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TD Jakes - The Tools to Build


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I'm gonna give you four things you've got to have if you're going to build effectively. You can't build if you don't have tools. What tools do you need for what you're trying to build? If there's weight loss there's gotta be exercise, there's gotta be diet management. There's gotta be certain things you put in place for that. If you're smoking cigarettes and you say, "I wanna quit smoking cigarettes," you've gotta have a plan for those urges and cravings and things that you need, Nicoban and chewing gum, Bible verses, something you got to have to be a... tooth picks to chew. You got, for everything you're gonna ever do, you're gonna need some tools to do it with.

You can't be a great preacher with poor books, poor resources, and no study habits. You can't be a great speaker if you don't listen to great speakers and take great classes in speaking and don't practice what you do. You've got to have the tools of the trade. You can't be a great articulator and never increase your vocabulary because the words are the tools that you are going to use to frame the construction. Tools. What am I gonna need to hammer through the obstacles that are standing in between me and what I wanna build with my life? There are some things I'm gonna have to nail down. I can't lay the plywood on the floor and not nail it down. I have to nail it down because when I build something I don't want it to move.

I need some tools. Touch your neighbor and say, "you need some tools". You're building, you're gonna build a business, you need some management classes, you need some training. You need to get some magazines that have information in the area that you're gonna do. You have to read, you have to study, you have to prepare. You have to get around people who can help you. You need some tools in place. I can tell what you're gonna build by the kind of tools you bring. If you hired somebody to do a job and they come on the job asking you, "Do you have a hammer"? That joker's a jackleg. He ain't no carpenter. 'Cause a real carpenter has a certain hammer that he likes to use and he doesn't wanna use anybody else's hammer because he's got a certain tool and he's fallen in love with his tools.

See, you've gotta find your tools and you've gotta fall in love with them. That's what David was telling Saul when Saul wanted him to fight Goliath in his armor. David said, "No, I got some tools I like to use and you can't lose with the stuff I use. The God. You've gotta get some tools in place. That's why when God put Moses on the backside of the desert and he said, "Stick your hand in your bosom," it came out white. He said, "Throw your rod down," it turned into a serpent. "Pour the water out," it turned into blood. You know what God was? He was acquainting him with his tools. When Moses got to the house of Pharaoh, he said, "Let me show you my tool bag. You jump on me you better know what you doin'". Threw his rod down, turned into a serpent. He said, "Check this out". See, you gotta have some stuff that's been proven in your life that you know works for you. You can't beat me with my stuff, baby. Hm, no, no. Give me my tools, I'll knock your head off. David said, "Bring him on out here".

You cannot have a public display with your tools if you don't spend time in private practice. In other words, you can't have a great recital if you haven't had many failure rehearsals. You need some tools. What are the tools you need for the dream you have? We're getting ready to build now so we're collecting tools, resources, information, investigation, meeting the right people at the right places. Learning all that we can, setting up the proper connections, learning how to advertise it, how to market it, how to build it, how to expand it. Who's interested in it? Who's the clientele? Who would buy it? How much did you buy it for? How much can you sell it for? Is the profit sufficient for the amount of staff it takes to do it? Tools.

If the dream is to have a great marriage and you find out that a loose mouth is tearing up your marriage, you've got to change your tools. Getting ready to build. You say, "I'm gonna build some stuff. I need some protection". 'Cause if you keep doing something and it keeps hurting, you don't have on the stuff you need for the job you have. There is a way to do it without hurting yourself. And protecting yourself is a tool. Protecting yourself. Sometimes you back up from people to protect. "We're not as close as we was before". Yeah, you'd like to kill me. So I'm still gonna handle it but I'ma put something between me and it 'cause the last time I picked you up barehanded, I ripped my hand.

You can walk on the high wire but it's nice to have a net. I know you good but you need a plan B. What happens if they don't buy it out in 30 days? Tools. How far are you willing to go with this thing? Jesus said, "If you're not gonna finish it, don't get it started". Have you measured how far you're willing to go to get the thing done that God put in your life? You can't get in the middle of it and say, "Ooh, that's too long". That's why he said, "You can't be my disciple if you're not willing to put your whole life into it". He said, "This is a big thing I'm getting ready to build and I can't build it with no pantywaist, given-up men who won't stand up and do what's gotta be done. I've gotta have me a small team of bad jokers who will do whatever it takes, who's counted up the cost. How far are you willing to go?

