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Watch 2022 online sermons » Jentezen Franklin » Jentezen Franklin - Sticks and Stones - Part 1

Jentezen Franklin - Sticks and Stones - Part 1

Jentezen Franklin - Sticks and Stones - Part 1
Jentezen Franklin - Sticks and Stones - Part 1

Open your Bibles with me to the Book of Exodus chapter four. "So the LORD said to him, 'What is that in your hand?' He said, 'A stick.' And He said, 'Cast it on the ground.' So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. And the LORD said to Moses, 'Reach out your hand and take it by the tail,' and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand". A stick in his hand. I'll stop reading there for the sake of time but this is the miraculous story of God using Moses, but it's really the story of how God wants to use you and wants to use me in troubling times like we're living in. After 400 years of Egyptian bondage God lit up a bush in the desert and He said, "Moses, I want you to go tell Pharaoh to let my people go".

For 40 years Moses had been hiding in the desert, camouflaging himself from his calling, running from his calling. That's why when the voice spoke out of the burning bush it said, "Take your shoes off, because I'm tired of you running from the call. I'm tired of you running in intimidation and fear from what I've called you to do. You've been running from the mission and the assignment that I have for your life. Don't run from it". If ever there was an hour for us to run to the call and the plan and the purpose of God as a church and as individuals, this is the hour to take your shoes off. "Take your running equipment off and stand on Holy ground and let me use you like I wanna use you". He was full of fear, I can relate to it.

I remember when God called me to preach, I felt so inadequate, I was terrified, I knew that He called me but I felt totally unequipped, and insufficient. And He said, "God, if you really want me to do this you're gonna have to give me a sign". And God ask him a question, "What is in your hand"? And he said, "I have this stick, this shepherd staff. It's all I've got". And He said, "Throw it down on the ground". And when he threw it unto the ground it turned into a serpent. And the next verse said, "And Moses fled". I don't blame him, do you? But notice that before God could use him it required Moses to go back and confront his fear and pick it up again. And so the Bible said, "He picked the serpent up by the tail and when he did it turned back into a stick".

That stick that looked so normal, that stick that looked so common, they were all over the place, that stick that looked so ordinary, God said, "I can take what's in your hand, I don't need you to have something that you think you have to have, I'll use what you've got, and I'll turn it into something supernatural if you'll get your finger prints off of it. And make sure that when I do it you don't begin to rob me of the glory. I want you to... As long as it's in your hand it's ordinary, it's normal, it's average, it has no power to do anything. But the moment you lay it down and put it in my hand it will become supernatural. But don't you dare when you pick it up act like it's about you, I want you to go back to being a stick".

I'm gonna preach. "And Moses, when you're standing at the Red Sea, and I brought you and two and a half million Israelites out of Egyptian bondage, and Pharaoh's army is closing in on you trying to recapture you I want you to take that stick, and hold it up and I'll part the Red Sea and you'll go through the impossible to the promise land. Because sometimes all God needs is a stick. And Moses, when you get out into the wilderness and you're thirsting to death and you haven't had any water to drink for three days you'll come upon the pool of Marah. And when you get there the waters will be bitter but I want you to see a tree".

God showed him a tree and he took a branch off the tree and when he touched the tree with that branch of wood, that stick suddenly the bitter what turned sweet. Because sometimes all God needs is an ordinary, average stick. And when the widow woman was about to die in the famine, the Bible said the prophet showed up, Elijah, and you know what she was doing? She was gathering sticks to make her last meal. And God performed a miracle for a woman who had one meal and a few sticks. And she ate for the next three and a half years because she gave it to the prophet. And the Bible said, I'mma put it in my own language. I believe she had pancakes in the morning and cornbread at night, because the meal of barrel never ran out. C'mon, she's probably into what we like, pancakes and cornbread. Say amen, somebody. It's a pretty good meal.

