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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - It's Not Too Late For You

Steven Furtick - It's Not Too Late For You

Steven Furtick - It's Not Too Late For You

This is an excerpt from: Challenge The Shadow

for everybody who's looking at something right now that looks like it's over, watch what God did for Hezekiah when Hezekiah called on him. He made the shadow go back up the steps. I thought, "God, this doesn't make sense. Shadows don't climb stairs". Exactly. Not until you challenge them. See, as long as we just let it be whatever way it is and go, "Okay. Well, that's just how it is" or "That's just how I am" and we never challenge the shadow by coming back to the source, it's just going to keep going down, down, down. Have you been depressed? Have you been discouraged? Have you given up on your dream that God put inside of you? Is the shadow going down the steps in your life?

Challenge it. Whatever that looks like for you, God will reveal it by his Spirit. I hear God saying, "Challenge that". I wish I had a flag like they have on football so I could throw the challenge flag on some situations in your life, some stuff you're complaining about. Stop complaining about stuff you can change. All right. Let's do it. Let's get practical. Holly loves it when I get practical. She's very literal. I'm very figurative. I am a songwriter. She is a teacher. She taught school while I was learning to write songs.

So, I'm like, "Challenge the shadow," and she's like, "Hallelujah. How"? How many of y'all need some help with "Hallelujah. How"? Like, "I feel you. I believe you. Okay. What are you saying, 'The shadow came back'? What does that mean? Does that mean you want me to go out to the graveyard, and I've had a family member who has been dead, and pray for the person to get up from the dead and stuff like that"? No, I've never done that in my life. That's not the kind of faith I have. But I do have this kind of faith, and this is a practical faith. It is the ability for me to see that sometimes in my life when I am complaining that I don't have something, it is a product of the way I see something. So, challenging the shadow could be as simple as this. Raise your hand if in the last week (I would have you close your eyes just for privacy's sake, but we're going to do it looking all around) you have said, "I do not have enough time".

Raise your hand. I don't have enough time, but Warren Buffett did. I don't have enough time, but Jesus only lived to be 33 and saved the world. "Yeah, but that's different. It was Jesus". Yeah, it's different. Jesus didn't even have a car, and he still did it. Jesus couldn't even get an airplane, and he did it. And you don't have time. No, we just compress so much stress into a shorter time span that we have no ability to prioritize. Sometimes challenging the shadow is this mentality you have when you wake up any given day and go, "I'm not going to be able to get it all done". No, not with everything you do that nobody told you to do. You do not have enough time to do your job and Bob's job and God's job.

As long as you keep running around with the S on your chest that you think stands for savior but really stands for stressed, the shadow goes down the steps. So you end each day going, "I don't have enough time". I need to check your Netflix queue to see if God really accidentally skipped some time he was supposed to give you. Challenge the shadow. Do you see what I mean? It sounds so big, like, "Wow! We're reading this passage about this king who was about to die, and God said, 'I'm going to give him 15 more years.'"

Sometimes it's not about 15 years; it's about 15 minutes. I learned if I take 15 minutes and seek God first in my day, the whole day gets longer. It's almost like the shadow goes up the steps if I seek him first, but if I'm not focused, then I'm going to end the day with not enough time, I'm going to start the day with not enough sleep, and the shadow will swallow me. How about this one while we're at it? I feel like I need to put on some rubber gloves when I go this deep. This is crazy stuff right here.

This is a big one for a lot of us. It's the idea that "It's too late for me now". How about that one? Anybody? He said, "That's real". No, it's a shadow. It feels real. It feels real especially in this day and time, because they are trying to wheel us to the nursing home when we're 45. Am I right? Abbey said the other day, "Mom, if you die, can you write down to the boys and let them know I'll take care of your closet"? She is killing my wife in the prime of her life. I mean, I'm still buying Holly clothes and jewelry, and Abbey is already claiming it, because she's right on the doorstep of death. That's funny until it's not. I remember a guy told me one time, "Songwriting is a young man's game". He was 40.

