Invisible Prisons | Maybe: God | Pastor Steven Furtick

Invisible Prisons | Maybe: God | Pastor Steven Furtick


let’s get into the scripture now the
book of Matthew chapter 11 verse 2 and 3 and as I share this with you today I
pray that it’ll be a very personal experience for you Matthew chapter 11
verses 2 & 3 when John who was in prison heard about the deeds of the Messiah he
sent his disciples to ask him are you the one who is to come or should we
expect someone else and really let’s focus on the first part of that when
John who was in prison you’ll find my message right between those commas in
that little clause when John and here’s the phrase who was in prison today I’d
like to speak to you about invisible prisons invisible prisons and let’s pray
one more time God you hold the keys you have all authority you’re sovereign and
we believe that you can do anything now enable your servants to have the kind of
faith that will connect with heaven get us past the point of our own perspective
and help us to see things like you see them for a few minutes we believe that
if we do things will change in our lives in Jesus name I pray amen
you may be seated OCD my Bible was on the wrong side of the thing I have to keep
it a certain way and you know it’s funny when you when you’re married to somebody
you notice all these little things about them now listen this is not hyperbole
Holly Furtick is pretty much the perfect wife
we don’t have the perfect marriage but she’s like you know nine point nine nine
nine nine nine out of ten on the wife and even look at me look at me I’m not
just earning points up here trying to get something started in the afternoon
after I preach I promise you she really is and even when we miss each other just
by that point zero zero zero zero zero one it’s usually just she’s even trying
and sometimes it’s just like she loves me so much it messes things up you know
like she used to introduce me we would go to the different campuses and
have a campus vision night and so we’d be like at University City or at River
Walk the artist formerly known as Rock Hill and she’d get up to introduce me
like she’d read the scripture greet the people and she would tell them now in a
few moments our pastor is gonna come preach and let me tell you it’s gonna be
a good one tonight and they cheer a little bit and she’d say yeah I mean I’m
telling you he’s been studying all day I mean to tell you he hadn’t come out of
his room I went in the room and he was on his face on the carpet seeking God
and worshiping God and then on the way over he had a napkin out and he
was writing his sermon notes on a napkin and he’s just fired up and I’ve never
seen him this fired up and I think tonight might be the best message that
he’s ever gonna preach in his life and I’m like shut up
this is too much pressure like I cannot take the expectations just like ah like
everything she says it’s like I can’t possibly make it this good you know get
up and tell him I’ve been sick and uh the kids have been crazy and it’s just a
miracle that I’m here and then you know I could just jump over that you know I
could dunk on that set the goal about five feet I could dunk on that you
know what I’m saying she puts it up so high I can’t possibly reach it it’s about
expectations marriage is about expectations I could preach a
seminar on that let’s do it another time because it’s just the idea of when you
don’t understand someone’s expectations you can’t make sense of their
disappointments and faith when you get to the essence of it is an expectation a
confident assurance that a negative circumstance still holds the potential
to produce great purpose in my life come on shout on that I’m gonna teach y’all
where to shout y’all been coming to church too many years to not know where
the shouting part is that’s the shouting part means I can walk into something
dark and light it up because of my faith because the light of the world lives in
me you say Jesus is the light of the world absolutely he is but guess where
he lives it’s an expectation faith is an
expectation to know that even if the sequence of things doesn’t make sense in
my life that God who lives outside of time because he is eternal knows the end
from the beginning so then I have to trust him with LMNOP if he is Z and A
and if A is related to Z because he is Alpha and Omega beginning and the end the
first and the last my faith is an expectation that before the movie even
starts he’s already shot the closing scene it helps me to know today that I
don’t have to live in suspense as to whether or not I will see the goodness
of the Lord in the land of the living because faith is an expectation faith
enables me to wake up in the morning knowing that surely goodness and mercy
will follow me all the days of my life and since this is one of the days of my
life goodness and mercy are my bodyguards one on
right and one on my left you can’t see them they’re invisible but if you look
real close I’ve got security touch somebody say I got security goodness and
mercy the favor of the Lord is the filter through which I view the fights
of my life knowing this that he who began a good work in me will be faithful
to complete it don’t know when don’t know how not even sure what he’s doing
yet but my faith gives me an expectation now unto Him who is able to do
immeasurably more than we ask or imagine according to his power that works
mightily in us not according to my preference not according to my
understanding or the finite finite you know small little puny way that I tend to
come at situations but my faith is an expectation and this expectation is
contagious talk about um talk about expectations man John the Baptist who
we just read about he was he was really really familiar with the pressure of
high expectations because he was a miraculous miraculously born baby and an
angel prophesied his birth and in fact when his mother Elizabeth got pregnant
you know his father Zechariah was so shocked by it that he told the angel it
couldn’t happen because they were kind of old and so his expectation you know
with age one thing can happen with age that’s good you can get experience but
it can diminish expectation do you know what I mean by that I’m looking for over 40
because I’m not there yet I’m familiar with this but John
was born but before he was born you have to understand that he was the voice that
prepared the way for the Lord that the entire nation was expecting to deliver
them from oppression that was their expectation of the Messiah they looked
for for hundreds of years in centuries so that this generation that was alive
at the time the birth of Christ had heard the stories the rumors and the
rumblings about the possibility and potential of his coming into the world
and this expectation from their heart was that he would then set them free
from oppression whether economic or political or deliver them from their
their circumstantial containment there’s there’s an expectation and one thing you
got to do when you have an expectation is make sure that you connect yourself
with people who have a similar expectation and this is important
because expectation is contagious say that out loud expectation is contagious
those of you watching this message you didn’t get to be with us in worship I
