TD Jakes — Don't Be Blindsided
Paul is pregnant, a 3-year pregnancy. Pregnant with destiny, pregnant with purpose, pregnant with possibilities, pregnant with creativity, pregnant with ideas, pregnant with concepts. Oh, I love to be around pregnant people. They're always birthing stuff. Have you thought about this? We could do this, and then we can do that. And if we go over here, we can get over there. Deliver me from people who say, "We can't do it. We don't have enough. We're not smart enough. We're too old. We're too fat". Get out of here, give me some big belly people.
So, Paul is carrying Ephesus in the womb of his ministry for 3 years. He said, "I ceased not both day and night to weep for Ephesus. Because when I get through with this birthing process, I'm going to have to commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance," listen to that, "build you up and give you an inheritance amongst all them that are sanctified. After my departure, grievous wolves will come in, not sparing the flock of God. While I'm here, the baby is protected. When I go, you're on your own". He's birthing them.
It reminded me of the couple that birthed the blind child in the Book of John. And Jesus came upon him, and he was blind. And the disciples said, "Who sinned, his mother or his father, that he should be born blind"? Jesus said, "Neither, but for the glory of God". Paul has birthed them 3 months, then leaves them. And in Ephesus, he is writing back to that which he has birthed, saying, "You are birthed, but you are still spiritually blind. I birthed you, but I birthed a blind baby". He says, "Now, I pray for you that the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in Christ Jesus might manifest itself in you," oh God, "that the eyes of your understanding may be," check this out, "enlightened".
See, Jesus did a lot of healing of blind people so that they could say outwardly. Paul prays for people who are blind inwardly, that the eyes of your understanding might be enlightened. Ooh, this is good. I said this is good. What he's trying to get them to understand is that your understanding, understanding, understanding is simple this, the truth you stand under. Understanding is the truth you stand under.
What are you going to do if the truth you stand under is blind? The truth you tell yourself about your situation, the truth you've told other people about your situation, the truth that you have convinced yourself to be absolutely correct could be blind. You don't believe it? Tell your story to somebody who was also there. You have given so much power to your story that your story now justifies your condition. "I can't do it because of my story". You are like the man who laid at the pool for 38 years. And Jesus asked him, "Will thou be made whole"? He said, "It's not my will to be like this, but when I get ready to step in, nobody helped me". In 38 years, you could've rolled to the pool. It was not your lameness that stopped you, it was your story that you told yourself. Oh, you all aren't going to help me.
Listen at the story the woman with the issue of blood tells herself. Everybody else says she's going to die. There's no doctor, there's no hospital, there's no CVS, there's no prescription, there's no medicine, there's no medication. Religion says you're unclean, don't touch anybody because you have an issue. So, religion isn't helping her, medicine isn't helping her. She went to all the doctors and spent all of her money, her money didn't help her, their medicine didn't help her. She still remains blind until she changes her story. She changed her story when she said to herself, "If I may but touch the hem of his garment..."
Oh God, don't make me preach this morning. "If I could just touch it". You ought to just reach for something. "I know I'm bleeding, I know I'm weak, I know the odds are against me, I know I'm out of money, I know I'm out of medicine, I know religion hadn't helped me, but if I can just touch the hem of his garment, I will be made whole". Now, understand this. In the original language, when it says that she said to herself, it means, it literally means she said over and over and over again. Because when you repeat a new story, you delete an old one.
Whoo, that was worth getting up out the bed. If I don't say anything else, you cannot delete your old story until you repeat your new story. Her old story is, "You're dying". Her old story says, "Don't touch anybody". Her old story says, "This is hopeless". Her old story says, "You are broke, and you are bleeding, and you're going to die". Her new story says, "If I can just touch it, if I can just touch the hem of his garment. If I can make it to Jesus". Which one worked the best, the old story or the new one?
Maybe, maybe it is time for you to get a new story. And in order to get a new story, Father, open her eyes. Father, open their eyes because you can't change your story until you are enlightened. Wow, isn't that good? You know something? I'm getting old, I don't mind it, I kind of like it. Took me a minute, now I'm kind of getting used to it, had to grow on me. Didn't like it at first, but it's okay. I'm looking good? That's good.
If I'm looking good, I can make it. What I would hate is to get old and get ready to die, and in my last moment of life to wonder what would have happened if I would have only stuck it out, or fought through it, or went after it. I would rather go after it and fail. I'd rather climb up and trip. I'd rather walk on the water and sink, and Jesus have to get me out of the mess than to stay on the boat and say, "Wonder what would have happened if I'd have walked on the water". Some people are so bent on playing it safe that they don't know that playing it safe is the result of being blind to the possibilities of what could happen if you would change your story.
Ah, am I talking to somebody? I'm trying to save you from bitterness because bitterness comes when you have regret from making decisions too soon. So, what they did for me past... they gave me an eye exam. So, sitting on the table. And after they put all the drops in my eyes, he says, "What do you see"? Because how I answered what I saw helped her to understand whether my eyes were enlightened. How you see is a test on how well your eyes are. So, Paul here gives an eye exam in the test, and he gives three questions on the test. And these are the final three areas that he deals with. One, he deals with, "I want you to see your purpose". Okay, "Two, I want you to see your possession. And three, I want you to see your power".
