TD Jakes - Insights On Influence
And I want to go back to that whole topic tonight, I'm gonna call it "Insights on Influence". Insights on Influence. And where did you get that from? Well, Joshua had just taken over as leader over a group of people that he was amongst. Anytime you switch roles in front of people, it's hard for them to see you in the new light. They say I knew you when. You know, if you were an hourly worker and now you become a part of management, the people who are hourly workers feel like you betrayed them and they start acting funny. Oh, now you a boss, huh? Now you to rule over me?
Anytime you go through transitions, then the environment around you becomes frustrated because they say you changed, as if that was a terrible thing. Oh, you changed. Yes, I changed. Everything living changes. Everything living changes. Yeah, I'm supposed to change. It would be a shame for me to be 40 years old and not change, 50 years old and not change, 35 years old and still acting like I'm 12. I changed is a part of the sign that God lives in me and he dwells in me and he develops me and he increases me. Say amen, somebody. So when Joshua moves into this new role, what fascinated me in the text is that God says to Joshua that I will exalt you or I will increase you in the eyes of the people, okay? I will raise you up, and this gives you influence because titles don't give you influence, okay? Just because they call you something don't make you that. Influence enables you to act on what they call you effectively.
One of the things I pray for all the time... I never prayed to be famous, I never prayed to be famous. I never prayed to be a public figure. I never even wanted any of that. I prayed to be effective because the thing that I don't want to be is not effective. Are you hearing what I'm saying? And so, when you start talking about influence, let's define influence. Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character development, on the character development or behavior of someone or something or effect itself like the influence of television violence. It could be a thing, it could be a person, but it makes you effective at producing change. Its influence is quantifiable. You can measure your impact.
And I was thinking about sometimes I, when I was younger, I'd have dreams and there'd be somebody chasing me or I'd be in a fight with somebody and I would be punching them but it had no effect. Anybody had those kind of dreams where you just couldn't get, you couldn't get that good one in, you know, and you thought you landed it but it didn't, it just turned into nothing? That's a nightmare. I'd wake up almost screaming. Or you're running but you can't get up any speed. You can't get up any traction. Some people live their lives like I had my dream. They punch without impact. They run without gaining ground. They expend energy but they see no results.
In order to have impact, God has to give you influence in the eyes of the people. And that's something that God has to do because you cannot control how people see you. I don't care if you change your hair, change your dress, change your clothes, get more degrees than a thermometer, spin all around, do whatever you want to do, you cannot control how people see you. God can control how people see you. And so, God says I'm going to control how they see you for my glory. Now, I'm not going to change how the whole world sees you, but I'm going to give you influence in proportion to the authority that I've given you. So this message is a one-size-fits-all message. It will work whether you're the governor or the president or a papa and you just want to influence your son, or a wife and you just want to influence your husband. Whatever you have dominion over, you want to have influence.
So the less time you have, the more valuable it comes. It becomes I can't stand for you to waste my time because my time is valuable to me. I don't want to engage my effort doing things that I am not effective at. And sometimes you have to pray for God to give you the stature that is necessary, not in your eyes, in the eyes of those that you hope to influence. So God created trouble to raise Joshua's influence. Okay, that's where we left off Sunday. God created trouble because how you manage crisis changes how people see you. Okay. So we started talking about the president in Ukraine and we started talking about how he said, I don't need evacuation, I need ammunition. And all of a sudden, that one phrase changed how people saw him. What you say in a storm changes how people see you, changes how they respect you.
That's why the enemy's always trying to get you to go off under pressure because the enemy knows that if you go off under pressure, you decrease your influence with your hysteria. If you want to be strong, you want to be strong under pressure, then you gain influence under pressure, and in order to be strong, there are certain things that you need to know. You need to know that you are doing what you were created to do, even if it's not a big thing, even if it's not a great thing to other people, it only matters to the people that it matters to, and it shouldn't matter to you what outside people think about inside influence. The reason we have so much misery in the world today is that you are, because social media tempts you to try to get outside people to form an opinion about your inside ability.
