Steven Furtick - Stop Trading The Truth For Lies
This is an excerpt from: Devil You've Held Me Long Enough.
Every time you go to change… There are two lies when you go to change. First, you can't change. Second, you don't need to. Either way, the Devil has you trapped. "Oh, no. They need to change. They need to do it differently. They need to appreciate me". No, you need to be less needy. Truth. Truth to power. The Lord is calling you to freedom. The Devil has held you long enough in a lie. A sermon can't set you free. Decisions do. Decisions to do what? To be a disciple. "Teach me, Holy Spirit". Only God knows the truth about you. Even your parents can't fully see your potential. They're too busy trying to keep you from getting in a car wreck.
I'm serious. There will be things in my kids I can't see in them that their heavenly Father can. It's not my job to limit God. There are things nobody has seen in you. You talk about BS. You have blind spots. You can't see them, but God does. But now you've squeezed your whole belief into an experience. "Well, somebody God really could use would never do this and that". You know Moses was a murderer. Right? You know David had one of his main warriors killed in battle. The one who wrote the little psalmy songs we like to sing, man after God's own heart. You're not trash. You just need new truth. I kind of see some of the things you did before like baby teeth. Baby truth. It has to fall out for this new thing to grow. There's no truth fairy coming around to your house to give you $10 for it either. All right?
In fact, the Devil is so crafty and so lazy, he convinces you that you're trash, that you can't trust God, that it's over, and then he's so good at his job he delegates it to you, and you start collecting evidence for why he's right. If he's good enough at his job, he will convince you "This is who you are. This is all you can be. This is why that happened to you". Some of you, people did things to you… You didn't even do it to you, and now you feel ashamed about it. How in hell do you believe that? I'm not cussing. How has hell, how has the Devil gotten so strategically in your mind that you think somebody did something to you and that makes you dirty? The Devil is a liar. I'm clean. Even if I did it, I'm still clean, because I've been through the waters and it's under the blood of Jesus. That's my truth. It doesn't come from me. Don't do the Devil's job for him, just finding reasons why you should feel bad. "Oh, well, now I'm just in the market for misery".
Now he doesn't even have to lie to me. I'm on autopilot. I'm just collecting lies to support the truth he told me. He told me it was my truth, and this is how high I can go, and this is all I can do, and this is all I'll ever be, and this is why it happened, and God is not with me, and, O God, 2022 is going to be 2020 part 2. Shut up! If the Devil is going to lie, make him log his own hours. Don't help him! You know what I'm saying? Don't help him! I dare you to delete the app. I dare you to block the number. I dare you. Touch three people and tell them, "I dare you to drop it". I dare you to let God prune your… The Devil has held you long enough! The Devil is a liar, and he's on a leash. He can't do it forever.
If the Son shall set you free… You have to drop something to receive something. You have to drop something to do something. You have to drop something to be somebody. I'm a child of God, baby! I've got the truth! I'm set free! Hey, Devil, do you hear that? Get under my feet! You've held me long enough! I'm 41. That's long enough. I'm 12. That's long enough. I'm 67. That's long enough. I'm tired of this. I'm tired of trading the truth of God for a personal experience and worshiping at the altar of my background. I'm tired of shrinking my life to the level of what I've seen or heard from others that is possible. Like I'm on a ski, I'm going to hold on to Jesus. I'm going to hold on this year. I read where Peter tried to hold on, and he couldn't ski, so Jesus picked him up. If I can't hold on to him, he'll hold on to me, but it only happens when you decide "Long enough".
Jesus is talking to people who believe him, but they're still not free. They're not bad, but they're deceived. You're not bad; you're deceived. You have no room for his Word. It could be your schedule. You have so many lies… Y'all, when I was holding that trash bag, I felt like in your trash bag there might be offenses. There might be memories. You like to lie to yourself after a while. It excuses you, because if you're trash, you get to act like it. If you are nobody, you don't have to do anything different. If you're a child of God, that means now you will want to live like him. I'm still naïve enough to believe there are at least 30 people in this room or maybe even online or maybe even at one of our other locations (Lake Norman is having an anniversary today; maybe it's Lake Norman) who are ready to trade the trash for the truth, who don't want to run around the playground another year looking for Oscar, who don't want to spend another 40 years in the wilderness. It's long enough.
