TD Jakes — The Discipline of Doing
Greetings, in the name of Jesus Christ our King. I'm excited and delighted to have the opportunity to be with you. I count it a privilege to share the Word of the Lord with you. I believe God is up to something in your life. I've been sharing the series work and faith. And today discipline to do it. Discipline to do it. You may have to go through some things but when you start doing the things God called you to do, God will do awesome things. It's time to dig deep so you can build the life God already planned for you. Are you ready for this? Even best builders hit storms. Stop blaming yourself. It's not your fault. Endure the storms. When you come out of it, God's going to do something amazing. Got to do your work now. Get ready for this. This message will bless your life. Take a look at this.
Building can be stressful. I heard my pastor when I was a little boy, they built church up on... After he did it once he said he would never do it again. He said building is for young men. And I didn't know what he meant. But I understand now what he meant. Building is, and if you don't understand it, you haven't built nothing. By the time you get through going through the stress and the headache and the aggravation and the disappointments and the regulations and the committees and the zonings and the permits and the run away contractors, you have to be up for the task if you're going to build.
When you build now, you build first by design and then by reality. You build, you get an architect and he draws it out. And when the drawing looks right, then the hammering and the nailing and the digging and the pouring begin. But nobody likes to build without a vision. Nobody wants to build without a plan. Once you get that plan in place and once you get that plan approved and once you get through getting all of that organized and you have the site and the location and the inspection and all the infrastructure in there you need in order to build what you're trying to build then you start digging your way up.
Yeah it's funny because building speaks to erecting something but in order to erect something you have to go down. In the part of the world I came from, we had basements. You don't have basements down here because of the soil and whatnot. We had basements and you dug out the basement and poured concrete and laid block and put the house, you put the house on the foundation. Now down here they don't do it that way. They build because the ground is so weak and so vulnerable that they dig tunnels deep down into the soil and pour concrete in it to stabilize it not risking a basement. They spend all of the resources digging deep enough to hit something solid. They understand they're building in unstable environment and if they don't dig down deep enough you can have erosion and wake up one morning and the whole place fall down.
Our news is permeated right now with the case one moment the house is standing and the next moment they have what is called a sink hole and everything collapse. They say, how can this be? We're sitting in a house having coffee and the next thing you know roof caves in, floor gives away and everybody is screaming and they're digging and digging trying to get victims out of a house that looks good on the outside. Inhabited, heated, cooled, air conditioning, water. How can it be that in a flash, everything collapses. In a flash, everything goes down. They said, we don't understand it. It wasn't like it was gradual. It wasn't like it was slow. It was just suddenly. Everything collapsed. Because the turbulence, the problem, the issue was not on the surface. It was underneath. That time only brings to fruition the reality of what was underneath.
Things can look good on the surface. But underneath, you can be in trouble and have potential for a sink hole and never realize it. Don't be afraid though, if it's built right, if it's built right, it can withstand all of the turbulence around it. If it goes down to something solid that doesn't break or doesn't move. Hit rock, you don't have to worry about it. Because if you hit rock, everything around it may shift and move. But if you hit rock it's all over. People don't like to build too much because building takes too long. They want to get it right now. We don't want to build a career. Because the notion is that the building takes too long.
Somebody asked me in a Q&A, what causes people to go after married people? I said, well, I said, well, well, what happened was... It's not that there's not a lot of good single men out there, it's true. But single men are not married men. They're single men. You have to build. Sometimes. There's good women out there. There's really good women out there. But there may not be the wife you want them to be. You may have to do a little construction. People who prefer going after married people, they just feel like... Building takes too long. Yeah, yeah.
They want your job. They don't want to train for it. They don't want to work for it. They don't want to grow up in the corporation. They want to walk in with a cute dress on and say I'm here and start doing what you do. They think it's easy. They don't want to earn the right to be who you are. Because building takes too long. And I admit, building is hard. But only the way you can know what you got, the only way to step into the moment and be fully prepared for the moment. The only way to deal with the thing and know you got what it takes to sustain it is to build it from the ground up. Then you'll really know what you got.
But brothers and sisters, Jesus really isn't so much teaching us how to build a house. He's really telling us how to build a life. And his concern is, they have, people have a tendency to hear more word than they do. They love to come hear the word. Where are you going? I'm going to hear the word. Yes. I'm going to doctor's church because he can really preach the word and I love to hear the word. I drove 45 minutes this morning to come hear the word. Glory to God. I see them on Trinity. Bishop was on this morning. He was on fire. He was preaching the word. We love to hear the word. But Jesus is saying that hearing the word doesn't necessarily build a house. Now, I understand, faith comes by hearing. And hearing by the word of God. I know, if you hear it, you get faith. But what does faith have to do with it if you're not going to do anything?
Jesus says to them, I don't want you to just hear the word. I want you to do the word. I don't want you to just hear about healing. I want you to go out there and lay hands on the sick. I don't want you to just hear about victory. I want you to walk out the door and walk in victory. I don't want you to just hear that I'm going to bless you. I want you to walk in the blessing. I don't want you to just hear about loving your neighbor. I want you to practice on somebody who gets on your nerves. I'm losing them, Lord. It will be tough this morning. I don't want you to just hear it so you can throw scriptures at everybody else. I want you to actively engage in the process of trying to do what you hear. Because what you believe infiltrates your behavior that's what gives you foundation. When what you believe infiltrates behavior, the process gives you foundation.
