TD Jakes - Grounded In Finances
Get your Bibles and go to Ecclesiastes chapter 10, verse 19. I just want one Scripture. Ecclesiastes chapter 10, verse 19. Some of you who are Bible scholars, been in church a long time, might be familiar with this Scripture, but I bet you 80% of people in this church have never heard this Scripture in your life, Ecclesiastes chapter 10, verse 19. And it says: "A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things". "A feast is made for laughter," he said, eating and having people over, that's good times, "and wine will make you merry: but money answereth all things".
I bet you a good 50%, 60% of your prayer list could be cut off with a good check. You could wipe that right off of your list, all of those miracles you need. You don't need miracles; you need money. Getting your rent paid is not a miracle. You just need money. Being able to get a car is not a miracle. You just need money. You don't need a miracle. Miracles are for tumors that won't go away. Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. Miracles are to rebuke cancer out of your system. Miracles are healing the sick and raising the dead. I don't need a miracle to make a car payment; I need some money. Touch somebody and say, "I need some money". Money answereth all things.
If it's a thing, money can do it. There are some things that money cannot do because it's not a thing. It won't buy love. It won't buy respect. It won't bring contentment. But it will get you a coat, it will pay for your funeral, and to all of you deep people are gonna write me, I am so tired of you being deep and spiritual and then we have to pay for your funeral. We're having to raise offerings in the funeral. They're having to postpone the funeral. They're having to do all kinds of stuff because you would not be practical enough and you died in debt, and left the debt on the kids and on the kids' kids and on the kids' kids. Let me tell you something, there's nothing holy about that. It's just being blinded.
Go to Ecclesiastes 7, verse 12. I'mma get you good today. Ecclesiastes 7, verse 12 says: "For wisdom is a defense". Wisdom is a defense. When you are wise, you save yourself some trouble. A lot of things that you went through you wouldn't have had to go through if you had more wisdom. Can you see that wisdom is a defense? Somebody throw your hands up and say, "Lord, give me wisdom". Glory to God, give me wisdom, so I don't love the wrong people. Give me wisdom so that I don't trust the wrong people. Give me wisdom so that I don't make bad choices. Give me wisdom so I know when to say "No," because wisdom is a defense. Somebody say, "Lord, give me wisdom".
And then it says: "And money is a defense". It's a defense. When you're under attack, it's a defense. When the enemy's coming against you, it's a defense. When he's after your children, it's a defense. When you have money, you can get more education. When you have money, you can get more representation. When you have money, you can send 'em to better schools. When you have money, you can get 'em to the right hospital, rather than the hospital that will accept you. When you have money, you can make better choices. Touch your neighbor and say, "Money is a defense". If somebody dies and you need to get to another part of the country, you don't have to run around there and start a FundMe program to get there. When you have money, you can hop a jet and go there.
Somebody say, "Money is a defense". Throw your hands up and say, "Lord, give me some money". Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, so that I can have a defense, so that I can have a defense, so that I can have a defense, so that I can have a defense. It's important to have a defense. I don't believe that it's God's will for his children to have to ask the children of the world for help every time we get ready to do something. I don't believe that the devil will take better care of his kids than God takes care of his. I don't believe that I should have to go to some pimp to be able to pay off the church's bills. The devil is a liar. Whatever my God orders, he can pay for. So somebody say, "Money is a defense".
Throw your hands up and say, "Give me some money". If you don't get where you are clear in your prayer and clear in your request and clear in your understanding and you don't allow your religiosity to devour your ability to be specific when you pray, you're gonna miss what God has for you because some of the things that God has given you, the vision that he's given you, the assignment that he's given you, the company that he's given you, the business that he's given you, the children that he's given you, the wife that he's given you, the husband that he's given you, you're gonna need some money up in here to be able to handle what you've got.
To him who much is given, much is required. You got more given to you, more is required of you. You need more resources. You need more resources. Talk to me, somebody. There is a problem, though, it's not just about getting it because if getting it were the only thing to do, we could run out here and play the lottery and out of all of us, maybe we'd hit it or something, I don't know. We have a better chance. We can do that. But we also have to realize, understanding what to do with money when you have it. Because if you don't know what to do with it, you won't keep it. It is a statistical fact that most people who hit the lottery go broke in two years. So that clearly shows us that getting a lot of money does not cure what causes us not to have money.
Can I get into this a little bit? I wanna talk about culture and cash. I wanna understand about culture and cash, that there is a correlation between culture and cash. Our eating habits, what we eat and don't eat, what we like, what we think tastes good, what we enjoy, whether we eat fatty diets or low-fat diets, whether we eat healthy or don't eat healthy, is something that is handed down to us as children from the family we came from. I don't know about you, but I didn't grow up in a house where my mother was walking around eating a celery stick, talking about, "Ooh, this is so good". So I do not associate good food with celery sticks or carrots. How many of y'all's mama walked around the house eating raw carrots? Talking about, "Whoo, you need to taste this carrot". I don't see a hand. One hand, one hand, one hand, one hand. We did not.
