TD Jakes - Converted
God defines greatness by humility. Oh, y'all lookin' at me kinda funny this morning. God defines greatness by how low can you go? God says a little child shall lead them. God says unless you become like little children, you will not inherit the kingdom, so deflate your chest, take off your crown, humble yourself, and serve. The better you are at serving, the higher I'm going to raise you, because I come from another kingdom, and my kingdom is not of this world. See, they're talking, number two, out of their perspectives, and we always talk out of our perspectives. What we think about anything, how we feel about anything, how we function about anything is always a result of our life's experience, our point of view. Our perspectives are shaped by our pasts, our backgrounds, and what we have seen. And we come to a conclusion, whether it is the right one or not, it is a conclusion that is the sum total of our perspectives and our experiences.
That's why I don't let you control me with your opinion, because I realize that your opinion is concocted out of your experiences. And I also know that your experiences are not the only experiences at the table. So, you don't get to dominate me with your idea, 'cause I have a different idea, 'cause I have a different perspective. Jesus's disciples had an earthly perspective. Jesus, who came down from heaven, had a heavenly perspective. Their perspective was go up, his perspective was go down, and we're seeing the wrestling of perspectives. Number three, Peter in the text says I am ready for you. I am ready to die for you. And he's right, ultimately he did die for him, so he's not wrong with the end of the sentence, he's wrong with the beginning. The beginning was I am ready. I am ready.
Somebody say, "I am ready". Think about how many times you have told God you were ready. I'm ready to be married. I'm ready to take on another job. I'm ready for a promotion. I'm ready to open up my business. I'm ready to start a family. How do you know that you're ready? You have the potentials of being ready, but not the preparation of being ready. Being ready takes time, Camie. You can't be ready just because you want it. Wanting it doesn't make you ready for it. Having an idea or an attraction to it doesn't make you ready for it. He says I'm ready to die. Jesus, in essence, says shut up. Before the cock crows three times, you will have denied me. You are not ready. You are not ready. And I wanna spend a minute on this.
The pain of potential. It is not painful to not be what I don't have the potential to be, but what is painful is to know that I have the potential to being loyal enough to die for you, but I'm not ready for it. And the Lord told me if I preach this message, I would speak directly to somebody who all your life, they talked about how gifted you were, and how talented you were, and how much potential you had, and yet you've never been able to get it together. You got the raw skills to be great. You got the skills to be an entrepreneur. You have the skills to be a great preacher. You have the skills to be a great wife. You have the skill to be a great husband. But all of that talent put together has not gotten you there, and now you're bitter, not because the devil has tormented you, you are bitter because your potentials have given you pain.
Because you say by now, I should be further than this. By now, I should be better than this. By now, I thought I would have my degree. By now, I thought I would be married. By now, I thought I would own my own place. And you do have the potential, but you're not ready yet. And then he tells him why he's not ready. He says Satan has desired to have you, Satan. See, Satan wouldn't want you if you didn't have potential. Hey, I'm going to say that for the people in the back. Satan wouldn't want you if you didn't have potential. You wouldn't be in the fight you're in right now if you did not have the potential. The only reason he's fighting you is because you have the potential. I want everybody that's got potential to give him 30 seconds of crazy praise.
I got it. I got it. I got it. I got it. I got the potential. I know I got the potential. I know I got the potential. I know I got the potential. I know I got the potential. And the devil only knows you when you got potential. Paul I know, Jesus I know, but who are you? The very fact that the devil knows you means your life is a threat to his agenda. Oh, I wish I had some Holy Ghost saints. I mean, some real Holy Ghost saints. The reason he's after your money, the reason he's after your peace, the reason he's after your joy, the reason he's after your career is hell knows you.
And so, Jesus says to him, he calls him Simon, Simon, Simon, Satan has desired to have you that he might sift you as wheat. He wants to bring you down to your knees. He wouldn't fight you like that if you didn't have potential. He wants to bring you down to dust. He wants to shatter you. He wants you to lose your mind. He wants you to freak out. He wants you to commit suicide. He wants you to die. He wants you to give up. He wants you to collapse. He wants you to faint. But he wants to kill me. But he wants to destroy me. But he wants me to end my life. But he wants me to give up. But Jesus said he wants to destroy you, but I prayed for you. This took the fight to a whole nother level. This is not Peter fighting with Satan, this is the prayer of Jesus fighting against the plan of Satan. The prayer, the plan. The prayer and the plan. Satan has a plan, God has a prayer. He has desired to have you that he might sift you as wheat. But you know why you're still here? Jesus said I prayed for you.
Oh, yes, oh, yes, oh, yes, Oh, yes, oh, yes. The devil has a plan. The enemy has a plan for you, and God has a prayer for you. And the enemy has a plan, and God has a prayer. And you ain't got to fight neither one of 'em, because the battle is not yours, it belongs to God. God said I got enough prayer to overcome his plan. I know that's where the fight is, because there is no if about the outcome. Satan has desired to have you that he might sift you as wheat, but I prayed for you that your faith fail thee not, and then he said when thou art, not if thou art, not I hope you are, he knew his prayer was greater than Satan's plan. He said when thou art converted. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, somebody shout, "It's gonna work". Type it on the line. It's gonna work. It's gonna work. It's gonna work. It's gonna work. I'm in a fight right now, but it's gonna work. It's gonna work. It's gonna work. It's gonna work. It's gonna work.
