Jentezen Franklin - Propped Up On Your Leaning Side
Song of Solomon 8:5. "Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved"? Who is this coming, somebody's coming out of the wilderness. They've been in the wilderness, but they're coming up, and they're coming out, and they're leaning on one side. Leaning to one side. And they're leaning on their beloved, who we know that beloved in the Song of Solomon is Jesus. And we're the bride. We're leaning on our beloved, coming out of the wilderness.
It seems like the world's in a wilderness economically, politically, spiritually. I'm not a pessimist because I believe when it gets dark enough, you can see the stars. And the stars are about to come out. And we are the sons of God, and the women of God, and the men of God, the daughters of God, and it's time for us to shine. The darker the world gets, the more the stars shine. And He's the daystar from on high. How will we make it through the wildness that we're in? We gotta lean on Jesus.
I heard a story some time ago that I wanna give you this morning. It's the whole premise of the message I'm gonna share. A pastor asked his members at the end of his message, in a little country church, he would conclude his service by calling on one of the members to stand up and pray the benediction. Pray the closing prayer. And this was a normal thing. Many of you came up in a church like that where, you know, they just call somebody out. And if you didn't wanna pray, then don't sit on the front row. 'Cause you're very much a target if you sit on the front row. And so this pastor, he would point this one guy out.
Every time the guy would pray, he would pray, "Oh God, thank you for this word today, and bless these people today", and he would end with the strangest statement. And he would conclude his prayer by saying, "...and, oh God, oh Lord, prop us up on our leaning side". And then that would be it. Every time the preacher would call on him, he'd pray whatever was relevant to the message, and then he would say "...and, oh Lord, prop us up on our leaning side".
And finally the pastor pulled him aside, and he said, "I love the way you pray, but I don't understand your little closing phrase. What are you talking about, '...prop us up on our leaning side?'" And he said, "Well, Pastor, I'm a farmer. I live out on the farm and, you know, I live in the country". And, he said, "I've got an old barn, and it's been there a long time. It's been through a lot of weather, and a lot of storms, and a lot of bugs that have eaten at it". And, he said, "I got to looking at it one day when I was riding on my tractor, and I noticed that it was leaning to one side". And, he said, "I thought to myself, 'Oh my goodness. The barn is leaning, and it's a matter of time before the whole thing falls.'"
So, he said, "You know what I did? I went and got some pine beams, and I propped it up on its leaning side". And, he said, "it still leans. I must tell you, I didn't fix the lean. It still leans, but I propped it up on its leaning side. And it's not gonna fall down because I propped it up on its leaning side".
And, he said, "You know, I got to thinking about it when I was on the tractor, Pastor. And I was riding in the field, and I thought about the kind of year I've had, and some of the storms I've been through, and some of the things I've gone through, and some of the people that are bugging me, and eating away at my joy, and eating away at my spirit. And I just got to thinking, you know, I'm still here. I'm still standing after all that stuff I've been through. The storms and the howling winds, they couldn't topple me. I'm still standing by the grace of God. But from time to time, I find myself leaning. Leaning toward my old desires. Leaning toward anger. Leaning toward becoming bitter or hateful at the people who are bugging me. Or leaning toward going back to the old habits and the old life I used to have. And when I feel myself start leaning toward that tendency, I'll just remember that old barn, and I'll pray out loud on my tractor: Lord, I thank you that you're gonna prop me up on my leaning side".
I wanna thank the Lord because I know what it means. It really means something to have the props of the Lord on your leaning side. Now for those of you who are so strong and steadfast that you don't ever have to worry about a leaning side, because you're so holified that we can't hardly stand to be in the room with you, all I can say to you is one of two things is going on.
Number one: you have not lived long enough and been through a storm severe enough. Or you've already fallen, and you're flatter than a fritter, and you don't even know it yet. It's one of the two. Because sooner or later, you're gonna feel the howling forces of spiritual Mother Nature. You're gonna have emotional hurricanes. It's gonna be things and people that bug you and try to steal your joy. And you're gonna start leaning toward that old habit, or leaning toward depression, or leaning toward giving up and quitting, or leaning toward bitterness, and unforgiveness, and anger, and hatred, and all the things that the enemy would love for you to do.
