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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Tricks Are For Kids

Steven Furtick - Tricks Are For Kids

Steven Furtick - Tricks Are For Kids
TOPICS: Do The New You

I want you to welcome our eFam around the world right now, all over the world. I'm ready to preach. Oh, y'all aren't ready to listen, but I'm ready to preach. Y'all be seated. We're going to go right into the Word. Can I pick up where I left off last week? Do The New You. Resist the temptation to go forward into your future on the old template. Do The New You. It's a little series I'm doing in the first month of the year. I'll go as long as God leads me, but I committed to him to at least do it for this first month, because I think this cultural phrase we have comes from the pit of hell: "Do you". I mean, cool. Yeah, be unique. That's great. However, if the you that you are doing is not the you God wants to use, you have to grow. This word God gave me last week… And I do want to start with where I ended last week.

Go to Ephesians, chapter 4, briefly, as I read you this Scripture, and then kind of remind you. I don't often like to say, "This is a review," because then it will make you feel like you're jumping into the middle of a season, and that's not the case, especially if you're here for the first time. How many of you are in church today really needing God to give you some clarity in your life? How many of you believe that can only come from Jesus? Real clarity. Now, we can figure out other things other ways, but when it comes to spiritual matters, we need Jesus. That's what Ephesians 4 is saying. In this epistle… Epistle is not a wife of an apostle; it's a letter. (I'm breaking out all my preacher humor for the first of the year.) Look at Ephesians 4:20. I love y'all. Y'all were a little slow to say it back. I love you enough to tell you the truth, and that's what we're going to do today.

This message is going to be a grown-up, adult message. Verse 20: "That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus". Now that messes up my other least favorite cultural saying: "Live your truth". Paul just said I need to learn a new truth. The truth that is new is not the truth that is new at all. It might be new to you, but the truth is in Jesus, not in me. I don't trust my own judgment enough to figure out what truth is. There was a time in my life when I thought there was a tooth fairy that brought me money for my teeth. That's how stupid I was.

So I figure there's probably something I'm still that stupid about today that I haven't figured out is stupid yet. Baby truth doesn't fall out like a baby tooth, so it has to be uprooted. We have to yank it out. But he said the way of life… Look at verse 22. This is really, really important. "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life…" Baby truth. "…to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires…" "…to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness". That's the contrast we focused on last week: corrupted (verse 22), and then (verse 24) created. Write them both down if you want to: corrupted and created.

I'm not saying there are two "yous," but I am saying that, according to the scriptural revelation here from Paul, as well as my own personal experience, there is a choosing every day of my life and your life about which one of us is going to show up for any given situation. Once you realize the power of that choice, you don't feel so stuck anymore. That is a wonderful thing. I get sick of myself sometimes, and I begin to believe "This is just the way I am". Then somebody comes along and says, "Just do you," and I'm like, "Great. Pass the cheese fries". I went out to Gaston County to watch Graham wrestle yesterday. Those cheese fries looked good, and there were two "mes". My taste buds know exactly about those cheese fries, and my waistline knows what my taste buds are trying to make me forget in that moment: where this leads if I do it long enough. So I didn't eat the fries. But sometimes I don't do as good of a job resisting the fear as I did resisting the fries.

Sometimes I don't do as good a job about what comes out of my mouth as what goes in. I say what I want to say, do what I want to do, and I'm just doing me. You do you, and I'll do me, and together we'll get divorced in seven years just doing each other. This is what Paul is talking about to the church at Ephesus and to the church at Ballantyne and to the church at University City and to the church in Nepal and to the church in the UK and to the church of your heart when he says, "You were taught the truth in Jesus". The Lord gave me this, and it really touched me. I need someone to teach me Jesus. He says, "You were taught a way of life in Jesus".

I don't know who taught you about Jesus or who taught Jesus to you, but you ought to thank God for them, and you ought to thank them. Whether that's my mom (thank you), whether that's Pastor Mickey… He will never ask me for an offering for ministry that I won't help him build it. Even if the church had $20, if he needed $5… If he needed $10, I'd have to pray in tongues about it, but I will always support him because he taught me Jesus. I'm really grateful that he did. He wasn't the first one. I mean, at the Methodist church where I grew up, there were Sunday school teachers who taught me Jesus, and I appreciate them so much. You probably can think of somebody right now who taught you Jesus or who brought you to church so you could learn Jesus. You ought to thank God for them. No, this is not a selfishly motivated part of my sermon because I'm the one who teaches the Bible.

