TD Jakes - I Dare You
That's what makes God say, "You're my friend". When you can stand there broke, busted, and disgusted and tell a realtor, "I'm going shopping for a house," God says, "You're my friend". Y'all don't hear what I'm talking about. When you can lay hands on your own kidneys and command them to function, God says, "You're my friend". If you can see the invisible, you can do the impossible, God says, "You are my friend because you didn't stagger at the promise and you dared to believe me for things that seem impossible". Glory to God. And you're living as a result of your faith in God.
Every time I catch my eye over the corner and I look at you, I remember you with that neck brace all around your neck up in the hospital, body all twisted, doctor saying, "We don't know how things are going to be". And he's laying up in the hospital when I got there and he said, "I'm going to be all right, bishop. I'm in faith". You don't necessarily have to look at Abraham to see faith. There are some men in this room that the enemy tried to snuff them out, but they are here today as a testimony of God's faith in their life. Abraham believed God. He didn't stagger at the promise, but he dared to believe that the unbelievable was possible, the inconceivable could be made tangible, the abstract could be made concrete. Abraham believed God and God blessed him.
I'm wondering if there are any blessed men in the house. Oh, it ain't but 12 of them. I thought it might be more than that. I'm wondering if there's any blessed, been-through-hell and I-made-it men in the house. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Ain't it funny of anybody who want to marry you after you get your stuff together, everybody winking and blinking at you now that you got a job, everybody all up in your face 'cause you got a car that's all shined up, but you need somebody who believe God with you while you're riding a bicycle. You need God, oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. You need somebody to believe God with you with all hell. I wish I had some surviving men. God will be doing some things in this place.
Oh, yes. I am amazed at the people today who tell me every day what God told them, "And God told me this. And God told me to tell you that. God told me this this morning. I was drinking coffee and God told me this. I was eating a donut and God told me this and told me to get some more sugar out of the cabinet. And God told me to drink Kool-Aid for 3 days. And God's always talking to them every 5 minutes".
I think they're loony. I think they're loony. I think they're loony because in the Bible, there were only a few times in the space of Abraham's life that God spoke to him, and they were at pivotal points in your life. God doesn't run off at the mouth or chatter at the frivolities of men. God doesn't talk to hear himself speak because God's Word has power, and wherever God says something, something is going to happen. And when God speaks to you, it take you a while to walk out the Word he gave you last year. Some of you are still walking in the revelation of something God told you 9 months ago. Occasionally, not often, occasionally, God would call out of heaven at Abraham, "Abraham". Whenever God calls out of heaven, he interrupts human affairs, puts everything on hold. "Abraham".
In fact, when God calls out of heaven, he will call your name twice. "Abraham, Abraham". Whenever God calls your name twice, it's a sign of covenant. "Moses, Moses, take off your shoes for the ground you're standing on is holy ground". Y'all don't hear what I'm saying to you. "Joshua, Joshua". Whenever God calls your name twice, it's a sign of covenant. "Surely, surely. Verily, verily". Whenever God says it twice, it's a sign of covenant. In fact, David said, "Once has he spoken it, twice have I heard it. Power belongs to God". What David says is that it's not so much that God says it twice. He said when God shouts it in heaven, it echoes on earth.
That's why we pray, "Thy will be done on earth," boom, boom, "as it is in heaven". That's why Job said, "My witness is in heaven and my record is on high". If it's a mine in the heavenliest, it's a mine in the earth realm. "Moses, Moses. Abraham, Abraham". Occasionally, God would call Abraham's name, arrest all human affair, invade our space, and say, "I'm getting ready to bring a change in your life".
Have you ever had God disrupt your life? Oh, people used to tell me that if you just accept Christ, everything just go smoothly. And brother, the only reason your life is in chaos is because you're not a Christian. And if you're ever a born again Christian, God will smooth out all the rugged places and everything just goes fine. I don't know who they're serving, but the God I serve will disrupt your whole life. He'll scream out of heaven at you and arrest everything. Just when you got everything calm and fixed up the way you want it to be and you think everything is going to be all right, "Abraham". Occasionally, God would call out of heaven to Abraham.
The one thing Abraham had going for him was the ability to hear his God. He would hear God's will. "Get out of your country. Leave your crazy kin folks alone. I'm getting ready to sanctify you and set you apart, and your relatives are not going to understand what I'm going to do in your life". Ain't it funny how you can be related to people who are not connected to you? God said, "Where I'm getting ready to take you, you can't take all your friends and your running partner and your buddies. I'm getting ready to take you into a brand new dimension".
