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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Jentezen Franklin » Jentezen Franklin - Three Steps To Victory

Jentezen Franklin - Three Steps To Victory

Jentezen Franklin - Three Steps To Victory
Jentezen Franklin - Three Steps To Victory
TOPICS: Victory, Influence

Look with me in Judges 18 for just a few moments. Judges 18. I'll read verse 7. "So the five men departed and went to Laish. And they saw people who were there, notice how they dwelt safely, in the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and secure. There were no rulers in the land who might put them to shame for anything". Listen to this, "They were far from the Sidonians, and they had no ties with anyone". I want to also focus on the ending of the story because in verse 28 it said, "There was no one to deliver them because," listen to that, "They were so far from Sidon, and they had no ties," it keeps saying that, "With anyone". In other words, they completely isolated themselves, and it led to their own destruction. The whole city was destroyed, and they rebuild a new city, the conqueror did, over everything that they had done.

I wanna talk to you about this for just a few moments about, don't get out there so far, you have to keep the distance short. And you'll understand this title. If I had another title, it would be, "Three Steps to Victory," if you will reverse what I'm gonna show you, the pattern was that they took. The people of Laish, the Bible said, "They felt they were safe and secure because," the scripture said, "They chose the Sidonians as their pattern to build their lives after". They chose the Sidonians as the influence that would impact them the most, how they thought. The direction of their life was not coming from Godly people, was not coming from scripturally based lives, but these people got away from the other tribes of Israel, they got out, and the text said that, "They chose the Sidonians as the major influence in their life".

I wanna stop before I go any further, and I wanna say, be very careful who you allow to influence you. Be very careful who you allow to formulate your thinking. The first thing you notice is they pattern themselves after the Sidonians. They begin to become extremely careless about the way and the God that they had been taught to honor and serve. 2 Peter says, "Be sober, be vigilant, for your adversary the Devil goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour". Be vigilant against your adversary. Be vigilant because he wants to destroy you. He wants to destroy your walk with God. Be vigilant with social media. Be vigilant with not allowing yourself to become careless and begin to be more influenced by the culture that we're living in, and people who do not honor or believe God, and believe in God.

When you begin to pattern your life after those people, it's dangerous. You can't be too careful with your relationship with Jesus Christ. You can't be too careful with guarding yourself. The Bible put it like this, "Guard your heart with all diligence". That doesn't sound like some kind of loose thing that you think about every once in a while, a flash, passing thought. "Guard your heart with all diligence". Be careful. We do not pattern our life after Hollywood. We do not pattern our life after people who feel like God and the Bible don't even matter anymore. You do not do that. That's why social media, they have what they call influencers, and they're not lying. They're there to influence you in style, and in dress, and in conduct, in every way. And when rappers are a bigger influence than parents, when the, you know, people who are good, and wholesome, and Godly, if you don't watch it, folks, that influence will begin to change the direction of your life.

Every time there's a popular movement or a popular statement, it's almost like it's expected the church just to fall in line, and get in order, and just submit to the political correctness of the hour. Well, I'm not that Pastor and I don't believe you are that people. We're gonna go by the word of God. Let's wait until the sun gets hot. All the wokeism that is coming to the church, that we are ashamed to say, "I am for life. I am for babies". My God, we had a state in the last election, we had one of the states say, "If a baby is born, accidentally survives the abortion attempt, you are to make it comfortable". 52% of the citizens of that state said, "Put it in a pan, make it comfortable, walk out and let it die". I don't care what culture says. This book says, "We're fearfully and wonderfully made".

Oh, God help us. Help us to wait until the sun is hot before we make the call on things that are of such weightiness and importance. It may look good, it may feel good, it may be popular, but we are in the last days where the very elect are being absolutely deceived. Philippians 1 said, "Let your walk," another translation, mine says, "Let your vote be worthy of the gospel. Let your conduct be worthy of the gospel". I don't know how people vote for some things, and some people. They're all flawed, they're all messed up. All the candidates are gon' to have issues. So, you gotta look at what is clear though. I don't know about this, that, and the other, but is the sun hot enough on what they're going to vote for that it lines up with God's word? If it doesn't, you need to check yourself. Because maybe culture is influencing you more than the scriptures. Maybe peer pressure.

You young people, you gon' have to make decisions. You may not be as popular as everybody else. You may not get invited to the parties, and you may have to suffer some, you may be rejected. But when you stand for this book, Jesus will stand for you, and He'll open doors no man can shut, for the man or the woman who'll take a stand in an evil and wicked time. It's the truth. Clap your hands and say, "Amen". I know, I know. I'll get emails, but it's the truth. It's the truth.

