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Watch 2022 online sermons » Bishop T. D. Jakes » TD Jakes - Fit For The Fight

TD Jakes - Fit For The Fight

TD Jakes - Fit For The Fight
TOPICS: Spiritual warfare

That one day Peter was eating with me, the next day he wasn't eating. One day he was with the Gentiles, they say he wasn't, it depend on who wrote the letter which way he responded, and it all blew up at Antioch. Antioch was where the fan turned on, all hell broke loose, things got crazy. Paul is on his way to Antioch, but somewhere along the way Barnabas's cousin has decided, I was with you in Jerusalem when it was glamorous and all my friends could see me, but now that you're leaving outside of the Palestinian area and going into other regimes of influence and thought, he disappeared. He didn't backslide, he disappeared. He didn't resign, he just disappeared. He didn't give any reason, we have to guess at what the reason was, he just didn't show up for the fight. He was fit for the fun, ah, he was fit for the fun, but he wasn't fit for the fight.

So Paul takes Barnabas, John Mark has disappeared, and he goes into Antioch. And he goes into Antioch like you do when you're going into controversy. You know how you feel when you're going into controversy and you're kinda cocked 'cause you don't know what's gonna happen? And he gets there and there is one of the nastiest blowouts you have ever seen, and them preachers almost got to fightin' physically fighting. They should've called it "The Preachers of Antioch".

And it got so nasty, it got so violent that Paul and Peter got into a shouting match. They was going crazy. Paul got in Peter's face because Peter vacillated. One moment, he was eating with the Gentiles, embracing them as legitimate brothers, endorsing that the blood had made them equal. And then, when James comes along and starts to criticize him, he'd stop seating with them and moves away. And Paul is on the short end of the fight because very few people agreed with Paul about this, very few people agreed with Paul about this. And Paul got up in Peter's face because their friendship was making Paul's life harder.

Have you ever loved somebody who was making your life...? There is no kind of fight like the fight you get in with somebody you care about, because what Paul really is saying to Peter is, you're making my life harder. Now, because of your foolishness, Barnabas is questioning me too. And if it were not hard enough to be me, now I gotta walk with a guy who is questioning my revelation. And you made my life harder and I wanted you to make my life better. Have you ever wanted somebody to make your life better and they made your life harder?

And you think, I had every right to expect better things from you, but because you were not as fit as you needed to be, as strong as you needed to be, loving you is killing me. And he that is with sin. And in the midst of this, now, I want you to follow this, Barnabas is with him but he's kinda shaky, okay? He's gotten into a fight with Peter and been up in his face, and all of a sudden John Mark, who was with them has blown the coop. He has put his hand to the plow and looked back, and walked back and went back, and we don't even know where he is. How many people started out with you that are not with you today? That's why you cannot build your life around what people say, because today they say hosanna, and tomorrow they say crucified.

You can't count on people. When it all boils down, you got Jesus. I mean, when all hell breaks loose, if you get sick long enough, if you go down bad enough, if they say the wrong thing about you, you'll be shocked about who will let you go. By verse 36, the Bible says, "After some days Paul said to Barnabas, 'Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the Word of the Lord, and see how they are.' Now Barnabas," I told you Barnabas has already got a little attitude, "Wanted to take with them John called Mark. But Paul says he thought it best not to take with them, one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia".

He said this is no time to take a quitter, he says it's too thick in here to be fooling with somebody who's shaky, I can't pick somebody who's not fit for the fight. I don't know what's gonna happen next, I can't lean on somebody that I don't know, "You got me in the foxhole". John Mark is good, I know he's your cousin and everything and his mama sent a big love offering, but leave John Mark at home because he might do another Pamphylia on me. John Mark is not fit for the fight. Ask your neighbor, are you fit for the fight? So it says, "But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work". Didn't go to the work, fit for the fun but wasn't down for the work.

I wanna eat the bread but I don't wanna grind the meal, I wanna have a husband but I don't wanna cook, I wanna have a wife but I don't wanna provide, I wanna have kids but I don't want them to take my time. I want success but no sacrifice, I want the championship, I want the trophy but I don't wanna sweat. He said I can't take nobody with me like that, he said he's not up for it, "And there arose a sharp disagreement". They're already on the edge. You know how you got somebody with you and you've already kind of marked them because you've already seen them kind of shake on you a little bit? And now as push has come to shove and things that come to a head, and John Mark is just the underbelly of a conflict that was already pre-existing. You understand what I'm saying?

And so a sharp argument arose. They shouldn't got this mad about this but when there's already an undercurrent, it was the straw that broke the camel's back. "There was a disagreement that rose up against him that was so strong that they separated from each other". This is painful, they separated from each other. And when they separated from each other, "Barnabas took Mark with him". He said you don't wanna take him, I'll take him, and he took Mark with him, "And they sailed away to Cyprus". They must have fell off the boat or something because you don't hear much about nothing mighty happening in Cyprus or anywhere else about Barnabas and John Mark 'cause John Mark was not fit for the fight. "But Paul chose Silas". "Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord, he left with Silas".

