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Steven Furtick - Unlearn Your Limitations

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Steven Furtick - Unlearn Your Limitations

I kind of want to continue on something I said on Easter. I'll explain that in a second. Let me read the Scripture. "A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus..."

That's a strange phrase. You're not going to see it many times in the Bible: above Jesus. You won't see that very much in the Bible. You won't see it about sickness. You won't see it about shame. You won't see it about anxiety. You won't see it about panic attacks. You won't see it about political parties. Just circle that one, because you won't see that "above Jesus" again. You only see this one time. So, physically speaking, they positioned themselves on the roof. Watch this. A lot of y'all know this Bible story, but this is crazy if you stop and think about it. They dug through the roof and lowered the mat the man was lying on.

"When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.' Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 'Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming!'" "It's heresy". "'Who can forgive sins but God alone?' Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts"... I can't wait to come back to you, verse 8. "...and he said to them, 'Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, "Your sins are forgiven," or to say, "Get up, take your mat and walk"? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.' So he said to the man, 'I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.'" "Get out of here, and tell your friends you don't need a ride home". "He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, 'We have never seen anything like this!'"

I want to speak to you today about unlearning your limitations. I dabbled in it on Easter, and I want to dive deeper today. That's my title: Unlearn Your Limitations. That's the straightforward title. That's the topical title. Here's the saucy title: You Need a New Roof. Now sit down and let's talk about it. You need a new roof. Limitations are learned. Right? Maybe you haven't had kids. They don't know tongues don't go in electrical sockets. They don't know anything about anything until they... Graham was telling us one time he could beat up Mike Tyson. Just the confidence of Graham is something I need y'all to pray about, because I kind of think it's a great gift, and then I kind of think it's a liability, and I can't figure out which one yet.

I mean, the boy walked into church today with a mullet with his head held high. Just the confidence, the swag of Graham to not care what you think about his mullet. Limitations are learned. The interesting thing about this text is it seems like the experience of the people who are experts in the Word of God works against them, and the stupidity of the people who get a miracle seems to have a strategic advantage. I guess that's why I've always liked the passage. In 15 years of building the church, there have been so many times where I've had to try unorthodox things in order to do something for which I had no frame of reference.

You may not know this. My dad wasn't a pastor. My dad was a barber. My grandfather was a pastor, but he pastored small churches. When I say "small"... Probably 100 people would have been on the bigger side. He did churches of 70, 50. I think in Moncks Corner it was the biggest one. It was about 200 on Easter. It wasn't that big. That, to me, in my mind, was the biggest church I had seen. In fact, where I was a youth pastor, there were about the same, about 120... Santee Circle Community Church where Pastor Mickey let me learn to preach. When I went to preach one time with Holly... I was sharing at a church in Cowpens, South Carolina. There were about 50 people in the church, and the woman turned to Holly when I walked up to the pulpit to preach... I was only 18, and we were in college, and we had traveled out here for me to preach. The woman turned to Holly and said, "Is this Steven's first time preaching in a big church like ours"?

We always thought that was so funny. "A big church like ours," you know, with 50. And it was. It was for her frame of reference. Limitations are learned. By that I mean you don't really come into the world knowing what you are not supposed to do because you're white or because you're black or because you're male or because you're female or because you're Baptist or because you're Pentecostal. (I'd like to offend everybody before I finish this little list.) Those things are learned. Those are learned limitations. Here's what I mean. We wrote this song called "Rattle" last year. I was showing it to my friend, and they said, "Well, you can't play that at your church. Black people won't like it". I didn't say it.

Why are y'all looking at me like that? That's what they said. They said, "Black people don't really like rock 'n' roll". In my head I'm like, "Have you ever heard of Jimi Hendrix? Chuck Berry? Like, how did you categorize a people group who pioneered a style of music, and now you think they don't like it? That's your limitation. That's not the limitation of a person that you can just categorize". Anyway, y'all look uptight.

