Steven Furtick — Don't Waste Your Angel
I'm gonna read your scripture from Exodus 23:20-31. And it's a scripture about how God makes a way in our life. We're in the series called Way Maker and this scripture has a subheading in my Bible that says, "God's angel to prepare the way. God's angel to prepare the way". God says this, Verse 20: "See I am sending an angel ahead of you, to guard you along the way". If you don't think its sacrilegious to write in your Bible circle that phrase, "along the way". It's important: "I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way. And to bring you to the place I have prepared".
Pay attention to Him and listen to what he says, do not rebel against Him. See God can send things into your life that you don't access because you're attention is elsewhere. God can send you instruction, wisdom, and provision, but you miss it because you were paying attention on something stupid. I'm not talking about fantasy football, I'm talking about other stupid stuff you pay attention to. I wouldn't rebuke you for that. It's fine. But he says, "Do not rebel against Him, He will not forgive your rebellious since my name is in Him". If you listen carefully to what He says and do all that I say: "I will be an enemy to your enemies". This is God speaking. How he feels about His people: "I will be an enemy to your enemies".
Now touch your neighbor, say, "You better be nice to me, I got back up. Be careful how you talk about me, God likes me a little bit". I mean how do you act when somebody talks about your child? Imagine how God feels about it. Imagine how God feels about. Well, that's what he said. He said, "I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you. My angel..". Here's this angel again. "Will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites. And I will wipe them out. I'm going to get them out of your way. Now do not bow down before their Gods or worship them 'cause after I get them out of your way, don't get in your own way by doing what they did".
Sometimes God removes something from your life and you trip over it like it was still there because you can't change your mind and be renew according to your new reality. Okay, I'm just kind of flowing right now, not in my notes. And I'm going to let you sit down in a minute, but there's a lot in this passage and I've been excited about it. And I was eating cranberry sauce and thinking about — just if we could get here together I can share this with you because I was really excited about it.
But really here's where it starts, skip all the way down to Verse 28: "I will send the hornet..". 'Cause God's a Charlottean, "I will send the hornet..". I've been trying to tell ya'll that: "I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive out the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites out of your way". Okay, I'm going to take away all those "ites": Hivites, Canaanites, cellulites, all of them. They got to go. Somebody say, "They got to go". "As I bring you into the place that I promised you I'm going to get them out of your way. But I will not drive them out in a single year 'cause the land would become desolate. And the wild animals to numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you until you have increased enough".
Until you, you're waiting on God to show up and he's waiting for you to grow up, "little by little". And you don't even notice the things that are growing right before your eyes. That's why it takes a grandparent to tell you that you're kids have grown 'cause you're with them every day. But God is doing things incrementally in our lives and so he says, "Little by little I will drive them out before you until you have increased enough to take possession of the land". Can I give you one more verse? It's not rhetorical: "I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land and you will drive them out before you". Say, "amen" for the word of God.
Hey those of you in control don't throw my title 'cause I'm changing it and the one you have is the wrong one. I want to preach a message to you from my heart today and I want you to look at your neighbor and give them my title that I just thought of right now, but I want to share it with you. And I believe it's a message for you. Then look at your neighbor and say, "Neighbor. Don't waste your angel". Please be seated. The sense that I get from the text is that God is giving his people the resources that they need for the responsibility that they are facing, and I love that about God, is that he always has the resource ready before He gives the assignment.
In fact, I've learned this, and I would love for you to write it down if you are the note taking type. Realize that the greater the assignment, the greater the assistance. Now if you are married to someone who is a little difficult, perhaps that would be good news to you. My brother from the United States Airforce is visiting with us today. Would you help me thank God for my brother? Visiting all the way from New Jersey. He's married now and we're thankful. I had the great privilege to perform their wedding. If I do a wedding, which I don't get to do them very much 'cause usually people like to get married on Saturdays and I preach on Saturdays.
