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Watch 2022 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Deeper Than You Think

Steven Furtick - Deeper Than You Think


Steven Furtick - Deeper Than You Think

What I want to do with the time I have with you today, which I take very seriously, is continue in the conversation we started last week. I want to continue on this path. We only really took a few steps last week down this path. Let me tell you, there's so much to this that God is showing me. Don't worry if you weren't here last week. You're like, "Oh no. Now I'm missing out. I won't know what you're talking about". You will. You'll pick right up. I want to go into a very familiar Scripture today. I want to go to John, chapter 4, sharing with you some thoughts on the hard work of happiness. I think I told you last week that this came to me while I was riding a bike. You look all over the Bible, and you just see…

Now, not all of my sermons start from a Bible passage. I should be honest with you. I think the best sermons feel more like real life, not just like the library. We don't just want to approach things from an intellectual point of view. Some people think something is more spiritual if it's more intellectual. They say, "Oh, that was really deep, what you said". "What does it mean"? "I don't know, but it was deep". "How do you know"? "Because I didn't understand it. It was deep". We used to have a staff member who would get up onstage, and Holly said he had the spiritual gift of confusing her.

She said, "When he talks, he always makes me think I don't get it. I don't really think he gets it. I think by him making me not get it and making me think he has something deep to say, he circumvents the fact that he didn't study by just saying stuff that sounds so abstract that I think, 'Well, I guess that's why I made a [whatever score] on my SAT, because I don't understand this.'" In the Scripture, in John 4, there's a passage, a story, that is well loved and well worn. As familiar as it is, I want us to get into it today. There's something the Lord is speaking on the subject of the hard work of happiness. Before I read you my Scripture, let me tell you the quote that actually gave me that phrase. It's not a Bible verse that says, "The hard work of happiness".

I was watching a documentary, and that quote came up. The person said, "It's something that took me to age 70 to realize, that happiness is really hard work". Holly and I were watching the same movie at the same time, and I looked over at her. She didn't look like it really registered at all at a deep level. Like I told you last week, she's naturally happy. I don't mean she doesn't work hard at it. She tries not to complain. She serves others. She does a lot of habits that make her happy, but she's more hardwired for happiness than I am. I figured that out in our marriage. One marriage advice… Somebody said, "In every marriage there's the crazy one. Make sure you're the crazy one in the relationship before you get married. It'll go easier for you".

When Holly teaches her study on marriage, Becoming Mrs. Betterhalf, she's not bragging, like, "Oh, I'm the better half," but I certainly would say that of her. In my life, it has been hard work to actually be happy. Hard work I'm good at, and happiness not so much. After I preached that last week, I went home and said, "Did they hear what I said, what I was trying to say"? It's hard to know sometimes. A lot of times, I think my sermons are a lot deeper than you think they are. I'll preach a whole sermon with all of these Greek words or these insights in the Old Testament and the New Testament, and then the people will come up to me and say, "That was a funny story about the toilet getting clogged up there at the end. That was good. I liked that".

One time I preached on Ruth and Boaz. Man, I studied the whole Old Testament to preach that message, and they said, "It's good you're finally getting the kids a dog". The one thing you heard is right there on the surface. All that being said as a setup, the person who said that in the documentary was Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys. I defy you to name me a happier-sounding band than the Beach Boys. That was the sound of my childhood. This is literally the man who was singing, "And she'll have fun, fun, fun 'til her daddy takes the T-bird away". Yet his struggles are well documented now with mental illness and drug abuse. He said something that was quoted. "It took me 70 years…" The Beach Boys have sold 100 million albums. He wrote what Paul McCartney said is the greatest song ever written, "God Only Knows". He wrote "Good Vibrations," for Pete's sake. To know that as he was creating these masterpieces of music, he was saying things like, "It was three weeks in my bed, wondering if I wanted to live…"

Now, apart from analyzing that specific situation, I just want to take that idea and talk to you about it for a few minutes. It is possible for you to make happy music and have a troubled mind. It is possible for you to have memorized Scripture and have a troubled soul. It is possible for you to be sober, free from some substances you used to struggle with, yet deep down… This is what I want to talk about a little deeper down today from John, chapter 4. Do we really experience what Jesus came to give us? Do we really? To look at that, we're going to go into John, chapter 4. This is one of the most famous Bible stories…the woman at the well, the woman in Samaria at the well who Jesus stopped to talk to and changed her life. Where I want to start today is going to be a little different than where we end up, so just flow with me.

