Beth Moore - Taking Turns
Turn with me to Psalm 30 as you're seated please. The 30th chapter. "I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up". Somebody say, "He has drawn me up". Beautiful, "And have not let my foes rejoice over me". I love the NIV on this one because it says: "You have not let my enemies gloat over me". O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit. Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning". Somebody say, "Joy comes with the morning". Somebody's real anxious for the morning.
I heard a worship leader one time when he was leading through the song, "Trading My Sorrows," and he told the group, he said, "Listen, all it takes to be morning is you waking up". And I love that because tonight could be morning if you just wake up to something. Somebody know what I'm talking about? Tonight could be that morning and it says: "As for me, I said in my prosperity, 'I shall never be moved.' By your favor, O Lord, you made my mountain stand strong; you hid your face; and I was dismayed. To you, O Lord, I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy: 'What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord, be my helper!' You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever"!
For two verses it speaks to the congregation as it asks the saints to come alongside and give praise to the Lord. The rest of the Psalm, and this is what I love best about a song, it's what I love best about any one of the Psalms. What I love best is one that speaks straight to him. "You are my God". I love the congregation but there's something just absolutely gorgeous about reducing it to two because he has got a way in his omniscience and his omnipresence of being able to pull you out all by yourself and come to pursue you. This is what we think. We're just gonna blend in here. He doesn't even know I'm in this room. Some of you feel like God has not had a thought toward you in years and you do not know why he has forgotten you. And I want you to know he has drawn you here for a date this weekend and you're right here at all times. We're gonna praise with the congregation, we're gonna be so happy to be part of the congregation but this is about a coming together between you and Jesus.
This is a you and Jesus kind of Psalm and for the most part, except for two little verses in the entire Psalm, this Psalm has room enough for the two of you, just the two of you. The name of our event is "Taking Turns". Everybody say, "Taking Turns". Everything we're talking about is God turning blank into blank. We've all come here to take a turn and it can come in all sorts of ways because we've got all sorts of needs. We've got all sorts of circumstances coming but we have come to take a turn and I need somebody to know in the house that it is your turn. It is your turn. Now I don't know what your home life looks like. You may be single and get to take a lot of your own turns. It gets to be your turn to turn on the TV, you get to watch what you want to. It's your turn to stay up as late as you want. Like, you get to just do that thing and get to be independent about it.
But there are some people in this room that have not had a turn since 1997. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Because you've got 1400 children and they may be in a classroom you teach, it may be that you're a principal, it may be that you are a very busy mom, you may be a stay-at-home mom, you may be working outside the home mom. There's all sorts of ways this can come down. But what happens is that we realize it has been so long since I've taken my turn, all of my people are all about, "It's my turn, it's my turn". Well, you know what? Look at verse 11: "You have turned for me my" blank into blank. I want you just to hold that thought for a moment and I want you to think about all the things that that could be because here's what I think. I think maybe there are some of you in this room that think, no, you would turn it for her and you would turn all sorts of things for him, I've seen you do it. But I don't think you'll turn it for me. No, you have turned for me.
Are you aware that Jesus wants to come in the house by the power of his Word, through his Holy Spirit, and turn something just for you? Anybody getting that with me? Just for you. Not for 7300, but for you. Could you get that? For me. It's a beautiful, beautiful concept because you see it over and over in the Scripture that God loves to turn things. He does it continually. The Hebrew word in the transliteration is haphak. It's a word that means to turn around. It means to change. It can mean to throw down. It can mean to overturn. But it always means to cause some kind of a transformation. In your Old Testament, and by that I mean from Genesis all the way to the end of Malachi, there are 118 different times that some form of this word that translates "turn" right here is used in the Old Testament. Turn. All sorts of contexts. This same word, this root word and whatever form it might be in in that particular sentence, that is used when it says that God turned the sea into dry land so that the children of Israel could cross over like they were going over a road and a desert right in the middle of the sea. It also is used for the time that the Lord turned a strong west wind that drove the locusts into a sea and away from the people.
There's another time in Exodus 7, verse 15, that it tells us that God turned the rod of Moses into a serpent so that he could show his glory to the Pharaoh. I love this one. Psalm 114, verse 8, says that "God is the one who turns the rock into a pool of water," and literally for the Old Testament Israelites in the wilderness, they awakened to manna in the morning on the ground. He would bring in quail in the evening and when they thirsted, he would give them water from a rock. I want someone to understand that you have a God who could bring water gushing from a rock. Now, if you find a god that can do more than that you probably need to go on with him because I don't know what on earth could ever make us the kind of promise that nothing is too difficult for him, nothing is impossible for him, that he can gush water from a solid stone.
I love this one too: Deuteronomy 23:5. Same root word in the Hebrew. He turned the curse of Balaam into a blessing for the children of Israel. This is a God who can even turn a curse into a blessing. Could anybody use a turn, a turn of circumstances, a turn in your own heart, a turn in your path, a turn from a very difficult season? Listen, if God can turn a curse into a blessing and gush water from a rock, I think that he can handle the kind of turn that your heart is yearning for. I gotta tell you something. I just want you to write this address down somewhere in your notes and look at it later because I just love it. It's another place that the word "turn" is, that that same root word in Hebrew is translated there for turn. And it's in Hosea 7:8. Hosea 7:8. It's the most interesting thing. It's talking about Ephraim and I'm just gonna say for now without getting into a lot of detail, it's a word that he's using to call his own children, the Israelites. "Ephraim has become a cake not turned".
Anybody in the house make pancakes this morning? Because this is what it's talking about. It's talking about something on a hot stone or a hot griddle. It's talking about a cake that has been poured on it, what we would think of as batter, and it would have been for them some kind of flatbread put on that heat like a griddle and then it would be burned on one side but it's not done on the other. And I wonder if maybe the purpose for some of us in this room, if you're going, like, "I can't think of where I need to turn," sometimes we just need flopping over. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Sometimes we just, like, need God to take the spatula 'cause he's going, "The thing of it is you're, like, burning on the one side and you're still dough on the other side". Because that can happen to us in the faith.
One of my very favorite verses that I learned out of 1 and 2 Thessalonians is when the apostle Paul was talking about having ministered to the Thessalonians and he said that he hoped so much to be able to return to them so that he could finish what was lacking in their faith. And I love the verse because God is forever doing that with us, that we are a work in progress at all times. And so there's always something that in our growth he's going, "Now this is what I wanna work on and now this is, I wanna finish up a little work over here. I wanna start this one over here. I wanna continue working on you to make you whole and to make you complete and to make you lacking nothing. And so this is what I'm gonna zero in on right now". And it may be that you've really been focused on one thing for a really long time and it's time for God to flip the pancake 'cause it's really getting burned on the one side. Because in the body of Christ, I'm talking about in the extremes, in the extremes, we have a lot of middle ground and I praise God for that.
