series graphic image

March 15, 2023

Just Take the Next Step: Week 1

Just Take The Next Step | Week 1

Dr.Chip Bennett

I’ve got a couple of real quick things that I want to say before I get into the message. Out in the hub area, the lobby area, you'll find these cards. It’s for the men's meeting that's going to be on the 20th of this month from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Listen to me, men. We don't do a very good job of getting together. We think we can do it on our own. We can't. The lone ranger needed Tonto, okay? We like to go off into our own caves. We need other men in our lives. Here's the reality: If you want to go to heaven, it's the 20th of this month, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. I'm just kidding. If you're brand new here, I'm joking. It's a joke. But I want you to be here. I'm going to be here. We need to be here. We need some strong men in our churches, today, who love the Lord. Ladies, would you not agree? We need the men to get in here. Good.

The second thing is we still could use some help in the children's and nursery. It's exploding back there. So, I'm not asking you to get boiled in oil like they did in the first century. I'm just asking you if you could maybe think about, maybe once a month, once a quarter, giving your service back there. It would make a huge difference because we are just overflowing back there, and we could use the help. So, if you also want to go to heaven, there's that. But two quick things, and that's it.

We’re going to start a brand new series, and before we get going, I just want you to know that I am so glad to be back. I was texting my wife. I was like, “It’s going to feel weird to walk out here. It feels like I haven't been here in forever.”

You know? But I'm glad to be back. I love each and every one of you all. I got a little bit of time off, but we're going to get with it after the series, and we're going to roll right into Easter. If you ever heard anything, I'm not going anywhere. It's funny how you take a couple weeks off, and it's like, “The pastor died. He got sick. He got whatever.”

I'm alive and well. It’s all good. Our staff did a great job keeping the church going for the last couple weeks. So, all good, all healthy, everything is great.

So, we’re starting a brand new series, this weekend, called “Just Take the Next Step.” I don't know if you're like me — you probably are like me — but when you look around your life, and you sort of start to go, “I want to change this,” or, “I want to get better here,” or, “I feel like God's leading me in this sort of way,” or maybe you want to do something for your own self, maybe you want to plan a vacation, or maybe you want to get a better job, or maybe you want to go back to school, or maybe you want to lose weight, or maybe you want to get your finances in order, or your health — whatever it may be, if you're like me, oftentimes, when you look at where you are to where you want to go, you sometimes go, “Wow, that seems like that is a very long way away.”

Sometimes we just sort of get stuck. They call it “paralysis by analysis.” We just start thinking, “There’s no way that ever could get there. There's no way that that's going to happen.”

But what I'd like to suggest to you — and it's going to be something that we talk about during the series — is that if you and I were to go back in our life to remember where maybe we were at a position in our lives where we wanted to get to another place, and we did, I'm sure some of us can say that, “Hey, there were things in my life that I wanted to accomplish, and I did it.”

If you were to go back and look at that, what you would realize is you didn't move from where you were to where you wanted to be overnight. It was a process. If you could put the process out on a map, out on a sheet of paper, or on a computer screen, what you would see is that you and I took all kinds of different steps. Some of them went sideways, some of them went backwards, some of them went forwards, some of them went down, some of them went up. But if you looked at the trajectory of your steps, you would realize that, eventually, you moved from where you were to where you needed to be. But it was a number of very small steps along the way that got you to where you were.

It reminded me, when I was putting this series together, that there's a children's book. You may have read it, you may not have read it, but it’s one of those children's books — I don't know if you’re like me, but I have six kids at home. So, there were a lot of children's books growing up. More than, probably, I ever wanted or signed up for. Some of the children's books you would read, and you'd be like, “Okay, that was no big deal.”

But every once in a while, you would read one, and you’d realize that the author was really writing it to the parent more than the kid. Maybe I'm just from Kentucky. You're like, “Chip, none of the books. They’re all for kids. You're just challenged, son.”

