TD Jakes - Desperate Faith
Now, now, if we only see this text through the lens of a desperate mother seeking help for her daughter, though that is what she is, if that's all we see about the text, we will do an injustice to the text. It's obvious that though she wasn't a follower of Jesus, she had been an observer of him. Like my friend was, she knew who he was. "Jesus, thou son of David" that's a messianic greeting that normally a Jew would give to the Messiah. She is not Jewish at all, and yet she is familiar enough with the lingo that she speaks Jesus's language. She'd been an observer of him, she knew exactly who he was. She was desperate enough, desperate enough to cross the line of her tradition, desperate enough to cross the line of her tradition, and you know something?
God can't do anything with you until you get desperate. You have to understand that desperate situations require a desperate response. And this morning I want to talk to you about desperate faith. I want to talk to you about desperate faith. Desperate faith, not passive, religious, superficial, traditional, self righteous, pharisaical faith. I want to talk to you about desperate faith, the kind of faith that will cross lines, break rules, make you reach out, cross generations, break down barriers, whatever you gotta do to get a breakthrough, you have to have that level of desperate faith.
Now, you have to be radical, and you may even have had to live a while to know what desperate faith is, 'cause sometimes if you haven't lived a while, you haven't been desperate. See, when my kids were little, they weren't desperate 'cause they were discipled. They had everything they needed. It was our job to make sure that they weren't desperate. Maybe when they grew up and got out on their own, they got a little desperate, because those bills started coming in your name and a house payment comes in your name, and all of a sudden you get a revelation that milk doesn't just appear in the refrigerator by magic, and so you stopped leaving it out on the counter for three days.
Come on, talk to me somebody. Let's be real. Are there any desperate people listening at me today? You've gone through some things, you understand some things, you've endured some things, and you need God to help you get through some things, and you're goin' through some critical things right now. You didn't come to church this Sunday 'cause you got a cute dress. You didn't come to church this Sunday because you got a new suit and you want to show it off. You didn't come to church this morning to see what's going on. You're not logged onto this broadcast 'cause you don't need to wash your clothes and you don't have nothing else to do and the kids ain't pulling at you, but you're desperate enough to be engaged in God in a way that's different from other people.
Some of your other family members may be playing in the house, some of them went out to play golf, some of them might be shooting hoops, somebody might be doing something else, but as for you, you are stuck in front of this screen because you are looking for a word from God, you're looking for a word from God. Somebody shout, desperate faith. Desperate faith isn't passively blaming God for our own choices and mistakes. A lot of times, we blame God for things that we did to ourselves. I've been believing God for three years to get out of debt, and he hasn't come through for me yet. He didn't get you in debt.
Let's first assume responsibility that your behavior brought you to the place that you're in and stop blaming God like God failed you for not being codependent in your cycle of dysfunction. Because sometimes we use faith because we want God to enable us to remain dysfunctional, and he doesn't answer us a word because until you fix your habits, he's not going to pour more resources into a dysfunctional system. I know I lost a few people on that, but I'm just sick and tired of people saying, "I tithed, and it didn't work. I gave a couple of Sundays, I threw a $20 bill on the altar, and I was expecting my million dollar breakthrough". Why would God give you a million dollars when you ran through a thousand dollars? God wants you to be faithful over a few things before he makes you ruler over many.
I knew I wouldn't get much shouting today, but that's okay. Desperate faith isn't sitting idly by in despair waiting for a divine miracle to replace human effort. "I'm believing God for a job with my remote control in the hand. I'm believing God, I prayed three times for a job, and the Lord ain't answer me. I don't understand what's wrong". God ain't gonna never answer you because faith without works is dead. Being alone, you got to get out there and get your hustle on, sister girl. You got to get your hustle on, you gotta get out there and make it happen. You gotta make it do what it do, and if don't nobody hire you, you gotta make T-shirts, candied apples, hotdogs, I don't care what you gotta do, rib dinners, you gotta be about your Father's business, and then ask God to bless the works of your hands.
