Steven Furtick - My Maker Is My Mirror
The Lord has heard the questions you've been asking. He's seen the struggle you've been facing and He wants to give you something today to see it in a different light. Joshua 14; a very pivotal Scripture for the nation of Israel and for us as Joshua gives the inheritance that God promised so many centuries ago to the people who are walking into the land. And as he's dividing up the different parcels or the lots, casting lots to decide which tribe will live on what lot, one person takes initiative named Caleb, and I want to read you his speech that he made to Joshua, 'cause he's trying to convince him that he supposed to live in a certain place. And, so, he's going to tell him some things from his resume, and is also going to tell him some things and reflect on some things that happened and I want you to eavesdrop on it, today.
Joshua 14:6, "Then the people of Judah came to Joshua at Gillgalm and Caleb son of Jephunneh...", I'm so sorry; I've got to put this in here. I wonder if it's significance that it's Judah because that represents praise in the Bible, and I wonder if there's something about praise that helps us take possession of the promises of God? I just wonder that out loud in your presence today. I'm not sure, but I wonder if some of the problems that you've been focusing on, if you can get in a place of praise, you might see the solution clearly today. We're never going to make it through the next eight verses if we keep interrupting, so.
Start over. "Then the people of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, you know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God in Kadesh-barnea concerning you and me". I was 40 years old when Moses, the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barne...", I was just a young man, just 40 years old". It's very youthful. Very youthful age. "I was 40 years old when Moses sent us to spy out the land and I brought him word again as it was in my heart. But my brothers who went up with me make the heart of the people melt yet I wholly followed the Lord my God".
I didn't let it get to me; I didn't let it get in me, what they said. "And Moses swore on that day saying surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance for you and your children forever because you have wholly followed the Lord my God. And now behold, behold the Lord has kept me alive just as He said these 45 years since the time". That's a long time to wait for a promise to come to pass. That's a long time to suffer for somebody else's disobedience.
"45 years I survived the wilderness. It's been 45 years since the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel walked in the wilderness. And now behold I am this day, 85 years old. I am still as strong today...", 85 and still flexing, "I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then for war and to going and coming. So, now it's been a long time coming but now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there with great fortified cities. It may be that the Lord will be with me and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said. And then Joshua blessed him and he gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance".
Well, look at your neighbor and give them my title and then I want to share a lesson with you. Look at them, and first of all, say, "You look amazing", Tell them, "You've never looked better", and now tell them, say, "I appreciate that, but my Maker is my mirror". They didn't get it. Look at the next person, and say, "I appreciate it, but my Maker is my mirror". Thank you, Lord for illumination of Your word, in Jesus' name, amen, amen. Well, let's give them one more shout as we take our seat. Amen. That wasn't really a shout it was more of a murmur. I'll have to teach you all how to shout one day... like you do when your kids don't clean up; do that, but for the Lord. Amen.
It's great that we get to see how God makes a nation. He's forming a nation. He said, "I want a people that can present Me to the world". And He didn't do it the typical way because if you wanted to have a great nation, you would pick a rich one, a wealthy one and yet instead of making a nation that was already great, greater God found a man who was too old to have kids with a wife who was barren in her womb and created a great nation out of an impossible situation. I am preaching so hard already and I'm trying to throttle down but this is a message in itself.
Is that when God found Abram, this was before he had a consonant in his name, the artist formally known as Abram, he went on to be Abraham. He was the father of many nations but when God called him his stuff wasn't even working anymore and the reason why I'm telling you that is because sometimes God will speak something over your life and you will look in the mirror and not see it. He'll speak something in your soul and you look in the mirror and you won't see it which is so important to know that it's not how God sees you that determines where your life ends up. If it had been, Moses wouldn't've died in the wilderness. It's not how God sees me; it's how I think God sees me that determines where I end up. I'll prove it to you.
All the way from Genesis 1, remember, "Let us make man in Our image"; God needed someone to show the world what He looked like or else He would've just been a concept. God would've been an abstract theory. So, He made man and woman to reflect who He was. He needed someone to show His nature through, so He made me and you. And when you insult the product you insult the manufacturer, which is why it's good to know our theology that He made me from the dust. That God took something that seemed filthy and something that seemed finite and made something that would reflect what is eternal.
