Steven Furtick - Becoming Your Own Worst Enemy
This is an excerpt from: Making Peace With Missing Pieces
But a lot of us were taught that we had to have the whole thing figured out or it wasn't faith, so we mastered the art of sounding certain. We mastered the art of magnifying your missing pieces so we don't have to deal with ours. That's good news only if you are willing to get honest. That is good news about how God works in our lives unless we think the only way for us to have peace is to have no missing pieces. This is where a lot of us who are perfectionists… I'm talking Enneagram One. We think everything has to be just so for us to be happy, for us to be grateful. So we get in this thing all the time. A lot of us do. Not all of us. But we get in this thing a lot of the time that we say, "When this, then I'll…"
The worst thing you can believe… Please hear me. The worst thing you can believe is that when you get here, then God will love you. That is from the pit of hell. That is a lie. That is not in the Bible. It is by grace you are saved, and if you have grace, you have a lot. You have the greatest gift. His name is Jesus! We all need Jesus. I need him just as much as you. I was yelling at the ump at a baseball game, and somebody said, "I thought you were supposed to be a preacher". I said, "My name is Steven today. No 'Pastor' on the front. I'm Steven, Graham's dad". I'm in a process, piece by piece. It's called sanctification, and it happens in stages. I just wish Moses would have asked the second question first. I just wish he would have started with the source, not himself. If you ask, "Who am I?" before you ask God, "Who are you?" you will misunderstand what you're made of. You're not made of dirt. You're not made of flesh. You are not made of bone. You are made of spirit.
Isn't that cool, that everything else doesn't define you? I like to tell Graham, "I'm five-nine in the natural". But in the spirit, David is bigger than Goliath. When I watch Holly putting a puzzle together, I do two things. First, I marvel that she can stick with this, and secondly, I notice that she puts the frame first. I've never done a puzzle and don't intend to, but if I ever do, she taught me that. You start with the frame. Five-letter word: F-R-A-M-E. You start with the frame. Do you know the author of Hebrews said that the worlds were framed by the word of God? Everything we see visibly is made by something God spoke invisibly. The worlds were framed by the word of God. He told the sun, "Shine". The sun said, "Yes, sir". He told the moon, "Now it's your turn," and the moon said, "I'll do it when you need me to do it". He told the fish to flop around. He told the birds to elevate.
Everything in created order understands when God speaks. Stop speaking against what God has spoken over your life. It's a war of words, and you have become your own worst enemy. There are only two characters in Exodus 4. It's God and Moses. And the bush. I reckon the bush deserves a shout-out. It's burning up and not burning down. I mean, that's pretty good. Special effects. I guess there's the staff. There's the stick, which becomes significant later in his life, but he doesn't know that yet. See, you don't know yet. When the Lord said, "What is that in your hand"? remember, he said, "Who are you, Lord? Who am I"? An amazing turn of events… In Exodus, chapter 4, Moses' next objection was, "When I go to my people and tell them I met with you and they weren't here to see it, what if they say to me, 'You are on drugs. You saw a bush? This is psychedelic. This is not Scripture. You saw a bush burning up, and the Lord said, "I Am".'"
There's so much to study here. Would you all be cool if we did a whole series one day on the God of Moses? I want to do it. I did God of Jacob years ago, and then I put that verse in the song: "I'm calling on the God of Moses, the one who opened up the ocean". If you hear it like that, it sounds like Moses opened the ocean. He was so mighty and strong. He had such great faith. We're talking about the same guy, the guy who said, "I can't even talk straight". It was God who opened the ocean. It's God who's going to do it for you. It is God who works in you to will and to do according to his good pleasure. It is God. It is his word that does the work. So, he said, "Who am I"? You've been wondering that, haven't you? You really wonder it when you have to transition an identity. "I'm a shepherd. Now I'm supposed to be a spokesman"?
Before that, Moses was known as a murderer, because before he learned how to manage what God had called him to, before he knew what to do with it… A lot of the mistakes you make early in your life… You have the wrong response, but it's for the right reason. He saw one of his fellow Hebrews getting beaten by an Egyptian, and he killed the man and hid him in the sand. Now he has been in hiding for 40 years, and the Lord comes. He hasn't come to anybody in 400 years, and the Word comes. Are you open to a better word or are you so addicted to your excuses…? Three categories. Right? "Who am I"? Let's look at these. That speaks of his preparation. "Who am I? I'm not ready for this". Then he wants to know, "Who are you"? That's information. "I don't know who you are, God. I don't know enough to do this". Nobody gave me a class for pastoring a church through a global pandemic. If they did that class, I skipped that day. Nobody gave you a class for some of the stuff you're going through either. Nobody tells you how to survive the loss of somebody who was your life. Missing pieces.
"Who am I? I'm not ready". Preparation. "Who are you"? Information. "Lord, I don't even know the book of Ruth from a Baby Ruth. I'm just new to the…" That's fine, because God wants to show you how you can not know and still go. This word is so real for somebody. I don't know who it's for. I don't have to know who it's for. I just have to preach it. Then the Holy Spirit of God will apply it to that area of your life where you're insecure. Look. Moses is like, "I can't talk". That's a very specific thing, but really, what he's dealing with is "What if they don't believe me"? That's validation. Are you missing one of those in your life today? Let's go through them slowly. You can write these down and ask the Lord to speak to you about them throughout this week. Preparation. "Lord, who am I to do this"? This is not my story, but you may be saying this. "I wasn't even raised right. How do I raise kids myself"? "I don't have any experience owning a business, and here I am, God. I didn't see this coming". Preparation. Information. "Who are you, God? What do I not know"?
Do you know the ones who are in the worst trouble who are hearing this word today? The ones who have made their own picture of what they think their situation is supposed to look like, and they built that picture based on somebody else's puzzle. You are going to spend the rest of your life thinking you're missing pieces because you are trying to build somebody else's picture. Now God has you here, and God wants to teach you the art of going forward when you don't know where, Abraham; when you don't know how, Moses. God's answer is pathetic if you think about it. "What's that in your hand"? "You mean my stick that I'm only holding because I fled to Egypt and had to work for Jethro, because I made the mistake of murdering someone, because I didn't know how to do it"? I read that over and over again this week, thinking about your stick, thinking about your mistake. The Lord said clearly to me to tell you: he's going to turn the mistake into a miracle. No, no, no. I'm not saying God is going to work around it. I'm saying he's actually going to use it.