Jentezen Franklin - Covering The Uncovered
There's this Verse in Jeremiah 12:5 that says, "If you have run with the footmen and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with the horses? And if the land of peace in which you trusted wore you out, then how will you do when the floods of Jordan come"? That's what he's saying. If you've run with the footmen and they wore you out, how can you contend with So, Jeremiah was this prophet in the Old Testament, and he had this magnificent call on his life.
One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Jeremiah 1. That chapter would be the one that would push me out of my shell, out of my insecurities, out of my fear and intimidation to actually believe that I could do what God was challenging me. I knew it, but I couldn't even go public with it, and it was Jeremiah 1, "Before you were in your mother's womb," He says things like this to Jeremiah. "Before you were in your mother's womb, I called you to stand before kings and world leaders". Told Jeremiah that. He said, "I ordained you to the nations. I set you apart," one translation said, "for a special task". He told him. He said you're gonna speak to kings. You're gonna go before great people. I'm gonna have you in places that unless you know who you are and who you've been sent by, you will crumble because you don't have enough confidence and courage in yourself. He said there's a huge call on your life, Jeremiah.
Judgment is coming, and I want you to say what other prophets, so called prophets are not saying. God actually called them wind bags. And He said they speak all nice things, and they don't say the truth, but He said I'm gonna make your face harder than their faces, and don't be afraid of their faces. That's the one that set me free. God told Jeremiah don't be afraid of the faces of the people and their reactions if they suck their teeth, if they roll their eyes. Don't be afraid of their faces. You just stand up there. And He said I'll make your face stronger than their face. And you know, when God called Him, He was in a little, bitty tiny town. That's where he lived. You start small. The call of God, the plan of God, the mission of God starts small, and it starts where you are. It doesn't start when you get there, when you get this opportunity and that big deal. It starts where you are. Right now matters concerning It starts here. It starts now. It starts where you are.
I thought it was interesting that when he got called, he didn't have a lot of people cheering him on. Did you know, for example, that Jeremiah, when he responded and said, "Yes, I will answer the call," as you were just singing, he didn't have anybody cheering him. His own family hired, eventually, later on, they hired an assassin to try to kill him. I'm not making this up. False prophets began to cry peace and safety while he was saying judgment is coming, and the whole culture turned on him, and the ministries of the false prophets blew up. I mean, just, they became huge, and he became insignificant and ultimately was thrown in a mud pit up to his neck and stayed there for days.
He got so discouraged. He got so discouraged that when we pick up the story, he actually was complaining to God and praying to God and going back to God after that glorious calling, you were called from your mother's womb. I called you to be a prophet to the nations. I called you with this huge task that I've given you, and now in great discouragement in the toughest time of his life, he turns back to God, and he says basically, what in the world is going on, and he does it and he says, Lord, you know, nobody is responding. False prophets are blowing up. Their ministries are growing, and I'm despised everywhere I go. And the Lord answers him with this answer, "If you can't run with the footmen, what are you going to do when the horsemen come"? That's not what he was expecting. He was expecting one of those verses, "Again, I say unto thee, before you were in your mother's womb, I ordained you and called you," but he didn't get none of that.
The only response that he got was, "So, you think that's tough? You think what you're going through is hard? This is just the footmen. The horsemen are coming. This is just the green slopes. The black double diamonds are coming. This is just the easy part of your life. The tough stuff, the big opposition is down the road and if you can't, if the footmen are wearing you out, what are you gonna do when the horsemen come? You ain't seen nothing yet, son. You have no idea of the magnitude of my calling on your life and if you can't, if you can't handle where you are right now, how can I trust you with where I wanna take you"?
