TD Jakes — Faith Is an Equalizier
Hello, friends. I'm excited to have the opportunity to be a part of your life today, to share the Word of the Lord. Have you ever felt like you were working at a disadvantage, as if everybody else had more power, influence, resources than you? I've got good news for you, faith is an equalizer. How is your faith working for you? If you only define faith as the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen, you're not really getting the full impact of all that God wants to do in your life. Faith is an equalizer. Remember that as we go now to the Word of God.
I want you to look at Romans 12 and 3, we're gonna look at Romans 12 and 3. We gotta move fast, 'cause I got a long ways to go, short time to get there. But Romans 12, it says, "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you," how many men? "Every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought". Now, that's a sermon right there. Good God, if I could stay, I could stay there all day. "Not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly," soberly.
So, what does it mean to be sober? It's the opposite of being drunk. What does being drunk mean? To be intoxicated by outside influence. Are you intoxicated by outside influence? Because, whether you had a drink or not, according to God, you are drunk when you allow outside things to influence how you are inside. You are not sober, you are intoxicated. You are inebriated by your own pain, by your own past, by your own beauty, whatever it is that's affecting your feelings, and affecting your attitude that's comin' from the outside has got you drunk.
Touch your neighbor and say, "Sober up". Because in order to approach God, you have to be sober. That doesn't mean sad, I'm sober right now, but I'm not sad. I know I'm sober, because I have not allowed outside influences to affect my behavior. So, the Bible says soberly, are you sober? According as God hath dealt to some man, oh, you know, I don't have my glasses. To the preachers, to the people who can sing, to black folks, to rich folks, to Latino folks, to white folks, oh, wait, wait. I'm gonna get it right. To short people, to tall people, to handsome people, to fat people. To every man. This is the one thing that God has made sure every man has. "He hath dealt unto him the measure of faith".
So, you cannot say to God, "I didn't get saved, 'cause I didn't have it". You cannot say to God, "I didn't live on top of my circumstances because you asked me for something that you didn't give me". You have enough faith to get out of this if you will use it. Somebody say, "I got the faith". Now, havin' somethin', and usin' it are two different things. "Oh, you know, Bishop just got such faith. He's a great man of faith and power". Really? How do you know? How do you know? Can you see my faith? No, you can't see my faith. You think I've got more faith than you? Absolutely not.
Young man, right there with the navy. Yeah, I know you gone faint, 'cause I put you on the spot. Yeah, but come up here for a minute. Come up here, and just stand right beside me. How you doin'? Tell me your name.
- Jeff: I'm Jeff.
- Hi, Jeff. How's it goin', Jeff? I brought you up here 'cause I like your sport coat and everything. You like mine? We cool, you see. Now, I really brought him up here because Jeff is so small in comparison to me. It does not look like he would have as many muscles as I do. Let me put it this way. If we was gone arm wrestle, and you was gone put $100 down, would you put it on me or him? He said he would put his $100 on me, okay. See, you know, that's good. Truth of the matter is, I don't have one more muscle than he does. Not one more muscle.
The difference in our muscle tone is how we worked it. I ain't sayin' you don't work out, and you look good, too. Pose, just give 'em somethin', give 'em somethin'. Oh, I got the right guy up here, today. I shoulda known. I knew who to get, see. Thank you, that's all. I'm not gone put you on the spot more. Didn't he do good? Give him a big ol' round. Now, I didn't measure arms, but I think my arms are bigger than Jeff's, not because they have more muscle, but they've had to carry more weight.
The more weight your faith has to carry, the bigger your faith is gonna get. If you walk by faith, your faith is gonna swell up to meet the challenge that you have in your life right now. Do you hear what I'm sayin'? Because God hath dealt to me and Jeff the same amount of muscles, the same amount of faith, the same amount of blood, the same amount of opportunity. The only difference between me and Jeff is what we choose to do with what we have been given. He woke up this morning, I woke up this morning. He got two eyes, I got two eyes. He got two legs, I got two legs. The rest of it is up to us, what we choose to do. How intellectual we become, we got the same brain, and it's not his fault that he's smarter than me, he just did more with what he has been given.