You remember Silas? Silas, Silas later would be locked in jail. Lord, help Paul if he would've gone to jail with John Mark. You remember the text, this text I'm going through now. "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and gave thanks unto God. And suddenly there was a sound and a shaking down from heaven". If Paul would've went to jail with John Mark they'd have killed him, because John Mark wasn't fit for the fight. But when he got in a fight with Silas, Silas said if you sing, I'll pray, we're gonna get out of this, brother.

Oh, my God. Touch three people, say work with me, work with me, work with me. We're in a fight now, we're in a fight, we're in a fight, work with me, work with me, work. I gotta have somebody that is fit for the fight. Now understand, Michael, this is the only requirement. He didn't have to know karate or jujitsu, he didn't even have to be able to box. He had to be able to stand, that was the only requirement. "Having done all, to stand," stand in the middle of controversy, stand in the middle of the storm, stand in the middle of loneliness, stand in the middle of an attack. Oh, my God, I don't care whether you can fight, I care that you can stand.

I believe he wanted me to preach this because you don't have to backslide to quit; the way we think of backsliding. It may not be the alluring temptation of lust and degradation that makes you drop your hands. It can be to just get tired, just get tired. You ever got tired? Just get tired and quit? You know, I found out something about tired, it's funny, tired will always reign if it goes unchallenged. Sometime you have to challenge tired, I'm not saying you ought not go to bed and normal stuff, things that God says. I'm not talking about the tired that sleep will fix, I'm talking about being weary in well-doing. I'm talking about how you can show up and still be missing. I'm talking about how you can be there and not be present, and people don't know that in your heart, like John Mark, you're gone.

And when you go away, other people get what should've been yours. They step in and they receive what by all rights should have been yours. And then, what you have to do, this is what you have to do. Either you lie to yourself and get bitter and blame everybody for your own weaknesses, or you strengthen yourself. The reason I said, "Tired reigns when it goes unchallenged," is because when I started working out, the first sign of not being fit is how tired you get. But if you keep working out, the point that used to wear you out, you'll push right past it, it doesn't even bother you anymore. The more you get in shape, the more you can run and you won't even get winded where you used to get winded because you're getting fit. You can tell you're fit by your speed of exhaustion, the more you are able to endure, the more you are fit for the fight.

Fast forward, Paul is now an old man, he's in a jail cell and he's writing to Timothy. He's in the final hours of his life, he's matured and his season is coming to the end. He says to Timothy, he says, "Alexander the Coppersmith has done me much evil. May the Lord reward him for what he has done". He says Timothy, "I fought a good fight, I fought all the way down I finished my course. Now laid up for me is a crown of righteousness". He says Timothy, when you come, bring me my coat, I'm cold in this jail; and bring me some paper because I gotta keep writing them down to the last drops. And then, almost at the end the chapter, he says Timothy, when you come, "Bring John Mark," he says, because, "[John Mark] is profitable unto me for the ministry".

My takeaway point is this: don't ever throw anybody completely away. Just because they're not fit now doesn't mean, that they won't be fit later. Paul is now seething and he's aged and he's matured, he was strong enough to say no when no needed to be said, but he was not malicious, he didn't become a hateful, he wasn't vindictive. He said go get John Mark. John, you sure did let me down, but you've grown since then. You ran away from stuff, left me in a mess, but you've grown since then. You didn't keep your word and you didn't manage your responsibilities, you caused me trouble that I would have never had to go through, but you've grown since then. You have gone from unprofitable, having nothing left, to being profitable, being strong enough to have reserve. You're profitable unto me for ministry.

P.S. Most scholars believe that the Gospel of Saint Mark was written by John Mark. Isn't it amazing that somebody who can make such a mess could make such a turnaround and write the Gospel of Saint Mark? The Lord told me to tell you, you did blow it, you did disappoint me, really let me down, but I have not forgotten you. And he said to me this morning, go get John Mark. Tell John Mark that though he was weak in the middle, tell John Mark you're gonna finish strong.

Stand to your feet, I want to ask you a question this morning. There may be somebody in this room, in fact, there is somebody in this room when testing time came you didn't have what it took, when it was really important you weren't fit for the fight, but the Lord said to TD Jakes, when you come to "The Potter's House," go get John Mark. Paul says I cannot leave till I tell John Mark who he is. I cannot go until I tell John Mark, leave her alone, leave her alone, it's okay, leave her alone, leave her alone, leave her alone. Bring her to me, let her come right to me, let her come to me, I said.

C'mon, c'mon, stay right here. He told me to go get John Mark, you blew it, you hurt me, but God is not finished with you yet. I believe you're not the only one. I'm gonna say it again. John Mark, if you blew it and you know you blew it, if you didn't pass the test and you flunked the course, here's a second chance. God said go get John Mark and tell him, "Your latter day will be greater than your former day".

Go tell, go tell John Mark, tell John Mark, you're gonna finish strong. John Mark, you were not fit for the fight and I couldn't use you then 'cause you didn't know how to stand under pressure. He said go get John Mark, tell John Mark I still love you. Tell John Mark, I still have a plan for your life. Tell John Mark, you're profitable, you don't see your own worth.

It's always been your problem, you've never seen your own worth. You see everybody's worth but yourself, you've sold yourself for nothing, you've given yourself to people that don't even deserve you. You don't understand that you are profitable because God shaped you for a purpose, he has planned for your life, he wants to do something real with you, man, something that really matters. He has a destiny for you. Hallelujah.
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