Steven Furtick - Hey Devil! The Attack Didn't Work
I want to help in this New Year to set a trajectory for your faith that you can believe that God is going to use you to make a difference wherever you are. Tell somebody next to you, "You're a big deal"! Ask them, "Can I get a selfie with you"? In fact, pull out your phone right now. Would you do that? Just really quickly, pull out your phone, pull up your camera app, put it in selfie mode, and point it right at that beautiful face of yours. When I say, "Three," I want you to take a picture. Are you ready? Come on! We're going to do this together, and there's a reason for it. When I say, "Three," I want you to get a picture really quickly. Are you ready? At every location, if you're ready, say, "Ready"! One… Two… Three. Cool!
Put your phone away. I just wanted you to have proof. I just wanted you to have proof, because all this year the Enemy is going to try to get you to think you can't make it and your faith isn't strong enough and you don't have what it takes and you can't survive the storm. When he does that, I want you to pull that picture up and remind him that he told you that same BS at the beginning of 2019. I'm sorry. It's late. My filter comes off at 10:30. I want you to have proof that the weapon may be formed, but it didn't work last time and it won't work this time, so when he comes in your face trying to make you think this is the end and you can't do it and you're not enough and you are not significant, I want you to show him that selfie how you were in the church for the last hour of 2019, and all through the next 10 years just flash it at the Devil and say, "I have proof"! We so easily confuse the presence of God with the absence of problems and the goodness of God with the absence of problems.
I'm preaching already and I haven't read my verse (2 Kings, chapter 6, verse 8). For how many of you this is your first New Year's Eve ever in church? How many of you, if I knew what you were doing last New Year's Eve, I'd be really proud of how much progress you've made? You're my favorite! In 2 Kings, chapter 6, there is an illustration of what happens in these moments where we must make a decision whether we are going to view our lives through faith or through fear, and I want to share it with you from 2 Kings, chapter 6, beginning in verse 8. Please pray for me, because I take these moments seriously, not so much just to give you a lesson where you can write a few things down or a few tweetable, quotable lines but to really speak something over your life that will bring to closure some of the conflict you've been going through so that you can transform it and convert it into power for what is ahead of you. That's why we came tonight, and that's what we intend to do.
In 2 Kings, chapter 6, verse 8, the Bible says, "Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, 'I will set up my camp in such and such a place.' The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: 'Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.' So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places. This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, 'Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?'" Do you know how mad you made the Devil just by showing up tonight? I mean, he set so many traps for you this year. He tried to make you bitter. He tried to make you envious of others. He tried to keep you in a depression.
I know you've been going through things. He couldn't get you to go crazy so he started messing with your kids. He thought if he could get your kids to go crazy enough maybe you would lose your hope in God. Even some people in your life left this year who you were counting on, and after all of that, here you are. The Bible says it enraged the enemies of Israel, because no matter what they did to try to bring down the king, God had someone on the inside to warn them about it. Tell the person next to you, "I have somebody on the inside," and it makes the Devil mad, and it makes him a little bit confused, and honestly, it makes him nervous to see you praising God like you've been praising God tonight. I mean this.
Some of you, just by lifting your hands tonight, caused all kinds of confusion in hell. Not only have angels been watching you this year, but the demons have been watching you, too. The ones who were assigned to wreak havoc in your mind thought that surely by now you'd be tired. They thought that surely after all you've been through you would skip church and sleep in, but look at you in the presence of God to confuse the Enemy! Now, we need to take 19 seconds and embarrass the Enemy to let him know that what he did didn't work and that what he did hurts but it didn't work. We still have 11 seconds on the clock! I'm reading my Scripture.
This is a dignified moment, you chaotic church members. Well, he was mad, because everywhere he wanted to attack Israel, God's chosen people, there was a… I don't want to call him a spy. He was a prophet (Elisha). He had an ability to see things, and you think Siri is scary? Really, Alexa scares me how stuff starts showing up on my phone. I think Alexa is talking to Siri and Siri is talking to Google and Google is talking to Instagram, and I'm terrified that they're listening to me. Watch this. This is interesting, because the Spirit of God in Elisha would give him a location where the enemy was going to attack God's people. When they called together all of the different high-ranking officials to see who the one was who was spoiling their ambushes and causing their attempts to attack the people of God not to work, the response came in verse 12. "'None of us, my lord the king,' said one of his officers, 'but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.'" Yikes!
Everywhere that Israel would travel God would send a word through Elisha to tell them where they needed, verse 10 says, to be on their guard in such places. Tonight I want to tell you that for this year, 2020 (like 20/20 vision), you need to see some things with your spirit that you cannot see with your senses. The reason this is so important is because if you don't recognize where the Enemy is attacking you the most frequently and ask God to give you insight into the places of your greatest vulnerability, you will spend all of your energy this year fighting battles you could have avoided if you would have learned the lessons of last year. Y'all don't like this part of my sermon? I know. It makes you mad when you realize a lot of the battles you fought you could have avoided if you had listened to what was on the inside instead of responding to what was on the outside.
I want to spend this year with what Paul called open eyes in my heart. It sounds grotesque when you describe it like that, but he was saying there is a kind of sight that does not revolve around external stimuli, and it is more based on internal processing. If I could break it down even more for you, I would use the phrase, on his guard in such places, to describe how I think God intends to protect you as you go into this next season, this next decade of your life. That requires self-awareness. There's a theological term, progressive revelation. It means while God never changes, our understanding of him unfolds over time not necessarily chronologically, but as we experience different things in our lives we come to see God in different ways. Even the Bible is constructed with a progressive revelation in mind so that you see concepts introduced in the book of Genesis that are mirrored in the book of Revelation. That's the first and the last.
By the time you get to Revelation, you get a full picture of what was hinted at in Genesis. You see types and shadows in the Old Testament which ultimately point to Jesus Christ, but they're pointing to something that you have not clearly seen yet. Life is this way. It is that many of us in this season of our lives are going to see things that we only saw a shadow of in a previous season of our lives. Progressive revelation means that God wants to show you some things about himself and even about you that will cause you to be able to avoid what I call unnecessary roughness. It's a football term, but it also applies when we're going up against the Devil.
Let me help you with something really quickly. Some of the battles you fought last year were in places you never should have been. I know it is supposed to be a praise party, but before we party, can I preach for a moment? I have 24 minutes to tell you about this, that there are certain places you need to stay away from this year because, if you go there and then ask God to protect you in those places… I don't know whether to start with Facebook or whether to start with CNN or whether to start with Fox News, but we have to be very careful about where we go…watch this…not just with our bodies but with our minds, because it is very possible that God is trying to warn you about certain places.
Every time you go there you start feeling judgmental, or every time you go there you start having comparison, or every time you go there you start feeling like your life is missing something, and if I were you, I would put that Bible app on the front screen of my iPhone this year. For those of you who aren't saved yet, you might have an Android, but you can put the Bible app on there, too, and I would find that thing that deletes some of the other apps. Can we all just make a covenantal agreement in the presence of God on this, the last sermon of 2019? Let's all not post our workouts until we have been doing them consistently for at least four weeks this year. Can we do that? Look at somebody and say, "I don't have to post it to prove it," because if I do the work, you will notice the results.