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2021 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - God Is Waiting For You

Steven Furtick - God Is Waiting For You

Steven Furtick - God Is Waiting For You

This is an excerpt from “The Father Saw.”

This message finds many of us distracted and discouraged. When we come to this point, it is the revelation that the Father saw that enables us to get our focus back. You cannot preach a message like this about the unseen celebration without at least bringing up the parable of the prodigal son. I don't think the message would be complete without Luke 15. For Jesus, it was difficult to get the people to perceive what he was saying when he preached sermons. He would preach on the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are peacemakers, for they will be called children of God".

He would teach about the kingdom. It was a very different kind of kingdom. It was an invisible kingdom. It was an unseen kingdom. But he would use these things called parables. How many of you have heard of parables? Yeah, you've heard of them, but Jesus is the one who created that format of teaching, or adopted it and elevated it to its highest level, to show us what something looks like that we can't see with our eyes. He would take something we can see and use it to illustrate something we can't see in order to help us to understand that what is unseen is often more real than what is seen. A lot of times, the things you can't measure are the things that actually matter the most. Right? Joy matters more than money. I promise you it does. I'm not rich enough to know this, but I do know some people who have everything and nothing simultaneously. If you can't enjoy it, why have it?

So what is unseen is more important than what is seen. You can see the boat, but you can't see the fact that the people riding on it don't even like each other. What is unseen is more important than what is seen. This is the principle of the kingdom, the kingdom of God, not the kingdom of the world. The kingdoms of this world clap for what they can see. "Oh, you've got followers. Oh, you've got status. Oh, you've got a BMW". All of that is fine, but I want to know what's happening not under the hood of your car but in the interior of your soul. Do you have something that can't be taken away? Jesus' most famous parable was about a son who went to his father and took his share of the inheritance before his father died. Jesus was illustrating two different things in this parable.

The first one was about the Father, and the second thing was about us. I want to read it to you. I'll read it not in its entirety but enough where you get a sense, because it's very powerful to see what the father saw. We often preach this passage just to talk about how this young man in the passage is, as you'll see, making some bad decisions, and we'll talk about how no matter what you've done, you can always come home to God. All of that is true. I hope you know that, that in this kingdom you're always welcome. The times where you feel like you deserve God the least are the times when you need his presence the most. It's so important you pray when you're struggling, not just when you feel like you're on top of it. It's so important that if you struggle with an addiction you pray even while you're drunk, even while you're high. You need to pray even when you're in the middle of it, because he's the God of the mountain and the God of the valley.

The primary point of this passage is not about what the son did; it's about what the father saw. Jesus is teaching about this concept of the outcast being welcomed into his kingdom. He continued in verse 11. "There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them". I never noticed the word them, but it means that both brothers got their share. And you know what else? The older one got more. By Jewish law, he got two-thirds of the estate. Younger brother got a third. Which one is more…two thirds or one third? The older brother got more. I want you to notice that the younger brother left. It says in verse 13, "[He] got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country…"

I need those of you who really know God to pray for someone who needs to hear this next part because it's where they are. "[He] hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs". It got so bad for him when he got disconnected from what his father's resource had made available to him… He had the seen resources of his father, but he no longer had the unseen reality of his relationship to him. "He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything". He's waiting for something to be given to him by people that only his father has. So he's eating what the pigs eat. He's feeding off of what the world feeds off of. He's scrolling and clicking and "liking" and deleting and filtering and cropping and snapping and clicking and "liking" and "loving" and clicking and checking and subscribing and unsubscribing, and everything that is in his feed is only making him more hungry.

What people are most likely to celebrate is often what is least likely to satisfy. While he was in this starved state, the Bible says that (verse 17) he came to his senses. He's waiting for something to be given that he had all along. He came to the point that I'm praying we come to during this series, where we realize that they can't give it. It can never come from outside. It has to come from within. Do you hear me preaching to you today? It has to come from within. It has to come from Spirit. It has to come from Source. It has to come from Father. It cannot come from your friends. Your friends can be a conduit, but they cannot be the sole content of what your soul receives. If they give it, they can take it. When he came to his senses, he realized something. "My father has what I'm hungry for. My father has what I'm starving for".

