TD Jakes - Bushel to Bag
That everything depends on how you handle this fight. This is the big one, this is the big one, this is the one that changes your destiny, this is the one that will affect your children and your children's children and your children's children's children. When you make this move, it's gonna change how your story ends. Good God, who am I talking to? This is your Goliath moment. David was stepping into a paradigm shift. I mean, a paradigm shift that's when everything changes as a result of this change. One thing changes everything. Goliath was his greatest blessing. You say he was his greatest battle? I say he wants his greatest blessing because your blessing is always in your battle. But here's what I want you to see. I didn't get up to say none of that.
What fascinates me is that David comes to fight Goliath, but he doesn't know that he's going to fight Goliath. He doesn't come down to the battlefield to fight. He comes down to serve. Get your Bibles, go to 1 Samuel 17 and I'm gonna show you something, I'll prove this to you. Nobody preaches about this, they don't talk about this, because it's not fancy, it's not glorious, it's not spectacular, it's not opulent, it's not excessiveness, it's not expedient. They don't talk about it because there's no fanfare to it, there's no drama, there's no special effects about it. They talk about his bag of rocks and his five smooth stones. They talk about what he killed with his rocks, but I'm going to tell you that they're looking at the wrong bag, because he did not come down there preparing to fight. He came down there to serve. Glory to God.
1 Samuel 17:13 through 19. You don't have to stand, 'cause I'm halfway through the message now. I'm coming in the home stretch, baby. Look at this, "And the three eldest sons of Jesse went and followed Saul to the battle". The elder boys are gone. They've gone out to fight with the king, "And the names of the three sons that went to the battle was Eliab, the firstborn, and the next unto him Abinadab, and the third was Shammah. And David was the youngest: and the three eldest followed Saul, but David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem". Little boy got work to do. "And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days. And Jesse said unto David his son, 'Since your brothers have been fighting for forty days, take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn,'" an ephah is like a bushel. He said, "Take a bushel of this parched corn, and these 10 loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren. And carry of their thousands and look how thy brethren fare and take their pledge. Now, Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines".
They were fighting with the Philistines. They were fighting with the Philistines, the age old enemy of Israel. They were fighting with the Philistines. David was not sent to fight. He was sent to serve. His job was to bring his brothers lunch. Everybody's talking about the bag. I want to talk about the bushel, because it was the bushel that brought him to the blessing, that showed him what the bag was all about. Y'all don't hear what I'm saying. See, the problem today is that everybody is trying to get to the bag, but until you find your bushel, you can't find your bag. Everybody wants to lead, nobody wants to serve. Everybody wants to be in control, nobody wants to submit. Everybody wants to be the boss, nobody wants to follow the direction.
We need a generation of people who find your place of service, for if you find your bushel, you'll find your blessing. He does not get called to fight. Jesse doesn't say, look, they're losing, I need more men. Go down there and help your brothers fight. He says, you're not even one of them. You're not even one of them. You bring them some lunch. And until David was faithful with the bushel... Good God, help me preach this morning. Until he was faithful with what he had been charged to do, until he could be trusted to carry the bushel as if it were important, he would never find the power of the bag until he understood the power of the bushel.
And I see people running around with all kind of bags, but it was not the bag that brought him into his destiny. It was the simple bushel of bringing lunch to the bigger guys. He's bringing lunch to the bigger guys. He has come to serve someone else, and in the process of serving someone else, he discovers himself. He discovers who he is by helping someone else with who they are. His destiny, his miracle, his placement in the body of Christ could never be revealed until he served someone that he saw as greater then he could not find himself. We have lost the art of serving. We wanna be seen. We wanna be seen, we wanna be recognized, we wanna be important, but when God is going to use you in a mighty way, he will give you the bushel before he unlocks the power of your bag.
I wanna go deeper. I'm talking about David, but I'm using David as a leaping pad to talk about the Son of David. Jesus is the Son of David. Jesus at the paradigm shift that would change the next 2.000 years does not come riding in on a horse with 10.000 angels behind him. Instead, he is born in a manger, and wrapped in swaddling clothes, hidden in a poor place, doing mundane things. In fact, in Philippians it says, "He took on himself the form of a servant". He decided, I'm not coming as a king. I'm not coming as a captain. I'm not coming as the lion of the tribe of Judah. I am coming as the Lamb, and the Bible says, "He thought it not robbery to be equal with God, yet made of himself no reputation". He humbled. He humbled himself.
You see, you see, when I was telling you about David bringing lunch to his brethren, I forgot to tell you that David was his brother's king. When it all would be over, the brothers he was bringing lunch to would be serving the one who brought the lunch. But he humbled. Oh, y'all not gonna talk to me this morning. The reason this is a pull is that we have been groomed to be important. We have not been groomed to be servants, particularly those of us whose ancestries came from slavery. We are so against being servants that we have taught our children to be arrogant, and in the process of making them arrogant, now they're grown and incompetent. God forbid that you be seen as a servant.
