Steven Furtick - I Feel Like I'm Carrying This Alone
I want to speak to somebody today who's carrying something alone. Maybe you're the provider for your family. Maybe you're dealing with something right now that isn't public material. To carry something alone… That's what I felt from Jesus, that he was carrying something. Mary was carrying him. Now he's carrying something. Not only the news of John's death, but also the potential of the ministry. In the text we read, it said it was going really well with the ministry of Jesus, but the ministry of John ended. That made me think about how you can be getting good news in one ear and bad news in the other. Learning how to balance that is the essence of faith.
You carry on one hand sometimes a blessing that's so heavy you can barely carry it. You carry with the other hand a doubt or a question, and that balance is what keeps you walking straight. Jesus goes away. The crowds find out. They meet him there. "Surprise, Jesus! We want to be healed. Surprise, Jesus! We're interrupting your vacation". This is like your in-laws and everybody else you don't want to see showing up on your vacation. Not only that, but there are five thousand men and women and children. Jesus looked up, and he saw them. He didn't see them as a crowd. He saw them with compassion. That amazes me. God knows exactly what you've been going through this week.
To me, I'm looking in one camera. God doesn't see a crowd on the other side of screens. He sees where you're hungry, and he sees where you hurt. Do you believe that? I don't know if you do. I think a lot of people think that Jesus loves them like it's a group insurance policy, like he just covers everybody with his blood. No, no. The power is that he sees the one. We would talk about the 5,000, but he would talk about the one. One at a time, he healed everybody who needed healing. Then, although you know the story, bear with my folly a moment. He says to them, "We need to feed them", and the disciples start calculating.
How many of you are overpackers? Overpackers of the world unite. How many suitcases does it take us to get away for three days? Right. So many suitcases. And it's not her; it's me. I'm worse than her, so don't stereotype her. It's me. Now, the reason I mentioned it is because it would have been one thing if Jesus would have told the disciples "We're going to feed these people" before they got there. When did they find out he wanted to feed them? After it was too late to do anything about it! Have you ever felt like that with God? Have you ever thought, "God, if you would have told me they were going to leave me, I wouldn't have loved them so much. Now it's too late for me not to love them. They're gone, and they took my love with them". "If you would have told me it would be like this, I would have made preparations. I would have packed sandwiches. We could have hired a catering company. We could have gotten some Jersey Mike's to-go boxes. We could have done this right. Why didn't you tell me beforehand"?
They found out about the need after it was too late to meet it. That's a fine time to find out. Why didn't God tell all of us preachers that our churches weren't going to be able to have people in them for 17 years before we built all of our buildings? I could have built this thing for less money, a lot less money. Why didn't he tell me that? Why didn't he tell you that your kid wasn't going to walk the straight and narrow path so that you'd be prepared? Why is it some churches go off-road? He didn't tell them what he had in mind, but that doesn't mean he didn't know it. You know this about God by now. He said, "I know the plans I have for you". Subtext: "You don't".
This year, the word of God over most of our lives has been, "Ha-ha". That's him laughing at everything we set a schedule for. When we do our year-end series this year, I thought I might call it "Ha-ha". That's God laughing at everything we said we were going to do in 2020. God said, "I get the last laugh". I'm just asking a question. What do you think the personality of Jesus was? I think Jesus' personality was fully God and fully man enough that when he asked Philip in John's gospel, "What are we going to do to feed all of these people…"? Or rather, he asked him, "Where are we going to buy enough bread"? Enough is a big word right now. In pop culture it's a big word. Everybody is saying, "You are enough".
The problem with saying that you are enough on that level is just because I say you're enough doesn't mean you feel like you're enough. Jesus first takes Philip through this process. This may be the process you're going through. He addresses the fact that they cannot buy enough bread to meet the need that's in front of them. Are you there right now? You can't buy enough. Philip starts calculating. Philip wants to be the CFO. Philip wants to be the accountant. Philip wants to plan it. He said, "Eight months wages…" That's 200 denarii. That's a day laborer's wage. "…would not be enough for each person to have a bite". A bite. "If we took a half a year's wages…" He's calculating what he thinks they need for the situation they're in. Most of us are pretty good at that.
How many of you know something you need from God right now? I want to show you the verse in John, because it's so powerful. He said, "It would take more than half a year's wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite"! Then in verses 8-9: "Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, 'Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?'" Stay with me. This is where it gets good. I have a Philip inside of me and I have an Andrew inside of me. Maybe you'll want to find another church, because I have dual personalities. Philip is a calculator. Philip's job… This is what he does all the time to me. He starts counting all the stuff I need that I don't have yet.
"Well, it's going to take this, and it's going to take that. You don't have this staff member, and you don't have that person. You don't have that thing. You don't have that gift. You don't have that ability. You're not good at this". The Devil started messing with me yesterday because I can't play basketball. When has anybody ever needed me to play basketball? I was feeling good about myself one moment, and this is what I asked Graham. I said, "What was the point when you found out that your dad was a bad athlete"? He said, "Dad, I don't know. For a long time, I thought you were a beast". He goes, "You're pretty good at lifting weights". Like a consolation prize. I said, "But when was the moment that you knew"?
