Steven Furtick - The Guided Mind and The Guarded Heart
And I've been waiting to ask you, are you ready for the word of God? I mean really ready! Are you ready... Come on y'all better stretch for this word! All right quit banging on those bongos and let me preach. 1 Kings Chapter 20. 1 Kings Chapter 20. Remain standing for the reading of God's word. It's good to see my niece Hattie with blonde hair I barely recognized her. Wow, a lot has changed. I used to have blonde hair Hattie. Look it up, it's on Google. 1 Kings Chapter 20 verses 1 through 34. You all in a hurry today? Okay, are you hungry? Hungry for the bread of life. The manna from Heaven I have food to eat that ye know not of. Okay King James, let's do it . First Kings, chapter 20, verse 1:
"Now Ben-Hadad king of Aram mustered his entire army. Accompanied by thirty-two kings with their horses and chariots, he went up and besieged Samaria and attacked it. He sent messengers into the city to Ahab king of Israel, saying, 'This is what Ben-Hadad says: "Your silver and gold are mine, and the best of your wives and children are mine".' The king of Israel answered, 'Just as you say, my lord the king. I and all I have are yours.'"
How are you going to give up that easily on what God gave you?
"The messengers came again and said, 'This is what Ben-Hadad says: "I sent to demand your silver and gold, your wives and your children. But about this time tomorrow I am going to send my officials to search your palace and the houses of your officials. They will seize everything you value and carry it away".' The king of Israel summoned all the elders of the land and said to them, 'See how this man is looking for trouble! When he sent for my wives and my children, my silver and my gold, I did not refuse him.'"
Let's key in on these next verses. "The elders and the people all answered, 'Don't listen to him or agree to his demands.' So he replied to Ben-Hadad's messengers, 'Tell my lord the king, "Your servant will do all you demanded the first time, but this demand I cannot meet".' They left and took the answer back to Ben-Hadad". "This demand I cannot meet". "Don't listen to him or agree to his demands".
That Scripture was probably unfamiliar to most of you. How many of you never heard that one before or don't remember hearing it? We can't start my first Sunday back with y'all lying right here in church. Come on. How many of you are like, "I don't really know much about Ben-Hadad"? I'm going to balance this and give you a familiar Scripture, and then we'll preach. Look at Philippians, chapter 4, verse 6. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus". For the next few minutes, let's talk about The Guided Mind and the Guarded Heart. In case that's too pretty, here's the other title: Take It Back.
Father, I thank you for this day of deliverance. Do what you said you would do. In Jesus' name, amen.
I want to make a confession to you. One of my friends advised me not to share this. I'm going to share it anyway. About 10 years ago, I went to have a consultation for liposuction. Buck went with me. This is not an endorsement or a negative publicity against cosmetic surgery in any way, but I went to get a consultation to see if the doctor thought I should do liposuction. I didn't do it. He talked me out of it. The reason I went is I want to have abs and I like fried rice. That's what I told him. When he heard me talking, he said, "Oh, you're one of these guys". I said, "One of what guys"? Buck was there with me. He said, "You're one of these guys. You want me to fix the fat, but you still want to eat the food".
I think the guy had a lot of integrity, because he said, "Get out of here". He said, "Come see me after you've changed your processes. Come see me after you've changed some things, maybe your diet, your exercise, and all that". He said, "But don't come to me asking me to fix what you are unwilling to change". So I left, and I didn't do it. I still haven't done it to this day, but I might one day. I don't know. I'm not making any commitments like that. What I've noticed a lot of times, spiritually, is that we bring God our problems, and that's good. I want you to know you can bring any problem you ever have into the presence of God. Your problems are welcome in God's presence. You might as well bring them into the presence of God. It's not like he doesn't know about them anyway. My problems are welcome in God's presence. That helps me to know there's nothing I'm dealing with I have to carry by myself.
