TD Jakes - I'm Open To Better
You know the story Moses goes down there and tells Pharaoh to let his people go, he starts leading over a million people out to the Red Sea, the Red Sea's parted, and now he's out in the wilderness and he's doing something that he's never done before, and here comes a visit from his father-in-law. And the Bible says they exchanged pleasantries and they give obeisance one to the other, how you doing, how you doing, what's going on, how you been, what's up, doc, how you doing? Yeah, man, good to see you, high five, you got it going on.
You look like you haven't aged a day, all that kind of stuff. Just chilling out with his father-in-law, and the Bible says after he spent some time chilling out with his father-in-law, his father-in-law says I'm gonna go to work with you tomorrow, just hang out with you, see what's going on, chill with you. And his father-in-law's sitting over in the corner watching Moses from morning to night, all engrossed in his responsibilities, and at the end of the day he says, "Moses what are you doing? You're not doing this right". He says if you keep on doing what you're doing the way that you're doing it, you're gonna kill yourself and destroy your mission. He is challenging not Moses's mission, he has given Moses permission for his mission, but he's challenging his method.
If you don't have the right method, you can compromise your entire mission. You have to understand then that the way that Moses is going about this is actually tearing him down, and Jethro introduces a new methodology that enables Moses to be twice as effective as he was before. How many people in this room would like to be twice as effective as you were before? I want to be effective. I want to be effective. I don't want to do anything, I don't know whether it's the stage of life I'm in or what, I don't have time to waste on anything that's not effective. I don't want to be struggling with people, or conversations, or issues that are not effective. I don't want to just be busy for the sake of being busy. I want to be better, not busy.
If you're not careful, the Bible says the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy, and if you're not careful, he will steal your future with business and you'll say, "Well, I'm busy, so I'm doing what the Lord called me to do," but if you're not doing it the way God called you to do it, you could compromise your entire mission. Jethro is standing aside, and sometimes somebody standing aside can see something that the person in the middle of it cannot see. You're so busy doing it that you're blind to the fact that there's a better way to do it. You're so busy trying to get to a better place but you're using an old method. I can't tell you how many people want a better marriage but they won't change their method. I can't tell you how many parents want better kids but they won't change their parenting skills. I can't tell you how many people want better finances but they keep doing the same things with their money.
And there's nothing wrong with your mission, but there may be something wrong with your method. It's not enough to be open to better if you're not open to correction. In short, the Lord, when I began to read this text, began to speak to my heart and began to speak to me about pressure. About pressure, about stress, about anxiety. I said, "Lord, I keep burying people". I've had so many funerals in the last two weeks, I can't even keep up with them. When I leave here this morning, I'm going to do another one. People who are dying prematurely, stress, and anxiety, and pressure, and it's not just old people. This is not just old people. I got a call that my cousin died. She was flying from Los Angeles going to Mississippi to take care of her parents. Her parents are still living, in their 90's, and the one who went to take care of them dropped dead. There is no guarantee that just because you're younger than me you're gonna outlive me.
Come on, talk to me, somebody. We gotta then begin to understand what are we doing wrong that not only shortens our days and shortens our time, but is causing us to explode, to implode, to fail mentally, morally, and emotionally, and you're doing it. You're going after something that may be good, but if you're not going about it the right way, you could explode. How do I correct that? That's part of the problem. See, we have no way to measure on a man what's too much. On a pipe, we have PSI. PSI is pounds per square inch. It tells you when a pipe is about to burst. And you can only put so much pressure on that piece of metal, because if you put too much pressure on that pipe, it's gonna pop, because it's only been rated for a certain amount of PSI. If you're gonna add more pressure, you gotta change the pipe, because that pipe has only been rated to handle a certain amount of pressure.
If it were an engine, we would measure by RPM, how many rounds per minute. How fast can you turn? I want to ask you, how fast can you turn? How much pressure can you take? You keep saying yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, but how fast can you turn? What are your limitations? My old bishop told me something years ago, if the enemy can't get you to go too slow, he'll get you to go too fast. You can only do so many rounds per minute. You can only make so many commitments. You can only take on so many friends. I am very slow to take on new friends, because my old friends got me working on the corner. I can't take new friends. I mean, friendship is a commitment, and we use the term so loosely that we don't understand what real friendship is. Real friendship is to be there, and to stand by, and to be your secret-keeper, and to be your ride or die. Come hell or high water, I got your back. That's a commitment.
