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Elevation Ballantyne Sermon notes from KH for eGroup – 8/27/2017

Pastor Steven Furtick


Sermon Title: “Bars and Battles” week 4 – “Why Am I Anxious”

Scripture:
• Psalm 139: For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. 1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my
lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for
me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I
go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of
the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold
me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the
darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13 For you
created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully
and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw
my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they
would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you. 19 If only you, God, would slay the
wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! 20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries
misuse your name. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against
you? 22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, God, and know my
heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me.
• Isaiah 55:8 and 9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your
thoughts.”

Pre-sermon stuff:
• Next eGroup meeting is Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 at 7:30 PM. See Outlook email meeting request for
additional details.
• Over 7,000 women attended the Reflect event last week – and over 1,000 joined an eGroup.
• Elevation Worship song: “To the stormy seas, I will raise above the sea and we will not fear. You are still God.
We will not fear, you are still God. We life our eyes – forever be exalted – forever be exalted. Your help will
come from you most high. Forever be exhaled. You are still God. Before the world was spoken yet, you are
still God. And you are still God. And you are still God. Our help will come from you most high – forever be
exhaled.”
• Incredible creative element by the Elevation Worship team:

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• Elevation Worship song: “Hallelujah Here Below” “We are an altar of broken stones. But You delight in the
offering. You have the heavens to call Your home. But You abide in the song we sing Ten thousand angels
surround Your throne. To bring You praise that will never cease. But hallelujah from here below Is still Your
favorite melody. We sing Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, We sing Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. And
should the fire that once burned bright Become an ember my eyes can't see. I will remember Your sacrifice I
will abide in Your love for me. We sing Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, We sing Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah. Jesus Christ our King enthroned. All the praise is Yours forevermore Hallelujah here below. All the
praise is Yours forevermore. Hallelujah here below. All the praise is Yours forevermore. We sing Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, We sing Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
• Opening prayer by Pastor Furtick: The power of the Lord is in this place. Glory to God in the highest and peace
and good will to man and may His favor rest in us. What an honor it is to worship God together. Everyone give
out 10 hugs this morning. God has an important word for you.

Bars & Battles, week 4 – “Why Am I Anxious”