Maybe I am, but there's a book called “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse,” and in this book, there's a moment. This book has got all kinds of different moments in it. It's really sort of a challenging, inspirational book. When you read it, it feels like it's more for you than it is for a kid. But the boy finds himself in a forest, and he doesn't know how to get out of the forest. This is from the book, and the book's got some really cool art. It’s written really cool. I just want to read you out of this before we get into the text of Scripture.

“‘I can't see a way through,’ said the boy.

“‘Well, can you see your next step?’


“‘Just take that,’ said the horse.”

Sometimes what's keeping you and I from where we want to get to — from the calling that God has on our lives, from the dreams that God's given to you and I, what keeps us, sometimes, is we just don't take that next step. The difference between Peter walking on the water and the other eleven not walking on the water was just that next step. The difference between people being fed with the loaves and the fish was the little boy taking the step, going, “Here's what I’ve got.”

Jesus said, “That's enough.”

Oftentimes, we get so caught up in where we want to get to that we somehow just don't realize that sometimes it's just the next step and then the next step. Sometimes the steps don't go exactly the way that we want, but just taking the next step and following God is where we really do find our relationship, where we find our commitment, and where we find the beauty in our relationship with God.

“Abraham, I need you to go and take a step away from where you are. Follow me.”

It’s always that step. What did Jesus say?

“Just follow me.”

What did they have to do? They had to take the next step. So, I want to talk about that over the next several weeks, and I'm going to get more specific about areas that we can take the next step in. But this weekend, I want to sort of introduce this. I want to get you thinking about this. My hope, and my prayer, is that you really get encouraged, inspired, and challenged to think about this in your life. Because I suspect — I mean, that doesn't mean I'm right. I'm surely not a prophet, by any stretch of the imagination, but what I can tell you is that I guarantee you, in every service this weekend, there's no question in my mind that there will be people who need to take the next step, and you're going to be feeling like, “Hey, this is for me.”

And I'm praying for you, I'm praying for us, as a church, that this will really be a sermon series that is super practical and super applicational. Hopefully, some of you will say, “Hey, this has really helped me out and changed my life.”

So, that being said, we're going to look at a passage of scripture, this weekend, and the passage of scripture is pretty deep. I'm not going to be able to get through it. I really need to go through sixteen verses, but I'm only going to be able to get into about seven of them. But I would tell you to go home and read it yourself, as well, and spend some time in the Word of God. We're going to spend some time in John 5. If you've read the Gospel of John, and I hope that you have — if you haven't, though, the Gospel of John is the fourth of the gospels. There's Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Matthew, Mark and Luke sort of read similar. If you've ever read them, they sort of feel the same. Then you read John, and you go, “Wow, this is really a different gospel. He must be in Colorado.”

So, it's one of those things where you go, “Whoa, this is unique.”

So, John — and this is sort of just some information, here, as you read the Gospel of John. In John 5, the whole gospel pivots. John 5 is one of the most foundational elements in the gospel because, for the first time, Jesus starts to get opposition, and that opposition goes all the way from John 5 through the end where they crucify Him. So, even though He’s been called the Word of God, even though He’s done the miracle at Canaan, turning the water into wine, even though He has met with Nicodemus, even though He has met with the woman at the well, the bottom line is that in John 5, the tension builds. Jesus is disrupting things. He’s calling people to a new way of life.

I'm going to go through a couple of verses, but as I go through the verses, I want to read the last couple of words of John 5:9, which is where I'm going to end up. I’ll talk about John 5:10 a little bit later, and you can go read through John 5:16 where all this tension goes on. But I want to read something, jumping forward here in the text, because it really sets up everything.

The last couple of words in the text we're going to look at, this weekend, says, “Now that day was the Sabbath.”

This sets up this tension between Jesus and the religious folk because if you could go back to the first century — and I would probably concede that most of us, probably, are not first century scholars. It's not like we woke up, this morning, and said, “Oh, I can't wait to go study first century Judaism.”

