TD Jakes — Sweat Equity
And the disconnect between what God was saying and what they were experiencing was so intense, that Moses gets frustrated and throws down the Ten Commandments, and they break. This breaking is so important. They break, they break, and they should have broken, because what God is saying is that they were broken when they got them. What happened with the tablets of stone had already happened in the character of the people, and God wants us to know that before you ever got... now, a minute ago you were saying, "We got this," and the reality is you don't have it like you think you have it. And so, the tablets broke as an outward sign of an inward breaking that has already happened in their heart, and their behavior has frustrated the grace of God, and Moses has to go back up onto the mountaintop again and do it over again.
Have you ever had a situation where God blessed you, and he gave you something, and you messed it up? Come no, there's nobody here but me and you. We can be real. Have you ever messed it up? That's why I can't understand why people can be so judgmental of other people, because everybody in here has blown it at least once about something. And so, they go back up on the mountaintop again, and when they go back on the mountaintop, Moses goes back on the mountaintop again, he now goes up to go before God because their arrogance has turned to brokenness.
I wanna stay on that point a minute, because I am convinced that many, many people get broken because of arrogance. I don't know that I've ever said anything more important than that. My mother would say a hard head. Yeah, yeah, that's how she would say it. It wasn't very scriptural, but it worked, and it got the point across. In other words, if you don't break yourself and become more humble, God will break you. So, their arrogance has turned to brokenness. We now have a broken people, we have broken tablets, and we have a broken law, and Moses comes before God saying, like I've often said, "Lord, I know I blew it, but if you ever give me a chance to do this again, I promise, Lord, I promise," I know y'all don't pray like that, "I promise this time..." All the this-time prayers, hold your hand up.
"This time, this time, Lord, this time I'm gonna do it right. This time I'm gonna be better. This time I'm gonna be more disciplined. This time," because failure will bring you to your knees, if you got any sense. There are some people who still don't break. They're down on the ground and still arrogant and still prideful, and that's why you keep getting broken over and over and over again, 'cause God says, "I'm gonna break you till you get it. I'm gonna break you till you cry. I'm gonna break you till you humble yourself. I'm gonna break you till you stop worrying about what you look like and what people think.
I'm gonna break you, and I'm gonna break you, and I'm gonna break you till you fall down on your knees and say, 'Yes, I surrender. I don't care what it looks like. I don't care about my image. My soul says yes, my mind says yes, my heart says yes, my will says yes.' I'm gonna break...' There is nothing that God likes to break like pride. The Bible said he hates a proud look, much less proud behavior. Any time you're more worried about how things appear and what people think than you are doing what is necessary, God said, "I'm gonna break you and break you and break you... just like you broke my law. I'm gonna break you till you say yeah. I'm gonna break your money. I'm gonna break your family. I'm gonna break your health. I'm gonna break your life. I'm gonna break it". My soul says yes, my mind says yes, my will says yes.
So let me hurry on. So now, Moses is up on the mountaintop, and he's waiting, the way you have to wait when you're messed-up. See, all the people who have ever messed up are saying amen and the rest of you are liars. Oh, so, when you mess up, you have to wait. You're used to controlling everything and commanding everything and saying when you want this and when you want that. Shut up. Now you gotta wait. God puts you in time-out, and God says to Moses, he says, "I'm gonna fix this". And Moses gets happy.
This is the distinction of the text that I want you to see. We want God to do it like he did it the first time. You got it, didn't you? Ha-ha-ha-ha, you want him to do it just like he did, "Do it again. Can you do it again"? "Yes, I can do it again, but I'm not going to do it again, because the last time I hewed out the rock and I did the writing. You didn't appreciate it. You didn't carry it with integrity. You let what you saw with your eyes make you break what I gave you. So, if we're gonna do this again, I'm gonna require a human investment". And this morning I'm calling it sweat equity. God said, "I'm not carving out no more rocks for you. I'll do the writing, but you got to cut it out for yourself".
Now, you won't appreciate that God told Moses, "This time you got to cut out the tablets". You won't appreciate it reading it. You have to go up on a mountaintop by yourself and try to cut out solid rock and carve it into tablets. "I want two of 'em, and I want it to look like I did it, but I'm requiring that out of your hand". I don't know how long he was up there, but he was up there a long time, sweating, trying to get it back like God had it. I don't know who I'm talking to this morning, but if you're gonna get it back the way God had it, you're gonna have to sweat over it, you're gonna have to labor over it, you're gonna have to humble yourself, you're gonna have to be invested, because when God gave it to you, you dropped it. God is teaching through this collaborative effort that in order to establish this covenant the second time, it will be a collaboration between Moses and God, between humanity and divinity.
This is important because while the story has many teachings in it, it is also a shadow. You with me? It's also a shadow that the first covenant would all be done by God, but the second covenant would be a collaborative effort between that which is celestial and that which is terrestrial, between that which is divine and that which is human. Let me break it down this way. The first man, Adam, God made him all by himself. He didn't use a wife. He didn't use a woman. God, all by himself, hewed up the body, blew in the breath of life, and he became a living nephesh, a living soul, and Adam started walking around.
But when he got broken, God said in order to establish the second covenant, it will be a collaboration between humanity and divinity. "Hey, Mary, you've been highly favored amongst women". "Why am I favored"? "God is getting ready to write on you. You provide the tablet, I'll provide the Word," boom, and the Word was made flesh.