When thou art converted. I can't release you into the atmosphere while you're toxic. I gotta let this test be your catalytic converter. I gotta let this trial detoxify some of the residue that's left down inside of you. But when I get through workin' on you, when I get through testing you, when I get through trying you, when I get through taking you through the storm, when thou art converted. When thou art. When thou art. When thou art. When thou art. When thou art. When thou art. When thou art. When, when, when, when, when thou art converted. Strengthen thy brethren when thou art converted. You ain't ready now. You got potential, but you're not ready now. But when I get through workin' on... When I get through taking you through tests and trials, when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Converted means I'm going to take what's wrong with you and make it right with you.
I'm going to take what's broken in you and make it work for you. I'm going to take where you got off and use it to create an onramp. When thou art converted. I'm literally going to change the very essence of who you are, when thou art converted. You're not converted yet, when thou art converted. Don't take the covenant, don't take the cake out of the oven, 'cause it hasn't got hot enough yet. When it is converted, when it is changed. It's still milk, and eggs, flour, and butter. It hasn't got hot enough. When it gets hot enough, it's still gonna be that, but it's not gonna be that. It's gonna change. It's gonna go through a metamorphosis. It's gonna come out differently. It'll be able to stand on its own. If you take it out too soon, it's going to fall. But if you let it stay in there long enough, it's going to stand on its own. Same stuff, just converted. Same stuff, just converted. Same man, just converted. Same woman, just converted.
And it's funny, when you've been converted and somebody who knew you before runs up on you, and they expect you to act like you used to act, and they don't know that you've already been through the fire, it may look like me, but it's not me. I've been converted. Somebody shout, "I've been converted". And the Lord said to me you got more church members than you've got converts. See, just because people follow you doesn't mean they're converted. Just because they sing and shout doesn't mean the converted. The goal is the conversion of the soul. When you are converted, your potentials will be utilized. God can't fully use you just because you follow, you have to be converted. You have to be converted. It's hard for you to go to church, 'cause you're not converted. It's not your generation, it's your conversion. It's not your age, it's your conversion. Oh, y'all don't want to talk to me. It's your conversion. You go, you go to church, but you have not had a conversion experience. Because if you were converted, you would be hungry for the word. You would be hungry for truth. You will be a hungry for worship. You would be hungry for prayer.
The reason you're okay with it is that you're a follower. And you've had some experiences with him, and you walked out on the water, and you cut off some ears for him, but that's not the question. The question is, have you been... you better preach. You better preach with me this morning. The question is, have you been converted? Have you been converted? Have you been washed in the blood of the Lamb? Has your life been changed? Are you somebody new when nobody's looking? Have you been converted, or do you put on our church face when you come to church, and you act like the rest of us, but you haven't really been converted? That's alright, I prayed for you that your faith fail you not. And there ain't an if in it. There is no if about it. "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren".
I'm almost finished. Can I go a little bit further? When I go a little bit further, it just just two more points I want to show you real quick and I'll be done. Number one, he shows him provision. He said you remember when I sent you out the first time, and I told you to take nothing with you? Don't take your purse, don't take a script, don't take anything, don't take a sword. He said did you lack anything? They said nothing. He says in your early days, I did everything. You had to do nothing. I provided everything. I sent your purse, that's your money. I sent the sword, that's your defense. I sent your bag, that's your provision. Everything you needed to get where you were goin,' I provided.
Did you lack anything? Nothing, Lord, he says but now, now he says take your purse with you. Take your script with you. In other words, I am weaning you. This is important. Yeah, give me that camera right there. This is important. The stronger you get, the less he does. Let me show you. Let me show you the example he gave me to illustrate the point. The younger a baby is, the more you do for them. You wash 'em, you burp 'em, you clean 'em, you feed 'em, you lay 'em down, you hold 'em, you set 'em up, you hold their head. The older they get, the less you have to do for 'em. If the baby is 25, and you still have to bathe them, if they're 42 and you got to change 'em, there's somethin' wrong with that. The older they get, the less you have to do.
When the children of Israel were going through the wilderness, God fed them. He sent manna down from heaven. They went from eating from the hand of Pharaoh to eating from the hand of God. God sent manna down from heaven. He fed them. He took care of everything. But when they got to the Promised Land, the Bible says then the manna ceased. And when the manna stopped, God said to them, "Prepare your victuals, for in three days you'll cross this Jordan". In other words, I'm not gonna do what I used to do for you, because you're older now, and you're stronger now, and I want you to be prepared for what I'm going to do. You're still gonna get provisions, but you're gonna have to be more involved. I'm not going to do baby-food miracles for grown-up believers. Am I helping anybody? I'm almost done.
So, some of y'all are waiting for him to do like he used to do, but to him whom much is given, to him whom much is given, to him whom much is given? So, he said take your purse with you. This is gonna cost you something. You're gonna have to invest in yourself. You can't just pray and wait on me to do it. You are going to have to get involved in the process, because you're older now. I'm still going to provide, but I'm going to provide through you and not to you. That's shouting stuff right there. I'm gonna provide through you. I'm gonna require your participation in your provision in order to take you where I'm getting ready to take you. Before, I just opened doors. You just happened to be at the right place at the right time. It just happened. He said it's not gonna be like that anymore.
You're gonna have to be intentional. Take your bag, take your purse, take your swords. And they said to Jesus, "Lord, we ain't got but two". And he stopped talking, 'cause he said you still don't understand what I'm talkin' about. You counting natural swords, and I'm talking to you about the kingdom. And he ceased from speaking to them. I got one more point I'm gonna share. My fifth point and my final point is promise. And it's simple, it's very, very simple. God says you're gonna know you're converted by the effect you have on other people.