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TD Jakes - Step It Up


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I'm gonna give you some steps today and I'm gonna spend sometime laboring through some steps that I see that people often avoid that causes them not to get to the place that they need to be. Bear in mind that our theme is "Positioning Yourself to Prosper". Step one, planning, planning, planning. Planning is the first step we're gonna talk about, planning. Because if you're gonna prosper, and prosperity is more than money. If you're gonna prosper in your marriage, if you're gonna prosper with your children, if you're gonna prosper in school, if you're gonna prosper in your business, you have to have a plan. You have to plan. Be sure you jot this down, success is intentional. Nobody succeeds by accident. You don't get a Heisman trophy and you say, "I don't know how I got this, oh Lord. I don't know how I got it".

You don't break a world record running a relay and say, "I just fell across the line. I just happened to be out here eating a hotdog. I tripped and got the prize. I didn't even know they was running a race 'til today, and I just jumped up, changed my clothes, and ran down here. I just happened to", no, they plan to win. Some of 'em been planning all of their life. They've been getting ready to win. They've got different techniques, but success is intentional. You won't get a degree by accident. "You're gonna give me a degree? Get out of here. Whoa, I can't believe it". "You mean I lost 50 pounds? I wasn't even trying. Oh gosh, oh, this is my day. I just woke up this morning and it was gone, oh, oh, oh". Nothing is gonna change by accident. Nothing is gonna change by accident. You have to have a plan. Planning is everything.

And see, this is something that spiritual people are not taught. We're taught to pray but not to plan. And so, we get stuck in the prayer mode. "I'm praying about it, child". "What you doin'"? "I'm praying about it. Oh, yes, Lord, I'm praying. The devil is a lie, I'm praying". But faith without works is dead, being alone. God never told you to pray and go sit down and do nothing. You have to have a plan and a strategy. For every place you wanna succeed, you need a plan, for every area you plan to succeed. Plans are so important in business, they will give you millions of dollars because of your plan. They want a seven-year projection of what you expect to do over the next seven years. They wanna hear your plan. They will give you millions of dollars based on a good plan. Inventors become millionaires because they have a plan. They don't have a factory, they don't have a plant, they don't have technical ability, but they have a plan of implementation, and if the plan is effective enough, money will come to the plan.

You need a plan. I'm not talking about a pipe dream, something that doesn't have details, but I mean a strategic, comprehensive, inclusive plan that enables you to get ready for the next shift. You have to plan to stay married. My wife, who incidentally is not feeling good today, sends her love to you, but she's not feeling good. Nothing serious, she's just not feeling good today, but we will soon be married 25 years. That wasn't by accident. That didn't just happen. You do that on purpose. "Y'all are just blessed people. Y'all are just, oh, y'all just so spiritual. I wish we just had a marriage like y'all have". Shut up, you don't know anything about us. You have to plan to be together. A conscious act of your will where you just decide I'm going home, and I'm going back home tonight, and I'm going back home tonight, through different seasons, and stages, and ages, and going home when you're happy, and going home when you're not happy, and going home when it's working, and going home when it's not working, and the weeks become moths, and the months become years, and the years become decades.

Success is intentional. After a while, you're looking across the room and somebody having a golden anniversary, and celebrating your anniversary together, and you're saying, "I can't believe we made it," but it's a series of little steps. Little steps, planning, making a plan. For every area you expect, and I don't wanna spend too much time on this, 'cause I get on this, I can stay a long time. But in my own life, I have short range and long-range goals for myself, I always have. I have a plan of where I wanna be ten years from now. If God would appear in my room and say, "Where do you wanna be at 55"? I could immediately spout it out because I've thought about it. Somebody, "I don't know, Lord, let me think". You move, you lose. You gotta have a plan, a strategy, a long-range plan for your life. How can you determine success if you don't have a plan? How will you measure whether you're successful or not? Many of you are prey to the opinions of the people, because they're opinion is your goal. Your whole goal is to change their mind.

Well, if you change their mind, what difference will it make? Anybody getting anything? I'm gonna give you a second step. I'm gonna give you a second step, positioning, positioning, positioning. Watch people who really become successful, they position themselves. Go back and read about different people's career, who made it, in any level, in any type of business. Watch how they position themselves. Oprah was a weather girl or something on the news, but she was around it. She was just around it doing news. She was around it. Meeting the people who play, just being around, positioning yourself. Are you positioning yourself in alignment with your dream? Positioning yourself, I see 'em moving on the chess board of life all the time, getting ready to do things, just positioning themselves. You have to get ready to do it before you do it. You have to get ready to do it before you do it. You have to get ready to do it before you do it. You gotta look like you're it before you're it.

