Steven Furtick — Another Door is Open
>>PART 1<< Life's biggest opportunities aren't always obvious. Let's go together to Mark 2:1-12, "So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and He preached the Word to them. Some men came bringing to Him a paralytic carried by four of them". So they come to the front door and they can't get in. This represents the door of disappointment. Sometimes the reason you can't get in that door is because it wasn't your door. God is calling you higher. Who am I preaching to? Sometimes the reason you got rejected is because it was In verse 5, He's preaching and there's a distraction overhead.
Now, He's not even healing this day. It's not even on His agenda to see sick people. Some of life's greatest opportunities are not always obvious and some of God's greatest invitations will show up in the form of interruptions. And He's preaching and He's probably doing a really good job just going off context clues. He is the Word so if He preaches what He is it's probably pretty good. Got a big crowd and all of a sudden Peter says something, Matthew doesn't say. Matthew describes the incident. He simplifies in Matthew 9:2. Matthew says, "Some men brought to Him a paralytic lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith He said to the paralytic..".
What did Matthew leave out? The fact that they ripped off this dude's roof! It sounds so nice when Matthew says it. It just looks so easy and they brought their friend and Jesus healed him. No! Did you hear that? Jesus is preaching, "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who builds his house on the rock. Rains came, streams rose, winds blew and beat against that house, yet didn't fall, 'cause it had its foundation on the rock". Right about the time He's making his point here comes a sound.
Remember that Mark is writing what Peter told him to write. And consider that most scholars believe that it was Peter's house that Jesus was preaching in. So Matthew remembered the healing. Peter remembered the roof. It's funny to me. It's perspective. "Did you hear that"? "Keep preaching, keep preaching, keep preaching. We're gonna check it out". But about the time that the dirt starts fallin' from the mud on the ceiling — Are you willing to get your hands dirty by the way? Or are you too afraid to mess up your manicure to go after your miracle? I could preach manicures or miracles the choice is yours.
And they had to drop him. You can't get him all the way down. And here come the dirt and here comes the man. We'll call him Matt; we don't know what his name. Jesus says, "I like your style, boys. That's what I did when I came down through your dirt, through your shame, through your sin. I like it boys". And now... Rufus and Bubba, Willy and Jimmy, all lookin' in now. What's gonna happen next? And Jesus leans down and says to the man, "Son, your sins are forgiven". And Willy says, "What'd He say"? And Jimmy says, "Sounded like He said something about sins". And Willy says, "Did He say anything about healing"? And Jimmy says, "No, just something about sins".
And Rufus says, "That's good that He forgave his sins but can He fix his legs too while He's at it"? Because they did not bring the man to before Jesus to get him forgiven. They brought him before Jesus to get him healed. So the question is, what do you do when God bypasses what you want The most obvious thing to do is heal the man. But, sometimes, before God can do what is obvious and change your situation He wants to work within you so that when He changes your situation, you will be ready to receive Him. In the Jewish mind, sin and suffering were highly connected so it was often assumed that if you were suffering it was because of sin. Jesus dispels this in John chapter 9. When the man born blind was declared to be not a sinner, but blind so that the works of God and the glory of God might be revealed.
We can't always connect situations with behavior. Yet it's something that He said, "Before I do anything for you, I wanna do something in you". And that's where it takes faith 'cause it's the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. To know that God is working. You know what I thank God for in this passage? I think God that this man had friends who believed for him what he might not've been able to believe for himself. And if I were preaching this at — What's it called now? Youth X. Used to be called student takeover. I can't keep up with all the names.
I would preach the message around who are your four? That's really important. Who are your four? You gotta have the right four because the wrong four would've dropped him off at the door. But the right four were willing to put him where he belonged; at the feet of Jesus. Now, are they bringing you to Jesus or driving you away? But to me, they're not the primary heroes in the passage. Because other than Jesus, the most important people in the passage are the people who doubted Him.
