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Watch 2022 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Why You Feel Discouraged?

Steven Furtick - Why You Feel Discouraged?


Steven Furtick - Why You Feel Discouraged?
TOPICS: Discouragement

This is a principle. We would say, "You get out of it what you put into it". That's why I'm always interested when someone says, "Well, I went to the church, but I didn't get anything out of it". I would always ask the question, "What did you put into it"? The last time I went to the bank and asked them for more money than I put in the bank account, it didn't work. The last time I went to church and I went with a bad attitude and didn't lift my hands, because "Nobody is going to manipulate me into worshiping. I just worship when I go in nature with God. I like deer," it didn't work. He says, "Whoever sows generously will reap generously. Each man should give…" "Each man should give…"

I'm stuck on that part, because I think some people make excuses. "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver". I get that, because God has no needs. The definition of God suggests that he is self-sufficient, and by extension, we are not. Have you ever had somebody do something for you that was nice but the way they did it made you wish they didn't do it? Holly told me that one time early in our marriage… Two things happened early in our marriage. I got fat. I gained 50 pounds without exercise. I did all that by diet alone. I gained 50 pounds off of fried rice and fettuccini alfredo. I had a realization. I was walking by the mirror with my shirt off, and I had a revelation moment. I jumped up, and everything was still shaking 30 seconds later, and I realized, "If I don't get some disciplines, I can get fat being married to this woman".

You can get fat coming to a church like Elevation. You can get fat, because these singers are so good, and these musicians are so good, and the people… Oh, did you see the greeters when you walked in, how happy they looked? And they've been here since 6:00. Did you see how happy they were to see you? See, when I was growing up in church… The church I grew up in was small, and then the church I learned to do ministry in was small. It would only have 100 people in it, and what that meant was that if you missed church… When Pastor Mickey used to go up and he'd be turning to a Scripture, he'd turn to the Scripture, but while he was turning he had this little notepad, a little memo book, and he'd be writing something down in the pad. I thought for the longest time that he was writing Scriptures God was speaking to him when he took the pulpit.

One day I asked him. He was like, "No, that's my seating chart," because on the way home, if you missed church at Santee Circle Baptist Mission, you would get a call from Pastor Mickey White's bag phone. Zack Morris would call you on the way home from church, talking about, "I missed you today, big boy. You weren't there on the third row, second seat in, like you always are. I'm going to see you back next week. I don't care if you were throwing up. Wear a surgical mask and come to church". He had no time for it. "We need you here". But in a church like this, you can begin to feel like you are not needed and you are not known. In one sense, you are right. God doesn't need you. God doesn't need me. If I drop this mic, God will put a gift of preaching in somebody else, and they'll pick it up and preach it better. That sets me free, by the way, because then I can understand that God loves a cheerful giver.

One day, Holly cooked for me. I'm 50 pounds heavier than when she married me, and I was over there washing the dishes, and I was so proud I was washing the dishes. I started whistling to get her attention so she could see I was washing the dishes. After three little statements I made about, "I don't mind washing the dishes. It's something I enjoy doing to serve my wife as Christ loved the church". I made a big deal of it. She said, "I would rather you not do it if I have to hear this much about it". Have you ever had somebody…? They did something for you, but they made it look so hard while they were doing it? I thought about calling this message "God Doesn't Want It". If we come to God with an attitude, like, wow, God is so lucky to have us… If we think that bringing our presence into the presence of God is a favor to him, we probably read the book backward.

See, it is not my presence that is honored; it is God's presence that is invaluable. I know we live in a time where we worship celebrities. We don't worship the Creator; we worship the gifts he gave people who he created, and that's messed up. God was God before a celebrity shouted him out. God doesn't need a celebrity to make him cool for him to be God. God sits on a throne. God fills heaven and earth. God is the Ancient of Days. God is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the earth. God is the Great I Am. God is the Breath of Life. God is El Shaddai. God is Elohim. He doesn't need anything, and if he needs it, he'll speak it, because his word is power.

So Paul says, "I want to give you the privilege to give to something bigger than you. Remember this: if you sow sparingly, you reap sparingly. If you sow generously, you reap generously". Verse 8 is something I want you to internalize and really let it become a reflection in your heart. Do you believe what verse 8 says? "And God is able…" Take that much. Now add this: "…to make all grace abound to you…" Please forgive me for truncating this. I could spend all five weeks on that part of that verse and still not do it justice. Everything about that verse is a challenge for me to believe. "And God is able to make all grace abound to you…"

A lot of times I believe God's grace is available to others, but do you believe God is able to make all grace abound to you? He goes further. He says, "God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: 'He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.' Now he who supplies seed to the sower…" It's about to get good, because Paul is about to let us in on a principle that explains why some of us are struggling with discouragement, and even though we pray about it, we don't seem to receive what we need from the Lord. Let's slow down and read this. "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness".

What that verse means is not that God will just give you a harvest because you asked for it. What the verse says is that God supplies seed to the sower. The question is not…Is God able? The question is…Are you a sower? Or have you allowed yourself to be lulled into a complacent, consumeristic Christianity that bears more resemblance to a kid making their Christmas list than a Christian who is serving Jesus Christ? A lot of people do get stuck at the level of "What I need". Last night I was preaching, and one lady said, "We get stuck in 'me' mode". It's just, "God bless me. Help me. Encourage me". While you're praying about those needs, they're not selfish. It's fine for you to bring those things before God, but the way he will respond to your need is to give you a seed. That's confusing to us, because we want God to give us a harvest. But God does not respond to our needs with a harvest; he responds to our need with a seed.

I have found it to be true (I wonder about you) that when I find myself in need, the best thing for me to do is to get out of "me" mode and get into "sow" mode. I know this is not an agricultural society, but if it were, we could see that seeding, or sowing, is a form of investment, and it is a process. How many times have I been discouraged and weary in my own soul only to find that when I took five minutes to be a blessing to someone else, when I sowed what God gave me, it became what I needed? This is difficult, because when you are in a season of need in your own life, the last thing you want to do is to sow into something else. Am I right about it? When you are out of energy, the last thing you want to think about is anything other than you. But the only way for you to receive what you need is to give what you have.

Can I prove it from Jesus? "Give, and it will be given to you". That's not a financial Scripture. That's a Scripture about anything. If you give what you have, God will give to you what was already inside of you waiting to be sown in something that is bigger than you. God help me for all of the times I got stuck in "me" mode. "Bless me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me". What about "Do, re, fa, so, la, ti, do"? No, just, "Me, me, me, me, me, me, me". None of the other ones. Do, re, me, fa, so… Do, re, me, fa, so… Do, re, me, fa, so, la, ti, do. Do, re, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, fa, so. Me…so. Me…so. God said, "I'm switching you from 'me' to 'so.'" Because you have been so good to me. Me…so. "You saved me so. You filled me so. You blessed me so. You gave me life so". Come on, I'm coming out of "me" mode! "You made a way so…"
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