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Watch 2022 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - The Facts Aren't Final

Steven Furtick - The Facts Aren't Final

Steven Furtick - The Facts Aren't Final

Get out your phones real quick. Those of you who have an alarm system, put 7:00 p.m. every night for an alarm to go off for the next couple of weeks so you can pray for us for Elevation Nights, because we start our tour of eight cities this Tuesday in Chicago. We're going to Indianapolis. We're going to Columbus, Ohio; Washington, DC; Boston, Massachusetts; Newark, New Jersey; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Reading. Holly is going with me on every stop. I cannot be without Holly that long. By night six, I'd be so depressed I'd be talking about all of the sad Scriptures. I'd be preaching from Job and the garden of Gethsemane. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me"? It would be so sad if I didn't have Holly, so she's going to be there. Many of these folks are loading up. RHYTHM is going to share in the opening set as well. I'm going to be preaching.

There are still some tickets available. They might be sold out by the time you see this, but maybe you can find a scalper. Go to for your official Ticketmaster tickets, and we will see you there. Oh, it's going to be exciting. So, 7:00 p.m. each night, pray that God would give us a fresh anointing. Just put a little alarm. When it goes off… "God, tonight, may there be breakthroughs, chains broken, people set free, dreams rekindled, people saved, coming to Christ". We're expecting all that. I appreciate your prayers. We cannot do it without the Holy Spirit. It would just be a show, but if God shows up…wow! Something awesome could happen.

And you know what? I believe God is here right now. How about you? Oh, they don't believe it. I'm going to go to Chicago. Maybe they'll believe it in Chicago. I said, God is here right now! I heard you were doing a little spring cleaning, Dr. G., the other day. All right. We're going to do some spring cleaning in the Word of God today, get all that unbelief out of our spirits. God has been stirring up a faith anointing in me. I think he's getting me ready for this Elevation Nights tour. He has been stirring up my faith, so I want to share it with you today. In Mark, chapter 5… That's where we want to go. I love preaching the Word now more than I ever did before. My passion for it has never been greater than right now. Even in the last few months, God has been recentering my passion on it, showing me that's the purpose he put me here on earth for: to share this Word with you.

"Why do you holler so much and scream so much when you preach"? It gets exciting to me. "Don't you know you have a microphone"? Yeah, but it gets exciting to me. If you get excited during my sermon, you can shout too. I give you permission. Let's look at Mark 5:35. "While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. 'Your daughter is dead,' they said. 'Why bother the teacher anymore?'" "'Your daughter is dead,' they said. 'Why bother the teacher anymore?'" Verse 36: "Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, 'Don't be afraid; just believe.' He [Jesus] did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, 'Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.' But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child's father and mother and the disciples who were with him [Peter, James, and John], and went in where the child was".

He did not avoid the desperate situation; he walked right into it. "He took her by the hand…" Which is ceremonially unclean for a Jewish rabbi to do if she's dead, but maybe she's not dead. Maybe Jesus knows something we don't know about this little girl, about your life. "He took her by the hand and said to her, 'Talitha koum!' (which means 'Little girl, I say to you, get up!'). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to [make her a sandwich]". Wow. Let's give God praise for his miracle-working power.

What I want to tell you today as a sermon title is an announcement over your life: The Facts Aren't Final. I don't know who this is for, but I have been wrestling with this text all week, and at the end of all my wrestling with the text, the Lord released me to get up here and tell you, "The facts aren't final". Now look at the person next to you and shout it right in their face. "The facts aren't final". Put it in the chat. "The facts aren't final". What's going on in your life? What's going on in your house? What's going on in your mind? Do I really want to know? "You might be sorry you asked". You know, you ask somebody sometimes, "How are you doing?" and then you wish about five minutes later you would have said something different to start a conversation.

There are better icebreakers than "How are you doing?" let me tell you right now. I started trying to just tell people good things about themselves rather than ask them how they're doing, because I figure I can trick them into thinking they're doing better than they are. "Man, you look amazing. You've been getting great sleep, haven't you? You've been getting massages every day and doing dead lifts. Look at you. You look relaxed and focused all at the same time. How is that even possible"? What's going on in your house? You wouldn't have necessarily known that Jairus had a dying daughter if you saw him in the synagogue, because he was a leader there. Not a paid professional. He wasn't the priest who offered the sacrifices.

The synagogue leader was like, in our church, what we would think of as a campus pastor, but not even really that, because they weren't paid. More like a volunteer team leader, or something like that, but he was in charge of all of the practical duties in the synagogue. That was his job. He had to keep certain records and uphold certain standards. That was Jairus' job. The contrast of how I jumped right in was probably pretty stark. I know we went from singing a minute ago about "You are the same God. You were a healer then," and all of the wonderful things we started calling God when we said, "Way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper…" (I'm going to stop quoting that song, because I didn't write it. I don't know if it'll get copyright flagged if I keep using the lyrics on YouTube.) But all of those things that God is, and then we jumped right into this passage of Scripture where it says, in verse 35, Jesus was still speaking, and some people came from the house of Jairus.

