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Watch 2022 online sermons » Jentezen Franklin » Jentezen Franklin - Choosing Not to Fight

Jentezen Franklin - Choosing Not to Fight

Jentezen Franklin - Choosing Not to Fight
Jentezen Franklin - Choosing Not to Fight

I wanna talk to you about a story in 2 Samuel 15 that is very relevant to our times, and you'll see in a moment. Verse 14, "So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, 'Arise, and let us flee, or we shall not escape from Absalom. Make haste to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly and bring disaster upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.'" Notice what his thinking is about, strike the city, completely destroy the city. "And the king's servants said to the king, 'We're your servants, and we're ready to do whatever the lord the king commands.'"

Then I wanna skip over to Verse 23, "And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people crossed over. The king himself also crossed over the Brook Kidron, and all the people crossed over by the way of the wilderness, and there was Zadok also and Levites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar went up until the people had finished crossing over from the city. Then the king said to Zadok, 'Carry the ark back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me back and show me both it and His dwelling place. But if He says thus: 'I have no delight in you,' here I am, let Him do with me as seems good to Him.'"

Verse 14 is particularly what I'm focusing in on. He says, "We need to make haste and depart". The latter part of that verse, "lest he strike the city with the edge of the sword". I wanna talk to you about choosing not to fight, "Choosing Not to Fight" because that's exactly what was taking place in this text. David was king of Israel. Absalom, his own son. Everybody say it's family. His own son has decided to attack and overtake and rebel and overtake his father's kingdom, the nation of Israel, and the city of Jerusalem. And in that moment, David has to make a decision, and the Bible said he said to his servants we're going to leave, we're gonna walk out of here, we're gonna get out of here, and they said we'll do whatever you tell us to do. If you wanna fight, we'll fight. If you wanna give it up, we'll give it up. You just tell us what to do. And he said, "We need to leave, lest he smite the city with the edge of the sword".

I wanna clearly state that I believe that God knows exactly what He's doing in the world today. I believe in the sovereignty of God just like David. David said it's His kingdom and if He wants me to have it, I'll have it. If He doesn't want me to have it, I don't want it. And he said we're going to leave because what's important is the City of Zion, picture of the church, a picture of the kingdom. What's important is not what I want or what you want but look at the big picture. It's the kingdom. And he said that he wants to destroy the city. I don't want innocent bystanders to be destroyed. I don't want blood in the streets. When you understand that God is sovereign, that men come and go, but God is sovereign, when you understand that He makes no mistakes, the Bible said He is righteous in all of His ways. In all of His ways He's right whether you understand it or not.

The Bible said in Romans that the carnal mind cannot discern the things of the Spirit, that if all you do is made up your mind how God must act and what He must do and how He must do it, you will never understand that God's ways are not your ways. God's thoughts are not your thoughts, and we need to take solace in the fact that God is sovereign and completely in control in our world and in our nation and in our life. David loved God and because he loved God, he loved everything that God loved. If you don't love God first, you don't love the things you're supposed to love, the people of God, your brothers and your sisters, the church, the kingdom, the Word, the worship of God's house. Fall in love with God. That's what David did.

The thing that impresses me about David, two things greatly impress me about David. Number one, he never worshipped idols. He made a lot of mistakes. He did a lot of bad things, but he never worshipped any other God. He said there's one God, and I know who He is, and I'll never worship even when I fail and I fall. I'm coming back to that God. And he never worshipped an idol. The second thing that impresses me about David is he refused to ever raise his sword against his own brothers and sisters and flesh and blood. When I think about David, I think about the fact that he's a warrior. So, this couldn't have been easy for him to just walk away from the throne room and walk away from being king. It couldn't have been easy. It had to be everything instinctively inside of him. He was a fighter. He said in 1 Samuel 17, I fought a bear, I fought a lion on another occasion. And I just wanna teach this for a minute. The bear and the lion were a threat to his family welfare because he was guarding the sheep, and that was the family business, and the lion came to hurt the family welfare, and the bear came to take away the family welfare, and he fought the bear and the lion and slew them.