I'm talking about those personal people who helped lead you to Jesus. It's amazing. I need somebody to teach me Jesus, because the world is screaming everything else. So, to teach me Jesus, a way of life that is outside of this crazy, corrupt, crooked culture, this siloed culture, this panic attack society, this judgmental culture, this cancel culture, this hypocritical culture, this materialistic culture, this jacked-up "it might burn down quickly; let's hurry up and praise God while we still have a planet" culture. I need somebody to teach me Jesus, but I need Jesus to teach me me. In all of the things I've learned about him, there's a feeling I get sometimes that I haven't really met me yet, that I haven't quite grown into the me I've seen glimpses of. I think I can be more free than I am. I think I can be more patient than I am. I think I can be more intentional than I am. I think I can be a little bit less of a control freak. The control thing is one of those dumb things that you believe you have. You have no control.

So really, a control freak is an idiot. Where we're coming at from this Scripture, he says, "You were taught the truth in Jesus". The truth about what? The rapture? Sure, but nobody knows the day or the hour. That's not something we can figure out. I mean, I can teach you some charts and all that. That would be awesome. I can teach you about prayer. I will tell you one thing about prayer really quickly as we go. Prayer is your way to get out of that default mode you wake up in in the morning, just like you brush your teeth, just like we hope you brush your teeth and admonish you to brush your teeth. Prayer is that way you get in contact with God. I'm talking about God. Any view of me that doesn't start with God is doomed to get stuck in an infinite loop of stupid because the truth is in Jesus. That's why I don't want you just buying into everything you hear out there. "Live your truth".

What if your truth is a loop of doom? What if God, who stands outside of the loop of time and comes from a realm called eternity, knows you in a way that if you knew you like he knew you, you would stop doing self-destructive things. You would stop running to people who are limited, trying to get an ocean out of a thimble-sized personality and thinking something is wrong with you. I love the Lord because he knows me. Last week, I was showing you from Ephesians 4:22 (I hope this is not too esoteric, but it really helped me) that the new you is not something in the future. When we talk about "New year, new you," we all roll our eyes collectively, because new you and new year… Yeah, they both start with Y, but I've done this before, so move on with all that stuff. I'm just out here surviving. I'm just doing me. I'm just getting by.

As long as we think of who we can be in Christ as some future event contingent on our human abilities, we will always be limited to our moods, our emotions, and our background. I need somebody to teach me Jesus, but I need Jesus to teach me me. Here's why. When I talk about you changing, you think of that in terms of a destination at a later date. God doesn't think that way. Here's what I showed last week that a lot of people reached out to me and said, "Oh, I love that". In case you missed it, when I say, "The new you," I'm not only talking about the you that is going to be for your future. I'm talking about the you God is already very familiar with. I take this not from my own mind but from Jeremiah 1:5. Do y'all know this Scripture? This is a top 10 Scripture, where the Lord says to Jeremiah, "I have a calling for you. I have an assignment for you. You've never done it before. You don't even see yourself in this way. You don't imagine that you have the capacity to do it. I'm going to put you as a prophet to the nations".

Jeremiah is about to give God some excuses, but watch what God said to Jeremiah before the excuses began. He said, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you". Now, for you, the new is out here in the future. "When I get married…" "When my kids get out of the house…" "When we're able to get pregnant…" "When the economy bounces back…" "When I get out of this job…" "When they leave this job and I stay…" "When this happens, I will be…" It's out there. That's one way to look at it. You can find plenty of people on Instagram who will preach that to you. You know, "Get on your grind and buy my course, and then the future you will get girls. The future you will have washboard abs, a superior intellect, and be able to understand Jordan Peterson perfectly". "The future you is going to be amazing".

