TD Jakes — This is The Place
Greetings, brothers and sisters, I greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I'm excited to continue our conversation from the series open doors. God is absolutely opening doors. I want you to go into the place where God has opened a door for you. That is the potter's house of fort worth. I tell you what I did. I split my own church. I began to understand God is using other people in other areas and there were areas God laid on my heart. I'll show them one of you right in fort worth where the stats were really appalling and pastor has gone there to do a work for God.
I preached a message there I want to share with you. I sent some of our saints down there to the fort worth campus and sent others up to North Dallas Campus and we're spreading out so we can be more effective and develop a net through which we can win our city for Jesus Christ. So I want you to go to our campus location in fort worth and join me as pastor who is the new pastor of The Potter's House of fort worth. The message is This is The Place. How do you discern you're in the right place at the right time with the right people to experience a level of God you've never experienced before. Be careful before you walk out of it. It might be the place eternity and time collide. Take a look.
It's almost as if this text occurs at a major intersection in the crowded city of life experiences. And yet, it is in actuality in a barren place. So how do you make the comparison in a crowded city and intersection when it is in a barren desert rough terrain? It is this principle. You've got one of the worst possible people. Jacob. And the worst possible time. At night. In the worst possible situation. No place to rest. In the worst condition. He's tired. And in the midst of this canvas of destruction and degradation and humiliation. God does something.
I used to think, I've been in church almost all my life. And when the service was really hot and really good and we were sitting beside my mother, old people were the only people that shouted when I was a child. But when Miss Nellie would shout and sister would join her, we would say God was in the place that day. We would walk back home around the road, past the corner, past the water towers, over to the house talking about God, o child you missed it. We would holler Miss Dean as we passed by her house. You missed it this morning. God was in the place. Sister Shirley would hit a high note and Chill Bumps would go down our spine. We would declare, God was in the place.
As a little boy, I measured the presence of God by the sensations I felt. But I ask you something this morning, if that be true, then where is God when you feel nothing? If the manifestation of God is proven by the movement of flesh, where is God when you can't move and you can't feel and you can't see. I had to grow in my faith. I love what pastor is saying when he said, I'm wiser. I learned not to measure the presence of God by the circumstances of men. I learned to realize that God, that I wasn't anymore anointed when I had money than I was when I didn't have money. Ya'll don't hear what I'm saying. I learned I was just as anointed with no job as I was with a job. That I could be anointed when people didn't like me. That it didn't take public consensus in order to give me approval and desire of the moment. I learned to not measure God on chill bumps, sensations, lights on, belly full of food. I learned how to walk with God. You have to learn.
You don't come here knowing this. Even apostle Paul said, I have learned how to be clothed. How to be naked. How to abase, how to abound. You don't get saved and know this. It takes a few classes for you to figure this out. You have to come up on some hard time to feel that everybody has forsaken you and you are living in the convergence of all hell breaking loose from all directions. And yet, God.
So I know, I know you show up in church. Where two or three are gathering together in his name. I'm he'll show up in church. I know he'll show up when singers sing like they did today. Glory falling. You know God will show up when you got that kind of talent. But the test has not come in the display of talent. The test does not come when the lights are on and the saints are gathered and the ushers are ushering and the choir is singing. No. The test comes when all hell runs into all crisis and all dilemmas converge on you. And you are tired.
Now, I know we're Christians and we're not supposed to admit that we're tired. But since this is just us. Can we talk? Have you ever been tired? I don't mean when you need a nap. That's not what I'm talking about. Biological situation. I'm not talking where you need a rest, you didn't sleep good that night. That's not the kind of tired I'm talking about. I'm talking about when you traveled so far, gone through so much, faced so many issues and had to swallow so much pain you're tired. I'm not talking about nighttime tired. I'm talking about early morning tired. Three o'clock in the afternoon tired. Is there anybody in here that's, that's just gotten tired?
Jacob was tired. He was tired. He was weary. Weary of people. I want to say it loud. When I was young, I didn't think I would ever get tired of people. My wife will tell you, I keep her waiting in the car talking to people. She was pregnant waiting on me talking to people. I could have taken them home sleeping all on the floor, people, people, people. I couldn't believe I would ever get tired of people. I loved people! She would say you know how your daddy is, he loves people. I couldn't believe the day would come I would duck them.
I confess, sometimes I run from them. If I see them coming down F. Street I go up G. Because there are sometimes. Ya'll not going to talk to me. There's times you're tired. There's times you look at the phone and it's ringing and it's in your hand and you don't want to answer it. Because you are... I wish I had a witness. Somebody somewhere in this house that just got tired. Has your jaw ever got tired of smiling? Have you ever gotten tired of being polite? Have you ever gotten tired of being understanding and faithful? Have you ever got tired of turning the other cheek? Have you ever got tired of moving your kin folk out? Have you ever got tired of loaning folk money? Have you ever got tired of explaining your own kids? Have you ever got tired of listening to folks lie?
My God. Somebody who understands me, just touch your neighbor and say, I get tired. I don't mean to be moody but I get tired. I don't mean to get cranky but I get tired. I don't mean to act like I'm sitting down on you. I ain't sitting down on you. I'm just tired. Have you ever? My God. Jacob got tired. And Jacob was not really sure who he was. He was a grown man. Not sure who he was.
Brother Marvin talking about adolescent children and my spirit grown when he said it. Anybody who ever raised adolescent children know that's not something you enjoy. It's something you survive. They don't know who you are. They don't know who they are. They can't figure out. But you do expect that from adolescent. But have you ever sign grown people who still... 40 years old and you still a mystery. 52 and you still shock yourself.
Jacob was a grown man. And still I saw this. His daddy knew who he was. His grandfather knew who he was. Jacob, he wasn't quite sure. He had to fight all his life. Come here fighting. Fighting in his mama's belly. Been fighting all of his life. Been war all of his life. Everything he ever got in life he had to fight for it and sneak for it and pull for it. We had to call every kind of idea and favor he could get.
Jacob was slick. He was not slick because he was a bad person. He was just slick if he wasn't slick it didn't happen. Slickness was all he knew. All his mama knew. All his uncle knew. Run through the family. He was just slick. Don't act like you don't understand. Because there is a thing called church slick. Don't you sit there with your little bonnet on and act like you're so holy that you don't understand slick folk. Borrow money they never intend to pay back. Slick folk. Tell your husband they need prayer. You know that girl don't want no prayer. Slick.
You cannot rise to greatness until you can master dealing with slick. Got to do it. It's somewhere on the road to greatness you'll come to the intersection and find yourself being with slick people. Jacob was a slick person. People are not wicked because they want to be. They're wicked because they're desperate. They're wicked because that's all they were exposed to. They're wicked because that's the only tools vested into their hands. They only know how to manipulate and order to survive.
It's one thing to do that when you're 15. Another thing to be 40 and still desperate. I'm afraid of desperate people. Desperate people do desperate things. Desperate people will fight in ways you've not expected because they don't know how. Jacob was desperate. He should have been further at his age. Have you ever thought to yourself, I should have been further for my age? I didn't expect to be in this condition at this stage.
I thought I would be further in a more comfortable place and to make matters worse, I'm tired. Tired of fighting. Tired of tracing down what you see and if you heard what I thought. Tired of dealing with issues. I'm just tired of being understanding. I'm tired of being merciful. Now I'm tired of being forgiving. You pushed me too far. I'm tired of looking the other way. I'm tired of making the best of a bad situation. I'm tired of having to go in the grocery store with a calculator. I'm tired of dealing with circumstances and trying to make do and trying to put an old tie on a new suit. I'm tired.
Tiredness. And in the confusion and in the instability of his circumstance, it was night. And he could not see his way clear. When night comes, you cannot see your way clear. You know, if you can see your way clear, you can deal with about anything. But when it's dark, and you can't see any brightness ahead of you, and you're tired, and you're confused. And you're going through a blackout period, that is the environment for which this text is extrapolated. It's dark. He's confused. He's tired. It's night. He's kind of desperate tired.