had everybody in the church turn to each other and I had them check with their neighbor and make sure that their neighbor was the right neighbor
because I don’t want them sitting next to anybody who’s not expecting God to speak
today just gonna play something on their phone you know candy crush or whatever
game is popular now I don’t play that stuff I read my Bible in my free time I’m just kidding I read my Bible and watch YouTube in my
free time but I was just having them check you know because expectation
is contagious here’s how contagious it is when John the Baptist was still in
Elizabeth’s womb an angel appeared six months after Elizabeth got pregnant with
John the Baptist to Mary who was a relative of Elizabeth now you know Mary
Mary did you know from Christmas she was told that she was gonna have a baby and
she hadn’t had relations and it’s kind of hard to believe a revelation that
completely contradicts the circumstances surrounding it so the first thing that
she did when the angel left was go into the hill country to see her relative
named Elizabeth because the angel said she’s also expecting the best thing you
can do when you are expecting is to get around somebody else who’s expecting if
you get around somebody who’s expecting your expectation will rise that’s why I
come to church to be honest with you because you know what I could watch it
on my phone but there’s something about being in an atmosphere with people who
are also expecting you know what if you’re watching this message in your
house next time you watch it invite somebody over and y’all drink some
coffee together and get some get some expectation between the two of you and
get a Bible and break out your Bible and stand up on your feet while
I’m preaching even if you’re watching in your kitchen
if you got somebody next to you grab them right now and tell them I’m
expecting something and what I need is somebody who will help me with this
expectation because if I don’t get around somebody who’s expecting
something this is so real this is so real that
we’ve got worship leaders in this church who lead worship and don’t even have a
microphone because when we were pulling in today Graham who’s 11 said to me we
listened to Hezekiah Walker on the way to church today so I had
the car bumping on the way in the parking lot and then we moved over into
Israel Houghton circa 2006 and then we pulled by the the parking team and do
you know what my son said to me when we pulled by the parking team he said I love that
guy now this is Graham Graham has never even said he loved me but he was like I love him you can tell he’s excited
Graham never said I love Chris Brown he never said it once ever
but that parking attendant Graham said he does so much for our church what
could we do for him but it was a childlike faith and I promise
I’m going to talk about John the Baptist in a minute but it’s the
craziest thing that when somebody is also expecting you know it created an
expectation even in the parking lot my son felt something what he felt though
he didn’t know it was the Holy Spirit in that man the Holy Spirit in that man who
didn’t need a microphone he had an orange baton and he was
expecting that when you pull in my parking lot you’re pulling up on holy
ground so get ready something good I’m
expecting something so when Elizabeth and Mary got together Mary said oh I
just got bumped Mary said what do you mean I just got bumped this is the new
modern Steven Furtick translation of the Bible what you mean you just got bumped
she said when you got here the baby in your womb made the baby in my womb leap
for joy now you can’t see it it’s invisible but
something in you the Jesus in you the Christ in you I’ma calm down in a minute
and preach but somebody who’s got a purpose on the inside shout like you’re
expecting the greatest days of your life come on on every campus let’s take 19
seconds and praise him in advance it’s alright it’s alright it’s alright
to be expectant it’s alright it’s alright it’s alright to love Jesus it’s alright
to be enthusiastic it’s alright it’s alright to lift up your eyes to the
hills and know where your help comes from expectation is contagious so is
skepticism sit down we gotta modulate because a lot has happened since John
the Baptist was jumping up and down in Elizabeth’s womb as a fetus you know what I
mean like a lot happens between when something gets birthed and the point now
where he’s started his ministry he’s like he’s been doing his job you’ve been
doing your job thats remember the titans you’ve been
doing your job he’s been doing his job and Jesus now is really really
getting he’s getting popular he’s blowing up as some would say now this is
not before the blow up Jesus is blowing all the way up all the way up and John
according to the text is in prison when John first saw Jesus as an adult and
whether or not they had much contact during their teenage years is not
recorded in Scripture but one thing we know is that when John saw Jesus at one
point when he was baptizing in the Jordan River
John identified Jesus not by the activities that he did but he identified
him based on the essence of who he was which is really important in how we
relate to God because if we only learn to identify God by what he does and what
he does for us then our expectation will be attached to his activity and that’s
dangerous it’s very dangerous to have it’s very dangerous to have a low
expectation of God then you just live the life at the level of your
disappointments and then wonder why everything turns out exactly the way you
imagined it to turn out because you didn’t have any faith for anything else
it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy but it’s also very dangerous isn’t it to have an
expectation of God that is not congruent with his character and this is where it
gets difficult for us because dancing babies in the womb is one thing but now
when John who was in prison not in prison for a meth lab not in prison
because you know not in prison for a domestic disturbance in prison for
standing up to a wicked King Herod and because he wouldn’t say what was
expected of him to be said because he was a prophet and he didn’t operate like
that and he was kind of rough y’all John the Baptist was if he had a Twitter
account it would definitely it would definitely need to be suspended he would
definitely be de-platformed in this day in this PC day John the Baptist would
not have much of an audience but he was very popular in his time until Jesus
came and when Jesus came he said look Lamb of God takes away the sins of the
world don’t follow me follow him John 3:30 he must become greater I must
become less follow him not me whole reason I’m here is to point to him
here he is y’all go with him i’ma do my thing I prepared the way I’m just a
voice I’m not the one I’m just a voice pointing to the one so I know my place
so i’ma fall back now so he can do what he came to do and what he came to do
watch this was to judge the unwickedness and to bring the people to repentance
that was John’s favorite message he loved that word repent repent he just
preached it all the time and when they would come out to be baptized by him he
would call them names he one time called the Pharisees a brood
of vipers I thought that would be an interesting way to welcome the campuses
