Jentezen Franklin - The Danger of Not Giving God The Glory
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I'm reading today from Acts 12 for just a few moments. Acts 12:21 "So on a set day, Herod arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them". A speech. "And the people kept shouting, 'The voice of a god and not of a man!'" "It's the voice of a god". They're actually calling him deity and worshipping him like he's a god. Verse 23, "Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him". Listen to this part please. Everybody read this out loud. "Because he did not give glory to God". And then the strange part. "And he was eaten by worms and died". Because he did not get, it did not say, "Because he had royal attire, he had nice things". It did not say, "because he was in an exalted position and had been raised up", actually God raises up. It did not say, "because he was wealthy, powerful, influential and exceedingly famous". Because he did not give glory to God.
We know the original sin that was committed in Heaven was when Lucifer, one of the chief three angels in Heaven; there was Michael, the warring angel. Gabriel, the messenger angel. He always brought messages to Earth such as to the virgin Mary. And then there was one named Lucifer, light bearer, who is the worship leader. And in Isaiah 14, he said, "I will exalt myself above the throne of God. I, I, I will be like the most high". He says it five times. I, I, I, me, me, me, my, my. You know what he was doing? To just sum it up. He did not give God the glory. God gave him the position, God gave him the title, God gave him the influence, but he did not give God the glory.
This is so important. What I'm going to share has got to get deep into our heart. What happens, the danger of not giving God the glory. Jesus in Luke 4 was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. The wilderness is a place of extreme, I've been there, to that Jude an wilderness. I've taped out there in the hot sun, in the desert, it's unbelievably hot. And then at night it gets incredibly cold. It's a place of extremes. And when Jesus was in the wilderness, fasting for 40 days and 40 nights Satan, himself, came to Jesus. And he came with an extreme attack against Jesus with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life. There's the three big ones. The pride of life. And he came with extreme temptations for Jesus. He had not even started His ministry, but the enemy knew, "If I can take Him out with extreme temptation, extreme demonic opposition".
It wasn't just demons. It wasn't just a chief spirit. It was Lucifer, Satan, himself, coming to Jesus and he had one thing on his mind, to turn Jesus away from bringing glory to the Father. I want you to understand that Jesus had a reaction to the extreme temptation and extreme demonic opposition that He was facing. He began to exhibit extreme consecration. He began to use the word in an extreme way. He kept saying to Lucifer. "It is written. It is written. It is written". When the enemy comes with extreme temptation and with extreme attack against you, against your family, that's a sign because it's a season. It won't last forever but you ought to double up on your extreme response in consecration and say, "Well, if you're gonna hit me with extreme temptations and extreme demonic opposition, I'm gonna hit you with extreme fasting. I'm gonna hit you with extreme praying. I'm gonna hit you with extreme worship. 'Thou shalt...'"
Jesus told Satan, He said, "'Thou shalt worship the Lord, our God and Him only.'" If you're gonna get extreme in your attack against me, I'm going to use Jesus' answer for hell's extreme was Jesus said, "I'm going to my own extremes. I'm not gonna let you win the battle against the flesh, the world, the Devil. I'm not gonna let you do that. I'll take on you with extreme consecration and I'll go more to the word. I'll go more. I'll turn on my worship all week long if I have to live in an atmosphere. I won't live like this forever. I won't stay like..." But when you sense you're under extreme demonic attack, get extreme consecration, get extreme worship, get extreme into the book and read it and say... If you have to read it out loud until... Y'all looking at me like I'm crazy. But this what... You know, Jesus, if He did it, maybe we need... I'm so tired of people just being nicey, nicey Christians.
Sometimes, we need some extreme services. We need some extreme worship. We need who are not ashamed to glorify God and say, "Yeah, I believe. I believe in the blood. I believe in the cross. I believe in the name of Jesus and it's more powerful than anything hell can bring against me". Doesn't matter what others do. Do you know that the scripture said that "Satan then took Him," Listen to this very carefully. "He took Him to an exceedingly high mountain". Satan took Him up. The Devil took Him up. Do you know that Satan raises people up? Satan can give people fame. Satan can give people fortune. "Satan, he took Him up an exceedingly high mountain". Be careful when you're going up. It's not that God's not allowed. It's not that God has a problem with us excelling and being blessed and doing amazing things with our life and dreaming big dreams. But when you begin to not give God the glory, that's what I'm preaching on.
