Jentezen Franklin - Beware Of The Traveler
2 Samuel, Chapter 12, and I'm going to begin reading with Verse 1, "Then the Lord sent Nathan to David, and he came to him and said to him there were two men in one city, one rich and one poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished. It grew up together with him and his children. It ate of his food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom as if it was like a daughter to him, and behold a traveler came to the rich man who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one a meal for the wayfaring man. He took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him. So, David's anger was greatly aroused against the man. He said to Nathan, as the Lord lives this man who has done this will surely die, and he said restore fourfold the lamb because he did this thing because he had no pity. Then Nathan said to David you are the man. You are the man".
And I want to talk to you for just a few moments about this particularly, Verse 4, "and there came a traveler, and a traveler came to the rich man". Everything in this story pivots and changes when a traveler shows up. I want to talk to you about what that traveler represents in our life. The traveler took something from the poor man that was precious, and he'll take something from you if you allow him in and you feed him. He said, "Beware of the traveler". What caused the saint to become a sinner? What caused this man who was so powerful and so anointed to somehow become a weakling? It didn't happen overnight. It didn't happen in a week's time. He was 50 years of age; 30 when he first became king of Israel, and he reigned for 20 years, and for 20 years Satan watched him.
Our enemy watches what we smile at. Our enemy watches what we react to. I marvel at the patience of hell. Hell is very patient. It doesn't take you down quick. It just watches you and probes and watches, and the enemy watched this man named David. You see, David never considered how far one thought could take him. One evil thought transpired into a look, and the look led to lust, and the lust led to lost, and eventually it all started with an evil mind. It all started when he let the traveler in. There came a thought to him one day. When the kings went to war, he was at home in his palace, and he looked out and he saw a woman bathing, and that's the traveler coming by. You can't help it if you see something. You live in a natural world. You have eyes that see. You have ears that hear.
You notice the world and the things that you're in, but it's when you don't just let the traveler, you need to let him keep traveling, but when you open the door and invite them in and then start feeding the traveler, you start slaying the lamb in your house to feed the traveler the bad thoughts, the evil thoughts. A lamb is dying in you when you're feeding the wrong thoughts. And it wasn't that just he saw her. If at that moment he would have said, Lord, I need to look this way, and I need to go in here, and I need to sing a song of praise and get my harp out, get me some Scripture out, and get my mind right. But he started feeding that thought. He began to ask questions. You should read the story. He asked questions who is she?
Well, first of all, you're a married man, so what difference does it make who she is? You shouldn't be looking on her Facebook. You shouldn't be looking up her email. You shouldn't be asking questions about her. You're a married man. And then he invited, sent for her. Sent for her. I'm sure she probably needs prayer. She probably needs someone to talk to. She might need some counseling. Sent for her. You're a married man. Why are you sending for her? What's he doing? He's feeding that thought. He's feeding that thought. He never dreamed. He never considered how far an evil thought could take him. It all began with an evil thought.
Listen to this, little did he know that before long he would be an adulterer, he would be a murderer, he would be a liar, he would bear false witness, he would dishonor his parents, he would steal, he would kill, he would covet. He broke all Ten Commandments with his sin, and do you know how he did it? It all started with a simple thought. Yes, he saw it. He should have turned away. You can't help it if a bird flies over your head, but you don't need to let him build a nest and hatch eggs in your hair. There's a difference, and it's not wrong to be tempted. Even Jesus was tempted. But it's when you open the door and you start feeding the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, feeding depression, feeding hopelessness, feeding negativism. When you start feeding that thing, it starts killing the lamb.
The Bible said that David took for himself in 2 Samuel 5:13 more concubines and more wives. See, kings were forbidden to have too much of three things. God said if you're a king in Deuteronomy, I think it's the 17th chapter. He said you're not to have many horses. I don't know why. You're not to have much gold. I don't know why. And then He said you're not to have many wives. Well, David after a great battle slew his war horses as a sacrifice to God. He didn't have a problem with the horses. David, after he made millions and billions of dollars, took all of that money and gave it to Solomon so he could build a temple. So, he didn't have a problem with the gold, but he had a problem with the girls.