The Bible says whatsoever he doeth shall prosper, and if you're not doing anything, you're not giving God anything to prosper. No, he's not comin' in your living room. Boaz is never going to ring the doorbell while you sittin' in the house in your housecoat and your hair in a roller. "My Boaz is coming," you better hope he don't. If he come, he's gonna leave. He gonna get up out of there as quickly as he can, 'cause you're not ready for Boaz. You Ain't Ruth, don't expect Boaz. Desperate faith is not us manipulating God to serve our agenda. "I want you to help me do this, I want you to help me do this, I want you to help me do that".
It's not about getting God to serve your agenda, it's about getting you to serve God's agenda. When you get on God's agenda, you'll already be blessed. Instead of creating something separate over here and asking God to bless something that he didn't create, what you really want God to do is find out what he's doing, do what God is doing, because the blessing is already on the purpose of God. Come on, talk to me, somebody. Desperate faith is not rejecting God's decision because of personal pain. Say, I got desperate faith. "I'm just believing God that that mama's gonna live. I'm believing God that she..." I understand that, I've been there, I understand that. But God is still God, and you have to pray a kind of prayer that says, "Lord, I want my mother to live as long as she possibly can, but if you decide that you're gonna take her, I have to trust you, I have to trust you. It hurts, but I trust you. I don't understand it, but I trust you. I'm in pain, but I trust you. You know what's best for me. Just give me the strength to stand what hurts in my life".
I told you this last Sunday. I told the Lord, I said, listen, I want my mother to keep on living, but if you give me 90, and I'm going to ask for 100, and if you give me 100, I'm gonna ask for 110, and if you ask me for 110, I'll say how 'bout 112? I'm going to be like, "112, 112, 112, 112, going once, going twice, going twice, can I hear 115? Can I get 115? Can I get 115, 115? Anybody have 115, 115, 120? Go for 120, 120, 120, 120 over there God". 'Cause I'm greedy. I got a greedy love. When I love you, I love you, I really love you. And sometimes I wish I was like, when I love you, I love you like crazy, and I want you to stay forever and ever and ever and ever. And I had to learn that keeping people when they're in pain and when they're suffering and when they're hurting is not a matter of great faith, it's great cruelty. It took me a while to finally say I would rather be in pain and her be in peace. You have to grow a while to get to that. Then for her to be in pain so I can be in peace, it takes a while to grow to that.
And I just want to tell you what desperate faith is not, 'cause a lot of people come to church because they really think that faith is like witchcraft, that you can make it do what it do, you can make it do whatever you want it to do, you can just kinda believe God until you believe somebody else's husband away from them. "I'm believing God, I know he married, but I'm believing God. He's not supposed to be married to her, he not happy. I'm believing God, that God got bored, they said, God, real big God. G-A-W-D, God. God, I believing God". I don't care how much you believe God for my wife, you can't have her. Yeah, that's a lying spirit from the pits of hell, that's a demon spirit, and we got to cast that out, 'cause she's already taken, so ain't no need in you believing God for no Serita Ann Jakes. Believe God for your wife. Go out there and do the hard work, get your own wife, leave mine alone. The thing that made this woman desperate is that she had a devil to fight.
Is there anybody in here that has a devil to fight? I mean, a nasty, old, relentless, vicious, wicked, tenacious devil to fight, you got a devil to fight, and you can't afford to have no cute religion, you got a devil to fight. You can't afford to be steeped in tradition, you got a devil to fight. And whatever it takes to beat that devil out of your house, out of your life, out of your body, out of your mind, out of your emotions, out of your family, out of your children, out of your circumstances, you got a devil to fight. That's why you come to church when you're dressed up, you come to church when you dress down, you come to church when your nails are done, you come to church when your nails are broken off, 'cause you a desperate woman, you a desperate man, you got a desperate fight.
If they don't tell you to praise the Lord, you will praise the Lord anyway, 'cause you desperate. If they don't tell you to clap your hands, you're gonna clap your hands anyway, 'cause you desperate. Ain't no need in sitting beside somebody that's not desperate 'cause they ain't gonna like you. You gonna get on their nerves. You keep jumping up, you keep making noise, you keep crying out, you keep seeking the Master, you keep calling on his name, 'cause you desperate. I want some desperate people, I want some desperate people. Type it on the line, let hell know I'm desperate.