• Recap of Bars and Battles week 3:
o Are you stressed out because you are trying to fulfill Gods purpose for someone else?
o Sometimes the process is how you go about getting what you want.
o Don’t cut corners
o It just important that you get there. There is nothing wrong with your desire. What you want is
from God.
o It is what you are willing to do to get it that will determine whether or not you can keep it.
o We want Gods rules – Gods way – He fulfills his purpose for us.
o Honor the process
o We do not cut corners.
• This sermon today is also part of a message for the staff concerning anxiety.
• The sermon “When Anxiety Attacks” attempted to address the spiritual aspects of anxiety.
• At the mid-point of the series, I want to stop and talk about anxiety – as part of a follow-up to “When Anxiety
attacks.” The most watched sermon on You Tube – that represents the “greatest felt need.” This sermon was
from Oct. 15 and Oct 16, 2016. See my eGroup notes posted on www.1peter315notes.com. Here is the link for
my sermon notes: http://www.1peter315notes.com/files/119043391.pdf
• See Psalm 139: 17 to 24.
• At this point in David’s life, he has been under constant surveillance by his brothers (who are waiting for him to
make a mistake), Saul (who is trying to kill him), and God (who is trying to save him). “Every breath he takes and
every move he makes,” he is being watched.
• There is a contrast going on in the scriptures where Saul is trying to kill him and God who has promised to keep
him. Know that forces have been dispatched to take you out, but God is watching over every promise that you
made - for the purpose of keeping you alive.
• We are here today because God is watching over us.
• Today we ask the question: Why are you anxious?
• It is almost trendy to be anxious. If I were to ask: Are you anxious? Based on your You Tube watching habits, I
discovered, this is like asking if you breathing?
• Sometimes we over-use the word – like the word literally. I literally almost died today. Not you didn’t. Use the
right word.
• A Pastor Steven Classics: When someone says: “I have anxiety”, I want to say, no you have adulthood.
• If I were to ask you if you are anxious, you would probably make a comment about your work or your finances
or your health, or school starting.
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• David is using his life experiences as a trigger to explain his anxiety.
• Whenever David wrote Psalm 139, he had the right to complain about how things were and about his enemies.
• Psalm 139 is very instructive in dealing with anxiety.
• David is providing this magnificent picture of how God is watching over us – where God really zooms in and
then really zooms out. David describes that watchful eye of God and then he re-focuses on the infinite purview
of God - and then the intimacy with witch God sees in the details of our lives.
• God was not only overseeing the cosmos, but also the intricacies of being formed in David’s mother’s womb.
• David expresses his appreciation for the treasures of thoughts that God thinks towards us – and how valuable
these thoughts are to God.
• It is interesting how David talks about politicians and those that anger him. David is getting into some stuff
here that we would call in 2017. We would call these things like racism, evil, etc.
• Yes, David is going through some crazy times. Is this any different from today? Yes, the world is crazy and
always has been.
• David goes from fighting his enemies to addressing his “inner-me.”
• This is not some cute preacher thing. This is a master skill of life. Recall from week one when we studied that
Saul is not the one that limits our potential. It is our soul that limits our potential.
• Here David makes a hard turn from the external enemy that surrounds him to the internal enemy that he can’t
escape from.
• We can take other job and take on another boyfriend, but we still need to deal with the turmoil inside of
ourselves.
• See 23: Search and test me God. Know my anxious thoughts.
• A blood thirsty mob, teenagers, and no job will make you anxious. A Pastor Steven Classic: And . . .
teenagers will even want you to cast out demons.
• David goes from the event to the inner experience and then asks God for some “soul surveillance.”
• David say this: God, I know that you are looking over me, now, please look into me and answer this question:
Why am I anxious?
• This takes guts to pray this way. Because when we are outwardly focused, we can blame someone or
something for your anxiety.
• As church, ask this question: Why am I so anxious? and not ask the question, why is the world so darn crazy?
• It is not the way things are, but how we are?
• Because the way things are - are the way things have always been. Yes, the world will continue to be crazy and
the world has been crazy. The better question is to have God to peer into our inner world and show our
anxious thoughts – and see any offensive thoughts within me. Important point here: The external enemies are
never going away.
• And the battle is not going stop – So God show me my anxious thoughts.
• Think of the neurons in our brains to be interstate highways where we connect thoughts and logic. This is why
we think a certain way.
• Key point: The way that you are is much more important that the way that it is.
• In order to understand why we are unsettled, worry when things go well, why we can’t enjoy sustained success,
we need to trust the fact that God can see inside of us and give us ways to control our anxiety.
• There are seven factors that contribute to anxiety (and probably many more) and they all begin with the letter
“I” – all of these contribute to anxious thoughts – not relating the external event but what is going on inside of
us. Call these the eyes of God:
o Intake: Whenever your feel anxious, check your intake. Consider this very deep thought: The
most important button on your smart phone is the off button and the most under-utilized feature

