TD Jakes - World Full of Walls
And the hardest place to learn is to learn while people are looking. Because if you make any mistakes, you have armed them with weapons to throw at you. And how can you not make any mistakes because you have never done this before. By the way it is possible to be good at that and not be good at this. Some of you are in transitions in your life right now where you were accomplished on the level you were at, but now you're stepping into a new level and now you're trying to lead and learn at the same time. You're trying to comfort and be comforted at the same time. You're trying to study and teach at the same time. You're trying to give directions and trying to hear directions at the same time. And anytime you make a misstep or a mistake, they are quick to draw attention to the mistake and they never say anything about the things you did right.
They reserve their comments for the things you did wrong, and all of a sudden you don't know your friends from your enemies because they're all just looking at you. If I'm talking to the right people, make some noise for me. Let me know that I'm talking to the right people at the right place. Joshua didn't understand what was going on in his life. How do I measure up to Moses? Sea splitting Moses. Well-calling Moses. Manna praying Moses. How do I compete with Moses? Tabernacle building Moses. Moses who saw the glory of God in the cleft of the rock. There's nothing worse than coming behind somebody who was mighty, and fervent, and revered, and respected, and had already gone through the early phases of being rejected, and now you gotta come in and try to fill those shoes.
Have you ever been a little kid and got loose in your mama's closet or your daddy's closet, and you were wearing their shoes and you were clomping around in those shoes because they were too big for your feet? God will put you in places that are too big for your feet and let you grow into it while they criticize you. Such is the status of Joshua, because as Joshua assumes this position, you remember that part of the text where Joshua runs up on the angel and pulls out his sword? It's because he's always been a fighter, but there's a difference between being a fighter and a leader. And in order to lead he has to learn how to use new weapons. See some of you are in a new place, but you're still using old weapons. Oh, I'm talking to somebody, I don't know who it is.
Let me show you something. You can take somebody out of the hood, and put them in college, and put them in corporate, but if you make them mad, all of those MBAs go out of the window. All of those degrees go out of the window and they will get whiplash, and I will set it off up in here. I know y'all gotta act like you don't know what I'm talking about, because you still got some set it off in you. You can take somebody out of the street and put them in the church and if you get them in traffic, and you cut them off at the wrong time, they will manifest stuff that they said was under the blood but it wasn't under the blood. It was under the rug, and if they need, they will snatch it out.
And some of you brag on the fact that you have duality. Joshua pulls his sword on an angel, because all of his life, all my life, I had to fight. But there's a difference between being a leader and a fighter. And the weapons that he needs now puts him in a challenging situation, because God does not need Joshua's sword to fight this battle. He needs his leadership. And Joshua is learning how to lead while he is leading. And he is learning how to lead people who didn't pick him. You haven't been a leader to your leading people who didn't pick you, and there's people back in the back said, see she don't know what she doing. I told you she didn't know what she doing. They should have got Paul to do it.
Why in the world have they got her up there? Look at, look at that. Look at him over there. He does not know what he's doing. That's why you needed to be at The Leadership Conference, just to get a break, just to get a breather, just to come up for air, just a whoosah, just for a minute, because it's hard to lead and remain professional, and remain articulate, and intelligent, and know that you are under attack, not by what's in front of you, but by the troops behind you. Is there anybody in here that's been attacked by the people you were trying to help? While you were fighting against the people in front of you, you had to hold off the people behind you, and you are going through midlife crisis. That's what I call midlife crisis, when you're stuck between the enemies, the enemy you thought was an enemy, and the enemy that is a frenemy.
That is the case. And they have survived the desert and the Amalekites. They have survived the deserts and its perils, and the cockatrice, and the serpents, and the times of turbulence, influctuating weathers of freezing cold at night and scorching heat during the day. They survived all of that. And now they have come to a place that he has visited, but not taken. He has visited Jericho. He has been part of the spies up under Moses's regime and leadership that visited across the wall. But it's one thing to visit a place, and it's another thing to take it. See you are having a completely different experience from my staff. See it was hard for you to get here by 9, but they were here at 5. And they didn't leave until 3. It is different when you visit something and when you create something. Joshua has visited the Promised Land. He has visited Canaan. He has visited Jericho. He has been a spy in the city, but it was just for a short duration.
