Steven Furtick - Bring Jesus Your Fear
This is an excerpt from: Navigating Not Enough
Here are my two primary fears in life all in one Bible verse. The first one is the fear of running out, which runs deep for me. I don't know if there's any scarcity mentality in your life or some kind of deficit-oriented way of thinking where you wake up each day at zero. I don't know if you ever do little fire drills to try to figure out how you could sell everything and live underground or live in a tent somewhere if it came to that. The fear of running out… I cannot explain to you how important it is that my phone is completely charged. Ninety-three percent is not 100 percent. I cannot run out of battery. What would I do if the phone died? I would die. It's a fear that runs from everything from iPhones to sermon material. A lot of times, when I preach too long, it's because I was scared I'd get up here and have nothing to say. So then I went and messed around and studied too long and kept you three hours, but my heart is in the right place.
I don't want you to show up hungry and collapse when you leave because I was watching the game instead. So, I really, really, really relate to this thing of "Where could we get enough"? the fear of running out. Then, what makes it even worse… "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place"? Did you notice that? So, now not only do I not have enough (that's my first fear in life), but I don't know where I am. I need to know where I am, and if I don't know where I am, I need to be with somebody who knows where they are. That's where you're like, "But the disciples had Jesus, so it really didn't matter, because if you've got Jesus, you've always got enough".
Isn't it interesting how confidently you say that about them back then? But if we followed you back into your neighborhood of "not enough…" You know, when you get a little older, you don't even really know if you can depend on your body in the same way that you could. I know I'm not old or anything like that. I'm still vital, but… Y'all, I thought I pulled a muscle when I woke up this morning. I was like, "Oh no"! For about five minutes, I was like, "Who's going to preach"? The worst part was I pulled it yawning, not lifting weights. I wasn't doing yoga or anything. I just yawned, and something popped…just to remind me.
You know, two extremes we get into… When we look at what we don't have and what we need, there is an extreme we go into, which is denial. "No, I'm good. I'm good. I'm good". Until you completely crash. Then the other one is despair where you are so aware of what you don't have that you don't realize what you do have. So, yes, the disciples have Jesus. Yes, he has all knowledge. Yes, he is omniscient, and he was and is and will be all of those things for you, but it does not change the fact that they are in a remote place with limited resource.
Now, that's who I want to speak to today. You are in a remote place with a limited resource. Either of those is scary. Just to be somewhere that is remote… I'm not talking about just physically. You know that. I'm talking about emotional states you've never experienced. I mentioned stages of life you've never experienced. It could even be beyond the psychological. It could be beyond the chronological. It could be that you are dealing with a series, a combination, or a sequence of things that you've never experienced quite like this.
So, I don't have enough, and I don't know where I am. I don't know enough to get where I need to go to get what I need. I don't know where I am, and I don't have what I need. Those are my two biggest nightmares in life, so I decided to preach about it. Navigating Not Enough. If you are under the age of 20, you will never know the terror of navigating by map. Not an app called Maps. Not an interactive, satellite-guided device. Like, a map, map. I went into the gas station yesterday, and I was going to buy one to bring out here and unfold it like an icebreaker for the crowd and say, "Do y'all remember these? Everybody who pulls a muscle when you yawn, do y'all remember these"? They didn't even have a map at the gas station.
What has the world come to? I can't get a map at the gas station. Elijah asked me before he went to college, "How did you used to do it? How did you get anywhere"? I said, "Son, it was traumatic. Your mom isn't great at directions, but she was better than me". When we first moved to Charlotte, it was the biggest city I'd ever lived in. I would go have appointments with people all through the highways and the byways and the mean streets of Weddington, Waxhaw, and Mint Hill. I kid you not. There was not a single meeting I took that I would not end up on the phone with Holly. She would be at the house, and I'd be on the road, and she would be guiding me. The "Holly Spirit" would be guiding me. We just celebrated 21 years of marriage.
I don't know if we would have made it five if we would have kept having to go that way. The thing about us communicating in this way is she had never lived here either, so it all sounded good while she was telling me what to do from the house with the map from two years ago. It changed everything. You know, people say, "I would have loved to have been a disciple and follow Jesus". I wouldn't…back then. You wouldn't either. You might eventually have loved it, but not in the moment. I want you to think about this. They're in a remote place. They're healing people. Who knows how long he's going to keep doing this? It has been three days, and he doesn't seem tired yet, because he's fully God, and now he pulls them to the side.
