TD Jakes — Lift Me Up
He was used to being lame, he was used to being carried, he was used to sitting in the same place while other people were mobile, and he was used to begging. That's a terrible thing, to get used to begging. It's more than having money or not having money, it's a mindset, it's a gimme mentality. My name is Jimmy and you ought to gimme. And everybody who doesn't gimme, it's something wrong with them because I'm used to living off of the benevolence of people. No, don't give me a job, give me some help 'cause I'm used to just getting over, I got a begging mentality.
Peter and John came by at the hour of prayer and there he was watching the traffic go by, and they thought this was just another passerbyer, just like some of you, you think this is just another Sunday morning. You got up this morning, "Are you going"? "I don't know, are you"? "Bring me some coffee and let me see". Ordinariness is the enemy of miracles, ordinariness, just where you get in a mundane rut of low expectations, just sitting around going through the motions. But there was something about when Peter and John passed by this man that he looked up expecting to receive something.
You know, I'm thankful for this church, and there are many others that are great churches, I'm not saying we're the only one, but you know, it's so important to go to a place, you might not know exactly what's gonna happen, oh, but you know something. I will tell you, I confess as the pastor of the church, I don't always know exactly what is going to happen, but while I'm driving to church, I drive here expecting something to happen. I don't wanna be anywhere where nothing happens. I don't wanna work a job where nothing happens, I bore too easily. If I'm gonna be a salesman, give me some customers. If I'm gonna dig some ditches, give me a shovel, I gotta have some action going in my life, something's got to happen.
If I'm gonna be in a relationship, put some magic in this thing, something has got to happen. For God's sake, don't let me be in a dead, highfalutin, cold church where nothing is happening. Don't carry me nowhere if I ever get where I can't walk, don't carry me nowhere where nothing is happening. I wanna be where something, I don't know what it is, but God, let something happen every day. Somebody get blessed, somebody get healed, somebody get joy, somebody get revived, somebody get restored, but please, Lord, something. Somebody throw your hands up and say, "Something," God.
There are three stages this man went through. He goes through the limping stage, the limping stage is a stage of dysfunction where you're just doing the best you can with what you got, just limping, limping. He's been in a limping stage from his mother's womb. The implication suggests that something must have happened from her womb that led to the limping in his life. Isn't it funny how things in your childhood... you're way past the womb, but you still limping over things, and it's embarrassing when you're limping over something that happened a long time ago, because when you try to tell people that you're 35 years old and you're still hurting over something that happened when you were 7, they don't have much sympathy for you.
Everybody's got sympathy for victims that were in the tsunami because it just happened, but they better hurry up and get well quick because 20 years from now, if you still cryin' over somethin' that happened back then, people say, "Oh child, that's over, you ought to get on with your life". But there are some things that happen to you that leave you limping.
He was at the limping stage. It had affected his relationships, it had affected his money, it had affected his future. Other men his age and stage were doing more. I could have finished school but I was limping. We should have owned our own house by now but we were stuck in the limping stage. I could have raised my children to be more effective in life, but while I was trying to raise them I was limping, and so I was the best daddy I could be because I was stuck in the limping stage. It's the mamas, you tryin' to raise your daughter and you still need somebody to raise you 'cause you're stuck in a limping stage. But I'm so glad that trouble don't last always. He went from the limping stage to the lifting stage.
When Peter and John came by him, check this out preachers, because, you know, preachers love to preach and they think that preaching fixes everything, but Peter and John never preached to him. Preachers love to preach. I was just in a pastor's meeting and pastors thing that if anything is wrong in the church, they can straighten it out by preaching, but preaching doesn't fix everything. Yeah, yeah, it's wonderful, it's great, but it doesn't fix everything. Because if preaching fixed everything, you wouldn't have to have faith, you could just jump up and fix it with the gift God gave you, but there are some things that you can't fix with the gift God gave you, that's why preaching to your unsaved husband isn't winning him, all it does is push you into your flesh and carnality, and instead of drawing him closer, you're pushing him further away, because preaching don't, nagging don't, complaining don't, arguing don't, bickering don't fix everything. Sometimes you gotta be still and wait on the Lord, and say, "Lord, I know you're able".
When I was younger and preached this text, I used to preach it and call it "Prayer Changes Things," 'cause I thought it's not preaching that did it, it was prayer, but when I got older and I looked a little closer, it wasn't prayer either. Forgive me in this, but he didn't pray healing into this lame man, it was not that they came together and said, "We're gonna intercede and we're gonna turn our plates down, and we're gonna fast. You pray in tongues and I'll pray in English, and we're gonna pray over it, and let's get some oil, and put some oil on his head, and make a little cross on his forehead, 'cause the devil is a liar. You getting' up out of here today, you gonna be healed".
Oh no, in fact, they didn't even pray for him at all, they challenged him. They said, "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk". Now, you have to understand, prayer is when we communicate to God. They didn't say, "Father, there's a man here". They didn't waste time telling God what he already knew. They didn't speak to God at all, they spoke to the situation. Oh, my God, I gotta get outta here. High-five somebody and say, "Speak to it". Speak to the situation in your life that's not working. Speak to that area of dysfunction in your life. Speak to that situation where the enemy said I'm gonna keep you bound the rest of your life. Open your mouth and speak to it. I'm gonna speak to things I've been living with, and limping through, and making due, and trying to do the best I can, but the devil is a liar, I'm gonna speak to it. I'm gonna speak to my debt, and my fear, and my loneliness, and my depression, I'm tired of crying in this house.