A lot of people that believe in the power of the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. But in our most extreme camps in Christianity we have the people that are just like fully into the Holy Spirit, the people that are fully into the Word of God, and I mean, like, they're a pancake burning on one side and somebody needs to get a spatula and flip 'em over. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Because it's spirit and truth, spirit and truth, spirit and truth. Somebody say, "Spirit and truth". So for, like, "I'm all into the Holy Spirit". Are you into the Scriptures? If not, let's let him take the spatula and flop the pancake over to the other side. Not giving up the Scriptures for one second but inviting the Holy Spirit to work through the Scriptures, to work through your person, to quicken your gifting, to thicken the anointing on your life.
The same is true in the opposite extreme when we're just all done on one side and not the other. God, come, take the spatula. Flip us to the other side, then we'll be well done. Anybody get that? Well done on both sides. What turn does it need to be? Anybody in the house tonight done the Esther series, "It's Tough Being a Woman"? Oh, let me tell you something, we had the best time in that series. And I wanted to tell you that if you remember it, there is this portion in chapter 9 of Esther in verse 1 and in verse 22. Let me give you a little background on the story where the wicked Haman has set up and manipulated the king to see the Jews that are living among them that are captive to the Persian empire. He talks the king into believing that they are his enemy and that they would revolt against him, and so he sets them up all to be slaughtered, literally annihilated, exterminated as an entire race of people on a particular day.
Only on that day, the tables get turned and there's what is called a reversal of fortunes. They thought doom was coming on them and death and what he did instead was picked them up and brought them to life and began to set them free. Now, we're really gonna be talking about turning our mourning and if anybody's just listening and not been able to see the Scriptures, it's not M-O-R-N-I-N-G but mourning as in grieving, M-O-U-R-N-I-N-G. Our mourning into dancing. Dance, this is the way we're gonna define it. Two little words: manifested joy. To us, what this is going to mean is that dance, when he's saying, "I'm gonna turn your mourning into dancing," bringing us to a place where you and I know what it's like for joy to be manifested in us, for it to make it to our fingertips, make it to our mouths, make it to the tips of our toes. And if that means occasionally lowering the blinds in the house so that you don't worry the neighbors and turning the music up, so be it.
So be it. I mean, there's just every now and then, just every now and then in the car when I've got some really great music going, it is everything I can do not to open up the sunroof and to, like, stick my hand straight up. But you know, you'll stop traffic that way. Manifested joy. What is the definition of dance? Somebody tell me. I mean, when was the last time you, like, manifested joy? And this word that translates "dancing" right here, it's a wonderful, wonderful word. It is an activity of a physical expression of joy. I notice that one definition said that it was rhythmic and I thought to myself, you know, I just wanna make sure that you know, you don't even have to have a speck of rhythm to dance before the Lord, but to learn how to manifest some joy. Because listen, you've got no more powerful testimony out there in the lost world than your joy.
You take your joy with you to work, I promise you you will begin attracting people who are going to ask you what the reason is for the hope that is in you. They cannot help it. This is such a joyless world, so many miserable people in this world, all it will take, you don't have to be enormously gifted although you are if you are in Christ. You don't have to be powerfully used in this part of your city or in this particular area of working against injustice or working for the, listen, all you have to do is have an outbreak of joy that begins to go with you where you go and people will begin to ask you what is the reason for the hope that is in you. It will make you stick out so blatantly, you will be so fluorescent in this miserable world we live in of so much poor news that you will be astounded.
Y'all not gonna believe this but my husband can dance like nobody's business. I do not know any other way to put it to you but that when we were in college, we went to Texas State University there in the hill country of Texas, and we met our, it was my junior year, yes, beginning of my junior year and he was just one year older than me when we met. And I thought he was cute. I had seen him a lot of times. But we were at our first mixer together and that's when a sorority and a fraternity, I mean, it's pathetic because it is so cliché that this is what we were doing. But we were at this party together and I was just, like, watching this guy and he was just, like, the king of the dance floor. And you've gotta know that when we were in college, this was the birth of disco. I mean, y'all, we had the mirrors, the ball, and it was just going round and round with the lights and, I mean, whatever you're picturing, it was us.
And my husband in his cowboy boots, John Travolta right there on the dance floor. I mean, he could flip around like, I mean, I was just like... and I mean, I was very impressed but I would not act impressed. If he looked over in my direction, I would roll my eyes every single time. I would not even dream of getting out there with, so I could sort of tell because I would look up and I could see that he was kind of looking my direction and so I would just, like, roll my eyes and look away. But he finally came up to me and he looks at me like this and he says, you could tell that he's a little bit shy except on the dance floor somehow. And he says to me, "Do you want a margarita"? I said, "No, no". And so I said to him, and this was, just like, he had no place to fit it.
Now, don't get anything on you because I've done a whole lot worse than drink, a whole lot worse. But I am just telling you that what I lacked in sanctification in those days, I made up for in legalism. I mean, you cannot even know. My entire believing life was about what I did not do and I was proud of it. Anybody get what I'm talking about? I mean, it was, "Thou shalt not". My entire religious life was just literally driven by "Thou shalt not". And so I said, "I do not drink". And I would just wish, I wish I had a video tape of the way my face would have looked when I said it. But as he started to walk off I said to him, I don't know what overcame me, but I said back to him, "But I do dance".
And that man flipped around on a dime. And we have been dancing together for 39 years. Thirty-nine years of so many ups and downs, so many valleys and so many dark places and so many wonderful places. A dance partner has come for you this weekend and, if you want to, you really can dance with a star who has been wooing you, chasing in behind you. There are some people in this room that you think, "No one has desired me in 20 years," and I am here begging to differ, that you have a Savior who has been pursuing you all of your life. And it is time to slow down and let him catch you because there's nothing on this planet like taking a turn on the dance floor with the star of the universe. Nothing like it. Nothing like it.
So, this is what drives us throughout our time together. This title, "How To Take Turns". I'm gonna be giving you six steps that God has really placed on my heart, six things we're gonna take down, some a little longer sentences, some a little shorter sentences, six steps to teach us how to take turns. You're still open wide to Psalm 30 because the first one is this, "Know to your core God alone is the turner". The kind of turn you and I are talking about taking, God alone can do for us. God wants to do something for you that nobody else on the planet can do, and we kept looking for all of them to do it. And he's going like, "You've got the God of the universe here. Do you realize that I said, 'Let there be light,' and there was? And there still is because I've never told it any differently".
Hebrews 1, verse 3 says that God still sustains everything by the power of his Word. In other words, because he said, "Let there be light," and he hasn't said let there not be any, there still is because he sustains it by his Word. That's your God, that's your God. He is the one who wants to take you on your turn, take me on my turn, but we gotta know to the core of our being that God alone is the turner. Now, here's the thing, some of us in this room are afraid that he's going to turn on us, anybody? "Oh, yeah, I'm afraid he's a turner, all right, I'm afraid he's gonna turn on me". For one thing, like, you've not gotten past that somewhere in that Psalm 30, I read about the anger of God and you're still stuck on that. You're still staring at it 'cause you're new to the Word of God and you're going, "What does that mean in verse 5, 'For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a life time.' What does that mean? What does that mean"?
