TD Jakes - Sheltered by the Shepherd
Once you have gone through storms and peril and pestilence and destruction, you learn to appreciate what is being offered in Psalms 91. "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High". Oh, God. Show me your secret. I would run right in there if I could see where it is. What address? Which house do I run in that's safe? Which person is safe? Which thing is safe? Which job is safe? You are trying to find a physical, place because you are reading the text with a carnal mind. The secret place is not a building. It's not a house. It's not an address. It's a place in the Spirit that was just offered to you a moment ago, and I looked around the room as we were worshipping God, and I watched some of you miss the secret place because you was just...
You know how to move your body, but you don't know how to move your spirit. You know how to get on the highway and go to North Dallas. You know how to get to Fort Worth. You don't know how to get in the Spirit when it passes by, and the secret place is in the Spirit of God, and, because you look at worship through carnal eyes, you think it's emotionalism, and you say you are not emotional. Worship has nothing to do with emotions. It has everything to do with Spirit. It might affect your emotions, but it is not caused by your emotions. It is a deeper reality that you go into, where the enemy cannot follow you, where storms cannot follow you, where treachery cannot follow you, where worry cannot follow you, where depression cannot follow you. You can escape in the secret place, and it is a secret only because you will not walk in the Spirit, and, when you start walking in the Spirit and start moving in the Spirit and start flowing in the Spirit, you move into a secret place.
How many people understand what I'm talking about right now? Do you not know that there are hundreds, perhaps hundreds of people that come to church in this room that they came to the building, but they missed the place? "Where are you going"? "I'm going to The Potter's House". That's great. That's as far as you got, but, when you got here, we weren't here. We were in the secret place, and you were at The Potter's House. He is my refuge, my fortress, my God, and this is another element that brings you to the secret place. "In him will I trust". If you're gonna have a God, and you're not gonna trust him, why do you need him? Trust takes you to the secret place. Your trust will always by tried. Satan has a conversation with God about Job and says, "I guess he is serving you. You got him in your secret place. You have a hedge around him. He's in your secret place. I cannot access him, but I tell you what. If you move your hedge from around him, I'll make him curse you to your face".
And every place God moved a hedge, Job had an a trial. House burned down, kids destroyed, reputation assassinated, afflicted in his body, troubled in his mind at the lowest moment in his life, and, when push came to shove, Job says, "The Lord knows the way that I take, and, when he has tried me, I shall come forth as pure gold. I don't know anything. My children are dead. My cattle are dead. I'm bankrupt. I lost my house. My body's broken out in boils, but, when I come forth, I shall come forth as pure gold". Here, the writer says, "In him will I trust". Trust will take you to the secret place. Trust will take you to the secret place. Now, trust is not lip service, but I'm talking about down in your soul, in your spirit, in the innermost part of your being. You have to decide, "Do I trust God? Do I trust God"? It's easy to trust God when you just got a raise. Do I trust God even though I got fired? Do I trust God when I get laid off? Do I trust God as they lower a loved one in the grave?
My heart is broken. I don't even think I can breathe. I'm so upset, I'm out of breath, but Lord, I trust you that you wouldn't allow this to happen to me if some kind of way there were not going to be something positive that comes out of this. I trust you when I can't trace you. It will take you to the secret place so that, even if the enemy did do it, it didn't work because the enemy only did it to make you curse God, and the moment you say, "Lord, I'm crying, but I praise you. Lord, I'm bleeding, but I praise you. Lord, I'm hurting, but I thank you," you defeat him, not by getting out of the situation but not allowing the situation to move your foundation. Sheltered by the shepherd. Touch somebody, and tell them, "I'm sheltered by the shepherd". "Surely, surely, surely, he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler". Now, he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler. He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler. He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler. He didn't stop the fowler. He didn't stop the snare. He said, "I will get you out when you think you're caught".
A snare is a trap. A fowler is a trapper, who specialized in setting up traps so that he could apprehend most often birds that were flying in the air. It is to bring you down from the height of your potential, down to the reach of your enemy. It is to bring you down from the height of your potential within the reach of your enemy. He sets a trap so he can bring you down to an area where he can reach you, because, as long as you were flying on the height of your potential, he couldn't reach you, but he sets a trap to bring you down into his domain so that he can get his hands on you, and every now and then, I don't care how high you are. I don't care how mighty you are. I don't care how strong you are. There is a trap that will bring you down. Oh, I said there is a trap that will bring you down, and there you are, made to fly, and there you are, trapped in the snare of the fowler, but God said, "While you're trapped, don't be worried about it because I'm gonna deliver you from the snare of the fowler".
Y'all don't hear what I'm saying. I'm trying to teach, but I feel a preach down in my soul. Hallelujah. Touch somebody and say, "I'm coming out of this. I may be in a trap of sickness". I may be in a trap of pain. It may be hard for me to get out of the bed in the morning. It may be uncomfortable for me to digest my food. I may be in the trap, but I am not of the trap. God said he shall deliver me out of the snare of the fowler. In order to deliver me out of, I had to be into. Don't judge me where you met me 'cause I'm coming out of this. Don't lock me up to what I did 'cause I'm coming out of this. Oh, don't define me by my situation because he is gonna deliver me. Help. I've fallen, and I can't get up. God said, "I'm coming to get you. Press the medic alert. I'm get you out of this".
God says, "Surely," not, "maybe," not, "hopefully". "Surely, he shall deliver me out of the snare of the fowler and the noisome, and the noisome pestilence. Pestilence is a contagious, infectious, epidemic-style disease. He shall deliver me from the noisome pestilence. He shall deliver me from what infected me. The plague comes from who I got close to. And because I got close to you, I walked away with your disease, but it was yours and not mine, so I'm not gonna own it. I'm gonna give it back to you because he is gonna deliver me out from the noisome pestilence. This is why I think, and you don't have to put this down. There's no absolute, but this is why I think Moses wrote this, because nobody would know like Moses what plagues look like because he saw the plagues that hit Egypt, and he heard the writhing, screaming cries of men covered with boils and infectious diseases. He saw the frogs come out in massive proportions and afflict all of Egypt. He watched them writhe in pain and disease and affliction, and he watched the frogs hop all the way up to the Hebrews houses. He watched the death angel fly all the way up to the, see?
Y'all don't hear what I'm saying. He knows firsthand to see. See, we've been blessed. We haven't seen a plague in this country. We've seen the bird Nile flu, and the pig flu, and we all, but we haven't seen plagues where they're piling up bodies, piling up bodies, on your right side, on your left side, and all covered with all types of diseases. Moses had seen all of this, but it didn't come nigh him. Is there anybody in here who has walked through some plagues and diseases and afflictions that, by all rights, it should have got you, but it didn't get you because some kind of way, you were sheltered? See, let me tell you something. If I had some real people, I could have some real church. Sanctimonious people don't know how to praise the Lord, but real people look at all the things that could have happened, that should have happened, that almost happened. You don't even know how you got out of it alive at all, but some kind of way, God brought you out.
Slap somebody and say, "I'm a witness. I'm a witness," and this is a testimony that I don't tell you. This is the other half of my testimony. This is the part that, when I get to it, I start speaking in tongues. This is the part of my testimony that makes me run around the church. I can't even tell you all the stuff that almost got me. I don't even know how I got out myself. If nobody in the whole church praises God, I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Oh! I feel glory about to hit this plague. Your mama died from it. Your aunties died from it. Your grandma died from it. Your sister died from it, and yet, some kind of way, you're still here. You should have been in solitary confinement, locked up in jail. You know the neighborhood you came out of. You know your cousin is in jail. Your uncle is in jail, but, some kind of way, God brought you out. You should have died of AIDS. You should have withered away, slithered up to nothing. You had all kind of unprotected sex, but, some kind of way, God brought you out, and, if nobody else...
