This Isn’t What I Pictured | Pastor Steven Furtick | Elevation Church

how many are ready for the Word of God I just have a Christmas devotional thought
today from Hebrews 11 verse 3 it is not customarily seen as a Christmas
scripture but let’s look at the picture of Jesus Christ through this frame today
Hebrews 11:3 King James Version you thought I was playing this holiday
season but I am NOT King James Version Hebrews 11:3 ready through faith we
understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God so that things which
are seen were not made of things which do appear through faith we understand
how many know there are some things you can only understand through faith
through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God so
that the things which are seen were not made of things which do appear lord I
thank you that your word is already blessed open our hearts to receive it
now in Jesus name Amen you may be seated couple years ago I
took all three of the kids on a carriage ride downtown Charleston and I took them
on the carriage ride because I’m a good good father and Holly wanted to shop and
also another reason I took them on a carriage ride is because I’m an idiot
and because Abbey begged me to she was about five her big brothers told her
this is a bad idea you’re not gonna like it it’s gonna be boring but she insisted
we walked by this picture of a carriage ride she said can we go I bought the
tickets I told the woman of God I’m gonna give you a about an hour of
shopping childless shopping and she said oh thank you thank you man of God she
said I receive it in Jesus name got on the carriage ride
within three minutes Abbey had a full-scale meltdown on the carriage ride
she was bored she was restless she was disappointed and her brother’s whoa her
brothers took the opportunity to remind her we told you that this would suck of
course we don’t say suck in my family it’s a preacher’s family but we were all
kind of embarrassed because of course we weren’t the only ones on the carriage
ride and within 10 minutes she was crying so loudly that I had to go into
my you know if you’re a parent you have a yelling voice that’s quiet it’s louder
than a scream and you have to use it in public when you want to convey urgency
without raising decibels and I said baby girl with a smile I said it to a baby
girl you’re the one who wanted to come on this carriage ride I’m gonna need you
to dry it up and enjoy this carriage ride so we got 30 more minutes and
you’re the only one who wanted to come on the carriage ride so whatever’s going
on right now I need you to deal with it and listen to this man tell us the
history of all these houses on this carriage ride she goes she’s trying to
stop crying and she goes but this isn’t what I pictured
the title of my sermon is this isn’t what I pictured sometimes life takes you
on a ride come on who’s gonna be real with me today looks like we got all
angels in this section let me turn over here have you ever had life hand you a
whopper but it didn’t look like the commercial this isn’t what I pictured and
it is a very difficult thing to adjust your perspective when you pictured it
one way and the product turns out to be another some of you came to church
crying today because when we started 20 19 or whatever you you happen to be
watching this in the time capsule in the future on the Internet
I just want this sermon to have a long shelf life and you started the year with
a picture of transformation new beginnings restoration and this isn’t
what I pictured you know so it’s a real thing even to this day we’ll tell Abbey
it’s gonna be like the carriage ride it’s a way when she wants to do
something we don’t want to do we remind her carriage ride
carriage ride which is fine when you’re only out of $85 but what what about when
it’s your relationship and it isn’t what I pictured or even your relationship with
God maybe you’re saying you know I started one way believing that God would
do certain things for me because he is my provider and yet I came into deeper
relationship with God and this isn’t is there anybody in the whole church and
if not I can come to Gaston next week is there anybody in the whole church that
is living in a scene that you did not picture in this season and and that’s
why Hebrews 11:3 gives a contrast between what God sees and what you see
to let you know that the things which are seen were not made of things which
do appear but I’m getting ahead of myself because the fact of the matter is
everyone has a picture of how life is supposed to go when you are supposed to
get married when you are supposed to get a promotion what kind of career your
children were supposed to be interested in some of you you had your child’s
whole career they were gonna go to an Ivy League school be a starting
quarterback and a Magna sumukha Malati and all of that and they don’t even like
sports and they don’t even want to go to Community College and study and this
isn’t what I pictured didn’t you get the memo so let me just ask you a question
where did you get your picture where did you get your picture did you get it from
the Instagram because if you did I’m praying for you real hard Catholic
Pentecostal I’ll do it all because if you got your picture for what life is
supposed to be like from the little glimpses that other people give you when
they are posing perfectly you will always be frustrated and while I’m on it
