In “Silencing Negativity,” Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church reminds us that our future potential isn’t limited by our past shortcomings.

It means Jesus knew what would happen to
you in your childhood before he called

you into this season of your own parenting. It
means Jesus knew you would be at church today,

because somebody dragged you, so he could
get you this word that he needs you to hear.

He knew! God knows. We say that
almost like a cussword. “God knows.”

“Oh, God knows when the kids are going to be
back in school full time. God knows when the

alpha/beta/gamma/delta variants are all going
to pass through and we can all go back. God

knows who’s going to be in the White House.”
God knows what’s going to happen on the sea.

One time, he sent the disciples ahead of
him into a storm and stayed back and prayed.

I said, he sent them into a storm. I said,
he sent them into a storm! “Oh, well,

maybe he didn’t know it was going to… Maybe he
didn’t check the weather before he sent them out.”

His word is the weather forecast. Ask
Elijah. Elijah said, “It’s not going to rain

until I say so from the word of
God that comes from my mouth.”

If Elijah, the prophet, had
that kind of power over nature,

what kind of power does Jesus have over the
situations of your life? He’s God. He’s sovereign.

He’s the Bread of Life. He’s the solid rock,
and he’s the living water. Oh yeah. The solid

rock. We sing about, “On Christ the solid rock
I stand.” Absolutely. He’s a firm foundation.

He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever.
God doesn’t change like the shadows change.

God doesn’t change like your best friend changes.
God doesn’t change like your hair color changes.

God doesn’t change like cultural climates
change, but the same God who could be called

the solid rock is also the living
water. He was standing by the sea

because he wanted to teach you that real faith
not only has to be solid; it has to be fluid.

Why did he teach on a body of water? Well, first,
because the storm will help you learn the lesson,

but secondly, the same way that sea
operates is the same way faith operates,

which is why I think he liked fishermen to
be his disciples. See, a fisherman has to

know that the fish that were here an hour
ago might not be here an hour from now.

The fish that weren’t here an
hour ago might be here now.

To follow Jesus is to flow with Jesus.

What better place for him to call a
disciple than standing by the lake? See,

Jesus hasn’t even said anything yet, and he’s
already preaching. He’s already preaching just

by where he’s standing. He’s standing by
the lake, and he’s like, “Hey, everybody,

look. Before I open my mouth… Do you see this?
Do you see how it’s calm right now? It might

not be calm tomorrow. Life is like that, but you
can trust me. You need an anchor for your soul.”

Remember, men can communicate with nonverbals.
So, Jesus is standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,

Chinnereth, the harp. He’s going to play this
lake like an instrument. He’s going to conduct

the wind and the waves like a symphony to
bring these disciples to greater faith.

Jesus is conducting even the conflict of my
life. Jesus says, “Waves, that’s enough.” They

got this lesson. In fact, he might speak it to
you right now if you listen. “Peace, be still.”

Waves die down at his command because he has all
authority. Even the wind and the waves obey him.

Even the wind and the waves obey the
one who was standing by the lake.

They were crowded around listening to
the word of God. Then verse 2 says…

So, he stood in verse 1, but watch this. Verse 2:
“He saw…” “He saw at the water’s edge two boats,

left there by the fishermen…” In this
way, Jesus is like Holly. He had options.

I don’t think sometimes we
take that into account. God

could have given somebody else
those kids to raise. Two boats.

(That would be a good rapper name. We have
Lil Yachty, and we could have “Two Boats.”)

“He saw two boats, left there by the fishermen,
who were washing their nets.” I don’t want to

use that yet, but I want to point it out to
you. They were washing their nets. It was over

for the night. The reason I’m going to move
past that is because I need to show you verse 3.

“He got into one of the boats,
the one belonging to Simon…”

Peter is going to preach on the day of
Pentecost, but he’s still Simon at this moment.

Peter is going to give his life for the gospel
of Jesus Christ. History tells us he died as a

martyr. He’s going to write two epistles, 1 and
2 Peter. Appropriately titled, don’t you think?

Not 1 and 2 Simon…1 and 2 Peter.
That’s the potential of who he can be.

Cephas in the Hebrew. Petros in the Greek. Rock.
Little rock, not big rock. That’s Jesus. “On this

rock I will build my church.” Big rock. Little
rock: Peter. Peter is the pebble skipping across

the Sea of Galilee to create a ripple effect
of the gospel that would carry to us today.

But he’s not even Peter the
pebble yet. He’s still Simon.

I have to make a confession
to y’all. I’m still Steven.

I know I need to be Pastor for at least about
25 more minutes. And I’m not a hypocrite.

I don’t go home and kick the dog. I’ve already
told you I don’t have a dog. I’m not getting one.

(She said, “Yet.” False prophet
on the front row. Security!)

Y’all, he got in and then asked him to put out a
little from shore. Isn’t that the opposite order?

Look at verse 3. You need to see
this. He got into Peter’s boat

and then asked him if he could use it. I’m
thinking protocol is the other way around.

Do you see what I’m saying? Go
get into a car after church,

and then ask the person if it’s all right
if you drive it, and see how it works out.

My mind says it must already be his.

When Graham came in to see me today and
said, “Oh, I like your jacket,” I said,

“I like your slides.” I said, “But those look
like mine.” He said, “No, I got them from Elijah.”

I said, “Turn it over.” It was mine. He
said, “That’s crazy. When I asked Elijah

if I could borrow it, he said, ‘Get your own
drip,’ but he actually got it out of your closet.”