You married that crazy man. He beats every woman he's got. He almost killed you, but, just when the enemy was coming in to destroy you, God snatched you out. Now, you're sitting up, looking all cute and fine and important, but you were laying on the floor, covered with blood, but God. Sit down. I'm just talking to you. Touch three people and say, "I've been sheltered by the shepherd. I've been sheltered. I've been sheltered. I've been sheltered. I should have lost my mind. I should have had a nervous breakdown. I should have thrown in the towel. I should have ODed on drugs. I should be an alcoholic. I could be strung out on cocaine, but the shelter of the shepherd brought me through the storm. I've seen the lightning flash. I've heard the thunder roll. I've felt sins break, trying to conquer my soul, but I heard the voice". Oh, Jesus. Jesus, ooh.
Sit with me, I'm almost finished. The writer here suggests that it is with the care of the mother. He said he covered you like a mother bird cover her eggs. He covered you with his feathers and brought you into his brood and warmed you with his presence and kept away the enemies that thought they would destroy you because, when he covered you with his feathers, he's now saying, "In order to get to him, you've got to come through me". Oh, you don't hear what I'm saying. "In order to get to her, you've got to come through me". That's why thousands shall fall at thy left side, 10.000 at thy right side. It will not come nigh thee, because you've been shattered. Verse 8, "Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked". That's the only way you're gonna experience it. You're gonna watch it, but you're not gonna be in it. God is gonna bring you in a position where you are going to be in a place to see what he does to the wicked but not rejoicing it.
You know you have grown when you can intercede for your enemies. How, how can you feed somebody who's about to betray you? How can you be nice to somebody that you know is an enemy? The only way you can do that, I don't think it's just goodness alone. The only way you can do that is to know that no weapon formed against me shall be able to prosper. You're gonna do it. "Yes, they're gonna capture me. They're gonna drag me from judgment hall to judgment hall. It's gonna be a painful experience. I will get bruised and take in lacerations. I will be humiliated. I will be nailed to a cross. I will be buried in a tomb. I will reside in the tomb three days, but early Sunday morning, I won't just be restored to where I was before you hit me. Because I took this lick, I will go higher than you've ever seen me go before, so, Judas, have some lunch. Have some lunch, man. Get you some more biscuits and gravy. I am sheltered by the shepherd".
As I close this message today, I want you to know one thing. Whatever you're going through right now and no matter how painful it may be, because the test is custom-designed to the continuity of your weaknesses, and everybody in here has a trouble spot, that, when the enemy hits you right there, your knees buckle, and you're in it right now, and you're shaking, but you're not in it by yourself. It's because the test is designed to challenge your weaknesses. It wouldn't be a test if you didn't feel it. What good is a workout that doesn't work you out? I measure the workout by how sore I am the next day. If it don't hurt, it don't help. So, the thing that hurts you, the thing that keeps you up at night, the thing that stops you from being proud because you are successful everywhere but here, it is the thorn in your flesh that humbles you to pray, but God is saying, "In spite of that, I've got you covered".
Now, the truth of the matter is some messages I preach hit some people, generally not everybody, but I don't see how this one could miss you because everything in here breathing air has something that drives you to your knees, and it is to that thing that I'm ministering today. It is to that thing that I tell you there is a secret place. It is in that area that, when we are all worshipping, and you are distracted by the swelling from the aching of that thing, drag that thing into the secret place, and the closer you get in to the secret place, the less it can hold you. I believe that God is saying to someone in this room, "I want to heal you from that thing or that place in your life that drives you to your knees". He says, "I'm gonna open up the doors to the secret place.
Now, you can sit there and be macho if you want to and then try to drink away what you could have worshiped away or go home and fight with the wife and kick the dog and slap the cat. You express every other kind of emotion, but your pride and your arrogance stops you from worshipping me," and God says, "I'm gonna keep hitting that spot. I'm gonna keep hitting it and hitting it and hitting it until I break you, until I bring you to the place that you acknowledge that I am God, and besides me there is no other".