Notice the second thing. When culture, socialism, Marxism influencing more than the word of God, the devaluing of church don't even want it anymore. "A new generation coming up that knows not God," Judges said, "Nor His miracles in the nation". They patterned their life after the wicked. The second thing that happened that is astounding, the next part of that verse says, "And there was no magistrate or there was no rulers". Notice that, "There were no rulers in the land," notice this part, "Who might put them to shame for anything".

In other words, another word for ruler, is authority. There were no magistrates or rulers in the land that would put them to shame about anything. In other words, "We don't want any rules. We don't want that in our generation. We don't want rules. Defund the police. We don't want any authority. We want to do whatever we want to do. If we want to go in and take things from the store, we'll take things from the store. If we wanna burn down, and tear down any and everything". This is what happens, you begin to pattern your life after wickedness.

And then the next thing is no authority. "I want no authority over me. I respect no authority. I don't respect my parents. I don't respect the police. I don't respect", and certainly there are bad apples. Certainly, there are people who have done things, but I want you to know there are more good apples than bad apples.

And if we don't have authority, we have mayhem and destruction in the streets. Crime goes crazy. And that's what's happening in America. They said, "We do not want that. Anything would make us ashamed, make us feel bad, make us feel like, you know, that they have authority over us. Who's the church? What's the Bible? Who's God? I don't believe in God. I'll make up my own religion. No authority. No authority". I'm not mad. I'm a nice guy. And I'm not apologizing either. These people got to a place where they said, "We're gonna have, we don't wanna hear anybody, we don't wanna listen to anybody, we don't wanna go to that church 'cause they're gon' tell us, 'This is wrong and that is wrong.' And we don't want anything to make us feel like we're going the wrong way".

The hour that we're living in, the whole agenda behind defund the police, transgenderism, wokeism, socialism, atheism, it is all a demonic anti-Christ spirit if you can't see it. And it is destroying, people are being murdered and killed like never before. God, help us. And they do this with no shame. Just accept it. Just accept the whole thing, and shut up about it. And I feel that spirit as a leader. I've never felt this before. I've never felt the pressure of preaching God's word that somehow that would offend people in the seats. And you know, the good thing about getting older is you just don't care anymore. But I feel for the young guys. I'm not here to criticize your generation.

You listen to me, you're the greatest, this generation is the greatest generation the world has ever seen. But the enemy is trying his best to absolutely pattern you after the Sidonians, and tell you, "You don't need authority. You don't need Godly voices. You don't need good people, That's old stuff. That old fogey stuff about having sex after you get married, that's old fogey. You can sleep with your girlfriend. You can sleep with your boyfriend. You can have a boyfriend". If you're a boyfriend, a girlfriend if you're a girlfriend. "That's old stupid stuff. That's man-made". Blah-blah. No, it's not. And this is the enemy, he's crept in. We didn't see it coming. He used the pandemic to get isolation, just like the scripture said, "No ties with anybody". So, you start making up your own version of God. It's called making an image out of God. It's not who He is. I'm trying. They said, "We want no shame. We want no recourse. We want no repercussions".

The third thing, and the final thing was they were cut off. Notice that last part of that verse. "They had no ties with anyone". This is what Satan does, it gets you to pattern your life after Hollywood or whatever. And then, you start rebuking and saying, "I don't want that authority. I don't want that gospel. I don't want that conviction. I don't wanna feel ashamed. I don't wanna blush about my lifestyle. I don't want any checks in my spirit about how I just spoke to my mother, and my father, and cussed them out. I don't need any of that. I don't want that. I don't want authority over my life". Then the last thing is, "They had no ties with anyone". They just begin to cut off from their life Godly influences and voices, one after another, after another, after another. They lived in their own environment, chose to pull away and withdraw. The protection of the house of God was lifted.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 says that, "Two are better than one, for they have a good reward for their labor. If one falls the other lifts up. But woe to the one who falls by himself for he has not another to lift him up". You need the help of Godly influences. So, if you fall, the sin is not falling, the sin is if you fall, and you don't have people around you that can pick you up, and encourage you, and speak truth to you. You just have other people who are as wicked and wrong as you are, and you keep falling. And you go from an addiction to a deeper addiction, and from a bondage, and a shame, and a pain, to a deeper shame and abuse and pain. And all because the world you're in is nothing but darkness. Nothing but darkness. Geese fly in a pointed formation, a V formation.

