Matt Hagee - What Do You Do When You're Bent Out of Shape
- Buy this sermon
- Contact us
"Don't get so bent out of shape". It's a phrase that we use whenever we're trying to encourage somebody not to lose it over something that they shouldn't lose it over. How many of you have things in life that cause you to lose it? And you say, "I'm not going to lose it". But then they do it and then you lose it? I mean, sometimes life's irritations can cause you to get bent out of shape. There's circumstances outside of your control, frustrating things, scenarios that you didn't plan for, and when the routine gets disrupted by the unseen, suddenly you get bent out of shape. And sometimes there's things in life that it's not outside of you, it's not big things, it's not little things, it's something down on the inside of you. It's in your spirit. And over time, it takes a hold of parts of your life that you wish it wouldn't but somehow it did. And then whenever it gets to its full maturity, suddenly you find yourself bent out of shape in a way you never thought you would be.
And this is where we find Jesus in the synagogue on the sabbath day. As he's teaching, a woman comes into the synagogue and she is bent out of shape. The Bible says that she's so bent over, Luke, the physician, describes her in the Greek language as being bent over double. The translation that you read, in Luke 13, says she's bent over and cannot lift up her head. In the Greek, when you read it, it says she's like this. And when it says she can't bend up her head, she can't even look straight in order to walk. Now, we might see her and wonder how on earth did she wind up this way. But Jesus tells us in Luke that the devil has bound her with a spirit of infirmity. So it's not an outside circumstance: it's an inside thing that has twisted her life in such a way that she can't function properly and she's bent out of shape.
Now, as I began to consider what it means to have a spirit of infirmity, I was asking the Lord to share with me how do you bring so many people into understanding what this spirit, mind and body thing does because, as human beings, we want to compartmentalize everything. We say, "Well, that's an emotion: that's not a fact. And that's a feeling: it has no reality". And we want everything to have its own nice, neat, little place. But the reality of it is, you are one being with spirit, mind and body. And it's all messed up in what you call a man. And this woman, whether she wanted to or not, for 18 years, she had something that was put into her life that caused her to turn out this way. Maybe it started with just something she was thinking about. But the more she thought about it, the more she worried about it. And the more she worried about it, the more it started to impact how she behaved.
Have you ever watched something on television as they describe symptoms and you say, "I got that"? And then you do something silly like you check Dr. Google and you look it up online? And then you go from "I think I have that" to "I know I have this". And before you even saw the commercial, you felt perfectly fine? This is spirit, mind and body. And the problem is that for all of the people who are hacking at the branches, very few of them get down to the root. And Jesus, in one sentence, he gets down to the root of the situation. He says, "This woman whom Satan has bound". Now, what's the root cause of this spirit of infirmity? Satan has bound, which means that what he said is a lie. She's been bound by 18 years by a lie. How do you know that, pastor Matt? Because Jesus said that Satan is a liar from the beginning, and everything he says is a lie.
Luke 13:10, it says, "And he was in the synagogue on the sabbath day". Sounds simple. But when you think about it, it's profound. These are the last few weeks that the Son of God, from heaven to earth, wearing a flesh suit, is going to be on the earth. He's on his way from Galilee to Jerusalem by way of Jericho. Six chapters from now, he's going to walk into the City of Jerusalem and they're going to be shouting "Hosanna"! And just a few days after that, they're going to be screaming, "Crucify him"! The weight of the world is going to be upon his shoulders, a crown of thorns upon his head, stripes upon his back, nails in his hands and his feet, for our sake so that we might be set free.
Now, you would think with all of these things going on in his life, with such an important mission to accomplish, with everything that he's about to face, you would think that if anybody had an excuse not to be at church, it would be Jesus. He'd tell his disciples, "Guys, there's just too many things happening in the next few days and weeks. I'm sorry. We're not going to the synagogue on sabbath: not this week". I mean, he'd be too busy to touch the sick, too busy to teach the principles of the kingdom, too busy to tell the truth to those who want to receive and those who need to listen. But here, the text is very clear. He was in the synagogue on the sabbath day. Hebrews says, "Looking unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith". That means he is our example, which means that what he did, we should do.
