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Sun Stand Still - Week 2

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Welcome today all of our Life Churches. I say our Life Churches; I mean, I'm not officially on staff here, but I'm kind of like your little brother that you never knew that you had and I hope you like me! I'm Steven Furtick, I'm a Pastor at a church in Charlotte, North Carolina. I wanted to share something with you a little bit different. Last week, I told you how Pastor Craig was like a big brother to me, how much I look up to your church, and how grateful we are for your influence. But I wanted to say something maybe to the church as a whole that you may not know from your vantage point. Really, and all of the Network Churches, and everyone associated with this ministry, you are rebels and rule breakers and game changers. Here's what I mean by that: In the early 1990's, I was about 12-years-old okay? There was a band called Nirvana, that came on the scene and they sounded so different than everything else that was on the radio. In the 80's, everything was glam rock, long guitar solos, eight minute songs, and multimillion dollar recording budgets. Nirvana came on the scene, and really their first hit song only had four chords in it, and it was loud and it was stripped down. And many people would say that Nirvana, and I'm not making a moral statement about whether or not you should buy their albums, but just from a purely musical historical perspective, many people would say that that single band and their lead singer Kurt Cobain, killed the eighties. Like, they totally redefined music with just one song and four chords, they brought a whole system down. And now, everything wasn't about big huge recording budgets and big hair and tight pants, it was about simple songs. It was like this anti-establishment thing. This may seem like a stretch to you, but as I was thinking about Life Church and Pastor Craig and Amy's leadership, and what you guys represent in the body of Christ, I was thinking that in so many ways, what Kurt Cobain and Nirvana did to the eighties, you guys have done to the competitive spirit that has dominated the church of Jesus Christ in our nation and our world for too long. In other words, for so long it's just been all about our church and our thing. And then this Pastor, like Craig Groeschel, who by the way, he and Amy are returning from Australia, where they're ministering globally right now as I speak. This guy gets a vision from God and says, "Why don't we give everything away to anyone who wants to use it? And just like Kurt Cobain came on with four chords and like this cardigan sweater and this sound that nobody had ever heard and turned the eighties inside out. What Life Church is doing through teaching us to be Kingdom minded to help other churches, to bless other churches, to build the church through technology, to leverage it for the glory of God. You really have changed the world in a big way for the good and I thank you for it on behalf of all of the churches who benefit from your Kingdom mindedness. So, always be proud that you are part of, because by being a part of this church or a Network Church, you are part of something so much bigger. I just honor Pastor Craig and Amy and the entire team here at Life Church. We are in week two of a mini teaching called, Sun Stand Still. Last week, I taught you about a God who is not intimidated by our long-shot requests, but He's insulted when we do not ask Him to do things worthy of the nature of who He really is. I had the audacity to suggest to you that if you have an impossible need in your life, that's just the right size for God. He likes to show off. He shows off so we can see His glory and so that the world can know who He is. So, I challenged you to begin to pray your own sun stand still prayers like Joshua prayed in Joshua, Chapter 10, that God responds to faith, that He can do more than you ask or imagine. In your relationships, maybe it's in your physical body, maybe it's in your emotions, maybe it's for a need that you have in your life. Maybe it's in your ministry or purpose on your job, where you desperately need God to do something. I challenged you to be bold enough to pray it. This week, I want to help you with some of the "what if stuff" and the "what about stuff" that comes up when you begin to pray this way. Because I wish it was so easy that I could come in, you know, sun stand still, everybody go home, believe God for big things and it's done, it's all good, you'll never have an ache and pain again, you're teenage daughter's never going to roll her eyes when you ask her to do the dishes, she's going to be filled with purpose and her countenance is going to shine with the glory of God like the angelic host of heaven! But the fact is, you may ask God to make the sun stand still, but the sky keeps getting darker. You may ask God to make your marriage better, but your spouse gets a little colder. I want to take you to a passage of Scripture today in the New Testament that demonstrates a situation just like that, where someone asked God to do something so big; in fact, they personally requested something from Jesus Christ as He walked the earth. And just as it seemed like it was about to happen, with the sun standing still, the prayers getting answered, miracles coming, the faith is rising. Just as it seems like things are about to turn around, things get worse. I'm going to share with you from Mark, Chapter Five, and I want to sum up about fourteen verses of Scripture before I get to verse 35, where I want to pick up today. Essentially, this man named Jairus, who was an important ruler and official in the synagogue, had a 12-year-old girl who