Steven Furtick - Permission To Live Again
This is an excerpt from: Make Peace With Your Strength
What if this is a turning word for you today? God is saying the answer is not for you to shrink yourself; it is to depend on him and step into it. Now, I see you shrinking, and you have your reasons. You don't have a college education. I see you shrinking, and you have your reasons. You don't have a support system in your life. I see you shrinking, and you have your reasons. The business failed, and you're embarrassed. I see you shrinking, and you have your reasons. The addiction really has its claws in you. You feel like you're in the hand of Midian. I see you shrinking, and you have your reasons. You have been diagnosed with something that you don't know if you're going to live or die in this body.
I see you shrinking, and you have your reasons. You're really worried about your kids, so now life is just survival, and you're stuck here. You can't move here, and you feel like, "If I shrink, I'll be safe. And if I'm not safe, at least I'll feel safe. See, when I take these pills, I feel safe. I'm not really safe, but I feel safe". I'm not talking about medication a doctor prescribed you. I'm talking about when you get in something, when you shrink yourself down to stuff God is setting you free from. You're shrinking to feel safe. But the Lord told me something, and I want to give it to you. God said, "You keep shrinking, thinking it'll make you safe, but the answer to your fear is not to shrink yourself down. The answer to your fear is not to shrink yourself. The answer is to get moving".
When they do security training, they teach you the worst thing you can be is a sitting target. You have to get moving in this season of your life and not just sit in the thoughts of what could go wrong. We could do this all day. I can give you a list of 10 more things to be scared of that you didn't even know to be scared of. We can do this all day or you can go in the strength you have. Now, the problem is that doesn't feel like a lot right now. The wisdom you have doesn't feel like a lot right now. There are some facts to back that up. So now I just want to stay strong. The problem is you are a sitting duck for the Devil down there. You're not serving anybody. You're not encouraging anybody. Some of you quit giving because you started watching the news. Are you crazy? It's called currency.
I have to generate something through my giving so I can receive something as I wait. You're going to sit down there and die down there? Get going in the strength you have. Gideon has a dilemma. He's in a real pickle. He's down low. God is calling him up high. He's down low. God is saying, "You're a mighty warrior". Now here's the word of the Lord for you. You might be. Think about that. You might be in a hard place. You might be alone, living by yourself. You might be in a very difficult dilemma. You might be in a situation where the odds are against you, but you are still a mighty warrior. If God is within you, he is more than anything that is against you. Go in the strength you have, and the strength you have will become the strength you need for what is next.
If I am prophesying this word for you, put it in the chat. "It's for me. I need to get moving. It's for me. I need to get stepping. It's for me. I need to get back in it. I need to step back into it. I need to get out of this place of feeling sorry for myself. I need to get out of why and step into what God called me to be". He's able, according to his power. This fellow named Trenton (I hope he's there right now) wrote me this week. He serves at Lake Norman on A Week. Trenton sent me a text. What meant the most to me is where he sent it from: sitting in a wheelchair with cerebral palsy. He said, "Thank you, Pastor Steven, for preaching about Gideon, and thank you for the song 'More Than Able.' It means a lot to me because I'm disabled. God started speaking to me. I'm disabled, but when you said, 'Go in the strength you have,' and I'm sitting in this wheelchair listening to that word, I realized if you take disable and put go in front of it…"
If you take disable and put go in front of it, what does it spell? I said, "What, Trenton"? He said, "God is able". I declare it over your life. God is able! I declare it over your paralysis. God is able! I declare it! I decree it! I establish it! "Now unto him…" So, thank you, Trenton, for that truth. If you can say it from a wheelchair, I can say it in my weakness too. If you can smile in that wheelchair, I can smile through my storm too. The problem is not what you have; it's what you don't know about what you have. You won't know what it is if you don't go in it. I promise you that. You have not yet made peace with the strength God has given you because you're not yet good with what he didn't give you. We could do this all day. All day long, you could wish you were taller. I've never seen anybody grow a centimeter.
All day long, wishing they had stayed with you. They didn't, and they're only pretending to be happy in those pictures you see on Facebook. They miss you a lot. Okay? Just giving you a little spiritual hug there. You can wish this stuff all day. We can do this all day, Stephanie. We can do this all day, Tom. We can do this all day, Gideon. "Or you can go with what I gave you and go in the strength you have". Somebody say, "I'm going in". I don't know what day it happened. I don't know what week it happened. I don't know what month it happened, but at some point, I came to this in my spirit. As I preach God's Word and teach God's Word and put God's Word in people's hearts, there may come a day where I fail. I'm sure I've already had many of those days where I failed, and I will have many more.
I don't know the future of my life any more than you know the future of your life. I don't know the future of this church any more than you know the future of… You haven't even decided where you're going to lunch yet today, so let's not pretend like you have it all mapped out either. "What's the 10-year plan for the…"? What's your 10-minute plan? Let's talk about your 10-minute plan. So, God gave me a thought, and I say it a lot: it may, but I won't. Specifically, it goes like this. It may end in failure. I can't control that, but I will not live in fear. I don't know who this is for, but the Lord released me to share that with you, and that is from my own personal winepress. That's from the grapes of my own heart.
God has had to stomp out a whole lot of insecurity to get me to a place where I can tell you, "You need to make a decision, Gideon. Are you going to live in fear"? I just decided I'm going to have moments of fear. I'm going to have days of fear. I'm going to sometimes draw back, but I am not going to live in it. I'm going in. I told Holly, "I'm going to write a song today". She said, "I hope you get something good". I said, "Well, I don't know if I will, but I know I won't if I don't go".
Let me give you the success rate on seeds that are not sown: 0 percent. A hundred percent mortality rate on unsown seeds. So I'm going in. But we don't. We don't go in. Watch what Gideon did. God said, "Go in the strength you have," and Gideon said something else. Verse 15: "Pardon me…" We're still doing this? We could do this all day. You can make excuses all day. You can list reasons all day. You can talk about why you won't forgive all day. It'll make a wonderful book. Write it. Sell it. I'll buy it. But at some point, you have to receive the power and make peace with the power God has put inside of you.
God is trying to give you permission to live again, to love again, to breathe again, to open your heart again, to trust again, to move again, to flow again, to see him move a mountain again, to walk through an open door, to believe him for better days ahead, to tell the Devil he's a liar and "I will not live in this winepress. I will not live in the winepress of 'Why me?' and why it didn't".