God anointed David to be king while he was still a shepherd boy, positioning him, moving him into place. He told Samuel, "I got a man," nobody even knew who David was. God told Samuel, "I got a man down there in Jesse's house, find him, I'm gonna anoint him to be king". Samuel went down to Jesse's house and anointed David to be king, and David was still working that same little dumb job that he had before, but he had oil on his head that was positioning him. And rumors started getting out, "They say David is gonna be king". "I heard David is gonna be king". "I heard Samuel came down to", "Samuel at Jesse's house"? All that's positioning. People ought to be gossiping about where you're going. They ought to be gossiping about where you're going. I wish I had some folks here from years ago. When I was growing up in the church, I wasn't even an ordained minister yet. I wasn't licensed, an originally unlicensed minister, and they used to talk about me like a dog. "We can't stand Minister Jakes".

That's right, Minister Jakes. "He's walking around testifying and standing all up like he a bishop or something". I wasn't no bishop, I was just driving the bishop. I was hanging up the bishop's underwear and all that kinda stuff, but I was around and positioning myself around people who were doing what you wanna do. Find somebody who's doing what you wanna do. Get around them and learn everything you can, 'cause you're positioning yourself. I know they gonna call you a flunky, and they're gonna say you look like a fool, and they're gonna say you don't have to take all of that, that's because they don't understand you're positioning yourself. Glory to God, who am I talking to? One of the things I learned as a parent that we have to do with our children is aim them at something. The Bible said children are like arrows in the hand of a mighty man. Arrows are only effective when they're pointed at something. You position 'em in a direction. "This is where you're gonna go". Aim at the moon. You may only hit the stars, but at least be aiming. Don't be aiming, "Baby, that's too low, that's all you want"? Is that all you want? Position yourself.

I told one of my mentees who was arguing about a pay raise, I said, "Stop arguing about it. If you get the raise, it isn't gonna help you". "They ain't give me no raise. They ain't give me no raise. I want a raise, a thousand dollars on the year". What is a thousand dollars on a year? Uncle Sam gonna take $500, divide it by 12, what you got left? Don't waste time fighting about something that ain't gonna change your life one way or the other. If you're gonna fight, fight for a double increase. I need to make twice this. I'm gonna be off this soon. I know church folk don't like this kinda carnal stuff. Could it be possible that your dream is too small? If it's easily attained, it's too small. If it doesn't require planning and positioning, it's too small. If you're satisfied to just sit up and this is all you want, it's too small.

You need to position yourself for something that you couldn't do without having to position yourself, understanding that the limitations you have will not stop you from reaching your goal. Good God, I feel something about to break loose in here. Get the Gospel of Luke chapter 19 verse 1-10, this is good right here. This is good, Lord have mercy. Glory to God, oh, God. Luke 19:1-10, Matthew, Mark, Luke. Luke 19:1-10, touch your neighbor and say, "This is your year to position yourself". That means that God has put you in the bow, you're his arrow. He's pulling you back, he's getting ready to release you in a direction you have never gone before. You're God's child, he's positioning you to hit something that you've never hit before. Oh, it's a setup.

I don't know who I'm preaching to, but you had to be here this morning. God is setting you up. See, you gotta understand, see, there is a reason you had to be in this class. There are people in here, while many of you are getting blessed, there are some people in here who aren't getting anything. "Lord, what is he talking about? What in the world is going on"? They on their cellphone in the back, they sitting up here playing Gameboys in the corner, you know why? They're not going anywhere. I'm not talking to them, I'm talking to you, because God is positioning you. It's nothing against them, they can't hear what I'm saying, 'cause they're not ready yet. It may be two years later, they'll get that tape and say, "Lord, did you hear Bishop teaching on positioning yourself"? They're asleep right now, but to all of you that are awake, whoo, get ready, get ready, get ready, get ready, get ready. High-five somebody and say, "I'm awake now"!

You went through some hell last year that woke you up. You say, "I'm awake now, I am ready now. I have got my priorities right now, I am awake". Sit down, calm down, we're just talking. Luke 19, whoo, I feel you, I feel you. Whoo, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, that's right. God's getting ready to shake up some things on the job, in your neighborhood. God's getting ready to shake up some things. He's repositioning you, he's realigning you, he's getting you set up for a takeover. Whoo, y'all sit down. Y'all gonna make me shout, don't do that. Number three, partnering. You'll never get there by yourself. You'll never get there by yourself. If you got a great vision, if you got a real vision, I mean, you can make a pound cake. If your vision is to make a pound cake, you can make one by yourself.

"I got a vision of making a pound cake". You don't need no partner. But if you got a vision to be Sara Lee, it's one thing to bake a cake, it's another thing to open up Duncan Hines. If the vision is big, you need partners. Good partners complete, they do not compete. Good partners complete, they do not compete. You don't need a partner who's good at what you're already good at. You need a partner who's strong where you're weak. If you're a great visionary, you need a partner who's very systemic and detail-oriented. If you're systemic and detail-oriented, you need a partner who's a visionary. And don't complain because they don't get into what you're into. "You never see about the details," "That's why I got you". "You never can see anything that's not on that ledger". "That's why I got you". They complete, they don't compete.

