On Sunday, Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church preached a thought-provoking sermon called “Surprise.”
Furtick believes that it is important that the body of Christ be open to surprises. He shared a story of wanting to surprise his friend, Pastor Craig Groeschel of LIFE Church, a multi-campus church based out of Oklahoma.
Furtick understood that Groeschel was under stress at the time, so he decided that he would cheer him up by showing up at his church. Knowing that Groeschel would deny the offer, Furtick informed the staff of LIFE Church, to keep him uninformed.
To Furtick’s surprise, when he showed up at LIFE Church, Groeschel already knew that he was coming because “he doesn’t like surprises” his staff reported to Furtick.
Furtick thought to himself, “It’s funny how they thought because he doesn’t like surprises, he doesn’t need surprises.” He went on to state that in order for God to move in different ways in our lives, we have to stay surprised by what He is going to do through the people He uses in our lives.
God could have used Furtick to give Groeschel great encouragement in a surprising way had Groeschel’s staff not shared the information.
Furtick also believed that God will use people in our life that are different from us. For scripture evidence, he referred to Acts 3:1-16.
In the story, Peter and John went to pray at a Temple. It was shocking that they hung around each other because “they were so competitive,” Furtick said. They both also shared different viewpoints.
When we examine the story of Jesus’ resurrection, for example, initially John believed without seeing Jesus or entering the tomb. However, Peter entered the tomb and still did not believe it until much later. But in Acts 3, as they were on their way to pray, God used both men together to perform a miracle on a lame man asking for money, despite their differences.
“Some of the biggest things God did in my life was through people I really didn’t enjoy hanging out with,” Furtick admitted.
To our surprise, God will call people to collaborate or build with us to do His will. But “are you open to who God wants to use in your life?”
As believers, we think we know how life will turn out. We think, “my church will never” or “in my marriage we will never,” not realizing that life has a way of surprising us.
We should stand in a place of humility, knowing that life has a way of throwing many surprises our way and that “the challenge of faith isn’t to be certain, but it is to stay ‘surprisable.’ ”
Overall, God will use people and circumstances in our life so that His will can be complete in our life.
Check out the full sermon of “Surprise” on here.