let me say something about the show this is us which I love Jack Pearson isn’t
real he’s not real I told Holly the other day
I said and please don’t be offended I hope you didn’t bring a relative for
this to help you’re not bringing the relatives until next weekend for the
Christmas program but but some shows that we watch I call it emotional porn because it is perfectly airbrushed and
then when you compare the real thing to a picture that was surgically altered
and cropped and filtered how in the world are we supposed to feel fulfilled
about our real lives when we spend so much time getting our picture from other
people’s pretension come on and help me preach 5 seconds if you know He’s a real
God He’s the real thing so it means that there are all these things that I see
and all these things that I don’t see and God operates from an invisible
picture while I am trying to make sense out of my life from what is visible God
sees something different enter Jesus Matthew chapter 1 verse 18
this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about Matthew is done with the
genealogy now the part of the Christmas story that would put you right to sleep
if I read all of those names not only would you be praying for my
pronunciation but you would lose your focus yet all of it is important because
it is all the backstory to help us understand how Jesus came into the world
now if you don’t understand how Jesus came you will misunderstand why Jesus
came if we think He came like our superheroes that we pay ticket prices to
go and see we will expect Him to come in a certain way and we will picture Him in
a way that will cause us to miss Him when he really shows up where did you
get your picture where did you get your picture of God what do you picture when
you worship God where did you get that picture is He
white is He black is He is He perfectly dialed to be an exact representation of
every ethnicity is He a man is He not a man it is is your God
King Triton of the Little Mermaid just zap and stuff where did you get your
picture and what if He isn’t what you picture I’m really gonna I’m really
gonna create some some empty seats for next week because gonna be crowded for
Christmas heaven is not going to be like you picture it right now let me tell you why
some of the people that you can’t stand are going to be there some of the people
who don’t believe the right stuff some of the people who didn’t share the same
denominational dogma as you when we get to heaven a lot of us are gonna be
surprised because it won’t look like the picture and so this is how the birth of
Jesus Christ came about Matthew says John starts it differently he says in
the beginning was the word in the Word was with God in the Word was God and he
was there with God in the beginning and all things were made through him
Colossians says by him and for him but Matthew is starting with the human
perspective of how Jesus Christ came about of course in verse 17 he says thus
there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David from David to the
Babylonian exile and then fourteen from the Exile to Christ fourteen fourteen
fourteen public-school there’s 42 generations of faith that brought Jesus
into the earth and yet the logos are the Word was with God pre-existent
pre-incarnate God was the word of God now I promise you this is important so
please stay with me because before Jesus was seen He existed
before He appeared He existed just like everything in your life before it is
seen it exists by the time it becomes a behavior it was a belief for a long time
by the time it becomes a feeling it was a thought so just like there is a
genealogy of Jesus there is a genealogy of our emotions there’s a genealogy of
our habits there is a pattern where we’re knowing how something started can
help you to trust when you don’t see it in the process I’m preaching real good
today this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about His mother Mary was
pledged to be married to Joseph but before they came together she was found
to be with child through the Holy Spirit because Joseph her husband was a
righteous man and did not want to expose her to Public Disgrace he had in mind
and I love this phrase he had in mind to divorce her quietly or to put her away
quietly he had in mind so much of the decisions that we make in our lives that
cause us confusion or because we do what we had in mind before we consult God to
see what He has in store now can I keep going but after he considered this now
why does the angel appears to him but why did the angel appear at this point after
Mary was already found to be pregnant in other words why did God let Joseph go
several months without knowing what he wanted to do and and what it was all
about and then appear after he had already made it his plan and had in mind
what he wanted to do after he had considered this an angel of the Lord
appeared to him in a dream and said Joseph son of David do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife because what is conceived in her is
from the Holy Spirit why couldn’t you tell me that six months ago why couldn’t
you have told me that before I got the papers drawn up why does God wait until after you have made a plan to interrupt it and this is
how the birth of Jesus Christ came about the greatest hope that the world was
ever given came through the greatest disappointment that Joseph would ever
know and I wonder is that happening in somebody’s life today this is how the