Look here. We have, church, what the world needs, but if we act like the world acts and chase what the world chases, we cannot celebrate the fullness of what we've been given. He said, "My father's minimum-wage employees are better off than I am. They're throwing food away, and I'm begging for scraps". The Bible says because he was hungry… You know, it's good when you get hungry. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled". But the wrong appetites can never be satisfied. When you are starving for status, you will stuff your soul with what can never satiate the true need. But he got up, and he decided, "I don't have to live like this. I don't have to chase this. I don't have to beg for it. I don't have to wait for it. It's not mine by behavior; it's mine by birth. I have a father, and I know where he lives. He didn't move, and I can go back right now".

Kingdom. The kingdom is at hand. So he said, "I am starving to death. I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father…" He practiced his speech. He's practicing what he's going to say. He's writing a speech he will never even need. You're going to see it. He makes this speech in his mind; he never makes it with his mouth. "Father… No, I'll say it like this. Father… No, I'll say, 'Father…'" Practicing in the pigpen. "Father…" By the way, the Bible never says the boy's heart was repentant; it just says he was hungry. Even if you come to God for the wrong reasons, he has what you need. One brother told me one time, "I don't mean to judge you," which is a clear indication that what they are about to say is going to be the most religiously pharisaical thing that has ever come out of a human being's mouth.

"I don't mean to judge you, but over there at Elevation Church you have a lot of sinners". I was like, "What? Do you want to come"? I wish you would categorize somebody else. Sloppy, messy, petty self, talking about "You have a lot of sinners". He said, "Some of them just come to church because there are pretty girls at Elevation". So you don't think pretty girls need pretty men to get married and have pretty babies and serve a pretty God? I don't care what you come for; I care what you get when you get here.

Amen. Thank you, Jesus. I came for the music, but I got the message. Amen. He come on home. You come home in your soul. He came home physically. Some of us need to come home mentally. We keep wanting to be seen, but we're not really known, because we're only showing the parts of us we think are acceptable. But then you come to this place in life, and you go, "I have to go where I'm known. It was fun getting approval from people while I was the one paying the bills, but now I'm broke, and now I know where I can go". Having that home base is so important for a 15-year-old, a 50-year-old, an 80-year-old. So he comes on over. His speech goes on and on forever. All of these ways we beat ourselves up that God never beats us up. "I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son".

Do you see it? He is connecting his belonging to his behavior. He's connecting his sense of self-worth to his decisions. Why I wanted to preach this message is what happens next. All of that is good, but verses 19 and 20 are why I stood up to preach today for you. "'I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw…" The father saw. While he was still a long way off, his father saw him. He saw past his clothes that were dirty. He saw past the stench of the pigs that he had been living with and the decisions he had made. He saw past the offense and the foolishness and the waste, and he saw him. God sees you. He was filled with compassion and ran to him.

A rich man doesn't do this in Jewish culture, but he saw him. He saw his son. Even though he looked like a slave at the moment, he saw his son. God sees his daughter. God sees the unique you underneath all of the layers and labels. The father saw. The word of the Lord to you today is "The Father saw". He saw the mistakes you were going to make before you made them, and he called you anyway. He saw every sin you would commit after he forgave you, and he forgave you anyway. The Father saw. When he looks at your life, he doesn't see the decisions you made; he sees the death of his Son and the righteousness of Christ, and he no longer sees you through the lens of any of your life's lowest moments.

The Father saw me through the finished work of his Son Jesus Christ. The Father saw, and the Father said, "I see my son. I see the next phase of your life. I see this turning around. I see how I'm going to use this thing in your life. I see how this dry season you've been through… I've been preparing the ground. I've been tilling the ground. I've been breaking up the ground". The Father saw. Now do you have the faith to celebrate what you cannot see, to know that God sees something in you that people don't see in you? Your Father sees in you what you might not even see in yourself. The father saw, and he embraced his son, because he saw who he really was.
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