John Gray - How Bad Do You Want It?
It's so wonderful for us to gather in a corporate setting. And it's wonderful to worship together. But I also want you to be reminded of this real truth that though we are here together collectively, and we worship the God of the universe, he's also the God of you, and he has a miracle with you in mind, a blessing with you in mind. And I believe over the next three hours, God is going to speak to you "And like, what"? "This is my first time, is he for real 'cause I got to go".
Over the few moments that we have together, I want you to know that though we are here and corporate, God is very specific and individual. And I believe that God is going to meet you at and exceed the point of your need. So be encouraged in this moment that though is a big crowd, God is specific with your blessing. How many people are ready for God to do something that is catered to your needs. There's a story of a man that was in a crowd. And Jesus picked him out of the crowd, was a very interesting story, because, I have never seen this side of Jesus. And I wanna share it with you, is something very interesting to me, and I'll share with you the story, is in John 5, if you have your Bibles, I'm reading from the new King James version, John 5 starting at the first verse, and these are the words that are recorded.
After this there was a feast of the Jews. Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate, a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. How many people need a move of God this afternoon? For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water. Then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.
Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity 38 years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been in that condition a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be made well"? The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up. But while I am coming, another steps down before me". Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk". And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed and walked. Like to draw your emphasis to the sixth verse where Jesus engages this man with an infirmity of 38 years, with a very direct question.
Now let me help you to understand Jesus is all knowing, he is all seeing, he is not just a man, he is God. He is fully God and fully man, the hypostatic union, he is 200%. So when Jesus asks a question, it's not because he didn't know the answer. So in this sixth verse, Jesus sees a man stuck in a moment for 38 years and he says, "Do you want to be made well"? What I'd like to speak to you from the subject of for the few minutes I have is, how bad do you want it? How bad do you want it? I like 11 o'clock, y'all already, it's like, "Yes, I like that, yes". "Oh, Hercules".
How bad do you want it oh, Hercules, Hercules. It's interesting that Jesus was at the pool of Bethesda known, for the gathering of broken people, lame, blind, paralyzed, infirm. What's interesting is that, knowing the character of Jesus, expect him to be right there, amongst the lame, blind, paralyzed and the infirm. But the religious people found that kind of crowd unsettling. The religious leaders would kinda stay away from those kinds of people because they have deficiencies, they have defects. Surely, God has forgotten about them.
And isn't it strange that the nature of religion is to push away the very ones that Jesus would get close to? For the church, is not a place, a museum, for the perfect to come and congratulate one another on our spiritual elitism. In fact, we are walking in, but we have areas that are spiritually lame, spiritually broken, spiritually paralyzed. And if we are honest, even though we have on a nice outfit, and we put on a good front, many of us need a breakthrough on the inside that will free us once and for all. Is there anybody in here that says, "I need a touch from Jesus"?
This man was lame 38 years. He was sitting on a bed by the pool. And Jesus walks up and he asks him a very direct question. And the reason why the question is funny to me is because the picture that we often have of Jesus is a picture of this gentle sweet tender guy that's always kind and just loving, and just walks around with his long hair, and he's like, "Let us go to Jerusalem. Let us go to Judea. And Peter shall we go to Capernaum? What say you, Peter"? "Yes, Lord, I think we shall". "And would you like some tea and crumpets Peter"? "Yes, Lord. I'd love some, sir".
We get this picture of Jesus, he's so perfect he just floats. He didn't even walk. He just floats in the places and just pops through walls like, "I'm here". But this scripture, shows me a different side of Jesus' character. In fact, the different side of the nature of the father. Here, it's almost like Jesus was borderline frustrated. He comes up to the man and the Bible says Jesus knew that he had been like this for a long time. Which means probably over the course of Jesus ministry, he had seen this man in that same position, and nothing changed and this one day, Jesus just kinda got tired of it. He was like, "Hey! Do you wanna get well or what? Ugh".
