I am completely obsessed with podcasts.  I listen to several podcasts, but if I had to choose only one podcast to listen to, I’d definitely make it Elevation.

Elevation Church was founded by Pastor Steven Furtick and his wife Holly in 2006.  It has since grown to 21 physical locations, and thousands of people around the globe listen to the Elevation podcast each week.

It’s amazing to see what God is doing through Elevation Church.

Here are 7 of my favorite inspiring quotes from the podcast!

*Note: I am not affiliated with Elevation Church and I am not receiving any compensation by Elevation Church for this blog post.

“You could lift so much more if you loosened your grip.”

Wow…as an admitted Type A control freak, this one really hits home for me.

Pastor Furtick gave the example of golfer’s elbow to illustrate this point.  As his friend told him, golfer’s elbow is not caused by lifting too much weight.  Rather, it’s caused by an excessively tight grip on the golf club.

Furtick realized that he could lift heavier weights without injuring himself if he simply loosened his grip a little.

How true is this in life?

What would happen if we loosened our grip on circumstances and accepted that God is the one in control, not us?

How much more could we accomplish?  How much stress and needless worry could we eliminate?

Would we finally feel the peace we’ve been craving for so long?

“Are you committed to the plan or the purpose?

Here’s another one for the planners and control freaks out there.  Whenever something doesn’t go exactly as planned, ask yourself this question.

Am I committed to the plan or to the purpose?

You’ve probably heard the saying “When man plans, God laughs.”

It’s important to prepare for the future and to make wise decisions, but we never know for certain what tomorrow holds.

If we can keep in mind that God’s purpose for our lives is what matters most, we can have faith that even if our plans fall through, God has His own plans for us.

There have been many times in my life when I’ve been disappointed about not getting something I wanted, only to realize later that I wasn’t actually missing out.

Instead, God was redirecting me toward something even better.

“God would rather have you go through a season of frustration than build your house on the wrong foundation.”

God is a lot smarter than we are 😊.  He knows what is best for us and sometimes that’s the exact opposite of what we want.  It would be nice if life were easy all the time, but the biggest challenges in our lives often lead to the most growth.

There was a time in my life when I wanted, more than anything else, to get rid of my anxiety and OCD.  Looking back on it, I see what a blessing my anxiety is.

When things are happy and awesome all of the time, we don’t see our need for God.  But when life is a struggle and we realize can’t get through things on our own, we recognize that we need God.

We often see things like anxiety, grief, sadness, and desperation as painful emotions that we want to avoid at all costs…but desperation can actually be a powerful motivator.

As Pastor Robert Madu (one of my favorite guest pastors on Elevation Podcast!) said, “Desperation is the door that breakthrough walks through.”

Taylor Swift echoed this sentiment in the song “Soon You’ll Get Better” with this lyric: “Desperate people find faith, so now I pray to Jesus too.”

I’m thankful for my anxiety because it was exactly what I needed to find my faith.

“Faith is not the absence of doubt; faith is the means of overcoming doubt.”

I love that Pastor Furtrick talks openly about doubt instead of sweeping it under the rug like many Christians do.

Doubt does not mean that there is something wrong with you or that you’re a “bad” Christian.  It simply means you’re a human. 

Of course there will be times when life is excruciatingly hard and faith doesn’t come easily or naturally to you.  That’s okay.

The average person has 60,000 thoughts in one day.  Imagine how many thoughts that would be in a lifetime.  It’s absurdly unrealistic to expect that 0% of those thoughts will contain a sliver of doubt.

The next time you experience doubt, don’t beat yourself up.  Instead, show yourself grace and compassion.  Then go to church that morning, listen to gospel music, or read your Bible even if you don’t “feel” like it.

Often, the times when we don’t “feel” like it are when we need God the most.

“We can’t poison the well and then complain about the water.”

Why does God allow bad things to happen?  We don’t have time to tackle that complex question here, but I will say that some (but certainly not all) of the things we complain about are things that we caused.

A LOT of things in this world are beyond our control, sure, but there are also many things that are well within our control.

Getting fired for showing up late every day.  Going through a bitter divorce after you rushed into a marriage with someone you barely knew.  Being buried in debt after you bought a bunch of stuff you couldn’t afford.

Some of the bad things in life are a result of our own poor decisions.

This sounds harsh, but it’s actually empowering.  If we stop blaming God (or other people) for our problems, we can take responsibility for them and we can make better choices in the future.

We can live with intention, which is what this blog is all about 😊

“It’s not about your ability; it’s about your availability.”

Many of us feel like God can’t do anything through our lives because we aren’t talented enough.

It’s easy to be intimidated when we look at pastors, Christian musicians, missionaries, authors, and other inspiring people who are making an incredible impact on the world.

What if you’re not a good speaker, you don’t like to write, you can’t sing, and the idea of traveling to another continent fills you with anxiety?

How can God use you if you’re just an ordinary person without a special talent?

Many of us ask this question but in reality…it’s not about your ability; it’s about your availability.  If you’re willing to make yourself available, God can do amazing things through you.

Trust in Him and pray that He will show you how YOU can make an impact.

The Bible is filled with examples of ordinary people who God used to achieve His purposes.

“We can’t receive new miracles with old mindsets.”

The human brain likes to be efficient – this is a survival instinct and it’s useful in many scenarios.

For example, you wouldn’t want to sit and think about what to do when you see a stop sign or a red light.  This would be dangerous.  Instead, you hit the brakes without even consciously thinking “I need to stop now because this is a stop sign and that’s what we do at stop signs.”

Your brain automates processes like this one to be more efficient and to keep you alive.  This concept is often referred to as “auto pilot”.

The downside of this is that we tend to think the same thoughts over and over again…even if those thoughts are not serving us.  When we have the same thought repeatedly, this creates a neural pathway in the brain and this can be a challenge to change.

Imagine that you spent most of your life broke or in debt.  If God later blesses you financially beyond your wildest dreams, you may find it hard to leave behind the scarcity mindset you’ve had for many years.

Even though you have plenty of money now, you may find yourself hoarding it, avoiding generosity, and constantly worrying that you could lose everything.  This is because you’re still thinking the same way you were in the past when you were broke.

I can really relate to this example. My husband and I aren’t wealthy, but we have a lot more money now than we did when we were buried in six figure student loan debt a few years ago.  Despite that, my brain always seems to default to thoughts like “We can’t afford that” or “money doesn’t grow on trees.”

The point here is that when you receive a miracle, it’ll take time to adjust to your new reality.  You won’t be able to truly receive the miracle if you’re stuck in the same old mindset.  Remember how important your thoughts are.

We often believe the myth that everything will be better when we achieve a certain goal or receive a blessing, but that’s not what happens.  Why?

Because your brain didn’t change when your circumstances changed.  You brought the same brain with you into your new situation that you had in your old situation.  Your thoughts determine your level of happiness, not your circumstances.

If we want to be happy, we need to pay attention to what we’re thinking.  

Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things above, not earthly things.”

Bringing Faith to Life

There are a lot of awesome podcasts out there, but the Elevation podcast is by far my favorite!

I am so thankful to live in a time when I can listen to amazing sermons like these every single week…even though I don’t live anywhere near any of Elevation Church’s physical locations.

Seeing this church in person is on my bucket list!


Other posts you might like:

Things Above: Lessons Learned From James Bryan Smith
What Does the Bible Say About Money?
Do The Next Right Thing: Lessons Learned from Emily P. Freeman
10 Simple Ways to Grow in Your Faith