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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - God, I Need Your Guidance

Steven Furtick - God, I Need Your Guidance

Steven Furtick - God, I Need Your Guidance
TOPICS: Guidance

This is an excerpt from: He's Still The Shepherd

Being in Christ doesn't exempt you from any of the normal challenges of life. We have to stop telling people, "Jesus will make it all right," because what they assume when they hear that is "My experiences, now that I'm a Christian, will always align with my picture, my preference". I don't want to tell you this, but we try to shape God like our own personality. All of those things have to be subject to Christ for us to be a true disciple. Let's go a little farther. Are you ready? Once you get an identity ingrained, and you think, "That's who I am," it is very difficult to receive any experience that is different than that identity.

I learned that where I grew up shaped me in amazing ways. Small town. It taught me how to be good with people, because in a small town, you have a certain accountability socially, what's considered polite and what's considered rude. When I grew up, if you didn't wave at people, even if they were strangers, that was considered rude…in Moncks Corner where I grew up. Where Holly grew up in Miami, Florida, it's perfectly acceptable and maybe even safer to not make eye contact. See, marriage is this merger of… We're walking down the street, and she's saying, "Who is that you just waved at"? and I say, "I don't know". She says, "Why did you wave"? "Because that's what you do".

How many are from the South? That's what you do. You eat grits, you never put sugar in them (I rebuke you, Satan), and you wave. She thought that was so silly. So now we split the difference. I only wave about every one out of three times. You can take the boy out of Moncks Corner, but you can't take Moncks Corner out of the boy. I might see you one day in the mall and I'll just wave at you. It's not because I know you go to this church. I was just trained to wave at everybody. Just waving at everybody, and then we've kind of come together.

So, why do I bring that up? Because it is a perfect example of what's happening in Galatians. Paul is no longer in Turkey. This is central Turkey we're talking about, if you want to get a modern picture. He's no longer here in the flesh with the people, but he's still the shepherd. He still sees himself not as an influencer, not as a modern guru, like how we have people who give us advice, but he sees himself as their pastor and their shepherd even when he's writing them a letter.

He really never stopped being a shepherd no matter where his travels took him, no matter how much of the known world he went to evangelize, no matter how many Gentiles he preached to. He always loved these churches. You could take Paul out of Galatia, but you couldn't get Galatia out of Paul. Every parent who is called a so-called empty nester understands what I'm saying. I'm not one yet, but I imagine if they come back after I send them away, I'll have to open the door. I'm pacing myself for that.

This thing is a marathon. I will still think you're doing something dumb when you're 50. You could be worth a billion dollars, and I'll still be like, "Are you sure this is the job that has job security for you? Don't you need something to fall back on"? You can take the kid out of the house, but you can never take the love out of the parent. Your kid can disgust you, but you're still going to be devoted to them. You're cussing them out, but you're cussing them out in love. Have you ever cussed somebody out in love? Now we're back to Galatians 3. "Are you so foolish"? "Are you crazy"? Paul is in that high voice. "Are you crazy"? Holly's scary voice is her quiet voice. We tremble, because she's loud all the time. She's just a naturally loud talker. When it's quiet, it's really bad.

"Are you so stupid as to really go back to circumcision, the outward sign, and think that's going to get you to the end"? The foolishness of trusting in the flesh. So, just answer the question your neighbor asked you a few minutes ago. Tell them, "Yes, I'm that crazy". In my flesh, I'm still crazy. How many still crazy saints are honest enough to raise your hand and say, "Catch me at the wrong moment, hit the right button, trigger the right reflex, and I'm still crazy"? Me too. I'm still crazy. I know that, and I'm glad I know that. God delivered me from so much, but there's some stuff that's still in me that he's dealing with.

Now it's all coming together because they're in Christ, but they're still crazy. Paul is not in Galatia physically, but he's still the shepherd. He is doing something shepherds do. He is directing the sheep, and he's directing the sheep realizing sheep are not dolphins. Dolphins are smart, especially the bottlenose dolphin. I was reading about the 10 smartest animals in the world. The bottlenose dolphin was #2. That dolphin is so smart it can recognize itself in the mirror. Smarter than me.