Now that's in the NIV, that's the Negro International Version. You can purchase it in the bookstore, I wrote it, it's amazing. Yeah. Do you want to be made well just, oh, just sitting there? The Bible says Jesus saw him in the same position that he had been in, day in and day out. And I was laughing too, till I looked over the landscape of my life and realized that there are some things that have been sitting in my life in the same position, day in, day out, month in, month out, year in, year out, and aren't we all creatures of habit after all? How often do you sit in the same section of this church as big as it is, all these seats and let somebody be in your seat? Now here's 50.000 seats and you don't come in, you all excited, "Oh no she didn't, no she didn't. Oh, praise the Lord! She didn't took my seat. Ain't this something? Come on, we go on to the other side. This don't make no sense".
See, a pattern is a type or shadow of something that is meant to push you towards a particular truth. And a pattern can be amended or altered. You can fulfill it, you can pursue it or you can walk away from it. But if you get caught up in a cycle, no matter what you do, no matter how many songs you sing, no matter how many times you come in this building, no matter how many highs and lows, you end up back in the same place. And I don't know about you, but I'm actually tired of ending up in the same place that I started.
Now, I feel the Holy Spirit in here. There is a pattern to a church service, we get it. The pattern is, you come in, there's gonna be an opening song, we're gonna have our video, opening songs gonna be up, there's gonna be some people up here with some skinny jeans and tiny shirts, and they gonna be walking around, and they're gonna have guitars and... And there's three fast songs, then two slow songs, then we're gonna have prayer, and then, we're gonna have another fast song, we're gonna have offering, pastor Lisa's gonna come up here and encourage us with her shiny shirt and she gonna be killin 'em with the flat blouse bata boom, you better holla at your girl.
And then after that, is gonna come back up in his wool jacket in June in Houston it's 800 degrees, hello, whatever. You're famous you can do what you want but whatever. Peter lost 14 pounds singing that song 'cause he got on that wool jacket. He gon' get me. And then pastor Joel's gonna come and encourage us to speak a word of the Lord. He's gonna bless us. And then, about 27 minutes after he gets up, he's gonna tell you to bow your heads and close your eyes and that's when you tap your husband or your wife and your kids on the shoulder, "All right, get up get up get up. Go now go now. I'm not gonna be sitting in traffic all day. Everybody got their eyes closed. Get up get up, excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, excuse me. People getting saved. Oh, praise the Lord, welcome to the church. Excuse me, get up get up get up. Don't look at nobody, don't look don't look. Just keep walking, keep walking keep walking".
I done messed up your exit. You better sit here all day. Just don't be in traffic just so I hop out. Just with, a lucky, okay. Come on back Jesus. We understand the pattern. But a pattern submitted to religion becomes a cycle. Because you can come in here and sing the songs and hear the word and sit by the pool and never get free. You could come here for years, hear the word, hear the songs, and your marriage never change. Come here and be encouraged and be around other people and like-minded believers and still leave lonely. But God says, I want you to get free from cycles and Jesus is stopping by today to break the cycle and show you a new pattern.
Is there anybody ready for a new pattern, a fresh perspective, a fresh way? How bad do you want it? I say again, how bad do you want it? The implication of the question is staggering theologically. Do you want to be made well? The implication is, have you become so comfortable in your infirmity, that it's now normal? Have you become so comfortable in your dysfunction that you function in your dysfunction? Do you want to be made well? Are you so resigned to brokenness that you allow it to live in your home, to dwell in your future? Have you given up on your kids because the prayer has hasn't been answered yet? Have you given up on that dream just because it hasn't come to pass yet? Do you want to be made well?
The implication is, Jesus says, if you wanna be made well, you can actually do something about it. Just elbow somebody gently and be like, "Hey, do something". Somebody else just say, "Excuse me, you need to do something". Every now and then, you need to step out of the cycle and head towards the pattern, because the cycle of religion will have you watching everybody else get free while you stay by the pool. What does a man who's been infirm for 38 years think about? The day before he was infirm? He thinks about the day when he used to walk around. "Man, I remember, I used to run these streets. I was the man around here, I was that dude. I'd be in the club, I was in there. Now I'm just stuck. I can't move, I wasn't ready, help"!
