Kenneth Copeland - Freedom From Anxiety and Pressure
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I want us to look at 2 Corinthians 10. "Now I, Paul, myself, beseech you by the meekness and great gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you. But I beseech you that I may not be bold when I'm present with the confidence wherewith I think to be bold against some which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty". There it is again. It is explosive. "But mighty through God to the pulling down," the pulling down of strongholds.
A stronghold of the mind is a prison. It'll disable you, put you in a place of sickness and disease, worried. Read the book of Job. There was only one sin in the book of Job. He made a lot of mistakes, but he didn't know any better. The devil said to God, he will curse you to your face. But he never did do it. His wife did. She opened the door to all that mess. But he was afraid his family would sin, and he kept doing the same sacrifice over and over and over and over. He said, "I was troubled, yet I was not".
Well, let's open it. Look in the third chapter. "For the thing which I greatly feared has come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is coming to me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet, yet trouble came". He's worried. He was worried about his family. He was worried. And troubled things, he said, "That which I greatly feared has come upon me". Now, you can see it right there. The thing which I greatly feared has come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is coming to me. That's dread, you begin to dread something, dread doing it, dread doing it. Well, you're worn out by the time it comes time to do it.
Anyway, so now, let's go back over there to 2 Corinthians 10. And this one, I want to talk to you about it, because I've experienced this more times than not. "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, mental strongholds, casting down", see, this is pulling it down, "casting down imaginations and everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God", or against what we know about, or against his Word. "Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ", to the obedience of his anointing, having in readiness to revenge all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. Do you look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trusts to himself that he is in Christ, let him think himself again.
Now, you've heard me tell this, but this is not the only time that this happened. We had some situations that started out a little bit at a time, and this is back in the day before satellites and so forth. And TV stations, radio stations, and all of that that had to be paid through media. And over a period of time, it just kept on and kept on until we were $6 million behind. Well, man, I got to thinking about that, $6 million. Oh, Lord, $6 million. I'd lay there in the bed at night, and I'd say, "Lord, $6 million, $6 million, $6 million". That's a lot of money. Well, it is a lot of money, $6 million. $6 million. $6 million. $6 million. $6 million. And this ministry is supposed to be out of debt, and we're behind $6 million on our TV bills. Well, we were still paying, so they didn't kick us off the station. Oh, it just bothered me and bothered me and bothered me.
Well, Pastor George, bless his heart, he put together all of the different departments, and they'd turn in their report to him, and then he'd turn it in to me. I said, I don't want to look at this. I don't want to read it. Gloria had already gone to bed. Well, I guess I'm going to have to read this thing, I got a board meeting coming up. Okay. This department, best year we've ever had. This department, best year we've ever had. This department, best year we've ever had. TV department, $6 million in the red. This department, best year we've ever had. I looked at that, and the word of the Lord came to me. And the Lord said, "The only one that's behind is the one you carried". He said, "You're so busy worried about that one, you didn't pay attention to the rest of them, and they did good. You ought to let me take care of that". I said, "Lord, I repent. I repent of it", and I went right here, casting down imaginations.
See, that's where it is. It's in the mind. That stronghold, thinking about it, becomes a habit. And then you think about it, and think about it, and think about it, and think about it, and you're laying there in the bed at night. What am I going to do about that $6 million? What am I going to do about it? I heard Jimmy Swaggart was on so many radio stations, and he got behind, and he said, "I'm going broke. I'm just going broke". And he said, the Lord spoke to him and said, "Jimmy, you're already broke". He said, "Glory to God, I'm already broke. Francis, wake up. We're already broke. Now I know what to do. Let's start over again. Thank God we're already broke".
What was he saying? We're going broke. There was nothing about that that could ever, he was just condemning himself, there was nothing about that that could ever fix it. There wasn't anything about thinking about this thing that would fix it for me. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, or after the Word. Amen. Condemnation has never done anything but condemn. It has never fixed anything, but it will ruin your life. Because you get to thinking about that, and you get to thinking about it, there's no way we're ever going to get out of this. Dear Lord, what are people going to be saying about us? That faith stuff doesn't work. Oh, no. Lord, maybe I can sell some land out here and pay this off. I heard the Lord say, what are you going to sell next year? I'm still trying to fix it.
So we got into this right here, casting down this imagination. So I called Gloria, and she got up and came down, and oh, man, I'll tell you, we repented for doing that. And it's just, and I repented to the board, the board of directors. And then, how many months was it, George? Six months. Six months. And it was paid. Now, then after that, we would usually pay that, what was that business, about what, 20 million a year, 2 million a month, something like that. And we'd pay half of it, and after that, and for the first time ever, we paid the whole bill. The ministry paid the whole bill at one time. The whole thing. There was a time, another time, this was years before that, we were a million behind.
