Jentezen Franklin - Whispers From God - Part 1
Hello. Thank you for joining me today on Kingdom Connection. I really believe that you're watching by divine design. I always pray that God will use this telecast to bring the right message to the right people at the right time, and today's message is going to inspire you. If you will sit there and give me the next 15 or 20 minutes, I promise you God's gonna speak to you. Listen to this, this message is gonna encourage you.
Hallelujah. Praise His name. I believe somebody means that. Somebody has experienced that. Somebody's thankful for the goodness of God. Praise His name. Smile at somebody around you. They say that every third person is extremely born, is extremely good looking. So, look around you and say, "I must be number three". Just tell 'em that. If you have your Bibles, I invite you to open it up or turn it on, or however how you do it to the first, the Book of 1 Samuel 3. I'll begin reading in verse 8, "And the Lord called Samuel again a third time. So, he arose and went to Eli and said, 'Here I am for you did call me.' Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. Therefore, Eli said to Samuel, 'Go lie down and it shall be, if He calls you that you must say,'" Everybody say these words please, "Speak, Lord for your servant hears".
"So, Samuel went and laid down in his place. Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, 'Samuel, Samuel.' And Samuel answered, 'Speak for your servant hears.' Then the Lord said to Samuel, 'Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.'" I want to preach to you for a few moments about how to discern the whispers of God, the whispers of God, how to discern them, how to hear the voice of God. Because John 10 is very clear that God still speaks. Maybe not audibly, but He does to our spirit. He does absolutely have a voice. John 10, Jesus said, "My sheep will know My voice".
One of the evidences, one of the proofs of the fact that you're a sheep and not a goat. And that's a biblical illustration that is used to between God's flock and Satan's flock. And He calls Satan's flock "goats," and He calls His flock "sheep". And He said, "My sheep know My voice. They learn to hear My voice". And I want you to understand, God still speaks. He desires to communicate. He speaks to, as the text that I just read, He speaks to young people. He speaks to teenagers. He speaks to children. He speaks to businesspeople. He speaks to dads, husbands, men. The problem is, we don't have the ears, or our ears are so cluttered with the things of life and other voices that it drowns out His voice.
And the big thing that I've learned about God, I preach more now out of experience than I do out of just... My study stuff has changed. I don't know how to explain it, but I'm in a season in my life and the season that I'm in, that I'm teaching you as much, not just what I've learned from books, but what I've learned from life and walking with Jesus for many, many years. And God seldom yells. That's why you have to stay sensitive to Him because when He speaks, it's a whisper. It's usually... And most people are so busy and in such a big thing, that they don't have that sensitivity that anywhere God wants to speak. He doesn't yell, He doesn't scream, He whispers.
And in this text, in 1 Samuel 3, Samuel kept getting awakened by the voice of God calling his name two times, "Samuel, Samuel". And he woke up, and he thought... It was so real to him, he thought that it was the high priest who was down the hall. He was asleep and it was night, and it was dark. And he goes down and he knocks on the high priest's door, Eli. And he wakes him up, and Eli says, "I didn't call you. Go back to sleep". He goes back, it happens again. He says, "I did not call you. Go back". A few hours later, he hears the voice again a third time. And when he goes the third time and wakes the old priest up, the priest said, "I perceive that God is trying to speak to you. The next time you hear that voice say, 'Speak Lord, your servant hears.'"
And God spoke to him. And those words were so powerful, they would shake the life of Samuel. Samuel would go on to become the premier prophet of the Old Testament. The Bible said, so powerful were those whispers that God would give him that when he would speak, not one word fell to the ground. That when he would prophesy not one thing he would speak would not come to pass. So powerful were the words that he spoke that when Israel had to have a king, God told Samuel to go to Jesse's house and it would be one of his sons. And he brought in seven sons. He had eight, but he only brought in seven. And he started to pour the oil on the firstborn, which would be pretty, pretty normal because God had already told him that one of the sons from that household, but the voice of the Lord was so clear to Samuel that God said, "That's not the one," and he held the oil back.
