TD Jakes - Moving from Carnality
Understand that religion does not constitute relationship. You can have religion and not have relationship with God. Are you understanding what I'm saying? Now, see, because we are three-dimensional, because we are three-dimensional, we have to understand that about ourselves, and we have to understand that whatever you feed will grow. It will develop. If you're feeding all of this fleshly, carnal, sensual stuff, and, again, I'm not just talking about morals, because some of you have got a good grip on it.
Some of you don't, but some of you got a good grip on that, but you are bombarding your senses every day with negative information. "I guess you heard about so-and-so. I guess you heard about this. You know they're getting ready to take the car. You know, so-and-so pregnant. You know, this is about to happen. They're downsizing on the job. So-and-so is after your position". You're just collecting all kinds of information and storing all of that stuff in your mind and then wonder why you have no peace. How could you have peace? You spend way more time with these portals open feeding your mind that kinda stuff than you do in prayer and praise and worship in the presence of God feeding your mind spiritual stuff, so for it to be carnally-minded is death.
The reason you're not happy is not your age, is not your looks, is not your wife, is not your husband. The reason you are not happy is not because you're single, is not because you don't have enough money. The reason you are not happy is that your mind is filled with all that clutter all the time. You are mentally and emotionally constipated, locked up down inside of yourself, with no vent, no one to talk to, nobody to open up to, no place to release it, and it's building up in you and that's why your joy is not full and you have no peace. You need to dump all of that stuff out on Jesus and say, "Lord, that's your business. Whatever you do with it is fine with me. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord".
The challenge is to be built up the spirit part of you, and I'm afraid that we don't do that much. We don't do that much, because when it comes to building yourself up in the spirit, those spiritual muscles are often very underdeveloped. The TV is exercising your sensual muscles. The radio is exercising your sensual muscles. What you read is exercising your sensual muscles. What people are saying to you is exercising your sensual muscles, but when it comes to your spiritual muscles you could be a weakling, and I'm gonna tell you how to know you're a weakling.
When you're in the worship service you kinda go along with it, but you really don't get into it. It's not that you're disagree with what they're saying, but you don't really connect with it, either. It's not that you're against Christ, but you don't seem to get out of it what other people seem to get out of it. Though you like the idea of it you get bored with it quickly. It's because your spiritual muscles are underdeveloped. I'll give you another sign. I call you to the altar to pray. You pray about 30 seconds. It's not even a minute, and you become aware of, "Oh, my knees are hurting. Oh, you know, I gotta change positions".
See, that's your mind trying to turn you back to the carnal things and move you away from the spirit because spiritually you're underdeveloped. Prayer is boring. The only time prayer is exciting is when something in your senses is in trouble. Then you pray hard because you are more in the business of building up that, that is sensual than you are praying for the joy of praying, because you don't really enjoy praying to a God you cannot see, when you can get on the phone and talk to somebody you can hear and interact with somebody you can see and get on Twitter. You spend more time on Facebook than you do in prayer, with your little phony friends who check right in your box. You enjoy talking to them more than you enjoy talking to God. And it's not that you don't love God, and it's not that you're not a Christian, but the reason you don't enjoy it is because you are suffering from spiritual malnutrition and your spirituality is not built up, and you only do it out of religious duty and anything you have to do out of religious duty you won't do it long 'cause you don't enjoy it.
Okay, I mean, this is what he gave me today. Maybe he'll give me something better back Sunday. I want you to go to... I think it's Hebrews. Is it Hebrews? Hebrews 5:14, go to the book of Hebrews. I wanna show you a couple of things. "But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age". Now, when it says "those who are of full age" it doesn't mean old people. It means that the strong meat you have to give to those that are spiritually mature, okay? And it defines it in a minute. "Strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age".
I wish... Lord. Like, strong meat has more revelation in it, and it has more liberty in it. The stronger you are the less restraint is needed. When the kids are little you go to bed at 6 o'clock. When you get older you go to bed at 8 o'clock. When you get older you go to bed at 11 o'clock. When they get a certain age you don't know whether they go to bed. You don't even care. You know you don't call your grown kids and say, "It's 10 o'clock. It's time for you to go to bed," because with maturity comes liberty. Not bondage, freedom, because you have set the pattern when they were children and then when they get older you release them from the pattern because maturity brings about liberty.
You couldn't give that liberty to a child. You don't give that liberty, young mothers, you don't give that liberty to a three-year-old to stay up all night 'cause you're up all night and you're lonely, and you need somebody to talk to. Little Willie needs to go to bed. "Strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil," those who by reason of use. They have used it, so that's good news. You exercise it by using it and the reason you are not enjoying it is because you don't use it. If you start working out, the muscles you don't use give you the most pain. It can be a little-bitty muscle.
