This excerpt is taken from:
Nothing Just Happens
Bishop T.D. Jakes - Woman, Thou Art Loosed Conference 2001
"Three women - Naomi, who is the older woman, and Ruth,
who was her daughter-in-law, and Orpah, who was her other daughter-in-law.
Three women who's commonality was pain. Pain is a strange company
keeper. It brings the oddest people together. There is a secret
fraternity that exists amongst those who have been in pain that
is mind-boggling. It transcends the color of your skin. It transcends
your background. When you have been through certain things, you
feel for other people who have been through those things, because
you relate to them. I personally don't like to have a whole lot
to do with people who have not been through pain. It's nothing
against them, I'm not jealous of them, I just can't relate to
them. I can't relate to them and I am sure that they will not
be able to relate to me. The parts of me that I need to have known,
that I need to have touched, that I need to have fellowship, are
tied up not in the successes of my life, but in the struggles
of my life. For God has done more through my struggles. He's done
more through my struggles then he's ever done through my successes.
And if you look carefully at my successes, my successes are made
out of the ingredients of my struggles. And you can never know
my successes until you understand my struggles, because my struggles
are the pathway that led me into my success. Are you hearing what
And so if you are going to have fellowship with somebody, you
have to choose your friends and make sure that they have had something
to die in their life. If you've never had anything to die in your
life, you have the kind of optimism that is annoying. If you've
never had anything to go wrong in your life, I don't like to hear
you preach, it aggravates me, it gets on my nerves because your
preaching has not been balanced by failure. If you've never had
anything to die in your life don't counsel me, because you really
don't understand me because you don't know why I am like I am
until you've been where I've been. If you've never had anything
to die in your life don't sit there and tell me be a man, take
it, don't cry. You don't know what I'm taking, you don't know
what I'm enduring, you don't understand. Just because you read
some books and took a psych class doesn't mean that you are ready
to deal with the issues of my life. There is something about going
through death and loss and pain and misfortune and adversity.
There is something about going through things that don't seem
fair to you. That once you go through them you need to make sense
of the madness in your life since you can't change what happened
and you can't alter what you've been through, at least you need
to be able to think that there's some greater good that's going
to come out of it.
It's what they call bringing closure. To bring closure to it;
to justify that I didn't go through this kind of pain for nothing.
I need to be able to feel like something good is going to come
out of this. If I can't do that then I feel like I'm a victim.
I feel like I've been victimized and I forever feel sorry for
myself and I'm not free to go on with my life, and I'm not safe
to remarry again, and I'm not safe to get another job again, and
I'm not safe in another church again, because I have unresolved
issues out of my past; and I'm not ready to go forward with my
life because I'm still tied up with where I came from. I need
to know if I'm going to continue to worship God, I need to know
that some demon didn't get loose in my life and wreck my life.
It's not a mistake, it's not an accident, God didn't fall asleep
on the job and the devil came in and wrecked the car. No, God
never sleeps and he never slumbers. He's in complete control and
he knows where you are, and he knows how old you are, and he knows
how much time you spent, and he knows what happened to you, and
he knows who walked out and left you, and he knows who betrayed
you, and he knows who molested you, and he knows who raped you,
and he knows who rejected you, and he knows where you are in life,
and he knows about your bills, and he knows about your degree,
and he knows you dropped out of school, and he knows about what
you didn't get, and he knows about the health of your child, and
he knows about the condition of your neighborhood. Understand
that and tell yourself nothing just happens.
And so Orpah walks away. She walks away. I might have to turn
this into a series because I can't get out of this. Orpah walks
away, and she cries and she goes back. There are people who can
walk away from you. And hear me when I tell you this - when people
can walk away from you: let them walk. When people can walk away
from you: let them walk. I can sit down now; I've preached. I
can sit down. I don't need to make an altar call or nothing. I
don't have to hoop, I don't have to make you shout, I have just
preached right now. When people can walk away from you: let them
walk. I don't want you to try to talk another person into staying
with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to
see you, staying attached to you. I mean hang up the phone. When
people can walk away from you let them walk. Your destiny is never
tied to anybody that left. The bible said that, they came out
from us that it might be made manifest that they were not of us.
