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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Why You Feel Overlooked?

Steven Furtick - Why You Feel Overlooked?

Steven Furtick - Why You Feel Overlooked?

This is an excerpt from: Concealed But Not Canceled

I want to speak to everybody today who is in a season of your life where you sense that God is hidden, that you are hidden, and the reason you're going through what you're going through has not been revealed. Turn with me to the words of Isaiah who said, "God spoke of me before I was born. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver". Do you remember the first time you ever heard the phrase "They got canceled"?

I remember very well someone saying that a major celebrity was canceled. I said, "What, their show is off the air"? They said, "No. It doesn't mean that. That's what it meant in the 80s, back when there used to be sitcoms. This is not Full House. It means they were canceled. It means they did something wrong and they got canceled". I said, "They died"? "No, they got canceled". I said, "They got fired"? "No, they got canceled". I said, "Explain to me what it means". What they showed me were comments people were making about this person that were disagreeing with what the person did, and they called that canceled. Now, these comments were not coming from the chief executive officer of the company; they were coming from people who didn't even know the person, and they said they got canceled. A little phrase went through me, and I want to see if I can get it to go through you, too, today. Man can't cancel what God created. Put that in the comments section.

Let's do something good with the comments section. Repeat after me. Man can't cancel what God created. Or if you prefer the language of Isaiah, man can't cancel what God has called. Now shout, "I'm called"! "I was called before I got here. I was called before I blew it. I was called before I went through this sickness. I was called before I passed through these waters. I was called before I came to this challenge". If I'm called by God, how can I be canceled by man? I understand we can lose a reputation and we need to have character. I understand we can make mistakes and have to suffer the consequences. I understand there's accountability for those who are in the public eye. But I'm not talking about those in the public eye. I'm talking about those who feel hidden in this season of their life. You feel like nobody even cares that you're here, because you're here but you're hidden.

Let me illustrate. Right now there are frequencies going through the air making my voice go to your heart. Hopefully your heart. First it has to pass through your ears, and in order for the noise that is coming from my mouth… I'm shouting way too loud, so let me modulate down in order for the sound to reach you. Where I am there must be vibrations, but the vibrations are not visible, yet we all believe the vibrations because we know the words I'm speaking are going through the air and maybe into your heart or maybe in one ear and out the other. Something that is vibrating is creating something that is not visible. It is proof for the fact that if God speaks a word over your life, you might not see it, but that doesn't mean it isn't here right now.

I came to have an anniversary party for every word God spoke over your life! From the womb he spoke it. Before you were you he spoke it. Before you got your Social Security digits he spoke it. Before you messed up the last relationship he spoke it. If he spoke it and if he created it and if he made it, you can't mess it up. All right. Let me teach you a Sunday school story now. They left this one out of your Sunday school storyboard flannelgraph textbooks. It is quite possibly the most inappropriate story I could share with you on such a glorious, beautiful occasion as the anniversary of a church on the eighteenth year. It involves a dagger. It involves a stabbing. It involves a king named Eglon and a warrior named Ehud. I'm going to go quickly, but I have to show you this. God has secret weapons. He has more than one way to win in your life. He has more than one way to make a difference in the world.

So, the Israelites were doing what they always did, turning away from God. They were turning away from the one who rescued them, turning away from the one who redeemed them. Let's pick up the text in Judges, chapter 3. The most inappropriate anniversary Bible text, but I'm just a guest speaker today, so what do I know? The Lord took me to Judges, chapter 3, verse 12. "Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and because they did this evil the Lord gave Eglon king of Moab power over Israel".

Now, I want you to understand the Enemy has no power over you other than what you give him by your disobedience to God. Always remember that. You're in God's hand. He sharpened me in the shadow. He polished me in the secret place, getting me ready for such a time as this. The Bible Bible says in verse 13 that God wanted to act on behalf of his people. This king Eglon took it a little too far. "Getting the Ammonites and Amalekites to join him, Eglon came and attacked Israel, and they took possession of the City of Palms". So they're under attack. You may be too. You may be under attack in your life right now. I think the biggest factor that determines whether you're under attack from the Enemy is whether you're alive. So, if the answer to that is yes, you're under attack in some way, shape, or form. It may be a long-range attack or it may be something that's happening immediately.