So, when I get to do it I like to make it creative 'cause I don't know how to do it the right way because I don't do it that much. And I almost did something when I performed your wedding. I never told you this. 'Cause you got all the typical sections of a wedding where you have the exchange of the rings and the exchange of the vows. I almost did a whole section called "Realistic Expectations". And I didn't do it, maybe one day I'll get that opportunity, but it would be the part of the wedding ceremony that's not poetic. It'd be the part that's practical. And I would have told you things like, you know, be prepared for this woman whom you love to bring items into your bathroom that you have never seen before or known of their existence. Be prepared, make space on your counter for a pharmacy, and don't be surprised.
Little things like that I would've put into it — if they would have done this for me and Holly's they would have said, "Allot 50 extra minutes when you are telling your wife what time to be ready for an event. Lie to her, put her on daylight savings time and back it up an hour. And you might possibly be on time". But I'll be honest with you my wife now something has shifted in the balance of our marriage relationship. And she's usually the one telling me — you're looking to see how she's responding to this part of the sermon aren't you? With that has she walked out? What would that say about the pastor's spirit to lie?
No, she's actually the one who's usually telling me, if you can believe this, she said something to me the other day. I never thought I'd hear this out of my wife's mouth. She said, "I'm ready when you are". It's just things you never think you're going to hear. Like that's like hearing your teenager say, "I'll do it". Like it's just stuff you never expect to hear from that person. But it's true. Nine times out of ten now she's ready before I am. Something has shifted in the relationship.
And I put it out because in Exodus 23 it's not a marriage relationship, but it's a covenant relationship between God and His people. And they have waited now for over 400 years for God to deliver them out of their slavery and their cruel bondage, but now something has shifted. They are so used to waiting on God and now it — in a bazaar turn of events God says to his people through Moses: "I'm ready when you are". Now he's already brought them out of Egypt. He's already brought them out of slavery, but there is a difference between coming out physically and coming out mentally. Some people are perpetually stuck in a change of their life even though God has set them free they still drag the shackles of a situation that God long since delivered them from.
So, He gives them several gifts, several gifts, several gifts. I'll mention a few. The Ten Commandments. He gives them the Ten Commandments. Thou salt, thou salt not. Not to prohibit them, not to prohibit them. How many of you have a dog? Did you put in a fence in your yard for the dog? Why? So, he can run around. So, he can run around without getting killed. The fence brings freedom. Right? When God establishes parameters for your life what He's really doing within those parameters is giving you permission to enjoy His promises within the parameters of principles, so that you are not destroyed by the very thing that God intended to bless you with.
And then He gives them some laws, regulations, and statues for living with one another in relationship as a community. He speaks about social injustice. He speaks to them about treatment of one another and foreigners. He speaks to them — oh, specifically about festivals that He wants them to keep. And three times a year He says, "I want you to send all the men to the sanctuary and nobody should come empty handed. I want you to bring me an offering. I want you to bring me an offering because I want you to be protected..". there's a key word: "protected from trusting in your provision. So, every time I bless you I want you to engage in the discipline of entrusting to me what I've invested in you". Got it?
In that context God makes His people a promise because He has given them a great assignment. A great assignment, to occupy this land that's full of enemies. Enemies that are bigger and stronger, more skilled and experienced in warfare then this nation who has barely become a nation at this point. In this He gives them three promises from Verse 20, I'll list them now. Right them down. Put them on a sticky note 'cause these three promises apply to you too. These are three things God has promised you. I hit them one by one: "See I am sending an angel ahead of you".
In the Jewish tradition it is mostly believed that the angel is Moses. However, most of us would think that the qualifications that are listed here as in: "My name is in Him and the ability to forgives sins". Goes beyond Moses, so this must be a foreshadowing of the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ: "I will send my angel ahead of you to guard you along the way. And to bring you to the place I have prepared".
They're all three right there. The first one is, "God promises to protect his people. God promises to protect his people". And specifically, He says, "I will guard you along the way". I was interested in that phrase because a lot of times God is guarding you from things in your life that you don't even know you need to be guarded from. And so, the way it works if you could follow me real quick with the cameras: God will guard you along the way, but you will only see it looking back. That's how life works. Is that God is doing it for you along the way. And I noticed in order for God to protect you, you have to be in motion. God can not guard you until you are along the way. And so, when you are praying for God to protect, but you're sitting on your couch doing it instead of obeying the instruction that He's giving you, God cannot dispatch his assistance for an assignment that you are not present for.
