TD Jakes — The Danger of Doing Right for the Wrong Reason
This woman came to Jesus with her two sons. Her sons were the sons of Zebedee. You remember Zebedee. He was the chief executive officer of a fishing corporation. I do not say that lightly nor slightly. He had a business. He was an entrepreneur. He was successful. The Bible, in another verse, says that he had servants, which means that he was affluent. She was the wife of an elite, charismatic, distinguished diplomat of the community. Still, she had to come to Jesus. I don't care how much money you make. You still gotta come to Jesus. I don't care what color you are. You still gotta come to Jesus. I don't care if you matriculated from the upper echelon of the greatest university in your country. Still, there are some things that will drive you to Jesus.
My problem is not that she came to Jesus, because I understand that you can go to him when you can't go to anyone else. In case you're watching by television, you never even heard who Jesus is, you can go to him when you can't go to anybody else. She came to him. She must have understood something about his needs. It's dangerous sometimes to let people know what you need, because sometimes, when people know that you need, they'll use it against you. That's why David said, "If I was hungry, I wouldn't tell you," because sometimes, if people know you're hungry, they'll wave bread in front of your face.
So, she came to Jesus. You see, in case you don't understand, God, if it were possible for God to have a weakness, it would be for worship. He loves a worshipper. The omniscient, all-seeing, all-knowing God said, "I seek a worshipper". I don't know how, how this businesswoman, this first lady of this corporation knew about his need for worship, but, when she came to him, she worshipped him. Maybe she worshipped him because she'd seen the Canaanite woman worship, maybe because she'd seen the woman whose daughter was grievously vexed with the devil worship her way into a healing. Maybe she had stopped by the tomb of Gadarenes and seen a man possessed with demons come and fall at his feet and worship him. I don't know how she knew to worship him, but she came, and she worshipped him.
It's a dangerous thing for people to know your weakness because, if they know your weakness, they'll give you what you need, but they won't mean it. If people know how bad you need it, they'll do the right thing, but it will be for the wrong reason, and, when people do it just because they know you need it, they get tired real easy. Have you ever had somebody who was just doing things to placate you? They really weren't concerned about you. They really didn't care about you, but they knew that you liked that, and they just, they just did it to kind of get by? See, she worshipped. But, while she was worshipping him, she couldn't do it long before she said, "Okay. I'm gonna give you a little worship, but you see them two boys back there"? "All right. I'm gonna bow before you, but all right. I'm gonna go ahead and get in the church, but you know about my trial is coming up. All right. I'm gonna go back to church if you bring my husband back. Okay. I'll go ahead and," and, if he don't hurry up and do whatever it is that you want him to do...
See, that's what's killing us as creatures 'cause we have to keep pumping and pumping and pumping and pumping, trying to motivate people, but you can't motivate people who have bad motives. You will work yourself to death. You will preach yourself into the grave. You will have a nervous breakdown. You can't understand, "How can I get them delivered on Wednesday night, and they're tied up by Sunday morning"? It's because they never did it for the right reason.
You see, manipulators do the right thing, but they do it for the wrong reason, and they start it. Pretty soon, they have an agenda, and the agenda's coming out. How many of you know that your agenda will always slip out? "You know, I got them two boys back there, and you're gonna need somebody on your right side and somebody on your left, and it might as well be my two sons". I won't even bother the fact that these boys were grown. I won't even bother the fact that she has mama-ed them to death. I won't even go there. I won't even go into all the women who manipulate their grown children, mouth all in their marriage, mouth all in their business, never allow him to grow up, never allow him to be a man 'cause Mama still running everything. I'm not gonna bother that 'cause that'll mess up your joy. That'll get in your business, telling his wife how to cook. "You know he don't like his potatoes like," I'm not going to bother none of that.
