Steven Furtick - He Was The One
I'ma sit down with you. We'll get into the sermon a little differently. I'm going to do it like it was Jeopardy!. Does anybody watch Jeopardy!? At my mom's house on Wednesday night, she cooks for us, and we watch "Jeopardy!" and then "Wheel of Fortune". I'm more on that "Wheel of Fortune" intelligence level than the "Jeopardy!" intelligence level if I'm being honest with you. I really am. That's true. So, "Wheel of Fortune" is really our show. It's called vittles, vinyls, and Vanna. I go over to my mom's, she cooks vittles for us, and then she picks out a vinyl. She has a record player, so we'll listen to something like Creedence Clearwater Revival or something safe, sanctified, and sanctimonious like that, and then we'll watch Vanna White.
Anyway, that's not the point. I'm going to do my sermon illustration like it's "Jeopardy!", not to put you on the spot but just to kind of get into the subject for today. I want you to play along if you're at home. Okay. So, I'm going to say a description of a Bible character. (We won't go long with this.) Then you'll say in the form of a question, like they do on "Jeopardy!", "Who is [blank]"? if you know it. If you don't know, it's okay. Put it online if you do know it, though. He was the one who built an ark. "Who is Noah"? Good. I'm going to put it on that "Wheel of Fortune" level for a minute first. All right. He was the one who stretched out his staff and… "Who is Moses"?
That's right. I'm not going to trick you, but I am going to get harder. He was the one who fought the battle of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down. "Who is Joshua"? Good. All right. He was the one who took a rock at a big ol' ugly nine-foot giant standing in front of him. He hit the giant with the rock. He had five and only needed one because he had good aim. "Who is David"? Okay. Now, the next one… I have to read this one. "He was the one who rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah after Amaziah rested with his ancestors". You got ChatGPT out for that one, didn't you? That's right. I didn't know it either.
We came across it in our Bible reading. I'm in a Bible reading club with my oldest son, Kelsey, and beautiful Holly Furtick, and we came across this passage. We're reading through 2 Kings. I am going to give you the answer. It's in 2 Kings 14:21-22. We came across this phrase. I'm trying these days to give you the sermon in the spirit I received it more and more. That means less distance between how God speaks it to me and how I speak it to you. So I don't want to dress it up too much where it loses its impact. For me, I was just reading. The book of 2 Kings can get kind of monotonous. It has all of these bad kings in the northern kingdom of Israel. There wasn't one good one. Then in Judah, the southern kingdom, because it was a divided kingdom, there are eight good kings, but there are over 20 kings in all.
So, it's mostly like going through and saying, "This is the king who reigned during this prophet's tenure as a prophet, and he was a bad king. He did some things right, and then he did some things horrible". You just kind of get in this mode reading it day after day, chapter after chapter, where you're just hoping, "Maybe this guy will get it right". They keep letting the nation worship idols, and you keep going, "Stop worshiping the idols. Worship God". Then you wonder if maybe somebody would say that about you if they watched your life too. You know, "Stop worshiping money. Stop worshiping stuff. Stop worshiping acceptance". Anyway, maybe not you. Just me. Okay. Just me.
So, we came across this, and this phrase stood out to me. I'm going to give you two verses from 2 Kings 14:21-22. "Then all the people of Judah took Azariah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. He was the one who rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah after Amaziah rested with his ancestors". So, let's play again. "He was the one who rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah after Amaziah rested with his ancestors". Who is…verse 21…Azariah, the kid who became a king at 16 years old. Do any of you have teenagers? Have you been a teenager? Can you imagine being a king at age 16? Yet he was the one to do it. That's the title I want to use for the message today, a very simple thought: He Was the One. They didn't ask him. They didn't let him run for office. He didn't get to decide if he had a career in politics.
The Bible says (verse 21), "Then all the people of Judah took Azariah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah". Amaziah… You know, he did some dumb stuff. He did some good stuff. He did some dumb stuff. There's a motivational speaker who likes to say, "Every life is either a warning or an example. Which one do you want your life to be"? I don't mean to argue with the motivational speaker, but don't you think every life is a warning and an example at some points? It depends on which part of my life you're looking at whether I'm a warning or an example. It depends on what point in time you judge it whether it would be a warning or an example.
