Sunday Morning | July 23, 2023 | Andrew Harrell | Louisville, KY
On July 23, 2023, Andrew Harrell delivered the final sermon of the "Free and Fearless" series, titled "Capturing the Thoughts of Fear." Drawing from 1 Corinthians 10:3-5, he emphasized the power of our thoughts and how fear can often hold us back from living a life of freedom and faith. Andrew Harrell encouraged the congregation to identify and challenge fearful thoughts, recognizing that through Christ, we have the ability to capture and replace these negative thoughts with God's truth and promises. By doing so, we can break free from the chains of fear and embrace a life of boldness and trust in God's plan for our lives.
At Valley View Church we are currently studying through the entire gospel of John, verse by verse. You can join us on Sunday mornings at 11 AM for worship. We are located at 8911 3rd Street Road, Louisville KY 40272.
Well, good morning Valley View. How you doing this morning? Y'all doing good, man. I just love our worship team. I love that I get to serve with them every week. That is the highlight of my week. Can we just give a big shout out? Oh, so real fast, Pastor John. Since his love, he and his family are enjoying some vacation time right now. So I'm very grateful that he models that for us as a staff that he's going away. Highlighted the importance of family. Speaking of family, I feel like this morning is a family reunion for me because my parents my parents are here. I've got like Jody and Ben, they're all like family. Laura, Adrian, her best friend. Katie's here, Chris, my neighbor, but my neighbors there. So, I mean, it's like a big family reunion this morning. So this morning we are going to as it broke. But it's okay. We are going to we're going to jump into a word that I am super excited about. I'm going to share from my heart. Now, listen, that's code for a lot of people that have left. I'm not leaving, okay? If you've been around here for a while, you know what that means. But I'm going to share from my heart and be vulnerable about some things that I just recently have walked through. And I'm on the tell it. And this is the ending of our series on Free and Fearless, which has been our keywords for the year. So can we, by the way, to Kobe killed it last week with that message, didn't he? That was man, I was absolutely loving it. I mean, it just did such a phenomenal job. I mean, it was powerful. It was packed full of just Jesus. It was amazing. So this morning, I want to start off by telling you a story about my life and then I'm all tied in to our message today. Spring is my favorite time of year. I absolutely love spring. When spring rolls around, I love being outside cycling, being outside with my kids, mowing grass. I got bees this year, I've got my own hive. I'm going to be making honey. Some of you've come to me. You want me to sell you honey others if you ever think I'm crazy. But I love spring. Spring is just are the time of year for me. That is just my favorite. However, this year, as spring was rolling in, I was on the is just all loving it, loving it, loving it. And then suddenly I begin to have this downward spiral that I never really I mean, I've dealt with something like that before, but not like this. And I couldn't figure out how I got there because I mean, when I say I love spring and this, I'm like, so pumped. There's so much to do. I mean, soon as the sun is up, I'm outside all day long, all the way until like the end of day. And then I just started getting into this this, this downward spiral. And I mean, the only thing I know to call it was like a kind of like a little bit of a midlife crisis. And it was around me that I began to experience this. And I didn't tell many people about it because, one, I didn't even know what was going on. I just felt it. I just felt this chaos and I couldn't quite pinpointed. And it all began with the thought. It all began with a thought. And it wasn't a bad thought. It wasn't a sinful thought. It was actually a good thought. But all began with a thought. So what I want to do this morning is I've got these great illustrations here that our team brought out for us, and these are our Jenga blocks. Okay, so you're like my little Jenga blocks. I can move things around here. So I want for representation sake each level to represent something in your life. So for me, I did this just for simplicity's sake. I don't know if camera one can catch this. We'll just say health, family, finances, career, salvation. We'll just use it for different tiers. For me personally, it was one thought in one of those arenas and it was just a thought. It was like, Oh, you probably need to do this. And it was actually like, okay, the Lords on this is cool. Maybe or maybe he's not. I don't know, just this thought was like, okay, need to do that. But then it went to another thought that then went to another thought that went to another thought that went to another thought. And had I couldn't figure out how did I get