Joyce Meyer - Making Right Choices - Part 2
Well, thank you for joining us today on, "Enjoying Everyday Life". You know, I don't know if you got to watch the program yesterday or not, but I started talking about choices. And how, so often we make wrong choices, and then, we have wrong results and we don't like 'em, we end up living in regret. Today, I wanna to continue talking about choices. And I just want to say, if you didn't get to see yesterday's program, you have a computer, you can go back and watch yesterday's program on your computer. And then, you won't feel lost. You'll know right where we're at. But let me just say about decisions, that decisions, choices have a lot of power. A lot of power. They can have positive power, or they can have negative power. If you make good choices, right choices, then it can add good things to your life. But if you make wrong choices, or bad choices, then it's gonna add bad things to your life, or wrong things to your life.
Now, to be honest, I don't know that anybody, can make good choices if you don't know the Word of God. I believe that all the answers that we need to life are found in God's word. And even people who are not believers, some people make better choices than others. But we need God's word, if we really want to make right choices. And that requires study, and it requires an investment of your time in order to study. And so, I pray that you'll do that. And especially, if you wanna learn about wisdom, you should read and study the book of Proverbs. We need to make our own decisions, led by the Spirit of God. When I say, "Make your own decisions," actually they're decisions that God wants you to make. But what I mean by, "Make your own decisions," is don't let other people make your decisions for you.
It's amazing how many opinions that people have about our lives, and what we should, and shouldn't be doing. And you know, if you're a people-pleaser or if you're insecure, you're gonna get pressured by what other people want you to do. And you may end up making a lot of wrong decisions just because you wanna please everybody. You know, to be very honest with you, 45 years ago, and it sounds like such a long time ago, in some ways, but some other ways it seems like yesterday, when God spoke to my heart about this ministry, and told me that he wanted me to go all over the world and teach his word, I mean, it was an impossibility. It had to be God or there's no way that it would have worked. And you know, 45 years ago, there weren't very many women that were doing what I'm doing today. And a lot of my friends and family members just thought I had lost my mind.
And to be very honest, I can understand, in the natural, why they felt the way they did. Because looking at it in the natural, it didn't make much sense. But you know, if you're gonna have a relationship with God, you're gonna have to get out of the natural and into the supernatural. And everything that God leads you to do, is not always gonna make sense to your head, but do you feel right about it inside? I was scared. I didn't know how this thing was ever gonna work out, but I started just teaching a Bible study in my home. You take little steps to find out, if what you believe you're hearing from God, is really God or not, because we can make mistakes. But I really, it just makes me so sad to think, what could have happened in my life if I would have followed people, instead of following God.
But if you have made a lot of wrong choices, you say, "Well, Joyce, it's too late for me. I've already made a lot of wrong choices". Well, it's not really too late for you because you can start making right choices, and you can start making right choices today. And I want you to hear this. Every right choice that you make, will help undo one of the wrong choices you've made in the past. Now, it's gonna take time. You know, a lot of people think that they can start having a relationship with Jesus and everything will be fixed overnight. Well, it won't. I always say, give God at least the same amount of time that you gave the devil. If you did wrong things and made wrong choices for 30, 40 years, don't expect it all to be fixed overnight. But remember, every right choice you make, every single right choice you make will help overturn the results of one of the wrong choices that you made in the past.
Well, what can you do if you've made wrong choices? Let's get practical. Well, first of all, get out of self-pity. Start making right choices, right now. And stop making excuses for why your life is, maybe, in a mess. Take responsibility for your life, and stop living in the deception of excuses. Because that's really all an excuse is, it's a reason stuffed with a lie, and it keeps us from taking responsibility, and being led by the spirit to begin doing the right thing. You know, we have enemies. And some of those enemies are things like anger. You know, if you've got a really bad temper, that's an enemy. If you constantly feel sorry for yourself, that's an enemy. The Bible tells us that we are to destroy our enemies. Now, in Deuteronomy chapter 7, when I'm going to read, obviously, God was talking to the Israelites about their flesh and blood enemies. But I think I can use this scripture to talk to you about the other things, in your life, that are holding you back.
I was addicted to self-pity. I had a real problem with reasoning. I tried to figure everything out, all the time. I had a bad temper. I was manipulative and controlling. I wanted my way all the time. I was selfish and self-centered. And all those things were enemies in my life. You say, "Well, Joyce, what do you mean they were enemies"? Well, they were preventing me from having the life that Jesus died for me to have. How many people go to church every week and think just because they hear the word that things should change in their life. But things don't change just because you hear the word, you have to do the word. Stop making excuses for your enemies.
You know, I made excuses for a long time about my behavior. "Well, you know, if you would have been abused like I was abused, you would act this way too". And, you know, finally, God spoke to my heart, and he said, "You have a reason to behave the way you behave, but no right to, because I'm willing to set you free if you'll do what I'm telling you to do". Please get that. Yeah, I had a reason to feel sorry for myself. But I had no right to because Jesus died so I could be set free from things like that. I wanna encourage you, don't waste one more day of your life, sitting around, feeling sorry for yourself, because of some problem you have. But get in the Word of God and find the answer to it, and start doing things God's way.