Then after making the man He began to create not only the world, the man, but a nation through Abram, through someone, who seemed unlikely. And the nation of Israel spent a whole lot of time trying to figure out what we spend our whole lives trying to figure out or at least of teenagers in our twenties is like what's my identity? So, what you're really seeing in Joshua 14 is not just people getting some real estate, but they're coming into their identity. Their national identity. And it's hard because they've been through so much and they started from something so small it's easy for them to see themselves according to what they've been through or where they started.
And now they're breaking up, there's nine and a half tribes that get this land and so Joshua and the priests there shaking this receptacle, this is how they would test lots. They would take the thing and shake it and they would have little wood blocks with different codes on them and then they would kind of shake it out and what it fell on that meant that this tribe gets that land and this tribe gets that land. When Caleb interrupts the process he's like, hold on, you're not going to figure out where I live by just rolling some dice, okay? I've got a promise.
Moses said, now, remember, Moses was the one who was supposed to lead the people into the land but he was unable to do it. And here's how I would put it if I was a preacher. He got them out of Egypt but He never got Egypt out of them because they were oppressed for, you know, 430 years. And when you've been under something for any length of time, when you've been under the power of any influence for any length of time, that influence becomes your identity. So, now, your addiction speaks more to you about your potential then God's word over you. Then the prophetic gift that's inside of you. It happens to all of us. When you've been suffering from something you can begin to take on the name of your disease or your issue trading the name of your Creator whose image you were made of but see, it's how you see it, it's how you see yourself.
And I think I can prove to you if you give me like two-and-a-half minutes that the reason the people didn't go into the land under Moses was because Moses really never saw himself in the image of his Creator. Abram did, Abram did even he had a hard time getting with it, even he was like you got any pills for that or anything like that because I'm old now and even he had to wait for Isaac and he messed up in the process and ended up producing something that caused him more trouble by sleeping with Hagar, even though all of that happened God still called him the father of faith, the father of many nations.
And to show him who he was they brought him out of his tent come out of his limitation come out of a situation and He said, okay, here's a Revelation, here's your situation. Get out of your situation and now look up. Preaching to somebody. Look up any said count the stars if you can. I don't know how far he got before he was like what's the point, God? I can't. You know, 343, 344, what are you trying to show me? And God said, as many as they are, so shall your descendants be. So shall your seed be. So, He gives them an image, an image, not just an idea, but an image.
Now, Colossians 1:15, look it up real quick says that, "Jesus is the image of the invisible God". That's very powerful. That Jesus shows us what God is like. That the word became flesh and dwelt among us. That's what Jesus is. He is the image of the God that we can't see. Did I get it right? Colossians 1:15? That He is the image of the invisible God. This is the challenge for everybody under the sound of my voice. There is a way that God sees you because He formed you. There is a way that you see you, there is a way that others see you. And where you go from this point forward in your life is going to depend on which mirror you believe. I've got all these mirrors in my house that are messed up and I know they're messed up because they keep showing me, my beard is supposed to be black, but I look in those mirrors and they're messed up, they're defective, I'm going to take them back to the store because they keep showing me these gray patches like I'm 40 years old.
I've started rebuking mirrors in my house, you know? These lines coming up under my eyes, I'm like, "You are a liar like your father, the devil. I cast you back to the pit of hell". How many ever looked in a messed up mirror? How many ever have people around you that made you feel a certain way about yourself? When Moses was coming into his identity and assignment He had to deal with the fact that he was really living with two different images of who he was, and remember, God is using Moses to deliver the Israelites out of this Egyptian oppression. Emma Moses first starts to act on his impulse he does the right thing but he does it the wrong way he defends his people but he does it by murdering an Egyptian.
So, he's ahead of his time and he's out of his own but he's doing the right thing. But he still doesn't know who he is yet, and is difficult for him because he doesn't really fit in with either group that he's living with. Hebrews are the people he was born from. The Egyptians are the people that he was raised by but he identifies more with the people that he was born from than the people he was raised by. So, he doesn't really fit in. And when you don't really fit in to either group you end up running. That's what happened to Moses. He confronted an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew one day and he killed him and buried him. The next day he went out and saw two of his brothers fighting and he was like, break it up guys. We are suffering enough from them we don't have to kill each other.