here. So this morning what we're going to do is unpack three stories in Scripture of thoughts that led to fear. All right, If you got your Bibles, open it up to Genesis three and more than just thoughts that led to fear, but thoughts that could lead to fear says in Genesis three. Now, the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, Did God really say, you must not eat from any tree in the garden? For me, these this is what was going on. The issues that I was struggling with to be 100% honest were original sin in the garden issues. And what was happening was the enemy was just throwing out these thoughts and looking for, Oh, wow, wow, look, there's a loose one right there. I can pull that one out. And then I'm-I had that happen. I mean, it was a good thought. And then suddenly there's an open door to fear. There was an open door to fear. I was like, That was weird. And it was it was one thing of like, Oh, I probably need to do this with working out this and that. There was this like, What about this in your health? What about that your health? What about sickness? And then suddenly I got this gaping hole that I didn't know how I got there. I mean, it was a good thought initially. Then the enemy was like, Oh, oh, there's another, there's another. There's another whole. The enemy did the same to Eve. He said, Did God really say? The woman said to the serpent, We may eat from the truth or excuse me, from the trees in the garden, but God did say you must not eat from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. You must not touch it or you will die. You will certainly not die, the serpent said to the woman. For God knows when you eat, your eyes will be open and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. Where the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye and also desirable for gaining wisdom. She took some at eight it. She also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate it. Then the eyes, both of them were open and they realized that they were naked, so they sewed the fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Skip down the verse eight right here. And this is the thing that really I'm trying to do for you to catch up with this story. When the door opened for fear, they ran, they ran in shame, and God came looking for him saying, Where are you? And their answer was, I heard you in the garden. I was afraid because I was naked. Here's the thing. God's not afraid of our questions, okay? He's not afraid for us going to him. But in this situation, specifically, the questions Satan brought Eve were accusation that God was withholding from her, and she agreed with the fear and then the doors began to open. Does that make sense? When we allow the enemy access, we have to give him access. Okay. Sometimes it's through unforgiveness, some times it's through lies. We believe sometimes it's through. But the enemy loves to go after our mind and just the thoughts. And in each situation, that's exactly what happened. Oh, did God really say it was these access points? And that began to lead to this, where they begin to feel the shame. They begin to feel the fear that they had agreed upon. Somebody needs to get that phone call. Apparently, for me personally, what began to happen in May this year was I begin to let the enemy in into my life, not knowing that it was fear and it begin to just take me down this downward downward spiral to the point of like every night for me to go to bed. I had to have some night going, just playing over my brain, just for my mind to shut up. I had to have my mentors pray over me, break stuff off, break agreements to try to figure out how did I get in? Here's the thing. When the Holy Spirit brings a thought to your mind, there's a solution. Okay? There's something there that there's that there's a there's a healing that needs to take place. There's a freedom that comes with it. But when our mind agrees with the enemy and there's not a solution, it's torment. And then what happens is all these holes begin to pop in our life. Everything begins. The enemies just, Oh, wow, wow, wow. You know, that was easy. And he's looking for every little weak spot that he can pick out because that makes sense. All right. Jump over to me about chapter six. I'm going to kind of give you a recap on this and then I'll break this down for us as we're turning there. I want I'm going to throw out some thoughts here. Fear not in scripture, this mission 365 times is one of the number one commandments. It is the number one command. But why? Because it's most needed in you and I in our everyday lives can respond in one or two ways. We can respond in fear or we can respond in love. There is no in between. You understand everything that you and I do daily. Every interaction we have with our family, every interaction we have with our spouse, every interaction we have with our coworker kid is either response in love or fear. And what fear does is it drives our mind into forbidden territory. Does