You need to start commanding some situations. You need to start demanding some things. I'm moving out of this building, I'm going to the next level. I may be down now, but I will rise again. Stop limping through life and allowing life to whip you, speak to it. Go back to the chancellor and get back in school. Go back and get the real estate that they said you can't have. Open your mouth and speak to it. Wishing you can walk will not make you walk, speak to it. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. They said we're not gonna put no money in your cup, we're gonna put a miracle in your cup. Touch somebody and tell 'em, "I'm through loaning you money, you don't need any more money, you need a miracle". God's getting ready to lift your entire situation up to the next level. I don't know who I'm talking to, stop believing God for a handout and start believing God for a hand up. If you got the faith to believe God for a handout, why don't you use that faith for a hand up?
The Bible says that Peter and John came by at the hour of prayer and that he commanded the limper in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, "Rise up and walk". And the man said, "Well, that was good, but nothing happened". What do you do when you've been challenged but nothing happens? Look at this, this is radical. Peter and John took him by the hand. Now, this is radical because this man's lame, he's crippled, he's on the ground, he's a beggar. He hadn't walked since his mother's womb, and they took him by the hand, and lifted him.
Sometimes you gotta do something radical to get out of your situation. Sometimes you gotta back yourself in a corner and say now something has got to happen. You were saying something is going to happen, but touch somebody and say, "Now, something's got to happen". He lifted him, I wanna be around people that lift me. I don't care where you were before, I feel a lifting spirit. My God, somebody better get me. Lift me, I feel a lifting. He lifted me.
Somebody was about to commit suicide, but he lifted you. Somebody was strung out on drugs, but he lifted you. Somebody was an alcoholic, but he lifted you. Somebody was a wife beater, but he lifted you. Ain't no need in acting like you don't remember, you ought to thank God for lifting you. He lifted me. When nothing else could help, he lifted me. To God be the glory, he lifted me. I wish I had 100 folk that would thank God just for lifting you. If I never get a house, if I never get a car, if I never... thank you, Lord.
The first point was lifting, the second point was lifting. In between the second and the third point, something happened so quick. It's the same action but a different source. When the lame man started getting up, he was getting up off the power of Peter and John, because the Bible said he took him by the hand and lifted him. But as he was lifted, he went from lifted to leaping. See, when I need help, I just need it for a few minutes. If you'll just life me a minute, I'll do the leaping. Somebody just leap right quick. I feel a leaping spirit, ooh. Now, wait a minute, don't get this twisted.
When I talk about leaping, it's not just so we can shout, I'm talking about going from dependence to independence. I'm talking about, "Thanks, I needed that, but I don't need it no more". I'm talking about breaking loose from welfare, human-fare, boyfriend-fare, girlfriend-fare, sugar-daddy-fare, benevolence-fare. I needed it, but I don't need it anymore. I'm through being lifted, I'm leaping now. Touch somebody and say, "You're getting ready to leap".
What I respect about this man is that when he got the chance to be lifted, he transitioned to leaping. When you move from being lifted to leaping, it's when you announce to yourself, "I'm not going back anymore. That's all I needed to get out of this situation, I'll never go back anymore". Now, I know you can't tell anybody what it was that didn't work, 'cause everybody got ankles in different places, but touch somebody and tell 'em, "I'll never go back anymore". So, you have to wonder what was this all about? Why did you let him go through the limping and the lifting stage if he was gonna ultimately end up in the leaping stage anyway? Why didn't you just bypass all of that and let him move normally through life? It was because God needed this man to prove to the church folks who had seen him, and were talking about him, and knew for sure that he was lame.
Let me tell you the difference between ex-lame people and church people. You have to beg church people to sing, 'cause if church people have to come out an extra night during the week, it's too much sacrifice for them. You have to beg them to usher because they get tired of standing up, and their feet hurt, and they gotta sit down again. You have to beg church people to come to church because they could be waxing their car today. But if you were ever lame and God lifted you up and brought you out, when you come to church, you enter into his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Let me tell you this, can you imagine all those dignified, deadbeat church folk sitting there... Lookin' all important, and something leaped past them?
Sometimes, you need somebody who's so excited about Jesus that they break all the rules, and get out of order, and jump up on their feet, and clap their hands, and spin around because they remember what the Lord had done for them. And so they start talking about him while he was shouting. Ain't that the man that we passed by at the gate called Beautiful, isn't that the one"? Let me break it down, "Ain't that that girl that got pregnant"? Let me break it down into a vernacular you can understand. "Isn't that the brother that went through that divorce"? "Isn't that the guy that got fired off that job"? "Isn't that that woman that just lost a loved one? I thought she was depressed? Did you see her in the service this morning"? "After all the hell they went through, did you see them walking, and leaping, and praising the Lord"? Is there anybody in here that feels like walking, and leaping, and praising the Lord?
I'm almost finished, don't get me wrong. I'm not against things, I'm not against having things, I don't believe that God minds you having things, he minds things having you. But see, a lot of people are thanking God for the car they drove in this morning, or the house they slept in last night, or the dress that was marked down 50% and you caught it on sale, and you lookin' good this morning. But there are some of us, when you see us running, we didn't get a new job. When you see us running, we still drivin' the same car we had last year. When you see us clappin' our hands, it's not because we're getting ready to get married, we're just shouting because we're not lame... Anymore. Well, I gotta get out of the way, jump out in the aisle, and start thanking God because you're not lame anymore, and give him the glory right now. I'm not lame!