TD Jakes - Living With Fear and Walking By Faith
I wanted to spend a little time dealing with the guilt and the anxiety that I hear people talking about when it comes to fear and faith. They are not like hot and cold, day or night. They're not equal opposites, one to the other, they're completely different one from the other. And I want to share some things that may bring some clarity. When Phillip was about to baptize the eunuch, and it says in Acts 8:36-37, "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water, and the eunuch said, 'See, here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized?' And Philip said, 'If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.' And he answered and said, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.' And he took him down into the water and baptized him".
He said you believe in your heart, not your mind, not your emotions. This is not something to be proven intellectually. This is not a mental thing. Faith is a heart thing. Why does god allow faith to be a heart thing? I'll tell you why. If faith was housed in our intellect, with some people, having a higher IQ than other people, it wouldn't be fair for God to tell us to live by faith, and not give to each of us the same measure of faith. But because faith does not exist in our emotions, but exists in our spirit, whether you are an illiterate or an intellect, you can still have great faith. In fact, Jesus says until you have faith as little children, you shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
So, it doesn't matter whether you're 70 or seven, faith is an equal-opportunity object that you can have, that you can possess. Male or female, intellectual or illiterate, it makes no difference at all. Young or old, rich or poor, black or white, it is not something that you learn, and thereby housed in your mind. It is something that happens in your spirit. So, he says if thou believeth with all thy heart, and the eunuch said I do, and he baptized him. So, believing is in the heart, fear is in the mind. Alright, now let's go to Hebrews 11, and we're gonna talk a little bit about this, and I'm about one third to where I wanna be. In Hebrews 11, the writer of the book of Hebrews is now talking about faith itself.
And I like to call it the hallmark of faith, because he begins to list all of these people who did all of these amazing things, and they did them by faith. But he starts his argument by defining, from a theological perspective, what faith is. He says, "Now faith is," not was, not will be, but present tense, "Now faith is," the word "is," right now, "The substance of things hoped for". In other words, if hope were a cake, faith is the ingredients. It is the substance of the thing I hope for. If I don't hope for anything, my faith doesn't have anything to make. But if I have a blessed hope, if I have a hope in my life, if I have a vision, if I have something that I'm going over, then faith becomes the ingredients that makes the cake a cake. I can put out flour, and butter, and sugar, and milk, and eggs, and milk, and vanilla extract, and lay it out on the table, and it's still not a cake, but it is the substance of a cake. It's only when I take the substance and mix it together that it becomes what I am hoping for.
So, your faith is the ingredients, whereby all through Hebrews 11, you'd hear, "By faith, Abel," "By faith, Enoch". Through faith, you know, over and over again, because faith then is the substance. Are you with me? Faith is the substance of the thing we hope for. It is the evidence of things not seen. If I've got all the ingredients, I've got the evidence that I can do that cake. Yeah, my oven works, I can do that cake. You all know I bake a little bit, so if I got all the ingredients, you know, my wife would say to me, "Make a banana pudding," I'd say, "Well, if I got the ingredients, I can do it". You might have something in your life right now that God is challenging you to do, that you sense in your spirit, but do you have the ingredients?
You cannot make it if you don't have the ingredients. If thou has the faith, thou can be made whole. In other words, if you have the ingredients, this can happen in your life. If you have the faith, if thou hast the faith, if thou believest, thou can be made whole. So, faith is the substance of the thing that we hope for. It is the evidence of the thing not seen. C'mon, we're gonna have a good time with it. "For by it, the elders obtained a good report". Now, when he says it's the substance of the thing hoped for, verse 2 takes it to a different level, because it moves from the animate objects, inanimate objects of things that we'd hoped for, to an inanimate object of a good report. "For by it, the elders obtained a good report". This is to say that they got good grades from God, because they had faith.
