TD Jakes - Dig Your Own Ditches
When the ministrel began to play, the spirit of prophecy came into the atmosphere. The word of knowledge came into the atmosphere. An uplifting spirit came into the atmosphere. A prophetic utterance came into the atmosphere. And as the ministrel began to play... We've seen this before, haven't we?
You remember when the demons were in Saul, and they called David to play his instrument? The instrument all by itself, without the lyrics, without a song, without a voice, just the music itself created such an atmosphere that the demons had to flee. Play that thing again, I'm going to drive some demons out of this place today. The demon of doubt, the demon of fear, the demon of stress, the demon of worry, the demon of perplexity, the demon of failure, the demon of fear. You've got to...
Now watch this. Because the minstrel created an atmosphere, a prophetic word came through. And Elijah looked up and said, "Thus saith the Lord, dig ditches in your valley". Wait a minute, God, I'm not asking you for no more work. I came down here 'cause I want water, but water requires work. And God, without explaining it, tells people who have been walking in a desert seven days without water to dig your own ditch. But I'm tired, Lord. But I'm weak, Lord. But I'm faint, Lord. This is the wrong time in my life for you to ask me to dig. If you'd have asked me five days ago, it had been better. But you asking a faith man to dig.
Dig ditches. It's to create space, create capacity. How much water you gonna send? How much debt you gonna be in? You all didn't get that. I'm goin' home, y'all can't handle that. Y'all can't handle that. You'll run out of ditch before I run out of water, according to your capacity. I'm going to bless you according to your capacity. How much ditch can you dig? Whatever you dig, I'm going to fill it. So you can't blame nobody if you only got a trickle of water. It's only because you only dug a little bitty... If you'd have dropped that hoe and got you a shovel...
When he says to them to dig your own ditches, or to dig ditches in your valley, he's sayin', how much I respond to you is up to you. How much can you dig? I won't do anything 'til I see you dig. I'm a God who responds to capacity. If I would've blew more breath in Adam than he had lungs, I'd have killed him. I blow in according to your capacity to receive. That's why I told you not to be jealous of other people, because I gave him what he could handle, and I'll give you what you can handle. Comparing yourselves with one another is not wise, because I'm going to respond to you on the level of your capacity.
Now somebody in this room is just rarin' to throw your hands up and say, increase my capacity. I was praying several years ago and I was asking God to increase my capacity to receive, because I had received to the level of my capacity and I was believing God to do something in my finances. And the moment in our service several years ago, when Tyler Perry laid hands on me and everybody was freaking out about it, what they don't know is that I had been up there praying to increase my capacity to receive on another level. And the level I was praying in, he was the only one in the building.
And the reason I submitted to it is that some people can enlarge you because they have faith to believe on a level you have not experienced. They can strengthen your cords and lengthen your stakes. That's what the symposium was about yesterday, it was about stretching you beyond the parameters of your normal. Increasing your capacity. Dig ditches in your valley. Wait, wait, that's, wait, that's kinda, that's kinda like a hole in a hole. The valley was actually a riverbed anyway.
And you want me to dig ditches in what was already a valley? In other words, for what I'm going to give you, your capacity is not big enough, I gotta take you deep. I don't know who I'm preaching to, but God says that little trench, that little natural trench you have in your life, is not going to be enough to sustain you, for what I have planned for you is beyond what you had planned for yourself. So you need to be enlarged enough. To dig a ditch in a valley is to put a hole in a hole. Let me let me show you this.
Let me show you this way. The widow was getting ready to sell her kids and pay off her debts, 'cause she was in debt. And the prophet Elijah came to her and said, borrow vessels. Wait, wait, wait, wait, I'm already in debt. And then he says, borrow not a few, 'cause what God is getting ready to pour, you gotta have enough capacity. Watch this, watch this, watch this. So they borrowed all the vessels they could and brought them into the widow's house. And out of what she had, there was a flow. And as long as there was a capacity, there was a flow. The Bible says, as long as they had an empty vessel, the oil flowed, because God fills all open space. God won't stop 'til your hunger stops. God won't stop 'til your thirst stops.
He that hungers and thirsts has capacity. I fill you according to your capacity. If you were hungry, I would fill you. If you were thirsty, I would fill you. If you would dig your ditches deeper, I would send more water to you than you could ever imagine. I will open up a flow in your life that will blow your mind. So you know what the enemy does? He comes to numb your thirst, to make you think that all you have is all there is, that your life is not gonna get any better, that it's not gonna get any richer, that it's not gonna get any fuller, that you just have to settle for this, this is all you're going to ever be, this is all you're going to ever do, this is all, this is all, this is all.
After all, look at what you've been through. Look at what happened to you, look at what happened in your life, look at who your mama was, look at who your daddy was, look at where you didn't go to school, look at what you didn't get, look at how you lost your job. He will try to talk you into not digging your ditch. But I came to tell Hell, I got a shovel. I got me a shovel, and I'm lookin' for me a bulldozer. I'm lookin' for me a bulldozer. I'm lookin' for me a bulldozer, 'cause I don't have time to be playing around with this shovel. I don't have time to be playing around with this shovel. I'm too old to be shoveling now, I got to get on a bulldozer for where I'm tryin' to go right now. Increase me!