birth of Jesus Christ came about when Joseph had made up his mind how he
needed to handle the situation and yet God interrupts Joseph’s plan to fulfill
a greater purpose now if you go by your picture you will make your plan the only
problem is God might have a different picture than you I know y’all don’t like
it but it’s the facts this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about you
know we have our nativity scene it’s got a baby Jesus and the wise men well first
of all no record that there was three of them the three gifts I don’t know how
many how many Magi were there but I’ll tell you this they didn’t get there when
Jesus was born Jesus could have been two years old by the time they got there
but two-year-old Jesus’s and his cute on a nativity scene and Precious Moments
can’t sell it you know toddlers aren’t so adorable so they had to put little
baby umbilical cord Jesus on the manger scene but he was he was older than that
now now the shepherds are there in your
nativity scene too aren’t they the Wiseman and the shepherds weren’t there
at the same time let’s see now they want to sell you
extra figures so they have to put them all together at the same time it’s the
profit margin issue right it’s not an accuracy thing and how you how you
pictured Christmas is probably wrong He wasn’t even born in a manger that’s how
we translated in English it was it was more of a guest room that would have
looked more like a cave but how you gonna sell a manger scene with a a cave
you know what if it isn’t how you pictured it what if how God wants to use
you isn’t how you pictured it what if the way he’s going to work in your
marriage isn’t how you pictured it and Joseph has this this word from God to go
from to understand by he understands by his eyes his sight
he’s gonna miss it we always will if he understands by his senses his feelings
his emotions he’ll miss him emotionally and mentally he has already decided I’m
done with this and some of you came to church today and you’ve already decided
to quit I’m giving up on this I’m giving up on joy I’m giving up on peace I’m
giving up on hope that’s why some of you aren’t in the building you’re watching
on a screen because you gave up on even being a part of a church because when
you picked your church you picture-perfect people who would never
hurt you but guess what we are imperfect just
like you so if you want to hook up you got to understand we’re screwed up too
but if you picture it as perfect then with this is Lord I hear you lord I love
it when this happens God show me exactly what He said He said He said the problem
isn’t your situation it’s your picture the problem is not the situation the
problem is the picture mary had her dress picked out but now she’s not gonna
get to wear it she’s gonna be way too big for this dress by the time she walks
the aisle Joseph had his plan picked out but now he’s not gonna get to do it
which is hard for a carpenter because carpenters plan they make a
living off of measuring and planning but after he had measured it in his mind God
spoke to his spirit and said what is in her is from Me I know it’s not what you
pictured but it’s Me I know it’s not what you expected but it’s Me I know
it’s not your preference but it’s Me I know it doesn’t fit your tradition but
it’s Me I know that you feel lonely and there are some missing pieces but it’s
Me and are you trying to build your life by the wrong picture of what you thought
it would be or what you think you’re supposed to be wouldn’t it be dumb to
try to buy a puzzle to build it according to a picture that was on the
cover of somebody else’s puzzle try it if you go over to a friend’s house and
they have a puzzle of this analogy is a little weak but bear with me if you see
a picture go buy a puzzle that doesn’t match the picture and try to open that
box with those pieces and build a picture and see how much fun you have
with it so God says I gave you the pieces for the picture that I have in
mind for your life according to My purpose before you were ever born so I got the right pieces I’ve got the
right gifts I’ve got the right temperament if I submit it to the Holy
Spirit and don’t let it get out of control but this isn’t what I pictured
switch the picture switch the picture when you have a picture of yourself as
worthless you will build your life according to that picture you will
sabotage yourself because you build by what you feel but now if God says I’m
righteous if I switch the picture to what he sees and if I assume that he’s
always working if I switch the picture Joseph it’s me I started this this is you
this going to take Mary home but it’s me and it’s hard to believe this God when
it doesn’t feel good Joseph is like um are you sure because he had to think
about it he had to ponder the beautiful verse in the Bible it says Joseph son of
David do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife because what is conceived
in her is from the Holy Spirit what’s in her is from Me what’s in her
is from Me it’s in her but it’s from Me God says what’s in you is from Me
what’s in you is from Me and I’m just comforted by that because sometimes I
feel pressure about what I perceived to be missing pieces
even as a preacher I always wished that I could that I could preach like other
preachers that I see and I’ll tell you exactly who I want to preach like you
know the guys that stand still and they are just so profound and they have one
