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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Mark Batterson » Mark Batterson - Jesus: Exercise Your Authority

Mark Batterson - Jesus: Exercise Your Authority

Mark Batterson - Jesus, Exercise Your Authority
TOPICS: Authority

He could barely keep His eyes open, outta gas, exhausted. Sound asleep the second His head hit that pillow. In His dream, He was in a boat on the sea of Galilee. In His dream a storm started to toss that boat like a bathtub toy. So full of water, it started to sink. That's when he heard His friends screaming. That's when His friends woke Him up. That's when Jesus realized it was real. Everybody else is hitting the panic button, not Jesus. He doesn't grab a pail and start to bail the boat. He doesn't grab and oar and start to row to shore. No, He stands up in that boat, which took some balance beam balance, and He preaches one of the shortest sermons in the gospel's, three words, He rebukes the wind and the waves, peace, be still. And get this, it happens on command.

The second He says those words, the storm stops. It's episode five in our journey through Mark's Gospel. If you're in the house, warm welcome. Online, anywhere, everywhere, welcome. Put it in the chat, we would love to know where you are from. I want you to grab your Bible and meet me on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus in Mark 4 tell stories about seeds. Remember this? But what's unique is He tells these stories from a boat. Do you remember this? But the sentence structure is unique, that a literal translation from the Greek would read that He got in the boat and sat on the sea. Do you remember this from episode four? This little nuance would not be lost on that original audience. They knew that God and God alone sits on the sea. That God and God alone can split the sea. That God and God alone can calm the sea.

So I would suggest that Jesus didn't preach one sermon from that boat, He preached two. One with words and one with waves, one with the story and one with a storm. And I kinda like the second sermon better. So ready or not, here we go. Mark 4:35, "When evening came, Jesus said to His disciples, 'Let us go over to the other side.'" Change of pace plus change of place equals change of perspective. You're getting good at this. You've heard it a hundred times. Not uncommon for Jesus to withdraw to the wilderness. Not uncommon for Him to climb a mountain, just to get away from the crowds. Not uncommon for Him to cross the Sea of Galilee to get to the other side. And for the record, not a pond. Who's been there? You've been there online, let's hear it.

Sea of Galilee, 13 miles north to south, eight miles east to west, 200 feet deep in some places. And the sun is setting, which to me changes the equation, right? I mean, it's one thing to be in the middle of the Sea of Galilee in the middle of a storm. It's another thing to be in the middle of the Sea of Galilee in the middle of a storm in the middle of the night. Is that fair? Verse 37, "A furious storm of a hurricane proportions arose and the waves kept beating the boat". The Sea of Galilee is one of the lowest elevations on Earth. It's 700 feet below sea level and it's surrounded by mountains. Mount Tabor, Mount Hermon, 2,500 feet above sea level. That topography makes the sea of Galilee very susceptible to sudden storms, to violent storms. And that's what happens.

Verse 38, "Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat, head on a cushion". That is all the justification I need for nap time. Am I in the right room? If I ever ran for public office, one plank for sure, nationally mandated nap time. We would be happier, healthier, and nicer. Do you know a NASA study found that a 26 minute nap increases productivity 34%. Jesus napped, go thou and do likewise, we'll see you next week. No, we're gonna keep going. Verse 38, "The disciples woke Him up. 'Teacher, don't you care if we drown?'" Really? Like you've seen Him do unbelievable miracles. But you find yourself in a crisis and all of a sudden He doesn't care. And we do the same thing. We get passive aggressive with God. God, you could have kept this from happening. It's not your fault, but it is, but it isn't, but it is.

And listen, this has been going on since the Garden of Eden. We have been playing the blame game. Remember Adam, this is unbelievable. Saying to God, the woman you put here made me do it. Guys, doesn't work. 31 years, it's taught, no, it's not her fault, it's never her fault. I'm having a little bit of fun. I'm just having a little bit of fun now. Now I'm not gonna leave women, I'm not gonna leave you out of it, 'cause Eve, then the other classic, the devil made me do it. Maybe you made a bad choice. But Pastor Mark, it's not my fault. I didn't say it was your fault. But I would push right back and said that God has given you response ability with a hyphen in it, and it's the ability to choose your response in any and every circumstance, including a storm on the Sea of Galilee. I would submit that this storm is a microcosm on what's happening in culture right now. Everybody is blaming everybody else for everything.