Can you prove that? Yes, Abraham believed God, and the Bible said and it was counted unto him as righteousness. It wasn't that he was righteous, he wasn't righteous. Abraham was a liar. You know, Abraham made mistakes. Abraham got off track. But because he believed God, it was counted unto him as righteousness. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God". How are we justified? We are justified by faith, not by works, lest any man should boast. It is by faith, okay? You can do all the works, and give the tithes, and pay the gifts, and sing in the choir, and join the usher board. You can do all the works you want to do. You can do all the works, read the Bible all the time, but if you do not have faith, okay, then you don't really have the righteousness that God is calling for. You're not justified by works, because if you were justified by works, you could brag about what all you did for God. But we are justified by faith, "Therefore being justified by faith".
Romans 5, I believe verse 1, "We have peace with God". "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God". In other words, this abstract thing called faith, God says I will use it in an exchange. I will give you peace in exchange. I will give you a good report. In exchange, I will give you righteousness because you have faith. Oh, that's an important thing to have. Let's go a little bit deeper. I like to explain it this way, that faith is the currency of the spirit world. Why do you say currency? Because in the natural world, the currency of the natural world is money. What is money? Money is good for the exchange for goods and services. So, if I've got $10, I can get a hamburger and some French fries. If I've got $10, I can get some chewing gum and a bottle of pop. If I've got $10, I can get a little bit of gas from the gas station, a little bit, not a lot. If I've got $10, so the $10 in and of itself, I can't eat it, I can't put it in the tank, I can't wear it, but it is good for exchange.
In the spirit, what money is in the natural, faith is in the spirit. It is used for an instrument of exchange. It is currency. "By it, the elders obtained a good report". And if you read all the way down through Hebrews, and I'm not going to exhaust all of it today, but if you read all the way down through Hebrews, it talks about all the mighty things that were done by faith. By faith, by faith, by faith, by faith, by faith, by faith, by faith, by faith. In fact, we're saved by faith, according to Romans 10:9-10. "That if thou will confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart," "In thine heart, that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved". It's not a feeling, it's not chill bumps, not about being slain in the spirit, it's about believing him in your heart and confessing with your mouth.
"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation". So, this faith thing is powerful, because if you can believe in your heart unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. So in Hebrews 11 and 2, it says, "For by it, the elders obtained a good report". Are you with me so far? I'm goin' fast 'cause I got a lot to cover, but I'm trying to leave something with you that might inspire you. Verse 3, "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear".
Through faith, we understand. Through faith, through faith, we understand. That's the only way we can understand it, because we weren't there, we didn't see it, but it's only through the lens of faith we understand that the worlds, this is not kosmos here, the word "kosmos" for planets, this is eons for ages, that the ages were framed by the Word of God. Oh, my goodness, when I get there I get happy, because I always think about that my times are in his hands, that my future has been framed in. There's only certain things that can happen to me, because the worlds, the ages, my times, my seasons were framed by the Word of God. For everything up under heaven there is a time, and a season for every purpose up under heaven. Purpose is the hedge that holds in my times and my seasons. Each thing in its own season. A time to be born, a time to die, a time to laugh, a time to cry.
All of it is hedged in, and so whatever God allows to happen, it has to be something that he allowed to get through the hedge. You remember in Job when Satan came to God and said, God said to Job, to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job"? He said, "You know you got a hedge around Job". Do you know tonight that God has a hedge around you? This is why you have to be careful about talkin' about other people. Because if God removed his hedge, whatever you're turning up your nose about, you might find yourself doing. It's just by the grace of God, and that God has hedged you in, and that he's allowed you not to go through certain things. That's the only reason you're strong where somebody else is weak. And there's a certain humility you have to have, because it's just a hedge, it's not you. Through faith we understand that the worlds, that the eons, that our times, that our ages, that our seasons were framed by the Word of God.
If you sow, you need to sow by faith, not by flesh, not by emotions, not by compassion, not buy coercion, not because somebody preached you happy, not because you went into a fit in and gave. You need to give by faith, your faith, your faith. Abel offered up a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. I like to say he outran the herd, because he offered it up by faith. Whatever you do unto God, you have to do it by faith, and God received it, and God rewarded him for it, because he did it by faith. And Cain was jealous about it. And there are people that are jealous because faith opens up a birth canal for you to receive things that doesn't make sense. And they said how could a woman like that end up with a man like him? How could a man like him end up with a woman like her? How could that person get the job?
