TD Jakes — You’re Gonna Get A Whole Lot Out of It
Hey everybody, I'm so excited to have the opportunity to be blessed of the Lord to share the Word of God with you. I'm a blessed man, and I pray you're walking in the blessings and the power of the Holy Spirit. The message today, you're going to get a whole lot out of it. That's today with the message. It's powerful, it's provocative. I want you to prepare your hearts and minds for what the Lord is going to say through his Word. Take a look.
1 Kings chapter 18, verse 44. When you have it, say amen. Let us read in concert, "And it came to pass at the seventh time that he said, 'Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand.' And he said, 'Go up, say unto Ahab, "Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down that the rain stop thee not'". Can you say amen? The fascination to me is that in the center clause of the 44th verse, it says, "Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand". Just a little cloud out of the sea like a man's hand.
And I want to preach from that tonight. You're going to get a whole lot out of it. It may seem little now, it may even look insignificant and of no consequence, yet the Lord said to me to tell you you're going to get a whole lot out of it. I have a message for prayer warriors. If you've not been praying, in all likelihood I'm not talking to you. This message is for somebody who's had some issue on the altar. And you've been needing God to move on your behalf. The Lord sent me tonight to tell you that your labor is not in vain. You shed tears and wondered, did your tears matter? You've agonized in your spirit and wondered, did God hear the groaning of your heart?
In spite of the circumstance that confronts you at this present moment, God said you're going to get a whole lot out of it. I don't know how to define a whole lot, but whatever you think that a whole lot is, it's more than that. Don't despise the day of small beginnings. You're going to get a whole lot out of it. Often, when we accept Christ as our personal Savior, we step into a world that is very foreign to us. We come into an awareness of a spirituality that we never knew existed before. We're bombarded with a sense of eternal life that we'd never known before. And when we're born again, it does not mean that we are outwardly changed as much as it does that we were inwardly changed. And we become cognizant of the fact that we are a spirit, we have a soul, and that we live in a body.
That spirit that was dead because of sin is quickened according to Ephesians 2:1, and brought back to life again. And you have been quickened who were dead in the trespasses of sin. And so, something that was dead is made alive. And in regards to our flesh, something that was alive is then in a process of crucifixion. And there is a transformation of our personality that is staggering, staggering. All of a sudden, the thing that we used to brag about doing, we now are ashamed of doing.
I mean, I would not suggest that when we're born again that we never do anything that we used to do. I've heard that assertion, but in reality, after 23 years of pastoring and 26 years of preaching, I've engaged with enough people to recognize that often we do some of the same things that we did before, but our attitude about them are so changed that it is a frivolous pursuit to continue to do them because somehow, we don't get the pleasure out of them that we once did. And so, God walks us through stages of transformation. And in that process, there's a certain shame. And it's amazing to know that the same person can do the same thing that brought them great pleasure before, and now it brings them much shame because there is change in their lives, change.
And so, there's a certain disorientation that comes when you're born again because you almost have to get to know the new you. Who am I now? I tend to think that I am the center of my world. And so, if I cannot locate me, being able to locate others doesn't seem to really help me. People who cannot locate themselves enter into relationships that end in great frustration because they know who you are, but they don't know who they are. And so, when you're born again, there's a disorientation because you have to redefine who am I in the context of Christianity. Who am I also embraces, who are my friends now?
It is foolish to assume that the people who were your friends before will remain your friends now because you are no longer who you were before, and your world changes. Who are my friends now? And in the process of understanding that, who is my enemy now? Because when you become born again, you begin to fight the very devil that was once a part of your fraternity. And I believe that it takes a while even for you to understand that you are engaged in a warfare because you wake up into a new world, and you step into the church arena, and you meet Christians.
And all that goes along with that, and it's new music. You change your music style. And it's new fellowship, and you start dressing with church in mind. You go to the department store and you know, you used to look for something that was busty down in the front, and ripped up in the side. But now, you start thinking differently because your whole world is being transformed. And you step into this new society, where people are seemingly loving, and warm, and bright, and kind, and affectionate, and sensitive. And for awhile, you are just inebriated by the atmosphere that surrounds you when you walk into a wonderful service like this, and you sense such glory.
It takes awhile for you to recognize that even after all of this glory that there is an undercurrent, there is a warfare, there is a battle. That you soon begin to recognize that you have to fight, that God has not brought you into an eternal party, where you just blow whistles, and wear hats, and have fun, and dance, and shout, and jerk, and fall out. But there is a restricting force fighting you. And you begin to understand that good preaching isn't really about who can whoop the best, or who's got the nicest style, or who wore the best suit. It really becomes an opportunity for you to arm yourself against that enemy and that restricting force that you have to fight.
Often, many people don't even know that you're fighting the fight that you fight. And all of a sudden, you begin to understand that you need faith. Somebody say faith. Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. And by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things that do appear were not made from things that do appear," that the concrete was made from the abstract, that the tangible was made from the intangible.
This faith, this secret weapon of the believers is so relevant that at least five times in Scriptures, it declares that the just shall live by faith. Not by feelings, not by finance, not by friends, not by fans, not by associations, not by fraternities, not by denominations, not by organizations. The just shall live by faith. And I don't care what people tell you today, faith is not contagious. You can't sit by somebody who is a believer and get their faith by being around them. It cannot be imitated. You can't dress like somebody who's got faith, or walk like somebody who's got faith, and really have faith activated in your life. Faith is a personal experience, born in your life, measured by your ability to withstand opposition and affliction.