Can I tell you this? The only way to win the blame game is to not play. I have two rules of life, I'm gonna put 'em on the screen, because these are guardrails and guidelines for me in the best of times in the worst of times. Here it is, when things go bad, don't play the victim. When things go good, don't play God. Jesus doesn't grab a pail and bail, doesn't grab an oar and row, I love this, He stands up in the boat like karate kid, and He crane kicks this storm. Can you tell I'm a child of the '80s? I feel like I had to stretch to do that. You should have enjoyed that more than you did. Verse 39, "Jesus got up, rebuked the wind said to the waves, 'Peace, be still.' Suddenly the wind stopped and it was completely calm".

Hold that thought. October 14th, 1947, a B-29 Bomber takes off from an airstrip in Southern California with an experimental aircraft attached to its belly, an aircraft called the Bell X-1. In the world of aviation it was believed by many aeronautical engineers that the speed of sound was an unbreakable barrier. But there was a pilot named Chuck Yeager who believed otherwise. When that plane reached 25,000 feet, the B-29 bomber dropped the Bell X-1, fired its engines, accelerated to 500, 600, 700 miles per hour. At 0.965 mach, the control panels just started going haywire. At 0.995 mach Chuck Yeager's vision was blurred, his stomach was in knots from the G-force. And just when it felt like the plane would implode, there was a sonic boom. Give me a sonic boom.

Now we're getting it, that's what I'm talking about. It was like the perfect storm became the perfect calm. At supersonic speeds, the air pressure that had been pounding the front of that plane shifted to the tail. Why? Because the plane, get this, was traveling faster than the sound waves it created. I think a lot of us are living, and loving, and leading at 0.965 mach, control panel's going haywire. Feels like our dream, our job, our emotions, our marriage could implode at any moment. I think a lot of us are living, and loving, and leading at 0.995 mach, our vision is blurred, I don't know where to go, I don't know what to do. Our stomach is in knots. Can I pray a bold prayer today? I'm believing for breakthrough, I'm believing for a sonic boom in your life.

Okay, here's the big idea today. If Jesus is in the boat all bets are off. There is a piece that passes understanding, His name is Jesus, and He is saying to someone today, peace, be still. Do not panic. Stand still, and you'll see the deliverance of the Lord. Be still and know that I am God. Would you invite Him into your boat today? Better yet, would you invite Him into your heart today? Jesus stops the storm in its tracks. The disciples have no category for what He just did. So they ask the obvious question, who is this? Who does this, right? Who rebukes the wind? Who commands the waves? The short answer is the one who made them. The only way I can interpret this is that the wind and waves who were created by the voice of God, let there be light, recognized the voice of their creator and had to submit to His authority.

And the perfect storm becomes the perfect calm. Three observations this week, if you're taking notes, number one, sometimes God delivers from, sometimes God delivers through. Now listen, we want God to deliver us instantaneously, right? So much easier that way when God delivers from, and I have no doubt that God can do it. But I also read scripture and I see that sometimes God delivers through the fiery furnace. Anybody been through one of those? That sometimes God delivers through the lions den. Anybody else, lions den? We're in DC, come on. Sometimes God delivers through the wilderness, sometimes God delivers through the trials and the tribulations. And I'll be honest, like, I probably want God to deliver from. But I think there are two distinct advantages when God delivers through.

And I want you to audit your life right now, 'cause I'll tell you this one, there is an intimacy that is cultivated through adversity that can't happen any other way. And that this is a guy who's been married 31 years. It's true in our human relationships and it's true in our relationship with God, what happens is you discover the God who will never leave you nor forsake you, am I in the right room? You discover a friend who sticks closer than a brother, you discover an ever present help in time of need, and you come out of that trial, okay, God's got this, and God's got me, and we're gonna keep going. Two, tough times teach us lessons that can't be learned any other way. There are so many things I would never want to go through again. But I wouldn't trade 'em for anything in the world. "Great faith", said Smith Wigglesworth, "Is born of great fights. Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests. Great triumphs can only come out of great trials".

