Steven Furtick — Get Back In The Gate
I invite your attention and get the context and read down to chapter 19:8. David's confidence is shaken. So this would be a very strange thing if you just picked up the Bible and you heard about David from Sunday school and he was killing Goliath and ripping off the heads of Philistines and driving back the enemies of Israel. But now the scripture says the king was shook. I put it in a little bit of a modernized translation. He was shook "and he went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: "O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son"! Way to pick out an inspirational scripture to start the year with Furtick. Chapter 19:1, "Joab was told, 'The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.' And for the whole army the victory that day was turned into mourning".
Which is exactly the opposite God turns a day of mourning into a day of victory. Don't believe me? Just ask those disciples who were gathered together in sorrow and shame one Sunday only to get the news that what looks like Hell's final defeat of Heaven was actually the starting point of salvation. God specializes in turning your day of mourning into a day of victory. The enemy, however, would desire to turn your day of victory or your position of strength into weakness and sorrow and that's exactly what has happened here. The whole army is experiencing mourning in a time of victory. Did you know that you can experience mourning in a time of victory? You can experience depression in a place of provision. You can experience what feels like failure in a season of success. So much of life is determined not by the event but by our ability to process the event on the correct level as to be blind to our own blessings we have many instances.
But here David has lost so much in the course of the battle that he cannot celebrate the victory. He lost his own son. We'll see how that affects "The troops had heard it said, 'The king is grieving for his son. 'The men stole into the city that day as men steal in who are ashamed when they flee from battle". the enemy but their heads were hung in shame. There would be no parade For "the king covered his face and cried aloud, 'O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!'" he has lost that he is about to lose what he has left. He cannot get over what's gone and he is about to step right over what is and miss it. Because waiting for his support are all of the troops and the resources for him to reclaim his throne and get back where he belongs. But he's not ready yet. He's weeping in isolation Then verse 5 says that Joab, his general, had the guts to go into the house and say something to the king that nobody else had the guts to say.
Sometimes you need to thank God who say stuff that you don't like to hear. Those are the ones who often really love you. looking at their teenager. I caught you. Look at somebody and say tell me the truth. You are not my friend if you don't tell me the truth. God uses Joab to give David, watch this, You see how nobody said amen. If I would've said the gift of comfort you would have gotten it. But sometimes the gift of confrontation is greater than the gift of comfort. Goes in the house of the king and says, "'Today you have humiliated all your men, who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines. You love those who hate you and hate those who love you.'"
Why do you keep attaching that is doing you no good. Why do you keep running back to things that hurt you? You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. Why do you keep chasing that which is trying to walk away at the expense of that which God has given you? Or as David asked Samuel about Saul, how long will you mourn over what God "You have made it clear today that the commanders and their men mean nothing to you. I see that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead. Now go out and encourage your men. I swear by the Lord that if you don't go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall. This will be worse for you than all the calamities that have come on you from your youth till now". So the king got up and took his seat in the gateway. The king got up and took his seat in the gateway. begin the year.
So look at your neighbor and say, neighbor. And force them to make eye contact with you before you go any further. Tell 'em get back in the gate. Get back in the gate. If they're looking at you crazy it was the wrong neighbor. Turn to the other one and say get back in the gate. Get back in the gate. So we could understand why David is shook because we are seeing here the inextricable connection between character and confidence. It is impossible to sustain your confidence with a faulty character. You can hype yourself up. Chest bump yourself in the mirror. You can even get abs and feel good about those. Without the deep-seated core of character to sustain you in life it is impossible to maintain a sense of real confidence.
He's shook. He's allowed some things into his life that are now overpowering him. He let some things in little by little and now it's been years and years of dysfunction. It wasn't so much the dysfunction that brought trouble to David. It was the way he dealt with the dysfunction. God knew he was dysfunctional when he picked him out. He knew that he had father issues when He picked him out. And He knew that he was quite lustful. When He picked him out none of those things stopped God from choosing him so they couldn't stop God from using him. It is never your dysfunction that stops God from using you it is how you chose to deal with the dysfunction.
