TD Jakes — Get Into Focus
Take me out of focus. You can tell I'm out of focus. Because when he takes me out of focus, I blur. The more out of focus I am, the more blurred I become. Is your life blurred and you've been blamin' devils and demons and witches and mama and daddy and ex-husbands and ex-wives, when you have the power to bring your life? Bring me back. Bring me back. This is what church does for ya. This is what Word does for ya. This is what teaching does for ya. This is what mentoring does for ya. It brings you back into focus.
Touch three people and say, "Get into focus". I wanna work this thing this morning. Because for where God is about to take you, you have got to get your life into focus. You have got to put all of your energies on where you're goin'. As for me, my wife and I were talkin' about the other day, I am too old to be out of focus. I don't have time to be out of focus. 'Cause with the years I got left, there are certain things I'm cuttin' off the list, "Can't worry about that. Can't worry about that. Already tried to fix that. Did all I could do to help that".
Now I gotta focus. Who am I preaching to in here today? Let me tell ya, I refuse to get to my age and to continue to go where I've already been, help who I already helped, pour into who I already poured into. If I didn't win Samaria by now, you oughtta hear the rest of the sentence. If Samaria's not saved by now, if you're not my friend by now, if you don't love me by now, if we haven't gotten anywhere by now... oh, I don't know who I'm preaching to today, but the Lord sent you to go down to The Potter's House 'cause I'm gonna give you your focus back. Give God 3 minutes of praise, any kind of praise.
I never will forget when I first came to Dallas. I would drive to church on Sunday morning, listenin' at the preachers talkin' about me. They said I was stealin' members. How you gon' steal a person? I can steal a watch. How you gon' steal a person? Let alone 30,000 people. People go where they wanna go. Then there were all these people who had all of these ministries who called themselves, "Watchdogs and watchmen". Their ministry was to point out who's right and who's not right. "Oh, he didn't put a comma right there. Oh, that wasn't Philippians. That was Philemon. Oh, da, da, da. He said this. He should've said that". You can hear 'em on TV all the time, just fussin'. They're all upset about Samaria not takin' 'em in.
Jesus has spent a whole day in Samaria sittin' down by the well, waitin' for the woman to come to the well, waitin' for her to go get the men and say, "Come see a man". He said, "I poured into Samaria. I don't care whether Samaria lets me in or not. I've already been there. I've already done that in this season of my life". You are coming into a season of your life. Touch your neighbor and say, "In this season of my life, I've got to focus. I don't have enough strength to do everything. I don't have enough money to do everything. I don't have enough time to do everything. I don't have enough mind to do everything"... So if Jesus seems aloof about this other ministry, because he refuses to get out of focus.
I found somethin' interesting in Philippians. Paul goes through the same thing. And Paul says some startling things. I want you to take a look at this in Philippians. This is good. Philippians chapter 1, verse 15 through 19, ooh, this is good, glory to God. This message that I'm teaching today is important to people who are bent on being progressive, who refuse to be repetitive. To all of you who just are satisfied to go around and around in the wilderness, this is not your Sunday to receive the Word of God. This is for people who have to make it count. "I gotta make every step count. I gotta forget those things which are behind and reach to those things which are before. I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus". Where are my decision makers?
It's really what Abraham says in Genesis 22. Don't go to it, I'm gonna keep you at Philippians. But in Genesis 22, Abraham has gone as far as he could go with the servants. And he says to the servants, "Stay here with the asses. Me and the lad are going yonder to worship. Where I'm gettin' ready to go, I can't take a whole crowd of stuff with me. If you don't wanna go, don't play hard to get. 'Cause if you play hard to get, you gonna get left behind. I got to go. Stay with the asses. Me and the lad are going yonder," oh, y'all don't hear what I'm talkin' about. I'm talkin' about focus this morning.