That's what we normally hear. Right? It's all this hype that we pass off as hope. It's like, "Okay. I'm going to do it new this year," and then after three weeks, we can't, but God does it differently. Watch this. Jeremiah is insecure. Jeremiah is inexperienced. Jeremiah is surprised. If you're any of those three things, this is for you. Now, God doesn't tell Jeremiah, "No, you're going to be something in the future that I'm telling you about right now if you just do it long enough". He says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you". So, take that new you and put a K on the top of it. Not just the new you that people haven't seen yet that you haven't even met yet. Not just the you that you imagine when you get a really good church high, a really good church buzz that wears off about 12 minutes after you sit in traffic in a church parking lot. Instead of seeing this as I'm going forward toward something I'm really not, see it how God says it. What's in the future to you is what's familiar to God. What's in the future… You call it new.

"Okay, that's who I'm going to be one day when," and God is like, "That's who you already are. That's who you always were. That's what I created you to be before sin corrupted what I created". God got this thing started in my life. God set this thing in motion in my life. God is the one who set me in families. God is the one who set me in time. God is the one who set me in a generation. I didn't get to say it to the staff Wednesday because I forgot, but I wanted to tell you he is also the Lord of your limitations. Just as God is the God of my potential, he is the Lord of my limitations. It is true that we cannot put in what God left out. It is also true that most of us have no clue what God has put in.

The new you, the one God talks with, the one that makes you want to sometimes… You just kind of go, "I want to change some things for the better, and I think I can. I want some relationships that encourage me this year, and I think I have the right to ask God for that. I want to get around some people this year who don't just describe bones on the valley floor all the time. I want to get around some people this year who speak breath into the bones and know how to call out something that's on the inside of me. That me is…" The true you is the new you. Well, that's what we said last week. This week I have a title called… I got it from the Scripture, but I also got it from a cereal box. You may remember this. If you're a child of the 90s, you definitely remember this. If you remember that "Jeremy spoke in class today," you definitely remember this.

If you remember Zack Morris' phone and Kelly Kapowski's temptation, as a young man, for you to lust, and she was the first girl you ever fell in love with, you will definitely recognize this. I'll start it; you finish it. Silly rabbit… I want to preach for 15 minutes on Tricks Are for Kids, because there is no shortcut to this. There is no magical worship button you're going to press this morning that's going to take the wind and the waves away in your life this week. That's how immature people think. One of my buddies texted and said, "Thank you for sharing that immaturity leads to instability, because I needed to hear that". Because it is in my selfishness and my own desires. Paul uses that phrase in the Scripture. He says, "Deceitful desires". I almost called the message that, but I thought it would sound too depressing.

"Today I want to talk about deceitful desires". I thought, though, we need to talk about these deceitful desires for a moment, because if the me God sees is not the me I'm stuck in right now, then what's happening in the darkness? He describes to the Ephesian church that we are children of the light, but he also says the darkness keeps the Gentiles from living the ways of God, and when we copy the patterns of the Gentiles, we are forfeiting the promise of God. Do you understand what I'm saying? Every time you're scrolling through stuff, trying to figure out stuff of what other people are doing, you are forfeiting the self that God knows in the Spirit and copying a pattern of the flesh that puts you in that doom loop of stupid. So now we have to deal with our desires, which are real.

A lot of Christian teaching will almost put faith as the opposite of feelings. You know, "We don't walk by feelings. We walk by faith". The Bible doesn't say that. It says we walk by faith, not by sight. We have feelings. Even how would you know there was faith if you felt nothing? That's the stupidest thing in the world. It preaches good. "We don't walk by feelings; we walk by faith"! But feelings have a place even in faith. How do I know what God wants me to preach? Well, a certain amount of me has to feel. I'm not saying it's solely dependent on it. It has to be true. It has to be from God's Word, but there's a lot of stuff in God's Word. How do I know this is what God wants me to preach for now? Well, there's a certain amount of that. I just have to know it on the inside.

God knows I'm not going to be one of these preachers who just reads whatever is on the headlines of the news and comes in the pulpit and just gives you another dose of the same crap that's already making you nauseous in the pulpit. You don't come here for that, so I'm not going to do that. I'm not up here to do that. Yet what is the word God has given us for this moment, for this year? What is the word God has given your life for this point in time? What is it? How do you know if God is calling you to go here or there? How are you going to know if God is calling you to do this or that? How do you even know what you're good at? I mean, part of this has to be feelings, right? They have their place, but now here is how the Enemy pickpockets you.