I want you to notice something and please pay attention to this. It's gonna revolutionize the way that you see some of your resentments in life. When Jesus saw what the friends did for the man, He forgave him. But the man was still on the mat. When He heard the thoughts of the critics, or we might say haters, what the haters thought got the man healed. What his friends did got him forgiven. What his haters thought got him healed. I thought I'd give you 15 seconds to praise God for your haters. You might want to do it. Did anybody ever doubt you? Did anybody ever walk away from you? Did anybody ever stop supporting you? Did anybody ever walk away when it got a little tight? Thank God right now! 'Cause sometimes God will use Judas more than He uses Peter.
This is a messy message! This is a message for the people who are ready to thank God not just for the ways He blesses me that feel good, but I thank Him for my pain. I thank Him for my heartbreak. I thank Him for my disappointment. I thank Him for my opposition. That's the second door. It's the door of opposition. One time, Paul said I'm staying in Ephesus a little while and the reason I'm staying is not because the temperature is so great and the cuisine is so wonderful. I'm staying because there is a great and effective door of ministry that God has opened for me. And you know how I know there's an open door? Because there are many who oppose me. The reason that I know that God is blessing is because the enemy is so busy and he would not be busy if God was not blessing me.
Come on, I'mma give you one more chance. Thank Him for the conflict. Thank Him for the confusion. Thank Him. Thank Him. Thank Him for the thorn. His grace is sufficient. Thank Him for the loneliness. Thank Him for the wilderness. Thank Him for the no's. Somebody say yes! If there had been no haters he wouldn't've got healed. If there had been no weakness you wouldn't be strong. If there had been no resistance you wouldn't be so resilient. There are many who oppose me, but the opposition — I'm gonna calm down and say it for all the intellectual people. The opposition proves the opportunity. Okay, investment terms. The really good investments you don't know about, unless you have money. It's a barrier to entry. The investments that most of us can invest in, are not the best investments. The best investments are reserved for people — Now I'm saying this about money, but I mean it about battles and trials.
See, the biggest battles are reserved for the people that God has His hand on, that He put a deposit in, and you cannot be defeated 'cause if He opened the door nobody can shut it! So quit blamin' your haters and write 'em a thank-you note. Remember that youth pastor that stood up at Inside Elevation? Were you in here, Anna? He said, "There's a lot of critics. I'm just getting started in ministry. What do I do about the critics"? What I said to him, sat right there, right in that section, write — "Sit down this week and write three thank-you notes to 'em". From experience, I know that God will use some of that stuff to strip away your self-sufficiency, and if everybody is clapping for you, the crowd is not always your friend.
Let's ban the word hater. 'Cause most of us don't have haters. We just have people who don't agree with us and we label that haters. Okay, your coach is not your hater because he is not going to play you right now. Your coach is a trainer. He is teaching you that you are not good enough yet to get playing time, Timmy. The reason, Timmy, you're not playing, Timmy, is because you're not a player yet. So thank your coach. He's not a hater. He's teaching you to be a player. So you need to thank that boss who was hard on you. "My boss is a hater". "No you're late to work". Your boss is not a hater because she expects you to be on time. I saw a supervisor just givin' some praise, right there on the Eighth Row and Ballantyne. Thank God for it because the opposition is the opportunity. I'm so anointed to say this to you right now. Feels like a freight train.
This word is coming through the roof, it's coming through the teachers of the law, Jesus is preaching, Jesus is healing, nothing can stop it. Jesus is preaching, Jesus is healing, nothing can stop it. And he uses the opposition to bring the man healing. Now what is God using in your life right now that you are trying to get away from? There's another door. There's another door and this door... this door is called obedience. The first door is disappointment. The second one is opposition. This one is obedience. And it is the kind of obedience that has to trust God... in an impossible situation. See... what the friends did got the man forgiven, but there was something that he had to do... to be healed... and it is by grace we are saved through faith. It's the gift of God. It's not of works. But faith expresses itself in works.