I don't get extra credit for holding it to myself. When I come to God, I can start talking about, like Paul said in Philippians, chapter 4, anything. He said, "Don't be anxious, but instead, pray". I'm so grateful there's nothing I have to hide from God. I can bring him any problem I have. Not just a big one but a small one. Not just a small one but a big one. God doesn't have a scale where he weighs my problems and says, "That's too big. I'm busy". On the other hand, God doesn't have a "Must be this tall to ride" sign in his presence, where he says, "If your problem isn't a certain amount, I'm not concerned with it," because he has numbered the hairs on my head and he cares about what I care about. But lately, I've felt the Lord challenging me.
I want to start this teaching with you today, and this will really just be the beginning of it. God has been challenging me, "Instead of always just bringing me your problems, which you're always welcome to do, why don't you start bringing me your thoughts"? Instead of coming to him in an emotional state where I'm all worked up and so depressed and so anxious, and all of these other things I know I'm not supposed to be, but I get there, and then asking God, "Will you please suck it out…"? Have y'all prayed any prayers lately, "God, would you please suck this out of me"? Have you ever come to the Lord for lipo is what I'm trying to say? Where I'm asking God to deal with the consequences… And that's fine. I would not discourage you from that.
There's nothing you brought in here today that God hasn't seen before. Please don't ever be arrogant enough to think you have created a new category or species of sin that God is somehow going to be repulsed or surprised by. And please don't ever think you're going to bring God something he would be intimidated or insulted by. At the same time, wouldn't you like to find out what it would be like…? Instead of letting the problem get to the point where it's so tangled up inside of you that you have to bring it to God as a full-grown problem, what if you started involving God earlier in the process at the level of your thought?
When I read you the Scripture from 1 Kings 20, it was a surprising Scripture for me that God led me to to preach, because the main character in the passage is not King David…you know, man after God's own heart…or Moses who was no ordinary child, but a king we don't preach much about named Ahab. The only time you ever here Ahab's name is in connection with the problem he caused. And Ahab caused a lot of problems. In fact, for any of you who feel like you're too bad for God to bless you or you can't really get what God has for you, the Bible says in 1 Kings 16 that Ahab was the most wicked king who ever lived. That's who we're talking about. The Bible says that 32 kings came to attack him, a confederacy of 32 different kings, led by Ben-Hadad, who Ahab fought three different times.
I'm giving you all this background to remind you that Ahab, in 1 Kings 20, the king who needed for God to do something… Isn't it crazy that the king of Israel, the nation that belonged to God, didn't even ask for God's perspective before he agreed to the enemy's demands? If you notice, there is no section in this Scripture that Ahab stops and calls for a prophet. There is no section in the Scripture I read you that Ahab stops and says, "Well, let's see what the Lord says about this". There is no indication… I hate Ahab, because he caused all this trouble for the nation and then wanted to blame the enemy for an agreement he himself made with the enemy. How many times in my life and your life have we asked God to deliver us from an agreement we made with the Enemy without consulting him?
"Oh, you're one of those kinds," the liposuction doctor said to me. "You just want me to suck it out. You just want to bring me the results of your habits and have me fix them without adjusting any of them". Ahab is so quick to agree with the enemy. I wonder how many times in your life you have agreed with the enemy without even consulting God. Do you know what I mean by "agreed with the enemy"? It comes along in the form of anxiety. I'm not one of these people who wakes up to my first alarm clock. In fact, my default disposition in the morning is despair and discouragement. So, in some ways, the verse I read you in Philippians… I know you don't think these two Scriptures go together, but I'm going to show you how they do.
Philippians 4:6 to someone like me is just about the most annoying Bible verse in the Bible, where Paul says, "Don't be anxious about anything". My first instinct is I want to file that in the court of useless advice, and I also want to argue with Paul, because his kids didn't have Snapchat. When he's telling me, "Don't be anxious about anything," he didn't even have kids, so how are you going to sit here and advise me on a situation you never had firsthand experience of? I want to argue with Paul… "Don't be anxious about anything"… because to me, at first, it seems like an impossible demand. Then he says something else. He says: "…but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God". "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God".