This one intern was asking me recently on the subject, "How do I deal with feeling insecure."? And I shocked myself the answer I gave 'cause I usually say, "Quote the Bible and confessions of faith, and you are the righteousness of God in Christ". But I've found something coming out of my mouth it was kind of weird. I said, "Do the work". Because it is in completing your assignment that you receive your assistance. It's the best thing you can do if you feel insecure like I can't do it, to do it. And as you do it, you will receive the strength for the assignment.
But let me tell you this, you will not get the assistance praying for God to make the assignment easier. He does not promise that. And I don't care how hateful ya'll look at me, God is not going to make it easier. What he said I'll do: "I will release my assistance in correspondence with your assignment. And if you insist on trying to fulfill somebody else's assignment, don't expect my assistance". But if you will do you right here, right now and quit wishing she was your wife. And love the wife you've got as Christ love the church I will release my assistance in correspondence with your assignment. Amen, good preaching. Only J.J. standing up. I don't know. He must need the Lord this week.
To me I think it's significant all the different times that God gave people an assignment that was greater then them. In fact, often contrary to their natural ability because Abraham could've had a baby for God when he was 40, not when he's 80. God likes 'em at 80 better than 40. I know why, but I'm not going to tell you why. I know why. I studied, and I know why God picked him at 80 and not 40. Okay, I'll tell you. If you do it at 40 you'll think you did it. But if God gives you something that you know, you shouldn't be able to do it. Touch somebody say, "Don't waste your angel". And you waste the assistance of your angel — this is so good. I'm going to help you right there. Right there. You right there. Right there. I'm so glad you know — not you her. I'm going to help her, right there. You got a giant assignment? That's good. The greater the assignment, the greater the assistance.
So now I can look back on several phases of my life where God was protecting me with what I thought was a problem. You know God has a defense system. I have a security system in my house. A couple of night's ago me and Holly shot straight up in the bed screaming. Both of us just screaming. The alarm went off so loud. I never heard it that loud and I jumped up screaming. She jumped up screaming. We're screaming at each other. Five seconds later I had that baseball bat that I keep under my bed. I was crouched going through the house too. I was shaking the bat. I was saying stuff under my breath that wasn't prayer oriented. You know, just getting ready for what the situation required.
But how could it be that loud. It was the loudest thing I ever heard. You know those little ear pods you that you put in your ear? I forgot that I had fallen asleep with my ear pods in. And it wasn't the security system in the house that went off. It was an amber alert on my phone. And here I am ready to kill something that's not even there. And, you know, sometimes you let the devil in your head to the point where you're waking up in the middle of the night chasing an enemy that ought to be running from you. Where my powerful people at that know you have the Holy Spirit? A deposit guarantee your inheritance. Make some noise about it. Make all the quiet people uncomfortable. Shout if you know God's got a defensive system and a surveillance on your life. And the devil can only go so far. Get out of my head. 'Cause I'm protected. High-five three people, say, "I'm protected".
And God will even protect you from your own prayers. You will pray for Him to ask you out and he will walk right by you to your best friend. And she doesn't even have a prayer life. And that's why he walked past you because you were praying, "God I want what you want for me. Protect me from anything that's not from you. I got an angel. Somebody say, "I got an angel". You can't seem 'em, That's weird.
That's weird. You believe in angels. What do you believe in? Some of ya'll believe in college-aged boys in tight pants. You're hope is in them. And I can't have an angel? Well, I got angels. Don't make me flap at you. I will flap right in your face. I got angels. I got something better then an angel. I have the spirit that raised Christ from the dead. And I'm protected. I'm protected. Even sometimes what you will call a disappointment in one season of your life, you will see as a defense. Later you will see that if I had gotten what I wanted when I wanted it, it wouldn't of been a blessing 'cause I wasn't ready. Hope I'm helping somebody.
