Steven Furtick - A Steady Hand For A Sudden Blessing
I want you to take your hands and put them like this. Today is going to be a special day. I want to teach you that prayer we were singing. That prayer came out of my personal time with God dealing with my own anxiety and fear and stress and all of the things we deal with. Holly shared it a few weeks ago. It just gives you an opportunity to reset, and I want to give you that opportunity right now. Just take a deep breath and breathe out again. Repeat after me. Say, "I breathe you in, Holy Spirit; and your strength comes suddenly; and your peace fills me completely". Let's pray it again. "I breathe you in, Holy Spirit; and your strength comes suddenly; and your peace fills me completely".
Come, Holy Spirit. With every breath, come. Come have your way. Come show us Jesus. Come teach us your Word. Come lead us in your ways. Come renew our minds. We're waiting here for you. We breathe you in. Thank you today, Lord, for each person you drew to be a part of this moment. I believe it was you who made the arrangements for us to be here at this time. I believe there's something you are going to speak today, words of comfort, conviction, healing, and instruction. We want to say to you that unless you come, we're not enough, but if you come… And we believe that you're here right now. We believe that you're filling us right now. We believe that you're doing it right now. If you come, we can do all things through him who gives us strength. Thank you for your strength, Lord. Thank you for the confidence that only comes from you. We receive it now. In Jesus' name, amen.
Let's clap our hands and thank God for his presence. I'm so excited to share these moments with you today. I want to share with you right from my personal time with God. Remain standing for a moment. I want to just tell you this before I tell you what I'm going to tell you. Let me tell you before I tell you what I'm going to tell you, what I'm going to tell you. It has been several years since I've preached on this particular weekend. It's a holiday weekend. Normally, I take this weekend off, but something God was stirring in me was so strong I felt that it was meant to be released on this particular day. I don't say that to get your expectations too high, because then there's no possible way we could live up to it, but there is something God has been speaking.
This is Pentecost Sunday. You're like, "Do they have Episcopalian Sunday? Baptist Sunday? Does every one of these denominations get a Sunday"? We're not celebrating a denomination today. Pentecost is where the church celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit. It's beyond any certain tradition. There is a stirring in my spirit to give you two Scriptures today and kind of come right out of that song where we were singing, "All of a sudden". Listen to this. I'm going to give you two Scriptures, and then I'm going to have you be seated and teach what I believe is one of my life messages. They used to come around all the time… When the church was growing, these consultants would come, and they'd say, "You need to develop a life message". I was 29. I was like, "I haven't lived". But at this stage of my life, there are some things I believe God has called me to impart.
I'm learning about that. I believe this is one of them. The first Scripture I want to give you is from 2 Kings, chapter 3. You're not going to know what's going on around here, but you will know when you need to. Second Kings, chapter 3. Just one verse, and then I'll tell you the story behind it. "Now it happened in the morning, when the grain offering was offered, that suddenly water came by way of Edom…" That's the wilderness. "…and the land was filled with water". Now let's go over to Acts, chapter 2, the original Pentecost Sunday. It has been 10 days since Jesus ascended to heaven. It has been 50 days since he rose from the dead. Pente means five. It's a celebration that is in progress. The Scripture says, "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting".
I don't think you heard me. It filled the whole house, every single nook, every single cranny. It filled the kitchen. It filled the bathrooms. It filled the living room. It filled the whole house. God told me to preach a message today and release a word to you. This is called A Steady Hand for a Sudden Blessing. Touch three people and scare them on your way to your seat. Say, "Suddenly". It's going to come suddenly. Wow. Thank you, Lord. I'm so excited. I might sweat. I shouldn't have worn this sweater. I might sweat. I can't tell what temperature it's going to be here in Charlotte right now from day to day. I'm so confused. It'll change on you like that. It'll feel like summer one day and fall the next. It'll just switch on you suddenly. That's all right. I was even glad it was raining today because I thought it was a sign that God wanted me to preach when the rain comes suddenly.