So I just went up to the prayer cabin, stayed up there over weekend, and fasted and prayed. And right before I left, the Lord said, and I didn't hear an audible voice, but he said, "You don't need a million dollars". I said, "You could have fooled me". He said, "You have a problem in your ministry". And I tried to get it over to you, and you just touched it, but then you didn't do anything about it. And the Lord said, "If I provided you a million right now, the problem in your ministry would eat that up, too". So I began to pray. I said, "Lord, what is it"? He said, "I told you to tithe your ministry, and you said, well, okay, and just passed it off". And then he reminded me about what I said. I said, "Well, Lord, I mean, the ministry part, I mean, that all belongs to you". So I said that again. He said, "Do people that work for the government, pay taxes"? "Yeah. I got it". So that's when we began to tithe the ministry, the church, and everything that has come in to this ministry. And we've never been in that kind of condition again. Not ever. But these things have to be taken care of.
So now, what is a stronghold? 2 Corinthians chapter 12, let's move on over there now that we see this. "It is not expedient for me, doubtless to glory, I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above 14 years ago, whether in the body I cannot tell, out of the body I cannot tell: God knoweth; such a one caught up into the third heaven. I knew such a man, whether in the body or out of the body, I cannot tell, God knows. How that he was caught up into paradise and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory, yet of myself I'll not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool, for I'll say the truth, but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he sees of me to be, or that hears of me. Lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations that were given, there was given to me," I told you to remember this now, "a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me".
A thorn in my flesh. What was the thorn Jesus talked about? You didn't do what I asked you to do. You didn't remember. Huh? The cares of this world, they're sown among thorns. The cares of this world and the lust or pressures of other things entering in choked the Word. The anxiety of it all. The pressure and the anxiety. All right. In the 11th chapter, now we just came out of the 10th, "Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes, save one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned three times. I suffered shipwreck. A night and a day I have been the deep. In journeyings often, perils of waters, perils of robbers, and perils of mine own countrymen, perils by the heathen, perils of the city, perils in the wilderness, in the sea, and in perils among the brethren. In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nackedness. Besides those things that are without, that which comes upon me daily, the care of all the churches," a thorn in the flesh.
Worrying about those churches. All of that was outside, but this came on me daily. Amen. I mean, there it is. That was the thorn in his flesh. And he said, I went to God three times to tell him, get this off me. He said, no, my grace is sufficient for you. And there are those that said, well, now, he had bad eyes, and he couldn't see. And no, that's sickness and disease. To keep him from having revelation? That's like sending a dog to guard the meat. The devil would be glad to do that for him. That had nothing to do with that. It was the care of all the churches. Worried about those churches. What are we going to do? How are we going to fix this? And what'd the Lord tell him? You do it. You get him off. My grace is sufficient for you to get the devil off. And this is the same man that wrote, put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil, and having done all to stand, stand therefore, suited up for war. Glory to God. Having on the full armor of God. Thank You, Jesus.
So, now, a mental prison, they tell me that most people in mental institutions have let the devil tell them they have committed the unpardonable sin. There's no hope for them. And they get thinking about that, and thinking about that, and thinking about that, and thinking about that, and get to dwell on it, and think about it, and talk about it, and think about it. Gloria put it like this. If you think about yourself all the time, that's enough to depress anybody. Well, because you invariably... we were in Oklahoma City, and I was driving along, and Brother Roberts, "Kenneth"! I jumped. He said, "People will always tell you you can't do it". And I've noticed that to be true. He said, "Do these three things, and you will always be successful. Number one, find out the will of God". That's when you search the scriptures. And he said, "After that, confer no longer with flesh and blood. Don't be talking to people about it. They'll talk you out of it".
Then number three, get your job done at any cost. He picked his book back up. One, two, three. I wrote it down and made it a part of our lives. Find out the will of God. Once you know, now, when the Lord said, "Go on daily", well, the first thing I did, go on a daily broadcast. First thing I did, I called him. I said, "Sir, what about a daily broadcast"? He said, "Kenneth, it is so daily". I said, "Yes, sir, I know that". It wasn't for him to tell me, and I didn't like it at all. And I didn't smile until he turned the camera on. And then I found it in the curse of the law. Deuteronomy 28, let's turn over there, and I'll be closing with this for now. In the 45th verse, "Moreover, all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you be destroyed, because you hearken not unto the voice of the Lord thy God to keep his commandments and statutes which he commanded thee this day. And they shall be upon you for a sign and a wonder upon your seed forever, because you serve not the Lord your God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart for the abundance of all things".
And I, there it was. And I said, "Lord, I repent. I have ears to hear. I heard it. I love daily TV. I love daily television. Oh, I love daily television. I love daily television. Yes, I have a gladness. I serve the Lord with gladness of heart for the abundance of all things. Glory to God, glory to God". I didn't feel any better. But the next time I was on there, just had one, you know, the little table out there. I get tired of looking at that hole in that camera. And I said, "Folks, I want you to know, I love daily television". That's when it hit me. And I jumped up and ran around the table. And I've been in love with it ever since. I had ears to hear. But I had to hear. Jesus said that all the time. Said it in the book of Revelation. Speaking to the churches. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Praise God.