I will guard you along the way. God says, "I'll protect you". And the second one he says, "I will bring you to the place". So: "I'll guard you along the way and I'll bring you to the place". If guard you along the way is God's promise to protect, bring you to the place is his promise to position. And one thing I've really come to believe is that God is good at getting me where He wants me. When He wants me. For reasons that I do not understand while I'm there. And honestly, some of the places that God has sent me in my life is not where I wanted to go.
And I'm going to say something to you that I've never ever said before in public. I said it to Holly. I've might've said it to a few of our team members, 13 years ago, but I've never said it in a big room like this. I didn't even want to come to Charlotte because it seemed to me like Charlotte had churches covered. Have you looked? It's treason steeples people. It's a lot of them already. I said, "God what could it possibly have to do with me to be in this town where there's already all these big churches"? It was Joe's Crab Shack that God used and just in a way I can't explain. And I'm preaching to somebody with an attitude right now because you don't even like where you live. You don't even like it, but often God positions you according to a higher priority then your preference. And it's called His purpose.
I'm sending my angel and he will bring you to the place. Here's the interesting thing. The angel can bring you to the place, but it can not go in for you. All God can do — because it is a cooperation of grace and faith that causes His Kingdom to operate on Earth as it is in Heaven — all he can do is set you up, but he will not take the step for you. If God took the step for you it would not be kindness, it would be cruelty. If God took the step for you He would put you in a place that your faith was not prepared for.
So, the great tragedy of Exodus 23 is that God sent the protection to bring them to the place, yet an entire generation never entered in. Did you hear me? The entire congregation that Moses is delivering the message too, doesn't get to experience the benefits of God's promise. And here's where it's a little theologically controversial. God's promises are not automatic. They're optional. Joy is optional. Peace is optional. You can have it, or you can leave it. You can live in bitterness or you can live in deliverance. But you have to take the step. My God says, "I've positioned you. I've protected you. I kept you alive. I brought you through it. The seed didn't sweep over you. The slave master didn't kill you with his whip. All I did was bring out with the possession that you need to go into the place that I've prepared for you".
Three, not only will He protect me. Not only He will position me, but He will prepare me. Now we got three, P's. Let's preach. God has been setting you up for this step all of your life and before you is the goodness and the glory of God made possible by the grace of Jesus Christ. If it's just three people I came with an announcement, "You're ready now". You don't have to live in what was any longer and you don't have to stay stuck in a mindset that no longer accommodates your anointing. You're ready now. Thus says the Spirit of the Lord. I kept you all your life. I sustained you through many dangers pause and stares. And now you're ready. High-five somebody, look at and say "I'm ready!"
When the enemy wants to steal your confidence and the promise of God, he doesn't do it all at once. 'Cause if that alarm really went off, you'd jump out the bed. So what does he do? Little by little. And that's the warning that God is giving His people. "I'm sending My angel ahead of you," but if you don't pay attention, and if you don't listen to what He says, you will come to the place, and I can prove to you that this happened to them, because they got to the edge of the promise, and they stopped. And the reason that they stopped is because two spies went in to the land, and came out with faith that they could do it. Ten spies went in, and said, "They're bigger than us". The Canaanites. The Hittites. The Jebusites. The Perizzites. The Hivites. The Amorites. They're bigger than us. But guess what? They were already on-the-run.
Sometimes, you are running from something that God has already defeated. So they're standing at the place, God has protected them along the way. God has — what's the second one? Positioned them for this moment. What's the third one? He prepared them, but guess what the angel can't do? There's one thing the angel can't do, and will not do. There's one thing God won't do for you. He'll protect you, He'll keep you, He'll keep your mind, He'll keep your sanity, He'll keep you from people that would harm you, He will keep you from places that you didn't know if you would've been there, what would've happened, and you will never even know on this side of life how many times God blocked stuff and turned stuff and shifted stuff and moved stuff, and you thought it was just you were a little bit late 'cause you forgot your wallet, but there was a car accident on 77 that had your name on it, and when the devil said, "They're out," God said, "I've got..". so, they're — anyway, they're — so, anyway — they're — so, anyway — there's so many things you don't even know to thank God for.