of the mics that never moves and they just it’s just so they’re so calm and I
like that and I go on Amazon looking for robes and I think man that would be cool
because it expends a lot of energy all this moving around and even sometimes I
come up and I try to preach like one of them you know but then something just I
can’t I mean I really I really don’t plan to freak out and spaz out and I
watch myself back and I’m like why do you have to be like that why can’t you
be dignified but something inside of me when I start doing it I just gotta do it how I do it I gotta do it like the pieces in my box are meant for the picture that won’t y’all won’t help me preach what’s in you is from God what’s in me
is from Him I got every piece I got wisdom I’ve got strength
I’ve got anointing I’ve got authority in the name of Jesus to overcome every
wicked thing that rises to oppose me now shove three people say it’s in you it’s
in you it’s in you right now and it’s growing and it’s kicking and it’s meant
to be and you’re not missing anything you got it all you got every piece for
the picture for in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and watch this the word was God so let me ask you a question let’s take a vote this is the
first church vote that I remember in the history of Elevation Church
but let’s be Baptists for the next 30 seconds who had the harder job Mary or Joseph before you answer this because in just a
moment I’m gonna call on you to raise your hand at every location if you are
married I want to strongly encourage you to consider carefully the cost of
answering this question honestly but who says Mary had the harder job you know
there they are all the women who have borne children into this world
come on let’s celebrate Mother’s Day early thank God for you
amen raise your hand if you say yes Mary it’s very right because she had very
little choice she was already pregnant by the time she found out about the
purpose too late if you don’t like it and then then you got Joseph y’all my
kids came up to me the other day and they said do you know Joe now here’s
what’s hilarious I said Joe mama and they say how did you know that cuz they think they started jomama I was
doing jomama while you were still on your unframed form was not even in the
picture yet I gave him a genealogy of jomama I remember jomama from the Golden Girls remember the Golden Girls you too but I promise you Joe mama is old this
didn’t start with you I came to say that to somebody about what God is doing in
your life this didn’t start with you and this doesn’t end here and Joseph has in
mind to walk away but God has something different in store because God is
building with a different picture so who believes that Joseph had the
harder job raise your hand I applaud your courage it’s an unpopular stance I kind of see where you’re coming from I kind of see
where you’re coming from because verse 21 tells us Mary’s job and Joseph’s job
let’s read it together Matthew chapter 1 verse 21 she will give
birth and you are to give him the name which one you want to do give birth or
give the name and so physically there’s no argument but see what is striking to
me about Joseph you never heard the Christmas carol Joseph did you know now Mary know Mary knew because it was
her body Mary knew that this has to be God because she knows whether or not she has been with another man and I’m gonna leave it at that in case you didn’t get
your kids to eKidz this morning I’m not gonna I’m not gonna do kind of
details on this but Mary knew this has to be God because I consulted my
experience and I’m a virgin and I haven’t been with a man so if if I’m
carrying something it didn’t come from human means I know it cuz it’s my body
Joseph didn’t know and he would never really know so he had to believe maybe
that’s the hardest job of all to believe what you can’t see to believe what you
can’t be sure off to believe what you can’t prove Joseph said I I never knew
you know the rest of his life he would live probably halfway wandering was it really God that got her pregnant and not
you go into uh right you going to men’s group and you’re like guys is good I was
praying the Lord told me I was I was actually sleeping I was in a dream and
the Lord told me and don’t worry Mary saw a vision too and we’re gonna work
this out and we’re gonna go home do you not think Joseph spent the rest of his
life looking cross-eyed at people trying to figure out now your nose looks kind
of like that long nose with checking out those
ears you know Ronnie has kind of long years right there I saw Ronnie and Mary
cuz Joseph didn’t know because faith does not operate by sensory knowledge because faith enables us to understand
that God is with us even if we do not see Him in the picture I need you to
receive this by faith you are to give Him the name Jesus because He will save
His people from their sins now here’s the culmination of the text that I want
to share with you all this took place everything you didn’t picture everything
you don’t understand all this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said
through the Prophet and then he quotes Isaiah 7:14 which says the Virgin will
be with child and give birth to a son and they will call Him Immanuel which
means God with us and I’ve been listening to a song all week that says
even when I don’t see it you’re working and even when I don’t feel it you’re
