19. Wind vs. Word

Reading Plan

If you’re looking to dive deeper into what the Bible says about this topic, here’s a suggested Reading Plan, one passage per day for a whole week, based on the sermon:

  1. MONDAY: Matthew 14:1-36
  2. TUESDAY: Matthew 7:24-29
  3. WEDNESDAY: Matthew 26:36-46
  4. THURSDAY: Luke 8:22-25
  5. FRIDAY: John 14:1-14
  6. SATURDAY: Hebrews 11:1-40
  7. SUNDAY: John 16:16-33

eGroup Discussion Questions – Great for personal reflection/journaling, too!

Sermon Notes: “Wind vs. Word” ⤵️

Before beginning his message, Pastor Steven talks about people who are at church but are not in the best of spirits, who may not “feel like dancing,” mentioning the man who admitted his doubt and asked, “Help me in my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) We can pray that prayer. Growth happens at the point of breaking.

Pastor Steven’s message centers on Ecclesiastes 11:4 and the account of Peter walking on water in Matthew 14. For the last couple of months, he’s been preaching from Ecclesiastes on and off in an unofficial sermon series he’s called “Solomon’s School of Success.”

Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.

Ecclesiastes 11:4, NIV, emphasis mine

Your Spirit vs. Your Mind

[Nick: Like when Jesus says, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).]

The spirit makes decisions —> the mind makes excuses
(e.g., “Right now is not a good time.”)
When you’re going in a
higher direction, lower things pull on you.
You can find excuses really easily.

You can find reasons to:

  • Dislike me.
  • Dislike the church.
  • Complain about your life.
  • Be sad.
  • Praise God.
  • Rejoice.
  • Doubt the very existence of God.
  • Show up or not show up to church.

… very easily.

Solomon’s School of Success:
If you look for an excuse, you will find one.
The enemy will be more than happy to deliver.

Once you make up your heart, your mind will try to stop you.
Like when you make a commitment to service in one mood

but make excuses not to follow through in a different mood.

Watching the Wind

Pastor Steven shares a story about wanting to be a weatherman when he was a child, even though his fathered cursed out the weatherman “because all he does is make predictions that are wrong.”
“If you hate him, then why do you watch him?”

Some of us stay stuck in our state of mind,
a forecast the enemy has made.
Does your soul need a new weatherman?

God never intended for you to consult the weather
before fulfilling your purpose.
But I predict God will see you through
Every storm that comes your way.

Pastor Steven shares a bit about his marriage and how he can trust Holly fully because he knows that she had made up her mind on him. He called this “the Verdict on Furtick.” She came to her verdict and has been looking for evidence to back that up ever since. He compares this mindset to those who make up their minds to hate church before they even show up.

Sometimes our seeds come boomeranging back.
Like when we say, “It’s just going to be one of those days.”
Well, now it’s going to be.

The Forecast is Determined by Your FOCUS

Example: the Cross used to be an instrument of death but now we wear it as a symbol of victory.

Are you watching the weather or out walking in the Word?

Styles and people and opinions change too fast for us to look out for what’s popular–We won’t give enough attention to our foundation.

The weather is not meant to be watched, it’s meant to be checked.
[Nick: I wish he would have gone into more detail into what he meant by this because I think it’s a great concept and while I think I know what he meant by it, I would have loved for him to explain it. I think Pastor Steven is trying to say that it’s okay for us to be aware of the weather (to “check” it), a.k.a. the outside conditions that are currently affecting us, but it’s a waste of time to dwell on it, worry about it, let the conditions paralyze us to action (to “watch the wind”).]

When the forecast is determined by your feelings,
There will always be chaos.

You may accidentally give your fear the force of your faith in reverse.

Good Blessings at Bad Times

Pastor Steven talks a bit about God fulfilling promises and how he wished that God would fulfill promises on our time. “But then I read my Bible.”

God likes to bless people at bad times.
If our boss wants to talk to us, we’ll always say it’s a “good time,”

even if it’s not, but we do the opposite with God.
“This sermon would have changed my life if I heard it when I was younger.”

Well, it can change your life now!

Just ask Lazarus. God was “fashionably late.”
Jesus was late to heal Lazarus when he was sick.
Jesus was late to his funeral when he was dead.
Do you trust God’s timing?
You can trust that God will get you to Heaven
But do you trust him
when he doesn’t work
according to your schedule?

Pastor Steven shares a short account of how he trusts his wife with a lot of things, but not in her ability to schedule and be on time to things.

Do you trust God with time?
Do you trust that God knows
what you need and when you need it?

In This Corner …

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

Matthew 14:22-24, NIV, emphasis mine

In this corner is the wind…

  • Circumstances
  • Feelings
  • Depression
  • Financial insecurity
  • Etc.

(But notice Jesus didn’t stop the wind; not in this story.)

In this corner is the Word…

  • Jesus, the Word made flesh
  • Unlimited power wrapped in human flesh
  • Never lost a battle

The battle is a fight between:

  • What you feel vs. what you know
  • What you went through vs. what he did for you

The wind doesn’t stop just because the Word showed up.
The absence of the storm isn’t proof of God’s presence.
He is with you in the midst of the storm.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

Matthew 14:25-29, NIV, emphasis mine

It’s easier to go with fear.
The weather will make you

“If it’s you”–Faith isn’t knowing God is present after the storm dies down.
Faith is trusting God is with you in the midst of the storm.

Peter walked on the Word.

Between the wind and the Word,
I know which one is
But which one do you

You can’t walk on water,
But you can walk on the

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Matthew 14:30, NIV, emphasis mine

Peter sank not because he didn’t believe,
But because he was watching the wind.

Do you trust the forecast of hell over the promise of heaven?
Are you going to be a
wind watcher or a faith walker?

If God asks for the glory,
Let him fight the battles.

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