Jentezen Franklin - Sticks and Stones - Part 2
Last Sunday I preached on sticks and I preached on specifically that stick in Moses' hand and all God needs is a stick. That's all He needs. He doesn't need you to be spectacular, He uses ordinary, common... sticks to do remarkable miracles. And we went through the Bible, the sticks of the Bible. And today I'm preaching on stones. Because sticks and stones go together. And I want you to see this in Luke 19:40. Let's back up to verse 37: "Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!' And some of the Pharisees," they're always around, "'called to Him from the crowd, saying, 'Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.' And He answered and said to them, 'I'll tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.'" "If people won't praise me," God said, "I have rocks that will praise me".
And this morning we're gonna have a rock concert. Because I've often wondered, I almost wish that the people would have silenced their praise, I almost wish they would have been quiet. What would have happened? What would have happened if Jesus would have put a Heavenly microphone on the rocks in the holy land where some of the greatest, most miraculous events in the Bible took place, interestingly around rocks. The Bible specifically mentions in some of the most dynamic events in the Bible that it happened through or on or around a rock, a stone. What if they could testify? What would they say? What would they say? I'll tell you what I believe these rocks would say. I'mma interview them.
"Who are you"? "I'm Jacob's rock". The first rock mentioned in the Bible is in Genesis the 28th chapter. "What happened"? "I been waiting on this a long time. I've held this inside. I experienced a miracle. I was sitting there and all-of-a-sudden this man named Jacob, he was running from his brother, his brother Esau had 600 assassins coming to kill him and all of his family. And I'll never forget that night, when that man showed up he was so troubled, he was so lost, he was so confused, he thought that it was the end of his life by the river Jabbok. But I'll never forget," the rock's testifying. "When he laid his head on me and he went to sleep and God gave him a dream. And while he slept on me, while he put his head on me God showed him a vision of a ladder coming down from Heaven and God showed angels ascending and descending, ascending and descending. And I'll never forget it," this is the rock testifying, Jacob's rock.
If he could talk this is what he would say. He said, "I'll never forget it, the next morning when he got up, you're not gonna believe it, but he took oil and he poured it on me". He poured the oil on this rock and he began to thank God that even though he was lost and even though he was in trouble and even though he was confused and even though he didn't have anything that God is that spot gave him an anointed dream. And I'm here to testify today that if you've ever been in a place where you don't know where you're going and how you gonna get outta the trouble that's coming after you, there is a God who in the middle of it can get people who are headed nowhere and confused, He can give you an anointed dream, He can open up Heaven and show you what your purpose is and what His plan for your life is. And if you won't praise... How many of you have experienced God's anointing on your dream? Let me see your hand. Then I want you to take a moment and don't let the rock take your place but praise Him for an anointed dream.
Oh well, here's another one. Here's another one. Here's another one. "I wanna testify"! "Who are you"? " I'm Moses' rock". "What do you mean"? "I'll never forget it, I been wanting to tell this forever. But I was laying out in the middle of the desert, it was barren, there was no provision, it was hot, there was nothing living, it was dead and I heard a lot of people coming, and that were mumbling and they were complaining and they were talking about how they were better off in Egypt and they were saying how thirsty they were. And it was at that moment that that old man with that stick, that old man in sandals and he had a stick and his name was Moses, he walked over and he hit me with that," this is the rock preaching this morning. "He hit with that stick. And when he did I felt something bubbling up inside of me deep down in my soul, it became like a river, and so help me God, water started shooting out of me and suddenly the desert became a river. And I'm here to testify that God will provide and meet your every need. Even if you're in a wilderness, even if you're in a desert there is a God who can give beauty for ashes, He can give you water in the middle of your desert, He can give you provision no matter how dried up things look. And if you won't praise Him for the provisions He's given you and the blessings He's poured into you"... And how many of you have had the Holy Spirit bubble up inside of you in a dry place? If you won't praise Him somewhere there's a rock that will testify, "God will supply all my needs according to His riches and glory"! Take a minute and praise Him if you believe it. Oh well, here's another one.