It's a spirit of manipulation. It is, here's the problem with manipulators. Manipulators always try to bypass, bypass the process for progress. Manipulators always try to find an easy way to get where they're trying to go. I want you to get this in your heart if you don't get anything else I say tonight. There are no shortcuts in God. I know I'm gonna mess with some of you now 'cause you've been running up in all kind of prayer lines, wanting a double portion of somebody's spirit. You think somebody's gonna blow on you and get you a new house. You think somebody's gonna lay hands on you and give you an anointing that it took them 50 years to get. You're gonna get it in five minutes. You manipulator, you think that, if you carry a briefcase two weeks, you can get the anointing of a man of God, who's been laying before God for 30 years. You must be out of your mind.
If Jesus would have spoke to her in modern terms, he would have said, "Stop tripping". Would you touch somebody and say, "Stop tripping". There are no shortcuts to success. There are no shortcuts. You gotta go through what you gotta go through. You gotta move like you gotta move. If you don't study, it won't happen. If you don't pray, it will not happen. If you don't lay before God, it will not happen. There are no shortcuts to what God has for you. Most of the time, when you think of manipulators, you think of people who have an evil motive, and there are people who have evil motives. There are people who will run up in your face and grin on you. They never liked you. They never loved you. They never wanted any good thing to happen to you. They were always, all while you were eating dinner, they were hoping you'd choke. I know you don't believe that. You'll have to live a little while to find out that people can give you what they think you need and, all the while, be trying to choke you with it. Manipulators, but you don't have to be evil to be a manipulator. You can be misguided and be a manipulator.
Young man came up to me. He said, "Bishop". There was a time in our ministry I needed an armor bearer real bad, and he said, "Bishop, I feel like I should be your armor bearer. And I see you struggling to do all these things. I'm able to do that. I'll do that for you, and I can do this for you, and I can do the other," so forth and so on, and I said, "Oh, thank the Lord. Thank the Lord. Thank the Lord". And he kept on talking and said, "I don't mind driving you where you gotta go and doing some things". He said, and he kept, see, if you let people keep talking, after a while, they'll say, "You see these boys"? And, while he was talking, he says, "It's not really that I enjoy being an armor bearer". He just said, "I respect your ministry and your anointing, and I figure this is the only way I'm gonna get to hang around you, so, if I could just get to hang around you so I can get some nuggets for my ministry".
Now, he's not evil. He's misguided because nobody wants anybody to do anything for them with an ulterior motive. Don't hire anybody like that. Don't appoint anybody like that. Don't move anybody into position just like that because you gotta keep feeding them, or they won't keep working. You've gotta have somebody who's doing what they do because they're called to do it. They enjoy doing it. They want to do it. They get fulfillment from doing it, and, if you don't pat them on the back, and, if you don't send them no roses, they'll keep on doing what they're called to do because they're doing it from their heart, and they're doing it from their spirit. Touch somebody and say, "Stop being a manipulator". Tell them. Say, "Stop being a manipulator". Stop manipulating so you can get out of jail. Stop manipulating till your husband comes back home. Stop praising God just so you can get out of your cell, and start praising God because he's God, because he's worthy, because he's wonderful, because he's mighty, because he's a healer, because he's a deliverer, because he's a way-maker.
Jesus says, "Can you stand to be baptized with the baptism that I'm baptized with"? Hold it right now. We're not talking about water. He hasn't been baptized in water. This is not water. It is what water is a picture of. Water is a metaphorical illustration of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord, and he said, "Woman, you're trying to get your sons to reign with me, but they haven't suffered with me". Don't let anybody reign with you until they've suffered with you.
Oh, this is the kind of message that gets me in trouble because there are those who teach that, if you walk with God, you won't have to suffer. There are those that teach that, if you really pray, you won't have to go through anything, but the Bible said, "They that live godly shall suffer persecution," and I've come to tell you at "Woman, Thou Art Loosed," I don't care how you pray and how you fast and how you lay before God. You've got to go through something sometime. If you didn't go through anything, you wouldn't have any power. You wouldn't have any authority. You wouldn't have any joy. You just got to go through it. Slap somebody and say, "Go through it". Go through it. Go through it. Stop trying to shortcut. Stop trying to showboat. Stop trying to jimmy the lock. Go through it, but don't stop in it. Press your way. Press. I press. I'm broke, but I press. I'm black, but I press. Praise him in the middle of the press. Praise him. Praise him in the middle of your storm. Though he slay me, yes. I will bless the Lord. When you manipulate, you try to control everything.
