Steven Furtick — The Power of Potential
This passage of Scripture might seem simple. I'm learning that God speaks through simple. We want it deep. Do you know why we want it deep sometimes? So we don't have to do anything with it. Let's talk about the angels. How many wings does a seraphim have? Because see, I can study about the wings on a seraphim, and still treat my wife like a dog. But, once we get into the practicality of taking aim and taking action, that's kind of what we mean by work your window, and you'll see it in the passage.
If it's your first time here, or you haven't been here for this series, you're walking into something, and hopefully you feel like a fresh wind of God's spirit blowing in the church today. I hope you do. I certainly feel it on the inside, and if you're not excited, I'm excited enough for all of us today.
So, I want to go right back to my epic Scripture passage in 2 Kings 13. What appears to be an archery lesson on the surface is really loaded with spiritual principles, and this little Scripture has been our window to see some precepts and principles that are changing our lives.
And, picking up in Verse 17 where Elisha, the prophet, tells Jehoash, the king, "Open the east window." "Open the east window." What if God won't open the window for you, but He'll show you which one to open? What if God won't do the work for you, restore the relationship for you, but He will show you what to say to begin the process of restoration and what to do to rebuild trust? That's what we're trying to look at this year.
Work your window, emphasis on work. And we're not saved by works, but we work out what God has worked in us. So, salvation is not a stopping point, it's a starting line, and we want to see God do great things, not just for us, but through us. It's kind of like a vision statement around our church.
See what God... seven people helped me finish the church mission statement. That'll make you want to resign! See what God can do through you. Look at your neighbor and say, yes, you. Even you! You, too. "Open the east window," which is facing Aram, which was a confederation of territories that was oppressing the nation of Israel, and God tells him to open the window facing in the direction of his oppression.
He does not tell him to turn his back on it, and run and pretend like it doesn't exist, and deny it by faith, but to face it. Not only to face it, but He told him to take the bow and the arrow that He instructed him to grab in Verses 15 and 16, and He said, "After you've opened it, shoot," and he shot. And then he proclaims, prophesizes, and declares, "The Lord's arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram."
Everybody has an Aram, everybody has an arrow. Which one are you watching today? Are you watching the possibility of victory, or do you have your eyes on your problems to the point where you see no way to win? Just trying to be real practical in this series about facing your Aram, launching your arrow, and seeing the salvation of God in your situation in 2018, 19, 2020, whenever you're watching this on TV.
They play these things for a long time. And, he said that "You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek," but he didn't. How is it possible that God could announce the potential for victory, but the king not experience it? How is it possible that God could announce the potential for freedom, and His children live in bondage? How is it possible that God could announce the potential of peace by sending the Prince of Peace, and His people live in inner turmoil? How is it possible that Jesus could pray, "Father, make them one even as we are one," and a nation be divided?
I want to speak to you today about the power of potential. We've talked about the power of precision. Aim at something! Shoot directly in the sphere that God has called you to take your next step. We talked about the power of preparation, how God is getting you ready, how He's preparing you for what He has prepared for you. Are you getting this on Snapchat, Hugh Baca? You might want to get this, because I'm preaching as my introduction, but I'm preaching pretty good!
We're talking about aiming in the direction of your destiny, not in the area of distractions, not this year! We're taking aim, we're taking action! Amen. And he said, "You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek," and then he said... then he said... then he said.
See, it's not complete yet just because God announced it. It's not complete yet just because you believed it. Patience, perseverance. Patience, perseverance, persistence, purpose. These are the elements that release potential. So, we talked about the power of precision. We talked about the power of preparation. And I made a statement last week that most of us are not living at the level of our potential, we're living at the level of our preparation.
Then he said... gave him some preparations to make. The victory is won. You will prevail, but the preparation still has to be made. "Then he said, "Take the arrows," and the king took them." So far, so good. "Elisha told him, "Strike the ground." He struck it three times and stopped." He stopped short. "The man of God, he was angry with him and said, "You should have struck the ground five or six times, then you would have."
That construct is sad to me. You should have, then you would have. Wouldn't that be a horrible place to live this year? Wouldn't that be a horrible place to live your life? You should have, then you would have? I've told you before that my dad used to always say, "I could if I would." Well, God flips that and says you could if you would.
I've preached about this before. It's nothing new. It's a passage, really, about unfulfilled potential. The man of God was angry with him because he saw what it could have been. He knew how much more was in store. I need you to lean into this Word today because there is potential in this moment.
The Word of God is alive and active! The potential is limitless for what God can do through the power of His Word. And it's funny, because anytime you talk about potential, you have to clarify a little bit, and here's what I mean.