TD Jakes - The Backside of Better
Let's take this in context. Whatever better is to you, you have to sow into it. Lord, I need the Lord to bless my marriage, I need the Lord, if I don't get a miracle in my marriage I'm gonna choke him. Did you sow into it? Because if you don't sow into it, you can't harvest it. The rain will come, but you'll just get wet, because there aren't enough seeds to draw harvest. I'm tryin' to decide whether I'm gonna go deeper with this.
Can I go deeper? Everything, when it comes to sowing seed, God doesn't mention so much the seed as he does the rain, because God is mentioning what you can't do. You can't make it rain up in here, I don't care what you said at that club. I watch TV, I keep up, I keep up. You can't make it rain up in here. No, your job is to do the sowing. God's going to send the rain. Are you ready for it? Because we don't have the patience to wait on harvests. We want everything now. God is talking to an agricultural society that understands this is gonna take some time, that plowing is gonna take some time, that fertilizing the soil is gonna take some time, that sowing seed is gonna take some time and some sweat and some work and some sacrifice.
SAC-RI-FICE. Say it with me, SAC-RI-FICE. Yeah, so if better for you is a better marriage, that means you're gonna have to give to something that doesn't immediately give return back to you. So that means you got to sow into something that looks like it's not working. It's gonna take some time for you to reap. So you're going to have to sow SAC-RI-FICE. Sowing is about sacrifice. We want it now. We want to do right for a minute, and then we want to reap a huge return on right that we have not invested enough time into for it to work. The gestation of a seed varies from plant to plant.
Some things grow quicker than others. In the natural, when you started talking about the gestation of a seed in a woman's body, she cannot get pregnant tonight and give birth tomorrow. In fact, it is dangerous to give birth prematurely. There's going to be a sacrificial period, throwing up, nauseated, swollen ankles, face breaking out, all kinds of changes during the period of sacrifice, for the birth of a human it's nine months. For different seeds it's going to be varied amounts of months. When you want certain things to happen, it's going to be a longer period of time. Raising children is sowing seeds. You may sow for 20 years and not see any...
Lord have mercy, catch me. I pray the spirit to take me out. Not see anything. But eventually you're going to see a harvest, because what you put in them will not return unto you void, it will eventually show up, some at 20. some at 25, some at 32, some at 40, but eventually, be not deceived, God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. You can't wait til you get old and start thinking about putting back for retirement. So all of you people that are in your thirties, you oughtta be thinkin' in your sixties, because you can't wait til you're 60 or 55 and say, you know what? I'm going to need some retirement. But that's too late.
So this text has a long-term component of sacrificial sowing, so that when the rain comes God has something to bless. God will only bless what you do. Oh, Bishop, can you prove that by the Scriptures? I'm glad you asked me, I absolutely can. Psalms is clear about it. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in that law doth he meditate day and night and he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of waters that bringeth forth fruit when, in his own season, his leaf shall not wither. And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Say that again. Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Say it again. Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. That means that God cannot prosper what you will not do.
And God says, "I will send rain in its season". Wonder why God has you here listening at this? Maybe there's something that you're digging around and dunging around and planting around right now that God wants to encourage you, it's gonna take time, but it's going to happen. And when you get to doing what you're supposed to do, I will send rain in its season. I just want to stay there a minute. I will send rain in its season. I will say, I've already set my watch to a particular season, and when I give my nod the clouds are gonna gather over your head and it's going to rain like it never rained before. Which says to me, oh my God, I gotta hurry and get my seed in the ground and get my soil broken up and get ready, so that when the rain comes I am ready to receive what God has for me.
I don't have time to be anybody's hater, I got too much work to do. I got to make sure that when it's my season... See, what I'm doing while I'm teaching this is I'm tryin' to get a mindset in you that's lookin' forward. The problem with most of us is that we're lookin' backwards. Our entire gaze is in the rearview mirror of regret and neglect and abuse and shame. And you can't get ready for the Promised Land if you're still grieving over Egypt. Most of what is holding you back is your gaze. Your gaze is backwards. You're looking at what happened and what you've been through and how unfair it was and how long it was and how unjust it was, and it shouldn't have happened, and how you're a better person than that.
And you're right, but you won't get to better looking backward, you'll only get to better looking forward. God, I feel God speaking to somebody in this room in a very deep way. You cannot get to the Promised Land sayin' I haven't got closure with Pharaoh. Forget closure with Pharaoh, let him drown in the Red Sea. This is the day the Lord has made. We shall rejoice and be glad in it. Pharaoh, you on your own, bro, I got to go 'cause the rain is coming in my life. I don't need closure, I need openings. I need openings. I don't need closure, I need something to open to me. Open, open, open. Open up every door, open up your hand, open up your grace, open up your power, open up your...
My God. My God. My God. Touch everybody you can reach and say something's about to happen. Something is about to happen. Something is about to happen. Something is about to happen. Something's about to happen, man. Something's about to happen, girl. Something's about to happen. Something's about to happen. Something's about to happen. Something's about to happen. Something's about to happen. My God, something's about to happen. Something's about to happen. Something's about to happen. Something's about, about, about, about. Something's about!
God wouldn't be telling me this if something wasn't about to happen. I feel the witness of the Holy Ghost in this room. Something is about to happen. I gotta get some seed in the ground. I gotta get some seed in the ground. Most of time when the church talks about seed in the ground, it's only about offerings. But this is bigger than that. I've got to seed into whatever better looks like for me. I gotta sacrifice unto it, I've got to get ready for it.
