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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Don't Tap Out Tap In

Steven Furtick - Don't Tap Out Tap In

Steven Furtick - Don't Tap Out Tap In

I wanted to mention to you that Elevation Nights is coming to the coldest part of the country at the coldest part of the year. February 20-29, we're going to be in Hershey, Pennsylvania; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Columbus, Ohio; Chicago; Long Island; Boston; and Philly. You can go to I am currently purchasing parkas for this tour. It'll be amazing. Today, I am excited to share God's Word with you. You are excited too. We want to share now with the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 27:1-6 some conversations he was having with Israel that God wants to continue with us. Brace yourself for a bold word from the almighty God.

"In that day, the Lord will punish with his sword, his fierce, great and powerful sword, Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea. In that day, 'Sing about a fruitful vineyard: I, the Lord, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it. I am not angry. If only there were briers and thorns confronting me! I would march against them in battle; I would set them all on fire. Or else let them come to me for refuge; let them make peace with me, yes, let them make peace with me.' In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit".

I came with a message for you today to tell you Don't Tap Out, Tap In. Just for you the Lord sent me. Don't Tap Out, Tap In. Abbey asked me an interesting question three days ago. "Dad, why are you so against soccer"? I explained to Abbey, "I'm not against soccer. I respect it. I just didn't grow up in it, so I don't particularly love it". See, my roots are wrestling. I was a seventh-grade wrestler. Yeah. Impressive, I know. I just need you to know who you're listening to today. Seventh-grade wrestler.

Now it's so fun because Graham, our middle child, is wrestling. He's doing great, way better than I was. He has exceeded his father's example. The student has become the master. It's funny because I think the reason he likes wrestling…I can't prove this…is because when he was about 5 years old… We get a lot of interesting messages at the church from people who watch our sermons. I got a message from a former UFC champion, a mixed martial artist, who said he watched our sermons and that they were a blessing to him and that he'd like to speak to me. So when we talked… His name is Vitor. This was about 10 years ago. He invited me to come watch him train, and I took Graham with me to watch him train. I thought that was so amazing, but what was really cool… He was so nice to Graham. The first thing he did… He got down on the ground and showed Graham the armbar. He let Graham put him in an arm… Let me show you a picture of Vitor just so you can know… Okay. So, when I say he let Graham put him in an armbar, that's the only way it was going to happen.

So, Graham has him in the armbar. Graham is only about 5 years old. Vitor starts tapping, and Graham doesn't move. Graham just sits there and holds the armbar. Do you know what an armbar…? He has his arm cranked back like he's about to break it between his legs. Vitor is showing him, "This is a mission move". So, he has him like this, and Vitor taps, which in MMA means "I give up. Let me out. You win". Well, Graham just stays right there. Vitor goes Tap! Tap, tap! Tap, tap! I go, "Graham, that means let go". So Graham lets go. Vitor pulls him to the side and says, "You're so strong, bro, but always respect the tap. When someone taps, respect the tap. Let go". Have you noticed the Devil doesn't really respect your tap? Some of you have been trying to tap. "Okay. That's enough now. Okay. Quit picking on me, Devil. Pick on somebody else. I've got a few suggestions. I'll give you a list. Just leave me alone". Tap, tap! There are many of us who have been trying to tap or surrender, not in the good "I surrender all to thee, my precious Savior" kind of way but the tap that says, "I'm really done trying in this area of my life. I'm really done loving with my heart. It costs too much, and it makes me feel too exposed".

Tap in this relationship. Tap in this quest to overcome this habit. Tap in this really living fully for Christ. Tap, tap! But the thing about the Enemy, if you don't know, is he doesn't… I hate to compare Graham to the Devil, but just for a minute. Just like Graham, the Devil does not respect the tap. So, when you give up on freedom to go back to slavery, you get momentary relief but greater bondage in the end. Do you think the Devil feels sorry for you because you tap? Do you think the Devil plays by the rules and leaves you alone because you're tired? "Oh, I'm tired. I tap. I give up". I think that's what a lot of relapse is, not just in terms of substances but when we fall back into something. It's us tapping, going, Tap, tap! "I'm done feeling this way". Tap, tap! "I don't want to feel lonely. I'd rather be high". Tap, tap! "I don't want to feel like this. I'd rather be with the wrong influences than be in isolation". Tap, tap! "I give in to the thing that has ahold of me".