that make sense? It drives us into a place that we agree with the enemy and we give him access. And with this series that we're doing free and fearless, in order for you to be fearless, you have to address fear. You cannot say Oh, I'm going to be I'm going to be fearless. I'm going to be fearless and maybe fearless and not address the root issue. So what's going on in your mind here? Chapter six is this Israel keeping Their walls have been torn down for 70 years, and what they could not do in 70 years with Nehemiah is leadership. They were able to rebuild 52 days throughout the chapter. It highlights four different instances where the enemy attempted to frighten Nehemiah in discourage them from continuing on. Nehemiah mentions the issue of fear four times in this chapter. So let's jump let's jump over to our rights. Nehemiah, verse six one production. I'm going to jump around, so just catch up on that. Thank you. For this reason he was hurt that I should be afraid and act that way in sin so that they may have a cause of evil. Report and that they may approach me. I'm going to break this down. In my words, what was going on in the Hamas building the wall and Israel's enemy comes to him and says, Hey, look, man, we see what you're doing. This thing. You know, I know we're your enemy, but we need to talk. When you talk like this, you know we don't like that you're building back your your walls. You know, you haven't done it seven years, so we don't think you should. And what happens is, in the way the amount of responses is you saying, look, if I agree with the accusations, if I respond, it's the same as if I've agreed with it. Does that make sense? If you if I say if you're coming at me saying, hey, I'm throwing these thoughts of fear at you, and if I partner with that, I'm going to open the very door of accusation towards me as if I had done it. Does that make sense? It's kind of like my situation going back to this when the enemy began to poke at my mind and looking for these open doors, it was honestly as if I had to come in agreement with those things. But it was just as if I did. And really what that was happening was, I was enabling the enemy in those areas of my life. I was giving him authority in those areas of my life by my thoughts, by my agreements, by the fear that I that was going on. And let me just say this before I continue on this part. When fear happens and we hope we recognize it and see it, we have one of two options we can either repent or we sit. Now, I really want you to get a hold of that. When fear creeps in, we have one or two options. Repent or sin. In my case, in this situation, I didn't realize that at first. I didn't take authority. I didn't have godly sorrow in those areas of my heart because they were all good thoughts initially. The real reason, real tracking is just making sense for me. I'm glad to have my mom and Jody out there. Mama, my mom, I'll tell you this. All my basketball games when I was in high school and all the stuff that, you know, I would send to like a recruiter or something like that for a scholarship opportunity, my mom was in the back of those videos yelling, So it's good to have you here with me this morning. But back to this is is this these thoughts? I had to finally get to a point where it felt like fear. If it looked like fear, I'm repenting. I'm just like, I can't go down this path. I can't I can't go there. So let's go back to your Nehemiah. Let's go to verse one now, what happened in San Barlett to buy a gas? Should the Arab and the rest of the enemies had heard that I had rebuilt the wall and there was no bricks left in it, though at that time they had not hung the doors at the gates, then sent out the gas and sent to me saying Come and let us meet together. Among the villages in the plant about No, but they thought to to harm me. So I sent messages, messengers to them saying I am doing a great work that I cannot come down from. Why should the work cease? Why should I leave and go down to you? But they sent this message four times and I answered in the same manner. So here Nehemiah is saying, Look, I am doing this awesome thing. I got this thing going off with the Lord are building this thing. When the Messengers came to him and said, Hey, would you come down to meet with in this place of honor? Which is really funny to me in Scripture because you're like, the enemy wants to meet you in a place called Oh no, I know it's a dead joke, but but you look at it, you're like, really? That doesn't I mean, come on, enemies. We see your move here. You want to meet us in this place. But he's like, No, I'm doing a great work. Why should I stop what I'm doing? And can I just encourage us as believers, when the enemy comes to us? That should also be our response. Hey, I'm part of a community. Hey, I'm part of my family, I'm part of this. I'm doing these things for the Lord. Why should I stop what I'm doing when those voices coming and I'm going to be really straight up with you guys and say