TD Jakes - My Prison Is Not My Problem
This woman had a gift, and because she was gifted, she was making a lot of people a lot of money, and probably herself was not the recipient of the money because she was a slave. People will make your gift a slave to their ambition, make money off of you, because of you, and nothing goes to you. And she's walking behind the Apostle Paul, and she is saying these men are sent from God to bring you the gospel of Jesus Christ. There's nothing wrong with what she said. What she said was right, but where she was coming from was wrong. You cannot be sure that a person's heart is a reflection of what they're saying, because they will say what you want to hear, but you have to be discerning enough to discern the spirit.
Have you ever had somebody say the right thing to you, but it didn't settle right in your spirit and an alarm went off in your head? You said I can't put my finger on it, but it just doesn't... after many days of following the Apostle Paul, look at how much time was put into it. A lot of time of following him, finally the Bible says that Paul got tired. Nothing changes 'til you get tired of it. You can't rebuke what you're willing to live with. The twist in the story is the change in the disposition of the apostle. Everything else is consistent. One day he got tired.
Touch your neighbor and say, "I'm tired now". Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. "I put up with that last week, but... I didn't say that last month, but I'm tired now". Y'all don't understand. I'm tired. I'm tired of that. I'm tired. I'm tired. I didn't say anything. I've been polite, I've been nice, I've been kind, I've been respectful, but I'm tired now. I didn't disrespect you, I didn't say what I could have said, but I'm tired now. I've been suspicious for a long time, but I'm tired now. I'm tired. I'm tired now. I'm tired, I'm tired now. I'm tired, I'm just not gonna be sick every day now, I'm tired. I'm tired, I'm not gonna be upset every day, I'm tired now. I'm not going to be at my wit's end every day, I'm tired how. Don't call me no more, I'm tired now. Come out of her.
Slap your neighbor and say, "Call that thing out". Call that thing out. Come out of my house. Come out of my life. Come out of my emotions. Come out of my mind, come out. Come out of my spirit. Come out of my finances. Come out of my atmosphere. Come out of my business. Come out of my finances, come out. I don't know, but somebody in here has got to call some stuff out and say enough, is enough, is enough, come out. And immediately, the spirit did what it had to do. It wasn't a question. You can't question a demon. It wasn't a question. It wasn't a request. It wasn't a good idea. It was a commandment, come out. Somebody say, "Come out".
See, we haven't taught you how to fight spirits, so you are pleading with demons. You goin' home crying, hoping that the devil will feel sorry for you. You need to wipe your face and say, "Come out". Come out of this marriage, come out. I got too much invested in it, come out. Come out of this child. I love you, come out. Immediately, the spirit, immediately, not gradually, immediately. I know you don't believe in immediate change, 'cause you're too carnal-minded to believe in immediate change. You're so intellectual, you believe in gradual change, but to those of us that know Jesus, every now and then, God will give you an immediate, a suddenly, a right now, Oh, God, I feel the power of the Holy Ghost. Hallelujah, somebody say, "Immediately". I don't know who it is, but somebody in this building is about to get an immediately. A sudden, a right now, a straight forth.
So what they did... sit down, I'm just talking to you. What they did, they immediately, immediately, when the demon came out, all the prophecies stopped. When the demon came out, all the fortune telling stopped. When the demon came out, all of the irritation came out of the movement. Any time you've got an irritation, something foreign is out of place. Whether it's in your knee, or whether it's in your leg, or whether it's in your house, irritations are a sign that something is out of place. Immediately, the irritant was gone. The aggravation was gone. The frustration was gone. And because Paul had done something good that affected people who were doing something bad, they launched an attack on the Apostle Paul.
And here comes the gang. The gang wasn't even there, but they'd jump on the bandwagon. We are living in a season of gangs. Gangs just jumping on the bandwagon, ready to attack people they don't know. Most of the people who hate you don't even know you. It'd be different if you knew me and we fell out about something and I understood why you was giving me all of this hate, but have you ever noticed that most of the time, the people who are hitting you up and saying all this crazy stuff, you go back and look at the picture, you don't even know who they are? I want to warn you about the gangs, gang mentalities. People who just jump on the bandwagon. People who just hate because they heard. That's what the gang was. They were people who hated because they heard.
I want to warn you about it so that you don't allow the magnitude of the attack that comes against you to make you doubt the credibility of who you are. Sometimes if it were one or two people, you can fight them off, but the enemy will send a gang against you. And if you're weak-minded, a gang will make you doubt yourself, make you say, "Well, maybe, maybe". But I believe the Bible says, "Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. Though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of the Lord". I don't know who I'm preaching to, but you gotta be confident, even in the face of a gang. I'll stand by myself. So, the gang went. The gang couldn't do it, so they went to the magistrates, and they went a legal route, and they lied on him, and they said he was doing something that he wasn't doing, and they did it for the money. Always follow the money. They did it for the money. They lied for the money. The ganged him for the money. They went to the magistrates for the money.
