TD Jakes - Decisions and Consequences
The reason I'm in this text is that when it comes to the story of the lost son, the entirety of this story of the younger son who says, "Father, give me the portion of goods that fall after me," he is distinctly different from the coin or the sheep. The sheep did not ask to be lost. The coin didn't say, "Please drop me". But it is, in fact, the uniqueness of the son's decision. It is his decision that brought about the consequence on himself, on his father, and on his brother. And so my subject, my assignment is to talk to you about decisions and consequences. And the Lord has given us a text that though it is often used metaphorically as if the father were God, that really is subjective.
The truth of the matter is there is neither deity nor demon in the entire text. There is no devil in this entire text. No demonic warfare in this entire text. There's not even a witch. There's neither demon, but there is also no miracle. There's no miracle. There's no parting of the water in this text. There's no water turned to wine in this text. There's no arm being lifted in this text. This text is absent of deities or demons. It is purely decisions and consequences. And I want to talk to you about it, today, because somebody has bewitched you into thinking that you're up under satanic attack; but, most of you are not up under satanic attack. Could it be possible that your story too is absent of demons or deities because sometimes the greatest illusion possible is to blame a devil for what you did to yourself.
No demon comes into this room like the Garden of Eden and seduces this boy out of the house. It was his decision. "Hey, Daddy. Give me the portion of goods that falleth to me". His decision is driven. All decisions are driven by something. Decisions are like vehicles: they do not drive themselves. Our decisions are driven by something. If you find out what's driving your decision, you can stop the destination. This boy... can I talk to you about this this morning? The Lord gave me this; it felt so good I want to share it with you. This boy's decision is driven by impatience. And the Bible takes time to point out that it is the younger son.
And one of the things that's associated with youth is impatience, underestimating how long it takes to get to a destination. You want everything and you want it now. And I want to tell you that sometimes things just take time. That if you allow impatience to push you too fast into say a marriage or a career or a move or a shift, that decisions have consequences. If you allow impatience to push you in the opening of a church or starting a mission or having a baby. He's so fine, I just... What is driving? He gone be gone and you gone still have that baby to raise; and babies don't stay babies...I just like babies. Babies don't stay babies. They're only babies for a few minutes; and then, they rise up and steal the car and cuss you out. Are you ready?
I want some real parents to make some noise. As many times as I have looked at this story, and I've looked at it, I thought I looked at it from everywhere you could look at it until I looked at it; and, I realized that this whole story is about decisions and consequences; that he got something too early that he would have gotten later. And it taught me: Lord, don't give me anything too soon. Don't let my blessings get bigger than me. Don't give me anything that I'm not ready for. You know when to give me this and you know when to give me that and give me the patience to stand the process that it takes so that I grow big enough to support the full weight of glory that eyes have not seen and ears haven't heard. I know you got something prepared for me, but am I prepared for it?
You see, this is a story about a prepared blessing for an unprepared son. And the truth of the matter is, you haven't learned how to take care of a woman, you don't take care of yourself. The truth of the matter is, you're not ready to raise a baby because you're still too irresponsible and inconsistent; and, you haven't found yourself. And the baby's going to want to know, "Who am I, mama"? And mama doesn't know who she is. And when a lost mama doesn't know who she is, she gone have a lost baby who doesn't know who he is. I thought you'd shout me down by now. I thought you'd been through enough that you ought to bear witness to the truth. Most parents do a better job with their later kids than they do their first ones because it takes a little tweaking to figure out how this works. "Give me the portion of goods that falleth unto me. And he divided unto them his living. And he went and spent it all in riotous living".
Why did he do that? Because he wasn't ready for it. Anytime you get something too soon, you waste it. You use it to get other people to believe in you because you haven't outgrown your need for validation. And if you would have waited until you matured a little bit, you wouldn't have used your father's livelihood to attract people who wouldn't stay with you. Touch your neighbor and say, "He's talking about decisions and consequences". And the Bible said, "When he had spent all, when he had spent all". The famine didn't come until he was broke. Famines have a way of waiting until you're down to nothing. "And when he has spent all, a famine arose".
And he who left with everything, began to be in what? He's hungry. He's in trouble. He's wretched. The crowd is gone. The people have left. He's lost everything he had and it looks just like a demonic attack. It looks like somebody has bewitched him. It feels like all hell has broken loose in his life but the reality is... Oh my God! I'm preaching better than you listening. The reality is there's no need in him, as old folks say, bukin' devils and pleading the blood. He's reaping harvest on bad decisions. And you cannot overcome this until you admit this. I did this to myself. I'm hungry because of me. It wasn't the demon, it wasn't the sorcerer, it wasn't the witch, it wasn't Satan. I did this, I walked out, I left them. I left the people who loved me for the people who lust me. Decisions and consequences.
