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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Protected By The Hand of God

Steven Furtick - Protected By The Hand of God

Steven Furtick - Protected By The Hand of God
TOPICS: Protection

This is an excerpt from: Make Peace With Your Strength

A word from God just came through me for somebody. You're not insignificant because you're hidden. "Nobody sees me. Nobody notices me. Nobody appreciates me". Do not confuse your hiddenness with your significance. The significance of Gideon's life and your life and my life and what's happening in this season cannot be discerned just by looking at us in this moment. We have to read a little farther. There's so much more to the story.

So, when Gideon is hidden, he is not sinning, but he is shrinking. The picture we get of Gideon is not of a sinner but of a survivor. Are there any survivors at Elevation Ballantyne? Not on the front row. Y'all didn't make it through anything. When I say survivor, I don't mean you had a headache and you took two things and then it went away, and then you went to work anyway and you didn't get fired. That's not the kind of surviving I mean. I'm talking about you almost lost your faith. You almost said, "Is there a God"? But something like the hand of God snatched you from the hand of your own doubt. Something like the hand of God.

It was invisible, so you can't exactly prove it and say, "Well, it was on this date at this time," but for everybody who knows… "I was in the hands, in the grip, in the stronghold of the feeling that I might not make it, and something snatched me. I can't show you what snatched me because it wasn't a person. I can't show you what snatched me because it wasn't just one event. I can't show you what snatched me because it wasn't just one day". It was the hand of God. That's what it was. It was he who snatched you, because he has something for you…something to do, something to build, something to be. I've got all three. I've got something to do (I'm created for good works), something to build (I can't stay torn down), and something to be (I am becoming a new creation in Christ).

I've got something…something to do, something to build, something to be. Don't memorize me down here. I know I look shrunken right now, but there's a good reason for that. See, I'm a survivor. Say, "I'm a survivor". Even if you have to say it under your breath because you don't want the Devil to hear you, because you're scared if he hears you say it he might attack you again, say, "I'm a survivor". My buddy who fights in the UFC said, "You've got to survive the assault and work the cut". I said, "What does that mean"? He said, "There's going to be a round every time you fight, unless you get lucky with a spinning heel kick in the first round, where it's going to come on like a storm, and the only goal in that round is to survive it". He said, "But then there will be an opportunity to go on offense, and when you cut him…"

I feel my Rocky IV anointing coming on me today. I'm scared of it. I'm really scared of it, because if it comes on me, I might shout, "Drago". I might shout, "Devil". I might start doing some stuff. I might start swinging. There comes a time when survival becomes selfish. When God gives you an opportunity to do the good he created you to do, and you shrink down… Now, sometimes when we shrink… Get the picture of Gideon in the winepress, getting out of the sight of his enemy, the Midianites. Shrinking down in a low place where, we discovered last week, there is no wind to blow the chaff away, where the Devil pushes you down where there is no fresh air of God's Spirit, where you get in a place, though patterns and thought processes, that feels safe because you are a stuck survivor, a survivor who got stuck in a season of survival.

Now, how is that selfish? Because God did not just come to get you through it; he came to get it through you. Yes! Yes, we need that revelation for all of the survival sermons we've heard that are saying, "You're going to make it," which are wonderful when you need them. But if every six days, the only word you can receive is, "You're going to make it," and then six days later, "You're going to make it," and then six days later, "You're going to make it, and God is getting you ready," and six days later, "God is getting you ready," and six days later, "God is getting you ready…" Meanwhile, your teeth are going to fall out while you're waiting. "God is going to get me ready. God is going to get me ready". You're going to have a bad back when he finally does.

So then the key becomes… Watch this. We can't just stay here, shrinking in survival, forever. At some point, God is going to give you a survival word when you need it. Then he will give you a stretching word to call forth something dormant in you, to call forth something holy in you. If we were to put a New Testament verse here, I would recommend for your consideration Ephesians 3:20, which states, "Now…" Don't leave that word out. It's important. It doesn't say, "In three years". It doesn't say, "When you get out of rehab". It doesn't say, "When they come back and start living with you again". It doesn't say, "When the doctor tells you if it's a tumor or not". It says, "Now unto him who is able to do…" How much more? "…immeasurably more…" You have an "immeasurably more" anointing. But sometimes we have a depressingly low view of ourselves. Keep going. The best part of the verse is at the end.

