TD Jakes - Seven Steps to Make It Happen
Somebody say, "Ye have not chosen me". That's what Jesus said. He said, "Ye have not chosen me". It wasn't like you sat and decided, "You know what? He said that's not how it happened. "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you". When I know that you have chosen me, with that comes a certain expectation, rather than me being the initiator. Certain responsibility.
If you ever been in a relationship where you cared about somebody and they didn't care about you, it's a very awkward situation. There's a certain assurance that comes when you know that the person that you're involved with cares about you and that they've chosen you, and you're not spending the rest of your life campaigning and trying to get elected into a love situation. You don't have to keep proving yourself every week, and they keep throwing Helen up to you. "You know, my former wife could cook. You know, she can cook. Helen wore a size 7," you know, and there you are, Mabel. You're just on all kinda weight-loss programs trying to be Helen. You wanna be you. You want somebody who appreciates you. You want somebody who has selected you. You want somebody who has chosen you.
Jesus says in the middle of the changing and the vicissitudes of life understand that you didn't start the thing. In fact, he says, "Ye have not chosen me". He says, "I have chosen you". Somebody say, "I'm chosen". Good God. This is an anchor for my soul. It gives me an assurance. It gives me some security. I'm not talking about security as it relates to a doctrine, because any time we make a doctrine out of revelation it often ends up being a heresy 'cause we carry it to extremes, but I'm talking about the revelation of understanding that the opposite of being a secure believer is being an insecure believer. And if you understand anything about relationships, relationships don't do well when you're insecure.
Now you know some of y'all wanna shout off of that, but, you know, you want people to know what you're dealing with right along in here. It doesn't feel good when you're insecure. You need to know that there is a stable place where you can rest and where you don't have to perform, and so Jesus goes out of his way to tell his disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you. You have been selected. I picked you. I wanted you and not anybody else". Speaker was getting ready to speak for us not too long ago, and I knew the speaker was nervous, and I said to the speaker, I said, "Listen," I said, "the thing you've got to always remember is that we invited you".
That's a wonderful, liberating thing. "That means of all the speakers, the Copelands and the Hagins and the Prices and the T.D. Jakeses and the Benny Hinns or whoever, Billy Graham, whoever it is you wanna call, that we didn't call them. We called you, so make sure you show up. Don't show up acting like somebody that we coulda invited and didn't". You understand what I'm saying? "We already knew who you were. As a rule I don't invite people that I've never heard, so we already knew who you were. We already know how you minister, we already selected you, so you can walk to the podium with all confidence that what we asked for we got".
And what Jesus wanted his disciples to know, "Ye have not chosen me, so no matter whether you're on the mountain or in the valley, whether you're going through a pruning process or whether you're flourishing, just always remember that I'm gonna take you through all of these stages, and I'm gonna bring you through it. Because you didn't start this, you don't have to finish it. Ye have not chosen me". Look at somebody and say, "I'm chosen". I'm chosen. I'm chosen. To be chosen, to be preferred, to be preferred, to be chosen, to be preferred. See, when the Bible talks about the relationship that we have with God, it uses terms like "adoption". It uses terms like "adoption" for a reason.
Get your Bible. There is a couple of things I wanna show you right quick. Get your Bible. Don't put your Bible away. You see it? Galatians 4:4. "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the," what? "The adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father". He said he adopted you in verse 5. In verse 6 he says, "Ye are sons," and at the end of verse 6 it says now the Spirit causes you to cry out, "Abba, Father". It means you start speaking out what you worry. Oh, God. You worry before you start speaking out what you worry, and it's all predicated not on birth, on adoption. Adoption. Somebody say, "Adoption".
See, it is possible to have a baby, to birth a baby, and not want to. It's possible to be pregnant and not wanna be, and you have to adjust, and you have to accommodate, and you have to move things around, but nobody ever adopts by accident. When the Bible uses terms like "adoption," it wants you to know that God, as a sovereign act of his will, selected you. He looked over and said, "You know, that one. That one. Third row, fifth one back. That one. Fifth one in the balcony, seventh one in. That one". Chosen you. Selected you. He knew who you were when he chose you. He knew everything about you when he chose you. He knew every weakness, every mistake, every struggle, every inability. "You know, Lord, I don't see too good". He knows that. "You know, Lord, I talk with a stutter". He knows that. "You know, Lord, I don't feel secure in my..".. He knew all of that when he chose you, and yet he chose you anyway, because God had a plan for your life, and he wanted to use you in a special way.
You are not an accident. You're not an incident. You're not something that God just adjusted to. He preferred you. He selected you. He picked you. He picked you. He picked you. He handpicked you. He selected you. He elected you. He picked you out. It could have been anybody, He chose you. Good God, do you understand what a grace you walk in, what a power you walk in? You'll never have to come into God's presence and wonder, "Is it okay for me to be there"? because he chose me. He chose me. Any time I do it myself, I have to go in and wonder, "Will I get in? Will it be all right? Do you wanna see me? Are you prepared for company? Do you want me to sit down at the table? Should I eat? Should I not eat"? But when you invited me, I assumed you were ready for me. You got a seat for me. You got enough food for me. You're ready to receive me.