Please don't sleep on me, brother, this is very important. It is your faith expressed, Jesus said, so that they may know Who I am. It's not even about you anymore. And it's not about your dysfunction, and it's not about your limitation. Not anymore. This is bigger than you. So I want you to do what you can't do. I want you to do what you've never been able to do, and the proof of my presence is going to be enabling you to do something practical. Get up, take that thing that they carried you in and lowered you down on. What you came in on, you're going out with. But instead of it holding you, you'll be holding it. Help me, God. Help me, right now 'cause somebody's still lying on that mat.
You got resurrection power on the inside of you. It's on the inside of you. But you gotta walk it out. That man came in through the roof, but he left out the same door that they wouldn't let him through when he got there. And what I'm declaring today by the Spirit of God is if you will get up, you can get up. If you will forgive, you can forgive. If you will be whole — I'm not saying the mat will go away. I'm saying that you will not spend the rest of your life lying down on it, and blaming others for the condition you're in.
So get up in front of all these other people. Think about the courage that this demonstration requires because the people that are watching this man are not even cheering for him. They don't even like the fact that he interrupted the service, and that Jesus thinks he can forgive him. So now he has to get up and walk in front of people who don't want him to. Now he has to get up and take his first steps. When most of us took our first steps, somebody was cheering us on, but he has to do it in the face of conflict. He has to do it in the face of doubt. He has to do it in the face of critics. He has to do it in the face of people who didn't even want him in the room. And I wonder... are you willing, today, in the face of adversity, in the face of weakness, and in the face of everything that has been against your entire family, your whole life, will you get up? Will you? Will you become a door?
When God wants to show people who He is, He picks somebody with an issue and He wants to show who He is through you. Somebody say, "There's another door". This is the door of revelation. And the people were not amazed when the roof came off. They were amazed when the man got up. They were not amazed even by Jesus' preaching, they were amazed by the man's demonstration. And there are some of you that are about to become a door for people to see Jesus through your life. And here's who He's gonna pick: The people who were paralyzed who have made a decision. "I may not be able to get rid of my issue, but my issue is not keeping me from Jesus". See, there's another door and when you've done all that you can do, and you've tried all that you know to try, and self-help isn't helping. And people have stopped believing in you a long time ago, and truth be told, you've given up on yourself. But God called me to be like those four men and carry you today and put you at the feet of Jesus.
Let me tell you about Jesus. Jesus is not your average preacher. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the resurrection. He is the good Shepard. He is the true vine. And in John 10:9, when He got ready to say Who He was, He said, "I am the door so if you wanna come in, come on in. If religion locked you out, come on in. If your sin kept you out, come on in. I am the door"! "And because I'm the door nothing can come into your life without first going through me". "So, I've allowed some things in your life that you don't like right now, but don't let them paralyze you another day, 'cause all I'm asking you to do is walk through this door. That's all I'm asking you to do. I'm not asking you to be perfect but I do expect progress. I am the door". Your ex-husband, is not. your dad, who wasn't there, is not. Your own opinion of yourself, is not. I am the door. And when I open a door in your life, no mistake, no sickness, no situation, even if they roll a stone to seal the entrance on Friday, I am the door.
And when I speak it up the resurrection power — Come on, praise is the door. Give him some praise right now. Don't you miss this moment. This is the door. Stand up, at every location. No one leaving. Shut those doors. There's another door and the Lord gave me this message as an announcement. Not as an intellectually stimulating conversation or a monologue for your entertainment purposes, but you are standing at an open door. And the door is open, but it's not always obvious. It doesn't look like a door does it? Looks like a ceiling. Looks like disappointment. Looks like teachers of the law. Looks like opposition. It looks like a command to do something you can't do. It looks like obedience. It looks like Jesus. It looks like revelation. It looks like the Word made flesh. This is your door.
I know it didn't work out the way you planned. I understand that. I know it's disappointing. That's fine. Be disappointed, but don't die in it. Don't die at an open door. There's something on the other side. There's another door. Yes, Lord, I'll say it again. There's another door. It might not be who you expected, what you expected, when you expected, how you expected. There's another door. Fill your horn with oil and be on your way.