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on the phone. We need to use this button more often. Our smart phones are too much for us to
handle. Some of the reasons that we are freaking out is because we are taking in too much. We
were not designed to process the entirety of the worlds information inside of your back pocket.
Well, of course you are anxious. I found out something: It is not only the lies that weaken our faith
and create a susceptibility to anxiety, it is the starvation that creates anxiety. We tend to focus our
attention so much on what not to watch that we do not fill our lives with godly things. Jesus
mentions that when he advises his followers that once demons are cast out of a person, we need to
re-fill this same body with something good - or the demons will come back is worse form (seven
times stronger). This is why we need to be connected so that we feed our faith. You are asking
God to pray for peace in your life and you still have not down loaded the app yet? Yes, technology
is troublesome, however, we have much better access to great and godly things. Say this: You are
click way from having peace in your life. We have to watch what we take in – and not just F-bombs
and strippers. A lot of the garbage that comes at us comes in the form of news stations. Pastors
are fighting an up-hill battle where we only have 45 min – and mass media and news channels have
much greater access to your heart. News channels are designed to create attention and a great
way to do this is to create anxiety. So, if we are drinking from streams that are poisoned with
anxiety, we do not know what to do with the nausea when I wake up in the middle of the night
scared. If we spend more time trying to know what is going on in the world at the expense of what
is going on inside of us, we do not stand a chance and we will be unable to pray anxiety way – any
better than you can pray cellulite away. It is about intake. What would it be like if we kept a log of
every thought that we let enter our brains? Consider this: Celebrities will spend hundreds of
thousands of dollars on security to protect their homes (things that are temporary) – yet they will
get on line to see what people say about them – and thereby letting people in to the areas that are
most sacred – their heart. As we enter certain season, sometime times the best thing that you can
do is to delete and turn off (or both)– to allow our hearts to open to what God is tell us.
o Imbalance leads to anxiety. This means knowing what your priorities are. Not giving too much
weight to the wrong words or relationships. If everything is important, then nothing is. Imbalance
leads to being stretched too thin. If everything is urgent, nothing is. Psalm 139 says: Know my
anxious thoughts. We have to learn to prioritize the presence of God and appreciate the important
things that God has put in our lives. If you give weight to everything that comes at you – when you
fail to put the right weight in the right places, you become imbalanced. Just because Jesus is the
rock, does not mean that we will feel stable. Just because you are saved does not mean that you
soul will be at peace. You have to stand on the rock correctly in order to achieve the correct
balance. There is stability that comes when we know what is important and what is not. We
cannot give the weight of validation of words to a person that we do not know. What matters is
those that are close to me. Sometimes we invest all of this valuable energy trying to impress all the
wrong people. Ask this question: Where am I giving weight away? Everyone’s words can’t have
the some weight. We live in a day where everyone’s opinion takes up the same amount of space –
and therefore, it is easy to conclude that everyone’s opinion has the same weight. Some of the
news we get could be coming from Uncle Jimmy in Topeka Kansas and not from a reputable news
outlet. David says: Your thoughts are precious to me God. See Isaiah 55:8 and 9: “For my
thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the
heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than
your thoughts.” Here David is asking God to prioritize his life in accordance to way God sees the
purpose of David’s life. In some situations, the best thing to say is “it does not matter.” Get your
balance back.

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o Indecision: When you try impress this person and that person, it leads to paralysis. You want to
learn what is important you? Make a decision. You have been looking at the menu for 23 minutes
trying to decide shrimp or chicken – and it does not matter. Get out of the closet and make a
decision regarding the shoes to wear today. Make a bad decision and then apologize for it. This is
better than no decision. God can then give you’re the ability to fix an incorrect decision. This week,
make three quick decisions and do it. Living in a state of indecision makes peace impossible. God
can’t bless a decision that you will not make. God can’t teach you to recover from a bad decision if
you do nothing. A Pastor Steven Classic: Make up your mind! Are you going to buy the ring or
not? Quit being a little boy – trying to figure out who you are – you are 39 years old – buy the ring
or step aside and let someone else be given the opportunity to marry her.
o Integrity: When you commit to being the same person all of the time. It is stressful when you have
to project different versions of yourself for different rolls and situations. There is only one you. For
example, if a preacher preaches better than he lives – this person is only projecting a shadow of
himself of something that does not exist – and it only a matter of time before people find out. This
gap between who you really are and who you pretend to be is anxiety – and the wider the gap, the
greater the anxiety. So now we go to blaming things on situations and things. These many had
been a factor – however – if you were authentic all of the time, the thing or situation would not be
able to drive you to a situation where you lose your faith. When there is only one of us – we learn
to be the same person in Christ for every situation. Then we can say: Search me God. Know my
motives and my intentions. Know all of my dirty stuff. If David is going to be king, he needs invite
God to conduct a voluntary internal audit – and show us the cracks in our foundations. Because if
we have cracks in our foundation, the higher we go, the harder we fall. It is stressful for a teenager
to have three Snap-Chat accounts – and only one can be seen by your parents. You can’t have
seven versions of you and expect peace. It is not possible. You can pray about and raise your
hands in worship – however, when we go back to that double or triple life, we have anxiety. God
does not want us to perfect, he wants us to be honest.
o Intention: We experience anxiety when our intentions are mis-directed. Great quote from another
minister: My ministry shifted when I stopped trying to be impressive and started to be a blessing to
others. One is about projecting something and the other is about producing something from
within. When we fix our attention on things that matter, we stop wanting to know how things are
going to turn out and stop trying to impress others (outside of this place of honor) - when we shift
our intention, when we server others, peace follows. When we get honest about our intentions,
we think that what we are doing is un-glamorous and un-impressive – and this stresses us out. We
live in a world of impressions – like an advertiser that sells you on the number of impressions that
you make. Have we measured out lives by this same calibration method? – how many impressions
that we make? Key question: Are you living to be an impression or to be a blessing for others?
That is what God told Abraham. This is what God told David. That is why God chose Jesus of
Nazareth. So the world can be a blessing through him – and we have to die in our pride in order to
make this happen – and die as to how we look to others – when we say, Lord, I do not care what
this looks like right now – and I will focus on the will of God in my life.
o Imagination: Have you noticed how many imaginary battles you have fought last week? Where did
you get all of that mis-appropriated energy? What if the same energy that you consumed to feed
an imaginary argument (that feeds your anxiety) was used instead to invest in your spiritual
development and encouraging others. Our imagination is our greatest asset and this is why the
enemy is after our imagination. Because, if the enemy can tie our imagination in worry, we can’t
use it to worship. And when we worship God, all of the resources of heaven are poured out in our