So, you got little Johnny sticking his chest out about nothing, showing his tennis shoes. Got more on your feet than you do in your head. I wish we would go back to serving again, because if you humble yourself, the Bible says, "In due time, I will exalt". Look at your life, look at how you served your way into everything you got, look at how you worked and cried and sweated and labored and crawled, and then God blessed you. The Bible said, "After you suffered a while, I'll establish you and make you perfect". If you don't go down right, you can't come up right.
You see, the bushel didn't just feed his brethren. It was through this bushel that he fed his children, and his children's children, and his children's children's children. It only looked like he was bringing the bushel to his brethren. In reality, this bushel fed his children, changed his destiny, brought him to a place of positioning that brought him before the king. I feel God drawing you to the King. The worst thing you can do when you get in the presence of greatness is try to be important. The worst thing. It is the most common thing I see people do. When they walk in a room and they're outgunned, instead of being outgunned, they try to impress you, but the smartest thing you can do in a great room is to say, "How can I serve you"? Not, "How can I compete with you"? Not, "How can I duplicate you"? "How can I serve you"? I just wanna, I just, come here, I just wanna push you forward. Anything I can do, anything I can do. Any gift I got that can push you forward, I'll use it to help you, 'cause you know what I found out? Every time I push you, I go along too.
I don't know who I'm preaching to. I don't know who I'm talking to this morning. I feel like I'm talking to some pushers. You ought to push somebody this morning. Look at your neighbor and say, let me push you. Let me push you. Let me push you. Let me push you. Let me push you, 'cause if I can just push you, if I can just push you, the higher you go, I will say this, and I will get out of your way. Suppose Jesse's conversation with his son would have gone like the conversation we're having today. "Boy, I want you to go down there and take your brothers some lunch. They've been fighting out there forty days, making them weak, and I want you go bring 'em some lunch". "I'm a grown man. They should have packed before they left. Don't you know that there's an anointing on me to be king? I don't have time to be serving them. I already know they gonna serve me".
It would have been the greatest mistake of his life, because everything that he was going to be was not in the bag, it was in the bushel. If he did not see the bushel as important... see, most people don't see the bushel as important, so they will throw it down or mistreat it or mishandle it or ignore it, but it is the bushel that brings you into the place where the bag will work. The bag without the bushel will leave you playing with the animals when you were called to the kings. You've gotta decide, are you gonna spend the rest of your life playing in the forest with the animals, or are you gonna dwell with the kings and the princes of this world? Because I came to tell you the bridge between where you are and where you want to be is not in your bag, it's in your bushel. Greatness is not determined by how high you can go, greatness is determined by how low you can go.
And so, when Jesus got ready to beat the devil, he didn't go high, he went low. And Paul said, "He humbled". Good God Almighty. And see, until you learn how to humble yourself, you'll never kill your giant. Until your giant looks at you and say, "What am I, a dog? That you would send this boy to fight me"? Until you're willing to be called a boy, until you're willing to be under estimated, until you're willing to come down in the field, saying, I know it ain't much, but I'm going to give it to God, and God's gonna give it to you. David was willing to go down. The Bible says it this way, and it is quite profound. It says this about Jesus, It says, "He became poor, that through his poverty, you might be made rich".
It's just another way of saying, he humbled himself, which is just another way of saying, bushels over bags, service over fine seating, that if you serve with excellence, you'll make a name for yourself. Jesus tricked 'em. They were looking for him in the high places, he was born in the low. They never would've looked in the barn. By him showing up in low places, he moved past the enemy, slipped into a position, and at the moment of his greatest weakness, they hung him high, they stretched him wide. It was so bad that the ground got nervous and started trembling, and the sun said, "I can't watch it," it said, "I can't even shine today". The centurion said, "Surely this man is Son of God". Lightning flashed, thunder rolled, he hung his head in the locks of his shoulders, and in front of his disciples, stripped naked, naked, he died. Died.
Where is your gospel? He died. Where's your water walking, Jesus? He died. Where's your Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration? He died. Where is the healer of the woman with the issue of blood? He died. Peter threw up his hands and started cussing. Thomas started doubting. All of them said, "Maybe he was a phony and a fraud". They didn't recognize him, 'cause they were looking high. He died. For three days he was willing to look bad. For three days he was willing to be a joke. But the joke was on them, because early Sunday morning he got up with all power in his hand, said, "O death, where's your sting? Grave, where is your victory? Goliath, where is your victory"? Said, "How did you beat death"? He said, "I did it by dying". "How did you beat the grave"? "I did it by borrowing it. I didn't buy it, I borrowed it, because I knew the power of humbling myself".
If you go down, you'll go up. But if you go up, you'll go down. If you serve, you'll be a leader. But if you insist on leading, you'll always be a slave. Jesus made a name for himself. He made a name for himself by his service. Stand to your feet. We have been conditioned to glamorize the stage. We want our name acknowledged, and please spell it right. Give me the high seat, make me feel important. I came to worship the Lord, but the Lord you're worshiping is washing feet. When was the last time you washed feet? When was the last time you said, "How can I push you? Let me push you". When was the last time you glorified giving service?