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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - I Need Strength

Steven Furtick - I Need Strength

Steven Furtick - I Need Strength

This is an excerpt from: It Works In Reverse

Anybody want to take a guess, when David made the biggest mistake of his life and slept with Bathsheba and the child born died and he went back and had another child… Anybody want to guess the name of the child who he had after his greatest mistake? Yeah. I thank you for having the boldness to say that, because I think everybody else in the church was like, "It must be a setup, because it can't be Solomon". There's no way, right? How could it be Solomon? He's inexperienced. He was the product of a bad decision David made. How could God use the weak thing to build the glorious thing? You might be wondering that about your life today. Maybe that's why God gave me this word for you: so you could know that people build on your successes, people choose according to your wisdom, but with God it works in reverse.

I want you to get that in your spirit. It works in reverse. God does not choose the moments when you feel the strongest to show up the most in your life. I'm a living witness. It is the moments when you are working through the weakness, whatever it may be… Some of you have a temper. Some of you have an addiction to something that is chemical in nature. It could even just be food. It could be an addiction to bitterness. I mean, there are all kinds of addictions. Do I really need to list every single one of them? I promise I will. I will go in alphabetical order until I hit everybody on every row. "Oh, no. I'm not addicted to anything".

Just let me get to C, you control freak. And if I get to the Ps, I'll talk about your pride for saying you don't have any addictions. We will rattle them off. The good news of the gospel to me is that God chose the weak things. When you put it on the coffee mug, Holly, put it where it can go both ways where you turn it around, so when I'm drinking my coffee in the morning, after next Mother's Day… I can picture it right now. I promise you one thing. I am not strong without coffee. I know I need caffeine. I need Christ, and I need caffeine, but I usually need them in the opposite order. It's usually the caffeine then the Christ, because I can't find Christ without the caffeine. I am confessing in front of thousands.

Make sure when you turn the mug around it says, "Be strong, do the work," but make sure it's on two sides so we can remember this message, where we can say, "Oh, I don't feel strong. How am I going to be strong"? Is this too simple? Do y'all want me to give you a detailed explanation of the dimensions of the temple Solomon built and the type of bronze that was imported from King Hiram for him to do it and the dimensions of the inner courtyard and the outer courtyard and the lampstands and the insets? Is that what you want?

I think the deepest thing we can do with a word from God is to do it. I'm preaching a lot from the Old Testament this year because I'm having a very special time with my own family reading through the Old Testament chapter by chapter with Elijah, my oldest son. He was going through the Bible… I've told you this, but I want to tell you again because the Holy Spirit brought it to my attention. He had the great idea to go through the Bible slowly. He was like, "I don't want to just rush through it. I want to go slowly". So, he and Kelsey were reading, and then I jumped in and kind of invited myself to the group and started giving them a key verse every day.

Now, the reason I chose the key verse principle is because sometimes you can just read a Scripture or hear a sermon and go, "Oh, that's good". It's like that YouTube Short. "The only Bible verse you'll ever need to have big shoulders for the Lord, to have a strong spirit, to be worry free and anxiety free". I love all of these YouTube Shorts. I, of course, put content on them. That's not my point. My point is I never got stronger because of something I clicked on. I've gotten a lot stronger in my adult life because I work hard at that physically but never because I clicked on something. It was always something I did. I might click on it to learn something, but until I did it… Now, this sermon could be something you click on today. It could be something you click on and go, "Oh, that's really good and true. 'Be strong and do the work.' Yeah! Yes! That's awesome".

Go over to James, chapter 1, because this is why I do the key verse principle with my family. I think it would be a wonderful thing for us to go over as a church together. In the book of James, he's making the case that faith without works is dead. He is not saying that the grace of God and the blood of Jesus are not enough to cover your sin, but he's saying if you come to the place where you hear the Word… In fact, he gives an analogy. He says, "Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent…"

I love that phrase. In the King James it talks about superfluous naughtiness. Look it up sometime. The Bible is awesome. You can click around all of the translations. But clicking into a different translation won't save you, will it? Clicking around or highlighting stuff… That is wonderful. It is wonderful that you are hearing this word. The Word of God is wonderful, but this is a process that James says. He says there is a getting rid of moral filth. This is a very specific thing he's talking about here. He's talking about everything that surrounds you, everything that is covering the true potential of the Christ in you. All of that has to go. "…and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you".

That's interesting, because it doesn't say it will save you; it says it can. This Word can help you today. This Word can set you free today. God's presence can touch you today. God can get into your situation and show you stuff you don't know. He can put in your mind what only his Spirit knows. He can. But this is not in the category of the salvation you get when you come to Christ. This is salvation from yourself. He says the only way to be saved from your self-deception is to humbly accept the word that is planted…where?

