Steven Furtick - Don't Give In To Your Struggle
This is an excerpt from: Been Here Before
Because God knows I've had dark days. God knows I've had seasons I couldn't figure out. God knows sometimes I've done exactly what I thought he wanted me to do, and it failed, and I wondered why. So I will never do that to you. I will never accuse you, like, "If you struggle with anxiety, you don't trust God". That's just not what I believe. I don't believe that if you struggle with anxiety you don't trust God. But I am concerned that you will accept anxiety as the norm of your life just because you can name it that. It's becoming really popular for us to just say, "Oh, I have anxiety. I can't go there".
Well, if you do have anxiety, let's get treatment. Let's get help. Let's get therapy. Let's learn mechanisms. Let's start studying. Let's get through it little by little, bit by bit. I'll be here for you. I'll talk you through it. You can cry to me about it, but that's not going to stop me from possessing the peace God promised me just because I can say I struggle with it. Struggle is not surrender. Struggle means I'm coming up out of this. I'm moving forward from this. I'm going to do this for my kids, for their kids. I'm going to break it in the name of Jesus!
That's where the power is: in that process, where you get down in it and say, "No! I won't die in this. If God didn't bring it to me, he must want to bring me to it. In the name of the living God, go down, Goliath! Anakites"! You're anointed for the Anakites. That's what the Spirit is for. That's what the grace is for. That's what the prophecy is for. That's what the Word is for. Surrender to something just because you struggle with it. I talked to a guy one time. He said, "I just like porn". Who wouldn't begin to love something that was planted in their life that short-circuited their brain to a pleasure center tapped into dopamine, unknown amounts of dopamine, and flooded with hormones? Who wouldn't… "I just like it". That does not give you permission to lose to it for the rest of your life. You can beat it. You can do it. There are certain things we just give ourselves permission.
A young couple was telling me… (I'll just tell you what people tell me, but I won't tell you who they are, so it'll be all right. I'll change the names to protect the guilty.) They said, "Preaching like this is old fashioned (sexual purity). You can't stay sexually pure in this day and age. It's too much. We see too much on TikTok and this and that. These values don't even apply anymore". Anakites. Who can stand up against the Anakites? "I mean, come on. You can't possibly expect me to stay sexually pure, can you"? Well, that depends. Whose power are we tapping into? Is it you or is it him? Is he God or is he not? Is he faithful or is he not? Does he break face or did he get tired? Does he make ways or does he stand still? He is still God! I don't care what culture says. You can do it. I don't care what your parents said. You can do it. I don't care what your friends said. You can do it. I don't care what you've been saying to yourself.
Sometimes you have to stand up to yourself. Anakites. "Who can stand against the Anakites"? I asked Abbey one time… (You won't remember this. You were very small, precocious as you are now.) I said, "How did you get so beautiful"? She goes, "Uh, God". I almost wanted to call this message, "Uh, God," because I was trying to answer that question they had. "Who can stand up against the Anakites"? Uh, God. Try it real quick. Who can set you free from this body of death? Uh, God! Who can take the prejudices that have been in you all your life and show you a new way to be human? Uh, God! Who can make sure no matter what recession, depression, or oppression is coming next that God's people always have a place to eat?
Uh, God! I feel the spirit of a breakthrough coming through this room! You've been looking at Anakites, but you need to get back to the promise. "God can do that for me. God can do that for me. God can do it through me". Yes, he can! You know, as a matter of fact, that's the wrong question, "Who can stand up against the Anakites"? especially when we have Romans 8:31. The apostle Paul suggests an infinitely superior question. If God is for us, who can be against us? Who can stand against God? Who can fight against God? So that's why I'm going toward it. That's why I'm moving through it. That's why I'm progressing through this season: because I have a better question. Not "Who can stand against the Anakites"?
Who can stand against the purpose of a mighty God who spoke nothing into something, who multiplied something into something else, and who is touching and redeeming every life that is surrendered to him today? Who can take five loaves and two fish and feed an entire smorgasbord in the wilderness? Who can bring manna to the tent? Who can bring water from the rock? Uh, God. Here's what he said I'm going to do. Are you ready? You've been intimidated. You've been insecure. You've been going around and around in this wilderness, talking about, "Who can possibly overcome this? How could I possibly do it"? He said, "It's not your righteousness that brought you here to begin with. It has never been about you. I didn't choose you. I didn't put my hand on you because of something good in you. I put my hand on you because of something I purposed for your life that you didn't even understand".
See, this is your first time being here, but this is not God's. For the Bible said that God will go before you. So, when I wake up tomorrow morning… I have a lot of stuff I'm stressed about. I'm going to be honest with you. I have some challenges I can't figure out. I have some questions I can't answer. I have some difficulties I haven't overcome yet. But God says, "When you wake up tomorrow morning, don't think I'm waking up when you do". The Bible says he who watches Israel does not sleep nor slumber. So, when you wake up, God has been awake. God goes before you. Say it. "God goes before me". God doesn't follow me into challenges. God doesn't follow me into situations. God doesn't follow me into seasons. He says, "When you get there, I've been waiting for you. I've been preparing a place for you. I will prepare the table for you in the presence of your enemies, even if you walk through the valley of the shadow of death".
When you got to church this morning, God was already here. You don't have to ask him to show up. He was waiting to hover and break like a wave and move like a wind and speak like a voice from the mountain. God was already here. When you get to this next season that you keep trying to plan, but you're worried about tomorrow, so you're not trusting today, realize God is already in your tomorrow. God is already in it. He said, "I'm going to go before you, and I'm going to take those Anakites and, like a devouring fire, I'm going to subdue them". Verse 3 is the juice. I have to give you this juice right here. God said, "I'm going to go before you across ahead of you like a devouring fire". Watch what God will do. "He will destroy them…" Who? He! "…he will subdue them before you". Who? He! "And you will drive them out…" "I thought you were going to do it". The word of the Lord says he will go before you, but he won't do it for you. You will drive them out, not in your own strength and not in your own power, but in his process.
I decree and declare today… God said, "I'm not going to always bring it to you. I will bring you to it". Now you must decide whether to go forward. When your kids ask you about your Anakites, how will you answer? When your kids ask, "How did you stay alive and keep trusting God through what you went through"? how will you answer the question about your Anakites? "Well, you know, I just gave up. It was too hard. I just quit going to church because they hurt me at that church. I just quit trying because I felt so unworthy. I just quit trying because everybody else was stronger and taller and better than me".
Or are you going to tell them a story that "He brought me manna in the wilderness and water from a rock. He led me to a promise, and I had to fight for it. I had to fight every day to have joy. I had to fight to put food on the table. I had to fight to overcome what was spoken about me. I had to fight to overcome the diagnosis. I had to fight by the hospital bed. I had to fight for every inch we got, but we're living in it, because if God is for you, who can be against you"?