Steven Furtick - Why Do I Even Bother?
People will say, "Follow your feelings". That would be a bad idea for 98 percent of us, a really bad idea for 98 percent of us. It would lead to violence, poverty, weirdness, and other stuff we can't talk about in church, but we'll talk about it sometime. "Follow your feelings". I want to say that a little differently. If you follow your feeling back to the thought that created it, if you follow your feelings backward, a lot of times you can find that it starts with how you think about God, how you think about you, how you think about your season, and how you define a blessing. She thought she got what she came for, but Jesus was working off of a different blueprint. After the issue she came for… We come to God for many different reasons, but a lot of times, the reason we come to God isn't the reason he called us. He said, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways aren't your ways".
God thinks higher. A lot of the things in my life start with the phrase "I never would have thought…" I don't know if she knew it, but Joanna was preaching today. She helps us on our staff, and she said, "I never would have thought we'd be in an auditorium with just the staff preaching the church". Well, I never thought it either. This is the year of "I never would have thought…" Go back through your phone. Fifty percent of your texts are things you never would have thought you'd be sending. You never would have thought you'd be buying the kid a new computer, not so they could play games on it but so it could be a classroom. You never would have thought that. The woman never would have thought that on the way… This is the woman we call the woman with the issue of blood. She never would have thought that on the way to heal Jairus' daughter, the important synagogue official, the person who we would think was the priority, that Jesus would call her "daughter". She never thought of herself as a daughter.
Now, the way you think of yourself determines what you will do and what you won't do. Remember, this is kind of a review from last week. If you think of yourself primarily in terms of your position, that's limiting. I didn't get to tell you this last week, but I told the campus pastors. When I was at the ball field a couple of years ago… When I'm at the ball field I'm a different… I'm not a different person. I don't have multiple personalities or anything like that. I'm a very nice person in most situations, but at the ball field… People can call it wearing different hats or different roles. There's one you, but there are many roles, many manifestations of you at any moment. Just before I came out to preach to you, I was being dad, and I enjoyed that. So, when I would go out to the ball field, the ump would make a bad call, and, you know, I have a good loud voice God gave me to preach and to help people…
One of my kids got called out, and he wasn't out, and I had it on video. This was several years ago, back when we played at Mint Hill. I came out with the phone and showed the umpire. I know you're not supposed to do this, but I said, "Hey, Mr. Ump". I wasn't mean. I was very polite. I said, "I got it on video. The call was bad. You need to reverse the call. This is an instant replay booth. Come on. Just watch this real quick. I got it. I'll put it in slow motion for you". I didn't yell at him or anything like that, but one of the other dads thought it was cute when I came back over… The ump didn't reverse the call; he told me to get off the field, and then when I came back over, the guy said, "Careful, Furtick. You're supposed to be a pastor". You know what I said back. "Right now I'm a dad".
Wouldn't it be great if every single one of your roles worked together perfectly to complement one another? People will say, "Just be you". Which one? The one who has to bite their tongue or the one who's allowed to be honest? Which one? The one who keeps it real? Well, keeping it real will maybe keep you unemployed and single if you're bursting every thought bubble, saying everything you think, just being everything you are. You have to know what's appropriate to the role and the situation, but there comes a time where something in your life will drive you to a point where you will come outside of the confines of what you thought you were, and you will embrace something you never knew you needed.
Like the woman with the issue who became the only person Jesus ever called "Daughter". "I'm a daughter. I'm a son". If I did it for myself, "I'm a dad. I'm a pastor. I'm a songwriter. I'm an author". Some of these things I don't even like to say like that because it misses the point. I'm not a songwriter; I write songs. I'm not an author; I sometimes write books. Sometimes. Every 10 years I write a book. "You're supposed to be a pastor". I'm also supposed to be a parent. Sometimes it's difficult, because I find myself in roles… I promise you I'm going to read the Bible verses in a minute, but I am preaching already. Just because it didn't come up on the screen yet doesn't mean I'm not preaching it. You categorize stuff too weird in your mind. You're like, "He's not preaching the…" I am totally preaching the Word of God!
Jairus was a campus pastor at Elevation…I mean, a synagogue ruler, but he was also a dad. He had a daughter, and he's no longer a campus pastor preaching a sermon or making phone calls or a worship leader or a piano player or a drummer. He's a dad in this moment, and he said, "Heal my daughter. I need you"! Desperation will drive you to see yourself differently, to lift the limits. I want to look at this one more time, because the woman thought, "If I touch him, I will be healed," and she was, and he called her back and gave her the miracle of a restored identity. That's not so catchy. Right? But that's what it was: the miracle of remembering who you were before your issue consumed you. You go through things and you forget who you are. You think you're what you have accomplished. But what if God wants to reveal something that goes beyond your résumé?
