TD Jakes - God Won't Jerk You Around
He says, but through your seed with Sarah, not Hagar, shall all nations of the earth be blessed. The problem was, he conceived seed with Hagar, when the only problem that was against him in having a child was the barrenness of Sarah's womb. Sarah is the wife, Hagar is the maid. Stay with me. Now you cannot give your fortune to your maid's child. Not and stay with your wife. Let all the women say, amen. So the wife says to Abraham, put her out, and her nappy-head child coming up out of here, she's gotta go. I paraphrased it to fit the audience. The kind of thing that I'm sure would resonate with many women in the house today.
And so Abraham is now forced to put away his woman and her child, and to wait on the promise that would come through Sarah, his wife. And the problem, though, is that Sarah's womb is dead. We know that Abraham is still strong because he's been with Hagar. And he was strong even when he was wrong. All the men really, they, y'all enjoyin' this one this morning, ain't ya? Glory to God. But God does not send the promise while Abraham is strong, while he was virile.
See, a lot of time the church, when you preach sermons that are illustrated by pregnancies, women go bananas because they really can relate to giving birth, most women can, and it resonates with them. But this is something that's gonna really capture the men and educate the women. Virility is incredibly important to men. I'm glad for the one honest brother in the church that say yes sir, yes sir, amen. Wherever you are, God bless you for that amen, 'cause the rest of these brothers are all phony. You don't get so spiritual that you don't care. Go ahead, look me in the eye, don't be lookin' down. We do care a whole lot about that.
Abraham is thirsty to be like he used to be, and he is at the mercies of God because he can no longer will it to happen in himself. In what area of your life are you at the mercies of God? Has your marriage gone limp? Have you knocked on every door you could knock on goin' for a job and nothing is working for you? What area are you facing impotence? You don't have to be a man. Oh, you don't hear me, I'm workin' on you today. You don't have to be a man to be impotent. There are plenty of women who are facing things where you've tried everything you could and nothing happened. You thought about it, you conjured imagination, and still there was no change, and you were impotent.
And when you are impotent, God is omnipotent. And he brought Abraham's body back to life when he was an old man, because of his purpose. To accomplish his purpose, God will take less and do more with it. To accomplish his purpose, he will take something broken and do something whole. To accomplish his purpose, he'll use a stick, a rod, against 600 chariots. To accomplish his purpose, he'll you make you fight with the jawbone of an ass. To accomplish his purpose, he'll take two fish and five loaves of bread and feed five thousand. Everything doesn't have to be working right for God to bless you.
So God touched Abraham's body, and as an old man he felt the glory. Come on, fellas. Come on, boys, talk to me about feeling the glory. You know that signal, that bing, bang, boom, right? Oh yeah! Come on, Sarah, put the kids to bed, gonna be a blessing in here tonight. Glory to God, hallelujah. And ain't no blessing like a blessing you ain't had for a long time. Couldn't do, couldn't happen, couldn't change. Abraham had it back for God's glory, for God's purpose. God gave it back to him to accomplish his purpose. God had to give it back to Abraham, because through Abraham's lineage should come Jesus. And God couldn't let the factory close before the son of God started coming down through 42 generations. God will never let the door close on his divine purpose, whatever he's got to do to resurrect his purpose. What God has spoken shall surely come to pass.
And so after many failed attempts, many embarrassing excuses, he got it back. My God, if he would have believed the failures, he would have missed the opportunity. He had to have the faith to try it one more time. Glory to God. Touch your neighbor and say, try it again. Now, I don't mean to be crude, and I don't mean to be rude, but only a man fully knows how difficult it is to try it again after multiple failures. After multiple failures, you don't want to bring it up.
Let's talk about somethin' else, what's for dinner tonight? How you doing? Because failure is frightening, it's frustrating, it's embarrassing. Have you gone through something where you have tried over and over again and failed? And it's been frustrating and it's been embarrassing. Oh believe me, I'm not talking about sex. If that's what you think I'm talkin' about, your mind is too small to comprehend the conversation. Take another class. I am using sex as a metaphor for failures in your life that have made you afraid to try again. And yet God says, this time, I swear I'm gonna bless you.