So, stop complainin' about who's fighting you, and who doesn't like you, and who doesn't support you. Don't blame me because you didn't use what you had been given. It is your fault, and until you take responsibility for what you did, you cannot change your circumstance. It's not the black man, it's not the white man, it's not the devil, it is you.
Now, I'm gonna tell you somethin' else. Go to 1 Corinthians 10:13. We got a common power in faith, and we got a common dilemma in this world. 1 Corinthians 10:13. "There hath no temptation," not one temptation, not one. That little temptation that you got, that you don't think that nobody else in the world has it but you, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with," not after, with, not after, "With the temptation also make a way of escape". That means if there's a temptation, there's a way out. If there's a prison, there's a door out.
At the same time one is made, the other one is made. If you fell in it, you just wanted to. What I'm tryin' to do is level the playing floor so that you understand our temptations are common, and our faith is common. Now, once we get down to that level play, there is no such thing as you havin' a special problem. There are no special problems. Everybody got the same stuff. "There is no temptation taken you but such as is common to man". "There is no temptation taken you but which is common to man. God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able," but what I love is, the reason I emphasize that, with the temptation, also make a way of escape. It lets me know that God does not allow anything to be created without a door.
You can get out. Stop playin' with your head. You can get out. "I'm just in love, and I can't get"... you can. So, I want you to understand the commonness of the dilemma, and I wanna deal with this a little bit more, 'cause I wanna make sure you get this. All of us have a story. Things have happened to us in life, and they're personal, and they're deep, and they have consequences, and the consequences feel unique, and as long as the consequences feel unique, it almost gives you a visa not to recover. You got a passport not to get better because look at what happened to me, never understandin' that something similar happened to him, something like that happened to her, and three rows back it happened to him, and it went through her over there, and if they made it...
See, if I was a crackhead, I would be comfortable to stay a crackhead as long as there were no crackheads who got delivered. But, if there is one crackhead that got delivered, they condemn me into judgement, that if you got out... see, we were in the same prison, and if you found a way to get out, and somewhere there's a wall. There's a door, and there's a trapdoor, there's a window, there's a way. 'Cause if he got out, then there is no way in this world I got to die in this situation. Touch somebody and tell 'em, "I'm comin' out". Whatever you got, I got it, too. I'm comin' out. I may have to go in the gym and work out a little bit, but I'm comin' out. I may have to stay up readin' and prayin', but I'm comin' out. I may have to lay hands on my head, but I'm comin' out. I may have to retrain how I think, but I'm comin' out. I may have to confess where I'm goin', but I'm comin' out. My God, I don't know who I'm talkin' to, but I feel like I'm talkin' to somebody. Slap your neighbor, and tell 'em, "I'm comin' out". I came in this church so I could come out of my situation.
Faith is not a science. Faith is not a science, it defies logic. Now, to those of you who... I've got several people who teach at universities, and who are doctorate degrees, and you're very astute, very astute. You have been trained for years that your knowledge and your logic epitomizes truth. So, when you bring that philosophical etiology to church, you struggle with faith, because faith is not a science, it defies logic.
And sometimes, because you are so reasoned, you did wonderful at the university, but you struggle in the kingdom, because you wanna know why about everything, which is great for the classroom, but it's wrong for the kingdom. Because you cannot expect God to explain why to something as small as you, 'cause he'll ask you, like he did Job, "Where were you when I spat out the seven seas? Where were you when I separated the light from darkness? Where were you? My thoughts are above your thoughts. My ways are above your ways".
