TD Jakes — The Battle Is Not Yours
There is nothing worse than taking on a fight that's not yours. You just jump into something, you start swinging. You don't even know how it started. You don't know how to get out of it. You don't know what to do. And you're fighting a fight that's not yours. Many of you right now, you are fighting a battle that is not yours. You know why? The Bible says the battle belongs to the Lord. I'm going to share a word with you that I think is quite powerful, quite relevant. It's a different take on a phrase that we hear all the time. We hear that phrase "the battle is not yours," but I want to take it to another place and another level because some of us were born into a battle that was not ours. It hurt us, it affected us, it bruised us, it wounded us. In some ways, it directed how our future turned out. But the battle is not yours. In the end, you're going to win, and I'm going to show you how.
1 Samuel 17:21 through 29. "For Israel and the Philistines had put the battle in array, army against army". Army, that's a battle. "Army against army". That was the strategy that the Israelite army had and the Philistinian army had. They were going to go army against army. "And David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper of the carriage, and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren. And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath". He wasn't even in the plan. Goliath, this big joker wasn't even in my daily calendar. He didn't pop up in my memos on my phone. I was supposed to bring lunch to a fight between armies and armies. And here comes this big joker.
Everybody in here got a big old something you got to fight, your Goliath, your giant, your devil, your thing. And you don't just fight it when things are bad. You fight it when things are good. You fight it when you're about to get a promotion. You fight it when a door is opened. You fight it when things are wonderful, and you fight it when all hell is breaking loose. Here comes Goliath from Gath. I ain't going to Gath, but Gath came to me. Gath sure can find you. "Goliath by name, and out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words. And David heard them. And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him," and they were scared to death.
They were sore afraid. Certain things make me sore afraid. "And the men of Israel said, 'Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely to defy Israel is he come up, and it shall be that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel.'" Free means no taxes. You kill this and your daddy don't have to pay taxes. You kill this and you kill your debt. Good God of mercy. You kill this, you can change your family's environment. You kill this, you can break the curse over your generations. You kill this and it'll put you on a completely different trajectory. It will take you from taking care of sheep to walking around in a palace if you can just kill this.
Touch three people, say, "Help me kill it". And David said, "What? What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God"? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of my destiny, the armies of my future, the armies of my peace? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that every time I take two steps forward, it knocks me three steps back? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that would come in and wreck my marriage? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that would separate me from my own child?
When you see David talking like that, look at his resistance to accepting what others ran from. "I will not let this giant disrespect my God. I will not let this giant leave my daddy in debt. You mean I got a chance to have another kind of life if I kill him? You mean I can be free, what? I was born in debt. I was born in trouble. I was born with this hanging over my head. Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the... wait, David, you don't understand something, baby. You ain't even in the army. It's not like David is a soldier. David is a child. He don't have no uniform, he don't have no sword, he don't have no shield. He don't even have a horse. All he has is outrage. "'Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?'
And the people answered him after this manner, saying, 'So shall it be done to the man that killeth him.'" If you kill him, you get it all. Killing him will affect who you marry. Killing him will affect where you sleep. Killing him will change how your story ends. Killing him will open up new doors for you. Killing him will change your daddy's situation. Killing him will affect your entire family. Killing him will affect your entire nation. Killing him will change your job description. You won't have to shovel sheep dung anymore if you could just kill him.
I don't know, I don't know, but I don't think I'm the only one that got something that's standing in between me and what I'm after. Every time I go after it, here comes something from Gath trying to stop me from the next level. Tell your neighbor, "The devil is a liar". Verse 28, "And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake to the men, and Eliab was angry. His anger was kindled against David. He said, 'What are you doing down here? You don't have no business down here. Why camest down hither? And with whom has thou left those few sheep in the wilderness?'"
You know, every time you get ready to do something great, there's always somebody who reminds you of your place. And this is how they say it today. They don't say it in that King James language. They say, "I knew you when. Who are you to go after that? Who are you to build a house? Who are you to write a book? Who are you"? Now, this does not come from the giant. I could have took the insult if it came from the giant, but this comes from the same brother that I came to bring lunch. How could you eat my lunch and talk against my destiny?
Came to bring us some lunch, and he stepped into a fight. Lord, thank you because the devil has been picking on me. He came 30 years. You say, "Don't say nothing, but when we get to the top of the hill". My hill was called Vandalia. His was called Golgotha. Oh, I feel like preaching this thing. Y'all can't handle that kind of preaching. Can y'all handle this kind of preaching? I'm kind of confused because Jesus' own disciples didn't get it. They thought he had come to overthrow Caesar and to take care of their concerns. They had defined him by what they needed from him. Eliab's anger looks like Peter's anger, trying to keep Jesus back from the cross. He defines Jesus as a political reformation, never understanding that until Jesus fought this cross thing, he couldn't get to the greater dimension of who he was.
