Jentezen Franklin - Come Out Of The Stuff
Matthew 13, I wanna begin with Matthew 13:4. "And he sowed, and some fell by the wayside. The birds came and devoured them. Some fell in stony places, that did not have much earth. And they immediately sprang up because there was no depth of the earth. And when the sun was up they were scorched, because they had no root they withered away". Matthew 13:7. "And some fell among thorns, and the thorns," notice this: "Sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty". Matthew 13:7: "Some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them". And then go quickly to Matthew 13:22, because He gives the explanation of what that means. "Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches chokes the word, and he becomes unfruitful".
I wanna talk to you for just a few moments about something that is very simple, it won't take me long to preach this morning, but it is something that I think we need to hear, and God really dealt with my heart about it. Because what we see in this text is the seed is good, and the soil is good, but the Bible said there were thorns that sprang up, and choked the word of God, and what God wanted to do through that seed was destroyed. Now, listen carefully. And then, He said if you wanna know what that means, here's the translations. Here's the translation, the word is sown, but the cares of this life, the busyness, the going, and the crowdedness of life begin to choke out the effectiveness of God's word, and the cares of this life and the love of riches begin to choke out God's purpose and plan.
I'm preaching today a message that is not just directed to anybody, but I wanna preach for a moment to people who have been blessed, people who have been promoted, people who have been elevated, people who have seen some success in your life. I was thinking about this, and I believe it's the truth, that it's easy to give everything to God when you have nothing. But sometimes, the greatest enemies that we have to conquer after we've been blessed is to conquer stuff and things that begin to crowd our life, overcrowd our life, and choke out what really matters in our life. Entanglements to bondage. Things like stuff and the lust for things can begin to choke out the effectiveness of God's word and God's power.
The challenge sometimes is not the absence of opportunity, but for people whom God has blessed, it's the abundance of opportunity, that can crowd out the plan and the purpose and the destiny that God has. And it begins to choke out the purpose and the plan of God. Sometimes, your enemy is entanglements with lesser things. The world is competing for your gifts. It brings something that wants to take away from you the purpose that you are here for. The world says, "Bring us your talents, bring us your gifts, bring us your skills," but God wants those gifts and those skills.
There's nothing wrong with the seed in this text, there's nothing wrong with the soil, it, listen, here's my point. Here's the theme of this message. It's an overcrowded place, and the cares of this life begin to overcrowd, and suddenly, God's prophetic word over your life becomes a minute and tiny seed, and all these other things begin to be more important, bigger, and much more huge in your life than God and His prophetic promise and revelation in your life. I want you to understand that one of the greatest battles that you will face the more God prospers you, the more God exalts you, the more God raises you, it will not be demons and devils that you have to fight, it will be an overcrowded life, that suddenly, the cares of this life and the materialism of this life begins to become such an important thing in your life that God is shrinked down to a tiny seed that is not very effective in your life anymore.
The woman with the issue of blood could not get to Jesus, because it was overcrowded. The Bible said she could not get to Jesus for her healing, because of the press of the crowd. There was so many people. It was overcrowdedness that stopped her, and somehow, she was so desperate that she broke through the crowd, and she could never get His full attention, but she touched the hem of His garment, clothing. And as He walked by, she was healed, but she had to realize, this is so overcrowded, it's gonna take something for me to break out of the cares of this life, and the deceitfulness of materialism, when I need Jesus more than I need anything else.
Zacchaeus was a small man in stature, and the crowd was so huge that he couldn't see. He was crowded out, his life was overcrowded. God was wanting to do a miracle in his life, and he climbed up in a tree, because something in him said, I've got to see Jesus, but my life is so overcrowded with masses of people and appointment and opportunities and this and fun and entertainment, and there's nothing with these things necessarily, but if we don't watch it, they begin to choke out the critical power of God's word and prophetic direction over our life. And we get more into the cares of this life, the temporal, and we forget about the eternal.
I thought about how that the men who had a friend who was paralyzed, and they put him on a cot, four of these men put him on a cot. And they went to take him, because they heard Jesus was in the synagogue, and the Bible said when they got there, the place was so overcrowded that they couldn't even get in the building. The problem was not the seed and the problem was not the soil, the problem was their life was... there was so much crowdedness in their life, they couldn't get that place and that person that they were trying to get to Jesus. And so, you know the story. They tore the roof off and let him down with ropes. But the thing that they almost missed, because of overcrowdedness, was the miraculous power of God.
Then, I thought about the innkeeper in Bethlehem. Here, Mary and Joseph are, and she's carrying, and about to give birth to the Savior of the world, and they knock on the door of the innkeeper, and the innkeeper says, "I'm sorry, we're overcrowded. I'm sorry, Jesus, Son of God". Do you understand the miracle that wanted to come to their house? Do you know how that would've affected their children and their children's children if Jesus had been born inside of that place, that inn, where people were staying? But they were in a sold-out state to other things, therefore, there was no room for Jesus in the inn.