John 4:1: "Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John—although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, 'Will you give me a drink?' (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, 'You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?' (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, 'If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would [lose the attitude and ask him] and he would have given you living water.' 'Sir,' the woman said, 'you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself…'"

"He didn't need a woman to give him a jar. He had his own jar. Are you greater than Jacob"? "'…as did also his sons and his livestock?' Jesus answered, 'Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.' The woman said to him, 'Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.' He told her, 'Go, call your husband and come back.' 'I have no husband,' she replied. Jesus said to her, 'You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.'"

Getting a little closer now. "'Sir,' the woman said, 'I can see that you are a prophet.'" You think? "'Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.' 'Woman,' Jesus replied, 'believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.'"

The subject for today is Deeper Than You Think. It's deeper than you think. In defense of the disciples, they did not know where this was all heading. In defense of the disciples, they had more faith than most of us will ever demonstrate by leaving their trained, chosen vocations in order to follow someone whose life would meet a violent end. At the same time that I commend them for their courage, I would like to go on record as saying there is nothing obvious in the Scriptures that makes me think the disciples were particularly perceptive. What I'm trying to say is I don't think the disciples were all that deep. I'm not saying they were dumb, but I wouldn't exactly characterize them as deep either. To give you one example of how they tended to be a little less than deep… I'm not saying they're stupid. I'm not saying they're shallow. I'm just saying that, a lot of times, if you read the Scriptures, Jesus seemed to be operating on one level, and they were operating on another. They were trying to catch up with him pretty much all the way to the cross, where they were surprised that he died after he told them. That's a good example. He tells them one day… He's like, "I've got to go to Jerusalem and die".

So, they walk a little down the road. He turns around and finds them talking, and he asks, "What are you talking about"? They said, "We were just, um, trying to figure out who gets to sit on your right hand when you enter into your kingdom". So, they weren't very deep, fighting over position and status and stuff like that. One time… I was just studying this one this week too. Jesus said, "Be careful of the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees and Herod". He was talking about the things you let in your heart that take over and needing to see a sign versus just believing in God with that childlike faith. So, he said, "Be careful of the yeast," and they looked at each other and said, "It's because you forgot to pack bread". Not that deep. Even in this passage we just read, it's striking to me… Maybe not to you, but it's striking to me the detail, that while he is changing a lady's life, all they can think about is lunch.

I'm not saying they're bad. I'm not saying they should have been fasting. I'm not really even saying I would have done any better, because after I preach to you, I'm going to eat lunch too. I'm not going to try to get somebody saved at Chipotle after I preach. I'm going home to eat. That's all I'm going to do. I'm going to preach to you. I'm going to go home and eat. So, I'm not criticizing the disciples. I'm just taking a moment to pause and say that in the Scriptures, a lot of times, Jesus was thinking a little bit deeper than the disciples. I bring that up to ask the question…Is Jesus thinking a little bit more deeply about your situation than you are thinking about your situation in this moment, and does he see it like you see it? With my kids, I have to be okay with the fact that my disciples, Abbey, Graham, and Elijah… I don't have 12. Three is enough for me. I don't know how he put up with 12.

He had 12 of these little children running around. "I'll sit on the right hand". "You didn't bring the bread". What would you do if you had 12 of those? I have three, and I love them deeply, but they frustrate me greatly. One thing I learned… Any of y'all have little kids? When they get a little older, they will pick on you. They'll start making fun of you. It is completely normal to the developmental task of the child to start making fun of Dad, because that's how the child differentiates and individuates. (I don't know if that's a word or not; I just went with it. It made me sound deep: individuate. You've got to individuate so you can matriculate, pontificate.) What was I saying? Oh, how my kids… They love me. Listen. We have a home of respect. Sometimes in trying to do humor… I don't want to give you the wrong example.

Our home is very respectful, very loving, very warm, and they love me. I think they look up to me. I think they think I'm the best dad they could ever have. They say that on Father's Day. But on many occasions, the only time they get along is when they band together to beat up on me. I'm cool with that, because I'm Christlike. If I have to hang here on this cross to unify these three kids who are fighting all the time so y'all can make fun of how old I am… I'm not ashamed of age, by the way. "Oh, you're getting old". Old is the goal. I didn't die. What did you do? Old is the goal. Let's make a tee shirt or a fanny pack or something that says, "Old is the goal". Wear it with pride. But they make fun of me. "Classic Dad," they say. "Classic Dad. Just like Dad to say that. Did you hear Dad saying that"? They made fun of me this summer on vacation. There are so many wonderful memories I could tell you about, but let me tell you about this one.

