TD Jakes - The Loyalty of God
And Paul is saying, "Has God forever forgotten his people Israel"? Are we cursed, are we up under a bondage? It is to this issue that he addresses the longevity of the fact that God will stand with you through changes. Now, it's important that we understand that because we need to understand that God is right when we are wrong, that God is strong when we are weak, that God is there when we are stray, and it is only the integrity of God that establishes our faith. Our faith is not built on a man, our faith is not built on a preacher, our faith is not built on a building, our faith is not built on a denomination, our faith is built on the integrity of God. And that integrity includes a loyalty, a loyalty so strong that it is beyond human comprehension, and it is about that loyalty that we're preaching about today, and it's hard to preach about something for which there is no metaphor.
When Jesus comes and preaches the kingdom, he keeps saying the kingdom is likened unto this and the kingdom is likened unto that, and the kingdom is likened unto that. But when it comes to the loyalty of God I'm unable to find a metaphor that rightly depicts the strength and the power of the loyalty of God. What can I say about the loyalty? Only thing I could think of to say is that God kept his promise to Abraham when Abraham was dead. Abraham was dead for 400 years, Israel was enslaved in Egypt and God still brought Israel out of enslavement from Egypt because he had given his word to a dead man. You have a God that says that, "I'm not a man, that I should lie, or the son of man that I should repent, have I not spoken it? Will not make it good"?
And the reason I'm sharing it with you today, because, just as turbulent as times were in Rome, just as indecisive as the times were in Rome, that same in decisiveness exists today in our country and other countries around the world where you don't know from day to day what's gonna happen; this one fighting against that one. In fact, Rome was on the brink of civil war, a civil war where there would be fighting between traditional Jews and the Roman Empire that almost split the country. And now, at a tribal time in our country where everybody's mad at everybody and everybody's fighting about everything, and everybody is at war with everybody else.
It's one thing to disagree, but now we hate people that are not on our team, that are not on our side, and you wonder if we're not going to run into what Rome ran into. Internal corruption ended up destroying the Roman Empire, and when I look at America today, I wanna talk directly to America today, you're on the brink of total destruction, not because we have disagreements but because we have disloyalty and disjointedness, and because we have divided, and "A house divided against itself shall not stand". It is in the midst of that division that God sends a Word.
I love God because God doesn't need a perfect situation to send a perfect Word, he'll send a Word into a chaotic situation, he'll remind you that he's still God in the midst of it all. And I wanted you to understand that Rome was going through what America is going through, what other countries around the world are going through, anarchy and deceitfulness and betrayal and denials and uncertainty. And every day you woke up in Rome you didn't know what was gonna happen next, and still, in the midst of all of that, God was still faithful. He had not cast away his people, even when his people cast him away. For the Bible said that, "Jesus came unto his own and his own received him not," but in spite of the fact that they did not receive him, God still had a commitment to be loyal to them. In fact, one writer says that God is married to the backslider.
I want to talk to somebody who's drifted away or turned your back on God and gone into another direction and now you're guilty and full of shame, and you've done some things of which you are ashamed of. You've had an abortion, you've had a baby out of wedlock, you've gone this way or that way into perversion or idolatry or other religions, I want you to know that God is still right where you left off and you have unfinished business with God. This text is about unfinished business with God, that "God is not slack concerning his promise as some men count slackness," he's still waiting on you to come to yourself, and that God has not forever cast you away.
I know the devil wants to tell you that God has cast you away, I know the devil wants you to feel hopeless so that you'll have an excuse to go further and further into your own degradation, but the devil is a liar. God is still right where you left him, ask the prodigal son if the father won't out-wait you. He'll stand right where he stood and say you're still my son, and I still love you and I'm right where you left me, and if you'd come to yourself I'll bring you up out of the muck and the mire.
I want to speak to America and say if we just come to ourselves, God is waiting on us to come to ourselves and understand who we are so that we can begin to stand in the power and the grace and the anointing of God. "I am the Lord thy God, I change not," I change not, my mercies are new every morning, I'm consistent, I'm stable. Your mama is shaky but I'm stable, your father is shaky but I'm stable, your husband is shaky but I'm stable, your wife is shaky but I'm stable, your job is shaky but I'm stable, your finances are shaky but I'm stable, the stock market is shaky but I'm stable, your friends are shaky but I'm stable.