Quickly, I want to show you a Scripture. Sit down. I want to show you a Scripture. I want to give you the whole truth. Go to Matthew 4:19 for a minute. We see what the woman's problem is in 4:19. "He said unto them," this is Jesus getting started in his ministry on earth, "And he said unto them, 'Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.' And they straightway left their nets and followed him, and, going on from this, he saw other two brethren: James, the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother, in a ship with Zebedee, their father, mending their nets, and he called them, and they immediately left the ship and their father and followed him". Here's our problem. They had started the business. The husband was running it. The sons were being mentored by it. They were next in line to be successors in their father's domain, and Jesus came in and messed up their plans.
Can I tell you that obeying God will mess up your plans? You had your life all figured out, how it was gonna go, and then the Lord came along and scrambled your eggs. Manipulation gets in the church when you start giving up stuff to walk with God, and now, you're walking with God, and you didn't get it back, but the Lord sent me here tonight to tell somebody to stand still. Don't panic. Don't fret. Don't be hysterical, but stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. He may not come when you want him, but he's right on time. He knows what you need. He knows when you need it. He knows how to bless you. He knows where you are. He knows how to deliver you.
Manipulation is born out of bitterness that lives in the hearts of desperate people who feel like you gave up so much and got back so little that, now, every time you get an opportunity, you're trying to work something, but nobody in here gave up as much as God gave up to get you, for the Bible said that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him shall not perish but have everlasting life, and, if you can just stay with God, even when it doesn't seem fair, even when it doesn't seem like your life is working out, even when it looks like you're going backwards instead of forward, if you can just stay with God, and I want to tell you something else. Never let the devil see you sweat. Don't even act like you're lonely. Don't act like you need anything. Don't act like you're desperate, but just stand still, and wait on the Lord, and, while other people are trying to manipulate, I dare you to become a true worshipper. For the Lord saw a woman at the well, and he said, "God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth".
Can I tell you something? There's about 60,000 or so women in this room, but let me tell you something. There's a whole lot of women who are clapping their hands, but they're not true worshippers. There's a whole lot of women that's dancing around the room, but you're not true worshippers. If the true worshippers would get loose in here and begin to praise God. I don't have to have 60,000. I can take 6. If I had 6 women that would start thanking God for being God in their life, if I had 6 women that would start thanking God for being a wonder in their soul, if I had 6 women that were willing to mess up their makeup and give God a crazy praise, if I had 6 women that would empty out your heart before God and say, "Lord, I need you to set me free," the power of God would get loose in this room.
Touch your neighbor and say, "Neighbor, you'd better give me some room 'cause I'm getting ready to give God true worship. I'm getting ready to worship him for staying with me when everybody left me. I'm getting ready to worship him for standing by me while I was in the jail cell. I'm getting ready to worship God for keeping my children when I wasn't even around. I'm getting ready to worship God 'cause he kept me from losing my mind, and, if I never dress like you, and, if I never look as good as you look, I'm gonna stand here and praise him for, when everybody forsook me, the Lord stood by me. I got to praise him out of my belly. I got to worship him out of my spirit. I'm not worshipping him so it'll make the service good. I'm not worshipping God because I need a blessing. I'm worshipping God because I've fallen in love with Jesus. I love him. I love him. I love him. I love his Word. I love his name. I love his voice. I love to feel his touch. I love him waking me up in the morning. I love him 'cause he rides to work with me. I love him 'cause he's kept my secrets. I love him because he lifted my mind. I love him. Oh"! Somebody help me praise him.