So what we think is good food is handed down to us through the culture of our family. Exercise habits are handed down through our family. My father didn't wake up in the morning to do a five-mile run. I talked to a guy the other day, he wanted to train me. He said, "I'll train you". I said, "That's good". He said, "I got only slot I got open is 5 o'clock in the morning". I thought, "I'm committed, but not that committed, you know? I'm serious, but not that serious". At 5 o'clock in the morning, you can send me a video of you running. You might run while I'm shooting at you, telling you, "Get away from the door; I'm asleep".
But to people who grew up in that environment, that's normal to them. People who saw that, they embrace that as a natural. I'm not saying that I couldn't learn to do it, but it is not a part of my cultural makeup, and when I say culture, I'm not just talking about ethnicity. Everything can produce a culture. Families have cultures, Christianity is a culture, generational cultures all have influence to it, and yes, ethnicity has something to do with it as well. Our medical habits are shaped by our families, how we respond, how we deal. That's why when you go to the doctor now, your grandmother is dead and he still wants to know, "Did your grandmother have diabetes"? Most of us that grew up in a house where they talking about investments, financial portfolios. Most of us paid no attention to the stock market. Our parents didn't, we didn't. Culture has impact on how we handle money. Culture has impact on how we handle money. What you saw your parents do, what they valued, what they put stock in, becomes your values.
Now, when you take your family culture and you add our historical background, many of us are African Americans, not all, but of my ethnicity, we were the first people to come to this country with a sign up says, "We'll work for food". That was slavery. Slavery was work for food. It was work or die. It was pick cotton or get beat. You didn't get paid, you got to eat. So when we finally got freed from slavery, and we entered into an economic system for which we had no generational training... Now you're freed, now you're working for money. "Money? What is money? What do you do with money"? Hundreds of years of working for food, what do you do with money?
When you get money and you don't know what to do with money, the first thing you do is spend it. So you develop a generational of excessive spending and no saving. So you develop a culture that buys what you want and begs what you need. So you got Gucci watches on people who can't pass school books for kids. So you got more money in tennis shoes than you do in laptops. And if you don't change the culture of spending and trying to look blessed, over be blessed, you may have to compromise on looking blessed until you accomplish being blessed. You ought to be it before we see it.
Look at Haggai 1:5: "Now therefore saith the Lord of hosts; 'Consider your ways.'" Consider what's going on with you. He said, "Ye have sown much, and bring in little". In other words, for the amount of seed that you have put in the ground, these were farmers, your harvest isn't looking good. "Ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; you clothe, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put into a bag full of holes. Thus saith the Lord of hosts". He said, "No matter how much you're working overtime and undertime, still don't have nothing to show for it".
"Consider your ways". See, see, you can work yourself to death and still have nothing. But what I'm talking about is when you get blessed, you can have less work and more harvest and enjoy more life. I wish I had a witness. Can I have a witness? Can I have a witness? Somebody that'll testify that God wants to pour a blessing on you. Glory to God. Somebody that's walking in blessings, just wave at me, just wave at me. He said, "The reason that you are not profiting though you're working harder and seeing less results, you left me out. So I cut holes in your pockets. You didn't give it to me, but you had to give it to the mechanic. You didn't give it to me, but you had to pay the dentist. You didn't give it to me, but you had to pay the doctor. You still didn't profit from it 'cause I cut holes in your pocket.
Read it in your Bible. Verse 7: "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; 'Consider your ways.'" Consider your ways. "'Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build a house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified,' saith the Lord". He said, "Build my house. I'll take pleasure in it. I'll be glorified". "Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when you brought it home," he said, "I blew on it". I made it not work. He said, "Why did I do it? Because of my own house lays in waste, and ye run every man unto your house". You don't care about me. You only care about you. So I blew on what you cared about so you would understand how I feel when you ignore what I care about. I didn't write this. I didn't write this. "Therefore the heavens over you is stayed from dew".
I shut up the heavens. The blessings you were supposed to get, I shut it down. "And the earth is stayed from her fruit". The crop you should have gotten by now, I stopped it from coming. "And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labor of thy hands". 'Cause you ignored me, I ignored you. You looked not to my house, I looked not to yours. You turned your back on what I asked you for, I turned my back on what you asked me for. And you keep working harder and having less to show for it 'cause I've shut up the heavens. You can only be blessed by divine permission, and if you lose the permission, God has shut up the heavens. You've been working under closed heavens. We're about to open 'em up. We're about to open 'em up. Can I go deeper?
Now, I wanna hurry 'cause, really, this is the best part to me. I wanna juxtapose this whole notion that I tried to build up about bringing your emotions out of money and not loving money, but I wanna go to another level with this in the area of you bringing emotions into how you handle money. Having that emotional experience with how you handle money. Putting wants above needs is emotions. Putting your heart in the money. And because your heart is in the money, out of the heart flows the issues of life. So all of those cultural issues are coming through your decisions. I want this to go deep.
