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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Removing Hindrances - Part 2

Joyce Meyer - Removing Hindrances - Part 2

Joyce Meyer - Removing Hindrances - Part 2
TOPICS: Hindrances
Joyce Meyer - Removing Hindrances - Part 2

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? Okay, can I have my slingers come out? Come on, you've got slingers in your life, slingers that tempt you to compromise. Let's sling a little compromise out there and see what happens. Whew. Okay, that's good. All right, now here is the thing that I want to bring to your attention. And I knew this would happen, so I already had it planned in my message. You guys can go back now until I need you again. Listen, when they slung the stones of compromise out there, you were all trying to catch it. Come on, I could say, "Amen," and we could go to lunch, and you got the message. You were all trying to catch it. And what everybody should have been doing was doing everything that you could to avoid it.

You know, the apostle Paul had the flow of God in his life, there's no doubt about that. And, but we're going to look at a couple of scriptures and see why. Acts 23:1, "Then Paul, gazing earnestly at the council (of Sanhedrin), said, 'brethren, I have lived before God, doing my duty with a perfectly good conscience until this very day [as a citizen and a true, loyal Jew]'". Let me just say again God has given us our conscience. And when your conscience has been enlightened by the Holy Spirit... Now, there is a false guilt that people can carry around. I had a problem with that for a long time. I had to learn enough of the word to know what was truly right and what was truly wrong. Because to be honest, if you don't know that, anything you try to do in life to enjoy yourself, the devil's going to make you feel guilty about. So, we need to know what is real conviction from the Holy Ghost compared to what is condemnation from the devil, amen?

The thing that Paul said, which I love this, he said, "I'm free to do anything. There's nothing that's illegal for me". In other words, to be honest, you can compromise and probably still go to heaven. A lot of these other things that I'm going to talk about, you could probably still do some of those things and go to heaven. But it's not the best thing for you, it's not the best example to the world. You know, the world is just looking at us, looking for excuses to judge and criticize us, and yell that we're phony. So, you put a bumper sticker on your car, and they're going to watch your behavior. And actually, I believe that many times people will test us. They'll try to get us to do something that they know is wrong just so if we do it, then our presence doesn't convict them anymore of their sin because now we're doing the same thing that they're doing. But then they judge us and criticize us for it.

We have to understand that if we behave like everybody else, all we're doing is giving them fuel to say that we're just phonies and that what we have is really not real. Our behavior and our lifestyles need to bring a godly conviction on people. Not like a judgmental spirit, but people need to be a little bit convicted about their behavior in your presence. And the only way that's ever going to happen is if you hold a standard. Not being judgmental toward them, not being critical toward them, not trying to make them feel guilty, but you have to make decisions for yourself.

My husband, when he worked in the engineering field before he came to work at the ministry many, many, many years ago, Dave was always a godly man, he had standards in his life and, you know, the guys would sit around and they knew Dave was a christian, and he's told me about times when they would be telling really dirty jokes. He told me some story about one guy who was trying to, came up to his area where he worked, and started trying to tell him a dirty joke. And he looked at him, and he said, "Now, why are you trying to tell me that? You already know that I'm a believer in God and I don't like that kind of stuff".

Well, you know, it can be a little bit hard to do that because all of a sudden now you separate yourself from the rest of the pack. But you know what the other side of it was? When this guy got in trouble later on with his marriage and his wife was leaving him, who do you think he came to to get some help and some counsel? But the thing that I always really liked about the way Dave handled himself at work was he would confront people, but not in a critical or a judgmental way. He would be just as friendly with that guy the next time he saw him as if that would have never happened. And the place where we get in trouble is where we get an attitude. "Well, I'm better than you," and that's what people can't stand. You don't need to have that attitude, but you don't need to compromise with everybody else in the world for them to be willing to accept you, amen?

So, we want to keep our conscience clear before God because compromise is like a stone thrown into your well, and it's going to mess up the flow in your life. There's nothing worse than having a guilty conscience about something that you did that you knew God did not want you to do. But see, here's the thing. We get so used to compromising and doing things below godly standard, if nobody ever confronts it, then we just keep doing it. Little bit, little bit, little bit, until all of a sudden, our lives are ruined and we don't even know what happened. Have you ever seen a believer that was once really strong with God, started getting off track? And it's a little bit, little bit, little bit. And then, all of a sudden, somebody says, "I have no idea what happened to them".

Well, you know what? It didn't just happen overnight. It happened a little here, little there. The devil is patient. Come on, he takes his time. He will work in our lives a little bit, a little bit, a little bit. And that little bit lie is one of the lies that you have to really watch for. Now, I know sometimes this gets a little bit uncomfortable because well, you know, we want to have our fun, we want to be part of the group, we want to do all these different things. But the thing is, is I'm not standing here telling you today, giving you a list of things you can't do. What I'm telling you is that if you do what God wants you to do, then you're going to have a freedom and a joy that's going to be worth a whole lot more than anything you think you had to walk away from to get it.