This is the end of a letter Paul wrote to the Philippian church. This is not the first thing he said to them. This is not your annoying friend who gives you unsolicited advice. This is a church he had a great relationship with. This is in a time of his own imprisonment where he has more to worry about than they have to worry about. When we see the word anxious… I know you can't relate to this, but a few people in the church have had more anxiety in the past year than they ever had before. Just a few people in the church. Just a few dirty sinners. What the Devil did to me over the course of the pandemic is very interesting. It's almost by getting me to indulge in the little thoughts… I noticed he had tempted me to make agreements I didn't even know I made that almost caused me to give up what God gave me. An agreement with the enemy.
Ahab has a wife named Jezebel, and she has taught him to depend on idols. She is a Phoenician woman. She does not serve the God of Israel. She has taught him to serve Baal, the rain god, but he has just been proven false on a mountain called Mount Carmel under a prophet named Elijah. Now, after a state of famine, the nation is weakened, so Ben-Hadad makes a strategy. "I will attack them while they are still weak from the famine". It's not just one enemy you have to worry about. The Bible says he went and got 32 other kings. You need to know, before you agree with the Enemy, he always brings company you didn't count on. An agreement with the enemy.
Have you made any agreements with the Enemy that need to be broken today before you can move forward into the promise God has for your life? "Do not be anxious about anything". I don't like that verse, because, frankly, I like my anxiety. I'm not talking about as a medical condition. Terms get so culturally loaded. They mean different things to different people. I am not telling you not to consult a professional. That is not the point of this sermon. But many of us have made an alliance with anxiety somewhere deep in our hearts, and we have actually grown so accustomed to our anxiety it now feels normal to us and peace feels foreign. Now you get used to waking up feeling weird all the time, and now you get used to feeling on edge all the time, and you begin to think it is normal because it's all you've ever seen.
I love what the elders said to Ahab. This is what I believe the Spirit of God is saying to somebody today, and it's the message God gave me: "Do not listen to your enemy or agree to his demands". Just because my enemy speaks something doesn't mean I have to agree with it. After all, it is not the voice you hear that determines the life you end up with; it's the voice you believe. Before the Enemy can get you to agree with it, he has to get you to believe it. So in order to get you to believe it, he'll get somebody to say it. How many have found out you cannot believe everything you hear? Not these days.
I was reading the list of things Paul said we should think about, because he's trying to give us a new perspective. You don't have to believe everything that crosses through your mind. You don't have to accept everything that comes across your heart. He said, "Don't be anxious about anything, but pray about everything". He says there are some things we should think about. Verse 8: "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely…" I stopped at part one when he said, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true…think about such things," because I wondered, "How do I even know anymore what that is"?
How do I even know what is true? How can I possibly know in this culture of headlines and highlights? Now you don't even just believe the headline. You believe the retweet of the retweet of the retweet of the retweet. How do I even know what is true anymore? If I make an agreement with the Enemy… That's why I was excited about YTHX. I think if we can undo some of the untruths and keep our young people from making some agreements with the Enemy… This is what I'm praying, not only for this week, but I'm praying this for my kids all the time. Y'all know I have a good prayer life because I have three children who are still living in my house. Y'all know I have a good prayer life because one of them has his driver's permit. Y'all know I have a good prayer life because I have a beautiful 10-year-old daughter. I'm praying every day, "Don't let my daughter, don't let my sons, don't let me make agreements with the Enemy".
Sometimes you get in this self-pity mode and you kind of go with it. You start thinking, "Oh, I'm just worthless. I'm just this. I'm just that. I'm just the other". Do you know why you do that? Because it takes the pressure off for a minute. Do you know why Ahab gave up his silver and his gold and, the Bible said, his best wives? "You can have the other ones, but, Lord, let me keep the best ones". "I'm going to take your silver and your gold, and I'm going to take your best wives and your best kids". In other words, "I'm going to tax the land". Ahab said, "Okay. If I agree with you, maybe you won't attack me". Sometimes we find ways to make the attack stop that actually make the battle worse and weaken us on the inside after the fact. This is the root of addiction. Oh, I was praying for our kids. When y'all were standing up earlier, I was praying, "God, don't let them make an alliance with something early in their lives. Don't let them make an agreement with something".