But the Devil doesn't respect your tap. That's why giving in to self-pity never produces progress. (I'm preaching like a motivational speaker today.) You know, this picture in the Scripture is a picture of a nation that is ready to tap. Now, Isaiah is preaching to the entire nation of Israel during the reign of Hezekiah, and the Assyrians are coming to take them. In the process of preaching to them to encourage them, the prophetic word speaks directly to their pain. He says, "In that day, the Lord will punish with his sword, his fierce, great and powerful sword…" What kind of sword? Fierce, great, and powerful.

Touch somebody and say, "I've got a big God, and he likes me". Tell them, "So before you mess with me, you might want to know who my friend is". Yeah. You might want to know who my tag team partner is before you start beating me up. That's a whole message. In the text I read to you, there are a few things. We'll go through them like this in order. I believe this is going to help you in your life for those areas where you've been trying to tap. I will admit that it isn't always that you want to give up completely and tap. It's just that a part of you in your life is exhausted of trying to extend yourself and expand yourself, so you go into shrinking mode.

Look at me confused if you want, but everybody in here has these four things in their life. I'd like you to write them down if you have a pen or something like that. First, there is a fight. Secondly, there is fruit. Thirdly, there is a fence. Fourthly, there is a future. A fight, fruit, fence, and a future. "In that day, the Lord will punish with his sword, his fierce, great and powerful sword…" If God has his sword out, there's a fight going on. Just like the Assyrians were invading Israel, God is very aware of what is messing with you. In this Scripture it's interesting, because Isaiah draws on a mythological figure called Leviathan. Leviathan was known as the chaos monster in the ancient world. So, drawing on a secular example of a chaos monster, the legend went that in creation a higher power defeated the sea monster in order to create the world. Well, Isaiah doesn't believe this as a myth, but he uses it as an example to bring a message. He says, "In that day, the Lord will punish with his sword…Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea".

Now, scholars suggest that perhaps these different mentions of Leviathan represent the three major threats to the Israelites. First, there was Leviathan, the Assyrians, who were impending right now with an attack that would be unsurvivable for God's nation. This is represented by Leviathan the gliding serpent, because it represents the Tigris River, which was a smooth, fast river. Then you have Leviathan the coiling serpent, which represents the rivers of Babylon, which was Israel's other enemy…the Euphrates River, which would snake and slow as it curved and twisted. This is the river of Babylon, representing the second enemy. The third enemy is the monster of the sea, and that's Egypt. That's the nation that originally sheltered God's people during famine and oppressed them after the famine was over, because many times the things you run to in one season of your life you will need to be released from in another season of your life.

God says, "In that day, I have my sword drawn. I see what's being done to you. I am fighting for you. I'm in it with you. I'm working through you. I've got your back. No weapon formed against you will prosper". It will be produced. It will be forged in the flame, but it will die in the air, because when the wind of God's Spirit takes the arrow off the trajectory of your life, even what the Enemy means for evil will be used for good. So, we use in preaching all of these different characters, like Pharaoh, who was the Egyptian god, where Moses goes to Pharaoh and says, "Let my people go". Or you might think about Goliath when David was trying to save the nation from Goliath, the Philistine warrior. He stands up in front of Goliath and says, "You defy the armies of the living God. Today I defy you, and God will give you into my hands".

We use all of these metaphors throughout Scripture, because we know we have a Goliath, and we know we have a Pharaoh. Yet when I was studying about Leviathan, I realized that while maybe it represented Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt in its original context, it represents something different to each and every one of us in the room. Leviathan, for most of us, is not necessarily like Pharaoh who you can see or Goliath who is big. What I noticed about the passage is that Leviathan's strength is in his ability to hide. So, while there are giants we face that we can see, and while there are economic conditions that cause us to be afraid, and while there are events in our lives that cause us to be stressed out, Leviathan is a little different. Leviathan is not an ancient monster at all. In fact, Leviathan is waiting for you for when you get back home. You see, the strength of this sea monster is in its ability to hide.

