TD Jakes - The Witness of Change
That's why you can say, "It was good for me that I was afflicted. It was good for me I thought too much of myself". Sometimes, God will bring you down so he can take you up. Oh, I know somebody in here has been brought down. Have you ever had him knock you down a peg or two? We don't testify about things like that, that don't make it to the book. Mm-hmm. Joseph, you follow his life from his birth to the pit, the pit to Potiphar's house, God gave him the grace to get out of the pit and then put him in Potiphar's house for a season. He was in Potiphar's house. Things were going well. When that season was up, he no longer had the grace to function in that environment. He's taken out of Potiphar's house and placed in prison. He was put in prison.
Don't be distracted by the fact that he's in prison because he was still prospering in prison. Don't worry about your location as long as you're prospering in your location. God can bless you in the middle of a mess. All of a sudden, he comes to the end of that era, and he's gone from the prison to the palace. What stage are you in? What stage are you in? He would have never gotten to the pit, save some man carried him, and more importantly, he wouldn't have gotten out of the pit, save some man carried him. He would have never gotten into Potiphar's house, save some man invited him, and he would have never gotten out of Potiphar's house, save Potiphar's wife lied on him, and Potiphar put him out. He would have never gotten in the prison without Potiphar assigning him to the prison, and he would have never gotten out of the prison if it had not been for the voice of the two men who witnessed, oh, there's that word, witnessed his gift in the prison and exposed his gift to somebody that had not been exposed to his gift. He would have never had that witness.
So, if you can figure out where you are, then the next thing you have to figure out is who is your witness? 'Cause if the baker and the butler had not witnessed the power of Joseph in the prison, they could have never told Pharaoh, "We know a man in the prison who is able to interpret dreams". I call them witnesses. Sometimes I call them sponsors. These are the people that take you from one season into the next season. They're sponsors. They take you where you couldn't go by yourself. I know you say you don't need anybody but the Lord, but you're wrong. You say you don't need nobody but the Lord, but you do. The Bible said, "Give, and it shall be given unto you again, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over," catch this, "shall man give unto thy bosom". God said, "I'm not gonna give it back to you. I'm gonna send it through a man," so in between each stage, there's generally a gatekeeper, somebody who introduces you to the next season in your life.
That's what my text is about. It don't seem like it, but it is. That's what my text is about. It's about a relationship that God had ordained to be a resource for Christ, to bring him into another season in his life. The relationship does not stand, does not start in the Jordan, though people talk about the Jordan all the time. Jordan River, where John is standing in the Jordan River, and his hair is standing there, blowing in the wind, and he's eating milk and wild locusts and honey and standing there in his camelhair suit, and he's standing there in the water, saying, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world". They talk about that all the time.
In the book of Acts, it talks about all that Jesus began both to do and to teach, beginning from the baptism of John. It started, it all started at the baptism of John, but the relationship started before that, you know? Anyway, the babies, Jesus, John, we know that they met in the womb. We don't see where they met no more until down here at the Jordan. So, irony is you would think that Jesus would have started his ministry with miracles. You would have thought that Jesus, being the Son of God, wouldn't need anybody to witness his ministry. I mean, you say you don't need nobody for yours, so you would think that Jesus, being God incarnate, would not need a man to ordain him or license him or point him out. He'd just start doing it because you say you don't need no man. You anointed, so I figured if you're so anointed, you don't need nobody to point you out, then surely Jesus wouldn't need anybody to point him out, but he did.
Now, Jesus did a little, little ministering in the temple, but it didn't start there. He did a little, remember when he was 12, and he went in the temple and got lost in the temple, and he ministered, confounded the doctors of the law? But it didn't start there 'cause you can't start yourself. You need a witness. You don't want to be wonderful in your own eyes, but there's a process for promotion that requires that you need a witness that authenticates it's time for a switch in your life. Don't let restlessness be your witness 'cause if you start leaving stuff because you restless, you're gonna leave your kids, your wife, your job, your church. You can't be led by feelings. You need a witness.