The ability to navigate all of the different names I'm called by comes from knowing who I really am beneath all of the layers. She thought, she touched, and then she heard from Jesus, "Daughter". What an amazing thing, yet the text begs to be picked up at verse 35, because Jairus, who asked Jesus to heal his daughter… At the same moment that the woman was delivered from her issue, he was devastated. As she was being restored as a daughter, his own daughter died. I want to pick up right there in Mark 5:35. The Bible says, while Jesus was still speaking to the woman, telling her who she really was… "Daughter". Look at it in verse 34. He called her "Daughter".
Sorry, Eddie Vedder, but he did. He called her "Daughter". (Come on. I have to have fun up here. It's lonely up here.) As he's calling her "Daughter" and reminding her of who she was, Jairus, the synagogue official, the man who had often been identified by his position, who was supposed to be a pastor, but right now he's a parent… Her deliverance led to his disappointment. Sometimes those two go together. Sometimes to deliver you God has to do it through a disappointment. He will allow people to let you down to bring you things you didn't know to pray for. You know how we quote Ephesians 3:20? "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…"
Why do we always think that more is going to be bigger? Sometimes more is deeper. So, while he's calling her "Daughter…" He said, "Daughter, go in peace". See, she left with healing, but he wanted her to leave with peace. Peace only comes from knowing who you are. Peace can't come from possessions. Peace can't come from positions. Peace can only come from knowing who I am. Purpose…that's where peace comes from…what God put me here for. While he was still speaking, while she was being delivered from her issue, Jairus was devastated. The Bible says in verse 35: "…some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader".
What's it called when you put something in between the commas that you could take out of the sentence? I'm not good at grammar. An appositive? So, just connect these two. Everything is connected. She's receiving something positive, and he's losing something priceless, yet he's still being identified by his position. Jairus, the synagogue ruler, but today he's not a CEO. Today he's a dad with a broken heart. Let's talk just you and me for a minute. Let's pretend to be friends. I'm sure we would be. I'm sure you would love me if you knew me and I would love you too.
I know you're amazing, but let me get out of preacher mode for a moment and just talk to you like a dad or like a brother or like a friend or something like that. What is the thing you thought God was going to do and the opposite happened? The opposite. I don't mean about a parking space. I'm trying to go a little bit beneath the surface. This whole year… How many of you predicted this year going exactly…? Yeah. How many of you, everything that was on your resolution list is right on schedule? I want to meet you, and I want you to lay hands on me, and I want you to transfer that anointing to me. His position, the synagogue ruler… The woman is restored to her rightful identity. His position is irrelevant because it really doesn't matter what title you have in moments like this. He thought Jesus was going to heal her. What else would he have thought?
Jesus was on the way. The crowd is around. I'm thinking he thought he was going to get his daughter healed, but Jesus stopped for another forgotten daughter, and in the process of restoring that daughter, he lost his daughter. Do you see it? He lost his 12-year-old daughter to a woman who for 12 years had been consumed by an issue. There's a trade-off. She got her miracle; he didn't. What happens next… This is where I want to start my sermon. The Bible says, "…some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader". That's the appositive. "'Your daughter is dead,' they said. 'Why bother the teacher anymore?'" I bet if I could see your thought bubble, a lot of it would say, "Why bother"? Or a less G-rated version of that. Right? Why even bother? Like, what's the point? Why even put anything on the calendar these days? Why even try right now? Why bother? What's the point?
I have to show you something. Are you ready? I'm back full in preacher mode now. I'm a preacher right now. "Why bother the teacher anymore"? That was what was in their bubble. They said it out loud. The thing about Jesus is he can read your thoughts. He can see not only what you say, but he can pop your thought bubble and know what's really in your heart. I want to talk about thought bubbles today. Jesus overheard what they said and told Jairus, "Don't be afraid; just believe". It depends on how you hear that, whether you hear it as being something that he said as a cliché or whether you hear it as something that he said to keep Jairus' faith alive in the moment. It was about to die, because there's a crowd around. He's hearing all of these voices. "Why bother? Why bother"? And so are you.
Conspiracy theories… Some of y'all eat conspiracy theories for breakfast. I'm telling you, it's a terrible time to try to listen to the crowd. Now this is amazing. When I saw it in the text, I got so excited. Not only did Jesus do the first contact tracing when he said, "Who touched me"? when he felt a contact with the woman with the issue of blood, but Jesus… Watch this. Verse 37: "He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James". Long before the NBA had a bubble… My dumb self. Do you know how dumb I am? When they said they're putting the NBA in a bubble, I thought of SpongeBob. That's how dumb I am. For five seconds, I thought they were… Did you think that too? You won't admit it. I bet if I could see your thought bubbles, you didn't know either.
Well, Jesus knew something very important, that sometimes there is a benefit to a bubble. Not everything belongs outside the bubble. Ask Joseph. He told his brothers, "Hey, man, God showed you something". His brothers busted his bubble so quickly. They threw him in a pit. Some things are best left in the bubble. Some things don't need to be posted right now. Some things need to be prayed about. Some things need to go through wise counsel. Some things are best left in the bubble. Keep it in the bubble.