Megachurch pastor Michael Todd warned his congregation that all too often, Christians "cuff" themselves to comfortable idols and, in doing so, miss out on wonderful opportunities in life.
The 33-year-old pastor of Oklahoma’s Transformation Church and bestselling author of Relationship Goals: How to Win at Dating, Marriage, and Sex has preached in May a three-part sermon series about the struggle with idolatry titled “Cuffing Season.”
In part three of the series, titled “Cuffed to Convenience” and preached on Sunday, Todd warned his Tulsa-based church not to be overly “cuffed” or attached to things that might be “convenient” by putting them before God.
Todd said to “be careful not to put man in the spot only God can occupy,” because this can lead to unaccomplished future goals and missed blessings and unanswered prayers.
“We've been cuffed to things that are killing our calling. And so many people want to know God's will for [their] life and want to know what has God called [them] to do? The truth of the matter [is] many times, the answer is not in what you pick up. The answer is in what you let go of,” Todd preached.
“A lot of people have been praying for God to do something. And God's asking you to let go of something. You don't have enough room to receive new vision. You don't have enough freedom from certain things to actually be able to invest in the next thing that God has called you to do.”
Todd said he is “tired of the Body of Christ losing when the fight is already fixed” and said that many Christians miss out on spiritual victories because of idols they have put before God.
“An idol is not just a statue that people worship. An idol is anything that has taken the place of God," Todd said. "Some of you have idols that you birthed. Some of you have idols that you live in."
"Some of you have idols that you drive. Some of you have idols that are celebrities. … It's taken the place of God. When they say ‘do it,’ you obey."
Todd warned that some Christians will avoid paying tithes but will pay hundreds of dollars to purchase a concert ticket or devote more time to sports games.
The pastor said often, in these scenarios, Christians will not make God as much of a priority in their lives as they should because they are too “comfortable” idolizing things or people.
“God is saying in this series that ‘this is a deliverance series. I want you to cut [away] from everything that has been an idol in your life, everything that has taken My place.’ And the truth is, most of us don't know that we’re cuffed to it. It's just what we think is normal. But it's killing our calling,” Todd explained.
Todd warned his congregation against making him an idol, stressing that "I'm going to fail at some stuff" and that if "you make me an idol, you're in trouble."
"Everybody wants to fandom. Please don't put me in the [forefront]; ‘Oh, I just got to listen to Pastor Mike.’ No, you need to listen to God. Okay. You need to make sure that I'm just a vehicle; here today; could be gone tomorrow,” he added.
According to Todd, many people in the church have "left the spiritual structure” by giving all their attention to idols.
"You come to a physical structure, but you don't pray every day," he said. "You don't read your Word. You substitute spending time with God to listen to your favorite preacher on Instagram. You didn't even listen to the whole sermon. You just took that one-minute clip like: ‘that's my word for the day.’ That's to entice you. That's an appetizer to go listen to the whole thing."
“Information or content without context will actually leave you in a catastrophic position. … What I'm saying to you is we have to get back to some level of structure in our spiritual life so that you have the ability to uncuff from things.”
Todd said that the series “Cuffing Season” is not only about uncuffing from idols, but it is also “all about alignment” and “bringing things that are out of order, [back] into order.”
Many times, Todd said, believers miss out on opportunities due to living lives that are “out of order” because they choose to idolize things that leave them in a place disguised as “comfortable” and “convenient.”
To counter this, Todd argued that Christians must "get comfortable being uncomfortable." He emphasized that Christians should not “cater” their comfort because they need to “confront it.”
He pointed to Luke 9:23, when Jesus said to his disciple Peter, “‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.’”
“The word ‘cater,’ means ‘you baby,’ coddle your comfort, pamper your comfort, gratify your comfort, indulge your comfort, spend money on your comfort, prioritize your comfort, make time for your comfort, provide for your comfort, spoil your comfort, supply your comfort, and … minister to your comfort. This is the dictionary definition of ‘cater,’ Todd proclaimed.
Todd spoke about the word “ministry,” which he defined as “to attend to," noting that many Christians do more ministry to things that give unhealthy comfort than ministering to other people.
He added that the solution is self-confrontation in a God-centered way, telling those gathered that when "you confront [your comfort], you defy your comfort, you encounter your comfort, you meet up."
"‘Meet me at the yard comfort.’ You oppose your comfort. You repel your comfort. You resist comfort. You withstand comfort. You face off; you stand toe to toe with, you go one on one with, you stand up to, you pull up on … You buck at your comfort,” Todd preached.
“You will not be able to withstand your next blessing if you don’t get the stamina. For many of us, this is a season that God is forming us on the backside of the mountain and what you're praying for, you're not ready for. So, God is saying, ‘I got to get you to be uncomfortable.’”