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Breaking the Cycle

February 21, 2016 | Pastor Chris Ball

Guest speaker Pastor Chris Ball is the President of Elim Fellowship. Through openness and transparency, he discusses the cycles that keep us from living in freedom and the steps it takes to break them.

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Sermon Notes

Carol and I were visiting the New York School of Urban Ministry. I know exactly how to get there, but one time we went Carol wanted to go a different way because we have the GPS. We wanted to go through the Lincoln Tunnel to experience something different. What we didn’t know was that there are poles between each of the three lanes and once you get in one lane you can’t change to another lane. We are in the middle of the tunnel and the GPS stops working. We get to the end of the tunnel and I see a sign that says “Queens take right” and I’m in the left turning lane. We end up in Times Square and the GPS is not working because the high rise buildings block the signal. Now I know which direction Queens is but I couldn’t figure out how to get there. We start going around and around and around and around in circles in the city for at least an hour. I finally broke the law and went down a one way street the wrong way to get to the road I knew I needed. I broke the cycle to finally go into Queens. This is when the Lord spoke to me four different messages, this being one of them.

The Lord spoke to me and said, “There are people in My church, and even My churches, that find themselves in a circle going nowhere. Stuck in a rut and they need to break the cycles.”

People who are stuck having the same problem are in a cycle. It’s like they are on a treadmill going nowhere. You face the same old stuff year after year. Same old job year after year, wishing you could get out; situations with your children; the financial treadmill; chronic failure; family dysfunction; negativity; unforgiveness; spirit of poverty.

Jesus died to set us free so we ought to live like free people. If we’re going to be free then we can’t be stuck in a cycle.

Cycle – Chronic or consistent behavior that is inconsistent with God’s intention for your life.

Deuteronomy 2:1-7 “Then we turned and journeyed into the wilderness of the Way of the Red Sea, as the Lord spoke to me, and we skirted Mount Seir for many days. And the Lord spoke to me, saying: ‘You have skirted (circled) this mountain long enough; turn northward. And command the people, saying, “You are about to pass through the territory of your brethren, the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir; and they will be afraid of you. Therefore watch yourselves carefully. Do not meddle with them, for I will not give you any of their land, no, not so much as one footstep, because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession. You shall buy food from them with money, that you may eat; and you shall also buy water from them with money, that you may drink. For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.” ‘

How many of you have cycles that you would like to break?

3 steps to breaking the cycle:

  1. Identity your defeating circumstances. You need to identify your mountain. Sometimes we don’t see what the mountain is and we need someone to show us. Sometimes we don’t break cycles because we  don’t dig deep enough to realize it’s not a healing we need, it’s a deliverance
  2. Receive a new directive. Go in a new direction; step out in a new way. Maybe you need to try something like raising your hands in worship. Maybe it’s starting to tithe to change the direction of your finances.
  3. Embrace the new demand. It’s one thing to see the mountain and know the new direction. But are you ready to embrace the new demand?