Stepping Into Liquid
June 23, 2013
There are times in life when we discover the essence of who we really are. There are moments when we gain a clear understanding of our purpose. It is these times we hope to capture, because this is when we realize the momentum we truly have.
In this series, Pastor Ed Young unleashes the truth about God’s plan for our lives that few dare to dream. And he shows us that the momentum in our lives is just the beginning of what is in store, because the journey ahead is greater than the path we have ridden to this point!
What’s up, Fellowship Church? How are you guys doing? One church in many different locations. You know I hope we never get weary of saying hi to all the different locations. Right now live we’re seen at our different campuses in Miami, South Miami and Midtown Miami. Congratulations on the NBA World Title. You know, I wish the Heat had some talent. They just don’t have any talent on the team. Also, Columbia, South Carolina. How are you guys in the dirty south? If you’ve never been to South Carolina you’re missing a treat. Beautiful, beautiful place, gorgeous country. Also, our online campus, we’ve had people to view us in over 119 different countries. Just with our online campus. That blows me away. Fort Worth, that’s a great town. Our campus in Fort Worth, how are you guys? Downtown Dallas? Plano? And soon to be London, England. And then also just in a couple of months we’re opening up a brand new facility. We acquired a gorgeous church in the Southlake/Keller area in Tarrant County. So it’s gonna be amazing. Then next weekend we start at the movies! This is like, I’m telling you, this year our video team they have gone so crazy. These films will be so ridiculous! You’ll be like going, “That’s nuts!” you’ll be like going, “What? Shut up! This is sick!” I mean we have some animation stuff coming at you. We have some unique teaching. It’s gonna be great. If you don’t know what I’m talking about just show up with an empty stomach, popcorn, soft drinks, all your favorite candy. Priority seating, you heard about that for certain people. I’m telling you, what an easy invite. At the movies. Gonna be groovy at the movies.
Then in August we have some cool things happening and in the fall, I will just tell you, we’re gonna build an octagon in all of our campuses. Anybody here watch UFC? “Oh it’s so violent. I can’t believe…” Well, we’re gonna do a series called The Octagon, the Family Octagon. And we’re bringing into Fellowship Church one of the best. That’s all I’ll say. I’ve gotten to know this guy. One of the best UFC fighters on the planet. He’s getting ready for a championship fight and he has been kind enough to say yes to come to Fellowship Church. So that’s gonna be really, really cool as he prepares to infiltrate Las Vegas to the fight for the world title.
It was kinda cool how it happened. I didn’t mean to say this but I will. I was speaking somewhere and after I spoke at this church someone said, hey this guy would like to say hi to you. He’s a UFC fighter. And they told me his name and I was like, that guy is big time! So I was hanging out backstage. He walked up, we started talking. He said,
“Hey, would you like to come see me spar?” I said,
“Yeah!” So I showed up to this gym. I didn’t spar WITH him, but anyway that’s how the whole thing started. So anyway, it’ll be fun. That’s what’s in store for us. Also, camp. If you’ve not been to Allaso Ranch, I don’t know if we’re all jammed with kids and students but Allaso Ranch is the greatest retreat center/camp I’ve ever seen, in East Texas. I just talked to a friend of mine yesterday. He and his family are flying in for Allaso Ranch and we have people from all over coming so it’s really, really cool what’s going on at Fellowship Church.
Today, Riding Giants. The anatomy of a giant wave. You ever thought about giant waves? I think about them. My brother is a big time surfer. You’ve probably heard of Laird Hamilton. A lot of people compare me to Laird Hamilton, they say I look like him. Laird Hamilton said (that is funny), Laird Hamilton said that riding giant waves takes more faith than skill. Interesting.
A giant wave is formed when three things happen. 1- A weather event has to take place. A low pressure system comes into close proximity to a high pressure system, creating energy. The energy is transferred into: 2- Wind. The wind causes swells to occur in the ocean. It can be a long way off and the swells turn into: 3- A right location, a right beach. And they crest and usually the location moves from the deep to the shallows very, very quickly. Thus, you have a giant wave.
