TD Jakes - Work Your Faith
There is always a gulf between what you hear and where you are. A struggle, if you please, between the holy you and the human you. Like twins struggling in the womb you can't get rid of one for the other. You pray let the human one kill the other. Not going to happen. And the devil prays, let the human one kill the holy but grace says, it's not going to happen. So we live, pastor Robison, with the twins struggling in our womb never able to a board one for the other. My prayer has always been let the holy Jakes kill the human Jakes. But he has not done it. 56 years, he's not done it. Then I began to realize that it is the human Jakes that gives flavor to the holy Jakes. Like the marbling in a fine cut of meat.
Isn't it funny that it is the fat that gives the steak its flavor? It is the human that gives the holiness its humility. I'm but a wretch undone. This text warns us as we struggle on the inside that that struggle has something to do with the struggle on the outside and we are wrestling to enter into a rest. Right now, brothers and sisters, we are indeed in a wilderness. You can't tell it by looking. You can't tell it by how worry dressed. There is not a person in this room that is not in some kind of wilderness. A wilderness! Where nothing grows. A wilderness that reminds you of how thirsty you really are. A wilderness that defies all of the instruments. Buy you a big old lazy boy chair and scoot it all the way back, but the wilderness will disturb your rest. Custom design all of your clothes. The wilderness will till leave you not fitting anywhere. And the writer warns us, if you don't learn from the ones who went before you, you will die in the same spot they did.
So the text says, let us fear. O my God, let us fear? Let us fear? God is telling us to fear? The God who said fear not neither be thou dismayed for I am with you. The God who stepped out on the seas and told the disciples, fear not. The Bible who says God's not given us the spirit of fear, in this text says, let us fear. Say it. Let us fear. So that means there's some things. Is it a contradiction? No it's not a contradiction. A collaboration of truth. There's some things I command you not to be afraid of. Don't be afraid of their faces. Don't be scared, as my grandma say, never one of them. I don't know how you spell it. That means all of ya'll, I ain't scared of never one of them. Don't be afraid of their faces. I'll make your face like flint.
That's what God said. Stand up against them. Cry out. Spare not. Show my people their transgressions. You cannot be successful and be afraid of people. They will always run you away from what God's called you to. In fact, I have learned that it's the barking of the haters that assures me of the promises of the holy. If you hadn't have barked so loud I wouldn't think there was something in there. When I heard the dogs barking, I knew where the treasure was. But the text says there is something in the midst of our fearlessness. In the midst of our fearlessness. The text says there's something we should be afraid of.
Let us therefore fear that we would live and die and not reach what he promised us. Now that I'm scared of. I'll always say I'm not scared of dying. I was introduced to death at an early age. I saw my father die as a teenager. When life was just running all over my body, I watched it leave his. I'm not afraid of death. As long as I live first, what I am afraid of is that I would exist without living. And let my fear of others and fear of circumstances and fear of rejection and fear of being misunderstood and fear of myself back me further and further and further and further up into a cave until I die in a wilderness that I was not called to. I am convinced that most people live and die in the wilderness of uncertainty. They're not sure they're not sure.
You would have built it but you're not sure. You would have seized it but you're not sure. You could have had it but you're not focused. You could have mastered it, but you wouldn't touch it. Your fear is your enemy. But you are afraid of the wrong thing. You ought to be more afraid of not accomplishing what you were created to then you are the inconveniences and successes along the way.
Can I talk to you a minute? I was getting ready to speak at a pastor's conference and I spoke that night what I thought was a really good message. And on the way out the door, one of the bishops came to me in the hallway and he said, he said, when are you, when are you going to preach on the fear? I said the fear, what do you mean the fear? He said, the fear that we as ministers live with every day. The fear. The fear. It's hard to do what we do. Trust me. It is hard, the scrutiny, the pressure, the demands, trust me. Please, don't run up here. You might run up but you're going to limp back.
So there is good reason to be uncomfortable with the purpose to which you have been called. Don't estimate it. There's a reason to be afraid of it. Except the greater fear is to have lived and died and not found out who you were. To have lived and died scares me to death to end up in a nursing home sitting on a bed pan wondering what if. If I had only stretched a little further or stood a little tougher. Pushed a little deeper. I could have broke through. I hate to die with questions. Let us fear that something God left us, a promise that we would fail to enter into it and settle for mediocrity. Settle for it. O my God you ought to see the settlers in the church today. Settling all around. Settled for less than God's best for their lives and talked themselves out of the promise because you were more afraid of the opposition than you were the one who called you.
