TD Jakes — Believe
Greetings in the name of Christ our King. I'm so excited to have this opportunity to share with you. I'm going to be talking out of Exodus chapter 4, verse 1 through 6, and the message is called "Believe". You know as well as I do that Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him as righteousness. What God is concerned about above everything else is what we believe. We can go through sacraments, and ceremonies, rituals, and routines, wear dresses down to our knees, cover our heads up our... I don't care what you do. If you do not believe him, you have missed the whole substratum of what faith is all about. I want you to understand that the early church, long before they were called Christians, were called believers. They were known because they believed. What you believe and in whom you believe determines everything about where you are in your life right now.
Go to the Word of God with me. This might be the revolutionary thought that transforms your life into God's eternal purpose for you. There's more for you. Let's open up the Book, let's get started. I'm going to read a few Scriptures. Exodus 4:1 through 6, and it says, "And Moses answered and said, 'But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice. For they will say, the Lord hath not appeared unto thee.' And the Lord said unto him, 'What is in your hand?' And he said, 'A rod.' And he said, 'Cast it on the ground.' And he cast it on the ground, it became a serpent". And Moses started running.
See, when you start running from one thing, you're going to keep running from everything. That's why you need to stop running, and face whatever you got to face, and deal with whatever you got to deal with 'cause if you run from Pharaoh, you're going to run from the serpent, you're going to run from love, you're going to run from life, you're going to run from responsibility, you're going to run, run, run, run, run. When are you going to stop running? Moses, you'll never be Moses if you keep running from stuff that scares you. Moses, you'll never be great if you keep running from things that scare you. You're running from something that God gave you.
And the Lord said unto Moses, "Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail". I was so scared, I'm running. And you want me to grab... now, now, visualize this. How many of you want to grab a snake by the tail? God can call you to grab stuff you're scared of. Can somebody say, "Take it by the tail"? Oh my God. "And he put forth his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand, that they may believe that the Lord God of their Father's, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob has appeared unto them".
I want to go back for a minute and process what we heard. "God, I would do it, but they will not believe me". Was it really that they would not believe, or is he imposing on them something that's really coming from him? Whatever you've been saying about they might really be you. "They won't accept me. They won't love me. They won't accept me. They can't use me. They'll never embrace me". Well, you'll never get anybody to embrace you till you embrace yourself. You'll never get anybody to believe in you till you believe in yourself. You'll never get anybody to love you till you love yourself. Your they might be you in disguise. Whoo, you all got quiet on that. I must've hit something.
Now, God says to him, "I want you to go speak for me". And he says, "They will not believe in me". God doesn't even respond to what he says. He says, "What is in your hand"? Why didn't he address what he believed about they? Because what he believed about they was just a reflection of what he believed about himself. So, God says, "Let's do inventory of what you got. What is in your hand"?
This Sunday morning, if I don't get anything else accomplished, I want to ask you, what is in your hand? Before you assign your destiny to something externally, have you assessed what is in your hand? Because somebody could take what is in your hand and win. While you keep crying about what's not in your hand, God said, "I don't need anything that's not in your hand to bless you. I'm going to use something that is already..." I feel like I'm talking to somebody, I don't know who it is. What is that in thine hand? If you don't do anything else today, I want you to do a self assessment of what is in my hand.
All the other voices that have been talking to you have been telling you what is not in your hand. God does not need anything that is not in your hand to bless you. Your blessing is hidden in what is in your hand. The problem is you have a limited perception of what is in your hand. You think it's just a rod. You think it's just a stick. God says, "I want to show you the potential of what is in your hand. Throw it down".
Now, this is a powerful thing because if Moses does not learn this in private, it will mess him up in public. Because when he gets down to the Red Sea, he's going to have to use that same stick to part the Red Sea. And if he doesn't have any confidence in private, he won't have any power in public. You're going to need what you got. Oh God, help me. Oh my God, I feel that thing. Shove your neighbor and say, "You got more than you think you do". You can do more than you think you can do. You can have more than you think you can have. The problem is not coming from what they believe, it's coming from what you believe.
Oh God, I'm talking to somebody. Stop blaming people for the years you wasted. It's not coming from them, Moses. You was a failure in front of them, now you're a failure in private. It can't be coming from them, they're not even there. The voice is in the house. I was going to say, "Who am I talking to"? But I know you don't want to say nothing. It says, "The Lord said unto him, 'Put forth thine hand and take it by the tail.' And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand". It became a rod in his hand. He caught it as a snake. It became a rod.
Sometimes, you will not see till you snatch. The problem with most people is you want to see your way clear before you pick it up. But God said you got to pick it up scared, nervous, worried, intimidated, not sure of yourself. It will only turn into a rod when it's... oh my God. You don't even know what you got till you pick it up. Who am I preaching to? It's going to turn in your hand, not in your eye, in your hand. When you grab it, it'll change when you touch it, 'cause you're going to touch it by faith. God is asking him to grab what he just got through running from.
