Steven Furtick - Copy That
Do you know what the Lord showed us on our campus pastor call this week? That the glory of the latter house will be greater than the glory of the former house. Well, what in the world does that mean? God said that through the prophet to some exiles who were coming back and rebuilding the temple. It was so small compared to Solomon's temple and so plain and so simple, it says the people who saw Solomon's temple started crying. They were crying so much the people who were shouting, because they never had a temple at all before… They were like, "Woo! This is awesome! This is amazing! This is a house for God. This is a place we can meet with him". They couldn't be heard above the weeping of those who could only compare what they were looking at with what was before it.
So God said, "I don't want you to look at it and compare it to the old temple". I believe he's saying that to somebody in this room. "I don't want you to compare what I'm doing in your life right now to what I did in your life in a previous season when you didn't have a bad knee…" I'm preaching to the over 40 now. I know you used to be the star wide receiver in Dillon, Texas, but right now I need you to understand it's not what the temple is made of… I told our campus pastors, even as our church is kind of coming back… After the pandemic, it takes time for people to come back, so a lot of the buildings don't look like they did before that thing that happened (which I can't say, because then they'll take it out the YouTube algorithm, so I'm going to just beep it out…the thing that happened).
If you look at what it is right now and try to compare it to what it was, you'll miss the whole point. He said, "The glory of the latter house, what I'm doing right now…" He's pointing to Jesus. "…will be greater than the glory of the former house". So, this is what I told them. "Don't look for the gold; look for the glory". The gold is the external. That's Solomon's temple. Look for the glory. What God is doing right now… He's trying to get you to attenuate your mind to what he is filling you with. What do you want to be filled with? Do you want to be filled with fear? Do you want to be filled with depression? All you have to do, if that's what you want to do, is just do everything you see the world doing, but if you want to be filled with joy unspeakable, full of glory, in the Holy Ghost… You can't do what the world does and get what the Word says.
So, are you ready for the Word of God? I want you on your feet in the ready position. I am going to pick up where I left off last week. Somebody shout, "Copy that"! That was the last thing in my sermon last week. Let's pick up with a Scripture I mentioned last week, but I didn't get to mine it: Hebrews 13:7. Did anybody come to church from over 100 miles away today? Anybody come from over 500 miles? Do y'all remember the song from the 80s? "I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk…" We're really going to get YouTube flagged. "Just to be the man who comes to Elevation Church…" It's a great worship song. Right? How about all of the new songs we've been singing? Have you been enjoying that? Lately, we've been getting into these writing rooms and just wanting to sing the Word of God. We just sang a song, and it goes straight from Matthew 5.
I'm going to talk a little bit about my dad today in the sermon. I'm going to tell you some of the good stuff, the bad stuff, or whatever. It's just going to be what it is. One memory of my dad that's really precious to me is he loved the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7. So I was thinking, when we were writing that song where we go through the Beatitudes, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted," and just singing those Scriptures… I was thinking, "Man, the L-train would love this. He'd be running laps". So, it's just exciting. We're going to be recording some new songs on October 6. You're all invited for that. Also, you're all invited to Elevation Nights. We're going to take this glory on the road. If you're in Atlanta, Nashville, Tulsa, Fort Worth, Houston, Orlando, Sunrise, or Jacksonville, come on out. That's October 26 through November 4 (elevationnights.com). You don't have to come from 500 miles. We'll come to you. It's going to be so exciting. Welcome. Wow!
Look at you, you walking talking miracle, you living breathing miracle. The Devil is so confused because you're praising God after all he put you through this week. He's flipping out. He's summoning all of his little junior demons, like, "I thought I told you to attack them". They're like, "I did, but the angels came, and they made it". Hebrews 13:7: "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith". How many of you heard the sermon last week? Y'all do know they're free online. Right? If you ever sleep in or can't be here, make sure you catch up. A lot of times, it's on the second listen that you really get what God wanted to say to you, because on the first listen you're kind of judging me, like, "I don't know if I agree with this. What are those shoes"? Just looking at stupid stuff.
