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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Let Go of What You Thought

Steven Furtick - Let Go of What You Thought

Steven Furtick - Let Go of What You Thought

This is an excerpt from: Dig Until God Does

I think a lot of us are really confused about what we need to surrender in our lives. We don't need to surrender the desires God has put in our hearts if God put them there. What we need to surrender in this season of our lives is the way we thought it was supposed to go. Let go of how you thought it was supposed to go. While you're at it, let go of when you thought it was supposed to get there. The issue isn't will God; it's when God. It doesn't just depend on what he wants to do; it depends on what you are willing to do until God does. I shared with one of the people I mentored the other day… They were needing clarity.

I said, "The issue isn't whether God will reveal this or not; the issue is what you will do until God does give you clarity. Because if you flail right now and thrash right now and act nasty right now, and if you cope with stuff that's going to put you in a cage later right now, then when God gives you clarity, you won't even be able to act on it because you will be so constrained by the decisions you made while you were waiting". The issue is not will God. The issue is not his sovereignty; it's your "supposed to".

Let me ask you a question. When it flows, are you going to be where you're supposed to be…in the valley, digging ditches; in the valley, transporting… That's a lot of times what parenting is. It's just taking your kids back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. In certain seasons, they won't talk to you. "How was your day"? "Fine". If you get a "Fine" out of them, that's a grade-A response. That is a premium response in this season I'm talking about. Then they're going to be in your room at 12:30 in the morning.

Now they want to talk. You're asleep. Part of being a parent is being able to flow with all of that. If you pick them up and drop them off enough, eventually they open up enough, and you get to have the conversation, but if you don't show up when they say nothing, when they open up you won't be there. Everything is like that. Everything God did in my life was something I was digging in a dry place when he was doing it. The same thing for Holly. Usually, when we meet people, and we're meeting them for the first time and they're a part of the ministry, they'll go, "Oh, Pastor Steven. Hey, Holly"! It doesn't bother me a bit. I'm like, "I like her more than I like me too. Hey, trust me. I'm in her fan club. I'm the president. Would you like a picture…of her"? I'm exaggerating a little bit just to make a point.

I remember when Holly felt completely useless in this ministry. I remember the season when the kids were very little that I would take them out on a Wednesday night, and she would invite maybe 12 women… I don't know if it would be smaller or larger than that. She would have them into our home, and she would walk them through a Bible study. But it wasn't just a Bible study, because she didn't really feel like she had that much to teach from the Bible. She would show them how to cook quick meals. She would say, "When you have little kids, you have to cook quick meals. So I'm going to show you quick meals, stuff you can do really easily, stuff that doesn't take much brain power, stuff that'll take your husband's waist size from a 32 to a 38". That class should have been called "Project 38".

So, I watched it expand, like my waistline, from when she did the Bible Bible study in our house to then I watched… They said, "You need to do that for all of the ladies of our church". She made a little study called Mrs. Betterhalf. Do you know how many people I have overheard (while they're getting their selfie with her while I'm standing over in the corner sucking my thumb) say, "It saved our marriage"? It means more to me, because I saw where it started really slowly. I saw that it was out of her personal dryness of where she could have felt sorry for herself. "What do I do? What's my job? What's my value? Where's my Grammy? Where's my Oscar for best supporting role"? I watched what she did, and I watched how she did it at such a level it was almost like a decimal.

You know how you have the number and then the decimal? It's almost like I watched what was behind the decimal move, and I watched God add zeroes to it, where it was 10 women, and then it was 100 women, and then it was 1,000 women. I feel God enlarging somebody's vision right now. Not your waistline…your vision. Come on. Can you see it by the Spirit? You won't see wind and you won't see rain. Nobody came to her with a publishing advance and said, "Would you make a study about wifedom"? She never got the wifedom publishing advance, but when the pandemic hit and everybody was trapped in their homes, hating each other, hating each other a little bit, on each other's nerves…

We were taking a walk, and I said, "Do you know what you have? Betterhalf. I want you to release Betterhalf into the world right now so we can help families get through this challenging time". And she did that. It wasn't 10 anymore. It wasn't even 100. It wasn't 1,000. It wasn't just our church. It was all over the world. I watched as women all over the world were gathered, saying, "Can we drink some of that water you started digging for a decade ago"? That's why God did it: because you dug it. You dug it; God did it. You dug it; God did it. This is going to be your testimony, so practice. "I dug it; God did it". You dug it; God did it. That's what you're going to be telling people a little bit from now. "I had a secret track after 300 songs. I had a secret prayer life. I had a secret reading plan. I had a secret ambition, but I surrendered it to him, and I gave up on what others were going to think, and I got serious about service. I dug it; God did it".