Some of us make agreements with things that provide us with temporary relief, but they are false gods. They cannot save. They do not serve us. They do not satisfy us. They are broken cisterns that cannot hold water. So, if we're going to preach about anything, if we're going to preach about repentance from sin and dead works, we have to first understand that before the promise of God can be received, your agreement with the Enemy has to be broken. There are things about you that are not true, that are not right, that are not noble, that are not good report, that are not virtuous, that are not praiseworthy that you have begun to believe, because sometimes it is easier to believe the lie that looks like the evidence I can see than believe the truth that is new. It's easier for me to bring God my love handles and ask him to suck them out.
Have you ever crawled up in the presence of God when it's so bad you can't even hardly pray anymore after you've been 15 rounds with…? "O God, I just need…" I've had God help me in those times. To be honest with you, I wouldn't be here if he didn't help me in those times. So there's nothing wrong with that, but I heard the Lord say to me the other day, "This would have been easier if you'd have brought it to me earlier". Listen. It starts before you see it. That's true for a leak in your roof. That is true for an emotional state. I was so obsessed with Paul's instruction to the Philippians. He said, "The peace of God will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus". Look at this in verse 7. "And the peace of God…" I want the peace of God. "God, give me your peace. I'm so stressed out. I'm so anxious. I don't know what to do about it". He said, "If you don't guide your mind, it's impossible for God's peace to guard your heart".
How many know your mind needs to be guided? Oh, I need to break it to you? Your mind needs guidance. Your mind is an undisciplined rabid dog that will bite the whole neighborhood. Your mind needs guidance. That powerful computer of your mind needs guidance. Elon Musk hasn't made a self-driving mind yet, y'all. I don't think there's one coming on the market. If I'm going to bring God into my problems but not bring him into my process, watch what's going to happen every single time. When the king said to the enemy Ben-Hadad, "I can't meet these demands," the Lord gave a promise. Listen to this. First Kings 20:13: "A prophet came to Ahab king of Israel and announced, 'This is what the Lord says…'" "This is what the Lord says". I'm supposed to read what comes next, but that's where I'm stuck. "This is what the Lord says".
What did I come to church to hear? What the Lord says. What do I want to fill my heart with? What the Lord says. What do I want my kids to believe? What the Lord says. What am I building my life on that can't be shaken with a storm? What the Lord says. What has the power to defeat and uproot every lie I believe? What the Lord says. What am I steering my life according to? What the Lord says. What has the final say over what happens to me in this season of my life? What the Lord says. What has divine power to demolish strongholds and defeat every devil in hell? What the Lord says. "This is what the Lord says. I heard what you said, Ben-Hadad, but this is what the Lord says. Do you see this vast army? Do you see these problems? Do you see this situation? This is what the Lord says: 'I will give it into your hand today, and then you will know that I am the Lord.'"
"Well, Pastor Steve, that doesn't apply to me. I'm divorced". "Well, Pastor Steve, that doesn't apply to me. I'm 12". "Well, Pastor Steve, that doesn't apply to me. I have a learning disability". "Well, Pastor Steve, that doesn't apply to me. I have an eating disorder". "Well, Pastor Steve, that doesn't apply to me. I don't have any friends". "Well, Pastor Steve, that doesn't apply to me. I have a GED". If God did it for Ahab, he'll sure enough do it for me. I am his child. Do it for me, Lord! I have been carrying the burdens of battles that my decisions created. I have been anxious about agreements I made with the Enemy. But the Lord said, "I'm going to deliver them into your hands today, and then you will know…" "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and mind…"
Wait a minute. What's the difference? Heart and mind. The heart is the emotions. The mind is the thought process. I can't pray my way out of emotional states that my thinking caused. I'm not very good at vacation. I don't know how you can be bad at vacation, but I am. Usually I'm too lazy to do anything fun with my kids and make any memories, but then sometimes, when I try stuff, it just goes horribly wrong. In fact, every time I try to do something a little adventurous it goes wrong. We were talking this summer… We went to the beach this summer, and they had kayaks you could ride in the ocean, but it's different…
When Holly gets in the kayak, it's peaceful. When I get in the kayak, it's cursed. There were three times we got in the kayak that it went badly all in one week last summer. I didn't get in a kayak this summer, because the kayak is cursed when I get in. One of the times it ended with a man with scissors pointing them at me, telling me he was going to stab me with the scissors. That happened. We don't have time to talk about that, and I don't really want to talk about it. It's a horrible memory. Even when I'm not in the kayak… Listen to how bad I am at adventures. We swam in the ocean two summers ago. I think I told y'all this story where the riptide… Yeah, I told y'all that? But it's a conversation I had with Elijah I wanted to say to you. Maybe I'll say more about this at YTHX, because they're going to let me preach a session too. I might have to talk more about this.
