Steven Furtick - Looking For Misery? You'll Find It!
This is an excerpt from: The One Who Seeks… Finds!
When you put your mind on a mission to find misery, the Devil will help you look. The Devil is rubbing his hands. "Ooh. You want to feel bad. Oh, I'll help you harvest that. Oh, you want your feelings hurt. I will help you harvest hurt feelings. Oh, you want to be pissed off. I'll help you pick". Some of y'all got pissed off because I said pissed off. The one who seeks finds. Somebody else said, "Thank God he said it like that. That's real. I can relate to that. That's real. That's real"!
Your mind is magnetic. That's why the Bible says, "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind". When you have the sensitivity level set… Do you ever go through the airport, and the thing has the sensitivity level set, so when you go through the detector, and they start putting their hands all over you, because I guess they have to… See what I'm saying? I'm a complainer. You're going through the metal detector, and it goes off in one airport and not in another. You're like, "I was just in Charlotte, and I wore all this through the thing, and nothing happened.
Now I'm in Cincinnati, and it's beeping and buzzing and flashing and all of that. What's going on? There are strobe lights, and there are people coming out of the ceiling with handcuffs. What happened between Charlotte and Cincinnati"? They had the detector on a different setting. I didn't change anything. It's not what you go through that defines you. She went through the same field they had just picked over and found enough to live on and (I give you this) bumped into someone she wasn't even looking for. Here's the real beauty in the passage…not that she found a grape here and an olive there and the grain that the bozo dropped. Boaz finds her.
Isn't that awesome? She was just doing her responsibility, taking care of her mother-in-law, no less, making sure they had enough to eat, just gleaning for a purpose that was not only hers. She had to eat too, but she didn't only think of herself. Because she didn't only think of herself, and because she didn't sit in what she just went through, because she went out and remained in a field that she didn't even know who it belonged to… Here comes Boaz, and Boaz noticed Ruth before Ruth ever noticed Boaz. Do you ever wonder if we seek the wrong things? Especially in this culture. I just wonder. Are we so busy trying to get somebody to notice us…? Are we so busy trying to get somebody to "like" something we posted that we miss something God has given? We spend our whole day going through somebody else's field on social media.
To me…take it or leave it…social media is a minefield. I have to use it. Sometimes I have to be on it. I am not critiquing it. I pay staff members to run it. There. That being said, I have to be very careful, because even good things… You're going through the field, and you're on social media, and all of this. I know Ruth isn't on Instagram in the passage, but I'm updating the passage to make sense to our lives. As you go through the field of your life, you have to be very careful and selective about what you pick up. That's why I got so mad at the table, Abbey, because I don't like phones at the table for dinner. It's a constant battle, because sometimes I break my own rules, but I don't like it, because it shifts the mood. It shifts the mood for our family. Even if we're just going to fight, I want us to have a fully focused fight at the table. Let's put all our attention on beating the crap out of each other. All right?
Let's do this right. If we're going to fight, let's fight right. That's why I got so mad last night. Somebody was pulling up something on social media, and then they were saying how stupid and how dumb. They were complaining about what they just scrolled to. I said, "Why are you crawling in a dumpster and complaining that it stinks"? Did I say that? I said that. I do it all the time. My version is more sophisticated. I go to the YouTube comments to see if people are responding positively to our messages through sermon and song. At least that's what I tell myself my motive is. You know, you write these songs… We wrote a song called "This Is the Kingdom". I had them sing it a minute ago. It's just the Scriptures. Right?
I wrote that with Pat Barrett, Jason Ingram, and our very own Chris Brown…the real Chris Brown, the Elevation Worship Chris Brown. When we started writing it, God just gave it to us as the Beatitudes, Matthew 5, the Sermon on the Mount. I was so happy because it was word for word the Scriptures. Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven; Blessed are those who mourn, For they will be comforted; Blessed are the meek, For they will inherit the earth; Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they will be filled… Then we sing, "This is the kingdom of heaven". Then we sing, "Seek first the kingdom and all will be added," and we sing that over and over again.