Here's another one. "Who are you"? "I'm Joshua's rock". "What do you mean"? "Well, I'll tell you. I was sitting up on top of that wall, the impregnable walls of Jericho. I could not believe it, there were thousands and thousands of my cousins and aunts and uncles, they were all connected together and we thought we would never be moved, we were the walls to God's people entering into the promise land. And those people started marching and for six days they mocked them and the people laughed at them, and called them names, but on the seventh day the priest blew the trumpet. And when the priest blew the trumpet I was sitting up there big and pretty, but when they blew the trumpet and the people shouted with a great shout suddenly I felt a trembling. I felt all the rocks under me shaking and he next thing I knew, boom, they all fell down and they went in a cloud of smoke. The walls were vaporized and the only thing left was me. And I was flat on the ground".
Because the Bible said the walls felt flat. "And I'll never forget when I saw the first foot of the Israelites taking the promised land, the first city in the promised land, I'll never forget. And I'm here to testify that God knows how to tear down walls of resistance, walls that have tried to shut you out, walls that have tried tried to contain your dream, walls that have told you that you will never have a relationship with your son or your daughter again, walls that say, ‘It ain't gonna happen and I defy you and I'll never move and I'll never change.'"
There is, boy, I feel this. There is a God who can tear down walls in 2022! I don't care how thick they are, I don't care how high they are, my God is bigger, my God is stronger and He knows how to level the walls of resistance, the walls of poverty, the walls of racism, the walls of division, the walls of anger and unforgiveness and bitterness that have gone up between you and somebody you love! In the name of Jesus walls will fall at the shout of God's people! Will you lift up your voice! Don't let a rock cry out! You know He can bring the walls down! Give Him a mighty praise! Hallelujah!
Oh, wait a minute, wait a minute, sit down. "Well, who are you? You're just a little rock". "I'm David's rock". "What do you mean"? "Well, here's my testimony. I was laying in the bottom of a brook. When I first started out I had a lot of edges, rough edges but I got in the river and it started flipping me and tossing me and turning me. And it started breaking off the rough edges and it got all the rough areas of my life, the inconsistent areas of my life, the ups and downs and the anger and the bitterness and the hurt and the addiction, it started breaking off of all those edges and ended up just a smooth stone laying in the bottom of a brook. But that's when it happened".
This is the stone testifying. "I'll never forget when the shepherd reached down and picked me up. And I just wanna testify, he chose me, he picked me, there were so many other rocks that were prettier, there were so many more rocks that were more qualified and more educated but for some reason the hand of that shepherd picked me up and put me in a slingshot and started going around and around and I thought, 'Lord, have mercy, he's about to release me into my destiny.' And he released me and when he released me I remember seeing a big ole' giant named Goliath and when I hit him I destroyed him and he hit the ground! And I'm here to testify that there is a God who still kills giants in people's lives! The giant of cancer, the giant of addiction, the giant of fear and depression, the giant of immorality, the giant of sin"!
There is a stone that God can anoint and pick and choose, that will bring it down in your life. Somebody shout, "He chose me". "Many are called, there's a lot of stones in the brook but many are called but few are chosen! I just wanna testify and praise the Lord that he chose me". Whew. What an honor to sing, what an honor to preach, what an honor to serve, what an honor to sit in God's house and what an honor to hold a camera, what an honor to park cars, because He chose me! I'll tell you this, if you wanna get outta, being stuck in the mud you need a pastor, you need a shepherd. Because the call of a shepherd, it's cause a lot of you you're saved, and you're on your way to Heaven but you're stuck in the mud. It's because you're not getting fresh instructions from Heaven.
You need a shepherd in your life. You need a pastor in your life. A pastor who will reach down with messages at times and pull you out of yourself and pull you out of the rut you're in and say, "Wait a minute, God has a destiny for you. You're not just here to fill in time. Oh, what's this? What's this? Looks like you've got blood on you, what's wrong with you, rock"? "I was, I was in the demoniacs hand. I would hear him at night, he was posessed with thousands of demons. He would tear his clothes off," according to Mark chapter five, "He would cry out day and night, they would hear his voice screaming, 'Help me. Help me. Help me.' As demons would torment him, then he would reach for me and he would cut himself. In agony with fury and anger and self-hatred, he would cut himself. He so hated himself, would shoot himself up, he would drink himself silly, he had self-hatred and I had blood because he cut himself and lived in the graves, in the graveyard, no man could tame him. I saw him, he held me! No man could tame him! No counselor could fix him No program could turn him around! Oh, but one day, I just wanna testify that a man from Galilee got outta the ship and when He got outta the boat suddenly that man still had me in his hand bleeding, wounded, tore up by demons fell at His feet and began to worship Him! And when He did Jesus cast the demons out of him and they went into the swine and he got up and hen was clothed and in his right mind and he threw me down never to pick me up again! And I wanna testify there is a God who can deliver you! Deliver you from demons, deliver you from destruction, deliver you from suicide! Woo! Deliver you from addiction and killing yourself slowly! There is a God"!