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lives. However, if we are tied up in worry (on things that probably will not happen), we stop
accessing the things of God – that we need the most. A pastor Steven Classic: If you were reverse
your worry, it will turn into worship. Instead of playing out all of the ways that things might go
wrong and all of the ways that it might fail, turn it around this week – start reversing in your mind
in advance all of the ways that God has blessed you for His Good and His Glory. Turn it around. Do
not let your imagination to prevent His purposes from being realized on this earth. Do not be
imprisoned by what socialist call fear casting. Some of us are experts at fear casting – not the
forecast but the fear-cast – a preoccupation of bad things that might happen today. What horrible
things might happen today – the nuclear option – international tensions, etc. Are you a fear-caster
or a faith-caster? Do you walk by faith or walk by sight? ________ Davis say this: If I make my bed
in heaven, God is there and if I make my bed in hell, God is still there – even there, God’s hand will
hold you. This is what we need to tell the devil when he gets into our mind – where we perpetually
imagine worst case scenarios. Even there, God is with you in the place of your greatest fears,
lowest moments, and deepest depressions – even there – where God will find a way to a lonely
heart. Are there any faith casters in the house?
o Isolation: I love the fact that the enemy can’t destroy you if he can’t isolate you. Come out of
isolation today. Of course you are anxious and crazy. We are all a bit crazy. Right in the middle the
word anxious is the letter I, however, at the end is the word us. The true you is when you receive
the word of God, because you are stepping out of ego and dark corners and come into an
atmosphere where you can breath in the true presence of God. For those of you that are trying to
fight anxiety by yourself will continue to ask this question: What is wrong with me? We were
meant to be in community with each other – when honesty and communion increase, anxiety
decreases. You were not designed to shoulder all of this on your own. When we get real and take
off our armor, start sharing grace, we can declare that His hand is holy.
• Elevation closing Hymn: “Hallelujah Here Below” “We are an altar of broken stones. But You delight in the
offering. You have the heavens to call Your home. But You abide in the song we sing Ten thousand angels
surround Your throne. To bring You praise that will never cease. But hallelujah from here below Is still Your
favorite melody. We sing Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, We sing Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. And
should the fire that once burned bright Become an ember my eyes can't see. I will remember Your sacrifice I
will abide in Your love for me. We sing Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, We sing Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah. Jesus Christ our King enthroned. All the praise is Yours forevermore Hallelujah here below. All the
praise is Yours forevermore. Hallelujah here below. All the praise is Yours forevermore. We sing Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, We sing Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah”

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