Steven Furtick - I Caught A Thought
You ready? You sure? Ready for the work? Ah, good catch. Y'all don't have confidence in me? Y'all get nervous. You ready? You're ready, Josh? I better stick with the front row. Ready? Now just like she did, we're gonna do - oop. Around the audience response, my best premium ministering, my brother.
Look at somebody next to you and say, "I caught a thought". I caught a thought. Jones, are you ready? Let's see. Caught it. Sorry about that cough. Caught something. By the way, this guy who just threw me the Bible, he's like my best friend in the world, but he's the worst. He's always blaming people when he get sad. He's always trying to track back to who had a runny nose four months ago. Blaming it on my kids. You know? "It was so and so. They came back from that mission trip, I think I caught it from them". It was food poisoning. You can't catch food poisoning.
Why trying to blame the missionary because you got a stomach virus? Like he's Magnum P.I. trying to investigate. It's a pop culture reference for the young people. Very relevant and current. I caught it. Look at somebody and say, "I caught a thought". Is it possible to catch an attitude? You got anybody just when you see their name on your phone? You're responding a little too much to this. I caught a thought. Can you catch faith? Can you catch fear? Can you catch an idea? Can you catch a dream? Can you catch a vision? Can you catch a word from God That will cause you to worship from a deep place?
You're here today because you caught a thought. You thought you should come to church. You caught a ride, and you came. But before you caught a ride, and you came. But before you caught a ride, you caught a thought "I should go to church". And because you you caught a thought, you're about to... Look at 12 people, ready? That's how we all... I caught a thought.
Now I'm demonstrating this physically, but I want to demonstrate it sculpturally. Go in your Bible to Numbers, chapter 13, and I want to look at a passage of scripture that was really helpful to me so many times through the years, when I am caught between two thoughts. And when one thought says, you should, and you can. And one thought says you can't. So don't try. This passage has often helped my perspective. And it's a familiar story for anybody who knows about. "Father Abraham had many sons and many sons had father Abraham, I am one of them, and so are you". So let's just praise the Lord, that Bible school stuff. It works in grownup life too. Because the children of Abraham are, of course coming into the land that God promised them. And in the book of Numbers, they have the opportunity to receive the gift, but they get more focused on the giants that oppose them than the gift that God has given them. And that happens to us all the time.
So what we see in Numbers 13:30, and I'm so excited to show you this. I'm having to contain my excitement is that there will always be a thought that God will bring you to deliver you. There will always be a thought that the enemy will bring to destroy you. And they're both right here in Numbers 13, let's study this together. The Bible says, "Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, 'We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it'. But the men who had gone up with him said, 'We can't attack those people. They are stronger than we are'. And they spread among the Israelites, a bad report about the land they had explored. They said. 'The land we explored devoured those living and all the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there, the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them'".
Stop, there's no conversation between the giants and the spies about who was bigger. That wasn't what they heard, that was what they thought. The Nation never saw the promised land for themselves. They relied on the support or the report of the spies to give them a picture of the promise of God, as well as give them a prediction about the outcome. And it wasn't because they saw something. It was because they heard something. And what they heard was a result of something that the spies thought. So when it said in the Scripture, "They spread among the Israelites, a bad report, and that report kept the Israelites from going into the land that God had given them". I realized, it is possible to be stopped, not because of giants, but because of your thoughts. Not because of something that is actually bigger than you, but because of something that you have made bigger than you, on the movie screen of your mind.
How many of you have an IMAX screen in your mind and you can blow things up all to all different proportions? The whole nation caught a thought and it made their faith weak, and God had given them the land and they could have had the land. In fact, the land was already theirs, because the enemy can't take away anything that God has given to you. However, if he can attack your faith through weakening your immune system... That faith immune system that is supposed to filter out those microscopic germs, those seeds of discontent that will cause you to walk away from what God is calling you to walk into, although he can't take it away from you, if he can get to your faith. If he can get to that part of you that believes God and cause it to be disrupted by something that your eyes see or your ears hear...
