Steven Furtick - Tired On The Inside
I told them today, "It has been heavy for so many people all week, and God has given us the privilege to minister". It is a privilege to minister to you. This is, I think, the thirteenth week since we couldn't have people in our buildings, and we have quite a few more of those ahead of us. What I'm grateful about is the buildings have been closed; the church has been busy. It's a good thing too, because the Devil sure has been busy. How many of you, this is your church and you're not just consuming? Put it in the chat.
Say, "This is my church. I am glad to be a part of the family of God. I'm not just a clicker. I'm not just a commenter. I'm not a subscriber. I am a part of the family of God. I'm washed in the fountain, cleansed by his blood". That's what the old hymn said. "This is my church". Tell me in the chat. I see South America saying, "This is my church". How in the world does south Charlotte and South America get together? Only by the grace of God. God is a unifier. God is a healer. God is a barrier-breaker. God is a yoke-destroyer. God is the Great I Am. He can be whatever he wants to be. He's a transformer. He's more than meets the eye. This is my church. All over the world.
Our eFam… It used to stand for extended. Now it stands for everywhere. We're not going to pay you, but we are using your house as a church right now. We need every available space. Like Peter, we want to get in your boat, and Jesus wants to know, "Can I use your space? Can I use your boat? Can I use your influence? Can I use your voice"? He inhabits the praises of his people. This is my church, and I'm so thankful. I really have been wondering about you. I was telling them today that it's like all week and, really, for weeks now, it has been so heavy in people's hearts that today the Lord gave me an assignment that he wanted to lift your burden.
I told everybody who's in this room with me, whether you're running a camera or playing an electric guitar, whether you're playing a Fender Stratocaster or working behind a switcher. I came out and told them, "Drink your coffee," because today we want to be used by God to lift those burdens you've been feeling. I have been worried about you. I know you're not supposed to worry. Matthew 6. The Bible says, "Don't worry". Well, I have been. I've been worried. I've been worried about you, because normally I can see more of you and I can kind of see how it's going. This is so weird. I can't see you at all, so I don't really know how you're doing.
You were singing "This is holy ground," but you have some holey sweatpants on, and you haven't changed them in four days. Right about now you have an ulcer from all of the different emotions you've been feeling. I've been checking on the people I love. "How are you"? Before this quarantine ever started, I remember a few years ago I went through a season where I was amazed that everybody answered the question, "How are you"? I mean, you have a few people who think you really want to know when you ask them, "How are you"? and they start going back for the last three months, catching you up.
Most people will just say something polite. "I'm fine. I'm good". Whatever, whatever. Then some people will say… I noticed this a few years ago. They'll say, "I'm busy". Remember when everybody was busy? "I'm busy". "Oh man, busy". Then the other thing you would get from people was "I'm tired". I noticed a few years ago (this was way before coronavirus) people would say, "I'm tired. I'm busy". I thought the two were connected, but then a few months ago, everybody's schedule got cleared. Our heavenly administrative assistant decided we all needed to stay home indefinitely. People weren't running their kids around as much anymore or if they were, they were just driving them back and forth and the kids never got out of the car.
So many things shut down. So many job responsibilities were suspended. But I still kept asking people, "How are you?" and they didn't say "Busy" anymore, but they still said "Tired". That caused me to think, because the last week or two, it has been exacerbated even that much more for good reason. Everybody I'm talking to… "How are you"? "I'm tired". I called Pastor John Gray on Monday. We sat on this stage, and he shared powerfully, dynamically, accurately about some of the things that have been going on in our nation for centuries that some people are just becoming aware of. I wanted to call him Monday because we both knew sharing that conversation was what God wanted us to do, but we didn't know how it would be received because we were talking about issues that sometimes get suppressed. The response was amazing from our church family.
Oh, I just want to thank you for being that kind of church that isn't afraid to shine the light of Jesus Christ in real ways. Not just in cute ways but in ways that are relevant to what really ails our nation. I can't see a brother in Jesus Christ choking in the street and look away because he doesn't look just like me. As John shared, I could tell that it was heavy on him, and I called him Monday. I said, "How are you doing"? The sermon was already going around the world. I said, "The sermon is going around the world. We're hearing from all over the world. God is using what you said on that platform boldly all over the world. Thank you. How are you feeling"? He said, "I'll tell you what. I'm grateful, but I'm tired".
