TD Jakes - The Unexpected
And it's the clashing of kingdoms. A true evangelist disrupts things, changes lives, marriages are reconciled, people are gettin' breakthroughs, people are getting delivered, people are getting help. You got these gunslingers with Bibles who will work for money, but a true evangelist will come in and disrupt things. Normal is an enemy. Every believer should flee from normal, because if you walk with God, your life should not be normal. When you walk with God, you should not be ordinary. When you walk with God, you're not supposed to fit in the clique. With your walk with God, there's a spirit of gratitude that comes into your life, because your life is not normal, and it is not routine. When you walk with God, God will always do the unexpected, the unexpected.
This is the lame man, everybody knew him. The people in the temple said, we know that's the lame man who's begging at the gate. They didn't say that's Fred Wilson, that's Charlie Johnson, that's Michael Freddie. No, they didn't call his name, they called his condition, because a condition had defined who he was. Have you ever had a condition that defined who you were? That had swallowed up your name, that everybody referred to you, whether in your face or behind your back, by what you do, not who you are. Such is the case with the lame man. He is not lame in many ways, even though he has spent his whole life begging. His hands were not broken. He had no problem stretching forth his hand. There was nothing wrong with his brain. He was not blind like Bartimaeus. His spine was not twisted. He was not sick with palsy. He was not paralyzed. In fact, 90% of his body was functional, it was just his ankles and feet.
Isn't it funny how one thing, I know y'all don't know what I'm talkin' about, so sit there and look real confused, won't nobody know that you've got a thing that affects every other thing in your life. Whether it's a mouth or a temper or a doubt or an attitude or a disorder, one thing that you know about yourself that limits your movement, your activity, your growth, your opportunity, that stops you, that brings you to your knees, and in spite of everything else, 90% being strong and healthy, 10% can take you down. One thing being broken in your life can take you down. That's why it's not good to turn up your nose and start talkin' about people, 'cause everybody got something that don't work right. Yeah, yeah, I'm gonna preach this today.
Everybody got something that don't work right. It might not be obvious, it might be covered, it might be camouflaged, it might be camouflaged by the accoutrements of your success, or your accolades, or your degrees, or your finances, or your beauty, until people don't notice that you're beautiful, but you just a little bit crazy. That you can quote all of the Bible, but you have trouble living certain parts. It was just his ankles, but his ankles had shut down everything. He might as well be paralyzed all over his body, because this one part didn't work. I'm wondering if you are honest enough to admit that something don't work right. I'm good at speaking in front of people, but I'm bad at handling money. I'm great at handling money, but I can't stand to be around people. Everybody has something in their life that affects everything else, because life keeps asking you to function in the way that you don't function.
What happens when you have to function in a way that you don't function? You create a way of coping with what you can't correct, and so what we see in the first sentences of this text is this man has set in place a coping mechanism that is built around his dysfunction. Blind people do it. Moving furniture around to fit blind people, or handicapped people do it, putting bars in the bathroom so that you can move from the wheelchair and move over to the seat. Everybody has a way of making adjustments in their life to accommodate their deficiencies, so that you can be in an atmosphere where at least you can survive. This man has never walked. He is not a person who used to walk. He has no memory of standing up. He has no mental cognitive memory of standing up. His muscles have no memory of standing up. His nerve endings have no memory of standing up. Whether you know it or not, your body has a memory.
If you work out all the time, and you quit for a while and go back to working out, it doesn't take long for your body to say, "Oh, we're doin' that again," and it starts giving you the strength to do what you used to do. It has the memory. His legs have no memory of ever walking. He has been lame. He came out of his mama's belly with his ankles broken, and so he has devised a system, and the system has caused him to surround himself, number one, with enablers. Enablers are the people who carried him every day to the same place. The enablers were the people that you select in your life that support you in your crippleness. They make it convenient for you not to do better. I'm gonna mess with you now. Enablers are the sugar daddies or mamas of lazy people who could work, but the enablers are the people that make it convenient for you not to have to believe God for better.
Somebody shout, "Better". You'll never get better as long as somebody is carrying you. I would respect him better if they said he crawled to the gate, seeing as his knees worked, and his hands worked. He could have crawled to the gate, but no, he has this group of people who carry him to the same place. And in some ways, they are as crippled as he is, because there are people that don't want you to get better, because if you got better, they wouldn't have a job. Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. I'm gonna mess with you a little bit. Their job was to lay him at the gate called Beautiful, never anywhere else. They never took him, all his life he has been laid in a conspicuous place, where the righteous would walk past him and feel sorry for him. He is living off of the benevolence of people who care.
