Joyce Meyer - Removing Hindrances - Part 1
Today, I want to talk about "Removing hindrances". What are some of the things, let's just say a person says, "Well, you know, I do want to be spiritually mature, I do want to be everything that God wants me to be, but something just seems to be stopping me. Something seems to be hindering me". So today, we're going to talk about how we can get rid of some of these hindrances in our life. Actually, I would have preferred to call the message, "Is your well stopped up"? But people might not understand that later if it's just laying out on the resource table, so people get this better. So, Bible says, "Out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water".
Now, I would like you to think about something for just a minute. You know, a great thing about our mind is we can see a picture in our mind even if we're not looking at something with our eyes, we can get a picture of it in our mind. So, how many of you have ever had a faucet in your house, let's say like a kitchen faucet, that gets clogged up, and when you turn the water on, all you get are little, little spurts. Sometimes, it goes in all kinds of crazy directions. Have you ever had that happen? Okay, I remember years ago we had, I guess equipment has improved now 'cause this doesn't happen, but we had these little screw-on screens that went on the bottom of the faucet. Any of you remember those? And when the faucet would start to do that, we'd have to take that off, clean it out, get rid of the hindrances so there'd be a good flow again. Well, nobody wants to have a faucet in their house that doesn't have water flowing out of it. And we all like our water pressure, don't we? We don't even want to have low water pressure. We want to get a full flow.
Well, you know what? That's what the world needs to see coming out of us is a full flow of Godliness. There's too many Christians that have got a little spurt of Godliness every now and then, a little pst, pst here and there. Can you all say that, pst? See. And so, you know, you might go to Sunday church and spurt a little bit, but then on Monday, you're all clogged up again with the world. And that's not, you know, the whole reason for you being here is to learn better how to behave when you go out there. I tell people all the time we can get so excited about the conference, "Yay. Oh, man, I see Joyce on television, now, I see she's a real person. I'm so excited". Well, you know, I hope that you came here for something other than just to see what I look like in person. God has got things that he wants to do in the earth, and he needs every single one of us with a full flow in our life to be able to do that.
Now, Jesus said this in John 7:37 and 38, "Now on the final and the most important day of the feast, Jesus stood and he cried out in a loud voice, 'if any man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink'". Well, that's another whole message all in itself, isn't it? If you feel you got a thirst in your life, you're thirsty, you're hungry, you don't even know what you want, Jesus said, "I've got all your answers. Come to me". And then he said, "'he who believes in me [who cleaves to, trusts in, and relies on me] as the scripture just said, from his inner most being,'" or out of his belly, "'shall flow [continuously],'" everybody say continuously. Not in the conference, not just on Sunday morning, but, "'[continuously] springs and rivers of living water'".
Now, what does that really mean? It means that in our life, we should have a flow of joy, a flow of peace, a flow of the Fruit of the Spirit coming out of us, a flow of goodness flowing out of us, mercy. We should have a flow of good things in our life. And when the right things are bubbling up in us and flowing out of us, we not only enjoy our lives, but we're able to be a blessing to other people. So, I guess I want to ask you today, what is flowing out of you? I'll ask myself, what is flowing out of you, Joyce? Well, sometimes good stuff, and some days we just get a little spurt, and I'd like to fix that, amen? What flows out of you is more important than what comes to you. We get way too concerned about what we're getting in life or what we're not getting, or not having a bad circumstance.
And God wants us to understand that it's what's in us that is much more important than what's coming to us. Because if we've got the right thing in us and we get rid of the hindrances in our life, then the right thing will flow through us, and it won't only be a blessing to us, but it will be a blessing to other people. So, is a good flow being hindered in your life? Is what's coming out of us dead, or is it living? Does it minister life? Does it minister death? Is there a flow at all? Do you feel like you can't hear from God? Do you feel like you can't sense God's presence? There's no joy, there's no peace. Nothing seems to be working. Everything is a struggle.
Some of you know exactly what I'm talking about, it's like, "I don't understand, I go to church, but something's just not right. Something's just not right". Well, sometimes, we've got some things clogging up our pipes. And you know, when you're a believer, but you're not living the life you should live, it's very frustrating because before you received Christ and got into the word, you could sin all day long, it didn't bother you that much. But once you receive Christ and you start learning better, now if you continue in that kind of a lifestyle, you will be miserable. Can I just say this, and I want you to remember this? There's nothing more miserable than a guilty conscience.
A lot of people have a hard times sleeping, not everybody obviously, but a lot of times when you have a hard time sleeping, there's something on your conscience that's bothering you, something that you have not attended to. You know, we're very good at just glossing over things and finding some place to kind of stick it in a back room in our heart somewhere, and just pretending like it doesn't exist. And I had a situation 2 or 3 years ago that I well remember, where I just wasn't sleeping good, which normally wasn't the case for me. And I tossed and turned, and kept waking up, and didn't know what was going on. Finally, about 5 o'clock in the morning, I said to God, I wish I would've done it much sooner, but I said, "What is wrong? What is wrong"? You know, if you ask God, "What's wrong?", and you really want to hear the truth, he'll tell you, but you may not like everything that he says.
