Steven Furtick - Are You Scared of Not Being Enough?
So many of us are worried about our families these days, on every level. I'm hearing it from people who have young children. I'm hearing it from people who have elderly parents. We're worried. It's hard for us right now to trust God with the things we can't control. Some of the parents here in Charlotte are getting ready to try to figure out "How am I going to homeschool my kids another year when I barely got out of high school myself"? We're all in this thing together, in a sense. The whole nation was going through a drought.
Notice Elijah was not led to somebody who was likely, and he was not led to somebody who was rich or wealthy. He was led to somebody who in the world's eyes was little. Be careful what you label little. When you label it little, it becomes a lid. Some of us have so compartmentalized how God works. Some of us have even belittled ourselves. Now, you're going to see the woman coming to Elijah, and she needs a big miracle. How many would agree that for God to provide for you in a time of famine is a big miracle? I'm just going to take it one step farther, if you don't mind being honest. How many of you need God in a big way in this season of your life, whether it's direction or comfort or energy or any of that? I was surprised when God led me to preach on little in a pandemic. It felt obscene to preach about a little when some of us need a lot right now.
The prophet came up to the woman and asked her for a little water, and as she was going to get it, he called, "And a piece of bread". That triggered her because she had so little. When you feel limited, you operate in fear. This took me a while to realize. I thought people sometimes were being selfish. Beneath what appeared as selfish behavior was really that they were scared. It's easy to mistake scared for selfish. The woman sounds selfish on the surface, because instead of giving hospitality to the man of God, she says, "I don't have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil". Watch this. She says, "I don't have any bread. I only have a little bit".
Notice what the prophet tells her to do. He says, "Take the little that you have, and if you'll make something out of what you have, God will make sure you have enough". This is the word of the Lord. Take the lid off a little. A little bit of oil. All right. Take the lid off a little. Because you say it's a little, but the thing about God is God likes little. He does. How did he send his Son to the earth? As a baby. You mean not as a superhero but as a baby? God likes little. I'll prove it to you. Who does God choose to start a nation with? One man. Y'all don't believe me that God likes little. Okay. How about this? He wants to deliver the nation from Midianite oppression. Who does he come to? Gideon.
Look it up in Judges, chapter 6, in the Holy Bible. In Judges, chapter 6, he comes to Gideon. And who is Gideon? The smallest in the least clan. Why? God likes little. I'll prove it to you. When Gideon got ready to fight, he had a big army. God took him from 22,000 to 10,000. Why did God do that? God likes little. Then God said something really crazy. "You still have too much. You still will take credit. If I do it with 10,000, you'll think it was you". God had to take Gideon all the way down to 300.
This message is for somebody who has been reduced. You don't have what you used to have. You don't feel strong and sure. You used to know so much. Now you don't know as much, but God likes it when you come to him with a little bit. It gives him something to fill. It gives him something to prove. It gives him something to work with. It gives him a canvas to paint on. God said, "I want to get you down to the point…" He must become greater; I must become less. Take your little. Get your little. Get your little praise and give it to God right now. Some people right now… You can't give God a big praise. Give him a little praise. Give him a little under your breath "Thank you, Jesus". Give him a little "Thank you, Jesus" with an attitude, because God likes little.
Despise not the day of small beginnings. I'll tell you what's going to happen. If you start getting grateful, if you start magnifying what God means to you, if you start giving God a little praise, watch out. It's about to snowball. Come on and try it. Some of you have not praised God all week. So right now, give him a little praise in your little apartment watching me preach on your little iPhone. God likes little. It gives him something to expand. It gives him something to grow. It gives him something to get glory for. Take the lid off a little! Just a little. Take the lid off just a little. You don't have to run around the house or anything like that. Just a little. Just take the lid off a little. Just look up a little. Just give God a little praise. Just lift your hands right here. Just lift your fingers. Lift your thumb. Lift your pinkie. Give God a pinkie praise.
I promise you God likes little. God likes when you take your little bit and take the lid off and start pouring out praises in dry places. God said, "I'm going to visit you, but you have to take the lid off a little". Will you give him a little? Will you give God a little faith? You don't have to have a great big faith. We get so caught up on big things. God doesn't need you to have such a big faith. He said, "If you have faith like a little seed…" Do you see how high my voice is? That's how little the seed is. No, no. He said, "Don't be afraid. Take the little you have…" I'm not saying it's not little, but I'm saying take the lid off a little. Why do we belittle what God gave us? Why do we see ourselves as grasshoppers when God has given us a promised land called Canaan?