It's kind of crazy how the Son of God is speaking, and there is an interruption, and the interruption results in the worst news any human being can possibly hear. It doesn't get worse than this: "Your daughter is dead". It doesn't get worse than that. It doesn't get worse than what Jairus hears. So we are thankful, as we journey through this passage, that it has a happy ending, yet we know that some stories don't. Somebody said to me this week, "Your Easter sermon was almost too real and too raw for me". Well, I always thought that keeping it real was what y'all loved about me as a preacher. I thought if y'all wanted fiction you'd turn on the news. Oh yeah! It's too raw. It is amazing, isn't it? It represents a shift in my thinking.

The Lord dealt with me in the last few years. "Stop preaching your sermons to people like they are an audience to be feared, and start speaking to them like they are people to be loved". Which means we have to keep this conversational and relational, yet I don't really know you. I feel like I do…some of you. Some of you, I know you so well… Like, your face comes through my mind when I'm all alone, listening to my worship music, studying my Word of God. I will see homeboy on the fourth row, two seats in, who always wears a hoodie. Jerry, I told you before, Holly used to watch you worship before we even knew who you were. She was watching this guy worship the Lord, and I was like, "Well, that's weird, babe. Who are you watching worship the Lord"? She was like, "No. It's just he cries while he worships, and I wonder what's behind all of those tears".

The more we understood your story, we understood why. You wouldn't have necessarily known that Jerry was crying because of how close he came to losing everything. You wouldn't have necessarily known that Jairus, as he performed his function in the synagogue, was dealing with a situation at home that is every parent's worst nightmare. The more we can bring the reality of what's happening at home into this sanitized space we call sacred, the more like the ministry of Jesus our worship services will be. You know he did most of his ministry in the interruptions between places that the disciples thought he should go. Think about that for a moment. Much of the ministry of Jesus not only happened outside of the church services, but it happened on the way to something else, which makes me think that maybe I'm not smarter than God about what needs to happen in my life. Maybe even when I'm planning my day, some of the things I don't know to be aware of will become the most significant things about that day…the conversations we will have.

In fact, I'm trying really hard these days that when Holly and I talk… Because I love talking to Holly. When I say that… There are times I tune her out. Okay? There are times. I don't want to lie to you. I want to keep it real, like we said five minutes ago. But when we really get in a conversation, there aren't two "mes". There are actually, like, 50 "mes," but when it comes to what I care about… We talk about these things that I talk to you about. Sometimes my goal in preaching is I want you to overhear a conversation I'm having with God or that I'm having with my wife or that I'm having with my kids about what God is doing, because I think the more relational the Word is, the greater the revelation can be, so that you can make it flesh in your life, not just theory in your mind or a formula in a history book.

"God did this, and God did that, and I believe that". It is the personal experience of faith that has the most power. It's personal to me. I have personal issues. I have a personal God. I have personal fears. I have personal phobias. I have a personal God. I love the phrase we used in the Baptist church: to make Jesus Christ your personal Lord and Savior. It's something we used in the Baptist church to mean he is Lord and Savior whether you say he is or not, but when it gets personal to you, that means you go to him to save you, not a pill bottle. That means you go to him to save you, not a plastic card where you spend money you don't have to buy stuff you don't need to impress people who aren't even paying attention to you because they're doing the same thing. You go to Jesus to save you. You go to Jesus to deliver you. You go to Jesus to speak to you, not potato chips. You go to Jesus to speak to you, not Pornhub. You go to Jesus… I thought y'all wanted it real.

This is a personal word that Jesus spoke to Jairus. Go back to verse 35. While he was still speaking, some people from Jairus' house came to him and gave him a bad report. Don't shy away from relating to this story just because you cannot sympathize with the specific situation. The principles that are in this passage of Scripture apply to any situation in your life that requires faith where fear is present. I used to shy away from these heavy passages because I thought, "Man, I've never lost a child". This passage isn't so much about losing a child as it is keeping faith. Keeping faith means sometimes believing God in the face of a bad report. So, this word, first of all, is about somebody who has received a report this week in your life that has caused you to fear, dread, or to fall into a place of despondency.