this In May this year, I was pumped because I had all this fresh vision of things, God showing me, show me four here, show me four things else I'm doing. And I partner was here and it derailed me, distracted me from the things I was building for the Lord. Because let me tell you something. As believers, we are called to build. We're called to build families community. We're supposed to bring the kingdom to every place. Doesn't mean you have to be on stage right here. But hey, if you come here, if you're a mechanic, if you're a doctor, if you're a lawyer, if you're a firefighter, whatever, you're supposed to bring the kingdom into that. So we are building the kingdom. But what we partner with, fear, we get distracted in the little this the enemy doesn't mind you and I doing ministry. If we do it in fear because we do it from a place of being powerless, we don't walk in the God given authority that we received. We turn it over to do things from a weak place. Does that make sense? All right, back over here to Nima. See, where was I? Okay. Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba. So they sit here in. Oh, sorry. I got distracted there for a minute. I was floor there, but. All right, then. I mean, since this note years responses, why should the great work stop? Why I come and talk to What this means is that we're fully engaged. And I said that a minute ago in everything the Lord has is doing. So here they said to him coming with us, and he says no in answers the same manner for all times. We see this about capturing those thoughts, capturing those lives. And Paul addresses us. The Corinthians, he says, Take every thought. Captive self has got the Bible open back over to Corinthians. Where was that? Said Corinthians Timbers five. And even when I was preparing for this, I want to tell you this. I know I'm going to be a little bit all over the place this morning, but this is something got to be caught more than had knowledge. Does that make sense? Because I'm going to tell you, for me personally, this has been something that I wrestled with well, since May and I'm on the tail end of it, of trying to take every thought captive, sent Christians ten five castle down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity at the obedience of Christ. Now, here's fun part of this. I always thought that meant take every bad thought, count this, know every thought captive. Do you know good thoughts? Actually try to exalt themselves above God and they try to move into different places of timing. You know, went back to Eve when Eve thought God was withholding. She withheld her trust, which then moved to her, withholding her love, which caused the issues there. Right. When I don't take every thought captive, sometimes good thoughts will try to exalt themselves above God, and I will find myself out of alignment. And for me, that's what happened, was all these things started happening. All these little little holes in my life, this one there, that one there. And they just started popping and I couldn't figure out what was going on. And then guess what? When life brings the little Satan's little struggles, where's my foundation? It can't. It can't hold. It's not stable. Unlike over here, when everything is patched up. Good, nice, tight. There's a solid foundation. Let me tell you something, though. What's beautiful about the Lord? Psalm 23, It says his rod stuff. One is there to guide the others there to correct. One is there to protecting, the other one's to bring things into a moment they guide and protect them. So when those little holes begin to form in my life, I can be sensitive to his spirit. I can have his words so deep inside me. I can be so in tune with what he's saying. When something gets out of line and I feel it creeping, I repent, quick to repent, to patch that up. And do you know what repentance is? Not an event, It's a lifestyle, repentance. It's got to be a daily thing because if not, when those things come, then you have a major crash, a major crash, and then you're like, Oh, I don't know what happened. My marriage was good, everything was solid. And now I let you know. I had a phone call with a friend this week. He just walked through a divorce and I said, Bro, what happened? Like, tell me. So we start protecting our marriage. Really? He says, We were partying when we should have been doing missions. I'm fine with vacations. Vacations are good. You need them. I'm about to go on one. I'm super pumped. But you have to be guarding those things because if not, you're foundations. And then you find yourself where you should have been in a different place. And it's not about this prosperity message. I'm talking about building on the foundation of God, leaving a legacy, leading things for your family, being a part of the community. You're not there. You're you're over here. Back to square one. Oh, here I am. I'm trying to rebuild my own strength. When we have his presence, we read his word. We'll let it go deep within when those