He said that after he preached here and shared on this platform, he felt like he had been in a physical fight. He said, "My body felt as if I had been in a physical fight, like a cage match". I made a joke when we started that we were like a tag team, and then he went home and physically felt the symptoms as if it had been a physical fight. He said, "I'm tired". I said, "Isn't that crazy? All we did is sit there and talk for 45 minutes". But I realized that what we talked about for 45 minutes was something my brother has been fighting for 46 years. I can turn off the news; he can't turn off injustice. I guess he was tired. He fought demons that existed before he was even born. He said, "I'm tired".
And not just him. I asked a guy who works at the bank who's working from home… I said, "Has it been good working from home"? I'm going to open the Bible in a minute, by the way. I promise you. I sent them so many Scriptures this morning. I think they got tired just looking at my list of Scriptures. I'm going to preach them, so don't go anywhere. It was so many different people that in the past few weeks, they weren't saying "Busy," they were saying "Tired". It wasn't due to a physical demand, necessarily.
I asked this banker, "How are you doing"? He said, "I'm tired". I said, "But you don't have to commute. You used to have an hour commute. You would drive an hour to work and an hour home. Now you have two extra hours". He said, "Yeah, but I don't have any separation between my office and my kids. I used to be able to leave them for nine hours, and now I can't shut one thing out. I used to be able to compartmentalize. I used to like my drive time to work because it was the one time that I knew I could have to myself, and I would listen to you preach all the way to work. Now I can't do that anymore because they've moved my meetings and they're eating up the margins". He said, "Man, honestly, I know I should be grateful I have a job, and I know there are people who have it worse, but honestly, I'm tired".
Then I was talking to a mom whose kids are all between the ages of 2 and 5, and there are three of them. Your planning was a little bit interesting, but it's too late to go back and fix that, because now she has three, and one has special needs. They normally have someone to help with the child with special needs, but that person hasn't been able to come because of the virus. She said, "I'm grateful because my kids are healthy, but I'm tired". By the way, if you're a little slow, my message is called "I'm Tired". I picked that title Thursday. I'm never going to pick my titles on Thursday again. I picked my title "I'm Tired" on Thursday because I was hearing this and feeling this from so many of the people I care about, and then every night, I've been waking up at 3:00 a.m. I guess the Lord wanted me to live my message.
Next week I'm going to name it "A Hundred Million Dollars" and see what happens. I'm going to name it "Eight Pack" and see if my abs start… I'm going to name it "Make out With My Wife" next week. "Hawaii". I'm going to preach a message called "Hawaii" next week. But in the process of developing this message, the Lord led me to a Scripture in John, chapter 4. "I'm tired". But really, this message is not about that physical tired. It's like my mom was saying to me the other day. She said, "I talk to myself so much it's getting boring". Honestly, this has been a very hard time for her, being alone and trying to stay protected, but then how do you protect your health and protect your sanity?
My dad went to heaven in 2013. It was the seven years of when my dad went to heaven this past week. She said, "The problem with talking to myself is we keep finishing each other's sentences. We know what we're going to say before we say it. I'm tired of talking to myself. I'm tired of being alone. I'm tired". I'm tired, but it's not like bags under my eyes. It's not about gas in my car. I heard a lot of the people I shepherd saying, "I'm tired inside". Maybe that's a better title. Officially, we'll call it Tired on the Inside.
Go with me to John, chapter 4, all you who are weak and heavy laden. Come with me to John, chapter 4, and let's listen on a conversation. I've been talking with this text this week. What the Lord showed me was something… I thought I had mastery of this text. I've heard so many sermons on John 4. Some of you who grew up going to Wednesday night Bible study will probably click over to some other preacher now, because you're like, "Well, what can possibly be in John 4"? I promise you, this that God showed me from John, chapter 4… Again, I thought, "I know this text. It's about the Samaritan woman".
The woman at the well we call her. It alliterates nicely. The woman at the well. The woman who had had five husbands and number six wasn't her husband either. I called her one time the thirsty woman. It's different meanings depending on how you culturally interpret that. I've talked about this woman on Easter. I've talked about this woman on New Year's. New Year's resolution. But I saw this as I was thinking about "How are you really inside"? How are you? How's your insides? I went to this text, and I stayed with it, and I saw something I had never seen before. I'll read you just enough of it to give context, and then I will give further context, and then I will give a little more context, and then you can eat a sandwich.