I'll make it personal, when Laura got her first cancer diagnosis in 2017, she read a poem that posed a question, what have you come to teach me? When you find yourself in a crisis, this is hard to describe, and you're probably gonna go through those stages of grief, right, there's gonna be some denial and then at some point maybe some acceptance, but like it's not what you want. You would never write the script this way. I don't know how else to say this, but it is what it is, and I think what we learned is you have to forgive reality and you have to take a learning posture. When we got the second diagnosis, it was like a sucker punch. 'Cause Laura done everything right, by the book. I don't know how else to say this, we had to ask the question all over again, what have you come to teach us again? I don't wanna learn this lesson again. But we're gonna take a learning posture.

Now don't miss this. Okay, if you wanna discover your ministry to other people, please hear me, dial in right here, your ministry to other people will be in proximity to your pain. Because it's where you've been wounded, but God has healed you and delivered you through. And He redeems it by recycling it. And somehow, 'cause I would say this about Laura, I've seen a whole new ministry in her life. First 10 years she led worship, was on stage, and did what she did. 99% of her ministry happens behind the scenes. And I just, I love her for this, you know, making lunches for our friends experiencing homelessness, and right now is in nursery and preschool while watching our kids. But you know what she's done more than any, she's encouraged and coached other people who have gotten that diagnosis.

Listen, you've gotten a difficult diagnosis, you're walking through a divorce, you've checked into rehab, you're in a season of suffering. I say this with love and empathy, what have you come to teach me? Two, whatever you tolerate will eventually dominate. Can I let you in on a little secret? Give the enemy an inch, he'll take a mile. All he wants is a foothold, Ephesians 4, and he will turn it into a stronghold. Whatever you tolerate will eventually dominate. But oh, let's flip that coin, wherever you have victory, you have authority. You have a unique testimony, you have a unique anointing. I need a towel today. I'm like breaking a sweat preaching the word. Hmm.

Can I testify today? I wore this shirt seven years ago. Laura may have laughed at me when I put it on, 'cause it says Will. Not my name, but it does say Mountain Movers. It was a shirt that, I mean, it was like a little bit of a spoof. Like we shot a short film when we did that series, one of the people on the movers team wore this shirt, they gave it back at the end of shooting, and our creative team gave it to me. And I'm like, free shirt, I'll wear it. It was July 2nd, 2016, and I'll give you the short version today, We started this series, Mountains Move. And I just felt like we as a church needed to pray some bold prayers. And that meant as your pastor, I needed to pray a bold prayer. And I just felt this unction, and I went on record and said, I'm gonna pray a bold prayer that God would heal my asthma, again, it was my first memory, you add it up, I spent months in the ICU, I was code blue as a kid. There weren't 40 days and 40 years I didn't take multiple puffs of an inhaler, I slept with it under my pillow, I played basketball with it in my sock.

Do do you know, I'll even share this, sometimes when I'm asleep in my dreams, I have an asthma attack because it's so much part of my subliminal, subconscious narrative. And then I wake up and realize that the dream is not real. Hmm. God healed my lungs. I haven't touched an inhaler in 2,555 days, and I'll say this, the way you steward a miracles by believing God for bigger and better miracles. Now I wanna be really careful, you have to understand, there were hundreds of times that I prayed that prayer over 40 years, this stuff is way past my pay grade. I don't get to call the shots, I don't know when, or where, or how God might heal, I just know that He's able, and that there are moments that heaven invades earth.

And so what we do is pray with a humility that I'm not gonna play God here, but we also pray with authority. Level up church, I'm not even a gamer, level up. God has given us far more authority than what we know. Well, how much? Full authority of the King and His kingdom. If you are in Christ, you operate in the authority of what was accomplished at the cross and at the empty tomb. And I'm telling you, God is taken us to another place. I feel it, I sense it. There is so much momentum for miracles, House of Prayer, unbelievable what God is doing, it's how we write history before it happens. You better buckle your seatbelt. Because we're gonna see His kingdom come, His will be done in powerful ways.

Revelation 12:11 says that we overcome the enemy in two ways. Now, it's pretty important that we know this, if there are two ways to overcome the enemy, pretty important. One, by the blood of the lamb. And if you're new to this thing, that sounds so strange, right? But life is in the blood. And when Jesus celebrated that last supper with bread and cup, He said, "This bread is my body". And His body was broken for us on the cross. And He said, "This cup is my blood for the forgiveness of sins". You mean the cross to Christ, I will shed my blood for you. By the blood of the lamb and by the word of our testimony. Now jot this down, testimony is prophecy. If God did it before, He can do it again. If He did it for you, He can do it for me. Someone needs to hear your testimony. I'm gonna say it again, you have a unique testimony and someone needs to hear it.

