Pivotal Decisions (Put A Purpose On It) | Maybe: God | Pastor Steven Furtick


today I want to share with you in this
part two on the subject of pivotal decisions pivotal decisions I’m going to
judges 13 I don’t know if I’ll get there in the next few minutes so if you don’t
know where Judges is in the Bible you’re gonna have a good head start if
you prefer to just look at the screen that’s okay too but I wonder as I get
started how many of you right now are in the middle of making a big decision for
your life would you raise your hand if you’re in the middle of making a big
decision for your life and keep it up keep it up so what are you gonna do how
are you gonna you gonna do like pros and cons or you’re gonna like flip a coin if
it comes to that you got a plan for this you’re gonna you know do like ask a lot
of people till somebody tells you what you want to hear like we all do you
know just keep asking people till you get the answer that you want it so they
can confirm the thing that you were going to do all along anyway now you
wasted everybody’s time just asking them stuff that you already knew what you’re
gonna do what’re you gonna do you’re gonna like just stress eat and put it off to the
last minute that’s always a good plan I like that I like to just watch Netflix
instead personally put it off until the last minute and then make the decision
when the pressures on the crazy thing is when I say that a big decision a lot of
the decisions that you make you don’t know if they’re big or not when you’re
making them this is why I need God so much because not only can I not make the
big decisions right without him but I don’t even know which ones are big
unless he tells me because you know big decisions we get caught up where we’re
gonna get married me and Holly spent so many weeks thinking about that
like the big decision of where we were going to have our wedding you know what
it didn’t really matter as much as some other things what was important about
our marriage was like how are we gonna resolve conflict y’all don’t want to
talk to me today y’all were singing so good and then I
started preaching and y’all went to sleep and the big decisions you know
it’s not always the ones that you think are big and that’s why I prefer the term
pivotal decisions because a big decision is not necessarily what city you’re
gonna live in that’s a big one I get it but a bigger decision for us was
what church are we gonna go to because out of the church that we attended
that’s where we made the relationships that were really instrumental and the
will of God was accomplished in our life not by just what city we lived in but
and it’s funny how people will move for a job or they’ll move for a school but
they’ll put church at the bottom of the list and then kind of find one but I
think the pivotal things are sometimes not what we consider to be the big
things and that’s confusing pivotal you know what I mean like I guess cuz its
all-star weekend I don’t play basketball I don’t even really like basketball
I was always terrible at it I wrestled a little bit played a little baseball but
um when I watch basketball I always see them pivot I always see that their
ability to pass you know without traveling without getting called it’s
all from this foot that they pivot on and I’m not going to demonstrate it
for you because again I’m not very athletic but when I watch them pivot I
notice like well that’s pretty important and the only way that they can pivot is
if they’re planted and I’m gonna preach that in about 28 minutes but hang on I’m
coming to judges 13 and I noticed that you know pivoting is not only for
athletes it’s also for politicians and I’ll be honest with you as a preacher I
get it because sometimes you get asked the weirdest questions the weirdest most
unanswerable most non-germane question so sometimes I’ll be doing a Q&A or something
and someone will ask me you know what kind of horse is Jesus coming back on
and there’s really no way to answer that without
making them look dumb or you know cuz it is a dumb question but I love people and
the sheep and so I’m like well you know that’s a great question
and regardless of what horse he comes on I think what’s important is that we have
a sense of urgency see how I just and now you don’t feel dumb and I don’t have
to answer your question and so we all win because I know how to pivot touch
somebody say the power is in the pivot let’s go to judges 13 are you ready cuz
you got some big decisions you’re making and then you’ve got some decisions that
you don’t think are very big but they’re pivotal like how you start your day
that’s not a big decision but it’s pivotal because how you start your day
watch it’s a directional decision watch watch me this is directional so
I’m not watch watch watch I’m not moving much it’s not a big move I’m still
standing where I was but I get a completely different perspective when I
pivot the Lord has really been speaking to me I can tell you want Him to speak
to you too and it means that sometimes it’s the small moves that set the
direction the small moves that set the direction and frankly a lot of the
biggest things about your life will be decided outside of your volition and