one weekend and yet there was there was a prophetic power to his ministry
that people were attracted to because he would say things that were true
whether they wanted them to be true or not and yet that same spirit and I
really want to isolate this I didn’t do it last night I was thinking the same thing that made him so great got him in trouble the same
thing that made him able to just take a stand and I’m not moving and this is how
it’s gonna be repent repent repent let me show you one
example can I show you one example of what his message was so he’s out
baptizing at the Jordan he baptized Jesus he said I’m not worthy to untie
your thong of your sandal Jesus said we got to do it to fulfill all
righteousness it’s proper it’s appropriate stop thinking about how you
think it needs to be and I’m telling you how it needs to be you’re just the voice
you’re not the message you’re just the voice again you’re not
the message you’re just the voice one more time you’re not the message you’re
just the voice and so he baptized Jesus in obedience even though it didn’t make
sense and now watch this this is something that he said that shows us
what his expectation was and if you don’t understand his expectation you
can’t make sense of his disappointment this was his expectation of the Messiah
this was his expectation of the one that he gave away his ministry to this was
his expectation of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and it’s
found in Matthew chapter 3 watch this he’s talking to the crowds i baptize you
with water for repentance but after me comes one who is more powerful than I
whose sandals I am not worthy to carry he’ll baptize you with the Holy Spirit
and fire watch this verse 12 his winnowing fork is in hand whoa that’s
what you use to get the chaff out the wickedness you winnow it out and you
separate the sheep from the goats good from the bad the righteous from the
wicked he’s got his winnowing fork he’s here now
and it’s about to go down it’s about to get good
the Lamb of God is here and he’s got his winnowing fork in his hand and he will
clear his threshing floor gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the
chaff with unquenchable fire there’s about to be fire the Son of God is here it’s
about to be fire he’s got a fork and he’s about to start a fire and he’s
burning up all y’all that don’t want to do it and get right and get left and you
know all this stuff if John the Baptist had a church sign it would have all
those things about hell on it you know about the fire and the
wicked and the righteous and turn or burn and you know and he’s got his fork
in one hand now watch this he he’s in prison now he’s in prison now and
something is making him doubt what he was so sure about from the time even
before he was born what he knew before he was even born
he’s now doubting in this prison sends messengers a hundred miles on foot just
to ask Jesus one question and I get it because you know we’re supposed to be
partners and here I am in prison and all I keep seeing is you healing people
blessing people all I see all I keep seeing is the reports of how awesome it’s
going for you but I stood up to a king and I’m here in prison and here’s what
he’s wondering did you catch it in the verse he said are you the one or should
we expect someone else in other words is it always gonna be like this in other
words I thought I thought I thought you were gonna have you ever
thought God was gonna where’d y’all go y’all were fired up when we had a little
praise moment and all that have you ever thought God was gonna have you
ever wondered cuz John the Baptist is just wondering
he’s just wondering he’s not denying Jesus he’s not turning
away from the sovereign Lord who bought him he’s not contradicting
what he said to begin with he’s just thinking now maybe God isn’t what I
thought he was maybe the one that I trusted in maybe I trusted in the wrong
one now you don’t say it like that because if you said it like that you
would be scared God would hit you with a lightning bolt but you just send
messengers you don’t say it like that directly but indirectly somebody came in
here wondering and you don’t talk about this you’re wondering you know God made
some promises and here’s the the interesting thing about it a lot of
times our entire faith journey is sabotaged because of our expectation of
salvation when it gets started and I’m not sure that as preachers we’ve been
very responsible about it because a lot of times we will preach that salvation
from your sin is a one-time event in fact it is you will never pay the
penalty of your sin Jesus is the Lamb of God this is what John knew who takes
away the sin of the world but the power of sin is very different than the
penalty of sin and the patterns of sin are very different than the penalty of
sin so when we preach that you’ve been forgiven of your sin you are set free
from the penalty of your sin but if the pattern of your sin has been engrained
not only just throughout your lifetime but some of it is even generational and
some addictions that you were fighting against you know the invisible prisons
that you live in the things that you do over and over again I was thinking about
how some of us are in invisible prisons today even as we try
to appear free to people there is a spiritual depression on so
many so many thousands that I will preach to this weekend and nobody can
see it because we paint the walls with a smile but we live behind bars on the
inside it’s an invisible prison it’s ways of thinking and reasoning and
fearing because when I realize John was in two different prisons at the same
time it clarified the text for me one was the one that Herod Antipas put him
in for saying what he didn’t want to hear but the other one was an
invisible prison the other one is one that I’m all too familiar with this is
the prison of your expectations this is the prison of your plans this is the
prison of what you thought God was going to do you know hey go ask Jesus are you
the one cuz uh I told everybody you were the one I told everybody you had your
fork you’re about to start a fire watch what the messengers say back to John
they say Jesus replied go back and report to John what you hear and see look at
this list the blind receive sight the lame walk those who have leprosy are
cleansed the deaf hear the dead are raised and the good news is proclaimed
to the poor blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me watch what wasn’t
in that verse the fork and the fire Jesus wasn’t doing any of the things
that John wanted him to do read the list again
the blind receive sight the lame walk those who have leprosy are cleansed the
deaf hear the dead are raised and the good news is proclaimed to the poor go
tell John that and John’s like I’m just checking Jesus where’s the fork where’s
the fire you know WTF you ever had a moment
why y’all hate me today yeah you never had a where’s the fork
where’s the fire John is having a moment John is in a WTF moment with the Lord
walk out if you want to but if you’ll be really honest if you’ll be really honest
there are some things in your life you’re trying to figure out right now
come on where is it where is it what in the world is this
somebody shout what is this what is this yeah yeah I don’t know I just need to
