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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Do You Need Clarity And Direction?

Steven Furtick - Do You Need Clarity And Direction?

Steven Furtick - Do You Need Clarity And Direction?
TOPICS: God's Voice, Commitment

This is an excerpt from: The Restriction Has Been Lifted

God never changes. Thank God that he never changes. However, our relationship with him does. God is always leading you. God is always leading me, but he will lead me through different things in different seasons. It doesn't mean he has changed. It doesn't mean he's less faithful. It doesn't mean he has forgotten. It doesn't mean he's punishing me, but God leads me in different ways in different seasons.

I had a conversation about this very thing with my kids. I haven't had this conversation with Abbey yet because it's a conversation I had with Elijah when he became a teenager and Graham when he became a teenager. I'll have it with Abbey soon as well. I said, "Hey, I love you, but I want to talk to you a little bit about how our relationship is going to change as you grow and mature and want more freedom". I established something. I don't know if this is good or not. Maybe I can improve it before I give it to Abbey. I can practice on the boys, and then get it right on her. They already pick on me that she gets all of the benefits of my inexperience being worked out on them, and now I am a much better dad for her. But this is what I said. Y'all tell me if you think this is good or not.

I said, "My love for you is set. I'm your dad if you get hooked on drugs or if you get a diploma. I'm your dad if you come home and have to tell me the worst news ever. I'm your dad. I love you. I can't stop loving you. Even if I want to, I can't stop loving you. It's like, sometimes I try to not love you, and it just boomerangs back. So that is set. If there is a level of my love for you, it's like level 11. It's not even 10. It's like level 11 I love you. I love you more than I should love you. Sometimes I don't even see things that are wrong with you because I love you too much to see it. That's why sometimes you get on my last nerve, because I love you so much". That was a conversation. "My love for you is set, but your freedom is not set in this house. Your freedom is contingent on your behavior in three specific areas".

I was making all this up the first time when I gave it to Elijah. I had it better when I got to Graham. I'll get it better when I get to Abbey. I said, "It's three things. It's respect. You will respect me. You will respect your mom. If you're going to pick one of the two of us not to respect, disrespect me, because if you disrespect her, you will find out what it is like to have me against you". I know this parenting style is very antiquated, and everything like that, but it's just where I come from from my understanding of my parental role. If you want my resource, you will give me respect. So we talk about that. Then there will be responsibility. "You have to get your crap done or I'm going to have to treat you like you don't know how to get your crap done, but if you can get your crap done…"

This is in the Bible somewhere too. Faithful over little, faithful over much. "If you can prove to me that you can do a few things well, I can let you do more things". It's like a leash. You've heard these parenting illustrations before. "How much liberty, how much license you get is not going to be dependent on how much I love you, because I love you 11, but I can't let you 11 just because I love you. I love you 11. My love won't leave, but your privileges, your permissions, your liberty, and your license depend on three things. It's respect, it's responsibility, and most of all, it's trust. If I can't trust you… I can love you, but I can't let you just because I love you. I have to be able to trust you, son".

How good is this parenting seminar? They ought to put me on Focus on the Family with this. I have something to say. I'm saving my parenting book until all of my kids are 60 so I can see how it all turns out, but this is one thing I had to do in real time. I'm like, "Our relationship is changing. I'm not changing. I love you. That's set. It's 11. It's not going to go to 9 one day and 7 Tuesday and, oh, then Wednesday you win a big softball game and we're back to 11. It's not performance based. My love is set at 11".

Now I want to tell you something, get really clear before I move on in this message. God's love for you is set at level 11. Very rarely for a righteous man would someone die, but God demonstrates his own love for us through this. While we were still screwed up, while we were still filthy, while we were still sin stained, while we were still creating shame through our perpetual behavior that defied him… While I was still a sinner, Christ died for me. So that's set. It's not changing. "What shall separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus"? You can't take it away; it's set. You can't snatch it; it's set. You can't soil it; it's set. It's protected. It's settled. It's paid for. It's purchased in blood, his love for me. No but. Just that. Then, out of understanding this, we get the opportunity to make the decision.