And when the ax head flew off of the handle, the head flew off of the handle of the ax when they were building the school of the prophets in 2 Kings 6, the Bible said that the prophet walked over and picked up a stick and touched the Jordan River because the ax head had gone into the river and sunk to the bottom. And when he took that ordinary, plain, average, common stick and he touched the water with it in faith, the Bible said the ax head began to swim in the water, came up from the water, passed the fish, passed all the things, the snakes, or whatever was in there, came all the way up, did the backstroke across the Jordan River, Jumped up onto the ax stick and they went right back to building. Because God, all He needs sometimes is a stick. And when God was ready to redeem the world from sin He allowed His son to die at Calvary on two sticks called a cross because His plan is not something sensational.

People who were super-duper, He says, "I want ordinary, average, normal people who'll use what I've given them and I'll transform it into something supernatural and I'll bless them exceedingly, abundantly above all they could ask or even think". Everybody take a 20 second praise break and thank God that He can use whatever is in your hand! A simple shepherd stick. I guess I'm preaching, quit thinking you're inadequate, quit thinking you can't do it, quit thinking you don't have it, quit thinking it's too big and you're too small, quit thinking God cannot use you. The Lord sent me today to say, "I'm not looking for what you think I'm looking for, I'm looking for ordinary people who I have already given them what they need they just never really surrendered everything to me".

In order for God to turn the ordinary stick into something supernatural, he had to let go of it, he had to surrender it, completely to God, and God transformed it into something supernatural. He didn't ask, "What's in your head"? Because the miracle is not dependent upon your intellect. I didn't know the Bible much when I started preaching, I knew it but I really didn't. He said, "If you need wisdom you can ask for it". You can develop that, I can develop that. I can get education. He didn't say, "What's in your head"? He didn't say, "What's in your mouth"? You know, when you first start out and you've never spoken, you've never been in public and before a crowd you get the stammers. Just like Moses. But God said, "The miracle is not dependent upon how well you can speak. The miracle is not dependent upon how brilliant you are, it's not by might, it's not by power". He said, "What's in your hand? Give me what I've already given you".

And nothing's changed in 2022. All God needs is what He's already given you and He'll use you. Where did He get that stick? This is important. Moses had to go through the desert. He would have never been given the stick had he not gone through the dry, hot, uncomfortable, trial of a desert. Every time we go through a season and we label it a desert, we label it a dry place, God doesn't want us to ever walk through it without picking something up that we've gone through that He can turn around and use for His glory. It was while he was in that desert that he picked up that ordinary stick that would part the Red Sea. That he picked up that stick and in every one of the ten plagues you'll read where that stick was involved.

When he would raise the stick the lice would be released, the flies would, the frogs would be released. It was in the power of the ordinary common stick. God didn't need him to have something else! He didn't need a gold sepulcher, he needed what he had in his hands. God equips us with the tough stuff we go through. He says, "You're not just gonna go through it but you're gonna pick something up out of it that I'm gonna use in a supernatural way". If you been through the desert of divorce God's not through with you. If you've been through and going through the desert of addiction God can use the very thing that you're going through later. He says, "I'm going to revisit it, I'm going to cause it to come alive in a supernatural way and I'll use it against the enemy".

Then he goes before Pharaoh, and when he gets before Pharaoh he says, "God said, 'Let my people go.'" And Pharaoh said, "Why would I do that? You don't impress me". And Moses felt like, "Well, he doesn't know what I got in this stick". And he took that stick, and I think kinda did it with an attitude, he threw it down and probably threw his robe back like that and stood, and said, "Watch this, you've never seen anything like this". And sure enough the stick turned into a serpent and Pharoah yawned. And he said, "Bring my magicians in". There's a difference between miracles and magicians, and magic. Magic is trickery. Bible said, "They began to burn incense".

They created smoke, it's smoking mirrors. This was not... You see, they couldn't make real sticks, they had sticks and they threw them down, but we don't know, they probably were encased in something and when they hit the ground the snakes broke loose. And all the magicians of Pharoah, they threw the sticks down and there was a bunch of snakes down on the ground but then something powerful happened! The Bible said that Moses... the snake that God put in that stick goes over and starts eating up the other sticks, swallowed all the false sticks! Oh, c'mon somebody! And it started with one stick and it ended with one stick and this thing started with one Lord and it's gonna end with one Lord. He's King of kings, He's Lord of lords and His name is above every name and He'll swallow up all of His enemies, His name is Jesus! Give Him a mighty praise if you believe it!

