TD Jakes - Don't Leave Like You Came
The problem in the text is they've been trying to fix a spiritual problem with physical restraints and it has not worked. His problem is affecting his body but it is not his body, yet the text is diagnosed in the opening phrase that says, "There came to him a man with an unclean spirit". How do you chain a spirit? They have chained his body through their misdiagnosis, but the reality is there's something wrong with his spirit. They'd been misdiagnosing him for a while. My father, for instance, died of renal failure, but he actually died from misdiagnosis. It took them so long to find out what was really wrong with him that his chances of being healed in his kidneys began to diminish, until his kidneys died while they were searching in the wrong place. They were treating his symptoms but no one was treating the root causes.
I wonder, are we treating symptoms and not causes? Are we treating whats and not whys? Are we praying to be better in our symptoms or cured at our root? Let's talk about this. Can we talk about this? Many overweight people, for example, are being treated with diets, when in fact, it may not be what you are eating that's making you fat, it could be what's eating at you and the eating is only a symptom; and when you treat symptoms, they always come back. Oh, that was worth coming to church for right there. You've got to get beneath the symptoms that are bothering you and get down to the cause, and you can't cure what you misdiagnosed.
Now in order to receive this word in a personal way, you have to be open to the fact that you could be wrong about somebody you don't like, you could misdiagnose them as not being honorable or trustworthy because you are looking at what they did and not why they did it. And you might make them act the way they act because you are a dominating and intimidating, and you say, "It's them that's wrong," but you're treating symptoms and not causes. The common theme in the text is four instances of being sent away. I'm just opening up, I haven't got to the text yet, I'm just talking around it. They sent the demonic man away from the village in the first place, they sent him away. Jesus sent the demons away, the villagers sent Jesus away; Jesus, after he had healed the man, sent the man away. And everybody in the text is being sent away and God is getting ready to send you away.
When we step into the text, he is now homeless, homeless; and later in the text we will find out Jesus tells him to go home with his friends. If you have friends, how did you end up homeless? The man is living in the tombs, in the tombs, mind you, with friends. The truth of the matter is even friends get tired. Are there any tired friends in here? And you've done everything you can think of to do to help a person become who they're trying to become, and eventually, sooner or later, you give up because you find out that there is nothing in your inventory that can successfully make them better; and it's called compassion fatigue. Be careful that you don't wear people out, always bringing them your problems and never bringing them a blessing, always bringing them your troubles, it's always you-you-you-you-you, because even love gets tired, even love needs a day off, even love needs to break.
Even the most giving person in the world needs reciprocity. Don't ever let anybody out-give you, out-love you, out-bless you, out-sow you, because eventually they'll get tired of you and send you away. The man his dwelling amongst the tombs, the place where we relinquish what we loved; graveyards, cemeteries, the place where we relinquish what we loved. And though he is not dead yet, they have sent him to the cemetery, where we relinquish what we love, and they have sent him there alive, but to die. If you send me to the cemetery chained, you want me to die. It's one thing to send me to the cemetery loose, at least I can scavenge around and get some food, but if you send me to the cemetery and tie me up, you are just waiting on me to become what I am around. And eventually, if you get around something long enough, you become it. He's not dead yet. Oh, my God, somebody holler, "I'm not dead yet".
Yeah, don't be so quick to talk about, "Can I have your car? Can I have your washing machine? Can I have your"? All they gotta do is find out you sick and eventually they'll come around and start asking you for stuff. And tell them, "I'm not dead yet". There are some people that are just waiting on you to keel over so that they can get what you've got, they're already picking out stuff that they're going to have. There are some people that're just waiting on you to collapse, they're already making inroads to take over your influence, your family, your business, your husband, your wife, they just waiting on you to finally, but type online, "I'm not dead yet". Don't count me out. I may be sick, I may be crazy, I may be confused, I may be tormented, I may be in trouble, but I'm not dead yet. I came this morning to tell the devil, "I'm not dead yet, don't rule me out yet, there's still another miracle, there's still another power, there's still another deliverance working down inside of me". Somebody shout at me, "I'm not dead yet".
The cemetery is a place of memories and mourning, it is a place of memories and mourning, and that's exactly what he was tormented with, his memories and mourning; it is a place where we visit and not where we live. And Jesus comes to rescue him; in fact, he comes to rescue us from living amongst what should be buried. It is one thing to visit the cemetery, It is another thing to live there. I wanna dig into that for a moment. All of us visit the cemetery sometime, we go down in the graveyard and think about things, things that we buried and things that we lost and things that didn't work out. That's normal, it's a human proclivity to rehearse your past, helps you to have wisdom for your future.
It's one thing to visit the graveyard, it's another thing to live there. Some people live in the cemetery of their failures and their mistakes and their areas and their problems, and once you start living in the tombs is a sign that you are completely dysfunctional. I can relate to you 'cause I've visited my graveyard but I never stayed in one. It's one thing to get a pillow and a mattress, and start living in a graveyard. Don't start living amongst dead things. Have you ever had somebody that brought up stuff you did 10 years ago, 12 years ago, 15 years ago? You moved on with your life and they're still talking about what you did 15 years ago, they are living in the cemetery.
They got a pillow and a mattress amongst corpses, they are living in a dead place because they are tormented by a spirit. Only a spirit can see a cemetery as the castle, only a spirit will try to handcuff you to your past and leave you stuck in your memories and bound by your mourning, and cause you to succumb in death, and wait on it to kill you. Because if you stay around dead things long enough, you will become like your friends; if you hang out with the dead, you will become dead. That's why the angel told Mary, when she came to the cemetery, "Why seek ye the living amongst the dead"? Jesus visited the grave, but he didn't stay there, he arose with all power in his hand. Can I get a witness in this place?