I said, "Elijah, you've got to be so careful how far you swim out from me, because even if I want to get to you out there, there is a place that you can get so far away from me… I'm your dad. I'm your father. If I can get to you, I'll get to you". In this particular instance, the undertow was so bad I had Abbey on one arm, and Graham was hanging on the other. They didn't care if I lived or died. They were just using me as an object to get out. I said, "If you get too far out, it won't be about whether I want to come get you. There is such a thing…" I used it to parallel to him not just the water, but I talked about, "In your teenage years, in your decisions, there is a place where you can get far enough out…" Now, I'm not saying God's love can't reach you wherever you are, especially for y'all in the back. I'm not saying you're too far away for the Lord. What I'm saying is you can't make an agreement with the Enemy in your soul and then ask for peace in your life. If you do, it's going to be cyclical. You're just going to keep bringing your problems to God over and over again, and he'll accept them, but the Lord has been asking me, "Do you always want to be bringing me your problems or do you want to bring me your thoughts before they become problems"?
I think we have to decide. Will we be willing to let God guide our minds so his peace can guard our hearts? The term is a military term. It's an amazing picture Paul gives. It's a military term. It's talking about a detachment, that God will set up at your heart the peace of God. There are two things mentioned in Philippians, chapter 4. You may not notice them on the surface, but they're both right there. One is the peace of God, and one is the God of peace. In Philippians 4:7 it says, "And the peace of God, which passes all understanding…" Every time I call someone who's going through something you can't imagine or can't figure out how to deal with or you can't counsel, the standard thing I will pray for them is, "God, and I pray that your peace that passes all understanding will guard their heart and mind".
When you're calling someone who lost their child, as a pastor, or when you're calling somebody who is in the fight of their life, dealing with things they didn't cause for themselves, it's no good for you to try to explain it to them. So I'll just pray that the peace of God that passes all understanding would guard their heart and their mind in Christ. But some of the agreements you make with the Enemy, instead of keeping out anxiety… The peace of God wants to keep out anxiety, but sometimes your agreements with the Enemy keep out the peace of God. When I tell myself, "I'm not worthy…" In psychological terms, they talk about rumination. A lot of us think we're overthinking things. We're really underthinking things. We're just thinking the same thing over and over at the same level. Never involve God. Just give the Enemy whatever he wants. Just give him our mind. Just believe anything that goes through our mind.
The peace of God will set up a guard at your heart (that's your emotions) if you guide your mind. That's why he says there's power in prayer. I don't pray like I could, like I should. Sometimes I don't pray until the pressure gets so bad I feel like I'm about to explode. The Lord is like, "Are you done with that now? Do you want to come on over here? Have you dragged that far enough across the floor? Have you gotten low enough now"? What if you don't have to wait until it gets to that point? "Lord, keep me from doing something crazy in the next five minutes that's going to take me the next five years to clean up". What if you prayed that? What if you involved God earlier in the process before it goes all the way to level 10? What if God wanted to meet you at 2? "Oh, this is slipping a little off track". If you drove your car like you guided your mind, you'd be in a ditch. Just let go of the wheel until the last minute when you're steering into a semi.
