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Watch 2022 online sermons » Jentezen Franklin » Jentezen Franklin - Eliminate Plan B

Jentezen Franklin - Eliminate Plan B

Jentezen Franklin - Eliminate Plan B
Jentezen Franklin - Eliminate Plan B
TOPICS: Determination

If you have your Bibles, I'm going to ask you to open them with me to the Book of Acts 27:30. "As the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship when they had let down the skiff," or the lifeboat the emergency boat, a small little boat on the big ship, "when they let down the skiff into the sea," listen to these words, "under pretense of putting out anchors from the prow". Pretense is the word pretend. That's where it comes from. They were pretending to be doing one thing, but they were actually doing something else.

"Paul said to the centurion," the soldiers, "Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved. Then the soldiers cut away the ropes off the lifeboat and let it fall off". And I want to talk to you this morning about this story because it's really something. I love that verse, verse 32, when it said they cut the ropes and they eliminated the option B. That's what I'm preaching on, "Eliminating Option B". And let me tell you why I say that. Something powerful happens in our walk with God when we learn to stay in the ship with Jesus, hold on to God. Storms never are sent to destroy us. They are sent to make us stronger in our faith.

In 1853, America hosted its first World's Fair in New York City. The organizers built a beautiful exhibition place called the Crystal Palace. There, the latest and greatest inventions were showcased. This is also where a man by the name of Elisha Otis pulled off one of the most remarkable stunts in sales in the history of the World's Fair. Otis was the inventor of the safety elevator break. But he had a hard time selling the safety elevator brake, and many were skeptics. And so, he wanted to do something special.

So, here's what he did. There are actually pictures of this. In a large room like this, much larger, he built a huge platform like an elevator and he had it lowered from the ceiling, and he stood in it. And he got all the attention of the thousands of people, and they turned, and they watched. And he had a man with an axe on the side. And he said, "When I tell you, cut the rope". And when he screamed, "Cut the rope". The axe man hit the rope with an axe and the whole platform and elevator thing he was standing on, collapsed, only to be caught by his special elevator brake. And suddenly all the people were gasping, you know, and oohing and aweing, and they thought that it was going to crash. But when that brake caught it, suddenly, he cried out, "All safe, ladies and gentlemen. All safe".

When Elisha Otis pulled off this unforgettable sales pitch, there were only a few buildings in New York City that were taller than five floors. The reason was because no one wanted to climb the stairs and they didn't trust the elevators. But then, in 1854, Otis installed an elevator in a building on Broadway, and the rest is history. By 1890, there were ten buildings taller than ten stories. By 1900, there were 65 buildings taller than 20 stories. And by 1908, there were 538 buildings in New York City that qualified as skyscrapers. More and more buildings got taller and taller because one man cried out, "Cut the rope". And something else happened. Higher floors started producing higher revenues. It wasn't long until people realized, "I don't have to climb stairs. The elevator is safe". Elisha Otis has turned the world upside down. And he didn't just invent the safety elevator brake, but he had the modern skyscraper. He's the one who has given the achievement of the modern-day skyscraper, making it possible.

And when I read that story, I couldn't help but think of how I read this text in Acts 27, where Paul gave the commandment to the centurion and the soldiers to eliminate option B and cut the rope. And here's what I want you to see. The skyscrapers, they could never go as high as they wanted to go until somebody cut the rope. As long as there was a plan B, an option B an alternative, then you stay down here in the lowlands. But the moment that somebody cried, "Cut the rope," and eliminated option B, and said, "No, we're going for it," that determine how high you could go. Any time you have an option to do plan B, you don't try as hard to make plan A work. As long as you have in your mind another option, plan B, "If this Christian thing doesn't work out, if this marriage thing doesn't work out, if this following God's will doesn't work out, it's okay, I've got plan B".

I promise you; you probably won't make it long over here. But that rope that you're holding on to that's connected to plan B, is the very thing that holds you down and causes you not to go up as high as God wants to take you. Fear, anxiety, worry are invading the people's lives that are God's children. Satan is wearing out the saints of the most high, as Daniel predicted he would do in the last days. He's trying to weaken your faith. He's trying to weaken your resolve. This is a big one. He's trying to weaken your determination to quit, to keep trying. He wants you to stop. He wants you to give up. He wants you to settle for plan B when he knows God has plan A.

I've just come today to make a declaration; I don't care what the devil does. I know what I'm going to do. I'm not gonna give up, and I'm not gonna give in, and I'm not gonna live in fear because God has not given me the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind, and I will not quit. And I just want to announce that if you're thinking about quitting, and if you're thinking about opting out to Plan B for your life, my way instead of God's way, you came to the wrong church. This is not a place to come if you're thinking about quitting. This is not a place for young couples to come who are thinking about and pretending, pretending like you're gonna make it work, but you really have decided and you're working on Plan B, when you know God already has given you Plan A.