It's an interesting word that is translated anger there in the Hebrew. It actually is a word that means, in the root form of it, nose or nostrils. It means to breathe really heavy through your nose. You know, if you're a mom and you have ever sat next to your kids in church, you have done exactly this thing where you start breathing like really heavy, and it really makes a lot of noise up in there. That's what it's talking about, where it just begins. Now, I'm not talking about like a bull, you know, like a bull snorts like that in all a white cloud on the cartoons. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm just talking about where you take a deep breath and like you blow out of your nose, and there's like that sound of "Honestly, I'm about to snatch you bald-headed," that kind of thing, that kind of thing.
Here's what we know from the Word of God, God is not moody. Somebody needs to know that. God is not temperamental. He's patient. He's longsuffering. He is for us. The Word of God, he tells us in his own self disclosure in Exodus chapter 34 when he's disclosing who he is, "I am the Lord the Lord". He tells us that he's compassionate, that he's gracious, that he forgives sins, and that he is slow to anger. He's hard to make mad. Now, here's the beauty of being this side of the cross is that we get to have the benefit of having come after all of that anger towards sin was pointed toward the cross of Christ. So, this side of it, this is why sometimes you may see, I see this tweeted. I see this said on, often on different kinds of websites. I see it in books, and I get it in every way where it says, "God is not mad at you".
Somebody in this house needs to receive that, that I do want to say at the same time because every bit of the wrath, all of it, all of it on the cross. Every bit of it has been paid for on the cross. We have a covenant of peace with him. But I do want to say to you that it's never been that anger could not take place in the same heart that was full of love. Does anybody get that with me? You know that because you've gotten aggravated at your children. So we don't have to deal with the anger, but I do want to say to you because we need to know it sometimes, that does not mean that God cannot be displeased with us this side of the cross. And the reason why that's important to know is because sometimes we're wondering what the hangup is. Well, every once in a while it's because he's going, "Really, seriously"? Case in point, I'mma give you an example right here.
Okay, several years ago, I was traveling on a Thursday, Comfort event, a day in advance I'm in the event from Friday through Saturday, and then I fly home on Saturday night. Well, God just put something on me for a number of years that if you do some kind of ministry, it'll be the same for you. You have your own thing, don't put mine on you and I'll not put yours on mine. But for me, there's just kind of the the detachment from a lot of worldly things. In other words, that television doesn't go on in the hotel room. Once the event starts, I don't, like, eating out, like I'm not gonna go out to eat tonight. I won't go out to eat. It's not because I can't eat, it's just because I just don't do all of those things. It's just like, this is the bare bones of all that, bare bones, and then I give complete way to what we're doing here this particular weekend. And so, it's long since been that I just did not do any shopping.
Anybody get what I'm saying? Well, okay, but it was a Thursday, and I mean, it wasn't the day because I always think to myself, you know, 24 hours in advance, sanctify yourself today so that he can do wonders among you tomorrow. I love that portion out of the book of Joshua. And so, so you know, I wouldn't ever do anything like that where I bought anything frivolous, or did any kind of shopping, but there was this perfect top in Houston at this little shop. You know, now the big airports it's like a whole mall. And I mean, it was just like this, y'all, it was like a vision down, I was like... I thought, this would be the perfect speaking top. And so I thought, now normally I don't do this, but I began reasoning with myself like this, "Well now, did I just decide not to do that, or did God put that on me? I don't want to be legalistic. I've broken free from legalism, don't want any of that. Maybe that I just put that on myself".
So, here's what's gonna happen, I'm gonna go in there. I looked at the price of it, a little bit pricey but I thought, you know, I could wear it over and over and over again. Think how often I'll wear that doing the Lord's work. And so, here's the deal that I made with myself. If my credit card does not go through, I'll know the Lord did not want me to do it. I thought, this is easy, all he has, I'll hand them the credit card, they can put it through. If it gets declined or it won't work, then I'm gonna know the Lord doesn't want me to have the top. Well clearly, the Lord wanted me to have the top. I mean, through it went, I signed it, I walked off. I thought this is fabulous because I'd already counted up my 24 hours. I thought, in my 24 hours, I'm not gonna be speaking yet. And I, well, y'all, the conviction of the Holy Spirit began to fall on me, and I don't mean a little bit, I mean it fell on me, I mean pressed on me, I mean made me miserable.
And some of you are going, "No, that was just legalism". No, this was the Holy Spirit, and he was none too pleased. I mean, and I was just like, and he just, I thought, I'm imagining this. I'm absolutely imagining this. Only when I got to my room and I began to really study and I started really praying and pressing in 'cause this takes a ton of prayer, a ton of believing God to come and pour out his Spirit, and I've gotta have him. Nothing, nothing. I mean, it was like the ceiling was granite. I could not sense, I mean, my mind was confounded in my studies. I could not sense any presence. I could not sense any anointing, nothing. And you know what, it aggravated me to no end 'cause I said, "Lord, you're making a big deal out of this. This is not a big deal. It's not a big deal. It's a top. It didn't put, I'm not in debt over it so it's a top. It's no big deal". And I kept feeling like the Holy Spirit was going in my heart, "Repent". I'm going like, "For a top? It's a top for crying out loud. I didn't meet an unsavory person for lunch, I bought a top"! I just was resistant. No, I'm not doing it. I'm not doing. I'm not going to, nothing, nothing, nothing. I'm about to go in front of thousands of people, nothing.
Now, I don't mean I don't have my notes. My notes are completely intact. Listen to me, listen to me, there are some pastors and some teachers in this room that know exactly what I'm about to say to you. If we just come in with our notes, nothing happens, nothing. It's not our notes. It's not the words that come out of our mouth. If anything happens this weekend of value, it will be because the Holy Spirit brought it and brought life to the words. That's the only way it happens. No, I had all my points. I had pages and pages of notes. There was no life of the Holy Spirit on them. Can anybody understand what I'm talking about? And I'm fit to be tied, but I'm not about to repent because it's silly. It's a top. It is a stinkin' top, and I'm gonna wear it for you, Lord. I'mma teach the Scriptures in it! Well, I get all the way, I met with my team, nothing. I got nothing going. I got nothing going. I'm trying to use the spiritual words inside, I got nothing going. I got nothing going.
Okay, so we are out in praise and worship, I still got nothing going. I am watching that clock. I am nine minutes, nine minutes from going up to teach, nine minutes. And I'm standing on that front row, I throw my hands on my hips like this and I go, "I repent". When I say the Holy Spirit dropped on me. Somebody can just write me a letter all they want to and go like, "That sounds like you're being mystical". That's not mystical, it's spiritual, it's biblical. Go look in the Word of God, go look in the Word of God. I am telling you that it was just, it jolted me. It was the most mind-blowing thing. To tell you how seldom it's happened like that, I'm telling you that, I can still tell you that story like it happened yesterday because that doesn't happen to me very often. I'm talking about we were at nothing. Of course, he was still in me, he had not left me, but I completely quenched the Spirit. I am telling you, the Holy Spirit dropped and he did not let us go all weekend long.