And he went to the second one and God said, "That is not the one. That is not the one". He said it seven times. And he turned and he said, "Is there not any other sons"? And he said, "Well, I've got one out in the field". He said, "Send for him". And the moment he walked in... Think of the importance of this whisper. The moment that little shepherd boy David walked in, the voice of the Lord came in Samuel's ears and said, "That's the one. Anoint him. He will become the King of Israel. Anoint him. And out of his seed will come forth Messiah". What a powerful moment. What if he had missed those whispers? What if he had not learned to develop his ear to hear the voice of God? How important are those whispers? Not one word fell to the ground.
I was thinking about my own life when I stood at a crossroad, at a transition, at a time in my life where I was unsure. And it was uncertain, it was exciting, and it was uncertain. And I felt anxiety, and I felt also like it was an important time in my life. And I remember I was in school, in college, and I was really seeking God. The summer that I came home from school, I was seeking God, and the school was off, and I was saying, "Lord, what's the big picture for my life"? I was trying to figure out, you know, "Am I gonna be a teacher? I don't want to teach music. Am I gonna be a performer"? And I decided I was gonna try to be a performer and was practicing and all of that on the horn, five, six hours a day.
Somewhere during that summer, I just felt so desperate that something said to me, "Just fast for three days and put it on the altar". And I, if I were to be honest, I had a little nudging, like I knew I was supposed to preach, but I wouldn't even go there. And I went those three days, and it was around midnight, and I went to the tabernacle down the road that my dad, who was like a bishop or whatever you would call it, over a bunch of churches, and they would gather once a year. And it was a room that held about 1,600 people, and it was dark. No lights were on. I had a key. I went in and I just prayed. It was almost midnight. I was so looking forward to midnight 'cause I was gonna be eating at 12:01. And I had poured my heart out to God in those three days. And I said, "Well, I don't know what You want me to do, but You're gonna have to tell me clearly. I'm willing, I am willing to do whatever You want me to do, but You're gonna have to tell me".
And I'm telling you, around midnight, I heard the whisper of God deep in my spirit. And He said, "I have called you to preach. Go preach and do what I've called you to do". And it was one of those moments, it was just a whisper. I didn't see it written in technicolor. I didn't see graffiti on the side of the tabernacle. I didn't have an angel tap me. I didn't see the room light up with a glow. All I had was, I was in His presence, I knew I was in His presence, and I had this gentle whisper that said, "You're called. I chose you, you didn't choose Me. Go". I began to preach, and God began to help us as we, me and my brother traveled all over the nation.
And then on another occasion, a few years later, talking about the whispers of God. He never yelled at me, just whispers. And I was in a situation where I was single now, by myself, and I was living in Tennessee, and I preached, and I met a girl named Cherise Swilley and we began to date. And God didn't have to yell on that one, because I was able to hear the whisper, but I used my eyes too and I liked what I saw. And I fell in love with her, and at some point, at some point I knew and I heard the whisper, "Marry her. She's the one. She's the one". And I don't know what I would have done without Cherise. It's a little funny with her sitting down here on the front, but it's just the truth. I don't know what I would have done without that whisper. And we've been through a lot, but we go through it together.
And it's a powerful, powerful thing when God whispers, "That's the one". And the Lord told me to tell every single person under the sound of my voice, wherever you're listening to this, "For every single person who desires it, there is a whisper coming in your future, 'That is the one,'" because He has a plan for your life. God has a whisper for you. I believe it's so important that when we are at crossroads, when we're at major decisions, when we are in transitional places, if we need to hear from God, that we absolutely begin to do what Samuel did. We pray for Samuel ears, Samuel ears because if you don't want to just keep making the wrong choices and stumbling through life, you can learn to hear God's voice.
If He could speak to somebody like me, He can speak to you. He can speak to you about your purpose right now. He can speak to you about the season of life that you're in. He can speak to you about your future and what He has for you. A lot of people are counting on you hearing His voice. A family is waiting on you to hear His voice. The plan of God is all dependent upon you hearing His voice. We must begin to ask God for Samuel ears. "Speak, Lord". Somebody needs to pray that sincerely from your heart and with an attentive, uncluttered ear, "Speak Lord, Thy servant heareth".