will anyway God is so much bigger than your decisions I know you’re very
successful in your business but you and I both know that the culmination of
everything that happened to you was bigger than you just made good decisions
I mean because honestly you made some really bad ones too and even if you
didn’t even if you only make good decisions you wouldn’t have even
you wouldn’t have even had the opportunity to make those decisions if God didn’t
position you where he positioned you God is bigger than my bad decisions
you know it’s not like God is just a synonym for good decisions you know
being in the will of God the will of God and I want to ask you this question is your
view of the will of God big enough to accommodate even your bad decisions and
that’s what I want to look at judges 13 is a passage of Scripture that you’ve
never heard a single sermon on before I polled at least 30 people this week none
of them have heard it and all of them went to Vacation Bible School and grew
up going to Wednesday night church so if they didn’t hear it you didn’t either
but the Bible says in judges 13 verse 1 remember in a pivotal time for the
nation of Israel a pivotal time because they were in a cycle of sin judgment and
deliverance a pivotal time because they didn’t have a king and they didn’t
really want God to be their king so God would keep having to raise up different
people to lead them and deliver them from the hands of their enemies the
Canaanites and parasites and Hittites and the Philistines the Phoenician
people who were good at metalworking so they always had a lot of weapons and
they were moving in on the coast and they were ruling them but very loosely
now this is the the pivotal moment for the nation of Israel and the Bible says
again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord so the Lord delivered
them into the hands of the Philistines stop you always hear about God
delivering us out of things but here your Bible says that God delivered them
into the hands of an enemy and use their enemy I don’t know if your theology is
about to break wide open and something’s gonna fall out on the floor let’s get
the ushers ready in case your brain just melts right there but God didn’t deliver
them out of the hands of their enemies but the same God who is able to deliver
you out of the hands of your enemies the Bible says that at least the perspective
of the writer Samuel was who we preached about last week that God delivered them
into the hands of their enemies that’s interesting to me
I don’t have a category for that but God is bigger than my categories I’m learning
that I’m learning that so he did it for 40 years and a certain man of Zorah
named Manoah from the clan of the Danites had a wife who was childless
unable to give birth remember that bareness in antiquity was
a signal or a sign of the displeasure of God it didn’t mean the displeasure of
God but they perceived it to mean that so it brought with it a great stigma a
certain man of Zorah named Manoah from the clan of the Danites had a wife who
was childless unable to give birth the angel of the Lord appeared to her and
said you are barren and childless but you are going to become pregnant and
give birth to a son now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented
drink and that you do not eat anything unclean you will become pregnant and
have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor and my dad was a
barber so that verse offends me because it would have taken money out of my
family’s pocket but anyway because here’s the reason the boy is to be a
Nazarite and the Nazarites don’t cut their hair they don’t drink alcohol they
don’t touch anything dead that’s the basics of being a Nazarite in case you
were thinking about doing it just that’s what you would do if you were going to
be a Nazarite he is to be dedicated to God from the womb he will take the lead
in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines which God delivered them
into so that he could deliver them from what was in them that caused him to get
in this cycle to begin with and he’s gonna use this child to deliver them out
I love your word Lord thank you for thank you for what you’re showing me now
now this is where it gets really really really good because then everybody say
then the woman whose name we don’t know who’s talking to a man whose name isn’t
given these unnamed people have a conversation and the woman went to her
husband and told him a man of God came to me he looked like
an angel of God very awesome I’m gonna be like holdup man coming
talking to my wife anyway you know because he didn’t have wings or a harp
how we think God shows up she’s like I think it was a maybe like an angel it
was kind of you know because that’s how it is
when you hear from God it’s kind of like I think this might be this may be God I
don’t know I mean like it looked like it felt like it was different I don’t know
it’s just different I don’t know I’m not sure and she’s telling her husband
because it’s always revealed in the context of relationship I didn’t ask him
where he came from he didn’t tell me his name but he said to me you will become
pregnant uh-huh so this awesome looking man came
