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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Bishop T. D. Jakes » TD Jakes - The Struggle To Relevance

TD Jakes - The Struggle To Relevance

TD Jakes - The Struggle To Relevance
TOPICS: Struggles, Relevance

Being a pastor who started in a building in a hole in the wall with no help, no support, no money, was the Minister of Music and the President of the Deacon Board, Jamar and Jermaine were the choir, and Serita, they all sang, and I played the piano. My foot was the drum. And I was happy. I wasn't crying. I was happy to have an opportunity. I struggle today with people who've got buildings, and they've got choirs, and they've got help, and they say, "Bishop, I just can't hardly make it. Nobody's helping me". I say, "Oh, nobody is supposed to help you". You're supposed to, there's something you learn in the fight that makes you able to stand on the blessing. Nobody's supposed to help you.

So, one thing we must be clear about, if you're going to be relevant, you've got to be prepared to struggle, and the struggle is often in a unique way. Samuel's struggle was different from Hannah's, but it was a struggle nonetheless. To break the gravitational pull of his environment was a struggle. An environment that was carnal and mediocre, substandard, self-consumed, and yet God had put greatness in him, but greatness has to break the gravity of its environment. O God, greatness has to break the gravity of its environment. Gravity, the thing that keeps pulling you back into the same sphere all the time. He was in an environment where not only did he not know the Lord, the people around him were indifferent to the Lord, and that was okay. And so he worked...see, wrong looks right when everybody around you is doing what you're doing. It looks pretty good, in that environment it was okay.

How could you serve the Lord and not know the Lord? Well, I was about like the rest of them. I was about like the rest of them. But the call of God comes, and when the call of God comes, the decision must be made, will I break the struggle of what's normal to have what God has called me to? This call is an individual call, and in order to say yes, there's a struggle. Samuel, he hears the call but doesn't understand the call. The call is pulling him, but he responds to it by going to that which is familiar. "I know something is missing out of my life. I don't know exactly what it is. I keep trying to satisfy a spiritual itch with a natural solution".

Yeah, I'm talking to you over there. It's a spiritual call, but I keep going to Eli. The Bible says every time God called Samuel, he turned to Eli and said, "Did you call me"? God was calling him, but he was trying to seek a solution in a place that was less than the call. I'm wondering if you've been looking for all the right things in all the wrong places. I'm wondering if the reason your relationships are not working out is because you are asking the relationship to resolve what God has called you to do, and you can never get a spiritual answer from a natural place. Maybe you should forgive them because they never had what you were looking for anyway. Who am I preaching to this morning? He keeps going to Eli to resolve a spiritual need.

Some of you have gone to everybody else but God to resolve the conflict in your life. You find it easier to wrestle with flesh than to seek God. You keep being disappointed because you are seeking God answers from man places. I'm gonna try it on y'all. You are seeking God answers from man places, and God keeps calling you, but you have a habit of going here for the solution and find it easier to wrestle with Eli than you do to say yes to God. But this morning somebody in this place is gonna say yes to the Lord like you have never said yes before. Yes. Yes. To your will, to your Word, to your way, to your purpose, to your timing, yes. I am tired of going to people who are just as crazy as I am. I am tired of asking people to heal me who are broken themselves. My soul says yes.

So, I want you to understand this morning, number one, that it is always a struggle, and without a struggle, there can be no victory. Without a struggle there can be no victory. Without a struggle there is no sense of appreciation. I can tell just as good when you have fought to get where you are, because when you have fought to get where you are, you don't let anybody take away. When you have earned and paid your dues and suffered and cried and labored and made mistakes and had to get back up again and brushed the dirt off your knees and you finally get something, when that devil comes in to kill, steal, and destroy, you say, "Wait a minute. You're messing with the wrong person this time. I struggled too hard, I struggled too long, I struggled too many years to let you walk in and take away what God has given me".

I want the strugglers to make some noise in here. Touch your neighbor and tell 'em, I struggled to get this. That's why I'm not gonna let you take it from me, I struggled to get this. That's why I'm not gonna let bad times kill me, I struggled to get this. That's why I don't care whether you like me or not, I struggled to get this. That's why you can't roll your eyes at me and run me home, I struggled to get this. That's why I'll serve with my feelings hurt, with my back aching, with my head hung down. Though he slay me, yet shall I trust him. Strugglers make some noise in this place.

There's a struggle to be relevant. Number two, there was a service that was required, a service that was required. You had to be prepared to give service. He gave service. He gave service. He served the Lord. He did the work of the Lord. He took care of the business of the Lord. He served him. In the midst of a struggle, he was still giving service. There are some things you can't get from God without service. A lot of people are waiting on God to touch them so they can serve, but if you serve him, he gonna touch you. The Bible said that the lepers were healed as they went. If you don't go, you won't be healed. If you don't serve, you won't get a revelation.

You gotta serve him for a breakthrough because the anointing will only anoint people who serve. He said, "I give seed to the sword. I give bread to the eater. If you're not moving, I can't bless you. But if you serve me, I'm gonna show you who I am". So, you see, it was in the service that God showed himself. It was in the service that God showed. How many times have you ever had God show himself while you served him? While you're serving him, he's showing himself. I was in Melbourne this week, and I got sick in Melbourne. I don't know why. Weather change, whatever, I don't know what it was, I was sick. And I was coughing profusely, running a bit of a fever, coughing so bad that it looked like I couldn't preach. But I got dressed.