And they've studied it for many years, but it was only in the 1970's that aerodynamics of the flock were really understood and studied in a thorough study, and this is what they found. Birds that fly in a flock together in that V formation, this is astounding, they can fly 70% further than they could fly by themselves. That when you identify and you get connected to the flock in geese world, you can fly 70% further with the group that you're flying with than you could ever do by yourself. You can go further when you don't do it alone. You gotta quit trying to be the lone ranger. You gotta quit trying to do your own thing. You ought to come on and fly with the flock. We're going somewhere. We're gonna go all the way to Heaven. We're gonna go all the way to the new Jerusalem, and you ought to fly with us. You don't need to cut all ties off.

And I'mma, "Me and Jesus got our own thing going". Yeah, you're going alright, and there's a hawk watching you 'bout to rip your head off. You think the Devil's playing with you? You think the Devil's okay just to hurt you a little bit? He comes to kill, steal, and destroy your life. And he wants you to cut those ties with all the people who know how to pray, all the people who know how to plead the blood, all the people who know how to pick you up when you fall, he wants you to cut the ties. But you'll go further if you'll fly with a flock. You know, there's always one person that starts to clap and then everybody claps. It's easier after one person. Thank you. There went one. See, all of y'all were thinking it, but one said... I always hear people say, "Anybody can serve the Lord when you're around Christians". And I wanna say, "And"?

Hey, maybe you ought to get that revelation. It's a whole lot easier to do it with some good Christian friends and some good Christian influences than trying to do it by yourself. "Anybody can praise the Lord when everybody's praising the Lord". Exactly. Let's praise the Lord together. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Let's shout together. Hallelujah! See, it's easier. And when you're trying to make it to Heaven and you're on a journey, the way you get victory like those geese fly in a V, the way you get victory is you fly with the flock. Get around people that have raised some children and they'll tell you, "This ain't nothing, honey, you gon' get through it. Just plead the blood of Jesus and anoint their bedroom with oil. And if you have to, take the door off the hinges, and make sure you got all the codes to everything, and then follow 'em, and put something secret on their car so you'll know where they are, where they're supposed to be. I've got all the secrets. I know what to do". You're not the only one fighting for your child. You're not the only one fighting for your marriage. You're not the only one going through hell. But when you get together with a flock and you say, "Well, you know, if you made it, I can made it".

The next thing they said happens is when you're flying in flock formation, you know what happens? They said, when one, when that first one out there, when he feels what they call an uplift, a head lift, when an uplift that goes up, a headwind that takes them up, all the other little geese do is they just say, "Oh, well there he goes, that means we're all going up". When one goes up, they all go higher. 'Cause, and they said the amazing thing was this, it said that when you fly with the flock, this is pretty amazing, you don't have to flap your wings as much and waste your energy. But there is a draft, there is an uplift that comes through services like this, that just when you're about to give up and suddenly, maybe it's the Pastor this morning, or maybe it's somebody else, but if any one of us flying together takes a little upward, feels a little uplift, feels a little strength and wind of the Holy Spirit under our wings, suddenly the whole congregation, if they will go in that direction, they all get lifted.

But lastly, they said, the amazing thing is when you, "That the flocking of these geese together provides protection from predators". That's the real reason. It provides tremendous protection from falcons and hawks. Even birds that don't fly in that formation, they will fly together, and they will ball up in almost like a tornado-looking group of birds. And what they are doing is they know, number one, it helps 'em give navigation to where the food is, but it also means that there is a predator somewhere around. And they will literally, if the predator follows, they did one study and they said that, "There was one attack that came five times on the smaller birds, but they would ball up together, the birds would ball up together and eventually, the hawk or the falcon would veer off and go home dinnerless because there was no way that they could get to the weak ones and the little ones".

When all those birds came together, it was so intimidating that it provided protection for the families of those birds. Thank God for the protection of the church. Thank God for the protection of brothers and sisters in my name gathering. I am there in the midst. It's not easy for the enemy to pick you off if you don't do this thing alone. Lift your hands up, I feel the presence of God in this room right now. The Lord would say to some young people listening to me at every campus, and online, and on television, and wherever you're watching this, "You're too far from your parents. You're too far from Godly influences. You're living way out there and you need to come home. Come back to pattern your life after Jesus. Pattern your life after good people, Godly people". Isn't that the truth? It's so simple, isn't it? Say, "Lord, I want an umbrella of authority. I want somebody that pricks my heart with conviction. I don't wanna do this and never be ashamed of doing it. I want the conscience to be awakened, and I wanna be under authority".
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