Steven Furtick - Take Off That Way Of Thinking
This is an excerpt from: Do The New You
Imagine yourself free. God knows that you. Imagine yourself whole. God knows that you. Imagine yourself able to wait and be patient and not respond to every feeling that passes through your central nervous system. God knows that you. When I see myself how God sees me and come into alignment with the word he spoke over me, it's new to me, but not to God. It's new to me, but not to him. One time, he was calling this prophet named Jeremiah, and the prophet Jeremiah was full of excuses, just like you and just like me. I met this fellow last year on Elevation Nights named Brendon Burchard. He does a great group for growth online. Look him up. He was saying these three things we say to ourselves all the time, and I identified with every single one of them. Are you ready? These are the excuses you use to do you at the lower level.
First, you say, "I don't know how". Second, "I don't have it". Third, "I'm not like them". Let's break it down. First, "I don't know how". How many of you had a challenge in 2022 and excused yourself from embracing it, that God was calling you higher, but you didn't go because you didn't know how? Raise your hand. My hand was the first one up, and the rest of y'all are hypocrites, because you either didn't listen or you just want to lie about it. "I don't know how to do that". Second one: "I don't have that". Raise your hand if you made that last year. "I don't have that". Yeah. You could say that about money, time, energy, health, education. What else? Y'all probably have something I haven't thought of. Y'all are way more dysfunctional than me. Give me some material here. No, I promise you that's not true. That's very sarcastic. What is it? I don't know how to resist it? Oh, be consistent.
I liked "resist it" better, because that's what I think. Like, "'Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.' I don't know how to fight this". When you've been giving in to something… You can just nod like you don't know what I'm talking about. When you've been giving in to something since you were 10, it's really hard for you to believe you can overcome that. Listen. You don't have to admit that what I just said struck a chord. Just do you. Pretend like you don't struggle with that. You're such an angel, and I respect you and admire you. "I don't know how to resist it. I don't know how to be consistent".
Well, for me, when I started my workouts (this is so corny), I put a chart on my wall where I could put stars every time I worked out because I thought that would reinforce the behavior. I looked like I was 7 years old down there. I'm a grown man with a beard putting stars on a chart, and I still do it. I filled that sucker up this year. I ran out of blue stars and had to start using the gold ones this year. That's how good I did it, because I'm changing. I'm changing. "Oh, I'm not one of these workout people". Well, maybe I am. Maybe I can be one. Maybe I can get a chart. Maybe I am consistent. I'm consistent in this area. Why can't I be consistent in that area? I'm growing up in every respect. I control my tongue in this situation. Why can't I control it in that situation? I made a good decision Monday. Why can't I do it again Tuesday? Why can't I do it again Wednesday? It looks like you know how to be consistent. You're here at church on the first Sunday of the year.
That's how you do it! Now do it again and do it again! I just taught you a whole seminar on consistency. That wasn't true. You know how to be consistent. You know how to do it. It is not knowing what to do; it is doing what you knew that you didn't do last time. I'm not fussing at you. I'm just saying I don't know how to be consistent in some areas of my life either. I struggle with it, but by showing up, God's strength is released. "I don't know how. I don't have it. I don't have that intellectual ability. I can't do that like that". Don't you think I felt like that trying to teach each of my kids about sports? "I don't know how to teach you how to do this. I got to the basic level in all of the sports I played and nothing beyond that, so if you get good, I'm done. I don't know how, but I know how to support you. I know how to show up. I know how to demonstrate in my area of competency the discipline you need to demonstrate in your area of competency and giftedness and calling".
So I do know how, and if I don't know how and I need to do it, I'll learn. I'll look it up on YouTube. I could look up anything. I'll ask a friend. I have a lot more friends. Then the biggest lie of all: "I'm not like them". "Man, they have a good marriage because their parents had a good marriage. I can't do that. My dad wasn't around". "I'm not like those people who grew up there. They know how to deal with money because they grew up around money. I don't know how to deal with money". "They know how to pray because they grew up in church. I don't know all of these Bible stories". Some of you are here for the first Sunday of this year, and the whole time you've been here you've been feeling like, "I don't fit in. I don't know these words. I don't know these songs. Why are people standing up and sitting down and standing up and sitting down and standing up and sitting down? And how long does this sermon last anyway? I'm not like these church people".
Oh, we are all corrupted. Go with them in the parking lot. You might catch them cussing before they even get off the church property if I preach long enough and let the traffic get backed up. Don't let anybody intimidate you and make you insecure. You just have to grow into what God gave you. We're all struggling. We'll talk about it sometime. One time I'll tell you all my stuff and you can tell me all yours, and then we'll cry over it, and then we will say, "Okay. That's where we're starting. That's not where we're staying". So, God wanted Jeremiah to go preach, and the Bible says in Jeremiah 1:4, "The word of the Lord came to me". The word of the Lord existed before the world existed. "In the beginning was the Word".
You know how the book of Genesis says, "In the beginning God…" The book of John says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". So, when Jeremiah says, "The word of the Lord came to me," it wasn't just advice he got. It wasn't just an instruction he got. It wasn't just something he thought he would try for his New Year's goal. It was God himself showing up and saying, "Jeremiah, I've given you an assignment. There are invaders coming from the north, and I want you to preach to my people and warn them and instruct them, and do it through your tears. There's going to be crying involved, and there are going to be challenges involved, and there's going to be self-doubt involved". He said, "Before you were born, before I formed you in the womb, I knew you".
Before this world got ahold of you, before depression set in and put you in the bed, before you got in this state, this emergency situation that you don't know how you're going to get out of, before you were molested, before you were abused, before you were left, before any of that happened to you, before the mistake, before the failure, before the dumb idea, before the addiction gripped you, God said, "I knew you". He knew you. He knew you'd be in trouble. He knew you'd be 36 and single. He knew you'd be struggling. He knew you'd be sad. He knew you'd be melancholy. He knew you'd need a job. He knew you'd be behind financially. He knew they'd walk away. He knew you. You didn't know it; God knew it. You didn't see it coming; he saw it coming. He said, "I know the plans I have for you".
Before any of the crap happened, God said, "I have intimate knowledge of your intellect. I see your integrity even when it falters. I see the man you're going to be if you don't leave and walk away. I see, if you submit to the process, how strong you're going to be. I see the testimony you're going to be telling your kids 10 years from now, talking about, 'Here's what God did in our home.'" "Here's what I almost did, but God brought me back in 2023, and he brought me to church to tell me 'Do it…the new you.'" "I knew you. I created you before you were corrupted. So I want you to take off what happened to you. Take off the way you've been thinking about it. Take off the story you've been telling yourself. Take off that guilt. Take off that shame. Put it all at the foot of the cross and cast it all on the back of the Christ who paid the price for your sins to be forgiven. It's under the blood now. We're going forward now. We're not talking about that for the rest of your life. We're turning it into something miraculous. It's time to bring it out of the oven, baby. It's ready to rise. That's why I brought you to Elevation. I'm bringing you up! Come up!"
Come up and build it! Come up and establish it! Come up and start it! Come up and change it! Come up and break it! Come up! Do it! Do it until it's second nature. Do it until it's how you think. Do it until it naturally comes out of your mouth. Do it until it's not so hard anymore. Do it awkward. Do it clumsy. Do it over. "Sorry, I messed that up. Let me try again". Do it. Do the new you, the one God knew, the one people don't always see.