How God Fixes a Cracked Foundation, According to T.D. Jakes

people just like to move in without doing any work

“The metaphors [in the Bible] are often agricultural,” Bishop T.D. Jakes said. For example, “‘Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’ … Occasionally, God also uses architectural terms. Architectural terms imply that there is going to be a lot of work involved in order for there to be a building. It’s one thing to plant a seed and watch it grow. It’s another thing to build something from the ground up. There’s going to be some sweat equity, there’s going to be some work involved, there’s going to be some tenacity required … People don’t like building too much. … They kind of like to buy something, you know. Just move in, turn the lights on, I’m ready. …

you have to build by design

“You have to be up for the task if you’re going to build. When you build, you build first by design and then by reality. You get an architect and he draws it out and when the drawing looks right, then the hammering and the nailing and the digging and the pouring begin. Nobody likes to build without a vision. Nobody wants to build without a plan. Once you get that plan … then you start digging your way up.

Web

“It’s funny because building speaks to erecting something, but in order to erect something, you have to go down.

“In [West Virginia], we had basements. You all don’t have basements [in Dallas] because of the soil and whatnot, but we had basements. You dug out the basement and poured the footer and the concrete and then you started layin’ block, and then you put the house on the foundation.

the ground is so weak

“Now, down here … the ground is so weak and vulnerable that they dig tunnels deep down into the soil and pour concrete in it to stabilize it, not risking a basement. They spend all of the resources on digging deep enough so that they can hit something solid because they understand that they’re building in an unstable environment and if they don’t dig down deep enough, then you can have erosion and wake up one morning and have the whole place fall down. …

if the whole place fals down

“[If the whole place falls down, you know] [t]he issue was not on the surface. It was underneath. Time only brings to fruition the reality of what was underneath. Things can look good on the surface. But underneath, you can be in trouble and have the potential for a sinkhole and never realize it.

“Don’t be afraid though. Because if it’s built right — if it’s built right, it can withstand all of the turbulence around it. If it goes down to something solid … you don’t have to worry about it. …

“But people don’t like to build too much because building takes too long. They want to get it right now. We don’t want to build a career because the notion is that the building takes too long. Somebody asked me in a Q&A what causes people to go after married people. I said, ‘Well, what happened was –’ It’s not that there isn’t a lot of good single men out there. But single men are not married men. They’re single men – you have to build … People who go after married people – they just feel like building takes too long.

they want your job but they don't want to train for it

“They want your job. They don’t want to train for it. They don’t want to work for it. They don’t want to grow up in the corporation. They just want to walk in with a cute dress on and say, ‘I’m here,’ and start doing what you do because they think it’s easy.

“They don’t want to earn the right to be who you are because building takes too long. And I admit: building, it’s hard, it’s hard, it’s hard. But the only way you can know what you’ve got – the only way you can step in the moment and be fully prepared for the moment, the only way you can deal with a thing and know that you’ve got what it takes to stay in it is to build it from the ground up. Then you really know what you’ve got.

how to build a life

“Jesus isn’t so much teaching us how to build a house. He’s really telling us how to build a life. And his concern is that people have a tendency to hear more word than they do. They love to come hear the word. … But Jesus is saying that hearing the word doesn’t necessarily build the house. Now, I understand: faith cometh by hearing. And hearing by the word of God. I know, I know, if you hear it, you’ll get faith, but what does faith have to do with it if you’re not going to do anything with it?

“Jesus tells them, I don’t want you to just hear the word. I want you to do the word. I don’t want you to just hear about healing, I want you to go out and lay hands on the sick. I don’t want you to just hear about victory, I want you to walk out the door and walk in the victory. I don’t want you to just hear that I’m going to bless you, I want you to walk in the blessing. I don’t want you to just hear about loving your neighbor, I want you to practice on somebody that gets on your nerves. … I don’t want you to just hear it so that you can throw scriptures at everybody else, I want you to actively engage in the process of trying to do what you hear because when what you hear infiltrates your behavior, that’s what gives you foundation. When what you believe infiltrates behavior, the process gives you foundation. The process – that’s what I’m after.

falling and getting back up again

“It is not just the hearing of the word, nor is it the doing of the word, it is the process of doing the word that gives you foundation. It is the struggle. It is the wrestling. It is the praying. It is the pulling. It is the trial. It is the temptation. It is the stumbling and falling and getting back up again. It is the aggravation and the intimidation that gives you foundation.

