Steven Furtick - Stop Overlooking God's Provision
This is an excerpt from: The Power of Provision: Work Your Window
Sometimes we miss God's provision because it is disguised as a problem, and we don't receive the provision because it's wrapped in a package that looks like a problem. We keep sending back the gift God is trying to bestow upon us because it doesn't feel good. Sometimes God will send correction into your life to make you better. You've been praying for God to make you better, but he didn't do it through somebody telling you how good you are. He sent somebody to correct you, but you don't like the way correction feels, so rather than receive the correction, which is a gift to take you where God is calling you to, you get offended and quit. God's provision comes wrapped in strange packages.
Paul is in prison, and God provides for him through the church. He's writing back to them, and he said, "Thank you for the gift. I received it, I was happy about it, and I appreciate it". But watch what he says in the next verse. "I'm not saying this because I'm in need, for I have learned…" This is something you are not born with. You don't know what you need. You are born just screaming. You don't know what you need. You just know you need to eat. You don't understand the process, but life is the process of God teaching you that he is the one who feeds you. Sometimes he'll do it over here. Sometimes he'll do it over there. Sometimes he'll do it through nobody at all. Sometimes he'll do it when you're all alone, but when God is your source you will never lack supply. "Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For your Father knows you need these things". He knows what I need.
Paul says, "It's nice, but I don't need it". "I appreciate what you bought for me," Holly said. "It's nice, but I don't need it. I like it, but I don't need it". Let me tell you something right here. I appreciate your passion. I was watching you in worship. Here I am preaching, and you are standing up like you are ready to charge the Devil with a Nerf bow and arrow. I love it. I love your response to the Word of God. It's nice, but I want you to know I don't need it. I'm going to preach this if you stand up and shout me down. I'm going to preach it if you sit there and sleep, because I can't hold it in. It's my calling. It's my assignment. If you want to respond, that's nice, but even if you don't respond, I have a word from God and I have to get it out. This is for all of you who have been underappreciated in the position you're in.
You have to come to the place where you say, "It's nice when people thank me. It's nice when people notice me, but God is my rewarder. God is my source. God is my supply. I don't need it". "It would be nice to have a date on Valentine's Day, but I don't need it. I'll take myself out for pasta. I'll buy my own shrimp". If God didn't give it, I don't need it. If it's not in my reach it's not for this season, and if he let it go I will too. I found out the deeper the valley, the greener the grass. He will never lead me to a place that he will not feed me. He will never send me into a situation that he does not supply for. Elisha had the unique ability to go into the same situation that others had walked into and seen only shortage and see God's supply. Who is this for today? Do you know who I'm worried about?
The one who pretends like they have no need or the one who has become so calloused in their heart, the one who has become so dependent on dysfunctional systems that cannot feed them in a sustainable way that they have lost their ability to come before God and say, "I need you". "A broken and a contrite heart he will not despise, but the arrogant and the proud he will cast down". A prerequisite for supply is that you know your need. "I need you, God. I need you. If I see you…" If I seek first the kingdom and his righteousness, all these things… They're not needs; they're things. All I need is him. He will supply all my needs.
I've been switching my question a little bit. Instead of asking the question, "What am I missing?" because I can stay stuck there forever. I'm a broken person. There are skills I do not have. There are talents I cannot employ. There are resources I cannot access. If I focus on that my whole life, it will feed my fear and starve my faith, and I will not receive what Jesus died to give me. For every needy person in the place today, let me give you a better question. Instead of walking into the situation and asking the question, "What am I missing"? walk into the same situation and ask the question, "What am I missing? What am I not seeing? What is it that God has put in front of me? What are the weapons within my reach that I am not seeing"? "Pro-vision".
Isn't this message freedom? You have been so stuck in what was, weeping at the feet of Elisha. He's gone now. You have been so stuck in what's not, what you don't have, what you can't do. Sweetheart, if I would have made a list of everything I can't do and everything I'm bad at, there would not be an Elevation Church. I'm serious. The Devil is going to beat me up for preaching to you like this, because when it gets real like this I open myself, and sometimes it feels like I'm just opening myself, but there is so much. I wish I could take some time and talk to you about my weaknesses. There are so many weaknesses that I have, but I have never allowed my weaknesses to prevent me from using my weapons. I have a bow. I have an arrow. I intend to use every arrow in my quiver.
So Peter and John are going to the gate called "Beautiful". They're just going to church one day, and along the way to church… Destiny will often disguise itself as a distraction. They were walking to church, and there was a beggar at the gate called "Beautiful" asking them for alms. He was shaking a cup in their faces, asking them for some spare change. How many know God doesn't always give you the kind of change you ask for? God knows the need beneath the need, beneath the need, beneath the need, beneath the need, beneath the need. This man has been lame since birth. He's never been able to walk. He's doing the best he can. He's in the only place he thinks he can get any kind of provision or assistance at all, and here come Peter and John, and apparently they look like the kinds of people who would be willing to help a little bit, so he asks them boldly…
In fact, the Bible says in verse 3 that he saw Peter and John going up to the temple. If he hadn't been in the right place he wouldn't have seen his provision. That's why I have to come to church. If I don't get in the right place, I might miss the provision. I might miss the word God wants to give me to fight the battle I don't even know about yet, so I have to get there. As he's sitting there, he sees Peter and John. He sees. Pro-vision. Vision. I'm going to stay right here. "And the wipers are the dolphins, and the dirt is the shark". "What do you mean, boy? It's a dirty windshield". "No, I see something in it. I see something". Maybe that's why he said we need to have faith like a child and stop being so blind to our supply. If the Enemy can't keep you from seeing the need, then he will keep you blind to the supply. When he saw Peter coming, he said, "Hook a brother up". Peter said, "I've got good news and bad news. The good news is I see you".
Look at it. It says that not only did the man see Peter and John, but Peter looked straight at him. I wonder how many people had passed by him. I wonder how many people had stepped over him. I'm not saying that to make you feel bad. We all get in a hurry, and we're never going to be able to do everything for everyone. That's not my point. My point is that in this particular passage the miracle was sitting there in the form of something everyone else walked past. Peter looked at him, and he was there. I don't think Peter was the first one to church, nor was he the last one, but he looked at him and saw something. He saw an opportunity disguised as a problem. God is an optometrist. He wants to fix the way you see. You've been asking, "Will I have what it takes"? and God is asking, "Will you take what you have"? Get a bow. Get some arrows. It's right there. God will hide your provision in plain sight to cause you to seek for him.