I'm serious. Y'all think I'm playing around. That's not a joke. I really do think God wanted me to share this. A Steady Hand for a Sudden Blessing. We'll talk about both of those, because both are important. Write this down if you like to take notes. It'll give you a good sense of momentum as we begin this sermon. What we experience suddenly was usually engineered steadily. What we experience suddenly was usually…not all the time but usually…engineered steadily. What I mean by that is behind most things that happen quickly to our eyes there was consistency that enabled it to happen that we didn't see. Just for an example of that, one of my friends who is a professional fighter knocked out one of his opponents in, like, 30 seconds, and I had paid $60 to watch the pay-per-view.
When I called to congratulate him, I said, "I'm so glad you won. Congratulations on the victory. But did you have to knock him out so quickly? It was $60". I was doing the math on the price per second. Of course, I was joking, but he got really mad about it. He's a professional fighter, so it was really intimidating. But I never forgot what he said. He said, "What you saw me do with one blow… I trained six months to be able to do that, and beside the fact that I trained six months, I've been doing this all my life". He was trying to get me to see that what looked like luck through the lens of my experience was anything but. What we experienced quickly… "It's over already? I was just getting my popcorn".
What we experienced quickly was engineered through consistency. Isn't that true in your life? Since our church did grow fast, a lot of people called us an overnight success. One thing I love about the season of life I'm in is that not only have I been pastoring this church now for over 17 years, but this Thursday I will celebrate 21 years of marriage to Holly. Yesterday, when my barber asked me, "What's one nugget of wisdom from 21 years"? I said, "Easy. Marry Holly". That's the best thing I ever did. That's my whole marriage book: "Marry her". I really do think the selection process was a blessing, but of course… I mean, we want it in one principle for 21 years. There's no one principle for 21 years. There's no one anything for anything. Yet I have preached and taught that so much out of a desire to be balanced that sometimes I think I fail to remind you that with our God it can happen suddenly. It can come suddenly. It can, and it often does come suddenly.
That's why I wrote a prayer for myself that said, "I breathe you in, Holy Spirit, and your strength comes suddenly". There will be moments in my life where I need God to do it right now. Maybe you're in one of those moments today. I want to speak to that moment, if you are in that moment, where you need God to give you wisdom, and you don't have six years to study the subject to get the wisdom. The wisdom can come suddenly. Say it out loud. Let's get this confession turning in our spirits. "It can come suddenly". No sooner can you start to think it's never going to happen than it does happen while you were wondering how it was going to happen. It can come suddenly. On the day of Pentecost, there came a sudden sound. A sudden sound for a people who were sitting in the middle of a very difficult and uncertain season.
See, not only has it been 10 days since Jesus left the earth, but they have no clue how and when he's going to restore the kingdom of Israel. Maybe that's you. Maybe you need God to come right now because you have no clue. Just graduated college, and you have no clue who's going to hire you. The Lord told me to put a little graduation speech energy in this today, so I'm going to put a little graduation speech energy in this today. For everybody who is in high school right now, and they're all asking you, "Where are you going to college? And what are you going to do with your life? And where are you going to retire to"? I mean, we start asking everybody everything so soon. Before I even get a chance to know who I am… I can't even hang my middle school diploma on my wall, my eighth grade graduation participation trophy certificate on my wall, before you want to know, "Well, where are you going to college"?
Nowadays, there is so much pressure… Let me rant. I came in on a holiday weekend, so let me rant. Let me have a little fun. Let me have a little therapy. Is it so necessary that our kids have a 9.7 GPA in the third grade in case they want to go to Harvard? What if I don't want to pay for Harvard? Stop asking my kids, "Are you going to Harvard"? I don't want them to go to Harvard. I want them to go to online school because it's cheaper. Leave my kids alone. Somebody who has had somebody pressuring you to make a decision, just shout really quickly, "Leave me alone! I don't know"! "When are y'all going to have kids? When are you going to give me some grandbabies"? "Leave me alone! I don't know"! You can't say that to your mom's face, but you can say it in church right now. I'm kind of reminded of what Jesus said when the disciples were like, "Is it time? Is it time? Is it time"?
This is in Acts, chapter 1. They're like, "Is it time? Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel"? Jesus is like… This is a great little Bible verse for everything you think you need to know that you don't know right now, and you think you can't go forward until you know everything you think you need to know, so you are staying frozen in what you don't know. Look at Acts 1:7 on this Pentecost Sunday. Here you go. "And He [Jesus]…" Capital H. That's the big guy. That's the big boss. That's the chef in the back of the kitchen and the owner all rolled up into one. "And He said to them, 'It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.'"
