Steven Furtick - Silencing Negativity
It means Jesus knew what would happen to you in your childhood before he called you into this season of your own parenting. It means Jesus knew you would be at church today, because somebody dragged you, so he could get you this word that he needs you to hear. He knew! God knows. We say that almost like a cussword. "God knows". "Oh, God knows when the kids are going to be back in school full time. God knows when the alpha/beta/gamma/delta variants are all going to pass through and we can all go back. God knows who's going to be in the White House". God knows what's going to happen on the sea. One time, he sent the disciples ahead of him into a storm and stayed back and prayed. I said, he sent them into a storm. I said, he sent them into a storm! "Oh, well, maybe he didn't know it was going to… Maybe he didn't check the weather before he sent them out".
His word is the weather forecast. Ask Elijah. Elijah said, "It's not going to rain until I say so from the word of God that comes from my mouth". If Elijah, the prophet, had that kind of power over nature, what kind of power does Jesus have over the situations of your life? He's God. He's sovereign. He's the Bread of Life. He's the solid rock, and he's the living water. Oh yeah. The solid rock. We sing about, "On Christ the solid rock I stand". Absolutely. He's a firm foundation. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. God doesn't change like the shadows change. God doesn't change like your best friend changes. God doesn't change like your hair color changes. God doesn't change like cultural climates change, but the same God who could be called the solid rock is also the living water. He was standing by the sea because he wanted to teach you that real faith not only has to be solid; it has to be fluid. Why did he teach on a body of water?
Well, first, because the storm will help you learn the lesson, but secondly, the same way that sea operates is the same way faith operates, which is why I think he liked fishermen to be his disciples. See, a fisherman has to know that the fish that were here an hour ago might not be here an hour from now. The fish that weren't here an hour ago might be here now. To follow Jesus is to flow with Jesus. What better place for him to call a disciple than standing by the lake? See, Jesus hasn't even said anything yet, and he's already preaching. He's already preaching just by where he's standing. He's standing by the lake, and he's like, "Hey, everybody, look. Before I open my mouth… Do you see this? Do you see how it's calm right now? It might not be calm tomorrow. Life is like that, but you can trust me. You need an anchor for your soul". Remember, men can communicate with nonverbals.
So, Jesus is standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, Chinnereth, the harp. He's going to play this lake like an instrument. He's going to conduct the wind and the waves like a symphony to bring these disciples to greater faith. Jesus is conducting even the conflict of my life. Jesus says, "Waves, that's enough". They got this lesson. In fact, he might speak it to you right now if you listen. "Peace, be still". Waves die down at his command because he has all authority. Even the wind and the waves obey him. Even the wind and the waves obey the one who was standing by the lake. They were crowded around listening to the word of God. Then verse 2 says… So, he stood in verse 1, but watch this. Verse 2: "He saw…" "He saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen…" In this way, Jesus is like Holly. He had options. I don't think sometimes we take that into account. God could have given somebody else those kids to raise. Two boats. (That would be a good rapper name. We have Lil Yachty, and we could have "Two Boats".) "He saw two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets".
I don't want to use that yet, but I want to point it out to you. They were washing their nets. It was over for the night. The reason I'm going to move past that is because I need to show you verse 3. "He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon…" Peter is going to preach on the day of Pentecost, but he's still Simon at this moment. Peter is going to give his life for the gospel of Jesus Christ. History tells us he died as a martyr. He's going to write two epistles, 1 and 2 Peter. Appropriately titled, don't you think? Not 1 and 2 Simon…1 and 2 Peter. That's the potential of who he can be. Cephas in the Hebrew. Petros in the Greek. Rock. Little rock, not big rock. That's Jesus. "On this rock I will build my church". Big rock. Little rock: Peter. Peter is the pebble skipping across the Sea of Galilee to create a ripple effect of the gospel that would carry to us today. But he's not even Peter the pebble yet. He's still Simon.
I have to make a confession to y'all. I'm still Steven. I know I need to be Pastor for at least about 25 more minutes. And I'm not a hypocrite. I don't go home and kick the dog. I've already told you I don't have a dog. I'm not getting one. (She said, "Yet". False prophet on the front row. Security!) Y'all, he got in and then asked him to put out a little from shore. Isn't that the opposite order? Look at verse 3. You need to see this. He got into Peter's boat and then asked him if he could use it. I'm thinking protocol is the other way around. Do you see what I'm saying? Go get into a car after church, and then ask the person if it's all right if you drive it, and see how it works out. My mind says it must already be his. When Graham came in to see me today and said, "Oh, I like your jacket," I said, "I like your slides". I said, "But those look like mine". He said, "No, I got them from Elijah". I said, "Turn it over". It was mine. He said, "That's crazy. When I asked Elijah if I could borrow it, he said, 'Get your own drip,' but he actually got it out of your closet".