See, because you don't know it all at once. His revelation of his dad grew. When he was 2, I was LeBron. But he said, "Dad, I realized how bad you sucked at sports in stages. It took me a while to realize how actually bad you were at anything with a ball". He knows now, and I wish he didn't, but he found out. How many of you live your life in fear of "When are they going to find out that I don't know what I'm doing? When are they going to find out that I don't have a clue"? Some of you, in your job right now… You wake up in the morning and feel something in your stomach. What are you feeling? "Is today going to be the day they're going to find out"? You're not stealing money or anything. You just feel like you're stealing intellectual space because of the fact that they think you know more than you do.
Isn't it crazy how they didn't find out until they ran out? Why would Jesus do them like that? Once they became empty… I was studying the text, because I was like, "Okay. When they found out…" I was connecting that in a couple of different ways. When they found out John the Baptist had been killed, they moved. They retreated so that Jesus wouldn't be taken by force as king, because he didn't come for an earthly kingdom and he still had work to do. When he withdrew, they found out he was going to be there and were waiting. "Welcome, Jesus". When the disciples found out there wasn't much daylight left, they tried to send them away, because there's no DoorDash out here on this mountain.
The Bible says something so powerful. Go back to Mark 6:38. Philip said, "This is what we need". Jesus asked the question, "How many loaves do you have? Go and see". When they found out… When they found out what they already had, not when they figured out what they thought they needed. God doesn't need me to figure out how; he just needs me to find out what. Y'all better shout if you don't know what you're doing, because it is good news. Some of you have no idea how. They didn't either, but when they found out what was already there… Jesus did not become bread; he already was. He didn't become enough; he already was. You don't have to go get peace; it's already yours. You don't have to become righteous; you already are. You don't have to find a reason to rejoice; you already have one. When you discover what God already put inside of you…
The moment of discovery is not the moment of deposit. It already was what it was. Nobody came with five loaves and two fish at that moment. It was there the whole time, but it took them walking through the crowd. "Have you got anything? Have you got anything? Have you got anything? Have you got anything? How long are we going to do this, man? Nobody has anything, and if they do, they're not offering. Have you got anything? Have you got anything"? Sometimes you have to walk around in your life and take inventory. You have to walk around your own soul and take inventory.
You can say, "O my soul, why are you discouraged? Why are you downcast? Do you have anything to praise him for? Do you have anything to praise him for? Have you got anything"? You always have plenty of something. Do you know what's weird? Can I show you something that only Bible nerds appreciate? Why did John say in John 6 there was plenty of grass in that place? That's a stupid thing to put in a story. Who cares about the grass? You can't eat grass. Maybe he wanted us to see that you always have plenty of something. When you don't have a job and you don't have plenty of money, well, now you have plenty of time.
I was laughing so much when everybody who prayed for God to give them… "Lord, I need more time with my family". Then God gave it to you. He gave you plenty. How many of y'all moms who are homeschooling are having plenty of…? So much. So much grass, green grass. Mark said, "Green grass". Did you see that in the text? Green grass. "Why are you telling me that"? Maybe he's trying to call me back to Psalm 23, that the Lord is my shepherd and I shall not want. He leads me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leads me into green pastures. God said, "What is your pasture? What do you have"? That was the question. Right? Is that in the text? "What do you have? Go and see". When they found out…
I wonder, is this going to be the day you find out? We don't find out usually all at once. I should tell you that we find out in fragments. You don't know why you're going through anything while you're going through it. Most of the time, even when you're succeeding, you don't really know you're succeeding while you're succeeding because you're struggling while you're succeeding. That's true of everybody. I watch all of these documentaries of classic albums. Fleetwood Mac, Rumours…good music like that. None of this current crap you kids are going around calling music. This is real music…vinyl. They asked Mick Fleetwood, "How did it feel when you were making Rumours"? He said, "It was terrible. We were all breaking up and fighting, and we were high all the time and coming down". He said, "It wasn't until we heard all 12 tracks that we said, 'This is a pretty good album.'" It sold 30 million copies. "How did it feel while you were writing the album? How did it feel while you were recording it"? "I'm raising world changers".
You're changing world diapers. You don't know what it is. You don't know what changes while it's happening. Do I need to give you another example? How many people am I preaching to right now? Raise your hand if I'm preaching to you. This is only if you have felt like you are not enough or you don't have enough. Okay. You do understand that I'm preaching to way more people than I'm pointing to. You do understand that God is doing way more in your life than you… Hold on. Who am I preaching to right now? Put your name in the YouTube chat, your first name, middle initial, and last name, your government name, in the chat right now if I'm preaching to you. Do you see that? I said it. Nothing happened. This is going to take a minute.
"We're going to find out what it is Monday". It takes a while to find out. It takes a while between when you instill the values or when you believe the promise. Here it comes right now. Check out the chat. Check out how fast it's going. Look at all of these people I'm preaching to. Now, I saw who I thought I was preaching to, but I found out later… I'm preaching to more people than I can see. God is doing a great work within me. There is living water within me, and I'm going to go on so I can find out what's on the other side of this valley. I have green grass. I have still waters. I have a shepherd. Bless the Lord! Have you got anything? Have you got any grass? Have you got any loaves? How many? How many do you have?