Steven Furtick - The Pressure To Perform
John 7 is a very interesting scenario or more accurately, episode in the life of Jesus. And I think you probably will say I never really heard a sermon on that story before and then you won't be able to say that after today. But it's a really human moment in the life of Jesus and it's a great example to us today. So, as we look at this, we hope that we will see the example of Jesus and how it applies to our lives. In John 7:1, the Bible says, "After this, Jesus went around in Galilee purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take His life, but when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, Jesus' brothers said to Him, 'You oughtta leave here'".
How many know there's always somebody to tell you what you oughtta do? Always. And usually it's people with your same last name, you know. You oughtta. You oughtta. "Well, You oughtta leave here and go to Judea so that Your disciples may see the miracles You do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since You are doing these things, post them on Instagram. For even His own brothers did not believe Him and therefore Jesus told them, 'The right time for Me has not yet come.'" For You, anytime is right. Salty Jesus. "The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify that what it does is evil".
If you haven't had a head-on collision with the devil lately, it means you might be headed in the same direction. That's what Pastor Mickey used to say. Of course, I'm in conflict. I am a contradiction of the world's values and so it's not easy for Me to live on this earth according to kingdom principles. But Jesus said, Verse 8, "You go to the feast. I'm not gonna control you, but you do what you need to do. You go ahead and go. I am not yet going up to this feast because for Me the right time has not yet come". I wonder how different our lives would be if we would learn the power of those two words, "not yet". Not yet. "And having said this, He stayed in Galilee. However, after His brothers had left for the feast, He went also, not publicly, but in secret". Not publicly, but in secret.
"Now at the feast the Jews were watching for Him and asking, 'Where is that man?' Among the crowds there was widespread whispering. Widespread whispering about Him. Some said, 'He is a good man.' Others replied, 'No, He deceives the people.' But no one would say anything publicly about Him for fear of the Jews". The key for this message today is in Verse 10, "However, after His brothers had left for the feast, He went also, not publicly, but in secret". And what I wanna talk to you about today is the pressure to perform. The pressure to perform. And let's pray one more time.
Spirit of God, I thank You for the accuracy with which You register in the hearts and the minds of people who are open. Give us this openness that we may receive whatever You wish to speak. And we give You praise in advance. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Would you touch somebody on your way to your seat and say, "I don't have to post it to prove it". It's so great to have the opportunity now to apologize to my mom for my teenage years. I just didn't have enough appreciation at the time for the pressure of parenting. You really can't until you are blessed with the same pressure of parental responsibility for yourself. 'Cause like really my mom and dad stretched their resources in order to, for me as I guess like a spoiled, entitled brat of a kid to not appreciate the sacrifices and really the pressure that they were under to buy me those Reebok pumps.
And since my dad was a barber and he started out just $5 a haircut, $6, by the time he quit cutting hair he was up to $13 a haircut, I believe. And my mom had been in education teaching special education and then as an early interventionist, which wasn't exactly a high paying job. But they provided for me so competently that I never really thought about the pressure that it must have been to try to make sure that I never really felt their pressure. I remember going to this telephone office, The Berkeley Telephone Company, and my parents would clean the office at night after they would get off their other job.
And all I could do was complain and I thought that it was child abuse that they made me empty the trash. But I just didn't understand when she was making me run the vacuum cleaner while she was cleaning the toilets on Saturday. Just like I didn't appreciate the pressure even emotionally. I remember when my dad kinda quit coming home. I didn't realize that the reason he was doing that was because of not having a father example for himself. When I hit the teenage stage, he had no frame of reference for how to deal with what he felt and I thought he was lazy so he went to go drink with my uncle. But it wasn't so much laziness I know have come to believe, as it was the fact that he was under a weight that he hadn't felt like he had been built for.
And there is a sense in which his pressure in his own life paralyzed him like pressure often can when you find yourself in a situation where you have not been exposed to that particular responsibility and now you are responsible for something that you've never been exposed to. It can create a lot of pressure not only on the financial side with kids, but just emotionally and how by the time you come home from work where you're providing materially, you don't have anything left to give emotionally. And even if you do, there was this dude that came up to me Friday night at the baseball game and he just looked, he had the look on his face like all parents get from time to time like if you shoot me, I'll give you half the insurance money.
