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TD Jakes - An Eternal Pairing

TD Jakes - An Eternal Pairing
TD Jakes - An Eternal Pairing
TOPICS: Crushing: God Turns Pressure Into Power, Pain

And when the angel came to get in, he found him in the wine press. The wine press is the strip club of grapes. It is the place where grapes disrobe and uncover themselves, for it is not the skin of the grape that is the most important thing. It's what's behind the skin that makes it important. We know that about grapes. I wish we would learn that about people. In the wine press the grape strips itself and becomes vulnerable down to its soft parts so that it might become wine. Imagine what it must have been like to be an angel in heaven and suddenly hear God say that he's going to strip himself of his glory and his honor and his preexistent glory and his omnipotence and his omnipresence and his omniscience and that he will humble himself down to his soft parts and find a virgin and become a man.

See, you think that the real crushing was the cross, but the crushing started when God became man. When God became man, he crushed himself from all of the benefits of being God, and for the first time in all of the ages and all of the eons and all of time itself, for the first time, God took a nap. As God, he neither sleeps nor slumbers, but as Jesus, he will sleep in the bow of the ship. As God, he's in all places and at all times, but as Jesus, he says, "Let us cross over to the other side". God never has to journey. He's already there. All of these benefits of being God, Jesus surrendered that he might be encapsulated, incarcerated in human flesh, God incarnate, incarnate, the staggering, amazing reality that God would put himself in the jail of flesh, the very thing he hated, the very thing he despised.

The very thing that Paul says is in enmity against God, Jesus wrapped himself up in it, and it was a crushing experience because it meant that he would have to be hungry, and so after he fasted, the Bible said Jesus hungered, but as God the Father, he'd never hunger, and now he knows what hungry is, and now he knows what tired is, and now he knows what betrayal is so that, whenever you get ready to pray, you can't bring up a feeling that he doesn't understand. He can be touched by the feeling of our infirmity, tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. He couldn't have done that before because he didn't know what it felt like to be human. When Adam fell into sin, God asked his first question: "Adam, where art thou"? That was the day the teacher went back to school because what Adam had fallen into, God had never fallen into.

Adam had fallen into sin, and God had never sinned, so when he says, "Adam where art thou"? It is not just merely a geographical location. He's trying to feel him. So Jesus comes to find Adam. In the sight of God, there are really only two men, the first man Adam and the last man Adam, and everybody else was born in one or the other, and if I was born in Adam, I was born in sin and shapen in iniquity, and I was born in Adam, and that's why Jesus told Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again," because, this time, I'm being born in Christ, and I'm being born outside of the curse of the law and sin and death, and free and liberated because in him I live, I move, and I have my being, and it was so important that he win me that he was willing to allow himself to be stripped of the royal diadem and the host of heaven and the command of angels and the moving of mountains, and all of his Godliness was incarcerated in humanness.

He humbled himself, and in order to go through a crushing, you have to humble yourself. You have to give up on some of your power and some of your will and some of your influence and some of your opinions, and you have to shut up and humble yourself, and you have to be still and know that God is God. He humbled himself and became poor that, through his poverty, we might be made rich. He humbled himself and became finite and died. Can you imagine the shock of heaven when Jesus gives up the ghosts and dies? All of heaven stands aghast because they had never prepared a funeral for God.

Maybe that's why he didn't buy Joseph's tomb. He only borrowed it because he knew he wasn't going to stay there. And the reason I wrote "Crushing" was to tell you don't believe the crushing that you're in as if it is your final residence or place of abode. You may have to live there for a little while, but borrow it. Don't buy it because you will rise again. You will, you will, you will, you will rise again. Don't own that pain. Don't own that suffering. Don't own that agony. Don't own that grave. Don't own that depression. Don't own that suicide. Don't own that loneliness. Rent it, if you must, but don't own it because by Sunday morning, you'll be out of it.