“It’s not just the mechanical influence of robotic-ly doing the word, it is just that as you go to do it, you learn things about God that you didn’t know. You learn things about yourself that you didn’t know. You learn how to go through aggravation and heartache and you learn how to deal with obstacles and situations and while you’re trying to do and carry out what he’s told you to do, all of a sudden, you’re going deeper and deeper and deeper.

“[I]f he gave it to you without letting you build into it, you wouldn’t be prepared for it. It is the process that gives you the power. It is the rejection and the alienation and the intimidation that drives you down to your knees, where you say, ‘I thought I had this and I thought I had that, and I thought I had the other …’

your friends leave

“So he says, when you do it, doing is digging. Doing is digging. If you look at the text, doing is digging. He said when you do the word, you are like the man who dug down to the rock. When you start doing what God tells you to do, there is an inevitable digging process, where everything that isn’t solid has to get out of your way … [T]his is the process when friends leave. I’ve gotta tell you this because it will look like the devil has gotten loose in your life. But it’s not the devil, it’s a shovel. And when the shovel starts digging down, everything starts moving. …

“He’s teaching me to shut my mouth, teaching me to hold my peace, teaching me to change my beha—

the digging process

“Dig in past your fear, dig in past your insecurity, dig in past how you see yourself. Dig in past your limitations. Digging you all the way down. He’s gonna dig. He’s gonna dig. He’s gonna keep on digging. He’s gonna keep on digging until he hits rock. …

“There’s no shortcut to excellence. In this instant age we live in, we have lost any understanding of slow preparation. In this microwave, Shake-n-Bake, 30-minute quick serve, soup-in-a-cup generation, we have lost all sense – I bet you … at least 30 percent of the people in here [have] never tasted a slow-cooked grit. They don’t even know. They’ve never had anything but instant oatmeal. I bet you 30 percent of the people in the room have never had anything but Jiffy corn bread. In this Jiffy, instant, quick, easy-serve age, when you get into something that requires slow cooking and stability, you think that the devil has gotten loose in your life. But they that wait upon the lord …

“I’ve got to get some discipline, I’ve got to go through some struggle, I’ve got to go through some heartache, but I’m working on something. And what I’m working on, it can’t be instant. What I’m working on has got to be able to stand some stuff. When I get to the top of the hill, I’ve got to be strong enough to stay on top.

“Somebody holler, ‘Dig it out, Lord! Dig out everything that’s flaky, everything that’s shaky, dig out everything that will break. Dig my fear out, my restlessness out, my give-up spirit, my quitting spirit, my turn-back spirit, my doubting spirit. Dig it out, Lord! Dig out my sensitivity, my insecurity –’

God’s shovel is often people

“And often, the shovel God uses is people. … It fascinated me when I went back and reviewed the text, the preceding verses were dealing with human relationships. How you treat people, how you handle people, what you say, what you don’t say. And then I realized that God’s shovel is often people. That he uses people and how we interact with them – and how they interact with us – to dig you down to something solid. The problem is, most of us really want to be dug down to somebody. ‘If I can just get you to act right, do right, and get yourself together so I can count on you…’ You can’t build on a shovel. So the reason that people keep hurting you and letting you down is because he’s using that to get you to the rock.

“I wrote a book years ago – I wish I had waited and [written] it over now because I could write it so much better now than I wrote it in the past – but I wrote a book [titled] ‘Can You Stand to be Blessed?’ You’re busy talking about give it to me, give it to me, but can you stand up to it? It’s not, ‘Are you talented enough?’ It’s not, ‘Are you gifted enough?’ It’s, ‘Can you stand up to all the things that come from it?’

everybody wants to do the aboveground work“[E]verybody wants to do the above-ground work. Because the above-ground work is the pretty stuff. ‘Oh, look at the stone and look at the windows and look at the steeple and look at the doors and look at the landscaping – oh, the landscaping. Have you ever seen such landscaping in all your life?’ … That’s the stuff that gets you the hand claps. But it’s not about how beautiful things are above ground if there’s all kinds of craziness beneath the ground. Eventually everything above ground will sink if you don’t put the effort under ground. You have to have discipline to do that. You have to be willing to work in places that people don’t see. You have to be willing to take the time that is necessary to prepare the foundation – even more [so] when you believe God is going to do something great in your life. The work goes down before the building goes up.”

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