Steven Furtick - There's More Within You
This is an excerpt from: The Mystery Of Potential
I realized the potential of what is in someone can only really manifest when it has time to mature. When we walk around like, "Oh, I don't like that. I'm going over here to a new church. I don't like the way they talk to me. I'm going over here. I'm going to make some new friends…" You know what? You are taking the old you to the new friendships. It's so important that you stay sometimes. I know sometimes you have to find better ground, but sometimes it's our inability to just let what God is doing in our lives work. He uses some uncomfortable things, but if you never stay, you'll never see it.
If you just keep moving to a new city every time you make a mess out of your relationships so you can start over with the same seed you carried in the last relationship, you will never see the potential of it. I have to stay. I have to stay in faith. I have to remain in the vine so I can bear much fruit, so I can become what I already am in potential form. Only God knows how long it's going to take for me to become all that I am. When John was writing about it in his epistle, he said, "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God".
Now watch this in verse 2: "Beloved, we are God's children now…" Now. When? Now. I am forgiven. I am full of the Holy Spirit. I am well able. I am strong and courageous. That's in me now. "…but what we shall be has not yet appeared". It can only appear if it remains. It will be revealed if you remain. Thirteen years for potential to be revealed? Most of us won't do it for thirteen days. Thirteen years to see what it is. Thirteen years of being planted. Then Elisha did twice as many miracles as Elijah did. You don't know what's in you yet. You don't know what the broken bread of your disappointed expectations is going to multiply into if you leave it in God's hands a little while. You don't know yet.
The Enemy can't remove anything God put in you, but if he can keep you from sowing it, you will never know what it would have been. If he can get you to quit, give up, end your life, stop hoping, turn into a cynic, if he can get you to stop sowing… I'm preaching to people who have stopped sowing because of what you didn't know, because you didn't know. You quit too soon. It's too soon to tell what it's going to be. It's too soon to tell if it made a difference. It's too soon to tell whether or not it was worth it. It's too soon for you to start… Every time you take the seed and pluck it out to look at it and judge it, you interrupt the process by which it grows. So stop judging it, and keep watering it and keep sowing and keep trusting.
Elisha goes on not only to part the waters of the Jordan River, which was his first miracle, but then he gets to Jericho. They need a healing in the water, so he heals the poisonous waters, his second miracle. Then he calls she bears out of the woods to kill some little boys, because he was still working this thing out. Potential can be tricky at first. You can misuse your power in an earlier stage of your life.
Never forget that. The thing that makes you powerful makes you vulnerable, and unguarded strength is a double weakness. It's all about potential, but everything he did was about potential. From the moment he was plowing it was about potential. From the moment he told the kings, "Hey, dig the ditches in preparation for the rain that is not coming from a natural source, but God is going to send it when you do a natural thing," it was preparation for the potential of the power of God. Like the woman's oil.
See, you never judge what can be and the resource by the size of the current supply. The woman is like, "Oh, it's not much. Oh, I'm not very good. Oh, I'm not very much. Oh, I'm not very known. Oh, I don't have many followers. Oh, I'm not Jay-Z. Oh, I'm not Beyoncé. Oh, I don't have that. I can't sing like that. I can't move like that". But a little bit of oil flowed into a lot of jars. It wasn't about the amount of oil; it was about the amount of jars. When the Shunammite woman made him a guest room, he prophesied she would have a baby. She had given up on that. She didn't even believe that was possible. She didn't even know that was in her until the word of God spoke it over her.
You don't know what's in you. You don't know what's in your kids. Don't judge it too soon. They might turn out better than all of the straight-A students. The straight-A students might be working for them. You don't know yet. It's too soon to tell. Who is this for? God is all over me for somebody today. I know when he speaks through me like this it's for one person. I don't know who I'm sowing this into, but it'll come back. I'll hear about it. I release this word over your life today. I release it over your life like Elijah released a mantle on Elisha's shoulders. When this word hits you, the potential of what God has put in you…every gift, skill, experience, plan, everything God has brought you through, even all the pain…
That's a potential miracle. That's the seed of the word of God. A seed is a small thing. Elisha told Naaman, "Go down to the Jordan. Dip seven times". Do you know when he was healed? Not on the first time, not on the second time, not on the third time…on the seventh time. Potential is revealed in process. When a young prophet was chopping some wood to build a school for the prophets and the ax head fell in the water… When the young man showed Elisha where it had fallen, something came on the ax head. It floated to the surface. The potential for God to speak to a small thing in your life is just as easy as it is for him to speak to a big thing. All that was on Elisha in potential form, and all of it manifested when he planted himself in the purpose of God. It's so good to me. There's so much still in you, man. There's so much still in you, but you won't know if you stop sowing.
Now follow Elisha all the way to the last miracle he performs. The Bible records, depending on how you divide it, 15 miracles Elisha performs. Elijah performed 8, so it's roughly double the amount of miracles. The double portion Elisha asked for. He got it. The last thing we see him do, he's with this king who's being attacked. He tells the king to take these arrows in his hand and start striking the ground with the arrows. Every time he struck the ground with an arrow as an act of faith, it represented a potential victory God would give him. When he struck the ground three times and stopped, it upset Elisha. Elisha said, "You are using this device so far beneath its potential". He was angry, because he saw the victories that could have been if the king had believed in his potential.
Do you know what's really weird? After everything Elisha did, one miracle short of exactly twice as many miracles as his mentor… Elijah did 8; Elisha did 15. The king strikes the ground and stops and forfeits his potential, and Elisha is angry. The next verse in 2 Kings 13:20 says, "Elisha died, and they buried him". Only he wasn't buried; he was planted, because there was still one more miracle left in him that hadn't been tapped yet. There is someone who still has a miracle in your bones, and something you have buried is trying to come alive while I'm preaching today. Something you have buried, a hope or an element of your character or something you have believed God for, and it's still in your bones. So they buried Elisha.
One day, the Bible says, as they were conducting a funeral… There is so much potential in this room. You have no idea the potential that is in this room. As they were conducting a funeral… The Bible says that every springtime the Moabite raiders would come in, and they would invade the land during harvest time. Isn't that interesting, that the attack always happens when the harvest is coming? If the Enemy can't keep you from sowing, he wants you to walk away when you're about to reap it. He wants you to walk away just at the moment, and if you stop now you won't know what could have been.
The Bible says there was a man who was being buried. There was a funeral in progress. Verse 21 says that when the band was coming they got in a hurry, and they threw the man on the grave of Elisha. When they did that, it messed up the funeral, because when they buried Elisha, he still had one more miracle in his bones. Now, when the dead thing hit the bones of Elisha… Watch what God is about to do in your life. As soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood up on his feet. "What are you saying, Preacher"? I'm saying if you'll throw it on the bones, if you will believe in the power of God, if you will declare resurrection power over everything you sow, nothing is wasted, nothing is over, nothing is finished!
If God is in it, it shall come forth! Come on, give him a great praise! I believe in resurrection. I believe God is a grave robber. I believe the bones of Elisha still have power. I believe the word of the Lord can still hit a barren womb. I believe the seed you have sown was not buried; it was planted in the soil of God's faithfulness. Come on, let's touch the bones today. Let's touch the bones! Let's go to the empty grave where they buried Jesus, but God was planting him. He was the firstborn among many brethren. When he went down into the earth… How many know early one Sunday he didn't stay there but he got up? I'm getting up too!