And all of a sudden, if they don't like the post, you want to take it down or if they say something weird, you want to freak out about it. But in reality, I'm letting you observe something that is frankly none of your business. You understand? So your opinion doesn't really matter to me. If I don't have any authority with you, then it's just an opinion, and opinions are common. Everybody's got one. Everybody's got one. And when you bring yourself down to the point that you allowed people to make you come off the wall that God has assigned you on because of somebody's opinion who is not assigned to you, then you give up your influence over the people you have influence with because of somebody that doesn't even matter one way or the other. It doesn't even make any sense. Are you hear what I'm saying?
So it's not enough for God to raise your influence in the eyes of external people if you're leaking internally. Oh yeah, we about to go there. We about to go there. We're about to get down into the depths of it. We're about to get down into the depths of why Paul prayed in Ephesians that the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you might know, you have to know. It's not enough for them to know if you don't know what is the hope of your calling. So in order for me to have influence, in, influence, it starts in me. I cannot convince outside people to believe something about me that I don't believe about myself. That will make you an impostor. And the stress many of us have right now is that we have imposter syndrome where we feel like we are living a fake life and we think that we're living a fake life not because we have inconsistencies, because we all do, but because we are not convinced of our purpose.
So Paul prays that the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened, okay? You can't be an external light if you don't have internal light. That the eyes of your understanding might be enlightened. So before God starts elevating Joshua in the eyes of the people, he talks to Joshua by himself, and he says, as I was with Moses, so shall I be with you. Be strong and very courageous, for I am with thee to deliver thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua, you have to know you're the man. Then he created the swelling of the Jordan to give an outer display of what he had convinced Joshua of inwardly. So, the question tonight for you is, are you convinced? Y'all not talking to me but I'm talking to you. Are you convinced? Because if you're not convinced, the enemy has already defeated you. You cannot influence where you are not fully persuaded.
So Paul prays that the eyes of your understanding might be enlightened, that you might know, not wish, not hope, not think, but that you might know what is the hope of his calling and what is the riches of his inheritance in the saints and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe. You have to know that. This is my purpose. This is my place. This is my gift. This is what I do. This is what I am. It's not about you knowing it. I have to know it first. Moses my servant is dead, God says to Joshua. As I was with Moses, so shall I be with you. Now, the people are still wanting Moses, but God says to him, don't worry, I am going to change how they see you, which is going to increase your influence. And somebody watching me tonight, God is getting ready to increase your influence.
When the Bible says enlarge your tents and strengthen your stakes, that means God is about to increase your influence, and we shout about it and that's a wonderful thing, but you need to understand that's going to increase your responsibility, that's going to increase your pressure, that's going to increase your harvest, that's going to increase your return, that's going to increase your haters, that's gonna increase your attack. You can't increase in one area and not increase in another. Somebody shout increase. Then you gotta be ready for it. If you can't run with the footmen, how shall ye contend with the horses? So if you're stumbling right now and all you're running with is footmen and you hollered increase, then when God puts you with the horses, you'll never be able to stand it. You can't have more of this without having more of that. It all connects together. And when God increases your influence, he will also increase your enemies.
So how do you thrive in an environment of conflict? God has increased Joshua's influence with his people, but he has also increased Joshua's enemies. The Hittites, the Jebusites, the Gerushites, the Canaanites are riding around on chariots on top of the wall. Why? Because Joshua is having increase. Who am I talking to tonight? Anytime God gives you increase, you will look out and you'll see barriers and restrictions that you never saw before. You'll see what was a creek turn into a river and overflow its banks and flood because you're on the verge of stepping into another level of influence. And when you're on the verge of stepping into another level of influence, there will be certain floods that come in your life and you have to be prepared to deal with the flood so that you can get to the harvest. Are you hearing what I'm saying?
So why is influence the currency of impact and purpose? You can't, if this water is just water, but if I put Kool-Aid in it, I will influence it, okay? It will never be water again. If something as simple as a tablespoon of Kool-Aid will influence this water, how can you live a life where you are being poured into something that doesn't change? Somebody ought to miss you. Somebody ought to call you. Somebody ought to see about you. Somebody ought to think, oh, if you were here, my life would be better. Influence is not just about you, it is about your ability to affect the behavior of those around you. Come on. The day you walk in the room and they don't look up, you've lost influence. The day you walk in the room, they keep on reading the book, you've lost influence. I don't care whether it's your kids, your wife, your husband, you need to measure influence.