So, if he honored the sabbath day, if he remembered the commandment of the Lord, "Remember the sabbath and keep it holy," don't you think we should, too? He didn't go to the synagogue on the sabbath day because they wrote him a letter saying, "We're going to present you with a special plaque as being the gentle shepherd of the month". He went because he knew that this is where God wanted his children to be. He didn't look at it like it was a chore or an obligation: something that he needed to check off. He didn't consider the time that he invested in the Lord's house to be something that was out of the ordinary. Luke 4 says, "It was his custom".
In the first week of his life, on the eighth day, he's in the house of the Lord. At the 13th birthday, when his parents thought they lost him, where is he? He's in the house of the Lord. When he's 30 years old and he starts his ministry in Nazareth, do you know where he is? The Bible says, "It was his custom that he was in the synagogue on the sabbath day". Do the math. Thirty-three years times 52 Sabbaths, and he's been to church 1,716 times. How many times could he have come up with the excuse, I know what they're going to talk about, me? I've seen it all. I've been there. I've done that. I've been to church every day of my life. I love the way that he expressed it to Mary whenever she found him in the temple after she thought she lost him. If you've ever felt like a bad parent, allow that to relieve you. Mary lost the Son of God. She finds him and he says, "Don't you know that I must be about my father's business"?
Hebrews 13, says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. So I can tell you with great confidence, based upon what scripture says, right where Jesus is, right this very minute, and I can tell you exactly what he's doing. Right now, this very second, he's in this room. Why? Because he said, "Where two or three of you are gathered, I'm there in the midst". And if he was about his father's business, when he was in the temple on the Lord's day as a child, he's here today and he's still about his father's business. He's come to this sanctuary today to take the burden that you carried in here off of you. He's come into this sanctuary today to touch every life that's been bent out of shape and straighten it up. The pain of your past, he came to straighten that up. The needs that you face, he came to straighten that up. If you don't think he can, his name is Waymaker, Mountain Mover. He's the truth. He's the way. He's the life.
You're in the right place at the right time because if you're bent out of shape, Jesus Christ is here and he's going to straighten it out! There's two individuals in this story in Luke 13. Both of them get corrected. There's a woman who's bent over double. She gets corrected. Christ makes her straight. And there's a man who's so twisted in his thinking that he can't celebrate what God's doing because God didn't do it the way he wanted him to do it. Which one of those are you? The Bible says, in verse 11 of Luke 13, "Behold, a woman with a spirit of infirmity". The thing that I appreciate about this woman, once we understand the situation that she's in and the condition that she faces, she can't move like other people can move. Normal people get to walk into church and go, "Hi, how are you. Good to see you. Who was that guy? I don't know. But I..." Not this woman. Eighteen years and now she's bent over double.
Luke says she can't even lift up her head, see who's talking to her. She can't look forward to find out where she's going. She just kind of shuffles along because she doesn't move like other people move. And she can't see like other people see. When the preacher says, "Stand up," it's harder for her to get up and when he says, "Sit down," it takes longer for her to get down. I mean, there's at least a dozen reasons you can think of off the top of your head why she would be the type of person to say, "You know what, it's just harder than it needs to be for me to go to church. I'm going to sit this one out. I'm going to stay at home. I'm going to make sure that, you know, everything's ready whenever y'all get back. Just go on. Tell me how it goes". But in spite of how hard it is for her to move, in spite of everything she's going through, the Bible says that when the Lord is in the synagogue on the sabbath day, there's a woman who's had a spirit of infirmity for 18 years and she's there, too.
It took her longer to get there than it took the guy in front of her. And it took more work than the gal that was coming behind her. But as she was coming, she was thinking maybe today's the day. Maybe today's the day. I know I've been carrying this thing that I shouldn't be carrying for so long. But maybe if I can just get in the presence of the Lord, in his house, on his day, maybe today is the day that the Lord has made and I'm going to get to rejoice and be made glad in it. The message is this, child of God. It may hurt more than you want it to hurt, and it may take longer than you want it to take, and you may have to go through things you don't think you should go through. But whatever it is, don't stop making your way to Jesus because when you get there, it's going to be worth it.
