Samuel Rodriguez - More Grounded
More grounded. We are breaking down the narrative of Acts chapter nine, the life of Saul, his encounter with Jesus. This encounter changed the world. There are encounters that literally transform the world. No exaggeration, this moment in history literally changed the world. How much did it change the world? Do me a favor and look around you right now. You wouldn't be here, arguably, in this auditorium if this moment would not have taken place. This is the beginning of the gospel reaching the gentiles. The "Gentile" is a fancy, biblical word for non-Jews. This is the moment. One man had an encounter with God all because God wanted more of him, more from him, to do more through him. More grounded.
Acts chapter nine: "Saul was uttering threats with every breath: he was eager to kill the Lord's followers. He went to the high priest. He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus". This guy was on route to Damascus. "Asking for the cooperation in the arrest of any of the followers of the way," capital 'W'. "He wanted to bring them, both men and women, back to Jerusalem in chains". Oh wow. "As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, 'Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me'"? My prayable declaration is that this will be a summer of more.
Somebody, say, "More". More of God's presence, more of God's power, more God ideas. How many of y'all need God to put an idea in your mind that'll change your life? How many believe God can give you ideas? Have you ever had a moment where you were just like... All of a sudden, bam! Where did that come from? Right? God ideas. More of God's, more of the father's love, more of the son's freedom, more of the Spirit's power, more Holy Spirit inspired creativity, ingenuity, innovation. More of God, more from God, more for God. There must be more. So, if you want more, then this Saul encounter provides the biblical hack that will change your life. I wanna review from last week real quick if you weren't here. More of God's demands, less of your way. Our opinions, our feelings, our plans, and desires must surrender to God's word, will, and way. God's plan for you is greater than your opinion regarding your own life.
Matthew 6:10: "Thine will be done". More of God ignites the light that makes all darkness fall. What does that mean? Remember last week? The light showed up, darkness fell. Hey, stop wasting your time in trying to get rid of the darkness. I'mma say that one more time. Stop wasting your time in trying to get rid of the darkness in your life or we waste a lot of time in trying to get darkness out of the people that surround, when we love people, we hate to see them bound by darkness. So many of us exert an incredible amount of energy trying to get the darkness out the one, no! Your job is not to get rid of the darkness, your job is to turn on the light. Because every single time you turn on the light, darkness has to flee.
John 1:5, in other words, turn Jesus on in your faith, in your family, in your finances, in your health, in your mind, and in your calling, and every vestige of darkness will fall. Number three: more of God requires grounded conversations. We found that out last week, he had a conversation with God when he fell. Some of the best conversations with heaven take place when you're going through hell. I'll repeat that. Some of the best conversations with God take place not when you're on your feet, but rather, when you are on your face. More of God requires you to make room for holy disruptions. Here it is. "He fell to the ground and heard a voice".
Now, just like with Saul, the Creator of the universe, the architect of life, the sustainer of eternal truth, the one that created you has a plan for you, and he will interrupt your now in order to secure your next. I wanna put this in perspective. This guy was on route to Damascus. He was on route to Damascus. He had acquaintance, it's the last minute, couldn't find anybody else, so I said, "Might as well go", could have gone to screen actors guild but couldn't find anyone there. Always wanted to be in movies and productions, and all that. So, this is called creativity, right? So he was on route to Damascus, or a treadmill, or Peloton, whatever it is. It was better in your head than it was in actual life. And he was on route when all of a sudden, Jesus shows up and interrupts his journey.
I have a question for you. Did Jesus ask him permission to show up? Did Jesus slide him a DM to show up? Anyone over 60, what I just said regarding sliding a DM alright, do you know department, DMV? Nothing to do with that. So, Jesus didn't ask permission. Jesus didn't go, "Hey! I'm gonna text you man, I'm gonna show up". Jesus just showed up. I'm here to tell you God doesn't need your permission to show up suddenly in your life or in the life of the people you love. The God that we serve has the power to show up with or without your permission, and he interrupted this man's journey. He inter, and it looked like this, ready? Spotlight. It looked like this. Bam! He shows up, the light shines, and he fell completely to the ground: he was grounded. The light shows up, spotlight, he was grounded. Interrupted. This is called a divine interruption, a holy disruption.