For had they been of us, no doubt they would have continued with
us. [1Jo 2:19]
People leave you because they are not joined to you. And if they
are not joined to you, you can get super glue and you can't make
them stay. Let them go. And it doesn't mean that Orpah was a bad
person it just means that Orpah's part in the story is over. And
you've got to know when people's part in your story is over so
that you don't' keep trying to raise the dead. You've got to know
when it's dead, David. When your boy is dead, wash your face and
have another baby. You've got to know when it's over. Let me tell
you something. I've got the gift of goodbye. I mean I've got the
gift of goodbye. It's the tenth spiritual gift, I believe in goodbye.
It's not that I'm hateful, it's that I'm faithful, and I know
whatever God means for me to have he'll give it to me. And if
it takes too much sweat I don't need it. Stop begging people to
stay. Let them go!! Ruth, on the other hand, coming to the crossroads,
she looks at Orpah who left. Ruth turns to Naomi and says, as
the Lord liveth I shall not leave thee. She makes a statement
to this woman that sounds somewhere in between poetry, intimacy
and borders on lesbianism.
People don't even know how to explain what Ruth said to Naomi.
It makes them uncomfortable, they are afraid to talk about it,
they don't want to teach on it. The same thing with David and
Jonathan. Whenever same sex relationships get too close people
don't even know what to say because people are so carnal they
think the only thing that can tie you to somebody is flesh to
flesh. Understand that Naomi was an older woman. She was old enough
to be Ruth's mama. She's not attracted to Naomi's flesh. Some
kind of way Naomi's spirit has gotten in her spirit. There is
something that happens to you occasionally where you can meet
somebody and you sense, you sense, you sense that your destiny
oh God, oh God
your destiny is tied to that person. Do you
understand? Do you understand what's happening to us? Do you understand
that we are spending our lives together? Has it ever crossed your
mind that we are spending our lives together? That we will die
after this, and that we have been joined together and we are spending
our life together? Have you ever realized you can spend your life
anywhere with anybody doing anything, but something happens inside
of you where you sense that your destiny is tied to a ministry
or to a vision and you decide to spend your life
People keep talking about spending their money. That ain't nothing.
I can spend my money and live in Chicago. But when I spend my
life with you, that's all I have. I don't think that hits you.
We are spending our lives together. You will not be able to write
your story and leave me out. We are spending our lives together.
There is no greater bond possible. Occasionally in scriptures
in the whole bible you see it happening with people who are not
even blood related spend their lives together in the most intimate
connection possible. And theologians and scholars and preachers
stumble about it because they don't know how to talk about it
because they don't understand the power being joined together.
How can we explain what made Elisha leave his natural mother and
father and run after Elijah to wait on him? To clean his clothes,
to pour water on his hair, to set up his tent, but some kind of
way Elisha sensed that his destiny was tied to Elijah. How can
we explain Timothy, who walks away from everything that he owns
to hang out at the outside window of a jail cell as an old man
prepares to be beheaded? He peeks in the window handing him books
and blankets ministering to him. The young man understood, I'll
never be who I was meant to be without you in my life. Do you
hear what I'm saying?
There is something, there is something about the way you talk
it feeds me. It's something about the way you speak that changes
me. There is something about your spirit that motivates me and
I'll never be completed without you and I didn't meet you by accident.
I didn't stumble up and meet you. This didn't just happen. There
is a reason that I'm in this place. I'm so sick of talking to
people who think that everything just happens. I guess I'll go
to church. I guess I'll get saved. I guess I'll move to Chicago.
