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Watch 2022 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Stop Listening To The Enemy

Steven Furtick - Stop Listening To The Enemy


Steven Furtick - Stop Listening To The Enemy
TOPICS: Anxiety, Thoughts

This is an excerpt from: Lions & Lizards & Lies

A lot of my anxiety comes because I get confused about who is in control and I get responsibilities confused with sovereignty. So, I start thinking that because God has given me responsibility, that God has also given me control. And that's where I get stressed out and a lot of my anxiety comes from making it about me when it's not about me. Making it about my strength when it's not about my strength. It's not by might nor by power, but by His spirit. But I know God's given me a job. I know that when I stand before you like this, and people in the room are suicidal, and people in the room are addicted not only illegal drugs, but some are depending on drugs that at first, they were taking the recommended dosage, but now it's gone far beyond that.

And when I know that there are some of you who have not slept in three nights, except for a few minutes here and there, hearing this message, I know that I can't say the words that you need. I need God to speak through me to you. And I always pray for that, 'cause I know how disappointing it's gonna be if I speak. I know that I need to move my mouth and I know that my vocal cords need to rub together. And I know that I need to produce a sound, but I know that I need the substance of God behind the sound that I make. I need God to speak. I know you did not load up those demons, I mean, precious children, blessings, quiver full of arrows from the Lord, and get to this house of worship today in Gaston, or U.C., or Lake Norman, you did not log on to hear me speak. You need God to speak, and I believe that God will speak. I believe He is speaking. I believe He wants to speak. I believe He still speaks.

I don't believe He spoke one time in the past, and now we got this dusty book full of principles that applied at one time, but don't make sense in a modern age. I don't believe God is outdated or irrelevant. I don't believe I need BuzzFeed to tell me what's going on in the world. I got my Bible and it's living and it's active and it can penetrate through all the noise. So, I know we need God to speak and His word doesn't return void. And God will speak, but God won't study. I gotta study. God won't show me whether the sentence was one sentence or two sentences. He gave me books for that. And inspired, I can't figure it out sometimes. And sometimes I feel like I'm a control freak, and sometimes it gets in the way. I really do. Feel like it gets in the way. Feel like I wanna control things. I wanna control people, I'm manipulative, and I see it, and I hate it, but I do it. It's a habit and I know that God's hand is the hand is really moving things around. But, you know, I wanna put my hand on God's hand and just kinda nudge. Y'all are so holy.

Sometimes, you know, sometimes God needs a little help. 'Cause He's just... Peter's writing from experience. He didn't come by humility easy. That's why I like to listen to him. 'Cause he didn't always think this way. Like, when Jesus was getting ready to go to the cross, He told His disciples, He's like, "Hey, come here". This is Matthew 16:21. Give it to us on the screen. Jesus said, "I have to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders". At this point, Peter didn't think that the savior was supposed to suffer. Jesus' mission did not fit his mindset. He was still confused about whose hand was writing the schedule. And so Peter, in a younger version of himself, did not know how to humble himself under the hand of God or the plan of God. He liked the provision. Hey, Jesus, don't go die. Let's go feed some more people. That was awesome when you did it. That little boy, he was so happy, Jesus. It was amazing! Everybody got a bag of leftovers. It's crazy, you don't have to die!

Watch what Peter did. Jesus said, "I gotta go. I gotta suffer. It's a part of a plan. I gotta fulfill the plan. I can't get caught up in my preferences. I can't get caught up in my ideas. My expectations or the expectations of others. I didn't come to be an earthly king. I came to inaugurate a reign and rule that is not the result of human hands. Peter, verse 22, took Jesus aside. Put Jesus in time out. The same dude that was saying, you know, humble yourself. This is like you telling your kids not to do exactly what you did when you were their age. Peter said to Jesus, younger Peter, first half of life Peter, says, "Lord, never. This shall never happen to you. I won't let it. If they try, I got a sword, and they got an ear, and watch what I can do. I got a plan. Let's go work my plan. And verse 23 says Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan".

