Jentezen Franklin - Sanitize Your Spirit
I'd like for you to turn with me to 2 Samuel 6. In verse 3. "So they set the Ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill". Everybody say the hill. "And Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart. And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill, accompanying the Ark of God; and Ahio went before the Ark. Then David and all the house of Israel played music before the Lord with all kinds of instruments of wood, and harps, and stringed instruments, and tambourines".
You know why they do that? 'Cause when you're in God's presence, you're supposed to praise the Lord. "And when they came to Nachon's threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the Ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died by the Ark of God. And David became angry at the Lord's outbreak against Uzzah, and he called the name of the place Perez Uzzah to this day. David was afraid of the Lord that day; and he said, 'How can the Ark of the Lord come to me?'"
And I'm gonna prove to you that he answers his own question in the Book of Psalms because this is a big question that has to be answered. How can I get God's presence to come to me? I wanna talk to you for a few moments this morning on sanitize your spirit. You know if you've been around church that the story talked about here in 2 Samuel is David is finally bringing the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem. He goes and retrieves it, and they put it on a new cart.
Now God had always commanded that before when the Ark - which was a God box. A big box that had the tables of stone and some manna in it, and the rod that budded, and some other things. But that box also had the big mercy seat, but it was to be carried upon the shoulders of the priest. And the scripture said that they put it on a new cart. They thought that they could entertain the presence of God with a new cart. That it would be alright. And as they were going down the path that they were going, the cart hit a pothole, we would call it. And suddenly, when the wheel went into the hole, the whole Ark was unsteady, and it began to fall. And Uzzah reached up, and with his hands he touched that Ark. Touched the Ark, and instantly he died because his hands were not prepared to touch the holy.
Jeremiah 25:61. God says, "Provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands, and then I'll do you no harm". But He said, "how your hands are before me - if they're unclean, if they haven't been washed, it matters to me", God said, "the works of your hands - and I don't want you to take unclean hands and try to handle holy things".
It's amazing that we've been reminded over, and over, and over the last six months of this pandemic. It's amazing the amounts of millions and millions of dollars that have been spent on commercials, and advertisements, and brochures warning people. Trying to inform people that one of the greatest offenses that we have against this virus is to wash our hands. A campaign blitz has been released by the greatest scientists, and people in the medical field, and even celebrities. And all kinds of people have done commercials trying to get young people, and children, and older people, and elders to wash their hands.
How critical it is that we use sanitizer. That we do what we need to do to kill the germs that are gathering on our hands all day if you don't wash them. The medical world has told you to wash your hands, but not to cleanse your heart. And I think we need to add to the washing of the hands outwardly. The cleansing of the heart inwardly is the only thing that can heal America. America does not have just an outward issue. It has an inward heart issue. Pilate washed his hands, but his heart was still wrong. And it's possible to wash your hands in public but to not be clean in your heart in private. What we do in private determines whether God will use us publicly in a significant way.
Something was not right with Uzzah. Something was wrong in his private life, and God knew about it. And that's why - because God doesn't just send this kind of judgement to somebody's life because He wasn't having a good day up on the throne. There was a real reason that when that man with his unclean hands touched that Ark, he died instantly. As I travel, it amazes me. I spend a lotta time in airports, and when I go in the airport - I've done it so many times. When I'm washing my hands in the bathroom, it absolutely to this day still astonishes me. I'll see it almost every time I go in there.
I'm washing my hands, I will see men come right outta the stall, and they're right on their phone, and they'll keep right on walking. And it never dawns on them - I oughta clean my hands. I oughta wash my hands. Something is happening spiritually when we believe that we can approach God with dirty hands and unpure hearts. And I'm afraid that this pandemic has caused many people to let up on their spiritual disciplines, and let up on their Bible reading, and let up - and they been so entertained with other things and filled their eyes with other things. And we're facing a flood with our children and our grandchildren of all kinds of things. And without months of church, it's possible that they have accumulated dirty hands and unpure hearts. But it's alright. All you gotta do is say Lord, I wanna be clean again, and God'll make you clean again.
Now here's what I want you to see. In Psalms 24:3, David asked this question. Remember he said when he watched his friend Uzzah die, he then comes back to the Ark. And all the commentaries agree that this is - this psalm was written by David after he watched Uzzah, his friend with unclean hands, touch the holy Ark of the Covenant and die. And then he asked this question. He picks up the story, and he says, "Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place"? And then look at what he says. "He who has clean hands". That's a direct reference to Uzzah. "He who has clean hands and a pure heart".
