TD Jakes — Do Not Worry
The reason we have made such advances is because our mind is our power, and if I was your enemy and I wanted to render you powerless, I would worry you to death with so much on your mind that you lost your creativity, that you lost your passion, that you lost your sense of impact and influence and purpose. I would just worry you to death.
I was reading in the dictionary up under the word "weary". One of the definitions is to have your sense of pleasure exhausted. If I was the enemy, I would stop life from being fun. I would make you miserable in all that stuff God gave you. "I couldn't stop him from givin' it to you, but I will worry you to death until you had a real nice bed you couldn't sleep in and a pool that you didn't enjoy and a house that wasn't comfortable, and you look around at all that stuff, and you might as well be where you were 'cause, if I can't take your stuff, I can take your mind from enjoyin' the stuff I gave you".
I came to tell you this mornin' the devil is after your mind. He's after your mind. He's after your mind. He's after your mind, brother. He's after your mind, and let me tell ya somethin': That's why the car broke down. That's why the roof started leakin'. That's why they threatened your job. Let me tell ya somethin': The devil don't drive, and he don't wanna go to work, so he doesn't need your car, and he's not after your job. He's just usin' that stuff to go after your mind 'cause your mind is your power.
Why in the world would the devil want my car? He don't drive. He don't want my job. He don't wanna go to work in the mornin'. He don't want your kids. Sometime, you don't want 'em! You know the devil don't want your kids. He's just usin' what you care about to drive you crazy because he's after your mind so that you will lose your power. Your mind is your power. Your power is your mind.
So Jesus says, "Take no thought". I'm gon' go deeper. Can I go deeper? So when he said, "Take no thought," I was uncomfortable with it because I didn't really wanna preach it, and I thought, you know, because I'm really tryin' to get us to think, and he says, "Take no thought," and I had to really look into it to understand that he's not telling us to be mindless. You know what I think? He's actually tellin' us not to be distracted. Do you not know, you can be so into the possibilities of what could happen tomorrow, that you miss the pleasures of today? You could be so engrossed trying fend off what could happen that you don't embrace what is happenin'.
"The enemy cometh to kill, steal, and destroy," so everything he can't kill, he wants to steal. Could the enemy be stealin' your today with your worry about tomorrow? Could he threaten you with death tomorrow so much that you don't enjoy life today? So what good is being alive today if you're gon' spend your life today worryin' about death tomorrow? "You gon' run out of bread next week". "Yeah, but I didn't run out today, glory to God"! You understand what I'm sayin' to you? Woo, I'm talkin' to somebody! I don't even know who it is!
So I wanted to go back and see what led Jesus into this conversation, and when I read the text before it, it was schizophrenic, almost, because in the text before it, he says, "If your eye is single, the whole body is full of light," and I thought, "Jesus, now, come on, in the interest of bein' a good sermonizer, why are you talkin' about my eye one moment, and then the next verse, you're talkin' about my thoughts, the next? What does my eye and my mind have to do with each other"? See, it is never what you know about the text that matters. It's what you ask of the text that counts.
So I asked the text, why does Jesus make this radical turn from the eye being single? He said, "If the eye is single, the whole body is full of light," and then he start tellin', "Take no thought, take no thought, take no thought, take no thought". What're you doing? Ah, what causes the eye to be single is focus. See, if you go the doctor, the eye doctor, and you say to the optometrist, "I'm seein' double," somethin' is wrong because you're designed for your eye to be single. He says, "If your eye is single, the whole body is full of light". And then he starts sayin', "Take no thought, take no thought, take no thought, take no thought".
And then I looked at my camera sittin' over on the counter, and I looked at the lens, and I started playin' with the lens to see what focus was because I could take my camera and put it up, and I could see the moment, but if it was out of focus, everything was still there, but it was blurred. You see, some of us are livin' our lives out of focus. We see, but we see man walkin' as trees. We've been touched, but it hasn't been cleared up, and our opinions and our attitudes and our reactions and our decisions are not sharp like they could be because our lives are out of focus, then our body is not full of light, then our decisions are not smart, then we can't see details, and we make dumb decisions 'cause we can't see clear details 'cause we are out of focus. That's why God sent this message because "The entrance of thy word give us light," and when you get God's Word, it brings you into focus.
Touch your neighbor and say, "God is bringin' you into focus". God said, "I'm gon' bring you into focus because you're fighting without your central weapon". Your mind is the lion's teeth. It's the eagle's wings. It's the elephant's weight. It's the cheetah's speed. "So if I were your enemy and I wanted to paralyze you in any place, I would paralyze you in your mind until you didn't make good decisions because you were so worried about things that only I can fix. Did not I clothe the lilies"? They were dressed with more finery than all of Solomon's array, and they did it without paint, and they did it without worry, and they did it without sowing and reaping. They did it by trusting and believing.
There is a higher principle. Did you hear that? I don't think they heard that. You heard it. That's me and you. We got that. We got it, huh? There is a higher principle. There is a principle beyond sowing and reaping. You don't hear people talk about it much in church, but there is a principle beyond sowing and reaping, yeah. Yeah, the principle of sowing and reaping says, "If you sow sparingly, you'll reap sparingly. If you sow bountifully, you'll reap bountifully". You okay? It basically says, "Give, and it shall be given unto you today, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and runnin' over," so if you sow tomato seeds, you're gonna reap tomato seeds. If you sow corn seed, you're gonna reap corn seeds. If you sow love, you're gon' reap love. If you want friends, you must show yourself friendly. All of those are basic biblical principles.