If you did, please come visit with me because you're my people, okay? We're a small group, but we're the “BNs.” We’re the Bible Nerds. So, if you could go back to the first century, the Jewish leaders, the elite, had a set of rules and regulations that people who do scholarship refer to as boundary markers. The boundary markers in early Judaism were Sabbath, the dietary laws, circumcision, and Torah. So, they could readily determine, very quickly, with their boundary markers, who was in and who was out. They had their whole world set around these boundary markers. That was the way they could determine. Who was eating with the right people? Who wasn't eating with the right people? Who was keeping the law? Who was circumcised? Who kept the Sabbath?”

And of course, all these things that they were referring to were good, godly things, but they had made them into something different. We’re not unlike the religious folk in the first century. We oftentimes have our own boundary markers that we erect, and we can determine who is in and out. I just want to tell you, as your pastor, to hear my heart. Hear what I'm saying. The only person who really gets to determine who's in and out is God, not you and me. We're not the ones, okay? It’s so easy. They forgot. Rahab. Remember Rahab in the Old Testament? Did she keep the dietary laws? Nope. Did she keep the Sabbath? Nope. Was she circumcised? Nope. Was she keeping the Torah? Nope. But guess what? She was God’s.

So, what happens is Jesus comes on the scene and He’s disrupting everything. Let me just give you — if you're new to the faith, if you're thinking about joining up, or whatever, let me just tell you from experience. I’ll be 53 in May. Just know that if you decide to follow Jesus, there will be times that He just disrupts your life. And if He’s not disrupting your life, you probably haven't authentically attached to the real one because Jesus comes with sandpaper. Okay?

So, now what we're going to do is we're going to go through the text. We’re told, in John 5:1, that there's a feast. It's interesting. He doesn't tell us what feast it is. John usually tells us, in his gospel, what the feasts are. We know that it's either Pentecost, Tabernacle, or Passover, but he doesn't tell us, so it must not be that important. But he's there for a feast, and then we're going to start in John 5:2.

“We’re told, “Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades.”

Now, I don't know if you're like me, but I remember the first time that I was reading the Bible — remember, I grew up in a town of 6,000 people in Kentucky, so I had my deficiencies. You do know that the toothbrush was invented in Kentucky, right? Because anywhere else it would've been the “teethbrush.” I just want you to know that's my people.

So, when I used to read this stuff, I'm like, “Sheep Gate? Aramaic? Bethesda? Colonnades? What in the world?”

I don't know if you're like that, but you read it, like, “What are these words?”

So, let's take a moment here, and let's look, because I want to get us into the text. I want us to get us into that moment. It says, “There is.” That’s a present tense verb. Why is that important? Well, that might be huge because most people date John's gospel late, like 90 A.D., 95 A.D., or 100 A.D. Why is that important? Well, because what they say is that John was written way later than the synoptic gospels, so this idea of Jesus being God sort of developed in the Church. By the time you got to John later on, “The Word was God,” John 1:1, and John 10:30, when Jesus was equal with God, or John 20:28…

The Lord's calling, right now, and says, “Listen in.”

In John 20:28, Thomas says, “My Lord and my God.”

Many people say, “Well, that's because it's a later date.”

Well, listen to me. The fact that he uses a present tense verb, we would know that these five roofed colonnades would not have been there after the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. If this present tense verb is saying what it probably is saying, it means that this is still there, which means John's writing pre-70 A.D., which really upsets the apple cart of more liberal understandings of Scripture. I'm just here to tell you that the Church didn't come to the discovery over time and make Jesus God. The Church realize that Jesus was actually God because He was God. Okay? Just that one verb matters. It doesn't mean anything to our — you’re like, “Well, I ain't taking the next step.”

No, I'm just telling you about some cool biblical nuggets here. I can't help myself. Anyways, there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool. So, with the temple walls around the temple, there was a place called the Sheep Gate where they would bring in the lambs and the sheep. Not a very huge, big entrance. On the other side of that were some pools. Many people believe that when the sheep came through, oftentimes, they may be washed there, then sent on to sacrifice. But we're told that there is, in Jerusalem — it seems like he's talking about present tense. Okay? There is by the Sheep Gate a pool. So, we’re sort of getting an idea here. There’s a gate where the sheep go through. There's a pool.