I guess I'll move to Dallas. That's not how it is. The steps of
a good man are ordered by the Lord. Your steps were ordered. If
you hadn't got the phone call that you got when you got like you
got it, you wouldn't even be here right now. If you hadn't made
the turn that you made yesterday you wouldn't experience what
you are experiencing today. God has been behind the curtain like
a puppet master pulling strings in your life. It's not that you're
smart, it's not that you're great; it's not that you're holy;
it's not that you're perfect; it's not that you're good; but God
winded you up; pointed you in the right direction; released you
into your destiny; and you are here and you can't get away. Slap
somebody and tell them nothing just happens. Can I talk to you
a few more minutes?
This means, this means, this means that I'm up under the banner
of his will. I'm up under the banner of his will. Even in the
midst of death, I'm up under the banner of his will. Even in the
midst of pain, I'm up under the banner of his will. Even in the
midst of separation and disappointment I'm up under the banner
of his will. Can I take you to the next level? Jonah was sent
to Nineveh, went to Tarsus, headed for Tarsus not obeying God,
got thrown off the boat into the belly of the fish, swallowed
up for three days. Even though God told him to go to Nineveh,
and he didn't go, he was still in the will. I'm not sure you can
handle this. He went the wrong way and he was still in the will.
They threw him off the boat he was still in the will. I'll prove
to you he was in the will. It just happened to be a big fish.
See it just happened to be a big fish swimming beside the big
boat so that when men dumped him over, the fish just happened
this is too strong. You can't take this. The fish carried
him down to the bottom of the mountains with seaweed wrapped around
its neck. He's thousands of feet below sea level and God sustained
him. Sustained him not one day, not two days, not four days, but
three days. Nothing just happens.
On the third day
on the third day the backslidden, rebellious,
reprobate, disconnected, disjointed preacher comes up out of the
water, and thousands of years later Christ says even as Jonah
was in the belly of the fish three days so shall the son of man
be in the grave. He had to get up when he got up, and he had to
go down when he went down because nothing just happens. Oh God.
Your mistakes were in his will. Your trouble was in his will.
Your pain was in his will. I don't care what you went through.
David said if I make my bed in hell, thou art there. If I take
the wings of the morning and ascend unto the uttermost parts of
the earth God is still there. He was with you in the middle of
your trouble. He was with you in the middle of your pain. That's
why Paul said, I've learned whatever state I'm in, therewith to
be content. I know how to be rich. I know how to be poor. I know
how to be free. I know how to be bound. You ought to shout. I
don't care where you are because nothing just happens! And no
devil in hell has ever been able to abort the purpose of God not
once. And yes, God gave you a human will, and you are a free moral
agent; but if you think that your human will is strong enough
to change his divine will you are tripping. You are out of your
mind. God is God.
The reason we worship him as God is because he is the CEO. He
is in charge. He runs the universe. And when God gets ready to
make you, and when God gets ready to break you, and when God gets
ready to take you, he has never been without the power to make
you yield to his will. He's never, not one moment or time, not
been able to orchestrate your affairs and anointing in your life.
Think about the most damnable thing that ever happened and shout
'nothing'! Think about the most embarrassing thing that ever happened
in your life and shout 'nothing'! Think about the most impoverished,
financially depleting thing that ever happened in your life and
shout 'nothing'! Think about the worse scandal that you ever went
through in your life and shout 'nothing'! Think about people who
loved you and walked out and left you and shout 'nothing'! Think
about betrayal on the highest level of your life and shout 'nothing'!
Think about the struggle going on on your job right now and shout
'nothing'! Think about the attitude of your kinfolks and your
family members and shout 'nothing'! Think about how your boss
is treating you on your job and shout 'nothing'! Think about that
disagreement between you and your children and shout 'nothing'!
Think about your past life of sin, your whoremongering, your inappropriateness,
your attitude, your dysfunction and shout 'nothing'! Shout 'nothing'!
Let the devil hear you say nothing. That devil will think he
won if you don't shout nothing. The devil will think he's in charge
if you don't shout nothing. He'll think he's going to win but
you've got to shout 'Nothing'!"