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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - With God, There's Always A Way

Steven Furtick - With God, There's Always A Way

Steven Furtick - With God, There's Always A Way

You know, many times in our life, even when things don't go the way we wanted them to, or when things happen in a really horrible way, I've noticed a lot of people still find a way through that to rejoice, to redeem the situation, and to show God's glory in it. And that always inspires me. I have three people that come to my mind every single time I mention that, who I've witnessed in my life that found a way, that when the healing didn't come or the protection wasn't there and the worst thing happened, there’s three people that I think about moved forward. And they moved forward with mourning, broken hearts, never quite the same again. But when I say "With God, there's always a way," that's what I mean. I don't mean there's always a way to avoid suffering, because Jesus went on a road that we call Via Delarosa, the way of suffering, to the cross. And He prayed, "If there is any other way, Father, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not My will but Yours be done".

So, Jesus himself shows us that the way the truth and the life, He shows us, the One who is the way, shows us that the way to our salvation was through His cross. So, we're not saying with God there's always a way around suffering, but there is always a way through whatever God leads you through. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me". So, the second confession that came to me the other day, and I love things I can get in my heart and even say out loud and write down if they have meaning to me. I'm looking for things that help me get my faith stirred up, help me get my focus on God, help me get my horizons broadened so I don't just live in my own head.

But the second thing God gave me when I was thinking about going to preach is: God is not out to get me. He is in it with me, working through me, fighting for me. And I thought about that as it relates to preaching and ministering. I think, for many years I had a very subtle and buried fear that I didn't even know was there, that somehow in the process of preaching, that I was going to screw it up. And almost, not that God wanted me to, but almost that I was doomed to. And I wouldn't have said, "Man, God is out to get me". I think what I would have thought though was, "Man, I'm not perfect. I'm not worthy to preach this message," even though I don't have this list of things that are in my life where I'm just trying to be a hypocrite. Yeah, I struggle with things and I wrestle with things just like all of you do. But standing up, I'm not saying that I'm perfect, but, "Man, I don't probably deserve to preach this".

And since I don't deserve it, and since I don't know all this Greek and Hebrew. That I probably could have studied more or learned more, I could be living this out more. Or there's not enough examples of historical Christian figures in this sermon, and it's too modern or it's not modern enough. All these reasons why I think either my life or my knowledge disqualifies me. Almost thought of it like God didn't want to bless my message. I didn't always feel this way, but a lot of times I would. And waiting for God to pull the rug out from under me or waiting for you, you've ever seen a trap door open and somebody just fall down? And that's what I mean by "God out to get me" in preaching and in life.

I think one of the artists that I listened to a few years ago said, "Is God playing a joke on me"? He was talking about having success and wondering, "Is God playing a joke on me"? It sounds weird to talk about God that way, but I almost feel like God is looking for a reason to take things away. That God is looking for a reason to send things into chaos in our life. And I understand there's a lot of scriptural passages where we see God dealing with His people in a way that seems harsh to us. And just from a literal interpretation, it is harsh. We do have now, in the model of Jesus and in the life of Jesus and the reality of Jesus, the assurance that God is looking for a way to love us.

Now, I want you to let that sink in. God is looking for a way to love me. And will I let Him in, because He's looking for ways to love me, He's looking for ways to use me, He's looking for ways to encourage me, strengthen me, build me up, help me, not always the way that I tell him He should, don't get me wrong about that, but God is always looking for a way to show His love to me and through me. He got down in the fire, the fourth man in the fire was Jesus, I believe, with those Hebrew boys to let them know, "I'm in it with you. I'm in it with you". That's what he told Joshua. We were setting up Joshua yesterday in my sermon, and I’m going to preach about Joshua some in the next few weeks, God willing. And he said to Joshua, "Don't turn to the right or to the left, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. So, stay in the law of the Lord, meditate on his law day and night".

