Joyce Meyer - Seated in Christ - Part 1
I want to talk to you tonight, about entering the rest of God, but in a little bit of a unique way. My message this weekend, tonight, and two different messages tomorrow, is called, "Sit, stand, walk, and run". Now, that might sound like, well, "What's that about"? Well, each one of those things the Bible tells us to do: to sit, to stand strong in God, to stand against the enemy, to stand and wait for our breakthrough, to walk in God, to walk in love, to walk in faith, to walk in peace, and to run our race. But we have to do it in that order.
See, I believe that God has an order in the kingdom. And so, if you're a new Christian, and you start out trying to run your race, and you got this big vision from God, and you wanna do this big thing, but you have never learned to "Sit" yet, then you're just gonna be frustrated. I actually believe if you've got a big vision from God, and you don't know how to rest in God, while God is making it happen, I think it'll just almost kill ya. I think the pressure of trying to make something happen yourself, of trying to carry all the burdens, and all the cares, even trying to raise several children, if you don't know how to rest in God... So, several years ago, I began to notice, God started calling my attention to the fact that after Jesus' resurrection, every time the Bible talks about him, it talks about him as being seated. "He that sat on the throne". And so, I started really kinda taking an interest in that, and just thinking, you know, "What's that all about"?
You see, when Jesus was on the cross, he said, "It is finished". And so, the work that he was sent to do was done, and he ascended on high and sat down at the right hand of God, there to wait until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet. Now, I'm gonna say something interesting to ya and I want you to get this, I believe that knowing how to rest in God when the enemy's coming against you, is one of the highest forms of spiritual warfare that you can do. Amen? So, we're just gonna look at some scriptures and kinda get into this. I know you're only gonna hear one part of it tonight, but I believe God'll give you what you need tonight, and give the rest of 'em what they need tomorrow.
Father, thank you for the word, we pray that it will penetrate hearts and that it will not be forgotten, in Jesus' name, amen.
Ephesians 1:19-22 "And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of his power". How many of you believe God is powerful? Alright. But you don't want to miss this, "In and for us". You didn't get it, in and for us. He just doesn't have power, but that power "Is in and for us who believe," who believe! Now, you can believe that you're weak and that you can't, if you want to, but I've decided to believe that I'm strong and that I can. "As demonstrated in the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead".
So, the same power that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us. "And seated him at his own right hand in the heavenly places". Everybody say, "Seated". Then it goes on to say, "That he's far above all rule and authority and power and every name that is named, and all things have been put under his feet". And you know that's important to us, because I'm gonna show you in a scripture in a minute in Ephesians two, that says that, "We are seated in him". So, I'm actually, in two places tonight, I'm walking around up here on this platform, but spiritually, I'm seated in heavenly places with Christ, and that seated means one thing, I've entered the rest of God. I'm not worried about what you think of me, I'm not worried about whether you're gonna like my message or not, I'm not worried about what's gonna come out of my mouth next, because I trust God will bring it out.
But you see, when I first started, I didn't know how to do this from a standpoint of the rest of God. I wanted everybody to like me, and so, if somebody would get up and leave while I was preaching I would just be devastated, because I would just be sure that they didn't like me. It's amazing the lies the devil will tell you if you don't know who you are in Christ. Come on, now. I said, it's amazing the lies the devil can tell you if you don't know who you are in Christ. I remember one situation where a lady came one time, and she was sitting right up in the front like maybe the second or third row, right on the end. And I'd been preaching maybe, maybe 10 minutes, and she got up and left.
Well, I was still learning how to be seated, and 'cause I was trying to run my race, and didn't know anything about staying in the rest of God, yet. And so, I felt bad the whole rest of the sermon, because I thought, "Well she didn't like what I'm saying, she didn't like me". Isn't it wonderful to be free from caring about what people think of you and whether they like you or not? And so, somebody told me the next day, they didn't tell me that night, God gave me a day to be miserable. And somebody told me the next day, said "Oh, you know a lady told me to tell you something, she was here last night, down in the front and she had to leave to get to work, but she loves you so much that it was worth it to her to drive all the way here, just to hear you for 10 minutes".
Now see, that's the kind of stuff the devil does. It's like, he tells us things that are totally not true, but if we don't know how to rest in God, you see, if what she thought of me meant too much to me, then I couldn't enter the rest of God, because I'd be worried more about what she thought, than what God wanted me to do. C'mon, I want some people to get set free tonight. And I do believe that there's an order. As I said, I believe you have to learn how to rest in God, how to sit, before you can stand, before you can walk, and certainly, before you can run. So, I'm gonna give you an example, and I think it'll help you understand it. Mike, can you help me? I used to do this myself, but I thought maybe I'm past that, and I'll have somebody else do it. So, would you lay down?