I'm God, I'm a rock, I'm a rock, I'm a stone, I'm a sure place, I'm an absolute in a chaotic world. I do not have Alzheimer's, I have not forgotten you, I know you, I know you. You think it's about you knowing me. No, it's not about you knowing me, it's about me knowing you. I know you. In fact, I knew you, the text says, "I foreknew you". God has not forgotten those he foreknew. Nothing about the times, nothing about the world, nothing about the violence, nothing about the chaos, nothing about the plagues, nothing about the diseases, nothing about the presidency, nothing about the leadership, nothing about the election, nothing about the nation has caused God to forget who you are to him.
By the way, our nation is not of this world, our kingdom is not of this world, our king is not of this world. We have a King, his name is Jesus, and he said, I'm still here, "The same yesterday, today and forevermore," "I am the Lord thy God, I change not," I'm gonna say that again. "I am the Lord thy God, I change not," "I am the Lord thy God, I change not". Lord, that's good news. That's good news when you live in a world where you don't know; you meet the same person you met on Monday, and wonder Wednesday, "Is that the same person"?
The person who promised you love on Wednesday has got your divorce papers on Tuesday. You don't know what's gonna happen from day to day. The company who said they appreciated you and let you go next week, you don't know what's gonna... God said I'm not like any of them, I have not forgotten you because I foreknew you. I foreknew you like Jesus foreknew John before he met him in the Jordan River. He had met him in his mother's womb, the babies had leaped when the women had kissed, they were filled with the Holy Ghost.
God said your relationship with me did not start with your birthday, I foreknew you. "Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee, I ordained thee and I sanctified thee to be a prophet unto the name". I am your God, not your buddy, I am your God, not your friend, I'm your God, not your daddy. I'm not a deadbeat dad, I'm not somebody that will reject you, I'm not a woman who didn't want to have a baby, I will not abort my promise concerning you. I am your God, and I'm in it when you're out of it, and I'm standing here when you fail, and I'm strong when you're weak, and I'm healing when you're sick, and I'm life when you're dead, and I'm peace when you're confused. I'm God, I change not.
At this point in the text, he begins to teach the people of God to understand from a 40.000 foot view that God has a plan for his people. And he weaves through out the book of Romans the plan of God, talking first about the Gentiles, and then about the Jews, and weaving it together. And about chapter 3 or 4, he concludes them all in unbelief and makes both the Jew and the Gentile come into one door, and that is the door of faith. Why do we come to God by faith? because if we came by facts we'd have to have intelligence in order to come. He had to fix the door, where the illiterate and the intellectual would come through the same door.
I'm proud of your degrees, I'm proud of your accomplishments, I'm proud of the many accolades that have been bestowed upon you, but you don't get to God because you're smart. You get to God because you believe, and if you believe God it is counted unto you as righteousness. If you're going to impress God, it's not your money that impresses God, it's your faith. Without your faith, it is impossible to please God; that's the text we have before us today, that's the texts we have before us. The common denominator that brings both the Jew and the Gentile rushing through the same door, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk no longer after the flesh, but after the spirit".
That's the God that we're talking about right now. That's the God that's before us in this text, who's faithful when you are foolish. I said he is faithful when you are foolish, I know you need to act like you've never been foolish, but the truth of the matter, there's not a person listening at me right now who has not been foolish and walked in your own way, and walked away from God and did your own thing, and had to come stumbling back to the cross asking God for mercy and he was right where you left him. He was there all the time, he was there in your pain and in your suffering and in your agony.
God has not forgotten his people. Say that with me, God has not forgotten his people, say it again, God has not forgotten his people, say it again, God has not forgotten his people, say it again, God has not forgotten his people, say it again, God has not forgotten his people. I have to tell you, this blesses me. I don't know what it does for you but it blesses me because, I admit, sometimes I feel forgotten, I feel forgotten by everybody and everything. I've helped people who forgot, I've loaned money to people who forgot, I've comforted people who forgot, I stood by people who forgot, I opened doors for people who forgot, and I have to admit that sometimes it just gives me comfort to know that God has not forgotten me.
