Steven Furtick on Embracing Limitations and Implementing Vision

Steven Furtick at Seeds Conference

At Seeds Conference 2012, Steven Furtick of Elevation Church (Charlotte, NC) discussed how to embrace limitations and implement vision.

2 Kings 3:9-20 (ESV)
So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom. And when they had made a circuitous march of seven days, there was no water for the army or for the animals that followed them. 10 Then the king of Israel said, “Alas! The Lord has called these three kings to give them into the hand of Moab.” 11  And Jehoshaphat said, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire of the Lord?” Then one of the king of Israel’s servants answered, “Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who poured water on the hands of Elijah.” 12 And Jehoshaphat said, “The word of the Lord is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him. 13 And Elisha said to the king of Israel, “What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and to the prophets of your mother.” But the king of Israel said to him, “No; it is the Lord who has called these three kings to give them into the hand of Moab.” 14 And Elisha said, “As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, were it not that I have regard for Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would neither look at you nor see you. 15 But now bring me a musician.” And when the musician played, the hand of the Lord came upon him. 16 And he said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘I will make this dry streambed full of pools.’ 17 For thus says the Lord, ‘You shall not see wind or rain, but that streambed shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, you, your livestock, and your animals.’ 18 This is a light thing in the sight of the Lord. He will also give the Moabites into your hand, 19 and you shall attack every fortified city and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree and stop up all springs of water and ruin every good piece of land with stones.” 20 The next morning, about the time of offering the sacrifice, behold, water came from the direction of Edom, till the country was filled with water.

Acts 3:1-9 (ESV)
1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.[a] 2 And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. 3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Sometimes the only way to see your vision is to close your eyes and look inside of you to the Holy Spirit. If all you’ve got is vision without faith, you just have a daydream.

Realize that only God can do it.

In 2 Kings, they were mounting an assault that they were more than equipped to defeat, but none of that mattered if they couldn’t find water for survival. Only God can make it rain. Only God can send healing. Only God can make an authentic movement.

If your faith can’t move a mountain then at least dig a ditch.

I (Steven) believe the story in 2 Kings is a metaphor for how God works. God will use natural means to kickstart supernatural results in your life. If you don’t learn how to do it when you don’t feel like it then you will never do it. You can do it. You can make it. Don’t give up. I believe the presence of God is powerful enough to overcome any obstacle that the enemy throws at you.

Elisha doesn’t just give inspiration, but he gives instruction for implementation. Elisha says dig a ditch, but if you are praying for rain, then digging a ditch seems counterintuitive since it isn’t raining yet.

Only God can make it rain, but He expects you to dig a ditch. Start acting like you believe that what you asked for is on the way. You have to get used to building an ark before the rain comes. You are not going to get what you need from God just for showing up and being inspired. You have to implement your faith.

In Acts 3, the man wanted money, but he was given a miracle. We all want the miracle, but a lot of people are just waiting for what they want rather than working with what they’ve got.

Don’t develop an if/then mentality that says “If I had then I’d do.” If you start with what you have and work with what you’ve got then God will multiply it. God takes a little bit and turns it into something more than I could ask or imagine.

Be listening to God. Listen for His instructions. God covers details, but He often doesn’t need you to know all the details.

God is like a GPS that can recalibrate your route according to where your are. But God is better than GPS because He is your guide from beginning to end. When you follow a guide, you don’t have to know anything about your final destination. God doesn’t just want to give us directions; He wants to be our guide who we follow all the way.

If all God does is meet the need, then you would miss out on the relationship and knowing Him as Jehovah Jireh.

Special thanks to Skylark Audio Video for covering my travel expenses so that I can live blog the conference for you. They love churches and are currently offering free AVL consulting.

Further Reading:
2012 Church Conference Calendar