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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - How To Recognize God's Guidance In Real Time

Steven Furtick - How To Recognize God's Guidance In Real Time

Steven Furtick - How To Recognize God's Guidance In Real Time
TOPICS: Guidance

This is an excerpt from: Blown Away!

Life will layer you with dirt. Life will layer you, like Naomi, with bitterness, with experiences that all of a sudden become the focus. The Bible does not say the treasure was sitting in the field waiting to be discovered. The treasure was actually hidden beneath something that had to be dug through to recognize what was there all along. This is a message for somebody who is guilty as charged. "Lord, I have gotten more focused on the field, the work, the stress, than I am the blessings and the treasure. I have gotten more focused in my relationships on what annoys me about that person". May I remind you that's what attracted you to them in the first place?

Now you want to be annoyed by what you were attracted to, because like the country preacher said, "Before marriage, opposites attract. After marriage, opposites attack". You loved he was quiet. "Oh, he's mysterious". Ten years in that field, talking about, "I can't get him to talk. He's mysterious". Now you're miserable. Now you're magnifying everything that makes you miserable. I wish I could do a Bible study on this. Sometimes I hate this format. I wish I could have the 10 people who are the hungriest. I wish I could just come over to the house, and Holly could cook something for you, and then I would serve up the dessert of the Word of God.

I would say, "Did you save room for dessert?" and you'd be like, "Yeah, yeah. I was hungry today. I went through a breakup last month. I've been asking God why. I've been wondering is there anybody for me. I'm hungry today. I don't have the money my neighbor has. They think I do. I'm driving a car. What they don't know is every time I stop and think about the payments, I almost wreck. They're impressed with my car, but they don't know I can't even afford what I'm driving in. I'm hungry today. Tell me something. I made some mistakes. Tell me something. I passed up the best thing that could have happened. Tell me something. I could have bought Apple for $3 a share, and I didn't. All these regrets in here. I'm hungry today. Give me something".

If I could talk to the 10 hungriest people in the room, here's what I would tell you: when Ruth said, "Why would you notice me, a foreigner"? it's a wordplay. The Hebrew word for foreigner means notice. Don't you see what's happening? She's blown away. When's the last time you were blown away by God? When's the last time you were blown away by his benefits? I'm not talking about a BMW. I'm talking about forgiveness. When's the last time you thought about, "Oh my you, Lord. You didn't have to love me. You didn't even have to give me the chance to live. I'm not even supposed to be here". When's the last time you thanked God for your church? (Just slipping that in.) You've been here a minute. What used to blow me away is now just benefits. I think we have to walk through our field and glean.

"Lord, I'm thanking you for this. Lord, I am thanking you for that. Lord, I'm thanking you for the thing that I don't like right now, trusting that you are going to use it in my future". That's the beauty of this text. You can walk through your own field. This is my challenge to you. What would it look like for you to walk through your own life like a foreigner in the field? What would it look like for you to go back through the things God has done for you and the things he is doing? Because here's the trick: it is easy to see what God did after you're on the other side of it. That's when we say things like, "It was the best thing in the world that they broke my heart. It was the best thing in the world that I had to move. It was the best thing in the world. If I hadn't have gone through that, I wouldn't have this".

The trick is not recognizing God's guidance later. The trick is…Can you recognize God's guidance in real time? To say like Jacob, "The Lord was in this place, and I was not aware of it". To say, "Oh, God must be here too. Oh, God must be using this too. Oh, God has a plan for this too. Oh, I can't wait to see how God works this in. Oh, I can't believe God let me be in this field at this time". She gleaned and gathered and gleaned and gathered and gleaned and gathered, not knowing that Boaz was going to end up being her husband, not knowing that Naomi knew who he was, not knowing that God would put her in a position to be a part of the lineage.

Can you stand there in the field, surrounded by dirt, or are you going to say, "God, I don't want the dirt; I want the treasure. God, I don't want the pain; I want the progress"? I used to always say, "God, I don't want the V-ups; I want the six-pack". You know what I'm saying? "I don't want the discipline, but, God, I do want the benefits of commitment". You have to glean and gather in those moments when you don't even know why you're here or how this is going to turn out. The most delicious verse in the text to me is verse 17. After Ruth got done gleaning in the fields and gathering, the Bible says something. It's almost something you would skip over. It said that after she gleaned in the field until evening, "Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah".