Faith is not logical, so in an endeavor to be just, salvation comes by? Oh, you're doin' good. Because if it came by intellectualism, it wouldn't be just. If it came by talent, it wouldn't be just. Faith is God leveling the playing floor. He leveled it so low until he said, "Unless you become like children". You wanna learn about faith, watch your children, not your pastor, watch your children. Watch how easily they believe what they are exposed to. Watch the innocent, and that easiness in which they believe is built on trust. They trust for truth.
The problem that God has with unbelievers is that your unbelief is an insult to him. It says you don't trust him. It says that your little mind, that he created, is policing the God who created it. It says that you would dare to put your thoughts in an argument with the God who created the mind that you have to think with. Even Jesus said, "Not my will, but thine be done". So, what he requires, whether you are intellectual or illiterate, is an equal opportunity in accessing the things that matter most. The illiterate can't teach at the university, but just because he is small in the earth doesn't mean that he's small in the kingdom. You can be illiterate and be anointed. Let me try y'all. You can be illiterate and be anointed.
So, in the kingdom, the floor is leveled by faith. Touch somebody and say, "By faith". I got some money. I want a Big Mac, Mike, but I got $5. "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private". It is not what I want, but it is the substance of the thing I hope for. I hope for a double with fries, I got $5. I'm goin' somewhere. I'm bein' funny, but I'm gonna get the double with fries by this $5, because this $5 is the substance of the thing I hope for, and it is the evidence of the thing that I cannot see. It is so effective... see, let me show you this... No, you can't eat it, but it'll get me somethin' I can eat. If I drive up to the window, I can trade this for that.
This works in the earth realm. What this is in the earth realm, faith is in the spirit realm. Come on, somebody. That's why everything that you see done in Hebrews 11, kingdoms were rocked, nations destroyed, women had their bodies quickened, gave birth after their wombs where shut up. They possessed cities and land, properties and kingdoms, and they said, "God, how did they do it"? They did it by?
Now, we go to Romans 5 and 1. This is good. You gotta go here, 'cause if I could get this in you, this'll change the rest of your life. See, my faith is an instrument of exchange. So, Romans 5 and 1 says, "Therefore being justified," oh, my God. You mean it won't just get me a Whopper with cheese? It'll get me a justification. What is justification? A rightstanding before God. So, how do we become righteous when we don't have it? The same way we get the Whopper with fries when we don't have it. We trade for it. What we gone trade? God says in order to purchase righteousness, to acquire righteousness, it's purchased by the blood. To access righteousness, you gotta do it by faith.
Now, read it. "Therefore being justified by faith," look what faith got us, peace with God, peace. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom, also, we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand". In order to get grace, in order to get grace, in order to get mercy, in order to get grace, I gotta have faith to get it. It was amazing to me. I got one of those big 'ol satellite systems when they first came out.
You remember when the satellite was bigger than your house? You had a one-bedroom house, and you couldn't even see the house, 'cause the satellite... I mean, we had people on Welfare that had satellites... Well, I had one, too. It amazed me that all that big receiver was pickin' up what was there all the time, but I didn't have any way to receive it, 'cause I didn't have a receiver. So, they put a receiver in my house so that it could pick up what was there all the time. I wonder how much is there that you're missing because you don't have the faith to pick up the waves of blessings that are comin' your way.
Shake your neighbor and say, "I gotta have this faith". I gotta have this faith, 'cause you're pickin' up things I'm not pickin' up. You're pickin' up healing. You're pickin' up joy. You're pickin' up prosperity. You're pickin' up peace. You're pickin' up salvation, and I'm standin' right beside you, and I can't get it. No, you can't get it 'cause you gotta have the system, and the system is? And the system is? And the just shall live by? And we will walk by? And healing comes by? And salvation comes by? Oh, y'all better shout in here right now.
I'm outta time. I've gotta stop there. What a joy it's been to be a part of your life, and to share the Word of the Lord with you, because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Faith is not contagious, you don't get it by being around faithful people. You don't get it by wearing faithful clothes, you get it through and by the Word of God. I want that faith to be established in your heart today as you serve the Lord with gladness.