Jentezen Franklin - Whispers From God - Part 2
If you have your Bibles, I invite you to open it up to 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". 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". Jesus said in Matthew 4 that, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word," notice this word, "That proceedeth from the mouth of God". It simply means that as you keep praying in the different times in life, that God sends proceeding. It means, "Don't proceed until you get my direction in your life".
The proceeding word is beautifully, how to proceed is what it means. It's a word that teaches you and shows you how to proceed. "How do I move forward? How do I go on"? I'm telling you, I'm begging you to hear this message today. This is not another normal Sunday. I believe the Lord has every person listening to me today ready to speak a new, fresh, proceeding word from God. And He needs you to pray and yearn for Samuel ears, at this point, at this intersection, at this transition in your life. Think about Abraham for just a moment. God told him, everybody say, "God told him: Take your son and go up on the mountain and build an altar and raise the knife and kill him. Sacrifice him to me". And he did what God said. And he goes up the mountain and the boy lays down, and he ties him down and he raises the knife.
And watch this. This is the proceeding word. Did God tell him to do it? Yes. But thank God he had Samuel ears that he could hear when God said as he raised the knife, "Stop. Now I know that you're willing. I was testing you. I don't want you to kill your son. I just wanted to see if you would obey me. Like the heathens sacrificed their children, I wanted to know if you trusted me with your generations like you claim you do". The greatest thing a parent can do is put a child on the altar and say, "They're yours. You love 'em more than I love 'em, and I'm gonna trust you with 'em". It's hard.
That moment, that's when, the next part of that verse is so interesting to me. God said, "I swear," I'm sorry. I'm sorry, but God sweared one time in the Bible. He said, "I swear I will bless you". It goes on to say, "I will, in blessing, I will bless you. I'll bless you exceedingly because you passed this test". And what was the test? "That you could hear my voice, change your direction. Even though you were doing what I told you to do, I had a new word for this season". New direction when you have the whispers of God. God is going to send new direction and new orders to people under the sound of my voice, and it will take you down the path and the plan and the will of God for your life.
I remember when we were, as a church we needed to grow, and we were packed and we couldn't get any more people in. And so, we began to make plans. And you do what you know to do. We prayed about it and felt okay about it. And we hired an architect. And this was many years ago. And we were gonna take out that wall right there and expand out about 2,000 more seats. It would've just fanned around and downstairs. It was gonna require all kinds of children's facilities and some things that we needed to do in the expansion is the $40 million building project that was to be right there, 40 million. And we had the resources, and we had the things that we needed to get it all lined up. And I just felt like I didn't, when it got down to making it time to go, let's go, start it, break the ground, do it. I could not get the peace of God.
It just, something wasn't right. And I just, it was very humiliating a little bit, or humbling would be a better word. Because I went to the board, and I went to this church, some of you were here, and I apologized, and I said, "I know that we've told you, but I just don't feel peace about that right now. Can we just shelf it"? And I think the people were a lot smarter than I was. They all started clapping, saying, "Yay". I'm like, "Wow". But within a few weeks, one of our board members was over in Gwinnett and there was a building on interstate 85, 21 acres of land with it right on the interstate. And it had been empty for two years.
It was brand new, new building, brand new roof. All of it was closed in, but all it had was sheet rock inside. All the floors were cement, and it was just an unfinished building, and it had sat unfinished for two years. Parking lot paved, everything sitting there. Brand new church, never been used. And what had happened is two churches had joined together, and they agreed that they were gonna build a bigger church. And then something happened, and the pastor decided to leave, and he went up north somewhere and left. And the church fell to pieces, and the bank repossessed it. And it had sat for two years. It was originally offered with the 21 acres for 16 million, and then it went down to 9 million, and the bank had it. And then they went down to 6 million. And I'm so glad for the whispers of God. And God let us... He didn't tell, cause I would've bought it at 9 million.
Come on. Went down to 6 million. And then one of the board members and all the board said, "Let's just offer 'em 2.8 million". And we got the whole thing, Gwinnett campus for $2.8 million dollars. God, thank God for the proceeding word. God's way is not our way, and His plan is not our plan. But one whisper can touch generations. One whisper can touch thousands of lives. And they're there, and I ought to hear Gwinnett shouting all the way in Gainesville, 'cause God knew you would be there today. Isn't that amazing? Only God. To God be the glory. You see, when God speaks and gives you a whisper, it's about others. It's about eternity. It's about souls.
One whisper from God. When Elijah was depressed and he went in a cave and the Bible said, God called him out of the cave. And in 1 Kings 19, the scripture said that an earthquake came, but God was not in the earthquake. And a whirlwind came, but God was not in the wind. And fire fell, but God was not in the fire. But then after the fire, a whisper. A still small voice, "Elijah, go anoint Elisha". One whisper affected three generations. One whisper from God has the power, one word. Maybe you are in a storm. And Simon Peter, in the middle of the storm, he heard one whisper, and all the whisper did was say, "Come". "Lord, if it's you, bid me to come". And he heard a whisper, they all should have heard it, but he was the one who had the ear, and he said, "Come". And he stepped out of the boat.