This is not permission to be ignorant. It's just an invitation into mystery. Watch what he says next. Verse 8: "But you shall receive power…" I like this little thing. I don't know the plan, but that doesn't mean I don't have the power. I love that. Don't you? I don't know the plan, and I don't know how this ends, and I don't know when, but I definitely know who. See, the Holy Spirit doesn't just give power; he is power. So, if you believe in Jesus, and if you've called on his name to save you, not only did he save you but he's stepping through every season with you, and you have power. Power. That's what I've got. "You've got a plan"? "No. I've got power". "You've got it all worked out"? "No. I've got power". "You've got a seven-step strategy"? "No. I've got power". Power enough to do…what? Power enough to walk…
Okay, okay. I have to get back to it. He said it is not for you to know the times the Father has called you to trust him with. A lot of times, it is not about us knowing what time it's going to be when it happens; it's about us trusting God enough that until he does show us what he's doing, we can trust him that his hand is steady, that his hand is active, that his heart is full of love for me. This enables me to stand in uncertain seasons. I mean, it is an uncertain season when Jesus just vanishes and you don't know when he's coming back. The disciples were like, "We need to know". I'm speaking to somebody today who thinks you need to know something you don't need to know right now. What I want you to begin to say to yourself over the next seven days, for all of those times you think you need to know something that God is trusting you to let him control, is just over and over say, "I'll know…"
This is my first point of the sermon. I've already made some points, but this is the first one I told them to put on the screen. "…when I need to". I'll know when I need to. That thing hit me the other day, because I was praying about something… Well, okay. That's very generous to call it prayer. I was worrying about something. I don't know why I wanted to label it prayer in front of you. Y'all make me want to get up here and pretend I'm holier than I am. I was stress eating about something. I really don't want to get any more honest than this about it. That's about as far as I'm willing to go with you. That's all you need to know. "What were you stress eating"? Don't worry about it. That's all you need to know. This relationship is on a need-to-know basis, and so is your relationship with God. I'll know when I need to. Say that. "I'll know when I need to".
I love participation and response, because I think when you speak something that God speaks to you, it has a lot more of an opportunity to get in you than just when you listen to me say it. "I'll know when I need to". This is what Jesus is saying to the disciples. There are some things only God can control, and then there are some things you are responsible for. So, it is not for you to know the times, but it is for you to walk in the power. That helps me with this, because if I were teaching this like a seminar and not preaching it like a sermon, I would talk about how desperation drives you to revelation. Some things you will never know in your life until you become convinced that you need to know them. The best example I can give you is there are books you bought that you never read that are sitting on your shelf waiting for you to hit a situation that makes you go pull that book off of your shelf. Hello, parents.
There was a book I bought because I thought it had a cool title about parenting years ago, but I never read it…until my oldest son turned 13. I went to find that book. I grabbed the hardcover paper book off the shelf. I downloaded the digital one so I could have it on my Kindle so I could take it on my phone. I downloaded the audiobook so the author could read it to me in their own voice, because they had a British accent, and I thought that sounded kind of sophisticated. Watch. This is what I'm trying to say. I didn't dig for it until I got desperate for it. A lot of things we say we want to know about God… We don't really want to know them badly enough yet because we don't think we need it badly enough yet.
So, we approach God kind of wanting surface-level, superficial knowledge about decisions in our lives, but some things are only going to become plain and real to us as we get past the place of thinking that we can control it. We'll start saying, "What was that Scripture Pastor Steven was preaching that Sunday when I went and it was raining and I was kind of sleepy and I didn't write it down? Did you write it down"? You'll be going to your neighbor, asking, "Did you take notes"? because when you need those notes… Put everything I say that sounds even like it might be good at some time in the future in your phone, because you don't know how the Devil is going to be fighting you this Friday. What if God is giving you the word right now for the fight you're going to be in Friday? You don't know about that fight yet, but put it in your phone so when the fight comes you will know where to go. "God gave me this word for this fight before it was ever even the first round".