Watch what happened in verse 14. "The Israelites were subject to Eglon king of Moab for eighteen years". Now you see why I picked this passage. That got my attention. Eighteen years. I'm like, "Yeah, but, Lord, we haven't been subject to Eglon for 18 years". They were having to pay tribute. They were having to bring all this extra taxation to the king, and they were oppressed by him. It was causing them great hardship. We're here today celebrating 18 years of blessing, but let's see before we finish this celebration if there's a parallel for these 18 years of oppression Israel suffered and the victory God gave them and the 18 years of victory he has given us. Watch this.

Verse 15: "Again the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he gave them a deliverer—Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera the Benjamite". Now we have a completely confusing situation where God gives his people a gift that makes no sense. The tribe of Benjamin is literally known as the right-handed tribe, because the name Benjamin literally means son of my right hand. That's what it means. So, when God wanted to deliver his people, he sent them a left-handed warrior from a right-handed tribe. This makes no sense. How many have been feeling like that about a situation in your life right now? This makes no sense. Why would God sharpen an arrow, polish an arrow, and then conceal it in a quiver?

Did you notice that Isaiah 49:2 said, "God hid me in the quiver"? Did you know that God has a quiver? The quiver is the pouch where the archer keeps his arrows so he can carry them to the place so that when the time is right the arrow can be launched, but until the arrow is ready to be launched the arrow is kept in the quiver. If you judge your potential by the quiver, you'll think, "I'm never going anywhere". If you judge the potential of your child by what they're struggling through in adolescence, you'll be preparing to give them money for a homeless ministry named after them. But what if it is not a destination where they are right now? What if you have been cursing something in your life and what you call a curse God calls a quiver?

So I came with a challenge, church. Let me smile at you while I say it. Don't curse your quiver. That's where God keeps his most valuable weapons, his secret weapons, his special weapons, his sharp weapons, his ready weapons, his capable weapons, his weapons that no one will see coming. Now the Bible Bible seems kind of brilliant, because I understand it is the shameful things God uses to shame the strong, that it is the foolishness of the cross God used to save the world. When he got ready to redeem us from our sin, he found a virgin womb. Why? This makes no sense. When he got ready to take down a Philistine giant, he chose a shepherd boy who was hidden in a field, because this makes no sense. When he got ready to use somebody to liberate the Israelites from Egypt, he chose a murderer who was a fugitive. Why? Because this makes no sense. When this makes no sense, that's where God can get the greatest glory.

So he said, "I've got to get a left-handed warrior". Somebody in here has felt left-handed in a right-handed tribe all your life, and you've never really fit in. You've never really been what you thought you were supposed to be. You've never really had what you felt like you were supposed to have, and what other people do easily you struggle for. You're a left-handed warrior from a right-handed tribe. God looks across 50,000 Benjamite soldiers. They had about 47,000 swordsmen and only 700 lefties, and God said, "I need a lefty for this". God is looking for lefties, and you're about to find out why. If you want to hear the rest of this message, make some Holy Ghost noise in this 18-year-old church. You know what happens when you turn 18. You can go to war when you turn 18.

I believe God is about to raise up a warrior as I preach this word today. As a matter of fact, what's that in your hand? You look like a weapon. Isaiah said, "He had me in the shadows, but he wasn't punishing me; he was polishing me". I'm not being punished; I'm being polished. That's his hand working on me. That's his hand sanding me down. That's his hand hiding me for the right time. When the right time comes, I'm going to be the right one for the right time, because he hid me in his quiver. It's not a curse; it's a quiver. Loneliness sometimes is because you feel left-handed. One of my best friends said three phrases describe how he has felt his whole life: left out, looked over, and less than. Understand this, church, for the historical context. If you were left-handed in a right-handed tribe, they didn't let you serve in the military except in a special position, and it wasn't the best position.

So, imagine all of the times Ehud got looked over, left out, and felt less than. The Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he gave them a deliverer from a place they weren't looking. He gave them what they had looked over. He gave them someone who had been left out. He gave them what they considered less than. When we regard Christ according to the flesh we miss his glory, because God will always wrap his favor in flesh. When we look for God to do something only from the right hand of what we consider a blessing, we miss what's on the left every time. I'm trying to say God is trying to give you stuff, but you're watching the wrong hand. You're waiting for everything to go right, but sometimes God wants to bless you from the left.
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