This is verse 22. It's all well and good as long as he's doing the work, but then he called the disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for these people. They've already been with me…" Now that phrase been with me in the original language of the Bible doesn't just mean they hung out; it means "They've been cleaving to me. They've been staying with me. They've been hanging with me. They've been pulling on me. They've been pressing toward me. They've been receiving from me". Touch somebody really quickly and say, "Stay with him". If you feel crippled in an area of your life, if you feel lame in an area of your life, if you feel blind in an area of your life, if you feel like you're mute in an area of your life, I have some good guidance for you.
Stay with Jesus. Good things happen when you stay with him. I don't think it's a coincidence that they stayed three days. (I read something in the Bible about three days. I was just thinking about that.) It's really wonderful to think about how… You know this thing we say: "Where God guides, he provides". Have you heard that one? I fully attest to that. I fully believe in that. My life is a trophy of the grace of God, that everywhere he has led me he has provided for me. Where God guides, he provides. But the thing that leaves out if you just put it on a bumper sticker… "Where God guides, he provides" …is that, a lot of times, we are guessing about where he's guiding us. I know you don't want to admit it, especially the men, because you don't want to admit you're lost. You'd rather drive in circles for seven years.
I'm not like that. I would call Holly in a heartbeat. I had a girl who could read a map, and I was determined to tap into her full resources. There's no male ego on me. I don't want to be lost. I'm too scared for that. If you get lost enough in your life, you will humble yourself to the point where you'll say, "Well, I don't normally like to ask for help. I don't like to admit I've never done this before. I don't like to say I was wrong. I don't like to ask somebody that I need them to show me in this area of my life". Sometimes we just aren't hungry enough yet, lost enough yet, but there's somebody in this room, and you are.
You are navigating a "not enough" in your life in this season that has brought you to the precipice. Although you have pressed into Jesus, you are in danger of collapsing on the way. That's what Jesus said. "I don't want you to collapse along the way". I have good news for you. The Bible says that Jesus has compassion. If God gave you a new car, would you praise him for it? Paid off, a nice one, a fast one, a sexy one. Yeah. Would you praise him for a new car? If God paid off your house, would you praise him for it? If God said, "I'm giving you my compassion," there would be nothing greater you could praise him for than the compassion of a Christ who is fully God…fully God enough to meet all of your needs; fully God enough to stop a storm; fully God enough to heal somebody who couldn't walk and they go dancing out; fully God enough that the one who couldn't speak left shouting. He is fully God enough to do all of that and fully man enough to, after all is said and done, pull his disciples to the side and say, "I have compassion for what they lack".
I don't know if there's anybody in here who's in religious rehab. You grew up with a God who was waiting to crush you underneath the weight of what you were not yet. But we meet a Jesus in Matthew 15 who has compassion for what you lack. So, the Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. That does not mean I will never lack, but it means that in every area where I lack, the Lord is faithful and loyal to me. He will never leave me in my lack and turn a deaf ear to me when I call him. Let's praise God not for a car, not for a house. That's fine. I've got a car. I've got a house. But that he has compassion, that he looks on my weakness with compassion, that he looks on my lack with compassion. I don't know.
I just noticed that this week. I noticed that Jesus said (verse 32), "I have compassion for these people," and the disciples answered the request Jesus made about feeding them with logic and calculation, like men often do, like mankind often does. "Where can we get enough bread? There's no DoorDash on my phone. We don't have an app". You know, some people would say Jesus is better than a GPS, but I don't think he is. When you use a GPS, you get to select the destination, but when you follow Christ, he will get you where you need to go. He'll get you there turn by turn, step by step. He'll do better than reroute you. He will pick your big behind up and carry your dead weight if that's what it takes. But one thing about this Savior.
Imagine a GPS that you didn't get to tell it where you want to end up. That's Jesus. Peter has this boat. Right? They're going all around, ministering to people, and Peter is the one who is driving, but the one who is driving the boat doesn't get to decide where it docks. I don't think you heard what I just said. I'm describing what a life of following Christ feels like sometimes. I'm driving this boat. I'm living this life. I'm making decisions. I'm the one having to make these moves. I'm the one having to show up for these things, but ultimately, I don't get to decide where this boat docks. Jesus does. God does. Maybe that brings you great comfort or, if you're a control freak, it really starts to mess with you, especially when you end up in a remote place.
Jesus starts healing people, and he shows no signs of stopping. He wants the people to be fed, and he pulls the disciples to the side and says, "I have compassion for these people". The disciples answered (verse 33), "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd"? I need to slow this down, and we can study it. Go to verse 32 again. Jesus said, "I have compassion for these people". Look at the disciples in verse 33. "Where are we going to get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd"? It's all about how you see it. The disciples see crowds; Jesus sees people.