Some of y'all know, how many people know what an almanac is? An almanac could tell you whether it's gonna rain in May of 2025, it tells you the future. What I'm tryin' to get you to do is thinking forward, not backwards. Having a strategy for increase, not lack. I'm tryin' to get you to understand that when the rain comes the entire situation is gonna change, and you gotta be strong enough to be harvestin' over here while you are planting over... Did you hear that? You got it, didn't ya? I felt it! God, I felt it! I felt it! You gotta be ambidextrous, you gotta be harvesting and planting all at the same time. You can't get so distracted by the harvest that you stop planting! Oh, I feel like just screaming, I feel like screaming. I wouldn't be feeling like this if God wasn't doin' something in this room. Who is receiving this message? Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.
So, see, what I'm trying to show you something, you can't allow yourself to be so one-dimensional that you can only do one thing at a time. No, no, no, no, no, you gotta be able to do several things at the same time, watch this. Give me my text, put my text up here 'cause I'm gonna show you something, this is getting to the good part. I'm about to get to the good part. I'm about to get to the good part. I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. Come on. Your threshing will continue. Wait a minute. Threshing. You're threshing, that's harvesting wheat. You will harvest wheat, and it will continue until the grapes harvest.
So on one hand, the wheat has come in, and the grapes are about to come in, and there's a cycle. See, I told you about the season, but I didn't tell you about the cycle. Before you can get one thing in, here comes something else. Wait a minute, Jackie. That means I gotta plant wheat and grace. I can't just plant one thing and harvest it, and then plant something else. 'Cause if the grapes are coming in, this is a result of strategic sowing. This is not a guy who put all of his efforts into one thing and said if the Lord don't bless it, I won't have anything. He says I'm going to sow everything, and something is going to come up in here.
Slap your neighbor and say sow everything. Sow wheat, sow grapes, sow tomatoes, sow collards, sow onions, sow everything. Everything within your power. Everything you have a seed of. Everything you have a seed of. All the talents you have a seed of, sow them strategically that while... See. God means for you to have overflow. He means for you to have abundance. Because you can't help people if you just got enough, you have to have more than enough in order to be able to do it. These grapes didn't just come up, somebody planted 'em. This wheat didn't just grow, somebody planted it. What are you planting? How many days in your life have gone by without planting anything in your relationships, in your career, in your spirituality?
You know why you're not a better Christian? You're not sowing into it. You know why you're not a better Christian? You don't have devotions. You don't have no devotions until you get in trouble. You don't think about God until you think about what you want. When the first thing he said was to honor me, and if you honor me and obey me, if you bless me, I'll bless you. Come on, somebody. Better always has a backside. And people look at the front of it, and they say, ooh, that's better. But better always has a backside. Better means different things for different people.
It's not always about money, sometimes it's about relationships, sometimes it's about peace, sometimes it's about philanthropy, sometimes it's about intellectualism, sometimes it's about better education, sometimes it's about better equipment. Better means different things depending upon where you are. Can you describe your better? Because if you can't describe it, I know you're not sowing into it. And if you can describe your better, find out what its backside is. You know what we are good at? We're good at looking great. We are masters at looking great. Do you know how much it costs you to look great? If you sow, I'm just talkin' to the people, If you sow 50% of your image and invested it into your reality? Do you know how much effort you spend impressing people that don't matter?
Go back to my Scripture, I gotta get everything out of this Scripture. Your threshing will continue until grape harvest, and the grape harvest will continue until planting. Oh my God, that's a lot of work. Threshing is work, planting is work, harvesting grapes is work. See, you see this as a blessing, but the backside is that it's a lot of work. Your threshing will continue until grape harvest, and the grape harvest will continue until planting. I can see why a lot of people aren't blessed. Blessed is work. It's easier to be broke.
See, climbing up takes muscle. Fallin' is easy. All you gotta do is let go. Anywhere you let go you will come down. Anywhere you let go you will come down. Let go of the kids, they'll come down. Let go of the marriage, it'll come down. But I've built a business. Yeah, but you tore up your house. I'm not making fun, I'm just explaining. Anything you let go of falls. Climbing up takes effort. A prayer life takes intentionality. Bible study takes work.
When I first got married I used to have my wife hold the Bible while I quoted Scriptures and tell me if I miss a word. You don't get here by anointing. Excellence costs something. It means facing your fears. It means holding the mike til your hands stop shaking. It means not allowing your fear to back you away from your promise. It means being scared and doing it anyway. It means get up and preaching in front of people who don't like you. It means doing what you do while you got critics saying you can't do what you doing. It means being tough enough and strong enough to take a licking and keep on ticking, 'cause you know the rain is coming. It means teaching hard to small groups, practicing on 'em for a big group. Not turning down little things 'cause you think you're too big to go, but using every opportunity to fertilize what God is about to do next in your life.
Ain't nobody talking to us like that. Somebody's got to go back to talking to us like that. Somebody's got to go back to teaching simple stuff. You ain't gonna have no milk to make cornbread. Some of y'all are waiting on everything to be in order before you can have anything, but we came from a people. See, the thing about the Hebrews, they had been slaves, they had come from hell and high water, and that's why the desert couldn't stop 'em. 'Cause I'm used to not having enough, I'll take what you give me and I'll make it work, then go and let me get my hands on something, 'cause if I get my hands on something... Anybody got faith up in that balcony? Touch your neighbor and say better has a backside.