And they constrained him 'cause that made them comfortable. I'm not denying the fact that the man had problems, I'm not denying the fact that he had problems, but I also recognize that he had a promise. And when you are trapped between your problems and your promise, people want to move you out of the way because the lack of definity makes people uncomfortable. Can you think with me this morning? So we went from cemeteries to constraints, but every time they constrained him he broke loose.
Look back over your life many times people tried to constrain you. I know we're gonna have church today, I knew it when I got up this morning, I can feel it in my spirit, but I'm here for it, baby, let's do it. I got up for it this morning, let's do it. Look back at the many people in your life who tried to constrain you and tell you how far you could go and what you could do. They were all wrong, no man can constrain you. Any time any people oppress another people the chain will eventually break because no man can chain what God has liberated. Every liberated soul in here, holler.
Don't get me wrong, you don't have to like me, but you can't hold me. You don't have to invite me to your birthday party, but you can't hold me. We don't have to go golfing, but you can't hold me. I may not be in your inner circle, but you can't hold me; I'll make my own circle. And so we went from cemeteries to constraints, point three, we went to crying. And the Bible says, every day and night, he cried, every day and night, he cried. I want to talk about seasons of crying, seasons of crying. And I don't know how you was raised, I was raised not to cry, so I have to climb over top of everything I was taught to cry because I was denied permission to cry.
So crying hurts, and when crying hurts, my soul has no way to irrigate itself from the stress it has incurred. Grief doesn't leave if tears don't flow. I need to be able to release, I need to be able to cry. Hear me, brothers, I need to be able to cry, not crying doesn't make you stronger, it makes you sick. I don't walk around crying all the time but when I need to cry I need to let it out. There are seasons in your life where you are mourning, and don't nobody have to be dead, you can be mourning the job you lost, the house you didn't get, the age you're at, the stage you're at, you can be mourning the lack of companionship.
There are a lot of things you can mourn about that create a season of crying. Whether you see him do it or not, he cries; he may wait till you're asleep, but he cries, and thank God he does because if he doesn't he's going to die or commit suicide or drive his car into a river. Tears are a gift from God to ventilate the soul when you have ingested too much pain; tears are a sign to God, "I need you". Somebody shout, "Cry". There is a cry, the kids can be playing in the backyard and they make a noise and holler and you don't pay them no attention, but there is a cry that will make you drop a plate on the floor and run out there with soap suds on your hands because there is a cry that gets your attention as a parent.
As it is with you, so it is with God, there is a cry that will get God's attention, that will arrest him and stop him in his tracks. If you don't believe it, ask blind Bartimaeus, who sat by the highway, sat begging, but when he heard Jesus was passing by, the Bible said that blind Bartimaeus began to cry. And he cried till he got on people's nerves, and he cried till they told him to shut up, but the more they told him to shut up, the louder he cried. And the Bible said, can I preach a minute? The Bible said that blind Bartimaeus cried till Jesus stood still. There is a cry that will arrest the Lord, there is a cry that will get God's attention.
I heard David say, "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles". If you would open your mouth and cry, God would deliver to you. But when the boat docked and Jesus stepped off the boat, before he could get both feet on dry ground, the man came running to Jesus. Slap your neighbor and say, "Run," run, run away from self-sabotage, run away from self-destruction, run away from the way you talk to yourself, run away from canceling out your pain with more pain. You had a bad man, you go get a worse man; you had a wife beater, you get another wife beater; it's pain-to-pain therapy because you don't feel worthy of good treatment. When a good man comes into your life, "I just don't like him," you're cutting yourself. Slap them and say, "Run". The man runs to Jesus.
Now listen at this, legions of demons are in this man; legions, massive multitudes of demons that are in this man. And all the legions, in a concerted effort of agreement, could not stop him from running; can't nothing stop you from running. If you get ready to get to Jesus, can't nothing stop you from running, can't nothing stop you from running. So they couldn't stop him from running, and when he got to Jesus, now the demons, who knew that Jesus is a spirit, who knew that the Jesus saw them so they couldn't hide any longer. So they started talking to him and said, "Why have you come"? I feel like preaching, I gotta stop. "Why have you come to torment me before my time"? And then they started negotiating with Jesus and they said, "Send us away, but don't let us leave the region".
The man, who was naked, and bruised and bleeding and cutting himself in the tomb, when Jesus got through with him he was chilling, dog. This is where your spirit is supposed to be. He had one fear left, "Will this work when I'm out of this atmosphere"? And he says to Jesus, "Can I go with you"? Daddy, can I go with you? 'Cause, "In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore". There have been several times in this church that I have dismissed service, took a shower, changed clothes, got in the car, driving home, and people were still here because there's something about glory. Glory, I mean real glory, I'm not talking about flesh, but real glory will make you linger. And they would tell me, "Bishop, the people won't leave, they just sitting around. Some of them are laying prostrate in the floor, some of them are laying on the altar".
The man did not want to leave Jesus, and Jesus, I couldn't understand it. I thought, "Jesus, I understand him, 'cause I'm a better man when you around, and I know what it is to need you, like, all the time". He said, "No, you don't get it, the only thing that stopped him from going home was being home, and once I got him whole, he could go home". The hardest thing for a man to do is go home. Even if he goes physically, getting him to go mentally, where he can really be home at home, causes many men to circle the house before they go in the house, because they see the house as another kinda job. But the Lord said, "Go home". You will know you are free when you can be home at home.