Then sometimes on the second time, there are not the distractions, but it goes deeper. You go, "Oh, I got it on one level. Now I got it on the second listen". There's a value in repetition. There's also a danger in repetition. I felt like my sermon last week was a little more on the negative side. I'm not apologizing for it because I took it from the Bible where God warned Moses. It says it warned him, and I was warning you. "Make sure, or see to it, that you build according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain". That's where God met with Moses and showed him how to build the tabernacle…Holy of Holies, table of shewbread…all that stuff he showed him on the mountain. Then he had to go down to where the people were. I always had these great ideas about ministry until people showed up and messed up my ideas of ministry, because they don't do it like you tell them to. They don't run to first base, then second base, then third base. You see them over there climbing the fence, playing in the dirt, and stuff. And that's me too. It's tricky to be a leader.
How many leaders do we actually have here today? Worship leaders. Let's start there. Cool. I want to ask that again, but this time I want every parent to raise your hand. How many worship leaders do we have here today? Whether you want to or not, you are teaching your children not only how to worship… And some of that you're teaching them as well. If you're a "one hand in the pocket" hand lifter, they'll probably do the same thing. It's also true that you're teaching them what to worship. Every time you set the schedule to say, "Well, we'll go to church if we have time…" Wow! I just felt an Arctic wind… It's true. I'm so grateful that Christy Collins pulled out her iPhone and captured this video I'm about to show you. I feel most of the time like I'm failing as a dad. I'm hardwired to be hard on myself.
Some of us are too easy on ourselves, and some of us are too hard on ourselves, and then we can help each other out. Holly is really good about it too. She's always sending me these Timehops. Do y'all do Timehop, where it shows you, "This is what you were doing five years ago. This is what you were doing seven years ago. This is what you were doing nine years ago"? So, she'll show me at the Charlotte Knights game with the boys just to remind me "You're a good dad". I need that. But what Christy captured… We were doing our recording with Elevation Worship and Maverick City called Old Church Basement. I sat right there with my kids on that ledge. Our whole family was on that ledge. The building still wasn't fully open. We COVID tested and made this album. It has touched the world. It's probably one of my favorite things I ever worked on as a songwriter, as a pastor, as a producer, and I'm so thankful for everyone who was involved. But the greatest part of the night wasn't on YouTube. The greatest parts never are. The greatest part was when we were recording the song "Wait On You".
I'll trust in your promise I'm gonna wait on you… You have to do it with a little growl. You have to aggressively wait on the Lord. When I just couldn't take it anymore (we were about 37 minutes into the song), I jumped off the ledge and ran down. I couldn't take it anymore. I looked up, and Abbey was standing beside me. Now, my children are very competitive. Last week I baptized Graham. I called him up onstage. I gave him a speech. I gave him a Bible. Abbey said, "That was, uh…that was good. When am I going to be in a sermon again"? So I picked this out because it fit with my theme of Copy That. Watch this little 50-second video. I love this.
I like that one. I favorited that one on my phone. I could see it in those moments. Do you know those moments? Do you have those moments where you need an example, a better example? I want to go ahead and beat all of the trolls to it. I'm not going to be on Dancing With the Stars with those moves. I know that. I understand that. I understand that my moves are unorthodox. My kids tell me this all the time. They keep me humble. But we didn't choreograph that. We didn't practice that. We didn't have to. I didn't tell her, "I think I'm going to do this wounded eagle move, like an eagle that was shot but not killed. I'm going to come through, and I need you to do it with me so I don't look stupid. It would be cute if you did". I watched her. I realized there's what I say and there's what she sees. People do what people see. The challenge for a lot of people I'm preaching to is that sometimes you have to be something you've never seen before.
When I read my Scripture, "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you…" Remember your leaders who spoke the Word of God to you; who told you, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"; who told you God's hand is on you; who told you there's nothing more important than God; who told you that if Christ isn't at the center of your life, the whole thing will fall apart; who told you and taught you, who preached to you and taught to you that you are who God says you are. But in reading this, I realized a lot of the people I preach to never really had someone to speak this Word over their lives. So they went with what the world told them because they didn't know what the Word said about them.
