Steven Furtick - God Goes Before You In Uncertain Situations
This is an excerpt from: God's Up To Something Upstream
The amount of faith you have in your steps relates to the amount of faith you have in his sovereignty. When I tell God all of the reasons he can't use me, I get this sense that he already knew that, so I step into it anyway. As I step, he makes me strong. I see you in the Spirit stepping toward something right now. I see you stepping toward a better version of the parent you wish you would have had, and you didn't, but you're stepping into it even though you don't have a frame of reference for it, but you're stepping into it.
We have an upstream God who knew you'd be in the situation you are in before you were in the situation and prepared you for the moment before you got to the brink. The Bible says that when their feet touched the water's edge, the water stood up. I love that picture. That means they had to step all the way toward the Jordan, and only when their big toe got wet did it break apart. Do y'all know something? Apparently, I still don't know how to read the Bible. In my imagination, I always pictured this just like the Red Sea. They stop at the Jordan. It's overflowing. Boom. Step. It splits. I always pictured it like that. What's that Kevin Costner movie? Waterworld. I always picture that on the Jordan. Remember, the Jordan is small. Also, that's not what the Bible says. The Bible says (verse 13), "The water flowing downstream will be cut off".
That's where they saw the miracle: when they stepped toward the uncertainty. That's where you're going to see the miracle: as you step into it, awkward and uncomfortable; as you step into it, as you move toward it, as you keep moving toward it, as you keep praying, keep believing, keep trusting, keep coming, keep digging, keep going, keep flowing, keep showing up, keep scheduling stuff that feels fruitless because you know God told you to do it, keep coming, keep going, keep moving. When they got there, they saw it. They saw it when they got there. When did they see it? When they got there. They got there when they saw it. "Are we there yet"? God says, "No, you're not there yet. You'll know you are there when it happens, but I'm not going to show you anything until you step into it".
Yet that's not really the point I want to make. It's true they did not see it until they stepped into it. That's when God cut off the waters and enabled them to cross, when they did it, but watch what the Bible says. In verse 16 it says, "…the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan…" Have you ever heard of Zarethan? Let me tell you about Zarethan. Zarethan is about 20 miles from where they crossed the Jordan River. You know the Jordan River. You've heard of that? Okay. Twenty miles away. You've heard of Charleston? Okay. About 30 miles away. You've heard of Charlotte? About 20 miles away in a place they still call Indian Land. I don't know how long that one is going to last, y'all. They'll rename that soon, I'm sure. Hey, you've heard of Charlotte. You've heard of the Jordan.
Yeah, let me tell you about the Jordan. That's where we crossed over, but that's not where the miracle started. Twenty miles away. I studied it out. I asked ChatGPT, "Where is the town called Adam in Joshua 3"? The thing came back, and I looked it up in a real book. It said it's 20 miles away, which means…watch this…that for God to time it this right… For them to get to the edge of the Jordan River, for the priest's big toe to touch that water at flood stage, carrying that ark, after 40 years in the wilderness, plus five after that… For this to happen at this moment, for the waters downstream to be cut off at this moment, that means God must have been up to something upstream before I got here. God is not walking with you; he's going before you. He's not shockable; he's sovereign, sister! He's sovereign, brother! He's sovereign, baby!
God got there about three hours earlier to Adam. He said, "Hey, waters of Adam, I need y'all to stop real quick". Why? "Because about three hours from now, the priest's feet are about to hit the Jordan River. About three hours from now, they're about to come to the brink of the promise I made Abraham". See, this thing didn't start with Joshua. God was up to something upstream before Joshua ever got to this moment. As a matter of fact, it goes further back from that. The Bible says, "In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth". He got down in the dirt and made a man, and the man's name was Adam.
Now we've progressed a few hundred years, and Joshua is leading God's people into the promise. God was getting started in the garden. What has been started in this moment of your life didn't start in this moment of your life. God was 20 miles ahead of you. They say raising kids you have to stay one step ahead. God said, "I'll beat that. How about 20 miles ahead? How about I get there and handle the situation with your kids? How about I get the friends out of their life and tell them, 'Run, Devil. Don't you ever come back'? How about I get this thing started so when you get there, you can cross over, you can make it through. How about if I give you the faith to believe me? Okay. You have a mustard-seed faith? Let's put it up against that mountain real quick and see which one wins".
Great is the Lord! I want to preach to everybody in this room who's having to trust God with something that's 20 miles away…stuff you can't see, stuff you can't control, stuff you can't affect, stuff you can't move. Not the stuff you can do. Just do that stuff. Wear your own seat belt. Don't ask Jesus Christ to buckle your seat belt. He's a busy God. You do that before the other stuff that's overflowing the banks of the Jordan. You step into that just believing. What would you do if you believed God was 20 miles away already doing what you're praying about?
Wherever you see a problem, heaven has a plan. Wherever you have a problem, heaven has a plan. I'm going to say it again. Wherever you have a problem, heaven has a plan. Turn that thing over to the Lord and leave it there. I said, "Wherever you have a problem, heaven has a plan. Turn that thing over to the Lord and leave it there". Yeah? You want me to finish that song? I'll finish it and get somebody good to sing it to you next week if you come back. God is up to something, but you won't see it, because it's 20 miles away. Can you trust him with the 20? Can you trust him that you can't get them to talk to you about it but he's talking to them about it? Can you trust him? Can you trust him with something 20 miles away upstream?
I always pictured that the waters stood up where they stood. No. They didn't see it piled up. It had been piled up for hours. You have no idea what God is speaking. We ask God for blessings, and we should. We also need to ask him for dams. He got to a town called Adam, and he built a dam. (It's too much, I know. I'm going to save it for the Basin.) It's a miracle what he did. He said, "Waters, pile up here". Now remember, they can't see this on the live feed. If it was today, word would have spread, right? "Oh, y'all, don't worry. Just keep walking, because in Adam there's a big pile of water, so it won't be long. The water is going into the Dead Sea, and the one that's flowing down has completely stopped, so it will be dry in five…four…three…two…one…now"! Nope. Not God. He's the God of the upstream. He's the God of the unseen. That's the nature of faith.