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Watch 2022 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Don't Judge Your Situation Yet

Steven Furtick - Don't Judge Your Situation Yet

Steven Furtick - Don't Judge Your Situation Yet

This is an excerpt from: It Will Come Together

See, we don't taste life as a meal. We experience the ingredients in isolation. In God's mind, your life is a meal. In God's mind, your life is Thanksgiving Day. What do you all eat on Thanksgiving? I might come over. Put it in the chat. What do you all have at Thanksgiving? What do you like at Thanksgiving? What do you have at Thanksgiving? Mac and cheese? I might come. Can somebody do better than that? Mac and cheese and sweet potatoes. Like, sweet potatoes or a sweet potato thing with marshmallows in it? The sweet potatoes are the middleman for me. I just want the marshmallows on top of the sweet potatoes, honestly.

So, yeah, that's good. I might come. What else? What do y'all have at Thanksgiving? I don't know. I'm making everybody hungry. I'm losing my audience. This is really bad public speaking. What am I doing? You have to understand that the moment Naomi is in her life right now is a blessing, but it's a mixed blessing. I noticed the room got happy when I said, "You're stepping into a blessing". It's like, "Yes"! I forgot to tell you it's a mixed blessing. That means you need to prepare for the blessing as it is actually going to be or you might miss the blessing because it's going to be mixed when you get it. In fact, Naomi was in so much pain there in Moab where she went to escape from Bethlehem where there was a famine… It seems like she did all right when she lost her husband, but when she lost her sons too, she said, "Don't call me Naomi anymore. Call me Mara".

Naomi has the connotation of pleasant. Mara means bitter. After what she has been through, can you blame her? When somebody has been through something like this, you don't tell them, "It'll come together". "What will come together? How can you replace those boys? Even if God gave me 20 more, it wouldn't replace them". That's how it is sometimes in your life. Don't try to tell me, "It's going to get better. Call me Bitter". When that kind of bitterness hits your heart, you don't even want to hear about better from anybody…not from preachers, not from teachers, not from Pinterest. "Don't tell me all things work together for the good of those that love God". When you taste the ingredient in isolation, it would be lying to say, "That's delicious". It would be lying.

I was talking to a guy… I think he was in London. He said he had to lay off 40 of his 200 employees. He said, "But you know what? It's a good thing". I said, "I understand what you're saying, but for them… I hope you didn't tell them that". He said, "No, I'm not telling them that. I'm just telling you that". I said, "Well, make sure you don't tell them you feel that way, because they probably don't see it like that right now from your perspective". He said, "You've got a good point".

It is a good point. Have you ever walked in the kitchen…? I'll just use an example. I'm not a cook. Take a scoop of baking powder, and just down it. Did you ever do it? So, baking powder is bad. Anybody want a big heaping pile of baking powder for lunch today? Raise your hand. This is the message. Do you want the whole message in a moment? This is the whole message. This is why you came from Michigan. This is why you tuned in online. Just because it tastes bad in isolation doesn't mean it won't serve a purpose in the finished product. I'm not saying that. The Bible said that after Naomi had gone so low she said, "This doesn't taste good…" Honestly, I figured out why people in church often look so sour when they're in church: because what you went through this week didn't taste good. You are trying to praise God with a taste in your mouth of disappointment and fear. I mean, it's hard to say, "Hallelujah" when your mouth tastes like hurt. "Call me Bitter. You might as well". It doesn't taste good, yet what a strange blessing they gave.

Let me give you a little bit more background so I can make sure I'm not confusing. Graham is my guy. He told me the other day… He was like, "Dad, sometimes you have to slow down with these Scriptures. You've been looking at them all week, and we're just waking up. You have to slow down, break it down". Even though I can't do it justice, the book of Ruth is beautiful. You could read it in the time that you could watch half an episode of Ozark. When we move through it, we see Naomi, Elimelek, Kilion, and Mahlon. Mahlon is Ruth's husband. Orpah is married to Kilion. (Both of those baby names are available, by the way, if you want to have an original name for your kid.) When they went to Moab, they went to a place that they didn't (this is important) plan to go.

This message is for somebody who is in a place you didn't plan to go. I'm going to take it further. Sometimes it's a place you hate being there, because they're from Bethlehem, and they're in Moab. Kind of like when the Israelites went to Egypt. I mentioned it earlier. They didn't go to Egypt because it was their dream to go to Egypt. It wasn't on their bucket list to go to Egypt. They went to Egypt to survive. We've talked about that a lot. I think a lot of the sin cycles we get sucked into in our lives are out of survival mechanisms. If we don't deal with it that way, we just put so much shame on it, we can't help anybody get healed. People won't come to Jesus, because you don't understand the power of his covenant with you. You think Jesus is like other people and that there will come a point where he'll be ashamed of you and go, "Oh, that's too far there. I was going to use you, but really? You did that"?