We've all seen people whose examples we tried to follow until we found out their example that was being set was leading toward an end we couldn't have seen coming. Yet I'm grateful for the grace of God because he uses it all. In the case of Amaziah, the dad you read about in this passage, he did some amazing stuff. The Bible said he was the one who killed these 10,000 Edomites and ran them off a cliff. He did that to take back some land God had given the people. But then he turned around and did something so dumb. He attacked the king of Israel who was stronger than him. The king of Israel tried to warn him. He was like, "Yo, man. You're a thistle to me". That's what he said. He said, "Don't come and try to start this with me". He was like, "I am not the one".
You know how I just said, "He was the one"? He was like, "I am not the one you want to mess with". And he was right. He goes in and punishes him greatly. So, the people take that king, Amaziah, and they're like, "We're putting your son in your place". He doesn't really have a say in the matter. They begin to reign together when Azariah is 16, and then after Amaziah dies, Azariah takes the throne. He was the one, the Bible says… Let's go back to that phrase again, because this is where I want to focus. "He was the one who rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah after Amaziah [his father] rested with his ancestors".
So, I was telling Holly after we read that chapter that day… I said, "That really spoke to me, how the Bible said, 'He was the one.'" She was like, "Okay". She actually said this to me. She was like, "I thought it was the most boring chapter we've read in weeks. I didn't get anything out of it". I said, "But let me tell you". We went for a walk, and I said, "It made me realize that when it's all said and done, the summary of your life usually will be condensed to a few things in the end". That's one of the reasons I really prioritize my family as a pastor. You can get another pastor, but Abbey only gets one dad. It's not that I don't care about you. I just know that either by choice or if it was by coercion… I know you don't want another pastor. It would be a downgrade, right? No, I'm kidding about that.
There are different people God will use to feed you in different seasons, and I don't have any problem if God uses somebody else in your life. But she only gets one. In fact, I was remembering when I read the phrase "He was the one…" That's what I want to talk to you about. I was remembering when I went to a wrestling tournament to watch Graham, and he won the whole tournament. It was the first big tournament he won. This was a few years ago. He won. I almost didn't go to the tournament because I had to schedule somebody else to preach for me to go to the tournament. I looked at him after he won. We were sitting at Pizza Hut where all great "Book it"! and athletic celebrations happen. I said, "Can you imagine if you had won the whole tournament and I hadn't been here"? He goes, "But if you hadn't been here, I probably wouldn't have won it".
I miss stuff that my kids do all the time, just like you do, but it reminded me of something. Even if I'm stuck in this narrative in my life that "I'm really no one special. I'm really no one, and I have no one," it's a lie. If I believe that I am no one and I have no one, as so many of us do… That's the thing the Devil tries to get you to believe over and over again in different ways. He'll put evidence in front of you and thoughts inside of you to try to convince you that "I am no one; I have no one". Those two things. Write those down, because I want you to be like a detective on the Devil this week so when he says it to you, you're like, "Oh, yeah! That's what the sermon was about".
We all sometimes feel like, "I am no one…nobody compared to that person, no one who really makes a difference. I mean, come on, Pastor Steven. You're preaching about a king in the Bible who restored and rebuilt a city. What does this have to do with me? I'm just trying to get my kid to school one time on time next week. Just one time on time. That would be my Bible verse. 'He was the one who got his kid to school one time on time.'" If he can't tell you that you are no one, he'll tell you you have no one. So, I said to Holly, "That really touched me to know that the Bible said, 'He was the one.'" In fact, in 2 Kings, it goes three times. It says, "He was the one," and it talks about one certain king. "He was the one," and it talks about another certain king. "He was the one," and it talks about another certain king.
At first, you're reading this, going, "Well, this has nothing to do with me because I'm not a king, and I'm not in charge of military resources. They won't even trust me to bring coffee because they know it'll be spilled by the time I get there. I can't even get the coffee order right. I'm not the one like that". But I read it over and over again, and I thought about Graham. I thought about my life. I thought about the things God has called me to do. I thought about the people God has called me to shepherd, and I realized we need to talk about "He was the one" for all of those times in your life where you feel like, "I am no one, and I have no one".
So, what I said to Holly was, "This guy in the Bible…" There were three of them. I said, "They list their accomplishments even though all three of them technically failed at turning the nation around". But it still gives you this little glimpse in there. He didn't get it all right, but he was the one who did something right. I think we need to learn how to… I don't want to say "talk back to the Devil" because it would probably be better to talk to God. But can I say we need to defy the Devil every once in a while? To defy the Devil when he says, "You're no one, because look at how many followers they have. Look at how many friends they have. Look at how far along they are in their career. Look at how much money they have".
