Steven Furtick - That's Not True Anymore
This is an excerpt from: The X Factor
The way you explain your life and the way you explain this pain and the way you explain what's going on inside of yourself will either leave you stuck or move you forward, will either leave you on your mat or move you. The best thing about the passage is his mat became his message. They're like, "What are you doing carrying your mat on the Sabbath"? He's like, "Let me explain. The dude who said 'Get up' and it worked… He told me to do it, so that's what I'm doing. That's my explanation". Stop trying to explain to people what God told you to do. You don't have to explain to anybody how you want to be pure, why you want to be pure, why you want to let go. You don't have to explain it to anybody. "Hey, I have a doctor's excuse. My doctor Jesus said I could do it. My doctor Jesus said I could move on. My doctor Jesus said I could forgive. My doctor Jesus said I could hold my head up. My doctor Jesus said I could enter the Most Holy Place. I have the X factor".
Did you ever have a doctor's excuse? You have one right now. Jesus, our Great Physician, is trying to give you permission to move past all of the reasons you shouldn't be able to move forward and to stop limiting the truth to your past experience. I have to get Holly mad before she preaches so she can see "You're not trying out. This is not an audition". I love y'all, but y'all can't cancel her. You can't. One of y'all might not come back next week, and it's not her. So I had to get her fired up. I had to get her in that kind of thing, like, "Man, stand up and give us what God gave you". The Lord told Jeremiah, "Don't be afraid of their faces". I did not know what that meant until I started preaching. I know what that means now, because there's a part when you're preaching… People look at you. You'll be like, "Back up. Back up". No, no, no, baby. Go forward. That's the word they need. That's the word you need, the one that challenges what you knew.
Question: Was this man lying? Not physically. Yes, he was lying on a mat. "Come on, Steven. Give us a hard one". Let me ask it more clearly. Was he telling the truth? Let's read it. I love your Word, Lord. Thank you for your Word. He showed me something. This is what I want to teach you how to do today, because this is really powerful in your life. It's not just a history lesson about a man. John, chapter 5, is not just about physical infirmity. It's certainly not about a pool called Bethesda, which means house of mercy. It's certainly not about a physical porch. It's about our emotional condition which keeps us from obeying God and receiving his Word by faith instead of walking in doubt. When he said, "Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred…"
What does water have to do with walking? There was conventional wisdom around this porch… There was a truth that when the angel troubled the waters from time to time, whoever got to the water first could be healed of whatever had happened to them, whatever was hurting them. Everybody else got left out. So, he's giving his truth, which is not really true anymore. "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes ahead of me". I can see we need to take this slow. I need a volunteer who has a paper Bible, a pen, and a notebook, and you don't mind coming onstage with me for a minute, and, final criteria… I'm looking for somebody. This is the X factor I'm looking for. I'm choosing a volunteer. A Bible, a pen, a little notepad, and you don't mind me marking in your Bible. Who wants it?
Okay. All right. Oh, it's a big Bible too. I like big Bibles. Let's go, big Bible. Big traps. Big biceps. Big Bible. Big smile. Yeah, I'm kind of big too. Right? What's your name? Tyrell. I was hoping it would be Matt. What version of the Bible? I've got King James. King James! Oh, this is perfect. And you don't mind if I write in it? No, go ahead. Are you sure? Yeah. Okay. This is so perfect. You don't know how perfect this is. I'm not playing around. We didn't work this out. This is not planned. This is just so perfect. I see I gave you this pen originally, so… Look at this. Let's read it together. You love the Bible. Right? Absolutely. Nobody brings a Bible this size to church if they don't like it. "…impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water".
Do you see in your King James Bible, this massive, jumbo-size King James Bible, verse 4? "For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had". This is the Bible I preach out of. I know! I'm getting old, so I can't see it as well anymore. I need this one. Can I keep this one? How old are you, by the way? I'm 28. What if he was 38, like the man…38 years? I wanted to show you… I've taught this before, and I've shown it different ways, because I think it's so powerful. In the version I have, the New International Version… It's a great translation. It goes from verse 3 to verse 5.
See how verse 4 is mentioned down here at the footnotes where it explains how the waters would move and people would get healed. They took verse 4 out of the ESV and the NIV and a lot of the more modern translations because it wasn't in the earliest manuscripts. It wasn't in the manuscripts we see that are the earliest, the closest to the original, the most accurate, so it's not in these translations. In the King James there's a verse 4. In the NIV and most of the translations that you'll see if you're looking at it on your phone… You're like, "Wait. There is no verse 4. Did Steve Jobs come back from the dead and delete my verse 4? Is Apple listening to me right now? Are the Russians here"? But it's not any of that. There's no conspiracy. It's just a verse that was never there that was added later by scribes to explain the situation.