It was just a parent look and you only know it if you've been there. But I just said to him kinda randomly, I said, "You're such a good man". 'Cause I could tell, he was having one of those days and he was running back and forth. And it kinda stopped him in his tracks, he was like, "Really? I don't feel like a good man today, you know. I was at work and then I left work at four 'cause I'm supposed to get off at four but then the idiot who took my next shift, he didn't show up in time for his shift so who does the manager call? Not the person who didn't show, but me 'cause they know they can count on me because the people we treat the worse are usually the people that we know we can count on the most and we expect the most out of them".
But by the time he had got off work, he was throwing the ball with his daughter to get her ready for the game. And by the time he finished throwing with his daughter, he said, this is what he's tell me, "By the time I finished throwing with my daughter, my manager had been blowing up my phone. Now my manager is mad at me and I'm walking in the house talking to my manager who's yelling at me. And my wife's got dinner ready, by I can't eat dinner 'cause I'm talking to my manager. And so my wife is mad 'cause the food is cold, but I can't help it that the food is cold 'cause if I lose this job, we're not gonna have any food to cook. So cold food is better than no food. And now I'm down here on the baseball team and I wanna die".
Funny thing is, he doesn't come to the church. He doesn't come to the church. He's only been one time that I know of and when he came that one time, he told me it was a good sermon so I knew that he didn't have like a Christian vocabulary, the word that he put in there. But he didn't know that I was preaching on pressure today. He didn't know that he was giving me, he was helping me see that it's not just as a preacher or it's not just those of us who stand on a stage who feel this pressure. Because it used to be enough if you just provide for your kids. It used to be enough if you just protect your kids. It used to be enough if you would just prepare your kids. And sometimes all of those things seem to be in conflict that while you want to protect your kids, you also have to prepare your kids.
And so sometimes I don't know should I catch you or should I let you fall a little bit so you don't fall a lot? Should I let you skin your knee now so that you don't break your neck later? Should I let you, Peter, sink down into the water and let you sink and not let you drown. Sometimes even Jesus if you read the Scripture, He did not prevent the failure, He allowed the failure so that the person could learn the lesson that would enable them later. Sometimes there's so much pressure coming from so many different directions. And if you stop to think about the life of Jesus, He was under pressure from the Pharisees who wanted to kill Him because He threatened their political power.
And so they were watching everything that He did and they were watching Him with very, very scrutinizing eyes even to the point that if He healed somebody, not only would they watch Him heal the person, but they would find Him healing on the wrong day. And if He healed on the Sabbath, they would stand up and accuse Him for doing something good. How would you like to get accused not only for doing the wrong thing, but for doing the right thing at the wrong time? This is Jesus. He shows up and they follow Him to see if He's gonna wash His hands before He eats. How creepy is it when you have people following you in the bathroom to see...
One time I was at P.F. Chang's and there was a man that was standing there watching me while I was... and it was threatening to me. It was threatening to me. So I kinda looked at him, I finished using the bathroom and I washed my hands and I walked over to him. And he said, "I was waiting to see if you'd wash your hands after you went. I go to your church". I'm like, "Bro, there's a lot of other great churches I would like to tell you about right now". But for Jesus, it was ceremonial. It wasn't a hygienic thing. They were watching to see would He break the law and not wash His hands. They weren't worried about the fact that He was trying to eat with people that they considered unclean because He was righteousness and grace and truth. They were so focused on the cosmetics and so everything that He did was under scrutiny.
"Ooh, He's taking with a woman. Ooh, He's touching a leper. Oh, He's not supposed to act like that. He's not supposed to speak like that". And then sometimes for Jesus, He would perform a miracle for the crowd, but they would miss the deeper meaning, which is what has just happened when we read John 7 because He just fed 5.000 men and women and children and He provided for their needs in such a great way that they all ate and had their fill. But after He filled them up physically, he turned to fill them spiritually. And it turns out that they were following Him not for the spiritual dynamics of who He was, but for the physical benefits of what He could provide.
And when He began to speak at a deeper level, the Bible says that many of them didn't wanna hear it. After He fed them the bread, He turned around and said, "Now that you've had bread, recognize that I am bread. The miracle that I just performed was not about what I did, it was to point to who I am. I am the bread of life. And if you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you can remain in Me". Well, they didn't like that very much. It's like He had the crowd, and then He lost them. He had the following, and then He lost it.