Let me get back to the Bible verses. In the Scriptures, there's a group of people called the scribes, or the teachers of the law it says here in Mark, chapter 2. I have to be honest with you. I've been unfair to this group of people through the years. In verse 6, where you see them show up, the teachers of the law, or the scribes (I'm going to tell you what that means in a minute)... They were sitting there, and they were judging Jesus, so I always hated them in the passage. It made me hate them that they would criticize Jesus who's the Son of God. At different times in my ministry, I've used this passage to preach to different needs. In some cases, I've used this passage to say that we, as the church, should be like the four men and bring our friends to Jesus.

Then I'd give everybody a little invite card for the next week, and I'd say, "Now bring your friends back to church". I'd tell them, "Break the roof" and send them out to go get their friends to Jesus. "Bribe them. Do whatever you have to do". That's not a bad message. I've also used this passage at times before to talk about what it would feel like to be the man on the mat who is getting dropped... Read it again real quick. Show me where he agreed to this idea. Show me where he asked them to take him up on the roof and lower him. Show me where he signed his consent, his legal release that "Y'all can drop me in the middle of"... No. You won't find it. I've related to that man before, because sometimes you feel like you're put in situations you didn't exactly sign up for.

In the passage I read to you just now, though, I felt some sympathy for the scribes this week that I've never felt before. Physically, the doorway was blocked by the crowd, but that's not all that was blocked in the passage. These teachers of the law (verse 6) were not the ancient equivalent of Internet trolls. These were not unemployed people with nothing better to do than to sit in judgment. They showed up for a specific purpose in the house that day in Capernaum, village of comfort, where Jesus did 22 of his miracles. Only 1,500 people in the town, but 22 of the biblical miracles happened in Capernaum. The sad part is at the end of his ministry, when he went to pronounce his woes and judgments, Capernaum, where he did a majority of his miracles, was on the list of cities that would not repent in spite of all they had seen.

The scribes in Mark, chapter 2, were not sitting there just as critics that day. They were sitting as a "correctness committee" to make sure this popular rabbi wasn't teaching something that contradicted the laws they had given their lives to defend and preserve. I think we need to have a little more understanding when we read the Scriptures sometimes of not just what we've thought about the people the Bible talks about... This teacher of the law group that's sitting there has traveled four days from Jerusalem to be in Capernaum at their own expense to make sure the people aren't being taught anything that's wrong. They wanted to make sure this guy wasn't running a cult.

I can get with that. Even back in the early days of the church, I would meet people who were in their 40s, because I was in my 20s when I started, and I would ask the people in their 40s, which I am now, "Why did you first come to our church"? They would say, "My kids came over, and I had to follow them to make sure you weren't crazy". Then I would say, "Well, was I"? and they'd say, "Yeah, but the good kind. You're the kind of crazy I like. I like your kind of crazy". And they'd stay. But they came over, and I thought they were judging me. No, no, no. They were protecting something precious to them. My father-in-law put me through so much to marry Holly. Oh, I didn't like him very much for a little while, but sometimes I look at Abbey, and I'm like, "I bet I will build an emotional moat for any squire who would dare to ask her hand". I can understand. It was precious.

Reading the Scripture this week, I understood that there are two roofs in Mark, chapter 2. The function of a roof... Remember it said they dug through the roof of the house to get the man to Jesus? Let's take a quick audience vote. Is a roof on your house a good thing to have in case of inclement weather? It's a good thing. Right? Because it keeps something out that can damage what's on the inside. So, when I studied about the scribes this week, I was amazed to find that the function they served was originally to preserve something that was very important to the people of God. You have to know this or you won't understand why... This is what Jesus said. "Why are you thinking these things in your heart"?

Well, why were they thinking these things in their heart? Why were they threatened by a prophet who would say, "I forgive your sin," an exclusive right of God alone? Why were they thinking these things in their heart? You have to understand what they were protecting, and in order to understand what they were protecting, you have to understand where they had been: in Babylon where God's people had been taken as captives. The scribes were specially trained to record the pronouncements and the legal decrees and the events and make sure to keep a record, but in Babylon, the customs of Babylon were different than God's chosen people had ever experienced before.