Whoo, good God of mercy. "I want you to see your purpose". He says it this way, "The eyes of your understanding might be enlightened; that you might know what is the hope of his calling". He says, "I want you to know it. You don't have to reach it, just know it". You don't have to touch it, can you see it? "Do you want me to touch F, that G, and that M"? "No, I don't want you to touch it, reverend. I just want you to be able to see it". See, you're busy trying to touch it, but the test isn't to touch it, the test is can you see it? I'm helping somebody, I can feel it. I don't even know who it is.
See, you're all worried, "I should've been further for my age. I should've touched it by now. I thought I should've touched it by now". The test is not to touch it. The test is to see it. He says, "I pray that the eyes of your understanding might be enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling". He said, "I want you to know your purpose, the power of knowing your purpose". I know my purpose. I am here right now 'cause I know my purpose. I know my purpose by a process of elimination. He said, "This door". Said, "Okay, dummy, you got one door. You don't have to be led. I will never bless you through what you lost. I will always use what you have left". Two fish, five loaves of bread, a handful of mill, it will always be what's left, not what's lost.
Stop weeping over what's lost. The miracle's always in what's left. Know your purpose. This is an eye exam. I know my purpose. I count not myself to have apprehended it. I haven't reached it yet. I haven't reached it yet. I'm stretching. I'm getting there. I haven't reached it yet, that's why I woke up this morning. I haven't reached it yet. I'll know when I reached it. When I've reached it, I'll write you a letter and say, "I've kept the faith. I've finished my course. Now laid up for me is a crown of righteousness. I have not reached it yet, but I'm in the press".
You can't press toward what you don't know. In fact, you are pressing toward what you do know. But suppose what you know is wrong. Suppose your understanding is blind, and you are walking in the darkness of no light. "My people perish," he said, "for the lack of knowledge". Not for the lack of money, not for the lack of friends, not for the lack of fame. He says, "What's killing you is what you don't know. I pray that the eyes of your understanding might be an enlightened, that ye might know, that you might know what is the hope of his calling". Know your purpose.
That's why we're writing about purpose. Because when you know your purpose, you know what isn't your purpose. So, you can stop being distracted trying to do something that is not in the wheelhouse of what you were designed to do. Somebody holler, "I know my purpose". Say it again, say, "I know my purpose". Even if you're still learning it, shout, "I know my purpose". I want every devil in hell to hear you say, "I know my purpose, so you can stop offering me this, and that, and the other. I know my purpose. I know, I know what is the hope of his calling".
Oh, glory to God. Thank you, Jesus. Number two, you must know your possessions. What is the exceeding riches of his inheritance in the saints, what he put in you. I know what I got. I know my purpose, and I know my possessions. I will not fight this challenge with what you possess because I can't fight Goliath in your armor. I have not proven your armor. This slingshot might not look like much, but I know how to work this slingshot. I know my possessions. Glory to God. Look at your neighbor, say, "Do you know what you got"? Do you know what God hid in you? His inheritance, the treasure that he placed inside of you, what he stands to gain. Look, y'all, let me break this down.
Can I go a little bit deeper? Inheritance is what you stand to gain. The Bible says he buried his inheritance in you. So, whatever God is asking for, he already gave you. He's not asking you for something that he didn't already put inside of you. Do you know what you got? God's not asking you to sing if you can't sing. He's not asking you to preach if you can't preach. God's not asking you to build if you can't build. God's not asking you to be an entrepreneur if you're not that. He only asks of you what he's placed inside of you.
Do you know what you got? When you know what you have, you know it when you hear it. When other people say it, they reaffirm what you already know. Whether it be a prophet, man, or angel come unto you and affirm you of something that does not confirm what you know, you reject it. Like you come in here and prophesy, "Yea, I say unto thee this day, thou shall be an astronaut". And I quit all of this, and go running over here jumping on a spaceship off of something he said that wasn't revealed to me. I can't walk in your revelation of who I am. I can only walk in my revelation of who I am. You know what you got.
The thirst to know what you have will often drive you into the company of people who appear to know. If you don't know what you have, anybody who comes along and seems like they know what you have, you will follow them because of what you don't know. But if you know what you possess, you will only follow people who confirm what is already revealed in your Spirit.
See, this is a confirming word for somebody. I don't know who it is. Somebody's listening at me, they're paying me no attention at all. I am not your pastor. The ones that are really the sheep of this house, you are tied into me because I am confirming something that you already sense in your spirit. I'm not trying to pastor somebody that's not meant to be in my flock. My sheep know my voice. A stranger, don't bother me. Come on here, somebody. Glory to God. Slap somebody, say, "He's talking to me". That's all I know, it's working for me. I don't care whether it's working for you or not, it's working for me.
Stop telling me I shouldn't drive that far to go to church, it's working for me. Stop telling me our church is too big, it's working for me. High five somebody, tell them, "I got something. I don't have to be jealous of you 'cause I got something. I might not be able to do what you can do, but baby, you can't beat me when I do what I do. I got something". Slap somebody and say, "I got something". The apostle said, "Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I unto thee". Somebody holler, "I got something. If you don't see it, it's your loss 'cause I already know I got something". Slap somebody and say, "I got something".