You don't understand the power of a covenant, but Ruth did, because when Naomi said, "Leave me. I've lost my husbands. I've lost my boys. I've heard there's bread in Bethlehem. We've been here 10 years…" Ruth said, "I'm not leaving. I'll make a covenant with you. Whither thou goest, I go. Your God becomes my God". Your god will often become the same god as your friends. If you are around people who worship status and stuff, it won't be long until you're shackled to the same things they are. Touch somebody next to you and say, "You ought to hang out with me a little while. If you hang out with me, you're going to have strong faith. If you hang out with me…" Come on, Def Leppard. "If you hang out with me…"

So, they go back together, and Naomi, in this honest moment, says, "Call me Bitter. I still have the taste in my mouth. I'm going back to Bethlehem," which means house of bread, which makes it that much more depressing when there's a famine in Bethlehem, when there's a famine in the place that is named after bread. When the joy of the Lord is supposed to be your strength, and you are a Christian, and you're depressed. You are a Christian and you can't sleep. You are a Christian and you have addictions. You are a Christian… "I am a C, I am a C-H, I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N, but I have ADD, ADHD, A-D-D-I-C-T-I-O-N. I'm in the house of bread, but I'm hungry". "Call me Mara," she said. Ruth said, "I was with you when I wanted your son. Now you don't have a son to give me, but I'm still with you". I wonder who the Lord is saying that to. "I'm still with you". "I don't sell low and buy high".

God is not Warren Buffett. God doesn't trade like that. God said, "I'm still with you, because I made a covenant with you. It's not the kind of covenant I made with Noah. That was limited. It's not the kind of covenant I made with Abraham. That was limited. It's not the covenant I made with Moses. That was limited. It's not the covenant I made with David. That was limited. This is the covenant of my blood made with the life of my Son, and I am with you". In your bitterness, in your brokenness, God said, "I'm with you". "But I'm bitter". "But I'm with you". I love the Lord, because he wrote the Bible. He knew the woman who said, "I'm bitter, and it's over" in chapter 1 would be holding a baby in chapter 4. So he gave her someone named Ruth, the Moabite. He gave her a Moabite. Not somebody from Bethlehem… somebody from a place that she never wanted to be. Remember, it's God's kitchen. If you walk around God's kitchen tasting stuff… "I don't like that. I don't like that".

You know how you are. Some of y'all are faith foodies. You walk around. "Hmm. No, I don't like that". Now listen. You get to tell God certain things you want him to do. "God, I want you to grow me, mature me, bless me". You can say all that to God. It's good. You don't get to tell him how to do it. I'll go a step further. You get to tell God what you want. Do you know that's the first thing Jesus asked in the New Testament? He turned around to people following him and said, "What do you want? Let's just get right to it. Cut to the chase. Cut through all the niceties. I don't need a soliloquy. What do you want"? They said, "We want to see where you're staying". You have to follow me to know me. That means that if you judge stuff while it's happening, you'll call yourself by what you've been through.

I was in the kitchen the other day, and Holly was making breakfast. I was trying to be helpful, but I can't cook. But I wanted to help out. She had just finished the sausage, so I was taking the pan to pour out the grease from the sausage. I can tell who cooks in the room by your reaction. She said two things to me that I'm going to preach to you. She said, "Leave the grease. I'm about to use it". That's the first thing she said. I'm out of the book of Ruth. I'm in "Second Holly". She said, "Leave the grease, because I'm about to make your eggs. When I make your eggs, I'm going to take these eggs, and I'm going to…" All things work together. The grease on its own is not something you want to eat, but if you'll let me leave the right amount of grease for this recipe that I know… See, because if I make your eggs without grease… She looked at me and said the second thing. She said, "You need to get out of my kitchen".

I hear God saying to somebody who has been telling him what he can't do, what he shouldn't do… I heard the voice of the Lord. I was praying about it, and God said… Hit your neighbor and say, "Get out of God's kitchen". Stop asking God to bring people back who were supposed to go. Get out of the kitchen! Stop asking God to take thorns away that he left so you could know him. Get out of the kitchen! "Get out of my kitchen! Let me mix this, because when I get done mixing these eggs with this grease, when I get finished mixing your pain with my joy, when I get finished mixing your gift with your opportunity… Get out of my kitchen"! In my weakness he is strong. That's grease. That weakness is grease. Stop trying to get rid of it, and let God mix it.
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