Steven Furtick - Can God Use My Mistake?
So God says, "I see your suffering, I see your slavery, I see you getting beat to a pulp by something that is driving you so far away from who you really are, that you've forgotten your identity as my child, and I'm going to come with a mighty hand". See, Pharaoh wasn't going to let them go easy. It wasn't going to be easy. He said, "It's going to take a mighty hand". So it took 10 plagues for God to convince Pharaoh to let His people go. But God says, "No problem, because I'll just keep putting pressure, and pressure, and pressure, and pressure, because my hand is power. My hand is provision, my hand is protection. So as much as it takes my hand won't grow slack. My arm is not sore, my hand is not weak. I can set you free, don't worry about it".
See how they're shouting in the room? See that? But watch this part, that's not the hand I want to talk to you about. God's hand. What is that in...? This is the other hand that gets me in trouble. It's not God's hand, He's God. I worship Him. How great is our God? He's a good, good Father. That's who He is, that's who He is. That's who He is, a good, good Father. I got no problem with that hand. He's got the cattle on a thousand hills, I trust in Him, that He's a mighty warrior, He's a mighty bulwark, never failing. I trust in Him. All right, so, can you please sit down and let me teach? I'll sit down, I'll sit down. When I get real excited about a scripture I just in voluntarily go "yee." I did it five times coming over here to talk to you all, this is the five... What is that in your hand?
Now, that's what we need to talk about for a minute. Because if I teach you God's hand is protection, God's hand is power, God's hand is provision and you shout about it and you go out of here it's no more different than Santa Claus is going to come down the chimney. If we don't talk about the other hand. God is sovereign, that means He's working all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. When I've heard people teach on Moses and how he answers this question when the Lord said, "What is that in your hand"? And he replies... Verse two part B, verse two part B, "A staff". I love to preach this like, okay, so Moses... And let me read you this little incident. He said, "A staff". And the Lord said, "Throw it on the ground". And Moses threw it on the ground, it became a snake and he ran from it because that's what you do, you run from snakes. You don't have any intelligence whatsoever, sanity, whatsoever. He ran from it. And then the Lord said to him, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail".
So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff. In whose hand? In God's hand? Oh, we need to talk about the other hand. Now y'all listen to me, listen to me. This is what I've spent the last 25 years understanding, that God's hand can be on you in a very powerful way, but if you don't figure out what's in your hand, the other hand, and when we preach about this we'll say, "And Moses threw down the staff and it became a snake and he grabbed it by the tail," which is the dumb way to pick up the snake. It's the dumb way to do a youth event to do it for seven day strength, all right? But the Lord said, "Do it the dumb way". And the Lord loves that for some reason. He's like, "Do it the dumb way, I'm going to show you I'm God". And so he does that and when he does it it turns back into a staff, and that same staff would part the waters, do you all remember the story about the Red Sea and he hold it out, it parted the waters? In Moses' hand. But why is Moses holding a staff to begin with?
Now, if I turn to take you back I would teach you how the only reason he was holding a shepherd's staff was because he was on the far side of the desert tending sheep for his father-in-law, Jethro. The only reason he was tending sheep for his father-in-law Jethro on the far side of the desert in Midian was because he had killed an Egyptian and had to run away. So when we say what's in your hand and Moses says a staff I want you to realize something. That was the symbol of a mistake that he had made that he never would have been carrying if he had done it right.
Now, this part of my message is for anyone in the room, there only might be three of you but shout it as who has screwed it up before. For y'all. Okay, online, online. This part of my message is for people on YouTube who have screwed it up, made a mess of it, messed up some relationships because you were selfish... No, no, no. Not because God removed them but because you messed them up. What he's holding when God says, "What is in your hand"? It's not just an instrument, it's a mistake. It was never supposed to be here. And a lot of people come into a place like this, and I'm holding something in my hand that represents what I didn't do right. And so I can sit through sessions like this, and worship like this, and segments like this, and believe everything about God's hand, but because of what I have in my hand I can't receive it.
What's in your hand that you never wished you were carrying? I mean, we all carry around regrets. Maybe they're not so big for you yet, maybe this is an old man message for 80-year-old Moses, 41-year-old Pastor Steven who has the gray in his beard, now he's losing touch. I think it also sometimes it's holding onto our insecurity about our identity. Don't you? A step. Think about what God is calling you to do. I asked you to raise your hand if you feel sometimes you don't have what it takes. Raise it again. Other hand, other hand. That's the one we're talking about. Other hand. Yeah. Of course you feel that way. When Moses held that staff out over a sea, this is Exodus 14. What he was holding wasn't nearly as big as what it needed to do. And that's how it feels.
I can't tell you how many times in my life that I've held in my hand what felt really small. And when we started the church it wasn't big, you know that the church wasn't big when we started it? It wasn't big at all. It was me and Holly and Chunks and Amy and four people. It was pitiful. And now look at how this minister, how many countries were watching the last session too? It's 42 countries. We have four people. You think I don't know something about holding something small and needing something big? It makes you feel bad about yourself, you see? Other people's talent and personality and looks and appearance, and that's really hard.
