TD Jakes — You Ain't Gonna Lose It
There is a certain mentality that is associated with winners. People who are winners congregate together. They go to the same country clubs. They play golf together. They interact with each other, whether they are natural winners or corporate winners. In the kingdom there are spiritual winners and if you are a spiritual winner pretty soon you gravitate to other people that are spiritual winners, because there is a mentality, "This is not about money. It's not about anything tangible. There is a mentality that goes along with winning".
And to the positive, once you get that mentality you can listen at a person talk a few minutes and either it feeds you or it doesn't, and you learn sooner or later the things that don't feed you, you don't spend time fooling with it because it is counterproductive to where you're trying to go. You don't argue with people. You stop arguing with people. You just move aside and go on in your own direction because you finally got it on the right road, and you don't want anything to blow you off course. And now that you've got your focus, you wanna be able to maintain your focus and keep moving forward. Can you say amen?
And so, there is a mentality around winning. All you have to do is pick up any newspaper at almost any given time. You can read where a company that was doing multi-million dollars' worth of business goes bankrupt and opens up in another name and goes right back into over again, and you're still down there on the first time, saying, "Lord, I have been down here 20 years trying to do it the first time. This brother has been up and down, up and down five times, and he keeps on getting back up again". How can he do that especially in turbulent times? It has something to do with their attitude. It has something to do with their mentality. It has something to do with how they think about themselves and who they interact with.
Likewise, failing has a pathology. Failing has a pathology. You can get in around failing people and have failing circumstances and listen at negative talking and after a while you find yourself unable to get back up again, because not only are you down, which is bad, but what is worse is your environment is down, and everybody who's talking to you is talking down, and you develop a mentality built around your condition. Are you hearing what I'm saying?
Many, many times we go through attack in our spiritual lives. I'm talking about Christians. I'm talking about people who love Jesus, see, come up under attack in their spiritual lives. They go through seasons of distress repeatedly. What I love about God is that God is open to share with you that there will be seasons in your life that you go through attack, attack by the enemy, and you can easily rebuke that and take authority over that and tell him, "Wait a minute. My body belongs to God, my family belongs to God, my house belongs to God, and I command you, Satan, in the name of the Lord take up your weapons and flee, for the Lord has given me authority to march all open the door sometime and get a broom and say, "Get out of this house in the name of Jesus. I will have peace in this house in the name of Jesus".
So, we don't have to worry about how to rebuke the enemy because the Lord has given us power over the enemy, and we can stop the enemy and his onslaught and his attack, but what do you do when you have lived all you know how and you're up under a pruning and a cutting in your life, and you've rebuked the devil, and you've pleaded the blood, and you've anointed yourself with oil and the problem persist in your life? What do you do when God has ordered your steps and today he's ordered trouble? Don't let anybody tell you that being in the will of God means you won't get in trouble, because Jesus was on in the will of God when he went to the cross. Oh, let me work on this. Jesus was in the will of God, and he went to the cross.
Don't let anybody tell you that you got in trouble because you're not in the will of God. That may not be true at all. Job was in the will of God and got in all kinds of trouble: lost his children, lost his stuff, lost his marriage, and everything. All of his friends came along and said, "You must not be living right," but God said that Job was a faithful and a upright man that escheweth evil. The truth of the matter is whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and you go through seasons in your life where there is going to be prunings in your life, and you're gonna lose some good stuff sometime.
Now, I get in trouble by some of our brethren in other sects who just say, "Just name it and claim it and blab it and grab it and confess it and run with it," and they say I preach too much negative stuff, because they don't want you to think you're gonna go through any trouble. But I'm 52 years old. I've lived long enough to know that you can pray until your lips are dry and your tongue feels like sandpaper, but every now and then you're gonna go through something. Somebody is gonna die. Somebody is gonna get sick. Yes, you can have a cold and, yes, it is a cold. Whether you call it a cold or not, don't sneeze on me. You got something: swine flu, chicken flu, great flu. Something is wrong with you. Whatever it is, take it away from me.
The truth of the matter is you can be connected to God like a branch to a vine, you can be productive and producing fruit, and God still may cut back the fruit in your life. What do you do when you're in a cut-back season and you've lost some stuff and you've been through some changes and you feel like you're running outta time? Because vines don't produce fruit all year long. If you read the earlier part of the 15th chapter of the book of the Gospel of Saint John, they don't produce fruit all year around. You waited on your season. You got a little fruit going. You lost it, got pruned, got cut back. Had to wait till the next fruit-bearing season. Here comes fruit-bearing season again. You lost some. It got cut back.
