TD Jakes — Generations
Hello, everybody, I'm excited to have this opportunity to share the Word of the Lord with you. The message is called, "Generations," and it's taken from Genesis 17:1-9. God's promises in our lives are not just about us, our situation, and our current circumstances, God has as preview on the next generation, he is concerned about them. The enemy wants to stop you from being used by God so that he can curse your descendants. God wants to bless your descendants and your next move determines who has his way. Take a look at this and get ready to be blessed.
I want you to understand that the voice of the Lord that you hear speaking in this text is the first voice that Abram has heard from God in 13 years. Sometimes it is not the moment that God speaks that we must highlight as much as it is the long sabbatical through which he does not. I'm not sure that faith is used as much when God is talking as it is used when he says nothing at all. The real test of faith is can you walk with God when he says nothing at all? Think back, if you will, for a moment to where you were 13 years ago. Think about how much has happened in 13 years. Think about how life has changed in 13 years. Thirteen years God said nothing at all, and yet, saw everything.
The old people said he sits high and looks low, and has all power in his hand. He was looking at it and saying nothing to it, and let Abraham walk for 13 years, stumbling in his own efforts to accomplish God's purpose, making mistakes and mishaps one right after the other, and God said nothing at all. They'd taken in Hagar, they'd birthed Ishmael, they'd tried to adopt Eleazar, doing all of these things in their own strength to bring about the promises of God failure, after failure, after failure, after failure.
The reason I take the time to point this out is that this is important. Before we deal with the speaking of the Lord, we must deal with the silence of the Lord, because what makes the speaking of the Lord so profound is the silence that preceded it. It is the silence that he interrupts in this moment, this 13 year of silence between him and Abraham, and after Abraham has tried everything he could to bring about the promise of God on his own, finally the Lord appears unto Abraham after 13 years and then says, "I am the Lord God Almighty. I am the Lord, Jehovah. I am God Almighty," meaning El Shaddai for Almighty, Elohim for God. He introduces himself in the plurality of his authority, in the absoluteness of his sovereignty.
He says, "I am the Lord thy God," and the Bible says that Abraham fell on his face before God. And God begins to speak to him as only God can speak. He speaks to him and says, "Your name shall no longer be called Abram but Abraham". That's not a suggestion, it's not a request, it's a command. He says I showed up to show you who you are. After trying to be a man, and trying to be a father, and trying to get it together, and trying to put your life together, he said I'll let you walk through 13 years of absolutely wasted effort, and now I'm gonna tell you who you are.
There are some truths that God cannot introduce to you at earlier times because you have not gone through enough to be ready to receive what God has for you. You have to go through a certain degree of failure to lose confidence in that human propensity we have to make idols out of our own ideas, and ideologies, and to bring your idols to its knees, to a place where you can hear what God will say. For if God would speak while your opinion lives, there'd be war in your head, but when your opinion has come to its end and all of your ideas have ended in total failure, and suddenly you recognize that you're not as smart as you thought you were, as bright as you thought you were, or as good as you thought you were, and you finally come down to the end of your rope, then God shows up!
Oh, and he can make an introduction, he knows how to come into a room. Thirteen years of silence and then he appears with all the patience of being an eternal being, unmoved by time. God can wait it out. So you think you're tough, do you? You think you're stubborn? God says, "I have more time than you do. I can afford to wait. I can let you squirm, and fight, and wrestle in your own mind and when I get ready to speak I can speak because I am the Ancient of Days, I am the Beginning and the End, I am the Mighty God, and beside me there is no other".
God appears to Abram and says now I'm gonna show you who you really are. Oh, why now, why didn't you do it when I was younger? Why didn't you do it when I had a better job? Why didn't you do it before I left Chicago? Why didn't you do it before I got to this stage in life? God says you weren't ready yet. I had to take you through the process to get you to the promise, now you're ready to receive on a level that you could have never received before. I'm gonna show you who you really are, who you really are.
But God, I'm 99 years old. If you'd of done it at 70 I could see it. If you'd have done it at 50 I could see it. If you'd have done it at 18 I could see it. If you'd have done it at 15 I could see it. He said, "You don't have to see it, I don't need you to see it, I'm still going to do it because I'm God. Ninety-nine years old is nothing to me". He says, "Now I'm gonna bless you". I know it's early in the sermon to have you say something to somebody else, but look a somebody and say, "Now God's gonna bless you".
