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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Feel Like You Need to Escape?

Steven Furtick - Feel Like You Need to Escape?

Steven Furtick - Feel Like You Need to Escape?

This is an excerpt from: The Way Of Escape

Sometimes the place you go to escape will become the place where you are enslaved. Can I break this down? It may be that you are escaping for survival. You escape to a relationship that is really not good for you, and you know that the relationship is not good for you, but you are so lonely rather than live by yourself because you feel like you're dying inside you would rather join up with someone who is bringing you down and even though you know that they're bringing you down or they are abusive or they are not walking in the same direction as you, you would rather walk in the wrong direction than walk alone in the right direction, and credit to you for being a survivor because some of the things that you did in your life, you wen to Egypt to survive. You went to Egypt not because it was a sin. It was just a matter of survival.

Some of the things that we learn to medicate with. Some of the habits that later in life become masters over us. They did not start as masters. They started as medication. And so, we took a pill at first just to deal with it so we could deal with everyday life, but then it was two and then it was three and then it was a bunch, and now all of a sudden, I find myself enslaved by something that I escaped to. This is not just true of pills. This can be true of sex. You can look for a connection in sex and substitute it for love. It's not that you wanted to be dirty. It's not that you wanted to be promiscuous. It's not that you don't respect yourself. It's just that you wanted to feel something, and the feeling of loneliness can be so great that you would rather feel a dirty connection than a clean sense of confinement that comes from being quarantined in your own mind.

But the danger of escape is that Egypt can feed you quail one day and whip you with chains the next day. And the place that you escaped to becomes the place that you are enslaved in. Thank you for helping me, Lord. I told the Lord I wanted to preach this message with energy like it was my first time preaching it, and I feel His help today. A chain-breaking kind of anointing that can get deep down in your heart and help you to see how sometimes the place that we run to can become the place that we're trapped in 'cause I just want to escape. I just don't want to feel like this anymore. So now, that's why I'm going outside of God to meet a God-given need.

That's why I'm doing things that make me feel bad in the morning. I'm doing things that leave a wake of consequences that's going to affect me in a way that has no alignment with the real intention of what God has spoken over my life, but I just gotta get out of this. I hope one day that I'll have the courage to do this series called, I already have the name of it. I just don't have the guts to preach it yet 'cause I know how preach people are, and I can already see the YouTube comments, but y'all pray for me. One day I'm going to preach a whole series called, "Sins with Benefits". Y'all sound a little too excited about that. Kind of sketchy how y'all clapped about that. Because we will hear a lot of times about the consequence of sin, but if there were no benefits to it, it wouldn't be so popular.

There is a need that Egypt meets. There is as need that is met. You know, there is a longing that is fulfilled. When I go outside of God to meet a God-given need, it works. See, that's the problem. It works. It gets you out for a little while. It works until it doesn't. It works until it gets old. It works until it fries the neural pathways and now it doesn't work anymore, and now I'm doing it, but it doesn't even work anymore, and now I'm chasing something that doesn't deliver, and I want a way out. So, Paul says now you've got to back all the way up to Egypt and look at Verse 1. This is in the Bible, y'all. He said I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud. It's the same stuff. It's the same stuff. They were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea.

Remember the Red Sea that God brought His people through? Come on. Has God ever brought you out of anything? I don't mean you had a headache and it went away. That was ibuprofen. But I mean something that was deep. It was a pit. It was a depression. It was a darkness. It was a mistake. It was a mess you made, but God brought you out. Shout for 15 seconds. Matter of fact, shout if He didn't just bring you out. Shout if He brought you through. Oh, God. That's good to me. He didn't just bring me out of it. He brought me through it, and since I went through it, I got something from it. I had to go through the valley of the shadow of death so I could know it's just a shadow. The Lord is my shepherd, and I shall not want. Now, I've got a table in the presence of my enemies, but the only way to the table was through the valley. I had to go through the pain. And that's what God did, now, watch this, a history lesson.

Tell somebody it's nothing new. It's nothing new. What you're going through, God's people have been standing in front of stuff that they didn't think they could make it through for a long time. They came to that Red Sea, pharaoh behind him, the chariots clackin'. These were not, these were not basic chariots. These were Lamborghini chariots, faster than them, stronger than them, but somehow, some way, they passed through the sea. God brought them through it. God said I'm not just going to lift you out of it. I'm going to give you the strength to walk through it. No temptation. He brought them through it. He brought you through it. He takes you through it. Not around it, but through it. Keep trying to work around it. We put all these work arounds in our life, all these ways that we don't really have to deal with real issues, all these ways of escape that we try to make for ourselves.

You know, since I really can't be happy let me just take pictures like I am. They said we had overflow of Ballantyne. I'm just trying to make some seats for next week. I'm going to preach this 'til we got some empty seats. But really, it's the mercy of God 'cause He said it was the same cloud, same sea, same grace, and the same grace that is available if you're facing a Red Sea of trouble is available if you are facing a temptation in your life that has overtaken you. Interesting language because to say it has overtaken you acknowledges that it's stronger than you.