Here is how the Devil gets you to give up the new self that God knows, the you that you kind of suspect is there, the you that you can be for about three days at a time, and then you give in. How does he get you to give up on that so easily? Deception. In order to deceive, you have to diminish. Quick story. I mentioned my mom taught me about Jesus. She also confronted this person one time for me. I never will forget being 9 years old, going to the trading card shop in Moncks Corner at the railroad track, right up the railroad track. I bought a pack of basketball cards. I didn't know anything about basketball cards. This was my first pack of basketball cards. I had baseball cards. I open it, and there's a Michael Jordan card in the pack. The guy is watching me. I'm in there by myself. She's waiting in the car. He goes, "Hey, I'll give you a whole other pack for that one card". I'm like, "A whole pack for a card? Sure, Mister". I called him "Mister".

I sound like The Andy Griffith Show in here. "Sure, Mister. Gee whiz! Golly! A whole pack for a single card? Wow"! Because I'm just a kid. So, I opened the next pack. I didn't recognize any names. I knew Michael Jordan. I went out to the car. My mom said, "How did it go"? I said, "I got two packs"! She said, "How did you get two? I only gave you money for one". I said, "You'll never believe it. He gave me a whole other pack for one card, Mom". She said, "What was the card"? because she knew, "This man has a book. He knows how much that card is worth, and he's grown, and my kid doesn't know the value of a card". So she said, "What was the card"? I said, "Michael Jordan". She said, "A Michael Jordan card. How much was it worth"? I said, "I don't know what it was worth, but I got a whole pack".

My mom went back into that store with my Michael Jordan card and a third pack because she knew what was in the book. Do you have a book? Have you read it? Have you met Jesus? Did you know he's the perfect, spotless Lamb of God? Did you know they marched him up a hill called Calvary and he died for you and bled for you and suffered for you and took the stripes for you and took the mocking for you? He stretched his arms and said, "You're worth this much". Did you know that when he left to go to heaven he sent his Spirit and that Spirit lives in you? We don't know that. We're so busy copying other people's style we don't even know the Spirit that came from God because we've got so much stuff from culture. (I'm sorry, y'all. I'm Baptist in my heart. I went to a Baptist school. It comes out sometimes.) I'm sick of this.

I feel like walking up in the Devil's card shop and helping you get your peace back, your joy back, your dream back, your sweet self back, your created self back. I have the Book! I looked you up in the Book. I found out that you are precious in the sight of God. I found out that you are more than a conqueror. I looked you up in the Book. "You don't know me, Pastor". Neither do you. That's why I'm trying to introduce you to Jesus so Jesus can introduce you to you, the new you. "Knew with a K or new with an N"? Both. That's what I want you to get this year. I will preach through every battery they sell in RadioShack until you get this. Do they still have RadioShack? I need to update the reference. All right. We'll order them on Amazon. It'll be fine. We'll get the batteries. Y'all get distracted by the dumbest stuff. How about that? When you think of the Enemy's tricks and God's truth, what comes to your mind in your life? The first step if we're going to do the new… Notice, evaluate, and then the W is not quite as good, but walk in. Okay?

Notice, evaluate, and walk in. Psychology for all of you who are too stubborn to go to therapy. You can't deal with feelings until you know they're there. One habit I've incorporated in my life in the last five years… Instead of going, "I'm scared," I try to back up and go, "I'm having a feeling of fear," because if I say, "I am scared," that becomes an identity. "I'm feeling fear". That's an event. The truth is in Jesus. Jesus isn't scared. Jesus is in me. So, I'm feeling fear, but that's the old thing. So I notice it. I evaluate it. You would probably, I would think, spend time shopping for a pair of shoes if you were going to spend money on them. You probably would spend time figuring out if they fit. We will spend more time evaluating what we put on our feet than what we put in our minds and our hearts and who we let in our phones. So, is this from God? Is this what God gave me or is this a trick? Now, how do you know if it's a trick?