If you're not gonna do anything, you're not going anyway, just take up your stuff and go home. Are you hearing what I'm saying? We got a lot of people, they get halfway through the process, they get right back 'long in here and say "I'm tired". Touch three people and say, "You'll win if you don't quit". Some stuff doesn't come precut. Kids don't come precut. Husbands don't come precut. Wives don't come precut. Staff doesn't come precut. Opportunities don't come precut. You just gotta take it and cut it until it fits what you dream for it to be. You gotta cut it. You gotta have some tools for change. Tools for change. If you need a six foot 2 x 4 and you got a eight foot, you gotta have something that will be a tool for change. God didn't promise you a prefab life.

And then bring me my stuff, brother. 'Cause I need some ballance in my life. I can't have a successful life if I'm living out of balance. I gotta build it but I can't build it lopsided and leaning. You gotta have some balance in your life. Sure you gotta pray, but you can't pray all the time. Balance is important. That's what the old folks didn't know when they was building houses back up in the hills. They just said, "Well, Jim, does it look straight to you"? "Well, Fred, it looks straight to me. Go ahead, nail it down". No, you have to put that line on it and test it to see if it's balanced. Do you have a balanced life? Some of you, things are falling apart because your life is out of balance. Are you hearing what I'm saying? Touch somebody and say, "I'm getting ready to cut through some stuff".

"T" is for tools. Next thing I wanna tell you you'll need to build is investment. Aye, you have to invest in your dream. No investment means no return. Little investment is little return. Much investment is much return. You have to invest in it. It's gonna cost you something. That's what Jesus was saying. It's gonna cost you something. You have to be willing to invest in it, both spiritually and naturally. Some of the investing is in supernatural return on your giving, your seed sowing. You sow towards your dream. I don't sow toward my need. I don't sow according to my need, I sow according to my harvest. I sow according to what I wanna see come out. If you don't have but a little bit of expectation, you don't need but a little bit sow a little. But if you got a great dream and if God don't get behind it, it'll never happen, you gotta sow on another level. See, when you start sowing on another level, you start thinking on another level.

Somebody's telling me the other day, said, "We got to have a part replaced and this part's gonna be $100.000, you know, and we gotta have this part replaced and what do you think we're gonna do"? I said, "Well, if we gotta have it, we gotta have it". And I walked away and I thought to myself, see, people don't know what it cost to run a ministry. They'd be shocked. They'd be shocked at what it cost to run a ministry, keep the elevators running, keep everything safe, keep everything going right, keep lights in place. Costs a whole lot and I walked away from it, I thought, I laughed to myself because I could believe God comfortably for $100.000. I've seen the time that it was gonna cost $100.000, I'd have called the whole thing off. I'd have called the whole thing off 'cause until you start giving on a certain level, you can't start living on a certain level and you won't be able to think on a certain level and if it's too big for you to think of it, it's too big for you to ask for it. And God won't do it, not because God doesn't have it but you don't have the faith to believe that it is possible.

I believe that God can pay for whatever it takes to get the job done and I'm not gonna ask the world or the bank, "Can I do what God told me to do"? If God actually told me to do it, wherever God guides, God provides, and you can't stumble at the promise through unbelief because the devil threw a figure at you that was bigger than you could think. Investment. You can't eat cheap food and lose weight. Beans and 'taters and maters and you can do that and save money but if the goal is to lose some weight... So you gotta decide what your goal is and then put your priorities in place: what are you trying to do? The old folks could feed you on $5. You'd have ripples and rolls everywhere but you'd be full. Time you got feeding them neck bones and that cornbread made out of that bacon grease and that bacon drippings all in the cornbread and those potatoes and beans, what in the world does potatoes have to do with beans? And they'd fry the potatoes and the beans and the cornbread and put 'em together with some fatback and hog maws. Well, they saved a lot of money but you had a billion fat grams. And we still eat like that today. That's what's wrong with a lot now, praise God.

