Jentezen Franklin - Distractions
If you have your Bible, look with me in 1 Corinthians 7:35, and this is a great, great verse that you should underline and write it down, and mark it up in your Bible. 1 Corinthians 7:35 says this, "And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a lease on you, but for what is proper that you may serve the Lord without distraction". Isn't that a great verse? Everybody say that with me, serve the Lord without distraction. Many of you listening to me today are in the middle of a miracle, and the only thing that can stop Jesus from getting to you, even in the midst of a storm is if the enemy can get you distracted.
We live in a time of spiritual peril, and potential. You know, we hear a lot about the signs of the times, but I want to remind you... we are also in the times of the signs. For the Bible said in 2 Timothy 3, "In the last days perilous times will come. Evil men and seducers will grow wax worse and worse", but Joel said that in the last days, saith God, "I will pour out my spirit".
So, we're living in a time of peril, and a time of pouring out. When God is going to do something miraculous and unusual and incredible in your life, usually it is preceded by a storm. A storm of adversity, a storm of negativism, a storm of setbacks, and there is this story in the Bible of Peter, and he is facing a storm, and so many times we know what it is when God is doing great things in our life that suddenly, we hear the thunderous claps of discouragement. We see the bright flash of fear and failure. We see things begin to happen as the storm breaks out in our life and we're terrorized by evil thoughts of disaster. But the word of the Lord to you today is if you're in a storm, just keep walking, Jesus is coming on top of that storm. You don't quit, and you don't give up, you keep walking. Keep walking, because you're on a collision course with a miracle.
Galatians 6:9 in the amplified Bible says, "Let us not grow tired of doing good, for unless we throw in our hand, the ultimate harvest is assured. Unless we quit, the ultimate harvest that God has promised you is assured. God is working His will, God is working His plan, and you need to understand that right now, above the foam of your storm, the master is coming. And your job is not to get distracted by things that would kill your faith and cause you to be caught up in fear and torment and the past and failure, and things that the enemy would use to distract us, even people. So much so, that you get your eyes off of Jesus. Job 9:8 says this, it says, "He alone spreads out the Heavens and treads upon the waves of the sea".
Think about that. The God of the Old Testament, is seen in Jesus of the New Testament, God in the flesh, as He walks and treads upon the waves of the sea. And Peter had the revelation, that's the God I read about in the first book, that was written in the Bible, the book of Job is the oldest book, and he said, "The God of the Old Testament is the God of Jesus, who is walking on the water". He had that revelation, and He's giving us an invitation to walk on the water with Him. But watch this, suddenly the story shifts, and suddenly it moves from a monumental I should say, victory, to a mere rescue mission. And Peter begins to move and shift from walking on the water, to sinking, and it's all because of one thing. The Bible said he got his eyes off of Jesus, and he began to notice the waves and the wind, and he began to cry out, "Lord save me"! He lost that magical moment of the miraculous because he was distracted.
Now, listen, I want you to bring this home. Many of you are experiencing miraculous things in your life. You're seeing God bless you and move in mighty ways, but I want to warn you, that the storms come, it's the enemy's job to get your eyes off of Jesus and use distractions to stop you from doing what God has called you to do. Because he was distracted, all he got to do, all he got to do was began to sink. And you see, if you're going to hold on and assure the victory you have to keep your eyes on Jesus, and you have to keep walking.
Notice that he was distracted not by demons and devils, not by hordes of hell, he was distracted by the wind. The wind is a natural thing, it's just the wind. The devil's design for containment, for limitation, for restrainment, for restriction. His distraction is just natural things. The devil's not gonna try to destroy you, most of us are not fighting devils and demons right now. I know he gets behind things, but usually the thing that holds us back from doing the unusual and the impossible is natural things.
The wind is nature's greatest natural force, and what really hinders us sometimes from doing what we've been called to do is not the devil face to face coming against us, but it's natural distractions. It's things like paying bills, it's things like running all over the place, doing this, busy stuff in life. It's the cares of life, it's the places we have to go, it's the peeling paint on the house. It's the flat tire on the car. And we have to be careful that we don't allow natural things to distract us from spiritual things. It's so easy to let natural things distract us from spiritual things. And the moment that we get our eyes off of the word, which is Jesus, and what He's saying, and we begin to focus on natural things. We lose spiritual power, it's in the wind.
The wind is what the enemy used to distract. What's really hindering you from doing what you've been called to do is natural things, that's why Luke 14 tells an amazing story. The Bible said the master prepared a great meal, and he called and sent invitations and said come and dine, for everything is now ready, and the scripture said there was a man who bought a piece of real estate, and he said, "I can't come, because I bought a piece of real estate, and I've gotta go look at it". And then another man was sent an invitation, he said, "I just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'd love to come and dine, and eat at the master's table, but you don't understand, I've gotta get out and train these animals how to plow the field". And then another man got married, and he said, "I'm sorry, I'd love to come, but I'm distracted with relationship".