In a sense he's right, because most people who write pop songs and all different kinds of music write it when they're in their 20s or even younger than that. He had kind of resigned himself to the fact that he wasn't going to write any more good songs. He went on to write a few good ones, but I bet you somewhere in him dealing with that… Because he was saying that out of his own fear. He was over 40. I bet somewhere in his fear of that he had to turn his face to the wall and ask God, "Is that really true"? Normally, yeah, people do their best work early, but this is not the NBA. Why have we let our culture turn into this "Once you're over 30, you're worthless"?

The Devil is a liar. Y'all, here's how much I don't believe that. I won't even let them put my sermons online that I preached when I was 30, because I did not know anything when I was 30. And I'll probably take this one down when I'm 60, because I intend to keep living, and I intend to keep learning, and I intend to keep contradicting myself as long as it takes to grow. So, if God shows me something different… The shadow can roll back. I can admit my ignorance and go, "I didn't know that then. I'm growing now".

Why have we given ourselves no grace to grow? Why do we define what can come next by what has already been? Is that not a step? Wasn't every mistake you made up to this point in your life a step toward wisdom? So, watch this if you can receive it. Everything you thought was a step down, from God's vantage point, was a step up. That's what it means when God makes the shadow go backward. But you have to challenge it. You have to get in the face of your failure and say, "Oh, guess what you are, failure. You are a foundation".

I saw something online the other day. It said, "You're not starting over; you're starting from experience". How about that, young people? All my 43-year-old senior citizens, make some noise with me. "I'm going to praise him with no teeth in my mouth". It's so crazy how quickly we give up on what might have been the greatest season of our life. I declare your grandkids need you to grow into it. If for nobody else, do it for what's coming after you. A girl who worked for me turned 30. I said, "Congratulations". She said, "Oh, no. Please don't speak of it". I said, "Speak of what"? She said, "I can't stand to think about it, turning 30".

Imagine that. Imagine that the Enemy is so good at getting us to die that we just stay stupid. We won't learn. We won't challenge anything. We won't challenge a prejudice. We won't challenge a preconceived notion of ourselves. We won't challenge an insecurity. We won't challenge a hobby. We won't challenge an interest. We just live in it. Hezekiah called the prophet back with his tears. I reckon you can rebuke the Enemy off of your life with yours.

It changed my life when I realized that the "God said, 'Let there be light'" verse also points to the fact that the God who said, "Let there be light" also controls the shadows. The author of truth is the controller of time. I just speak this message today from my heart to yours that sometimes you need to stand in the shadows and speak to the source. Isaiah said, "I can make it keep going down, which is what it naturally does, or if you really want to see what God spoke come to pass, here's what's going to happen. What was supposed to stay down is going to go back up".

Now, I don't know what brought you down in your life, and I can't know what's bringing you down in your soul, but the promise of God is not just limited to some obscure Old Testament king. As a matter of fact, this whole story isn't really a story; it's a shadow. The prophet said, "In three days you will rise". I read my Bible some. I seem to remember another thing about three days and rising. Do you remember anything in that Bible about three days and rising? Do you remember in John, chapter 2, where Jesus came through the temple, and he was like, "This is all out of order"? I feel God going through somebody's temple today and clearing out everything that doesn't belong and wiping out every shadow that has tried to eliminate your purpose and your peace. Those gathered that day said, "What will be…"?

Look at this in John 2:18. You're going to love this verse. They asked, "What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do this"? Verse 19 is all the answer I need. "Jesus answered them, 'Destroy this temple, and I will raise it…'" Are y'all ready? There's about to be a resurrection. "Destroy this temple. Take away my good name". Jesus said, "Hang me up on a cross. Call me the King of the Jews as you mock me with a crown of thorns. Plunge a Roman spear into my side". "You can destroy it, but if you do, you should know I will raise it again in three days".

That's why he died: to challenge the shadow. That's why he rose: to challenge the shadow. That's why he ascended to the right hand of God: to let you know that even the grave and even the keys of death and hell are in his hands. Why would I die in the shadows when I know the source? He is the source of my strength. He is the strength of my life. Hey, Hezekiah, you shall not die! You shall live! Out of the shadows into the light. Out of the past into the promise. You shall live!
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