Now, it doesn't have anything to do with him personally, so he don't have time to feel hurt, 'cause they didn't do it because they didn't like Paul, they did it for the money. 'Cause what he was doing had messed up their game. I want that to sink in. I'm not waiting like I don't know what I'm gonna say next, I want that, if I was cookin,' I'd call it marinate. I want that to just marinate. I just, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I want you to soak that in. I want you to soak in the fact that people will kill you for cash. And the Bible says that they beat Paul and Silas severely. Somebody say, "Severely". They beat them severely, as if they had done something wrong, and then they threw them into prison. And not just the prison, but the inner sanctum of the prison. They put them in the prison's prison. They put them in the jail cell inside the jail cell. They put 'em in something that was so deep, so secure, because the Philippian jailer had been charged, don't play with these people.
See, when you're anointed, you go through unreasonable attack. Anybody else would get in a little bit of trouble, but when you really anointed, all hell breaks loose because you're anointed with the Holy Ghost. I don't know who I'm preaching to this morning, but this is what the Lord gave me. There's a reason that all hell is breaking loose. The anointing that's on your life has caused the devil does say, "Don't play with him. Don't give her no chance. Don't let her get up".
Now, this woman has come into Paul's life, and she is following him, and has set him up in a situation that when he does what is natural to him, deliver her, it creates some events that synchronize themselves to come into harmony with something that is going on in his life, and he ends up in jail. But my subject is "My Prison is Not My Problem". That Paul is in jail, he's in jail. No, he's not just in jail, he is beat up and in jail. So, his back is lacerated, his wounds are bleeding, his body is swollen, he is in prison with no medication, no anesthesia. He's in prison with flies, and gnats, and rodents, and bleeding, and handcuffed, and can't scratch himself or stop the oozing of the blood. But the prison is not the problem. If Paul aligns himself up with what he sees, he will lose the battle. If he reacts to his environment, if he acts like an inmate, if he acts like a victim, y'all can't handle this kinda stuff. If he starts crying and start saying, "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen," that if he starts waiting on a phone call to call his mama like an inmate, he will have lost the battle, because the prison is not his problem.
In fact, the prison is his promise. The prison is his promise in disguise. God needed him to be in prison, because the first church was gonna come out of his prison. I want to tell everybody in here that's ever been any kind of prison, your first church comes out of your first prison. Your blessing is going to come out of your burden. Your promise is gonna come out of your problem. That's why you gonna say it was good for me that I was afflicted. You gotta understand, the prison is his platform. He set it off in Philippi because of the prison. The prison is not his problem, it is his opportunity.
Can I go a little bit deeper, just a little bit deeper? If you don't recognize the opportunity, you will try to get out of what God got you into because you don't understand what's going on in the Spirit. He's bleeding, he sweating, he's exposed to gnats, and flies, and dirt, and cold. He cannot even comfort himself. His hands and his ankles are tied. And at midnight, you don't see Paul acting in accordance to the flesh. It is almost as if this idiot don't even know he's in jail. He does not respond to the situation in predictable ways. See, the enemy has predicted that if you got in certain kinds of situations, you would lose your joy, and lose your peace, and lose your anointing, and lose your... the enemy has predicted that if he attacks you right there, you would backslide and go back.
But at midnight, touch your neighbor and tell 'em, "It's 11:59". It's 11:59, it's 11:59, it's 11:59, it's 11:59, it's 11:59. That's why you have to be at church today, 'cause it's 11:59. How you handle this situation you're in right now is gonna make all the difference in how things turn out in your life. I'm preaching so good I'm gonna get the tape myself. Slap three people say, "My prison is not my problem". Yeah, tell three people, "My prison's not my problem". My prison's not my problem. I've been fighting the wrong battle. My prison is not my problem. My prison is not my problem. My prison is not my problem. My prison is my distraction. The prison comes to stop me from what I was doing before it came. I don't have to get out of prison to get the victory, I have to continue to respond according to my spirit and not according to what my flesh sees.
And as long as I respond in my spirit, what I see with my flesh is gonna all pass away. So, I am not trying to get out, because my prison is not my problem. At midnight, Paul and Silas, acting as if they don't even know they are in jail, started singing and praising God. You know who God really wants to praise him? Not the people that just got a car, not the people who just got a promotion, not the person who just got married, not the person who couldn't have a baby and now you had one. No, he wants the person who is going through hell, in a crisis, under attack, oughta be depressed, should have lost your mind, should've had a nervous breakdown.
Can I take just 30 seconds and get you to praise? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Praise him, praise him with your knees swollen. Praise him with your back out of joint. Praise him with your layoff notice. Praise him in the middle all of those bills. Get right up in God's face and say, "You're still worthy". You're still worthy. You're still worthy. You're still worthy. You're still worthy. I dare you to open your mouth. I dare you to praise him. Right in your prison. Right in your prison. If you praise him right now, touch your neighbor and say, "If you praise him right now, you gonna get a suddenly". You gonna get a suddenly. If you praise him right now, if you praise him, if you praise him right now. I dare you to do it. If you praise him. If you praise him. If you open up your mouth, if you clap your hands.