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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Clearing Out Bad Connections

Steven Furtick - Clearing Out Bad Connections

Steven Furtick - Clearing Out Bad Connections

This is an excerpt from: OFF MENU

So, the voice I would hear in my ear would be relative to the device this instrument was paired to. The Bible says, "Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh". Is the problem with the voices that are going through your mind that are sabotaging your strength, sucking you dry of your joy, and causing you to lose your confidence in what you know good and well God called you to do…? Is it possible that you have been pre-paired to the wrong device? Is there something that's going on in your mind today?

I'm just asking, because when I read the passage, you were like, "This is a weird one, Pastor". Is it really? Or is it a picture that even though Peter wasn't prepared to raise a dead girl, wasn't prepared to go to Cornelius' house, and wasn't prepared to speak to a centurion in Acts, chapter 10, he was pre-paired? I think it's possible. I think it's possible that although you don't feel ready for this season of your life, although you feel alone in this season of your life, although you feel you don't have the skills it takes for this step of faith God has given you, although you feel like you're the wrong one for the job, God has been pre-pairing you for the exact assignment you are designed to accomplish. "I will fulfill it". Say it out loud. "I will fulfill it. If it's for me, it will be".

That's why I want you to disconnect from every device that is not a part of your destiny, every voice, every website, every social media app, everything you play on your head in a loop and call your truth. It's not your truth. You are in a trance, baby. You are in a trance of thinking, "This is the way I have to be. This is who I've always been. This is how the world is. This is how every teenager is". Not every teenager, baby. You haven't met me yet. I'm full of the Holy Ghost and fire. I'm baptized, I'm bold, I'm born again, I'm fired up, and I'm prepared. All right. I'll do it. The Lord said I have to tell you about David. He saw Goliath. What could prepare you for Goliath? "Oh, I killed a lion. Oh, I killed a bear. Oh, I have a slingshot". "Now when I hook up this instrument to this device… When I hook up this experience with this challenge…"

Sometimes you forget what you have. Sometimes you remember where you've been, and sometimes that's a good thing, but sometimes you have memorized a menu that is no longer available to you. Can I preach this thing, y'all? I have to get you ready for the summer. Everybody is trying to get a beach body. I'm trying to get you a beach spirit. Biceps won't help you when all hell breaks loose in your family. None of that is going to matter a bit. But what matters… We're talking about food, but God is using the food. If you thought this passage was actually about food, you need to read it again through the lens of the Holy Spirit. Peter did. He's up there hungry, and whenever you're hungry, everything looks good. Ain't that the truth? Ask Esau how good a bowl of beans will look when you're hungry. That's why some people date the wrong people. Okay. Eating stuff you never would have eaten. "He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal…" Okay. This is so good. You have to see this.

Verse 10: "…and while the meal was being prepared…" What was being prepared? The meal wasn't the only thing being prepared. Peter was being prepared. Part of that preparation process was an unpairing, an unpairing with his past. The Spirit of God confirmed to me so many times through our worship experience today when we were singing… Everything we sang today was a confirmation of what he gave me to preach. It was like it was paired together. One of the things you may not have seen on the surface was there was a video for my wife's birthday, and people were saying, "Thank you, Pastor Holly. Thank you, Pastor Holly. Thank you, Pastor Holly, for the words you've spoken".

I thought it was appropriate. Although we do not praise men, we praise God who gives us men and women as gifts. So it was right that they celebrated you, but it wasn't that they celebrated you that touched me; it was what they called you: "Pastor Holly". It took me back to the memory of the time that you said, "I will never marry a pastor". She said that. Now you is one. Come on. Simon would have never seen himself as a shepherd, but Jesus called him Peter and said, "Feed my sheep". God was pre-pairing Jews and Gentiles. It was pre-paired. God needed somebody who was an official apostle to knock down that barrier officially and get the gospel to the Gentiles. I'm glad he did, because I am a Gentile. I'm glad the gospel didn't stop with what Peter thought about it. He's preparing me. He's not just preparing a meal; he's preparing me.

Are you so focused on the meal you don't even see the mission? Are you so focused on this day's needs, this day's inconvenience, this season's hunger, this season's annoyance…? It is so typical for me to get so irritated, so I will miss something that could have been a miracle because of something as small as an irritation. I thought it significant, on our last week of the Ghost Writer series, to talk about how sometimes the greatest things God brings into our lives are off menu.

When I say menu, I'm talking about how you expected him to use you. "I'll never be a pastor's wife". "Cool. I'll just make you a pastor, and then you'll have to be a pastor's wife". "I'll never be free," you say. Well, God says, "Good. I'll just give you the blood of Jesus. I'll declare you righteous, and I'll set you free, and if the Son sets you free, you'll be free indeed. I'll just do what I want to do". You can't call unclean what God has called clean. That's what he told Peter. We look at the passage, and we see a bunch of characters. There's this guy… I didn't get to tell you about him, but this guy Cornelius is amazing. He's over 100 soldiers. He is very, very faithful. He's not a believer. He's not a Jew. He's not circumcised. He's definitely not a Christian yet, but God wants to give him the Holy Spirit.

So, one day he's praying at 3:00 p.m. This is amazing, because while he's praying at 3:00 p.m. one day, God is already pre-pairing him with somebody who's going to be praying at noon the next day, but that's beside the point. While you are praying about stuff, God is preparing stuff. Don't worry if you don't see what he's preparing, because he was praying 30 miles away. Don't stop praying just because you don't see proof. The proof might be on the way while you're praying. So, Cornelius sees an angel. Now, Peter didn't see an angel. Peter heard a voice and saw a sheet. I think one of the reasons for that is he had had three years with Jesus. When he called him "Lord" and said, "I can't do this," he knew the voice because he was pre-paired.

One thing… And I'll leave this illustration alone after this. Even if it was paired, if I left it back there, it would be too distant to pick it up. That's why you have to stay close to God in your heart throughout the day. For it to connect, it must be close. God didn't leave you; you left him in your heart. Do not leave Jesus in this church today when you leave. You have the Holy Spirit. He goes with you. This is a moving menu. Yeah. This is like a faith food truck. It's going to show up wherever you need it this week. Boy, I needed it yesterday. I was about to road rage really bad on somebody. That relationship with Jesus has Peter so familiar that even though he does not recognize what God is showing him… He sees a sheet with animals, and he's not supposed to eat them. "I don't know". Isn't that how most of our life feels? Honestly. It's not so clear always.

If the Bible had a verse… "Should I let my aging parent move in with me or should I provide them with a nursing home? And if I provide them with a nursing home, how will I pay for it, because I don't have any money anyway"? If the Bible gave you an exact verse about that… But it says, "My God will supply all your needs". It does not go into that level of detail. The detail in this passage is fascinating, how Peter sees this sheet, and the Lord tells him something about food, but he is using the food to show Peter his future. What he is saying to Peter he's saying to you and me. God is saying, "Just because it's not on your menu doesn't mean it's not on mine. Just because you don't think I can do it doesn't mean it's not already happening. Just because you don't see a way it would turn around at this stage doesn't mean it's not already halfway turned".
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