Joyce Meyer - The God of Possibilities - Part 1
Well, I have a special word that I wanna bring you this afternoon, and I think it's gonna really help a lot of you, as well as, it'll help me, just by getting to preach it again and hear it. And I felt like that God kind of gave me an assignment to stir people's faith up, by just preaching on it and encouraging you to step out, and stop trying to just live in that safe comfortable zone all the time. We need to be brave and bold and courageous and step out into whatever God calls us into, even if we don't understand what it is that God is doing and even if you're not positive you're gonna succeed, because you'll never find out if you can succeed if you're not willing to take a chance on failing. Amen? Wonder what kinda chance you were taking pastor tommy when you bought the hospital in la? And how much faith you've had to release in order to get that to the point where it is? Or the project that you guys are doin' now in, is it Colorado city?
And we've been very involved in that and helping all along the way financially. And ya know, it's just amazing how happy it makes your life if you stay busy being a blessing to other people, but sometimes it takes faith to do that, because sometimes you feel like you've got all you can handle and you're already over your head, and then to get involved in trying to help somebody else, it's like, "My gosh". But what God orders he pays for, amen? And where God calls you, he's able to keep you. It's easy to say all things are possible with God but most of the time we think that means that we're just gonna sit back and do nothing and watch God do this big miracle. And I tell ya, that sounds so nice, but it's usually not the way that it happens. And here's the reason why, we are partners with God. We have a part and he has a part. Our part is to believe, to be in faith, God's part is to do what we cannot do and our part is also to do anything God asks us to do, to cooperate with whatever it is that we are asking God to do for us.
First of all, your first homework assignment for the rest of this year, James 4:2, says, "You have not, because you ask not". You have not because you ask not. If you ask in faith, God hears you. And unless you're asking for something that is absolutely not his will, you will receive it. Now, the Bible doesn't tell you when you'll receive it. It says, believe you have received it, Mark 11 does, and you will get it. So, you have to believe that you've received it in the spirit, that it's on its way to you, and that you will get it, but you don't know exactly when you'll get it. That's why Hebrews says, "That we receive the promises of God by faith and patience".
There's a test of faith, that we have, and that's when you believe for something, ask God for something and you really believe you've heard from God, and you believe that God is gonna do it, but you don't see anything at all happening. Anybody there right now? And you don't feel that anything is happening, that's where you need the patience. I always say there's a beginning and the beginning is usually exciting because it's a new thing so we're excited, and boy, when you reach the finish line and you actually see the thing done, that's exciting, but there's the middle. I think one of the worship songs we sang this weekend had something to do about God being there in the middle.
And see, that's what we need to realize, that we got to make it through the middle and not give up our hope and faith in God and so many people do that and perhaps some of you have done that, and God has got you and I here this afternoon in order for me to stir your faith up, stir your faith up, 'cause you know, sometimes we can get lazy in faith, or to be honest, sometimes we get used to all this. And that's tragic in itself, it's like we become so familiar with the promises of God, that we can't really appreciate the amazement of them any longer.
I recall one time sayin' to the Lord, "God why don't you do the things that you used to do when I first got in a relationship with you"? It just seemed like there was something exciting goin' on all the time. "God why don't you do the things that you used to do"? He said, "I'm still doing the same thing, you've just gotten used to it". Amen? And so, we need to be a little more amazed. Be amazed that Jesus died for us! Amazed that the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us! Amazed that Jesus said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you". Amazed that we can ask God, that we can go to God and tell him our little bitty, pitiful needs and he cares, and he hears us and will answer us. We need to be amazed that God would use us, the weak and the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. I'm sure you are, pastor Tommy, but you should always stay amazed at what God has done through these dream centers. All things are possible with God!