things pop out, it's okay, because this loving kindness draws us to repentance. And I just would let his word wash over me every night. And how was repentance? The things I wasn't even sorry for, but I just was like, God, I pray God, this sorrow there I don't know. Maybe that's a bad thought. Maybe that's a bad thought. Maybe that's a good thought. But I'm sorry. I'm sorry. God forgive me here. I'm sorry I put this there. I'm sorry I put that there. And every night just let it as a word wash over me. The last story that I want to highlight is Luke. When Jesus went to the wilderness, said that Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit. That's a key part. I want you to read that really carefully. Then Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit returned from the Jordan, was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for 40 days by the devil. And in those days he ate nothing. And then afterward, when he had ended, he was hungry. Koby and I were talking about this earlier this week in the office. I think it's funny, my humor funny. When Satan showed up, Jesus could have responded a lot of different ways because he had already dealt with them once in the beginning. Like really you The analogy I like to use to my kids that they understand the power of the enemy versus the power of God is I say take a grain of sand and compare it to the ocean so they can see that contrasting difference in size. That's Satan's power. I turn around, look at the ocean, that's God's. But here's the powerful thing here. And the devil said to him, If you're the son of God to me, and these stones become bread, but Jesus signature to him, it is written man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. Then the devil try it again in Jesus answer to Him, Get behind me, Satan, for it is written. You shall worship the Lord Your God and Him only shall you serve deacons. If you don't want to go ahead to communion, that be great. And then you try it again. He says it has been said You shall not tempt the Lord your God, He responded, being filled with the Spirit and with the word being filled with the spirit and the word. Let me tell you something. As believers, we need both. Because if we don't have both, here's what's going to happen. If we respond, which is the word, there's a good chance we can fall into legalism. And if we respond just with the spirit over here, there a good chance we could follow the lawlessness. The two are anchors for us that we have to have together. Here's the thing, Jesus responded in a way and in a bottle form for you and I to grab a hold of when Jesus resisted Satan, what he was demonstrating, what God could do. Excuse me. He wasn't demonstrating what God can do, but what God could do is through a man submitted to the Word and the Holy Spirit, it was for you, and I was a model for you and how we were supposed to respond. It was something that was tangible. It was an example. I mean, you didn't. Why do you respond that way? You know, I this is this is Andrew's imagination here, but I vision him sitting there going, oh, I want to tell you a bunch of stuff, but I'm going to respond this way so that the people and I love this thought, I'm going to respond this because the ones that replaced your worship, I'm going to teach them how to defeat you because you remember when Satan went to him was like, Hey, what are you going to do? I'm your worship leader. Here I am. And and I love this thought again, this is my imagination here. I could just see Jesus picking a big, big thing of dirt with his dad up there in heaven and going, Well, we're going to replace you with this. Oh, agree life on this and this is going to take it your place and this is going to be pure worship. So let's bring all these thoughts of what's going on this morning. There's three stories. There's these now you've responded was letting the enemy in the fear. Okay. There was a Nehemiah doing the good, the work of the Lord. Hey, look, I'm building we're building these walls. And then there was Jesus who responded on the offense, what I want to do this morning is as communions being passed, I want you to ask the Holy Spirit, How am I responding to fear more than that? How am I responding to my thoughts? Because if I don't grab a hold of those first fears, going to get a foothold. But the open doors that I create through that and in that fear may be maybe you're freaking out about your health, maybe it's your family, maybe there's an issue with your family that you're just like, maybe it's a thought that you're entertained. Maybe it's that you both come from broken marriages and that you're thinking, was she leave or will he leave or will this happen? Will that happen? Maybe it's your finances. Maybe right now, with the economy the way it is, you're just panicking. Am I going to do Maybe it's your job, maybe you're going, well, is this where I'm at for the rest of my life? Is it or do you have something different? Lord Or maybe your question. You