“In Aramaic called Bethesda.” How many times you have “bayit” before something in Hebrew, that's house. I do that with my kids. We’ll be driving, and we'll see “bayit shalom,” and I'll be like, “What is that?”

I'm like, “‘Shalom’ is peace, right? ‘Bet’ is house. House of Peace.”

They just go, “Dad, we're ready to listen to Taylor Swift. We just need to shake it off.”

Anyway, this is the House of Mercy which has five roofed colonnades. So, there are these colonnades that have roofs. So, if you could imagine, this is a place where there's a pool, and there's some shade. John's bringing us in, maybe, as if we didn't know, or we weren't aware. He’s bringing us in. Then he tells us something about this place with some shade, which would still be hot, with a pool.

He tells us, “In these lay a multitude of invalids — blind, lame, and paralyzed.”

Now, this is the house of God. This is the place where prayer, restoration, and healing should be taking place, but there's a multitude of people who are in need, right there, at the place of House of Mercy, where the sheep and goats come through to be sacrificed. Scholars say that there were probably hundreds, and maybe at feast times, thousands. Now, I want you to envision this because oftentimes, when we read, we just read right through it and we don't think about what we're reading. But if they're sitting there, even though there's some shade, it's hot, it's humid. So, when you have a bunch of people who are sick, have problems, sores, issues, and you put them out there, there's going to be a stench. There’s also going to be the easy, easy, easy passing of other problems and ailments to one another. It’s not a pretty place. The aristocrats and everybody else didn't go near to this place. But right there, inside the house of God, are people who are in need.

There’s a story that they know, and John 5:4 is not in the ESV. You might have a translation that has verse four. You might have something with brackets that says that they believed there were these angels that would come and stir up the waters, and if you got into the water first, after the angels stirred up the water, you would be healed. We know that these were subterranean-fed springs, so every once in a while, when it would come through, there'd be bubbles. They thought, “Oh, there are angels here, and they're bubbling.”

So, there was a story, a thinking, that if you could get into the pool, you would be healed. Now, we don't know that anybody was healed. John's really not concerned about that, but this is what's going on. They're lying there because they think if they can get into the pool, they can be healed. There's a multitude of them. And then the camera comes out of the multitude. Let me just say something. Aren't you so thankful that God can take that camera that sees the multitude, and yet still come and put it right on you and I? I love that. In Revelation, Jesus talks about how He’s holding in His right hand the seven stars. Then He says, “John fell at His feet as though dead. Then he placed His right hand…”

So, if you're reading that literally, He’s got the seven stars, then He clunks John in the head with this stuff. It's funny. People go, “Oh, yeah.”

There’s a better way to read it. Trust me. I don't know that I have all the answers, but I just know that there are a lot of problems. Anyway, it shows that He can hold the seven church in His right hand, yet He can still take that right hand that's sovereign over the churches, and can still touch the one. It's beautiful. It's a scene of sovereignty. It's a beautiful picture.

So, here, “One man was there who had been in invalid for thirty-eight years.”

Now, he hadn't necessarily been laying at the pool for 38 years, but he may have been laying at the pool for many of those years. But he’s an invalid for 38 years. So, now we've sort of got the focus here. There's all the stuff going on. Isn't it beautiful that where the Sheep Gate is, where the pool and the house of mercy are, Jesus, who is the true Lamb of God, really brings mercy there to this pool? There’s just so much beauty in Scripture with the way it works.

We're told, “When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time,”

When you read Scripture, I want you to put yourself in it. Don't just read it to go, “Okay, I want to get some information so that I can tell this guy at work why he's going to hell.”

That's not the way you should be reading Scripture, okay? That's not the right way. You should be reading Scripture to let it read you because the more you look like Jesus, the more the person you work with might want to know the Jesus that's inside of you. Novel idea, right? Just be salt and light. Anyway, we have this person here, and I want you to try to envision if you were a caregiver to someone, and then Jesus walks up to this person. Maybe you overheard this. He said, “Do you want to be healed?”