I mean, I was coughing endlessly in the car. I was coughing all through the praise service. When they introduced me, I was coughing going up the steps. But when I grabbed the mike, I preached three times, sister. And every time I grabbed the mike, the coughing stopped. I preached the whole message, and as soon as I finished preaching, I started coughing again. If I would have believed the cough, I wouldn't've said yes to the cough. But I felt like though he slay me...see, I had been on a plane for 18 hours, and I said, "Devil, I didn't come to Australia to be defeated. I've come too far to let you win the fight, so I'm gonna serve the Lord". And as I rose up to serve him, he strengthened me. I dare you to serve him anyway.

My next point is he brings him to a place of surrender. Surrender comes after he has served God, and he's gotten it wrong in the service, and he's gotten it wrong in the service. He's gotten it wrong in the service. Three times he's gotten it wrong, and then he goes down, and he lays in the bed, and he says, "If you call me again, this time. This time, Lord, I'm totally surrendered. Not my will, but thine be done". It is not how I feel about it. It is not whether I want to go or not. It is not whether my conditions are right or not. It's not whether my environment is correct or conducive or not. I am surrendered to do the right thing even if I'm surrounded. So he said, "If you call me again, I'm ready," and the Lord called him again.

What we are saying here, and I want you to see this clearly, is God is trying to do a new thing through Samuel. Samuel is in a transition. He's in a turning point. He is to usher in a new era. He is in the old era, but he is not of the old era. God wants him to be surrendered so that he can usher in a new flow of the Holy Spirit. Are you hearing what I'm saying to you? So, he started him in what he called him to change. You cannot change something that you didn't start in because you cannot redeem what you are not kin to. You cannot win addicts if you haven't been addicted. Everything needs a kinsman redeemer. If you're not kin to it, you can't correct it. You can't correct it because you don't understand it. You have to have come from it in order to speak to it. You had to start out in it and escape from it so that you can call others who were there too.

That's why you are afflicted. You're afflicted so that you can come through it and deliver other people that are in it. And God allowed you to go through it because he's gonna bless you so mightily that if you didn't come from it, you would get arrogant about what he's about to do. But when you look back over your life and see where God brought you from...who am I preaching to this morning? Throw your hands up and say, Lord, I surrender. See, I'm gonna say something. It's gonna cause a panic, but it's gonna be all right. I do not negate the power of the cross. I do not negate it at all. I understand its relevance, its power, its redemptive properties, the efficacious blood that flows from it. It is a place where the transaction occurred and where the procurement of my salvation was ratified on Calvary, I get that.

I understand the powerful dynamics of the cross 'cause hell to be nervous and the ground to tremble. I understand the power of the cross paid the debt for sin going all the way back to Adam's error. I understand the power of the cross. But I really do think that we underestimate the struggle in the Garden. Because if you think about it, whatever happened on the cross was only a result of what happened in the garden. If he didn't surrender in the garden, he wouldn't have succeeded on the cross. We got people who are trying to go into public display who have not had private surrender. Samuel lays in the bed and said, "Okay, I'm surrendered. I'm through struggling. I'm through going back and forth to Eli. I'm through being inconsistent. I'm gonna lay here, surrendered". "All to Jesus. I surrender all to him I freely give. I will ever love and trust him. In his presence, daily live. I surrender all. I surrender all. All to thee, my blessed Savior. I surrender".

Wait, what is it? What is it? What is it that you need to surrender? Sometimes, for me, sometimes it's not always sin. Sometimes it's my plan. Sometimes I have to surrender what I had in mind, how I wanted the story to go. Sometimes, for me, surrender is surrendering control. Sometimes surrendering for me is just laying there and saying, it's not about me. That I trust you with this season in my life, that I surrender my strategy, my opinion, my attitude, my sharp tongue, my quick wit, I just surrender. I'm not even gonna argue about this. There he is, laying on the bed of surrender. I know you didn't know me. I know you've been serving me in a state of confusion. I know you have to labor to come to where you are right now. But here's your mission. You are going to be far more than where you started. I'm gonna take you into a dimension that is absolutely mind boggling. I am going to make your name great, and I'm gonna do it because you surrendered.

Now, I'm gonna give you the mission, and once you get the mission, your third step is simply submission. Submission is to submit to the mission. That means I'm taking my opinion out of it, I'm taking my mouth out of it, I am submitted to the mission. And as he submitted to the mission, as he surrendered his life, as he said yes to his call, as he went through his struggle, when God says, "I'm going to make both ears of them that hear it tingle," simply this. I'm gonna make you relevant. I'm gonna make you effective. I'm gonna put you into a position that what you tried to do on your own, I'm gonna do it for you. Because you refuse to succumb to a place of mediocrity, he says, "I am going to use you in such a mighty and profound way that everybody who hears what I do through you, their ears are going to tingle with the effectiveness that I am going to cause to flow through your life".

Don't worry about it, expect yolks to be broken, expect doors to open, expect somebody to be loosed, because this is a Sunday that you're going to step into supernatural purpose. I mean, there's going to be such a shift in your life. It's gonna be a Samuel shift. When we first saw him, he didn't even know the Lord he was serving. And in a shift he goes from confusion to power, from being in a fog to relevant. I don't know who this is for this morning. All I know is this. I came through the air. I came through the air to be here. Let me show you what that means. It's Sunday morning here, it's Monday night in Australia. It's Monday night, you fly through an International Dateline. So, I flew backwards. That means I caught a flight from your yes, from your tomorrow. I got on a plane flying from your tomorrow to fly back into your today to tell you that if you say yes like you ought to say yes, that I am a voice from your tomorrow to tell you that I got a feeling. I got a feeling. I got a feeling, everything gonna be all right.
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