Abraham left everything that was familiar to him, walking toward the unfamiliar. "Abraham, where are you going"? "I'm not exactly sure". "Where are we going to stay"? "I really don't know". "What city are you looking for"? "I don't know, but I'll know it when I get there. I'm looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. I'm looking to see something on the outside that looks like what I see on the inside. I see something on the inside that I'm not seeing on the outside, but I will keep on walking until I see on the outside what I have believed on", Abraham had faith.
Now I want to say to my brothers and sisters, if you look outside of your life and you don't see on the outside what God showed you on the inside, keep on walking. You're not there yet. Don't settle for a counterfeit, watered-down mediocre existence when God has promised you abundant supernatural blessings on the inside. You may go through it, but for God's sake, go through it. Don't get stuck in it. Keep on walking till you walk out of it, and you got to be able to walk through some stuff and say, "This ain't it. This ain't it either. I know this ain't it. I may not know where it is, but I know where it ain't". Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. "I know this is not it. I gotta keep moving".
He'd waited all of his life for a child. He's now an old man. He's married to an old wrinkled woman. It ceased to be with her after the manner of life and out of her dead, barren, wounded, wrinkled womb. Her breasts have deflated, all hopes of pregnancy is gone, and all of a sudden she starts to get a flutter in her stomach because God does not look at your situation to determine how he's going to bless you. In fact, God will bless you at moments in your life when everything around you says, "This is the wrong time for me to be walking into this blessing". But the right time is when God says it's the right time, and Abraham stepped to that blessing.
My wife's mother had five children. My wife had five children. My mother had five children, two of them died and three of them lived. All of them had five children. The child before me, in between my sister and I, died before my mother could birth her, and the child after me was born dead. Her name was Marinette and she was born dead, and I was born in between two dead children; and the enemy tried to take me out, but I lived. My mother carried me in her arms, wouldn't set me down for a moment anywhere because she was determined that the enemy wasn't going to take this child away.
And all of the passion and love and drive that she would have put in those two of my siblings had died in between me, she forced into me because she was a woman who had been through sorrow enough that when God finally did give her something, she had an insatiable love for it. It ain't funny how God knows how to put you in certain situations to force you to incubate. So if God knew what I was going to have to face and what I was going to have to deal with and he set me up in a nurturing environment, and you don't just get that nurturing naturally. Sometimes you have to go through hell to be a good nurturer. When you get through loosing stuff and God finally does give you something, you're so glad to get what God gave. You don't let nobody take this away.
You say, "Oh no, baby. I already been through too much hell. If God ever bless me again, I'm going to hold on to this". And some people said I was spoiled, but you know, I like to think that she was careful with me. Yeah, she was careful with me. Can you imagine how careful Abraham must have been, old man finally had the one child of his dream, how careful he must have been with Isaac? Can you imagine how it must have gone against everything he'd ever been taught when God spoke to him and said, "Take now thy son, thy only son, and take him to a mountain and offer him up as a burnt offering"?
And Abraham, if it would have been me, I would have said, "Look, we need to talk about this. I mean, I'm religious and everything. You cool, but now I don't know about this burning-up-my-child stuff. This is new doctrine. Yeah. And honestly, nobody else in the Scriptures said you asked to do this. Yeah. And so I rebuke this. This ain't God. This ain't God. This can't be God". Has God ever asked you to do something and it cost you so much you said, "No, this ain't God". But Abraham didn't do that. God called out Abraham out of heaven and said, "Abraham, take now thy son, thy only son, and offer him up as a burnt sacrifice". Abraham went right in the house and said, "Pack the boy some lunch. Me and the lad got to go". Took Isaac by the arm and said, "Come on, we going to the mountain". "Where are we going, daddy"? He said, "I'm not sure". He said, "Dad, I see the knife, I see the wood". He said, "Where's the sacrifice"? Father looked at him and said, "God should provide the sacrifice".
Walked him all the way up to, through the land of Moriah to what would later be called Golfers Mountain and laid him out on a rock and raised a knife to slay his only son, walking in the level of obedience that he knew. And just when he got ready to slay his son, the Bible said God called out of heaven and said, "Abraham, stay your hand". Said, "Don't panic. It's just a test. I just wanted to know that if I would ask you, you would do it. I just needed to know that you were obedient enough that if I would ask you a hard thing that you would comply". He said, "Look over your shoulder. Behold, I've got a ram tied in the thicket".
You know, God's always got something tied up for you. When you walk with him, he'll always keep something on hold that in the time of need, oh, he may not come when you want him but in the time of need. I wish there was somebody who knew what it was to be going to the Laundromat and find a $50 bill tied up in your pants' pocket just in the time of need. I don't know whether it was there or God just made it appear, but isn't it funny how God will make a way for you just... oh, I wish I had a witness in here. They put it on sale just as you was coming in the store. God always has a way. Abraham stopped in midair, and he shows us why he gets elected as the father of many nations. It was not just that he was masculine or strong or stubborn or tenacious.