38 years will mess with your mind. 38 years, you figure God is never gonna show up. 38 years, it's hard to celebrate other people getting free while you stuck one foot from your miracle. Isn't it hard to celebrate when somebody else get the answer to the prayer you pray. Just in your house, "Lord, I need a miracle. I'm believing you for a breakthrough, and I just need you to do a miracle. I'm grateful for what you did but I'm believing you for promotion on the job. In your name Jesus, amen". You get to work like, "Hey, Jim, you'll never believe it. Bob just called me in his office. I got the promotion. I didn't even apply. Oh, praise the Lord".
Oh man, that's nice for real. You don't do that Jesus. Any of my single saints, "You've been Lord Jesus, I've been serving you, I've been I've been living right, mostly, Lord. And I stayed at the clubs, I love you, I'm serving you. I just need somebody who will love me, for me. I need somebody that will understand my needs, who will hold me in the midnight hour, who will listen to me and share my dreams. I need somebody Jesus, I need you to bless me". Next day. You're home, "Girl, he proposed, he did it! Girl, congratulations. Hope it work out".
You know I want you to be a proud man. Imma be sick that day, I'm not even gonna be able to do. I'm so sick of them bridesmaid's dress, I'm not going to David's bridal, not another day, no. Bobby pins in my hair, I'm not doing it, no. God wants to see, can you celebrate somebody else before yours shows up? See I've learned that it's easy to worship at the beginning of a thing. You have expectation. And it's easy to praise at the end, you got your prayer answer. But if you want them a tour, you got to show me something about how you worship in the middle. God is about to blow your mind.
I prophetically believe and I felt this earlier, I feel the Holy Ghost. I believe some of us are 30 days or less away from prayers being answered that had been held up for years. I believe you are one push, one praise, one shout, one worship that will tip the scale in your favor. And I believe that this entire process was designed to develop you in your character so that when your answer comes, you won't change but you'll still have a heart of humility and a heart of service because the blessing won't be just about you, it'll be about the other people that are connected to you. I know you gon' be praised in 30 days from now, but can you praise him in the middle? Can you praise him before it shows up? Can you praise him while you're stuck? How would you praise if you were one praise away from a mirror? I'll give you four more seconds to give God.
See, the problem with the cycle, David, is that people assume because God didn't answer the prayer right away, he doesn't wanna answer the prayer. But that's not the case. You gotta check Matthew seven. The Bible says keep asking, seeking and knocking. Some of y'all need to not worry about what people think about you, or what they're going to say about you. Because when you come in here, something in you tells you, I need to be shouting a little louder, I need to be singing a little louder, and I don't even sing, but I feel like God wants me to give this as a sacrifice of thanks giving. It's kinda like praise on credit.
You know how you swipe your credit card, and you hope it goes through? Anybody ever swiped on faith? Swipe, transmitting. Processing each. Receiving, help me Jesus, help me, help me, help me, help me. Receiving. Approved. Glory, thank you! I tell you to swipe your praise card right now, knowing that the one on the other end is able to do. Exceed above all you can ask, seek or imagine all the way in the balcony to the front row. Everybody online and listening on Sirius XM 128, can you give God a praise on credit. The cycle is broken in your life. I prayed with an individual today who came up with tears in their eyes and they said, "God's blessed me, but an addiction came back".
Cycle, that's how the enemy messes with the cycles. Ah, but that's why Jesus came and interrupted the cycle. Ask the man, do you want to be made well? A man hit him with an excuse. "Well, see, what it is". Interesting story. "Every time I try to get in the water, somebody else by golly gee, they pop right there in the middle of that pool doing daddy doodle, and I'm still stuck". "I didn't ask you that. Do you wanna be what"? Do you people wanna be healed? I say, do you people wanna be healed? Gimme a shout, one two three! Get on up get on up get on up Jesus wasn't a prophetic James Brown. Do you want to be healed? And we give God excuses when all he wants is a yes. I want to be free.