We're going to be looking back on something not many days from now, talking about, "I dug it; God did it". Now let's get into this a little bit. Say, "When I dig it, God can fill it". Not when I feel it. When I dig it, when I don't feel it, God will fill it. This, my friend, is the word of the Lord. "Why is it not here yet"? Imagine the digging that took place with people who were already dehydrated. They dug all night. They waited all night. That's a long time to dig with nothing to drink.

Trust me. I've dug. Come on. Take it from the gravedigger. I dug, and I wasn't filling a valley with ditches, and I had better tools. Digging while you're dry sounds so inspirational, but it can be so difficult. So, they need water right now. Why didn't God make it flow the moment Elisha spoke it? Why do we have to go all the way to verse 20 for the water to come? I'm going to tell you why: because the sun wasn't up yet. Some of the things that make you want to give up and think it's never coming… The sun isn't up yet. Imagine them digging all night, and they're dry, and they're desperate.

In many ways, they're defeated. They've already expressed, "The Lord has brought us here to hand us over," so they've completely lost their confidence, but they're digging anyway. Verse 17 says, "Thus says the Lord: 'You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water…'" So, every time they checked to see, "Has it happened yet"? somebody said, "No". I want to talk for a moment about what to do when you're navigating a "No". "Is there wind yet"? "No". "Do you feel the mist yet"? "No". "No, I'm not talking about a thunderstorm. Do you even feel a drop yet"? "No". This is something people love to ask me: "Are you ready to preach"?

I never answer that with a complete "Yes," because the truth of the matter is there's no real way to be ready to release the Word of God. It flows when it's supposed to. God gives me what I need as I preach it. So shall it be in your life. I want you to receive this. I don't know if you're getting it. Every time they asked, "Did God do it yet"? while they were digging, it was a "No".

Sometimes when you get enough "noes" you make "no" your emotional home. No wind. No rain. Nobody to talk to about this. No one you really trust. No end in sight to this battle. No good news lately. I could make it really good. No deposits in the account no matter how many times a day you check it. Do you ever just check, wondering if something happened overnight? Like, "Maybe. I don't know. God is big. Maybe the bank made an error. Maybe Y2K will be 23 years late and it'll all get wiped out. Let me just check this one more time. Nope".

I see you refreshing your phone. "No". "Maybe they texted. No. Well, maybe they… No". The way you negotiate that "No," which is a type of valley of its own, is so important. Do you make that "No" your home or do you dig through it to find what God will do if you don't let the "No" that life has told you become the final word over your life? In verse 20, we get a very different word. What we've basically done is we've gone from no wind… The refreshing you wanted didn't come. The momentum you wanted didn't come. How many can relate to this? Just put a raised hand up in the room or in the chat. Say, "Yeah, no wind. I don't feel it right now". No rain. That's the resource they need. Sometimes it's going to come in this way. You are not going to get the feeling you want or the resource you want, and it's going to be a "No".

Now, the way you negotiate this "No" has everything connected to what is next. It does not just depend on what God can do. It depends on what you will do until God does. That's what it depends on right now. What will you do until God does? I have another confession of faith God gave me, and it might be for somebody. I may have doubts, and I may have disappointments, and I may have a lot of noes. There may be 300 of them. There may be 300 more. There may be rejections in my future and failures in my future. I'm sure there are. If I keep living, there will be. There may be people who don't like me. There may be people who turn on me. There may be dryness in my future, and I don't know exactly how God is going to do this, but I'll tell you what I have decided in my spirit. I'll be digging until God does it.

That's all I can control. That's all I can do. I can't make it rain. I can't make people change their minds. I certainly can't control things that are beyond the sphere of the domain God has given me. I can't make that person love me. I can't make that person like me. I can't make this situation change. I can't make them see my value. But I know one thing. I'll be digging until God does.
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