Holy Spirit help me say this the right way. He can't take it. So what he wants to do is to move you from a place of believing that he loves you, called you, qualified you, set you apart, puts you there to do it. And the issue with me is that I experience both thoughts, both voices simultaneously. Let me try to break this down. I got Caleb telling me, this is one thought, "you should, you can", and then I got 10 other spies. Do you ever notice how it seems to be more reasons why you shouldn't than that you should? Do you ever felt outnumbered in your thought life. Yeah, I got 10 spies. Now the spies are going into the land. And the number one rule of being a spy is don't get caught. Right? Y'all with me? Yeah, it's the number one rule of being a spy. Whatever you do sneak in.
And Joshua told him or Moses told him Joshua was one of the two spies that saw the right way. And he told them, Moses told Joshua and Caleb in the 10 other spies he said, "When you go in there, make sure, make sure that they don't see you". Okay, but then they got caught. But they didn't get caught by their enemies. They got caught by their insecurities. I'm gonna preach to you. They got caught by a thought. And the thought was, "We're not big enough". The thought was, "We don't have enough". The thought is, "We can't, they're bigger". And so then now all of a sudden, they are dominated not by their enemies, but by their thoughts.
And God said that I was preaching to somebody today, who is caught between two thoughts. One is telling you that God gave you everything you need to raise that child. The other is telling you that you're the one who screwed them up. I'm a preaching to your business today. One is telling you that it's all right, God can restore the years that the locusts have eaten. The other is telling you you've wasted too much time and now nothing good can happen in your life. So I'm caught between two thoughts. And on one hand, I see the size of the grapes. I see the size of the promise I know the size of my God. On the other hand, I hear all of the reasons why a great big God could not use a little puny person like me from Monks Corner South Carolina, a little puny person like me, who never did this on this level before.
Even as I preach to you, I'm caught between two thoughts. She looks like she's never heard a better sermon in her life. Somebody up there looks like they hate me and are contemplating how they can slip out. And how did I get stuck in the middle of this row for this sermon? And why is he yelling like that? And that shirt is too bright, and it hurts my eyes. And I just want to get out of here. I'm a preach to you. I'm a preach to the love in the room. I'm going to preach faith. You feel better L.J? He had to miss last Sunday. It's the first time he's missed playing behind me in three years. He's never missed. But he caught a stomach bug.
And I'm not gonna lie to you, this may make me a bad pastor when I saw him Tuesday, I waved at him I didn't dap him up. I'm not gonna spend the whole week throwing up just to tell you how love. We can do this virtually. Love you man, praying for you from a distance. I'm not getting close and after catch it. And honestly, this is why I had to stop hanging out with some certain people because I started realizing - you catch what you're close to. Now if you need to take out your phone at this point in my sermon and do some surgery, with that, swipe left, delete move. Some of y'all don't need to lift your hands to have more faith you need to swipe your thumb, because it is your contacts. I caught something. I catch something every time I'm around them, every time I scroll.
I noticed this the other day. I get in a certain mood. And I can't figure out how was I so happy three minutes ago. And now... Have you ever had it switch that quick? Yeah. So I started studying and I realized that before I caught a feeling, I caught a thought. Now sometimes that thought is just me going through my feed. And I will see something that won't register. Now here's what I noticed. You don't feel it while you're scrolling. When I eat a whole bag of Oreos one Thanksgiving after I'd already eaten three meals, I didn't feel sick while I was eating them. My taste didn't tell me to stop. So I'm scrolling, and I don't feel sick, until after I've stopped.
What I realized about myself and maybe you're more spiritually mature than me and you can find a church where the pastor is whole, healthy and doesn't have these issues. But for all of us who understand that sometimes you are mad about something that you saw 10 minutes ago on your phone, because you were in everybody else's life, but your own trying to figure out, "Am I better than them? Are they better than me"? And so what happened while I was scrolling? I saw them on vacation, and I know they're in debt. So I caught a thought of judgment. Why should they be on vacation when I know they're in debt, and now I feel sick 10 minutes later, because of the thought that I caught while I scroll through somebody else's situation that has nothing to do with my responsibility. You're gonna help me with this or am I gonna?