And the Bible says in John 6:66, 666, I always remember that like it's a bad number, 666. I always remember it because it said, "Many then deserted Him and followed Him no more". "Many then went away because this is a hard saying and followed Him no more. And as they're walking away, Jesus turns to His disciples and says, 'Do you wanna walk away too?' And Peter said, 'We don't have no options. I already gave my boat away for a little while and I already put my investment in You and I gotta see where this ends even if it ends at a cross.'"
That's the context of John 7. And it's one thing to kinda have to deal with opposition from the devil, it's another thing to kind of have to deal with it from inside your own house. And Jesus had seven siblings, some traditions infer. These are His human brothers. And whether or not Jesus had any sisters, it's interesting to me that it was His brothers who pulled Him aside with a strategy, watch this, for how to get His followers back. And they've got it all figured out and they've got it all calculated.
And they say, "Jesus, do more of the stuff like where You're feeding people and less of the cannibal stuff that You say in Your speeches. Let's take out the cannibalism. And why don't You go to Judea because the Feast of Tabernacles is about to start and You can come with us and You can do the kinds of things that You've been doing here in Galilee, which was in the northern part of Palestine, which was not as densely populated as Jerusalem and Judea. You can do publicly what You've been doing privately. You can take this show on the road. We can get you a headlining spot at the Coachella of the Old Testament".
This was the feast where they would come and build booths. It was actually called the Festival of Booth or Tabernacles. And they would build the booth when they got there and they would stay for a week. And they would thank God for the water that He gave them. And they would thank God for the sustenance that He gave them. They would remember in the wilderness how God saw His people through even though they didn't have quail or grain, but He made manna, which literally means what is it and it means what it is.
So God meets what is it with what it is and it shows that He can show up in any situation and take what it is and when He fills what it is with who He is, it will become what you need it to be for the season that you're in. Two people recognized good preaching when they hear it. And they say, "Come on and do some of the flashy stuff that You've been doing here in Nazareth, and take this show 55 miles south to Judea and if You can do these public things in front of people, you can become a public figure". In fact, that's the phrase that drew me to the text. It said, "No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret".
We live in a time where everybody wants to be a public figure. We live in a time and please don't get mad at me for saying this, where even people who have a private account, spend their whole lives posting stuff and commenting on stuff to create an image and a projection of a reality that may bear no resemblance, the awkward, golf claps really help me, I appreciate that, to the reality of their situation. And Jesus' brothers pull Him aside and say, "We've got a great idea. Why don't You show the world who You really are"?
The interesting thing about the text and I'm gonna give this to you quick because the nexus of this text is in Verse 5. It says that, "Even Jesus' brothers did not believe in Him". And since they didn't believe, they were trying to get Him to perform. Any time you have unbelief in your heart, it will cause you to try to perform to prove something that you don't really believe. In psychological terms, it's called the fraudulence complex or some call it the imposter syndrome. And it speaks about how many of us have an inability to internalize our strengths and our accomplishments.
Psychologists call it the imposter syndrome because they say that many of us secretly, deep down, feel like we're a fraud. Many of us, secretly, deep down, feel like we have so much less to offer than what people expect and that even when people compliment us, we figure that the reason that they're complimenting us is because they don't really see us for who we are. And if they ever saw us for who we are, if they ever saw how stupid we feel, if they ever saw how inexperienced we feel, if they really saw how nervous we really feel, they would kick us out the room.
It happens to fathers, it happens to mothers, it happens to leaders, it happens to teenagers. It is the fear of being found out to be less than they thought you were. It is the fear that keeps you in a performance mode. It is the fear that keeps you spending money to look like something important because deep down you're afraid that you're really not. It is the fear that keeps you overcompensating and you get in situations and rather than letting other people be the center of attention, you feel the need to overcompensate to show how intelligent you are because deep down you don't feel intelligent enough.
So people think you're cocky, but you're really not cocky. You're scared with a conflict between who they think you're supposed to be and who you feel like you really are. It's called the imposter syndrome. It means that sometimes even as I'm trying to fulfill my purpose, I feel like a fake. It's not that I'm a hypocrite. It's not that I'm insincere. It's just that deep down inside, I'm a man who sometimes feels like a little boy. I'm a preacher who sometimes feels a sinner. I wanna be wise, but sometimes I feel like a fool. And I'm wondering is there anybody here who lately has been up under the pressure of an expectation and when you feel that, the temptation and the tendency is to prove it. I gotta prove I'm a good dad. I gotta prove I'm a good mom. I gotta prove I'm a good preacher. I gotta prove it. And when you do it to prove it, it takes the joy out of it.
