Steven Furtick - God's Got You Covered
This is an excerpt from: The Pajamas Are A Prophecy
I'm really preaching about the low place in your life today, whatever it is, the small beginning in your life today, because God said, "Not only will I reach you but I will wrap you". Think about Jesus. Come on. Let's consider it. Before we get really cute with it and put money on our credit cards to tell Jesus "Happy birthday," before we go into debt to show the Lord how much we appreciate all he has done for us… Before we get into all that chaos, let's take a moment and consider the Christ, a babe born in a manger, laid in a manger. Why? Luke 2:7: "Because there was no room for him in the inn".
He was rejected. The Savior came, and he was rejected. He was rejected because they had no room. So now I wonder. Am I talking about Jesus or am I talking about you? Maybe you've been rejected not by a person, but maybe your dream has been rejected or denied or delayed or deferred this year. In that place of rejection where you could not find room for yourself, could not feel at home in your emotions, could not see a solution through your Red Sea, could not see a way through your storm, could not find peace in your night, could not figure out your next step to take… In that place of rejection you will find a babe in a manger. It wasn't Mary's plan to place him in a manger. It was not her preference to place him in a manger. Sometimes we end up in places we didn't plan to be. "I didn't plan for my season to get ended early. I didn't plan for my job to go overseas or be replaced by a computer. I didn't plan for my kid to come home and say, 'I need some money. I'm on drugs.' I didn't plan for any of this".
Just because you did not expect it doesn't mean God hasn't covered it. To you whom this word is for, it is a specific word. You have been rejected by people. You could not find anyone to help you. You didn't get it from where you wanted to get it from. It didn't come through when you needed it to come through. Jesus was laid in a manger, but watch the Bible. It says he's wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. The manger is a cold place. The manger is a strange place, but these swaddling clothes, see, these strips of linen that were wrapped around him, were a symbol of his mother's care. How many would say, "I was rejected, but God wrapped me. I was disappointed, but he wrapped me. I was lost and lonely, but he wrapped me. I was turned away, but he wrapped me. I was done wrong, but he wrapped me".
This becomes the prophecy. The promise of God does not mean we will never find ourselves in a low place. It simply means that wherever life lays you, God has you wrapped. Say, "God has me wrapped". In fact, right now I feel the Everlasting Father wrapping his arms around somebody to let you know that you didn't plan to be here, but he planned for your arrival, and he prophesied it. Joseph and Mary didn't think this was the right time to have the baby. They were headed to Bethlehem, which wasn't even where their hospital or their gift registry was, but the prophet had said (Micah 5:2), "From you, Bethlehem, will come a ruler". So they had to be in Bethlehem at that exact moment so they could give birth to this King.
The Spirit wants you to know right now he's got you wrapped. He welcomes you with your weird self. He welcomes you with your weak self. I know it because of how he came. He reached me. He wrapped me. I never paid attention to the swaddling clothes, never thought much about them. I was too busy trying to get to the frankincense, the gold, and the myrrh, the good stuff. But I found out sometimes God will allow you to be rejected and he will wrap you and that sometimes people's rejection is God's protection. Don't assume God isn't doing it. He just has it under wraps right now. Don't assume it's insignificant. "You will find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes," long strips of linen that wrapped the Savior. He's got you wrapped right now. I can't get off of it, y'all. He's got you wrapped right now, because it's cold in this manger. It's cold in this divorce. It's cold in this condition. It's cold in this hospital room. It's cold in this prison bed. It's cold in this loveless home. It's cold in this adolescent trial. It's cold in this court case. It's cold right now, but I'm covered.
I shiver sometimes, but he came to the shepherds to let me know that I'll never go so low he can't reach me, that I'll never make a mess too bad that he won't step into it. Stop turning God away, Grandmama, because your house is a mess. When he comes in, he'll clean it up. When he comes in, he'll fix it up. When he comes in, he'll turn it around. When he comes in, he'll bring new wine. When he comes in… "I've got good news of great joy! Tell the shepherds I'm stepping in. Tell my people, 'You've got a friend in a low place. You've got a Savior in a manger.'" Let's give him 30 seconds of manger praise! Lo, the angel came. Lo, I see God reaching down to the addicted today this Christmas season, the broken family, the grieving family, the shame in your heart, everything you want to use to keep him out. He said, "That's the reason I'm coming in. I came to save sinners".
Can I tell you one more thing? He said he will reach you. Say, "He'll reach me". Secondly say, "He'll wrap me". Maybe you need to tell your neighbor. Pretend like you're an angel for a minute. Make the announcement. Everybody say, "He'll reach you". Put it on the line. Say, "He'll reach you". Say, "He'll wrap you". He'll wrap you like a gift. Some of you have been taken for granted, and you think you don't have a gift. You think you're not good at anything. You've got it; you're just wrapped right now. When God gets ready to unwrap it, he's going to use it, and he needs you to be mature enough to handle it. I feel no doubt that this is the message God wanted us to shout about this Christmas. Y'all keep clapping like an angel. Why don't you shout like a shepherd one time? Shout like he came for you when you couldn't come to him! If he has to reach way down, Jesus will pick you up.
So, I'll give you this. God was once a baby taking his first breath. Sovereignty laid swaddled where the oxen slept. God was once a toddler taking his first steps. The carpenter of the cosmos wobbled on two legs. God once wore pajamas. You didn't know God wore pajamas? He said, "You will find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger". Now, Isaiah said he'd be born of a virgin, Micah said he would be born in Bethlehem, but not one of the prophets told me he would be wrapped in cloths. That's because it was hidden. It is Christ in you, the hope of glory. It is hidden. It does not yet appear what we shall be, but watch this. Although the pajamas were not directly prophesied, the pajamas are a prophecy. I told you it would make sense when I finished.
Now let's preach. When Jesus comes in human form, we see him wrapped in strips of linen. The next time we will see strips of linen in the story of Jesus… Let me teach the Bible. The Bible says in John 20:5 that when Peter got to the tomb where the body of the Savior used to lie… He came following John, and he went into the tomb and saw the linen cloths laying there. "What are you trying to say, Furtick"? I'm trying to say what used to hold him couldn't hold him anymore. That's why he was wrapped in strips of linen. He was letting you know, "They're going to lay me in the grave with the penalty of your sin, but in three days…" God lived in a body laid down in a grave. Three days later he was gone. Linen strips remained. I figured it out. The mystery of the linen strips is that Jesus was born swaddled in linen strips. When he died, he was buried in linen strips. When he rose, he left the linen strips to let you know that he is Lord of all.`