TD Jakes - Power In The Blood
The Bible says that we are "A chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people," that we didn't just wander in to him. We were chosen. He said, "You have not chosen me. I have chosen you. I picked you out. I chose you". We are chosen. We know this from a biblical, theological perspective that the reason that we are here is because he drew us. No man can come unto the father, save the son draw him. He drew us to him, but we don't think about this, that we, as a generation, are chosen to go through a challenge that this country or the world has not seen in a hundred years.
Of all the generations, my mother missed it, my father missed it, my grandmother missed it, my great-grandmother missed it. They had trials. They had tests. They didn't have COVID. They didn't have masks all over their face. They didn't have people arguing and fighting about this, that, and the other. They didn't have George Floyd. They didn't have racial combat like it is right now. It's crazy, it's crazy, it's so crazy that there is enough stress in the world to take your sleep, and then, when you add to it the stress of your own life, what's going on with you and the people in your house and the people you're related to and the people you love, and you take that stress, and you put it on national stress, and then you add global stress, it's too much stress.
Too much stress coming at us from all directions leaves us with unsuppressed trauma, suppressed trauma, trauma that has no way to escape that comes out in rage and self-medication and overindulgences and excesses and tempers and flaring and people jumping on stewardesses and flight attendants and road rage and shooting people over parking spaces, that's too much stress. I've got good news: Jesus said, "My peace give I unto thee, not the peace of the world" but the "Peace which passeth all understanding". This is the peace that you stand under.
You heard me, yeah, this is the peace that you stand under. You stand under a peace that defies logic, crazy peace, ridiculous peace, the kind of peace that other people will call you a fool for, but you just got a peace in your spirit and in your heart that "He that has began a good work in you shall perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ". You've got the peace to understand that, even though we are living through a crushing season as a planet with global warming and everything else going on, and people shooting and people fighting on planes and all kinds of sickness and people dying on respirators, you've got to know, in the midst of all of this, that God is not taken by surprise, that he chose us to go through this, and he wouldn't have chosen us to go through this if we didn't have what it takes to go through this.
"You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and I have chosen what to try you with, and I have chosen what to crush you with, and if I thought you couldn't take it, I wouldn't expose you to it. I put you in the middle of it for you to stand up to it". And so today, it is very important that, as we embrace our faith, we do it with a new tenacity. We do it with a new tenacity because we have an enemy that is ubiquitous, absolutely everywhere and, yet, invisible, absolutely intangible, and we can't touch him anywhere. We can't see him, and we don't know who's next, but we have to know in whom we have believed and that "He that has began a good work in us shall perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ".
And we have to know the difference between being crushed by the Lord and being crushed by life. I will not let life crush me. God, you can do whatever you want. You can take me through whatever you will. Order my steps in your word, dear Lord. I am chosen for this generation. I was called to preach during a global pandemic with people dying and getting sick and people in the hallways of hospitals and morgues backed up and funerals delayed for two weeks. I was called: I was chosen for such a time as this. That means that God has given me something that's stronger than the times I'm in, because we have been chosen, and so have you and you and you and you and you and even you, and God would not have chosen you if this were going to destroy you.
I'm always fascinated by leaders. I read about leadership, corporate leadership, church leadership, spiritual leadership, family leadership, everything I can find about leadership because I am a leader, and the more proficient I am at being a leader, the more impactful my life becomes. Just because you're up front doesn't make you a leader if the cars aren't moving. Leaders are determined by how much you move something from one place to another. Are you quantifiable? You ought to have some metrics through which, not a title. It's not a title. It's a metric. You're a leader when we move, when we move. To the degree that you move me, that's the degree that you led me, and so I'm fascinated about leadership.
I'm fascinated that God says to Abraham, before he puts him to sleep, he says, "Your descendants shall be in Egypt for 400 years," but "Afterwards, they shall come out with great substance". And Abraham dies, believing a promise that he never got to see, and God says, when he looks at the children of Israel and how they were being crushed in Egypt, the Bible says that "God remembered his promise to Abraham". Gosh, that excites me, because Abraham was dead, and if God kept his word to a dead man, then surely God will keep his word to a man that's alive, to a woman that's alive. Abraham went to sleep, trusting God's character to honor his word.
Now we have gone 430 years, which is 10 generations, almost 11, and Abraham has been dead, and God speaks to Moses, and God says to Moses, "I want you to go down there and tell Pharaoh to let my people go," but before he tells him what he wants him to do, he describes to him who he is: "I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That's who I am. I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I am the God of three of your ancestors that are dead. I am their God, and today I have become your God, so take off your shoes," sign of covenant. "Take off your shoes, for the ground you stand on is holy ground because this day I call you into covenant". How do you know it was a covenant? Because he called his name twice, "Moses, Moses," and whenever God calls your name twice, it's covenant. "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven". "Once has he spoken it, twice have I heard it. Power belongs to God".
