Steven Furtick - You Have To Fight For It
There are times where I find myself stressed, anxious, out of control, upset, and I can't quite put my finger on why. There are times where I find myself, even though that I believe in God, I don't really feel like I'm able to trust him like I want to. There are times where there are things that I know are not best for me, but I feel like I'm in bondage to them anyway. And you have yours, and I have mine. And we all struggle with different things. And that's why Jesus died. And I'm not here to make you feel bad about any of that tonight. But I am here to call those of you who are in anxiety, and depression, and states of fear, and states of temptation that just keep slamming you over and over again, and you keep running up against the same stuff over and over again, and then you feel shame, and then the shame makes you do the same behavior again, because shame doesn't fix anything. Shame only fertilizes the wrong stuff that was already growing because it's darkness. Nothing healthy can grow there.
So I came to call you out of those places, in the name of Jesus tonight. I came to call you out. To call you higher. I came to give you a lift. Because I know you've been fighting the enemy, and he's been fighting you. But you don't have to fight him by yourself. Not if I'm your pastor, you got a big brother, who came tonight to help you get some clarity. Everybody say clarity, and focus. Because I believe God is calling you forward into some amazing things. I think some of you are going to start businesses later in your life. Some of you are going to do amazing good things. Some of you are going to shape culture in crazy ways. Some of you are going to go on and raise great families, and maybe you'll be teachers or maybe be athletes. Or maybe you'll just be somebody normal who God uses and raises up in a great way. But none of that happens if you don't fight for it.
You have to fight for what God gave you. You say, "Well, if he gave it to me, why do I have to fight for it?" it is not going to come for free. You have to fight for it. And I'll show you that from Judges chapter one. Now, in this particular passage of Scripture, Judges chapter one. It's a weird thing that happens, where the tribe of Judah goes out to fight against the enemies. How many of you got some enemies that you're fighting against in your own life tonight? And you're saying like, it's not a person. Yeah, I'm not talking about a group of people. I'm talking about some emotions that I'm dealing with. Okay, if there's a fight going on in your life right now, I want you to put that fight right here.
When we talk about the Canaanites, I want you to put in that space, whatever it is that is trying to keep you from being the daughter of God that you know that you really are, the Son of God that you know that you really are, the man of God, the woman of God, the child of God, that you know that you are deep down inside. And look at what the Bible says in Judges chapter one, verse four, when Judah, that's the people of God, that was one of the tribes of Israel, when Judah attacked the Lord gave the Canaanites and Perizzites into their hands. And notice Tim, it said when they attacked the Lord gave them. When they took action, then God gave them the victory.
So how long are you going to wait to initiate? How long are you going to wait to join one of these groups so you can get some help? So you can have a place to go and process and not just join one, but make it a priority to go? How long are you going to wait to say, "You know what, I'm gonna get some friends. And we are going to talk about the fact that none of us need to be looking at porn. And we're going to talk to each other and help each other because this is not good for us. This is not helping us. This is not going to put us in a place of freedom for our marriages one day."
You know what, I'm gonna get some friends that don't have to drink on Friday night and I'm gonna get around them and if I have to sit by myself, I'm gonna fight for my future. Because I am not going to give into this. I am not built to fit in. God didn’t save me to fit in. I'm not trying to impress people. I belong to God. Will y'all touch three people and say fight for it. Fight for it. Fight for your peace of mind, fight for your contentment. Fight for your right mind. Fight for your sanity, fight for your joy, fight for it, fight for it, fight for it, fight for a right relationship with God, fight for your wholeness, fight for your freedom, you got to fight for it. And I know it's not easy right now. Because we're living in a time where Israel has no king.
We're all being led by our feeds, and our streams. And everyone's doing what they see fit. And everybody's posting their fit. And everybody wants to fit. And then you try to fit into it. The culture, and then it gets into you. And then it corrupts you. And you go, I feel kind of empty. I don't feel right. Well, here's what they did. They attacked and the Lord gave the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hands. And remember, as a child of God, that belongs to Jesus, you don't fight for victory, you fight from victory. Jesus already bled for you and died for you and rose for you. So there's nothing that you can't overcome in his name. So they attacked and they struck down 10,000 men at Bezek. And it was there, verse five, that they found Adoni-Bezek. That was the king of this enemy nation.
So I know this stuff can be kind of confusing, alright. And I know you've had a long day and you've been at school. So I want to make sure that you don't get bogged down in the details, because it's really just one thing I want to show you. This guy was an enemy king. And they captured him, fighting for what God gave them. Now watch what they did to him. They fought against him, putting to rout the Canaanites and Perizzites. Adoni-Bezek fled, he tried to get away. He's like, "YUhh oh, God’s people are coming. They got God fighting for 'em. There's nothing I can do about it." Because when God is with you, who can be against you. Shall life nor death, neither angels or principalities or demons, neither the present or the future... If you move forward, there's nothing any enemy can do to stop you. It's just when you get stuck, and you stay, and you get around people and you start trying to be like them, that's when you lose. But if you move forward in the purpose of God, no mistake can stop you. Your past is behind you.