See, I can't hit the gym and start lifting when it's time for a competition. I'm going to be in some situations in my life where I need sudden strength, so how do I get sudden strength? It's with a steady hand. It's going to come all of a sudden. I believe there are many here today who are standing in front of something God is calling you to walk into, but you won't go into it because you don't know what's on the other side of it. Enter Elisha, the prophet. Now, this is what I got up to talk to you about on this Pentecost Sunday. A little Bible story I really love. I hope you love it too by the time we're done. I don't need you to know every single detail about the kingdom of Israel to get this Bible passage. Please.
I know some people, when they get into this stuff, are like, "Oh, I feel so dumb, man. I don't know any of these Bible stories, and I know I should, but I don't know what you're talking about". You don't need to know every bit of the background of this just to get what God has for you from it. Here's what I think you need to know about this passage. The king of Israel and the king of Judah… So, there's a northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. Jehoshaphat is a pretty good king in Judah. Jehoram is a terrible king, but his mom was Jezebel. She was really, really bad, and Ahab was bad, so he came by it honestly. He didn't really get a lot of good training in how to do this, but he was terrible. These two kings are with another king from Edom, which was the wilderness where they were attacking through. So, they pick up this king of Edom, and they're going to fight against Moab. Moab is trying to rebel.
Let me explain the situation. Let's see if you've ever been there before. On their way to go to war, they run out of water in the wilderness. Has that ever happened to anybody in here? On your way to fight one battle, you encounter something you didn't plan for that weakens you on your way to war. It's this feeling you can get sometimes. "I was already juggling enough. I was already struggling enough". I feel so anointed to break chains today for people. I'm excited about it. "I was already stressed enough. I was already overwhelmed enough. Now this"? In the King James version of the Bible, one of the kings looks up and says, "Alas"! I love that because it's kind of like the King James cussword. He's like, "Alas! Dang it! We're out here trying to fight the Lord's battles, and the Lord won't give us water".
So they march seven days through the desert. Edom is butted up right against the Dead Sea, so it's a dry place. So, they can't even defeat their enemy without passing through a dry place to do it. That's half the problem with us keeping our faith. It's that we just don't get to show up to stuff fresh. We don't just get to show up to stuff feeling good. We don't just get to show up to our mission in a good mood. A lot of times, you will have to do the mission when you're not in the mood you were in when you said you would do the mission. A lot of times, I have to preach the sermon when the feeling I got when I received the sermon is sitting back in Thursday when I studied the sermon, but I have to do it then, and I have to do it not for my own glory, but I have to do it so somebody can be helped.
Now, what do you do when you're on your way to a war and you run out of water; when you're trying to raise your own children and you are still dealing with things from your childhood that nobody showed you how to process? Nobody taught you how to break down trauma and convert it into triumph. "I mean, that sounds cute, but I don't know how to do it". God says you'll know when you need to know. If you didn't get it when you should have gotten it, then that wasn't when you should have gotten it. There's something about now that God knew. There is something about your future that God still knows. Just because I don't get it suddenly and just because I'm not walking in it presently doesn't mean God isn't giving it steadily.
You see, if I look back at my life, the hymn I will sing is: Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father, There is no shadow of turning with thee, All I have needed thy hand hath provided, Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me. Great is thy faithfulness, Great is thy faithfulness… How did you get it? "Morning by morning". What's that? When you need it. So, when you woke up this morning, the grace you needed for today was in today. The strength you need for today is in today. When you get to tomorrow, there will be a truckload of what you need for tomorrow. Back it up tomorrow. But you can't get tomorrow's strength on today's praise. You just have to say, "God, I need you right now". "Morning by morning". The hand of God was steady holding me up even when the help didn't suddenly come.
That's why I don't like to preach suddenly, because it sets an expectation that everything I want and wish is going to happen when I want and wish for it to happen. There are some times that it comes suddenly. There are some times that it doesn't, and in the times when it doesn't come suddenly, his hand holds me steadily. It's a steady hand. You know how the hand of God can snatch you out just like that? If you don't know that, I'll tell you. The hand of God can snatch you out of depression just like that. Suddenly. The hand of God can get you out of that situation just like that. Let me prophesy. It's Pentecost. Can we be Pentecostal for one single week? Let me prophesy. The hand of God can get that no-good guy you keep chasing because you don't want to be alone and snatch him out of your life just like that. You'll be praying, "God, bring him back," and God will say, "I can't bring him back because I'm trying to take you forward, and what you've been calling a blessing is really a blockage".