Well, you have to have the book value, and then you have to… Well, you have to actually spend time around people who love God. They had a thousand eGroup leaders, online and physical, who they encouraged this week. Let's thank God for our eGroup leaders. Amazing. Holly came out and preached. We've just been going this week. We've been going. We're getting ready. I don't even know what it is God wants to do, but I figure since they're saying the world is going to fall apart… A fallen-apart world needs a built-up church, and I want to be that. I want to be that church ready for it all over the world. Praise the Lord. I'm going to do it with whoever God gives me around me to do it. We're going to build something significant for this season of our lives, in Jesus' name.

Then, if you think about when somebody uses a counterfeit ticket… Elijah shops all the time for these shoes. I'm like, "How do you know if they're real or not? If you get it off this site or that site, how is it all verified and all of that"? When my father-in-law and my brother-in-law and I… They all go to our Greenville Campus. Holly's family is all at Elevation Greenville. (They'd better all be there right now, because it would be embarrassing if they're not.) We went to a New York Knicks game. We were just spur of the moment wanting to go. This was when I was dating Holly. Her dad… You have to know this guy. He's a bull in a china shop. So I said, "How are we going to get tickets"? He said, "Well, they're too expensive. We'll just buy them off a scalper". I'm like, "Isn't that dangerous"? He's like, "No, no. Not if you know what you're doing".

So, we buy these tickets, and we're walking up. It's kind of dark. We're walking up to the game. I'm like, "Murrill, these tickets don't look… Are they supposed to be printed diagonal on there? Doesn't Knicks have a C in it somewhere"? It wasn't that bad, but it looked kind of fake. We get to the thing, and we hand them to the guy, and he laughs. He doesn't hardly even look. He laughs. He goes, "You got ripped off, man. Go do what you have to do at the box office or go back to the hotel. This isn't real". My father-in-law goes, "How do you know? You didn't even hardly look at it, pal". He goes, "This is what I do all day. When you've handled as many real ones as I have… I saw the fake ticket in your eyes. You walk like you have a fake ticket, you country bumpkin. This is New York City".

(Can I be myself in the pulpit? Sometimes it feels good. "Do you, Pastor". I promise I'll do the good one, the anointed one. I won't do the other one.)

Now we decide what to walk in. So, when Paul says, "Deceitful desires," the key is for you to be handling the real thing enough that your feelings begin to align with your faith, and when they don't, you notice it and bring it back. Feelings have their place. How many of you agree with me? Feelings have their place, but it's not on the throne. Jesus sits there. The Book sits there. The Spirit of God is the seat of my decisions, not what I feel. If I do, I'll end up with a pack of crap and trade the GOAT. So, if the Enemy is diminishing it, he's deceiving you. "Well, you're not that gifted". I think it comes in this way. Like, "You don't really matter that much. This doesn't really matter that much. I mean, there was one time. Who cares"?

That's how deceitful desires work. The desire isn't bad. The way the Enemy tries to get you to fulfill it is. That's what a deceitful desire is. Whether it's a sexual desire, whether it's a financial desire, or whether it's a desire for success, you can't attack the desire and demonize the desire. The first question Jesus asked in the New Testament was, "What do you want"? So, apparently, desires are not something to be bypassed in our lives. The deceit is not in the desire. The deceit is what the Enemy tries to get you to do to get the desire. That's where the deceit is. "Oh, no. You just settle for that. You just scavenge for that. All you're ever going to be is that. All you're ever going to get is that. All you really can do is that. All you ever have done is that. All you ever have been is that. You're trash. That's why they walked out. You're trash. That's why it hasn't happened yet. You're stupid.

That's why you haven't built it yet. You're an idiot. That's why all of your friends make that and you make this. You suck". But if you are growing in Christ… The more you grow in him, you get the ability from the inside to notice it, evaluate it, and look him right in his eyes and say, "Silly Devil…" "You should have tried this on me before I got back to church this year, because I'm growing this year. Tricks are for kids, but I am a new creation in Christ. I've got the book! Silly Devil, that's for kids. That's child's play. That's how I thought when I didn't know God. That's how I spoke when I didn't know God. That's how I came running when I didn't have a liberator named Jesus. That's how I struggled in my sin before I had his name to call on. I have help now. I have a new self and a knew self. The me God saw in eternity is the me that I see in the future, and I'm moving into it. I'm growing into it. I'm going to be it because I am it". Yes, Lord!