And we hang out around certain types of people, because we know they are compassionate enough to carry us, and we don't have to use what we do have that's working, because they are so compassionate, we can just be helpless. I just can't do it. I just can't get up. I just can't stand up. I just can't go to school. I just can't take it. I'm just not that kind of person. You want to eat? Certain men laid him daily at the gate called Beautiful. These are the people that you design in your life to create an ecosystem of dysfunction. Not one of them on any day challenged him to get up. Everybody carried him. Nobody pulled him. Nobody took him by the hand, and yanked him, and commanded him to walk. Everybody around him made allowances for his deficiencies. Excuses for him. "Oh, Mama, you just don't understand. He's really a nice guy. I know he don't work a job, but he's a wonderful person".
We make excuses for the dysfunctions we choose to keep. I'm stepping on toes, I can tell I'm stepping on toes. 'Cause when I get right in the middle of your toe, you get quiet. "I know he 35 and still living with me, but one day, he's going to take off and fly like a bird". He don't buy groceries, he don't pay rent, he don't help. Are you an enabler? Whoo, it got quiet. I'm gonna ask y'all online. I can't hear you, but type something on the line. Are you an enabler? Have you told yourself a story to justify somebody's dysfunction, never challenging them to do what they've never done, because they've never done it before? You cease to expect it. The death of expectation limits productivity. When I give up on you doing better, and I'll make adjustments for you, and I go ahead and build you a room, and give you a key so you can come in the basement, and feel like you grown while I pay the bills, I have set up a system that does not allow you to evolve.
And from his mother's womb to this present moment, this man has gone through the same routine, the vicious cycle of needing somebody to help you. The vicious cycle of using people as a profession. The vicious cycle of getting over. The vicious cycle of putting your weight on me. Hey, excuse me, I already got to carry me, now I got to carry me and you. It's not fair for me to have to carry me and you. And you don't feel bothered by me carrying you? This is the way it's supposed to be, and this happens every day. I don't get a weekend off. I don't get the holidays. Is there any day I don't have to carry you? Could you do something to add value? Could you paint the porch? Could you take out the trash? Could you clean out the refrigerator? Could you do something to add value in my life? Must you always think that I am the National Bank of Commerce?
There are certain people that have set up a system of dysfunction, and some of you have a loving heart and you keep tryin' to help them, and you keep believing that they're gonna get better, and they are taking advantage of your compassion. And this is a hard cycle to break, because the cycle is a system, and the system as a circle, and every day I pick you up, you know where we're going, and every day I get you in the evening, you know where we're going, because we've been in a cycle for years, and neither of us expects it to change. It is into this environment Peter and John come, but I believe that the picture of the lame man is a picture of the synagogue, because this... can I take my time with this? The synagogue has been functioning for years with an outer court and an inner court, but no glory in the Holy of Holies. They were just missing a little bit, but they had learned how to function without the glory, and the synagogue was just as lame... Oh, y'all don't hear me. The synagogue was just as lame in its religiosity as the lame man at the gate called Beautiful.
So, we got a lame man in front of a lame church and he fits into this lameness, 'cause how can a lame church say anything about a lame man? Both of 'em have somethin' that doesn't work, and into this lame condition, Peter and John now come. The problem with Peter and John is that they are not enablers, they are evangelists. Evangelists are not enablers, because true evangelists, and we don't have many anymore, most of you have never seen a true evangelist. You see speakers who speak multiple days, but a true evangelist is a disrupter. A true evangelist will turn the church inside out. A true evangelist is not an evangelist because they hoop, they're not an evangelist because they raise money, they're an evangelist because they carry you somewhere you've never been before, and ask you to do something you've never done before, and people get healed, and people get delivered, and people get saved, and people get set free.
And a true evangelist is not like a Sunday-morning service held on a Thursday night. A true evangelist disrupts things, changes lives, marriages are reconciled, people are getting breakthroughs, people are getting delivered, people are getting helped. I have to describe it to you, 'cause you can't find it anymore. You got these gunslingers with Bibles who will work for money, but a true evangelist will come in and disrupt things. Peter and John came up to the temple at the hour of prayer, and they run into this man, they haven't even got in the church. They came to disrupt the synagogue, but before they could get to the synagogue to disrupt the synagogue, they now have to disrupt this man who is a picture of the synagogue. They're just standing on either side of the gate, lame on this side, lame on this side. They can't get to the lame that's over here for the lame that's over here.
