You’re Not A Hostage | Pastor Steven Furtick


This message only has two points, and
these two points are the master keys to living your Christian life by faith. The first thing I found out about faith is that faith is an interpretation. Faith
is an ability to see a situation like the valley of the shadow of death
and say about it, even though I go through it, I will fear no evil because
you’re with me The proof that God is with me in this season of my life is not
the fact that he got me out of the valley but that he saw me through it.
That’s an interpretation. Some people would say that because you’re going
through the valley right now it’s proof that God has left you. Other people would
say that the reason that you’re going through the valley right now is because
there is something so great on the other side that God is leading you through a
place that you’ve never been before, and when you see what he has for you on the
other side, these light and momentary afflictions are not worthy to be
compared with the glory that will be revealed. That’s Paul. Paul says, “I have an
interpretation of faith.” An interpretation is really important in
marriage. It’s really important because it’s a cross-cultural relationship.It’s an interesting thing when Holly asks me a question sometimes
because what she’ll really be asking me and what she asks me are two entirely
different things. I had to learn to discern and
interpret her requests. There’s a deeper meaning. I’d like you to follow
me through this passage for a moment. This is really more like a Bible study
tonight that I wanted to give you to ask the question, are you headed in the right
direction? Are you thinking the right way about the situation that you’re in? Can
these bones live again? You alone, Lord. No, faith is an interpretation. Paul says, “I’m here in this prison,” but I I want you to know brothers and sisters verse 12
please that what has happened to me has actually served to advance, really cool word for advance it means to make progress for headway in
spite of severe blows. So when he says that the gospel is advancing and making
progress, he means that it’s making progress in spite of having to make
progress in the direction of resistance. Many of us will interpret our
difficulty as a sign that God has not called us to this assignment.
Paul’s interpretation is this. The fact that I’m going through so much is proof
that the purpose of God is being accomplished because the enemy doesn’t
attack anybody that’s not carrying anything. This is how the country
preacher said at one time. You want to hear what he said? He said, “If you hadn’t,”
let me say it like you said it. “If you hadn’t had a head-on collision with the
devil lately, you might be headed in the same direction.” Somebody shot, I’m carrying something. I’m carrying a calling. I’m carrying the Spirit of God, the spirit of revival. I’m
carrying an anointing. I’m making progress in spite of. I’m rolling with
the punches. I’m moving with the punches. The opposition does not does not hinder
the progress. In fact, the very fact that I’m being opposed is a sign to me that
I’m a threat to the devil, so I think I’ll keep moving forward in spite of it.
I feel like preaching a faith message tonight, for somebody it was headed in
the right direction. He says it’s actually serving to advance
the gospel. I know it looks like things have slowed down since I’ve been in this
prison, but actually I’m here doing work and as long as God leaves me in this
situation, I refuse to have a hostage mentality. So as for me, verse 13, as a
result of my being here in this place I wouldn’t have chosen to be, it has become
clear throughout the whole palace garden to everyone else that I am in changed
for Christ. What a thing to say. It’s not that God put these chains on me. I was
actually put in Chains by the Roman government, but I’m in Chains for
Christ’s like kind of like Joseph in the Old Testament. You meant it for evil God
meant it for good. I know the why and that’s how I can
survive the what. I can survive no matter what because I know the why. Everywhere
God puts me, every season I will find myself in every situation that my life
will encounter I know my why. Here’s the good news. You can survive any what when you know your why. I wonder, do you know your why?
Not to the extent that you can give a perfect diagnosis for why every bad
thing happens to you but Paul says these chains are on me for Christ. I’m choosing
to see this situation, this limitation. I’m choosing to see this even though it
wasn’t done by God. God didn’t put me in prison. God doesn’t make people sick. God
didn’t take your job away. God didn’t cause the betrayal. But now
that I’m in this situation, I choose to believe that God has me here. God put me
here. That that’s the message of Philippians chapter 1. God put me here
I’m confident of this very thing that he who began a good work in me will be
faithful to complete it to the day of Christ. God put me here. Even if he used
Judas to get Jesus to the cross, or was God’s will being accomplished
