In “Fighting Against Insecurity,” Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church reminds us that if we aren’t careful, we may accidentally waste the gifts God has given us. Instead, He wants us to live out our God-given potential by being confident in Him.

I need to preach an anointed word for somebody
who has a gift inside of you.

It’s not yours to hide.

You don’t get to tell God what you will or
won’t do with the 750 million breaths he gave


In fact, the Scripture says, “Let everything
that has breath praise the Lord.”

Because he put it in you, it is only right
that you utilize the breath he gave you to

serve the Giver who gave you the gift to begin

He entrusted them with his wealth.

The God who speaks oceans with a syllable
of his word.

They separated from the dry land.

He said, “I’m going to give you something.

I’m going to give you five.

I’m going to give you two.

I’m going to give you one.”

And the one with one…

I did a little research this week.

I asked a few people, “You know the parable
with the five bags, two bags, and one bag?

Which one are you?”

Nobody said, “Five.”

A few said, “Two.”

Almost everyone I asked…

And it was a small sample size.

I only asked four people.

I mean, it’s not like a Barna research poll.

It was really informal.

But they mostly said, “One.”

I get that, because I have had people misunderstand
our ministry who did not see where we started.

Can I preach this?

If you did not see where I started, please
do not judge where I’m at.

I’ve always considered myself kind of a one-talent

I can’t fix anything.

My mom…

I don’t know what was up with this.

She was texting me pictures of my ninth-grade
report cards today as if to give me sermon

material for the fact that I’m a one-talent

The thing about it was I didn’t go to Harvard.

I didn’t go to Princeton.

I didn’t go to anything like that.

Even in preaching, a lot of times I will feel
an insufficient vocabulary to communicate

the vast riches of the expanse of God’s glory,
and when I think about how to put into words

what I want to say, the Devil will try to
get me to downplay the deposit God gave me

in order to diminish the gift in my eyes.

But I found out something, and this is what
we really want to unleash on insecurity today.

This is what I want to give you to help you
flip the bag.

It’s not about how many bags you start with;
it’s how quickly you can flip it, because

God is a multiplier.

If God speaks to you today through this message,
the very best thing you can do about it is

to flip it quickly before the Devil snatches
it back.

When you come to church or when you watch
on YouTube or however you consume this message,

the best thing you can do…

To link a few parables for you, in Matthew
13, Jesus said the kingdom of God is like

a man who scattered seed, and some of it fell
along the path.

Some of it fell on shallow ground.

Some of it got scorched by the sun.

Some of it got choked by the thorns.

Some of it fell on good ground, but it said
that some of it immediately got snatched.

Hold that thought of all of the times God
has spoken to you and distraction snatched

it or a confrontation snatched it or a fight
in the car on the way home snatched it or

just the next thing you have to do snatched
it or a text message coming through while

you’re trying to read on your Bible app snatched
it and got you another place.

Think about that, and let’s read it again.

It said it’s like a man going on a journey,
and it said when he went on his journey…

Verse 16: “The man who had received five bags
of gold went at once and put his money to


It doesn’t say that about the one who got
one bag.

It doesn’t say that he went at once.

I never noticed it said at once, but I think
it’s very important for what becomes of what

God speaks into our lives and what God does.

If I preach today and before you go to sleep
tonight you share with somebody…

Before I even get done saying this message,
if you are already thinking, “Wow!

I could share that with someone,” what that

You take the word you were given, you multiply
it so quickly before the Enemy can snatch

it, and it begins to bear fruit in your life
because you treat it as seed.

When you treat the word as seed and you invest
it back, either through sharing it with someone

else or acting on it…

You have to act on what God gives you before
you talk yourself out of it.

You have to act on it.

There will be no amount of notes you can take
from a sermon that will give you the victory

in your life.

It is when you flip it.

That is to convert it from word form into
flesh form.

There are so many things God has spoken to
you that got snatched before they ever did

what they were intended to do.

Here’s the principle: it is not how many sermons
you hear that determines how much you grow.

Some people are professional sermon-hearers,
professional Bible-highlighters.

You should see their highlighter array.

They have 48 flavors of highlighter.

They have blueberry-scented highlights, but
it is not the amount of bags I get.

That’s why you can see a professional athlete
or musician end up broke after making millions.

You’re like, “Dang, man.

Are you serious right now?

That guy is broke?

That guy made $23 million when he was 19.”


If you would have made $23 million when you
were 19, you’d be dead with your dumb, foolish


You would have killed yourself.

At least that guy is alive.

So I started thinking.

When I went through it, I was like, “Wow!

The one with five went at once.”

He flipped it quickly.

“I’m going to do it right now.

I’m going to open my Bible right now, not
after I read Facebook, because after I read

Facebook for five minutes, I will lose my
faith in humanity and God.

