Jentezen Franklin - Moments That Mark Us - Part 2
One of the greatest stories of the Bible, verse 22 of Genesis chapter 32. This is about Jacob. "And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, his 11 sons, and he crossed over the river of Jabbok. He took them and he sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had". Maybe the most powerful phrase ever spoken over his life happens next. "Then Jacob was left alone and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. And when he saw that he did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip. And the socket of Jacob's hip was out of joint as he wrestled with Him".
When it says he wrestled with a man, it was not a man, it was Jesus. It was God. And I'll show you that in scripture. He was not even wrestling with an angel, it was Jesus. And I'll tell you why I say that. "And He said," speaking of Jesus, "'Let me go for the day breaks.' But he said," speaking of Jacob, "I will not let you go unless you bless me. So, He said to him, 'What is your name?' And he said, my name is Jacob. And He said, 'Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but your new name is Israel. For you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.'" What He's saying is, "Everything changes here today in this spot for you". "Then Jacob asked, saying, 'Tell me your name, I pray.' And He said, 'Why is it that you ask about my name?'" Listen, "And He blessed him there". He God, Jesus blessed him there.
Now here's why I know who it was. "So, Jacob called the name of the place, Peniel," listen, "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. Just as he crossed over Peniel, the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip because it had been pulled out of joint. Therefore, this day, the children of Israel do not eat the muscle that shrink, which is on the hip socket because he touched the socket of Jacob's hip in the muscle that shrank". And in that moment, the angel said to Jacob, "What is your name? And he said, 'I'm Jacob.' He said, 'I'm changing your name from Jacob,'" which means worm, "to Israel," which means prince. In this one encounter, you go from a worm to a prince. And then some translations say it like this.
"You have prevailed, and I'm giving you favor and power with God and man". Favor with God, favor with man, it's called the blessing. And the text said he blessed him there. With what? With favor with God and with man. What does that mean? That means that anything you do that's in the will of God, when you come out of that encounter, God will give you His favor, and He'll cause people who don't even like you to bless you, to open doors for you. I've actually had 'em tell me, "I don't even like you, but God told me". Hallelujah!
There is a blessing that hell can't curse. There is a blessing that can come on your family and on your children and on your business and on your dreams. And when you win the battle in that spiritual place, God says, "You don't just have favor up here in heaven someday, you're gonna have it down there on earth with men". And if the enemy comes one way, he flees seven. Wow! Those moments, listen carefully, when he got changed, in his name, think of that. He was just Jacob and he was about to die. His brother was coming to kill him. And in one encounter He says, "No longer will you be called Jacob. You will be called Israel".
In other words, "Your children, your eventually 12 sons will become the children of not Jacob, Israel. And out of those children will come tribes, and out those tribes will come one of them called Judah. And out of Judah will come a Messiah. Boy, I'm blessing you. I'm taking a deceiver and I'm turning him into a receiver. And you're not gonna be fake anymore, you're gonna be real. And you're not gonna be ashamed of me. And I'm gonna make you as the sands of the seashore and the stars of heaven. And Jacob, you were a loser when I found you, but because you have made up your mind that you would not die just in the marking, but you would hold on to the blessing, I'm gon' to bless you in ways in the world that you cannot even imagine".
That moment redefined his identity. And that's what happens... I love all the organizations that try to help people get unaddicted and set free, and anything and everything, I'm all for it, as long as it's helping people deal with it. But the one thing that I don't agree with is that once an alcoholic, you always have to identify as an alcoholic. Once as a drug addict, you always, I'm telling you, there is an encounter with God that can change your name and change your identity and change your nature and change your walk and change your talk. Oh, I wish we'd get back to that. Real salvation will change your walk. It'll change your talk.
"I don't want what I used to want. I don't talk like I used to talk". And if you got a filthy, potty mouth, you need to get saved. If you can go around cursing and chewing people out and treating people, at some point He comes and He says, "I need to work on who you are. I want you to walk away with a new identity". He went from a deceiver to a receiver. And he said this powerful phrase, "My life is preserved. He has preserved my future". I tell you, there is a place this morning and an encounter waiting on you where fear does not dominate you anymore. I know that's happened to me. There's been times when I just had to get alone with God, and my fear was so overwhelming of what might happen. This might happen.