You don't know how much money they have. Every bit of what they're wearing on their body might be borrowed. You don't know if they paid for that brand name in cash. So you don't even know. "Oh, I'm no one, and I have no one". The Bible speaks up for this king, Azariah, and it says, "He was the one who rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah". He rebuilt and he restored. He was the one. He didn't get it all right. He didn't remove the high places where they were worshiping the Canaanite gods. But he was the one who rebuilt and restored. I came to remind somebody today: you are the one. I can see we need to talk about this, because you're slow to warm up to the idea. You've been in that "I'm no one".
You even think that's humble, right? You even think that's godly. "I must decrease that he may increase". It does not increase God for you to shrink back from what he called you to do. He was the one. It's important that we know that, because if you just read about this, it's kind of like, "And his name was Azariah". But I even studied about Azariah, and do you know what I found out? "What"? (I'm playing tennis with myself up here sometimes.) I found out that the king named Azariah, who I thought I had never heard of before, is the same guy called Uzziah who Isaiah mentions in the famous throne room scene in Isaiah, chapter 6.
Now check this out. He was the prophet who prophesied to Azariah, whose name was also Uzziah. Uzziah was his throne name. Azariah was his personal name. There's only one consonant different in Hebrew. So, if we need Vanna White to come out, and we just change one letter, this is the guy who Isaiah the prophet says… Isaiah 6:1: "In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and lifted up, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple". "In the year that Uzziah died". That's the same guy. Uzziah. That's the same guy it's talking about. He was the one who died the year Isaiah saw the Lord and had his lips touched with coal.
Now, that connection doesn't seem too significant to you yet, but it will when I'm done. I want you to understand something right quick, right off the bat, right here, right now, and never doubt it again. If you knew what God was doing through you right now and what God was going to do through you, the Devil could never discourage you again. Touch your neighbor and say, "If you knew what God was doing through you…" Put it in the future in case they have a hard time seeing it right now, in case they have a low bank balance right now, in case their kids aren't speaking to them right now, in case their mom isn't speaking to them right now, in case their job sucks right now, in case they're single right now and wishing they weren't single. I mean, there's nothing wrong with being single unless you wish you weren't single.
Look back at them one more time and tell them for me. Just make the announcement. If you knew what God was going to do, the Devil couldn't discourage you, couldn't pay you enough to quit, couldn't defeat you, couldn't depress you. If you knew he was the one… They made him king at age 16. Have you ever been thrust into something you felt like you weren't ready for yet? Have you ever had somebody put something on you that you didn't even want to wear? Have you ever had that moment…? I think every parent has this moment. "Oh, I am the grown-up". This guy is 16 years old, and he has to become a king. He did something so amazing we're talking about it today. He's the one. I'm sure he wondered, just like you and I do, "Why would I be the one"?
I'm sure he felt in the shadow of his father, just like you feel in the shadow of some of your challenges. I'm sure he felt insufficient, yet he was the one who rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah after Amaziah. So, I'm thinking to myself, reading this… I'm going, "Elath must be a really big place if the Bible takes time to say that of everything he did, he rebuilt and restored Elath". I pulled out this map in my Bible, y'all. Elath isn't that big. It wasn't its size that made it significant; it was where it was situated. Elath was a port city. Elath was at the northern tip of a gulf. Elath was in the territory of the Edomites. The Edomites had once been a territory of Israel, but they had broken away. Uzziah's father had brought Edom back to a point. Uzziah did something more important. He restored the port city so the trade could happen beyond the borders of Judah.
Now can I preach? Sometimes we have no idea what's really important because we judge significance by size. We judge significance by status. The thing God wants you to know that Uzziah, the artist formerly known as Azariah… The thing God wants you to know about him is he was the one who was remembered for what he rebuilt and for what he restored. What he rebuilt and restored didn't seem very big, but it was very important because it was a port city. If he got the port city working again, the ships could come and go. Imagine the hustle and bustle of commerce, economy, exchange, and trade that could happen when he got the port city back.
