TD Jakes - They Don't See the Ashes
Success. Solomon built the temple, and the walls went up, and the steeples were built, and it was constructed, and it was absolutely amazing. But in my text, it is not the opulence of the building. It is not the architectural design of the temple. It is not the gold materials that are used in the building. It is not the granite floors, nor the marble columns that causes them to be in awe. No, all of that was wonderful until God's glory sat down on the building. And when God's glory hit man's work, all of a sudden all they could see was the glory of God.
When God sat down on their efforts, that's what I want God to do. I want him to anoint what I'm working on. I want him to anoint what I'm doin'. I want him to sit down on what I'm tryin' to build. I don't wanna build it if he's not going to sit down on it. When God's glory fell down on the temple, all religious order stopped. The priests stopped doing what they were doing. All the Levites were standing there in awe. They were ready to play the instruments that David had created. David was so creative, not only did he play instruments, he made instruments, and the instruments had now outlived him. And now we're seeing the second generation of Levites that are continuing the legacy of the music of David who has gone on, and yet his songs are still filling the air.
When the glory of the Lord fell, it fell on them because they were praising God and they were worshiping God. It didn't fall on them 'cause they had gold. It didn't fall on them because they had columns. It didn't fall on them because they had granite. It fell because they had praise. And when the praises went up, the glory came down. And the glory came down so strong that the priests had to be still and the Levites had to stop because God had taken over the room. His glory had filled up the temple. It had filled every room, every cul-de-sac, every avenue, every closet, every corner was filled with the...
I pray that right now the glory of God would get in your house. I pray it would get in your living room. I pray it would get in your dining room. I pray it would stand up in your kitchen. I pray it would overflow into your bedroom and get in all your closet. I pray that the glory would sit on your household so that COVID couldn't get near your house because the house was filled. The house was filled with glory. Throw your hands up and say, "Fill it with glory". God's gonna fill it with glory. He's gonna fill your business with glory. He's gonna fill your family with glory. He's gonna fill your pockets with glory.
Throw your hands up and say, "Fill it with glory". The glory of the Lord sat down on the house and it filled all the house. God always fills whatever he forms. He formed the earth and filled it with vegetation. He formed the sea and filled it with fish. He formed the air and filled it with birds. He formed the tabernacle and filled it with furniture. He formed the Holy of Holies and filled it with glory. He formed man and filled him with breath.
Whenever you see God form a thing, he will always fill whatever he formed. What we are looking at in this text is that that opiate, that moment, that crystallised, stellar, significant, unforgettable moment when the divine touches the human, when the celestial touches the terrestrial, when that which is above us comes and sits down amongst us, when grace and truth are met together, when mercy and peace have come together, when the holy and the human collide in an exodus of praise so powerful that it crescendos all through the chapter. It was so strong that Solomon got scared he might lose it.
I want to talk to some blessed people that are blessed, but scared you're going to lose it. He came to God, he said, This is so amazing. "What happens if I lose it? What happens if you shut up the heavens and there are no more rain? What happens if it doesn't work anymore"? I want to talk to some people that are anxious because the enemy's been telling you you're going to lose everything you've got, but the devil is a liar. Solomon said, "What happens if you shut up the heavens, and there is no more rain, and the crops stop, and the glory doesn't flow? What happens if it all breaks down"? And God gave him a key and said, "If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray, seek my face, turn from their wicked way, then," then, then, then, then, then, then, then, then, then, then, then, then, then, then, then, then, then, slap your neighbor and say, "Then". "Then will I hear from heaven. I will forgive their sins and I will heal their land".
Heal our land, God. Heal our land. Heal our land, oh God. Heal our land. When the glory came in, the priests laid prostrate. The worshipers collapsed. The people all over Israel were standing, in amazement. Things gazing up at the presence of God, almost in a daze, experiencing the power of God coming from the presence of God. But what they did not see... they saw the glory. They saw the laver. They saw the altar. They saw the building. They saw the pillars. They saw the foundations. They even saw the wailing wall that I stood in front of, rocking back and forth.
They saw all that, but they did not know that Solomon's temple was built right where Ornan's threshing floor was. Ornan's threshing floor is what happened in the previous generation. You remember when David had counted the people and God judged him in his sins. And God let a plague come upon his people, and there was disaster, and pestilence, and disease everywhere. And David was trying to break the curse that was on the land, and he came to the threshing floor of Ornan. And the threshing floor, you see, is the place where wheat is separated from chaff. It was a threshing floor. It was a place of separation.