I don't know about you. Sam Rodriguez, we all have a Damascus. We were all on route somewhere. I was on route to what? A computer engineering career with IBM when God suddenly disrupted my plan, did this to me, and said, "I'm gonna interrupt your plan. I'm gonna interrupt this program". When I was growing up, they don't do this nowadays too much. When I was growing up there would be television programs that would be interrupted. "We interrupt this program". If you remember that, raise your hand. You just aged yourself. You did. Like, millennials are going like, "What just happened? That's never happened in my life". We would be watching anything. "We interrupt this program for a special announcement, for a special message from the president, for this, for that. We interrupt this program".
So, his program was interrupted. I am grateful that God interrupted Sam's program! How many are grateful now that God showed up in your life and interrupted your life? How many of you here were on route somewhere, and God said, "I'm not even asking you permission, I'm gonna show up right here in your life. I'm gonna interrupt your plan, because the plan I have for you is greater than the plan you have for yourself"? How many wouldn't even be here right now if God would not have interrupted your plan? How many are grateful that he did? How many were a bit confused when he did it, and you were asking questions like, "What in the world is going on"? But now you look back and you're grateful to God that he showed up when he showed up? How many can come in agreement that the same God that did it for him, did it for you, will do it for the people you love in your life?
Alright, here's one more question. How many believe that the God that interrupts and disrupts, holy disruption, divine interruption. How many believe that God can do it sooner than later in the people you love? Alright, let me give you a verse. Take a screenshot of this verse: you need to take it. This is your summer verse: here it is. Isaiah 46:13, here it is: this is the word of the Lord for you. "I am ready to set things right in your life, not in the distant future". This should prompt at least two "Hallelujahs" and a "Glory to God". Even if you're charismatic or automatic, this should still prompt the "Hallelujah". "I'm ready to set things right, not in the distant future, I'm gonna do it right now". How many believe God is the God of the right now? Imagine God putting everything in order in your life like this. He did it for him. More grounded. More grounded requires you to make room for holy disruptions.
Let's make a prayerful declaration, let's just do it. Raise your right hand and repeat after me, "In my family, in my faith, in my home, in my health, in my atmosphere, in my activities. I'm ready for divine interruptions. I am ready for a holy disruption that will change my life forevermore". Oh, by the way, not next week, not next month, not next year, but right now. If you believe that, give God a right now praise if you actually believe what you said? More of God will ground you connecting you to the source. "A light from heaven suddenly shone down round him and he fell to the ground". Jesus shows up and what happened? Saul fell. He fell: cause and effect, causation. Saul of Tarsus fell. Saul, the pharisee, fell. Saul, the persecutor, fell. Why? Because the light of Christ. The light overwhelmed him, the light overpowered him, the light overtook him. He fell, he collapsed, he surrendered.
Why did he fall? Why? This is, we're gonna, this is the most nerdy preaching we've ever done here, so get ready for this. Why did he, this is light grounded. Light... grounded. There are certain laws in the universe. John Locke would call it natural law, and the Philosophers of the enlightenment, the age of reason, but it's God's fault. Let me explain. In the last two weeks, there are images coming from the Webb telescope. The Webb telescope is one million miles away from earth right now, it's in an orbital perch: it is amazing. These are the images that we are capturing. We've never seen this before. If you're a nerd or if you failed science, you're probably twitching right now. You're probably going, "No, no. Flashback, flashback, flashback".
Hold on, you're gonna get this in a second, I promise. Look at this image. This is the image. Look at the image of galaxies hundreds of millions of miles away, light years away. Look at the beauty, the design: it's truly remarkable. The telescope, it's, I love it. Nearly one miles away. It's astrophysics. I'm going through Google, searching with the commentaries, not Christian commentaries, but the secular, the top reading minds regarding the universe: the astrophysicists of the world. And I love, just, the reality, that they are all, they are referencing this amazing intricacy of divine. I have to explain this. The laws that govern here on earth, the same laws of physics, have been confirmed even via the conduit of the Webb telescope. The same laws that apply here apply for the entire rest of the universe.
I don't know if you know what that means. The same laws, the same principles, the same ingredients. Alright, it would be equivalent if I got to all of your houses and they all look the same. The inside, there are the same dishes in the same cabinets, the same food in the pantry with the same flat screen TV in the same place in front of the same sofa from IKEA that took you three months to build, four months to build. I threw mine away 'cause I couldn't build it. And I'm a nerd, and I went, "This is diabolical". There's nothing righteous about IKEA furniture and the instructions. I think it's the devil trying to test us, and I rebuke it in the name of Jesus. I'd rather pay a million dollars and have somebody else build it than spend six months of my life trying to interpret little things, and there's always a screw missing, there's always a nut missing, and they do it on purpose.