But I'm here today to preach to you that you'll find the need, sooner or later, to pray, "Lord, prop me up on my leaning side". I believe we're living in days where people need to be propped up on their leaning side.
The Bible said when Moses died, Israel mourned for 30 days. But when Aaron died, all of Israel mourned. In the rabbinical thinking of the rabbis, they teach that people mourned more for Aaron than they did Moses. Because it said all the people mourned for Aaron. Because they believed that the people could identify with Aaron more because he had, basically, a leaning problem. He was the one who was always leaning toward his weaknesses. And he's the one who built the golden calf, and they were all dancing around it.
He had so many weaknesses, and he wasn't qualified, really, to be the first high priest of Israel. But Moses came along and propped him up on his leaning side. And when he felt unworthy, and when he felt like he had failed God, and when he felt like he had built the golden calf, an image in his life, and how could God ever use me as the man to go in and represent the people with the blood that can bring blessing or cursing upon the people, if I'm not acceptable and my sacrifice is not acceptable? How could God use me?
And it was Moses, you read, who was constantly propping him up on his leaning side. And I've seen God give people props. I've seen Him bring people into other people's lives. And when they were leaning toward quitting, and when they were leaning toward giving up, and when they were leaning, and all of you have leans and bends. We all do. To areas, and things, and weaknesses in our lives. But when they started leaning, God knows how to bring people props who can prop you up on your leaning side and tell you you're not gonna do that, and God can use you, and God's not through blessing you.
Marriages are made in Heaven and some elsewhere. But God puts people together. And do you know why He puts people together? He puts opposites together for a reason. To prop each other up on their leaning side. And when you are about to be down, God wants your mate to be up, and prop you up on the leaning side. And when you're about to kill one of your kids because they've gotten on your last nerve, you've got another one in there that's supposed to prop you up on your leaning side. God knows what He's doing in marriage. He put you together so that if one falls, the other will pick: two are better than one, the Bible said. They'll pick each other up. What you don't want is both of you down at the same time. You gotta prop each other up on your leaning side.
I thought about John Mark in the Bible, who wrote the Book of Mark. But there was a time in his life when he failed miserably, and the Apostle Paul was so disgusted with him. The great spiritual leader. Everybody looked up to Paul. He was so spiritual and so powerful. But when John Mark messed up, he said, "Send him home". In other words, send him home to his mama. I have no use for him in ministry. He's not fit, he's not good enough, he's not qualified. He doesn't have what it takes to make it in ministry. And Paul dismissed him and said he's never traveling with me again.
I'm gonna tell you, that's one of the whole books of your Bible that was just dismissed and told you don't have anything to say or do that's worthwhile. But Barnabas comes along. A man named Barnabas. And he begins to prop John Mark up on his leaning side. And for two years, he pours into him. And for two years, he tells him God has His hand on you, and God's gonna bless you, and Jesus has called you. And I know Paul rejected you. And Paul's a man, too, and he didn't mean what he said.
And I'm gonna tell you, God's gonna use you. And after two years, the Apostle Paul says I'm going on another missionary journey. Oh, and by the way, send John Mark. He's profitable unto me. I need him. I've heard how good he's doing. And you read his book today because God sent somebody named Barnabas to prop him up on his leaning side.
Do you know that it would've been so easy to lean, and to fall, and to go back to what he used to be before Jesus called him? I'm so thankful that Jesus never gives up on us, but He will prop us up on our leaning side. You talk about props. What must it have been like for Simon Peter, after he denied Jesus three times? The rooster crowed, and he looked into the bleeding, bruised face of Jesus. And he saw those eyes and that face that had been torn to pieces as His beard was plucked. And those eyes looked at him, and they ask him, point blank, do you know this man? And he denied Christ, the Bible said, to His face.
Have you ever read that? It says it. To His face. And I can see those eyes of Jesus. Face covered with blood drop. And can you even imagine, when that rooster crowed that third time, how Peter's heart must've sunk in despair? And he starts leaning. And he even leans so far that he goes back to his fishing boat and the old life that he used to have. God could never use someone like me. But Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, and when He rose from the dead and the girls came running, He said to the Mary that was there, the two Marys.