I can see why God made him the father of the faith. Because Abraham not only was strong and powerful and masculine and tenacious, he was something that few men are today. He was flexible. You could change in the middle of the stream and he could go with the flow. He said, "If God says offer him up, I'll offer him up. If God says stop, I'll stop. If God says wait, I'll wait. The only thing I want to do is be in the will of God". And as soon as he went through that last test and he proved that he was willing to follow God even when he didn't even understand what God was doing, then God said, "Now, because you obeyed me on the first call," God said, "I'm going to speak to you again", and the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time.
The first time, "Stay your hand. Stop everything. A ram is tied in the thicket". The second time when God called out of heaven, he said, "Because you have done this, because you obeyed me the first time, because you and I went through a hard place together," he said, "now I'm going to bless you like you have never been blessed before". In fact, he said, "Surely blessings, I will bless thee and multiply, I will multiply thee".
Now, watch this my brothers and sisters because here lies the backslider's dilemma. The backslider doesn't backslide because he didn't love God. He loved God. The backslider backslides because of what he went through in the first call, and the first call is so challenging for him he said, "This is crazy. I can't do this. I got to get out of here". But when he walks away, he forfeits his opportunity for the second call. The blessing is not in the first call. The obedience is in the first call. The blessing is in the second call after you have endured the first call and been faithful when you didn't even understand what God was doing in your life.
After you've suffered a while, don't run off, backslide, give up, and say, "Ain't nothing in church". Just wait on the second call because when God speaks again, he said, "Now I'm going to pay you for everything you went through the first time. For every night you cried, for everything you did without, for every moment you endured hardness, I am going to call you one more time".
Well, I don't have time 'cause I got to go to Atlanta, but before I leave to go Atlanta, I want to tell you what God is saying. The Lord sent me here to tell you that he's getting ready to call you one more time, one more time. "Well, why would you call me again"? God said, "Because I'm getting ready to do finishing touches. I'm getting ready to refine you. I'm getting ready to give you what I only showed you before. I'm getting ready to give it to you in your life right now.
And by the way, that's why the enemy tried to destroy you and knock you out of your place because the enemy knew what I was going to do the next time around. But because you were faithful and because you fought back and because you held on," God said, "now, I swear I'm going to bless you". Shout, "Yeah". Touch somebody and say, "One more time". Yeah, that means; "If you think I'm blessed right now, you wait on this next call. If you think God's raise me up now, you wait on this next call. If you think God's done something wonderful in my life now, wait on this next call. 'Cause I've been going through some stuff that you didn't even know I was going through, but after this I'm going to get that thing that's been pressed down, shaken together, and running over".
I came to tell somebody today; your eyes have not seen, your ears have not heard, neither has it entered into your heart the things that God has in store. High-five somebody and say, "One more time". Oh, God's getting ready to give you one more time. He's getting ready to give you one more call. He's getting ready to give you one more blessing. I know you think you're blessed, but you ain't really been blessed. You're getting ready to walk into one more blessing. What grandma called a Sho'nuff blessing. Is anybody ready for a Sho'nuff blessing? Oh, yeah.
And God said said, "I swear I'm going to bless you. I swear I'm going to multiply you. I swear I'm going to give you increase. I swear I've been cooking up a blessing while you were suffering, while you were crying, while you were obeying me, scared to death, didn't understand me, blindly trying to trust me". God said, "I was stirring up a blessing, and now that you've endured, I swear I'm going to give you what I was cooking up for you long time ago". Slap somebody and tell them, "He's been getting ready for you". He's been getting ready to bless you. He's been stirring up miracles. He's been stirring up deliverance. He's been stirring up blessings.
And I want to tell the devil something before I jump on the plane. Devil, you should have killed me in the first call, but it's too late now. I've already been through the fire. I've already been through the storm and after this, I'm going to get my stuff. Somebody shout, "Yeah". Look at somebody and say, "It's my time". It's my time. It's my time, my time to be blessed, my time to receive, my time to be anointed, my time to stand up, my time to overcome, my time to win, my time to succeed, my time to be delivered. It's my time. Somebody start thanking God for one more time. Hallelujah, hallelujah.
Now, what did he say? He said, "I'm going to bless you and I'm going to multiply you". Shake somebody and say, "God is multiplying now". All of the blessings you had last year, that was addition; but in this year, God is multiplying. It's the same thing. It's just when you multiply, you get there quicker and God said, "This is your year to get there quicker". Touch somebody and say, "I'm getting ready to be blessed". And so, what God says, he says through that seed, your seed is going to possess the gate of your enemy. I want you to get this. This blessing is just not for you. This is for your kids too.