Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Dig Until God Does

Steven Furtick - Dig Until God Does

Steven Furtick - Dig Until God Does
TOPICS: Persistence

Let's go back to our Scripture in 2 Kings, chapter 3. If you're seated, stand really quick for the Word of God. All of a sudden. Put that little phrase in the chat if you're joining us online or look at the person next to you and say, "All of a sudden". The Scripture we were singing about a little bit… By the way, that song is not released, so, no, you can't get it. I guess if you screen record it I can't stop you, but if you put it on YouTube, we will take it down because it's not out yet. One of the Scriptures we were singing there in 2 Kings, chapter 3… It's a pretty amazing Bible story. I would say one of my top 10 favorites.

I want to go to verse 13. "Then Elisha said to the king of Israel, 'What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother.' But the king of Israel said to him, 'No, for the Lord has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.' And Elisha said, 'As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, surely were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not look at you, nor see you.'" This is what I was preaching about a little bit last week. "But now bring me a musician. Then it happened…" When the musician began to play, then it happened. "…when the musician played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him. And he said, 'Thus says the Lord: "Make this valley full of ditches". For thus says the Lord: "You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink".'"

Just start pointing to everything in your house right now and say, "Everything around me gets to drink from this blessing". "'And this is a simple matter in the sight of the Lord; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand. Also you shall attack every fortified city and every choice city, and shall cut down every good tree, and stop up every spring of water, and ruin every good piece of land with stones.' Now it happened in the morning, when the grain offering was offered, that suddenly water came…" Suddenly. You like that "sudden" stuff? We're going to talk about that "sudden" stuff today. "…suddenly water came by way of Edom, and the land was filled with water". It's kind of appropriate that I didn't get to my second point last week, because my first point was you'll know when you need to, and then my second point… Check this out. How ironic is this that I didn't get to this point.

My second point was it will flow when it's supposed to. Isn't that crazy? The part I didn't get to that I was supposed to say was "It will flow when it's supposed to". And guess what? I couldn't preach it until right now, because this is the word God wants spoken in this moment. Somebody shout, "It will flow when it's supposed to". High-five five people on your way to your seat. Say, "Let it flow". It's not Christmastime. Not "Let it snow". Let it flow. Suddenly. I'm kind of reestablishing something I said last week. I'll say it a little different here and get it up to top. By the way, I want you to understand something about all of the things you see in life that seem to come out of nowhere. They don't come out of nowhere. Most of the stuff we recognize all of a sudden flows from something that wasn't all of a sudden. Most, not all, of the stuff we recognize all of a sudden flows from something that wasn't all of a sudden.

When I stood in front of the mirror about 20 years ago and realized Holly had made me fat in our first year of marriage… My realization that my waistline had gone from a collegiate 32 to a "first year of marriage" 38… That's six sizes. It didn't happen suddenly. That six-size expansion project on my stomach wasn't sudden, but I did walk in front of the mirror one day with my shirt off and suddenly realized… So, most of the stuff we recognize all of a sudden… "Wow! I look pregnant. My wife is not pregnant. If any of us is going to be pregnant, it needs to be her. This is bad". The way I am wired… I went on a sudden Atkins diet, and it was delightful. Through bacon, peanuts, and the power of Diet Coke, I got it back down…slowly, not suddenly.

I'm just saying it in a playful way that most of the stuff we recognize all of a sudden flows from something, like a steady diet of pasta and Doritos. I didn't suddenly eat 700 bags of Doritos. I just ate two a day for a year. So, when we shout about "suddenly," we want to take a moment to recognize that while certain things come into our lives all of a sudden that are desirable, other things… I could call these the other suddenlys. It's where you wake up and realize all of a sudden, "I don't like the person I'm living with anymore". "All of a sudden, this thing in my life has gone from something I can control to something that I can't. All of a sudden, I'm drinking not just for the sake of winding down but getting through each day. Suddenly, something that was helpful to me feels like something that is holding me".