God can move stuff just like that. Just because he does stuff suddenly doesn't mean that when he's not doing it suddenly he went away. The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. That is not my original quote. I don't know who said it, but it just came up in my spirit. See, that's a good example. How did I say that suddenly? Because every day of my life I try to study. When we needed that word… Suddenly. See, behind every sudden blessing there is a steady hand. Anybody who built a successful business, wave at me. Doesn't it make you laugh when they think it was sudden when it starts working? "Wow! You just came out of nowhere. You blew up". "No. I dug down". Stop saying people blew up. That makes it sound like something bad happened. "Man, they blew up". No. They built something. I promise you they did.
Wave at me again if you've ever had a business succeed or anything succeed. Let's get the baseline down. You sent a successful text message one time. We have to find common ground. There were all kinds of spelling, punctuation, grammar… None of that comes suddenly. We just see it suddenly. A lot of times…not every time, but a lot of times…you don't even know what you're doing there until you can look back later in, say, 21 years. The reason I shared with you about my 21-year anniversary was to brag. Secondly, to get y'all ready for our marriage series we're going to be doing sometime soon. I don't know when. I already know what to call it. I just don't know what to talk about. The Lord will show me when I need to know. It must not be time yet.
Can we get a little more openhanded in our lives and let go of when we think stuff is supposed to happen and how we think it was supposed to happen and who we think it was supposed to happen through? When I went to college… Remember, when I was 9 years old, I wanted to go to Harvard. I probably could have done it, but the Lord had different plans for me. That's my narrative. But why am I at North Greenville? Remember how badly you wanted me to go to Charleston Southern? Yeah, it was close to home, and I kind of wanted to go, too, because there was this girl and this job and all that. But something… Come here, 21 years. Something. Something was coming to Tigerville, South Carolina. That's where North Greenville is. "What am I doing here"?
I wondered when my parents dropped me off at that college. This is for everybody who's stressed out about stuff you don't understand and you don't know. I wanted to go home for months at that little school, but something… It must have been a Holly Anna Boitnott. It must have been that girl staying over there in Cline 9. I remember the number of the dorm. I was stalking you before you knew how sexy I was. Now, how many of y'all think that while I was in those first three weeks wanting to go home, God saw this girl on the front row who has built this church and this ministry right by my side every step of the way? How many think God saw that? I do. Do you think God sees stuff about your life that you don't see right now? Is it possible that you're not in a sudden season, you're in a steady season?
We used to say, "Will you go steady with me"? Actually, I think that was in the 50s. I think that was "The Fonz" who used to say that. We used to just say, "Go with me". "Go with you where"? "I don't know. Just go with me". Sometimes God will just say, "Go with me". "I need you to take this next step, because I need to get you steady, because for what I'm going to do in your life that you don't know yet, if your hands aren't steady, you won't be able to handle the blessing I'm going to send". So, even when God isn't doing stuff suddenly, he's doing stuff steadily. When he's doing stuff steadily, I can hold on to my hope that all of a sudden… Everybody else will say, "Oh, it happened so quickly," but you'll know it was consistent. You'll know that you cried for it. You won't have to tell them that. You'll know that you wondered about it. You won't have to explain to them how deep the questions went. You'll know what it actually cost you to stay faithful to God. You'll know how painful it was when you went to therapy and started rooting out stuff you wanted to push back down.
They won't know, but they don't need to. What they will know is that the glory of God is on you. They will look at your life not many days from now, and they won't know how, but you will, and you will say, "It was by his hand. It was by his mercy. It was because he loved me. It was because he came close. It was a divine design. See, he was connecting dots. See, they had to say 'No' so he could say 'Yes' so I could be here so I could do this". I dare you to believe it. They had to say "No". I speak to every rejection in the name of Jesus. I speak to the next level of your effectiveness on the other side of this rejection. They had to say "No" so he could say "Yes" so you could be here so you can do this. Praise him for it! Come on, quiet personalities, get loud. Praise him for it! Come on, Episcopalian, get Pentecostal. Praise him for it! Do this!
