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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Fighting The Battle Within

Steven Furtick - Fighting The Battle Within

Steven Furtick - Fighting The Battle Within
TOPICS: Inner Man, Exhaustion, Persistence

This is an excerpt from: Tricks Are For Kids

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?
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