TD Jakes - Rites of Passage
Our text is really about being on the threshold, because at this point in the text, David has killed Goliath. He's killed the lion. He killed the bear. Theologians think that he's about 22 years of age. God didn't let the giant come when he was 15. Thank you for the giants you held back 'til I grew up. Thank you for not exposing me to a giant level of troubles when I have a 15-year-old level of experience. You let me grow up to earn the right to fight on the next level.
And when I come into my text, it is precisely his ability to fight that has captured the attention of the king. Over all of the king's soldiers, David has captured the attention of King Saul. Saul says, "This boy is special". And David is standing, when I open up the text, he is crossing the threshold. And this is what the Holy Spirit said to me. Somebody that would be watching today is about to cross the threshold. You're right on the verge, the impetus of change. You're right there. A threshold.
A threshold is an amazing place. It's a place of transition. It's a place of passage. It's a place of crossing over. It's a place where you're leaving something behind it's a place where you're about to step into a dimension you've never been before. It is the juncture where what God has designed collides with what man has developed. All of this has come to a boiling point and David is standing at the threshold. He's standing right there. He's standing right there at the threshold.
And the Bible says that David is standing there in the presence of Saul. And Saul has brought him into the house, but I want you to understand something. David isn't standing there by himself. Can I thread this up a little bit? David isn't standing there by himself. You can't see her, but Naomi is standing there. Naomi, his great-great-grandmother, is standing there, the one who left Moab and went back home to Bethlehem. Naomi is standing there and Ruth is standing there. Ruth is standing there, his great-great-grandmother is standing there, and Obed is standing there, and Jesse is standing there. All of them are standing there.
See, everybody who came before you helped to make you be who you are. Their choices and their decisions created you in the first place. And when you cross over, everything behind you crosses over with you. Everybody who ever helped you, ever prayed for you, ever pushed you out to school, ever helped you with homework, ever trained you, everybody's about to cross over with you. And David is standing there. And the reason I bring up Naomi, and Boaz, and Ruth, and Obed, and Jesse is because David is not of the house of Benjamin. He is not from the tribe of Benjamin.
And if you're a Bible scholar, you understand that the kings were to come from the tribe of Benjamin. David comes from the tribe of Judah. That means he wasn't even in line. Y'all didn't hear what I'm sayin'. He wasn't even the eligible. He wasn't even supposed to be next. It was supposed to be Benjamin, son of my strength. Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin. It was supposed to be Saul, and his children, and his children's children. It would've went from Saul, probably to Jonathan, and on down the line like that. And here comes this outsider from the wrong side of town, on the wrong side of the tracks, who does not have the background, who doesn't look like he's in line for the promotion, but this is the moment where everything switches.
Oh my God, my God, my God, my God, my God. This is the moment where everything switches. And if David doesn't cross this threshold, Jesus can't come, because Jesus is of the tribe of Judah. And the only reason Jesus has a right to be King is because David's threshold causes the transition that puts Jesus in the succession to be King. That's why they called him the Son of David, because when David crossed over, Jesus is crossing over. He's stepping into the lineage to takeover as King of Israel. You know hell didn't want that. You know demons were trembling about that. You know Satan was upset about that.
Do you have any idea how, when you come into a struggle, an unprecedented struggle, a huge fight, a Goliath of a fight, it's because more is at stake than just you. There's something coming down the line that's so important. It's not just that he's tryin' to stop you, he's trying to stop everything that's coming after you.
Now, I know all of us won't be kings, but all of us will be something. And those decisions and choices have a lot to do with how your story ends. And God will promote you even if you're not from the right tribe, even if you weren't born in the right family, even if you didn't come up on the right side of the tracks. Let me say it the way Victor Hugo says it. He says it like this. I love it. He says, "Nothing else in the world, not all the armies in the world, is as powerful as an idea whose time has come". Not all the armies in the world are as powerful as an idea whose time has come. Nothing in this world, no armies, no military, is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.
Take it on the line, it's my time. Oh, y'all said it like you're scared. Say it like you mean it. It's my time. It's my time. It's my time. It took me a whole lot of stuff to get to where I am, but it's my time. There is nothing as powerful, not a witch, not a hex, not a spell, not a curse, not a disease, not an affliction, not an attack, not a divorce, not a crisis, not a settlement, not a dispute, nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come. And I'm standing right at the threshold, right at the threshold, right at the threshold of a brand new beginning. I could feel it in my spirit.
