God moved in a mighty way during the past 12 days of Code Orange Revival! Our team put together this video to celebrate what God has already done through the first part of 2012. This is not a highlight reel – it’s a preview of what God is going to do this year.
This is such an exciting time for our church. Not only did Code Orange Revival kick off last night, but we have also launched a brand new initiative that will open up unlimited opportunity to reach people all over the world with the power of the gospel. As a church we have always sought to leverage technology to increase our platform for ministry, so we have launched The Elevation Network: a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week Gospel preaching ministry.
The Elevation Network is our gift to you, and is a free online network that will stream round the clock gospel preaching. When you tune into the network, you will see our current sermon of the week airing every four hours, past sermons from our archives, creative elements from our sermon series and worship songs that were birthed right here in our own church. It’s your channel for all things Elevation with the sole purpose of reaching people far from God all over the world.
The Elevation Network also gives us the ability to stream live events, so it is only fitting that we are launching it with Code Orange Revival. The network will be the only place you can watch the revival as it’s happening, and we hope that you take advantage of it and join us in the incredible things we are going to see God do over the next twelve days. It is built so that you can easily share with others, so we would love your help in getting the word out.
The network is broadcasting right now and goes live again tonight at 6:12 PM EST with our revival pre-show, and then Code Orange Revival begins at 7 PM EST. Join us at www.elevationnetwork.com.
Click on the banner to visit the Elevation Network now. Watch the video from the Network below to learn a little more about the vision behind the Elevation Network.
I got such an encouraging response the last time I did this, I felt like it was time to do it again.
In September of this year, I’m planning to release my second book, Greater.
It’s getting hard for me to be patient, because now that the final edits are complete, I am bursting to get this message into your hands. I feel confident that it is going to help you ignite God’s vision for your life, whatever that vision may be. But production schedules are what they are, and we’ve got to wait a while.
So, in the meantime, I thought I’d give you another sneak peak into one of the chapters of the book.
It’s pretty special to me to hear from you when I share stuff like this, so please hit me on twitter @stevenfurtick and let me know what you think.
I hope this blesses you today, and I can’t wait to share the rest of the message with you. For now, the appetizer…
For a lot of people, God’s presence is abstract and theoretical. Sure, God is everywhere, but it’s a different thing to believe that He’s personally watching over the intricacies of your life. Maybe you’re thinking there’s nothing of note about your life—certainly nothing worth God’s attention. The paparazzi aren’t exactly waiting in the bushes to see you in your workout clothes and sell the footage to TMZ. So, why should you believe that you have the undivided attention of the God who created the galaxies?
If that describes the way you feel, I want you to reflect on a few verses from one of my favorite Psalms. David penned these words of assurance at a time when God seemed distant to him. The first time I read them, God’s presence took on a whole new meaning to me. David writes:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.…
Even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast. (Psalm 139:7-8, 10)
Fortunately, no matter how isolated you feel far out in the field, God is there. He has been with you all along. He has seen you punch the clock and stir the coffee and surf the web and return the calls.
It shouldn’t freak you out to realize that God’s eyes are on you. Because He doesn’t see you through eyes of disapproval or disappointment. His presence is not a sign of condemnation. It’s actually an invitation. God is present with you, through His Holy Spirit, because He intends to uproot you from the tyranny of the familiar, shatter the monotonous life you’ve had, and take you on an adventure.
He’s going places you’ve never been and doing things you’ve never done. And it all comes down to a question:
“Will you follow me into greater things?”
In the same way Elijah personally issued that invitation to Elisha, One greater than Elijah is issuing the invitation to you. Becoming aware of His presence is the first step to realizing His purpose.
CLICK HERE to read the first sample I shared.
About two years ago, I completed a personal evaluation exercise in my journal. I wanted to uncover the 3 main factors that keep me from moving forward and embracing new paradigms in my life and leadership. In other words: why do I stay stuck?
From my journal to your computer screen, here’s my short list. I blogged it in 2009, but felt like it may be appropriate to share as we begin this new year…to help somebody go forward in God.
Change is hard. Positive change is just as hard as negative change. Sometimes it’s easier to stay stuck than to move forward. Often it’s more comfortable to stick with something that’s tolerable and familiar than to embrace something that’s preferable and unknown.
I really don’t know how to explain this, except to say that my regrets often overpower my ambitions, causing me to remain in a state of paralysis. But I’m learning that there’s nothing productive about what I wish I would have done then, unless I use it to inform what I’m doing now.
It’s hard to tell how many major adjustments I’ve avoided making because I was busy tending to insignificant side items. It’s tempting to divert attention from the big thing that God wants me to change by obsessing over something that ultimately doesn’t matter at all.
I don’t want to stay stuck. I don’t want the storyline of my faith to be eclipsed by a shift I was unwilling to make.
