Jentezen Franklin - Outnumbered, Outresourced, and Out of Options
Thank you so much for joining us today. Many times miracles happen when we get down to nothing. When you understand that God is your source, nothing is impossible. I believe this service today, and what I'm gonna preach is going to touch you and build your faith for the miraculous provision of God in your life. Check this out.
Go with me to Exodus 14:3, "For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, 'They are bewildered by the land; and the wilderness has closed them in'". They don't have any other place to turn.
Notice Exodus 14:9 "So the Egyptians pursued them, and all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zephon".
Exodus 14:13: "And Moses said to the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, for He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.' And the Lord said to Moses, 'Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.'" And they did, and the sea parted.
Now, I wanna preach to you for a few moments on what to do when you are "Outnumbered, Outresourced, & Out of Options". And the Bible said they were overtaken. What do you do when you're overtaken by your problems? You're hemmed in, and you don't have any more options. You're overtaken, but you're not forsaken. You're outnumbered, and you're out of options. What do you do? The option is defined as being something chosen, an alternative. Different pathways to the same destination.
We are an option-oriented society. We need and want options. If we're gonna buy a car, we wanna know the options. If we're buying insurance, we wanna find out the option. If we have a medical problem, the first question we'll ask the doctor is, "What do I do about it? Should I treat it with medicine? Should I treat it with surgery? What are my options here"? We all want options. But the word opportunity means circumstances that are favorable for a purpose to be accomplished. An opportunity means a good chance to advance yourself. A good moment to accomplish something.
Listen to it one more time. Opportunity is circumstances that are favorable for a purpose to be accomplished. And what I want you to understand is, with God, when you run out of human options, you always have hidden, An opportunity for circumstances that are favorable for a purpose to be accomplished. When you have no options, that can become your divine opportunity. Sometimes, you run out of options, but you never run out of opportunities to seek God. Just as Israel had come out of Egypt, and they were headed to the promised land, God ordained that they encounter a place where they were outnumbered, outresourced, and out of options and alternatives. Your enemy, Satan, delights in shutting down every option in your life, so that we concede and we compromise, and we quit, and we give up. But when you run out of options in any area of your life, it presents you with an opportunity to experience You may have run out of options, but somewhere in your circumstance is a hidden opportunity to see God's power revealed in your life.
And I believe I'm preaching to people today who are like Moses. You feel like Moses, and the children of Israel must have felt, in some situation. The Bible said that they had come to the Red Sea, it was in front of 'em. There was a mountain on the left, a mountain on the right, and they turned around, and there was nothing but a desert, and the chariots and army of Pharaoh, and they were advancing, and they came and overtook them. It's in that moment you have no options. You don't have any options, but you have a divine opportunity. For it's in those moments, when you can't go forward, you can't here, there. You've run out, the doctors can't do anything, the banker can't do anything, the lawyer can't do anything. Your friends can't help you. It's in those moments that you start being forced to realize, "It's not by might, it's not by power, it's by My Spirit," sayeth the Lord of Hosts.
And you know what? It's an opportunity for me to pray and fast. It's an opportunity for me to go to this Book and find answers again. It's an opportunity for me to seek the face of God, and when I don't have any visible options, I always have divine opportunities. For He said, "Come boldly before the throne of grace, that you might obtain help in the time of trouble". So, listen. When you have too many options, you think you don't need divine opportunities. God led Israel into a trap, not to trap Israel, but to trap Pharaoh and his army. And when God is going to do something powerful in your life, the opportunity will work for you. Many of you are frustrated, because you don't feel any options. You turn to the right...
Nothing's going on that you thought would happen. But when you have options, you are in control. But when you run out of options, God is in control. And when you reach a point where you're being overtaken by the enemy, it feels like you are not forsaken by your God, and God is about to show Himself strong on your behalf. Pharaoh overtook them by the Red Sea, and this is the moment where you have to turn to the Lord. This is the moment where you get desperate and say, "God, I've gotta have a miracle". A divine opportunity.
