Jentezen Franklin - Your Gift Will Make Room For You
If you have your Bible, I have a word today that I think is going to encourage you. I want you to go to the book of Proverbs, chapter 18. One of my favorite scriptures in all of the Bible, I heard this scripture and read it many, many, many years ago and it's always stood out to me, and I thought and pondered and confessed it many, many, many, many times, so many times I can't count, over my life, over my children, over my family, and over this church, and it is a powerful verse, and you ought to underline it and underscore it in your Bible. It's one of those verses that you can pray back and say back to God, and I believe it enacts and invokes that word.
Proverbs 18:16, "A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before great men". So I'm going to stop reading there and I want to talk about this ability that your gift has to make room for you. It will make room for you. I think sometimes when we read the Bible, we don't understand God's dream for His people. When you read the systems of God and the thinking of God, the strategy of God, you see it first in Abraham. Abraham is the first major person that God says, "I'm going to use my strategy and I'm going to use my system to produce a mighty man that will produce a mighty nation".
And the Bible said that Abraham got in covenant with God, and when he did, he became a wise man, he became a wealthy man, he became an influential, powerful man, a gifted man, and he started a nation, a whole nation. God's thinking, God's system made him wise, made him wealthy, made him influential, made him powerful, and in the earth, even though there was no people, the gift that Abraham had which was the gift of faith, he's called the father of faith, made room for not only him but for his family which ultimately would become his people and his nation. But God was a big thinker. In the system that He put Abraham in, it would produce a nation and a national leader. It's pretty powerful.
Then he has a son named Isaac and he inherits wealth and, on top of that, created his own wealth and became very wealthy. The Bible is very specific. It doesn't shy away from it. He was rich. Isaac was rich in cattle, in sheep, in silver, in gold because God had them in a mentality that "I'm a big God and I want to bless my people and my purpose and my kingdom and my nation in magnificent ways, and I want you to thrive in the kingdom system that I have put you in". And then Jacob, the third, the great-great-grandson of Abraham comes along and he goes through a rough season, but he gets back on track and God prospers him exactly the same way, and he has 12 sons and one of those sons is Joseph.
Now, listen to me. This is the very first time God is revealing His system of advancement for His people, and you got Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, powerful, earth-shaking-changing, national-leading people, and out of Jacob comes the 12 children of Israel or the 12 tribes of Israel, all of them his sons, a nation is being formed.
One of those sons is Joseph, and Joseph carries the same wisdom, the same ability of thinking and strategy and understanding when he's thrown into the system of Egypt, and when it's all said and done, God raises him up, listen, and one man whose great-great-grandfather was in covenant with God had been raised in a system that taught him to be wise and make brilliant decisions and surrender everything to God and put your best on the altar including Isaac, teaching all of these things for generations until such a leader in the fourth generation is produced in that family, that all of the wealth of the entire nation of Egypt was given to Joseph. He ran the entire wealth because he had the wisdom of God, he had this national place of magnificent, the whole world went into famine and the only nation that had food and wealth was Egypt, and guess who was over it, a man who came out of the system of God, the way of thinking that God had put in for four generations.
And so there came a new Pharaoh who knew not Joseph and he got jealous of those people and he stripped them of their wealth and enslaved them, and by the time Moses comes on the scene, 430 years of nothing but slavery, nothing but bread and water, nothing but what the government, Pharaoh, would give them has set in for 430 years, generation after generation. The whole mindset has changed. We're not leaders, we're not dreamers, we're not wise, we're not wealthy, we're not Godly, we're not powerful. We are slaves.
And they have reached a point when Moses shows up to where they don't even know who they are anymore and they're operating in a system that was a slave mentality that "we're nothing but get-by people who will never do nothing", and that is being passed down to their children now. And I guess what I want you to understand is that the system that they were in enslaved the whole generation. And then Moses is born, and when he's born, his mother sees something in him. She says, "This is a goodly child", meaning there's more to it than he's just a cute baby.
There's something special about this child. There's something powerful about this child. This child is going to mess the system up. This child is going to break the cycle that we've been in as a people. And so she hid him, the Bible said. She hid him from Pharaoh who was killing all the male children. She hid him. But a man's gift, even if you hide him, a man's gift will make room for him. And she put him in the basket and put him in the river.
Now, watch this. This is so important. They're operating in a system, but God says, "I can't use that boy like I want to use him if he's in the old way of thinking, and I know his mother loves him, but she doesn't know what she doesn't know, and if I let him be raised in this little Hebrew village where they know nothing but slave talk and defeat and poverty and we're nothing and we'll never be nothing and can't do nothing, and if that's what he comes up in, he will never be what I intended him to be". So God says, "Put him in the basket, girl, and send him down the river, and just down the river a few, maybe a half a mile, there's a whole new system that I've got to put him in. They think different".