The cost of a second chance. The cost. Moses is up there just sweating, trying to get it back the way God had it. The cost of a second chance. Mary pregnant riding on a donkey, birthed in a barn. The cost of a second chance. Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and saying, "Father, if it be thy will, pass this bitter cup from me". God said, "No, no, no, no, no, no, no". A second chance gonna make you sweat, and the Bible said that when Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, he prayed till great drops of blood fell like sweat from his brow. This is sweat equity. I'm not gonna give it to you just 'cause you want it.
Come on, I'm going deeper. You can't pray this out. You can't use prayer to replace laziness. Get up off your knees 'cause you gotta go through this. Yeah, I know you're praying three times, but you still gotta go through this, 'cause no investment means no return. To him whom much is given much is required. "First man, Adam, dropped it because I gave it to him for nothing. This time you gotta pay full price". So, God says, "The second time make it as it was the first time, only this time you have to do some work to get this right. And you'll know when it's right because when you get it right," R-I-G-H-T, "then I will write," W-R-I-T-E. "I'm not gonna write on your wrong. I will only write," W-R-I-T-E, "when you get this right. Now get up off your knees and fix this".
When God told Jesus to fix it, he had to fix it in front of everybody. You can't fix it over in a corner after you broke it in public. In order to make things right, you have a responsibility to correct your wrong. God ain't gonna do that for you. Many of us are disappointed in God because we think that God will override bad behavior and just make everything turn out all right, when there is a human responsibility that is involved in your next miracle. I'm gonna tell you 'cause I don't think they got it. There is a human responsibility required in your next miracle. God is saying to you, "If you will, I will".
Watch this. Jesus comes up to the lame man and says, "Wilt thou be made whole? Wilt thou"? It seemed like such a stupid question. "I'm sick, Jesus. I've been sick for 38 years. I've been waiting for 38 years". And he says, "Wilt thou be made whole"? "You're waiting on me, I'm waiting on you". This is called didactic miracles. Didactic miracles are miracles that require some human responsibility in order for them to occur. God will not divorce himself completely from the process, nor will he override your behavior.
Didactic miracles means that God is gonna require some human participation to fulfill a divine promise. It's still gonna be God, because if you did it without God, blind man, if you went and washed in the pool without God, you just have wet, blind eyes. True enough, God could heal you without you going to the pool, but this is a collaborative effort. God said, "When I see you invest in your deliverance, I will get behind you and give you a reward pressed down, shaken together, and running over. Go wash in the pool". The man came forth seeing. I bet all other blind people in the world was going down to that pool talking about, but it wasn't the pool alone. It was the pool and the power. It was the stones and the finger. "Hew it out. I'll write on it".
What's holding you up is you. Don't you know that Jesus could have fed the 5,000 without the 2 fish and the 5 loaves of bread? He found a million and a half people for 40 years in the wilderness without that little boy's lunch, but God says, "This next covenant is gonna require something of you, 'cause you ate my food in the wilderness and didn't believe me. You didn't value what I did. Now you gotta give up something". A little boy has gotta give up his lunch. "You got to give up your inability to be disciplined, and now I'm gonna set you in groups of 50, and I'm gonna make you sit and wait, and you're gonna have to bring some things in order. And when you get in order, I'm gonna feed you".
What I'm trying to teach you this morning... let me come here 'cause I wanna look at you, 'cause I'm getting in your business now. I know I'm getting in your business, so I gotta come down here. I'm telling you it costs to make a comeback. That prayer and fasting and putting little oily dots on your head forming a cross will not replace bad choices, bad decisions, dysfunction, stubbornness, pride, rebellion, and yet you think, "I'm gonna pray till the power falls". And because you don't do the cutting, God won't do the writing.
So, God says, "Moses, you're sitting up here on this hill waiting on me? You think I'm gonna do it like I did it before? I'm not doing it. You didn't value it. Now, when I see you put some sweat in it, when I see you humble your pride and go after it with all of your heart, when I see you act like this really matters to you, when I see you willing to become uncomfortable, when I see you get to the point that you stop telling me what's not you and you start doing it 'cause I said do it.
I didn't ask you, 'Do you like to make rocks? Do you like to cut stone? How do you feel about cutting stone? Are you in the mood to cut stone?' I'm telling you that until you do certain things, I will not do certain things in your life. I require sweat equity, because when I give you this breakthrough again, you're not gonna let no devil in hell take this blessing away from you," oh, come on, somebody, 'cause you got something in it".
Let me tell you something. You got to go through something in order to value what you have. We don't teach this. We don't teach it. We want weddings but not marriage. We want the gown and the dress, and we wanna show all our girlfriends our rings, "Check this ring out," but we don't wanna be no wife. Nobody wanna be no wife. "I don't have no time. He want this, and he want that".
And, you know, we want a dog, but we don't wanna walk it. We want a house, but we don't wanna clean it. We want a blessing, but we don't want a burden. Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying to you. You're in love with the results, you're in love with the results, and you're gonna sit there and be stubborn and lose your opportunity waiting on God to do what he did before, when, when he did it before, you dropped it. I bet you when you get it back, you will hold on to it. I don't care what the people are doing, I don't care how wild we get, when you get this back, you will appreciate it.
Touch three people and say, "Don't drop it". It's not worth it. Don't you drop it. Not this time. Shake your head and say, "Not this time". I'm not gonna drop it this time. I don't care what somebody else does, I don't care what they say, I don't care what it looks like, I don't care how you laugh, if God gives me another chance, I'll let nothing separate me from the love of God, neither height, nor depth, nor power. O God, I feel like preaching.