TD Jakes - The Blessed Test
I'm gonna talk about The Blessed Test, so you can determine if you are blessed and you can determine what you need to do to bring yourself into alignment, so that you can be more blessed, and it's three don'ts and a do. It's three don'ts and a do, okay, three don'ts and a do, mmm-hmm. Three don'ts and a do. The first don't is, he said, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly".
He says I will not bless you if you listen at ungodly, worldly, secular advice. Because then you have put yourself in a place of naturalness and not supernaturalness, and you're just vulnerable to whatever is going on in the world, you know. If the world goes up, you go up. If the world goes down, you go down, because you're walking in the counsel, or the wisdom, or the advice of the ungodly.
Now, on one level, that says to me that I don't let ungodly people advise me. I don't let the world advise me. I'm not moved by the trends I see in the world. See, I'm gonna stand independent from that and say, "God, what are you saying for my life"? Because I don't just follow the course of this world, okay. That's one level, and that sounds real easy to do, but it's not really easy to do, okay. It's not really easy to do. I want Pastor Eskerman to read Romans 12:2.
Pastor Eskerman: "And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind".
Bishop Jakes: Okay, go ahead, read the rest of it.
Pastor Eskerman: "That ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God".
Bishop Jakes: He says, "Be not conformed to this world," conformed, don't shape around what's going on in the world. Don't shape around, don't make everything congruent with worldliness. "Be not conformed to this world," that's one thing, so that you are not moving in formation and alignment to the world. Just 'cause the world's going under don't mean you have to go under. Just 'cause the world's gone wild doesn't mean you have to go wild. "Be not conformed to this world".
There are so many people in the church today who are totally fed from the world, okay, they're totally fed from the world, because you really don't spend your life around church people. You work around secular people. Half of your family are secular people. Your next-door neighbors are secular people, and so I got this one little hour or so to come against all those other hours that you're getting bombarded with all kinds of information through the newspaper, and the internet, and everything else, that's saying something contrary, and God is saying, "Don't be conformed to this world," but he says, "Be ye transformed".
Now, conform is to shape around, but transform is an inner thing, it's an inner thing that transforms. Like a worm turning into a butterfly. It's a metamorphosis. It starts internally and it effects externally. "Be ye transformed". How can I get the best part of me to come out, so that I evolve, and develop, and become who God wants me to be? 'Cause I don't wanna crawl on this level if it's in me to fly on this level, okay? So, I wanna transform. If I don't transform, I'm gonna be frustrated. I like to be around people that help me to transform, don't you? I like to be around people that bring the wings out in me and not the worm out in me.
So, you gotta determine, are your associations bringing out the wing in you or the worm in you? You got both, you got both, now. I know y'all dressed up and smell good, and you look real churchy, but you got a worm down in you, you know. And there are certain people that put your food on the ground and want you to crawl over and lick it up. Those are wormy people. They do wormy things and they bring out the worm in you, and if you're not careful, they'll bring you all the way down from flying to crawling again, because they appeal to your wormy nature and not to your wings, okay. You want to be transformed.
So, how can I be transformed? How can I be transformed? Is it a matter of discipline? Is it a matter of discipline? Can I be transformed just by discipline alone? That's part of it, but if the discipline is just an external thing so that you fit in with the church people, it's not gonna work. Because transformation doesn't come by wearing long dresses, or changing the way you dress, or now you got a church dance you get on, and so many people come in the church and they put on all the attributes of outward Christianity, but they have none of the inner transformation to go along with it.
They look like saints, they walk like saints, they talk like saints, but on the inside, they're still full of dead man's bones. Jesus said they're like the Pharisees. Externally they change everything, but internally, they don't change anything. Transformation starts on the inside. And the Bible says that the way that you transform is by the renewing of your mind. So, this is a mind thing, it's not an external thing. It's a transformation by the renewing of your mind. That's how you begin to not walk in the counsel of the ungodly.
