Steven Furtick - I Feel Like I'm Going Crazy
This is an excerpt from: Ugly Trust
I have to show you what it looks like to really trust God. "David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish…" Achish is not a name; Achish is a title. It's like pharaoh, or something like that, for the Philistine rulers. "[He] was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath". Watch what he did. He sought the Lord. "So he pretended to be insane in their presence…" Repeat after me. "David went crazy". "I will bless the Lord at all times-eth". This is David blessing the Lord. Watch King David. "…and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard". I thought about acting this out. I prayed about it. The Lord said, "Let them use their imagination occasionally".
Do you get the picture? He's running from Saul, and he's seeking the Lord with saliva running down his beard. He's scratching the door, trying to get out of a situation he really doesn't have an answer for yet. I felt compelled to show you that picture for several reasons. First, you feel like you're going crazy right now. Not everybody, but some of you. So, when we sing, "I sought the Lord, and he heard," you are not yet sure about "He heard," and to be honest, you're really not sure if you're seeking him, because sometimes you don't feel like you're seeking him. Not everybody who listens to me preach has a three-hour prayer time every morning. Not everybody who listens to me preach quotes the Bible in Hebrew acrostics. Not everybody who listens to me preach goes home and listens to Elevation Worship as they walk around the kitchen, blessing the Lord at all times.
Even this morning, I was pretty tired, so on my way to church, I listened to Metallica. Sorry. I needed something to wake me up. Just one song, and then I switched to worship. I needed James Hetfield to get me started. I'm sorry. I just needed energy. It was early, and I'm low on sleep. It helped me. I'm telling you that because sometimes we talk so fancy about faith. "I sought the Lord". Did you? Or it's guilt. The Enemy is like, "You're not seeking God. You don't pray enough. You don't worship enough. You don't praise him enough. You don't really love him".
David has spit in his beard in enemy territory, and he's talking about, "I sought the Lord". So, before you get ashamed of the fact that sometimes it feels like you're losing your mind, can we celebrate the fact that at least you're losing it in church? At least you're losing it in a room with some other crazy Christians on a Sunday morning when it was raining just enough to tell you, "I'm not going," but you said, "No. I'm going. I'm not going crazy without God".
Don't you love knowing that? You know what? Sometimes in my life I have found that it is when I am in the sloppiest, the most scrambled… They used to say I preach better jetlagged. I said, "I wonder why that is". Because my mind wasn't in the way so much, because I would just let it come from the Spirit. Then they'd say, "Well, just let the Spirit flow through you". Easier said than done. I think seeking God is like that sometimes. The question becomes, when we say, "I sought the Lord," what does sought even mean? It doesn't mean just that I went to church. It doesn't mean just that I sang a song. It doesn't mean just that I quoted a Bible verse. It doesn't mean just that I had a wish. It doesn't mean just that I made it a prayer request. It doesn't mean just that I had a desire. It means something very different to David, because he wrote that about a situation where spit was running down his beard, and he had no idea what was next.
That's where some of you are today. When you go to pray about it, you don't really feel like you get a clear answer. There are some things that you're singing, "I sought the Lord, and he heard, and he answered," and there are some things that you're singing, "I sought the Lord, and I hope he heard, but right now I don't see any evidence to support the conclusion that he heard". When Jesus was asleep on the boat, and they said, "Master, don't you care"? it lets me know there will be times in my life where it will appear that he doesn't hear me, and I will conclude that he doesn't care. But in some of these spaces, your seeking is defined by what you do in the space between when you seek him and when he says, "Yes".
So, if you are there today, and it's not a pretty situation, the psalmist wants you to know one of the most beautiful psalms in the Bible came from one of the ugliest situations. Some of the most beautiful testimonies you will have in your life, where you will be singing two years from now, "I sought the Lord… Back in April 2023, I was standing in church singing, 'I sought the Lord.' I was seeking him, but I couldn't see him. I was groping, but I couldn't feel him. I was stretching my hands in faith, but I didn't feel it. I sought him, and there was a space…" For David, there was a seven-year space. Did you hear what I just said? Not seven minutes, not seven months…seven years that Saul chased him, seven years that he made his home in caves, seven years that he dealt with depression.
You say, "David wasn't depressed. He blessed the Lord at all times". Thank God I have a Bible and don't have to go off one little verse. Look at what David did one time. He ran to the king of Gath. He let spit run down his beard, so the king let him go. A period of five more years elapses. Saul is still chasing him. Three times David has the opportunity to take matters in his own hands and kill Saul, but he won't do it because he trusts in God. Three times he could take him out, but he doesn't do it because he said, "I trust in God". He's not saying, "I trust in God," meaning, "I never feel fear". He told you, "I had fear that disturbed me to my core". It wasn't a feeling of trust; it was a decision of trust. It was a decision to keep doing it God's way despite the evidence that God's way wasn't working.
