Steven Furtick is the planting pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte. It’s a fast growing charismatic styled church on the fringe of the Bible belt, most noted for it’s romping enthusiasm. The church, and Furtick’s style is elementary and simple, and frankly, not exactly deep. I know that’s an easy criticism and has an easy response – but I am tending to have a love-frustration relationship with Furtick and Elevation. I love how so many people are responding to Jesus through their ministry, and then I hear the preaching, the songs and read the books and I get frustrated because I keep saying, “True, but not really fully true…what about this over here…”
So I read the book he wrote, Sun Stand Still: What happens when you dare to ask God for the impossible, to encourage my prayer life and to help me put words to some prayers that God and I have been having (specifically, with some incredible prayers that God is opening up for The Grove, things that I have been praying and speaking of prophetically for almost 4 years) and because it’s actually good for me. I first responded to Jesus in a pentecostal church while the preacher was railing off in tongues – so in my core, at my roots, I’m charismatic. It’s a part of me, so I need to keep going back there and remembering what I really believe about Jesus deep inside my soul.
Furtick’s book is incredibly simple and practically encouraging. He actually proposes a 2 sentence systematic theology and says it’s suffice (insert frustration here), yet demands action on the part of the reader – not degrading name it and claim it that you see so often from popular charismatics. The Sun Stands Still metaphor is based on the story of Joshua when, in battle, he asks God to extend the daylight hours so Israel and completely annihilate their enemies. You can read Joshua 10 to get the details of the story.Furtick goes allegorical with it and leads the reader to ask God for the impossible and then move into their answered prayers. It’s allegorical though, because the book does not instruct the reader to kill all their enemies 🙂
If you want to have a more vibrant faith and want help in your prayer life, this is a great book. I do have some really significant theological disagreements with some of the content, but I mean, that’s a no brainer.
Here’s some solid quotes for your encouragement:
- p.8, “Let me ask you: does the brand of faith you live by produce the kinds of results in your life that you read about in the biblical stories of men and women of faith?”
- p.12, “I feel for Joshua. To my mind, forty years of enduring the consequences of other people’s bad decision would be enough to derail anybody’s faith.”
- p.30, “When you examine the lives of people who are called to do great things for God, regardless of their age, you’ll usually notice three things” *They offer God a long list of excuses. *God doesn’t seem surprised. *God doesn’t change his mind.”
- p.33, “In a nutshell, this is the progression of Sun Stand Still faith: Seize God’s vision. Activate your faith. Make your move.”
- p.33, “Imagine with me: How radically different would modern American youth culture be if we stopped raising our kids to survive their world and started empowering them with a vision to change it?”
- p.54, “God likes to wet the wood before he sets it on fire. That way, everybody knows who made it burn (1 Kings 18:33-38).”
- p.70, “Hearing from God is exhilarating…Hearing from God is terrifying…We’d all like to live in a world where God lets us do big things that require minimal risk.”
- p.80, “The more worthwhile the reward, the more nerve-racking the risks. And before God can do an impossible work in your world, you need to let him do a deep work in your heart.”