TD Jakes — Key Man, Key Plan
One of the most powerful words I think I gave you in recent years is instinct, because Joseph is what Egypt is going through. Fluctuations, ups and downs, in and out. He knows how to deal with it. He knows how to deal with problems. He knows how to be lonely. He knows how to be separated from his family. He knows how to be lied on and survive. He knows how to make it when he's down in a well. He knows how to survive a dry place. He knows how to survive an empty place. He knows how to be barren and still be fruitful. He knows how to survive off the memories of the good times. They took his coat, but they couldn't take his memory. So, when the coat was gone, he lived off the memory. Joseph is his plan.
So, when he sees the problem, he sees it through the lens of his experiences. It was good for me that I was afflicted. Whenever the devil jumps on me, I never show him my highlights. He he he, I show him my struggle. I show him how I lost my car and had to thumb to teach Bible class. I don't show him my Mercedes and talk about, "Let me tell you how what I got". I tell him, "Do you know how low I went and I kept on going? Do you know who you're fooling with? Do you know how I can survive off of bread and water? You're messing with the wrong..."
If you understand what I'm talking about, holla at your boy. What I'm telling you is that all of Joseph's life has made him fit for the fight. He's fit for the fight. He sees it differently because of how he suffered, because of how he endured. Whatever he said when his brothers threw him in the pit. "I may be in the pit, I may be forsaken, they may hate me, I may even die in this hole, but I remember how my daddy loved me and I remember how my daddy gave me that coat of many colors. And I might be here right now, but I remember what it was to be special".
Look at how he's keeping the bubble in the middle. You gotta learn how to keep the bubble in the middle. You cannot allow yourself to go into a state of depression over a temporary situation. You've had too many high places to let this low place drive you crazy. Balance yourself. So, when they told Joseph that the skinny cows ate up the fat ones, anybody else would've seen the horror movie. If I had somebody call you, "I had a dream, and there was these fat cows. And then I looked around and there were these skinny cows, and the skinny cows ate up the fat cows".
Excuse me, cows are vegetarians. You don't ever read about cows eating meat. Cows have an aversion to eating steak. But in my dream, the cows eat meat. That's why you know God is trying to tell you something, 'cause he has made the cows do something that they don't do. If your cows are eating meat, God is trying to tell you something. If your kids are cussing out the parents, God is trying to tell you something. If something is doing something that it doesn't do, God is trying to tell you something. Cows don't eat meat, baby. Cows don't eat meat. This is how God is shifting things to create a place for you. God has a place for you. The place is in the problem.
You remember how you and me got into an argument down there in Saint Alban's when you wanted to go on full time for the ministry, and you said that you was just as serious about your ministry as I was about mine, and you said you were called to serve me like I was called to preach? And you got hot, and got an attitude, and walked out of my office with the black and white towels on the floor, with your lips all stuck out, because you said it was your ministry to quit your job at the gas company and come follow me? What you didn't know is that I was traveling, preaching all over the country by myself, and I would come back to my room 'cause I was young, and crazy, and preaching like a ninny, and I would collapse on the floor in my room and fall asleep in my wet clothes 'cause I didn't have anybody to help me.
My problem created a place for your answer. "If you have not been faithful to that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own"? God tests you with how you handle other people's stuff. Joseph, if you can be unselfish, you can be unstuck. But you gotta come out working on somebody else's problem. You are the key to somebody else's lock. But because you don't have time for the lock, 'cause you're only interested in that which is about you, you stay in the prison to your own destruction. Talking about, "I'm not gonna change 'til my circumstance change". Stubborn has you stuck.
Let me tell you something, you flatter the devil. The devil don't have you stuck. You really think the devil has you stuck? Why would the devil care about your car? Really, everybody else driving. Either extreme, they're all on the highway driving past you. You're on the bus and you're talking about Satan, the blood... it ain't the devil. Stubborn has you stuck. Selfish has you stuck. You must first be faithful to that which pertains to another man. I will not shine the light on you until you have praised me overlooked. It is a struggle to be committed to something that you have no kinship to. I don't know whether this is Pharaoh's test or Joseph's. It looks like Pharaoh's problem, but I'm not sure it's not Joseph's test.
Can you have a heart for something that's not about you? Joseph brings Joseph. He brings himself. Lord, help me get this in. You are the gift. We say your gift will bring you before great men. Your story is your gift. Your history is your destiny. Your success is in your struggle. When you come, everything you've been through comes with you.
I didn't learn this term 'til I started pastoring. It's called "key man", and when you're a pastor and you get ready to purchase a building, the bank requires that you get a key man policy. A key man policy means that the bank will not loan the institution the money without an insurance policy on the man, because they understand that people don't come to church for a building. The policy is called the key man policy. It means that they wanna insure the loan with insurance on the man so that if I drop dead, they still get paid, because they understand how key the man is to the loan.