Don't stop coming to church. Don't stop praying your prayer. Don't stop waiting on the Lord because when he touches you, he's going to straighten it out. He's going to set you free. When he touches you, everything that Satan did to you has to stop. The Bible says Satan had her bound for 18 years. But when Jesus touched her, immediately Satan had to let go. He couldn't hold her any longer because something more powerful, something greater, something stronger, the king of heaven and earth showed up and he's higher than the highest. And he's greater than the greatest. And his name is above every name. So, when Jesus touched her, hell had to step aside and say, she's not ours anymore. She's been free. Because whom the son sets free is free indeed! Give the Lord a handclap of praise!
This woman had suffered so long and nobody ever thought they'd see her smile again. But now, sorrow has been turned into dancing. And suddenly, she's met by the opposition. Just accept this reality: there will always be someone in opposition to what God is doing in your life. Why are they in opposition? Because they prefer you in this position. Why would they want you like that? Because as long as you're down there, they get to look down at you. And they walk through life telling themselves, "Well, at least I ain't like that guy". But the second God starts to straighten you out, suddenly they say, "Hey, I don't like this because now it means I've got to change". So, here's the ruler of the synagogue. And he gets involved in the conversation. He says, "This is not right"! He says, "You're doing work". He calls her getting straight work? Brother, it took work for her to get into the room.
Straightening up was the easy part. He said, "You touched her:" that's work. He said, "She stood up:" that's work. This should not be so. You ought to come on the other six days of the week. But this is the sabbath day and you don't need to work. And I hate to break your bubble but Jesus did not speak the king's English. He didn't look at the man and go, "Hypocrite, how dare thee"? People are always writing me letters. Why you get so animated and so excited when you preach? Because I'm talking about somebody who changed my eternity and it's not just a conversation for me. Jesus is enjoying the praise break that this woman is taking and he hears what the ruler of the synagogue is saying. And he goes, "Hypocrite"! He said, you're going to go home and you're going to untie your donkey, and you're going to untie your ox so that they don't drown and dehydrate today. You're going to take them to the water trough. And you want to say, "What I just did is work"?
The Bible says in 1 John that for this reason was the Son of Man made known that he would destroy the works of the devil. This woman, in her condition, she gave Christ exactly the opportunity that he came for, that he might set somebody free: that he might change somebody's life: that he might do something no one else could do. Jesus was saying to the ruler of the synagogue, this is what Sunday was for! Not for rules. Not for regulations. It was set aside so that men could see God work in their life! Jesus tells us, this daughter of Abraham that Satan has bound, I came to set her free. You're going to go home and set yours free. I came to my father's house to set mine free. He didn't say she belonged to a certain tribe. He didn't say she belonged to a certain household. He didn't say she belonged to a certain village. He said she's a daughter of who? Abraham.
Now, here's the thing about Abraham. Abraham didn't ask for a blessing. Abraham got a blessing. In Genesis 12:1 through 3, the Bible says that the Lord said to Abraham. Who started the conversation? Abraham didn't go out and say, God, would you bless me? The Lord called Abraham up, and he said, I'm going to bless you. And in being blessed, you will be a blessing. And everyone who blesses you, I'm going to bless. And everyone who curses you, I'm going to curse. And through you, all the nations of the world shall be blessed which means that the rest of Abraham's life, he didn't walk around going, God bless me, God bless me. He walked around, going, I'm blessed. I mean, you might not want me to be blessed but I'm blessed. It doesn't matter where I go and what I do, what I put my hands to: I'm blessed.
Thousands of years later, do you know what Abraham's descendants are doing right now? They're walking around in blessings. They have blessings in their business. They have blessings in their schools. They have blessings in their families. Throughout history and in every generation, you see this blessing. Why? Not because they asked for it: because God gave it. And what God was saying to this woman is you have accepted something that you were never intended to have. You're a daughter of Abraham. You don't belong to the devil. You belong to the God who made heaven and earth. Now, here's where we get to be the exception to the rule.
