Steven Furtick - Where To Find Your Opportunity
This is an excerpt from: I Know How This Story Ends
I wanna show you something real quick. This is a picture from our summer vacation a few weeks ago. Just a picture of some family time that we had. Yeah, see, that's how it ended. I don't know, can they see that the campuses? Yeah, that's how it ended. That's how it ended with Graham smiling, with everybody breathing, with Elijah making some questionable sign with his hand. Notice, there is only one oar. There were two when we set out, and embarked on this family adventure. But it ends like this.
Thankfully for me, as I've already mentioned, I have a great wife, who when she saw struggling on the kayak, because contrary to my knowledge, sandbars are temporary. They don't just stay there. The sandbar that is there one minute might be gone in 30 minutes. There's this thing called the tides... You think I would know this stuff. You would think you would drag the kayak further than just the very edge of the sandbar before you walked all the way out to the middle of it to have a family memory. But thank God for my wife because when she saw struggling when the tide came in... how many know when God gives you a great wife when she sees you struggling, she picks up the iPhone and records it. So check out this video she took real quick.
So, you know, Graham said it best, he said, when we got back and we were telling everybody what had happened, he said, "That could have ended a whole lot different". You know, because you obviously have the leisure of laughter because you know how it ends. I mean, well, hey, Pastor, I mean, it's pretty funny actually, the binoculars, you're dry now. You're not dead. Because it's different when you know how it ends. But if the man on the jet ski hadn't come by. It could have ended, this is what Graham said "It could have ended a whole lot different", or if he wouldn't have had southern hospitality to go get my kayak and bring it back to me with his jet ski, it could have ended, look at somebody, say, "It could have ended a whole lot different".
How many know there's some things in your life that could have ended a whole lot different. That drunk driver swerved right into your lane but some kind of angel just pulled that car back over it could have ended a whole lot different Come on. You know I'm right about it. If you had got stopped by the police at the wrong time when you were in college, it could have ended a whole lot different. Some of us it's not that we never did anything wrong. We just didn't get caught. If we would have been at the wrong place at the wrong time. It could have ended a whole lot different. Polish your halo if you want, I'mma turn to the heathen section this where the heathens sit, it could have ended... Come on stand up and testify if it could have ended, if it had not been for the Lord on my side...
You better give Him praise right now before He pulls up your search history it could have ended a whole! You know I'm right. Tell somebody, "You know that preacher is right". So it's funny now and when I read David and Goliath as my text, there's some Bible nerds sitting out there. Maybe watching online going like, "Really? David and Goliath? All the stories in the Bible, you want to pick this one. Oh boy. I already know this one. David kills Goliath. Goliath goes down, every time you read it. I already know how this story ends".
And so since you already know how it ends, let me suggest something to you. David never read 1 Samuel 17:50. It's different when you know how it ends, so we can shout, but David was shaking, shaking in his sandals, holding a sling, trembling, wondering, how this ends. Wondering, will this jet ski get my kayak? Wondering... I'm preaching to somebody today and you have not read 1 Samuel 17:50, yet about this situation in your life and you are still looking at a giant that is bigger than you and since we know how David's story ends, I wanna spend just a few moments today, thinking about how it could have ended, because it could have ended a whole lot different.
Had I gone to that one school and married that other girl? How many know, it could have ended a whole lot worse for Holly. She could have missed the whole buffet. But, now think about it: If David makes some different decisions, the story ends a whole lot different. And see, God is writing your story right now, for your family, right now, for this season of your life, right now, and although we know that Goliath goes down, David has to do it in the face of uncertainty and yet, no matter how many sermons you hear about David defeating Goliath, you must recognize that there were three things that David had to face before he even ever got to Goliath. And if any of these three things had gone differently, it coulda been a whole lot different.
If David had been a typical teenager, when his father came and said, you know, he's only 17 when he kills Goliath, and if he had had a response to Jesse's instruction, when Jesse said, "I want you to run these snacks down to your brothers". If David had rolled his eyes, you know, "God, dad, seriously? I'm like a future king, dad". Samuel has already anointed David. He already knows he has a great future, but now if David refuses to be faithful in his present because he's too focused on his future, this story ends a whole lot different.