See what I'm saying? That is the least sexy verse in the whole passage, but it talks about the next thing Ruth had to do and that you and I have to understand too. It said after she gleaned in a field where she didn't even have the right to be, after she gathered everything she could, she threshed the wheat before she took it home. When she finished threshing it, they measured it, and it was an ephah, which means nothing to us, but if you look it up and search the word ephah in the Bible… Do it. You'll find it again in 1 Samuel 17:17, the chapter where David fought Goliath. It said the day he went down there, his dad sent him to his brothers with an ephah of grain. So it's a measurement. He had three brothers who were down at the battle, and his father sent him with an ephah of grain. So, we still don't know how much it is, but that must be a lot of grain if it fed three teenage soldiers in the heat of battle.

Remember, we're down to just Ruth and Naomi. They are the only two left. They don't know about Boaz yet. They don't know who he is yet, what he's going to do yet. Oh, and there's God, the character who is not named by the other characters but is implied, because he's always working. Even when he's not named, even when he's not seen, even when he's not felt, even when he's not speaking, he's still speaking. Even if you're not hearing it, he's still speaking. She gleaned an ephah, enough for three teenage soldiers for just her and her mother-in-law. That made me wonder if we can find out about how much grain is in an ephah.

When I found out how much an ephah was, I was blown away. It turned out that an ephah is somewhere between 30 and 50 pounds. In a day! She has only been in this field one day, and she's not even an experienced laborer, and she's one woman. When she measured it after she threshed it, it was 30 pounds. Thirty pounds of grain after she threshed it. See, you can't really measure it until after it has been threshed. You don't really know what you have until it has been threshed. You think you know what you have, but you don't really know what you have… You don't really know what you have until Naomi turns to Ruth and Orpah and says, "Y'all, leave," and Orpah says, "Okay," and Ruth says, "I'll stay," because she was being threshed.

Naomi was being threshed. She lost her husband. She lost her boys. She's being threshed. That word doesn't even sound appealing…thresh. It sounds violent. It is violent. It's a violent process. The process of threshing is not nice like gleaning. It's not taking a journal and writing to Jesus a love note for all of the beautiful sunsets. "O Lord, I saw that sunset today. I'm just so proud that you did that just for me. Lord, you are such a great artist. I saw the sunset, and I saw your eyes, and I'm so thankful". Threshing is different than that. When they threshed the grain, they would have the cattle to beat the grain out until the stalks and the seeds were separate, until the grain and the husk were separate.

When it says Ruth threshed… It was a process of separation. It was a process of separating the grain from the husk, or what they call the chaff. The way they would do it is that after it was beaten, after it was trodden, after it had been laid out on the threshing floor… Now, all a threshing floor is… It's not fancy. It's just a solid surface in a high place. The reason it's in a high place is because you would thresh at evening. The process of threshing was very simple. After it had been beaten, you would take the grain that was left on the floor. You would sweep it up and gather it from the clean surface. You would throw it up into the Mediterranean wind, and the grain would fall back down to the ground, but the chaff wouldn't fall back to the ground. The chaff would be blown away. The chaff, the stuff that couldn't stay on the threshing floor, would be blown away into the evening wind that came off the Mediterranean Sea.

I see a lot of you on the threshing floor of life right now. I hear from you. I meet you. Even when I study, it's like the Spirit of God brings you to my mind. I see the things you're going through in your life right now not as a process of destruction, but as a process of threshing. See, you don't know what you have until it has been threshed. You don't know what's real until it has been threshed. You don't know what's edible, you don't know what's sustainable, you don't know what is substance until it has been threshed. A lot of us have been in a big wind lately. The winds will blow and beat against every house. Whether you build it on the rock of Jesus or whether you build it on the shaky foundations of the world, the wind will blow. The wind has been blowing, but you have been misinterpreting the wind. You have been thinking that the wind was sent by the Enemy to destroy you, but it wasn't. It was sent so that all the chaff could be blown away.

See, God is dealing with your insecurities right now, and he has you on the threshing floor. You're watching people walk away and opportunities evaporate and things you used to know that you're now separated from. But this wind is not sent by the Enemy. This wind is under the control of the mighty hand of an all-seeing God. The grain that falls back to the ground is all you need to live on. The rest will be blown away. The Lord told me to preach to you Blown Away!, and he said to tell you, "When you see what I'm going to do after you get done going through what you're going through, if you will keep gleaning and stay in my hands through this process… When you see what I'm going to do through your life, when you see what I'm about to do… Your eyes have not seen, your ears have not heard, nor has it entered into your heart what I have prepared"!

When you bump into Boaz, you're going to be blown away! "Now unto him who is able to do immeasurably…" Blown away! High-five at least six people and tell them, "You're going to be blown away". It's a promise. It's not a problem; it's a promise. Everything you're going through is going to serve the purpose of the God you belong to. You're going to be… Threshing hurts like hell, but sometimes it comes from heaven.
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