Steven Furtick — Talk Yourself Into It
I feel a holy burden on this message today, because somebody is looking at a promise that you're not living in. What have you talked yourself out of that God is trying to bring you into? We've all got something that we, we're talking ourselves out of.
The message God gave me today is that you can talk yourself into it, just like you've been talking yourself out of it. God says, "Be strong and courageous," then He tells him what not to do. "Do not be afraid." Do not be discouraged. I think the essence of what God wants to say to you is just because you feel afraid doesn't mean... But, no matter how hard Joshua tried, he couldn't talk Moses into it. You know why? Because, nobody can talk you into your destiny but you. Touch your neighbor and say, "Talk yourself into it." It is interesting that when God speaks to Joshua, He tells him what to do. "Lead these people to inherit the land."
Now, the problem with a lot of us is that we have shrunk our lives down to the size of our own personal interests. We don't have anything bigger than us worth fighting for. So, it doesn't take much to discourage us. If I didn't preach every time I don't feel like preaching, you would hear from me three times a year.
You know how I preach every week? I talk myself into it, and I tell myself there's somebody coming to church today who's suicidal. There's somebody coming to church today whose kid is on drugs. There's somebody coming to church today that has been told all their life they're worthless, and you get to tell 'em God loves 'em. And maybe you could smile at 'em and make 'em feel through your countenance, that God has not forgotten them, that He knows them by name.
But, by the time I stop talking to myself, I'm ready to talk to you. Now, we can preach. Now, we can do it. Now, we can go. But see, you've got to talk yourself into your purpose. I have a purpose, I don't need to ask God to give me a purpose. I have a purpose. You have a purpose, to glorify God, to be transformed into the image of Christ, to be conformed into the image of Christ. It's not that you don't have a purpose, it's that every time God tries to bring you into it, you talk yourself out of it.
And so, he says, "This is not just about you, Joshua. There are people depending on you." Your destiny is connected to something much bigger than you, so go do it and be strong and courageous. But, God is a good coach and a good coach doesn't just motivate you, he instructs you. And so, He gives them the mechanics and this is what I was excited about. I mean, that part. I was excited about that part too, but I really wanted to show you this.
He said in Joshua 1:8: "Keep this book of the law always on your lips." This stood out to me. I told you I have a lot of scripture today. Isn't that kind of what you came for, though? Okay. Just making sure. In Deuteronomy 31, before Moses died and climbed up on Mount Nebo and he died and God didn't let the Israelites find his body, because he knew that if they found his body, they would continue to worship his bones 'cause sometimes, the only way for God to get you to move past something in your life is to completely take it away.
But, before he died, he called the nation together. He said, "I'm not going into the land, but you are and Joshua's going to lead you." He pulls Joshua beside him and he tells him: "Be strong and courageous, for you must go with these people in the land the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance." Not you may, but you must. Not you should, but you must. And you must do it, "And as you do it, know that the Lord himself goes before you and will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid."
So, when God speaks to Joshua after the death of Moses, Joshua has heard this speech before. It's not his first time hearing it. But, when God gives the speech, He adds one thing that Moses left out. See, Moses told him what to do, told him why to do it. God showed Joshua how.
Would you like to know how to keep yourself encouraged? Because, you need to know. They aren't always going to text you encouragement when you need it. That's part of being a grown Christian. You need to learn to encourage yourself. I got to tell you, touch your neighbor and say, "I can encourage myself." If you encourage me, I appreciate it. If you're nice to me, I appreciate it. If you say kind things to me, that's cool.
But, I need you to know that even if you don't, if you get too busy or if you forget about me or if you don't know what to say to me, I need you to know I can encourage myself. "Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world." I learned to encourage myself 'cause I can't always count on a text and I can't always count on a hug, and I can't always count on a man and I can't always even count on my own friends. But, I can encourage myself.
So, God tells Joshua, He says, "I'm not always going to speak to you like this." You know, you have moments in your life where God Himself will speak to you and they're awesome. One time, I was coming home to Charlotte when we were first starting the church and I was nervous and I was afraid and discouraged. I was discouraged because people weren't showing up yet, and I was afraid 'cause I didn't know if they ever would. And so, I was afraid and discouraged and those are two states you cannot fulfill your destiny in.
And let me you show something, if you afraid right now, it is not because the Devil is making you afraid. There is somebody on your road that has more to be afraid of than you, and yet, the confession of their life is, "I have fear, but fear doesn't have me." If you are discouraged, it is not because of your conditions or your circumstances. They may have been a contributing factor, but they are not the deciding factor. Discouragement is a decision that I make, discouragement is a conversation that I have with myself.