He said listen, you go tell my disciples and tell Peter to meet me in a certain place. He knew that it was gonna take a prop to stop Simon from leaning and falling back into the life that he used to: his cussing, and his cutting, and his temper tantrums, and his old addictions, and his old habits. And some of you are listening to me today, and you're leaning toward that habit. Leaning toward that addiction. It's been a long time since you felt God. It's been a long time since you felt the Holy Spirit. And you came in today, and the truth is you're leaning. You're leaning. Nobody knows it but you and God, but you're leaning toward that weakness.
But the Lord has sent you to church today so that He could prop you up on your leaning side. He knows your name, and He loves you. And He knows if you're struggling, and He knows if you're leaning, and He can prop you up on your leaning side. All I'm trying to say to you is: Jesus said, if I go away, I'll send another comforter. And the word comfort is paraclete, which means called alongside. The Holy Spirit is the one who props us up on our leaning side when we start to lean toward hatred.
When we start to lean toward unforgiveness. When we start to lean toward weakness or addiction. When we start to lean toward backsliding and going back. There's no shame in it. The truth is, we've all had those times because of the storms we've been through. Because of the battles we've been through. When your home is leaning, when your marriage is leaning, when your family is leaning because of something that has happened, there is one who says, I can prop you up on your leaning side, and I won't let your house fall. He'll prop us up. He knows how to do it.
That's what I'm trying to preach to you this morning. He's a good God. He's a big God. He loves His people, and He loves you. He knows what you're facing. He knows what you're feeling, He knows what you're fearing, and He'll prop you up on your leaning side. You may be facing chemo treatments or surgery this week, but He'll prop you up on your leaning side. There's strength you didn't know that was coming to your leaning side. You may be facing grief and sorrow because you've lost a loved one, but I serve one who can prop you up on your leaning side. And you don't have to fall to the darkness, and the hopelessness, and the depression.
Let Him prop you up this morning. He loves you, and He wants you to make it. Not to fall. Not to fail. He's not against us. If you've got an addiction, and when you get weak in the Word, and weak in the Lord, you start leaning. He won't just let you fall and say I never much believed you were gonna make it anyhow. He'll come running if you'll ask Him, and He'll prop you up on your leaning side.
Moses and the children of Israel were fighting the Amorites. They were fighting in the valley, and Moses went up on the mountain to watch from a vantage point. And the Bible said when he raised his hands, as long as he kept his hands up, the battle in the valley, Israel would conquer the Amorites and push them back. But then his hands... How long can you keep your hand up? Can you keep your hand up 10 minutes? 15 minutes? 20 minutes? Some of you, would never know; you've never raised your hand in worship the whole time you've been at the church. How would you know? That's alright; I'll cover for you, myself, today.
Moses lifted his hands in the air, and as long as his hands stayed in the air, Israel would win. But then, his hands started getting weary. And when his hands started coming down, amazingly, the battle in the valley began to be lost. And the Amorites began to prevail against the Israelites because his hands were coming down. And then when he would try to raise them back up, Israel would start winning against the Amorites. But you can only hold your hands up in your own strength so long. You just gotta keep your hands up if you wanna win. That's all. That was the key to the whole battle.
You gotta keep loving Him, no matter what's going on. You gotta keep worshipping Him, no matter what's happening in your life. Don't ever let the enemy take your joy, and take your worship, and take your praise. Don't ever let circumstances in this mere temporal world rule whether or not your hands are raised in worship and adoration to your king. Somebody lift your hands, and open up your mouth, and shout a praise to God. I'm telling you: this is how you win. He'll prop you up on your leaning side.
But there were two men called Aaron and Hur. It's spelled H, U, R. Aaron and Hur. And when Moses raised his hands, and they saw his hands start going down, and they saw the battle beginning to turn against Israel, the Bible said they ran up under him. Like two big pine beams. When the barn was leaning, when the barn was weary, when the barn couldn't keep going on its own strength, they came. And one got on one side, and one got on the other side, and they propped him up on his leaning side.