Now, I don't want to be negative about this beautiful Scripture in 2 Kings 3 because it is such an exciting Scripture, but understanding that we will often find ourselves in sudden situations that were created through gradual decisions can help us to go back in our lives and allow the Holy Spirit of God to begin to reverse some of the things our routines created. The Holy Spirit is speaking to me about the things all of a sudden in our lives that he can change, but it has to start somewhere. So, if there is something in your life, like these kings in this passage I read to you… The king of the northern kingdom, the king of the southern kingdom, and the king of Edom have all gathered together. On their way to a war, they run out of water. They have marched seven days through the desert, and suddenly they realize, "We need a word from God or we're not going to make it. We need God to intervene or we are not going to survive".

They realize that suddenly, but what had started before their moment of realization was subtle. It was a turning away from God that resulted in them being in a vulnerable spot. A lot of times in my life, I have recognized something suddenly that built slowly. One of my buddies told me about a line in a book. I think he said it was a Hemingway book. I didn't read the book, but I liked the quote. One character said to the other, "How did you go bankrupt"? The other character said, "Two ways: gradually, then suddenly". "How did you get divorced"? "Two ways: gradually, then suddenly". A sudden moment to realize something that had started long before. All of a sudden.

So, most of the stuff we recognize all of a sudden (that's what we were singing a minute ago) flows from something… Maybe it wasn't caused by one thing, but it flows from something that wasn't all of a sudden. Touch somebody next to you and say, "It wasn't sudden. It showed up suddenly, but it wasn't sudden". The same could be said for success. All right. Let's turn this really quick because it feels kind of dark in here. It feels kind of negative in here. I want to shift this energy really quick. I'm calling on the God of Jacob, the God of Joel Osteen. I want some positivity in here. Success isn't really sudden. If it is sudden, that's troublesome as well, because if the success is too sudden it won't be sustainable, but most success God gives will take you up the stairs. Very few elevators to this.

Our church is called Elevation, but to really grow through this ministry, or any ministry through the Word of God, there will be steps God will use to strengthen you, and they won't all feel like they're going upward. Sometimes it will feel like you are going down, down, down, down, down, but if you humble yourself under the mighty hand of God… One Scripture said, "In due time he will lift you up". The lifting might happen suddenly, but there are layers beneath every sudden lifting that unless you peel them back and see, you will misunderstand the nature of success just like you can misunderstand the nature of struggle. Struggles don't ingrain themselves all of a sudden; they happen slowly, and so do successes.

One of my friends was telling me about… I'll tell you who he was, because it will be a little bit better if I make it specific. He's one of the greatest songwriters I've ever written with. His name is Jason Ingram. I've written 20 or 30 songs with him in the last few years. I love getting in a room with him. He has this ability to just spit out a bridge for a song that will blow you away. I saw him do it one time. We were writing this one song, and he just goes, "You take what the Enemy meant for evil, and you turn it for good, you turn it for good". Then he goes, "Or something like that". All of a sudden. When we finish writing that particular song, he looks at me and goes, "That's the song that you write 300 other songs to get to that one song".

I realized something about his skill set as a songwriter. What he did suddenly in that moment was the result of stuff he did steadily. A steady hand brings a sudden blessing. I asked him a little bit more about his story. He's one of the most successful songwriters. Not only one of the best songwriters but one of the most successful songwriters. He has won Grammys and Dove Awards and probably Stellar Awards, and he's probably on his way to an Emmy or a Tony or an Oscar that I don't know about at this moment. He told me that when he first started as a songwriter… I'm going to get back to 2 Kings, chapter 3, but let me get there slowly, and then suddenly, when it hits, it'll mean more. If it starts slowly, when it hits suddenly, it'll mean more. When it starts slowly and it hits suddenly, it'll mean more. I am preaching and you don't know that I'm preaching. If it starts slowly, when it hits suddenly, it'll mean more, and it can last longer.

So, was it bad luck or was it God's design that when he first started writing songs and went to Nashville, every publisher he met with in town rejected him? His wife had quit her job and had moved with him to start his career, and he couldn't find one publisher who said, "Yes". Many of them said, "You just don't have it". One woman named Cindy was willing to give him a publishing contract. It wasn't much money, but it was enough to live off of with a newborn baby. So, he began to write songs off that publishing advance from one woman who believed in him. For a year he wrote. He turned in 150 songs in the first year. At the end of the first year, not one of them had been recorded. Not one had been recorded other than on his demo machine. It was probably a Tascam Portastudio 414 before we were doing it on our voice memos on our iPhones.