If you could see for one moment all of the things that God kept you from. Listen to me, Blakeney. If we ever got a revelation of what God kept us from, it would be a bad day for the worship team, 'cause all the worship leaders wouldn't have a job, 'cause we wouldn't even need 'em. 'Cause we would lead ourselves in worship. 'Cause we would walk in the door, and we would walk in the door clapping, and shouting, and rejoicing, and praising God. But sometimes, we don't see all the things that He's kept us from and brought us to.
And now, we're at this place, and God has protected us. Yeah. God has positioned us. Absolutely. And God has prepared us. But there's one thing He won't do. He will not possess the land for you. And here's the Word of the Lord. "I will go before you, but I will not go for you". Your faith must make the step. Your faith must make the step. And most of them never did. Now, if they had gone in, they would've seen that the giants that were still in the land were left there on purpose.
That was always confusing to me. God said, "I'm gonna be an enemy to your enemies, I'm gonna oppose those who oppose you. And when you get to the land, I'm gonna start driving them out. I'm gonna chase them away, so you can inherit what I have promised to you". But then, He says, "I'm not going to do it all at once. I'm gonna do it like the frog. Little by little". I'm gonna do it... Well, wait a minute, God. If these are giants who can kill us and cause us to worship other gods, shouldn't You get rid of them as soon as possible? Come on, I mean, wouldn't it make sense that if God wants something out of your life, He would take it out right away?
And maybe this is just me, because I grew up in churches where they said, "If you will pray this prayer, Jesus will come into your heart, and He will take away your fear, and He will take away your pain, and He will dry every tear from your eye," and then I cried that night, and I couldn't figure out, where did that Kleenex go, that cosmic Kleenex that Jesus was gonna bring and wipe every tear from my eye? I couldn't figure it out, 'cause I was expecting sanctification to work like salvation.
When Jesus saves you, He does it all at once. He doesn't set you up on a 30-year payment plan. Salvation is not a mortgage. When He comes in, He comes all the way in. And for those of you who have received His grace, let me tell you something. This is amazing, this is amazing. Get ready to shout. Lean on the edge of your seat. You will never be more forgiven than you are right now. You will never be more loved than you are right now. When He forgives you, He forgives you completely, immediately, fully, without qualification. There is no corner of your heart He didn't see when He sent His Spirit to live within you. You will never be more forgiven than you are right now, but there is a difference between forgiveness and freedom. Forgiveness happens all at once. Freedom happens little by little, by little, by little. And it's often so incremental that you don't even think it's happening.
This is for everybody who's 40, and thought you would be smarter than you are right now. And you keep doing dumb stuff that you've been doing all your life, and you still feel — I'll preach to the back row, I don't need any love. You're doing stuff right now that you were doing at age 14, and you got your own 14-year-old. And you still feel like a little kid yourself. And it happened to Paul. Paul was that great apostle. Have you heard of him? He took the gospel to the Gentiles. What God started through Abraham, He continued through Paul. He told Abraham, He said, "I got an assignment for you. All the nations of the earth will be blessed through you". What an assignment. He said, "But don't worry about it, I'm going to bless you, so you can be a blessing. I will not require from you a resource that I do not put within you".
You hear me? If God called you to raise those hard-headed kids, He will make your head even harder. Boom. You met your match now, 'cause God gave me a cranium that can withstand all of your craziness. Now, God gives him the assignment, and He gives him the assistance. And Paul, in many ways, was graced. He was graced to be able to speak eloquently. He was graced to be able to preach to the diaspora of the Jewish tradition, that he himself came from. But one thing about Paul he couldn't understand, he couldn't understand — There was something in his life that he expected God to take away that God left. You got anything like that? Y'all are looking at me so weird right now.