Can I go deeper? I know this is a familiar text, but I'm gonna drain it dry. I'm gonna pull on it. I'm gonna yank on it. I'm going to squeeze it and I'm going to squash it. I'm gonna squeeze it till it fits your situation. I'm going to squeeze it until God talks to you. I'm going to squeeze it until the Holy Spirit arrests you. I'm gonna squeeze it until God says to you, you can't have another year if you're gonna keep on having folk carry you to the same place. In order to have a new year, you have to have a disruptive experience that asks you to do something that you have settled in your mind that you cannot do. Peter and John come up at the hour of prayer, and the Bible says that the lame man, here comes this word, looked on them, expecting to receive something, but what he was expecting fit into the cycle of what he called normal.
I want to spend a minute talkin' about the enemy of normal. Normal is an enemy. Every believer should flee from normal, because if you walk with God, your life should not be normal. When you walk with God, you should not be ordinary. When you walk with God, you're not supposed to fit in the clique. When you walk with God, you ought not be like everybody else. When you walk with God, every day is a new day. When you walk with God, he does amazing stuff. When you walk with God, he opens doors unexpectedly. When you walk with God, he lets you meet people you never thought you would meet. When you walk with God, he puts you in situations that you weren't even qualified, but God has ordered your steps in such a way that every day is exciting.
When you walk with God, there's a spirit of gratitude that comes into your life, because your life is not normal, and it is not routine. When you walk with God, God will always do the unexpected. Can I go deeper? I have all kinda journalists that ask me, "I wanna follow you around today, so I can see what life is like for T.D. Jakes in a normal day". I said, "You can forget it. I have never had a normal day. Every day is different from the other day. I don't have any day that looks like the day I had before".
One day I'm in Africa, the other day I'm makin' oxtail. One day I'm in Washington, the next day I'm in New York. One day I'm at a business meeting, the next day I'm laying hands on the devil. One day I'm at the hospital, one day I'm at the morgue. I don't have a typical day, 'cause when you walk with Jesus, he does the unexpected. I'm wondering if there's anybody in here who's spiritual enough to have walked in the unexpected. You can't put me in a box. You can't put me in a box. You can't give me a title and tell me that's what I am. You can't expect me to always dress the same, look the same, and act the same, because I have an unexpected God. I'm just like my daddy. One day I'm in jeans, one day I'm in a suit. One day I'm in shorts, one day I'm in coveralls.
You can't expect me to fit into your routine, deadbeat, ordinary, lifeless, religious, philosophical ideology, because I serve a God who hates religion. He likes relationship. He does the unexpected. He does the impossible. He speaks to mountains and tells him to go into the sea. He comes to his disciples walking on water. He stops funerals and raises up the dead. He goes to weddings and turns water into wine. I serve a God who's able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all ye may ask or think. Have you met my God? Have you met my God? He sleeps in the middle of a storm. He cast demons out of Legion. Have you met my God? He pays taxes out of the fish's mouth. Have you met my God? He refuses to die on the whipping post. Have you met my God? He prays for the people who crucified him. Have you met my God? He rolls his own stone away. He gets up out of the grave. He walks in the garden alive again. Have you met my God?
Type on the line, "the unexpected". The unexpected, the unexpected, the unexpected, the unexpected. Type it as fast as you can. This is gonna be the year that the cycle breaks. This is gonna be the year that God releases you from enablers and brings you to evangelists. This is gonna be the year that you get strength in places you never had it before. This is gonna be the year that you leap over obstacles. This is gonna be the year that you step over mountains. This is gonna be the year that the tail becomes the head. This is gonna be the year that the head becomes the tail. This is gonna be the year of the unexpected. My year for the unexpected.
Don't look for me where you left me. Don't look for me where you laid me down. Don't expect me to be where you dropped me off, 'cause I'm getting ready to bust a move up in here. I'm getting ready to step somewhere I've never stepped before. Somebody give him 15 seconds of crazy. Oh, that was cute. That was cute. Thank you, but that's not the kind of praise I want. I expected that kinda praise. I want that jaw-dropping praise, that unexpected praise, that excited praise, that revolutionary praise, that praise that says I'm not through living my life, I've got somethin' else to do. I've got somethin' else to build. I've got somethin' else to fight. I want somebody with an unexpected praise. Open up your mouth and give God an unexpected... Run over and fist bump somebody and tell 'em, "I'm going to do the unexpected".