How much of his love do we want to live in? How much of his freedom do we want to experience? It says in Exodus that God gave the people not only a place where he could meet with them, the tabernacle, but over the tabernacle came a cloud, and the cloud represented his glory and his presence. Let me show you something so cool. I know you will like this because I loved it when I saw it. In Exodus 40:33, it says, "Moses finished the work". Go to verse 34. It said, "The Lord filled". "Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle".

So, let's put those two together. Ready? Moses finished; the Lord filled. Stop asking God to fill stuff you won't finish. God doesn't bless good intentions. God doesn't bless your to-do list. He blesses your done stuff that you pushed through. Now, what does that have to do with restriction? It has everything to do with restriction. It has everything to do with the man who walked up to me and said, "I knew I could come back, but I'm not coming back, because I got so used to not coming that my conditioning was set down here and my permission was set up here. So, I've been living at the level of my conditioning (I stopped coming) even though I have permission to come back, and now there's a gap". He said, "I feel bad". I said, "Don't feel bad. Just come back. You can come back. The restrictions are lifted. You can come back. Come on back Sunday. I'll look for you".

I want to tell you, he was here. Boy, I preached to that man that Sunday. I did good too. He sat right center. I guess he got here early. I never said a word about him, but I preached to him, because he was here. Nothing changed about the situation, only his decision. So, the cloud had this little thing where it would come down and fill the tabernacle, and then it would lift. When it lifted, God was saying to his people, "You can move now. You can go now. You can go forward now". He wanted to lead them all the way to the Promised Land, all the way to the land of Canaan, flowing with milk and honey; the land where the grapes are so big you need a partner to help you carry them on a pole; all the way to the land of Canaan where they could have their own land and settle in it and declare the goodness of God as their inheritance. He wanted to lead them all the way to Canaan, so he gave them a cloud.

When the cloud lifted, they got up. When they got up and moved forward, the cloud took them until it settled again, and when it settled, they settled. This was the system God gave them in the wilderness. I'm thinking it would be kind of good if God would give me this for my wilderness. You know, "Let me know what to do. Give me clarity, God. I just need to see". How many of you want God to show you something in your life right now? "This or that? Him or her? Them or them? Here or there? Now or later? Yes or no"? Clarity. I need to see. I can't live in a cloud of confusion, not knowing, "Is this God?" I have to know it's God if I'm going to go. The only problem with that is God can give you clarity, but if you don't commit… In fact, I'm going to go a little further than that. Clarity comes from commitment. "Abraham, go to the land I will show you".

A lot of us are confused because we're not committed. We haven't really decided to serve God with our whole heart, so now we're asking God, "Oh, show me. I want one of those clouds, Lord. I want one of those clouds to lead me into a new career. I want one of those clouds to show me, God. Give me one of those clouds like Moses had. Moses had a cloud, God. Give me a cloud and lead me". What good would it do? The cloud led them around and around and around and around in the wilderness, because when it finally got them to Canaan, they didn't have the courage to go in and conquer it. God gave them clarity. "Okay. This is what I want you to do. This is where I want you to go. Here is who I've called you to be. This is what I want to give to you".

They had clarity, but they didn't have the courage to act on the clarity God gave them. We keep saying, "God, I need more information. God, I need more knowledge". We don't need knowledge. We need commitment. The moment you decide, "I'm going to be free," God will show you where the keys are. The moment you decide…not just dabble, not just test it, not just "Eh," not just sometimes, not just once every three weeks, not just get fired up when you hear a sermon…the moment you commit to it… God will give you clarity, but clarity comes with commitment. The moment you decide, "I'm going to be a better husband," God will show you how to be a better husband. The moment you decide, "I am not going to keep running to these drugs anymore," God will show you who to talk to who can help you make different decisions. The moment you decide, the moment you commit, and the moment you step is the moment you're strengthened.
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