Every time they wanted to go swimming in the ocean, I went. Holly didn't go. I went. I'm just pointing out she is not always the more perfect parent. But guess what. Because I went in the ocean, I was subject to their mockery. Here's what kept happening every time we'd go out. Every time we'd go out to the ocean, within 10 minutes I'd be saying, "Come back in! You're too far out! You're too far out! Come back in"! "Classic Dad". They're rolling their eyes. "Dad, come on. Calm down". Abbey is hanging on my back, and I'm telling Elijah and Graham, "Come back in! You're too far out! There's an undercurrent. There's nobody else out here but us. That means we're not very smart. This is not a good time to swim in the ocean. Come back in! I can't see you out there. I know you can swim. I know you're taller than me, but I'm your dad. Come back in! That's too far out! Come back in"! Abbey is hanging on my back, and she says, "Dad, calm down. It's not that deep".

So I put her down. After she thrashed around for a minute, because she was not on my back anymore, standing on the solid rock… You know how we get arrogant. We think we're so great and so good and we can do it, but really, it's what we're standing on. When I put her down, she thrashed around a little bit, and I said, "It's deeper than you think". The disciples found out how deep it was when Jesus left to be in heaven, and they had to do the things they had seen him do without him there to correct them when they messed it up. Now, Peter, if you cut off an ear, it stays off. Jesus isn't around to put it back on. One time they went to go cast out demons. They'd seen Jesus cast out demons, so they went to cast out demons, and they couldn't do it. They came back and said, "Why can't we do it? We saw you do it". He said, "This kind comes out only by prayer and fasting. You thought it was the motions. You watched how I put my hand or you listened to what I said or maybe you copied my voice inflection. It's not at that level. It's deeper than you think".

We just read a text that seems to be about 40 verses on something as simple as a beverage service, 40 verses on something that happens every day when you go to a restaurant or right when you go to your fridge. Forty verses. Why I love to revisit old Scriptures isn't because I want a week off from studying. It's because the same thing we do in our lives we often do with the Word of God. We skim. We scroll. We skim and we scroll. We don't really know anybody. We just skim and scroll. We don't really read any news stories. We skim the headlines and scroll to the next one. So, we develop entire ideologies and belief systems on what happened and judgments on people because we skim and scroll. Like the Pharisees, by the way, in the first few verses I read.

They heard Jesus was baptizing more people than John the Baptist, and Jesus wasn't even the one personally doing the baptism. But since when the did the truth get in the way of a fun rumor? They start talking. They start moving, and Jesus goes to Samaria. Now, this passage, on one hand, is a geographical description of how Jesus traveled to Galilee where he based his ministry, but it's deeper than you think. For instance, did you know most Jews, instead of going straight through Samaria, if they were going to Galilee, would go around Samaria, and it took twice as long? They didn't go through Samaria because they (the Bible even said it) did not like or associate with the Samaritans.

You read that and think, "Well, that's wrong. That sounds like they're bigots. That sounds like they're racist. That sounds like they're religious classists. That sounds like they have an issue". And they do, but to really understand even the depth of why they walked around Samaria instead of going through it, you'd have to break it down and go all the way back to 700 BC (so, this is seven centuries before Jesus showed up to talk to this woman) and understand how the religious environment of Samaria had been populated with those who did not worship the true God. So, when they were taken out of Samaria, which was the northern kingdom… Israel was a divided kingdom, and the division ran deep, because the moment they were taken out of their homeland, some other people were brought in, and when they came back, they started marrying and mixing, so many of the people who were in Samaria worshiped other gods.

So, when the Jews didn't want to associate with the Samaritans, it was because they didn't want to get dragged down by the customs of the Samaritans, not because they were so dysfunctional in their hearts that they didn't like them. Now you begin to see through the eyes of the Jewish people why they avoided that certain place called Samaria, and you begin to understand why in your life you avoid certain things as well. Why don't you finish things? Why don't you start new things? Why won't you love again? Why won't you trust again? Why can't you express yourself? Why don't you come to church? It's deeper than it seems, and it's deeper than you even think. Be very careful about your rush to judgment concerning someone whose journey you have not shared. Be very careful. "God hates divorce". Be very careful hiding something that resembles more the kind of bigotry the Pharisees were known for underneath what sounds spiritual from a situation that has already broken the heart of the person whose wounds you are pouring salt into.

I think I lost 87 percent of the church. Next week will be a good week to come. There will be plenty of seats. This preaching is not a crowd-building preaching. "Just stay abstract up here, Pastor, talking to us about heaven when we die and streets of gold and mansions of glory. Don't talk to me about my attitude. I don't want to talk about my attitude. I know I have a bad attitude, but I love the Lord. I'm not happy, but I've got joy". I said that last week. That's a Christian saying. "We're not happy, but we've got joy, praise God". Said with the meanest, ugliest look on your face you ever saw in your life. That's the Christian equivalent of, "I don't like you, but I love you". That's the Christian equivalent of that.

