TD Jakes — Playing Catch Up With Your Dream
So God says to Habakkuk, the prophet, who was waiting on an answer from God, 'cause he doesn't understand where he is, he doesn't understand what season he's in, and he doesn't understand what's going on in his life, and God gives him simple instructions. He said, "Write the vision," okay, not the problem, not the obstacle, not the need, not the lack. He said, "Don't write about what you lack. Write the vision". "Write It". What do you see, woman of God? Ten years from now, what do you see? What do you see? In your spirit, when you get down to your core, what do you see? What would you do if money were no problem? Well, it's no problem. Well, would you tell your sister it's no problem? It's no problem.
Don't let not having the money dry up your pen. Write the vision. Don't worry who's going to pay for it, don't worry about who's going to execute it, don't worry about who's going stand in agreement with it. All he asked you to do was write the vision. He didn't ask you to pay for the vision. Who can I give this baby to? Maybe, y'all will take it up there. Just write the vision. Go ahead and write the vision as planned. Go ahead and write the purpose, the vision, the purpose and goal. Go ahead and write the vision. You have been so focused on where you've been, that you can't stretch for where you're going. All our prayers are back dated. "O God. Have mercy on me. You know what happened to me when I was a child". "You know what I went through when I went to college". "O Lord, I'm still getting over my first husband". Come on, you on your fourth husband, still talking about your third.
I know it sounds hard, but slap somebody and say, "Get over it". He didn't say write the past. He didn't say write the pain. He said write the vision. What do you see? What do you hope for? What do you believe? He said write the vision. And then, he says to Habakkuk, "Read what you wrote". Write it and then read it. Remind yourself of what you said. Remind yourself of where you're going. Write it, read it, and then "run it". Before the year is out, say it with me, "Before the year is out, I'm going to write it, I'm going to read it, and I'm going to run it".
Let me tell you something, I don't try to run Kenneth Copeland's Ministries because it's not mine. I don't try to run Fred Price's Ministries 'cause it's not mine. I don't try to run Joyce Meyer's Ministry because it's not mine. I don't have the anointing to run something that I'm not instinctive at in my core, but when it comes to T.D. Jake Ministries, you better get out. Touch your sister and say, "I'mma write it, I'mma read it, and I'm gon' run it". Now, just take a minute and praise God for that right there on your own.
I'm gon' write it, I'm gon' read it, and I'm gon' run it. Running it means I'm gon' bring all of my efforts in alignment with what I wrote. I'm not going to expend energy that's off the page. If it's not on the page, I'm not running after it. If it's not in the script, the actor doesn't say the lines, I'm going to write it, I'm going to read it, and I'm going to run it. When you see me running, you don't have to read what I wrote, because my feet will tell you what's on the page. O, my God, tell your sister, "Let your feet do the talking". Stop explaining, stop arguing, stop fighting back on Facebook, stop arguing on Twitter, stop complaining with your so-called friends. Tell 'em to watch my feet.
You see, the world has changed, and as the world changes, both positively and negatively, God gives you opportunities. Opportunities are created from adversity. You wouldn't need a washing machine if you didn't have dirty clothes. Opportunities are created from adversities. So if you have adversities, your adversities are opportunities. Whether they become opportunities or not, is how you look at them. If you see it as a problem, it's a problem, but if you see it as an opportunity, it's an opportunity. God is giving you opportunity.
It's just like coming to this conference. God has given you an opportunity. What you do with it, is up to you. You could stay in your room and sleep in, not have to put on makeup or nothing, just lay up in the bed and watch TV, and get you some rest. Yeah, God knows you need some rest, and you go back rested and empty. All God gives you is an opportunity. He's not going to make you, he's not going to force you, he's not going to rape you. All God's going to do is give you an opportunity. When he's given you an opportunity, he's done. He's going to give you an opportunity.
In my book, I talk about the parable of the talents, the two, the five and the ten. And the householder gave to the servants two and five, and one, actually. One, two and five, and the one who had five took the opportunity and turned it into ten. The one who had two, took the opportunity and turned it into four. The one who had one, took the opportunity and hid it. But they might not have had equal talents, but they all had equal opportunity. Pray 'til your lips need ChapStick, but all God is going to give you... I'm practicing for standup comedy in case I lose my job, I'll have a career with Sheryl Underwood and them on, you know. All God's going to give you is an opportunity. Have you not recognized opportunities because they were dressed in adversity? If you look at the clothes of opportunity, opportunity always puts on an adversity suit.
Not too long ago, there was a tornado come through, and the waves from the ocean were coming up on the shore, and hounds were upon the water, and the streets were covered with water, and everybody was getting out of town. It was so dramatic that they had turned two-way streets into one-way streets, all exiting the city, everybody trying to get out of town as quickly as possible, didn't know how the waves were going to come, and people could be killed or destroyed, lose their property. They were all headed out of town. Back to back, the highway looked like a parking lot with cars stuck on it, trying to get out.
And in the middle of all of that, here comes a bunch of young boys, running in the opposite direction toward the storm, carrying surf boards, because what everybody else saw as an adversity, they saw it as an opportunity. A wave is an adversity if you're not prepared for it, but if you got a surfboard, this is the time of your life. And what I'm trying to tell you is that the blessing of the Lord comes in waves. It comes in waves. And if you stop running from the wave and just ride the wave, the blessing of the Lord would overtake you.
We're in a new world with new opportunities, new problems, decadence, and situations, and circumstances that are beyond anything that your grandmother would imagine. Imagine if your grandmother woke up in this world today, and she was running round looking for a telephone booth. "I'mma call him. Do you got any change? Drive me down to the phone booth so I can call somebody". How far would you have to drive in Atlanta to find a phone booth? You gon' need a lot of gas. Isn't it, you could have the coin, you could have the need, but if you don't understand the world you're in, you are dysfunctional. You're not just dysfunctional because of your childhood. You are dysfunctional when you are prepared for that which is antiquated. So God says, "Run forward, not backwards".
