Jentezen Franklin - How to Say Goodbye to Your Past
This morning I wanna give you a quick thought, and word, because we need the word. Say amen, somebody. 2 Samuel 3, let's go to verse 13. "And David said, 'Good, I will make a covenant with you. But one thing I require of you: you will not see my face unless you first bring Michal, Saul's daughter, when you come to see my face.'" And so, go down to verse 15. "And Ishbosheth sent and took her from her husband, from Paltiel the son of Laish. Then her husband went along with her to Bahurim, weeping behind her. So Abner said to him, 'Go, return!' And he returned".
I wanna take this Old Testament story, because I believe it's especially relevant to what is about to happen in this water baptism service, in just a moment. But just to recap the story, Saul, King Saul was extremely jealous of David, because of the victories God gave him, especially when he defeated Goliath, and the people began to sing a greater song about David than they did Saul, jealousy overcame him, you remember the story. And, for killing Goliath, one of the rewards was that David got to marry the daughter of the king, Michal. He was given her to marry. And that was his reward. And, Saul became so jealous, he drove David away. And not only did he bust up the marriage with his daughter, and David, but he gave that daughter to another man. And she lived with that man by force, we are not told any details.
But, she had to marry and go to that man, and live with him, after being the wife of David, and she loved David. She was the one who saved his life, you remember, she opened the window and he slid out when assassins were coming to kill him. She loved David. And now, imagine how she's taken, and for approximately, they believe about ten years, she lives with this man, and I'm sure, even if it's a Stockholm Syndrome, where you just kinda, because you've been held captive so long by someone, you have affections. It may have been that she really fell in love with this guy, we don't know. We know one thing for sure, he sure fell in love with her. That's very clear in the scripture, now, lemme go quickly where I wanna go. His name was Paltiel, and he was her new husband.
Okay, so fast-forward, King Saul dies in battle, and his sons are killed, and David now is about to become king. And Abner comes to him and he says, "I'm the one who's a political person in the nation. I can unite all the tribes behind you, and you can be king this time, tomorrow". And, David looked at him and that's where we picked up the text, and he said, "Okay, we'll make a covenant. I'm gonna be king, and you're gonna help me, and you're gonna assist me. But I've got one thing that will not happen, I will not begin to rule and reign until I see my bride face-to-face".
You read it, he said, "Until I see her face-to-face, it's not going to happen. I'm not gonna set up my kingdom and rule and reign". What a beautiful picture of the second coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus says, "I'm coming back, and I'm gonna rule and reign and straighten out this whole messed-up world, but it's not gonna happen until the trumpet sounds, and I see my bride, the church, face-to-face". And, he said, "I want my lawful wife. She's mine. She doesn't belong to that man. She belongs to me". So, he said, "So go get her, and bring her to me, and then I'll set up the kingdom, and we'll rule and reign". And, Abner says, "Let's go". He goes, he goes to the house, he was a farmer, where the man was, and he had soldiers, and he had a horse, couple horses. And he said, "You and the servant, Ms. Michal, Saul's daughter, you come with me, David has called for you".
And at that moment, the Bible said that she got on the horse with her servant, and with Abner, and the soldiers, and they started leaving, and somewhere in the picture comes this man, Paltiel. He comes stepping out, and the Bible said that he begins to follow behind. He loves her. He's emotionally connected to her. And he's wailing, he's weeping, he's pleading, he's begging his case, trying his best to move the heart of Michal, and he's saying, "No, no, Come back to me. Come back to me, you know we had some times. Look, we had some great times. Come back to me". And, she had to make a decision. She had to decide what she was gonna do, but it wasn't just that he said it, but if you read the whole story, he followed them. He followed them for two-and-a-half days.
I want you to understand that you have to say, I will or I will not follow Jesus. She had to decide, her own free will had to decide. And really, what I'm preaching on is how to say goodbye to your past. Because there's an emotional price that has to be paid. Emotions you have to wade through, even in the church, when you make up your mind. As for me and my house, we will follow the Lord, and you take off down the road to get with your King of Kings and your Lord of Lords, Jesus. You're ready to rule and reign with Him. There will be a Paltiel spirit that follows you behind and says, "No, Don't leave me". It may come in the form of an addiction, it may come in the form of a person. It may, you know, that just drives you back to that old lifestyle. It may come in the form of a text, it may come in the form of a Facebook friend, but somebody, some Paltiel will show up in your life, just when you're trying to straighten out and get away, and it'll scream at you, "No, don't leave me. Don't leave me".