And not only did he go into Pharaoh's house, you know the story, the daughter of Pharaoh is bathing, she sees the baby in the bulrush and she takes him in and he starts getting raised in the palace and suddenly he's exposed to national things and wealth of Egypt and big thinking. He'd have never got it over there. He'd have never broke...
That's why church is so powerful. You might have been raised in a home that never saw a marriage work, that never saw a family that wasn't dysfunctional, never broke out of poverty, never graduated from high school or college, never had anybody in your family, but when you get in the river which is the spirit of God, He'll take you to another system and it'll show you things you never dreamed your family could do, you could do. You come out of that defeatism, you come out of that victimization, victims, and I'm this and all I need is just give me, give me. You become a person who actually begins to manage.
Instead of just "give me", I want to manage. I want to rule. I want to reign with Christ. And it's the difference. That's why coming to church is so important, because if you get in a good church like this, you won't stay where you are. Your whole thinking is going to get messed-up. You get in the river and God says, "That's not what you were born for. You were born for greater things". Come on and give God a praise. And so when the time comes, you know, what's interesting is they changed his language.
The Bible said he was taught Chaldean. He spoke Hebrew over here, but if you're going to operate in this system, you got to learn how to talk, got to learn how to communicate in this world. You can't be talking this defeated, nothing, nobody, foreign-to-success language, but I want to change your language and you're going to talk Chaldean. You're going to talk their language because you got to learn how to get a job and you got to learn how to sell and you got to learn how to manage and you got to learn how to be the head and not the tail and you got to learn how to look somebody in the eye and talk to them with confidence and communicate your ideas. You got to get in this system.
See, you can take the most gifted, talented person and put them in this system and they'll never do anything, but if you can take somebody average and put them in this system, then they can do great things.
And so Moses uses all of that knowledge of that system to break it. And, when he comes out, he comes out with the children of Israel behind him and he gets in the wilderness and they start murmuring and complaining, and he has a moment of weakness and he says to God, "Kill me, because I cannot do this alone". He says, "I'm the only one", and God says, "Well, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to find 70, I want you to find 70 men and I'm going to take of your spirit, I'm going to take of your mentality, I'm going to take of your assessment, I'm going to take of your mindset, and I'm going to give the same thing to them and they will prophesy".
When we think of prophecy, we think of something super-spiritual, but another way to say "prophesy" is "future talk". In other words, when I put your spirit on them, they're not going to talk about where they came from and talk about Egypt and talk about this is how it's always been. They're going to start talking future talk. They are going to get future talk on them and not talk about the hurt they came from and not talk about the defeat and how their family and all of this and nobody's never done that. They're going to stop talking defeat and the hurt of the past and they're going to talk future talk. They're going to speak where we are going, not where we are.
It's so powerful that when you begin to talk future talk, this is what the kingdom of God and this is what a good church like this can do. Some of you say, "Well, I think it's just luck. I just think", no, it's not. It's what, you got to talk future talk. You got to get focused and quit making excuses and being a victim from the past and get in the river, and the river will take you where you can't get yourself. But you talk future talk. You prophesy. You talk future talk.
Now, let's bring that home to the church. Statistics said that in the next three to five years approximately 40% of the pulpits of America are going to have a pastoral change, meaning most of the pastors are elderly and they're going to be retiring. I am not one of them, but I'm just saying, I'm just saying.
Imagine, imagine the transition that's about to happen in the body of Christ. 40% of the pastors over the next five years will, senior pastors will step out of the way and make room, because a man's gift will make room for him, for a new generation of leaders, but here's the problem: If those people don't want to talk future talk, if they want to live in the good old days, if they're not open to what God is wanting to do with new vision and new territory and future talk... you can't live off yesterday. You can't live in the good old days. You can't do it. And I tell you, you have to shake it. I don't care how old I get I'm going to stay young at heart and realize that it's future talk, never going back, never going back, never going back.
Now, in John 14, Jesus gives heaven's plan for advancement. So important. Listen, He said in John 14, "Let not your heart be troubled", which He's really saying is, "Get hold of your emotions, because what I'm about to tell you is a big principle. It's not just about heaven. It's about down here on earth". I know this is, in its original content, about heaven, but it also has to do with the way God does advancement here on earth.
There's a key truth you've got to see, and He says, "In order for you to handle this, you got to get your emotions under control. I can't let you let your emotions attach you so much to the past that I can't advance you. Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God. Believe also in me. In my Father's house, there are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you". Watch. "I go to prepare a place for you that where I am, where I am, I'm over here, and where I am, there you may be also".
Jesus chose His disciples and He said, "I go and I'm going to prepare a place for you, but a man's gift will make room for him, and when I go, if I'm still here, you can't be where I am". Come on, try to be where I am. You can't be where I am if I'm here. So what I've got to do is I've got to go somewhere else, and in order for me to go somewhere else, I need you to step in where I was, disciples. I'll prepare a place for you, and a man's gift will make room for him.