Well, I couldn't wait to talk to him when it was over. I was like, "Wow, what about that top"? I said, "What happened out there"? And so, I asked the Lord in the airplane, asked the Lord, "Does that mean I can never wear that top"? I mean, it went into all of this, all of this, but I've never forgotten it because you see, no, he wasn't angry. Was he pleased? No. He was like, "You know what, you got the rest of the week to shop. I asked you for 48 hours, 48 hours be sanctified before me and cut off from the world. Do you think you can handle it or is 48 hours too much for you"? He didn't say any of that out loud. Anybody know what I'm talking about? You need a work of God in the worst way; and for the life of you, you are gonna be stubborn and not repent. When the biggest work of your life is on the other side of two simple words, two words, two words. Two words that don't mean you are not loved. You are loved more than you can even begin to comprehend.
Two words that don't mean you're not accepted, of course you are, accepted in the Beloved, Ephesians chapter 1 says. But he says, "I'm gonna tell you something, you can either quench my Spirit, have the Spirit shrink back from you, or you can yield to me, and I will do through you what there is no natural explanation for". I want to say something to you, made one point together, note to your core, God alone is the turner. I want you to write down what I'm just calling to you the exquisite paradox, the exquisite paradox because to me, this is so beautiful, it's almost unbearable. The exquisite paradox: there is nothing He who cannot change cannot change. Our God cannot change and yet, you have nothing he cannot change. No one on the planet is beyond his transformation if they'll let him in. He is the immutable God, that is the theological term for it. It's not just a theological word, but you'll hear it in theology. That immutable, that "M-U-T" in the middle of immutable is a word from which we get mutation. It cannot have a mutation. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever and he who cannot change. There is nothing, including you and the hardest thing in your life, nothing he cannot change.
Number two, and this is where we end tonight, need a turn, need a turn. You want to know how to take a turn? Well, need one, need one. Even if it's just that it's what you want so badly that you need it. What is it you want from Jesus so badly? You want the work of Jesus, you want a fresh anointing on your life. Come, you want to come back to life again because you felt dead and detached and feeling like you're in destruction and darkness. All you have to do is need a turn. Did you hear it in Psalm 30? "I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O Lord, you have brought up by soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit". You are looking in the 30th Psalm is what I'll just throw out to you and call a theological, near-death experience.
I wonder if anybody in this room has ever been through anything you thought honestly would kill you, anybody, anybody, anybody? It could be all sorts of things, it could be financial disaster, a relational disaster, a health disaster, a church disaster, a family disaster of some kind. And you think, "I feel like I will not survive this". It's the most beautiful wording 'cause it says, "You lifted me up". There are only a couple of other times that this particular Hebrew word is used and it's in the E.S.V. I read it to you, "You have drawn me up". I had you guys repeat it after me. In fact, say it again, "You have drawn me up. You have drawn me up". It's used three other times in the Old Testament, this same Hebrew word and it is a word that means to be drawn up from a well. I want you to picture it with me, from a well. It is the picture of God reaching down into a well and pulling someone out of it, to be drawn out of a well like a bucket, like a bucket of water.
I want you to do something with me, and this is where we end tonight. I want you to turn with me to John chapter 4 and I want to show you something. John chapter 4, perhaps you are familiar with the story. It is the story of the Samaritan woman that Jesus meets at a well. and for some of you, this is you. Now, I want you to watch how, in this scene, he makes sure that he gets to be on a date with a woman who has no idea he has come pursuing her, one woman for divine gospel good.
I want to pick up with you and start reading at John chapter 4, verse 4, "Jesus had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. And it was about the sixth hour". That is right about noon. "A woman from Samaria came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, 'Give me a drink.' (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) And the Samaritan woman said to him, 'How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?'" In other words, "I got a double indemnity here. I am not all only a Samaritan, I am a woman. Why are you talking to me"? And Jesus answers her with the most spectacular few words. "'If you only knew, if you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, "Give me a drink," you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.' The woman said him, 'Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep.'"
They are certain, archaeologically and biblically, that they really do know where Jacob's well is, very, very deep, even today. And it says, "'Where do you get that living water?' she asks. 'Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.' Jesus said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.' And the woman said to him, 'Give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.'"
Now, this woman had come when no one else was there. That's the assumption of the passage because it was high noon and that would not be the time that they would go carrying these very heavy vessels right in the noon sun, and then fill them with water and head back to town. The town was about a half a mile from where this well was, that's where his disciples were, and she didn't want to make that trip again. Verse 16, "And het said her, 'Go call your husband, and come here.' And the woman said, 'I have no husband.' And Jesus said to her, 'You are right in saying, "I have no husband," for you've had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you've said is true.' And the woman said to him, 'Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.'"
And then she begins to do everything she can do to create a diversion, and he is still locked right in on her because it is a date, and it is not a blind date. She has been seen by the God of the universe who loves her and has chosen her. The well, you know what the beauty of it is? She thinks she is gonna drop down that bucket and pull him up some water, and he's there to drop down the bucket and pull up the woman. I want to say something to you tonight, we've all been there in one way or another. The thing about excess is it betrays emptiness.
Any time you and I have this drive for something that we cannot get enough of, it's betraying that inside of us is something so empty and we just keep trying to fill it, whether it's work, whether it is busyness, whether we just, like, can't quit watching something, whether it's drink, whether it's food, any excess, I mean, is just betraying the fact that something is so empty that we keep trying to fill. Among us this weekend is the one who is the living water. And you know the beautiful thing about water? Is it gets into every crack and crevice and under every locked door. Let him take you on a turn you will never forget. Here's the beauty of it, when he's the one taking you on the turn, it can only turn out well. He cannot turn you the wrong way or change you into something that does not have dignity.
Sitting down here on the front row and I was looking up to the very heights of this room to those of you all the way up at the top, and I want you to know, every one of you, every one, he has come for you. For you. Because, remember, we're here in the congregation, but that he's all about this. About this. We're on a date. We're on a date, and this is about what he's doing in you. And you gotta be willing to let him do something in you, that he may not be doing in those around you. Maybe they don't want him to do what he wants to do, but you decide that you do. That you do wanna take your turn. You do, because I'm gonna tell you something.
Now, I can't explain it to you, because you have to experience it for yourself but there is nothing you have going in all of life that is more important than what God foreordained you for before the foundation of the world, when he laid out the kingdom calendar, from beginning to end, and he sent you in this generation with your gifting, with your background, with your DNA, with everything that makes you you, he sent you in this generation, in your sphere of influence, with all the natural line that comes into you, and your spiritual heritage, because you were fitted for this time. And are you gonna tell me we're just gonna go, "You know, I'm gonna do my own thing. What I wanna do is I wanna believe in God, I want to believe in Jesus, and I want to go to church, but besides that, I'm just gonna do my own thing".
