Jentezen Franklin - Whispers of God (From Galilee)
Welcome to a very special edition of Kingdom Connection. I'm coming to you from the Sea of Galilee. Behind me is where Jesus taught on the hills behind me, The Beatitudes, and just a little bit down, in a few moments the picture as we cruise along the shoreline here, you'll see the city of Capernaum where He performed many mighty miracles. Where He healed the woman with the issue of blood, where He taught powerful lessons in the synagogue. And I believe, today the message that I wanna share with you is a word in season.
I wanna talk to you today about how you can discern the whispers of God. The power of one whisper from God can change your life. There were people in the scriptures who heard the whisper of God. And you may not understand what I'm talking about, but stay with me for a few moments because I believe you're gonna hear that voice that so many did in the scriptures. He said in John 10, that He desires to communicate and talk to us. That God is still speaking. He's still speaking and giving directions to His people. Some of you need to know God's direction, God's will, You're at an intersection. you don't know which way to go in your business, or in your life. Maybe you're single, and you're searching for that right person. There's a whisper that can come to you from God, that can direct your path in remarkable, astonishing ways.
Now, I'm gonna prove it to you in the scriptures. God seldom yells at us, but what He does is He sends that gentle whisper. That voice that rings true down on the inside that says, "This is my will, this is my direction for your life". And I was thinking about the story in 1 Samuel 3, of how there was a man by the name of Eli, the high priest. He was in the temple, and the scripture said that there was a young lad there, young boy by the name of Samuel. And every night the voice of God would call out to him, "Samuel, Samuel". It was the whisper of God, "Samuel, I'm calling you. Samuel, I have a purpose for your life".
Did you know that even our children can hear the whisper of God? Even teenagers, they don't have to wait till they're 20 or 20 to find God's will, plan, and direction, and calling for their life. And here is Eli in the temple, and he hears in that temple... Boy, I want our young people, I want our children to hear the voice of God, the calling voice of God. I want God to give 'em Samuel ears, for this generation to hear God calling them, and why He put them here. What is their purpose? And the text said when God called out, "Samuel, Samuel," that he would get up and he would go into the high priest Eli, and wake him up and say, "Did you call me"? And Eli said, "I didn't call you".
And this happened three times. Three times, Samuel woke up in the night and he kept going to Eli, the high priest saying, "I heard a voice calling me, was it you"? And finally, the old priest said to him, "It's the voice of God, and the next time that you hear that whisper saying your name, you say these words, Samuel. You say, 'Speak Lord, thy servant heareth.'" And sure enough, God one more time speaks and calls him by his name, it's that gentle whisper, "Samuel, Samuel". And he said, "Speak, Lord, thy servant hears". And you know the rest of the story, he became, perhaps, the greatest Old Testament prophet in all of the scripture.
So powerful was what God communicated to him. So powerful was his ability to hear God's that the Bible uses this term, not one of His words fell to the ground. In other words, he had such an open line of communication that when God would whisper to him direction, and he would speak it, God would say, "Not one word will fall to the ground, I'll back it up, all of heaven will back it up". I believe in the whispers of God. I believe in how powerful they are in our lives.
I know for me, the first time that I encountered the whisper of God in a magnificent, and significant way was when I was 20 years. I had given my heart to the Lord, and I had surrendered my life, but I was in my second year of college. And I loved music, and I thought I was gonna do music for the rest of my life and be a musician, and that was my plan. But one summer, that second summer when I was home from school, I felt the Lord just impressed me to seek Him for three days of fasting. And I fasted for three days, and on the third day of that fast there came a whisper of God. He didn't write it in graffiti, I didn't hear an audible voice, I didn't see an angel. But I'm telling you, I can take you to the spot in North Carolina, where I heard the gentle whisper of God. And He said, "I've called tyou to preach. I've called you to go in my name, and I'll go with you, and I'll use you. And I'll use you to preach and win souls for me".
And that one whisper... Now, listen to me carefully, when God whispers something to you, they're many people who need you to hear the whisper of God, and need you to act on the whisper of God. That one whisper that summer changed the whole direction of my life. I announced to my family and people who knew me, God had called me to preach. And that summer I started to preach my first sermon. And I thought I would go back to school in the fall, but I've never stopped. I've never stopped to this day, preaching the gospel. It all came through one whisper from God. He's got whispers for you. He has a whisper concerning His will for your life, the season that you're in.
I remember a second major whisper of God that I heard in my life is, I was 25 years old. I had been evangelizing with my brother for many years, and we preached all over the nations. And he got married, and I was single and I started traveling. And was a single evangelist, and I was 25, and I remember that I went to North Georgia to preach, and I saw a beautiful girl by the name of Cherise, and I just over time... Just dated her a few times, but there came that moment in my life where I knew God just whispered to me, "Marry her". And He didn't have to scream that one, 'cause she's so beautiful. It was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I don't know what I would be in the ministry today, if anything, without my dear wife, Cherise. She's amazing, amazing woman. God me her through a whisper. He said, "Marry her".
