Jentezen Franklin - This is Your Year
Welcome to Kingdom Connection. Thank you for joining us today. I have an encouraging word that I wanna share with you, and I believe it's from the Lord to your heart. "This is Your Year". That's what I'm preaching today. We will be starting from Luke 13, so open up your Bibles. Let's go right into the service. I believe if you're watching this program and you are, that means that this message can be activated in your life. Listen to it, and I believe God will spark faith to believe that this is my year. Listen and be blessed.
If you have your Bibles I'd like for you to open them with me, please, to the Book of Luke chapter 13, and I have a word from the Lord today. Is that all right? Luke chapter 13. I'll begin reading with verse six. "He also spoke this parable: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, 'Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and found none. Cut it down. Why does it use up the ground?' But he answered and said to him," Listen to these words, "Sir, let it alone this year also". In other words, give me one more year. Give me one more year. "Let it alone this year also until," notice the two things, "I dig about it and dung it".
How many of you know what dung is? And for the young people that are here it goes with the word bull dung, chicken dung. This is in the Bible. I'm preaching the Bible. He said, "I'm going to do two things. I'm going to dig it, and I'm going to dung it". For three years this tree has not produced. It's been in the same rut for three years. Now, listen to me carefully. The owner planted the tree in the soil that he knew that it need to produce greatness, to produce fruit, to produce what he wanted to get out of it. You don't choose the soil, the pain, the problems, the difficulties, the challenges that God plants you in, but if He planted you in that particular soil it is only because He knows that's what it's going to require. Not an easy life. Not luxurious sand. It may require a pain and a problem in your life to produce greatness that God wants to come up out of that, and the soil is not the problem because all the other trees were fruitful except that one.
It was the response of the tree to the soil that it was planted in. The pain and the problems in our life cannot stop us unless we get in a rut and we just keep, and the thing that got me about this story is God kept coming. The owner is God in this story. The tree is you and me, and the tree, instead of producing in the soil that God planted it in, because He comes back and check on it. When He plants you and allows to go through pain, through problems, circumstances, adversity He backs of and He comes back. And in this story, He came back annually. He came back at the first of the year, and He comes back, and He's not expecting whining. He's not expecting complaining. He's not expecting a dried up tree that has become puny and weaker and barely hanging on to faith, just the roots are alive, there's no fruit of the Spirit. He's not expecting that. He's expecting you to blossom where He has planted you, to prosper where He has planted you.
And the thing about this story that got me is it's been three years and God keeps coming back at the beginning of the year, and you still have an unfruitful marriage, and last year and the year before it's not any better, it's not any better? That could be your family tree. It could be your family, and the family has difficult soil that it's in. And so, the enemy wants you to accept that, but God comes back and He says, "This isn't meant to destroy you. The place that I allowed you to go through is not meant to wipe you out". Others are going through the same thing, and it forced them to a fruitful relationship with me going through the same rejection, the same divorce, the same pain, the same tragedy of losing a loved one and it didn't wither up their tree. It actually made them blossom and become more fruitful in long suffering.
The Fruits of the Spirit: peace, joy, love, longsuffering, patience, kindness, goodness. It had to cover up in the kind of soil that was difficult, not easy. God doesn't need you to be with a lot of friends right now. He knows what it's gonna take for greatness to come out of you. We always want a happy, blessed, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful life, and we don't understand. It's usually more to the story than a beautiful tree that's blossoming. Somewhere that tree, if it's gonna go high, it's gonna start low. And listen to this, it's been three years and the owner said, "We might as well cut it down and throw it into the fire".
And this is what I came to preach today, "This Is Your Year", "This Is Our Year," and the Lord told me to tell you, it might have been three years, and some of you have been saying, "I might as well quit. I might as well give up. I might as well try something else because I'm caught in this cycle at maintaining a deferred dream. I tried and here I am in the same place that I was last year, and I tried and last year and the year before and the year before". And the enemy wants you to settle, but God, just when he said it might be time to cut it down and throw it in the fire up steps somebody called the Dresser of the Field. And let me give you a hint His name is Jesus. Because I know He's Jesus because He put Himself between an angry God and a fruitless, puny tree, and He said, "Leave it alone".