Back to the story. Every single thing in the universe is the same. And all these astrophysicists went, "Oh goodness! We can confirm the same laws apply here all throughout the entire universe like if one person created the laws and put everything together". It is perfect. Oh, and I even read of an astrophysicist who went, "I used to be an atheist until", until.
Now look, watch this: this is beautiful. This has to do with this: you'll get it in a second. There are three substances in the universe. Google it. Three substances. Normal matter, dark matter, dark energy. Normal matter is the stuff that we see in the universe, the visible universe. You know what Harvard calls dark matter and dark energy? An invisible, unexplainable, undefinable force that somehow, beyond our ability to explain, continues to push the universe towards acceleration. Let me explain that. The smartest people on the planet say that there's an invisible force out there that continues to expand the universe. They can't explain what it is. They know it's real because they can measure it, they can see it. They go, "We can't explain it. It shouldn't be this way".
Because gravitational pull from one big mass to another should prompt things to be going like this. And instead of things going like this, the universe is going like this. And they're asking, "What is this invisible force"? I'm gonna give you the definition. It says, "Dark energy, meanwhile, is the name we give the mysterious influence driving the accelerated expansion of the universe". What in the world is that force? What is that force? I'm gonna explain to you what that force is. Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning", I'm gonna lay this out for you using science, not what you read, I'm using science now. The universe, 13.7 or .8 billion years of age, it continues to expand, continues to expand.
Why does it continue to grow when it shouldn't be growing? Because in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and then things were dark, and then God said one time. That's it: that's your answer. He said one time. He gave one word one time and he never said, "Turn the light off". The moment he said, "Let there be light". 14 billion years ago, that thing is still growing, the word is still, I don't know if you get this, but you will. When God releases a word, that word doesn't die the moment he releases it. If God gave you a word ten years ago, five years ago, 20 years ago, 40 years ago, that word is still bearing fruit! If you believe it, praise like you actually believe it. I don't know if you understand what this means. Every word God has ever placed upon you, if God ever gave you a word, raise one hand.
If you have a promise from heaven, be it through his word, through his spirit, through his service, where God gave you a word through your prayer time, where God gave you a word, raise both hands. If there are so many words, that you can fill up luggages filled with the umpteenth number of words that you have received from heaven, that you know it was God and not man, raise both hands and a foot. I don't know about you, but if I were you, this is evidence: put a smile on your face. He gave one word 14 billion years ago and that word is still bearing fruit. You know what Isaiah 55 says? "The Word of God will bear fruit". Here it is. It is the same way with my word: I send it out. It will always produce fruit. It will always produce fruit. I need you to rebuke the devil in your life and tell 'em, "This is the year that word will produce fruit".
How many believe that? Oh, I feel this. In your family, in your home, in your relationship, in your life, are you ready for God's word to produce fruit? It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper! To the outer edges of the universe, in the most difficult hours of your life, God's word will prosper everywhere he sends it. Whatever God's word, whatever word God has placed upon you, there's absolutely nothing that will be able to stop the fulfillment of that word. If you truly believe that, if you believe God is not a liar, and the God that said "Let there be light". Prompting the universe to continue to grow, is the same God that designed you and placed the word in you, and you're about to see growth, acceleration. You're about to see God's, am I the only one? You are about, just like the universe is, you are about to grow with the favor and the glory of God like never before.
If you believe that, now give God the kind of praise that lets him know that! Somebody, lift up your hands. Somebody, shout and just repeat after me, "Every word will bear fruit. Every word will fulfill the Word of God. And it will prosper". Say, "It will prosper". It will prosper. I don't know if you're getting this. God's not gonna fulfill half his promises, he's gonna fulfill all his promises.
Samuel Rodriguez: Wait, stop for a second. If things are not grounded in my house, I could have the most beautiful appliances, the most beautiful television, the most beautiful whatever, and if I don't have a grounded wire, what would happen to my stuff in a surge or a storm?
Steve: Yeah, there'd be, it would blow up. Your TV would stop working, perhaps, or your house might even burn down if there is nowhere for that electricity to go.
Samuel Rodriguez: So, being grounded is not a negative thing?