When the Lord allows you to lose something as a child of God, you have to have in your mind and in your heart and in your spirit that "if God allowed me to lose it, he's gonna replace it with something better in my life". Touch your neighbor and say, "God's gonna do something new in your life". Tell 'em again, say, "God's gonna do something new in your life". Now, in order for God to do something new the former things have to pass away. God said, "I'm gonna bring you into a green place. I'm gonna set you in a large place, Rehoboth. I'm gonna add increase to your life".
And the amazing thing about God, God will talk to you about plenty when you have lack. He'll talk to you about feeling good when you're feeling bad. He'll talk to you about joy when you've got sorrow in your heart. He'll talk to you about overcoming when you just had the weakest weekend of your life, because God calls those things that are not as though they were, and he knows the difference between process and purpose. What you're going through now is the process. Don't look at the process. Look at the purpose.
The Bible said that Jesus did not enjoy the cross, despising the shame of the cross, but for the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, saying, "I am not gonna stay here". Say that, "I am not gonna stay here". I may be nailed up right now, but I am not gonna stay here. I may be in a tomb right now, but I am not going to stay here. This is a three-day situation. I am coming out of this. Then he says, "Henceforth I call you no longer servants, but friends". He says this is about relationship. It is not just about reproduction. It is about relationship. He said, "There is a graduation in our relationship that could not have happened without you going through some suffering". He says, "I no longer call you servants, but I call you friends, because in the process of suffering you and I have become closer, and I will not leave my will a mystery in your life anymore".
The difference between being a servant and being a friend is that a servant knoweth not what his master doeth. He said, "I took you through some tests and told you to do stuff just because I said so. I told you to go just because I said so. I took you through some tests and some trials. Didn't explain it. Made you bear it. Made you put up with it. Let you cry yourself to sleep. Didn't wipe away your tears. Let you go through sorrow and even in your pain you kept on serving me, praising me, trusting me, looking to me". He said, "Now you're ready for promotion".
Oh, God. I feel a prophetic utterance aflow in this place today. I'm preaching right to somebody who had to endure some setbacks, some cutbacks, some criticisms, some ostracization, but you went through it. Hell, you lifted up, wiped your tears out your face and said, "Though he slay me, yet shall I trust him". And the Lord wants you to know that he wouldn't allow you to go through that if he didn't have something in store for you.
Somebody holler, "Better". Better. God's gonna do something better. He's gonna do better, better things, better joy, better peace, better purpose, better power. I'm better now. I'm better. I got better wisdom. I got better understanding. I got better insight. I got better self-control. I got better — uh-oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. I'm stronger, I'm wiser, and I'm tougher. I'm more tenacious. I'm more relentless. You know what? It was good for me that I was afflicted. Had I not been afflicted, I would have never known the power of God. Slap somebody and say, "I'm stronger now". I'm stronger. I'm wiser now. I'm tougher now. They're talking about what I used to do, but I'm stronger now. I'm wiser now. I'm tougher now. I'm more tenacious now. I'm more relentless now. Oh, my God. You need to forget things which are behind and reach to those things which are before, I pray.
How many blessed people do we have in here? I mean you're blessed. You've been through something, but you're blessed, and you know you're blessed. God's hand is on your life. Well, if you read the 15th chapter you'll understand that God took a vine through the pruning process, took the fruit that it had, came back with more fruit, finally ended up with much fruit. When you have been through cycles and seasons of turbulence in your life and you finally come out... now, everybody won't understand what I'm saying. You can be out of trouble and be blessed and still be worried. Does anybody know what I'm talking about? Almost like a cloud hanging over your head, like you're just almost waiting to go through something else because you've been on a cycle of distress and peril, and what the enemy has done is created a pathology of turbulence in your life till you're no longer expecting blessings. You're expecting trouble, and you're waiting on the next thing to hit you in the back of the head, but the Lord sent me here to tell you something this morning. He said you ain't gonna lose it this time.
Now, see, we preach all the time about Joseph and what Joseph went through and how his brothers rejected him and how he got thrown down into the pit and how he ended up in the prison and all of that and finally came to the palace. But what we don't tell you is that once Joseph came out, he never went back through that ever again. We talk about Job and how Job lost his house and lost his marriage and lost his children and lost his health and went down, but what we don't tell you is that when God brought Job out he never went back through that again.
