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Steven Furtick - The Devil In 3D


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In order to resist the enemy, we've got to recognize him, or we'll spend our whole life resisting all the wrong things. Resisting silence when, sometimes, that's where God speaks the loudest. Resisting or trying to avoid awkward situations and God's middle name is awkward. He'll run out of food on purpose to see what you're gonna do in an awkward situation. He'll sit down next to a disreputable woman at a well and make it awkward. So the disciples have to decide if they really believe that this message is for everyone. And so let's take a look today at this idea of recognizing the enemy so we can see how he's at work in our lives and this may be a weird title, but I wanna call this message, "The Devil in 3D". What does he look like in real life, not our cartoon image of him, our coloring book devil? Once we get the cape off of him and try to understand how he really operates to try to master our minds and set up seed of influence in our souls through controlling our emotions we can start to do battle.

And you know, Paul said one time, we are not ignorant of Satan's devices, devices. Satan's devices. And of course, I don't think this is the devil, but I wanted to give you three things just to make it memorable that start with the letter "D" and rather than continue on talking about Peter this week, I wanna move into the Old Testament for a few moments and tell you a story about a Bible character, that I know you've heard of, named Moses. And I wanna use this one example from his life, it's probably not the one that he would choose for us to evaluate because he made a great mistake and it cost him dearly. But hopefully, like 1 Corinthians 10 says, we can use him as an example. So the same thing doesn't happen to us. How many of you want your kids to learn some stuff from your experience that they don't have to learn through their own pain? And so let's look at this, I'll read it to you. I'll be honest with you, I never preached on this passage before because I was intimidated by it. And really it's a little confusing, you'll see that it seems a little harsh what happens in this passage.

And, honestly, I knew that if I ever preached it, that God would probably speak something to me that I wouldn't wanna hear because I relate to a little thing that happens in this Bible story, but I wanna share it with you now, as we lean into this message, "The Devil in 3D". And of course, Moses's devil was a little different than ours. He would have said, pharaoh, who was the ruler of Egypt, The one that he had to demand emancipation for the people of God from. He never really asked for that assignment. He didn't seek that assignment. He wasn't looking for a life purpose. God just interrupted what he thought was his second half of life and gave him something different to do and wasn't terribly convenient. But now we're looking at Moses at the end of his life. And this is what the Bible says, Numbers 20:1: "In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried. There Miriam died and was buried. Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. They quarreled with Moses and said, 'If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord. Why did you bring the Lord's community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines, or pomegranates..".

Wi-Fi or Starbucks? Just trying to bring you into the text. I don't want you bored trying to listen to this Bible story. ""And there is no water to drink.' Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell face down, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them". That's when God's glory shows up, when you've run out of answers. That's when God's glory shows up, when you admit, God, I'm powerless to do this on my own. I need you, God. I've tried everything and still these people are driving me crazy, but I'm here at the entrance to the tent and I need you to speak. So for everybody who came in to church with a cocky attitude today talking about, I wonder what this sermon is gonna be about and he better hurry up and get to it because I don't really even wanna be here. Up here in that "Karate Kid" shirt looking like a Halloween costume. Say something, won't you? You're not gonna get it. But those of you who came in here humbled under the mighty hand of God, He might just speak because you're listening.

Now then, "The Lord said to Moses", Verse 7: "Take the staff..". "That same staff that you raised over the Red Sea, and it parted. That same staff that you initially threw on the ground, and I proved who I was to you because I turned the staff into a snake. And you picked it back up and it became a staff again. That same staff that turned the Nile River into blood until your enemy had no choice, but to release you from bondage. That same staff that when you raised it up the Amalekites were no match for the Israelites. That same staff, take it now, I want you to get Aaron, and get everybody together. "And speak to the rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink. So Moses took the staff from the Lord's presence, just as He commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, 'Listen, you rebels...'" I'm gonna start saying that around my house more to the kids. "'Must we bring you water out of this rock?'"

