TD Jakes - Faithful Wounds - Part 2
Stability, to be, "Steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord". So I want you to write down "Retention," and I want you to write down "Reciprocity," because both of them are intrinsically in the text. He said, "Abide in me, and I in you". The, "And I in you," talks about reciprocity, okay? If you stick with me, I'll stick with you. "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, and ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him". He says, "I'm gonna mirror your behavior; if you stick with me, I'll stick with you". If you draw nigh to me, Asa said, "If you draw nigh to me, I'll draw nigh to you". If you withdraw from me, I'll withdraw from you. He said, "I'm watching your behavior. You want me to be consistent while you be unstable, you want me to be faithful while you're unfaithful".
Almost everybody in the room has been in a relationship with somebody who wanted you to be faithful. Uh-huh, yeah-yeah-yeah, I know you can't nod, wiggle your toe. So if God is talking to his disciples about retention and reciprocity, then those are things that we need to really look at very closely. It's not how many people come to church, it's how many people stay; it's not how many people get married, it's how many people stay. You can't be faithful and leave. Retention means you've got to have stability, to have retention is what you are able to retain or hold on to. If I can't retain memory, it means I heard it, but I can't retain it. If I read and forget what I read, that's a problem with my ability to retain information.
There are a lot of people that don't like to read because they don't retain what they read. And you have to work at retaining, if you're going to go to school or you're gonna do anything like that, you can only use the information that sticks. Keep me right on retention, don't go anywhere. Now, the same way it is in school, it's the way it is in life when it comes to the word of God. The Bible said, "The engrafted word," of God, "Is able to save your soul". Go back to retention. "The engrafted word," of God, "Is able to save your soul". So it's not the word that I preach, it's the word that stuck. When the enemy is after you and he's fighting you, you can't use the word that didn't stick. "The engrafted word," of God.
Engrafted... what does that mean? If you take a skin graft, and you take it from one place and you put it someplace else, that means it has to become one in the new place. When you hear the Word of God and it sticks to you, the Bible said the word that sticks is the word that saves. Everybody in the room heard what I said, but not everybody let it stick. Whatever you gotta do to make it stick, if you gotta write it down, if you gotta take notes, if you gotta repeat it, if you gotta go back and teach it, whatever your mechanism of learning and recording is, you've got to do that. For me, when I write something, I remember it much better than if I don't write it. I don't know why, but the way my brain works, once I write it, I almost don't have to read it again because it sticks in my head.
You need to figure out how to retain it, because retaining it is the only word that saves your soul. That means when the Bishop leaves and "The Potter's House" is closed and you go back to fight your devil, because everybody in here got a devil; when you go back to fight your devil, the only weapons that you can use is that that stuck. Growing Christians are only growing Christians not because they got taller but because more is sticking, that's how you know you're growing in the faith. Not because you got a dance and you know how to get your dance in; not because you made friends in the church, that don't mean nothing at all; not because you married some cute boy on the other side of the church, that don't mean nothing at all, the only way to measure growth is through retention. "The engrafted Word," of God, "Is able to save your soul".
What is the soul? The emotions, the memory, the mind, the attitude, the Word of God that sticks to you, the Word of God that comes up when you're in trouble, the Word of God that makes you shut your mouth in a conversation, the Word of God that changes your behavior, the Word of God that makes you forgive somebody that you had ought against, the Word of God that changes your personality, the Word of God that gives you temperament, the Word of God that produces the fruit of the Spirit, that is your Word of God. If I take skin from my leg and I put it on my hand, it does not belong to my hand until it is engrafted. Once it is engrafted, it means the cells from the old skin have now grafted with the cells from the other skin, and now it becomes mine.
When the Word of God gets close enough, in order for it to graft you have to be exposed to it. That's why Bible class is the most important place for you to be, because when you get in the Bible class you get an understanding. What is understanding, Bishop? Understanding is the truth you stand under. He didn't say don't be scared, he said, "Abide in me". He said, I "want you to stay regardless to how you feel". This is going to be hard to teach. Your feelings are not God's barometer of your growth. I'm gonna say it again. Your feelings are not the metrics that God uses to measure your development. Your feelings go all, listen, my feelings go all over the place.
