TD Jakes - Destiny From The Perspective Of Focus
Greetings, in the name of Jesus Christ our king. I'm so glad to have the opportunity to share the word of the Lord with you, and particularly, this word, "Destiny From the Perspective of Focus". You can't pursue real destiny until you focus. I'm seeing so many people, they're doing this and they're doing that they're doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and they end up with a whole lot of nothing. Don't be distracted. Master the task before you. You need to focus on the things you feel are central to your calling. What is in front of you right now? Give us this day our daily bread. I'm going into this word. And I'm praying it goes into your hearts. Because this destiny thing is important. It is not how long you live. It is how well you live. If you live a long time and never do anything with the time you live, what good is it? It's about destiny. Take a look at this. You'll be blessed.
I want to go to Jeremiah. Jeremiah says, and I love this Scripture, "If thou has run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with the horses"? Jeremiah 12:5. "If thou has run with the footmen". You're running with other guys, and they wore you out, then why would you jump up and get yourself in a horse race? I want to break it down so you get it. If you are tired from running with short-legged humans, don't sign up in a horse race, because you don't have the strength to play on that level.
When you say to God, I'm sick of this. I can't handle this. You're saying, I can't handle promotion. Because if the footmen wore you out, I don't care how much you admire horses, ain't no need in you signing up to get into a horse race. Until you master the footmen race, you don't get into the horse race, and here's the problem. We got people who want promotion without process. O my God, I feel like running all over this church. They want promotion without process. Because the reason they want promotion is because they have no self-esteem, so they need crowd-esteem to feel good about themselves. And they think if they get promoted high enough, then people will like them, and then maybe they'll like themselves.
You got it backwards. You've got to like yourself first. Are you following what I'm saying? And then you're going to be excellent at what you do. And then you'll find greatness when you have maximize smallness. If you are weary with smallness and you're tired all the time, and you can't focus, what are you going to do with greatness. You're asking for more, and you haven't mastered less. The Bible said, "If you are faithful over a few things, then I will make you ruler over many". And you're trying to be ruler over many, and you haven't been faithful over few. You're so busy reaching out to your future, that you are neglecting what you have been given right now.
O God. O God. O God. I just felt somebody's toes up under my foot right now. You are so busy trying to progress that you are neglecting where you are. That's not how you progress. You master where you are, and then you get promoted to where you're going. You don't neglect where you are trying to reach out to where you're going. Because if you're sloppy yesterday you'll be sloppy today and you're going to be sloppy forevermore. If you learn how to do great things in a small place, you're gonna do great things in a larger place and you'll be great over here.
Why come you all not running all over the church right now, dancing, falling down, hitting your head? The reason you're not getting the promotion is because you won't make the practice. You cannot play the Super Bowl if you don't make the practice. You cannot get the prize for winning the Olympics if you don't make the practice. If you don't see God's glory in rehearsal, you won't see God's glory in recital. Now, the recital is that wonderful, big, sexy, amazing thing where everybody claps when you perform. And rehearsal is that private, boring, painful thing where you struggle to get it together. And there's nobody there to clap at all.
Can you play without clapping? This is a problem. To those of you that are building and believing and really have a purpose and really feel the pull of destiny, you need to be patient with the process, and not enthralled with the promise. You want the accruedments of success, and that's what's killing you. You compromise the rehearsal time and bought the tuxedo for the recital. Now, you look like something that you're not. Somebody say, wrong focus. Could it be possible that your life is stagnated because you have an attention deficit? You didn't give the attention to it that it takes to win it. That doesn't mean that you aren't called to it. It means that you are starving your destiny of the attention that it needs for you to progress.
Jesus was fully committed. He picked people who were committed. Everybody Jesus called to ministry was working. He didn't pick nobody who was laid off, needed a job. He interrupted people who were working at something and said, "If you follow me, I'm going to take you to the next dimension". How many are ready to go to the next dimension? You see, the next dimension isn't foreign from this dimension. It's an escalation of a process that was already in motion.
Peter, you've been casting your nets out here and catching fish. You have been teaching other fishermen how to catch fish. I'm getting ready to make you fishers of men. The results will be different. The effort will be different. But the process is still the same. You're still going to be teaching other people. You're still going to be throwing out your net. You're still going to be bringing in the drought. But instead of catching fish, you're going to catch souls. Your future is in some way kin to your past.
O ya'll ain't going to talk to me today. Everything you are going to be, you already are in another form. You are the acorn of an oak tree. Acorn doesn't look anything like an oak tree. It doesn't remotely look like it would ever have branches and leaves and be productive. An acorn is a nut. But everything that an oak tree is, is in the acorn even though it hadn't shaped out yet. So everything that the acorn will ever be is already in that nut. And everything that you will ever be is already in you right now. And the best people to be around are people who see it in you, even though you don't look like a tree yet.
I'm looking for somebody who sees a tree in my nut. All of that was in me. All the time. While you was stepping over me and stepping around me and stepping past me, all that you see coming out of me now was in me when you said, I look like a nut. Somebody holler destiny. Destiny will bring the tree out of you. Destiny will bring the tree out of your nut. What's in your nut? Listen at this. It's not just that people step over you when you're in that acorn stage.
Sometimes you step over you. Because you're so busy trying to compete with the trees that you haven't gone through the process of the acorn. Give it some time. Give it some water. Give it some sun. Give it some focus, and you'll reap a harvest and you'll go through the process. Look at that. All of that is coming up out of the nut. It's not what it's going to be. But it's not what it used to be. Until you can clap for the seedling, you'll never see the tree. Until you can appreciate the process, you will never get to the purpose.
