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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Breaking Free From The Thirst Trap

Steven Furtick - Breaking Free From The Thirst Trap

Steven Furtick - Breaking Free From The Thirst Trap

This is an excerpt from: The Thirst Trap

After all you've been through, after all they've accused you of, after all of the people who walked away who should have been there. After this. After they counted you out and said you were nothing and mocked you. After this. After a crown of thorns was placed on his head, after the blood ran from his brow. After this. After they beat his back, after they released Barabbas. After this. After the cock crowed and Peter denied him thrice. After this, knowing that now all things were finished, Jesus had one more thing to say, one thing to do, because there were 300 prophecies and he was on 299.

Everybody standing around that day thought that death had trapped Jesus. The cross was a setup. But it wasn't set up by Judas, and it wasn't set up by the Sadducees, and it wasn't set up by the Pharisees, and it wasn't set up by Herod. It was set up by heaven. Listen to me preach this sermon. Listen to me preach on the parentheses in John 19:28. I've preached on a lot of things in my little tenure preaching, but I've never preached on a punctuation mark until today. After this, knowing that all things had been fulfilled, knowing that he had drank down the full cup of the wrath of God so you would never have to, after knowing that he suffered like a criminal so he could reign like a king, after humbling himself, being obedient even to the point of death on a cross… "Jesus said (to fulfill the Scripture)…"

I wonder why John put it in parentheses. Probably because he didn't know that's why it was happening at the time. When Jesus said, "I thirst," they thought he wanted water, so they gave him vinegar to mock him. The thing they used to mock him was actually the thing he used to finish the work God gave him to do. The thing they put on a sponge to shame him… I have to tell y'all something. I have to show you one more thing. When Jesus said, "I thirst" to fulfill the Scripture, parentheses… Have you ever had to live in the parentheses? I mean, not understanding why you were going through what you were going through. Please be real with me. I cannot preach this sermon to closed hearts. I'm trying to give you water today for your thirsty soul. Sometimes you're in a wilderness and you don't know why. Sometimes you're looking at a Red Sea and you feel trapped. Jesus looked trapped up there on that cross, but John said, "No, he wasn't trapped". Death didn't trap Jesus; Jesus trapped death. Now I know why he said, "I thirst".

Now I know why the lips that spoke the waters into their place on the earth said, "I thirst". To fulfill the Scripture. God has a purpose for every thirst in your life. Death didn't trap Jesus; Jesus trapped death. One time David felt trapped, and in Psalm 69 he describes it in vivid detail. He goes, "The deep waters have engulfed me. I'm surrounded by enemies. They hurl their insults at me". Does this sound familiar, by the way? It's a messianic psalm. It's describing, centuries before the cross, what the cross would be like for Jesus. Jesus is called the son of David. It is David pointing to the one who now says, "I thirst". David says that although he is surrounded by what he calls "deep waters of trial," he says the reproach has broken his heart. The shame has brought him so low to this place that he feels like he's drowning. You can get to a place where you feel trapped in doubt, and you can have dysfunctions in your life that have been there so long you feel trapped inside of yourself.

That's the worst place to feel trapped. Not in a bad relationship. You can always block that number. But what do you do when you're trapped inside of your own broken heart? David said, "It's so bad it has broken my heart, and I am in despair. I am in distress". He said, "I looked for pity, but there was none; for comforters, but I found none. Nobody could help me. I was trapped". He said, "I got to the point where I asked my friends for food, and they gave me poison for food. The people who were supposed to help me hurt me. They gave me poison for food. I was thirsty, but for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink".

Now I understand why Jesus said, "I thirst". It was to fulfill the Scripture. It wasn't about water. Jesus was setting the trap for death. This was the last thing he had to do before the Spirit could be released. It's a setup. If he didn't suffer, salvation could not spring up like a well. If he did not suffer, it could not flow forth. If he did not die, he could not rise. Somebody shout, "It's a setup"! It's not the end. It's in the parentheses. Sometimes you have to trust God in the parentheses, in the tight places, when it looks like you're trapped, to know that the very Red Sea that feels like it's going to kill you is going to drown your enemies behind you. He said, "I thirsted, and they gave me vinegar".

But watch David praying. This is what I'm praying over your life today. Every evil thing the Enemy has done to you and every trial that feels like it's sweeping over you and for everybody who feels trapped, listen to what he prayed. "Let their own table before them…" The thing they brought to destroy me. "Let their own table become a snare, and when they are at peace…" Just when the Devil thought he had Jesus trapped, just when he thought it was over, just when he thought, "We got rid of that one," just when he thought it was the end, just when they rolled the stone… "Let it become a trap". God said, "I've got you". He set the trap.

God brought you here into this garden so you could sweat out your insecurities. God brought you here into this tight place so your doubts could die and your faith could live. And you will never thirst again. He said, "I thirst," and they brought him vinegar. He said, "Good. I need that. I needed that vinegar. I needed that trial". Sometimes victory doesn't look like victory. Sometimes victory doesn't taste sweet. When he said, "I thirst" and they gave him the vinegar for water… After he had received the sour wine, after he had set the trap on death, hell, and the grave… I promise you we're going to have the best Easter ever this year. I feel like Easter came early today. I really do. I really feel like resurrection came at an unexpected time for somebody who thought they were trapped. Hear the Word of the Lord! It's not a trap; it's a triumph! Shout unto God! Friday's trap was Sunday's triumph. He said, "I thirst". He set the trap. After he had received the sour wine, he said, "It's finished".

The trap became the triumph. God is going to take the thing that looks… Ask the children of Israel. They thought the Red Sea was going to be the end of them. It was the end of their enemies. You're not trapped; the Devil is. You're not trapped. I'm not trapped and I'm not thirsty. Who the Son sets free… How many believe that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed? How many believe Christ is in you, the hope of glory? Shout like you believe that! I'm going to tell you one more thing. I love to preach the Word to you, not because I like to hear myself talk. I love to preach the Word of God to you because I know what this seed is going to do if you get it down in your heart. Watch this. Favor flows from unexpected places.

Do you remember when we were writing the song "Resurrecting"? It took about nine months to write the song. Everybody on the team contributes in different ways. My thing is I always like to write… Chris can tell you this, because we've been knowing each other forever. I'm kind of weird, because when the song seems like it should be over, I always like to put another verse. So we wrote the song, and it was kind of done. Not really done, but we thought it was done. We finished the songwriting thing, and I started thinking I wanted to write this fourth verse for the song. You know, Chris is kind of lazy, because he's a worship leader. (No, I'm just kidding. He's the hardest-working man in the praise biz.) It took six months to get the verse right, but we ended up writing a declaration for our church. Lift your hands. Whatever has you trapped today… We ended up writing this verse to let you know that what looks like it has you locked in is going to be the place…

See, that's what the grave was. The grave of Jesus Christ was a garden in disguise. That's what your trials are. That's what your weakness is. So I want you to sing this fourth verse, because just when it seems like the song should be over, just when it seems like your hope is gone, just when it seems like the Devil has dehydrated your dream… They thought they had him. They posted the guard right there. If he robbed the grave of its power, if the guards couldn't keep his body in… Come on, church! I'm talking about rivers of living water. You never thirst again when you get this Spirit, and the same Spirit that raised him from the dead…
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