Steven Furtick - When You Feel Weak
When I feel like the Enemy is closing in on me and I'm tired and I'm spent and I'm out of ideas and I'm sick of people, I want him to send me an angel. God did not send an angel to rescue David; he sent Abishai. God did not send an angel; he sent a person. What David does when Abishai comes determines whether he lives or dies. Are you pushing your Abishai away? It's like, "Oh, I'm waiting on God". You know the old story. The man was dying, and the Lord sent him a helicopter. He's like, "God, if you'll save me…" He's dying. He's about to drown, and a helicopter flies by. He says, "No, I'm waiting on God". A boat comes by. "I'm waiting on God". Jet ski comes by. "I'm waiting on God". He dies, and he gets to heaven, and he says, "Lord, I waited on you". The Lord said, "I sent you a helicopter and a boat and a jet ski. I sent you Abishai".
Do you know what you keep doing? You keep reverting back to when you had no help. How stupid does a king look with a sling like this? Do you know how stupid we look when we start trying to fight things in the flesh? "I'll show them". I got in a fight with a woman the other day. Not a physical fight or anything. She was just talking crap. She was saying some stuff, and I checked her. It wasn't inappropriate. You wouldn't have been ashamed to call me your pastor, but I checked her enough. Do you know what I got for it? I got two hours of an elevated heart rate. Good job. Didn't get a check. Didn't get a royalty. Didn't even get a belt. Nothing. No medal. No nothing. But that's what I'm used to doing. I went back to what I used to do.
In some cases, that has worked well for me. In some cases, that's what I had to do, but you don't always have to. In some cases, you had to make it alone, but maybe you don't have to right now. Maybe God has somebody carrying the Father's gift, Abishai. Pray for the next seven days, "God, make me aware of the Abishai, the help you've sent in my life". Pray it and see what happens. Get two or three cards and handwrite some notes to people who have been an Abishai for you in a season. At the moment David would have died, in steps Abishai, and Abishai is like, "No, no, no. We can't let the light go out".
David is symbolic of the land. He's the one who keeps the covenant for Israel. He's the one God gave. They were protective of their light. Are you protective of your light? He said, "You can't go out to battle like this anymore. You can't keep doing this like this anymore. You have to upgrade how you do this or the light is going to go out".
What I'm seeing in this season of being a pastor, if I can be honest with you… I'm seeing a lot of people's lights go out. I'm seeing the light in their eyes go out. I'm seeing the light in their mind go out. They're not thinking clearly. They're just tripping over stuff in the dark, just getting really reckless right now, getting really crazy, going back to stuff they left alone for six years, going back to stuff they hadn't thought about in a long time, because that's what you do in survival. You're in a different season now. You have Abishai now. God has put something between you and your enemy.
I'm talking about Jesus. I'm talking about the grace of God. While I was praying for those who are alone, God said, "If they don't have a human Abishai, I'll be their Abishai. I will stand between them and the pestilence and the sword and the depression. I will stand between you and the darkness". Stop pushing Abishai away. "I'm waiting on God". No. God has given you some help in the form of humans, and if you keep pushing people away like you're pushing people away, you will die at the hands of a giant that is under your feet.
There's one more layer of this sermon I want to show you. It got so good to me, and every word I was seeing was showing me something. Same devil, new level. It means, yes, I'm dealing with the same thing. Yes, I'm dealing with the same uncertainty. No, there is no abracadabra anointing. I wish I had that power, man. I'd sprinkle it over all of y'all. I'd just be out sprinkling it all through the hospitals, all through the streets, all through the divorce courts, all through the custody courts, all through everything you're going through, all through the unemployment lines. I'd just sprinkle it. Abracadabra! It's gone. But God sent him Abishai.
What really got my attention was not only did Ishbi-Benob have a sword half the size of Goliath's, but look at what it said in verse 16. It said he was armed with a new sword. I'm wondering, why does it matter if it's new or used? Why did it say new sword? I believe God is using the new sword the enemy had to point to a deeper reality. Not only did the enemy have a new weapon…so did David. Not only did the enemy have a new weapon…so did David. Remember, this is the same David who struck down the lion, the same David who struck down a bear, the same David who put a smooth stone in Goliath's forehead.
Do you remember when he came up on Goliath, and Goliath is coming closer, closer, closer, but David doesn't let him come all the way? David is practicing spiritual distancing. It said David ran to the battle line, and he took a stone, and he hit him from a distance. You have to keep your enemies out there and your Abishais here. Many of us do the exact opposite. We bring our enemies right here and we keep our Abishais out there. We will go and spend five hours on Facebook, having imaginary battles with people we don't know and wouldn't like if we did, or somehow, we think we owe the universe an account of how we spent our day and our money and our week. I don't go on social much anymore.
I was reminded why the other night. We were having a Friday night dinner. We had a very, very busy, fruitful week last week. I can't wait to share what we created. It's amazing, one of my favorite things I've ever been a part of creating, and I can't wait to share it with you. But right after that, while I was trying to rest, somebody in our family was like, "Oh, somebody is saying something bad about the church on social". I noticed in that moment I had a decision to make. Do I want to be a part of a gang fight in a fish tank? Because if I choose to at that moment, I can go so deep into this… Who said what, and they said this, and they said that, and then when I'm preaching to you today, I'm mad, and you didn't even say anything but "Praise the Lord".