Leviathan hides behind nice smiles, suppressing buried rage until it explodes at the wrong time and you wonder, "Where the hell did that come from"? It came from hell, but it hid. Did you know that hell knows where to hide in your life? When we say, "All hell broke loose," it didn't just break loose; it built up, and then it broke loose. As long as the Enemy can keep you thinking you're fighting Pharaoh or Goliath, he can hide in the form of Leviathan and pull you down every time you try to rise higher and leave you wondering, "Where did that come from"? It came from hell, but the Devil doesn't wear horns. The Devil doesn't own a red cape. The Devil doesn't carry a pitchfork. The Devil just hides until the time that he knows you're susceptible. I feel like what Paul said is relevant to us today and relevant to you and relevant to me. We are not ignorant of the Devil's schemes. You and I have the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ to shine on Leviathan.

I thought today, since you're already fighting with it, since you're already dealing with it, since you already have to put up with it, since you're already wondering, "How long is it going to be like this"? since you can't really tell any of your friends about it because you can't even describe it, you and I ought to call Leviathan out in the light of God's presence today and talk about your Leviathan. I'll start the party. Here's mine. It comes in the form of insecurity. The insecurity manifests itself in my irritability, and I'm usually irritated at something that isn't even the cause of a problem, but it usually locates a deeper insecurity in me. If I put the mic down and walked off the stage, I did enough for your gas money today by telling you that, for many of us, our biggest enemy is our insecurity.

Okay. Here's the example. I was really, really passionate about music from a very young age. When I became a pastor, I decided probably I wouldn't do music anymore, and then I ended up being the worship leader for the first part of the church. Then when I quit playing music, I felt like I was done writing songs. This was about a decade ago, but something started stirring in me, and I would start sending Chris little song ideas every once in a while. I would hum them into my phone, but I was too embarrassed to really sing them. So I'd walk around the house mumbling stuff into my phone. I'd try to get away from people when I did it because it was kind of embarrassing, because I really felt like, "This probably isn't very good," but I would mumble into my phone.

One day, Holly walks in when I'm mumbling into the phone, and she goes, "What are you doing"? and laughs. When she laughed, I lashed out. I said, "I'm trying to write a song! I guess I'm not allowed to write a song in my own house! I'll never write another song in front of you again. I'm sorry"! Where the…? All she said was, "What are you doing"? If I had really been singing, she wouldn't have had to ask because she would have seen, "You're singing". But I was too scared to really sing, because there was something I had stuffed and suppressed that I dreamed of doing. When she walked by and asked me about the thing I was trying to stuff, I lashed out because I thought her laughter was aimed against me. I realized about myself that in this specific instance I would rather make Holly my foe than to deal with my fear. I'm trying to break this Leviathan thing down, because when I preach about Leviathan you picture a flying dragon. Nuh-uh.

Leviathan is your temper-tantrums. Leviathan is your sharp, cutting words. Leviathan is that pushing away of people you do the moment they try to love you for real. Leviathan is that thing that grabs you, and it's pulling you down, but it kind of comforts you because it feels like warmth. I'm not talking about the Devil. I'm talking about the way Leviathan manifests in your life. In my life, I had to admit that my wife, who God sent to be my greatest partner, was being treated like my opponent because of my own immaturity. The Lord spoke something to me. He said, "You would rather invent an enemy than deal with your insecurity. You would rather fight against the one who's trying to fight for you than to fight against the insecurity that keeps you from seeing things as they really are".

I'm talking about my Leviathan. It's a fight. It is a fight for me. It's not happening on an external level. I can't point to Vitor. I can't point to Graham. I can't point to Holly. I can't point to haters. I can't point to people. I can't point to critics. I could try. I did try, but all of my life it's like I've been fighting the same guy. I'm starting to wonder. Is it possible that it's not another guy I'm fighting at all? Is it possible that all of your life you have been fighting with something you didn't know how to name? I love Isaiah because he says, "Let's give this thing a name". I know you're fighting today, and I know it's a struggle today, and I know you're frustrated today. So let's take a moment and name what you're fighting. I want you to name what you're fighting, what you're really wrestling with. Not what you want to blame it on, not what you explain it by, not by what other people call it or justify it as, but what are you really fighting when you numb with alcohol? What are you really fighting when you numb with gossip? What are you really fighting?