As Jesus is speaking, some people come from Jairus' house and say, "It got worse. The whole time you've been standing here at the feet of Jesus…" I didn't read this part, because I can't read the whole Bible to you every time we get together. I just have to choose a frame and start there. I would love to, actually. I would love to talk to you about what was in Mark 3, Mark 4, Mark 7, Mark 8, Mark 9, Mark 10, because it's all good, but just for this frame today, I didn't tell you that Jairus fell at the feet of Jesus. That means he had to come down from his high position as a synagogue leader and put himself in a low place at the feet of a rabbi who wasn't even a part of his religion. Church didn't exist yet. Jairus was Jewish, leading a synagogue, and he came to Jesus who was outside the system of what he even knew to be true religion.

Here's what I learned about desperate situations in your life. Desperate situations will cause you to do things differently than you did them when you thought you had all of the answers and everything you needed and had it all figured out. Now the leader is at the feet of a teacher, and he hopes he can do something for his daughter. Every dad of a daughter, stand up. Wouldn't you do the same thing? Wouldn't you fall at his feet? Your daughter is dying. Wouldn't you fall at his feet? Wouldn't you do the same thing for your daughter? Now, I have three kids, two boys, one girl. I'm not sure I would do it for them, the boys, but for Abbey… I'm just kidding. I'd do it for any of my kids.

Holly and I were talking about this the other night. This is the conversation I want to bring you in on. This is just our conversation. We were talking about how, really, in the end, you have to give your kids to God. You really do. I mean, you can put them on a sleep schedule when they're 2, but when they're 32… When they're transitioning through life… There's a point where God calls you to participate in parenting your children. But there's a fine line between participating and manipulating. This is not a parenting sermon, but that's what the text is talking about. So, as I relate to this text, I relate as a dad who would do anything… I'm almost making my kids soft, because I would almost do anything so they never have to go through anything hard.

I know I shouldn't do that, but I'm almost like Dwight Schrute in The Office when he was going ahead of Michael and making sure he didn't starve. Remember when Michael wanted to go out in the woods? Y'all don't watch The Office? I'm going to give an altar call for everybody who hasn't seen The Office at least twice, the whole series. I'll admit that I coddle them because I care about them, and you would do the same. It looks strange to see somebody down in the dirt, like Jairus was when he came to Jesus, until you have felt that kind of desperation in yourself. We were talking how… You have a baby. Right? Like, I didn't personally. I participated, and then I thought, "Oh, that's wonderful. They were born healthy". And that is the end of worrying about your kids. We had the baby.

"Okay, God. We're good now. We don't need you anymore. From here on out, this kid is going to go in the way they should go, do the things they should do, say the things they should say. It's all good, God. Thank you for bringing this baby into the world. We had the baby, and now we have the baby, and now that we have it, we're good, God". Right? It's ridiculous…as ridiculous as it is for you to think that trusting Jesus is something you do one time when you give him your life. Even the language… Watch the language. To place your faith in Jesus is not an event; it is a practice, just like raising your kids. "Should I step in here? Should I step back there? Should I let them bust their butt on this one so they don't end up busting their whole head wide open on the next one? What do I do right here"?

Following Jesus is exactly the same way, because you will find yourself in moments of weakness and moments of strength, in moments of knowledge and in moments of ignorance, in moments of highs and moments of lows. You will find yourself every step of this journey like Jairus, saying, "In one area of my life I'm a leader. In one area of my life I'm the top man on the food chain. In one area of my life I have the answers. I am Jairus, the synagogue leader". But on the day we meet Jairus, he is not standing at the front of the synagogue issuing the sacraments for the people or checking the roll at the back of the room. He is a desperate dad at the feet of Jesus. Jesus, the teacher. That's what the men who came from his house said to him. He comes. He says, "My daughter is dying. Will you come with me to my house and heal her"? Jesus is like, "Yeah, I'll go. Sure. Because you came here and asked me…"

I love Jairus, because he didn't just assume that it was all God's job. Do you understand? He didn't just assume that if God wants it to happen, it will just naturally happen. He didn't just assume God is like an automatic faucet where you put your hands under it and wait. Some of you all are going to be waiting a long time under a faucet that God has given you the faith to turn on by your actions, because faith without works is dead. So he did something. He went to Jesus. He did something risky. He did something dangerous. He had to cut through a crowd to do it, and it worked…until the interruption.

Now I want to speak to you about the interruption…the interruption you're going through in your life, the interruption that happened to you from the outside, the interruption that happened to you that kept you from your goal. We all had goals, and we all had dreams, and we all had things in between the idea and the dream. Call them roadblocks. Just call it a roadblock. In this particular instance, the crowd is pressing around Jesus so tightly… One gospel writer (it's not in Mark) says it almost crushed the crowd. In Mark's gospel, the crowd is never seen as a good thing. Like, when we go out to Elevation Nights, I want the crowds to be big so we can have church. When Mark mentions the crowd, a lot of times that's something that's standing in the way of what God really wants to do.