Now, you know that if you were sitting there and you heard that, you'd be like, “What kind of dude is this? What do you think? You think he wants to be sick for thirty-nine years? What kind of insensitive comment is that?”

But it's not. It's a profound question because if this person were to be healed, then he has to go get a job. He has to work. He has to be a productive part of the citizenry. He may be getting taken better care of here by people that are coming, giving things, and doing whatever than he would if healed. So, there's a real question here. We don't know the depth, we just know that it's a question. Do you want to be healed? It appears, from the answer, that the answer is, “Yes, I do want to be healed,“ but he can only focus on his problem. That’s a word for somebody here. You're just focused on your problem, right now. You’ve got to get focused off the problem, and you’ve got to get focused on the person that can change everything, and His name is Jesus. Okay?

So, he says, “‘Do you want to be healed?’”

His answer is, “Listen, maybe you don't know the way it works. There's this angel that comes in, bubbles, and all this stuff. Dude, I can't move, and there's nobody that puts me up there so that, when the waters bubble, I can roll in.”

He says, “‘Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another one steps down before me.’”

Now, to be honest, when I read this, I'm thinking, “Man, I would've pushed my way up front to where I was right on the ledge. The first bubble, I'd have been right in.”

You know? I mean, we don't even know if, in this story, anybody was ever healed or whatever. We just know that they were there, and they were looking. Does anybody know when you're sick, life is bad, and you've got problems, you'd just about do anything to get better? You’d show up at a pool where there are bubbles, going, “I don't know, but I'm going to jump in. There may be something there.”

He says, “I don't have anybody to put me in, and somebody goes in before me.”

Now, I want you to imagine if you're sitting there, and you're listening to Jesus, who just asked this comment, “Do you want to be healed?”

“Why in the world is He asking him to be healed?”

He gives this comment. Jesus says, “‘Get up, take up your bed, and walk.’”

You'd be like, “Dude, not only were you just insensitive by asking the question, ‘Do you want to be healed?’ but what do you think he's going to do? He's been doing this for thirty-eight years. Do you think he's going to just get up? Give me a break.”

Jesus says, “Hey, get up, take up your bed, and walk.”

“And at once the man was healed,”

Let me tell you something, when Jesus speaks a word to you, it's as good as done. Okay? When He says something — I mean, we clap, but honestly, we go to the Word of God and go, “Oh, I don't know. It says He’ll provided for my needs, but I don't believe He will.”

“…and he took up his bed and walked.”


“Now that day was the Sabbath.”

This created a ruckus. We'll see this in a minute when we look at John 5:10, and you can go home and read John 5:11-16 so you can see what's going on as all this is going on. But I want to back up. I want to start because we're in a series called “Just Take the Next Step,” and I want to show you some things in this passage of Scripture that I think will help all of us in our lives.

First of all, this is hugely important. To take the next step, we’ve got to be willing. That doesn’t mean it will always happen, but we have to be willing to let Jesus disrupt the status quo of how we order our world. I think so many Christians don't want to do this, they don't take the next step, and they don't see God do those things in their lives that they see other people get done in their lives because we are like, “I sort of like my life the way it is. I don't want to give up control. If I could just get God to do it my way, it would be better. I know more than Him. I know how my world is.”

You can see, here, the disruption because Jesus has just come in and disrupted their boundary markers that Jesus can't be in, which is crazy because He’s the one who puts people in. But He's the wrong dude because He’s blowing up their system. Let me tell you something: Jesus will always blow up your religious system because Jesus didn't come to start a new religion. He came to take over. It's not about a religion, it's about a relationship. It's not about a performance, it's about a person. It's not about what we do, it's about what He’s done. We love these things to settle who's in and who's out, so He’s disrupting that. Not only that, but He’s disrupting this man's life, too.