to my wife and said what I love the Bible though I love the Bible he said
you’ll be pregnant and have a son now then drink no wine or other fermented
drink and do not eat anything unclean because the boy will be a Nazarite of
God from the womb until the day of his death then Manoah his name means resting
place prayed to the Lord um pardon your servant Lord I don’t mean
to bother you I know you got a universe to run and all that but I beg you let the
man of God you sent to us because I didn’t get to see him let him come again
yeah you could just send him back for a few minutes I got a few questions I need
to ask him I need him to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born so I
need you to speak to me cuz you know how you need God to speak to you and show
you how I want to talk about the plan that’s the first thing I want to mention
is the plan because I understand that that God wants to use me but I need to
know what that’s going to look like you understand I need some details I
need some specifics I need some marching orders I need some dates some times some
instructions so please Lord if it’s if it’s not too much trouble send that guy
back and he said we were gonna have a son that was gonna like change the world
and stuff but I need to hear it for myself and I need to know the plan any
planners in the house any planners any planners any planners thank God for you
thank God for you because all the people without their hand up they always come
late and make the worship leaders lead to the first two rows and it’s empty and
they come crawling in last minute but I don’t hate you in the back but I’m just saying
thank God for the planners but it can become a problem and I’m gonna show you
why I’m gonna show you why he said we need to know the plan if it’s gonna be
this big thing you know if you gave us this promise I need to know the plan cuz
without a plan the promise is just abstract rhetoric without
the plan I can know God has for me he wants to use me and spread the gospel
and all that sounds good but just send him back if I could get five minutes
with this awesome looking man who was talking to my wife and told her she was
about to get pregnant I need to know the plan now I love the next phrase God
heard Manoah God heard Manoah isn’t it interesting that the woman wasn’t
praying to get pregnant when the angel said it was gonna happen I don’t know if
she gave up I don’t know if she did pray I don’t know if she didn’t pray Bible
doesn’t say it doesn’t matter and then Manoah’s begging God to show up
and speak to him you know God initiates we respond God initiates we
respond but God heard Manoah and when Manoah prayed God didn’t say figure it
out yourself and trust me instead he obliged Manoah’s
need for more information let the person next to you know something real quick
and it might sound cocky but tell him anyway it’s true say he hears me
God hears me he hears me better than Siri and Alexa he hears me he hears me
he knows my voice he likes when I call him when I say help he says yes before I
can even get out my mouth he hears me he hears my groans where words don’t come
he hears me he hears my heart and the secret petitions of things that people
don’t know that I’m dealing with he hears me he hears the unspoken did you
go to youth group and we used to say I haven’t unspoken he hears what I don’t
say he hears what’s behind what I said that’s really driving the behavior he
hears me he hears my secret frustration that I don’t say around people because
if I told him how frustrated I was it would scare him but he hears me he hears
me when I sing to him when I tell him worthy is the Lamb of God he hears me I
know there’s better singers than me and I know I don’t always sing on key but he
hears me when I sing thank you Jesus he hears me it blesses his heart to hear me
and the angel of God came again to the woman wait-wait-wait-wait-wait to the
woman Manoah asked for the visit and this angel is back out talking to his
wife because God is not going to do it like you want him to do it he’s gonna
want to see will you trust him so the angel God came again to the woman while
she was out in the field but her husband Manoah was not with her and the woman hurried
to tell her husband he’s here the man who appeared to me the other day Manoah
got up and followed his wife and when he came to the man he said are you the man
who talked to my wife hold on let me change Manoah’s accent are you the man
who talked to my wife she said an awesome-looking man
came and said that she was gonna be pregnant was that you angel said I am
so Manoah asked him when your words are fulfilled I don’t doubt you’re going to do
it I just need to know the plan what is to be the rule that governs the boy’s life
and work how do we do this how do we do this we had a meeting this week about
the church and I know what I want to see but I don’t know the plan for it and so a
lot of times when I get in that mode I start trying to like tweak stuff and I
start trying to manipulate stuff I know you don’t do this but I’m a control
freak and so I’ll be like well we could do this this and this and it’s all good
it’s all good but I want you to watch what the angel does instead of giving Manoah the plan which is what he asked for what do we do with this boy that you