All the devil wants to do is overcrowd your life so much that you have no room for revival. You have no room for a fresh touch and anointing of the Holy Spirit, because you're so entangled with the cares of this life, and you're so enthralled with the riches, the deceitfulness, of material things. The house, the car, the land, the this, the business, the success, the entertainment. This and that, and it's not that you're an evil person, but when these things begin to take over your life, then Jesus becomes something tiny that you go and deal with on Sunday, and the rest of the week is being overcrowded by worldliness in-carnality. Is there room in your life for Jesus? Or is it so overcrowded?
Matthew 9:23. When Jesus went to Jairus's house, Jairus's daughter was dead, and notice this. "When Jesus came into the ruler's house," He saw them playing the funeral music, and the noisy crowd was wailing and weeping, and He said to them, watch this: "'Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.' And they ridiculed Him". It was overcrowded with sorrow, it was overcrowded with funeral songs, it was overcrowded with weeping and depression, and all kinds of sorrow going on in that house. But Jesus said, "You need to make room," and watch what happened. "But when the crowd was put outside...", it was overcrowded, and Jesus said, "I need some room to work here".
Your life is so overcrowded, I'm trying to get depression out of this house. I'm trying to get weeping out of this house. I'm trying to get defeat and death out of this house. But you're so overwhelmed and overcrowded, and when He put the crowd outside: "He went in, took her by the hand, and the girl rose from the dead". I wonder what we're missing with our overcrowded lives. I wonder what power we're missing with our overcrowded lives. Jesus is saying, "Somebody needs to make room for Me". You're entangled with the cares of this life, but if you would make room for Me in the morning, and go pray, if you would make room for Me, and open up the Book, and read it, if you would make room for Me, and love Me more than a tiny seed on Sunday, but if during your week, daily, you would come to Me for daily bread, I would begin, you talk about blessing.
When I find somebody who is not in it for the stuff, they're in it for Me, then I'll take the limits off what I'll do, and I'll provide everything they need, and then some. Give God a big shout if you believe I'm preaching the truth. The only challenge that Jesus had was to make room for the miracle. The people were put out. Sometimes, you have to put some people out to make room for Jesus. The clutter, the stacked up, packed up, clutteredness, overcrowdedness of our life, with worldly, carnal, temporal things, other things. We need a good spring cleaning. We need a spiritual house cleaning, where we make room for Him in our homes again. We make room for Him in our families again.
The only vision some people have is a television. You need to make room for Him. He wants to put a seed in your life that will guide you and direct you and anoint you and bless you and prosper you, but if your life is so overcrowded with earthly things, it chokes the power of the word out, and you have no idea what you're missing. Everything you're going after is in Jesus, and then: "Seek first the Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you". Other things choked out, Overcrowdedness choked out the potential of God's promise. John 18:8. "Jesus said, 'If, therefore, you seek Me, let these go," — let some stuff go if you're after Me. If I'm what you're searching for, when you find Me, you've got to let some other things go. Let these go, and make room for Me.
Sometimes, you've got to choose. Am I going to have room for Jesus? Am is He gonna be the major thing of my life, or am I gonna get so caught up in the cares of this life, and in the deceitfulness of temporal riches, that it chokes out my passion and my love for God? Let these things go. Peter said, "This is that," not this and that. "This is that". Turn loose of some things of this world. Now, I wanna take you to the Old Testament, and I wanna conclude with this story. 1 Samuel 10 is the story of Israel searching for the first king they would ever have. His name was Saul. And it's time, the Bible said Samuel brought the horn of oil, and he said, "God, I'm ready to anoint someone, it's Your word, to be king of Israel. Where are they, Lord"? And notice the answer. "And when they inquired of the Lord if the man should yet come here, the Lord answered, 'Behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff.'"
God's ready to anoint a king, but God couldn't find him, and they couldn't find him, because he was hiding in the things of this life, the cares of this life. He was hiding among the stuff. Just had this, and I'm running over here, and I'm going to this, and that'll be fun, and let's do that next weekend. Let's do this this weekend. Let's do that, and I want you to have vacation, I want you to do all that, God's all for that. But I'm talking to blessed people. And all of you are blessed, whether you know it or not. I'm talking to people who have amazing opportunities. The problem is, with those opportunities, they can become the biggest thing in your life, instead of that seed of the promise and the revelation and purpose for which you are here. And you begin to hide among the stuff.
Don't get covered up with stuff. There was a bumper sticker that people used to have on their cars some time back that I remember seeing, that says, "He who dies with the most stuff wins". They're wrong. He who dies with Jesus Christ wins. And the call of the Spirit today is to come out of the stuff, to come back to the priority of Jesus first in your life. The test is not when you have nothing. The test is when you have everything. Can Jesus still be this big deal and all of this stuff is a seed that's really not a big deal? The Lord gives, the Lord takes away. I've learned to abound, I've learned to be abased, it doesn't matter.