If you're gonna be renewed in your mind, your mind becomes what it eats. If you watch anything all the time, you become that. If you read anything all the time, you become that. If you read science books all the time, you'll become a scientist. That's all school does is direct you to what to read, so you can become that. You walk in the school a student, and you come out a doctor. How did they make you a doctor? Did they give you an injection? No, they just fed your mind, and your mind transformed into what it's reading.
So, you're gonna become whatever you read. Y'all don't understand what I'm saying. You came in the school Sally Johnson, you came out an astronaut. "How do you know Sally is an astronaut"? "By the things she read". So, whatever you're feeding your mind, your mind, your mind becomes whatever you feed it. If you feed your mind militant stuff, you'll become a militant. If you feed your mind racist stuff, you become a racist. Children don't come here racist. You ain't never seen a racist baby. Baby sticking his tongue out at the nurse because she's a different color, or a different this, or a different that. That's a learned behavior. They sat around it, they heard it, it was taught to them, they were exposed to it. They became whatever they fed themselves.
So, if you're gonna transform your mind, you have to change what you read, and change who talks to you, and change who hangs around you, and you'd be surprised how you change. "Blessed is the may that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, or standeth in the way of sinners". That's the second don't. He says don't stand in the way of sinners. Funny thing, whenever I looked at this text, I always looked at it in the original language, and I thought it was to stand in the way of sinners to stop them from getting to Christ and to be a stumbling block, but it's not that. It's really to stand in the path, in the way of sinners. To stand in the way of sinners. God said I'll bless you if you don't adopt their ways.
So, he told me don't walk in the counsel of the ungodly, and then he tells me don't get in the ways. So, I don't walk like 'em, and he said I don't get the ways like 'em. Now, a walk is a behavior, it's an action. A way is a tendency and a proclivity. I have ways. Like, you ain't hateful, but you got hateful ways. You got ways like your mammy. You know how old folks do? You got ways. You didn't do what they did, but you got ways like your mammy. It's a proclivity, ha, ha, ha. Hateful ways, certain ways.
He said, so what you wanna do is, begin to change your ways. You could change your ways and save your marriage. Isn't that something? They loved you, now they're fighting with your ways. You could change your ways and be happy the rest of your life. You can change, you can change. You can change 'em at work. "I just gotta be real. I gotta keep it real". That's stupid, you don't go to work and keep it real. You had a bad day, come into work, "Good morning, welcome to J.C. Penneys". No, it's, "Good morning, welcome to J.C. Penneys".
You do it for people you don't know, and the people you know catch hell. And God is saying change your ways. You got control over yourself. If you can control the Holy Spirit, and the Bible said in Corinthians that the Spirit is subject to the prophet. If you can control the Holy Spirit, and let me give you more Bible. It said, "Quench not the Holy Spirit," which means you can quench it. If you can quench the Holy Spirit, you can quench your nasty mouth. Oh, y'all print some extra CDs, 'cause this gonna be a hot one today, glory to God.
Everybody in here needs this tape today, glory to God. God says one of the don'ts is to develop the ways of the sinners. Don't stand in the way of sinners. Don't have sinful ways. Don't get the ways, the ways, the ways. Everything about it that you can change, change. Everything about it that you can change, change, and the rest of it is up to God. But there are certain things you can change, certain people you don't need to be around. Certain ways you can change. Little ways, little signals you send off in the way you dress, and the way you behave. You still strugglin' with what's going on in your mind, that may be true, but that don't mean you have to wear that dress all the way up.
Just an example, I'm just throwing an example out there. Your ways, okay, so there's another don't. I hope I put lotion on my legs, I think I did. Some people's legs look like they've been walkin' in cake flour, but you know, ooh, sorry. "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners". That's two don'ts, number three, this is a heavy one right here. He says don't sit in the seat of the scornful. Don't start congregating, hanging around with, or interacting with bitter people.
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful". Somebody say, "Lord, help me with my scornfulness". You gotta get rid of it, please hear me. You gotta get rid of it. I know people do things that hurt you, everything is not fair, and everything is not just, and everything's not right, and sometimes you've done the very best, and you don't get selected, and you don't get the opportunity, and you haven't gotten recognized.