said is going to be born that’s gonna do something great what do I do with this
calling what do I do in this situation I need to know the
plan I need to know the details I need to know the agenda and the Bible says
that the angel verse 13 answered your wife so now the angel pivots from what
Manoah asked to what he needed to know right
now now sometimes when you pray to God he’s going to pivot and you’re gonna be
like I need the plan but God will pivot I mean this angel would have made a
great politician or preacher or basketball player he could have been in
the all star game because watch how quick he pivots we need to know what to
do when the boy is born what’re we gonna do how we gonna raise him how are we gonna
how many times huh you know Manoah’s s full of questions right of
course he is do we need to put him in a special school do we need to get him a
tutor do we need to teach him karate do we need to teach him jiu jitsu you know
should we be strict should be what are we doing how do we do and the angel
says just tell your wife right now don’t drink anything or eat anything unclean
that’s all you need no right now the pivot from what you think you need
to know to what you really need to know and God just watch his footwork see we
always want to see God’s hand but sometimes you gotta watch his feet
because sometimes he wants to set a different direction to say you’re not
even looking at the right side of this watch the pivot and when he pivots you
got to be quick to go with him and say God I don’t want your hand I want your
face I want to know you I want to seek you I want to see you I want to feel you
I want to know you I want to have you I wanna I want to understand what you know
I need to understand and I wonder is God trying to pivot your prayer life is God
trying to pivot your strategizing is God trying to pivot because you’re always
trying to look for him in logic you’re always trying to look for him in
analysis and in calculation but God is spirit and you can’t get the spirit
through strategy you’ve got to come to God like this you’ve got to come to God
with open arms open hands and an open heart it’s the pivot it’s a funny thing about a
pivot though it’s a small move but it sets a completely different direction Manoah you can’t handle the plan right now
you can’t my word is a lamp unto your feet a light unto your path funny thing
about pivot I’ve been doing this all week just studying this sermon just
trying to get God to show me different ways to see situations and to see his will
and what I think is his will and what I thought was his will and I thought he
was always doing this but sometimes he’s doing that and they get this promise this is from the Lord you know he didn’t realize that at first but he starts to
sense he starts to sense that this may be God this may be God it’s too
big to be anything I could do I don’t have a plan for it I don’t have a context
for it I don’t know it may be God this is the Lord this is from the Lord
this gift set that I have this talent this child that I’m raising this
is from the Lord somebody say this is from the Lord and so since it’s from the
Lord then I need him to show me how to do it but sometimes he won’t answer the
question that I asked instead he will give me the wisdom that I need because
he knows a better question my faith is not a formula and I’m not good at
pivoting with my feet I don’t do it a lot so I had to practice it and I’m
still not very good at it but um I want to get good at it with my faith I want to
learn to pivot and this is where it happens for Manoah and his wife and
you’re gonna see it in the text it’s just gonna blow up when you see it it’s
gonna help you understand why you’ve been trying to classify everything in
your life you know this is good and this is bad and this is God and this is the
devil and this is it and this is that and you keep trying to do that but it
doesn’t work and here’s why he said uh Manoah said to the angel we would like
you to stay until we prepare a young goat for you we want to cook you a goat
I make a delicious goat kebab and I’d like you to stay and eat it because it’s
hospitality it’s appropriate and we appreciate you coming by to encourage us
so stay we’re gonna do it appreciate and the words and the angel of the Lord replied
even though you detain me I will not eat any of your food I’m not gonna do it
your way you’re dealing with God now so you’re not gonna do it like you do it
with humans it’s gonna be different it’s gonna be different terms it’s
gonna be a whole different thing this time it’s not gonna be all up here and
what you think you should do it’s gonna have to come from a different place this
is the pivot this is the pivot and he said um but if you prepare a burnt
offering offer it to the Lord see the pivot it’s not about this it’s
about this and I wonder if we would start deflecting some of the stuff in
our life and say you know this is from the Lord this is not from me so I need
God to do it through me I cannot do it by myself this is from the Lord somebody
shout this is from the Lord this is from the Lord but if you prepare a burnt