was very, very sick. And so, he comes to Jesus and He humbles himself and he says; 'I need you to touch my daughter man!' And, this represents to me the greatest need that a human being can have. My wife is pregnant with our third child and we have two little boys; a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old, and we are having our first little girl. And I'm just trying to be like Pastor Craig and keep on being fruitful and multiplying and filling the earth with my offspring, doing my part to grow the Kingdom of God through reproduction! And we are excited about having a little girl, but you know, I can't imagine, because we are in that stage right now where everything is turning pink all around me and estrogen is freely flowing in my house! We are preparing for the arrival of this little girl, I can't imagine my 12-year-old girl being sick to the point of death, so I point that out to say that this need could be symbolic of whatever the worst need you would have in your life might be today. Unless you think your need or your situation is more dyer than the death of your own daughter. So I love how God's Word speaks to the toughest of situations, that there's nothing that you'll go through that God's Word doesn't address. Jesus agrees to go heal this man's daughter. And so, it seems like the prayer is answered right? I don't know if maybe last week you heard the message, or maybe a few weeks ago you heard something Pastor Craig said, or maybe something recently in your life inspired your hope. And you got your hopes up and you're like, 'Oh man, God can do anything, and it's so easy in church to get inspired and you hear a great message and you sing these songs about how great God is. And then, you go out and just as it seems like your miracle is in progress, have you ever had a miracle that was already in progress in your life get rudely interrupted by a circumstance? That's what happens to Jairus. His little daughter is dying; Jesus says, 'I'll go heal her, and they are in route to the house. And as they're on their way, this woman cuts in line in front of Jairus and that is enough to make anybody lose their salvation. Even, if that was technically possible, which I don't know your theological belief, what it might be, and I probably shouldn't of said that because that just brought up a host of other questions! But regardless, I don't do too well when people start cutting in front of me, you know what I'm saying? Whether it's on the freeway or whatever. If my daughter's about to die and you cut in front of me, I'm going to throw some bows, like Dusty Rhoades. Nobody knew what that meant, that was so old school! I'm so sorry if that didn't connect with you, that was just for a few of these guys in here! Now, this woman cuts in front of Jairus, and I know there's nothing comical about this situation, but think about it; you're about to have your daughter healed, your about to have your sun stand still prayer answered, about to get the business back, and then all of a sudden this woman who has had an issue for year after year, for twelve years, just like the little girl has been alive for twelve years, this woman touches the hem of Jesus' garment and she is healed. The only problem with that is, while this woman was cutting in front of Jairus in line, the little girl's condition was getting worse back home. And that's where we pick up the story in Mark, Chapter Five, and we are going to start with verse 35. The Bible says: While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler.... And they delivered this news: "Your daughter is dead," they said. Jesus agreed to make the sun stand still over your situation, you thought you had it, you thought it was going to get better, you felt like the promise was coming to pass. Have you ever been there before? Where it looked like it was going to come together, God was going to answer and then bam! Somebody obviously more important gets in front of you in line in the cosmic scheme of prayers and apparently, God is blessing somebody else, because He's not blessing you. And He just seems to disappear from your situation. And then, you've gone from having a sick daughter, or having a bad situation, to a dead situation. And now, you don't just need healing, you need resurrection. It's actually gotten worse. That's the place where Jairus is. And then they ask him this question, in verse 35, part b: "Why bother the teacher any more?" I feel like that's where so many of you are today in your personal life. You have asked God to do some things through your life and actually believed He could do it and you get your faith stirred up. Some of you even hate sometimes when you are in church and you start getting that feeling of hope, because you've had that feeling before, but just as soon as you got your hopes up, something brought them crashing down. Just as soon as you thought, "Maybe this can happen, maybe God can use me. Maybe I can make a difference." Something flies in the face of everything that you were believing God for in faith and something cripples you in a way that you wish maybe you never even believed to begin with. Maybe I'm just talking to myself. There have been times in my life before where I really felt like, "Why even bother?" Have you ever gotten to the place in your relationship with God where you felt like, why even bother? And if you'll notice, the people who said this to Jairus were the people of his own household, these weren't enemies telling him this. This was his people. You know why? The greatest doubts you'll ever face in your life won't be from another party, they'll be inside of yourself, from within your own self, "Why bother?" So, here is the paradox of walking in faith and trusting