working and I need you to make a declaration by faith every mouth in this
room open up and say God is with me right now God is with me right now come
on say it again God is with me right now some of y’all did another campus you’re
not saying it but you’re not saying it to me so say it out loud for yourself
say God is with me right now and remember that the things which are seen
are not made with things that do appear so God does not build with carpenter
material that you can see and fabricate your faith with your physical senses
when God builds something it will not look like what you pictured He has a different picture and He builds according to His picture now the message
of Christmas is about his presence not my
picture the message of Christmas says that the worlds were framed frame framed
I know they use it in a construction way but this is a visual term frame they
frame it the frame the world did you get your picture from the world or from the
word did you get your picture of what a man is supposed to be of what a woman is
supposed to be of what success is of what fulfillment is of what purpose did
you get it from the word or the world because the Bible says that my faith we
understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God frame and are you
framing this season of your life with your faith or with your fear honestly
now answer and honestly as you look at what you cannot understand in your life
right now because every hand in the room that I saw went up when I said is it
different than what you pictured is it different than what you pictured someone
this was an insult someone said to me one time when I walked in they said oh I
never saw you before I listened to your podcast you’re not what I picture I said
what did you picture they said I pictured you bigger I pictured you bigger I pictured it
I pictured a bigger a picture at this age I would be passed some certain
things I pictured I pictured it different I pictured I picture parenting
way different I thought we’d be doing Drivetime
devotionals from the original Greek of Philippians I thought we’d be doing
Bible sword drills I didn’t know they’d be pulling out real swords stabbing each
other with forks in the kitchen before y’all are looking at me so holy it’s
different than what you picture it’s better but it is different it’s
different ministry is different than what I pictured let me go all the way
adulthood is different than what I pictured can we be real with one another
for a moment it’s different they they sold us something that is real
we’re supposed to have this figured out I’m supposed to have good sense I’m
supposed to be a fully cooked turkey by now and I’m coming out the oven and I’m
still wrong and I’ve got mouths to feed it’s different than the picture so when they put the sermon online for
the video they have to switch between different shots and they have
instructions to use of what shots they put on the screen even now while I’m
preaching and because I move around so much like the spastic preacher that I am
these are highly trained competent individuals somehow they always keep me
in the center love the center of the picture but what if the switcher fell
asleep you know just real quick I’m I’m gonna do it
example because I want you to see this imagine if the person on the switcher
that goes from the tight shot to the wide shot and boosts the thing on the
thing that’s the technical terms what if they first show them what you’re
supposed to do okay let’s say I do a lateral movement over here to the side
look you have a shot for that but suppose they didn’t put it on that other
shot now for the maximum benefit of this illustration if you are at Ballentyne
watch the screen if you’re at another campus you got the competitive advantage
right now because sometimes God does this watch the screen watch the screen sometimes God does this now the only
conclusion you can come to if you are using your eyes is that the the person
who was in the picture is no longer in the building the only way for you to
know I’m still here is to go not by what you see but by what you hear so right
now those of you who cannot see me on the screen watch the screen y’all are
disobedient watch the screen you can’t see me on the screen but if
you know my voice if you know my voice you will know that I did not leave you
nor forsake you in the beginning was the word and the word was here before you
were and the word was spoken before you saw your frame so when I don’t feel Him
He’s with me cuz His name is Emmanuel I can’t see Him
but I trust Him cuz He spoke it and I will see it with the eyes of my faith He’s with me on my good day He’s with me
on my bad day He’s with me when I’ve got it He’s with me when I don’t even know
where to look He’s with me when they like me He’s with
me when nobody will return my texts He’s with me when I’m married He’s with
me when I’m divorced He’s with me when I’ve
got a job He’s with me when I don’t see a way to pay him He’s with me when I’m
well He’s with me when I’m sick He’s with me in the with a clear sky He’s
with me in the storm I’ve just gotta change my frame if He
spoke it you will see it come up raise Him like you know He’s with you He’s
with me He’s with me He’s with me He’s with me what’s in me it’s from me and my
God it’s for me He’s with me so don’t be afraid to go home and do what God told
you don’t be afraid to face your fears with the frame of faith because the
things which are seen were made by the things which don’t appear I know it in