Isn't anything I do enough for you? I've been leading you through this wilderness for 38 years, and it's never enough. It never stops. It never stops. Somebody shout, "It never stops". I screamed that one day on vacation. Top of my lungs. I'd been such a good dad all day. I took my kids swimming. I went on a bike ride with the kids. We went and ate Japanese food and we sat with people we didn't know. And I pretended to think it was funny when he flipped the bowl into his hat, like I never saw it before. I was a good dad that day. I was a great dad that day. I read to them at bedtime. And still at the end of the day they were fighting. And all of a sudden I heard myself screaming at my kids. Have you ever had an out-of-body experience screaming at your kids? And you were surprised what you said next? And you were thinking I might have to bleep myself, edit myself. I don't know what's coming out next. The Holy Ghost just left and something else took over. And now I'm watching myself, and I'm scared of myself, and I shouted at the top of my lungs, "It never stops".

Now we can laugh about it. It wasn't funny at the time. "'Listen you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?'" We already did this one time, 38 years ago. This has happened before. God kept his shoes from wearing out. Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock, which God did not instruct him to do. "Twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank". So on the surface what Moses did, worked. But just because it worked on the surface doesn't mean it was wise. And does not mean it will have a sustainable effect. And this is why when you control people with your anger, or you're pouting, or you're... See I can't even say the word is a foreign concept to me. Manipulation, you end up very lonely. Because the cost of controlling people is to end up alone. And I know I got you pinned up against your chair right now talking about this sermon. So look confused. And you'll get through this but some of the stuff that works on the surface costs us in the end.

And that's why it's so important that we understand this because watch, everybody got water but it cost Moses what God had promised. And if the passage ended at verse 11, you'd say, well what's so hard about that scripture? Unfortunately, verse 12 tells, that even though the water came out of the rock, what came out of Moses's heart in that moment prevented him from going further into God's promise. And even though all the people were happy, and the people were impressed, and the people might not have even known anything was wrong because they were all too busy drinking. The people got hydrated, the people got what they wanted. But Moses lost what God had promised. Verse 12: "The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 'Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites. You will not bring this community into the land I give them.' These were the Waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord and where he was proved holy among them".

Makes me wish I would've paid more attention in my Hebrew class because if I knew that Meribah means quarreling, I would understand that God does some great miracles in places of great conflict. You know, it's funny all the little things we miss if we read the Bible in English because the interpretation sometimes, the writers will put little humorous things in there that I wouldn't know to look for. But this particular word play, if you go back to verse 2, And I told you I'mma give you three "D's", and I am. The first one is deficit. Because he is describing a deficit that the people of God are in. It says in verse 2: "There was no water for the community and the people gathered". Now, the Hebrew word for gathered here, that he uses, is a word that means, "to come together for the purpose of conflict". And see, I didn't even know Facebook was in the Bible. Talk to me, they call it a community, but the community came together to quarrel. Isn't that a nice word? To quarrel. Not to fight, not to argue, but to quarrel.

And so, they're fighting with each other, and they don't have patience, but they don't have patience because they don't have water. And before we're too hard on them, these complaining Israelites. We need to consider that this was a matter of life and death. This is not the barista messed up your order and forgot that you prefer almond milk. This is something different. We can't live but a few days without water. And so we're desperate. And I've noticed that when people get desperate, they start doing things they wouldn't normally do. Have you noticed this about yourself, that when you get desperate, you get edgy, you get touchy and sometimes you're lashing out at people? And it's not about the people. Like I had to explain to the kids about my road rage. It's not really about the driving. It has nothing to do with the driving. It's just that Dad finds this a convenient place to be shielded and anonymous, where I can let some stuff fly that's been building up. Y'all don't want a real preacher. J.J., you preach next week. Fake them out. It's a whole thing because they came together to quarrel.

And what they didn't know, couldn't know, is that they were on the border of Canaan. The land that God had promised them, was just a few short months away. But in a time when they should have been preparing to conquer, the enemy had them in a state of conflict. Don't you understand that the reason that you've been fighting like you've been fighting, and even the reason sometimes the devil will get you focused on fighting against people, is because God is trying to bring you into what he spoke over your life and the promise of his inheritance in the Saints, and now the closer you get to that promise, the greater the conflict is gonna be? I think one of the reasons that our church gets so divided, is because the enemy knows that if we would ever stop fighting and focus on the mission that we were given by our Captain in the savior of our souls, we would be dangerous to the Kingdom of Darkness. But we can't come together because we quarrel too much. It never stops. We never quit finding new things to fight about.