"I'm tired". Even looking out across this room, I can see it. Y'all are trying so hard to pay attention, but honestly, it's like, "It's a lot right now". I want to show you something that spoke to my soul. I pray that God will energize your spirit with this word. "Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John—although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee". I always skipped that little introduction because I wanted to start the text here in verse 4 where Jesus went through Samaria, but backing up to see verses 1-3 was interesting for me, because I noticed that Jesus refused to be controlled by the agendas of others. That thing really started preaching to me.
In Jesus' day, sometimes they had these different controversies and they had politics. It was much different in Bible times than it is today. They had some people who supported this leader and some people who supported that leader, and then you had the Pharisees who were trying to keep their power, and in order to keep their power, they didn't care what they had to say, they didn't care who they had to trample on, they didn't care who they had to hurt, they didn't care what misinformation they had to spread.
So when the prophet from Galilee started performing miracles… He was born in Bethlehem. He grew up in Nazareth. He did his miracles in Galilee. When he started baptizing people and he started gaining popularity, he represented a threat to the religious establishment, which had become so political they had lost the heart of the Father in pursuit of building the kingdom of their own ideologies. I just wonder, is the Bible still relevant? Is the Bible still eternal? Is it still the Word of God? We find ourselves in a time where we could use a whole lot more Jesus.
Can I preach about Jesus for 30 minutes today? Not the Jesus we thought we knew from three little quotes that we carefully selected but the Jesus who refused to be contained or confined to any ideology or to any party. Can I preach about Jesus? The more they tried to create this pressure for him to fit within their system, he was like, "I'm out of here. That's not what I'm about. I'm about my Father's business". In Jesus' day, they didn't always report the facts on the news. In Jesus' day. I'm not talking about today. I'm saying in Jesus' day, they got it wrong sometimes. In Jesus' day. They said, "He's baptizing more than John. This guy is getting powerful. We've got to stop him".
They actually got it wrong. He wasn't even the one doing the baptizing. A lot of the things we say God does he's not actually doing. Anyway, that's not the message. The message is called Tired on the Inside. Do you know what I'm tired of? I'm tired of not being able to trust any information from anywhere. I don't know what to read anymore. I don't know who to follow anymore. I don't know what to listen to anymore. It's like everybody has an angle. Everybody has an agenda. They said, "He's baptizing more than John. You'd better do something". But he wasn't even the one baptizing.
The Bible says, "When Jesus learned this…" Which in and of itself is shocking. Jesus learned. How does Jesus learn? How does the one who is wisdom learn anything? Well, they bring him the report. They tell him the Pharisees are starting to become very, very nervous about what he represents. So he's like, "Let's go". Verse 4 says something else that's really shocking. Remember, this is not the Jesus you pull out and cuddle with. This is not cuddly Christ.
I preached a sermon one time called Savage Jesus. This is the Jesus who doesn't take shortcuts and doesn't deal with the surface issues. This is not the Jesus who comes to give you gummy bears. I don't care what they're laced with or how legal it is. This is not that gummy bear Jesus. Look at verse 4. It says, "Now he had to go through Samaria". He had to go through Samaria. It's interesting, and it's kind of surprising, and it catches you off guard. He didn't have to do anything. He was not controlled by anyone. In fact, the only agenda he was fully committed to was the agenda of his Father in heaven. I have sensed the Lord asking me over these last several months, "Whose agenda are you committed to"?
Is it the agenda of Jesus? Now Jesus' agenda was not an agenda that was imposed by external forces. Jesus had to go through Samaria, not because Peter told him to, not because he took a vote and it was the popular thing to do, not because his base liked it. In fact, his base hated it. Samaria. How many sermons have you heard about Jesus going through Samaria? And the Jews hated to go through Samaria, because even though there was not a national distinction, there was an internal distinction. I mean, how many sermons have we heard about how the Jews would walk twice as long to go around Samaria?
One time I was preaching about it, and I saw it in a funny way. I was mid-stream, mid-thought, mid-sentence, and the Lord said, "Some area". We all have some area. That's a whole message right there too, isn't it? We all have some area we try to avoid. In fact, sometimes the reason we're tired is because we're working around everything God wants to bring us through. We have a workaround for our pain, but the form of the workaround for our pain creates a greater dependency that wears us out in the end. The beautiful thing about the text is you don't even have to understand this geographically. You're experiencing it spiritually. We all must go through some area. For Jesus, it was that northern part of the kingdom. It was that place that most people would double back. Got to go across the Transjordan. Got to cross near Jericho. They would turn a three-day journey into a six-day journey just to avoid going through what Jesus went straight into.