One time I was working out, and the guy had me doing something like this. I mean, just little-bitty weights, little 3-pound little weights doing like that. That's it. That's it, yeah. I like to died, 'cause, I mean, you don't walk around doing like that, you know? Not normally, so any time you're using something you don't normally use it cries out against it, so if you wanna develop it you have to use it.
Now, I wanna show you why it's important for you to develop this and just going to church does not insure it, because you can go to church and be a spectator and not really be a participator, and you don't get what other people get out of it because you're not really putting into it. And you don't know how to put into it. It's not that you're hateful or rebellious or fighting God. You don't know how to open up to it because, first of all, you are not in touch with yourself.
People who are in touch with themselves can make the transition into the spirit more easily because they are in touch with themselves. If you are not in touch with yourself it becomes difficult for you to connect spiritually because nobody is feeding you through the avenues that you are accustomed to being fed and that's why you're bored. So you're just standing up through the praise service. I see you. You'll be standing there, "Lord, have mercy". Do you have any idea the power of God that would be released in this place if thousands of people started worshiping God for real in this room? I don't mean just going through the motions. I mean if they really got in touch with themselves and started really blessing God.
Go to the Gospel of Saint John chapter 4. It has always amazed me, and I'm trying not to teach long, but it always amaze me how Jesus meets this woman at the well, and they have this weird conversation. This is, like, the weirdest conversation. He sit down at the well and asked her for water. She comes down to the well to get water. He asked the woman who needs water for water. She then tries to decide whether she's gonna give him water or not. Then while she's trying to decide whether she gonna give him water he says, "If you knew who I was, you'd be asking me for water".
I mean, this is, like, a weird conversation to me and in minutes are arguing over whose water is the best, and he says, "If you drink of the water that I have you will never thirst again". And then, the woman who was about to give him some water drops her water pots and say, "Give me this water, that I thirst not," and neither one of 'em has drunk. Through the whole story nobody gets a drink and then they start talking about religion and morality, and this woman, this woman, this woman, this one woman that Jesus stops and waits all day to meet down at the well, I mean, first of all, she's a woman. She's not even a man and women weren't respected as leaders in biblical days. To wait all day for a woman? And a woman who had five husbands.
Look at this woman. Look at this woman. This woman has had five husbands and the Bible introduces her to us as coming down to the well to get water. What is the Bible telling us about the five husbands and the water? This is a thirsty woman. She's thirsty in the natural, she's thirsty in the spirit, she's thirsty in her emotion, she's thirsty in her heart, and the reason she keeps coming down to the well is that she's got a craving on the inside. And the reason she keeps going through these men is that she's trying to find somebody that can satisfy her thirst, and she's been through five husbands because she is thirsty.
There is something missing out of her life, and she cannot find it, and she is a church woman. She worships in the mountain. She goes to service in the mountain. Well, one thing that is consistent about this woman is that she's thirsty. Where are my sisters at? Make some noise. Thirsty womans make some noise. That thirst has affected every area of her life. She's thirsty romantically. She's thirsty spiritually. She's thirsty naturally. In every area of her life there is a reduplication of the same pattern. Whenever you are in this area, you are in that area, you are in that area, you are in that area, and Jesus said, "If I give you this water I can fix the whole circle".
Hallelujah to God. Now, we're not gonna dance this morning. I'm just gonna teach a little bit. Is it okay? And she says, this is the clue to her secret torment. "Give me this water, that I thirst not. Neither come here to drink". You know what she's saying? "I'm so tired of being thirsty. I'm so tired of being disappointed. I'm so tired of not having my needs met. I'm so tired of living my life in search mode. I'm so tired of not being gratified in any area of my life. I'm tired. I'm tired of the cycle of going and coming and going and coming and going and coming. I met somebody. I lost somebody. I got somebody. I don't have somebody. I think he likes me. No, he doesn't. I'm tired of the cycle. Give me this water, that I thirst not".
The thirsting is torment to this woman. The thirsting is torment and all of this happens, man, and neither she nor Jesus have taken a drink. How could they talk all day about water and never drink none? The well is there, the water is there, the thirst is there, and yet they never put a cup to their lips. In fact, when the conversation is over this woman drops her water pots. She said, "The cycle is broken. I won't have to come back here looking for the same old stuff anymore. I found what I needed, and I'm outta here". And the breaking of her pots is an indication that "you cannot expect me to come back to the same place with the same need looking for the same gratification ever again".
