Steven Furtick - Is This The Right Decision?
This is an excerpt from: God's Got Your Back
But the passage was so powerful to me. It said whether you turn to the right or to the left, whether you go to Elon or Chapel Hill… I was thinking of a college student right now. You are so stressed about if you made the right decision to go to school here. It's your freshman year, and you're thinking, "Is this the right school"? It really doesn't matter right now. What you have to do is find the right people. We can get paralyzed in decision-making about things that don't matter as much. I was telling them one time in church how in the town I grew up in, there weren't so many schools to choose from where to put your kids. I mean, there weren't so many schools like that, so you just did it, and you got along with it, and you made peace with it.
Sometimes our options are the enemy of our peace. "Oh, I should have done this. Oh, I should have done that. Oh, I could have done that". The Lord said, "Whether you turn to the right or to the left…" The important thing isn't necessarily the road you take. The important thing isn't necessarily… I'll be honest with you. I don't think you have to come to church here for God to bless you. You can go to another church, and God will speak to you there. You can go to another church, and God will have a word for you there. That's fine. The important thing is not necessarily about that initial decision, is it? The important thing is not necessarily which way you go but how you walk on that path. The important thing isn't necessarily which church you go to.
Y'all, I think this is an amazing church. As a matter of fact, this is my favorite church in the world. As a matter of fact, if y'all run me out of this church, I don't think I will go find another one to preach in, because what could I ever do after pastoring Elevation Church that would live up? All I'd spend my whole time doing was comparing it to this. I mean, if God told me to, I'd have to do it, but I wouldn't want to. I would do it with a bad attitude if the Lord made me pastor another church. Yet the important thing isn't what church you go to. You could sit in the back of this church and never get involved and never get helped and never get hooked up and never get connected and never be successful and never be set free, and it's a great church. You came to the right church. You turned to the right. Okay. Good job. But how are you walking on that path? Whether you turn to the right or the left… Give me verse 21. It's so anointed.
The Lord said, "You will hear a voice". God will speak to you there. God will speak to you in your rebellion. Even when you turn your back on him, he'll still speak. Even when you walk away from him, he'll still speak. He is always speaking. He's still speaking. He's still talking. He's still directing. God didn't stop talking when you graduated. God didn't stop talking when you got the job. God didn't stop talking when you got saved. He's still talking. Are you still stepping? Are you still growing? Are you still going? Are you still maturing? Are you still changing? Or are you going around in the same circle, missing your turn, because there's something God is speaking, but you can't see it? The Bible said something crazy. "You will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'"
We found a video of some of Graham's first steps the other day. I'll show it to you. It was only 30 seconds. It was too cute. Watch it. Graham and I were watching it together.
Look what all he just did, and she wasn't clapping. I mean, that was a much more complicated journey than the one that was on that video. No "Yay, Graham"! He just did that. That even involved steps. He didn't even trip like he did on the video. Now he's just doing it. Y'all were just as bad. None of y'all clapped for him. He came all the way up here. I wish I could have told him, "That is about as much encouragement as you're ever going to get for doing so little. From this point forward in your life, you have to do crazy stuff to get that level of applause. You have to win, like, at least a state championship before your mom is ever going to be that proud of you again for that".
See, that's where it shifts. In the picture, you couldn't see her. You couldn't see Holly in that video, but she was right there in front of him, saying, "Yay, Graham! Please don't crawl". Please? She's begging him to do something he just did, and she was barely even aware he did it. I watched her. She was so bored while he walked up here. He just did it. Early in your walk, it'll be like God will be like, "Yay"! Okay. If you get baptized at Elevation, we'll cheer for you. "Isn't that wonderful? Isn't that awesome"? I want some of you to get baptized. That would be great. We'll be there to cheer for you. They'll be around that tank going, "Yay, Graham! That's amazing that you gave your life to Christ. That's amazing that you did that. That's so great that you put your faith in Christ".
