Steven Furtick - Devil, You Can't Have This Generation
This is really where I wanted us to be tonight. This point right here. So lean into this because I'm going to explain to you right now why some of those things have been going on in your heart and in your mind. Because at the moment that Elijah should have been the happiest, the most secure, the most confident, and the most full of faith - look what happens. Oh God's going to answer some questions you've been asking tonight. He is going to show you the answer to some of the things that you didn't even know the question to before tonight.
Now watch this, 1 Kings 19. Verse one, Ahab told Jezebel - remember her? He told her, "Elijah just killed all your false prophets. He just took all of them out. Fire came down. His God won. Your gods sucked, Jezebel. I should have never listened to you to start bringing in the Baals and the Asherahs. Your gods are terrible at their job and in verse three, it's a surprising thing that happens but… Elijah when he heard, we'll go back to verse two. Let me try to show you this. Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, "May the gods deal with me be it ever so severely if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them".
Next verse, now Elijah was insulted? Annoyed? Afraid. Why would you be afraid? When you are the prophet who speaks the word of God, why would you be afraid of the words of one woman whose gods have proven unresponsive and whose prophets have proven false? Look at it. He was afraid and ran for his life. Here's the question, I want to ask you: how did a prophet of Jehovah, the living God, become so afraid of a woman named Jezebel that he ran away from what God called him to? How did Jezebel's threat… she didn't even come to him herself. She sent a messenger. She didn't even have the guts to confront him herself because she knew she couldn't do anything about it. And you know a lot of times, we give the devil too much credit. We think that the devil can just attack us as much as he wants, any way he wants, any time he wants, and so then we get scared and we start running from the devil.
And I want to ask a question of Elijah the prophet, how could somebody as powerful as you, who knows God's word and God's hand and God's power and God's provision like you - how could somebody who knows Jehovah like you be so afraid of Jezebel? But it happens, it happens and we all have Jezebels in our heart. Not people, I'm not talking about people. I'm talking about that thing in your heart that tells you, "You know, you're worthless. You know you're worthless". I'm not going to have you raise your hand but I want to know have you heard that little voice before? I have. I've heard the little voice telling me "Who do you think you are to be a preacher"?
Have you heard it? Have you ever heard Jezebel in your heart? Jezebel isn't just a person. In the book of Revelation, Jezebel is identified as a spirit. It's something that can happen to you, where you've been called by God, chosen by God, selected by God and then you're going to let one person's threats stop you from everything that God has called you to and strip you of everything that God has given you. You're going to let Jezebel's messenger… At least make her say it to your face, right? You're going to let a messenger and… See that's all the devil has against you. Because the bible teaches that Jesus defeated him on the cross and stripped him of everything that he can accuse you of.
So when the devil… I love telling people this because it's like you might have never heard this, when the devil throws shame in your face, "Ah you can't serve God. You can't come to God. You can't pray to God. You're dirty. Look what you did. Look who you are". What he knows is Jesus already nailed to His cross whatever you are feeling ashamed about. And so watch this, since he can't get direct access to you, he'll send a messenger to you in your head. He can't keep God from loving you. He can't keep God from choosing you. He can't keep God from calling you. He can't keep God from using you. If God spoke it, if God be for you, if God is on the inside of you, there's not a thing the devil in hell can do about it.
So why are you running? If the word of God… Let's talk about the word of God. Colossians says that through Him everything was spoken, that is seen and things that are visible were made by the word of God, which is invisible. If God was powerful enough to speak the Atlantic Ocean where you went to the beach two weeks ago into its place and His voice tells the wave, "This far, no more". His voice tells the sand, "This many, no more". His voice tells the stars, "Shine now, not before. His voice tells the sun, "Stand here, move now. Here you go, another rotation, another lap".
If that is the power of your God, and the living word of God Jesus is inside of you, how could you let a message from a devil named Jezebel… I'm using Jezebel to represent all of those thoughts that come to stop you - and God sent me here for somebody who is running from what He's calling you to. Elijah ran for 40 days because of a message from Jezebel. Really you're going to let that stop you? After everything God did for you? How many of you in the room, there's probably only a few, how many of you had an incident in your life where you almost died? Already by this point in your life, where you almost died? When i was little, I almost drowned one time.
So you almost died one time right, and so you're here and so now Jezebel tries to tell you.. Okay you know you have these anxious thoughts. How many of you get scared of stupid stuff at weird times? How many of you sometimes wake up in the middle of the night just freaking out about stuff that makes no sense? Okay, how many of you have trouble falling asleep a lot of nights because you can't shut your mind down once you put your phone down it just keeps going through your mind and it makes you kind of crazy and you can't figure out what to do about it? All right, don't raise your hand for this one because I want to make it a little more personal.
How many of you are sometimes visited by the thought, do not raise your hand, do not dishonor what I'm trying to do here and raise your hand. I don't want anybody to feel singled out, where you are visited by the thought there's something wrong with you, there's something wrong with you and it's not wrong with other people and it's wrong inside of you and it's almost like you feel like you're slightly defective. Whose voice is that? You think that's God? You think God made you, left some stuff out and then starts to torment you about what He didn't put in you.
So when you feel insecure, you think that's God? You think that's God telling you, "You don’t have anything to offer, just shut up. Look how awkward you are. Nobody wants to talk to you. That's why nobody's calling you. That's why nobody, that's why you don't have any, that's why you don't have any friends right now because nobody really likes to be around you and everybody's out doing stuff without you and see what they posted" even though the fact that everything they post is just them pretending to cover up the emptiness that they feel too but you don't know that.
So you believe Jezebel. Jezebel telling you things. The enemy has been sending messengers to you, you see, and it's in the form of thoughts. That's where he attacks you because he can't take God's love from you but he can get you to run from it. So now you start chasing down all these temptations and the thoughts will tempt you, "It doesn't matter, who cares, nobody will know, you really want to be the only one who's not doing it? You really want to be the only one who looks so stupid? You really want to be one of these radical Christian kids? You really want to stand up and stand out like that and not fit in? You really want that"? It's so subtle y'all and I know it so well. I don't just know it from when I was your age.
"When I was your age, I used to have thoughts about anxiety too," And all of them will tell you today, you know, like rocking back and forth like I'm 87. I'm talking about right now as your pastor, I know these thoughts are real. Sometimes it gets so intense that you don't know what to do and sometimes it's medical and you need help in that way and that's wonderful and sometimes it is good to seek therapy and that's wonderful. But I want you to know at the heart of every lie the devil has ever told you is the truth. That the devil wouldn't be fighting you if God's favor was not on you.
There is a voice, I'm speaking for God tonight, to His kids, to His sons, to His warriors, to His daughters. There is a voice, there is a God in Israel. There is a God in Zion. I come against every Jezebel that has been robbing you of your potential and your gift and your peace and your sanity. In fact, y'all get with me on this, y'all get with me, join hands with me Tim as I say this. I mean this. I command every Jezebel thought that has been telling you to run from God back to the pit of Hell where you came from. You will not have our sons. You will not have our youth. You will not have our daughters. You will not have God's children. You will not torment them.
And he ran and we run and we run to drugs and we run to porn and we run to self-hatred and we run to suicidal thoughts and we run to despair and we run to hating ourselves again and we run to the cycle that makes us hate ourselves more than ever before and we slash ourselves and we shout louder and we scroll more and at the end of it we are empty. And Jezebel has nothing to kill you with. If Jezebel could kill you, she would have by now. She's not bigger than God. Your flaws aren't bigger than God. Your issues aren't bigger than Jesus. He is the great I am. My God is Yahweh.