And this is in Exodus 2, I want to show it to you real quick, you got it? Exodus 2, "the man said back to him, 'Who has made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you have killed the Egyptian?' Then Moses was afraid and thought, 'Surely the thing is known'". And he ran, he ran. We don't really see him in his next stage of his assignment until 40 years later, he ran, because he was too Hebrew to be an Egyptian and too Egyptian to be a Hebrew and when you don't really fit in with either you don't know who you are and you spend years of your life running from who you really are looking in the mirror of your last mistake. He ran and he ran and he ran.
And, see, the question is the right one. He said, "Who made you? Who made you"? But if you don't know that, you will hand other people your mirror to show you who you are. And lemme tell you something about people. People would rather define you but your worse mistake. What's crazy about Moses is he killed a man and there's only one verse in the Bible about the murder. Now, if you let church people write the Bible they would have had a whole book about, it would be called "the book of Moses' murder". "The book of Moses' mistake", "the book of Debbie's divorce", "the book of your lowest moment". But maybe God doesn't see you through the lens of your mistake. Maybe he sees you through the lens of His grace and maybe when He looks at you He sees the finished work of Jesus Christ. Have you ever thought about the fact that if they didn't make you, they can't define you?
My Maker is my mirror. I promise I'm trying to be as calm as I can be but when God showed me that I maker is my mirror He showed me Moses standing in front of the burning bush and God's like, I'm going to use you. You're going to be the one to do it. You're the one who's had the conflicted identity and so many mistakes and you don't even really believe in yourself. And, so, I was thinking about you and how you might be standing in front of something that God is speaking to you and is burning on the inside. But you can't really locate yourself because, honestly, you don't fit into either group. You don't really fit into really churchy people because they are so perfect and they pray so much and they make Bible verses out of their kids' sandwiches before they packed them in the lunchbox.
Numbers 13:31 cut out with Scripture stencils and pack it in the lunchbox like the fish in the loaves and the little boy. And you are not churchy enough but you are really not worldly enough because the Spirit of God is on the inside of you when you try to sin telling you that you're something greater than that. And you're kind of righteous but you're kind of rachet. And you're kind of a worshiper, but you're kind of worldly. And you kind of worry but you kind of worship. And you're kind of organized but you're kind of chaotic. And you're kinda powerful but you're kind of petty and come on, I'm preachin' to somebody, and your little bit of both. And your self-concept is in development and this is when it's very important who hold your mirror, because if the wrong people show you, you'll get a distorted image of yourself, and then you'll start matching in your life what you see in your mind.
That's what Moses did. God's like, all right, got a job for you to do, I'm going to use you, gonna give you everything you need, cool? Moses is like, but the thing about me, watch what he says, this is Exodus 14. It's which mirror you're looking at? So, if you look at the mirror of what you're missing and you only see what's not there, that's what Moses did. He's like, he goes, "oh my Lord"; this is in Exodus 4:10, "OMG" he says, "OML". He's like, "I'm not eloquent. I am not eloquent".
It's funny because I got the Scripture on the back screen right now and it's got a typo in it. It says I am eloquent. He said the opposite. That's what he said right there. I am not eloquent. And you really have both voices. That's kind of how it feels, right? Like one is saying I am and one is saying I'm not and I don't know which one. I've got this thing on the inside of me that feels like I can do it and I'm supposed to do it and I'm going to make it but I've got this other thing saying and I don't know which way to look. So, he said, "I not eloquent" and then he says, "Either in the past or in the last five minutes nothing has changed since you started speaking, is still the same".
I got saved, and my nose is still big. I got saved, and I'm still kind of cross-eyed and I read slow. I got saved, and I still don't feel intelligent enough. I got saved, and I still got memories. I got saved, and I love God, but I still got trauma. I got saved, and I love God, but I'm still limited by my experience. He said, "I'm not what you think I am". God answer is so instructive, next verse, the Lord said, "Who has made..." Who made your mouth? Who made your brain? Yeah, but I'm just weird. What if the world is weird and we're the normal ones? Y'all like it. I've got to be careful who look at when I preach by the way. Because you're like a mirror.
They put this; is Chris Brown around? If he's around, bring him back out, I want to tell them something. When the worship leaders are leading, they don't know this, but there was a choir out here today at Ballantyne, they were standing on these risers, if Chris isn't comin', you'll have to do. So, LJ, they think that they're just up here, singing, come here, I will tell both of y'all. We can teach a whole thing on this. Can y'all still see me back here? I want to tell this to them. One time they discovered that a lot of primates and all humans are soft wired with mirrored neurons.