I remember there was some minister who called me, and tried to tell me that wasn't the right move, and that I was missing God's will. But you know, when God whispers to you, it doesn't matter what other people say, you just have a know, that I know, that I know. And I knew she was the one, and she was the one. God has a whisper for some of you. Some of you are listening to me today, and you know, you're single, or you've been through a divorce, or you've been through a busted relationship, and you're heartbroken. But God has that whisper, and He knows how to whisper to that other... He's a matchmaker. He knows how to whisper to that other person, and bring you together. Pray about it, and say, "God, give me Samuel ears that when you're whispering I wanna hear it. I want a fresh, new whisper from God".
This year, I tell you He has plans, He has directions, He has a will for you life. I thought about after I met Cherise, and you know, a lot of people are counting on you hearing the whisper of God. And not too long after that because Cherise was connected to a little church called Free Chapel, I went and preached. And the pastor there was a man by the name of Roy Wellborn, and he asked me to come. To make a long story short, I was there and, at his invitation, and he passed away the week that he invited me, nine months before.
That very week that he invited me to come preach, nine months in advance, he passed away. And they asked me to preach on the Sunday morning, when their pastor was gonna have his funeral in the afternoon. And I went into that church in Gainesville, Georgia at Free Chapel, and I preached a brand new message I've never preached before that I knew God had given me for that grieving congregation that had lost their pastor for many, many decades. And I'll never forget it as long as I live, as I finished that message and then they had the funeral service after the Sunday morning service, I walked out of the pulpit and I heard these words, "They are sheep without a shepherd". It was as clear, not in an audible voice, but it was a whisper, a strong impression.
When God whispers to you, you don't have to, there's no arguing, you just know that He is speaking. And I heard Him say, that's all He said, "They're sheep without a shepherd". And it was almost like in that I heard him saying, "Will you pastor these people"? And it wasn't long after that that they called me and asked me to be their pastor. And I didn't think about this, but behind the camera, we've got several camera people. One of the camera people with me on this trip, his last name is Wellborn, it's Daniel Wellborn. He's the grandson of Roy Welborn, the pastor that I followed at Free Chapel. All of that, here he is in the ministry, standing on a boat, filming on the Sea of Galilee. All of that depended upon a whisper. A whisper. Oh, Hallelujah.
God has a plan. Whispers almost feel reckless sometimes, they almost feel like, you know, it takes faith. It's one thing to hear it then you have to move. I had to leave my denomination when I heard that whisper. I had to give up all my security, I was like, Elisha, when Elijah came walking by. The Bible said, "He broke the plows". He had been a farmer all of his life, and he broke the plows. He said, "I'm never coming back to this. I'm going in this direction. I've heard a whisper from God". It's a powerful thing when God whispers to you. And I was thinking about how that so many times we need that proceeding word of God. Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone," listen to me carefully, "but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God".
You know, when Abraham took Isaac up on mount Moriah, he did that on a word from the Lord. God told him to do it, and He said, "Sacrifice him". And he raised the knife, but watch this, this is the proceeding word. And as he was about to stab the boy in heart at God's word, there came a voice that said, "Stay your hand. Stop your hand, I was testing you". What if he had not heard a fresh proceeding word? The proceeding word means don't proceed without this. If you don't have those Samuel ears at certain seasons in your life... Just because God told you to do something doesn't mean, you're supposed to do it for the rest of your life, to stay where you are for the rest of your life. God has new directions for you. God has new orders for you, and He has a new whisper for you.
I felt like telling you this. And I wrote it down in the hotel room here, just this morning, early. Your greatest whispers are not in your past. I'm preaching to somebody who's listening to me today, and the Lord wants you know that your greatest whispers that He has for you are not in your past, they're in your future. And all along I've had the Holy Spirit come to me, and whisper to me a new word, a fresh word, a proceeding word, New directions.
I remember at one time how... A whisper from God can change your direction. And you gotta be humble enough to change and shift when God says change. And we were planning on expanding the sanctuary, we had already hired an architect, we were gon' add 2,000 more seats to our auditorium. It was gonna be a 40 million dollar building program. We were gonna have a bridge that went over to another parking lot. It was, and I'll never forget it as long as I live. I knew that we could do it, we were lined up to do it, we had everything lined up to do it, and I heard the whisper of God. And all that I heard was, the Lord say, "Wait on me. Wait on me". And I knew that something wasn't right, we could've done it, we should've done it. Everything said we could do it, but God said, "Don't do it". And we pulled back and said, "We're not gonna do it".