"The wilderness. What does that have to do with John, chapter 8? That's the Old Testament, the wilderness". Not really. It all goes together, because Jesus is teaching at the festival called the Festival of Tabernacles. That's the context of John 8. Remember when he fed the 5,000 in John 6? Five thousand men and women and children. Pretty cool. John, chapter 7, is really different, though, because John, chapter 6, is about how God feeds you. John, chapters 7 and 8, are about how God frees you. If I just sit around asking God, "Feed me, feed me, feed me. Bless me, bless me, bless me. Pay it off, pay it off, pay it off. Fix it, fix it, fix it. Make a way, make a way, make a way…" That only gets you so far. You can believe God does those things for you, and he will, but now it's about freedom. I want to be free this year. I want to be more free of what people think about me. I don't know I can get there or not. I still think all of those things. "I hope they like it. Nobody said anything. Is it okay"?
I've been a slave to that long enough. I'm sick of it. It's boring. It's old. I know how that movie goes. They don't pay attention because they're thinking about themselves. I'm sick of that. I'm sick of being a slave to my feelings. I'm sick of that. I'm sick of being a slave to cynicism. I can tell you 13 ways it's going to go wrong. I'm sick of that. Been there, done that, bought the tee shirt, took it back because it didn't fit. I'm sick of being cynical. So, what does the wilderness have to do with if the truth will set you free, you will be free indeed? When Jesus went to this festival, the Festival of Tabernacles, or the Festival of Shelters… It's a weeklong festival. He comes right in the middle of the festival. It was a festival after the harvest where they came together to celebrate and commemorate when God brought his people out of Egypt, and then in the wilderness they decided to believe the report of the spies who said, "We can't go in" rather than to believe what God had spoken and take the land by faith. That's the context. Do you follow me?
That's the context of John, chapters 7 and 8. So, as Jesus is teaching this truth, it's in the middle of a festival where in order to commemorate this time when God led his people through the wilderness for 40 years… They stayed in Egypt 400 years. They came out through the wilderness and were only supposed to be there for 11 days. Look at this in Deuteronomy, chapter 1. It says, "These are the words Moses [the servant of the Lord] spoke to all Israel in the wilderness east of the Jordan…" Then there are a bunch of different places it mentions, but I want you to see this next verse, verse 2. "It takes eleven days to go from Horeb [the mountain of God where the covenant was given] to Kadesh Barnea…"
That's where he sent the spies out to go into the land. How long does it take to go from Horeb, the mountain, to the Promised Land? Eleven days. You could almost skip right over that, and it would be insignificant. I could have stopped this sermon while we were shouting, but I need to show you this, because it is the context of freedom. It takes 11 days to get from where they were to where God was taking them by the Mount Seir road, but look at verse 3. In the fortieth year is when Moses prepared them to go in. How did they turn an 11-day journey through the wilderness into a 40-year wandering where they were stuck? Because of what they believed. Because they would not believe the truth. The truth is we can do it if God is for us. Our enemies don't stand a chance. The truth is God is melting down your enemies' defense even as we speak.
If God is for you, who can be against you? That's the truth. Ah, but the facts… "Oh, they're bigger than us. They're stronger than us. We can't do it. We're not prepared for this". You are staying in frustration 40 years because of what the facts are saying to you when faith could get you there in 11 days. After 40 years, Joshua led the people there, but it didn't have to take 40 years, and it doesn't have to take you 40 years. You don't have to pass it on to your kids, and you don't have to live like this until you die and hope to get to heaven one day and a mansion in glory. If the Son sets you free, you will be free if you hold to the teaching. Stop holding to the trash. The moment you do this, God is going to start doing this. What you've wandered in for 40 years God can bring you out of in 11 days. Let he who has an ear hear what the Spirit is saying today. The Devil has held you long enough in your truth. It's time for God's truth.