In Babylon is where the scribes began to develop the oral traditions surrounding the laws of Moses so that God's people would not forget who they were. They were specially suited to do it, because they were trained in recording the tradition. The only reason God's people even knew who they were when they came out of Babylon was because of the scribes. Now Jesus, who the Bible calls the express image of God, to show us what God is really like, shows up to fulfill the messianic prophecies about him, to save his people from their sin, and the scribes... Verse 6: "The teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 'Why does this fellow talk like that?'" "He's not supposed to do this. You can't do that. That's not how this works".

At the same time that they're thinking this, the debris is still falling through the ceiling from where four rednecks (I'm using my imagination about what kind of guys would have done this) have just moved through every excuse... Now this is a true statement. See if God's Spirit verifies what I'm about to say to you. If this man would have been dependent on a lot of us, the moment we would have seen the crowd, he would have gone back home the exact same way he came. For me, I'm really quick to give up and assume something isn't God's will when I can't immediately see a way in. Now we're in a passage where these scribes, these teachers of the law, who have preserved the identity of God's people... They weren't villains. Really, they were heroes. But what happened over time was the oral tradition became more important than the truth.

Did you ever play the telephone game? Do you know what I'm talking about, where I tell you something and you tell them something and by the time it gets all the way around, everybody has rabies and everybody is going to die? It's a crazy thing when it gets passed down. The thing about Jesus that maybe doesn't always get mentioned when we preach about him is that he reveals to us that our God is a confrontational God. God is confrontational. Your first thought about that might be, "No. God is a comforter. He's a good, good Father. It's who he is, Steven. It's who he is. It's who he is". And he is.

One Scripture says he comforts us with the comfort so we can comfort others with the same comfort by which we've been comforted. The Bible also says God comforts the downcast. That's something Paul said when he was going through a lot of conflicts. He does comfort the downcast. He'll speak words of reassurance to you when everybody else is speaking words of condemnation to you. Be sure of it. But the same God who comforts the downcast also confronts the dysfunctional. He loves you too much to leave you in something that is limiting you. He's a confrontational God. I know that thinking of God as confrontational may violate our perception of him as it was handed down to us, but God is very confrontational. God will get up in the face of anything that will keep you from being all he created you to be.

Now before you take this as permission to just go off on somebody and say you're being like Jesus, that's not the point of this lesson. The point of the lesson is for you to realize God will break through any of the beliefs you've developed about you, about him, or about others. He's not scared to do that. So, if it means going to Pharaoh and saying, "Let my people go" and he has to send frogs and turn the Nile into blood, and if God has to send flies and locusts and plagues... Even if God has to kill off the firstborn of Egypt, he will see to it that his people are really free, because he's a confrontational God. If it means he has to put you in a lions' den and shut the mouth of the lion to show Nebuchadnezzar that he is the great God and there is none above him, he'll do that. He's not a conflict-avoiding God. A lot of us never experience the growth because we will never face the conflict.

One thing I love about Holly is when that switch flips and she turns from sweet Holly, Mrs. Betterhalf Holly, smiling Holly who y'all know and love and subscribe to her book club... Let me tell you a story about Holly. This was right at Christmas time. She was on with customer service. She is the most polite person. She's not nasty. She's not mean. She's balanced. She's even. She can defuse. But at a certain point... Y'all have a perspective of Holly. Right? She's so... And she is...usually. On this phone call, the customer service rep wouldn't put her through to a supervisor. I don't know what Holly said, but at some point, the lady said, "Ma'am, I'm going to go ahead and transfer you to escalations". Holly said, "That's exactly where you need to put me: escalations. That's the place for me: escalations. Escalate me". Holly said that. I'm like, "Who are you? I know you, but I don't know you".