So, what happened to me was I caught a thought of offense. And then I reaped an attitude of frustration. I got offended the other day, because I saw God blessing somebody that he wasn't supposed to bless. Did you ever watch God just do something awesome for the wrong person? He didn't consult you. And so I found myself feeling insecure. The reason that I felt insecure in myself is because I caught a thought of offense about somebody else. So here's what happens. You become a victim of your own judgment. When you judge others that way, you judge you that way. So when you catch a thought of judging others, don't be surprised when the judgement come upon you. The less y'all say amen, the more I know I'm preaching.
So I caught a thought. I caught a thought, and I realized that the thought that I hold on to the thought that I, you know, like you can catch a wave. You could catch a football for game-winning touchdown like Graham Furtick did yesterday. Just this very yesterday. But I never knew I could catch a thought. I knew you could catch a case. I had some relatives that did it. I knew you could catch a cold. But I found out, you could catch a thought. And then I traced sometimes the weakness of my faith. And I asked myself the question, "Where did that thought come from"? And it's important where it came from, because where it comes from determines where leads to.
My issue is that when I say "I hear from God", I don't hear him out loud. God bless you if you do. I've never heard the audible voice of God, ever. I mean, he speaks through my wife all the time. But other than that exception, I've never heard the audible voice of God. If you have, I'm not mad at you, unless you start trying to use it to manipulate people by making up stuff that God told you because God has three way calling and he can tell us both. So don't tell me God spoke to you something that I'm not in agreement with and try to get me to do something you want to do by saying God told you to, especially if you say God told you to quit your job because you're just tired to deal with frustrating people. I don't know if that's God or if you're just tired need to get some sleep and a better attitude when you show up. I never heard God that loud.
One guy asked me one time he was like, "When you say God spoke to you? How do you know"? Great question. Because I don't hear God at an auditory level. So when I say God spoke, that can be misleading. You know, when Peter said, "Jesus spoke to me", it was literal. Jesus was a person. He spoke to me. I was fishing one night, hadn't caught anything, I was frustrated, and Jesus said, "Let down your nets in the deep for a catch", and Peter would say, "At first I was frustrated, because I thought, 'You're a carpenter. I'm a fisherman. You do your job. I'll do mine. You want to my boat to preach from I didn't know you were going to try to drive it, but'", watch this, "'because you say so I will let down the nets'". Now, when he let down the nets, he caught a great number of fish. But God was showing me that before he caught the fish, he caught a thought.
Do you like this church? Before there was a seat, there was a thought. Now see, the issue with this is I don't hear God out loud like that. And so I connect with God not in an auditory or sensory level. I connect with God at the level of thought. Which would be fine. If God spoke to me at the level level of thought and He was the only one who spoke that way. But I got this other Joker. They call him the devil. But when I say the devil tempts me or the devil discourages me... I'm not talking about a guy in a Halloween costume that he got on clearance at Target, walking up with a pitchfork and a cape and some horns. I never saw the devil like that. I just put him off my shoulder. He's not on my shoulder. When he comes to me. He comes to me through a thought.
So now I got God speaking to me through my thoughts. I've got the enemy trying to speak against what God spoke to me through my thoughts. I got two voices on the same device, and I'm caught between a thought one is telling me your greatest years are ahead of you. One is telling me you've already done all the good things you're gonna do. You better ride it out because it won't be much longer. One is telling me go ahead and speak it and say it and do it and step into it and believe for it. And the other one is telling me, "Well, you better not go too far out there. You know, if you go too far out there, you'll be embarrassed. And after all, you climb high, he'll pull you down". And I'm caught between Caleb, we can, and the other spices. I'm caught.