And I wonder how many of you were alcoholics and drug addicts and how many of you were suicidal and how many of you were tormented by demon powers, how many of you were under the curse of sin and Satan had such a grip on you but God delivered you. If you won't praise Him God will have a rock somewhere in the sands of time that can testify, "He whom the Son sets free is free indeed"! When He shows up demons bow!
"Who is this? Who are you"? "I'm the stone of forgiveness". "What do you mean"? "Pharisees caught her, I was there," In John chapter eight, "In the very act of adultery. She was a failure, she was over, she was ruined, she was unredeemable. She was committing adultery and they threw her at the feet of Jesus... and with stones in their hands, my other stone friends were in their hands of the Pharisees and they couldn't wait to release the rocks. And they charged Jesus with a statement, Moses and the law says, stone her. For her sexual immorality, she'll die in shame, she'll die in guilt, she'll die always being remembered as an adulteress. Then they made a terrible mistake. They asked one question, 'What do you say, Jesus?' And Jesus, I'll never forget it. They walked over and they put me in His hand as if He was supposed to throw the first stone but instead He knelt down in the sand and He started touching dirt".
A God who is Holy and sinless and perfect, pure, Holy Jesus touches dirty people, nasty people with nasty stories, filthy stories, messed up lives. I think He wrote L-o-v-e, I think He wrote Calvary. And He said this statement... let the rock preach. "He said something. He said, 'He that is without sin... let him cast the first stone!' And something funny happened. They all," according to the text, "They all from the oldest to the youngest," All of them dropped their rock except Jesus. He was the only one qualified who had never committed a sin and he could have thrown it but instead He said, "I give you the stone of forgiveness. Neither do I".
Listen to that word, condemnation is Satan's number one weapon when you fail morally and sexually. Condemnation. You're dirty. "You're unclean". Any voices telling you that, if you'll bring that sin to the cross you don't ever have to listen to that again. You are born again, you are brand new, you are cleansed, you are Holy, you are pure, you are clean, you are righteous, you are forgiven. It's the stone of forgiveness.
And so I close with this, you're at a point now in your life where some of you need Jacob's dream, Jacob's rock, you need an anointed dream. And some of you are at a point in your life where you love the Lord but you're in a desert and you're in a wilderness and you're in a dry place and barren and you need Moses' rock that brings refreshing and brings provision, water out of the rock right in the middle of your desert. You're so weary, you're so worn, you're so tired, there's refreshing that could come to you today. Maybe you're here today and there's walls of resistance. But those walls can fall. Or maybe you're here and the reason I go over here, I wrote on the rock what they were. Maybe you're facing a Goliath, maybe you're watching me in one of our campuses, you got news this week from that doctor that you're facing a Goliath of cancer or you're facing a Goliath of heart disease or kidney failure. Giants still fall.
Or maybe you're watching me now and you've got an addiction so strong, maybe you're cutting yourself as a teenager because your self-esteem and demons are lying in your ear, "You're a nobody". You have eating disorders and anorexia, bulimia and self-hatred. Please hear this preacher, there is a God who can deliver you this morning, He loves you, you have great value to Him today. And don't you listen to that spirit of suicide that says, "Just give up, what's the use"? There's a stone of forgiveness for the man who left his wife and his family. You're sitting there alone with nothing but a bottle. You may have lots of money but money can't satisfy what you need. There's a stone of forgiveness Jesus want to give you. And it'll never be the same but God can make things new and He can make the best out of it if you'll surrender your life to Him, He's got a plan for the rest of your life.