I didn't ask him that detail, but it was probably something archaic like that. Even if it wasn't, let me tell the story that way because it makes it better. The second year, for some reason, Cindy decided to renew his contract for another year. He wrote 150 more songs. One got recorded. But before you shout about the one that recorded and you think I'm going to tell you it was "I Can Only Imagine" and went on to be a smash movie, it wasn't. That song was put as a secret track. Half this room doesn't know what a secret track is, because the secret track is not available in the digital age. A secret track was on a compact disc. After the last song had finished playing, it would go about four minutes, and then there was another song, a throwaway song, a bonus song nobody ever heard because they turned the CD off.

That's where his song went. We got 300 songs, one recorded, and that's a secret track. In the third year, when he was nominated for a Grammy, a lot of people said, "Where did this guy come from"? Secret to sudden. When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites and go out and go, "Hey! Does anybody see me serving? Does anybody see the 300 songs I wrote"? No. We don't want to hear them. They suck. Keep writing those songs, and then maybe one day, if you do it enough in the secret place… (I don't know why I'm preaching this hard 20 minutes in.) One day, what is secret God can make sudden. But we live in a day when nobody has any time to be shut up in the secret place. Everybody wants the sudden thing, but it is the secret things that produce the sudden things. Now I feel the Holy Spirit. Now I feel the wind. Now I feel it blowing. Somebody shout, "Secretly, then suddenly".

Whether it is our secret struggles we need to bring to God and say, "God, help me deal with this. Help me process this. Help me deal with this with just you and me before something you could have secretly healed becomes suddenly exposed. God, I want to get this done in the secret place where you can minister, where you can touch, where you can uproot, where you can make it right". Everything we realize suddenly started secretly and built slowly. A secret track, and the next year he's at the Grammys. I'm not saying you'll win a Grammy. I don't even think you'd really care as much as you thought you would if you did. I am saying that it can happen suddenly. When it does, what you have done secretly will be the treasure of the process.

In our story, not only is there a sudden need they bring the prophets to speak to, these three kings who are… I just want to make sure you know the situation. They went through the desert, and they ran out of water, and they're getting ready for a war. That is definitely familiar to me. Sometimes you go through desert seasons on your way to fight battles, and what it takes for you to get to the battle takes so much out of you that you definitely don't have what it takes to fight the battle. So, the prophet comes, and he begins to prophesy. He prophesies about a few different things, and I'm going to show you the contrast here. He says, first of all… The hand of the Lord came on him, and in verse 16 he said, "Thus says the Lord: 'Make this valley full of ditches.'" Verse 17: "For thus says the Lord: 'You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink.'"

Let's break that down a little bit. What is he saying in these two verses? Well, the first thing he is not saying is what he is seeing. Before we get into what he says, let's get into what he isn't saying. He doesn't say, "The ground is dry". He doesn't say, "This battle is hopeless". He doesn't say, "This situation is desperate," although it is. It makes me wonder if one of the reasons we get dry inside is because we need to stop saying so much about what we see and start saying more about what God says. The structure of this is really helpful for your daily life, because there's what he sees and there's what God says. Twice he says, "Thus says the Lord". In verse 16 he says, "Thus says the Lord". In verse 17 he says, "Thus says the Lord". You might be in a situation where you're like, "This is terrible, but thus says the Lord. This is painful, but thus says the Lord".

"Are you teaching us to live in denial"? No, I'm just teaching you not to live in dryness. It only makes it feel drier to drive down and dig down deep into the things you see when what you see doesn't match what God says. Now, this is where I lose a lot of people. I can always feel I lose a lot of people here, because they think this is the "abracadabra," "hocus pocus" part of the preaching of the Word of God, and it's not. This is the greatest skill I would get you to learn in regard to dealing with the disappointments in your life, the dry places in your soul, and even the needs you have that you tend to meet in all of the wrong ways. I didn't plan any of this, but this flows how it's supposed to when it's supposed to, and I told you to let it flow, so I'm going to let it flow. "This is…thus says".