When something got in her way... She's going to try it the nice way, and everything like that, but there comes a time... Now listen. It's okay sometimes for you to have that nice, gentle kind of faith about things in your life. There's a time just to be nice and "Okay. I'm just going to wait and see how this turns out". But when something really matters to God's heart and your heart... This is what I'm trying to say: there comes a time to escalate. There comes a time when people can't do it for you, so you have to go above the people and go to the one who has all authority, all power. Aren't you glad God's power doesn't need people's permission to operate, that if God decides to use you in a certain way...? You can speak to the supervisor.

If people aren't treating you well, you can go to your Father and say, "Do you see how they're treating me? Do you see how the situation is? Do you see how I'm trying? Would you please get involved before I lose my mind and do something I'm going to regret"? God will step in. God will confront it. God will tell Pharaoh. God has a mighty hand. God has an outstretched arm. God said, "I've seen the misery of my people in Egypt, and I'm coming down there". Not everybody likes this kind of preaching. It's not comfortable. But when you have an addiction that's robbing you of the daylight of your life... So, as the conflict is escalating...

This is one of five stories in Mark's gospel that's showing us the confrontational nature of God. It's an interesting one, because... I'll point out a few things to you. When Jesus is arguing with the scribes about the Sabbath, they ask him, "Why are you breaking the Sabbath"? He's trying to teach them. "The Sabbath is made for man. Man is not made for the Sabbath. You have this completely out of order". In other words, "You have turned a gift into a limitation". When he healed this man on a Sabbath, all they could say was, "That's the wrong day to do it". The Sabbath was given to people as a gift, but they turned it into a limit. This is a sidenote: Don't let your gift become your limitation. Don't let something God gave you in one season of your life to protect you become something in the next season of your life that prevents you.

Do you want an example? All right. I have a hundred of these. The way we deal with people... Sometimes we learn to deal with people in a certain season of our lives a certain way to survive because we have to. A lot of times, I've been swinging, like fighting, and I didn't even look up and realize my enemy was gone and I was still swinging at the air. So my style of doing things... The best example I can give to you of this from my own life is that the way I've seen myself in certain seasons doesn't apply in other seasons. God can give you something as a gift in one season... What am I thinking of? We wrote this other song we just put out called "Talking to Jesus". Have you heard it? Chris can tell you.

The whole time we were writing that song... We wrote that with our friend Brandon Lake. The whole time we were writing the song, it broke all of the rules of a worship song. Worship songs are supposed to be like this. You're supposed to only say about 30 words and just scramble them all around. We're writing this song, and I'm finding myself saying lyrics like, "Mama used to drag me to church Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights, khaki pants and a polo shirt; boy, I put up a fight". I'm thinking, "Can you say 'khaki pants' in a worship song"?

Now, there's a reason worship songs are supposed to have a certain focus. The reason is when we come in to sing with our church, we want everybody to be able to access it. Maybe you didn't wear khaki pants to church. So, you're worshiping God. "Lord, I love you". I'm talking to Jesus. "What a friend I have in Jesus. Khaki pants? Huh"? It pulls you out of it. It's like, "Oh, I thought that was my song, but I guess that's not for me". The crazy thing about it was that I found God trying to give us a song about generational faith, but my rules for how God moves in worship were trying to restrict the expression God wanted us to bring. Those rules were there for a reason. The scribes were there for a reason: to preserve the identity of God's people. But sometimes what was sent to preserve something begins to prevent something.

I wonder if that has happened in your life. I wonder if you need new rules. While we're at it, I wonder who built your roof to begin with. Who set the limit to say, "This is what God can do through you and no more. This is what you're gifted at and no more. This is what people from your background, your education, your age... This is what you can do and no more". I was talking to my friend who's 43 the other day, and he was talking like his career was over. Then I told him about the guy who is 59 who reinvented and became a millionaire. Who put that roof on you? Who put the roof on you that if you aren't married by 25 there's something wrong with you? Who put that roof on you? Who put the roof on what we think God can do in church that we think God has to be confined to a building?