There's something about being at a threshold. When you're at a threshold, your spirit knows it. Your belly knows it. You'll know it when you try to lay down. Sometimes you can't sleep 'cause your spirit knows something that your mind can't figure out. You know you had the threshold. I wish I had a witness in here. I'd settle for three good witnesses in here that know what it's like to be on the threshold. When David stepped through that door, Pastor Dobbins, when he stepped through that door Saul shut the door. And the Bible says in verse 2, "And from that day forward, Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family".
This is the point of no return. A door just shut. A door just shut. A door just shut in this nation. Oh, y'all didn't hear what I said. A door just shut in this nation. A door just shut around the world. There will be no more business as usual. Something has shifted and everybody's trying to adjust to it. And we keep trying to go back to normal, but God just shut the door on normal. We'll get up and running, but it won't ever be like what it was before because a door just shut. In your life, whoever I'm preaching to, God just shut a door. You cannot go back. Saul would not allow him to go back to his family. The crazy thing, Curtis, is he got into the fight for his family. And now God just shut the door and he can't go back.
If you're in your house, I want you to go over as quick as you can and just shut a door and come back to the screen. Just shut a door. Just shut a door. Just shut a door. Any door, the bathroom door, the kitchen door, the door to the cabinet, the door to the refrigerator, door. Just shut a door. Just shut a door. Just shut a door. Just shut a door. Go shut a door. Go shut a door. Go shut a door. Go shut a door. Go shut a door. This is a season where God is shutting doors. He's shutting doors. You can't go back. You can't go back. You can't go back. You can't go back. You can't go back. God just shut a door. He shut a door. You're scared, but he shut the door. You're nervous, but he shut the door. You're uncomfortable, but he shut the door. You don't know the protocol, but he shut the door. Shut, shut, shut, shut, shut.
Holy Ghost said, "I'm shutting doors. I'm shutting the door on who you used to be. I'm shutting the door on how you used to be". God just shut a door. He just shut the door. Ain't no need to crying, the door's shut. No need in worrying, the door is shut. The Spirit of the living God just shut the door. You have stepped into a new dimension. You have stepped into a new zone. You have stepped into a new arena. You have stepped into a new era. The former era, Sarah was right, that era has ended. It is the end of an era.
When the door shuts, it's over. No need in crying about it. No need in fussing about it. No need in bringing it up anymore. No need in getting angry about it. God just shut the door. You'll never be who you used to be again. Tell the sheep you won't see me again. Tell the goats you won't see me anymore. Tell the farm I won't be back. Tell the barn you'll operate without me. I am coming into another dimension. And David has all the bittersweet feelings of letting go of his past. The opportunity in front of him is so big that he has to be willing to go through the door. And God has prepared a table before him in the presence of his enemies, but it is a table for one. It is a table for one.
He had to say goodbye to how he understood himself. Ooh, are you willing to say goodbye to how you understand yourself? Because he had never understood himself to be a king. He had understood himself to be a kid. He had understood himself to be a part of a family, and a system, and a community of which the king knew nothing about. And now he's in a palace. He's not dressed right. He doesn't talk right. He doesn't know the protocol. He didn't know what to do. His gift has brought him into a place where his experiences have not fully prepared him for the culture of the environment. That's when he meets Jonathan.
And here the shepherd boy, bad shepherd boy, strong shepherd boy, fighting shepherd boy, comes face to face with the prince of Israel. And the prince is decorated as a prince. He's got the full garments of the prince. He's got his cape on. He's got his robe on. He's got his sword at his side and his belt on. And he stands in front of David and they are staring at each other. And when David looks at the prince, the prince looks like he fits. And when the prince looks at David, David looks like he doesn't. And the strangest things happen here. The prince he just met, the descendant of the king, the heir to the throne, the one who's in line for the promotion, the one who is wearing something that has been tailored for him - there were no malls.
And he looks at David and this strange love comes upon him. I say it's a strange love because he has not known David. It's an instinctive love. It's an overwhelming love. And all of a sudden, Jonathan takes off his robe. "Your robe, prince? Your robe that defines you as royalty? Your robe that identifies you in the court as a king's kid? You're gonna take off your robe? You're gonna take off your robe and give it to me"? This is where he begins to strip himself. This is the rites of passage. He takes off his robe and he gives it to David, who is dressed like a peasant.