So, a lot of what we celebrate in life is a lot of what God tries to strip away to perform his agenda. You know how you think it would be so cool to be famous? Most famous people wish they could be anonymous even for five minutes. Trust me. I've talked to them. They talk about it. "The thing I went after actually proved to be a great distraction". In this passage, there is a woman, and if God so leads, I'm going to preach about her on tour over the next two weeks, because she comes to Jesus through the crowd and gets a miracle for her situation, which has been going on for 12 years, as long as the little girl has been alive. As she is being healed by touching the dirty hem of Jesus' garment in the Palestinian streets, Jairus' daughter is home dying. So her healing, from a human perspective, cost Jairus' daughter her life.

Now this is the part of the teaching that I want to become flesh in your life, because this is where we find ourselves in moments of interruption, in moments of disruption, in moments where something we couldn't control affected something we were moving toward. The people came from Jairus' house. While Jesus was still speaking (I know I've only dealt with one verse, but it's a good one…verse 35), some people came from the house of Jairus, the leader, who was at the feet of Jesus, the one with a lot of prestige in the community who had a problem at home that all the prestige in the world couldn't buy him out of. Some stuff, it doesn't matter how much of that you have that people celebrate. Something could happen in your life right now that would make everything else seem worthless in comparison. I often do an exercise where it's like a reverse gratitude, where I start thinking about everything I don't have, everything I want, everything I could do, everything I should do, and the Lord will slow me down.

Here's a question he gave me. If it helps you this week, good. I hope it helps you this week. It really helps me. The Lord will bring to my mind all of the people I love the most. For me, I have a wife, and I have children, and I have a mom who's living, and other people I love too, in case they watch this. You come into the picture as well. Then I put them in my mind. You know, you feel sometimes all of life is just a focus around what you need next. All of life is just a focus on going to the next level, hustle and grind. All of life can feel that way.

So, what I'll do often… I'll put all of those people in my mind, and then I'll ask myself the question, "If you lost them… If you could never, ever sing Hamilton with Abbey again, if you could never, ever again throw that ball across the room with Graham…" He and I play fetch like he is the dog. "If you could never bench-press with Elijah again, if you could never see him squat 225 for reps again (like he did this week), if you could never walk around with Holly and yell at the cars that are driving too fast and say, 'Slow down. What's wrong with you? We live here…' If you could never have it again, what would you give to have it back"? I'll say, "Everything". Then the Holy Spirit will say, "So what do you already have"? "Everything".

Sometimes I think we need a perspective like Mark, chapter 5, where we realize somebody as important as Jairus, with as much to do, is losing his little daughter and nothing else matters. We lift our hands not only in moments of loss but even in moments where we are stressed about stuff that isn't as significant as the Devil wants us to think it is, stuff that doesn't matter as much. You know your dirty countertops do not matter as much as your OCD brain makes them matter to you in the moments where you are screaming around the house. Sometimes I just have to stop and go, "Thank you, Lord. Thank you (if you can get here) for these messy countertops that these annoying kids who I would do anything for messed up". "Oh, what if I don't have kids, Pastor Steven? What if I want kids? What if I'm in a situation where I'm not married and I want to be married"?

I guarantee you there is something in your life right now that you are taking for granted that if you lost it, you would do anything and everything to have it back. So, what do you already have? Everything. What do you already have if you have salvation? If you know that neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation shall be able to separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus, what do you have? I have it all. If I have Jesus, I have it all! If I have his blood covering me and washing the shame off my life and the filth off my faith, I have it all…not all I want, but all I need! The Lord is my shepherd, and I shall not want. I have it all. High-five five people and tell them, "I've got it all. I have more than it looks like on the outside". I'm grateful. I'm glad to be alive. I'm glad to be in that number. I'm glad! He holds me up! I'm sitting next to something right now that, if I lost it, I'd do anything to get it back.

Don't wait for God to take it away to give him praise for it. Give me my flowers now. I don't want them at my funeral. If I'm a blessing to you, tell me I'm a blessing to you while I can still hear it. I won't need you to encourage me in heaven. I'll be with Jesus. I'm good up there. Tell me now. Do you understand what I'm saying and where I'm coming from and why I'm telling you this? Because you will be attacked by the Enemy. Oh, that's a fact. That is a fact. You will be attacked by the Enemy. It is a fact. "Oh, no. I will take up the whole armor of God". What's the armor for? "I'll take up the shield of faith. The Devil can't touch me. I have the shield of faith". What's the shield for? It presupposes a problem. You don't carry around a shield if you don't plan on getting hit by anything.