Now I'll be fighting you in the pulpit. So I said, "I don't want to hear any more". I made a phone call. I said, "Hey, if anything happens about this, let me know. If I need to deal with it…" "Now let's go watch that movie," because I had told the kids we were going to… Now, for us, movie night is like a big endeavor anyway. I mean, game night is like hiking to the Himalayas. We don't even try game night anymore. That's a bloody sport in the Furtick family. We can't do game night, but movie night… I had just said, "Hey, do y'all want to watch a movie tonight"?
Everybody is stealing it. We had this big week as a family ministry. God is doing a great work in our church, and I can't wait to share it with you, but we all experienced it together. I said, "Let's watch a movie tonight," and they said, "Okay". I said, "Without our phones". They were like, "Okay". You would have thought I said, "Let's go on a mission trip," like this is some huge thing, like, we're going to watch a two-hour… Just very, very, very brave of us. I said, "What do y'all want to watch"? and then I realized, "Don't put it to a vote". I said, "I'll figure out what to watch".
While that was happening, somebody said, "Hey, so-and-so is saying such-and-such about so-and-so and so-and-so," and I said, "Stop". They don't get to come to my movie night. They don't get free space in the movie theater of my head. If they want a ticket, they have to buy it. Nuh-uh. No! You don't come in the front door. So, what about you? I'm meeting a lot of people, and they are letting all of these voices come in. You are dying at the hands of Ish, pushing away the gift of the Father. It's complicated. It's not easy. David got this far by fighting, but to stay alive… These same freakin' Philistines, these same habits, these same 15… This? Again? Really?
God said, "It's the same devil, but I want you to fight it at a new level". If you don't come up higher and see it from God's perspective and seek him and be with him and start your day differently, end your day differently, and make some adjustments, you'll be walking around with a slingshot when you're supposed to be wearing armor. The Lord said, "Put down the sword. Put on the armor". When David fought Goliath, he tried on the king's armor, but it didn't fit him yet. It fits now. You're not that scared little girl anymore. No. You're not that weak little, defeated, anemic, "I'll take every crumb you…" You are not that now. It fits now.
Now step into this season with the confidence that you have the anointing for this assignment. Come on, let the weak say, "I am strong. That fits me now. I got a little tired, but I'm strong. I got a little vulnerable, but I have the victory. I've got it. I've got it right now! I've got it! Get back, devil! I have an Abishai. I have an anointing. I have the shield of faith. I have the helmet of salvation. I have a new wardrobe. I'm dressed differently now. I don't have the rags of my filthy unrighteousness. I come into the presence of a God who has clothed me with a garment that is white, with arraignment that is righteous. I've got it"!
Same David, new sword. Same you, new altitude. Same you, new focus. Same devil, same insecurity, same problem, new passion. I want you to protect your light this week. I want you to take Abishai's advice, man. Remember what you asked me the other day on the campus pastor call? "What happens when we see people who are really strong fall"? I think they don't take Abishai's advice. They keep going out over and over again to fight the wrong battles and pushing the right people away. At least that's what I've noticed. I told you I'd answer you, and that's my answer. That's God's answer. Are you pushing Abishai away? Abishai wasn't an angel. Abishai was just one of David's guys. He was a fighter like David. He said, "Stop letting people get your light". Stop letting things steal your light.
Do you remember in Revelation 2 where the church at Ephesus was having trouble keeping what the author calls "your first love"? That's what the angel said. He said, "You're losing your first love". He gave a warning in Revelation 2:5 that I want to show you before I pray for you today. I know somebody has been caught and cornered on the battlefield, and you are very weary. I'm not calling you weak. I'm saying you're weary. Not because you've been fighting for a few days. You've been fighting for almost all your life.
The way the Lord said it in the revelation to John… He said, "Consider how fall you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place". That's not a threat from God. It's a warning. "If you don't guard your light…" I wrote down three things for light. I said light represents perspective. It represents passion. It represents purpose. So, when they said, "Stop fighting these battles this way…"
That might mean a lot of things for you. A lot of times, we'll say, "Well, I prayed about it". Did you? Like, a real prayer. Not where you're playing out every worst-case scenario in your imagination and calling it prayer because you said, "Dear Lord" when you started that exercise, but did you really say, "God…" I was coming in today to preach, and the Lord was like, "This message is good, but you haven't really asked me much about it". I said, "All right. Let's go, Holy Spirit". It felt like Abishai came into the room. Like, "You need some help".
When we get back to that… It wasn't anything wrong with David. It wasn't that he was a bad person. It's just that if he kept fighting, not from a distance but in the way he was fighting, the light would go out. Have you lost your perspective? Have you lost your light? He said, "Repent. Come up higher. Change levels. Repent". Do you see it in the text?
"Repent. Consider how you've fallen. Consider where you've brought your enemies too close and kept your Abishais at a distance, and I'll bring your light back. I'll help you start seeing clearly again. You'll know what to do in this season. I'll give you an open door for how to win your kid's heart back. I'll give you an open door for how to win your wife's heart back. I'll give you an open door for how to reestablish yourself as the leader. I'll show you how to start spending your time since you have a lot of free time. I'll show you how to reinvent yourself for a new career since things are happening that are beyond your control. I will give you your light back". That's what God wants to do.