Steven Furtick - God, Help Me Overcome Doubt
This is an excerpt from: You Didn't Lose It
"I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief". I'm not asking God to just take it away. I'm asking God "Help me overcome it". My faith is not gone. I just have to learn where to look. Sometimes the greatest faith…I need you to get this…is right underneath that biggest doubt. Sometimes the greatest thing God wants to show you, if you will start lifting and looking and lifting and looking… Do you see what I'm saying? We can't just cover over it. We can't just come to church for a fresh coat of paint over our problems. We can't just come to church for a three-hour scriptural sugar boost to get us feeling good for a moment. It won't work, and we'll end up like the disciples, saying, "Why did I shout and sing and listen and take notes in church"? Because you didn't invite Jesus into the real place of your pain. You didn't lose your faith; you just stopped looking at the surface. "It's gone. It's gone". One boy broke up with you. "I guess I'll never be loved". You're 14 years old! "I guess it's gone. I guess you can't trust anybody". See how we do it? "It's gone". You have to know where to look.
Can I preach something else? Sometimes you are so intimidated by it you forget about him. "When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit". He didn't argue with the disciples. He didn't argue with the teachers. He didn't have to. He was bigger than it. So, the disciples said, "Why couldn't we drive it out"? He said, "Because you lost your focus. This kind can only come out through prayer". When we think about prayer, we think about maybe a list of things we say to God, but God is showing me lately that prayer is more about a lens than a list, and it's more about what I see than what I say. So, if my prayer is always just "Let me just say my prayers…" When Jesus said, "This kind can only come out by prayer…" The King James says "…and fasting," but the original manuscripts don't say "by fasting". Even the fact that he said, "This kind can only come out by prayer…" He's letting you know you can't do it alone.
I looked on my message last week, and somebody said on a comment… I don't usually read the comments. Pray for me. I read them more than I should. They said, "You left out fasting. It said 'By prayer and fasting.' They didn't get the demon out because they didn't fast". Isn't that just like us to think if we'll just do one more thing, if we'll just do one more step… It was their inability to rely on God's power in them that got them in the predicament to begin with. He said, "It's only by prayer". It's intimidating. How dare we judge the disciples that they couldn't cast out a demon? That's like all of the out of shape people watching these Olympic athletes, talking about "That was pretty good. I mean, second place. It was all right". I want to judge the disciples. "Why couldn't you drive out the demon? You should have confessed the name of Jesus and prayed and fasted". I can't even get my kids to clean their room, y'all, and I'm going to judge the disciples for not casting out a demon? This is a demon that has been with this boy since childhood. How dare we judge them for that?
It was intimidating. He said, "This kind can only come out by prayer". This isn't going to be like one of your other problems you can fix in your own strength. I wonder, have you been losing it because you've been fighting on the wrong level? One of my friends went into a business situation a few weeks ago, and he said when he pulled up to the person's house for the meeting, the house was so big and so beautiful he lost his confidence. He said, "I went in there, and I thought, 'I can't do this. I can't do this.'" When he went in to meet with the people… After he left, they sent him a text and said, "You are amazing. We have not stopped talking about your spirit". He's a great Christian. This guy changes the atmosphere of every room he walks into. He said, "Afterward, they were texting me how amazing the meeting was and how they were so impressed with me". He said, "I couldn't believe it, because I went in so scared". And do you know what I told him? I said, "Yeah, because you got so caught up in what you were walking into you forgot what you were walking in with".
Who is this for? You were so focused on what you were walking into, but God says if you will get a focus on what you are walking in with… Not just your abilities, not just your education, not just your knowledge, not just your wisdom. At some point, that will fail you, but if you remember you are walking in with the Spirit of God… This is a guarantee of your inheritance. This is not corruptible. It cannot perish. It cannot spoil. It cannot fade. Whatever it I'm walking into, I'm walking in with something that is greater. Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world. When Jesus confronted it, it had to back down, because greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world! I've got it, Devil! I have the Spirit of God. I have the calling of God. I have the purpose of God. I have the Word of God. I have the assurance of God. I have the anointing of God. I have a sling and a stone and a promise and a Savior. And I still have faith. After all I've been through and all it cost me and all they took… It robbed my speech, but it didn't take my faith. I do believe! I still believe!
So, let me give you a Scripture. Lift before you look. Stop looking at stuff on the surface and saying, "Oh, there's nothing there". Lift before you look. This is what Holly taught me. "It's not gone; you just haven't looked yet". You haven't looked, so you haven't seen the opportunity that's in this hardship. You haven't seen the blessing that's in this rejection yet because you haven't looked. "I will lift my eyes to the hills". What did the psalmist do? He said, "I have to lift before I look". They looked at the boy, and he looked dead, but Jesus reached down and lifted him up. Why? Lift before you look. Before you look at your schedule for the day, lift your eyes to the hills. You're going to need help today, and you have it on the inside. Don't look so much at what you're walking into that you forget what you're walking in with. "Oh, no! I'm a nobody with a somebody on the inside of me. I have to decrease so he can increase. I lift my eyes to the hills".
I might be preaching for three people, but you haven't really looked yet. You've been saying, "There's nothing special about me. I don't really have a gift. I'm not anointed like those other people. I'm not called. I don't really see any benefit in this situation". You haven't really looked until you've lifted. When you lift your eyes to the hills… The turning point for the father is when he stopped looking at the crowd, stopped looking at the disciples, stopped looking at the symptoms, and finally saw Jesus. I see Jesus coming toward your unbelief, coming toward your struggle, coming toward your issue.
Will you lift your eyes? Lift before you look. He said, "I lift my eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help". It's not going to come from the disciples. It's not going to come from my own flesh. It's not going to come from my own solutions. "My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not suffer your foot to be moved. The Lord keepeth thee. He will not slumber nor sleep. For the Lord is thy keeper. The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. He that keepeth Israel shall preserve your soul, even forevermore".
Will you lift your eyes for a moment? You've been looking in the wrong places for your joy, for your peace. You didn't lose it. You just need somebody to help you look. That's what the Spirit of God does. He searches all things. He helps you look in the places where you haven't looked yet. God has put his help on the inside of you, and I just want to help you look for a moment. Stand to your feet. One time, Paul prayed that the eyes of your heart might be opened. Prayer isn't just about saying things to God. It's about seeing things as God sees them. I do believe. Would you say that?
I do believe. Life has layered me with unbelief, but I'm not an unbeliever. I do believe. That's why I came today. I still believe. Sometimes my faith feels very weak and my joy feels very low, but I receive this prophetic word today. I didn't lose it. I just need Jesus to help me look for it.
I want you to pray. Like I ask Holly, I want you to ask God. Say:
Help me look, Lord, because when I see things with my own eyes, I misjudge them. I see them from a human appearance. Show me what's really going on with my children. Show me what's really driving that behavior. Show me what's really beneath the fear I feel. Show me what's lurking beneath that. Help me overcome my unbelief.