Now you want to drive? But we do it with our souls. We wait until it's the exact last minute. "O God, deliver me from the decisions I've made all week". No, I'm serious. Y'all do me like that. In one hour on Sunday you want me to preach a word that will deliver you from the decisions you spent all week making. It's not right. It's not fair. I told the dental hygienist one time, "I'm not going to floss. I'll be here every six months. Do the best you can. Whatever you can get out of my teeth in that time, just do it, and the rest leave it, and it'll grow for the glory of God until you remove it again". I know it's gross, but I let it build up until the last minute. God has been saying to me, "You can bring me your problems, but you can also bring me your thoughts".
Now I'm at the point where I will pray about absolutely anything. Do you know why I do it? Because Paul said I could, and he wrote the Bible. I know you think there are certain things we're not supposed to pray about, but you didn't write the Bible. I don't care what you think about it anymore. Paul said, "Don't be anxious about anything. Pray in every situation". In Greek, every situation means every situation. Isn't that deep? I got a degree in the Bible. I'm going to blow your mind. A porn addict can pray while he's looking at porn. I'll see y'all next week. We have to do this in doses. LJ, you can pray in the middle of a panic attack, not after it's over and you're on the floor. You know what? You can even start with a selfish prayer if you have to. You don't have to wait until you want the right thing to talk to God. You'll be waiting the rest of your life. You're too dysfunctional to wait to pray until you want the right thing.
"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart". He will put them in there. So I prayed the man who had the scissors at me in the thing… I prayed, "God, I want to take his scissors from him". I was more fit than him. I could see it. I sized it up real quick. They say, "Pray for your enemies". It doesn't say what you pray for them. You have to start somewhere. "Lord, let him fall on his scissors right now". The important thing is that you involve God in the process. Have you ever had to pray in anger? Pray angry. I was getting ready to preach one time, and I started praying to the Lord. "Why will you hide your face from me? Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani. Why have you forsaken me"? I wasn't feeling anything to God. I felt as if God was saying, "Oh, there you are. Why am I hiding my face from you? Why are you hiding from me"?
You keep God out of the process, and you end up being just like Ahab. Oh, I hate Ahab, but I have to be honest: I kind of relate to him. The Enemy is attacking me with 32 kings. "Okay. You can have it". It is easier to just believe the lie than it is to… You have to train yourself in truth. It doesn't come naturally. Paul said, "Whatever things you have seen, received, or heard from me…" A lot of us have never actually seen a pattern of how to fight our battles with God's help. We believe the way we've seen it done is the only way it can be done. We don't really believe…really believe…we can give our battles to the Lord. We don't really believe the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds. But I want you to watch what happened to Ahab. The Enemy doesn't just attack you once, and if it doesn't work he leaves you alone. The Lord gave Ahab a victory over Ben-Hadad, but just after the victory, the prophet came back.
Look at this in verse 22. He said to the king of Israel, "Strengthen your position and see what must be done, because next spring the king of Aram will attack you again". I'm under attack again. I'm dealing with depression again. Jesus died for me, and I believe his blood cleanses me, but I'm struggling with unworthiness again. The prophet said something very interesting. It's not just prayer. It's not just peace. He said, "Strengthen your position and see what must be done". The officials (verse 23) of the king of Aram had a theory on why God gave the victory to the Israelites the first time. They advised him, "Their gods are gods of the hills. That is why they were too strong for us. But if we fight them on the plains, surely we will be stronger than they. Do this: remove all the kings from their commands and replace them with other officers". "Remove and Replace" would be a good sermon too, by the way, but not today. "'You must also raise an army like the one you lost—horse for horse and chariot for chariot—so we can fight Israel on the plains. Then surely we will be stronger than they.' He agreed with them and acted accordingly".
He agreed with the lie and acted accordingly. This is Ben-Hadad, the enemy. He agreed with the advice of his counselors. He thought God, Yahweh, was like Baal of the Phoenicians. He thought God was only limited to one geographical locale. "The reason they beat you was because you fought them in the hills, but if you fight them in the low place…" Here's the thing. The Enemy attacked some of you on one level, and it didn't work, because you still have your faith, and you still have your sanity, and you didn't blow your brains out, and you didn't give in, and you didn't walk away. But now he's hitting you with a low blow. He said, "If you fight them in the plains, we'll be stronger than them". But look at what the word of the Lord says.