When we put out the song, part of me was a little bit like, "This is cool, because nobody can say that this song isn't biblical". So I thought…until I went to the comments, the comments of YouTube, where all happiness goes to die, the cemetery of joy. I saw this comment where this guy said, "This is not biblical". I'm like, "It is nothing but biblical". When we wrote the song, we made a rule. "We can't put any words in the verse that are not from the NIV 2011 copyright in the thing". It was a rule that it was all Bible, nothing but the Bible. Those were my dad's favorite verses, the Sermon on the Mount. Before he went to heaven, he would read that every single day. Every day he would read it.
So I was so happy. I was like, "I wrote a song for you, Dad, and none of the Pharisees can say anything about it, because it's just the Scriptures. They can't say anything about this one, because it's just the Scriptures. They don't like 'Might Get Loud.' That's not a Bible verse". Well, it actually is. "Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth". So that's in there too. Hey! But I thought, "They can't say anything about this one. They can't pick on me this time, because it's just the Bible". I went to the comments, and I found out that the one who seeks finds. This dude, "Boogaloo74," or whatever the username was (I wouldn't call him out even if I remembered it), goes, "This is not biblical. It doesn't say, 'Seek first the kingdom and all will be added.' It says, 'Seek first the kingdom and his righteousness and all will be added.' You can't just seek God for whatever you want, for this will give way to temporal theology that results in fleshly, carnal motivations posing as worship and posturing as…"
I got so mad. I had a harvest of righteous indignation. I'm going, "Dude, it's in the verse. 'Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.' It's in the verse of the same song. You just came here looking for something to be mad about. You didn't want to see it in the verse, so you didn't see it in the verse. You skipped the verse to get to the part because you were looking for a…" I was telling the Lord that. "These people, Lord, these stiff-necked Israelites, Lord, your people, Lord… He just found something wrong. He was just looking for something wrong". The Spirit of the Lord said, "You did the same thing. How many good comments were there here that said, 'I just love singing the Scriptures. This really comforts my soul. It reminds me of my grandmother, helps me through a hard time. Lord, thank you for your Word'? But you skipped those. You just had to glean the grossest thing in the whole comments section".
Do you do this? Find the one thing… "They said 'Love you,' but they didn't say 'I' in front of it". "They texted me back and said, 'Can't wait to see you,' but it didn't have three exclamation marks, only two. Are they really excited"? "They said 'Hi,' but not a bunch of I's". Just looking for something. You're good at gleaning. You just glean for garbage. "You're doing it too. You went past dozens, if not hundreds, of comments saying, 'This song blessed me,' looking for a battle. You were picking a fight when you came to the comments. You were looking for it". You know you do that. Right? You look for rejection. I texted Holiday, who produced the RHYTHM album. I said, "You're surprised people like it, aren't you"? He said, "Yeah, because I had been telling myself that people don't know good music". I said, "I do that all the time". It's called pre-jection. It's when I reject something about myself before you get the chance to.
So, when you try to give me something, I can't even take it, because I'm not looking for love. I'm looking for you to leave. The Devil will help me collect the evidence. Do you want to find evidence God has left you? You can probably find it. The one who seeks finds. Do you want to find evidence that the world is falling apart and we're probably all on the brink of destruction? There are 73 channels of evidence on your TV, and if you turn on those channels, you will find every reason to believe that if Jesus doesn't come back today, we're all screwed. But there are also still people doing a lot of good in the world. There are. There are still mighty revivals happening in churches. There's still the glory of God covering the earth like the waters cover the sea. You can find that too in the field.
Why was I in the comments anyway, looking for validation? Why was I in the dumpster? Going through the comments section on YouTube to find creative validation is about like going in the dumpster behind Cracker Barrel looking for a biscuit. You could probably find some, but it's going to be crumbs. God didn't put your favor on a social media platform. He put it in the field. Favor is in the field. Ruth's responsibility positioned her for God's favor. We are a high-entitlement generation. We pray for stuff and don't pick through anything, but the one who seeks finds. The one who seeks finds.
Isn't it crazy that I was going through the comments for a song that says Matthew 7:7? "Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find…" That's in the same song. I'm disobeying my same song, looking for something that contradicts what God has promised me. And he said it in the song. "…seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds…" What are you looking for? Are you looking for Boaz? "Oh, I just need an opportunity". You just need an "obedience-tunity". The one who seeks finds.