Some of you have a life, you have a business, you have a company, you have a family, you have an identity that is in seedling form. You're not the nut you used to be, but you're not the tree you're going to be. But until you learn how to appreciate where you are in the process, you won't get the power to evolve to your ultimate destiny. You're so busy trying to starve the sapling trying to get to the tree that you cancel out the potential of being a tree because you don't feed where you are. You're in love with tomorrow. But you're neglecting today. And when God sees you neglecting today, he will not give you tomorrow. Until you are faithful over the few, you cannot be ruler over the many. So you need to take your eye off of the tree and water what you got now. O God. Water what you got right now. Because if you give attention to the responsibilities that you have been given, you will be promoted to the next level.
So what started as an acorn went to a sapling went to an oak tree, and then once it reaches the oak tree, it has to figure out, how do I fit in the forest? Now that I'm standing up, how do I fit in the forest with other people who have gone through the same process and evolved. You can't sit with somebody who's invested 30 years in and be respected as an equal when you got 3. So don't try to bombard the conversation, because even though they smile politely and nod, they think you're stupid, because your mouth is telling me that it is talking about something, it is professing something that it is not possessing. There are some things only experience can teach you. And until you pay your dues, don't run with horses when you're tired from walking with men.
Am I helping anybody? I want to go a little deeper. Now, I want to talk about what inspires us and what we're attracted to. We have this aspiration if it were music to be a concert pianist, to be masterful, to be amazing, to be a maestro, as it were, because we went to the recital and we heard this amazing person do a phenomenal job of playing music, and they mastered the keyboard with eloquence and depth and integrity and they were so awesome at it, we saw them and we were inspired and we wanted to be like them. Because there is nothing like a great instrument in the hand of a great artist.
A great instrument in the hand of a great artist produces great music. It does matter who is playing it. It matters who is swinging the golf clubs. It matters who running the corporation. And we are attracted to people who are masterful at what they do. At the center stage we have a piano, a baby grand piano glistening, shining and bright, but it cannot play itself. It is an opportunity. If the right person doesn't touch it, it will never reach its potential. The piano has existed so long, that it will only give itself fully over to somebody who has invested enough time and effort in it and they know how to get the most out of the same keyboard. Eighty-eight keys on the keyboard, but it's the fingers that pluck it that control what it can produce.
So you go out and you buy you a piano, and in your mind you think, "I'm going to work on this, and in a couple of months, I'll do that too". But when you get your piano and you get everything in place and you sit down at it and you get ready to play. You say, "I quit! That doesn't sound like what I had in mind. Nobody clapped when I played it. They don't like me". You mean you really expected to get the reaction of a maestro at a recital when your life is at a rehearsal stage? See, you're trying to get a reaction you haven't earned yet. And if you're not careful, you will do this for a while and say, "That doesn't work for me".
And now you got the clarinet and you're trying to blow it. And if you don't get a quick reaction from that, you put it down and say, "That's not giving it to me". And now you got a drum and you're beating on the drum and you can't master that. Look at how many things you started and stopped, underestimating how much rehearsal you had to do and not recognizing potential versus product. This is what the Bible meant when it says, "Despise not the day of small beginnings. Because if you are faithful to that... After a while, you'll get this..." If you stop playing scales, you'll miss the opportunity to discover the sapling, the growth.
Play me something else. Just play me. I'm evolving from where I started... See, they're both playing the same instrument, and they're both playing the same thing, but they're playing it on different levels. Touch somebody and tell them, "You're next". Am I talking to somebody? Are you hearing God talking to you? Are you understanding that Paul says, I have learned whatever state I'm in... Therewith to be content, because if I can survive where I am right now, I know this is in me... It does not yet appear what we shall be, but if you keep on working on what you are, what you shall be is going to manifest in your life.
Touch three people and tell them, "It's in you". Go ahead and rehearse. Go ahead and play your scales. Go ahead and work on your level. Go ahead and master where you are. And after a while, without you even trying to do it, where you started will turn into where you're going. That's what destiny is pulling you into. If you understand what I'm teaching, give God 30 seconds of a recital praise. From the rehearsal, to the recital, once you have mastered it, whether the recital is business, marriage, kingdom building, book writing, script writing, accounting firms, real estate development, wife, husband, family, whatever your recital is, once you have maximized it, you get to sit with the masters.
And then you begin to grapple with this. How do I take what I have developed and make it fit into the orchestra of God's divine purpose. Because even if you are a maestro, but you can't fit with other people and you can't work with anybody and you can't get along with anybody, you'll never be in the orchestra, because you can't figure out how you fit. Now Jerma's task is to fit in with the orchestra. Your task is to take what you have developed and fit in with others without being jealous, without being intimidated, without being insecure.
A true master only shines when the light is on him. He has the grace and confidence in what he does to allow other people to shine and figure out, how do I fit in this 21st century with the fast-changing world, how do I fit in with other people who put in just as much to be good at what they do? Whether you are at the rehearsal stage, the recital stage or the orchestration stage, somewhere in your life, you are in one of those three stages. And you will only finish when you focus on what God has given you.
I've got to stop there. But this is so powerful, it's so provocative, I've written a book about it. It's not just a sermon. This whole thing of destiny, Jesus completed his assignment in 33 years. It is not how long you live, it is how well you live and whether you have done the thing you were put here to do. Until you have done it, I don't care what you built, what you bought, what you drive, whose name is on your shoes, on your hat, none of that matters. If you didn't do what your name was put in the earth to do and to do it in his name where he gets the glory, you are only effective when you are authentic. Stay focused. You'll only finish when you master what God has given you. I'm excited. I'm delighted. I'm fired up. Things are going to be good.