Now, don't push me off. You wait your turn and you learn and I'm mentoring you and I'm teaching you and I'm going to show you what you need to do and how you need to do it, and when it's time, I'll know it's time, you'll know it's time, and I'll move on to the next thing God has for me, and it's a new season and I'm okay with that. Now, I go to prepare, and I prepare a place for you, but now I want you that where I am there you may be also. There he is.
Now, what's supposed to happen? Turn around. There's another whole generation, because here's what we do. We think we belong here the rest of our life, and God's thing is always moving. It's generational. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, it's generational. And He says, "That's good, that's good. You're doing good. You're in your prime". But don't you just be in your prime.
I'm glad you got that usher badge. I'm glad you got that deacon badge. I'm glad you got that badge on you on the altar team and all that. But at some point, you need to look around you and find somebody else to say, "I've prepared a place for you". Hey, you're my grandchild. I'm going to put my sticker on you, I'm going to put my tag on you, and now you step in and we move on out, and then you're supposed to turn around and look again.
Now, come back, come back. Listen to this. Jesus began with leaving on His mind. and I think about this isn't just for church. I think about business people. In this church right now there's people starting businesses and they're in that struggle season, they're in that system of can I make it, can I make it, and there's other people sitting three seats down on the same row you're on who are blessed and have made millions and hundreds of thousands of dollars and they know they sneeze and make money.
And the kingdom is supposed to turn around and say, "You know, it ain't just about me building my kingdom, but if I can help a business person, if I can help somebody in a struggling marriage because my marriage is working, if I can help somebody raise those crazy kids because I've raised some crazy kids and I've learned". We're supposed to pass it on. And instead of starting from scratch, what's sad is, what happens is the guy, some guy is preparing a place, but he's not willing to wait for his prepared place.
So he goes out and starts his own thing, ends up in a storefront, has nothing in the ministry but a storefront, 10 or 15 steel chairs and a PR department instead of getting in a house and submitting yourself to authority and becoming nothing but a servant, and if you've got the gift, your gift, you don't have to politic, you don't have to push people, you don't have to lie on people, you don't have to go around and circumvent. Your gift will make room for you if you serve, if you serve. Think about this, Moses saw Joshua and said, "There's something different about that boy", and said, "He's going to be my successor".
And the Bible said he asked him to go up on the mountain with him, just he and Joshua. If he didn't trust Joshua once he told him, "You're going to take my place when I'm gone", can you imagine if he wasn't a trustworthy guy? Moses is walking on the cliff, kind of close to the edge, Joshua looks around. What happened? He fell. But he could trust him. He had a spirit about him that wasn't about self-promotion. It was one of humility. It was one of "I'm here to serve you". And a man's gift at the right time will make room. Don't you worry, if you're serving and doing what God has called you to do, when the time is right, your gift will have a room for you.
So let me close with this. Elijah is the old prophet, Elisha is the new generation, and they're together when Elijah is about to go up, and Elijah, the old man, takes his mantle, which was a leather jacket or cape, and he hits the Jordan River, and when he hits the Jordan River with it, it parts and he walks across to the other side with Elisha, a fiery chariot comes, and he gets in it and goes to heaven and never dies, and on the way up, see, if you're helping somebody go up, the mantle came down. You can't have the mantle if you ain't helping somebody go up. Who are you helping? "I want to know when somebody's going to help me". Who are you pushing up? Who are you raising up? Who are you focused on lifting up? Because it's not about, God takes this servant stuff serious.
Now, watch. The last thing that Elijah did in his miracle ministry was hit the water, and the water parted. The first thing that Elisha did was take the same mantle, the water had come back together, and he hit the water and he started where the old man stopped. I love that. I'm preaching better than y'all letting on right now. Why don't you get that mentality about wealth in your own family? I'm just going to leave them so much that... my goodness.
Now, watch. He started where the old man stopped. Didn't have to go start over and work his way back. No, he started, did the same thing, he stopped, he started. But watch this. Elisha did not start with parting the water. He started with pouring the water, because there's a little obscure verse in 2 Kings 3, that says that there was a young man named Elisha who was traveling with the old prophet Elijah, listen, and he poured water on the hands of the old prophet like a servant.
You'll never part the water until you learn to be humble enough to pour the water, and if you can't serve and pour the water, that's why when people come here and they want a position, they want me to hire them, and this and that, and I say, "What ministry have you been working in"? If you're not pouring the water, you are not qualified to part the water, if you don't go into that season where nobody knows your name and you're not doing it for any other motive or purpose but for the glory of God to honor and to help build the kingdom of God. And if you learn to pour the water, God will trust one day to part the water. A man's gift will make room for him and bring him before great people.