Touch somebody and say, "Silly rabbit". Trying to eat kids' food, trying to do kids' stuff, trying to get people to notice you. What are you, fifth grade? Saying, "I can't change". What is this, seventh grade? Somebody wrote in your notebook, "Never change," and you took their advice and raised hell over the summer, and here you still are pitching a fit over what you didn't get when God has given you the riches of Christ and the Spirit of God and the fire that came down on the day of Pentecost is burning in your belly. "I'm growing now. I'm growing out of this. This addiction will not be able to hold me another 10 years. I'm growing out of this. It might take me some time. It might take me some tears. It might take me some tough decisions, but I'm growing out of this. I will not stay in this prison, not one more day. I'm coming forward"! Somebody should have told Esau, "The stew is not that good".

Do y'all know about Jacob and Esau? Do you know about Jacob? The God of Jacob. It wasn't supposed to be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It was supposed to be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Esau. He was the oldest brother. He had the right to the inheritance, just like you have an inheritance in Christ. What is it? Every spiritual blessing in heavenly places, reconciliation with God, the ability to be at peace with him and others, the love of God shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. You have that. So why do we not sing, "I'm calling on the God of Esau," apart from the fact that it doesn't rhyme with generations, which is the next line in that song? Why? Because he got hungry? Because he saw a bowl of… Was it cereal or stew? Stew. Jacob was cooking stew. It's interesting, because all the way from Rebekah's womb they'd been wrestling each other. Jacob's name means deceiver, trickster.

The funniest verse in the Bible if you know how to look for it… If the Bible is boring to you, you're boring. The Bible is not. God is interesting. You're basic. What is the one I gave you in Genesis 25 where it talked about the nations wrestling in her womb? The Lord said, "The nations are wrestling in your womb". Two nations, two natures, two "yous" wrestling in the womb of what God is doing in your life. The old one that was put on that is being corrupted and the new one that's the real one that was created in the image of God that he sent his Son to bring you back to. He said, "Two nations are in you, two peoples. One will be stronger than the other. The older will serve the younger". "When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb".

Right now, there are twins in the womb of your mind, your heart, and your desires. I'm not preaching this in an allegorical way. It said it in Ephesians. I'm illustrating it to you. That's exactly what Paul said. I want you to notice it didn't say, "Make sure you don't take off the new nature and put the old one back on". The old one was the first one that is mentioned, which means your natural state of mind is not your true nature. In order to put on what God gave you, you have to take off what he didn't and stop accepting any old attitude as being you, because that's not you. Oh, I notice it. "There I am again blaming people". I notice it. "There I am again catastrophizing". I notice it. "There I am again," but I'm not it. I notice it, but I'm not it, because I have learned the truth in Jesus and a new way of life.

So, I'm taking that off and putting this on. I'm growing out of that old one and growing into my new one. The future me is God's familiar me. That's what I'm becoming. Since my life had its origins in the mind and heart of God, nothing can stop it. Just ask the stone what can stop God. Therefore, when we look at Jacob and Esau, we see a picture of us. We see that they were wrestling from the womb. I told you I'd give you the funny verse, and I haven't yet. "The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau". That's not the funny one. It sounds funny. He was hairy. They named him Esau, which means red, because he was red. Real creative, Isaac. "After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau's heel…"

That's Jacob grabbing Esau's heel. That has been you a lot of your life too. That has been you trying to… "I want to be first. I need to be that. Oh, no, I need to be that". Now watch what happens. "…so he was named Jacob [trickster]. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them. The boys grew up…" That's the funny verse, because they didn't. Physically they did. Esau became a skillful hunter. You've accomplished a lot too. No, no, you have. I'm not saying that sarcastically. You've learned a lot. You've become a lot. You've overcome a lot. I want to pause and celebrate your progress to this point. I'm not setting you up. You have that hesitant clap, like, "Is he about to tell us we're really filthy rags"? I'm not, but I'm saying it's possible for you to grow in your skillfulness and be deficient in your spirit.