When David fought Goliath he fought him from a distance which was a strategic thing because if he came close to him he would die by his sword. Goliath was skilled in hand to hand combat but David was a slinger. That was the way he fought Goliath and it was the way he had tried to live his life and in certain situations, it worked for him. Until it came to the point, You may remember this story. It's not told in Vacation Bible School because it's rated MA. It's more like a Game of Thrones episode really than a Bible story. When David should have been at war and he wasn't. It wasn't where he was. It was where he wasn't that got him in trouble. It wasn't what he did. It was what he didn't do that brought him to a place until he had enough freedom of capacity to entertain thoughts he wouldn't have thought if he'd been doing what he should've done he wouldn't of been tempted to do what he did. But since he did what he did and ended up sleeping with a lady who was taking The Bible is full of these happy coincidences. Where he messed up wasn't necessarily his sin which was wrong but it was the way that he compounded his sin because he responded to his shame rather than deal with the dysfunction and the decision of his disobedience he piled several layers of shame on top of his sin and ended up having her husband killed.
Well, when Nathan the prophet came to David he said that because of the way you've acted, because of the decisions that you've made, God is going to forgive you but you're going to experience some consequences. Please write this down if you're under the age of 18. You can pick your decisions but you can't pick And he received grace but it left a residue and the aftermath of David's sin would play out through the course of his family line when his son Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar. And you thought your family was dysfunctional. You could write a parenting book compared to David. I mean, David's son raped one of David's daughters from another wife. Are you following this? Do you feel like you left church and went to Jerry Springer 1992? Hello. And Absalom had to do what David wouldn't do. Because David wanted to deal with it from a distance. Rather than confront the dysfunction he kept it out here.
Do you can only keep it out here so long. Just like he did with Bathsheba. He kept it out here but only for so long. It's just a matter of time before the dysfunction shows up on your doorstep once you let it through the gate. So not it's working its way through his family. And because David will not stand in his place and make a decision on how to deal with it, even if it's the wrong one. He makes the greatest mistake to become passive. The greatest trouble in David's life came when he became passive or you might say disengaged. I have an Instagram account and every month our social media team brings me reports for the engagement on our Facebook, the engagement on Twitter, the engagement on social media. It's how we measure effectiveness: How many people are commenting and liking and looking and sharing, engagement. Even our e-fam online. What's up e-fam? Maybe you got here because somebody shared the link with you. It's called engagement. I don't think there's ever been a time in the world where we've been more engaged on the surface and more disengaged in our souls. Because we got all these fake connections and fake friendships and fake sexuality and fake relationships and stuff that won't do you any real good when the Devil fights you in your life. Because you are not engaged.
Now Absalom has taken matters into his own hands. Years ago he killed Amnon himself. He went runnin'. He wanted to come back. David wouldn't see him. He kept him at a distance. Now the battle has arrived on his doorstep because he would not deal with it at the gate. He would not deal with it when it showed up. So now it has gained power and Absalom has actually tried to overturn his own father as king. Absalom was pretty smart. The Bible says he was real good lookin'. Had a lot in common with Rick Parker. Except one thing, Rick, he had so much hair the Bible said his hair was so long when he would cut it off every spring it would weigh two pounds. So he would stand by the gate with his luxurious locks and when people would come to see David he'd say, "Oh dad's busy. If I were king I'd help you out. I would hear your matter if I were king but I'm not".
Well, four years of that and he won their hearts. Be very careful who you let stand at the gates. You gotta be real careful who you let represent you. Over the course of time, the Bible says that the hearts of the people were with Absalom. It ended in a bloody result in the woods of Ephraim where Absalom was riding through the forest with his militia trying to overtake David's men. Now, David has crossed the Kidron valley. He has left the throne. He is on the run just to survive. Absalom's men catch up with him. There's only one problem. Absalom's hair gets caught in a tree. Snatches him right off of his horse. Why? Because the thing that makes you great outwardly makes you vulnerable inwardly. He gets caught up in the thing that made him so attractive. As he is hanging there Joab decides to end his life. Three knives in him. Calls ten men to slice him up. They send the news to David and he is shaken. He's shaken like any father would be who lost a son but perhaps even more deeply because he feels responsible for it.
