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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Where Are You, God?

Steven Furtick - Where Are You, God?

Steven Furtick - Where Are You, God?

This is an excerpt from: Rags To Righteous

When we say, "God is not against me," perhaps it seems to you unnecessary. Perhaps you've never had the thought that God was against you, but is it possible that while confessing "God is for me," life is coming against you in a way that is making you wonder, "If God is with me, why is there only mud in this pit"? I don't know if you noticed, but the one thing that was never mentioned in the chapter I read you was the presence of God. It does not say Jeremiah was thrown into the pit but God was with him in the pit. It says that about Joseph in prison in the Old Testament, but this is a little different. This is one of those moments where Jeremiah must have been thinking as he was sinking, "Where are you, God"? We know he thought this way, because in the book of Lamentations… I mean, think about the name of that book. Jeremiah wrote that book. Lament. It means to grieve. It means to question. In that book as well as the book that bears his name, many times he would speak the word of the Lord, but he would also question within himself. "God, if I'm your man, what's up with this mud"?

This is his third imprisonment for preaching the word of the Lord. "God, if I'm your servant, why am I in this cistern? God, you called me to be a prophet. You told me before I was born that you knew me and appointed me". Yet he's learning, as we all must learn, that just because you are appointed doesn't mean you'll never be attacked. I'm going to say it again. I know you don't want to wear this helmet, but I don't want your head to crash on the pavement that you think just because you have a purpose and a promise from God there will be no pits. If I preach this, but I don't tell you about the pit stops on the way to purpose, you will smash, you will splatter, you will smudge, you will stop, you will feel stuck in the moments when the feeling goes away. Yet the time to sing "God is not against me!" is not when you see it. Let me tell you when you need to sing, "God is not against me"! Sing it when you're sinking.

So, this is how it's going to work in your life. When you start to sink into the pit of your own problems… I feel anointed to help somebody up today. I see you've been sinking. I see you've been going down in it. I see you've been going back to past habits that are beneath you. I see you've been going into memories you need to leave in a room, but they keep coming out. I see you keep going into self-pity. I see you keep going into old ways of processing. I see you keep going into despair. I see you keep going into suicidal thoughts. I see you keep going back to toxic relationships. I see you keep going back to the things that break your heart. I see you keep going back to the things that pulled you. I see you keep going back to the things that offer you temporary relief, and I see you sinking, but I see you singing as you're sinking. "Love lifted me". Faith doesn't mean I won't sink; it means I won't stay there.

Please do not let our songs confuse you into thinking that we never sink. Of course we have low moments. It's called human experience. It's called being born of a woman. It's called having a nature that was given to us by Adam but was redeemed by Christ. When I was sinking, he reached down and rescued me. I need somebody who has been rescued to get up and rejoice that he rescued you. Yeah, we're getting there. I'm not rejoicing because the Enemy never resisted me; I'm rejoicing because when he resisted me, God rescued me. It is never mentioned in this Scripture that God intervened, but I'm going to show you something. I never read about it before. I went to cemetery (seminary), went to Bible training school. I never read about it. I read about Jeremiah, but look at what happened when he was sinking.

This is what's happening in your life right now whether you realize it or not, whether you see it or not, whether you feel it or not, whether you can believe it right now or you just think I'm hyping people up because I've got to give them good energy and that's what I do on Sunday morning. That's not just what I do on Sunday morning. This is what I do on Monday morning. This is what I do on Tuesday morning. This is what I do on Wednesday morning. This is what I do when I'm in my own muddy moments so I can encourage myself in the Lord. Why are y'all looking at me like you work security? You look suspicious of this. Yet I am telling you that I sink. Safety Steve is also Sinking Steve. Speaking Steve is authoritative. Sinking Steven has to remember, "No, no, no. He's not against me. Life is. Trolls are. Aging is, but God is not".

Do you know what Peter showed me in the New Testament? Then I'm about to show you something that's going to blow you away. Peter showed me in Matthew 14:30… Peter is walking toward Jesus on the water. He has a path toward purpose. Then, all of a sudden, he saw the wind, which was against him, and he was afraid. Beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me"! That's the only verse you need for your sinking moments. That's what you need. He started sinking because of what he saw. The wind was against him. Sometimes what you see is against you, so you forget what is in you that is for you. "Beginning to sink…" Peter doesn't sound like this when he cries. He's not gurgling anything. I don't even think he was up to his waist. He said, "Oh, no. I'm not going all the way down there when Jesus is right here".