And what happened to Uzzah when he didn't have clean hands and a pure heart? He who has not lifted up his soul to an idol nor sworn deceitfully. What he is saying to us is if we want to ascend the hill and stand in the holy place of God - and notice that in 2 Samuel, it kept talking about the Ark of the Covenant was at a hill. So what he's doing is he's answering his own question. And he says I know the answer. I know how I can get into the holy place. I know how we can bring the Ark back. I know what it's going to take. We're going to have to do more than just sing, and praise God, and go through a routine of church, but we have to have clean hands. If you wanna know who can ascend the hill, if you wanna know who can get in the holy place - "He that has clean hands and a pure heart".
When Uzzah went to that Ark and he touched it, his hands were not prepared for something that holy. We cannot be casual about approaching God's presence. And I think that's something that I - when I was, you know, studying this message - I never could understand why it was that I cannot enjoy Saturdays. That when I know Sunday is coming - it doesn't start, of course, on Saturday. It starts every day of our life. But for me, it's about preparation. I cannot approach God's presence casually, and I use that day. I worship by reading the Word. I study. I listen to worship. I sing to the Lord in my office. And I never really thought about it until I saw this verse. That the only way you can really get into God's presence, and thereby cause others to enter into God's presence, is if I approach God with a spirit that says cleanse my hands and purify my heart.
And that's why Saturday is a day that I fast most of the time till sundown. Because I'm trying to say sanitize my spirit. Sanitize my mind. I can't approach this holy God in some casual, easy, rolling cart that doesn't cost me anything. I wanna feel the weight of His presence on my shoulder. And you say well, Pastor Jentezen, we really don't need to be reminded to live holy. Why are you preaching a sermon like this? If the highest officials of science and medicine are spending millions of dollars to remind people something they ought to already know - wash your hands. Wash them often. Wash them repeatedly. Wash them after you use the bathroom. Wash them after you touch something. Wash them. Wash them.
If the world and the science message of this hour and health message of this hour is wash your hands, I think we need to stand up and remind God's people that you have to have pure hearts and clean hands. It's the only way you can approach a holy God. We still have to be sanctified. We still have to be holy. We still have to be different from the world. Hands cannot handle - unclean dirty hands cannot handle the holiness of God, and we need a revival of clean hands. Turn to somebody and say wash your dirty hands and purify your heart.
1 Timothy 2:8 said, "I desire in every place that men lift up holy hands without wrath and without doubting". I thought about how that we go into nice restaurants. You know it's a nice restaurant and it's not a nice one if you don't see this in the bathroom. On the back of the door of the bathroom of a good restaurant will be these words: all employees must wash their hands before returning to work. And I thought about - I think I'm just gonna put that sign up as we're coming back to church. That all volunteers, that all pastors, that all employees, that all the singers and the musicians - don't you come in here and treat God's presence like it's some trifle, common thing. But let's get all the filth off, and let's approach God in fear and in trembling, and know that He's a holy God.
All the singers, all the musicians, all the ushers, all the volunteers, every department head. All employees must wash their hands before returning to work. If you wanna be used by God, if you want God's presence on your life, and in your work, and the work of your hands, you must offer God clean hands. Not in your own works. Not in what you can produce. But it's a cleansing I'm preaching about this morning. It's a true repentance that acknowledges I picked up some residue. I picked up some filth. I need a good ol' fashioned Holy Ghost outpouring of the Holy - that's what we need. We need the Holy Ghost to rain down on us and wash our hands and cleanse our hearts.
Everybody clap your hands like you know you need to wash 'em. If you're gonna serve in the ministry, if you're gonna open a door, if you're gonna park a car, if you're gonna get on the platform, wash your hands. Cleanse your heart. There's too much fussing in the church. There's too much cussing in the church. Yeah, I meant what I said. I don't believe Christians can be foul-mouthed - blankity blank blank blank. I still believe in that old stuff.