I came to find your Leviathan so you don't get high in church and go back home to hell and get dragged down into the same disease that ate through your family generations before you. What are you really fighting inside? It's a fight. I know you have faith, but I know you're fighting too. It's a fight. Tell your neighbor, "I'm in a fight". Tell them, "I'm sorry I don't look rested, but I'm in a fight. I'm sorry I didn't sound too good singing earlier, but I'm in a fight. I've been losing my voice. I'm in a fight. I'm sorry I'm not perfect, but I'm in a fight. I'm sorry I don't have as much patience as I wish I had, but I'm in a fight. I've been fighting all my life. Some of the stuff I've been fighting I don't even know what to call it. I haven't done therapy, and I'm afraid it would take me 30 years to get to the bottom of it. I'm in a fight".

That's what Leviathan will do to you. Leviathan will coil. Leviathan will glide. Leviathan will get by so quietly you won't even see it's there, and then you'll jump out of the boat over something that was swimming underneath the waters. The Bible says, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places". I want you to know you're in a fight, but it's not your fight. I know. It sounds like I didn't study enough. "You sound confused. You say I'm in a fight, but it's not my fight". Right. The Bible says, "In that day, the Lord will punish with his sword, his fierce, great and powerful sword, Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea".

Do you know what I noticed reading that passage? The Enemy is after me, but God doesn't tell me to defeat the Enemy. I'll read it again until at least one person shouts about that. "In that day," God says, "I will punish with my sword, my fierce, great, and powerful sword". Notice what the Lord didn't say. "In that day, I want you to fight a little harder and do a little more and try a little harder". God says, "I see what's going on in your life. I know what's dragging you down in your spirit. I hear the cries of your depression. I see the trembling hands your anxiety is causing. I see the trauma you buried deep enough to get it past people". But man looks on the outward appearance and God looks on the heart. God sees past the struggle, and God sees the source. God looks past your weakness, and God gives more strength. "What shall we say, then, in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Shall not he who delivered his Son freely give us all these things"?

I came to announce, "It's his fight". High-five three people and say, "It's his fight". Okay. You don't get it yet. Let me help you get it. God is not like Graham in the story I told, and the Devil is not Vitor. God is not at the mercy of anything or anyone or anywhere to do what you're asking him to do in your life. His sword is fierce. His sword is great. His sword is powerful. His sword is fierce. His sword is great. His sword is powerful. I know three things. His sword is fierce. His sword is great. His sword is powerful. Guess what that means for me? It means I don't have to focus on what I'm fighting with. I can focus on the one who is fighting with me in the battle anytime I choose.

So, if I could break it down for you, I'd say there is a fight and there is a sword, but the sword is in God's hand, not yours. This is why all of our efforts to try to fight in our flesh fail eventually. You're not bigger than it. You're like Graham trying to armbar Vitor and wondering, "Why does this keep happening to me"? It's because you haven't really understood your responsibility in this relationship with God. He said, "The fight is mine". The sword is his, but watch this. Verse 2: "In that day, 'Sing about a fruitful vineyard…'" The sword is his. The song is mine. I will help you with this in any way I can, because I believe your song is God's sword. I believe our worship of Jesus Christ is a powerful weapon against whatever has wrapped itself around your life.

When I say worship… I am not confined to the first 20 minutes of church when I think about worship. Worship, for me, is a way of looking at my life. When I praise his name, something miraculous happens. My problems get smaller. I can't explain it, but when I praise his name, stuff starts shrinking and strength starts growing. So, my question is…Have you been more focused lately on your fight or your fruit? I want you to focus more on your fruit and less on your fight. I want you to focus more on where God is growing you and less on how the Enemy is grabbing you. You know that's happening right now. The Enemy is grabbing for your soul, grabbing for your peace, grabbing for your family, grabbing for your right mind, grabbing for your destiny, grabbing for your advance, grabbing for your maturity, grabbing for your discipleship, grabbing for your prayer life, grabbing for your worship. But while he's grabbing, God is growing.

Very practically, let's run it back and walk it out. There's a fight and there's fruit. My question is…Which one are you focused on more? The one you look at more and the one you speak about more will have the leverage in your life. Understand this. God is telling them to sing about a vineyard that isn't even there yet. Sometimes you sing over the fruit; sometimes you sing over the seed. That's when God has given you the potential for something. God will cause you sometimes to sing over a seed. Remember, the nation of Israel was facing captivity, yet in the chaos of captivity comes forth the beauty of creation. I see it happen in your life as I preach it to you. Out of the chaos…Leviathan, the chaos monster…out of the chaos of this season, out of the chaos of the mistake you made, out of the chaos of what was passed down to you that you've been dealing with, out of the chaos of a failed business, out of the chaos of a failed relationship, out of the chaos of the distraction you've been dealing with comes a new creation.

