Breaking Negative Thought Patterns | Steven Furtick
I’m grateful that Jesus will break
stuff. Some things I need him to break.
There are some chains I’ve tried to pull myself
free from for years that I need Jesus to break.
There are even some thought patterns that I need
Jesus to break the pattern of my thought. Some of
the things I maybe grew up thinking were normal,
I need God to break me out of the tradition…
Let’s talk about tradition for a moment.
When my tradition and the truth
contradict one another, one has to break.
How many of you, if Jesus was
doing a casting call for disciples,
would try to sign up and be one
of the Twelve? Raise your hand.
I was thinking it would have been
easy to be a disciple of Jesus,
because when I ask what Jesus would do, I have to
use my imagination and read all of these words.
All I would have to do if I was a disciple and
lived 2,000 years ago and had been able to see
him in the flesh is follow him and do what he did.
But I don’t think it would have been that easy,
really, especially because everything he would
do would contradict everything I had seen done.
Disciple. It said Jesus’ disciples did something,
and then Jesus is defending his disciples.
Everybody in here is a disciple. The
word disciple just means learner,
so everybody in here is a disciple.
I want you to write something down.
I don’t know if we still give out Elevation
pens in the time of… No? Yeah, everything
has changed. You don’t even get Elevation
pens anymore. What has the world come to?
All right. Just put it in your phone or put it
in the chat. Write this in the chat: discipleship
by default or design. See, everybody
in here is being discipled.
I’ll never forget when Holly had to ban
the movie Kung Fu Panda from our house
because our boys were running around the
house kicking everything all the time.
She had to put a temporary moratorium on Kung
Fu Panda, because they were kicking without
Mr. Miyagi to show them how to do it, so
they were just running around kicking crap.
I did the same thing watching Karate Kid
when I was little. I put my foot through a
picture window in my mom’s house, and she was
more worried about the window than my foot at
first. I remember her running into the room, “My
window!” I’m like, “My bloody ankle! My Achilles!”
Anyway, I realized I am a disciple of somebody or
something. Now, what I was trying to get across in
the last two weeks… How many of you were following
with my messages about Be Careful What You Copy?
Then I preached a whole sermon called Copy
That. Copy that. Don’t copy the dysfunction.
Some of us were discipled by dysfunction,
and now we have dysfunctional norms in our
hearts that have become the default of how
we approach life. We were discipled, or taught,
in dysfunctional ways. I’m not even talking
about blaming your parents or your nursery
was painted blue, and you really like green,
and to this day it really bothers you because
green means “Go” and blue got you thrown off.
I’m not talking about some blame game we play. I’m
talking about understanding that the patterns that
were established in your heart usually started
in ways you weren’t even aware of at the time.
Some of us were discipled in
dysfunction. I thought about this too:
some of us had an apprenticeship in anxiety,
because we were either in an environment…
My mom wrote me a letter, and she was sharing
with me some of the things she saw growing up to
help me understand some of the things she modeled
for me. She was showing me “This is what I saw.
These are some things I went through. These are
some things that happened to me that I’ve never
told you about because, up until now, I haven’t
known if it was appropriate to share. But I don’t
want you to spend your whole life wondering why
certain things happen in your heart over and over
again when I can expose you to some of the things
I saw or some of the atmosphere I was raised in.”
The fact is we come to church
and teach you to worship God,
but we only get 90 minutes a week with you.
Okay. Let’s be honest about most people’s
church attendance patterns…90 minutes a month.
So, if you were raised in a home of anxiety
and we’re in here teaching faith and “Trust
God” and “By faith the worlds were formed…”
But if your life was framed by worry and “What
if…?” and scarcity… Many of us have a full
apprenticeship in anxiety. I thought about this:
some of us had an internship in insecurity.
We were taught not to trust God to be enough to
meet our needs but to know everything that was
wrong with us, because it was repeated over us,
and it was insinuated if it wasn’t said out loud.
So, when you come to church, you have to
realize you have been discipled by default,
but following Jesus gives me the
option… This is what I want you to know.