Even through the years pastoring this church, and just the challenges all the time. It never stops. And in those moments, sometimes I'll just say to the family, to Cherise, to everybody, "I've got to be alone". And when I go in, I'm defeated, but when I come out of those encounters, I have a courage that I cannot explain. I have a faith that does not alter with the blowing of the wind in whatever direction the wind blows. But something in me says, "If God be for me, who can be against me? And I have favor with God and favor with man, and he will bring it to pass". Take a praise break. I don't know who's fighting a battle, but don't you let go during the marking. If you'll hold on, there's a blessing coming down your dusty road. I'm almost done.
And notice this, the Bible said, "And when the sun rose," after he pulled his hip out of socket, "he halted upon his thigh". In other words, it altered his walk. In other words, the next step that he took was different from the way he walked into that situation. What I'm trying to say to you is the step that he took after coming to that moment was not the same step he was going to take. Now, ooh, this is so important. When you really encounter God the way that I'm preaching this morning, not a religious something, another Bible, blah, blah, blah, blah. I'm talking about a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. It will alter, in other words, it altered, the step that he took after He pulled his hip out of joint was not the same step he would've taken before.
And that's a type. That's an analogy of what a true encounter with Jesus Christ. Not religion, not Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, not any of that. Not church, not churchy stuff. An encounter with Jesus. You know, the one who carried your sins to the cross, the one who in agony and moaned and groaned, and He had you on His mind when they hung Him high and they stretched him wide. And it changed his next step. Your next step will either be the right direction or the wrong direction. And it all depends on whether or not you have an encounter with God. It changes your identity, it affects your journey, it changes your direction.
And lastly, because of this touch, when the angel touched him in that encounter and marked him, the Bible said in verse 32, you'll read right over, it's the last verse of the text, and it says in verse 32, "Therefore, the children of Israel," this is so weird, "did not eat the muscle that shrank, which is on the hip socket because he," Jesus the angel, "touched the socket of Jacob's hip in the muscle that shrank". What is that about? When you have one of these encounters that I'm talking about this morning, there is a touch, and that touch so defines you that they used to eat that part of the sheep. They used to eat that muscle that was over the hip. They used to, but they don't do it anymore.
What happened? When they got a fresh touch, they got a fresh conviction. And if you don't ever get fresh touches, you don't get any fresh convictions. But they said, "Because he got touched, it's affecting us. And we used to eat it all the time, but that part of that animal we will never eat again". And it wasn't legalism, it was just the fact that they had had an encounter with God, and He had touched some part of his life, the hollow place. Guess what I'm trying to preach is when you walk out of church, every once in a while, you ought to walk out with a new conviction.
"I don't think that's necessary. And I don't like that. And I don't let go, I'm gon' to just let go of that conviction. And I tell you, times have changed, and we just need to be like everybody else. And I can hold on to this and hold on to that and do it, live any old way I want to live and I'm okay. And me and... Jesus is just all right with me. Jesus is". But I'm gonna tell you something. We're throwing away our convictions. We're seeing a nation who's lost its moral values completely. We're losing the desire for the house of God. Thank God it's not around here. But I'm just saying. The things that made us great, great families.
When we got saved, we threw stuff out of our lives. Not 'cause somebody made us, but we just felt convicted of it. "I'm done with that. I'm done with that lifestyle. I'm done with that. I don't want that lifestyle". And so, what happens is if you don't have a fresh touch every now and then, you don't get a conviction like that. That says, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. I can't partake of that no longer".
When we lack convictions, it's because we lack those moments that mark us. Before you make a decision to just throw some conviction away and pick up stuff that you once felt convicted of again. You used to not get drunk. You used to not to get high. You used to run with the clubs and sleep around. You used to not to do it when you got saved. Before you start going back to that stuff, I want you to have a revival. And I want you to come out of a service where the Holy Spirit has moved. And then after you've had an encounter, there ought to be, before you let go of something that's been in your family for a long time, faith that's been in your family young people for a long time, convictions and standards and values that have been in your family for a long time, there ought to be some tears before you just let it go.