You could not possibly have a plan for yourself that can match his plan for you. You couldn't possibly. Your eyes have not seen, your ears have not heard, your mind has never conceived what he has planned for those who love him. But he reveals it through his Spirit, the Word of God says in 1 Corinthians 2:9-10. In other words, you're gonna have to get it from him. He says, "I know the plans I have for you," and I love that because I feel like there's an emphasis on the words "I know". In other words, I know, you don't know. I know, you don't know. I know, you don't know. I know, you don't know. And if you're going to know, you're going to come to me to get it. This is where you come to get it. I know it, and I unfold it. This is something I love about him.
And let me tell you something. God is creative. Very first thing we learn about God is that he's creative. "In the beginning, God created". Very first thing we learn about him, this God. And so in all of the uniqueness that he's called us to, you cannot begin to know how he will use what you have been through, how he will use where you have been. For some of us, it's our pain into our passion. I have a passion to see women who think that their past has a grip on them that will never let go and that they can never be free in Christ and never be greatly used of God. I have a passion to see women understand that there is nothing that can hold you in its grip when Jesus Christ comes to set you free. Nothing, absolutely, absolutely nothing. I have a passion for that, a passion that has come out of my pain. I've a passion for people that have lived with that kind of instability to know that he is your security. He is your security. Stable ground beneath your feet. He's turned my pain into my passion.
I literally studied the Word of God to the complete healing of my tormented mind. Does anybody know what I'm talking about? I mean, I have a very, very compulsive mind. I'm a compulsive thinker. Anybody else? My mind just goes like this constantly. I think and I rethink and I rethink again. Anybody? See, I wanna just throw out to you today, we're just accepting that how we have been is how we will always be. And the Holy Spirit has come to object to that, because he said, "You will have to quench me for that to be true. You are having to quench me if you're going to stay the same, because my job is to completely transform you". I wonder if anybody's up for that today, 'cause we're gonna make good use of our time today, I can tell you that, 'cause we're about to take a turn.
Now, I want you to glance back. You're turning with me to Psalm 30. Psalm 30. I want you to glance back at your notes, because I want you ready to say back to me what our first two points are. How many points are we building here? This is all about how to take a turn. How many points are we building? Six. We're taking, it's six steps to take a turn. This is what it's all about, based on Psalm 30, which is a you and I kind of Psalm, a you and me. In other words, this is about Jesus and you this weekend. So glad you came with a friend, so glad you came with a group, but it may be that you have to make the decision that you're gonna let him do something that maybe your friend doesn't want to let him do in her life. You gotta be okay with that. All of your life you are going to face that.
I just need to speak this over somebody, because let me tell you something, we have come to a time of pervasive global fear. We are so afraid because we know of more to be afraid of than we have ever been aware of in our entire lives. There is global pervasive viral fear. If you simply choose to be a courageous person, you will be different and somehow threatening, if you don't mind me saying so, to some of those in your immediate sphere of influence. You better deal with it. You better deal with it. You better be willing to be different. What use are you going to be, what use am I going to be if I'm not? Or are we just gonna be afraid with the rest of the world or we're going to be able to say, I don't know any more blatant way to put it, are we gonna be able to say, you know, "Somebody can kill this body, but they cannot take my soul. I know exactly where I'm going. To live is Christ, to die is gain. When I'm absent from the body, I'm present with the Lord".
You know, give me your best shot, but I know where I'm going, and I've got a kingdom waiting for me and I've got a king going, 'Enter in to your master's happiness. Well done, my good and faithful servant.' That's what I've got coming, so if you wanna send me there early, go right ahead". See, it's gonna take this. It's gonna take this. Somebody say, "It's gonna take this". We've got to get over our fear, and it won't be because there's not plenty to be afraid of. There is. But it's because we're gonna make a decision that in order to fulfill what we're supposed to be doing on the planet, we have got to have courage to do it. You don't have what it takes, the Holy Spirit does. The Holy Spirit alone does. Now, two points we've got coming into it. Number one, I'm gonna start the sentence. You finish it for me. Know to your core... Because the turn that you and I are wanting to take, nobody else can take us on. I've done all this, with all of them. I want my turn with you. I'm gonna tell you something. We're gonna take a turn. We're gonna take such a turn. It's gonna be so beautiful that you might call the turn we're going to take the sacred dance.
Number two is what? We're gonna need a turn. We wanna take a turn, then let's come to a point where we realize, "I really could use a turn". And then we gotta be willing to take the turn. That's the thing about us. He won't force his Word on any of us. I mean, we can either receive it and respond to it. I think it's the coolest thing, then, in the book of Acts it says that the Lord gave Lydia a heart to respond. Not just listen, respond. You get to respond, and you're gonna have to be courageous to respond whether anybody next to you responds or not. If you came on a church bus and nobody else on the bus responded, did you? Did you? Be willing to take the turn, 'cause here's what I just wanna throw out to you. We keep living life with our blinker on. We're just like driving down the freeway.
Have you ever been behind somebody and you're thinking, "Turn! For crying out loud, turn". Because I mean they've been driving with their blinker on for ten minutes. You know, if you're in Houston, I can tell you right now it's me. My girls tell me all the time, "Mother, turn your blinker off," because we just keep, like, we keep meaning to make the turn but we just keep doing the same thing. Think any of us that come from any kind of addiction or have a lot of alcoholism in our family, I've got so much alcoholism in my family, it just is the family thing. A lot of addiction, a lot of strongholds of addiction in the family. And so this saying is one of the things that you'll hear in the world of recovery that there's a word for doing the same thing the same way and expecting something different, and that is insanity.
We're just gonna do the same thing the same way, and we keep wondering why God won't do something different in our lives, because we're doing the same thing the same way. But we got our blinker on, we're planning to, we're planning to. At some point, like, I always think this is such a fun thing when a couple gets married and they're gonna wait for a good time to have a baby and they do. A lot of 'em do. But you know, it just didn't work that way for me. It's hard to come up with a good time. Has anybody noticed that besides me? When you finally go, "This is a good time". Well, somehow the good time doesn't seem to come. And it's the same way about a change. Same way about a turn. We keep planning to. I'm gonna get a little bit older, because you keep looking at somebody that you hope you'll be like but you don't wanna be like, she's like 45, and you don't wanna be like her until you're 44.
Anybody know what I'm talking about? But what if you showed what it was like to be 16 with the Spirit of God on you, taking a turn? Twenty-three, thirty-four? What if you show, I was stricken in some of the letters that I got before this event, how many 70-year-old women there are in this room. I don't believe they're here just to have an event. I hope not. I hope every one of them, that each one is ready to take her turn, that she's going, "I'm still here. I might as well take my turn. It's my turn. It's my turn. Don't anyone take from me my turn". Stay for a turn. Be willing to take the turn. I started thinking this morning what some of us need to break free from is just the bondage of sameness. You know, only Jesus is the same today, yesterday, and forever. You know, because he already was perfect. And you and I got, like, we got a long way to go and a lot to do and we're just, like, in this rut, just sameness, sameness. Because I got it comfortable and going.
