TD Jakes - Pregnant Pause
And so, he goes to the house of Abinadab and he gets the Ark of the Covenant, where it has rested for over 20 years. For over 20 years, God, in the mountains of Israel, has been homeless, and Israel has been godless, so this is a blessed reunion. This is a blessed reunion. This is Romeo and Juliet. This is a coming together of lovers lost, and David is leading the way, and he brings the Ark of the Covenant up on a new cart. He employs the help of Abinadab's sons, Ahio and Uzzah, and he brings back the glory and what you have to see is he has at least 30.000, that's just men, with him, so let's just guesstimate. Sixty thousand people are following him down a seven-mile road, a seven-mile biblical road, Palestinian road.
Can you imagine what it is like to have 60.000 people on a road you couldn't drive a truck through? No interstates. No highways. Sixty thousand people. Every village along the way is standing aghast, "What is that guy, look, look". Back down the road for miles are people following David, and this is his moment to show how he is different from other people, and his cause is good. He wants to bring back the glory. Nothing wrong with his cause. He got a new cart. He got Ahio and Uzzah. He got a band. They started playing music. People are waving banners. "Here he comes the new president, the new king, the new pastor," and there is nothing worse than having a problem when you're new. When you're old and you're established and you've been around for a while, an established church can withstand a blow. Nobody wants a blow, but if you've been around a long time you've established yourself enough.
There are some folks that will stand by you, but when you're new and you run into a crisis, it could be fatal, and everybody is looking at him and all of a sudden he stumbles. Well, let me be fair. He didn't really stumble. The ox stumbled. The ox stumbled. The ox stumbled and the ark slid, and Uzzah reached out to grab it, and God got mad and killed Uzzah, and David got mad 'cause God killed Uzzah, and he was frustrated because he started good and he stumbled. The stumble is inevitable. The stumble happens for correction. You cannot lead without having a stumble. I know all the prophets have prophesied to you the blessing of the Lord is gonna overshadow you, and it's gonna get you, and it's gonna knock you out. The church is gonna explode in 20 minutes, and this is gonna happen.
Let me adjust this prophecy just a little bit. In between you and the fulfillment of that prophecy is gonna be a stumble. I want all the senior statesmen who have lived through a stumble to just holler at your boy. Who would have thought that the ox would stumble? If anybody ought to be used to walking on dirt roads, it ought to be oxes. Have you ever had a problem in the most unlikely place? Everything you thought you'd have to go through, you never had to go through it, but in the very place that you knew you had it tight all hell broke loose. The stumble occurs and the Bible just notates that it occurs at the threshing floor. This is no accident. The threshing floor is the place where the harvesters would bring the wheat to separate the chaff from the wheat, what makes it and what doesn't, what's bread and what isn't. It removes the stalk and the inedible portions of the plant so that the only thing left is that which matters.
Now, the ox did good, till it got to the threshing floor. It was walking real good, they were singing real good, they were waving banners real good, till they get to the threshing floor. You don't know what you got as a leader till you get to the threshing floor. See, now when I look at people, I'm looking at them not to see are you doing good now, but are you tough enough to make it through the threshing floor? Could you make it if all your followers left you and they start cussing you on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram? Could you make it if you couldn't wear your suits and your little cute jeans and stuff? Could you make it if all hell broke loose? Could you make it if your child got pregnant? Could you make it if your name was in the paper? Could you make it if things went wrong? Could you make it through the threshing floor? Somebody in here has been through the threshing floor.
See, the stumble is necessary because the stumble will let you know what you got wrong. The start doesn't tell you what you got wrong. The stumble tells you what you got wrong. Now, the ox stumbled, the ark slid, Uzzah snatched it, and he died. This is perplexing, because why does God kill a man for trying to help? When you come to the stumbling place, you have to adjust the strategy to survive. I had a young man go through a death of a loved one, and he was asking me, "Explain to me why this happened. Explain to me why it happened". I told him, "It's not important why it happened. Right now you just gotta survive it". See, when you go into crisis mode, you have to adjust your expectation to, you know, "If I can just survive it. If I can just put one foot in front of another. If I can one day at a time, sweet Jesus". I don't know who I'm talking to right now, but you came here in the middle of a crisis, and God said, "All you gotta do is standing yourself and survive it".
The stumbling place makes you assess the damage. Before stumbling you're assessing the destiny, but when you stumble you stop assessing destiny, and you start assessing the damages. And when you start assessing the damages, inevitably you want to understand what caused this. The reason you wanna know what caused it is so you can avoid that from ever happening again, so the first thing that begins to untangle the mystery is this cart. Says you're going about the right thing, but you're using the wrong tools. Every time you wanna get a breakthrough, you figure who you can call, never realizing that you were enough. Your stumble occurs when you start thinking you need what you don't need. Your faith isn't talent and tools and techniques. Where is your God? Where is your God, pastor?
John the Baptist didn't have none of that. You think your ministry is held up 'cause you don't have the right building, you don't have the right worship team, you don't have the right musician, you didn't graduate from college, or you didn't graduate from the right college. The reason that I'm frustrated with David is because David should know better than to think he needed these tools. God had already designed a way to be carried. He had meant for staves to be in the Ark of the Covenant, because if you put staves in the Ark of the Covenant and you've got the priests carrying the staves on their shoulders, there is something with which the weight is distributed in such a way that just because one person stumbles you don't lose the cart. So, I'm not sure that God was as mad at Uzzah as he was with David, but sometimes God has to kill your Uzzah to get your attention. "You wouldn't listen at me long as you had Uzzah," which brings me to the next point.