High-five five people and say, "I'm doing this. Absolutely I'm doing this". That's what Elisha the prophet said. Are y'all ready for Elisha the prophet? We have three kings in the desert about to die. The Devil has been telling somebody, "You're about to die. The dream is dead. It's over. You're dead. It's over. You won't make it. They're going to cancel you. They're going to take you out. The economy this time, your industry this time, your business this time…" This is where we need Elisha the prophet, because he knew how to do what he knew how to do until God did what God does. Isn't this good? I'm going to put this sermon up also on the Basin. I already recorded it. I already preached it Friday. Holly came downstairs to ask, "Do you want to eat sandwiches or eggs"? and I was hollering at the camera. I heard her go back up the stairs. "Leave him alone. Let him work it out".
I preached this an hour. Why? Because when God showed up and when you showed up, I wanted to be ready for the rain. I preached it in the basement so I could be steady in the pulpit. Elisha has a bad attitude because he thinks these kings should have done it differently, and then they wouldn't be in this situation. "Okay. If you would have done it God's way, you wouldn't even be needing this water". There are wilderness seasons we send ourselves into. Guilty as charged. Look at verse 14. Let's back up a little bit and get the context. "And Elisha said…" Oh, he is a new prophet to them. They've never used him before. Elijah was the one they were familiar with. He was the new one. Elijah went up with chariots of fire, and they went to look for him. Elisha said, "You can go look for him all you want. He's not coming back. We've got to figure this out right now".
The Lord will speak that to you sometimes. "You can go chase down that disgruntled employee and do all of the exit interviews you want to all you want to. That's not coming back. You'd better get with this. You're going to miss this chasing that". So, Elisha gives them a little speech, a little talking to. Second Kings 3:14: "And Elisha said, 'As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, surely were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat…'" "You're all right". "[If I didn't regard him] Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not look at you…" He turns to the other king, Jehoram, and says, "I wouldn't even look at you". He said, "I wouldn't even look at you, nor see you".
Now, I read that because it's important. He's going, "I don't feel like prophesying for y'all". What does feeling it have to do with flowing in it? I wouldn't do this if I were just going to my feelings. I love verse 15. The whole thing hinges on two of my favorite words. "But now…" You can get a whole lot out of those two words. "But now…" That's how you have to reset in your heart. "I wish I would have known it sooner. I didn't. But now I do". "I wish I would have gotten the memo about your character three months before we met, but I didn't. But now I got the memo loud and clear. You are absolutely crazy, and so am I, and our crazies collide in a way that is not acceptable for the foreseeable future. Now I know". "But now bring me a musician". "Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him". Came upon who? Elisha.
So, let's get this straightened out. We have a need for water that nobody saw coming. Nobody knew they were going to be in need of water. They thought they were just going to war. How many are standing looking at a need right now that you didn't see coming in your life? Even if it's just the surgery you might have to have, but it's freaking you out, raise your hand. Even if it's just the challenge you feel emotionally, but everything is good in your life, raise your hand right now. I was with some pastors this week, and what they said helped them the most… I was imparting to them and teaching them and helping them, and they said, "It was just good to hear from you that there's nothing wrong with us. It was good for us to hear from you, because there's a part of us that thinks, 'I'm not supposed to be angry. I'm supposed to be grateful.' But I find myself getting angry, and I don't know why. So, when you told us how you get angry, it helped us, because it let us know that sometimes on your way to war, you run out of water too".
What do you do when the fight is right now but the knowledge isn't coming and the feeling isn't coming? Elisha knew what to do. He said, "Get me a musician," and when the musician began to play, the hand of the Lord came upon Elisha. How? Suddenly. Does it say when the musician started practicing the hand of the Lord came upon Elisha? Here's what I'm wondering. How long did that musician have to practice? How many hours of practice does it take that if they come recruit you and say, "Hey, we need you in the wilderness really quick. We're running out of water. I need you to play something snappy for Elisha. It's his first chance to prophesy. He has an audience with three kings, and if he doesn't do it right, they die. Come play…" That is not the time to work on your scales. So, if I bust into "Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with thee. All I have needed thy hand hath provided…"
His hands started playing all of a sudden. We did not talk about that hymn. I did not prepare him for that hymn. I did not say, "LJ, at moment number [blah, blah, blah] in the sermon, after I say this, get ready to play 'Great is Thy Faithfulness.'" I need them to know that it's "Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with thee. All I have needed thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness…" Whose hand? "All I have needed thy hand hath provided…" His hand. But whose hand had to practice? Ya'll give me that holiday energy, and I have that Holy Ghost anointing. Your hands had better be busy. You'd better get your hands busy, because when God gets ready to do what he wants to do, he's going to be looking for some hands that know where to go.