I'm gonna tell you something. When we're living in the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and by that I mean just yielding to him day after day, pouring out self before him, confessing sin, confessing heartbreak and sorrow and bitterness and then fill me up. When we begin to live under the unction of the Holy Spirit, it will not be comfortable. It'll be good, it'll be adventurous, but the whole idea, he will bring us comfort, but let me tell you something. We got an adventure to live here, and we won't live it in our sameness. We won't. We won't. It'll never happen in our status quo. It just won't. It just won't. For some of us, it's not that we've been in a bad place. It's just that we've been in the same place for so long. And it's time to take a turn.
We're here for God to do something new. God to do something new. It is a new day, it is a new day. We are no longer yesterday's woman. This is today, and what God did in us last year was a beautiful thing, but he has more he wants to do. I don't care how old you are. If you're still drawing breath, there's something new he means to do. Take a turn. Get a new view. I wanna show you something. Turn with me to Ecclesiastes 3. Stay open to Psalm 30, because I'm about to read portions of it again, but I want you to go with me to Ecclesiastes chapter 3, a very, very, very familiar set of verses to many, even outside the faith. You're gonna go from Psalms toward the Gospels, several books, and you'll run into Ecclesiastes and open it up to 3.
Hold on just a second and let me remind you where we are in Psalm 30: "I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and you have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I have cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you have restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit". Now listen to the end of it: "You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever"! I want you to hear those words again, because what I'm praying, and no matter how God wants to fill in those two sentences or those two blanks, "You have turned for me my blank into blank," there'll be many, many, many ways he will fill those blanks in through the course of the year, but I pray for all of us because we live on this planet, we live on a flawed and broken planet, invaded by sin, it's literally in our soil, in the fiber of our nature, every single one of us will know sorrow.
So I'm praying for every one of us to know what it's like to have our mourning turned into dancing. With that in mind, look at Ecclesiastes 3, and I want you to see a verse because it's so important. Remember that verse 1 says: "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven". And it says then in verse 4: "A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance". Remember what the Psalmist said in Psalm 30: "You have turned for me my mourning", or my grieving, "into dancing". And then right here it says, keep in mind verse 4, "There is a time to weep, and then there's a time to laugh; there's a time to mourn, and a time to dance".
And I wanna just make this so clear to you, because here's the thing. There is a time to mourn, and if we are trying to just keep laughing and dancing in our time of mourning when it would be appropriate for us to mourn something, the loss of a relationship, the loss of a loved one, a tremendous and traumatic family change, something that has caused that which used to be and was so dear to us to no longer be. Can anybody step in that with me? There are a whole lot of things that make us mourn. The passing of something that was precious to us, whatever it may have been. A good friendship, someone like a sister to you and for some reason it just went belly-up, and you're grieved.
There's a time to mourn. But if we don't take the time to mourn, if we insist on laughing, I don't mean the respite of laughter, that's a beautiful thing, but I mean that we will not give way to our mourning before God and won't learn how to lament when we are mourning before God and we instead just keep trying to dance, we're just gonna keep trying to dance, we're just gonna do the dance. Some of us do this. We do this at church. We do this in all the places that we serve. We just keep, I mean, we ought to dance. We gotta dance. We gotta dance. We gotta dance, when actually, as a teacher, I could have demonstrated what it was like to actually mourn in a healthy way before God. When it's time for mourning, you really don't have to be doing all of this. It's not time for the soft shoe in your household.
Anybody getting this with me? Because what happens, then it becomes time to laugh, and you know what? Suddenly we're so depressed we cannot lift up our heads. Why? Because we were supposed to mourn when it was time to mourn but instead, no, we kept dancing. I know somebody's getting this with me. Can I see your hand? And so it gets time for laughter. Everybody else is happy, and we're sad because we never gave way when we were supposed to. You've got something worth grieving over? Grieve it. Grieve it. You had the loss of your health in a way that it's just like, I mean, there's no getting that back bar a miracle, which we're gonna pray for. We're gonna pray for it this very day. But usually that's not worthy to grieve over. You get to grieve. But what would happen if we learned how to grieve it out with Jesus?
I was just thinking of something, and I don't know what this will mean to somebody, but it means so much to me I'm getting chills on my arms just thinking about it. Because I thought, you know, I'm a romantic, and I do dearly love to dance. And I thought about that if I took the hand of Jesus to dance, that on that hand would be a scar right about at that wrist. I don't know what this means to anybody. Maybe this is just like too much Velveeta for you, but I don't mind a little cheese on my broccoli. I'm gonna be honest with you. I don't mind a little cheese dip on my tortilla chips. I just don't mind. I might wanna throw a little Ro-Tel into it, but I don't, I just don't mind a little cheese to go with it. And what began to occur to me in that picture as I just pictured what that would be like. I would just wanna dance with him. Just one dance. I don't know if he even does that kind of thing, but if he did I'd just be going, like, "I want my dance card. I want to dance with you like I've danced with my husband for all these years. I want to dance with you. You have been the love of my life since I was a child. Do you dance, Jesus? 'Cause if you do, I want to dance with you".
And I thought to myself, with that scarred hand, there's dancing with the star, but there is mourning with the scarred. All in the same hand. All in the same hand. Don't you think it's odd that he retained his scars? Why? Why? After he came back from the dead, why was he still scarred? I fully expect that we're going to get there on the other side of this life, and there he's gonna be in his immortal gorgeousness. I mean, the kind of beauty and the kind of glory and the kind of holiness and the kind of brightness that caused his beloved John to get a glimpse of him and fall as dead at his feet. But I fully expect him to still have those scars. This is something he would have us know as, "I get it, in every way. I get it". When his hand is upon you, Stephanie, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and the hand is scarred, and I love it, because even though he is complete perfection and all holiness, he bears the marks of the brokenness of planet earth, and he knows my brokenness and he knows my grief. He knows my dread, and he knows my pain.
And I don't know, maybe that's too cheesy for somebody here, but that works for me. That works for me, because I wanna learn how to lament with him. Do you feel like you can cry out to him, "Why"? Because, see, if you can't in your grief, no, no crying out if you're not asking it. But do you feel like you could bring anything to him, anything? How did this happen? Why? Listen, you may not get the answer until you see him face to face, and for much of it, you probably will not. But there is a health in getting to ask. There is a wholeness in being free before Jesus to go, "What happened here? What happened here"? Can you grieve with him, with him? Can you let him take you by his own scarred hand? Can you grieve? Can you grieve with him?
My father-in-law passed away just a little over a year ago, and by far, talk about the star. My father-in-law was the star of the family show. I don't know how to explain what he was like, just such a gentleman. He owned one of the biggest plumbing companies in all of Houston, Texas. And we used to laugh that he had truly, truly pulled up the pants of plumbers all over the world. Truly, he had. He had given dignity to them. He was so handsome that he looked like he could have been a movie star, and he was this like king of porcelain, the prince of the potty. Anybody know what I'm talking about?
