Steven Furtick - You Survived For A Reason
This is an excerpt from: Come Through Drippin
Now you can't see wind, you can only see the effects of the wind. You asked me how I know God is real. I can't point to His nose or His ears. I've never heard His audible voice. But there are just some things in my life, that don't make sense unless there was a wind blowing. There are just some things, how 'bout you? There are just some things that I went through that I know me, and I would not have had the grace to go through it if there hadn't been something working with me.
Now let's get into the text. This is a good part. Touch somebody, say, "Come through". So Moses is stretching out his staff so the people can come through. I'm trying to get you tonight. I'm trying to get you tonight to come through. I think it would be ashamed for you to be stuck in an inferior version of yourself clutching onto a beta blessing when there is an update available in this house tonight by the Spirit of God. So I'm trying to get you to come through. But by the time Verse 26 hits, they've already done that. They're already on the other side. I mean, you already made it through 2018. You don't have to come to church for that. The odds are good you wouldn't have died over these three hours that you're gonna be in church. You were good. That's not why you came. That is not why you came.
And sometimes we get so focused on whatever we went through... and it makes sense because it's traumatic. I get it. Well, I really don't. I shouldn't say that. That's not fair for me to say 'cause I don't know what you went through. So how dare me stand up here and say, "I know what you..." I don't know. I know what I went through this year, and it wasn't all stuff that you could see, like this water that was on either side of the Israelites. To me, it'd be easier if everybody could watch you go through what you went through so they could have some pity on you and be extra nice to you and give you extra sprinkles on your cupcakes because after all if I went through what you went through, I'd be in a bad mood too.
Wouldn't it be cool if everybody could see what you went through and they could experience, you know, it'd be nice. But every storm that we survived this year wasn't something that other people could see. It's one thing when you walk through something physical. Like certain things you go through, people see you going through it and it's like, "Man, I heard your husband has cancer. We got you. We'll pray for you. We're gonna get through this together. You're gonna come through this. We're gonna do it". When you lose your job, you know, people hear about that. Maybe you don't even want 'em to, but they hear about it and then it's kind of embarrassing on one hand because everybody's coming up to you, "You know, we're praying for you. If you need anything, let us know. I know you're going through right now".
And although that's a little humiliating on one hand, it's helpful on the other because then you get to be the beneficiary of other people's empathy and maybe even their material support. What's a little different is when the thing that you went through is something that you can point to and directly name because sometimes I find myself going through things that aren't like the Red Sea. It's not something I can exactly describe to you. Did you ever go through something and while you were going through it, you didn't even know what it was? Just a funk, just a thing, just some stuff, just I'm going through. I even tell some people that from time to time that pray for me, I'm like, "I'm just going through". I can't say what, I don't even know. It's like, the Bible describes the arrow by day or the terror at night.
And sometimes I think about what you go through in the night is you can't exactly see it to name it or to know what it is. And in the passage that I'm preaching from tonight, they were going through what they went through, was able to be seen visibly. But maybe what you went through this year wasn't. Maybe it was a divorce, maybe it was just a loveless home, but you're so good at faking other people out that they're all praying they could have a marriage like yours, meanwhile yours is falling apart. Some of the things that you go through... what happened to the praise party? Some of the things you go through aren't so simple. Now although this is dramatic, one advantage that they had is they went through it together.
By this time, the Israelites are millions strong and to go through something with others who were going through the same thing that you're going through is one thing. When the stock market sucks, it sucks for all of us. We get to go through that together. When the government is out of control, we all go through that together. But there's something about the things that you go through that nobody is going through with you that makes it difficult for you to know is there something wrong with me, am I the only one who feels this way, am I the only one who wants to quit, am I the only one who wonders, "God, are you really even there or is this thing I've been believing my whole life just a fairy tale that my parents told me like Santa Claus"?
Some of the things that we went through this year were invisible. Some of the things we went through this year were emotional states and there wasn't even always something that caused it. It would be nice if there was. The miracle is in what they went through. The proof that you belong to God is not that you didn't go through, but that what you went through didn't kill you. I'm gonna need you to shout right here on this point whether you feel it or not on every location. Come on, tell somebody I went through. I went through. I figured if I stand here in front of this Red Sea, I'm gonna die at the hands of the same Egyptians that have been terrorizing me, but I'm not gonna stand here and die. If I'm gonna die, I wanna drown. I'm going through. I'm going through. If I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die on my feet. I'm going through.
God said, "Don't you spend this whole sermon talking about what they went through". He said, "Right in the middle of the sermon, I want you to shift it from what they went through to why they went through". And now we need to go back to the text because remember, there's water on their right side, water on their left side. For their enemies, it was a trap, but for them, it was a path. And now they're on the other side and so it seems strange that God would tell them to do anything other than run.
But He tells Moses to do something that God wants you to do tonight. And He says I want you to take the instrument in your hand, that is a symbol of your past, that is a symbol of the mistakes that you made when you killed the Egyptian, Moses, and ran and hid him in the sand and hid yourself. The staff that is the symbol of your potential. The same one that you used to turn Nile River to blood in those ten plagues of Egypt. I want you to take that same instrument and before you leave Egypt, stretch it back over what you just went through. And when you do, you will understand the purpose of what you went through. God brought you here tonight — If I can be so bold just to say that I believe this applies to everyone in the room who will have the faith to receive it because He wants to use what you went through.
That's the good news. Gotta tell you the whole thing. God wants to use what you went through and so does the devil. And the question in this moment is will you allow God to use what you went through? Watch this. And when He had finished leading an entire nation all night long in the dark with water that could collapse on them at any moment, don't you think they moved fast through this tunnel of supernatural, miraculous potential death that at any moment could sweep them away and they make it to the other side and God says, "Stop. Before you take another step, I need you to stretch your hand back over what you just went through".
The water that you just went through was not sent to destroy you. Can I tell you something? Everything that made you afraid this year was not the devil. Everything that made you cry this year was not the devil. Everything that broke your heart this year was not the devil. Everything that you lost this year was not the devil. Everything that didn't go according to plan this year was not the devil. Some of the stuff that was sent against you was not sent to destroy you. At the time, it felt like it would. At the time, you felt like you would never be happy again. At the time, you felt like you would just drive away and never come back. At the time, you felt like you would never find that love, that passion, that feeling again. At the time, it felt like it would kill you. But the thing that you went through was not meant to destroy you. And when you stretch your hand over what you went through, what you went through is going to deliver you from what you just came out of.
Let me see if I got this right. What I went through could have killed me, but it didn't. Hit somebody, say, "But it didn't". It didn't. I could have laid down and died in what I went through. Touch them, say, "But I didn't". Tell 'em, "I could've lost my mind". But I don't know, maybe you did. But here's the point of the message. Here's the point of the message, whatever you went through that did not destroy you, God is now going to use to deliver you. Come to this side to see if you believe the Word of God. It's in the B-I-B-L-E. He said what you just went through, if you will stop at this moment, at this juncture, in this time, in this season, and stretch your hand over what you went through, it's not meant to kill you. It's meant to kill your enemies.