Come on, be real! The fact that Jesus was speaking didn't stop his daughter from dying. The attack… This is another thing we were talking about the other day. So, we were talking about trusting God with your kids and how you really have to. It's not a choice. Your fingers will be pried at some point off of them. They will eat gluten if they want to eat gluten at some point. (I love y'all so much. I get too raw up here sometimes. I feel like we're friends. I feel like I know you. I feel like I've been with you all week.) The other thing we were talking about was how it's not really the attack that matters. As Christians, we seem to be obsessed with this idea of "I'm under attack". It really becomes this basket we throw every bad thing into and call it an attack. Do you have a basket or a drawer or something at your house where you put every cable, every cord? You have a Game Boy in the thing. Like, you have a charger to the Game Boy. You have stuff from 1986 in there. It's kind of our junk drawer to say, "I'm just under attack". Nuh-uh. It's not always an attack. It is sometimes. It's not always an attack, and it's not always the Enemy.

I know the Devil is a liar. Even when I believe him, something in me (called the Holy Spirit) kind of knows, "This is not true". So, the Devil's lies are one thing, but look at the passage with me, in verse 35. It doesn't say the Devil told Jairus a bad report. It says that while Jesus was speaking, some people came from Jairus' own house, people who worked for him, and they told him, "Your daughter is dead," and then they asked him, "Why bother the teacher anymore"? Notice what they called Jesus: the teacher. To them, that's all he was. They didn't believe in him yet. He hadn't died yet. He hadn't risen yet. These were not believers in Jesus. These were members of the synagogue who were still making up their minds about Jesus. So, when they call him the teacher, they're not lying, but they are limiting. "If all he is is a teacher, then why are you still standing here listening to him with this crowd? You need to get home. Your daughter is dead, and you are needed for the funeral arrangements".

In Jewish custom, there would be mourners who would come in, two flutes and one… There would be at least four people if you were poor. Imagine how many people were filling Jairus' house at that moment to mourn the death of his daughter. If all he is is a teacher, we're wasting time. So, when they call him a teacher and they say, "Your daughter is dead…" Notice this. They are not the enemy. These are his friends. This is not a lie, but it is a limitation. Now, sometimes the Devil will just outright lie to you. You can feel it when it comes on. "You're worthless. You're a piece of crap. You suck. [Bad word. Bad word. Bad word.]" That's the Devil calling you stuff that you know God doesn't see you as. So then you just rebuke the Devil. "Oh, I rebuke you, Devil. You're so crazy. You think I'm going to listen to this trash talk? You think I'm really just going to drive my car into another car right now, that I feel so bad about myself I'm going to end my life? Come on, Devil. You're crazy. I rebuke you, Satan, in the name of the Lord. The blood of Jesus against you, Satan".

All of these things you can do when it's the Enemy and when it's an attack, but in this case, it's not the enemy and it's not an attack. It's his friends, and it's a fact. Some of the stuff you're fighting with in your faith right now… It's not a lie, and that's what makes it so scary. It's a fact. It is a fact. I talked to three people in this church last night…one diagnosed with Parkinson's this week, one whose son went to jail this week, one of them who lost their job this week. Not all the same skin color. Not all the same age. Some are new to the church. Some have been in the church almost since it started. All three of them are facing facts. There wasn't one of them I could say to, "The Devil is a liar. Rebuke him in Jesus' name". Not in good conscience. I guess I could say some hocus-pocus stuff about it, and maybe it would feel good for about three seconds, but when my dad was diagnosed with ALS, I knew he would die. It was a fact.

"Didn't you pray for healing"? Of course I did. Who wouldn't? But when the healing didn't happen and all I was left with was the facts, now how can I be on the phone with somebody who just got a diagnosis like Parkinson's and say, "It's going to be all right. Don't be afraid. Just believe". I don't say that when I call people. I don't feel like I have the right to tell you not to be afraid. I don't really feel like I have the right to tell you to just believe, because I struggle with belief myself. The Lord gently rebuked me this week and said… I'll tell you what it was. It was so dumb. This is what I would leave out of my sermons if I had good sense. A lady was coming to take my blood draw. This is not a big deal. She didn't show up, and I had a garden of Gethsemane moment, because when they draw your blood, you can't have any caffeine or food, and for me to be awake for two hours without caffeine… Listen. We all have our cross to bear. Must Jesus bear the cross alone? Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Just as quickly as I could start complaining… "This lady… What's wrong with her? She messed up my whole day. She interrupted my whole day. Now my whole day is thrown off. Now everything is wrong. I didn't even get to do my gratitude practice this morning because this lady messed up my blood draw". The Lord said, "Would you rather be going to a chemo appointment"? That shut me up. It was so dumb. The Lord said to me, "You get up and tell people to believe me for the impossible, and you can't even put up with the uncomfortable". When Mike was working on me one time… He was working on my shoulder. He asked, "How is that pain level you feel when you do that"? I said, "Unbearable". He goes, "Unbearable"? It was the first time he ever worked on me. (Mike Danenberg. Look him up. He does a great job.) He said, "Unbearable. Unbearable"? I said, "Okay. Uncomfortable".