or your relationship with God is and the enemies want to torment you with those thoughts. So, deacons, if you go ahead and pass communion, I want to just posture our hearts right now and ask God to search your heart. Where is there fear? Where have I given an open door? Where is there a place that the enemy has? Has I've allowed him in and I haven't repented. You may think you may be. Also, you may be thinking that this is this is it for the rest of your life. God doesn't have anything better So right now just begin to ask the Lord. Search your heart. God, search my heart. Is there any area you've called me to be to build your kingdom? You've called me to walk fearlessly. You've called me to stand on the promises that you have. And in maybe I'm entertaining thoughts, I shouldn't entertain. Maybe I'm letting the enemy whisper in the night. And what happens a lot is we do good at first. We're doing we're doing good. We're resisting, resisting. But then we grow weary and we let his voice get so loud we don't recognize truth. So right now, all across the room, ask the Lord to search your heart. Ask the Lord. Is there any area that you need His presence to calm his truth in? Let me tell you, here's how we're going to do this. If there is a lie that you've agreed with, repent and replace it with truth. This is something that I've learned over the years from from those that are close to my life that have poured into me. If there's a lie, repent. If there's a fear that you've come in agreement with that just a few more seconds, then don't reason it. Because fear masquerades itself as wisdom and it masquerades itself as reason. It tries to entertain thoughts. And only if the Holy Spirit is on those thoughts should you go there. But there's life with those not downward spiral is not spinning you out of control. Some of us, including myself and the more godless, are there. So, Jesus, we ask you to come. We ask you to come convict our hearts that you're loving kindness. Let your word wash over us. It cleanses Jesus. She's got your communion in front of you to bless the body. There's blood. Here's what I want us to do. If we think your body is broken for us. So we could be free. A father. We bless your body. We thank you. That was broken so we can be free. Let's take it as body. Father, we think you of your blood that cleanses us so we can be fearless. We thank you, Father. That your blood washes is why is so fathers? We repent. This morning we ask for your blood to wash over us. We love Jesus. Let's take a blood with every head bowed, every eye closed. If you're here this morning and you want to say, and your man, I'm still wrestling with fear. I'm wrestling with thoughts, accusations, if you're here. Okay, Come on. All the other. Who else? Who else? Look, I'm telling you my story. We all have a story right now, okay? Here's what I want to do. We took of the body. We took it. The blood, the washing, the cleansing, the repentance. I want to pray over you all this area. And then I want to celebrate together on the offense of declaring who God is. Hey, man. So if that's you right now, I want you to posture your hands in a place of receiving. Okay, Father. God, right now we just break off every lie, every accusation, every fear. The enemy. Right now, we curse it. We send it back to the pits of hell. We say, Lord, your kingdom come on to our lives. We give you access Father Weaver pits, we repent. We take every thought captive to the knowledge of you. We repent, we repent. Start All right, Now, look, I'm just telling you what I'm getting from the Holy Spirit. Some of you right now, you're repenting, and then your reasoning, you're repenting and then your reasoning. So right now, take those thoughts captive. Take those thoughts. Captive. Any thought that is trying to exalt it? It could be a great thought. Any thought that is trying to exalt itself higher than the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, higher than the one that has you in the palm of his hands, higher than the one that knows every hair on your head. Any thought that is trying to exalt itself higher than that right now we take that captive because we are going to be known as a church. It is a people that are fearless, that walk in authority through the blood of Jesus God. It's true love and kindness. You just want a wholeness. You want to be a safe and loving father for us. Which is kind of the way we'll end this morning. A little different because we've got people down here. I'd love to come and just pray with you guys. Pastor John loves you guys. He'll be back soon. He's he's on vacation. But thank you all. Think Colby, we've got another guest this next week. It's going to be awesome, This free and fearless series I pray that is ministered to you. I pray that you caught something, even if things were kind of all over the place. I pray you got something in your heart this morning. I love you guys. I pray. Blessings in Jesus name, Amen. Go in peace. All right. If you want the