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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Tired of Striving

Steven Furtick - Tired of Striving

Steven Furtick - Tired of Striving

This is an excerpt from: God Chose You... Will You?

When you give up what you want most for what you want now, you're not doing you; you're being deceived. I can tell people are being deceived when they say stuff like, "Well, that's just how I am. I just go off. That's just how I am. I just say what I think". That is a bad strategy. Have you ever catalogued your thoughts? Not all of them are FDA approved. I believe this message is important to a generation that is running around saying things like, "Live your truth".

If he lives his truth, he's going to find himself in moments where it will feel true to him that "This temptation is stronger than my faith," but it's not. There will be moments where it'll feel to him like popularity is more important than calling, but it's not. There will be moments where he will feel that something is true, but what if what you feel is true is actually a trap? It's a trap. To act outside of the character God has placed inside of you and call that you is a trap. The Enemy has some of you trapped, and you don't know it. He has you trapped in the prison of what you call your personality. So, now you run around saying things like, "Well, that's just the kind of person I am".

Well, if the kind of person I am doesn't match the kind of God he is, I have to change some things and choose some things. Come on. God didn't tell Jeremiah, "Do you". God said, "I knew you". Steve Jobs has nothing on God. Steve Jobs made an iPad. God made a resurrection. The Bible says the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in you. I remember being in high school. I don't know if I've told you this story before. Maybe I've told you it 10 times. Everybody was getting high, and I had never been high in my life. I was planning to get high that night. I remember feeling like, "I'm sick of being a good kid. I'm sick of being alone on Saturday nights. I'm sick of this. I'm going to actually do it tonight".

I remember when I grabbed it and went to smoke it, my friend slapped it out of my hand. He looked at me and said, "This isn't you". I came to Ballantyne, North Carolina, today to tell you "That's not you". Everything that's sabotaging you, I slap it out of your hand and declare, "That's not you". Every habit… That's not you. Look at your neighbor and say, "That's not you". (Don't slap them. I don't want to start anything.) When I feel it rising up in me to take me down, I slap it. I demolish strongholds. The weapons of my warfare are not carnal but they're mighty through God. This isn't you! Not the new you. See, we're confused, because we think that if it's automatic, that makes it authentic. I am not what I feel. I am not what I do. I am what God's Word says I am, and he is the Great I Am. This changed my life, because I wrote down the phrase do you, and then I said, "No, no. The new you…the you God says he knew".

So, maybe we should spell it differently. Maybe doing the new you means doing the knew you. Thank you, Jesus. You make all things new. Let's say I preach this to him, and I'm like, "Okay. So, don't just do what you want to do. Do what God tells you to do". So then you get out of the trap. I really think it's a trap to have an experience, form it into a belief, and then call it your truth. That's a trap. Then let's say you get out of the "do you" trap, only to… Bring my next illustration out. Now you're about to find out why I brought Graham up for the illustration. Let's say you get out of the "do you" trap. "I'm just doing me. I'm just being me. That's just how I am". Then you get out of the trap, the "do you" trap… "Just do you, boo-boo. Do you. Just do you".

You get out of that trap. You're like, "All right. I'm going to change". Now that the Devil sees you're out of the trap and you want to change and you want to get better and you're not happy with it exactly like it is… You get out of the "do you" trap, and you get onto the "future you" treadmill. How many didn't know this was a treadmill; you thought it was a coat rack? It's all how you use it. This is why I brought Graham on the stage. Now he's out of the trap, but now let's say self-discipline and religion puts him on a treadmill where he starts looking at, "Okay. I'm going to do the new me. I'm going to wake up at 5:00 a.m. My friend wakes up at 6:00 a.m. I'm going to get up at 5:00 a.m. I'm going to read five books of the Bible a day. Five alive".

How many of y'all started with a real New Year's energy going into a new 24? We realize we just take it a day at a time. I think the crazy thing is… I would do this illustration myself, but I'm wearing these boots. They're new. I can't crease these. They're new. I'm not messing these up. They're heavy. I'm not called to the cardio ministry anyway. I've told y'all that before. Here we go. Do the New You and… go.