See, Jesus didn't mind performing miracles, He just wasn't gonna do it for the wrong motives. Jesus was going to Judea, He just wasn't going to make a public spectacle out of His power. Jesus was ultimately determined to show the world who He was, but He wasn't going to do it for the 'gram. I think the key thing that He says in the text is not now. I'm going to Judea, which is the region where He would ultimately give His life, but not now. And it's such a weird world we live in, isn't it? I mean, I'm so scared for my kids. Honestly, I don't even know what to tell 'em about growing up in a time where we've always had the pressure, but now the performance.
Now everybody gets to experience performance anxiety because we all perform our lives for one another all the time, just constantly. I mean, if you cook a good meal for your family, it does not count unless you make an Instagram story out of the meal. This is a very common thing to preach about. It is common because it's killing us. Jesus said if I go to Judea for the wrong reasons and if I show up with the wrong motives and if I live my life to perform for others rather than to glorify my Father, it'll kill Me.
The religious leaders were waiting to literally kill Jesus. But I wonder what are the things that are killing you? It says that He purposely stayed away from Judea. What do you need to purposely stay away from in this season of your life? What do you need to purposely stop thinking about in this season of your life? Who do you need to purposely stop comparing yourself to in this season of your life?
I was doing squats the other day and Chunks, Chunks was watching me do these squats, and I was doing them. Deep, deep squats. I only do leg day once every six weeks, so I've got to make it count when I do it, and I don't know if I can do it in these jeans. I should have tested this. I hadn't done this illustration yet, but I mean, I was down deep on the squat. Now, Buck wasn't there that day. Chunks was there, and Chunks was spotting me, and he said, what are you doing? And I said I'm doing my squats like Buck, but he said something so important. He said, don't do them like Buck. Buck is built different than you. You're going to break your back trying to be like Buck.
And I wonder how we look to God, trying to... you are going to snap your hamstring. You are going to pop your quads trying to be Buck. Trying to, trying to. I went on Instagram the other day, and I saw Kevin Hart, and I felt like a failure in my whole life. I felt like what am I doing with my whole life? What is the point of my existence? Within 15 seconds here I am with a burden on me that I wasn't built for by comparing myself to someone with a different calling, and please don't judge me while I am in this vulnerable position because the truth of the matter is some of you are hurting in ways that you don't have to hurt because you are putting yourself in a position that you were not built to live in.
Jesus said I'm not going to Judea because you want me to go to Judea. I don't have to post it to prove it. I don't have to turn stones into bread to show that I'm the Son of God. I live out of purpose not for popularity. I live out a purpose not for the praises of man, but for the praise that can only come from God, and I wonder if there is somebody today who is content to stay in Galilee to know that it is my season to be obedient, and that's all I have to do. All I have to do is be obedient in this season of my life, and Jesus said, y'all go, I'm not going, not now. Y'all go. I'm gonna stay. I'm purposely staying away 'cause if I go here to impress people with that motive, it'll kill me, and trying to impress people and trying to measure up to arbitrary standards that are changing so fast; it'll kill your contentment, it'll kill your joy, it'll kill your marriage, it'll kill your ministry, it'll kill your family.
Now, even Jesus couldn't please everybody, and He was sinless and spotless. Jesus Christ the Son of God couldn't please everybody, and we expect that we can. Even Jesus had to say y'all are my family. I love you, but it's not for me. And just those words, 'it's not for me.' You ought to go down there to Judea and show them what you're made of. 'Cause I think they were under pressure too. Honestly, I think probably it was a lot of pressure to be a sibling of Jesus, and you're bringing home season chemistry, and He's turning water into wine like affecting molecular structures in real time. A lot of pressure. You've got that weird brother.
You know, the one who stays at the temple teaching people at age 12. It's a pressure to feel special, and sometimes the pressure that we feel to be special does not come from God. It comes from culture who tells you that you've got to so special, so different, so unique, so set apart, but you already are. You already are. You already are. I already am set apart. Jesus, if you go down to Judea, You could show them who you are. You could show them who you are. I don't need to show them. I know.
When you live out of that place, it affects you to be able to do it for purpose and not for proof because, really, who are you trying to prove it to? I mean, whoever you're trying to prove something to isn't paying attention because they're trying to prove it to somebody who's not paying attention, and they're proving it to somebody who's not paying attention, and so while we're busy posting to each other our results to prove to one another what we're worth, our purpose is dying in the place of our insecurity. When you know it's real, when you know it's authentic, it enables you to do it from a place of purpose.