“Do you really want to be healed? Because to be healed means that you're going to have a different existence. Things are going to change.”

I want to encourage you. Listen, please hear me. Please hear a pastor's heart here. I don't want you to settle for good things when you could have God things. So many times, we want the good in our lives, what we see is the good, and we're missing out on the God because we just won't take that step. Maybe it's out of fear, maybe it's out of giving in, maybe it's about turning over control. Whatever it may be, but sometimes you’ve just got to take that next step, and you’ve got to be willing. He doesn't always do it. Sometimes you do things, and it's just congruent with what He wants for you, and it doesn't cost. But sometimes you have to be willing to allow Him to disrupt your life.

Second thing. This is so important to hear. Dead religion blocks people from taking the next step because it promises restoration that it can never deliver. Now, listen to me because this is so important. In our world today, what we're seeing is a whole swath of church people that are trying to push things on top of people. Let me tell you something. You cannot change people externally. The only way people change is when the Holy Spirit of God gets on the inside of you and I, and God regenerates our hearts. When we become a new creation, that’s when we start to have the tendency to want to do it God's way. Okay? So, we’ve got to get more passionate. Rather than telling everybody what they're doing wrong, we’ve got to tell everybody about who Jesus is. The Gospel — not my opinions, not my issues, not my stuff, but the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. The Gospel is that Jesus Christ died on a cross for our sins, and rose physically, and literally, on the third day so that we could have eternal life. It’s the good news because you can settle eternity, once and for all, by saying, “I believe in Jesus.”

That's the message we’ve got to stay on. This dead religion stuff blocks people. It keeps people from experiencing things that God wants. You can see dead religion, too. You see it in churches where you’ve got a youth that will come to church, and maybe they got earrings, tattoos, and ripped jeans. You’ll see people go, “Ugh, look at the way they're dressed.”

How about, “Praise God they're actually here?”

I mean, goodness gracious. We’re going to see that here. We see here, in the house of God — what are these boundary markers? What has it done? It's created a multitude of people with all kinds of problems, and look at how they react to this person who's been healed.

John 5:10: “So the Jews said to the man who had been healed,”

“Praise God. After thirty-eight years, you can walk. Thank God that the youth who have bones through their nose are showing up for church.”

No. They said, “Hey, it's the Sabbath, and it's not lawful for you to take up your bed.”

Do you realize how crusty, nasty, religious, and ugly you have to be to not rejoice that a person who had been invalid for 38 years can walk? But that's what religion will do. Dead religion will block all of us, and it will keep people from experiencing the things that God has for you and I.

Third. In taking the next step — and this is so important — never forget that God is good. I'm telling you, so many people get messed up in church because they have defined what church should look like, and then when it doesn't look like what they think it looks like, they get hurt. Or they pray for something, and it didn't happen. Or they look for God to do something big, and He didn't do it. All of a sudden, God's no longer good. Let me tell you something. You're not going to press into God, and you’re not going to take that next step, if you don't think God is good.

Every time you jumped off the stairs, if your dad moved away and you landed on your face — hopefully, none of y'all ever had a dad like that. My dad didn't do that to me either. But you jumped to your dad because you knew he was going to catch you. When we lose sight of the fact that we can take that next step because God is a good God, it messes us up. God is a good God. What we do is we go, “Well, what about all those other people? How come He didn't go do that for all? How come he only did it for…”

Listen. Stop. You don't know what He did for the other people. You don't even know how He works for the other people. You don't know what went on in their lives. We just think we know everything. We don't. What I'm telling you is God is a good God all the time. He never stops being good. Whether we can see it or not, or whether we feel it or not, doesn't change the fact that He’s good. Let me step back for a moment and give you a larger perspective of what's going on in the Gospel of John, even more so.

In John 5 and John 9, we have two healings. Lame man, blind man. One is at the Pool of Bethesda, and one is at the Pool of Siloam. There’s a larger picture going on here. When King David, the great king of Israel, conquered Jerusalem, it was controlled by the Jebusites. He conquered Jerusalem by going through the water shaft, through the water sources into Jerusalem, to get into Jerusalem. Before he got there, they taunted David from the walls, saying, “We're up here, you're down there. There's no way you're going to get in here. Even our blind and our lame can repel you.”