offering offer it to the Lord I love this in parentheses Manoah did not realize it
was the angel of the Lord maybe maybe and then Manoah inquired of the angel
of the Lord what’s your name so we may honor you when your word comes true and he
replied this is the most anointed verse I’ve read in the last five years why do
you ask my name it is beyond understanding that’s the pivot that’s
where you find God beyond what you can understand and so everything you can
name that’s not God everything you can explain that’s not God everything you
can figure out on your own and you can make it work and you can do it it worked
for a little while but everything you can’t name that’s God and we’ve been
looking for a name for God that’s why we need so many and that’s why he had to
tell Moses in a very special way I am because I need to leave room for you to
know that when you get past the point of your ability to reconcile your situation
when you get beyond your ability to work it out that’s where I am that’s where I
live that’s where I dwell in the mystery in the uncertainty in the tension beyond
your understanding and we keep trying to find God in our
logic but he is not found with logic he is beyond your logic
then Manoah took a young goat and together with the grain offering and
sacrificed it on a rock to the Lord and since the word came from the Lord I’m
gonna make the offering to the Lord and since my breath came from the Lord
I’m gonna offer it back to the Lord and since this situation came from the Lord
I’m gonna need the Lord to deal with it I can’t do it on my own and the Lord did
something amazing while Manoah and his wife watched as the flame blazed up from
the altar toward the heaven the angel of the Lord ascended into flame he was not
found in the logic he was found in the flame not in figuring it out but in the
fire of sacrifice and needing God that’s where you’re gonna find him that’s where
you’re gonna get it that’s where you’re gonna unlock it that’s where it’ll be
unleashed I wish I could preach about Jesus for 30 seconds right now because
see all my hope is in his blood all my faith is in his cross all my
righteousness is in his sacrifice and when the flames went up the revelation
came through and he was like uh he was like Manoah was like uh I think we just
saw God cuz when the angel of the Lord did not
show himself again verse 21 to Manoah and his wife Manoah realized that it was the angel of the Lord
we’re gonna die he said to his wife we’ve seen God but his wife answered if he
meant to kill us if God was out to get you
you’d be got that’s how I know he still has mercy for
my mistakes cuz I already made enough if he was gonna squash me for screwing up
I’d be a bug on this stage if the Lord had meant to kill us he would have done it he
wouldn’t have accepted the offering he would have wiped us out he
wouldn’t have shown us all these things he wouldn’t have shown you all these things he
wouldn’t have seen you through all these things look at all he’s shown you look
at how many times you were off the path and somehow he got you back look at
all the times you were going this way and something just you know he just
turned stuff around on me just like you couldn’t do it and and you were making
all these plans for it but it was the pivot that brought you back and the
woman gave birth 24 to a boy I forgot to tell you this and named him Samson I forgot
to tell you the guy that got the haircut you remember cuz we always want to
remember people by their worst decisions but Samson the strong one who was
bench pressing 305 in seventh-grade Samson
this is how it started and a lot of people didn’t know that because all they
ever saw was his head in Delilah’s lap but it was decisions it was
decisions it was decisions and you have a destiny but you get to make decisions
and God is sovereign but you’re responsible and so how you process your
desires and your decisions right now is really critical so she has a baby
she names him Samson and the Lord blessed him he grew biceps triceps lats
and delts about all the names of the quadriceps calf muscles it’s about all I
know and the Lord blessed him and the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him
while he was in Man- I pronounced that wrong he was in this place now he’s growing up and it’s going good
and God’s hand is on this boy’s life he’s a star
football player he learned to ride his bike at the age of three good
things have happened then the pivot then the pivot now if you just if you just
watch my feet and don’t think about it you go like well what’s the big deal
about the pivot well see you don’t really know how big the move is until
you walk it out because if I walk this way and if I kept walking that way it
would be a different a completely if I but but if I if I walk this way and all I
did was this it’s a small move but it sets the direction and that’s what’s
happening in your life when you decide like how to speak to people when you
decide like whether or not you’re gonna whether you’re gonna come back next
weekend to church it’s a small decision but it sets the direction when you
decide am I gonna tithe and put God first oh yeah I’m gonna put tithing in the
sermon series I’m gonna put it in because it’s a decision it is the will
