's the one I want. Go to verse 9, go to verse 9. They were camped at Judah... nah, that ain't what I want. Numbers 21. Yeah, let's go to Numbers 21 and 7. Yeah, that's it.
"Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, 'We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against thee;" Moses, "pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us". Eight, "And Moses prayed for the people". Verse 8, "And the LORD said unto Moses, 'Make thee a fiery serpent, set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.' And Moses made a serpent of brass, put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived". Now, before I show you what this represented, let me show you what God was doing. He said, "If I can get their attention off of dying because of a snake bite, then I can heal him". And he says whoever will turn their attention to look at the serpent on the pole he will live, but if they kept their attention on the snake bite they died.
Again, my question is, where's your attention? Who or what have you given your attention to? You met a new girlfriend or a new boyfriend and they done took all your attention to God. You don't even know Jesus' name no more. Who's taking your attention? Because we've got to give God our attention if we're going to be exposed to the life-giving force that comes from him having our attention. Are you listening to me? All right, now go to John chapter 12. No, John chapter 3. Put my glasses on so I don't miss no numbers no more. John chapter 3. Now he's going to relate Jesus's death on a cross with that. John chapter 3, verse 14. John 3:14 and 15. "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up".
All right, now this is interesting. Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness to get their attention off of one situation onto him so they can receive life. He said the Son of man got to do the same thing. We got to get the attention off everything else and get it on Jesus on that cross so they can get away from death and receive life, watch this, "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish". He's trying to do the same thing. He said you look on that serpent on a pole you will live, and he says if you will look at Jesus on that cross you will have eternal life. All right, now watch this carefully. So what did he say about Jesus being on that cross? John 12, uh-huh, verse 30.
Now this is very religious and very traditional, and it's all going to be destroyed. Verse 30, "Jesus answered," because they just heard a thunderous voice of God. "And Jesus answered and said, 'This voice came not because of me, but before your sakes. Now is the judgment,'" underline judgment. "Now is the judgment of this world". Notice it says now is the judgment of this world and it has a colon, which it means it's getting ready to list what that judgment is. "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out". In addition to that, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me".
Now religiously we've interpreted like this. Oh, if I lift Jesus, Bible says that if Jesus be lifted up, he'll draw every man to him, meaning that every man will be saved. Lift up Jesus and every man will be drawn unto him. Well, what's the problem? 'Cause every man ain't came to him. So if that's what it meant, then it's a lie 'cause it hadn't happened. Every man hadn't come to him. But was he really saying that? No, remember judgment is the subject. He said, "Now is the judgment of this world. And if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all judgment," all of man's judgment, "unto me". In other words, if I be lifted up, I'm going to become like that serpent. I'm going to draw the sins of everybody, not just you in church, I'm going to draw everybody's sin on me. So if you were to look at me on the outside, I would look just as wicked and evil as that serpent. Oh, glory to God.
The word men is in italicized, which mean it did not appear in the original text. He says, "If I be lifted up from the earth, I'll draw all judgment: the judgment for you dying, the judgment that was coming because of the sins that we committed". All the sins we committed there's a judgment, the judgment of hell; all the judgment that was due to you and due to me. Jesus said, "Because I got on that cross, all of your judgment now is mine. You are free from the judgment because I have taken upon your judgment. Now get your attention off your sin and get your attention on me". Ladies and gentlemen, that is the Easter message. I say Christmas bunny, all missing, Easter bunny and all that, that ain't no Easter message. The Easter message is Jesus got on the cross, absorbed the judgment that was due to every one of us.
Every one of us should have been condemned, sick, broken, hell. And Jesus took your sickness, he took your death, he took your pain, glory to God, he took your trip to hell. Then he got up on the third day and say, "I done took care of everything for you. Do I have your attention now"? And some of you said, "No, I'm still looking at me". It's like, "This ain't about you. It's about me. Because what I did for you, I didn't even have you on my mind when I did it, as far as thinking that you could help me do what needed to be done". And yet and still there are people today who have been convinced partly by malpractice from the pulpit that that's just ridiculous, it didn't happen.
First of all, I know it happened. Why? 'Cause he live in me. There's no way by myself I could operate in the deliverance that God has shown me these 40 years. There's no way that could happen. And I'm going to tell you in the name of Jesus I know that this is a work of the Holy Ghost. I look at what God has done and it is a marvelous thing. It's a marvelous thing. You need to look at what God has done in your life and you need to see it is a marvelous thing. You just don't realize how bad you were. Glory to God. "Well, I wasn't that bad". Yeah, but if we get in your mind, that was a nasty thing. You understand? God has done an amazing work with everybody in here; and he is worthy of praise, he is worthy of rejoicing, he is worthy of our handclap. He is worthy, worthy, worthy of everything. Amen.
And look what he said in 1 Corinthians chapter 6:9 through 11, 1 Corinthians 6:9 through 11. This is awesome here. 1 Corinthians 6:9 through 11. Again, from the pulpits of the world, people read this to condemn people and to put fear in people and try to get God to respond out of fear. He says, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God"? Well, first of all, if you're born again, he ain't talking about you. Say out loud, "I'm the righteousness of God". He said, "The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God". Say that again. "I'm the righteousness of God". All right, so first of all that ain't yours. And I don't know why they read it in church, but watch this. And I guess there's a reason, but he says, "Be not deceived: neither fornicators". So he says, "All right, not no unrighteous people, but if you are a fornicator, idolaters," now, that's deep.
You see what he just said here? He ain't talking about somebody abandons the statues. He's include modern day idolatry. He says, "Do not be deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind," watch this, "nor thieves, nor covetousness, nor drunkards, nor revilers," that's wild partiers, "nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God". And you like, "Oh my God, lions and tigers and bears. Oh, no". And that's almost how people respond, but you got to keep reading.
Look at the next verse. He says, "And such were some of you". Can I get a amen to that? Can I get an amen from you at home? You at home, such were some of you. You at home were fornicators at one time. You at home were adulterers at one time. You at home were unrighteous at one time. "And such were some of you: but".. Uh-oh, everything getting ready to change. But you are washed, you are sanctified, you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. He says, yeah, you were like that, but not anymore because you've been washed, not anymore because you've been sanctified, not anymore you've been justified. So if you're going through anything that's not you, God will help you as the righteousness of God to walk out of any idolatry, glory to God, and show you how to be everything he has called you to be.