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2021 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - How To Eliminate Worry

Steven Furtick - How To Eliminate Worry


Steven Furtick - How To Eliminate Worry
TOPICS: Worry

Worship is worry in reverse. See, worry is when I start with my situation, and then I spin around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around, but God said, "Stop spinning". Instead of starting your meditation with your situation, start with your source. When you know who your Father is it sends you spinning in a different direction. "I know who he is, I know what he has done, and I know what he's going to do". You can stop spinning. It's not working. Around and around in circles like the Israelites for 43 years. Why are you worried? I would understand it if it was working. I wrote a country song one time. Well, not a whole song, just a chorus. Well, that's never happened before. Yeah, I know; it's an amber alert. Father, bless them in the name of Jesus.

Worry is like that. Sometimes it's going off, but you can't do anything about it. Sometimes it's like that. Think about the day we live in where we're constantly being hit with breaking news. "Breaking news: Trump had lunch". Breaking news. It's almost impossible for us to have priorities because we're being fed so much fear. When your Father feeds you it builds your faith. When you start with who God is, when you start with that, when you start with your source, you end up where you started. If you start with God, you end with God. If you start with fear, you end with fear. If you start with shortage, you end with shortage. If you start with your situation, you'll be like Elisha's servant in 2 Kings 6. This is a great Old Testament story to illustrate what I'm talking about. The servant woke up one day and found that the camp was surrounded with the Arameans, who were the enemies. He woke Elisha up. He's like, "Oh, my lord! What shall we do"?

That's exactly what the Bible says, and that's exactly what you've been saying. "Oh my lord! I'm surrounded, and now this preacher is talking about birds and lilies and petunias and chrysanthemums. Here I am trying to pay bills, and my mom has Alzheimer's, and this dude is up here talking about birds". Well, Elisha could have prayed that God would destroy the enemies that were surrounding the camp, but he didn't. He prayed something more powerful. What he said is what I'm praying for us in this Game Changer series, because this is the game changer: not that God takes your enemies away but that he enables you to see beyond them; not that he takes your problems away but that he enables your faith to see beyond them. The first circle is the enemies, and they were real, but Elisha prayed, "Lord, open his eyes that he may see". That he may see what? That there are more with us than with them. The first circle says, "I'm overwhelmed". The first circle says, "I'm outnumbered". The first circle says, "There's nothing I can do".

On the surface this is the truth, but the second circle… When the servant opened his eyes he saw what had been there all along. There was a host of angel armies surrounding the first circle. What was on the outside was greater than what was on the inside. Whatever is surrounding you, God is already surrounding it. So much of our peace is dependent on whether we can perceive the second circle. When you live in the first circle, it's always never enough. If you start with not enough, you end with not enough. If you start with El Shaddai who is more than enough, you end with more than enough. So reverse your worry. My Father knows what I need. I have needs, but I don't start with the need, because if I start with the need I'm going to end with the need. But if I start with a God who knows what I need, I will end with a God who knows what I need. He is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.

So reverse your worry. Jesus says, "Look at the birds. Look at the flowers. You are more valuable than them, and yet your Father cares for the lesser. Will he not much more take care of you"? It means this: If God is doing this level of detail, don't you think he has already determined your expected end? If he can do that, surely he can do this. If he did that, he can do this. There are some things in my life that God did, and if he did that he can do this. This is the second circle, and this is where we have to live, but in order to do it we'll have to reverse it. When we start with shortage we end with shortage…time, energy, money, any of it. Jesus says… Here's the game changer. It's one of the most famous verses in Scripture, by the way.

Now you have it in context I hope it comes alive for you in a new way. He said, "If God cares for the lesser, he will take care of the greater. If he takes care of the little, he'll take care of the lot". You're the lot. You're valuable to him. Verse 33: "But you seek first the kingdom and his righteousness…" Not your own. Not your own ideas and appearances. "What shall we eat? What shall we drink"? Isn't it funny that we're still posting today, 2,000 years later, about the same stuff Jesus said not to worry about in Palestine? What we ate and what we wore. It's so circular. We're still worried about the same things. "How am I going to make it? How am I going to pay it? How am I going to [this and that and the other]? My income taxes went up a bracket. God blessed me, but now I have more taxes" or "I'm waiting on God to bless me". "What shall we eat"? That's survival. "What shall we wear"? That's status. We go around in these circles over and over and over and over and over again, but if I start with the kingdom, God will give me the things.

Seek first his kingdom… I want you to see this. More than see it I want you to believe it. If you seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, all these things will be given to you as well. See, you protect what you prize. Your peace ought to be important to you, but the only way to live in God's peace is to have God's priorities. In my life, every time I have had a lack of peace it was because something was wrong with my priorities. The reason I can prove that now is because it wasn't the presence of problems that created the absence of peace. Sometimes in the midst of my greatest problems I had the greatest peace. That makes no sense. I understand. It's true nonetheless. In some of the seasons of my greatest problems I experienced my deepest peace. I think that's because sometimes problems help us to clarify priorities. If I don't seek first the kingdom and I'm seeking the things, I will run after all of the same things the pagans run after, and it will be like I don't even have a God in my real life. It's like this.

Somebody give me your phone, somebody with an iPhone… What is it now? "X super…" Another way for Apple to get my money by changing the way I charge this stupid device. You're a note taker. Oh, thank God for this guy. Will you send me these when the sermon is over? My notes are terrible. I don't even look at them. They're horrible. Your notes are good. Oh, I'm going to ask you something. If you left your phone at church, would you come back and get it? How about if you left your phone an hour away? Would you drive an hour to get it? Two hours? Three hours? This phone is important. I'm starting to wonder what you have on this phone, what kind of business transactions. You trust me a lot to hand me this phone. You'd come back and get it, but I notice people will leave their peace just anywhere. We would run back…

I see some of you while I'm preaching. You can't even sit through a 50-minute message without reaching for your phone. You're breaking out, rashes coming all up on you. You can't check your phone. The phone is buzzing. But you'll leave your peace just anywhere. We would put more importance on a possession, and we'll go back and get it. "Oh, I lost my phone. I left my phone. Aah"! Like, you're not wearing pants out of the house or something like that. But you won't even apologize to get your peace back and seek the kingdom. Somebody shout, "I want my peace back"! The only way for that to happen is for you to get your priorities straight. Friends and family, this is why I teach tithing. Ooh, a wave of silence.

When I put God first and I prioritize his purpose in my life… Don't you see that in any area of my life when I start with God I end with God? It's not some Old Testament principle. It is a principle that when you trust God you invest your treasure in the one you trust. When I say, "God, this portion is set aside for you," guess what. I start with my resources spinning in the direction of God's kingdom, and then I can trust him to take care of my needs. That's why we bring the offering at the end of the year. It's about trust. It's about training my heart to trust God. Aren't you sick of spinning like this, just like the world spins? I mean, really, people of God? If we're going to worry like the world worries, how are we going to win the world that we worry just like? I think the distinguishing mark of the people of God in the day we live in is a supernatural peace that will become so attractive to people in the world that we won't even have to preach to them. They will see our peace and want to meet the author and giver of peace, the Prince of Peace, whose name is Jesus.

So, in this season I've been asking God to start me spinning in the right direction. Even the way I start my day. I need to start my day spinning in the right direction. I really don't need to read the news within the first 30 minutes that I'm awake. By the way, there are certain people I don't need to talk to for the first hour I'm at work, because they might start me spinning. Stop spinning and learn what the flower learned. "If I stay planted…" Learn what the bird learned. "If I stay above it, then my God will supply all my needs".
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