We always want our problems to be something somebody else is doing, but in that instance, quickly God brought to my heart something that I had said, a way that I had behaved that day before I went to bed towards somebody else. And I just kind of glossed over it, made an excuse, and didn't take care of it. See, we should be smart enough to know that if we hurt somebody's feelings, we should say, "I'm sorry". If we act rude, we should say, "I'm sorry". Not behave badly and then say, "Well, I had a rough day at work". You know, we make too many excuses for bad behavior, and what we need to do is let God deal with us about these things and say, "No God, I don't want to be like that, and I need you to help me". Nothing is worse than having a guilty conscience. John 4:14, Jesus is talking with, we call her, the woman at the well. And he says, "'whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty anymore. But the water that I give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) [continually] with him unto eternal life'".
I want you to just try to get a picture of that. How good is life when we've got, we just feel like life is bubbling up in us, and there's joy just bubbling up in us. And you know, I lived too many years where I'd get up in the morning and couldn't wait to go to bed, and then go to bed at night and couldn't wait to get up. You know, I wasn't ever really satisfied with anything. And man, it became so important to me when I finally got ahold of John 10:10 and realized that Jesus didn't just die for me so I could someday in a sweet by and by go to heaven, but he died so we could "Have and enjoy our life, and have it in abundance (to the full until it overflows)".
And enjoying life does not mean that I'm going to get everything I want, or that I'm going to live on vacation, or I'm going to have the perfect people in my life. Enjoying life means that there's a place in Christ that we can come to, a place of spiritual maturity, where although we may not like our circumstances, nobody likes difficult circumstances, we still can find a place where we can be happy and joyful no matter what is going on in our life. And isn't that really what we want? Paul talked about it when he said, "My determined purpose is to know him and the power of his resurrection that lifts me out from among the dead even while I'm in the body". That's exactly what we're talking about here today. He said there's a place that we can come to in Christ where, with all the deadness around us, and all the trouble, and all the bad circumstances, and the grouchy people, and the high finances, and all the things that are going on, where in him we can be lifted above that into resurrection life.
You know, the Bible says in Isaiah 40 that when we wait on God, we will mount up with wings like eagles, who mount up close to the sun. Well, if you've never really looked any further than just reading that scripture, you may not really understand the total beauty of it. But an eagle has an ability to fly so high, they're not afraid of the storms of life. They actually have tunnel vision, and they can see miles and miles away when a storm is coming. And instead of running from it, or having a bad attitude or a fearful attitude, they actually wait for it to come, and they let the draft or the storm when it hits them, it pops them up above the storms, and they can fly around in freedom and just look down at what's happening.
Well, see, that's the way that we should be as believers. We don't have to run from problems, amen? And you know why? You have to have enough experience with God, and it takes some time to get to this point, but honestly and truly, none of us like trouble, but if you love God and you want what he wants in your life and you don't give up, there's nothing, absolutely nothing that comes your way that God will not be able to take it and, somehow or another, work it out for your benefit in your life. The thing may not be good, but God is good. That doesn't mean that God brought your trouble, but he'll use your trouble to make you a stronger believer and to be a better witness to somebody else. How many of you are going through some things right now? Okay. Well, see, we have stuff too, you know?
In the last 3 years, I've had both of my hips replaced. Kind of nice now you can get replacement parts, you know? And that's cool, so you know, you go through a healing process, and blah blah blah blah blah. Well, I've been having a little issue with this one, so they don't think it's my hip, they think now it could be something with my back. I've been having trouble with sciatic nerve. This morning, getting ready to come over here, I had this pain going down the back of my leg. Well, you know, my life's not perfect either, but I have to apply the same principles to my life that I encourage you to apply to yours. You know, you don't get a pass from problems just because you're preaching the word. Matter of fact, you get attacked more than if you weren't doing anything. But you know what? We do have authority over the enemy. And although he comes against us one way, he'll flee before us seven ways.
Romans 8, "Right in the midst of all these things, we are more than conquerors". You know what it means to be more than a conqueror? I believe it means that before your problem starts, you already know that whatever comes your way, you will ultimately have the victory. Amen? Okay. So, I want to ask again, what's flowing out of you? Now, interesting thing. The Philistines, who were the enemies of the children of God, they had a way of doing warfare that also the Israelites did warfare the same way. Back in those days, one of the ways that you defeated your enemies was to throw dirt down their well. See, you already know where this is going, don't you? They would throw earth or dirt down their wells, and stones, pebbles and stones, until they got it stopped up to where there was no water flowing out of the well. Another thing they did is they would throw stones all over their property so nothing would grow.
