Steven Furtick - Struggling With A Weary Soul
Once you begin to understand that the Devil is not creative, God is, you can more easily discern when he's bringing a different flavor of the same temptation into your life in a different season. I think that's important, because otherwise, you will become like David: exhausted, trying to fight every new devil. Once you recognize, "This is the same fear that's making me drink too much that earlier in my life was a part of how I grew up," or once you realize, "This is the same fear that's making me push people away…" Here's what happens, though. It's the same stuff we deal with. It's the same exact stuff: the world, the flesh, the Devil. Only three enemies: the world, the flesh, the Devil. The world is the system, the flesh is the pattern, and the Devil is that other thing we can't exactly pinpoint on a person.
Once you understand that's all the Devil has and it just comes back and forth in your life… In different seasons it dresses up in different disguises. When you're younger, the devils are less expensive. When you're younger and you want attention, you just act out in class and you get detention. That's it. You just want attention. That's what you want, so you do something stupid, and you get detention, and that's it. But what about 25 years later when the same need for attention outside of your marriage doesn't end in detention, it ends in divorce? Do you see what this country preacher is trying to say to you? It's really simple. It's the same devil; it's just coming at you at an entirely different expense. The stakes are higher. That's why I love Elevation Youth. While my kids are young, I want to teach them they can pray about anything. They can ask God for anything. They can trust God with anything. They can go to God for anything. They can find everything the world falsely advertises in the house of God.
You don't have to run from your calling. You can embrace it because you have it on the inside. I don't know if you know this, but the same passion that made David great as a teenager to kill Goliath, which was his first giant that he killed, almost got him killed a little later in his life. See, he's conflicted in 2 Samuel 21 because he's not a shepherd boy anymore. He's a king now. He's not in a wheelchair. When I first read this, I was like, "Man, David must have been really old that he got so tired in battle". Then I thought he was weak, but I read it a few more times, and it didn't say that. It said, "Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted". It didn't say he was weak. That's not what almost got him killed. David was not weak. He's one of these guys… Even if you thought that, you wouldn't say it to his face. He wasn't weak, and he wasn't lazy.
The Bible doesn't say David was careless. It says he was weary. There's a big difference between weak and weary. The other day, my partner and I, who's also my firstborn son, were pumping some big weights in the POUND. That's what we call the room we work out in: the Place Of Ultimate Natural Development…POUND. It's an acronym. You have to have a good time in life. You can't preach all the time. You have to use your creativity in other ways. So, we call it the POUND. I said, "What would you do right now if I put a video of you curling these five-pound weights"?
When I tell you he was curling five-pound weights, what I didn't tell you is it was the fourth exercise in a super, super, super set. If you had walked in at that moment where you saw him with the fives, you'd be like, "Ha-ha! Look at you. Do you even lift"? "Yeah. I was lifting for five minutes before you got here. You just walked in at the end". So here we are. I'm curling tens, he's curling fives, and we're laughing at ourselves but knowing we're much stronger. We're not weak; we're just weary. I thought you'd be happy. I'm letting you off the hook. That's why you did the dumb thing you did yesterday.
You are not a weak person. How can Christ live in you and you be weak? It's not possible. That's not possible. How can "Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world…" How could the Great I Am be the Spirit that brings life inside of you and you be weak? David wasn't weak, and neither am I. I feel weak when I get weary. I get weary when I've been fighting the same battle over and over and over again. Then people walk in on you and they're like, "Why would you do something so dumb? Oh God! Why would you do something like that"? If you would have seen the three sets I had to do before you got here…
For years, I preached three or four services, and I used to want to walk out to the 11:30 on the third service and go, "Can y'all be nice to me today? I barely have a voice left. I drank all the Throat Coat that they make, and I'm practically living off of Ricola cough drops to even get these words out. Can y'all please not sit there and look at me cross-eyed and crossed arm, looking at me like I stole something out of your house and you want to throw me in prison? Can we please not have you looking like a terrorist on the front row of the church today while I'm trying to preach"? You know, "Pity me. I'm tired. Please help me. I need help. I'm a person".
David is a person. You're a person. You have this treasure in earthen vessels, and you get tired. The only thing I hate is when I see you getting tired over battles you don't even have to fight. I hate that for you. Some battles you have to fight. When you're running back and forth to the nursing home where your mother is and she's an hour away, and then you're coming back home, and you don't have enough to give, and you're spread thin, that's one thing. But then to have imaginary battles you fight alongside the real ones? So, where in my life am I being defeated because I'm drained? What a question. Right? Where am I stronger than what I am acting like? I remember when I went over to somebody's house one time and their kid was acting so colicky and bad, probably a 6-month-old kid. They said, "I promise they're good. They just need a nap".
Sometimes I want to apologize for myself like that. "I promise I'm good. I just need a nap. I just need a bubble bath. I just need to take a walk with Holly. I just need something". Yet, if you'll notice in the passage, so much of it is solved when we allow the strategy to match the season. That's what drew me to the challenge of this text. David is doing what he has always done and what has made him successful up to this point, and it almost gets him killed. Here's how God showed it to me. The thing that got him crowned almost got him killed. He was crowned for killing a giant, which was what he was supposed to do in that season of his life, but now we find him almost dying. David almost died. He almost died before he did everything God called him to do. Anointed and he almost died. You can be anointed and exhausted. If you don't know what to do in those moments, then the thing that crowns you in one season can kill you in the next.