There's only two kinds of people, boat people, and water walkers. And you'll never have the courage to walk on the water until you learn how to hear Him in the middle of a storm, in the middle of... and don't listen to the boat people, they'll talk you out of it. Only listen to Him. If He tells you to get out of that boat, get out of that boat. And if you step out, He's gonna make sure that He holds you up. And if you mess up and start to sink, you can take His hand and He says, "Let's do together what you can't do by yourself". And they walked back to the boat. Somebody praise Him in this room right now.
That voice is that powerful. One word can make you walk on top of the storm. And here's what I came to say in closing now. That don't mean run for the exit, that means get your ears ready. Because when I was in Jerusalem a few weeks ago, I was in my hotel room, and I was by myself on that trip. I only just had the crew from, two or three from the church, the filming crew. And I was thinking about this message, The whisper of God and how that God whispered to Simon Peter specifically. And I heard the Lord, I'm telling you, come strong in my spirit. And He said to tell the people this. And I say it to every one of you. And if you've got a ear to hear, this will go off in you, and if it doesn't, then that's all right. But I wrote these words down and I'll hold on to this little piece of paper 'cause I believe it, and I remember where I was and when it happened, and it was just so real.
I preached the other week about moments that mark us. And the Lord said, "Tell the people your greatest whispers are not in your past. It's not too late. Your greatest assignments, and direction, and blessings are not in your past. Your greatest whispers are in your future". One of these days, I was with my dad when he passed away, but he heard his greatest whisper on his deathbed. One of these days, I'm gonna hear that whisper. And the Bible said in Revelation, "To him that overcomes, I will call out his name".
One of these days, He's gonna call my name out, and I won't be afraid of that voice when it calls me to another world. I'm not afraid to die today. I'm not afraid of what's beyond life. I know what's beyond life. Heaven, my home. Jesus, my savior. The lamb is the light and streets of gold and walls of jasper and gates of pearl. Mansions on the other side of glory where we'll have no sorrow, no pain, no sickness, no tears, no brokenness, no hurt, no pain, no disease, no death. One of these days, I'm gonna hear that voice say, "Jentezen, let's go. My sheep know my voice. You know who I am".
Take me by the hand and lead me through the promise land. What a day that will be. And I feel like telling somebody under the sound of my voice, I feel a heavy, like, I feel the Lord just wooh, push. That's how I know sometimes it's just like, there's just this push. I feel boldness to tell you your greatest whispers are not in your past. Raise your hands all over this room and thank Him that the greatest whispers concerning your life, concerning His plan, concerning His destiny, concerning... I don't care about the past. Rip the rear-view mirror down. Stop living in the past. Your greatest whispers are in your future. Just lift those hands like satellite dishes. Say:
Oh God, I want a fresh whisper. I want new direction for this season. You said the greatest whispers are in my future, so I'm asking you, I'm ready to break the plow. I'm ready. I'm ready to do what you want me to do. I'm serious about it, God. I don't wanna waste my life. Speak to me about my children.
Some of you parents need to start getting that kind of ear concerning:
Lord, give me a burden for my grandchildren. Speak to me and speak through me. I need an ear. I need Samuel ears, so that I can anoint them for the purpose for which you had in mind when you gave them to us.
Now, just stand up on your feet at every campus and lift your hands high. Just for a moment, just for a moment, I want you to raise those hands and I want you to invite God to give you Samuel ears, right where... Dad, you need it, sir. You need it. I know this may not be your bag of tea as they say, or you don't... You know, but I'm gonna tell you, you're a good man, you're a good father, you love your family, and you need the voice of God in your life. You don't have to be like me, you don't have to be like somebody, but you need the... Your wife needs you. Your children need you to have those kinds of ears that every once in a while, you are not only the provider of that home, but you are the priest of that home. And God can speak to you about that home. It's a powerful thing when God has your ear. So, give him your ear. Give it to him. Everybody sing it now.
If you know that the Lord is speaking to you this morning, get out of your seat and come stand down at this altar. And at every campus, I want you to do it. Raise your hands one more time all over this room and pray this prayer. Say:
Lord, Jesus, I need you. And I have come today. And I want those ears, those Samuel ears that can hear your voice again. I want your voice louder than any other person's voice. I want you to guide me. I want you to free me. I want you to wash me. I want you to cleanse me. I want you to unclutter my ears and let me be sensitive again. I receive by grace, I receive by the blood of Jesus Christ, a washing, a cleansing, a freeing from the old nature, from the old life, from the old ways. My greatest whispers are in my future. And you have new whispers, new directions, new guidance in my life. I open up, I say, 'Yes Lord,' to your will and to your way. In Jesus' name.