Here's the point I'm trying to say: your boat is borrowed. Any drip you have, any intelligence you have…in fact, every breath you have… That's why we praise him: because the breath is borrowed. If you've ever been in the hospital, you get a new appreciation. The breath is borrowed. So now let everything that has breath give it back. "It's your boat, God". I'm going to give you 21 seconds to give it back. Some people didn't see 2021, but look at you, you survivor! You're a survivor. "It was shaky, but I made it! It was wavy, but I made it! It was windy, but he picked me up"! If you can't shout, at least nod. Just nod like this. Nod up. Nod down. Nod all around. Shake it back and forth. "No, Devil, you can't have it". Shake your head like this. "You can't have my kids! You can't have my house! You can't have my peace! You can't have my brain, Devil! It's God's boat". Nod if I'm talking to you. You don't even have to let anybody know what you're nodding about. Just nod at your neighbor. Say, "Yeah, he did it. He got in my boat, and I'm still Simon".
I think the challenge is… How can you believe you have the potential to be Peter when you act so much like Simon? The inner Simon. Let me show you another Scripture. Just say, "I'm still Simon". You're either Simon or you're lying. One connotation of Simon is it's like a reed. It means he hears. It's so funny, because Simon's name means he listens, but he's in trouble only when he's talking. "We fished all night and caught nothing". Shut up, Simon. Maybe that's what I'll call the message: "Shut up, Simon". Sometimes I need my Simon on the inside, the one who's always saying, "Oh, you're so stupid, and you're so weak. Look at you. You're so dumb, and everything is so horrible…" "Let's just play the quiet game. All right, Simon. Let's find a game on your iPad. You shut up, because Peter has a purpose to accomplish". I need to flow right now with God and follow Jesus in this season of my life, and I can't be this little child anymore who's always listening to my screaming, emotional 5-year-old in the back seat, telling me to pull over.
"We can't do it, because it's too hard. Nobody appreciates me". Be quiet, Simon. Is that better? Be quiet, Simon. Shut up, Simon. Let Peter preach. There's a Peter in me too. Pebble, rock, firm. It's small, but it's solid. Then there's Simon. The Scripture I want to show you is Luke 22. I was looking at it, because I wanted to break it down where you could really get it. Not just go, "Oh, that's nice," but really get it. When Jesus was eating Passover with his disciples before he went to Jerusalem… Remember, Jerusalem is where he died. The Sea of Galilee, Chinnereth, harp…that's where he lived. That's where he ministered. That's where he based, but Jerusalem is where he was always headed. Where his ministry started is not where it finished, and where your life starts is not where it finishes either, Simon. In order to get to his purpose, he had to go through a kind of death. For Peter to rise, Simon kind of had to die, yet here's what's interesting. Jesus is speaking to this disciple, one of the three church fathers. He's the reason the church is here today, really, because of what he did for the Gentiles, those of us who are not Jews by ethnicity, but we're in Christ. Spiritually, we're grafted in.
That's what started me studying. I was studying how when Peter took the gospel to the Gentiles, he didn't want to do it, because Simon was telling him, "This is not who you should preach to. This is not in the realm of your experience. This is not in your family background. This is not for you". But God knew how to pull the Peter out of Simon. God knows how to pull the grown man out of you, the grown woman out of you, the patience out of you, the fortitude out of you, the discipline out of you. He knows how to pull the Peter out of Simon. But even after Jesus changed his name to Peter… I don't have time to show you that. Jesus said, "Who do you say I am"? He said, "You're the Christ, the Son of the living God". Jesus said, "You are Peter". "I am"? "You are". Pebble. "And upon this rock I'll build my church. You're a pebble. You're made of the same stuff as me. You're made in the image of God. You're Peter".
You don't even know what you're made of yet. When people tell you, "Oh, just do you…" That would be fine if you knew you. One day, I'm going to preach a message called "Do the New You". If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. When people say, "Do you," we use that as an excuse. "Oh, throw a temper tantrum. Do you. Just be however you are. Do you". Are you still taking advice from your fifth-grade yearbook, "Raise hell over the summer and never change"? No, I'm changing, like the sea is changing. I'm changing like the seasons are changing. God is pulling the Peter, the solid, out of the Steven. He doesn't hate Simon. He said, "You are Peter". Deeper in you, there is purpose. On the surface, there is stuff that keeps you from seeing it.
"But, God, what do you see in me? Beneath the sand of Steven, beneath the sand of Simon…feelings and paths and pain and trauma…what do you see in me"? Jesus said, "You're Peter. That confession you made, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God'? You know who I am, and I'm going to show you who you are, because you don't even know yet". This is a grown man, and he's just discovering who he is. Who told you that's all you could be? I don't let anybody tell me what I can do because I'm white or because I'm short or because I'm 41 or because I'm a man or because I'm from Moncks Corner. You don't get to tell me that. What you see on me might have nothing to do with what God sees in me.