There are some things the Enemy will fight you over in your life that don't seem very big on the surface, but he knows it is a port city in your life, and if you get this one right… If you get this one back, if you get this one fixed, if you get this one under control, if you get this one flowing, if you get this one working, if you get this one open, if you get this one rebuilt… See, that's why you can never judge the significance of the season you're in by the size of the opportunity according to your eyes. If you only knew… I will prove it to you. Not from the Bible. I'll prove it from my life. I've never seen Elath. I've never been there, but I have had moments in my life where God was using something I didn't think was important, but it was a port.
When Elijah went to college a few weeks ago, he said, "I've got to get a job". I said, "Probably". He said, "How do I get one"? I said, "There are many different ways". He said, "How did you get one"? I said, "Well, I never really had a real job". I mean, I got all of these scholarships to get to college. I applied for every scholarship. I did work study where you could get some of your tuition paid. I did everything I could. I mean, I worked jobs when I was a kid. Y'all know about my jobs. I cremated animals. I sold fireworks. I cleaned churches. I sold explosives, burned dogs, and cleaned the house of God.
Let me see your résumé. When I got to college, I felt like I was called to preach. Nobody else shared that opinion at college. Back at home, I preached my first sermon when I was 16. I wasn't a king like Uzziah at 16, but I preached my first sermon at Moncks Corner United Methodist Church, and then Pastor Mickey… He was the one who sat on my parents' floor and said, "God's hand is on your son". For my mom and my dad, they were the ones who let me go be a youth minister while I was still a youth. But when I went to college, nobody was asking me to preach. I found a guy on campus. This is what I told Elijah. I said, "One day, if you ever meet him, you need to thank Jay Hardwick". He said, "Who's Jay Hardwick"? I said, "He was the one…"
I haven't talked to him in 15 years. I would text him, but I don't have his number. Maybe he'll see this. Jay (I'm reaching out), you were the one… I came up to you in the cafeteria and said, "I heard you're a preacher," and you said, "Yeah. I mean, I'm trying to be," and I said, "Me too. I want to preach like you preach". You said to me, "Okay. When somebody calls me for an invitation, and I can't go, I'll tell them to get you instead". I said, "I'll eat your crumbs. I'm not picky". Once you've run a crematory, you'll preach anywhere. I said, "That would be awesome". He was the one who told Mason to put me on the summer impact team where I ended up traveling with Holly. He was the one, and he never sent me a bill. He never took a commission.
As far as I know, he never took credit. That dude could go all around the state of wherever he lives now, saying, "Yeah, I gave Furtick his start over there at Elevation". But he didn't really care about that. He was so important in my life, and I never even told my son about him until just the other day. So, the next time the Devil tells you, "You have no one," and he starts hitting you with this loneliness that he hits you with… When he hits you with loneliness, hit him with a list. Somebody say, "He was the one". All right. Let's get inclusive. Say, "She was the one". I knew y'all were getting offended. Reflect is Friday night, and I don't want to start anything early. I mean, I've told you a thousand times that, really, Holly started the church, not me. I was going to start it when I was about the age I am now.
Eighteen years ago, she turned to me and said, "It's time for you to go start a church. God has called you to start. We have people around us we need. You have what you need right now to do it, and we're going to do it right now". If she wouldn't have talked me into doing it then, I would have learned too much to do it at this point in my life. She was the one. I look around a room like this, and I don't just see a crowd; I see ones. He was the one who convinced me we could do Elevation Nights. He was the one who was with me at Green Day when Billie Joe Armstrong called me onstage to play guitar.
Y'all, that happened before I was 16 years old. I was at a Green Day concert, and I turned to my other friend who isn't here anymore. I said, "What if Billie Joe calls me to play his guitar onstage"? He said, "Shut up. That's stupid. It's never going to happen". And in the middle of the Operation Ivy song "Knowledge," Billie Joe Armstrong stopped and said, "Does anybody out there play guitar"? My friends picked me up, and he was one of them. They picked me up like I was Mufasa. "He's the one". And I played that thing. Oh, I killed it too. I was ready for my moment. Do you know how many times I've wanted to find Billie Joe Armstrong (I never met him) and say, "Hey, do you remember that night in Charleston in 1994"? He did it every night, so for him it was just another night, but to me it was the one.
That's why I preach hard. I preach every six days, but for you, this might be the one. I'm going to preach a lot of messages, but for somebody, this is the one. For someone, this is the one. I'm not talking about me just to talk about me. I'm trying to get you to see that for someone, you're the one. You may not even know it. You might be like Billie Joe Armstrong going on to do another city. He went on to Charleston, West Virginia. He went on to Minneapolis, Minnesota. He never even knew he left a boy back in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. He boosted my popularity past the high school quarterback in one moment, but he just went on. So, when the Devil tells you that you have no one, that you are no one, and you can't see how God is using you… Oh, I have a tip for you. Are you ready?
