Steven Furtick - Fighting With No Weapons
This is an excerpt from: No Weapon
I talk to my kids about everything that is age appropriate to talk to them about, which includes, as much as they hate it, sex. I talk to my kids about sex, as much as it's appropriate for their age, and they hate it, but if you think I'm going to let TikTok teach my kid… Yeah, I said it. If you think I'm going to leave my kid without weapons because I'm uncomfortable, if you think I'm going to let somebody teach Abbey how to twerk, and I'm not going to talk to her about what it means to be a woman… Get out of my face!
Are you crazy? Do you think I'm going to send my kids into the world to fight the Devil without weapons? Not just sex. Let's get off of that. I know. That's long enough. It's emotions too. Let me ask you. How many of you have lost battles because you didn't have a blacksmith? Is this not true? It's too late when you get into the battle to get a blacksmith. "What do you mean"? It's too late until you let anger take you over, and now your little lizard brain is running the show. Now you have a little lizard driving your decisions. It's too late at that point for you to learn that "My emotions don't control me if I have the Spirit of God inside of me". See, as much as you can know that… Is that a pomegranate tree you sit under or is it an actual process in your life that produces victory? There's a difference…the stuff we can shout over versus the stuff we can fight with. It's one thing to have farming equipment. It's another thing to have fighting instruments. The Israelites had the raw material. They didn't have a blacksmith.
Have you ever had to go to battle but didn't have a blacksmith? Have any of you in the room had to be a dad, but you didn't have a dad who showed you along the way how to do this? That was my dad's story. I'm in utter amazement what a good job my dad did considering the blacksmith he never had. His dad killed himself. He did good to stay alive. Then he told me… One time he said, "If you ever run into anything and you start thinking you have to kill yourself, you talk to me". He said, "I will drop everything I'm doing, and I'll take you fishing". I'm like, "Dad, I don't like fishing". He's like, "Whatever. The point is I will take you… You do not have to go that route".What was that? He was trying to be the blacksmith he never had. "Oh, that's wonderful you're telling me to just go for it. You sound like a Rocky movie, Pastor Steven. I can't put this into practice in my life". I know you can't, because you didn't have a blacksmith. When you don't have a blacksmith showing you, "Here is how you navigate this emotional state" or "This is how you take a Scripture and actually live it out," then you'll have plenty of pomegranates to sit under, plenty of good-sounding things, plenty of words, but no weapons.
I am seeing people go down left and right as a pastor right now. What else is new? It wouldn't bother me if the Devil was stronger than us. I messed up and stumbled across a verse that said, "Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world". Or as Jonathan said, "Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few". If that is true, why are you losing? If that is true, why isn't it working? The Lord spoke to me. He didn't have a blacksmith. When you don't have a blacksmith, you don't have anybody to show you how to take the raw material and turn it into something that is useful in your life. That's why I want to be a better blacksmith to you, man, so I don't tell you, "Oh, you can't do this, and you can't do that". I don't want to be Saul so you sit under the pomegranates with me. Even if I take this to a level of Elijah's music… That boy just made an album on his computer in his bedroom over the last four months…an entire album. I never did that, but I've been a pretty good blacksmith to him along the way. Two and a half years ago, he didn't even know what I was doing, but I snuck a recording mic in his room. At the same time, he was saying, "I don't like my voice. I don't want to sing. I don't like my voice".
Nobody likes their voice when they're 13 if they're not Justin Bieber, but I'm not trying to get you to love your voice right now. I'm just trying to put something that you have to trip over when you wake up in the morning, so every time you see that mic, you might step on it one day, and you might sing something, and then you might sing something else. I'm not taking credit, because it's his battle, but I'm his blacksmith. I need every dad in here to change your Instagram bio to "Blacksmith". If you are nothing else… I need every pastor watching this sermon to rip something off, and you can preach it later, to just change your job title and put "Blacksmith," at least for the rest of 2022, because you have to see yourself as someone who has been given the responsibility by God to shape and to form. I found myself this week feeling sorry for Saul, because he didn't have anybody to show him how to be a king. He was the first one. He had a powerful dad, but he had never been a king before. He didn't have a blacksmith.