The Bible says, in Ephesians 2, that we were gentiles. That means we didn't belong to Abraham. We didn't get the opportunity to be blessed and for God's blessing to be upon us, and for God's provision to be that those that cursed us would be cursed or that, through our descendants, the rest of the world would be blessed. We were cut out of that deal because we didn't belong to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But there's this one statement in that covenant that makes an exception and you've got to follow God's hand to understand how the exception applies to you.
In Ephesians 2, it says that we were outside of the promises, outside of the covenants, without God and without hope. But remember, Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem. Jesus, the seed of Jesse, the son of David, the descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is getting ready to go to Calvary and he's going to do something at Calvary that nobody else on the earth could do. He's going to make an exception to the rule. He's going to reach out to everyone who is outside of the covenant. And in his riven side, wild branches are going to be grafted into the root of the tree so that whenever you and I stand in this sanctuary today, we are the spiritual descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, grafted into the covenant through Jesus Christ, our Savior, which means we don't have to sit here today and say, oh, God bless me.
We can stand here today and say, because I am his child, because he has made a way for me to be a part of the family, because he's grafted me in, I'm blessed. I'm blessed in the city and I'm blessed in the field. I'm blessed in everything that I put my hands to. When I sit down at my table, I'm blessed in my basket and I'm blessed in my bowl. When I put my hands upon my children, my children are blessed. And when I see my grandchildren, my children's children are blessed. Why? Because God put his hand on me and he brought me in. He said, wherever I sow, I'm going to get to reap. Whatever I need, he would supply. He said, when an army comes against me, he would defend me. He said, in the day of trouble, he would surround me. He said, whatever I ask for, I can receive. Whatever I seek, I would find. According to the rules, I'm cut off! But because of his grace, I'm grafted in! Give the Lord a shout of praise!
You can either argue your way out. Or you can simply walk your way in. There's two oughts in this message. The first ought comes from the rule keeper. You ought not to do that on this day. You imagine 18 years of living like this? And somebody says, why don't you wait till tomorrow? I'd say, if I could kick him, according to the rules, you'll always find a reason why today's not the day. But Jesus said, "This woman who's been bound, should she not be set free"? And I don't know what's got you bent out of shape today. But I promise you the same thing he said about her, he's saying about you. This child of mine who I've paid such a price to redeem, this precious life that I have given everything to and provided everything for, should they not be set free? The way she was set free is the way you're going to be set free.
Read the account. The Bible says that he called her to him. In some instances, he went to the person. But in this instance, he called her to him. Think of it. The last few feet. She's been through so much in 18 years, and he says, honey, you're just a few steps further. Just take a few more steps. I know you. You don't think anything's going to be different, but just take a few more steps. He was calling her to him. And the second she got in reach, he touched her. And the moment he touched her, immediately she's set free. I believe that there's those of you in this sanctuary that you know exactly what I mean when I say, "He's calling you to him". Through this message, you felt the Holy Spirit pulling you, saying to you, that's you. You know it's you. You know you're bent out of shape about this. You know you're bent out of shape about that. You know it started in your heart and it spread to your mind and now it's in your body. You know it started here and then it moved over there. And now, it's just got a hold of your whole family.
Whatever it is, you need to know that Jesus is calling you. And if you'll just take the last few steps and make it the last few feet, I believe that he's going to touch you. And I know that if and when you give him the opportunity to touch you, you will be set free. So, right where you are, I want you to stand to your feet as we close this service. Now, the way that this story ends, it says that whenever the church saw what Jesus was doing in the lives of that person who was being set free, they just began to give God glory. So, right where you are, church, would you just do a favor and lift your hands in the air and start to give God glory? Give him glory for the way that he set you free. Give him glory for the way that he's provided for your life. Give him glory for the things that he's done that no one else could do for you. Just take a moment and say:
God, I thank you because you've been so good to me. And I thank you that you're here to be good to these who have gathered in this sanctuary in your name. I thank you that you're a healer. I thank you that you're a provider. I thank you that you're a protector. I thank you that you are the God who knows all things, and can do all things, and can move mountains, and make a way where there seems to be no way. God, for all of these things and so much more, we give you glory.