Sometimes I don't even know who I am. Yet the Lord didn't talk about a dolphin. He said, "You are my sheep, and my sheep know my voice". Jesus said, "I'm the Good Shepherd". Paul is realizing, "If I am a shepherd, sometimes I have to direct the sheep where to go assuming they don't know where to go". "Are you so foolish"? "Yes". The moment you answer "No" to that question, you're in danger. The moment it's like… "Are you so foolish"? "No, man. I've actually pretty much got some stuff figured out".

I'm praying for you. I don't mean not being confident. Yeah, you know things. You know skills. I'm not talking about being insecure. I'm not talking about downplaying yourself. Those people are the most annoying people in the world. "I'm not good at anything like that, and I can't really do anything like that". Just shut up. What God gave you he gave you. What you're good at you're good at. You know, you're 7'2" and I'm like, "You're tall". "Well, not really. You know, the Lord…" Yes, you're tall. There's nothing worse than false humility. It's awful. It's not really humility. It's just drawing more attention to yourself through an act of humility. You're just acting. You sing a solo. "Oh, that was good. You sang good today". "No, no, no. It wasn't me. It was the Lord".

See, you're wrong about that, because it would have been much better if it was the Lord. It was just good. I didn't say it was perfect. I just said it was good. Let's bring it down a notch. Anyway, it's the power of realizing… Everybody say, "In Christ; still crazy". This side do "In Christ". This side do "Still crazy". This side do "In Christ" (Spirit). This side do "Still crazy" (flesh). Faith; flesh…both inside of me. Doesn't that explain a lot? Doesn't that make a lot of sense? How some of y'all will road rage even before you get off the church property today. It's all right. You can keep your Elevation Church sticker on the car. You don't have to take it off, because I'm still crazy. Well, I think we have the right, as the children of God, not in an entitled way but in an expectant way, that if Jesus lives in us and we are in him, I expect God to direct me.

You say, "Well, he's God. How can you tell him what to do"? No, no. That's what he told me he wanted to do for me, so I expect God to direct me. When I'm getting ready to preach, I expect God to lead me to the passage he wants me to preach. I don't come to this Bible thinking I have it figured out, and I don't come to the passage thinking I know what it means. I expect God to direct me. I expect him to direct me in my relationships. I expect that he's going to bring the right people in my life in this season. I not only want him to be the bouncer at the entrance but the exit. I want him to decide and direct in my life who gets in and who goes out, and I expect God to direct me. I believe every good and perfect gift comes from above, so I expect God to bring opportunities into my life.

You say, "That sounds cocky". No, no, no. I'm crazy, so I expect God to give me the opportunity because I know it wasn't by my own power. It wasn't by my own strength. Nothing in my life makes much sense. We wrote the lyric, "I think it over and it doesn't add up". That's the math. When I think of what God has done… How many have the same testimony? When I know how crazy I am, how crazy I can be, how many ways I've wandered along the path, how many left turns were a part of God getting me to the right place… You don't understand. I expect God to direct me in my future because the only reason I'm here right now is because of his faithfulness.

So, when something comes in my way, I don't stick my chest out. I bow my knee and say, "God, thank you for another gift. Thank you for another opportunity. Thank you for another reason. Thank you for another level. Thank you for another harvest. Thank you for another breakthrough. Thank you for another open door. Thank you for another open road. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you"!

I expect! Some of y'all came to church needing to hear from God today. Well, expect it! He's a speaking God. He's a talking God. He's a way-making God. He'll show you something you didn't even know to ask him for. "Now unto him who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine…" I expect a blessing today. I expect God to be good to me. I expect my needs met. I expect them abundantly supplied, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over! I expect it! I'm ready for it. I'm stretching my hands to heaven. I expect it! Touch three people and say, "I expect it". I haven't had y'all touching each other lately because COVID, but we need to touch somebody right now so it can be contagious. Somebody next to you lost their expectation because of their experience, but I don't come to God off an experience. I come to him because I know who he is. He said, "I'm the Bread of Life".

So if he's the bread, I expect to be fed. He said, "I'm resurrection". If he is resurrection, I expect him to raise me. I expect it! I expect it, and I'm bracing for it, and I'm believing for it, and I'm trusting for it, and I'm grateful for it. I expect it! He said he was the vine. That means if I'm in him, he's in me, and I will bear much fruit. I expect it!
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