That's why it's so powerful when you get to sit by somebody who'll praise the Lord. Because you may be weak, but if they'll praise the Lord, the Lord'll come up under one side. Because He inhabits the praises of His people. Some of you don't like this stuff, but I'm gonna tell you, there's something to the power of praise. When you look like you're losing, praise the Lord. When you're in the valley, praise the Lord. When you don't know what you're gonna do, praise the Lord. And when you get weary, keep praising the Lord. Praise the Lord.
Jude 1:24. "Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy". Jesus, the Bible said, is able to keep you from falling. You may be leaning this morning, but you're not gonna fall. You may be weak this morning, but you're not gonna fall. You may have the howling forces of spiritual Mother Nature coming against your marriage and your home. But I promise you, if you'll say, "Jesus, prop me up on my leaning side", the Holy Spirit will say, "I'm able to keep you from falling and present you faultless".
Now maybe you don't need a good verse like that, but I'm gonna tell you something. If you're looking to your own strength to not lean and fall for that old habit or that old addiction, you're not gonna make it. But if you'll run to Jesus, He'll prop you up, and He'll keep you from falling. Shout I'm not gonna fall. Shout my house is not going to fall. Shout my dreams are not gonna fall. He'll prop me up on my leaning side, and I will not fail. The winds are howling from house to house, from home to home, from family to family, from relationship to relationship, marriage to marriage. How will we make it through the wilderness?
"Who is this"? Song of Solomon 8:5. "Who is this coming up"? Ooh, I love that. Been down. Been in the desert. Been in the dry place. Been in the wilderness. But who is this coming up? You're coming up and coming out of the desert. Who is it? It's somebody leaning on their beloved. Now if I'm leaning, they're not carrying me. Notice she wasn't in His arms and He was carrying her. She had to do what she could do. God wants you to do what you can do. And then, after you've done all you can do, He'll prop you up on your leaning side, and He'll walk you out of the desert. He'll walk you out of the wilderness. He'll walk you out of the dry place that you've been. He'll prop you up on your leaning side.
I don't know who I'm preaching to today, but I came to let somebody know that He's gonna keep you from falling. You haven't come this far to collapse, and fall, and break down, and give up. I'm preaching to somebody who needs to hear that He is able to keep you from falling and prop you up on your leaning side. Lift up both hands like Moses did over your battle, And the enemy showed you a picture of falling, and failure, and give up, and you ain't gonna make it, and your whole house is coming down. But the Lord sent me with a word from His throne today. He's gonna prop you up on your leaning side.
Here comes the Holy Spirit. Here comes the armies of angels. Here comes the power of the blood. Here comes the authority of the name. Here comes the power of agreement in prayer. And we prop you up. And your house. And your family. We prop you up on your leaning side. I'm so glad it's not up to me to try harder, but I can lean on Jesus, and His grace will prop me up on my leaning side. How many of you got a leaning side? Be honest. If you don't admit it, we'll ask your husband or your wife. But you definitely have a leaning side, and this word is for you today.
I wonder how many of you'd say Pastor, you're preaching to me this morning. Let me see your hand. Be honest. Be honest. Don't play that game. Be honest. I want every one of you that will, that raised your hand, at this campus or any of our others, get out of your seat, and come down front. I want you to come, if you can, by the hundreds because something's about to happen.
If you've got a weakness, if you've got a tendency, if you felt like quitting, if you felt like giving up, if you been leaning, and you know it, and you're tired of pretending, you need a touch. You need Him to prop you up on your leaning side. I promise you, He's able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless. So I want you right now to lift your hands all over this room. Lift them up high. And I want you to say:
Oh God, here I am. Here's my weakness. I'm leaning. I gotta admit, I'm leaning to one side. I'm leaning toward this area. Lord, would you prop me up? It's a weak area. It's an area I've been struggling with. I've been feeling the winds blowing me in that direction. So, Father, here I am. Send the comforter. Send the power of the Holy Spirit. Send the anointing of the Word that he's preached today, and prop me up on my leaning side. I thank you for it. I thank you for it, Jesus. I bless you for it, Lord. We believe you today just to prop us up on our leaning side. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.
Let Him do it. Let Him do it. He sees your struggle. He sees the battle you're in. He sees what's going on in your family and in your home. Let Him come and prop you up your leaning side.