You had the wrong tools. Number two, you had the wrong people. Why do you have Uzzah anyway? What does Uzzah know about glory? Uzzah was Abinadab's boy. Abinadab was a heathen. You got Ahio and Uzzah up front, so when you're stumbling you need to check yourself out, because sometimes we stumble because we put the wrong people upfront. Have you put the wrong people up front and now you think you're supposed to convert what God wants to correct? Because don't forget you got 60.000 people behind you while you're trying to convert what God wants to correct and when you have the wrong people up front it bottlenecks the entire organization. If you keep having a lot of problems in a particular department, it is a sign something is out of place. My whole foot was throbbing like 9.000 demons had jumped on my foot, and it was a little, tiny spur out of place. A little thing out of place will cause big pain. I know it's not there now 'cause the pain stopped. Anywhere you're having pain in your organization, something is out of place. You'll know when you get it right, because when you get it right the swelling will go down and the pain will cease. The pain is a blessing. It is your body warning you, you got a Uzzah.
See, we're talking about wrong tools, we're talking about wrong people, and they had come to the wrong place. See, I can understand if the cart is the problem and the people are the problem. Why did it make it this long? And this is the problem with any tradition. Any tradition that lasts a while, we think that because it has survived, it is right, and it works till you got to the threshing place. When you get to this place, it will show up what needs to be corrected. Can I go deeper? God got mad. David got mad. David is angry because he thinks it's about Uzzah. It was never about Uzzah. It was about his leadership, the competency of his leadership, and the threshing floor was just before you got back to Jerusalem, and God said, "If I don't fix it now, you're not gonna be ready for what I'm about to do in your life.
I had to stop you right here and correct it because you are so close to your destiny. That if I let you go in with those heathens up front, it would assassinate and contaminate every promise that I was gonna do in your life, and I had to stop you right here and correct it before you go a step farther". So, we dealt with the start, we dealt with the stumble, and then came the silence. Uzzah is dead, God is angry, and David is angry, too. It's funny, 'cause in the silence his anger turns. At first the Bible says he's angry and then it says he's afraid. Isn't it funny how men camouflage every emotion with anger? God started moving in the silence of David's anger, unmasked the fact that beneath his anger he is afraid. He is afraid of the Lord. He reverences him, but he's also afraid of him. I don't blame him for being afraid. He just killed a guy standing next to me. That would make you a little nervous, okay?
God starts dealing with what is at the core of him that is stopping him from making the shift. He's got to get to the root of the problem, so David leaves the Ark of the Covenant in the house of Obed-Edom, and God says, "Good". He gets in the house of Obed-Edom, and he starts blessing the house of Obed-Edom, because one of God's greatest ministries is jealousy. Watch this. Watch this. Watch this. When God wants to shift you and humble you, he'll let you hear about somebody else that he's blessing. Somebody say, "Oh, you can't prove that. You can't prove that". When God wanted Hannah to know that her barrenness was not the end, he started blessing Peninnah to have baby after baby after baby, and the more God blessed Peninnah the more Hannah got frustrated. Finally, Hannah comes into church and says, "I'm not leaving outta here until I get a Word from God".
I hope you are jealous. I hope you came here upset. I hope it gets on your nerve to see the church down the street and the people down the road and the marriage over here and the kids over there doing well, because maybe it will make you fall down on your knees and lay before God and say, "God, give me a child, lest I die". Somebody holler, "I want it now". He did it with Jacob and Esau. He did it with the elder brother and the younger brother. When the elder brother heard of the party that was going on inside of the father's house, he got upset, "How come you didn't do it for me"? And the father said, "You coulda had it all the time, but you didn't make the shift. You didn't make the shift". You have to speak up. You have to open up. You have to open up, sir. You have to open up. You have to give the part of yourself that men don't like to give. You have to do this from your heart and not from your head, and so God many times has to crush you to open up your heart so that he can get the glory out of your life. Can I get an amen?
He did it with Israel and the church. The only reason the church exists is to get on Israel's nerves. Read the book of Romans. You'll see how God uses the church to provoke Israel to jealousy. Does he want the jealousy? No, he's trying to stir you up to say there is more for you. There is more for you. Don't believe what the doctor said. You're not as barren as you think you are. Let me get this out. Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord. He said, "Tell them this. There is a narrative over your city that says that no great works can be done in that city". And whenever you hear ministries going forth, you say, "It may work in Dallas, it may work in Chicago, but it will never work in," fill in the blank. Whatever that spirit is, that is a lying demon from the pit of hell. God said, "I am the same God in your city. I'm just as able to bless you as I am anybody else. All you need to do is make the shift".
Touch somebody and say, "Shift". I prophesy to you there has been a pause in your life, there has been a silence in your life, there has been a routine and a ritual that has persisted in your life, the light has gone out in your eyes, the passion has gone out in your heart, and the devil has said this is it, but I want you to know that your pause is pregnant, and God is gonna bring something out of the silence of your life that's gonna break every yoke, every chain, and every fetter. Touch your neighbor and say, "Get ready for a shift". You're gonna shift in your tools, you gotta shift in the quality of the people you got, you gotta shift in your mentality, you gotta shift in your disposition, but God brought you here to stir you up. You haven't seen the half of what God is about to do in your life.