How did I change what I was exposed to? And the reason we get frustrated sometimes is that days go by which we can't get back again. Weeks go by which we can't get back. Months go by which we can't get back, and we cannot see our impact on those that matter most around us. I'm telling you. Brother said that's real. It's hard to come into a situation where it's still just like it was 'fore you got there. If I pour myself into you, you ought to turn into something else. If I pour myself into you, you ought to turn into something else. If I pour my wisdom into you, you ought to turn into something else. Because if you don't turn into something else, that suggests to me that I'm impotent and I have no influence in your life, which leads to frustration because I'm not seeing any result. So that brings us to the question, can influence be increased?
Go to Luke 2:52. Some of y'all know exactly where I'm going with this. "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man". Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. Some people think if you increase with God, you can't increase with man. Oh, come on, I will talk to the deep folks in here a minute. You running around with all this kind of people, you're doing all of this kind of stuff. You've done all of that. They think true holiness is increasing with favor with God and not with man, but Jesus increased with favor with God and... somebody shout increase. Okay, if I'm gonna increase my influence, I've already told you there's gonna be some restrictions and there's gonna be some attacks and there's gonna be some adversities, but as I am exposed to it, God builds up my tolerance to the level of my influence.
Oh, is somebody getting anything out of this tonight? God builds up my tolerance to the level of my influence. That's why I don't want to live your life because I haven't been built up enough to have tolerance to be you. I have tolerance to handle my level of influence. That's why I can't put my mouth on you and what you did, 'cause I don't know what you're going through on your level, oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. It's easy for people to sit back in a cracker box and start talking about somebody on Capitol Hill because you don't have tolerance for the level of pressure they're under. You say I don't understand. No, you don't understand, so shut up. To the people that God is increasing, don't stop growing because of the attacks, because the attacks are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in you.
Don't stay down low to make other people comfortable. Don't diminish yourself so that you won't make them uncomfortable. Their comfort is not your responsibility. Go ahead and make them uncomfortable and let them say whatever they've got to say because God is getting ready to increase your influence. Who am I talking to? In fact, you can tell who can grow with you and who can go with you by who gets uncomfortable at your growth. Warning, warning, warning, when you get around people that only liked you when you were down, it's time for one or the other of you to step away from the other because I refuse to diminish myself another year just so that you will like me. Because I'm feeding.
The reason I'm in Bible class tonight is because I'm feeding something. I came to feed something. If I don't feed it, if I don't feed it, it can't grow. I came to be fed. I came to be fed. I didn't come 'cause I didn't have nothing else to do. I didn't come because I don't have other needs. I came because I'm feeding something inside of me that you might not even see yet, but I'm feeding something. I ran into the late Bishop W.W. Smith in Philadelphia, his grandson, and he told me that his grandfather used to tell his father to watch me. I was sitting on the front row about 16 years old. He said watch that young man, he's going somewhere. How did he know that? I mean, I was there, I couldn't even pay for anything. I was there, I was broke, I was eating sardines and stuff.
While everybody was going to eat in the reading, I was sitting in church when they got back 'cause I didn't have no money. I was just sitting there, but I was feeding something. Your hunger is an indication of your future. I'mma say that again for the people in the back. Your hunger is an indication of your future. Have you ever tried to feed somebody who wasn't hungry or teach somebody who wasn't teachable or approach somebody who's distracted? The reason you're distracted is because I'm not talking to you. If you find yourself honing in on me with an appetite, your appetite is an indication that I'm feeding something that might not even be visible right now.
You might not see it next week, you might not see it next month, but eventually whatever you feed is going to explode in your life. If you feed envy, you're gonna be jealous. If you feed hate, you're gonna be a hater. If you feed flesh, you're gonna be lustful. Whatever you feed is going to grow. You don't come out on a Wednesday night to show off your dress. If you come out in the middle of the week through all the traffic we have in Dallas and you just got off work but you had to be here, there's something in you that's hungry. Make some noise if I'm talking to the right people. God's getting ready to increase your influence.
So we're getting insight on how to manage influence. We know, if you heard Sunday, influence and affluence are not the same thing. A lot of people are affluent but they don't have influence. A lot of people have influence and they're not affluent. Those are two different things. Affluent means that you can be in the upper echelon of society but not necessarily have the ability to change other people's behavior and decisions, that's influence. You can't write a check for that. Affluence can put you in a nice neighborhood. Influence can change the neighborhood.