TD Jakes - Bad Can't Stop You from Better
So, as we leap into this text, we leap into this text knowing that we have leaped into turbulence. We have leaped into unrest. We have leaped into chaos. We have leaped into confusion. We have leaped into turmoil. We have leaped into hypertension. We have leaped into nervousness. We have leaped into anxiety. We have leaped into a moment and time in the wilderness that the children of Israel have no place to lay their head. They can't afford to go to Egypt. Egypt's door is closed. They can't reach the Promised Land. They're in that nebulous, indescript place of transition, and still the Canaanites rose up to fight them. Still the canaanites came to attack them. Still the COVID virus spread.
It couldn't wait for you to get the house paid off. It didn't wait for you to get your kids out of college. It didn't wait for you to pay off your first car. But still, in the middle of transition, the attack came. And the Bible says we we hear the conversation between the people of God and their God, and they said to God, "Will you fight for us as we go? Will you fight for us"? And I don't know, I appreciate the Center for Disease Control, I appreciate the Surgeon General, I appreciate all the Congress that'll work together, I appreciate them, I appreciate all the doctors who've gone with no sleep tryin' to take care of the patients. I appreciate all the nurses who had worked around the clock and left their own children with the babysitter I appreciate all the people who worked in the nursing home and even got sick themselves trying to take care of our grandmother.
But I'm lookin' past all helpers, and all the nurses, and all the doctors, and all the Congress, and I'm looking to God, and sayin, "If I gotta fight, I want you to fight with me". And they said, "If you'll fight with us, we will destroy the Canaanites. We will utterly annihilate the Canaanites". Y'all don't hear what I'm saying to you. We will utterly annihilate the Canaanites. We will wear them out. We will beat them down. We will get the victory. Isn't it nice to know that they associated victory not with the circumstances, but with the presence of God.
Too many of us are waiting on the circumstance to be right before we claim the victory. The victory is never in the circumstance. It's never in the condition. The victory is always is God for me. If God is for me, he's more than the world against me. If God is for me, I might be any age, I might be the age that's vulnerable, the age that's not vulnerable, but that's not the question. It's not how old I am, it's is God with me? If God is with me, he'll always protect that which I committed unto him against that day. Somebody's gonna get this word today. Somebody's gonna get this word today. Somebody shout, "Hallelujah". And so, they found themselves in the middle of conflict.
Point two, conflict rose up. Conflict rose up. Everybody's got a different idea how things ought to be done. Conflict rises up, and in the time of conflict, it's hard to determine truth. Who can I trust? What is true? What can I count on? Who's gonna be there for me? See, anybody can be there in the time of peace, but who's going to be there and time of conflict? When the battle is hot and heavy, and they don't know who's gonna come out on top, who's gonna stand beside me in the storm, in the test, in the trial? That's the question before us today? I know you've got faith on Sunday morning. Anybody can have faith on Sunday morning. All this nice music, and singing, and praise dancers, and stuff.
Anybody can have faith right now, I'm looking for somebody who can have faith under fire. Faith in the conflict. Faith in the tough times. Faith when the doctor gives the bad report. Faith in the middle of trials and tribulations. Faith with tears running down your face. Faith in the middle of a storm. You got to have it in the conflict. What blew my mind about this text is this text almost doesn't make any sense, because I would think that if God fought for you, and you fought off the Canaanites, and you've got the victory, I would think you would be happy. I would think that if you got the victory, if he answered your prayer, if he brought you through a test, if he brought you through a storm, I would think you'd be praising God and rejoicing in the God of your salvation.
But look through the text. There's not one dance anywhere. There's not one praise anywhere. Not one hallelujah anywhere. Not one thank you Jesus anywhere. Nobody even clapped their hands. Nobody even raised their hands. Nobody said if it had not been for the Lord, we would've lost this battle. Not one of them acknowledged the Lord. They didn't even acknowledge that God helped them get the victory. Instead, they murmured, and they complained. They murmured against the same God they just got through asking to help them. Isn't it funny how you can help people, and the same people, I'm not talking about their next-door neighbor, I'm talkin' about the same people that you do the most for, are often the very ones was that look at you like they got Alzheimer's, and they don't even recognize what you did in their life.