This story gives us a great gift of perspective to know that even when it was that bad, look at what Jesus said to Jairus. Verse 36. This is a powerful principle and a dynamic of faith that works in your life any time you choose to apply it. He said, "Don't be afraid; just believe". I can understand you saying this if it's a spider. This is not a spider, y'all. By the way, this spider crawled between the mats when I was working out this week, and I was down there doing V-ups on the BOSU ball. I went a whole 15 steps ahead, and I said, "This is how I'm going to die. It's going to be a spider bite on the floor doing V-ups on the BOSU ball while I'm trying to be healthy, and a spider is going to sneak up and bite me". I could see my skin rotting. I could already see a hole in my… I'll tell you, it's crazy how far your mind can go. But look. I'm making it funny because I don't want us to think that what Jesus said is only for the most desperate situation. What he said has implications in your daily situation.

So, if he can say that to a man who just received a report, "Your daughter is dead," and if Jesus… This is what we claim to believe about Jesus. He's the Savior of the world. He's the Great I Am. He's the living water. He's the Good Shepherd. He's all of these things we claim him to be. He is the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, the Alpha and Omega, the final Word from heaven, the Great High Priest, the Lamb of God, and the Lion of the tribe of Judah. If we believe all that was said to a man who lost what he loved the most by the one who sees and knows everything… "Don't be afraid; just believe". I want Jesus to speak to me about my deepest fear. I want Jesus to speak to me about what I can't speak to you about. I want Jesus to speak to me about what plays over and over in my head. It's in my head, and it's in my heart.

The Devil doesn't speak to me out loud. It's louder than that. When it comes from the inside, I can't find the switch for that. They came from Jairus' house and said, "Why bother"? Do you know what doesn't happen in the Scripture? When Jesus says, "Don't be afraid; just believe," Jesus does not argue with the facts. He calls Jairus into faith. So, this is for everybody who thinks, "Blah, blah, blah. Candy canes, Jesus Christ, and Maury Povich. The Bible is just nothing other than all this dynamics and dramatics". No, no, no. He doesn't deny a single thing they said. In fact, in verse 36 (it's very powerful), it says, "Overhearing what they said…" Do you see it? It's interesting. (Let's do that thing, Abbey.) "Overhearing what they said…" I wrote it down.

The Greek word for overhear that Mark uses… It's a brilliant word. It has three different meanings. Not one meaning. It has three different, distinct meanings where he says that Jesus overheard them saying, "She's dead. Why bother"? Three definitions: to overhear something not intended for one's ears; to refuse to listen or discount the truth of something or to pay no attention to… Listen to this. He uses the word parakousas. It means to ignore. It means to know that a message is trying to come through. See, this was not an interruption. This is an illustration. That button says "Decline". It means that just because she wants to talk doesn't mean I have to answer.

Now, sometimes in my mind I have to decline the Devil, like, five times a second. You thought I was going to say, "Five a day". No, no, no. I'm way worse than that. My mind is way crazier than that. It means that she's saying, "I want some Face Time with you," and I'm having to make a decision in this moment. Decline, decline, decline, decline or accept. You are making this decision every time you hear the Devil calling you. I found the "Decline" button that says parakousas. That means "I heard what you said. I heard you tell me it's over. I just choose to believe that I don't have to accept this message just because it's coming through". As a matter of fact, some of y'all need to tell the Devil before you even leave this service, "I heard what you said, but I decline. I heard you tell me, 'Lay down and die in the valley of the shadow of death,' but I decline. I decline"! This is the divine decline. Oh yeah. It is knowing that greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world.

Now get this. It isn't Jesus didn't hear it. He just didn't respond to it. It isn't that you don't know that you're broke. It's just that you are not defined by that because you are too busy moving forward in faith toward what God called you to be. Even about myself… I accept myself because God accepts me. I know I'm jacked up. I know I have a long way to go. I know I'm selfish sometimes, but I'm still preaching these sermons to you, because I decline to be defined by what I'm not when the Great I Am lives inside of my spirit. He gives me life to my mortal body. Jesus said, "I can't talk now. I heard what you said. I hear you".

They're loud talkers, like Holly. Holly is the loudest talker in the world. We don't fight about a lot of things, but we fight about this, because when we're out in public I'm like, "Keep it down, babe. Some people know who we are. I know we're not super, super famous, but it's enough where people might hear us. I don't want everybody, all of these tables, hearing us talk about stuff". Not that we're talking about anything bad, but sometimes I don't want them to know about everything that happened in our house this week. So I'm like, "Keep it down". She's like, "Why are you telling me to keep it down"? and I'm like, "Because I don't want anybody to hear what we're talking about. I don't want them to overhear what we're saying in this private communication between us".