So, here's the interesting thing. We see nothing from 12 to 30; 18 years, silent, nothing. Jesus is just a face in the crowd. Nobody even knows who he is. In fact, they're not trying to follow Jesus. They are following John, his cousin John, the one Liz had. Yeah, Liz's boy, yeah. He getting all the engagements, getting all the dates and everything, Liz's boy. Got a strange ministry, wild locusts and honey and dressed kind of funny, Liz's boy, but they all running out there to hear Liz's boy baptizing people down there in the Jordan. Don't have but one sermon, Liz's boy, preaching the same thing every week. "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand". Next Sunday, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand". Next Sunday, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand".
Now, it don't seem like he would have had nobody in his church 'cause after about a month of hearing you preach the same thing, I would do like we do. "You know, I don't know what this means, but..". you know? But John was limited for a reason. When God doesn't give you more, it's because you don't need more to do the purpose that he's given you to do, so don't try to be more than what you are. Just be good at what you are because you're gonna fit. Anyway, the boys hadn't seen one another, 18 years. We don't know that they've seen each other for 30 years, and Jesus is in the crowd, and all of them come down to see John, and John points him out. Nobody was looking at him until John. They was pushing past him. "Excuse me, excuse me". You know how people do when it's not you they came to see.
See, there are levels. There are seasons. There are stages. You've gotta learn how to appreciate your level and your season and your stage, or you'll be frustrated trying to be something that you're not. When you come to the end of the season, there will always be a witness. This is what you've gotta get. There will always be a witness. Jesus had come to the end of 18 years of obscurity, 18 years of obscurity. He doesn't have to break out. He doesn't have to fight out. Somebody, God ordained somebody to point him out. They put the finger on him. "Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world". I don't know who I'm preaching to, but God said somebody's getting ready to put their finger on you. Whoever's supposed to hear this word, you've come to the end of one season. You are on the way to the next season. You're not gonna have to do it on your own. You won't have to do it by yourself. Somebody's getting ready to point you out, and a breakthrough is coming. I don't know who you are, but the Lord sent me here to give you this word. Pack your grip. Get your stuff ready. You're coming into a new season. Let's take 30 seconds and give him a crazy praise right now.
What's that? I'm from West Virginia, you know? There's a country song: Please release me. "Let me go. I don't love you anymore". Remember that? See, sometimes, when you get where you come to another season, people won't release you. They want to confine you to be who you were so you can't evolve to becoming who God wants you to be, but right now, for whoever I'm preaching to, you need to just command everybody around you, "Release me, release me. Release me, release me. Release me. I can't be who I was and who I am at the same time". That's the biggest mistake you can make in your life, is trying to live up to the expectations of who you used to be while you're trying to get the energy to become who God called you to be. You need to just forget those things which are behind and reach to those things which are before. You can't be backwards and forwards at the same time. Let it go.
Whoo. Glory to God. Help me preach this thing. He says, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world," and immediately, not gradually, immediately, Jesus went from the background to the forefront immediately. It's quicker when you do it God's way. When you gotta do it by yourself, it'll take you years to do it. If you wait and let God do it, it'll happen immediately. All of a sudden, the crowd cleared out, and here come Jesus, walking out of obscurity into notoriety in a flash, in a flash. Watch this. Can I go a little bit deeper? So, him and John are talking. "30 years since I saw you, cuz. What's up, man? Look just like your mama, boy. There's your grandmama's cheeks. I have big old cheeks just like grandma". And they down there in the Jordan. Jesus said to John, "Cuz, baptize me," and John said, "Oh, I can't baptize you. Look at who you are. I can't baptize you". He said, "You gotta suffer it to be so, to fulfill all righteousness 'cause it cannot be said that I made myself. No. I gotta, I gotta go through process".
If Jesus had to go through process, you gotta go through process. I gotta go through process to make this happen, but here's the irony. Look at this. Can I show you just so quickly? The boys are standing there in the Jordan, the Jordan River, you know, the salty Jordan River, the salty Jordan that flows into the Dead Sea, you know, just above the Sea of Galilee, and then there's the Jordan, and then there's the Dead Sea. Somewhere between the Sea of Galilee, there's freshwater, and the Dead Sea, where it's totally salt, the Jordan goes salty, and it flushes. It represents our sins being washed into the sea of forgetfulness, never to be remembered again, so they're standing there in the Jordan River, and they're having this conversation in the fluids, and the last time, they were in the fluids, and the last time they had got together, he was in his mama's fluids and Jesus was in his mama's fluids, and John knew that this was a destiny appointment because the Bible said it was so strong that John leaped in his mama's belly and was filled with the Holy Ghost.
