49. A Lesson in Letting Go

Reading Plan

If you’re looking to dive deeper into what the Bible says about this topic, here’s a suggested Reading Plan, one passage per day for a whole week, based on the sermon:

  1. MONDAY: Exodus 14 (especially verse 8)
  2. TUESDAY: Romans 12:1-2, examples of transformation: 9-21
  3. WEDNESDAY: 2 Corinthians 3:1-18 (especially verse 18)
  4. THURSDAY: 1 Peter 1:13-25 (especially verse 14)
  5. FRIDAY: Romans 8:18-30 (especially verse 29)
  6. SATURDAY: Hebrews 12:18-29 (especially verse 28)
  7. SUNDAY: Psalm 118 NKJV (especially vv. 22-24)

eGroup Discussion Questions – Great for personal reflection/journaling, too!

Sermon Notes: “A Lesson in Letting Go” ⤵️

Preacher: Steven Furtick
Passages: Exodus 14:5-9; Romans 12:1
Title: A Lesson in Letting Go
Date: April 26, 2020

Today’s sermon notes were taken during the 9:30 livestream from the Ballentyne campus.


Part 1: Looking Forward to Normal
Part 2: A Lesson in Letting Go


The words from “The Blessing” isn’t supposed to be words on a greeting card, it’s the Word for God for you.

24 The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace. [shalom]
Numbers 6:24-26, NIV

Shalom means peace, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have problems. Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NIV)

Introduction

  • This new teaching is called “Looking Forward to Normal.”
  • We need to learn the lessons of this season in preparation for the next.
  • It’s hard to let go of something you’ve never known otherwise. It’s hard to embrace something new.
  • Exodus 14
  • Romans 12
  • “But these are the same passages as last week.” Revelation requires repetition.
  • They need to be freed from the place where they were fed in.
    • In certain seasons, certain things feed needs.
    • The process of God is to release something in order to receive something.
  • Certain changes must be forced.
    • Muscle growth must be forced: You need to bring it to a point of failure before the fibers can grow.
  • What represented death to Pharaoh represented freedom to God’s people. Pharaoh’s plagues became the Hebrew’s freedom.
    • Did God send Coronavirus? I don’t know, ask him. My job isn’t to work in God’s P.R. department.
    • Will I partner with what God is doing even if it’s not what I prefer?
  • The enemy uses the heaviest artillery on the people who are carrying the greatest purpose. (Exodus 14:6)
    • If a lot is coming against you, it means God has put a lot in you.
    • Sometimes the only way to see what is within you, is to have everything outside of you shut down.
    • Something different has to kick in.
    • Something outside of us dies so that something inside of us can come alive.

A. The 3 Lessons of Letting Go

  • You don’t learn life lessons until later:
    • It’s easier to see it when you’re already there.
    • It’s harder to see it when you’re still look forward.
  • The only way that God frees us from certain things is for God to take them away. Sometimes freedom has to be forced.
  • LESSON ONE: To appreciate something.
    • Livelihood? Job?
    • It took leaving Egypt for them to appreciate the food in Egypt, even though God was trying to take them out of Egypt. (Exodus 14:12)
  • LESSON TWO: To reset the baseline of what I consider a blessing.
    • “Let everything that has BREATH praise the Lord.” (Psalm 150:6, NIV)
    • Romans 12:1 – in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice
  • LESSON THREE: To release some things.
    • God is homeschooling us right now.
    • Pastor Steven tells a story about getting golfer’s elbow from lifting weights. His friend advises him: “It wasn’t the amount of weight, but how hard you were gripping it. You can lift a lot more if you loosen your grip.”
    • This message isn’t for control freaks
      • Those who want to make their children in their image instead of God’s
      • Or those who had this first part of this year all planned out.
    • I can’t handle Monday on Sunday, but “this is the day the Lord has made” (Psalm 118:24)
    • You can get there if you let go.

B. Conformed v. Transformed

  • In the new covenant, the Jewish people no longer needed to make sacrifices. They became living sacrifices (Romans 12:1).
    • “You don’t need to make sacrifices anymore,” but it’s hard to let go of what you’re used to.
    • Just because you’re used to it, doesn’t make it normal.
  • Jesus opened up a new way, a living way, so that we could be a living sacrifice.
  • In order for something to be a sacrifice, something has to die.
  • Some of us would rather have something that’s broken on the wall than taking the five minutes it would take to fix the clock. We get used to broken clocks.
  • Do not be conformed… be transformed.
    • Conformed – this is how the world works = changed outside in
    • Transformed – this is how God works = changed inside out
  • We haven’t even had the funeral for what we expected this year.
  • We are stuck inside… but that’s how God works: inside out.
  • The world is so concerned with what’s going on outside: the job market, the stock market
  • We want God to do a new thing… that’s just like what we’ve always known… we need to release what we’ve known so that we can receive the new thing God is doing.
  • Focus on what you have, not on what you’ve lost.
  • Release your need to know.
    • Look how much strength you have.
    • Look how much faith you have.
  • When all you’ve known is bondage, blessing feels strange.
  • When all you’ve known is busy, rest feels weird.
  • It was easier for God to get Pharaoh to let his people go, than for God’s people to let Pharaoh go. It was easier for God to get his people out of Egypt, than for his people to get Egypt out of them.
  • Transformation = HEART change + HABIT change
  • It’s easier for God to forgive you, than for him to get you to forgive others.
  • He’s not telling sin and shame to let me go, he already delivered me; he’s telling me to let it go.

Conclusion

  • Before the virus: we were already sick (in our hearts)
  • How the world is wired is weird.
  • Everything that can be shaken, will be shaken (Hebrews 12:27)
  • There are certain things that cannot be cancelled.
  • There are certain things that have always been true, but are they true to you?
  • I have to let go to move forward.

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