I don't get this kind of tired often. Mostly I get the kind of tired you can't sleep. But the kind of tired you can sleep on anything. Sleep standing up. Go to sleep and don't even know you're asleep. Anybody know what it is to go to sleep and you didn't even know you went to sleep. You were nodding your head one minute and the next minute you're watching the TV and now the TV is watching you. Tired. The kind of tired that makes you so weary that he's taken a rock for a pillow? Shuffling the rocks, he makes a bed in the hard place. Making the best of a bad situation. This is not the kind of bed I desired for myself as my mother says, if you make your bed, son, you got to lay in it.
Sometimes you make the bed and you just got to lay in it. You picked that man. You took that job. You bought that secondhand car. Have you ever had to lay in the bed you made? Jacob moved the rocks around. Made the best of a bad situation. Laid his head on a rock. And fell asleep. In a hard place. Laying in a hard place. He goes to sleep. And God appeared.
I want to talk about the God, not the God of the choir stand not the God of the pulpit, not the God of the revival, not the God of the conference but the God of the hard place that shows up when all hell is breaking loose and you can't brag about your faith, Bible study, your commitment. You didn't fast him up. You didn't pray him up. You weren't consecrated and frankly you weren't even living holy. And yet... You're going to like me because I tell it like it is. I'm tired of the saints bragging about what your righteousness did. I want to talk about the time you can rule out it wasn't my holiness. It wasn't my righteousness. It wasn't my prayer life. It wasn't my commitment. I was tired. Yet God showed up!
I need a God who can show up at a place that I can't take the credit for. I need a God who can show up in the middle of a blackout experience. I need a God who can show up when all hell is breaking loose in my life. And frankly my faith has gone to sleep. And here he comes. On here comes Jesus. Right in the middle of your storm, he shows up. He says, I am the God of Abraham and the God of your grandfather. I'm the God of your father. He doesn't say he's Jacob's God. That's yet to be determined. That intimate relationship has not been established yet. But on the pedigree of your background. On the paths of your ancestry. On the dedication of where you came from, I'll show up in your life.
And I'm going to speak to you. But it's not because of you. Because your mama prayed. Because your grandma pray. Because somebody prayed for you, somebody in here right now knows that you wouldn't be where you are if somebody else hadn't prayed for you. Can I get a witness? He says to them, I'll bless your seed. I blessed your daddy. I blessed your grand daddy, I'm going to bless your children. Blessings. All the families of the earth shall be blessed. I'll set it off. I'm going to set it off. You can't stop me from doing it. I'm going to set it off. You're sneaky but I'm still going to bless you. You're tired but I'm still going to bless you.
I feel like preaching now. I better stop. You're confused but I'm still going to bless you. You made a mistake but I'll still bless you. You had a baby out of wedlock, I'll still bless you. I'm still! Jacob says... As he lay his head on the rock, the heavens opened up. When it says the heavens opened up, that's when I realized this is not just a rock. This rock is Jesus. Whenever you see a rock and the heavens open up. Then you know the rock is not a rock. The rock has got to be Jesus. Touch your neighbor, say, this is the place.
You don't understand. This rock, this rock is not just a rock. This rock is Jesus. This pillow will become the pillar of your experience in God when you see it correctly. You can be it correctly. But you cannot be it if you just see it as a pillow. It's got to become a pillow of your faith. This is the place! And the rock is Jesus. And whenever you put your mind on the rock, the heavens will always open up. If you ever lay your head, the Bible says thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind will stay on thee. I dare you to drag your weary head and lay it on the rock. Lay it on the rock. The heavens, my God I feel the anointing of the Holy Ghost. The heavens will open up. Touch three people and say, something is about to open up for you, baby. Something is about to open up. Don't give up. Don't give in. Don't give out. Something is about to open up for you. You're in the right place. You have the right time. Ain't no time to give up. Don't give up.