Weather, wind, and location. Say it with me. Weather, wind, and location. Three elements for giant waves. Pretty interesting stuff. You don’t just walk up to a local lake or reservoir and see a giant wave. You don’t just go to the seashore and go, “Oh, there’s a giant wave!” You don’t look at a Colorado stream and go, “Oh, there’s a giant wave!” You don’t look in your bathtub and go, “That’s a giant wave.” No, giant waves are unique. They’re one of a kind. And people who surf giant waves are crazy good but also they got some serious faith. I would argue, in God’s economy, that God works in the same way a giant wave works.
You’ve got a weather event. A low pressure system comes in close proximity to a high pressure system. A low pressure system, that’s you and me. A high pressure system, that’s God. Energy is created.
The winds hit. Number 2, the winds hit. We’ve got a weather event in our lives, then the winds hit. The Holy Spirit of God. The word spirit, pneuma, wind, breath. Then, the wave crests and the wave hits a rock. The rock being Jesus. Jesus said, “On this rock I will build my church.” That’s the rock. That’s the reef, and it takes place in the right location riding waves. The location is the local church.
You talk to anybody in real estate. Three rules of real estate: location, location, location. So that’s how God works in every life. If you’re here and you’re far away from God. If you’re here and you don’t even believe in God, if you’re here and you’ve got all these questions and you’re like, “I’m skeptical. What is this, a rock concert?” I’m telling you, you’re involved in a weather event whether you know it or not. I’m telling you, whether you know it or not the Spirit of God is moving in your life, even if you’re far away from God. He’s moving. I’ve never seen the Spirit of God, I’ve never seen God. I haven’t seen him, but I’ve seen the results of him. I’ve never seen the wind. Oh! there’s the wind! But, we see the results of the wind. Oh there’s love! <whoomp!> no, I’ve never seen love but I feel love. The wind is working in your life. The currents are pulling you strangely to where? This location. The wave is cresting. The location, the rock, the church. It’s no coincidence that you’re sitting here. It’s no coincidence you’re in South Carolina, Miami, one of our Downtown campuses in Dallas or Fort Worth. There’s no coincidence you’re watching online. There’s no coincidence you’re among a lot of people at Allaso Ranch engaged in this service. God is a God of intentionality. God is a God that causes beautiful, strange, weird collisions to take place. He uses situations and conversations to bring us to him.
This Wednesday Lisa and I were on the coast for a couple of days for vacation. While we were there we discovered that some friends of ours, three pastors, were having sort of a board meeting at this little hotel. Typical beach hotel, you know, right on the sand. And they invited us to come over to weigh in on the board meeting to talk about church philosophy and things of that nature. So we were like, yeah, that’s cool. We show up at this hotel. It was dark-thirty. I mean, pitch black. I walked into the lobby with Lisa and I’m like, I don’t know where these people are. So I’m calling on my phone and I’m like, “Where are you?” And they say, “Go to the beach! Go to the beach, take a left and you’ll see us.” And you know, whenever you go to the beach you see some people who are crazy. You know what I’m saying to you? The beach will draw some crazy people. That’s why I like the beach. I’m a little bit crazy. There were some people swimming at night. Now I don’t recommend swimming at night. Why? <Jaws soundtrack from Ed> Don’t swim at night. I’m even scared to swim in a pool at night, I’m so freaky.
So we walk down the beach, people swimming at night. I’m going… I mean, Lisa took a picture. People are cra-cra! So we keep walking and our friends are over there and they’re by the pool. But the pool is probably 60’ away from where they are. And I kinda scan the horizon, see a couple of people swimming in the pool, see a couple ladies and a guy. Whatever. They were having a good time, liquid encouragement, kinda loud. Are you feeling me? So, I meet friends. Lisa and I sit down. And we’re dressed a little bit nicer than most of the people who were out on the beach in this area at night, as you can understand.
So we’re just talking about stuff, church and this and that, laughing, and you know. Some of the talks are serious. And all of a sudden I hear this lady from the pool. She goes,
“Hey!” and we all turn, Lisa turns. She’s like, “What are y’all doing?” These were five pastors. “Are you having, like, a bachelor party?” Lisa turns and she goes,
“No, we’re just talking.”
“OK!” She swims away. Swimming with this ginormous, big glass with who-knows-what is in there, but something that’ll make you crazy. So we’re talking more and more and all of a sudden we’re in this little area with lounge chairs. I look up and here comes this girl, right in the middle of our conversation. Half of her body covered with tattoos, in a bikini.