I love Jesus, and thank God for this stuff. This is a blessing, but this is not why I serve the Lord. I serve Him because He's my Lord. He's my Savior. He's my Master. The question that I'm asking you is, after you've been blessed, can you give it all to Him again? What if God said to you today, "You know all that stuff that I've let you accumulate? And you didn't have two nickels to rub together, you didn't have nothing when I found you". All that I had when the Lord found me was a broke down Continental Lincoln, a saxophone, and a Bible. And He has blessed me, He has blessed my family. We are blessed exceedingly.
And the Lord really worked this message into my soul, and He said, "Now, the test is can you stand to be blessed, or is that the biggest stuff in your life"? I'm telling you, there is a call, there is a choking that can come when you begin to get into things more than you get into Jesus. There's an anointing waiting for somebody who will come out of the stuff. And when Samuel had that horn of oil, he said, "Saul, come out of the stuff," and the Bible said he came up out of the stuff. And when he got free from the entanglements of the cares of this life, the business and more money and more deals and more opportunities, and nothing wrong with doing all of that, we're put here to be productive, winning, successful people, but the truth is when it gets out of proportion and suddenly the word is nothing but a tiny seed, and church is just a tiny thing, and going to church is just a little thing, and reading the Bible and worshiping God during the week is a tiny portion of your life, and all of this stuff is the big deal to you.
You're overcrowded. But there's an anointing waiting for somebody who can come out of the stuff. Get out of the stuff. Throw down your stuff. I dare you to say this morning, "God, here's my stuff. Here's my career. Here's my house," my this, my that, my dreams, my aspirations, my desires, everything that I'm working for. Here, I'm sorry. It's become too big, and You've become too little. Today, I wanna be an inverted iceberg. I want what's in me, Jesus, under the surface.
You know, that's what sunk the Titanic. There was just a little bit of the iceberg that was above the water. The biggest part was unseen, and that's true in our lives. That if Jesus inside of you is not bigger than what people see on the outside, you're not very powerful. But God, we surrender our stuff again. And we surrender our stuff, and we surrender our things, and we get loose from the cares of this life, and the deceitfulness of materialism, and we get turned back on to the biggest thing in our life, ought to be the biggest joy, should not be if I get this, that, and that, and that, and that's where I get my joy from. The biggest joy ought to be Jesus.
Stand to your feet, all over this room. No one moving, please. Would you raise your hands up toward Heaven and say, "Lord, I surrender my stuff. I surrender to You. I've had some choking going on. Choking the promise, choking the things of God out of my life. The things of God are the size of a seed, versus the world, and the cares of life, and the pursuit of materialism. It's become huge, and it's choking the very spiritual life out of my dream and my call and my purpose, and I've come today, to say, Lord, I give You my stuff, I give You my entanglements. I give it to You. I want You to be the biggest thing, everything above the water that people see is great, but that's not who I am. Who I am is unseen, because I know You, I walk with You, I love You, I'm passionate about You, I serve You, and I want more of You than I've ever had".
"Pastor, I'm back-slid". "Pastor, I'm not right with God". "Pastor, I'm far from the Lord. The enemy has choked my faith to death". If that's you, and you don't know you're right with God, and you wanna get right with God, this morning, as boldly as you can, raise your hand up as high as you can get it, wherever you are, all over this room. From the front to the back, raise 'em high and unashamed. And we're gonna pray a prayer, and Jesus is gonna hear this prayer, and He's gonna cleanse you, He's gonna save you, He's gonna pull you out of the stuff. And He's gonna begin a mighty work of restoration in your life. Everybody's together in one, united prayer of faith. Pray these words.
Heavenly Father, I come to You and I surrender my life in Jesus' name. There's no other name like the name of Jesus. I turn my heart to You. I surrender my life to You. I bring my stuff to You. I bring my wealth to You. I bring my success to You. It does not satisfy. I need You, the Life giver. I need You, the Life liberator. I need You in my life. I surrender my life to Your lordship. It is my desire to live for Jesus. It is my desire to come out of the stuff, the entanglements, the addictions. I want out. I change my direction, and I know You'll get me home. I can't make it home by myself. So Father, come and run to me with mercy and grace. I receive total forgiveness. I am a child of God. I am saved. And now, I receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit. He's anointing my head with oil. My cup runs over. My joy runs over. I'm making room for a miracle to come to my family, to my house, to my future, to my business, to my finances. I make room for You. I put You on the throne.
Glory. "It's done," says the Lord. "It's done," says the Lord. You are free. You are chosen. You are forgiven. You are called. You have purpose. You are anointed. We need to shout right here. Oh, hallelujah. "Whom the Son sets free is free indeed".