Do you know what the Lord said to tell you? He's confrontational. He is not passive; he is confrontational. I know. We have sweet Jesus. Ricky Bobby Jesus. Eight-pound baby Jesus. I like him better that way. I can hold him. Speaking of tired, my brother had a baby this week. His wife had a baby. He took some credit. He's so excited. When I first talked to him, I said, "How are you doing"? Do you know what he said? Confirmation on my sermon. He said, "I'm tired". I said, "So is everybody else. But you do not know tired yet". Amen, Preacher Steve. "You don't know tired. You are going to be begging for pre-baby tired. You have not welcomed only a child into the world; you have welcomed a dictator into the world of your home. Now there will no longer be an agenda between you and your wife about mealtimes or schedules or bedtimes. You don't know tired yet".
He had to go through Samaria, some area. An area other people avoided God went straight into. Even though it was the more direct route, it was the path less taken. Let me stop for a minute, because I don't want to get so caught up in my construct that I fail to ask you this question. What are you working around in your life that God wants you to walk through, and how much longer will you do it that way? Everything in the text is inward. From the outside, Jesus has pressure from the Pharisees, but he's not controlled by that. He's guided from the inside. That's a really awesome thing about instability in the world. It helps us get our center of gravity from God who is on the inside. He had to go through Samaria, not because it was the predictable path and certainly not because it was the popular path but because it was the path of his purpose.
Wow. I love the Word of God. I heard about it so many times. You know, he had to go through Samaria. That's where he went. I heard there was a woman there, a woman who had had a pretty questionable character, and that he wanted to meet with her and that's who he went for. I even heard how he went, that he went straight through instead of going on the path most people were familiar with. But do you know what I saw this week? I saw something. Read this with me in verse 5. "So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman…" That's who. Sychar…that's where. "…came to draw water…" That's what. "…Jesus said to her, 'Will you give me a drink?'"
I love verse 8 in parentheses. This struck me as funny when I read it. "(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)" Why is that funny? I think he was tired of them. I really do. I don't think he was so worried that they were hungry. I think he was like, "You know what would be great? If y'all just want to run an errand, I've got something I've got to do". Sometimes you have to send people away. Sometimes you have to say, "Hey, I'm working on this right now. I appreciate you so much, and I love you, and I'll see you when you get back with those grilled chicken nuggets and those french fries".
See, John's gospel is different than the other gospels. Can I show you Jesus from John's gospel? In John's gospel, we're seeing that Jesus is fully God. He is the response of the call that started at the bush where Moses stood generations ago. Jesus is not a Johnny-come-lately. Jesus is not a fly-by-night Savior. Jesus is not a pop star or a flash in the pan. That's why he was not driven by popularity. He was not instant grits. Jesus came through 41 generations. From Abraham to David, from David to the exile, from the exile to Jesus was 41 generations. God found a man, used a man; found a man, used a man. But men kept messing it up. So God finally said, "I'm tired. I'm tired of you trying to get to me. How about I come to you"?
So the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. That's John 1:14. And we beheld the fullness of his glory. John sets out to show us a glimpse of who Jesus is. I wonder, do you know who Jesus is? Not who somebody told you he was in Sunday school in 1978. Not who we want him to be. Not the one who has the same melatonin as you. Not the one who votes the same as you. Not the one who only cares about what matters to you. I wonder, do you know him? He's the Great I Am. John sets it up so you can't miss it even if you want. Here's what he does. I'm going to tell you how it goes in John's gospel. He says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God". Then he says, "All things were made through him and for him".
Jesus has been busy. Jesus didn't minister for 33 years. The Word that was with God in the beginning became flesh, and we beheld him. He didn't get started when he showed up. It's the same way in your life. God spoke you into this earth at the time that he wanted. I'm telling you, God put you where he wanted you. Some of the battles you're fighting started long before you got here. That's part of why you're tired. Some things we fight are generational. So when John is describing Jesus… Matthew gives you the genealogy, but he does it through the people. John starts way before that and says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God".