It's not popular today, but I teach here at the Potter's House you can't measure my faith by the length of my car, nor the size of my wallet, nor the magnitude of my jewelry. I know it's not popular. I know I draw some criticism when I teach this, but you can measure my faith by my ability to stand up against opposition and say stuff like, "Though he slay me, yet shall I trust him". When you see how tough I am in the battle, and how relentless I am when all hell is breaking loose, when you see me stand there sick and say I still believe he's a healer, if I can stand there with no money in my pocket and say Jehovah Jireh, the Lord is my provider, now you're talking about faith.
Elijah teaches to me a very profound and prolific understanding of faith in conflict. He does it in three powerful, absolute, didactic ways that I want to illustrate for you tonight, and I will be out of your way. If you get down these three things, I will get out of your way. Number one, he gives us a sign. Number two, he gives us a sound. And number three, he gives us a storm. A sign, a sound, and a storm. Lord, help me tonight. Four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal coming against him on every side, and God said, "Go ahead and build me an altar. Dig ditches and pour water in the ditch, and stand back 'cause I'm going to give you a public sign".
Good God Almighty. Have you ever had God give you a public sign, a sign that shut up the mouth of your critics, a sign that proved to everybody that the Lord was on your side? Have you ever seen God stand up for you when the devil thought he had you surrounded, and everybody was prophesying, "He'll never come out of this alive"? And yet, God proved himself, and he gave you a sign. Oh, y'all don't understand what I'm talking about. When you get a sign like that, it'll make you dance whether you got rhythm or not. When you get a sign like that, you'll have church in your living room. You'll get happy washing your dishes, saying, "Lord, I thank you you didn't let me be ashamed. Everybody was looking at me, but you brought me out". Oh, y'all, don't understand what I'm talking about.
See, it's one thing for God to bring you out in private, but it's another thing when God brings you out in public. Everybody looking at you, and God brings you out. It will make you praise the Lord. I want somebody to give him a 10-second praise right now. I'm gonna give you a sign. Now, God says, "I give my believers a sign that I'm with them". An open, public sign. It can't be a secret sign. You can't get out of here and get on Interstate 30 tonight and have a secret sign showing you how to get on 35. No, no, it's got to be a public sign. There's got to be a light on it so everybody can see it.
When God gives you a sign, it won't be a secret sign, but God will shine a light on your life and prove, "I gave you the job. You wasn't even qualified, but I gave you the job as a sign". Other people are jealous of you right now because they have more qualifications, but you have more God. And if God be for you... oh my God, high five somebody and tell them, "He gave me a sign". And the Bible says that fire fell from heaven. Somebody holler, "Let the fire fall". Licked up the wood, licked up the water.
I can understand fire licking up wood. Fire is supposed to burn wood. Heat is supposed to evaporate water. But the Bible said it got so hot, it burned up the rocks. When God gives you a sign, it'll burn up stuff that said it would not be burned. God will move people that said they couldn't be moved. God will move obstacles that said there's no way you can get this. There's no way this loan can come through. There's no way you can buy this house. But God will just give you a sign just to let you know, "I just want you to know that you are my child. I want you to remember that I'm the God that brought you out so that whatever you face in the future, you can look back at the sign and say, 'Surely the Lord is on my side.'"
Oh, I wish there was somebody who had a sign from God tonight. And when you're in a dry place and you look for a sign, God won't give you a sign. You look for God to do what he did before... have you ever asked God to do what he did before, and he wouldn't do it? And you said, "Lord, I'm in a dry place. If I ever needed some encouragement, I need some encouragement right now. Do for me what you did, like, last year just to encourage my heart". And he didn't give you not one sign. It's amazing how God will love you and let you stay in a dry place. I know what it is to be preaching and see everybody shouting, and drive home in a dry place.
Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. To be honest with you, you can shout all over the church, get in the car, and go home in a dry place. No lubrication, no moisture, no water of life, no saturation of presence. You're just in a dry place. And a dry place can last a long time. If you know what I'm talking about to be in a dry place, just... from the dry place, God gave no sign. Shh, shh, shh. From the dry place, God gave no sign, shh. He just gave a sound. Shh. Elijah said, "I hear a sound. Everything is still dry outwardly, but in my spirit".
Have you ever heard something in your spirit that was totally different from what you saw in your situation? Ah, it's almost an oxymoron, it's a contradiction of circumstances because, outwardly, I can't see anything anywhere. But in my spirit, I hear a sound. God will give you a sound. He said, "I hear the sound not just of rain, preacher," but he said, "I hear the sound of an abundance". Somebody say abundance. No, you didn't say it right, say abundance. Yeah, that's the way it is, abundance.
In my spirit, I hear something so completely different from my situation that it's driving me crazy. And I thought it was just my imagination, and I thought I was just losing my mind, but I hear a sound of an abundance. Somebody say abundance. See, somebody's in such a drought that it's hard for them to even say abundance. They've been without so long that they no longer think abundance. They no longer feel abundance. It's everything's been dry so long that they no longer talk abundance.
Have you ever been in a dry place, and all of a sudden God was talking to you about greatness while you were in weakness? God was talking to you about going into business and you just lost your job? God was telling you to buy a house and you're backed up on your rent? God was telling you you was about to get married and your boyfriend left you for somebody else? Have you ever had God tell you about success while you were dealing with failure? Have you ever had God tell you, "I'm going to do a new thing," while you're going down with an old thing? Somebody touch somebody, say abundance.
Hey, I've got to stop there. It's been a real joy to share the Word of the Lord with you. Some of you, just like Elijah, have been praying fervently, and all you have to show for it is this little cloud of an answer. You've been faithful and hanging on to God's Word that he gave you, but you've only seen a little piece of it, just a little joy, just a little favor. Be encouraged, that cloud in the distance is the sign that God is about to rain blessings on your entire life. Those rumblings you hear is the sound of victory coming. The storm is coming, God's full release of favor. Don't just sit there waiting. Prepare for your breakthrough. You're going to get a whole lot out of a small thing.