Trust the prompting of the Holy Spirit, walking down the street, at the office, at the gym, there's gonna be a prompting this week. You don't have to get weird, you just have to be yourself, and tell your story. And someone needs to borrow your faith. Can you tell today, I'm putting my faith on loan today? There are moments where I need to borrow other people's faith. By the way, House of Prayer, thanks to the whole, unmeasured team, I mean, free food. But we were planning for, like, I had to stretch my faith to believe for 300. Can I just call out Jodi Otto who leads our hospitality team? 'Cause occasionally you need someone with more faith than you have. And 470 people showed up, what a night of prayer, and food, and praise. Someone needs to borrow your faith. And wherever you have victory, you have authority. Are are you tracking with me? This is so critical.

So the reason why I love to pray for healing is because I've experienced it. Hmm. I'm so off script. I'm like, this is turning into improv right now. I'm just gonna jump, last observation, we are so good at explaining our problems to God as if He doesn't understand. We are so good at reminding God of our problems as if He's forgotten. We are so good at telling God about our problems as if He doesn't care. I'm not saying you don't pray about your problems. Absolutely. We pray through our problems, but at some point, you gotta stop talking to God about the storm and start talking to the storm about God. You have to begin to declare the sovereignty of Christ. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". You have to declare the goodness of God. "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life". You have to declare the grace of God, "His grace is sufficient".

Begin to declare the favor of God. "If God is for me, who can be against me"? You have to declare the power of God. "Now unto Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine", how, "According to His power that's at work within us". We are a church that's gonna play offense. Jesus said, "I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it". Gates are defensive measures. We're called to play offense. We're called to exercise that authority that God has given us. I know, every prayer has to meet a twofold litmus test. Gotta be in the will of God and for the glory of God. If it's not, it's a non-starter. If it is, it's on like Donkey Kong. Let's go, game time hoop. That's for Bulls fans from the 1990s, '80s, '90s, where are we going next? Okay, little bit of teaching right here. Two kinds of power in the New Testament. Dunamis, which is translated power, but super power would be a better word.

And then exusia, which is translated power, but a better translation would be authority. As we journey through Mark's Gospel, have you noticed Jesus begins to assert His authority? Over what? Over everything. He asserts His authority over sin by forgiving it. He asserts His authority over sickness by healing it. He asserts His authority over powers and principalities, asserts His authority over wind and waves. Oh, and then in episode five, little girl who dies, asserts His authority over death and brings her back to life. But He doesn't just assert His authority, oh, can you believe it? He delegates it. To you and to me. Wait, what? Yes. How much of it? All of it. After coming down the mountain, what does Jesus do? When He first appoints his apostles? Gives them a company car, right? No, a company credit card. No, gives them something you can't buy or sell. I give you authority. Before He sends him out two by two, I give you my authority. That's all we have, church, but that's all we need. All we need is His authority.

Here's key: you have to exercise that authority with humility. In other words, authority is the ability to do what He did. but you have to do it the way He did it. In John 13, critical moment where Jesus realizes that the Father has put all things in my power. Do you remember this? This is a critical moment where it's almost like, right now, it's happening right now in person, online, some of you are beginning to come to terms with the authority that is yours in Christ. You're gonna have a holy confidence, you're gonna pray bolder prayers, you're gonna begin to operate at a different level, you're gonna level up because you have a revelation of God's authority. What does Jesus do when He gets this revelation? Washes feet. How much do you love Jesus? Like, I mean, people just, in this city, sometimes it's a power grab. Like I'm gonna one up you. Oh, okay, then I'm gonna one up you. Oh, we can play this game all day long and we try to one up. No, when you reach the place of full authority, now in humility, you can put a towel around your waist and just wash feet. That's who we are and what we do.

Can I have five more minutes? That was not a majority vote. That hurt my feelings. Can I have five more minutes? Oh man, don't ask that question again. I wanna flashback right here and I wanna reverse engineer our authority. Can you tell I'm dialed in today? The genealogy of our authority goes back to the Garden of Eden, the book of Genesis is our source code. Long before the great commission, there was what I would call the Genesis commission. God creates us in His image, imago dei, and God commissions us, missio dei. Genesis 1:28 is this original job description, "Be fruitful and multiply". We talked about that last week, 30, 60, 100 fold. Fruitfulness is faithfulness, faithfulness is fruitfulness. Then it says, "Fill the earth". We make this false assumption that Adam and Eve would've stayed in the garden had they not eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But it's a misreading of the text.