Alright, now, this is the way babies start out and this is the way we all are, when we come into relationship with Christ. We're just, we're done. Amen? And maybe there's somebody here tonight that you're like, "Yep, that's it, I'm done". Well, we've got the answer that you need tonight. And so, let's just say that I'm a baby Christian, and I've just come into the kingdom, and I'm still laying. Now, let's just say that somebody comes along and says, "Stand up". Now, there's no way you can stand up from that position, you have to first sit. Now see, this represents, "I'm saved now, I'm in the rest of God". But of course, we never make that transition that fast. We got to have at least 20 years to be miserable, I mean, a minimum of 20 years to beat on ourselves, and feel guilty every time we make a mistake, and you know, be all concerned about our ministry, and why it's not this, why it's not that.
I wonder how many people are here tonight and you feel like you've got a call from God on your life, but nothing's happening, and you are so frustrated you could just pull all your hair out. Well, enter the rest of God. You can't make it happen. You can't make it grow any faster than God wants it to, and you better hope your ministry doesn't grow any faster than you do, because if you get, you know, you can have charisma that can get you somewhere and not have enough character to keep you there, and it'll finish you off. So, you can start off with a great gift, but all this other stuff gives you the character. So, the point is, now, he's learned to sit in Christ.
So, stand up. See, now he can stand, I can do that too, by the way. My trainer had me do that the other day just to see if I could do it. He said, "I want you to sit in the floor and see if you can get up". 'cause you know, I was tempted to crawl over to the chair and get some help, but I got up. He said, "I know a lot of 30-year-olds that can't do that". So anyway, that's another story. But now that he's standing, and you know, we're going to talk tomorrow morning about standing, and there's a lot of standing. Standing and waiting on God, and standing firm and continuing to do what's right when nothing right seems to be happening to you, standing against the enemy, standing against the lies of the enemy, there's standing to be done. But see, you can stand from a vantage point of having entered the rest of God.
The point I want you to get this weekend is, everything can be done from having entered the rest of God. And when I'm talkin' about rest, I'm not talking about a nap, I'm talking about internal rest. I'm talking about you don't have to worry, you don't have to be full of anxiety, you don't have to be afraid, you don't have to try to figure everything out all the time. You don't have to have all the answers. You can be in the rest of God, and you can do what God tells you to do, and you don't have to go any further than that, because all he asks out of you is what he gives you to do and the rest of it is up to him. Now, take a walk. We want you to walk. Gonna walk in love, gonna walk in peace, gonna walk in Christ, we're gonna not walk as the heathen walk. Now, run your race. See, now, he can run. Okay, you can go sit down, thank you.
See, a picture is worth a thousand words. In Romans, 4:17, the Bible says, "The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but it is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost". And you know what? It has to come in that order. Like, you first have to learn who you are in Christ, that you've been made right with him, then you can have peace with God, and peace with yourself, and when you have that, then you can have joy. But just to be saved won't give you joy, because if you don't know who you are in Christ, you are never, ever, ever, gonna really be consistently happy. Because if you're insecure, and don't know who you are in Christ, I know what I am in myself, not too much, I make mistakes. I mean, I've got a couple of things in my life that I've finally just come to the conclusion, you know what? God's not gonna take 'em away. He's just gonna let me keep those, just to keep me humble.
And you may not agree with this, but I... well, actually, there's a scripture that says, that God leaves a certain amount of weakness in us to keep us depending on him. You're not ever going to get to the point where you do everything perfectly, never. And so, I think I'll always be a little mouthy. I've improved a whole lot, but, ooh...I mean, I can pray one minute, "God put a watch over my mouth, so I don't sin against you with my tongue". Walk right out of the room where I prayed, and... Blah, blah, blah. This knowing who you are in Christ is more than just a little, cutesy, religious statement, I mean it is the key. It is the key. Jesus said, "It is finished". And I'll tell you something, Christianity doesn't begin with a do, it begins with a done. Amen?
Hebrews 1:13, "To which of the angels did God ever say, 'sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet'"? Man, you can enter the rest of God, and just wait for God to just beat the devil up and put him right in his place. The best way to fight the devil is just stay in the rest of God, don't let him rattle you, don't let him upset you, he does not know what to do with you, if you won't get upset. And let me tell you somethin' else he doesn't like at all. He doesn't like it when he gives you a big problem and you continue to enjoy your life, while God works on your problem. Did you hear what I said? You can enjoy your life while you have a problem. You know why? God's not asking you to fix your problem, he's asking you to trust him, while he fixes your problem.