We're gonna drown him today. We're gonna drown him today. Isn't it amazing, the things that come crawling out of the woods when you make up your mind, I'm gonna follow Jesus? And she had seen David. before, she remembered how much she loved him, and now, she's about to see him again. And something in her said, "Keep walking". Keep going. Why Abner allowed this guy to go on and on and on for hour after hour after hour, day after day, we're not told why, except I believe he was saying and King David was saying, I want to know what's in her heart. Does she really love me, or is she going to turn back to those old emotions, and lies, and feelings of the past? Will she really let the past go, and move forward, because there's a king and a kingdom awaiting you, a destiny, a plan, God has ordered steps.
It's all ahead of you, but you have to make up your mind, "No, I'm not coming back to you. I'm done. This is it. This water is my grave". She kicks the horse, and something magical about two-and-a-half days, but she kicks the horse, and when she starts moving this time, something shifts in Abner, and he says, "I've had enough of this". And he goes back and he says, "Mr. Paltiel, it's time for you to go home and leave her alone. Shut up. Go away. She's free. She's delivered. She's on her way to victory. She's on her way to serve her king, and you're going to have to go back where you came from".
Somebody clap your hands if you know that there is a freeing moment that when the Son sets you free, you're free, indeed. The battle's over. You may have other battles, but that battle is over. I'm not going back to him, her, that, it, this, that. I'm done. How many of you are free this morning? Can we take a pause break, a praise break, would you stand to your feet all over this room? And would you give God praise if you know He sets free, and whom He sets free is free, indeed? Come on, praise Him. Praise Him. I said, really praise Him, at every campus. You don't have to go back. You don't have to go back. What's your name?
— Jacob Smith.
— How long have you been coming to the church?
— About three years now.
— Did somebody invite you, what made you show up?
— The Jericho House.
— Jericho House, the rehab program. And are you presently in it?
— Yes sir, I just graduated the SLT program.
— Congratulations, we're proud of you. What was your struggle?
— My struggle was really anything. Alcohol, heroine, meth and more. Suicide, suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety, panic attacks, mental health, you can go on with that list.
— How far did it take you? What was life like at the bottom of all of that.
— At the bottom I had a gun in my mouth crying out to God to save me. And He radically did.
— Where was that at, was it at your home, was it in your...
— It was in Parker, Florida. I was homeless and strung out bad back in 2019. I hit my rock bottom down there...
— Just living outside, just living, where would you sleep?
— On job sites, at different places. In the back of my bosses truck, so many different places.
— And you just had reached a point where you couldn't kick it, you couldn't get free from it, couldn't find peace, you couldn't find hope, the enemy whispers, "What's the use of going on"? Where'd you find the gun?
— I purchased it from one of my dealers and I'd had it secretly, didn't tell anybody about it. My parents and my family didn't even know but I was doing it in Florida, I just lived a life in secrecy and I was ashamed of myself.
— So, what happened?
— So, I cried out to God for help and not only did he help me, he lead me to call my mom, to tell her what was going on she contacted one of her friends that was in Georgia. He came all the way from Georgia to come pick me up from Parker, Florida and drove me all the way back to Georgia. And never even met the guy. So three days later on October the 16th, 2019, I was at the Jericho House and God had radically changed my life through that.
— That's wonderful ministry. Larry who came up in the church, Larry I remember when he started that he came up in this church and had the dream to start Jericho House and we support it monthly and proudly do it, I'm thankful to do it. So this is a big day for you, do you have friends and family here today? What's going on in your life now? What's happening, are you still living in the back of a truck?
— No sir, I'm staying with the Jericho House and helping serve that, as staff and just plugging in wherever I can.
— Only God could take all of that and turn it into a ministry. I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
— And what is your name?
— My name is Arisabeth Bellaforte.
— And how did you end up at Free Chapel?