You don’t get to decide how you were raised,
what you were born into…any of that. Those
decisions were made for you. But you get to decide
“From this point on…” What time is it right now?
It’s 10:28, Eastern Time, August 22, 2021, the
year of our Lord, anno Domini. From this moment
forward, or whenever you’re watching this, you
get to decide, “Who do I want to be discipled by?”
In the Scripture you have the Pharisees who have
been discipled by generation after generation of
scribes and teachers of the Law. And the Law was
good. God gave the Law. It was a gift from God.
God gave them the Sabbath as a
gift to reflect and remember.
One little known thing about the
Sabbath is that God said one time,
“I gave you this as a gift to remember when you
were slaves in Egypt and I brought you out.”
Isn’t it crazy that a gift God gave them
to remember how they were set free from
their slavery…? They have now become slaves
of the Sabbath. Mark says it really clearly.
He says Sabbath is made for man, not man
for the Sabbath. But by the time Jesus is
walking the earth and touching and healing
and teaching with power and preaching the kingdom
of God and inaugurating a new order of things…
By the time the true King has come,
they have turned the gift God gave into
a prison. Anything can become a prison.
Right now, technology is enabling me to
preach this word to somebody who couldn’t
hear it any other way, and I praise God for
the gift of technology. On the other hand,
I curse the day our phones ever got smart.
I don’t have the faith yet, but I bought a flip
phone two years ago, and when I get enough faith,
I’m going to hook it up, and I’m going to
be the only person carrying… They’re going
to call me “Flip Phone Furtick.” Yeah. If you
want to talk to me, you’re going to have to… I
don’t have the faith yet. I’m not there yet,
because I’m tethered to this right now, but
I’m praying for the day where I can have enough
faith to be set free from the curse of this.
But it’s a gift. Welcome our eFam around the
world. Somebody is going to get saved off
this message, and I’m trying to cast the Devil
out of your YouTube feed and your algorithm.
The same feed that is making you crazy is
putting the Word of God in your spirit right now,
but the same gift that helps me
preach the gospel can become a prison.
It can put you on so many stupid
headlines and half-truths and
10 percent truths and 2 percent
truths and conspiracy theories.
All of that is contained in the
same gift. Same thing with money.
God can bless you with income, but then that
income can cause you to step out a little too far,
a little too fast, and now all of
a sudden, you are imprisoned in
something you prayed for and God gave you
because you didn’t know how to manage it.
I think I ought to teach you about
this. A gift can become a prison.
Intimacy is a gift from God…all kinds of intimacy,
not just sexual intimacy, but sexual intimacy is a
gift from God. You understand how when we talk
about the Sabbath, a gift God gave that became
twisted to imprison so that the Pharisees
are saying, “You’re not allowed to eat on
the Sabbath…” They had become locked into the law
and missed the spirit of the very gift God gave.
That happens all the time in our lives, so
an Olympic athlete can say, “This talent
that was given to me by God that was
such a good thing…it almost broke me”;
so that someone who starts to
be blessed financially can say,
“You know what? When I started getting more
money, I stopped trusting God as much.”
I had a man tell me one time, “I started
thinking money was the answer to everything.
I started just skipping God in the
process when I didn’t need to ask
him anymore. I basically designed a life
for myself that made God unnecessary.”
So he thought. The gift became a prison. I could
give you more examples, but I think you have your
own…things God gave you
that you became a slave to.
I’m not talking about the Devil. I’m talking about
a gift… The Sabbath didn’t come from the Devil.
It came from God. It’s in the book of Genesis.
It’s God who gave them that rest, but they
turned the gift of rest into a weapon.
They turned the gift of God into a prison.
In fact, just a few verses later, they go
from picking on the disciples about eating
grain in a field on the Sabbath to telling
Jesus he can’t heal a man with a withered hand
on the Sabbath. You mean to tell me Jesus can’t
give this man his ability to work on this day
because you’ve set it aside as a day not to work?
But see how this happens in our lives
so subtly, that a gift God gives you
can become twisted to the point that the gift
that was given to serve you begins to enslave you.