TD Jakes - Bother Me
This manless woman who could not, in spite of the face we know that she is a tenacious woman, was unable to be regarded by her adversary. You're not going to tell me that she was tenacious with the judge and had not been tenacious with her adversary. But because she is a widow woman, she is easily overlooked. Come on, help me, somebody. She had exhausted all means of resolution on her level. Now, listen to this. She had exhausted all means of resolution on her level. This is where most people quit. When you have exhausted all means a resolution on your level, most people give up. She couldn't work it out with her adversary. She couldn't get an arbitration clause. She couldn't get ratification on her level.
Most people get to that level and say, "I did all I could and I give up. I just walk away. If God would've meant for this to happen for me, it would've happened. If God means for me to get a house, he'll give me a house. If God means for me to get a job, he'll give me a job. If God means for me to get out of this court case, he'll bring me out. If God means"... No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, not this woman. Somebody needs to say, "Not this woman". Not this woman. See, you have to set yourself apart from the status quo and let the system know, "You may have run over everybody else, but you're not gonna run over me. You might run over people who look like me, but you're not gonna run over me. You might have run over everybody in my neighborhood, but you're not gonna run over me".
She said, "You might have run over every other woman, but you're not gonna run over me". And Jesus is using the story of this nameless widow woman to teach his disciples, because his disciples were hated as much as the woman. They were ostracized for being Christians. They were ostracized for being believers. They were ostracized for being his followers. They could not say the name of Jesus and be respected because Jesus himself was to be crucified. And he's showing you how to fight when the wind is against you, and all hell is breaking loose, and there's trouble in your life. "And though he slay me, yet shall I trust him".
I still believe that God is gonna work it out. My God, I feel the power of the Holy Ghost. I didn't come to uplift the people that are already uplifted. I came to snatch somebody that's downtrodden. I came to snatch somebody that the odds are against you. I came to talk to somebody that the diagnosis doesn't look good. I came to talk to somebody that's got bad credit. I came to talk to somebody that's been abused, and criticized, ostracized, molested. I came to talk to somebody that's got a laundry list of reasons why you ought to just give up, and turn around, and walk away, and go back.
But Jesus is saying that, "You oughta bother me until something happens, until a breakthrough comes, until a change is made, until a body is healed, until a job is found, until a deed is signed, until the property's conveyed, until the book is written, until the door is open, until you get your voice back, until you get your sight back, until you get your legs back, until you get your temperature under control, until your lungs clear up". You gotta fight.
My God from Zion, I don't know who I'm talking to, but I feel like I'm talking to somebody in this room. I want to talk to you about the advantage of the disadvantaged. It sounds like an oxymoron. It sounds like a contradiction. It sounds like a radical statement, but there is an advantage to being disadvantaged. Advantaged people don't know how to fight. They haven't been trained on how to fight so when they get in trouble, they panic. If the economy falls, they panic. They think the economy is everything 'cause they've always had the advantage. But when you've been disadvantaged, you've been broke before. You know how to take a nickel and make it do. You know how to take a dollar and come back with something. You know how to work with what you got. You know how to make cornbread without milk. You know how to survive.
Oh y'all not going to help me. When you come from a disadvantaged background, you're not as threatened and intimidated by what the enemy is trying to do because you have already been there and done that. And you know that if God be for you, he'll make a way out of no way. You know that if God is on your side, he'll pull you through. Somebody asked me, said, "Don't you feel funny preaching in a building where there ain't hardly nobody in the room"? I said, "Not at all. I cut my teeth preaching in an empty building".
I cut my teeth preaching by myself, slapping my leg, bringing my own amen, shouting hallelujah. I never did need the power of the crowd 'cause the power I got comes from the inside. When you already been disadvantaged, you don't back up easy 'cause you know who you are. Set the record straight. All you did was set me in my natural habitat. There is an advantage to the disadvantage. This woman has nothing to lose. She's down anyway. She's rejected anyway. She's ostracized anyway. She's been ignored by her adversary anyway. To be ignored from the judge wouldn't make her any less than she already was.
There is an advantage to being disadvantaged. Let me tell you something. Disadvantaged people fight differently. Disadvantaged people have the ability to survive differently. Disadvantaged people have a toughness that is born out of their affliction, so much so that the Bible said, "It was good for me that I was afflicted. If I had not been afflicted, I would never see the glory of God". It was good you rejected me. I feel like calling all of my enemies and sayin', "Thank you. Let me send you some roses. I'm glad you didn't help me. If you would've helped me, I would have had to thank you for where I am. But when you rejected me, I don't have nobody to thank but God".
Who am I preaching to? I feel a praise about to break loose in this place. You oughta be glad they left ya. Leave me if you want to. Watch me scratch my way out. I'll dig with my fingernails, I'll claw by my toenails, but I'll never need you. Hey, hallelujah! I'll shout in this church by myself. Somebody give him a praise!