God for big things, okay? You want to see God move in your life? You want to see Him use you? You want to see Him come through? Okay, on one hand you've got God saying inside of you, giving you this hope that it's possible, and the Bible teaches that all things are possible to him who believes. But every time God is there saying that it's possible, you can break through, you can break free, you can make a difference; you've got the enemy right there in your other ear saying, "Why bother, why bother?" You've tried to stop this habit in your life for years, what makes you think this year's going to be any different than the last? Why bother? Why bother trying to get your wife to love you, every advance you make to try to get her to be more tender towards you just backfires in your face. Why bother to ask God to resurrect your broken marriage? Why bother to pray about your kid who is off on drugs? You've done this whole thing before and you've asked God and you've tried to live right. Why bother giving to the church? You've given before and you thought now that you're giving, God's going to provide for you and your money actually got lower before it got better? Why bother? Can anyone relate to this? I wonder if we can just have a moment of honesty? Has anyone ever heard the voice of doubt in your ear telling you why bother? At the same time, come on, all of our locations, get your hand up if you've ever felt that why bother? Why bother, everybody in my family is overweight? Why bother trusting God to set me on a new path and break this thing genetically? Why bother? Why bother serving at the church? Nobody cares, nobody notices. Why bother dreaming, why bother believing for healing? Why bother? And here's what I love about Jesus, okay! This just blesses me and maybe it's because I'm a pastor and I have to put up with people who complain sometimes, but this is becoming one of my favorite verses in the Bible and it's going to seem odd to you. But, I'm thinking about getting this put at the bottom of my emails, so when people complain, I can just send this back to them as an auto response. It's Mark, Chapter 5:36, it says this: Ignoring what they said.... I just like that part of the verse! Mark 5:36 part a! If you're going to walk in faith and do great things for God, you're going to have to learn Mark 5:36. Because there are going to be times when not just the people around you, I mean that's one thing, but what about when the voice within you is telling you that it's not possible, that you can't do it, that nobody has ever done it? You know what guys? Everything that I've done great for God, I've had somebody telling me why it shouldn't work, 101 reasons why it's never been done before. But you know what, this is the way I think and maybe you can start to think this way too: If it's never been done before, maybe that's because God intends for me to do it! Maybe God just left it for me to do! I mean, think about that Life Church! Don't let anybody tell you what this church can't do and what this church can't build, and how this church can't touch the world. If it's never been done, that might just be because God was saving it for you and you're alive at this time to do this thing. If nobody in your family has ever gone to college before, maybe it's because God was saving the first place ribbon for you, when you break through this line and when you step up and believe God. You've got to learn how to ignore what they say. You've got to learn to practice selective hearing. Selective hearing is one of your most effective allies in the fight of faith. You've got to learn how to tune out the doubt. You've got to learn how to do exactly what Jesus did. A little girl's dead, I don't want to hear about that, let's go! And watch what Jesus does. Watch how unfazed He is when our situation seems to get worse. Doesn't get any worse from a human perspective, than your 12-year-old dying. Watch Jesus' unflinching response. I want you to know that the same Jesus who responded with a straight gaze, the same Jesus that responded with a sovereign plan, the same Jesus who responded without even twitching at the news that this woman had died, is just as capable and is just as in command, and is just as in control of whatever impossible situation that you are facing. Even if it seems dead, even if it seems like there's no hope, God can resurrect it. And the Bible says this: Ignoring what they said... We've gone over that already. Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe." Don't be afraid, just believe. On one hand you've got Jairus' own servant saying, "Why bother?" And here's Jesus, with the audacity to say, "Just believe." And the smartest thing Jairus did in this situation, is just keep his mouth shut and do what Jesus said. That's a great strategy for when you find yourself in a situation when it looks like everything is against what God has promised you in your life. You've got to keep the promises of God front and center in your life and just follow Jesus back to the house. Watch what Jairus does: Jairus gets in line and the Bible says in verse 37 that Jesus didn't let anyone follow Him except Peter, James and John, the brother of James. You can't let just everybody be in your life and have a voice in your life when you want to do great things for God. That's the problem with some of you, you're listening to your dumb relatives about how to do something in your life that they haven't even done. They are telling you how to run your marriage and how to run your finances and their a complete train wreck. So, you can't just listen to anybody, you have got to have the right voices in your life. That's why you've got to show up at church every week, so you can get the right