TD Jakes - Stewards of a Chance
But often when you ask God for objects, he answers with chance. And then, as God oft answers with the chance, you, at your own discretion, have the opportunity how you respond to that chance. The kingdom, Jesus is teaching us here, is about the transference of chance. Yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah, the transference of chance, for God to allow me to have a chance is absolutely amazing. It is amazing because most people only give chances to certain people, but in our text, God has so switched things around that the least likely have an opportunity to do the almighty. The good news is, is that God says the kingdom is likened unto a man who called his servants, his slaves, together and gave them bags of gold.
Wait a minute, that's kind of weird, because you don't entrust wealth into slaves. That doesn't make sense, that wouldn't be the first thing you do, if you're running AT&T, is say, "I'm gonna turn the company over to the people who are in the basement somewhere, and I'm gonna bring you up to the penthouse suite and let you run the organization". Not to belittle them, my father was a janitor, so don't get an attitude. But I want you to understand that there is nothing in the background of the slave that prepares them to execute on the level of decisions that are necessary to manage what has been allocated unto them. So it is a blessing, but it is also a burden; it is powerful but painful, it is stimulating but scary; that these three men would be selected is a compliment, but the compliment creates a chaos.
Whenever God compliments you with a chance, expect a certain feeling of chaos to go along with the chance. That's how you know it's God; if it makes sense, it's not God. Whenever God does a thing, it doesn't make any sense, it yanks you out of the parameters of what you have allocated as your normatives and puts you in a place where you are dependent upon him in a way that you wouldn't be dependent upon him. Because God is not just going to give you that what you are prepared of, but often what you are scared of. If God doesn't give you things that you are scared of, then faith has lost his job.
Faith is in the unemployment line because I don't need faith to do what I already know how to do. I don't need faith to be a slave, I've been a slave when the story started; I don't need faith to be a slave, I need faith when you take me out of my comfort zone and away from that which is familiar to me, and put me in a position for which there is nothing on my resume that brings me into alignment with what you're about to do in my life. I don't know whether you know it yet, but I'm prophesying to somebody already. I know I didn't say, "Yea, I say unto thee," but I'm already speaking a word unto you about what God has been setting you up for. Hallelujah to God. He's been getting you ready to shift you into a realm that you won't feel prepared for. Look at somebody and say, "I got a chance".
Any time people lose that feeling that they have a chance, they become unmanageable, they become difficult, they become erratic, they become critical. Dr. King said that, "Rioting is the language of the unheard". Any time people feel like they have no chance, they get radical, they go over the edge, they get insane. That's why the enemy is after your feeling of hope, because if you have no hope, faith has nothing to do. For faith is the substance of the thing that you hope for, and the evidence of the thing you don't see. But if you're not hoping for anything, if he can kill your hope, if he can convince you to stay in your place, if he can get you to shut your mouth, if he can get you to give up on your dream, if he can get you to get so discouraged that you terminate everything that God has in front of you, then faith doesn't have a job, because you have no hope.
That's why all the voices are talking in your head, that's why every time you get in the parking lot, there are the voices telling you, "You're an impostor," and, "You're a fake," and, "You're a fraud," and, "You don't have no business in this role," and, "You'll never be a good mother," and, "You'll never be a good wife," and, "You'll never be a good husband". The devil is only lying to you, so whatever it is he's been telling you, you're the opposite of that. If he's been telling you, "You're stupid," you're smart; if he's been telling you, "You're broke," you're rich; if he's been telling you, "You're ugly," you're fine; if he's been telling you, "You can't make it," you're stronger than an ox. He's a liar, so whatever he says, I want you to believe the opposite, so your faith can get its job back.
So we're gonna testify to two or three people, tell them, "I got a chance, I got a chance, I got a chance". I'm 60, but I got a chance; I'm 40, but I got a chance. I got a chance of going back to school, I got a chance of going back into business, I got a chance about getting my house, I got a chance about getting out of debt, I got a chance out of building my family, I got a chance for my children to grow, I got a chance to be a good wife, I got a chance to be a good husband, I got a chance to save my marriage, I got a chance to overcome this cancer, I got a chance to defeat this lump in my breast. I got a chance, I got a chance, I got a chance, I got a chance. Hell hates when you start talking like that, demons hate when you start talking like that, Satan gets nervous when you start talking like that.