So he tried to get away. But they chased him and caught him. And watch what they did next, this the craziest thing in the world. They cut off his thumbs, isn’t that gross? And big toes. Ah, Poor Adoni-Bezek. Come on, did you really have to take the man’s big toes? They would do all this kind of gross stuff. They would have all kinds of warfare tactics back then. It was a way of humiliating the people that they captured. They would dismember them. If you read about Samson in the Bible, they gouged out his eyes. That's the kind of stuff they did. They took out his eyes. But this guy, they cut off his thumbs and his big toes. Now both of those are symbolic, of course, but they also have practical purposes, right? If I cut your toes off, do you think you're gonna be able to go as fast?
So they paralyzed him. But the interesting thing that got me was what he said when they cut off his toes, and it's thumbs. Verse seven, Then Adonai Bizet said 70 kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off, have picked up scraps under my table, watch this. Now God has paid me back for what I did to them. They brought him to Jerusalem and he died there. What an encouraging scripture Pastor Steven, can you please never come to Rhythm Night again, your sermons are depressing. You yell at people and you dismember people and it's really, really scary. No, no. There's something in this for us. See, when they cut off his toes, it immobilized him. But let's talk for a moment about how this king who… he said, "Man, I've cut off at least 70 people's thumbs." Because that's what he would do. He would capture them, cut off their thumbs and make a mockery of 'em and then he would often kill them.
But before he kill him, he cut off their thumbs. Their thumbs? Why their thumbs? You may not know this, but your thumbs are one of the most unique parts about you as a human being. And I know you don't really want a class on this today, but I'm gonna give you one anyway. You have very long, opposable thumbs. What's an opposable thumb? A thumb with the ability to move around independently. Everybody do this. Right. You can do that. Not every animal can, not every bird. Not everything that God made has these. So you have an advantage as a human being, just by having thumbs that you can move independently.
And you probably didn't wake up this morning and go, "God, I thank you for my thumbs. I thank you for my mom, thank you for my dad, I thank you for everything in my life. I thank you for all these good gifts. Thank you for every blessing, I thank you for caffeine, thank you, Lord. I thank you for my thumbs". But you might want to, because your thumbs are longer than most other mammals. Why does that matter? Because having a longer opposable thumb, makes your grip stronger, and your hand more precise. And you didn't even know you had that advantage. And that's why you're able to take that pen. And you can sign your name with it. Yeah, because of that thumb. You can take that pen, it gives you precision.
I thought about having an exercise where I challenged you to go to school tomorrow with your thumb taped down or something like that, just so you could get the illustration. But I think you probably wouldn't do it or, you know, you might get in trouble if you did it. They might have a dress code where you can't tape your thumbs and at your school or something like that. I don't want to get you in trouble or expelled or anything like that. But I thought that was interesting how you know that thumb gives you the ability, it gives you the ability to grip a pen. Everybody said precision, because of that thumb. But another thing that this thumb gives you is power. It makes you able to grip stuff that you shouldn't be able to grip, if you didn't have your thumb, you would lose a lot of the strength in your grip. And this man would go around cutting off thumbs.
I wonder does the enemy still have the same strategy today, as he did in those days. I wonder is the reason that you've been struggling with certain stuff in your life because you let the enemy have your thumb. Oh, I'm coming. I'm coming. I'm coming like a locomotive. I'm coming like a freight chain. I got these two thumbs and the word of God, and I'm ready to preach, I'm ready to preach. Because the Lord gave me a message to tell you take your thumb back. That's the whole message tonight. God said, take your thumb back. The Lord was speaking to me. And he said, a lot of these kids, they think they're worthless, and they're not. But they got to get their thumb back. A lot of these kids, they think there's no hope for them. There is hope for them. But first you got to take your thumb back. You're getting it. A lot of these kids, they're thinking there's no way out. I'll never be able to do this. I'm not as good as other people.
Oh, you got greatness on the inside of you. You're strong in the Lord and the power of his mind. But you gotta take your thumb back. See in the time of the Bible, they wouldn't even let you be in the army, if you didn't have thumbs. Because you couldn't take a bow and pull it back. Like, like as fast as you need it, or as far as you need it without your thumbs. So you didn't have power, if you didn't have your thumbs. If the enemy takes your thumbs, you lose your power, and precision. And we are living in a generation that I believe it's not a bad generation. I don't believe that at all. I got three kids that belong to this generation. I love these kids. I believe in these kids.
If I were your dad, I'm sure I'd like you to. I don’t know if you’d like me. I'm sure we'd get along. I believe in you. I think you're a good generation. I think you got a lot of things going right. But I also think that the enemy has got this generation in a stronghold by the thumb. If God sent me to preach this for one person, I'm glad I came. Because I think tonight is the night that we get an answer for why have I been so overwhelmed? Why do I keep comparing myself? Why do I constantly feel I’m not good enough? Why do I keep losing the battle in my mind? Why do I keep trying this and trying that and trying them and trying him trying her? Why do I keep running into all this stuff? But I keep ending up in these cycles. It’s because we keep doing what's right in our own eyes. Because we are led by what we see. And we see what we scroll to cause the devil’s got us by our thumbs.