We might even take that further and say, stay in faith, stay in the Word of God, stay in the promises of God, stay in the Spirit, walk in step with the Spirit, the New Testament teaches us, and be strong in the Lord, and put on His armor. "And the Lord your God", He told Joshua, "will be with you wherever you go". So, if you are somewhere, even somewhere you don't like, God is in it with you. If you're somewhere, even if it's somewhere you feel stuck, God is stuck in it with you. "Wait, wait, wait. God isn't stuck". I beg to differ. He is stuck in it with you, because God lives in you. Now, God can do anything. God could blow up the whole situation, man. He could turn over tables in the temple, He can blast open the Red Sea. I'm not saying that God doesn't have the capacity. But what I mean is that when Jesus said, "I will never leave you or forsake you," when He came hunting down Peter in the boat after he went fishing, He wanted us to see that he's in it with you, like Adrian said to Rocky in Rocky IV...

Now, Rocky IV is basically the New Testament of the Rocky movies, and all the Creed stuff is commentaries, and then Rocky I, II and III are the Old Testament, but that's for another time. But Adrian said, "I'm with you no matter what". And the Lord says that to you, "I'm in it with you. I'm in it with you". Ask Paul and Silas, who were in prison, if God is in it with you, ask... Who else can we ask? Maybe you can put your own example in the chat. I know we can ask. Ask David, who was at the Cave of Adullum, if God is with you, ask Jonah, who had God put him in a fish, speak to the fish to vomit him out, if God is in it with you. God is in it with you. Ask the disciples, who thought Jesus didn't care about them because he was sleeping in the hull of the ship in the storm, if Jesus is in it with you. Oh, yeah, He's in it with you. He's in it with you, number two, He's working through you.

That part's important because it gets the focus off of just selfishly going, "Okay, Lord, you're my Savior, you're my snuggie, you're my special someone. You're in it with me. Let's wallow around down here in the fear together"? No It is God who works in you, both to will and to do according to His good pleasure. He's in it with you, working through you. Even when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, which I mentioned yesterday, "now Jesus", that's what I pulled out of that text. "Now Jesus," He's standing here now. He wasn't there when they wanted him to come, but He's in it with you now. He even wept because he loved the sisters so much. He said that this sickness will not end in death, but it is for God's glory that God's son might be revealed. And even the resurrection of Lazarus was something that Jesus was using as his own road to purpose and our redemption in salvation, was leading Him to Jerusalem because when He raised Lazarus, that's when the chief priest and scribes really got set on killing Him.

So, God was using Lazarus, I like to say He was using him as a prop. He was using him as a prop to set up the resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ. And don't let that make you feel too bad because God working through you is the highest honor. It is the highest honor for God to flow through you, move through you, to speak through you, to think through you, to wrap your arms around somebody, give love to serve through you. God is in it with me, working through me, fighting for me. And that brings us back to what I started out saying, that with God there's always a way, and by faith, I will find it. And by faith I will fight for it because God is fighting for me.

All right, back to the passage where, in Luke 5, these four men are bringing their friend to Jesus. You all thought I forgot my Bible passage. You all have no faith in me, but by faith I will find it. In Luke 5... Oh, I love doing these videos, man. I should put these out one day. Maybe I'll put this one out. I just do them here for my own personal discipline and development and time with God, but maybe I'll put this one out. Where it says that the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick, people where the doctor said, "There's no way they can be healed". People where the mental health specialist said, "There's no way for this to be helped". People who, their inside voices told them, "It's never gonna change".

It says that the power of the Lord was there for Jesus to heal sick. "Some men came," this is Luke 5:18, "...carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus who had the power to make a way for this man to be healed". Now, verse 19, "When they could not find a way to do this," because of the crowd, "when they could not find a way". They must have had the same tape playing in their head, the same recording playing in their head, "When they could not find a way, with God there's always a way". When they could not find a way, but with God, there's always a way.

Imagine them rolling up on the healing service. "We're here to see Jesus. We've got a friend, he's very, very sick, as you can see. Can't move from this mat"? "What's his name"? "Matt". "All right. Well, sorry, but you and Matt are gonna have to come back next week because there's no room left". "Okay, cool. Big crowd. Okay, cool". What would you have done in this situation? What do you do when you try to go after something that God is calling you to go after, in any area, to make a difference in someone's life, to complete something that God is stirring in you just to take a step toward the things that you know His purpose? I'm being generic here on purpose so that I don't rule anybody out.