What about this? "I will give you houses that you didn't build. I will give you vineyards that you didn't grow. I will give you blessings that make no sense. I will give you somethin' that you don't even know where it came from". Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm sayin' to you. Have you ever got a blessin', and you couldn't say, "I don't know where this came from"? "I don't deserve it, I didn't expect it, I didn't sow it, but look at me"! All the blessed people, holla at your boy right there. God says, "If you trust me, I'll take you into the next dimension. I'll take you into a level that you'll get stuff that you never saw it comin'. I'll send love to the loveless, help to the helpless, bread to the hungry. I will give you houses that you didn't build, you didn't work for, you didn't labor for it. I'm just gon' lay it on ya. It's not your salary. It's your benefit package".
"Give and it shall be given unto you". Some of us have already got that down. We're already tithers. We're already givers. We're already sowers. We're ready to go to the next dimension. To those of you that are ready to go to the next dimension, this word is for you: God says, if you focus on him, he'll give you things that you never sowed for, that you never planted, that you never expected. He says he will pour you out blessings comin' from all directions! "Seek ye first the kingdom of God in all its righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you".
Touch five people and tell 'em, "God's gettin' ready to add to ya"! When you find the one that's praisin' God, that's the one that got the blessing! Hey! God is getting ready to add to ya! Shake your neighbor by the hand and say, "Neighbor, that's why the devil's been fighting you because God's gettin' ready to add to you"! I dare you to praise him. I double-dare you, I double-dare you to open your mouth. That's why the enemy sends you trouble to shut down your praise and destroy your peace. I don't care what kind of news you got. Open your mouth and give God praise" Hey! Hallelujah!
So what the Bible is saying, what Jesus is teachin' is "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added or given unto you as well". God is sayin', "If you focus on what I need, I'll focus on what you need," but there's no need in God focusin' on what you need if you gon' focus on what you need. God said, "If you'll focus on what I told you to do, I'll focus on what you ask me to do, but if you gon' stay up all night, I'm goin' to bed. If you gon' watch out for you, why should I watch out for you? If you gon' open doors for you, why should I open doors for you? If you gon' protect yourself, why should I protect you"?
See, God is not so much tellin' us not to think about it. See, to be anxious is to worry about what could go wrong. It is negative faith. "Faith, I'm not gon' keep this. This is not gon' work for me. People like me don't get stuff like this. I'm gonna lose it". See, faith cometh by... and hearing by... Uh-huh. So what you are saying to yourself is bringing that faith. If positive confession brought salvation, then negative faith... confession brings destruction.
Let me put it in biblical terms. "You are snared by the words of your mouth". The only reason you're going down is because of what you say about you. It is what you say. If you're talkin' about what people say about you, what people say about you does not matter at all. If what people said about you could kill, you ought to have been dead long time ago. What people say about you does not matter at all. What you say about you... stop speakin' negativity into your spirit that is cancellin' out what God wants to give you, and he says, "If you'll focus on your purpose rather than your person, if you focus on your purpose rather than your problems, if you focus on your purpose with positive faith like you lay down with that negative faith every night and beat yourself up... "I don't look right," "I'm not tall," "I'm not short," "I'm too fat," "I'm too thin," "I'm too dark," "I'm too light," "I wish I wasn't a woman," "I wish I would've been a man," "I can't fight in this world," all this negative stuff, "Look at my hair," "I don't like my nose," "I need to get my face fixed," "I got..." shut up!
Let me fix this for you: What's wrong with you is not what's wrong with you. God used Moses' mouth to deliver all the Hebrews from Egypt and M-m-moses couldn't-t-t even t-t-t-talk. So t-this is not about th-the way y-you talk or the w-way you look. And if you th-think right, Th-then nothin' else th-that you're worried about is gonna get in the way because your mind is your power, and your power... oh, there's some stuff right there! I hope somebody got it. Lord, let somebody get that way down in their spirit today.
Look at that! It isn't "take no thought". In the NIV, the clear translation is "Therefore I tell you, do not worry". "Do not worry about your life and what you will eat or drink. Do not worry about your body. Do not worry about what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they"? Keep goin'. "Can any one of you by worrying..."
Oh, he's not tellin' you to be thoughtless. He's telling you not to worry. That's different from "take no thought". No wonder I was strugglin' with this text. That's not "take no thought". See, "takin' a thought" is a good thing 'cause your mind is a weapon, but when you're worryin', you are thoughtless. Worryin' is to rehearse the problem without solution. Worry is a computer that keeps buffering. Worry is when you keep thinkin' the same thing over and over and over again without resolution. He's sayin', "Do not buffer, do not buffer, do not buffer".
If you thought about it and you didn't think to a solution, leave it alone. If you keep goin' over and over it again, you have gone from thinking to worry. Do not worry. Say it again. See, the reason I wanted you to say it, it's one thing for me to say it, but I wanted your ear to hear your mouth say, "Do not worry" Say it again.
When you get home, what you gon' say? When you get ready for bed, what you gon' say? When you drivin' to work Monday, what you gon' say? When you go to court, what're you gon' say? When you meet with the IRS, what you gon' say? When you get ready to pay them bills, what you gon' say? Because, when you say, "Do not worry," you'll stop the buffering that's goin' on in your head, and you can get a clear word from God. If I'm preachin' to you, give him some praise!