know because I thought you were gonna and that is the prison that we spend so
much of our lives in what we thought God was gonna do but I got a question for
you what if he really is able to do immeasurably more than you ask or
imagine what if he wants to do something so much better than your mind can comprehend would you be open to that what if God didn’t want to meet your
expectations because he wanted to exceed them and now I’m gonna make you sit back
down because you’re not gonna like this the way he grows my faith is usually to
disappoint my expectation John’s like um this this is what I gave up my ministry
for this I gave my life to Jesus and I’m still struggling with depression and
anxiety this because it was your expectation of deliverance that is
causing your disappointment go tell John watch this the blind see the deaf hear the lame
walk tell him I’m touching people that nobody else would touch that were
quarantined because of this dreadful disease called leprosy and they’re able
to go back to their family because they’re cleansed and they can live their life
tell him all that but you know he’s not making this up right this is what he
came to do this is what he announced that he came to do in Luke chapter 4
he said the Spirit of the Lord is on me cuz he’s quoting Isaiah 61 because he
is fulfilling the prophecy not fulfilling their preferences fulfilling
the prophecy it’s very different he’s fulfilling what he said he was not what
they thought he was going to be that’s what God is trying to deliver us from
you see it from what we thought he was going to be he’s so much bigger than
that he’s so much better than that his plan is so much bigger than that his
purpose is so much greater than that John said are you the one he said go
back and tell him that the deaf hear and the blind see and the lepers are touched
and the eyes of the blind are opened and the ears of the deaf this
is all from Luke chapter 4 look it up when he unrolled the scroll when he stood
up to read in his hometown and he said this day is this prophecy fulfilled
in your hearing I came the Spirit of the Lord is upon me for he has anointed me
to preach the good news to the poor recovery of sight to the blind he sent me to open
deaf ears he sent me to do all this but one thing he left out when he sent the
message to John and this is crazy Zack because I know how much you love the
Bible so it’s gonna blow your mind the only thing that he left out he added
some stuff to it but he left one thing out freedom for the prisoners look it up
right now reference me it’s in Luke 4 I can wait I
know I’m right about this unless you got some weird Bible that you made for
yourself Luke 4 it’s like 18 19 something like that what’s it say 18 19 what’s it say
this is Rick Parker the one that you’ll always hear on the podcast hey Rick you know you’re famous on the podcast he’s the one
always talking back to me the country guy he’s always talking back to me people
ask me all the time who’s that country guy that’s always talking back to you
that’s Rick Parker what’s it say yeah yeah preach the gospel to the poor heal the
broken heart liberty to the captives where’s that he said tell John I’m doing
it all tell John that everything I said I would do I’m doing it but what I
said I would do is not what he was expecting and tell John that I need his
faith not to rest in his idea of who he thought I was I’m a preach this home
right now I need his faith not to rest in whether or not I fulfill his agenda
look so many of the things that Jesus did in the scripture it was a hidden
agenda in fact he even spoke in parables not so the people would get a cute
little story about a father and a son and he ran away and he ate with the pigs
and the father welcomed him home that isn’t why he taught in parables he
taught in parables because he didn’t want his wisdom to be ascertained with
the human mind he taught in parables so that the Spirit
of God could reveal to the unlearned not the wisdom of this world but the things
of God so much of what he does is hidden and yet we spend all of our time in our
minds trying to figure out whether God is good trying to figure out whether
life makes sense it’s a prison you’ll never figure it out that way you can’t
get out that way you can’t solve your problems on the level of self it’s gonna
take a great big God with an eternal plan it’s gonna take a really good God
it’s going to take a majestic God and I’m gonna have to decide whether or not
I’m going to interpret him through the lens of my expectations or set my
expectations on the basis of who he is now here’s what I know I am preaching to
so many different types of people today for some of you you can hardly breathe
right now because I’m speaking so specifically to you because the Lord is
trying to get this message to you for others of you you’re in a much more
dangerous place you’re not even listening you know what God uses to
develop your faith disappointment you know what the devil uses to destroy your
faith disappointment and I think it’s what you do with it it’s gonna happen
it’s gonna happen in relationships it’s gonna happen in careers it’s gonna
happen in churches to where what you thought it was gonna be and what it
really is you know I don’t even like the way this
Bible story goes because what I want to happen next in the story is that the
angel of the Lord comes and breaks John out of prison and John goes on to preach the
gospel and he has more success and double for his trouble like Job like
never before and the Lord restores the years that the cankerworm has wasted and we could have good church and all get a serotonin hit go home be
happy and watch a NASCAR race but what I’m thinking is I need to tell you that
the way you expect this story to end since we’re talking about expectations
is not necessarily the way that it does because John doesn’t get out of
prison in Matthew chapter 11 in fact in Matthew 14 his head is served up on a
platter because the the king decides to cut it off him and yet there’s
something that’s even more beautiful in the text than John getting what he wants
there’s something much more profound than John gets what he wants and
what it is is in verse 7 and following now this transitional phrase is really
important by the way who am i preaching to today that there’s been some things
that weren’t what you thought they were going to be and it’s affecting your
faith now and even in a sense God is not who you thought he was going to be and
you’re experiencing him in a different way than you have a template for and
it’s challenging to you so what happens next is the part of the message that I
really want you to take to heart because it says as John’s disciples were leaving
what does that mean whatever Jesus says next John doesn’t hear it
he turns to the crowd and begins to speak about John this is significant
because what he says next is what he wants the crowd to know about John what
he said before was what he wanted John to know about him and it’s a critical
distinction because God never wants your faith to rest on you he knows how
fragile and fickle you are he said go tell John that there is a
purpose that is greater there is a plan that is bigger say that
there is a purpose that is greater there is a plan that is bigger I’m looking for