Notice what he said, "Took Him up". "The Devil took Him up to an exceedingly high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world". And listen. "And their glory". And he said, "You can have it all and their glory. You can be famous. You can be powerful. People will turn their heads when you walk in the room". But Jesus said, "No, I'm going to do it. I'm going to receive that kind of glory. That glory belongs to God". The longing to be praised. The longing to be seen. The longing to be known. Jesus rejected the offer to take their glory that the world wanted to out on Him. He immediately walked out of that wilderness after 40 days of fasting and praying.
And the Bible said in Luke 4, "He walked into the synagogue. He opened up the book and He said, 'Now, here's what my Ministry is going to be about. The spirit of the Lord is upon me for He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim the liberty of captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.'" And then the next verse says, "'And to proclaim acceptable the year of the Lord.'" And then the next verse says, "And when He closed the book," I love this part. "He gets up and He said, 'My Ministry is not about me. My Ministry... I'm Jesus. I'm God in the flesh. I'm God's only begotten Son. But I am not here for my glory. I'm not here about me, me, me, I, I, I.'" We've already seen that up in Heaven, Lucifer had that spirit. But He closed the book.
He said, "This is what My Ministry is about. My Ministry is about the broken. My Ministry is about the hurting. My Ministry is about those held captive. My Ministry is about the broken-hearted. My Ministry is about people who've been through all kinds of hell, and shame, and disgrace and they wanna give up. That's what My Ministry..." And then the scripture said, "He closed the book. He closed the book and gave it to the attendant". Which would have been the priest and the preacher as if to say, "What's your Ministry gon' be about? I'm Jesus, that's what My Ministry's about". We don't wanna see you up here in your glory 'cause your glory can't heal anybody. My glory can't save anybody. This church has one celebrity, and His name is Jesus Christ. We don't want man's glory, we wanna be careful to give God the glory. Can we do that at every campus right now? Can we just give God the glory? The Ministry of Jesus would not reach for glory. God help me to preach this right. The Ministry of Jesus would not reach for fame and the praise of men. He said, "My Ministry is not about Me".
Jesus showed us the Ministry meaning that we all must have. and it's not about me, it's not about you. He closed the book and He said, "It's about them. It's about others". I wanna ask you, Why do you sing? These questions, I've been asking myself. When I play my sax, why do I play? Is it to be seen? Is it to be heard? And what I'm saying is, God gave me the talent. God gave me the ability to preach but is my preaching about me? Is it about, "I hope I do good to impress all you people 'cause I got a lot of people right out here and I'm scared and I'm nervous". It's not about me. I'm gon' tell you something, we gotta get back to that. Why would God give you success? Why would God give you a business? Why would God raise you up? Why would God give you a big dream and let you begin to see it? He doesn't mind.
The Bible said Herod was in royal attire. He looked good. He dressed fine. He could speak. He had a, he had a speaking gift. The Bible said with his oratory power, and words, and persuasive speech that the people just marveled. And God didn't have a problem with him using His gifting and his talent. The problem God had with him is He did not give God the glory. And somehow, we've gotta get a mentality, a heart that says, "God, I'm not in this for my own glory. I'm so humbled that the higher You take me, the more I wanna go down, and I wanna give You the praise and I wanna give You the glory because You alone deserve the glory". Why do you sing? Why do you serve? Who do you give? Why do I preach? Is it to get followers? Is it to get a claim? It's not about your net worth. It's about the lost.
Moses' Ministry was not about Him. It was about two and half million people who were in chains of slavery. Jonah's Ministry was not about him. It was about 600,000 people who were going to perish if the gospel did not hit the shore of a city called Nineveh. Esther's Ministry was not about her, she was living in the place. She was having attendants taking care of her. Getting manicured and pedicured and nothing's wrong with that. God had raised her. God raises one up. God pulls another down. But here's the key, when the moment came, it was not about her, it was about a whole nation that was on death row and Haman was building gallows to kill all the Jews and, in that moment, she realized, it's not about me. My fame, the high position that you put me in, God, it's not about me. And she said, "Who knows that I have come to the kingdom for such a time as this". And she stepped down and she said, "If I perish, I perish but God out me where I am for His glory, not mine".
I'm not preaching that God doesn't want us successful. I'm not preaching that God doesn't wanna raise you and God doesn't wanna, I actually believe He'll do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ask or even imagine but there's got to be that spirit of humility. There's got to be that the more He blesses you, the more He raises you, it's not for my glory, it's not for my honor, it's not for some false humility. It really doesn't... This is eternal stuff. This is stuff we'll be judged on even as believers is what is the motive of my heart?
