Steven Furtick - God Knows What's In You
God says, "I see people using you, but they don't know what's in you. I'm going to bless you in this season, even though you have told yourself this is all it can ever be". Do you know how powerful that is, that this is the plot of ground Jacob gave Joseph? It wasn't even supposed to be Jacob the nation of Israel came through. Plot twist. You didn't even get a high school degree. Plot twist. God doesn't need you to be educated… just available, just open, just humble, just a disciple, just committed. Plot twist. He's the God of the plot twist, and I'm going to tell you how I know he is.
Not only does God bless the wrong people from an earthly perspective, like a woman at a well or like a trickster named Jacob. Not only does he bring forth nations from people whose names carry baggage or, in the case of the woman at the well, people whose names we don't even know. Have you ever thought about that? That wasn't on her birth certificate: "Woman at the well". But God said, "I'm going to take characters other people think are just props, and I am going to use them for a purpose nobody can understand".
God is using people in this season who we walk past. I don't know if you want to hear this message or not, because we get pretty settled into our story. We get pretty settled into our situation and our system, and we just want a burger, and we just want a drink, and we just want to survive it. Here we are in a year where most of us just want to go back to how it was, and how it is is not how it's supposed to be. Yet Jacob gave Joseph this plot of ground in Sychar near Samaria. Let me stop here for a minute. This is the area everyone else avoided. It is the area Jesus intended to go through. Jacob was the second-born. Esau was the firstborn. God blessed the second before the first.
"And the last shall be first and the first shall be last". You killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead. Plot twist. That's all the gospel is. Let the weak say, "I am strong". Plot twist. It may be helpful for me to remind you at this point that the reason I look like I'm about to bust out of this suit with excitement… Not with fat cells, not with cellulite…with excitement and enthusiasm. The reason I'm about to come unglued off this stage is because for 22 years, Jacob thought Joseph was dead.
Do you realize the miracle happened through somebody who was as good as dead? For 22 years… I mean, you have to get in this mindset. Not for 22 hours, not for 22 days, not for 22 weeks, not for 22 months… for 22 years, Jacob thought, "I've lost Joseph". And Joseph was his favorite. Oh yeah. Every parent has their favorite. It might change from moment to moment, but you have a favorite. My favorite is whichever one I'm talking to at that moment telling them they're my favorite. But Joseph had a coat. Joseph was the favorite. Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and left for dead. When they went back and told Jacob that Joseph was dead, who was the first child of Rachel whom he really loved… "Joseph is gone" meant to Jacob "I may as well die too". He said, "You will bring my gray head down to the grave".
Now do you understand that the plot twist in John, chapter 4, wasn't just about a woman who came for a drink? It's about a God who takes things you thought were dead and things you thought were over and things you thought didn't matter and things that you thought people betrayed you and people forgot about you and people left you and people ignored you and people abandoned you. They betrayed Joseph. So, when it said it was Jacob's well and that it was the plot of ground Jacob gave his son Joseph after 22 years… Can we visit the scene for a moment? It's in Genesis 48. It's really beautiful. You have to think, like, God sent Joseph to Egypt, and on one hand, his brothers betrayed him and sold him, but on the other hand, Joseph saw, after 13 years of what seemed to be a setback…
The reason I'm preaching it is because I think a lot of people are feeling like life is just one giant setback right now. Things have stalled out for you, and it's not moving forward, and it's not happening, and the plans you made all got canceled and all got interrupted. God said to tell you that he's the God of the plot twist. Just about the time you are ready to turn the movie off, don't turn it off. Just about the time you are ready to stop believing in God, don't stop believing in God yet. Just about the time you're ready to say, "I will never see Joseph again…"
See, it was a famine that hit Canaan that made Jacob's sons go and find Joseph. Do you remember this? When they went and saw Joseph, they didn't even know it was him at first, but then eventually, Joseph revealed himself to his brothers and said, "It's me! It's me, the one you left for dead. I'm the one God is going to use to provide for you". Plot twist.
Do you remember his most famous verse in Genesis 50:20? "You meant it for evil; God meant it for good". What does that mean? That means he's the God of a plot twist. That means he takes what the Enemy meant for evil and uses it for good in your life, in your bloodline, in your generation, in our church, in our families, in our nation, in our world, on this continent. God is a generational God. He goes through Samaria, and he takes us through some areas. He does some things in our lives in disappointed places. When Jacob was getting ready to die, he called Joseph to his bedside. It's a really beautiful scene. This is great for Father's Day.
Genesis, chapter 48. He said, "Joseph, come in the room. I want to give a blessing to my grandchildren". Genesis 48:11 is the one I want to focus your heart on for a moment. "Israel said to Joseph…" You're like, "Wait a minute. I thought you were talking about Jacob". I am. The one named Jacob was also called Israel. Jacob means heel-grabber. Plot twist. Israel means prince with God. I'm telling you, Jesus looked at that woman and he didn't see a whore; he saw a worshiper. He looked at Jacob, and he didn't see a heel-grabber; he saw a prince. I love him for that. I love him for all of the times he could have just given up on me. I'm screwing up things left and right as a pastor, as a parent, as a husband.