See, all of this is connected, all of this is connected. Everything I said is connected. All of those cultural influences from your environment, your community, your parents, your circumstances, your situation, informs your world view and informs what you care about, and when you bring your heart to your money all of those issues are coming with it, and that's why you're making emotional choices. "Consider your ways". He said, "If it's not working, consider your ways. Don't act like I'm not giving it. I'm looking for somebody to bless. Consider your ways".
Now, I want you to understand this. If you approach your future from an emotional perspective, rather than an intellectual one, you will stop this year from being everything that it could be. You want to move from an intellectual way, you wanna bring... let me see if I can draw it out with this. If I can get you to bring your heart out of your decisions, where you're not doing things from a place of dysfunction, where you're not doing things to make yourself look important, where you're not spending things trying to impress people that don't matter, where you're not overbuying so that you can fit in with the Joneses, so you stop making emotional decisions cause you to end up in debt for stuff that's not even gonna matter, for people who are gonna leave you anyway, for people who aren't gonna like you no matter what you do.
When you get through buying 'em stuff, they're not gonna be any more than they were before. I am a witness. You can help people. Sometimes the people you help the most are the very same people that stab you in the throat, and I could die if I wasn't just shocked. I'm just like, "You? You? It was you? It was", and you're sitting up here trying to figure out, "How could it be you"? Anybody understand what I'm talking about? Now, you have to understand, people who are the most successful in life don't make decisions out of their emotions because out of your emotions have all of your issues in it. It has all your issues in it. So what the purpose of this initial class and getting you grounded in your finances, I'm trying to get your heart out of it, I'm trying to get your heart out of your money, that's point one.
The other point, I'm trying to get your mind to your money. Bring your mind to your money. Yes, sir, it is. It works for me. Bringing your mind to it brings intent to it, so you're gonna bring intent and you're gonna bring intelligence and you're gonna set priorities that are not based on emotional places as to where I am at this season in my life. Young man, I've got a whole life in front of me, I need to make certain choices that are different than a more seasoned person who's getting ready to retire. This might not be the best time for me to buy a house. Making decisions that are based on intellect rather than heart will bring the debt down and the profit up. Can I go a little bit deeper into this 'cause I want you to see this? See, see, what I'm trying to get you to do is what God wants, I believe God wants, is for you to maximize what he's given you.
I had a brother years ago, if I called his name, you'd know exactly who I was talking about. And I had this suit, yeah. It's about 30 years ago. About 30, exactly, years ago. Brother Fraser, you know exactly who I'm talking about, too. About 30 years ago, I was living on, Road, had this burgundy pinstripe suit. It was gray on one side, it was burgundy on the other. It was clean. It was clean. It was clean. I was clean. And one of the brothers in my church didn't have any clothes, good clothes, stuff like that. And I had this suit and I couldn't wear it anymore. I gave it to him. I gave it to him. He really needed clothes, I could tell he needed clothes real bad. And I was happy to give it to him. When I saw him out cutting grass in my suit. Pray for me. I still have a little bit against that brother, 30 years later. Can you believe he cut grass in my suit pants? I started to throw something.
You know why I was angry? You didn't maximize what I gave you? You didn't value what I gave you? You didn't appreciate what I gave you? That's what God wants to know. You're asking for more. He's asking, "What have you done with what I gave you"? You want this mind, you want a mindset to be in you, a sober, strong mind that's dealing with facts and not feelings. You can't budget your money by feelings. You can't work out of depression. That's why whenever the enemy wants to bring a curse on you, he sends a spirit of depression. Because anytime you start getting depressed about something, you can't fix it. You lose your strength when you get depressed. You lose your encouragement when you get depressed. You lose your creativity when you get depressed. The enemy doesn't have to do anything but depress you and frustrate you and you can't think of a way out.
And some of you have been in a catatonic state financially for years, but I break the curse that's over your mind right now in the name of Jesus. Somebody shout, "Yes"! It's a demon that tells you you can't get up. It's a demon that tells you your life can't be better. It's a demon that says you're in and you can't get out. The devil is a liar. If the person next to you got up, you can get up. If you know anybody that got up, you can... look at your neighbor and say, "I can get up. Don't make me have to show you what I'm working with. I can get up. You think I can't make it without you? The devil is a liar". High-five somebody and say, "Lord, he's preaching to me".
You don't need anybody who left you. You don't need anybody who forsook you. God never uses who left. God's gonna use somebody who stayed. Testify to somebody and tell 'em, "My blessing is coming, my blessing is coming, my.."..Shout "Hallelujah". I got good news for you. Your enemy doesn't have control over your future. Your neighbors don't have control over your future. Your family doesn't have control over your future. Deuteronomy 8:18 said: "It is God that gives you the power to get wealth". Slap somebody and say, "I got the power". If you got the power, the provision is coming. I got the power. Oh, I heard hell tremble. Slap somebody and tell 'em, "I got the power".