And then there came a time in the same chapter when he fought Goliath, and Goliath was a warrior, that he fought for the national warfare of the nation and the welfare of the nation. We're so worried about the nation, but we're losing the battle against the lion and the bear in our own home. We have to remind ourselves that it's not the White House that decides how much God I'm gonna have in my life. It is what's going on in my house and if I'm not fighting the bear and the lion in my own house, how can I dare think that we're gonna defeat the Goliath on a national level? He was a warrior. He fought bears and lions and giants. It was his instinct. He was surrounded with trained killers. God even said he's such a bloody man I won't let him built my temple. He knew how to fight. He had fought many armies. He had fought the bravest and strongest and mightiest armies in the world and defeated them hands down, but now there comes a time when against all instinct, David is moved on by the Spirit of the Lord, and he says this time I choose not to fight.

This time I choose to advocate the throne, and I choose to go with what God is telling me to do, and I don't feel like I'm supposed to fight this time. I feel like that there will be innocent bystanders. He will strike the city with a sword, and there will be many, many, many, many blood in the streets, a civil war will happen, so I'm going to put it in the hands of God. He was more concerned about the preservation and health of the City of Jerusalem that Jerusalem at all costs must stay intact. Too much good is coming out of there. Salvation is going to come out of that city. Prophesies are gonna be fulfilled out of that city. Jesus is gonna rule and reign one day from that city. I can't just let that city be destroyed 'cause my ego is hurt. David could've said I could win this fight. He could have let his lust for revenge cause him to bring greater division than Israel had ever faced. David was not one to run from the fight, but he was doing what he was doing to preserve the city.

Every now and then we have to come to place that we realize that there's something more important than our personal feelings or more important than our personal agendas. This is not about me and quite frankly this is not about you. He died on a cross for you and for me. He shed His Blood, and the last thing we ought to be doing in this critical hour, the last thing that we ought to be doing in church is picking up our swords and using them on each other when the world needs a church like it's never needed one before. The truth is we all have an agenda, and we need to humble ourselves. I've watched friendships of many years between people suffer injury because of disagreements in politics. Shame on us all. I can absolutely disagree with you and not agree with anything in the world that you agree in on politics and vice versa with me, and that should have nothing to do with my love, my concern, my compassion, my genuine, pure heart of love and concern for you as my brother and my sister.

David said, "If I don't leave, he will smite the city with the edge of a sword". And I'm afraid that some of us have been using the sword against our own brothers and sisters. Simon Peter was in the Garden of Gethsemane. Do you remember that story? And the Bible said the high priest came, somebody who was religious, and Simon Peter had pride that he was so religious. And when they came to arrest Jesus, he took his sword, and he swung, and he wasn't swinging and aiming for the ear. He was aiming for the head. He missed and just got the ear. And Jesus reached down and picked the ear up and put it back on supernaturally and then he rebuked Peter and He said, "You have the right doctrine, but the wrong spirit". It's possible to have the right doctrine and have the wrong spirit, and He said, "Put your sword away, Simon Peter. For if you live by the sword, you will die by the sword".

I'm just gonna preach right here. I feel like the Lord is speaking, and He's saying to the Body of Christ, "Put you sword in the sheath". You're not supposed to be attacking one another and unfollowing one another and disconnecting, and I'll go to my camp and you go to your camp. I refuse that. I choose not to fight. I choose to love. Listen, love God with all of your heart and love your neighbor as yourself, and you fulfill all the laws. You know what He was saying when He said, "Put your sword away. You ought not to be cutting up somebody you disagree with". "Well, I hadn't put a shank in anybody," but boy, you've been cutting online. Unfollow. People you've known for years. People you've worshipped with for years. I'm telling you, the Lord messed me up with this one right here. Don't you forget this line right here. This story teaches us when He said, "Put your sword away". It teaches us that there are some battles, that don't take a sword to win. It takes a crucifixion.