I'm going to Judea. I'm going to go. I'm just not going to go because you pushed me into it. Be careful what you let people or cultural norms push you into. You'll never be pushed into purpose. You will be pulled from within. If it's pushing, it's not purpose. God does not drive. He leads. They are very different. Jesus said I'm going when it's time for me to go. I'm not going for clout. I'm going for Kairos. That's the Greek word that means the timing of God. In Greek philosophy, fate determined timing. In kingdom philosophy, God determines timing. It means I'm where I need to be right now, and I'm good in Galilee. I'm good in Galilee. I'm good if nobody knows my name. I'm good being anonymous.
I was listening to a podcast the other day with a former First Lady of the United States, and she said, the number one sacrifice that she gave to serve the country was the loss of anonymity. Now, isn't it crazy that everybody else is trying to climb out of the thing that she wishes she could have back? And now, we've got a whole generation that's just trying to be a public figure. I went on somebody's Instagram account the other day. They had 70 followers, and it said public figure under the name. Why do you need a label so bad? Why do you so badly need to be perceived by others?
It's the pressure to be special. It's the pressure to be important, but when you belong to God and you are living on assignment and you know you're anointing and you know your gift, it takes the pressure off 'cause I'm good in Galilee. I'll walk on water in Galilee. I'll heal blind eyes in Galilee. I'll teach in Galilee. I'll pray in Galilee. I'm good in Galilee. I see it even seep into our ministry in very subtle ways when we sit down to measure our ministry. If I'm not careful, I will become so performance oriented in the way I pastor this church that I will get my priorities more on the statistics than the substance, and I felt it happening the other day because we're looking at all of these Instagram posts that we put out, and we use it all.
I promise you Jesus would've had an Instagram account. It would've been the dopest Instagram account that you've ever seen in your life. You would've swiped up and got healed. You wouldn't even have to click on anything after that. But swipe up and lose your leprosy. It would've been an amazing Instagram account, but what I'm saying about it is I was in this moment where we were showing how this post perform, perform, perform, perform. Now, for me, that's a dangerous word because I am performance oriented by nature. I don't know why. I would ask for your prayers for that. I sometimes feel like I'm just showing up to regular conversations, and oh God, I hope I say the right thing.
I had a friend who got in trouble the other day, and it took me a week to call him not because I didn't care about him, but because I didn't think I would have anything valid to say. So, rather than call him and say what I had, I waited and hurt him by not calling 'cause I didn't think I'd have something to say, and when I finally called him, I realized he didn't need my performance. He just needed my presence. He didn't need me to say anything. He didn't need me to say anything. He just needed me to be there. And when you don't believe that, it kills you.
Unbelief always leads to performance. They didn't believe in him. They thought he was a fraud. When you think you're a fraud when you get unbelief in your heart when you go to those places in your mind, you kill yourself trying to prove something. You know, we're analyzing, and you could look at it. You can look at how many people like this post and here's a sermon clip we put out, and here's a song that we put out, and here's another sermon clip, and this one performed better that one, and that's good to know. I think you should look at all of that. I mean, I definitely want the person who is managing my retirement account to look at the performance of the retirement account. I just don't want him to pray about it. Amen.
Oh, it's losing money, but it's a great company. We believe in their values. No, I want to make some money. But, with ministry, you can't always measure that, can you, and I don't really know if the one that got the most likes was the one that God used because who am I to say that the one that didn't get as many likes maybe it came across somebody's feed when their hand were shaking too bad to click like or to comment because they had a bottle of pills in their hand and something that was spoken through that screen just really hit their situation, and you can't measure that. When you do it for the wrong audience, when people don't clap, you quit. When they don't say thank you or when you get the feeling they don't even appreciate me. They don't even notice. They wouldn't even miss me. They don't even. They don't even know what I bring to this. They don't really.
Jesus wasn't doing it for the people, and He certainly wasn't doing it for their praise. He was doing it for a purpose, and the people were not His audience. And when the brothers said, You need to do it so they'll see. You need to do it so they'll know; You need to do it to prove it. I believe 2019 version Jesus said, "I don't have to post it to prove it. I don't have to do it because they're clapping. I do it because I'm called. I'm not doing it for clout. I'm doing it for calling. I am not chasing their approval. I am fulfilling My assignment".