a hundred percent participation on every location there is a purpose that is
greater there is a plan that is bigger look at the person next you say there is
a purpose that is greater there is a plan that is bigger other neighbor there
is a purpose that is greater there is a plan that is bigger
tell them zoom out zoom out zoom out zoom out zoom out zoom out zoom out because
you’ve been seeing this one little thing and when you’re in the prison of your
mind it’s an awfully small place isn’t it it’s really hard to see the light of
day in solitary confinement but go tell John we’re right on schedule go tell
John I’m using his preparation go tell John it wasn’t in vain I heard the Lord
say Furtick go tell John go tell the people go tell the discouraged go tell
the beaten go tell the broken go tell the depressed go tell the sick go tell
the broke go tell the hurting go tell the young go tell the old go tell them
it’s working and go tell them I’m doing it just not like you wanted me to but I’m
doing it he turns around and says to the crowd
what did you go out into the wilderness to see a reed swayed by the wind
no John wasn’t fickle John wasn’t fragile when John made up his mind about
something that’s just the way it was and that’s what’s getting him in trouble
because he made up his mind about what he thought God was gonna do and when God
did what God wanted to do is that you right now are you in an invisible prison
I know Herod isn’t gonna cut your head off it’s not that dramatic right but you
can’t enjoy people can you is that you right now you can’t create is that you
right now or is that me who am i preaching to maybe I’m preaching to me it’s not
that God didn’t do anything for me it’s not that God didn’t bless me it’s just
different than what I thought and as long as I’m in the prison of what I
thought I can’t be a part of what God is doing so be set free today be set free
by the fact that God may not be conforming to your agenda or keeping all
of your appointments God might not be organizing everything to match your
exact preference but there is a greater purpose and there is a bigger picture
and just like John was the forerunner of Jesus Christ some of you God is using
you to fight battles for your children and your children’s children and your
children’s children’s children will be blessed if you don’t fall away if you
don’t follow away if you will resist the urge to control God you can serve Him
and worship Him and it’ll be all right because
my faith is not the expectation that circumstances will be pleasant my faith
is the expectation that the voice of the Lord is upon the waters go tell John
blessed is he who does not trip over the way he thought it was going to be
blessed is he who accepts what I’m doing in his or her life and the Lord wants to
set you free today from the way you thought that it was gonna be and that’s
it and that’s it because you know what’s gonna happen
once you get set free from the way you thought it was gonna be you can embrace
what it is and you know what God’s gonna do more than what you thought he was
gonna do the blind see the lame walk God’s got something better than a fork
God’s got something better than a fire the first place of deliverance is in the
area of your expectation Holy Spirit I thank you for this moment and I pray
that this message would not fall on deaf ears because truth be told Lord there is
a prison that is not physical there are captives in here today
whose chains are invisible and I want to pray for them right now
Lord that you would look into the places of their life where they’ve been
disappointed and where they’ve been bruised or even worse than that where
they got their hopes up so high and uh they made a fool of themself and so now
it’s kind of hard for them to really have an expectation of your goodness they’re in an invisible prison of
disappointment resentment bitterness but you said you came to set
us free so you didn’t do it physically for John but would you set us free set
us free from ourselves set us free from our regrets set us free from our sin with everyone standing
where the Spirit of the Lord is there’s freedom and the kind of freedom that I
need is the freedom from the need to control your life the freedom from the
need to call the shots and to always know the plan
John said are you the one I just need to know and I hear the Lord saying today
yeah it’s me it’s me it’s me getting you through this season it’s me that allowed
some of the things in your life that you don’t like I didn’t cause all of them
but I’m using all of them it’s me go tell John it’s me it’s me it’s me that
thing that won’t let you go that’s grace God said that’s me that think that keeps
pumping in your heart getting you back up you fall down 7 you get up 8 God
said that’s me that thing in you that they can’t always make sense you know
you should read the Bible sometimes you know God said that’s me I want you to
wrestle with it that’s me I don’t want you to put me in a formula that’s me I
don’t want you to have me in a box I don’t want you to be in this prison of
your small view of me that’s me oh God of every moment we come before you
now in need of your mercy in need of your grace we need to know that you are our
Shepherd even if we go through a valley of the shadow of death I thank you now
Lord that as this word has gone forth today across multiple campuses across
multiple continents that you are confirming your presence to your people
right now if you would just lift your hands God said it’s me it’s me that you need
to make sense of your life it’s me lord I thank you that there is a bigger
picture we do not see in full we see in part we prophesy in part we speak in
part but when that which is perfect has come that which is incomplete will be
taken away until that time Lord we trust in your presence we trust in who you are
you’re still the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world
you’re still the king of our life you’re still the hope and foundation that our
lives are built on you’re still the solid rock on which we stand all other
ground is sinking sand it’s you God it’s you that we worship and it’s you that we
trust it’s not ourselves it’s not our circumstances it’s you somebody say it’s
you it’s you that I need Lord it’s you that fulfills me it’s you that completes
me it’s you that makes ways it’s you that opens doors it’s you that sets the
prisoners free it’s you that broke the chains it’s you that I’m looking to
promotion doesn’t come from the east or the west promotion comes from you it’s
you I’m counting on it’s you I’m looking to it’s you I’m leaning on it’s your
everlasting arms it’s your mighty hand it’s your
outstretched power it’s your grace that we need it’s you
Lord it’s nobody else it’s you our help comes from you our
strength is in you our trust is in your name and we worship you now thank you
for watching the Elevation Church YouTube channel but don’t stop here join the
eFam our online extended family and join us live every Sunday subscribe to this
channel so you don’t miss a single video or live stream and share this with a
friend you can also support the ministry by clicking the give now button to help
us continue to reach people around the world for Jesus Christ thank you again
for watching God bless you