After you've made your messes, and made your mistakes, and been through your maladies, and run out of your ideas, and come to the end of your rope, and don't see any way that it's going to come to pass, God says, "Now I'm going to bless you. You couldn't do it in your own strength, your friends failed you, your family didn't come through, the neighbors didn't do what they were going to do, but now I'm going to show up in your life just when you've given up on any possible way that it could be done". God says, "Now I'm gonna bless you".
I wonder if anybody's got now faith, not shall be faith, not was faith, but now, in this present moment, this sliver of time stuffed in between two eternities in the split second of a moment, God says, "Now I'm going to bless you. I know your knees are wrinkled, and your back is bent, but when I get ready to bless you, circumstances are nothing against my word, now I'm going to bless you. I'm gonna show you who you are. I'm gonna show you where you are. I'm gonna show you why you had to go through what you had to go through, and I swear I'm gonna bless you! Don't worry, when I do bless you, it's gonna make up for all of the foolish things you did along the way. I am the Lord God Almighty".
When God speaks, it's a destiny change. When God speaks, there's gonna be a major shift! As little as I am, I don't like to be bothered with people asking me to make decisions about things I care nothing about. It comes to a point in your life that you're too busy to be bothered with trivialities. It just, it simply doesn't matter to me, it just really doesn't matter to me. Most of the time, it really doesn't matter to me what we eat. It really doesn't matter to me where we go to eat. It really doesn't matter to me whether we wear blue or black. It doesn't matter to me whether the ushers have on red bowties or yellow bowties, I don't care.
The real truth of the matter is, I save my decisions for the level of my influence. Should I get this chandelier or not? God says, "I don't care, when I wanted daylight, I made the sun. I was God while you were figuring out what electricity was, I don't care about the chandelier. When I speak to you it's gonna be a shift. I am the Lord God Almighty, besides me there is no other". "Walk thou before me and be thou perfect," it means I'm coming to bring you into alignment, I'm coming to bring you into order, I'm coming to bring you into your destiny, I'm coming to wrap this thing up with a crescendo. In other words, your later day shall be greater than your former day. You're talking about the good old days are behind you, but the good old days are ahead of you.
I'm going to bring you into alignment. That means I'm going to take out of your life everything that shouldn't be, and I'm going to bring into your life everything that I have predestined to be. And I don't care about your circumstances, and I don't care about your conditions, and I don't care how old you are, and I don't care how weak you are, when I get ready to bless you, I will make everything line up and come into order because I'm God. I know your wife is past child-bearing age, I know her breasts are shriveled up, not producing any milk, I know your body is weak, and you have lost your strength as a man.
I know that you don't have a seed. I was waiting for you to run out of a seed so that I could give you a seed, and when I give you a seed, Sarah's womb will recognize something new has hit my womb, because it has quickened it and brought it back to life. Y'all don't hear how good I'm preaching. You don't even understand that when God's seed hits a dead thing, it brings it back to life. God calls this impotent man the father of many nations, this old man the father of many nations, this childless man the father of many nations.
When God talks to you it sounds crazy. When he called me to preach it sounded crazy, that's how you know it's God. When he calls you to do something that is beyond your human ability, when he asks you to do something that you cannot do without him, when he asks you to do something that does not fit your circumstance and your situation, that means that it may be your body but it's gonna be his seed. It may be your mouth but it's gonna be his voice. It may be your hand but it's gonna be his intelligence, for the battle is not yours, it belongs to the Lord. There is a nation in you. "God, after 13 years of silence, you didn't come to talk to me about me," "No, I came to talk to you about what's in you".
The fight is always over what's in you. The enemy is not fighting you over where you are, he's fighting you over where you're going, fighting over what's next, fighting over unborn potential, fighting over things that haven't even come together yet. God said, "I come to tell you about the generations and the nations that are going to come out of your body. You're talking to me about one child, I'm talking to you about nations". You're talking to me about next week's paycheck, I'm talking to you about 50 years down the road. You're talking to me about how to get through next month, I'm talking to you about what I'm working on for the next generation.