Now, this message is for our generation, and I do not mean people that are my age. I mean the time that we live in is consumed and obsessed with chasing clout, approval, and publicity, but some things ought to stay private. Some things that God does in your life are not for P.D.A. Some things are not for a public display of ability or a public display of affection. You know, back in my day, if you were making out with somebody in public, they would holler at you, get a room, and I heard Jesus say when you pray, don't do it out in public like the pagans do trying to impress somebody or the pharisees do, but get in a secret place.
Get in your closet. Get a room where you get alone with God and ask God what am I called to do? What am I called to be? I can't take my queues from culture or the crowd. It's killing me. God, what do you want me to do in this season? It's too much pressure to please people. God, I just want to please You! I do it for You, God. I show up for You, I stay late for You. I forgive for You. I live for You. I serve for You. I breathe for You. I live for You. I worship for You. It's not for an audience of them. God is my audience. And when God is your audience, the opinions of people are no longer your sustenance. Don't turn stones into bread.
We so need this word from the Lord because we're sure not going to get it from the world. It's getting weirder and weirder and weirder how we're all performing for each other all the time. It's exhausting and it sucks and it's worthless and it doesn't matter and God sent me today with a word of sanity. The crowd will kill you. I love the phrase that he put. John said, "There was widespread whispering about", Jesus. Everybody had a comment to make, but nobody had the courage to say it out loud to His face. Everybody was whispering, and this is the world that we live in, and when we give too much weight to the whispers of people an not enough weight to the word of God, it will kill us on the inside.
So, the imposter syndrome was coined as a phrase several decades ago in psychological terms, but it's as old as Moses who stood up one day just to see a burning bush that wasn't consumed talking about who am I that I should go stand before pharaoh. No matter how many miracles God did through Moses, he still had trouble believing that he was enough to lead the people. That's why he struck the rock instead of speaking to it. That's why he was still trying to prove at the end of his ministry I am something, I am somebody, I can do it, and now I'm spending too much over here and now I'm spending too much energy over here, and now I'm becoming something that I don't even like to prove it to who? To who? Jesus said, "I'm going to Judea when it's right for Me".
And God give us the clarity to know what's right for us, what we're built for so we stop finding ourselves in compromising positions that do not even fit our build. God give us the wisdom to know when people are pushing us. Just because it's normal doesn't mean it's wise. God give us the wisdom to know our timing. Give us the wisdom to know when we need to put something on a journal and not on Facebook. Give us the wisdom to know when it's your voice. Father, I thank you for what you've spoken today, and I believe that I will be hearing for a long time how it was applied in individual lives.
With everyone standing, I want to pray a prayer or a blessing over you today that if you can receive it with your spirit, it will save you so much pain and consternation and agony to be able to receive that. You don't have to live on bread alone, but every word that proceeds from the mouth of God and just to know in this moment that it's okay to stay in Galilee. It's okay to operate in your gift. It's okay to do it the way that you need to do it and that proving stuff to people never produced the power of God. Never.
Even when Jesus hung on the cross, they were still trying to get Him to prove it. If you are the Son of God, come down from that cross, but He couldn't come down. He wasn't up there to prove it. He was up there to do it for you and for me to despise the shame and to endure the cross. The presence of the Lord is here to remind you of your righteousness and to remind you that you don't have to perform a religious act or a behavior modification program to be accepted by your Heavenly Father.
With your heads bowed and your eyes closed, there is somebody here who has been feeling like you're not enough, and it has caused you to enter into modes of communication and methods of life and paces of lifestyle that do not even fit your assignment or your calling, and there are some places that you're going to purposely need to stay away from in the coming days. Places in your mind, and places in your imagination. There are places that you will need to stay away from on purpose in order to live in peace, and you've been under a pressure that did not come from God to live up to something that was not even originated in His heart.
Today, I pray that the peace of God would be your portion as you enter this next season of your life, and whatever you do, you would not do it for popularity or for praise, but that you would do it on purpose, that you would do it on purpose with an intentionality like Jesus had as He set His face toward the future with destiny in His heart praying even under pressure in the Garden of Gethsemane nevertheless my will but Thine be done. May God give you this spirit of focus and determination to raise your family and to run your race and to live your life and to ignore the whispers to come out of unbelief. Stop trying to prove it. You don't have to prove it. It's already spoken. It's already settled.