You know, "I don't like you, but I love you with the love of the Lord. I'm not happy. I'm miserable. I'm terrible to be around, but I'm going to heaven when I die". I hope not, because I was going to go too, and I don't really want to be around you there too for all of eternity, for 10,000 years, bright shining as the sun. So, in this passage, one of the things I want you to see is not only the fact that Jesus went through Samaria when he didn't have to and most people didn't but that he did not explain to his disciples his reason for doing so. He let them go get lunch and explained it later. This is one of my definitions of peace: letting God explain it later.

As I'm going through an experience in life, trusting God enough to let him explain later. It takes no faith to move on an explanation. It takes all the faith in the world to do what the disciples did and go get lunch while Jesus talks to a lady he has no business talking to in at least three categories. I will list them for you. She is a she. He is a he. This he is a rabbi, and rabbis are not permitted to talk to women in public. Strike one, Jesus. She is a Samaritan. He is a Jew. I already told you right there in plain sight in the text that Jews and Samaritans have no dealing. That's second. Third, as we found out in the text, she has a questionable, at best, reputation. He is the holy, spotless Lamb of God, and he's not even married. Jesus didn't have kids. How could he have kids when he had to put up with Peter? He had no more room for anybody to look after and straighten up after. Jesus is talking to someone he has no business talking to in a place that is a place he has no business going, and it's deeper than you think.

So, Jesus is sitting by a well, talking to a woman, and the disciples don't know why. He's sitting by a well talking to a woman. The disciples don't know why. Got it? Everything in the text is something you can see. You can see the woman. You can see the well. You can see the woman's jar she's going to get the water from. You can't see Jesus' jar, because he doesn't have one, because she is one, but she doesn't know that yet. The Bible is deeper than you think. You know how it said it happened at noon? Did you see that? You probably didn't pay attention to that. It said it's noon. It's the sixth hour, and she's coming out there at noon. Why at noon? That's the hottest time you could… If you have to work hard to get this water and carry it, the worst time you can do it is in the heat of the day.

This is not exactly a friendly climate. Where the Bible happened, it gets some pretty hot conditions. Something in her life, which we find out is that she has been from man to man to man to man to man, either passed around like an object or because of some choice of her own… We don't know, but she's there in the heat of the day to avoid the melting, penetrating gaze of others who would speak of her as she did it. It's deeper than you think…when you do things, why you do things. It's deeper than you think. There's a reason she's there at noon. There's a reason you do it at noon. It's deeper than you think. What time did Jesus die on the cross? Go study your Scripture. You'll find out he died about the sixth hour, which is at noon. Is it a coincidence that she came to get her water out of her shame at the same time that he would later die for her shame to take it away or is John pointing to something?

John's gospel is amazing, because he has these signs. He gives these signs to prove that Jesus is who he says he is. All of the signs in John's gospel are pointing not to the miracles themselves but to the one, the man, the God, the Spirit who created all things that are seen. Oh, I love it. It's deeper than you think. Slow down. Stop reading your Bible so fast, and stop skimming it. Every once in a while, just sit, like Jesus did at the well. Just sit. Wonder why at noon. "I wonder why it happened at noon. I wonder why John took the time to stop by and say, 'It happened at noon.' We don't really need a chronological journal of everything that happened on the journey. Just get to the point". No, you need to know it's at noon, because you need to know this woman was ashamed, because you might feel ashamed of some things that happened in your life, either things you did or things others did.

You need to know that at noon one Friday, there was a man who hung on a cross. They stretched him wide and hung him high, but he didn't stay where they put him, and you're not staying where they put you! You will not die in this situation. "Because he lives, I can face tomorrow". Stuff like that you need to know. It's deeper than you think. So, try this out next time you're judging somebody. Just say, "It's deeper than I think". Or else you'll get into this thing of behavior modification. Why didn't Jesus tell this woman to stop having so many different men before he told her he would give her living water? Why didn't he say, "Go fix these issues, and I'll give you this resource"? Why didn't Jesus give this woman a list of things she could do so she wouldn't have to keep going to these bad relationships over and over?