She had no status. She had no recognition. She had no political influence. She had no money for a bribe. The only thing she had going for her was her persistence. You have to be persistent. You have to be relentless. If you're going to break through the systems and the strongholds that are in the world today, you have to be tenacious. You can't just sit back and wait and hope it happens to you.
I talk to people all the time who are waiting on their opportunity, and they're waiting on their door to open, and they're waiting to be discovered, and they keep putting content on Youtube, hoping somebody will see them, and they'll be one of those minority of people that gets discovered off of Youtube. Do you know that you can count those people on your hand? There's far more people, who made it with a job, far more people who made it with a business, far more people who made it with a degree than people who made it because they wrote a song on Youtube that went wild. The odds are against you. You have to be tenacious. You have to be relentless.
I wanna tell the parents, it's a bad thing to make it too easy for your kids. Let me get down these steps where I could see you. It's a bad thing to make it too easy for your kids. If you give 'em everything, they don't know how to work for nothing. I said if you give 'em everything, they don't know how to work for nothing. If you make it too simple, they don't know how to fight for anything. If you hand it on a silver platter, they don't know how to earn anything.
There's something you get from the struggle that prepares you to survive when Mama and Daddy are not there anymore. Stop making everything so easy for them. Put 'em in a condition and a circumstance where they have to fight their way out, because you're not always gonna be there to take care of them. You're not always gonna be there to help them think. They've got to be able to think for themselves. And you're doing them a disservice because you gotta teach them the advantage of being disadvantaged. Oh my God from Zion.
I remember the first check I ever got in my life. I got it from cuttin' Miss Minerva Coles's grass. Miss Minerva Coles was a woman who lived in West Virginia, and her lawn was on a hill, and you had to cut the grass. It was one thing for an eight-year-old boy to cut grass on level ground, but I had to cut it on a hill, which meant I had to cut the grass and let the lawnmower go over the hill and then pull back up, and then push it back down again and pull it back up. And I was eight years old, and I was sweating, and it was hot, and I blistered my hands. And I worked all day to cut Miss Coles's grass and she gave me a check for $8.
And I was so happy about it, I framed it. Somewhere up my mother had it on the wall for years. She left me out there to sweat. Mama didn't come check on me. She didn't come see about me. The lawnmower was bigger than me. It was dangerous. I could've cut my leg off. I could've slid up under it. But I learned how to pull my own weight. I learned how to fight for myself. I learned how to hold my own money. I learned how to be tough. I learned how to pull in the middle of a storm. You got to pull! If you're going to pull your church out, you gotta pull. If you're gonna pull this marriage out, you gotta pull. If you're going to get your finances up, you gotta pull. Oh!
This woman, this nameless, manless woman comes to this powerful judge. And I want you to see how she started operating in a dimension she didn't live in. It wasn't like she was used to hanging out with the judge at the golf course. It wasn't that they belonged to the same country club. It wasn't that they'd hung out at the same five-star restaurants. It wasn't that she had a previous relationship with him. She was out-classed. She was in a place that she didn't fit. She probably wasn't dressed right. The only thing she had goin' for her is she kept coming.
Now, remember that Jesus is teaching about prayer. The woman kept coming, and she was coming into a dimension that she didn't fit. She was coming into a dimension that she didn't fit because she had to go above her adversary's head to get justice, because she'd never get justice from her adversary. People aren't going to help you because it's right. People aren't going to help you because it's what they're supposed to do. People are not going to help you because the truth is on your side. People are not going to help you because you've done this, and done that, and the other. Sometimes you gotta go above their head to a higher power and fight for justice. Justice has to go up and not down.
And here comes this woman into a neighborhood she can't live in to meet with a man she doesn't know to have a conversation she's not used to to debate a law she didn't study, but she kept on knocking. Oh God! I don't know who I'm preaching to today, but the Holy Ghost said, "Keep on knocking! Keep on fighting! Keep on praying! Keep on getting up"! And then the Lord allows us to hear what was in the judge's mind. Most of the time, we hear a judge give the verdict. We get the verdict, but we don't get the thought. But in this particular text, the Lord indulges us with an opportunity to get classified information. He doesn't just tell us what the judge decided, but he says what the judge thought. The judge said to himself, "Hmm, I better do something about this woman 'cause she's gonna keep bothering me. She's gonna keep bothering me".