Some years after Cherise and I had been traveling all over the nation, we were invited to come preach at a church called Free Chapel. And the pastor had booked me nine months in advance. And I still have the envelope somewhere. I ran across it not too long ago and then lost it again. But they called the week that I was scheduled to come, and they said, "The pastor has passed away, Pastor Roy Wilburn has passed away". And he died on a Friday night. And he had booked me and Cherise to come nine months before. And I had a sermon, and I was ready to preach that sermon. And when I heard that the pastor had passed and of course the church was grieving, I felt like, number one, I wasn't worthy to come preach, and I didn't want to come preach because I felt like it was a family, church family thing.
I really thought they would probably cancel the service. But they said, "No. He said from his deathbed, 'Make sure they have service,'" or told the... gave those instructions to someone. And so, the Lord gave me this little sermon. I changed... And I still have the envelope. It's from the Book of Isaiah, and it was on put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. He said, "And I'll give you beauty for ashes". That's it. "And the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise". And I preached those three points, those three points that Sunday morning. The funeral was gonna be after the service.
And that morning, the Holy Spirit moved beautifully and powerfully, and it comforted those grieving family, that Wilburn family, and all the people who were there, and it was packed. And then, the funeral happened. And somewhere in that service, I can tell you, even when, when the coffin was coming down, I heard the voice of the Lord, just a whisper, just a whisper. And He said, "They are a sheep without a shepherd". That's it. It wasn't a yell. It wasn't a, "Go to Free Chapel". I'm gonna touch people. We're gonna... Nothing. "They are a sheep". And it messed with me. It sunk deep into my soul. I tucked it, like Mary, I pondered it in my heart for days. I told only Cherise about that verse that I heard. It was powerful. It was real. I knew it.
Ladies and gentlemen, when you get in a church like this that is open to the Holy Spirit, God knows how to speak to you. People all around you may hear nothing, feel nothing, experience nothing, but if you have Samuel ears, He knows how to interrupt your life with His great plan and destiny. But you must be sensitive, you must be open, and you must have your ear toward Heaven. And of course, we would go on and become the pastors of the church. I had preached in hundreds of churches, I'd never heard that scripture come up in me, "They are a sheep with no shepherd".
I had preached all over this nation in revivals for weeks, and weeks, and weeks, and never did I hear that scripture and that voice like that. It was a moment where God gave me a whisper. Whispers almost feel reckless. Whispers require you to step out. At some point, I had to leave my denomination, leave my security, leave everything that I had worked to build because God said, "This is the way". It requires courage, it requires risk, it requires maybes, just stepping out on nothing but a maybe. When God called Elisha, the Bible said Elijah walked up to him and just a whisper, just threw the mantle on him, and pulled it off, and kept walking. He was out in the field, he was a farmer, his family was generations in farming.
The Bible said he had 12 yolk of oxen, and then he had 12 teams, he had servants, he had wealth, he had the old home place, he was to inherit it all. And Elisha, standing in a field, and he's working, just a normal job, and all of a sudden, the prophet walks by and throws his mantle and pulls it back, and keeps moving. And in that moment, the voice of God came to Elisha, and he said, "There goes the will of God for your life". And your Bible said that in that moment, he broke the plow, and slew the cows, and offered a sacrifice and took off running, and followed Elijah until he went up and that mantle fell back down on him with a double portion.
How powerful, how powerful are the whispers of God. When you understand that, when you break the plow, when you say, "Lord, I'm gonna follow you". This is why so many people can't hear the voice of God, is because they won't break the plow of what they think they should do with their life. The moment you break the plow, and you say, "I don't want my will, I want, I'll do anything you want me to do, just show me". That's when it, not with conditions. But when you break the plow of your comfort zone, and you slay the cow. What he was saying was, "I'm gonna follow the Lord. I've heard a whisper, and I'm going after it. But I'll never be back here. I've eliminated plan B. I'm going after Him".