If you go all the way to the back of John's gospel, he says, "These things were written about Jesus that you may know and believe and have life in his name". But he says something crazy. He says, "These are just a few of the things he did". He said, "I just gave you what you could handle. I just want to give you a glimpse of who he is by showing you what he did". In John's gospel, there are seven signs the author mentions that Jesus did. It's not all that he did. It's not all. What I know of God is not all there is of God. What I think is true is not all that is true. What I have experienced thus far in my life is not what I have to settle for.
What I have known doesn't have to be my normal forever. It's not all. He said, "I'm going to give you a glimpse of what he did so you can see who he is". These are called the seven signs in John. It started in Cana of Galilee when he turned water into wine. I call this a molecular miracle. It looks little, but it shows you who he is. How many have had God show you who he is in little tiny ways? That's called a molecular miracle. Well, he can't stay there forever, so he has to go and preach in Judea. In John, chapter 4, he heals a royal official's son. That's the second sign.
Then in John, chapter 5, he walks by a pool, not to relax, but it was a pool where many who were lame and disabled used to lie. He speaks to a man on a mat, and he gets him up off his mat. The man was waiting on the water to move, but Jesus had the water within him that the man was trying to get to on the outside. He showed that he is greater than any earthly system, and he can bring to you what others did not bring to you, and he can do for you what nobody can do for you. That's the third sign. By the time you get to John 6, you're getting into some of the more well-known miracles. He did multiply those grilled nuggets and those waffle fries I was talking about. He multiplied it to feed 20,000. "I thought it was 5,000," somebody just said. You didn't count the women and children.
God works through the people you don't even count. God works through the people you don't even notice. God works through the people you don't even think are worth putting in the total. So that's the fourth sign. What is the fifth sign? Oh, maybe the fifth sign is that man born blind. He opened up his eyes and ruined his life. There are certain things that once God shows you, you can't un-see them anymore. He messed up Lazarus' whole funeral. They didn't even get a chance to really start the funeral. They didn't even really get a chance to mourn, and here he came with a miracle.
Now, several of these signs were connected to a statement. John also gives seven statements. Do you feel like hearing those? Are y'all tired of me preaching yet? I'm not tired of this. I could do this all day. Something comes alive in me when I start preaching. It's the weirdest thing. It doesn't matter how tired I am. God gives me some kind of strength. It must be for you. You must have been on the verge this week. You must be burning out, but God wanted to get you some oil so you don't die before you realize the purpose for which he brought you into this world to begin with. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God". The Great I Am. Jesus said some things. He said, "I am…"
Do you know any of them? "…the Bread of Life". He said that right after he fed all of those people. He wasn't trying to just feed their stomachs; he was trying to inform their spirits. He said, "I am the Light of the World". He said, "I am the Door for the sheep". He said, "I am the Good Shepherd. Even in the valley I'll guide you. I'll be your light. I am the Light. I am the Door. I am the Good Shepherd. I am the resurrection and the life. I am the way, the truth, and the life. I am the true Vine". That's seven. John is showing us this number of completion: seven. That's God's number: seven. Six is man's number. That's why we're tired: because we're living in six. Jesus is the seventh man.
What I want to show you in this text, if you'll let me show you this… It's going to bring you a sense in your soul of something. I know you're stressed out, and I know there's a lot to be worried about in the world. I got so mad this week. I know you're not supposed to get mad, but the same Jesus who pet the little baby sheep flipped over tables in the temple when they weren't doing it for the right purpose. There was a guy on my Instagram this week, and he saw John and me talking about racism and the evil and the atrocity and the fact that if the church is silent about these issues that matter to people… It's like we want to dismantle the cross. It's like we only like this part.
We don't want Jesus to inform how we treat others; we just want him to do stuff for us. I don't go through every comment on Instagram or YouTube, but one person said, "TBH…" To be honest. "I'm tired of all of the pastors I follow posting about racism on my feed. Can't we just get back to preaching Jesus"? Which Jesus? The one you went to Sunday school with or the one who went through Samaria? Which Jesus? Come on now. I'm in need of an answer. Which Jesus do we worship? Which one? The one who said "I am the Way," the one who you follow or the one who you lead? The one that you say, "No, I'm not following you any farther than that…" He had to go through Samaria, and watch what he did when he sat down in verse 6. He sat down, tired as he was. Which is confusing. Right?