Now let me stop at that. That’s strange. And Lisa’s looking at her like… Carrying the big glass and she’s like,
“This is not a bachelor’s party?” she said. And Lisa goes,
“No, we’re all married. Happily married.”
“Really?” So she sits down. We didn’t invite her to sit down. We did not invite her in the conversation. It’s like she appeared out of nowhere! So I’m thinking, what are we doing? We’re in a board meeting and a girl in a bikini with half her body covered in tattoos, half drunk, is in the middle of this meeting. And we had people taking notes and everything. I’m like, this is surreal. This is crazy. So we’re kinda just looking around like, whoa! And then the girl leans over to Lisa, grabs her knee, she goes,
“What is your secret? You’re married, and it looks like you’re happily married. What is your secret?” and Lisa goes,
“Ed and I (and I meet her, Lisa meets her – How’re you doing?), Ed and I have been married 31 years.” She steps back and she goes,
“No effin’ way!” Again, she has no idea what we do for a living. “Thirty-one effin’ years?!?” Lisa goes,
“Yes.” And then our friends go around. My friend who pastors a large church in the southeast has been married 15 years. Another one is younger, been married 10 years. Another one 20-something years. And she’s like… and then again she looks at Lisa (and thank the Lord Lisa was there). She says,
“What’s the secret? I’ve blown through two marriages. My first husband put a gun to my head…” she started getting teary. “Second husband beat me. I’m living with a guy right now, in fact he’s up in the hotel room waiting for me.” Then she pointed back at the pool, “These are just a couple of people I met down here.” She said, “What’s the secret?” And Lisa goes, so wisely,
“Do you really want to know?” She goes,
“Yes, I want to know.” Lisa said,
“Love. Not the love probably that you’re thinking about. Love is defined as commitment. Ed and I love each other yet we’re totally committed to one another. Some days we don’t like each other, but we love each other. Because we’re committed. Feelings are so freaky. You feel good one day, you don’t feel good another day. Feelings hurt one day, you know how that is. So it’s deeper than just, ‘I got this quiver in my liver’ stuff. It’s commitment.”
And this girl, you could tell she was sobering up quick. She put her drink down and she said, “Wow. That’s deep.” And then another friend who was there, one of the pastors said this. He said,
“Let me tell you something about their relationship. Let me add one more thing about it to you. They revolve their lives – and this might sound strange to you – around God and being involved in the church.”
The girl, who we later met, her name was Raynelle, the power of God fell on her when we just said ‘the Lord’ and ‘the church.’ I’m talking a mess. Right in the middle of this board meeting with five pastors! And she has no idea we’re pastors. She’s losing it. She said,
“I’m a failure. God hates me. He’s mad at me. God’s mad at me, I know he is. You don’t know what I’ve done. You don’t know what I’m doing. I’m the worst, I’m the worst, I’m the worst, I’m the worst!” and my friend said,
“Raynelle, God is not mad at you, he’s madly in love with you.” And it was just a supernatural, low pressure system meeting a high pressure system, energy of the power of God, the wind of the Spirit of God, working in her life. And now we’re riding this wave and seeing her as she confronts the Lord himself. This poor thing was just a mess. And she kept saying, “I’m not worth it! I’m not worthy! I know there’s a God. I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy!” and finally we said,
“Raynelle! You’re worth it!” Got it? Yeah, do that. Do that. You’re worth it! We said,
“Every day, from this day forward, when you wake up and look at yourself in the mirror, you just say, ‘Worth it!’” And then the reveal. We said, “Raynelle, let me tell you how much you’re worth it. Let me tell you how much you’re loved by God. God (and I will quote) has set you up, girl! He brought you from the pool to this meeting, with five pastors! You’re worth it. You’re worth it. You’re worth it. You’re worth it. You’re worth it!” Five waves. I mean it was a God thing. I cannot explain it.