That's a shift I want you to begin to make. "This is…thus says". Both are important. The this is enables you to deal with where you are. The thus says, when you get a word from God and hold on to it and believe God for it and walk in it and work with it… The "Thus says the Lord" is what gets you from this is to what can be. I believe there are some people who are sitting under this message today who have been so stuck in this is you forgot thus says. When you don't feel like a conqueror and you make yourself a victim and forget he called you a victor, it is just a matter of time before you feel very dry. So, this is the switch you have to make. "This is unfair". Victim language. "Thus says the Lord, he will repay me double for my trouble, and no weapon…"

The thing about God is he will tell you to do crazy stuff that completely contradicts what makes sense in your logical mind. I'll prove it. This is what the Lord says. Verse 16. "Thus says the Lord: 'Make this valley full of ditches.'" A ditch for what? It's dry. I don't need a ditch in a dry place. Not yet, but thus says… This is a "getting ready" moment for you. "Thus says the Lord". I love the Word of God. How about you? It's what God uses to dig in my spirit to prepare me to receive what he's bringing by his hand into my life. No, digging doesn't feel good, not for the digger or the dirt. Trust me, I know. Don't you remember my story from a few weeks ago, how I used to dig graves for dogs? Did you hear that story? Were you here? I had a job digging graves for dogs and cats, and that prepared me for ministry. I believe it did. It prepared me for parenting.

I told Abbey the other day, "Hey, I want you to memorize this. If a boy ever wants to date you, here's your opening speech: 'Hey, before you date me, you just need to know my dad has experience doing weddings and digging graves.' Because I'm that dude. So, tell him when he shows up, 'Before we start this relationship, you need to know, either way it goes, my dad can do what needs to be done.' I'm the man for the job". I told her that. "When you start dating in about 35 years, tell your first boyfriend that…when you turn 50". Now listen. It's amazing what God speaks. He says, "There's going to be water flowing from the land of Edom". Isn't that a crazy place for water to flow from, the same desert they marched through to begin with? Isn't it crazy how sometimes God will bring the greatest blessings from the driest places?

The same desert you just marched through for seven days, and became dehydrated as you did, is the same place the blessing is going to flow from. Thus says the Lord. The same comfort with which God is comforting you through this crisis in your life is going to be the same comfort you are going to give to others when you get to your place of service. The same lessons you're learning through this breaking season are going to be the same lessons that turn into blessings for the people you help when you get through it. That's amazing. It's amazing what he told them to do…dig ditches in the valley. It's debatable whether he meant it literally or figuratively. I really don't care. It speaks to a mindset for me. Whether they really started digging all night to get ready for the rain or whether he was just kind of saying it like, "Fasten your seat belt; it's going to be a bumpy ride…"

That doesn't necessarily mean there is an actual seat belt involved. It's a saying. I think maybe "Dig ditches in the valley" was a saying, but I know for a fact it was an expectation. He tells him to do that. "For thus says the Lord: 'You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water…'" He also tells him what God intends to do. The thing he didn't say that I found almost as interesting as what he did say is how it would happen and when it would happen. That's interesting. If you went seven days without water, that's long enough to be desperate. Seven days is a long time. I don't even know how they've stayed alive these seven days if they passed through their rations. We're talking about water, not Wi-Fi. How many of you think you would go on a fast… Seven days without Wi-Fi would be enough to drive you to sackcloth and ashes, just seven days without an Internet connection.

We have to realize how weak they were in this moment to really appreciate the value of the word God gave. There's always this part of us that will listen to a little faith message like this and go, "Yeah, but my situation…" Nuh-uh. We're talking about water. No water. I don't care how many awards you win. I don't care how many great things you accomplish. I don't care what number your net worth says. No water? It's over. That's how bad it is. So, if it's that bad and God's word comes, the way we would expect to read this verse is "The hand of the Lord came upon Elisha, and he began to prophesy. And when the hand of the Lord came on Elisha and he began to prophesy, 'Make this valley full of ditches,' all of a sudden, water came". All of a sudden, the thing I need will be released in my life. But the Bible doesn't say the water suddenly came. The Bible says an instruction was given.

