Steven Furtick - Don't Copy That
This is an excerpt from: Be Careful What You Copy
God is giving you permission to do it differently. If you keep hitting stuff the way you're hitting stuff, if you keep doing things out of frustration, if you keep trying to copy what you did before… See, this is what gets me. I heard a guy one time. He was standing up to preach to his congregation, and he said, "I wish I could have coffee with everybody in this church and share what I'm going to share with you today". I sat there and thought, "Well, you could". The church had 40 people in it. "You could knock that out by Thursday if you're really motivated, if you do three or four a day. I'm not good at math, but I think you could do that". He had heard another pastor who pastored 30,000 people say that, and he thought, "Well, that sounds cool".
So now he gets up and copies in his context what he saw somebody else do in a context that is not his context. Remember when David put on the armor of Saul and walked around for a moment? He has to fight Goliath, and he's like, "Give me whatever the guy who fights wears". Saul is like, "Here you go. You can wear mine". David walks around in them a little bit, and he's like, "This is heavy, this is weird, and this is not me right now. I think I would be better off with my slingshot, with what God called me to do. I know this is how you would fight, but I have to do it differently".
Some of you as teenagers… God is going to show you you don't have to go to every party, because at the end of popularity, a lot of the people who are so popular are going home so miserable. (I tell you, I'm a dad right now. I'm preaching like a dad.) And, parents, we don't have to copy the way everybody else raises their kids. You have permission to break tradition with whatever does not fit your calling. You have to build in the valley what God showed you on the mountain.
In case you haven't noticed, we live in a culture that worships our kids at the expense of our families. I had moments when the kids were all playing sports where I said, "Nobody is coming to your game tonight. We're dropping you off, and we're going on a date, because I haven't been with your mom in two weeks, and after you leave me, she's going to be the only one I have left in the house. I'll pick you up, and you can tell me about it, and maybe somebody else will get a video". So what? I'm supposed to parent them like they're all Serena and Venus? Like I'm supposed to be Tiger Woods' dad? I know. Culturally inappropriate reference.
A lot of stuff comes along with all of this. Everybody has to do it the way God shows you to do it. But what happens is we start building according to somebody else's blueprint, whether it's the world, whether it's the concept of God you were handed that is not accurate to the Scripture… You need to read the Bible for yourself. I'm not your professional Holy Spirit. I'm a preacher. You need to get in Hebrews and say, "Well, Pastor Steven missed this part, and this part was the best part. He said that, but that made me wonder about that".
If it's just a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy… I'm just Pearl Jam. I'm not Jimi. I'm not Jesus. Neither is Moses. And neither are your broke friends you're taking financial advice from or your unmarried friends who are giving you marriage advice. "Well, I would tell them…" I bet you would! Your imaginary marriage. (I feel the spirit of Dave Ramsey coming on me.) "Be careful to obey the word I have given you, Joshua. You're going to go somewhere they couldn't go. You're going to do something they couldn't do. You're going to break chains that held them all their life. Now you do it, and be strong and courageous".
Stop copying crazy because you don't want to be weird. I want to be weird. If what I'm seeing in this world right now is normal, God make me weird. I want to be the weirdest one there is. "You ought not let your kids listen to that rock 'n' roll music and that rap music. I'll tell you what right now. That's bad. It's the Devil". I saw all of the kids who went off after their parents didn't experience anything with them. I have to decide how to raise my kid. Y'all, I put a picture of me one time with the kids… We went to see God's team, the Clemson Tigers. I had on a Guns N' Roses shirt. All of the comments on the picture said, "Why are you wearing a Guns N' Roses shirt? That's worldly". Not "It's good you're spending time with your kids". Like you live in a monastery. So, be careful what you copy. Be careful that you don't copy the condemnation other people put on you.