How many of you heard the story of David and Goliath? Raise your hand? Yeah, no, because there's even a sports analogy. People use it in the NBA, the NFL. It's an archetypal story. It's so famous, it's so wonderful. It's so fun to preach. I bet I've preached it at least 50 times in this one church, but watch how the story could have gone. It could have been a whole lot different. Jesse wakes David up one morning, he says, "I got a task for you; I want you to run this cheese and bread down to your brothers on the battle lines; they're in the valley of Elah, fighting with Saul".
David wakes up slowly. David rolls his eyes. David checks his phone. David posts on his Instagram story, the fake account, the one that Jesse doesn't follow. And David puts that on Instagram, "God, my dad makes me sick. This is ridiculous! God, I hate my parents, I hate my life". David goes to the battle line, but he gets there 45 minutes late. He gets there after Goliath came out to shout his usual defiance. He didn't know Goliath was on the battle line. You don't know what day God wants to use you. You don't know what conversation is gonna turn things around, you don't know what moment is gonna be holy. You don't know when a bush is gonna burst into flames and spontaneously combust with the presence of God and the direction for the next step of your life. You don't know this, but if you don't show up and do the ordinary with a good attitude, it coulda ended a whole lot different.
Do you really think they would have taught us this Bible story, in Bible school, in Sunday school, if the story went like this: Jesse woke up David, David got up, David went down to the battle lines with a bad attitude, dropped off the food, threw it at his brothers, and went back home? Yet, it coulda ended like that. That coulda been the very end of the story. It coulda ended a whole... It coulda ended with David feeling slighted because he was asked to do something that he deemed insignificant.
"You know who I am? Dad, really? You're asking me to be a delivery boy. To take this food down to my brothers? You serious, right now? God, Dad. Okay, o-okay, I'll go, but I'm not gonna run to the battle lines, and I'm not gonna have my eyes open for up to... O-okay, I'll go, but I don't have to like it. O-okay, I'll go to church, but I'm not lifting my hands. That's what the weird people do. O-okay, I'll go, but we're leaving early; that parking lot gets crazy, and I wanna be at the restaurant before the Methodist Church ends. O-okay". Coulda been a whole... come on, work with me with a vowel sound, "It coulda been a whole"... you don't even have to buy a vowel, just say it, "it coulda been a whole lot different".
"I'm David; I'm not DoorDash. Whatchu think I am, Uber Eats? I'm not droppin' nothin' off. My name is David, say my name 'David', 'King David', 'Crowned David'; 'Samuel put the oil on my head, David'". It coulda been a whole lot different if David had tripped over the ordinary. So here's what I'm learning is that opportunity presents itself as ordinary. There is not gonna be you know, "I wanna kill my Goliath. I want a great breakthrough in my life. I want to", whatever you know, we use Goliath to mean anything, by the way, in church, if you're new here, Goliath could mean anything. It could mean we want a good parking space. It can mean we want a healing in our body. It can be we wanna stop beating so many chips, Goliath can mean almost anything.
In this particular instance, it means anything that opposes the purpose of God. He was standing against the people of God opposing the purpose of God, defying the armies of the living God. That's what Goliath was. And they usually won't be physical. But before David ever got to the real battle, he had to face the ordinary. There's not gonna be one conversation with your kids, that is gonna change their life. It is gonna be picking them up and dropping them off.
And trying to get them to say more than three words to you, at a time that is gonna change their life is three words on top of three words on top of three words, on top of three words, on top of three words, you are not gonna take your son on one trip to Ireland, and reenact Braveheart or Scotland or wherever that overrated movie happened. And he's gonna come back shouting, "Freedom!" and he's a warrior now for Jesus Christ. It's not gonna be one trip, when he turns 16. It's gonna be many trips, it's gonna be many back and forth, and back and forth. And David went back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth.
See, we know how the story ends. David Didn't he didn't even know there was a giant in the valley of Elah. Not when he sets out that day. And if he refuses to do the ordinary, it coulda been a whole lot different. What a boring story, this would have been. David's dad said, "Go". David went, did it with a bad attitude, came home, slept for eight hours; coulda been a whole lot different, if David had been typical. So then he gets there, right? He does the ordinary, fact, the Bible says, this amazing: He ran to the battle lines. He left his things with the keeper of supplies; He's very responsible. He runs to the battle lines. So he's there, in position with the attitude to see the opportunity. And when he hears Goliath shouting... see if David goes down, like most of us go around and just gets through his day, he's not gonna be in the frame of mind to seize the opportunity.