Somebody asked me the other day how did I feel, I said, "I'm happy and I'm sad and I'm mad and I'm glad and I'm worried and I'm excited, and I'm believing God that everything's gonna be alright, but I'm nervous". In other words, I'm schizo; yeah, I'm bipolar. It just depends on which moment you ask me which emotion is coming up, because emotions are coming up of all types. You can believe and doubt at the same time. Oh, talk to me, let the real people talk to me. Let me throw some Bible at you. The man said, "Lord, I believe, but help my unbelief". I got both things going on at the same time, I got the victory and I need the victory, I'm an overcomer and yet I'm drowning, I'm walking on water and then I'm sinking, I'm schizo. I got faith enough to leap outside of the boat, and then I hit another spot and I'm... "Save me".
So what you experience about me may shake from moment to moment. And God said, in the middle of your shaking, "I'm not grading you on how you feel". I didn't ask you to feel like praising God, I said, "Let every thing that has breath praise ye the Lord". "I don't feel like praising him, I'm tired". I didn't ask you about that. "I don't feel like praising him, I'm in a bad mood". I didn't ask you about that. Are you breathing? Praise the Lord. See, some of you can't receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, not because God will not fill you, but you are such a control freak you have to understand everything before you can speak. You cannot bypass your intellect and allow your spirit to speak up out of you because you worship your mind so much that you must control your lips. Well, whoever controls your lips is your Lord. Can you prove it? Yeah, the Bible said whoever controls the mouth controls the whole horse. When God puts a bit in the horse's mouth, he can turn him in any direction, not because he controls his legs, but because he controls his mouth.
So, "When the day of Pentecost was fully come," and, "They were in one place with one accord". God said, "In order to direct you, 'I'm gonna give you a language,' means, 'I put a bit in your mouth.'" Everybody got the Holy Ghost, say, "I got a bit in my mouth". Oh, I can't tell you how many times I wanted to cuss somebody out but I had a bit in my mouth. In my head, I was cussing so good I could rhyme, and in my mouth I said, "Well, praise the Lord". And then went home mad because I didn't get to say what I really wanted to say and I felt like calling them back. Because I said, "They think I'm a chump, Lord, I wanna let them know, 'You can't out-talk me, you take this bit out of my mouth I got, I can make it rhyme up in here. Yes, I can spit rhyme, baby, I can, I can flow, I can let you have it.'" But controlling the mouth is one of the signs of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in your life, and in order to do that, you have to stop worshiping how you feel and what you think, and allow the Spirit to have great access to you.
That's how God put a bit in your mouth. I wish we'd go back to the old church sometime, and get around the altar and tarry. It's not the waiting part, it's the surrendering part, we have lost our ability to surrender to the invisible. That's why it's so hard to get you to praise the Lord. We never had people that could sing that good in our church, the people in our church couldn't sing like them people can sing, people who sing like that was on the albums and stuff. The people could sing in our church, they'd be raspy, "I tell you that the lord gon' do it, yes he is, yes he is". But the power fell and the glory moved, and the yolks were broken, and drunks got sober, and people got set free, because it is, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord".
Some of you are emotionally depleted, financially depleted because you are overinvested beyond your ability. Overinvested, it may be money, it may be time, it may be talent, it may be energy. If you wanna be fruitful, it's gotta be concentrated. That's why I pruned you, so that the minerals would be focused; that's why I cut back your extra branches, so you wouldn't be over extended; that's why I allow people to walk out of your life, so that you would be more concentrated. And if you become more concentrated, you're going to become more fruitful. What I want to give to you requires a certain amount of discretion. I'm not talking about discretion, like secrecy, I'm talking about discretion, like what are you willing to cut off in order to have much fruit?
Somebody say, "Much fruit". You can't have much fruit doing everything. So that means you have to have the courage to say no. My wife says, "I just can't be everybody's friend, I can't be on the phone all day, I can't answer every text, I can't respond to every phone call". She got two phones, don't answer neither one of them. I said, "Serita, why do you have two phones? You ain't never got neither one of them with you". "I don't have no pockets".
That ain't the problem. It's not that she don't have more pockets, she doesn't prefer to make masses a priority at the expenses of losing that what she cares the most about. And knowing that you only have a certain amount of strength, she doesn't sign up for stuff that she's not able to deliver on. And I learned something from her, hope you ain't watching, because sometimes my heart will make me say yes to the point that I am overextended, and then I find I'm taking care of everybody but me and I wonder why I am not fruitful. It's because I need to prune the branches that are not producing in my life.