God wouldn't have chose you if he wasn't prepared to fix you up, to strengthen you, to equip you, to prepare you and release you. And whatever life has taken you through, walk into it and say, "He's chosen me". It means you walk in a room, I see you. If you cry unto me, I hear you. If you look to me, I'll hear your thoughts. I know your face. I know your needs. It means I'll expedite your service. I'll take you through things quicker than other people went through it because you are chosen. Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth? You didn't make it because you were smart. You didn't make it because you were slick. You didn't make it because you were tough. You made it because you were chosen. God snatched you out of stuff. He delivered you from stuff.
Get a clue, baby. Haven't you ever wondered why you survived stuff that killed other people? Other people lost their mind. Some kinda way you made it. You made dumb decisions, did stupid stuff, and still some kinda way God blessed you. You could have been dead, coulda been in jail, coulda lost your mind. You've been mad enough at people to kill 'em. You could have been a murderer, but some kinda way God just kept pulling you out of something, pulling you out of something, pulling you out of something. You are chosen, baby.
Okay, so we understand that we are chosen. We understand that we are chosen. I wanna talk to you a little bit about when we're chosen, because if you don't understand when you're chosen you won't understand the power of the chosen, of being chosen, of being selected. You have to know when you're chosen, because, see, some people think that you came to the altar, and God chose you. And some people think that when you finish your degree, God chose you. And some people think because you can sing, God chose you. And because he needed a speaker and you got a good voice, God took a application on you, and he chose you. He didn't choose you on the basis of something that he gave you. Whatever you know, he lets you know it. Whatever you look like, you didn't have nothing to do with that. Whatever you were able to digest as it relates to information and education, it's only because God gave you the wherewithal to do it. Whatever you've accomplished in life, it's just something that God gave you.
If you can sing, guess who gave you your voice? If you can speak, guess who gave you the ability to do that? If you can manage well, guess who gave you that creativity? Let me show you something. Go to the book of Jeremiah. I'm gonna show you something. Go to the book of Jeremiah. Oh, wait a minute. Wait. Don't go to Jeremiah. Go to Ephesians. Go to Ephesians. Right back. Just skip over from Galatians. Go to Ephesians for one moment. Next chapter over, next book over. I do this 'cause I want you to learn your Bible. Ephesians 1, verse 4. You see it? It starts out, "According". It says, "According as he hath chosen us in Him". When? "Before the foundations of the world".
He chose us before the foundations of the world. He chose us before we got saved, He chose us before we got right, then. That means he chose us before we were born. That means he chose us in eternity, before the foundations of the world. What? "That we should be holy and without blame before him in love". That means it wasn't nothing that I did that make him choose me. I didn't have to convince him to choose me. I didn't have to work so that he could choose me. He chose me before I was aware of myself, before I was conscious, before the doctor slapped me on the bottom and I came out crying, before my grandmamma met my granddaddy and they went for a buggy ride on a wooden pickup. He chose me in him before the foundations of the world.
I came here chosen. No wonder I couldn't lay where other people laid or stay where other people stayed or rest where other people rested. Even when I tried to do it, he wouldn't let me stay there. I'm not saying I didn't get into it, I'm saying I couldn't stay into it. Have you ever noticed that other people were able to rest in stuff that you couldn't rest in? Even things that you lacked, but because you were chosen you leave. When you are chosen, you'll leave stuff you lack and say, "I don't know why I'm breaking up with you. You're the best thing I ever experienced in my life, and I will always love you, but it's just something. I don't know what it is. I know it's crazy. I may hate myself in the morning, but give me my beeper back...". Touch somebody and tell 'em, "I'm chosen".
Jeremiah 1, verse 4. "Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee to be a prophet unto the nations". Somebody holler, "Before". You were chosen in him before the foundations of the world. Before you ever formed in your mother's belly, before she ever got morning sickness, God had already chosen you. That's why you survived. That's why you endured. That's why you keep coming back. Some of you have had nine lives. You're worse than a cat. You just keep coming back. Every time the devil thinks he has you, you snap back out of it again because some kinda way the Lord has brought you through.
Don't be afraid. Touch somebody and say, "I'm chosen". See, if you don't know it, you can't operate in it. If you don't understand it, you can't realize it, and if you think you're just chosen because you're a good prayer warrior, when you stop praying you'll feel like you're not chosen. If you think you're just chosen 'cause you know Greek and Hebrew and you study your Bible all the time, when you have a weaker let-up, the devil will come in and say, "You lost it". But if you say, "Wait a minute, devil. Whether I studied or didn't study, whether I'm up or down, whether I'm together or not together, before I was formed in my mama's belly he chose me. He selected me. I can go to God when I can't go to anybody else".