what’s your picture I know it in what you plan you remember when we were in
the nursing home for Thanksgiving my dad was 62 something like that 62
years old in a nursing home not because we didn’t want to kid here it was so
tense in our family that he decided he wouldn’t want to live with any of us we
couldn’t take care of he had Lou Gehrig’s disease and we tried to take
care of but couldn’t take care of him we were eating microwaved Thanksgiving in
the nursing home with my dad knowing good and well we wanted him in our house
and nobody was on speaking terms you talk about awkward ham doesn’t taste
right when you try to microwave it none of us pictured this I know you didn’t
picture this God isn’t building your picture He’s building His purpose so Joseph Joe Joe did you know Joseph
would say no uh-uh I just believe I had one thing in mind God had another thing
in store I went with God God went with me and I have what I need in the box
to be the picture that He created in His heart so no I’m not trying to build
somebody else’s life or somebody else’s idea of what I’m supposed to be not
anymore I tried that it is so stressful
I can’t afford the doctor bill or the stomach medicine for that kind of living
I gotta build what God put inside of me for the picture that He sees and the
worlds the frame switch the picture switch the picture be who God called you
to be celebrate what He gave you pull
everything close that you still have left wrap your arms around it and make
the most of it switch the picture yeah it’s gonna be a
different Christmas for some of us I understand that but God God pictured it
all along you know when Isaiah said a virgin will
conceive he saw that hundreds of years before it happened God was already
building the picture 42 generations and God knew the picture and if you get too
tightly zoomed into this one scene or this one moment or this one struggle or
this one issue you’re gonna miss the bigger picture God knows where to put you He knows what He put in you and He knows what He wants
to do through you so take Mary home by faith and do what the angel of the lord
commanded you to do know what you feel or what you thought or switch the
picture everyone’s standing I want to pray for people this Christmas season
who need to switch the picture switch the picture and put God back in the
center of the frame put His presence and His joy and His peace see when you
understand how He came you can understand why He came please answer me who was this message it was just for you it was just for you was just for you was
just for you okay I’m gonna tell you three things about how He came I’ll give
them to you so quick number one He came through someone that everyone else
thought was insignificant so the first word you need to know about how He came is insignificant he did not come through a matriarch of royal lineage He came
through a little girl who was so scared that when the angel came she said how
can this be He came through someone who saw no way that what God wanted to do
for the world could happen through her and so it has always been I know we get
excited when an actor or an actress or a celebrity or a politician or rock star
or a rapper gets excited about Jesus but Christ is born in every heart that will
receive him by faith and God is using you if you are a coach if you are a
student if you are up if you are a businessman if you are if you are a
police officer if you are nothing more you like don’t just stop saying that God
always chooses to use what people deem insignificant so there is nothing
insignificant about your pieces for your picture that’s number one number two it
was impossible it was a virgin womb because God wanted
to let you know that impossible situations are the places where faith is
born so if that is impossible for you it is fertile for God if you understand
how he came through a virgin womb he didn’t have to do that but he wanted you
to know if you were facing something where you don’t see away if you don’t
see it but he spoke it and you will believe it by faith it will come to pass
that’s how he came he came for impossible situations broken hearts
broken homes broken lives but what I love the most what I love the very most
is that it was intimate he came in the most intimate way He was born of a
virgin and he comes into your heart when you receive him by faith he longs to be
personal with you this season but if you get somebody else’s picture and try to
put something together that’s not in you you will miss his presence he wants to
speak to you use you bless you help you this is personal this is intimate God of
all grace kolobok comfort I have delivered your word to the best of my
ability with your help and I thank you for what you spoke in this place today
your word is good see I pray that it falls up on good soil today I pray for
those today who were living in a picture that they never planned for I think we
all are or I’ll moving through this life
we saw it one way and now we are experiencing yet another and yet you are
here always here still Emmanuel still with us still for us a good father a
faithful friend wonderful counselor mighty God everlasting father the Prince
of Peace lift your hands I receive your peace sky I receive your assurance I
receive your presence in this season of my life you are my king
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thank you again for watching god bless you