Have you ever thought about how the reason the nation didn't go into Canaan was because they made themselves small? "We're too little". All right. Sit down. I'm going to tell you a story. I got in a fight with Holly yesterday. My fault. It wasn't a huge fight. We don't even fight that much. It has been a minute. But she was trying to encourage me yesterday, and I couldn't receive it. That's the bottom line. Do you want to know the bottom line? This is what I had to go back and tell her an hour later, because the Holy Spirit… Do you know how the Holy Spirit will speak to you in that little voice? He's not really loud. Just a little voice. He told me, "Now, you know she was trying to help you, and you know the reason you really got angry is because you were really afraid".
I'm going to tell you the story behind it. This will be my marriage therapy for the week. I've been writing for a few months. I've been working on a book, but I won't call it a book. I haven't called it a book. All I'll say is, "I'm writing". I've been writing and revising and writing and revising. It has been about five years since I've put a book out. The reason it has been five years since I've put a book out is because something got in my head and said, "You're not an author". Isn't it crazy how a little thought can get in your head, and then something little, little, little, and five years later, I haven't put a book out. Turning 40 this year got me thinking. We were talking about this the other day. I felt some urgency.
When we were creating songs for our last album, they just kept coming. They kept flowing, kept flowing, right until the last minute, and I decided I was going to try to write a book this year. Yesterday, I took the book through its second revision, and with my finger shaking, I put the mouse over "Send" on an email and sent it to the editor. Holly was trying to tell me "Congratulations". I didn't want to hear it, because if I acknowledge that it's a big deal, then it means it could fail. (I shouldn't be telling y'all this. Y'all really don't deserve to know all this about my marriage and all this. This is ridiculous.) I got angry because, really, I was afraid. In the process of analyzing why I was basically telling her, "Don't try to encourage me…" She said, "Congratulations on sending your book off". I said, "It's not a book yet! It's just a document".
Do you see what I'm doing? Belittle it, because the moment I call it a book, that means others are going to read it. If others read it, that means they can judge it. As long as I keep it little… It's a fear move. It's just a little oil. What she was trying to get me to do… And she was right. Do you hear that? You were right. She said, "At some point, you have to start speaking what you want to see". She said, "It's a whole chapter in your book: speak what you want to see". I'm not even doing the chapter I wrote, because if I speak it, that makes it real, but if I make it little, I can hide it.
Now do you see why you put yourself down? If you ever come out and say, "God can do this. I'm walking on the water. Say the word, Jesus, and I'll come…" But if I come, that means I can slip. This is a great word because this word is helping you to see sometimes why you talk to yourself the way you talk to yourself. "I only have a little oil". Take the lid off a little. God likes little. God likes little so much that when he wanted Naaman to be healed of leprosy, he used a little servant girl in his house to send him to the prophet. God likes little. I'm going to tell you something. If you take the lid off the little bit you have, it won't be little for long. Baby praises grow into whopping praises. I dare you to say it by faith. It won't be little long.
"I see a cloud the size of a man's hand". At first, Elijah heard the sound of rain. Right? This is 1 Kings, chapter 18. I moved on from chapter 17. I'm moving to chapter 18. He said, "I hear the sound of the abundance of rain, but I can't see it yet". Then when the servant went to look for it, he said, "I see it now, but it's little". But Elijah knows God likes little. God likes it when you're untrained. God likes it when you feel like you're the only one. God likes it when you need him. God likes it when you're not arrogant. God likes it when you humble yourself under his mighty hand. Would you take the lid off a little? Just go look again and say, "God, you know I don't have much strength right now, but you have given me some strength. God, I know I don't have every gift, but you have given me some gifts".
It's only little if you look at it next to something bigger. By the way, I found this out flying on airplanes: everything looks little if you get up above it high enough. If you get up high enough above it, everything looks little. Some of the things that look so big to you today that you don't see how you're going to overcome them, when you get the altitude, when you begin to worship God, when you begin to trust him in this moment and take the lid off, if you get up high enough… That's what worship does. That's what coming to the Word of God does. It takes the lid off.
If you get up high enough, I promise you your problems are not going to look as big as they look right now. I'm speaking by the Spirit of the Lord to somebody who is about to run out. I mean, you're about to run out of ideas to save your business. You're about to run out of ways to get through to your kid. You're about to run out of patience, desire, passion. You're about to run out. Here's the miracle. It does not say that when the woman did what Elijah told her to do she got more flour and more oil. It says that what she had didn't run out. Here's what God showed me: it will always look little, but it will never run out.