of God for you to put him first and when you decide like I’m gonna do that it
sets a direction to seek God first when you decide like you know what I’m
gonna text my wife I’m gonna text her and tell her I’m gonna be
home at a certain time and I’m actually gonna be home at that time it’s a little
decision but it sets the direction because when you set a direction you
know I can count on you and you’re gonna do it when you show up and eat with your
family that’s not a big decision we want big decisions big things from God no no
it’s the pivotal decisions it’s just it’s the little things that you do that
set the direction for your day and for your decade
and even for generations to come now it’s all going good until one day
chapter 14 verse 1 says that Samson pivoted and went down to Timnah went down
to Timnah not very far from where he was living at
the time but when he got there he saw a young Philistine woman who was he
supposed to deliver his people from so now he’s in love with what he’s called
to defeat and he has a desire have you got some desires that don’t look
anything like Bible verses just at least one or two I do he saw this young woman
this is not Delilah that’s the only woman we ever talked about in Samson’s
life you know that combed his hair and set him up and got his eyes gouged out
that’s in chapter 16 we’re not even close to that yet this
is just his pivotal moment some of you were in a pivotal moment right now
deciding things and he came back and said to his father and mother
verse 2 I have seen a Philistine woman oh by the way the key verse in the book
of Judges says many many different times I don’t know how many but it says at
least three times they did what was right in their own eyes and so Samson
says I saw with my senses I saw my senses my feelings my my emotions I saw
a Philistine woman in Timnah now get her for me as my wife and his father and
mother replied think how heartbreaking this is he’s on the path he’s growing
he’s being blessed the Spirit of the Lord is stiring him oh it’s just like I thought it
was gonna be you know I graduated college I got the job I did the thing
and then all of a sudden life will just pivot on you and the kid was so cute so
cute until they started saying words so cute till they start saying mine you
know not just with children but things in our life that just all of a sudden
like it’s headed this way it’s headed this way
oh trust in the Lord with all your heart lean not on your own
understanding I hear you proverbs 3:5 and 6 in all
your ways acknowledge him and and you know I didn’t drink the
fermented drink like the angel said I didn’t eat the unclean food and so and
he’s doing right and all of a sudden Samson said I saw something in Timnah
whoa come back and now watch this the destiny of the nation is
threatened by Samson’s bad decision and the parents are like please please make
a better decision please quit hanging out with those friends please I’m
telling you it’s dangerous I’m telling you it’s wrong because the Philistines
were known for child sacrifice the Philistines were known for worshipping
other gods the Philistines were known for very abusive practices that
were contrary to the Word of God and his father and mother replied isn’t there an
acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people must you go to the
uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife but Samson had already made his decision
and now this child I’m just thinking as a parent who had so much promise so much
potential needs a haircut but even that’s intentional now he’s making the
dumbest decision he could possibly make to run to what he’s supposed to be
delivering the people from and they can’t convince him now this is where it
gets tricky because it’s hard enough to make your own good decisions then you
start you start throwing in the decisions that other people make that
you can’t affect or control no matter how hard you try and everybody who
writes parenting books I want to give them just one bad kid and see what they
still write it the same way because all this seven ways to raise
your kid with the you know from the Book of Ruth whatever I’ll give you one demon
child with a strong will and you will burn your own book get out of my face
because some stuff you can’t control hello he was determined he was determined he
was already he was already gone so they went with him and this is the
pivotal moment of my message this is the part God showed me that got
me so excited because everyone in here knows what it is to have the plan that
you made right in your head the model that you had that doesn’t match the life
that you’re living and now all of a sudden Samson whose name means son
Samson who’s radiant Samson who’s blessed Samson who’s strong Samson who
carries the expectation of the deliverance of the nation on his
shoulders is making a dumb decision and it doesn’t have to be a kid and it
doesn’t have to be a spouse it doesn’t have to be a relationship at all you are
going to go into some situations in your life that you will pray about plead
about and plan about and none of it will work and you will be faced with
the question now now what do I do I want to suggest that when this happens that