I kinda wish sometimes I could talk to my dad. Just one more conversation. And I know he's probably listening to this sermon on Heaven. I know he's part of the e-fam. Eternal-fam. But I wish I could sit down with him for real and I would only tell him one thing. This would be the whole conversation. I've thought about it a lot. 'Cause now I'm raising my own kids and there are ways that I judged him when he was raising me that I would love to go back and say to him one thing. This is what I would say. The title of our talk would be "I Get it Now". Because when I became a teenager my dad went from coaching my teams to going out drinking. I didn't see him much over those years. I really thought he was, to be honest with you, a pretty poor father during those years. Right. It wasn't that I didn't appreciate the fact that he did not have a dad to show him how to do it. His father committed suicide. So on his ninth birthday, he found his father dead.
So without any frame of reference, he stayed around to raise me. But what I would tell him now is I get it now. Because even as much as I love my wife, which is more than you can possibly imagine. And I love my kids and I am grateful for them and we enjoy some wonderful times together. But there have been times that I have pulled into my garage, gotten out of my Nissan Maxima, walked into my house and fantasized about getting back into my Nissan Maxima and going back to work so I could get some rest. I get it now. There are times when the challenge of responsibility will make you walk away from something that you actually love. People will judge you in that moment and they will think you're walking away because you're lazy. But you're not walking away because you're lazy. You're walking away because deep down inside I don't know if I have what it takes. This is the danger of disengagement. It is when you find yourself in a state of shame or fear or trauma or exhaustion and you walk away from what God gave you because you don't know how to manage it. It is the danger of disengagement. It is the danger of showing up I've learned that there's a big difference between coming to church and being in church.
I've learned that there is a big difference between coming home and being home. to me all year? Is that how it's gonna be? You gonna look at me crazy all year like that? There is a big difference between having a child and being a mom. Sometimes the temptation is not to exactly run away but to just disengage. I'm disengaged not because I don't care but just because I'm afraid. I don't know if I have what it takes. David was shaken. The death of Absalom represented his own failure. If only. Did you hear him? If only I had died instead of you. It's my fault. I didn't give you what you needed and it's my fault you're dead. And now it's caught up with him and he's shaken. He's disengaged. He's not defeated. He's disengaged. He has the victory but he's not acting like it. He's the king but he's not where the king is supposed to be.
See, he's lost his sense of passion because he's moved from his position. In ancient times the cities were well-guarded by gates now. David is in Mahanaim which is not Jerusalem the capital city. Absalom is there and he's going to drive him out. But not yet. The first thing he has to do is relocate himself. Around the city are two gates. Everybody say two gates. Our theme for the new year is Gates. I want you to pay great attention right now. This is very important. In each city, there would be an outer gate that everybody saw. We all have one of those. We all have the outer gate that people see. It's our personality that we project into the world so people won't judge us. So we will appear successful. Then there is the inner gate. It's the second line of defense. We all have one of those too. It's our actions. Two gates. Two gates. Two gates. And the action happens, watch this, between the gates.
The Bible does not say... Put my verse up again. It's my theme verse. it's verse 8, at the gate. It says that he got up and took his seat what? Where? Now up until this point, but he wasn't in it. He was in isolation above the gate like a lot of us live our lives. Watching events unfold but not taking responsibility for our outcomes. When we live online in an ecosystem of pretension and narcissism and opinions but don't really make a commitment to make a difference in the world. We show up in the places that are most convenient to our ego but refuse to confront the issues that The action happened between the gates. Not outside and not inside. But often between the gates transactions would be made. It was like a marketplace of the day. But between the gates of the city, there would be buying and selling and negotiation. Between the gates, prophets like Amos would prophesy to maintain justice in the gates. In the gates.