Touch your neighbor and say, "Get into focus". Listen to what Paul says in chapter, in Philippians 1, verse 15. You watchin' on, you e-members should get this down. This is for you. God's got you watching this message for a reason. He's gettin' ready to do somethin' supernatural in your life. And you're puttin' too much energy into things that are not profitable. Whoo-wee. Paul says, look at this: "Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some do it of good will," he said: "the one preach Christ just to stir up stuff, not sincerely, supposing to add afflictions to my bonds," they're just preachin' and tryin' to cause trouble: "But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel. What then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached".
He said, "Long as they're preachin' Jesus, I don't have to time to worry about their motives, whether they're sincere, whether they're real, whether they're for me, whether they're against me. He said, "Whether they do it for contention or not, as long as they preach Christ, I therein do rejoice, yea, and I will rejoice". Touch your neighbor and say, "I will rejoice". "Whether you're sincere or not sincere, whether you meant it or didn't mean it, whether you're holy or not holy, as long as the gospel is preached, I don't have time to get out of focus. I am not called to fix you".
Ooh, that's good. "For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ". He said, "I know it's gonna work for my good, even though they're preaching it for contention, even though they are not sincere, even though they are false". He said, "I know it's gonna work for my good because I refuse the option to be distracted by somebody else's behavior, runnin' around, 'Well, I just don't believe he real. I just don't believe it's of God'". I don't have time. I don't have no opinion about it. It takes all of my time to focus on my business. I don't have time to focus on your business. If that boy turns that lens too wide, I'll go out of focus. The moment he turns it too wide, I go out of focus. Is your lens too wide? That's what's wrong with my eyes. My eyes, if I take my glasses off, I can see you, but you get blurred because the muscle in my eye that pulls everything into focus, with age, has gotten weaker. So I had to buy me some strength.
Watch this. Jesus said, "Now, you're gonna usher in my season of miracles. Once I start showin' 'em miracles, they're gonna be drawn to my season of miracles. People are drawn to your season of miracles. Love your season of miracles. You can make it happen. Love your season of miracles. You did your thing on the football field. Love your season of miracles. People are drawn to your season of miracles, when you're in your heyday, when you're doin' your thing. People love you when you're in your season of miracles.
The question is, will they love you out of season? That is the question. Anybody will love you in your season of miracles. But will you endure the season of miracles? "Oh, you were only servin' me," Jesus said, "You're only servin' me for the fish and the loaves". So in the first stage of his life, he gave 'em the season of miracles. The 5,000 came. The multitude came to his season of miracles. Everybody loves ya when you're makin' magic. "Ah, he got the magic touch. Ooh, I just love him. He got the magic touch, girl". Till he got on dialysis. That's why they make you take vows, "Better or worse, rich or poor, sickness and health," because, see, we date and we dress up in our season of miracles.
So Jesus starts with his season of miracles, phase 1. And then he went into his season of message. He sat on the mountaintop. He goes to the mountaintop. And on the Mount of Olives he begins to give message beatitudes. He began to give message. He moved from the season of miracles, healin' the sick, and raisin' the dead, and turnin' water into wine, to the season of message. And when he started movin' into the message, in the first stage of the season of message, they was all, "Blessed is he. Blessed is the man. Blessed is this. Blessed, blessed, blessed". They liked the message. But as the message went on, "Unless you drink my blood and eat my flesh, you will have no part with me," then as the message got tough, the crowd began to go down.
As long as he was doin' miracles, the crowd was up. As long as he was handin' out blessings, the crowd was up. But when he started talkin' to them about discipline, the crowd went down. That's why, as a pastor, you can't preach to the size of the congregation. You can't let the congregation manipulate you over divine orders. That's why when somebody come to me, "I'm leavin' your church 'cause you preached about this too much," "Bye. Bye". I can't let you have the remote control and me be the TV. You don't switch me like you at home sittin' on the couch. The devil is a liar, I see ya.
The real test of commitment is to go through the different seasons. So at one miracle stage, he does real good. And then he goes to the message stage, and it gets a little tougher, okay? Now, every stage requires a little bit more from you. In the message stage, they start to say, "This is a hard message. Who can bear it"? See? "This is hard message. Who can bear it"? And then it comes down to the moments stage.