That's great preaching, but that's scary living. If I was scared enough to run from it, now you're asking me to pick up... just imagine it. I can't teach it, just imagine it. You're in the house, it's a 7-foot copperhead. And the voice of the Lord says, "Take it by the tail". Now, I could snatch it up if I thought I could handle it. But if I thought I could handle it, I would've never run from it. Now, you want me to grab something that I don't think I can handle 'cause you're trying to show me that if I step over my fear and grab it by faith, it'll change in my hand.
The reason he asked Moses a question, "What is in your hand"? because God is challenging what Moses believes. I'm not talking about what you say. You know how to say the right stuff. I'm talking about what you believe about yourself. You say the right things, you've been taught how to imitate faith. You talk, as my grandmother said, "You talk at the big game, but you go home and live out your belief".
If you believe you are unlovable, you will always be unloved. You can dress up, you can smell good, you can work out, you can say all the right things, you can walk around, you can be debonair, you can be cool, you can be hip, but none of that will overcome that belief that you have in your heart that your life is over, that you made too many mistakes, that you're too old to get anything done in the kingdom. These things that you believe have become your vision statement. It is your purpose. And unknowingly, it has become your goal to live out the damnation of the words you rehearse to yourself.
So, you're busy trying to get everybody else to like something that you don't like. You're trying to convince everybody else that you are something that you don't believe. And this morning, the Lord sent me here to challenge your belief. So, I said to God, "How can I challenge their belief"? And he says to me, "Faith of any kind always comes by hearing". You didn't believe you were dumb till you heard you were dumb. You didn't believe you couldn't learn till you heard somebody say you couldn't learn. You didn't believe you weren't attractive till you heard somebody say.
Your unbelief is a result of something you heard about yourself that you believed about yourself. And your life has fulfilled the prophecy you heard about yourself. "You're crazy like your daddy. You're just like your mommy". All of these are curses. They may not be cussing, but they're curses that were pronounced over you that said you couldn't do this, or that, or the other. And the more you heard it and rehearsed it, and even argued about it and said you didn't believe it, every time you face a challenge, tell me the truth, don't those voices come back up? Every time you hit a low place, don't those voices come back up again? Every time things go wrong, don't those voices come back?
You have never changed your belief. And you will never completely be healed or whole until you change the voice inside of your own head. And nobody, nobody can do this but you. New friends can't do it, new clothes can't do it, more money can't do it, more women can't do it, more sex can't do it. They can camouflage it, but they can't cure it because you are snared by the words of your own mouths. You can't get enough people to tell you you're pretty when you think you're ugly. That's why you keep needing some more. Until you change the words that are in your head, your opportunities will continue to hemorrhage.
Like the woman with the issue of blood, her issues were killing her. Twelve years, her issues were killing her. Twelve years, the life's blood was hemorrhaging out of her. It was coming out of her lower extremities, but it was coming from her mouth. Oh, you all didn't catch that. It is coming out of her lower extremities, but it is coming from her mouth. Can you prove it? Yes, I can. What healed her did not come from her lower extremities. What healed her came out of her mouth when she said to herself.
See, until she met Jesus, all she believed about herself was that, "I'm dying. I'm dying. I'm dying. I'm dying". And so, her money died 'cause she was dying. Her relationships died 'cause she was dying. Her heart was broken 'cause she was dying. She couldn't have relationships, she was dying. She has spent all of her money because she was dying. Until she met Jesus, when she met Jesus, he changed the story she told herself. And she said, "If I may but touch the hem of his garment, I know. If I may but touch the hem of his garments". She didn't even say it to anybody. It was what she said to herself.
Now, if you read it in the original language, when it says she said to herself, it said she said repeatedly to herself, over and over and over again. Because when you're trying to drive out stinking thinking, you have to say it over and over. Am I helping anybody? So, she says, "If I may but touch the hem of his garment, I'll be made whole". She took another step, "If I may but touch the hem of his garment, I'll be made whole". Hallelujah, slap your name and say, "Talk to yourself". Talk to your mind. Talk to your childhood. Talk to your dilemma. Talk to your crisis. Change your story.
What you believe makes the difference. God wants you to believe completely in him, and to also believe in yourself. That's important too. The enemy, through circumstances, trials, tribulations, weaknesses, and tests, is trying to destroy your belief system in both, not just in God, but in you. Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me".
Some of you got the through Christ down pat, but you have the I can. Failures, and mistakes, and weaknesses have made you stop believing in you. You can't get up if you don't believe you can. However, your predicament does not define your destiny. It's time to speak to every negative circumstance and call it a liar. The Word of God says, "I can do all things," then I'm going to say I can do all things through Christ, through Christ. And not by myself, not humanism, not mind power, not intellectualism, but through Christ which strengthens me. That's the word I want you to take with you today. That's the word that I want to permeate your spirits, sink down into your soul, down into the crevasses of your being, and transform the way you approach your next step of destiny.