Why is it that some folk go to the same service that other folk go to, and some get somethin' and some don't? Some lives are changed and some aren't. Why is it that you can raise five or six kids in the same house, and two of them get it and four of 'em don't? Capacity. They didn't hunger for it. They wouldn't dig ditches in their valley. They didn't see it as an opportunity to receive, they took it for granted. And they didn't dig ditches. And now they don't have it. Why is it that your grandmama could cook and you can eat and brag about her cooking and now she's dead and you don't have the recipe? You ate the food, but you didn't dig the ditch.
Dig ditches in your valley. Lord, I'm faint, and I'm in a valley, and you want me to dig from a low place? Anybody can dig from a high place, but you want me to dig from a low place. My emotions are shot, my nerves are fried, these people are driving me crazy, and you want me to dig anyway? Dig in your valley. I want to talk. Is there anybody been in a valley? Wave your hand at me. God says, right in your valley is where your faith is proven. When the odds are against you and you're backed up against the wall, that's when you show what you are really made of. When you are about to pass out and you say, though he slay me yet shall I trust him, that's how you prove that you are legit. Dig ditches in your valley. Good God have mercy. Oh, my God.
I feel God talkin' to somebody. I'm givin' you the word, but you're receiving a message. I'm telling you a Bible story, but it's speaking to your story. And God has given somebody directions right now about what he expects for you to do to get the breakthrough in your life, just when they counted you out, just when they thought you wouldn't be back, just when they said you'd never be nothing, just when you were back against the wall, just when you were tired and wanted to quit, just when you were frustrated and people had plucked your nerve, God said, dig.
Slap somebody and say, dig. If you dig right now, something is going to happen. If you dig right now, something is going to move. If you dig right now, God is gonna respond in your life. Anybody ready to dig this morning? Can I go deeper? So he says to him, dig ditches in your valley.
Now, I'm the prophet, he says, I give you the word, but I'm not gonna dig for you. I learned that it was not my job to do the digging. It took me about 20 years to figure that out. Every time I had a memory of something went wrong or some kind of scandal broke out or people wrote a blog or they talked about something, I thought it was always my fault. it is not my job to do your digging. Once I give you the Word of God, I go to bed. I take a nap every Sunday. If it ain't for 15 minutes, I take, I mean, it ain't really a nap. When you slobber it ain't a nap. I go out. Eyes up in my head, where they have to put a mirror under my nose to see if I'm still breathing. Because my greatest release is to give you the Word.
And what you do with it is up to you. What I'm trying to tell you this morning, ain't nobody gonna dig for you. I told them, brother Antipas, I said, all of that stuff we were talking yesterday, that amazing information in the symposium and being exposed to all of that is good and everybody was all excited, I said, but they don't understand, the courses are not like the symposium. 'Cause when you take a course you got to do your own digging.
Now, when you're in a symposium, you took a few notes out of what I dug, but when you take the course, you gotta dig your own ditch. Want your marriage to work? Dig your own ditch. You want your marriage to work, you gotta dig your own ditches. You gotta be vulnerable, you gotta do stuff when you're tired, you gotta make room for what you pray for. You single and you living it up you, go when you want to, you come back when you want to, you don't have to do nothing, that's fine, you like that? You better stay like that, because the Lord... For what it's worth, the Lord told me to share with you, what this message boils down to is, make room for what's coming next.
Make room. Who am I preaching to? Make room. You understand how hard it is to make room for something you haven't got yet? You don't know how hard it is to go back and command these armies that are about to faint, you got work to do. I thought y'all went up there to get some water. No, we came back with some work, because the water is in the work. So you have to dig your own ditch. I can want the best for you all I want to. I can believe in you, I can pray for you, I can undergird you, I can even be there for you. But I can't dig for you. I'm learning that as I get older, I cannot dig for you. I used to think that just because I wanted you to have it I could almost make you take it, but I can't.
Some of you are experiencing that with your own loved ones, you want more for them than they want for themselves. And you sit up here feeling guilty and feeling bad. The truth of the matter is, everybody has to dig your own ditch. Now, this is the part I like. And none of that's the part I like. This is part of the prophecy I like. He said, when you dig your own ditches, this is the Word of the Lord, there will be no wind. There will be no wind. In other words, there will be no sign. You won't see the clouds gather or hear the lightning flash. It won't look like it's about to happen. There will be no... There will be, I love this verse, there will be no wind. Wait a minute. There will be no rain. You won't see this coming.
What I'm getting ready to do for you is not coming through the natural. There will be no wind. Oh my God, somebody just hit him right in their belly, they just realized God is talking right to you. There will be no wind, there will be no rain, there will just be water. Now, I don't know whether the digging broke up the water that was under them. I don't know whether they dug 'til they hit something, or whether they dug 'til he created something. All I know is that it didn't come down, it came up.
Am I preaching this morning? It came out of nowhere. It came out of nowhere. There was no sign it was gonna get better, there was no rain saying it was going to get better. Counseling hadn't worked, therapy hadn't worked, training hadn't worked, fussing hadn't worked, crying hadn't worked, being depressed hadn't worked. There will be no wind, there will be no rain. Oh my God, I hope you're receivin' this. There will be no wind, there will be no rain, but I swear there will be water.