Paul was in a storm in Acts chapter 27, and some of the men on the ship wanted the jump ship. But Paul said, "An angel has visited me on the ship in a storm for 14 days. And he told me that, except if we stay in the ship, no one will be saved". You've got to stay on the ship, or you will perish. And the scripture said there were some sailors who, when Paul said, "Drop the anchors," the scripture said, "They, pretending that they were going to lower the anchors, instead lowered the lifeboat". In the next verse, it says they lowered the lifeboat, the skiff, they were letting it down.

So, I want you to see this. They're in the ship. They are on the good old Gospel ship, but they're in a storm. And in a storm, you feel like quitting. And in a storm, you're being tossed and turned, and in a storm, it's not happy and clappy. And in the storm, there's tears and there's worry and there's all kinds of things. But instead of dropping their anchors and saying, "I'm more determined than I've ever been. I'm not letting go of God now. I'm going through a storm. I'm not about to quit now. Drop the anchors. Bless God. If I die, I will die trusting God. If it's a fight all the way to Heaven, I'm gon' fight all the way to heaven, but I am not abandoning this Gospel ship. I'm not giving up on fellowship. I'm coming to church. I'm not giving up on stewardship. God's gon' be lord of my money. I'm not gon' give up on discipleship. I'm going to keep growing in the Lord. And just 'cause I'm going through a storm, I'm not pulling up my anchors and letting down the lifeboat".

But notice what they did. They, pretending that they were, "Yes, hallelujah, we're in a storm". They're pretending to be doing one thing while they were doing another. They were letting down the lifeboat saying, "Don't tell anybody, but we're fixing to jump ship". It's pretty amazing that you can be in church and have plan B and think you can fool God. And Paul, with great discernment, through the power of the Holy Spirit, discerned these men are pretending that they are doing one thing while they're actually scheming and planning to do another thing, pretending to be like they're letting down anchors, but they're letting down an escape boat. Doing one thing while pretending to be doing the other. And Paul discerning said, "If they don't stay in the boat, they're not gonna make it because the alternative is not the answer".

That's what the Holy Spirit is saying here today. I am your Apostle Paul this morning, and I've come to tell somebody that the alternative is not the answer. There's only one way. Really, what Paul was saying is, "Let it be known there's only one way to be saved". There's only one way. You can't have foot in the world, and one foot in the church, and foot in the escape boat. "And if this don't work out, I'm going with Plan B". But when you want victory, when you want to grow, when you want to go up to where God wants to take you, when you want to sit with Christ in heavenly places, it requires you to cut the ropes and say, "I have this decided to follow Jesus, and whatever it costs me, I am going all the way". You really don't have an option with Plan B. It's that way, His way, or you will perish.

There's only one way to be saved. Come out from among them. Get rid of your alternatives. Get rid of your other options. Pretending to do one thing while you're making plans to do something else. Plans. Right now there are people under the sound of my voice, you are either planning to live for God, planning to stay in church, planning to do His will and keep His commandments, or you are planning to backslide. And there are both groups that I'm preaching to right now at every campus and wherever you're listening to this message. Some of you are literally on the ship, but you have no intentions of being sold out to Christ. You just want a little soul salve for your spirit, enough to make you feel like you won't go to hell.

But I'm telling you, today I've come with a word from the Lord. You at some point have, there's what I'm looking for. You, at some point have got to pull out the sword and say, "You know what? I'm not gonna let the Internet send me to hell. I'mma cut some ropes. I'm not gonna let alcoholism and sexual immorality send me to hell. I'm not gonna let condemnation, shame, and guilt from my past defeat me. I'm going to cut some ropes". You've got to learn at some point that it's not keeping you down. What's keeping you down is those ropes. And when you cut them, then you begin to go up. You get on the elevator. And you go up pretending, pretending. Your alternative is not the answer. Plan B is not the answer. Cut the rope. It's not time to quit. It's not time to give up.

And for God's sake, it's not time to have one foot in the lifeboat and plan B, and one foot in the church. You're gonna be miserable. People are not happy who live like that, who ride the fence. You get joy, it overtakes you when you make up your mind, "I'm never going back. You might as well get rid... Goodbye, Mr. Drug man. Goodbye. Goodbye, Mr. Dope Dealer. Goodbye. I'm never going back". And you say, "I can't do that. I just can't do it". You can do what you want to do. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. He said, "My grace is sufficient for you". But you know what you're doing? Jesus won't give up on you, but you're choosing to live down here, and you might get to the fifth floor your whole life of what God had when He had stories and stories and stories and stories and stories planned for you. But you wouldn't cut the rope. Wouldn't cut the rope on some old friends, wouldn't cut the rope on some relationships.