What are you faithful to that isn't working? Let's cut that first. When Elijah and Elisha were going together, and Elisha says, "I want a double portion of your spirit," he said, "Oh, no, I can't invest that until you prove that you're faithful. If you're still here when I get to the Jordan, I will give you a double portion of my spirit, but I'm not gonna give a double portion to somebody who won't abide". Stop giving your double portions to visitors, All those people who came for a reason and came for a season, stop giving a double portion of what you have to people who have not stayed long enough to deserve the level of investment. This is what I do now: when you draw back, I draw back. I'm not being mean, I can't control your behavior but I can limit my expectation.
I found out what was making me bitter is that I was overinvested in people who were limitedly invested in me. I'm gonna help somebody today, it may be only one person in this room. See, I'm quick with it, I will jump in and throw everything at you until I notice you ain't throwing nothing back, and then I'm hurt, and then I'm angry, and then I'm upset. And then I got smart and said, "You shouldn't be angry at them, you should be angry at you, you are the one who has overextended," because what you're teaching me is your capacity. So why would I pour a gallon of water into a cup, and then get angry at the cup? You saw I was a cup when you started pouring. So you can only pour according to my capacity. Come on, come on, come on, come on, come on, come on, come on, come on.
Elijah said, "What I got is too precious to give you on the first day, I can't give it to you just because you want it. When you have been through enough stuff with me, then I can trust you with what I have because what I have is too precious". Stop telling people they broke your heart, you broke your own heart, you knew they was a cup. Now you're mopping up all this stuff up off the floor because you thought you was gonna make them a gallon. You cannot turn a cup person into a gallon capacity. So you feed them on the level of their ability to retain. Who am I talking to tonight?
Listen to what Paul tells Timothy. He tells Timothy, he's getting ready to die and he wants to give Timothy wisdom, he says, "Commit the work of the gospel," not to just anybody, but, "into the hands of faithful men, that they might teach others also". There are some things you don't get if you don't abide. He said don't even commit the work into the hands of somebody who doesn't have the work ethic, because you are setting yourself up for failure. "Commit the work of the gospel into the hands of faithful men, that they might teach others also". I was in South Africa, and they were telling me about the lions. When the head of the pride, the herd, gets old, the lions start challenging him for the lioness.
Now, when they get where they can kill the old lion, the strongest lions fight. They're fighting for the right to reproduce with the lioness, it's nature's way of making sure that the breed is strong, because God doesn't want to reproduce weakness. Oh, y'all don't wanna talk to me tonight. God doesn't wanna reproduce weakness, so through the fighting they kill off the weakness; and the prize is the lioness, so that the cubs will have the DNA of champions. So when God says, "You are the sons of God," that means you have the DNA of champions in you. So when Jesus went to the cross and fought off the devil for you, it was so that the devil couldn't reproduce weakness in you, he could only reproduce strength in you. And the Bible said, "Beloved, now are ye the sons of God, it does not yet appear what we shall be," but the better vision we get of him, then, as we see him, so shall we be also. How much of this word is sticking? So if I see him, I become what I see.
So when Peter stepped off the boat and started walking on the water, he was able to walk because he was looking at a water walker. The only problem that happened is when he took his eyes off the water walker and started looking at the storm. You sink in what you look up to. The anointing you respect is the anointing you receive. Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. Reciprocity. It really wasn't that Peter could walk on the water, but he was looking at somebody who could walk on the water, and any time you're looking at somebody who's walking in victory, walking in success, and walking in power, and walking in thunder, and walking in authority, I don't care, you could have been crippled before, but if you see somebody else standing up long enough, as long as you're looking at them, you start walking like them.
So, Elisha, if you still are looking when I get to the Jordan, you will have a double portion of what you respect. Are you hearing what I'm saying? So, Elijah did 8 miracles, Elisha did 15, but because God watches the offering plate, God said, "No-no-no, 15 ain't good enough". So when they threw Elijah's bones into a hole and they took a dead Syrian and threw him on top of Elijah's bones, God said, "I owe you one more miracle or it won't be a double portion". Do you hear what I'm saying? "And I'm not a man, that I should lie; or the son of man, that I should repent". I said, "Give, and it shall be given unto you again; good measure, pressed down, shaken together". Throw that man on him, and the man woke up. The man had to wake up because Elijah still had power in his bones. Somebody in this room, you got power in your bones. They threw you in a hole, they thought you'd never get up, they thought you would never be nothing, but you still got power in your bones. If you got power in your bones, make some noise, Yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah.