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TD Jakes — The Principles of Promise

Hello, everybody, I'm excited to have the opportunity to share the Word of the Lord with you today. I believe this word is really gonna speak to your life in a powerful and pragmatic way. The message today is "The Principles of Promises". Did you know that every promise has some principles that go along with it? Or are you so excited about the promise that you don't check out the principles? Well, my friend, let's go to the Word of God, 1 Samuel chapter 1, verse 14 through 24 and hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to the church.

So she goes in the temple and she cries out unto God, and this is what really got me. Eli thinks she's drunk. She was actin' so crazy, she said, "Don't think I'm a daughter of Belial. I know I might be actin' like a heathen, but I'm not". She says, "I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit. I gotta get this out of me so I can receive what God has for me. I've gotta get this out of me so I can receive what God has for me. I gotta get this out of me so I can receive what God--I gotta get this out of me so I can receive what God has for me".

God can't give you what you're askin' for if you're gonna still be filled with anger and hostility and unforgiveness and pride and jealousy and envy and strife. We need a good purgin' in this house. We need a good cleanin' out in this house. We need a good release in this house. 'Cause God's got somethin' for you. Give him 30 seconds of crazy praise. Yeah, praise him like you want somethin'. Praise him like you're willin' to give up somethin'. Praise him like you need a release from the Lord.

You see, this is why we don't get things from God, 'cause you can't fill what's already filled. There's gotta be an emptyin' out. And the reason I wanted to call... I almost called the message "First Things First". It's because God says, "I can't give you what you're asking for until you release all of that bitterness and all of that anger and all of that hostility and all of that pride and all of that unforgiveness. I gotta get it out of you. First things first". I feel like I'm talkin' to somebody. I don't even know who it is. But you've been wonderin' why it's been so long, and you've been prayin' so long, and you've been askin' so long, and you've been waitin' so long, and you've been sayin', "When are you gonna do it"?

And God is sayin' the same thing to you that you're sayin' to him. He said, "I've been waitin' so long. I've been expectin' so long. I've been lookin' at you so long. When are you gonna do it? 'Cause I can't do what you want until you do what I want. Dump that out of you". And Eli spoke to her and says, "'Be it unto you as you have said.'" It's going to happen. And what gets me about this girl who has been screamin' and hollerin' and cryin' and yellin' and shakin' her hair down and makin' all kinda noise and actin' like a heathen, when she got a word, she got up. "Oh, my, all I need is a word from God. I don't need a pregnancy test. I don't need my cycle to stop. I don't need any outer sign of a breakthrough. All I need is a word".

A promise is built on his word. A word is built on integrity. In spite of all of her issues, she knew that if God said, "It's gonna happen," it's gonna happen. It seals the deal, and she walks out, and says, "There, glory to God". What happened to faith? What happened to us gettin' word after word after word after word after word and still walking out unchanged? How can we hear so much preaching and still walk out unchanged? She didn't even get it from God. She got it from God's servant, but it was still God's Word, and it changed her countenance. She didn't even look like the same woman. I don't know who it's for, but you're not gonna leave here like you came. You're not going to leave here like you came in here.

And the Bible says, "Elkanah knew Hannah". When she got home... He said, "I couldn't wait for you to get back home". This phrase says that God will move men to set up his promise in your life. He won't do it without them. He will do it through them. Watch this, "Give, and it shall be given unto you again, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over," watch this, "shall..." "Shall men give into thy bosom". God said, "You gave it to me. I'm gonna give it back to you, but I'mma give it back to you through..." He'll make people like you.

I'm lookin' for somebody that believes the Word of God. He will make people like you. He will make people choose you. He will make people want you. He will make people pick you. Somebody in here who's been walkin' in divine favor understands the words that are comin' out of my mouth. Won't he do it? I said, "Won't he do it"? You might not think that was God that made Elkanah know her, but yes, it was. They came home from church and Elkanah said, "I kinda feel like goin' on," praise the Lord.

I want you to understand that the heart of the king is in the hand of God, that your boss is in his hands, that your neighbors are in his hand, that the judge is in his hand, that the courtroom is in his hands. I want you to know that when God gets ready to bless you, he will give people a different attitude about you, open doors you couldn't see, make ways you couldn't imagine. I don't care how many other people put in an application. When God gets ready, he'll bring yours to the top.

I had to praise him a minute in it 'cause I've seen him bless me through people I knew didn't like me. I've seen him make my enemies my footstool. I've seen him turn it around and they had to bless me. Can I get a witness in here? And the Bible said, "While Elkanah was knowin' her..." Sit on down, I'm just talkin' to you. "While Elkanah was in the process of knowing her, God remembered her". That's a tag-team situation. Elkanah's doin' the knowin', but God is doin' the rememberin'. If Elkanah doesn't do his part, it won't happen. But let's face it, Elkanah had done his part before and it didn't work. But when God gets behind it... I don't know who this is for, but the Lord remembered you. The anointing will fall. Not when you are being served. It will fall when you serve.

This is where it gets interesting. She has now had her baby. She's got the promise. I thought the real test of faith is when you don't have it and you have to believe it anyway, but that's not the real test of faith. The real test of faith is when you finally got it and you got to give it up. After goin' through all the hell you went through to finally get the breakthrough, and you're holdin' the baby in your arms, and now, she has to give it up. Now, this is fine for a Bible story, but this is not just a Bible story. This is a relationship between a mother and her child.

Brothers, let me talk to y'all for a minute. There is something about the bond between a mother and her child. I'm not talkin' about a woman who had a baby. I'm talkin' about a mother, a real mother and her child. It's absolutely amazing. It is that bond between Hannah and her child that when Elkanah gets ready to go to the temple the next time, he said, "Come on, let's go". She said, "No, no, no, I've not yet weaned him". Now, they went every year. So we know she missed the first year. So she has had this child for two years.

That's a long time to have a child. That's a lot of bonding between her and the child, but you see, the deal between her and God was this. She told God, "If you give it to me, I'll give him back to you". See, we are always sayin' stuff to God, but we don't keep our end of the bargain. "Lord, if you just give me this job". "Lord, if I just get a second chance". "Lord, if you get me out of this". "Lord, if you bring me out of this, I'll serve you". And after God gets you out, you don't keep your end of the bargain. She said, "When I've weaned him, I'll bring him". And so, it's at least on the second year that she gets an ephah and gets a goat and starts moving to the temple with her child to give him back to God.

"No, stay, Samuel, you can't go back with me. I'mma leave you someplace you've never been before, and I'm goin' home alone. Don't cry, baby. I'll see you from time to time. Mama love you. You know Mama love you. This is the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I made a vow to the Lord and I can't take it back". And she goes back home to the house without Samuel, and there Peninnah is still runnin' around the house with her children. And Hannah has finally got a child, but he's gone. And she's right back in the same situation she was before.

And I asked God, I said, "God, I don't see the point. Why would you take her through all of that? And she finally has the child, but she don't have him. She is a mother, but she's not. She's right back in the situation she was in before". And he said, "You don't see it". I said, "What"? He said, "It wasn't ever about Samuel. It was never about Samuel. It was about opening up her womb. And her bringing Samuel to me was first things first. It was firstfruits". And God said, "If you seek ye first the kingdom of God and all of its righteousness, you will never out-give me". He said, "You cryin' 'cause she gave me one, but I gave her back five".

I wanna talk to somebody who had to give up somethin'. Whatever you gave up, God said he's gonna give it back to you again, pressed down, shaken together, and runnin' over. The only reason you don't get it is that if you don't put first things first. God said, "All you saw was one child. I wanted to open up her womb, for five more were comin' behind that first one. And you see Samuel as the child, but he wasn't the child. He was the test".

Sometimes God blesses you to test you, to see if you'll take the blessin' and walk away, or whether you'll come back and bring it back to him. I remember, there were ten lepers that they asked the Lord to heal 'em, and Jesus said, "Go show yourself to the priests". And the Bible said that "they were healed as they went". Nine of 'em kept on walkin', but one of 'em said, "First things first, before I do anything else, I got to go back to the God that made it possible for me to have this opportunity". And he said, "Lord, I know I oughtta be in the priest's right now, but I just had to come back and say thank ya". And the Lord said, "Nine of 'em got healed, but you were made whole".

There's something about comin' back to God. Oh, I wish I had a witness. I thought when my lights was off, I was bein' tested. When they laid me off my job, I thought I was bein' tested. When I had to go up my mama's house to get water, I thought I was bein' tested. When I only had one suit and they called me, "One-suit Jakes," I thought I was bein' tested. When Serita was washin' my suits 'cause we couldn't put 'em in the cleaners, I thought I was being tested. When I raised my first kids on WIC, I thought I was being tested. But the real test is never what you don't have. The real test is, when God opens the door, when he opens the blessing, when he makes a way, when he brings you out, how do you remember God?

See, the other part wasn't a test because I couldn't do nothin' about it anyway. It was somethin' I had to go through. But my faith isn't proven on what is forced on me. My faith is proven when I have a choice. See, the real climax of the story was not that God remembered Hannah. It was that Hannah remembered God. And Hannah said, "I'mma pass this test. I wouldn't have this to give if you didn't give it to me". And God says, "This is the principles of promise. I will bless people I can trust". "No man who loses houses or land, sister or brother, if he lose it in this life, I will give it back one hundredfold in this life". That's not in heaven. He said, "Whatever you lost servin' me, I will give it back to you 100-fold. Not when you die, in this life. For everything I took you through, oh, for everything you offered to me, everything you gave me," God said, "I'll give it back to you 100-fold".

Hey, everybody, I've gotta stop today, but it's been a real privilege to share the Word with you today. Sometimes God can't fill us with his presence and his blessings, because we are carrying so much emotional baggage that we can't receive it. Focusing on what you lost and who wronged you is robbing you of seeing the amazing opportunities God has placed all around you. Let go of all that baggage. I know you feel like you need it, but you really don't. Let it go, and God will do such an amazing work in you that you won't even look like what you've been through.
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