That's what happened to 'em in Mark 2, when Jesus was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum, and the Bible said that the place was so full that they could not get in. And four men brought a sick man on a bed, and they tried to get in the back door, and they couldn't. They tried to get in the windows, and they couldn't. They tried to come the back door, they couldn't. The front door, they couldn't, and you know what they did? They tore the roof off, because when you understand, I don't have any options, but I have a divine opportunity, that means something, that means this is an opportunity to seek God. And sometimes, to take advantage of an opportunity, you've got to look foolish. Sometimes, you've gotta let somebody lay a hand on you and anoint you with oil. Isn't that crazy?
Sometimes, in order to take advantage of an opportunity, you have to take risks. You have to override protocol, and normal, and you have to say, "God, I'm desperate for You and I can't look to the left or the right. I don't have anybody else to look to, but to You". And God says, "That's what I've been waiting on. I'll turn it into a divine opportunity". You see, when you reach that point where you're outnumbered and outresourced and out of opportunities, then you step into the dimension where God can lead you now. God can lead you now, because you're willing to be led, because you don't have any more options. Nobody likes to get to the place where you can't fix it, where you don't have any more options.
Moses was told by God to tell the people to go forward. What do you mean go forward? There's a Red Sea. There's mountains on the side. The enemy's coming, and You're telling me to go forward into an obstacle, into an impossibility? How can I do that? God was saying, "If you want an answer, challenge the obstacle". If you want an answer, go forward. Don't let the obvious overwhelm you, but move forward, and attack your problem. Walk into it with faith. Walk into that addiction and say, "I am coming against this thing". Walk into that situation that seems impossible, and just by faith say, "Here I come, I am not afraid, I am not fearful, but I stir up my faith, and I walk by faith, not by sight".
You take a chance. You risk, you even look foolish at times. Moses, in that moment, held the rod out over the Red Sea, and when he did, it parted, and they walked across on dry land, but it wasn't until all options were gone that God turned it into a divine opportunity. And when we start talking like there's no way out of this, and I don't know what I'm gonna do, and I can't fix it, and there's no escape, and God's up in And we make funny statements like, "It's so bad that all we've got left is God". As though God is not able to handle your little problem. The One who spoke the world into existence, the One who raised the dead and walked on the sea, He is in this room today.
I'm not playing games up here. And we're here to declare that He is a Way Maker, He's a Mountain Mover, He's a miracle working, He is a light shining in the darkness, and nothing is impossible with Him. If you believe it, give Him praise, all over this place. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. You see, once you stop looking around, you'll start looking up. And we only look up when looking around hasn't worked. There's no escape. We want to escape, but God wants us to experience. We want to get out, but God wants us to go through. And when you reach that point, where you run out of options, you turn to God. You wanna know why many people are not living for God? Because they've got too many options.
The world offers you options, but Jesus never gives you a bunch of options. He says, "Follow Me, and I'm not giving you a road map, and I'm not giving you a brochure of what this trip's gonna look like. You follow Me wherever I go. And if I take you to a valley, walk in the valley, and praise Me. And if I take you through a fiery furnace or a lion's den, trust Me. And if I take you to a mountain, praise Me there, too. But your job is to follow Me". Oh, I feel like shouting right now. I'm telling you, there's a Miracle Worker in this place today, His name is Jesus. And when you've got too many options, you don't turn to the Lord. And I hate to tell somebody, but you might run out of options, because somebody's been fasting and praying for you. And the party's gonna dry up, and the fun is gonna run out, and you're gonna hit a place of desperation, but praise God, you're gonna make the greatest discovery you've ever made, that Jesus came to give us life, and life more abundantly, and you can't find it sometimes.
Most of us wouldn't be here if we hadn't run out of options. These programs we support, like the Dream Center, and like New Beginnings, and all these ministries, and these homes that we build for these ladies in our church. Most of those people in those addiction programs wouldn't be there, they're not there 'cause they just really got hungry for God. They ran out of options. They were either going to prison, or going into a program where they heard about Jesus 24 hours a day. People laid hands on 'em, and broke the power of Satan off of 'em, and restored their families, and maybe you're in an addiction, maybe you can't quit the alcohol and the drugs, but I serve the One who is able to set you free, call on Him. You've tried this, you've tried that, but Jesus is the answer. You hear me preaching out there, Jesus is the answer.
Abraham Lincoln said, "I have often been driven to my knees by the overwhelming sense that I have nowhere else to go but to God". And I feel like saying, move over, Mr. Lincoln. I've been driven to my knees, and there's some things I don't have the answers for, and I don't have any more options. All I can do is look to God, but that's when the miracles happen, when you turn it into an opportunity to seek His face.