when he was there. Paul says, “I’m not a hostage. Don’t cry for me. Don’t feel
sorry for me. I refuse to blame others. I’m not a hostage.” I won’t spend one
single verse of Philippians chapter 1, complaining about the situation. I could
but I won’t. Maybe I should but I won’t, because I’m
not a hostage. Come on declare it, “I’m not a hostage.” On
every location say it so the devil gets nervous, “I’m not a hostage.” I’m not a
hostage to what people think about me. I’m not a hostage to what people say
about me. I’m not a hostage to the opinions. I’m not a hostage to my
situation. I’m not a hostage to disability. I’m not a hostage to lack. I’m
not a hostage to shortage. I’m not a hostage to heartbreak. I’m not
a hostage to shame. As a matter of fact, let’s take it to another level. I’m not a
hostage. I’m a weapon formed in the hands of God aimed at the darkness, created to
do good works in Christ Jesus. Come on, let’s worship him for a moment
tonight there’s no weapon formed against me will be able to prosper. Paul said, “God
put me here. I’m a weapon. God put me here and when he takes me out I’ll praise Him,
but I’m going to rejoice right now. Then in verse 18 Paul makes a shift,
everybody say, “shift happens.” Because up to this point it’s been an
interpretation. Here’s what happened and here’s how I see God’s hand in it.
You can’t always see it while you’re going through it. Remember when the Bible
says in Genesis, “The Lord was with Joseph. The Lord was with Joseph. The Lord was
with Joseph. The Lord was with Joseph. The Lord was with Joseph,” that was not
written while Joseph was suffering. It was written looking back on what he went
through. Don’t write your story while you’re still in the scene. We live in a
world that doesn’t know the difference between a scene and a story. The
enemy wants you to judge the story by the scene that you’re in. Now wouldn’t it
be a shame for you to give up on the story because you didn’t like the scene?
Paul said, “This is just a scene, it’s not the story”, and watch the shift. He moves
from interpretation to anticipation. Anticipation, he starts looking forward.
It’s interesting because he doesn’t really know what’s ahead of him but he
looks forward to it anyway. He doesn’t know if he’s gonna live or
die. That’s really out of his hands. He doesn’t know if he gets out Monday or if
he’ll be here for 36 more months, but he looks forward. I’ll show you how I
know he looks forward. Let’s count the number of times he says the word “will” in
the next 10 verses. Every time I say the word “will” you count up out loud every
campus. Yes, verse 18, and “I will continue to rejoice for I know that through your
prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened
to me we’ll turn out for my deliverance. I
eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed but will have sufficient
courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body whether by
life or by death for, to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Either way, I’m coming out ahead.” I said either way, I’m coming out ahead I said
either way, I will come out ahead. I would have despaired unless I believed that I
would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. What verse are we
on? I lost my place. Mm-hmm if I am to go on living in the body, this will mean
fruitful labor for me yet what shall”, that counts as well count at seven. “I
choose. I do not know, I’m torn between the two. I desire to depart and be with
Christ, which is better by far, but it is more necessary for you that I remain in
the body. I’m more concerned about your progress than my convenience.
It’s not about me. It’s about something bigger than me. Thank God for 5,000
volunteers in this church that were more concerned about somebody else’s purpose
than your sleep this week. Thank you. Thank you. What verse? He says, “I
think it’s better that I stay, better for you not for me. I want to go, I’m old.
My back hurts. My knees hurt. I’m convinced of this, verse 25, “I know that I will remain and I will continue with all
of you for your progress.” What if it’s not about you it’s about your kids? What
if they need to see you stay in your chains and praise God anyway? That’s what my mom did. She stayed with my dad and showed me forgiveness, and
because of her example when she could have chosen to escape but she embraced
the pain of the situation to bring about a greater purpose, she passed to me a
legacy of covenant. I wonder are some of you… oh there’s one more. Because
he says in verse 26, “so that through my being with you again, your boasting in
Christ Jesus.” 10 verses 10 times he says, “I will.” And it’s weird that he says
“I will” because he doesn’t know what’s next, and yet he he says I’m looking
forward to it, looking forward to it. Faith is anticipation minus anxiety. It’s a weird concept and and even Paul
as brilliant as he was, he didn’t have a word for it to describe the kind of
faith that he was trying to talk about. He’s struggling for the right word
and he does something that, I wouldn’t do this as a preacher I wouldn’t feel that