The adversary of involvement at the master's table was not demons and devils, it was busyness, it was business, it was materialism, it was relationships that took priority over Jesus Christ. And what we need to understand is, sometimes it's the natural things that are stopping us from doing the unusual and the impossible, because we don't have our eyes on Jesus, we're being distracted with materialism, with business, with "I gotta take care of this". No, you make Him your focus, and you'll be amazed how He'll empower you to deal with these things, and take care of everything else. Come on and give Him a praise, somebody.
Don't be distracted, listen to this scripture in Ecclesiastes 11, "If you observe the wind, you will not sow". If you get distracted by the wind, you will not sow. "If you regard the clouds, you will not reap". In other words, there will never be a perfect situation. You gotta get up and make up your mind, I'm not gonna be distracted, because if I will allow it, the wind will talk me out of it. If I will allow it, the clouds, but if I know God's told me to do something, I'm not to look to the left or the right, I am to keep my eyes on Jesus and do what He's called me to do. Somebody give God a praise.
I'm beginning to feel my help up here today. Somebody needs to know that your Jesus is stronger and mightier than the storm you're facing. I don't care what you're hearing, and I don't care what you're feeling. Cause those waves represent our emotions, they're up one day, and they're down the next. This is not a miracle of emotions, this is a miracle of faith, and faith says, "I believe in what I cannot see, because Jesus said it, and He told me to come, and I can do the impossible". Shout, "I can do the impossible, if I won't be distracted".
Paul said, "I am determined to know nothing among you, I refuse to be distracted, except Jesus Christ in Him crucified". The devil and hell can't stop you, but distractions can. That's what this story teaches us. It wasn't devils and demons that stopped Peter from doing the unusual and the impossible, and God wants to give people under the sound of my voice unusual success, unusual victories, unusual blessings, but it wasn't devils and demons that stopped 'em, it was natural things.
It was distractions, you know, sometimes you think the whole nation is going to hell in a handbasket. The whole nation isn't going to hell in a handbasket, there's still Americans that salute the flag, and there's still Americans that love God. There's still Americans that believe the Bible and we don't care what the Supreme Court and nothing else says. Don't you let the little distractions make you think that Jesus isn't in control, and He's large and in charge, and the gates of hell will not prevail against the church. I'm not gonna be distracted by 12 men on a court. They'll bow their knee to my savior, they'll tremble in fear to my savior, and Heaven and Earth will pass away, but this book will not pass away. Don't be distracted. Hallelujah.
I heard a story I liked, it was about a man who lived way out in the country, like some of you. He was a country bumpkin. Turn to somebody and say: some of you, you're as country as corn bread. Come on, you know what I'm talking about. I was born in the country too, I know. This guy lived so far out in the country, he had to travel toward town to go hunting. This is country. This is a country boy, and he lived way out in the country, and he and his wife would lay in bed, and they had a pond on their property, an old farmer, and he had a pond on his property. And every night the frogs would croak so loud, it sounded like they had a bull horn, and they would just, and it would keep 'em up all night, and finally he had all he could take, and he hired a professional frog gigger.
That's somebody who goes around and sticks frogs and kills 'em. And he hired one in, and he said, you gotta get rid of these frogs, they keep us up all night, and I'm sure there's hundreds of 'em so just start tonight, and it'll probably take you a week or so to kill 'em, get rid of all of 'em. The next morning the guy showed up at the front door, and the old farmer opened the door and he said, "It's done, they're all taken care of". He said, "Well, my God, how many was it? Hundreds"? He said, "No, it was two". He said, "How can that be"? He said, "When you get two frogs that don't mind croaking, they can sound like hundreds".
That's the problem with America right now, the minority is making big croaks, the majority, which is us, it we would ever stand up and realize that we don't have to let our nation go to hell, but God has put us here, and we're the salt of the Earth, we're the light of the world. Come on somebody. Don't be distracted by a few. A few.
The Bible said that Haman was a mighty man, and he was riding through the kingdom, he was second only to the King of Persia. And he's riding through the city, and everybody in the kingdom, this is what the Bible said, bowed down and cried out, "Thou art a mighty man", except one. His name was Mordecai. I like what the Bible said, the Bible said he was one certain Jew. Everybody else might have been a question mark, but I like certain people, people who are not wishy washy, who don't go one way with the saints and one way with the world. I like people, "I'm certain of one thing, there is a God, and you're not Him, Haman. I'm not bowing down to you, I bow to Him. He is the King of kings, and He is the Lord of lords, and I'm not apologizing about it, and I can't help it what all these people are doing, I'm a certain Jew".