The Lord says, "I want you to start singing". One thing I realized when we're worshiping together is there are things I'm dealing with back home that God is doing because of what's happening in here. When I look around and see you at church, I know your decision to be here doing this is waging war against whatever is waiting for you when you leave this place. Do you believe that? One time, somebody wanted healing from Jesus, and Jesus said, "Go. They're already healed". At the exact time he spoke the word the child was healed back home. Do you want God to fight your battles? Start focusing more on your fruit than you focus on the fight. When you call people it's all right to vent, but don't vent so much you ruin your vineyard. The Bible says in Song of Solomon 2:15 you have to catch the little foxes that spoil the vine. Isn't it the little foxes? Isn't it the little fox you allow to repeat in your head? Isn't it the little things that build up until you go, "Where the…"?

Because Leviathan is a gliding serpent. He doesn't make a lot of noise. He's a coiling serpent. He doesn't say, "Hey! I'm the Devil. Want to ruin your life? Come along with me. We'll get it done together. It'll be a lot of fun. You'll end up in rehab. You'll have deep debt. You'll be crippled in debt. You'll never be able to afford to send your kids to college. Come on over here". He's a gliding serpent. He's a coiling serpent. He is a silent strategist. I'm really glad my dad talked to me about our family's genetic predisposition to alcoholism when I was young. I think it's a brilliant thing he did for me. Because he took me aside and talked to me, he kind of got in my head and convinced me, "If you ever start drinking, you will love it". He was like, "Trust me. I do it. I'm being honest with you, son. I'm telling you this will be hard for you to beat". He was like, "What I think would be cool is if you just never do it". I was like, "Dang, man. All of my friends…you know".

But he started this when I was, like, 5. My friends weren't drinking when I was 5. Then every year he would renew the conversation. "You know, if you ever start doing it, you're going to be homeless. You'll probably end up on heroin if you start drinking alcohol". He had me so scared because he had seen what it did because it was all in his family. I use this as an example, but we could substitute a lot of things here. I'm going to tell you about my journey with this. For years of my life, when I was an adult, I would explain to people sometimes… They'd go, "Do you want a glass of wine? Do you want a drink? Do you want this"? I'd be like, "No, I don't drink". I'm telling y'all, they would look at me like I said, "I don't brush my teeth. I don't shower. I don't pray". They'd look at me so crazy, like I was an alien.

Holly and I would be around a lot of people… And no judgment on any of it. I don't think it's a sin to drink, but it was just my dad had told me, "Just so you know, this Leviathan has ruined a lot of my life". He didn't call it Leviathan, but that's what he was telling me about. He didn't give me Isaiah 27:1. He just said, "If you ever start drinking, it's a bad boy". So, we're 25 years old now, 30 years old now, sitting around. Sometimes we'd be sitting around with preachers. "Hey, do you want something to drink"? "No, it's cool. You go ahead". "You don't drink? Why don't you drink? Would you like a Hi-C? Would you like a Capri Sun"? I'm telling you, we have been mocked over this more… And we've been mocked over a lot of stuff. This one ranks up there with all of them. I would never say you shouldn't, and I don't think that. I don't even believe that, but what I would say is this is something in my life that I feel very predisposed… In fact, most of my disciplines are a result of my weakness, not my strength.

If you saw how many Diet Cokes I drink a day, you would be glad I don't drink alcohol, because it could get ugly. (Don't email me about cancer in Diet Cokes. Everybody needs something in their life to look forward to. Do not take my aspartame away. I'll fight you like a… I'll put you in an armbar.) Watch me. I said, "We don't drink". One day I realized that if I had lost my family to alcoholism and told them, "Hey, I don't drink. I'm in recovery. I lost my family," they'd go, "That's great. Good for you. You should write a book about that". So, I spoke to our youth at YTHX in Orlando this summer, and I told them about Leviathan. I said, "Everybody in here has a Leviathan. Your parents have one. Your preacher has one. Some of them we know the name, and some of them we don't, but one thing I do know right now is that you have permission from God to become very intentional about living your life in a way that protects you from whatever threatens your destiny". I told the youth, "I'm not in recovery; I'm in precovery".