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100 Comments

  1. I just want to thank you for always making me think a little harder about my relationship with God even when I think I'm focused.

  2. A question looms for me & I hope someone can help me find the verse or if there is one about whether or not John dies still a prisoner of his thought of Jesus?

  3. May the lord bless you elevation church. Im so blessed since the day i subscribe… My life is changing and i see my intimacy with God grow. Be bless 🔥🔥🔥🔥

  4. Thank you for this:-) When I thought God was gonna… make my brother breath after a car accident. He didn’t, when I asked God why didn’t he take him in another accident before he had his children, He told me that was what he was here for. Peace and comfort was with me. God was with me. He never leaves.

  5. You guys are getting it all wrong, there is no god, its BUTT CRABS! Little telepathic crabs that burrow up your butt during infancy and merge your mind with theirs, it explains why children are so dumb and useless and learn over time! its all thanks to their symbiotic butt crab! You cant tell me its not real, because i have faith, and my faith is strong so i must be right and hence i must convince others to have faith in the Butt Crabs instead of their own logic or reasoning! I am right, and all the hundreds of other beliefs are totally wrong because mine cant be proven wrong!

  6. You guys are getting it all wrong, there is no god, its BUTT CRABS! Little telepathic crabs that burrow up your butt during infancy and merge your mind with theirs, it explains why children are so dumb and useless and learn over time! its all thanks to their symbiotic butt crab! You cant tell me its not real, because i have faith, and my faith is strong so i must be right and hence i must convince others to have faith in the Butt Crabs instead of their own logic or reasoning! I am right, and all the hundreds of other beliefs are totally wrong because mine cant be proven wrong!