Stephen Childs


  1. THIS IS NOT WHAT I PICTURED! Perfect, I thought I would be way further along in my walk by now. I am going through a terrible nasty divorce and as I go into God more and more it seems the attack becomes more and more. So I guess this would mean I am on track or the attacks wouldn't be so anguishing and frustrating and at times devastating, but boy when I am in the midst of the attack it is so hard, but I think when we desire to do God's will and please God and not others it will be hard. Just never thought it would be this hard, and then GOD says to me, to get to the good, you have to go thru the hard times, then the Good times will come. I will stand on the rock until HOPE is FOUND. My Faith in God will carry me thru this, but I have to remember Ephesians: For we not wrestle with flesh and blood but with evil spirits and dark principalities of this world. Please Lord help me remember this when my wife is out to destroy me. Help me remember it isn't her, it is the darkness that resides in her. AMEN.

  2. I'm living this sermon right now. This is the sermon of the season and for a lifetime. Wishing I could press the like button a million times.

  3. These are some notes I took from this sermon in case you want to take note of yourself.

    Hebrews 11:3
    It's a difficult process to adjust your perspective when you pictured it one way than having it turn to something else…
    So ask yourself "Where did you get your picture?"
    Matthew 1:17 – 42 generations of faith
    Matt. 1:18-19 : God has a different picture for you. What if God wants to use you in a different way than you pictured?
    The problem is not the situation but what we pictured.
    God says "I gave you the pieces for the puzzle I planned for what I pictured".
    What's in you is from God.
    The message of Christmas is about His presence not about what I pictured.
    God is not building what you pictured…He is building His process…
    We got to build based off of what God put inside of me…Be who God called you to be…

  4. You are His chosen by character, personality to be molded; yet your preaching will bring those to the Lord whom are not conventionally framed-

  5. I’m living in a scene that I didn’t picture. My daughter died suddenly two years ago and my 1.5 year old has a fatal lung disease and is on a oxygen machine. I keep pressing into God. But this has effected my marriage as well as my 4 year old that is terrified of death because of what has happened. I’m so tired mentally and physically. I needed to hear this because life is extremely hard because I don’t understand how this even happened or why when I’ve always have served and believe. My husband is mad at God and he takes it out on me and others around him.

  6. Needed this so much right now! Christmas is hard. My mind is stuck and so am I but this helped so much.

  7. this is so timely. πŸ₯Ί ive been battling with myself because this isn’t the relationship i pictured. also to add to that i couldn’t come home for Christmas which makes me even more sad. πŸ˜”

  8. Hey y’all can y’all pray for me I’m currently sick and it’s right around Christmas πŸ€’. God bless all of you!!

  9. Where did you get your picture…??

    God isn't building your picture, he's building his purpose! HE'S WITH ME!!!

  10. "How are we supposed to feel fulfilled about our real lives when we spend so much time getting our picture from other peoples pretension"

  11. today my cousin gifted me my first bible and i'm very happy for that i just would like to say that you have helped me understand gods word and i thank you for that. Please pray for me to keep my path clear and to follow god.

  12. Shes living in flesh but going thru the same sufferings as jesus christ did…differently but same as in a worldly way…

  13. One reason why the bible says to cast down imaginations. My number one problem separating fantasy from reality…

  14. Man did I need this message. Thank you Elevation Church β€πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½

  15. What I’d do to have lunch with such a wise man of God like Pastor Furtick. Watching from PA πŸ™πŸΌ

  16. Praise God. He moves in a mighty way. You would never think that outcast like me would be used by God. Jesus loved me so much when I tried to run away and thought I wasn't good enough by society standards. God is so good that he uses whoever to spread the gospel. Thank you for this message. May the Lord bless you, your family, and congregation by the blood of Jesus. πŸ™πŸ½

  17. The part where he said "faith isn't a sensory…? What was that line again? I felt it deep

  18. Not sure how telling Christians to reject emotionally driven product adverting with an emotionally driven message is not conditioning Christians to be emotionally biased?

  19. I am so glad I did not miss this message. It resonates with my soul. Affirming and encouraging. β€πŸ‘πŸ™ŒπŸ’ƒπŸ™‹πŸ™

  20. Furdick, Modernism (the teaching God can in no way be the object of certain knowledge) was destroyed by the energetic action of Pope Pius X in the encyclical [Pascendi] (September 7, 1907), which describes it as a "synthesis of all heresies." Protestant Modernist's various evolutionary doctrines tended to demolish dogmas, the authenticity and genuineness of the Scriptures, the Church, the ecclesiastical authority and discipline. It would reduce Christ to human dimensions, and make inspiration a common gift of mankind.

  21. Wow, I asked God right before I saw this video what I should do because I had no clue in the point in my life with certain things. He lead me to this video and I thank God for you Pastor Furtick for allowing God to use you to speak to me. I love God because He always looks out for me even when it doesn't seem like nothing is happening…thank you for that word. Even though it isn't what I pictured, I have to keep my eyes on the forest and not focus so much on the trees so I won't miss the big picture. Not my will but thy will be done. <3

  22. I've been frantically searching for my lord , not knowing what to feel or do . now through you he showed that I need to recognise his voice. Thankyou Jesus

  23. I lost my 15 month old son this past March to a congenital heart defect. And 6 months later my girlfriend of 4 years left me because just looking at me made her think of our son and the pain was unbearable. This certainly isn’t what I pictured. Steven, aka Larry Furtick, you helped bring me back to the Lord. And now I live everyday for Gods purpose with him in mind. For blessed are those who mourn, for they shall receive the kingdom of heaven. God bless all! Ride the storm, and invite Jesus into your boat.