So, our brain actually experienced the same emotion that somebody we're watching, if we're tuned into them they got it from a monkey that was watching a man open a nut, and they had it hooked up to his brain and they saw the same brain activity in the monkey's brain that was in the man's brain who was opening the nut. And they realized that all humans are wired in such a way with mirror neurons that I experienced your reality by watching you experience it. So, this is why when a parent gets mad, kids can feel that stuff. They can feel the tension. It's called a mirror neuron.
Here's what was happening while you were singing "This is How I Fight My Battles" somebody out there was going through a battle, but they been feeling like they were losing, but God put you out here as a mirror, so now all of a sudden, they didn't feel victorious this week, but when they saw you worshiping God, don't run from it, I got you by this leather coat. When they saw you worshiping God they didn't feel like they had the victory, but while you were shouting the victory now I wonder if you would do that for somebody on your row right now.
I know you had a hard week too, but magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt His name together. If you don't have faith today, borrow mine. You're going to make it, I said so. It's called mirror neurons. And just as contagious as faith is, so is cynicism. So if you've got cynical people holding up your mirror, you'll always feel small. You'll always feel smaller than your challenge, smaller than your giant, smaller than your addiction 'cause you're not looking at your God. But when your Maker is your mirror, 344, 345, 346, I'm still counting. God's not done yet. His mercies are new with every rising of the sun. He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. One thing about a mirror, it always shows you the image in reverse. God knows how your situation turns out. God knows how your story ends. God knows what He put in you.
When this message flooded into my heart, I was like it's gonna change somebody's life because they've just been looking in the wrong mirror. Been looking at their mistakes. When your mistakes are your mirror, you stay on the outside of Canaan even though you have the strength to go in. Not because you are small, but because you see small. So the spies came back and they were like, "Hey, Moses". Remember, Moses has dealt with rejection his whole life. And so a lot of times when people don't accept you, it's because they have rejected themself. Not all the time, a lot of times. And this is a really important point. Everybody's acceptance is not a blessing. 'Cause the majority might be the wrong mirror.
Ten out of twelve said, "We can't go in". Ten out of twelve said they're too big. This what they said, "We went to the land, Moses". And they became the mirror for the millions of people who had a promise from God but hadn't possessed it yet. This is why it's so important who you're around, what you take in, what you look at. You become what you behold. So the people are giving a report and they're like, "It's a great place. The valleys are fertile. It's a rich land. We brought you back some grapes". The grapes were so big they had to carry 'em on poles. But then they stopped looking at God, stopped looking at grapes, and started talking about giants. And when they looked too much at the giants as their mirror, they saw themselves as grasshoppers.
That's what they said. Numbers 13:33. And they said, "There were the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim. There were giants in the land. Big, strong adversaries that we would have to dispossess to take the land. And we seemed to our self, wow, like grasshoppers". Not to God. "We seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers". Most people see God really big. Even those who barely believe in God see Him really big. It's not how big you see God, it's how much you believe that God is in you. "We seemed to ourselves as grasshoppers and so we seemed to them".
Our reflection determined our reality. What got me about it is that they could've seen the exact same situation in reverse. Watch this. They were like the giants are too big. God promised us the victory, but I guess we can't go in because of the size of the giants. Reverse it. Because God always shows you the image in reverse so it's like this. God has already promised us the victory and the giants are so big. If the giants are that big and God has promised us the victory, if what is coming against us is that great, how much greater must God be within me. Greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world. The size of my giant is a proof of the size of my God. Thank you, Lord. If God is letting me experience a challenge this big...
See, God is trying to use your enemies to show you how valuable you are in His kingdom. And why would you let your enemies hold your mirror anyway? Who cares what the sons of Anak think you look like. That's what Caleb said. He was like, "Shut up, we can do it". Hit somebody say, "Shut up, I can do it". It's in the Bible too. It's in the Bible. Caleb said that. He said, "Shut up". He silenced the people and said if God is with us, my Maker is my mirror. And I always thought it was funny 'cause he's like, "Hey, Joshua, I know you're rolling these little lots around on the ground to figure out who lives there, but remember God gave me a promise that I would live in the high place. I want Hebron".
Hebron, 3.000 feet above sea level. Above sea level. I'm gonna have to take a month off after I preach this message. I'm giving you everything I got. You've been living at sea level. You've been looking at the wrong mirror. You've been consulting the mirror for your flesh. You put 20 minutes into your makeup today, but you didn't get in this mirror right here. This is a mirror too. This is a mirror too. You've been struggling over external issues, but what about what's in you?