I have to read it right now, first thing when
I wake up.

I have to flip it right now.”

When he did it at once…

He went to work at once, but the master stayed
away a long time.

It took time for it to mature, but he acted
on it immediately.

That’s what the guy with two did.

Now, the beautiful symmetry of the passage
is that the man who handed his master four

talents experienced the same joy as the man
who handed him ten.

I’m really blessed by that.

It’s not about how many bags they handed the

It was in the process of trusting that joy
was born.

It means that regardless of what you’ve been
given in your life…

Because you’re like, “I’m the one-talent guy.

You haven’t talked about him yet.”

I’m about to.

I’m about to talk to all of the one-baggers.

One Bag Billy.

Let’s give him a name.

One Bag Billy.

At first he’s kind of excited.

He’s like, “Oh, cool, man.”

Remember, only three servants got any bags.

This dude is rich.

He’s going on trips and stuff.

This guy has much property, but he’s one of
the three who got trusted.

Remember, when you attach your security to
stuff or your significance to status, it’s

never enough.

I wonder if One Bag Billy was happy for a
little while, but then he runs into Tommy,

Two Bag Tommy.

Billy is like, “Oh, Tommy, what’s up, man?

This is the best day of my life!”

And Tommy is like, “Me too!”

“Did you get the bag?”

Tommy is like, “The bag?

No, I got bagsss.”


There ain’t no bagsss.

I got one bag.”

Well, here comes Freddy.

Freddy is coming up.

“I got five bags from the master!”

Five Bag Freddy, Two Bag Tommy, One Bag Billy.

See, the reason Billy got afraid and hid what
he had is because he went on Instagram.

I’m going to preach like it’s 2020.

I’m going to bring this parable to modern

He went on Instagram on Tuesday, and it was
Two Talent Tuesday on Instagram.

Five Talent Friday on Instagram.

Ol’ One Bag Billy starts thinking.

“I wonder why I only got one bag.

I was feeling pretty good about my bag until
I saw your bagsss.”

“I was feeling pretty good about my little
vacation until you started talking about Italy.

You went to Italy, huh?


I went to Myrtle Beach.

I used to like Myrtle Beach.

You went to Milan.

It’s all right.


No, I like Myrtle Beach.

I’m more of a local kind of guy.”

Now I have this bag.

Now I’m feeling bad about the bag the master
gave me, because it’s how we count it that


When we hear this, we feel bad for Billy.

We’re like, “Oh, man.

Poor Billy.

He’s walking around with this bag.”

Let’s look in the bag.

Can we look in the bag?

We live in a world that worships the bag.

We never even look at what’s in it.

So, what was a talent?

It’s a weight.

How much money do you have to have of silver
coins (let’s not even talk about gold) to

weigh a talent?

That is 6,000 days of pay for a day laborer.

One talent.

Now, you can’t convert the economics from
Palestine to Ballantyne.

would be somewhere around, what we would call,

1.4 million, because we have words for this.



So I was reading this and I was feeling bad
for Billy.

I was like, “Dang, man.

I probably would have hid it too.

I would have been ashamed to work with a million
if I was friends with Tommy and Freddy.

I probably would be hiding mine too.”

Until I realized something.

It’s still a million.

That’s a lot.

Oh, not to you?

A million is not a lot to you?

How many of you know a million is a lot and
you will take it if somebody wants to Cash

App it?

It’s still a million.

When we read it in contrast to two and five,
it sounds small, but put it back in context.

It’s still a million.

When you start thinking, “I don’t have anything
to feel good about right now.

I don’t have anything to be proud of right

I just want you to look at the Devil some
this week when he’s telling you you don’t

have anything and you are not anything.

Only you and the Devil will know what this

Say, “It’s still a million.”

I got really arrogant one time, because the
church was growing, and we had a holiday weekend,

and there were only 8,000 people in church.

One staff member showed me my million.

They asked, “How many people lived in the
town you grew up in?”

It was 6,000.

What I needed was to break down my blessings,
to break down my bag and remember, “It’s still

a million.”

Here’s what I mean.

If God never does anything else for me, he
has been so good to me.

Let me explain it to you.

He canceled my sins.

He did not treat me as my sins deserve.

No, I’m serious.

He gave me a purpose for living.

He gave me a hope.

He called me.

He brought me into the kingdom.

He put a crown on me.

He gave me 750 million breaths, and I ought
to use a few to thank him while I still can!

You ought to thank him right now for your

You ought to thank him right now for your

You ought to thank him right now for your

It’s still a million.

Break it down.

You have a lot once you start counting it.

Come on, let’s count to a million.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight,
nine, ten…

See, when you break it down, it doesn’t sound
so little anymore.