I had to get up and kinda tell the church that, you know, "I don't understand this, but God's got a plan". And it seemed like people just really, actually just felt peace with me. And within a few months, there was a campus down the road. Our Gwinnett campus church, it was a building that was being built... Now, I want you to listen to me how God has a plan. It had 21 acres right on the interstate. It was a church that had started building the building and somehow they had gone through conflict, the church fell apart in the middle of the building program. The pastor left and went up north somewhere, and the church fell to pieces and there was a building sitting on the side of the highway. I wrote this down to make sure I had it right. It was valued at 16 million dollars. The bank took the note, and it went from 16 million, and they put it up for sale for $9 million. And then, they put it up for sale for $6 million, and then I heard about it.
After I stopped the building program that we were just about to break ground on, and we bought that property for 2.8 million dollars. And we have a thriving church there with hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds, and I can say thousands of people have been saved in that building. And it all... God had a plan. And then, came Orange County, and then came another campus, and another campus, and another, and another. And He's still adding 'em. What if I hadn't heard that whisper? What if I had just kept right on going and put everything right there in that building? I'm telling you, God's greatest whispers in your life are ahead of you, if you'll just begin to pray and say, "God lead me".
I tell you, when we obey the Lord, when we do what He says do, and as we're going along the coastline here, and right over to my left is Capernaum where Jesus headquartered His ministries. And He did more miracles in that place and in this region than anywhere. I'm telling you, that same voice could whisper to you direction. Can whisper to you what to do to make that business prosper. It was on the Sea of Galilee that He said to a failing businessman, "Cast your nets on the other side". And when he cast his nets on the other side, the Bible said that so many fish came in the nets that he had to call for the other boats, and say, "Help me, I'm sinking in prosperity and blessing".
God can whisper to you one direction. It was one whisper that came to Simon Peter, when he was in a storm on this body of water. Jesus came walking on the water. He had told 'em to go over the other side, and just because you're in a storm doesn't mean you are out of the will of God. As a matter fact, I would be worried if the enemy never fights you. If Satan never bothers you, it's because you're going in the same direction with him and all of his devils. But if you really are doing the will of God, you will have opposition, you will go through storms.
I really believe it was Satan that brought the storm because when they got to the other side which is right over, I'm looking at it in this direction, it's the land of the gatherings. And when He got to the other side He set a man free from demons. You could be right on the verge of the greatest breakthrough in one of your family members who've been tormented by demon spirits of addiction, and suicide, and eating disorders, and the storm is just trying to talk you out of your miracle, don't quit. And the Bible said, "He heard a whisper in his storm. And he said, 'Lord, if it's you, if that's you out on this water, walking on the water, bid me to come.'"
And he heard one whisper that changed his life. Jesus said, "Come. Come on. Come on". And he stepped off the boat and he walked on the water with Jesus. I'm preaching to some people right now, who need to know that Jesus is not finished with you. His greatest whispers are not your past. Ask Him right where you are, He's speaking, saying, "Come to me. Give me your life, give me your struggles, give me your questions".
I'll never forget as long as I live, a few years ago when I came to Israel, I had been many times, but the Lord spoke to me, one whisper about this nation. He said, "Favor what I favor. Bless what I bless, and I will bless you. I will bless your families. I will bless the ministry, I will bless the TV ministry, I will bless you and make you a blessing". He said, "But bless this nation. Bless it mightily. I trust you to bless this nation".
And I wept, I wept as I walked the streets in Jerusalem. I heard Him while I was walking on a busy street. He said, "If you'll bless what I bless", it was just a whisper, not an audible voice, just a whisper. And we started doing that, and we have seen God open the windows of heaven and pour out his blessings. Our ministry is debt-free, we owe no man nothing for the glory of God, and we do missions all over the world, and especially right here in the nations of Israel, why? Because one whisper from God, there's provision in it, there's healing it. In His whisper, there's direction, there's a plan of God for you and your family for generations. I wanna pray for you. Just stretch your hand toward me right here on the Sea of Galilee.
I speak miracles to you today, in the mighty name of Jesus. Lord, you did it right behind me, right on this seashore, you healed the woman with the issue of blood. You multiplied the fish and the loaves in those mountains behind me. So you can provide for somebody today, you can heal somebody today. You can heal broken families and broken homes today. You can heal blood diseases and cancer and all kinds, and all manner of sickness and disease. And Lord, I pray for the lost, I pray for those who are bound by evil spirits that are just tormenting and destroying their lives, be set free in the name of Jesus.
Now, while I'm speaking to you there's... You hear a voice inside of my voice, that's the whisper of God. He's saying, "Come, come to me, Come to me, my name is Jesus". Call on His name in Jesus name. Pray this prayer:
Lord, I receive you as my Savior, as my Lord. Give me those ears like Samuel, like Elisha, like Elijah, to hear new directions, your will for my life.
One scripture that I say a lot is this, and I conclude with this. I pray this almost every day. There's a verse and I believe it's Isaiah 50 that says, "You shall hear a voice behind you saying, 'This is way, walk in it.'" And then, he said, "Morning by morning you awaken ears to hear and give me the tongue of the learned". If you'll ask him, God's gonna give you Samuel ears and get ready for the whispers of God in your life.