There were a lot of nuggets of wisdom that he shared in that lesson. I'd like to expound on a few of his thoughts. Bishop Jake's first point is this:
1. You can't change what you don't care about! the question to ponder here is, What disturbs you? What gets on your last nerve? What is it that fuels or drives you and what are you the most effective at? Bishop Jakes contends that in order to achieve greatness, you must disturb the tranquility of the moment. People in your environment need to be aware that you are in their midst. In my opinion, tranquility can be summarized in two words: "comfort zone." If the area in which you are serving, leading, or employed is not being driven to reach another level, then you are not being effective.
If I am operating in my gifts, I am suppose to get on your nerves. A leader that steps out of the proverbial box, is suppose to cause change. Changed leaders change stuff around them. Changed leaders shake things up. Tranquility of the status quo nullifies your effectiveness to lead.
Again I ask, "What are your core values? What do you care about? Who are you really? What is your Purpose.?
This is Pastor Ford talking now: I often tell my mentees, "If you want to know your purpose, you must ask yourself; 'What is it that I would do for free? I know without a shadow of a doubt that preaching the gospel is my purpose. It is the thing that I would do for free. How do I know that, how can I say that for certainty? Well, I was born for this purpose. As an associate minister, serving under the senior pastor of my former church, I preached, taught, and ministered to many people in and outside of the church walls. Most of the time I did not receive an honorarium. I fulfilled my ministry without being compensation, and I was gratified and thankful that the Lord allowed me to be used in His service. The great thing about being in your purpose is, the Lord will ultimately open doors for you to be recognized and compensated for your gifts, if you prepare and are patient.
Another point that Bishop Jakes hammered home was this:
What are your negotiables? What are the things that you definitely will not put up with from your, family, spouse, friends, employees, church members, staff or companion. I have a few of them, honesty, timeliness, and loyalty. When your team messes up, you mess up. "Their failure becomes your failure. If they are on your team your job is to teach the ones who want to be taught, help the ones who reach out for your help, and leave the ones who fail to learn and change! (T. D. Jakes)."
Most of the time we get into trouble when we pretend or desire to be or have the gifts that someone else has. But God wants to know what is legitimately you? Your authenticity is the real you. It permeates what you do. Our job is to see ourselves in what we do. Then you must respond to what He puts into you. God will not bless who you pretend to be or would like to be. God saved your real self not you ideal self! God will not anoint someone He does not recognize. The Spirit of God knows the real you, not the fake you! The Spirit peels away the external trappings which generally is a façade. Life peels away what you put on to protect you from people; and little by little you try to fake it till you make it. You hide your feelings.
I like the analogy that Jakes uses in his illustration. He starts peeling an apple. As the layers are peeled from the apple, this is some of the reflections Bishop Jakes refers to. Some thoughts I have edited in from my own experience.
"The Lord exposes everything that your external self has been hiding, protecting, and defending. It could be rejection that you experienced as a child, in a relationship, on the job, it could be religious doctrine, tradition, your need to feel validated in the home, at work in your ministry, it could be pride, un-forgiveness, shame, just to name a few. The bottom line is, God wants to get to your core. He keeps peeling until he gets to the seed. You can't plant the peeling, but you can plant a seed!!! When He hits the seed, He hits "Life." Your life is in your seed.
I , Pastor Lydia, speak that to you today: God says, " I can build a ministry, if I can get to your seed (core), I can build your home if I can get to your seed, I can build you business, church, igive you nfluence on the board of directore or in the houses of government, if I can get to your core!!!
The seed is where life abides. this is what God is interested in. This is what matters to Him and what should matter to you. God may be striping some of you to you core to rid you of pride, so that you will ask for help. When you are at your core, your are operating at God's command. Now you have become fruitful. You can be planted. Your seed becomes a tree, your tree produces apples, your apple tree procuces and orchard.
We lose our uniqueness trying to be like someone else. The lesson here is that, you will never reach your potential if you are misplaced. Many of you want to go straight to the top without having to pay your dues, for example, preparing and working your way to the top. But God places the seed in the dirt first. It goes into a dark place. A place that is cold, dry at times, overlooked at times, neglected often, waiting and depending on the nourishment that comes from above. Sometimes waiting is our greatest enemy.
BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT GOD DOES HIS BEST WORK IN THE DARK!
If you are emotionally bankrupt, been singing, preaching, praying, serving, teaching, buried in a job where there is a glass ceiling, suffering in an unhappy marriage, working in a ministry that is not growing, living in a city that is not very progressive; you should know that God is working in and trhough your dark place until you outer encasement dies out.
Bishop Jakes shared something profound here. He stated, "Many of you are frustrated about something that is just an incubator that is meant to take you into your destiny." The dark place is working for your Good! The dark place is what taught me that I could survive the death of both my daughter and my husband. The dark place taught me that I could survive without the support of friends and a support system.
And here is the kicker:
"I WILL NOT BE SENDING YOU A THANK YOU CARD BECAUSE YOU DID NOT DO IT: THE LORD DID IT!!!