So, Esau is a good hunter. He's grown up. They're both grown up, but they're doing the same crap they did when they were little boys. They're still fighting. Jacob is still tricking, and Esau is still stupid. I mean, he's good at hunting, a man of the open country. Jacob is content to stay home among the tents. Isaac had a taste for wild game and loved Esau. Rebekah loved Jacob. Now watch this. "Once when Jacob was cooking some stew…" I think it's no coincidence that stew is the beginning of stupid, because this is worse than a pack of cards. This is worse than any house you ever bought. This is the worst deal in human history. Jacob is cooking some stew. "Esau came in from the open country, famished".

Now, the first thing Esau needed to do was notice. "I'm hungry right now. I am in no position to make decisions right now". "I am in no position to respond to this email right now. I am in no position to have this conversation right now. I'm hungry. I need a minute. Even if I have to fake like I'm going to the bathroom, that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to stand in the bathroom and call on the God of the bathroom, and he'll meet me in the bathroom. He's the God of the mountain. He's the God of the bathroom too. I'm going to shut this stall and pray before I sell my soul for some stew. She's not that pretty. She's not that gorgeous, not to throw away what God gave me. I need a moment to notice, 'I'm hungry right now.'"

I'm trying to make this real where it can live where you live. He said, "I'm famished," and then watch what he did. Because he did not notice it, he responded to it. He responded to his hunger now in a way that he would hate later. I've done it many times. "Quick," he said to Jacob. "Let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished"! "I'm famished," not "I'm feeling hunger right now, but let me deal with it the right way". "I am what I feel". Look at me, church. "I'm famished. I'm exhausted". That's why he was called Edom (red). Verse 31: "Jacob replied, 'First sell me your birthright.' 'Look, I am about to die,' Esau said. 'What good is the birthright to me?' But Jacob said, 'Swear to me first.' So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob".

That's why we're calling on the God of Jacob…for a single meal. So Esau despised his birthright for some bread and lentil stew. He ate, drank, got up, and left and despised his birthright. I thought that's strong language. It doesn't say he hated his birthright, but when you are hungry, you will make decisions now that will create a life you hate later. This year, God brought you to Elevation Church and our eFam online to tell you it's not too late for you to change. If you're still breathing, you still have a birthright. If the blood is still running warm in your veins, you have a birthright. The blood Jesus shed for you purchased it back from the Devil.

So, we have the Book, we have the blood, and we have an opportunity this year, this moment. Forget about it. This very moment, you have the opportunity to make an exchange…your unrighteousness for his righteousness, your sin for his salvation, your no for his yes, your filthiness for his purity, your ashes for his beauty. This is the greatest exchange that has ever been made…not with Jacob; I'm talking about Jesus…the great exchange of love and grace. You don't get it through grinding. Tricks are for kids. You don't get it through effort. That's for the perfect people, but for the children of God there is a grace for this moment, a grace to change you, a grace to call you forward. It's pulling on you now.

That's why you feel it. It's not me speaking; it's him speaking. I'm teaching you Jesus, and Jesus is showing you you. How many times are you going to give the Enemy your desires and let him tell you how to fulfill them? The new you. I'm walking in a new way. Oh, it's going to be step-by-step, baby. What, you thought I could just put this new attitude on you like it's my jacket? I would if I could. I could sell this jacket for a lot of money if it worked like that. No, no, no. This wardrobe is only received through your daily walk and worship. I keep hearing the Lord say it. It's an old line, but I just have to say it. Beans for a birthright? Nuh-uh.

You're making trades every day, stew-pid trades. Y'all laugh at Esau. Esau and I have a lot in common. I've given up a lot of stuff too because I felt it. I defied my feelings this week. Everything in me told me, "You don't have enough songs to record this Friday," but something in me said, "Put it on the calendar, and let God give you the songs he wants you to have, and do what he told you to do". I have a question. Do y'all think God knew about those songs before I did? Do you think God knew about the season you're in before you did? Do you think he knew you were going to need a job before you did? Do you think he knew we would be in a time of political weirdness before we did? Before we were born, he knew what we were born into. What I love about the Lord is that there are no tricks with him, only a trade.
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