And then he takes off his garments, his tunic. He lets David see who he really is underneath everything. You cannot cut covenant with somebody who's not willing to show you who they are up under all the tapestry. Oh God! Oh, if you're not willing to show me who you really are, we can't go any further. This is the rites of passage. And if your pride is more important than my position, we gotta stop right here because I got to see who you are. And the prince takes off his tunic, and he takes off his belt, the thing that holds everything together, and he gives it to David. And his bow means, "If you ever get shot, it won't be me". And his sword, "I'm defenseless against you. You've seen all my secrets. You know who I am". And this is the rites of passage.
And what is amazing about this text, what's crazy about this text, what's weird about this text, what's incredible about this tax is that it fit. They made it for Jonathan, but it fit David. And as we're standing in this transitional point before the stripping is over, the prince looks like the pauper and the pauper looks like the prince.
And this rite of passage is a type of the cross because Jesus stripped himself. He stripped himself. I was naked. Jesus stripped himself that I might be clothed. And he that was rich became poor, that through his poverty, he who was poor might be made rich. He who was healed took my sickness, that as he took my sickness, I could wrap up in his healing. He who was holy took my sins, that I might be dressed in his holiness and that he might die for my sins. It is the rite of passage, the turning point, the crossover, the flip, the role reversal, the change. And all of a sudden, the stripping has come.
In the Bible, whenever a priest would strip, he would give it to his heir apparent like Eliezer took Aaron's garments and put them upon his son. It means, "You're next". And the only reason I'm preaching this today is to tell you... I know, I know, I know, I know, I know you don't have the clothes for it. You don't have the protocol for it. You don't know when to bow and when to stand up. I know you don't know which fork to use. I know you're in a new place. I know you don't know how to handle the servants and you're never used to be in a position like this, but God has exposed you to it that you might become it.
God has exposed you to it that you might become what is in front of you, not what's behind you. He's not after what's behind you. He wants you to become what is in front of you. That's why we shut the door, so we would stop being influenced by what is behind us, so that we could start being influenced by what is in front of us. That's why he shut the door and said, "You can't go visit them. You can't hang out with them. You can't run with them. You cannot go back". This is it. Gotta go. Everything in front of you is where God is about to take you. And when he went through this rite of passage, all of a sudden...
Have you ever put on better and you didn't even know that you wanted it, liked it, needed it, or could fit it until you put it on? Have you tried on good shoes and felt how different they felt than cheap shoes? And you didn't even know to want the good shoes until you tried on the good shoes and you looked at your old shoes. And they said, "Do you want to put 'em back on"? You said, "No, I'll wear these out".
I wish I had some real people in here. I have actually bought shoes that I wore out of the store. I didn't even wanna put my old shoes back on to go back home because I had gone through the rites of passage. I am here. Say it, "I am here". Say it again. Say it again. Say it again. Say it again, "I am here". This is the most prophetic moment in David's life, and David will never go back to being who he was. From this point on, he will lead armies. He will subdue the Philistines. He will destroy the Philistines. He will attack them and win every battle because he has gone through the rites of passage.
You do not have a right until you have gone through the rites. You do not have an R-I-G-H-T until you have gone to the R-I-T E-S. You cannot make yourself the king. Somebody has to put this on you. Oh God, somebody has to put this on you. You cannot crown yourself. You cannot discover yourself. Somebody has to have a crazy kinda love, what we call favor, and they give you what you could not earn. You could kill giants, but you did not earn this robe. Not this tunic, not this sword, not this belt. No, no, no, no, no, no, you didn't earn this. This was given to him. This is a grace.
Whoever I'm talking to, you're getting ready to walk into a grace. It's just gonna be a grace. It's not gonna be because of your degree. It's not going to be because of your background. It's not because of your rich uncle. It's not because somebody died in your family. You're just gonna walk in a grace. You're gonna walk through the courts in a grace. You're gonna move and do business in a grace. You're gonna buy and sell with a grace. You're gonna build and stand with a grace. You're going to raise your children with a grace. You're gonna do what you do with a grace. You're gonna teach your class with a grace.