That's what I was going to tell you about my dad. One time my mom… My mom was so good at this. She would cover for his crazy. She'd pull me to the side and say, "You know he's doing really good". I'd say, "He's not doing really good. He's crazy. I can't stand him". And he was doing good. He was coaching my teams. He was doing all this stuff. One day she said, "Did you know he didn't have a dad growing up"? I didn't know that. I knew he didn't have his dad long, but I didn't know his dad had killed himself. I didn't know my dad had found his dad dead on his own birthday when he was 8. I didn't know that. I didn't know he was making everything up. So, even that one time when I said I hated him and I wanted to kill him when I was a teenager, and he picked me up from school early and told me we were going out to the national forest, and he had two guns in the back of the truck and one of us was going to kill the other one… Even though that isn't necessarily the best parenting tactic and it's not Dr. Phil approved… He didn't have Focus on the Family growing up. All right?
"I did the best I could". He's doing really good if you saw what he never got to see. So, when the author of Hebrews is saying, "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you," he's not so much talking about the words they spoke, but then he says something really powerful. This is what I want to teach on today. Somebody shout, "Copy that". That's what they say on a walkie-talkie. "Copy that". It means, "I heard it. I got it. I'm on it". Do you see these security people around our church keeping you safe? Thank God for them. If you knew how crazy some Christians are, you'd be clapping better than that for the security team. But they say it all the time. I'll walk by them… "Copy that". "Row 4. Copy that". I wanted to call the sermon that, because that which you copy is that which you become. That which you believe is that which you become.
So, when he says, "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you…" There are a lot of words that were spoken to you and over you and about you that have to be uprooted before the word God spoke about you can be planted. Now, remember, the Hebrews have not been a part of Christianity for two millennia like we have, so they haven't had 2,000 years to get used to the idea that we are justified by faith, not works. It's all new to them. They have not had 2,000 years to get used to the fact that it is by grace you have been saved through faith, that it's not the blood a high priest takes… Remember I talked about this last week, that they serve in a tabernacle that is an earthly copy of a heavenly reality. Even Moses… As holy as he was, as important as he was, as amazing as he was, Moses could only lead them so far. In the middle of this he gives them an instruction as he concludes his letter. He says, "Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith". Or in other words, copy that.
The Lord said to me, first of all, "Consider the outcome". Isn't that hard to do? What you're seeing all day long in people's lives is just, what I called it last week, a snapshot. "Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith". So, a question I've been thinking about…Is the way of life I am choosing producing the outcome I desire? We need more leaders in the world today, fewer opinions. We need more leaders, fewer influencers. Oh yeah. This is the part of my sermon where I am a crotchety old man telling you that what you are seeing on your Reels is not real. This is the God's honest truth. The writer of Hebrews said, "Imitate their faith," but we live in a time where we are imitating their fake. So, consider the outcome.
I wonder what happened five minutes after they took that picture. I wonder what happened five minutes after they posted that. I mean, just five minutes. Not five years. Let's talk about five minutes after. One day in church I was so sick of preachers always trying to be perfect. "My family and I wake up every morning, quote Ephesians, pray, and sing the Beatitudes". I said, "Let me show you what this family is really like," and I showed one of our Christmas videos. It was so beautiful. "Welcome to Elevation. 'Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'" Then I showed the outtakes. Holly Furtick was one step short of having to be bleeped. What she was saying to those kids in those outtakes… Watch this. Outcome, outtakes. Nobody is showing you their outtakes. I have to get this across. I don't care if I have to say it every week. I'll be up here 75 years old, dragging my right leg behind me, talking about… What you're copying is cropped. It is only showing you so much.
A lot of the people we are emulating and imitating and talking like and captioning like… Do you know what's the weirdest thing? I thought we, as parents, were supposed to set an example for our kids, but now I see grown men and women trying to talk like a kid. It's cringey, y'all. It's cringey when you're a dad of three and you're still trying to show you've got it, you've got game. Do you know what you've got? You've got dependents. You've got bills to pay. You've got a mortgage. Grow up, man! That's over. "When I became a man, I put away childish things". I'm not talking about not having fun. I'm the goofiest dude in the world. But what I'm saying is a lot of times… Romans 12:2 is my favorite verse to explain this. It says, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind".