Did you catch those words? "Leave it alone". In other words, He's saying, "If you've got vindication, if you've got anger, if you've got some problem with the tree, you don't have to talk to the tree anymore. Put it on me. I'll take the tree's place. I'll hang on a tree. I'll take his curse. I'll take what he deserves. I'll take his wasted life. I'll take the ramifications of that". And Jesus in that moment became the middle man between the tree, and notice what Jesus begged for, and I believe that you're listening to me at all of our campuses and all over the nation and by television and those of you here in this room this morning live, you're not is this service by accident. This year, 2022, is the year. I ask God to bring only the people who would believe what I'm saying today. This is your year of fruitfulness! This is your year! It's gonna require some things of you. You can't just go through this year like every other year. This is the year!
Shout this is my year! Turn to somebody on your other side and say give it one more year. I know you feel like quitting. I know you feel like it's never gonna change. I know you feel like you're never gonna get free for that addiction. I know you feel like you never gonna get in shape. I know you feel like your marriage is never gon' get better, but I heard the Lord this week in my spirit say, "The enemy is lying to people. This is the year of breakthrough. This is the year of fruitfulness. This is the year of winning, being the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath". Take a praise break and give God glory. Hallelujah! We praise you, Lord!
C'mon. Give Him a great praise if you still believe in times in soil like this. Even in soil like this, pandemic and trouble everywhere, division, and crime everywhere, but even in soil like this God says, "That can be your year 'cause, my people, I know what I'm doing in the vineyard". And He said, "Don't quit this year". He didn't say give it one more year so we can keep doing what we've always done, though. We're not talking about give it one more year and cross your fingers and wish for the best. No, no, no, no, no, no. He said you're gonna have to have two things happen to you if you'll give me a year. Notice what He said. He said, "You gon' have to let me dig you and you gon' have you let me dung you". I'm gon' dig you. What does that mean? I'm gon' tear up the environment all around you. You've become hardened. You've become conceited. You're not soft anymore to my Spirit. I can't get the Spiritual nutrients through to your soul, and you've become hardened in your soul.
And so what I wanna do is I want to tear up things. And a lot of us know what it is to have God dig deep and tear up the environment all around us. What in the world is going on? But one thing it does is it softens you. It softens to you where you begin to dig. God knows and what He intends for you to be and that's an overcomer, but in order for that to happen you've got to dig deep. God put everything that He needed in this earth. He put oil in the ground, He put gold in the mountains, coal to keep us warm, but He put it out of the reach of lazy people. And this year will have no change for you unless you're willing to dig deep this year and say, "I'm gonna do what I can do and God will do what I can't do, but here we go. I'm not going into another year of defeat. I'm not going into another year of being sick and tired of being sick and tired".
I'm trying to calm down 'cause we have guests here today, but I feel like screaming and preaching this morning because I know that this is our year, and we can't play games. We've gotta dig deep this year! Dig deep into this Book! Dig deep into prayer. Dig deep into your church. Get in it! Give Him one year! You gave hell when you were in it. You were tore up every night. Now God wants to tear you up another way. He's gon' tear up everything that is hardened against what He wants out of your life: fruitfulness. I found this, and I wanna give it to you. "What does that digging thing mean? What are you talking about? Make room for growth".
George "Shotgun" Shuba played seven seasons with the Dodgers. He was the first pinch hitter to hit a homerun in the World Series, and he knocked the homerun in the World Series and one of the announcers calling the game said these words, "His swing is as natural as a smile". And after the program or after the game everybody was using that quote, and they asked him about it. He said, "Is that what he called it? Is that what he called that just as natural as a smile"? He said, "No". He said, "Every day I swing a weighted bat, 44 ounces, 600 times a day, and that's 4,200 times a week, and what you think was just natural," and that's how we feel about people who are Spiritual and who are fruitful in their walk with God, "Well you're just naturally". No, no. There's nothing natural about it. You pick this Book up, and you read it. You get on your knees, and you pray. You get you outta the bed, and you get in church and you'll be amazed at how natural it is to be blessed and how natural it is to have a faith that believes no matter what the environment around is doing! And then lastly, he said, "Not only am I gonna dig, but I'm gonna dung you".
If you still haven't figured out what that is, it's manure. It's bad. God can use horrible things to bring miracle growth. The one thing that is so obnoxious in your life that you can't hardly stand it is the very thing God takes and throws on a fruitless tree to make it come alive. Without fertilizer the tree dies, and fertilizer is not pleasant. You go through things that stink. There will always be in every relationship, sooner or later your marriage will stink, your family will stink, your job will stink, your finances may stink, you will go through, maybe your health stinks, but God says, "I don't waste that, I take it and use it as fertilizer".