And the Bible said, "Our whole Ministry can go up in smokes at some things that people present at the judgement of the believers. It's not a judgement of whether or not you're saved or lost. If you're there, at the judgement of believers, its good news, you're staying there, you're in Heaven for eternity. But you will be judged with your motive of what you did with what God gave you. Your time, your talent, your treasure. It will all be judged, and some people only did it for their own glory. And the Bible said there would be people who... The fire would be amped up and your thing would be put over the fire". And the Bible said, "Some would be like 'Hey' and it will just burn up." because the motive wasn't right. But oh, if you got that motive, "I only want it because... I did my best and God blessed me. I give Him all the glory".
And it's your attitude. It's an attitude. I don't ever wanna get in my car and roll around in that car and think that I deserve that. To God be the glory. I don't ever wanna pull up to this campus and all the other campuses that God has given us and think somehow flesh, and blood, and men, and women did this. I know He uses us all but we're all the same, we're just doing what God has called us to do. And God gets all the glory. Am I making sense this morning? Would you take a praise break and give God the glory. Don't get a Herod spirit. Don't forget how low you were. Don't forget He could have blessed anybody. He could have raised anybody. He could have put anybody in the spot. He could have had... Many of you could do a better job than me but He raised me. And I've gotta be careful to give Him the glory.
What is this church about? Is it about entertainment or evangelism? Is it about selling tickets or winning souls? Is it hype or is it about harvest? Is it about concerts or is it about converts? The pursuit towards fame hurts the church is the point. That when we are not up here singing and playing, and preaching, and ushering, and ministering, and giving, even, for the glory of God, it hurts the church. My glory is not His glory. My glory cannot heal you. My glory, me being cool, me being all that. I can't save you. I can't get you off drugs. I can't get you off stuff that's destroying you. I can't change you. There's nothing in me and my glory. It can't help you. But His glory. His glory. When He comes into the room, His glory can instantly set you free. His glory can heal you. His glory can restore your marriage. His glory can fix your family because suddenly you say, "Not will". And you bow down and you say, "I, like John the Baptist".
Do you have Herod's spirit which says, "I won't give God the glory". Or do you have John the Baptist's spirit? John the Baptist said, "He must increase. I must decrease". Look at him sitting on the throne now. I'm closing. In Acts 12:21, "He's sitting on the throne, clothed in royal attire". He's all that, raised, exalted, powerful, famous, giving an amazing speech. He had talent. He had gifting but now, it's not bringing glory to God, it's all about him. And when the people heard it, the best clothes looked right. The message was right. The large crowd was right. The people responded by shouting, "It's the voice of God. It's the voice of a God. He's not a man. Let's worship him".
In Acts 23, "Immediately, an angel", this is New Testament, "An angel smoke him, struck him because he did not give God the glory. And he was eaten by worms and died". The question is, "Are you gonna trade wonder for worms? Are you gonna trade superstar for the supernatural"? Because you cannot have both. "I must decrease, He must increase". And the more He blesses you if you're not careful as they come, if you're not careful... I'm looking at people all over this room that have been highly, highly favored and blessed of the Lord but I'll start with me. I have a tendency, if I don't watch it, if I don't stay prayerful, if I don't stay around good preaching, if I don't get into church like this and let the Holy Spirit do deep work, I'll walk around like I'm something. And I don't care who you are if you're human, you can get these worms.
The worms of pride, the worms of arrogance, the worms of "Look at me and look what I have done". I'm not a mean, mad preacher, I'm just telling you, this is a big deal to Jesus because when they thought He would walk in like a big shot, He came with a pail of water and a towel, and He got down and He took the sandals off the disciples, and they were having a discussion. If you read it, they were discussing, "who's gon' sit where? Who's gon' be the biggest? Who's gon' be the big shot? I wanna be first. You're not sitting on the right side, I am". And Jesus walks into that atmosphere on His knees and He starts washing dirty feet. He was saying, "This is what Ministry is and don't you ever forget".
Don't you ever forget what He's done for you. I love it when these football players and athletes, people who achieve, when they're being interviewed and they throw the world, limelight, and the first thing they'll say, "Is first of all, I wanna give God all the glory". I need somebody at every campus who understand how good God has been to you and maybe how much you've taken it for granted. Maybe how much you forgot where He brought you from. But would you give Him the glory right now from your heart? From your heart let it flow. Lift your hands and praise Him. Lift your hands and shout under Him and give Him glory and give Him honor, give Him honor, give Him honor.