When Ruth, if you remember the Old Testament story, was claimed by Boaz her kinsman redeemer he did the deal in the presence of ten witnesses in the gate. When Abraham bought the burial ground for Sarah in the Old Testament he bought it in the presence of witnesses in the gate. It's where the witnesses were. It's where the judges would sit. It's where negotiations happened. It's where the conscience of the nation was developed. It's where Absalom would stand at the gate and before people could go through turned them back after he had promoted his own agenda. Everything changed for David when he did something so simple. he had lost and after all the tears he had cried and after all the mistakes he had made he did something so simple and so profound. The king got up, and took his seat in the gate.
In other words, I hear David saying like Arnold Schwarzenegger I'm back. My heart is broken, but I'm back. I've made some mistakes, but I'm back. I wish I could go back and change some things, but I can't. But I'm back. I'm devastated about what happened, but I'm back. I'm uncertain about the future. I don't know where it's gonna go from here. I'm a long way from home, but I'm back. Now, what I picture in my mind is today thousands of people who have gathered to hear this message online or in person at every location and I see you getting up from the failure and the shame and the regret that has kept you paralyzed and taking your stand in the gate of praise and entering in his gates with thanksgiving. I wish 70 people would jump up on your feet right now and shout at the top of your lungs I'm back! I'm back! I'm back!
Let the Devil know I'm back! Let condemnation know I'm back! Let my past know I'm back. I'm not perfect, but I'm back! I don't have it planned out yet, but I'm back! I don't know what tomorrow's gonna bring, but I'm back! High five everybody you can reach tell 'em, "I'm back"! I'm back in it! I'm back in it! Not gonna stand over my life blaming people for the next 20 years because of the last 20! Get thee behind me, Satan! I'm back! And when the enemy comes with his accusations and his excuses, I want you to look him square in the eye before the year even gets started good and tell him, Devil, this seat is taken! I said this seat is taken! No room for you to run my life 'cause I am seated in heavenly places with Christ. I'm back! I'm back in position! I'm back in purpose! Get back in the gate. Get back in the gate.
You cannot change what you tolerate. Get back in the gate. You cannot change what you won't face. Get back in the gate. You can't change it by complainin'. You can't change it by "If only". But now, if you will take your seat, God has prepared a place in the presence of your enemies. He might not rid you of your problems, but He has given you His presence! Get back! I'm back. I'm back. I'm back. And I'm broken and I'm better because I was broken. Because I learned how to fight the battle in between. In between. It's not what happens to you. It's not what they say about you. It's what happens between the gates. We have been too flooded with images and points of view that do not promote peace in our lives. We are practicing the habits of worry and we are living in the state of anxiety. The place of power is when you take your seat, watch this.
David got up, took his seat in the gate. He wasn't healed yet, but he's here. I'm hurting, but I'm here. It's gonna be hard, but I'm here. And to get everything he needed all he had to do is what Kendrick said. All he had to do was sit down. When he say down all of his men came to him. Your weapons are waiting for you to take your place. Your weapons. You're waiting for your weapons to come. Your weapons will not come until you take your place. This is the place of responsibility. This is the place of owning your story. This is the place of dealing with your dysfunctions, not from a distance. This is the place of power. We fight the enemy in the wrong place and we wait for things to appear that are waiting for us in our assignment. This battle has to be fought at the gate.
Keep that camera shot on me real quick. I wanna show them this. Keep that tight shot. Right there. Do not move that camera no matter what I do or no matter what you are trained to do. I am overriding your training right now. Do not move that camera. Now, the only way... for us to get the back of his head off the bottom of that screen is for me to get back where I belong. Watch this. The camera is not broke. I'm just out of place. Oh, no! Let's get a new camera. No. You need to get a new attitude. You don't need a new wife you need a new mindset. You need to get back in the gate. You got a good wife! That's why you married her! If you would get in the game maybe God... I don't wanna run 'em off week one. They just got back. Somebody shout, "I'm back! I'm back"! When he got back in the gate everything he needed came to him. You don't have to chase it, goodness and mercy will follow! Get back. Get back. Get back.