I got this thought that goes through my mind, all the time, that says, "It doesn't matter". Just all the time. I could be doing anything. And it'd be like, it's almost... the way the thought... you know that eye-roll emoji that you? Yeah. That'd be the face of it but the thought behind it is like, you know, who cares? Doesn't matter. You ever had that thought catching, trying to do something? Raise your hand again if you've ever had that thought. Why don't raise your hand so much higher the second time I asked it. "Oh, you're not enough". I don't know if you say it exactly like that, but it's crazy how many people I talked to. And I used to think it was people who didn't have a lot of confidence. But then I realized professional athletes have this thought that I'm not enough.
They are the ones who our society worships. And still there's a thought. It's a thought that's going around. The reason is going around so much more now than it used to go around is because now we we don't judge ourselves or measure ourselves according to the calling God has given us. We compare ourselves to a fictionalized account of somebody else's life. That's where you always get in trouble, now get this point, you always get in trouble when you start comparing your calling to somebody else's. Because when you compare callings, you catch insecurity. When you compare callings you catch insufficiency. When I think, "I not enough", you know, "I'm not enough". Even the disciples, you know, "it's not enough food to go around, Jesus. You need to send them away".
How many times have I sent away something that God put in my life? Because I caught a thought that I'm not enough. They wandered around and around and around in the wilderness for 40 years, not because of their enemy, but because of their thought. And then even sometimes when things are going good, I got this thought. I don't know where it comes from. I don't think it's God. I think it is. It's hard to tell sometimes. Because it's not like He talks like this. I don't even know what that was. I'm glad He didn't talk like that. That was super weird. Yes, I like Morgan Freeman. It's just a thought. Come on, if God sounded like Morgan Freeman, you could do it. If He narrated your life like that you could do it, you could make it you; you would go to sleep and wake up and just be ready for the day. But it comes like a thought.
You know, even when it's going good, it won't last. They'll leave you too, you can count on them. Then you sabotage the gift. Because you're not secure in it. Because even while it's happening, you don't believe it's real. This is my thoughts. I don't know where I caught 'em. I had a good mom, good dad. I mean, they weren't perfect. Don't get me wrong. I wish I could trace it back to just one traumatic event. I think that would be easier. "Not enough" - where'd that thought come from. I'm not sure where it comes from. But I know where it takes me. And when I look back on the seasons of my life, that I was so deep in depression. Oh, yeah. And I know the Bible verses. Yeah, I know better than you.
Let's have a quoting contest. "Rejoice in the Lord always". I was saying it again rejoice. See my hand motions. I know the verse. Rejoice in the Lord always. And then Paul says, I will say it again. Rejoice. Well, you can say it as many times as you want to Paul, I'm sad right now, and I can't find my way out. And so now I'm fighting on the level of my feelings, but watch this, before it became a feeling... Look, even Paul, it wasn't just like Moses was a bad leader. Even Paul had to fight against opposing voices and thoughts, systems that undermine the essence of the grace of God in the Gospel. Even in the churches that He started, even in the church at Corinth.
He would write to that church and what would happen to them was that they would be led astray or the word He likes to use in Second Corinthians is deceived. It says, I feel that you're being deceived by the power of suggestion. He uses the example He says, like Eve was deceived by the serpent. You remember that story? When God said, you can eat any of this, and then she caught a thought from a snake. She allowed something that was beneath her to speak to her and she caught a thought. See, I never had a snake slither up to me and talk to me. I wish I did. I wish it was a snake that I could chop the head off of it. It's the thought, and I have to live with this, and I have to deal with it.
And the serpent said to Eve, "Did God really say"? You see it, he introduces a doubt into the possibility and potential of faith causing her to focus on what is not available rather than what is. And Paul says, I'm afraid that you will be deceived. Because there's these. There's the spies in the church of Corinth, and they're leading the Christians astray. They're doing it by the power of thought they are introducing the thought into the church that you need something other than Christ to justify you. He says, I fear that you have been led astray from your pure devotion to Christ. And "pure" is the right word, that's the important word. "Pure", it's that uncontaminated place that you access occasionally, where you know that God's got you and everything is going to be alright.
