TD Jakes - A Mind Thing
What are you gonna do with the life you have left? That's your decision. That's your business. You all know me. I'm crazy. You all knew I was crazy when you came here, so, I mean, you know, no need me trying to hide now. I might as well just be myself, and I'm good at being myself. It works for me, you know? It works for me. The Bible says in Romans 12, it says, "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind". So, that means at the root of any transformation that you wanna make in your life, it starts by the renewing of your mind.
Okay, so transformation or transforming your life begins with renewing your mind, renewing your mind. Now, I cannot renew my mind so that I can reach the thing that I decided on if I'm going to carry within me a lotta old garbage, see? So, there has to be some cleaning out before there is some going forward. You have to do that, and you need time to do that. That's why we're taking a week to work on this, 'cause you can't run through this, and I'm gonna tell you something. You're not gonna finish this in a week, and you're not gonna finish it in seven weeks, and for some people it may take seven years.
People don't wanna talk about that, Christians especially. We always wanna zap people. "Bishop laid hands on me. When I got up, it was gone". Lemme tell you something. Everything is not gonna be gone. I'm gonna tell you right now, I don't care if I never see you again. Everything ain't gonna be gone like that. Everything isn't magics, not crackle, pop, and it's gone. Not crackle, pop, "I lost a hundred pounds in ten days". "Call today. Pick up the phone and call right now. 9.99 if you call in the next ten minutes". It ain't happening, baby. Put down the telephone. No magic. Transformation is an ongoing process. You've got stuff to fight. You've got things to deal with. You've got conditioning to get outta your head that's messing with your mind.
It's a fact. Yes, sir. It's a process, and it requires patience. Transformation, metamorphosis, takes time for a silkworm to turn into a butterfly. It takes time. It takes aloneness. It takes wrapping up in a cocoon and getting away from external influences and people who limit you and say, "A silkworm is all you're ever gonna be". But inside you say, "You know what? There is a butterfly in me somewhere, and if I had some time and some cocoon space, I could go through a transformation and bring something else out of me". It takes time for a tadpole to turn into a frog. "I need a little time with this". Turn to somebody and say, "I'm going through a transformation".
This is the hardest thing to me. To me this is the hardest thing about being a Christian. I wouldn't mind being a Christian and being on display if I was finished, but God is using me while he is changing me. I don't like that. That's why I didn't wanna do this. I thought, "When you finish changing me, use me". See, people don't tell the truth. That's the thing that bothers me about church folk. They do not tell the truth. I like to tell the truth. I didn't want this job. I did not want this job because I knew he wasn't finished. What I didn't know is that 26 years later he wouldn't be finished.
Now, that sounds bad, but it's true. You deal with that however you want to, but I'm telling the truth, and when you get through dealing with it, wherever you go to church, whether he has the nerve to tell you or not, God ain't through with him either. As soon as you find out, you're gonna leave there, too, and you're just gonna be leaving everywhere. You're gonna leave your husband. You're gonna leave your wife. You're gonna leave your career. You're gonna leave your kids. You're gonna leave yourself, 'cause in no area of your life are you finished the transformation, but you are in process. Glory to God. I'm better than I was. I may not have both wings out, but I got one wing out, and I'm working on that other sucker. Pulling it out, talking about, "Just give me a minute". After a while I'm gonna turn into a butterfly. I can see my wings. I'm getting my colors. I'm about to fly.
When you start getting rid of old things, some old things that you have to be delivered from in order to have a renewed mind are things, habits that are ingrained in you based on your environment and what you were exposed to and what happened to you. And now you're being exposed to more and there is a transformation going on between the new things and the old things, and it often creates contradictions. Sometimes when you start renewing your mind, you have more to clean out than what you are aware of and some things linger, and they stick to the sides of your mind like cobwebs.
Now, when we start talking about transformation, the transformation is in your mind. Now, a few weeks ago I did the revival. How many of you were in the revival? Okay, God bless you. On the first night of the revival, I talked about the ant, and the ant was one of my favorite ones. What I admired about the ant is that it had forward thinking. The ant ignored where it was and prepared for where it was going. In the process of transforming your mind, you have to stop living in the past, ignore the present, and start making your preparations based on where you are going rather than building up defenses for where you have been.