Oh yes, he did come to bring the lunch, that's not a lie. Ain't it something when you got to fight something that's kind of true? It's easy to fight something that's a lie, but when it's true, I did come to bring the lunch, but there's more in me than what you see. There's more in me than a political leader. My kingdom is not of this world. You're trying to hold me down to this level of definition, but I have a higher purpose that I must achieve. You say the victory was won at Calvary. I say the victory was won at Gethsemane. Because it was at Gethsemane that he made a decision.
Hey, touch somebody, say, "I have decided it don't have nothing to do with how I feel. It don't have nothing to do with what you said about me". See, I know he didn't want to do it because he said, "Father, if it be thy will, pass this bitter cup from me". He had to pray over it three times to finally say, "Not my will, but thine". Sit with me, let me talk to you, I got to talk to you. There's three things, you see, I'm trying to figure out. Am I preaching about David, or am I preaching about Jesus who is the son of David, or am I preaching about you? For beloved, now are ye. You see, if it's true about David and if it's true about Jesus, then it's true about you. You got something that keeps coming down out of Gath, snorting at you, telling you what you can't do and what you can't be, defining you by your childhood, calling you a boy, calling you less than.
There were three things that I got out of the text that I want you to get that are important. It is at the point of decision that three things had to be decided. Number one, I want you to write down eclipse. Because until your calling eclipse your circumstance... see, it's cause that brings about effect. If you don't have a cause, you don't have an effect. Ooh, can I take some time? I kind of want to take some time with this. The reason we are losing our young boys is that in the absence of a cause, circumstances will always prevail. If you don't give a man something that's more important than how he feels, he will always digress back to his feelings. Is there not a cause? What happens in an eclipse is when something blocks what was affecting you. And when it blocks what was affecting you, it changes the atmosphere around you.
See, David was a lunch boy until he came down to the battle, and he saw what was at stake. And then the calling eclipsed the conflict. Oh God, help me preach this. Have you ever been scared of something until? Oh, I wish I had a witness in here. I'm going to ask you again, have you ever been scared of something until what it was stopping you from became more important than what you thought about it? I'm telling you, it'll make a little woman jump over a big man. If you don't believe it, hit one of these women's children. Hit one of these women's children, watch her turn into a gorilla warrior. Touch somebody and say, "Don't mess with my child".
Is there not a cause? Means your calling must eclipse your circumstance, or you will go back to being who you were. Whenever what's in front of you becomes more important than what was behind you, you will always get away. Is there not a cause, the cause eclipse the circumstance? You need a cause. It is not about how well you fight. It is about what you are fighting for. "Leave, my brother". So, I want you to find the thing that eclipses what you're afraid of. "Father, if it be thy will, pass this bitter cup from me". We don't even understand what eclipsed his feelings until the writer in Hebrews says that he despised the shame of the cross, but for the joy, here it comes, that is set before him, when he saw you and I, it eclipsed the cross. It eclipsed his fear. It eclipsed his feeling. You need an eclipse. Number one, you got to have an eclipse.
Number two is the word "enough". You cannot defeat your giant until you believe that what you got is enough, until you believe who you are is enough. Shout, "I am enough". I don't need the armies to help me. I don't need Eliab to believe in me. I don't need Saul's armor to fight with. I will use what I have because what I have is enough. No wonder the devil spent so much time and energy trying to convince you that you were not enough. Because until you decide that who you are and what you have is enough, you could never defeat him. It is not so important what's in your bag, Michael. It's what you think about what's in your bag. Do not become overly impressed with the rock because the rock shouldn't have been able to kill the giant.
But because of how David thought about the rock... what do you think about your rock? It is not your preacher. It's what you think about your preacher. Hallelujah, it's not what you look like. It's what you think about what you look like. Somebody holler, "Enough". I wish to God, I wish to God that the people who shouted it believed it. I'm going to give you one more chance, and I want you to shout it until your devil hears you, until your Goliath hears you, until your circumstance hears you, until your doubt hears you and your fear hears you. Shout, "Enough".
Sometimes, life puts you in a fight you did not choose. David went to the battle to deliver lunch to his brothers. However, his call was realized when his circumstances eclipsed the conflict on the battlefield. Everyone has a Goliath they have to fight. The devil will do all he can to oppose your destiny. The greatest response to the devil is a decision. When you decide it's worth it to fight for your destiny, you can receive everything God has to give you, whatever your challenge. You must believe that what God has given you is enough to defeat your opposition. You will always have victory when you use what you've been given to win.