That's what the prodigal son knew about his father. He said, "I got mud on me, and I smell like slop, and I've been laying with the hogs, but in my father's house there is bread enough and to spare. I will arise, he's still my daddy, I'll go to my father. Whoo, God do you hear what I'm saying? The times you almost drowned and didn't. The times you climbed out of car wrecks when other folks couldn't. The times you made it through the hospital where other folks died. The near calamities, diseases. I wish you would think back on the friends you know who ODed, the friends you know who died of AIDS. I wish you would think back on the near mishaps, people who you thought were friends and found out were enemies. They were trying to kill you and destroy you. Haven't you ever wondered how you survived?
Sometimes you were in trouble, you didn't even know you were in trouble. You were with the wrong crowd, you didn't even know they was the wrong crowd. You thought they were your friends. They were your enemies, but some kinda way God protected you. Haven't you wondered why? Haven't you ever thought up at night and said, "Isn't this kinda crazy that I'm still here through hell and high water, trials and temptations? I made it. Sometimes I messed up and made it. I was wrong and made it. I was weak and made it. I was whoremongering and made it". Oh, y'all don't hear. If it had not been for the Lord... oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, amazing, amazing.
I'm chosen. Touch somebody and tell 'em, "I'm chosen". That doesn't mean that I can live any way, do just any kinda thing, take God's grace for granted. Romans 6:1 says, "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How can we that are dead to sin live any longer therein"? But it does mean that God wants me to have some comfort and some assurance and some peace about His attitude toward me. That in the midst of me trying to figure out, "Is he really my friend? Is she really my friend? Can I really do business with him? Can I trust him or not? Why is she in my life? Why did he call me"? and all the people you are unsure of, God ain't got to be one of them.
"I not only chose you, I chose your test. I chose your struggle. I chose your temptation. I knew what to take you through to get your attention. I knew how to make you pray. I knew how to bring you to your knees. I knew how to humble you when you got too puffed up. I knew who to take you through tests with so you'd find out it wasn't them that blessed you, and it wasn't them that blessed you. She walked off and left you. I meant for her to leave you so you could see you can make it without her. I meant for him to leave you so I could show you as long as I'm on your side you don't have to... oh, you'll don't hear what I'm saying. "Ye have not chosen me". He says, "I have chosen you, and I have ordained you".
Ordained. Ordained. Ordained. Speaks to the future. Ordained. Ordinance. A mandate. Order. "I ordered your steps. I predetermined your path. I set you apart. I ordained you. I wouldn't let life kill you, 'cause I ordained you". And when life said, "Kill," ordination said, "No". When justice said, "Attack," ordination said, "No, it's not written. It's written that she shall overcome. It's written that he'll come out of it. It's written that they'll survive. I ordained you. Sometime I had to bring you weak. You were weak. You didn't even have the strength to fight. When you lost your fight, I carried you. When you lost your drive, I pushed you. When you lost your way, I found you. When you got tied up in sin, I loosed you. I ordained". I wish there was somebody who knew what I was talking about today. Ordained! The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. Good God I feel like praising him. Order my steps in your Word, dear Lord. Order my way. Order which way, which way to go, who can I trust, where can I go, who can I lean on. The steps if a good man are ordered by the Lord. That's why no weapon formed against you shall be able.
"You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit". You were chosen to be fruitful. You were chosen to be blessed. Get that through your thick head. You were chosen to be blessed. If you ever get that through your head, it will change your world forever. You were chosen to be a blessing. Stop trying to be a blessing. Just be it. Just be it. Just be it until it becomes your natural environment, till it ceases to be unusual. You were chosen to be an overcomer. You were chosen to have preferential treatment. You're supposed to. God meant to spoil you. It's the Father's good pleasure to soil you.
See, I don't struggle with this. I don't struggle with this issue. I have issues, but this is not one of 'em. I don't struggle with this issue because I'm the baby in my family. I was well nurtured, so when I got saved and God said he favored me, that was easy for me to believe, because my mind was accustomed to understanding who I was. Some of you, you got to do a makeover 'cause you've been mistreated all of your life, but you gotta get this Word in your head. You are chosen of the Lord. Your bad times are over. God is ready to bless you. He has ordained you that you may have good success.
The very first thing God said to man when he made him was, "Be fruitful". God said, "I ordained you that you should bring forth fruit". God, help me with this. If I could get through this in Dallas, this ministry would explode. Some people say it's already exploded, but there is another level. If I can get you to just understand that you are chosen to be fruitful, that you are supposed to be blessed, if I can get you out of this defeated mentality, this poor, pitiful, broke-down, we can, we can, if we could ever break them crutches so you could start walking in the integrity of who God said you were, if you could ever get your head up and your back straight and quit saying, "Yes, boss," to life and stand up, your eyes have not seen, your ears have not heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things that God has in store for them that love him.
You're supposed to be blessed. Oh, y'all can't handle this. You're supposed to eat in the finest restaurant. Tell all of your enemies, "Get used to it". Tell 'em, "I'm God's baby. He'll answer my prayer in the middle of the night. If he gonna bless anybody, he's gonna bless me. He'll step over folk to get me. I'm chosen. I just didn't wander in the kingdom. I wasn't a mistake. God selected me".