Steven Furtick - This Is How I Fight My Battles
This is an excerpt from: Bent Knees Break Chains
You are at the moment of decision right now. "Am I going to stay chained to my past? Am I going to live in this resentment toward others and this regret toward myself"? Some of you are angry at yourself. You think you're God. You think you can make a big enough mess that God can't clean you up, but it's not true. You're not God! If he died for you, and if he calls you, and if he comes for you, and if he raises you, even you yourself can't change his mind. The gifts of God are without repentance. Joseph has a decision to make, and he does it like this: "I'm not God". In the moment of decision, he takes a posture, as the second most powerful man in the land… He takes his posture to say, "God has been…" I wonder what it would look like for you to have this mentality to say, "God put me here for a purpose, and I'm submitting everything that has happened to me to God. I'm going to put myself in a position on my knees before God".
I never come to preach to you, if I can help it, that I don't do this, even if it's for 10 seconds before I round the corner. A lot of times, the way I'll preach, stuff will just be coming to me to the last minute. But I try every time to take one minute by myself and say, "God, when I get out there today… There are people out there whose parents abandoned them. There are people out there who were molested. There are people out there who are going through the scariest medical situation in their lives, or their kids are. There are people out there who have no idea how they're going to catch up on four months worth of mortgage. There are people out there today who need you, and I can only meet that need on my knees". It reminds me that if I do this, I can do this. See, the power you need is not in me, but if I go to the one who has all power and all authority, and I get down low, and I say, "God, I lift my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from you," I know bent knees can break chains.
I know one word from almighty God, one breath from the Spirit of… I feel chains breaking right now! I feel burdens lifting right now! I feel shackles shaking on prison floors and prison doors flying open right now! When you do this, God does that. What you did to me was bad, what happened to me is bad, what I'm going through is bad, but if I blame you, then my blame will become bitterness, and my bitterness will become bondage…not your bondage; it will be my bondage. So, I either get to stay chained to the events or I get to make a decision. This is where God brought you to. This is why you logged on. This is why they sent you the link. This is why you came to church. You thought you decided to come to church? You're crazy. God sovereignly brought you to church. You had 10 excuses not to come, what didn't fit, and "I have nothing to wear," but here you are. It's a size too small, but you came. Why? For this moment. God wanted you to know you are in an important moment of your life, and if you do this…
Every athlete knows you can't hit a golf ball well if you don't bend your knees. That's where your power comes from. You can't shoot a basketball right if you don't bend your knees. That's where your accuracy comes from. You can't do a takedown standing up straight. There are no Division 1 wrestling champions who stand up straight, talking about… Why are you fighting your battles like this when God gave you this? "This is how I fight my battles, Devil! Watch me surrender to God". Because bent knees break… You can't do it in your own strength. If you could, you would have by now. God brought you to your knees because he's breaking some generational chains. I feel the Holy Ghost. Come, Lord. Break those chains. The past has no power over you. The blood of Jesus speaks a better… I break it in the name of Jesus! You still have so much life to live.
Joseph lived to be 110. He was 56. It's only halftime. High-five somebody and say, "This is your halftime speech". Come on, let's turn this into a locker room. I'm down by 20, but I have time on… Watch me bend my knees. Watch me hit this song. Watch me trust God! I have a decision to make what to do with the time and the life I have left. Bent knees break chains. As long as you rehearse what happened, you can never reverse what happened. What makes this verse great? If Rick Beato were here, he would tell you this. It's not what you think. Verse 20 of Genesis 50 could be the worst verse in the Bible. It could be, when it says, "You intended to harm me…" It's what comes after the comma. God brought you here so you can make a decision. What comes after your comma? It's just halftime. This is just a comma. Not a coma…a comma.
How could one comma make such a big difference? Because that's where Joseph went from the event to the decision. I'm choosing to do this on my knees, because if I let this hold power over me, I stay a slave. I won't be chained to what you did, and I won't be chained to what I did when I remember what God has done. He set this up in your life. You don't have to believe that, but you can. I can decide. Is this the moment that you decide to own your story, the bad and the good, and put something after the comma? I hear the Spirit of God saying, "Finish the sentence". In the spirit of Kanye West, I'm going to let you finish. "You tried to hurt me. It hurt me, but my hope is…" What happens after the comma. "…but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives". Decision, decision, decision. Verse 21: "So then, don't be afraid. I will…" Decision. "…provide". He makes this decision. "If I don't feed you, it will eat me, so I'm going to use this as food". He fed that family, the same family that failed him, by a decision.