I've got way more qualifications, but they got the opportunity. Tell them I got it by faith. Faith opened up the door. Faith gave me the promotion. Faith gave me the automobile. Faith gave me the chance. Faith gave me the gift to sing. Faith caused me to be exposed. Faith gave me favor with people I wouldn't have favor with. I got it by faith. You've got the qualifications, but I got it by faith. My faith is the evidence of the things I hope for. Hallelujah to God. It is the evidence of things I cannot see. It is the substance of the thing that I hope for. I got it by faith.
Now, if faith is the treasury of the spirit world, my God, how valuable and how important it is that you have faith. How do I get faith? How do I get more faith? The Bible says, "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God". So, all of you that don't like the Word of God, you'll never grow in your faith, because you're listening at the word of men rather than the Word of God. "Faith cometh by hearing". If faith is gonna get in, it's gonna come in through your hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Not just the fact that you heard it with your outer ear, but you heard it in your spiritual ear. You heard it all the way down to the depths of your being. This is good. This is good.
Let's go deeper. "By faith, Enoch was translated that he should not see death, and was not found because God had translated him. For before his translation, he had this testimony that he pleased God". He had so much faith that he bypassed the process. He was translated without seeing death because he had faith. God, that's shouting stuff right there. Do you not know God is a god of process, and procedure, and order? But faith can shorten the process. It can bypass the process. "Enoch was translated that he would not see death," because he believed God. I could show you over, and over, and over again where faith will break the rules, and open up a way, and bring you out in a way that you wouldn't have been brought out before had you not been a person of faith. And the Bible said that "He had this testimony that he pleased God". This is good.
Now, let's get down to it. Let's get down to it. Let's get down to it. Are you ready? Let's get down to it, verse 6. "But without faith, it is impossible to please him," forget it. No talent, no gift, no service, no benevolence, no caring about this, or that, or the other, no acts of kindness. Without faith, it is impossible to please him. That's clear, that's clear, that's clear. There's no room for debate about it. It is impossible, not improbable, it is impossible to please him. "For he that cometh to God must first believe that he is". Must believe that he is, "And that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him". In order to come to him, in order for him to reveal himself to you, in order for you to be able to approach him, you must first believe that he is.
Now, belief is not an emotion, we've already established that. Believe is a conviction. It's a conviction you have in your heart that God is. Not was, not will be, God is, right now, present in this moment. God is in that house with you. God is in the car with you. God is on your job. "He that cometh to God must first believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him". Which brings me all the way back to what I said earlier about the worship service. You ought to want to seek him. You ought to want to seek him in the worship. You ought to want to seek him on a daily basis. You ought not to avoid the worship and just come to God for what you can get. You ought to seek him, because God rewards you for seeking him. You don't have to know, but you seek him. He hasn't revealed everything, but I seek him.
I press toward the mark. I haven't apprehended. I haven't grasped the fullness of God. I don't know all that there is to know about God, but I am diligently seeking him. And God said I'll reward you for that. I'll bless you for that. I'll bring you through for that. I'll give you righteousness for that. I'll heal you for that. I'll bring you through for that. That he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Now, I'm almost where we need to be. Now, stay with me. Stay with me, 'cause we're going somewhere. We're going somewhere. We gotta go right here. The 7th verse, the 7th verse, the number seven for perfection. "By faith Noah, being warned of God, of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith".
I want you to look at, "By faith, Noah, being warned of God of things not yet seen, moved with fear". Underline faith, underline fear. By faith Noah, Noah, so we know he did it by faith. "Being warned of God of things not yet seen, moved with fear". Now fear we've relegated to the emotional realm, but faith is in the spirit, which is a conviction of the heart. He had faith, and yet he moved with fear. And one didn't cancel out the other. The fear is what gave him the pace to move rapidly, to hurry up and obey God. Fear of God. Fear of what God said. Believing what God said. Knowing the danger of what was at hand. He couldn't procrastinate, so he had faith. "By faith, Noah being warned of God of things not yet seen, moved with fear".
