Steven Furtick - Go As If God's Guiding You
This is an excerpt from: God Knows You Don't
So, if you are in an "even though" moment, and you think you need every turn before you can take the next one, you are confused. Our faith is not in the destination; our faith is in the guide who will see us safely to the destination. So, I wrote a statement that you can have for free. I won't charge you royalties. You don't even have to give me credit. I will go as if I'm guided even though I feel I'm guessing. Don't you feel like you're guessing sometimes? Don't you feel like you are guessing at this sometimes? I finally got to interview my favorite preacher 10 years ago. I asked, "What is the most important thing I need to know about standing behind a pulpit"? He said, "We're all guessing". None of us have seen God. It takes faith to preach. It takes faith to parent. It takes faith to lead. It takes faith to go back to school. It takes faith to stay in therapy. I was in five years of therapy, and I said, "This isn't working," until I realized some of the things that didn't feel like they were working for me God was using in my children's lives.
About the time I wanted to quit therapy, one of my kids came to me and started giving me the advice my therapist gave me that I had given to them, not even knowing. God knows why you're in it; you don't. God knows what he's going to do through it; you don't. God knows who he wants to help through your life; you don't. God knows what he's building. God knows your foundation. He is the architect. He is the builder. He has the blueprint of every blessing in your life. He has the purpose. He drew the picture. Oh, I feel like preaching this to help somebody know that you can go not knowing, that you can contribute not knowing, that you can keep preaching while people are leaving, that you can just do it, that you can just live, that you can just praise, that you can just testify, that you can just boldly grab hold of the altar and say, "For God I live"! "By faith, even though".
If God has got you in an "even though" moment right now, where your truth says one thing but your tent says another thing, you can stay right in the promise even though you have no proof. "I'm staying in this promise in the absence of proof". I feel like this is a fighting word today. I don't know what we're fighting, but I'll fight with you. You need some backup? I don't know what has been coming up in your mind. I don't know what has been trying to drag you back down into it. I don't know what has been trying to take over your house, steal your joy, eliminate your peace, and erode your confidence in God, but you're not in this faith fight by yourself. Not today! I've been lifting. I've been bulking. I've got a word from God! "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me".
I've got a rod. I've got a staff. I've got goodness. I've got mercy. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever! He lived in a tent even though he was in the place of the promise. He was in the place of the promise even though he lived in a tent. Different than what you pictured, slower than what you wanted, but in that tent was Isaac. Not yet. He hadn't even been born yet, and he was in the tent already, because when God puts a seed of something in you, that seed is in you before you see it. You've been praying for your kids? You've been praying for your opportunity? You've been praying for something to happen that you need to happen that only God can do? The seed was there before they could see it. Even though I can't see it right now… "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow…"
Shadow makes it very difficult for you to get a visual. But even though he did not know… See, it's that second even though where it says in verse 11, "Even though he was too old". Don't tune me out if you're 13, because everybody has something that the Devil has been telling them "You are too…" I don't let the Devil tell me I'm too old to be relevant. First of all, I'm not. He tells me I'm too stupid. He tells me I'm too country. He does. He tells me I'm too weird. He tells me I'm too raggedy. He tells me all of these things. But look at what the Bible said God did for Abraham. Would he do this for you too? "By faith Abraham, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was not able to conceive—was enabled to become father…"
I have to read you what the Bible actually says about him. He became a father of many nations. He lived like a nomad. "And so from this one man…" Look at what the Bible says about Abraham. "…and he as good as dead…" That's about how people will see you. That's not what God said about Abraham. "Look at that nomad living up here in this promised land, thinking he belongs here. He's as good as dead". Next time somebody tries to limit you… I've had people tell me I was a poor Bible teacher. I've had people tell me I was not cut out to be a pastor. I've had people tell me I wouldn't be able to come up with a new sermon every week…all of that. I wish I would have known this sermon to tell them at the time. "God knows; you don't". You don't know. I don't even know.
God knows where you're going even though you don't, so follow him step by step. God knows what he has given you even though you are too [whatever]…old, young. That's what Timothy said. "I'm too young". Paul said, "Don't let anybody look down on you because of your youth. Set an example for the believers in life, love, speech, faith, godliness, and purity". Don't let anybody put their too on you, because they don't know. You've been divorced too many times. Think how much you've learned that you can help other people who have been through divorce. You've paid the tuition. You might as well teach the class. God knows; you don't. Even the passage we don't like to preach a lot because it says that Abraham took his son Isaac and laid him down on the altar… He thought he was going to have to kill his only son, even after waiting 25 years.
That's how long it took between God speaking it and him seeing it. We quit too quickly. We have microwave mindsets, and we serve a crockpot God. So, it might be slower than you wanted, but from this boy Isaac came the nations that would inhabit this very land Abraham was living in. I want you to see him on Mount Moriah. I want you to see him build the altar. I want you to see him lay his son Isaac on the altar, who he waited for a quarter century of his life, a quarter of his life. He was 100 at that point. He waited this long, yet at the moment that he thought he was going to have to give up what God promised him, there was a ram in the bush that he didn't know about, but God knew.
God knew the moment the ram would need to be in the bush for Abraham to make the sacrifice. Whatever has been withheld from your life, whatever seems like it is behind in your life, whatever seems like the Enemy has taken it out of your life, can you trust the timing of God in this moment enough to know that he knows? "He knows what I need, when I need it, and if it didn't come yet, it wasn't time yet". But somebody who knows it's time by faith for you to take the next step when you can't see beyond it, stand up and give God praise by faith! There is a praise that comes by faith even though! My favorite Bible verse is when the sister came to Jesus and said, "I know my brother will rise again at the last day". And Jesus said, "Last day? I am the resurrection and the life, and whoever believes in me will live even though he die".
We're living in the "even though," and our job today is to trust God as if, even though. I don't know your "even though"; God does. God knows the "even though" you're going through. I just want to encourage you today through a camera I never knew I'd be looking into, pastoring a church I never saw, but God did, that he knows; you don't. And I want to tell you about all the stuff you keep telling God for why you're not qualified because you don't have the experience. God knows you don't. That you don't have the resources. God knows you don't. That you don't have the background for that. God knows you don't. That you don't feel like it right now. God knows you don't. That you don't have the strength. God knows you don't. That you don't know how to manage money. God knows you don't. That you don't have any friends who will really listen to you. God knows you don't. That you don't see a way through this right now. God knows you don't. But just because you can't see it does not mean he didn't speak it.