I want to talk about that hand. God is great and God is awesome but me, I told you one time last year when I was preaching that accepting Jesus is pretty easy because He's good, and He's great, and He's awesome, and He's loving, and He's perfect, and He's forgiving. Accepting me is harder. God said, "A mighty hand is going to deliver you," and I believe that for your life. And I just as your pastor, I believe that God is going to set people free from depression and eating disorders and horrible thinking patterns that you indulge in. And all kinds of stuff that's going on in your life that's in your hand, I believe that God's hand is going to release you from that captivity, but not unless we can talk about the other hand. And for some of you the same phone that's got your Bible verse pulled up for the message tonight, just last night it was 2:00 AM and what you were looking at on that same phone... I'm not shaming you. Don't clap, I'm not trying to... I'm saying that same device, in that same hand, that right now is the word of God, you're doing it, the word, it was putting shame on you and you don't know what to do about it.
So God's hand... But your hand, see, this is what I figured out, until both hands are... Until God's hand is on you in a powerful way and until your hand releases what you are holding that was really holding you, you're always going to believe that God is big and God is great, but what is that in your hand? What is that that you have to release? I wish I could tell you that 25 years after Pastor Mickey was saying to me, "God's hand is on Steven," that I get up every morning and I thank God for His hand on me and I stretch my hands toward His heavens and I receive His strength and His mercies for my soul for this day, and I wish I could tell you that I didn't have to release my insecurity even tonight before I got up to talk to you. But I find it is daily that I have to release something that is in my hand, that scares me.
A snake is scary. He released it. It was scary, and it is scary to talk about what's in your hand. And it's scary to talk about what's in your heart and is scary to talk about how the thoughts that go through your mind get so dark sometimes that you wonder where did that come from? And the impulses that you have. So you come in here... Okay, I got to go to the New Testament for a moment. And Jesus goes to church one day in the synagogue in Matthew 12. And he saw him in there... Check this Bible verse out. In Matthew 12:9, and it says that He was going from one post and He went into their synagogue, verse 10, and a man with a shriveled hand, so it means that his hand was withered. And so he couldn't use his hand, which meant he couldn't be employed, he couldn't work. That meant that he couldn't provide as a man, which meant that it represented his identity.
Do you understand his entire identity was affected by this one issue? That's what the enemy wants to use to keep you in bondage. It’s that there's one issue in your life, there's one thing in your life that you can't get over about yourself. It could be something cosmetic, it could be some... Some of you don't even like the sound of your own voice so you never speak. Some of you are so scared to be rejected that you don't reach out to anybody. Some of you pre-eject yourself, you don't even give anybody the opportunity to turn you down, you do it before they can even get the chance. And God's hand is on you and He has gifts He wants to give you and people He wants to send you, it's what's in your hand.
So Jesus sees the man and it's the Sabbath and He's not supposed to heal on the Sabbath. And since Jesus came to set people free and He knew that the Sabbath is created for man not man for the Sabbath, and He never intended for the rule to regulate the relationship, He intended for the relationship to regulate the rule. And He doesn't want anything that He created to control you, He wants to use everything that he created to benefit you for His glory and for your good. And so Jesus looks at the man on the Sabbath and He tells him to do something that must have sounded so cruel. Look at verse 13… He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand". So he stretched out and was completely restored, just as sound as the other, everybody clap. Come on, clap. Yeah, all the way from the front of the back, clap. If the man in the passage did what a lot of us do he never would have healed. You know why? Because most of us would have stretched out the other hand. The good hand.
Y'all know how fake we can be. Raise your other hand if you're fake sometimes. Not me, man, I keep it real. I keep it real, that's me. You keep it 100 and keep it real? Just stop. Raise your hand sometimes if you present and project an image... We all do it. If you're not raising your hand you're doing it so you can be fake about what you don't struggle with but I'm asking you if you're fake. I'll raise my hand with you, raise your other hand if sometimes you let who you think you're supposed to be keep you from finding out who you really are. God brought you to YTHX...
Now, this is what I want to tell you. God brought you to YTHX this year not so you could stick out the fake hand and come in here and act like everything's okay and leave pretending you've got it together more than you really do, I hear God saying, "I want to see the other hand. The withered hand, the weakness that you have, the awkward side of you". God likes you awkward. Did you know that? God likes you goofy. God likes you, you. You. You. Running around trying to build relationships with people on the basis of who we're not even really becoming. And he stretched out, not the good hand, the withered one. So the Lord told me that if you listen to Him this week, I mean, you watch every session you can because He wants to talk to you about the other hand, the one you hide. He's not mad about that, that's the place He wants to work. You starting to see it? That's where His grace operates, the other hand.