Isaiah 40 is a dope Scripture. "You can't call the Word of God dope". I just did. I just did it right here in American English. I said every syllable of it. In Isaiah 40, the prophet said, "Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, 'My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God'"? This part: "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom". He will not grow tired. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. This blew me away. John 4:6: Jesus tired.
I prayed about this message. Please know that I did. There's so much I can't do right now, and I feel bad about it, and I wish I could do more. This church is doing everything we can to be a part of the solution, but there's so much I can't do. I know you've been tired, and I know it has been hurting, and I know it has been lifelong. It might not be racism. It may be an addiction. It may be wondering how much longer you're going to have a job or when you're going to get one or when this is all going to be over or when God is going to send you somebody who gets you.
I know you've been tired, and I prayed. I said, "God, what do I tell them? They're tired. What do I tell the person who is too tired to go on? What do I tell the one who says, 'I'm too tired'"? God said, "Tell them I got tired too". Jesus sat down in Samaria (that's where) to talk to a woman (that's who), asking for water (that's what). But why? Because he was tired. Because he was fully God, fully man. As much as we love to shout about his divinity… You know, how we were a minute ago when I was setting you up about the Great I Am, just to bring you back down so you could know that the same God who created you, who was strong enough, who was powerful enough…
Everybody who thinks Jesus was weak, raise your hand. Maybe being weary doesn't mean you're weak. Jesus tired. Why was he tired? I didn't say, "Who was he tired of"? We already know it was Peter. Come on. Peter is fighting you at every turn, cussing and stuff in front of the press. You're having to bleep Peter out. I know he was tired of the Pharisees. He couldn't wash his hands or not wash his hands. They followed him to every bathroom, every dinner. I know he was tired of them, but it says he was tired from the journey. Thinking about Jesus' journey, you know. They walked everywhere. No Uber. No Uber Jesus, Uber Christ, Uber Savior. Three-day walk from where they were baptizing through Samaria. Straight through was the shortcut, by the way.
The direct route is sometimes the divine route. Instead of hiding the fact that you're tired, you just say, "God, I'm tired". Somebody was yawning during my sermon one time, and I just got mad about it. I said, "How are you tired? You're not doing anything"! But I found out later they worked a night shift and came straight to church. It's kind of hard to understand someone if you only see them at one part of their journey. Some people who we think are weak maybe are weary. Have you thought about that? Just because you're weary, it doesn't make you weak. "How do you know that"? Jesus. "I am the Light of the World. I am the Bread of Life. I am the Resurrection. I am the Door. I am the Shepherd. I am the true Vine. I am the Way".
At some point, six hours after they left that morning, at noon, he said something we wouldn't expect to hear the Savior say: "I am tired". This is the incarnation. I worship a God who is powerful enough to give me strength and who is human enough to get tired. For some reason, this week, I felt that some of us needed to meet tired Jesus. I thought maybe you could relate to him, because his journey didn't start with just leaving that morning. I mean, that's enough. Six hours that day. Six hours in one day. I mean, I have a six-hour drive coming up with my kids, and I'm downloading every episode of The Office on all of their phones, just hoping we can make it six hours, still be saved, still be married, still be healed, delivered, blessed, and one happy family.
And that's a drive. Six hours. Because you leave at 6:00… It's noon. It's hot. It's the heat of the day. Of course he's tired. Yet I wonder: Was it only physical or did he go through Samaria because he was tired of the way they were treating each other? Why was he tired? Why did he come? To abolish the barriers. Full of grace and truth, and we beheld his glory. His journey didn't start in Bethlehem. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh". That's a long trip. From the sapphire seal of heaven to the dusty streets of Samaria. Of course he was tired. "Even youth will grow weary and stumble, but those who wait on the Lord…"
I'm waiting on God right now. I'm waiting, and I'm weary. I'm not going to lie to you. I'm weary. This is getting old. Some of y'all want to cuss right now. Don't do it in the chat. They'll block you. But even in your mind you're like, "I'm sick of this. I am sick of this". That's not an "I am" statement we read in the Bible, but that's what you're saying right now in your heart. "I am sick of this. I am sick and tired. I am tired of fighting battles". The thing about me…
Some people say when they get tired they start laughing. Not me. When I get tired, I get mean. How many of you when you get tired…? That's why when you had to pull me out of the elevator in Australia and I was about to fight that guy after I preached… I had just finished giving the invitation too. "If you're here today, the Lord says, 'Come.'" That dude said something sideways to me. My uncle taught me to hit them with your elbow if you can get close enough. I was cocking the elbow, and Chunks pulled me back. I was jetlagged. I had preached 23 times in four days. They were preaching me to death at Hillsong Church. I'm preaching, preaching, preaching.