So now the Devil has some of us out there, not settling but striving. To do you, just do you and not let God have his say, and to commit and put yourself in concrete for what you've been up to this point is a trap. I know it looks like a bowl; it's a trap. I know this looks like walking, but he's not going anywhere. To just do you is to live your life cheated, but to get this idea in your mind that there is a future you God would love more or a future you God could use or a future you that would be worthy of love in a relationship or a future you that could feel good about yourself and your life, and it's just one accomplishment away, is to get out of the trap and onto the treadmill.

It's good as long as it's good, and it works as long as it works. I wonder if there are some people here who have been cheated because you've settled for what you thought you were. I also wonder if there are some people here who are chasing…chasing something you think you need to be because you saw somebody else be it, chasing something you scrolled past and thought it was the full story of what a happy family looked like, chasing after future you. It goes like this. "Yeah, boy. You're going to be great one day. All you've got to do is get through high school, and then you go to college. Now all you've got to do is get this degree. Now all you've got to do is find somebody who's actually hiring with that expensive degree that you're going to be paying off for the next 50 years".

Now I'm chasing, and I'm running. (I'm so glad I had kids so they could do this part of my illustrations now that my beard needs to be dyed.) So now I'm chasing, and it's great, but not only is it getting faster and faster and harder, but I look around and I realize, "I don't think I'm ever going to be anything but me". Here I am, thinking that somehow this collage… Watch. Here's what we do. We get a collage. Right? We get the person with all the money. We get the person with all of the girls. We get the person with all the success, with all of the followers. "Oh, if I had 1,000 followers".

Now you need 10,000. Beep! It just went up. Beep! It just went up. Here comes the incline. Now we've got social media. I didn't even have Twitter when I was a teenager, and it's not even called Twitter anymore, and my beard is gray, and I'm still chasing. "Well, maybe if I turn 50, I'll have wisdom. Maybe if I get through this, I'll be happy. And I'm going to rest when… And I'm going to feel good about myself when…" Before you know it… No, I'm going up. I'm going up. I'm going up. You're holding on. But the Bible says, "The word of the Lord came to me and said, 'Before you were formed I knew you.'" The word of the Lord came to me! The word of the Lord is coming to you right now. Out of the trap, off of the treadmill, and into the truth until the truth gets into you and you recognize, "I've been running after something that's already mine. I've just been living beneath its potential".

I'm already clean by his blood. I'm already saved by his grace. I'm already redeemed by his liberty. I'm already to the praise of his glorious grace. Why? Because I refuse to live cheated, and I refuse to live chasing, because I'm chosen. Say it. Get that word in your mouth…chosen. I love you, Holly, but I didn't pick you for that illustration, because I didn't know if you could last long enough on 12 for me to get the Scripture up. I'm not picking on you. You do a lot of amazing things. I didn't pick you for it. I picked somebody… I chose him because I knew that if he had to, he could beat me up. He's in wrestling shape. I'm telling you God chose you, and I'm saying he knew you. I want you to see the difference.

Close your eyes. You know how you've been chasing after something that you think when you get it, when you get there… "I'm going to do the new me. New year, new me". No, new year, same nose. But what if you've been running after something that is already yours? Perhaps the addiction is something the Enemy planted in your life because there is something so amazing inside of you that he wants your birthright, and you gave it away for a bowl. Perhaps God really is…

Now I'm going to minister this, because this is me. This is me right here. Watch this. I sit there and go, "Well, I'm somebody who goes for it. I'm somebody who doesn't settle. I'm somebody who really demands the best out of myself. I'm somebody who wants to improve". That's fine. It's called self-righteousness. When I talk like that and I don't receive by grace, I end up, like Graham almost was… (He's still breathing heavily up here. Don't let him fool you with his closed mouth. I hear him breathing.) I'm running after something. How long can I keep this up? I'm chasing, but I'm chosen. You don't have to chase it when you're chosen.
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