Steven Furtick — It's Mine to Manage — Are You Managing Your Miracle?
I want to share with you from a scripture, that really demonstrates something, that I think is difficult to do in our lives, but will be so helpful to us we're in a season called Gamechanger. It's our year-end series, we're taking a moment to pause, reflect, and respond to God's goodness in our lives. So from the scriptural foundation today I want to help you see something, that I think will help you to carry forward with you into the next season of your life. Momentum, for what God has already done is something significant, and what he wants to do is even greater, And I believe that. I believe that with all of my heart, for myself and my family and for you and your family and for our church.
And so with that spirit of faith today let's go to the Word of God. Joshua 4:1-9, and as I read this story to you over the next few moments, I want you to pay attention to the details of it okay? Because on the surface this story is really very simple, the people of Israel are crossing into the Promised Land, they haven't fought any battles yet, but it's already theirs, because God has promised to give it to them. So they're coming to realize what God has already revealed. And he showed it to them for many generations, but now they're coming into that moment, where they're having to actually believe that what God spoke in their lives and what God spoke that they haven't seen come to pass yet is about to happen.
And so I think this is an appropriate scripture for for where we are as a church, and maybe for where you are as well, and I pray that God will help me deliver it today. Are you excited? I'll be honest it's not very convincing, but I am, I'm excited enough for all of us, so we'll do it anyway.
Joshua 4:1, "When the whole nation to finish crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 'Choose 12 men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight'. So Joshua called the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, 'Go over before the Ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' Tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever'. So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took 12 stones in the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua, and they carried them over with them to the camp, where they put them down. Joshua was set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who had carried the Ark of the Covenant had stood. And they are there to this day".
Would you look at the person next to you, and give them my sermon title? Tell them, It's Mine to Manage. Look at your other neighbor, I know they were your second choice, but they're important to the Lord as well, and tell them, It's Mine to Manage. How many of you have children? How many of you have children who have a phone or an electronic device with a data plan? It's a big debate around my house. When our children be old enough to be entrusted with data. Real First World problems, I get it, but you know parenting is challenging, it's a great privilege, but I find it to be challenging, and I find it to be exhilarating, and I find it to be exhausting. And one woman wrote me on YouTube and said, I think you had kids too soon, you're always complaining about them. And I prayed for her in tongues, but you know the the more of a privilege you see something to be, the more of a responsibility you feel toward it. So complaining isn't always a sign that you don't care, you're not grateful, you have an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude is not an attitude, gratitude is an action, and then the action of being grateful leads to a feeling of gratitude, but God would not command you to be grateful, if gratitude was a feeling, because He can't command a feeling. Doesn't work that way. God instead instructs you to praise Him.
One psalmist said it this way, he said, "This is the day, that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it". This is the day, that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it, oh, this is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made. Hey this is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made. How who made it? Who made it? Now I will rejoice, I will rejoice, and be glad in it. So God made it, but I get to manage it. Touch somebody say, It's mine to manage. And what I do with this day is up to me. So I when I gave my oldest kid his phone, I said I wrapped it, it was his birthday and I wrapped it, and I said this phone has data, and this phone is yours, (not really) for your birthday I am giving you my phone to use. Which means, that this phone, the contents thereof and the communications that shall be initiated thereby, are under my jurisdiction. One good parent clapped, when I said that.
And I dare you to put a pass-code on that phone that I don't know. I dare you to put a pass-code on that phone, you change your pass-code, and I will change your destiny. But it was a principle in the modern age of stewardship, that is it's really the same principle, you know that God has been trying to teach us all along, that it's His to give, and it's ours to manage. And the moment you begin to understand that about your life, your money... Y'all don't like this sermon already, this is the motivational part. Take some of the pressure off to realize that it's His to give, it's mine to manage. Say it out loud, it's His to give - mine to manage.
So I didn't make the day, but I will rejoice in it. So He gave me the day and now it's mine to manage. That's a really powerful distinction to know, that there are certain things, that God has given you under your jurisdiction. One of those things is your joy. I will rejoice and be glad in it. And so, this is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. Regardless if the traffic is congested, I don't manage the traffic, but I am, ha-ha-ha, I like it this way, my joy is my job no matter what happens, when I get to my job, no one can steal my joy, because my joy is not under anyone else's jurisdiction. See what I'm saying? It's mine to manage.
And one time I made the mistake of saying, that somebody stole my joy, and the Spirit of the Lord really corrected me on that. Like, "They stole your joy? Your joy is not their job, and if they stole it, you should have done a better job, locking the door, so they couldn't get to it. You need a better security system, if someone else can steal your joy. Then you've got your joy hiding out there in the open, where anybody can see it and snatch it". And so this principle emerges in the book of Joshua.
Can I tell you a little bit about this historic incident? I'm so thankful for the gift of your attention today. I find it a great privilege, that you would lean into the Word of God, and allow these words to be spoken. I think it's amazing. I want to make it worth you, while I want to tell you a bit about this passage of Scripture, it's really amazing what God is doing for his people here, because the nation of Israel is under new management. Under new management, and this promise, that God began making generations ago, is now about to come to pass. This land, that they're going to possess is going to become theirs, but it's really God's, but it's theirs, it's theirs to possess, but it's God's to give. So it's God's and it's theirs, and Joshua is the person God is using to bring it to pass.
Now, Moses was the leader, that brought the people out of Egypt, where they spent several centuries enslaved to the systems of that nation. And now they're no longer, just wandering around in the wilderness like they did under Moses for over 40 years, but they're coming into their own land. They're coming into their own spacious place, they're coming into their own homes, and they're coming into their their own community, that God has been in the process of forming. It's gonna require a different mindset, because up until this point in their life, they have existed on the miracles, that God provided: like God gave them manna, when they were in the wilderness, because they didn't have quail like they had in Egypt, that their masters would give them to feed them. But now, they're coming into their own, and the manna, that used to fall from the sky, it was miraculous.