"…more than we ask or imagine, according to his power…" Which we love. "Oh, it's his power". Yes, it is. It comes from him, every single time. All power comes from him. No more than we could unplug this sound system and the microphones still get a signal over the camera can I preach this word without his power working. But watch where it works. It is at work within us. The contrast is not only that it's his power and it doesn't come from me. The contrast is that it doesn't work from without; it works from within. Can I go a little bit deeper with this word? Oh, I'm going in. I studied too much to preach this thing like it was third grade class. I am going to teach the Bible to three people today who want to go into God's Word and get what he has for you so you can be what he called you to be, build what he called you to build, and do what he called you to do.

Somebody shout, "Go"! That's the key. You're going to see this like… Do y'all play pickleball? God and Gideon go back and forth for a moment, where Gideon doesn't know it's God. You usually don't at first. Usually, God first appears as something you fear. "It's a ghost," Peter said. No, it's God. Gideon thinks he has an interrupter. Maybe he even thought it was the enemy coming to get some of his wheat, but it was an angel. The angel starts talking to Gideon, which happens every day. No! No, this is an unusual occurrence for the Word of God to come to Gideon. There is a sense when I read this passage… The reason I use pickleball is because it has this back and forth to it that I want to show you.

Gideon is asking God to pardon him while God is trying to empower him. When Gideon is saying, "Pardon," God is trying to give him permission to get out of that. Gideon keeps saying, "Pardon me". Now, the first thing he does is he shrinks his view of God down to his experience. Look at verse 13. "Pardon me, lord, but if the Lord is with us…" God just said he's with you. "Well, if that's true, then why has all this happened to us"? He's looking to external events and personal experience for his definition of who God is. That's the wrong starting place. God doesn't start with your experience. He was God before you got here. He'll be God when they lay your body in the ground. He'll be God when everybody is eating chicken five minutes after they all cry that you're gone.

Everybody is moving on. Everything is coming, everything is going, and he is still God. He's big. He's mighty. He's not as small as one little life, one little lifespan, one little opinion, one political party, one view of seeing things, one color, one ethnicity, one denomination. God is bigger than any of the stuff we fight about. So, watch Gideon. He's not sinning, but he is shrinking. "If God is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about"? Get the questions. Get your list going. You have your little list for God. "Okay. Why is my daughter struggling in school, and why am I always having to go down there? Why don't I have a husband when you know I am chaste"?

Your words. Your list. I'm just using some Bible words. All right. "And you know she's not. So why does she have a husband, and I don't have a husband when I was a lady in waiting? I have three promise rings, purity rings. I am a Proverbs 31 woman, and I'm 31 years old, and I don't have a man. Why"? All of that is just experience. All of that is just events. All of that is external. All of that is outside. All of that is what I see. All of that is what I know. All of that is what I understand. So watch God. "Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, 'Did not the Lord bring us out of Egypt?'" I love what God does here. This angel is amazing. Gideon says, "But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian". Now verse 14: "The Lord turned and said, 'Go.'" He answers none of it.

The reason I called it pickleball is because Gideon is like, "Okay. You are calling me a mighty warrior, and you're saying this about me. Then how about this thing I struggle with, and how about that thing I deal with, and how about the other thing they did to us, and how about what I heard you would do that you haven't done, and that's why I'm down here in this winepress"? Gideon goes, "Why"? and you expect God to go, "Well, you know, here's a reason". Then you expect Gideon to hit it back over the net. "Well, then what about…"? Then God is like, "Yeah, so, about that". You expect this to go back and forth, and you're kind of waiting for this back and forth. God is like, "Nuh-uh. Go". "We don't have time for you to figure out and work through every single weakness you have".

Some of you have taken every personality test they sell in the personality test store and department, and you are more confused than ever. You have read every book. You have eaten. You have prayed. You have loved. You have searched. You have tested. You have "Myers-Briggsed". You have "DISCed". You have "Enneagramed". You have done it all. Those are all wonderful things, but God is like, "By the time you finish the tests, the lesson will be over and the blessing will be past". At some point (it might just be while Pastor Steven is preaching today), we have to go.
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