Deuteronomy 7:1 and 2 says, "When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations: the Hittites, Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, the Jebusites," and I always say, "We've all got our own -ites". It may be the money-ites, or the sickness-ites, or the grouchy neighbor-ites, or the bad boss-ites. But we've all got things in our life that we would consider to be problems or enemies. "When the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must totally destroy them. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy".
Now, how do we apply that with what we're talking about today? Well, let's just say, after God dealt with me about self-pity, I knew that was not something that I should entertain or get into. But you know, when something would happen, when I didn't get my way, and maybe, my husband was out having a good time, playing golf, and I was stuck at home, all day, had nothing to do but work, oh, there was such a temptation to sit and feel sorry for myself. Even just for a little while. I just wanted to feel sorry for myself for a little while. But see, what you're doing, when you do that is your making excuses for your enemies and you're inviting them in. You see, you can't play with fire and not get burnt. So, you need to completely destroy these things, with God's help. And make sure that you're not giving them room in your life. Stop blaming other people for your quality of life.
The Israelites always blamed God and Moses for their problems. It took them 40 years to make what could have been an 11-day journey straight through the wilderness. God brought them out of bondage in Egypt. They were slaves in Egypt. And they'd been crying out to God for deliverance. And God sent them a deliverer, Moses, to lead them out of Egypt, to the Promised Land, but they had to go through the wilderness. And it was actually an 11-day journey, if they would have went straight through, but it took them 40 years.
Now, you know, that sounds ridiculous. But let me ask you a question. How many years have you been fooling around in the wilderness trying to get to your Promised Land? You say, "Joyce, what are you talking about, my Promised Land"? Well, there are 7000 promises in the Word of God. Promises of peace, and joy, and prosperity, and health, and fruitfulness, and so many promises. And those promises are there for you to possess those promises, and live that life, not just read about them. But you have to stop blaming your problems on other people and take responsibility for them.
Remember, every right choice that you make, changes the result of a wrong choice that you made in the past. You know, I wrote this statement down, and I think it's good. Even if I did write it, I think it's good. "Many people want their life changed, but they don't want to change their lifestyle". Now, think about that. Are you wanting God to change your life, but you still wanna hang out with all kinds of wrong people, all the time? Are you wanting God to change your life, but you still want to go to the bar and hang out with wrong people after work every day? You know, maybe, you have some friends, some people, that you're spending way too much time with that are poisoning your life. And you know it, and you know it, from God. You know they're not the right people for you, but you don't want to be lonely. Well, you know what? You'd be better off to be lonely, for a little while, than to be with wrong people, that are poisoning your life, and poisoning your attitude, and keeping you in bondage.
Do you want your life changed, but you don't want to change your lifestyle? The Bible says, "Nobody can serve two masters". You can't have one foot in the Kingdom of God, and another foot in the world. You have to make a decision to do things God's way. Wisdom is available to all of us. But so is foolishness. We get to make the choice. The book of Proverbs talks a lot about wisdom, but it also talks a lot about foolishness. Deuteronomy 30:19, I read it yesterday, but it's so good. Let's read it again, today. "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I've set before you life and death, blessing and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live". You know, choosing wisdom leads to a blessed life.
There's so many wonderful promises in Proverbs. God preserves the way of his saints through wisdom. The first one, says, "My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you". Don't just read the Bible, but believe the Bible, and learn the scriptures, and store them up on the inside of you. Here's a promise. "If you cry out for insight and cry out for understanding, if you look for it as you would look for silver and search for it as you would for a hidden treasure". In other words, wisdom is available, but you have to really want it. Because I can tell you, the devil will do everything he can to keep you from studying the word and learning the way that God wants you to live. All the ways of God are wisdom, and all the ways of the devil are foolishness.
Proverbs 4:8, in the Amplified Bible says, "Prize wisdom highly and exalt her, and she will exalt and promote you". Do you wanna be promoted in life? Then make a decision to start making right choices: choices that are wise. Perhaps, if a person has not been promoted in life, they should check and see if they've been foolish, or if they've been wise. The Bible says, we are to follow wisdom. Proverbs 6 tells us there's six things the Lord hates. And a 7th is an abomination unto him. Well, if something is an abomination unto God, I should run from it as fast as I can run from it. And so should you. But when I read these, and we get to the 7th one, I think you're gonna realize that so many people, even Christians, do this 7th thing a lot. And it's probably causing a lot of problems in their life.
First of all, the Lord hates, "A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others]". God never wants us to think that we're better than somebody else. And you know what happens? If you do think that you're better than other people, you'll end up mistreating people. You'll end up looking down on them. You'll have a bad attitude toward them. He hates, "A lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood". He hates, "A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts". Be careful about your thoughts. Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it, comes the issues of life. I told my husband, the other day, I said, "You know, I think our real life is in our mind". The Bible says, in Proverbs 23:7, that, "As a man thinks, so is he".