That's why I'm praising him. I'm getting my hands ready. That's why I'm forgiving them. I have to let it go. When he comes suddenly, I can't be bound by bitterness. I can't be flat. I can't be weak. I can't be stagnant. Clap those hands and get them ready! "Why are you clapping"? "I don't have the victory. I'm getting my hands ready. I'm praising him not because I can see it. I'm praising him because my spirit shows me I'm a free woman. I'm a free man. I'm a blessed man. I'm a blessed woman. I'm a running over kind of vessel. I'm ready"!
Get your hands ready. Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it might surprise you what he has already done. I'm getting my hands ready! Oh, here comes Goliath. Here comes the bear. Here comes Goliath. It doesn't matter. My hands are ready. My spirit is ready. My heart is ready. I'm ready. He's steady; I'm ready. He didn't put me in it if he didn't put it in me. He's steady; I'm ready. He's not an "overnight sensation" God. He's not a God who blows you up. He's a God who will dig your roots down deep. I came to announce to your storm, "You'd better pick on a different Christian, because this one is ready. She's ready. She knows how to pray in a storm. She knows how to sing at midnight. She knows how to work through a panic attack. She's ready"!
Elisha said, "I don't need anything to do what God called me to do," but somebody with a steady hand… God is looking for a steady hand. Not you joined the gym in January…a steady hand. I read my Bible today. "What did you get out of it"? Nothing. I'm in steadiness school. I study when I don't see anything in the Scripture. I study when it looks like pig Latin. I study when it looks like Japanese characters and I speak English. I study because I'm steady. God, help me. Y'all shouldn't have let me preach on Pentecost Sunday. I knew God was going to do this. This is point number one. It's just coming, man. It's coming suddenly because he was working steadily. I'll know when I need to. When I get my mind made up that I want to be set free from this addiction, God will send keys. I'll know when I need to. You tried it before. Hey, look at me, Dove's Nest. It's going to be different this time.
"But this is my fourth time. I'm 47 years old". I didn't ask you about your age. Stop giving me information I didn't ask you for. I asked "Are you ready"? Are you ready to experience the person who is beneath those patterns that keep pulling you back down? Because if you're ready, God has a steady hand. Even if you fall again, that's what the steady hand is for. So, let's go forward and let's flow in it. You'll know when you need to. This is the other thing God gave me. We might need a part 2 of this sermon, but the Lord told me to tell you one more thing before I get off this stage. The prophet looked at the musician. He said, "Play". Then it happened when the musician played. That's a steady hand. That's a man who has practiced his scales. That's a man who has learned his chords. That's a man who has learned his character. That is a woman who has learned how to apologize, a man who has learned how to say, "I'm sorry".
That is a trained player who knows how to get back up again. That's why Ella got that scholarship. You didn't expect it. That's why she was practicing since she was 8. That's why she got the scholarship. A steady hand, a sudden scholarship. Then somebody will have the nerve to say, "Wasn't she lucky". No. She was steady. "But I'm not. You're not talking to me, because I'm not stable. I'm that other person you're talking about". That's why I'm not talking just about your hand. I'm talking about his. Do you remember who was in the upper room in Acts 2:2, the first verse I read you? It doesn't say in the verse. I don't know if you remember. I had to think about it for a moment myself. Acts 2:2. It's going to come up suddenly. I promise it is. It's going to be slow then sudden. Ooh, that's the word of the Lord.