A lot of people will make the distinction between the pattern of this world and the renewing of your mind, but really, in the text, the juice of it is in two different words. It's conform and transform. Conform is something you can change. It's like an attitude or a posture. Transform is different. Transform is something that has to happen because of what's on the inside. Since you have Christ inside of you now… Remember, you're not serving at a tabernacle built with human hands. You don't have a high priest who was selected from among men. You are not serving a shadow or a copy. You have a risen Savior who set an example for you so you can copy that. Since that is in you… The Spirit of God is in you, not the spirit of the world, not the spirit of worry. You get to reproduce that because it's on the inside. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
So, what's in you has to come out, and that's why the writer of Hebrews says, "Remember the word of God that was spoken to you, and copy that in your heart. Copy that in your life". Oh, I forgot to read you the verse after that. Verse 8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever". So, he says, "Remember the leaders who spoke the word of God over you. Consider the outcome (how it worked out for them)…" We use all kinds of excuses for bad examples. We'll do the same dumb things we saw growing up, and this is what we'll tag it with at the end: "And look at me. I turned out all right". Did you though? Did you really? Maybe it just hasn't caught up with you yet. "Well, I yell and cuss at my kids. My dad did it too, and it was good for me. I turned out all right". I don't think you're all right. I'm watching you right now. I'm seeing there's a little bit of a wound, just a little bit of a wound, just a little something.
How do you copy what you never saw? He said, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever". The Devil isn't very creative. God is a creator; the Devil is not. The Devil is so uncreative he only has three temptations. That's the only way he can tempt you. First John says, "The love of the world is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life". Go to Matthew, chapter 4. We said Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. A lot of times, we think we're facing a brand-new temptation, but we're not. It's just the same Devil in a different disguise. I love helping my kids navigate their lives the best I can, but it's tricky sometimes, because we didn't have Snapchat. We didn't have TikTok. But the same Devil who's busy on TikTok was busy on DOS or a rotary phone or a fax machine or whatever you did with your messaging… pigeon. It's the same Devil.
The same three things you're tempted with that derail you and sabotage you and bring you back down and get you out of the pattern God showed you on the mountain are the same three things in Matthew 4. Jesus goes to the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. Last week, when I finished… Graham, do you remember? "This is my son I love, in whom I'm well pleased". Graham is so funny. I said, "Do you want a special meal after we baptize you"? He said, "Jesus didn't get a special meal". "I'll eat whatever everybody else is eating. Jesus didn't get a special meal". He wasn't saying it because he was holy. He was just making a joke. The next thing that happened in Matthew, chapter 4… So, the affirmation of the Father and then the temptation from the Enemy. This is a pattern you can copy: to be affirmed by your Father in heaven so that when you are tempted by your Enemy in the wilderness you will have at your core your knowing of who you are.
"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, 'If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.'" I know you know this Scripture, but let's just move through it, because there's a lesson here for today. "Jesus answered, 'It is written: "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God".' Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 'If you are the Son of God,' he said, 'throw yourself down.'" "Prove yourself. Show everybody what you can do. If you've got it, flaunt it. Go ahead and show everybody who you really are. You have to make it happen for yourself". "'For it is written: "He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone".' Jesus answered him, 'It is also written: "Do not put the Lord your God to the test".'"
One more. We've already seen the lust of the flesh. "Turn the stones into bread". That's when you try to turn things into things they were not meant to be. That's when you try to turn sex into an object to gratify a spiritual need. Rather than in the context of marriage expressing your sexuality, you express it in places where it spills over and contaminates all of the places of your life, because it creates commitments that are not rooted in covenant but are rather rooted in convenience and pleasure, so then the Enemy can rip you out because you turned a stone into bread. This is when we go seeking for people's validations when our Father's voice is not enough. When we didn't have a leader who spoke the Word of God over us, then we are open to what the world thinks about us. We will change everything until we get the exact compliment, the exact affirmation, the exact validation we were looking for. That's the lust of the flesh. The lust of the eyes and the pride of life… This one right here… I've dealt with this a lot in my life.
Verse 8: "Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 'All this I will give you,' he said, 'if you will bow down and worship me.'" Now, I've never bowed down and worshiped the Devil like that, but I have worshiped what the world worships. I have, at periods in my life, thought a certain level of success would make me a real man. I have thought a certain amount of money would make me secure. It really has to do with worship. I don't want to depend on God to be my provider. That's too uncertain. So I start worshiping what's in the world (lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life). "All this I will give you if you will bow down and worship me". "Jesus said to him, 'Away from me, Satan! For it is written: "Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only".'"