That's why when Jesus got to the house, he sent everybody who was making noise out of the room. If they were in there playing their funeral flutes, the little girl couldn't hear him say, "Talitha koum! Get up". What room are you in right now? What report are you facing, and how can you preach good news to your situation even as you walk toward a bad report? To me, that would be the strongest level of faith: to know that the worst thing happened or could happen… For most of us, the Devil doesn't even have to do it. He just has to threaten us with it. To me, that's weird, because shouldn't we at least make him work for our faith if he wants to take it away? Now, do you have time for one more thing?

In the statement Jesus makes to Jairus, "Don't be afraid; just believe," there is no indication that Jairus has stopped believing, but Jesus knows that's what naturally happens through life. You think it gets easier to trust God as you grow older? It gets harder to go upstairs and to trust God as you get older. That's why we said you eventually have to give your kids to God. You eventually have to give your problems to God. You eventually have to give the part of yourself that you can't control to God. Now you've reached that point where he's saying, "Just believe". Believe what? He has no precedence of resurrection to believe. Remember, he still thinks Jesus is a teacher and maybe a healer, but in no way does he see him able to raise the dead. So, he's going toward something he's hoping for without even knowing if it's possible.

To me, that's what faith feels like: to put one heavy foot in front of the other with your heart broken sometimes. I can't find in the passage where Jairus said, "I believe, Lord". Can you find it? He just kept going. "Here's my house. Here's my daughter's room. Do what you want to do". Is faith that simple? It is when you're in this kind of fight. It is to send everything out of the room that is telling you to quit. Now, here's the problem with me saying "Quit". You don't have a Greek New Testament, and I don't either. I already showed you one Greek word, but I need to tell you about another. It doesn't mean believe in Jesus like a one-time thing; it means keep on believing. It's continual. It means the thing that made you come to the feet of Jesus and ask him to do it… You have to keep that kind of faith even though it already seems like it's over now. Even though the facts say there's no point in you staying, the faith to believe that "If Jesus is with me, the facts are not final…"

The facts are the facts. It is what it is. I did what I did. I am where I am. I have to do what I have to do. I can't just pray everything away by denial and close my eyes and wait for the rapture. The facts are the facts. But are you feeding more facts to your spirit than you are faith to your spirit? Do y'all remember when COVID started and they put a freakin' death toll on the screen for us to watch? That's diabolical. That was from the pit of hell while you were watching the death count on the screen. All it did was feed your fear. It didn't make you do one thing different. After a certain point, all it did was weaken your faith. It didn't strengthen your intellect. Every time I tell people, "I don't watch the news," they look at me with that eye roll, like, "Oh, you're ignorant". It would be better for me to be ignorant than to be insane, which is how I feel when I feed my fear with every screen that is available, with every stream that is available.

The facts don't set you free; the truth does, and he is the truth. Even when the facts are against you… "There are more for me than against me. Open your eyes," the prophet said. The facts are not final! Depressed is not your new personality type. The facts are not final! Divorce isn't what's going to be written on your tombstone. The facts are not final! God is still working on you. He who began a good work… I don't know who I'm preaching for, but I'm calling you out of the facts and into your faith to keep believing. I read that 40-something million people, by some polls, quit their jobs since 2021, which is much higher, as we know this term that we've come to say…not the "great recession" but the "great resignation". It's not my department to talk to you about whether to keep your job or not, but when it comes to your faith, I have noticed that a lot of people will do what is now called a quiet quit. It's when you hate your job, but you need it, so you stay, but barely. It's a quiet quit.

In this moment, Jairus isn't on the verge of denying Christ. That's what Peter did later. By the way, Peter, James, and John… Peter was the loudest one at the table, and he was the loudest one at the campfire denying Christ. John was leaned back on Jesus at the table and quiet, and then he stood quietly by the cross to take care of his mother. Faith is not always something you can see or hear by externals. It's something you have to know inside. Jairus didn't say a word, but he followed Jesus. I don't know who that's a word for, but you're not on the verge of denying Christ. You're not about to walk into God's office and say, "I quit. I don't want to be your child anymore". You're not storming into the throne room of heaven, saying, "God, I hate you, and I'm bitter toward you. Why did you take my mom so soon, and why is this happening to me? I thought you promised you would see me through, and I haven't felt your presence".

