Steven Furtick - When Life Wrecks Your Plans
The Devil has been telling somebody under the sound of my voice, "It's too late. Back in February you could pray for that, but it's too late now. Back before you started… You're over here now, and you're wrapped in the chains of this addiction. If you wouldn't have done that, then you could have been used. It's too late". I wonder if God showed us that he does not need a human schedule to accomplish a divine purpose. You're like, "That's fine, Pastor. I'm 19". When Timothy was getting ready to minister in Ephesus, which was a hard place, Paul told him, "Let no one look down on you because you are too young". When Jeremiah got ready to prophesy, God said, "I formed you in the womb. Before you were born, I set you apart. I ordained your days before any of them came to be". He said, "Don't say, 'I am only a youth.'"
What that means is God is not bound by human timelines. What that means is God is not looking at 2020 and saying, "Well, I can't wait till December 31 where I can turn it all around for my glory. Next year will be better, guys. Hang in there". God said, "I don't need to check your schedule to bless you. If you come into Elevation as an intern, I can raise you up to tour the world leading worship". Jonsal has been in Europe worshiping God, leading people into the presence of God. He has been in Canton, Ohio, leading people into the presence of God. From Canton to Cambodia. I just said it because it's alliterated. Do not be limited. He said, "All people". I will bless the Lord at all times. Is it a good time to praise him? Well, do it then.
Check your schedule. Did he wake you up? Did he give you another day? This is the day! Check your schedule. This is the day that the Lord has made! It's a good time to praise him right now. There are only two times to praise him: when I feel it and when I don't. "I was young and now I'm old, and I've never seen the righteous forsaken". I'm sorry. Is it a bad time? My kids never ask that. "I'm sorry. Is it a bad time? Is it a bad time, Dad"? Unless they want something and want to catch me in a good mood. Then they might ask me, "Is it a bad time"? Never. Unschedulable. God is unschedulable. He doesn't ask, "Is it a bad time? Is it a bad time for me to be your provider"?
Actually, if he asks that, it's only for the purpose that it's going to make him look that much better when he does it. If God ever asks you, "Is this a bad time…"? I hear somebody saying, "It's a bad time for a blessing. I can't be happy right now. I can't have peace right now. I can't be content right now. It's a bad time; I'm single. It's a bad time; we just got married. We don't have much money. It's a bad time; our kids are little. It's a bad time; our kids are toddlers. It's a bad time; our kids are teenagers. It's a bad time; my kids are gone". When would be a good time? One time I read a book on sales. They said never ask them, "Can I come see you"? They say, "When would be a good time"? You don't ask them, "Can I"? You just say, "When would be a good time"?
God doesn't ask that. In fact, God is like… Do you want me to illustrate it from the text or do you just want me to tell you? You want a text? I already gave you Genesis 12. You're so greedy. John 11. "Lazarus, the one you love, is sick". When he heard Lazarus was sick, he waited where he was two more days. Check me out in your Bible. You think I'm making this up. You're like, "Oh no. Pastor has been locked in an empty auditorium with 40 staff members too long. He forgot that God is an on-time God". Jesus was like, "Oh yeah. He's sick? All right. Let's wait a little bit. We've got to wait till it's a bad time. If we go right now, it'll be a good time. It'll be the right time. But I want to show up at the wrong time. I want to bless you at a bad time. I want to show you how powerful I am at a bad time". "Jesus, you've got to stay on schedule".
The ministry of Jesus must have been so frustrating. It's like, "Hey, Mary and Martha are major donors, Jesus. It's not good form for you to not go to Bethany. That demon-possessed man you just healed? You probably could have left him off the schedule". You can tell what's important to someone by what they schedule. Just because it wasn't on the disciples' schedule, what makes us think it wasn't on Jesus' schedule? Just because you didn't see it coming doesn't mean it didn't come from God. Thank you, Lord. I receive that for my own life. God isn't going to check my schedule to do his will. "Okay. Is this it? Are you going to get them now? Is this the time where you're going to restore the kingdom"? That's what the disciples wanted to know.
Remember Mark 5? Jairus comes, and he's a synagogue leader. He's important. You can tell what's important to someone by what they schedule. His 12-year-old daughter… I have a 12-year-old son. Graham is 12 right now, so I can picture this. His 12-year-old daughter is about to die. This is an urgent need for Jesus to go and heal this little girl. Some of you have an urgent need with your kids right now. That's why I wanted to bring this Scripture into the conversation. Jesus was on his way to heal the daughter of Jairus, who was an important official. This is a political figure. He has a lot of power, and he's asking Jesus to come to his house. On the way, a woman who is unclean by society's standards stops Jesus. He stops because she thinks, "If I can touch him, I'll be made whole". What she said was true. She touched him. He stopped. She was healed. Jairus' daughter died.