I realize now that I am a leader…for these three kids, for my wife, and God has made me a leader in this church. Now I'm asking myself the question, "What example do I want to set of what we worship"? I know what the world worships. The world worships talent. The world worships sensuality. Here's a weird thing about our culture. I preach in the United States of America…Charlotte, North Carolina. I wouldn't rather be anywhere else. I'm born and raised in the Carolinas, and I'm proud of where I'm from. But the weirdest thing about our culture right now is the way we worship youth. We don't remember our leaders who spoke the Word of God over us. They're irrelevant. They're not trendy. We'd rather go find somebody who hasn't even lived long enough that we can even know if they make it through their 20s. Do they even live to be 30? And we will copy that. I'm just stirred up about it, because I am watching us copy the world and slap a Christian vocabulary on it, and there are no different values in the house of God than there are in the world.
It's not about the external stuff. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about the kingdom within you and the culture around you. You need to spend more time remembering those who spoke the Word over you, because that's what Jesus did every time he was tempted, and that's what you copy. You fight the world with the Word. You fight the spirit of the world with the Word. So, every time the Devil said, "Do it," Jesus said, "It is written…" He wasn't making this stuff up. All three things Jesus did to fight temptation, to fight hunger, to fight pride, to fight his senses, and to agree with the Spirit… All three things he said were already written in Scripture. Jesus said, "I know what the Word of my Father is on this situation, and I'm going to copy that. I will not conform to this world".
That's why I'm glad he's the same yesterday, today, and forever. It doesn't mean the world stays the same, but my worship stays the same, because I understand that what God did in my life yesterday… It won't look like what he's doing today, but watch this. The same God who delivered me from that will deliver me from this. So, I speak by the spirit of faith, not fear. Imitate their faith. Don't copy their flaws. The world is weird, and it's not working, and it's broken. It hasn't been since Eve listened to the Serpent twist the words of her God, and then Adam, instead of being a good husband and leader, blamed the woman. In my family, I have to go through this all the time. I have to weed out the worldly values…daily. Transform your mind. You don't do that one time. You won't even get out of church good today. It'll probably be somebody with an Elevation sticker in the parking lot who will make you so upset… They'll probably be playing worship music too. They'll probably be playing "Wait On You". "Quit flying and drive"! Right there. It doesn't take long.
I'm going to say it again. Stop copying crazy. Consider the outcome. "Where's this taking me"? Now I ask that about thoughts. Some things that are really bad feel really good to think…really good. I don't know if you should confess this or not. I love judging people. I am completely addicted to it. It's so fun. Oh, it's so fun. But how it feels, the outcome of that thought process… One of my friends asked me the other day, "How do you want to feel at the end of this day? Reverse-engineer it with your decisions". Consider the outcome. And to consider the outcome you have to monitor the inputs. Now we live in a time where everybody wants this product, whether that's millions of dollars or the kinds of cars or the kind of success or the kind of marriage or the kind of life. I want that outcome, but I don't want to emulate that process. We get it backward.
The writer in Hebrews said, "Imitate their faith and consider their outcome". We want to imitate someone's outcome, but we don't want to invest our faith. So, I want what you have, but I don't want to do what you did. So now I'll put it on a credit card at age 23 to have what you had at age 32 that I didn't want to wait a decade to achieve. We need better examples. I'm not just talking about cussing and drinking and chewing and tobacco and all this stuff. We always love to say the external stuff. I'm talking about the internal stuff too, and I'm talking about the values we model. I told Elijah the other day… We have so many good times. He said one day, "I wish we could record all this stuff you and I talk about working out and just put it out. It would be the biggest podcast". I said, "Well, we would also get canceled," because we talk about everything. We talk about Hebrews 13. We talk about other stuff too. We talk about everything, because he's 16. I don't want him to imitate everything about me. I really don't.