Assume that God is using you. You got it? "How do I know God is using me"? You won't. Assume that God is using you. Usually they say, "You know what assuming does. It makes a…" You know, whatever, whatever. But in this case, I am actually advocating that you assume you are the one God wanted that person to come across in their path, because you might have something valuable they need. For everybody who has been stuck in self-pity, there is no quicker way out of self-pity than to fulfill God's purpose. So, assume… I know y'all don't like this, because sometimes we don't want to be the one. "I don't want to encourage anybody. When is somebody going to encourage me"?
Sometimes I don't feel like preaching, and I want to hand you the microphone. "You say something". I'm going to do it one day. I'm going to walk in, I'm going to take the stage, and the first person who looks bored, I'm going to throw them a microphone and say, "Here, you do it. You do it. It's just talking". He was the one. He rebuilt and restored. He was remembered for what he restored. Will you be? This is the decision, in this season of your life, that you are making without even knowing you are making it. On behalf of others… You know, as Holly and I began to talk, we started to realize something about relationships.
Now, I'm going to try to talk about this. If I don't really do a good job with it, I'll come on YouTube this week and do a bonus teaching on it. So pray I do a good job so I don't have to go back in and do it again. There's a lot of relational resentment that can build up in your life, people who disappoint you. I'm no different than you. I get disappointed in people. The man we're reading about in this Scripture, Uzziah, in many ways was a disappointment because he didn't bring the nation back to their rightful place. I'll show you in just a moment it even got worse than that. Before I show you how bad it got, let me talk about your disappointments in people. As Holly and I began to talk, I said, "You know, Jay Hardwick was the one who kind of put us on that team, wasn't he? And we never even thought about it".
Who was someone in your life you don't think about? I'm not talking about the hall of fame, like Mom and Dad, and all that stuff, and Billy Graham and the apostle Paul…and Jesus. It's going to be in the comments. "Jesus is the one, Steven. Jesus. He's the one". I'm going to say it for you. There are people who you think are going to be the one to be with you forever, but they're not. Just because they're not with you forever doesn't mean they didn't serve an important purpose in your life. I don't know who this is for, but I really need to say it. Some people in your life are port people. They move through. You move on. They move on. Just because they didn't stay planted doesn't mean they weren't important.
What this will help you do, when the Enemy says, "You have nobody. Look at how they let you down. Look at how they didn't come through for you. Look at how they don't get you. Look at what they weren't able to do. Look at how you believed in them. Look at how you thought they were going to be the perfect partner. Look at how you thought they were going to be…" I want to revisit this for a moment so that you stop focusing on the disappointment and start focusing on the deposit. I could tell you somebody right now, and you could do the same for me. You could say, "Man, she was the one I counted on, and she let me down". But if we took it a little deeper, there was something God used that person in your life for. Even if it was just a port moving through… Do you understand what I'm saying about Elath? We have Elath relationships, and they may not last as long as we wanted them to, and they may not be everything we wanted them to be.
If we're not careful, so careful with our souls, the Devil will set up camp in that disappointment and say, "You have no one". But they were the one. They were the one for a while. Look at what they added to your life. "Yeah, but they betrayed me". It was Judas who got Jesus to the cross. He was the one God used more than any of the other disciples, because it was Judas whom God used to get Jesus to the place where he paid for your sins and mine. Even the people who hurt you God used. I don't say that coldly. I don't say that to celebrate abuse or neglect or abandonment. I just know someone has been living in this place for a long time. "I have no one". You are so good at listing the disappointments that you're missing the deposits.
And not only those who are gone. Not only the people who planted seeds. Not everybody who starts with you is supposed to stay with you. Not only that, but there are fresh people God is bringing into the port of your life, and if you do not do the work in this season of setting free and forgiving the things that disappointed you, you will not be open to the deposit. So you stay poor, you stay sad, and you stay alone. If you will get your eyes off of who left and put your eyes on what they left that God is still watching over in your life to bring you to a new level, I declare and decree he will rebuild and restore everything the locusts ate, every year the cankerworm gnawed off. After all, it wasn't them who blessed you anyway. He was the one. God was the one. His mercy was the conduit. His grace was the power.
