Sermon Illustrations


Steven Furtick (Founder of Elevation Church) in SUN STAND STILL, p. 195-96:

It's human nature to want to skip straight from the promise to the payoff. Who doesn't want to get right to the good stuff? But the process is invaluable. The process is a time of strengthening. The process is the place where you lay down your pride and learn to rely totally on God. Most impor¬tantly, the process is the way we grow - to know God. And that's really the whole point.

One of my major irritations is when someone spoils the plot of a movie I was planning to see. Because when they tell me that the dude dies at the end, or that the boy gets the girl, or that the team wins the championship, or whatever, it ruins the experi¬ence. See, if I wanted to know just the outcome, I would have read the plot summary on Wikipedia. But that's not the goal when you see a movie. You want to feel tension and suspense. You want to wonder whether the good guy wins or the relationship works out. The plot is the point.

What if the same dynamic that makes the plot the point of movie applies to our relationship with God? Is it possible that the process isn't just a time waster or a commercial break? Have you ever considered that, in the overall scheme of God's design, the process is the point?

If all God wanted to do was get right to the happy ending, you’d be in heaven by now. If His only intention were to make your dreams come true, he'd snap His fingers and your vision would appear out of thin air. But that's not all God wants. And deep down, it's not really all you want either. You want to learn to walk by faith, not by sight. And you can't learn that without walking through periods of complete darkness. The apprehension and gut-level fear you'll feel in these stages may make you turn back and pursue something safer.

Or you can opt for something better. You can embrace the process with audacious faith. Because every big dream has small beginnings. Between the promise and the payoff, there's a process.

And that process is the breeding ground of faith. That process has the potential to draw you closer to Jesus than you've been before.

The process is the point.

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