Steven Furtick - You've Got A Lot On You
If you go into what God has for you wearing the shame of what was done to you… You have to get it off you. I realized a couple of years ago that what the Enemy would do to shut down my gift God gave me was to try to put layers of guilt on me. He would want to use things that were imperfect about me or others to keep me from ministering freely. I'll tell you about one thing. Holly leaned over to me one night. I was struggling with feelings of resentment. People were criticizing our ministry a lot in this particular season. I'm sure they still do now. I just don't look as much because I'm not as stupid as I was back in the day, thinking God had prophets in the comments section. Listen to what happened.
I began to think everybody was like that, and I took it on me. She looked at me one night and said, "You can't keep preaching out of anger, and you can't keep leading this defensively, because you love people". Well, when she said that, it contradicted exactly how I felt about this species she mentioned called people. Even the look on my face… I remember her rubbing my eyebrows a little bit because they were so furrowed. Sometimes I have that RBF, resting believer face, resentful believer face. She was rubbing my eyebrows, and she goes, "You've always loved people". She said, "Do you remember in college how everybody on that campus…"?
We couldn't even go when we were dating… We went to this strict school, this Baptist school. They wouldn't let you go into each other's dorms, and that was probably a good thing. Co-ed dorms… They didn't let us do that, so we'd be trying to sit outside on a bench or something. She said, "There was always a receiving line of people who wanted to talk to you, not because you had a title, just because of what was in you. You've always loved people". She said, "I was scared to go outside with you, because I didn't feel like talking to them, because I don't love people like you love people". But there was a lot on me. Jacob said, "You put a lot of trouble on me". I was allowing what was on me to make me forget what was in me.
Have you ever done it before? She said, "You love people. You had a secret handshake with everybody on that campus". It's really true. Then I was thinking, "Well, you don't even know the half of it". When my high school class was graduating, 280 people at Berkeley High School, I hugged every one of them on our graduation night. I mean, down to the last one of them, the people I couldn't stand, and all of them. That was in me. Now I realize the pressures and the problems of what life puts on you, things like offense and bitterness, can keep you from remembering what's in you, but if you really go back to Bethel and remember, it's always been in you.
Tony, I had my best friend Eric come with me to the recording we did in January, because he was with me at the college when we had a choir. My choir was not good, but it was in me then. Then through what God has given you… It was amazing, because Eric said, "This is it. This is what you were trying to do in college, but you sucked at it, and that guy did it, and now you took part". I said, "Yeah, it's always been in me". It's always been in you. You were beating on that… It sounded like a trash can, but it was in you. The rhythm was in you. It's in you. What you have to be so careful about is not to let people put anything on you… I'm not just talking about failure; I'm talking about success.
Jacob's biggest issue is that he always identified himself by something external. So, when it came time to make peace with Esau, he sent gifts ahead of him, because he thought, "Maybe my gift will bring me peace". Some of us are like that. We always think we have to make a good impression. We're always living in an avatar. We're always living in some version of ourselves that seems presentable. Or we're always identified (I talked to you about this last week) by what we can do. In doing what we can do, other people will identify you by what you can do, and then they will limit you by what you can do, and then you will begin to think you are what you do, and then you will lose yourself and gain the world, and Jesus said, "What good is it"?
Don't let anybody put anything on you that will cause you to forget what God put in you. That goes for your struggles. See, I think Jacob… His name means supplanter, but his new name Israel is almost just as bad. It means struggles with God. So, he's trying to get him to see, "You've never been fighting with Laban. You've never been fighting with Esau. The fight you have to win for your life has not been with them. It's always been in you. Because if you believe it's in you, there's nothing anybody can put on you that can cancel what I put in you".
"Before you were born I appointed you a prophet to the nations". It's always been in you. That teaching gift has always been in you. You just had to get past what you had put on yourself, the idea that "I'm not a preacher; I'm just a little girl. I don't have anything to say". That was always in you. It was in you when you were sitting at Life Action revival listening to Steve Canfield six nights a week and God was filling you with his Word. It just took the right rain to bring the seed out of the soil for what God put in you when you were just a little girl. It's always been in you.
There's nobody who can leave my life who can keep God from keeping his covenant with me. I'm not in covenant with a person. I'm not in covenant with a political party. I'm in covenant with God Almighty! "I am God Almighty". Get that off you! That's not your name. That's not your station. That's not your end. It's in me! It is God who worketh in you! It's always been in you. The struggle has never been with someone else; the struggle has been within yourself. God gave Jacob a new name, Israel, but he still has to struggle.
Are y'all confused? I'm confused. God already gave him his new name in Genesis 32. I'll show you. This is right before Jacob made peace with Esau, and Esau had already made peace with Jacob. Jacob had to make peace with Jacob. It's in you. This is what the Lord said: "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome". Hold on. Why is he telling him again in Genesis 35? I'll tell y'all next week. Goodbye. If y'all want to know now, call me back, because I already… I thought, "Well, God must have told him something extra the second time that he didn't tell him the first time," so I compared the two.
In Genesis 35:10 he says, "Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel". God actually said less the second time than he did the first time. Then I thought maybe it wasn't what God said, it was what he didn't say that would show me what we needed to know about the struggle we find ourselves in right now. See, the first time, God focused on Jacob's struggle. "I'll call you Israel because you've struggled with God and men and have overcome". The second time, God didn't mention his struggle. He mentioned his seed. Because Israel was more than a name.
Look at verse 11. "I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation…" Did you catch it? "A nation". Israel wasn't just a name; it was a nation. Simeon and Levi, the ones that Jacob said, "You're bringing me all this trouble," who were teenagers at the time, were the forefathers God would use to birth a nation through which God would extend his covenant with all peoples. But you will never produce your nation if you don't know your name. This word is for anyone who has had so much on you. I'm talking about shame. I'm talking about regret. I'm talking about pressure. I'm talking about the things that make you anxious, questions, that you've forgotten what's in you and how God met you in your Bethels along the way.
This season of your life is going to be a Bethel you will return to in future days. There are kings in you. There are crowns in you. There's legacy in you. There are dreams in you. There's ministry in you. There is medicine in your leaves. There is healing in you. There are things God desires to release through your life that will change the generations that will share your last name. So, do not let what's on you kill what is in you. You are Israel. There are nations in you, and it's always been in you. There was nothing you could do to change it. The gift has always been in you, and so has the fear.
They both wrestle with each other in the same womb until the day you die. But do not let anybody or situation or setback put a name on you by which you call yourself that will cause you to forfeit what God had put in you. I believe there are some things I need to bury under the oak in Shechem today. I believe God wants me to turn this church into a changing room today, where you remember that it is not circumcision or uncircumcision that counts. None of that external stuff matters, not when it comes to the heart of God. What matters to God has always been in you. If you win this in you, there is nothing that will happen around you that can keep God from establishing his covenant in the earth. You have a covenant with God.
Have you made your covenant with your struggle greater than your covenant with your God? You allowed the pressure of it, the fear of it, and the terror of it… God was dealing with all the external stuff. God was preventing the enemies from even attacking Jacob. If you pay attention to what's in you, God knows what's on you. He knows you've been trying to manage and multitask. He sees all of that, and he knows all of that, and he knows you don't know what's next.
That's why he gave me the Bethel revelation. "I'm the God of Bethel. I'm the God of 'I don't know what's next.' I'm the God of your new name, and there are nations in you". And it's always been in you. It's always been in you, since you were a little girl, since you were a young boy. God said, "Be fruitful and increase. Bring forth what I planted. Don't let anything stop you from it. For I am God Almighty. I put a nation in you. Those teenagers you stand with today are going to be the heads of the nations".