My parents used to wash my mouth with soap. They would take a bar of soap, and if I said a cuss word - and back then, a little cuss word would be darn or dang it. And if you say that now - what y'all say now in this generation, we need more than a bar of soap. We need, I'm telling you, every song is filthy. Come on. Every... these songs. My goodness. Some of the songs that are being put out, and kids are just taking this in, and taking it in. Wash your hands, oh ye sinners, and purify your heart, oh you double-minded. Too much drunkenness in the church. Too much smoking and vaping in the church. Too much lying and cheating in the church. Too much adultery and fornication in the church. Dirty hands need a revival. Dirty hands need a revival. Dirty hands need God to come and convict us.
Let us feel the sting of conviction until we feel clean again. Until we feel pure again. Until we feel like Him again. Everybody praise the Lord. And you know what? The good thing about the pandemic is if you don't praise the Lord, it don't bother me. I preached to empty seats for six months. I don't even need your amens. I've learned how to do it without you. You know, I'll just teach you this. You don't know this. I'm gonna teach you this. I read something interesting the other day. You know when Jesus says "Verily, verily",? Verily, verily. Have you ever read that? Do you ever read the Bible? Verily, verily. He doesn't just say verily. Verily, verily. That means I'm really about to say something, right? You know what the Greek word for verily, verily is? A, M, E, N. Amen. Amen.
I love Jesus. He said I know I'm not gonna get no amens on what I'm about to preach, so I'm gonna just go on and give myself my own amen. Amen, amen. And then He preaches, and lays 'em in the shade. I don't need your amen. Look at me. You can blame it on the pandemic. But if... We're not going into the stone ages around here. If you don't praise Him, the rocks will cry out and praise Him. But somebody's gonna praise the Lord. Hallelujah. Take a praise break in the middle of the pandemic. You been waiting on this. And shout through your mask. Shout that you're here, and that He's cleansing your hands and purifying your heart.
"Guard your heart with all diligence". Not some casual thing. Don't let stuff get in your life and just hang on you. Guard your heart with all diligence 'cause you can be deceived. You can be shipwrecked. You can lose your marriage. You can end up in an addiction you can't get out of. So guard your heart and wash your hands. Boy. Hallelujah. Now if you're a sinner and you're here, the dirtier the better. But if you are one of our leaders and one of our pastors, it is required before you come back to work that you get a good washing in your hands. I wonder if my hands and my heart have stopped God from showing up in this house. Because He said in Psalms 24:5-6, he ends it by saying that if you get the clean hands and the pure heart, "He shall receive the blessing of the Lord". That's in verse 5. "He shall receive the blessing of the Lord".
Do you understand that you're the only Bible? I hear people all the time talking about, you know, do you like the King James Bible? No, I don't like King James. I like the New King James. I like The Message Bible. I like the International Version. I like this, and I like that. Well, what kind a, and you know, the only difference between 'em is some of 'em leave out certain phrases and different wording. What kind a version of the Bible are you? What's left outta your version? Because you're the only Bible some people are gonna read.
And if we're slipping into carnality, if we know all the latest songs of extremely wicked people, and you don't have clean hands. If you're just floating along in the culture, the culture is gonna mess your family up. It's gonna mess your children up. It's gonna mess your marriage up. It's gonna mess your morals up. And it's gonna mess your spirit up. But you gotta get sanitized in your spirit and say oh God, cleanse me. Oh Lord, clean my heart. Clean my heart. Create in me a clean heart, David said, in Psalms 51. And a pure spirit.
When I see what's going on, I just wanna say that we don't have to be defiled. Well, everybody's doing it. We don't have to be defiled. I don't wanna be everybody. God used Noah's hands to build an ark because they were clean. God used Moses' hands to build a tabernacle because they were clean. God used the disciples' hands to distribute the fish and the bread that was multiplied. I've heard people preach that wrong. It does not say Jesus fed the 5,000. It says that He blessed, and He broke it, and He put it in the hands of the apostles, and the apostles took it. And when they would break it off, it would multiply.
It did not come from Jesus' hands. He wanted to find clean hands that He could put the bread of life in to feed the multitudes. And He's looking in this generation. He's looking here. He's looking now. He's looking in this hour for clean hands that He can put the bread of life in. He's looking in this service for someone who will say, "God, during the pandemic I just need a cleansing. I don't wanna return back as though I'm coming outta the stall with the phone up to my face, and I don't need to stop by the wash station and cleanse my hands. Purify my heart".