Get ready to shout. You've had your eyes on people. Put your eyes on Jesus. He was the one! Got too focused on others. Got too focused on stuff. Forgot that he was the one. He was the one who brought me through depression. He was the one who forgave all my sins and healed all my diseases. He was the one whose blood washed me clean. He was the one who knelt in the garden of Gethsemane with me on his mind and pressed through to the cross. He was the one! That's why I know he's not through with you, because it was him all along. Uzziah rebuilt and restored the port. I'm going to ask you a question. When we write your 2 Kings 14:21-22, what are we going to say? He was the one.
I know some of you in here… I want your 2 Kings 14:22 to read like this: "He was the one who battled through the addiction his dad couldn't defeat and beat it for his own kids. He was the one". "She was the one who forgave her mom for never telling her that she was loved, for making her perform, and because she forgave her mom, she was able to face herself and love herself and see herself as a daughter of God. She was the one". I don't see crowds today. I don't know why God gave me this anointing. I just see ones. I just see ones…one God, one person. Which one do you want to be? Because this can go the other way too. "He was the one who gave up on himself because he got tired of making excuses, so eventually, he just brought his belief in God down to the level of his lifestyle rather than bringing his lifestyle up to the level of his belief in God".
I want to tell you something about Uzziah. We might want to sit down for this. Uzziah did really well. In fact, 2 Chronicles 26 kind of says the same thing about him, but it gives us a little more detail. I bring you this in a spirit of humility. Look. I know when you hear a strong word from God… And for some of you, this is a strong word from God. It's not because of me; it's because of the importance of your life to what God wants to do through you. This word is hitting you right now because this is an Elath message for you. This is a port sermon for you. What goes forth from here is important. You don't think it is yet. You don't even know why you're the one.
I had a man come up to me after I preached one time, and he said, "Preacher, when you were preaching, you said, 'This message is for someone. I don't know who.'" He goes, "I just want to let you know I was the one". He said a little bit of what he was going through. I said, "Thank you for telling me". Then somebody else came up, and they had overheard. It was a man and a woman. The woman said… She was really funny. She said, "I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but I heard that man who came before. This is my husband Joe, and I just want you to know that man who was here before… He was wrong, because he was the one you were talking to" and pointed at her husband. Somebody say, "I'm the one".
See, I'm the one who decides which one I'm going to be. He was the one who rebuilt and restored. If your life is in ruins right now, you didn't control that. You may have contributed to it, but will you be the one who rebuilds and restores? I know God wants to be the one who helps you do that. I know that. He'll be the one who will empower you to do it. Uzziah does amazing things, y'all. For a guy who had to start being a king at age 16… Wow! He defeats three of the Philistine countries, knocks down their walls. He puts these watchtowers all around Jerusalem where they can see where their enemies are coming from. Then, after he builds the watchtowers, he puts in these special military devices where they can shoot the arrows and hurl the stones and their enemies can't see them. He buys new military equipment for every single one of the soldiers, and there are 305,700 of them.
Soldiers. He gives them all new equipment. He's also a gardener. He does amazing things with agriculture. This guy is amazing. So are you, in some ways. But the Bible says something really scary to me. Let's look at it. Second Chronicles 26:1: "Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah". We already read that. This is a different account of it. "He was the one who rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah after Amaziah rested with his ancestors". We already read that, but this is a different account.
Now watch this. "Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother's name was Jekoliah; she was from Jerusalem. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God during the days of Zechariah…" Zechariah was the one who mentored him. "…who instructed him in the fear of God". Listen to this verse. It's going to feel haunting. "As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success".
The next several verses really break that down, all of the successes God gave him. It says that God strengthened him, God helped him, God upheld him, and God resourced him. If you go all the way down to verse 16, it says, "But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense". Now listen to this. "Azariah the priest…" This is a different Azariah. As if it wasn't confusing enough already, there has to be two Azariahs and one who isn't going by the name Azariah anymore. Thanks a lot, chronicle writer. Listen to this. Back into the scene.
"Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the Lord followed him in. They confronted King Uzziah and said, 'It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the Lord God.'" The kings weren't allowed to burn this incense. It was for the priests to do. You always get in trouble when you try to do what God called somebody else to do, when you start wishing you could be this one or that one. See, Uzziah was powerful. God called him. Don't get it twisted. God anointed him. God put the crown on his head. No matter whose hands he used to position it there, it was God who did it, but then he got out of his place. Even when he was corrected, he wouldn't listen.