There ought to be some fasting. Do it after you fasted 21 days. Do it after you've been in a red hot service and the power of God, and you kept wiping the tears away, and you were embarrassed cause the presence of God was so... then go out and light you up a cigarette. Oh, I just... Where did that come from? But I'll tell you one thing. I do feel today that there's about 500 people that can be delivered from vapes. And all it takes is a marking. All it takes... I appreciate counseling, I appreciate tampering off on it, I appreciate, but every now and then you need to have an encounter. Because what happens is when He touches you, suddenly there's a fresh conviction. "And I used to, but I don't do it anymore".
And I feel myself sometimes, the very current of this world is to pull us away, pull us away, pull us away. And every now and then, when I feel myself, and it's happening and I'm letting my standards down and I'm not on it, and I'll just have to get alone with God, and I'll come outta that place. I wrote this down the other day, and I think it's the word of the Lord. If you've been questioning everything, you know, that's the Spirit of the new gen, "I question that. And I question that. And I question that".
When you have a God encounter, it makes you sure again. I'm sure, I'm sure about the house of God. I'm sure about being in the house of God. I'm sure about tithing. You can argue all you want. I don't care. I have my own convictions. I don't set my convictions according to what other people think. I get into Word, and I get alone with Jesus and I make sure that what I'm saying is confirmed out of the mouth that I don't get into weird doctrine either. "Me and Jesus". No, not you and Jesus. There's a lot of things that... but when it's all said and done, if there's stuff in me, and there is, if I'll wrestle, God can say, "You used to, but you're not gonna do it anymore".
And it's not a burdensome, legalistic thing, it's a joyful thing. Everybody know what I'm talking about? Stand to your feet all over the room at every campus. Thank you. I'm sorry I went in overtime, but maybe it's necessary today. I want everybody under the sound of my voice who would say, "Pastor Jentezen, I want an encounter. I want a Jacob encounter. I want an encounter like that. I want it for me. I want it for my family".
I know this is crazy 'cause we don't have much room, but I just... I'm gonna open the altar and I'm gonna say... If you want an encounter like that, if something in you is yearning for it, but if you have an until in your spirit and you would be willing to say, "Pastor, I really want a change to happen. I want to encounter God in a real personal way. I wanna point back and say, 'I met with the Lord in that place. Something changed me that day. It was the power of the Holy Spirit.'"
They're already coming. Come on, come on, come on, come on, come on. If you've got an addiction, He can touch you and give you a new conviction. He can take the addiction and give you a conviction that you can lay it down and never touch it again. I'm not talking about willpower; I'm talking about the power of the Holy Spirit. And it's very real. It's very real. Lift your hands up all over this room and just right where you are. All the way up in the balcony, wherever you are, just lift your hands and say:
Lord, this is just me and you. I'm sending everybody across the river around me. I don't care what people are thinking. I want you. I want you to touch me. I want an encounter with you. I believe in you. And if you are real, then I should encounter you. You made me. You created me. You know how to touch me. You know how to change me. You know how to take me from a deceiver to a receiver.
And so just lift your hands in honesty and say, "I surrender my life. I surrender everything". Just pray right where you are. He'll hear you and say:
Lord, I need a change in my life. I don't have to understand everything, but I know what I feel is real and I'm reaching out to you like Jacob. I need you to preserve my future. I need you. I need you like I've never needed you.
He will never turn you away if you come in sincerity and humility and honesty. Just right where you are, worship Him. Worship Him, worship Him. Sing it with all of your hearts. Hallelujah. I Love seeing these young people. I'm talking to teenagers and young people this morning that need to get out of your seat and walk to this altar and say, "God, I want a change. I want a transformation. I want you to touch me again. I need your power. I need your Holy Spirit. I can't live it without fresh touches and fresh conventions". Worship Him all over this room.