He's got a magnificent plan. It may feel hard where you're at right now. You may feel discouraged, and you may feel like giving up because it seems like that all you feel is weariness, but you've been called to run with horses. Now, here's the point. Opposition escalates with opportunity, and that means you have not peaked yet. That means that your greatest days are not behind you. They absolutely, I tell you with 100% confidence, you have not peaked yet. Your greatest days are in your future, not in your past. Greater doors and with greater doors that will open will come greater opposition than you've ever experienced. And you've got to be soldiers. You've got to learn how to handle it. You've got to be able to deal with running with the horses. You keep saying I want the big doors. You keep saying I want you to use me. You keep saying it.
What you're asking God for is you wanna run with the horses. You don't wanna be down here. You wanna be up here. Okay? Then with the bigger doors comes greater opposition. Higher levels, higher devils. When God's people mobilize, the enemy mobilizes against you. So, don't be astonished that you're going through things that the enemy is attacking you and you feel like quitting. Let the magnitude of your calling grip you in those moments and say, you know, the devil doesn't bother somebody who is not going anywhere. He's worrying not about where you are but where you are headed. His family tried to take him out. He was thrown in mud. He wrote the Book of Lamentations. He became known as the weeping prophet. Paul put it this way, the apostle Paul. He said, "A great door has opened for me, but the adversaries are many".
I tell you, I've learned that, that with the many doors that God opens the adversaries are many and if I can't be faithful on the level where I am, I sure won't be able to handle the good times and the success and the opposition that will come when I move from footmen to horsemen. So important. I want you to know that what you're going through God wants you to know that you are training for the trial you're not in yet. You're training through what you've gone through in your family, what's happening in your family, what's happening with your sisters and your brothers, what's happening with situations, heartbreaks, relationships, abuse, pain, injustice that happened to you. Maybe someone harmed you, someone hurt you, someone did something terrible. Maybe you failed yourself, made a horrible choice, and you just can't seem to get past the mistake that you made.
All that God wants to do with that stuff is not beat you over the head with it and let it destroy you. He says train for the trial that you're not in yet by going through what you're going through right now. If you're serious about living for Jesus, harder days are coming than you're in right now. Next year, you should be harder than you are this year concerning not giving up. God will bless you more. He will trust you more, but in this world you will have opposition. Jesus promised it. And you're training. God puts to use what He puts you through. God will put to use everything Romans 8, "For we know that all things work together for the good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose". He's doing it right now. It seems like there's not fruit. It seems like it's been a wasted year. It seems like there's no success. It seems like the doors have not opened, but you were just singing it, Jeremiah 29:11, "I know the plans I have for you, plans of good and not evil".
God puts to use what He puts you through. What does He put you through? What have you gone through the last year? What secret battles? What things have you had to deal with? What kind of hell? What kind of depression? What kind of darkness? What kind of feeling like you wanna give up? What kind of discouragement? God puts to use what He puts you through. Your strength will fail. This is my last little point, and don't come to the music yet. I'm going somewhere. Your strength will fail. If you wanna run with the horses, I'm gonna let you in on a little something. Your strength will fail. You wanna run with the horses. You wanna dream bigger dreams. I wanna do this, and I wanna do that, and that's good, but your strength will fail.
Horses are faster than people. Horses can go 22 miles a day. They can run for about four miles wide open if they have to. You can do that. How ridiculous for God to imply that you can run Isaiah 40 said, "Even the young men will faint, and they will grow weary, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength". They'll get a Holy Ghost jetpack, and they'll mount up with wings as eagles. They'll run and they'll not be weary. You've gone through something, and the enemy wants to tell you that it's just a season to give up, but what you're feeling in this place tonight is life. What you're feeling in this place tonight is a confirming voice of the Holy Spirit saying I by no means have taken you to your high days. I'm telling you, you're going to contend.
Woo! I was thinking about this, and I wanna conclude, but you know, there are gateway experiences that happen to us in life. There are many gateway experiences in your life. First-time encounters. The first time you encounter a different philosophy can become a gateway. When you go off to college and you hear somebody get up. I still remember when I had my first professor get up. He took a Bible. I'll never forget it. I used to hear stories like this, and I didn't believe it, and he threw it across the room, and then he began to list things about the Bible. He began to talk about how they slaughtered people.