The irony of my ministry is that everything God has done through me was something I told him he couldn't do. I'm stubborn. I need the Holy Spirit. I need God's help because I'm so stubborn. I have these rules, like, "Online church isn't real". Said me. Now do you see why I feel bad for these scribes? These guys I've been preaching about all of these years... "These scribes, these teachers of the law, these Pharisees"... It's like there was a Pharisee in me. It's what I'm trying to deal with. It's not the crowd blocking the door I have to worry about. I told our team, "I don't think church online can be real church," because I'd never seen it before. If you've never seen it before, you believe it can't be real. If you've never seen a healthy marriage... Verse 12: "This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, 'We have never seen anything like this!'"

The same thing they said in praise is also the problem. "We've never seen anything like this before, so this can't be God. This is not the image I had of it. This is not the imagination I had of it. He's not doing the rules we want him to do. It's not following the rules". At the same time Jesus is breaking the rules, the men are breaking a roof. I realized there were two roofs being removed in Mark, chapter 2. One was physical. It was Peter's house, by the way. No, it really was. It says, "When Jesus came to the house in Capernaum"... That's the one where they based out of. It was Peter's house. If it would have been John, he would have kicked those boys off the roof, because John had good sense. But Peter was like, "I like your style. That's like something I would do. Oh, we'll get a new roof. Let's break the roof. Let's get this done".

Peter loved a mosh pit. Peter loved a crowd dive. Peter doesn't care. He didn't give a crap and cut off an ear. Jesus can put it back. I told Elijah the other day... I said, "I hope I set a good example for you. I hope I show you how to treat a woman. I hope I show you how to maneuver through difficult times. I hope I show you something about how to seek God, be creative, make friends with your own creativity, don't let it turn inward, make sure you use it in service of others. I hope I show you a few things about Romanian deadlifts and Arnold presses and some things you can take with you the rest of your life. I hope I show you some good music, like Nirvana Nevermind and other classic gospel albums of the 90s".

Y'all have limitations on genres. I'm telling you, there's some good worship music you haven't heard yet. But I said, "If you discover something"... Listen to this. This is something I would say to anybody, but I said it to my oldest son. I said, "If you see something in me that limits who God has made you to be, don't be loyal to my limitations". Here's the example I gave him. I had a friend who used to train other preachers how to preach, and they would try to copy him. But they would copy not only the good things he did, because he was an amazing evangelist; they would even copy his mannerisms that were just incidental or glitchy. One thing in particular... He said they tried to walk like him when they preached. They were trying to walk like him, not realizing he had a bad back.

So, they're limping across the stage to be like their mentor. I thought, "That's crazy, man. They're imitating your injury. They're seeing you do something, and they are thinking that because you do it, it must be right". So I told Elijah, "Don't imitate my injury. Imitate me as I imitate Christ". This is what I told him: "I think my ceiling can be your floor". I don't mean in a pulpit as a preacher. I'm not limiting my kids that they need to be in the ministry. They are going to be in the ministry. It just might not be my style of ministry. It might not be a pulpit or preaching or an acoustic guitar. What if one of them leads worship with a track beat? What if that's the next wave of God's anointed holy music on the earth? What if they don't work at a church at all, but what if God uses them in a great way in the world?

After all, most of the miracles Jesus did were in the marketplace. Why do we try to confine God to the places we're most comfortable in? Why do we think the most important stuff God is going to do is going to be through a preacher? The only point of a pulpit is to empower you for your field...for your field. You need a new roof. You keep banging up on the things... Here's what happens through life. You learn lies and become loyal to them, and then those lies become limits. "You can't put 'khaki pants' in a worship song". Well, I did. "You can't come in through the roof". "Well, we did". I thought about calling this sermon "It's Better to Ask Forgiveness Than Permission". In some cases. A lot of times, we're waiting on somebody else to give us permission. You have to get certain permission from within.