So, it has been seven years he has been running from this guy. It has been three times he was close enough to kill him. One time he caught Saul going to the bathroom in a cave. That is a vulnerable position to be in. I don't know, man. For me, I probably would have just ended it right there. If I see the king who has been trying to kill me, and he's in the process of relieving himself, I am going to relieve him of his duties as king and kill him so I can get some relief from the situation. But David said, "I trust God. It has to be his timing. It has to be his way. It has to be his route. It has to be his means. It has to be his strength. It has to be his power. I'm not going to do this David's way; I'm going to do it God's way, because if it's God's will, if it's God's hand, if it's God's favor, then I can have God's strength to support me as I go through each season. I trust in God".
Talk about ugly trust. You're in a cave with a king who is defecating while he is trying to decapitate you, and you have the opportunity to kill him, but you walk away. One time he stole Saul's water jug and spear just to show him, "I could kill you, but I didn't. Leave me alone. Why do you keep messing with me? Why do you keep doing this"? Saul shouts back to him, "Oh, David, thank you so much for sparing my life. You're going to do great things". Nothing like encouragement from somebody who tracked you out into the desert to kill you. That'll bless you. "God is going to do great things through you, David".
Look at what the Bible says about David who trusts in God. Hey, I'm trying to bring you into a conversation today to let you know this trusting God thing is trickier than it sounds on the surface and that none of us totally trust God all the time like we wish we did, that all of us have this back-and-forth battle. If I can't get you to see anything other than that today, I did my job, because when you go into those moments where you toggle between trusting God and having a… I don't know what you call these moments, but I call these moments humanity. I don't call these moments moments of weakness anymore; I call them moments of humanity. They don't mean I don't love God, and these moments don't mean I don't trust him, but we're in a world where we're having to figure things out step-by-step, and faith is not always fancy. I don't always seeketh him-eth. I don't always have a King James courage.
Sometimes I'm caught in conflict, this or that or the other. "Okay, God. Maybe it's option C". So, I just want to bring you up to date with what it means when he says, "I sought the Lord, and he heard, and delivered me from all my fears". When Saul told David after seven years of David running… He said, "God is going to do great things for you, David. You're a better man than me. Thank you for not killing me". Look at what David did. First Samuel 27:1: "But David thought to himself, 'One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul.'" Read it again. He thought to himself, "Saul is going to kill me". The same guy who said, "I sought the Lord, and he answered," thought to himself, "I'm going to die".
What have you been thinking to yourself? I am not done with that verse. Put it back on the screen. They're trying to take me out of this Scripture so quickly today. Let's stay here a minute. I'm not scared of the uncomfortable silence. Are you? Y'all don't intimidate me, looking at me like you always seek the Lord. I know you don't. I know you seek some other stuff too in some other places. Don't make me prophesy. I will get specific. The Lord will show me. You've been seeking some food in the pantry, stress eating at night, seeking some comfort on some different websites and stuff too. But I want you to know something about all of that. I don't say that to shame you. I say that to show you that famous David, spear-dodging David, got to a point of seven years of waiting where he thought to himself, "One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul".
This phrase… O God, this is why I got up here today. This is why I flew in late and got up early and listened to Metallica to preach to you. Y'all didn't like that I listened to Metallica. I could tell you were judging me. I don't care. I sought the Lord. Watch me. "David thought to himself, 'One of these days I will be destroyed…'" "I will bless the Lord at all times". "David thought to himself, 'One of these days…'" "His praise shall continually…" It's kind of hard for God's praise to continually be in my mouth when this guy keeps trying to kill me. It's kind of hard for God's praise to be in my mouth when my life keeps going backward. It's kind of hard for God's praise to be in my mouth right now. That's okay. David thought to himself, "One of these days…" I know we have a lot of thoughts about the future.
You know, "One of these days, this is going to catch up with me. I can't keep doing this. I can't keep going like this. I can't keep holding out like this. I'm doing pretty good right now, but I can't keep running like this. I can't keep pretending like everything is okay". David thought to himself, "This does not end well for me". How could you think that, David? You have the promise of God. How could you think that, David? You have the oil of the anointing from the prophet Samuel that was on you. Don't you remember? He said he would raise you up. How can you think that, David? Because seeking God doesn't mean you will never think fearful thoughts.
Seeking God does not mean you will never feel like you're going crazy. The truth is nobody knows what you really go through. Nobody knows what you really push through. Nobody knows all of the things you didn't say that would have been worse than the thing you said that you had to apologize for. Nobody really knows how crazy it gets, how close you came to quitting, how much you struggle with feeling like enough, how hard it has been for you to fight for these 14 months of sobriety, how hard it has been for you to continue to go home to a situation where you're underappreciated and a job where you're undervalued. Nobody knows, but he heard. When you cried, he heard. When you prayed, he heard. When you said, "I can't," he said, "I can". He heard! What a word for somebody who has felt like you're going crazy. You're not going crazy; you're building faith. You're getting strong in your spirit. You're getting strong in your beliefs. You're learning to walk not by what you see but by what God spoke.