Can I go deeper? Oh, this is good. I got the right folks in here. Somebody say, "I have a dream". You need to run in the direction of your dream, and away from the direction of your disease. Disease, "I'm not sick". Disease simply means dis-ease. Dis-ease. Dis-ease. Somebody bring me a chair. Can you bring me a chair? I know those are hooked up. If there's a single chair, bring the chair. Dis-ease. Right this down, "Dis-ease". Thank you, son, for bringing this chair up here. Yeah, thank you.
Now, I'm gon' sit down so I can be comfortable in what I'm doing, so I can be at ease. You got me? Do you not know that God can give you blessings that make you uncomfortable, that you can be not at ease with being loved, not at ease with being successful? And if you have a dis-ease, that dysfunction, will make you self-sabotage your opportunities. And you might not have high blood pressure, you might not have kidney failure, but you got a dis-ease, 'cause you are uncomfortable with your own dream. So pray all you want to, but if you are at dis-ease with your dream, you won't run after it. You'll shout about it, but you won't run after it.
You think you're a procrastinator. You're not a procrastinator. You got dis-ease with your dream. You are dreaming something that you won't relax in. You won't walk in it. You're still walking in who you were rather than who you are. You need to go in a phone booth, and make you a call, go in there as Clark Kent, but come out as Superman. In fact, I declare, "Woman Thou Art Loosed" to be a phone booth. This is a place that you're going to come in here one way, and you're going to walk out a completely different way, because you came in here to be loosed from what you came from, but I came in here to call you into what you're going to. You got to catch up with your dream. Touch ten women and say, "You got to catch up with your dream. You got to catch up with your dream". Your dreams are in one place, your head is somewhere else. When you get to the tenth woman say, "Run"! Write it, read it, run it".
I'm not sure if this is true, I read it somewhere. Oprah didn't me this, but I read it somewhere, that her momma was trying to call her Orpah, and misspelled it and called her Oprah. I want to bring up Orpah. Orpah is the girl who couldn't escape the gravitational pull of where she came from. Orpah is the girl who had an opportunity that was so big, that she acquiesced away from it, because it was unfamiliar and felt more at ease in dysfunction that she did in her dreams, came right to the gate of escaping her past, but said, "No, that's too much for me. I'mma stay over here in what I have been groomed for, because I don't know how to live in a new world. I know how to live in Moab, I know what the rules are in Moab, I know how to function in Moab, so I'm going to sabotage my opportunity to go into Bethlehem, and I'm going to stay in Moab because it's familiar".
Orpah is the girl who went back. You don't hear anybody preaching about her. Everybody's preaching about Ruth. Nobody's preaching about Orpah. Orpah is the girl who could not escape the gravitational pull of where she came from, because she found safety in dysfunction, and she had dis-ease with her dream. And I just want to know, are you Orpah or are you Ruth? Let me ask them, "Are you Orpah or are you Ruth"?
Orpah only feels safe with poor folks, broke folks, hateful folks, gossiping folk, lying folk, cheating, the whoremongering folks. Orpah doesn't feel comfortable in a big room. Orpah wants to be a big girl in a small room. Orpah sabotages all of her opportunities because she has not been mentored for the opportunity that God has in front of her. Orpah is afraid that she won't speak the language, and she doesn't have the clothes, and she doesn't know how to fit in. So she goes back into the very thing that she should have got away from become it's familiar. Orpah is the girl who stays with the dead. Orpah's husband died, her father-in-law died, her brother-in-law died, and Ruth said, "I'm going to let the dead bury the dead," but Orpah stayed with the dead.
Are you staying with dead things because they're safe or are you deliberately living beyond the brink? Because if you're going to be Ruth, you're going to be scared, but it's okay to be scared. You're going to go into a new world, you're going to go into new rules, and new cultures and new opportunity. You're going to sit in boardrooms and places that you've never sat before, you're going to negotiate stuff that you never done before, you're going to speak the Word with power and clarity beyond the brink. If you are Ruth, you got to be willing to get out of your comfort zone and go after your dreams.
And if you are Ruth, you have got to be willing, check this out, to go from being respected in Moab to second class in Bethlehem. If you are Ruth, you have got to be willing to go back to ground level zero on the next level of your life. If you are Ruth, you were a teacher in Moab, but you're going to be a student in Bethlehem. If you are Ruth, you have got to chase after your dreams when you are used to walking into a room where you are already Ms. Suchie much. You have got into a room where you don't get VIP seating, 'cause we don't even know you up in here.
Why in the world would God give an opportunity like this to a girl like you? Nothing in your background prepares you for what God is about to do in your life. And you're trying to walk forward, but you're scared to death, and you're praying, and you're uncomfortable, and you're saying, "Lord, I don't know what you got me doing, but I'm going to walk into it by faith". Who am I preaching to today? Now, you see why you had to be at "Woman Thou Art Loosed," because you couldn't find nobody to talk to who understood what is standing in front of you right now. But the Lord has been talking to me about you, and God has scheduled you for a promotion, you're going to have to run after your dream. Slap somebody and say, "Run"!
I'm so glad we could hang out today. People don't win at life because they are perfect. They win because they are intentional. You can't accomplish great things without being deliberate. In spite of everything you may have done wrong, mistakes you've made, made bad choices, went with the wrong company, moved to the wrong city, I don't care what it is, you can still walk in your purpose and fulfill your destiny. By faith, I want you to write it, read it and run it. That means write your vision down, read it to yourself daily and focus your actions on that dream. Be consistent and God will respond to your faith in ways that will absolutely blow your mind.