So whether he's sayin', "Moses, Moses," or "Abraham, Abraham," or "Verily, verily I say to you, this day shalt thou be with me in paradise," this is a bilateral covenant that God has made to Moses to get them out of Egypt. God, to the day, had a stopwatch of when they would go in and when they would get out. He knows exactly when it's gonna be over. He told Abraham that his descendants would be there 400 years as slaves. The reason they were there 430 years is because the first 30 years, they were not slaves because Joseph was alive, but then, after Joseph died, a Pharaoh arose who did not regard Joseph or his God, and they began to afflict them, and the more they afflicted them, the more they grew, and all of a sudden, they have been in captivity 400 years, and Moses' mama gets pregnant on the 399th year, and births a boy named Moses, and there's a hit list to destroy him, but God protected him, not because Moses was Moses but because Moses had purpose, and "All things work together for the good of them who love the Lord, who are the called according to his... purpose".
So when you know you've got a purpose, no matter who sent out a decree, they can't kill you. So when he could no longer be hidden, they brought him out, and there, Pharaoh is raising in his house the very one he is trying to kill, and he does it. He raises Moses on Pharaoh's money. He educates Moses in Pharaoh's school. He diversifies Moses to the point that Moses is genetically connected to the Hebrews but experientially connected to the Egyptians, which gave him the courage to be able to come back, after he had been in Jethro's house for 40 years, and face Pharaoh and speak his language, and he was not afraid of him because he was raised in the palace and not in the slave quarters. When you are chosen, God will take everything that you went through and make it work for your good.
How do you bury normal? We got to see normal disappear right in front of our face. It is not normal to preach in an empty church. It is not normal to be afraid of somebody when they cough. It is not normal to be reluctant to shake a hand, and we have seen the memorial of normal, which leaves us without a compass to understand how do we get back, and what do we get back to, and what does normal look like in this current environment? And I hate to say this to you, and it might really upset you, but once a grape's been crushed, you can never get the juice back in the grape. So from that moment forward, that traumatic experience of having the pulps shatter, the skin lacerate, and the juice emerge, it signifies that that grape will never be the same again, and I suggest to you, my brothers and sisters, that there will be no normal to go back to.
There may be a "new normal," but the "normal" that we grew up with will never be quite the same again. It has changed the way we eat. It has changed the way we shop. It has changed the way we travel. It has changed how we receive packages. It has changed the way we do business. It has changed every aspect of our life. It has changed the way we educate our children. It has changed the way we go to the mall or don't go. It has changed the way we get Christmas gifts or don't get them. It has changed everything, and that's what happens when you're making wine. It changes everything. All hopes of being a grape is gone if you're gonna be wine. If you're gonna be wine, you've gotta be willing to give up being grape, and the challenge for a lot of it is we have a difficult time accepting change because we are so in love with what was that we're not willing to explore what is, and so there we are in a situation where God has allowed something to come and crush our normal and get us out of our normal, and all of a sudden, we are afraid, never realizing that what's in front of you is always better than what's behind you, that it's better to be wine than to be grapes.
When you are wine and not grapes, you don't have to worry about insects. You don't have to worry about weather conditions. You don't have to worry about locusts. You don't have to worry about disease. You don't have to worry about fungus. You don't have to worry about problems that, whenever God disrupts you, it's only because he's got something better for you. In the height of the disruption, he said something to me that I thought was very important: he said, "When you pray for change, I always answer with disruption because you cannot have change without disruption". You can't have a baby without disruption, and whenever you ask for change, you've got to be prepared for disruption. If you plant an oak tree in the earth, it's gonna disrupt the soil. If you plant a peach tree in the soil, it's gonna disrupt the ground.
There's no way you can have growth without disruption, but God said to me, "When you say, 'change,' I send disruption, but don't let the disruption become a distraction, because if you're not careful, you will try to solve the disruption as if that were the victory when that is not the victory at all. I did not call you to solve the disruption. I sent the disruption in answer to your requests for change". Come on, go with me. We're going somewhere. "I sent the disruption, so don't change goals and make it a distraction". "In other words, Nehemiah, you're doing a great work. Don't come down to Sanballat and Tobiah and make changing their mind your victory because changing their mind won't build your wall". So that disruption is a distraction. So the Lord says to me, and I'll say this and wrap. He says, "When you pray for change, I answer with disruption. The challenge of your faith is not to allow the disruption to become a distraction because, in every disruption, there will always be an opportunity".
So rather than wrestling with the disruption, look for the opportunity, and in the midst of this disruption, the people who are going forward are people who see opportunity where we see distraction. What do we need that we didn't need before? How do we serve that need in a way that we didn't serve before? How do we get out of the box in the way we think and how we function and how we deal with it? What should we take in school? How should we aim our children? What should we point them at, seeing as the world has changed? And every time you go into a grocery store and you check out your grocery store shelf through those machines and you go and get a plane ticket and you go through it and just flash your phone over it and go on in, every machine standing there is a job that's gone, so don't fail to prepare for what's next because you're trying to get what was. When the grape comes through the crushing, it knows it will never be a grape again, but it will be wine. It will be Cabernet. It will be wine, and the challenge of our lives is to turn our crushing into wine, and you can't turn it into wine if the goal of your life becomes to build back your grape. Let the grape go, and find the wine.