Listen to this. Verse 19. God is bringing you to this point today, and I want you to hear this as a warning for your life. "Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the Lord's temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead. When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the Lord had afflicted him". Listen to this. I wish the story ended differently, but I have to give it to you how it is in the Bible. I don't write the book; I'm just giving you the mail.
The Bible says: "King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house—leprous, and banned from the temple of the Lord. Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land. The other events of Uzziah's reign, from beginning to end, are recorded by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. Uzziah rested with his ancestors and was buried near them in a cemetery that belonged to the kings, for people said, 'He had leprosy.' And Jotham his son succeeded him as king". All he did, and the people said, "He had leprosy". He died like that, because he forgot that God was the one. You die alone when you forget that God is the one. You live alone when you forget that God is the one. Your worship gets weak when you forget that God is the one. You start running from what God has called you to when you forget that God is the one. You feel cut off when you forget that God is the one.
How many are grateful that of all of the kings who are in 2 Kings 14, none of those kings are the one we came to worship today? Yeah, me too. People will disappoint you, but God will carry you. People will leave you; God never will. The Bible says King Uzziah died with leprosy, a skin condition that isolated him, but you don't have to. You don't have to stay away. Do you know why? Because Isaiah prophesied to Uzziah, but he did not prophesy about Uzziah. Isaiah prophesied about another King, a king who would come at a later date, a king who would not come through any human father, a king who would come not in a palace, a king who would come in a Palestinian environment that would have been unfit for many animals.
See, the thing I want you to know today, for all of you who feel alone… "I have no one. I am no one. I can't rebuild. I can't recover. I'm down here, and I have to stay here. There is no more for me. I'm not the one. This sermon is for somebody else, because I've tried this before, and it didn't work". I wanted you to know this from the heart of God today for his child. Your leprosy is not your legacy. This leprosy, this issue… Everybody has something like that…not a skin disease, not something others can see on your forehead, but a label that follows you through life, a condition, an issue, a struggle, a tendency, something that has been with you and may even be consuming you. But somebody shout, "This leprosy will not be my legacy". Say it by faith. "This leprosy will not be my legacy". One more time. Say, "This leprosy, this label, this limitation, this loneliness, will not be my legacy". Now look at your neighbor and say, "God is not through with you".
Let me tell you how I know God is not through with you. Do you know how I know he's not through with you? Because it did not end in 2 Chronicles 26 with Uzziah. Flip on over to Matthew, chapter 1, because the Bible says… Who was Uzziah? The father of Jotham. Right? He died of leprosy, and people said, "He had leprosy". Well, that's what people said, but that's not what God said. God said, "He was the one who rebuilt Elath". So, I need everybody to give God praise if you're grateful that people don't have the final word in your life. Oh, give God praise if you're set free from what people say. People can say what they want to say. I'm not listening to people; I'm listening to prophecy. What did God say about you? If he said you're the one, guess what? You're the one.
All right. So, come with me to Matthew, chapter 1, verse 9. Because you read it, and you're like, "That's sad. He died of leprosy". But somebody say, "This leprosy is not my legacy". No, because Uzziah… Who was he? Well, he was the one who was the father of Jotham. Who was Jotham? Let's play Jeopardy!. He was the one who was the father of Ahaz. Who was Ahaz? He was the one… I'm getting happy because I'm thinking about everything God is still going to do in your life that you can't see right now, everything God is going to bring through you, everything important that God still has in your future. That's why the Devil is fighting you so hard. That's why you can't sleep at night. That's why you're tossing and turning. That's why you're kind of restless. That's why you're kind of lonely: because God is raising you up.
All right. Let's go back to the text. Ahaz. Who was he? He was the one who was the father of Hezekiah. Verse 10. Hezekiah. He was the one who was the father of Manasseh. He was the one who was the father of Amon. He was the one who was the father of Josiah. He was the one who was the father of Jeconiah. Who was Jeconiah? He was the one who was the father of Shealtiel. Who was Shealtiel? He was the one who was the father of Zerubbabel. He was the one who was the father of Abihud. He was the one who was the father of Eliakim. He was the one who was the father of Azor. He was the one who was the father of Zadok. He was the one who was the father of Akim. He was the one who was the father of Elihud. (I told you I can't pronounce these words. I'm Wheel of Fortune. I'm Pat Sajak, baby.) He was the one who was the father of Matthan. He was the one who was the father of Jacob.