James said something curious. He said, "If you listen to the word and don't do it, you're like a man who looks at himself in a mirror". "In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God". My Maker is my mirror so I can't -- Look, I can't run around to people who are struggling with their own sense of self to determine mine. And I can't use a situation either. That's why I love Caleb 'cause it's almost like he's lying. Come on, man, he's 85 and he's walking up, talking about, "I still got it".
Now what mirror are you looking at? Look at somebody say, "I still got it". It'll feel good to say it too. I still got it because I'm not talking about the flesh. I'm talking about faith. And the wilderness can do one of two things to you. It can kill you or it can make you stronger. Caleb said all that I went through, I didn't get bitter. I didn't get the wilderness in me even though I went through the wilderness. In fact, everything I went through over the last four and a half decades only served to convince me that much more that I still got it. I mean, if God promised it to me back then and saw me through all this, I don't want to live at the level of feelings. You've settled too low. You've settled for what you see. You settle for what people say. You settle for old templates. You settle for old scripts. You settle for emotions.
When you are seated in heavenly places with Jesus, you gotta settle up. You gotta get up above what you see, above what you feel, and above what you've been through. He said I wanna live where the blessings are. I wanna live where the battles are. You can't have a victory without a battle. God is raising you up right now. He's doing it through a process. The level you will settle on is the level that you see yourself. And it makes me so sad to think of how many times that you and I have gone to the wrong mirrors and so we see a grasshopper when we're really a giant. When we see a failure when really it was a lesson. When we see what's missing because we can only see through the filter of our fear.
God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, in Our likeness". You are not my maker. You will not be my mirror. When God said, "I am", to Moses, you know, "my name is I am", He was trying to get him to see you are as I am. That's what a mirror does. God says I want to see Myself in you. When God sees you, He sees Himself. He sees His Son. Christ is the image of the invisible God. And if He is in you, He is more than the world against you. I wanna pray for a few hundred people today. You will know who you are if the message resonated with you in a personal way and it's this, you've been going to the wrong mirror. You've been consulting physical, natural, relational elements, incomplete fragmented elements, and you don't know who you are right now and you're stuck between two realities.
The message God gave me was your Maker is your mirror. And you know what's beautiful, you're His. He wants to use you to reflect Himself to the world. And so He's gonna give you some stuff. Some of it's gonna be giants in front of you, some of it's gonna be giants inside of you. David was good at killing giants as long as they were standing in front of him. It was the ones within him that took him out. Some of 'em are gonna be short term, some of 'em are gonna be long term. If you go to the wrong mirror you'll always feel small. But if you will learn how to worship and get in the Word of God and believe the promise that He spoke over your life and get in this mirror, you are not gonna win over insecurity looking in the mirror of Instagram. It is only going to show you what you're not, what you can't, and what you won't. But if you get in this mirror, I'm telling you the Word of God can do something for your spirit. It can make you stronger in your spirit than your enemies are in your situation.
Now, stand up on your feet. I wanna pray with you. I wanna pray with you. I wanna prophesy over you. I don't want anyone moving or leaving. The Lord said that this word would hit deep for the ones who needed it, have been seeing themselves according to past experiences. Have been looking in a rearview mirror at something that happened and are about to wreck in the face of their future. And He said that today He wanted to give you a different mirror. A different mirror.
Caleb said I'm not just settling for my lot in life. I'm not just settling for depression. I was hesitant to preach the message because I thought people would hear it like it was some, you know, God give me my BMW, you know. God make me famous. That's not what Caleb said. He said I want the challenge. I want the altitude. I want the opportunity to prove God again. I wanna live at the high place. I wanna be my higher self. I'm still strong. I still got it. I still got it. My faith went through testing 45 years and I survived. I still got it. I'm not ashamed of what I went through. It proves that God was with me. I still got it.
Thank you for your word, Lord. It shows us who we are. Thank you for worship where can reflect you, where we can behold your glory. Close your eyes. Visualize. The king told Elisha that he would strike the ground three times. Elisha said you've got to see the victory before you see the victory. Open the east window and shoot. It's the first creation. You gotta be able to see yourself made of dust, but touched with divinity. You gotta see yourself free even though you don't feel free. Even though you still keep running back to lesser stuff, you gotta know you got a higher purpose.