These are the various stages of your walk with God. The miracle stage, you first got saved. "Oh my God. Everything's wonderful. Everything's new. I'm a Christian. I'm a Christian. Oh, I pulled my own chocolate chip cookie, and there was a cross on it. Whoo, I'm seen' Jesus in everything". Eah, the miracle stage. Servin' God 'cause he healed grandma. "I prayed over Grandma. And I told the Lord, 'If you heal Grandma, I'll serve you.' And Grandma got up and started walkin'. Hallelujah! She walkin!'" What happens when she dies later? Everybody Jesus healed still died. Are we majoring on the minor? You're mad at God about takin' somebody he was gonna take anyway. You're mad 'cause it wasn't your date. If he'd have healed 'em, they'd have still died.
Are you following him for the miracles? Or are you followin' him for the message? "I'm disappointed. He didn't do what I wanted him to do". I've been there. I know what that's like. But the real test is, "If I take the hedge from around Job, he'll change". The real test is, "Even when I don't get what I want, even when you don't do what I wanted you to do, even when it didn't happen like I wanted it to happen, I'm not servin' you for the fish and the loaves". Sooner or later, you got to prove your commitment through lovin' me when you don't like me. Oh, can you love me, ahh, y'all not ready. Can ya love me when you don't like me? Anybody can love ya when they like ya. Can ya love me when you don't like me?
From the miracle stage, then he goes to the message stage. And it's a certain kinda person who is drawn to the message, okay? They're drawn to the message. "The Word that I speak unto you is spirit and it's life". The Word that I speak unto you. Me and Emmett, every now and then we'd hang out and we'd go to lunch. We ain't gone to lunch in, he said, "Almost a year and a half". If he was just followin' me for the lunch, he'd be gone. But if he's still comin' to get the message without the lunch... we're talkin' about focus, focus. We're on focus. Now, they go through the message stage. Then they go in the third stage.
The third stage to your walk with God is the moments stage. The moments stage is when you have consecration enough, and this is where a lot of church people don't go. They come to get the message, but they're not consecrated enough to have moments with God. You get the message in church, but you have the moments at home. Has anybody in here ever had a moment with God? It could be at the beauty shop. It could be while you're drivin' the car. It could be when you're at your wits' end. And all of a sudden, you just had a moment with God.
The kids come in, "Mama, what you cryin' about"? "I'm okay, child. I just had a moment with God". Anybody ever had a moment with God, where he set everything in order, where he showed up in your life? They had moments with God. They were out there in the boat one night, waitin' on Jesus to come. Didn't know what in the world he was gonna do. And here they had a moment with God.
Here he come, walkin' on the water. You say, "You should have made that a miracle". No, that was a moment. It wasn't about healing anything, or changing anything. It was a moment based on your closeness with him. Because you have consecration with him. You have moments with God. Now, see, you see how the, "Amens," went down? They were highest when I was talkin' about miracles. They were still pretty good when I started tallkin' about message. When it got down to moments, it got quieter. Because there are more people who've had miracles than there are who have had moments.
There are more people who enjoy message. Because in order to have a moment with God, you have to pay the price. You have to have been through some stuff. You have to have suffered and reigned with him. You have to have laughed and cried with him. You had to lay down on the altar before him. You had to have been in the bathtub, talkin' about, "Lord, you know you the only thing that's holdin' my head together. If it wasn't for you, I would've lost my mind".
That level of intimacy, where you have moments with God. Touch your neighbor and say, "I had a moment with God. You can't make me doubt him. I know too much about him. You can't tell me there is no God. I've had a moment with God. I've had some moments where he stepped into my livin' room, found me in the back yard, spoke to me while I was drivin' to work. I had to a moment". Everybody that's had a moment with God, give him some praise right now. Your problem is not your God. Your problem is not your seed. Your problem is your soil. You need to be in an environment of possibilities. You need to be fed in the stream of, "You can do it," people.