I want you to get that mentality about your day. "I'm not going to do it after I drink eight glasses; I'm going to cry out when I start to sink". "I'm not going to do it after I've already gone off on everybody in my phone and ruined all of my friendships. When I start to sink…" He started to sink, and he said… What do you say when you start to sink? "God is not against me". So, you start to sink. The wind is against you. Remind yourself, "God is not". They might be, but God is not. It might be, but God is not. If every demon in hell is against you, God is not. God is not done with you. God is not fed up with you. God is not gone. I'll show you this from Jeremiah 38.

Now we're ready for Jeremiah 38:7. He was sinking down in the mud. Verse 7: "But…" You missed a shout. Let's do it again. He sank down into the mud, but… Let's do it again. He sank down into the mud, but… I'm not shouting about the mud; I'm shouting about the but. I'm sinking into the feeling of anxiety… You got it. I'm sinking into the old way of doing it… One of the best Scriptures you'll ever see is, "We were dead in our transgressions and sins, but God…" Yet the Bible doesn't mention God in this passage. It says he was sinking in the mud, but Ebed-Melek… Baby name possibility right here…Ebed-Melek. Your child will be the only one in class raising their hand if you name them Ebed-Melek. Ebed-Melek, an Ethiopian… It says here "Cushite". It also says he was an official in the royal palace, but that's not specific enough. He was a eunuch who was brought over as a slave and was put in a position of service.

In fact, the name Ebed-Melek… Ebed means servant; Melek means king. "But Ebed-Melek, a Cushite…" A eunuch. The eunuchs, when they were brought over to serve, were castrated. The Levitical law forbade anyone who was castrated from entering the assembly of the Lord. So, I want you to get the preciousness of this partnership and the unlikeliness of this deliverance. A man from Ethiopia who was brought to a land that was being ravaged by enemies, who was serving a king who had no courage, speaks up and steps up. As Jeremiah sinks in a cistern in a pit, he speaks up as a servant in the palace. God is working in places you can't see. God is working through people you don't know about. God is working through people who you think don't belong in that position. I'm pointing it out to you because some people have let you down.

Maybe some people have been like the men in this passage who threw Jeremiah into the pit. "Oh, thanks a lot. I was just trying to help". But while they were throwing him into the pit, God was already preparing somebody in the palace to speak up on his behalf. I'm preaching this word to somebody who feels forgotten. You are not forgotten. God is just going to use something foreign… I said God is going to use something foreign. Think how wild this is. God needs somebody to move to get Jeremiah out of the pit. Who does he choose to use? Somebody who wasn't even allowed to come worship. You're going to have to watch this message twice to get it, because it's going to remind you that no matter who betrays you, God always has a "But Ebed-Melek…" He not only comes to the king, but he confronts the king.

This is the kind of courage you have when you know "God is not against me, but he's in it with me, working through me, fighting for me". Isn't it amazing that you would stand up to a king? And he is not even considered a true worshiper. Not by that culture. God uses who he wants to use. I want to talk to everybody who doesn't even have a high school education. God uses who he wants to use. I want to talk to everybody who has had an abortion, and people try to make you feel terrible about it. God uses who he wants to use, and he's going to give you something in your future to help somebody. So, let's turn those tears into testimony so you can help somebody, so you can hand somebody a helmet.

I want to speak to everybody who has been cast out, cast aside, castrated, and left. Isn't it crazy that the one who was left out is the one who lifted up? Sinking in loneliness right now. Oh, but Ebed-Melek… I've been spending time with this guy all week. The more I studied him, the more it touched me what he did. He heard they put Jeremiah into the cistern, and the king was sitting in the gate. Now, I want to point something out. The king is in the palace; Jeremiah is in the pit. God is not with the king. God is with Jeremiah. Get this. The palace does not prove God's presence. The pit does not prove his absence.
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