— Well, growing up, I didn't really, my parents weren't really religious, or didn't really show me church, so I really had to look for it on my own. So, when I was a teenager, I got diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, and I got into, well, I got depressed, I had anxiety because it's a lot. Every day, to be in pain, you know, kind of dealing with that, kind of dealing with being a teenager, and so, I started self-medicating with alcohol at a very young age, and I had a DUI when I was 23 years old. And, when I was 24, I had my daughter, I was raising her by myself. And, I needed strength, I felt like I was alone, I felt like nobody was there. I just felt like, how am I gonna do this? I have nobody. And she's looking up to me, how am I gonna do this? So, I start coming here, and I remember, I came up to the stage, and just so many people came up to me, started praying with me. They laid their hands over me, and I just, it felt just, I don't know, like, just such an awakening. I'm not really an emotional person, but it was just like, that time, I just, you know, I just started crying, and I had my daughter in my hands, and they were like, you know, you got this, you know, you're strong. You're gonna get through this, and eventually, through God, I have, you know, I feel like I have become a very strong woman, a very strong mom that they can look up to.
— That's very powerful. So, your whole deal was I wanna be a better mother, I gotta be a good mother to my baby, and it made you come to this church? And that touched me when you said, when you came down, that people surrounded you and it brought a strength to you, it brought change, it brought, really, what they were doing was trying to facilitate God's presence in your life, and that's what that touch on the shoulder meant, is God, touch her. God, help her. God, reveal Yourself to her. And it worked.
— Yeah. I don't know, I just feel like a different person, I know that's cliche, but there's a power here, and in Christ, that I could not find anywhere, not through family, not through myself, it's just like, you can't go through life alone, especially in the times today, it's just, it's too hard. There's a lot of negativity that, you know, you just need somebody there, and God is that strength, He's that anchor, you know.
— Wow, I really feel the presence of the Lord when you talk, 'cause it's heartfelt what you're saying. You've been born again, that's what happened to you. You got around the river and slipped into it. And now, you are starting a first-generation Christian family, through the grace of Jesus Christ. I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. We gotta stop and praise the Lord right there. And give Him all the glory, give Him all the honor.
— Hello, sir. What's your name?
— Kelly Kirksey.
— Kelly, we're glad to have you here today. How long have you been at the church?
— Started watching online during the pandemic, and I've been... When the doors opened back up, my wife and I started to come here.
— So, you had never really came, and then you started watching during the pandemic, online. And what made you watch us?
— Well, I mean, I'd been in church, but you know, the four years prior to this, I was empty and as broken as a man could be, and November 13th, 2018, I made that choice. No more drugs, alcohol. I was addicted to drugs and alcohol, and I made a choice. And when I made that choice, made that step, God just took over and He changed my life.
— So, how long were you bound, and I mean, when it really got ahold of you? And I tell people this a lot. I remember this, for some reason, a lot. But I watched a documentary one time about poisonous snakes, dangerous snakes, and the guy was a professional, and he said, "The danger in picking up this snake, the greatest danger is when you're trying to put it down". I never forgot that, that he said, "Sometimes it's... Almost every time it's easier to pick it up that when, it's when you set it down that it's more prone to strike". And you don't know how much the enemy is destroying your life till you try to put it down. And when you try to put it down, every demon in hell will tell you, "You can't put it down. This is who you are. You're a slave to this the rest of your life". Did you hear that voice?
— Everyday. Everyday. And when I made that choice, I just surrendered, I surrendered to Christ, and He took those demons away. Where was it? Was it at your home, or was it in an altar, or was it a special, or was it a process?
— To No Longer Bound, yeah. And it was...
— You got in that program, and...
— It changed my life. I got still, and I found God there. And I'd been in church, I knew who Christ was, but I was so far away, I didn't know how to get back.
— As far as the addiction part, the grip, I mean, you get saved, you're spirit's saved, but then comes the battle with the body, and the habits, and all of that, just that voice saying, "Come back to me, come back to me".
— And He's taken that from me. I don't have that taste in my mouth no longer.
— So, was it instant or was it a process?
— No, it was a process. No doubt. It was a process, it was a yearlong process.
— Was there a point where you felt like you just made up your mind that you were never going back to that life again?
— I made a choice. I said, "No more".
— Different man, aren't you?
— For sure.
— You have kids?
— I do. I have five kids
— They got a new daddy, didn't they?
— Yeah, for sure.
— I got a beautiful wife God restored my life to. She could've let me pick where I wanted to be. It's a hundredfold better.
— To God be the glory. I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. You deserve the glory, Lord. You change lives, You change families, You change marriages, You change destinies, and we praise You, and we honor You, and we glorify You today. To God be the glory.