TD Jakes - Divine Immigration
When we started talking today, I'm gonna talk to you a little bit about the importance of understanding and realizing that immigration, no matter what we are seeing played out at the border and people stuck at the border and all the chaos is going on, that whether you realize it or not, immigration is something that we all go through. Yeah, we all go through it, we all go through it, even if you stay in this country the rest of your life and you're a citizen of this country, the concept of immigration is something that you're going to face all of your life.
The definition, let me give you the definition, you can put it on the board. "Immigration is an international movement of people into a destination country of which they are not native or where they do not possess citizenship in order to settle or reside there, especially as permanent residence or naturalized citizens or to take up employment as a migrant worker or temporary as a foreign entity", somebody say amen.
So when you think about immigration I don't want you to just think about it within the context of what we are seeing played out, but I want you to understand that immigration is when you are used to being one place and you migrate to another place, and you are in another place but you are foreign to the place. Anytime there's change, there is immigration, and anytime there's immigration there will be discomfort. So immigration even at its best is difficult, and in our text today, this is not immigration at its best, this is immigration at it's worst.
This is Naomi, let me explain to you who this is. This is Naomi, who comes from a wealthy family in Bethlehem, has left Bethlehem because of a famine and a drought that was so persistent that she moved to Moab, and has now lived in Moab 10 years. And she and her husband and her two sons have lived in Moab for 10 years, but over 10 years, how many of you know a lot can happen in 10 years? You would be shocked what can happen in life in 10 years, that's why you ought not look down your nose at anybody, because the person you're talking about, you may have to face what they're going through in the next 10 years.
And now this woman has, over the course of 10 years she's lost her son and she lost her other son and left two widows as daughter in laws, she lost her own husband and she decides I'm going home. And she gets ready to go home and she gets ready to go through the transition again, back into an environment after 10 years of living in Moab. She is at a bad place in her life, has anybody ever been at a bad place in your life? She's in a terrible place, she's in a terrible place. She's in a terrible place because she has gone through hell and high water and she needs to believe that things are gonna get better but the reality is, it's hard to believe for better when you've had 10 years of worse. Worse becomes a culture, worse becomes indelibly imprinted in your soul where you, she says I went out full, I had everything when I started and I came back empty.
Now don't confuse empty with tired, empty and tired are two different things. If I'm tired I can take a nap, if I'm tired I can get some rest, if I'm really tired I can go on vacation. Tired can be resolved easily but there's a difference between being tired and being empty, this girl is empty, and she doesn't have the patience to deal with the empty, empty.
Empty is when you have given out all that you can give and you don't have anything left for yourself, empty is when everybody is taking from you and nobody's giving back to you, and you wonder when is it gonna be my turn to receive anything at all. Empty is when people take you for granted and they keep asking you for more and more and more and more, and finally you are so depleted that you are empty. You're empty when you go to bed, you're empty when you get up that morning, you are just empty. I don't have another smile, I don't have another word of wisdom, I don't have another prophecy, I don't have an answer, I don't feel like encouraging you, all my courage is gone.
She is tortured by the bad memories, she's tortured by the emptiness, she tortured by the regret. Her other daughter-in-law turned around and went back, she got to the border and went back like so many people do, they come to the border of better, they come to the border of better and go back because better feels funny; because you don't really think that you're worthy of better. Because you don't want to deal with the migration and the discomfort of having to retool yourself, you'll go back into something that's lesser than what you have an opportunity to go in. Orpah said, "See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya, I'm going back home to Moab 'cause I understand it". It's not 'cause it's good, people don't go back because it's good, they go back 'cause it's safe.
See, you can't begin to understand this unless you're walking with God, and if you're walking with God you understand me already because if you're walking with God, if you're walking with God, then you understand that your God is a moving God. From the first book of Genesis, when the Bible says that, "The Spirit of the Lord moved upon the face of the deep", to the book of Revelation, where it says, "Even so, come Lord Jesus", God is always on the move. And if you're going to walk with him, you gotta walk by faith, not by sight, you want you gotta walk by faith, you gotta be willing to walk into new, scared and empty, and say, "Though he slay me, yet shall I trust him, that he that hath began a good work shall perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ".
I'm scared but I'm going, I'm empty but I'm going, I'm tired but I'm going, I'm nervous but I'm going, I'm frustrated but I'm going. The Lord sent me here this morning to tell you, things are about to shift in your life. My life, my life, my life, my life, my life, my personal life, my financial life, my spiritual life, my whole life has been a series of shiftings, of migrations, of changes, of development, and you have to have the liquidity of thought and the nimbleness of mind not to fall in love with where you are; you gotta be prepared. I gotta be someplace Tuesday, my bags are already packed. I'm telling you the facts, my bags are packed and ready to go. You got to live with your bags packed ready to go to the next adventure, you don't have time to get ready, you gotta be ready, a change is coming.
Slap your neighbor and say, "A change is coming"! I'm going where I don't speak the language, I'm going where I don't understand the rules, I'm going where I gotta re-tool myself and put more thought into what I should have; that haircut and this haircut, that dress or this dress. I'm going somewhere new and I'm going by faith. I want 30 seconds of praise about faith. You need faith when you're empty, you need faith when you're tired, you need faith when you don't understand, you need faith when you're fearful, you have to trust God that he wouldn't be opening the door if I couldn't handle the door... Who am I talking to this morning? Sit down, let's go deeper, I want to give this to somebody, maybe it's somebody online watching right now and you don't understand where you are 'cause God is shaking things up in your life, Hallelujah to God. He's getting ready to do something amazing in your life, you better praise him like you lost your mind.
What Ruth started out working in she ended up owning. Naomi didn't understand, her destiny was not in her husband, it was not in her children, it was in her daughter-in-law and she was created to bring Ruth to Bethlehem. Now Bethlehem means the house of bread and Naomi was born to bring Ruth to the house of bread, because through Ruth, the bread would come. The Bible said that when Ruth married Boaz, they created a child called Obed, and Obed had Jesse, and Jesse had David, and out of David came Jesus. If the house of bread wouldn't have not let the immigrant in, they would've locked out Jesus, that's why Jesus had to be born in Bethlehem.
No-no-no, y'all don't hear what I'm saying, watch this, I'm gonna quit, but I want you see this, I want you to see this. The whole thing was a setup, the transition was a setup, the shift was a setup, touch your neighbor and tell them, "Excuse me, but I gotta move again", change seats, change seats. It's a setup, it's gonna be unsettling, it's gonna be unsettling, it's gonna be comfortable, it's gonna be disruptive, you liable to get out of order but it's a setup. I prophesy to you, if you let God disrupt what you had in mind, he's gonna shift you for divine immigration, glory to God, hallelujah, wait a minute.
Watch this, everything I've been talking about all morning has been geographical, it's about changing territory, it's about moving into new lands, into new territory. God's getting ready to put you into new territory, into new territory. But the last verse in the text is not about territory, it's about time, and it almost feels like it's a footnote, and it said, "They arrived in Bethlehem at the time of the barley harvest". It's not just about territory, it's about timing. If you don't move right now, you're going to miss it because the harvest is in the right time; you can be in the right territory but if it's not the right time you can't receive what God has for you.
Touch your neighbor and say, "It's my time", it's my time. Oh y'all scared to say it, it's my time, it's my harvest time, it's my harvest time, it's my harvest time, it's my oh-oh harvest time. I waited for it, I cried for it, I labored for it. Now watch this, the little notation says, "They arrived in Bethlehem at the time of the barley harvest". Bethlehem is the house of bread and the barley harvest is what makes the bread, and Ruth is what she's gathering. She is what's gonna make the bread. The little immigrant gonna make the bread, watch this, watch this, watch this.
Now, when you're in the barley harvest you don't go out in the field and gather bread, you gather seed, handfuls of seeds, watch this. You're getting ready to harvest, you getting ready to harvest seed, you snatch your hand full of it, just yeah-yeah. They were harvesting seed but the seed was turned to bread, I don't know if you can handle this but touch your neighbor and say, "I'm getting ready to make some bread". I'm getting ready to make some bread, I'm getting ready to make some bread, I'm getting ready to make some bread.
I know it don't look like I got nothing but seed but I'm getting ready to make the bread, I'm getting ready to... Quick review and I'm through. She started out gleaning over in the corner, just catching handfuls, some of you have caught some handfuls, yeah. It's not so much that you succeeded but it was enough to sustain you, but what you been catching handfuls of is about to come into full harvest; from a handfuls to harvest. Okay, now, divine immigration means that you will never harvest if you stay in Moab.
What is Moab? Moab is what's comfortable, Moab is what comes easy to you, Moab is what's simple, Moab is what's normal, or Moab is where you are known, Moab is where you understand everything. God said your blessing is outside of your element and if you have the courage to be adaptable, to adapt to new environments, who am I preaching to? I just wanna know. If this is really your word today, open your mouth and holler. Something just broke loose in the heavens, something just broke loose in the spirit world, something just broke loose over your life, something just broke loose in your situation, something just broke loose, something just broke loose, something just broke loose.
I feel the power of the Holy Ghost coming in this room, he's coming in to bless you, shout yeah. See, this word is for people it's not even in your nature to do what God has put you in to do, it's pulling stuff out of you you didn't even know you had, it's stirring up stuff that's not even in your comfort zone to do. You don't have the background for it, you don't have the training for it, you don't have experience for it but God's getting ready to fast track this thing. It's coming through your connections, Ruth, it's coming through your hookup, is who God's gonna connect you to.