Steve: It's a great thing: safety.
Samuel Rodriguez: Grounded saves you?
Steve: That's correct.
Samuel Rodriguez: From things blowing up, from things burning up, from things exploding, from things dying?
Steve: Right. And if I may geek you out a little more because I know you're geeking out over light night, I am too. So, think about this for a second. The light that comes from the sun...
Samuel Rodriguez: Yeah.
Steve: ...Ninety-three million miles away
Samuel Rodriguez: Yes.
Steve: It comes here on waves, like you said, perpendicular to the axis of travel...
Samuel Rodriguez: Yes.
Steve: ...It does not need a conduit, right? It just gets here.
Samuel Rodriguez: It gets here.
Steve: It's its own conduit.
Samuel Rodriguez: Yes.
Steve: So, we capture its energy through something like a solar panel, which converts that light energy into electrical energy in a conduit, okay? But it needs to be grounded, otherwise, there could be damage. Likewise, the Spirit of God, unlimited power, does not need a conduit. He's his own conduit, but if we want to be used by God, we become his conduit. But if we're not grounded in the word, in faith, in prayer...
Samuel Rodriguez: So, being grounded is not negative?
Steve: It saves you.
Samuel Rodriguez: So, this, right here, is not negative?
Samuel Rodriguez: The world says it's negative.
Samuel Rodriguez: The world wants you up on the stage, on the platform, flying high, exuberance, a zillion followers. But God says, "If you really wanna be thriving, if you really wanna, you must be grounded".
Steve: But what if I don't think I need to be grounded?
Samuel Rodriguez: Because if you're not grounded, your dream will blow up, your purpose will burn up, your life may actually be electrocuted. Your destiny may actually die. But when you're like this, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, if you've ever been like this, don't whine about it. If you're like that right now in your life, you can say, "Pastor Sam, I feel like I'm grounded". I have news for you. It's not the devil trying to hurt you, it's God connecting you to the primary source of...
Samuel Rodriguez: Are there any grounded people in the house here today? Are there any people here who are grateful that God has grounded you? How many understand that when you're, as Steve just said , grounded in the word, grounded in the promises of God?
Steve: And in prayer.
Samuel Rodriguez: Grounded in prayer. Grounded people will achieve more.
Samuel Rodriguez: And you gave an example of solar panel. You can put solar panels up: you could have optics and aesthetics.
Steve: Right. So, some people think they don't need to be grounded. What if you don't think you need to be grounded? So, one guy built a big solar farm, solar system, but there's no lighting storms. Like, in California, when is there ever a thunderstorm? Hardly ever. I don't need to ground it 'cause there's no lightning. So, a little rain came and created static electricity, just like you're rubbing your feet on the carpet, a little static electricity, and it created a spark, and destroyed the system.
Samuel Rodriguez: And destroyed the entire system. But they thought they were fine?
Steve: Thought they were fine.
Samuel Rodriguez: We have a bunch of solar panel people who, they look like everything's fine. You look at the roof. From top down it looks great, but all the reflection, right?
Steve: "I'm not doing anything dangerous: the environment's fine".
Samuel Rodriguez: "Everything's perfect". But if they're not grounded, no matter what the optics may be, no matter what you post on Facebook and Instagram, no matter what your selfie reel may be, if you're not grounded, come that storm or even come static electricity, a couple of things around you that begin to create some friction, even things around you, people around you begin to create some friction, you may end up losing everything, everything, because you're not grounded. I'm prophesying now. Every single person here, I'm here to tell you. I know some of you have gone, "But I thought I had a calling, I had, Lord, you gave me a promise 20 years ago, five years ago, I feel like I'm here. I feel like I'm here".
I'm telling you its God telling you, "I'm not punishing you, baby, I'm solidifying you with the current that has absolutely", you know what God is saying? "I've had you here for a while and you're gonna continue to be grounded, but when I tell you to get up, you're not gonna get up the way you went down. When I tell you to get up, you're not", you know who was on that ground? Do you know who was on that ground? The same guy who wrote, "Your grace is sufficient for me". Do you know who was on the ground? The same guy who was possessed with the Holy Spirit and ended up writing, "I can do... I can do some things? I can do the majority of things? I can do many"? I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Are there any grounded people in this auditorium here? Lift up your hands if you're grounded. Lift up your hands really high if you're grounded. Lift up your head if you're grounded.