Now, sometimes before the intervention of God there is an instruction to you. I'm wondering, what is God calling you to dig today? I thought about this sermon from multiple levels. My buddy who wrote 300 songs who showed up and dug every day. My friend who sold a business for over $100 million last year who had to go back to being a substitute teacher and was waking up at 5:00 in the morning and going to sleep at 2:30 in the morning to build his company in the beginning in order to get to the point where he sold the company. When I see somebody God did something great for, now I've learned to ask a secondary question. Not only what God did for them. That's my first question. The second question I ask is "I wonder what they dug for God to do that. I wonder what God dug for them to be able to have that kind of relationship".

When I see families that are really happy… I don't just mean happy in a picture. I mean families that are really together, and they've survived some tough seasons. One of their marriages ended, and one of their kids is in a bad spot, but they're praying for it and all coming back around. I don't just wonder what God did for them anymore. I wonder, "What did they have to dig through to get to this kind of family strength"? You do yourself a real favor… When you see somebody God did something great for and you want God to do that for you, if you get a chance, ask them, "What did you have to dig for God to do that"? Because the water came suddenly.

If you only showed up in the sunlight of the next day, you would have mistakenly believed the water just came when the word came. If you just think everybody who's blessed and everybody who has peace and everybody who's free and everybody who's walking in a measure of the favor of God and everybody who has influence… If you just think God did it, then you miss the point. God did it when they dug it. That's why I love this passage. It means that God is sovereign. He did it. Nobody else can make it rain. Nobody else can tell the sun, "Come up now". Nobody else can drive back the darkness but God. God did it, but they dug it. God didn't write 300 songs for Ingram. If he did, all of them would have been smash hits. They would have all been number one first day out.

Can you imagine God writing a song? It would dominate the charts. You could dance to it. You could sway to it. You could cry to it. You could laugh to it. No. He wrote 300 songs. He dug it and God did it…in that order. It didn't flow the moment the prophet spoke about it. "Thus says the Lord, 'Water, flow.'" No. Water will flow when you dig. "Dig where"? This valley. "Wait. A valley that's dry? A valley that's low? A valley that's painful? A feeling I can't shake"? Yes. The lower and the deeper the valley the more water it can hold. I am telling you that this is not your breaking; this is your breakthrough. This is it! Thus says the Lord. This is a valley, but thus says the Lord. He is my shepherd. I shall not want. Thus says the Lord. He's making a table right now. Yeah! The only thing the Devil can do, since he can't take the word of God away from you, is to get you so weary and discouraged you stop digging because it's dry. "You can't dig. You're dry". "That's why I'm digging: because I'm dry. That's why I'm praising: because I'm dry. That's why I'm doing it: because I'm dry".

Digging or drought. You will have to decide in this moment of your life, digging or drought. I'll be digging, because I did drought, and I didn't like it. I threw a pity party. Nobody RSVPed. They surely didn't bring presents. I did bitterness. I got down to the bottom of the bitterness, and guess what I found: dry. Once I drank all that bitterness, I was dry. I did blame. Do you all want me to dig or do you all want me to dance up here? I could just dance up here. See, I noticed a lot of preaching is like we're dancing around what's really happening rather than digging through what's really causing it. This happens in parts. The word comes suddenly. The musicians started playing and the word came suddenly. But since we talked last week about the steady hand of the musician who played the harp, we should also talk about the steady hand of the diggers who held the shovels.

That's where sudden blessings come from: constant digging. "Are you saying I have to work my way into a relationship with God? I got set free from that. I grew up in that church, and that burned me out, man. So, don't you start telling me I've got to read 17 chapters of the Bible a day, because I tried the '17 chapters of the Bible a day' plan, and I hated the Bible because I couldn't pronounce Methuselah and Melchizedek and all of these people you had me reading about. It got really boring in Leviticus". I'm not talking about working your way to God. I'm talking about digging your way to water where the grace can flow, where the joy can flow. Let me tell you when it's going to flow: when it's supposed to. Let me tell you when they're going to take you off the secret tracks and bring you to the stage: when they're supposed to.