I don't know that I ever saw it this way before. Some of y'all, especially with what we're going through right now, are really worried about your kids, because your kids are off schedule right now. I need every mom who needs to know whether your kids are going back to school… I want you to put in the chat the following prayer request: "I need details, Jesus". I just need to know if it's going to be Furtick Education Academy this year. I want to apply for my nonprofit status if I'm going to have to educate these kids again. It's crazy. Some of y'all are watching this message in the year 2035, so you're watching this at a weird time in history. We have had an unschedulable year.
Life is unschedulable. We laugh at each other now. "Hey, man. Let's get together next week. Ha-ha-ha! If the world isn't over". We put an asterisk by everything right now. "Hey, man. I'll see you tomorrow… if Armageddon doesn't come". And we're only halfway kidding. I can't wait to watch the Clemson Tigers… if they ever play again. How will I know it's fall if there are no college boys in tight pants with painted helmets to signify the season? I don't even know what time it is. It's unschedulable. And now I'm supposed to prioritize God, but I'm not even allowed to go to church. How do you keep your priorities when life wrecks your schedule? While Jesus was healing the woman, the little girl died, and the servants said something that has been going through your mind too.
They told Jairus, "Don't bother the teacher anymore. The girl is dead. It's too late. He got off schedule". Peter tried to shoo that woman away, but she was persistent. Jesus healed her anyway. Jesus was always stopping for stupid stuff. "Let the children come to me". "Jesus, the children don't have any money to put in the offering account. Come on. Let's go back to Bethany and heal Lazarus. Why are you stopping to tell knock-knock jokes with the kids? Come on, Jesus". You can tell somebody's priorities by what they schedule.
Now, if that's true and God still has you here in this season at this time, if God has you parenting those children, if God has you in that position, if God has you in that assignment, that place, that city, if God put you here right now, you must be important to his purpose. If God is speaking this word to you right now… You can tell what's important to someone by what they schedule. Just like he stopped for a woman who most priests wouldn't have touched for fear of defilement; just like he stopped for a leper he could have stoned; just like he sat on a well to speak to a woman from Samaria, a place the Jews would walk around to avoid having to confront people they hated, God has stopped this moment to speak to you. Do you have time to hear from God?
Some of you, for the first time in your life, have had time lately, and now you've crowded out your schedule with even more crap, and you're bored, and your mind is busy, and you can't figure out why. We want to compartmentalize God. Jesus was still on schedule. "Oh, Jesus, you want us to go to the other side on the boat? Okay, we'll go. Wait, wait, wait. There's a storm. It's going to throw us off schedule". No, no, no. You're still on schedule. In fact, even the storm has an appointment. Even the trial has an appointment. Even the thing we did not put on our calendar is a part of our calling. Don't you believe he's sovereign? Don't you believe he's immutable? So, if he can't change… No matter how much the world does, he doesn't. But maybe we need to reset our schedule.
So, when Jesus finally gets to the tomb of Lazarus and he's going to raise his friend from the dead, but he's late… If he would have gotten there on schedule, Lazarus never would have died. Lean in. I have to tell you something. He said, "Martha, Martha…" He met her at the gate. He said, "Do you believe"? She said, "If you would have been here, he wouldn't have died". Jesus said, "Let's reschedule. I know I didn't show up when you wanted me. I know I didn't do it by the time you thought I was going to do it". I hear God saying, "Can we reschedule? I know this year hasn't gone like you thought it was going to go. I know you don't know how to teach your kid algebra and you're worried they're going to grow up dumb and can't count, but can we reschedule? I'm going to make up lost time".
God is a good driver. God knows the back roads. God knows how to get there anyway. God knows how to reroute an expectation. This is a faith word. This isn't a "sit there and cry because it's over" word. This is a "Martha, your brother will rise again". She said, "Even now…" Now is a magic word. God said, "Can we reschedule? I know you've been stuck in the past, worried about what you should have done by now. I know you've been stuck in the future, wondering what's coming next. Can we reschedule? My name is the Great I Am. I am in this moment". "Hey, Moses, take off your shoes. I know you didn't schedule a meeting with destiny, but this is holy ground. Let's reschedule". God said, "I will restore the years the locusts have eaten. I will restore the years depression has stolen. I will restore the joy that fear has robbed. I am resurrection".
Resurrection works on a different schedule. Resurrection has faith to know, on Saturday, Sunday is coming. Let's reschedule! "I'll meet you on Sunday. I'll meet you in the valley. I'll meet you in the storm. I'll meet you in the pain. I've got your kids. I've got your money. I've got your mind. I've got your nation. Let's reschedule". I didn't miss church this morning; I just moved church. My living room is the anointed apostolic holy temple of the First Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian Elevation Church location. Let's reschedule.