Then when I was feeling sorry for Saul, I was feeling sorry for Jonathan, because the one who was supposed to be his blacksmith was so broken he couldn't show him how to do it either. Then I started wondering about you. I started wondering: Are you in a battle without a blacksmith? Are you in a war where you didn't have the weapons for it? That was the state of Israel, and that was why Saul was under the tree, and that was why the children of God were running to the world for their weapons. Let me bring this into a New Testament context. In 2 Corinthians, Paul is talking to the church about how we fight. Not if we fight (everybody has a fighting style) but how we fight. He says that though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. We don't go to the Philistines to get our weapons sharpened. It's too expensive. We don't go to social media to get our emotional needs met. It's too expensive. We don't go to the Devil for our dopamine hit. "Please, Devil, give me some dopamine. Make me feel good for a second. Give me pleasure for a second. Make me feel something for a second". It's too expensive. You can get it from the Devil, but it's too expensive.
How many of you have found out it is too expensive to go to the world to get your weapons? It's too expensive, because even if it works, it isn't worth it. That's why Paul says we don't wage war like the world does. We have to fight these battles. We have to live in this world. We have to be realistic, but we don't have to fight it that way. The weapons we have have divine power to demolish strongholds. That's in the Bible, y'all. That is the Spirit of Jesus inside of you. It is divine power to demolish strongholds. When you go to the world for your weapons, there's no power in them. When you go to the world for your weapons, it doesn't demolish strongholds; it creates strongholds. It creates dependence on the thing you are going to for the need you are trying to meet. Why would you go to the Devil for it when your dad has it in abundance when you are a child of God?
So Jonathan said, "Nothing can hinder the Lord. I have a covenant with almighty God". No weapon, and he got a victory. Well, he had one weapon. The armor-bearer had no weapon. Even in that the Lord spoke to me. He said, "Quit saying you don't have any. You have one". Sometimes one is enough. I am 42 in six days. (That's right in the middle where you're not sure if that's cheerable or not.) The thing I found out is that there is only one thing in the world I know I'm pretty good at, other than loving my wife, my kids, and all that. It's not baseball, at least not at a professional level. Even when it comes to the things I do in my life today, I'm not saying I'm great at administrating. I'm not saying I'm horrible at it, but I'm not great at it. I don't say I'm good at managing people. I'm good at it sometimes. I'm good at it in certain seasons, but I can't say I'm great at it. I found one thing I can do that God's hand is on, which I'm saying is sharing his Word, in case that's not clear. I hope it's clear. I hope that's obvious that God gave me that gift. Maybe it's not. I don't know. Sometimes I wonder. I'm saying I can do this, and God uses it, and I've been doing it since I was 16. Out of that one thing God gave me…
Let me tell you what the Devil will do. He will tempt you to diminish what you've been given. Out of this one thing I've given my life to do, I've been able to see God do amazing things. I've been all over the world doing this. I have stood in front of people who didn't even speak my language with an interpreter doing this. I have met people I never thought I'd get to meet doing this. I've seen people who came up to me and said their life was greatly helped doing this, yet this this that I do is talking. This this that I do is imperfect. This this that I do… Sometimes…I'm going to be honest with you…I feel like what I do is one of the weirdest things in the world: try to tell you what God thinks about stuff. Key word try. I'm figuring it out as I go as well. But out of this one imperfect, uncertain thing God has given me to do that I believe he called me to do, that I believe he graced me to do, that I stand up and do no matter how I feel about it… Out of this one thing God gave me to do, I have seen God do things.
One is enough. I don't have to be good at basketball to do this. I don't even have to be good at counting to do this. There's a lot of stuff that I have reconciled to the fact that I will never be great at that, but standing in the grace God gave me and doing the thing God called me to do, this gift… I have been preaching on this boy called Jonathan for 25 years. I have preached at least 300 sermons on this one text, and one was enough. I preached it in Australia. I preached it in Singapore. I preached it in London. I preached it in Camden, South Carolina. I'll preach it in Ballantyne when I'm 42. I'll preach it, if God gives me the grace, when I'm 84. I will preach this one word, one gift, one calling, one weapon. You say, "There was no weapon". No, there was one.
God has always given you something. The prophet asked the woman, "What do you have in your house"? She said, "Nothing except a little oil". Do you see that thing you almost overlooked, that thing you didn't think was worth mentioning? That was the one the miracle was in. "You mean one weapon was enough to kill 20 Philistines"? It was by faith. God likes to do it like that, because he doesn't want you giving the credit to your weapons. He doesn't want you to praise your weapons. He wants you to praise him.