Where can we best learn this? In your marriage. Most marriages fail because one person is busy trying to make the other person be like them. I hit something that time. Because most people think basically that they are right. They really do think they're right rather than understanding that they are a part of a right. A person called me this morning and said, "I'm getting ready to go on TV and they're gonna ask me a question about the old civil rights leaders versus the new civil rights leaders, which ones are right and what do you think I should say"? I said, "Both," I said, "Tell 'em that if the old ones hadn't of done what they did, the new ones couldn't do what they do right now. Tell 'em it's not an either or an or, it's a both, and a we, and a us, and not a them and a us". Don't let people divide you, you need all of it.

Are you following what I'm saying? Is anybody getting anything out of this? How many understand you need a partner? When I talk about the power of partnerships, there's something you need to understand. If God gives you a partner, whether it's a business partner, or a personal partner, a partner for living, doesn't necessarily mean that you can make them the other. You can't make the person who's a partner for life necessarily become a partner in business. There are people that you can love with, but you can't work with. Most people fail at business partnerships because they try to make the partnership in business become a personal relationship. And just because we do business together doesn't mean that I wanna each chicken wings with you. Don't make it something that it is not. Keep it what it is. When you partner, you reduce burdens 'cause you share the load.

When you partner, you add resources and intellect, skill and contacts, because your partner should have contacts with people and things that you don't have. God promises to reward sound partnerships. "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them". If any two of you agree, it's touching anything on earth. God said if you get two people to agree, that's an agreement, that's a contract, on anything, God said I'm in the middle of it to bless you. You gotta have a partner who has the same goals as you do. You gotta have the same goals. If we're gonna open up a Christian beauty shop, you can't be an atheist. If we're gonna be crack dealers, It's a crude example, but you get the point.

You understand what I'm saying. This is good, this is good, this is good. I'm gonna stop with this. I'm gonna stop with this. Y'all crazy, see, y'all did this to me last week. They did this to me, is it okay? I see people, particularly since I've been in Dallas, I've been amazed at people who partner with people who have nothing to offer. You broke and I'm broke. You living from hand to mouth and I'm living from hand to mouth, and we got an idea, we gonna partner. I'm broke, I barely got enough money to invest, and you tell me to invest it in a neighborhood that's going down. You wanna partner with somebody who adds something. And the addition is not always money. Sometimes it's influence, sometimes it's visibility, sometimes it's contact. You gotta partner with somebody who adds something to the deal.

That's why marriages go sour, 'cause one day you roll over and look at them, and you think, "What are you adding? You ain't adding nothing. Sitting over there slobbering all over yourself and snoring, you're getting on my nerves". Simple stuff our mothers told us would help us a whole lot. My mother used to tell us when you stay at somebody else's house, make 'em miss you when you're gone. Add something while you're there, don't just sit up there and suck up food, and drink up water, add something, so that when you're gone, they say, "If you would have been there, something would have been done". If you were to leave, what would we miss? The only number that doesn't add anything when it's added to an equation is a zero, and when you hook up with zeros, they add nothing to the equation.

If I am not bettered by our association, we can be friends, but we can't be partners, because you ought to add something to the equation. If you were to leave, what would we lose? That's what I said to a brother who said, "I'm now like you". I said, "What did that add"? You had to hear the whole conversation, but it was good. It was good, it was a bell-ringing conversation. What did that add? What did that add? I hear most people who are struggling to get up, they're wrestling with stuff that don't even matter. They're trying to prove things that are not important. They're trying to straighten out people that if they changed, how would it help you? If they all supported you, how would it affect you?

Partnerships are for people who bring something to you, who contribute something, who add something that you could not otherwise do on your own. And if you partner with somebody who doesn't add something to you, I guarantee you it's only a matter of time before you're gonna resent them, because you're gonna outgrow the relationship. Oh, God, that's worth the tape series right there. You're gonna outgrow", Oh, she's so fine. She's so fine. She ain't got a thought in her head, but she cute". You walking, sound like a bell ringing, clink-clink, clink-clink, clink-clink, "But she's fine". After a while, you gonna get tired of that. They add nothing to you. You know why I tell you this? Because life is hard, life is real hard, and the older you get, the harder it gets. And even though you don't feel like you need any help at 20, by the time you get 40, brother like me gonna need some help up in this mug right now. It is hard, it is tough, and you ain't seen nothin' yet. It gets harder every year, every decade, every stage becomes more challenging, and you need associations with people that contribute to you.

Here are some quick tests. If you're the smartest person in your circle, you're in the wrong circle. If you are the go-to person in your circle, you have outgrown the circle. You're the end-all, know-it-all person, that means you have outgrown the circle, it's time to move to the next level. You know what you're saying? That means that everybody in your life is pulling from you. That's why you're going through mood swings, that's why you're frustrated, that's why you're depleted, that's why you're tired all the time. Everybody's making withdrawals, nobody's making deposits. You're in the wrong circle, you gotta step on up to the next level and move into the next dimension where you gotta learn something, where you gotta grow, where you are challenged again. If you're the smartest man in the room, you're in the wrong room.
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