Joyce Meyer - The God of Possibilities - Part 3
The Bible also says that, "No man can tame his tongue". We can only do with God's help, and believe me, I know that. How many of you can say an amen to that scripture? Whoo! Man, I could lay in bed every morning and make my plan for holiness, and it lasts until I put my feet on the floor and take a couple of steps. It's time to stir up our faith. How 'bout believing this? How 'bout believing what the Bible says about how generous God is with forgiving our sins? And when you make a mistake, instead of wasting three days in guilt and condemnation, why don't you have enough faith to say, "I believe that if I ask you, you will forgive my sins"? And you repent of your sin, you ask for forgiveness, you take it as the gift that it is, you don't waste three days feeling guilty, you go right on serving God.
The Lord told me one time, he said, "If you wanna use your faith for something really big then use it to live free from guilt and condemnation". There's no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. I think I could probably fly home without the plane. 2 Timothy 1:6 and 7, Paul's talking to Timothy and he said, "That's why I would remind you to stir up," everybody say, "Stir up". "(rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [that inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands [with those of the elders at your ordination]". So, hands were laid on Timothy and there was an impartation of gifts given to him. But he had let fear come in and he wasn't moving boldly.
So, Paul said, "You gotta stir up that gift. Remember at your ordination when hands were laid on you, and God touched you". "For God did not give us a spirit of fear (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [he has given us a spirit] of power and a spirit of love and of discipline and self-control". Now, you weren't as excited about that one. C'mon, let's back this train up. For God has given us a spirit of power, of love, and of discipline and self-control. A calm and a well-balanced mind... Everything that we receive from God is received and can be received no other way than by faith. Salvation is received by faith. "For it is by grace, you have been saved through faith".
Faith is not the price that buys your salvation, it was bought by the grace of God. But faith is the hand that receives it. And the same way we were saved is the same way we have to live. Romans 1:17 says, in the Word of God, "There's a righteousness revealed that leads us from faith to faith to faith". We don't go from faith to doubt and unbelief, and then back to faith for a little while. Everything we do should be done in faith. Romans 14:23 says: "Whatever is not of faith is sin". Well, how can you stir your faith up? On a practical level, how can you do it? Well, faith has to be stirred up and released. We all have faith. The Bible says that, "Unto to every man is given the measure of faith".
Whatever it is that God has called you to do, he has given you the gift to do it and the faith to do it. I don't teach and preach because I'm special and have this great talent, it's a gift. And God gives me the faith to walk out here and actually, believe that people are gonna show up and they're gonna like it. But I can tell ya, I didn't start with that faith, I was so scared. If anybody got up and left while I was preaching, I was sure they didn't like me and I had the wrong message. But I finally had to learn that I had to do this in faith believing that God was with me, and that what I felt in my heart, was the word for the night, was the right word. And if somebody didn't like it and they left, that's their loss. That doesn't mean I've done something wrong. Amen?
But you know what? I am committed to sayin' what I believe God wants me to say. Because if I stand up here and try to be a people-pleaser, I cannot always be a God-pleaser and a people-pleaser at the same time. You release your faith by praying, by saying, and by taking action. Faith is in us, but we release it. When you pray, you're releasing your faith. If you're really praying in faith, you're releasing your faith, you're asking God to do something for you, you're admitting that you need his help. And Mark 11:23-26 says, "Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, 'be lifted up and thrown into the sea!' and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him". James 4:2 says, "You do not have because you do not ask".
You know what? Get bold in your praying. Pray for things that just don't make sense to your mind, if you feel like God's leading you to do it. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I'm gonna share it with you anyway. Many years ago, I felt like God was prompting me to pray that I would be able to help every person on the face of the planet. And the devil said to me, "Who do you think you are? That's ridiculous. No one person can help every person on the planet". And I agree. But with God all things are possible, amen? And I don't fancy that I've reached every person yet, but I am preaching in a 101 languages in 2/3 of the world on television and on the internet and on Facebook.
I mean, my goodness, this was back before all this technology was available. We'll now, people can get the Gospel on their phone, on their computer, on television, on radio, on Youtube. I mean, if you're anywhere in the world and you can get a signal, I'm likely to be there. It's hard to watch television early in the morning and not accidentally run into me. How many people tell me that, "I accidentally ran into you on TV"? No, you did not accidentally do anything. God saw your miserable life and he's trying to help you.
