TD Jakes - The Giver Comes First
What I'm trying to get you to see is Isaac is all Abraham's got. It's his ticket to the promise. Isaac is to Abraham his access to everything else God has ever done in his life. He has to have an heir to possess the land. He has to have a son to procreate this new nationality, or ethnicity, in the earth that would become the Hebrews. He has to have Isaac because God will become the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And there won't be a Jacob if there's not an Isaac. He has to have an Isaac because God has promised him, "Through thy seed shall all nations of the world be blessed".
The world is counting on Isaac living, and he is riding up the hill to kill him. Isaac is the promise. He absolutely is the promise of God. What has God promised you? I said, what has God promised you? And what are you willing to sacrifice to see it happen? I think being 100 years old was an advantage when he had him, 'cause when you're older you don't have time to play games. You don't have time for foolishness. You don't have time for he say, she say, they say. You don't have time to chase down gossip. You don't have time to respond to your critics. Is there anybody in here that's old enough that you don't have time for the okie doke? You've got to go where to gold and do what you gotta do? Type on the line, "I ain't got time for it". "I'm not gonna live another 100-some years. I gotta do it now. If I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna get it done now. And whatever sacrifice I have to make, I'm gonna make it because it must have been now".
Isaac is the promise. He is the heir of the promise. "I can't possess it without an heir. It was illegal to control it without an heir". And now God says, "Kill it. Kill your ticket". And he says, "Go". He just got done talking to you about the promise. I'm going to talk to you about the place. The place is so important. Finding the right place is important. Over and over in this text, you will see again, and again, and again, "Go to the place I will show you. And when you get there, I will show you the place. And when Abraham was a great ways off, he looked up and he saw the place. Three days off, he saw the place". The place, the place. About four or five times it's mentioned. The place is important. We get caught up on the ram, but we ought to be focused on the place. The place is the critical thing because I can't just worship God anywhere.
I have to worship God in the place. Me and the lad are going yonder to worship. If I could just worship anywhere, I didn't have to go. I could have stayed in the tent and worshipped at home. I have to find the place. This won't work out of place. I got the right son, I got the right wood, I got the right knife, but if I don't have the right place... and he won't tell me ahead of time the place. He gives me no GPS. He gives me no address. He gives me no map. He does not describe it. He says, You'll know it when you see it. The place of worship is important. Now, not to you because you think worship is just laying on the floor, and lifting your hands, and crying, and doing all of that. But Abraham knows that worship, real worship, always includes sacrifice.
Can I go deeper? Real worship isn't about emotional spankatoraniums. Real worship is about sacrifice. It always has been and it always will be. And he says, "I don't want to make the right sacrifice in the wrong place". I don't want to plant okra in a place where okra doesn't grow. I don't wanna put palm trees in the Appalachian Mountains. I don't want to try to raise oak trees on the beach. Because I can have the right seed and I could've paid the right price, but if I don't put it in the right place, it will not work. That's why the enemy's always trying to move you out of your place. That's why the Bible says, "Put on the whole armor of God," not so you could travel, but so you could stand. Because once you get in the right place, you can't let no devil in hell move you out of your place. I don't care how you roll your eyes. I don't care how you talk about me. I don't care how you gossip.
I came here 25 years ago. They were talkin' about me like I had a tail. I would drive to church listening at the preachers preaching about me. And I was just smiling 'cause I was seasoned enough to know not to let your mouth run me out of my miracle. The devil is a liar. Say whatever you want to say. Call me names. Cuss me out. Draw pictures of me and throw darts at 'em and I'm still going to be right at 6777 West Kiest Boulevard because this is the place. I left West Virginia to find the place. I traveled for miles to find the place and ain't no witch gonna run me out. If you're sitting with your family and you can touch anybody, touch them and say, "I gotta be in the place". I got to be in the place. I'm too old not to be in the place. I'm too tired not to be in the place. I'm too weary not to be in the place. I sacrificed too much not to be in the place. I got to be in the place. If I have to be a doorman, I just want to be in the place. If I have to sweep the floor, I just wanna be in the place, the place, the place. It's all about the place.
This whole story is all about the place. And I have no direction. All I have is the instinct that I will know it when I see it. That's what God promised you. When you get there, you'll know it. I'll tell you, you gotta walk in the dark. You gotta walk stupid. You gotta walk blind. You gotta walk by faith and not by sight. You gotta walk without an understanding. You gotta walk without a word from the prophet. You gotta walk while you're still confused. When you get there, I will show you. The Bible said, "On the third day, Abraham looked up and he said, 'That's it.'" He didn't explain how he knew it, he didn't describe how he knew it, but the ability... I'm about to feel like preaching now. The ability to discern when you are in the right place is the most important gift you can have. Is there anybody in here that still has the gift of discernment, that your spirit will let you know, "This is the right place. This is the right person. This is the right preacher. I can worship right here"? That's why you're watching this broadcast. That's why you're tuned in online. That's why you got up and you're watching right now, because you found the right place.
Josephus the historian says that Isaac was questioned what made him as a young man old enough to fight his father, become obedient enough to climb on the altar and die. And Isaac said, "It would have been better that I not be born than I be born and not do the will of my Father". And Jesus said, "Not my will, but thine be done," and he became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. And they hung him high, and they stretched him wide, and the earth and the sun said, "This is private," and blacked it out. This is between the Father and the, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani. Why has thou forsaken me. Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. Mama, this ain't about you. Go home with John. This is between me and Daddy". Because this is the place. This is the place.
