TD Jakes — Give the Lady a Hand (Get Off the Corner)
The bursting place is a place of conflict, and I guarantee you when you leave this place, there's going to be one voice telling you to go ahead and another voice telling you, "How dare you think you can leave this area? You cannot get out". In the back of our mind is a haunting fear that because of the mistakes we made, or the age we're at, or what we didn't get when we were younger, or we didn't finish school or we weren't love properly, or we are not disease free or whatever little secret you got on yourself, there's always some little voice telling you why you cannot get out. You must stay in this area, and as long as you stay in this area, you don't have no trouble. You don't have no trouble. As long as you stay in this area and live in these old skins, you don't have no trouble. But once you are exposed to something else, it becomes difficult to stay where you used to stay.
Naomi comes to Moab and she throws out seed and word and light. Some folks take it, some folks don't. Orpah said, "That was cute. That was good, but I'm staying back here in the familiar. See you later. I don't want to be with you". And there are some people around you that are exposed to the same CD that you were exposed to. They are not going to hear what you heard out of it because they have limited themselves and defined themselves to Moab. They like the sound of it, they like the idea of it, but they're not willing to pay the price for the reality of it. And what you must do, Ruth, is tell Orpah, "See you, girl. I want to talk to people who are in Moab, but you want out. And you're running around in Moab talking about, "Do you really like it here? Do you really like it here? Is that all you want out of this? Why don't we change it? Why don't we fix it? We don't want the pain. We don't want to fix it".
If you keep offering stuff to people that they don't want to take, it is not them that's in the wrong place. Touch your sister and say, "Tell Orpah to go back home". Oh, that's going to preach somewhere Sunday morning. Tell Orpah to go back home. You cool with this, you stay with this. You are happy to look like this, you go ahead and look like this. You don't want to better yourself, stay where you are. You don't want more out of your life, go on about your business. You're satisfied. There you are trying to change people who don't want to be changed. Leave Orpah alone. Kiss her goodbye. Moab is going down, but I am not going with him. Slap somebody and say, "I got to get out".
Now, we got that straight. That's one finger. You're in a bursting place. Number one is the bursting place. Number two is why... I don't say this for self-aggrandizement, but if I had to cancel my flight, I'd get this. Because if you get all the other principles and all the other tips and all the other tools and you get new praise song, a new worship, and a new revolutionary way to do women's ministry and all that wonderful stuff that we're offering to you and you can't get out of Moab, it ain't going to mean nothing at all. It doesn't mean anything at all 'cause then you become secretly suicidal and silently depressed, and people don't understand how you can have all you got... kids and grandkids, and grandkids and kids, and new husband, little kids and husband, boyfriend, life, wife, degree, doctorate, class, car, garage, equipment, and still be miserable.
But they don't see what's in you is bigger than what's around you, and when what's in you is bigger than what's around you, something is going to have to burst. That's what makes yeast rise in bread because something in you is bigger than what's around you and it'll make it burst, and so I'm going to tell you how to keep from bursting in point two, and this is exemplified so powerfully in the Book of Ruth. The second thing that you need, and I'm giving it to women 'cause I'm talking to women, but to the men that are in this room, this will work for anybody. This is generalist truth. The second thing you must do, and this is why most people get stuck where they are because you are stuck in what you were born in. And even though you're frustrated by it, you're self sabotaging because some of it is in you. So even though you think above it, then you have habits that are conducive to it.
Can I talk about this? So you're worn out but you don't know how to get out. It's like losing weight. Almost everybody wants to lose some weight. And you read all the books and got all the tapes and got all the equipment, all that stuff, but there is something in you, either in your metabolism or your lifestyle or your habit that is contrary to your desire. And so even though you keep trying and spending money on it and get all materials about it, it never becomes a reality in your life 'cause you can't break the pattern that keeps drawing you back to the place. You have the desire, but the pattern.
I'm big enough to be able to say this without you getting an attitude. I do good. I can lose weight in a minute. Can't nobody in here beat me in losing weight. I can lose 20 pounds. I bet I can lose 20 pounds just like that. And then I had them celebrations 'cause I'm so happy 'cause I lost the weight that I think I need to eat a whole cheesecake to commemorate the occasion. And the weight I thought I lost, here it come up from behind. There it is spilling over on top of my belt saying, "Ah, I'm back".
It isn't funny that our struggle is just a sign of things that cannot be so easily seen. How do you get out a system that you were born in, raised in, talk like, sound like, look like, dress like, feel like, think like? And when you really start acting like you, it comes out of you because it's where you came from. And that's number two. You got to identify a sponsor. You can't do this by yourself. When God comes to get you, he will always come in the form of someone. You will not get to the next level by yourself.