Sometimes you don't win by fighting and cutting everybody. Sometimes God allows you to go through a crucifixion, and you died of your pride and you died of your ego and you died to your opinion and your will and your way. The thing that blessed me about this story more than anything else is as David was leaving on his own because it was the best for the city that he loved, the church that he loved. You can leave but notice the spirit in which he leaves. Zadok and Levites brought the Ark of the Covenant. After all, he was the man, you remember, he's the one who brought it back to the church. He's the man who trained musicians and singers. He's the one that rolled the tent up and said everybody come. He's the one that built a magnificent house of worship, and it was all about the presence of God and the Ark of the Covenant, and so they just assumed, well, if he's leaving, then pick up the glory. The glory is leaving the church with him. And when your spirit is if I leave and bless God, that place can go to hell. Aw, God ain't there. That placed blessed you.

When your spirit is, when I leave I want the glory to leave, I want the anointing to leave, I want the presence to leave. I hope their worship falls to pieces. I hope the church goes under. Number one, it ain't never gonna go under 'cause it's built on the rock. But here's the thing. I have no agenda except I'm preaching the truth right now, and I hear the Lord saying, "Preach it. I want to get some little attitudes and just tweak them and make them just like me instead of just like somebody else". Because when you leave and you want something to be destroyed, and watch David's spirit. No bitterness. Watch him. He could've said, "Yeah, bring the Ark of the Covenant 'cause wherever that box goes, that God box, victory goes, prosperity goes. It's leaving". He said, "No, send it back and even if I can't go there for a while I'll just say this to God, God, if you favor me, you'll let me go back and if you don't," listen to this man.

This is the real David. He could've fought and won, but he's got such a spirit of humility, of there is a cause that is greater than me, and he was the king. His ego was in check, and he says, "But God, if you don't favor me and I don't go back, my life is in your hands". In other words, so many words, "Not mine will but Thine be done. I don't understand everything, but I know you're sovereign, and I love you". And the Bible said he sent the Ark of the Covenant back. What kind of spirit do you have? Is there not a cause? I'm almost done. But Absalom had an ambition for the throne. David was anointed for the throne. And you know the story, don't you? Ambition will always be conquered by the anointing. There's a lot of people who have unsanctified ambition in the church. They want a position so bad, and they don't care who they kill and who they slay and how bad they hurt the church if they don't get it. "Let's get the Ark of that Covenant. Where's my purse? I'm out of here".

Can we get some mature believers who understand there's something a little bit bigger going on around here than my ego? Souls are being saved. Lives are being changed. The anointing always supersedes ambition. Do you know why I believe David could leave? Because when God has anointed you for something and somebody ambitious is trying to take it from you, He knew he's not anointed for that. Nobody is gonna get what God's anointed me to do. I may go through a setback. I may not be in that position for a while but if I'll humble myself and keep the right spirit, God will guide my life right where I'm anointed to be. You know what happened? A few days later, he was out riding on a horse or a donkey and his hair got, this ambitious man. His hair got caught in a tree, and he was hanging by the tree, and it just so happened that Johab, the chief army commander and assassin of King David, came upon him, and he said, "Target practice," and took three darts and shot him while he was hanging by his hair from a tree, and David comes back.

Now, he's going right back. He could have fought and left the city devastated and untold damage, but now in God's time the things we fight over that if we trust God. I'm not saying you don't take a stand. I'm not saying you don't stand up, but there comes a time where it becomes more negative and detrimental to keep fighting. So, let me bring it right home. I'm almost done. I promise. But I gotta finish with this. The Lord spoke to my heart, and He said just like, just like David didn't want that holy city, Jerusalem, to be smitten with a sword, tell families it's time to choose not to fight. Be careful how you treat your wife. Be careful how you treat your husband. Be careful how you treat your children. Be careful. You may be right. You may be right on the issue, but there has to come a moment if you want peace and you don't want innocent bystanders like grandchildren and children, husbands, wives, moms, dads, teenagers. There comes a time when you have to choose not to fight.
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