People give up. They give up instead of growing. The time that God's gonna do the greatest things in your life, they give up because when God starts tearing up everything around you, and then He starts throwing the mess on you. It's just, here's why that's good news. "Well, this is not an encouraging, positive word today". Yeah, I'm telling you, God's gon' dig you and God's gon' dung you, and you can't do nothing about it. But here's your last option. There's only one other option left. Remember, He said, "I'm coming back at the end of the year and if you hadn't let me dig you and you haven't let me dung you, throw mess on you and it not turn sour it actually makes you grow".
I believe in now more than I ever believe it. Now that they're coming against me I know that all things are working together for the good. I know that I am more than a conquer, and I'm not discouraged. That's when your tree begins to blossom! But here's the thing that we ought to be shouting at. How many of you feel like God's just digging all around your little tree? Let me see your hand. How many of you feel like God's even thrown some dung on you? Just be honest. Just be honest. Well here's the good news. This why you ought to shout. 'Cause the only thing left is to cut you down and burn you. And since... aren't you glad that you're getting dug and dunged instead of cut down and thrown away? God's not through with you! God hasn't given up on you, and He's giving you one more year.
What if this was the last, what if you knew, what if God told you, "This is your last year to fix this, to get real with me. I'm giving you one more year to change things and enjoy your life like it is in the soil that I planted you in, and if I come back and you're still discouraged and defeated I'mma let you have what you complain about". Now I know this isn't popular preaching right now, and I understand that you came for, but sometimes you don't just need blessing, you need blistering. And I'm a preacher. This is what I do for a living. I have a license, and I'm up here telling you and I'm preaching to myself. My cry is this is my year. Dig me. Dung me. Whatever you wanna do.
Now watch this. Let me close with this. The apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:8, "Yea doubtless, and I count all things," all things, all things, all things, "loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ for whom I have suffered the loss of all things," listen, "and do count them but dung". He said, "You know what"? He said, "Everything I've been through, I have lost, I have been beaten with rods, I have been snake bit, I have been left for dead, I have been stoned, I have been falsely imprisoned, I have been lied on, I have been run out of town, I have been tortured, but can I just tell you"? He said, "I counted all as dung". He said, "All it is, is fertilizer. God took everything I've been through and put it on me, and I wrote half the New Testament and I couldn't have done it in any other soil. I had to have the mess to bring the message"!
The very things that we wanna hide when Jesus walked into the temple and He said, "Stretch forth your hand," the man with the withered hand could have stretch forth his good hand that was all manicured and he perfect, but he had to reveal his weakness and the ugly part of his life. I close with this, but hear me. David said in Psalms 83 that, "My enemies," he said, "they because as dung". One translation said, "The very thing trying to destroy you God will use as fertilizer". I close with this. In Luke chapter 11 Jesus arrives at the tomb of Lazarus and his sister comes out and says, "Lord, you're too late. You should have come three years ago". But in this case three days ago; he's four days dead. And then she make the statement, "By now he stinks". This is bad. This is dung. And Jesus smiles.
In my mind, I could see Him smile and say, "You don't understand, girl. This is just fertilizer for the supernatural. This kind of environment is just fertilizer for miracles. I'm gonna dig it, and I'm gonna take the most obnoxious things that life throws at my people, and if they will stay rooted and they will submit to the digging and the dunging process and give me one more year. Don't quit, don't give up, don't throw in the towel. Give me one more year. I will bring fruit where the tree is withered and dead. I'll turn the puny into the mighty". And you know who said He would do it? The Dresser of the Field, Jesus. He said, "I'm the one. I'll take their shame. I'll take their curse. I'll take their failures". And God says, "I'm gonna take the mess of your life, the wasted years, the wasted relationships, the terrible decisions. I'll turn it into fertilizer, and I'll put it on that fruitless tree, and in one year's time", I'm telling you, if you'll give God one year.
See, we want the quick-fix, bam, you got it, now go do your thing. That's not how it works in the Kingdom. Give Him some time. Let Him give you some miracle growth in your life, and He'll take everything you've been through: the tears, the brokenness, the abuse, the hurt, the horrible decisions, the failure, the addiction, the pain, and He'll use it as fertilizer. If you'd let Him just break you up a little bit, you would leave this place with a faith that is beginning to grow again and come alive again, and before this year is over you're gonna have a one year turnaround in Jesus name.