C'mon, you got some miracles comin', but you're gonna have to increase your faith, release your faith and stand steadfast and not get somewhere in the middle and let the devil talk you into throwing your dream away because it's just been too long and it's not going to happen. And I understand that. You know, I've been doing this a long time. I mean, like a long time. This is not my first conference, it's not my first teaching, and it would be so easy to just get hum drum about the whole thing, but I refuse to do that. I am gonna be excited every time God lets me open my mouth. I was just thinking last week... See, I believe that having the privilege of teaching and preaching God's word is probably about the greatest honor that I could ever have. And I wanna always be amazed that God chose me. I wanna always be amazed that he keeps me strong enough to do this.
I made a comment during the break I said, "You know what amazes me"? How many of you think we should be more amazed? You know, what amazes me? That after all these years and thousands and thousands and thousands of teachings and television shows and radio shows and interviews and on and on, that my voice is still so strong. I've only had two times in my speaking career where I had trouble with my voice, and well, one time was through my own foolishness, I preached with laryngitis, and I forced my voice to work and I had trouble with my voice for four months, and I will never do that again. I didn't want to say, "I'm sorry, but I can't preach tonight, I don't have a voice". Instead, I was, "I'm gonna do this".
And ya know it's good to be determined, but sometimes you could be stupidly determined. And then there was one other time that I had trouble, I was in Colorado and I sounded like a frog but I preached anyway, and I didn't have any ill effects from that. But other than that, I can't remember any times when my voice has been anything other than just the way it is and I don't think that's possible except, all things are possible with God. Amen? I don't know if we comprehend what it means to say that God lives in us. And we should never be the kind of people that give up easy. We should know that with God we can do whatever he asks us to do.
Now, we can't do what he's asked somebody else to do. So, we need to stop comparing and competing with other people, but anything that God tells you to do, you can do it. God will always give you grace for your place. If you have a special needs child, God will give you grace to raise that child. If you have a difficult situation in your marriage right now, God will give you grace for that place. Too many people throw in the towel way too quick. I heard about a situation, just while I've been here today, a couple having trouble, they both been in ministry for long time. "Do you think they're gonna make it"? "I don't know if they're going to or not. He can't make his mind up what he wants". I don't know when we're representing God, if we have the option to decide what we want.
What would it say to all the people that Dave and I've ministered to all these years, if we would have a problem in our marriage and just throw the towel in and say, "Well, we're just gonna get a divorce". And I'm not tryin' to make anybody feel bad that is divorced. God hates divorce, but he loves divorces. I was divorced when I was 22 years old, I married the wrong guy and he ran around with other women and just was a thief and all kinds of things. Sometimes there are reasons why you need to get out of a situation. God's not asking you to be abused, but neither should we just give up easily and just say, "Well, we just don't get along". Well, who does without trying to? "We have irreconcilable differences". Well, reconcile them anyway. Does anybody understand what I mean?
See, part of this has become the problem of the Christian not having a good reputation or the church not having a good reputation, because many times you can't really tell the difference between us and everybody else. Alright, now, don't stone me. Isaiah 43:18-19, this is for you, "Forget the former things: do not dwell on the past. You see, I am doing a new thing". Come on, that's for you. I am doing a new thing, now, somebody's sayin', "Yeah, yeah, I've heard that scripture a hundred times". Well, you're hearing it again and maybe this time God wants you to grab it and believe it. And say, "Yes, God is doing a new thing in my life. And I'm not gonna sit around and feel sorry for myself and look back at the past and think about everything I don't have, I'm gonna take hold of the promises of God, and if anybody can be blessed, I can be blessed"! Amen?
I want to go through three stories in the Bible, these are not parables, these are things that happened. Luke 5:18-19, "Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus because they wanted Jesus to heal him. They could not find a way", and you know, the story could have ended there. They could not find a way, so they just took him back home. And that's what too many do, they set out to do something and it looks hard or it looks like there's not a way. Well see, you when you don't see any way, Jesus is the way. And I mean this, I'm not just trying to be preachy and do a cheerleading session up here. I mean that God can do through you what you could never do yourself. But you have one job and that's to never ever, ever give up.