When you can't find a way, what do you do? Most people walk away. Walk away. "Well, okay". Or they say, "I'ma wait on the Lord". And that's good to do. That's good to do when you are finding yourself in manipulation, impatience, starting to do things outside of God's values to accomplish your own vision that you see, that you want, it's very good to wait on the Lord. But in this case, they knew that the power of the Lord was there to heal Jesus. And they knew that Jesus was not the one keeping them out of the room, it was the crowd. So, watch what they did when they could not find a way.

Somebody say, "With God there's always a way". That's the first thing you've got to believe. You've got to believe that He who made the heavens and the sea and measured out the universe, He who spoke and it was, He who calls things that are not as though they are, He who enlivens dead wombs, He who causes the rain to fall on barren land and brings forth out of parched ground, He will always make a way. But watch this, you've got to find it. As I said, when they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat, through the tiles, in the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. "Oh, no, I'm getting you to Jesus. I'm getting you to Jesus. I'm getting to Jesus".

I'm getting this issue to Jesus. I'm going to bring this to the One who can do something about it. I'm going to do it by faith. Here's why this verse came to me, this story that I love so much. I’ve preached it many times. Here's why it came to me as an illustration of the affirmation that I gave you, "With God, there's always a way," the power of God is with Jesus. And at first it seemed like there wasn't a way, but with God there's always a way. And look what Jesus said, "When He," Verse 20, "...saw their faith, He said, 'Friend, your sins are forgiven.'" And how did He see their faith? Because they found a way. And how did they find a way? By faith. "By faith, I will find it".

By faith, I will find a way to get to my wife's heart and show her that I love her. By faith, I will find a way to pass on these values that are important to me, to my kids, even in a corrupt culture. By faith, I will find a way to get up on my feet and be a provider. By faith, I will find a way, because with God, there's always a way. And by faith, not by works, not by smarts, not by skills... In fact, you could argue that this was not a very smart thing at all to go up on the roof, dig the tiles, and lower the stretcher, but they did it. And Jesus didn't call it foolish, He called it faith.

And I'm not saying be destructive, but I'm saying, be creative. Be creative. Be creative with your faith. I'm going to find a way. Some weeks I feel a little lost in what I'm supposed to preach that week or what I'm supposed to create that week. But I've got to start with the thing that you know that God is in this with me, He's working through me, He's fighting for me. So, there's a way, there's a way, and by faith I will find it. I will find it because God is in it with me. God is working through me. God is fighting for me.

I mentioned Paul and Silas in prison. If God will get with you in prison, he'll get with you anywhere. And I know they didn't do anything wrong to be in prison, but the analogy is still good, right? Who wants to go to prison? God? And the crazy thing was that when the doors opened, do you all remember this story in Acts 16:25, when the doors slung open and everyone's prison bands were loosed and God made a way for them to get out and they stayed? They stayed. Paul and Silas stayed in the prison even though they could leave freely. And the guard woke up to kill himself and Paul said, "Don't kill yourself. Don't, don't do that. We're all here. Let me tell you about Jesus". And that prison guard got saved, which always demonstrated to me a very powerful principle.

A lot of times, what we're looking for a way out of, God is looking for a way into. So, I'm trying to escape situations going, "God, give me a way out," and God says, "I want a way in. I want to work through you in this. I want to show my strength in this". Let him in, because there's a way. But you've got to unblock your heart. You can't be bitter, you can't be in survival mode. You've got to open up your heart a bit today and say, "Lord, I know there's a way that you can use this. I know there's a way you can do this. I know there's a way we can go forward in it. By faith, help me find it". You won't find it by fear. You will only see dead ends through the lens of fear. That's all you ever see through the lens of fear is dead end after dead end. But by faith, I will find a way.
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