The God of the Bible slaughtered children and women, and he begins to rip to pieces, and what he was saying, it was sprinkled and had a lot of truth and if you don't understand the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, the Old Testament and the New Testament, and Jesus is the embodiment of God, and He never hurt anybody. He only loved people. He only forgave people. The monster of the Old Testament, it shows up in Jesus. All that godhead bodily in Jesus, and I can't find one time where He ever treated anybody even remotely ugly unless they were a mean, religious, self-righteous, critical somebody who was putting people down instead...
You know, if people are not covered, they can get confused. Gender confusion when a young boy or a young girl is molested or hurt, and someone encroaches on a young child in a sexual way it becomes a gateway experience, and it will affect the way that child thinks. They begin to internalize the problem and if it happens again and again, they begin to ask the question "why is this happening to me again"? A seed is planted. This is how God made you. They go to school, and they're taught that's the way God made you. They come home, and they see on TV and they see all of the culture that we live in saying this is the way that God made you, and really what they're dealing is a gateway experience opened up, an internal picture, and they begin to talk that life and walk that life and live that life out of the wound.
"As a man thinketh", so as gender confusion sets up a child's mind. "As a man thinks so is he". And they begin to live from an internal picture. They see themselves that way. Young girls who have not had a strong father figure in their life will seek out a relationship with a man and men that they want love that they never got from their father. And we know from statistics that young girls who become prostitutes and who end up in promiscuous lifestyles, many times it's because some male tampered with them, and it opened up a gateway experience.
And so, they just keep pushing down the pain and pushing down the pain and pushing down the pain. And it's like a jack-in-the-box, and you just keep winding and winding and winding, and suddenly, if you go through something like that and you don't get the help of God's grace and then you don't talk about it, and I'm believing and I think I'm hearing from God that this generation is being prepared to run with the horses, but they're going through things, and they've gotta be able to talk about the depression, talk about the darkness, talk about the fear, talk about the hurt, talk about the abuse.
You've gotta talk about it to somebody or it becomes like you know that little jack-in-the-box, and you press him down and then you start winding... Listen, suddenly, wild anger becomes bizarre behavior. Where did this come from? There is something there. I want you to get this verse. I'm almost done. Come on. Lean in here with me. "Be angry and sin not". Everybody say that with me. That's from the Book of Ephesians 5. "Be angry and sin not". Say it out loud. "Be angry and sin not". It's not one commandment. It's two. We think it means when you get angry, don't sin. That's not what it said. It's two commandments.
Number one, first commandment. When something wrong happens, get angry. When somebody abuses you, be angry. When you see injustice in your generation, be angry. When you see evil in your generation, be angry. When you see life being treated as though it's nothing, be angry. But then He gives the second commandment, You've gotta find the proper way to release the anger on the inside or it will become a time bomb. I wanna say boldly tonight that God is not afraid or intimidated by your anger. And what you have to do and this is just your pastor talking to you, when you're angry about something or someone or something that has happened in your life and instead of being jack-in-the-box and the anger causing you to go get drunk or go get high or lose yourself on drugs or give yourself to another guy, what you've gotta do is you've gotta talk about it.
And here's the last thing I say to you tonight. The Lord told me to tell you, Isaiah makes this promise. Number one, when you start talking about it, you'll hear Jesus say if you were abused, if you were hurt, if you were raped, if you've gone through something horrible, if you were beaten, if you were abandoned by your father, if you've gone through hell, "As they did it unto the least of these", Jesus said, "they do it unto me".
He'll say talk to me about it because when they did it to you, they did it to me. So, let's talk about it. But here's the word the Lord told me to give you from the Book of Isaiah, "For your shame you shall have double". Many of you were left uncovered, but God says that you're going to recover. He's going to give you the power to recover what was uncovered. You should have had somebody protecting you. You should have had somebody watching over you. They weren't there, but what was uncovered, God's gonna give you the power to recover.