Maybe you're beyond Paul. I would understand if you were holier than Paul. That would make sense. But Paul was struggling, he hadn't quite arrived to your level of spiritual development and maturity. Paul said, "There was something that I asked God to do for me that He would not do". Now, if you wanna know what it was, Paul's gonna disappoint you, because he refuses to name it by name. And I'm glad he didn't name it by name, 'cause if he would've said it, I couldn't relate to it. But the fact that he used this image, and I wanna read it to you now, 2 Corinthians 12:7. It means that whatever is left in your life that you have been blaming on the devil can be used by God to fulfill His purpose for your life. If you got anything like that, wave at me, so I can see the seven people that God gave me this message for.
Paul said, "I was ascended to the third Heaven. I saw things inutterable. I was used by God in ways that are astounding, in fact, beyond human vocabulary. Therefore," now, watch this. This is crazy. He says, "Because of that level of blessing, God gave me an equal burden". Because the greater the assignment, the greater the adversity. The greater the assignment, the greater the attack. So Paul said, "God took me up so high, and showed me so much, that there had to be something in my life that would keep me grounded to His grace". He doesn't name it by name, he doesn't need to, because he knows you have your own. So he simply says, "Therefore, in order," here's the clue, "To keep me from becoming conceited..".
There was something that God gave Paul to keep him in a space called grace, so that he would never forget who led him along the way, so that he would never forget who brought him out of bondage and darkness, into the marvelous light. God said, "I'm gonna leave some stuff in your life". "And so, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, there was given to me..". It sounds like he's about to get a new car, right? "He gave me..". That's got me in the mindset of a gift. What did He give you, Paul? Did He give you a house? Did He give you a promotion? Did He give you a blessing? No, no, no. He gave — Paul said, "One day, the devil showed up on my doorstep with a package, and it had a bow on it. I opened the package, and in the package was a thorn".
Now, it was a gift, but it didn't look like a gift. It was a gift, but it was wrapped in something that looked like pain. "I was given," watch this, "A thorn in my flesh". Was it a sickness? Was it a temptation Paul had? Was it people talking about him, and he couldn't shut 'em up? Was it Facebook? Probably. And he calls it, this is crazy, a messenger of Satan. How can he refer to it as a gift, if it came from the enemy? It was sent to torment him. That was the devil's intention, to torment him. Paul said, "God took what the enemy intended to torment me, and used it to transform me". So the enemy's tools of torment become God's tools of transformation.
And now, I get it. Now, I get Exodus 23, because it's not just the angels that God sends ahead of you that He uses to bless you. Those are wonderful. It's not just all of the promotions and it's not just the prosperity, and it's not just the peaceful situations. It's not just the yeses. Sometimes, God uses the no's to lead you to a greater yes. God said, "No, I won't take it away, but yes, I will give you so much grace that you will be stronger than it, and you will discover a power that you could have never known if you didn't have a problem".
"But He said to me, 'My grace...'" Everybody shout, "Grace". Shout, "Grace". Don't mumble. Shout, "Grace". Shout, "Grace," like you need it. Shout, "Grace," like you can't make it without it. Shout, "Grace," like it's not just something you say before you eat. Shout, "Grace," like you live by it. Shout, "Grace," like He died to give it. So He didn't give me relief, He gave me grace. And now, I get it, why God left the giants in the land. Because He had them under contract. See, they weren't used to having to keep up their own land yet, so God said, "I'm gonna do you a favor. I'm gonna keep some enemies on your property. But don't worry about your enemies, they work for me. I am God".
So, oh, it's good to me, it's good to me, it's good to me. Would it be bad if I downloaded this podcast to myself? He said, "I'm gonna leave some things. I'm gonna leave some weaknesses in your life". Take it away. "Nah, I'm gonna work through it". "No, I'm gonna leave that weakness in your life, and your weakness is going to lead you to My strength". God says, "Sometimes, I drive the giants out. Sometimes, I let 'em stay, and I give 'em a job. Sometimes, I use the devil to deliver My mail. Sometimes, I use adversity to create an advantage in your life. Sometimes, I take what people meant for evil, and use it for good, 'cause I'm God like that, and I've got your back.