One of the reasons God created this planet was so that His image bearers could actually enjoy it and explore it. But wait for it, also steward it. We're caretakers of God's creation. So, big picture, the astronomer who charts the stars, the geneticist who maps the human genome, the oceanographer who protects the Barrier Reef, the ornithologist who studies rare bird species, the oncologist who seeks a cure for cancer, the physicist who tries to catch corks, all of them have one thing in common, whether they know it or not, they're fulfilling our original job description. Then it says, "Subdue". Now that is used and abused, and misunderstood.

So let me define it, it's the Hebrew word kabash. Sounds like a Batman fight word. Kapow, kabam, kabash. It's fun to say. You wanna say it? Say it, kabash. You're online, put it in the chat, it's fun to spell it too. But you have to Batman fight words, you have to exclamation point right after it, that's key, Robin. The word kabash means to conquer. Last time I checked, we are more than conquerors. Kabash, to conquer, means to bring something under control that was out of control. This is a picture of Genesis 1, the spirit is hovering over the chaos and brings order out of the chaos. Do you see where this is going? We are called to innovate, and renovate, and curate. We are called to cultivate. And we can do this in a thousand different ways. I think this is worth 20 seconds. When a farmer plants a field, he's kabashing the soil.

When a artist paints a picture, kabashing colors. When musicians write music, kabashing notes. When authors write books, we are kabashing 26 letters. When a barista pulls a shot, hallelujah, at Ebenezers, of course, kabash. When a dentist pulls wisdom teeth, kabash. When a lawyer files a brief, kabash. When a doctor does, kabash. When a staffer drafts legislation, kabash. It's something out of control is being brought into order out of chaos. News flash, just to push our boundaries a little bit, according to 1 Corinthians 6:3, you will someday judge angels. Wait, what? Is that not a little mind boggling, like I would be the first person, Lord, I think that's past my pay grade. But God has given us authority over powers and principalities. Maybe, just maybe, we are underestimating our authority in Christ's.

So what do I do with it? You exercise that authority with humility. Put a towel around your waist, wash feet, pray bold prayers, pronounce the promises of God, stand in the gap as a peacemaker, grace giver, tone setter, truth teller. Stand up in that boat, and this is it, we're all the way back to where we started. I bet at work this week, there's gonna be a storm. I bet there might be a few storms at home. Lauren and I used to, when the kids were little, had a little note card, choose your battles wisely. Because there's a lot of 'em, like every day, every week. There's gonna be a moment to assert that authority, and here it is, to stand up in the boat. You're the one to say, peace, be still in the boardroom, in the locker room, in the classroom, in the kitchen, right? Everywhere, we are the ones who are bringing peace, we are speaking shalom.

When you walk in the room, does the anxiety level go up or down? And I will close with this, scout's honor. Lauren and I have a wonderful counselor, talks a lot about ungoverned anxiety. It's this low grade anxiety that affects and infects everyone around us if we don't kabash it. If we don't bring the anxiety, you're gonna experience anxiety, There's no way not to, you're human. But you have to figure out how to manage it. So all of us have an energy. Negative energy, positive energy, some people just have this confident energy, and then some people have a nervous energy, you know what I'm talking about? And coworkers pick up on it, kids pick up on it, pets pick up on it, they pick up on nervous energy.

Jesus is the opposite energy. And I'm just, I'm trying to paint this picture of, in the very worst storm, there is a peace that passes understanding that can guard your heart, and your mind in Christ Jesus. That can keep us right here so that when everybody else hits the panic button, we stay calm and carry on. You're not gonna bat a thousand, don't throw in the towel when you mess up. You just go back to work and you allow God to continue to kabash. What does that have to do with exousia? I think they're equivalents almost, Hebrew, kabash, Greek, exousia. We aren't doing anybody any favors if we operate in any kind of authority that's less than what Christ accomplished on the cross and through His resurrection. So we're just gonna level up, operate with authority, with humility in Jesus name. Amen.
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