I know I get it so wrong. But go ahead and clap your hands and praise hand emoji if you know you serve the God of the plot twist, if you know that he knows your real name. Your real righteousness is in Christ. Wow! So, Israel, also called Jacob, said to Joseph, the one he never thought he'd see again, the dream he thought had died, the thing he thought was over…
What is your Joseph? What is the thing you have given up on in your life and you've said, "The story is over, and this is the way it's going to be, and I'm just always going to struggle with this. I'm always going to deal with this. I'm never going to get over this, and I'm never going to get victory. I'm going to sing the words to the song, but I don't really mean them or believe them anymore, because I'm just going through the motions". What is your Joseph? Watch this. "Israel said to Joseph, 'I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.'" He's the God of the plot twist.
Not only did he let him see Joseph, but he used everything Joseph had been through to save the whole family, because he's the God of the plot twist. Not only did he minister to the woman; he sent the woman to go get the whole town. Plot twist. He skipped a meal, but he reaped a harvest. God is the God of the plot twist. God said to tell you there's a plot twist happening in your life right now. He said to tell you that the things about you that you don't like he's going to leverage for greater grace to be released in your life. I speak by the Spirit of the Lord into your life. He is turning things around right now! You will see Joseph again, and you will see provision again, and you will have joy again, and you will dance again, and you will shout again, and you will go to the house of God again, and you will rise again, and you will breathe again, and you will sing again!
"I thought I'd never see you again", Israel said to Joseph. It was the plot of ground Jacob gave to Joseph. Never thought it would happen, but it did. God said, "Get ready for unexpected blessings in unlikely places". Through weakness he is strong. In your crushing, oil comes forth. I know this is from God, because he gave it to me so heavy I had to preach it early. I didn't want to forget how I felt when I read Jacob say to Joseph, "I never expected to even see you again, and now I get to see your children too". God said, "Get ready for exceedingly, abundantly above all you ever asked or imagine". Y'all, just in case you're new here, I'm not necessarily talking about cars or raises or bonuses. God is much bigger than any of that.
I'm talking about how God is renovating your heart in this season. It's a plot twist. God is setting me free from being so selfish. It's a plot twist. I thought it was about me. Joseph was still alive. Joseph is still alive. It's a crazy thing Jacob said. "I didn't think I'd ever see you again. Bring me my grandchildren, Manasseh and Ephraim. Bring me those boys. Bring them over here so I can bless them". You know that's what God likes to do, right? "Come here so I can bless you". That woman at the well. "Come here so I can bless you". He asked her for a drink, but he really just wanted to give her one. "Come here so I can bless you". "If you knew who you were talking to, you would ask me and I would give you the water that never runs dry, and it would become within you a source, a spring of living water". "Bring them here so I can bless them".
"Then Joseph removed them from Israel's knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel's left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel's right hand, and brought them close to him". All of this I saw when I saw it happened on the plot of ground Jacob gave his son Joseph. I thought about on Father's Day and every day, "What am I giving to my children? What am I giving to the others in my life"? I wonder what you're carrying. I wonder what the Enemy is trying to convince you to give up on because what you carry is so significant. I wonder what's in your well. I wonder what wells you're digging in your life right now through your worship, through your praise, through your prayers, through your study, through your commitment, through your openness, through the change God is doing in your life.
Watch this. He said, "Bring them here. I want to bless them". Joseph lined them up so that the oldest, Manasseh, would get the right hand, the younger would get the left hand. They're both going to get blessed, but the oldest gets the bigger blessing. Watch what Israel does. Verse 14: "But Israel…" But God. "…reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim's head, though he was the younger…" Though he didn't deserve it, though he wasn't supposed to be blessed first, though he wasn't expecting it, though it didn't make any sense, though it defied logic and customs and traditions. He had to go through Samaria. He had to keep you alive. You had to survive. You had to make it. You had to rise up.
"He put his right hand on Ephraim's head, and he put his left hand on Manasseh's head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn. Then he blessed Joseph and said, 'May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac…'" It's generational. There's a bigger picture. I will not die here. I will not quit here. I will not become arrogant or discouraged or dismayed. I will not stop here. I have to go through Samaria. "…the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm—may he bless these boys".
You want your Father's Day message? Here's your Father's Day message. Get ready for a plot twist. You didn't have a dad? You're going to be an amazing dad. Get ready for a plot twist. You have a hurt in your heart that feels unhealed? God is going to turn you into a healer. Get ready for a plot twist. You have some reasons why you don't feel like a very good person? Get ready for a plot twist. God loves Jacob. Jesus loved that woman. God loves people just like you. I know he's the God of the plot twist because his hands look like this.
Verse 17: "When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim's head he was displeased…" "I don't like this. You're not supposed to be doing this, God. I'm supposed to still have my job. I'm supposed to still… God, this is not…" But look at what his father said. Verse 19: "I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great". God is going to use it all. "'Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.' He blessed them that day…"
I pray that today would be a day of unexpected blessing in your soul, because you never know. You never know. Some of y'all are breaking curses and you don't even know it. You never know. You can't die, Joseph. You can't die. There's supposed to be a well with your name on it for a future generation. Yeah, I want to quit sometimes, but I can't. Yeah, sometimes I hide under the covers, but I have to get out at some point because this is bigger than me. It's bigger than a burger. It's about a harvest. Joseph was betrayed, abandoned. He said, "You intended it for evil. It's all right. God used it for good".