"When they could not find a way to do this, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof". Who does that? We don't have many roof climbers today. They took this man, who was on a stretcher, don't know how many of them it took, and somehow or another they climbed up on that roof, and they took some of the tiles out of the roof, and and they lowered the man down, and dumped him right in front of Jesus. "Now, Jesus you gotta do something about this because he is in your face and he's not leavin'. We believe that you can heal him". And Jesus said to him at first, "Your sins are forgiven, but in order that people might know that I have the power to forgive sins, rise up and be healed". Amen? Well, he got carried in and dropped through the roof, but he walked out. Come on. You may get carried into your relationship with Jesus by some of your friends, but honey, you can walk out. And then you can be the one that's carrying other people in the next time.
Luke 19:1-5, this is one of my favorite stories in the Bible "Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through there. And a man was there by the name of Zacchaeus: and he was a chief tax collector and was very wealthy". The tax collectors were hated and they were crooked. And they were all wealthy because once they collected the tax for the Romans, they could add on to that another amount, that they would keep. And so the people despised them, because they cheated 'em all the time. And "He wanted to see who Jesus was", so, he obviously was not satisfied with his life. He was a crook and he had money, but I don't care how much money you've got, if you don't have Jesus, you're not gonna be happy with your money. Your money can't give you peace when you lay down at night. Amen? And neither can your fame, or your place of importance in society.
"He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short", he had a problem too, he couldn't see over the crowd, poor, short Zacchaeus. "Well, if only I would have been taller, I wouldn't have gotten left out of so many things in life". Too many people look at their one deficit and they forget how easy it is for God to override that, and still enable them to do something great and mighty, if they just won't give up. What's your disadvantage? "Well, I was abused in my childhood". "Well, I didn't get to go to college". "Well, I didn't have parents who loved me". "I didn't get to have the right education". "I was abused". "I was an orphan".
Hey, we've all got some kind of deficit. We've all got something we don't have, but we all have something. Amen? You probably oughta be a little more excited than that, but I'll forgive ya, I know you been listening a long time. But he didn't give up, "He ran ahead of the crowd, and climbed up in a fig tree to see Jesus since he was coming that way". He was inventive, he was creative. "I've got a problem, I'm short. But these little short legs will run and maybe even faster than long legs, I don't know". So off he went, he climbed up in a tree, when Jesus comes by, I'm gonna be able to see him. Is anybody with me today? But this is the part I love the most, you see, Jesus likes that kind of attitude. That gets him excited. "So he ran ahead, climbed up in a tree since Jesus was coming that way and when Jesus reached the spot, he looked up", wonder why he did that? Why would he just suddenly, walking down the road, look up at the very exact spot where Zacchaeus was, because he could feel Zacchaeus' faith. You remember when the woman with the issue of blood touched the hem of Jesus' garment and he said, "Who touched me, I felt virtue (or power) go out of me"?
Well, she didn't touch him physically, she touched his garment, but he wouldn't have felt that, but he felt her faith touch him. And that faith moved him. "And he said come down from there Zacchaeus, and come down immediately, because I must stay at your house today". Whoo, I'll tell you what those pharisees got so mad, "What do you mean? I'm religious and I do everything right, and I keep all the law and this guy is a cheater and a tax collector and a crook and you're gonna go to his house instead of comin' to mine"? He doesn't care about our religion, he's lookin' for faith. He's looking for who is gonna put their trust in me. See, Zacchaeus not only wanted to see Jesus, but he wanted to repent, because that's the next thing he does.
In Luke 19,verse 8: "But Zacchaeus stood up"... "All the people", well, verse 7, "All the people saw this and they began to mutter, because he had gone to be the guest of a sinner". Uh-oh, you sinner, you, Jesus may come to your house. Amen? He didn't come for the healthy. He came for the sick. "But Zacchaeus stood up and said, to the Lord, 'look Lord, here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I've cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay that back four times over'. Jesus said, 'today salvation has come to this house'"... Look at that, all that lifetime of sin, all that lifetime of cheating people and bein' a crook and stealing their money, that fast, he repented. "I don't want to live like this anymore". "Zacchaeus, today salvation has come to your house".