that I was qualified but he’s Paul, so he just makes up a word. It’s in verse 20. We
read it in English, it’s several words in English. “I eagerly expect and hope,” in
verse 20, “I eagerly expect and hope”, in Greek it’s one word, one word, and it was
never used before Paul used it and it’s only used one more time in the New
Testament and he uses it, so it’s his word. How many of you have your own word you just did. Yeah, you make up words sometimes? Holly makes up words on accident a lot
of times. She said the other day, “I’m not very good, what was the word? I’m not very
good at improvision.” Improvision but it’s improvisation, she just
made it up on accident. Paul makes up a word on purpose. Here’s the word. Just think how gratifying it’s gonna be
to bust this out on your family and friends this week when they ask what you
learned in church. We’ll have to take it slow because it’s three words
put together to make one, and it’s gonna give you something new to fight the
devil with because I know you’ve been anxious and I know you have reason to be,
and I know there are some things in your life that you’ve been praying for God to
take away and he won’t. Paul experienced that too when he asked God
to remove the thorn and God said no. And he said pretty, pretty please, and God
said no again. And Paul said, “I’ll do anything, I promise. I’ll be a
missionary.” God said, “You already are one, no. I’m gonna give you grace instead.” And
sometimes when God won’t change the situation but he’s changing you, you need
a little bit of Apo Kara Dokia in your life, three words. Apo, this side say Apo. You’re gonna mumble it like that? This is a very big word. It’s a very
beautiful word. You’ll be shouting it by the time I finish, so this side of the
room say “Apo.” You might want to know this. Apo
means to turn away with concentration ignoring other interests. Apo, say it
again now, Apo. Turning away from things that
could consume my attention, things that could distract me, things that I used to
think we’re important but I found out like Paul it really doesn’t matter, so
I’m turning away with concentration ignoring other interests, Apo. I feel
like I could preach a whole series on Apo a whole series just on the prefix.
Paul isn’t done. He says, Apo Kara. Middle section say “Kara.” Just means head. That’s all it means. In this section, Dokia.Good, Dokia, say it again, “Dokia”. It means to stretch forward. Wooh! Paul
says, “Let me tell you what I’m doing right now. I’m turning away my attention
from some things that could make me discouraged. I’m turning away from my
attention from offenses that could make me bitter. I’m turning away from things
that could preoccupy my mind that aren’t my real priority, and I am stretching my
head forward. Apo Kara Dokia. Say it, Apo Kara Dokia. What are you gonna
do this week when thoughts come to you about how you’re not gonna make it.
You’re gonna take a moment, look back on the faithfulness of God, and realize that
if the lion didn’t kill you and the bear didn’t kill you this choker doesn’t have
anything for you either, pick up your rock and throw it and stretch your head
towards your future. Apo Kara Dokia, Apo Kara Dokia, Apo Kara Dokia, say it.
Apo Kara Dokia. I’m stretching my head forward. Are you headed in the right direction? Some of us have our heads so far up our past that we can’t see what God has out
in front of us for our future. Help me preacher it’ll get worse. I’m not
leaving this stage till you get it. I can’t dwell on that any longer. I can’t
stand in the disappointment of who left me. I’ve got to invest in the people who
are still with me. Apo Kara Dokia, stretch your head forward. I can’t stay
in my last mistake. It’s already covered by the blood of Christ. What I did is
what I did but my faith will make a way for the grace of God to bring me into a
greater tomorrow. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed.
Apo Kara Dokia, i’m looking forward to it. I don’t even know what it is yet but I’m looking forward to it because I know God
is in it. Are you headed in the right direction? Have you been so stuck in
what was that you’re missing what is? I really feel like this is a message that
you can apply in any season of your life. Like Paul you can say, I got these
chains on my feet so I can’t move. I got these shackles on my hands so I’m
limited. My mobility is limited, but they can’t chain this. I said they
can’t chain this. I’m stretching my mind, and I’m stretching my expectation,
and I refuse to be defined by the disappointments of yesterday. I refuse
to look around me for signs of whether or not God is with me. I’m looking
forward to it. I’m not a hostage. They can chain my feet, they can chain my hands,
but they can’t lock down my praise. Right here in this prison, not when I
feel better, not when it gets better, right here and right now I’m looking
forward to it. hey thanks for watching make sure to click the subscribe button
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52 thoughts on “You’re Not A Hostage | Pastor Steven Furtick”