God has not forgotten, the Bible said, "God is not unjust to forget your labor of love... in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister;" that God remembers when other people forget. God has not forgotten, you know why? God is loyal. God is saying I am still with you. "Seek the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is yet near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts". I am not like your father, I will not abandon you, I will comfort you as a hen gathers her eggs, I will comfort you. I'm fighting against the feeling of abandonment.
Every time you see somebody shot down, you feel abandoned. Every time you see the wrong person adjudicated and dismissed from being apprehended and seeing justice not work, it makes you feel abandoned. Every time you can't get in the grocery store and buy what you need and you have to watch everybody else getting what they want, you feel abandoned. Every time justice walks past your house, you feel abandoned. Every time people look over top of you as if you're not a person, you feel abandoned. God said I'm not like them, I will not abandon you.
Somebody type, "God is loyal". God is loyal with you in the storm, and in the test and in the trial, and God says you cannot afford to walk in your feelings. You cannot afford to walk in your emotions, you cannot afford to walk in your abandonment, you cannot afford to walk in your childhood, you cannot afford to walk in your trauma, you cannot afford to walk in your strife. God is loyalty, we are talking about the loyalty of God.
Then the writer goes further and he starts giving the example of Elijah who has the feeling of abandonment not because he's not anointed, you can be anointed and still feel abandoned; Elijah is anointed, he called down fire on Mount Carmel. He called down fire on Mount Carmel, he overcame all the prophets of Baal, he rose up against them, he called down fire, swallowed up 450 prophets of Baal and turned around and ran like a little girl because you can be anointed and still feel abandoned, and he said I'm running not just because I'm afraid of Jezebel, I'm running not just worried I'm worried about Ahab, I'm running because I feel alone.
And I want to talk to some people who feel alone; alone in your house, alone in your apartment, alone by yourself, alone in your marriage (yeah, you can be married and still be alone), alone in your ministry, alone in your faith and you feel abandoned and forsaken and you're by yourself. That's what made Elijah run and that's why Paul brings him up in the text. Elijah was running from a feeling, it wasn't just a woman, he said I'm running because I'm alone and I'm by myself. I killed the prophets, I got the victory but what good is victory if I'm abandoned?
I want to talk to people who have great victory and you feel guilty because you're not enjoying your victory because you feel abandoned and you feel forsaken, and you thought victory would be better. And you got the job and you got the house and you got the car, and you've forgotten how blessed you are because none of it brought you the joy that you thought it was going to bring you. And there you begin to recognize the house is just a bill and the car is just to note to be paid, and all of a sudden you've got all of this stuff but you're wondering why you're running. You're running because you feel alone.
And Elijah was feeling alone, and he gets up under the juniper tree and he says I am alone, I'm anointed but I'm alone, I'm gifted but I'm alone, I'm powerful but I'm by myself. There are none left but me, I am by myself, and God says to him, Are you crazy? "I've got 7.000 that have not bowed to Baal, nor kissed the nasty image". I got people you've never met yet, I got doors in front of you that you haven't even seen yet, I got blessings you haven't even touched yet, I got revelations you haven't even seen yet, I got power you haven't even touched yet, I got victory you haven't even laid hands on.
Don't you know I am God? I'm still God, I'm God in the face of Ahab, I'm God in the face of Jezebel, I'm God in the face of Rome, I'm God in the face of America, I'm God in the unemployment line, I'm God in the time of trouble, I'm God in the hospital room, I'm God in a time of trouble, I'm God in the time of agony, I'm God in your affliction, I'm God in your divorce, I'm God in your crisis, I am God. I'm not your boyfriend, I'm God, I'm not your girlfriend, I'm God. Oh God, you don't hear me, I feel the anointing, I feel the anointing of the Holy Ghost.