I'll never forget the young man in his twenties, whose parents had just been begging him to straighten up his life and he wasn't listening to them. He wasn't paying any attention. He drank a lot, and he was leaned back in his... What do you call 'em? Recliners. In his recliner, drinking his beer, and he was two sheets in the wind, and he said, "So help me, you came on television and said, 'you there, young man, leaned back in your recliner drinking your beer'". He said, "It scared the living daylights out of me". And he said, "I threw that beer down and prayed for God to save me". God is working in ways that we do not realize that he is working in, all of our lives, all the time, and all he wants you to do is stir your faith up, right now, and believe that all things are possible with God. Amen?
Another man told me that he was high on drugs and he was flipping through the channels and he got to the channel where I was on, and he laughed at me, and thought, "I ain't watching this junk". And he tried to change the channel and it wouldn't change. Wouldn't change. So, he went and got new batteries for the remote, he thought, "Surely, the batteries were out". And he said, "The only thing on my remote control that would work was the button to turn the sound up". He said, "I couldn't turn you down. I couldn't turn you off. I could not get rid of you". And he said, "Let me tell you, I sobered up. I threw those drugs away. I got on my knees and I gave my life to the Lord".
So, I just sit in my little house and I prepare my messages and I write my books and I just believe that God is doing things that I could never do. And I'll never know about all them and I don't want to, because I don't ever wanna get full of myself and think more highly of myself than I ought to. Amen? And God can use you the same way in your little corner of the world if you'll just be willing to believe, and keep your faith stirred up. "For this reason I'm telling you," verse 24, and here's really the good part of this. "For this reason I'm telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will get it". Okay, we got about 40 people happy about that.
Now, you know, if I would have said it'll be yours instantly, everybody would have roared. You will get it. I don't know when you'll get it. But I know you'll get it in the right way at the right time, when you're ready. When God knows you're ready. There's about three things, right now, that have all come up in one day that I've gotta be patient about and trust God, and I'm like, "It never ends". There's always now, something else you gotta wait and see what God does. Just keep saying, "All things are possible with God. And if God can't do it, then it doesn't need to be done". Amen? Well, of course, then there's this thing on the tail end of this about forgiving people. "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your father who is in heaven may also forgive you your failings and shortcomings and let them drop. But if you don't forgive, neither will your father in heaven forgive you". "Well, you just don't understand what they did to me, and surely God can't mean that I'm to forgive them".
I read something last night to you, I think it was, "You don't forgive your enemies because they deserve to be forgiven, you forgive them because you deserve peace". Isn't that good? What is faith? "Now faith", and I like to stop it, now, faith, because faith always has to operate in the now. I can't have faith yesterday. Today, I can have faith that God will take care of yesterday. I can't have faith tomorrow, right now. But I can believe, right now, that God will take care of tomorrow. You understand that? Faith is always in the present. Not I'm gonna believe, I believe. And it, "Is the substance," it's a real living, "Substance of the things we hope for, and the things we do not see". When you see what you want, you don't need faith anymore. Hold fast to your confession of faith, keep saying the same thing that God says, and release your faith by taking action.
This is about Lazarus, "Jesus once more deeply moved came to the tomb and it was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 'take away the stone,' Jesus said. 'but Lord,' Martha said, who was the sister of the dead man, 'by now there's a bad odor'". He stinks. And he's not just dead, Jesus, he is four days dead. I mean, he is really dead. Like there is no point in rolling away that stone. Now, let me ask you a question. If he's getting ready to raise Lazarus from the dead, why did he need somebody else to move the stone? They had to take action. They had to release their faith, by not just saying, "Lord, he's dead". They didn't even ask him to do anything. They're just rehearsing the problem. "He's dead". Martha said, "Yeah, he's dead. He's been dead four days and he stinks and there's no point in rolling away that stone". But the Bible says they rolled away the stone.
And can I tell you? If they would not have rolled away the stone, Lazarus would still be in there today, he would be many days dead. And maybe all you need to release miracles in your life is to roll away some stones. Come on, give God a praise. Whoo! Lord, Jesus! Okay, listen, we're gonna all pray what we call, in the church, the prayer of salvation together. And there are people here who've never prayed that prayer, you're ready to give your life to Christ. There are people here who have prayed with somebody at some time, but they've backslidden and fallen back into sin. There are people who don't know if you're saved or not. You go to church, but there's a lot of unsaved people in church. Amen? Now, let's all pray:
Father, God, I believe in you. Jesus, I believe in you. Holy Spirit, I believe in you. I know that I'm a sinner. And I'm sorry for the way I've lived. Please forgive me. I repent of my sins. I wanna turn away from the life I've been living and live for you. I want to be a follower of Christ. I surrender my life to you, right now. And I receive you, Jesus as my Lord and my Savior. Now, I believe you love me. I believe my sins are forgiven. I'm on my way to heaven and I want to enjoy the journey. So, take me just the way I am and make me all that you want me to be. Amen.