Let me tell you what you can do in the meantime until it does. I think a lot of us are really confused about what we need to surrender in our lives. We don't need to surrender the desires God has put in our hearts if God put them there. What we need to surrender in this season of our lives is the way we thought it was supposed to go. Let go of how you thought it was supposed to go. While you're at it, let go of when you thought it was supposed to get there. The issue isn't will God; it's when God. It doesn't just depend on what he wants to do; it depends on what you are willing to do until God does. I shared with one of the people I mentored the other day… They were needing clarity.

I said, "The issue isn't whether God will reveal this or not; the issue is what you will do until God does give you clarity. Because if you flail right now and thrash right now and act nasty right now, and if you cope with stuff that's going to put you in a cage later right now, then when God gives you clarity, you won't even be able to act on it because you will be so constrained by the decisions you made while you were waiting". The issue is not will God. The issue is not his sovereignty; it's your "supposed to". Let me ask you a question. When it flows, are you going to be where you're supposed to be…in the valley, digging ditches; in the valley, transporting… That's a lot of times what parenting is. It's just taking your kids back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. In certain seasons, they won't talk to you. "How was your day"? "Fine". If you get a "Fine" out of them, that's a grade-A response. That is a premium response in this season I'm talking about. Then they're going to be in your room at 12:30 in the morning.

Now they want to talk. You're asleep. Part of being a parent is being able to flow with all of that. If you pick them up and drop them off enough, eventually they open up enough, and you get to have the conversation, but if you don't show up when they say nothing, when they open up you won't be there. Everything is like that. Everything God did in my life was something I was digging in a dry place when he was doing it. The same thing for Holly. Usually, when we meet people, and we're meeting them for the first time and they're a part of the ministry, they'll go, "Oh, Pastor Steven. Hey, Holly"! It doesn't bother me a bit. I'm like, "I like her more than I like me too. Hey, trust me. I'm in her fan club. I'm the president. Would you like a picture…of her"?

I'm exaggerating a little bit just to make a point. I remember when Holly felt completely useless in this ministry. I remember the season when the kids were very little that I would take them out on a Wednesday night, and she would invite maybe 12 women… I don't know if it would be smaller or larger than that. She would have them into our home, and she would walk them through a Bible study. But it wasn't just a Bible study, because she didn't really feel like she had that much to teach from the Bible. She would show them how to cook quick meals. She would say, "When you have little kids, you have to cook quick meals. So I'm going to show you quick meals, stuff you can do really easily, stuff that doesn't take much brain power, stuff that'll take your husband's waist size from a 32 to a 38". That class should have been called "Project 38".

So, I watched it expand, like my waistline, from when she did the Bible study in our house to then I watched… They said, "You need to do that for all of the ladies of our church". She made a little study called Mrs. Betterhalf. Do you know how many people I have overheard (while they're getting their selfie with her while I'm standing over in the corner sucking my thumb) say, "It saved our marriage"? It means more to me, because I saw where it started really slowly. I saw that it was out of her personal dryness of where she could have felt sorry for herself. "What do I do? What's my job? What's my value? Where's my Grammy? Where's my Oscar for best supporting role"? I watched what she did, and I watched how she did it at such a level it was almost like a decimal.

You know how you have the number and then the decimal? It's almost like I watched what was behind the decimal move, and I watched God add zeroes to it, where it was 10 women, and then it was 100 women, and then it was 1,000 women. I feel God enlarging somebody's vision right now. Not your waistline…your vision. Come on. Can you see it by the Spirit? You won't see wind and you won't see rain. Nobody came to her with a publishing advance and said, "Would you make a study about wifedom"? She never got the wifedom publishing advance, but when the pandemic hit and everybody was trapped in their homes, hating each other, hating each other a little bit, on each other's nerves…