Oh, that's a downgrade! He went from Simon to Peter. That was his first name. Simon is kinda like "shifty", and Peter is "the rock". So he goes from Dwayne Johnson in one verse to Satan in the next verse. And he says, "You are a stumbling block to me. You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns". You still think you're in control and that is why your mind is a mess, because you are still trying to control things that are beyond your pay grade, Peter. You're confused. We get confused! Sometimes I don't know when to let go. When, sometimes, I don't do this very much, 'cause I've seen some really, really, really horrific things happen, on church stages, but sometimes I'll call somebody up on stage and have them share. And I don't know them. And I feel kinda like my responsibility is to control whatever happens on the stage as the pastor.

And so when they come up, usually I call them up and I'll ask them to share something. And I do this even with our staff. I'll call them and ask them to share, but one thing I learned to do, I always keep the mic in my hands. When they come up, they think they're gonna take the mic, but they're not. I'm the mic stand and I'mma hold this mic. In case you decide that now would be a good time to say something weird, I can snatch it back, and I just like the feeling that it gives me of being in control. In case you might decide, I might ask you something, you say, "Well, when I was three..." We don't have time for when you were three. Didn't ask you all that, and I got the mic, give it back. Now, so it gives me a good feeling, but the interesting thing is, 'cause there's crazy Christians. And sometimes when I call them up, I can't see their eyes. And when they get closer, I'm like, "Oh. God, I picked one of those"! And you don't see it from a distance. So, I like to keep the mic, and I like to hold the mic.

But now, the interesting thing is, I'm holding the mic, but there's a guy that you don't see named Neil. And Neil this week, among many others at our different locations happens to be in the back of the room sitting behind a console. And you know what's interesting, I'm up here talking and I'm holding the mic, but at any moment Neil can decide, that he no longer... At any moment, he can decide. At any moment, he can decide, you know, maybe I fussed at him or something like that he doesn't like. At any moment Neil can decide. He can just decide that he no longer wants. At any moment, here's the principle. I'm holding it, but I'm not controlling it. They got it last night. That's what I know about my life. That's what I know about my time. That's what I'm learning about my money. That's what I'm learning about my children. My responsibility. I'm holding it, but somebody I can't see is controlling it. He's in control. He speaks, and winds obey. He speaks, and waves die down. He speaks, and seas split, because what I can see is controlled by that hand that I can't see.

And now I wanna humble myself under that mighty hand, and, I'm coming to the place in my life where I say, "God, I don't even know what I need anymore so I trust You and Your timing. And I trust You and Your heart. And I trust You and Your wisdom. And I humble myself". And as I humble myself, my anxiety goes out the door with my pride, and my arrogance, and my plan and I become what Peter says is the goal of the Christian life in verse eight, which I don't like any more than I like verse six. But it's on the other side of seven. And I want the result of seven. Because I don't wanna live with the weight of the world on my scrawny shoulders. So I gotta be what Peter says. Strange phrase. He says, "Be alert, and of sober mind". I didn't even know I was drunk. But I am. Peter didn't know. He was stumbling. Telling Jesus what Jesus needed to do. He was drunk on his own, you see how we get intoxicated in the age we live in?

It's so much information coming at us, we're drunk, and we don't even know it. And we can't defend ourselves. And we're getting eaten alive. God gives us peace, and the enemy eats rights through it 'cause he's a lion. At least that's what I always thought. I thought he was a lion. And this week I slowed down and read the verse and I realized that the Bible never says that the Devil is a lion. He's a liar. I know he's a liar. You know when the Devil's lying? When he's talking. He's a liar, but he's not a lion. Give me the verse. Peter says, "Watch out". One translation says, "Pay attention. Wake up". Or, "Be alert and of sober mind". Here's why. "Your enemy, the Devil". Your enemy. God's enemy is pride. Your enemy is the Devil, who wants to fill your mind. As if we don't already suffer enough. As if we don't already have enough to deal with today. He wants to put you in a hypothetical tomorrow where things may or may not happen. Or, put you in a past replaying what you wish you would have said, to the person who offended you.