I made that up. Do you like it? I'm going to trademark that. Precovery. I know I am such a mess, I know I am such a goofball, I know I am such a dork there are certain things I can't handle or play with. So why not make a decision today that I'm not going to play with something that I'm going to have to pray for God to take away 10 years from now? Who the Son sets free is free indeed. I have other stuff. I have road rage, but I can't stop driving. I have food issues, but I can't go on a 10,000-day fast. What I'm trying to get you to see is this fruit in my life is valuable, and where there is fruit there needs to be a fence. I have good news for you. You know how you have a fence for your dog but it's buried under the ground? The dog knows it's there, but nobody else necessarily knows it's there. It's not a big fence, because it would be ugly and your HOA would kick you out and fine you and all of that. You can't put up a fence, so you had to get one of those fences that goes underground.

This is what the Lord says. He says, "I'm your underground fence". He said, "I, the Lord, watch over it; I water it continually". Watch what God does. I know you've been fighting. I know it feels stronger than you. I know you don't see how to defeat it. I know it runs in your family. I know you've been dealing with it a long time. I know you want to tap out. I know it seems pointless. I know it seems fruitless. But in that day, sing about a fruitful vineyard. I announce over your life, child of God, you are God's garden, and God guards his garden. God will not just allow anything to come into your life. God will not allow just anything to stay in your life. God will not just allow the Enemy to run ransack in your life anytime he wants to. Not forever. For the Lord says, "In that day, I, the Lord, will water it, and I, the Lord, will watch over it. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it".

Don't you see that you have a promise in the Scripture that you have a fight, but you also have a fence? You are not in this fight by yourself. There is a fence around your life. No, you can't always see the proof of it, but it is an underground fence. See, I believe all your life God has had you fenced in. There were times where you tried to go farther. You couldn't go farther because you had a fence. There were times where you tried to run away, but you couldn't run away because you had a fence. I need you to know today that you walked in here with an invisible fence around you. It doesn't mean nothing bad is ever going to happen to you, but it means that whatever comes against you has to go through God. By the time he gets done using this in your life… I declare that Goliath's sword will cut off his own head, baby, because I have a fence. I'm hemmed in. I'm locked down. I'm spoken for. I'm sold out. I'm wrapped up. I'm tied up. I'm tangled up by the Word of God.

I have a fence, a fence to keep me in his love, a fence to keep me in his grace. Nothing can separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. Shall death? Shall life? Shall angels? Shall demons? Shall principalities? Shall any power be able to separate us from the love of God? No, because God will not allow you to be separated from what you are spoken for. He has put his Word inside of you. There's a fence around you. You have to start recognizing in your life the tremendous value of the fruit you have been given. After all, that's what the fight is about. It's about the fruit. Not just the fruit you already have; the fruit that's coming forth in your future. Oh, it's coming. It's coming. That's why I'm getting this fence built. It's coming. That's why I'm getting TikTok off my phone. It's coming. That's why I'm getting out of this. It's coming. That's why I'm protecting and guarding my heart, for from it flow the issues of life. It's coming. It's coming. It's coming.

When the fight is going down, that means the fruit is coming forth. I speak not by cliché but by the Spirit of God. Did he not say in the text, "In days to come Jacob will take root"? I think a lot of times we assume if it's not seen it's not happening, but my Bible says that just like the Enemy hides, so does God sometimes. It isn't always a feeling. It isn't always provable or verifiable. Sometimes it's roots. Do you know what you can't do with roots? You can't rush them. The more I thought about it, I realized that just like my roots are wrestling, so are yours. I mean, maybe I'm taking it a little too far. Sometimes I do.

But I think it's significant that the Lord is fighting Leviathan and he mentions Jacob, who was the father of the whole nation of Israel. While God is wrestling Leviathan, Jacob is wrestling with himself. You must understand and bring into visibility that Jacob was wrestling inside of his mother's womb in the dark. One night, Jacob was going to meet his brother Esau, and he wrestled with an angel all night long in the dark. Now here he is again mentioned in Scripture. Verse 6: "In days to come Jacob will take root…" One thing I know about roots is they don't do anything significant until they are unseen. I keep hearing you say, "I can't feel God right now". I keep hearing you say, "I don't know where God is. I don't know. I don't know what to do".