Hear me when I tell you, whether you are going from agriculture to politics, from politics to religion, anytime you jump a bridge from one world into another, you will need a sponsor. Ruth needed a sponsor. And a sponsor is somebody who comes into your world, doesn't fit in your world, thinks differently, knows different people, has a different mentality, different contacts, and different systems, but for some reason something about life pushes them into your world because God heard you praying, and when God hears you pray he will always send a sponsor to come get you.
Oh God, this is so exciting to me. It's so big. God told Israel, "I have heard your prayers and I have heard your cry". So he sent Moses, "Go down there and tell Pharaoh I said, 'Let my people go'". Moses had come into their environment. He was of them, but he was not like them. He was educated like an Egyptian, but he was a Hebrew by blood. He was close enough to care, but not close enough to be trapped in the same system they were in. Moses had never been a slave, and you cannot free people when you are bound by the same chain that they are tied to.
Over and over throughout the Bible, you will see where God uses sponsors. Over and over in corporate America, you will see where people use sponsors. Over and over in society and life, you will see where people use sponsors. Nobody gets there by themselves. Dr. Phil would not be Dr. Phil without Oprah. Dr. Oz would not be Dr. Oz without Oprah. Somebody introduced him to ABC and NBC and CBS. Somebody walked up to Larry King and said, "This is Phil. You need to meet Phil". Somebody walked up and said, "This is Dr. Oz. We're getting ready to do a program with him". Somebody has to meet you and speak for you and take you into the next realm and tell the next realm you're okay. Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. If somebody doesn't come as a sponsor and announce to the next level that you're okay, the next level is designed to block you out. Even Jesus needed a sponsor. That's why John the Baptist standing in the Jordan River looked out and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world". And Jesus's ministry began when John sponsored him and called him out.
Jesus went where John was. He got close enough. He was in the background where he was exposed to somebody who was on the next level and he wasn't there trying to put on airs. He went back, talkin' about, "You should hear me". You think he said something, "If I ever get that mic, I'm going to wear this place out". Not arrogance, in humility. He comes humbly. He does not make any name for himself. It's John who points him out. It's John who knows when you're ready. It's John who knows when you're ready. It's John who points you out. It's Ruth who says the time is now. It's Naomi who says to Ruth, that's what I'm trying to say, it's Naomi who says to Ruth, "Go glean over there".
A sponsor will show you where to put your efforts. Samson was led by a sponsor. A little boy led him to the pillars, showed him where to put his hands to bring the whole thing down. I don't care how mighty you are, somebody has to lead you where to put your efforts. The reason you have not been effective is not for the lack of efforts, but you have been putting your hands in the wrong spot. And what a sponsor does is show you where to put your efforts in order to be effective, and you have to submit. That's why I teach on submission. You have to submit to somebody. You cannot walk around and, "I don't trust nobody. I don't submit to nobody. I got to run you through my test". And you ran away your sponsor and you're going to die in Moab. Your silly self in love with your ways. You loved your ways over your opportunity and your sponsor got tired and you died in Moab.
So your sponsor is either there or is coming. Get out... oh, gosh, I got so much to tell you. Write that down. Write that down about the sponsor. Sponsor is coming. How many of you already know that there's a sponsor in your life right now? When she comes into Bethlehem, her sponsor points out where to go, says, "It's the barley season over here". What season is it? It's the barley season over here. And she says, "Go in and glean in the fields". This is where to put your efforts. You got this going on, you got that going on, but this is where you need to put your effort. You're working hard on your first ladyness, but you're losing your husband. You're working hard on your husband, but your daughter, you're about to lose her. This is where to put your efforts. A sponsor shows you where to put your efforts 'cause you can be sincere and be sincerely wrong.
So she says, "This is where you go glean to get where you're trying to go". Don't come into a new field and assume you're ready to be upfront. This is not that. What was wonderful over there will sound stupid. Don't let this motivation and all this stuff that you're hearing this week make you underestimate a new place because it's not the same. And until you have an appreciation for what you're looking at, you will mess it up. So she showed her where to put her hands. She brought her to the spot. She identified the spot. She sent her into the field. And once you have identified your sponsor, you have to be willing to align your efforts in alignment with where you are going next. And she put her over in the corner of the field.