Now get ready to celebrate, because who was Jacob? He was the one who was the father of Joseph. He was the one who was the husband of Mary. She was the one who was the mother of… Who was he? The one who is called… Praise him! Praise him for the port city! Praise him for the purpose! Praise him for what he's bringing through! Praise him for the prophecy! Praise him for the Savior! He was the one! This leprosy is not your legacy. I speak Jesus over your life! I speak Jesus over your business! I speak Jesus over your mind! Jesus! Jesus is the one! Who's going to do it? Jesus! Who's going to see you through? Jesus! It has always been him. It has always been him, bro. Since you were a little boy, he was watching out for you. Since you were a little girl, he was raising you up. He called you, and he chose you, and you are going to be the one to rebuild and restore so that Jesus can come forth in your life.
I declare God is bringing something forth in this moment. Who receives it? Come on. Make your heart a port city right now. Say, "God, I receive it. I receive it. I receive it". Now you're going to be the one. She was the one who went to counseling and worked through her past so it did not become the lid of her future. She was the one. He was the one who decided to give his gifts to God rather than using them to serve the world. He was the one. He was the one who decided to open a door for others rather than always trying to make it about himself. He was the one. What one will you be?
I love that story in the Bible where 10 lepers came up to Jesus. They knew he was the one who could heal them. I don't know if you get the richness of this. He was the prophet, the priest, and the king, all of those things in one. They had been to their priest. Their priest couldn't do it. They came to Jesus, and he told them, "Go to the priest, and you will be healed as you go". Then in Luke 17:15, the Bible says that one of the 10, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God with a whisper. "Thank you, Lord. Thank you so much". What does the Bible say? "…in a loud voice". Because he realized, "This leprosy is not my legacy". You don't have to stay outside anymore. He is Immanuel, God with us. One of them came back.
If I preached this sermon, everything I've said today, for one person to come back, it will be worth it. I believe you are a port city. I believe things are going to flow through you that are going to change lives you will never meet. Who receives it? Online, say, "I receive it. I receive it. I receive it. Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord". He was the one. Jesus was the one with healing, and it is at his feet that we fall today. Lord God, this is the part of the sermon where I stop speaking, but you don't, because there are things you want to open up for the people you brought to hear this word today. They have been labeled by life, labeled by lies, but I declare that label will not be their legacy. "Alcoholic" will not be their legacy. "Addict" will not be their legacy. "Bitter" will not be their legacy. "Failure" will not be their legacy. "Defeated" will not be their legacy. The heritage of the servants of God is the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and our righteousness comes from you. You are the one.
So, Father, I stretch my hands to you today for every time the Devil has tried to tell me I am no one and I have no one. I have someone. His name is Jesus, and he is the one who opens blind eyes. He is the one who causes the lame to walk. He is the one who forgives the sinner. He is the one who raises the dead. He is the one who speaks but a word and we are healed.
I wonder who is that one today who God gave me this message for. With your head bowed and your eyes closed… There's someone in here, and you need to throw yourself at the feet of Jesus today. We're going to pray a prayer right now. This prayer is not to people; this prayer is to Jesus. He's the one who can save you. You've been running to everything else. You've been running to sex. You've been running to drugs. You've been running to religion. You've been running to others. You've been running to achievement. You've been running to aspiration, but he's the one. He's the one who can save.
So, right now, in the stillness of this moment, I want to lead you in a prayer. If you pray this prayer from your heart… The Bible says that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. It is your faith in Christ that saves you, not your good works. Just your faith in him. So, right now, if you need to come back to God, if you are that one who needs to come back and receive the grace of God, I want you to pray this with me. We're praying it as a church family, everybody all together praying out loud. Repeat after me.
Heavenly Father, I am the one. I am a sinner in need of a Savior, and I believe that Jesus Christ is the one true God. I believe he died that I could be forgiven and rose again to give me life. I receive this new life. This is my new beginning. I am a child of God.
On the count of three, shoot your hand up if you prayed that. One, two, three. Hands up online. I celebrate you. Church, the Bible says there's rejoicing over one sinner in heaven. All of the angels rejoice when one comes back. Let's celebrate the one. Come on. Let's celebrate somebody's daughter, somebody's son, somebody's brother, somebody's sister. Let's celebrate!