And how many come up with great comebacks about three weeks too late? God, let me see them again. Please let me see them again and let them say it just like they said it. I'm ready now. Argh! Devil's a liar. But he does not say, "Watch out for the lion". The devil is not a lion. What's it say? "Your enemy prowls around like..." He's not a lion! He's loud like a lion. But he's not as powerful as a lion unless you let him be. And this is what I'm gonna teach in the series. Are you coming back after this week? Because I really wanna get into this. And I wanna look at some of the lies that we have believed in the realm of our mind. That's where the attack happens. We've been looking for a lion, but it's not a lion coming to attack us. It's our minds! It's in our minds. And we've been calling the wrong stuff "the Devil". I got a flat tire. It's the Devil. It was a nail. It was a construction site. They're building houses across the street. I ate a doughnut. It was the Devil! No, it was delicious.

It's the Devil! It's the Devil! It's the Devil! I'm under attack! Spiritual warfare! The Devil's attacking me! What do you mean Devils are attacking you? Well, my mother-in-law is coming to visit. That's not the Devil. That's your prayer request. Remember when you asked those women to pray that you would have more patience? Well, God wrapped patience in a package that looks like your mother-in-law. And she's about to get FedExed to your doorstep. God delivers. That's not the devil. So now, he's loud, but he's not a lion. What is he? I remember hearing years ago about the part of our brain, again, bear with me. I know there's like, neurologists in the crowd. You don't make me feel bad about that, I won't make you feel bad about the Bible. We just agree together that everybody stay in their own lane. But I did hear something about, the phrase got my attention, called the lizard brain.

And I wrote a book one time about the chatterbox, and I think I was trying to talk about what they call the lizard brain. And I just remembered it the other day. 'Cause Abbie wanted to show her brothers, she's our youngest child and our only daughter. Our smartest child. I'm just kidding. My son's in here. But she does have a little advantage over the boys 'cause she's always had to stuff it up to keep up. And she's superior by virtue of being female so she, working my pulpit, winning some points. She wanted to go all the way across the pool and hold her breath, which her brothers couldn't do until they were ten. She's seven. So she's like, "I can do it. I can do it. I can do it". I said, "All right. Let's do it". And she wanted everybody to see her, and I said, "You can do it. But just know that the lizard brain is gonna be telling you that you can't do it. The lizard is lying". She said, "There's a lizard in my brain"? I said, "No, baby". And I, you know, she's seven so I just pretended to be an expert. I said, "The human brain..."

And I gave her some outdated theory on the Triune brain that probably isn't even accepted anymore. But I was talking about that thing that is real in our brain that doesn't process at the level of wisdom. And doesn't process at the level even of emotion, but processes at the level of fear. And they call it lizard brain, or they called it lizard brain. because it's no different than a reptile. A snake. Or a lizard. And so, when I told her, don't listen to the lizard, I was explaining. You're gonna go down, and you're gonna think that you're gonna die , but you're not gonna die. Just don't listen to the lizard.

And she went down under that water. And she swam clear to the other end and she came up. She took the biggest gasp, the biggest gulp of air, and she was so proud, and she said, "Man, that lizard is loud"! I said, "Well, what did you say back to him"? She said, "I told him, 'shut up, lizard!' I'm doing this"! Now hold on. I know the enemy has been telling you some stuff. I know he has. 'Cause that lizard has been talking to me too. But I came to tell you today that lizard has no power over you. He might bruise your heel. But you're gonna crush his head in the name of Jesus! I am gonna make it! I shall live and not die! I'm gonna raise my kids! I'm gonna make a difference in the world!
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