The age-old question as old as time itself, as soon as man had a voice to speak or letters to write or tone to talk or speech to be made, it was to form a question, a question that threatens to fulfill us and validate us and encourage us and identify us. The question deep down in the hearts of every human being living is "Why am I here"? "What is my purpose"? How can I sound successful if I don't know why I'm here? I can say I'm busy, but I can't say I'm successful because I'm only successful when I'm doing the thing I was created to do. "Why am I here"? The problem is, most of the time, we ask one another the question, and it's like a blind man askin' another blind man, "Which way should I go"? Because we can't answer your question because we're tryin' to answer our own question, and the answer that is true for me might not be true for you because my purpose might not be your purpose.

So in order to get the answer, we have to go back to the manufacturer. He is the reason that we seek him because he has the answer, not to who he is but to who am i. See, really, at the heart of worship, there is a degree of selfishness because I seek him that I might know me. I don't just seek him that I might know him. I seek him that I might know me because he is the only one who knows me because I don't even know me. I have done things that shocked me. I have said things that shocked me. I have reacted in unpredictable ways, and the older I get, the less I know about myself because I have seen so many different sides of me that I think I might have a multiple personality disorder, but God knows why I am the way I am, and he knows where the bolts goes, and he knows where the screws should be, and he knows where to put the vows, and he knows how to handle me.

Paul says, "Oh, that I may know him, and the fellowship of his suffering, and the power of his resurrection". Then he says, "Oh, that I may apprehend that which I'm apprehended of". He said, "I'm chasing God because he knows me. He knows what I can do. He knows what I can build. He knows what I can handle. He knows what I can have. He knows whether I'm supposed to be here or there or with this one or that one or connected here or there, and if I don't go back to the manufacturer, then I'm just playin' with screwdrivers, seein' what works, only to spend hours building something that is dysfunctional, and frustrated because it didn't work".

The reason we go back to God is because he is the master, and he put everything in the box we needed to be successful at what we were created to do. So I don't have to wish for stuff that he put in your box because I'm not supposed to be you. I'm supposed to be me. I don't have to long after things that he has given to you because he gave them to you so you could be who you were supposed to be. He gave me everything in the box I needed to do everything I was created to do if I seek him. No, no, no, this is not about self-control. This is about God-control. Self-control does not take grapes and turn them into wine. The vine-dresser has to do that, and if you ever hope to be what God created you to be, you have to submit yourself into his hands and know that he knows exactly what tools to use to bring out the best in you. And I don't want to die. In fact, I refuse to die until he brings out the best in me.

And, oh, what fun it's been to see what he brought out of me. I didn't know that was in there. I didn't know where to put the screws of the bolts of the nuts to get that. I didn't know I could be that. I didn't know I could say that. I didn't know I could write that. I didn't know I could have that. I didn't know I could become that. I didn't know I could do that. I didn't know I could withstand that. I didn't know I could endure that. I didn't know I could survive that. I didn't know I could overcome that. I didn't know I could make it through that.

Oh, how amazing it's been when you go back to the manufacturer to understand what weight you were created to handle, what loads you can stand, how fast you can move, how much you can accomplish. He designed you for the life he wants you to live, and if your life is unbearable, it might be because you're leading someone else's life. If your life is too much and too heavy and too fast and too painful, maybe you're living somebody else's life because you will find that you are perfectly designed to be you, and when you surrender to him, he will show you how to best be you, so strip yourself from all your pride and all your envy and all your competition and all your need to measure up to other people you were never designed to be, and do you, boo.

Yes, it's true, we want to follow him through our crushing, but like the children of Israel, we struggle to wait and hope and remain faithful. Have you ever wanted something so long that you resolved in yourself that "This will probably never happen"? Have you ever declared death to a dream to have a moment's peace, to survive the torment of waiting, to end the agony of expectation, to just let go and give up? Seems more peaceful. The master gives us mountain peaks, visions, but then hides us in valleys and dark places and lonely places and frustrated places, and we can't be so intent on our comfort that we forget our calling.