Listen folks, you can't live wrong and die right. Temptation is the devil looking through the keyhole. Yielding is when you open up the door and let him in. There are restless spirits that are gripping men and women in their homes and in their families and young people, and when that restless spirit comes on you, the enemy will send the traveler, and if you start feeding the wrong thoughts, the evil thoughts, the wicked thoughts, what are you thinking on? The Bible said when lust has conceived it bringeth forth sin and when sin is finished, it brings forth death.
Notice the threefold step to destruction. When lust has conceived where is it conceived? In the mind. It brings forth sin how? Through the deeds of the body. What you think in your mind you'll do in time, and then it bringeth forth death. That's spiritual death, but it all starts in the mind. It all starts with your thinking. What do you think about in private? What are thinking about? What are you toying with? Many people aren't doing it, but they're toying with temptation, thinking about it. Constantly thinking about it. Listen to this. Private thoughts lead to public actions. What you do in private and think in private, it's a matter of time before you manifest in public.
Isaiah 55:7 said, "Let the wicked man forsake his wickedness," listen to this, "and the unrighteous man his thoughts". I think it's so significant that God says if you want to follow me, you're going to have to not just stop doing the wicked stuff, but let the unrighteous man forsake his thoughts. One of the signs of an unrighteous person is what kind of thoughts they think on constantly. What are you feeding? Are you feeding the lust of the flesh? What kind of music are you listening to? What kind of stuff are you looking at? What kind of things are out of control in your life, and you're feeding the traveler? You're not sending him on down the road. It's not wrong to be tempted, but it's wrong when you open the door and start feeding that thought. You've got to get a grip on it.
The Bible says you take your thoughts captive. You take captive the thoughts of the enemy and the vain imagination. You don't sit around and let the enemy just fill your mind with filth and trash. You take authority over that. You take authority over that. He wants to charge into us with evil thoughts. Jesus said the prince of this world comes and finds nothing in me. If the enemy can't get nothing in you, he can't get you to do things that you don't want to do. He has the first get it in you before he gets you to do it and if you're taking in and feeding ungodly thoughts in your life, feeding on things that you know are not right, then the enemy is getting in you and before he can take you out, he has to get into you. "The prince of this world comes, and he finds nothing in me," Jesus said.
Some of you have your mind more on things than you do Jesus. The kingdom of thingdom, prisoners of plenty, but the challenge in the age in which we're living is to love the Lord our God, the Bible said, with all of your mind, soul, and strength. Isn't that an interesting verse there? Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, and with your mind. Do you love God? I know you love Him with your heart. I know you wouldn't be here this morning if you didn't love the Lord, but are you loving Him with your mind? Are you loving Him with the six inches from this ear to this ear? The biggest battle that you'll ever face is not out there. It's from one ear to the other. This area right here will determine victory or defeat in your life. This area right here will determine whether you're pure or you're unpure or whether you're clean or you're unclean, and I have to have this area in love with Jesus.
I can't have a carnal mind. To be carnally minded, Paul said, is death. It's death to your dreams. It's death to your business. It's death to your integrity. It's death to you character to be carnally minded. Are you a carnal-minded person? Philippians 4:8 said, "Finally brother, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest," come on, everybody, help me preach, "Whatsoever... Whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure". "Whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise," come on, "think on these things".
Are you loving the Lord with all your mind? If you are, then that's how you do it. If there's anything good, invite it in and feed it. Feed it, feed it, feed it. If there's anything wholesome, invite it in and feed it, feed it, feed it. If there's anything of praise and good report, invite it in. You want to get beyond your depression? Don't invite depression and feed it. Invite victory it. We're not called to be a bunch of depressed people. We're called to reign in this life. Yeah, I get down, but I don't stay down. There's only one direction. I'm coming up. I'm always coming up. I'll never stay down. Think on these things.
Well, Pastor, you don't understand. I lost my job this week. But my God shall supply all your needs. Invite that in and feed it and watch it feed you. I've never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed out begging for bread. Invite that in. Oh, but the doctor said... but the Bible said, "By His stripes we're healed". Invite that in and start feeding that. I wrote this many, many years ago, and I'm going to reuse it right now. They teach that we came from little muddy drops of water called protoplasm that became a tadpole, and the tadpole got the wiggling in its tail and kept wiggling until it became a fish with fins.