Now, hear this. I wanna talk to visionaries. You will always have a glimpse of it before you get to it. It's almost like God works for GMC, or Fox, or MGM or somebody, because he gives you previews of coming attractions. No details. I call them glimpses. And you can't explain how you're gonna get there, and you're not even sure if you're gonna get there, and you're not sure what to do if you get there, but you've caught a glimpse of something in front of you that is stronger than what is behind you. And that's what gets you out of the bed every morning is because you have a foretaste of a abstract, indescript, nebulous, untouchable, intangible thing called vision, that it begins to drive you crazy, because the more you catch the vision, the more you wanna know when, the more you wanna know how, the more you wanna get, see people who are not hungry in a room like this have no vision.
Because if you have no vision, I don't have anything to feed you with. But if you have a vision and you're tormented because you want to know the building blocks, how to get you from point A to point B, then you are really listening. You're not distracted. You're not trying to figure out where you're going to lunch when this is over. The people who are doing that, I don't have anything to feed because they don't have any mouth. The people who have their mouth open are the birds that are about to take flight, and they've been in the nest long enough, and they're about to exude into a new dimension, and they got wings that they don't know how to flap, and they've never been this airborne and they've never been this high before, and now all of a sudden they find themselves in a situation where if they don't flap they're gonna fall, and if they don't flap they're gonna die, and if they don't flap they're gonna go under, and they are listening at every word that is coming out of my mouth because they're trying to understand.
I visited, I've seen, I've glimpsed, I've got a foretaste, I've got a preview, but I really don't have details of how to get there, and I'm not sure I'm armed for this level of leadership, because I am so used to fighting behind the scenes, that I'm not used to fighting with the spotlight on me. Now I gotta raise my children while you watch, and you watch and talk about my children while your children are doing twice as much as my children, but your children don't get reported on and your children don't get talked about. And now you get to watch my marriage. Look like she don't like him. Sister Jakes didn't smile at him when he came in. She didn't kiss him this time.
Years ago, I remember when there was. Something must be going on in the marriage. And people are watching my marriage but they're not watching your marriage, because you and Bill fought all the way from the hotel to the check-in counter, and then you came in and said good morning, welcome to you, but because the spotlight's not on you. But I came to tell you get ready. The light's about to hit you in a place it has never hit you before. And it's gonna shut your mouth from talking about other people because now they're gonna be having you for dinner.
The year was 1987. I was four years old. From the time I was four to the time I was 30, there was a wall that had become a foregone conclusion. It had been there that long. A restriction meant to encircle and isolate East Berlin from Western Berlin and the rest of the Western world. The official purpose of this Berlin wall was to keep so-called Western fascists from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state. But it primarily served the objective of stemming mass defections from east to west. When President Reagan came over there, he made a speech and only one line in that speech continues to live today, and it was in the middle passage of his speech when he said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall".
Reagan called for the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, to open the Berlin Wall, which was encircling West Berlin since 1961. Often walls were built to protect a way of life, or to avoid tragedy or the possibility of intermingling with other society's ideas or danger. But he said this wall has got to come down. After multiple trips from various leaders, there's nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come. President Reagan makes a statement, delivers a speech which resulted in the impervious, impenetrable wall of separation to collapse, to come down into a heap of concrete and wire, to end up in a massive rubble, a heap torn down.
And every November 9th since then, there's been a worldwide celebration of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. East Germans begin, watch this, this is very important, they begin picking at the wall with hammers, with picks, and with their bare hands, until the mammoth structure gave way to the relentless people who wanted to see what was on the other side. Imagine people clawing down a wall with their bare hands, and hammers, and picks. Can you imagine what that did to your nails, to your hands, to your fingertips? Can you imagine how much blood, sweat, and tears was on the wall? Big walls don't come down easy. Y'all don't hear me. Stay with me. Big walls don't come down easy. You're not gonna spin around three times and your walls come tumbling down. There are some walls in this room right now that have persisted so long, that they have become concretized in your mind, in your emotions, in your life and in your will and whether it is a physical wall or an invisible wall, that wall God brought you here to this meeting, to bring that wall absolutely, completely, and totally down.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, stay right where you are, I'm coming. See, some of you look like you don't have a wall, but you got invisible walls of fear, of anger, of insecurity, of crowds, of being upfront, or connectivity, or intimacy. And every now and then that wall stands up in your life, and you act in extreme ways because you can't stand for anybody to get behind your wall. You know, you want me to know your image, but not who you really are. You want me to know your persona, but not your personhood. And so you project your representative for a few minutes, but then when it comes to somebody really touching you and knowing you, you can't stand it because you live behind the wall, and now the wall that you built to protect yourself has become a problem, because you built the wall to keep hate out. But now you can't let love in, you can't let intimacy in, you can't let peace in, you can't feel pain, but you can't feel nurtured.