In 2 Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat was completely invaded, and Israel was invaded by three confederated armies. Three of them got together to destroy Israel, and Jehoshaphat. And the Bible said that God let him be surrounded. And they were so desperate that he makes this confession in 2 Chronicles 20, he says, "We have no power, we have no might against this great multitude that is coming against us. We don't have any options. We're outnumbered. We're outresourced. We're out of options. We're overtaken, but we're not forsaken". And then, he says this, "Nor do we know what to do".
You ever been there? I can't turn this way, that way, this way, or go back. I don't know what to do, but here comes an opportunity: "But my eyes are upon You". God didn't tell you to try harder, to believe for the... He said, "Just turn your eyes on Me. Just get your eyes on Me, because I can do it when you can't do it. I can fix it when you can't fix it. I can't deliver you when you can't deliver you, and put your eyes on Me". And the Bible said that when they began to fast and pray for three days, nobody ate. They didn't even feed their animals.
Little Rover didn't get his meal, and the little kitty cat didn't get its meal. Nobody got to eat and the animals didn't get to eat for three days. They put the singers on the front line, and they started singing, "O, God, You're good, and Your mercy endures forever". And when they did, God sent angelic forces into the enemy's camp, and destroyed every one of them, and they saw a great victory, What you can't beat, God can beat. And when you run out of options, it's an opportunity for God to show Himself strong. I may not have any more options, but watch this. I've got the anointing. And when you run out of stuff out here, that's when you turn to what you've got in here.
The greater One in here is more powerful than the obstacles out here. And sometimes, we don't really look for what's in here, and stir it up, until things are desperate I thought about that woman in Mark 5, who had the issue of blood, for 12 years, and the Scripture said that she had gone to many physicians, and she was not better. They couldn't help her. She actually grew worse. This is running out of options. Doctor after doctor, situation after situation, it grew worse. But, here comes the opportunity, when she heard about Jesus, came behind the crowd, touched the hem of His garment, and Jesus stopped, and said, "Who touched Me"? And to make a long story short, the Bible said for virtue flowed out of Him, and healed her, and her blood was dried up that very moment. But it did not happen as long as she had other options. It only happened when she was desperate.
I close with this. But in Luke 15, the prodigal son, the Bible said, had spent all. He went to his father and said, "Give me my inheritance". And the father gave him his inheritance, and he went out, and he spent it all. And when he had lost all of his money, and when he had lost all of his friends, and when he was in the pig pen and the hog trough, eating from it with the swine, something hit him, and he said, "I'm out of options. But in my father's house, there's bread enough to spare. I will arise".
When did he get that miracle? When he realized, I don't have any friends, I don't have any money. I don't have any party to go to. I don't have nothing, but a piggy lifestyle. It's filthy here, and I can't get out, but I will arise, and I'll start moving out, and when he did, the father came running. That's the power of the gospel.
I thought about Samson. I thought about how that he had had his eyes plucked out, and his head shaven, and blind and bound in chains. But something happened. When they brought him in to the temple of Dagon, he said to the little lad, "Put my hands on the pillars". And when he put his hands on the pillars of the temple, the Bible said that power from another world hit him, and he said, "God, remember me one more time". And he pushed those pillars, and when he did, the Scripture said he destroyed more in his death than he did... think about that. He destroyed more in that moment, when he had no other options, than he destroyed when he had all of his options. Because what you face when you run out of options is a divine opportunity, and some of you have hit as low as you can hit. You're trying to change, you want to change, you've tried this, and tried that, and you can't change.
Here's the answer. Jesus is the answer. And if you're sick, if you're diseased, if you're infirmed, if you need provision and financial mountains to move, why not look to Him? Why not say, "God, I need Your help"? And get desperate, and then, move forward. When you don't have the answer, He said, "I want you to confront the obstacle". See it like the children of Israel, stepping off the bank and walking forward into the issue, into the addiction, into the sickness, into the problem, and saying, "Now, God, I don't have any other options but to trust You, so I'm moving, I'm confronting it. I'm facing the problem, but I'm focusing on God. And my eyes are upon You".