That's about as good as it's ever going to get. If you raise your hand in a minute when I give the invitation… "Who wants to give their life to Christ? Who wants to turn their life over to Jesus? Who wants to receive the gift of his salvation, the forgiveness of sins, the remission of sins by the shedding of his blood"? When your hand goes up, everybody will start clapping, and the angels in heaven will start rejoicing. It'll be amazing, and it's our way of saying, "Come on. Walk. Walk. Do it. Do it".
It's amazing, but watch Isaiah 30:21 for the revelation. "Then you will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" This is the way; walk in it. This is the way; walk in it. This is the way; walk in it. Do you trust me? This is the way; walk in it. This is the way; walk in it. Turn to the left. This is the way; walk in it. This is the way. Do it again. Turn to the left. This is the way; walk in it. Y'all, he could have walked right off the edge, and it wouldn't have been my fault. This is the way.
Notice that God's word comes as you walk. This is the way; walk in it. This is the way; walk in it. This is the way; walk in it. Now, we've come a long way from "Yay, Graham! Yay"! It wasn't that awesome what he did on that video. It was basic. But then God calls you to walk by faith, not by sight. God has got my back. This is the way; walk in it. This is the way…go slow…walk in it. This is the way; walk in it. This is the way; walk in it. This is the way; walk in it. This is the way; walk in it. This is the way; walk in it. And he doesn't even have to touch me to turn me. This is the way; walk in it. Turn left. This is the way; walk in it. This is the way. It assumes that I will stay close enough. If you get too far ahead, maybe you can't hear him anymore. If you get too far in the future… Somebody asked me the other day, "Do you plan on pastoring Elevation Church when you're 80"?
If I even start thinking about having to have a new sermon 38 years from now, y'all will watch me have a panic attack on YouTube in front of the world. I can't think that far out. All I know is today he told me to tell you, "God's got your back". God's got your back. This is the way. Yeah, that's good. This is the way. You can't see me, but you believe me. This is the way; walk in it. We walk by faith, not by sight. I'm not looking at what I'm walking into. I know what I'm walking in with. I got a word from almighty God over my shoulder to fight every devil and to tell every Jezebel, "I am that prophet. I will stand up on the mountain of the Lord. I will proclaim. I will declare the works of the Lord. This giant will go down".
This is the way; walk in it. One word from God is all you need to walk into this day. "This is the way; walk in it. This is the way; walk in it. When you get to the next day, I'll give you the next word. When you get to the next turn, I'll give you the next word. When you get to the next decision, I'll give you the next word. When you get to the next challenge, I'll give you the next word, because I've got your back, see. Because I'm right back here, see. Because I'm fighting stuff behind you that you don't even know about. That's why I've got your back. That's why you can't see me: because I'm dealing with every Pharaoh in the Red Sea behind you, so you don't go back. I've got your back".
God's got your back! Let Pharaoh know, "I don't need you anymore! God's got my back"! "I'm not just going back to school; I'm going backed. God's got my back. I don't care if you like me. God loves me. I don't care if you notice me. God knows me. I don't care if you recognize me. What God has revealed… He's got my back, and I can trust him, because when I was in the ninth grade, he went into ninth grade". Ninth grade. Trying to be taller than me in the ninth grade. I'm still stronger than him, at least psychologically. (Don't look back here. I'm talking to them.)
I'll tell you something, man. You don't know how good you have it. At the school Uncle Eric and I went to, when you were a freshman, they'd throw you in the trash can as an initiation. It was a lot of rednecks, so they'd be spitting dip in the trash can, and they'd throw you in there headfirst. He goes to a bougie school. They don't throw you in the trash can at his school. But now his brother is a senior, and the funny thing is it reminds me of the exact age gap between my brother and me. I was a senior; he was a freshman. By that time… I don't mean to brag, but I was the man at Berkeley High School. Why are you laughing?
Watch this. My brother was a freshman; I was a senior. I said, "Oh, on the first day of school, when they go to throw you in that trash can, come find me, because I won't let them". And he did. I was standing out there in the courtyard talking to Eric, and he was running. He was running. He said, "Tell them they can't do it". I said, "All right. Y'all can't do it". And they didn't do it. He never went in the trash can, because I had his back. There comes a point where you've done all you can do and it's bigger than you. But my confidence isn't because I'm big; my confidence is because I'm backed.