She was not a Jew, she was not even a Christian. She was a desperate mother who had run out of options. None of her idols or her pagan deities had relieved the suffering of her daughter. If they had, she wouldn't have come. The day to day suffering of her daughter she obviously loved had brought her to a place of breaking past her traditions and seeking deliverance from Jesus, a God she had never met. She draws closer to Jesus and says, "Lord, help me. Help me. I'm through with titles, I'm through with honor, I'm through with protocol, I just want some help. Lord, Lord, Lord, help me".
And she put Jesus in a dilemma. She put Jesus in a dilemma. He says, almost as if he wasn't even talking to her, "It's not right what you're asking me to do, it's not protocol, it's not the way I planned it, it's not the way it's supposed to happen. It's not supposed to be like that, it's not, it's not appropriate. It's not my assignment now, that's not what he told me to do. Tell me to come to my own, and I'm not through dealing with my own. You deal with your daughter, and I'm dealing with my children. Your daughter is grievously vexed with the devil, and my children are vexed with unbelief. Oh, y'all didn't hear what I said. Both of us got child problems, and how am I supposed to deal with your child and I can't hardly fix my own. It's not meet, it's not meet, it's not meet to give the children's bread to the dogs. I'm still trying to get them to eat the bread. I'm tryin' to get my child to eat the bread, you're telling me about your child. My child in trouble too".
For we have not a high priest who cannot be touched by the feeling of our infirmity, tempted in all points like as we are. "You've got a troubled child," he said, "I do too. It's not meet to give the children's bread to the dogs," and the woman blew his mind. She said, "Yeah, I'm a dog. I'm a dog". In the Bible, dog meant without covenant. "I'm a Gentile, I'm an idolater, I'm a dog. But even the dogs, even the dogs can eat the crumbs that fall from the Master's table". She says, "I will settle for what your church wastes. Your children waste enough glory to heal my daughter".
Listen to them at the bargaining table, it's like the woman and Jesus are at the bargaining table, at a good conference table, they're arguing their positions, and she says, "You know, my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil". He said, "I can't do nothin', my children crazy too. I'm trying to deal with my own children. It's not meet to give the children's bread to dogs". She said, "Yeah, I may be a dog, but even the dogs can eat the crumbs that fall from the Master's table". And with that, she broke him. Her humility broke him. Her inability to be insulted broke him. Sometimes you can't get your miracle 'cause you too proud. I'm talkin' to somebody, I don't know who I'm talkin' to, but God has you online for a reason. Your pride is killing you.
That woman didn't argue with Jesus about calling her a dog, she said, "Truth. True, I've done some meth, Lord. True, I have not been the picture of morality and integrity and honor, but I'm desperate. I be a dog, but can I have a crumb"? Her indictment is as much against our waste as it is his power. She says, we waste sermons that would save the world, messages that would stop guns from goin' off. We waste them. She said, "I could get healed from the crumbs. I could get healed from what your children don't even pay attention to. Leave the bread on the table for you kids, I'll sit in your lap and catch the crumbs".
In the days of Jesus they had what was called lap dogs. And they would sit in the lap of the master and look up and catch the crumbs. She says, "I'll be your lap dog. If I can get a crumb of what falls from the Master's table, my daughter will be healed". And the disciples said, "Away! She cryeth after us". It was never about them, because she knew that what she needed, only God could do. And the Lord told me if I would preach this, he would minister to some people who are going through something that only God can fix. And the Lord said, he's seen your desperate faith, your radical tenacity, your relentless pursuit of him, and your refusal to let anybody run you out of church. Your refusal. You came, if you had to get a ride, you came. You came, you came when you had money, you came when you didn't have money.
If you had to wear a mask, if you had to take a shot, if you had to get a test, whatever it took, 'cause you too desperate to be cute. And God, I've not found this kind of faith amongst my own. Her faith, not her feelings, not her emotions, not her attitude, not her beauty, not her intellect, not her sensuality, her faith. He said, "I cannot deny you because you have so much confidence that I am able to do it. Woman, you have desperate faith". And I don't know who I'm preaching to today, but to get out of what you into, it's gonna take desperate faith. And that self same hour, that selfsame hour, not later, not when she got back home, not when she took an anointed rag and put it in her bed, that selfsame hour her daughter was made whole.