That's what I'm talking about today. I'm talking about turning down your fear of failure. And turning up your fear of missing what you could have been. What you could have done. What you could have had. What you could have accomplished. What you could have reached. That something was left you that you never touched. Because you let some voice sitting on your shoulder talk you out of your destiny. That you let Satan who is the accuser of the brethren, that means Satan has a doctorate degree in making you look bad. But you let him talk you out of being the woman you could have been. With the gifts God gave you and the talents God put inside of you. You would let the devil talk you out and be intimidated by people. Why? When the best of them are no more than you. And the worst of them are no less than you.
I've always said if they ever bring me down and hang me and they may do that. As they hang me, as long as you know when you put the rope over my neck that you ain't no better. As long as you know that. Go ahead and choke me to death but gagged to death understand I'll die knowing you are no more. The fear that a promise left us that somehow we would fall short of it. And settle for shortness. Instead of greatness. Touch somebody and say, I'm scared of that. I'm scared of that.
Then he brings up the Old Testament. He brings up the Old Testament saints and he says, he says something about them. He says, he says that they, that the word did not profit. I hate to go there, because I'm a preacher. That's what we do. We preach the word. He said, but the word did not profit. First of all , let's talk about what profit is. Profit is what you have left when the transaction is over. You got that? Profit. It's not how much you got. It's what you have left when the transaction is over.
Now if you're broke you're unprofitable. If you went in the red, you're unprofitable. You can only determine profit after you have deducted all of your liabilities. You line up your assets after your liabilities and whatever the sum total is of what you have left when the transaction is over, that is profit. It did not say they didn't have a transaction in the wilderness. It didn't say they didn't have conflict in the wilderness. It didn't say they didn't have victories in the wilderness. But profit is determined not by how well you fight or how well you stood or how many victories you had but profit is what you have left when the transaction is over.
I want to know. Girl, I've been in some hellish fights. I've been knocked down so low I thought I would never get up again. I've been down so low I couldn't imagine me ever smiling again in my life. I've been down so low I despaired of life itself and I've seen days so dark I couldn't imagine sunlight. I couldn't imagine laughter. I could no longer conjure in my head what happiness felt like. I have seen days so riddled with pain that even when the problem stops the pain from the bruising continues. Absolutely. I tell you, please believe me when I tell you. But I am still here.
Now, before you clap, there's been some terrible deductions. And I'm not who I used to be. Not this strong. Not as tough. Not as bright. Not as flat. Not as nimble. No, no, no. But I am still here. And the fact that you survived, o God, the fact the house burned down, the car exploded in the garage, lost all the clothes, came out in my pajamas, whatever was left, that's profit. Because somebody burned up in the house they lost. And if you got anything left, you ought to stop right where you are and give God some praise.
Slap somebody, tell them, I got something left. Been through hell but I got something left. I made some mistakes but I got something left. I almost died but I got something left. Lost a car but I got something left. Been through a divorce but I got something left. Had to send my children back home but I have something left. Moved back in with my mama but I got something left. The word did not profit them. I'm afraid of having a transaction that cost me everything.
My daddy died. I spent something to survive it. My mama died, I spent something to survive it. Been through fire, I spent something to survive it. Lost everything we had, I spent something to survive it. Repossessed my car, I spent something to survive it. All of my utilities cut off, I survived it but I spent something to survive it. Raised my kids, I did it but I spent something to survive it. Been operated on over and over again. I survived, I came out of it. Do you understand what I'm talking about? I spent something. Every fight took some. I made it out. I looked good. They rang the bell. They head my head up. I even got the trophy but I spent something to survive it. And here, all stands here is what remains. This is what's left of me.
The Bible said some had nothing left because the Word did not profit them, not being mixed with faith. That means it doesn't matter how clearly God says it if you don't mix it with faith. The way to profit is not just to hear the Word, because the Word is like sowers sowing seed. It depends on the ground it hits, the harvest you get. You understand what I'm saying? See, I learned a long time ago, when I'd have people leave the church and say they were going where they could get the Word, I learned not to let that discourage me, because if I got seven kids and I'm feeding them all the same food and five of 'em is growing and two of 'em saying they're not getting fed, I know there ain't no problem with the food. Heeey! You better check your gastric system. Something is wrong with your intestines. Something is messed up in your bowels, because if them five folk over there is growing off of that Word and them two little rocks over here not growing, don't check out the kitchen, the kitchen is good.
So, what the problem is the Word, every action requires an equal and opposite reaction. Every action requires an equal and opposite reaction. Every action requires an equal and opposite reaction, so when God sends his Word out, if you don't send your faith out to catch what God sent out, then the Word does not profit you. Not because the Word isn't good, but because you didn't have the faith to mix with the Word. Do you hear the words that are coming out of my mouth? I getting up this morning, getting ready to come to church, and my wife said, "Did you drink your shake"? I got a little shake I drink early in the morning, you know? She said, "Get your shake," and she took it. It's a little shake, you know, in a little carton, and it says "shake well".