You have to come to the point that you ignore your past, stop being controlled, which we understand that, but one thing we don't understand is stop being controlled by your present. How can I stop being controlled by your present? I can tell you right now your present is not real. Your present condition is not real. It is just a process you're going through to get to the next place. If you stop seeing where you are as a destination, that one awareness will give you lubrication to reach the destination that God has for you, and you'll stop building houses where you ought to have a tent. The reason they never built houses in the wilderness is that the children of Israel knew that they weren't gonna stay there, so all they did was pitch their tent because they knew that where they were was not where they were going, and they didn't start building until they got to the Promise Land.
Transformation. What's important as you make relationships is that people need to understand that you're going through transformation. That means I need to be freed to change. Now, I've said it before. I'm gonna say it again 'cause I think it's important for this series that this be understood. People who are accusing you of changing, stop arguing with them. Stop trying to prove to the people you grew up with that you haven't changed, because to say that I haven't changed is not a positive. It's negative. To say that I haven't changed is to say I'm not growing. Growth is change, and I need to be released to change. It's okay to change. Say that, "It's okay to change," because if you don't let me change I can't grow. I need to be able to change. I'm evolving. I'm becoming. Loose me and let me go. I'm not finished. Don't keep me restricted.
Some people have you in a straitjacket. They wanna freeze you in a moment of time, lock you down to who you were 20 years ago, lock you down to somebody who hasn't been through what you've been through, lock you down to some little narrow place that is convenient for them because that's what they want you to be. Well, I don't wanna be manipulated. I wanna be Godipulated. I wanna be free to go after the things that God wants me to go after, and I need to be able to change. That deals with people locking you down from change. Now, sometimes you lock yourself down from changing because you said some things and now you're embarrassed to go back and change your mind, especially when you said things to other people. Have you ever said something about somebody and said you didn't like 'em and told all your friends you didn't like 'em and then something changed? And you felt funny 'cause you locked yourself in a corner, but, see, when you lock yourself in a corner and you get new information, which is revelation, just change.
Stop being stubborn. Stop trying to keep dead some dead place in your life. Stop trying to work up hatred and make yourself be mad again. When God gives you the grace to go on with your life, go on. I was wrong. Say that, "I was wrong". Saying that to yourself and being comfortable with that releases you to be able to have a transformation experience. "I was wrong. I was wrong". Tell your children, "I was wrong". Being a parent doesn't mean I'm right about everything. "I was wrong, so hang me. Hang me. I was wrong. I was wrong. Now, what you gonna do about that? You was wrong, too. I still fed you every night". Stop teaching people that being an adult means you're finished. You are a work in progress. Transformation is going on in your life, and in order to have the transformation that you want you have to get rid old things.
And go to Mark 2:18-22. When you get there, just tell somebody, "I'm going through a transformation". That means give me some space. That means I may be moody, I may get on your nerves sometime. I'm in my cycle. Boy, when I said that, Julie, y'all don't know who Julie is, and I won't point out, but Julie is white, see? And one of the advantages of being black is when you get embarrassed, people can't tell. When I said that, Julie turned just as red as a beet. I guess somewhere deep down up under my skin I might be red, too, but you can't tell. Turn to somebody and tell 'em, "I'm on my cycle". And I'm gonna be moody. I'm going through changes. I'm going through transformation. Look at the men scared to say it. The men don't want, "I, I, I, I, I, I, I'm, I'm, I'm on my cycle".
We have cycles, too, brothers. We have cycles, too. We have mood swings and get attitudes and twitch, and we don't wanna tell nobody. Men have cycles, too. Just free yourself. Just get free. Just tell 'em, "I'm on my cycle". "Honey, how come you're not talking"? "I'm on my cycle," because there is a certain feeling of uncertainty when you're in the middle of a transformation and you're not quite there yet, and people are asking you for absolutes, and you're not finished evolving yet. And so, it makes you irritable, and it makes you a little grumpy because you don't know what to say. "I don't know what I think". "Express your feelings". "I don't know how I feel. I just want my God. I don't know how I feel. I'm on my cycle".
My life isn't over 'cause I lost my job, but I am in the middle of a transformation, and when you're in the middle of a transformation don't it make you moody sometimes? Look at this. This is good. This is good. Verse 18, "And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, "Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not"? Ain't that some... how come you gotta be like the church down the street? That's basically what it boils down. "How come you all don't have communion every Sunday? "Ooh, they got women ushering in that church, and the church I came from only men ushered". They were just trying to hold Jesus down to a traditional system, an old way of thinking. Jesus was trying to bring them into a new thing. He was trying to do a revolution, a turnaround in their life, but they were stuck on an antiquated way of thinking.