And Ornan owned the place, and David said, "I need this place. I need this place so that I can offer up a sacrifice toward God". And he wants to know what will it cost, and Ornan offers him, you know, "Whatever you wanna give me. Whatever you wanna do. However you want to do". He said, "Oh". David said, "No, no, no, I will pay the full price". The full price.
See, that's the difference between greatness and weakness. Everybody wants it, but not many people want to pay full price. Everybody wants to be acknowledged but they don't want to pay full price. Everybody wants an opportunity but they don't want to pay full price. Anybody wants to do something mighty but they can't pay the full price for it. They don't get it. They don't understand it. They don't realize it. They don't know they don't understand. They don't recognize how much does it cost. And David paid the full price.
Are you willing to pay the full price of faith? Or are you just gonna talk the talk, play the game, go through the religious colloquialisms. But when your faith comes down to the wire, are you willing to pay full price to walk into this next realm, to walk into this next realm, to walk into this next opportunity, to walk into this next move of God, to walk into the presence of God, to walk into what God has for you, to walk into the promotion that God is getting ready? Are you willing, or do you want good will? You want charity. You want hand-me-downs. You want God to give you something for nothing.
David said, "No, I will not offer to God something that costs me nothing. I won't offer him that which is easy. I won't tip him like he's a bus boy. I won't leave him change like he's a waiter. I won't leave him a couple of dollars like he's a maid. I will pay the full price". My God, it makes you wonder. It makes you wonder if David recognized when he was paying the full price, did he recognize that his son would build on what he bought? Did he recognize that he was paying a multi-generational price that would change the trajectory for generations to come? It makes you wonder how God could bring the blessing out of a mess, how God could bring a blessing out of a curse, how God could bring a blessing out of a plague, how God could move in the middle of COVID-19.
See, some people, all they see is the problem, but they don't see the opportunity. All David was tryin' to do was stop the sword of the angel. And the Bible said that he bought the threshing floor of Ornan, and he burned up the threshing floor of Ornan, and he offered up sacrifice unto God. And it occurred to me when I was reading about Solomon's temple and they were talking about how elaborately it was made and how flamboyantly it was decorated, and they were talking about the opulence and the decor, and they were talking about the worship, and the protocol, and the service, and the excellence, and the excellence of their men, I wondered did they not see that it was all built on ashes.
And when I thought about that, I thought about life itself, that people are always talkin' about your glory, but they don't know nothin' about your story. They're always weighing out what you got, but they don't know what it cost you. They're always talkin' about what you accomplished, but they don't know what you went through. And it made me want to preach this message, "They Don't See the Ashes". They run their mouths, but they don't see the ashes. They turn up their nose, but they don't see the ashes. They're jealous and envious, but they don't see the ashes. You don't know the cost of the oil in my alabaster box. Everything that Solomon built was built on the ashes that David burned. Out of the ashes and the despair of his father's failures came his sons' glory.
I want to talk to every son who had a failed father. Out of the ashes of a failed father came the glory of the next generation. Stop despising your father's ashes because everything you're gonna build is going to be built on the ashes your father left behind you. Solomon only owned the land because David paid full price for it. And David was wrestling with his own sins, and yet his sins and the place he wrestled became the place where Solomon erected the first temple. How much of your success is built on your ashes?
Somebody asked me if I could go back in time and do it all over again, what would I change? And at first, I started thinking of all the things I would change, and then I said, "Nothing". I wouldn't change anything. I wouldn't change my mistakes. I wouldn't change my failures. I wouldn't change my weaknesses. I wouldn't change my problems. I wouldn't change my mishaps. I wouldn't change my haters. I wouldn't change my enemies. Why? Because if it had not been for all of that, there wouldn't be this standing here right now. People don't see the ashes.
Oh, y'all don't hear me. I feel like praising him right now. I've been through too much. I cried too many nights. I suffered too long. I questioned myself too many times. I almost gave up, but people don't see. They don't see the ashes. They don't see the ashes. All of that glory that was so strong that Solomon had killed thousands of sheep just to honor God on the space, and people did not recognize that the magnitude of his sacrifice, his giving, his flowing, his sowing provoked the presence of God. And God's glory sat down on the sacrifices of Solomon. You could see Solomon's sacrifice. You could see it. You could hear the blaring of the sheep. You could hear the sound of the oxen. And it makes sense that God would sit down on Solomon's sacrifice.