voice in your life. Jesus was selective about who He allowed around Him. So, only three guys got to follow. Verse 38 says: When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, "Why all this commotion and wailing? Why do you think Jesus, a 12-year-old just died! You see, Jesus doesn't see a death, He sees an opportunity for a resurrection. Jesus doesn't see your situation the way you see your situation. I thought about my Grandfather. My Grandfather was a Methodist minister. He was a faithful man of God all of his life. My Grandfather, if you ever asked him, "How are you doing?" He would answer you the same thing every time, he'd say, "One hundred percent!" And he said that for 12 years, as his wife died of Alzheimer's. If any of you have had a relative suffer through Alzheimer's, dementia; you know how, not only do they lose their mind, but they lose their frame of reference. They can actually become very angry, hostile people. And so, this very sweet woman, who had been a Methodist, a consummate Methodist minister's wife for all of these years, would scream obscenities at her husband, if she even knew who he was. And she would use the bathroom on herself and she would get up in the middle of the night looking for a knife, because she was that convinced that somebody was coming to kill her. My Grandfather, and I have this etched in my brain because right around the time that I was about to get married, my Grandmother was in the final stages of Alzheimer's. And I would watch my Grandfather sit by my Grandmother's bedside and comb her hair, and tell her that she was beautiful. And from my perspective, why bother? She doesn't even know who you are! And he's praying that God would make the sun stand still and his wife would be healed. And the meanwhile, the sun keeps sinking lower and lower and lower and lower and lower. And yet, every time I would ask my Grandfather, "How are you Papa?" "A hundred percent, a hundred percent." You know, I love my Grandmother so much because I did both of their funerals and sang Amazing Grace at my Grandmother's graveside, and got to deliver a speech about my Papa at his funeral. And it actually would frustrate me because he is sitting by this woman that we all loved and she's dying and he's talking about "I'm a hundred percent." And one day, just in my heart I kind of had this conversation with God. I was like, "God, he's lying, he's not a hundred percent. I mean, his health is getting worse, he's had heart bypass surgery, his wife won't get healed and you won't heal his wife, and why are you letting them die in this undignified way! He's not a hundred percent!" And I really felt like the Lord spoke this back to me, "It depends on what you're measuring." See, if you're measuring his life according to his circumstances, no he's not a hundred percent. This is the most tragic ending you could imagine to someones life. But if you're measuring his faith, if you're measuring his faith, this isn't a tragic ending, this is a grand finale. Because this man is loving his wife like Christ loved the church. And how can my Grandfather know that I would be sharing the story of his faithful love to tens of thousands of people all across the world today because his faith stayed at one hundred percent. Your circumstance doesn't have to be at one hundred percent for your faith to be at one hundred percent. Your 12-year-old daughter can be dead at your house, but if you'll just keep moving forward in faith, Jesus looks at your situation and says, 'Don't be afraid, don't give up, don't count yourself out, just believe!' The devil says, 'Why bother?' Jesus says, 'Just believe.' "They just laid me off of my job!" The devil says, 'Why bother, may as well sit around and watch The Price is Right, eat Doritos!' 'Just believe!' Tighten up your resume, get out there! There is another day coming. Your best is not behind you. God does have a plan for you! Your divorce does not define you! There's something new God can do through your life! There's something better He can do in your situation. But you've got to learn how to hold this tension and reality, that every time potential for faith is born in your life, the enemy is going to be right there saying, "Why Bother." And so, here's what you've got to learn to do, okay? I'm going to give you something real good! I came all the way from North Carolina just to tell you all around the world! Doubt is like a Telemarketer, and the best strategy is to never even pick up the phone. Watch this, the Bible says in verse 40, that after Jesus makes this audacious statement, you talk about sun stand still! To walk into a situation where a little girl is dead and to have the insensitivity to say, 'Why are you crying? She's not dead she's sleeping!' And then, the Bible says in verse 40 that they laughed at Jesus. Just like Abraham and Sarah laughed at God when God told Abraham he was going to have a son at age 100, although his wife was barren. They laughed at Jesus. That's a bad strategy, in case you're taking notes! And I love how this thing wraps up. The Bible says: After Jesus put them all out.... That's what we're going to do with all of the doubts in your mind today, all of the reasons that the enemy gives you why you can't change, why you can't metamorphosis into something greater that God wants you to be, why you can't impact lives, why you can't make a difference through serving, why your family can't be brought together under the banner of the Lordship of Christ. The Bible says that Jesus put them all out: And after He put them all out, He took the child's father and mother and the disciples who were with Him, and He went in where the child was and He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum!" (which means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!"). Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat. We serve a Savior who is so calm, cool and collective, that He raises the dead and then has the presence of mind to fix the little girl a sandwich after it's all said and done! God's not worried about your situation. God's not freaked out about what's keeping you up at night. Say this out loud at all of our campuses say, "God's got this one just like the last one!" Why are you worrying about a battle that God has already won? Why are you mourning over a situation that God has the ability to resurrect? Even if the sun goes down, God Himself will be your light. Even if your situation doesn't get better, He'll use the very thing that the enemy meant to tear you apart, and use it to build you up as a great testimony to the glory of His name. Why bother? No, no, no! Just believe! You know, here's something I've understood about faith: you don't have to understand in order to believe. You don't have to totally understand what God is doing in your life in order to completely obey. Jairus didn't understand, but he obeyed, he followed Jesus. I want to quote to you as I close this message today, from the book of second journey: Don't stop believing! Speaking of the 80's! Don't stop believing, but don't hold onto your feeling, hold on to your faith. Just believe, just believe. Don't hold onto your feeling, your feelings will be up and down and back and forth, and in and out, and your feelings can vacillate 44 times per second. Hold on to your faith. Hold on to your faith Peter, when your out on the water and there's a storm breaking your boat apart. And Jesus says, "Come." And that's all He gives you is one word, one word! No water-walking certification class for Peter in Matthew, Chapter 14. Just come! You give your dog more instruction than come! And Peter walks out and there's wind and there's waves. And Peter goes down, but so what, he was close enough to Jesus that Jesus could help him right back up. Even if you go down, just stay close enough to Jesus that He can lift you up. I'd rather be close to Jesus out on the open sea than I would be in the boat with these bozos! Because I know I'm going to die on the boat, but at least if I get close enough to Jesus, He can reach out His hand and help me if I start to go down. Hold on to your faith! Just believe! You know, the Scriptures are full of men and women who could have said, "Why bother?" Abraham could have said "Why bother?" Your a hundred years old and God's telling you to put on a little Marvin Gaye and chase your wife around the house because she's going to conceive a son. Abraham could have said, "Why bother!" Joseph could have said, "Why bother?" Joseph spent 13 years unjustly imprisoned and enslaved. But he remembered the promise of God, that God gave him when he was just a young boy; that he would have a position one day to save a nation. And he did, because he believed. He just believed in the prison. Moses could have said, "Why bother?" He was a stuttering stammerer. He was an insecure man. And after nine plagues had been unleashed on Egypt, Pharaoh still wouldn't let the people go, even though God Himself had gotten involved. But Moses remembered the promise, that he would lead his people out of that land of slavery, into a land flowing with milk and honey. Joshua could have said, "Why bother?" On the day when the sun seemed to be going down; but instead, at the last minute he throws a hail Mary, and just happens to find an open receiver, and God does the very thing that Joshua had the audacity to ask Him to do. Paul could have said, "Why bother?" When they beat him five times and they stoned him within an inch of his life and he was ship wrecked. But he had a charge in Acts 20:24: "That I consider my life worth nothing to me if only I may complete the task God has given me and finish the race testifying to the Gospel of the glorious grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus could have said, "Why bother?" When He was hanging on a cross being murdered by the very people that He came to save, and they tore His flesh from His back and they beat Him beyond recognition. And He said, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." And He stretched His arms and He died. Because on the third day, He kicked the end out of a borrowed tomb and proved once and for all that it's possible, and it doesn't matter how dead your situation seems to be. We serve a God who will hang on a cross and talk about resurrection so that He can prove Himself faithful in your life. Clap your hands for a God today who says, "Just believe, just believe. Don't be afraid, just believe." May you displace all of your doubts with the promises of God, to believe in a God who can make the sun stand still in your life. Father, I pray today for every person who has heard this message, that when that voice called "Why bother?" kicks into overdrive and gets on infinite loop in their head; over and over again, like an iPod or a CD player that's stuck on repeat, that the voice of Jesus would be louder and stronger saying, "Just Believe!" And that we would see miracles in our lives, and at times when we can't see the miracle, we know that you will enable us to be the miracle as you sustain us by your grace. And it's in Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

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Duration: 30 minutes and 29 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
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Views: 116
Posted by: lifechurchopen on Mar 21, 2011

Sun Stand Still - Week 2 - Steven Furtick -

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