So then she began to share about her relationship, living with this guy who is a complete card-carrying atheist. Then we began to encourage her to get involved in a church. That’s one of the beautiful things about Fellowship Church. We have an association of churches all around the world called C3 Global and we were able to point her to a church. We were able to give her some coaching with her relationship with this atheist. We talked to her about her relationships, just the repentance, the cleansing was stunning. And then Lisa prayed a beautiful prayer with her as we joined hands. Lisa prayed for her. And Raynelle had a commitment time to the Lord Jesus Christ.
I mean, here we are, just living life at the coast! Some typical beach hotel, nothing fancy. And a low pressure system… let me tell you something. Raynelle was about as low (she felt) as you can go. Met the high pressure system. She didn’t even realize that God, the gospel. Because what did God do? God started from the high and came low, and brings the low to the high. He sent Jesus Christ to become a man to live a sinless life, to die a sacrificial death, to rise again, thereby bringing us from the bottom to the top. And that’s what happens in a wave.
Another thing about a giant wave, water from the bottom goes to the top and water from the top goes to the bottom. Then the Holy Spirit of God was compelling her, pushing her. She kept telling us, “This is not a coincidence. This didn’t just happen. I can’t believe I’m even here! I don’t know why I came over here to talk to you guys!” She kept saying that! She said it over and over and finally we go, “OK, I got ya, I got ya.”
And then, she made a decision with Lisa to surf the wave. What if I told you, “Hey, I love surfing. I’ve read all the books, I’ve looked up the history of all the terms, the etymology of the words, I know surfers.”
“Have you surfed yet?”
“No. I just stay on the beach and throw a tennis ball in the surf with Rover, the dog. I play Frisbee, work on my tan.”
Well hey, have you surfed? No, no, I haven’t surfed. You’d be like, that’s crazy, man. That’s nuts. If you are into surfing you’re gonna surf. You’re gonna step into liquid. Are you surfing?
Then Lisa, after Raynelle walked off, after she made her way to her hotel room with her boyfriend. Before that Lisa got her information. And I want to show you the text that went back and forth over the ensuing hours. And I have Lisa’s permission to show this to you.
-Hi, Raynelle. It’s Lisa Young. We met last night by the pool, you know the five pastors? Just wanted to touch base. Enjoyed meeting you and really believe the best is yet to be for you. It wasn’t a coincidence (there’s the word again) that we met. I’m headed back to Dallas but have a few stops. (To get super personal, Lisa met one of our twin daughters in Virginia because she’s going to school in Virginia next year. So Lisa is checking everything out, the living conditions, where to stay, apartments, dorms, etc. That’s what they’re doing right now. They’ll be back tomorrow night.) I want to send you a few books your way. If you feel OK with giving me an address I will ship them as soon as possible. It was great to meet you.
Here’s what Raynelle says:
-I’m pretty sure you guys changed my life, and seriously God is something else. I will send you my addy in a little bit. It was awesome meeting you guys and God is truly amazing. He just trips me out time and time again.
– Got it. Have a great day. Just thought I’d add our family’s favorite Bible verse (and it’s something you’ve heard me quote many times, Proverbs 3:5-6), “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. (The totality of who you are. It takes more faith than skill, right?) Don’t lean on your own understanding. (I mean, I don’t know how to ride a wave, you don’t either. God does, though.) in all your ways trust him and he will direct your path.”
Amazing. A weather event in Raynelle’s life, the wind of the Holy Spirit of God, and it broke at the right location. In a little hotel on the beach. I couldn’t help but think about this series when I was listening to Raynelle talk, I was listening to the sound of waves hitting those rocks. And then I thought about the waves here that will be striking against the rock, the rock being Jesus. Matthew 16:18 Jesus said, “On this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.”
I believe today we have scores and scores of people here and you’re here not by accident, not by coincidence, not by luck. It’s a God-ordained, beautiful collision. Who would have thought? I mean, we almost didn’t go to that meeting! Who would have thought that would have happened that night on the coast in this area. I mean, I would have …. God ordained it!
Like my friend said, “Raynelle, God set you up!” and I’m here to tell you, God has set you up. You’re worth it! He’s not mad at you! He’s madly in love with you. Raynelle is only 31 years old. Her life is ahead of her, and she made this decision. And I pray for her. We need to pray for her.