You're not saying it. It's a quiet quit. It happens in relationships all the time. I don't block your number, but I take out my heart. It happens in marriages all the time. I don't stop coming home physically, but nobody is home emotionally. The message of this text is for somebody who is quiet quitting on God. It's understandable for Jairus to say, "Never mind. Why bother"? After all, that's what everybody from his house is telling him. That's what the facts would suggest. Yet I thank God for the instant replay. How many of you are old enough to remember a time before the NFL had instant replay? The games were a third as long. Some people don't like instant replay because now when a play happens on the field, if they call it wrong or if the coach thinks they called it wrong, he can throw a challenge flag. (This will be handy for me to use for this illustration.) He can say, "Hey, I know what you said on the field, but I think you need to give it another look".

Some people don't like instant replay. I love it. In fact, as a parent of three kids who have played recreational sports, I think we should do instant replay on all recreational sports in every community and have volunteer teams of parents with their iPhone cameras. I'm a fan of it because it gives you another chance to look at something you thought you saw, to say, "It looked like they were short…" I've seen this happen a few times in games. It's my favorite part. It's like, "Oh, they were just short of the goal line," and then here comes the challenge flag.

I know nothing about football, but I know something about faith. The Lord told me today to throw a flag and tell you that what you thought was over and what you thought was hopeless and what you thought was pointless… See, because if Jesus is still with me… One thing Jairus has to know… If Jesus was done, he would have left, but if he's still here, that means even the interruption cannot stop God from doing what he said he would do. It might not happen how I wanted it to happen, but I'm throwing my flag, and when I throw my flag, that official has to go back in the booth. Can you hear me in the back? I see you going in the booth. Get in your prayer closet and ask God to show you from another angle.

I see Jesus walking into this church today in a striped shirt, like an official, to let the Devil know, "After further review… They came to church today talking about 'Why bother?' They came to church today with their heart so low. They won't even clap right now. But after further review, the ruling on the field is overturned". Y'all missed it. It's overturned. She's not dead; she's sleeping! It's not the end; it's a new beginning! The facts aren't final. God has the final word! Come on. Get in your booth and ask God to show you from his perspective. "I'm in the booth right now. I'm sorry, y'all. I can't talk right now. I'm in the booth right now. I'm looking at this situation again right now. I have to see something I didn't see before. I have to know something I can't know with my eyes. I'm sorry; I don't hate you, but I'm in the booth right now".

One word from Jesus can overturn any hopeless situation. Stop putting more faith in the facts than you do in God. I don't care what they said. They don't have the final word. They didn't write the book. They're not the way maker. They didn't create you. Why are you going to let somebody else write the instruction manual on a product God created? You don't know what you can do, what you can be, what you can have, where you can go. When we started this church, God told me, "You know, most of those things fail". Facts. Statistics. "Well, you know, this generation today has more temptation than ever before". Facts. "But they also have the same God through every generation".

The facts aren't final. We are believers. Don't be afraid. Believe, and keep believing. I want to give an invitation for people who have quiet quit on the promise of God. You're still a follower of Christ. You're not denouncing your faith. You didn't transition to another religion. You just started clocking out at 4:59. You just stopped believing that God can do it for you. You just resigned yourself. "Why bother the teacher anymore"? God brought you into this booth today. He brought you on this stream today. He brought you into this service today to show you that the ruling on the field can be overturned.

Father, you gave me a word for your sons and daughters today, and now I invite them to reach out to you by faith.

Everybody who has been in a quiet-quit season on what you believed God for, I want you to throw your hands up in the air right now and hold them there.

Do you see them, Lord? They're reaching for you. They have something in their life that's dying. They have fears in their heart they can't rationalize their way out of, and that's where we need faith. So, we're following you right there to the house. We don't want to hear the flutes. We don't want to hear the opinions. We need a touch from you. You took Jairus' daughter by the hand, Lord. You touched her personally. You weren't afraid to. You weren't ashamed to. You spoke to her. You ignored the bad report, and you spoke to the promise. We ask you to speak to our promise today, Jesus.

Say it out loud:

Speak to me, Jesus. Give me an enduring word. Give me a word I can walk on. Give me a word I can wait with. Give me a word for my weeping. Give me a "Come forth." Give me a stone rolling away word. God, I call on your name. Give us a word.

Let me tell you this. When I started this text, it said while Jesus was still speaking, a bad report came. What was he saying? What was he saying in that moment when Jairus received the worst news he could have heard? The verse before that, Jesus was saying, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering". He wasn't even saying that to Jairus. He was saying it to the woman who Jairus thought was an interruption. When you don't know what's ahead of you, hold on to the last thing you heard God say. I think when he called that woman "Daughter," it let Jairus know, "My daughter belongs to God too, and I can give God this situation". You have to give it to God. What else are you going to do? You can't control it anymore. You have to give it to God. Give it to him willingly. Just lay it right down before him today.
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