Steven Furtick - Why Did I Go Through All Of This?
Instead of concentrating on all of the moments it didn't go your way this year, flip the flow. What went right? What did work out? Who did stay? Who did give you a hug? How did he meet your needs? How did he come through? Did he come through for you? Flip the flow. Stop focusing so much on what you did or didn't get. Maybe it isn't about what God wanted to do for you this year as much as it is about what he wants to do through you in the future. I sense a little bit of confusion. I'm going to be honest with you.
It's like, "All right. All right, Pastor Steve. This is inspirational. Don't get me wrong. I admire your enthusiasm, but you said 'Come through drippin'' and the text said they came through on dry ground. See? It's right there in the…" That's all of the people who don't know the definition of drip except in the technical sense. I didn't either. I didn't either. No, I was clueless. I didn't know either until Graham came into my closet one day this summer. He was going through my drawers where I keep my watches. I have a couple of watches in there. I have a few chains in there. That boy (11 years old) had gone in my jewelry drawers and put every chain in my jewelry drawer around his neck all at the same time.
When I said, "What are you doing in my drawers"? he said, "Dad, what if I went to school the first day of school this year drippin'"? I'm so clueless now. I'm really not as cool as some of y'all want to give me credit for. You just project your own coolness onto me. I am not cool. I'm a little Bible preacher from Moncks Corner, South Carolina. To which I said, "Is it going to be raining? You'd probably better dry off. You'd probably better not go to school drippin'". He said, "No, Dad. Drippin'. Like, drip, drip. Like Cardi B. Like Offset. Like flexin'. Like drippin'". I said, "Oh. You mean drippin'. Drip, drip".
He played me the song. Ice. That's nice. Can I have it? Yeah, thank you. I appreciate it. That's nice. Can I have it? Appreciate it. That's nice. Can I have it? Appreciate it. I'll buy you another one. God is going to honor your faith. Can I have it? Everything you have. Can I have it? Not the wedding one. That's sketchy on every level. Can I have it? I still didn't tell you what drippin' has to do with the children of Israel. I understand it's a little confusing, because typically when this passage is preached all we ever really talk about is what they went through.
Four hundred thirty years of oppression, and after that the plagues they endured and the time at midnight when the angel came through and struck down the firstborn of Egypt, but if they had the blood on the doorposts at midnight when the angel came by, if they had the blood on the doorposts when the angel came by at midnight, if they distinguished themselves at midnight, the angel passed by them. When Pharaoh finally let the people go…
There is one thing I have seldom heard mentioned in messages that I always found odd. To really understand how the people of God not only went through the Red Sea but how they came out of Egypt, you need to see something in Exodus, chapter 3, when God first spoke to Moses that I think is so important for us to understand tonight before we leave 2018, before we leave the pain of it, the trauma of it, the successes of it, the victories of it. There's one thing I think we need to do tonight before we leave whatever Egypt, whatever suffering, psychological or physical, whatever bondage, whatever has forced itself on us in this year in whatever way. Before we leave it, let's not be too quick to leave and just expect that because the calendar changes our lives will.
It's really interesting what God said to Moses. He said, "Go to Pharaoh and tell him, 'Let my people go.' Tell him you're taking all the livestock to sacrifice to me in the wilderness. Tell him you're going for a three-day journey to sacrifice to the Lord your God. He's not going to let you do it, but you have to be resilient. He's not going to let you go easily because you're valuable". Freedom isn't going to come with a good feeling. Freedom is going to come by force and focus and frequency. By force and focus and frequency. By force and focus and frequency. Deliverance isn't going to be a magic trick in your life or my life, no more than it was for the nation of Israel.
There will be a discipline of sustainable deliverance in each of our lives, because God will give us the way of escape, but he will not let us choose the way of escape down the road of ease that we might select in our most comfortable moments. Yet God said, "I want to show you the reason for what you went through". Not only did the water come to cover the enemies of the Israelites. I love God for what he does. He uses what I went through to set me free from where I came from. He knows if he doesn't kill certain things in my life I will operate by the same template from my childhood. I'll operate in the same patterns. I'll stay locked in the same prisons if he doesn't kill it.
So he brings me through deep waters to drown my enemies. He said, "Before you go, I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave…" I wonder if this is true in 2018. "…so that when you leave…" So that before we count down to midnight all over the world, so that when you leave and put this one in the books… "…so that when you leave…" I prophesied this over you. "…you will not leave empty-handed". Watch what I want you to do. God told Moses, "Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters so that when you cross out of Egypt on dry ground you'll come through drippin'".
I feel God on this sermon. I don't just want you to come out. I want you to come through drippin'. "And so you will plunder the Egyptians". By the way, y'all, we called this a praise party, but it's not. It's a praise plunder. We have to make sure before we leave 2018 we get everything God has for us in the form of a blessing, in the form of a lesson. You will plunder the Egyptians. So when you come through, you make sure you don't come through like you went in.
That's why I wanted us here tonight. Why would we want to come through all of this and come out empty-handed? I didn't go through 2018 just to wave goodbye to it. I didn't work this hard in Egypt and suffer this much in Egypt and push through the things I pushed through not to receive the benefit of it. No, I came here on this night, on midnight of the last night, on the last stop, because I want to come through saturated with the presence of God, saturated with the glory of God, overflowing with the glory of God.
I don't want to leave this year empty. I don't want to come into this Praise Party… Yeah, I've been through some things. Yeah, there were some things that tried to take me out, and there are some things I still have to deal with, but I didn't come to church to come through draggin'. I'm coming through drippin'! It doesn't mean I wasn't disappointed. You can be disappointed and still come through drippin'. You can be like Samuel, the prophet who prayed for Saul and coached Saul and mentored Saul.
There came a time where God rejected Saul, whom the people had chosen. Samuel was so hurt about it he wasn't even sure if he wanted to go on when he saw how little his investment had yielded, but God told Samuel something that was in my heart to say to you before we hit midnight. He said, "I need you to stop mourning over what I have rejected that I have already made a plan to replace in your life". Here's your instruction: "Fill your horn with oil and be on your way".
When you get to Jesse's house, he's going to line up all of his sons who he thinks should be the next in line to be a possible king, but don't look at it like people look at it. Don't look to see who's the tallest or who's the strongest. I need you to stop judging your life by what you can see and take that oil and take that joy and take that strength you have left and take those lessons you learned this year, and when I tell you it's the one, I want you to empty that cruse of oil on his head.
David wasn't even in the room when they started lining up sons. He was overlooked, but by the time God spoke, he went back to the sheep field drippin'. Why? It's not what people do to you. It's not what people see in you. It's not what people have said about you. If the oil of God is on your life… I'm drippin'. I'm drippin'. My feet are dry, but I'm drippin' on the inside. God brought me through, but I have a power that is not of this world.