You don't feel supported. You don't feel connected because you built it for protection, but now you're becoming imprisoned by your need to be protected, and you're scared of your friends and your enemies, and you don't talk to anybody and you cry yourself to sleep feeling lonely because you have isolated everybody, because we were not made to live behind walls. We were not made to be locked up in barriers. We were not made to live beneath our problem, our promise, our privilege, our opportunity. We were not made to be restricted. We were not made to be in isolation. We were not made to be incarcerated. That's why they penalize inmates by putting them in isolation, because big men who kill massive amounts of people turn into babies if they're left in isolation long enough. And anytime the enemy wants to destroy you and the possibility of your future, he will convince you that you need this wall up, and after the wall gets up, you know how to build it, but you don't know how to bring it down.
You know how to protect yourself, but you don't know how to present yourself, and now you need to present yourself, but you're so protected that you're isolated and all your relationships are coming down, your opportunities are coming down, your engagements are coming down, because you really can't connect with people, because you're living so long behind the wall that you gotta decide, like Bentley and honey, either I'm going to stay within the parameters of what feels good, or I'm going to break through to the next dimension. Well, everybody who wants to stay where they are, this is not your message. You stay right where you are. Maybe they're gonna talk to you this week. This is for the radical people who are willing to take hammers, and picks, and even their fingernails to claw their way over into the next realm of where they're trying to go.
Hallelujah, let me tell you something. When them people hit that wall, it was not Reagan's speech that brought the wall down. It was the relentlessness of their activity, brick by brick, blood by blood, piece by piece, stone by stone. I'm gonna tear this thing down. And I need about 10,000 people in this room who are ready to get a hammer, and a pick, and a shovel, and a nail, and even scratch your way out of this situation, because you refuse to spend the second half of your life locked up behind some wall that somebody built around you, that said you can't be this, and you can't do that, and you can't do that. Who said that? Look at somebody and tell them, I'm getting ready to tear this thing down. I'm getting ready to tear this thing down. On the first day of The Leadership Summit, in order for me to absorb everything that I need to absorb, I got some walls to tear down. You might not be able to see them. My wall might be invisible, but I'm gonna bring it down.
It may be an invisible wall of low self-esteem. It may be an invisible wall of imposter syndrome, but I refuse to spend the rest of my life incarcerated by my own emotions, locked up by my own fears. I don't care what it is, I'm gonna tear it down, and let all my enemies know assuredly, you can't build a wall that will keep me from getting over it. If I can't get over it, I'll go under it. If I can't go under it, I will shout till it comes down. But I'm not going back to a dry place to make you feel comfortable. I'm going to break loose, and I'm going to break loose over the next three days in a crazy way. I'm going to break through over the next three days into a brand new dimension. I'm gonna break through in the next three days with everything I got. And if I'm talking to you, holla at your boy. It's gotta come down. It's gotta come down. It's gotta come down.
Touch everybody you can reach and say It's gotta come down. It's gotta come down in my marriage, in my finances, in my business, in my company, under my administration, under my leadership, in my church, in my storefront, in my city, up under my auspices. It's gotta come down. I can't just keep prancing around, and pacing the floor, and seeing the same ground year after year, day after day, feeling the same feelings, day after day, the devil is a liar. I came to make a pronouncement, Mr. Govachoff, tear down this wall. Everything that's standing in my way... oh, I gotta quit I'm about to feel like preaching. I forgot where I am. I'm supposed to be a little dignified at a leadership conference but this is spiritual warfare. I declare, I decree and declare, I decree and declare, I decree and declare, I declare and decree that everything that's standing in your way, you will see that thing come down.
If you can't shout it down, throw it down. If you can't call it down, clap it down. If you can't clap it down, scratch it down. But whatever was holding you up when you got here, you came all the way to Orlando to bring that thing... Shake hands with your neighbor and tell them, I'm gonna tear it down. You stand there and look cute but I'm gonna tear this down. I'm gonna tear this wall down. I'm gonna bring it to its knees. I'm gonna see it collapse into a pile of rubble, and then I'm gonna climb over top of it, and get back what the enemy stole from me. I refuse to lay down and die. I refuse to give up the good fight of faith. I refuse to give up all my dreams. I refuse to walk away from my promise. I refuse to let you have the last word. I refuse.