The reason you can't get God to sit down, you don't have no sacrifice. If you give God a sacrifice, he'll sit down on that sacrifice. And I looked at her and I said, "Oh God, I see you sitting on Solomon's sacrifice". And God said, "Yeah, not only am I sitting on Solomon's sacrifice, I'm also sitting on David's ashes. I wanted David to know that your mistakes were not in vain. Your failure was in the plan. I knew you would mess up. I knew I would have to chasten you because you're my son. I knew it would drive you to the threshing floor of Ornan. I knew you had too much integrity to let him give you something for nothing. I knew you would pay full price. And because you've paid full price, that same spot that you paid for, I will allow your son to reap a blessing".
You have been talking about generational curses. I want to talk to you about generational blessings. I want to tell you how God will cause blessings to overtake you, run up behind you, and tackle you. They'll run you down, and they'll come upon you and, you don't even know where they came from. You look around and you won't even recognize yourself because the blessing was chasing you even when you were falling, and stumbling, and failing, and messing up. The blessing was chasing you. I will not die in my failures 'cause I got too much chasing me. Holler at me. Holler at me. Holler at me. If you've got something chasing you, holler at me. Holler at me. Holler at me. If you've got something coming up on you, the blessing of the Lord overtook him.
And all of Solomon's people saw the glory, and the Queen of Sheba saw the order, and all of Solomon's people saw the sheep and the bleeding of the lambs, but they did not see the ashes. Solomon didn't get there by himself. It was not just his father's strengths, but it was also his weaknesses. Solomon wouldn't have been born if it were not for his father's weaknesses. Solomon's mama was his daddy's weakness. Solomon's mama was Bathsheba. Solomon's mama was somebody else's wife. If it had not been for his father's wrongs, Solomon would not have had right.
Stop crying about what went wrong, because God will take wrong and make it right. God will take pain and make it power. God will take problems and build solutions, and out of the ashes of his father. Look up under your feet. Somewhere up under your feet are the ashes of your parents. Their mistakes, as well as their miracles, created an opportunity for you to hunger like you hunger. If you'd got everything you needed when you needed it, you wouldn't have had enough hunger to be who you are right now. I'm not saying that they always did it to bless you, but even if they meant it for evil, God made it good.
As we come to the close of this message, we close it with no regrets. Not one regret. I apologize for every mistake, but I don't regret any of them because my miracles are made out of my mistakes, and my successes are made out of my failures, and my victories are made out of my battles, and it was good for me that I was afflicted. So you go ahead and talk about my columns, talk about the gold, and the laver, and the order, and the orthodoxy through which I structured everything I did, but my feet are flat on the ground and I know everything I got was built on the ashes.
If you have no ashes, you got no praise. But I want to appeal to the people watching me right now who are standing on ashes, who are standing on sorrows, who are standing on secrets, who are standing on pain, who are standing on trauma, who are standing on broken homes, and broken dreams, and broken promises, and a tough childhood. This message is for you. They see your job, but they don't see your ashes. They see your car, but they don't see your ashes. They see that anointing on your life, but they don't see your ashes.
God has a habit of constructing massive monuments on top of dirty ashes. He covered 'em. Don't praise him unless you've been covered. Anybody been covered? Has he ever covered you? Has he ever covered you? He could have left you in the ashes, but God built on that thing. God built on that thing. He stood on that thing. He established on that thing. He brought you up and he brought you out. And just in case anybody might see them, he sent his glory to sit on top of it so that when they looked over your way, they saw. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord.
'Cause they don't see the ashes. The ashes are between me and you. The ashes are why I raise my hand. The ashes are why tears coming down my face. The ashes are why I clap my hands. The ashes are why I worship him. The ashes are why I let nothing that you give me become an idol to me, because I know everything you gave me was built on the ashes. Thank you. I can't let Sunday close without saying thank you. Thank you for every night I cry. Thank you for every tear I shed. Thank you for every burden I have. Thank you for every night I went to sleep holding a pillow in my arms. Thank you. Thank you for the rejection, and the misunderstanding, and thank you for the pain, and thank you for the storms, and the trauma, and the adversity, and the agony. Thank you for the moaning. Thank you for the groaning. Thank you for the times, Lord, that I could not say a mumbling word. Oh Lord. Thank you.
Don't nobody know but me and you that my whole life, everything I own, everything I drive, everything I wear, every place I live, that it's all built on ashes. That's why I just, I worship you. For the next 60 seconds, I want everything that's got breath in your body and ashes under your feet to just worship God. Any kinda way you feel it, any kind of way you experience it, any kind of way you want to express it, just... C'mon, you got 45 seconds to just...