At the very least, she doesn't know how to select the right man. At the very least. Why didn't he fix that? That's exactly how we think. Right? Okay. This is my sermon. If you like the sermon in a sentence, this is it right here: we solve it on the level we see it. That's why I wanted to talk to you about happiness. You can see the well. You can see the woman, but what you can't see is what is happening within that Jesus points to and says, "I want to fix that. I want to work on that". Until you understand this principle in Scripture, you will slap a religious label on behavior modification methods that will keep you coming back to the wrong well to be happy. I hope you like to hear me preach, but I don't want for you to need me to preach. What if I decide to go be a construction worker? What are you going to do then? What if Holly decides we need to hike the Appalachian trail for nine months? What if I'm gone for nine months? What are you going to do? Are you just going to not fight the Devil for nine months? I don't want you to need an external voice to experience an inward transformation.

Now, this part of my sermon is really bad for job security, because I'm telling you that you have within you… I don't think you understand what you have within you. Everything I'm seeing people do to try to get happy these days is an outside thing, but it's an inside job. You're doing outside stuff, because you keep trying to solve it on the level that you see it. You see people who look happy. You see people who look ecstatic, people who look successful, people who look like they have it all together. So, since you see the objects they post to give the illusion of success… I think they're compensating, because I think if you really possess it, you don't even need to post it. That's what I think. I think the lady doth protest too much. That's what I think. But it's deeper than I think, because we don't really see what they struggle with.

So, you're trying to fix what you see, but you don't really understand what you're struggling with or what they're struggling with. Stop having arguments. Married people, wave at me. Wave at me like it was the best decision of your life you made when you said, "I do". Oh, wasn't it now? Let me teach you something real quick. Anybody newly married? I mean, still have the plastic wrap on the thing. Don't even know if this… "Where does this go"? you know. You're still figuring it out. Look at her. I'm going to do you a quick favor. Send me a little gift card or something after this, because this is really good. You can pay a lot of therapy bills over what I'm about to give you. She's deeper than you think. Don't get boring and stop being curious about who she really is, because you haven't really even met her yet. You got it? You're welcome. Oh, hey, and you, daughter of God, look at him real quick. Just look in his eyes.

Look deep in his eyes. At times in the coming years, if he's sitting there with a blank look on his face, just drooling, and you're like, "What is he thinking"? let me tell you something: absolutely nothing. I'm just kidding. No, no, no. That's the stereotype. "Oh, the women are complicated; the men are simple". Men are not simple. He's way deeper than you think. If you see a man struggle with anger, you will just label it as rage. What if he's really afraid? Mom and I were talking the other day about something my dad did, one time when he freaked out. We were laughing, because we started listing all of the times he freaked out. Classic Dad. We were bonding over laughing at him. He's in heaven now, so it doesn't hurt him. He's way less dysfunctional than us down here now, so we can say whatever we want about him. He has his wings and stuff, but down here he didn't have any wings.

Down here he would freak out. She looked at me and said something that I thought was so profound. She said, "I think any time somebody made him feel stupid… I think a lot of the stuff he did that we categorized as him being hateful was him feeling like, at the core, he was made to feel stupid". Which would make total sense, since he didn't have the opportunity to even finish the eighth grade. He would go through his life feeling like everybody knew something he didn't know. So, "Anytime now I get an indication that 'You know something I don't know,' I feel weak. Since I feel weak, I have to act strong". Arrogant people are the most insecure people. Strong people and whole people are humble people. They can receive feedback.

Do you see in the text in John, chapter 4, how the Samaritan woman is so defensive? Why? "Can I get a drink"? "You don't even have a jar…" Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! "I'm just trying to make conversation, lady. I am a rabbi". Nicodemus just came to see this guy at night in John 3. Now he's having to deal with a woman he's not even supposed to be talking to, and in their eyes, she's not worthy to talk to him, and he's having to put up with this. But he keeps talking to her. For years, I read this text and thought Jesus was discussing or debating with the woman, but he wasn't. It wasn't a debate. He wasn't discussing. He wasn't debating. He was digging. "Will you give me a drink"? "You're not supposed to have anything to do with me. We don't even like y'all". "I understand all that. I understand you're suspicious based on your history. I understand all that, but keep going. Will you give me a drink"?

Remember, all of this is happening (if you really love the Bible, check this out) at Jacob's well that he gave Joseph, which is amazing. Joseph was thrown in a well at one time in his life by his brothers, who left him there to die and then sold him into slavery, and then at the end of his life, his father Jacob said, "I'm going to give you one more ridge of land than I gave your brothers," in Genesis 48. On that ridge of land is right where Jesus showed up hundreds of years later, and it says the well Jacob gave Joseph was there. Isn't that awesome? This has been happening for a long time. Jesus didn't just set this up the night before. "I think I'll stop by Samaria and talk to the woman". He was thinking about this woman from the very moment Joseph was getting blessed with a well from his father.