And I think that's important. And I think several people here need to hear that tonight, because some, I remember going through, "I mean, well, you can't just have fun and enjoy yourself, while you have this problem". I used to get so mad at Dave, because back in the early days, we didn't have any money and there was always more bills than there was money, and I had quit my full-time job in obedience to God, to prepare for this great worldwide ministry I thought I was gonna have, and I was still teaching 25 people in my living room floor. And so, I'd get all the bills out and get the calculator out, and I'd start figuring things up, and of course, the more I figured, the more frightened I got.
And Dave would be in the next room with the kids playing and watching TV, and they'd be puttin' rollers in his hair and I'm like, "Yeah, you ain't touchin' my hair". And I would get so mad at him because he was enjoying his life, and we had a problem. Come on, you know it? Oh, it just annoyed me. And I would say, "Why don't you do something? We have got a mess out here. Why don't you do something besides just laugh and act like, you know, it's one big party". He said, "What do you want me to do? You know how much money we have, we're being obedient to God, God takes care of us all the time, he has never failed us, he has never let us down".
But see, I didn't know about this resting in God thing. And so, I wanted to know how God was gonna do it, and when God was gonna do it. I wasn't satisfied to trust and wait. So, I'm going to say this one more time, because I think it's important, you have permission to enjoy your life while God is working on your problem. Now, for some of you, that was worth your trip here tonight. In revelation, Jesus is always seen as seated at the right hand of God. And so, as I said, I got pretty curious about that and I began to realize that it related to having entered the rest of God. And there's a reason why, a very important reason why, the Bible keeps saying, "That he sat," "That he sat," "That he sat".
Jesus is our high priest, and no other high priest, other than him, ever got to sit down in the presence of God. Under the old covenant, on the day of atonement, once a year, when the high priest went into the holy of holies to make atonement for the sins of the people, there was all these rituals and certain laws, and rules and regulations that had to be followed about how he went in. And this is absolutely true, I checked it again the other day, just to make sure. He had little bells and pomegranates sewn on the bottom, the hem of his garment, and a rope was tied around his ankle, because nobody could go in there but him. So, as long as he was working, doing his duty, doing his rituals, those little bells would jingle. Well, if the bells stopped jingling for a long enough period of time, they knew he had made some kind of a mistake and died. And since they couldn't go in to get him they'd pull him out by the rope. There was no chair in the holy of holies, because it was a covenant of works, nobody could enter the rest of God.
So, I think Peter said it tonight, when he was exhorting on Matthew 11, that rest is a gift. It's a gift that's given by the grace of God, and nobody could have that rest, until after Jesus came and did everything, he fulfilled the law, now we don't have to. And he's seated at the right hand of God. And Ephesians 2:6 says, "We are seated with him in heavenly places". So, I'm here walking around but my heart's there. C'mon, I want you to get this. So, that means that I can actually enjoy, "While I work". Peter gave you the definition of rest, and one of the things that he didn't mention, that is in the vine's Greek dictionary, is the rest that I'm talkin' about tonight, is not a rest from work, it's a rest in work.
Now, we need a day where we don't work too, and that's another whole side of this, the fact that as Americans, we don't get the kind of rest that we need to get for our physical body. We're gonna talk about that just a tiny bit, but this is a rest that you have while you work. So, this is my work, I'm working and I don't know for sure, if it's true, you read things you never know 100% for sure, but I read that when a preacher preaches a full hour and does a full service, that it's equivalent to eight hours of hard work. So, when Joel preaches three times on Sunday, he's worked 24 hours. Amen?
See, it's not just a little talk. I love it when people say, "I loved your little talk". It's like honey, "That was not a little talk, I was pouring my whole soul, body, spirit, everything I got into this. I've studied for hours to come and bring you this little talk. I love your little talk". When I leave, you'll have everything I've got, then I'll have to go get some more for in the morning, because I can't give you anything that God doesn't first give me. So, it's so wonderful to do this with my soul on vacation. See, you can take a vacation and go lay on a beach every day for five days and still not rest one bit, if you're gonna spend that time worrying about your problems. And some people take a day of vacation just so they can sit somewhere and try to figure out all their problems.
How many of you, when you take a vacation, you come home, you need a vacation from your vacation? We don't know how to be still anymore. Somebody said, "We've lost the art of being bored". If you have five minutes in a doctor's office waiting, out comes the phone, we're gonna call somebody, text somebody, check our status on Facebook or something. You know, I could not tell you how many Facebook friends we have, I love that, they're friends on Facebook. Friends? On Facebook? You do well to have five really good friends in your whole life. I thought it was funny when that first started and people would text me and say, "Will you be my friend on Facebook"? And I wouldn't do it, I said, "I'm already your friend".