We're talking about the loyalty of God and we're weighing it against the feelings of men, and the feelings of men says, "I am alone, and I am abandoned, and I am forsaken, and I am here by myself," and the loyalty of God says, "That is a lie, I've got resources you haven't touched yet". And to somebody listening at me right now, I'm calling on a revolution in your mind, to stop coming to God talking about how you feel and start talking to God about who he is.
Stop going to God and talking about, "I feel like quitting, I feel like giving up, I feel like walking away, I don't feel appreciated, I don't feel". This isn't, you don't come to God by feelings, you come to God by faith, and in order to have faith you gotta start talking God-talk. You can't be talking man-talk, you gotta talk God-talk. You can't be telling God what's wrong, God already knows what's wrong. If you're going to come to him, you gotta come by faith. Stop whining to God, God is not your therapist, God is not your counselor, God will know when you were potty trained, he doesn't need to know when you were potty trained.
You don't need to bring your doubt, bring your faith. God, I thank you you're loyal, God, I thank you you're faithful, God, I thank you you're consistent, God, I thank you you're able, God, I thank you you got power, God, I thank you you've got mercy. God, I know who you are, I may not see it but I know you got help, I know you got prophets, I know you got a help, I know you got resources. God said I've got 7.000 prophets, man, that you have not even seen.
I want to close talking to you about what you have not seen. You keep praying about what you see and God keeps talking about what you don't see. Elijah is running because of what he sees, God is talking to him about what you don't see. "I've got 7.000 prophets that have not bowed to Baal, nor kissed the nasty image". You are not in this thing by yourself, I got help you haven't touched yet, I've got resources you haven't built into. God wants to talk to you about the unseen. The Bible said, "Your eyes have not seen, your ears have not heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man the things that God has in store for them that love him".
If you're going to climb out of this ditch, you're gonna climb out in the unseen. Some of y'all are trying to climb out in what you see, you'll never get out of it talking about what you see, you gotta climb out of that ditch in what you don't see. I know you got blessings I haven't seen yet, I know you got doors that are about to open in my life, I know you got blessings I have tapped into yet. I know you got things ahead of me that's greater than what's behind me, I know my tomorrow is better than my day, I know my latter end is greater than my beginning, I know that greater is the end of a thing than the beginning of a thing.
God wants to talk to you about what's next, not what was, not what you used to be, not even what is. God wants to talk to you about what's next. In my text today, God is challenging you to open your heart and open your mind and open your spirit beyond how you feel and beyond what you see, and beyond feeling abandoned and beyond feeling rejected, and beyond feeling scared and beyond feeling uncertain. If you're going to climb out of this ditch, I'm gonna give you a rope to climb out of this ditch, get your hands on the rope. You'd never see anybody climbing up a rope looking down, whenever people are climbing up a rope, they're always looking up.
And God said you've been down in the pit too long but I'm getting ready to throw you a rope this Sunday, and you're climbing out by this rope, and in order to climb up this rope you gotta start looking up. You gotta start looking at tomorrow, you gotta start to understand what your eyes have not seen and your ears have not heard. You gotta start counting money that hadn't come yet, you got to start walking in health you don't feel yet, you got to start walking in wisdom you have realized yet.
Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. God, God, God is faithful, he's consistent, he's loyal, he's immutable, he's everlasting, he's eternal, he's God. He's wonderful, he's the counselor, he's a mighty God, he's a Prince of Peace, he's the Everlasting Father, he's the kinsmen, he's a redeemer, he's a daystar, he's a trumpet, he's a shield, he's a buckler. Excuse me, he's the Lily of the valley, I thought I'd pick him up, he's the bright and morning star. He's my hope in the middle of hopelessness, he's my joy in the middle of sorrow, he's my peace is the middle of confusion.
God is the joy and the strength of my life, he moves all pain, misery and strife, the faithfulness of God. The problem in our world today is we have raised a generation of people who know church but they don't know God. They know church, they know when to raise their hand, they know when to wear white, they know when to put on skinny jeans, they know when to be slain in the spirit, they know how to fall back. You know church, but the test is on that you might know God.