O God, I feel like preaching. It's bad, it's bad 'cause I feel like preaching now. I want you to see this grown boy able to resist but becoming obedient unto death. I want you to see this grown boy stretched out like this on the altar like a lamb would be tied by the four horns to the altar, gap-legged, vulnerable, nailed by his ankles and his hands like Jesus was nailed by his feet and his hands to the cross. I want you to see it. I want you to see the wood up under him. I want you to see the pan they put to catch the blood when they slayed his son. And when Abraham raised his hand to slay his son, to catch the blood in the pan and burn up his body, a voice spoke from heaven and said, "Hey, Abraham, Abraham, stay your hand. Stop what you're doing. Now I know that I can give you a gift and it won't become an idol," c'mon.
Now I know I can give you a car and you won't stay home on Sunday to wax it. Now I know I can put you in a house and it won't be so cute that you won't leave it. Now I know that you have finally come to the place that it ain't about the gift. It's about the Giver. When God knows how bad you want the gift, he knows the gift can become an idol in your life. And he needs to know that he can give you something without it replacing him. I will give you what you want if it don't take over you. I will give you what you want if it doesn't become your god. I will give you what you want if you don't start worshiping it. I will give you what you want if it doesn't take my place. And every now and then, I will test you to make sure that if it comes down between the gift and the Giver, the Giver will always come first. This was the test with the prodigal son. The problem with the prodigal son is that he love the gift more than the giver. "'Father, I can't wait on you to die. Give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.' And he divided unto them his living". And he left the giver for the gift and that's why it all fell apart.
And somebody listening at me right now, the reason things keep falling apart is that every time God gives you a gift, you get too busy for the Giver. Every time God gives you a gift, you forget the Giver. The first time I began, paying tithes was never a problem when I was broke. I'm honest to goodness telling you the truth. It was $20 a month. It wasn't gonna make no difference anyway. I said, "If I'm down to my last $20, I'm broke anyway. I might as well trust God". I had no trouble tithing off a welfare check. But when that check got six zeros, I forgot how to do percentages. I act like I didn't know where to move the decimal. 'Cause I told the Lord, I said, "Lord, looks like to me I could give you half of this, you'd be good". He said, "If that's too much to give to me, you keep it and I'll take the 90%".
See, when the gift gets bigger than the Giver, God has to judge you because you love his things more than you love him. There are people watching me right now, the reason you don't sow, and the reason you don't grow, and the reason you don't move forward into the next dimension, you might have money, but you don't have peace. You don't have joy. You don't have health. You don't have family. The reason that your life is withering is because you're worshiping the gift, not the Giver. Don't you know every time I give, it hurts? Every time I give, I bleed. But every time I give, I break the grip of success on my life 'cause I will let nothing separate me from the love of God. And every time I offer it up to him, I am saying that he is worth more than the it, and worth more than it is worship because worship is what it's worth. Oh, come on. Stay with me. Daddy's home. Y'all got to give me a minute. Y'all got to give me a minute.
So there he is with his knife up, and his son tied, and the wood ready to be burned. And right in the middle of it, God says, "Stay your hand". And this is why you gotta watch this. Behold, a ram, a ram, a way of escape is already tied up in the thicket. If you'd've gone up on any other mountain, there wouldn't've been a ram there. I only had one ram on one mountain so you had to worship in the right place so that in your time of trouble, your provision would already be provided. When you are in the right place, your provision is already tied in the thicket. As I close, I'm gonna tell you God's got some rams tied up for you. God's got some rams tied up for you, but where they are is so deep in worship. Your ram is tied up in a deeper realm of worship. And if you go into that deeper realm of worship, everything you need is tied in the thicket. Somebody, say "tied in the thicket".
The reason I want you to know that it's tied in the thicket and not wandering around in the thicket, because if it were wandering around in the thicket, it could leave. But God tied it in the thicket because what God has for you can't nobody else get it. And as soon as God knows that the Giver comes first, every blessing you've been praying for is tied up in the thicket. Suppose Abraham had gone up the wrong mountain. Any other mountain, any other mountain would have killed his son. This was the only mountain where the ram was provided. This is a word for somebody. Your ram is waiting on you. It's tied in the thicket. It's waiting on you to find the place, and the partnership, and the provision.
So watch this, Dr. Jill, I'm gonna say this, I'm gonna close. So when Abraham stayed his hand and looked over his shoulder, he saw a ram tied in the thicket. And the Bible said, "So he said the name of the place shall be called Jehovah-jireh". You heard that, didn't you? He did not say that God shall be called Jehovah-jireh. He said the name of the place shall be called Jehovah-jireh. There is a place that is your Jehovah-jireh. There is a place where your rams can't get away. There is a place where can't nobody take your job. There is a place where can't nobody have your anointing. There is a place where can't nobody steal your position. There is a place where everything you've been praying for, God's got it wrapped up and tied up in the thicket. You are not waiting on the ram. The ram is waiting on you. Whoever I'm preaching to, I just need 60 seconds of crazy praise.