I don't know if they've got some kind of disease or what happened to 'em, but some kinda way they forgot that if God hadn't helped them, the Canaanites would have killed them, they forgot. If God hadn't helped you, you wouldn't had no job, they forgot. If God hadn't opened the door, you'd have never been who you were, they forgot. It was God gave you the car in the first place. But worse still, worse, worse, worse, worse still, they forgot how to be happy. They forgot how to be happy. God have mercy on us. We live in a country that has forgotten how to be happy. We've forgotten how. I know I sound old school, I know I'm old timey, but we've forgotten how to nod at people when you walk down the street. We've forgotten how to help little old ladies across the street with the groceries. We've forgotten just human kindness and decency. We've forgotten how to be that. We're so busy being important, so busy blinging, and so busy showing what we got, and showing who we are, showing you what we're wearing, and showing you what we drive, we forgot how to just be nice.
How could you so soon forget just human dignity? How could you forget that I'm not your black brother, I'm your brother. Your not a white sister, you're my sister. We have forgotten just to be nice. We have forgotten the children stuck at the border. We have forgotten the parents that go to bed at night wondering where my baby is. We have forgotten. Y'all don't hear what I'm saying. We have forgotten that we got kids growing up in cages who didn't do anything to anybody. We have forgotten. We have forgotten. We forget some things that we need to remember. And sometimes God has to send something to shake you to make you remember. The Bible says that they murmured in two different categories. They murmured against God, and they murmured against Moses. They murmured against heaven, and they murmured against earth. They murmured against the divine, and they murmured against the terrestrial. They murmured against that which is above, and they murmured against that which is beneath.
It's one thing to murmur against that which is beneath, but when your murmur against God. You done messed up now when you murmur against God, especially after he fought for you. Especially after he blessed you. Especially after he pulled you out. Especially after he made a way. Especially if he took you through things. You should have lost your mind, and now you gonna murmur? Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God, and when God gets tired, see, we don't teach enough about when God gets tired. We teach all them series, "Five Ways to a Blessing", and "Three Ways to Lead a Debt-Free Life", "Five Ways to be a Millionaire", "Four Ways to Live on Top of the World".
We don't tell you about this God. We tell you about the Santa Claus God. The name, claim, blab, grab, go get what you want. We don't tell you that God gets tired. When God gets tired of your excuses, when God gets tired of you playing game, when God gets tired of you ignoring him, when God gets tired of you being merciful, when God gets tired of you shaking your fist in his face and telling him you don't need him, when God gets tired of you cursing in the high places, and cursing the people of God, when God gets tired of our leaders fighting like they're in a barroom brawl, when God gets tired, God has a way of sending something to get your attention.
God has a way of making you stop playing church, and playing games, and playing like you're leaders, and playing like you care about people. God has a way of bringing you down to your knees. And while they were bragging about how strong they were, God sent the snakes crawling. Oh America, snakes are crawling. Snakes are crawling. Snakes are crawling. God sent the snakes crawling. And God has a way of attacking you in places you did not expect, in ways you could not predict. You lookin' for him to come up high, and God will come down low. Glory to God, I feel something pushing me. I never did need a whole lot of folks to say amen. I feel something pushing me in the back.
While all of that was going down, God was stirring up a cure. Somebody had lit a fire. Somebody had lit a fire. Somebody had put a pot on the fire, and somebody had began to melt down brass. And they begin to melt down the brass that would become the brazen altar. Before he could become the brazen altar, it had to go through the fire. Fire will change the way you look. Fire will change the way you walk. Fire will change the way you talk. Fire will change. Fire, fire, fire, fire Fire, fire, fire will change the way you present yourself. Fire will make you melt. Melting is humbling yourself. Fire will make you humble down. Fire will bring you down to your knees.
It don't matter who got a big church now, everybody gotta little church... fire. Fire will bring you down to your knees. Fire will make you humble yourself. Fire will make you say yes to God. Fire will make you surrender yourself. Fire will make you present your body a living sacrifice. Fire will stop you from jumping from church to church. Fire. See, you gotta understand, in order to take brass and make it a serpent, you gotta bring it to nothing. Before you can make something out of it, you gotta melt it to nothing. You gotta burn it so bad that it loses all shape, it loses all firm, it loses all characteristics, it loses all power to stand on its own. And as they began to melt it down, the brass started saying, Bloop-bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop.