I intended for you to have a struggle, because there are some things I can produce in a struggle that I cannot produce in a good time. I intended for you to have to pray your way out because I needed you to have a certain fervency and a level of prayer and consecration. I intended for you to be born with opportunities that your parents couldn't imagine because what I'm working on is what's coming next, and the timing is right for you to be where you are, like you are right now. Oh God, help me share with them there are nations inside of you. And God says to him, "I'm going to make you a father at a time you don't even feel like a man". And I come to tell you that there are nations inside of you, nations, nations, somebody say, "Nations".
There are nations inside of you. There are books inside of you. There are businesses inside of you. There are companies inside of you. There are great, great grandchildren inside of you. There are kings inside of you, and princes inside of you, and ideas, and concepts, and that's why I kept you alive in spite of your craziness. It wasn't over you, but it was over the nations that were inside of you. I kept you alive because of divine purpose and destiny. I sustained you through all of your foolishness. I stopped you from committing suicide. It wasn't that you were gonna kill you, you were gonna kill who's next. I have a plan for your life, and a future for your life, and if you die here you will miss the next generation. I sustained you because I need you to play a role in my plan that nobody else can play but you. I kept you alive.
Oh my God, slap your neighbor and tell 'em, "I am significant". I might not look significant, my finances might not be significant, my home may not be significant, my job may not be significant, but don't let any of those conditions move you, I am significant. I have a role to play that nobody else can play but me. I have a thing to do that nobody else can do but me. I am significant, that's why I survived. It was not that I was tough, it was not that I was right, it was not that I was strong, but every time the enemy had me surrounded, the Spirit of the Lord lifted up a standard.
Somebody praise him for victory. And I'm gonna make you a father, I'm gonna make you a life-giver, I'm gonna make you productive, I'm gonna make you stable. I'm gonna put things in you that life didn't give you. I'm gonna make up for what you lack. I'm gonna finish raising you. I'm gonna mature you and bring you into fruition, for I am the Lord your God and beside you there is no other. I am God all by myself. I didn't come down here to talk to you about sheeps, and goats, and tents, and where you're gonna live, I came to talk to you about generations. There's something inside of you that I'm gonna use.
Oh my God, I feel the glory of the Lord in here. Shake your neighbor and tell 'em, "There's something inside of you God's gonna use". That's why we have young people traveling from all over the country to come here to be a part of this conference, because they're trying to figure out, "Lord, show me the thing you have inside of me, because I know that there's something inside of me that God wants to use". Abram, there's something inside of you that I am going to use. I will make you a father of many nations. I'm going to give you a seed even though your factory's shut down, your body is shut down, your circumstances have closed, the conditions are adverse for what the prophesy details, that's how you're gonna know it's me.
Oh yeah, and the Bible says that when Abraham's seed, which was really God's seed, hit Sarah's womb, it quickened it, brought it back to life again, came down through 42 generations, wrapped itself up in the flesh of Mary, and when Jesus came out of Mary's womb, listen at what he said. "I am the seed of Abraham, I'm what hit Sarah's womb, I'm what quickened it and brought it back to life again. I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall he"... oh my God, I feel a resurrecting anointing in this place. Somebody's about to be resurrected. Somebody's body's about to be resurrected. Somebody's finances are about to be resurrected. Somebody's home life is about to be resurrected.
And when Sarah brought the baby to Abraham, she called him Isaac, which means the Lord has made me laugh, the Lord has made me laugh. Somebody in this room is about to start laughing, I mean laughing, because what God is gonna do is gonna be so ridiculous, it's gonna make you laugh at the craziest, most inopportune moment in your life. God is about to make you laugh again with a joy you never had before in your life. I'm not talking about a blessing you saw coming, I'm talking about a ridiculous blessing, a crazy blessing, a blessing you're scared to tell anybody about because they would laugh if they heard. God is about to make you laugh.
Lord have mercy, I thank God for that Word. Please remember that what happens to you is not just about you. We serve a God who thinks generationally. So much of what you're going through right now is meant to bless those who are coming after you. God took Abraham though an amazing journey, but it was because of his seed that he was blessed. Submit yourselves to God's plan knowing you will be called to make sacrifices, but keep on, keep right on serving him even when you don't fully understand. God is faithful and he will fulfill every promise in your life.