Steven Furtick - How God Fills Your Dry Places
I've come to tell you your best days are not behind you. God is not like that. He didn't let you run out because he left you; he let it run out so he could give you something better than what you brought to the party to begin with. "You flipped the flow". Verse 10: "You have saved the best till now". But how did he do it? How did he do it? Everything you're running out of in your life today is in Jesus. It's in him. There are three things I want to show you, and then we'll go. First, it's not going to be in the places you expect. It's going to be nearby. It's not going to be by you moving to a new situation or thinking your solution is out there somewhere. It's not going to be distant; it's going to be nearby. Verse 6. Where were the stone water jars? Pay attention to the details. Nearby.
Where is the help God has given you for the shortage in your life? It's nearby. The reason we don't see what's nearby is because when something is close we see it as common. These were stone jars made of earth. They were leak-proof so they wouldn't be ceremonially unclean, but there was nothing gold-plated about them. These were not iced-out jars. That's not what made them special. What was special was what was inside. Jesus right here could have been like the disciples. "Go to town. You have to get some wine". The thing about Cana is it's in the middle of nowhere, so they can't go get anything, so they have to use something nearby. I wonder what's nearby that if you pour yourself into it God can flow again through your life. It's nearby. It's so close.
Remember, they all came into the party and washed their hands. The miracle was in something they had already walked by to get to the party. The miracle is in something you're walking by every day. It's in a Bible-reading plan you already started but just quit, and you can pick it back up. The wisdom you need might be in the wife you chose to do life with six years ago, but you don't want to listen to her because she's nearby. I will see men go to conferences to learn how to be a better man, but they won't even listen to their own wife because they don't want to be humble.
I'm telling you it's nearby. It's not out there. That's not where the provision is. It's not somewhere out there. It's nearby. It's going to be so close. You'll miss it if you're not careful. It's going to be so close. It's something you're walking by right now. You've been praying for it. It's an orange gratitude journal that's right there on your bed. It's an exercise plan you already know to do. It's going to be nearby, and it's going to be normal. That's the second thing. It's going to be normal. It's not going to feel so supernatural. It's going to feel natural, and then it's going to be super, but you can't wait for something special. You have to embrace something normal. "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power might be from God, and not from us". It's coming through something normal. It's going to be normal. It's going to be habits. It's going to be discipline. It's going to be normal.
"God, use me". "Go home and have dinner with your family". It's going to be normal. It's not going to be exciting. It's not going to be sexy. It's not going to be Instagram models in bikinis on the beach. It's going to be normal. It's going to be natural, but it's going to be super. When God gets done with normal, what happens on the inside of what looks normal on the outside… God is doing something in me. I wonder what you've been walking by because it looks normal. You don't even notice it, because it's nearby and it's normal and it's now. Jesus said, "Now…" "Not after I've explained it to you…now". He didn't tell them, "Now when you draw it out it's going to start to turn purple. Like when you stir the Kool-Aid… There's going to be a fermentation process, and the molecular structure is going to… Let me draw it up for you guys. It's okay, everybody. Come on in, come on in, guys".
Now. "I know you don't know what I'm going to do, but I already know. I know you don't know why I'm telling you to do this, but I know. I know you don't know why I'm telling you to forgive, but I know what I want to do that I can't do in your life if you have a clogged heart, so do it now. Now"! "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for". Jesus never points to what's next without dealing with what's now. "Now draw it out". Now. I could imagine. He could have gone around the whole party, saying, "You should have planned better, and you should have known better," but he didn't do any of that, because he didn't point to what they should have done. It doesn't do any good. He points to what is now. Now. "Even though you could have done better… You could have done a better job. You need to fire your wedding planner. I hope you didn't give her too much of a deposit, because she really screwed this up, but now…" That's actually what Mary and Martha said to Jesus when he showed up for Lazarus. "If you would have been here, our brother would not have died, but even now…"
I feel the power of now on this word today. Now, now, now, now, now. The truth is you might be running out of time. Jesus only had three years on earth. Isn't it crazy? Think about this. I know what it feels like to be empty. I've been there in my own life, just dry and empty. "If another person asks me… I don't even want to do it". There's something significant not only about what Jesus did, water into wine, the law into the Spirit. We could preach about that. We will one day. That he did it in a ceremonial jar and it was an idea of the fact that the ceremonial washings of Moses were now being replaced by the blood that would be shed. It's all in there. It's a sign. It's pointing to a lot, but why did he do it in Cana? Why did he show his glory in Cana? To understand this, we need to meet Nathanael. Nathanael was a disciple who came to Jesus. Guess who brought him, by the way: Philip, the one Jesus asked, "Where are we going to get the bread from"? but he already knew.
I promise you he already knows, but he's just trying to make sure you know where it comes from. Philip brought Nathanael to Jesus. John 1:45: "Philip found Nathanael and told him, 'We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.'" There were 456 different expectations of the Jewish Messiah. Philip was doing the math. "Carry the one". He said, "I think this is him. I think so. I'm not sure, but come see". Nathanael starts trying to figure it out based on what he can understand. He's like, "Did you say Nazareth, that hick town"? He's like, "Nazareth"? Moncks Corner? See, I'm used to being from a place people don't respect when you say the name of it. "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there"? Nathanael asked the question, and Philip said, "I can't answer that, but you can come see".
Now watch this. This is where it gets good. "When Jesus saw Nathanael…" I always preach John, chapter 2, thinking verse 1 is where it started, "On the third day Jesus went to Cana…" but it started before that. "When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, 'Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.'" Nathanael was kind of creeped out. In verse 48 he said, "How do you know me"? "We haven't met. How do you know"? He said, "I know what's in you". He said, "But you don't know me". He said, "But I know what's in you". One time when Elijah was little, he would walk around the house going, "How do you know my name? How do you know my name"? I think he heard it on a TV show. I thought that was so bizarre. He'd walk up to Holly and me, "How do you know my name? How do you know my name"? I'd say, "Because I made you. Because I gave you your name". "I know who you are. I know what's in you".
Jesus looks at Nathanael and knows what's in him because Nathanael came from him. Now watch this. This is so important. For everybody who spends a lot of time feeling like what's against you is greater than what's in you, I want you to know God already knows what's against you and he already knows what's in you. I said, he already knows what's against you and he already knows what's in you. He said, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you". Nathanael said, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel. You hadn't even met me yet, and you saw me before I was called". "You mean you saw me in this situation before I was even in it? You saw me in this dry place before it even stopped raining? You saw me in this dumb decision? You saw me in this divorce? You saw me in this low place"? He said, "Yeah, I saw you. I wouldn't have put you in it if I didn't put it in you. You have it in you, and you will not run out, and it will not run out. It will not run out. You will accomplish your purpose. You will fulfill. You will complete your assignment. It is in you".
I love Jesus. He said, "You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that". Then they went to Cana so Jesus could show Nathanael what he just told him. "I am the one who flips the flow. I am the one who gives grace for shame. I am the one who turns rejection into blessing. I am the resurrection. I am the life". Your struggle is a sign. Your setback is a sign. Your secrets are a sign. God is with you. It is in you. Come on, release a shout of praise in the place! I said release a shout of praise! Give him praise! You will not run out. You might not have any wine, but if you have the one who can stir the water you will never lack. You will make it, and you will achieve it, in Jesus' name!