Marianne Williamson wrote a poem that stood out in my mind and I wanted to use it today to underscore what is happening here. She says, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure". That's what we're scared of. "It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, [who am I to be] gorgeous, [who am I to be] talented, [who am I to be] fabulous?'" We talk ourselves down.
So Marianne goes on to say, "Actually, who are you not to be"? She says, "You are a child of God. Your playing small," "Your playing small does not serve the world". "Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won't feel unsure around you". Stop being a martyr for other people's comfort. "We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone of us. As we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated," watch this, "As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others".
I can see why Nelson Mandela quoted her in his address in South Africa, because it is the inner fear that stops us from snatching the chance. The householder gave them the gold, but they had to receive it; if you don't receive it, then the story stops with an offer. I can offer you anything, I can offer you my house, I can offer you my car, I can offer you my clothes, I can offer you anything, but if you don't receive it.
Now, it takes a lot of faith for a slave to receive the master's wealth, because he has not seen himself in that light. So, the image you have of yourself, I've been reading these books about how eyesight and image affects memory, and if you don't have a good image of yourself, it's gonna affect how you remember yourself. So if there's nobody outside telling you, "Stay in your place," then there's a voice on the inside telling you to stay in your place, because there is an association between eyesight and memory. We learn better when we can see it. So, can you see yourself with what God is trying to give you?
What confuses me about the text is that, after he gave it to them, he left. Come on here, that's exactly where I'm going. God will give you something and not tell you what to do with it; God will give you a baby and not tell you how to take care of it. Y'all don't hear what I'm saying. God will give you a marriage and not tell you how it works, God will give you a church and not tell you how to run it. God is famous for putting you in situations and then not giving you information. It's not like he told them what to do with it, it's not like he said, "I want you to multiply what I gave you," it's not like he told them where the bank was and where to make the investment and how to do it, 'cause he stopped talking to them like servants the moment they became stewards. Because, see, servants just follow commands, but stewards have to think.
And God said, for where he's getting ready to take you, you can't just follow commands and wait on doors to open, you gonna have to think and find creative ways to make the next move happen. Your next move is in between your ears; when your head shifts, your life is going to shift. Oh God, do you hear what I'm saying? Can I go deeper? Who am I talking to? I'm talking to somebody. The battle is after your mind, and that's why all hell is breaking loose against your mind and your emotions, because the enemy wants you so upset, so confused, so disturbed, so upset that you can't think, because the breakthrough has to happen in your head before it happens anywhere else. Nobody told them to make more, nobody told them to make it more. Nobody told the little boy to give his lunch, nobody told the one leper to turn around and go back, and yet, Jesus asked him, "Where are the nine"? If you're gonna ask, "Where are the nine"? it seems like you should have told them, "I expect you to come back".
So the kingdom operates like this: it requires discernment, not commandment. You better, "As soon as the Lord speaks, I'm gonna do it, as soon as the Lord, if it be the Lord's will," and, "Whatever you say Lord, that's what I'm gonna do". But what do you do when God doesn't say anything, and yet he has an expectation? That means he expects you to think, because you are stewards of a chance, so you can no longer think like a slave. You were rewarded for being obedient, but now you've gotta be creative. Oh-oh, come on, come on, somebody, somebody get this 'cause this is gold. You were rewarded for being obedient, slaves are rewarded for being obedient; but now you've got to be creative, and that's scary because I'm creative without instruction. That means I gotta stop spending hours scrolling through my phone, looking at everybody's stories, 'cause I need time to think.
Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. The only reason I'm preaching this tonight is 'cause you got a chance. I know that somebody in this room's got a chance. I've been praying for the last three days, I didn't know who was gonna be here, but I said, "God, send who you want to be in this room," and I know I've got a word for you right now. You got a chance. I don't for what the doctor said, the accountant said, the CEO said, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, the Holy Ghost said that God is gonna give you a chance to turn the whole thing around. He's gonna put it within your reach and within your power to bring about a massive change. Who am I preaching to? When the story of the prodigal son is being preached and you read the prodigal son, the younger of the sons came to the father and said, "Give me the portion of goods that falleth to me," alright?