It's not only the Christians fight against other religions. We can subdivide on a multiplicity of different levels of Christianity. And we can get into little groups so that we no longer come together to lift up the name of the Lord and to take this message to the ends of the Earth, but now we're fighting over a translation of the Bible. Or we're fighting over what you wear to worship. Or we're fighting over what specific nuance you believe about the Holy Spirit. But I didn't come to quarrel. So I don't need to fight with you. I came to conquer and I need you in my corner. And I don't have energy to spend fighting against the people God called me to fight with. So if you're Black fight with me. If you're Hispanic fight with me. If you're a woman fight with me. If you're young fight with me. Let's get together. Old hands, young people, let's fight this fight together. There's no water in the wilderness. And when there is no water, when there is a deficit you start reacting, instead of responding.

I'm gonna preach this message, Holly. I feel it happening right now. Because what I wanna say, is forget about the budget deficit. We got a whole lot more than a budget deficit in our nation today. And it's a different deficit than they faced. It's not a lack of water. I feel like in our world today, we are severely lacking in our ability to empathize with others. Because we've got a surplus of opinions and a deficit of empathy. Let me try another one. They didn't like that very much. We have a surplus of information and a deficit of wisdom. Because if we don't have insight into information, we will get caught up in highlights and headlines, and highlights and headlines, and highlights and headlines, and highlights and headlines. It's a deficit. And I've been noticing about myself, maybe this is why I wanted to preach the series, that I'm having a hard time focusing. Because you know the devil's devices.

I'm no neurologist, but I think when it's getting hard for me to read three sentences in a book and now I'm trying to swipe paper. When I reached up to swipe a book the other day. I thought I got to take my mind back. Actually, next week, if the Lord will enable me and help me, I'm gonna try preach on that very subject of focus. Because I'm talking to more and more people who feel like their mind is fragmented and can't hold a thought. And it's not just 'cause you're getting old and fish oil won't help it. There's some principles in the word of God about distraction that we need to look at. It's a deficit. A deficit, where we have more ways to communicate and we're connecting less than ever. I think that's what the skyrocketing porn rates are about. I think that's what the skyrocketing sleep deprivation rates are about. We are desperate to connect. And we call ourselves connected and nothing could be further from the truth. And it's too much. Kosta called it, "Too much to live with, too little to live for". It's a deficit. A deficit of meaning. A deficit of insight. And when a deficit is left unaddressed, you know what happens next, disappointment sets in.

And that's the second "D", is disappointment. Because I'm looking at how the Israelites are talking to Moses, right? And I get it. I get it because when you don't have what you need to live, you start doing things that you would not normally do. And it's not even you. And you almost want to explain to people sometimes, I don't even know who that was. I'm so sorry. Can we take back the last five minutes? And sometimes you can't. Sometimes you can't undo it. And what the Israelites said to Moses here apparently hit that button. Now everybody has a button. All of you who are calm, we just haven't found yours yet. Really, everybody has a boiling point. Everybody has something that if you hit that, you will see a different version of them. And you will completely change their enneagram number if you hit the right button. They'll go from a seven to a two. A peacemaker to a shooter. And it can happen so quick. Moses, the man of God, is violently striking a rock when God is trying to show his people grace. But the reason he did it, and this is why I can't figure out sometimes in my own life where it comes from because I find things coming out of me and I'm confused about where it came from because I know I'm not mad about what I'm mad about because it's not a big enough deal to make me as mad as I am about what I'm mad about.

Please help me preach to you, in this together. And they just got done telling them they wanted to die and it's his fault. Because anytime you are facing a deficit in your own life you start looking for someone to blame. Anytime you are confronted with your own barrenness or brokenness, you wanna find somebody else or something else whose fault it can be. And the first thing we do when we run out of resource, is to look for someone else to take responsibility. "If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord. Why did you bring the Lord's community"? Why didn't my mom? Why wasn't my dad around? All these are reasonable things to say, but they don't really help the situation, they only make it worse. Why did you bring us out here into this wilderness, that we should die here? They weren't actually about to die. God wasn't gonna let him die. They were on the edge of destiny about to take the land that God had promised for generations and they wanna die at the edge of destiny. Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? There we had figs. There we had grapevines. There we had pomegranates. There we had grain. They forget to mention the whips. They forget to mention the mud and the straw. And they begin to glamorize a past that really didn't even exist. Well, the good old days. I get it man. This is it's tempting to go back there in your mind. Just as long as you know this. Your version of the past is just as imaginary as your version of the future.

So you understand that frustration operates when your experience is different than your expectation? So when you are frustrated, it is not your life that you're frustrated with, it's your life compared to your expectation of your life. That's what makes you frustrated. It's that it normally takes me 13 minutes to get there, and today it took me 30. And I didn't plan for that. And so since I was already at a time deficit, and a sleep deficit, and I didn't put margin on this trip, now I find myself frustrated. I'm not really frustrated at how long it's taking. I'm frustrated about how long it's taken compared to how long I thought it was gonna take. And one of the best things we can do for our peace of mind is to crucify our expectations of others. I mean, really just put it up there on the cross and get to the place where we no longer have an expectation of people to meet our needs because we understand that our water flows from a different rock that our joy flows from a different place. Come on E-Fam, shout at the phone, that I don't depend on people to provide for me what God has promised. It's already mine, and so they got really upset, man. And then Moses got upset, and he went to God, and he wanted God to be upset like he was upset. And Moses was mad because God wasn't mad.

That's what happened here. He was disappointed. It never stops. After all I've done for you. I've been here before. I have been here before. Even in high school when I was the athletic trainer, "Water Boy" for the football team. Coach Meyer recruited me to be the athletic trainer. Said, you could get a scholarship. And one day I was mixing that Gatorade so sweet, and I thought, "I don't think they give scholarships for this". I think he tricked me into this, you know. I kind of didn't like anyway. It wasn't like I really cared too much about football. Football's fine, I'll turn it on. I'm not like some of y'all, fantasy line ups and stuff. I have a real life. I'm just kidding, I'm just kidding, I'm just kidding, I'm just kidding. It's fine, it's fine, it's fine, it's fine. I'm just kidding, I'm just kidding. It's fine, it's fine, it's fine. But man, it was a relatively simple job, I did it for over a year. And the main part of the job, you know, every once in a while they would let me tape a wrist or an ankle. I think it wasn't people that was really hurt. I think they just sent cast members over. Because if anybody was really hurt, Dr. Bounds came in.

So, I don't even think I was really taping anybody. I don't even think it was, but I did have one job. And every time they would have a water break, it was my job to turn on the water. That's right. Bobby Boucher got nothing on me. Well, I did it like clockwork. They'd blow the whistle, I was positioned close enough to the spigot, which was connected to the hose, which went to the PVC pipe. In Monk's Corner, it was fancy, with a PVC pipe with the holes in it, a trough of sorts, with the water would come out of the pipe. But I was the man who turned it on. And I turned it on about three or four times every practice. And one day, I went over there to turn it on, and nothing came out. I don't know who forgot to pay the bill, but nothing came out. And those football players went to drink, and they lined up at the PVC pipe, and nothing happened. And they started yelling at me, like these rebellious Israelites started yelling at Moses. Started yelling at me, calling me Steve. I don't even go by Steve. There's an "N" on my name. Pronounce the constant. This ain't "Wheel Of Fortune". Oh, I was mad. Yelling at me for the one time the water didn't come on. Hundreds of times the water came on. One time it didn't come on, and guess what? I'm not controlling the water. I'm just the one turning it on.

So, they were yelling at me, so I wasn't saved yet. Let me get that in. So, I turned around and said, "God bless all of y'all". Only instead of God bless, I said some different, B.C. vocabulary that is not appropriate for this church setting, and holy people such as yourself. And in that moment, I forgot they were bigger than me. Because I do have a level of crazy, that if it kicks in, I will stop caring how much bigger you are, and I would rather die than have you cuss me out. I got in my Toyota Tercel and I drove off. It all just kind of came back to me, man. I'm sorry. Because all these times, I get Moses's disappointment, I really do. All these times, and this one time, all I've done for you. All the meals I've cooked, all the prayers I've prayed, all the compliments I gave, all the Christmas presents I bought, all the sacrifices I made. And you mean this one thing, this one time? And now you want to yell at me, and disrespect me, and ignore me?

I figure Moses's tired of being taken for granted. Tired of people just assuming that you're always going to do it. And it's just easy for you. Until I realize that Moses wasn't really disappointed with the people. Moses was still dealing with a fear that he had carried with him, since the time that God met him at the burning bush, and possibly before that, 40 years earlier. When he killed an Egyptian, to try to rescue one of his fellow Hebrews. And he never really fit in, because he was raised as an Egyptian. But he was by birth a Hebrew. And when he tried to defend the people that he was one of, from the people that he had to live with, Moses ended up having to run. That's why he ended up in the wilderness with the shepherd staff to begin with. And that's why when God met him at the bush, Moses said, you got the wrong one. Pick somebody stronger. Pick somebody more capable. Pick somebody with more experience. Pick somebody who doesn't struggle with what I struggle with. Because I'll let you down, God. And I'll let them down.

And not only is Moses dealing with this moment, but he's dealing with 40 years of frustration. Forty years of frustration that you could argue were the result of his lack of faith when he didn't go in and fight and take the land God had promised. In a sense, what they're saying about Moses is true, and he knows it. It's not them that he is disappointed in. So like, for me, realizing in my adult life that my, my core fear and a lot of the reason that I withdraw, and a lot of the reasons that I lash out. It really came to me one time, early in my marriage to Holly. And it was a low-key argument, but all of the sudden it just kind of erupted, and I yelled at her, "I'm not stupid". "I'm not stupid". "It never stops". "I'm not stupid". She said, I didn't say you were stupid. But I wasn't responding to what she said, I was responding to what I felt.

Somewhere in me, was something that told me, that I didn't know enough. Probably back to my dad in some ways. He loved me. It wasn't that he didn't love me. But he kind of felt like it was him against the world, and he didn't have a full deck to play with because of the way he was raised. And somewhere I probably started thinking that I was operating in life out of a deficit of intelligence. And so my first instinct when someone make me feel stupid. What a phrase. "When they make me feel stupid". How much power are you giving away to other people? When someone can make you feel stupid. That's a weak mind. But that where I find myself sometimes, in that mental wilderness. That mental wilderness. Do you know what I'm talking about? I'm afraid. I'm afraid, sometimes up here, not that I'm going to get the Bible wrong, or that I'm going to dishonor God. But, unfortunately, that I will disappoint you. And every time we start a new series I feel it, you know. Because I try to create expectation. This is going to be the best series ever.

And then I hope Baby Jesus, and Mother Mary, and the Holy Ghost, will somehow help us, because I don't want to disappoint you. And I'm sharing this autobiographically, but I'm wondering, is like, do a lot of us function in this place? That I don't want to disappoint you. And that's why I hide. And now, I find myself, I don't even want to pick up the phone when people call. Because now, if I can text them back, I can carefully craft my response, even in the smallest ways, I see this fear. I see myself withdrawing. I see myself wanting to isolate. And it's a tendency that I don't fully understand because I do love people. I really do love people. I've always loved people. I was the dude that hugged everybody in his graduating high school class. The whole 230 of them. Hugged them all. But I find myself sometimes wanting to withdraw. Find myself wanting to walk out. Find myself wanting to get out.

And I wonder why? You know, like, am I losing my love for people? Is all this getting to me? Like, lights and cameras, and all that? But I realized, I realized in the weirdest way, one day, what it was, when a lady said to me, I've been going to your church seven years, and I've never met you. And I said, I'm so sorry. I took it like an accusation, you know. She said, no, no, it's a big church. We love the ministers. Okay, good. I'm sorry. I'm really sorry though. That's bad, you haven't met your pastor in seven years, I'm sorry. She said, it's fine. It's fine. Stop apologizing. Now it's awkward, because I'm making it awkward. Then she made it awkward. She said, you're much taller on the screen. Well, that helped. You already see I'm insecure, woman. But I don't want to let you down.

You know, so, when Moses has this moment. And I'm calling it a moment, but it's really not a moment. Because anytime something comes bursting to the surface, like Moses hitting that rock twice, when God specifically spoke to him to speak to the rock. Not to strike it. And I know why he struck the rock, because this the third issue. It's the issue of dependence. You know, the staff was the thing that he carried with him like Tom Hanks had a volleyball. Moses had a stick. And now, in this moment when the community needs water. And this is to be their last test, but they don't know it. This is to be their last test to see if they really trust God. And Moses fails the test. What I could not understand is, why did God tell him to take the stick, if he didn't want him to use it? Why did God tell Moses, take the staff and then don't use it, just hold it, and speak to the rock. Until I remembered what Moses said to God when God first called Moses. I'm not good at speaking. And before God could let Moses lead his people into the promise, He had to know, do you trust me enough?

