TD Jakes - The Mess in the Progress
In Luke 22, Jesus reinforces the same principle, and it is a principle that I think you need to understand. He gets a hold to the life of a guy that he's gonna use in a mighty way. His name is Peter, Simon Peter, but he's also in a mess. Luke 22:31, "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat". He wants to demolish you. He wants to demolish you. He wants to tear you apart. He wants to sift you as wheat. "But I prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; when thou art converted, trengthen thy brother".
Oh, my God, it's good this morning. Put that up there again from the beginning because there's something I want you to see out of there. "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat". I wanna say, wait a minute. You know, I'm not sure that's a bad thing, to sift me as wheat. Because when you sift wheat, you separate the chaff from the wheat. It's a messy process. Could God be using Satan... I mean, to be treated like wheat is not a bad thing, because Jesus identifies himself as wheat. He says, "Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abide alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit".
It's not a bad thing to be identified with wheat. Could God be using Satan to demolish what has to be torn down so that he can resurrect what he has promised to happen in your life? If Jesus was gonna pray, why didn't he pray to stop the sifting? Jesus, you could've stopped the mess.
I'm always invited, I mean, almost every time there's a catastrophe in this country, I'm invited by the media to explain how God could allow that to happen. How could a good God allow that? Surely God must be asleep at the wheel to allow it to happen. And any time you look at your life like a piece of a puzzle and you wanna explain the picture by the piece, you're gonna fail, because you cannot see the picture in the pieces. But when you take the piece and put it with all the other pieces, then you begin to understand why it was necessary to have this funny looking thing happen in your life to get you to where God is trying to take you.
Oh, I'm talking about a good ol' messy blessing today. Glory to God. "Satan has desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat". I pray for you, not that the sifting wouldn't happen. I didn't pray that he wouldn't access you. I didn't pray that you wouldn't be hurt. I didn't pray that you wouldn't cry. I didn't pray that you wouldn't get upset. I didn't even pray that you wouldn't cuss, 'cause you know Peter had a little problem. As much as God cares about your morality, he didn't pray for his morality. He prayed for his mentality.
He said, "I pray that your faith fail not". I didn't even pray that you wouldn't fail. In fact, if you read on down in the verse, he goes on to prophesy that before the cock crows, you're gonna fail three times. He said, "Peter, the cock is gonna crow. You're gonna blow this thing three times. And I'm not praying that you won't fail. I'm not praying that it won't get messy. I'm not praying that you won't get upset. I'm not praying that there won't be dust, and sawdust, and bricks, and mortar. I'm not praying that there won't be debris. I'm not praying that you won't be shattered. I'm praying that your faith doesn't fail".
And I wanna know, can you have faith in the middle of a mess? Because if you can't have faith in the middle of a mess, then we need to close this place down and we could do something a lot more fun. Hey, we could just lay back and roll. If we're not gonna believe God when all hell is breaking loose, and the cranes are overhead, and the dust is flying, and the glass is shattering, if we're not gonna stand flat-footed in the middle of the mess and say, "Though he slay me, yet shall I trust him". Oh, my God. The hymnist said, "I'll trust in God wherever I may be, whether I'm on the land or on the raging sea".
I'm trying to get you to see the value of trusting God in messy places, to just believe. Everything's failing. Glass is shattering. Concrete bursting. Steel being bent. Marriage distorted. Kids acting crazy. Can't find your parents. Don't know who your dad is. Lost your job. Evicted out of your apartment. Going through a crisis. Emotional meltdown. And then to stand in the middle of all of it and say, "Lord, I trus you, that all things are going to work together for the good of them that love the Lord who are the called according to his purpose".
If anybody understands the flow of my thought, clap your hands as a sign. I don't know why it is, but I feel like I'm talking to somebody. I don't even know who it is. It's the weirdest thing. I don't know who it is out there and I'm not even sure exactly what I'm referring to, but I feel like God is using me to speak to you specifically about something you might be dealing with right now.
Touch three people and tell 'em, "I'm under construction". I got some bricks out of place. I've got some windows shattered. My heart is broken. My mind is confused. I haven't slept for three days. But I've got a feeling Everything's gonna be All right Whoa, I got a feeling Everything's gonna be All right Oh, oh, I got a feeling Everything's gonna be All right Be all right, be all right, be all right. The Holy Ghost done told me Everything's gonna be All right Whoa, the Holy Ghost Done told me Everything's gonna be All right Whoa, the Holy Ghost Done told me Everything's gonna be All right Be all right, be all right Be all right, be all right.
No one escapes the mess. Rich folk don't escape the mess, so stop being a hater. Poor folks don't escape the mess. It may be a different kind of mess, but it's still mess. Black folks have a mess. White folks have a mess, too. Brown folks have a mess. Young folks have a mess. Lord knows y'all got a mess. But can I tell you, old folks have a mess, too. We might dress different, we might look different, but we just as crazy as you are in another kind of way. It takes a long time to get this crazy. Am I right about it? Ha ha ha ha ha.