Chunks pulled me out. He said, "Come on. You're too tired now". Because when you get too tired, you start fighting battles that don't matter to distract you from the ones that do. That's just me. I start fighting everybody. I start fighting people who are trying to help me when I'm tired. So Jesus said, "Y'all go get lunch. I'm sitting here for a minute, because the ones y'all have been fighting against are the ones I came to save". He had to go through Samaria. He had to sit down. There was a woman coming who needed him. She didn't even know it. She had no idea who he was. He sat down because he was tired. You don't have to do anything right now. Just sit down and receive this word that the Son of God got tired. I know you're superman and you're mad at yourself because you can't always get it perfect. Perfection got tired.
Faith doesn't prevent fatigue; it just gives me a place to sit. He sat by a well. Here's the important thing: What well do you sit by when you're tired? He said it was Jacob's well. Joseph was given that well by Jacob. A lot of what our kids learn comes from us. It's generational. Jesus sat down by that well. I think that's so appropriate to say at this moment in our nation. What wells are you digging for your kids to sit next to? A lot of what we're going through today is because of wells that were dug before we got here. Jesus sat by Jacob's well. Wait on the Lord. Now we see the Lord waiting on a woman.
So, I pictured this moment. I pictured you and me. You have your coffee. You're like, "I'm drinking all the caffeine I can. I'm still tired". I know you can watch a TED Talk about when to go to bed and when to wake up and all that. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about tired inside. I'm a soul doctor. I don't know anything about REM. I don't know anything about ergonomic pillows. I don't know anything about your mattress number. That is not my specialty. But I know that sometimes you have to sit down by a real well. Listen to me. A lot of the places that we're sitting while we're tired are only making us more dehydrated. A lot of the places that we're drinking from are making us dumber, more fragmented, less whole, less informed.
This woman comes up. Picture it. She comes up at noon because she's sneaking away from all of the people who talked about her. She is a woman with a past, and the last thing she wants to see is a man, specifically a Jewish man, specifically a rabbi. Jesus says, "Hey, can I get a drink"? This is not a pickup line. This is not a surface-level question. This is Jesus asking this woman, "Do you even know what's in you"? I hear God saying to someone today, "You don't even know what I put inside of you. What I have put inside of you is so great".
If you only see things on the surface, if you judge how people judge, you will never see what's inside. This was Jacob's well, but it was really just something for Jesus to sit on. When he sat on the well and asked the woman, "Can I get a drink"? he was not talking about H2O. Don't you get it? It's never about what we think it's about. It's always something deeper. Jesus has showed up in this woman's situation, and I can't help but think it's for somebody today. You have been at your wit's end. You thought I was going to give you a little pep talk, and you thought I was going to tell you, "Get on with it, and trust God, and move forward," and all of these little clichés of faith, but I came to tell you, "Sit with him a little while".
Sit with him and see who you really are. Sit with him a little while. I'm just going to confess to you. I've been sitting by the wrong wells a lot of the time. I've been depending on people to inform me about who I am. I've been depending on what I see with my eyes to tell me how it is. But there is a well that does not come from an external source, and you can't see the pipes. There is within you a spirit that is greater than whatever is going on around you. Greater is he that is in me! He sat on the well so she could see what was within her. I believe God is revealing some things to us in this season. I believe God is revealing to his church in this season that he has made us for a time when the world is so divided; he has made us for a time that the world is so apathetic.
He sat by the well to talk to a woman who had had five husbands and was living with number six so she could know he was number seven. On the first day God worked. On the second day God worked. On the third day God worked. On the fourth day God worked. On the fifth day God worked. On the sixth day God worked. What did he do on the seventh? He sat down, not because he needed rest but because she did. That's what I love about a God who will not only fight for me and walk with me and talk with me, but God said to tell you this week: he is the God who will come through 41 generations and go through Samaria just to sit with you. Sit with him for a minute. He might show you something that is within you that nobody else noticed. This woman had been passed around like the jar she carried to the well that day. She knew what it was to feel used.