It's amazing. You can have a bad circumstance, but if you've got good thoughts, you're gonna still have a good day. Be very careful about what you think. He hates, "Feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies". And here's the 7th thing that God hates: "And he who sows discord among his brethren," strife, spreading rumors, spreading gossip. And don't think, for one minute, that it's not in the church, as well as, in the world, because it is. And especially, today, with social media, there is so much spreading of discord on social media. Let me tell you something. You do not need to get on social media and give your uninformed opinion about somebody, if it's something that's gonna make them look bad.
Be very careful about sowing discord. Don't say things to other people that are gonna give them a bad opinion of somebody else. If you know something about somebody that's not good, instead of tattle tailing it, pray for that person, and pray that God will be able to change them. If I know that something is an abomination to God, then I'm being very foolish if I continue to do that thing. Wisdom is defined in the Greek dictionary as: understanding and prudence. And, you know what prudence is? Prudence is good management. Are you managing the resources that God has given you well? Or are you wasteful? It's, "Insight in the true nature of things. The ability to discern modes of action and a view to their results". And boy, Proverbs says so much about adultery and fornication.
Now, don't turn the television set off because I said something you don't wanna hear. Man, when you study Proverbs, if you really believe it, it basically says, "If a man", well, it says a man, but actually, it means a man or a woman, "Commits adultery, they are destroying their own life". Don't destroy your life, over a moment of some kind of carnal pleasure that's gonna end up causing you to lose your family. The grass is not greener on the other side. You may leave the person that you're married to for somebody that you've met at work, and you think it's gonna be all wonderful. Well, let me tell you something. There's gonna be problems there, too.
Proverbs actually, has a lot of warnings in it. And, you know, we don't like to be warned. Today, people kinda don't want anybody correcting them or telling them what to do. People often ignore warnings because they think that they can, or they hope they can do the wrong thing and get a right result. But you know what? It just doesn't work that way. Let's take, for example, and this is not unto condemnation, but there's warnings on cigarette packages that says, "This product may cause cancer". But the smoker thinks, "Well, other people may get cancer, but I won't". Now, I was a smoker, myself, for many years, and I saw that warning and I kept right on smoking. We ignore warnings, and then, we get upset when we get a bad result. The warnings are all over the place. "Do not drink and drive," yet, drunk drivers kill thousands of people each year. "Don't text and drive". "Wear your seatbelt," but a lot of people don't want to do that.
You know, a lot of people have what we call, "The Titanic syndrome". The Titanic had a warning that there were icebergs ahead, but they ignored it, and 1.500 people ended up losing their lives. Let's just say that, maybe, you have a consistent pain somewhere in your body, but you're just ignoring it. You know, a lot of people say, "Well, I don't wanna go to the doctor". Well, who does wanna go to the doctor? But you know, if you've got something, like, my back hurt for years, and years, and years, and I didn't want to go to the doctor. Well, finally, I got up, one morning, and I couldn't hardly walk. Well, I really couldn't, without help. And then, I was forced to do, what I should have done a long time ago. If you feel like there's something wrong in your body, don't put it off, go get it checked out. Maybe, if you get it checked out early, you can prevent something worse from happening, later on.
If your clothes are getting too tight in the waist, that's a warning that you're gaining weight. We've had employees that have received warnings, and they ignored them, and they ended up losing their job. "If you keep being late for work all the time, we're not going to be able to keep you". "If you keep causing strife, we're not gonna be able to keep you". One young man went back to his department, after we had talked to him, and said, "They won't fire me. They need me too much". You know what? A few weeks later, he didn't have a job. There is nobody, that is indispensable. Pay attention to warnings.
You know, I remember, Dave, one time, telling me that it seemed like all I did was hang on the phone, every night, with my friends. And you know, that was really a warning that he was getting tired of that, and he wanted me to make some changes in my life. There's so many things that the Bible tells us not to do, that we just go ahead and do anyway, and when we do, we're being foolish, instead of being wise. You know, don't get mad when your pastor says something that's, maybe, a little bit difficult to hear. You need to thank the people, in your life, that are willing to correct you. The Bible says, the days are gonna come when people are gonna have itching ears, looking for something that they wanna hear that makes 'em feel good instead of listening to what they need to hear.
And I believe that we're in those days. People love to hear messages where you tell 'em what they're gonna get, and they love to hear messages that tell 'em how much God loves 'em, and how wonderful they are. But when you start preaching to them about things that need to change in their life, then, sometimes, they don't like that. You know, we have little Instagram posts every day. And they're not very long, a minute or two minutes. And they put titles on 'em. And I can see how many people have watched each one.
And it's really sad to me, sometimes, because, here's just an example. We had one up, a couple weeks ago that was titled "Meditate on the word". Well, it had about 57.000 people that looked at that. But then, I had one, "Hold on to your peace," and there was almost 400.000 people, who looked at that. You see, a lot of people want peace, but they don't wanna do the work of meditating on the word and letting it become part of their life. Don't back off from the hard things. It's the hard things that we need to do. And when your pastor, or your teacher, teaches you something that's a little bit hard to hear, don't just say, "Well, bless God, I'm not gonna listen to them anymore". We need to hear the hard truth, of the Word of God, in order to do, what we need to do. Have a great day. God loves you.