I can't be but on so many boards. At a certain point, I can't add any more weight. If I were car, I could determine it by horsepower. About 450 pounds of horsepower to determine that's what they measure the engine's ability to roar with so much horsepower. But there is no rating for man. It is amazing to me to understand that the problem here is not passion, he has passion, he's full of passion, he has boldness, he has tenacity. Anytime you face off with Pharaoh, you got passion. Any time you lead murmuring people, you got passion. Anytime you wave a stick in front of a Red Sea and the waters part, you got passion. He is a go-getter, he is aggressive, he goes after it, he has passion, but he doesn't have process.
Passion without process will destroy you. Glory to God, I'm gonna say that again. Passion without process will destroy you. Oh, but I'm passionate about it. I'm called to do it. I'm anointed to do it. I'm supposed to do it. I'm supposed to do this. This is my life's dream to do this. Great, you got passion, but hold up a minute, because if you don't have the right process, you can be passionate and your passion can be the problem, because you are so into how you feel about it that it numbs you to what your process is doing to you. Can I get into this? I'm excited about this. I'm excited about this. I think this is gonna help somebody. Somebody say amen.
So, you got to begin to understand, number one, I want to tell you what I got out of this message. Number one, don't burn bridges. Because, you know, Moses could have got smart with Jethro, and said, "You know, listen, man, I'm not no shepherd, and I'm not taking care of your sheep no more. The Lord has called me to a higher calling, and I don't have time to be bothered with mediocrity, because I have had a burning bush appear unto me, and see 'ya, wouldn't want to be 'ya". But instead of doing that, Moses comes from a burning bush back to his father-in-law and says I want your blessing, and I want your favor, and I want to know are you cool with this? Because Moses has to understand the value of relationships. You can't be fruitful if you don't value relationships. Fruit is the derivative of relationships.
So, Moses honors the relationship, which is important. So, my message to you is don't burn bridges. You may need that bridge. Just because you got an advance doesn't means you should show off on where you are. Just because you've been released to go to the next dimension doesn't mean that you should get nasty with the people on the dimension you were on before, because you never know. Come on, somebody. You may need them again. Write this down, resources flow through relationships. Resources flow through relationships. Or, relationships are your greatest resource. You can't get anything done without relationships. I would rather have real relationships than to have resources.
Watch this, "Give and it shall be given unto you again. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over," here comes relationships, "Shall men give unto thy bosom". Your resource is gonna come through your relationships. So, people who can't get along with people are shutting down their resources. If resources are gonna come through relationships, and God's gonna cause men to give unto your bosom, if you fall out with men, you fell out with your next gift. That's why the enemy's always warring against your relationships, because he knows that your resources are gonna flow through your relationships. He can't stop God from sending it, but he wants you to fall out with the man God is going to use.
What amazed me most about this is that, and I'm going to go into this, there's a blind spot for people who are passionate. What really got me about this text is that Moses doesn't know that he's overloaded. No bells go off, no whistles blow, nothing, no shrill noise, nothing starts beeping in the car. Like my car, if you don't fasten the seatbelt, it beeps. I get mad at it. Shut up, I talk to the car when nobody's in it but me. "Beep, beep," I say, "Shut up, I know". But there are no warning signs to tell you that you're overloaded. No lights start flashing, nothing starts blinking. So, Moses is so passionate and is so full of fire that he doesn't know that he's overloaded.
Get this Scripture, Second Corinthians chapter 1 verse 8 through 10, Paul says something that is absolutely amazing. You gotta hear this. Second Corinthians chapter 1 verse 8, are you ready for me? He says, "For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure". Yeah, we were pressed out of measure. This was too much. It was above strength. "Insomuch much that we despaired even of life". He said pressure made me hate my life. He said, "But we have the sentence of death in ourselves that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead". He said, "Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver, in whom we trust that he will yet deliver".
You know what Paul is trying to say? I'm wore out. I'm burnt out. I'm sick of people. If it's not this, it's that. If it's not this, it's something else. As soon as I get out of one thing, I'm going into something else. Who am I talking to this morning? You can't fix one problem before you got another problem, and here comes another problem, and you just tired. You feel like a fireman, just putting out fires, just putting out fires, just putting out fires, just putting out fires. Moses doesn't know that he's pressed above measure and beyond strength. He doesn't know that he's working himself to death. His father-in-law, who incidentally is older, previous generation, looking down at the next generation, says that's not good. That's not good. And Jethro is still valuable in the life of Moses.