So now, I'm being told that there is something that is stronger than me working against me, and you know exactly what that is in your life. You know exactly what it is that you escaped to that you have become enslaved by and if it's not sex and if it's not pills, look. Some people do it with pharmaceuticals, some people do it with food. You can do it with drugs. You can do it with doughnuts. That's why I said temptation is a funny word. If we start making a list, of all the ones we don't struggle with and then we'll shout about how God is faithful with that, but blame can be a way of escape. You hear me preaching to you today? Because blame will get you out of having to take responsibility. The only problem is it gives the keys to your freedom to whoever you blame for the situation. And now, you're enslaved to the very thing that you were trying to escape from. Now, you're enslaved to bitterness because you escaped through blame. I could do this all day long. I could talk about how when you feel trapped in something, it's important what you trust in because whatever you trust becomes your master.

What are you escaping to? What are you escaping from? And have you escaped to something that has now started to enslave you? Cynicism is an escape 'cause it hurts to have hope. It opens the door to disappointment. So you just beat life to the punch. You just expect the worst, that way you're not surprised, and you put your faith in reverse and call it realism. So what's really sad about coming through the Red Sea is that after all the miracles that God does for you, and after the way that He saves you, and after the way that He becomes personal in your life, the Bible says that even after they went through the Red Sea, passed under the cloud through Moses after he references this Exodus motif that is so prevalent in the Jewish scriptures, he says in verse 5, "Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, for they were overthrown in the wilderness".

And that's where the battle is, in the wilderness. Even Jesus went through the wilderness. And what you do in the wilderness determines whether you stay enslaved or move forward into freedom. We don't just pass through the wilderness once in our lives. The wilderness is not something you did 18 years ago. The wilderness isn't just when you lost your first job. The wilderness can happen several times any given week. I asked my friend before I came out, "How was your week"? And I said, "I take it back. I hate that question". Because you could ask me that hour by hour and get a different answer. There are some weeks I have where Monday is milk and honey and Tuesday is Canaanites, Hittites, Jebuzites, parasites, termites, cellulites.

And when they went to the wilderness, they were overthrown. They grumbled. They wanted out. You know where they wanted to go? Egypt. At least we could eat in Egypt. Nevermind. You forgot about the fact that they gave you mud without straw, trying to get you to make bricks without giving you materials. Nevermind that the devil has constantly been trying to keep you all your life in a state of feeling like you're not enough. You just wanna go back to the world, because at least it works for a little while. So we escape. We wanna build a tunnel back to Egypt. And then the tunnel becomes a trap. And they died in the wilderness. They died in the place where there was no water. They died in the place where there was no worship. They died in the place where there was no perspective.

It's interesting then that the Bible says that Jesus is a great high priest, and that He is able to be touched with the feelings of our infirmities. In fact, it says that He was tempted in every way like we are. Now I read that and started to argue with the Bible. Jesus didn't have kids. He wasn't tempted in every way as I am. He didn't ever wanna choke the very life that He produced. Jesus didn't have Amazon Prime. But yet it says that He faced every temptation. Because there's really only three. I know we make it complicated, but the Bible condenses it and says that any temptation you're facing today , not just the external ones, the internal ones, the same Bible that gives commands about sexuality gives commands about worry.

So don't think that temptation is only for one person. It said, "In every temptation Jesus faced it, yet He was without sin". He was perfect in the ways that we will never be. And guess where He went to prove His perfection. Let me show you this in Matthew 4. Give me the verse. It says, "Jesus was led up by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil". Why would God, remember the Lord's prayer? Our Father, Lord in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Your Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And lead us not into... temptation. "And the spirit led Jesus to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil". So Jesus is... driven is the more accurate word than led. Led sounds nice. Driven is more accurate. He had to go to the wilderness.

Why? Why did Jesus have to come incarnate? The word made flesh. Why did Jesus have to take on the form of human weakness and go to the wilderness? It says that they were overthrown in the wilderness. When Jesus came on the scene, the true Israel, the true expression of God, the second Adam, when Jesus came, the man who was fully man and fully God, Jesus, who is the express image of the radiance of God, Jesus, by whom, for whom, through whom all things were created that were created. Jesus came to the wilderness, watch this, for a rematch.

See, in your flesh, in your power, in your strength, in your mind, in your human ingenuity, you are no match for the devil in the wilderness. But Jesus showed up in the wilderness because of unfinished business on behalf of anyone who would believe on His name and call on Him in the day of trouble. So Jesus, after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights, had to pay a visit to the devil in the wilderness. Jesus came from heaven, which was pristine, to the earth to visit your enemy and pay a visit to what is tormenting you, to let the enemy know that he might be bigger than you but you got a big brother and a high priest who knows your weakness.
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