Now, I don't mean be inappropriate and walk around without your mask, talking about... I'm not talking about that. I want to put the thought in your mind about inner permission. It's the inner permission that matters. Go to Corinthians. Let me show you this. First Corinthians 2. This might be too much, but I'm going to give it a shot. You know, Jesus argued with the scribes about the washing of hands. There are so many things he argued with. In this particular instance, there's one difference.

Let me illustrate it from 1 Corinthians 2. Go all the way to verse 6. It's about 10 verses I want to read you. "We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God's wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: 'What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived'—the things God has prepared for those who love him"... Don't stop at that verse. Verse 10 says something pretty cool. "...these are the things"... What things? The things that no eye has seen and no ear has heard. "...these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit".

I'm so glad I have my own Bible, because I would have always thought 1 Corinthians 2 stopped at verse 9. I heard this verse quoted for years. "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love him". And they'd stop. Verse 10 says, "These are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit". These are the things. Go back to Mark, chapter 2, for a moment. "Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 'Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?' Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, 'Why are you thinking these things?'" "The power of the Lord is present to heal the sick, and all you want to think about is the limitations of your senses...what you can understand, what you can make sense out of. Why are you thinking these things"?

Well, I can tell you why they thought those things. They were taught those things. You were taught how to think about who you are in Christ. You were taught to think about how you function in the world. You were taught to think about your definition of power. You were taught to think about what you can and can't accomplish. If you've never seen it before, it's hard to believe it can be. Here in Mark, chapter 2, we have Jesus who is able to see something no one else can see. Did you notice it in the text? It said in verse 5, Jesus saw their faith. How can you see faith? I didn't know you could see faith. I never walked up to somebody and said, "It looks like you've been gaining faith". "Wow! You've lost some faith. Can I pray for you"?

He could see faith in the form of the roof that was at his feet because of their action. He saw their faith. Not the man on the mat...their faith. How many praise God that the right people in your life can lead you to healing? Come on, I mean the right people...the right people who won't give up when they see the crowd, the right people who won't give up on you because you're a little heavy. The right people. I have a question. If the right people can get you healed, can the wrong people keep you paralyzed?

Some of the greatest limitations we put on ourselves come in the form of the relationships that have no more purpose to serve in this season of our lives. You need a new roof. You need some new relationships. You really do. You need some new people. I found out that just like the men carried their friend... In fact, I always said it was his friends who got him to Jesus, but the Bible never even calls them his friends. It just says they were some men. I don't know if they were friends or if he hired them for the job. It doesn't matter. They got it done. But I'll tell you something. When you circle up with people who are stuck in a limitation of what God used to do, it is very hard for you to believe that all things are possible.

I give you a challenge today. You can choose to receive it or you can choose to reject it. That's going to be up to you. I believe I'm speaking to somebody who has been blocked lately. You've heard of writer's block probably. I've experienced that. There's even preacher's block. I promise you it's a real thing. There's also peace block, joy block. The biggest block in the passage was not the crowd at the door. It was the limitations in the hearts of the scribes who were sitting there thinking to themselves. So Jesus proved his power over sin. He was like, "Hmm. If you don't believe I forgive sin, maybe you'll believe me if this man gets up and walks. It's easier for me to make him walk than it is for me to forgive him, because I'll have to die for him to be forgiven".

What are the limitations God is calling me to unlearn? I mean, certain limits are good. The NBA is over. You're 34. You're not going to do it now. It's not going to happen now. You can dunk on your son, but it's not going to the professional level. You're not going to get paid for it. But certain things you said... I said this on Easter, and I talked about how we'll even blame it on a personality type. Personalities aren't permanent. Temperaments are given, but personalities aren't. There's no such thing as, "I'm just a negative person". There are just negative patterns.

What are the limitations you need to unlearn that you received because of lies you believed? Your limitations were learned. You didn't always think like that. You didn't always think, "Well, if I love anybody, I'm just going to get hurt, so I'll just stay here to myself, and I'll just isolate and never really let anybody in, because you can't trust anyone". You learned that. In Luke, chapter 5, I was reading, because Luke puts it a little differently. It's the same story, but he said when Jesus saw the men lower him, he looked at the man and said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven". All of these years I've been preaching this text, and I said his four friends are the reason he got healed.