Did he sit down at the well that day because he was tired or because she was? "Are you tired of being used by people? Are you tired of being manipulated by people? Sit with me. I'm not seated where you're seated". When I sit with him, he has seated me with him in heavenly places, far above every ruler and principality. You sound tired. God said, "Me too. I'm tired of seeing how people treat one another too. I'm tired of the injustice too. That's why I came in the form of a man: so I could be what man could never be. I came to hang on a cross and say, 'It is finished' so that you can rest". I know we have work to do, but can we sit for a minute? Can we just sit with him for a minute by the well that will never run dry?
Some of us passed E a long time ago. The tank has been empty a long time. God says, "I want you to sit with me. When you sit with me, you will see with me". I want to sit with him. I want to sit by the well that has living water. I want to sit away from the streams that are poisoned by the prejudice of men. I want to sit with him for a minute. And Jesus, tired as he was, said to his disciples, "Y'all go get some food. I've got to get a harvest".
I believe God sent me to preach this message to somebody today who is tired on the inside, and no amount of sleep, no amount of Netflix and numbing it, and no amount of pacing the floors is going to solve it. I believe God brought you into his presence today for a reason, and I think he woke me up at 3:00 in the morning this night, the night before, the night before, so I could feel a little bit physically while I preached this how you've been feeling before we got here. How Jesus felt was how the woman felt. "Even youth will grow tired and weary, and young men will stumble and fall, but they that wait on the Lord will renew their strength". God said, "Even if you don't have the patience to wait for me, I'm waiting for you".
When you are tired, you must be very careful that you do not become dehydrated. You have to drink this water. You have to drink this Word. You have to drink this worship. You have to move away from wells that will never quench your thirst, and you have to receive the water that flows from within. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God". The reason you came to church today is God wanted to give you water. He knows you're tired. He knows you're thirsty. He hung on a cross and said, "I thirst too". He stretched his arms this wide because he was tired of it too. The man who was God became man, and he who knew no sin became sin that we might become the righteousness of God. He said to the woman, and he said to me, and he said to you, "Come unto me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. I am the Bread of Life. I am the Resurrection. I am the Light. I am the Shepherd. I am the Gate. I am the Way. I am the Vine. I am the seventh man. I am the well. I am within you".
You will never get what you need from out there. It's in here. I know, you're not in a church building. There's no worship leader to tell you "Lift your hands". Will you do it anyway? I know there's not a feeling telling you right now to have hope. Can you hope anyway? It is a well that springs up from within. It is a well that men did not dig. It is a well that does not consult external situations. It is a well of the Holy Spirit. God said, "I came all this way to sit with you, to be with you".
The proof of his power was not just when he walked on water. The proof of his power was when he sat on a well. If you got that, you got the whole message. He didn't just prove it by walking on water, which he did; he proved it by sitting on a well. Sometimes he walks on water; sometimes he is water. I declare that the Lord is in this place. We started this service when I got up to preach saying, "The Lord is in this place, and not for a minute was I forsaken". You came into this service today saying, "I'm tired inside". I said, "I know". It's all right to be tired. But why don't you go ahead and leave that jar you brought behind, that jar that represents what you've been carrying that you weren't meant to carry alone, and receive right now what only he can reveal.
Father, you gave me this word, I believe, for your people. I didn't think of this. I didn't study this in a book. You spoke to me and told me to go to John 4:6. I said, "What do I tell the people when they're so tired, and they're right to be tired, and they're tired of being tired, and they're tired of things not changing"? You told me to tell them, "I got tired too. You are seated with me in heavenly places". So now, Lord, we need the water of worship. We've received the water of your Word today. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God". We received your Word today. Now make it flesh in our lives as we worship you.
Lift your hands wherever you are. This is not a moment to be self-conscious. This is not a moment to log off. This is not a moment to be distracted, because we need this water. In a dry and weary land, we need this water. Lord, we wait on you. We believe that you are in this place. Whether it's a cross or an empty tomb, your presence is proven in both. We take this moment just to let you know that we know we need you and you are in this place. We may feel forsaken. We may feel forgotten. We may feel frustrated. That's okay. You got tired too, Jesus. But you sit with us in our brokenness. You sit with us in our unbelief. You sit with us in our rage. You sit with us to show us who we really are. Not for a minute was I forsaken. The Lord is in this place. Living water in this place. Bread of Life in this place. Light of the World is in this place.