"And Jesus said unto them". Look how Jesus answered. Jesus knew how to answer people. He said, "Can the children of the bride chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast". He said, "They're not doing it 'cause I'm here". He said, "But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days". Then he deals with their heart, "No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse".
When you take something new, this is why we gotta stop and go through this transformation of our mind, because God's getting ready to do some new things in you. I said God's getting ready to do some new things in you, but the Lord cautioned me. He said where he's getting ready to take you, he cannot do the new things if he has to sew it on old ideas. And anybody who knows anything about weight loss knows that before you get on a new eating regimen you need to go through a cleansing to announce to the body, "I'm getting ready to change directions. Get yourself ready. Get yourself ready. There's gonna be a transition going on". And some of you, God is taking you through a cleansing right now. He's cleansing out old thinking and old ideas, limited thinking and things you used to be prudish about and, "Oh, no, I can't do that. Oh, no, that's not me. Oh, no, I can't go there. Oh, no, I can't be that". And God is just cleansing all of that stuff outta you because God's getting ready to do a new thing in your life, and he's gonna set before you an open door, and he cannot sew that new garment on that old fabric.
Touch somebody and say, "Get rid of everything old, that's not of God". Read this next verse. "And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put in," what? "New wine must be put in new bottles". New revelation, new direction, new ministries, new goals must be put in new bottles. That means if you're going in a new direction you gotta have a new mind. You're not gonna be able to change your direction, you're not gonna be able to stop smoking, you're not gonna be able to change your eating habit, you're not gonna be able to change your career until you get a new mind. You cannot pour new revelation into old wineskins, or you're gonna pop. Contradictions make you pop. One of the hardest things to become comfortable with but most important for you to remain vital as a person is the freedom to have new beginnings.
Listen to the one Scripture that blew my mind. In Galatians Paul says, "My little children, in whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you". They were Christians, but he said, "I travail in birth again". You're being born again again and again and again and again and again and again and again, always becoming, always evolving until you enter into a perfect day. Born again, transitions, rebirths, new ideas, new concepts, and people who allow themselves to be recreated again are not angry or stifled or evil or wicked or bitter or narrow. They're free. They're free. They're loose. They're not all stuck up and tied down. They're free because they're evolving. They're happier. Their lives are richer. They're fuller.
See, I wanna work on you because a lot of you, you have an anointing and when the anointing comes you praise the Lord, but you're not a happy person, and the only time you do get happy is when you get anointed, because aside from that you're not a happy person. And I wanna tell you something. That's not healthy. It's not healthy because what you're using your faith for is just a new substance you're abusing. You're using God to get high, to anesthetize you from the pain of living. You don't like life and now that you're not drinking and you're not smoking and you're not smoking anymore, now you come to church, and if you don't get high at church you get mad, so you make entertainers out of edifiers, and they have to entertain you to get you high again because you don't like life, and you're just a junkie. Now, you're a church junkie, and you're strung out on the next preacher that comes to town, but Jesus said, "I come that you might have life and that you might have that life more abundantly".
Oh, my God, I feel something down in the city of my soul. God never intended for you to be miserable and the only time you got any relief was when you praise the Lord. He wanted you to have an abundant life, and when you thought about how good he was, you said, "Lord, I thank you for how much joy and how much peace and how much happiness, and I have life right now. Thank you for what you did for me," not get me high so I can forget what a miserable person I am. Touch your neighbor and tell 'em, "You should have a new life now". If you don't like the way your life is going, change it. If you're waking up in the morning miserable, change something. Rearrange something. Get some new drapes. Move somewhere. Orchestrate your life, because Jesus didn't die for you to be miserable.
Oh, touch somebody and tell 'em, "I'm getting ready to change". You have to announce to people that you're getting ready to change. That means back up. Give me some room. Give me some space. I'm gonna get more life out of my life. I may rearrange some things. I may do something that you say is out of character, but I'm getting ready to have a metamorphosis. I'm getting ready to go through a transition. Release me so that I can go to the next level. I'm tired of being in jail, and I'm not gonna drag my hind legs the rest of my life. Stand to your feet. Whoo! Huh, huh, huh, huh, huh, can you feel it? Huh, I feel fresh air. Huh, I feel new life. Huh, I feel new beginning. I'm not gonna die here.