You have to know in your life that God has been busy behind the scenes. God is not surprised by this season of your life. God did not even randomly let you click on this sermon. You did not choose this sermon, and neither did the algorithm. God took the algorithm. He said, "I need them to watch a sermon three months ago so that when they open their YouTube on Sunday morning, there will be in their algorithm a word they need to adjust their direction so that their life can be on course". What kind of joy would you have and peace would you experience if you internalized the truth that God has been busy all along? On the surface, your life seems absolutely ridiculous. On the surface, your situation is very scary, and you look like someone who is just going out to get water. You look like someone who just came to church with your mom. You look like someone who just came today because that's what we do. That's on the surface, but it's deeper than you think. God brought you here in this moment in time to remind you that there is a well on your land.

As a matter of fact, I want to point something out to you. The land belonged to Joseph, so the spring under it did too. Jacob paid 100 pieces of silver for that land, and underneath the land was a spring, and when the spring came up through a well, it was able to refresh and restore. God sent me to tell you that when Jesus paid for your salvation, you don't just get the field; you get the spring too. He didn't just die so you could go to heaven one day. You get what's under it too. When he claimed, "This is mine" and took your life, he didn't just come to give you a ticket to heaven; he came to give you bread in the presence of your enemies and green grass in the valley and joy unspeakable and full of glory! I don't just want the land. I don't just want heaven. I don't just want salvation when I get there. I need Jesus right now, living water, springs of living water!

So, not just the land, but the spring is yours. God is saying, "I don't just want the external parts of you. I don't just want your behavior to get better. I want what's inside". Jesus died for what is inside. That's the gospel. If you believe in his name, from within you… Just get that word right there in your spirit: within. You think if you get a better well, you'll be happy. Or like the woman, "You don't even have a jar". See how fixated we are on what we can see? The level you see it determines the level you solve it. That's why you keep clicking on all of the videos that tell you how to be happy by eating more pizza and doing less cardio. It's clickbait, because that's the world. It'll keep you coming back when you get thirsty again.

So, we keep clicking on stuff, trying stuff. How many of y'all have done at least three diets already this year, and it's not even November yet? It's all right. I've done it too, because the next thing is going to fix it. "Oh, it's my macros. Oh, it's my micros". You know what? I'm saying you can count all of that you want on the outside, and it's wonderful. All of this thing is wonderful, and all that stuff is great, but have you ever stopped to wonder what's under it? Are you running around like me last week with a plunger? That's the story I told last week. Every deep thing I said in the sermon… The only thing I heard anything about was, "That was funny when you yelled at your kids about the toilet".

I told this story. It was embarrassing, and I'm still embarrassed by it. After plunging this toilet and yelling at the kids, "Who did this in the toilet and left it and shut the lid"? and after trying to fix it, and I couldn't fix it, I found out it wasn't their fault, and it wasn't the toilet's fault, and that the pump was broken. The only way for me to fix the situation was to deal with it at the level I couldn't see it. That means I could have taken their phone for a week. "You shouldn't have done that in that toilet. That is unlawful for a man to do in that toilet, and you at least should have told me it didn't flush". It wasn't that. It was backed up somewhere else. You can yell. You can scream. You can fight. You can buy. You can try. You can cry. You can do all of it that you want to, but you're going to keep coming back and keep getting thirsty.

She said, "I have five men I tried. I'm still thirsty. And the one I'm with now I'm not sure about". Jesus is like, "Good, because now you've probably given up on the idea that you will be happy when you have someone. Maybe now you're ready to admit it's deeper than you think". I can't figure this out on my own. I can't structure my way into this. Structure is awesome. I can't schedule my way into this. Scheduling is awesome. I can't shop my way into this. Shopping is awesome. I'm waiting for Holly to say, "Amen". Don't be a hypocrite now. You know there's stuff at my door every day. But that's not what makes Holly happy. That's not what's going to make you happy, not in a way that's going to be lasting. It's deeper than you thought.

Now, sometimes it's not that deep. Not everything is so deep. Not everything is as deep as you make it. "Man, I feel like the Devil is fighting me with the spirit of exhaustion". You stayed up until 4:00 a.m. watching Netflix. That's the spirit of Netflix. Those are different. Right? You know that. "Oh, no, man. I'm just anxious all the time". I guess seven cups of coffee before 7:30 a.m. is not the best way to fight anxiety. "I cancel the spirit of caffeine in the name of Jesus. I break every yoke of caffeine in the name of Jesus". But if you drink it… You can't be delivered from it if you just keep drinking it. I'm preaching to myself, because sometimes I'm like, "God, I'm so anxious. I don't know what to do. I feel like the Devil is just coming at me".