Well, when David got into Jerusalem, broke into Jerusalem, and subdued Jerusalem, he said, “Don’t ever let the blind and the lame into the house of the Lord.”

Jesus is the Great King of Israel because, in the same water systems of Israel, He heals a blind and a lame man because He is a greater king than David because there's always more going on than what we just see. God is always good. Always.

So, what next step is God calling us to do? Maybe make it a little bit more personal. What next step is God calling you to do? Maybe let's make it even more personal. What's He calling me to do? Ask yourself, “What’s He calling me to do?”

Because see, He says, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”

That man had to decide if he was going to take that step. Listen to me. Please listen to me. The Lord's word makes the impossible possible. When you say, “Oh, no, no. You don't understand. I can't.”

No, no, no. He said, “Get up.”

If He says it, He’s going to do it. If He’s told you something, if He’s spoken to you, if He’s said in His Word, He will do it. When God says something, it makes the impossible possible. Everybody, whoever gets called by God, goes, “Ah, not me. You’ve got the wrong person.”

I always tell people, when somebody walks in and says, “God called me, and I'm the right person,” I'm like, “You’re not called,” and they get mad at me.

I also ask them, and they’re like, “I want the platform.”

Like, no, no, no. If you don't want to go scrub the toilets first, you’ll never be any good up here because God doesn't work with superstars. God works with the broken. We took communion. It says, “He took the bread, He blessed it, and He broke it.”

Let me tell you something, whatever God blesses, He’s going to break. There are too many people in ministry who have not been broken, and that's why we have such defunct stuff going on. You’ve got to get broken by God for Him to use you because He doesn't work through our strengths, He works through our weaknesses. That's why He makes the impossible possible.

“But God, I stutter.”

“Don't worry about it. Go.”

“I can't.”

“Yeah, you can.”

“But You don't understand.”

“No, what you don't understand is who I am. I'm the one that spoke the world into existence. I know what I'm doing.”

If God has spoken to you, it doesn't make a difference what you think is impossible. When He says it, the impossible becomes possible. Listen to this. This is important. It's in obeying the Lord's command that we find our capacity. He doesn't call us because we’ve got it together. He calls the ones that don't have it together, and He puts us together. Hear me: The revelation of God, understanding what's going on, usually comes after we take the step, not before.

So, what's He calling? Maybe you go, “I'm in a forest. I can't see, right now.”

“I can’t see a way through,” said the boy.”

“Well, can you see your next step?”


“Just take that.”

See, He’s a God that can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ever ask or think. You may be sitting, right now, in your life where you go, “This is a grave.”

God says, “I can turn graves into gardens.”

You say, “But You don't understand. I’ve got ashes.”

He goes, “Oh, no. I can make ashes beautiful.”

“But You don't understand. I’ve got a pile of dead bones.”

He can make an army. I want to encourage you, I want to challenge you, to take the next step. The worship team's going to come out now, and they're going to get set up. They’ve got a lot of stuff to do. As they come out, don't pay attention to them right now. Just listen to me because you’ll get distracted. They're far better looking than I am, they sing better than me, and all of that stuff. They're cooler than me, but this, right here — online, too. This may be your moment. We're going to sing a song. Don't leave. Don't walk out of here. I want you to sing it. I want you to listen to the words. I want you to let them cascade over you. I want you to really listen to the Lord and ask Him, “What's that next step? God, I can't see. God, I can't see.”

“Can you see your next step?”


“Take it.”

We're going to sing this song, we're going to have a moment with the Lord, and I'm just praying, right now, that God is going to do something.

In this series

Keep learning

Learn about our Discover Classes and Grace University. Browse through topical short video series, view interviews with Christian thought leaders, or take an in-depth systematic theology video class with Pastor Chip.