And I'm ready for point three. Point three, this is a stage where you are now in the corner of the world you want to live in. Whoa, my God, this is something. You're there and you're over in the corner. Now, you used to bein' up front because in your world with Allied Chemical, you were the top ranking salesman. And when you walked in the room, everybody saying, "Hail the chief". Over here, we don't even know you. So get your butt over in the corner. And point three is work your way out of the corner. I said work your way out of the corner. Don't bomb your way out. Don't schmooze your way out. Don't sex your way out. Don't play games your way out. Work your way out of the corner.
The reason I tell you to work your way out of the corner is because movement should be a process and not an event. If it's a sudden event and you jerk your way to the front, either you're going to mess up the front or the front's going to mess you up. You have to work your way up because what you learn in the working process prepares you for where you're going. And if I give it to you quickly, you won't handle it when I give it to you. So you have to work your way out of the corner.
I don't know who I'm talking to. I don't know why God gave me this, but the Lord said, "You could not end this meeting without delivering this message". Because some of you have already, you have already been in Moab. You have already been in your bursting place. You have already identified your sponsor. You already know exactly where you're trying to go. In fact, you are there but you're so far back up in that corner that the devil says, "You're here and you ain't going to never be nothing to them. Nobody know you. They don't ask you to sing. They don't ask you to do that now. Never call you". And then, "You should have stayed over there where you were, fool". Don't go back to Moab. You are over here in Bethlehem. I'd rather be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord than to dwell in the tents of the wicked. Stay in that corner and work your way out. Touch somebody and say, "Work your way out".
Now, she started working in a corner. God. She started working in a corner, and when you work in a corner — I'm going to give you a liability of working in a corner. When you're working in the corner, if you're not careful, you will think the whole world is the corner you work in. You have to decide: are you going to be a master at your corner or is your corner a transportation mode to the next level of living? And if all you're called to do is work the corner, for God's sake work the corner. But the way you work yourself out of the corner is when you develop respect for what other people do because you can't go further than you think.
That's why you got to work your way out of the corner. 'Cause if you take your corner-thinking self and I give you a center-stage position, you will take that corner mentality to the center of this event and destroy this event because you got a corner mentality in a center opportunity. So you got to work your way out of the corner. Now, this is why people get stuck in a corner. They have corner churches, they have corner marriages, they have corner businesses, they have corner opportunities because they think their corner is the world. Whenever you think your corner is the world, whenever you think stupid stuff like, "The way we preach is the only way to preach, that good preaching requires whooping", if you define good ministry as what you are exposed to, it is only because you have defined your corner as the world. That's why you need to go somewhere that's totally foreign to you.
I go to Ed's meeting, Ed goes to mine. Totally different. And they wear blue jeans to everything. They got on blue jeans for everything. They just lay back and cool, and we up here sweating in these suits and stuff. I go to Hillsong. The four people who came with me were the only people with a tie on in the whole place. Sixty thousand people, four ties. When you see excellence in another form, you enlarge your own. Anything can become tradition. Blue jeans can become tradition, shouting can become tradition, silence can become tradition, anthems can become tradition. Don't think the vehicle that caused you to escape tradition cannot become a new tradition. Oh, God. Well, y'all don't hear what I'm saying.
So you need to get out of your corner. Mama would say, "Get off the corner". Get off the corner, get off the corner. You need to go someplace where you're out of your element and see what you can pick up and drag back home like an ant. Sink your teeth into something that's real big for you, back your butt up, and drag it back home. You didn't pay all of this money. I hope you did get that picture. You didn't pay all of this money to go home empty-handed. You want to drag something back home and say, "Oh, I see something we can do. Oh, I see something we can add up. Oh, I see how..." Drag it back home because you are working yourself out of the corner. And the more you get out of the corner, the bigger the view and the more experiences you have that justify your right to come to the center. Because every time I take a step, I learn something I didn't know before, I understand something I didn't understand before, and by the time I get to where I'm trying to go, I will be ready for where I'm trying to go.
That's why black folks need to worship with white folks, and white folks need to worship with black folks, and Latinos need to mix in with white and black folks, and Baptist folk need to get around some Methodist folk, and the Methodist folk need to get around some Pentecostal folk, and the Pentecostal folk need to learn something from the Charismatic folk, so we don't tarry all night long. We need to learn. Oh, come on, somebody. Surely we can get the Holy Ghost before 4 o'clock in the morning. Surely we can get a breakthrough without a weekend shut-in. Surely I can be a nurse and go to work at 7 o'clock in the morning and have the Holy Ghost without being in the shut-in at 6 a.m.