Before the day of Pentecost and before the blood hit the cross, John was filled with the Holy Ghost. Elizabeth was filled with the Spirit. Zechariah's tongue came... See, when you meet the right people, it's a sign all around you. It may take 20 years, but if it's right, the contacts that he put in your life are for a reason and for a season, that out of those relationships will come the resources that open up the door to take you into the next dimension. You are not to worry about the money. It is not about the money. Your resource is gonna come through your relationship. God is gonna hook you up with the right people at the right time to take you where you have got to go. Do you hear what I'm saying to you? And your, your sponsor, your sponsor may not be related to you, but they will always be somebody who relates to you on another level. You cannot be sponsored by somebody who does not relate to you. When you meet them, they may be on a higher level, but they relate to you.
So, cousin was standing in the water with cu'in Jesus, cu'in, and they have what you would call a déjà vu moment. "Wow. Feel like I did this before". You did. Predestined, preordained before you was born. Here they are, back in the water again, only this time, it's on another level. Now, I'm going to hasten to my close, but what God is getting ready to do in your life is on another level. It's on another level. Whenever you go to the next level, you always need a sponsor who is already there because people cannot take you where they have not been. So, I'mma pray for somebody in a minute, but this is what you need to do. Always friend up because if you can friend up, you're gonna go up. Somebody up there relates to who you are without you pretending to be who you are not. This is gonna be so easy. You're not gonna have to fake it, and you won't have to be phony. You can be your authentic, who-you-are self, and they are you on the next level. That's why they invest in you, 'cause they see themselves in you, and they're trying to pull you up into the next level of where you're trying to go. Who am I preaching to? Just let me know who I'm preaching to.
So, I'm gonna keep this simple, I'm gonna keep this simple, but I want you to rest right here on this thought. John said, "I'm not that light". There are some people in this room who have to come to grips with the fact that you are not the light. Your role in history is not to be the light. You are not the man. You are the one who points to the man. Don't let people try to force you into being the man. It is better to be a great sergeant than it is to be a poor general, okay? John is happy to be who he is. We have too many church people who are frustrated, trying to be something that they are not because you're trying to find ways to be recognized and be acknowledged, and there are only certain things we acknowledge and recognize, and so you have stopped being John, and you're trying to be Jesus. John knew he was not the light, but he was good at pointing out the light. Are you understanding what I'm saying?
Do what you're good at, so your goods show you what you do. Do what you're good at, so your goods show you what you do. The level of your gifting will show you the level of your destiny. God will give you the giftings or the goods for what you are called to do. If you don't have the goods, don't do it. Listen, the most-asked question that we get over the internet, on Facebook, online, anywhere, is this whole thing about purpose. "I don't know my purpose. I don't know what I'm called to do. I don't know what my skill set is". Look at your goods, and you'll know what you're supposed to do. He will give you goods according to what he predestined you to do. If he gave you the goods to be John, and you only got one message, do that one message, and point at Jesus and say, "That's the one right there," and you will get the same "well done" as somebody who had more because you only have to give account for the level of goods you got.
I gotta find where I fit. Just because I'm not the general don't mean the army don't need me. We need privates and corporals and sergeants and lieutenants. Everybody can't do the same stuff. John was not sent here to redeem the world. He said, "I'm not the light. I'm sent to bear witness of the light". You will never know what you're sent to do until you know what you're not sent to do. "I am not this. I am not that. I am not the other, so I am this". It takes a while to know what you're not, do some dumb stuff trying to find out what you're not, get crammed in some spots you don't fit trying to find out where you do fit. You make some dumb mistakes, have some consequences, pay a price, had some babies, got in trouble, got into some perversion, got into drugs, got into all kinds of stuff, crammed in the places that were not you. Thank God you popped out. You popped out so that this stage of your life should be the best stage of your life that you ever had because you are strong enough as an individual to say, "I am not this, but I am that," and true that the doors, the doors are gonna start popping open, because when you know what you are and you know what you're not, you can do what you were created to do. Give God some kind of praise right now.