  7. One day I will be in a position to give back to this Ministry a portion financially of the Spiritual blessings I benefited from. From the very 1st time I saw this guy preach on tv, I knew he was blessed to bring the Word; and for a guy who has heard all the sermons of other preachers (me) This was something new, refreshing and definately Anointed of God. I'm in that place right now, with expectations and holding on with faith that something is about to happen that will exceed my expectation. may God continue to bless you and your family and your Ministry.

  8. This series has really challenged me to do better and seek God and put God first in all things your series have opened my eyes to what I have been missing for the last 8 years now and it’s God without Him I am incomplete thank you again much love to you and all you do

  9. watching this today as a new Youtuber. Understanding that my obedience to God brings about God relationship as a friendly.

  10. I wanna say to Jason I like your story God worth u brother I have a 27 baby brother he has is whole life ahead him due

  11. Due to drugs please if ther any one out there to help this man my brother he needs prayer as ned miracle to and me I'm his sister

  12. This message was for me. Wow, thank you for saying YES to God and tell your wife thank you for saying YES also.

  13. Thank you Jesus!!! Thank you for using Pastor Furtick as a messenger for me and all who are seeking you Lord. You speak to me and help me through my difficult times. Thank you for your grace and mercy! Oh sweet Heavenly Father, I believe in you and trust in you! Have mercy on me and my loved ones! I need you God! Please set me free! Much love to the Elevation family! Praying one day I can attend these services in person. Until then, may God bless each and every one of you for helping each other in our mission in serving Christ!

  14. Just discovered elevation. Awesome and profound message here. I can totally relate and I love the message
    Thank you for dedicating your life to Christs message.

  15. Wow what an exceptional message! It opened my eyes. Be blessed Pastor Furtick an Elevation Church!

  16. The first time I heard pastor Steven was on the sermon when anxiety attacks and my family was going through a lot of anxious circumstances and pastor Steven helped me understand what why how to get through it and I just want to say thank you

  17. this message have blesses me , since i read this passage i have never understood it , Glory to God

  18. Stop putting God in a box. Stop believing that He is exactly what your little mind thinks He is. Faith is accepting things as they are and expecting that God has a greater plan for you that has nothing to do with your addictions, sin or even good deeds. wow.

  19. Im free from the prison if MY expectations! His Grace and mercy opened my ears and soul to another level….i can breathe again! Thank you Lord for using this mans gift of visual words it has drawn me closer to my faith!

  20. Lol I was getting all emotional at the end with that amazing prayer and then it suddenly changed to Steven saying thank you for watching the youtube video and I was so confused.

  21. I am so thankful for you, Pastor. I am learning so much and you are answering so many questions that I ask God on a daily basis. I share your videos with my daughters and friends because you deliver the message by being transparent about being a normal person with the same daily struggles. Thank you for your ministry….God bless you.

  22. Thank you so much father God for delivering this message to me all the way in South Africa.
    Pastor Steven you are truly blessed for I was trapped in my expectations of the Lord and when my plans failed, when I was disappointed just a few days ago I felt pained… But the Lord relieved me of my pain as I gave my expectations, my worries and my life to him as I give it to him everyday.

    And he delivered me as he does everyday… And now I accept that he doesn't follow my expectations, he goes beyond me and blesses me with so much more than I expected.

    Please EC Team, continue to make expand the kingdom of God.

  23. i had to watch/HEAR this again….. and will probably need to repeatedly…….

    at 34:00 to 34:30, an "equivalency" i wasnt expecting…… but, now i understand….. 30 seconds of extreme wisdom comes crashing into my pain…..

    Thanks Pastor Steven !!!!!!!

    JESUS, please help me….. help me correct my expectations…..
    help me overcome my crazy "i give up" expectations, that i made for myself because of Meniere's Disease……
    help me to stop hiding…… i am way more chicken, than Gideon was when he ducked the midianites…… help me LORD….
    show me, the way….. anything….. i cant "make the expectation" YOU will do for me what YOU did for Gideon….
    but, i Know YOU are Faithful, and that YOU Love me…..

    if that earthly knowledge is is the "crumbs from my Master's Table", that sustains me, then i must call myself fed….
    i have No Other resource, but YOU LORD……….. all else, well, is merely sand and chaff……

    Thank You LORD, for that which i do have !!!!! breath to praise YOU……..! and each new day in which to praise YOU !!!!!!!

    your servant and child,
    paul

    ps….. song on loop, Danny Gokey – Havent Seen It Yet

  24. I am freeeee !!!! This is the message I needed to hear! Praise God! I am freeeeee !! Thank you pastor! Thank You Lord ! I am one of the Johns 😂 Haleluyahh I am freee!!

  25. i just kind of addicted to your messages great man of God Pastor Steven Furtick.
    i wish i could have you in my country kenya.