Now, now, fellas, I don't mean no harm by this, and you can call this a sexist statement if you want to, but when it comes to real intercession, women are hard to beat. Yeah, women are hard to beat. Women are hard to beat. No need in you getting mad, women are hard to beat. When you ask a brother to pray for you, he'll say somethin', "Father, ... , and I thank you for it, ... , in the name of Jesus we pray, amen". And if you don't get it from that, you don't get it. But when you ask a woman to pray for you, a woman will walk the floor, and shake their head, and say, "Devil, you're a liar. You can't have my child. Devil, get outta my house. Turn my daughter loose. I plead the blood of Jesus". She'll cry and speak in tongues. She'll clap the hands over her sink. She'll walk around in the house talking to it.
When you ask a woman to pray for you, she will bombard heaven and tell demons, "Let my child loose". She'll rebule witches, and warlocks, and curses, and strongholds, and say, "Turn 'em loose"! Many of us are here because some woman was relentless. And this church who did not fear God nor man broke because this woman, one woman, one relentless woman. She didn't have a committee. She doesn't have a board. She didn't have a group. She didn't have a prayer partner. But one woman! Every time he turned around, I'm going to shout. Every time he turned around, here she come again. Every time he went to lunch, she was standing on the sidewalk. When he closed up the office, getting in his car, she was out in the parking lot. Every time he stopped to get coffee in the morning, she was there at the coffee shop.
This one woman, little by little, the judge began to break and said, "I better do something about her because she is bothering me". Now, hear me when I tell you. This is what I want you to understand. Because she bothered him, she moved God. I came to tell you, don't give up. Sometimes I've had people in my life who say... they had my number, you know? They say, "I don't call you 'cause I don't want to bother you". And people who don't bother you, you forget. Their politeness kills the intensity of the relationship. If I didn't want you to bother me, I wouldn't have given you the number. I can't tell you how many opportunities I lost bein' polite 'cause I didn't take seriously the fact that somebody really wanted me in the space. But this woman said, "Invitation or not, phone number or not, I'm gonna bother you 'til I get a breakthrough".
And Jesus is teaching his disciples, if you're gonna pray, bother God. Bother him in the morning. Bother him at night. Bother him while you're driving. Bother him in the shower. Bother him in the waiting room. Bother him in the court room. Bother him in the annex of the bank. Bother him in the lawyer's office. Bother him when the odds are against you. Bother him! God said, "If you bother me, I will give you justice". You can't get justice without persistence. He says, "Bother me".
This is what the Lord put in my spirit to share with you. I don't know what you're fighting. I don't know what's against ya. I don't know how the odds are stacked against you. I don't know how the wind is blowing against you. I don't know how tired your arms might be. I don't know how many times you have to pull the lawnmower up the hill and it feels like it's bigger than you. But God said, "Bother me". I don't know what's keeping you up at night, but God said, "Bother me". I don't know what's got your indigestion messed up, but God said, "Bother me". I don't know what's made you break out in hives, but God said, "Bother me". I don't know how the enemy is threatening you, but the Holy Ghost said, "Bother me. Cast all your cares on me. Bring it to me. Throw it at my feet. I'm able. Bother me. Stop being polite and bother me".
You can't act like your girlfriends. They're not going through what you're going through. You're in a fight. God said, "Bother me". If you bother him, he will deliver you. If you bother him, he will bring you out. If you bother him, he will make a way out of no way. If you bother him, he'll open up a door for you. If you bother him, he'll rebuke your devourer. If you bother him, he'll bind the curse. If you bother him, he'll heal a body. Somebody say, "Bother him".
Oh, my God. Bishop Jakes, can you prove it? Yes, I can. Let me leave this woman alone and go down into Egypt. And there they were in Egypt and they had been slaves for 400 years. And the one God sent to deliver them had to run away and was living in Jethro's house, but the slaves kept bothering God. They kept on praying. They were bothering a God that they hadn't worshiped for hundreds of years. But what they couldn't remember of him, they kept on bothering him. Moses was settled in Midian. He had a good job. He was in a good place. He was doing his thing. He had a safe position. But the Bible says that while Moses was taking care of the sheep, God appeared in a burning bush and said, "Moses! Moses! Take off your shoes. The ground you're standing on is holy ground". Why are you bothering me, God? God said, "I heard the cry of some slaves. Go down there and tell Pharaoh to let my people, let 'em go".
COVID-19, let God's people, let 'em go. Depression, let me go. Fear, let me go. Anxiety, let me go. Worry, let me go. A bunch of slaves prayed until God disrupted Moses's life and sent him back to Pharaoh and said, "God said, 'Let my people go'". Honey, it never would've happened if the slaves would have stopped praying. They would've died slaves. They they'd never made it to the promised land. But in spite of their lowly position, they use what they had to get what they wanted. And hallelujah, because they bothered him, they got delivered. Touch somebody in your house, wave at 'em, high-five 'em, hit their elbows, blink your eyes at 'em, wiggle your toe at 'em, and say, "Bother him".