Well, when I saw this scripture years ago, I taught this message once. I don't know why I've never taught it again 'cause I think it's a great example, but Genesis 26:15, "Now all the wells which his father's servant had dug in the days of Abraham, his father, the Philistines had closed and filled with earth". So, let's just say that earth represents the world and all of its ways. Well, if there's anything that the enemy wants to do, he wants to fill us, our inner life, with all the ways of the world so even though we get up and go to church two or three times a week, and we read our Bibles, and we may give a little bit in the offering, there's still not much difference between us and the rest of the people out there because the enemy's constantly trying to fill us with the ways of the world. Does anybody seem to have any temptation these days about having to really stand steadfast to not get sucked into the system out there? And you know, many times even as a believer, if you're going to really take a firm stand against ungodliness and against sin, you may have to be willing to stand alone a great deal of the time. Amen?
The Bible says that we're to stay on the narrow path that leads a way to life, and off of the broad path that leads to destruction. And I like to say that on the broad path, you're going to have lots of company. On the narrow path, sometimes you may only find one other person, and that's Jesus. You can't always be the most popular person on the planet and do what God wants you to do. So, one of the things that Jacob did when he came to help the Israelites was one of the first things he did was unstop their wells. So, guess what? I don't know what you think you came for today, but I can tell you that Jesus brought you here to unstop your well. Amen? We're going to take out some dirt, we're going to take out some stones, and you're going to learn when the enemy throws a stone at you to throw the rock back at him.
Did you hear what I said? When the enemy throws a stone at you, you're going to learn how to throw the rock, which is Jesus, the Word of God, back at him. The best way to defeat the enemy is through the Word of God. I'll ask again, has the devil filled you with earth? Has he filled you with rocks? You know, sometimes we get so used to compromising with the world that we don't even really realize anymore that we're doing it. You know, that's how the enemy deceives us. He does it just a little, tiny bit at a time. And all of a sudden, things that used to really grieve you, now you can do and they don't bother you at all. And we all have to be careful about that, every single one of us.
Now, 2 Kings 3:19, "'you shall smite every fenced city and every choice city, and you shall fell,'" or knock down, "'every good tree and you shall stop up all the wells of water and you shall mar every piece of land'. But when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and smote the Moabites, so that they fled before them. And they went forward slaying the Moabites as they went. They beat down the cities [walls], and on every good piece of land every man cast a stone, covering it [with stones]. And they stopped up all the springs of water and knocked down all the good trees, until only the stones [of the walls of Moab's capital city] were left standing". Now, listen to this, "And the slingers surrounded it and took it".
So, there actually were men in the Bible, whether they were from Israel or they were from the enemy's camp, this is just a way that they did war. And there actually were people that were called slingers. And you got some slingers in your life, let me tell you. And their whole job is to sling dirt at you and to sling stones at you, hoping to fill up your well to where there's nothing but a little spurt or a spit or a pop every once in a while, and there's nothing continuously flowing out of you that's going to bring life to everybody else around you, come on.
So, I've actually got some slingers with me today. The first stone that we want to talk about that the devil loves to sling at us is the stone of compromise. You know what a compromise is? So dangerous. A compromise means that you go just a little bit. Everybody say, "A little bit". You do just a little bit less than you know what would be really right or really good. And after all, you know, "I mean, it's just a little bit. I mean, you know, everybody else does it. I mean, even my pastor does it". You know, you're not responsible for your pastor or any of your Christian friends, or your mom, or your dad, or your spouse, or anybody else. You're only responsible for you. And you're going to stand before God, and I'm going to stand before God and give an account of our lives, and so it's important that we all make good decisions that we can be proud of.
Now, let's talk about compromise for just a minute. Somebody invites you to go to a movie, you already know it's not the kind of movie you should see: bad language, nudity, all kinds of stupid stuff. You're a Christian, you got a bumper sticker. You got your Christian Jewelry on, but they want you to go. I mean, you know, they only take the Lord's name in vain 12 times, it's not, you know. And I know we've all got different convictions, I'm not trying to push mine off of anybody else, but I'm trying to make a point that we all do hopefully have some conviction. And whatever our conviction is, whatever our standard is, we need to be willing to live by that. Not being legalistic, but you know, if you don't draw a line and stop moving it, then there's no place where the line is going to stop. Amen?
Well, you don't want to miss the TV show, you don't want to miss the party, even though there's going to be a little bit of drugs there or, you know, there's going to be just a few people that really are a bad influence. You know, it's just a little bit. It won't really make that much difference. And after all, everybody else is doing it. Well, you know what? That's when we need to pay attention to those scriptures that say, "If your right hand offends you, cut it off. If your eye offends you, pluck it out". That's exactly the kind of stuff that he's talking about. Come on, you cannot have spiritual maturity, I cannot and you cannot, we cannot become what God wants us to be and do what everybody else in the world does.
Now, I don't know how comfortable or uncomfortable this is going to be for some people today, but I'll tell you, we need to hear more about not living in sin, saying no to stuff, not compromising because the enemy is using it to bring deception into people's lives. "It's just a little bit, just a little bit. Everybody else does it. It doesn't make that much difference". I am pleading with you today. And you know, the apostle Paul said, "I beg of you". I think sometimes when you're trying to do the kind of stuff that we're trying to do, and you see what God wants to do in people's lives, and you see them continue to compromise, it's like there's just like a... Please start doing what you really believe that God wants you to do and not just what all your friends want you to do, amen?