You don't have to be perfect. Just be present. 'Cause the word you need might be here. Hold the camera shot tight. Hold the camera shot tight. If you're over here you will miss the word that was waiting for you. So I gotta be here because Isaiah said that God will be... Oh, I got so much to teach you. I can't wait. This is just the syllabus. This isn't even the class. Tell somebody I'm coming back. I'm coming back. He will be back. Listen to what the Lord Almighty is. Isaiah who prophesied so eloquently of Jesus Christ: "He will be a spirit of justice to the one who sits in judgment..". He gives justice when you are in the seat of judgment. He will be "...a source of strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate".
A lot of the defeats that you have been suffering have been because you've been fighting them on the wrong level. You've been fighting them in the wrong place. But this is our year to stop it at the source. He will be a source of strength. It starts with God, not with me. This is not self-help. This is the overflowing, abundant Spirit of God that empowers believers. The Spirit of justice, the Holy Spirit of God, He will be a source of strength to Him who sits in judgment and turns back the battle at the gate. If David had dealt with Absalom at the gate, Absalom wouldn't have had to die in the forest. Sometimes we let the Devil come all the way in and then we pray to God to get him off of our backs. But the time to turn the Devil back is at the gate. The time to turn depression back is at the gate.
There is a word from God that will push back the darkness, but it has to happen at the gate. We're gonna learn about these gates for the next four weeks, but it begins with the decision for you to take your place in the gate. We're gonna start getting intentional about our thoughts so that we win the battle between the gates. We're gonna put Christ back on the throne and then we're gonna sit right there by Him and guard our gates. I am seated in heavenly places. If you're hearing this word right now rejoice where you are, rejoice in your kitchen. Come on. When you enter His gates with praise, you drive back the Devil before he ever gets a chance to sit down at your kitchen table. We're gonna turn back the Devil and we're gonna make some decisions early this year. We're gonna set up some areas of our life where we're not gonna negotiate anymore. We're getting back in the gate. And the promise of God is this. That the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. There is so much revelation that God wants to release, but this gate of change opens from the inside.
So I want you to lift your hands now if you feel comfortable. Stand to your feet. Some people think that lifting your hands is some sort of denominational thing for exuberant emotional people. But really it's just for people who know they need God. I get it now, dad. Sometimes it's easier to run than to take responsibility and sometimes you don't run because you don't care. You run because you're scared. You run because you're ashamed. You run because you've tried to change before and so you live your life in a chamber of isolation. But God is calling you back in the gate. I know you've been embarrassed about some things and I know you don't really believe in yourself anymore and you haven't kept some promises to yourself.
So you don't feel like making anymore. I know some people around you have kinda boxed you in. They think they know how you are and you're not gonna be any different. But Jesus said, "I am the gate". Not what people did. Not even what you think of yourself. "I am the gate". Lord, we become before you this year some of us with heavy hearts and all of us with expectation. You didn't leave us here for nothing just to drop us at the gate. So we're going in. We're going in. We're gonna enter in your gates with thanksgiving and your courts with praise. God, we're also bringing some baggage. We're bringing some pain and we're bringing some questions. We're bringing some anxieties. We're bringing some "if-onlys". We're dropping them off at the gate and we are entering into Your joy.
I thank You, Lord, for the revelation that You've given us today. It has been so sweet and meaningful. I thank You that chains have fallen now because of the sound of Your word echoing forth from the portals of Heaven and doing what only You can do in the hearts of people. I believe this is just the beginning, so, I pray that this series would be unlike any that we've ever known. That gates of change open from the inside. You're a mighty God and as we praise You today, we expect the best of Heaven to empower us in broken places.