We were taking a walk, and I said, "Do you know what you have? Betterhalf. I want you to release Betterhalf into the world right now so we can help families get through this challenging time". And she did that. It wasn't 10 anymore. It wasn't even 100. It wasn't 1,000. It wasn't just our church. It was all over the world. I watched as women all over the world were gathered, saying, "Can we drink some of that water you started digging for a decade ago"? That's why God did it: because you dug it. You dug it; God did it. You dug it; God did it. This is going to be your testimony, so practice. "I dug it; God did it". You dug it; God did it. That's what you're going to be telling people a little bit from now. "I had a secret track after 300 songs. I had a secret prayer life. I had a secret reading plan. I had a secret ambition, but I surrendered it to him, and I gave up on what others were going to think, and I got serious about service. I dug it; God did it".

We're going to be looking back on something not many days from now, talking about, "I dug it; God did it". Now let's get into this a little bit. Say, "When I dig it, God can fill it". Not when I feel it. When I dig it, when I don't feel it, God will fill it. This, my friend, is the word of the Lord. "Why is it not here yet"? Imagine the digging that took place with people who were already dehydrated. They dug all night. They waited all night. That's a long time to dig with nothing to drink. Trust me. I've dug. Come on. Take it from the gravedigger. I dug, and I wasn't filling a valley with ditches, and I had better tools. Digging while you're dry sounds so inspirational, but it can be so difficult. So, they need water right now. Why didn't God make it flow the moment Elisha spoke it? Why do we have to go all the way to verse 20 for the water to come?

I'm going to tell you why: because the sun wasn't up yet. Some of the things that make you want to give up and think it's never coming… The sun isn't up yet. Imagine them digging all night, and they're dry, and they're desperate. In many ways, they're defeated. They've already expressed, "The Lord has brought us here to hand us over," so they've completely lost their confidence, but they're digging anyway. Verse 17 says, "Thus says the Lord: 'You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water…'" So, every time they checked to see, "Has it happened yet"? somebody said, "No". I want to talk for a moment about what to do when you're navigating a "No". "Is there wind yet"? "No". "Do you feel the mist yet"? "No". "No, I'm not talking about a thunderstorm. Do you even feel a drop yet"? "No". This is something people love to ask me: "Are you ready to preach"?

I never answer that with a complete "Yes," because the truth of the matter is there's no real way to be ready to release the Word of God. It flows when it's supposed to. God gives me what I need as I preach it. So shall it be in your life. I want you to receive this. I don't know if you're getting it. Every time they asked, "Did God do it yet"? while they were digging, it was a "No". Sometimes when you get enough "noes" you make "no" your emotional home. No wind. No rain. Nobody to talk to about this. No one you really trust. No end in sight to this battle. No good news lately. I could make it really good. No deposits in the account no matter how many times a day you check it. Do you ever just check, wondering if something happened overnight? Like, "Maybe. I don't know. God is big. Maybe the bank made an error. Maybe Y2K will be 23 years late and it'll all get wiped out. Let me just check this one more time. Nope".

I see you refreshing your phone. "No". "Maybe they texted. No. Well, maybe they… No". The way you negotiate that "No," which is a type of valley of its own, is so important. Do you make that "No" your home or do you dig through it to find what God will do if you don't let the "No" that life has told you become the final word over your life? In verse 20, we get a very different word. What we've basically done is we've gone from no wind… The refreshing you wanted didn't come. The momentum you wanted didn't come. How many can relate to this? Just put a raised hand up in the room or in the chat. Say, "Yeah, no wind. I don't feel it right now". No rain. That's the resource they need. Sometimes it's going to come in this way. You are not going to get the feeling you want or the resource you want, and it's going to be a "No".

Now, the way you negotiate this "No" has everything connected to what is next. It does not just depend on what God can do. It depends on what you will do until God does. That's what it depends on right now. What will you do until God does? I have another confession of faith God gave me, and it might be for somebody. I may have doubts, and I may have disappointments, and I may have a lot of noes. There may be 300 of them. There may be 300 more. There may be rejections in my future and failures in my future. I'm sure there are. If I keep living, there will be. There may be people who don't like me. There may be people who turn on me. There may be dryness in my future, and I don't know exactly how God is going to do this, but I'll tell you what I have decided in my spirit. I'll be digging until God does it.