It's not the Devil; it's Diet Coke. I do not need any comments about aspartame and how I'm going to die. I'm going to heaven when I die, and I'm ready to see Jesus at any time, and I enjoy the delicious taste of Diet Coke. It's deeper than you think, and I like it. "Classic Dad. Calm down. We're swimming fine. Calm down. What's the big deal"? "Calm down, Preacher. You're up here yelling and shouting and screaming and all this stuff. It doesn't take all that. We don't need all that. It's not that deep". Okay, Abbey. You touch. Life will eventually put you in a situation where you will, from that point forward, know your need for something to stand on. These waters are deeper than you think. I was processing with a young man the other day. He said, "I don't get depressed people. Why would you want to be depressed"?

As if depression was a desire. It's a disease. You understand a lot of the mental health issues we're dealing with right now… It is not as if these people are selecting. There are behaviors. There are inputs. But at the heart of that, can we take a moment to try to understand what's really going on in their lives, in your life? While you're at it, would you stop being so hard on yourself? You're doing pretty good, after all. I think y'all need therapy, because only three people clapped. I can't pay for the whole church to go to therapy, y'all. Seventy-five, seventy-five… That's a lot of hours. I can't do it. You're going to have to hear me say this from the stage, because some of you are not going to let anybody else say it to you. You are trying to solve stuff at the level you see it, but it's deeper than you think.

You can't see anything but the symptoms, so you keep stuffing the symptoms, numbing the symptoms, shopping through the symptoms, screaming at other people because of the symptoms. I'm sorry, y'all, but sin is deeper than you think. "You don't preach enough about sin in this church. I wish you preached more about sin". Well, I guess you do. It's something you're an expert in. "Preach about sin". A lot of the sermons I hear that are so preaching against sin… They're just skimming it. All they're doing is saying, "All right. You are committing adultery. Stop that"! How do I stop committing adultery when at the heart of me doing this is something you haven't taught me to deal with? We had the youth services this week in the church. It was awesome. I'll tell you what. You kind of wish you could have a session with just the fellows so you could do a whole thing on porn.

Don't look at me. You brought your kids in here. There's eKidz. You should have dropped them off. It is not my fault you don't trust your kids with our volunteers. They're certified. You made that decision. But I wish I could. I wish I could do a whole thing with the boys about porn, because I think I have a bigger message to give them than "Don't". We're so surface level in church. "Sex is dirty and nasty and gross and ugly, so save it for your husband". Nobody taught me that the Holy Spirit would help me in my struggle with that. Nobody ever taught me there are patterns I can put in place. Nobody ever taught me that I need more than just prayers; I need people to help me when I'm weak. Nobody taught me that. All you want to do is stand over defeated people and discourage them even more, but it's deeper than you think.

"Don't be depressed. Six-part series. It starts next Sunday. Part one: don't. Part two: be. Part three: depressed". "What are the next three weeks going to be"? "I'm going to say that again louder"! But it's deeper. She came out there at noon because she was ashamed, and he died at noon because she was ashamed. He comes to you right out in the light to show you what you're really dealing with. He's digging. "Can I have water"? "Why are you asking me for water? Just like a man". He's digging, and he's digging. "I know underneath this attitude, I know underneath this sorrow is a deep disappointment that what you thought would quench your thirst, what you thought would satisfy your soul didn't work, that who you thought would never let you down broke you in pieces. I know that," he says. "And I see that". You keep trying to solve it on the level you see it.

Now let's solve it on the level he sees it. It's deeper than you think, Abbey. That's all I know to tell you. I kept telling y'all to come in, not just because of what was happening in that moment. Do you remember at Cinnamon Beach two summers earlier on spring break? We're out there, and the riptide comes. Do you remember when y'all started swimming in, and I told you afterward, "I think we almost all just died"? I was scared. I didn't act scared while we were out there. Y'all, we were out there on spring break two years before this, and I just absolutely lost track of where we were. None of us could touch…not Elijah, not Graham, not Abbey, not me. Holly was in the house doing a puzzle, the smart, happy one. I got them all in, but it was a minute where… Anybody almost drown before? Anybody almost drown with your three kids out there, and you can't get them all in?