You got me. The process. That's what I'm after. The process gives you foundation. When what you believe infiltrates behavior, the process gives you foundation. It is not just the hearing of the word, nor is it the doing of the word. It is the process of doing the word that gives you foundation. It is the struggle. They don't hear me. It is the struggle. It is the wrestling. It is the praying. It is the pulling. It is the trial. It is the temptation. It is the stumbling and falling and getting back up again. It is the aggravation and the intimidation that gives you foundation.
It's not just the mechanical influence of robotically doing the word. It's just as you go to do it, you learn things about God that you didn't know. You learn things about yourself that you didn't know. You learn how to go through aggravation and heartache. You learn how to deal with obstacles and situations. And while you're trying to do and carry out what he told you to do, all of a sudden you're going deeper and deeper and deeper. And so if he gave it to you without building it you wouldn't be prepared for it. It is the process that gives you the power. It is the rejection and the alienation and the intimidation that drives you down to your knees where you say, I thought I had this. I thought I had that. I thought I had the other. But if mama don't go. If daddy don't go. If sister, brother don't go.
So he says, when you do it, he said doing is digging. If you look at the text, doing is digging. He said, we know you do the word, you are like the man who dug down to the rock. When you start doing what God tells you to do, there is an inevitable digging process where everything that isn't solid has to get out of your way for you to be able to do what, this is the process when friends leave. See, I got to tell you this. It will look like the devil got loose in your life. It's not the devil. It's a shovel. And when the shovel starts digging down, everything starts moving.
I want to talk to somebody who is getting a lot of movement in your life. Everything is moving. Things you thought would never move are moving. Look at somebody, say, I got some digging going on. Digging me out. He's digging my friends out. My circumstances. My situation. He's teaching me to shut my mouth. Teaching me to hold my peace. Teaching me. Has God stuck a shovel in your life? Digging pass your fear. Digging pass your insecurity. Digging past how you see yourself. Digging past your limitations. Digging you all the way down. He's going to dig. He's going to keep on digging. He's going to keep on digging until he hits rock. Hallelujah.
I'm about to get happy in here? Hallelujah. Tell them I got rock in there somewhere. I know you look fragile. I know I look insecure. I know I look intimidated. I know my hands are shaking. I know I'm nervous. I know I don't look like I got much confidence if me. But if you back me in a corner, I got rock up in me somewhere. Is there anyone up here that knows you got rock somewhere? Yeah. Yes, yes, yes, yes.
The discipline of doing says there is shortcut to excellence. You just can't fast track it. In this instant age we live in. We have lost any understanding of preparation. In this microwave shake and bake 30 minute quick serve soup in a cup generation, we have lost all sense. I bet you there's at least 30 percent of the people in here have never tasted a slow cooked grit. Don't even, they don't even know they have never had anything but instant oatmeal. I bet 30 percent of the people in the room never had anything but jiffy corn bread. In this jiffy, quick, easy, serve age, when you get into something that requires slow cooking and stability, you think that the devil has gotten loose in your life. But they that wait upon the Lord.
Touch three people, say, I'm waiting on something. I got to slow cook it. I got to dig it out. I got to get some discipline. I got to go through some struggle. I got to go through some heartache but I'm working on something and what I'm working on can't be instant. O God, help me a minute. What I'm working on has got to be able to stand some stuff. What I'm working on has got when I get to the top of the hill I got to be strong enough to stand. Somebody holler, dig it out, Lord. Dig out everything that's flaky. Dig out everything that's shaky. Dig out everything that will break. Dig my fear out, my restlessness out, my give up spirit. My quitting spirit. My turn back spirit. My doubting spirit. Dig it out, Lord. Dig out my sensitivity. Dig out my insecurity.
And often, the shovel God uses is people. O we were having such good church. It fascinated me when I went back and reviewed the text that the preceding verses we're dealing with human relationships. How you treat people. How you handle people. What you say, what you don't say. Then I realized that God's shovel is often people. That he uses people. And how we interact with them and how they interact with us to dig you down to something solid. The problem is, most of us really want to be dug down to somebody. If I can just get you to act right, do right, get yourself together so I can count on you. You can't build on the shovel.
So the reason people keep hurting you and letting you down is because he's using that to get you to the rock. I wrote a book years ago. I wish I had waited and wrote it over now. I could write it so much better now than I wrote it in the past. I wrote a book, can you stand to be blessed? Can you stand? You talk about give it to me, give it to me. But can you stand? Can you stand to be blessed? Can you stand up to it? It's not are you talented enough? It's not are you gifted enough? Can you stand up to all the things that come from it?
See everybody wants to do the above groundwork. Because the above groundwork is the pretty stuff. Look at the stone. Look at that time windows. Look at the steeple. Look at the doors. Look at the landscaping. Have you ever seen such landscaping in all your life. The interior decorating is amazing. That's the stuff that gets you. The hand clap is for the above groundwork.
It doesn't matter how beautiful things are above ground if there's all kind of craziness beneath the ground. Eventually everything above ground will sink if you don't put the effort underground. You have to have discipline to do that. You have to be willing to work in places people don't see. You have to be willing to take the time that is necessary to prepare the foundation even the more when you believe God is going to do something great in your life. The work goes down before the building goes up.