Why do the insurance companies understand something that you don't understand about yourself? Joseph is the key. Everything he's been through all his life has prepared him to think a certain way, and fit a certain way, and fix things that other people couldn't fix because they don't seem 'em as issues. Until you can see opportunity where other people see obstacles, until you can be excited about something that somebody else would throw up in, don't tell me about your faith. Your faith is not proven by your jewelry, your faith is proven by your agony. When you said, "Though he slayed me, yet..." Somebody just help me give him some kind of praise right now.
So, Pharaoh says to a guy who's been in a pit and a prison, "Man, I got a problem". And Joseph, looking from the pit and the prison, said, "That ain't no problem. I got a plan. I know how to survive in lack". And I'm gonna show you two more things, then I'm gonna let you go. I want you to get this. Pharaoh is not used to delayed gratification. He has no strategy for struggle, so he has to get a struggler to show him how to survive. Y'all ain't gonna help me praise the Lord. Joseph said, "Man, I've been struggling all my life. I've survived in the pit. I've survived in chains. I've survived in the prison. Let me show you how to balance the budget".
The problem with you is when your cows are fat, you eat 'em. And when your corn is fat, you cook it. And you don't throw any of your blessings forward, so when you hit lack, you have no reserve. Because you live in the moment, you don't see the value of setting the part back for the future. You're gonna have to turn your feast on your famine. You're gonna have to bring your feast down so you can bring your famine up. Joseph said, "What you gotta do, man, is when it's coming in good, we gonna pull a fifth of it back so that when it's in lack, we're gonna live off..." watch this, you're gonna live off of your vision to prepare for the future.
You can't live any further than you can see. And because you can only see today, you can only live today. But if you could see tomorrow, and if you saw tomorrow as valuable, and you threw your steaks, a fifth of 'em, forward, when the famine came, you would be able to keep the bubble in the middle. Because you did not succumb to the good times, you will not succumb to the bad times. So, Joseph says... watch this, and this is what I want you to see. He said, "I have a strategy that will take you through the future".
I have stopped telling people, "This is your year. You will have no problems. Everything will go right this year. This is the year you've been waiting on. It's gonna be magical. This is the year where Kool-Aid comes out your water fountains and you're not gonna have no problems. You not gonna have no..." No, no, no, no, you gonna be blessed. You're gonna be highly favored. God's gonna open up some doors. He's gonna make some ways that will blow your mind. But for everything he opens up, there's gonna be something in front of it that's gonna take you through a storm, and a test, and a trial. And when you balance yourself and you have learned, whatever state you're in, therewith to be content, when you do that, God is going to do some amazing things in your life.
When you come out of jail for somebody else other than yourself and say, "I'm coming out to fix Pharaoh's problem," watch this, let me show you the heart of it. Joseph's problem was he missed his daddy. He hadn't seen his daddy since he was a boy. The one person who really loved him was missing from his life. I wonder how little Reuben is. Oh Reuben, I haven't seen him for a long time. And I miss home, and I miss our food, and our culture, and our dance, and the smell of my mama's kitchen. But with all of those pains in his personal life, he says, "Pharaoh, I'm at your service".
And when he becomes faithful to that that pertains to another man, God checked that off the list. In fact, it was being faithful to Pharaoh's dream that brought his dream. The closer Joseph got to fixing Pharaoh's problem, the closer Joseph got to God fixing his. Every blessing for both of these men are in the famine. So, stop praying away the famine, because your favor, it's in the famine. What would make Jesus, the omniscient God who knows all things, pick a Judas? But there is nothing that Jesus didn't see coming. So, when he says to Judas Iscariot, "I want you," he knew Judas was gonna steal the money. He knew that Judas was gonna sow discord amongst the disciples. He knew that Judas was gonna make a deal with his enemies, and for 30 pieces of silver, sell him away into somebody that would whip him, and nail him, and strip him, and kill him.
Why did Jesus pick Judas? Because he knew that Judas would do more for his destiny than any other pick he had. He needed Judas. Come here, son. Give me that. Give me a kiss right here. He needed Judas' kiss. Judas' kiss would point him out. Judas' kiss would unlock his destiny. Judas' kiss was the gateway that would show the world who Jesus really was. Come here, Emmett. Come here, Emmett. Come here, hug me. Get behind me. Peter's hug he pushed behind him. He called Peter the devil. He called Judas his friend. Why? Stay right there.
Why would Jesus call Judas his friend? Judas is the famine. Judas is the low place. Judas is the skinny cow. Judas is the empty grains of corn. Peter is fat, and full, and loving, and feisty. But it is not the good stuff that makes you who you are. It is the horrible stuff that shows what you really got inside. And because of Judas, not Peter, because of Judas. See, Peter's love would make me comfortable. Peter's love would make me safe. Peter's love would make me forget my destiny and my purpose. So, I have to say, "Get behind me," because I am vulnerable to your love. It was your lack that kept me on course, that kept me on guard, that stabilized me. So, I have learned, whatever state I am, therewith to be content, because I gotta keep the bubble in the middle. Talk to me, somebody. Everything you practiced on was preparation for what he is about to release in your life.