Romans 9:1, "I'm speaking the truth in Christ. I'm not lying: my conscience [enlightened and prompted] by the Holy Spirit bears witness within me". So, Paul was saying, "Look, I don't have known sin in my life". Doesn't mean that he did everything right, but he said, "I've got a clear conscience. I'm good with God". Now, there's two ways to keep from having a guilty conscience. One of them is when you sin, to be quick to repent and willing to turn away from what you've done wrong. That's good, that's a good plan, that door's always open. But if it continues to be the same thing over and over and over and over, then maybe that's an indication that that's something that we need to just stop repenting for, and just decide that needs to go out of our lives.

You know, it's one thing when we do something wrong and we don't have any knowledge that we're doing it wrong. But the more knowledge we have, the more responsible we become to do what God wants us to do without going through the route of sinning, feeling guilty, having God deal with us, repenting, finally receiving mercy, getting back to square one again, and then doing the same thing all over and over again. So yes, we can repent. Thank God that his mercy's new every day. I don't think that we can ever out-sin God's forgiveness. But, I do believe that there's a better way to live, and that is to decide today, "It's time for me to come up to a new level of spiritual maturity, and instead of just repenting all the time for the same stuff, I want to start doing what God leads me to do the first time he leads me to do it so I don't have to go down that road again".

Every compromise is a stone or some dirt in your well. David said in Psalm 18:23, "I was upright before him and blameless with him, ever [on guard] to keep myself free from my sin". Couple of words there, "On guard" and, "To keep myself from sin". So, David didn't just wish the devil would leave him alone. He didn't just wish there would be no temptation. He said, "I'm going to live my life and be the warrior that I should be. I'm going to be on guard, I'm going to live carefully, I'm going to watch for the lies of Satan, I'm going to watch for the compromises that the slingers sling my way, and I'm going to keep myself, with the help of God, in a place where I can have the kind of life that God wants me to have".

You know, if you read the Bible in the New Testament, you see that phrase "on guard" over, and over, and over. Just read you three quick scriptures, 1 Corinthians 16:13, "Be on guard: stand firm in your faith". You know, the enemy will try every which way that he can to steal your faith. And one of the ways that he does it is by slinging stones of doubt and unbelief at your mind. Anybody ever have some problem hanging on to the promises of God, and continuing to believe that God's word is true in your life, and he's going to do what he said he's going to do? You know why? Because we inherit the promises of God through faith and patience. And while you're having the patience, that's when the enemy comes against us with his lies about, "Well, it's not going to happen, it's not true for you," and so on and so forth.

Be on guard. You know what? Victorious christianity is not for a lazy person. It takes everything you've got to walk in victory. And we can't be sleepy Christians. You know, the Bible even talks about that, sleepy Christians. You know, the ten virgins, five of them stayed alert, and they were on guard, and they waited until the bridegroom came. Five of them got sleepy, they got lazy, and they went to sleep, and they missed out in the end. Luke 21:34-36, "But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (and weighed down) with the giddiness and the headache and the nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, worldly worries, and cares pertaining to [the business of] this life, [lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose".

You know what? Jesus is coming back someday. Now, we don't know if it's today, we don't know if it's tomorrow. Not one of us knows when we're going to meet our Savior. Whether he returns or he decides to bring us home, nobody is guaranteed anything beyond this moment right now. And we need to live like we believe that, where we're not just pushing the envelope, so to speak, thinking we've got all the time in the world, but we need to live like Jesus is coming back at any moment. All right, I can go on, and on, and on about that, but let's go to another one here. How 'bout stones of worry, anxiety, and fear? We never run out of things to worry about, do we?

Oh, my gosh. And I don't care how much you read the Bible, I don't care how many scriptures you can quote, I don't care how many times a day you watch Joyce Meyer on TV, or how many times a week you go to church, you're still going to have to use your faith. Come on, it doesn't do any good to have faith, we have to use our faith, and that we need to use it when the enemy throws these stones of worry, fretting, anxiety. I mean, even like situations like I told you about, you know, my sciatic nerve thing there bothering me. You know, I've been through enough in my life to know that God always has an answer, always. But that doesn't mean that we don't have to wait and go through a few things.

Well, you know, while you're waiting, here comes the stones of, "Well, what-if"? How many stones do you think that you get thrown at you every day that just are labeled, "What-if"? Well, what if this? And what if that? And what if something else? And so, this is when we need to know the word. And when the enemy throws those things at us, we need to know how to throw the word back at him. The Bible says, "Be anxious for nothing". Let's just look at one scripture, Philippians 4:6. "Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition, (definite request), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known unto God".

