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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - God's Calling You Out

Steven Furtick - God's Calling You Out

Steven Furtick - God's Calling You Out

This is an excerpt from: God's Up To Something Upstream

Now, I want to give you a word from Jesus. Don't doubt downstream what God showed you upstream. For that to make any sense in your life, you will need to spend more time upstream this week, because if you're not getting it from God, you will be stepping into situations you're not ready for. The better I am when I get to the brink of the Jordan is the more time I spent in his presence and staying in touch with him. I need time with God upstream. In business terms, the term upstream doesn't have anything to do with rivers. In business terms, upstream is where the product is created and made and manufactured. Downstream refers to all of the activities around marketing and selling the product.

Why do we live in a world where people spend so much more time downstream marketing who they are than upstream with God so he can show you who you are in the light of who he is and what he has for your life? You're never going to be able to do the thing that you would do if you don't know that you, and you will not know that you if all you do is spend time broadcasting. Those downstream distractions… Do you know what they are in your life? Those downstream doubts. Disappointment can put you in a place where downstream… "Oh, now I'm here, now I'm at this moment, I cannot appropriately embrace or seize this moment because… I know God did some wonderful things back there. I believe God is doing some wonderful things".

But like John the Baptist, you find yourself in a downstream situation. Even the one who heralded Jesus Christ began to ask, "Are you really him"? That means downstream distractions… You have to really be careful, especially if you are one of the people God said I'd be speaking to. You are stepping into a season of your life where you are becoming the true version of yourself. You are willing to let some things die now that you used to cling to. If that is you, and if you are walking through something in your life and 20 miles away is an issue, a situation, you can't even really talk about or figure out… If that's you, you have to spend more time upstream.

There are so many Bibles on your phone right now it's not even funny. For free in the app store, put in "Bible". "I don't like to read". Hit the little speaker. It'll read to you. "I don't want to listen to a man read to me". They have a woman too. I found one yesterday that was talking in a Scottish accent. I bought it. Don't tell me you can't spend time upstream. You'd better make that car a church. So when you get there… You have to be ready for what God is going to do downstream, and you have to believe God built a dam where you came from, and he said, "Your past will I remember no more". Now walk into it. Flow into it. Speak into it. Pray into it. Serve into it. Step into it. He's up to something. I saw your Nikes, and I wanted to tell you, "Step into it".

Now step into it again. Somebody made those Nikes. That was upstream. Somebody else sold them. That was downstream. But when the product is good enough, the sales can be whatever they need to be, because if the product is good enough… God said, "In this season, I'm building your character. I'm getting you ready for some things. People aren't going to call you as much. That's all right. Don't worry about the downstream. I'm the God of the upstream, and when it's time, it's time". When it's right, it's right. When it's mine, it's mine, and he can use me how he wants, because he's up to something. About 20 miles away.

I was writing songs with Brandon Lake this week. Do y'all love Brandon? I told him to come to church. He said he had to keep his kids. I wanted to tell y'all what he told me. He said, "Pastor, we've written so many times together". We wrote some this week that I can't wait to share with you too. We've written with Chris and others and all my people. We're sitting around. He said, "I never told you this, but I want to tell you today. Did you know that about 12 years ago, I emailed Elevation and said, 'Can I come learn something about songwriting?' and they said, 'No. We don't offer that'"?

He told me the name of the staff member. The staff member isn't here anymore, and that's a good thing, too, because they did a lot of bad things. They were a downstream staff member, let me tell you, right out to the Dead Sea. They were a Dead Sea staff member is what they were. I'm going to help y'all. He said, "Twelve years ago…" When I thought about that, I said, "That's crazy". Now here we are eating sausage, and we wrote three songs together over the last two days. We wrote "Graves Into Gardens" and "My Testimony" and you and Chris and I wrote "Rattle". We did all this stuff.

Isn't that crazy that you were living in Mount Pleasant while I was living in Moncks Corner? How far is Mount Pleasant? Actually, it's about 38, but for the sake of the illustration, let's call it 20. Did you ever read your Bible to see how far the Jordan River was, the place they crossed we know about, from the place where God did the miracle? It's 20 miles. Did you ever read your Bible…? The Bible says when Jesus left Nazareth to go live in Capernaum… How far was the place where he went to live and do his miracles from the place where he was raised? Twenty miles.