See, the reason, everything you need is in it. Everything you need. Yeah, it's a protein booster, feed your muscles, give you strength and energy. Everything you need is in it, but if you don't mix it up, you'll drink off the top of the blessing and then you'll say, "This ain't working". It's nothing wrong with the contents, and it's nothing wrong with the vessel, but if you don't learn how to mix it up, you'll drink off the top of it, and you won't get all that they put in the carton for you because you didn't, so, the Word did not profit them, not being, mm-hmm, not being mixed with faith. Now, faith is not mixing, not being mixed with faith. Faith is not mixing, but it is an ingredient that the Word must mix with. The Word did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
Like, you're baking a cake. You put in a pound of butter, you put in 2 cups of sugar, and then you take eight eggs, and you mix it. You mix it. The mixing is not the eggs, it's not the butter, and it's not the sugar, but it is the process whereby you get the eggs and the butter and the milk to turn into something else. Oh God, can I have about ten minutes? Just give me ten minutes. So, what God is saying, "I'm gonna bring the Word. You bring the faith. And if you bring faith to correspond with my Word, I'll make sure that it's mixed".
Now, I'mma go old school. I'm gonna lose the young people. You remember when the old folks thought that if you use the microwave it'd do something to you, and they wouldn't let it in the house? You remember before we got glass-top cooking stoves? I'm not even talking about this electric where you could see the burner, I'm not just talking about the gas, but I'm really gonna, but the wood. I got about a third of you who know what a wood stove is and know what a coal stove is, and I know I lost you. Best you don't even worry about it, but I remember my mama making cakes, and we didn't have no mixer. Mama would put a bowl in her arm, and she'd put the sugar in it and the butter, and I can still see her take a spoon, a big old spoon, and you take the flat end of it, and you start beating it. And I can see her arm shaking, because she'd put the butter in the mix, and in order to mix, you had to work with it a little bit.
Oh God, and the Lord said, "If I send a Word to you, you cannot reap a harvest off the Word, because the Word doesn't make the promise until you put the faith in the bowl with the Word". And then God said, "If you take faith and Word and put it all in the bowl together, then I'mma put you in the mix". I wanna talk, first of all, to you that hear good Word but have no faith. The reason you come to church and your life isn't changing, it's nothing wrong with your preacher. The Word I serve is excellent. I know that sounds arrogant, but I'm not saying that just because. I'm saying it because I see too many of my kids getting stronger, possessing the promises of God, taking back what the enemy stole from them, having their lives revolutionized, having their faith stirred up, and I know there's nothing wrong with the Word. But if you would uncross your cute legs and put a little faith in the bowl.
Where my believers at? Slap somebody and say, "I believe the Word". I don't come to church because it's fashionable. I don't come to church to look good. I don't come to church to impress anybody. I come to church so that my faith will have something to lay ahold to, for faith is, oh, the substance of things hoped for, and it is the evidence of what I can't see. Somebody that believe them, give God a praise right now! You can have all the faith you want to, but if you don't have some works to go along with your faith, it'll never stand up to the test, so slap your neighbor and say, "Neighbor, I don't just believe it, but I'm gonna act on what I believe". Praise him for action. The devil don't care how much you believe as long as you believe and sit down, but when you start acting in the realm of your faith, hell gets nervous, demons get upset, witches start to tremble, hexes get broken, curses get destroyed. Look at your neighbor and say, "I'm about to work this thing". I'm about to work it. I'm about to work it. I'm about to work it with what I got left.
I gave Beverly, before I came downstairs, $300, three $100 bills, and I said, "Beverly, make me three notes that say 'I left something for you on the podium.'" And she did. Put three envelopes, a hundred dollars in each envelope that I pull out of my pocket, and I left it on the stage, and I passed out three cards while I was preaching. They said to three different people, "I left something for you in the podium". Each one read it, but no one moved. Now, the Word did not profit Hm? There's one, they said one tried, but they held him up. You the one? Come get your money. Oh, you didn't try. Go back. You didn't try. You didn't try. When you get a promise, and you believe the promise, then you gotta act on what you believe. I know all of them believed what they read, but only one of them acted on what he believed, and if you act on what you believe, God will open up the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing you don't have room enough to receive. The blessing is already prepared. The blessing is already ready. It's time for you to snatch back It's time for you to snatch back And the Lord gave me that illustration to tell you the next time God tells you to do something, don't just look at it, but go after what got it.