Luke 5:20: Jesus said to the man, "Friend". When the man's friends had taken him as far as they could, he found a friend who had no limitations. The real beauty of it is that Friend lives in you. So, whatever external limitation it is, I believe God is going to use it in your life to reveal to you an internal grace that is greater than the external limitation. I declare it over your life. I prophesy it over your life. I don't have to scream to prophesy. I'm saying it to you direct, flat-footed. Watch me stand here and say it.

The limitation is a gift. The external thing serves a purpose in your life: to show the greatness of God. Jesus knew the man needed to be forgiven more than he needed to be healed. He gave him the gift of a limitation to give him the gift he didn't know he needed. So, we have a Jesus who can hear thoughts. Isn't that scary? They didn't even say anything and he argued with them. A Jesus who can see faith and a God who can forgive sins. Let's take a moment today in our lives and do what the men did. Let's put the issues of our lives at the feet of Jesus. All he was proving was "I have all authority. There is nothing you can bring into my presence"... There is nothing you can say about yourself, there is nothing you can bring into this room, into the presence of God, there is no problem you can name that is greater than the power of God.

So right now, Lord, in the name of your Son Jesus who walked the earth and lived the life I could not live, the one who died a death on a sinner's cross, the one who in the weakness of flesh demonstrated the strength of God... In that name, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I speak to every human frailty. I speak to every sickness. I speak to every disease. I speak to every insecurity. I speak to shame. I speak to deep shame. I speak to secret shame. I speak to fear. I speak to night terrors. In the name of Jesus, you will rise up above what was holding you, and you will demonstrate the authority of the word of God in your life this day, this week, this moment. You will break through every roof. You will break through every tradition. You will break through every barrier. You will break through every limitation. You will break through every name that has been placed on you.

His name is greater. I speak it over every life. God, we have proof, we have evidence that you forgive and heal, but we must believe it to be true for us, because the greatest block in our lives will not be something standing outside the door; it'll be something that grows up in our hearts. So, Lord, right now we bring it all before you. As we minister today, Lord, we said there are some things only your Spirit can reveal. Eyes can't see it, ears can't hear it, but your Spirit knows it. I pray for your sons and daughters this week, that they would be visited by revelation of who you are and who they are in you. O God, if they find that out, they will never be blocked again.

We're using this moment to escalate. We want to be transferred to another department. We've been down here dealing with some stuff. We don't need permission from scribes and people. We don't need a pretty entrance. God, we just need a way into your presence. God, you have given us a way in through the sacrifice of your Son, and now we receive your touch in this moment. We thank you for your presence.

Right now, I want to give an invitation for somebody to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and receive the grace of God. The Bible says it is by grace you are saved through faith. It's not of works, so no one can boast. It's the gift of God. You just heard this message today, and you're paralyzed. Not physically, maybe. It's a spiritual paralysis that sin creates. It's the sense that you can never reach God. It's the sense that you can't keep the law. It's the sense that you need the grace of God, and that grace has been made available. There are not seven steps to getting right with God. There's not all this knowledge you have to be able to quote. It's as simple as the faith of this man who was positioned at the feet of Jesus and forgiven of his sin. If you would like to receive that forgiveness of your sin, I want to lead you in a prayer right now. I want to just bring you to Jesus. I'm going to pray a prayer. I want you to repeat this prayer with me. It's going to be a life-changing moment, and we're praying all together out loud as a church family. Pray with me.

Heavenly Father, I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Today I make Jesus the Lord of my life. I believe he died for me and rose again to give me life. I receive this new life. This is my new beginning. I am a child of God.

On the count of three, if you prayed that, shoot your hand up. One, two, three. In the chat say, "I received Jesus". We want to celebrate with you. Online, "I received Jesus". Not "I achieved". "I received Jesus. I received the grace of God".
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