The cycle is broken, and she whom the Son has set free is indeed free. Oh, God. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. See, what has brought her to this point is to be carnally-minded is death, is death. It doesn't work. It doesn't satisfy. It doesn't fulfill. You gotta keep coming back again and again and again. "Give me this water. I'm 40 years old. Give me this water". "I'm 57 years old. Give me this water. I'm tired. I'm not tired 'cause I'm old. I'm tired of searching. I'm tired of hoping. I'm tired of believing". And when women get tired of believing they either get grumpy and start complaining, or they shut it off like men and say, "I don't want it anyway". You lying. You do want it. You just don't know where to get it, so it's a weird conversation, and I wanna show you.
She says in verse 20, "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye come neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, to worship the Father". Now listen to what Jesus says, and I'm gonna read it in the NET version. "You people worship what you do not know". You people worship what you do not know. "We worship what we know, because salvation is from the Jews. But a time is coming, and now is here, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth".
Jesus just gave you a three-point outline. You worship what you do not know. One group of people worship what they don't know. They just don't know what they're doing, they don't know what they're worshiping, but they're worshipers, okay? They just don't know what they worship. Your people worship in the mountains. They know not this is false worship. This is flawed worship. This is worship that is based on a inner need to worship, but you're worshiping falsely and wrongly and ineffectively, and yet it has been your tradition for years. You can be committed for years and you can be sincere and be sincerely wrong.
Don't let anybody tell you that just 'cause you're sincere means you're right. He said, "Your people are sincerely wrong". He says, "My people are right. Salvation is of the Jews. We know what we worship". Now, he said, "But here we worship what we know. We worship what we know. You worship what you know not. We worship what we know. We worship what we know. We worship what we know," but that's not it, either. We worship what we know, but that's not it, either. We worship what we know, what we understand, but that's not it, either. We worship what we perceive, but that's not it, either.
See, the Jews worshiped a lotta intangibles, bringing goats and goats, doves and peace offerings and wave offerings and always 6 o'clock. "Stop eating. It's 6 o'clock again. Go ahead and eat. Can't move, can't"... Well, all of this was in the physical realm of what we know. "We worship what we know," he said, "but the hour cometh, and now is, that they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth".
The third category is worshiping beyond knowledge, and this is where we lose it. The reason you don't enjoy it is because everything you do is based on what you know and now I put you in an environment where you have to worship beyond what you know, and you're uncomfortable with it. If I put somebody in the room you could talk to, you talk right to 'em. If I put something in there that you could understand, you would respond right now, but anything that requires that you go beyond what you know leaves you impotent to perform, because Jesus said, "The hour cometh, and now is, that the true worshipers must worship the Father in spirit and in truth".
When was the last time you did anything to exercise your senses in the spirit? That's why your spirit is weak. That's why your spirit is weak. That's why your spirit is weak. When was the last time you enjoyed being alone, opening up your own spirit? Cut the TV off. Radio off. Nobody comes in. Nobody talks. When was the last time you were comfortable without the physical, the visible, the tangible, the touchable? Your muscles are weak in the spirit. They have not been exercised by reason of use, and you don't enjoy it. That's why you gotta turn some noise on. You gotta have the TV going all the time. You gotta call somebody on the phone. You need contact in the body realm because your spirit is so uncomfortable, that you don't worship beyond what you know.
Did you not know that if I can get beyond your eye gate, ear gate, mouth gate that you are not alone ever at any time? Did you not know, do you understand... stand up here by yourself. Stand up here just by yourself right there. Look like, just stand up there by yourself. Now, come here. Come here, and you come here, and you come here and come on, baby. You come here. And, okay, she's standing here all by herself. Now, I just want y'all, come on over here, join us, and I just want y'all to start moving all around her, just moving all around her.
Yeah, she thinks she's in the house by herself. She does not know that the angels of the Lord encamp round about them that fear him. She does not know that she is in the presence of angels at all times, that she's never been alone, that she's never been by herself, that she never had to deal with anything by herself. She did not know that the angels watched over her while she slept, that they were with her, when she got up in the morning, that they were in the car with her, that they were in the car wreck with her, that they stopped her from dying in the car wreck, that they brought her through the test and the storm, that they protected her from evil.
She does not know that the spirit world is all around her, but because she cannot see them, and she cannot smell them, and she cannot taste them then she ignores them, and she takes me to be more real on the outside than them that are on the inside. And God needs to open her eyes so that she can see that she's got help all around her all the time, never been by herself, and I'm not just talking about her. I'm talking about you, and you, and you, and you, and you.