And he was funny, and he was winsome, and he was a gentleman. He just like, he just was a lot of person. And we just all were constantly, if he was in the room, we were all just gaga over him. And so, in his passing, we had him laid out on the couch. We knew it was coming and almost all of us in the family were there, and the grandkids were there, and the kids were there. And they lived, they have lived next to Keith and I for years. And, of course, we were there with them. And so, he just, he wanted to be on the couch out in the den, so that's exactly where we left him and that is exactly where he was when he died. And we just not left his side. All of us had taken turns sitting with him, getting up, sitting with him. The next person, the next person, the next person, the next person, and we just knew it was just minutes.
And so, my part of the family, Keith, and I, and Amanda, and Melissa, decided it was time to go get our jammies on, and we just live like we're in our golf cart. We're just like live right down the road. We live out in the country together so we're like, "Okay, let's go get our pajamas on". Well, as soon as we got down there, we got a call from Keith's sister saying, "I don't think he's breathing". And I mean, by this time, we had grabbed on our pajamas, we got back on that golf cart. We flew back over that house and when we pulled up, we could hear wailing, wailing. I'm just gonna say something. It was not his wife, and it was not his daughter, although there were tears. It was the grandsons.
And when we came in the house with them, sure enough he'd gone home to be with the Lord. And he had waited until we had all backed up. It was he was gonna like, "Give me some space here. You're all giving me CPR. You don't mean to be, but you're breathing in my face. You're breathing in my face. I need you all to back up and let me go where I'm going". And when I tell you that we then came in with Amanda and Melissa, and that there was just hugging. I mean, there was just all this hugging and bawling, and just saw, I mean just unashamed because we had loved him so much. So what? So what if somebody sees you cry? So what? When was the last time you just had a holy fit? When was the last time you just like let it go? When was the last time you just let everybody else leave the house?
You know when you have a house full of kids like I had, I one time went and got in the car in the garage, shut the door and screaming my head off, just screamed my head off, and cried and cried and cried because it's just like, give me a space. The interesting thing is it tells us in Genesis 37:34 and 35 it says, "Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth around his waist," this is when he learned that Joseph was dead, and Joseph wasn't dead. He had been sold into slavery by his very own brothers, but please note this with me, "He put sackcloth around his waist, and he mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. 'No, he said, 'I will go down to Sheol'".
And Sheol to them in the Old Testament when they would use that word, it was the place of departed spirits. It's where they believe that they were, that they were held, they were to be with God, but it was just this holding place for them. They did not have our understanding, our same kind of understanding about where we are going. "'I will go down to my grave,' he was saying, 'mourning. And his father wept for him". Now this burlap is the closest thing we have to it. Now, here's how it would go. They sometimes like wrap themselves with it like a loincloth and just like don't even imagine how awful that would be. But they also would wrap it around their waist, but they were to put this next to their skin, then it was a way to feel as uncomfortable on the outside. It was a way to somehow validate what was going on in the inside that you would cease to be comfortable in your own skin, that it was a place of constant discomfort.
Is this meaning anything to anyone? And so, it would have been underneath my stuff right next to my skin. Now, I don't know about you, but I think that's one reason, I was reading somebody's work not too long ago that was talking about that as much pain as she'd been through, it just looked like there would be something that she could show somebody of a scar. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Some of you have been in a car wreck, you really can show us a scar. Others are going like, "Listen, you can't believe what I've been through, but I don't have a scar to show you, mine would be on my heart". Sackcloth, sackcloth, wrap it around them and they would wear it, and they would tear at their clothing. They would rip their garments. They would throw ashes on their head. They took on physical demonstrations, why? Do you remember what joy is? Do you remember what we call joy?
The definition of joy is manifesting or dancing. We defined dancing, our working definition of dancing, as manifesting joy. Well see, they believed, the Hebrew people, believed in manifesting what they were going through. And I'm gonna just suggest to you, it was healthy, it was healthy because they could like get it up and get it out. And not for Facebook, and not to blog about. I'm not asking you if you're blogging your grief, that can be helpful. I'm asking you, have you learned to lament your pain with the one who holds you with his own scarred hands? That's what I'm asking. There's mourning over loss, all kinds of losses. There's also mourning over the ravages and the repercussions of sin.
Listen to me, listen to me, listen to me, listen to me. The most I've ever grieved anything in my entire life was that I had grieved what I had done to my own life. This was a number of years ago, and I'mma tell ya, I still live by the scars of it. I truly do, I truly do. I just need to know if anybody knows what I'm talking about. Listen, the fact that I could not go back and do that again and have a different kind of outcome. Now, God restored me and I praise God for it. He has made use of it like few things in my entire life but I will still tell you, I mourned more over what I had done out of my own sin, and out of my own stupidity, and my own foolishness like nothing I've ever mourned otherwise and that's when Lamentations 5:15 through 17 comes in so perfectly.
Listen to these words. Listen to them. "The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning. The crown has fallen from our head". Anybody just feel like, "I don't know what happened to it"? But there's just nothing but ashes on this hand of mine. "The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned! For this our heart has become sick, and for these things our eyes are grim". I want you to turn for just a moment to Psalm 107. I want to show you something I find fascinating. Psalm 107, verses 33 and 35. Watch this, he is talking about God. "He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground". Stay with me there. Look at 35, "He turns a desert into pools of water, and parched land into springs of water".
Okay, hold up, hold up, hold up. I want you to notice that God can do both things. We can be in a time when we're living by what theologians will occasionally call practical atheism. In other words, we believe in God, we believe in Jesus, we go to church, but practically speaking in our day in and day out, we feel like we're the ones that are completely, we are our own providers. We are our own independent people. And it's just practical atheism. In other words, that's for spiritual. It's for Sundays. It's to have its own compartment, but practically speaking, I'm an atheist. I just like I take care of myself. I do this myself. I have my own fun. And what he's saying is, "Look, my job is to turn you to me. So, if you think you have formed for yourself a big old pool of water, I can dry that baby up".
Anybody getting that with me? Or say, for instance, like the psalmist back in Psalm 30, say, for instance, it's this, in other words, that God, by his favor, really did do all this for us, but we have become detached from the very one that did it and we're just, "I'm God's favorite. I'm God's favorite. I'm God's favorite". We're going on about our merry way and we don't even have any communion with him. and he's going like, "You know that pool water I gave you, I'm about to suck that thing dry. Gabriel, get the vacuum". Anybody? And suddenly, that big pool of water, that spring, is dry or it can be dry and he springs the water in it because he's got a job to do, and his job is to turn you and turn me toward him because in his favor is life.
God does not want us to be obedient to him to feed his ego. God feels fine about himself. God is not trying to get us to make him feel good about being God. He's saying, "You know what? I'd like to bless you and really show you my favor, and you're getting on my last nerve here. Because really, I know what I put you on the earth to do. What are you doing? What do you do? Why would you give this up"? Sackcloth, our crowns dropped from our heads. I want you turn with me now to Psalm 126. You're so close. But what does it look like? What does it look like to grieve with him like this? What does it look like? I want you to see this with me. What does it look like? I just love this. This whole psalm, Psalm 126 is all about having our fortunes restored.