you consider the parenthesis there’s a little thing that Samuel
put in to the record and he was writing this record long after the events had
happened and all Samson’s parents knew was this is trouble if he marries her
it’s gonna lead to all kinds of clashing values if he goes through with this
because that’s all we know when we’re in it is our plan but watch how
the text pivots with a parenthetical insert have you studied any grammar
books lately the parenthesis is when you want to put something in the sentence
but the sentence makes sense without it but you add it in to give additional
information that might be helpful to the person reading it but the
sentence would make sense without it but the parentheses in judges
chapter 14 verse 4 says his parents did not know that this was from the Lord
they knew Sampson was from the Lord because the angel spoke it and her womb
was barren so the only way it could have happened was that it was from the Lord
but now they’ve got to look at a disappointment look it’s no problem to
look at your gifts your blessings and your strengths and say this is from the
Lord I praise you for another day how great and mighty you are and I lift your
name on high but this this have you ever had to walk through a situation where
you thought really God this like I didn’t drink any wine and I didn’t eat
any unclean foods and I did everything the angel told me and now this you’re
really gonna let this break out in my life and the author said yeah this
was from the Lord because he was seeking an occasion the Hebrew really means he
was picking a fight God wanted to set his people free from the phoenicians
from the Philistines and he was gonna do it but he wanted to do it not through a
good decision but through a bad decision so watch what he does because he’s
sovereign and almighty and the Lord is his name and he is beyond understanding
and his ways no man can fathom watch what he does he uses Samson’s dumb
decision to deliver a nation now if he did that for Samson won’t he do it for
you won’t he use this too the more things
that I can look at my life and say this is from the Lord look he didn’t give me
my verse again verse 4 it’s so good and it’s in parentheses because the
sentence will make sense without it but your life will not make sense without
this try to make sense of it you need to put a parentheses on it and be like
there’s something that the author knows that I don’t know of yet and he who began
I’m looking for whoever God gave me this sermon for cuz it couldn’t have just
been me touch somebody say put a purpose on it put a purpose on it because when
you find yourself beyond your understanding
you gotta pivot to the purpose God I don’t like this right now I don’t get
this right now I can’t explain this right now I can’t rationalize it right
now but if you started it you’ll finish it there is power in the pivot there is
power in praise and there is a purpose in your situation there’s a purpose in
it there’s a purpose in it God’s trying to pick a fight with the devil and he wants
to break some things free and shut some things down and get some things through
and he’s gonna use this too this is from the Lord I’m making a decision right now
a pivotal decision I’m gonna turn from facing this and I’m facing this I’m
gonna turn from what I don’t understand to the God who according to the mystery
of his will has predestined according to his good pleasure that all
things work together for his purpose I’m serving the God who could take an
instrument of death called a Roman cross hang on it and then get down in the
ground and come forth talking about I am resurrection power and I have the
keys of death hell and the grave I hear the Spirit of God saying put a
purpose on it I know you’re going through some pain and I know your past
was kind of rough and you made a lot of mistakes
but put a purpose on it God would you use even the dumb stuff that I did to
deliver your purpose this is bigger than me this is bigger than what I feel right
now this is bigger than what my mind can fathom this is bigger than what my
heart can know this is bigger than my senses this is bigger than my this is
bigger than this set back this is this is bigger this is bigger this is bigger
he called me he chose me and I’m gonna trust him that this is from the
Lord with a parenthetical insert the NIV translation committee decided to let us
know that there are some things that don’t make sense in your life but the
parentheses that’s where you see the purpose you just gotta pivot and trust
that it’s there even when you can’t fill it in yet now I don’t have to explain why
people in this room had children died husbands that left them addictions that
were passed on to them I’m not talking about whether God did that or not we
know that humans make decisions but God is a bigger God then you’ve given him
credit for and he’s above every human decision God is bigger than human
decisions and if Samson didn’t marry that woman the one that he wasn’t
supposed to marry yeah I know it’s crazy because we teach like if you make good
choices God can use your life I’m saying this too was from the Lord he was