I want to show you this in verse 28. It says they lined up against them, and they seemed like a flock of small goats. They looked too small, but they had God fighting for them. Verse 28: "The man of God came up and told the king of Israel, 'This is what the Lord says: "Because the Arameans think the Lord is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys…"'" Because the Enemy thinks that if he hits you in your weakest spot… Just be honest. How many of you has the Enemy hit with a low blow lately, in the place where it hurts the most? This is what the Lord says: "Because he hit you where you were the weakest, I am going to display my strength in the greatest way". The Enemy thinks, "Oh, if I fight them there, they'll give in," but he's wrong about it. The harder he hits you in the most vulnerable place, the greater a candidate for the grace of God you become.
The Enemy couldn't defeat some of you while you were awake, so now he has started sneaking into your sleep. You've been having dreams in the middle of the night about scenarios. You've been waking up in a cold sweat not even rested. He couldn't beat you awake, so now he's fighting you asleep. The Enemy took a lot from some of you personally, but it didn't cause you to lose your faith, so then he hit your kids. It was one thing for you to be dealing with it, but now you're watching your kids suffer. "Oh, if I can't beat them in the hills, I'll fight them on the plains". God said, "I am the God of unconditional victory". I believe God is calling somebody today to take back not only the high places, but God said, "Because your enemy thinks I am only the God of the hills, I am going to show you a victory in the valley so you will know I'm not like Baal. I don't operate based on physical location. I don't need perfect circumstances to do my work".
In fact, if you have faith to believe it, I hear God saying, "I stacked the odds against myself". That's what the Lord said. "I'm making it so impossible, because I want you to know it's Yahweh. I want you to know it's God". See, when they're fighting you in the mountains, when they're fighting you in the good time, you think it's you. You think it's your leverage. This is what the Lord says: "In this season, I'm going to do something in the lowest place, in the most vulnerable place. In your weakness I am strong". So, what does the Lord say? That's what I want to know. I don't want to agree with the Enemy about anything that keeps me from hearing what God has said about me, whether it's why I'm unworthy, why I'm incompetent…
In fact, Lord, right now, in the name of Jesus, I break the power of the agreements your children have made with the Enemy. We call on you, God of peace, to set up an armed guard at our hearts in Christ Jesus. We thank you that our position in you is permanent and it is fixed. Lord, today, we don't want to give the Enemy so easily what you died with your blood to purchase for us. You came to give us peace.
Right now, standing all over this house, every location, watching online, God said, "Take it back". You agreed with the Enemy, but take it back. I know I agreed in my heart that I was worthless. I know I agreed in my heart that my best days were behind me. I know I agreed in my heart that I would never… But I take it back, because this is what the Lord says.
God, we're not going to be so quick to hand over the best of what you gave us. We've let the Enemy have enough. He has taken enough ground in this season. We've given up enough ground. Not another inch. I thank you that now, in this moment, you are releasing your peace, your unconditional victory. Lord, I want to pray for somebody today who has believed the lie that you are a God of the mountains only, that you can only win in the hills, that you can only use perfect people and you can only work in perfect circumstances. It's a lie. Because the Arameans think you're only a God of the hills and not the valleys, I dispatch victory into the valleys of your people's lives today. I thank you for it. I thank you for it in advance. We have heard your word today. This is what the Lord says. We have sung your word today. This is what the Lord says. We thank you, Jesus, in your name that over these next seven days of our lives, as we meditate on this word, we will not rehearse the reasons we should feel defeated, and we will not rehearse the reasons we should be afraid, but we will remember the victories you have given and anticipate the ones you have promised.
All of God's people who agree with this word, lift up a great shout of praise. Lift your hands. I declare victory over your life. This is what the Lord says. "I'm going to give it into your hands". Receive it. Receive it right now! "I give it into your hands". It is a gift. We receive it, Lord. All of the people who receive this word, clap your hands and say, "Amen".