You cannot afford to get bitter, because if you get bitter, you will never get better. You gotta get that out of you. If you gotta cough it up, if you got to throw it up, if you got to pray it up, if you gotta counsel it up, if you gotta go to therapy, if you gotta go to counseling, if you gotta have treatment, if you need medication, whatever it takes, you gotta get it out of you. There's a curse on it, there's a curse, whoo. So, those are three don'ts, one do. "In his law does he meditate day and night". Okay, he delights in God's Word. He enjoys it. "In its law does he meditate both day and night".
As you begin to make this transformation in your behavior and your habit, you gotta get in the Word of God and let the Word of God get in you. "I'm not good with my Bible". The best thing for people to do who are not good with their Bible is to study what I taught. Don't grab something that you don't have commentary on, start with what has been explained, and take notes on it, and go back and read that, and just study that, and just let me, you know, let me be training wheels on you 'til you get your bearings, and then after a while, we can kick the wheels off, you can study anything you want to, but just study what's been taught, okay? Am I helping anybody?
Then it goes on to say, "And he shall be like a tree". And I'm gonna take this thing in bulk, because where I'm taking you with this is just a wee bit different. Because it says," Then he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of waters that bringeth forth fruit in his own season". Oh, God, this Scripture is tempting me. Whoo, "He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water". We generally think of it in terms of stability. "That bringeth forth fruit in his own season," speaking of timing. And this is the thing about blessings.
You have to understand that there's a timing dimension in it. There's a time, there's a season for every purpose under heaven. Just 'cause it ain't today doesn't mean God's not gonna bless you. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint. I would have fainted, had not I believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord and be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart. Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap".
It's coming, "When is it coming, Lord"? In due season. Don't rush the season. Thank God for the winter when the sap is going down the tree. That's a time to rethink, refurbish, re-aim, refuel, reignite yourself. Thank God that you're not just bearing fruit around the clock. You need some quiet time. You need some reflective time. You needed some family time. You needed some time to get yourself together. You needed some time to readjust some things. Are you following what I'm saying?
So, there's a dimension in it. "He shall bring forth fruit in his own season. His leaf shall not whither". Now, a leaf doesn't have anything to do with the fruit, but God said I'll watch over the leaf to keep the leaf from withering. I'll just sustain you. Have you ever had God sustain you? I mean, it wasn't your season to be fruitful, but you were sustained. You weren't fruitful, but you were leafful. Hmm-mm, he'll sustain you. You're blessed, you're blessed to be sustained. You're blessed to be here this morning. You're blessed, oh, you're so blessed to be here this morning. You're so blessed to be in here this morning.
Do you not know, I'm serious, it is some people's dying request to visit The Potter's House one time, and you're within walking distance and didn't come? They say, "I wanna get in there one time, if I have to come on a stretcher". There are people sitting at home wishing that they had the opportunity to get what you have right now. You're blessed to be here. You're blessed to be exposed to the Word. You're blessed that somebody can speak into your life and add another perspective on your life. You're blessed to have that. You're blessed to get out the bed this morning. You're blessed to feel well enough to come. You're blessed to put on your own clothes. You're blessed to brush your own teeth. You're blessed you could drive over here. You're blessed you can move well enough to get in this place, you're blessed.
You're blessed, you're blessed, you're blessed. Everything you got is a blessing. It may not be what I got, it may not be what he got, it may not be what she got, but don't compare yourself with somebody else, thank God for what he gave you. You are blessed, hallelujah. "He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water," you're gonna bring forth fruit in your own season. You're gonna bring forth fruit in your own season. You're gonna bring forth fruit in your own season. It's coming, it's coming, it's coming, hallelujah. Ah, it's coming. Your season is coming. Your season is coming. Your season is coming.