Next verse, "He divided onto them," them, not him, "them his living". One boy took his living and ran away from home, and the other one took the same amount of money and stewarded it; one spoiled it, one stewarded it. What I want you to see is, both of them got it. Everybody's gonna get a chance tonight, but everybody's not gonna manage the chance that they get. Somebody's gonna take the chance and it's gonna make you run out in the street, the other one's gonna take the chance and turn it into something. He gave one five, he gave the next one two, he gave him one. That right there would have killed us, because we would have spent the whole rest of the text arguing about, "What's wrong with me, that you gave him more than you gave me"? and, "That don't make no sense, I've been serving just as long as he had," and, "Why did you give him five bags of gold and you only gave me two?" and, "You gave me two," and, "I'm the only one over here got one," and, "Let me see what you got, let me look at what you got".
Comparing yourself with somebody else is not wise, God gave you what you could handle. The Bible said he gave it unto them according to their ability, and God doesn't wanna give you stuff that's too high for you. Stop asking for stuff just 'cause you see somebody else with it. You don't know what they had to pay for what they have, you don't know what they have to go through for what they have. You only want what God wants you to have, be it five, two, or one. I can be just as successful with two as you are with five. Because the Bible says he took the five and turned it into 10, he took the two and turned it into four. Now he's got 10 and the other guy got four, but both of them got 100-fold return. A 100-fold return is based on what you started with. So the five was a good investment, the two was a good investment, but this third steward of a chance, this third steward of a chance.
Somebody say, "I'm a steward of a chance". Say it again. See, that's such an empowering thing 'cause first of all, you're saying to your soul, "I got a chance". Second of all, you're saying, "I'm a steward," which means, "I'm in charge," that means, "I'm in charge of my chance," that means, "It's up to me". That means, "It's up to me, so I can stop blaming the devil". I can stop blaming the devil, because most of the things you call the devil is you sabotaging. Wait y'all, there is no devil in this text. There is no devil in this text, not in the Greek, not in the Hebrew, not in the Swahili. I don't care what language you look it up in, there is no devil in the text. The only devil was in-a-me, the fear. The one man that ends up cast into outer darkness says, "I did it because I was scared".
I knew how you were, I knew how you reap where you don't sow, I know how you're a hard man. You know what he's doing? He's thinking like a slave in a steward's position. And what I want you to see is that this next shift requires a change in mindset. Write this down: your mindset will control your assets. So the one man says to the master when he came back, and when the master came back, I thought, "Wow, man, you're calling them in on the carpet because you wanna know what did they do with what you gave them and you didn't tell them what to do with it". And God says, "I'm not gonna tell you everything. I'm gonna give you a chance. I'm gonna give you a chance, that's all I'm gonna give you". God's gonna give me a chance. He said, "I passed by this tree for three years and I've seen no fruit. 'Why cumbereth in the ground?'"
You've been stuck in the same spot for three years, I'm thinking about taking you out. And then God says, "Leave it alone, I'm gonna let you dig around it and dung around it for one more year". I don't know who this is for, but you got a year to turn this thing around, this is your year. Let me tell them, I don't think they get it. This is your year to completely turn this thing around. This is your year to turn the trajectory of your family around. This is your year for your daughter to see how strong a woman really is. This is a year for you to stand up and be the kind of man that your son wants to imitate. This is your year to break every curse and every bondage that makes you wanna hide your gifts, your talents, your creativity, your resources.
Come out, come out, wherever you are. Come out, come out wherever you are. You've been in hiding, you've been in hiding, you've got reason to be afraid, you've been through situations that made you afraid, but God said, "In order to receive this increase, you've got come out of hiding". Come out, wherever you are. Tell your neighbor, say, "I'm coming out". The reason I want you to tell your neighbor is that you gotta prepare the people around you for you to come out, because they have become conditioned to you hiding your resources, your talent, and your creativity, and they've gotten used to seeing you in one dimension, and you need to warn them, "I'm coming out".