Band started out strong with a cool dance number, I think its called All We Are but I can’t find an artist with it, complete with a dance cam. Good times.
This moved into a segment with everyone’s favorites, Josh Merrill & Chris Munch. The whole bit was about how they have decided they wanted to be worship leaders, and it was CHOCK FULL of some pretty solid WL zings. You could probably guess: skinny jeans, weird hair cuts, scarves, the usual suspects.
This moved into a video of their new genre-starting single (and the genre is Spoken Worship or just Wordship for short, catchy), “Calling All Artists.” This was GOLD. #HaveAMovement Watch it, you’ll get it.
Anyways, this rolled into Back to Life, into Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace), and finally into a mash up of This I Believe / Stronger (Bridge Only) / With Everything (only Whoa’s). The mash up was fantastic, great choice, a lil repetitive for my preference, but still very impactful.
Message Recap – Pastor Steven Furtick
Pastor Steven titled his message A Change of Command, focusing on themes like control, surrender, and inner healing. He started off in Luke 4:27-30, where Jesus speaks some truth to the church folk, they don’t like it and try and kill him. Nothing new, but the point was he mentioned this guy name Naaman, but we’ll get to him in a minute.
He spent a moment talking about control freaks and how they make great leaders but sometimes difficult people. Jesus was speaking directly to the control freaks in the synagogue. You can ask God to move, but don’t expect Him to do the exact way you see it happening.
Now back to Naaman in 2 Kings 5:1-14. Naaman was a general in the Syrian army (powerful person, strong, in control) but also had leprosy (horrible condition, painful and weakening). He kept his condition hidden so that he could continue to serve.
Pastor Steven asked this question:
Has your condition ever contradicted your calling?
I think we’ve all been in a place before where our hearts and our calling were not necessarily inline, but we still wanted to keep going out of duty, respect, desire to be good, etc. He then went into this section about how we all have learned to cover our “buts.” No, not butts, rather our “buts.” We are really good at covering the thing that should prevent us from doing the thing we do.
He went down an named some common contradictions (these are good people):
- I can preach, but I can’t control my appetite.
- I can preach, but I can’t control my temper.
- I can sing, but I struggle with my sexuality.
- I can get my church to respect me, but my wife resents me.
- I’m creative, but I’m too critical to be helpful.
We can use what we’re good at (our talents, gifts, abilities) to cover what we’re struggling with. He framed as looking under our armor. We can cover up our junk in public, but you can’t hide it in private, at home. The armor has to come off somewhere.
This was really good in regard to talent and character:
- Our talent can be the biggest enemy against our transformation. If you’re good enough, you can use your talent to talk you out of working on your issues.
- Some people are so good that they can get by on 30% just because they can. There’s no telling what they could do if they got over their stuff.
Once Naaman got to Elisha, he didn’t do what he expected. What he was told to do, go and wash 7 times and you’ll be good, seemed too easy, even beneath him. However, the greatest change agent for you might come to you as something that seems beneath you. I’ve been there.
Then Pastor Steven camped out on these simple 6 words to point out our tendency to presuppose things:
Verse 11 – “I thought that he would surely . . .”
Naaman’s presuppositions almost kept him from God’s blessing. In fact, if you think about Jesus, he would ask people what they wanted Him to do, but he NEVER asked them about how they wanted Him to do it.
Some of us are too busy telling God how we want him to do something we want him to do that we’re missing the fact that he’s doing what we’re asking in us. BOOM!
Just because it doesn’t fit the description of your plans doesn’t mean it isn’t God’s design.
- I thought our church would be bigger by now.
- I thought my salary would be bigger by now.
- I thought I’d be more important by now.
Been there too. Then he started turning it up towards the end:
- Don’t let your plans make you miss God’s purpose.
- Do you have your back turned on what God has prepared for you because it doesn’t feel like you wanted it to feel, or look like you wanted it to look?
- We tell ourselves that if we had a better opportunity we’d give a greater effort. This is a lie.
Simple obedience works, even when you don’t understand why you’re doing it.
- Sometimes, the things you want to get healed of, isn’t the thing you need healed the most.
- What Naaman needed the most wasn’t being healed of his leprosy, but rather to change the condition of his heart.
The bottom line, the undercurrent of this entire message has to be his final thought here:
God loves us beyond our gifts.
Amen and amen.