Now, for you, and me, and the beauty of the New Covenant is it has absolutely nothing to do with physical prosperity, nothing, nothing. You and I, I mean he can prosper who he wants to financially. He can do whatever he chooses to do with your bank account, but that is not a promise that is made to us. For us, the prosperity gospel is the prosperity of the gospel. I need somebody to hear that. I'm gonna wait till I lock eyes with somebody. For us, you want to know the definition of the prosperity gospel? The prosperity of the actual gospel, that the gospel actually goes out, that it is lived out through love to those who have not been loved. It's lived out through care for the oppressed, and care for those who are going through injustice, that we live out the gospel of the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, that he prospers us in spirit.
That is our prosperity gospel. It is not about our car. It's prospering the gospel, prosper. I want everybody to say it, "Prospering the gospel". What is the prosperity gospel for us? Prospering the gospel. What is it? And how it prospers in us is when you and I are filled with the Holy Spirit, when our gifting is at full throttle usefulness, when we have been put forth to do what we cannot in our natural man do. That's what I'm talking about. And this is part of how it happens. Notice in Psalm 126 when it says in verse 4, "Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in Negeb"! Verse 5 and 6, "Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him".
I need somebody to listen, I need somebody listening 'cause this is how it happens. You want to know how it happens? Here we are grieving. They were grieving. See, when you're grieving, you don't have to hold back your tears. You don't have to. Say, say, you might say to me, "I'm not a crier. I'm kind of a screamer". Okay, shut the door and find a place to scream. Scream the thing out, do what you gotta do. Do what you gotta do. The grief, grief, and grief before him, and this is what we're told to do. He said, "If you will go out and you will sow the seed in your tears". Now picture this 'cause for us, Luke chapter 8, the seed is the Word of God, it's the Word of God.
So, you and I, we're gonna keep doing our Bible study. We're gonna stay in the Word of God. And here's what we do, instead of leaving it there on the page, we're gonna sow it, we're gonna sow it. So, here's what we're doing. Listen, we're going through such a time we can't even get up off of our knees. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Anybody have a knee season, a knee season where you feel like you can barely get up. Oh, make good use of it. You're down already, just humble yourself before God. Get your Bible wide open. Believe it, believe it. Dig up that soil right there and you're gonna put the seed of God's Word in that soil because you're gonna believe that it's, I promise, that he will bring forth sheaves of joy.
Did anybody see that it was a promise? It's a promise, if you will sow seed with your tears. Do you know what it's watered with? It's not watered from heaven. In this image of Psalm 126, those seeds are watered with your tears. Now here, listen, girls, when the sheaves come up, then we have joy. See, if we're gonna mourn with him, then we're gonna dance, amen? Then when it comes time to dance, we're actually gonna dance, we're just actually gonna dance. We're actually gonna dance. Now, I want you to write down 4 and 5 with me, and we're gonna do them right on top of one another. Begrudge absolutely no one else a turn.
Does anybody know what I'm talking about? Because there are some people that we know in our lives that we really don't want to get to take a turn. I mean, they took us on the worst turn of our lives. Anybody? I need to know if got a hand here. If anybody can relate with me. I mean, boy, did your life take a turn after he left you with three kids to raise by yourself and never paid a dime of child support. Boy, did your life take a turn. I mean, we could go on and on and on and on. What your mother may have done to you, what your employer who was your friend. But see, when we begin to begrudge somebody else their turn, we have misunderstood the favor of God.
In the Old Testament, the word "favor" is the sister to the New Testament word "grace". It's just out of the bounty of God because God is good and God is gracious. And I'm gonna tell you something, you know people who truly do realize they've been forgiven because they would not begrudge grace from anybody on the planet, including the people that hurt them. Begrudge no one the grace. Begrudge no one the turn. This is number five, realize Jesus took your worst turn, your very worst turn. Our turn was coming, that's the thing. Is that sin has to be paid for. There has to be a payment for it. The wages of sin is death. That is just, that's it. That is it. That is a theological truth. We cannot get away from that is the law of the universe, but someone came and took our worst turn.
Someone came in turn and resolved to go to Jerusalem exactly where he knew he would be tried, beaten, so disfigured that he was almost unrecognizable and would go to the cross and take our turn so that we would live everlasting life in him. Our whole thing's been how to take turns. And number six says this, testify to taking turns, testify to it. Look for open doors of opportunity when you get to tell somebody, when you get to tell somebody what God has done for you. I gotta show you something so wild. Would you just turn back? Do you have anything still in Ecclesiastes 3? I want to show you something that I just love. Look at verse 7, it says, "There is a time to tear, and a time to sew". Does everybody see that, a time to tear and a time to sew.
You want to hear something really, really interesting that goes with our topic about mourning this weekend? It's talking about exactly the same garment. When the ancient Hebrew people went through a time of grief, when their heart was broken about something, picture with me for a moment that this is not our representing our sackcloth, but just representing their cloak. They would literally, in their show of grief, they would tear their clothing, okay, tear it. And they would wear it torn because they were grief stricken, their hearts were broken, mourning. Would you believe that in that verse it's talking about the same exact garment when it comes time to heal and to be restored? That the person who then grieved, grieved with everything they've got, brought their lament and mourning to God, brought all their questions. I mean just like pounded the floor, cried your eyes out. Cry it out, cry it out, cry it out as much as you need to cry it out but when he begins to restore the heart, this is what they would do, same exact garment. They would then sew the garment back together.
Don't you think that's interesting? Why not just throw the old torn garment away? I mean, after all, it was torn and it reminds you of all of your grief. But no, that's not what they did. They took their torn garment, and then the very same one, they sewed up. So, from that point on when they wore it, they didn't have to act like nothing had ever happened to them because look right there. Their garment had had a tear in it, but it's been mended now. It's been mended now. Validation of that, had a difficult childhood, that I went through something terrible in my early 30s that nearly, nearly absolutely destroyed my life, something it just tore me to shreds, something that I did not think I would live through. I don't have to act like that never happened. I still bear the mark, but now I've got the stitches here.
Anybody think that's beautiful besides me? Because here's the thing, you know, I come from a background of profound instability, and molestation. Keith comes from a background of loss. He was in a fire with his brother when they were just little, bitty boys. And his brother lived for six days and passed away, and then he lost his sister some years later. His family's been through so much. And Keith's the most compassionate person I know, why? Because you see, he wasn't just whole, but he's been sewn up and God's working on healing him.
So, this is what this says to you. Man, if you had a teacher this weekend who has been torn up, I don't have any idea how many of these I have on me, but I will tell you this, when the music plays, my feet start moving. There's just something about it, just something about it. That word "Rapha", the Lord our healer, that word means to mend by stitching. My God has taken off my sackcloth and he has sown up my wounds. And if you don't mind, you better step aside 'cause I'm gonna dance, amen? I'm gonna dance.