So, you have all this moral filth around you, and you have this Word from God planted in you. So, now I understand I've had it backward. I've been too controlled by my environment. I've been too controlled by my surroundings. I've been too controlled by cultural programming. I've been too controlled by thoughts that didn't even come from God. I've been too controlled by what I see, what I feel, what I think, what I knew up to this point. That's what's around me. When what is around me contradicts the Word that is planted in me… God says we have to get this thing switched up, because the Word that is in you has potential to save you, but with God it works in reverse.

See, most people live this way. Whatever happens on the outside, they react to it. Whatever happens on the outside, they move to it. Whatever happens on the outside, they dance with it. Whatever happens on the outside, they surrender to it. Whatever happens on the outside, that's what they consult for their next step in life. Not you. You're chosen, so you do it differently. In the kingdom of God, it works in reverse. So, I don't start with my situation to see how it's going to turn out, because it works in reverse. I can be in a filthy situation, a naughty situation, a nasty situation, a grimy situation, a dark situation, a confusing situation. If I walked according to the world, I'd be down about it, and I'd be weak about it, and I'd think there was no hope in going forward and no cause to continue in it, but I don't walk according to what I see, I don't walk according to what I feel, and I don't walk according to who I've been to this point, because I found out I'm chosen. I found out God is building a temple. I found out I am the temple of the Holy Spirit, and it works in reverse.

So, in this season of my life, I'm getting rid of some things that are in the way of my relationship with God, because it works in reverse. This is what I think it means to seek first the kingdom. I think it means you've turned the whole thing around, that you would say, "I would rather have peace and be right with God than be popular with everybody else in the world. I'd rather have peace with almighty God than have all the money in the world". Are y'all feeling this yet? See, I don't wait for you to feel it before I preach it. I'm going to preach it until you feel it, because it works in reverse. That's how the Word works. The Word will feel weird when you hear it. It will call you a conqueror when you feel like a coward. It will call you a winner when you feel like a loser. It'll call you seated in heavenly places when you feel like you're at the bottom. He chose the weak things to shame the strong. That's how it works, y'all.

Of course you don't feel strong. You're not working through your weakness. You're going to feel stronger when you sit there anyway. I talked to somebody the other day. They were like, "I had this appointment. It was awkward. I walked out". I said, "Then you are going to be stumped at the level of your discomfort, because you can't sit in anything that makes you feel uncomfortable long enough to be developed". I told him that to his face, and he received it. He said, "You're right. You're right. You're right". I said, "I don't mean to preach to you". He said, "No, preach to me, man. I need it. I need it. I need it". That's what he said. "I'm sick of being stuck. I'm sick of needing to feel a certain way to do a certain thing. I'm sick of coming to church and going like, 'Oh, yeah. I want to live like that.' I'm sick of clicking around YouTube videos and going, 'Oh, yeah. I want to live like that.'"

When James comes along, he says something very simple in James 1:22. "Do not merely listen to the word…" I stopped there when I was studying this week. I'm like, "Lord, that would be good if people would even just listen to it. I mean, they're doing pretty good just to listen to a sermon when there are so many other options. Why are you being so hard on them? They're listening to the Word". But he showed me that when you listen and don't implement, it limits you that much more the next time you hear it. It puts a lid on the potential he has put inside of you. So, the next thing becomes very, very integral to your spiritual development. "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says".

Elijah, where are you at? Thank you for that Bible club, and thank you for this. Every time he sends his key verse… We pick a verse, and we say, "This is how I'm going to try to do this today". Every time he sends his key verse, it's so practical. He's so smart. He's so analytical. He always has been. When he was, like, 4 years old, he was asking me questions that made me feel like I needed to go back to Bible college again. He has asked me stuff about God that God hasn't even asked about God. Yet every time he does it, he puts it so simply. At the end of his key verses, he'll always say, "I hope this isn't too simple". Don't ever say sorry for keeping it simple. What you put the other day about David where you said, "Okay. I know this isn't probably the deepest application of the text…" No, the deepest thing you could have found is what you found, because you found the thing God was actually calling you to do.

I thought that was so powerful. I'm like, "That is what a disciple…" Not that you're perfect or I'm perfect or not that "Oh, we're reading our Bible every day so we're so great". But I love how I see you working the Word. Here's what I know about God's Word: it works in reverse. God is giving him wisdom today for experiences he doesn't even know he's going to have yet. He's digging a well today every time he goes to the Word and puts it into practice. Principles without practice are powerless.
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