I keep hearing you pretend like he went away, but he didn't go away. You're taking root, and your roots are wrestling. See, in MMA they have something called tap out, but in agriculture there's something called a taproot. What do an oak tree, a walnut tree, a carrot, a beet, and you have in common? They all have a taproot. Not just any root. The taproot is the first root that comes from the seed. It goes directly down, and it goes down deep. It goes down deep enough that it can reach water that a surface root cannot reach. It goes down deep enough that should this plant encounter a drought at any point in the future it will hold the water it has because it went to the depth it needed to go to receive the nutrient and even store it in its own root. What does that have to do with you? That's fine for a carrot. That's fine for a beet. That's fine for a tree. What does that have to do with me? You have a taproot named Jesus.

Now I'm not preaching about Jacob. I'm not preaching about monsters. I'm not preaching about MMA. I'm talking about Jesus. I'm talking about my taproot. I'm talking about my inner witness. I'm talking about "Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world". Anytime you decide to, you can tap into it or you can tap out, but if you tap out, know this: the Enemy is not going to leave you alone. He doesn't respect that tap. But if you tap in, if you get bold enough today to say, "My Savior bled and died for me. How shall I live any longer in sin…" If you get bold enough to say today, "I know a name that is greater than Leviathan…" "I know a name that is greater than disease. I know a name that is greater than depression. His name is Jesus"!

Come on. I'm looking for a rooted church, a stable praise, a faith-filled, grateful, rooted-in-him, branches-out, hands-lifted, heart-open, grateful praise. So, you start singing about a fruitful vineyard, because while you're singing he's slaying. While you're singing, while you're reaching, he's rooting. He's rooting you. He's for you, not against you. He's with you. He hasn't forsaken you. He has you going down so you can drink and never run dry in days to come. It's a question, dude. Tap out or tap in? Paul said, "Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power". I want you to tap into gratitude right now. I want you to sing about fruit right now. I want you to sing about fruit even if it looks like a little bitty seed. Put it in the ground and watch it grow. I want you to start noticing where you're growing. All I ever see you doing is putting yourself on a guilt trip about where you're struggling. I want you to start noticing where you're growing.

I had to tell myself one time, "At least it only took me three days to bounce back this time. It used to take me three weeks". I came back from something. I was so down about it, and I was beating myself up. "See? You're still just a little baby. You preach this stuff. You don't live it". But then I thought, "Wait a minute. I have a fruitful vineyard. I have a fence. It's coming up in my life. It's taking root right now". That's why I think it would be so sad for you to click off my message and think it wasn't for you because you don't feel like you're growing or it's happening in your life. Just like that Enemy hides, so does God sometimes. What if you saw the struggle as soil? What if you thought it was really producing patience?

I'm going to tell you a secret. Your praise is protection. The bigger you get your view of God, the bigger you get your understanding of his sword, which is his Word… It's his Word. The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. The more you begin to worship and put his Word to work in your life, I believe not only are you going to see the fruit, but you are going to see a future you wouldn't even believe if I told you right now. I never know if God gave me this message for a lot of people or for a few. That's not my job to know that. I'm just putting the seed in your heart. I talked about a lot of stuff today. I talked about addiction. I talked about depression. I talked about struggle. I talked about sovereignty. I talked about biblical characters. I talked about your character.

One thing I want you to hear at the heart of this message… Your taproot is Jesus. I'm going to prove it to you. Didn't he go down in the ground? Didn't he go down deep enough that you would never have to die again? Didn't he pay a great enough price that there is no condemnation for us? Let's fill the world with fruit. Let's tap in to find out what's in you. I'm tired of you tapping out. It doesn't even work anyway. Not for long. But if you tap in, you have a well that never runs dry.

Father God, I give you glory because you gave me this word. I thanked you for it before I preached it to them because I need it. Right now we tap in. We tap in like we have a tag team partner, fresh, rested, and ready in the corner, like it's not our fight, like you have all power.

Come on, church. You have to praise him for yourself. Your praise is your protection. Not my praise, not my preaching…your praise. Come on. If you praise him, you'll see that whatever is surrounding you God is surrounding it. You have a fence. O Jesus, be a fence right here, right now! I will bless the Lord at all times!
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