Maybe you’re a student, maybe you’re a single parent. Maybe you’re 75 years old and God has brought you here. A low pressure system has connected with a high pressure system. You have the energy. The Bible says in Acts 1:8, “You’ll receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Power, the word dynamus, dynamite we get from it. The wind of the Spirit has hit your life. You’re in the current, you’re in the swell. Now the wave is cresting and it’s hitting the rock. That’s your life. That’s God’s agenda.
My mind is rushed to several examples in Scripture. There was a wealthy, major African guy. He was called the Ethiopian eunuch. He was riding in his chariot one day. Think about a Bentley chariot, a Maybach chariot. He’s riding in this chariot and all of a sudden, Philip (one of the followers) of the Lord sees him. And when Philip sees him, here’s what Philip does. He goes,
“Do you realize what you’re reading?” and the guy goes,
“Man, I have no idea what I’m reading.” And he shares with him, because this guy was seeking. He was bring drawn by a weather condition and the wind, he was seeking the Lord, and the wave was cresting. So he bowed the knee to Christ and Philip’s like, “STOP!” <brakes squealing sound effect> They jump down and he gets baptized. He made waves! And a lot of people think the Ethiopian eunuch, this African guy, was the catalyst to carrying the gospel to the continent of Africa. One exchange, one interchange, one coincidence, and look what happened. That could be your life! I pray it’s Raynelle’s life. Where are you?
You remember Simon Peter? This guy was kinda pathetic before the resurrection of Jesus. Here’s a follower of Christ. “Jesus I’ll never dis you! I’ll never slurp the Haterade!” He’s arrested. Jesus is in prison. Simon Peter is outside warming himself by the fire and this little girl is like,
“Hey! You’re the guy who’s been with Jesus!” and he cusses a blue streak and he does the first three-peate. He denies Jesus. This is Simon Peter! Three times! And earlier he said, “Oh, I’m the man. I’m the man of the hour, too sweet to be sour. The tower of committed power.” And Jesus was like, “Man, you’re gonna deny me,” and sure enough he did. But after the resurrection Jesus reinstated Simon Peter and now we have Simon Peter and the book of Acts.
Acts chapter 2, remember it? The early church? The Holy Spirit, coexistent, coeternal, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is active in the Old Testament but Jesus, right before he ascended to the Father, he said to wait in J-town, Jerusalem, because I’m gonna send a comforter. The Holy Spirit of God. So they’re like waiting around, waiting around… BOOM! The Holy Spirit fell and guess who stepped up and began to be this courageous, bold guy? You guessed it, Simon Peter. He preaches this ridiculous message, 3,000 people do what Raynelle did Wednesday night. They bowed the knee and got right with God. And then the people said,
“What do we do now? What do we do now? What do we do now?” what did Simon Peter say? After your faith decision, make waves, man! Make waves, woman! Get baptized! Step into liquid. That’s what happened.
I think about a guy named Cornelius. We’ll call him Cornbread. Cornbread was a gentile, very powerful guy. Again, Simon Peter, after this he’s praying. He thinks Christianity is a Jewish thing. God reveals to him, hey, it’s a people thing! It doesn’t matter if half your body is covered in tattoos, it doesn’t matter if you’re walking around in a bikini half drunk. It’s a people thing. When it comes to the church, no perfect people allowed. If you’re perfect don’t come back. That means everybody should come back.
So God causes this beautiful collision, this cosmic coincidence to take place as Simon Peter shares Jesus with Cornbread. Cornbread becomes a believer, the first gentile convert. His whole household, what? Steps into liquid. They’re baptized.
The apostle Paul, he’s hanging out in a temple. He meets this cat named Crispus. Again, major spiritual leader. Is not a believer but he’s seeking. God reveals himself to you if you’re seeking, if you’re open. Crispus? He becomes a believer. What happened? His whole family, they were baptized.
Weather, wind, water. Weather, wind, water. You can be either aware of it or unaware of it but I’m telling you here, you’re here. You’re right here for a reason. It’s my prayer that you acquiesce. It’s my prayer that you allow Jesus to power wash your soul. It’s my prayer that you pray the same prayer Raynelle prayed Wednesday night. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’ve been, what you’ve done, even last night. Jesus is not mad at you, he’s madly in love with you. You’re worth it. You’re worth it so much! God wants you to ride those giants.
[Ed leads in closing prayer.] 34:09