Here’s the point I’m trying to say: your boat is
borrowed. Any drip you have, any intelligence you

have…in fact, every breath you have… That’s why
we praise him: because the breath is borrowed.

If you’ve ever been in the hospital, you get a
new appreciation. The breath is borrowed. So now

let everything that has breath give
it back. “It’s your boat, God.”

I’m going to give you 21 seconds to give it back.

Some people didn’t see 2021, but look
at you, you survivor! You’re a survivor.

“It was shaky, but I made it! It was
wavy, but I made it! It was windy,

but he picked me up!” If you can’t
shout, at least nod. Just nod like this.

Nod up. Nod down. Nod all around. Shake it
back and forth. “No, Devil, you can’t have it.”

Shake your head like this. “You can’t
have my kids! You can’t have my house!

You can’t have my peace! You can’t
have my brain, Devil! It’s God’s boat.”

Nod if I’m talking to you.

You don’t even have to let anybody know what
you’re nodding about. Just nod at your neighbor.

Say, “Yeah, he did it. He got in my boat, and
I’m still Simon.” I think the challenge is… How

can you believe you have the potential to
be Peter when you act so much like Simon?

The inner Simon.

Let me show you another Scripture. Just say, “I’m
still Simon.” You’re either Simon or you’re lying.

One connotation of Simon is it’s
like a reed. It means he hears.

It’s so funny, because Simon’s name
means he listens, but he’s in trouble

only when he’s talking. “We fished all
night and caught nothing.” Shut up, Simon.

Maybe that’s what I’ll call
the message: “Shut up, Simon.”

Sometimes I need my Simon on the inside, the
one who’s always saying, “Oh, you’re so stupid,

and you’re so weak. Look at you. You’re
so dumb, and everything is so horrible…”

“Let’s just play the quiet game. All right, Simon.
Let’s find a game on your iPad. You shut up,

because Peter has a purpose to accomplish.” I
need to flow right now with God and follow Jesus

in this season of my life, and I can’t be this
little child anymore who’s always listening to

my screaming, emotional 5-year-old in the back
seat, telling me to pull over. “We can’t do it,

because it’s too hard. Nobody appreciates me.”
Be quiet, Simon. Is that better? Be quiet, Simon.

Shut up, Simon. Let Peter preach.
There’s a Peter in me too.

Pebble, rock, firm. It’s small,
but it’s solid. Then there’s Simon.

The Scripture I want to show you is Luke 22. I
was looking at it, because I wanted to break it

down where you could really get it. Not just
go, “Oh, that’s nice,” but really get it.

When Jesus was eating Passover with his
disciples before he went to Jerusalem… Remember,

Jerusalem is where he died. The Sea of Galilee,
Chinnereth, harp…that’s where he lived. That’s

where he ministered. That’s where he based,
but Jerusalem is where he was always headed.

Where his ministry started
is not where it finished,

and where your life starts is
not where it finishes either,

Simon. In order to get to his purpose,
he had to go through a kind of death.

For Peter to rise, Simon kind of had to die,
yet here’s what’s interesting. Jesus is speaking

to this disciple, one of the three church fathers.
He’s the reason the church is here today, really,

because of what he did for the
Gentiles, those of us who are not

Jews by ethnicity, but we’re in
Christ. Spiritually, we’re grafted in.

That’s what started me studying. I was studying
how when Peter took the gospel to the Gentiles,

he didn’t want to do it, because Simon was telling
him, “This is not who you should preach to.

This is not in the realm of your experience.
This is not in your family background.

This is not for you.” But God knew
how to pull the Peter out of Simon.

God knows how to pull the grown man out of you,

the grown woman out of you,
the patience out of you,

the fortitude out of you, the discipline out of
you. He knows how to pull the Peter out of Simon.

But even after Jesus changed his name to Peter…
I don’t have time to show you that. Jesus said,

“Who do you say I am?” He said, “You’re the
Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said,

“You are Peter.” “I am?” “You are.” Pebble. “And
upon this rock I’ll build my church. You’re a

pebble. You’re made of the same stuff as me.
You’re made in the image of God. You’re Peter.”

You don’t even know what you’re made of yet.

When people tell you, “Oh, just do you…”
That would be fine if you knew you.

One day, I’m going to preach a
message called “Do the New You.”

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. When
people say, “Do you,” we use that as an excuse.

“Oh, throw a temper tantrum. Do you. Just
be however you are. Do you.” Are you still

taking advice from your fifth-grade yearbook,
“Raise hell over the summer and never change”?

No, I’m changing, like the sea is changing.
I’m changing like the seasons are changing.

God is pulling the Peter,
the solid, out of the Steven.

He doesn’t hate Simon. He said, “You are
Peter.” Deeper in you, there is purpose.

On the surface, there is stuff
that keeps you from seeing it.

“But, God, what do you see in me? Beneath
the sand of Steven, beneath the sand of

Simon…feelings and paths and pain
and trauma…what do you see in me?”

Jesus said, “You’re Peter. That
confession you made, ‘You are the Christ,

the Son of the living God’? You know who I
am, and I’m going to show you who you are,

because you don’t even know yet.” This is a
grown man, and he’s just discovering who he is.

Who told you that’s all you could be? I don’t let
anybody tell me what I can do because I’m white

or because I’m short or because I’m 41 or because
I’m a man or because I’m from Moncks Corner.

You don’t get to tell me that. What you see on me
might have nothing to do with what God sees in me.