Steven Furtick - God Won’t Leave You Broken
This is an excerpt from: Permission To Quit
Isn't that what happens to us in our lives? We get broken in relationships, broken through experience, broken through trials, broken through temptations we can't overcome, and then there is a hardness, if it is not reset correctly, that keeps us from receiving from God what he wants to give us to grow us into who he made us to be. But God is not going to leave you broken. God is not going to leave you with the bone broken and reset so that your heart is harder. He is going to bring you through this brokenness better than when you went into the brokenness. He is going to bring you through this brokenness.
"I'm going to be better after I was broken. I'm going to be better after they fired me. I'm going to learn things from this failed relationship. When God resets me, the God of resurrection is going to call me forth into a glorious future for the praise of his name, because I'm growing to become". So, he says, "Don't live like these Gentiles who…" Verse 19: "Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity…" Do y'all ever look around and think just when you think they can't invent any new sins, they make a new one?
You know, they had the industrial revolution. I feel like we are living right now, in this time, in the impurity revolution. We are making new ways to be screwed up. It's all the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, but the flavors of it, y'all… We have some creative flavors of sin. I'd better get back to the Bible. Y'all are looking at me strange. Maybe not in your zip code. It's fine. It's just something I've been noticing. He says they give themselves over to it. Now follow me. When he says they give themselves over to it, that is very different than saying they get caught up in it. There's a big difference between giving yourself over and getting caught up. Everybody can get caught up. If you haven't seen the person sitting next to you get caught up in sin, you just haven't followed them to the right places yet. You haven't seen them in the right moments yet. They just haven't shown you yet.
We can all get caught up in different ways, different varieties, different prescriptions, but there's a big difference between getting caught up… "Oh, why did I say that"? Because you're human! There is grace for your humanity. There is grace for the moments. "Why did I explode on my wife five minutes after church"? You're human! But do not let your humanness and the grace God gives for your humanness become an excuse for your hypocrisy. Just because I struggle with it doesn't mean I have to surrender to it. There's a big difference. I mean, there are some big guys in this room right now, and I'm sure many of them, if they took me and dragged me off this stage, could get me off the stage, but that's a big difference than me getting on their back piggyback, isn't it? Is there a big guy?
We should illustrate this. I need somebody bigger than me. I'm about 170 so you have to at least have me by 30 pounds. Come on. I need a big guy. Mait is here? Where's Mait? Get Mait up here. That's a great idea. Mait the Great. It's not my fault he bench presses 505 pounds. He has that 24-year-old anointing. Are you too injured to do this illustration? I don't want to hurt you. He just went through an injury. We can't hurt him. But imagine this. (I'm not even going to do the full illustration. I care more about you than my illustration. I'm selfless.) If he wanted to drag me off the stage, he could do it. It would just be a matter of time. That's really different than if I jump up in his arms. I just want you to see that. (It would have been cool if I could have done it, but I don't want to do it. I don't want to hurt him.)
When you look at what God is doing… I really haven't read the Scripture I want to preach from yet, but that whole thing right there helps me make a critical distinction in my life as to whether I am still struggling with sin. The writer of Hebrews said, "You have not yet struggled with sin to the point of shedding your blood". I guess he's saying when you say, "I've done all I can do. I can't change it…" Did you do all you could do? Rarely. Then when grace comes in, some people take that grace, and they don't really receive it as power. They receive it as permission to keep living in stuff that makes them miserable. Why would you want permission to be miserable? You can. Who's going to stop you? But this is what the Bible says in verse 20. Now we're getting into it really deep here. "That, however…" The impurity, the greed, the sensuality, the indulgence. "That, however…" Just talking nasty. Because you felt mad, you talk nasty. Just because everybody else is so mean to each other, now you're just mean too.
Now you're hardened, because the bone that was broken didn't reset in the hands of the healer. Paul says, "That is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ…" I don't care if everybody else does it. That is not me now. It used to be. Yeah, but not now. God has done too much for me. Not now. "I dropped out of church for 18 years, but not now. I used to think it was more important to wash my car on Sunday than be in the house of God, but not now, because I need God to wash my soul every Sunday so I can go forward into my future uncontaminated". There is power in the Word of God, and there is permission in the Word of God to do it differently. That is not me. That is what I used to do. That is what all of my friends have been doing. That is what I saw growing up. That is what was done to me, but why would I take what was done to me and carry it into the future God has for me? That stays there because this is my then.
Let me make a sandwich really quickly. Verse 14 says, "Then…" Verse 20 says, "That…" Verse 14 speaks to a point of maturity where you say, "I'm no longer just going to be driven by circumstances. I'm no longer just going to wake up and see how I feel and act like I feel. I'm no longer just going to wake up and see what I think and follow my thoughts until they lead me right off the edge of the cliff. I'm no longer just going to trust everybody who makes me feel good so I can get what I want in the moment. No more beans for birthright". God says, "When will your then finally come"? When will it be enough of you getting the same result from repeating the same behavior? When will your then come? The decision to grow up; the decision to come into communion with God; the decision to say, "Lord, I want to put this brokenness in your hands".
Then something pretty awesome happens. He said, "That is not you". The moment you make a decision then, "I'm growing up," that no longer has control over you. That. It would get really uncomfortable if I started listing specific thats in the room. The categories don't really make you cringe…impurity, greed, lust. "Oh yeah, I watched that Bernie Madoff documentary…greed". How about me always wanting more and never giving much? How about me always thinking somebody needs to encourage me, but who am I encouraging? See how this works? That is not me. I'm going to do a list next week that I'll give you where I'm going to teach you "The new me is not…" We're going to list some of the things you are not anymore if you name the name of Christ. We're going to wage war against those things, because we've been accepting them too long as normal. Just because it's natural doesn't mean it's normal.
Watch this. "That is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ…" Faith comes by hearing, right? How many know that Scripture? "Faith comes by hearing, hearing the word of God". Faith comes by hearing, but freedom comes by habit. That's why it is possible for you to know more about God than you are bringing into your current experience. That's why it's possible for you to drag around deficiencies and dysfunctions that Christ died to help you deal with and then start justifying things Jesus wants to set you free from. We're going to get free in some areas of our lives this year. If you don't want to get free this year, don't come hear Furtick preach, because Furtick is trying to get free this year of some childlike behaviors that are coming around in a grown man's body. I want to be less petty, less prideful. I want to be stable. I don't know what winds and waves are coming my way, so I want to be more attuned to worship. I want to be more tuned into the voice of God. I want to be like him.
Say it. "I want to be like him". Okay. "You were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires…" Y'all remember Tricks Are for Kids from last week. I know you do. I know if you missed last week, you caught the podcast first opportunity, because no way you would miss a sermon from the Word of God. You wouldn't do that and watch Netflix or Hulu. Not you. Verse 23. This is the goal. "…to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness". So now I'm looking at my humanity, and I'm looking at God's holiness (wholeness, changing me, who I really am), and I'm making decisions daily about which one to choose.