looking for something he’s looking for something that he can work through and
he’ll even use the dumb stuff because if he didn’t marry this woman
right when he was going down to get her and to pay the dowry for her with his
parents and killed the lion and ripped the lion apart and then came back by
after he came back for the wedding and saw honey in the Lions carcass and gave
the honey which he wasn’t supposed to do cuz he wasn’t supposed to touch anything
dead and gave it to his parents then licked some and then went to the wedding
and sat around the table with thirty boys talking about I got a riddle for
you out of the strong came something to eat and out of the eater came something to
eat and out of the strong came something sweet if you can solve my riddle I’ll give you 30
sets of linen clothing but if you can’t solve it you’re gonna give me 30 sets of
clothing and the boys got to his wife and they were like tell us the riddle or
we’re gonna kill your whole family and then she was like tell me the riddle
Samson tell me the riddle and then he said okay well I’ll tell it to you but
don’t tell it to them but then she told it to them and then they solved the
riddle and then he had to go to Ashkelon to kill 30 men and beat them up and kill him to take their clothes to bring them back because of
his dumb decision but that’s what set him on a course to be able
to have an opportunity to then go back home and after the wedding he went back
home and he was so mad at his wife for betraying him that he went back home and
didn’t even stay with her and by the time he got back she’d been married to
another man because his father-in-law betrayed him because he
figured you’ll never want to marry her now after what she did to you but he came back
and got so mad that he took 300 foxes and tied their tails together in pairs
lit them on fire sent him loose in the Philistine fields and when they tore up
the fields the Philistines were mad but Samson killed them because he was strong
now he never would have killed him if they hadn’t hurt him and he never would
have been hurt by them if he hadn’t made the wrong decision and so it goes to
show that God is using everything if he never would have said the foxes loose
they never would’ve come to Judah and tied him up and tried to deliver him so
he could break him free and kill a thousand of them with the jawbone of a
donkey if it never would have happened the way it happened it couldn’t be what
it is so stop looking at what it was and ask God what he wants it to be God wants
to use the dumb stuff too you can’t control it anyway the Spirit of the Lord is
on you the Spirit of the Lord is on you if the lion comes to attack you he will
give you the ability to rip it open because the Spirit of the Lord is on you and
it’s a pivotal decision that you make when you find yourself in these
disappointing situations where it seems like you can’t win whether I’m going to
believe that there is a bigger picture or if I’m going to minimize God’s
presence to the level of my understanding right here right now let’s
turn it around let’s turn it around and instead of trying to tell God what’s
best for us and instead of trying to do what’s right in our own eyes let’s turn
it around instead of groveling in the guilt of
things that are already over I’m telling you God uses the weirdest things about
you God uses that big nose that you hate and that little habit that you have
he uses that because when he delivers you from it you could be a testimony and
he’s gonna use that too this is from the Lord how I don’t know I don’t know the plan but when I don’t know the plan I pivot
to the purpose and he’s working it all in he’s working it all in God help me
make better decisions in the future but use the dumb stuff too
that’s maybe the best prayer I ever pray God used the dumb stuff too
Father I bless and honor your great name today as together your people offer you
the reverence of our attention and our affection I don’t know what they did I
don’t know what was done to them I don’t know what they can’t control that’s going
down to Timnah today to make a dumb decision
I declare over their life that this is from the Lord even if you didn’t cause
it there is nothing you can’t use with everyone standing no one moving you can
pivot when you’re planted you can pivot when you’re planted when you know that
he spoke it you could be assured he will perform it God’s trying to turn your
attention to something greater than your pain greater than your insecurity
this is from the Lord it’s easy to say that when you’re holding Samson harder
to say when you can’t control him but Samuel put it in parentheses to let us
know this is what makes life make sense that this is from the Lord there’s
something bigger can’t tell you what it is right now but his name is beyond
understanding Father thank you for your sweet Holy Spirit that gently reminds us
of your love and compassion and concern for us I pray now that in this moment
you would administer the gifts of healing the portion of joy that belongs
to your children but has often been robbed we come against the thief now who
has come to cause them to face in the wrong direction we turn our eyes on you
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