I won't go through the whole thing; but, there in the hog pen, when the Bible said, "He would fain have filled his belly with that which the swine did eat," you hang around something that your lust changed. Yeah, because stuff is contagious. If you hang around it enough, you'll catch it. I love the way the brothers looking at me. I just love the way the brothers looking at me like, yeah, but don't tell. Yeah, man, just don't say too much. It's cool; we gone get through this, okay? My mama used to say, "My children tell me everything". I thought... "My children tell me everything," Please. I'm like the movie, "You can't handle the truth".
And there in the hog pen, there is no voice from heaven, no mighty rushing wind, no cloven tongues of fire. There is no flapping of angels wings. There is neither Michael nor Gabriel coming to his rescue, no apostle stepping to the hog pens, no prophets down through the age sends words, nor messages to address his ill; but, all by himself, he came to himself and said, "Wait a minute, I'm better than this. I'm better than this". He came to himself; and, this is the most liberating moment in the whole story. This is what sets him apart from the coin and the sheep. The coin couldn't come to itself. The sheep couldn't rescue itself; but, the son could come. When you're a son, you can always come closer. When you're a son, you can always... I don't care. You don't need nobody to help you. You can be in the belly of a fish by yourself, but if you come...
Slap somebody and tell them "I came to myself. I'm better than this". I want 30 seconds of redemptive, Holy Ghost supernatural, wake up praise! You can either blame people the rest of your life or you can take control of your situation and come to yourself and recognize this. Hear this good. If bad decisions got you in... good decisions... Yeah, it's the power of decisions. I don't know who this is for; but, it is so strong in my belly. It's so strong in my spirit that I know I'm giving birth. I know I'm giving life. Somebody touched me and the virtue just went out. I feel the virtue. I feel the virtue going into somebody. I feel the virtue. Somebody just came to themself. I got one more group I'm gone mess with and then I'm going home.
I want to switch and talk about the elder brother because he's interesting. He starts out in the story as a star because while the younger brother said, give me the portion of goods that followed to me, the elder brother didn't say nothing. While the younger brother was on his way back home, the elder brother didn't say nothing. It was only when he heard the party. Watch this. In this season of his life, look at how long in his life we wait to hear him speak. His silence makes me want to talk about him just a minute because he has no dialogue in the entire story until the end. The ninth hour of this text, when he opens his mouth and clears his throat to speak, what comes out of him is utter, total and complete frustration. "I've been with you all of these years. I served and I worked like a dog. I milked cows and gathered eggs and caught sheep and bailed hay. You expect me to go in and celebrate that scallywag of a child you've over-indulged all of his life. You always liked him better than me. Look what you gave him; and, you never gave me nothing".
And then the father reveals what is wrong with his oldest son. While his younger son made bad decisions, his eldest son made none. These are the people who are passive in their own life. You never went too far from home. You never took a chance or a risk. You've been dutifully committed to nothing. You had options, but you didn't take them. You had opportunities; but, you have an aversion to risk. You are where you are, not because of bad decisions. You, my dear sister, you make no decisions at all. Whatever happens, happens. If God meant for you to have it, he would give it to you. You don't make no waves; but, beneath that apathetical, indifferent, calm, composed personality, you are angry and frustrated because time is running out and you have never had your party. And secretly, you blame the father for never giving it to you. You are the sister who gossips about everybody. You are the brother who passes on all kind of information because you are a hater.
Stay here. Stay with me. I'm not trying to hurt you. I'm trying to help you. I want to show you why you are a hater. I want to show you why you can't rejoice with nobody. I want to show you why you are secretly jealous of other people. I want to show you why you have bitterness in your heart. Every time somebody else gets married, every time somebody else gets a promotion, every time God raises up somebody, you are quick to tell them who they've been laying with, what they did stupid, and how they were wrong. I want to tell you what's wrong with you. You could have had anything I got. You sat back and did nothing. And that's when I saw it, Serita.
There's one word in that text, in that Prodigal Son text that nobody preaches. "A certain man had two sons and the younger of them said unto him, 'give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.' And he divided unto," here it is, "them". That's the one word that nobody talks about. He divided unto... Don't blame me because you didn't use what I gave you. Everything you ever needed to get up was right at your disposal. If you're bitter, you brought it on yourself. The decision not to make a decision is still a decision. I exposed you to everything. I gave you a chance at everything. "The earth is the Lord, the fullness thereof".
You are stuck because you chose to be stuck; and, you'll never get well as long as you blame your brother and you'll never get well as long as you blame your sister. Because every morning you sucked air in your lungs, you started out at the same spot and I gave you a chance every day of your life to be somebody and you chose the road you took. Even if it was no choice at all, that is still a decision. You decided not to decide. You decided to be betwixt and between two opinions. You decided to be confused. You decided to be stuck. You decided to just wait on somebody to do something that you could do for yourself. And you are not a lost coin, so I don't have to pick you up. And you are not a lost sheep, so I don't have to find you. Your deliverance is up to you.