Now, if he's 80-something years old and clapping, I know everybody else in here can clap, too. It takes a long time to get this crazy. You need to understand that the details of what happened to you might be different from the details that what happened to me, but it still tore my house down. It still broke out my windows and twisted my steel. It broke my heart, crushed my spirit. Nobody escapes it. So he says, "When thou art converted". You haven't been cheated, so stop feeling sorry for yourself. Everybody went through something. It doesn't matter whether you leave Sally and get Mary. Mary crazy, too. Drop Fred and go for Bill. Bill is just another kind of...
You stop working for people and start working for yourself 'cause you say, "I'm tired of working for other people. I'm gonna work for myself. I think it'll be easier". Ha ha, uhh, it's just another kind of crazy. It's just another kind. I'm trying to get you to understand, you didn't miss anything, so running and deal with your mess, 'cause at least you know what kind of mess this is. You understand this mess. You had years to look at this mess and you can get a strategy for your mess. It's when you ask me to get a strategy for somebody else's mess.
He says, "When thou art converted, strengthen your brother". Help your brother get out the bed. Understand why he's moving slow. Understand why he screamed when you touched that spot right there. Understand why he can't hold his food down. You'll be a much better physician when you've been a patient.
Finally God says, "I will give it to you, if I can get it through you". We know this is true about finances. We know that. We understand that finance is currency and that it flows. And any time you break the flow, you lose the power. Whether you're talking about global economy, national economy, or household economy, it survives through movement. Stagnation stops the flow and ultimately is the detriment of any organization. We know that about finances. Do we know that about mercy, that God will give it to you if he can get it through you?
The Bible said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy". God says, "If I can get it through you, I will give it to you. If I can get you to help somebody else, If I can get you to love on somebody else," God says, "The more you give it away, the more I'll give it to you". In fact, he says, "Give and it shall be given unto you again, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over". But because you break the flow and start focusing on you, you lose the ability to receive the very thing you're after. Because in order to receive it, you gotta give it away.
Anything you give away will come back to you. You want attention? Give attention. You want friends? Be friendly. You want a smile? Give a smile. Do you know how hard it is not to smile at somebody who's smiling at you? They make you smile. You don't even feel like smiling but you'll give him a quick one even if you go... Even if you gotta just flash something out there real quick, it is hard to be in the presence of somebody who is giving something and not reciprocate it.
If you're not getting it back, could it be possible that you blocked the flow? You got a temporary breakthrough and ran away from the very source that was giving it to you in the first place. Break the flow. You got what you needed in the moment, walked away, broke the flow. When you get involved in ministry, you get ministered to. When you give mercy, you get mercy. When you give love, you get love. Oh, I can hear somebody right now, "You don't know. I gave Henry love. I was good to Henry. You don't know what I went through with Henry. You might not get it back from where you gave it, but you will always get it back.
Am I helping anybody today? It occurs to me that our problem is in the loss of flow. I was having some pain the other day in my leg real, my knee was swelling up and acting crazy and my doctor sent me to get an MRI. Well see, I was complaining about the swelling and the discomfort that was running all the way up my leg. My doctor wasn't concerned about the discomfort of my leg. She was concerned about my circulation, because she knew that the leg would get better if the blood flowed; that the body gets in trouble when the flow is broken.
The marriage gets in trouble when the flow is broken. The family gets in trouble when the flow is broken. When you don't give what you got and it stops with you, you stop the circulation and there's gonna be swelling somewhere. There's gonna be pain somewhere. There's gonna be some misfigurement somewhere, because you got it, but you didn't give it. When thou art converted from being the patient to being the physician, keep the flow. Because if you will just imitate what you have received, it will continue to circulate in your life.
Givers get blessed. It's almost a shame that church preachers only talk about giving in terms of money, because sometimes we don't get the bigger principle that flows outside of money. Givers get blessed. Givers of love, givers of attention, givers of affection, givers of talent, givers of resources, givers of finances. I don't care what it is, if you are stingy in any area of your life, you break the flow and you cannot receive because you break the flow. And maybe the devil lets certain things happen to you to encourage you to break the flow, because if you break the flow, you curse yourself.
Can I go a little bit deeper? Here's the truth. If you're a blood-washed, born-again, Spirit-filled Christian, the enemy can't curse you because you don't belong to him, and he cannot curse another man's property. The only hope he has to stop you is to get you to make a decision that curses yourself. Y'all don't hear what I'm saying. Isn't that good? Isn't that good? Since he doesn't have power over you, the only thing he can hope to do is to get you to break the flow, because if you break the flow, you'll begin to get problems in areas, not because the enemy did it but because you broke the flow.
So Jesus says, "When thou art converted, don't break the flow". If I bless you, bless somebody else. If I give to you, give back to me. If I sow into you, sow back into me. It's not that I need what you got, it's that you need to give what you got. Because every time you give what you got, you increase your capacity to get more in your life.
The reason you're not getting any more is because you've run out of capacity. Touch three people and say, "You need to give something away". You need to give something away. You need to give it away. You need to give away. The very thing you want, you need to give it away. The very thing you need, you need to give it away.