When he got to Galilee for his ministry… Matthew quotes the prophet Isaiah in Matthew, chapter 4. God is up to something upstream. I can't see it, can't prove it. I don't need to. I know him. I see the problem; heaven has the plan. God is up to something in my life. I emailed, and they said, "No". Twelve years later, here we are writing music that's going to touch the world, because God is up to something. The Bible says in Matthew, chapter 4, "When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum…" Twenty miles away. "…which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali…"

Places like Moncks Corner that we don't know, but God did. Watch what God was doing to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah. Some of the things you are going through right now are not about you. They are to fulfill God's purpose. Don't be selfish. Don't be myopic. Don't get buried in self-pity. That's exactly what the Devil wants: to get you downstream. Let him deal with that. You walk toward it. Let him deal with your enemies. Let him deal with the people who talk bad about you. Let him deal with their ignorance. Let him straighten it out. Let him deal with the things you can't deal with as you do the things he has called you to do. I feel like I'm preaching right to somebody's dry riverbed today. God is up to something upstream. It started in Adam. It moved through Joshua, and here's Jesus going to Galilee to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah.

Verse 15: "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan…" Do you recognize the Jordan? "…Galilee of the Gentiles—the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death…" Somebody has been living in the land of the shadow of death, but watch this. It's not death; it's just a shadow, because the light is coming. God is getting the light ready, and it will shine, and it will dawn, and it will break forth. A light has dawned in Galilee. I believe that God, while Jesus was 12 years old, working under his father who was a carpenter in Nazareth, was getting ready for what he would do 20 miles away. When he came to Galilee the first time, as I mentioned, he turned water into wine at Cana. Then he went back. He went back to Cana.

I could tell you what Jesus told John the Baptist when he had downstream doubts. He said, "Hey, the blind see. The lame walk. The deaf hear. Go back and tell John the good news is preached to the poor and chains are being broken. Go tell John, 'Blessed is he who doesn't fall away downstream and holds to what God spoke upstream.'" He doesn't say those words, but that was the spirit of the message. You know what? Of all of those miracles Jesus did that we know about, so many of them happened in Galilee, but one the Holy Spirit led me to for you before we close this service… I don't know if you're 20 miles away or 2,000 miles away. I don't know where this word is going to reach you, but I believe it has. I believe it is. I believe that right now God is up to something in your life. It's upstream. Some of the things he is blocking in your life are for your blessing.

Will you trust him with the 20? Will you not stress for these next two weeks while you wait for the results? While you wait for the MRI appointment, will you just put that in his hands? Because where you see a problem, heaven has a plan. You can't see it. You're not supposed to. You can't know it. You have to believe it by faith. Driving to situations you don't know how to deal with. But 20 miles away, God was getting a light ready for Galilee in Nazareth. Then the Bible says in John, chapter 4… This was the very last Scripture he showed me for our sermon today. It says that after he left Samaria… Do y'all remember when he met the woman at the well, the Samaritan woman? Yeah, my favorite story. Right after that (he stayed two days in Samaria), he left for Galilee (verse 43). "(Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) When he arrived in Galilee…"

Feel the pregnancy and the potency in that sentence. "When he arrived in Galilee…" The upstream prophet Isaiah said, "A great light is going to dawn on the people in darkness," and now it's happening. It's happening. It's happening now. That's why God sent this word to you today. It's happening now in your life. It's of generational consequence, and he's doing it now. "When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there. Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death". "I can't do anything about that. I can't heal him. I can't buy it. I can't do it. I need you to help me with this".

Jesus said, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe". The royal official said, "Sir, come down…" "I need you to come. Come to Capernaum. Leave Cana. Come with me to Capernaum". Jesus says something that's very prophetic for this moment in your life. Verse 50: "Go, your son will live". The second part of that depends on the first part of that. Walk toward it. Watch what he did. This is what you must do with the situations in your life that are beyond your control that you don't understand that you can't figure out. "The man took Jesus at his word and departed". Now watch this. "While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, 'Yesterday, at one in the afternoon…'"

When they said, "One in the afternoon," the father realized this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live". As he's walking back to Capernaum from Cana, they interrupt him and say, "He's better. We came all this way to tell you he's better". "When did it happen"? "It happened at 1:00 p.m". He said, "That's the exact time," and he trusted Jesus. I want to suggest to you that the most significant thing about this text isn't the time it happened at; it was how far they traveled. Cana is 20 miles from Capernaum. That means the words from Jesus reached all the way back to that sick boy and didn't even need the dad to make the journey. You are not even going to have to do everything you think you're going to have to do. God is just going to do one of these "20-mile turnarounds".

I declare a 20-mile turnaround. Depression, let the daughter go. Addiction, let the son go. I call you forth. I call light to your situation. I call strength to your ankles. I call joy to your spirit. To every barren womb, I prophesy a new song. He did it 20 miles away, and you think he can't do it for you? He can do it for you. He will do it for you. He has done it for you. The God who fights your battles stands at your Adam and tells the waters, "Be still. Here comes my child". Now give him that situation. Give him that praise. Give him the praise that you would give him if you believed he was able to do… If you believed there are more with us than with them.
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