That's all I can control. That's all I can do. I can't make it rain. I can't make people change their minds. I certainly can't control things that are beyond the sphere of the domain God has given me. I can't make that person love me. I can't make that person like me. I can't make this situation change. I can't make them see my value. But I know one thing. I'll be digging until God does, because he knows. I don't, but he knows. Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you…" He knows. He knows what he's going to do, who he's going to do it through, and the exact time he's going to do it. Until he shows me how it's going to happen, I'll be digging until God does it. I believe he's going to give me the joy. I believe he's going to give me the second chance. I believe he's going to show me the next chapter, but until he does, I'll be digging. Because guess what. When they dug it, God did it.

So give me my next line. This is what I mean. I'll be digging until God does. That's why I dug: because he put something in me. That's why I dug: because he had something for me. Don't you get it? Eye has not seen and ear has not heard and neither has it entered into your heart what God can do! So, what are you going to do? I'll be digging until God does. If it takes another night, and if it takes another year, and if it takes another prayer, and if it takes another song, and if it takes another setback, that's all right. I'm digging down deep. I'm built up strong. I will not fall. High-five everybody you feel like high-fiving and say, "Dig till he does it". You need water?

All right. Weeping may endure for a night but joy… Joy! You can dig a ditch right now. Open your mouth and praise him. Joy is coming and springs come suddenly! Verse 20. We went from "No" to… Watch this. "Now…" That's just no with something after it. Now! I'm digging now for what I will see later. Now! God said no is just now waiting for what's next. When you get done digging, do you know how strong your foundation is going to be? When it gets there, you'll be ready for it. That's why I'm getting my spending under control…so when God wants to make me a steward to bless more people than just my family… I started budgets when we were broke. You didn't hear a word I just said for the last hour. I started my budget when we were broke, because if God moves the zero to the other side of the decimal, what am I going to do with it? That's a ditch.

Now, there is a decision to be made on your part, and then there is a destiny that has been created in God's heart. The Bible said, "Now it happened…" When? "…in the morning…" Why did God wait all night? Why didn't God make it happen right when you needed it? Well, the Bible said, "Now it happened in the morning, when the grain offering was offered, that suddenly…" But it's not sudden. We've been digging all night. It looked sudden if you were watching it, but it was steady if you were digging it. Isn't that the truth? "…suddenly water came by way of Edom, and the land was filled with water". I still don't know why God would wait until the morning when they were about to die through the night, but I read the next verse.

Watch what happened next. "And when all the Moabites…" That's the enemy. "…heard that the kings had come up to fight against them, all who were able to bear arms and older were gathered; and they stood at the border". They thought they were about to kill the people of God. Oh, by the way, Edom means red. When the enemies saw the water on the other side, they thought it was blood because it was red. Why was it red? Because the sun came up. When the amber sun kissed the sudden flood, it looked like blood to the enemy. So watch what they did. "And they said, 'This is blood; the kings have surely struck swords and have killed one another; now therefore, Moab, to the spoil!'"

So, the enemy rushes in, but it wasn't blood. It was the meeting of the flood and the sun that came together. So, I picture God all night long… The prophet spoke, "There will be a flood," and God is saying, "Not yet, flood. The sun isn't up yet". See, you can't flow just yet, because when the sun comes up, the sun is going to hit the flood in just the right way at just the right time to confuse your enemy at just the right place at just the right time.

God says, "It will flow when it's supposed to". You're right on schedule. God has not abandoned you. The sun is coming up over your life, and God says, "It's time for you to dig again. It's time for you to sing again. It's time for you to rejoice again". Let's take 20 seconds and do it now. Begin to praise him. All of a sudden, like a flood. All of a sudden, God said, "Sun, you can rise. Waters, you can flow". I release healing in your life. I release joy in your life. I release freedom in your life. All of a sudden, all of a sudden, But even if it doesn't, I'll be digging until he does it. All of a sudden, all of a sudden, But even if it doesn't, I'll still be digging until he does it.
Are you Human?:*