Can I have the slingers come out, please? There you go, worry. Here comes some worry. Oh, there's a lady caught it! I get it. If it came at me, I'd probably wanna catch it too, but. I think there is a good lesson there, though. See, like, "Here it comes... Let's catch this worry and sit around and be miserable all day". "Yes, let's be anxious about this. Only God knows what's gonna happen". Yeah, they gave it back to me. Perfect! Oh, how 'bout stones from your past? Whoo, boy. Come on, Matt. Let's have a couple of stones from the past. Here it comes. "What makes you think God could use you? Don't you remember when"? You're getting it now. See, nobody caught that one. We're getting the message. One more.

I like what that one guy did, he put something up over his head, it's like, you know what we need to do? We need to walk around with the umbrella of God's word on our head, all the time. Oh, my, my, my, my. We need to learn how to speak the word against the lies of the enemy. We need to learn how to throw the rock of the word back at the enemy when he throws stones at us. You know what? Paul had a past. I wonder how many times in the apostle Paul's life the enemy threw or tried to throw a stone at him. "Well, who do you think you are to be going around trying to tell all these churches what to do? You were the one that used to try to persecute the churches". He attended the stoning of Stephen.

Mary had a past. Not a very good past, and she ended up traveling with Jesus. She was on the travel team, and she'd been a prostitute. My gosh, I got some of those, I'm sure, amen? I mean, if you knew some of the things that I did, oh, my gosh, you would think, "There is no way that I can listen to that lady". But see, here's the thing. When we're in Christ, we die to our old life, and we become a brand-new creature. Boy, what about Peter? Man, did Peter ever have a past, whew. Boy, one of the 12, and he denied knowing Christ three times, denied him. "I don't know the man". Even used bad language. "I don't know him. No, I'm not with him". But boy, when the rooster crowed and he remembered what Jesus had told him, can you even... I cannot even begin to imagine how Peter felt, how hard it must have been for him to go on.

You know what? I think when you've had a major failure in your life, and you find the faith to go on with God and let go of your past, I think it's one of the greatest things that you can ever do in your life. I'll be honest with you, it doesn't take that much strength to sit around and feel guilty all the time. I mean, I was really good at that before I started hanging out with Jesus. I mean, we can all sit around and feel bad about ourselves, and think we'll never amount to anything, and we don't deserve anything. But if you want to do something really huge that will really make the devil mad, whenever you've acted your worst, go to God, say, "I'm sorry for the way that I behaved, but I am going to ask you to help me anyway, and I'm going to ask you to use me anyway because I believe what your word says, that I can let go of what lies behind and I can press on to the good things that are ahead".

Don't discount yourself because you've got a past that's not very pleasant. God is an expert at taking messed up people and using them for his glory. Matter of fact, I think he kind of prefers to work through messed up people rather than perfect people because then everybody's shocked and God gets all the glory. Amen? Come on, don't plan for some kind of a backseat in life and an inferior life because you had a bad beginning. It doesn't matter how you get started, what matters is how you finish. Can you imagine when Mary went back to the disciples, and she said, "Oh listen, he said to tell you, and Peter, he especially mentioned you by name". He was the only one that Jesus mentioned by name. "Go and tell my disciples and Peter that he is risen," amen?

I'm sure the enemy had Peter convinced that he would be left out, but Jesus made sure that he knew that he was not being left out. And you know what? He's calling your name today, and he wants you to know also that he is risen. And no matter what has taken place in your past, when the enemy throws those stones of past things that you've done, at you, just throw a good piece of the rock back at him and say, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away, and behold, all things become brand new". Amen? Amen?

Maybe you've never asked Jesus to come into your heart. Or maybe you go to church, all the time, but the truth of the matter is, I don't know, maybe you're just a legalistic "Christian". Maybe it's not really about relationship for you. And you need to realize today, that when you're born again, Jesus comes to live on the inside of you. He didn't die so we could go to church. He died so we could be born again. So, we could have intimacy with God through him. He tore the veil that separated the people from God. And the door is wide open today, for you to hear from God, be led by God, have your sins forgiven.

I don't know what your name might be today. But Jesus is saying, go and tell my disciples, and whatever your name is, he is risen. And he's risen for you. Not just everybody else, but for you. And so, it's very simple. If you mean it, you can receive Christ in your heart today, and start a brand-new life with him. So, I want us all to stand up. We're all going to pray this prayer together. And I'll tell you, if you make this confession, and you mean it with your heart, then you'll start a brand-new life. So, let's all just say this together, nice and loud:

Father, God, I love you. Jesus, I believe that you died for me. I believe you paid for my sin. I believe you love me. And I'm sorry that I've tried to live without you, that I've tried to do things on my own. I'm sorry for my sin. I'm not only sorry, but I'm willing to turn away from them, and learn a brand-new way to live. Jesus, I receive you now, as my Savior, and my Lord. I believe you're living in me now. That my sins are forgiven. I want to live to please you. I know it's going to be a journey, and I've got a lot to learn, but I trust you'll never give up on me. I'm yours now, and you're mine. I'm on my way to heaven, and I'm going to enjoy the journey. Amen!

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