  24. Wow.. πŸ’₯πŸ”₯πŸ’₯ As usual, this is super timely.. πŸ’―πŸŽ―πŸ’―πŸŽ―πŸ’―

    Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it's the LORD's purpose that prevails..

    – @Acharich

  25. This message is for me. Thank you. Im so touch…watching from Island Guam U.S A.

  26. Thank you Thank you Than you for this word!!! This word restored me today. This season has been SUPER rough….layoff…tuition issues….grieving…no local family to celebrate with BUT GOD IS WITH ME!!!

  27. Gotta stop making my situation my God. I want to be like Joseph. Prosperous in jail and the penthouse

  28. GOD BLESS YOU MORE Pastor Steven!!!❀️
    Always Praying for You!!!!πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™πŸΌ

  29. I have been stuck on not being in the right picture and have been so stuck

  30. This is what I needed exactly. God bless you for allowing God to use you to heal me emotionally and physically. With God's love from China

  31. when he moved off the screenπŸ˜’πŸ˜­πŸ™ŒπŸ½ great illustration to end off the Word!

  32. The right words I needed before ending this year. The things that have been thrown at me was not how I pictured my 2019 but God has a purpose and a bigger picture for me and is only preparing me for what he wants me to receive since before I was born❀️

  33. "His with me" in every situation even In this season of my life God I know you're with me, its tough

  34. Waaw this one is for me, just in the right time and for the right season. Thank you for blessing me with Gods words pastor Steven. And yes I like your style too, just being you, so real! So don' t change that cause God made you perfect just the way you are!! Embrace it! God bless you and your beautiful and awesome wife and kids! πŸ’—πŸ‘πŸ™

  35. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ Hallelujah!!!!! This message is great! It got me… The WORD of God is true FOREVER! Praise the LORD. The LORD of hosts is with you Pastor Steven. Keep preaching!

  36. This is an on-time word. Ministry is not what I pictured. I thought I would speak to people with no rebuttal; boy was I wrong. I didn't realize I have to study as 2 Timothy 2:15 instructs us to do. Thank God for His word that never comes Back void.

  37. I spent all day Friday writing out my financial plan for 2020. My car is already paid off and I just made repairs. By the end of the day Friday my check engine light was back on and now I need over $1000 in repair by end of December to pass inspection. NOT WHAT I PICTURED. I don't know what to do so in just going to wait in prayer

  38. I'm incredibly depressed about not being able to go to college. Please pray for me.

  39. I love all his sermons! I couldn't pick a favorite, they're all so good! Pastor Furtick is one of a select few who is not a watered down preacher. I've stopped looking for churches here and watch his sermons instead.

  40. Oh, God help me! Help my family! Because is very painfu that picture! Help me God!πŸ™πŸ™πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™
    God speak to me and my husbund , my two sons! O God talk to us!

  41. How Pastor Steven used the panning of the camera for illustration wasπŸ’―πŸ’―

  42. This sermon CHANGED MY LIFE! Stephen Furtick you are an inspiration. I struggle with many issues and I used to hide away and blame myself for everything negative that happened, thank you for being you. God new exactly what he was doing with you I FINALLY understand. gratitude and attitude have been adjusting. I'm changing. THANK YOU for your ministryπŸ¦ŠπŸ™πŸ₯°

  43. The greatest hope that the world was ever given came through the greatest disappointment that Joseph whatever know

  44. God always has a way of telling me something I need to hear through elevation, but this one just hit different

  45. Please add me to the prayer list, having an extremely difficult time.wirh a breakup

  46. Beautiful, beautiful message ❀️ thank you Pastor Steven. May God continue to bless you, your family and your church.

  47. Something struck me when Pastor Steven said he watches himself back and wonders why he can't be dignified. Was David dignified when he worshipped God in reckless abandon? His own wife despised him for it, yet he was known as a man after God's own heart. Don't EVER think less of yourself because the way you worship or serve God isn't as proper as you think it should be.

  48. πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

  49. He is with me His with me wow thanx I really needed this msg I just gotta change my frame put on frame of faith.Go with God He will go with me.Build what God put inside of me.celebrate what He gave me…He pictured it all along.

  50. By the time he builds my picture, it be already to late. Time would pass my youth would pass and I’ll still won’t be where I want to be. β€œGod has big things planned for you” life is what you make it with or without God.

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