When God, said Moses, you can't lead the people, it wasn't for punishment, it was for protection. If Moses would have led them in, in the condition that his heart was in, with years, and years, and years, and years of resentment building up, they would have all got killed the first time God spoke and they didn't do what he said. Because God needs someone who is not dependent on their staff. I know you that you struck the Nile River and the Red Sea. And I know that this staff has been used to perform great miracles. And I want you to hold it in your hand, but have the faith not to use it. I want you to speak to the rock. And he struck it instead. And God said you don't trust me enough. You've allowed this resentment to build to a point that it has killed your potential. When we allow resentment to build, and build, and build, and build, when we never really believe that we are what God said we are, when we are constantly taking people's assessment of us as the ultimate reality, it limits our participation in the promise of God. It doesn't keep God from loving you, but it keeps God from being able to lead you into the great and precious promises that have your name on them.

God said, I just need you to trust me. I know you stutter, I know stammer, I know you're afraid of letting me down, but it's never been about you, Moses. It was never about your mouth. It was about my mighty hand, and my outstretched arm. It was never about your rod. It was about the rock. So, what are you trusting in today, my friend? The rod? Or the rock? Because 1 Corinthians 10, tells us plainly, that this happened as an example for us. That the Israelites, who wandered in the wilderness were an example for us, for you and me. In our daily lives, in our efforts to trust God in the face of our own frailty. Apostle Paul said, verse 4: "They drank the same spiritual drink. They drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them... " Here's the revelation. "And that rock was Christ". It wasn't about Moses. It's not about me. It's not about you. Yes, I will let you down. Yes, I will disappoint you. But I'm not the rock. You know how good that makes me feel to know I'm not the rock? I don't have to force it. I don't have to fight it. I don't have to explode in anger when it doesn't go my way. He is my stable place. He is my solid ground. On Christ, the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.

Please stand, I'm closing. Please stand, I'm closing. "These..". Verse 13: "These were the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord". They quarreled with the Lord. In verse 2, it said they quarreled with Moses. But really, they were quarreling with the Lord. It wasn't even about Moses. It's not even about you. It's not even about me. We've been taking things personally, you know. And we let it build. And then it explodes. Not in church. Oh, you look so fancy in here. Your little boujee blessed self, come up in the House of God, carrying a big ol' thick Bible. It explodes when you get home. It explodes when you're all alone. And you find yourself crying out desperate for connection. And disappointed with your life, so you start striking rocks. And you start trying to get, you know, the water came out of the rock. And it worked on the surface. But Moses did not get to enter into the promise of God. Did God still love Moses? Absolutely. Is he the God of second chances? I sure hope so. I know he is. I know He's not going to punish me for one mistake. I can prove it. I can prove it to you.

Give them that verse I sent you earlier, Psalm 114:8: But it said that God "Turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water". And God spoke to me through that verse. And said, if they'll let me, the place of their greatest mistake will become the place of my mercy and their greatest miracle. But for this to happen, we can't keep it all up inside. And keep exploding in situations. And exploding, it's not anger for everybody. Sometimes it's much more subtle than that. It's the little way that you withdraw yourself from those that you love because I don't want to be disappointed again. I don't want be a disappointment. So, I'm living my whole life trying to avoid disappointment. I'm bringing my expectations down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down, because now, no one can disappoint me. And I'm bringing myself back, back, back, back, because I don't want to disappoint you. It's not about you.

This is the test. This is the test. With the rod in your hand, to remember all that God had done for you. And the rock in front of you. The presence of God. Speak to it. Don't strike it. Speak to it. Confess it before God. Speak to your weakness. Own your inadequacy. God said, I'm not looking for you to be what I need you to be. I'm looking for you to trust in what I already am. And so when Moses said, I'm not. God said, I am. When Moses said, I'm not. God said, I am. When Moses said, I'm not. God said, I am. When Moses said, I'm not. God said, I am. Do you trust Him enough to let Him handle those who have hurt you? Do you trust him enough to allow him to use everything that's happened for your good in his glory?
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