Steven Furtick - Fixing What's Really Broken
This is an excerpt from: Deeper Than You Think
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.