A businessman in my church… I don't even know how many millions of dollars of business he has done. He said, "Make sure you tell the church it was slow, steady, sudden. We saved for years. We tithed for years. We lived beneath our means for years. We went through cycles". He's a home builder. "We went through the 2008 crisis, and it was slow, but we were steady, and then it was sudden". Then he used a word. I want you to hear this. He said, "And now God has us stewarding more than we could have ever imagined". I don't know if I remind you of this enough, because I'm telling you, "Do the work. Do the work. Do the work". And I want you to, but what I need you to know is that God can do stuff suddenly that you had given up on. Receive it if it's your word. Put it in your phone if it's not. It will be one day, and when you need that word for your life, it will be there for you. This is how God works. He plants things we need based on things only he sees. Every experience I've been through, I can look back on it…
See, I'm not just looking back on things I've been through and saying, "That was the hand of God". I'm needing to believe forward into what I don't know that about yet so it's not just 20 years later where I say, "Well, I guess it was God who sent me to that college," but it's me saying while I'm wondering, "Does anybody see me? Does anybody know me? Does anybody care that I'm doing this"? So, back in that upper room… Jesus has been gone 10 days. He rose 40 days before that. It has been 50 days since the resurrection. The Bible says in Acts 2:2, "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting". There's a whole sermon in that they, because sitting in that house was a guy named Simon Peter. He wasn't very steady 50 days earlier. He fell down pretty badly 50 days earlier.
I don't know who I'm preaching to, but you stumbled pretty badly in this last season. The Lord said you need to know that he's steady when you stumble. They. Peter? What's Peter going to do? He already made a fool of himself. Nothing but preach on the day of Pentecost and see 3,000 converts. Are you telling me God can't still use you in this season because you have bursitis? Are you telling me that credit card debt is too big for God? "God, you can do all things. You're the master, unless it's Mastercard. Then you can't…" No, no, no. God said, "I'm going to help you pay it off steadily, and then suddenly. One day there is going to come a moment where you will be able to not only feel your own freedom, but I'm going to use you as a vessel to bring others to freedom in that very same path that you struggled".
You'll be able to tell them, "You can flush the pills". You'll be able to tell them, "You can beat this disorder". You'll be able to tell them, "You can get set free from this pattern". You'll be able to tell them, "The curse can be reversed, and he can do it all of a sudden". Sudden blessings come, sudden winds come, sudden rains come, sudden floods come…sudden love, sudden healing, sudden breakthrough, sudden second chances, sudden new beginnings. Suddenly a sound like a mighty rushing wind will fill the room, and even Peter gets to preach, and even you get to go forward. Get your hands ready. Get your heart ready. We're not thinking about those toxic things this week. This is the Lord's day. This is the Lord's holy home. This is his habitation. You are his chosen instrument.
The Lord wanted me to tell you you won't see wind and you won't see rain… See, this is where the song we were singing earlier came from. Did you know this was a Scripture? The prophet told the kings in verse 17… Suddenly. Everybody breathe in the Holy Spirit right now. I love that that same Holy Spirit who can make me want to shout can make me want to breathe. To be still and know that he is God or to shout that he is God. It's the same Spirit. Here comes the prophetic word. Stand up and receive it. Nobody moving. This is a holy moment. If you receive it, lift your hands. This is the word of the Lord. And guess what? For next Sunday, I'm going to give you the second part of this. Next week is going to be so practical. It's going to be so important. It's going to be so significant. But unless you get this… I want you to get this so you can get that. This is going to be the foundation. Are you ready?
"For thus says the Lord: 'You shall not see wind…'" Well, of course you can't. You can only feel it. "…nor shall you see rain; yet…" This may be the most important word of all. "…yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that…" Watch how good God is. He went from kings not having anything to drink. He says, "When God gets done with the situation, not only you but your cattle and your animals may drink". God said, "I'm going to do it so big your dog is going to be drinking this. I'm going to do it so big you're going to help others. You're going to change others. You're going to start a school with what I'm going to teach you. You're going to be there for other people". That's why God gave me the word. There have been seasons in my life when I have felt so dry I didn't think I could do it, but this past Tuesday, I was helping pastors and telling them, "You're going to make it".
Now how does that happen? Only God. Everybody gets to drink. Everybody gets to benefit. Nothing you've been through shall be wasted. Nothing you've walked through slipped his attention. It is going to come all of a sudden. "Yeah, but I don't see it". You don't have to. "Yeah, but I can't quantify it". You don't have to. "Yeah, but every time I go to talk about it, I can't even get it out because it's too painful". Then let the Holy Spirit do the talking. The Bible says there are groans that can't be uttered by words, and the Holy Spirit will intercede for you when you can't speak for yourself. You won't see wind, you won't see rain, But the drought will end, Everything can change all of a sudden, I feel it coming. He will come when you call his name, The Holy One will renew your strength All of a sudden, I feel it coming all of a sudden.