He didn't just move with faith, he moved with fear. That fear is reverence. It is honor. It is respect. It is the sensation that this is real, this is true, this is important. And I want you to understand that, because we are living in perplexing times, and fearful times, and times that have been prophesied in the Bible are coming to pass. Our Bible and our newspaper are colliding together at the same time. And it's uncomfortable, and it's emotional, and it affects you even as a believer. But the fact that you feel the anxiousness of the time does not mean that you don't have faith in God.
I want you to receive that in your spirit. I want you to receive that he's gonna reward you. I want you to receive that God has more in store for you than where you are right now, and that he's going to reward them that diligently seek him. And I want you to make sure that you are diligently, not just when you're in trouble, but diligently seeking God, and even the more as you see the day approach. Even the more as we see the unraveling of so many things that we thought we'd never see unraveled, and yet we're seeing them happen today. Even the more we have to diligently seek him. And it's not always easy, but we must diligently seek him. We must go out of our way to diligently seek him.
And so, I want you to understand, for those of you who have felt guilty because you're fearful, and you're concerned about the times, and yet you have faith in God, that you can move by faith. You can work by faith and still be moved with fear, and that fear causes you to hurry up and do what you're going to do. If you're gonna witness, do it now. If you're gonna preach, do it now. If you've got a song, sing it now. If you're gonna write the book, write it now. If you're going to start the business, do it now. If you're going to go in the mission field, do it now. Whatever it is that God put in your heart, all unfinished business, move with fear like Noah did. It saved his house. That's an amazing thing. It saved his house. And it was imputed unto him as righteousness. Because faith is to the spirit what money is to the earth realm. It is a medium of exchange. Do you understand that?
What do you need your faith to do in your life today? As we come to a close, I want to pray for you, that you would come into a deeper and more sensitive realm of faith in your personal life. Most of the country, the church doors are closed. Not all, but most, certainly down here where I'm at. The church doors are closed, so this is not about a building. It's not about a crowd. This is not a fraternity you join. This is not about the fellowship. This is about you and your personal faith you have in God, and will it withstand this evil day that we're living in, these perilous times that we're living in right now? If ever was a time your faith needs to anchor in the Lord, it's right now. And I would dare to venture that even in the midst of all that's going on, God's going to bless somebody mightily because of their diligent faith.
I don't care what the paper says. I don't care what the press says. God's got good things for his children, but we must be diligent in our faith. Let me pray with you right now that your faith fail you not. Jesus told Peter, "Simon, Simon, Satan has desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat. But I prayed for you, not that you wouldn't fail," but he said, "I prayed that your faith fail thee not. And when thou art converted, strengthen your brother". Make it your business to strengthen somebody today, to encourage somebody, to be a blessing today in these perilous times. Because somebody you're tryin' to strengthen, they have more fear than they have faith. Some of them may not have any faith at all. "But my faith looks up to thee, O Lamb of Calvary. Savior divine, now hear me well I pray. Take all my sins away". That's the kind of praying we need before God. Lord, I want to be wholly thine, let's pray.
Father, in the name of Jesus, as we close this Bible class, it's been rich to understand how to please you. It's been rich to understand that our emotions does not mean that we do not have faith. It's been rich to understand, Lord, that we need you to transform us by the renewing of our mind, so that the faith that's in our spirit would reach out and captivate our mind and our emotions, and bring every thought into captivity unto the obedience of Christ. And then, when it's time to move, let us move with fear, not with procrastination. I rebuke the spirit of procrastination, self-doubt, insecurity, intimidation, go. We've got things to do. We must do them now, in Jesus's name, amen.
I've enjoyed sharing with you the Word of God tonight. I hope you've been blessed by the Word of God. I hope you'll look back through Hebrews again, and again, and again, and the other Scriptures that I shared with you tonight. And above everything, hold on to your faith.