This is the last thing I'll tell you, and then I will just be quiet, and I will go baptize Graham, and I'm going to have the best time doing it. I'm baptizing him not in my name…in Jesus' name. I want you to do it like Jesus did it. I wanted to tell you one more thing God told Joshua. Be careful what you copy in your heart, for it will set the direction of your life. Did you hear what he told Joshua? He said, "Meditate on this book of the law Moses gave you. Don't be like Moses. You're different than Moses. But I want you to take the same word of God that was given to him…"
What a brilliant thought, that what I copy in my heart… He said, "I want you to meditate on what I spoke over you so you can lead these people where I called you to go". Do you see how meditation sets direction? A lot of us with what we do with different things we've thought about ourselves, said about ourselves, agreed with about ourselves, condemnation the Enemy has put on us… We do a copy and paste. We take something like "I'm unworthy," we take something like "I'm not good enough. I'll never be…" Then I copy and paste it.
I almost did an illustration where I wanted to show you what would happen to the screen if you copied and pasted that over and over again. It would fill up. "I'm unworthy". And you know what? Apart from the grace of God, we are. Do you know how they say sometimes on a walkie-talkie "Copy that"? What God wants you to do is start meditating on his words, not the ones somebody else spoke, and copy it in your heart. He said, "I'm going to give you a new covenant. It's a better covenant, and it's not written on tablets of stone, because those break. I'm going to put it on your heart, and I'm going to give you a heart of flesh". I want you to take your Bible, and I want you to take what God has spoken over your life, and I want you to copy that. I want you to find out what he called you, what he gifted you to do, what he put the seed of potential in for you and copy that.
Don't get so caught up in trying to copy something you're not that you never find out who you are. You will have to be strong and courageous because you live in a culture that copies crazy. It'll take faith, and it'll take focus, but if God said you are his child, copy that. When God speaks that "I'm going to take even the mistakes you've made in your life, and I'm going to whip them up into something you'll be testifying about as a miracle three months from now," then copy that.
I have these moments where God uses somebody to encourage me, and my first instinct is to cancel it out. "Oh, they just said that because they're being nice. Oh, they're just complimenting me because they're sucking up because I'm the boss. Oh, she just said that because she has to live with me and she doesn't want me in a bad mood". I'll cancel it instead of copying it. Then somebody says something mean about me, negative about me… Or they don't even have to say it; I'll say it to myself. And you want to copy that?
Anyway, when I baptize you in a minute… This is Graham. He says funny stuff like, "How am I so ripped in every part of my body? Nobody else in our family is naturally muscular". He really said that. When I baptize you in just a minute… It'll be after the cameras are off and all that. I almost asked Mom to get you here early today, but then I decided just to do it now because the Lord told me to end my sermon this way because he would use it to speak to others, so I'm going to say it to you. I started preaching from this Bible right after you were born. I had given the big one, the Life Application one, to Elijah, the one that sits by his bed. He has actually been reading it a lot lately, so that's good. Every time I preached a passage, I highlighted it and put what I preached. I've been saving it for you, and I want to give it to you today. I wrote you a letter, and I told you a story. You can read that later.
I marked in it where Jesus was baptized. Even Jesus was baptized. He was setting the example. You're not Jesus. You're nothing close. And I'm not John the Baptist. But when you're going to be baptized, it's a symbol. It's you emulating the death of Christ and the resurrection of Christ and the washing away of your sin. It doesn't save you, but it says you're saved and you belong to Christ. In the note… And I highlighted this for you, and I put it all in the letter, but just in case it helps somebody else… When Jesus was baptized, a voice from heaven said, "This is my son whom I love. With him I am well pleased".
I want you to copy that in your heart. I'm concerned that the culture is going to copy of a copy of a copy of a copy, and the Devil will try to tell you all kinds of things through your life, that you're not called or you're not chosen or it's not worth it or you're missing out by following Christ and all that. That's not true. I want you to copy that. The craziest thing is God said that to Jesus before he opened any blind eyes, before he multiplied fish and loaves. Before he did any of his miracles, God said, "I love you. I'm pleased with you". Copy that.