It's not that God can't take simple people and use them magnificently, take simple business people, bless them and exalt, and blow there world up in a powerful, prosperous way to where they're just, I mean, doing things that you never dreamed you could do. That's not the biggest supernatural thing in the story, it's the fact that when Moses picked the snake up... it went back to being a stick. The snake turning back into a stick is the most supernatural part. Because many times we love the sensational, we love the super successful, we love the super Spiritual, we love it when God throws us down and He uses us and He does something powerful in front of a awesome audience and it's a big deal. But the question is, can you still serve God after He gives you supernatural success? Will it change how you feel? Will you become arrogant? Will you become self-sufficient? Will you become someone who wants to walk around and take the glory? Or can you go right back to being a stick?

Sometimes I get afraid just a little bit when I see the Lord blessing our ministry. Because it's so easy to forget that we started with nothing and we are nothing without Him! We will be able to help no one without Him! We're not here to be sensational! If God uses us in a sensational way make sure we give God the glory, make sure we walk simply and... Sometimes the most supernatural thing you can do after God's used you in a supernatural way is just to be natural again. When you first started coming to church you were just a stick, oh, how you needed Him. You walked down that aisle and you got married as a little couple that didn't have much but love, you were living on love. Oh, how you needed Him. But somehow you think you don't need Him now.

Can you go back to a simple, ordinary stick? But I can't find anywhere after that occasion that God ever turned that stick back into a serpent. God never used the serpent again. But when there was a division in the camp of the Israelites and Moses wanted to decide which of the 12 tribes the high priest would come from he told each of the leaders of the 12 tribes to bring a stick from an almond tree. "Cut the limb off an almond tree and bring the stick and lay it in the presence of the Ark of the Covenant". And the stick that was cut down and comes alive will be, the one that I choose. Write your name on it. From each of the tribe leaders, write your name on the stick and lay all 12 of them on the alter. And the one stick that comes alive that was completely cut down, you'll know when it starts budding, when the rod starts budding and it's not even...

You know where the life was coming from? The Ark of the Covenant. "In His presence there's life, in His presence there's supernatural provision, in His presence there's supernatural power". My God. If you'll get in His presence that which has been cut down and has dried up it will begin, the Bible said, the next day they walked in and Aaron's rod was budding and there were almonds on it. That's supernatural success! God said, "I like that stick". Maybe your stick is dried up because... you hadn't been in His presence in a long time. I'm not talking about being religious, I'm not talking about being churchy, I'm not talking about loving God from a distance, I'm talking about getting into His presence again!

And this is what happened. I never read where God ever used a snake but He said, "There are three things I want in the Ark of the Covenant. I want The Table of Stone, I want the Ten Commandments put inside the Ark of ten Covenant". God said, "I want a little pot of the Manna, I want you to take some of the manna that I fed Israel with for 40 years and put it in a pot and put it inside". I'm telling you, see the type, that, the Bible said that bread, in the Book of Exodus, said that after 24 hours it would turn to worms. Read it. They couldn't store it up. But if you get it in the presence of God it stays fresh. Jesus said, "I have come to give you life," whew, "and life more abundantly"! An abundant life! Abundant love in your marriage, abundant help in your family, abundant blessing in your business but you've gotta get in my presence!

And then God said, "I want one more thing. Wherever I go, wherever the Ark goes," God said, "That's where I sit, on the mercy seat". And He said, "I want three things in the God box. I want the Word honored, I want people to live right, I want supernatural provision, the pot of manna. And oh, bring me that stick. Bring me Aaron's rod. I don't want any snakes near me". He didn't ask for a rattle snake, cobra. He said, "Bring me a stick". Can God trust you with greatness? Can God trust you with supernatural success? Can God trust you with blessing and favor? After He does it and gives you that moment, will it change you or will you still be a stick in the Master's hand?
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