Now, while it's bubbling, the people are dying. You gotta understand the situation. On one side I got people dying, Bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, and on the other side, the fire is makin' a cure. When I turn on the news, I see who's dying, but when I open my Bible, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, My bible tells me that God, God is, God is, God is bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop. Bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop. Bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop. Bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop. I should have called this message, "Bloop, Bloop, Bloop, Bloop, Bloop, Bloop". For everyone in trouble, the Holy Ghost said, "Bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop". I put enough fire, I brought enough fire to turn the brass to liquid, and I'm getting ready to reshape it.
Now, watch this, because this is really the power of the text. I thought if God would melt down the brass, he would've made something that symbolized healing. Maybe he should have made it a pill. Maybe he should have made it a needle. Maybe he should have made it a cross. But the Bible said that when he melted it all down, he turned the brass into a serpent. That's what confused me. I said, "Lord, the serpent is what caused the trouble in the first place". But the Lord said I made the cure from the venom. The very thing that the enemy used to destroy you, I'm gonna use it, this shows you the power of your God. The power of your God. I'm about to feel like preaching now. The power of your God is take what they meant for evil, and turn around and make it good. Good God Almighty.
So, on one hand, we got 'em dying, on the other hand, out of the bubbling is coming the very thing that killed 'em, only this serpent is made of brass. Moses said, "God, I've been looking for a cure, and I haven't been able to find a cure". The CDC says we haven't been able to find a cure. They say it's gonna take a year and a half to come up with a cure. But the Holy Ghost said, "Bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop". God is stirring up a cure. Good God Almighty. Am I blessing somebody today? Am I blessing somebody? Am I blessing somebody? Give God a praise in this place. Hey, hey, hey.
Now, they're laying on the floor, they're about to die, and the Lord says to them the most ridiculous thing. He says to dying people, "Look up". Who walks into a place where people are dying, and tells them to look up? "I'm dying, Lord", "Look up". My husband is dead, "Look up". My child is dead, "Look up", lost my mama, Lord, "Look up". Little by little, they turn their feverish heads. They turn their feverish heads out there in the desert heat. Now, it's one thing to be in the heat, it's another thing to be in the heat and have a fever. The fever is one thing, and the heat is something else. And in the middle of the heat and the fever, God said, "Look up". And little by little, they turned their weak head. Their trembling neck, their parched breath, their squinting eyes, and looked up. And that's when God told Moses the secret. He said I want you to lift up the brazen serpent in the wilderness. And the Bible said that Moses lifted up the serpent in the middle of the wilderness. He lifted up the serpent in the middle of the wilderness.
Now, you need to understand the correlation between the cure and the cause, they are the same image. The same thing that caused it is the same thing that cured it. That's why Jesus had to go to the cross, but he couldn't go to the cross as the Holy. The Bible said, "He became sin who knew no sin, that we might be the righteousness of God". As long as he was righteousness, he could not redeem me, but he had to become the same thing that bit me in order to redeem me. "He became sin who knew no sin, that we might be". I feel like preaching, I better stop. We might be the righteousness of God. And so, when they lifted up Jesus on the cross, he became sin for us on the cross, because had he been lifted up as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, he would not have related to my condition. He wouldn't have been kin to my cause. And if you're not kin to my cause, you can't be my kinsmen redeemer. But because he had to be kin to my sin, he became sin for me.
And one writer saw the correlation between Moses and Matthew, between the Old Testament and the New Testament, between the Old Testament church and the New Testament church, and he wrote these words. "Even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so shall the Son of Man be lifted up". A hymnologist got the revelation, and wrote these words. "How to reach the masses, men of every birth, for an answer, Jesus gave the key". He said, "If I be lifted up from the earth, I'll draw all men unto me". And so the story goes. And so the story goes. But you have to go through bad to get to better.
I wanna remind America, it may look bad right now, but, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop. You might be shut up for three weeks right now, but God said bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop. You might be worried about your grandparents, but Holy Ghost said, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy, Holy Ghost joy is coming in the morning.
Understand this, my brothers and my sisters, as I close the text today, the president might be surprised, the Supreme Court might be surprised, Congress might be surprised, the magistrates and the mayors surprised, the governor's surprised, the Pope is surprised, the bishops, and the elders, and the pastors surprised, but God is not surprised. He told Paul in Corinth, "There is no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man. But God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way of escape". So, for every problem, God bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, God is bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop. God is making a way of escape. If you got a problem, God has an answer.