Well, I got to tell you something today. There are some things that you went through in your life that you will never go back through that... Touch three people and say, "Never again. Never again". You're never gonna go through it again. Never, never, never gonna go. Never, never, never. That's why made Miriam great tambourine and start beating it to the glory of God. When she saw Pharaoh go down in the Red Sea and God said, "The enemies that you see today, you shall see them no more," that woman got to dancing. I don't know what you've been through, but whatever it is God said never, never, never, never, never gonna see it again. Give God a praise right now.
So, I'm gonna move quickly to a close, but he says this, "That you should bring forth fruit". You're gonna be fruitful. God said you're gonna be fruitful. Yeah, you're gonna be fruitful. I dug around you. I let you go through some stinky stuff, but now you're gonna be fruitful. Somebody say, "Fruitful". The problem with this promise is when you read back in the 15th chapter the vine had been fruitful before, and when you've had good times before and lost 'em when you get good times later you're still afraid of 'em 'cause you think, "This ain't gonna last". But he didn't just say that you shall bring forth fruit, but he said and that your fruit shall remain.
God said, "I'm gonna to put an order of protection around your blessings. Not only am I gonna keep you, I'm gonna keep that that pertains to you. I'm gonna keep your shoes from wearing out. I'm gonna keep your drawers from going bare. I'm gonna keep your refrigerator running. I'm gonna keep your mind straight". Is there anybody here that's been kept by the Lord? Sometime you didn't have a job, but God kept you. Sometime you didn't have a friend, but God kept you. Sometime you couldn't figure it out, but God kept you. He says you shall bring forth fruit.
I wanna show you this order of protection around your fruit, and I'm gonna close. It's not just protecting it when it's ripe. He says, "I won't let your vine cast your figs before time. I'm gonna stop you from going too fast," because if you cast your figs before it's time you lost your harvest by moving too fast. He said, "But I'm also gonna stop you from going too slow. I'm gonna cause you to bring forth your fruit, stay right on the vine until you are fully ripe, and then I'm going to preserve what I have given you". He says that you shall bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.
Let me say this, and I'll close. What God is saying is that "I will ultimately bring you to a place of stability. I called you to be stable, to be steadfast, to be unmoving, to be always abounding in the work of the Lord. I didn't call you to play games with you and take you up and take you down and take you up and take you down and put you on a rollercoaster ride". He said the road is about to smooth out, and you are coming into a stable place. He says you are concerned about the fruit in your life. God says, "I'm concerned about our relationship". He said, "I wanted you to trust me, talk to me, lean on me, call on me so that you and I could go from this servant-master thing into this friend thing". He said, "And you'll know you're my friend because I'll start telling you my secrets".
Oh, my God. "That's how you're gonna know you're my friend, because I'll start telling you my secrets. You'll be laying in the bed in the middle of the night, and I'll tell you why I took you through that, and I'll show you why your last friend couldn't stay your friend, and I'll show you what I was doing in you through the night you suffered. And I'll even tell you how I took you through being sick in the hospital, and you might have lost one kidney, but you got more faith than you ever had before, and I'm going to tell you" The Bible said, "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he shall show them his covenant". When you feel reverence, respect, honor the Lord, God will tell you his secrets. He'll tell you your destiny, your legacy. He'll tell you what he has in store for you, because you're coming to a place of stableness.
One thing you must realize, when you come into the place of stableness you cannot live there in fear, because what he's saying to you today - and this is for people who have lost. This is for people who have lost. Don't be afraid when you come into the Promised Land to eat the grapes or enjoy the milk and honey, because I have brought you into this land for such a time as this, and you ain't gonna lose it this time. Tell the Canaanites, tell the Amalekites, tell the Jebusites and the Hittites you ain't gonna lose it this time. I'm going to bring you into a stable place because as your God I'm gonna make sure that your latter days are greater than your former days. God never lets you go up and ends down. He said, "I'm gonna make sure that you end well. You didn't start so good, but I'm gonna make sure that your latter days are greater than your former days".
Now, whatever he did for you in the former days, God said, "I got better things". Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. So, what is this? This is a simple adjustment. This is not a prayer to get God to do it. It's already done. This is not exercising your faith to get you to believe it. That's already done. This is an exercise in your faith to get you to trust. You're sitting there in that seat. You ain't even thinking nothing about it falling. You trust it. You put your whole weight in it. You didn't look up under it or nothing because you trust it to hold you up. God said, "If you can trust something made by man," he said, "when you throw your weight back on me like that and trust me that I have brought you into your season for such a time as this, then I'll make you great!