  1. Thank you Pastor Steven. I really need this right now. Apokaradokia. I've been plagued with diagnoses, medical reports and I am only 28. It always makes me wonder why God let me go through all this. I thought this is a result of the sins I've committed against Him. I'm trying to switch my mentality as you said in your message, God might not take away the thorn in my flesh, but He will give me grace and be with me.

  2. Feel like hostage where I live , keep getting push down and Jesus keeps lifting me up . Will not be hostage. Minus anxiety

  3. I'LL KEEP MOVING FORWARD I'M IN CHAINS FOR CHRIST I KNOW MY WHY GOD HAS PUT ME HERE I'M NOT A HOSTAGE I DECLARE IN CHRIST JESUS AMEN

  4. I don't want to be Lot's wife – turned to salt because I can't let go and still desire what's in my past. I eagerly expect God to blow my mind with what's out in my future. I am pressing #forward

  5. Hi Stephen. I am from Russia and I want to thank you very much for your obedience and love to God! God speaks to me through your sermons all the time. I can say that I have seven years of my faith I became very introverted, I'm not showing off, that something goes wrong. After the army I thought I was already dead inside and need to try, so I started to cry. But when I watch your sermons, I can not restrain myself, I burst into tears because every time you seem to know what is happening to me, what problems I'm going through. Of my seven years of faith, the last four are the heaviest of deserts, one after the other, and I'm constantly fighting inside, fighting spiritual battles. Everything around already seems unreal, staged, simulated. In seven years I have earned a very good name for myself, we have passed a lot with God and it is impossible to ignore him next to me, I am told about it even outside the Church. I am known by many people and I have many friends. But every time I Fight within myself, for the Name of Christ. And from the outside it may seem that I'm strong, but inside I am so weak and my powers just yet, they have long ended. Often, when it all falls down again I include your sermon and again God is talking to me! He tells me about his mercy through you, about his love and generosity, he tells me the truth and I burst into tears again. His Spirit speaks through your words. You have no idea how important it is to me what you do. But I'm just one person, perhaps the smallest, insignificant that God touches through you. Please accept my sincere gratitude. I'm waiting for God to continue to speak into my heart through your Ministry. God bless you.
    P. S. I translated the text through a translator, so do not pay attention to what is written so strange.

  6. I had an anxiety attack, needed to hear God speak and I opened this message. I know now that I'm just in the scene not the story.

  7. I feel like my parents force they're personalities on me I want to be myself but I can't find a good job everything seems like a dead end I can't get away I feel trapped I just want to get away but I can't because money is so hard to get I feel like I have no future like it's me against the world i am so alone they all seem so fake and ordinary I love them but im sick of being alone it feels like I'll never get away like I'd rather be on a beach somewhere but I just have to sit in front of a tv everyday eating like a house pet I asked God to get me away but he won't no one seems to see my struggle the years just fly by while everyone else lives…

  8. I'm a writer and I tottally understand the difference between the scene and the story. I praise the Lord for the story of my life and my past is nailed to the wall of history and covered with the blood of Jesus.

  9. I am in chains for Christ … I know the why and know God orchestrated the circumstances (the what) to accomplish it. I’ll worship, listen, walk, and win in Him!

  10. I needed to hear this. Addiction is a bitch. A serious bitch. (Sorry I'm trying to be a good christian.🤗) I need Jesus

  11. I don't care any end my died with Christian religion and pass away with christianity end my question God help me better understand

  12. God help me better my feelings and my painful and my life God help bless you I don't need any relationship I'm truly myself only God that's my rights

  13. amen brother! 🙌🏼 i’m not a hostage.. i’m a weapon! formed in the fire! 🔥 held steady in The Hand of God and aimed straight at the darkness! 🙌🏼😈🔫 whoo hoo!! praise God!! and js but i really want to get a tatoo of this so i can remind myself on the daily.. lol.. i pray God blesses you steven furtick and your family, for keepin it so real for us 💜💯

  14. Functional Faith is Necessary to live. Awesome job Cousin. I love ya. Keep preaching!! 👏🏽👏🏽🙌🏽👏🏽👏🏽💯💞

  15. Faith in knowing the 'Why', so no matter 'What', I am reared, protected and comforted by our Almighty God.🌷All this time.
    Ready, Set and Survive Life with the words of God as your armour.
    Thank you Pastor Steven

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