So I'm gonna use not only My angel, but I'm gonna use your enemies. And I'm gonna leave 'em there. Why would you leave enemies on my territory? It's very simple. Historians tell us that the land of Canaan at this time was populated with wild animals that the Canaanites knew how to deal with, but the Israelites didn't yet, particularly the lions that lived in the land. And so, God knew, "If I clear out all the enemies at once, the lions will take them over". What's a group of lions called? Anybody know? A what? Pride. So God said, "If I clear all your enemies out, all at once, pride... Paul said, "I delight in weaknesses," Canaanites, "Insults," Perizzites, "Hardships," Hivites. Don't you see it? Paul said, "I'm glad for my giants". I don't just thank God for my angels. I thank Him for my giants, too. They taught me how to fight. They built my faith.
So, it's a deep message. It's a deep message. It's one thing to praise God for your protection, but it's another thing to praise Him for your problems. I wanna suggest that sometimes, your problems are your protection from yourself. You've had an addiction all your life, and you've asked God to take the desire away, and He won't. Why? "Because I want you to need Me, and I want you to choose to serve Me. I will not force you to be free. I want it to be your decision, so I'm gonna leave some things in your life that I know you want Me to take out, but I'm not sending you into the fire alone. I will be with you to deliver you, and I will protect you, and I will prepare you, and I will position you, but I cannot possess it for you". Only you can possess this place. Only you can do it. I can preach to you these principles, but I cannot possess them.
No one can do it for you. Stop expecting for God's deliverance to be sudden. The greatest gift God can give you is gradual change, so that He hides you from your own progress, to prevent your pride. God doesn't even want you to know you're growing. He wants you to trust His grace, and that's why God said to Paul, "I'm not gonna give you the gift of relief. I'm gonna give you something greater". Grace. It looks like a thorn, but it's really grace. "The devil might've dropped it off at the door step, but I'm the One who addressed it to you. And no, I won't drive 'em all out. And no, I'm not gonna make it easier". You know what God won't fix? Your attitude. He'll give you His Spirit, but little by little, as you serve and pray, show up, trust that He's working in your life, little by little, little by little, "I am bringing you into the place that I have prepared for you".
The greater assignment gets the greater assistance. If you've been going through some of the things that Paul mentioned: weakness, insults, hardship, persecution, difficulties, he mentions five in 2 Corinthians 12:10. I believe they're the five giants that God leaves a measure of in all of our lives. I believe He leaves a little bit of all of that in all of our lives, to teach us to trust Him. If this has been speaking to you today while I've been preaching, and you would like for me to agree in prayer for you to take your next step in faith, stand to your feet, and I will. Please, at every location. Something that you wanted God to take away, but He's left it for a reason. Please don't leave, because somebody might be standing about something that's much more serious than traffic. So please stay right where you are.
When God releases a word like this into your life, it's kind of like that angel. It can only transform you to the level that you put your attention on it, and decide to obey it. And so, what you've heard today has been a principle from God's Word, a principle of possession, and the principle is this. It's ready when you are. It's ready when you are. God gave you the giant as a gift, to teach you to drive it out by faith. That's how He strengthens you. And the opportunity is before you today, and God said, "I'll protect you. I will. I'll prepare you, I'll position you, but I will not possess it for you. The gift that I'm going to give you is the grace to be patient, as you possess the promise".
Father, would You minister right now to each son and daughter that You have called by name and chosen for this time? The grace that they need for their specific situation. You said to Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you". I believe that promise is personal, for me and for them. I don't believe there's a situation in this room that You would not declare over, "My grace is enough". So we stand in the sufficiency of Your Spirit and Your Son today, and on every location, I come into agreement with Your people, that we will not waste our angel. We will not waste this message. We will not waste this moment. You have brought us this far. You have brought us too far. You have been too good, and done too much for us to stand outside of freedom, wishing about it, thinking about it, and singing about it, but not experiencing it. I declare in the name of Jesus, we shall be free, we shall possess the land, we shall inherit the promise, we shall receive all that You died to provide, we shall rise as You are risen. Come on, put a shout on that, people. Put a shout on it.