Investing for your dream. I used to carry a suitcase of nothing but books. We didn't have computers when I started preaching. If you want a concordance, you had to carry the whole concordance and two or three different Bibles, a Greek lexicon and all that, on the road. One suitcase with nothing but books. 'Cause you can't be great at what you're called to do if you don't invest in it. You can't be a great barber and not get the tools you need. You can't be a great intellect and not go back to school. Investing in your dream. How much will it cost you to do what you've gotta do? Cost too much? How bad do you want it? Maybe you shouldn't start it if you're that easily discouraged. Maybe you don't want it bad enough to finish the distance. It costs what it costs. Twenty-six, twenty-seven years I'm still paying. Not just in money, in time, in privacy. Don't mean you start crying. All kinds of ways you can see and can't see. It costs what it costs. You can't get halfway through, say, "I don't want this". Look at somebody and say, "Go the distance".

Number three, the third thing you're gonna need to build is you need some materials. You need some materials. You need something to work with. You need some materials. Most people go out of business because they don't have any capital, they don't have any materials. They got a great vision, they don't have no money. They say if you don't have enough money to sustain you first couple of years, you shouldn't even try. You gotta have materials. You can't open up a beauty shop and not have no beauticians. You gotta have some materials. You can't do a hair care and not have no supplies. You need materials. You can't build a house and not have any wood. You need some materials. You can't become a great minister and not have the skills to do it with. Doesn't mean you're not a great person but I see people who say they're called to preach who can talk.

"Uh, you know, and didn't I tell the Lord that he called me to minister, gospel, and I'm". I said, "What did you say"? Now, I'm not saying that can't be fixed but you're gonna have to work on that. You've got to work on that. You may have to get in the mirror. And then sometimes you gotta break down and be honest: I just don't have the materials for my dream, which means you have a dream that God didn't give you. Because God will never give you a dream without giving you the materials you need to complete the dream you have. They may have to be cultivated, they may have to be developed, but the materials are in you to be successful at whatever God gave you a dream for. You've got the stuff. He'd have never called you to it if he didn't give you the stuff. "I'm nervous". Get over it. You've got the stuff. Beneath that thin layer of nervousness is a might and a force and a power that God can use.

When I first started preaching I was so nervous I couldn't hold a microphone. I used to have 'em put it in a stand and I'd put my hands behind my back and lean forward and talk into the mic so people wouldn't see my hand shaking. But I didn't let the nervousness make me lose confidence in the materials that God gave me. The nervousness was something I had to overcome so I could fulfill my purpose on the earth. Lay hand on yourself, say, "I have the materials to build for God the things he's showed me, that remain".

Number four, the fourth thing you need to build. You ready? Is energy. You can't be no tired builder. You might get tired after you're in it but you can't get tired while you're building. You gotta have the energy for your dream, the energy for your dream, the energy, the force, the power, the tenacity, the staying power, to take a licking and keep on ticking. You gotta have energy for your dream. I'm not standing up here because I feel good. I'm standing up here because I got an assignment to do. It don't make any difference how I feel about it. I got to do what I got to do and thank God for the energy to do it. God gives you energy. He gives us power. He gives us might. He gives us drive. And if God called you to do it, he'll give you the power you need to get it done. You need the energy for your dream.

You can't have a dream to get married and not have the energy to have a husband. You can't have the dream of having children and not have the energy to run behind a two-year-old. Don't be giving me your baby. You had the dream, you have the energy. Every baby you birth requires energy. Whether the baby is a baby or a business, it requires energy. If it's ministry or evangelism, it requires energy. I just got off a plane. I've been preaching twice a day every day for several days to thousands and thousands of people with very little sleep. This requires energy, believe me. So we got tools, we got investment, we got materials, and we got energy. Tools, investment, materials, energy. Say it: "Tools, investment, materials, energy". Again: "Tools, investment, materials, energy". Time! Tools, investment, materials, energy. The fifth thing is time. Give me time to build my dream. time to build my dream.
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