You ever just felt that and you had no reason to and you didn't even have the facts to back it up? You ever just felt that like, wow, I just feel like, I feel like I'm gonna make it and God's gonna do it. And I just feel and I can't even prove it on the flow chart or anything like that. But I just... what happens is the enemy deceives you, he can't take what God gave you. You know that right? I need to make sure you know that. He can't take what God gave you. But if he can get you to catch a thought that opposes it, he can keep you so weak that you will not walk into it.
And this is what he says to the church at Corinth, because they got spies running around introducing lies to the church. They got thoughts that oppose the knowledge of God. In fact, that's how he phrases it. In 2 Corinthians 10:4, he says, "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds". What's the stronghold? In military terms is a place that you go to seek refuge, a stronghold, where you set up to do a battle where the enemy can get to you. Or it can become a place where the enemy traps you in. He says, what happens in a physical battle can happen mentally, spiritually, emotionally, to any one of us at any time.
See, because it is with the thought that I can experience God. I can catch a thought of Jesus and His grace for me and His love for me and His mercy toward me. And that thought can move me to worship Him in the beauty of holiness, in the splendor of His magnificence. In fact, I want to say this, one thought of Jesus can lift you above any wave of worry. One thought of Jesus. Have you been having trouble breathing this week? Get a thought on your mind of the goodness of God. You see that battle He brought you through? You see that way He made for you and just one thought of Jesus. How many know, one thought can lift me out of the pit? One thought.
But as a stronghold, can also ensnare you. A thought. "I'm not enough". Thought, "I wonder what they're thinking about me right now" - they're not. But that thought, "this isn't going to end well", that thought. "I'm not what they think I am". Here's one of my strongholds, "If they really knew you, they wouldn't like you". If they really knew, because all of us are bluffing, all of us are faking it. All your little cool friends are faking it. They all got acne, they all got issues. They all feel lonely, and none of y'all are cool. Everybody's faking it. Don't care how expensive your shoes are, you aren't perfect.
But Paul, they were coming in their church like, "Oh, he's an imposter. He's not a real one". They were introducing a thought to rob them. You know, the devil is a thief, right? He can't take your promise. So now he wants to steal your thoughts. Bob was reading something in Proverbs. Can I show you this real quick? I didn't get to show 'em last night. In Proverbs 6:30, it says, "People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he's starving". A thief is just a thief. You know, the enemy is a thief. You can't blame him for trying to steal what he doesn't want you to have. But check the next verse. I love this Verse. Proverbs 6:31, "Yet if he is caught", yeah, if he is caught, "he must pay seven fold". So today we came into this service, to catch a thief and to let him know, give me my joy back, give me my peace back, give me my wisdom back, give me the joy of my salvation restores seven fold. I caught a thought.
I caught a thought. I realized that He loves me. And if He loves me, it doesn't matter if you like me. I caught a thought, I'm bold about it, I'm formed for it, I'm made for it, I'm called to it. And I believe I'll walk right forward into my future holding on to a thought of the favor of God. Some of y'all need to catch this. Come on, catch this favor, catch this word, catch this joy, catch this piece. You've been hanging around Facebook, but so came in here for some faith today, didn't you? Well, catch this. God is for you. He's more than the world against you. Kick those ten spies out of your head and listen to Caleb "we can, we should, we will. He is, I have, I am".
High five 'em and say, "I caught a thought". I caught a thought. I caught a thought. Just like I caught a cold last February, I caught a thought. I found out that He is able. I found out that He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. I found out He is the bread of life. He is El-Shaddai, He is more than enough. I caught a thought of God. A thought brought me into depression, and a thought is going to bring me out. When I survey, the wondrous cross, on which the prince of glory died, my riches came, I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. What's he saying? I caught a thought of the goodness of God. And it lifted me out of the pit of my despair.
