Last night I had the privilege of listening to Bishop T. D. Jakes preach at World Overcomers Christian Church in Durham, NC via live-streaming. The title of his message was "Stay Connected," and it was right on time! In this particular blog post, I just wanted to share some quotes from Bishop T. D. Jakes and also some of my own related insights as I felt inspired throughout his message. I hope those reading this will be encouraged and inspired as well.
"Don't waste your passion in confusion." In other words, don't waste time dealing with things that are not helping to bring order to your life. You can be passionate about something, but that fiery passion can grow cold if you are in the wrong environment that is full of things that are not conducive to your proper growth and development and don't help you to grow wiser.
"Everything rises and falls on the back of relationship, not religion." Jesus did things that were out of the box, so-to-speak. The religious leaders of His time did not like Him because He did not conform to their rigid, rule-based ways. Jesus challenged the status-quo and fulfilled His purpose of bridging the gap between God and man by living a sinless life, dying in our place as the sacrificial Lamb on the Cross, rising again in three days, and instituting reconciliation between God and mankind. Jesus taught his disciples about the power of building relationships with other people and staying connected to Him by abiding in Him. Some people can love God, but not get along well with other people. The Cross has not only a vertical aspect, but also a horizontal aspect. Away with those who would love God, but hate other people. We need good healthy relationships with people. We cannot make it all alone. God calls us to community and if we cannot be in sync with others who are striving to do God's will, then collectively we could fall.
"If you seek to be popular, you will never be powerful." If you are trying to conform to the ways of the world just so more and more people can like you, you will never reach the fulfillment of your true potential. If you feel like you have to ask people permission to do certain things that you know God wants you to do, if they say no, what are you going to do? Are you going to be a people pleaser, or are you going to be a God-pleaser? You don’t need man’s permission to do what God has ordained you to do to fulfill your God-given purpose. Man does not give true power, but God can and He does!
"God will never leave you nor emotionally abandon you." God will not leave you when you are present. Where ever you are God wants to be right there with you. But if you are not really there, why should you expect God to be there? Someone can be “there” physically, but not emotionally or intellectually. Sometimes we want God to bless a situation for which we ourselves are not really present! But the reality is that God does not want to bless your situation; God wants to bless YOU! But God won’t bless what you have forsaken. So if you are absent from your own life, why should you expect the blessing and favor of God? Are you really there all the time, or are you just making appearances every now and then?
God wants to bless you, but "you've got to stretch out" by faith! - Moses had the staff in his hand as Pharaoh’s army was behind the Israelites, and there were mountains on either side of them, and the Red Sea was in front of them. Moses had to stretch out his staff by faith then God parted the Red Sea. Sometimes we think we are waiting on God, but God is sometimes waiting on us to “stretch out” by faith. God meets us at the point where we are putting our faith into action.
"Give to what is giving to you." - If you breathe in only or breathe out without breathing in again, you will experience asphyxiation. Some people are choking in various environments because they are taking so much from others that those people cannot give back certain things to them to help them when help is needed. On the flip side, some people give so much of themselves that they are struggling to “breathe” for the eventual lack of resources that they need coming back to them from others to whom they originally gave. There has to be a balance.
"Just because you cry, it doesn't mean you are not recovering." - Sometimes when you get hurt, the recovery from what hurt you hurts more. Pain might very well be present, but don't withdraw from the growing process. Stay connected to Jesus! Many times when people hurt us, we have a tendency to withdraw and stay in isolation. But when we are isolated, that gives the enemy an opportunity to attack us. We’ve got to stay connected to Jesus and the people He has placed in our lives for the season that we are in, for there is strength and safety in numbers.
"God cannot bless you if you keep leaving the place of blessing!" - Faithfulness is a badge time gives. You cannot prove yourself to be faithful after only a short time. When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden he hid himself. God was coming to meet with Adam to bless him like He always did before Adam sinned, but then Adam stepped out of place to hide. Are you trying to hide from God? Have you stepped out of the place of blessing because you don’t want to have to deal with your issues that God wants to work with you on?
Stay in the right place so you can grow. Stay rooted and grounded in God’s Word. God is glorified the most when we are the most fruitful in the place where He planted us.
"Realize the fierce urgency of NOW." - Deliverance from a dark past is great. Excitement about a bright future is great. But are you HERE for the present? While you are praising God for your tomorrow, the devil is trying to steal, kill, and destroy your today. Keep it by staying connected to what God has for you right NOW. Understand the fierce urgency of now. Now is the time for building up, so the devil is attacking the hardest now. So you've got to be on your A-game all the time.
"One of the hardest things to get out of Christians is honesty." - Don't protect a false image, but be real and honest. So many times we encounter believers who have been “fakin’ the funk” for so long, it’s hard to tell if they are being real or fake. But we’ve got to get real with ourselves. We’ve got to really know how we truly are in certain circumstances and situations. When we get real with ourselves, we can then become ready to embrace the truth about what we need to do to continue to grow where God wants us to be. Besides who knows how many people we could actually end up helping if we decide to be real and take off the masks we wear too often?
I just want to encourage and inspire as many people as I can for Jesus Christ.