We had one of the worst winters we ever had down here in Texas. It didn't bother me at all, 'cause I knew spring was coming. It was cold, I had to put on extra clothes, turn the heat up, higher heat bills, but I know your season is coming. Your season is coming. Your season is coming. My God, I sat in the church for seven years and didn't teach a class. I told you last week, I didn't teach hardly any Bible classes, I very seldom ever got to preach anything at any time. I was vacuuming floors and cleaning out the baptism pool for seven years. All them sermons, all them messages. God gave me all them messages and no place to preach 'em. I couldn't understand why God kept giving me all these sermons and no place to preach 'em. Giving me revelation and no place to do it.
All this kind of stuff, I didn't understand that it was coming, it was coming, it was coming, it was coming, it was coming. Oh, my God, glory to God. If you're single and God keeps giving you all these wifely ideas, or all these concepts about marriage, and all these ideas on how to take care of a man, and you can't understand why you givin' this to me, God, and I don't even have nobody, God is feeding what you shall be. He's getting you ready for what's about to happen in your life. It's coming, it's coming, it's coming, take it all in. Take it all in. Get ready for it, it's coming.
God told you to get you a conservative suit, 'cause you gonna need it. You're going to a conservative job. God's getting you ready. Your grooming is different. Your appetites are different. Your taste is different. God's getting you ready for where you're going and not for where you were. Whoo, I feel the Word of the Lord to somebody. Who am I preaching to this morning? "He will bring forth fruit in his own season. His leaf also shall not whither," and this is where I want to, let me spend a few minutes on this. Glory to God, "His leaf also shall not whither," and watch this, watch this, gosh, I could have started right here. I got so much to say about this, I could have just started right here. "Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper". "Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper".
Let me explain something to you right off the cuff. Let me cut right to the chase. Let me cut right to the chase. God cannot bless what you do not do. He can't bless it. He can't bless it. He can't bless it. The blessing is in the action. It's in your action. It's in your action. You gotta stop praying for God to bless what you're not doing. You're asking God to bless dysfunction. God cannot bless dysfunction, God can only bless function. He says, "Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper".
Let me show you how to hear it deeper. Don't just hear everything you touch gets blessed, don't just hear that, because it sounds like the magic of the moment is on this person, and whatsoever they do prospers. You're missing the fact that they are a doer. God blesses doers, not just thinkers, not just dreamers, not just wishers. God said if you do something for me to bless, I'll bless it. I cannot bless what you will not do. Now, I wanna drill into this. One of the things I've noticed about believers and Christians is that they underestimate the effort of doing. They think that if they just hit at it and God didn't bless it, they give up. You gotta do it harder. You gotta do it longer. You gotta do it with tenacity. You gotta do it with commitment and relentlessness. It is not as easy as it was advertised.
So, what happens when you grossly underestimate the intensity of the effort, you are shocked by the trauma, and you run away from the process. But God says if you will do it, I will bless it. I will bless what you do. Ooh, I gotta give you, he gave me some good stuff. He gave me some good stuff. See, "Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper," is the bless test. Do you want it bad enough to do what it takes to get it done? You know, I tell you all I got me a dog, you know, and I named him Bentley, and I left Bentley down in the gazebo, and I had to go up to the house to get something, and it's got a little glass door on it.
Bentley, I guess he weighs maybe 20 pounds, something like that. He's just ten weeks old, you know, and he's a little puppy, but he's manish, you know. And I left him, and he was upset, and he jumped up in the air, I guess a good three feet, and threw himself at the door, and hit the door, and the door moved. And he backed up off of it, and he looked at it, 'cause he didn't want me to leave him, and he ran up and threw his whole body at the door. Not just his paws, he hit it again, and it moved a little bit more. And, all of a sudden, Bentley began to find out the harder you hit the door...
Now, I don't know whether he got bruised up under his little fur or not, but I'm talking about the kind of doing that might bring bruising. But even though he was outsized, even though the door was bigger than the dog, the fight in the dog was bigger than the door. So, if you take the fight you got and use it against the thing that's standing in your way, do you not know that little dog pushed that door open by throwing himself against it? The reason you're not getting what God has for you is that you've been slapping at the door and throwing your paws at the door. But if you back up and throw everything you got...