He started driving recently, and every road rage I ever showed him is coming up behind me in the rearview mirror. I see it coursing through my son, and I'm like, "Don't copy that. Don't copy that. Do you know how I'm nice to your mom? Copy that. Do you know how I study the Word of God? Copy that, not that". Then my kids get mad at me because… Holly and I do PDA stuff all over the house all the time, because it's my house. "Yes, I will walk up to your mom in my kitchen, and I will kiss her with my whole mouth right in front of you, and if you don't like it, you don't have to look". Oh, sexy stuff is only allowed on TikTok. I forgot. Not in a marriage. Because the world told us the place for that is out of bounds, but, Devil, I don't copy your technological patterns. I'm not copying crazy. I'll kiss my wife. I'll hold her hand. We'll take a nap. We are married! The marriage bed is undefiled.
Hebrews 13:4. "I'll kiss her again. Go play outside. Build a fort. Kick a can. I don't care. Because I want you to know you are supposed to kiss your wife and love her more 20 years…" "I'll tell you, marriage is dirty and gross and nasty, so save it for your wife". What?! I want to emulate something that's worth imitating. I don't do it all the time. That's why that video meant so much to me: because I saw a time I got it right. You know how we get so self-conscious? I saw how she did it even better. She was about to start head banging. I don't know if y'all saw that. Because we watch Guns N' Roses videos too. I'm going to keep it real with you. Consider the outcome. "Where is this headed"? Not just what does it look like or feel like in the moment. Where is this headed?
If you keep emulating that… There are two sides of this. Okay? I think you have to think of yourself in this passage thinking about the examples that were set for you, because you copy what you saw, and you don't even realize you're doing it. You don't copy what they told you to do. One thing my dad did that was so brilliant… He struggled with alcoholism, and he took so many times to talk to me about what that was like for him. He said, "If you will commit yourself early, you can break this. This has been generational". He told me about his dad's death. He told me about what it was like to grow up in an abusive home like that. He said, "But you can break it," even though he couldn't break it. He struggled with it so long, sometimes victorious, sometimes defeated. But he was determined to give me permission to break a bad pattern.
I don't know who you are, but there's one person the Lord said to tell it to. You're a good person; you have bad patterns. You know how the Enemy condemns you. "You're worthless. You're this. You're that". Then you start to believe that, and you copy that, and you identify yourself with that. You're a good person. Christ has made you new. You're a new creation in Christ. God made you that way. But if you have bad patterns… The pattern of this world and the renewing of your mind. There are always voices speaking over you and to you and about you. What are you going to copy? There's the example that was set for you. In some cases, there's the season of life you were in and the season of life you are in. What are you going to copy in this season of your life? Jesus knew what to do. He said, "It is written… It is also written… It is written…"
I am not consulting with my Enemy for my life strategy. I'm not going to copy it. I'm not going to take these thoughts and just think them, because I know where they lead. Even recently, the Lord began to deal with me. He said, "I want you to stop indulging your insecurities". He said, "It gives you self-pity, and you use that to sedate the pain of pressure". I wrote all this down as fast as I could so I could remember what I was hearing from God's voice. "What it costs you is much greater than what it offers you". Consider the outcome. When you tell yourself lies about yourself and limitations about yourself that do not… Now you do have limitations. Okay? I'm not one of these "You can be anything you want to be".
I think sometimes you need somebody to tell you, "Get a backup career and keep your day job. You are not going to make it on Kickstarter". That being said, the limitations and the lies that come from what you have copied in your heart or what you saw… A lot of times, God… Like the people in Hebrews. God was bringing them into a better covenant. Look at Hebrews 8:7. It says, "For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant…" That's the one Moses got from Sinai. That was the Law that we broke. If it hadn't been for the limitations of that covenant, in that insomuch as we were flawed (God is perfect; we are flawed), this isn't going to work. "…no place would have been sought for another". The other one, of course, is the covenant that begins not with what we have done but with what God has done and that we're accepted in him.
This is our new starting place, but the Enemy will take you back to what you saw all your life. Even as God is blessing you with something better, you will sink back down to the baseline of what you saw, because what you copy in your heart sets the direction of your life. "It is written…" I am not copying the world anymore. I did it. It's exhausting. It's depleting. It's depressing. I'm not doing it anymore. I'm not going to measure myself how I'm told I'm supposed to measure myself anymore. I did it. I barely lived through it. I'm not going to copy the way the world spends time anymore, where the proof that you are significant is that you are so busy you have no time or margin to consider anything God might invite you to do. So now we're just all running around.