So, when I'm yelling this summer, I'm remembering that spring break. I'm not just yelling because you're too far out there now. I still feel in my cells… If I close my eyes, I can remember thinking, "O God, this is it". Sometimes what you're dealing with right now isn't what you're dealing with right now. It's deeper than you think. Jesus can help you deal with that. He didn't tell the woman, "I'll meet you in heaven one day". He said, "Go get your husband". She said, "I don't have a husband". He said, "I know. You've been with five, and the one you have now is not your husband". She said, "You're a prophet". She thought he was a prophet because he spoke to her past. I think he was a prophet because he knew her future. He knows the plans he has for you, and it's deeper than you think. He knows how he's going to redeem this season in your child's life, and what he's doing is deeper than you think.

The Lord said to me the other day, "You need to start respecting the roots. All you ever look for in life to praise me for is the stuff you can see above the surface. Start praising me more for the things I am doing deeper in your life. Start praising me more for things I'm teaching you that you can carry forward. Start praising me more for things I will explain later". So, praise God now for what he will explain later. That's a faith principle. "I praise you now. You can explain it later. I praise you now. I'll understand it later. I praise you now. I'll get it later. I praise you now. It hurts right now, but it'll heal me later. I praise you now because it's the groundwork. I praise you now because it's a foundation". After all, if God is building something awesome in my life, the first thing he will do is dig.

That's not the Devil. That's Jesus digging it out. You have a well on the inside. You have something special on the inside. You have something awesome on the inside. Somebody shout out loud, "I've got it"! High-five somebody and say, "I've got it! I've got it on the inside". Don't look at my bag. I'm not talking about that. Don't look at what's on my back. I'm not talking about that. I'm not talking about anything you can see. I'm not going to solve it at the level people can see it. I'm done trying to impress people. I'm done smiling through stuff I need to work through. I'm done putting spiritual clichés over things that God wants to do a deep work to help me recover from. I want this water, the one that won't make me thirstier. I want this water, the one that's not poison. I want this water. I want the one that comes from you, God. I want the real thing. I don't want the substitute! I don't want the stand-in! I don't want the sixth man! I want the seventh man! I want Jesus! Open your mouth wide! It's deeper than you think. I have bad news.

The problem is deeper than you think. There are no seven steps to fix it. It's called sin, and it's the human condition. It's worse than they told you. It's not just "Get your act together and be happy when you do". That's the bad news. The problem is deeper than you think. I have good news: so is the power. If the problem is deeper than you think, so is the power. It won't run out. The patience of God will not run out. He'll sit here all day if that's what it takes. He will sit here all day. He will dig all day until he uncovers the real you. He will dig past layers of pretension. He will dig past every persona. He will knock over everything you've propped up to try to keep you from being seen. He'll strip away every fig leaf. He'll come until that thing in your life that was standing up, that was erected as a façade, is torn down and all you have left is faith.

What he said to the woman is true for you. It's deeper than you think. It's not going to be a well you can see; it's going to be a well from within. I wonder what you've been praying for. I wonder what you've been searching for. The kingdom of God is within you. The Spirit of God is within you. Just when you think you've reached your end… Now, whoever this is for, I knew I needed to say it before I got up, and I would not be able to eat my lunch without saying this, so you listen. You've been telling God how deep the well is. He's trying to show you how deep his grace is. There it is. That's the word. The grace is deeper still. If the fear runs deep, the faith runs deeper still. Do you see it?

If the shame runs deep, the grace runs deeper still. It's deeper than you think. It's deeper than you imagine, according to him who is able to do immeasurably more. It is deeper than you think. Those seeds you're sowing that you don't think anybody notices are going in the soil right now. You respect that rooting process. You continue to water everything you've planted with your tears, and you trust God to explain it later. It is deeper than you think. By the time Jesus gets done with this woman, she goes back to her village in Samaria, and she brings all of the men back with her so they can meet Jesus. What God is doing in you right now is not about you; it's about what God is going to do through you in the future. You need to get off this well today and begin to move in the direction of his word for your life. The disappointment runs deep, but his grace runs deeper. Bow your heads. Receive the living water today.

O Father, what a truth that it's not about which mountain we worship on. It's not about what jar we brought. It's about what water is on the inside of us. Oh, I bless you for showing me that again this week. I needed to know it this week, God. I started thinking, "Oh, I've got to get more money put away. Then I'll feel safe. Oh, I've got to get this person straightened out. Then I'll have peace. Oh, I've got to get this calmed down. I've just got to make it through this season. I've got to finish this". You told me to stop and sit by the well and remember what is within me and to call it out of these men and women.


Everyone standing. The Spirit of God is in you. The favor of the Lord is on you. The hand of the Lord is upon you. The promise of God over your life. I call it to the surface now in Jesus' name. The problem is deeper than you think. The promise is greater than you know. I'm telling you, it's not coming one day; it's here right now. There's a well within you right now.
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