You have a decision to make today. Are you going to stand up and try to be self-strong in your own strength or are you going to bend your knees? I'm talking physically this week. I want some of y'all to pray on your knees for at least a minute a day this week. It doesn't have to be long, but you drop on your knees just to remind yourself. "Well, God doesn't need me to kneel". No, you need to kneel, because the position you're in determines the decision you make. When you get up, maybe you walk differently. Maybe you talk differently. Maybe you remember, "I'm favored by God, and he has a purpose and plan for my life". Bent knees. When you submit it to God… How do I know when I've submitted it to God other than physically? Okay. A couple of things. When you stop waiting for others to change for you to obey, you're on your knees. "The way they treat me is not going to make me toxic".
That's one sign. Another sign is you start becoming absorbed in the process of what God tells you to do and stop being attached to the outcome. That's when you know you're on your knees. "This is how I fight my battles. I have to do what God gave me to do today. That's all I can do". Do you know how I know when I'm really anointed to preach? When I don't care how you look at me while I'm doing it. That's when I'm like, "Uh-oh". That's when I've got my powerup, my invincibility star. Remember Super Mario? This is so important. When you have given up the illusion of control, but you have committed yourself to the process of obedience of what God spoke, now you're on your knees.
Look. The Bible says in Philippians 2:5 that this is what Jesus did. He considered it not robbery to be equal with God. He was God. "In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God". He did this. He became sinful man and humbled himself to the point of death on a cross. We're not just talking about Joseph; we're talking about Jesus. And he lives in you. He said when Jesus humbled himself, God has given him… God will lift you up. You have to trust God to lift you up. You have to trust God to position you and bring you where he wants you. The Scripture says in Philippians 2 that one day every knee will bow. Everybody will be brought to their knees. If life hasn't humbled you enough yet, if you're still in the dream state, that's okay. Life will eventually bring you to this point.
So, why not bow now? Why not do it God's way now? If you do it his way now, you'll be ready for whatever he has next. Joseph didn't die in the pit. He didn't quit in the prison. You didn't either. Give God praise that you didn't quit. It was his mercy that got you through it. Quit trying to look so strong. It was his mercy. I don't understand being a self-made man, because if I'm self-made, that means I can be Enemy-broken. I'm a God-made man. He did it for me. He was with me. I bow before him to give him the glory. That's not weakness. Bent knees aren't weak. That's where your strength comes from. Joseph goes on to raise these two kids. Do you know their names? Ephraim and Manasseh. Joseph got an extra ridge in the allotment of the Promised Land, and the half-tribe of Manasseh got property too. His kids got blessed because of what he did. Wow!
There's a lot on the line right now. Some of you are breaking generational chains, and you don't even know it, but you need God's help to do it. "Not by might, not by power, but by his Spirit…" Bent knees break chains, not you proving you're right, not you refusing to admit when you're wrong. I love what the Bible says. If you will bend your knees now… I don't mean physically in this room. I mean if you will submit and surrender these events, this situation, to God and ask him for his wisdom and act on what he shows you, ask him for his wisdom, act on what he shows you, make the decision to turn pain into purpose… Look at what happened to Joseph. You won't believe it.
Verse 22: "Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father's family". The death of Jacob was an event. Staying in Egypt was a decision. "He lived a hundred and ten years…" I told you that already, but I didn't tell you this. Next verse: "…and saw the third generation of Ephraim's children". Y'all, that's great-grandchildren. God is not through with you yet. It is too early and too soon for you to quit. "Also the children of Makir…" It means sold in Hebrew. That's what happened to him. That was the event. "The children of Makir son of Manasseh…" You got it? The children of his child were placed at birth…where? On Joseph's knees. When you bow your knees to God and surrender your situation to him, it makes room on your knees for the future he has in store for you.
So, I close with this thought for everybody who has been brought to your knees by a situation in your life: expect God to bring to your knees a new beginning. God wants you free and clear from all of the junk, all of the bondage, all of the bitterness, all of the blame. You have to do what you have to do to get on your knees so you can get your knees ready for what God wants to bring you next. He is able…I preach this to every nation right now…to do exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond what you ask or imagine. God wants to bring you what's next when you get on your knees. Joseph said, "I've been in prison before. I didn't like it. I want to be free now, so, God, I'm on my knees".