"Why are you taking time to show me this"? Because we add things God didn't really say to explain situations we can't understand. I can't believe you had the King James Bible, because if you had had any other translation, I wouldn't have been able to share this part. I was just like, "I'm going to go in the moment and call somebody," and I almost picked her because she has an eKidz shirt. I don't know if you're a volunteer. Are you a volunteer? I am. Okay, good. "Security! Security"! Good fit. You've got it, man. That X factor… You've got it. I'm serious, man. God is on your life. I feel it. But I don't want you to put in verses about what you believe about God to explain situations or to…here's another ex…excuse disabilities.
This man is taking notes while he's helping me preach. Did you see him reach for the notebook? So, what I want to do… You told me I could write in your Bible. Bring me the camera. Come here. Follow me. Tell me when it's in focus. You hold it. Put that one down. Let's use yours. Hold it. You told me I could write. Zoom in on the verse so we can do this. We have to do this. "I'm not sure I can clap for this. I thought you were going to highlight his Bible with a nice lime green, Elevation orange". The X factor means that you and I, brothers and sisters, need to go through and make sure that what we believe about God is really revealed in the person of Jesus, not just the traditions of men.
Now, in case they put this on one of those YouTube channels that talks about what I'm preaching and what shoes I'm wearing, or something like that, I want to make sure you're not going through crossing out the parts of the Bible you don't like because they're hard. Like, "Love your neighbor as yourself". "I'm not sure about the neighbor. I like that 'Love yourself' part. Yeah, love myself. I like that part". No, no, no. It wasn't there. It got added later. It's not what God said. It got added later. I want you to know, some of the things you believe, God didn't speak. It got added later. Somebody told you something that made you feel small, and you settled into the small they made you feel, not realizing, "Greater is he that is in me, so I can't be that small. I can't be that insignificant".
Are y'all still with me or are you already shopping for another church on Google while I'm preaching? "Click off! Click off! Click off! This guy is crossing out the Bible". No, no, no. I'm crossing out what's not the Bible. I'm crossing out what God didn't speak over me. If he corrects me, I want to hear it. If he challenges me, I want to hear it. If he thinks I'm wrong, I want to know it. We don't preach this anymore. We used to have a thing: "Check yourself before you wreck yourself". But now I see everywhere, "Treat yourself". First of all, it's just annoying. That's an annoying thing to say anyway. Secondly… Yes, I'm all for self-care. What about self-confrontation? (I'm going to come behind my security over here.) One of the hardest things, though, is what he said when he explained experience. "Every time I try, I get stopped. Every time I try, I get blocked. Every time I try… I smile; they don't smile back. I asked her out; she said no".
How are you going to explain that to yourself? We used to ride around… My best friend from all through high school is right there on that second row. When a girl wouldn't be interested in us, we would be the Holy Spirit interpretation for each other. He'd be like, "She's just not on your level". I needed that! We'd ride around hyping each other all day. "Deep calls to deep, man. She's just not deep enough. That's all it is". Quoting Bible verses to handle rejection. Then the man's explanation. This is where I see you today. You're caught between an experience and an explanation. His explanation is keeping him stuck. Some of us have fallen in love with our "stuckness". We love stuck, because we learned we can get our way if we get angry. So, do we really want to be made well from our anger? We've learned we can get our way by doing the silent treatment, so do we really want to get better at communicating? We've learned we can get our way and seek attention by misbehaving. Some of us subconsciously create failure in our lives so it will call people to our rescue so we will feel wanted.
Now I see why the genius of Jesus (Wouldn't that make a cool series…the genius of Jesus?) made him a wonderful counselor, even though it seems like he has a terrible bedside manner. He's like, the X factor here is not the externals…the economy and your mom's mom's mom's mom's mom's goldfish that made you like you are or who won't do what for you. That's not true anymore now. Is the man lying? "Sir, I have no man when the water is troubled to put me into the pool. I have no man. I have no help". That's not true anymore. It was true five minutes before Jesus got there. It was true. (Let's use my Bible for this part. I don't want to cross anything else out of yours.) What he said, "Sir, I have no one to help me…" Can you see it? "I have no one…" That used to be true, but Jesus is here now. That was true. It wasn't an excuse. It was true…until the Truth showed up.
That's the X factor I wanted to preach to you about today. You are still operating in your life as if Jesus were not risen, but he is risen. You are carrying the shame as if your sin were not forgiven, but it is forgiven. "But I'm a sinner". You were a sinner, and you still sin, but now you have help that you didn't have when you were trying to fulfill the law in your own flesh. "For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened…" That's what I was. It's not what I am now. It used to be true.