And he refused to bow, and here's how we do, and Haman instead of seeing 99.9% of the people for him, he saw one distraction, and he got home and it aggravated the fire out of him. You know how we get, does anybody obsess over the one that don't like, all the good stuff and it drives you crazy. Here's something free of charge that is worth coming to church for if you don't get nothing else, sometimes, you need to learn this lesson. Sometimes, if you don't feed, some things if you don't feed, they will starve to death.
Sometimes the greatest thing you can do with somebody who's croaking is ignore 'em. Don't give 'em attention, don't start feeding 'em, don't hand 'em a microphone. Don't tell four other people about 'em, just ignore 'em! Why didn't he just write this guy off? He had the whole kingdom bowing down, "Thou art a mighty man". Why didn't he just write this guy off? But he got distracted. And the Bible said that in order to kill the one man, he derived a plan to exterminate the whole Jewish race so he could get to that one frog. Isn't that something?
And some of you don't have joy this morning cause you got so many great things happening in your life, but you got one issue, some of you got great marriages that you could have and really enjoy, but that one little thing drives you batty. And you're being distracted from an unusual and a beautiful, and a powerful relationship with God and your family by little things that won't even matter a year from now, a month from now, a week from now. The king, the Bible said, agreed to let Haman kill all the Jews, and the scripture said that the night before the plan was to be enacted to exterminate the Jews, the king could not sleep.
The king was not sleeping, and I want to preach to somebody in my closing moments, your king is not sleeping in your night. You may be going through the night, you may be going through the storm, but your king is not sleeping. The Bible said he said, "I want somebody to read the record of things that have been happening the kingdom. I can't sleep, get me caught up". They didn't have computers, he couldn't pull nothing up to read, so the guy started reading and he heard something that he had never heard. He heard about Mordecai and how he had stopped a terrorist plot that was going to try to assassinate the king, and he came and warned them and they caught the assassins, because of Mordecai.
And he said, "I have never heard this story", the king did, "Why have I never heard this story? What did we do to that man to honor him and thank him, and reward him for what he did"? And they said, "Sir, we didn't do anything". And he said, "Well my goodness, this is bad. This man saved my life. Who is Mordecai, I don't know who he is but", listen to the words, "He's a man in whom I want to delight, and I want to honor him in a big way". And the king says, "I wonder what I could do". He says, "Who is that out there in the outer court"? And they said, "That's Haman, he's really looking forward to seeing you, because Haman is thinking that he's about to get a big promotion, and he's just waiting out in the courts". And they say, "King, they say, Haman, the king would like to see you".
And he brings him into his presence, and the king says to Haman, he says, "What would you do if the king had somebody that he was thinking about that he wanted to honor and delight himself in"? And Haman thinks he's talking about him, and he says, "Oh", and he winks at him a little bit, "Oh, someone that you could honor and do something great for, that you would like to really bless? Here's what I would do for 'em, I would put the king's royal attire on him, I'd get the king's clothes and put it on him. I'd get the king's horse and let him ride through the streets, I would get a crown and put it on his head, and I would get somebody to run before him and say 'Behold a man in whom the king delights, and a man in whom the king honors.' That's what I would do, if you're asking me". And the king said, "That is a great idea! Go do that to Mordecai".
I want to close with this point, and it's a big one, the Lord told me to tell you that the king would like to delight and honor you, that you're in times and we're in days when the King of kings wants to delight in you, and honor you, and bless you and promote you. The hour has come when God wants to delight and honor his church. Now, listen to this. Everything the devil has ever wanted for himself, the church has got it. Everything Haman, or the devil, has ever wanted for himself, Jesus has given it to you and I, the church, the body of Christ.
For example, Isaiah 14, "Satan said, 'I will ascend into the heights of Heaven.'" No you won't because that's what we're gonna do. 1 Thessalonians 4, "The trumpet will sound and we will be called up to meet the Lord in Heaven". We have everything the devil has ever wanted. "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God". No you will not. We're gonna sit on the throne, and we're gonna rule and reign with Jesus Christ because He said, "I have thrones for you". He said, "I shall be like the most high God". This is what the devil wanted, Isaiah 14, "I shall be like the most high God". No you will not, devil. You won't be like the most high God, but beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be, but when we see Him, when He appears, we shall be like Him. You're not gonna be like the most high, we're gonna be like the most high.
Everything the devil has ever wanted, we have been given in his place, and he's having to go before us while we ride high and lifted up, seated in heavenly places, clothed in the king's righteousness, wearing His glory. We have everything he's ever wanted, and my point to you is this, Jesus is coming soon. Don't be distracted in relationships. That guy married the wrong one and got distracted. Don't be distracted. Some of you have incredible potential ahead of you! But young man you can be distracted and mess your life up. Young lady, you can be distracted. Keep your eyes on Jesus, and keep on walking. Don't be distracted. Put that scripture up from 1 Corinthians 7 that I started with, and I want us to end with it. "That you may serve the Lord without distraction". Say it again: "God, help me, to serve the Lord without distraction".