You know, as long as you got a plan B, that's when people quit. My God, we need to cut some ropes off of us. You can become carnal. You can become worldly. And at some point, you need to come to a good red-hot service and take the word of God that knows your intents and your thoughts that are evil and cut yourself loose, and then you'll be free, and God will take you higher than you ever dreamed you could go. In Ezekiel, 8:16 the Bible said that Ezekiel said, "The Spirit brought me into the temple". And he said, "When I got in the inner court of the house of the Lord, I noticed 25 men with their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, and they were worshipping the sun toward the east".

Let's say this is the temple. Let's say that is the Ark of the Covenant or behind that curtain is the Ark of the Covenant, God's presence. They were standing in the temple, but they were not facing God. They were not facing the Word. They were not facing the presence of God. They were there physically in the right place, but they were facing the opposite direction. In other words, they were in the right place, but they were looking in the wrong direction. It's possible to be in the right place and be facing the wrong direction. That's what many people do. They come to church, but they're not looking at this. They're not living their life by this. They're not looking at Jesus. They're not full of Jesus. They're in church, thank God, and I want to congratulate you. Something in you still drawing you, something in you, still pulling you. But I'm gonna tell you when you get free is you need to turn back around.

You need to get your eyes off of the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, and get 'em back on Jesus and get 'em back on the Word, and get 'em back on His promises, and watch what He will do. He'll take you up, up, up, up, out, out, and you can get free, and those chains and those ropes will break off of you. You were born for greater things than being an addict, and a slave, and full of shame and guilt and condemnation. You by the Holy Spirit can cut the ropes. Abraham said to Lot, "You choose the direction you want to go". And the Bible said in Genesis 15, Lot lifted up his eyes and saw the well-watered grass of Sodom and Gomorrah. And he said, "I'm going there". He was already looking in that direction.

There's a lot of people who are in church, but they're not facing the cross. They're not facing Jesus. They're not facing His glory and His presence and His Word. They're looking in the wrong direction even while they're in church. Let me tell you what Lot's problem was. He was a man who was walking with a man who was walking with God. He was walking with Abraham and Abraham was walking with God. He was a man who was walking with a man who was walking with God. There's a big difference between someone who's walking with God and someone who's walking with someone who's walking with God. Mama cannot get you in the heaven. Daddy cannot get you in the heaven. Preacher cannot get you into heaven. You've got to walk with God for yourself.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full into His glory and grace, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim. The Holy Spirit will renew your mind and cut away cobwebs of hell and the shame and the guilt. And you'll begin to get up out of the grave and say, "I am alive again". I'm alive. Hallelujah. Some of you need to cut some people loose. You need to cut some things loose. You need to cut some old relationships loose. You need to cut some shame. You need to cut what happened in the abortion clinic. Cut it loose. Jesus has. He said, you're free. Jesus has washed you. You've repented. Cut it loose. Some of you have little lifeboats of grief, and the Lord says, "Today, I'm going to cut you free from grief. I don't want you in depression the rest of your life because you've lost someone". It's time to cut the ropes and burn some things and say, "I'm never going back. I'm dropping my anchor and I'm staying on the ship with Jesus".

Stand to your feet all over this room. How many of you would say, "Pastor, there are some ropes on me, and I need to get free"? Just throw your hand up and be honest. I want every one of you that will, to get out of your seat from the back to the front and come stand right down here this morning. We're about to have a deliverance service in 2022. I want you, right now, to lift up your hands and I want you to see the ropes that the enemy has in your life, and I want you to cut that rope. I want you, symbolically and spiritually, to take that sword like those soldiers did, and cut the ropes and say, "I'm going to follow Jesus all the way". Lift your hands and pray this prayer all over the room right where you are. And I believe that the hold of the enemy is going to break. Say:

Lord Jesus, I surrender to you. I give my life to you all over again. The enemy has connected me some soul ties on my life, some things that are option B. It's not your will, it's not your plan, it's not your desire for my life, and I know it. And I can't free myself. But right now, I can do what I can do, and Grace will do what I can't do. And with my will, make up my mind. I want to be free. I want to lose some of those things that have weighed me down. I want the elevator to go up. I want to go to another level of knowing you and loving you and serving you and walking in your will. So right now, cut me loose, cut the ropes and let me go where you want me to go in Jesus' name.

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