Maybe that's true. Maybe that's how they evolved. I don't know. That's how they might've come out. Then a storm came and blew him out of the water, and he started flipping around in the sand until he knocked his scales off, and when his scales fell off, he grew four legs and started going around eating, and there's more fruit up in the trees than down there, so he stood up on his hind legs more and so therefore, he stands erect now. Then he started nibbling on the grass, and can you believe it? A cold spell came and froze the world, and he grew some hair, and he noticed there was some more fruit up in the tree than on the ground, so he moved up into the tree and grew a tail and hooked his tail around branches and became a monkey. And then from monkey, eventually through acclimation and evolution, some of the hair fell off. He lost a tail pretty much, and now from goo to you by way of the zoo. That's how you got here.
My Bible said the beginning, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It takes more faith to believe that junk than it does to believe that God created man, and God made him a living being. A whole generation. You've heard me tell this story, but a kid goes off to college, and he heard his professor get up and just mock the Bible and creation and all of that and how stupid these Christians are and how ignorant they are. I'm going to tell you something. You remember me telling you this. Sin will break you down. It's fun for a season, but there will come a time when you'll yearn for what you feel in here this Sunday morning. You'll yearn for an anchor that you can hold on to in your troubled storm. You'll yearn to believe like you believe right now.
And this boy listened to the professor mock the Bible and teach on evolution, and when he finished he said, "Sir, could I give a comment"? He said, "Sure". He said, "I wrote a poem. Would you like to hear it"? He said, "Yes". He said, "In the beginning, it was a microbe beginning to begin, and then it was a tadpole with it's tail tucked in, and then it was a monkey climbing in a tree, but now it's a professor with a Ph.D".
I'm so glad I believe that I'm chosen, that I'm called, that I'm favored, that I'm anointed, that God so loved me that He sent His Son for me that He has a plan for our lives that we are a child of the most High King and God, Jesus Christ. Does anybody believe that? Clap your hands and shout about it just a minute. I know the truth. Romans 1:21, "Because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were they thankful to Him because they were futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools. Change the glory of an incorruptible God into an image made in corruptible man, birds and four-footed animals and worshipping creeping things. Therefore, God gave them to uncleanness".
Everybody say, God don't give me up. The danger of letting thoughts in that are evil and feeding pornography and filth and trash and ungodliness is there does come a point where God gives you up. He gave them up to uncleanness in the lust of their hearts to dishonor their bodies among themselves, exchanged the truth of God for a lie, worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator who is blessed forever, amen.
For this reason, God gave them up to their vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use of what is against nature. Likewise, the men leaving the natural use of the women burning in lust one for another. Men with men committing what is shameful and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which is due.
Listen to this, and even as they did not like to retain God in their minds or knowledge. God gave them over to reprobate minds. King James says reprobate minds. What does that mean? Look at the next Verse, being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, malice, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil mindedness. They are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving the young generation, unforgiving, unmerciful. Knowing the righteous judgment of God, they gave themselves over.
Folks, when I'm preaching, it's so serious that if you keep feeding that stuff, there comes a place where God says I give you over to it. The Bible said of Lot that he was vexed in his spirit by what he heard and what he saw. Are you vexed anymore? Do you get disturbed at anything you see or anything you hear or are you just like the world? Can you hear anything and it not bother you? Can you see anything and it not convict you? It all begins with a thought.
Esau, the Bible said, was a profane man. The word profane means thoroughfare. His mind was open to anything. Is your mind open to anything? Do you have anything that says I need to turn it or turn it off or I need to walk out of this or I need to get out, I don't want to hear that, that's wrong? Because what you're feeding, you're feeding the traveler, and he's going to take a lamb. It's going to cost you something. I'm almost done. Please understand me. You better watch your through life. Input determines output.
Proverbs 6:27, "Can a man take fire into his bosom and not be burned"? It goes on to say will his clothes not be consumed? Before the devil can get you in the bed with somebody, he has to get in your head. He's going to get in your head. He'll come through your ears, through your eyes, through what you set your heart on. We're living in an hour when we must have the mind of Christ, where we must have what the Bible calls in Romans 8 the renewing of the mind. We must have the whole armor of God including the helmet of salvation that protects our minds. The Upper Room was where the Holy Spirit fell, and my mind is my Upper Room of the Temple of God which is my body. Wouldn't it be something if the Holy Spirit would fall, and the fire and the wind would come and blow out all of the filth and bring the fire of purity and sanctify our minds to have the mind of Christ again to love God with all of our mind.