Touch seven people and say, try it again. And God anointed Abraham and gave him a seed. God gave him a seed. A seed so strong that when it hit Abraham's old body it strengthened him. Oh, when God gives you a seed, it will strengthen. The bowed-down head and the feeble knee will all be strengthened with one word from God. People don't understand why you come to church, your only day off. They tell you, you ought to stay in the bed. But I'll tell you why I come. I come to get the Word, because the Word will strengthen you again. Slap your neighbor and tell 'em, I feel my help coming. I feel my help for Monday morning comin' Sunday morning. I feel my help for the mountain of this week comin' through the Word I got on Sunday.
And God gave Abraham a seed, and it was a powerful seed, a seed so strong and so divine. Not only was the seed alive, but it quickened everything it touched. It passed through Abraham's body and it brought Abraham's body back to life again. It hit Sarah's womb and it quickened it and resurrected it and brought it back to life again. I know it was God's seed. It couldn't have been Abraham's seed, because 42 generations later Jesus would come out and say, I am the seed of Abraham.
Does the blessing outlast the assignment? I understood why he would quicken Abram's body and allow him to go into his wife because, after all, God wanted Isaac. But having gotten Abram's only son, so that he could take him to Mount Mariah and use him as an illustration of the cross in the Old Testament, the question remains. Is Abraham still functional after his assignment is over, after he had accomplished his purpose? Does God just use me for what he wants and then leave me when his will is done?
Now Sarah has had Isaac, and she has died. And Isaac, after her death, has gotten married. And Isaac full-grown and Sarah dead, Abraham decides to get married again. And he marries this woman you hear nothing about. Keturah. And through this woman he has six sons. I asked God, I said, since you knew, being omniscient, that you were going to bring Abraham's body back to life again, why did you let it die in the first place?
Sometimes it feels like you are jerking me. Why, if you were gonna heal me, why did you let me get sick? If you were gonna raise me up, why did you let me fall so low? If you were going to bring me out of Egypt, why did you take me in? Is there any purpose in the hiccups of life? Is there any sense in it at all? You gave Abraham back his virility so strong that even beyond his purpose he was still functioning in his blessing. Why do you let me dip like this?
And I could not figure it out. And he said one thing for me to say to you. He said, if he didn't dip, he would never be grateful. It is only when you have lost it and gotten it back, it's only when you fell down and get back up again, it's only when you crawl to touch the hem of his garment, it's only when you've been bowled over and he says, now woman, thou art loose, that you go into praise. Can you imagine the woman who was bowed over for 18 years was dancing, and there was a woman standing beside her who had never been bent who never danced at all.
Why did she dance? Because she was grateful. Why was she grateful? Because she'd been through the gap. Abraham, every time he touches Keturah, he says, not by might, nor by power, but by thy Spirit, God, I thank you for the things I took for granted. Because if you never challenged them, I would never appreciate them. And now I praise you for the very thing that the person sitting next to me takes for granted, because in the gaps in my life you taught me to appreciate and to praise you and to worship you and to honor you.
And I know I look like a fool raising my hand and thanking you for the very same thing that the guy has next to me, but when I look back over my life and I see what I've been through, I now know that if it had not been for the Lord that was on my side I would've been... God said to tell you this morning, I am not jerking you around. I didn't take you through what I took you through just because I was playing with your life and your emotions, your circumstances and your situations. But I took you through it to make you grateful. I took you through it so that you would praise me without a praise leader, without a praise dancer, without a praise band. I took you through that so that every time you function, every step you take, every time you get in a car, every time you walk in your house, every time you lay down in your bed, you say, Lord, I thank you.
I remember when I didn't have this. I remember when I didn't have that. I remember when I didn't have a car. I remember when I didn't have a license. I remember when I didn't have a family. To God be the glory for the things. I wanna take just 60 seconds for some grateful people to praise God for the things he restored, for the things he gave back, for the things that he quickened, for the things that he revived. And if God hadn't done nothing for you, sit down in your seat. But if God ever made a way, opened up a door and gave you a second chance, don't you sit there looking at me, open your mouth and give God a... Grateful. Grateful.
You see, what I want the people to understand is that Abraham married Keturah, and he was virile, and they had six sons, and that's wonderful. But the fact that he was restored does not negate the fact that he had been through pain. He had lost Sarah, the love of his life. He had been through trials and tests of all sizes and dimensions. He had separated from Lot. He had been rejected by many. And what I want you to understand is that the presence of problems should not rob you of the feeling of gratitude.