You need somebody looking over your shoulder, because you can numb out to your limitations. Where are my gifted people? Make some noise. All my gifted people. Gifted people, you can be gifted and exhausted. In fact, the more gifted you are, the more exhausted you're apt to be, because everybody's after your gift. It could be possible that your giftedness is killing you. You wouldn't have this much weight on you if you weren't good. See, we're always preaching to bad people trying to get them to be better, we never talk to good people. Everybody wouldn't call on you if you weren't effective. The very fact that they're all pulling on you is a sign that you're gifted. The very fact that everybody leans on you in that way is a sign that you're gifted. In fact, if you want to know what you're gifted at, look at what people ask you for. The more gifted you are, the more pressure is gonna mount in your life.
Oh, God, where are my gifted people? I got a word for you today. You can be gifted to death. Giftedness without strategy is gonna lead to injury. Giftedness without strategy is gonna lead to injury. That's why we kill gifted people. We love them to death. I understand now why Jesus called Judas friend and called Peter Satan. Because sometimes your greatest cheerleaders will love you to death. We want you to be over here, and we want you to be over there, and we want you to be over there. I need some help with this. I need some help with that. I just need somebody to talk to.
Hey, I know it's late, was you asleep? I'm sorry you're asleep, I just need to talk to you for a minute. Wake up for a minute, I got something I gotta tell you, because you always have such wisdom. I need some wisdom from the Lord. I need you for this over here. I need you to help move my car. I need to help move me, mama is in trouble. I need to come get our sister in jail, stop! I wanna be your Jethro this morning and say stop! This journey is too great for you. You, my brothers and sisters, are a limited resource. You've only been rated to handle so much pressure. Paul says I was pressed above measure. They wanted more than I had. And it is arrogance to make you override limitations. I can handle it, I got this. I got this.
Fellas, how many times have you been trying to impress your girl, and you grab more stuff, and you was picking it up, and you said, "Oh, that ain't nothing. I got this," and and you thought you heard something rip somewhere? Sometimes our need to be validated makes us take more weight than what we are able to handle. Our need to be competitive, to keep up with our friends, makes us take on more weight than what we can handle. Just because you can bench press 400 pounds doesn't mean that I should jump up and bench 400 pounds trying to keep up with you. Paul says when we compare ourselves with one another, in so doing it is not wise. You are not in a race with the person next to you.
Oh, help me. You're not in a race with the other preacher. You're not in a race with the other company. You're not in a race with the other woman. Oh, y'all was good until I got to that. The other preacher and the other company was good, but when I got to the other woman, I smelled rubber burning, tires hit the brakes. You know, the brakes hit, it went down and the tires start burning rubber, because you said, "Wait a minute". Why are you competing against her? Why are preachers hating on other preachers? Why our choir is trying to outdo other choirs?
When you compare yourself with one another, I am never accountable for a gift God didn't give me. Oh, I'm talking to somebody. I'm talking to somebody. Jethro told Moses you're gonna wreck this thing. You're gonna wreck your future. Letting you go, Moses, from Jethro's perspective, is me sowing into your vision, and you're gonna ruin my return. I had to sacrifice to let you go, and you're gonna ruin the return, because when you wreck, I wreck. When you fail, the people fail. This is too much for you. I want to release you from your hero complex. You don't have to be everything to everybody another day, whoo, hallelujah. We're always talking about being delivered from stuff. God delivered me from a world of sin. God delivered me from alcoholism. God delivered me from drugs.
Well, I got a new one. God just delivered you from people. The need to impress. The need to live up to their expectations. The need to outdo anybody. To measure your value by somebody else's performance. No wonder you don't feel good about you. Moses, I gave you the vision, but the people around you are gonna be your provision. You're gonna sow, give, and it's gonna give back to you, but it's going to come back to you through your relationships. Right now, God is sending men to give unto your bosom. Only about 20 people received that. Right now, God is sending men to give unto thy bosom.
Touch your neighbor and say, "Help is on the way". Help is on the way. Help is on the way. Help is on the way. Help is on the way. Help is on the way. Help is on the way. Help is on the way. Help is on the way. The Lord woke you up this morning, brought you to church to say, "Help is on the way". Help is on the way. Help is on the way. You know why that's a little hard to get over in a congregation? Because most people are not open to help. They pray for it, but they're not open to better, because they want better results, they want better results, they want a better harvest, they want a better increase, but they're not willing to open up and share.
See, when I said help is on the way, you should have been shouting, but maybe you weren't shouting because when God does send help you push it away, because help might be coming through somebody that you decided she thinks she's something. She is something, that's why God sent her to help you. Truly gifted people aren't intimidated by other gifted people, and if you get your insecurities out of the way, God would open up the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing you don't have room enough to receive. Are you open to better? I said are you open to better?