I asked one guy, "When do you take your day off"? He said, "Well, I don't take a day off. The Devil never takes a day off". In my mind I'm like, "Are you copying the Devil or God, because God took a day off"? It's in our rhythms. It's in our rest. It's in what we receive and what we release. The Lord wants you to release some things that were spoken over you by those wrong voices so you can receive something better and copy that. Just get it on your mind all week long and copy that…the Word of God that was spoken over you.
Father, I thank you for what you gave me today. I hear you speaking from heaven right now, and I want to hear your children say, "Copy that". I hear you, God. I hear you talking to me. Pastor Steven was talking to a lot of different people, but you were speaking to me, God. You showed me something on the mountain. You showed me something in your presence. You invested something in me, and the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy it. Lord, I want to bring the people before you today. Such a vast group, Lord, you've called us to pastor, some people just starting out in their faith and some people not even sure if they have faith yet. Your Word says imitate their faith. We've been copying the wrong stuff, Lord. We've been taking fear and just living in it and rehearsing it and regurgitating it and feeding it and living in it and regurgitating and rehearsing that, so we repent of that. We repent. We want to do it differently.
Do you have the guts to say that? "God, I want to do it differently". Come on. Stand up on your feet. We're going to pray this together. It's not my job to transform your mind. It's your job to cooperate with the Holy Spirit of God. So say, "Lord, I want to do it differently". "I want to do it differently. The way I've been doing it hasn't been working, and I'm tired of it. I'm weary, and I'm heavy-laden, so I'm taking your yoke today. I'm joining up with Jesus and I'm hooking up with you, Holy Spirit, because your burden is light".
For all the spirit of heaviness we've been under this week, we exchange it now for the garment of praise. We thank you for your Word that has been spoken over us. Maybe we didn't have a person to speak it to us. I pray for somebody today who was verbally abused, and now the trauma of that experience has them trapped. Your Word says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
It's not too late for you to break the pattern. It is not too late for you to live. It is not too late for you to love. Maybe you weren't loved like you were supposed to be loved. Maybe you didn't have leaders. Maybe you don't even know what to copy. Now here you are, and you're grown, and you're trying to raise kids, trying to be something you never had the chance to see, but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Even if Moses couldn't show you, there's something greater than Moses here. Not only just an example. You have the Holy Spirit inside of you. God has seen you as you really are, not as you thought you were and not as you were last year, not as you were 10 years ago, not as you were before this sermon today. You are changing from glory to glory with ever-increasing glory, and what God put in you is greater than anything the world can throw against you. Now imitate that!
You know what? You haven't even seen the blueprint of the true you. I saw an interview where a man said Steve Jobs was walking him around before he died, and he was taking him through and showing him all this stuff Apple had already invented but people wouldn't find out about until three years later. He said, "And we went through this door and that door, and we had to put our eye on the thing and the other eye on the other thing. It was 16 security clearances, and there was a table". He said, "Steve Jobs said, 'Look.'" He said, "He was walking me through, showing me stuff he had already designed, stuff that was already prototyped".
Do you know God can walk you into your future and show you who you are going to be when you get free? That's why I worship. I need God to get me past all the security clearance and show me what he sees I'm going to be that hasn't been released yet. I love the Scripture. It says, "It does not yet appear what we shall be". That means no eye has seen, no ear has heard, neither has it even entered into your heart what God has revealed, but God has revealed it by his Spirit. Show me by your Spirit, God, what you see in me. Show me by your Spirit, God, what I am stripped of the stuff that was said about me that I repeated in my heart, and help me to take what you see in heaven and, as it is in heaven… "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done…" Your kingdom come. Let the culture go. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
See to it that you build according to the pattern God showed you on the mountain. See to it that you remember what your Father spoke to you in the baptism at the Jordan when you're facing that Devil in the wilderness, and copy that. Do you see that victorious Savior risen from the grave? The Bible says that as he is risen, so are we risen. So I'm coming up too. If he got up, I'm right behind him. I'm not staying down. My Savior didn't stay down. I'll be that. I hear you, Lord, and your Word never returns void. It accomplishes what you send it to do. We seal this Word now in the soil of our faith, Lord. We make a pact with you concerning our purpose and concerning our peace. We are rejecting the world's patterns and aligning with your promise.