Remember, the master is not in the business of torturing his children through delays. He's not playing games with you. He's not playin' hide-and-go-seek with you. He has not forgotten you. He has a plan for your life. He wants to seize our attention in the valley so that we will make it to the mountain. You cannot control what life throws at you, nor can i. We don't know from day to day. The next text could change the next ten years of your life, but you can control how you respond. You can control that. Will you trust God, or will you doubt him? God uses the valley to prepare us for the peaks in life. In fact, if there were no valleys, there would be no peaks in life. He has his treasure until we are ready to handle them because some of the things that God has for you, they are really yours, but the timing isn't right. It's like God telling David that he's gonna be king and then sendin' him back out there to feed the sheep.

Just because God gave you a word doesn't mean it's for right now. Until you've been faithful over where he placed you, you don't earn the right to get the promotion, and it wasn't time for David to be king, but he's tellin' him, "Go ahead and deal with the sheep. I got big plans for you, but that doesn't mean today. I want you to spend a little more time in the valley, workin' the kinks out of you so that, when I put you on the mountain where everybody can see you, you don't have to have the disgrace of falling down". I am convinced that God made me who I am in my low places, not my high places. Whenever I'm in a fight with the enemy, I don't tell him about my accomplishments. I tell him about how I made it with no lights and with no water and how I made it when I lost my car and how I made it when I thought I'd never get up because my strength comes from my low places, and I am afraid of people who have no low places. I'm afraid of their friendship because they'll run out on you in the middle of a low place. I don't believe 'em most of the time.

That's part of the problem. When you haven't had low places, your character hasn't been established. The nights, I cried myself to sleep. The days, I could not hear God's voice at all. We trust him because we got no choice. We don't trust him because we're good people and strong Christians and great people of faith. We trust him because we got no choice. There's nothing else you can do but trust him. If you can get yourself out of it, get yourself out of it. The reason we trust God? We have no choice. So whether you wanna spend all of your time struggling or not, you, sooner or later, are gonna have to realize that we are helpless without him. We are as helpless as the clay is without the potter, as a grape is without the vintner. We need him in order to direct our steps. We trust the master vintner to bring out of us what he placed inside of us.

Do not lose your hope because he took his time. It is only an indication of how masterful the vintner is, that he is given to details. You always know a novice because they skip over details, but the more proficient you are at the artistry of what you do, the more detailed it is. I remember bein' a little boy and my mother takin' me in the store and showin' me how to determine when somethin' was well made. She said, "Don't look at the coat. Check out the lining". She said, "Don't just look at the pants. See how much material is in hem. Don't just look at the drapery. See how deep the fabric goes in the curve. The deeper the fabric goes, the more they spent on it, the more valuable it is".

See, we have a tendency to look at the aesthetics of a thing and not the real value of what it is. Do not lose hope because he put more fabric in you, and he added more stitches to you, and you don't think you need all of that. He is so good as the master vintner. He knows exactly what to give you in order to make you who you are to be. Everything in this life is temporal. Everything you got and everything you accomplished and everything you mastered, you will leave. You will leave here just like you came. You came into the world naked. You will leave naked. Somebody will drive your car. Somebody will wear your clothes. Somebody will live in your house. Somebody will get your rings. Everything you attained will become totally irrelevant. This is just a moment to train for what's next, to prepare for what's better, to prepare for what matters. Everything in this temporal life is preparation for what God is about to do next, and all I can say to you is be ready. It's comin' soon.

The Bible says, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning". This is longer than a normal night. It can be months. It can be years where weeping endures, but the promise yet remains that joy comes in the morning. I'm praying with you for morning, and then you'd have the strength to endure however long the night until the morning comes. I've experienced the crushing pain of life, and I have seen the bright awakening of morning. Father, bless my brothers and sisters right now as they face that dark, midnight season in their marriage, in their finances, in their business, in their heart, in their home, with their children, with bereavement. Lift them up, and let the early shadows of daybreak begin to appear above the Eastern sky. I thank you for it now in Jesus' name, amen.
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