  26. Why in the world would a man of God, call a developing baby a fetus? The term was invented to take away the value of a child/baby. It attempts to remove the value, empathy, moral, and emotion from unborn children. Using the "scientific" definition takes away the sacred miracle birth, making it easier to abort babies. Similarly, the word rape is trying to be redefined as sexual assault because the word "rape" sounds too harsh. Same with child sex trafficking or child sex slaves are now trying to be redefined as human trafficking victims because "sex: trafficking is too harsh. These changes are only used to benefit the perpetrator so people would not look as harshly on them and it reduces the amount of stigma attched to the offenders. Moreover, the redifining of terms takes away the grandeur of the violation away from the victim's horriffic experience. These three examples show how you need to be careful of the words you choose and not fall victim to science, media and other non-Christian influences. They subtly chip a little piece at a time here and there to normalize it so we could more easily accept it not knowing what you are really accepting .

  27. 🤯 So many great revelations in this message. Thank you, Pastor Steven, for bringing this word from God.

  28. This may well be the most profound message to seasoned Christians that I’ve ever heard! I’m listening to it over and over again.

  29. This truly spoke to me. Whenever you asked whether things in my life turned out differently than I expected them to and if the fact that they turned out differently affected my faith, I had to pause the video for a bit and just reflect. Past disappointments, past failures, and ruined relationships have changed my faith. Some made my faith stronger after time – but all put a damper on my faith. Momentarily for most, which gives me hope for this current struggle of mine.

  30. I need to be set free from my expectations… I’m so frustrated and disappointed now… I want to be set free and embrace what God’s doing now.

  31. so i guess God just wants me to stay in these circumstances and watch while he changes the world without me

  32. Just in time!
    Debt after debt bill after bill
    Time is going by so slow cause im still broke looks like theres no way out..
    Lord are you gonna get me out of this
    Lord where are you?!

    Thank you lord!🙏

  33. I've been healed in the past from severe migraine head aches in church and healed of a damaged hand (caught in a printing press roller) in my apartment with only my best friend praying for me and finally a traveling evangelical pastor through a word of knowledge told me I was healed of vertigo. I currently suffer with an essential tremor, terrible back & sciatic pain and also depression and anxiety. I've been waiting for God to use one of the above mentioned ways to heal me so I'm very grateful for this message God is working -I don't know how but I know who!!!!!!

  34. God is so good!! I and finally able to dry my tears of Joy. This massage like most was said at the right time for me who was in need. I am sharing with everyone. I love the way these messages are delivered. Every message I have listened to is what I needed. So many ah ha moments. I am restored in faith. My marriage will soon end. I have expressed the need to have religion in my life. "expected and shared this need to be in church"  we have been away for more than 4 years. Hearing these sermons are helping those you do not see. I give thanks to you for your gifts. I have struggled some with this decision, but I need God in my life as a greater presence. I am renewed by this message. I know God is moving in my life, I needed to believe and this has restored me. Thank you again!

  35. There is no need for musical instrument in the background while the Pastor is in the middle of the sermon. With
    the musical instrument, it takes away fire of once focus on the holy spirit(the sudden musical background takes over during the sermon).

  36. Awesome!! I recently had an expectation that God would heal me of infection in my foot – BUT GOD – had something else in store – a foot amputation in July of which relieved me of that miserable infection and I have seen God glorified more in the amputation than I even thought of in my and others expectations !!!! ALL GLORY BE TO GOD!!!

  37. Thank you for this. Because was about to take me to rapture and maybe put me for punishment. He want me to pratice preaching …i dont know what to say… i dont even understand of some knowledge he send me..yes he have a video in you tube and keep sending me. Please help me..Please pray for me. I feel scared , i told the lord i fear him …that i want to stay..i want to be set free from all this…because i dònt go with the lord , he said will come for war, when he come to take hies faithful people. Yes , hes taking me for rapture. He has those video..been sending me.. showing me what will i should do. And i didnt feel like doing all the things that wanted me to do. All i did was that pray to the lord and ask for help to heaĺ my family but then , later on as he keeping on sending me those video. He called a a capitve children … Its seem so crazy and watch me like a hook. Yes holy spirit is inside of me right now and never left me. I fear the lord…In Matthew In Matthew 10: 28 its says….And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul : but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell . The lord want my heart he want me die so he can take my soul…i mean my heart. And that because you know him , doesnt mean will put you in prison..

  38. What if you dont meet your expectation ??? The answer i know is that he will give you death because he wants your heart..period. So my suggestion is to always obey the lord. Be obedience always to him. Follow what he says to you. Period. Thats i know. Obey ,and fallow hes rules.

  39. God is using me to fight battles for my children & my children's children, my generation is blessed through me, thank you Jesus

  40. I almost want to move to where pastor Furticks church is at there aren’t any preachers in CA with the passion that Steven has.

  41. God's continued blessing on this Ministry, He is exceeding our expectations in ways beyond understanding. I always felt deeply that the religious world was missing something, yet He is proving that He will fulfill His purpose in spite of that. All praise to the Kingdom of GOD.

  42. Really needed this today and searched for this specific message🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽When I first heard it, I was so broken because my expectation of God was shattered because I was so dissapointed by a situation but now I will expect to see a victory, expect to see God move – I will not doubt or fear but I Will look up and see the victory of the Lord. Thank you Pastor Steven ♥️🙏🏽🙏🏽

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