You can't keep the thought from coming. But watch what Paul said. He said, we demolish strongholds. How do we destroy it? Verse five is important. He said, we demolish every spy that says we can't. And every pretension that self sets itself up against the knowledge of God. How many know something about God that is deeper than a feeling? I mean, you've known it since you were a child. You've known it in your soul. You've known it in your spirit, deep calls to deep. So when I have a thought, that opposes what I know about God, what you can do about it? I can't keep it from coming. But He said "We take captive every thought to make it obey Christ".
So when they say you seem different this week, you don't look so stressed this week. Tell them "oh yeah, it's the craziest thing". I caught a thought it was about this big. I found out God is about this. I caught a thought of His greatness and magnified Him in my mind. I began to rejoice in the rock of my salvation. This I recall to my mind therefore I have hope. I caught a thought. And it led me to a hope. Now, the thought that you hold on to, the one that you allow to dominate; that will be the stronghold of your life. If the Lord is your stronghold, if He is the place where you hide, if you catch a thought, a glimpse of your calling...
Okay, here it is. There was a woman who was bleeding on the inside. She heard Jesus coming through her part of town. She had done everything to fix it at the level of the symptom, but nothing worked. The condition that she had, was a deep one. It was causing her to hemorrhage and lose blood. Just like many of us hemorrhaging, emotionally, and losing energy and losing hope. When she heard Jesus passing through her desperation for a change caused her to do something dramatic in her life, because she had gotten a second opinion and a third opinion and a fourth opinion, and none of that worked, but here comes healing and here comes hope.
And the Bible says that she did what she had to do to get through all of the people who could have blocked her and to grab a hold, to catch Jesus as He was passing by to somebody else and is moving quickly. And Peter's backing everybody away. "Don't touch Him. He's in a hurry". But she reaches out, and the Bible says that she, is this verse 37, "she touched this cloak". She caught Him. She caught His cloak. She caught what could heal her. She caught a flow. She caught a miracle. She caught a change. Verse 38. Because she thought... Before I caught the answer, I caught a thought. Before I caught forgiveness, I caught a thought. Before I caught bitterness, I caught a thought. If I can catch a thought, I can catch His cloak. If I can touch Him, He can make me well.
With everyone standing, and your hands lifted to heaven, like you need to catch what heaven has today. I declare over your life, that faith and favor, are flowing from the person of Jesus, in the form of the Holy Spirit in this moment, across every location and our E-Fam around the world, catch this. You've been holding on to thoughts of low self worth and low self esteem, all to lead you to this moment in the presence of Jesus, that if you can catch a thought... the woman was made well, because she touched His cloak. She touched His cloak because she caught a thought. And there are great opportunities for love and for joy and for peace. And for provision, there is a great calling and assignment on your life. My sister, there is a tremendous promise in front of you. And there's Caleb saying, "you should, you can". And there's ten other spies saying "you can't". And I don't care if you're out numbered ten to two, if you will follow Caleb into Canaan, you can eat the fruit of the land.
You can experience the joy of the Lord, if you can catch this thought. This I recall to my mind, I caught a thought and it lifted me from my despair. I caught a thought and it lifted me from my addiction. I caught a thought of Jesus, and it lifted me from my shame, and I begin to rejoice and worship Him with gladness because I caught thought of victory for the battle belongs to the Lord. He is my stronghold. He is the strength of my life. And I will not be put to shame. For the joy of the Lord is my strength. Come on, catch this victory. Catch this wind. Lift your sails and catch this victory. Catch this one. Sing it over the people, Chris till they catch it. I'm gonna see it in the land of the living. I'm gonna see the goodness of God. I'm gonna sing it. I'm gonna see a victory Come on touch His garment. Touch His presence. Touch His healing. Touch His robe. Come on, you can catch faith.