If you’re feeling stuck, as I so often do, here’s a prayer to pray today…
God, help me move forward at the speed of your direction and intention,
no matter how painful the transition may be.
I know 2012 is here in full force, and the time for 2011 reflections is long gone, but I just had to share this with you.
I sat down with our creative team a few weeks ago in a pretty special setting to share about my favorite ministry moments of 2011.
It was an exercise in gratitude for us, and hopefully it will be a shot of faith for you.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
-1 Corinthians 13:11
If you ask a little kid how babies are born, and then ask a mom of three kids the same question, the responses will differ considerably.
Your viewpoint of a process is based on your experience.
Before we started a church, I had preconceived notions about the creative process.
Now that I’ve seen my share of babies born, I think about that process much more realistically.
I used to think brilliant creative inspiration flowed in calm settings of tranquility.
Now I would tell you that my best creative ideas are hewn out of hard conversations, migraine level multi-tasking, and nearly neurotic obsession about details that seem silly and tedious.
I used to think that the most difficult part of the creative process was getting a good idea.
Conception is the fun part!
Labor and delivery is the heroic stuff.
Lots of people can make a kid, or hatch a concept.
But to nurture, refine, and sustain that idea takes tenacity.
I used to think that when you had a killer idea, you’d just know it.
Now I think the better an idea is, the more prone you’ll be to second guessing, and the greater the temptation will be to quit before you get started good.
Growing in creativity means coming to terms with this reality:
The most beautiful ideas are often the product of an ugly, messy process.
The less time I spend waiting for the stork to bring me the next awesome vision, and the more I embrace the blood, tears, pain and joy of creativity, the better my babies turn out.
A woman was telling me the other day how she used to want to be Joyce Meyer. She fantasized about how exhilarating it would be to minister to all those people.
But since she said she used to want to be Joyce, I had to ask:
“Why don’t you want to be Joyce anymore?”
It was because she analyzed the story behind the glory, and realized:
1. Joyce has a gift that is supernatural, and an anointing that is irreproducible.
2. Therefore, attempting to do what Joyce does without having the divine empowerment Joyce has would be like hobbling around with the king’s XXL armor when you really need a shepherd’s sling. Other people’s armor doesn’t protect you, it paralyzes you.
3. Anointing oil is produced through pressure. Joyce Meyer’s ministry of worldwide compassion flows largely from her own personal pain of childhood sexual abuse, and the dysfunction that consumed the beginning of her adult life. To covet the oil but avoid the pressure is like mastering Guitar Hero, and signing your name Jimi Hendrix on all your correspondence. It’s called make believe, not Christ like ambition.
4. Joyce Meyer’s life is full of blessing. It’s also full of immense burden. It’s chock full of rewards. It’s even heavier laden with responsibilities. To want the blessing without considering the burden is shortsighted at best, and self destructive, ultimately. A blessing can be a burden if you’re not destined and prepared to receive it.
It’s refreshing when you have a conversation with someone who used to want to be what she was never meant to be, but left that illusion behind to become a bonafide best version of herself the world has ever seen.
You’re charging into a new year with at least one major problem (probably several) eating away at your nerves.
What do you do?
It’s better to face your problems than to run from them. Everyone knows that.
But for those of us starting out 2012 believing the supernatural favor of God is working to our advantage for His glory,
Might I suggest…there’s a third, and infinitely better, option:
Make the Spirit-led decision to elevate above your problem before you deal with it at all. Whatever you have to deal with today, first determine to access the perspective shaped by the promises & presence of Christ.
Now you’re ready to deal with your issue from the highest level-the very altitude and airspace of God. Your doubts and worries won’t loom so large from up there.
If you stand toe to toe with your issue, addiction, deficit, fear, or temptation, you’ll be intimidated by what you see & shut down before you get the chance to fight.
But if you get up above the issue, and refuse to wrestle around with it in the mud of self-centered thinking and faithless strategy, everything about your approach will change.
I love how, in the book of Revelation, in the midst of unbearable persecution and mind boggling uncertainty, Jesus gave John a simple first step:
“Come up here…”
See, Jesus knew something about John that is just as pertinent to you and me:
If we get up where Jesus is, we’ll see what He sees.
When we see what He sees, we’ll know what He knows…
And we’ll be empowered to do whatever He calls us to do.
When we take our seats in heavenly places with Christ by focusing on Him, surrendering to Him, and trusting in Him, it positions us to descend on our problems with a divine confidence.
Lots of times, our main problem isn’t our problem. Our biggest problem is our perspective on our problem.
Get up above the domain of hand to hand combat today. You’re not strong enough to take much ground grappling like that.
Instead, take it to the Lord in prayer. And launch an aerial assault on the devil that will blow him back 10,000 miles away from the plans God has for you.